Poppies and petrochemicals

I do some of my best thinking in the car. Not on the slow early morning drive through the suburbs of south-west London to the ICIS offices, but on long distance journeys like the one we did this weekend, taking our son to start his university in life in Exeter, a cathedral city about three hours’ drive west of London.As we drove through autumn woods of green and gold, past harvested fields of bleached stubble and bales of hay, my thoughts turned to my fellow blogger Simon Robinson’s “Big Biofuels Blog” and how so many English people claim to detest the new landscape of bright yellow fields of oilseed rape, only one of which was still in bloom on our journey.Earlier this year the fields were full of poppies because of the increasing popularity of organic farming, and it was a startling sight to see the fields of Salisbury Plain stretching red to the horizon.Even the routes to chemical plants and chemical events can have their scenic qualities.Top 3 Chemical Drives•1 The drive from Houston to San Antonio for NPRA through Texas Bluebonnets and stopping for beef jerky and a spot of outlet shopping, with 50s rock and roll on the radio.040501_bbwithyellow%5B1%5D.jpgThanks to http://austin.about.com/ for the photo.•2 The drive from Frankfurt airport to Ludwigshafen in a chauffered Mercedes at 200 kph on the autobahn past fields of asparagus and hilled vineyards.fe5e1a8a1d8d1c7d19b5dd7314a8f560-grande%5B1%5D.jpgThanks to World News Network for the photo.•3 Down Interstate 195 from New York City to the DuPont sites of Wilmington, Delaware through rolling wooded countryside and escaping the big city (donated by Simon Robinson)

View Larger MapWith special mention to the little train from Zurich down Lake Zurich in deep snow to Chemische Werke Dr Kolb AG at Hedingen.Nominate your Top Chemical Drives here (NO flights, but train rides will be considered on merit. Extra points will be awarded for African or Asian drives.) Can the sheep grazing on the northern hills overlooking Wilton compete with the bougainvillea drives of the Mediterranean?

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4 Responses to Poppies and petrochemicals

  1. Chris 24 September, 2007 at 12:42 pm #

    If you are including train rides Barbara then Frankfurt to Cologne (slow route, not the new one) through the Mosel (?) valley has to be up there with the best.

  2. Ashok 24 September, 2007 at 12:55 pm #

    Put down Altendorf to Zug by car in there. Having seen Trammochem, you can visit one of BIT, Kolmar, AOT or Interchem.

  3. Chris 24 September, 2007 at 1:36 pm #

    Talking of Zug – the train from Horgen is a nice ride too, if I remember correctly?

  4. avite 28 September, 2007 at 5:24 pm #

    Surely the top drive is the European Cracker Tour, especially at this time of year…. Geleen, Antwerp, Dunkirk, Feyzin, Berre, ending up in Monte Carlo in time for the EPCA opening cocktail….

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