Archive for January 26th, 2018

January 26, 2018

Occitanie, the old now new region of France

Again, rainy day at home;so started looking at my albums and posts here in my blog . Found out there are a lot stuff from my early days blogging in 2011 that has not been notice enough, in my opinion. These are wonderful areas you should be aware of if visiting France.

Occitanie is one of them.  In the administrative realignment of French regions in 2016, the two  Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées were merged into one. In turn the new region of Occitanie counts 13 departments/provinces such as Ariége, Aude, Aveyron, Gard, Haute-Garonne, Gers, Hérault, Lot, Lozére, Hautes-Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Orientales, Tarn, and Tarn-et-Garonne.

Well before them, there were others call Haut and Bas Languedoc, Roussillon, Cerdagne, Vallespir, Conflent, Capcir, Comté de Foix, parts of Gascogne such as Armagnac, Comminges, Couserans, Bigorre, Condomois, Nébouzan, Riviére-Verdun, as well as Guyenne with Quercy and Rouergue. There were part of the parliament of Toulouse founded in 1443.

This is the official webpage for the region in French:  Occitanie new region old Midi Pyrenees

Wouff, well there you go ,plenty for a wonderful vacation, trip, passing of a historically wonderful area of France. Do we have time to see it all, I am working on it…!

Enjoy the weekend, me planning! Cheers!


January 26, 2018

The flooding in France, especially around Paris 2018

Ok so this is part of a series I did in 2016 on the flooding around Paris France. This seems to be a recurrent phenomenon but the authorities seems to just take pictures and nothing concrete has yet to be propose on doing; while families lose everything in one river rising waters….

My previous posts on the flooding

This time it practically reach the same levels as in 2016, but all you hear folks saying is well did not broke the record of 1910! 1910 omg to do almost the same in 2016 and 2018 is beyond me. No lessons learned.

Again the official Vigicrues organism that tell us when water is going up unusually up is here in French:

The experts keeps repeating to us here that on each rise on the water levels of the Seine river is remarkable and remind us of the 1910 flooding!!! when Paris suffered greatly. Now these days of 2018; the Seine is at 5,48 meters yesterday morning (Thursday) but far from the glorious record of 8.62 meters of 1910! The estimates this time gave us the rising waters to be up to 6,20 meters and even estimated not more than 6 meters according to the Vigicrues experts…

The basin coming into the Seine have four reserve lakes to help regulate the flow of water into the river. One is located along the Seine near Troyes (Aube), the others along the tributaries of the Seine such as in Aube, Marne, and Yonne departments. In period of rising waters, these reserves are filled limiting the rise in water in the Paris region. The current rise in water won’t reach it’s peak until Saturday (tomorrow) but the reserves are already filled up to 86% and that of the Aube at 98%. So much for reserves!

Some of the explanation lies in that this year my belle France had the 2nd biggest two month rain period since figures were kept in 1900!!!  According to  Météo France (official weather channel ) the accumulated pluviometric readings show that after December 1st and in some régions, it has reach double its normal or like in Paris 183 mm of water or about 7,2 inches.

And what all this water thingy has to do with us poor souls. Well all breaks loose and more to come. Bear in mind all this if you are coming to the Paris region in the rest of January at least.  Already ordered closed the RER C (that wonderful train line that takes you Versailles etc) and will be closed until January 31st. there are 23 department on last reading from southeast, east, Normandy and the ile de France in orange mode  or second to highest vigilance. These are so far! according to  Météo France :  l’Aube (10), le Doubs (25), l’Eure (27), l’Isère (38), le Jura (39), la Loire (42), la Marne (51), la Haute-Marne (21), la Meuse (55), la Nièvre (58), l’Oise (60), le Rhône (69), la Haute-Saône (70), la Saône-et-Loire (71), Paris (75), la Seine-Maritime (76), la Seine-et-Marne (77), les Yvelines (78), l’Yonne (89), les Hauts-de-Seine (92), la Seine-Saint-Denis (93), le Val-de-Marne (94) et le Val-d’Oise (95). Highlighting those dear to me as either work,, lived or have family in them still.

We have slowed down the metro line 7 for meteorological reasons wow dandy words here! and extreme vigilance over the banks of the rivers in the departments Marne, Seine-Saint-Denis, and Val-de-Marne. The big museum such as Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre have taken precautionary measures like moving up some pieces or closing the  inferior level of the Islamic arts section at least until Sunday. This is,also true for the musée de l’Orangerie.

Moving on away from Paris the experts of Vigicrues have declare a new level of rising waters in the Marne river  from 3,83 to 4,10 meters by tomorrow morning.  On the flooding of 2001 it only reach 3,95 meters! In the north of the department on the Marne river have risen as water flow coming from the Champagne area continues…In my dear Meaux, the river Marne reached today at 8h 4.29 meters!! with a slow but rising prediction. This is already the high level reach in 2001.  And the experts of Vigicrues  are saying the water level can go up to  4,3-4,5 meters Friday evening (tonite), and for the coming days the tendance is to go higher!!!.

 And in my dear previous dept of the Yvelines no 78 on the wonderful isle of or île de Villennes-sur-Seine, (near Poissy) yesterday the water levels already reached the levels of June 2016 according to Vigicrues. So ,it seems these people only collect data but no prevention so far lol!!

I will post two photos from Le Parisien newspaper one on the Seine river in Paris (credit Mathieu de Martignac) ,and the other on the île de Villennes sur Seine (credit Aurélie Foulon) here.

Paris Villennes sur Seine

And we will continue to watch the levels of water and keep records!!! hoping all will down to normal levels on my next regular work visit to Paris early mid February. In the meantime, you stay dry and on high ground if around here ::) Have a good  weekend, Cheers!


PS update as do need to do another post. IN the Seine river in the Yvelines the Île de Vaux was cutoff from the world. The island or ïlot Blanc near the île des Migneaux near Poissy the stretch in the Seine between Chatou and Conflans was overflowing and fisherman along Conflans Sainte Honorine take cover for their boats.  By today they have taken 23,44 meters of water at Conflans higher than the last one in 2016 that was 23,16 meters . In normal times it is about 20,35 meters. At Les Mureaux also a growers of vegetables had lost 10 000 plants or 70% of its production ! In the meantime in Paris the Seine river has stabalise at 5,85 meters with new rains coming up that will slow down the descend over several days



January 26, 2018

The magnificent Cathedral of Chartres and more!

So here we are on a Friday rainy cool humid grey day in my area and high waters in many parts of France; I come to you again from my vault and early blogging back in 2011.

This time, let me tell you about Chartres. And for clarity this is the official site of the Cathedral:  Chartres Cathedral

A bit more on the Cathedral, a wonderful one to see and re visit.

The Notre Dame Cathedral of Chartres is the best example of gothic art in France! Work on it began in 1120, but the biggest construction period took part from 1194 to 1260.  It is 130,9 meters long by 46 meters wide with a general dimension of 5 200 square meters; at the transept it is 63,3 meters and the nave height is 36,6 meters and a width of 16,4 meters!  The main façade 30 meters long has 719 statues depicting the life of Jesus most of them of Roman style. The central window and highest has a rosary (11,5 meters) a fine gallery of the 13C with niches of 15 grand statues of kings with a space with a statue of the Virgin and on top a colossal praying Christ .


chartres cathedral front

The bells are impressive as well. the one on the right called the old bell is 106,5 meters high is modest with little décor but nice proportions and was finished in 1145; the other on the left called thje new bell 115,2 meters high was finished in periods of  1506-1507 and 1514, to replace the wooden bell that was burn by a lightning in 1506.

The stained glass of Chartres numbering 176, covers 1350 objects from the Old Testament and the New Testament ; from the life of Saints, martyrs, popes, bishops and priests to representation of orders with their emblems that help construct or embellish the Cathedral. As you enter the Cathedral on the left see the statue of the Black Virgin done from the 16C and greatly venerated today.

chartres cathedral nave inside

The Cathedral alone is worth the visit to Chartres, but there is more if you read my old post above. Enjoy the reading of a nice town and beautiful Cathedral of France and the world. Some photos here too.

Happy travels and fun weekend. Cheers!

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