Archive for December 21st, 2019

December 21, 2019

Some news from France, CCXCV

So here I am on a cool dark day with high winds flapping all over France up to 140 km/hr (about 87 MPH)is some spots and intermittent rain for the weekend. Lovely, welcome to France! And what better way to know the news is by reading my some news from France posts! Enjoy it!

For the first time in 216 years, the eight-century-old Notre Dame Cathedral will remain silent one Christmas night: no ceremony or procession is planned on the outskirts of Notre-Dame de Paris. The Christmas mass will be celebrated at midnight by the rector of the cathedral, Mgr Patrick Chauvet, in the Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois Church, opposite the Louvre.

A giant crane was installed in order to carry out the most delicate operation of this entire Herculean security site: it will be a question of dismantling one by one 10,000 metal tubes, or 250 tonnes in total, that the flames of April 15th welded. The giant crane arrived on December 16 in parts aboard an exceptional convoy accompanied by 40 trucks of equipment. Two mobile cranes unloaded them. It is currently being climbed and will culminate at 75 meters (80 meters with the arrow which dominates it). Made expressly in Moulins (dept 03 Allier), and considered to be the largest topless tower crane in Europe, it can lift up to 8 tonnes.   During the night of 17 to 18 December, the essential electrical transformer station was unloaded from a barge which will supply the installations on a lasting basis. As of Monday, the crane, which had to be solidly welded to the ground, will be fitted with an elevator. Before entering into action, this huge giraffe watching over Notre-Dame must be duly checked. To be Continue…

The exhibition is displayed in rue du Cloître, a stone’s throw from the Notre Dame Cathedral. 37 photos arranged on the palisades of the building to devour with your eyes during a stroll in the neighborhood, until March 2020. Patrick Zachmann wanted to immortalize everything. Photo reporter and pillar of the Magnum agency, it was in June that he was able to break into the cathedral, then partially devoid of roof. He thus immortalized the historic event, which moved, and still moves so many people as evidenced by the thousands of tweets and photos about him on social networks. Patrick Zachmann delivers magnificent photos of charred, damaged, scratched roofs, but not only. This “wild” exhibition aims to revive an emblematic place which, under reconstruction, has not finished writing its history. See it while it last!!!

And its all over thenews so the events reporting continues on the strikes in Paris and France. The movement against pension reform continues on Saturday for the 17th consecutive day. The unions have rejected any truce on the occasion of the RATP holidays, as well as the SNCF, with the exception of the Unsa-railway but the staff continues. Eight lines of the Paris metro are still not running. Air transport threatens to join the strike in early January calling to strike for the day of 3 January. Like many liberal professions, air transport as well as seafarers fear that the pension reform will cause major changes in their supplementary pension fund. Air transport then gave the government an ultimatum for December 23. If the latter refuses, the strike could extend beyond January 3 …to be continue and check for air travel plans ok

Wind gusts of up to 140 km / h are expected along the Atlantic, up to 180 km / h in Corsica. I am already feeling the winds and we are hatch down for the weekend as we live close to the coast in the Morbihan. Other areas of France such as the Paca are hit harder these days. We have 11C (ébout 52F )but it feels like 5C!’about 41F)  It seems we will have a lousy weekend!!!

Just one year after taking over the three restoration areas of the Institut du Monde Arabe 5éme arrondissement de Paris, renown chef Guy Martin threw in the towel. In bankruptcy since Wednesday, the establishments are closed. And the 32 employees are waiting for a solution. Sadly not the place for high end French cuisine.

The winter Paris Night Market is once again installed under the large Halle de la Villette. A day and night market to take full advantage of green eco bio exhibitors.

Mantes-la-Jolie (Yvelines 78) is already preparing for the coming of the Tour de France The last departure city will be Mantes-la-Jolie. The town of the north-west Yvelinois thus succeeds Rambouillet as the city organizing the start of the last stage. The route should then reach the outskirts of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and Versailles to reach the Seine and the center of Paris. To be continue for the Tour de France 2020.

How about fast food in France, it is gaining ground due to price/quality ratio establishements such as Restaurant Dumbo winner of the Fooding Prize for the best burger 2020. The establishment open in summer 2019 in Pigalle produces a hundred American sandwiches every day. The order is quickly placed, it is swallowed in a few minutes, and it’s good. All cooked with mature Montbelliarde meat, delivered daily to the restaurant by the Huguenin butcher. The buns are potato buns, made of flour mixed with mashed potato. Dumbo, 64, rue Jean-Baptiste-Pigalle, Paris 9éme. Without reservation. Open Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 14h and 19h to 22h30

And now a bit of a tour done with car but can be done with public transport at least to get there. The mountain of Sainte Victoire! With its imposing white limestone cliffs which dominate the Vallée de l’Arc valley, the Sainte-Victoire mountain, which appeared 15 million years before our era, looks a bit like the giants of the seas plying the oceans.

The first stage, Fuveau, has all the attributes of the Provençal village. Perched at the top of a hill, it offers steep streets, a course bordered by plane trees as well as an imposing neo-Gothic church with the airs of Italian Baroque which can be seen from afar. Sainte-Victoire is very close. The village revolves around the Saint-Michel Church and the Castle of Peyssonels, historic residence of the lords of Fuveau. You stroll along narrow streets, pass by the Porte de Bassac, and stop in front of the little Saint-Roch Chapel, at the corner of rue de la Paix before taking rue du Figuier and rue Barthélemy Niollon, painter and friend of Cézanne. These two arteries served as the backdrop for some scenes from the film Le Boulanger de Valorgue, with Fernandel, shot in 1952.

Located on the northern slope of the Etoile massif, the small village of Gréasque was erected, 340 meters above sea level, on ancient land bequeathed to the Abbey of Saint-Victor around the 11C. For almost five centuries, until the early 1960s, the Provence mining basin was the third largest national production. Nearly 50 wells have been sunk – dug vertically in the language of miners in the region. After WWII, 6,500 miners were still working there. A page that was turned in 2003 with the closure of the Morandat mine in Gardanne.

The last Gardanne mine shaft closed a little over fifteen years ago, but in the minds of many Gardannais, their city remains the historic heart of the mining basin. You can visit the mining town of Biver and the Alteo factory which produces alumina. But Gardanne rhymes especially with Cézanne. The painter lived there two years. Walking through the Colline des Frères (Brothers’ Hill), you may find the place where he put his easel to paint the village.

Like the other villages in the Vallée de l’Arc , Trets is still spared the flow of tourists. You can therefore wander quietly between alleys and covered passages, appreciate the medieval ramparts and the two solid access doors flanked by square towers, make a stop in the Notre-Dame de Nazareth Church, in Romanesque style, with Gothic additions and Baroque. The Altar done towards the end of the 17C, whose striking features of the Virgin and the Archangel Gabriel strike. At Rue Paul-Bert, you stop in front of an old Romanesque house which, according to an oral tradition, would have been a synagogue, when the Jews expelled from France in 1182 were welcomed in Trets by the Counts of Provence.

Welcome to the highest village in Bouches-du-Rhône, Mimet, which has a real historical heritage, such as the old castle and the church opposite, both dating from the 11C. Inside the church are the oldest santons of Provence obviously, dating from 1644. Another wealth, outside: the hermitage Notre-Dame-d’Elle Anges, a site built in and on the rock of which only the imposing hostellerie of women remains today, alongside the arches of those of men. The bravest will launch, still on foot, to attack the head of the Grand Puech, the highest point of the massif at 766 meters. For a 360 ° view on seven departments, and on the Sainte-Baume massif, the Prealps, the Ventoux, the Lure mountain and, icing on the cake, Marseille with its islands and Sainte-Victoire, of course.

A bit on getting here: From Aix-en-Provence TGV station, regular shuttle to the city center. Then, from Aix, you can use the Pays d’Aix Mobilité buses, the interurban transport network which offers more than twenty regular lines to Trets, Fuveau, Gardanne, Gréasque or Mimet. Network Pays d’Aix Mobilité:

And finally one of our favorite dishes for Christmas and I took this recipe this year :hope you try it, bon appétit.   Hot oysters stuffed with handled butter by chef Patrick Cadour

Ingredients for 4 to 6 people (depending on appetite)

2 dozen special oysters, 150 g butter; ½ bunch of curly parsley; 2 shallots; 1 leek; 50 g salmon eggs; Espelette pepper ; powdered mace; White pepper

Step 1: the oysters Open the oysters, empty the first water, reserve.

Step 2: the parsley butter: Knead the butter with the finely chopped parsley, the chopped shallot, a pinch of mace, a hint of chili, a hint of white pepper. Keep cool.

Step 3: leek: Cut the tender green part of the leek into a little julienne (small ribbons), blanch for 1 min in boiling salted water, then cool with ice water.

Step 4: cooking the oysters: Cover each oyster with a few ribbons of leek, add a small knob of handled butter. Bake at 180 ° C, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the butter sizzles and begins to brown. You can also cook these oysters over a wood fire (on fairly soft embers), they will only be tastier.

Step 5: the dressing: Place the oysters on the plates (possibly on a layer of coarse salt to stabilize them), add a small spoonful of salmon eggs in each. Taste immediately, accompanied by a glass of light pinot noir or a rosé from the Loire or Provence.

And voilà , hope you enjoy the post and be aware of the weather and the strikes in my belle France on your soon next visit to us! Enjoy the country we take all.

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!



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