Some news from France, CCCXXXII

And here I am again on my series some news from France. A wonderful time to tell you tidbits of stories from my belle France. Hope you are enjoying them as I do. Today was cook here temps in 13C but sunny and no rain. I did my tuneup or revision on my car and got medical checkups for my Dad, now all home. Let met tell you about these news ok.

How about a bit of history on the metro/train ticket of Paris ? Well it is a nice story I like to tell you thanks to the folks of the RATP. In 1900, when the Metro opened, three types of tickets existed: a pink ticket for 1st class, a cream ticket for 2nd class and a green ticket for round trips. In 1947, a single ticket was issued and marked the end of the 1st class … for a short period since the latter would be put back in place in 1948. It would be definitively deleted in 1991. In 1981, the ticket became yellow with the campaign RATP “T’as le ticket chic” which is a huge success, the music is even played in nightclubs. In 1992, the ticket adopted jade green, color of RATP and ecology, of course. In 2003, it turned purple. And finally, four years later, the ticket changes to white in its current version and only the logo of Stif (the organizing authority) appears in blue and orange. Cute story me think!

And another RATP dandy. At Porte des Lilas station, on line 11 of the Paris metro, a hidden door opens onto an underground passage closed to the public. It is at the end of this corridor, on a dead platform, that for decades series, commercials and hundreds of film sequences have been shot, some of which have marked the history of cinema. It is the only French station dedicated to cinematographic creation. It has two platforms and has the advantage of being able to circulate a train without disturbing it, thanks to its one km tunnel which leads to a dead end. On the quays we find the atmosphere of the 1920s. The wooden folding seat of the punching machine, and on the wall, the famous bevelled tiles as well as the advertising panels. The station is modular in order to be able to cover all eras from 1920 to today. At the rate of about sixty shoots per year (when the health context allows it of course). We can no longer count the number of celebrities who have set foot on these docks, and in particular: Kevin Costner, Meryl Streep, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Sophie Marceau, Audrey Tautou, Mélanie Thierry, Romain Duris, Jérôme Commandeur, Ramzy Bedia, etc. As well as renowned directors such as Jean-Pierre Jeunet with “The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain” (2001), Jean-Paul Salomé with “the women of the shadows” (2008), François Ozon with “l’Amant double ”(2017) and many others.Who would have thought that behind this simple door, so many masterpieces would emerge? And there are others….

Since May 2014, a revamped Serge the Rabbit (lapin) has appeared on the doors of metro and RER trains, in order to make travelers aware of the right reflexes to adopt when opening the doors. But when was he born? The “Metro Rabbit” was born on February 15, 1977. First deployed on line 1, the Metro Lapin will be extended to the entire network.  Since May 28, 2014, it is therefore a “new” Serge le Lapin which is gradually deployed on the 24,000 metro and RER doors, as and when existing stickers are replaced (when they are damaged or missing. for example). It made its appearance primarily on board the trains of lines 1 and 14. Since February 15, 2017, a new series of stickers of the mascot Serge the Rabbit has appeared. Cute rabbit indeed!

And this is a good site ,RATP, I am adherent since my days of using Paris public transports; it shows how to get around in English very useful to check before coming over. Webpage:

Details of all the lines concerned will be finalized and communicated in the coming days by SNCF and RATP. This is just a sampler known as of today. For the seventh consecutive year, the RER A will be idling this summer to complete the rail and ballast renewal project. Work on the central section will take place on the western part, from June 26 to August 29 inclusive, between Auber and Nanterre-Université in Hauts-de-Seine (92) , Cergy (95) and Poissy (78). From August 9 to 13 and from August 16 to 20, traffic will also be interrupted all day, between Auber and La Défense and on the Poissy branch. Some slowdowns are also expected. Please note, it is advisable to check your route on RER B this summer before going to the station (good advise) . On June 5, 6, 26 and 27, train traffic will be completely interrupted between Aulnay-sous-Bois in Seine-Saint-Denis and Charles-de-Gaulle T2 airport. Idem, on June 12 and 13, between Gare du Nord and Aulnay-sous-Bois. From July 10 to July 23, all day long, between the Guichet and Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse stations in the Yvelines (78). The construction works of the “drawer of Orsay” in Essonne  a development which should allow the reversal of trains without hindering the passage of other trains; and the commissioning of equipment at Saint-Rémy will involve stopping links in both directions. On August 14 and 15, between Gare du Nord and CDG T2 Airport, train traffic will be interrupted in both directions throughout the day. Stops will not be marked at several stations. CDG T2 airport: July 3 and 4. Denfert Rochereau: every weekend, from July 24 to August 22., and Luxembourg: July 1 to 31.

This private blog has excellent info on the RER B and I use it too. Fyi webpage:

Unlike in previous years, several axes of the RER C will be affected by the summer works which will take place from July 15 to August 21. During this period, in both directions of travel, no train will run between the Pontoise (95) and Musée-d’Orsay stations;  Versailles-Château-Rive-Gauche (78) and Musée-d´Orsay; from Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (78) and Musée-d´Orsay; and Massy-Palaiseau (91) and Pont-de-Rungis

Metro Line 6, between Montparnasse-Bienvenüe and Trocadéro, the metro will not run on this line at all from June 26 to August 27,. From July 20 to 25 inclusive, all day long, this interruption will even extend from Montparnasse-Bienvenüe to Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile. Replacement buses will run on these routes during these blackout periods. Be aware or be square if around here then.

The RER E work site has taken four years to drill 170 meters of tunnel!  The so-called entonnement tunnel, making the junction between Haussmann-Saint-Lazare station in Paris and the line extension to the west, has been completed. It must have been dug “old-fashioned” without a tunnel boring machine.  These essential 170 meters could not have been excavated by the tunnel boring machine  because of metro line 14 which goes over it. It remains to install cables, lights and of course the railway equipment (tracks and catenaries) while waiting for the final junction. Scheduled for 2022 but delayed due to the health crisis, the extension to Nanterre should come into service in mid-2023. The rest up to Mantes-la-Jolie (78) is planned before 2025.

The gardens will be open to the public from tomorrow Saturday May 8th at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte (Maincy 78). Still to go inside we need to wait until May 22nd .Be ready we are re opening all for Summer 2021!!! Booking is going strong all over and traffic as well.

The Jardin des Plantes Paris once again puts animals in the spotlight with the installation of five monumental works by artist Michel Bassompierre. From Gorilla to Polar Bear via Brown Bear, Michel Bassompierre invites us to observe the fragility of these species and the threats hanging over them. “ Fragiles Colosses “ by Michel Bassompierre Jardin des Plantes 57 rue Cuvier, 5eme. Every day from 7h30 to 18h30.

Something of history I like: In Gironde, on the road to Compostela, several Templar commanderies still stand. Often poorly maintained, they owe their survival to the work of volunteers. The story is told in the book “The Templar Commandery of Arveyres” by JeanLuc PIAT, Archeologist ,Regional Scientific Director Aquitaine – Limousin EVEHA; I am still reading… The Templars, members of a military-religious order created in the 12C to protect pilgrims during the Crusades, were dissolved in the early 14C by Pope Clement V and king Philip the Fair. If their leaders were burned, most of them joined other orders with similar goals, including that of the Hospitallers, created in the 11C.  Established in Bordeaux, Gironde, from 1159, the Templars founded in Arveyres an important commandery, name given to large farms, often built in the shape of a square and comprising the residence of the commander, the house of the brothers, kitchens, barns, cellars, stables, a pond where fish were raised and a garden etc.

From there, they swarmed to Marcenais, Saint-Laurent-d’Arce, Targon, Queynac and Magrigne, then later to La Grave-d’Ambarès and Sautuges-en-Médoc. The first mention of their presence dates from 1170, when the Church of Saint-Pierre-de-Vaux was donated by Bertrand de Montault, Archbishop of Bordeaux, to the Order of the Temple.  In 1231, Raymond Gombaud, Lord of Vayres, added to it to have the good graces of the order the territory of Arveyres; one of the places of passage of the way of Saint-James (Santiago). The pilgrims coming from Périgueux crossed the Dordogne at the Pont du Noyer and stopped there. The Templars then established a hospitable house on the hill overlooking the Dordogne, to which they added a Romanesque church, placed under the invocation of Notre-Dame, and kept it until 1314, the year of the extinction of the order. The Hospitallers succeed them, and the commandery occupies a prominent place in the military system of Bordeaux until the French revolution. Interesting reading always part of the history of France, Europe and the World. I think so anyway!

The gastronomic/wine lover in me will like to tell about some newbies in Paris ready for you from this month!

At the foot of the legendary Butte de Montmartre, facing the Basilica Sacré-Coeur, the Coeur Sacré has been established, a new place of life and sharing that we can’t wait to discover opening on May 19. At Coeur Sacré, we love the concept, but we especially can’t wait for the rooftop, which offers a breathtaking view of Paris! Can you imagine a summer afternoon, sunbathing with a drink in hand, enjoying the view, perched on this rooftop in the 18éme arrondissement? Sublime! More in Paris entertainment webpage:

And more first told here first! Hanami,  take out your caps and sunglasses, from May 19 a huge ephemeral terrace will take up residence in the middle of the cherry trees of the Jardins du Trocadéro. And just to make it even hotter, you will be in Japan in Paris with a food court dedicated to Japanese culture. On the menu: ramen, udon, donburi, sushi, gua bao, bubble tea, yakitori or even macduck, all prepared and concocted by chef Yoaké San. Where? Jardins du Trocadéro , 5, avenue Albert de Mun 16éme. Opening on May 19, 2021 and every day of the week from 12pm to 21h. no web yet

Bringing you back to Europe, the largest food hall in Europe with 35 restaurant counters and bars set up in an area of over 5,000 m2. This is the new Food Society project that will open its doors in the Ateliers Gaîté, in the heart of Montparnasse. A la carte? Restaurant counters and bars from different backgrounds, to make sure everyone’s okay with it. The place will also offer culinary events and entertainment. Food Society,  Atelier Gaîté; 14éme. Opening in September 2021. Again more in Paris entertainment webpage in French:

Bring on the Mediterranean!  Bocca sur Seine puts the sails on the banks of the Seine river and drops anchor at Quai Ouest. Wolverines, tapas and large tables with their feet in the water await us all summer long! Located opposite the Bois de Boulogne, between the bridges of Suresnes and Saint-Cloud, a XXL sun-drenched terrace with your feet in the water, cocktails well mixed by the team and a delicious Mediterranean menu in a flat way to share. Bocca sur Seine will also export the atmosphere of the Riviera to the sounds of catchy playlists and DJ Sets until late to party (at a good distance) Bocca sur Seine Quai Ouest 1200 Quai Marcel Dassault; Saint-Cloud. Opening June 1st. Reservation from May 19 at tel +33 (0) 1 46 02 35 54. Official webpage:

And about ending with a recipe we all love and we do at home just had today again ! home made mind you. This  is the so call French fries and recipe by Boris Tavernier.  For 4 to 6 people you will need  1 kg of firm-fleshed potatoes,( Bintje type) , 1.5 liters of sunflower oil (deodorized if organic), and fine salt fleur de sel.

The Preparation: Peel the potatoes, cut them with a knife or with a French fries cutter, into regular sticks and not too thin: 1 cm minimum thickness, all equivalent. Soak the sticks in cold water, then dry them carefully with a kitchen towel to remove the starch and dry them perfectly. And the cooking: Cook for the first time in a deep fryer in an oil bath at 170 ° C for 6 to 7 minutes. Drain the fries well and let them rest for at least 10 minutes, or even several hours. For the second cooking, at 190 ° C, it can last from 2 to 4 minutes, depending on whether you like more or less grilled fries.

After the second bath, drain the fries on absorbent paper, transfer them and immediately salt them in a bowl, stirring them. Before serving, add a pinch of fleur de sel. Enjoy hot fries with mayonnaise, or as an accompaniment to grilled chicken, a piece of beef or mussels in the sea. Or anything we had the piece of beef!  And bon appétit!!!

And there you go folks, plenty coming up in my belle France and especially my eternal Paris! Stay tune summer should be rocking good and we are starting early in May 2021!!! Bring on the crowds! of course proper health protection will be appreciated.

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

2 Comments to “Some news from France, CCCXXXII”

  1. I remember those yellow tickets! And the ‘ticket chic, ticket choc’ campaign was still running when I first came to Paris in 1986.

    Liked by 1 person

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