New attraction park in Montbéliard
Montbéliard is not really a tourist trap. In fact it's ownly known for being the roots of the Peugeot car factory. So there is, of course, a Peugeot Museum in the neughbour city of Sochaux.
However, these days that's not enough to attract lots of people. That's why they made a plan for a new leisure park at the borders of the Doubs. Starting in 2008, they aim to show 300.000 people a year the wonders of technics and biology. For those who can't wait, there will be a preview on the spot this summer, from july 14th till july 16th.
Posted by Peter at 07:00 AM [What do you think?]
A unique monument, threatened by the government
Thirty years after being discovered, scientists have found a two stories building under the present Palace of Justice was an important Hebrew school, built in the year 1100 AC. It’s the only building from that time in Europe that still remembers to Jewish presence in this part of the world. Rouen, described by Victor Hugo like city with some 100 church bells, must have been like a Jew kingdom in these days. So it came to no surprise, the building was nominated World Cultural heritage at Unesco, and a book was issued.
However, there is a problem. According to Libération and France 3, you can hardly get into the monument. Even worse, due to the concrete floors of the Palace of Justice, ventilation is impossible. So, water can’t escape and the unique monument is in state of fast decline. Evil tongues even suggest the government has no concern at all... But, there is hope. The Palace of Justice is supposed to move somewhere else anyway by 2010.
Posted by Peter at 07:52 AM [3 reactions]
Good news for map fans
Some of us can't get enough of maps. For those of them who love France: Google maps has extended its database with lots of French road maps. If my calculation isn't wrong, you may even zoom in to 1:3300. Now, since this level gives only roads without any further details, this huge zoom doesn't make much sense.
But please do click the link to the hybrid mode. This will project maps on satellite views. It doesn't show details; you won't find nude French women in their backyards. but it's enough to give an impression of the landscape...
Posted by Peter at 07:22 AM [What do you think?]
Fights in Lyon about monument
Troubles in Lyon, where a new monument is to be unveiled this week. It should commemorate the genocide on Armenians by the Turkish long time ago. That's ridiculous, claim the French Turkish people, who deny this genocide ever happened.
But not only the Turkish are angry. So is the opposition in the city council, according to Libération. They say it's blasfemous to build a new monument at the place Antonin-Poncet, in the heart of old Lyon which is called out world cultural heritage. People living in the neighbourhood are against, too. They just say the new, modern monument is just very, very ugly.
Posted by Peter at 07:23 AM [What do you think?]
War on the flea-market
The French love to stroll around on flea-markets. No wonder there are supposed to be 50.000 of them every year. It's impossible to list them all, but vide-greniers.org has nearly 23.000 flea-markets in its database.
However, it's war on the flea-market. Professional traders are tired of thhe competition of non-tax-paying private traders, who claim only to sell their own rubbish, but are seen in every corner of the country, every weekend again.
According to Le Figaro, the French government wants tyo support them. A new law forbids private traders to sell anything outside their own district.
Now the people who organize flea-markets are angry. They're scared their flea-markets will not survive the new law. According to them, flea-markets are the last social events in many small villages.
Posted by Peter at 07:43 AM [6 reactions]
Allowed to leave jail to support lonely wife
An 84-year old Fench prisoner is allowed to leave jail only nine months after he was sentenced to 5 years. He killed 5 firemen in 2002 while driving 150 kilometers on the highway between Lyon and Valence. The allowed speed was only 90 kilometers.
The prisoner may leave jail because his wife coudn't stand loneliness. He will be placed in electroni home arrest, France 2 reports. The family of the victims is shocked: ,,This man didn't think a moment about the loneliness he put us in.''
Posted by Peter at 07:16 AM [2 reactions]
Gorgious town, high-priced stairs
In the Dutch part of our forum a guest indicated to people visiting Lourdes they should visit Auch too. Now I can imagine why someone should visit Lourdes. Meanwhile, I do advise most people to avoid this overrated tourist trap. But Auch? Never heard of. Auch is away from the highways, away from the mountains, away from tourism, away from everything.
Turns out Auch is a medieval city on the top of a hill, with narrow, steep streets and a huge cathedral. Next to the cathedral is the museum of the Jacobins with a surprising collection of Latin-American art. It contains lots of work from Azteeks en other tribes, but also religious works from the 18th century too.
The medieval city is connected to the river Gers by a renaissanse style stairs. Too bad it's in such a bad state it's hard to recognize it's beauty. The French intent to repair the stairs, but they do have a small problem: the operation costs 6.6 million euro (4.6 million British Pounds or 8.2 million US dollars. A fund-raising campaign has been started.
Posted by Peter at 07:59 AM [3 reactions]
New French zoo to honour greek princes
They're working hard in the surroundings of Riom-es-Montagne (Cantal). Only ten days to go before the grand opening of Scénopark Io. Even their website isn't ready yet, although it gives an impression of this brand new zoo.
The zoo ows its name to Io, a beautiful Greek princes wanted by Zeus. To hide her for his wife Hera he changed her into a cow. Hera found out and made Zeus give her the cow...
The name illustrates the fact that this zoo isn't an ordinary zoo. It wants to shiow the relation between men and domesticated animals, from the prehistory till the modern days.
Posted by Peter at 07:55 AM [What do you think?]
Speeding? Learn to slow down the hard way
Camera's are not enough to teach the French to slow down their cars. So, the French government wants to teach them a lesson. Tomorow, it starts a new publicity campaign against speeding.
Le Figaro warns the tv-spots will be mercyless. In a preview he saw a father, trying to save some family members out of his crashed car. Next thing he sees: a speeding car, driving into the wreck.
De campaign aims especially at speeding on Routes Nationales (N-roads) en departemental roads (D-roads). In most cases, 90 kilometers per hour is the limit on these roads, where 75 percent of all traffic victims are found.
Posted by Peter at 07:15 AM [2 reactions]
Snow in april...
It happened in april last time in 1949: on tuesday, the Vosges area received 15 centimeters of snow.
However, according to France 3 Broadcasting, a long eastern weekend full of alpine skiing will not be possible. The season is over yet and and there are not enough people to handle lifts.
Meanwhile, if you do visit the region, be carefull and keep in mind many pass roads are still closed.
Posted by Peter at 07:38 AM [What do you think?]
Jamal Derrar sentenced to 25 years for killing Sohane
L'Express reports Jamal Derrar is sentenced 25 years in jail by a court in Paris last night. Just to prove he wasn't a coward, he burned 17 year old Sohane to death in a notorious suburb in Paris.
Posted by Peter at 08:27 PM [What do you think?]
A good day for sports fans
It's a great day for sports fans tomorrow. In Paris, no less then 35.000 people will start for the 30th annual marathon. They wil run from the Bois de Boulogne in the west along the Seine to the Bois de Vincennes in the west and then go back west to the Avenue Foche. The run starts at 08.45 CET.
For cyclo fans, the party is a bit more up north. Tomorrow , it's the day of the notorious classical race Paris-Roubaix. A race over about 162 miles. Paved roads make 33 miles. Forecasts made friday evening by Meteo France predict sun, clouds and ... rain. this should be marvellous television.
Posted by Peter at 07:54 AM [2 reactions]
Oops, a problem for Xavier Bertrand, French minister of public health. He is scared. He thinks a law, banning smoking from all public places, will not be accepted by parliament.
However, the socialist party will propose such a law. According to L'Express, Betrand has a difficult problem: how is a minister of public health able to explain he doesn't want a law banning smoking...
Posted by Peter at 07:48 AM [2 reactions]
Gangster war in Marseille
Gangsters are killing each other in Marseille very often this year. The France 2 tv station reports the latest killing: ten masked men fired there guns in a bar, killing three people. According to the police, only the fact that no less then ten man attacked te victims was remarkable.
Posted by Peter at 10:05 PM [What do you think?]
Again a 'national' strike
A national strike is not a strike in which the entire nation takes part. It's just a nationwide event with some people striking. At least in France. According to L'Express, French railroads expects one on two trains in Paris to ride and even two on three subway trains. even better for those coming from the north. All Thalys TGV trains will ride.
Now may be french railroadsare a bit on the optimistic side. Such a remark is an invitation to block the Gare du Nord. On last weeks national strike, the Gare de Lyon was blockeed already, as this picture by Thibautcho shows. If this happens, no train at all will reach Paris from Belgium. Not even the TGV.
By the way, tomorrows strike is again an action against the new 'throwaway-jobs' for youngsters.
Posted by Peter at 07:12 AM [1 reaction]
Bizarre drama in court after 3.5 years
After 3.5 years, Jamal derrar finally stands trial for being responsable in a bizarre drama. In Vitry-sur-Seine, one of the most notorious suburbs of Paris, he was insulted on the streets, being called a coward. He wanted to show he was not, as Le Figaro states, and picked a girl. In front of witnesses, he threw fuel all over her and took a match. The 17 year old girl did not survive.
The murder was the start of much discussion about the treatment of women, especially in the suburbs. the victim became a symbol of Ni putes, ni soumises (Nor hookers, nor slaves), a movement of allochtonous women, tired of suppression by allochtonous males.
The process against Derrar will take until next friday.
Posted by Peter at 07:05 AM [What do you think?]