Spring                        2019
VOL. 23                     NO.  1


FRANCE On Your Own banner
  The Independent Traveler's Newsletter


Our Tribute to Le Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris

          Twisted Tongues
                ~  Challenging French phrases  

Ici et Là

A Visit to Saint James in Normandy
~  From William the Conqueror's 1067 Fortress to Today

Repatriation:  Sylvaine Lang returns home to France
   ~  Renovation of Grandmother's country home:
      the Demolition

Cathar Debate:  Did they really exist?

Hidden Gem in the French Countryside:  Toul


    ~  The Little(r) Museums of Paris 
      by Emma Jacobs


American Cemetery in Saint James, France
American Cemetery, Saint James, France


           ~  Where are your entries?? 

        2019 - An important year in France:

           ~   Normandy events for the 75th anniversary of the
                D-Day Landings
~  Celebrating 500 years of the French Renaissance
                in the Loire Valley

This newsletter is best viewed with a Firefox browser with a full screenIt is not formatted for printing.

  " The Gothic cathedral is a blossoming in stone subdued by the insatiable demand of harmony in man."

                                                                                                                                -   Ralph Waldo Emerson


Le Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris.  Copyright Cold Spring Press

the horrific fire consuming le Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris against the black nighttime sky was one of our saddest moments as it was for France, the Church and people around the world.  We wouldn't know until daylight what, if anything, had survived.  

To many it was a personal loss. We could only think how fortunate we were to have visited it on several occasions, the last time attending Mass surrounded by interested tourists lining the side aisles.  The vast interior space achieved what Gothic design intended: verticality as if reaching to the Interior Notre Dame, Paris.  Copyright Cold Spring Press.  All rights reserved.heavens, abundant light pouring in through pointed arch stained glass windows, and the strength of the rib vaulted ceilings.

Our late good friend, Arthur Gillette, contributed an article to this newsletter six years ago about the archeological crypt beneath the parvis ~ the large pedestrian space in front of the cathedral.  Because of its location, we believe the crypt is still intact.

Over the years we have seen the cathedral from all angles, one of the most well-known being the back showing the flying buttresses which are, fortunately, still standing.  The Seine River taxi, Batobus, offers this view before stopping there to let off passengers.

This photo shows the south façade of the cathedral in 2009 with two of its magnificent rose windows.  (Some restoration was being done on the roof at that time.) In the days following the fire, people were relieved to learn that, although the glass is gone, the lattice work of the two rose windows shown here has not been destroyed.  However, workers have shored up much of the remaining cathedral walls as they are quite fragile now that the roof has been destroyed.

Due to the high amount of lead in the spire and elsewhere in the 850 year-old cathedral that was reduced to dust in the fire, the owners and occupants of nearby buildings are being told to use wet wipes to remove any dust that may have settled inside.  The area is cordoned off to visitors.

Love for this Medieval early Gothic structure will not fade away.  It was and will remain the heart of Paris.  We can only hope that reconstruction will not take decades, but with the help of 21st century technology and ample funds it will be completed as President Macron hopes ~ in five years time.

Notre Dame Fire.  Courtesy Forbes.comNotre Dame Bell Towers
                                          The fire                                                                   Bell towers of Notre Dame Cathedral are still standing



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region of continued on page three


. . .
  with a click  

>  and perhaps find an event or activity that interests you in the US or France in our Ici et Là column ~ and be sure to see our newest Ici et Là feature:  Did You Know? 


to visit historic Saint James in Normandy's Manche département, a place where William the Conqueror built a fortress, the site of the Brittany American Cemetery and home of the famous Saint James knitwear ~ nautical striped shirts.qq


>  and come along with us to our Hidden Gem in the French Countryside, fourth in our series of places in France you may want to see for yourself on your next visit.


>  to visit with Syvaine Lang (former proprietor of Joie de Vivre) as she and her husband return to her native France from decades in California to restore and occupy her great-grandmother's country home.  Repatriation - Demolition. This is her tale of the demolition process, a time when patience and courage must prevail!


>  and don't forget  (PLEASE!) to participate in our new PHOTO CONTEST by sending us your best photo from your last visit to France.  The winner will win something very useful (and time-saving) for their next stopover in Paris! 


FRANCE On Your Own invites articles
  from our readers about their time in France.
We can't guarantee when we will publish all
 those we receive, but we will do our best to
include them for our other readers to enjoy.
[No payments are made for submissions used,  but
 we will promote your France-related book or project.]

                                                                                                                                                             contributed by Arthur Gillette

Welcome to Twisted Tongues, a French word game everyone can play.  Can you come up with the correct translation of the phrase in question?  You'll be surprised by how it differs from what you first thought it meant.

Answer from our Autumn issue:   "Profiter"  does not mean "profit from something" but to make the most of a situation.

Phrase:     "Râler"  Does it mean to whine or complain? Close, but not really its slang interpretation. 

Look for the correct translation in our Summer 2019 newsletter.  Have fun!

 We will continue to include Arthur Gillette's "Twisted Tongues" in our newsletter
until we exhaust the selection he kindly provided.  We hope you enjoy them as much as he
enjoyed the French language.  We are sure he would want us to continue the game . . .

                                                                                                               SPONSORING THIS ISSUE                                                                                                                      

Château de Prauthoy

Château de Prauthoy

  Château de Prauthoy located in the Haute-Marne is in Champagne country, but offers so much more
than vineyard visits and tastings.  The owner, Frédéric Mailfait, is an expert on the region and is happy to take his
guests on personalized tours of the area in his classic cars. 
He will  pick you up at the Dijon TGV station
in one of his four elegant classic Cadillacs.
You can visit Pommard and Mersault vineyards, a hydrotherapy spa,
casinos and more in small groups of 4 to 6 people on 3-day/3-night tours.   This package is offered at
per person.  For those who just want a relaxing bed and breakfast experience, you can book an elegant room,
enjoy truly fine cuisine at dinner, and escape from all your cares in the sparkling swimming pool.

Contact us today for more information or to book your stay.
                                                                                                                                                                                        next page page 2
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