time away . . .
France Tourism . . .
and Notre Dame Cathedral
Ici et Là
A visit to a Bordeaux Vintner
~ Time well spent with
Gavin & Angela
Hidden Gem in the French Countryside:
~ St-Pierre d'Albigny in the Savoie
~ Cook Like A Local
by Lynn Martin & Deborah Scarborough
~ Notre Dame de Paris ~ A Celebration
of the Cathedral
Rooster atop Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
number of entries!
LOOK INSIDE . . .
with a click
> Our Ici et
Là column will emphasize things to do and see as an
armchair traveler, since a majority
of events, exhibits and other activities have been canceled or
postponed due to the pandemic. Also do visit Did You Know?
> to visit
the Bordeaux vineyards of Château
Bauduc in Créon to read the owner's topical
and interesting articles ~ and, of course to learn more about their
and come along with us to our Hidden
Gem in the French Countryside,
fifth in our series of places in
France you may want to see for yourself on your next visit.
> to visit again with Sylvaine
Lang ~ this time to hear about her country life while following the
government restrictions during the pandemic ~ including having an
official pass to leave home and not being able to travel more than 100
from her front door.
our PHOTO CONTEST
has been suspended as we did not receive more than a few photos.
Perhaps we will try again in a year when travel may be getting back to
Your Own invites articles
readers about their time in France.
guarantee when we will publish all
we receive, but we will do our best to
for our other readers to enjoy.
[No payments are
made for submissions used, but
your France-related book or project.]
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" Wine is the most
and most hygienic of beverages."
- Louis Pasteur
time away . . .
We've been publishing
this newsletter since the Spring of 1997 ~ a full twenty-three years
without missing an issue ~ although we did reduce the annual number of
issues from four to three in 2018. Following last Spring's
edition, which covered the tragic fire at Paris' Cathedral de
Notre Dame that took place one year ago, we decided it was time to go
hiatus . . . time to take a
break. The "yellow vest" protests that began in Paris in November
of 2018 and then spread across the country were discouraging visits to
France, and we were, and still are, mourning the loss of our dear
Gillette who was a mainstay of FRANCE On
Your Own until his passing in 2016.
Well, we are back with
this first 2020 issue, even as the world is in the throes of the
horrific COVID-19 virus ~ a time when we are all sharing the same
experiences of staying at home, keeping our distance from others,
wearing masks and gloves when we venture out occasionally to shop for
food or medicine, and praying each in our own way that a vaccine will
come along very soon.
Predictions that the virus may die down and
then resurface in the autumn months are very disturbing as are stories
of people who just refuse to follow the recommendations of scientists
and medical experts that could stop the spread of this disease.
Even now, the number of cases are increasing daily. The current
protests in the US and several other countries may make a
resurgence of the virus even more likely.
Our visit to France in
June was canceled along with the travel plans of millions of other
we do hope to be able to visit the country we love next year. For
those of you who look optimistically at the future as we do, we hope
this newsletter gives you hope and piques your interest as well as
something to read during the long hours spent at home. We wish
everyone good health, and please do everything you can to keep safe.
Tourism . . . and Notre
2019 saw a record 91 million foreign visitors come to France. The
Budget Directorate, which forecasts tourist numbers and revenue, had
predicted 94 million, but it came in lower than expected.
Government documents indicate that the 'yellow vest' movement and the
effect of Brexit was primarily to blame. We also believe that the
damage to Notre Dame Cathedral dampened the desire of many people to
go to Paris last year ~ see our update on the reconstruction
indicators for the first months of 2019 showed a decrease in
international tourist traffic for the first half of the year. The
trend was largely explained by the nationwide social movements that
affected the country at the beginning of the year, which had an impact
on medium and long-term bookings, as well as by the effects of the
decline in the pound (the UK being our premier tourist market), " said
the Budget Directorate.
Directorate predicted 94 million foreign tourists in 2020, a
revised number as 100
million was the original goal which is now being pushed to 2022.
We hope that 2021
will be pandemic-free and that those
whose health is or was impacted by this virus get well quickly.
Most important is that none of us is exposed or exposes others by
practicing social distancing ~ a new term to describe what is vital in
an effort to put this all to an end. Many airline
concerned that they are not receiving enough
support and protective gear from their employers and that they and
their passengers are spreading the virus with each flight they
take. Some airlines are providing mixed messages about how they
are keeping passengers safe as well.
France will still be there when once
again travelers are able to visit ~ and European countries are
re-opening their Schengen borders to one another. France has 37
World Heritage sites, many cities of cultural interest, beaches and
resorts by the sea, green tourism and ski resorts. Les Plus Beaux Villages de France
are picturesque and inviting as you explore the beautiful and
tranquil French countryside. And, the French Ministry of
Culture reminds us that there are over 200 "Remarkable Gardens" to
visit and many urban and rural parks for you to enjoy.
has changed ~
Notre Dame Cathedral may
take 10 to 15 years to rebuild according to some estimates.
Currently, it is not open to the public, and because of its fragility,
investigators have been kept away due to safety concerns.
It has been determined that the fire was an accident, most likely
caused by an electrical short.
In addition to the
religious relics and treasures that were saved and moved to the Louvre
Museum for safekeeping, it has been reported by Nicolas Geant, the
official beekeeper of Notre Dame and head of Beeopic, that the
cathedral's hives, home to
about 180,000 honeybees, are just fine with a great deal of bee
recently as four days after the fire. The three hives
are located on a roof above the sacristy about 100 feet below the
cathedral's damaged main roof. Sibyle Moulin, also of Beeopic,
was permitted to visit the hives last July for the first time since the
fire. She noticed many baby bees, which reassured her that the
hives were fine. She gathered 66kgs of honey from the three
hives which has been sent to Canada to be tested for lead.
Beeopic maintains the hives and bee colonies, but
the honey produced at the cathedral and about 350 other hives in Paris
that the company looks after belong to the owners of the buildings on
whose roofs they sit, including the nearby Grand Palais. The
urban honey bees of the Brother Adam Buckfast variety were developed
for their mild temperament in the 1920s by a Benedictine monk.
[courtesy The Guardian]
Although the spire, added in 1849 by
architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc to replace the original 13th
century spire, was lost in the fire, it
has been reported that the rooster atop the spire survived. The
spire was constructed of a wood frame clad in lead which created a lot
of dangerous pollution following the fire. French Prime Minister
Edouard Philippe announced an international competition will be held to
design a new spire.
Despite the loss a year ago, the
archbishop of Paris held a beautiful Good Friday service inside the
cathedral. It was televised
in France in order for people to virtually 'attend'. To see and
hear it click here. [We
apologize in advance for the other unrelated videos or advertisements.]
for Sale in the Historic Allier département
Neo-Classical château with a separate guest house,
garages, and a
is set on a five-acre park with its own pond. The design is a
copy of Le Petit Trianon at
Until recently a lovely bed and breakfast accommodation, it offers 3
bedrooms and a twin,
all en suite, in addition to the owner's quarters. Situated
above a delightful and historic town
with a connection to the Bourbons, this gem can be yours. The
priory church in the village, where
some early abbots of Cluny are buried, is a fine example of the
Romanesque and Gothic
architecture, and it was a stopping point on the pilgrimage route to
Santiago de Compostela.
us today for more
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are not guarantees of satisfaction and are made only
travelers with suggestions and web sites that we have found very useful.