- Some EU lawmakers want to stop subsidizing those farmers who raise bulls for fighting. Critics say the sport is cruel and archaic and that budget appropriations should not be used to finance a blood sport. Animal rights campaigners welcome this attempt which seems to have a better chance of passing than when it was suggested in the past. The interest in bullfighting has waned in recent years.
- UNESCO listed the historic vineyards of Champagne and Burgundy as a World Heritage Site on the 4th of July. Champagne’s rolling hills in the north of the region contain some of the most expensive agricultural land in Europe. In Burgundy, the uniqueness of the Côtes de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune south of Dijon was noted. The ‘Grand Crus’ from this region are some of the most expensive. France now has 41 World Heritage sites.
- The Musée Rodin reopened to the public on November 12 after extensive renovations. Over 300 precious works of sculpture are on display. The Museum is open daily from 10AM to 5:45PM, on Wednesdays until 8:45PM and is closed Mondays.
- The Grand Palais in Paris is the venue Picasso Mania an exhibit that looks at Picasso’s career chronologically and features works from the Musée Picasso, the Musée National d’Art Moderne and the artist’s family. Until February 29, 2016. The museum is open daily 10AM to 10PM, and Sundays and Mondays until 8PM. It is closed Tuesdays.
- The wild boar population has exploded in France in recent years despite efforts by hunters. The boars (sangliers) number over 2 million in France alone, invade suburban gardens and villages, and wreak havoc on farms. They are the cause of over 60% of the 40,000 car accidents involving wild animals each year. When driving in France, take notice of signs indicating deer crossings, and most especially those through wooded areas indicating wild boars. The boar will not sustain as much damage as the car that hits him!
- Bordeaux wine producers are ecstatic over their magnificent 2015 harvest. This largest wine-producing region in France blends Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon to produce their world-famous blended wine. Commenting on the dark juice and great flavor, they predict that 2015 will be a great vintage. They compare it to the vintages of 2005 and 2010, with one vigneron saying that all those years ending in 5 have been superb. Increased yields were in other western regions of the country such as the Loire and good news for the vintners. Weather was not as good in the Burgundy and Beaujolais regions with a heat wave that led to a sixteen percent drop in the harvest. [credit: Agence France Presse]
- Le Mont St-Michel was originally known as Mont Tombe and located on the now famous island in La Manche. Christianity spread to this region around the fourth century, and by the mid-sixth century it had a strong presence in the area. By that time, Mont Tombe was populated by religious devotees: hermits ~ probably some Celtic monks. Benedictine monks were installed at the Abbey in 966, and today Le Mont St-Michel is the second most visited tourist attraction in France and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- The Tour de France in 2016 will begin in le Mont St-Michel in Normandy, proceed south through the western Loire (Stage 4 from Saumur to Limoges is 232 kilometers and the longest leg of the Tour) into Aquitaine and cross the Pyrénées into Andorra ~ about the halfway mark ~ where there is a rest stop. Riders will return to the Tarn département, go on through Languedoc and into the Vaucluse département of Provence. From there, it’s north through the Rhône-Alpes, and the cyclists will head for Switzerland where they will have a break from the Tour in Berne. The next three stages will be in the Alps to Mt Blanc, Albertville and Megève, then turning north to end in Morzine on July 23. The cyclists will be flown to Chantilly, north of Paris, for their final ride on the 24th to Paris and the Champs Elysées.
Credit/Source: franceonyourown.com news