Festival of Lights (Lyon)

fete-des-lumieres-2012-terreaux

         The Festival of Lights (which is called « Fête des lumières » in french) is the most famous public event in France (the third in the world in terms of attendance after the Rio Carnival and Oktoberfest) and draws about four million tourist onto the illuminated  streets of the city.

 

         The event is entirely unique in France becausée of the sheer size of such a task involving the projection of colorful imagesé all accross the city and because of most of Lyon’s inhabitants are participating by putting up « Lumignong », which are kind of candles, on their windows.

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History :

 

             The origins of the festival date back to 1643 when Lyon was struck by the plague. The municipal councillors promised to pay tribute to Mary if the town was spared and a procession goes to the Basilica of Fourvière on the 8th of December to light candles.

 

         I remember when i was i kid, I always enjoyed this day because of the preparation of « Lumignons » with my parents. We painted all them all, then put the candle in and hung them ont the windows. After, we went to the city, eating crepes and enjoying the illuminations.

 

The do’s and don’ts:

 

The Festival of Lights seems nice but you don’t know what to do there?

-The first thing to know is that the festival last four days. The best day is not the 8th because of he crowds and nobody from Lyon visit the city on that day.

-You MUST go to the Basilica of Fourvière from which you can see the whole city illuminated.

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-If it is not the 8th, go to the « Place des Terreaux » where you can see a combination of continuous lighting and video effects.

-From Terreaux, you can go to « Bellecourt » by « Rue de la République » which is a car-free street.

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-At the end, go to « Croix-Rousse », where there are plenty of little parks from where you can see the whole city and converse with your friends.

Publié dans : Non classé | le 12 décembre, 2013 |Pas de Commentaires »

The Capitole’s square

The Capitole’s square is the most important square of Toulouse:

It’s the core of Toulouse student’s lives and of Toulouse’s tourism.

1/ The Capitole’s history

The Capitole wasimagined by Toulouse’s consuls at the end of the twelfth century.

It was built a long time after, by the capitouls during the seventeenth century.

At this time, Toulouse was divided into eight parts, the Capitoulats, and each Capitoulat was  governed by a Capitoul (that’s what the eight columns of the palace’s façade symbolize) .

As there were many opponents to this project, they included a statue of Louis the fourteenth (which was never built) in the square so that he gave his agreement to this project and that the capitouls’ opponents had no choice but to let it be built.

In 1739 the Capitole palace’s façade was redevelopped into the façade we still know, and a few years later, the Capitole was made bigger than before.

It was only finished in 1850, and then, the façades of the square’s buildings were still covered by some white paint until 151.

It has had a lot of names:

First it was named the Royale square, then, during the French Revolution, it was the square of Liberty, and it has had a lots of others names before being named square of Capitole, in 1848.

 

View of the Capitole’s square :

The Capitole’s square dans Regions

 

2/ Capitole’s rooms

Here’s a list and some photos of some Capitole palace’s rooms :

-The Gervais’ room (named by the painter who decorated this room) :

It was used to celebrate weddings

A part of Gervais’ room

 dans Regions

-Henri Martin’s room:

-Municipal council’s room:


 

-  «Salle  des Illustres »

Its name comes from the number of toulousan celebrities’ busts which are in this room :

It is now used for weddings or to welcome some important people

 

3/The Capitole’s importance in Toulouse’s life

 

The Capitole’s square is a key place of Toulouse, it is between the Wilson’s square and the st Pierre’s square (so between toulouse’s cinema and toulouse’s main bars) , and it is only 500m from each of these two places.There is also a theater at the Capitole which is really well-known and appreciated in Toulouse.

And there’s  another  theater, the Sorano wich is only 1km from the Capitole.

At the Capitole, there are manycafés, restaurants, there is one Fastfood, and there are a few bookshops.There are also many kinds of shops in the streets around the Capitole, especially in the Alsace-Lorraine streets from the clothes shops to the wine shops.

All of this is why the capitole’s square is really one of the most lively of Toulouse’s square.

Cyrille de Lussy

Publié dans : Regions | le 8 décembre, 2013 |Pas de Commentaires »

Jetzt geht’s los

1French people are used to regarding Alsace as a reclusive part of France, the inhabitants of which wouldn’t be French altogether. Indeed, what with a former affiliation to Germany and an eccentric geographical situation, one couldexpected Alsace to be completely different than the rest of the country. Therefore, there is a big number of prejudices concerning this region? This article is aimed at establishing what prejudices can be regarded as true.

 

 

 

2When you go to another region and when you say that you’re Alsatian, everyone wil have  a weird reaction.  For instance, when I arrived in Toulouse, exactly at the opposite from Strasbourg, People said me that the weather should be entirely better. I was thinking the same. After a while spent in the deep south, I felt really shocked:  except the temperature which increases a lot when the sun is shining, it is windier and rainier than in Alsass. So Alsass is quite a dry region. True, it is really cold in winter but it remains dry.

Let’s turn to the most important point concerning prejudices in Alsass: links with Germany. Everyone knows that Alsass used to be part of Germany during WWII. Thus, it is true that Alsass has kept some aspects of German organization:

  • First, the way of work of the Alsatians is near to the one of the Germans. Alsatians are used to working a lot . No laziness except the Sundays, very few strikes (there still are a lot of farmers) and a lot of courtesy (priority to walkers when there is a right of way).
  • During the occupation from 1870 to 1914, the Alsatians acquired German religion (mostly Protestantism). Therefore, there are some public holidays that are not implemented in the rest of France, such as the saint Friday.
  • Alsatian accent… I cannot forget that. French people are used to imitating the accent of whole regions. The Alsatian accent is one of the worst accents. It is between French and German. However, Youngsters have no  accents whatsoever. Precisely, there is a standardization of the language, so much so that youngsters who still have an accentsubject to laughing..   Image de prévisualisation YouTube

That’s for the truths. But there are still falsehoods about the Alsatian way of life: they don’t live like Germans. Let’s giving  some points:

3

This kind of food is often assimilated to Alsatian food. However, it is a strange idea to eat kilogramms of fat. True it is tasty but it is not healthy whatsoever. Actually, a huge part of Alsatian specialities are famous in the whole France, however, most of the time,  people do not know that it is coming from a remote area of eastern…

 

  • The flammekueche, a kind of pizza with cream instead of tomatoes, bacon and onion cooked in a traditional oven. It is sold in the whole France, but nothing is better than an Alsatian restaurant, lost in the middle of nowhere.
  • The spaetzle, pastas thicker than our Italian friends. Everybody has already tasted it; however nobody knows where it  comes from…
  • The sauerkraut: I don’t have to describe this, because it is nearly a worldwide knowledge. However, if a few people know that it comes from Alsass, few of them appreciate it to the true value. Only Alsatians know how to prepare it.

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From the left to the right: sauerkraut, spaetzle and flammekueche.

7At last, if everybody knows that there is a beautiful  Christmas market that is set up in the middle of Strasbourg each year, meanwhile they pay less attention to the design of the houses.

This kind of houses are built with timbered. There are a lot of wooden beams that beautify the walls of the house. These houses are frequent, more particularly in the alsatian villages, the name of which is often difficult to say (for instance Kleinfrankenheim).

They pay less attention to the landscapes too. There are a lot of castles, some ruins, which are localised just in the summits of Vosges. I would advise besides to take a walk near the castle of Haut-koenigsbourg.

 

As a conclusion, I would say that even though the environment could seem quite different relative to the one of the capital, Alsass remains a region that should be seen at least once. Moreover, for the time being, there is a real contrast between the city (Strasbourg), and the countryside which could be interesting to see.

ChateauduHautKoenigsbourg1

Baptiste KLEIN

 

Publié dans : Cooking, Regions | le 6 décembre, 2013 |Pas de Commentaires »

Reunion Island cuisine

On the 16th November 2010 , the “French gastronomic meal” was added by UNESCO as an immaterial cultural heritage of humanity. Frenchies have always had a kind of divine gift to create harmonious new flavors, to research how to mix aliments in order to find visual and gustative achievement, to succumb to the first capital sin. Even if Mac Donald’s  is more and more successful in France, French people are still much linked to their wines, pot-au-feu, croissants, cakes, foie gras … And the whole world, impressed by such a wonderful cuisine – sometimes a little bit jealous or even exasperated by the arrogant French guys, aware of their genius- dreams about a gustative rendezvous in Paris to t  est French meals – except perhaps snails, Roquefort and frog’s thighs.reu1
In this culinary context, I am sure that you can understand how hard it could be, in 1642 for these crazy 20 French settler , just landed on this little volcanic island, lost in the turquoise Indian Ocean to survive far from their dear champagne, baguette and cheeses. On the “île Bourbon” they found dodos: unable to fly and running with difficultyDodo these fat chickens were imageseasy to catch and should be excellent, so excellent that they were all eaten – rest in peace.  Settlers certainly started, after this tragedy, to grow sugar cane in order to distill rum and forget the delicious prey extinction. But drinking too much rum, do not solve all problems in a night – it rather gives a crazy headache the day after.  A return to France was unthinkable, life on the island was very pleasant, slaves worked in the field while settlers led a lazy life under the sun.  Cuisine was the only downside, so they preferred committing themselves to cooking than going back to the cold north. It was not an easy thistoire2hing :  fruits and vegetables were totally different, potatoes did not want to grow, and except a few little birds, there war not a single consistent thing to eat, fishes from a hot sea were also not the same than the Atlantic’s ones. Fortunately, help from  the Chinese (export rise), the Malagasy (knew wild life and what to cook) and the Indian (export spices) people allowed them to create a rich and mixed –as the people- cuisine. Traditional meals have been cooked for decades and I will soon give you few recipes. But before that, it is essential to understand how the plate is organized: first of all a whole bunch of rise, then  some beans, a piece of meat or fish and a traditional sauce called “rougail” (some are done with mangoes and chili peppers, other with peanuts butter, there is one for every one’s taste).  The main thing to know is that Reunion Island cuisine is always very healthy, with a lot of oil, sugar and salt : Reunion is the French region with the higherst diabetes and obesity rate.

The traditionnal « Cari » :
It is a genarale denomination for a part of reunion ‘s meal.  The carry gets ready by making brown meat, fish, vegetables to which we add then condiments and spices. All the carrys does not get ready in the same way, we cannot thus make a majority.


Publié dans : Cooking | le 6 décembre, 2013 |Pas de Commentaires »

Sò Tolosenc ! (I’m from Toulouse)

I am really proud of my native region and my native city, especially when we consider the few people who come from here. The South West of France is famous for its numerous culinary specialties like Cassoulet, the sausages from Toulouse, Foie Gras, pork Rillettes, the country ham, and many other delicious ones that make my mouth water only by thinking about them, even though I am writing this article in the morning after a full breakfast.

But there is one that I particularly want to talk about: Foie Gras; because it is the most famous of all the succulent ones that I have quoted in the list, but especially because I want to defend the invention of this dish. In fact, two regions claim the originality of Foie Gras: Alsace and Gers; and I am convinced that it was in Gers. Many facts argue in my favor: first of all, raising ducks is a secular tradition in that region, and many farm families produce their own Foie Gras with their own recipe. Also, we can observe in that region many events organized with a tasting of this local product. I can quote for example the “Ronde du Foie Gras” organized in a town called Mauvezin in the Gers. It is a race organized for couples, one is biking and the other is running (it is named a “run and bike”), and the track pass through the different local farms around the town that makes you taste their product. I really counsel you to take part to this run if you are fond of Foie Gras and want to get fit at the same time.

So if you have never tasted Foie Gras I encourage you to try. I recommend you one way to cook it, even if the best way to eat it remains with a piece of bread, the Rossini cooked way Tournedos, recipe I have taken from the website http://www.marmiton.org/ :

Sans titre

You need:

 * 4 beef Tournedos
* 4 pieces of brioche bread
* 100g of butter
* 6cl of Cognac
* 6cl of Madeira
* 20cl of Crème fraiche

* 4 large pieces of Foie Gras
* Salt and pepper

 Preparation:

- Cut the bread into pieces of the same dimension of the steaks, brown them on the two sides in a pan with 50g of warm butter, keeping them warm.
- Heat Cognac in a small saucepan.
- Melt the remaining butter until it turns hazel. Fry the steaks over a high fire 3 to 5 minutes to desired roasting, turning halfway through cooking. Salt and pepper them with flaming Cognac.
- Lay the pieces of bread on plates and drop a tournedos on each. Cover this with aluminum and put it in the oven at 100°C.
- Pour the Madeira into the pan that served you to cook the meat, scrape the drippings and add the cream. Salt and pepper. Let the sauce thicken over low heat, stirring well.
- Place a slice of foie gras on each Tournedos and coat with sauce.

- Serve immediately, with mashed potatoes for example.

Bon apétit !!

 Here is the video of the preparation:

Image de prévisualisation YouTube

 

Publié dans : Cooking | le 6 décembre, 2013 |Pas de Commentaires »

Music and me

Some people say that tone of voice is the first thing we understand and recognize when we are still in the belly of our mothers. I believe in this theory. For me, it was however also the voice of my father who made me stop crying as soon as I was born just by the tone of his voice. I think it was the beginning of a love story between songs and me.

When I was younger, maybe around 6 years old, my sisters and brothers listened to music in their rooms. It was pop, it was rock, and sometimes I could dance to these songs like a kid being happy in a toystore.

With music you can express your feelings in a different way than with words and try to imagine a world made of songs, moving from a tone to another, harmonics X to harmonics Y…

To help me fall asleep, my mother played some sweet songs to me on the guitar and I think that this may be one of the reasons why I decided to play the guitar as an instrument. I did seven years of classical guitar between the age of 8 and 15 years old. I can now play many songs and I don’t know what I would be if I didn’t have music, my guitar and my voice to sing. Thanks to Jimmy Hendrix and to the classical songs of Leo Brouwer, I ‘m happy when I play music.

Matthias Duquoc

Here is a bit of what makes me feel good: Image de prévisualisation YouTube

Publié dans : Music | le 6 décembre, 2013 |Pas de Commentaires »

The Hautes-Alpes: a wonderful department!

Hello, my name is Laurent and I come from the Hautes-Alpes. It’s a French department, near Italy, in the south east of France.

The Hautes-Alpes situation

The Hautes-Alpes situation 2

The Hautes-Alpes is a very mountainous department, where the average altitude is the highest of the country: altitude is from 470 meters to 4,102 meters. Moreover, the road network and the town hall are the highest of France. It’s quite a cold area (not in summer), but there are around three hundred days of sunshine a year!

Altitude

140,000 people live in Hautes-Alpes, but tourism is the most important activity there, mainly in summer and winter, for the following reasons:

 

Atmosphere

Many tourists from France, Holland, Germany or other countries love spending holidays there. Every holidays spent in this department is a good way to escape from stress and daily problems. Moreover, with the Serre-Ponçon and the very little lake just next to it, people can relax and enjoy good times.

 Atmosphere

Lac

 

Sports

  • Mountain sports:

A lot of hiking practitioners love coming to this mountainous area. They can discover a lot of wonderful places, like lakes, peaks or forests. Some places have been developed specially for bikers, but they can ride through any forests if they prefer. The most famous mountain sport is of course skiing! Every year, many people come there to enjoy huge skiing domains.

Mountain

Mountain lakes

  • Triathlon:

Every year, on the 15th of August, the triathlon is organized in Embrun. Its name is Embrunman too. It’s said this is the hardest triathlon, because of its 5,000 meters of elevation gain.

Embrun man

  • Watersports:

The famous Serre-Ponçon Lake concentrates a lot of water activities. People can windsurf, sail, or just boating. Moreover, a lot of rivers flow there and throw into this lake, like la Durance, le Guil, le Gyr. Kayakers like it because there are a lot of possibilities.

Watersports

 Watersports kayak

Cooking

Mountain-dwellers are galloping gourmets. Ray ham, tartiflette, savoyard fondue, tourton, ravioli, are the most famous dishes. This brings so many people!

Cook

 

Roads

Some drivers like doing rallies in beautiful surroundings. For this reason, famous cars and motorbikes can be seen there on weekends. They can have a ride and discover all kind of famous landscapes, in a relaxed atmosphere.

Road

 

 

 

I hope you found this article interesting!

 Vue du lac 2

See you there! ;)

Laurent Girault

Publié dans : Regions | le 6 décembre, 2013 |Pas de Commentaires »

Fab the alien

Fab the alien dans Others clip_image0021

 Hi, let me introduce myself. My name is Fab, and because of my origins, I’m a bit different compared to my classmates. Indeed I come from a distant planet, located far away from the Milky Way. Unfortunately, my spaceship crashed on Planet Earth during an exploration mission. When I came to my senses, I realized that I had landed in a rather strange place. It is known as Supaero, and it is an engineering school. At first, I was bit scared, but this unpleasant sensation immediately stopped as soon as I went down the stairs of the residence R2. Here, in the basement, I found a magic place inhabited by great people:  a group of students named “Supaero Space Section” (S cube). You are certainly wondering what do those people do in that poky small room.

 

clip_image004-300x224 dans Others

The S-cube den

They are designing rockets in order to launch mini-satellites into space. I immediately explained my problem to them: what should I do to go back home? They started explaining to me the various projects of the association. The Supaero Rocket association aims to take part in Perseus program run by French space agency (Cnes), which consists in making studies for rockets in different fields such as mechanics, electronics, aerodynamics and rocket engines. It is composed of about 30 students of Supaero and was created in 2010, in partnership with both the CNES and ONERA.

 

The most important rocket launched by the association is called “Master Leia” which contains a roll control experiment.

It consists in controlling the roll of the rocket with moving canard fins. They executed a planed sequence and the response was measured to validate the predicted

behavior and the model for the interaction between control and tail fins. This information will be used toset-up a feedback on the next launcher.

master-leia1-265x300

Master Leia

Why am I interrested in that rocket? This rocket was designed in order to prepare the next rocket called “Sera” Which is going to be launched in Kiruna in Sweden. This rocket will be supersonic, so it will be able to go

even higher than the previous rockets. I hope that  there will be enough space for me in serra!

roll-controle-300x200

The roll control system

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the video of the 2013 C’space event where the Supaero Space Section launched a rocket called « Master Leia »

Image de prévisualisation YouTube
Publié dans : Others | le 6 décembre, 2013 |Pas de Commentaires »

Rueil, the city where I come from

panneau

Rueil-Malmaison is a city in the outskirts of Paris, but not a simple suburban one. It’s my city. And I am going to tell you how great it is.

Rueil is a bit famous thanks to its history. Indeed the emperor Napoleon and his wife had a residence there: the Castle of La Malmaison. If you are fond of history you will enjoy it. Nevertheless it is not the reason why Rueil is so awsome.

lamalmaison

First of all, the town is bordered by the Seine River. You can have a walk on its banks and admire the landscape that the impressionist artists were used to painting. If you want to have a nice moment in nature, go to the Saint Cucufa wood. Behind this funny name hides a pleasant forest where you can pick mushrooms or chestnuts in autumn or simply make your jogging during summer.

Parks are also numerous in Rueil. I advise you to go to Bois Préau, it’s a park of a former castle, in downtown, where everybody goes, old and young people, during the lovely summer days. A perfect place to walk, play football or just enjoy the sun.

If you want to meet some people, go downtown, next to the theatre, you will find some nice bars and coffee shops where young people gather. You should go to Doudou’s, it is a purple coffee shop, very cosy and comfortable, but it is maybe a little expensive. After a drink you can walk around and have a seat on the benches of the Church place in front of the fountain. You can also go shopping there, some good stores are settled around the Church.

placeéglise

You see, Rueil is a lovely place to live in. And it is just fifteen minutes from Paris by the RER. So you can make use of the advantages of the capital. If you want to visit the Louvre or walk down the Champs Elysées, it is okay, fifteen minutes later you are in.

So what are you waiting for ? Go there !

 

Marc Fontan

Publié dans : Regions | le 6 décembre, 2013 |1 Commentaire »

French Rap

I- Origins of French Rap

Rap appeared in France in 1979 with the broadcasting of the title “Rapper’s Delight” from the American band Sugarhill Gang. Radio Nova was the first radio to broadcast French rap music in “Deenastyle”, presented in 1980 by Dee Nasty, regarded as the first French rapper. The current had no success at the beginning, but it revived in 1987 with some artists such as MC Solaar, N.T.M or Assassin.

 

II- What about now?

The French Rap style becomes more inspired by electronic music: scratching is abandoned, rhythms became faster. You can now listen to Rohff, Booba, Sefyu, La Fouine, Orelsan, Sultan, Canardo, Mister You, Mac Tyer, Alibi Montana, Soprano, Youssoupha, Medine on radios such as Skyrock, whereas some bands such as Sexion d’Assaut are becoming more popular and can be heard on many radios.

 

III- Topics of French rap: beyond the clichés

Mc Solaar

It has often been said that rappers are bad boys because of the topics they often refer to, such as the rejection of authority, the denunciation of the bad living conditions in the suburbs, and because of the violence of their words. As a consequence, they were often rejected by the middle class, regarded as idiots and dangerous people.

We cannot deny that rap is often something shocking, but it is a way to express anger of involvement which is, in my opinion, matching our time. However, it isn’t well known that rap can also have a totally different meaning. Indeed, the lyrics of a rap song can also be poetic: it is the case of the song “Caroline” of MC Solaar, where the artist expresses his sadness and his regrets bound to a woman he has lost. In the song of Orelsan “Soirée ratée”, self derision is massively employed to break down stereotypes: the artist is presented as a normal man with many problems.

 

IV- So why should I listen to French rap? Concrete example with Orelsan

French Rap dans Music orelsan-aux-victoires-de-la-musique-hier_portrait_w858-207x300

Discovering this kind of music will certainly help you to open your mind. I think my experience with Orelsan is a good way to understand what we get by doing it. At the beginning, I listened to his song “La terre est ronde”. It seemed for me to be an empty song about a lazy man: the lyrics were absolutely not researched; it was for me of no interest. I decided to make an effort to understand what the artist’s goal was. In fact, many songs are about his own life: the violence of his words reflects his incomprehension of his world (“Changement”, “Plus rien ne m’étonne”), his regrets about his sentimental life (“Double Vie”, “Si seul”), his determination to become a real rapper (“Différent”, “Raelsan”) … to finally admit he is just a normal man (“Peur de l’échec”, “Le chant des sirènes”). At the end, I was convinced of one thing: Orelsan is just the same person as you or I; he has just chosen an effective and original way of expressing himself. If you do the same, you will certainly notice that by listening to this new kind of music, you understand a lot of new people.

Publié dans : Music | le 6 décembre, 2013 |1 Commentaire »
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