...Continued from page 1

But by then the first 'oil shock' had happened, and the airlines dumped their options. The US, which had abandoned its own SST in 1971, was left cold by the Concorde which made its first transatlantic Paris-Washington flight in 3 hours and 30 minutes on 26. September 1973.

Only 14 examples were built and the Concorde was put into scheduled service in January of 1976. Failure to get permission to operate normally on runs to New York, doomed the possibility of commercial success. It is expected the plane will continue to fly until 2010 before it shows excessive age.

Good Sniffers and the Best

Last weekend, some good old French boys went out and buried some truffles. The picked plots of 25 square metres, and planted six truffles in each of them.

The next day, some other good old French boys showed up with 31 dogs to compete for the best truffle-nose at Suze-la- Russe in the Drôme. A German shepherd from Cahors in the Lot, beat the other 30 dogs.

It isn't that dogs are better at it than pigs, but dogs are more obedient. Training is started at six weeks and even includes the dogs tasting truffles as well as getting to know the smell of them. Young, lucky, dogs even have truffles mixed in with their dog food.

Labradors are the favorites because of their acute sense of smell - and are also used by the blind, the customs service, and the mountain rescue teams. A good, three-year old truffle dog is worth about 15,000 francs, but can go as high as 50,000.

France Festivals Corp.

Each year about 2000 festivals are staged in France and they draw about five million people. For some provincial towns, festivals have launched permanent local industries.

One such, is Angoulème, with its comic-book festival. The town calculates the festival has created 400 full-time jobs and attracted 25 comic-related businesses, which in turn employ an additional 1700. Another is classical music mecca Aix-en-Provence, which has gained 90 companies due to its festival.

But not all sites work out. Nice, with television, has been unable to out do Cannes, with movies. The science-fiction film festival at Avoriaz went into a tailspin after losing its lease and moving to Gérardmer.

Although medium-sized towns benefit most because they have sufficient means to handle a large, short-term influx of festival visitors, some smaller places have been able to pull them off with success too.

Nexon, a village of 2300 inhabitants about 20 kilometres from Limoges, has pulled in 15 to 25,000 each year for the past seven, to see 'circus arts.'

This started in 1987 when Annie Fratelliniphoto: arcades on rivoli started her circus school there, and the mayor thought he saw a good thing. The attending public has tripled in two years and the town still has only one hotel.

Not a festival; just a normal winter day on the Rue de Rivoli when there's nobody around.

However, everybody around the town has found a room to let out, a campsite to open, a souvenir shop to set up. Annual visitors leave two million francs behind in a small place that was once only known for its pure-blood horse breeding.

The Nexon festival only lasts a couple of weeks and is not enough to open another hotel, or build a school. But it is enough to make the area more attractive, and new people are moving in and buying houses.

Looking ahead, Nexon has a five-year plan to build a fixed-roof circus tent - possibly to make it a year-round training centre. Already, Nexon has Europe's most popular summer circus festival.

Sports News

Sports News happened twice during the week. Last Tuesday, Le Parisien announced, 'Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille - Six Hours of Non-Stop Football!'

Yesterday's paper said, 'What a Weekend on TV! 12 Hours of Sports!' Le Parisien is known by some to be the taxi drivers' paper of choice. They sit for long hours sometimes, and Le Parisien's sports scores plus the racehorse 'futures' take up a lot of their time - although I think serious taxi-driving sportsfans probably read the all-sports L'Equipe.

Go to page : 1 - 2
In Metropole Paris
Latest Issue
2008 Issues
2007 | 2006 | 2005
2004 | 2003 | 2002
2001 | 2000 | 1999
1998 | 1997 | 1996
In Metropole Paris
About Metropole
About the Café Club
Links | Search Site
The Lodging Page
Paris Museums List
Metropole's 1996 Tours
Metropole's 2003 Tours
Support Metropole
Metropole's Books
Shop with Metropole
Metropole's Wine
metropole paris goodblogweek button
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini