Don’t Run Over Randolph Westphal
We were on our way to Lyon when we almost ran over this guy and his two Siberian huskies pulling him on his bike. Instead of running into him, we rode next to him to hand him a donation.
He’s Randolph Westphal and he’s been biking all over the world with his dogs for more than 14 years (around the world 4 times!) on a mission to share his experience as a cancer survivor visiting hospitals, hospices and clinics. More than two decades ago, his doctor’s told him he had about a year left to live because of his cancer but he’s still here 20 years later!
He’s been hit by an 18-wheeler, which put him in a coma, broke his leg, got attacked by a bear and more…and YET he continues.
Here’s more info on him to read about his trials, tribulations and successes. Riding for Cancer, Randolph Westphal (in German)
If you see him, give him some love!
Tour France’s Cave Homes
From the smithsonian:
“I tip the torchlight and examine a wall in my hotel room. From a distance, the wall looks like vanilla frosting roughly applied. Up close, I see nuggets of caramel-colored stone, faint brown streaks…and an oyster shell. The wall before me is 100 million years old, the raw edge of a cave scraped into a cliff above the Loire River. The oyster was a much earlier guest here, a fossil left from the sea that once covered this part of France and left behind a thick bed of white stone called tuffeau.
Many buildings in the Loire Valley are constructed from this stone. On a trip to France four years ago, I stayed in an elegantly restored farmhouse near Tours, its walls made of tuffeau blocks, stacked like irregular sugar cubes. The farmers of long ago probably dug their own tuffeau. It’s just under the surface–unplanted fields gleam with tuffeau churned to pebbles by the plows. However, the serious quarrying was for the signature chateaus and other monumental architecture of the Loire Valley.
At the time, I was among friends who wanted to visit all the chateaus. The first few exhausted my taste for opulence. Then, near the chateau in Amboise, I noticed caves in the cliff, some with brightly painted front doors, windows, shutters and flower boxes. As we drove around the Loire Valley, I spied more of these domesticated caves, some with chimneys thrusting through scruffy vegetation at the tops of cliffs or new facades and courtyards. Oh yes, someone finally explained: after widespread quarrying of the tuffeau began in the 11th century and created cavities in the hills and plains, people moved in. Some to escape warfare, others because the caves made convenient, low-rent dwellings. Until the early 20th century, many people lived in these so-called troglodyte homes. Entire villages were underground. Some people still live in the caves, I was told, and others are …”
Read the full article
Cheap Eats in Nantes – Tuesday Lunch for 3.50 €
photo courtesy of Presse-Océan
David Bernard and Marie Geffriaud, owners of L’Etage, a small restaurant in Nantes (Northwest France, Region: Pays de la Loire), are offering an exceptionally cheap lunch menu on Tuesdays. It’s a marketing tactic to get noticed but it’s also a way to address the financial crisis that has hit France and their clientele. So far, it seems to be working.
For 3.50 €, a sample menu would include thai curry chicken and rice and for dessert, a choice of custard or fruit salad.
I hope other restaurants will follow their example.
15, rue Beauregard
Tel: 02 40 12 10 04
tags: france, french, living in france, cheap eats
2 French wine-makers suffocated to death by carbon dioxide fumes from grapes they were treading with their bare feet
“Two amateur French wine makers have died after they were suffocated by the fumes from the grapes they were treading with their bare feet.
The victims had volunteered to help a friend make wine at his vineyard in the northern Ardeche region and had climbed into the six-foot wide vat to begin the traditional process of extracting the juice from the grapes.
But police believe Daniel Moulin, 48, and 50-year-old Gerard Dachis were overcome by carbon dioxide fumes that are given off during fermentation and collapsed.
Rescuers tried frantically to revive the pair but in spite of resuscitation efforts the two men did not … Continue reading
tags: france, french, grapes, fatal grape treading, don’t try this at home