Holiday for 2 Lot Garonne South West France

What celebration is held on Sunday February 2nd 2020 in France?

Pancake Chandeleur

The celebration is Candlemas (Chandeleur) on February 2, 2020 .

Also known as a feast of the presentation of Jesus Christ and a feast of the purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary it is also a Christian holy day commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the temple.

The Chandeleur is a Christian holiday (Holy-day) celebrated every 2nd February, 40 days after Christmas.

Chandeleur comes from the word festival of candles which is translated from the Latin festa candelarum for the faithful to celebrate the bright light of Jesus as well as the purity of the Virgin Mary.

Indeed, the chandeleur ( Candelmas) commemorates the presentation of Jesus in the temple, the Jewish tradition that every male first born in the family is brought to to the temple in order to be consecrated to the Lord.

This time corresponds to the time during which mothers were considered unclean by Jewish law after after childbirth, so they were prohibited from going to a place of worship .

Once this time had passed, mothers could go to the temple to make an animal sacrifice and this recover their purity.

On the day Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple, the gospel of Luke tells that a man whose name was Simeon arrived and said he was told by the holy spirit that he would not die until he has seen the Messiah.

He then took baby Jesus in his arms and said “Lord, now you let your servant go in peace according to your words. For my eyes have seen your salvation. You have prepared this moment for all the people to enlighten the nations and glory of Israel”.

How Does France Celebrate the Chandeleur (Candelmas) ?

In the Catholic religion, the chandeleur gives rise to a blessing of candles, then a candlelight procession to the church where a solemn Mass is held, in order to remind the faithful of the ascent of Joseph and Mary and bringing Jesus to the temple at the end of this mass, each faithful brings home a candle that has been blessed according to local or national traditions.

What Other Popular Culture Derives from the Chandeleur or Pancakes as More Commonly Known.

This festival is also associated with pancakes that are cooked on this occasion in tradition that goes back to the custom of handing out pastries to pilgrims coming to Rome or more simply, to remember that the end of winter is approaching and that will all have food supplies.

Enjoy how to make scrumptious pancakes enjoyed at ‘Gone Fishin’ your holiday home here in the sunny Lot et Garonne courtesy of the BBC

This practice, which combines the feast of enlightenment with the consumption of this desert, is also reflected in the Jewish tradition of eating doughnuts during the festival of Hanukkah, festival of the lights of Judaism

Another tradition whilst making the first pancake, it is common to toss it up in the air several times in a row in order to ward off the bad spell for the coming year.

This old tradition reports also that peasants used to do this by holding a coin in the left-hand or for the rich people it would be gold in order to attract happiness and prosperity to them.

In Luxembourg the current tradition is a torchlight procession. The reason is that children can go walking the streets in groups during the evening of February 2 holding a lamp or a baguette.

They Celebrate in the United States and Canada it is associated with the festival also on February 2nd called Groundhog Day where tradition dictates that the groundhogs reaction to the exit of its burrow is observed. If she comes out and doesn’t see her shadow because of the clouds in the sky it’s a sign that will that winter will end soon. On the contrary, if it says shadow due to a clear sky it will mean that winter will last another six weeks.

New thoughts should now emerge when eating pancakes.. Think…. You too could be eating them here at Gone Fishin with a fishing rod it one hand and a scrumptious pancake in the other. The carp fishing is free … a bonus .Enjoy https://gonefishin-holiday4two.com/  

Carp at Gone Fishin
Carp at Gone Fishin

Bird Watchers Lets Talk Birds In South West France

The Grue on migration over the Lot et Garonne

In particular the Common Crane known as the Grue that has been flying over your ‘holiday home from home’ here at Gone Fishin’ in the sunny Lot et Garonne..

You don’t need Bird Watching Binoculars to find them because you hear them!

This Beautiful and picturesque area known as the Lot et Garonne Nouvelle Aquitaine  is a flight path for the grue also known as the common crane .A moment in time enjoyed by bird watchers.

They are seen and enjoyed by birdwatchers that watch with fascination their migration overhead ,recently there has been thousands of these majestic birds actually flying over our home here at Gone Fishin’ in the sunny Lot et Garonne.

Le Grue passing over Gone Fishin
La Grue passing over Gone Fishin

La Grue ( common crane) are flying on their annual migration from Scandinavia and Germany to Africa to avoid colder months.

They remind me of Canada geese migrating to the states with their trumpets sounds whilst flying.

 

 

There are many flocks, dozens at the time , flying overhead this the past week or so but today here at Gone Fishin in the Lot et Garonne it seemed like a red letter day as we saw so many mostly in the long V formation, but sometimes when they encounter a thermal it seems they all take a break to swirl around in the air current like a giant bird circus, then floating in a spiral before coming out of the thermal and it continuing on their way .

There are many reports in the newspaper of this spectacular sight and sound.

You hear them before they emerge through the clouds, it seems so natural to look up and wish them a safe journey.

Drivers stop at will regardless so they can be at the side of the road looking up to the sky to watch them and of course many enthusiast Bird Watchers have actually been following their flight path .

When you look at the migration maps it appears they take a diagonal to a central route from the north-eastern France, through the Central regions to the south-west and in a similar trajectory  through Spain.

map showing nesting and migration route
Showing the nesting and migratory routes

Apparently they do most of their flying at night, it takes less energy. An interesting bird much to be admired.

Sometimes when passing over the centre of France they are seen resting up for the day and eating and drinking.

 

 

Crane Grus grus – Grue Cendrée

What is the wing span of the Grue (Common Crane) ?

The Common Crane is one of the largest birds in Europe with a wingspan of 2 meters and a weight of 4 – 6 kg.

Overall plumage is a nearly uniform grey with long legs and neck. Adults are distinguished by the black and white contrast to the neck and head, marked with a bright red spot and young Cranes have a brownish plumage that they keep for a year that gradually changes to adult plumage.

On the ground they appear to have a fluffy puffed up tail that is actually formed by the last wing feathers that are very elongated. 

Cranes are very sociable and gregarious during their migration and wintering when they can form very large groups, especially on the ground which can be many tens of thousands. They are however extremely territorial when nesting.  

Crane known as the Grue
Majestic Crane known as the Grue

Breeding grounds are situated principally in Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway and the Baltic countries where large solitary nests using dry grass are constructed on the ground situated in large areas of marsh or swamp forests that can occupy up to several hundred hectares. 

Usually a couple will produce one or two eggs in May that take about 4 weeks to hatch.

Shortly after hatching, the chicks are able to follow their parents and sneak into the swamp in search of insects, molluscs and small vertebrates which then make up the bulk of their food.

Thereafter, they consume more plants: tender herbs, aquatic plants and berries.

The young start to take to the air at around two months between mid July and August when they have to prepare for their first migration when they will stay with their parents until their return in the spring. Sexual maturity isn’t actually achieved for between 3 and 5 years when, assuming they find a partner, they pair for life. Bless!

In August and September thousands of cranes gather on the Swedish island of Oland from here they can cross the Baltic sea to the Island of Rügen where around 30000 birds gather in October with about another 15,000 on the German mainland with the birds moving through in groups, arrivals and departures staying perhaps two or three days, possibly longer.

As with all things natural nothing is precise and much is determined by weather and temperature. It is access to food on the ground that is most important both during their migration and where they over winter. What we can say is that the main migration is October to December with small movements from September and possibly continuing sporadically until early Spring and that therefore the “migration” is both gradual and partial, spread out over several months with them wintering at various locations stretching from north-eastern France (Lorraine and especially Champagne) to Morocco with various locations in between, however the majority will end up in Spain with most of them in the large wintering areas of Extremadura Spain.

Migration map of the Grue Common Crane
Migration of the Grue

hey have been a protected species in France since 1967 further details about the Grue here and much more about protected species here in France

Speed of flight: 40 to 80 km / h on average. If the winds are strong and powerful, the crane moves at over 100 km / h. The crane can therefore cross France in one day.

Flight altitude: from 200 to 1,500m.

Population transiting through France: approximately 360,000 individuals 

Population wintering in France: approximately 100,000 / 120,000 individuals

Cranes transiting through France nest mainly in Sweden, Finland, northern Germany and Poland.

Why read about them in Bird Watching Magazinwhen you can see the real thing here at Gone Fishin the beautiful Lot et Garonne. For those that love fishing as a hobby we are here at Gonefishin-holiday4two and a reminder this is not a fishing holiday its just a bonus and its free. You can also find out more here at 2france4two.com and oodles more with videos here at france4two.uk Enjoy a good read you will need a cup of tea and a scrumptious piece of cake.

A Recommended Day Trip South West, France Lot et Garonne

Bonaguil Castle

The Château de Bonaguil is located in the Lot-et-Garonne, on the border with the Lot and close to the Dordogne. It is only 2 hours from Bordeaux and Toulouse, 1 hour from Agen.

From the top of its rocky outcrop, it dominates the valley and the medieval village.
It forms a group of castles, unique in Europe, in a remarkable state of conservation.

Bonaguil Castle shows off amazing architecture not to be missed as a favourite day out whilst on holiday here at Gone Fishin in the sunny Lot et Garonne.

.This wonderful example ‘Bonaguil Castle’ can be found between Périgord and Quercy in the village of Saint-Front-sur- Lémance near Fumel.

Enjoy this panoramic video of Bonaguil Castle

Built in the 13th century then modified and extended in the late 15th and early 16th centuries by Baron Bérenger de Roquefeuil, this fortress never came under any military attack, thanks to its impressive defence system.
A perfect illustration of the use of military architecture and techniques from the Middle Ages via the Renaissance to the early days of the Vauban fortifications.
Special organised Tours ( or simply stroll around) around Bonaguil Castle, you will be transported on a journey back to the time of the knights. Explore the towers and turrets, barbican, gunpowder store, casemates with embrasures, drawbridge and moats.

The top of the Fort boasts a panoramic terrace with a wonderful view over the whole fortress and spectacular surrounding scenery.

Theatre festival are held at the Bonaguil castle every first week of August and is certainly popular with guests.

Whilst touring Bonaguil Castle you can wander around the Fortress, the caves, walk drawbridges and take yourself into its life of medieval history.

Graffiti in the caves ay Bonaguil castle
Graffite in the caves of the castle

In 1976, whilst exploring Bonaguil Castle the archaeologists Gilles SERAPHIN, Daniel FRUGIER and Michel EGRETAUD discovered under the Barbican, a low chamber under a broken cradle which served in the XVI and XVII centuries a storage place, and found important archaeological furniture . This discovery, associated with the discovery a few years earlier a set of graffiti on the internal walls of the Big Tower, comes to remind us that Bonaguil was indeed a place where people actually lived.

Bonaguil castle
Bonaguil Castle rooms

The storage place where they disposed of broken pottery they found simple clay cups and eating utensils, remains of beautiful stemmed glasses .
Their analysis is still to be done but they decided to put them in front of the public in 2013.

A lovely day out indeed and ant Bonaguil there is a lovely restaurant. Importantly there are car parks adjacent to the restaurant and also at the entrance of the Castle.

France 2019. How Much For A Taxi – Stamps – Whats New In French Currency

French Taxis Cost 2019

France 2019. How Much For A Taxi – Stamps – Whats New In French Currency.

Taxis: New Fares for 2019

Taxis In France 2019 prices
Taxis In France 2019 prices

What you need to know when booking a taxi in France.

 What is the minimum price you will be charged? 

What is the price to go to an airport?

 Taxi fares for 2019 are set by official decree in December 2018.

In 2019, the minimum fare for a journey is set at € 7.10 for all taxis (Parisians and non-Parisians).

In addition, taxi fares are capped at:

  • € 4.10 
  • 1,10 € for the kilometer traveled
  • 36,73 € for the hourly price concerning the waiting period when reserved by the customer).

For Parisian taxis, booking supplements are, as in 2018, to:

  • 4 € in case of immediate reservation;
  • 7 € if booking in advance. 

    Moreover, for all races of Parisian taxis, only extra ” passenger ” of 4 € may be applied from a 5 th person carried.

    There is a flat rates set for the Paris taxis between Paris and the Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle and Orly airports (in both directions) remain unchanged compared to those in 2018: 

    • € 50 between Paris – Charles-de-Gaulle airport and Paris rive droite;
    • 55 € between Paris – Charles-de-Gaulle airport and Paris rive gauche;
    • 35 € between Paris-Orly airport and Paris rive droite;
    • 30 € between Paris-Orly airport and Paris left bank.

    There are also flat rates for shopping related to Nice Côte d’Azur Airport:

    • 32 € between Nice airport and Nice-center.
    • € 80 between Nice airport and Cannes;
    • 90 € between Nice airport and Monaco;

    Finally, for travelling for example to Toulouse Blagnac airport, these flat rates vary between € 15 and € 45 (depending on the area of the city). Please check on booking.

    How Much For Stamps In France 2019

    French Stamp New Prices For 2019
    French Stamps New Prices For 2019

     Stamp price: new increase on January 1, 2019

  • Priority letter (red stamp) or green letter (green stamp):

    Rates for stamps for individuals increased by an average of about 10% from 1 st  January 2019.

    This is indicated by a statement of the Regulatory authority for electronic communications and postal services (Arcep) on 2019 universal postal service tariffs.

    For individuals, the price of green stamp (distributed within 48 hours in France) will increase from 0.80 €  to  0.88 € , the red stamp (priority mail delivered within 24 hours in France) will now be priced at 1.05 € (against 0.95 € today).

    The ” Ecopli ,” the most economical way (sending in 4 days on average), will go from 0.78 €  to 0.86 € .

    For parcel post called Colissimo, the public rate Colissimo France metropolitan less 

    than 250 grams will remain at the same price as in 2018 ( 4.95 € ).

    Whats New In French Currency 2019

  • French New Currency For 2019
    French New Currency For 2019

    New Currency Notes of 100 and 200 Euros Arriving May 2019

  • The new € 100 and € 200 notes  are due to enter the euro zone from May 28, 2019, as part of the gradual renewal of the European currency denominations. They were presented by the European Central Bank (ECB) on 17 September 2018.

    These new notes are part of a series called ” Europe ” because two of the security signs used include a portrait of Princess Europe, a character of Greek mythology that gave its name to the continent. Tickets of 5 € , 10 € , 20 € and 50 € are already part of this series.

    The security markings in this series are perfected to allow better protection against counterfeiting. These new notes will be easier to verify the authenticity through feel, scrutinising  and tilting to the light .

  • The new € 100 note retains green as the dominant colour while taking inspiration from the Baroque and Rococo architectural style.

  • The New 100 Euro Note in circulation in May 2019
    The New 100 Euro Note in circulation in May 2019

    The new note 200 € shows secure gates , the yellow colour and the glass and steel architectural style of the XIX th  century.

  • The New 200 Euro Note in circulation May 2019
    The New 200 Euro Note in circulation May 2019

    These two new notes will have the same height as the € 50 note, but they will have the same length as the €100and 

  • €200 notes currently in circulation (the longer the note, the higher their face value).

A Christmassy feeling in Bordeaux

Bordeaux church

Christmas is underway in Bordeaux with roasted chestnuts and mulled wine or oysters and white wine being offered freely to many shoppers.

Why not visit a Christmas  Circus or a visit to the extravagantly  decorated Castles.

Shopping in Bordeaux
A shopping frenzy starting for Christmas in Bordeaux

Even the  Museums and the street artists are feeling Christmassy.

 It’s a wonderful time in Bordeaux … With all the flavours The Bordeaux Tourist has organised with the Chamber of Commerce for the first weekend of December.

Bordeaux celebrations
Bordeaux enjoys celebrating all year round

But whatever your choice, you will not escape the magic of Christmas in the cities be it Bordeaux or Agen or Villeneuve sur Lot.

A reminder Bordeaux is a fabulous wine growing region, and it is a port city of the Garonne river in South West France .

Also well-known for this Gothic cathedral Saint Andre .

There are beautiful mansions 18 to 19th century and notable art museums for example The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux.

The dynamic curving river quays have the beautiful public gardens running alongside.

The grand Place de la Bourse, centred on the Three Graces Fountain, over looks the famous Miroir d’Eau reflecting pool.

A must is the Grande Opera House ….Christmas spectacular at the Opera de Versailles, le Grand-Théâtre de Bordeaux

Opera House
Christmas spectacular at the Opera de Versailles, le Grand-Théâtre de Bordeaux

A place not to be me missed especially at Christmas time is Known as Paul’s Place in Bordeaux    https://www.paulsplacebordeaux.com/

A small restaurant in the heart of Bordeaux offering Home cooking exceptional…for the evenings.

People converge to Paul’s Place not only for the great cooking, enchanting decor, Live music, poetry readings , table Magic, exhibitions but drama and cultural gatherings.

When you enter Paul’s place you will see the walls and ceilings are richly covered with images and artefacts.

A treasure box of delights.

Pauls Place Bordeaux
Pauls Place Bordeaux

Whatever the occasion it’s the place to go be it just for a drink, a meal or listen to the live music.

A taste of music whats on this next week..

https://soundcloud.com/user-754533394/medley?fbclid=IwAR33NuIaG6iSFrebXttUegnLpq8ghbK254B0MoN3nqeP0Pdt0C3a9cjN_ec

We are certainly off to enjoy the Christmas feel in Bordeaux next week.

So easy from Gone Fishin here in the sunny Lot et Garonne. We just take an 8 minute drive to Aiguillon station, catch the train to Bordeaux and within 1hr 10 minutes can be enjoying the Christmas spirit in the wonderful town of Bordeaux.

The Colourful Carnival in South West France

Monflanquin Festival

Monflanquin Medieval  Festival The French equivalent to a spectacular carnival. People come from all over France and often the French stop for a long weekend to soak the atmosphere. Monflanquin, is a bastide in the north of the Lot-et-Garonne department of the southwest of France.

Built in 1256 as a military bastidetown on a strategic north-south route, it changed hands several times during the Hundred Years’ War.

The Festival start by animating this story…The story opens up to a medieval jester dressed in white and red, his shoes have curled-up toes and he is leaning on a twisted cane. He is surrounded by many children, laughing and listening as he explains the history of his Aquitaine village, Monflanquin. He is Janouille la Fripouille (the Scoundrel Janouille), bastard son of Henry of Navarre – who became Henri IV of France in 1589 – and the alter ego of street performer Jean Rocher.

Monflanquin festival
Monflanquin festival  (spoilt by Stella Artois!!)

 

Monflanquin Medieval entertainment
Spellbound children

“One day in 1252, Alphonse de Poitiers came riding out from his castle home near what became Villeneuve-sur-Lot with his wife, Jeanne, daughter of Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse she with her dowry of the lands of Rouerque, Quercy and Agenais.

Read moreThe Colourful Carnival in South West France