Le Tour 2006 - A Virtual Cultural Trip

Reply Sat 24 Jun, 2006 01:43 pm

This is a sequel to the 2004 and 2005 threads of the same name.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 24 Jun, 2006 01:44 pm

This thread is NOT about cycling, but like the years shows a bit this and that ... mostly culture.

Since this year's tour covers regions of France I know personally quite well (though I haven't been to ALL places myself!), the themes are even more personal than before.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 24 Jun, 2006 01:44 pm
This year, we'll follow Le Tour from Alsace


over Lorraine


the BeNeLux- countries


through the Picardie and Normandie.

http://i3.tinypic.com/15hg1oj.jpg http://i5.tinypic.com/15hg2mq.jpg
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 24 Jun, 2006 01:45 pm
Cycling through Britanny we finally reach Bordeaux.

http://i5.tinypic.com/15hgxh3.jpg http://i5.tinypic.com/15hgxs8.jpg

The Pyrenees, France's southern regions and the Alps surely will show some interesting details.

http://i3.tinypic.com/15hh3tg.jpg http://i4.tinypic.com/15hh45k.jpg http://i5.tinypic.com/15hh3jm.jpg
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 24 Jun, 2006 01:46 pm
Well, and the way back to Paris is filled with some more highlights, too.

http://i5.tinypic.com/15hhaae.jpg http://i3.tinypic.com/15hhatt.jpg

http://i4.tinypic.com/15hhb2b.jpg http://i3.tinypic.com/15hhbbq.jpg
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Reply Sat 24 Jun, 2006 02:22 pm
Looking forward to this year's Virtual Tour, Walter..
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Fri 30 Jun, 2006 12:38 pm
The tour starts tomorrow in Strassbourg and takes us on Sunday through Alsace.


Before we start, let's have some traditional Alsacitian food:

Alsace and Lorraine have been under German rule more than once in the past and this influence is evident in many of the local dishes, in which pickled cabbage and pork are common.
Baeckeoffe is a dish that is a slow-cooked mix of sliced potatoes and other items. It was generally prepared by the house wife, often the night before, and taken to the baker, who would then cook it while the ovens were still hot from the morning's baking. The baker would take a thin "rope" of dough and line the bottom rim of the large, heavy caserole and then place the lid upon it for an extremely tight seal. This bead keeps the moisture in the container. Part of the ritual is breaking the crust formed by the "rope" of dough. It is an example of a peasant dish that has been raised to art form.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Fri 30 Jun, 2006 12:38 pm

300g each of stewing lamm, beef and pork
1kg potatoes, very finely sliced
1 leek, finely sliced
200g onion, finely sliced
2 bayleaves, fresh or dried
5 cloves, whole
5 juniper berries, slightly crushed
1 garlic clove, sliced or crushed
1 parsley, whole twig
1 thyme, whole twig
500ml dry white wine (Riesling)
250ml meat or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
Place the diced meat in a deep dish, add leek rings, spices, wine and stock. Cover and leave overnight in the refrigerator to marinate. Remove meat and leek rings. Drain and reserve the marinate, but discard the spices. In a flameproof casserole, add sliced potatoes, garlic, sliced leek, meat, sliced onions (in that order) and season with salt and freshly milled pepper. Cover with the marinade, top up with wine if necessary. Cover tightly with tinfoil and lid. Preheat oven to 150°C and bake for approx 4-6 hours. Serve with fresh baguette and a green salad. A glass or two of Riesling may help to wash it down.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Fri 30 Jun, 2006 12:52 pm
And for the dessert ...


The recipe here, however, is for the traditional "Le kougelhopf d'Alsace"


Proportions for 8 persons :


1 kilogram plain flour,
150 grams sugar,
15 to 20 grams salt,
300 grams butter,
3 eggs,
40 centilitres milk,
25 grams brewers' yeast,
150 grams of seedless sultanas or malagas grapes,
75 grams almonds,
1 small glass of kirsch (optional)

Mode of preparation :

First prepare the dough with the yeast, half the warm milk and the necessary flour to make a dough of average consistency; and leave it in a warm place.
In a separate basin, mix the remaining flour with the salt the eggs and the remaining warm milk, and knead energetically during 1/4 of hour approximately the ingredients vigorously, by lifting the mixture with the hands.
Add the butter softened in the hands and knead in the dough which volume will have doubled.
Continue to knead for a few minutes, cover the bowl with a cloth and let settle in a warm place for approximately an hour.
Knead again, break open the dough, mix in the sugar and the sultanas steeped beforehand in kirsch or water, then if you wish so add a small glass of kirsch.
Grease thoroughly the bottom and the ridges a “ Kougelhopf “mould, decorate the bottom with peeled and wiped almonds, and then place the dough into the mould.
Leave the dough once more rise up to the edge and put in the oven at medium heat.

If the Kougelhopf browns too quickly, cover it with a sheet of paper.
Bake approximately 45 minutes.
You will enjoy it with a Gewurztraminer or a Cremant d'Alsace.

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Walter Hinteler
Reply Fri 30 Jun, 2006 01:01 pm
Some culture now .... no, not the cathedral or other wellknown places, but the

Musée d'art moderne et contemporain of Strasbourg


... and we go there (no, not by boat but) with the tram

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Reply Fri 30 Jun, 2006 01:01 pm
As usual, Walter, fantastic pictures and the desserts look so scrumptious. <sigh>, but what about Quiche Lorraine? I can make that, and I love it!
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Fri 30 Jun, 2006 01:04 pm
Alsace, Letty, we're aren't in Lorraine yet :wink:

Okay, back to the museum.

It's not "a must" ... and therefore good, with some really nice stuff

http://www.musees-strasbourg.org/resources/images/images_oeuvres_choisies/images_oc_mamcs/002_gauguin_nature.jpg http://www.musees-strasbourg.org/resources/images/images_oeuvres_choisies/images_oc_mamcs/003_monet_champs.jpg http://www.musees-strasbourg.org/resources/images/images_oeuvres_choisies/images_oc_mamcs/004_braque_nature.jpg http://www.musees-strasbourg.org/resources/images/images_oeuvres_choisies/images_oc_mamcs/010_kandinsky_trois.jpg

Of course we have a look at "La Petite France" in Strasbourg before we move on

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Reply Sat 1 Jul, 2006 04:59 am
A couple of questions, Walter. First, what is the difference between an Alsatian shepherd and a German shepherd dog?

Next, name those paintings for me. Is DuChamp in there?
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 1 Jul, 2006 06:32 am
I suppose, both dogs are the same, just called different in some parts of the world.

The paintings here are
- Paul Gauguin: Nature morte à l'esquisse de Delacroix
- Claude Monet: Champ d'avoine aux coquelicots
- Georges Braque: Nature morte
- Vassily Kandinsky: Trois éléments
(No idea about the paintings's names in English)
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 1 Jul, 2006 12:57 pm
On Sunday, the tour goes Strasbourg - Strasbourg, just missing France's most spectacular boat lift at St Louis-Arzviller



This example of modern canal engineering was completed in 1969 to replace 17 locks along the Canal de la Marne au Rhin. The inclined plane lifts boats 150 feet in just 20 minutes.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 1 Jul, 2006 12:58 pm
Alsace has been German for quite some time.
The origianal language there is very similar to that on the other, German side of the Rhine river.
So, the regional paper - Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace - comes daily in two versions: French and bi-lingual.


The Battle Hymn of the Rhine Army

The tune and words are generally accepted to have been written in one night (24-25 April, 1792) by Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle1 (1760-1836), a captain in the Engineers. The young officer was stationed in Strasbourg at that time and happened to have some skills as a musician. In 1915 Rouget de Lisle's ashes were transferred to Les Invalides in Paris.

The story goes that a certain General Kellermann, in command of the Rhine Army at that time, asked the Mayor of Strasbourg, Dietrich, to commission a patriotic revolutionary battle-hymn. Dietrich turned to aspiring poet and amateur musician Rouget de Lisle. After an initial private rendition at Dietrich's home, the song was performed for the regiment and was an instant success with the troops. Originally entitled 'Le Chant de Guerre de l'Armée du Rhin' - 'The Battle Hymn of the Rhine Army' - it quickly spread throughout revolutionary France.

And till today, this tune - Ta-duh, ta-duh, duh, duh, duh, du-uh, duh-duh - is known as 'La Marseillaise' - the French national anthem.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 1 Jul, 2006 12:58 pm
http://www.baeckeoffe.com/img/ptitfrance.jpg http://www.tmk-poitiers.com/images/carte/flammekuche02.jpg

Flammenküche from Alsace.
For those who like onions!

Servings: 6
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes


1 and 1/2 cups flour
6 oz butter
4 large onions
4 oz bacon
3/4 cup whipping cream
3 oz shredded swiss cheese
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the crust, mix the flour, 4 oz of butter and water with a pinch of salt.
Roll out crust and place in a 9 inch greased pie pan.
Peel onions and cut into thin slices.
Melt 2 oz of butter in large frying pan with the onion slices.
Cut bacon into small cubes and add to pan.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add Swiss cheese, whiping cream and half the nutmeg (nutmeg is optional). Remove from heat.
Pour mixture into crust.
Place in 350 degrees F oven for 45 minutes.
Serve immediately.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 1 Jul, 2006 12:59 pm
http://www.cybevasion.fr/pho/france/alsace/5.jpgThe village of Soufflenheim, north of Strasbourg, is known for its ceramics and pottery.

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Reply Sat 1 Jul, 2006 06:45 pm
mmmmm, I think I'll try to make that flammenkuche...
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2006 08:16 am
On Monday, the Tour starts in Obernai one of the nicest towns (in my opinion) of Alsace

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