Le Tour 2006 - A Virtual Cultural Trip

Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2006 08:16 am
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2006 08:30 am
The Tour goes through Lorraine now, to end in the Luxembourg town of Esch-sur-Alzette.


The townis situated in southern Luxembourg, on the upper Alzette River, southwest of Luxembourg city, near the French border.
A small village until 1870, it has become the second largest town in Luxembourg (~25,000 inhabitants), largely because of the local phosphoric iron ore. The centre of the country's iron and steel industry, it has several large steelworks located on its outskirts and in the surrounding area. Slag fertilizer is a by-product. The town also has an important foodstuffs industry.

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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2006 08:31 am
Luxembourg has some nice traditional dishes, a mixture of German and French influence.


Here's Rieslingspaschtéit - Meat and wine pie

- for the pastry: 750 g flour, 250g butter, 2 eggs, 12g salt, 200ml water, 1 egg yolk
- for the filling: 1kg minced meat (500g pork, 200g beef, 300g veal), 2 carrots, 2 shallots , 2 onions, 1 bunch of parsley, 4cl cognac, marjoram, pepper, salt, powdered condiment, Riesling
- for the aspic: 1 pig trotter, 2 pig ears, mirepoix, Riesling, pepper, salt.


Finely chop the vegetables and mix them with the remaining ingredients for the filling. Leave to macerate for 48 hours.

To prepare the pastry mix the flour, eggs, salt and water. Add the melted butter. Leave to rest for 1 hour. Roll out the pastry. Pile the filling on the pastry by forming a clump. Fold the pastry over the filling and press to close the edges. Make 2 or 3 chimneys (decorate their rims with pastry). Trace a criss-cross pattern with a fork. Brush with the egg yolk mixed with a little cold water. Put in the oven at medium heat for some 2 hours (until the cooking juices comes out clear). Leave to cool completely.

Cook the pig's trotters and ears with the mirepoix for some 3-4 hours. Add the Riesling. Pour this aspic through the chimneys into the pastry. Leave to cool in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
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Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2006 08:49 am
watching live on TV Walter I am excited and in awe of the age and history of some of the buildings. the ruined castles........and the non ruined ones too.

The whole thing is like a picture book for me.

Simon Gerrans (AG2R) is a friend of mine. He is younger but we grew up in the same small town.

Simon Gerrans

Age: 24
Born: May 16, 1980
Home town: Goughs Bay, Victoria, Australia
Home club: Carnegie Caulfield CC

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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2006 10:18 am
Thanks for that info - running quite smoothly for your friend


I'll do a bit more on ruins and no-ruins with the next posts :wink:
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Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 03:09 am
Simon is not expected to figure in the top riders but we still like to cheer him on.

Cadel Evans (DAVITAMON - LOTTO) also has a local connection here (my wifes friends cousin) He placed eight last year so could have a show this year with some of the more fancied riders stood down.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 05:06 am
Well, Evans has got chances to end even much better this year!
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 02:45 pm
On Tuesday, the Tour goes 'BeNeLux' - from Luxembourg through Belgium to The Netherlnads.

We here, we stop at Spa. Not a spa but THE Spa:

As the famed site of healing hot springs, Spa has been frequented as a watering-place since as early as the 14th century. Though other sources of healing hot mineral springs have become famous throughout the world, it is the town of Spa which has become eponymous with any place having a natural water source that is believed to possess special health-giving properties. As a generic term, the word "spa" may also refer to a resort hotel - usually located near a source of mineral water or hot spring - which offers hot-tub or similar warm-water hydromassage facilities.

In 1918 the German Army established its principal Headquarters in Spa, and it was from here that the delegates set out for the French lines to meet Marshal Foch and sue for peace in the consultations leading up to the Armistice which ended the First World War.

The town is perhaps best known today as home to the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, which hosts the annual Formula One Belgian Grand Prix. It is also the location of mineral water producer Spa.


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Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 02:51 pm

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Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 02:57 pm
Today's recipe is ... Champignons farcis au Herve.

Okay, we change it a bit to

Chevre champignons: mushrooms stuffed with goat cheese, spinach and bacon:

Select mushrooms that are slightly larger than bite-size because they will shrink a little when they are cooked, but anything bigger can become messy.

Yield: 36 Stuffed Mushrooms

4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoon bacon grease or olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

3/4 teaspoon kosher slat

1/2 teaspoon pepper

8 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1/2 pound bacon, cooked and finely chopped

36 white mushrooms, uniform in size, stems removed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat 2 teaspoons of the bacon grease in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and season with 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher slat and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Cook until the onion is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool. When cool, add the goat cheese, cream, and nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Stir until well mixed.

Squeeze the spinach with your hands to remove any excess liquid. Add spinach and bacon to the onion mixture. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat 2 more tablespoons of the bacon grease in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half of the mushrooms and season with 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Cook the mushrooms until golden brown and tender, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet, top-side up. Wipe the skillet using a paper towel and return to the heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons bacon grease and heat. Add the remaining mushrooms and season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Transfer to the baking sheet with the other mushrooms.

To assemble: Place 1 heaping teaspoon of the spinach filling in the center of the bottom of each mushroom. Bake until warm, 5 to 7 minutes, serve warm.

Do-ahead tips: The spinach filling can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated. The mushrooms can also be assembled up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated. Bake as directed
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 03:06 pm
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Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 07:09 pm
very beautiful, Valkenburg aan de Geul...
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 5 Jul, 2006 04:34 am
Zoday's etappe from Huy to St. Quentin comes close to one of my favourite (auto-) routes: the Meuse (Maas) vally, with Dinant as the most important town in the Begian part of it



Dinant is a very nice city between the river Meuse and the rocks.

Most of the houses have blue roofs.

There has always bin a lot of copper industry in the city.

In 1466 the whole city was destroyed .

And in 1675 and 1692 it was attacked by troops of Louis the 14th.

In both world wars the city suffered a lot. In the first world war more than 1100 houses were destroyed and 764 people were killed by the Germans.

In 1940 and in 1944 the city was bombed and partly destroyed.

The Citadel is an old fortress first built in 1051.
It was rebuilt in 1523 by the Bishop of Luik.
The Citadel we see now dates back till 1820.

Very close to the Citadel there is the Tower Montfoort built in 1910.From the terrace of this tower there is a beautiful view over the Meuse valley.

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Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 5 Jul, 2006 04:35 am

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Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 5 Jul, 2006 04:39 am

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Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 5 Jul, 2006 04:54 am
Today's recipe is for "Waterzoï", a fish soup/stew (can be made of vegetables as well), known as well in Belgium as in France:


2 kg of various sweet water fishes,
2 leeks
2 branches of celery
150 gr best butter
soup green
1 l bouillion
crème fraiche
salt pepper

Cook a soup from the vegeatbles (roasted in half of the bitter) for about 20 - 30 mins, cool it down.
Add the fish, and let it cook for another 8 - 10 minutes (depending on the fish), add the other very cold butter to thicken the stew, add the salt and pepper.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 5 Jul, 2006 05:00 am
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 6 Jul, 2006 09:28 am
A little bit late for today's cultural tour - the cyclists already arrived in Caen by now Embarrassed

We, however, look at Beauvais cathedral - a cathedral with an interesting history (there should be a couple of my photos here on A2K in another thread as well) ...


The Cathedral of Saint-Pierre was ambitiously conceived as the largest in Europe; the apse and transept have survived several collapses, and the choir (157 feet [48 metres]) remains the loftiest ever built. The whole dates from the 10th to the 16th century, with the Romanesque church of the Basse Oeuvre standing in the space planned for the cathedral nave.

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Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 6 Jul, 2006 09:30 am
The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Beauvais is a cathedral, located in Beauvais, in northern France. It is the cathedral of the Bishop of Beauvais-Noyons-Senlis.

It is, in some respects the most daring achievement of Gothic architecture, and consists only of a transept and choir with apse and seven apse-chapels. The vaulting in the interior of the choir reaches 157.5 ft. in height, far surpassing the concurrently constructed Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Amiens (138ft-nave).

small Romanesque church of the 10th century known as the "Basse Oeuvre" occupies the site destined for the nave. Begun in 1247, under Bishop Guillaume de Grez, an extra 16 feet were added to the height, to make it the tallest cathedral in Europe: the work was interrupted in 1284 by the collapse of some of the vaulting of the choir.

This collapse is often seen as a disaster that produced a failure of nerve among the French masons working in Gothic style. In 1573 the fall of a too-ambitious central tower stopped work again, after which little addition was made. The transept was built from 1500 to 1548. However, large-scale Gothic design continued, and the choir was rebuilt at the same height, albeit with more columns in the chevet.

Its façades, especially that on the south, exhibit all the richness of the late Gothic style. The carved wooden doors of both the north and the south portals are masterpieces respectively of Gothic and Renaissance workmanship. The church possesses an elaborate astronomical clock (1866) and tapestries of the 15th and 17th centuries; but its chief artistic treasures are stained glass windows of the 13th, 14th and 16th centuries, the most beautiful of them from the hand of the Renaissance artist, Engrand Le Prince, a native of Beauvais. To him also is due some of the stained glass in St. Etienne, the second church of the town, and an interesting example of the transition stage between the Romanesque and Gothic styles.

http://www.gargouilles.be/beauvais-st-pierre/012.jpg http://romanes2.free.fr/Saint_Pierre_de_Beauvais0024-2.jpg http://www.cadeau.com/download/muzeo/oeuvres-400/10F5VT/D6E04A7D-265A-4F65-8ED8-616B38B08BE3-02-005400.jpg
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 6 Jul, 2006 09:34 am
The city of Caen first became important under the Norman dukes in the 10th and 11th centuries and was the capital of lower Normandy under William I. William I the Conqueror and his wife Matilda founded two monastic communities in Caen, the Abbaye-aux-Hommes (dedicated to St. Stephen) for men and the Abbaye-aux-Dames for women. Both churches, associated with the respective monasteries, are good examples of Norman Romanesque architecture.


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