News from Alsace

The oldest Christmas Market in France started today in Strasbourg.  Of course, when it started neither Alsace or Strasbourg were French, but as it says here the city has metamorphosed into what the BBC has described as one of the best five Christmas markets in Europe.  Today the new tram line F was due to start so to mark that and the start of the Christmas market the transport workers have gone on strike.

This week we also found out that a local line dancing team composed of able-bodied and team members in wheel chairs won the World line dancing championships in the Netherlands.  This is the first time that team members in wheel chairs have been part of a winning line-dancing team.  Next year there will be a section in the line-dancing competitions for people with a disability.

A clock was unveiled at the station in Strasbourg yesterday to countdown the 380 days from then until the improved TGV service between Strasbourg and Lyon starts on December 11th next year.  The 190 kilometres of new track  will cut the journey time to Lyon by an hour to 3 hour 40 minutes and to Marseille to five and a half hours.  A year later further work near Mulhouse will take another 25 minutes off the journey making traveling to elsewhere in France by train even more attractive, particularly one place on our list of places to go, Marseille, home of this.

It was good to read that Strasbourg won a prize this week for its efforts to make it possible for people to use electric vehicles.

In other news it was announced that filming for the Guy Ritchie directed Sherlock Holmes II will take place in Alsace in February next year.  In the same piece we learnt that although there was more than 150 days filming in Alsace this year this will be the first time that a ‘Hollywood blockbuster’ has been filmed on the city’s streets.

Here’s a piece explaining the current financial problems in Europe:

I enjoy maps.  This one shows the World according to prejudices and this from the wonderful Strange Maps blog which is on the blogroll shows how things would look if the World was reorganised according to population.  And finally, in another thing that has nothing to do with Alsace here is a video I was pointed to by Stephen Fry which as he says warms the cockles:

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