France skiing – Sports Lesarcs Tue, 28 Jun 2022 22:01:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 France skiing – Sports Lesarcs 32 32 Krystyna Skarbek: Churchill’s favorite spy who was treated like dirt after WWII Tue, 28 Jun 2022 22:01:10 +0000

We generally believe and expect those who have worked and dedicated their lives for the glory of the nation to be treated with a high level of respect and gratitude. After all, risking your life and enduring all the challenges to serve and help the country achieve its goals was something worth acknowledging and rewarding, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, even if you were once the prime minister’s favorite. Krystyna Skarbek’s story proved it.

Flamboyant Polish Patriot

Maria Krystyna Janina Skarbek was born in Warsaw in 1908. Her father married her mother from a wealthy Jewish family, so he could use the dowry to pay off his debts and continue his luxurious lifestyle. Krystyna loved horse riding and skiing, which she honed during their visits to Zakopane in the Tatras of southern Poland. In all these things she took after her father.

She met her husband on that same mountain. She was skiing down a slope when she lost control but was luckily saved by a man who got in her way to stop her momentum. He was Jerzy Giżycki, a bright, eccentric, short-tempered, and wealthy man who ran away from home at an early age and eventually became an author.

Krystyna Skarbeck. (Wikipedia)

The two fell in love and married on November 2, 1938 in Warsaw. her husband found himself Consul General of Poland when Germany invaded the country. When World War II broke out, the two traveled to London in exile as their country was dismembered by Nazi Germany and the USSR who started World War II as allies.

Skarbek, furious at the invasion, asked the British Secret Service to hire him. At first, they paid her little to no interest until she got help from her acquaintances, who introduced her to the Secret Intelligence Service. They soon described her as “a fiery Polish patriot…. expert skier and great adventurer” and “absolutely intrepid”. She was given the pen name, Christine Granville.

Christine’s Quests

Skarbek (or Granville) had many commendable achievements and deeds throughout his six years of service in Britain. One of them was when she acquired the first evidence of Germany’s plan to invade Russia, called Operation Barbarossa.

The proof was in microfilm footage she hid in her glove finger as she skied out of Poland towards Allied lines. This intelligence report reached Winston Churchill, who was more than delighted with it and immediately became an admirer of the spy, saying that Granville was his favorite.

In July 1944, she parachuted into France to join the resistance in the Vercors as Francis Cammaerts’ lieutenant. Cammaerts was one of the best British agents and managers in France. They were preparing the liberation of Europe. Granville made the first contact with the French Resistance and the Italian partisans. She even convinced an entire German garrison protecting a strategic alpine pass to surrender.

One of her most notable actions was when she convinced the Gestapo to release her SEO colleagues and two French resistance fighters captured by the Germans and about to be executed.

She first attempted a rescue operation, but failed. She decided to ride, even with a huge bounty on her head, on her bike to camp 25 miles away. When she arrived, she lied to them about the proximity of Allied forces. She also said she would ensure that Gestapo officers were killed if her colleagues were not released. Maybe it was her powers of conviction, her threat, or the money she used to bribe the Gestapo officers. Or maybe it was all, but she managed to bring her colleagues back alive.

Most Wanted

For all her heartbreaking acts on behalf of the Allied cause, she received tons of medals. Among them were the Officer of the Order of the British Empire, the French Croix de guerre and the George Medal. However, this array of decorations meant nothing after the war was over.

She received a month’s salary and she was fired. When she tried to apply for British citizenship, she was told she was not eligible. Finally, the last memo about her stated that “she is no longer wanted”.

Kensal Green St. Mary’s Orthodox Catholic Cemetery London. Tomb Krystyna Skarbek. (Dobry77, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Skarbek eventually convinced the British authorities to grant her citizenship, but she was left with nothing. The woman who fought and risked her life for a country that was not hers ended up accepting the position of maid on ocean liners. She couldn’t go back to Poland because she was behind the Iron Curtain, was a communist and had been a spy for the English. They would have killed her

Her life ended tragically when fellow steward, Dennis Muldowney, stabbed her to death after rejecting her advances.

Memorial to Krystyna Skarbek. (

In 2017, writer Clare Mulley asked her husband Ian Wolter to do a bust of Skarbek at the Polish Hearth Club. The bust included soil from Poland and the London park where Polish special forces were trained.

]]> Biden says G7 and NATO must ‘stick together’ against Russia war │ GMA News Online Sun, 26 Jun 2022 11:10:19 +0000

ELMAU CASTLE, Germany — U.S. President Joe Biden praised German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday for his leadership in the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine and urged the West to stay united.

“We have to stick together,” Biden told Scholz during a meeting ahead of the G7 summit in the German Alps.

Russian President Vladimir Putin hoped “that somehow NATO and the G7 would separate,” Biden said. “But we haven’t and we won’t.”

Biden met his German host at the picturesque Elmau Castle where the G7 — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States — was holding a three-day summit dominated by the Ukraine crisis.

Biden hailed Scholz’s leadership as the current G7 president at a time of upheaval in Europe sparked by the war in Russia and the ensuing global economic fallout.

“I want to commend you for stepping up like you did when you became chancellor” and “how you have had a big impact on the rest of Europe, especially when it comes to Ukraine” , Biden told Scholz.

The 79-year-old Democrat also fondly recalled his days skiing, telling Scholz the alpine setting was “beautiful”.

A senior US official said Washington has been “investing very heavily” in relations with Germany since Biden took office nearly two and a half years ago.

Their talks on Sunday were “a good opportunity to affirm the deep and lasting ties between our two countries. Regarding the agenda for the meeting, expect Russia and Ukraine to top the list, including our continued close coordination on the political and diplomatic front,” the official said. – France Media Agency

French skier Clément Noël joins the Bollé Racing team Wed, 22 Jun 2022 03:45:06 +0000

(PRESS RELEASE) LYON, FRANCE — Bollé has announced the signing of 2022 Beijing Olympics slalom champion Clément Noël, furthering the French eyewear brand’s expansion into the world of ski racing.

At 25, Noël has climbed 17 podiums in the World Cup and will have the opportunity to deepen his exploits in the various French races in Val d’Isère and Chamonix in the World Cup, then at the Courchevel-Méribel World Championships. in February. 2023.

“Bollé is very proud to be able to welcome Clément Noël to our team of elite skiers which includes Alexis Pinturault, overall winner of the 2021 World Cup, and Tessa Worley, who won the giant slalom crystal globe in March. this year,” said Louis Cisti, Vice President of Marketing at Bollé.

Noël, winner of nine World Cup titles, will be equipped with the Bollé Nevada mask, the Mute helmet in Slalom and the Medalist Carbon Pro in Giant, both equipped with MIPS technology. Products that have been tested and approved by the entire racing team for performance at the highest level and in the most extreme conditions.

“I am very happy to join the Bollé team and its many athletes who have excelled on the World Cup circuit in recent years. I am very proud to represent this performance-oriented French brand for the years to come, and in particular next season at the Courchevel-Méribel World Championships,” said Clément Noël.

For more than 135 years, Bollé has supported and sponsored world-class athletes and the greatest champions in the history of alpine skiing with the best helmets and goggles in the ski industry by placing performance and innovation at the heart of heart of Bollé product development and conquering the world of skiing since the brand was created in 1888.


“We are delighted to have Clément Noël among our athletes. From our first exchanges, we could feel the particular attention he paid to details and to his equipment. No room for compromise. This perfectionist attitude totally echoes the passion and meticulousness that our teams put into the development of our products, and into each of their projects. I am firmly convinced that this collaboration will lead to great victories and I can’t wait to see Clément on the slopes carrying the Bollé flag,” said Cisti.

Watch Clément Noël’s presentation video here.

Wine Press: 3 Outstanding Chardonnay Wines from Oregon Mon, 20 Jun 2022 13:13:00 +0000

Oregon is a magical place.

I still have fond memories as a teenager of skiing there on a glacier in the summer.

In my twenties, I spent a wonderful week exploring the state with a good friend of mine.

Decades later, I still vividly remember the surprising landscapes, the fascinating people and the exceptional bookstores, restaurants and brasseries.

That’s why I wasn’t surprised a few years ago when a winemaker from France’s Burgundy region shared his family’s love affair with Oregon.

Standing in an old stone wine cellar in Beaune, France, Frédéric Drouhin recalled the time his father, Robert, stood on top of a hill in Oregon and saw the future. He realized that the landscape and climate there were as perfect as Burgundy. The Drouhin should know. The family runs Maison Joseph Drouhin, one of Burgundy’s most respected wine estates.

Robert Drouhin had been to Oregon before, but something magical happened in 1987 when the Drouhins visited Oregon and looked at land for sale there. “We had to stop the car at the bottom of the hill because there was no road, nothing at all,” said Frédéric Drouhin. “So he (Robert) climbed with a winemaker through a field of wheat and when they reached the top of the hill, they saw the landscape. They felt it. Obviously, it’s as simple as that.

A year later, Robert Drouhin created Domaine Drouhin in Oregon in 1988.

Since then, the rest of the world has slowly caught up with the Drouhins and realized what an amazing place Oregon is, especially when it comes to wine.

Like France’s Burgundy region, Oregon excels in creating beautiful wines made from Burgundy’s signature grape varieties – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Much of this is likely due to the cool, foggy climate of western Oregon, where most of Oregon’s wine comes from. There, the humid air often lingers a little longer and the nights are often cooler and more humid. (Most of eastern Oregon is the exact opposite – warmer and much drier.)

That’s probably why I was thinking about Oregon wines last week. The calendar might say June, but here in New England it was more like a wet and cool April weekend.

But even when the weather warms up, believe me, you’ll love the three Oregon chardonnays recommended this week.

I realize I’ve been on a bit of a chardonnay lately. Last week for Father’s Day, I recommended five outstanding California Chardonnays.

Do not worry. I will not write all the time on Chardonnay.

But I also think it is important to highlight these exceptional wines from this unique wine region.

Many wine nuts probably already love Oregon chardonnays.

For the rest of you, you’re in for a treat.

Many of Oregon’s best chardonnays have character and depth.

They are complex, compelling, intense and subtle.

You can taste the fresh, moist and mysterious air with every sip.

And you can feel the sense of place in every glass.

When you taste an Oregon Chardonnay, the wine takes you on a journey.

And when you taste the best, it doesn’t matter where you end up. You are just thrilled to have such a wonderful ride.

Hope you enjoy.


Yamhill-Carlton Gran Moraine Chardonnay 2018 (suggested retail price $45)

2019 Penner-Ash Chardonnay Willamette Valley ($45 MSRP)

WillaKenzie Chardonnay Willamette Valley 2019 ($35 MSRP)


All three Oregon Chardonnays come this week from the Willamette Valley, including Yamhill-Carlton, which is one of 10 sub-regions located in the Willamette Valley. Oregon’s Willamette Valley runs north to south, just south of Portland, about 40 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. Many of Oregon’s best known and most respected wineries are located in the Willamette Valley. But it’s not the state’s only wine region. According to the Oregon Wine Board, other wine regions in Oregon include:

  • Umpqua Valley
  • valley of thieves
  • Columbia Gorge
  • Walla Walla Valley


2018 Gran Moraine Chardonnay Yamhill-Carlton

Tasting Notes – The Gran Moraine winery is located at the western end of the Yamhill-Carlton sub-region in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. You may remember reading a few years ago about the sparkling wine from this winery. This Chardonnay is just as memorable. Its flavors range from lemon and sea salt to hints of melted butter. Allow the chilled wine to slowly warm in the glass and you’ll notice the lemon, sea salt and buttery flavors become brighter, livelier and even more refreshing. A superb wine from start to finish.

Penner-Ash Chardonnay Willamette Valley 2019

Tasting Notes – Penner-Ash is probably best known for its complex and powerful Pinot Noir wines. His Chardonnay is just as impressive. Layers of flavor range from hints of oak and toasted butter to a dash of sea salt and toasted lemon. Everything in this wine is more subtle and intense. You can clearly taste the haze that often lingers in many Willamette Valley vineyards, giving this wine an air of mystery. An exciting and energetic wine with a distinct personality.

Willakenzie Chardonnay Willamette Valley 2019

Tasting Notes – This latest Chardonnay brings together many of the flavors of the first two wines. Citrus flavors and aromas share the stage with hints of butter, sea salt, oak and lemon. And the other two wines, the flavors here are sweet and mellow. There is nothing above. Instead, the wine communicates its depth and complexity in a whisper.

That’s what’s so great about so many great chardonnays from Oregon. They don’t shout from the rooftops. They pull you into an intimate conversation and make you feel like the only two people in the room. And the best ones make you want to linger a little longer, fascinated by the secrets they will reveal to you with each sip.


(Wine press by Ken Ross Appears on every Monday and in the weekend section of the Republican every Thursday. Older “wine press” articles can be found here. Follow Ken Ross on Twitter and instagram and Facebook.)

Succeed in making the hard look easy Sat, 18 Jun 2022 18:30:11 +0000

The closest some of us get to France and its culture is the annual French Film Festival, which, along with its Italian equivalent, eclipsed last year’s indigenous fiasco.

This year’s collection of French films, which now tour the country, has been reduced to 21, while Italian has 22 (including some classics) but has expanded its theaters to 21. Both countries are providing support strong at promoting their national industries on the international stage, with the French also offering the free TV5 Monde streaming service.

But it’s not just films that make French culture relevant. The closest country to New Zealand is a French territory, while the Catholic religion was introduced by a French bishop.

For many, the appeal of Frenchness can be summed up in the phrase “Je ne sais quoi”. Simply put, it is a quality that cannot be adequately described or expressed.

The philosopher Ollivier Pourriol attempts a definition: “A mixture of noble arrogance and popular insolence, seriousness in light things and lightness in moments of great seriousness; in short, a desire for simplicity synonymous with both elegance and pleasure.

We find it in the French love of gastronomy; its political expression in liberty, equality and fraternity; the taste for beauty and gluttony; and an exceptional interest in philosophy and argument.

Pourriol was asked to write what he calls an “airport book” titled The The French art of not overdoing it (in French, Easy: The French art of succeeding without forcing). Born in 1971, he has written several novels and philosophical works (none translated into English).

Olivier Pourriol

The hardest part, he admits, was getting started. The French way means a lot, especially to foreigners for whom the book was not originally intended.

“If you try to define it too closely, you miss its essential quality, which is the ability to protect its mystery, and thus retain its appeal,” he writes. But the subject is not hard to believe for foreigners about the French; they have an ability to succeed where it is not related to the effort provided. On the contrary, success is noted by the absence of apparent effort.

Historical explanation

Pourriol dives into history for an explanation. The 17the century, indeed, known in France under the name of Great Century of Louis XIV, when the qualities of ease in accomplishing something were admired at the royal court. This contrasts with the work ethic of the bourgeoisie and its belief that success is due to merit and not birth.

This “royal road” survived the Revolution and the destruction of the aristocracy after 1789 to become an admired feature of effortless Frenchness. Once this definition has been established, Pourriol develops with many examples from French culture. They include writers, artists and sculptors as well as actors, pianists and philosophers.

Besides creativity, tennis players, golfers, athletes, tightrope walkers and free divers are also important, as are activities such as horse riding, surfing, skiing and sailing.

Success in any of these areas requires talent and practice. But Pourriol sees the difference in how this is achieved as more than just an application. He discusses Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour thesis in Outliers as a failure in one respect: no amount of effort guarantees success.

High performance

Those who have other explanations. Top athletes talk about being “in the zone” or in a “state of grace”. They enter another level where their ability exceeds normal physical limits in ways they find difficult to explain.

‘French flair’ snatched the 1994 Test against the All Blacks at Eden Park.

Perhaps the most bizarre example, and on which Pourriol spends four pages, is the “French flair” in rugby as Blues raced from one end of Eden Park to the other to snatch victory for the All Blacks in the dying minutes of a contested Test on July 3, 1994.

For others, dependent on things beyond their control, it means going with the flow, whether it’s a wave, the wind, a horse or a ski slope. Pianist Hélène Grimaud calls it a “visit”. She refuses to do general rehearsals before performing a new work, preferring to let her play in tune, relying on her previous practice to get by.

Early in his career, actor Gérard Depardieu had English-speaking roles but did not understand the language. Instead, he paid more attention to the punctuation of what he said than to the meaning. When a director once explained the meaning of a dialogue, Depardieu said he froze and was initially unable to play the role.

The dangers of overthinking were enunciated by Descartes, the first modern French philosopher, although he spent much of his life (1596-1650) in the Dutch republic. His advice was to take an idea and stick to it. Preferably, your choice of an area to excel in should be something you really enjoy doing.

‘Call of the Wild’

Avoid things you’re not good at and let yourself be tempted by what Pourriol calls “the call of nature”. Jack London’s book of the same name is about a dog who wants to be the best on a sledding team because he likes it. The other dogs not so much. If you’re not good at math or cooking, don’t try to burn yourself out.

Descartes favored consistency in solving a problem and acted on his own advice. One was not to reveal too much information.

During his travels, he once asked German sailors to take him on a boat ride. Since he was wealthy, the sailors plotted how to steal him and dispose of him during the voyage. But Descartes did not reveal that he could understand German and worked out a plan to avoid being robbed and murdered. He exposed their scheming with threats that made them back down.

German philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (above), one of Pourriol’s few non-French sources, also warned against overthinking. “When you feel like you have a problem, you have to stop thinking about it, otherwise you can’t get rid of it,” he wrote in his Secret notebookscompiled during World War I.

“You have to start thinking about the point where you can sit comfortably… Difficult problems have to be resolved before our eyes.”

Cut out a problem

Much earlier, Descartes sketched his method which announces the modern era of philosophy. Pourriol explains a key feature of the Cartesian method: “To solve a problem, you must first dissolve it and break into as many parts as possible what, at first glance, seems like an overwhelming mess.” To quote Descartes himself, it’s like the steps of a staircase, “there can’t be something so far away that you don’t reach it, or so hidden that you don’t discover it”.

This advice is exactly how tightrope walker Philippe Petit achieved his daring feats, literally one step at a time.

Jean Guitton, in intellectual work (Intellectual Work, but not translated into English), offers another variant. “The art of not even trying is to never let your will get irritated and tense…”

Finally, the armchair philosopher of the imagination, Gaston Bachelard, says that letting the mind wander allows you to “tonify your whole being without risking the muscular betrayal that comes from the usual gymnastic exercises”.

While Pourriol regards his modest tome of less than 200 pages as an “airport book” – short enough to last a plane trip – it is likely to whet the appetite for more demanding reading.

Of his many French sources, Pourriol lists 11 authors who have been translated into English. These include Bachelard, Petit and Grimaud, all mentioned or quoted above, as well as Descartes. Others include works by Michel de Montaigne, Jean-Paul Sartre, Stendhal and Simone Weill.

The French art of not overdoing itby Ollivier Pourriol (Books Profile).

Nevil Gibson is a former editor of NBR. He has contributed film and book reviews to various publications.

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Rainbow ski area to open early after six days of ‘amazing’ snow Thu, 16 Jun 2022 03:00:00 +0000
The Rainbow Ski Area team has been working “non-stop” to prepare the mountain for the season, with plans to open two weeks earlier.


The Rainbow Ski Area team has been working “non-stop” to prepare the mountain for the season, with plans to open two weeks early.

The Rainbow team was preparing to start making snow this week. Instead, they dug 3 meter snowdrifts to get to the groomer.

Rainbow Ski Area Mountain Director Thomas Harry said last week’s snow could prepare them for the season.

“It’s extraordinary for this time of year… We are delighted.”

The team now aimed to open next Friday for the Matariki public holiday – two weeks earlier than planned.

* Thrills and chills as the ‘satisfied’ Rainbow team handles a stellar crowd
* Flippin’ great outlook for Rainbow Ski Area’s next season
* Early winter snow spreads excitement for rainbow ski season

The summit of the southern ski area, at 1760 meters above sea level, had received more than 2m of snow in places, with an average of 1.5m on the main slopes. But there was up to 3m of drift on the groomed trails and on the road.

Avalanche forecaster Matt Wilkinson said it was the heaviest snowfall he had seen in his forecast time in the Nelson Lakes area.

Rainbow, at 1760 meters above sea level, is covered in snow.


Rainbow, at 1760 meters above sea level, is covered in snow.

But before this week’s uninterrupted dumping, the start of the season had been pretty standard, with a snowfall in May washed away by rain.

And Blenheim had nearly a month of rain in the first two weeks of June; 60 millimeters had fallen until June 14, when the average for the month was 65 mm.

MetService meteorologist Tui McInnes said the “almost continuous barrage of lows and fronts” was due to a combination of a low-pressure-prone atmosphere, southwesterly polar outbursts and warmer waters. than normal.

This brought heavy rain, large hailstones, strong gusts, a few tornadoes and more than 114,000 lightning strikes last week.

But snow had been falling for about six days in a row at the Rainbow ski area in St Arnaud, 100 kilometers west of Blenheim.

As the snow kept coming, the ski resort team had to spend a night at the nearby Mt Robert chalet last weekend in the event of an avalanche.

“It’s been non-stop for the small team on the ground as they try to get the mountain safe and ready for the season,” Harry said.

“We still have work to do, compliance items to complete and staff to assemble.”

Groomers came out at Rainbow Ski Area instead of Sun Cannons.


Groomers came out at Rainbow Ski Area instead of Sun Cannons.

Twelve of the 35 staff for the season came from overseas, including seven ski instructors from the US, UK, France, South Africa and Australia.

International staff were due to arrive a week before the original opening date, which was July 9.

The ski area normally manages around 70 days of skiing per season, until early October, but in 2020 only managed 18 days due to Covid restrictions. This year, they planned to open seven days a week.

Rainbow Ski Club President Mark Unwin said it had been a great week for the club with a large number of ski sales and the return of the Club Snow Ball to the Playhouse Theater near Nelson.

“Get your ski gear ready for an epic season, but don’t forget your chains as early season conditions will exist on the road.”

These EU cities have embraced free public transport Tue, 14 Jun 2022 14:08:51 +0000

These EU cities have embraced free public transport

The growing trend in the provision of basic services has its own name – zero tariff

transport mobility as a basic human right and a free service: who would have thought this could be possible a few decades ago? However, in the EU, more and more places are starting to embrace the idea and offer their residents (and tourists) the possibility to move around their city without financial worries.

Nowadays, a comfortable life as a modern urban dweller is considered a necessity in prosperous societies. But it’s not just that. Concerns such as CO2 emissions from private transport, overcrowding, traffic jams and the need for more spaces were seen as problems requiring solutions. And then there was the war in Ukraine and the consequent rise in fuel prices which showed the precariousness of having to rely on owning a private car.

The Luxemburg The government was the first to respond, making the country in 2020 the first in the world to offer free public transport and beyond. It will soon be followed by Maltawhich will take the same step on October 1, 2022. However, these are very small countries with a small population.

Making public transport free at all levels in large societies might still be too complex and inefficient. More recently, the case of The test of the 9 euro banknote in Germany has shown that it can lead to overcrowding and problems during critical times like holidays.

More convenient and easier to manage is the introduction of free public transport in towns, districts and cities. If this proves successful over time, then it could be extended to a wider area. The approach is also known as zero-fare or free transport. In Europe, it was actually first tried in a suburb of Toulouse called Colomiers in 1971 and the service survived there until 2016 when it closed due to reorganization and inefficiency.

Things are only getting better, as a growing number of European local authorities are showing their dedication to providing public goods that benefit the people. And they’re not afraid to experiment in uncharted territory, like zero-fare transportation.

European cities with free transport

Following a referendum in 2013, the residents of Tallinn (capital of Estonia) voted overwhelmingly in favor of free public transport. The problem of Tallinn can be compared to the problem of the city of Luxembourg: thousands of commuters go to the city center every day. Additionally, many low-income people struggled to pay. The system has worked without any major problems for almost a decade now, although analysts say it has not led to a reduction in the number of passenger cars on the streets.

In the French town of Dunkirk, measures to provide free buses and trains have, however, led to a drop in traffic. Since 2018, residents can travel for free on public transport.

A study conducted a few months after the change found that it discouraged residents from driving their cars. Although two-thirds of respondents said they were dependent on cars, more than half said they now regularly take buses to get around. Around 5% even said that the availability of free buses convinced them to sell their car or not to buy a second vehicle.

In prison (also in France) was a pioneer in the implementation the first free tram network in the world, and public transport has been free since 2009. Initially seen as a simple test, the initiative has proven to be a resounding success. After three years, there were 5,000 fewer cars circulating in the city each day, a decrease of 10%. The popularity of public transport has also increased by 235%.

Cascais is, to date, the only municipality in Portugal to have opted for free public transport. And he is happy with the results.

Anyone who has heard of Livigno is probably also an avid skier. This village in the Italian Alps offers free public transport from 7:30 am until 8:00 pm. The city is very clear for its visitors: no one needs a car to discover it and it seems like a good way to stand out among winter destinations.

Rather than skiing in Italy, you might want to explore the island vibes of the North. Here is Ærø, a charming little Danish island, where you can take the bus for free as much as you want. It is known as the sunniest place in all of Denmark and its colorful houses and modest inhabitants make it an easy destination to choose. Keep in mind that the ferry that takes you to the island is not free, however.

Many people would rejoice if amsterdam were to set up a completely free public transport network. And while that’s still not a reality, the good news is that the city’s ferries floating through its canals are indeed free for pedestrians, cyclists and mopeds.

Not just a western phenomenon

If we turn our gaze to Eastern Europe, we will find that there are also notable examples of free transport.

Since 2011, people can use public transport for free in Frýdek-Mistek, a city in the east of the Czech Republic. The number of passengers increased by 40% in the first two years. What’s really cool is that the free buses easily take you to the more remote villages and thus go beyond the city borders to serve the bordering regions. The longest free ride takes you 30 kilometers further into the Beskydy tourist mountain.

The regional expansion aspect of zero-tariff services has also been introduced in parts of the Lower Silesian region Poland. Free transport exists in Polkowice, an industrial town of 22,000 inhabitants, and in certain settlements in its canton, in Lubin and in its entire canton and in certain settlements in the canton of Legnica, an industrial town of 100,000 inhabitants.

samokov is a town in Bulgaria of about 27,000 inhabitants, located at the foot of the Rila Mountains on the way to the famous ski resort of Borovets. The initiative was initially intended for locals only, but two years after its launch, public transport was offered free to all.

Velenje is the sixth largest city in Slovenia and one of the recently selected 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030. It has a network of free yellow buses that transport you around the city. What makes this town so special, besides its enduring character, is Lake Velenje, the deepest lake in the whole country. Next to the city you will find a green oasis, which can be reached for free by bus.

These are some notable examples of European cities, which would also be worth visiting this summer in order to try their free public transport offer first hand. It remains to be seen whether they will serve as an inspiration for scaling up zero-fare transport on a larger scale.

The Col du Petit-Saint-Bernard: A gentle alpine giant Mon, 06 Jun 2022 17:47:52 +0000

Words Pete Muir Photography Dan Milner

We can do it in a simple or difficult way. The easy path to Col du Petit-Saint-Bernard is the longest, taking 31km from the alpine town of Bourg-Saint-Maurice, but it only has an average gradient of 4.4% and does not exceed never 6%.

The hard route means a detour to the village of Montvalezan, which shaves 5km from the distance but throws up vicious, steep sections that climb up to 13%.

Both routes are equally attractive, but the difficult path has a pink route, so let’s go all out.

Take the tracks

Bourg-Saint-Maurice is in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France, just below Mont Blanc and near the border with Italy.

During the winter, it is the center of skiing, being the starting point for the resorts of Les Arcs and La Plagne, with easy access to Tignes, Val d’Isère, Courchevel and Méribel.

Indeed, the valley in which it sits is home to more glamorous skiing venues than anywhere else in the world. And where there are ski resorts, there are usually good bikes.

From Bourg you can head northwest to the magnificent Cormet de Roselend, or south to the mighty Col de l’Iseran, or west to La Plagne, but today we let’s aim for the northeast, where the gate between France and Italy is guarded. via the Col du Petit-Saint-Bernard.

It should not be confused with the Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard, its big brother, which culminates at 2,469 m and marks the border between Italy and Switzerland about 30 km to the north. This French Saint-Bernard may be little by comparison, but at 2,188m it’s still a big beast, and higher than the likes of the Col du Tourmalet.

The center of Bourg-Saint-Maurice is made up of chalet-style hotels, so there’s no shortage of places to grab a coffee and a croissant before cutting and following the main D1090 road east out of town . A series of roundabouts sees Bourg turn into Séez, where the gradient tapers upwards, but there’s nothing that can’t be dealt with with a few taps on the tape.

A gently curving hairpin staircase lifts you above the city and into a verdant world of forests and fields. The road remains wide and the pool table smooth – perfect for driving your Ferrari to Val d’Isere, but equally good for cycling to the Italian border.

After about 6km you arrive at a crossroads where you have to decide: easy way or difficult way? Of course, you have already made your decision, so you ignore the sign indicating the Col du Petit-Saint-Bernard and take the D84 towards Montvalezan.

At the crossroads you also see a small pink sign saying ‘Montée de La Rosière’ with a picture of a cyclist. And as you ride, you can’t help but notice that the cyclist in the photo appears to be leaning upwards at an alarming angle.

Pretty in pink

La Rosière is a small ski resort which decided a few years ago that it had to do something to raise its profile and compete with its bigger and better known neighbours. City officials emptied the piggy bank and formulated a plan – to host a stage finish at the 2018 Tour de France.

And so it is that in stage 11 the peloton leaves Albertville, crosses the except category Ascent of Bisanne and the Cormet de Roselend, before descending to Bourg-Saint-Maurice and following exactly the same route as this climb, via Montvalezan and until the arrival at La Rosière.

A breakaway that day reached the final Cat 1 climb before disintegrating, leaving Spaniard Mikel Nieve alone up front. But the hunt was on. Geraint Thomas attacked from the peloton with 6km to go, bridged Tom Dumoulin and Damiano Caruso, and the trio set about cutting Nieve’s one-minute lead.

The Spaniard emptied out on the final climb but was heartbroken by Thomas, who overtook him in the final 200m to win the stage and take the yellow jersey – which he kept until Paris .

To celebrate this day, La Rosière now hosts an annual “cyclo-escalade”, where all comers can pay €5 to climb the climb from Séez to La Rosière on one of five dates in the summer (see for details).

The 17km climb averages 6%, but a central 6km stretch rises to inclines well over 10% and culminates in a section that has been painted bright pink to match the hazy haze that will descend before your eyes as you climb its steep slope.

Long way to go

Once in La Rosière, the pros had to stop. Not you. Now back on the main road to the Col du Petit-Saint-Bernard, there are still 8km to go to the summit. The good news is that from then on, it rarely exceeds 6%.

The trees begin to thin out and the landscape becomes more arid and rocky. The road, however, remains as pristine as ever. In the distance, in the distance, the square silhouette of the Hospice du Petit-Saint-Bernard stands on the horizon line.

It is an austere, gray block of a building that houses a hotel and was the site of a traveler’s hostel for centuries. And he’ll be a bit older by the time you get to his doorstep, having watched him grow excruciatingly slowly as you climb a road that has remarkably few turns for an alpine pass.

It’s a stretch of road that has only seen Tour action four times, first in 1949 on a stage won by Fausto Coppi, and most recently in 2009 the other way around.

Italian Franco Pellizotti was the first to reach the summit, while Spaniard Mikel Astarloza won the stage – although both were later stripped of their results and handed two-year bans for reasons that will be familiar to all fans of professional cycling.

After passing the Hospice and the statue of St Bernard himself on top of a rock pillar, there is another 1 km to the top. Come here in June and this stretch of road will cut through high walls of packed snow, which will not yet melt under the summer sun. A month later, the snow will be gone and the surrounding hills covered in dense, rough grass.

Eventually, the road levels out, a scattering of rustic buildings appears and a sign informs you that there is no more Col du Petit-Saint-Bernard to climb. It says “Welcome to Italy”.

With thanks to Shelley and Adrian from Alpcycles. For road cycling holidays in the French and Italian Alps, visit

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Booming Ski Boots Market Size 2022 Across the Globe by Share, Growth Size, Scope, Key Segments and Forecast to 2029 – Industrial Computing Sun, 05 Jun 2022 04:51:18 +0000

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Need for volunteer families to welcome French and Spanish students from June 28 to July 26 Thu, 02 Jun 2022 22:13:00 +0000

Say hello to Anna, my French girl. We like it!

Build International Friendship Forever

Enjoy an international stay. Have fun and make new friends. Great volunteer experience for the whole family!

ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS, USA, June 2, 2022 / — We are looking for volunteer families to host our students. Compass USA has encouraged volunteer homestays since 2000. When the borders closed in 2020, we were disappointed to see our homestays cancelled. We have run out of accommodation for the past two years. Finally, our students return and they look forward to making friends and exploring our beautiful communities.

After two years of inactivity, it was extremely difficult to restart. We urgently need interested volunteers to welcome our students.

Our students are between 14 and 18 years old. Many have waited nearly three years to come to USAi!

Paula – 17 years old I love being the big sister of my younger twin sisters. I spend a lot of time with my family and friends. Shopping, skiing and the gym are my passions.

Mara – 16 years old I love painting and cooking, especially baking; and also swimming and skiing. I also like to read and I am learning to play the guitar. My favorite dish is the Spanish omelet, and I love dark chocolate and cookies!

Eduardo – 16 years old I live with my mother, my father, my older brother and my dog, Lolo. I love tennis and enjoy hunting, cycling, clay shooting, fishing and soccer.

Ventura – 17 years old I am a happy boy with a generous heart. I love playing football and rugby! Going to Chicago is my dream. I look forward to meeting you !

Martino – 16 years old My main hobby is doing sports, I like going to the gym. I also like to travel and discover new places and cultures. I also like animals. I decided in this case to visit Chicago because my brother has already been there and gave me very good impressions of his own experience.

Oscar – 15 years old I am very close to my parents, we laugh a lot and I like being with them. I like movies, playing basketball, working in dad’s restaurant, jogging (not too far), hiking and scuba diving. I like playstation, music and watching u tube and tiktok.

Rebecca – 15 years old I have an older brother, an older sister and a younger sister. I am a middle child. We like to do things like watching movies, doing sports… I run with my dad and older sister. I cook with my mom and dad. I like reading and also cartoons and anime.

Agathe – 16 years old I live in Paris with my parents, my big brother, my little twin sisters and my cat. I have several passions: I love reading manga, skateboarding (I have a longboard) and swimming (I’ve been in a club for 8 years). I also like watching movies, going out with my friends and drawing.

If you want an international experience without leaving home and promoting the growth of international understanding and global friendships, hosting a French student this summer is the perfect opportunity for you and your family!

Please contact Danna at 815-299-5437 for more information.

Who can be a host family?
• A couple with or without children
• A single parent with at least one child living at home
• English must be the main language spoken at home
• Each student must have their own bed in a private room. A folding sofa, an inflatable bed or a futon that is comfortable and can be used as a bed at any time is OK! Can share a room with a same-sex/similar-age host brother
• A family must agree to share meals.
• A family must be very enthusiastic about hosting.
• A family should be warm and willing to spend time with their student
• All family members should be receptive and open to the host family.
Host families receive a small weekly allowance to help offset the cost of having an extra person in their home.

Compass USA began promoting programs that build cross-cultural understanding in 2000. Our homestay program helps foster strong leadership skills and English language acquisition. Our staff works as a team to deliver quality programs across the country. Compass USA homestays and cultural experiences go beyond a typical vacation or tour. Participants learn to look beyond language, color and customs to discover the true character of others: a process that Compass USA believes will bring people closer to the world, one student at a time.

Please contact Danna at 815-299-5437 for more information.

Danna Krischke
Compass United States
+1 815-299-5437
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You are invited to be a host family