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Archive for December, 2019

Christmas Magic in Lausanne

By Linda Tancs

Designers, wineries and food producers convene this time of year in Lausanne, Switzerland, for the annual shopping tradition, Bô Noël. Among the activities you can sample local cheeses and meats and indulge in a fondue ritual. The event is child friendly, too, including a festival of lights (Lausanne Lumières), featuring light sculptures in the streets. This year’s event runs through December 31.

Eating Well in St. Barth’s

By Linda Tancs

There’s no shortage of Caribbean islands vying for the title “gourmet capital of the Caribbean.” St. Barth’s (Saint Barthélemy), a French island in the West Indies, is no less a contender. Graduates of the best hotel schools in France, many of the chefs on the island are experts at classic French cuisine. No wonder, then, that fine dining is a passion there. So is food shopping. In fact, the locals say that grocery shopping should be treated like a event, not a chore, and there are plenty of grocery shops dotting the island to buy a baguette or two. Most visitors arrive by air, which is an event in itself; the landing runway is 2,170 feet long, and the approach is often plagued by varying degrees of turbulence. As a result, the French aviation authorities require special training for any pilot who intends to land there.

French Heritage in Illinois

By Linda Tancs

If it weren’t for the place names, you’d likely forget the influence of the French in what was once known as Illinois Country. Fort de Chartres State Historic Site, for example, served as the French seat of government and its chief military installation in Upper Louisiana from 1753 until 1765 when it was occupied by the British. Home to a succession of four forts, the present-day structure at the site is a partial reconstruction of a French colonial fort built in the 1750s, a massive stone fort that had replaced three earlier wooden forts, only to fall into ruin with the encroachment of the Mississippi River. The imprint of original foundations remains, along with two reconstructed stone buildings and a restored powder magazine, believed to be the oldest building in Illinois. Declared a National Historic Landmark and added to the National Register of Historic Places, the site is located four miles west of Prairie du Rocher.

The Guards of Amalienborg

By Linda Tancs

Amalienborg Palace, the residence of Denmark’s royal family, is a people’s palace; in one of its four royal quadrants, some residents of the family share space with the palace museum. Like any other palace, a changing of the guard delights visitors. Every day they march from the barracks to Amalienborg for the changing of the guard at noon. What you’ll see, however, depends on who’s home on any given day. When the queen is in residence, the Royal Guard provides an extensive display of pageantry; when no family members are home, a Palace Guard suffices. You’ll know who’s coming by the flag flying atop the palace—the Royal Standard, the Flag of the Heir to the Throne, the Flag of the Regent, the Flag of the Royal House or the Swallow-Tailed Flag (which indicates that none of the members of the Royal Family is in residence).

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