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NewsletterMarch 2016

Autrefois est la !

March 1st, 2016 is the big day! Autrefois - France of Yesteryear & Today can now be downloaded as an ebook from, Smashwords or other ebook retailers. This 'Tour de France' of 101 sets of then and now photos takes you from Paris to Bordeaux, to the Alps and beyond. Here are some highlights:

WWI American Troops
American Expeditionary Forces first arrived in France in June 1917 but didn't see combat until October 1917. For the most part American troops started seeing action in the middle of 1918, including during the Second Battle of the Marne. The first American lead offensive took place during the Battle of Saint-Mihiel in September 1918, when American troops took Saint-Mihiel, a French town that had been under German control almost since the war started.

Then: July 4th, 1918.

Now: 2014

Champs-Élysées/Arc de Triomphe
The western extremity of the Champs-Élysées ends at the Arc de Triomphe and the 12 avenue axis of Place Charles de Gaulle. In 1806 Napoleon commissioned an arch to be built in honor of his victory at the battle of Austerlitz. But it wasn't until 1836 that the Arc de Triomphe was completed. After WWI an unknown soldier was buried under the arch, and not long afterwards an eternal flame was lit on his tomb. There is a ceremony at 6pm daily to regenerate the flame.

Then: Postcard postmarked July 8th 1908.

Now: 2012

Le Canal du Vassé
This canal leads directly from Lake Annecy to the River Thiou, running through Annecy. The canal has kept its charm and tranquility and looks as peaceful today as it did a 100 years ago.
Both photos were taken from the Pont des Amours, Lover's Bridge, a footbridge that links parks Le Pâquier and Jardins de l'Europe. Don't get your hopes up about the name, as it's believed to come from that fact it was once a place to find prostitutes!

Then: Postcard dated April 11th, 1908.

Now: 2014

Rue d'Or et la Cathédrale
This street is a good example of the type of architecture you will find in Strasbourg. The buildings on the left are in typical Alsatian style with half-timbered walls and on the right the first building is in sandstone, like the Strasbourg Cathedral in the distance and its one spire.

Then: Postcard postmarked August 20th, 1920.

Now: 2013

Azé-Rue de l'Hôtel de Ville
This village in Southern Burgundy is near Cluny and Mâcon. The village's name dates back to at least the time of Roman rule in France. The name Azé comes from the Latin word Aziacum, meaning land of Azi. Azi is believed to have been the name of a person or family. Azé or Aziacum first appeared in a medieval manuscript from nearby Cluny with reference made to a villa.
In the then and now photos we see Azé's main street and Mairie - town hall, over a 100 years apart. The street underwent remodeling in 2013.

Then: Postcard postmarked June 15th, 1909.

Now: 2013

Arromanches-les-Bains-Affet de Ressac
During D-Day, Arromanches was at the center of Gold Beach and its bay was used as an artificial port known as Mulberry Harbor. Before that, Arromanches was a fishing village and then became a beach village thanks to the steam engine. The first trains arrived in 1897 and the tourists followed soon after that. The area along the beach in Arromanches is known as 'La Digu'.
The cliffs in the photos are part of Cap Manvieux.

Undated postcard.

Now: 2015

Hanging Out

Jan & Jeff

It's been another exciting month of Jan and Jeff. My weekly talk with fellow expat Jan Malleval about living in France. Remember to like Jan's facebook page - Duckducksoup.
American Winter, Cottage Cheese & Sausage - Jan & Jeff #44
Valentines Day in France - Jan & Jeff #45
Happy Birthday Jan! & Driving in France - Jan & Jeff #46
Cooked & Pot au Feu - Jan & Jeff #47

On the Web

Photo Walks: Discover the Chamonix Valley with Teresa Kaufman's photo walks.
Paris Trans Van: Services include: airport or train station private transfers, city tours and trips to outside Paris, such as Versailles, Giverny, Normandy, Mont Saint-Michel, Loire Castles, Chartres, Champagne. Driver plus vehicle at your disposal for special occasions - anniversary, wedding. Can also help with museum and shows tickets.
Financial Planning guide for Americans: This free pdf guide comes courtesy of Brian Dunhill, founder of Dunhill Financial.
Wildlife Photography Holiday: Provides supported holidays for English speaking people that have a learning or intellectual disability, or autism. Based in Moustiers Sainte-Marie and Gorges du Verdon. In April 2016, we will be running a wildlife photography holiday in the Gorges du Verdon, which will be led by the BBC Wildlife presenter Chris Sperring MBE. This holiday is open to everyone of all abilities.
Past & Present Rotarians Fellowship Club (An English Conversation Luncheon Club) Bergerac, Dordogne: The Club was formed in July 2015 primarily for Past & Present International Rotarians but we also welcome and have some members from other like minded Service Clubs i.e.; Innerwheel, Probus, Round Table, Ladies Circle, 41Club etc., either living or with holiday homes in, or just visiting the Bergerac Area, who for various reasons ie; Language difficulties, not wishing to be committed to weekly or evening meetings or not be directly involved in local French Clubs. Our original luncheon meeting was attended by 14 persons and has gone from strength to strength to an increase of 39 members with a normal luncheon attendance of 18 to 20 members. The Club is open to both genders and meets every second Wednesday of the month, at noon, always at the Hotel Kyriad , rue de Bordeaux in Bergerac. The luncheon is three courses with a varied choice of the main menu, including wine and coffee at €20. For further information or reservations please contact:
10th Geneva Writers' Conference: Join us for a weekend of workshops, panels and fun. With your conference ticket you can attend the four sessions, the Q&A periods and enjoy complementary coffee and tea all weekend. Please note that any meals must be reserved ahead of time and are at an additional price. Conference registration deadline is March 11th.
INSIDR: Your Parisian experience will be even more exciting and trouble-free! INSIDR will deliver a connected smartphone to your apartment upon arrival. This smartphone is the ultimate digital guide to help you navigate Paris from the main tourist sites to authentic local secret places. Get connectivity with unlimited locals calls, 4G data, and WIFI hotspot to connect your own devices. A special surprise for anyone who mentions "AmericansinFrance" as the special code when you book the INSIDR service.
Auzon Le Blues à Carpentras: Passion Blues 84 vous présente la 11ème Nuit Du Blues à Carpentras.

End of Winter Reading

The Promise of Provence (Love in Provence Book 1) On the evening of her twenty-second wedding anniversary, Katherine Price can't wait to celebrate. But instead of receiving an anniversary card from her husband, she finds a note asking for a divorce. Fifty-five and suddenly alone, Katherine begins the daunting task of starting over. She has her friends, her aging mother, and her career to occupy her, but the future seems to hold little promise-until, after a winter of heartbreak, Katherine is persuaded to try a home exchange holiday in the South of France.
The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs: Elaine Sciolino, the former Paris bureau chief of the New York Times, invites us on a tour of her favorite Parisian street. "I can never be sad on the rue des Martyrs," Sciolino explains, as she celebrates the neighborhood's rich history and vibrant lives.
The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel: Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.


Chalet Bibendum: A unique holiday home for winter ski and summer holidays in Chamonix. Open year round. Ideally located in the tranquil, picturesque Savoyard hamlet of Les Bois, a 5 minute drive from the center of Chamonix and a short walk to La Flegere lift. La Flegere is well known for skiing and snowboarding in winter or hiking, mountain biking or golf in summer.
Chez Peshi in Burgundy: A Chez Peshi vacation holiday in Burgundy's wine country is an opportunity to experience the real France and enjoy one of the most captivating regions of Europe. Chez Peshi is a fully-furnished private home in Saisy, a farm village minutes west of the charming, medieval market-town of Nolay. It is at the center of a vast area considered among the most beautiful in France - a region of stunning scenery, unbounded outdoor opportunities, three thousand years of fascinating history, castles and chateaux, Roman antiquities, cathedrals and monasteries, quiet winding canals, palate-pleasing gastronomy and, of course, the world's finest wines.

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