The French do have a wacky side, although they tend to keep it well hidden, on the whole. Here are two recent examples as proof for you cynics out there.


The 307 steps. I'm sure the competitors would have preferred 39!

The 307 steps. I’m sure the competitors would have preferred 39!

A week ago there was a Lighthouse Climbing World Championship. The 7th Montée du Phare d’Eckmühl on took place on 24th August at la pointe de Penmarc’h. It was a “contre le montre” – against the clock event. Competitors had to climb the 307 steps as quickly as possible. Winner Quentin Thomas accomplished the feat in 47 seconds, which is 6 steps a second. Pas mal!

More info is here.

Also slightly crazy has been the four-year battle of M et Mme Poulain in Limoges (who are therefore Limogeauds – great word!) to keep the wild boar they nursed back to health 4 years ago after finding it injured. Instead of doing the logical French thing of eating him, they instead became very fond of Réno and decided to keep him. He became fully house trained and sleeps in a basket by the fire. However, assorted authorities didn’t like this and it’s against the law to keep a wild animal without permission. So they’ve been jumping through the usual bureaucratic hoops and finally have official blessing as wild boar owners. Don’t believe me? Check out the story here.