As you know I’m slightly éolienne (wind turbine) obsessed, so it was great to see so many on our trip up to Paris, well over a hundred of them. The biggest group was in Beuce, where there were 26 in a row alongside the A10.
I’m surprised there aren’t more wind turbines alongside autoroutes. It would seem an obvious place for them since there is even less population next to them than in Creuse. All our nine éoliennes, which are about to go onstream by the way, are dotted amongst people’s houses, although obviously all at least the statutory 400m away.
We also saw a lot of police, but I’m less obsessed with them. However, it was interesting to see that France does have plenty of law enforcement officers. We go for weeks, sometimes months, here without bumping into a gendarme. We had the great excitement last year when a vanful i.e. 3, rolled up to our door to tell us that our horses had escaped onto the road. (We don’t have horses!) And the next day, Caiti and I saw them all again, plus some extra back-up, buying a baguette in Simply Market. I don’t imagine Paris policemen and women do much horse rounding up or bread buying. The life of a city flic is far removed from that of the country version. The former spend a lot of time looking menacing. When we came through the huge péage (toll gate) on the A10 near Paris, there was a line of coppers, one per lane, glaring at all the cars that came through. They weren’t after us, at least not on Friday, so we were let through. And then on Saturday there was a demonstration about Syria going on near the Opéra. There were rows and rows of riot police with helmets, plastic shields and ‘hitty things’ as Caiti described them! They were truncheons about a metre long. I took a pic but I don’t know how well you can make them out. I didn’t fancy getting any closer.
We saw lots of police cars during the day, and plenty of policemen at various metro stations. I’ve found a suggestion on the Net that there are 25 police officers per 10,000 of the population in France, but how reliable it is I’m not sure. This is something I must look into further. All I can say is that there would appear a huge disparity in the ratios of gendarmes to general population between urban and rural areas.
I’ll finish with a few more photos. It was perfect photography weather, so if only I were a better photographer than I’d have some awesome shots. But I didn’t do too badly. I’ll be posting my pics of the various famous landmarks over the next little while, but here are my favourite non-standard shots from the big city:
And with that, back to chopping and lugging trees and branches. The thaw is about to start so we have to get our skates on!
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