Monday, 5 September 2016

Crossing the Maginot Line (Le Chateau de Puxe to Kedange sur Canner)

Where was I ?  Right, early morning in Le Chateau de Puxe ;-)

I have bid good-bye to my hostess who at first I couldn't stand but in the end liked quite a bit and have pedaled along the blue line in Google Maps.   

That blue line is abandoned soon, after Google Maps wants me to take a path where the tracks of vehicles that passed here long ago are not even detectable any more because of all the new growth hiding them.  NOT again !

The alternate route is not much better (see pic) but at least I can see rocks and holes coming so that I can avoid being thrown off the bike.

When I first see the sight below I am revolted that the French would dump their garbage into the open landscape, but upon closer inspection it is construction debris, which in this country consists of mostly stone.

The route zig-zags through the country (Thank you Google Maps for keeping me away from the major roads).

How about that for a bike path?  (NO cars allowed here)
For a short while I cycle along this large creek or smallish river.  After a while I realize that it's name (Moselle) means that this are the humble origins of the German river Mosel, which is one of the major wine-growing regions in Germany.

La Moselle
 By kilometer 40 and 12:30 pm I am STARVING.  The first ‘brasserie’ I enter in Rombas doesn’t serve food. Oh Great.
 I pedal another 3 or so km to Amnieville (or something like that).  
This is where I spot an Intermarche with restaurants that look promising.

But first I need to pee behind a hedge (yeah, I know, too much information) but then I suddenly realize that it’s not a blackberry hedge but a VINE hedge with ripe BLUE GRAPES on it.  I pick a few that hang too high to have been peed on by other hedge-peers ( ! ) and they are DELICIOUS.
Mine were not quite as over-ripe
Turns out it was a good thing that I did my hedge thing, because the Asian place is closed on Mondays (Guess what day today is!). The door of the Pizzeria is open, but I am informed that it’s hosting a private function today. But the nice guy tells me to go to the food court inside the mall.

 I find it and see a sign.  Quiche Lorraine.  OMFG !!!  

I’ve had a few Quiche Lorraine in my life and they ranged between ok and great.  BUT!  Where am I?  I am in the Lorraine region of France.  So you’d think that eating a Quiche Lorraine in the Lorraine would be the thing to do, n’esce pas?  My Grandma never figured that out.  She ordered a French Onion Soup in Hawaii and refused to eat it because “They have no idea how to make a PROPER French Onion Soup !”.  Well, what do you expect ?????
And the Quiche is amazing. BEST ONE I have ever eaten.  Delightfully light!  Because NOT re-heated ;-) A quiche takes about half an hour to cook. So either your wait a long time or you get the re-heated stuff. Unless you are in Lorraine, where they keep cooking more quiches all day because it’s the Day’s Special ;-)

So instead of insisting on your Strawberries in January, why not live EVERYWHERE and eat LOCAL  and IN SEASON food?  Not only will the planet thank you (and consequently your grand-children) but also your taste-buds (they might actually wake up from their Dornroeschen sleep).    Sounds complicated?  Not really, Rioja wine in Northern Spain, brie cheese in Brie, champagne in the Champagne, Quiche Lorraine in Lorraine, etc etc.  SIMPLE, CHEAP, and FABULOUS ! 
And to stay true to the above, I naturally can't resist this aisle. The WHOLE AISLE is ONLY champagne !!!!  
The look of looking forward to a freshly bottle of bubbly ;-)

Can't you just hear the one on the right saying: "I have a headache !" ?

Not much shall be said about Kedange sur Canner.  The hotel is mediocre and the attached restaurant is worse.  But then this is the only hotel in town and this town was ideally situated in this otherwise sparsely populated region. Not reccommended.

And what is it about this Maginot Line?   After the 1870 Franco-Prussian war (A French defeat) and WW I, the French thought it would be a good idea to permanently protect themselves against that nasty Eastern neighbour.   So they built a series of strong fortifications along the border to Germany and Italy (Mussolini was already around in the 20s)  Switzerland and Belgium seemed much less of a threat, so the fortifications were weaker there. 
This is where the term Blitzkrieg comes from because in WWII German troops just galloped through Holland and Belgium to cross the French border along the less fortified sections bordering Belgium.

Tomorrow, I won't need that detour, because I'm going the other way.

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