THE MORNING LIST
Understand the rhythmic ballet of the subway, hear the click of nails, follow the process of making a perfume, let yourself be blown by crystal or electrified by the power of the tides: here are five places in France where you can measure up can sometimes take age-old know-how.
Delve into the guts of the subway
The La Courneuve (Seine-Saint-Denis) terminus of line 7 of the Paris Metro. JEAN-FRANCOIS MAUBOUSSIN/RATP
As long as you get the subway work sleep every day, you might as well understand the RATP’s underground scenes. No crowd this time! The Paris Metro is opening up its guts so its users can understand how it works. For example, the La Courneuve terminus on line 7 allows the operation of the maneuvering and maintenance centers to be monitored. Who starts a train? In the event of an incident, how do we block the following? Those curious can even get a glimpse of the progress of the work to extend line 11, which will open five new stations, including one called “Serge-Gainsbourg”. Even if nobody makes small holes anymore…
Mandatory reservation. For La Courneuve (Seine-Saint-Denis), access by line 7, stop La Courneuve – Place-du-8-May-1945. Duration of visit: 3 hours. ID required. From 16 years. For free. Tourismus93.com
Have a drink at the Saint-Louis crystal factory
Manufactory Cristallerie royale de Saint-Louis in Saint-Louis-lès-Bitche (Moselle): hot market, shaping the stem of a stemmed glass. JEAN PHILIPPE MESGUEN
Since 1586, the Saint-Louis crystal factory, the oldest in France and now owned by the Hermès group, has been located on the Moselle in the Bitche region, a land where wood, quartz sand, ferns and water are needed for glass art . In 1767 it became a royal glassworks. The reason for this action? The discovery by its former director, Mr. de Beaufort, of the composition of a crystal as fine and transparent as that made by England, that old rival. The revolutionary turmoil that followed did not make us forget this know-how, which reappeared in the 19th century and is still active.
To achieve this, a pathway laid out in the factory overlooks the workshops and allows you to watch the workers at work. Each gesture is explained there, fascinating by the precision it requires. The view dives into the ovens. Nothing is mechanized. The molten crystal is blown, always a highly spectacular process, and then shaped. Inspectors then eliminate the parts with the smallest defect. So one in two is sacrificed. Don’t miss the pretty museum just next door, which exhibits two thousand works: from the chandelier to the stemmed glass, through decanters and champagne buckets, it’s an explosion of shimmering colors and lines of incredible finesse. .
You still have 56.63% of this article to read. The following is for subscribers only.