Saturday, 20 November 2010

Inauguration with music!

The small town in which I live was home to  the French writer and philosopher Voltaire from 1759 to 1778.

During his stay here and because of his outlandish way of life compared to the very serious Calvinist attitude in Geneva, Voltaire was often obliged to travel to and from Geneva. According to local legend, he used a road that ran straight from his French castle to the Swiss border.  The first part of the road crossed a field and was bordered with poplar trees but they were cut down "for safety reasons"  in 2008. The lower part of the road has, after various agreements and conventions between the town and the local landowners, been open to walkers, joggers and cyclists since last month.

Today was the official inaurguration of the lower part of the road, named l'allée de la Tir. It was a pity the sun wasn't out today, it has been beautiful for the past three days but I suppose we all knew it couldn't last. At least it didn't rain.

The mayor and other local dignitaries made the customary speech and cut the ribbon, but for me the highlight of the morning was the wonderful band who played from the centre of town to the beginning of the allée, followed by the crowd of well-wishers who particpated in the inauguration.

Now we're just waiting for the higher part of the road to be re-opened. It is in a large grassy park which will be further developed as an "urban park" (whatever that means). According to the town website it is open to competition among developers, and the project should be chosen by the end of 2010.

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