La Méridienne verte

In 2000, to mark the Millennium, the French government designated the Paris Meridian, la Méridienne verte, the Green Meridian. It was celebrated on Bastille Day with one long party, from Dunkirk to the Spanish border, and a ‘Grand Inauguration’ in the centre of France. Markers were put up in each of the 337 communes it passed through. 10,000 trees were to be planted, one every 100m, oaks in the North, pines in the Centre, olives in the South.

In 2015, to mark my 70th birthday, and 50 years since I first cycled in France, I cycled the length of the Green Meridian. I wanted to see how France’s millennial ‘green spine’ had developed in fifteen years. And to travel through the length of the country, from the Flemish-speaking North Sea coast to the Catalan-speaking high Pyrenees, through langue d’oïl, and langue d’oc, a dozen cultures, a dozen cuisines.

You can read my account of my 1400 mile ride at

http://www.greenmeridian.wordpress.com.

2 thoughts on “La Méridienne verte

  1. Wow, you really are a traveller! I’m old school, slow and occasional. But off to Australia next week! Second time in two years. Last time, Sydney, Barrier Reef, Darwin, Alice Springs, Uluru (desert camping!). Amazing. This time staying close to Sydney, as I’m visiting my son, his partner, and my new grandson. Have great adventures! I look forward to following your travels.

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