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The train is always an adventure



On this new weekend of holiday departures, the trains are stormed by tourists preferring the speed of rail transport to the risk of traffic jams on the roads.

As for every weekend of departures on vacation, there will be many trips throughout France, especially on the roads, to the point that Bison Smart ranked red the day of Saturday in the direction of departures and orange for returns. The stations are also filled with travelers, 1,400,000 people are expected, as at the Gare de Lyon from where trains depart to the southeast.

Houria and her family are used to rail transport, which they borrow every year to go to Evian. And despite the rush in the station, the heat and the delays, they always travel in a good mood. “Even if there are people, we are happy, it’s a chance to leave,” says Houria at the microphone of Europe 1, before taking his train. And if she says she has already experienced several delays of “3-4 hours”, she does not worry too much. “It does not stress us more than that, because we’re happy to leave, Evian is a place we often go to, we know it’s going to be great.”

It’s an opportunity to meet people

Despite the risks of delays, many travelers choose the train, much faster than the car, for practical reasons. A choice that suits very well to Maxence, 8, who can have many more occupations, and lists the benefits of the train. I can play card games, it’s comfortable to sleep, you can see the landscape, you can move, you do not have your belt to put on.

Marie has opted for the night train to Venice. “It’s really a pleasure to take the train in special conditions, says the vacationer, for whom the train is “always a place of adventure”. “The holidays start on the train,” she says, “it’s an opportunity to meet people.” And to believe it, the arrival in the Italian city is “beautiful”. “You have the impression that the train is on the water and you have Venice in the distance.


n China, we took the train 8 times and we still remember it. It was an adventure we did not expect.

To start, you have to understand that you can only enter the station for people with a ticket. And that all output is final. We do not laugh with the rules in China!

At this first counter, we check our tickets, the suitcases are systematically X-ray. Then, we are invited to go to the “waiting room”.

At first, seeing the “waiting room” logo, I thought we would find ourselves in a classic waiting room on the model of those of the SNCF. But, it was bad knowing the density of China. At Beijing Station, there are no less than 13 waiting rooms, each as large as the lobby of the entire Montparnasse station.

For our first trip by train, we had naively thought that 2h in advance, it was more than enough. But when we arrived in the “waiting room”, we discovered a room already full arch. All the seats were already occupied. Many people were also sitting on their suitcase. Others waited on mini stools or in position “I pee between two cars”. As we traveled by train, we noticed that waiting rooms are always very noisy places. Some even are allowed to smokers. And each time, half of the room is busy greedily eating a dish of freeze-dried noodles. These rooms are not heated: in Datong station, it should be 5 ° C.

Access to the train is blocked by barriers where the second “check ticket” takes place. The Chinese line up one hour before the time announced for the departure of the train. In fact, they do not really line up, they rather elbows to duplicate each other without any qualms. #every man for himself

When access to the wharf is finally open, it’s a real war that begins. Shortly before the opening of the access to the wharf, one can feel a tension and a generalized stress. It’s true that the situation is stressful. Already, we must try not to be trampled to get to the second ticket control. Then, once past this barrier, all the Chinese start running to get on the train first. What you need to know is that the Chinese often travel very busy and there is not enough room for everyone’s luggage. So, the last to arrive is the one who travels with his huge bag on his lap. Not wanting to spend 9 hours of train with more than 15 kg on the knees, we would run too.

Before getting on the train, there is a third “check ticket”. I challenge anyone to cheat in China (and it’s not over). There are two controllers per wagon (yes by wagon !!) and their quasi-military outfits do not make you want to be smart.

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8 tips to prepare your camping holidays




Tip N 1: Choose your destination

It is a fact, it is much more pleasant to sleep in nature when the sun is at the rendezvous! It is therefore important to choose your destination according to your holiday period. While some countries enjoy a fairly high sunshine throughout the year to consider camping in all seasons, this is not the case everywhere. For the regions of the north of France or Brittany, for example, give a clear preference to summer periods.

Tip N 2: Choosing the right campsite

The campsite has grown enormously in recent years and now offers different types of accommodation that will suit most travelers. Some campsites or holiday villages offer daily entertainment during the high season and pools worthy of water parks, others rely more on the nature and wild side. There is also glamping, very fashionable, which offers high-end services and great comfort. You choose.

Tip N 3: Check the condition of its equipment before leaving

Seasoned camper, do you think you have all the necessary equipment? However, take the time to test your tent, sleeping bag and stove prior to departure. Why not do a simulation in the garden? If your tent is new, it will also be the opportunity to plant it for the first time and avoid any problem if some sardines were missing! An informed camper is worth two.

Tip N 4: Choose your tent according to your needs

The tent is certainly the most important element of a camping holiday. Before investing, analyze your needs: hikers? holiday in solo or with family? Your temporary home will depend on many factors! For an itinerant stay in Haute Savoie for example, think of very light trekking tents that you can easily place in your backpack. The igloo pop-up tents are, for their part, the main allies of the exceptional campers since they are very simple to mount. Finally, if you travel with children, think of a tent a little more spacious where you take refuge in case of rain.

Tip N 5: Place your tent in a shady spot

A tent in the sun can quickly become a real furnace especially in Corsica or Provence! It is therefore impossible to rest during the day, or even at night, if the temperatures do not drop. If you camp in sun-drenched areas, look for a camping spot in the shade. You will have plenty of time to bask on the beach during the day. Also, remember to head your tent west to continue sleeping peacefully even when the sun rises in the morning.

Tip N 6: Do not forget your flashlight

Most campgrounds turn off their lights during the night, to respect holidaymakers’ sleep and the environment. So remember to bring a flashlight that will be very useful! The ideal is to favor solar lamps or manually refillable to avoid any energy expenditure. Some also allow to spread a light beam that keeps mosquitoes away: a must!

Tip N 7: Buy mosquito repellent

Camping in nature is, inevitably, rubbing shoulders with mosquitoes! So that these little beasts do not completely ruin your holiday, consider investing in a repellent spray or to get a good stock of lemongrass. If you are camping near a lake, swamp or in a particularly infested area, it may be wise to install a mosquito net on your tent to avoid hunting mosquitoes every night!

Tip N 8: Plan simple meals

Let’s be clear, camping holidays are not gastronomic holidays! Exit the dishes of great chefs, we prefer rather simple dishes to prepare. With a stove, pasta and rice will be your best allies in big cravings. Canned sardines and tunas are also great for a quick lunch. Remember to take away cooler, stove and some kitchen utensils.

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Recomposed family: how do you go about it with your children?




More than 1.2 million children under 18 live in stepfamilies. But there is unfortunately no magic wand to turn into a super mother-in-law. What is the mother-in-law’s role in a stepfamily and how can she be accepted by her children? Here are 10 commandments to find your place and live in harmony in your stepfamily.

Assume your role as a stepmother
The meaning of the word stepmother has been lost somewhere between its original Latin meaning and the tales of princesses. No, a stepmother is not necessarily a toothless woman, with clawed fingers and whose prognathous chin lets grow a solitary and hairy wart!
She is neither more nor less than the father’s wife or the “matrasta”. Which is infinitely more logical than the name of “mother-in-law”, who is the mother of your half.
You will be a stepmother / stepmother, charming. But who says mother-in-law, also says that you are not the mother. You have the right to be kind, friendly, open, authoritarian, funny, cuddly, gentle, understanding, angry and more, if and only if, you keep in mind the idea that are indeed the mother-in-law and no mom.

Go ahead gradually

Children have amazing coping skills, provided they follow a few basic precautionary measures. Take care not to burst into their lives by playing a role; that of the fully illuminated mother-in-law, who was waiting for one thing before even meeting their father: sharing their daily life. This is not the role that the mother-in-law must have in the blended family because one of them, you know nothing (yet) of how it will happen. In two, you risk creating a suffocating climate, because artificial and falsely joyful, the mother-in-country of the Bisounours.
For the children of your new spouse, this is a significant change that lays the foundation for their future in this family. These beginnings are therefore decisive and beneficial. No magic formula, you will have to grope, hesitate, doubt, guess. True to their abilities as testers, they will make you see all the colors.

Do not try to buy them

Certainly, the temptation is great: “I offer you what you want, even if you do not love me, you will feel indebted and you will not be able to throw me”. With toddlers, it can even work at first: the first two hours for example. With the older ones, you might want to rally them to your cause by stroking them in the direction of the hair.
Be aware however that this is exactly the attitude to avoid. Firstly, because you are going to set up a hypocritical climate in which nobody (including you) will find his account. Then, because the more you work that way, the more you have to outbid.
The foundations of your new family must be strong, and this false message is a trap that can run to your loss. Stay natural, do not deprive yourself if you want to make a gift, a surprise, a compliment. But do not overdo it, that’s all.

Do not try to dethrone the Other

The Other is the one who gave them life. The one who is always there, the one who loves them unconditionally, the one who dries their tears, their clothes, who repairs their heart, who is never unfaithful to them, who has the right to shout at them without being penalized, the one who prepares their dish favorite and console them for your presence.
Do not try to compete with their mom. Never say bad things about her. If you have (legitimate) grievances against her, do not develop them in the small, attentive ears of her children. Do not exclude him from their life, even when they are at home. This is the best way to get them back!

At home, they are at home

Children should not feel intruders. They come to spend time with their father, so at home. Do not make them an affront to offer them the sofa bed in the living room as a sleeping place. Especially as the next morning, you’re waiting for one thing, they wake up to close the sofa. This will make them feel at the same time how their presence bothers you.

Your love nest is too small for them to have a room? It is important that the children have, in the absence of a room, a corner of their own, which they will decorate according to their taste. Do not force them to raise their finger each time they want to go to the bathroom (it’s already happened!). Let them drink and eat when they need it, without having to ask permission.

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Pangolins, the most poached mammals in the world, now protected




He inherited the coveted title of the most poached mammal in the world. The pangolin, threatened with extinction because of its scales that make it an animal unique in the world but also the source of all traffic, has just seen its horizon emerge. On Wednesday, 28 September, the 183 member states of the International Convention on Trade in Endangered Wild Species (CITES), meeting for 12 days in Johannesburg, South Africa, decided to give it the highest level of protection : the anteater from Africa and South-East Asia has been included in Appendix I of CITES, which prohibits international trade in endangered species. It has so far been listed in Annex II, which allows for the regulation of trade in vulnerable species.

One million pangolins sold illegally

These strange animals, hitherto in the shadow of other poached species more “emblematic” as elephants or rhinos, remain unknown to the general public and researchers, unable to give an estimate of their world population. Experts warn, however, that their disappearance would alter the ecosystem of tropical forests, increasing the populations of ants and termites they feed with their interminable tongue – as long as their bodies.

One thing remains certain: the pangolins, all listed on the Red List of Endangered Species in 2014, are being massacred. More than a million of them have been hunted and captured over the past decade, says the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), “despite an international trade embargo on all four species. Pangolin “entered into force in 2000.” At this pace within ten years, all pangolins could be wiped off the map, “warned the Nigerian delegation behind the Cites resolution. In 2007, China had somewhat regulated the trade of its scales, which can only be used in certain hospitals and for the manufacture of patented medicines. But the illegal trade continues.

Every month, the customs of Asian countries, but also French or American, discover hundreds of pangolin skins, tons of meat or kilos of scales in luggage or trucks. Last seizure at the end of August, 657 frozen anteaters, concealed in the freezers of a house, were found by the Indonesian police on the island of Java. These animals, which come mainly from Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam in Asia, and Nigeria and Cameroon in Africa, are mainly destined for Chinese and Vietnamese tables.

Pseudo therapeutic virtues

Their delicate flesh, but also their bones and organs, are very popular. According to the defenders of pangolins, restaurant owners can spend up to 1,750 euros per animal to offer to their customers. Healers also lend to its keratin scales – the same material as rhinoceros horn or human nails – as well as to its blood therapeutic or aphrodisiac virtues – unfounded, it should be remembered. Finally, in some traditional African cultures, the animal is known to ward off the evil eye.

Solitary and vulnerable, pangolin is easy prey for poachers. The animal, which weighs between 2 and 35 kilos and measures between 30 and 80 cm depending on the species, rolls into a ball when it is threatened: the smugglers then only have to pick it up and lock it in a bag. In Africa and Asia, the trafficking of pangolins takes the same routes as those of rhinoceros horns or skin, organs and bones of big cats, also on the menu of the Cites until October 5th.

“The fight does not end here. The CITES countries must now mobilize for the decision to be implemented, warns Ginette Hemley of the WWF. Illegal trade will always be a threat to pangolins as long as demand for meat and scales persists. Especially since the ban voted by Cites does not concern national businesses, which remain the responsibility of the States.

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