Anyone who has been to the US state of Kentucky will feel right at home in North Central Switzerland!
Well, maybe not entirely.
Sadly, there are zillions of people of Kentucky who don’t believe in evolution or modern science.
Sadly, there are zillions of people in Kentucky more than willing to shoot you if you get near their crystal methamphetamine laboratories. (It nearly happened to me.)
But these are just little differences! What Kentucky and North Central Switzerland share is a love of everything horse, as this roundabout shows:
Continuing the series, this is a Rond-Point close to a hydroelectric generating station along the Rhine River in France,
It’s like an open air museum, where you can get up close to the mechanical devices used for turning water flow into electricity:
There is a plaque nearby:
And it explains how each of the components are used:
This is a hydropower generating station located on the Rhine River in France, just across the border from Switzerland:
It makes a pretty picture, but what impressed me even more was this Rond-Point (roundabout) that I spotted very near to the power station:
Spread out over the Rond-Point are all the mechanical components used to turn the flow of water into electricity.
First things first, I want to be crystal clear so nobody is confused. This is not a real dinosaur:
The dinosaurs all died out a long time ago. This is just a big model of a dinosaur.
OK, having got that out of the way, now to “Frick the Disappointing.” Before you get to Frick, you pass all sorts of signs on the Autobahn that say Dinosaur discovery place and Dinosaur museum – and you get curious and decide to go visit this strange place called Frick. As you turn off the Autobahn, a big friendly dinosaur is there to greet you – and now you really start to get excited! This is going to be really something special, you think to yourself!
And then, suddenly, all at once, when you drive into downtown Frick – nothing. Nada. Zilch. No little dinos lining the streets. No “Dino Kebabs” for sale in the Turkish kepab shops. Even if you want to get to the dinosaur museum it is a huge challenge: you can’t see the sign until you pass it.
As part of my sense of civic duty, I want to make a Frick-Tip: Turn Frick into something exciting. Get a few more dinos lining the streets. Have the kebap places sell “Dino Kebaps.” Open a souvenir shop selling “Dino Frick” T-Shirts and little plastic dinosaurs. Here is a good example.
Roundabouts in Europe are amazing things!
But first, what is a roundabout? Depending on where you live they are also known as rotaries, traffic circles, Kreisverkehr (German), Rotonda (Spanish), or Rond-Point (French). So I hope I don’t I need any more explanation than that!
According to Wikipedia, there are examples that date back to the 1700’s. But using the Google NGram viewer, I found the word “roundabout” first came into print around 1576.
But this is not a history lesson – it is a blog post! The key point is that especially in Europe roundabouts are typically places for the villages and communities to install truly breathtaking artwork.
I took this snap of a roundabout just outside of the village of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, buried deep within the Savoie region of France:
This village is famous for Opinel knives, not for bicycles – but many bicycle races do pass through this village every year, so perhaps that was the motivation for this piece?