Sunday, June 21, 2009

'La Petite Mistral'

So after eight days of good flying in Laragne - "the best week of the year" according to one of the organisers – we now have mistral. That means it's too windy to fly today. Tomorrow is the first task day, so we will wait and see. 

Later on today there is a meteorology talk by multiple world record holder glider pilot Klaus Ohlmann, who lives and flies locally. Then at 5.30pm there is the official opening ceremony.

Wikipedia has a good page on the mistral:

Organisers say what is blowing now is a 'petite mistral'. That is, it blows at 40 kmh, not 90 kmh.

It's not only a wind - it helps shape life in Provence. According to Wikipedia:

"The mistral plays an important part in the life and culture of Provence, The mas (farmhouse) traditionally faces south, with its back to the mistral. The bell towers of villages in Provence are often open iron frameworks, which allow the wind to pass through. The traditional Provençal Christmas crib often has a figure of a shepherd holding his hat, with his cloak blowing in the mistral."

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