John Ruler looks at how his love of Nord-Pas de Calais helped him discover a long-lost relative who perished in World War I.Read more...
Nord-Pas de Calais - At a glance
Cross-Channel France at a glance
Country name France
Location North of France, 140km of shoreline. The region shares a common border with Belgium and, at the nearest point between Cap Gris-Nez and Dover,is only 34km from the English coast.
Size/area 12,414km² of which 5,743km² comprises Le Nord and 6,671km² the Pasde Calais
Population Around 4 million inhabitants of which there are 2,555,020 in Le Nordand 1,441,568 in Pas de Calais
Regional capital Lille
Languages French. National statistics show less than 4% in Le Nord, and less than
2% in Pas de Calais, say they, or their parents, can talk or at least understand Flemish. Far more people probably speak Ch’ti than Flemish.
Exchange rate £1 = €1.20, US$ = €0.76 (August 2010) (for up-to-date rates, go to www.xe.com)
International telephone code 0033 (0)3 or if calling on a mobile phone 0033 (0)6
Electrical voltage 220–230 volt socket
Public holidays 1 January (New Year’s Day), Easter Monday, 1 May (Labour Day), 8 May (1945 Victory Day), May Ascension Day (always on a Thursday, 39 days after Easter), May Whit Monday (Lundi de Pentecôte, always a Monday, 50 days after Easter), 14 July (Bastille Day), 15 August (Assumption), 1 November (All Saints’ Day), 11 November (Remembrance Day), 25 December (Christmas Day)
School holidays Usually from beginning of July until beginning of September; 10 days for All Saints (around 1 November); two weeks around Christmas and New Year; two weeks in February and two weeks for Easter