Éroÿ

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14, 15.7771, 5.2448
Éroÿ
City
CountryCastine
Elevation1480 m
Population
 • Estimate (2017)208 000


Éroÿ is the ninth-largest city of Castine by metropolitan area population and the capital of Deux Plateaux Parish. It is located in north central Castine, 50 km distant from the larger city of Abella d'Or Prairie. Although a commerce and infrastructure authority spanning both urban areas has recently been established, the cliffs encircling the Grande Vallée des Choc-Chics, which vary from 200 - 500 meters in height, continue to separate Éroÿ on the plateau and Abella in the valley both culturally and geographically.


Geography

Éroÿ spreads over a broad canyon of naturally-occurring terraced plateaus. Carved by the waters of the Blé Doré and Pluviôse rivers which join not far to the south of the city, the terraces generally rise to the east and west of the southward-flowing Pluviôse. The elevation change from the colonial-era Citadel in Éroÿ-le-Bas (on the lowest tier at 17, 15.79781, 5.22988) to the Parish Capitol located at 17, 15.77744, 5.24486 on the highest tier, Éroÿ-Hauteurs-du-Sainte-Alédée-Maude, is in excess of 500 m, and the Capitol is nearly 100 m below the highest location in the city.

Although burdensome to traverse, the terraces around Éroÿ were the best option available for travel between the low and high plateaus of the area as well as the Grande Vallée of the River Masaçance. Torturous, switchback-laden roads built between terrace levels proved less of a barrier to the movement of goods than the sheer cliffs that define the large majority of the valley-plateau boundary. (a little more to come)

As an example of the importance of the valley wall, the championship golf course at Abella-les-Falaises (16, 15.86491, 5.45166 is famed for its stupendous views of Abella, whose historic old city and citadel lie 300 m below and less than 10 km eastward. Nonetheless it takes around 45 minutes reach Old Abella by car - and that's if the driver is lucky and isn't following a truck convoy on the torturous descent through the Canyon Paradasique. The Couronne des Deux Plateaux at the center of Éroÿ is nearly 40 km distant, yet the drive, mostly by Autoroute over level terrain, is several minutes shorter.

Climate

Éroÿ shares its hot semiarid (Köppen BSh) climate with much of northwestern Castine. This climate is characterized by a short (June - October) rainy season and essentially zero precipitation for the rest of the year. Lower-lying parts of Éroÿ experience essentially the same conditions as prevail in nearby Abella. Microclimates prevail across the city, though, and a higher elevation -- at 1630 m, for example, Éroÿ Executive Airport's weather station is more than 600 m above Abella's -- generally results in a noticeably cooler, wetter climate than most other cities in the area.

Climate data for Éroÿ Airport (elev. 1630 m) (Köppen BSh)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 33.0 32.9 35.6 38.8 41.5 43.2 42.8 42.1 40.0 38.7 36.5 33.7 43.2
Average high °C (°F) 23 24 27 30 33 31 30 30 31 31 27 25 28.5
Average low °C (°F) 8 8 11 14 18 17 18 19 19 17 14 10 14.4
Record low °C (°F) 0.5 1.2 3.3 5.9 8.5 11.0 12.8 12.0 9.5 7.5 3.8 0.8 0.5
Average precipitation cm (inches) 0.0 0.1 0.4 1.5 3.0 8.0 15.9 15.5 10.9 5.0 1.1 0.1 61.5
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 cm) 0 0 1 2 3 6 11 12 9 3 1 0 48
Average relative humidity (%) 32 32 35 40 47 65 77 77 69 57 44 35
Source: Federal Meteorological Service Castine [1]

Environment

Freezing temperatures have never been recorded in Éroÿ, but a hilltop weather station less than 15 km to the west of Éroÿ, in the direction of the rising foothills of the Choc-Chics, routinely records one or two freezing readings each winter. For this reason, the tropical crops and fruits that are staples elsewhere in Castine are not cultivated on the higher plateaus and the cuisine native to the region is one of the most distinctive in Castine.


In spite of the occasional winter cold snaps, highly productive agricultural land dominates the plateaus surrounding the city. The products of the land range from wool and beef to flowers, cultivated for their essential oils, and the dry-climate staple grains quinoa and millet. The apiaries which exist alongside the fields of blooms are known for the rich sweetness of their honey, which is an ingredient in many of the lamb and beef fricasees enjoyed by tourists to the area. The shortness of the wet season favors fast growing grains such as millet, most of which is refined into a crispy flatbread. Fricasees are often served by scooping a ladle of their rich sauce over a piece of this flatbread, possibly with a garnish of herbs and piquant spices obtained from a shop such as Marjoria's Emporium of Curiously Strong Spices 18, 15.81658, 5.23133. Some of the most desired herbs are resistant to cultivation, so just as in centuries past herb-cullers from Marjoria's and other shops depart daily to hunt down these herbs in the swamps and rocky hillsides where they sprout.

Other industries in Éroÿ are closely tied to the agricultural produce of the plateaus: the Les Parfumeries district perched in Éroÿ-les-Pentes on Éroÿ's west side (17, 15.79245, 5.21605) is home to many artisan perfumers as well as the Museum of the Artisan Perfumers' Guild. Visitors of the museum can sniff the most popular perfumes of each decade extending back to the foundation of the Guild in the 1880s and take small samples of their favorite vintage home. Producers of the finest wool are concentrated in the high valleys and mountainsides of the Choc-Chics. They send their goods to the Faubourg des Tisserands district of the Éroÿ suburb Foisy 17, 15.78369, 5.28599, where the centuries-old tradition of hand-woven wool carpets is continued in the district's many ateliers.

Environment

History

(Éroÿ (specifically its low central and highest eastern tiers) was a vice-regal seat and important place during colonial times. more on this later).

Once independence was won and the Viceroyalty expelled, Éroÿ (as the city government that unified the villages of the area was named) entered a century-long period of stagnation and dine. The only option for travel between terraces of the city continued to be those torturous roads, as the terrain was not suitable for rail or streetcars of the day. Citizens set aside a full day to travel the 5 km between the western and eastern heights - two days if significant cargo was being moved. Commerce dwindled, and the natural beauty of the area remained inaccessible to most residents and visitors. Quoting Gauthier-Lucrèce Emmanuelli du Kaplan-Boule, (19th century publicist and critic who in 2015 was voted "most disliked Éroÿ resident" by Éroèiennes), Éroÿ "offers all of the ease of access to rich cultural life of a tiny country village - if that village is in the farthest valley of the Choc-Chics and populated only by imbeciles." When challenged to make a positive statement about his city, Kaplan-Boule famously replied "it is said that the beauty of the vista from our clifftops is so sublime as to be unforgettable - and since none can access those heights, I cannot disagree!"

For the first century of its existence as a unified city, Éroÿ was referred to as the "City of Villages" by those whose wit lacked the vinegar of a Kaplan-Boule. Population shrank by 26% in the century spanning 1810 and 1910 even as the nation's population rose by more than 400%. The city's turning point arrived in 1913, when the Mayor of Éroÿ and Premier of Deux Plateaux Parish cut the ribbon for the city's first, three-station aerial tramway line. This network retains its original name, Téléphériques d'Éroÿ, but it has expanded to 36 stations and boasts the highest per-person per-day ridership of any mass transit system in Castine (ciation needed). The TdÉ system's original art-deco logo, showing two stylized tram cars ascending an impossibly steep line against a landscape of faded earth-tones, remains in use and has become (citation needed) the most recognizable icon of the city to both residents and visitors.

TdÉ cut travel times between terraces from hours to minutes. It made enjoyment of scenes of astonishing beauty into routine daily experiences for residents and visitors. Its importance in transforming Éroÿ from a declining backwater to one of Castine's top-rank cities cannot be overstated. Studies have shown (citation needed) that TdÉ is the largest single driver of Éroÿ's growth, with the metro area's rate of population growth topping the nation once again in 2017. It has been credited (citation needed) with carrying Éroÿ to easy victory in the 2012 "Give your Car a Vacation" event organized by Transport Castine as an installment in the "Rivalries for Progress" competition between Castine's 12 largest metro areas. During the year-long event, the average Éroèien traveled a full 37% fewer kilometers in an automobile than the residents of the second-place city. (Abella was one of the worst! more on this another time).

Culture

Lots! Coming soon-ish.

Transport

Éroÿ boasts a strong mass transportation infrastructure,especially for a city of its relatively modest size. Its backbone is the network of Aerial Trams of Metropolitan Éroÿ (known to the largely Franquese-speaking locals as Téléphériques d'Agglomération Urbaine d'Éroÿ or usually just TdÉ).

Voted the most recognizable icon of the city by natives and visitors, the emblem of the Téléphériques d'Agglomération Urbaine d'Éroÿ been in use since the inception of the system in 1913.
Logo of the TdÉ.

The TdÉ network boasts 8 lines and 36 stations, with a 37th coming online in late 2017. In 2016 it achieved a ridership level of 0.64 trips per day per resident of the metro area. This is comparable to the levels reached in the largest metro areas of the world, which feature higher population density and many more public transportation options.

Éroÿ is relatively poorly served by the nation's road and Autoroute systems. Once completed, the 7C spur of Autoroute 7 will stretch some 50km to connect the Maddox Saint-Marx Miller bridge over the river Masaçance at Abella d'Or Prairie to Éroÿ as far as its eastern outskirts. At present, construction continues to upgrade the bridge access roads on the Abella side to Autoroute standards, but until mid-2018 at earliest eastbound drivers will continue to face delays of 30 minutes or more when crossing the bridge. Work to upgrade National Highway 32 in the Canyon Paradisiaque to Autoroute standards, at which time the upgraded road would be resigned as a concurrence of National 32 and Autoroute 7C, began and 2014 and is projected to conclude in mid-2019. Until then, the 60 km/hr limit through most of the torturous 10-km canyon will remain in place -- and lane closures will only heighten the pain of riders who have the misfortune of following a heavy truck convoy through the canyon. Once these two projects are complete, Abella and Éroÿ will finally be connected by a continuous stretch of Autoroute-quality roads.

Given the proximity of Éroÿ to Abella d'Or Prairie and its recently-upgraded, 16-gate airport, the Aéroport Exécutif d'Éroÿ receives most of its traffic from private aviation services. The airport does have a small, 2-gate passenger terminal offering daily service to two cities. These are nearby Abella, (4 arrivals/departures per day) and the national capital, Sainte-Ermentrude (2/day every day except 1/day on Sunday). The Abella route caters to those who want to avoid the 60 km, 1 hour drive to the Abella airport.

Sibling Cities

  1. Federal Meteorological Service Castine