Change is in the air in the border region between Spain and France. A small island there called Pheasant Island is about to change countries, as it does twice a year. Plus: some enterprising race fans in Poland use construction cranes to help them get a good view of their favorite drivers even while physical distancing.
Change is in the air this today, at least in the border region between Spain and France.
One small island there is about to change countries, as it does twice a year.
It’s known in English as Pheasant Island, and under international law it’s considered a condominium, meaning it’s administered by several sovereign powers together, rather than splitting it up.
Spain and France take turns with it.
From February 1 to July 31, Pheasant Island is under the control of Spanish authorities, while the French take charge August 1 to January 31.
This arrangement dates back to a peace treaty the two countries signed in 1659.
In fact, they signed the treaty on the island.
The good news for both countries is that running the place is a pretty low-key job.
No one lives on Pheasant Island; the public isn’t even allowed there most of the time.
Maybe once or twice a year they send crews in to cut the grass.
Otherwise they just check every so often that nobody’s trying to camp there without permission.
This arrangement could go on forever, except for one thing: the island itself is eroding over time, thanks to snowmelt from the Pyrenees.
Eventually Spain and France could share control of an island that’s not even there.
Meanwhile on the other side of Europe, in the Polish city of Lublin, auto racing fans have been rooting for their favorite drivers every Sunday, but with physical distancing rules in place not every fan can sit in the stands like usual.
So some of them decided to rent construction cranes – 21 of them, in fact – and hoist themselves up in the air to watch the races.
After all that effort, I sure hope they enjoyed the race.