July 19, 2014

Any excuse to visit Vannes, the city I work!

Well I work here, and its always hard to come to enjoy the city you work. Usually i go away but this is Vannes, capital of the Morbihan and  the only city we can call it here. It has everything and today it was packed.

There was police directing traffic on an invasion of camping cars like a convention of theirs, there was live music on a giant screen at the ramparts of the ruined castle there was the petit train slowing traffic all over lol!, and there was the Saturday morning market which is always tops. In all that we moved to visit and eat at our favorite places like a true road warrior of the region. The temp was hot around 26C and humid, very hot.

We started taking the boys to the movies on the matinee at Cinéville to see Transformers 4, something like that; http://vannes.cineville.fr/_cotecine/programmes.php?salle=vannes_parc#139587

then we went to have lunch lol!! at the new La Pataterie resto , ZAC Parc Lann, Rue Gay-Lussac, near the Decathlon store; this is a restaurant where the entire menu is around the Potato!!! We had the breton potato, with clam chowder sauce and cocktail shrimps for a special 10€! and a potato with bacon and hams, glass of red wine, and coffees for 15, 40€ each nice price for a lunch. http://lapataterie.com/en/this-way-for-la-pataterie/pataterie-vannes

I write for other travel sites and hate to write something that I do not show a picture. We have so much “experts” on these sites that rely on a one time visit of whatever lenght or the Google internet routine to give opinions. I rather do my own expériences and tell you so and do it with pictures of my own. So this afternoon after lunch  went around the places where I was missing a picture from Vannes. Some of these were hôtels that I have stayed on business as can do a rest day when going abroad on visiting our branches. These were the Formule 1 very dirt cheap hôtels to the Best Western Vannes and the Kyriad Vannes hôtels.  These are their webpages,

http://www.hotelf1.com/gb/hotel-2448-formule-1-hotelf1-vannes/index.shtml

For some reason unknown to me the Kyriad hotel is only shown in the French language version, but its there by Pl de la Liberation, http://www.kyriad.com/fr/hotels/kyriad-vannes-centre-ville#

http://www.bestwestern-vannescentre.com/UK/

And one nice place I recommended friends and have collègues stayed so know well but never stayed myself is the Maison de la Garenne, a bed and breakfast in a historical old mansion overlooking the ramparts and gardens of the Garenne; http://www.maisondelagarenne.com/localisation-de-la-maison-de-la-garenne-a-vannes

You get to see wonderful opera and theater shows evenings at the wonderful Théatre Anne de Bretagne, place de Bretagne, you see the line up coming up; http://www.theatre-tab-vannes.com/

Another area hotel where I have not stayed but visitors from our branches have stayed and had met them there recommended by my company is the Escale Oceania Hotel ( I have stayed at their Nantes airport property and they are very good).  This is just by the theater above and right at the entrance to the city center, you have private parking and public Centre parking next to it. http://www.oceaniahotels.com/hotel-escale-oceania-vannes?lg=UK

We end up the evening with dinner at Les Oliviers , 60, ave de Verdun, near the train station of Vannes. Today they only open in the evening from 19h30 the rest of the week is open for lunch as well. This time the gang join us for a family affair in one of the better restaurants in the city. My boss took me here once and now the family ,and we are going to another one next week so will do that too with the family as they are local jewels. The cooking here is market fresh and with gastronomic taste, the resto is in the Michelin guide.  So refine and local does not have a webpage, resa at +33 (0) 2 97 54 64 99. Reservation is a must, small restaurant, tops produce. Changes daily, today was lamb with ceboulette and bacon, creme brulée caramel, with a wonderful loire red wine; the menus are from 23€, do not hesitate to eat here when in the area.

And last on way home we made on the last 15 mins to buy our garden needs at Jardinerie Bloino in Muzillac so we got our paille to put in soil and avoid grass to grow, something like that I am nulle on gardens thingys. Where is the béton or cement ::)  web here http://www.bloino.com/

Cheers and have a great rest of weekend, enjoy the summer. Next weekend is back in Paris to pick up my father coming back home !

Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes

 

 

 

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July 12, 2014

Some news from France LXXXVIII

Well here I am, is late too late to Watch a football match that is nothing , so remind myself I have Monday off from work for a reason. Its our Fête Nationale, or the old Bastille day, the French revolution is celebrated here not by all but most. After all , it is a revolution, many innocents were killed and we must tell that too.

You ever wondered why a wonderful square in Paris is call Concorde? well it used to be call Place Royale, even before Place Louis XIV, and the it became Place de la Revolution , yikes… finally in the country reconciliation with its past it was call as it is today the Place de la Concorde. Concorde=concordia = concord.

We have some célébrations that are dear to me from previous years living nearby in Versailles.

For the festivities of the 14 July or Fête Nationale or previously Bastille Day, we have the free show at 14h in the salle Richelieu of the Comédie Française, Paris. This year will be an adaptation of Lucrèce Borgia of Victor Hugo by the prolific Denis Podalydès. The tickets need to be pick up the same day at the entrance to the Comédie-Française starting from 13h, and will be given by order of arrival :more here 1 Place Colette, 75001 Paris, www.comedie-francaise.fr/

The Bar La Vue in the 17ème arrondissement, open from 10h its doors to offer a wonderful view of the aerial show during the festivities done by the Patrouille de France. Once night arrives the place will propose a selection of drinks with various amuse bûche and regional specialties. The place Is perfect to see the fireworks and the final bouquet before the arrival of the DJ to prank up the rest of the evening. The price is from 21h on july 14 a cocktail of choice with 6 amuse bûches for 60€ more info at Place du Général Kœnig, 75017 Paris, www.barlavue.com/

At the hotel de ville of Paris, while commemorating the beginning of WWI , the concert and fireworks will have the theme « Guerre et Paix » war and peace. The national orchestra of France, the choirs of Paris, and the master of the Radio France, all under the direction of Daniele Gatti, will invite the greatest lyrics artists to the concert. It will be play from 21h30 on France 2 TV, France Musique , and on mondovision, the concert will be follow by fireworks done by the group Groupe F and for the first time thrown from the Tour Eiffel. More info here Champ de Mars, http://quefaire.paris.fr/

At the La Cité de la Mode et du Design, the Nüba , Charles-Baptiste will present « Réception du 14 juillet », an association dedicated to the Francophone and the French creation. This evening will showcase the young talents, offering lectures, and passarelles from the Le Rooftop de La Cité as well as projections, concerts , and DJ sets francophones from 16h until 02h. More info at 34 Quai d’Austerlitz, 75013 Paris, admission is free from 16h.

For more up tempo then head for the La Chesnaie du Roy, Route de la Pyramide,Bois de Vincennes 12éme where from  14h to 2h will have an event with customes of the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, ho ho ho; admission  10€ before 17h , and thereafter 15€. more info here , http://www.chesnaie-du-roy.com/intro.htm

and my favorite always since the start there, in fact was there while it was been remodeled with folks from nearby Hostal St Christopher. La Rotonde, all from 14h free admission at 6-8, place de la Bataille de Stanlingrad, 19éme.  A place with a  cocktail glass with stimulating gas taht will rock you into  600 m2 of  sunny terrace (hopefully) with a loud sound of DJ’s such as  Gauthier DM, Julian M. or Na’Sayah. 

A classic event of the July 14 festivities , several yachts of Paris will have evenings in their boats to see the fireworks. In the program on the river Seine there will be tastings on the high bridges of the yachts with portraits of the main monuments in light of Paris as well as along the quais de Seine with animations. More info at Yacht de Paris, menu all inclusive, from 295 euros to 345 euros par person, www.yachtsdeparis.fr/ .

and the traditional opening of many fire stations in the city of Paris for you to see and enjoy and remember they are there to help pass the night right and safe.

Caserne Rousseau / 21, rue du Jour – Ier / july 13 and 14,  Caserne Sévigné / 7-9, rue de Sévigné – IVe / Caserne des Arènes de Lutèce / 47-59, rue Monge – Ve /13 july only, Caserne Colombier / 11, rue du Vieux Colombier – VIe /13 and 14 july;  Caserne Blanche / 28, rue Blanche – IXe /only the 13 july;  Caserne Landon / 188, quai de Valmy – Xe /the 13 july but does a party together with  the great Point Ephémere ,info at http://www.pointephemere.org/category/concert/#5 ;  Caserne Chaligny / 26, rue de Chaligny – XIIe /13  and 14 july;  Caserne Port-Royal / 53-55, boulevard Port-Royal – XIIIe / 13 and 14 July;  Caserne Masséna / 37, boulevard Masséna – XIIIe /  13 july;  Caserne Grenelle / 06, place Violet – XVe / 13 and  14 july;  Caserne Boursault / 27, rue Boursault / XVIIe / 13 july;  Caserne Montmartre / 12, rue Carpeaux – XVIIIe /  13 july;  Caserne Bitche / 2, place de Bitche – XIXe /  13 july; and  Caserne Ménilmontant / 47, rue Saint-Fargeau – XXe /13 july.

So happy 14th July. and remember too. I leave with some thoughts in French from Le Figaro and prof and writer Jean Sévillia. http://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/histoire/2014/07/11/31005-20140711ARTFIG00347-jean-sevillia-la-veritable-histoire-du-14-juillet.php

 

July 9, 2014

A different part of Mexico.

Well this time the travels took me to a new area of Mexico, this is way down by State of Quintana Roo ,and around the city of Chetumal. This is some tourist info on them

http://www.grandcostamaya.com/

http://www.zonaturistica.com/en/tourist-attractions-in/427/chetumal-quintana-roo.html

http://www.mayanbeachgarden.com/chetumal.html

http://www.mexicodesconocido.com.mx/laguna-de-bacalar-y-cenote-azul-quintana-roo.html  ( in Spanish)

 

I took a flight on interjet Airlines from Mexico city to Chetumal airport, a small country strip with two flights per day. Here we rented a car and drove around to Bacalar,Calderitas, and Chetumal.  Funny thing is there is a casino but closed because of some irregularities so no go Inside.  http://flyto.mx/en/flyto/Aeropuerto_Internacional_de_Chetumal/_rid/64?language=en&lng_act=lng_step2

In Chetumal you have a wonderful museum of Maya culture right in town, and a great shopping mall ,Centro Comercial Las Americas,located at the area of El Encanto on Avenida Constituyentes and avenida Maxuxac with 48 stores including a big hypermarket Chedraui, Liverpool dept store ,and out has a McDonalds , Burger King, Applebee”s, and Inside a great VIPS we use for lunch. Go bottom Restaurantes to find them hit Quintana Roo, http://www.vips.com.mx/

The highlight is here is leisure relax in the Mayan riviera, the Bacalar lagoon  is located 38 km (24 miles) from the city, also known as the 7-color lagoon, and colonial monuments.http://www.zonaturistica.com/en/tourist-attraction/339/bacalar-lagoon-chetumal.html

We,also, visited the Cenote Azul, a wonderful place with a lake of 90 meters deep water with swimming possibilities and a great restaurant, boutique. this is at Bacalar, and just climb up from the marina Los Mulatos and see the nice fortress museum San Felipe, built in the 17C, then part of the war of the Castes,and now a museum Cost:$5 and times are Tuesdays to Thursdays ,and Sundays from9h to19H

http://www.mayanbeachgarden.com/Bacalar.html

 

http://www.bacalarmosaico.com/pages/activities/fort_s.htm

We had our lunch as well in Las Tortugas resto in Calderitas just next to Bacalar, along the Bay of Chetumal, wonderful fresh fried fish, fries, sweet bananas, yellow rice, and beers Modelo Especial, nice. http://www.guiacalderitas.com/restaurants/index2.php

We had our drinks here at Hotel La Laguna in Bacalar gorgeous place and we were allowed to roam free afterward, the site picture tells it all !! http://www.hotellagunabacalar.com/

Once the night arrive we use friends points to stay at the City Express hotel in Chutemal city center or downtown. Nice clean rooms ,AC ,breakfast resto, lobby with TV, and free parking, view of the city. http://cityexpress.hotelescity.com/es/hoteles/city-express-chetumal/informacion-general.aspx?hoteldatos=0CECECTM

Enjoy the pictures and another hot spot for retirement especially around Bacalar. Cheers.

chetumalchetumal calderitas Calderitas Calderitas Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Chetumal Chetumal Chetumal Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Chetumal Chetumal Chetumal Chetumal Chetumal

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July 8, 2014

Way over at Belize life is beautiful!

Yes way down over across Belize life is beautiful. I heard a lot about it as diving and fishing and retirement place for years. I have the chance to visited it for  a week, and I agree. However, it is catchy and sublime, one begin to think about why not a retirement there…. Belize.

The tourist board is here http://www.travelbelize.org/  and my best area Placencia, http://placencia.com/ , and again some others http://www.sanpedroscoop.com/2014/01/independence-mango-creek-hokey-pokey-ferry-big-creek-port-cardies.html

I had a different approach than most; coming from Chetumal ,Mexico, by car crossing the border (paying 306 BDollars) with my French passport, glorious trip. We started at the top of the country on the road from Corozal, on the corozal-progresso road downward bypassing Belize City, then on the western road to Belmopan (the official Capital city), continuing to Dandriga, then Independance/Mango Creek, to Placencia.

I saw picturesque colorful buses zigzagging the small country and in Belize city horse wagon and mini bus ride like a little train ride. Wonderful architecture, some gloriously rich, and above all , gorgeous beaches like the one at Placencia.

We went by the craftmarket in Belize City, nice with many souvenirs and all in USDollars. The Casino still imposing and the hôtels and restos we went.

The Ramada Princess hotel Calypso restaurant right on the bay. This is a great complex with hotel casino, and restaurants just near city center and the craftmarket, we ate here at the Calypso Beach Restaurant. wonderful fried fish whole from the catch of the day, and the local beer Belikin;  http://www.ramada.com/hotels/belize/belize-city/ramada_belize_city_princess/hotel-overview

We stopped by for the great WiFi at Rose’s bar restaurant in Placencia, and did some groceries at Ming Supermarket  near the post office in Placencia. The best area was by Barefoot bar and we stop at the funky Tupsy Tuna bar in Placencia by the beach, great ambiance. We stayed at the Paradise Resort ,wonderful accommodation, great hosts, funny people,and super views of the ocean not to mention the drinks at the bar and the Karaoke. Here is the website , http://www.belize123.com/

On the way back to Mexico, we entered Belize City, a bit more of  a little town with a nice beachwall along the ocean. We continue north on the Western road towards Chetumal Mexico to take our plane to Mexico City. The excuse for another post later.

Belize will be remember ,and will keep an eye for that retirement spot… Cheers.

Belize Belize Belize Belize Belize Belize Belize Belize Belize Belize Belize Belize Belize Belize Belize Belize Belize Belize Belize Belize

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June 25, 2014

Some news from France LXXXVII

well this is in the middle of the World Cup of football/soccer in Brazil. I have several teams that I follow for passport’s sake. Spain is out suddently and surprisingly , but France and the USA are still in the fight to advance. France plays tonite vs Ecuador and the USA vs Germany. To be continue.

We have the cinema in summer this year again with plenty of free films all over the place, including in my old Yvelines dept 78. Some of the cities involved are Marly-le-Roi, Poissy, Vernouillet, Achéres, Meulan, Jouy-en-Josas, Chateaufort, and Dampierre.

Near Paris you will have at the Domaine de Saint Cloud, at the lawn of the Villette, Institut Suédois, on the quais near musée d’Orsay and Assamblée Nationale.

Then you have the summer festivals like at the parc floral ,the Paris Jazz Festival until July 27th.The All Stars at New Morning until August 2nd.

The expositions of Summer like at Quai Branly, the Indians of the Plains, USA until July 27th. De Watteau à Fragonard, les fêtes galantes at the musée Jacquemart-André until July 21th. The Grand Palais has until July 13th , Moi, Auguste, Empereur de Rome. A new museum design by Jean Nouvel, yes this is the Louvre at Abu Dhabi,  until July 28 on the Louvre de Paris Naissance d’un musée, the birth of a museum. At the Invalides, until July 14th , you will have the  Mousquetaires or muskeeteers of Richelieu and D’Artagnan. Art Nouveau at the Petit Palais until  August 17th the presentation of Paris 1900. Sculptures comes alive with  Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux at the Musée d’Orsay until September 30th. The showing of the Orient Express at the Institut du Monde Arabe with the Il était un fois l’Orient Express  until August 31th.

You have a pedestrian event in my Versailles this Sunday June 29th, 11h30 to 17h Free. the walk on the road RD10 from  Versailles to Saint-Cyr-l’Ecole (passing by the Orangerie and back of castle) usually full of car traffic will have Sunday the la Grande Déambulation de Versailles. You will have the road all to yourselves to walk on it no car traffice allowed.  You will be invited to a picnic near the wonderful la Pièce d’eau des Suisses ,and then to walk near the castle on foot, bike, skate etc. There will be a BMX spot ,a skate park, and a escalation wall to climb. Fun for the whole family.

Enjoy summer is here for sure, and I am off to Mexico this Sunday so stay tune out for a week or more. Cheers and have fun.

 

June 21, 2014

My travels in the Morbihan XI

Well today is the official start of Summer !!! and it shows with temps here as high as 27C and very hot sunny. We have a little breather on work on the house until next month, so a nice ride into Vannes and Auray our main cities near us.

We could not stop going to l’Igloo an ice cream parlor in Auray and also, at Carnac plage which we enjoy both. The Saint Goustan area of Auray is the harbor going out into the Gulf of Morbihan and a wonderful area already full of tourists mostly from UK. see my entry on Auray of October 5, 2011.

We enjoy the Conigloo with a chocolate coated cone, scoops of peach and  pear (your choices), chantilly, choco syrup, and sprinkles of almonds all for 5€. The chichis as we call here or Churros in Spain are 4,50€ with long sticks and caramel sauce add 0,50cents.

Parking is always free along the river loch near the old bridge in St Goustan side along a path of many painters and artists workshops.  Like in this webpage http://www.saint-goustan.net/

For tourism and to know this area check the city of Auray  site here http://www.auray.fr/auray/architecture/saint-goustan/

And the department of Brittany this one in English, http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-brittany/quintessential-brittany/saint-goustan

Enjoy the photos.

And a reminder today , really tonite is the Fête de la Musique all over in France and our area is not behind. Plenty to do in Auray, the biggest town close to me in about 11 kms. The festivities already started and road blocks are in place to allow better flow of traffic. However, the real events starts by 20H

Tex’s on Fire group for rock music at Place aux roues. ABCD Country for US country music at Place de la Pompe,YEBA Colombian Cumbia at Bar Le Contretemps, here http://www.auray-tourisme.com/restaurant-bar-le-contretemps/auray/tabid/8269/offreid/0635f0d3-e38d-4a98-b957-acfe2ec53d06/detail.aspx

Raul & Manoloco, Cuban music at el Bar El Toro Loco, and its hot , http://www.eltoroloco.fr/

100 ans de boulot,for bluegrass music at the Hotel de Ville,, city hall. 21H. Also same time Emma, rock pop at Rue du Château downhill street !!! ,by 22h Les 40 voleurs at Hotel de Ville, and by 23h EZ1 pop rock from the 70′s at Hotel de Ville.

The city center will be pedestrian from 19H, and better park by parkings Athéna,Keriolet, Place du Loch, Jeu de Paume, and Saint Goustan. At this link you have a pdf file with all the détails ,http://www.auray-tourism.com/tabid/9272/OffreId/62a2c6c9-7176-4acf-8185-dc62275e4dd5/Default.aspx

Happy party hearty and be safe y’all. Cheers.

Vannes Vannes Vannes SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES Auray  Auray Vannes Vannes Auray Auray Auray Auray Auray Auray Auray

 

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June 14, 2014

My travels in the Morbihan X

ok so I guess summer is here, and been so busy running around with the house ,the job,family and the business trips. this weekend is hot all the way to 28C and the beaches are full even if summer officially is not until June 21.

However, ,tomorrow is Father’s day here in France and I already got my gift a business executive chair from my sons!!! lovely black and red, just nice and its not my money this time that makes it more special. So Happy Father’s day to all of those in France. Bonne Fête des Péres.

My house is doing well, finally the outdoor front terrace is done, the cellar is done, the canalisation of Rainwater is done, the garden is completely cut, and ready for the décorations, the lawn is growing in the back. The major works is done Yesss! Now we will have the smaller job and hopefully by the time we take our vacation all will be done. IN August we go South,but that is a surprise stay tune in my blog to see some of the Wonders our southwest or sud-ouest.

For today other than doing some shopping and errands I wanted to stop to two castles one open to the public for the gardens and the other private that local people have talk to me about. We headed first for the Château de Kerambar’h in Landaul. webpage in French, http://www.morbihan.com/jardins-du-chateau-de-kerambarh/landaul/tabid/7430/offreid/e5b354f4-b8ed-4980-bfb2-ca0db68e907a/detail-visites.aspx

Its tricky to get to it as it is in the country off the N165 road get off at exit Landevant or 36.1 go first direction Landaul and then direction Auray and bear right on the small road running next to the N165; you then see the signs for Château de Kerambar’h on your right hand side. Follow these signs into a narrow road all the way in, with space for one car! and then you reach a sing saying the Jardins de Kerambar’h and turn right on it. You will see the ruins and manoir house and the famous gardens. Schedules to see it change every year but normally they run april 19 to July 13 and July 14 to August 31, open from 14-18H and in summer from 11h to 18h; September open 14h-18h and October is only on weekends from 14h to 17h30. admission adults is 8€.

The castle offer a walk through time from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance with portraits of the dukes of Brittany from the 1000AD to the 16C. the Gardens with 33 toises or form of measurement, Charlegmane capitulary, and other like the garden of courtly pleasures, with cloister and moats. A pleasant trip.

Then we went to the Château de Beauregard at the town of St Avé, off the N165 take the D779E direction St Avé, turn right into the D135 direction St Avé and down by the chapel of notre dame turn left direction St Nolff on the next traffic circle bear left and quick right for the castle entrance. This is a private property so you cannot go all the way in but close enough. The webpage is http://www.chateau-de-beauregard-56.fr/

This is a magnificent property  with its flowery cour d’honneur , a majestic French garden of 3000m2 inspire by the master André Le Nôtre (Versailles amongst others), and a green well kept park of 40 hectares. It is a castle done in an L format from the 18-19C done from a former manoir or manor house from 1514. It was rebuilt in the 18C. The history of it of importance was that here the treaty of pacification of Brittany was signed in February 14 1800 between  Georges Cadoudal (hero of Brittany) ,and Général Brune,of the French ,ending the chouannerie(the local farmers and country people of the area) in Morbihan.

It is now use by wedding, events, exhibits, anniversary, family gathering , etc all for rental. You can have as much as 600 seated persons in one activity here. In all a wonderful property and one of the nice ones in the area. I guess will have to be invited to go Inside ::)

Now getting ready for more World Cup on TV, and great food and drinks at home. Have a great weekend everyone. Cheers

Landaul Landaul Landaul Landaul Landaul St Avé St Avé St Avé

 

 

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June 8, 2014

And again Paris, always present physical or in mind.

This was the time to stop by Paris on a personal visit, as my father was leaving for Florida USA to visit his sister. Took him to CDG and of course why not the opportunity to see Paris again, alway Paris physically or in mind always there for me.

We drove as its the best way to travel me think. I know many come here to visit and use the extensive public transport we have at a great taxpayer’s support. However , doing it too especially on business trips and it is chaotic on many times. So the car is always there and who said there is traffic in Paris? I went again rush hour Friday evening and easy.

No need to tell you about links as posted many of them here already, and in fact bad of me the last post on Paris was back on March 24 2014! Paris is a movable feast, we should be there at least in mind every day ,and if physical well you are Lucky. Don’t get me wrong Brittany is gorgeous but so is France ::) 83 millions visitors in 2012 and 32M for Paris tops in the world according to WTO-United Nations.

I do not like paying tolls either so got me around them nicely and you see more, even if takes longer. We took 6h30m stopping for my father and to have something to eat. The route started on the N24 from Brittany across to Rennes, and then the N136 and N157 to Aleçon, connecting with the N12 to South of Paris, the A12 connector to the A13 normandy road bypassing tolls and heavy traffics on the Normandy invasion 70th anniversary. We arrive at our Ibis in Orgeval, off the A13, very convenience to get on the road again, gas station next to it. The hotel online goes for 35€ per room, for two and three persons great for a one niter to the airport.  http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-3586-ibis-budget-orgeval/index.shtml.

The next day after a relaxing night, we headed for the airport at CDG. My Dad was going direct on AF to Miami Florida. Terminal T2F is very familiar with me as go thru it every month. We had our lunch at Quais de la Seine next to the Brasserie Flo restaurant on area 1. Very nice simple food at a good price;we ,also, purchase water and sodas at Boulangerie Paul more expensive.

He finally went thru security as we bid Farewell to his almost 2 months vacation with his sisters. Leaving thru gate L53, I Drew a map and a note to make sure he finds his way in there. We than took the opportunity to pass by Paris.

I drove as I normally do, why such a fuss about driving in Paris. if you drive in any major city Paris is no different, I learned to drive in the NJ/NY border in USA so Paris is a piece of cake. I took the A1 down the gutter to porte de la chapelle, but took the direction to Rouen and the boulevard périphérique to exit at porte de St Ouen, going on avenue de Saint Ouen to place de Clichy, avenue de Clichy left, then rue d’Amsterdam right to pass gare St Lazare(my old entry point to Paris) on to rue de Havre pass the Haussmann into rue tronchet around the Pl de la  Madeleine to Rue Royale, left at Rue Saint Honoré to Rue Cambon right and left on Rue du Mont Thabor to one of my favorite parking the old New York parking at Parking Tuileries almost at the corner of Rue Rouget de Lisle.

And bingo at our get together with some friends coming from California USA, and we had lunch at Café l’Impériale. It was nice to finally meet people we exchange travel stories in forums all over and finally the opportunity to see them in person.  Well, this is an old time favorite as used to work across the street and had my coffee breaks here, some lunches and had brought my father as well. This time I was with my 3 boys as well so nice to go out with them. I must say the service had no menu du jour because it was weekend….service was fast and attentive, the food we opted for our regular steaks brasserie style and the affligem beers. Nice time again in Paris.

We did a little walk around this area of so many years of souvenirs with this time my boys. And then ,we head back home on the road again, the road warrior arrive home by 21h or 9pm. And now Sunday is here relaxing at home as we are ,also, having Monday off as the Ascension Holiday.

You all have a great weekend wherever you are. Cheers.

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June 1, 2014

Locmariaquer, harbor,beach and stones!

Well it is just about 25 kms from me but the last I wrote on it was in 2011.Can’t believe it. It shows we have so much I am just scratching the surface of beautiful Bretagne/Brittany. Locmariaquer is a cruise harbor, fishing village, with good beaches and megaliths ancient stones all in one.

The tourist office is here http://www.morbihan-way.fr/fr/office-du-tourisme/presentation-de-Locmariaquer

you have ,also, the département tourist site at http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/office-de-tourisme-de-locmariaquer-crac-h-st-philibert/locmariaquer/tabid/8036/fromtabid/7993/offreid/5d3bc0c7-d607-4ec1-b5b3-3cb0201c7b56/detail.aspx

 

The town is easily accessable off the N165 take exit direction Locmariquer then after the traffic circle continue direction Locmariaquer on the road D781. All the way to signs saying le Port.

Here you will be in city center, with the place de la mairie having the banks, post offices and restaurants. On one side is the Church Notre-Dame de Kerdro . All told in my previous post on the town.

The beauty here is the harbor and the cruises to the islands in the gulf of Morbihan, île aux moines especially , beautiful, Unesco heritage sites listed, and what this area is all about; THE SEA.

You want to see harbors like a romantic string, the waves blending in with the landscape, eat the wonderful local seafood (yes local not imported,LOCAL), and the sites the Megaliths, those wonderful stones nobody quite know where they were moved from, a Breton heritage. Yes stone is important here, we have it all over, its in my patio, my backyard, my garden, my driveway ,STONES is Brittany. This is it can’t find it anywhere in the world, uniquely Breton, and I am glad is in my backyard!

Locmariaquer is no exception to this, you have the Grand Menhir scars a huge block of granite of 20,60 meters and weighting  280 tons!!!, the biggest stone in Europe!!!. The great tumulus of Er Grah , and the dolmen of the  Table des Marchand , offering a unique witness to the exceptional funeral rites practice in Brittany at the time of the Néolithic era. Its all here.

You have the fishing on foot into the harbor a local tradition you can all practice, going out to sea to catch your lunch or dinner, can’t explain it better!  Beaches did I said beaches!!! wonderful coves of small to large beaches stretching all along the bay, wonderful , secluded,nice family beaches. These are Plage de Saint-Pierre ,Plage du Brénéguy, Plage du Toul Keun, La grande plage – La Falaise, Le Rolay , Plage de l’école de voile, Plage Valy, and Plage de Kerinis . All wonderful but I prefer the Plage de Saint Pierre or La Grande Plage(la falaise,Cliffs).

Then ,the embarkadere or launching harbor to the islands, and the wonderful shops, bakeries and restos such as our favorite, the L’Escale. All wonderful day at the coast, beach, stones, all wonderful Locmariaquer. The birthplace of the plat Oyster since 1882 with still over 30 producers as well as the Oyster hollow the most popular today. See it and believe it. Cheers.

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May 30, 2014

More of Hennebont by the Blavet!

The fortified city of Hennebont is revisited again, last post on July 21,2012. So after the recent flooding from rainstorms in the area, decided it was time to come back. Did I say come back, well just 24 kms from my home is like been in the neighborhood and not crossing the street ::)

So much to see I am overwhelmed. For starters , the tourist info on Hennebont is http://www.lorientbretagnesudtourisme.fr/decouvrez-le-territoire/commune.cfm?region=Hennebont

and you can always check the region tourist org is at http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-brittany/heritage/Hennebont

The city is all by the river Blavet, that is beautiful when calm but devastating when flooded. All is surrounded by the ramparts of the old fortified town, and the castle now museum. And of course climbing the ramparts is the best way to see the city and the river below.

We found this time crossing the river Blavet on the new bridge (2009) on the other side an old Church Saint Caradec, The story goes tha the parish dates from the 13C, created by Henri of Hennebont to satisfy the population living in the old town around the Castle, seat of Kemenet-HeboeThe Church was elevated in 1732, entirely rebuilt in 1777 and redesigned in 1895. In 1901, the latest restructuring added aisles to the chorus and the vaults. Inside, rarely accessible because it is closed for at least 10 years, we would see an ex-votos painted wood and a polychrome wooden statue of saint Isidore, dating from the 18CA yew dating from the 17C stands in the cemetery adjacent to the Church.

It has great eating places but today we headed back to Vannes for shopping and then home for eating. Just another little escapade enjoying my four day weekend of Ascension in France. Cheers and have a great weekend y’all.

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