July 26, 2015

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton VI

This has been a rainy weekend and cool so after doing some running yesterday we stay put today. We took the time to pinpoint last minute planning for our summer vacation next month in Germany and Luxembourg.

For now, this is Pluvigner in the Morbihan dept 56 yes!!! Small town in the country a new change and it has been great. Looking forward to towns like this.

We did our usual shopping in Vannes, got some stuff for the house, always something to do around the house, and then we came back. I was ask to eat and I say wait until we get home.

Then, I was coming up this créperie resto that is on my way home ,always look at it, always make a point to visit but as usual when you have so much to see around you, you just keep going. Well not this time.

I made up my mind as I was coming on the next to last traffic circle before arriving home to stop by and have lunch. I pull over and immediately the friendly folks came out to greet us. We had a terrace table and went on.

the place is like a small Breton longére , a long house good to keep the family on one side and the farm animals on the other. this one has a veranda of stone with a nice terrace and nice garden. In the back , you have additional parking which is where we parked. Coming around to the front you see a big wood firing oven and come up around to the front door and terrace.

The young lady came to serve us and then another and then the owner Jean-Noêl (because was born on Christmas day), and it turns out he is a native of the same town as my wife !!! Meaux in Seine et Marne of the brie cheese fame, mustard of Meaux and now close to the action of Disneyland Paris as well as the new museum on WWI! yes! and not only that but he had lived in Auvergne ,near where my father in law is from lol!! Welcome to the family ::)

We started out talking a lot find out everything and before starting to order made reservation for the event of the resot créperie Le Vorlen, Rost Er Forn, Breton for roasted pig in oven , a specialty only done on the first and third Sunday of each month by reservation. We are on for  August 2nd! complete dinner of the pig 300grms, entrée, dessert, 1/4 wine for 18€ nice. See the picture on the process of the cooking lol!

Then we had our usual Breton beers, Duchesse Anne, Morgane, Blanche Hermione, and even a Leffe Belgian beer. We continue with the beers and had our galette noir montagnarde with reblochon cheese and potatoes, goat cheese and 3 cheeses types, expresso coffees and more beers for a total of 17€ per person. Nice place to had lunch or dinner and right in town.On the traffic circle at the entrance to Pluvigner on the road D768.

After that it was time to head home and finish our day. We had all the tools we need to attack the garden and windows once the rain stops next week,and fully well fed by the friendly Le Vorlen. Until we can meet around the woods, have a great end of Sunday y’all. Cheers

 Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner

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July 18, 2015

My travels in the Morbihan, XI

SO finally some relaxation away from far away travels and airports. This weekend is home with nice 19-24C temps cloudy bit light rain at times but the roads empty at least the D departémentales roads I like. We got up late maybe from all the exhausted trips taken lately and once had our snacks the travel virus set in and well where do we go now…

We just took a leisure ride and wak into some lesser known town just south of me about 20 kms( about 12 miles) in our beautiful department 56; Morbihan. http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/

For those new to my blog, Morbihan is Breton not French, it means Mor=mer/sea and Bihan=petite/small or small sea. We took off on the D22 towards Belz. http://mairie-belz.fr/point-i-de-belz,737.html ; the tourist info office

Here we came up to a beautiful memorial to the fallen (erected in 1925)  right next to the Church Saint Saturnin in city center. The church was name in honor of the bishop of Toulouse replacing a roman church from the 15C; and it has no belltower, and still not completely done.  It has a marvelous Mairie or city hall or city govt office dating from 1832, renovated in 1912, and rebuilt in 1984 , as well as again enlarged in 2005. http://mairie-belz.fr/bourg,317.html

Here we took a turn around the church Saint Saturnin to follow the coastal road to St Cado, we have been here before, so did not go to the end where the roman chapel of St Cado  is. We went by the water front park where families were gathering on the pétanque game and soaking sun and water sports like kayak. http://mairie-belz.fr/saint-cado,311.html

We continue our ride on the road D16 and passed the nice bridge of Pont Lorois into Plouhinec.There is a lot more to see here and we just touch the bridge. There are tumulus megaliths stones,and archeological sites such as Mane Vechen,  and wonderful church St Pierre et St Paul and many chapels, and a huge choice of water sports, the tourist office at http://www.plouhinec.com/decouvrir/point-i.html

Having already lunch we did the round tripper, going we stop at Bar Ty ma’lor at Corn er Houet, 1 rue du moustoir 56400 Ploemel tel +33 (0)2 97 24 15 47 . We had to stop we know the owners and had our cold beers just to get going on a sort of hot day. Then, on the way back we stop at American’s  Snacks  , this is the same owners as the bakery next door at the foot of pont Lorois,by the before Passage-Neuf. Tél :+33 (0) 2 97 85 60 59. Unfortunately, they were close for serving food  until 17h the rest ok to 20h, and so we had a corona beer to speed the hunger and come back home rushing to eat which we are now preparing ::)

In all, another nice quiet day in the Morbihan;lovely. Keeping it low until our long summer vacation in August. Cheers and enjoy your weekend.

Belz Belz Belz Belz Belz Belz Belz Belz Belz Belz Ploemel Plouhinec Plouhinec


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July 14, 2015

Vannes is the Morbihan! Let’s the festivals begin.

Let’t the festivals begin, Vannes is more, the Morbihan main town , Capital city of dept 56 ,and it has all the attributes of a bigger town while keeping intact it’s wonderful wooden houses going back to the 14C all intact,originals!!! The tourist office ;http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/ And, I must say, work in its metro area in a castle, château du Talhouêt,of course not open to the public ::) On this wonderful four day weekend lol! enjoying the home country with the passing of the tour de France (see other entry), and yesterday and today (14 july Fête Nationale or Bastille day) we had the Fêtes Historiques, as we are more traditional we tell you of times gone by link to old regime ::) This is the 30th edition of the Fêtes Historiques de Vannes; with a parade of personalities that number in the 1000 and many visitors expected in the hundreds of thousands every year. There is firework in the ramparts by the old castle of Hermine. The theme for this year’s event is Jean IV Le Conquérant. or John IV the Conqueror. He was the winner of the wars of  succession  of Brittany and ruled for 35 years.residing for the most part in the Chateau de l’Hermine built from 1378 that he ordered built.  Some of its heritage is told here at the mayor’s office in English, http://en.mairie-vannes.fr/discoveringvannes/history-and-heritage/discovering-the-heritage-of-vannes/ And the castle now an exhibit;event place (Chinese portraits,paintings are on now) info in French, http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/histoire-et-patrimoine/qr-patrimoine/chateau-de-lhermine-en-detail/ Jean IV was friendly to the English, and married Marguerite, daughter of Edward III of England, as well as his second wife was English too, Jeanne Holand. Many English nobles were his advisors and on July 19 1372 signed a secret defense and protection treaty with Edward III. He welcome many heroes at the Chateau de l’Hermine including the Constable Olivier de Clisson in 1387. The Duke Jean IV restored the ramparts and enlarged them creating a second circle of defense for the city. He was married a third time in 1386 to Jeanne de Navarre and a total of 8 children,one Jean V le Sage or the Wise that succeeded him in the duchy after his death in November 1, 1399. He was special to Vannes and the guest of honor in this year’s historical festival. The festivities started from 12h and we were there by 11h free parking past the capitanerie of the harbor on rue du commerce. You had the Chinese exhibit same time as an expo on coins and engraving from medieval times in the castle yard. By the ramparts gardens there were shows of swords and medieval camps with archers and all! You many folks walking by in period costumes very colorful, and see the courtage of Duke John IV the Wise passing with the Count of Buckingham.  The parades were from 16h30 out from the church of Saint Patern, then 17h from the place Maurice Marchais the Olivier de Clisson and his Breton nobles, and the combine night parade at 22h30 from place Maurice Marchais with all of the above.Fireworks by 23h30 but too late for us by this time. All meandering through the medieval narrow cobblestone original streets of old town Vannes!!! Today 14 July there is a Bal dance in the Esplanade du Port by pl Gambetta. There is a total of 40 historical organisations here including those from Llanera, Asturias  ,Spain! with a great outspoken group! Group Hassel from Germany, fencers from the Czech Republic, costumes group from Venice, Italy, all wonderful choreograph and done. At the end we will have fireworks from 12h30 past midnight, and a free city center bus rides. Of course, been in town, we did not let go going into places we have been briefly and wanted to see more , such as the museum of fine arts (beaux-arts) Le Cohue and the museum of History and Archeology (muse d’histoire et d’archéologie) both on Rue Noé and les Halles. One ticket see both; children under 18 free adults 6,50€ In the wonderful historical Chateau Gaillard from the 15C in stones while the rest of the town at the time was in wood. The original owner of the lot was a Gaillard Tournemine so there goes the name of the castle. In 1457 it was the auditorium of the Parliament of Brittany! and home of the President. The castle has four levels and all link by a stair in stone. The street level room opens to the garden linking it with the Hôtel de Roscanvec ,and has two monumental chimneys. First floor (Fr) has wooden decorations, and the 2nd floor has the library of the Societé Polymathique du Morbihan where it has installed the collections of its museum here in 1912. The SPM is the current owners and the management is handle by the city of Vannes as well as the Cohue. Wonderful arts in a medieval setting. Some last minutes shopping like for baguettes!!! and came home in the evening after another wonderful day with the family in amazing Vannes, you need to see it to believe me::) Cheers. Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes

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July 13, 2015

Tour de France in the Morbihan, Bretagne!

Well this is a race that many years ago was not known to me, and once got the bug for France in 1990 …. the family I married to was an avid follower of the race. So the story began, for the short of it, I am a fan, and followed it with the family to the Auvergne or the town of Pau to see the races over the years since. Another turning poing , we moved to Brittany in 2011.

This past Sunday, yesterday, was our baptism here. The tour de France 2015 was coming again to Brittany ,and this time again to the Morbihan, just too close to miss it. The 9 stage against the clock was run right on my usual route to work!!!! So we set up our bag and went on to see it. http://www.letour.fr/le-tour/2015/us/stage-9.html

We knew it is popular, not only here but internationally as well, so the stages are all packed with people. The caravan was to start by 13h10 or 1:10pm and the first team of races were to follow by 15h10 or 3:10 pm in our post. I chose to come in by 11h and park in the city residential area for free and secured off rue Michelet in Saint Avé.  We walk down about 7 minutes to the giratoire de Beauregard or traffic circle of Beauregard on the road D126 intersection with the road D135 in Saint Avé. There is a beautiful castle there not open to the public only for weddings, events etc Chateau de Beauregard, http://chateau-de-beauregard-56.fr/

Here there were plenty of folks already but we found a nice spot right on the traffic circle on the side of the passing of the team trials or against the clock race. Lots of goodies to eat and folks to talk, and share all, even the souvenirs the caravan was throwing at the crowds. We stayed from 11h to 16h45….

As said, the caravan its all the sponsors of any kinds that comes in with a disneyaise show even Mickey was there!!! and then the road is prepare for the racers. As this was a team trial, they go out together as a team each on intervals of 5 minutes.

The call of order was Orica,Bretagne-Séché, Lampre, FDJ,Europcar,Bora,Lotto,IAM,MTN-Qhubeka,Lotto Soudal,Trek,Astana,Cannondale,Cofidis,Katusha,Movistar,Giant,AGéR La Mondiale,Etixx,Tinkoff,BMC,and Sky. Needeless to say BMC won it over Sky.

My favorites were Lotto Soudal with Tony Gallopin, Giant with Warren Baguil, Tinkoff with Alberto Contador, Movistar with Alejandro Valverde, BMC with Tejay van Garderen, Katusha with Joaquin “perico” Rodriguez.

The entire day was fun for the whole family and was able to get back in town many times stop for bread and such this time there was even the Sunday morning market! Now keep up with the race as it winds thru France.

The first 15 so far are

1. GBRFROOME Christopher 31 TEAM SKY 31h 34′ 12”
2. USAVAN GARDEREN Tejay 61 BMC RACING TEAM 31h 34′ 24” + 00′ 12”
3. BELVAN AVERMAET Greg 68 BMC RACING TEAM 31h 34′ 39” + 00′ 27”
4. SVKSAGAN Peter 47 TINKOFF-SAXO 31h 34′ 50” + 00′ 38”
5. ESPCONTADOR Alberto 41 TINKOFF-SAXO 31h 35′ 15” + 01′ 03”
6. COLURAN URAN Rigoberto 118 ETIXX-QUICK STEP 31h 35′ 30” + 01′ 18”
7. ESPVALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro 59 MOVISTAR TEAM 31h 36′ 02” + 01′ 50”
8. GBRTHOMAS Geraint 39 TEAM SKY 31h 36′ 04” + 01′ 52”
9. COLQUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander 51 MOVISTAR TEAM 31h 36′ 11” + 01′ 59”
10. CZESTYBAR Zdenek 116 ETIXX-QUICK STEP 31h 36′ 11” + 01′ 59”
11. FRAGALLOPIN Tony 71 LOTTO-SOUDAL 31h 36′ 13” + 02′ 01”
12. CZEKREUZIGER Roman 44 TINKOFF-SAXO 31h 36′ 30” + 02′ 18”
13. ITANIBALI Vincenzo 1 ASTANA PRO TEAM 31h 36′ 34” + 02′ 22”
14. FRABARGUIL WARREN 82 TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN 31h 36′ 55” + 02′ 43”
15. NEDGESINK Robert 131 TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO 31h 37′ 04” + 02′ 52”

And the next race is on to Tarbes to Pierre-Saint-Martin on stage 10. tomorrow been 14 July National Day here (Bastille day) is a holiday ! so enjoy the races. Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint AvéCheers


July 4, 2015

Madrid is a lot more than a city , for me!

In a way I am very lucky to be able to visit Madrid often, couple times a year sometimes 3. For those new to my blog, I lived in Madrid in the 70’s in another era as a teenager, and it has impacted me greatly over the years. My Spanish from my grandparents of Tenerife, allows me to move easy in the city as well.  It’s a memorable event each time, like the first time. This is city of Madrid tourism http://www.esmadrid.com/en/  and this is the autonomous region of Madrid tourist page ; http://turismomadrid.es/en/?eprivacy=1 I came from Nantes on Iberia to terminal 4. Very easy trip going and coming. I had my usual rendering of mas Q menos resto in T4 and my usual turrones, chocolates ,and vinos of Spain to bring back. I had a drive to my hotel. http://www.iberia.com/us/?language=en The hotel is the by now usual one, good , they all know me there now lol!  Ayre hotels and the wonderful Gran Colon at 1 C/Pez Volador and Dr Esquerdo; http://www.ayrehoteles.com/en/hotel-colon/ The metro station on line 6 or 9 is Sainz de Baranda or Conde de Casal. However, I do not need to go underground to see the city as I used to lived not far from the hotel.https://www.metromadrid.es/es/viaja_en_metro/red_de_metro/planos/version_texto.html The first night had opportunity to go out went to my old baseball playing field in the Polideportivo La Elipa, I walk over the passarelle of the beltway road M30. This road was built just as I was leaving Madrid with my dear mother, and now it’s a major road encircling Madrid on the first beltway. It took about 20 minutes walking to reach La Elipa, and what of memories began to flash back. In previous did not had time to stop by.. La Elipa back in 1971 was just a playing field that the US air force base in Torrejon de Ardoz had built so the kids of the servicemen could continue play the American game of baseball.  It was just a playing field, couple of stands and period. I played for a team that was sponsoring the baseball initiative, the Real Madrid CF in a league of 8 teams that included the Rayo Vallecano, Atletico de Madrid, Condepols, Piratas, the school Abraham Lincoln, etc.Don’t remember them all. The ride was taken on the P13 that now is bus line 113, the same!!!. The Madrid baseball federation is now based there, and they still play baseball there!!! Now with a huge complex of 3 municipal pools, running trails, and a full cafeteria. It was a moment to reflect on those beautiful times of youth that just won’t or do not want to let it go away. Madrid is home. I came back late at the hotel and decided after a full day running around to eat at the hotel restaurant which is nice and a view of the street Dr Esquerdo. However, before went with friends for lunch to Rivas VaciaMadrid and we had lunch together at Palacio Criollo, an Argentinian steakhouse. I had my bife chorizo very good and tender, with the cruzcampo beers and coffee, great experience even if for most visitors this is a bit far off, line 9 of metro and then walking.  This is their webpage for reference, http://www.palaciocriollo.es/ By the way one of the top baseball teams in Spain today is from Rivas Vaciamadrid. You would see the clubs here http://www.rfebs.es/clubes# ; and the fields are here where there is now an instructional school, http://www.rfebs.es/terrenos#  ,and I am still a fanatic Madridista of Real Madrid CF ! The second night there, decided to go back towards the  Retiro park, a wonderful park in the heart of the city and my hangout as a teen and still in love with it , or love all the things I see there ::)  I set out on foot as well best way to see any city and Madrid is no exception. This was my itinerary on foot. I left the hotel Gran Colon after work, and head out to Dr Esquerdo street, walk towards conde de casal but turn right on ave de Nazaret , this took me to plaza del Niño Jesus (square), here reach avenida de Menendez Pelayo and the Retiro park was on my right hand side. Flashes back already as every building every turn almost every house got to think, “I was here” ; http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-del-retiro/ Continue on Menendez Pelayo until the traffic circle of several streets but stayed on right hand side to hit Paseo de la Reina Cristina; this is a wonderful boulevard going down to Atocha, and of course passed by the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Atocha church, very nice, http://www.parroquiadeatocha.es/ At the end it joins avenida ciudad de Barcelona with a nice monument to the fallen, and you see the Repsol gas/petrol station and of course Atocha on the back cercanias trains entrance ; http://www.adif.es/en_US/infraestructuras/estaciones/60000/informacion_000070.shtml , this is from Spanish transports and from the tourist office , http://www.esmadrid.com/en/madrid-cercanias-train/ and went inside, There had my soul searching boy mind and had my whopper at Burger King ! yes, can ‘t help it ok so what is good and from Florida another of my love spots in the world. http://www.burgerking.es/restaurantes/17078 It was time to remember, to go back in my mind to those wonderful days of youth and see all the crowds in their routine of traveling in Spain by train. I too, went out of here many times since those days. After some soul searching, headed back to the hotel following the same route, took about 15 minutes. Time to rest and say one more time Adios Madrid, pero recuerden, Madrid al cielo y un hueco en él para mirarla todos los dias. Or Good bye Madrid, but remember, From Madrid to heaven, and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day! Enjoy your weekend wherever you are thinking of your life and others. Cheers Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid

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July 3, 2015

Versailles, my love ,I am back !

I was back to where I lived and enjoyed  this country of France with my family. This is Versailles, the royal town of France. I lived here for almost 10 years by Notre Dame quartier. We came by car and rented an apartment just outside in Saint Cyr l’école easy reaching Versailles on the road D10 along the Orangerie. The irony of it all is , the last time I wrote about Versailles in my blog was March 30 2013!  Over two years ago , wow! times flies…. The tourist office is here http://www.versailles-tourisme.com/en/accueil.html

You know the other page but for us it is more than a palace museum. We give you the city page on the tourism section http://www.versailles.fr/tourisme/

After all, I am ask to tell about the town, and frankly visiting and living are two different things. When I lived there I hardly took photos, and after getting into my blog started taking a bit more, this visit ,I think took more than ever about 150 photos in one visit!!! I will only put a representation of them here.

We ,of course, walk in our old neighborhood that was behind our church Notre Dame, the one where all the princes of Versailles were registered at birth and baptized. The one that was not taken for Cathedral because the French revolution did not want it to make a royal shrine more powerful, so they chose another for the cathedral in the Saint Louis quartier. However, Notre Dame is the oldest and most prestigious historically.

We went over the kids bus stops along avenue Saint Cloud and Europe, now we found the parking there has been change from entering from the ave de l’europe now you entered by the Avenue de Paris… Of course, we came inside the Collegiale Church of Notre Dame. And we visited the market where we did some last minute shopping before it folded for the day . And we went to Le Chesnay where my boys went to school, high school and did shop at the wonderful Parly II shopping center, the best in the area and for the size the best with all the trimmings of Paris including Lenôtre, Au Printemps, BHV, etc, and a wonderful food section. http://www.parly-2.com/W/do/centre/acceder-au-centre

In all we got into the palace/museum property to get into our old porte Saint Antoine and past the Hameau de la reine Marie-Antoinette, and into the Petit Trianon and Grand Trianon, taking the petit train to come back to the castle. We saw again the Grand Canal and the boats, and ate at our favorite restaurant and still grand, Le Boeuf à la Mode, 4 Rue au Pain at the place du marché Notre Dame. Open 7/7 from breakfast from 9h and continuous service from 12h to midnight. tel +33 (0) 1 39 50 31 99.  Fabulous Versailles look and belle époque design at http://www.leboeufalamode-versailles.com/  ( for reference they own le Carré by pl St Augustin in Paris which I have been too, great).

The castle was fantastic, some crowds (record breaking visitors numbers) but worth it again. We went in fairly quickly and as design , purchase my ticket like a tourist on site very fast, the security line advance quickly too and you are in. We were inside the palace by 10h (10am).  I will have one picture of the ticket office on the left of the main parvis once inside the grilled wrough iron door.  the Notre Dame, the gardens, the royal Chapel , the grand and petit apartments, the different rooms, gallery of glass and the gallery of battles with Yorktown , all wonderful, it seems the now visiting was more beautiful than when visit as a resident. Not to missed our loving café Angelina (chain of Paris) in the Petit Trianon outside with a terrace lovely after a long day jogging or walking in the gardens.

It is a huge place as it is today with 37 hectares on the palace ground along but it was 807 hectares at its heyday in royalty. The different gates or doors of old can be found in maps but there is one back all the way back of Grand Canal by St Cyr l’école, dates from 1741. It is one of the best example of power and beauty a fairy tail story only broken by a revolution which the holder now has the same absolute powers and lives in a palace Elysées ::)


It was a one day of glory for us, as we were visiting other places; but Versailles will always remain close to our hearts, who needs Paris when you had Versailles ! Really ::) Some pictures for the record of the visit. Do come ,enjoy it, no matter the wait ,it is all worth it. AND, do wandered on the town, it has still an old world ambiance with all the modern facilities of today. Cheers

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July 2, 2015

Fontainebleau royal and imperial castle of France

This is a wonderful castle in a very nice town in department 77 Seine-et-Marne; Fontainebleau , royal and imperial castle town of France. It was my first castle visited in France ever going back to 1990 when my now wife introduce me to her region.

the tourist office of the city and the castle are here http://www.fontainebleau-tourisme.com/  and http://www.musee-chateau-fontainebleau.fr/

We arrive by car knowing the construction, came by the A6 and cut off at the D637 connect just north of Barbizon with the D607 to Fontainebleau. The parking was done at our usual place almost empty in parking chateau across from the castle at place Général de Gaulle. And we walk.

Early arrival we went by the city and then the gardens and then the castle. This is a huge property not enough to do one blog entry on it, but anyway , I always leave the intrigue for you, giving you a bit to tell you without given the end of the movie.

We walk along bd magenta and bd du Maréchal Juin, and up Rue de France, along rue Dénecourt that continues to  Rue Grande up to rue Aristides Briand into place du Général Patton. Back to bd du Maréchal Joffre back to ave de Verdun into rue de la Paroisse   , and rue Victor Hugo and rue des Sablons all wonderful full of shops, restos, bars etc.

We saw the church Saint Louis, and came into the jardin de Diane by the back of the castle and out into the Place d’Armes. Then finally , we hit for lunch ::) We went to one central we had not been as usually we came by the day and had our meals at family nearby. This time in town all day, we ate at the Au Délice Imperial at 1 Rue Grande, tel +33 (0) 1 64 22 20 70. They have a huge dessert center where 3 pastry chefs change each day the menu of this house founded in 1889. At the side of the restaurant, they is a small fast food place for sandwiches etc, and you can take home too. We had several beers, coffees, two desserts for each, milk shake, tagliatelle bolognaise, burger dish, and 3 roasted pork dishes all for 23.75€ per person. They are on the tourist office page but this one tells you some nice reviews as well and I used to write on a site they purchase, http://www.yelp.fr/biz/le-d%C3%A9lice-imp%C3%A9rial-fontainebleau-2

We, therefore, had the energy to hit the castle inside and out.  You entered the grand grill door and to your right it is now the ticket office. We did not purchase in advance as wanted the full tourist feel of the place. The entry was easy , behind this building you have the English garden.  you walk inside all along the rooms into the fountain courtyard or place de la fontaine with the horseshoe on the other side of the building and in front of the carp lake which has adjoining the grand parterre. Inside the golden gate you come into the Oval courtyard and beyond the cour des offices.  Outside facing the Diana garden  you have canopy building and a passage way to the main courtyard, here is the jeu de paume, the oldest in France.
The Chinese museum is exotic, the Napoléon I museum is fantastic, the new Pope’s apartments are interesting, as well as the grand or large apartments and the Madame Maintenon apartments are nice.  You see the small apartments and the Josephine ‘s private life apartments.  All the way in the back past the grand parterre you have the White Gate and the city and the town of Avon. In all a wonderful castle you should see it, a must while visiting France.
I took about 150 pictures this time , all for the memories, so will post some selective ones here. Again, come and see it and write about it, I am not good at narratives. Enjoy Fontainebleau. Cheers
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June 28, 2015

Paris ,really no need to say more, it’s Paris!

One more time to Paris, come for work every month but nice to come with the family too. And this time even to meet friends from Georgia, USA. As said in my previous post, we arrive by car at Gare Saint Lazare and left our car there, if you buy in advance the tariffs is half price from 28€ per day to 14,20€!!! I do it all the time all over at Neoparking. https://www.neoparking.com/

We walk out into Paris by going to one of my favorite off the hidden path places in Paris. The Chapelle Expiatoire, at rue Pasquier just walking down from Saint Lazare cross Haussmann and there it is. Encircle by a nice small park garden this is the old cementary of Madeleine, where during the French revolution many were literally dumped here such as Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette!

The cementary was open already since 1721, but more fame if any from the French revolution period of 1792-1794. Others dumped here were Charlotte Corday and the Girondins deputies.Also, Duchess d’Angoulême oldest daughter of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.

During the the end of 1814 once the revolution losses some of its grips, the monarchy tried one more time to come back. this is what happened when a descendent brother still alive (after the oldest son of Louis XVI was mysteriously disappear and never to be found again,Louis XVII) , the brother came back as Louis XVIII, and order the remains of his brother and M-A removed from here and buried at the Basilica of Saint Denis where most of the kings/queens of France are buried now.

Louis XVIII decided to erect a chapel as the same spot where his brother and sister in law were dumped. The first stone for this chapel was put on January 21 1815, the anniversary of the death of Louis XVI;and the building was done in 1826 under the reign of Charles X. It was a controversial spot for many many years, lots of politics and hassle , many times decided to demolished it.  Finally , ironically it was declared a National Monument of France just at the beginning of 1914….

You entered through a large pavilion that takes you to the center of the chapel showing the wishes of Louis XVIII to erect this monument. Once in the vestibule you go through some steps then take you to the inside garden. Here you have the campo santo or saintly field, a garden where it was the execution point of the place during the French revolution, now a sacred spot. You have huge stones as a symbol of souvenir of the courageous Swiss guards executed in 1792 while the arrestation of the king and queen at the Palais des Tuileries (today destroyed but a cause is on to rebuild it, I am in it, http://www.tuileries.org/

You enter the Chapelle with a wonderful inmense dome with religious connotations such as the passion of Christ, Eucharism, trinity, and the tables of the law or commandments. At the entry it shows the transition of the bones from here to the basilica of Saint Denis. You have statues in white marbre representing Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.The will of Louis XVI is written on the black pedestal of the statue. Also, the last letter written to the sister of Louis XVI, madame Elizabeth is written on the marbre (sister also guillotine in 1794, just for being the sister),you can see here house in Versailles 73 rue de Paris).

The crypt is reach by stairs at the end of the chapel the black marble altar is where the exact location the bones of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were found. There is a confessional sacristy and lateral galleries of columns. The whole place small park and chapel is what today it is call square Louis XVI created in 1862. Admission adults is 5,50€. webpage http://chapelle-expiatoire.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/

From here I had promise my friends will take them to another of old job hunts, where we spent many years of good cheers and many family vacation, The Le Grand Hotel intercontinental next to the marvelous Café de la Paix and Opéra Garnier.  I was met there by old boss, who as usual took my family and friends on a mini tour of the salon Opéra of the hotel ,historical monument of France, and done by Charles Garnier, the same as the opera and many others. Also, into the café de la paix another historical monument of France where it was reminded the ceilings are worth more than those in the salon inside the hotel. And I worked here in finance management ::)

In all, a wonderful day in Paris, once again ! You are never far from grandeur ,beauty, and good cheers while in Paris. Thanks for the good company of my friends from Georgia USA, and from my old boss who still is as gentle as when worked under him. Merci beaucoup.

Enjoy the photos,and until next time in the computer/internet. Going to Madrid tomorrow ::)

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June 28, 2015

Suresnes is memories of old and still today

This is one of my old job cities in France, I worked here for 2 years and many  nice memories of the place and friends. Suresnes is in dept 92 Hauts de Seine just west of Paris easy over the bois de Boulogne.

The tourist office there also act as seller of the local wine still produce here since milleniums. http://www.suresnes-tourisme.com/

We came by car to Paris Gare Saint Lazare, parked in the station parking on 20 rue de Rome. direct access to the train station from inside the parking. Once in the station we purchase the tickets on the machines Ile de France to go up to Suresnes-Mont Valerien. Easy to know its the stop after Puteaux. You get off following the signs for Mont Valerien and go up on rue du Calvaire.

Once on top you will to your right the American Cementary with souls of WWI and WWII on territory given by France to the USA ; this is a beautiful cementary and on top has great views of Paris. You can go down to the esplanade to the left of the cementary and the views to Paris on clear days is great; the best way to see IN the monuments. At night is sublime and romantic. http://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries-memorials/europe/suresnes-american-cemetery#.VY_GbcIw_IU

If you are facing the cementary to the left side you go up to the  Mémorial Nationale, a solemn place with a never ending flame of gratitude to all those fallen under the Nazism, many here were held and shot dead. It has a nice chapel and on top you can see the old fortress where there is a military fort still operational. if you go on the right side of the American Cementary the distance will be longer but you see more high views of Paris and a nice walkers sentry on the parc promenade Jacques Baumel. http://www.mont-valerien.fr/

You can eat there at the Au Pére Lapin resto right in the corner of the American Cementary with rue du Calvaire. Or go down on rue de Mont Valerien on a steep street down to city center Suresnes where there are plenty of choices for a 10 minute or less walk. We did that with some friends visiting from Georgia USA, and ate at one of my old times favorites to eat here while at work, Donatello Italian resto at 24 Esplanade des Courtieux, tel +33 (0) 42 04 41 67.. We had our usual pizzas (Donatello, 4 saisons, capri), tagliatelle carbonara,and penne 4 fromages,  with the diabolo menthe and 6 1664 French beers  all for about 15,20€ per person!

We took the train back to Gare Saint Lazare where we continue our journey in Paris with our friends, more on that next. This is a nice chic trendy town to visit easy on tramway or train, and just over the Bois de Boulogne by the hippodrome de Longchamps. Enjoy it. Have a great Sunday! I will continue on my travels tomorrow…::)

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June 27, 2015

Meaux, brie, mustard and WWI ,the Marne.

This is a wonderful town on the banks of the river Marne not far from Paris nor Disneyland. It is where all started for me in France as married a native ::) It is funny sometimes the places most dear to you are the least visited afterward.  Of course, not counting family visits which are different than visitors, the last time I wrote something on the town in my blog was in February 24, 2011!!!

The tourist office is here http://www.tourisme-paysdemeaux.fr/en/discover/

and the city tourism window is here http://www.ville-meaux.fr/-Tourisme-et-patrimoine-.html

However, the main reason I came back this time as “visiting tourist ” if I can be there, is to see the new museum of the WWI history on the Marne .The museum opened a couple years ago and always trying but always family ,so this time went straight for it.

It is on the road we normally take route de Varennes to visit friends of the family in nearby town of Varennes, in there was a huge American monument or Monument Americaine, a gift of the people of the USA to France honoring the soldiers of the expeditionary force of Gen Pershing that after landing in now near me in St Nazaire march on towards the Marne to help the French as they have done to the USA in the war of Independence with Lafayette, Rochembau , and admiral Grasse. Gen Pershing cry “Lafayette we are here” upon landing.

well right next to this beautiful monument there is the museum or Musée de la Grande Guerre (big war is what is call here WWI). It is an imposing building on a small hill square in nature, and loudspeakers tell you ,you are in the middle of a battlefield as you approach the museum. You go in to the big lobby and go up one floor to get your ticket and start your journey. The street level is for the boutique and café services. You can go up to the top level terrace and get a view of the city of Meaux.

It tells the story of wars since 1870 so you can undertand the events leading to WWI.  You go around a thematic sequence showing the never forget theme, how was society at the time, school days , a divided Europe, the event to Sarajevo, the Marne in 1914, the trenches, Marne in 1918, victory and armistice peace ceremony;the illusions of the victory, and the re construction of the memories.

It shows the implication of hospital and school personnel in those days, the role of women, and the bringing together of about 35 nations at war.  In all you have machine guns, airplane, armored vehicle ,bus troop transports, utensils, arms small and rifles etc you name it. It is interesting to note that is music associated with the times and many exhibits of now playing like family paintings and how to build musical instruments and the music of the time in the trenches. Interesting.

There is program throughtout the year on musical presentation and exhibitions. Next in October they will have Lucien Durosoir and its violinists as well as the violencelle instrument by an ensemble of musicians and the instrument rebuilt. The ensemble is the Calliopée that is base in the museum using instruments of the times. There is an exhibit of violins until December 31 2015.

The museum own page is here in English, http://www.museedelagrandeguerre.eu/en

Something educational and worth while for the whole family. Of course, it can be a cheaper base for Disneyland direct transport ::)


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