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 conde 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

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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 ::)

http://en.chateauversailles.fr/homepage

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 ::)

Cheers.

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June 21, 2015

At least Father’s day is special, still.

Well here we are on a hot day up to 28C or about 82F sunny dry. it’s day that makes me think of my mother too, but at least I have my father. This is our day, it should be every day but we take at least one. To remember, think, enjoy the good things we have around us even if small.

Today, I went out with the family all five of us, and my father =6, he is already 80 with a pharmacy of medicines but looking strong. We had a restaurant reserved in medieval nice Vannes at 1pm or 13h.

We set out from our house knowing that it was music festival day as well, Fête de la musique in France and Vannes had circulation limited in the center. So we gather our knowledge and went around it parking on boulevard de la paix and going into the old quarters of Saint Patern by rue de la Fontaine.

This is marvelous area full of shops , libraries of old books, restaurants of many lands and bars. Including some traditional Breton créperies and restos. We choose our old reliable La Gavroche. http://legavroche-vannes.com/

Before the lunch, we had our walk around the area , always pleasant; noticing some new business like the Portuguese resto now has a grocery store just a couple houses away!

Finally, it was time to go in, they already remember us!! It’s always a great thrill to be recognize when you patronize one of the local places here, very typical and nice we think. We had our table in the middle section so by now we have try it all front , terrace ,and middle.  The whole place is painted by a local artist we will contact to make them do some work in our house too ::) Many dolls, and puppets and a great wines , and local liquors collection.

The food of the day was pigs head so not our fancy ….we settle for the fish Dos de Colin with a herbal thai sauce(hake) in the menu for 17,90€ including a delicious entrée on goat cheese with tomatoes, and finish with a great rice pudding with caramel sauce. All with a porto rouge for apéro. We had a muscadet white wine from the Loire ,Chateau le Coing de Sainte Fiacré, and a expresso coffee to finish. All with excellent prompt service of breads, water, and change of utensils, perfect as always here. The rest had different things from steak with mashed potatoes, basque chicken in sauce, coca cola, aperitifs from vodka base to fruity non alcohol, More fish colin or hake, and ice cream from two to three scoops of different flavors all for 26,20€ per person.

We finished with the house serving of a digéstif liquor mix of rum, honey, and banana liquor on the house. Delicious. We went home with no traffic at all , I guess folks were either at home or at the beach…. Tomorrow one day and then on my four nights holiday vacation in Fontainebleau, Paris and Versailles! and coming back from that no time as off on business trip to Madrid, Spain ::)

Happy Father’s day to all celebrating! Cheers , life is beautiful, la vie est belle.

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June 13, 2015

Presqu’île de Rhuys has it all!

Well my regular rounds in my department 56 Morbihan, took me to the peninsula of rhuys or Prequ’île de Rhuys. Indeed a peninsula full of boats, megaliths stones, and especially beaches;great in summer, peacefully nice in winter season.

the region tourist office here , http://www.rhuys.com/  ; and here in English from same site you can see all the cultural and natural sites just go to the center clip link and ok. http://www.crouesty.co.uk/en/heritage-visits-port-du-crouesty-navalo.aspx

We set out by car as it is only about 60 kms (about 37 miles) from me all the way to the tip of the peninsula. The road N165 runs Nantes to Brest and take it past Vannes to the exit with the name Presqu’île de Rhuys and Sarzeau the biggest town there. You will be on the road D780 and as we took some side steps we went on the D198 as well.

We stop at the village of Le Hézo to load up on cider! 2,50€ a bottle for a case mix of brut, doux, and fruité or semi sec. There is a museum here too, musée de la cidre,  and they show you how it is made ; and a great boutique with a lot more than cider, such as honey, jams, house deco items, whiskies, eau de vie de cidre, etc etc. http://www.museeducidre.com/en

We continue on to arrive on the D780 to Sarzeau, before we made a quick look at a castle always planning but never done it, opens in July 1, Chateau de Kervelenan, wonderful property, the gardens are open more time, more here at thetourist office, http://www.crouesty.co.uk/en/SARZEAU/Domaine-de-Kerlevenan_c414718.aspx ,  and then into the city ,there was market day of course, all Saturdays we load up on goodies and baguettes, saw the wonderful church Saint-Saturnin dating from the 17C where the square the market is held all around it. Plenty of parking by the cinema le Richmont area on the place des Trinitaires for free.  Markets info here http://www.crouesty.fr/fr/marche-arzon-port-crouesty-navalo-presquile-rhuys.aspx

we wondered about town city center with the great ambiance of market day, but continue our journey for lunch. We took the road D198 and headed for Saint Gildas de Rhuys a  great peaceful community surrounded by great beaches and a nice quaint city center where we had our lunch. Pizzeria Restaurant Le Casier, http://www.morbihan.com/st-gildas-de-rhuys/restaurant-le-casier/tabid/1564/offreid/c582ece8-f372-4711-996c-5b3ff29a61d0

Here the service was very friendly and very attentive to detail as well as prompt. The resto has a nice garden terrace and then go inside with two dining sections we took the back by the wine cellar, very nice decoration and the food was great from moules/mussels( curry and white wine) to pizzas (rustique and mexicaine)and ice creams in two and three scoops,diabolo menthe, and a bottle of Spanish Rioja wine Arjona 2014 joven young red wine nice. all for 21.50€ per person.

Fully loaded we took turn on the local church just a few meters away, this is the Abbaye Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys  founded by one of the monks that left Britain for old Armoric (today Bretagne) when the migration leaving the Saxons invasions; today it is one of the most beautiful roman style churches in Bretagne/Brittany! Official site here in French ,http://www.abbaye-de-rhuys.fr/

Just behind the abbey there is a circuit going to the beach or plage  de l’appel du 8 juin 1940, and the port aux moines boat pleasure marina, nice lovely place to relax too.

We continue our journey into deeper in the peninsula of Rhuys and came upon Arzon, a smaller town just across from marvelous harbor of Port de Crousty, and the church of Arzon, completely done in the 19C even if the town is one of the oldest here on record mentioned since 836AD.

We continue our journey into the corniche du phare and walk along the waterfront into the great lighthouse while getting a great look at the island in the harbor tip such as île de Meaban, Cromlec’h, Er Lannic,île longue, île de Gavrinis, and île de la jument. All wonderful view along the harbor high ground walkways. Beautiful peaceful boat and sea magic. Love it. We went around on the other side and into the pointe de Bilgroix to get more views of the harbor and the wonderful stone statue of the Madonna, near the entrance to a megalith dating 2500-3000 BC.

As this was the end of the road, we headed back home first on the D198 then the D780 and finally the N165 direction Vannes to the D768 and home. In all ,another wonderful day out in beautiful Morbihan, which as many of my readers know is petite mer in French or actually  small sea in Breton. Mor=Sea, Bihan=small. Cheers.

Le Hezo Le Hezo Sarzeau  Sarzeau  Sarzeau  Sarzeau  Sarzeau  Sarzeau  Sarzeau  Sarzeau  St Gildas de Rhuys  St Gildas de Rhuys  St Gildas de Rhuys  St Gildas de Rhuys  St Gildas de Rhuys  St Gildas de Rhuys  St Gildas de Rhuys  St Gildas de Rhuys  St Gildas de Rhuys  St Gildas de Rhuys  St Gildas de Rhuys  St Gildas de Rhuys Arzon Arzon Arzon Port Navalo Port Navalo Port Navalo Port Navalo Port Navalo Port Navalo Port Navalo

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June 7, 2015

And Carnac is sublime in beach weather!

Again, before going to last post early this morning was in Carnac. Lovely area about 30 kms from my house, and believe it or not last wrote on it was on August 6 2013 in my blog lol!

The tourist office is here in English; http://www.carnactourism.co.uk/

So went backward with previous post on LTsM, oh well. Carnac is sublime, a beautiful big beach=grande plage and plenty of bars/restos and shops all close in in a couple blocks, its like having a big street party with a beach lol!

It is only about 30 kms from my house (19 miles) , and we come here often on weekends when at home. Go early and you have all the parkings you need, go by noon and scramble to find one. So we leave home about 9h (9am) and always parking right by the entrance of the grande plage.  More on it in French on a beach site here, http://www.plages.tv/detail/grande-plage-carnac-56340

There are other beaches there all over the coast as this map on the site can tell you, http://www.plages.tv/station-balneaire/carnac-56340

And of course, the tourist office of Carnac has plenty too in English, http://www.carnactourism.co.uk/discover-carnac/natural-environment/beaches-and-villas

We had some drinks here while looking at the grande plage and the boys went into the water yikes! a bit cold for me even if the temp outside was 24C the water was like 16C! Out nice hangout is Memes Tra just at the corner of Miln and blvd de la plage upon the main entrance to the grande plage, see it all with style while having a really good Breton beer, Duchesse Anne at 7,5°!  not a webpage of its own but showcase in the tourist office site here, http://www.carnactourism.co.uk/detail/72ba6b4efef7e28593cbd026abd57ec7/549864

We did our normal walks in town and by residential areas with the great beach mansions, did a bit of the tourist office visit (always recommended visiting or living here), did some shopping visiting our favorites la Trinitaine store next to the tourist office , here http://www.latrinitaine.com/magasins/carnac/

And we went by the other spot that is a must to visit here bypassing an army of motocycle riders here for a weekend ride event along the route des kerlescan or D196. This is the route of the dolmens, menhirs, megaliths and alignements in French. These are stones from thousands of years that were move here in line on differents fields of which the main ones are along this road, Menec, Kermario and Kerlescan. It is thousands of stones all line up with meaning still to be found really. It is UNESCO heritage site indeed worth it.

At first , I saw them and wonder why would anybody would come here to see old stones, but then once here, realize it has a greater meaning to the local Bretons. Our homes like mine is full of them and gardens decorated with stones and house front with stones, it has a deep heritage meaning here. There is a house museum by the Menec site call the  Maison des Mégalithes; open every day , May and June from 9h to 18h, July and August from  9h30 to 19h30, and September to April from  10h-17h, holidays like Jan 1, May 1 and Dec 25 is closed. admission now is 6€ adults. To get here you do the N165 expressway then get off at exit 34 D768 direction Carnac, at the traffic circle Purgatoire take the road D119 direction Carnac until reaching the road D196 right to the house. The D196 camping cars are not allowed going westward.

Impressive to see and  undertand. Hopefully ,you will be able to print this pdf file it shows a map of all the sites along the road D196; print it and take with you. http://www.ot-carnac.fr/files/ot-carnac/files/fichiers/media_fichier_fr_plan.alignements.de_.carnac.pdf

You have the stones or menhirs, and the funeral enclosing from Dolmens,couloir ,and cistes. At Kermario you have 1 100 meters long of stone alignments with over  980 stones.  Kerlescan is the smallest but the best preserve; with 350 meters long of alignments and 140 meters wide, the great stone known as the giant of manio or  “le géant du Manio” it is about 300 meters west of the center of the ensemble.  The Champ de Menec the most westerly and in front of the maison des mégalithes is 1050 stones along  950 meters long. Here you find the tallest with more than 3 meters high call the giant du menec or  “géant du Menec”.

These are several sites that will help you undertand this wonderful showcase some in French and some in English.

http://carnac.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/

more specialize reading in French at the Ministry of Culture. http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/megalithes/index.html
at the institute for research in France
http://www.inrap.fr/archeologie-preventive/Actualites/Communiques-de-presse/Archives/2006/p-58-Les-menhirs-de-Belz-decouverte-et-fouille-extensiv.htm
panorama des arts ,history of the arts site in France
http://www.panoramadelart.com/alignements-de-carnac

The department of Morbihan tourist office in English
http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/carnac/les-alignements-de-carnac/tabid/8474/offreid/4000c136-c40d-43f3-a0b9-50216484c50b

special section on them by the Morbihan in English
http://www.megalithes-morbihan.com/sites/carnac-alignments.html

and the Region of Brittany tourist site in English
http://www.brittanytourism.com/things-to-do/all-activities/maison-des-megalithes-alignements-de-carnac

All showing the wonders of these stones, walking amongst them is a sight on special occasions, if not comptemplating them is awesome. Enjoy the history and wonders of Carnac.

Have a great Sunday everyone! Cheers!!

Carnac Carnac Carnac Carnac Carnac Carnac Carnac Carnac Carnac

 

 

 

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June 6, 2015

La Trinité sur Mer , heavens on boats!

This is a wonderful heavens and boater’s paradise about 33 Kms ( 20 miles) from my house. Weekends specially in good weather is glorious to have it as your backyard, even if do not write of this area since my last post of August 7th 2012!!! Not to mention the whole of the coastal department 56 of Morbihan in Brittany, France. I am talking about La Trinité sur Mer. The tourist office for it again is here : http://www.ot-trinite-sur-mer.fr/ We go by car along the D768 to the N165 and then turn direction Vannes for a while on this road before hooking up again with the D768 direction Carnac and hooking up with the road D186 direction La Trinité sur Mer. Plenty of parking by the pleasure marina and along the harbor as well as the St Joseph parking lot up by the Church St Joseph, it is a public parking. The Church of Saint Joseph  is in the high town or haute ville, built in 1865 around houses of fisherman; the belltower was raised in 1891 to serve as guide to the boaters in the harbor below!  There are nice eateries up here too,and the quaint house to repair your bike or your small boat with antiques fixtures right by the Church behind it next to the memorial to the fallen. And of course, the harbor, all glorious boats of it, restos, bars, shops. The wonderful SNSM lifesavers at sea volunteer force which I proudly support by the fish market or halles aux poisons. Always great to walk it leisurely and no hurry. We of course had our lunch here at the usual A l’étage right by the harbor and overlooking it with  a top floor terrace for drinks only. You come down to second level to drink more and eat some big burgers and fries, fish harengs, and Serrano ham, grimbergen and corona beers and expresso coffee all for 15€ per person.  The best is the vistas and at night is tapas! no webpage but just entering La Trinité sur Mer you can’t missed the bigh house by the harbor quai eric tabaly, the telephone is +33 (0) 2 97 59 56 12. We continue to do some walking passing by the mairie or mayor’s office where our car was park to head out to St Philibert and our shopping at our favorite area Breton store La Trinitaine. Then , we headed home. Enjoy your weekend wherever you are! La Trinité sur Mer La Trinité sur Mer La Trinité sur Mer La Trinité sur Mer La Trinité sur Mer La Trinité sur Mer La Trinité sur Mer La Trinité sur Mer La Trinité sur Mer La Trinité sur Mer La Trinité sur Mer La Trinité sur Mer

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