May 24, 2015

And more Finistére at Roscoff!

Following my previous post on a swing by car thru the Finistére region no 29, we went by car to Morlaix and with time decided to take a plunge into Roscoff a bit further. This was a good choice as we enjoy the sea breezes here with plenty of visitors. The tourist office is here, http://www.roscoff-tourisme.com/

The town is very touristic and seafarer, with lots of British influx due to the Brittany Ferry trips. We came by car along the D58 road, very nice done road and very little traffic almost alone on the road !!!  We hit first the ferry port and saw the many cars lining up to go over the manche… This is a busy port indeed with 85% British visitors. The website for the ferry is here, http://www.brittany-ferries.fr/ .   We went by the Casino de Roscoff at port de Bloscon as well very nice and conveniently located by the ferry boat harbor ::)  website here http://roscoff.groupetranchant.com/

We ,then proceeded by car to the lighthouse or phare right off the street coming in by the fishing old harbor ;this lighthouse is 24 meters high and has 95 steps, the square top was started in 1914,as well as the optic lense and done in 1917.  Funny we follow the petit train into the narrow streets all the way to the parking behind the church Notre Dame de Croas Batz that itself was started built in 1520, with the belltower from 1576 and all done in granite. There is a marker on the wall as you come from the embarcadére to ile de Batz showing the spot where Marie Stuart of the Scotts once lived and also a plaque commemoration across from it. Queen at age 7 days! she crosses into Roscoff history as girlfriend of future king of France François II , she lands at Roscoff by the chapel of Saint Ninien , (today destroyed) on which remaining façade there is the writing of this event. Ann event in history longer to write about it in my blog.

We went to the pleasure boat marina of Bloscon, website here; http://www.plaisancebaiedemorlaix.com/en/introduction-to-the-port-of-roscoff

and the embarcadére or cruising terminal to the island or ile de Batz, very nice indeed, we went down on the side of the Ibis hotel to the stony beach and you a great view of the passerelle to get the boat here,nice. It is done several times a day but cancel in case of high tides with coefficient greater than 100. In addition to Roscoff tourist office, you have in French more on the island here , http://www.iledebatz.com/l%C3%AEle-de-batz/acc%C3%A8s-et-travers%C3%A9e

The town is very lovely with vibrant activities and plenty to shop for souvenirs and eating places. I rather think the beaches are great in season and one must come early for space. It has been years for me here;and first time with the family. Other than the tourist office link above, the petit train has an association of these wonderful family train in French here on Roscoff, http://www.trainstouristiques.fr/fr/guide-petit-train/roscoff/

It was already late and as not planned to visit here ,we headed home, just our routine one day or weekend trips in our area and writing about it for eternity ::) . It goes to say, we will be back in season as it is nice for longer stay by the ocean . The road back was not the same as the one coming to Morlaix and then Roscoff. I always try to beat Michelin lol! We took the same road out of Roscoff back to Morlaix on the D58 briefly on the D712 and then on the D769, and then by La Feuillée change to the D764  and continue to Carhaix-Plouger to hook up with the N164 dir Rostrenen. At Mûr de Bretagne we got off heading into the D767 direction Pontivy, at Pontivy we took the D768 direction Baud, and here the road D768 direction Camors into our town. So in this way we saved 11 kms with 15 mins more of travel. In all the first one by Michelin won as the ride along the Mont d’Arrée is fantastic.

and now home writing about the new adventures; have a great Pentecôte or Pentecost day wherever you are and if celebrating it as we are on a 3 day weekend. Cheers.

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May 24, 2015

How about that Finistére, this is Morlaix

Another of my weekend trips in my beautiful Bretagne/Brittany or Breizh. This time it was in the departément of Finistére no 29. We went to see Morlaix. The tourist offices are ; http://www.tourisme-morlaix.fr/ We went by car of course , it is about 2h30 from us on the N165 to Quimper past it take the N164 direction Pleyben/Morlaix, then hook up with the D785 again direction Pleyben/Morlaix , take a quick right on the D712, D712B and again back on the D785 and again on the D712 on a series of traffic circles until reaching the D769 direction Morlaix into city center by rue de Brest which is strangely the D712 road ! The signs are well posted. Going there we passed by the wonderful nature of the Mont d’Arrée the historical hills of Brittany. This is wonderful for the nature lovers and history buffs like me, we drove by it this time but stops frequents to soak in on the scenary, the monts Saint Michel is wonderful, to see it in depth to come. More on it here at the Finistére tourist office, http://www.finisterebrittany.com/arree-mountains-and-montagnes-noires We found easy parking at the place Charles de Gaulle right past the viaduct and in front of the Tourist office and House or Maison Penanault which has a nice mini presentation of the history of the area,both house and office are the same. The statue of the Corsair Charles Cornic is there.  You walk right into the viaduct and have on Saturdays a wonderful food and fleas market or marché; here as well as heading to the great architecture of the city hall or hotel de ville. Across the basin that is part of the Harbor or portat quai de Léon,  you have the Manufacture des Tabacs that for 250 years was a main motor of fabrication of cigars etc, today it is save by administrative offices and it is open to the public to showcase it. As we arrive by midi or noon, it is time here to have lunch, and as we were in Morlaix central, just when the marché or market was going on under the viaduct transport bridge we choose the historic Le Grand Café de la Terrasse just past the parking at the next square Place des Otages; it is regal house done in 1885, and serving since. Very nice belle époque designs and friendly local service. We sat inside and had a great course with me having apéro as usual porto rouge (red) ,then  pizzthéque ( blend of watermelons, salads, cheeses, cherry tomatoes entrée) , then the tartine de chévre et deux jambons or goat’s cheese and two hams including iberico type ham.toasted bread and on a bed of salads, all with a great Chinon red Expression 2012 and expresso coffee;others had different things from omelette to burgers to risotto seafood platter. café gourmand (with sweets), raspberries surprises mousse and coffee as well as assorted aperitifs from cognac to vodka to poire Williams liquor. All for 30 euros per person; bit high but all worth it. http://www.tourisme-morlaix.fr/spip.php?page=detail&id=RESBRE029FS00032&alias=RES We continue our wandering to visit the church Saint Melaine, very rustic pretty old nice; right by the viaduct almost touching it. Church started from 1489 and continuously renovated to 1574 and even 1956. It has an impressive belltower that recognizes it all over town. We walk all over on the meandering streets to the hotel de ville or mairie past the days market and into the place E Souvestre and place de Viarmes , the Grande Rue and the place des jacobins (couvent des jacobins) with its city museum or Musée de Morlaix , also some in the Maison à Pondalez, http://www.musee.ville.morlaix.fr/fr/visite/le-musee-aujourd-hui.php Up to the Rue du Mur and wonderful Place Allende with a nice lookout of the city up by the old ruins Chateau (now a college) and into the next nice Church of Saint Mathieu, a gothic church from 1494 is now done from 1824. The magnificient tower dates from the 16C renaissance style ,the first one in Brittany in this form. Inside you have the magical opening door of the virgin Notre Dame du Murs done around 1400 in the region of Koln, Germany! On the left there is a last supper and the washing of the feet of Christ,and to the right the reliefs of the Crucifixtion We climb very high steep hilly streets you name it, to reach the district or quartier of Saint Martin and see the more modern Church of Saint Martin,Place Saint Martin,  oldest roots since end of the 14C but the church much newer now after damage end of the 16C ,and not finish until 1863. Up in the square du chateau you have a wonderful view of the city and viaduct, this castle was dismantled in the 16C following the wars of the League, you go along the rue des Vielles Murailles and rue Edouard Corbiére to rejoin the rue du murs. It is now a school college there. There is a nice theater or théatre du pays de Morlaix ,done from a gift of the count of Ange de Guernisac to the city; the theater is done Italianesque style and opened in 1888.  renovated and newer reopen again in 2002 after a  period of closings. Do not missed the maison or house of Anne de Bretagne in the Place Allende, very historical for Brittany. The kiosque or bandstand  in front of the hotel de ville dating from 1903; the harbor or port and the fountain or fontaine des anglais,  named after the English attack in 1522 , the inhabitant return and defend the town ,the blood it is said came out of this fountain (of course just a leyend here).  It is just past the port and manufacture des tabacs on the other side the quai de Tréguier. along the day we shop at the boulangerie de Aurore et Benoit by 11 rue Gambetta, the great liquors Bretons at the Le Cave des Jacobins at place des Jacobins, the biscuiterie de Morlaix at rue du murs for cookies. In all we went on to Roscoff another post forthcoming this 3 day holiday in France. Happy Pentecôte or Pentecost to all those celebrating it. Cheers.  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix  Morlaix

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May 17, 2015

A Coruña again a visit to the green of Galicia

Its been a while too long I think, last time here was in July 28 ,2012!! so this is like welcome back to Galicia and A Coruña. Again , this time a shorter stay but always pleasant full of memories ,good company and more souvenirs.

The tourist office of A Coruña is here ; http://www.turismocoruna.com/web/ and of the region of Galicia here; http://www.turgalicia.es/portada?langId=en_US

I was on swing trip that included Portugal see last post; then came up here. I took off from Lisbon airport on Iberia airlines and it took me to Madrid (these days we go backward to go forward and its cheaper lol!) ,not enough time in Madrid just to catch the flight to Coruña small airport.  There friend pick me up and went to the hotel and then out.

The hotel was a new one never been in it, the Attica 21 Hotel, very modern contemporary in a nice area just about 6 kms from the beaches.  The district of Matogrande very up and coming area with lots of night life too. It is about 5 minutes by car from the airport fast driving.  The hotel has spacious modern rooms and a great breakfast restaurant with private parking and helpful staff. The webpage is here http://www.attica21hotels.com/en/5/hotel-attica21-coruna/

From there we went out for dinner, and first had a drink with tapas at Soho Café, a trendy place with plenty of locals. We had some cañas or tall glass of beer Estrella Galicia, and then some bits of cheese and ham; great place and good company. The webpage is here ; http://www.sohocafecoruna.com/

As it is the custom, we went out to another place for dinner, and this one was modern and trendy as well lots of university students and older crowd as well very nice, and great staff and food. We had the same beer Estrella Galicia with raxo de Puerco or pork bits with potatoes, and most of all lots ot talking. The place is call Bogarts Baar a mix of food and drinks, restaurant with high chairs and long high tables in a modern setting , young and vibrant. All was good. the website is on facebook but this site tells you a bit in photos of what this place is superb , http://interioreschic.com/bogart-baar-en-a-coruna/

Next day was all work, and then we went to a nice cafeteria, the ones workers come to eat lunch ,very local outside the city on your way to Sada, you get your buffet style place with a drink and dessert and coffee for about 15 euros; nice local ambiance and quiet family place. Cafeteria Restaurant Al Paso at Carretera N-VI, km 582 ;tel +34 670 053 065, it is part of the group Josmaga where you can see a picture of it. http://www.josmaga.com/cafeteria-alpaso.php

It was time to head back home and was driven to the airport of A Coruña for my Iberia flight to Madrid and then Nantes France, where my car was waiting for the trip home in 1h30. Of all these flight connections and metro, taxi, personal car all went smooth and nice, quite perfect trip. It just remains an area to come with more time. that is a promise.

Enjoy your weekend and for me back to routine tomorrow until next month travels. Cheers.

A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña SADA

 

 

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May 16, 2015

Lisboa one more time is better!

One more trip to Portugal , more so in Lisbon than in the north near Coimbra but nevertheless too short, the opportunity is always there. It has been a year since I last visited this wonderful city and country. So here is again Lisbon, Portugal and to some lesser extend the wine region of Barraida near Coimbra in the north.

I flew straight from Nantes Atlantique airport to Lisbon on last Sunday. After driving about 1h30 from home to the Nantes airport on the N165. I was afraid of having the flight cancelled as was using TAP , and they were on strikes early May, but was fortunate enough the flight was handle by Portugalia regional carrier for TAP and was ok, flawless.

Once landed at Lisbon airport, the hesitation is to take a taxi as last time, but trying to be all places and see all, needed to take the public transport just to try or to be able to said I was here::)  airport site here; http://www.ana.pt/en-US/Aeroportos/lisboa/Lisboa/Pages/HomeLisboa.aspx

Landing at Terminal 1 the way out was easy well posted except the metro signs, but I would think is easy, I speak Portuguese too ::) Once on the outside of the terminal, you see the metro entrance even with TV telling you about the incoming and outgoing flights, you go straight to the ticket machine. There was a small line with only four machines! but it move fairly quickly. I got my refill on my previously purchased card from last year, took two trips at 1,40 euros each. Then went on to the red or vermelho line to Saldanha and here took the yellow or amarela line to Cidade Universitaria, got up to street level here and walk on rua afonso coma pinto all around to my hotel on foot ,about 10 minutes.  Walking past the University stadium and café , and the hospital Santa Maria. It was hot about 30C so thinking not to do this again, better a taxi. metro site here; http://metro.transporteslisboa.pt/eng/customer-info/diagrams-and-maps/

I got to my hotel the Marriott Lisbon at Avenida dos Combatentes, nice spacious hotel if a bit out of the city center. The Marriott was for a finance conference, and I had the 15th floor with a great view of the city. the shortcomings was far from center and the bar right in the lobby and smallist. The rest was perfect, with great service, spacious rooms and baths, nice outdoor pool with terrace, nice restaurant, and very modern facilities.  The hotel site is here; http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/lispt-lisbon-marriott-hotel/

First night, it was free time, and as I have been here before and spoke the language , became sort of the tour director of the rest that came from several countries.  So we took taxis and went to Restaurante Pinoquio at praça dos Restauradores, website here ; http://restaurantepinoquio.pt/en

To my shocking surprise , others had ,also taken taxis and follow us to this place after hearing me talk about. Well we were 18!!! and no reservations. I got my best negotiating hat on and convince the nice folks there as always to come through and found us 3 tables close by to hold all of us. We had a great time until late at nite almost midnight , the poor folks had to kick us out lol!!! Of course, I have been here several times and know them all, nice folks, great food ,real Portuguese dishes and great prices. After, closing we just took a left turn into the next street Rua do Jardim do Regedor, and hold up a café bar with about 10 of us.  Don’t ask me the name because well could not tell…. Just we stayed until about 2am (02h).  We had a stew of beans lobster, shrimps, gambas, and potatoes with cold salted side dish of shrimps and local mussels going down with  nice local Sagres beer. Got a taxi back to the hotel.

Next full day, we had a dinner as part of the finance conference and they chose the Solar dos Presuntos, a very special famous people restaurant. Located at R. Portas de Santo Antão 150. Before arriving here we were given a bus tour of the main sights  such as Belem and the harbor area in Lisbon, a different way of seeing the city as I am always with a car here or metro. Places later as with a tour bus again not my cup of tea , hardly see anything well, but was the organisers who did this.  The restaurant was served a chunk of codfish with vinho verde white wine not my favorite there either so those in my table who mostly were the good guys from the night before agree and we kind of switch to beers. The website is this one; http://www.solardospresuntos.com/

After the famous restaurant meeting a group of about 8 decided is time to hit the road and were so delighted with Pinoquio that we went back there for drinks this time. Another round of good times and cheers before heading again by taxi to the hotel Marriott. Next day was half a day and more advisory council meeting of which I am a member. Finally, I was free again to visit other offices of my company in the country.

I check out of the Marriott into the local hotel that I always stayed when in town at Exe Parque Hotel at Rua Largo de Andaluz just behind the praça Marqués de Pombal and heading down to avenida da Libertade. this is a very modern spacious hotel tuck into the old section of Parque metro station and only about 7 minutes from the square Marques de Pombal. The website is here; http://www.exelisboaparque.com/EN/hotel.html

The welcome is very nice multilingual staff, walking distance to the best in Lisbon , right up of Marqués de Pombal is the park or parque Eduardo VII and down you have libertade, then square restauradores, Rossio square and  train station, and square  comércio. Spacious rooms and bath in a modern contemporary design. Price right too. I walk all over here and has become my home in Lisbon, and the side streets of duque de Loulé and the picturesque Mouzhino de Silveira street.

It was then time to be back at airport and time for my other branch in the north to come and pick me up after having meetings with them and other suppliers in Lisbon, we drove to near Coimbra on the A1 road. Had my usual meetings there ,in the region of Barraida wines, and was taken back to Lisbon at night. Here we met with other country folks and head out to watch the Champions football/soccer match of Real Madrid vs Juventus at the Bairro Alto area and chose a resto with TV’s all over call the Marisqueira M at 100 rua do Norte.  No website but tel is 351) 21 346 1027.  I had nice company but unfortunately my life team lost this time; well we have won 10 more than any other club by far…..Hala Madrid!

Then, was taken to the airport by car for another journey on next post of my Marco Polo adventure. Nice to be back in Portugal and Lisbon is very nice worth coming back for it ,and I will. Cheers.

Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Portugal Portugal Portugal

 

 

 

 

 

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May 8, 2015

A town crisscross by three waterways! it’s Redon!

Today loomed like a rainy day but no matter what we are use to Brittany already lol! We head out for a family day in a town I pass by on car or train but never went in really. This is the water heavy boat crazy and leisure inland living town of Redon in South Brittany, the still land of the Gallo language not Breton but it can be heard too.

The area tourist office in French, http://www.tourisme-pays-redon.com/

and the mayor’s office tourist section in French, http://www.redon.fr/tourisme/p26-patrimoine-architectural.html

We live less than 2 hrs from it so we took the D779 over to the D135 past Saint Avé to hook up with the D775 at Saint Nolff and straight to Redon avoiding all N national roads. Easy leasure ride and plenty of parking by the Quai Surcouf in Redon as today its the anniversary of the end of WWII in France on May 8 1945, a holiday off day!

Once we arrive the rain was no more and we had a great time walking all over the town, from the famous harbor of pleasure boats to the in and out of the boats on the levies, the tranquil waters of the Oust and Vilaine rivers as well as the Canal Nantes-Brest passing by this town is all boats and waterways.

The musée de la Batellerie is nice but as a holiday it was close, something to come back for it. It shows the history of boat making and river navigation in the area, http://www.tourisme-pays-redon.com/musees/PCUBRE0351000021/detail/redon/musee-de-la-batellerie-de-l-oust

We continue wandering to the point of ave jean Burel past Quai Jean Barts to see the La Croix des marins, or the mariners cross pointing out to the union of the rivers oust and vilaine. We walk over the Vilaine to visit the nearby town of Saint Nicolas de Redon ,unique because this is in dept 44 Loire-Atlantique so two departments regions in one walk !

We did not buy but took a peek at the Les Halles wonderful covered market ;huge renovated in 2012 but dating from the 19C, very lively with about 30 fix merchants inside selling all the area goodies. We did purchase our baguettes there from Le Fournil de la Fontaine at 1 Rue Duguesclin a wonderful wooden house of old; great looking architecture near the abbey of St Sauveur.

We visited the Abbey of Saint Sauveur of course, again for me, and first for the family. A wonderful church with chapels and organ and wonderfully decorated altar as well as the unique bell and clock tower gothic style detach from the abbey and 28 meters high. The clocktower roman style is from the 12C. The back chevet is from 13-14C. The west side dates from 1786-1992.The nerf or nave is from 11-18C. The gothic choir is from 13C. The ambulatory is from the 14C. The baptismal chapel vases are from the 17-20C. The altar and retable is from 1634 – 1636 also 18-19C. The altar and retable of the Sacred Heart is from 17C. The relics of the Pope Léon III are from the 18-19C.  The gothic tower standing alone is from the 14C. The chapel of Jeanne d’Arc is from 1920. the Chapel of the Dukes and Chapel of Saint-Roch are from the 14C. You will find the encrusted tomb of Raoul de Pontbriand (15C), abbey of Redon from 1419 to 1422.

Of course, we had our usual lunch away from home and we walk so finally decided to eat at L’Ecluse pizzeria resto in nearby Saint Nicolas de Redon! just over the department 35 to 44 line! oh well we do walk here. The place was great, we were the first one in, all staff waiting us , and service was prompt and nice. We had our aperitifs or apéros with porto red, piña colada, whisky cola , l’ecluse house special of fruits no alcohol and cocktail alexis with rosé wine and lemon. Then we went with the tagliatelles with goat cheeses for two, calzone of ham and cheese, and pizzas of Indienne, Royale (beef for me), we had a lyonnaise house rosé wine bottle and then desserts were bounty (coconut ice cream and choco syrup), banana split, peach melba, pears belle helene, and caraibe coffee with vodka. We left paying at the counter for 28 ,20 euros per person. A bit high been in an off area away from the main tourist spots. However, the place is sparkling clean very nice decoration with riverware and old Paris posters, and the place was pack with local people by the time we finish. No webpage but it is at 84, avenue Jean Burel  tel +33 02 99 72 33 04. On the D164 road to La Gacilly.

In fact, we left town the other way on the D873 out of Redon, towards La Gacilly the same, and went to a nature place my collegues at work told me to visit especially in good days, this is the Ile aux Pies.  A wonderful nature of Brittany site, with the oust river passing and spaces for picnic, horse riding, children playground, kayak,canoe, boating, and mountain climbing on a great cliff. plenty of free parking, the site here in French, http://www.tourisme-pays-redon.com/pays-de-redon/canal-de-nantes-brest-manche-ocean/ile-aux-pies-perle-du-canal-de-nantes-brest

You continue on the D873 and reach the panel for ile aux pies take it left and follow the signs until the end. Plenty of camping cars spaces too. More on the climbing in English here, http://escapades-verticales.com/?page_id=695

And we continue this way towards La Gacilly (yves rocher cosmetic center) but been here already continue home passing by Saint Martin sur Oust and Saint Gravés direction Questembert and back on the D775 home. Now still no more rain lol!

And getting ready for Sunday go out again next week Portugal and Spain here I come. enjoy your weekend;cheers.

ile aux pies ile aux pies  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon  Redon Saint Gravé Saint Martin sur Oust Saint Nicolas de Redon

 

 

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May 2, 2015

My Travels in the Morbihan ,X

 Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Lorient  Lorient  Lorient  Lorient  Ploemeur  Ploemeur  Ploemeur  Ploemeur  Ploemeur  Ploemeur  Ploemeur  Ploemeur

 Ploemeur

passing la saudraye river on d152

This was supposed to be a grand weekend, Labor Day here so 3 days off weekend. Instead it has been miserable, rain all day hard sometimes, traffic jams all over as folks that planned on the beach now coming back in hordes. Even Vannes last night was almost impossible. Talk about small town traffic jam lol!!!

We had ideas of going over to Nantes on the Atlantique shopping center but the roads was completely jam on the N165 all the way there. So we turn around and decide to explore new areas on the Lorient area. Happy we did as here there is always great surprises and new found beauties all the time. An un-exhaustable abundant of natural beauty.

We went off the N165 to Ploemeur and took a ride by the little airport that already receive big planes at about 9 kms from Lorient and a mix use of civil and military. The naval base of Lann-Bihoué is here too since 1938. Big parking spaces one terminal ,one entry for arrival and one for departures. on the D163 follow the signs of Lann Bihoué . http://www.lorient.aeroport.fr/en

I had to bring a collegue on a night trip here and now saw it better in daytime. You never know what rates you can find. We continue our journey to the town of Ploemeur, and on city center saw the nice Church of Saint Peter or St Pierre. The beauty is to go along the coast on the D306 and see the beaches such as Plage du Fort Bloqué ( 1 900 meters long), many menhirs or stones, and chapels, as well very nice quaint city center. Also, beaches at Kaolin, Peréllo, Port Fontaine,  Anse du Stole,Kerpape, Kerroch and Lomener. The church of St Pierre is from the 12C and was ruined in 1668. The reconstruction of the tower and bell was done in 1686, the four bells benediction was done in 1726 and two are newer from 1783. A copy of St Pierre is up at the front door and the original is in the altar.

Info on the town is at the city page in French, http://www.ploemeur.com/modules/cartographie/patrimoine.php?id=1-2-3

and the agglo of Lorient site http://www.lorient-agglo.fr/Ploemeur.ploemeur.0.html

some info on the Lorient tourist site in English, http://www.lorientbretagnesudtourisme.fr/decouvrez-le-territoire/

and a bit more in English at the region of Morbihan site, http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/home/discover/morbihan/the-main-destinations/lorient

We continue our exploration of new or fairly new territory and went into a new one at Guidel. Great find. Plenty here http://www.guidel.com/decouvrir-guidel/tourisme/bars-et-restaurants/

This is just covering the coast and wonderful beaches some secluded and most open and best for water sports like surfing. There is an imposing church of Guidel in city center, and surrounded by shops, restos etc vibrant. We decided to take a break here and eat lunch. We pick a picturesque Italian villa call La Villa Toscane  resto grill pizzeria at 15 place Jafffré. Very nice decoration toscane, great welcome nice friendly service, big portions good prices , and great quality. We have pizzas of different combi I had the Mexicaine with chorizos and spicy beef, expresso coffee and a bottle of côte de provence st tropez rosé we share all for 18 Euros per person, nice. Great pictures of the resto here http://www.lorientbretagnesudtourisme.fr/votre-sejour/restaurant-la-villa-toscane-guidel.html

We notice that bus 60 from the Lorient agglo metro area takes  you all over here so good to know of those not with a car as we are always here with ours….schedules here http://www.ctrl.fr/se-deplacer/horaires/fiches-des-lignes-regulieres/#searchtc18840

We came on the express road N165 and got in thru Ploemeur first and then Guidel and then back on the N165 home. From Ploemeur we took the D162 and continue into Guidel where we took the D152 coastal road before taking the D306 back to the N465 beltway at Lorient and the N165 home.

There is a great pleasure boat harbor at Guidel with great beach parking and plenty of restos and vacation homes even campings. Passing Fort du Loch (built in 1756)http://www.guidel.com/agenda/article/detail/visite-du-fort-du-loch/   and eventually Fort Bloqué (built between 1747 and 1758 after the English invasion of 1746, and it was integrated into the fortification network defending Lorient. During WWII it was part of the Atlantic wall done by the Nazis).

along great beaches and wild coastal cliffs. All the way out to Lorient. A place to come back to and explore in more details. I leave you with the taste and good vibration we had. Enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

 

 

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April 25, 2015

A whimsical walk in Auray

Well today went back to my old town of residency here, last post I notice was from Sept 2014. I still only live about 15 kms from it, so it was going to rain in the afternoon (it did) so took off for it in the morning for a walk and some quencher drinks.

If no time to read on my posts on Auray( just entered Auray on the research space right column on my main page) the Tourist office here is http://www.auray-tourism.com/

We went on the back side and park at Athena by the mediathéque and municipal pool, and then walk by past the chapel of St Esprit; this is now use for exhibitions, events concerts right in the middle of town done from 1286 the last Mass was done in 1790 (due to French revolution) and then to now use as other functions; http://www.auray-tourisme.com/chapelle-du-saint-esprit/auray/tabid/8277/offreid/7e87038d-cd73-49e0-a688-32991827b894/detail.aspx

We went around this, to reach place Gabriel Deshayes, and come up again the wonderful Church of Saint Gildas, it was started built in  1623  but not finished until 1663. The belltower with a square top in three levels was not finished until 1701. We wondered around in city center to past the tourist office of the old chapelle  de la Congregation, and continue to the hotel de ville area (newly renovated) to up the space jeu de paume a very narrow street that takes you to a nice garden and the old prison.

You continue coming down to the hotel de ville area and go around on your right when the hotel on your back and go see the Chapelle du Pére Eternel, the old cordeliers order was here since 1644 ,lost during the French revolution, in 1807 it was given back to the Sister of the Holy Charity of Saint Louis . Here in 1820 the priest of the Chistian instruction were given the order for God only and the rules  by the Vicary of Saint Brieuc and the priest of Auray Gabriel Deshayes. It is now awaiting renovation. After it you have the park Le Belvédére with beautiful views over the river basin of Saint Goustan below and a football field of the city of Auray. http://www.auray-tourisme.com/chapelle-du-pere-eternel/auray/tabid/8277/offreid/a6c89645-865f-464f-b97d-933a8171cffd/detail.aspx

You take here a narrow street call the rue du Belvédére to go down to the river basin of Auray, at the end of this street you arrive at the top of the Castle ruins overlooking the river and the district of Saint Goustan for marvelous views.

Here at Saint Goustant, our favorite local area where we are often, we had our let down and our ice cream and gauffres from L’Igloo just overlooking the river Auray that goes out into the Gulf of Morbihan and eventually the Atlantic ocean above it the N165 expressway Nantes-Brest.

Finally, after a bit of walking on the beautiful harbor of Saint Goustan, we decided for some drink, a nice cold Grimbergen blonde beers with coffee genoise and diabolo menthe overlooking the river, the crowd and the beautiful life in the Morbihan. We stop at the L’Armoric café pizzeria resto right in the corner of place Saint Sauveur. http://www.restaurant-pizzeria-bar-saint-goustan-auray.catchop.fr/

And already raining a bit hard, we went back to our car and home just 15 kms away where we spent the rest of the day until new urge to go out again. cheers and have a great weekend wherever you are in our wonderful world.

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April 19, 2015

L’hermione en route l’Amérique. On its way to Yorktown USA!

This is the boat that Gilbert du Motier de La Fayette ,the Marquis de Lafayette, came to America and helped  the continental army of Gen George T.  Washington obtain the USA independence from England in 1780, and a birth of a new nation, United States of America. He is now an honorary USA Citizen!

The French have done it, they have completely rebuilt the boat taken more than 17 years, but its done, and on its way to Yorktown with a crew of  80 persons. It left the Ile d’Aix in the Charente-Maritime at 22h45 or 10:45PM

The boat big mast is of pure Oregon (USA) pine at 54 meters high or about 182 feet.  The boat will arrive by June 5th at Yorktown and after will do stops at  Baltimore, New York, Annapolis, Philadelphia, Newport, and  Boston.

At  Yorktown will be the big stop as it was the decisive battle in the independence war when American patriots and their French allies won the battle again a strong English army on October 19, 1781.  There will be huge celebrations when the Hermione arrives in the bay of New York escorted by several sailing boats and motorized as well for the big parade of July 4 2015, the date of celebration for the USA Independence while giving a closer eye passing by the Statue of Liberty; another gift of France to the USA by Mr Bertholdi…..

For those who can read/speak French more here in the Le Parisien with a video commemoration by President Hollande of France, http://www.leparisien.fr/poitou-charentes/videos-l-hermione-a-pris-la-mer-vers-les-ameriques-18-04-2015-4705367.php#xtor=EREC-109—-2172612@1

And I have taken the picture from the article in Le Parisien to show it bigger here, a wonderful event and beautiful boat. Thank you L’Hermione, Vive la France et les Etats Unis d’Amérique!!!

France

 

 

April 17, 2015

Jalisco state or Guadalajara or Tepatitlan de Morelos

This is my last trip just back last night. I was in Mexico ,especially in Jalisco state and just around Guadalajara and its wonderful nearby cities of Tepatitlan de Morelos and San Juan de los Lagos.  The area tourist office at http://www.visitmexico.com/en/guadalajara

This was a business trip so the time there was limited but thanks to the local friends I did see some of the town , a nice French hotel, and wonderful church. Some of the pictures were taken by these friends as I am still waiting for them, my camera died out there ::) The airport was that of Guadalajara ;https://www.aeropuertosgap.com.mx/en/guadalajara-3.html

I went first to my first town San Juan de los Lagos, where the church is second only to Guadalupe in Mexico city as the most important there; already visited by Pope John Paul IIhttp://www.sanjuandeloslagos.gob.mx/

Here I visited the church of our lady of San Juan de los Lagos, 76 miles or 122 kms north of Guadalajara. The sanctuary begain in 1542 and the church in 1732. it is wonderful and a must to see, more here http://www.sanjuandeloslagos.gob.mx/

and the sacred sites webpage has even more on it , http://sacredsites.com/americas/mexico/san_juan_de_los_lagos.html

It is gorgeous and a must to see ,drive there you will be fascinated by the devotion and spirituality of this church. The town is very nice in its center too.

After this wonder of our world, we turn into my hotel city Tepatitlan de Morelos, meaning a place amongst stone, and it has the history of been invaded by the French in 1864, and its big party is from April 12 to April 30 which I caught a bit of it from the 12 to the 15 and it was great party on the streets lively  ,under control nice. http://www.tepatitlan.gob.mx/turismo/

Here I stayed at the wonderful Grand Hotel of French decoration and one of the owner is. My room was the Mandela , all the rooms are individually decorated  inmense wonderful, class in an unusual place; I was priviledge to see the room Marie Antoinette,  http://www.grandhotelboutique.com/mandela/

and of course the center of my dine outs, I was introduce to the restaurant Don K, http://www.tepatitlan.gob.mx/turismo/directorio/#restaurantes

The sport TV all over, the friendly service, good food, good company was all it took; I came back always to eat here!!! It is at Dr. J. Ricardo Alcala Iñiguez 284, Alameda, 47650 Tepatitlán de Morelos Telephone +52 378 715 5140 a web to speak of it http://www.gosur.com/place/food/don-k-maron/4c34d0407cc0c9b618fcf39a/?lang=en&mc=20.806955,-102.755982&mz=15&rids=6051279&category=topPicks&back=localplaces&units=metric

I saw football/soccer games Champions of Europe there,and it has football nights as well that is soccer.

The town has many churches and a great central plaza, nice for walks very laidback and quiet nice country town indeed. One never know how to find these jewels , but there are out there, here in Mexico , I just combing the surface. Enjoy it.

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April 6, 2015

The Villa city by the sea next to the big harbor of Malo, this is Dinard.

What a name, hard to come up with titles for the uncreative mind lol! In this wonderful Easter holiday, off today and day off tomorrow !! We decided to go up again and visit Dinard. We have been to the ones nearby and always missed it even thus we heard about its wonderful villas houses. Dinard is gorgeous and the best for us were the beaches ! The tourist office there is at blvd Férat in city center, webpage http://www.dinardtourisme.com/en/

The region department is no 35 ille et Vilaine in Brittany, http://www.brittany-tourism.com/remarkable-places/dinard-1  and the region of Brittany tourist office on it ,http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-brittany/heritage/dinard-saint-briac-et-saint-lunaire

As usual we went by car, it is less than 2 hrs from us. We took going there the D768 up from us to Loudéac linking with the N164 to Saint Méen le Grand, here hook up with the D125 briefly to connect with the D166/D766  direction saint malo and dinan. by Dinan we took the N176 direction Saint Malo, link up again with the D766 direction saint malo dinard, which becomes the D266 pass the airport of Dinard-Pleurtuit-Saint Lunaire; take right briefly on the D168 and again on the D266 direction Dinard, off the D266 entering the town we turn left into rue Henri Maulion then continue on  rue Saint Enogat to park free by the beach or plage de saint enogat, pretty district guide you by the sign for the church of Saint Enogat, from which we walk all over the place! All done in 163,7 kms and 1h40m while viamichelin had 2h22m and 154 kms…..we have always a map to compare ::)

We went straight for the beach at plage Saint Enogat, wonderful stretch of sandy beach with great bath changing rooms and a mini golf. the restos were just up the street at 100 meters right by the fontaine Jules Verne, and wonderful water spout of 10 meters high. Then we went to the church ,Saint Enogat ,previous church from the 17C  only the belltower from 1761 is standing original, the new church was built in 1874 with many furniture and paintings from the 19C and 20C. The church sits in a peaceful corner right behind the buzzle and hussle of the beach area.

We started our walk in real, all thru curving ,narrow, steep streets along the coast by the promenade de clair du lune (done n 1930) and the rue albert lacroix zigzagging into the little streets and some private chemin passageways between homes to reach closer to the ocean. The views are fantastic and the houses if we can them that , more like mansionsn or small castles of the belle époque period are superb; can’t wait to get my hand on one of them ::)  You go by the parc de Port Riou with a panoramic view of the ocean and a villa port riou built in 1882 that has a lighthouse building in the front!!!

The pointe de la Malouine is a beautiful lookout of gorgeous homes and great ocean views  all plumbing into the beach or plage de l’écluse, inmense at low tide you seems to go right into the ocean, huge front property, a beach to return. You have wonderful villa reine Hortense, (queen of Holland) who vacationed here built by the Russian lover prince Nicolas Vlassov who was passionate of the life of the mother of Napoléon III.  The mansion continue too numerous all wonderful such as the villa Cézembre with a stair bringing you down to the beach and the villa Greystones of art deco style.

You continue on the Pointe du Moulinet, rocky place on the border of the Rance on the city of Saint Malo, here more villas such as Saint Germain built in 1870, the pont d’emeraude with great views of the ocean and the villa La Garde tudor style construction. You will see a huge pool on the bridge or pont de l’émeraude that is use in summers gorgeous pool.

The plage de l’écluse or levies beach is one favorite to return having the Malouine on the west and the Moulinet on the east, with bath changing cabins since 1859. An aristocratic beach with the famous from Europe with casino Barriére (built 1902) , the palais des arts et du festival exhibition hall, go  up on blvd Féart and see the villa Montplaisir very so British style, and the wonderful tourist office. Here we had lunch.

Finally, that time to eat, and we were in the beach area of the Ecluse so we choose the one active place Le Glacier, great choice ,fantastic service, very funny/friendly waiters, the food was good with a bottle of muscadet white wine and American tuna sandwhiches, mussels ,and burgers ,café or thé gourmand dishes which are coffee or tea with small pastries and all for 21,7€ per person, can’t beat it with the view, the location and the servings big. Just due for a return.

Already some members becoming tired,not me ::) we arrive at the district of the beach or plage de la prieuré, this is a port harbor with you see a pool open, and you see the church Notre Dame, built in 1858, with stained glass done by Max Ingrand. It is a bigger church but less popular, and has a wonderful nave with memorial to the fallen inside as well as in front of the Church. The across the street Christ cross overlooking the Prieuré beach is wonderful.

We stopped short of the last district La Vicomté, because it has been a long day of walking, the city is long with district far apart and hilly so it takes it tolls, next time we will park closer to this district to finish our journey of the city. From the church Notre Dame on the side we took the rue des français libres to return to Saint Enogat and pickup our car not before getting some baguettes at the corner boulangerie Romain, and some drinks at the near car boulangerie Aux délices Enogatais at place du calvaire. Ready to take our car back home.

we took the same road back and made in about the same time and kms. Another city of Brittany review and counting, the region is beautiful with many more to see, explore, admire, and visit by the road warriors ::) Happy Easter everyone. Cheers.

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