No other words are needed when we speak of this marvel of our world, the Mont Saint Michel in lower Normandy, basse Normandie. We were there today for a relook. My kids have gone in school trips and me on passing, once with them as parent, but this time we all went together to the mount. The tourist office is at http://www.ot-montsaintmichel.com/index.htm?lang=en And for the passers and guides site there is one excellent source here http://www.bienvenueaumontsaintmichel.com/change/en The Normandy tourist office also has plenty on it here, http://en.normandie-tourisme.fr/articles/mont-saint-michel-298-2.html We of course came by car from the Morbihan in Brittany. Each way a different route for the heck of it and seeing more on the road, as we are road warriors ::) going we took the D768 to the N24 direction Rennes, all the way to the beltway coming around the nord rocade as if going to Paris but once on the A84 get off on the exit 33 for the Durcey Mont Saint Michel exit on the D175 or N175. Coming back we took off by Pontorson on the D43 and went to the D766 , N176, N164, and by Josselin back on the N24 home. We came into the parking area P10 , which is very expensive unless you spend the whole day and night there, 12,50€ for 6 hours it is expensive even for France ::) The compensation is that you have a long bus navette that makes the run to the foot of the front entrance to the mount for free. they go instantly almost like every 4 -5 minutes intervals. The second link above has great info on this. There is another service that you pay almost like a bus type but drawn by horses, the Maringote. We took the bus navette faster and easier and free. You can ,also, walk about 40-50 mins. Once inside there is a laberinth of narrow street, step stairs, and hilly terrain which you must be in shape to do. It is semicircular and if you go to the ramparts you have great views over the sea. By the way, the area had the big waves or grand marée recently but today it was all sandy and plenty of walkers even a tour group in the sand on foot coming over. The walking on the sand to the mount is handle by expert guides as they can be very dangerous. Waves came back at 15 meters within minutes to surround the mound like an island. We have purchase trinkets and gifts here before especially in the La Porte du Roy, La Siréne, le Grand Bazaar, and the boutiques of the Mére Poulard. This time we just went for the walk and to spend more time in the museum and abbey and church The mount has four small museums; first we hit the musée de la mer et de l’écologie or maritime and ecology museum; it shows you the waves tides incidents how they form etc with 250 old model boats. We then, went on to the ArcheOscope a sound and light show, short original nice with history and legend combination stories with the Archangel Saint Michael as your guide. We continue to the Musée historique, son et lumiére, cachots or historical museum of sound and light and dungeons. A collection of old weapons ,medieval instruments of torture ,body suckdown into the quicksands, Louis XI iron cage, and 35 was figures. It shows that Raspail was imprisoned here and eventually a senator in Paris (you know the blvd raspail ::)) Last , we went to the Logis Tiphaine ,the historic home of Bertrand Du Guesclin knight and constable of France and his wife tiphaine de Raguenel famous astrologist with period furniture, bridal chamber medieval chastity belt, armour worn by Bertrand du Gueslin and tiphanie de Raguenel astrologer’s study. Neat and nice, on site you can have better prices from the published 18€ we had it for 9€ per person adult and all four museums! see tourist links above We stopped for lunch of the many choices all touristy priced and not the greatest culinary exhibition of France we chose the La Vieille Auberge a hotel restaurant on the Grande Rue; This is a very nicely decorated resto with terrace and first floor overlooking the bay of mont saint Michel. The service was nice and prompt , the prices we control with a main dish, bottle of rose wine, extra dishes of fries, and coffee expresso, I had the menu at 18€ with salad entrée, steak =entrecote, fries and a tarte normande or apple pie that was the best of it all. All came out to 23.40€ per person. webpage , http://www.lavieilleauberge-montsaintmichel.com/fr/index.php As we got out, we notice the parrish church of Saint Peter. saw first time. Small but as usual very nice church. Masses are celebrated Sundays to Fridays at 11H Saturdays 18h and n July and August an additional mass at 17H on Sundays. The church has construction from the 11C but was renovated in the 15C and 16C. It has a roof covered with tiles and a small bell on the nave. In the interior the retable columns are from 1660, Virgen of the Child, and education of the Virgin (Sainte Anne teaching Mary) dating from the 15-16C and a copy statue of Saint Michael in silver. see tourist link above. We then were ready to climb the abbey church and this only the boys did ::) It is huge , inmense ,with a great feeling of peace. All stone, not much decoration but the simplicity of the place in such a marvel of Human monument overimposed any doubts on its beauty, a must to see here by all on Earth. There are several masses done here all week and on special religious dates. It has about 20 rooms open for visitors to see with one of the most remarkable examples of religious and military architecture of medieval times. See the wonderful cloister, the refectory, the monk’s promenade, the gardens of la Merveille,and western terrace overlooking the bay. A wonderful big wheel or grande roué; the guest’s hall or salledes hôtes, chapel Sainte Madeleine (with its black Madonna), the Crypt of Saint Martin,chapel of Sainte Etienne (St Stephen), the north south stair or escalier nord-sud, Gentlemen room or salledes chevaliers. All magical. And this wonder is only about 1h50 from my house by car !!! Enjoy it when you can.
Its time I tell you again about wonderful France and gorgeous Paris. Today has been humid rainy and a bit grey here in Brittany with 5C now. Paris /Versailles shows a light rain and temp of 5C .
The conquistador Velazquez is coming to Paris, at last! The Spanish painter Diego Velazquez(1599-1660) , one of my favorites is showing at the Grand Palais de Paris! This is the painter , the French Manet, call the “The painter of painters”. The most influential painter of the golden age of Spain painting when Spain rule the world. It will be from March 25 to July 13 2015 , http://www.grandpalais.fr
Something different , my father took this airline Air Europa to the US last October and he had a great flight. I have use it locally to go to Spain and it confirms my mind ,this is a good airline. Something to brag on these days of disasters on airliners. This is a Spanish airlines founded in 1986. https://www.aireuropa.com
And passing over to Vincennes , we have a wonderful Bois de Vincennes with many interesting things to see. The parc Floral created in 1969 and the biggest botanical garden in the Paris area with over 8000 flowers:plants see it at Route de la Pyramide, http://www.parcfloraldeparis.com/parc_floral.html
You continue here on the zoo or parc Zoologique de Paris, by 53 avenue de Saint-Maurice, recent work has made a top attraction to see with modern facilities housing almost 1000 animals. https://www.parczoologiquedeparis.fr/fr
And last but not least the Grande Pagode, 40bis route de la Ceinture-du-lac-Daumesnil. on the lake Daumesnil the old colonial mansion take its turn for renovation and now looking great ; this is the place of Buddhism with a Tibetan temple just across it, all awaiting the new year khemer in mid April. http://www.vincennes-tourisme.fr/Decouvrir/Bois-de-Vincennes-et-ses-alentours/La-Grande-Pagode
You know the wonderful Louvre had more visitors in 2014 than any other museum in the world, 9,3 million visitors!! ahead of the British museum and the Met at New York.
And do you know the bridges of France? well they are marvelous and I passed many of them over the years. My favorites are the Pont de Ré 2926 meters long linking the island or ile de Ré in the Charente-Maritime, 2nd bridge of France. Then, pont Valentré in Cahors first stone laid in 1308! the famous Pont du Gard, built by the Romans in the 1C AD. Viaduc de Millau in the vallée du Tarn with 270 meters high almost as high as the tour Eiffel! You come nearer me at the nice and nostalgic (for me) Pont de Normandie over the Seine at Le Havre and Honfleur (where my mother lies in the sea RIP), you have the other one nearby the Pont de Tancarville, built in 1959 and now under renovation. Closer to Paris, in it, the wonderful Pont Alexandre III, built in 1900 during the Universal Expo of 1900 with the first stone laid by tzar Nicolas II of Russia.
How about going to a library in Paris, bibliothéque that is. The Book fair of Paris is gone yesterday but the impression last longer. Lots of competition from online firms and the numerique but the book form will last. There is even a Frenchmen François-Xavier Schmit who open a library in New York city , at the 5th avenue call Albertine. http://www.albertine.com/
See in Paris the nice Librarie Alain Brieux,6éme.http://www.alainbrieux.com/ or the librarie des Abbesses , you know where, http://librairiedesabbesses.blogspot.fr/ or encore the librarie d’Odessa in the 14éme on the street of same name , http://librairiedodessa.com/ and my favorite because you can read a book and have a glass of wine is La Belle Hortense, in the 4éme rue Vieille-du-Temple, http://www.cafeine.com/belle-hortense and by same owner across the street you have Les Philosophes, http://www.cafeine.com/philosophes ; we continue our rapid journey into the Librarie le Divan in the 15éme, http://www.librairie-ledivan.com/ ; one of the old time favorite the Librarie Delamain at the 1éme, http://www.librairie-delamain.com/ , and last a place to search and find books in many libraries in France, Datalib.net, http://www.datalib.net/
And how about the Art Déco, this I know from Florida , but here is at its best expression in Paris. Born in the 1920-30’s . Its start was in 1925 at the international decorative and industrial arts exposition in Paris, done between the Esplanade des Invalides and the Grand Palais. Some buildings to see it today are the sale du Théatre des Champs-Elysées done in 1913, http://www.theatrechampselysees.fr/le-theatre/un-peu-d-histoire
You can see it at the façade at 67 quai d’Orsay done in 1935. and the mansion or hotel from 1926-27 at 4 rue Mallet-Stevens in the 16émé. see it at the stairs in the restaurant Prunier, http://www.prunier.com/histoire/
You can see it at museums of Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, musée d’Orsay,and muse d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. All easy to find on the web. Other areas, palais de Chaillot, and Palais de Tokyo, Cité Universitaire in the 14éme; on the swimming pools of Paris at Molitor, Amiraux,and Pantin. More on the streets at 51 rue Raynuard 16éme and 3 blvd Victor in the 15éme; Porte Dorée 12éme, and the former Musée des Colonies today housing the Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration. Department like the old Samaritaine and the still there Le Bon Marché, the theaters again such as the Salle Pleyel and the cabaret Folies Bergére, and the recently renovated and opened the cinema theater Louxor 18éme. The Grand Rex 9éme, still there. So much to see and admire in Paris , the city museum or as one said, a movable feast !
Enjoy fully without moderation.
Well one more trip to Asia and the third one to Indonesia. Its becoming routine and love it. The only thing the flight is very long and tiring on economy class….. I visited Ngoro, Surabaya and then flew to Jakarta. My last trip here see post back in October 18 2013.
The official tourist office is at http://www.indonesia.travel/ and you have good official tourist sites for Surabaya here , http://www.sparklingsurabaya.info/ and Jakarta here http://www.jakarta-tourism.go.id/
I went on my usual long journey from Nantes Atlantique airport to Paris CDG T2F on Air France, and then took the CDGVal train to terminal 1 to catch the fly with Singapore Airlines; reaching Chiangi airport in Singapore after about 13 hrs , their tourist office is here http://www.yoursingapore.com/en.html ; from there continue on SQ to Surabaya in Indonesia. The return was the same but coming out from Jakarta to Singapore on SQ and continue to Paris CDG T1 where the unusual was not to take the cdgval train but two buses one from T1 to T2 and another from T2 to T2CD;weird. Here to catch the AF flight to Nantes Atlantique airport.
The airports, I took, CDG is here http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr/en/passengers/access/paris-charles-de-gaulle/inter-terminal-shuttles
I arrive first at Surabaya Juanda airport, official at http://juanda-airport.com/?lang=en and a better site in English here http://www.surabayaairport.com/ ;and I left by Jakarta Soekarno Hatta airport here http://www.jakartaairportonline.com/
I had driver to pick me up which improves tremendously the logistics, and take me to my hotel and office and eatings etc; the traffic on both areas is bad, and in Jakarta the worse ranking amongst the most congested cities in the world. Upon arriving in Surabaya Juanda airport I was taken to the office and then in the evening to my usual hotel the Somerset, http://www2.somerset.com/en/indonesia/surabaya/somerset_surabaya_hotel_and_serviced_residence.html
Driving by car took me to see a gas station (glamorous::)) petrafirma and the old stores like K Circle and A&W, and eat at Ngoro at the Me Joyo restaurant of local cuisine (one of the advantages of keeping with the locals you know the country well). Very hard to find webpages on it and will just take my word for it, it is good and see the pictures.I took some of the roads passing by.
This was a short visit here and I move on to bigger Jakarta, where driver was waiting again, thanks God!!! I love to drive but this is too much, can really undertand how they can sustain driving like this every day. What it says is a 45 minute car drive from hotel to airport is really 1h30 unless you go at midnight ::)
Here, again I stayed at my now usual Grand Kemang hotel right in the entertainment ceter of Jakarta. http://www.mesahotelsandresorts.com/grandkemang/facilities/ You really don’t need a car staying here as all shopping, restos, bars to boot are walking distances. I have some pictures of the airport, and hotel with its great Sperta restaurant.
Had great lunches at the Lembur Kuring restaurant here is a restaurant site in Indonesia with some info on it, https://www.zomato.com/jakarta/lembur-kuring-serpong/maps very good restaurant of local regional cuisine.
Another day I was taken for lunch at Sambara another west Sumatran regional cuisine resto that was exotic and authentic, here you pick the food and then they cook it for you, superb ;https://www.zomato.com/jakarta/sambara-resto-fatmawati
Lastly, for lunch again was taken to another authentic restaurant Sederhana, a typical padang region cuisine, here they stack the dishes according to how many people to eat and you choose which ones to eat if you try them all they will charge you for all;so be picky but all good stuff ::) They have several branches in the city too. A site that tells more about them is here http://www.yukmakan.com/restaurant/Jakarta-Selatan/Kebayoran-Baru/20441/Sederhana-Masakan-Padang
In all the trip back was easy with a driver, and the connection at Chiangi Singapore just barely but since on the same airline, they took me by people mover cars to the gate and I was waited for by Singapore Airlines. At Paris CDG had to take twice buses to reach my terminal T2F for the first time ever, but you always learn something new traveling lol!
Now very tired resting on a Sunday nice weather at home, and ready for work tomorrow …..and preparing my next flight April 13 stay tune. Have a wonderful Sunday and great workweek ahead. Happy travels !!!!
Wonderful Saturday light clarity ,the Sun is trying to come out at 11H (11am), and no wind no rain, temp at 8C. Chilled out at home lazyness in preparation.
Next week, my family will have a task to do , will cover the wall in wood paneling and installed two velux Windows on our roof ,like a sunroof feeling. The task will take the whole week lol!! Of course, I won’t be around as me got to go out for work duties. At least all the necessary goods are at home already.
Me, well I have my budget approved at work and now planning to visit our foreign offices which cannot tell much but , flying and travel are an integral part of my job. Nice.
Tomorrow by 3h (3am) I will be up to race by car to Nantes Atlantique airport and a long journey that will take me first to Paris CDG, then Chiangi Singapore and finally Surabaya, Indonesia, to do again in mid week another domestic flight to Jakarta, from which I will be returning home next Saturday.
Already book, are trips next month to Guadalajara, Mexico. Going here from Nantes to Madrid, to Mexico DF to Guadalajara!!!
Follow that up in May with a trip from Nantes to Lisbon, Portugal and then during the week by car (yes!!) to the north near Porto. Come back to Lisbon by car, and then flight to A Coruna in Galicia, Spain then from there back to Nantes by Madrid!.
And again, in June have my get together with some friends (invited folks here on the blog that follow me you are welcome to come) Where I will take them around Paris, underneath the Tour Eiffel, Chapelle Expiatoire (where the remains of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were dumps by the revolutionaries), sightseeing on some historical monument salons in luxury hôtels of Paris I once worked. Then visit the castle in Fontainebleau and some room I hold meeting that are not open to the public, then back to Versailles for a tour of the castle properties and some neat sights usually bypass by the tourists in the city I once lived for 10 years! These will be done June 24 Fontainebleau, June 25 Paris, and June 26 Versailles.
The family is trying to figure out where we are going for our long French summer vacation. So many places, and choices, every year is a torture to choose. We are thinking and prebook and cottage in the country near Trier Germany as we were there once in winter and it was freezing cold and light snow, summer should be better. And going back to our favorite little country Luxembourg ; where we used to go just for lunch at place d’Armes on a weekend!!! Now will do more as have more time. This is for August.
And of course, then there will be others as the planning is throughout the year and Vietnam and South Africa could be a possibility. Stay tune as many of these adventures will be documented here in my blog Paris1972-Versailles2003. IN case ,you have not read well, Paris1972 because it was the first time I saw Paris in tribute to the movie Last Tango in Paris by Marlon Brandon and Maria Schneider!! and Versailles2003 because it was the year we moved in to the magnificent, wonderful, gorgeous Royal town of France! and lasted for 10 years of joy. Missed it even today, even as wonderful and gorgeous Brittany/Breizh/Bretagne can be and is.
Have a Great weekend everyone wherever you are or going ::) Cheers.
We have been here and kept good memories, even visited in Christmas time, see those threads here just type Brest for search. We came back to Brest in the Finistére breton today, just back from it. It was my oldest birthday, 23 years old wow, time does fly by and we are getting better ::) hehehe not old just like a good wine, better lol!
We rode the 166 kms from our home and made in about 2 hrs, by car on the N165 all the way and went into the city to park underground at the Place de la Liberté, right in the thick of things. Tourist office here ,http://www.brest-metropole-tourisme.fr/
We had a wonderful experience in a restaurant here and my son felt like he wanted to celebrate his birthday there. But first , we got there earlier to walk and shop ::)
There is a nice shopping center up rue de Siam and onwards to rue Jean Jaurés along the tramway tracks with bilevels of loaded nice stores and the Anchor across the street link by an overpass hall is the Au Printemps dept store of Paris fame. However, we came here for the FNAC stores for the boys ….and to our pleasant surprise the new Burger King has open just next to it !!! and just a bit before another shopping center to boot loaded shopping in one stop.
The centre commercial Espace Jaurés, http://www.fnac.com/Brest/Fnac-Brest/cl112/w-4
And the new Burger King Brest not even yet in their webpage open Mondays to Saturdays from 9h30/10h00 to 19h30. next to the above shopping center at Espace Jaurès – Niveau 2 (level 2), 65 Rue Jean Jaurès, but you can come in off the street as well.
and the centre commercial Coat Ar Gueven, http://www.coatargueven.com/
We did shop at our favorite Armand Thiery store for men, and grab some more gifts, http://www.armandthiery.fr/fr/magasins.cfm ,and then madame got a nice Hexagona bag at the Pavillon de la Maroquinerie at 44 rue de Siam ;this is a Brest shoppers site and some info on the store, very nice brands and good prices here, ours was 50% off ::) http://www.vitrines-brest-centre.fr/fr/vos-commerces/maroquineries/256-pavillon-de-la-maroquinerie
The boys went on to Dock Games on rue de Siam ,http://www.dockgames.com/index.php?cp=29&rubrique=enseigne and the Lacoste store as well ; http://stores.lacoste.com/?lang=fr&_ga=1.41034145.2029157977.1423227951#879 all on the same street and close by, a shopper’s paradise.
And oh well, we needed to eat, oh yes, that is what we came here to do , my oldest 23 birthday and he been such a humble guy pick the old Au Bureau pub restaurant at 10 rue de Siam, and as so often happened when visiting and not coming back soon even if we live close ….. the restaurant had change ownership, now call the Rest Au Pub; however, pretty much same menu ambiance, and friendly service. WE got the 9 scoops of ice cream dish back upon request!!! and of course he had his Triple burger with a nice bottle of Saumur Champigny, red 2013 Les Longes (in memory of the great school of cavarly Cadre Noir of Saumur).
This is a franchise chain, we have followed in Nantes and Lannion, and Brest. The Brest property went out of the franchise and are now independant. The food, service, decor, and location stay the same, a wonderful place, recommended. No webpage for the new name yet , just 10 rue de Siam, 29000, Brest tel +33 (0) 2 98 43 55 53. just up the harbor and the tour Tanguy and up the castle left and by the bridge of Recouvrance take right into rue de Siam cant missed it.
We keep the personal photos but you get an idea. Enjoy the week, and I enjoy my day off for the celebration. Cheers
And in our rambling rides in our beautiful region we visited again Dinan, this time a bit more. We went by car of course, its only less than 2 hrs from my house! The tourist office is here http://www.dinan-tourisme.com/ you can change language above left button.
Dinan is indeed at the road crossing of Saint Malo, Rennes, Lorient,Quimper, Vannes you name it. It has train service to Paris and bus terminal right by the train station on the network TIBUS. We went by car and to beat Michelin ,which already gotten over 20 letters from me on fixing trajects, not all change for their commercial reasons ::)
We set out as knowing Michelin told us 2h03 time and 131 kms. We took different by tracing on a local IGN map, and took off on the road D768 direction Pontivy. We went all the way past Pontivy to hook up at Loudéac with the N164 direction Rennes. Continue until we hit Saint Meen le Grand and got on shortly on the D125 already direction Dinan/St Malo. This road same direction change to the D166 passing Caulnes and then we smoothly fell on the road D766 passing the nice Saint Jouan de l’Isles town with nice story on St John the Baptist. At a traffic circle just still direction only Dinan now we hook up with the D795 straight into Rue de Marchix in Dinan and the underground parking at my favorite hotel de ville ,near the castle. In all , we had 141 kms and did it in 1h36 so a bit longer but quicker and still free. Beat Michelin again lol!
We got out of the parking and immediately you see the Hôtel de Ville to your right and instead of following the ramparts from there we took off for the tourist office which is right next to the entrance to the Castle (closed) but came down on the ramparts and saw there was the Fête Foraine du Liége with lots of rides for old and Young and food, and music all the way to the night. This last until March 22nd.
We walk into the gorgeous city old center with wooden houses from as far back as the 14C, and came up to see the tour d’Horloge, the théatre des Jacobins, Church of Saint Sauveur,Church of Saint Malo; jardin Anglais (which was an old English colony cementary until extinct) more walk on the ramparts along the porte Saint Catherine with a nice view of the viaduc on to Rennes over the river Rance, and the port of Dinan.
We did our shopping at Les Terney thés for my harley Davidson mug and 1960’s Paris placemats for drinks, web at http://www.lesternythes.fr/ and my sons got their leather belts at TM Cuir. http://www.breizh-ce.fr/cuir-dinan-p-1150.html?osCsid=017bb5802b0b1a00f7ae869348c2e854 and got our goodies of baguettes and dejeunettes sandwich breads at Boulangerie Royer (no web at grand rue ); and finally we did eat at the wonderful service and foof of Pizzeria Cecco at rue de la poissonnerie. http://www.pizzeriacecco.com/ ;nice quatre saisons or four seasons pizza, banana splits and a bottle of red Italina Negroamaro from Salento ,Lecce ;diabolo menthe, other desserts and pasta/pizzas total came out to 21€ per person,ok and nice ambiance with currency money frames and bucket lounge style tables and chairs in the old section of town.
Inside the tourist office you can see the history of Dinan in the museum of centre d’interpretation et du Patrimoine with nice interactive booths. The historical Chapelle Sainte Catherine, the jardin Val Cocherel by the promenade des pétit-fossés along the ramparts. The old maison du gouverneur or governor’s house, the whole day was spent very nice in anticipation of Monday is my oldest birthday and we will be out to Brest, stay tune….::)
Enjoy your Sunday and do visit Dinan. Cheers
Its been a while but here I am again on news from Brittany, Bretagne, or Breizh.
The wonderful Entertainment center of L’EchoNova, Sainte Avé which I pass every day by it ::) has always a wonderfu lineup of events of the musical genre. Hayseed Dixie, Baden Baden, The Ringo Jets, Topaz are some of the nice ones we know. http://www.lechonova.com/
The Carnaval de Lorient is coming 14 mars 2015 just here, from the Place Alsace Lorraine at 15h ,http://www.lorient.fr/tout-lagenda/detail-dun-evenement/event/carnaval-2015/
At the town of Quéven,Les Arcs , a wonderful line up with Vincent Delerm 6 march, and Asa MArch 21 amongst many others news info here http://www.queven.com/?mode=culture-les_arcs
April 3 (salle Michel Gloaguen) and 4 (salle Arena) the Harlem Globetrotters basketball show will come to Brittany at Brest. http://www.orcade-spectacles.net/Actualites_et_Pogrammation.html
Same arena in Brest will have by June 18 2015, the Earth, Wind,and Fire musical group on the disco funk festival of leyends Brest Arena, http://www.brestarena.com/fr/billetterie/disco-funk-legend-festival
In the espace Jean Vilar, Lanester, we have again Mars m’Enchante until March 28 2015; with many songs and singers including Nid de Coucou, Clément Bertrand and Wally. http://www.lanester.com/Espace-Jean-Vilar.10192.0.html#c30195
So enjoy the cultural richness of Brittany, and it goes beyond celtique breton dances ::)
Today was a working day …. cool ,grey, and rainy with temps in the 10-12C or around 50F. We had to take a day off of our get aways as we are ,also ,doing work on our house. Once you buy one, the work never ends …::)
So, in our daily routine here in the little Brittany /// or Breizh or Bretagne we got all in the car and headed out. First we went to our capital city of Vannes or Gwened in breton language.
Here we got some decoration and velux Windows for the house at the friendly local Castorama store. We are cardholders so we get good rates on rental of trucks to move the stuff ourselves and its easy. In 1h30 we had returned the truck ,and with the gas credit we got we only pay 4,55€ !!! http://magasins.castorama.fr/4211-castorama-vannes
The staff always very friendly and very fair in all the years we have used them in France, the Vannes store is tops.
We went over to our other main town Lorient, (actually has more inhabitants than Vannes but is the second city as govt is concern); here we went to the Place Alsace Lorraine for blue disk parking for free. We arrive by 14H so we headed to the restaurant for lunch following French protocol , after or near 15H restos chef goes home ::)
We try one that is always full and plenty of locals who seems to know each other well, right across the square of Alsace Lorraine, Brasserie Le Vauban, no webpage, contact tel +33 (0) 2 97 21 17 72. Easy to find as it is in the main square of the Church of Saint Louis, Galeries Lafayette store and many other shops as well as the bus depot with many lines stopping here. We had our dish of the day blanquette de Veau, and others with Grimbergen beers and coffee expresso all for about 13€ per person.
Here we went around to the local Damart store, my spouse favorite and an old French traditional store going back to the grandmother… 7 rue Vauban, just from the above resto turn left and go straight to the store, webpage ,http://www.damart.fr/magasins/lorient
And of course, more shopping there. We continue our daily life in wonderful Morbihan and went our previous town in our trails, Auray. Here we had to ordered eyeglasses at our favorite of many years Optic 2000 in France and it has continue here in Breton lands. This is at Rue Barre, right in old town close to the Hotel de Ville, and you can leave your car at the great Keriolet parking area just off the side of the street. http://opticiens.optic2000.com/opticien-auray-56400-1497
Once in town , we took advantage to load up on our breads and sweets and of course the baguette at another favorite in many parts La Mie Câline. 12 Place de la République just to the right of the Hotel de Ville looking at the front of it. http://auray.lamiecaline.com/fr/
And it was time to come home to Watch the very important match of France vs Wales in the VI Nations rugby tournament. Allez les Bleus!!! and we are tied 3×3 early as I finish this post lol!!! http://www.rbs6nations.com/en/home_live.php
Ok so we have time to talk about France and Paris in detail; this is winter still here but all we get is some rains today temp is 8C or about 45F. I had a busy day at work and now is time to tell you about my favorite spots in France.
Many times people ask me where to eat in Paris that can hold large number of people like 8-10 or more persons , well these are some of the favorites.
Le Mordant, 61, rue de Chabrol, 75010 with walls in brick and floor from the 19C with sardines and carpaccio of st jacques or scallops. Where I write in French, cityvox, http://www.cityvox.fr/restaurants_paris/le-mordant_200220344/Profil-Lieu
a bit more expats ambiance you have Au Passage, 1 bis, passage Saint-Sébastien, 75011 with a head of pig and choucroute. http://www.restaurant-aupassage.fr/
and A Noste, 6 bis, rue du 4-Septembre, 75002 southwest cuisine with a food truck in street level and first floor a resto with grill beefs really nice. http://www.a-noste.com/
For some brunch in Paris, you know, breakfast and lunch specials, these are the new trend in the city lol!
Les Parigots, 5, rue du Château d’eau 23€ brunch ;http://www.lesparigots.fr/
Le Comptoir Général, 80, Quai De Jemmapes ,very cool place , brunch is 19€, and a museum on the art of ghetto, nice, see http://www.lecomptoirgeneral.com/fr/about
Café Charlot, 38, rue de Bretagne , brunch 19€, the most refine, http://www.cafecharlotparis.com/
You need to go beyond the tourist Paris of the Quartier Latin and the Marais, into the Faubourgs!!! Go into the Faubourg Poissonnerie, with Michalak take away, 60, rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière with great patisserie; http://www.christophemichalak.com/
by Faubourg Saint Denis you have the Le Syndicat 51, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis ,Young clientele with wooden tables and nice bucket seats and music hip hop. http://www.syndicatcocktailclub.com/
And the omnipresent USA hot dogs place Hutch Hot Dogs House, 63, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis ;http://hutchhotdogs.com/
Madame Gen. 1, rue Martel (10éme) it is here that the artist community come to mingle. It is close to the New Morning where each night jazz, afrocuban music and blues bring long lines of aficionados.
And after 100 years of interdiction in Paris the distillery is open ; Distillerie de Paris, 54, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis ;http://www.distilleriedeparis.com/
And by Faubourg-Saint Martin, we have the Allegra , 70, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Martin . Open continuously as a café pizzeria near the mayor’s house of the 10éme . ALl done with Italian flour bio, and creative coverings cook on site. https://www.facebook.com/retaurantallegra
and why not go up to Montmartre , and visit La Boîte aux Lettres,108, rue Lepic . poule au pot, is great here, chicken casserole type. http://www.restaurantlaboiteauxlettres.fr/
and something to see in Paris , Musée du Luxembourg “Les Tudors” reign from 1485 to 1603; March 18 to 19 july 2015. http://museeduluxembourg.fr/expositions/expositions-0
Nàpoléon à Paris, from April 8 to August 30 2015; at the Musée Carnavalet, http://www.carnavalet.paris.fr/fr/expositions/napoleon-et-paris
Enjoy it , its a blast. cheers
Just a short special announcement, I do write quite a bit of travel tips and advice on a couple of other sites besides my blog, and doing something special in June 2015.
For those reading my blog and passing by Paris in June 24,25,26,2015 next I am hosting a tour of several places in Paris(where I worked), Versailles (Where I lived), and Fontainebleau (my first place visited in France and my wife’s region).
The visit will be as everyone pays its own and visit as much as they wish to visit on each day ,two days or all three days. I will have a place to meet on each day and we will go from there as a group. The basic visits are explained here;
June 24th 2015, Fontainebleau
We will meet at the castle main horseshoe entrance by 9AM as I will be driving by car; you can come a bit late if coming delays on public transport it will be fine. We will be able to see for the first time the apartment of the Pope. The Musée Napoléon 1er , prince apartments, portraits of pageantry, sumptuous weapons, luxury works of art but also a reconstituted tent evoking the life of the Emperor in the countryside. Also, small apartments, the Chinese Museum, the jeu de paume, the Gallery of furniture… and is a very precious decorative arts museum. I will try to get you in to the Salle de la Belle Cheminée which off to the public but I have done conferences there. This is Belle-Cheminée du Primatice building by the cour de la Fontaine. And of course, the 3 gardens styles .
June 25th 2015 ,Paris
We will meet by the statue of Gustave Eiffel on the Nord Pylon . Going to the underground of the Tour Eiffel, (price will be around 20 euros per person) and to get it I need 10 min.)FYI, and visit the Chapelle Expiatoire where the remains of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were first place and now a restful place and private of the Bourbon family. Go into some of the historical monuments in the Parisian deluxe Hotels done by Charles Garnier (opéra etc fame). We have the Chapelle Expiatoire open ok for Thursday June 25th so depending on when the tour Eiffel can fit us we will do this first or second. We will do this as time permitting.
June 26th , Versailles
We will meet in front at the Place d’Armes outside castle. We will see the whole of the castle (private apartment of the kings),the Royal Chapel ,and Opéra theater, then out into the Trianons, and Hameau of M-A, with a passport pass 18€, this includes in addition, the Great water shows,musical gardens that will be playing in June and temporary exhibitions. I will walk you to my jogging trails and family picnics beyond the Grand Canal, into the farm at St Cyr that fed the palace in its heydays and still operated by descendants since 1741. I have some surprises but will wait to have confirm by the castle and should be available before you get to it.
So if anyone is interested and will be available on those dates, let me know here. Check back here for any updates, and be there. And hopefull, we can finally meet in person ::) cheers