September 27, 2015

Some news from France ,XCXII

Well passing by Paris always brings the best of me, and more nice things to see and do, and admire. The city was bustling and vibrant as ever, full , the tourists keep coming 32,3M last year and this year 2015 should another record. I laugh when people tell me to find a place where tourists are not in Paris!!! They are all over; but here are some new ones.

Some new chic hotel, such as the Hotel Ekta, 52 rue Galilée double rooms from 140€ this is a nice area where I have done events like the nearby Aero Club de France.

The great pastry maker Christophe Michalak going from teaching to creating a new patisserie Michalak at 16 rue de la Verrerie, open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10h30 to 19h. Tastes like guitar-shaped chocolates and popular Kosmiks verrines for 6,80€. So new not even yet on his webpage ::)

You want new fashions and local ,then head for Front de Mode, 42 rue Volga , open  Mondays to Saturdays from 11h to 19H. brands like Veja, Misericordia, Naco Paris, jewelry and great creators behind the work. Local produce. The official site is just new hot off the press too but there is the main designer behind it page as well Sakina. and the new site ;

The great Yannick Alléno already visit him at the resto Terroir Parisien  in the Palais Brongniart, now will have his new place at Stay,15 rue Boissy d’Anglas, a nice area by the Madeleine where I used to take my passport photos US!!! Dining with a terrace inside the hotel Sofitel,

And perfumes well the famous Fragonard has refurbished the boutique museum in Paris. 9 rue Scribe ,open Mondays to Saturdays from 9h to 18h. Musée du Parfum Fragonard, right in an old theater renovated for them.

How about a pontoon boat ride on the Seine? Green Rivers Cruises will do it.  They have sofas, and bars with capacity of only 11 persons! You go up the canal Saint Martin roundtrip up to Boulogne. Of course, you can do it in the Seine river too but its crowded on boats….

If you want to rent a hotel in Paris or elsewhere for a few hours without CB reservation, then try this site,  Dayuse;

If you want to be close to Italy or Milan specifically in Paris then head for Ober Mama; (ober for oberkampf and mama for mamma Italian mother); you have the aperitivo concept here from 18h to 20h sort of happy hour with food included; the products use are straight from Italy with dishes from 10-15€ reasonable and good. See them at 107 boulevard Richard Lenoir.

And for the anecdote following the above info, Paris vs Milan, ok Pop Paris 2,26M , Milan 1,35M, bikes Paris 13420, Milan 3370, places for an opera, Paris 2013 ,Milan 3000;  the first fashion week ,Paris 1973 and Milan 1958; foreign tourists welcome Paris 32,3M, Milan 2,7M! the most visitors comes from: Paris, British with more than 2,1M, Milan, Russians with 193K. Somehow Paris is tops.

You will see the museum was refurbished and renovated and now his work will be on stage at the Grand Palais Paris, call Picasso Mania for the Great Picasso from October 7 ,2015 to February 29 2016;

You know Paris is surrounded by water… yes and there are many islands to boot, some of my favorites. Well ,some need a car, and its great on the road regardless of all those books telling you is not. I drive and its fun,just know your hours. The islands are La Dynamique in Puteaux, just outside Paris near La Defense; you can go on metro line 1 stop pont de Neuilly and walk to see the parc Labaudy, Naturoscope, etc. La Jatte in Levallois-Perret right over the bridge, get here on metro line 3 stop pont de Levallois-Becon, the island is like a boat shape and cradle of impressionists celebrated by Seurat’s A Sunday afternoon on the island; and see sites painted by Monet, Van Gogh, and Sisley. See the Temple de L’Amour, maison de la Pêche et de la Nature or house of fishing and nature.  Right over to Chatou (Yvelines) you  have the La Mythique, where Renoir and his guinguettes and canotiers reign supreme. There is a park dedicated to the impressionist movement, the hamlet of Fournaise with its restaurant and museum, as well as the center of contemporary arts. You can get here on the RER A  from Paris,stop Chatou-Croissy.

Coming up is again that wonderful event I have attended several times over the years, Fête des Vendanges in the butte Montmartre. Again this year from October 7-11. The smallest vineyard of France is here only given about 2000 bottles!aged in the cellars of the mayor’s office. . You can see the biggest gallery of Dali in France at the L’Espace Dali (11 rue Poulbot) ,and the remaining windmill of Le Moulin de la Galette(83 rue Lepic); restaurant and now awaiting new owners;

And just to say we copy too, the Ministry of Defense in France is creating the French Pentagon right by Balard by the Place Balard and the boulevard périphérique in the 15 arrondissement of Paris. A huge city of 420K sq meters or about 4,5M sq feet. all branches of the military will be base here!  An ongoing project now its design stage and one of the great projects of Paris metro or Grand Paris.

Be ready for the biggest boat show around,the Paris Nautic December 5-13 2015.Porte de Versailles, info here

How about those pools ok summer is gone but you can always stop by anytime on the covered pools such as Pontoise opened in 1934,  ;Pailleron close to the parc des Buttes-Chaumont built-in 1933,  the Buttes-aux-Cailles with a great vaulted ceiling recently renovated in the 13éme.

You know some of the nicest places in the flea market of St Ouen just north of Paris? This is dept 93 Seine-Saint-Denis.  Well see the old fashion looks at Les Merveilles de Babellou for the different women in you, Marché Paul Bert allée 1, stand 13 and 77;

As above, what about that rare old book, this is the biggest Librairie L’Avenue founded at the flea in 1961, 31 rue Lécuyer with over 150K titles!  If you like old photo equipments  for collections or sporadic uses, Au Vieux Format, 23ter rue Paul Bert, ; getting that old record vinyl, cassettes etc go to Vintage Tourne Disque, marché Dauphine,stand 186 , 1fl (2 fl US) 140 rue des Roisiers.—adress-store/28191898.html

Following along, see the wonderful furniture ideas at Habitat 1964, 77-81 rue des Roisiers, furniture, objects decoration and accessories for the living is here to boot, great selection. ; and don’t forget while there to eat at the historic (1958) restaurant Le Paul Bert, 20 rue Paul Bert with plat du jour from 15€.

And just for not leaving anything out from my umpteen nostalgic trip back to Paris, how about those mythical villages! small neighborhoods that seems just out of ordinary Paris. Talking about places like the Villa Léandre in the 18éme; this site tells you more of what I mean::)

The wonderful Villa Seurat in the 14éme , one of my best hangouts in Paris while living in Versailles and working by there, and the place of many like Chaim Soutine, and Henry Miller giving it a character by André Lurcat and designed by Bauhaus architects. The homes of the likes of Vincent Bolloré, Alain Afflelou, Xavier Niel, Myléne Farmer,and Carla Bruni; great walks you can do down rue Poussin or along the petite ceinture.  More from a popular French site Evous,,1160191.html

The petite Alsace or Villa Daviel in the 13éme near the Butte-aux-Cailles park. 40 houses built here of working class standing of the times; a bit more on the same evous site in French,,1175787.html

The Villa du Danube gong from 70 rue David-d’Angers and ending at 11 rue de l’Ègalité near the park des Buttes-Chaumont in the 19éme is wonderful; 93 homes like windmills without blades and of course the Mouzaîa area with over 250 homes from the end of the 19C, more in evous ,,1177270.html

And last but not least, the airport de Paris tell us that on  CDG Terminal 1 passageway 4 you can see the Louvre with photographs of the famous such as the winged victory of Samothrace, Delacroix’s The Women of Algiers, art objects, sculptures and more.

And there you have when you pass by Paris, all comes back in earnest. Now ready to go back to work and the real life, of course Paris is a dream ::) Cheers


September 25, 2015

A lovely one two punch, Paris and London!

Ok so I had a different travels this time as was on a visit to both wonderful cities, Paris and London. My trip was on public transportation. I still, do not undertand how people claims to take this route and find it good, no way I am a car lover and nothing is better than been independent of your time with a car.

Having said that, my trip began at the Auray train station on a TGV to Montparnasse Paris, here took the metro line 4 to Réaumur-Sébastopol and line 3 there to République, where my hotel was just around the corner Hotel Meslay. Nice location, AC, elevator/lift, and nice friendly reception. The rooms as usual were a bit older traditional Parisien style but ok. Enough room. This was for my director’s meeting of my company worldwide;

The area is well known to me as used to handle accounting/finance work right on the square for the old Holiday Inn, now it is a Crown Plaza hotel! So all the restaurants there were my hangout for lunch or dinner. This time I went to the Indiana Café and was as good as old for dinner, great crowd, wonderful service and a great pastrami burger with a good Affligem beers, and double noisette coffee.

From there the next day I set out to walk Paris, wonderful as always and beating any mode of transport. I walk all the way to the Louvre museum passing by some familiar places like the Church of St Eustache, and seeing new ones like the Church of Saint Nicolas des Champs, with the great porte Saint Martin, the Les Forum (still under construction but open for business), the Arts et Métiers museum still nice ,and my old hangout work area of the Louvre at Rivoli to Castiglione.

I was able to grab a coffee at my train station brasserie Océane and had time to in my walks visit my old Americain hangout Joe Allen with a great pint of Glolsch beer !!! All these places easily found webpages on the net.  More beautiful passages like the Grand Cerf, and finally hit my meeting place at the old Palais de la Bourse or Palais Brongniart,now.  I got some pictures of the inside as in a professional environment is hard to do.

From the metro Bourse line 3 took me back to Réaumur Sébastopol and then line 4 off for Gare du Nord, and here it was chaos as usual, renovation in plus, a horde of people been directed to different lanes and finally reach the outrageous RER B to get me to CDG Terminal 2E.  Here went for my flight to London Heathrow terminal 4 on AF.

The flight was easy as usual, and decided to continue tasting the public transports route, and took the underground/tube/metro/subway here on the Piccadilly line to my hotel at Gloucester Road station; had my old oyster card still with money in it! and this was easy as done before several times. My hotel was in an area that I know, chic Kensington. The Millenium Gloucester Hotel, very nice grand old English style and service and amenities galore.

I was put in the 5th floor millennium club and enough to say the experience was marvelous and the service tops. Great English breakfast too. However, my final destination where I was invited to speak on a world trade finance conference was held at the sister hotel the Millenium Knightsbridge Hotel on the Knightsbridge tube station on same Piccadilly line. My oyster card was good enough to take me here and then recharge on the machines is easy with my debit Visa card. The Knightsbridge was excellent as well and great facilities, with great company of professionals from several countries and great lunch food.

I took advantage of doing some walks in the chic area of Sloane street and over to Gloucester Road as usually my home with family or me is in Earl’s Court.  The rides were ok, but smelly and crowded at end of the day coming back to hotel. I had all taken care here but did went out to indulge in the crazy American tradition of hamburgers ….well been from Florida had to try the Burger King here lol!: Gloucester road BK mind you ::) Been in contrast dining in the evening with suit and tie, but heck, we have no social classes !!!

After the meeting left by 4PM (16H) as needed to catch the flight back home, same Piccadilly line from Knightsbridge to Heathrow Terminal 4, long ride and tight but will do for the experience. I was there on time for my AF flight back to Paris CDG. Then, no more trains I thought, took a flight on AF to Nantes Atlantique airport ,my usual home area airport.

However, there was no transportation to my home and no one at home that can find me in Nantes, so needed to rent me a hotel room for the night at the B&B hotel at the airport with a code key sign in ,no human at the counter! For an airport hotel is ok but basic services, first time on one of them, and so so experience.  I walk from airport to hotel about 10 minutes going by the parking of the Oceania hotel( tried this one but for one night no need to pay difference in price). The stay was fine and the room was easily found on 2nd Floor, large room and bath with one double and two twins beds!éroport.htm?arrivalDate=30/09/2015&departureDate=01/10/2015&selectPersonNumber=1

Next day, this morning, took the navette bus from the airport to the train station sud in Nantes. This have done before so no problems, and the bus was waiting for me when arrive from the B&B hotel. It is now 8€ ride (started with them at 7!!!).

At the train station, which I know well, had my breakfast at the Class’Croute bakery in the south side or Gare de Nantes Sud,just after getting my ticket and validating it on the yellow machines.  Here took a TER train direction Nantes-Quimper but stopping in Auray, where my old papa , reliable old men was waiting for me to take me home arriving by 12:30 pm or 12h30 today. Now at night , doing the post so can have my weekend for the family.

Enjoy the ride and photos,and until next time. Have a wonderful weekend y’all ::)

London London London London London London London London Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris


September 20, 2015

South Africa revisited!!!

Well en route but just back from South Africa. Another nice trip and was able to touch with old friends again. These are the quick visits as always but very nice memories. And I am on my way to Paris,London next…….

I went out by car from home with a bit extra time as it was raining on the N165 road, and to my surprise there was an accident and work construction on the road that was creating one lane only. Big slow down almost standstill. I thought would miss my plane at Nantes Atlantique airport:  . Hopefully, it cleared up but needed to do 150 KPH ::) ( about 93 MPH) , and got there just as the plane was been board! After this event flew well on AF to Paris CDG T2F, and easily went over to T2E for the flight to South Africa on AF as well

The flight is long and this time it seems and was longer as usually go to Fourways, J’Burg first, but this time change at OR Tambo airport : ;  there on a domestic SAA flight to East London.  Once at East London I was picked up by car and taken to my hotel, the Riverbend B&B, which locals put me there, it was very nice like been at home and friendly service,   .  We did have dinner at a pricier property like a spa hotel resto,but only have the front in the photo and can’t remember the name lol!!! just been me I guess.

The next day we went to Abbotsford Arms pub, ; where in addition to some real fine Carling Black Label beers we had this special menu 500g T-Bone smothered in our herb butter sauce, served with freshly cut chips and 2 veg. ONLY R99.00 .

A bit of driven in town to practice my right side wheel and it was off to the East London airport again this time to J’Burg. I was to land at 21h10 at OR Tambo airport and my shuttle to wait for me. However, I came domestic this time on terminal B and my shuttle was in internationals Terminal A!!!! So with little wifi:internet could not find his phone number, and were some trying moments until finally found his phone number to start a funny exchange. Noo I am at the information desk with a plaque holding your name, noo I do not see anybody in the ID, finally I said I am in terminal B oh oh I am in terminal A thinking you were coming international, noo the folks here knew I was coming domestic. Finally we hook up for the ride to my hotel.

The hotel was the nice City Lodge Fourways near the montecasino complex. ; this is a nice hotel first time in it and love it. Great restaurant area, with pool overlooking the city road at Witkoppen road.  Locals took me for lunch at the nice le Soufflé in Fourways a French style restaurant where I had my duck confit and more of that Black Label beers.

In the evening, I met a new friend and as had a car, we rode looking for this place I have heard call the Beer House, and after some trying as the friend was from Pretoria, we finally found the place ::) This is a pub with live music, 99 different beers and great menu in a resto laden road off the Witkoppen road as well but need to come by the Fourways Crossing mall side to get here.

We had a great time until very late; and a wonderful house burger and t bone steak with different beers but I stuck with the new found nice one Carling  Black Label. Just great company, happy lively place, good music and the place is loaded with likes establishements on the same side.

It was time for me to say goodbye to the springboks once again, and another nice visit of many more memories to last. On my way back got the airport early so went for my airport lunch this time at a new place too. The Keg and Aviator pub where I had another of those big juicy burgers and more of the wonderful Carling Black Label beers.  The place general page is here  ,and the one at the airport I try is this one; they are in the public area of the airport to your end right.

The flight back was flawless, to Paris CDG T2E and then change easy to T2F for the last leg back to Nantes where my car was waiting for the trip back home. It was a very nice trip personal and business wise. Until the next time hopefully less than a year away. Cheers.

East london East London East London East London East London East London East London East London Fourways Fourways Fourways Fourways Fourways Fourways Johannesbourg Johannesbourg Johannesbourg Johannesbourg Johannesbourg

September 11, 2015

Some news from Bretagne, XVIII

Well just before the start of a crazy travel itinerary that will take me away, will leave you with my Brittany/Bretagne/Breizh and some amazing stones!!!

We have many sites name on the world heritage list by UNESCO and others less known, but in all, the region is dotted with many megaliths or stones from ancient times that we are still trying to find out about them.  2000 years before the pyramids of Egypt, or Stonehenge, or the writings in Mesopotamia, there was Brittany and its majestic stones.

You have ,of course, Carnac with more than 3000 stones perfectly align for about 4 kms forming four groups of stones, Ménec, Kermario and LeManio , Kerlescan and petit Ménec, web

and while at it visit the museum of prehistory in the city center or bourg there,

Right in Carnac , you have the site of  Kercado,here in the forest you have one of the most spectacular Dolmen and well preserve out and in, covered with a tumulus with a diameter of 30 meters (c 100 feet) and a high of 5 meters (c. 16.5 feet).

You go on away to the Tumulus de Moustoir, not complete but amazing, with  85 meters long and 35 meters wide and 5 meters high,you can see a dolmen on the west side and two tombs and a menhir around it.

A very famous one is the Tumulus of Gavrinis on a high hill in a island inside the Gulf of Morbihan. You see it as you approach by boat . A Dolmen of 29 pillars many decorated with geometric drawings. You can only visit from April 1 to September 30 by reserving at Telephone +33 (0) 2 97 57 19 38.  The traject includes a stop on the isle of  Er Lannic where you can see the double cromlech semi submerge in the sea on high tide which includes 40 menhirs. The boat contact is here

Cale de Pen-Lannic
56870 Larmor-Baden

Tél. +33 (0) 2 97 57 19 38

and more in French on the boat info

and tourist info in English;

Coming along to the tumulus of Petit Mont d’Arzon, located overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It has been enlarge and renovated for thousands of years , and in its interior you find a dolmen with a serie of big stones entirely decorated with motifs geometrics and figurines. Only guided visits from April to September.

The grouping of Locmariaquer, is about  10 kms from Carnac and considered one of the most complete site. You have the biggest in the world menhir cut in four pieces with 20 meters high and done 2000 years before those of Carnac. On the other side you can visit the  Túmulus de La Table des Marchands , and the Túmulus de Er Grah, whose interior has a nice decoration.You can visit all year round. Found the national monument site where others are too,but for Locmariaquer best in English;

The Arch of Kerzerho ,   with more than 1000 stones and one of the most complete in the area. You can see the ring  of various dolmens and the one the  Name Croch and the  Mane Braz, in addition to more alignments and a huge sacrificial stone. Free access.

Come along to the grouping of Kergonan, on the biggest island in the Gulf of Morbihan the ile aux Moines You have a group of 24 menhirs forming like a horse shoe and around it a small museum. The other is the Pen Hap, one of the best places to see the island with a running dolmen. The island Moines is monks but there was never monks here ::)

the ile aux moines tourism  here in French,

You reach the dolmen of Le Bignan, more inland away from the sea, includes a Tumulus of 30 meeters in diameter and on the interior you can visit the dolmen and a big menhir of nearly 7 meters high , as well as a second dolmen in deterioration of about 10 meters long. It is known locally as the “le trou des Chouans” or the hole of the chouans (the name given to counter revolutionary Breton against the French revolution, farmers really). Info found in French,

Lastly ,visit the tumulus de Larcuste, near the town of Colpo, there lies a grouping of two tumulus and in the interior it has been found other dolmen in a hallway type of setting in good state of conservation. Very near me, secluded in the fields ,need to read French;

Ok so what is a dolmen ,tumulus,menhir etc. ? Dolmen is a stone dalle pose on a square stone structure of what is considered to be a tomb. Tumulus is the stone that covers the dolmen in a funeral type setting tomb. menhir are the stones carved and standing tall.  You can find in English a lot more information on them at

Yes we have some amazing old ,interesting and culturally enriching places in Bretagne/Breizh/Brittany. Some photos.

 Carnac  Carnac  Carnac  Carnac  Carnac Carnac locmariaquer locmariaquer Locmariaquer




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September 7, 2015

Memorable Darmstadt, Germany

Ok we were on our last days thinking what to do in our homebase south of Trier Germany. So , I remember that several years back had a job assignment here where my French company send me and then visited several times. So why not bring the trail over and the family to visit Darmstadt! So we did.

Darmstadt is the Land Hesse region of Germany not far from Frankfurt, which is where I landed on the airport and then moved by taxi to the city. This time we came by car all the way from Trier.  Using only tourist maps and no GPS!!!

We left Trier on the B51 direction Saarburg,and then here took the 407 direction Hermeskell, where we change road number to 327 direction Morbach; here took 422 direction Idar Oberstein, and here took again 41 direction Gensingen.  At Gensingen, we took the expressway 61 to Grosheim and here took quick the 60 direction Mainz, connect with the 67 directioin Darmstadt where we came in on the 672, road 26 into the city at Rheinstrabe.

Return we took the same 26 out into the 672 and took the 5 direction Frankfurt ,we took the 66 outside Frankfurt and cut across left or west to Wiesbaden on theh 66,and then just south of Wiesbaden took the 683 south to Gensingen to connect with the 41 to Bad Kreuznach and here continue until connect Nohfelden and the 62 and go north towards Hermeskell  and the road 1,then 602 into Trier beltway on the B49. We park at the Luisencenter shopping center underground parking.

While in Darmstadt , we wall all over the city center, visited the Schlossmuseum , and the old theater look around as now houses the archives of the regional government. We saw the Orthodox Russian Church at Nikolaiweg 18. We stop by the Landesmuseum of natural history ; and pass by the football stadium where I had attended games back in 2004.!!

took a ride to the new theater ;http://https// ; and the Church of Saint Louis just by it. Which the church unfortunately only has a site in German,

And course ,beautiful statues, columns and fountains in city center, as well as stopping by Bormuth bakery for a delicious German pastries, pretzels etc with softdrinks for a thirsty afternoon before heading back. A nice stay and the family was curious of these places I have been lol!!! Finally,ending our summer vacation as once back in Trier ,the next day was the trip back home in Brittany, France.

Enjoy Darmstadt. And,have a great week.

Darmstadt Darmstadt Darmstadt Darmstadt Darmstadt Darmstadt Darmstadt Darmstadt Darmstadt Darmstadt Darmstadt Darmstadt Darmstadt

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September 6, 2015

And we came back again to Trier! Nice

Well many years ago we came to Luxembourg city during the Christmas season and hearing about the German side,decided to extend our driving and reach Trier. It was cold, very cold…. and nighttime came in quickly , pictures turn our hardly any good. But the experience was good.

We have come back to Trier afterward ,and this summer we rented a home with a winegrower just south of Trier. It was our point central and we came back to it several times during our stay. It has become our favorite German city,and we like it.

There is some buildings that are outside the tourist center that we wanted to check out , so we came by car as always, around the beltway along the river Saar and came in on the city way north around the football stadium so find parking on past the Porta Nigra. We then, went on our walking trail visiting some nice interesting new places.

The church of Saint Martin at Maarstraße 72,is a perfect example of a nice building left aside by many visitors.  Maybe because most of the information available is in German. ; Romanesque revival form built between 1912-1915 due to expanding population; and the belltower renovated in 1925, and the organ since 1931.

We continue our search for nice buildings usually these are old churches. We arrive at an old one, under renovation, Church of St Maximin, the Saint was born near Poitiers in France and was the fifth bishop of Trier, the Church is the former abbey of the imperial abbey. Today it is a gymnasium and events place but in bad condition, repairing was going on as we took photos. It was an important abbey in the Holy Roman Empire ,and after damages and renovations it was dissolved during the period of the French revolution.

And we reach the Church of St Paulinus, also under exterior renovations, but the inside is gorgeous and you can come in! As the St Maximin it was erected on a Roman cementary. By the end of the 4C the church was erected and by 400AD the remains of St Paulinus  were brought in. The church has gone through many renovations and fires and rebuilt again after 1674,then again another church from 1737-1757. The monastery is closed by 1794, and property sold by 1802 under the influence of the French revolution; the Pope Pie XII gives it the title of basilica minor in 1958. ; the interior is fascinating and richly decorated.

We moved our way walking and past by the simple cinema Broadway in Paulinustrabe. Moving rapidly, we went to passing the Church of St Paul at Paulusplatz, there is some news I gather the city was planning to close it,been the first ever case of a closure of a Church in Trier, but we took a peek inside for memories. And finally, we saw walking our tired feet around the  Church of St Irminen, a nice church monastery and retirement home with a nice bust of Willibrord the patron Saint of the city of Trier. Very old convent monastery and church,the latest part of the Church are from 1771; now it is a hospital, nursing home, senior residence, rehabilitation center.

In all now we can say we know the city lol!!! we walk the pavement all over and love it, we will be back. Enjoy Trier, Germany.

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September 4, 2015

Koblenz on the German corner! Deutsche Eck .

On one of our wandering in the Saar of Germany we decided to go away into the center and we pick Koblenz, a nice city on the rivers Moselle and Rhine or the German corner or Deutsche Eck . The city is very nice and great for walking.

We arrive by car from Trier on the 602 ,then 1, B48 and finally the 9 roads or about 3 hrs. We entered the city and park at the Schaengel Center underground, nice and all around you to walk , here . We immediately headed for the tourist office in the Forum Confluences  building across the street.

After some shopping there, we move on on foot.  By Friedrich-Ebert-Ring 41 street we came across an imposing belltower Church of Christ. We did walk a lot as the city is marvelous with great architectures and figurines on the streets with fountains sometimes; we reach another chapel of St Michael who was mentioned for the first time in 1321 located at An Der Liebfraunkirche street. We continue by Florinsmarkt , we reach the Church of St Florin or Florinskirche.

And we reach the German corner! at the huge statue of emperor William I of Germany and overlooking the river Moselle and Rhine with the great cable car to the fortress above and the quaint restaurants along the riverbank. Such as  the Eiscafe am deutchen eck where we had a great sausage and good beer of kronenbacher,

We continue on the Basilica of St Castor , a huge wonderful Church that is in itself a must to see. The official site in German here and on Koblenz tourist office again in German

Right around it you see the Ludwig museum , and we finish by the former Prussian President building and more wonderful fountains such as the Historiensaeule in Josef-Görres-Platz (square). Passing by the rathaus or city hall and the Jesuits Church where now sits the city hall or Rathause. A wonderful town and good idea we decided to visit it. Certainly worth coming back here.

Enjoy a selection of my pictures of Koblenz. Cheers and have a great weekend.

Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz Koblenz


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September 3, 2015

How about Ettelbruck and Gen Patton!!

Wandering in the beautiful Luxembourg, we came to Ettelbruck. The name comes from the German word Atilbriga which means fertile ground. In 1907 , Grand Duke William II gave it the status of City. The town suffers greatlty during the Battle of the Bulge in WWII, finally liberated on Christmas Day, by the 80th US Infantry Division, part of the US 3rd Army led by Gen Patton. The city has been called “Pattonville” as well as the Gate to the Ardennes.

In it, you find the Patton Memorial, and the General Patton Memorial Museum. In it is also, the oldest Ford dealer in continental Europe ,still there since 1926. We have come here before for the museum when my boys were a lot younger and now back ,nice souvenirs.

The city is easy on the A7 road up from Luxembourg city passing wonderful Mersch and the Topaze shopping center, and the Pizza Hut at Beggen. All before reaching Ettelbruck and parking behind the Church metered but cheap.

The Gen Patton museum page is here,

The shopping Topaze here,

and the Pizza Hut, here

Just for the memories…. The Church by the Grand Rue city center , or Church of Saint Sebastian is here,

You have some nice things on the streets such as the statues of 3 figures meaning the strength of Ettelbruck such as Agriculture, Business circles, and Educational system.  The farmer is pointing to the desire height the wheat should grow; the retail dealer points his finger into the hollow of his hand to emphasize that money dealings must be correct; and the teacher points his two fingers at the other figures to stress that money and riches are not the be all and end all of life. Nice

The city hall and tourist office buildings are shown in pictures too. The  Ettelbruck  Ettelbruck  Ettelbruck  Ettelbruck  Ettelbruck  Ettelbruck  Ettelbruck  Ettelbruck  Ettelbruck  Ettelbruck  Ettelbruck  Ettelbruck  Ettelbruck  Ettelbrucktraces the most remarkable stories of WWII in Luxembourg with photos, documents and objects as well as the life of Gen Patton. It has great pieces of engines and weapons inside too, great for the whole family and remember…

In all it was a nice quick day to re trace the place the family has been and to see the museum again. Enjoy the shopping and back to base on same day. Enjoy the photos of Ettelbruck, Luxembourg.



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September 1, 2015

Fairy tales do happened in Luxembourg city!

Here I go again ,on my summer vacation wandering the roads of France,Luxembourg and Germany. Now this is like coming home to Luxembourg city, we used to come very often even in one day when lived in Versailles. Now we are farther but we manage to come again, always nice memories.

The tourist office is here

In our older rounds we came for the pepperoni lovers pizza and the Mousel beers at Place d’Armes , and of course mingled about. Just for Lunch ::) ; then we came again and saw more of the city and the country. Now we gave it a good tour some old some new places. We came by car from our Germany base, on the A3 around the city into the back of the train station in Lux city. We went straight to our usual parking by place du théatre near the theater of des capucins underground. Then we set on foot all over the city.

Walking around the nice place de Saint Esprit and all the monuments and government buildings over the Viaduc , place de la Constitution, the music kiosk , and the great views over the Peitruss below with the nice church of St Jean (St John), and over the Grond or Grund  into the casements bock ,seeing the little train as when my kids were smaller and recount the story of the Duchesse Maria Teresa of Luxembourg who is born in Havana, Cuba

Getting a look at the wonderful Ducal Palace, again. nice area in front in the place Guillaume II with his equestrian statue, and over the always wonderful Place d’Armes where memories lingered of bringing my boys here to eat even lunch ::) Pizza Hut still there as it is Bananas, and we remember all, now the beer change from Mousel to Bofferding, but the same great service and great pizza. Had our garlic and goat cheese breadsticks, coffees, and beers! A bit technical info on Lux beers ;

and the Luxembourg beer history and breweries here,

The nice churches of St Michel and St Alphonse nice elements of a serious city and of course, the magnificent Cathedral Notre Dame , or of the Blessed Virgin with it’s lower chapels and wonderful display of statues, chapels,and ceilings, just great to see again.

And of course,another one of our favorites ,the Kirchberg district, not just because for me there is many European institutions there but with the family we enjoy the wonderful Auchan shopping center and the cinema Utopolis

We had another great time in Luxembourg city, I have a colleague who is from there, when I mentioned I went back to Luxembourg ,she shrink her eyes, indeed is a lot nicer than what most think. You should try it; Enjoy the pictures.

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August 30, 2015

Vianden, the Castle and world heritage site

This is Vianden, Luxembourg. I have come close to it but never made it here, perhaps too much driving around. This time I came straight from Echternach on the road N10 and it was fantastic, one of the highlights of the trip as we love castles.

There is a quaint small town ambiance which is superb here, we love it, and nice churches such as St Nicolas and Des Trinitaires; as well as a good cable car that takes you the castle about 15 minutes walking from it for 4,80€ roundtrip. And the river Our with its cascades and levies is nice natural environment to see and walk its banks.

However, all else is secondary to the Castle of Vianden.

It is open every day from 10h and until 16h to 18h depending the date.  admission is 6€ adults.

You come up a long winding hilly road into the entrance gates, pay, and go up more steps into the first courtyard. YOu follow a sequence of numbered rooms to the Arms hall, archeological crypt, early kitchen, lower chapel (with byzantines designs) ,knight’s study, inner courtyard, upper chapel, Byzantine gallery, JP Kotz hall, Charles Arendt hall, Banqueting hall, bedroom, festivity hall, genealogy hall, grand kitchen, dining hall, the well, knight’s hall, and the large cellars. You can easily spend half day looking at the castle alone or more.

More info in Vianden tourist office here,

The castle is impressive , with great showing , and a nice cafeteria at the way out , suggest though to get something to drink as you start your tour, bottle of water etc as the long up and down sideways can be exhaustive for older and or less active folks.

In all, with only a couple places to see and maybe eat here or take picnic food as we did, you can have a wonderful time in Vianden. We love it, and will be back. Enjoy your Sunday, I am catching up on my trip lol!

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