February 6, 2016

Some news from France, XCXVIIII

Here I am again on a rainy Saturday in Brittany and heavy winds sometimes up in Finistére as much as 120 KPH (about 74 MPH). However, having past by magical Paris again, got some new things to do in the lovely city.

Festival We Love Green with music,art, food, and nature will be held June 4 and 5 2016 at the Bois de Vincennes, tickets at FNAC and official event site. Many new artists and singers will be there so a chance to connect with new vibes in a nice area.  For performers go to Line-Up and for tickets go to tickets in the link here: http://www.welovegreen.fr/

A bit out from Paris but shuttle navette bus service, and becoming more popular is the One Nation Paris Outlet mall  near my old home in Les Clayes-sous-Bois dept 78.  There are sales until February 16 for additional 30-70% off outlet prices! All and I mean all the leading brands are there. Several places in Paris ,one the Opéra and from Versailles by 1 rue de Réservoirs on the right of palace; this is for the navette bus.  http://www.onenation.fr/

The great Circus d’Hiver Bouglione Paris is having a new show call RIRE or laugh. You get there by metro Filles du Calvaire/Oberkampf,/République, and bus lines 20,56,65,and95. More in English here, http://www.cirquedhiver.com/en/shows/rire/

See the opera spectacle ETOILES at the EléphantPaname, until May 29 2016. With the couple stars of the Opéra de Paris, Clairemarie Osta and Nicolas Le Riche. Admission is 7-9€, You get there on RER Auber, and metro closes is Opéra (150 m), then  Madeleine, Quatre-Septembre or Chaussée d’Antin : more in French here; http://www.elephantpaname.com/fr/programmation/exposition-etoiles

And you want more circus then until 17 April you can come to the La Villette with the Circus see all the action on the trapeze, high jumping, jongle, magic, and clowns with Zampanos, Circus of Vietnam, and others, see it even in English here ; http://lavillette.com/en/evenement/circus-at-la-villette/

Let’s talk some real estate for the curious and want to know kinda of folks.  As I get asked these questions a lot, and Paris is always evolving ,changing, improving itself (yes it does).  Some numbers first courtesy of locservice.fr. The average rent in France is 624€, and this will get you only a 15 m2 in Paris (for those in feet this is about 161 ft2), or 41 m2 in Marseille or even 75 m2 in Saint-Etienne. The average rent in Paris is 1014€ with charges included, and this falls to 884€ in the petite couronne or small crown around Paris, and 760€ in the Grand Banlieu or greater metro area that can go to Versailles. The average rental lodging in France is 47 m2 (about 452 ft2).

The up and coming arrondissement 12éme is coming along as the new student lodging quarters as the new university campus Sorbonne-Nouvelle-Paris 3 build at the corner of rue Picpus and avenue de Saint-Mandé will help push this district up. Still figure that this area gets about 6800 to 8500 euros per square meter!! Lower end by Dugommier and porte de Charenton,and higher end between Saint-Mandé and Faidherbe-Chaligny.  Next comes the 19 arrondissement with the new upper classes moving in ;prices already up 160% since the early 90’S. The area seen as best for investors is the 20 arrondissement, with an average price per square meter of 6300€ with variations from a high of 8000€ on the rue Achilles to about 6600€ bordering the pére lachaise. Good rental prices makes it Worth it to invest with about 600€ for a Studio apartment.

More to see, is the Musée des Arts Forains, 53 avenue des Terroirs de France (just back of Bercy Village) with attractions of woodend horses, zeppelins/montgolfières éléphants many attractions from the end of the 19C, and showing how these fairs were held in Europe from 1850 to 1950. More here http://www.arts-forains.com/

See the Cinémathéque Française de Paris at 51 rue de Bercy, showcasing the American film genre Scorsese New York, all until February 14. More here: http://www.cinematheque.fr/cycle/martin-scorsese-l-exposition-58.html

See Roland Shon until February 13th on La Ligne A at the Le Mouffetard théatre des arts de la marionnette, 73 rue Mouffetard. Who is Roland Shon, see it here: http://www.roland-shon.fr/  ;and the theater show in French here : http://www.theatredelamarionnette.com/spectacle/la-ligne-a-688

And more festival at different spots in Paris happening on February 24 to the 29th, this is the Festival A Nous Paris Fireworks. Sites will be the Trianon, Trabendo, Badaboum,and Point Ephémère. Great party ambiance with new artists just see Inigo Montoya, and more on the Festival here: http://festival-anousparis-fireworks.fr/

A wonderful exhibition call Dans les Mailles du Filet at the Musée national de la Marine, Palais de Chaillot (Trocadéro). This is until June 26 2016. Adults admission is 10€. Here you will see the story of the great codfish fishing faring men who sails out for days to catch the best of the sea for us! The fishing of the codfish in the waters of New Foundland, Labrador , Iceland and Greenland.  More here in French:  http://www.musee-marine.fr/content/exposition-dans-les-mailles-du-filet

A naughty side of Dita, the great performer. She will be at the Crazy Horse Paris until March 30th;on the Dita’s Crazy show;this is Dita Von Teese celebrating her 65 yrs !!! more here http://www.lecrazyhorseparis.com/en/ditas-crazy-show-en/

At the Théatre Bobino,14-20, rue de la Gaîté,Gaîté (line 13) , Edgar Quinet (Line 6);  until May 24th see TUTU dance, showing off to the world with méli mélo , the Chicos Mambo come to Paris for a new artistic creation. The group « Chicos Mambo » was founded about  20 yrs ago precisely in 1994 in Barcelona after the meeting of its current director Philippe Lafeuille  with two dancers one Spanish/catalan and other Venezuelan. More for the show tickets etc here: http://www2.aparteweb.com/awprod/Bobi/AWCalendar.aspx?INS=Bobi&CAT=67  ;and the theater site is here; http://bobino.fr/

And last out of Paris, see this and help if you can. Wings for Life, Worldrun 2016 at Rouen on May 8 2016; but at other 31 locations in the world including one oldie near me Sunrise Florida;go Sunshine State!. More here in English; http://www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com/fr/en/

Happy travels, stay good and see the world on a positive light, life is beautiful. Have a great weekend.

Paris

 

February 5, 2016

Well Paris ,you never get tired of seeing it!!!

Yeah hard to come up with a title heck, Paris is eternal, I am Lucky to have worked there for almost 10 years and now visit at least once a month. This past thursday was no difference a walk on it is sublime. What can I say millions have not said it already.

I started my day early from my closest train station in Auray, Morbihan, Brittany where the parking is free. Took a TER Bretagne train to Rennes, brand new wagons and nice ride. At Rennes the TGV to Paris Montparnasse was just waiting on the other side of the Platform, easy picking and there I was on top row 1 class! I arrive at Paris Montparnasse and already with metro tickets purchased hop on the line 13 to Saint Lazare ; my old train station and glad to see it again completely remodeled and great shopping. There is many metro lines there, RER, buses , taxis you name it and walking distance to the great department stores, and Madeleine!! Opéra!!! Got back in to take line 3 to Levallois-Perret my final destination.

Levallois-Perret is one of the adjacent cities to Paris petite couronne in zone 2 and departément 92 Hauts-de-Seine. However, so attach to Paris you wont even notice is not Paris.  I had my lunch here at a wonderful new find  Restaurant A Table , right off the rue Georges Pompidou and at 43 Rue Baudin. Here I had the menu for 21,95€ terrine de saumon or salmon with veau roti dish roasted veal rondelles, potatoes, and green salad; had a nice Fouilly Fume blanc for apero and an Irancy of Burgundy for the meal, expresso coffee finish the day in grand style. Service was wonderful and so was the company. webpage here: http://www.restaurantatable.fr/

I had  my walks as used to do lots of business around here and the place is as grand as before, chic and nice, just next to Paris of course!

On the way back, had a great time walking the Streets of Paris, anybody coming here takes to the metro right away , big mistake. This gorgeous city is made to be seen above ground, do it and enjoy it. Walking along Avenue de Villiers and into avenue Jouffroy d’Abbans and into Rue de Rocher and coming behind the Gare Saint Lazare train station and near the Church of Saint Augustin was a fresh of life into me again. These were my work area coming in and out and walking to the office all the way by rue de Castiglione ,yes!!! And not forget the wonderful Carrusel at Villiers!

Off metro Wagram, off Avenue de Villiers and at  6 Rue Brémontier, you see the wonderful Church of Saint François de Sales!  They are two link by a hallway, and the organ is from 1900, and the new Church built between 1911 and 1913 done with entrance at 15-17 Rue Ampére. The old Church on Rue Brémontier from where I entered was done in 1873. The Church has a neo roman style, and you will see the chapels of the Virgin and the Sacred Child as well as the Holy Cross, and  St Teresa. The official Church site in French is here ; http://saintfrancoisdesales.net/  and the site for the Catholic Churches of Paris here , http://www.paris.catholique.fr/-saint-francois-de-sales-.html

Of course, could not be here without stopping by my favorite Spanish grocery store Cap Hispania at 23 rue Jouffroy d’Abbans, metro Wagram, line 3, and gather my manchego cheese, serrano ham, pork rinds, olive oïl , Duero red wine, and nougats of many varieties;;;;here since 1998! http://www.caphispania.fr/

I have been coming there since 2004! and always the best of Spain with friendly service and speaking Spanish !More than 180 products and knowledge on them to offer you.  The tour Montparnasse always nice to see it gloriously in the evening al lit up!

It was a short time, but it seems long, always Paris ;you will never be tired of seeing it. Enjoy it.

Levallois Perret Levallois Perret Levallois Perret Levallois Perret Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris

 

 

 

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February 1, 2016

Some news from Spain XV

Ok its been a while on Spain and Madrid, but thinking of coming back in May, here are the latest beats from Madrid, Spain; what else?

Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday; la movida was just the beginning ::)

Until Feb 26 2016 you can go see Paz Erràzuriz at the Sala Barbara de Braganza, mondays 14h to 20h , Tuesdays to Saturdays 10h to é0h Sundays and holidays 11h to 19h. at Barbara de Braganza ,13. Part of the Fundacion MAPFRE; https://www.fundacionmapfre.org/fundacion/es_es/cultura-historia/nuestras-salas/barbara-braganza/

Kandisky, a retrospective on the 150 anniversary of his birth. Wassily Kandinsky the abtract art. See it Until February 28 at CentroCentro Cibeles, Palacio de Cibeles, Plaza de Cibeles, 1. mondays to sundays from 10h to 20h.  The collection comes from the Centre Pompidou in Paris. http://www.centrocentro.org/centro/exposicion_ficha/146

Titanic exhibition , see it until March 6 at the Fernan Gomez Centro Cultural de la Villa, Plaza de Colon , 4. price is 6-12€ mondays to sundays from 10h to 20h; http://teatrofernangomez.esmadrid.com/espectaculo/983/titanic

The Jules Verne exhibition until February 28 at the Espacio Fundacion Telefonica, Calle Fuencarral, 3. free admission.https://espacio.fundaciontelefonica.com/evento/julio-verne-los-limites-de-la-imaginacion/

See Ingrés at the Museum of Prado, until March 27, Paseo del Prado; admission 14€ mondays to Saturdays 10h to 20h, Sundays and holidays 10h to 19h. https://www.museodelprado.es/en/whats-on/exhibition/ingres/00e24782-cbd7-4f3e-af2b-46aa5a34d983

See Cleopatra and amazing Egypt at the Centro de Exposicion Arte Canal, paseo de la Castellana, 214.Prices 3-7€, mondays to sundays from 10h to 21h; until May 8 2016.  http://www.exposicioncleopatra.es/#exposicion

New Babylone now at Museum Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia,  Until February 29th,nSanta Isabel 52; price 4€ mondays and wednesdays to Saturdays 10h to 21h. Sundays 10h to 14h15.  http://www.museoreinasofia.es/exposiciones/constant-nueva-babilonia

See Mujeres de Roma (women of Rome) until February 14 at the CaixaForum Madrid, Paseo del Prado 36; price 4€ times Mondays to Sundays from 10h to 20h; http://agenda.obrasocial.lacaixa.es/-/mujeres-de-roma

Again , great Historia de las Comunicaciones; (history of the communications) at the Espacio Fundacion Telefonica, Calle Fuencarral 3, free admission, Tuesdays to Sundays from 10h to 10h.https://espacio.fundaciontelefonica.com/evento/historia-de-las-telecomunicaciones/

Hurry up to see The illusion of the far west,(La Ilusion del Lejano Oeste)  at Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, Paseo del Prado 8. price 9€ open mondays to Fridays and Sundays 10h to 19h and Saturdays from 10h to 21h. http://www.museothyssen.org/thyssen/exposiciones_proximas/129

You can see a great theater at Lluvia Constante ( constant rain) at Teatro de Bellas Artes, Calle Marqués de Casa Riera, 2. price 16-25€ wednesdays to Fridays 20h30, Saturdays shows at 19h and 21h30 ,and Sundays 19h. http://www.teatrobellasartes.es/es/ex/1260/lluvia-constante

You can see a wonderful comedy El Nombre,  about a group of friends who dine together to celebrate the arrival of the baby of one of the couples, very funny, widely acclaim. At my all time favorite theater Cofidis Alcazar, Calle Alcalà 20, price 16-20€ from Wednesdays to Fridays 20h30, Saturdays 19h and 21h15, and Sundays 19h, http://teatrocofidis.com/  and a link there to buy your tickets from home.

And another historical theater at the Teatro Nuevo Apolo, Plaza de Tirso de Molina,1 you can see the story again of Carmen; price 35-49€ shows at 20h30. From March 23 to April 3; this time done the Ballet of Puerto Rico. official theater site here; http://summummusic.com/carmen-ballet-puerto-rico/

And on the historical Teatro Lope de Vega, Gran via 57, price 24€ sessions Tuesdays to Thursdays at 20h30; Fridays and Saturdays 18h and 22h, Sundays at 18h,The Lion’s King (El Rey Léon)  until May 29th. The theater site http://www.elreyleon.es/teatro/  and the show is here, http://www.elreyleon.es/

The great musical Priscilla, Reina del Desierto, greatest disco of all times with 500 costumes, 200 hilarious wigs, robotic bus! at the Nuevo Teatro Alcalà, Calle Jorge Juan 32, until FEb 28. price 18,43€ open sessions Tuesdays to Thursdays 20h30, Fridays Saturdays 18h and 22h ,Sundays 18h. The show http://www.priscillaelmusical.es/ and the theater site, http://www.teatroalcalamadrid.com/programacion/espectaculos-en-cartel.html

And do not forget ArcoMadrid,the great international fairs on contemporary arts in Madrid this time with 35 galleries presenting the 35 years of the Fairs. This as part of the 169 galleries taken part in this year’s event.  February 24-28 ; open to the public Fridays Saturdays and Sundays from 12h to 20h go there on buses 112 and 122, and interurban bus 828,and metro line 8, all at IFEMA.  http://www.ifema.es/arcomadrid_06/Informacion_general/visitar_arcomadrid/index.htm

From February 12 to June 12 2016 see at museo del Prado, the great show of George de la Tour, one of the most important French painter of the 20C. https://www.museodelprado.es/en/whats-on/exhibition/georges-de-la-tour/369d61b8-c430-4c43-9f51-8ed8995aa949

From February 9th to May 22 you will see the Realists of Madrid;(Los Realistas de Madrid) beginning with Antonio Lopéz. Historical painters and sculptors who lived and worked in Madrid; at the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza; http://www.museothyssen.org/thyssen/home

From February 11 to March 13 , you can see in Madrid, the best magicians of the world in the International Magic Festival. price 12 to 44€ at times like 20h30, Thursdays to Sundays; ronda de Atocha 35, in the Teatro Circo Price; http://www.teatrocircoprice.es/web/index.php

You can run the Rock and Roll Marathon of Madrid, on April 24th. at several venues all over the city, as well as a mini marathon in a great sport festival. http://www.runrocknroll.com/madrid/en/

And if in Madrid for several days don’t forget the Madrid Card, purchase main at Plaza Mayor, 27. with many freebies in town, for info: http://www.madridcard.com/en/inicio

And the Madrid City Tour, the famous hop on hop off on a double decker bus for a quick ride into the main sights and then choose.  Many places to buy and get on such as MCT information center by Museo del Prado, Julia Travel in the Plaza de España in buses, and at http://www.madridcitytours.com/

Enjoy Madrid and Spain!

 

 

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January 30, 2016

My travels in the Morbihan XII

Back to the normal local rounds, and on a rainy day nothing to brag in Brittany, we set out as locals to brace the implement weather and set course in our car to see the back country of my departément 56 Morbihan. For those new reading my blog, Morbihan is the only departément/province/state/region in France that does not have a French name. It means small sea or petite mer in French but its actually Breton language, typical of the area, Mor=sea/mer and bihan=small/petite.  And of course, Brittany or in French Bretagne is Breizh in Breton language too ::) The tourist office is here, http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/

We set out on the country roads of the D16 direction Locminé but cut off at the D115 direction Colpo first. Then took the D157 to Locminé and there took the D1 to Bignan and onwards to the Domaine de Kerguéhennec on the D123 a wonderful castle; then link with the D778 to  Billio, then ,Guéhenno and its wonderful calvary, coming down on the D126 to Plumelec where we had lunch. Continue on the D778 to Saint Jean Brévelay.

We then took the road backwards, coming finally home on the D16. A ride of about 6 hrs counting lunch.  We have from little Colpo a town practically rebuilt and finance by Napoléon III , tourism offices such as http://www.colpo.fr/accueil_colpo

Then ,Locminé, Bignan, Billio,Guéhenno,and Plumelec , and Saint Jean Brévelay, here ; http://www.locmine-saintjean-tourisme.fr/

Passing we saw many churches some close some open, exterior closed churches were  at Bignan Church of  St Pierre et St Paul  ;and the previously visited and Worth seeing the Domaine of Kerguéhennec, http://www.kerguehennec.fr/

Also, closed was the Church of Notre Dame at Billio. As well as that of Church of Notre Dame at Colpo. The Church of Saint Maurice at Plumelec. As well as the Church of St Jean de Beverly in Saint Jean Brévelay. Back in Guéhenno we visited the Chapelle St Michel and the windmill or Moulin du Vent. As well as many worthy memorials to the Fallen in world wars.

We were able to find open these: Church of St Pierre et St John Baptiste at Guéhenno ,wonderful with its Calvary next to it one of the 7 wonders of Monumental Calvaries in Brittany! Chapelle Notre Dame du Plasker at Locminé as well as the Church of St Sauveur , right on the old remains a new modern Church was built in same Locminé.

Of course ,did i said we ate. yes in wonderful typical Breton lands the Créperie is king or queen or better Duchesse(dukedom) and we stop at Plumelec on the Créperie Les Korrigans. In Breton, the korrigans were dwarfs who lived in the forest and perhaps going back to the meaning of Halloween. One site describes them in French, but I give you what is said of them in English: Korrigans are described as druistes who oppose Christianity when the Apostles came to convert Brittany. They hate priests, churches, and  Saints.  They can predict the future, change shape, and move at lightning speed. They sing and comb their long hair, and they haunt fountains and water wells. They have the power of making men fall in love with them, but they then kill the ones who do. In many popular tales, they are eager to deceive the imprudent mortals who see them dancing or looking after a treasure, and fond of stealing human children. On the night of 31 October (All Souls’ Day), they are said to be lurking near dolmens, waiting for victims.  http://legendes.korrigans.free.fr/

The créperie restaurant at Plumelec is a country setting full of little figurines or korrigans as well as portraits of them. The food is typical Breton and with many prices from local travel guides like the Le Routard, and name by the Brittany tourist house as part of the designation Créperies Gourmandes, such as here in French http://www.tourismebretagne.com/sejourner/restaurants-gastronomie/les-restaurants/les-korrigans.

The couple owners are fast and courteous and as the time went by more and more talkative. The food is excellent, we had a bottle of Colpo demi sec cider locally done, and the galette of Teuz with the local andouillette sausage and potatoes, and a crêpe of banana, with coconut ice cream, chocolate syrup and flakes of coconuts, express coffee and all came out to 19.72€ per person! The official webpage is here , http://www.creperieplumelec.com/

In all the rain was on and off, and finally off but still cloudy humid and cool around 10C or 50F. Mild winter indeed/ Enjoy the ride and happy travels.

Bignan Bignan Billio Colpo  Guéhenno  Guéhenno  Guéhenno  Guéhenno  Guéhenno  Guéhenno  Guéhenno  Guéhenno  Guéhenno  Guéhenno Locminé Locminé Locminé Locminé Locminé  Plumelec  Plumelec  Plumelec  Plumelec  Plumelec  Plumelec  St Jean Brévelay  St Jean Brévelay

 

January 28, 2016

Some news from France, XCXVIII

Well once again passing by Paris and thought of France ::) and will be back next week by train all booked!

The museum of Gustave Moreau is having an exposition on Georges Rouault souvenirs from today to April 25 2016.  From  1892 to 1898, Gustave Moreau was a professor at the fine arts school of Paris (Ecole des beaux-arts de Paris); and Georges Rouault was his favorite student.  Exhibition will be open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10h -12h45 ,and 14h-17h15. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10h to 17h15.  Admission is 6€, webpage : http://musee-moreau.fr/activites-culturelles/expositions

One nice place to eat is La Cave du Paul Bert (11éme), 16, rue Paul Bert. More than 110 wine references in this wine bar!  open 12h to 01h, closest metro Métro 8 Faidherbe – Chaligny. more on it in French : http://lefooding.com/fr/restaurants/restaurant-la-cave-du-paul-bert-paris

And to celebrate the coming Chinese New Year February 8th ,here are some nice places to indulge in Paris.  First, Trois Fois Plus de Piment; 184 rue Saint Martin 3éme, very close to the centre Pompidou, https://www.facebook.com/troisfoisplusdepiment

Raviolis Chinois Nord-Est. 115, rue Saint-Denis (Iéme). All sorts of Raviolis at great prices in a new restaurant, the other one is here  http://www.yelp.fr/biz/raviolis-chinois-nord-est-paris .  Les Pâtes Vivantes, 46, rue du Faubourg-Montmartre ( 9éme). Tél. +33 01 45 23 10 21. http://www.lespatesvivantes.com/  And ,also 3 rue Turbigo (1éme). Tél. +33 01 40 13 08 04.  And the Palace Châtelet,  6, rue Saint-Denis (1éme). Tél. +33 01 45 08 88 88.http://www.palacechatelet.fr/

And to celebrate the Chinese New Year go the Chinatown of Paris in the 13éme arrondissement where the parade on February 14  from 13 h to 17 h) will depart from the avenue d’Ivry. line up at mayor’s office in French: http://www.mairie13.paris.fr/mairie13/jsp/site/Portal.jsp?document_id=16946&portlet_id=2953

In the Carreau du Temple, you will see exhibition on origami, calligraphy and  démonstrations on martial arts. Expos by Chinese artists open to the public on paintings, sculpture,and porcelain. Free admission at  the showing call « the Golden Age of China, 4, rue Eugène-Spuller (3éme), February 6 and 7  from 11h to 19h.  http://www.carreaudutemple.eu/2015/11/18/l-age-d-or-de-la-chine

At the Maison de la Chine you will have two conferences dedicated to the analysis of Astrology and feng shui. Located at  76, rue Bonaparte (6éme). February 6 and 13 from 10h-12h and 14h-16h). Admission is  15 €/half day or 30 €/full day. http://www.maisondelachine.fr/evenements-culturels/forum-nouvel-an-chinois-2016-annee-du-singe-de-feu-6-fev.html

At the Fondation Louis Vuitton, to Sept 5 2016 you will have a collection of Chinese works of art. Open Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12h to 19h.Nightime Fridays from  12h to 23h.Saturdays and Sundays from 11h to 20h. http://www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr/en.html

And if after all these festivities you find yourselves in Paris hungry and past 02H (2AM) then head for the Le Tambour,41 rue Montmartre (2éme) open Mondays to Wednesdays until  4h30 ,and Thurdays to Sundays until  5h30. https://www.facebook.com/www.letambour.fr?rf=260491870664914

Hold on ,there is a museum for Yves-Saint-Laurent coming in 2017. You will see about 5000 dresses, 15000 accessories ,thousands of croquis drawings, planches of the collection and photographs. The museum will be at 5 avenue de Marceau, (16éme). This was the seat of the fashion house from 1974 to 2004 and it is since 2002 the home of the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent. http://www.fondation-pb-ysl.net/fr/Accueil-Fondation-Pierre-Berge-Yves-Saint-Laurent-575.html
You will see at la Villette 50 yrs of James Bond, April 16 to September 4 2016. At the Grande Halle de la Villette,
211, avenue Jaurès, (19éme) Adult admission  21,99 euros  . https://www.facebook.com/events/1507717552867101/ and this is what it is the Grande Halle de la Villette, http://lavillette.com/professionnels/locations-despaces/grande-halle-villette/
Oh well these are just a few, my favorite, of course France ,Paris has a lot more/ Enjoy it.

January 27, 2016

One whole Jakarta Indonesia!

This is a vibrant city full of action day with traffic and night with the life. Life is beautiful in Jakarta. This is like my 7th time to the city in the last 4 years so I am impress! Well you need tourist info here ,http://www.jakarta-tourism.go.id/

And of course for the country of Indonesia , it is here, http://indonesia-tourism.com/

My flight here on Garuda Airline was from Surabaya Juanda airport , old fox there too ::) and the driver was on time !! This was on a Sunday afternoon so went straight to my hotel central ,another new property, the third one since coming here, and this one was the least I like….The Cosmo Amaroossa Hotel.  It was right in front of an overpass highway along the whole front even if told is in the chic district of Cilandak. http://www.amaroossahotel.com/jakartacosmo/

And other than the job to do , had a wonderful time going to eat at different places day and night , my favorite gourmet trip in any place.

My first sampler was at  the hotel Andromeda Cafe, ok with a nice mini garden in the back but again that wall of highway, the other was the Bell Lounge but it was dull no action nobody there lol!!!  http://www.amaroossahotel.com/jakartacosmo/index.php/dining/

Finally ,went out of town to eat! I went to Abuba steakhouse! right near the hotel in fact at Jl. Cipete Raya No. 14A, and here you can have your juicy Aussi style steaks with fries and a nice bintang beer!!! Some ratings if in Indonesian here; https://www.zomato.com/jakarta/abuba-steak-fatmawati  , and the official site here, http://www.abuba.co.id/

The above is good and highly recommended.  I then had on another evening the wonderful Fish and Co. at the Town Square mall in Cilandak, this is your famous fish and chip dishes and I had the American fish and chip, huge chunck of fish indeed and with great company !!  This is the same critics site for reference, https://www.zomato.com/jakarta/fish-co-gandaria/menu  ; and this is the official site ; http://fish-co.co.id/store/

By the way the Town Square mall is the place to be in this area or Jakarta for that matter. It’s a marvelous open market all along the main hallway (its call Finders Fair)  ,few stores, but loads of restaurant choices… You can eat here at a different one for a whole month. You can find your restaurant here all in the comfort of nice temp control environment, chic area and good ambiance;they do concerts here too ,wow, something to be back for !!! webpage critics site: https://www.zomato.com/jakarta/restaurants/in/cilandak-town-square-cilandak

I continue my gourment delights with trying the local Bakmi Golek, this is the typical Chinese Indonesian food place with a nice surrounding, and plenty of dishes choices.  The Nasi Goreng seafood special fried rice and some crab dish will get you going with juices and sodas; the critics site for it ,https://www.zomato.com/jakarta/bakmi-golek-cawang/menu ; and this is the official site with locations; http://www.bakmigm.com/outlet

And I had a blast off my culinary exits in Jakarta with Mad Dogs, well this one came twice ::) Great place and a hanging out of the expats community here; friendly place, with good, affordable food, pool table, beer garden and sports on TV.  A good place to meet expat since it is a very popular hangout place, especially for American, Australian and British older expats .  Here, I had fish and chip and steaks with bintang beers of course. The critics site is here https://www.zomato.com/jakarta/mad-dogs-jakarta-cilandak

No webpage but here is another site in English that talks heavens about Mad Dogs, http://balifoodandfun.com/foodandfun/4507-2/

And to close , went to something local at Tumbar Jinten in the nearby town of Sentul;here I  had some Sundanese cuisine. The restaurant if off the road, and a nice country setting with terrace and open tables or floor style tables. One description of this food is in wikipedia here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundanese_cuisine  ,and a bit more on it on this critics place, http://www.geokuliner.com/tumbar-jinten/

And it was time to head back home so took Garuda Airlines from Jakarta to Amsterdam and then HOP Air France to Nantes, then bus to the train station at Nantes and train back to Auray. A long trip but a nice experience. Enjoy Jakarta.

Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta Jakarta

 

 

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January 25, 2016

One more time in Surabaya, Ngoro, and Malang Indonesia!!!

My month long trip continue as from the Philippines flew to Jakarta and transfer to Surabaya Juanda airport for the next week. I have written before on Surabaya but the other two towns are new footprints of me ::)

More on the tourism here, http://www.surabayatourism.com/

From Manila took a Philippine Airline flight to Jakarta at Terminal 2, changing to Garuda Airline flight to Surabaya; http://www.surabayaairport.com/

Once out had shuttle to my home base hotel , the always every time I have come here Somerset Hotel and Résidences, great place where by now many in front desk know me lol!!! http://www2.somerset.com/en/indonesia/surabaya/somerset_surabaya_hotel_and_serviced_residence.html

This is an all inclusive property with hotel rooms and apartments, tennis basketball courts nice outdoor swimming pool, covered secured parking, and big rooms and baths all with AC of course;temp went up to 38C !!!

It was easy pickup and delivery to the job site in Ngoro, and always with private shuttle. Passing by the great Volcano on the horizon, nice view but its active so nice to have it dormant every time I visit !!!

This time with a bit more time enjoy the Ciputra World Surabaya Mall, a wonderful place full of shops, restos and great promenade on the top floor with asiatic decoration along a lineup of restaurants including my old favorite Pizza Hut ::)  http://ciputraworldsurabaya.com/mall/directory

While in town near the hotel had a wonderful local crab place , this is as local as you can get here finger liking and all. cook right on the spot wonderful crabs. The place address is Jalan Raya Kupang Indah No. 45 C-D, Surabaya and the name is Kepiting Cak Gundul . Found a bit more on it here, http://id.openrice.com/surabaya/restaurant/kepiting-cak-gundul-1992-dukuh-pakis/22152

Right Inside the Somerset you have the pyramide bar a great place to hang out Watch TV and drink bintang beers which is not easy in a Muslim country.

Then, while visiting Malang , I stop by for lunch at the Warung Bu Kris restaurant again very local traditional cuisine. this is at Jl. Ciliwung No.31, Kota Malang, where I had some local fried rice, fried fish, and the shredded beef you see in this picture and the local site tells you more: http://www.diarysivika.com/2015/04/warung-bu-kris-cabang-pandaan.html

All passing by colorful places like Miami Chicken, and Persada Hospital ,and the market at Singapori. Again deep into Java island Indonesian places; vivid pictures and people I won’t forget easy. A great séjour stay in colorful exotic west Java , Indonesia.

Enjoy the photos.Malang Malang malang malang malang ngoro ngoro surabaya surabaya surabaya surabaya surabaya surabaya surabaya surabaya surabaya surabaya surabaya surabaya surabaya surabaya surabaya surabaya

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January 23, 2016

The Philippines a country of islands!

Well I am still traveling and thought about my wonderful stay in  the Philippines. Really excited of been there for the first time and taken photos in Manila, General Santos City and Cebu.  The tourist office is here, http://www.itsmorefuninthephilippines.com/

My flight was long, leaving by train from nearby me in Auray to the station in Nantes, there taking the navette bus for 8€ to the airport of Nantes while staying for one night at the Escale Océania hotel in the airport just 300 meters from  it.http://www.oceaniahotels.co.uk/h/hotel-escale-oceania-nantes-aeroport/presentation

Finally, the next morning walking to the airport and take my AF flight to Paris CDG and then China Southern Airlines to Guangzhou China , changing again on China Southern to Manila inter airport.

This same day going to my hotel and main base there the  City Garden Grand Hotel in the Makati business district.  http://www.citygardengrandhotel.com/

First, I set for General Santos City on Cebu Pacific Airlines, https://www.cebupacificair.com/id-en/Pages/default.aspx  , and here is some tourism info on the town known as the Tuna Capital of the Philippines  or GenSan even if now not much tuna is done. http://www.visitmyphilippines.com/index.php?title=GeneralSantosCity&Page=1&pid=1049

I had local driver and stay at the Microtel by Wynham hotel http://www.microtel-gensan.com/

I ate at Big Ben Restaurant, where the tuna steak was great as the city is famous for it ,tuna that is. more on it here, http://ph.openrice.com/other/restaurant/bigben-steaks-grills-general-santos-city/17779

I went for dinner at Gillian’s where the tuna feast continue, and great San Miguel beers, the resto is a chain and this one was Inside the Veranza mall a nice shopping place too, http://giligansrestaurant.com/branches.html

So , if want to browse for some bargain shopping, its the best one two combination in town, here is the mall webpage: http://kccmalls.com/mall-branches/kcc-mall-of-gensan/misc-pages/veranza/

I came back to Makati ,Manila area and then went out again to Cebu, a beautiful area. http://www.visitmyphilippines.com/index.php?title=ProvinceofCebu&Page=1&pid=7355

To Cebu I flew on Philippine Airlines, here http://www.philippineairlines.com/ ,and it was a same day roundtrip.

I ate lunch at the Pancake House, nice friendly place in a shoppig center, you can  see more of it here, and I had ham omelet with sprite here for a change lol!!! http://www.munchpunch.com/pancake-house-sm-city-gensan?t=had

I stayed mostly in Makati district and was able to go the wonderful Ayala Malls and especifically in the Greenbelt malls 1 thru 5.  This is really a shopper’s paradise with about five malls all interconnected with stores, restos ,cinema, chapel and others all wonderfully modern and clean; a place to spent a whole day and night. I was there having a few beers at my old hangout TGIFriday’s and great chat with bartenders Grace and Manny! I know the TGIF’s and always fun to seek them anywhere.  The main webpage for Ayala is here http://www.ayalamalls.com.ph/

In here , there is a great Ayala museum with great exhibits and cultural awareness, http://www.ayalamuseum.org/ and spent some time in the Ayala Triangle park , http://www.ayalatriangle.com/ ;  where you have business offices like mines’ and a great park to walk relax and eat in some unique places like the bananapple resto ; http://www.banapplekitchen.com/  . Also, came back for Simple Lang and the famous Lechon or pork dish, in the wonderful park, more on them here;http://www.munchpunch.com/simple-lang-ayala-triangle-gardens. A wonderful place to spent your time in Manila.

I did went for lunch to Apartment IB, I had passed it by and thought it was an apartment building ,actually its a restaurant with gourment new cuisine tastes and it was fabuleuse, fish and chips with San Miguel beers, more here, http://www.munchpunch.com/apartment-1b-one-lafayette-square

Other than the official webpage above this one show some pictures of the Greenbelts mall, http://www.makaticity.com/shopping/greenbelt-mall.php

I was join by friends for lunch at Mesa a nouvelle Filipino cuisine restaurant right in Greenbelt 5; It  was special having lunch with good company. This the restaurant http://mesa.ph/main/3000/indexf8cc.html?pageid=102903

Of course, my home central while in the Philippine was the City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati, a wonderful experience central, big, all amenities, and friendly service; just nice. http://www.grand.citygardenhotels.com/

Going out I took Philippine airline to reach Jakarta Indonesia , and then transfer on Garuda airline to Surabaya , my next stop on this trip;which ,also will take me back to Jakarta and onwards home, more,to be continue.

It will remain a wonderful experience and good memories of the welcome.  Enjoy the Philippine experience.

Cebu cebu cebu gen santos city gen santos city general santos city general santos city general santos city manila manila manila manila manila manila manila manila http://www.munchpunch.com/apartment-1b-one-lafayette-square manila manila manila manila manila manila manila manila

 

 

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December 30, 2015

Some news from France, XCXVII

So Happy New Year 2016 to all Bonne Année, Feliz Año Nuevo, Feliz Ano Novo!! And I will be getting ready for the next day to fly out to Asia (posts end of Jan’16).

The festivities will be tame down in Paris, very sober says the Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and no fireworks.  If around Paris to celebrated, two nice places to do it are the Bal Masqué Chez Papillon at  49, rue de Ponthieu (8éme). It will start December 31st at 22h and last until 06H before sale cost is a reasonable  50€ (admission, two drinks and , Open Bar Bulles  from 0h to 01h)  or pay 60€ at the door, space available. http://www.soiree31decembre.fr/party/bal-masque-chez-papillon-new-year-2016,41.html

Then, Le Perchoir Marais on the roofstop of the dept store BHV Marais. You will go in by  37, rue de la Verrerie (4éme). On December 31 from  20h15  to 05h.  admission for  100€. A must for the reservation at email  evenementiel@leperchoir.fr or tel +33 (0) 6 12 05 92 76. http://www.bhv.fr/actus/perchoir-du-bhv-marais/

And on this site you can pick many other options to wait for the new year in Paris, http://www.soiree31decembre.fr/home.html

And afterward for that magical Galette du Roi tradition, I will pick one amongst many; Dalloyau teaming with Studio Harcourt creating a galette with a portrait of creative flavors, a sheet of wheat malt flour, cream of almonds and peanuts, pièces of pears cook in vainilla of Ceylan, and milk malt caramel on the exterior. The interior a féve or wishing figurine of  Harcourt awaits you. For each galette purchase you will receive a frame on the cabin of Studio Harcourt in the store of Dalloyau Faubourg (8éme). On sales from January 1st at 45€ ,boutique at 101, rue du Fbg Saint-Honoré (8éme) , and other point of sales for  Dalloyau. Yummy!!!

Public transports again will be free from December 31 at 17H to January 1st 12h midday Metro will be running until 02h15 and some lines will continue after that but not stopping in all stations: these are the lines open

Line 1 : Bastille, Charles de Gaulle-Etoile, Château de Vincennes, Châtelet, Concorde, Franklin D.Roosevelt, Gare de Lyon, George V, La Défense Grande-Arche, Nation, Pont de Neuilly, Porte Maillot.
Line 2 : Anvers, Barbès-Rochechouart, Belleville, Charles de Gaulle-Etoile, La Chapelle, Nation, Père Lachaise, Pigalle, Place Clichy, Porte Dauphine.
 Line 4 : Barbès-Rochechouart, Châtelet, Denfert-Rochereau, Gare de l’Est, Gare du Nord, Les Halles, Mairie de Montrouge, Montparnasse, Porte de Clignancourt, Porte d’Orléans, Saint-Michel, Strasbourg-Saint-Denis.
Line 6 : Bercy, Bir-Hakeim, Boissière, Cambronne, Charles de Gaulle-Etoile, Denfert-Rochereau, Kléber, La Motte Picquet-Grenelle, Montparnasse, Nation, Place d’Italie, Trocadéro
Line 9 : Alma-Marceau, Franklin D.Roosevelt, Grands-Boulevards, Havre-Caumartin, La Muette, Mairie de Montreuil, Nation, Oberkampf, Pont de Sèvres, Porte de Montreuil, Porte de Saint-Cloud, Saint-Augustin, Strasbourg-Saint-Denis, Trocadéro.
Line 14 : Bercy, Bibliothèque-François Mitterrand, Châtelet, Cour Saint-Emilion, Gare de Lyon, Madeleine, Olympiades, Pyramides, Saint-Lazare.
The RER train will be working on lines going into Paris to suburbs; the night bus  Noctilien beltway périphérique will not be working and other will be adapted to work as such  N21 and N122 at Gare Montparnasse, N22 at Place d’Italie, N23 at Gare de l’Est, N24 at Gare Saint-Lazare.  The terminus for those following to the  Gare de l’Est will be change as such  N144 to Gare de Lyon and N145 to Gare Montparnasse.
The New Year at my favorite Paris restaurant La Gare (for those new to my posts this is an old train station Muette converted into a wonderful restaurant in a chic area of real Paris)  for 105€ per person with DJ and dancing music until the wee hours of the day after. The menu will be as such: Glass of Champagne apéro with Tartare of sea bream, chiffon of Jerusalem artichoke , entrée ;Duck foie gras with truffles, frozen in the Jurançon, bread with figs, main dish to choose between  Ballotine of farm poultry ‘100day bluefooted’, cream truffle, winter vegetables or Navarin of lobster to the butternut squash and chestnuts, crustacean emulsion, dessert will be Fluffy biscuit Guanaja, creamy banana chocolate, coulis mango and passion, coffee, reservation at +33 (0) 1 42 15 15 31, webpage : http://www.restaurantlagare.com/
As for me this year will be sober too; staying home with home cooking and drinks , and resting for my long trip thereafter, first by train to Nantes, navette bus to airport, sleep overnight at airport and very early take AF to Paris CDG and then Asia for three weeks!!
HAPPY NEW YEARS 2016 everyone!
December 27, 2015

Chambord a castle made for the Kings of France!

The title I think says it all, Chambord is a dream an illusion , is a castle made for the Kings of France. Where can I begin, this was after many passing by my first visit in a long long time here. The tourist office, http://www.bloischambord.com/

Chambord itself is a town in the departément no 41 of Loir et Cher in the region of Centre-Val de Loire of France. The castle webpage is here, http://www.chambord.org/

We arrive just after settling into our  hotel the  night before and early in the morning we left by car following the road D33 right into the back of the castle and the snack souvenirs square.  We chose this hotel, IKAR part of the Inter Hotel chain that I used for business trips here in France too. http://www.ikarhotel-blois.com/ only 15 kms to château.

We were Lucky to be practically the first ones in the castle and had it all for ourselves from 9h (9am). The tour began with the Church of Saint Louis overlooking the castle on a small hill.  The Church was built in 1666  on the request of king Louis XIV,and was enlarged in 1684. The Church was restored and renovated in the 19C by the Duchess of Berry and the Count of Chambord from 1830 to 1855.  It was the property of the Maison de Bourbon Parma until 1932 when the French government purchased it.

We then, proceeded to walk in the garden a bit and see the Stables of Maréchal de Saxe where equestrian shows are held for most part of the year but not now; http://www.chambord.org/que-faire-a-chambord/les-activites-de-loisirs/

And we finally entered the castle. It was magical to see the arrangement for the Christmas season with nativiy scènes and recreation of many cartoons movies like the beauty and the beast. And the crowds began to arrive.

Very difficult for me to describe this Wonder of our world; my writing are not the best expression but verbal is my forte.  The original stair of François I is magnificent,but first some overall impressions. The castle was begun to be built in 1519 and it has 156 meters long by 56 meters high and 77 stairs, 282 fireplaces, and 426 rooms!!! François I only spent 72 days in Chambord and did not live to see it all completed. He died in 1547; and took his son Henri II as well as Louis XIV who are responsable for making Chambord what it looks today. Some of those who lived here apart from François I were Gaston d’Orléans (brother of Louis XIII), Louis XIV spent here on nine times; Stanislaus Leszczynski exiled king of Poland and Louis XV father in law, Maréchal de Saxe, Duke of Bordeaux, Count of Chambord the Grandson of Charles X received the castle by public subscription in 1821. Finally , the French government took control in 1930.

We follow in libre visit on our own, and continue past the wonderful Christmas scènes of always popular movies into the Keep and staircase right in the center. You visit the coach room with carriages built by the Count of Chambord in 1871 with saddlery by Hérmes of Paris. There is an audiovisual room with a 15 minute film with computer generated images. The first floor you see how people lived in the 16C to 19C; move on to the Chapel completed by architect Jules Hardouin Mansart, the architect of Versailles! Continue to the bedrooms of François I and then the State Apartments done by Louis XIV same as in Versailles now decorated in 18C style as per Maréchal de Saxe.

You arrive at the Queen’s apartments occupied by the two wives of Louis XIV, Maria Theresa of Austria and Madame de Maintenon. You reach the 18C apartments who hardly lived were occupied by visitors such as the exile king of Poland, maréchal de Saxe.  Then the wonderful historical museum of the Count of Chambord that were once his bedrooms. The Count own the castle from 1821 to his death in 1883 but spent only 3 days here. The last of the Bourbon Kings heirs of France called to the throne in 1871 but refuse to adopt the French tricolor flag of the Republic and went into exile. Many items here some belonging to his mother the Duchess of Berry.

Upper floor see the wonderful ornamental ceiling vaults with monograms of François I and his salamander. Here on the second floor you see the hunting tradition of the castle. All kinds of artifacts and Tools used for hunting in the 16C is here displayed. And you can see spectacular views from the castle terraces over the domaine property. The park is 5440 hectares or 54,4 square kms or about 21 sq miles. All surrounded by a wall of 32 kms or about 19.8 miles been the largest enclosed forest park in Europe! with a national game reserve containing many types of animals living completely free. Open to the public there are 800 hectares or about 1 sq mile!!!

And you can say the château started out as an arts presentation place been the first show of Moliére the Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme played in 1670 in front of king Louis XIV. It has more than 4500 objects of arts and furniture to show. A full children program is available ask at front office. Many activities in the property from equestrian shows such as the écuries of maréchal de Saxe, Drama shows, visites in 4X4! rides in horse wagon , boat or bike, walks with guide, and see the English garden done in 1889. A nice boutique store and restaurant on Le Café d’Orléans.

I will give a sample of photos taken to give you an idea, better leave the suspense as when you come here and keep your mouth close ::) It is awesome, so is the Loire, and France !!! Enjoy it. and Happy New Year 2016 to all.

 Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord

 

 

 

 

 

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