Posts tagged ‘Bretagne’

July 19, 2014

Any excuse to visit Vannes, the city I work!

Well I work here, and its always hard to come to enjoy the city you work. Usually i go away but this is Vannes, capital of the Morbihan and  the only city we can call it here. It has everything and today it was packed.

There was police directing traffic on an invasion of camping cars like a convention of theirs, there was live music on a giant screen at the ramparts of the ruined castle there was the petit train slowing traffic all over lol!, and there was the Saturday morning market which is always tops. In all that we moved to visit and eat at our favorite places like a true road warrior of the region. The temp was hot around 26C and humid, very hot.

We started taking the boys to the movies on the matinee at Cinéville to see Transformers 4, something like that; http://vannes.cineville.fr/_cotecine/programmes.php?salle=vannes_parc#139587

then we went to have lunch lol!! at the new La Pataterie resto , ZAC Parc Lann, Rue Gay-Lussac, near the Decathlon store; this is a restaurant where the entire menu is around the Potato!!! We had the breton potato, with clam chowder sauce and cocktail shrimps for a special 10€! and a potato with bacon and hams, glass of red wine, and coffees for 15, 40€ each nice price for a lunch. http://lapataterie.com/en/this-way-for-la-pataterie/pataterie-vannes

I write for other travel sites and hate to write something that I do not show a picture. We have so much “experts” on these sites that rely on a one time visit of whatever lenght or the Google internet routine to give opinions. I rather do my own expériences and tell you so and do it with pictures of my own. So this afternoon after lunch  went around the places where I was missing a picture from Vannes. Some of these were hôtels that I have stayed on business as can do a rest day when going abroad on visiting our branches. These were the Formule 1 very dirt cheap hôtels to the Best Western Vannes and the Kyriad Vannes hôtels.  These are their webpages,

http://www.hotelf1.com/gb/hotel-2448-formule-1-hotelf1-vannes/index.shtml

For some reason unknown to me the Kyriad hotel is only shown in the French language version, but its there by Pl de la Liberation, http://www.kyriad.com/fr/hotels/kyriad-vannes-centre-ville#

http://www.bestwestern-vannescentre.com/UK/

And one nice place I recommended friends and have collègues stayed so know well but never stayed myself is the Maison de la Garenne, a bed and breakfast in a historical old mansion overlooking the ramparts and gardens of the Garenne; http://www.maisondelagarenne.com/localisation-de-la-maison-de-la-garenne-a-vannes

You get to see wonderful opera and theater shows evenings at the wonderful Théatre Anne de Bretagne, place de Bretagne, you see the line up coming up; http://www.theatre-tab-vannes.com/

Another area hotel where I have not stayed but visitors from our branches have stayed and had met them there recommended by my company is the Escale Oceania Hotel ( I have stayed at their Nantes airport property and they are very good).  This is just by the theater above and right at the entrance to the city center, you have private parking and public Centre parking next to it. http://www.oceaniahotels.com/hotel-escale-oceania-vannes?lg=UK

We end up the evening with dinner at Les Oliviers , 60, ave de Verdun, near the train station of Vannes. Today they only open in the evening from 19h30 the rest of the week is open for lunch as well. This time the gang join us for a family affair in one of the better restaurants in the city. My boss took me here once and now the family ,and we are going to another one next week so will do that too with the family as they are local jewels. The cooking here is market fresh and with gastronomic taste, the resto is in the Michelin guide.  So refine and local does not have a webpage, resa at +33 (0) 2 97 54 64 99. Reservation is a must, small restaurant, tops produce. Changes daily, today was lamb with ceboulette and bacon, creme brulée caramel, with a wonderful loire red wine; the menus are from 23€, do not hesitate to eat here when in the area.

And last on way home we made on the last 15 mins to buy our garden needs at Jardinerie Bloino in Muzillac so we got our paille to put in soil and avoid grass to grow, something like that I am nulle on gardens thingys. Where is the béton or cement ::)  web here http://www.bloino.com/

Cheers and have a great rest of weekend, enjoy the summer. Next weekend is back in Paris to pick up my father coming back home !

Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes

 

 

 

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July 12, 2014

Some news from France LXXXVIII

Well here I am, is late too late to Watch a football match that is nothing , so remind myself I have Monday off from work for a reason. Its our Fête Nationale, or the old Bastille day, the French revolution is celebrated here not by all but most. After all , it is a revolution, many innocents were killed and we must tell that too.

You ever wondered why a wonderful square in Paris is call Concorde? well it used to be call Place Royale, even before Place Louis XIV, and the it became Place de la Revolution , yikes… finally in the country reconciliation with its past it was call as it is today the Place de la Concorde. Concorde=concordia = concord.

We have some célébrations that are dear to me from previous years living nearby in Versailles.

For the festivities of the 14 July or Fête Nationale or previously Bastille Day, we have the free show at 14h in the salle Richelieu of the Comédie Française, Paris. This year will be an adaptation of Lucrèce Borgia of Victor Hugo by the prolific Denis Podalydès. The tickets need to be pick up the same day at the entrance to the Comédie-Française starting from 13h, and will be given by order of arrival :more here 1 Place Colette, 75001 Paris, www.comedie-francaise.fr/

The Bar La Vue in the 17ème arrondissement, open from 10h its doors to offer a wonderful view of the aerial show during the festivities done by the Patrouille de France. Once night arrives the place will propose a selection of drinks with various amuse bûche and regional specialties. The place Is perfect to see the fireworks and the final bouquet before the arrival of the DJ to prank up the rest of the evening. The price is from 21h on july 14 a cocktail of choice with 6 amuse bûches for 60€ more info at Place du Général Kœnig, 75017 Paris, www.barlavue.com/

At the hotel de ville of Paris, while commemorating the beginning of WWI , the concert and fireworks will have the theme « Guerre et Paix » war and peace. The national orchestra of France, the choirs of Paris, and the master of the Radio France, all under the direction of Daniele Gatti, will invite the greatest lyrics artists to the concert. It will be play from 21h30 on France 2 TV, France Musique , and on mondovision, the concert will be follow by fireworks done by the group Groupe F and for the first time thrown from the Tour Eiffel. More info here Champ de Mars, http://quefaire.paris.fr/

At the La Cité de la Mode et du Design, the Nüba , Charles-Baptiste will present « Réception du 14 juillet », an association dedicated to the Francophone and the French creation. This evening will showcase the young talents, offering lectures, and passarelles from the Le Rooftop de La Cité as well as projections, concerts , and DJ sets francophones from 16h until 02h. More info at 34 Quai d’Austerlitz, 75013 Paris, admission is free from 16h.

For more up tempo then head for the La Chesnaie du Roy, Route de la Pyramide,Bois de Vincennes 12éme where from  14h to 2h will have an event with customes of the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, ho ho ho; admission  10€ before 17h , and thereafter 15€. more info here , http://www.chesnaie-du-roy.com/intro.htm

and my favorite always since the start there, in fact was there while it was been remodeled with folks from nearby Hostal St Christopher. La Rotonde, all from 14h free admission at 6-8, place de la Bataille de Stanlingrad, 19éme.  A place with a  cocktail glass with stimulating gas taht will rock you into  600 m2 of  sunny terrace (hopefully) with a loud sound of DJ’s such as  Gauthier DM, Julian M. or Na’Sayah. 

A classic event of the July 14 festivities , several yachts of Paris will have evenings in their boats to see the fireworks. In the program on the river Seine there will be tastings on the high bridges of the yachts with portraits of the main monuments in light of Paris as well as along the quais de Seine with animations. More info at Yacht de Paris, menu all inclusive, from 295 euros to 345 euros par person, www.yachtsdeparis.fr/ .

and the traditional opening of many fire stations in the city of Paris for you to see and enjoy and remember they are there to help pass the night right and safe.

Caserne Rousseau / 21, rue du Jour – Ier / july 13 and 14,  Caserne Sévigné / 7-9, rue de Sévigné – IVe / Caserne des Arènes de Lutèce / 47-59, rue Monge – Ve /13 july only, Caserne Colombier / 11, rue du Vieux Colombier – VIe /13 and 14 july;  Caserne Blanche / 28, rue Blanche – IXe /only the 13 july;  Caserne Landon / 188, quai de Valmy – Xe /the 13 july but does a party together with  the great Point Ephémere ,info at http://www.pointephemere.org/category/concert/#5 ;  Caserne Chaligny / 26, rue de Chaligny – XIIe /13  and 14 july;  Caserne Port-Royal / 53-55, boulevard Port-Royal – XIIIe / 13 and 14 July;  Caserne Masséna / 37, boulevard Masséna – XIIIe /  13 july;  Caserne Grenelle / 06, place Violet – XVe / 13 and  14 july;  Caserne Boursault / 27, rue Boursault / XVIIe / 13 july;  Caserne Montmartre / 12, rue Carpeaux – XVIIIe /  13 july;  Caserne Bitche / 2, place de Bitche – XIXe /  13 july; and  Caserne Ménilmontant / 47, rue Saint-Fargeau – XXe /13 july.

So happy 14th July. and remember too. I leave with some thoughts in French from Le Figaro and prof and writer Jean Sévillia. http://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/histoire/2014/07/11/31005-20140711ARTFIG00347-jean-sevillia-la-veritable-histoire-du-14-juillet.php

 

June 25, 2014

Some news from France LXXXVII

well this is in the middle of the World Cup of football/soccer in Brazil. I have several teams that I follow for passport’s sake. Spain is out suddently and surprisingly , but France and the USA are still in the fight to advance. France plays tonite vs Ecuador and the USA vs Germany. To be continue.

We have the cinema in summer this year again with plenty of free films all over the place, including in my old Yvelines dept 78. Some of the cities involved are Marly-le-Roi, Poissy, Vernouillet, Achéres, Meulan, Jouy-en-Josas, Chateaufort, and Dampierre.

Near Paris you will have at the Domaine de Saint Cloud, at the lawn of the Villette, Institut Suédois, on the quais near musée d’Orsay and Assamblée Nationale.

Then you have the summer festivals like at the parc floral ,the Paris Jazz Festival until July 27th.The All Stars at New Morning until August 2nd.

The expositions of Summer like at Quai Branly, the Indians of the Plains, USA until July 27th. De Watteau à Fragonard, les fêtes galantes at the musée Jacquemart-André until July 21th. The Grand Palais has until July 13th , Moi, Auguste, Empereur de Rome. A new museum design by Jean Nouvel, yes this is the Louvre at Abu Dhabi,  until July 28 on the Louvre de Paris Naissance d’un musée, the birth of a museum. At the Invalides, until July 14th , you will have the  Mousquetaires or muskeeteers of Richelieu and D’Artagnan. Art Nouveau at the Petit Palais until  August 17th the presentation of Paris 1900. Sculptures comes alive with  Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux at the Musée d’Orsay until September 30th. The showing of the Orient Express at the Institut du Monde Arabe with the Il était un fois l’Orient Express  until August 31th.

You have a pedestrian event in my Versailles this Sunday June 29th, 11h30 to 17h Free. the walk on the road RD10 from  Versailles to Saint-Cyr-l’Ecole (passing by the Orangerie and back of castle) usually full of car traffic will have Sunday the la Grande Déambulation de Versailles. You will have the road all to yourselves to walk on it no car traffice allowed.  You will be invited to a picnic near the wonderful la Pièce d’eau des Suisses ,and then to walk near the castle on foot, bike, skate etc. There will be a BMX spot ,a skate park, and a escalation wall to climb. Fun for the whole family.

Enjoy summer is here for sure, and I am off to Mexico this Sunday so stay tune out for a week or more. Cheers and have fun.

 

June 21, 2014

My travels in the Morbihan XI

Well today is the official start of Summer !!! and it shows with temps here as high as 27C and very hot sunny. We have a little breather on work on the house until next month, so a nice ride into Vannes and Auray our main cities near us.

We could not stop going to l’Igloo an ice cream parlor in Auray and also, at Carnac plage which we enjoy both. The Saint Goustan area of Auray is the harbor going out into the Gulf of Morbihan and a wonderful area already full of tourists mostly from UK. see my entry on Auray of October 5, 2011.

We enjoy the Conigloo with a chocolate coated cone, scoops of peach and  pear (your choices), chantilly, choco syrup, and sprinkles of almonds all for 5€. The chichis as we call here or Churros in Spain are 4,50€ with long sticks and caramel sauce add 0,50cents.

Parking is always free along the river loch near the old bridge in St Goustan side along a path of many painters and artists workshops.  Like in this webpage http://www.saint-goustan.net/

For tourism and to know this area check the city of Auray  site here http://www.auray.fr/auray/architecture/saint-goustan/

And the department of Brittany this one in English, http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-brittany/quintessential-brittany/saint-goustan

Enjoy the photos.

And a reminder today , really tonite is the Fête de la Musique all over in France and our area is not behind. Plenty to do in Auray, the biggest town close to me in about 11 kms. The festivities already started and road blocks are in place to allow better flow of traffic. However, the real events starts by 20H

Tex’s on Fire group for rock music at Place aux roues. ABCD Country for US country music at Place de la Pompe,YEBA Colombian Cumbia at Bar Le Contretemps, here http://www.auray-tourisme.com/restaurant-bar-le-contretemps/auray/tabid/8269/offreid/0635f0d3-e38d-4a98-b957-acfe2ec53d06/detail.aspx

Raul & Manoloco, Cuban music at el Bar El Toro Loco, and its hot , http://www.eltoroloco.fr/

100 ans de boulot,for bluegrass music at the Hotel de Ville,, city hall. 21H. Also same time Emma, rock pop at Rue du Château downhill street !!! ,by 22h Les 40 voleurs at Hotel de Ville, and by 23h EZ1 pop rock from the 70′s at Hotel de Ville.

The city center will be pedestrian from 19H, and better park by parkings Athéna,Keriolet, Place du Loch, Jeu de Paume, and Saint Goustan. At this link you have a pdf file with all the détails ,http://www.auray-tourism.com/tabid/9272/OffreId/62a2c6c9-7176-4acf-8185-dc62275e4dd5/Default.aspx

Happy party hearty and be safe y’all. Cheers.

Vannes Vannes Vannes SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES Auray  Auray Vannes Vannes Auray Auray Auray Auray Auray Auray Auray

 

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June 14, 2014

My travels in the Morbihan X

ok so I guess summer is here, and been so busy running around with the house ,the job,family and the business trips. this weekend is hot all the way to 28C and the beaches are full even if summer officially is not until June 21.

However, ,tomorrow is Father’s day here in France and I already got my gift a business executive chair from my sons!!! lovely black and red, just nice and its not my money this time that makes it more special. So Happy Father’s day to all of those in France. Bonne Fête des Péres.

My house is doing well, finally the outdoor front terrace is done, the cellar is done, the canalisation of Rainwater is done, the garden is completely cut, and ready for the décorations, the lawn is growing in the back. The major works is done Yesss! Now we will have the smaller job and hopefully by the time we take our vacation all will be done. IN August we go South,but that is a surprise stay tune in my blog to see some of the Wonders our southwest or sud-ouest.

For today other than doing some shopping and errands I wanted to stop to two castles one open to the public for the gardens and the other private that local people have talk to me about. We headed first for the Château de Kerambar’h in Landaul. webpage in French, http://www.morbihan.com/jardins-du-chateau-de-kerambarh/landaul/tabid/7430/offreid/e5b354f4-b8ed-4980-bfb2-ca0db68e907a/detail-visites.aspx

Its tricky to get to it as it is in the country off the N165 road get off at exit Landevant or 36.1 go first direction Landaul and then direction Auray and bear right on the small road running next to the N165; you then see the signs for Château de Kerambar’h on your right hand side. Follow these signs into a narrow road all the way in, with space for one car! and then you reach a sing saying the Jardins de Kerambar’h and turn right on it. You will see the ruins and manoir house and the famous gardens. Schedules to see it change every year but normally they run april 19 to July 13 and July 14 to August 31, open from 14-18H and in summer from 11h to 18h; September open 14h-18h and October is only on weekends from 14h to 17h30. admission adults is 8€.

The castle offer a walk through time from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance with portraits of the dukes of Brittany from the 1000AD to the 16C. the Gardens with 33 toises or form of measurement, Charlegmane capitulary, and other like the garden of courtly pleasures, with cloister and moats. A pleasant trip.

Then we went to the Château de Beauregard at the town of St Avé, off the N165 take the D779E direction St Avé, turn right into the D135 direction St Avé and down by the chapel of notre dame turn left direction St Nolff on the next traffic circle bear left and quick right for the castle entrance. This is a private property so you cannot go all the way in but close enough. The webpage is http://www.chateau-de-beauregard-56.fr/

This is a magnificent property  with its flowery cour d’honneur , a majestic French garden of 3000m2 inspire by the master André Le Nôtre (Versailles amongst others), and a green well kept park of 40 hectares. It is a castle done in an L format from the 18-19C done from a former manoir or manor house from 1514. It was rebuilt in the 18C. The history of it of importance was that here the treaty of pacification of Brittany was signed in February 14 1800 between  Georges Cadoudal (hero of Brittany) ,and Général Brune,of the French ,ending the chouannerie(the local farmers and country people of the area) in Morbihan.

It is now use by wedding, events, exhibits, anniversary, family gathering , etc all for rental. You can have as much as 600 seated persons in one activity here. In all a wonderful property and one of the nice ones in the area. I guess will have to be invited to go Inside ::)

Now getting ready for more World Cup on TV, and great food and drinks at home. Have a great weekend everyone. Cheers

Landaul Landaul Landaul Landaul Landaul St Avé St Avé St Avé

 

 

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June 1, 2014

Locmariaquer, harbor,beach and stones!

Well it is just about 25 kms from me but the last I wrote on it was in 2011.Can’t believe it. It shows we have so much I am just scratching the surface of beautiful Bretagne/Brittany. Locmariaquer is a cruise harbor, fishing village, with good beaches and megaliths ancient stones all in one.

The tourist office is here http://www.morbihan-way.fr/fr/office-du-tourisme/presentation-de-Locmariaquer

you have ,also, the département tourist site at http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/office-de-tourisme-de-locmariaquer-crac-h-st-philibert/locmariaquer/tabid/8036/fromtabid/7993/offreid/5d3bc0c7-d607-4ec1-b5b3-3cb0201c7b56/detail.aspx

 

The town is easily accessable off the N165 take exit direction Locmariquer then after the traffic circle continue direction Locmariaquer on the road D781. All the way to signs saying le Port.

Here you will be in city center, with the place de la mairie having the banks, post offices and restaurants. On one side is the Church Notre-Dame de Kerdro . All told in my previous post on the town.

The beauty here is the harbor and the cruises to the islands in the gulf of Morbihan, île aux moines especially , beautiful, Unesco heritage sites listed, and what this area is all about; THE SEA.

You want to see harbors like a romantic string, the waves blending in with the landscape, eat the wonderful local seafood (yes local not imported,LOCAL), and the sites the Megaliths, those wonderful stones nobody quite know where they were moved from, a Breton heritage. Yes stone is important here, we have it all over, its in my patio, my backyard, my garden, my driveway ,STONES is Brittany. This is it can’t find it anywhere in the world, uniquely Breton, and I am glad is in my backyard!

Locmariaquer is no exception to this, you have the Grand Menhir scars a huge block of granite of 20,60 meters and weighting  280 tons!!!, the biggest stone in Europe!!!. The great tumulus of Er Grah , and the dolmen of the  Table des Marchand , offering a unique witness to the exceptional funeral rites practice in Brittany at the time of the Néolithic era. Its all here.

You have the fishing on foot into the harbor a local tradition you can all practice, going out to sea to catch your lunch or dinner, can’t explain it better!  Beaches did I said beaches!!! wonderful coves of small to large beaches stretching all along the bay, wonderful , secluded,nice family beaches. These are Plage de Saint-Pierre ,Plage du Brénéguy, Plage du Toul Keun, La grande plage – La Falaise, Le Rolay , Plage de l’école de voile, Plage Valy, and Plage de Kerinis . All wonderful but I prefer the Plage de Saint Pierre or La Grande Plage(la falaise,Cliffs).

Then ,the embarkadere or launching harbor to the islands, and the wonderful shops, bakeries and restos such as our favorite, the L’Escale. All wonderful day at the coast, beach, stones, all wonderful Locmariaquer. The birthplace of the plat Oyster since 1882 with still over 30 producers as well as the Oyster hollow the most popular today. See it and believe it. Cheers.

 Locmariaquer  Locmariaquer  Locmariaquer  Locmariaquer  Locmariaquer  Locmariaquer  Locmariaquer  Locmariaquer  Locmariaquer  Locmariaquer  Locmariaquer  Locmariaquer  Locmariaquer  Locmariaquer

 

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May 30, 2014

More of Hennebont by the Blavet!

The fortified city of Hennebont is revisited again, last post on July 21,2012. So after the recent flooding from rainstorms in the area, decided it was time to come back. Did I say come back, well just 24 kms from my home is like been in the neighborhood and not crossing the street ::)

So much to see I am overwhelmed. For starters , the tourist info on Hennebont is http://www.lorientbretagnesudtourisme.fr/decouvrez-le-territoire/commune.cfm?region=Hennebont

and you can always check the region tourist org is at http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-brittany/heritage/Hennebont

The city is all by the river Blavet, that is beautiful when calm but devastating when flooded. All is surrounded by the ramparts of the old fortified town, and the castle now museum. And of course climbing the ramparts is the best way to see the city and the river below.

We found this time crossing the river Blavet on the new bridge (2009) on the other side an old Church Saint Caradec, The story goes tha the parish dates from the 13C, created by Henri of Hennebont to satisfy the population living in the old town around the Castle, seat of Kemenet-HeboeThe Church was elevated in 1732, entirely rebuilt in 1777 and redesigned in 1895. In 1901, the latest restructuring added aisles to the chorus and the vaults. Inside, rarely accessible because it is closed for at least 10 years, we would see an ex-votos painted wood and a polychrome wooden statue of saint Isidore, dating from the 18CA yew dating from the 17C stands in the cemetery adjacent to the Church.

It has great eating places but today we headed back to Vannes for shopping and then home for eating. Just another little escapade enjoying my four day weekend of Ascension in France. Cheers and have a great weekend y’all.

 Hennebont  Hennebont  Hennebont  Hennebont  Hennebont  Hennebont  Hennebont  Hennebont  Hennebont  Hennebont  Hennebont

 

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May 17, 2014

Vannes, capital of the Morbihan, Brittany

This is our capital city ,Vannes, home of the préfecture du Morbihan, and Gateway to the Gulf of Morbihan, a world on its own of goodies.

today it was 20C and we took a ride around town, nothing big, just a ride from our country home to the big city in our area. I work in Vannes but coming for a visit is always special.

Time to see the market or marché by place des lices and surrounding Streets,get me a bottle or two at Nicolas, some goodies at la Huche aux Pains bakery, coming home and having a nice lunch at a favorite family resto Les Trois Soleils in Plescop on the road D779 direction Grand Champ.

The tourist webpage is here for the city, http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/

And here for the département or region of Morbihan, http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/

and some sites of interests, such as the gulf of Morbihan in French, http://www.golfedumorbihan.fr/

talk about the gardens of the Morbihan, with a map in French, http://www.apjb.org/fr/carte-des-parcs-et-jardins.html

The rural heritage sites/towns of Brittany, where there are 9 towns in the Morbihan, http://www.cprb.org/

In French, but all abou the taste and recipes of Brittany, for the food lover in all of us, we take many recipes from here; http://www.goutsdouest.fr/goutsdouest/actualites/

Again in FRench, but a site of paysan country homes for rent, living in the country, simply the best, you can hire them for your vacations too, http://www.accueil-paysan-bretagne.com/accueil_paysan_bretagne.php?eType=gite&rub=193&y=1

The coups de cœur or favorites in the Morbihan but also all of Brittany in French ,with links to many sights to see and visit, http://www.coupsdecoeurmorbihan.com/index.php

In French , the canals and river boating of Brittany, http://www.canaux-bretons.net/presentation-1.htm

an organisation , Tables et Saveurs de Bretagne, that puts together about 44 properties well chosen of the best in restaurant offering in Brittany, simply sublime; http://www.tablesetsaveursdebretagne.com/

And some photos on the architecture especially rich here as the city is intact no effect on wars. Enjoy it. Have a great weekend.

Plescop Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes

 

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May 14, 2014

Some news from France LXXXVI

 

Well here I am back and another glorious passing by Paris so time to write about some things going on in la Belle France.

First of all, a lot of people here  ask me where to stay in they go to Havana, well, traditional places are the Saratoga at paseo del Prado, ,the neo classical facade goes back to the 19C, enjoying fame from the 1930′s. The best room faces parque de la Fraternidad or fraternity park. http://www.hotel-saratoga.com  ; and of course for a drink go to the famous and now back Sloppy Joe’s , the original  at  the  corner of Zulueta and Animas Streets, now open at  Calle Empedrado 207. It goes back to the 30′s and back on top again with a bar 66 feet long or 20 meters! IT was closed in 1959 and since reopen, some of the famous visitors were Ramon Jacinto Herrera “Ray Tico”, John Wayne, Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, Ignacio Jacinto Villa y Fernandez “Bola de Nieves”, Mario Moreno “Cantinflas”, Jose Antonio Mendez “The King”, and many other personalities of the time. Just for my French friends.

Coming back home, do you know this year is the 100th anniversary of the Hôtel Negresco  in Nice: the history of France is there.6000 works of arts spread over 117 rooms. See it at 37 promenade des anglais, NIce, http://www.hotel-negresco-nice.com

You can come and relieve history at the Invalides with a video call La nuit aux Invalides, showing the historical past of post 1914 and liberation of Paris of 1944. You can see until May 25th at the Cour d’Honneur de l’Hôtel National des Invalides, see more at http://www.lanuitauxinvalides.fr

Chantal Thomass, the lingerie queen of France will have the design of the coca cola light can in 2014. I try it at the salon Air France at CDG!!!

Have you seen the la librarie boutique du Petit Palais, in the pavillion north of the museum, a collection of works from its collections, very nice at ave Winston Churchill. http://www.petitpalais.fr  it is closed on Mondays.

Another wonderful property recently opened and commented on previous posts is the Le Carreau du Temple, 4 rue Eugéne-Spuller,  a metallic space of 6500 m2 now open with a main gallery of 70 000 square feet, closed on Sundays and more info here http://www.carreaudutemple.eu

Go to the new chic place in La Jeune Rue  around the Streets of rue Volta, rue du Vert-Bois, rue Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth on Paris 3éme arrondissement, beauty and good living abound, with top designer, chefs and grower producers, about 20 shops and a cinema are Under construction, see more at http://www.lajeunerue.com

Classy hotel from my friends in the business, hôtel Bourgogne & Montana, 3 rue de Bourgogne, 7éme. the building is from 1791 and Inside found deco with photos from Eugéne Atget, see more at http://www.bourgogne-montana.com and how about dinner in a train wagon in Paris!!! right out of the Orient Express at 1 rue des Fossés-Saint-Bernard, 5éme;  the chef from the institut du monde arabe is doing some wonderful créations until July 31th dinner serve from 19H, menu Anatolie 120€  see more at http://www.yannick-alleno.com

Have a taste of our wonderful Lille famous Meert now in Paris at 3 rue Jacques-Callot, 6éme, closed Mondays the great waffles from 2,50€ a piece see more at http://www.lagaufremeert.fr

Have you ever ask me for an outlet store in France, we have been to those from McArthur Glen all over even the one in Luxembourg, great shopping, my kids were grown on clothing from them! http://www.McArthurGlen.fr  ; and if you want to know , the very first one we visited was at Roubaix as we have family in the Nord-59!

Further ,some good books on Paris, do we have books on Paris, you bet, some friends have built a Library on them lol!!! in French , Cafés,Restaurants, & Salons de thé de la belle époque à Paris, by Evelyne Saêz, et Jean-Yves Grégoire,editions Ouest-France, 13,50€

if you do not know where to start, or no time to read my blog, then get on the Paris Walks recommended by the Paris tourist office and done for English speaking visitors, , like to see the 108 Wallace fountains in Paris! from the first one in 1872 by donation of Sir Richard Wallace at boulevard de la Villette. see more at http://www.paris-walks.com

Some of the public transport ideas in the works in the Paris region are long and varied to create a grand Paris express project. the line 14 of the metro will be extended from Saint Lazare to Mairie de St-Ouen by 2017. A line 15 from Pont de Sévres to Noisy-Champs in 2020. Line 16 from Saint Denis-Pleyel linking with Noisy-Champs in 2023. Line 17 from Le Bourget RER to Triangle de Gonesse and line 11 from Saint Denis Pleyel passing by Rosny Bois Perrier to Noisy Champs by 2025. Line 14 extension  from Villejuif IGR to Aéroport Orly, and line 18 from Orly to Massy and beyond by 2027. Line 18 extension from Orly to CEA Saint Aubin and onwards to Versailles Chantiers by 2030! More in English here http://www.societedugrandparis.fr/le-reseau

You need a Wi Fi service in Paris , and who wouldn’t nowdays, lol!!! well the city of Paris has it with a map in French but easy to read, http://www.paris.fr/pratique/paris-wi-fi/localisation-des-points-wi-fi/rub_7799_stand_29274_port_17981

Do you know in 2013 83 million people visit France, tops in the world, yes I know we can’t please everybody but been first since Un WTO studies since 1949 is awesome. and of course 27 million past by Paris with 17 million foreigners! top top top!!! And we will increase the number of Greeters!  and here we are, http://www.francegreeters.fr/?lang=en

And don’t forget the next tennis event Roland Garros is from May 25 to June 8 at Paris, http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/index.html?promo=LANGUAGE ; a new retractable roof is coming soon

do you know what is Mouzaîa? in Paris? well is heaven on the city, by the Buttes Chaumont, a Paris countryside ride. It is also called the quartier d’Amérique or  Americas district. IN the 19éme arrondissement or district of Paris. You can even have a nice drink at the Le Café Parisien, 2 place danube-et-danube.http://www.cityvox.fr/bars-et-cafes_paris/cafe-parisien_5082/Profil-Lieu . The name comes from a hill in the north of Algeria where in 1839-1840 combats were held between French and Algerian during the conquest of Algeria by France. You can eat here at La Table de Botzaris, 10 rue du Général Brunet, http://www.latabledebotzaris.fr/

For something romantic in Paris, try the Vedettes du Pont Neuf boat rides on the Seine.  Square du Vert Galant, metro pont neuf or châtelet. They wll have concerts in the Seine 25 and 26 June 2014.violin cruise or croisiére en violon from 18H and romantic cruise ro croisiére romantique from 20h, apéro offert ride last about 1h30,  see and read more at http://www.vedettesdupontneuf.com

Of course not all is Paris;one of favorite visits traveling all over France is at the Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée in Marseille. see it at http://www.mucem.org

In my beloved Versailles, the Grandes Eaux Nocturnes de Versailles come back from June 23 to September 13 2014.starting at 21h (9pm).  see more at http://www.chateauversailles-spectacles.fr/en/spectacles/2014/fountains-shows-versailles

The Fondation Claude Monet at Giverny is now open until November 1st ,this is where the great Claude Monet lived from 1883 to 1926. You see the restored rooms where he lived, collection of Japanese prints, the famous gardens of Monet, see more at http://fondation-monet.com/en/

Some tipbits, Paris takes its name from the Gallic tribe the Parisii. The Bastille was a fortress protecting the east of Paris. The grands boulevards in the rive droite follows the route of the wall of Charles V; in January 21 1793 king Louis XVI said goodbye to Marie-Antoinette for the last time from the Temple tower since destroyed. The winged statue on top of the Bastille means the Genius of a nation since 1840. IN 1852 ,Aristide Boucicaut founded the Bon Marché department store in Paris. At the Palais Royal some of the folks who lived there were Colette and Jean Cocteau. The tour Eiffel and Trocadéro have in common that both were built for a world exposition. And this is France, and Paris, and all. Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 9, 2014

My Travels in the Morbihan, part VIIII

well today was much better, nice sunny weather, and we took off again. We find very difficult to stay home even if in the area we need to go out. We had to do groceries, food shopping, and decided to do on the way back home and take a ride to new areas of my wonderful Morbihan. The tourist office for the department is at http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/

and a tourist site for this particular area in French at Bretagne Arc  Sud here ,http://www.tourisme-arc-sud-bretagne.com/

We set out on the N165 towards Nantes, and stop by the D20 at Muzillac, also the D153 will work. Here we went past a wonderful shopping place for potteries, flowers,plants, home decoration just marvelous of the family Bloino. Ets Bloino  follow it direction Muzillac and then turn left at the second traffic circle. You see it from the road, and we will be back as we are preparting our patio/garden areas; http://bloino.com/

The place was surrounded by other businesses and we check out many from shoes stores to grocery store to bakeries. right at the Ets Bloino business park. 3 Zone d’Activité du Parc, 56190 Muzillac. It is a pleasant town that impress us very much. We went past the chapelle Saint Antoine de Penesclus just before hitting city center, and the story is that the Chapel along the street of the Penesclus, breton term meaning “the tip of the lock”.  It is written its existance since 1580, but it was moved and rebuilt in 1885 to allow the widening of the route de Vannes to Nantes. The 2 statues of Knights on the facade above the entrance would be Templar and date to the 15C. On the flat chevet of the choir Sainte Apoline and Saint Anthony statues surround the small statue of St. EloiThe modern stained glass of Eric Jégat (end 2003) symbolically recount episodes of the life of Sainte Apoline and Saint Antoine, who lived in Egypt and saved a pig.

We had the opportunity to visit the market or marché day in Muzillac, this is a big market covering all of the city center. Food and clothing are found from 8h to 13H30 Fridays all year long. In summer it can attain 150 merchants! It is at place du Marché, Place Saint Julien, Place du Vieux Couvent, grande rue, and allée Raymond Le Duigou.  The city heritage can be found here in French, http://www.muzillac.fr/2011/08/11/circuits-patrimoine-a-decouvrir/#more-182

Finally, we were hungry, and on our way out of Muzillac on the road D20 we found this artisan bakery, boulangerie/pâtisserie/chocolatier of Gaël Artisan at 57 Rue Armorique, we had our formule for lunch for 6,90€ includes a delicious big tuna sandwich with baguette, Nutella chocolate delight in a glass, Orangina soda. Very inexpensive and great on the run. In fact we have seen them before in Vannes and they do have an outlet there, great! http://www.patisseriegael.com/

We moved on to the town of Ambon,right along on the road D20 , a popular one for those going to the beaches of this area. We past by an old Church still Under renovation, église Saint-Cyr-Sainte-Julitte; it is a very old religious site maybe going back to the 3-4C!, some of the architectural description is to follow; the western façade is typical of Romanesque Breton. On the north side of the church, at the level of the second and third bays of nave, opens a porch from the 15C. Under the porch is located in arc full-handlebar paired access which may have existed as early as Roman  period. The South aisle of the nave retains the trace of primitive period, narrow, arched full-arch, which has been modified subsequently.Inside , the nave, preening, has five spans contacting the aisles by a sequence of arcades full-arches resting on massive square pillars.  In the end of the 14C or during the 15C, thchoir is completely modified. It is, then,  transforms it into flat chevet with two side chapels.  The North Chapel of the choir (Chapel of the Rosary) is enlarged, it bears the date of 1636-37. Ten years later about was built between the North arm of the transept and porch, the chapel of our Lady of mercy. The South aisle of the nave is then remade, it lowers its roof by masking the Romanesque bays of the nave. 1636 in 1649, it also realigns the lower parts of the nave, the façade, the south wall and the Bell Tower. In the 19C a new sacristy is done adjacent to the South Chapel. The city mayor’s office is at http://www.ambon.fr/module-Contenus-viewpub-tid-2-pid-66.html

We continue our journe South to the sea taken road D140 to Damgan, here we drove along narrow Streets and we stop to see the Church of Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle.  It was during the first half of the 16C the construction of the chapel dedicated to Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle, patron saint of travellers and sailors, begins. Originally, it had the shape of a barn because it had no steeple and soil was clay. Over the years, the building fell into ruins. It was in 1841 that a text refers to the need to rebuild a church. The chapel was demolished and in June 15, 1843 on the Fête de Dieu is the blessing of the foundation stone of the new Church of Damgan. The Morbihan tourist site has some on it, as well,not the town; http://www.morbihan.com/eglise-notre-dame-de-bonne-nouvelle/damgan/tabid/7430/offreid/7d3ddb81-0fd6-44f4-a210-021d2b9dd987/detail-visites.aspx

Going all the way to the beach area of Penerf; we hit the beach, and port of it. This is a pebbles beach but long and nice promenade pedestrian all around it , free parking just across. You have the Church of Saint Pierre, right across from the harbor . Its construction dates back to the 17C , first mentioned in 1580, and probably replaces an older church. The place was already inhabited since long and formed an own entity. It is extended by the addition of a chapel dedicated to the Virgin and revamped belfry. The North and South wings are added in 1853 and 1848 then the Church was restored in the 19C . Simple rectangular building, its Western gable served chalk as building material  in the 15C  and 16C.  During the creation of the parish of Damgan in 1820, before being common in 1824, heavily populated Pénerf strives to become parish. The Chapelle St Pierre was erected as a branch without ceasing to belong to the parish of Damgan, August 2, 1843.

There is a bureau du port or harbormaster, with boat ramp and old canon guarding as souvenir of 1759 when two ships fought and came ashore here.And a wonderful part to do foot fishing in low tides and go for the cultivation of oysters, panels tell you to behave. Way at the end on a dusty sand trail that I dare to go to take a closer look at the Tour des Anglais or English tower of historical significance, here is my findings on it. The Fire Tower built between 1442 and 1450, (ancestors of light houses), it’s  is the oldest “fire Tower” standing in its original architecture on the French Atlantic coast! The Tour was both Watchtower and beacon: she pointed out the entrance to the Pénerf River and allowed to watch the arrival of enemy privateers: boats of Jersey, Spain and England. A brief description is as follows , it is a cylindrical tower 15 meters high, built in coated rubble, on a pan base approximately 8.20 meters in diameter at the base and 1.70 meter in height, consisting of paired, restored and joined stones in 1978 protected by a built in grand Chase, a trunk of 3.80-meters  high cone base and a top three levels 9.20 meters high. One meter thick walls are built in ‘stone of the coast’ with the exception of the two deadly round of granite Ashlar. A high parapet of  1 meter supported by Corbels granite based machicolations in console. The Tower, situated about 100 meters  from the banks, is one of the few remains of the defence of the coasts of the region. Worth a detour. Damgan, mayor’s office with some historical sights is in French here, http://www.damgan.fr/decouvrir-damgan/patrimoine

Done our round as said, we came back to do our groceries right in Muzillac ,and get it over with in one shot.Now relax for the rest of today and tomorrow as Sunday is travel day to Barcelona,Spain. Cheers and have a great weekend.

Ambon Ambon Ambon  Damgan  Damgan  Damgan  Damgan  Damgan  Damgan  Damgan  Damgan  Damgan  Damgan  Damgan  Damgan  Damgan  Damgan  Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac

 

 

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