Posts tagged ‘Bretagne’

February 7, 2016

The amazing finds of the Morbihan, Abbey of Notre Dame de Langonnet

I do my runs in my area and each time there is a wonderful surprise. Yesterday I set out to visit Carhaix in the Finistére and needed to drive past some nice country towns of the Morbihan. Passing on the road D769 I saw the signs for the Church and Abbey of Langonnet, heard briefly on them and decided to cut my trip and go for Langonnet.

The tourist office for the area is here; http://www.tourismepaysroimorvan.com/accueil/navigation/visites/patrimoine-curiosites.aspx

the site for the city of Langonnet tourist info is here in French too; http://www.langonnet.fr/index.php?post/D%C3%A9couvrir-le-patrimoine

and the main Abbey has its own site here in French ; http://abbayedelangonnet.fr/

There is the Church of St Pierre et St Paul with a wonderful mémorial to the Fallen and Calvary outside. We could not go in as there was a funeral going on.  However, walking around the property it is a goal to come back here soon. This is a nice site lets you see the Church in 360 degrees; http://www.360cities.net/image/eglise-saint-pierre-et-saint-paul-langonnet-morbihan-3889

However, the best is yet to come. Seeing the panel near the Church of the abbey we took the plunge on the side road D128 which becomes the D790 to the abbey entrance about 100 meters from it where the parking area is located. You go in and ride into the abbey property to the parking in the back.  And this is the Abbaye of Notre Dame de Langonnet! Right behind the Chapter chapel passing buildings where the monks live,once out you see to your right the walk path of peace and meditation where you find fountains and trails to prayer; then if turn to the left , you come into the main entrance of the abbey. Push the door right in and walk right into the cloister garden. Around it you will see door one small one with stained glass go ahead and open the door and the light is on the wall by the door as you come in ,turn it on yourself! Once out back in the cloister corridor you come to another door less nice but go ahead and open it too, Inside is the wonderful chapter chapel gorgeous.

The Notre-Dame of Langonnet Abbey contains an African Museum that it says is quite remarkable with a permanent collection, although raining no time to see this time. It has room or salle I general presentation of museum with the masks; salle II Tools of the kitchen ,home décorations;salle III music instruments;salle IV weapons;salle V African masks We did saw the chapel and the major chapel and grounds of the abbey with a friendly help from the guardian, very nice.

The story goes that at the request of his mother, Ermengarde, in 1136, Conan III, Duke of Brittany, grants to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, great figure of the Cistercian order, land on the banks of the Elle to found an Abbey. The wars of religion, mainly the League from 1590 to 1598, were fatal to the Abbey. The expelled monks will only find ruins back in 1598. The Abbey will be rebuilt from 1688 to 1788.

Following the French Revolution, which marks the end of the presence of the monks in these places, buildings and close dependencies, reserved by the State, are transformed in 1806 in national Stud. In 1858, he transferred to the former Cistercian Abbey of women in Hennebont.

After various transactions, the missionaries of the congregation of the Holy Spirit settled in the Abbey. Nowadays, they still occupy it and founded an African Museum. Currently the Abbey is as follows: three-body logis Horseshoe shape enclosed by the Church, built around the cloister.

Massive and modest, the Bell Tower is typically Cistercian. The Hall or room of the chapter shows an already fine Gothic art, with this elegant arch lowbed based on thin pillars. Its capitals are decorated with clover leaves, acanthus, Ivy or oak. The architecture of the chapter room is always very neat. Each morning, the monks gathered there to read a chapter of the rule of Saint Benedict, commented on by the Father Abbot, who then read the tasks of the day.

Opening hours: from 1 May to 30 September every day from 14h to 18h, except Tuesday. from July 15 to August 15 from 10h to 12h and from 14h to 18h except Tuesday and Sunday morning; October 1 to April 30, Saturday and Sunday from 14h to 18h.

And of course ,you need to see it, its awesome;and I myself and the family will be back! Enjoy the photos.

 Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet  Langonnet

 

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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

 

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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

December 26, 2015

Locronan ,back again at Christmas season !

Ok so continuing with the Christmas spirit we headed for Finistére departément 29 or the town of Locronan. The tourist office is here; http://www.locronan-tourisme.com/

I had visited the town back in same period in 2013 (see post), and I was told again that the Christmas market was taken off here well so so we decided to take a look.  The town is a Petite Cité de Caractère de Bretagne or a small town of character of Brittany. It shows the Breton traditions quite well, and the stone ambiance gives it an eerie feeling of Merlin ::) It is, also, one of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France or one of the most beautiful towns of France !

The town is small just around the Church St Ronan, and many quaint stores all around the center. I took an intrepid walk down a ravine very steep to see the chapelle de Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle (15C-17C).  More from tourist office here in French: http://www.locronan-tourisme.com/fr/component/content/article/324-chapelle-nd-de-bonne-nouvelle.html

In the tourist site they mention a Calvaire or Calvary ,and it shows in the picture I took, this is dedicated to Saint Eutrope. He is according to leyend the 13 apostle. It was martyred for having been stoned and shot for converting the daughter of a Roman governor of Saintes. The Calvary is one of the few monuments of this type built in limestone. A Madonna and child is carved on his lapel, on the other side are represented Angels gathering the blood of christ.

I was able to get Inside the Church of St Ronan and newer pictures, this is impressive and Worth coming here just for it.  We did our shopping in the Au Loup Garou Gourmand store with goodies like cider, seafood products in cans, candies, jellies etc.  It is known as the house of the 100 Breton beers as they are here in all shapes and tastes. No webpage but you must come in when in town.

We gathered our pastries and baguettes from Le Guillou boulangerie pâtisserie just yummy for the house.  And they have a webpage for your tasting eyes ::) http://www.kouignamann-locronan.fr/

And of course, we look at the Christmas chalets even if in the afternoon they were not light up yet. It is nice quaint but a bit smallish and we have other town as favorite here for that …..see my posts. We are only about over an hour from our house so another wonderful backyard town to stop by.

Enjoy the pictures and Merry Christmas ::) well by now more like Happy New Year 2016! Ours will be small as need to flight out to Asia. Cheers.

 Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan

 

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December 19, 2015

Some news from Bretagne XX

Here I am again, with the year best period coming up and us getting ready for our next travel outside Bretagne, let me fill you in on some interesting places, events going on here. This is the tourist site for Brittany, http://www.tourismebretagne.com/ ; and the tourist site for my departément 56 Morbihan, http://www.morbihan.com/

We have nice cities of character such as Rochefort-en-Terre, Josselin, and La Roche-Bernard worthy of a visit anytime. The Presqu’île de Quiberon with its Côte Sauvage is my favorite place in all, beaches, bars, stores and just plain beach bum lifestyle ::)

You can see a nice castle Suscinio by Sarzeau in the Presqu’île de Rhuys or the less known but impressive castle of Trécesson in Campaneac Inside the magical forest of Brocéalande of the king Arthur leyend.

Then, head for the islands of the wonderful world of the Gulf of Morbihan, at any time ,now in winter they are empty of tourists but locals are and really lovely, in summer they are pack with visitors. Île aux Moines and Île d’Arz are just great, many cruises companies take you there.  The biggest is Belle-Île and the idylic Hoëdic and Houat and farther away by Lorient ,you have Groix.

We have quaint muséums Worth seeing like the museum of passions and wings or Musée des passions et des ailes at Baden, open on Saturdays 15-18h; http://www.museedebaden.fr/ ; the Naîa museum at Rochefort en Terre in the castle park, with artistic imagination such as the leyend of a witch with movie, monumental,numeric, sculpture and paintings; http://www.naiamuseum.com/Naia_Museum/Naia.html

The Christmas season upon us as I have commented on other posts, have great rdv at Rochefort en Lumières until January 3rd 2016; and the same time at Vannes with the slide, white beard, and lights shows or Glise, barbe blanche et lumières. A more appropiate religious tone in Sainte Anne d’Auray site of the patron Saint of Brittany, with a Jesus Revival with a living nativity scene until January 3rd 2016. http://www.sainteanne-sanctuaire.com/?mode=actualites&id=1529

Other areas with Chrismas markets are at Saint Esprit Auray (see post).

As winter is coming even if hardly noticeable with temps in 13C now, we have indoor heated pools with tuboggan etc such as Vanocéa in Vannes,Alé’O in Auray, and Neptilude in Quiberon.  Many activities such as kayak,canoe, catamaran and char à voile are available in winter at Kayak de mer de Saint Armel, 47° nautique in Séné, and the voile at  Zefattitud ,St Pierre Quiberon. Not to mention, the casinos, with a new one open in Vannes (parc du golfe) and others at Carnac, Arzon, Quiberon, and Larmor-Plage.

You have wonderful events such as the Festival Roué Waroch, BZH vibrations in Plescop, Feb 19-21 2016. http://www.roue-waroch.fr/ , and the wonderful Corrida Saint Sylvestre December 27 2015 in Vannes on a course of 9,4 kms in the city Streets! Leaving 17h from the place Lucien-Laloche. http://www.aurayvannes.com/corrida-vannetaise-c32.html

A bit on the big cities like Rennes with its night life around les Lices Sainte-Anne,and the rue St Michel/St Malo; and the old Streets around the Place des Lices and Place du Parlement. The nice  museum of fine arts or Beaux-Arts, the Frac Bretagne, museum of dance.  A bit on the cousin Nantes, with the new Hangar 21 area on the île de Nantes with cultural, restos, bars animated action,and the quaint passage Pommeray, and the Château des Ducs de Bretagne. Museum of Jules Verne and the machines de l’île.

Step aside , a wonderful recipe share with you as we are getting our menu down all home made by ourselves, the boys team ,and  I do the booze ::)  Tartare d’huîtres dans son bouillon d’échalotes. 12 oysters from bay of Quiberon or equiv; 100 grams thick cream, 4 shallots; persil, thym, and laurel spices to taste and olive oïl, wine vinager, 50 cl of dry white wine, one big potato and bread. the decoration garnish :Clean potato and cut in four pièces, set up on a dish with salt, Pepper, olive oïl and a little water, covered it with aluminum foil and cook at 180C for about 15 minutes.  The oysters you opened and clean but keep the water Inside, cut up the shallots with a thin drop of olive oïl ; in a big casserole pot make dissolve the shallots in a thin cover of olive oïl, add the white wine, quart of laurel leave, a bit of thym, have it reduce in heat about a third way before putting the 8 oysters and their water as well as thick cream, cook for five minutes; put all in the blender, keep on hot, cut up with a knife the rest of the oysters , mix with the rest of the shallots that are left, ground persil and a thin drop of olive oïl and a drop of wine vinegar. Dressed the last part with the big potato and two slices of toasted bread,serve the cream of oysters in a glass. And voilà we hope that this is right and we don’t s.u. as we are amateur chefs lol!!!

inspired on the above by the Chefs du Golfe (gulf) a group of chefs from leading restaurants in the area who team up for recipes and events in their restaurants, the site is here, http://www.chefsdugolfe.fr/sitehtml/index.php

The best local product for drinks is the Andouille breton and the best is from Guéméné-de-Scorff. This sausage type is pork intestins rolled into one another and smoke in wood first oak and then beech during several weeks,and then cook in a broth flavored hay . It is needed several rolls of this manouever to make one sausage or andouille so therefore it is a bit pricier than most, but delicious!!!

The Halles des Lices covered market,Vannes  is on Tuesdays to Sundays from 8h to 14h  with late opening on these Holiday season. http://www.halles-des-lices.fr/

If not Inside, go out in Vannes at the Café barge Piano barge on the bay by the cruise terminal. Classic and romantic on the water, http://www.pianobarge.com/  ; and the Jam Session at the Café Bœuf at 4 pl Bir Hakeim, just open last october in Vannes with a concept of theater, concerts while you eat. Open 12h -15h and 17h-23h and on event nights to 01H;no webpage yet but contact tel +33  (0) 2.97.54.22.24. And of course, the home favorite Le Gambetta at Place Gambetta facing the pleasure marina with great place, food and service; sublime!!! http://www.legambetta.com/

Enjoy the times of our lives:cheers and be merry, Merry Christmas !!!Vannes

 

 

 

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December 18, 2015

Christmas in Auray, my old town.

Ok so if you have been reading my blog you know that until two years ago I was living in Auray, Morbihan , Brittany, France::)  However, I am still just 14 kms or about 9 miles away from it and do come often here. The tourist office is here; http://www.auray-tourisme.com/

As the spirit of Christmas is amongst us all, we took a ride to the city this morning to see any preparation for Christmas as usually they have the better one in the area closer to me. Indeed the preparation were going on for the big night and the célébrations were going on since December 14 and will last until December 31 2015.

Tonite they will have jogglers performing and tomorrow the bulk really begins with a slate of activities all posted in the tourist office special Noêl or Christmas section on two pdf files here http://www.auray-tourisme.com/tabid/9029/OffreId/6df367cd-b58f-4f53-befc-41f9b48e85a3/Default.aspx

All the activities will be concentrated this year in the Chapelle Saint Esprit for the Christmas market or Marché de Noêl and on the Village de Noêl at Place Notre Dame (square).  The Chapelle Saint Esprit is an excellent place of great historical value that has been preserve at all cost by the local people.

The Chapelle Saint Esprit was one of the most important chapel in the commanderies of the order of Saint Esprit, the members defended and protected the poor, orphans and the sick. It was first built here by the Duke John II of Brittany that had also founded the Chapelle du Saint Sépulcre (where is now the parking area South of the current Chapelle). It was in the later, that the gisant of Christ was founded and recently restored.From the 14C the chapel has been enlarged by the Religious orders that were here. The Chapel lost its Religious vocation during the French revolution (as usual);and from 1794 it served as a military outpost, the famous HQ Dugueslin where it welcome soldiers until the 20C, it ,also ,serve as safe heaven for the population during WWII , later housed School children, firefigthers, and local associations. Today, it still holds cultural events and plays of many diverse nature.

Enjoy the Christmas spirit wherever you are. Cheers and be merry, a very Merry Christmas to all. Auray  Auray  Auray  Auray  Auray  Auray  Auray  Auray

 

 

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December 17, 2015

Christmas again at Rochefort-en-Terre!!!

Once again I past by my favorite Christmas town in my region, this is Rochefort-en-Terre, magical land, tourist office here , http://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/ln/en/

We come by car on the N165 expressway getting off at La Roche Bernard and continuing on the road D774  passing Marsan, Paule, Limerzel, before reaching Rochefort en Terre on some wonderful twisting roads. You can also ,go by the N166 direction Rennes and then taken the D775 direction Questembert ,then road D777 direction Pluherlin,  and reaching Rochefort en Terre.

We have come every year for the last five here and each year is wonderful. http://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/feerie-noel-rochefort-en-terre/

And the site of the féerie de Noêl or Christmas here, http://rochefortenfete.canalblog.com/

We had our apéro at the Le Menestrel pub restaurant at Place St Michel, and then onward we go, tasting bit and bites all over the chalets and commerces open all night, the best is to get here by 17h30 or 5:30PM.

The castle of great painters history is all decorated for the event, http://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/decouvrir/patrimoine-et-musees/patrimoine-bati-bretagne/?tif_r=4de3e247-2ee9-434c-a972-4bf10948c8c3&Parc-du-Chateau-de-Rochefort-en-Terre

And even the Church Notre Dame de la Tronchaye  is on, http://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/decouvrir/patrimoine-et-musees/patrimoine-bati-bretagne/?tif_r=ff81d3ef-b474-4555-88a4-45b2b3e8b0ef&Eglise-Notre-Dame-de-la-Tronchaye

See the wonderful nativity scene at place des Halles and Place St Michel, the museum for the painters history from a Alfred Klots born in St Germain en Laye (78) but family came from Baltimore MD USA to renovated the castle and housed the painters.

Enjoy the Christmas spirit is all over , the best time of the year!!! Enjoy the photos of 2015.

Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre

 

 

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