January 24, 2022

The Château d’Amboise!!!

Ok so this is another new visit, text, pics, the works. I have been here before and have older post in my blog. Lately, from my new surroundings only been there for my house wines and out. Until this week, I took my whole gang including our dog Rex, (stayed outside) and we indulge ourselves in the Château d’Amboise again. This is my take, hope you enjoy it as I.

Amboise castle back side from loire river jan22

Let me take you again on a new visit and pictures to one of my favorite castles , Amboise. Not only it is a great castle with wonderful views of the Loire but it houses the Leonardo da Vinci house and museum (see post) of the great genius.  However, the main thing to see is the Royal Chateau or castle, you first arrive at the Terrases from the 15-16C as it was the first castle to introduce the Italian renaissance style in France. Here in the terraces you see the Chapelle Saint Hubert, (see post) dedicated to the patrons saint of hunters built under king Louis XI and finished by king Charles VIII, it is the resting place of the genius Leonardo da Vinci from May 2,1519.  From the outside the castle is a prime example of the Renaissance of which king François I was the initiator. He was responsable for bringing Leonardo da Vinci over to his kingdom in 1516, when he was 64 yrs old.

Amboise castle front side jan22

The royal castle of Amboise is a former residence of the kings of France overlooking the Loire river, in Amboise, in dept 37 of Indre-et-Loire in the Centre Val de Loire region, Before being attached to the crown in 1434, the castle belonged, for more than four centuries, to the mighty House of Amboise. During the Renaissance, it served as the residence of several kings, notably Charles VIII, Louis XII and François I.

A bit of history I like (more)

Since Neolithic times, the Châteliers promontory has been an ideal observation post at the confluence of the Loire and one of its tributaries, the Amasse. The overhang of almost forty meters offers an exceptional natural defence. The city became the main city of the Turones, a Celtic people who gave their name to the future province of Touraine. The site was fortified from that time. The Roman legions also occupied the fortified site. Local chronicles tell that Julius Caesar himself would have been seduced by the oppidum of Amboise. However, the site entered lasting history during the meeting of Clovis, king of the Franks and Alaric, king of the Visigoths. After the troubled period of the Norman invasions, Amboise joined the domain of the counts of Anjou, then that of the house of Amboise-Chaumont. In 1214, Touraine was invaded by Philippe Auguste, King of France. The Amboise-Chaumont family became vassals. But in 1431, Louis d’Amboise was condemned to death for having plotted against the favorite of King Charles VII, La Trémouille. Finally pardoned, Louis d’Amboise must however give up the Château d’Amboise, confiscated for the benefit of the Crown. It was partially destroyed after the French revolution: from Charles VIII’s project, however, remains the royal residence, the Saint-Hubert Chapel where the remains of Leonardo da Vinci rest, the terraces and the cavalier towers which give the monument this singular silhouette. Its monumental fortress-palace is the very last great royal fortified castle built in France today.

The Minimes tower and the Heurtault tower, both very massive, allowed carriages and teams to climb onto the terrace, as their summit is accessed by gently sloping ramps. They are located respectively on the north and west facade of the castle and are of Renaissance architecture. A panoramic lounge was built on the roof of the Minimes tower in 1843 and has now been destroyed. It welcomed Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon III) when he came to signify his release to Abd El-Kader (Algeria indepen hero) in 1852. The top of the tower was redone a few decades later. and the castle terraces. Charles-Quint uses the cavalier ramp of the Heurtault tower to make his entrance in 1539. A torch will also ignite a wall hanging during the passage of the imperial convoy.

Amboise castle back side tower jan22
Amboise castle front far tower jan22

The royal castle of Amboise has an exceptional collection of furniture, testifying to the artistic refinement of the first French Renaissance. From room to room, precious pieces of French history are discussed during the visit of the house. We also discover an astonishing architecture. The castle of Amboise belongs to the Saint-Louis foundation.

Well my wine place was close this time no rdv taken but for the all times saken,this is it the cellars of the castle, that is where you buy the wines from the Touraine region; en vino veritas!

Amboise castle cave wines tasting touraine jan22

The official Château d’Amboisehttps://www.chateau-amboise.com/en/

The city of Amboise on its heritage: https://www.ville-amboise.fr/88/monuments-a-visiter.htm

The Amboise Val de Loire tourist office on Amboise:  https://www.amboise-valdeloire.co.uk/destination-amboise/amboise/

There you go folks, a dandy in the marvelous Loire Valley of my belle France. You need to come to the castle of the kings, the Château d’Amboise! It is a must me think, Hope you have enjoy this post as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 23, 2022

Chenonceau castle, interiors!!!

So written before on the castle in an introductory post. Now , I have come back this week to it and will post several new posts and pictures of the wonderful Château de Chenonceau, the castle! Yes love castles and lucky to be in prime region just less than 4 hrs from my house. Hope you enjoy the posts as will try to break them down as shown; this one will be on the castle interior’s.

Some of the text will be repeated as really once you do an introductory post not much left to tell and can’t tell you all lol!! Here I go folks!  I am taking you down to the fairy tale castle of the ladies! The town and castle has a peculiarity of the name but that is just history (see post) . The place of course was visited again with next text and pictures, I am talking about the Château de Chenonceau at the village of Chenonceaux! 

The Château de Chenonceau  goes thru many changes of hands and a legal battle to gain title to the property by heirs of  Thomas Bohier, he finally marries a one Catherine Briçonnet (the first lady of the story of the castle) , which does lots of work on the property until her death in 1526. Due to bad finances and no taxes paid, the king François I takes the property in 1535.  Later king Henri II gives it to his favorite lady Diane de Poitiers (see my post on Anet) ,she ,also, does lots of work on the castle. After the death of Henri II in a duel in 1559, the crown finds a way again to take the property back, this time is Catherine de MediciYou have a continuation history of woman relating to the castle such as  Louise de Lorraine wife of king Henri III where the bedroom in the 2nd floor shows on the door the deuil of her assassinated husband in 1589. She lived here until her death surrounded by religious sisters that took domicile at the castle, turning it into some form of convent after the death of Catherine. A room dedicated to the daughters and daughters in laws of Catherine de Medicis, the chambre des Cinq Reines  or bedroom of five queens (Marie StuartMarguerite de France  (queen Margot), Louise de LorraineElizabeth of Austria, and Elizabeth of France). From the bedroom of the ladies in the history of the castle to the room of king Louis XIV, the place is just gorgeous and a must visit.

The Grand Gallery was done in 1576 upon the wishes of Catherine de Medici. It measures 60 meters long, 6 meters wide, and 18 windows. It was open officially in 1577 during festivities honoring her son Henri III. Each end wonderful Renaissance fireplaces. Early 19C, the gallery was decorated with medallions representing famous historical figures. It was here that the original military hospital of Mr Menier was put up for WWI. In WWII, the river Cher was the demarcation point of Petain’s France and occupied nazi France.The entrance to the castle was in the occupied zone. The gallery south door gave access to the left bank of the Cher river and made it possible for the Resistance to pass large numbers of people into this free zone.

Chenonceau castle grande galerie jan22

You have the wonderful Guards’ room with a 16C fireplace and hanging tapestries from the 16C as well. The chests are Gothic and Renaissance periods,on the floor are the remains of 16C majolica tiles!

Chenonceau castle salle des guards jan22

And we move on to the Chapel, going thru a door with the statue of the Virgin, dominating the nave is the Royal Gallery bearing the date of 1521, from where the queens attended Mass. Several religious paintings adorn the walls. The Chapel was saved from the French revolution by the owner at the time Madame Dupin (see post) to turn it into a wood store, thus camouflaging its religious character.

Chenonceau castle chapel jan22

You see Diane de Poitiers’ bedroom. When Henri II donated the castle to her. The fireplace has the initial of H and C for Henri and Catherine but when interwined can form the D of Diane de Poitiers!

Chenonceau castle bedroom Diane de poitiers jan22

The Katherine Briçonnet hall, on the first floor (2nd US) tiled with small baked clay tiles stamped with the fleur de lis pierced by a dagger. There is a suite of six Audenarde tapestries from the 17C representing hunting scenes by Van der Meulan.

Chenonceau castle hall of Katherine Briconnet jan22

The Five Queen’s bedroom in memory to Catherine de Medici’s two daughters and three daughters in laws as above.

Chenonceau castle bedroom five queens jan22

The Catherine de  Medici bedroom with a wooden square coiffed ceiling. The coat of arms of the Medici family with in the center the H and C interwoven. Wonderful Flanders tapestries of the 16C illustrating the life of Samson

Chenonceau castle bedroom catherine de medici jan22

The César of Vendôme bedroom. Duke of Vendôme, son of king Henri IV and Gabrielle d’Estrées, uncle of Louis XIV, who was owner of Chenonceau in 1624. See the ceiling, Renaissance fireplace, walls of 3 17C Brussels tapestries. One of them Spanish Murillo portrait of Saint Joseph.

Chenonceau castle bedroom cesar vendrome jan22

The Louise of Lorraine bedroom. She was given the name of white queen for dressing in white according to protocol of royal mourning for the death of husband king Henri III. It has an original ceiling decorated with mourning feathers, with initial of Greek letter Lambda and H for Henri III. The Capuchin nuns, that Louise of Lorraine wished to have near her on the third floor (4th US) did not return to their convent until the 17C.

Chenonceau castle bedroom louise de lorraine jan22

The Green Room was Catherine de Medici’s study room when she became regent on the death of Henri II. She governed France from this room there are 16C ceilings on their original state and two interwined C of her initial. Several Brussels tapestries from the 16C as well as Italian cabinets 16C and also, several paintings from Tintoretto, Ribera, Van Dyck amongst others.

Chenonceau castle cabinet verte medici jan22

The Library is a small room and was of Catherine de Medici. The ceiling dates from 1525 Italian style and one of the first coffered ceilings of this type in France. Several paintings here too such as by Jouvenet and Poussin.

Chenonceau castle library chimney jan22

The François I drawing room with one of the most splendid fireplaces of the Renaissance. Furniture as far back as the 15C and 16C Italian cabinets. On the wall portrait of Diane de Poitiers as Diane the huntress by Primaticcio given to the castle in 1556 bearing the name of arms of Diane de Poitiers, Duchess of Etampes.Several other paintings as well by Van Dyck, Zurbaran, and Van Loo.

Chenonceau castle salle drawing room of francois I jan22

The Louis XIV drawing room was done in memory of the visit to the castle of July 14 1650 by Louis XIV. On the Renaissance fireplace ,the salamander and the stoat bringing back the memory of François I and Queen Claude of France.  Several paintings such as by Rubens, Van Loo, and a large portrait of Sameul Bernard, banker of Louis XIV, this wealthy banker was the father of Madame Dupin who also has a portrait here. She was the grandmother by mariage to George Sand and owner of the castle in the 18C. A defender of the Encyclopedists, she welcome Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Diderot, d’Alembert, Fontenelle, and Bernadin de Saint Pierre.  Her kindness and generosity and intelligence save Chenonceau castle from the destructions during the French revolution. Yes indeed!

Chenonceau castle salle drawing room louis XIV jan22

The official Château de Chenonceau : https://www.chenonceau.com/en

The Touraine Loire Valley tourist office on the castle : https://www.touraineloirevalley.co.uk/cultural-heritage/chateau-of-chenonceau-chenonceaux/

There you go folks, a dandy in the marvelous Loire Valley of my belle France. You need to come to the castle of the ladies, Château de Chenonceau! It is a must me think, Hope you have enjoy this post as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: ,
January 23, 2022

Curiosities of Chenonceau castle!!

So written before on the castle in an introductory post. Now , I have come back this week to it and will post several new posts and pictures of the wonderful Château de Chenonceau, the castle! Yes love castles and lucky to be in prime region just less than 4 hrs from my house. Hope you enjoy the posts as will try to break them down as shown; this one will be on the curiosities of Chenonceau castle.

Some of the text will be repeated as really once you do an introductory post not much left to tell and can’t tell you all lol!! Here I go folks!

I am taking you down to the fairy tale castle of the ladies! The town and castle has a peculiarity of the name but that is just history (see post) . The place of course was visited again with next text and pictures, I am talking about the Château de Chenonceau at the village of Chenonceaux! 

You have the Domes building, built by Catherine de Medici with an imperial style roof houses the Queen’s apothecary, and the Domes cellar.

The Queen’s apothecary created by Catherine de Medici, the most illustrious of the ladies of Chenonceau, came to life again on the site where it originally stood. This new museum gallery presents a very rare collection of albarelli, barrel pots, pill boxes, syrup pots, thearic pots, and mortars. The earliest remedies were rather like witch potions, they began to developed herbal preparations much later. An educational room presents the history of apothecaries, and a number of figures in the queen’s entourage. One of these was Nostradamus!

Chenonceau castle military hospital apothecary front jan22

Chenonceau castle military hospital supply cabinet jan22

There is the wine cellar which has endured for centuries here. It sits in a historic 16C building with beautiful vaults , contains spaces to discover and also acquire wines from the property such as AOC Touraine Chenonceaux, and other wine related products. We did not go as was closed opens March to November, but we do shop and drink plenty of Touraine wines; our house wines!

There is the Orangerie next to the Green garden created, between the 18C and 19C, originally intended to house oranges and lemon trees during the winter. The Orangerie is now a gastronomic restaurant . Since the Renaissance there has been the tradition at Chenonceau, and the spirit lives on in the Orangerie. There is a tea room next to it, open from mid March to Mid November. As we cut out to eat we did not try here this time.

Chenonceau castle orangerie et resto ateliers etc jan22

You can see here and we did the 16C farm including Catherine de Medici’s stables. The building houses in its center a floral workshop. The arrangement on the castle are done here! , They ,also, lit the fires on the castle’s fireplaces .

Chenonceau castle farm 16C entr jan22

Chenonceau castle farm center going out jan22

There is, also, the Carriage Gallery! Located in the large stable of the 16C presenting a collection of both noble and rural horse drawn carriages. Typically, French like the Break, the Tonneau and the English like Tilbury, they are all part of the heritage which is preserve here. They were for the most part used in the 19C and still do in the countryside!

Chenonceau castle domes aterlier attelage front jan22

Chenonceau castle domes aterlier attelage jan22

Chenonceau castle domes aterlier attelage back jan22

As an anecdote, the Château de Chenonceau, also serve as a hospital in WWI in the stables convertion, and there is a small museum in the Domes building to tell you about this. We saw ,nice!  The story goes that on August 2, 1914, the industrialist Gaston Menier, owner of the Château de Chenonceau, had 120 beds installed at his own expense in the two galleries overlooking the Cher. He also had the medical equipment needed to install several very modern operating rooms for the time. More than two thousand Poilus (2,254 exactly), French soldiers of the Great War or WWI, were hospitalized at the Château de Chenonceau and received care. The military hospital will operate until the end of the conflict and will close its doors on December 31, 1918.

Chenonceau castle military hospital WWI jan22

The official Château de Chenonceau: https://www.chenonceau.com/en

The Touraine Loire Valley tourist office on the castle : https://www.touraineloirevalley.co.uk/cultural-heritage/chateau-of-chenonceau-chenonceaux/

There you go folks, a dandy in the marvelous Loire Valley of my belle France. You need to come to the castle of the ladies, Château de Chenonceau! As you can see plenty to see here and is a must to visit me think, Hope you have enjoy this post as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: ,
January 23, 2022

Château de Chenonceau, the castle exteriors!

So written before on the castle in an introductory post. Now , I have come back this week to it and will post several new posts and pictures of the wonderful Château de Chenonceau, the castle exteriors! Yes love castles and lucky to be in prime region just less than 4 hrs from my house. Hope you enjoy the posts as will try to break them down as shown; this one will be on the castle exterior and gardens.

Chenonceau castle arriving ent jan22

Some of the text will be repeated as really once you do an introductory post not much left to tell and can’t tell you all lol!! Here I go folks!

I am taking you down to the fairy tale castle of the ladies! The town and castle has a peculiarity of the name but that is just history (see post) . The place of course was visited again with new text and pictures, I am talking about the Château de Chenonceau at the village of Chenonceaux! 

Chenonceau castle ent parvis jan22

They built the castle in the 16C on the river Cher. The couple of Thomas Bohier and Katherine Briçonnet demolished the fortified castle and mill belonging to the Marques family and left standing just the keep, the tour Marques, which they restored in Renaissance style.

Chenonceau castle tour marques apart front castle jan22

The copy of the forecourt is a copy of the former medieval fortress surrounded by moats. Still standing is the well decorated with a chimera and eagle, emblem of the Marques family. You walk the front coming to the impressive main door. Dating back to François I , made of sculpted wood and painted, it bears on the left the arms of Thomas Bohier and on the right those of Katherine Briçonnet, and at the top the salamander of François I.

Chenonceau castle front jan22

It is a beautiful castle to see once facing it ,just awesome. The gardens as just as beautiful me think.

Chenonceau castle gardens to castle galerie over cher river jan22

Chenonceau castle front side along cher river jan22

You have Diane’s garden a flowerbed that has remained unchange since the creation by Diane de Poitiers. The Chancellery once the house of Catherine de Medici’s estate steward, looks over this garden. It has two perpendicular and two diagonal paths border with eight large lawned triangles decorated with scrolls of santolina. The raised terrace protect the garden when water levels rise on the river Cher. In Summer, more than a hundred hibiscus syriacus flower here All around the garden, the walls that support the terraces are clad with iceberg climbing roses

Chenonceau castle gardens diane jan22

Chenonceau castle gardens to orangerie jan22

Chenonceau castle gardens to castle jan22

You, also have the Catherine’s garden , a more intimate Queen Catherine de Medici’s garden, a true picture of her refinement Looking over the water and the park, its paths offer magnificent views of the castle façade. Design centered around five lawns, grouped together around an elegant circular pond, and dotted with rounded box hedges. The garden is bordered by a low wall line with pleached clair matin roses that overhangs the moat.  Indeed beautiful!

Chenonceau castle gardens catherine jan22

Chenonceau castle cher catherine garden from galerie jan22

There is another far away call the Green Garden, done in 1825 by the then owners Countess of Villeneuve who wanted an English garden. There is a renaissance fountain. In the 16C , Catherine de Medici chose this place to house her animals and her aviary. We did not visit as was far than our walks could bear with my Dad in tow with a wheelchair!

We did passed by the Russell Page Garden, which opened in the Summer of 2018. It is an homage to this illustrious landscape gardener the master of many contemporary creators. The fauna of François Xavier Lalanne, sculptor and master bronzier, have come to enrich the flowerbeds of this English style garden. A garden that simply seeks to move us and return us to the spontaneity of our childhood. Nice indeed!

Chenonceau castle jardin russel page et lalanne fountain jan22

There, is also, a vegetable and flower garden  where birds and animals are free to roam, right next to the donkeys of Chenonceau. There is the maze of 70 acres as desired by Catherine de Medici. We did not stop on these neither.

Ah need to have this anecdote on this post as love the history of it and see my other post. In 1891 Crédit Foncier (a bank) sold the entire estate to José Emilio Terry, (family of Cuban origin, born and died in Paris) son of Tomas Terry (Of Irish paternal descent, Terry was born in Caracas Venezuela died in Paris) and by Teresa Dorticos (born in Cienfuegos Cuba died in Rome Italy). The estate will remain in this family until 1913.

The official Château de Chenonceauhttps://www.chenonceau.com/en

The Touraine Loire Valley tourist office on the castle : https://www.touraineloirevalley.co.uk/cultural-heritage/chateau-of-chenonceau-chenonceaux/

There you go folks, a dandy in the marvelous Loire Valley of my belle France. You need to come to the castle of the ladies, Château de Chenonceau! It is a must me think, Hope you have enjoy this post as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: ,
January 22, 2022

Miramar, my Havana, mi Habana !!

This is another time lapse for me going back many years 51 in fact! One has travel the world from a small spot on earth and gather many moments and souvenirs but there is always home. I am a native of Havana, and to come from my district to the old Havana needed to passed each day by Miramar. The name might seems familiar to those in Florida as there is a city there name after the one in Havana, and gosh I lived there many years later!!

Let me give you a bit of off the beaten path trip that would be wonderful to see again if possible. I am talking about the neighborhood of Miramar one of the main residential areas of the city of Havana, Cuba. Today , they put it in the county of Playa in Havana.

The Cuban upper class lived here before 1959 in sumptuous mansions and houses with pools, large patios, and other amenities. Being located in front of the coast, it made possible the existence of numerous spas, yacht clubs and social clubs in the wealthiest sectors. The stores were the best known in Cuba. Its busiest and most fundamental street, Fifth Avenue, with the same name as the famous one in New York, is considered by many to be the most beautiful street in all of Cuba.

The urban project for the construction of Miramar was conceived and signed in 1910 or 1911. The Miramar project was carried out on the grounds of the “La Miranda” family estate, making it a 100% Cuban urban project. This project is approved by the Marianao (another city just next to Havana ,and part of Marianao at the time) city council on February 6, 1911. On July 19, 1913 the contract to execute the urbanization of the Miramar neighborhood is signed.

The metal drawbridge over the Almendares river was popularly called the Pote bridge, an iron bridge over the Almendares river, in the extension of Calzada del Vedado ,a boulevard (going into another modern neighborhood Vedado)   towards Miramar. In 1920, when the 5th avenue to 42nd street section was completely designed and built, the Torre del Reloj or Clock Tower on 5th avenue and 10th street was made between 1921 and 1924 and is a 22-meter-high tower with its old carillon, a replica of London’s Big Ben, according to what it says as there is no written proof. The machinery of the clock has a mechanism by which music and time are synchronized, also chimes that sound every 15, 30 and 60 minutes, as well as every nine hours. After a period of deterioration in the 1960’s and onward, it was decided to do work on it which took three months, and finally the quarter of an hour and the melody of the bells were heard again. The four spheres, located on each side of the tower, give the exact time as they did in a distant 1924. The tower keeper need to climb the tower ladder every 72 hours and wind the machine, using the same mechanism as the manufacturers did. And the tradition is thankfully kept. Great for me as really when you passed this clock tower you really finally were in Miramar for us, memories. I have the first picture from my last visit in 2012.

havana miramar 5ta avenida clock tower feb12

You will see the Fountain of the Americas located at the beginning of 5th Avenue and the sculptures were made in 1920. The Fountain is integrated into one of the parks on both sides of 5th Avenue, like the 2 large street parks at 24 and 26th streets. It is next to one of these two park blocks that the Church of Santa Rita was built in 1941. In Miramar  numerous artificial beaches were built, the so-called Playas del Oeste or west beaches, formerly private clubs. The Miramar Yacht Club founded in 1926 with a nautical, sporty and social atmosphere, began in 1927 with a classic wooden construction on Avenida 96 and the sea. It was in 1952 that it was replaced by one in modern architecture. The 1950s was the year of the real estate explosion in Miramar, the Almendares tunnel and the Linea tunnel date from this time, to substantially improve access to the neighborhood. The most luxurious buildings in Cuba are built in the Miramar at that time, true mansions and palaces, with swimming pools, large gardens and patios decorated with statues and fountains, which alternated with yacht and social clubs such as the Havana Yacht Club, in addition to others truly colossal churches such as that of Jesús de Miramar Church on 5th avenue and 82 street, in addition to the San Antonio de Padua Church on 5th avenue and 60 street. The picture below on the fountain is from my first visit back ,in 1998.

havana miramar 5ta avenida aug98

At the end of the construction of the Malecon (big bulkward to the ocean) that extended it to the mouth of the Chorrera (tower bordering the Almendares and Cojimar rivers), the 5th Avenue becomes its natural extension, towards the other side of the Almendares River, with which the new neighborhood and all the territory of the west becomes a new housing seat. The crossing that was made through the Pote drawbridge, represented a great problem for the heavy traffic in the area and was finally replaced by a double track underwater tunnel in 1957. The vast majority of the people who lived here left Cuba as a result of the triumph of the Cuban revolution (or as some said the stolen revolution) in 1959 and went with their families to the United States, and Spain mainly.

The unofficial Havana Guide on Havana: https://www.lahabana.com/guide/havana-guide-home/places-in-havana/

The Cuba travel site on Havana : https://www.cuba.travel/en/destinations/havana-cuba

The Cuba tourist office infotur on Havana: https://infotur.cu/en/destinos/havana

There you go folks, another nostalgic tour of yours truly. Hope you enjoy the post and possibly visit Miramar in better times. The Clock tower or Torre del Reloj is a memory of the past still shining for all to enjoy in Miramar,my Havana, mi La Habana!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 22, 2022

Two memorable spots in my nostalgic Havana, La Habana !!!

Of course, when I write/speak about Cuba its all nostalgia from times far away in another world, I am a native son who left the messy dictatorship long ago to into another one before reaching the free world, It has been a long journey indeed. I am remembering my early life and thought about Havana , and search for some pictures , hardly any left but got me one and another on a postcard for the memories still lingered of what it was. My Havana.Mi Habana ! Let me update this older post for you and me and old time’s sake.

When I was just a little boy back in the 60’s I remember my mother Gladys taking me on bus rides the 27, 99, etc into Havana as well as with some friends and family by an Oldsmobile or Chevrolet Bel Air’s mind you.I still have the miniature models of the Bel Air, my maternal grandfather’s cars, One of the essence of Cuba is the cooking, coming from mixtures of races European, African, and in between some Orientals. The choices were big back then, and some scratch for better today.

One of my old time favorites that I have found a picture were the El Conejito (little rabbit) and El Potin (coming from old French Gossips). They are still in my heart today thanks to my dear late mother Gladys or mima as I called her.

The El Conejito was created by 1966 in Vedado district of Havana. On Calle M and 17 . It was a sumptuous restaurant serving many dishes all with the rabbit as main course. I do not recall how many variarities of it they did but it was a full menu carte.  There is not much information online just memories. The below is from a postcard no pictures sadly.

havana-el-conejito-resto c 1971

I remembered we always had to make reservations and it was packed back in the late 60’s. We would be visiting old Havana and on the way home we stopped here; just great souvenirs. Luckily for you,the restaurant is still there and I highly recommend you try it while in Havana. A family hairloom memory ; I believe they are still open.

The El Potin cafeteria restaurant was even closer to home at Linea and Paseo del Prado in Vedado district as well. This is actually a French name meaning gossip, and we really enjoy the cafeteria style sandwiches that are so famous in Paris such as croque monsieur and croque madame as well as French desserts like the Paris Brest! Coffee of course was sublime from the mountains in eastern provinces of Cuba like Oriente; where many French landowner colonists from Haiti settled after the Haiti Revolution of 1805 made them leave there. And maybe this is where my French love affairs really began without noticing it !


I came here with my dear Mom Gladys even more often I recalled, and sat by the terrace looking over Linea street which is a no number street in Vedado. It is one of the modern historical streets there. Linea was for the streetcar (tramway of today ) tracks that ran along this street. It was renamed to Avenida del Presidente Wilson in 1918 and to Doble Vía General Batista in the 50s, but people kept calling it by its original name. One thing that is peculiar about this street is that it has a tunnel across the Almendares River. The picture I have is passing by car as had no will to entered, too many memories.

Again not much information online , just the memoriesI again highly recommend coming here, is not what it was but the feel of Havana and Cuba is still there, and you will mingle with locals. Enjoy i

The unofficial Havana Guidehttps://www.lahabana.com/guide/havana-guide-home/places-in-havana/

The Cuba tourist site on Havanahttps://www.cuba.travel/en/destinations/havana-cuba

The Cuba tourist office on Havanahttps://infotur.cu/en/destinos/havana

There you go folks, another nostalgia spot in my vault. These are or were unique places not back since 2012 and do not know if still open. Nevertheless,El Conejito and Potin are here for the memories of always in my blog!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 22, 2022

The Réseau Express Régional (RER) of Paris!

So, written plenty on the airports, train stations, metro stations and the favorite bus lines as well as lately tramways of Paris. However, missing one that have rident as well , the RER of Paris. Therefore, here is my rendition to them in a brief format.  I was going to do this post in my black and white series, however, found a picture! Here it goes on the RER C Foch in Paris. Hope you enjoy it and as I said at least they are cool to use with some above ground to see the beauty of Paris passing by.

The Île-de-France regional express network, commonly called “RER” is a rail-gauge public transport network serving Paris and its agglomeration , For historical reasons, part of the network is managed by RATP while the rest is part of the Transilien (SNCF) network. It has five lines RER A, B, C, D , and E.

A bit of history I like

In 1960, an interministerial committee launched the construction of a large gauge east-west railway line. Being at the origin of the idea, it was quite naturally the RATP which was responsible for operating the new line for which, with a view to its constitution, the SNCF gave it two lines that it operated: the Paris line. -Saint-Lazare to Saint-Germain-en-Laye to the west and the Paris-Bastille line to Marles-en-Brie ,also known as the Vincennes line to the east. It was not until 1965, that a true regional network was imagined. The construction of the first east-west line was launched on July 6, 1961 , and was carried out station after station across Paris from 1969 to 1977. It was not until December 12, 1969 that the first new station on the eastern section was inaugurated. at Nation, station which was opened to the public two days later, December 14. This first section is called the Regional Metro (the future RER). The axis of line A was originally chosen to unload metro line 1 between Charles de Gaulle – Étoile and Nation stations, the most saturated axis of the network. However, the new RER line being much faster and serving the suburbs, it quickly attracted as many travelers to the point of reaching saturation itself., A few weeks later the long-awaited western section was opened between Étoile and La Defense. This simple initial shuttle was first extended eastward to the new Auber station on November 23, 1971, then westward on October 1, 1972 to Saint-Germain-en-Laye through its connection to Nanterre at the old line from Paris to Saint-Germain-en-Laye, On February 29, 1972, the regional metro is now designed to consist of three lines, the east-west transverse (future RER A line), a new transverse on the left bank created from existing sections (future RER C line) , the extension of the Sceaux line and its interconnection with a northern network line to be determined (future RER B line), as well as the construction of a new additional interconnected line (future RER D line). On December 9, 1977, the junction between the two sections, western and eastern of the regional Metro, was achieved by the opening of the connection station Châtelet – Les Halles, until which was extended the line of Sceaux from Luxembourg, station located on the left bank, thus creating an embryo of the planned regional metro. Inaugurated by the President of the Republic Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, it made it possible to publicly launch the name of the rail network: “Réseau Express Régional” (RER), replacing Métro régional.

A bit of history and directions for the five RER lines.

On December 9, 1977, just named “RER A”, the line was extended to Noisy-le-Grand-Mont d’Est, the sixth underground and large-gauge station open to the public since 1969, On December 19, 1980, the branch de Noisy-le-Grand is extended in an easterly direction to Torcy station. The route serves the University of Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée, through the station of Noisy – Champs, the urban center of Noisiel, and crosses the ru de Maubués, between the last two stations of Lognes and Torcy, by a prestressed concrete viaduct. On December 18, 1985, the government signed a protocol with the Walt Disney Company establishing the conditions for the establishment of the Disneyland Paris leisure complex., Therefore, a new extension of line A, 11 km long, from Torcy to Chessy, to provide service to the new Walt Disney amusement park, which is to be established in the heart of the major cereal crops of the Brie zone in Seine et Marne dept 77, in the east of the new town of Marne-la-Vallée, on the territory of Chessy. On April 1, 1992, the line reached Marne-la-Vallée – Chessy, eleven days before the inauguration of the Disneyland park. In December 1992, Bussy-Saint-Georges station opened on the Marne-la-Vallée branch between Torcy and Marne-la-Vallée – Chessy stations. On June 14, 2001, the Serris-Montévrain – Val d’Europe station was put into service, between the Bussy-Saint-Georges and Marne-la-Vallée – Chessy stations, in order to serve a new district in full development.

The rail service to the new town of Cergy-Pontoise from the gare Saint-Lazare to Nanterre-Université in Houilles with viaduct over the Seine, the passage from three to five tracks of the section Houilles – Sartrouville – Saint-Lazare with a flyover, the borrowing of the Achères – Creil line with construction of a new station in Achères and double track of the bridge over the Seine, then a new section of 5 km crossing the Oise river to go towards the Vexin plateau and serve the underground central station of Cergy-Préfecture. On April 1, 1979, this new section was opened. The line was extended by 4 km in September 1985 to Cergy-Saint-Christophe (another work place for me) following the urbanization of the agglomeration. On May 29, 1989, the RER A arrived in Poissy via a new short branch, taking its source west of Maisons-Laffitte, on the Cergy line and serving only one intermediate stop called Achères -Grand Cormier , On August 29, 1994, the branch was extended from Cergy-Saint-Christophe to Cergy-le-Haut. The RER A crosses the Paris agglomeration from east to west, with several branches at the ends of a central section. It connects Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Cergy-le-Haut and Poissy to the west, to Boissy-Saint-Léger and Marne-la-Vallée – Chessy to the east, passing through the heart of Paris.

The last very large-scale operation was the completion of the interconnection between the Sceaux line and the northern suburbs. Work started in 1976, it was to allow trains from the RER B line to reach Gare du Nord and then take the Mitry line and its branch serving Charles-de-Gaulle airport. This extension should thus allow a subsequent connection between the two major airports of Paris, Charles-de-Gaulle and Orly. On December 10, 1981, the RER B was extended from Châtelet – Les Halles to the Paris-Nord train station underground station. The RER B crosses the Parisian conurbation on a north-east / south-west axis, with several branches. It connects Aéroport Charles-de-Gaulle 2 TGV and Mitry – Claye to the north-east, to Robinson and Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse to the south, passing through the heart of Paris. An extension of RER B from Mitry – Claye station to Dammartin – Juilly – Saint-Mard station was planned in phase 3 (horizon 2021-2027).

On September 30, 1979, the Invalides – Orsay tunnel was inaugurated, and the junction was put into service, creating the Transversale Rive Gauche, the result of the extension of the Versailles – Invalides line, which was extensively modernized on occasion to the old station of Orsay and the interconnection of the southwest and west suburbs. In 1980, it became line RER C , and was extended in May 1980 to Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines thanks to the use, from Viroflay, of the Paris – Chartres line and the six-fold increase in tracks between Versailles-Chantiers and Versailles-Matelots (cargo station) in order to better separate the different types of traffic, The site started in 1985 and was completed in 1988 allowing the RER C to reach Argenteuil and Montigny – Beauchamp, from Champ de Mars. On August 28, 2000, the line was extended from Montigny – Beauchamp to Pontoise, capital of Val-d’Oise dept 95. The RER C crosses the Parisian agglomeration, with many branches. It connects to the west Pontoise, Versailles-Château-Rive-Gauche and Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines – Montigny-le-Bretonneux on the one hand, and to the south Massy – Palaiseau, Dourdan – La Forêt and Saint-Martin- d’Étampes, as well as Versailles-Chantiers by an almost circular route, passing through the heart of Paris. The relocation of the terminus of the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines – Montigny-le-Bretonneux station to the Coignières station. This important project for the service of the agglomeration of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines such as the improvement of the service of La Verrière (my oldest train stop for school right next to it!) and Trappes stations, and control of traffic at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines – Montigny-le-Bretonneux train station, was however delayed due to the high infrastructure costs required to postponed the deadline for in service est, after 2030.

Paris RER C Foch jul13

On September 27, 1987, the RER D line, following the extension of trains coming from Villiers-le-Bel from the Paris-Nord underground station to the Châtelet – Les Halles connection station, which already receives trains from lines A and B. The trains of the line are received on the three central tracks of Châtelet – Les Halles planned from the start In 1992, the construction of two one-way tunnels between Châtelet and Gare de Lyon, intended for the RER D is launched, in order to relieve congestion on the RER A, making it possible to connect the northern suburbs to the south-eastern suburbs. It allows the RER D to connect Orry-la-Ville – Coye to Melun and La Ferté-Alais, via the Parisian stations of Gare du Nord, Châtelet – Les Halles and Gare de Lyon A new station on the RER D is opened on December 15, 2013, at the crossroads of the towns of Créteil, Valenton and Choisy-le-Roi, near the Pompadour crossroads: Créteil-Pompadour station. The RER D serves a large part of the Île-de-France region along a north-south axis. It connects Orry-la-Ville – Coye and Creil in the north to Melun and Malesherbes in the south, passing through the heart of Paris. The opening of a new branch to the north, using an infrastructure to be created, known as the “Gonesse bar”, between the Villiers-le-Bel – Gonesse – Arnouville station and the Parc des Expositions station (RER B). This infrastructure would then allow service to Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle airport, either by a connection with the RER B, or directly (in the case of sharing the infrastructure used by the RER B), while serving the triangle of Gonesse between Villiers-le-Bel – Gonesse – Arnouville station and Parc des Expositions to allow connection with the RER B. An intermediate station is planned at Gonesse.

Linking the eastern suburbs to gare Saint-Lazare station, the RER E line is the most recent in the network, The Éole project (for Est-Ouest-Liaison Express/ east west express connection) was started in 1993. The depth of the line is particularly important given the size of the Parisian soil, between 25 and 45 meters below the surface; it is authorized at 60 km / h. On the latter, two stations are comparable to the audacity of those of the 1970s and are particularly neat , these are Magenta and Haussmann – Saint-Lazare. On July 14, 1999 the new RER E line is put into service between the new Parisian underground station of Haussmann – Saint-Lazare and the station of Chelles – Gournay, located in the eastern suburbs of Paris, via among others, the new Parisian station of Magenta, also underground, On August 30, 1999, the line reached the station of Villiers-sur-Marne – Le Plessis -Treviso, following the commissioning of the second branch of the line from Noisy-le-Sec. On December 14, 2003, the line was extended from Villiers-sur-Marne – Le Plessis-Trévise to Tournan. A new station on the RER E was put into service on December 13, 2015, between Magenta and Pantin stations, in the 19éme arrondissement of Paris, at the corner of rue de Crimée and rue Gaston-Tessier, the Rosa-Parks station formerly called Evangile. It serves the Porte d’Aubervilliers district, replacing the station initially planned at La Villette – Aubervilliers, the station, which is located three minutes from Magenta and seven minutes from Haussmann – Saint-Lazare.

It is the only one of the five not to cross Paris right through. A new station on the RER E should be opened in 2027, between Boullereaux-Champigny station and Villiers-sur-Marne – Le Plessis-Trévise station, to connect with line 15 of the Grand Paris Express (Bry- Villiers-Champigny). The extension of the RER E line to the west of Paris, consists of extending the RER line, from Haussmann – Saint-Lazare station to Mantes-la Jolie station going through the business district of La Défense and Nanterre, by the year 2022, The project consists of extending the RER E line over 3.5 km, from Tournan station to Val Bréon, one of the largest logistics activity areas in Île-de-France region, The extension of the Chelles branch in Meaux is expected to enter into service after 2030.

The RER was done to provide off-peak service every ten minutes or quarter of an hour in an area of ​​about 15 to 20 kilometers and every twenty minutes or half an hour in that of 40 to 50 kilometers around Paris. Outside Paris, although several suburban towns are served by both the metro and the RER, the two networks operate separately and serve different neighborhoods. The only counter-examples are La Défense and Saint-Ouen, the only RER stations in correspondence with the metro, outside Paris. In 2022, the Île-de-France regional express network consist of five lines, serving a total of 257 stopping points, including 33 in Paris, spread over 587 km of tracks, including 76.5 kilometers located underground, and this , mainly in its central part. The network has the particularity of being operated on certain sections by the RATP and on others by the SNCF. The points where the train passes from one operator to another is referred to as “interconnection”. There is one on the RER A at Nanterre-Préfecture station (for Cergy and Poissy branch trains only) and one on the RER B at Paris-Nord station.

The official RATP on the RER : https://www.ratp.fr/en/infos-trafic/rer

The official Transilien on the RER : https://www.transilien.com/fr/page-deplacements/plan-reseau-ile-de-france

The official Ïle de France Mobilités (magnify to see the RER lines):  https://www.iledefrance-mobilites.fr/le-reseau

There you go folks, another dandy way of transportation in my eternal Paris. OF course, you wondered why congestions with cars well the public transport development is very taxpayer expensive and not enough to cover the greater Paris metro area for years. Now with several streets turn into pedestrians the congestions will increase. Be aware of the jams and delays, even on the RER. Welcome to Paris. I happened to have tried the tramway RER B from Roissy CDG airport to Gare du Nord ,it was not better than the bus or car! Also, tried the RER C from ND ST Michel to Versailles Château Rive Gauche, a bit better but still the car is king for me. And have taken a couple times the RER A from Paris-Auberto Poissy; again nothing to it, the car is better. Anyway, hope you enjoy the post.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 21, 2022

The tramway of Paris!

So, written plenty on the airports, train stations, metro stations and the favorite bus lines of Paris. However, missing one that have rident as well , the tramways of Paris. Therefore, here is my rendition to them in a brief format.  This of course, will be in my black and white series. Hope you enjoy it and as I said at least they are above ground to see the beauty of Paris passing by.

The tramway appeared back, during the 2000s, as an ideal mode of transport to ensure the transversal service which is lacking in the suburbs , There are now 11 tram lines in and around Paris, The tramways is organized by Île-de-France Mobilités, but 8 are created from scratch while three result from the modernization of formerly under-exploited railway lines. Lines 1, 2, 3a, 3b, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are operated by RATP, lines 9 and 11 as well as future lines 12 and 13 will be operated by Keolis , and line 4 by SNCF.

A bit of history I like
Historically, a large number of trams circulate in Paris, then in the inner suburbs and precede the metro by several decades. This network operated between 1855 and 14 March 1937 in Paris, In 1975 a competition was launched for the design of the standard French tramway again, The Nantes (Loire Atlantique 44) became the pioneer of the modern tramway in France. The first line of the Nantes network was put into service in 1985. The line between Bobigny and Saint-Denis, in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis (93), finally put into service in two stages during 1992, In 1997, the old line from Puteaux to Issy-Plaine known as the Coteaux line, in the Hauts-de-Seine (92), has been converted into a tram line and is also enjoying success. At the end of 2006, the line from Bondy to Aulnay-sous-Bois, known as the Coquetiers line in Seine-Saint-Denis, was in turn converted into a tram line, In 2013, two lines are open to the public. The first, line T5, the first tramway line on pneumatic tires in Île-de-France region, came into service on July 29, 2013 between the Marché de Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis 93) and the Garges – Sarcelles station. (Val d’Oise 95). The second, line T7, came into service on November 16, 2013 between Villejuif – Louis Aragon metro station (Val-de-Marne 94) and Athis-Mons (Athis-Mons – Porte de l’Essonne station 91); its extension to Juvisy-sur-Orge is scheduled for 2021 , One year later two other lines open, line T6 on December 13, 2014 between Châtillon – Montrouge and Vélizy-Villacoublay ; this line being extended since May 28 2016 at Viroflay-Rive-Droite station 78) and line T8 between Saint-Denis – Porte de Paris and Épinay-sur-Seine, on the one hand, and Villetaneuse, on the other hand, which in fact the first tram in the region to have two branches. On July 1, 2017, the T11 Express line was put into service between the stations of Épinay-sur-Seine and Le Bourget. Then, on April 10, 2021, line T9 opens between Porte de Choisy and Orly – Gaston Viens.

In 2021, the Île-de-France network has eleven lines in operation, all located on the outskirts of the city of Paris or in the inner suburbs of Paris. These briefly are :

T1 : Asnières – Gennevilliers – Les Courtilles ↔ Noisy-le-Sec . The T1 will be extended from Les Courtilles to Colombes – Gabriel Péri, with a first phase to Colombes – Bois-Colombes – Asnières-sur-Seine – Quatre-Routes at the end of 2019. a new extension of line T1 must be implemented. service to the Val de Fontenay RER station. The line should first stop at Montreuil in 2023

T2 : Pont de Bezons – Porte de Versailles

T3a : Pont du Garigliano – Porte de Vincennes

T3b : Porte de Vincennes ↔ Porte de la Chapelle.  An extension of line T3b to Porte Dauphine is planned. The line would then connect with the RER C and metro line 3 at Porte de Champerret, with line 1 and the RER C and E (which should reach Porte Maillot by 2023) at Porte Maillot and with line 2 and RER C at Porte Dauphine. An extension of the T3 tramway (T3a or T3b) is planned from Porte de Vincennes to Place de la Nation. This extension could provide a connection with line A of the RER and lines 1, 2, 6 and 9 of the metro..  The tramway T3 project : https://tramway.paris.fr/le-trace/

T4 : Aulnay-sous-Bois / Hôpital de Montfermeil – Bondy

T5 : Marché de Saint-Denis ↔ Garges – Sarcelles

T6 : Châtillon – Viroflay

T7 : Villejuif – Louis Aragon ↔ Porte de l’Essonne . The T7 must be extended to Juvisy station (lines C and D of the RER).

T8 : Saint-Denis – Épinay-sur-Seine / Villetaneuse, looking to be put in service in 2024 at Rosa Parks.

T9 : Porte de Choisy – Orly

T10 : Antony – Clamart. This line will link La Croix de Berny station, on the RER B, terminus of Trans-Val-de-Marne, to Clamart – Place du Gard, The line could be extended to Issy RER and allow a connection with line 15 from the Paris metro.

T11 Express : Épinay-sur-Seine – Le Bourget.   Full commissioning of the line is expected in 2027, with extensions from Epinay-sur-Seine to Sartrouville (2027) and from Bourget to Noisy-le-Sec (2024). The line, then 28 kilometers long, will serve 17 stations.

T12: Massy-Palaisesau, Evry-Courcouronnes (Tram-train Massey-Evry) It connects the Massy-Palaiseau interchange to the Evry RER D train station via Champlan, Longjumeau, Chilly-Mazarin, Epinay-sur-Orge, Savigny-sur-Orge, Morsang-sur-Orge , Viry-Chatillon, Grigny, Ris-Orangis and Courcouronnes. The line must be extended from Massy-Palaiseau to Versailles-ChantiersThe Paris Sarclay agglo project on the T12 : http://www.paris-saclay.com/l-agglo/grands-projets/tram-train-12-express-massy-evry-268.html

T13 : Saint-Cyr ↔ Achères-Ville (Tangentielle Ouest).  The line has a total length of 29 km and has 16 stations. Over a large part of the route, it follows the tracks of the line of the greater Paris ring ( grande ceinture ). Commissioning is planned in two phases. Phase 1 covers the section that goes from Saint-Germain-en-Laye to Saint-Cyr-l’École. Phase 2 will focus on the branch that will go from Saint-Germain-en-Laye to Achères-Ville station. (Yvelines 78).

The official RATP tramway network of Paris : https://www.ratp.fr/plan-tramway

The official Mobilité Ïle de France region on tramwayshttps://www.iledefrance-mobilites.fr/le-reseau/services-de-mobilite/tram

There you go folks, another dandy way of transportation in my eternal Paris. OF course, you wondered why congestions with cars well the public transport development is very taxpayer expensive and not enough to cover the greater Paris metro area for years. Now with several streets turn into pedestrians the congestions will increase. Be aware of the jams and delays, even on the tramway. Welcome to Paris. I happened to have tried just the tramway T2 Val-de-Seine connecting the La Défense to the Porte de Versailles, in 17 stops! Mine was the SuresnesLongchamp; booked solid cramp always! Anyway, hope you enjoy the post.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 21, 2022

How about Terminal 2 Roissy CDG for Paris !!

I have written several posts on transports in Paris and on the airports. However, the one i have used the most almost exclusively has been CDG Terminal 2, and I own section F !! I am not going to be too technical and detail as many webpages have plenty of information on it and besides if you need specifics just let me know I can walk you thru them! Let me tell you a bit on Roissy CDG Terminal 2 , commonly ,and mistakingly call the Paris airport but is actually in Roissy en France dept 95 of Val d’Oise, and part in Temblay en France, dept 93 of Seine Saint Denis in the same Ïle de France region, This is an updated post with new text and links.

The Terminal 2 consists of seven halls,numbered 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, and 2G. In the center of the terminal is the TGV-RER station Charles de Gaulle 2 Airport and CDGVAL Terminal 2 station.  You can move freely, in public area, between the different halls of terminal 2, on foot or by free shuttle bus. Terminal 2G is located further east, away from other halls and an inner free bus transportation will take you back and forth. Terminal 2 at Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport is the largest of the three terminals. The inter terminal bus are navettes N1 & N2 taking you from the public zones between the satellites letters of Terminal 2, the parking PW Eco, and the train stations TGV-RER-CDGVAL, After your disembarkation follow the Exit-Baggage indications. Passengers ending their trip to Paris must pass a Border Police identity check (entry to France). Access to the public area (Level Arrivals in the main building) is made after the passage of the Customs, leaving the baggage delivery room.


The A,C,D, you have currency exchange and ATM cash distribution machines 24:24, post office, internet bornes, lost items office, Children’s areas such as T2A departure area, mezzanine baby spaces, T2C departure central area.  Here you will find bag plastic wrapper by public zone gates A8,C11, and C14, pharmacy public zone, massage center at 2A and 2C, prayer room by shopping level ,and game arcade at 2C. You have restaurants in public areas such as 2A Starbucks, 2A/C Frenchy’s bistro and McDonald’s, 2C Paul, 2D Brioche Dorée, Hippopotamus, and Starbucks. In the security zone at 2A you have Exki, Fauchon, Starbucks, and Brioche Dorée; 2A/C Seafood bar and Café Eiffel; 2C Bert’s and McDonald’s, and 2D Brioche Dorée and Exki. The car rental desks of Avis, Europcar, Hertz,Enterprise citer, and Sixt.

While in the E,F,G  , you have Banks, currency exchange and ATM cash distribution machines such as HSBC and Travelex. Children’s spaces at 2E departure area after police filter,and 2F departure lounge after security checks. Massage centers at 2E halls L, M, and 2F. Also, museum space at 2E hall M. Plastic wrapping luggage in public area 2E gates 2,6,and 14, 2F gate 6 departure level. Luggage lockers at 2E by the train TGV station. Medical center at 2F door 17 arrivals; pharmacy 2E public area departure, prayer room multifaith at 2E hall L door E63 7/7 days 2F arrivals door 1 7/7 days from 6h30 to 22H (6:30am to 10 pm). Game arcades at 2E hall M, and business center at 2F and 2G. Restaurants are plenty on 2E Brioche DoréeEspressamente Illy, Naked, arrivals level, 2F Brasserie Flo, Espressamente Illy, Ladurée, Marks&Spencer, Starbucks. 2F1 Brioche dorée, Pradier and 2G Paul. In security areas where I always eat are 2E hall K, Exki, Paname Restaurant, Paul, Prêt à manger, Starbucks, and Yo Shushi; Hall L Exki, Fly Bar, Illy, I love Paris by Guy Martin (great), Hall M Caviar House & Prunier , seafood bar, Exki, Paul, Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Café Cubiste. 2F1 , Exki, ,Paul, and Petrossian, 2F2, Bellota Bellota, Bert’s, Brioche Dorée, Caviar House & Prunier, Seafood bar Paul, and Yo Sushi.  At 2G you have Bert’s, Illy, and Ladurée. I highlight the ones I have tried ok. You can rent cars here like Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Enterprise Citer, and Sixt.

Roissy CDG T2A to T2F elevators jan18

These terminals, or modules, are separated by a fast lane and car parks. A boarding satellite is connected to the terminal  2A by a gateway, two others (S3 and S4) are connected to the terminals 2E and 2F. Between the terminals 2C and 2D and between the terminals 2E and 2F, there is the station Charles Airport. de-Gaulle 2 TGV and the RER B station.  Terminal 2 includes many services, shops, bars and restaurants. There is even a museum space in Terminal 2E. Terminal 2E is one of the most important buildings in the world. Terminal 2E-hall K is beside the main building.  Terminal 2E-hall L is a satellite terminal, connected by transit train.  Terminal 2E-hall M is a terminal satellite, connected by transit train.  The transit train connects the main building (hall K) with hall L & hall M.

The Terminal 2 is served by the Roissybus, RATP bus lines 350 to Porte de la Chapelle & line 351 to place de la Nation, Noctilien night bus lines N140 and N143 to Gare de l’Est train station as well as the RER B train. A wonderful free way of moving between terminals and long term parking is with the monorail type of train the, CDGVAL , it allows you to easily connect all the car parkings and train stations of Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport, and my best partner!.  CDGVAL also provides links between terminals and makes it possible to circulate in all public areas of Roissy CDG. It runs every 4 minutes from 4h (4am) 01h ( 1am), and every 20 minutes from 01h30 to 04H30 (1:30am to 4:30 am). Travel time between terminals 1, 2 and 3 as well as car parkings PR and PX is between 2 and 10 min depending on which terminal you go ; like from terminal 1 to terminal 3 is about 10 minutes, terminal 2 is 8 minutes. The correspondence with RER B train and CDGVAL is possible. You have to go to Terminal 3 – Roissypole or Terminal 2.  The correspondance CDGVAL / TGV trains ,the connection is done at Terminal 2.

roissy CDG cdgval train from T2 to T1 apr18

There is now a navette bus service to Parc Asterix from Roissypôle bus depot in Terminal 3 reach with the CDGVAL monorail, Also, a navette bus service to Disneyland call the Magical Express at Terminal 2 is 2E and 2F Porte 8a arrivals follow gare routiére or bus terminal, There is a dedicated bus to the Aeroville shopping mall ,Again there is a connection to Beauvais airport by Roissypôle T3.

The parkings are  P1, PR (near terminal 1 and 3) P3, P3 RESA,  PAB,  PCD , PEF, PX. The closest hotels to Roissy Charles de Gaulle terminals are: Novotel Hotel “Paris CDG Terminal”, Hilton Hotel and Ibis “Charles de Gaulle Airport” These hotels are within walking distance from Terminal 3 or the CDGVAL from Terminals 1 and 2. Sheraton Hotel: close to the TGV and RER station, this hotel is located in Terminal 2 of Roissy CDG.

The official Aéroports de Paris in English on CDG: https://www.parisaeroport.fr/en

An unofficial site but very good in English is EasyCDGhttps://easycdg.com/

An unofficial site for Roissy CDG in French: http://www.aeroport-roissy-cdg.com/

Another one on airports reservation have it on CDG in French: https://www.aeroports-voyages.fr/fr/aeroport/paris-charles-de-gaulle/CDG

There you go folks, a huge building full of extentions sometimes seems difficult and visitors complaint about it but its really easy and well mark , a breeze for me. Like I said if in need of getting around it let me know; T2 is like my second home lol! Enjoy the CDG ,the airport for Paris!

And remember, happy travels ,good health, and many cheers to all!!

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January 21, 2022

Again more streets of eternal Paris!!!

Here I am again to tell you about more streets of my eternal Paris. I have many many posts on Paris and several on the streets of the most beautiful city in the world. I have come up with some pictures believe not in my blog and will tell you about the streets they represent. Hope you enjoy the post as always thank you. Therefore, here is my take again more streets of eternal Paris!!!

The rue Catinat, is in the 1éme arrondissement of Paris. It bears the name of Marshal of France Nicolas de Catinat. Originally, the Place des Victoires had no exit from the side of the Hôtel de La Vrillière. In the past, you could have seen a building built in the rue de La Vrillière on the part of the land occupied by the rue des Fossés-Montmartre, when it extended to this square. Louis Ier Phélypeaux de La Vrillière obtained permission to demolish this building, and by this release provided a more pleasant view of his hotel. This new exit was first named “rue Percée”, then “petite rue La Vrillière”; in 1838 it received the name “rue de la Banque”, because it is located opposite this establishment, then, on June 11, 1847, it took the name of rue Catinat. Below rue Catinat towards rue La Vrillière and banque de France branch.


Some of the anecdotes here I like tell us the rue de la Sorbonne received the name of rue Catinat from 1792 to 1802. It is also the old name of the street Đồng Khởi in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. I past by it, so a bit more. Its name was given to it by the Admiral-Gouverneur de la Grandièrele on February 1, 1865 in honor of the corvette Catinat (Nicolas de Catinat Marshal of France) who had participated in the interventions of 1856 in Tourane (Da Nang ) and from 1859 in Saigon. In the 1920s, rue Catinat, where the Continental Hotel was located, became the Canebière of Saigon. The famous writer André Malraux and his wife Clara stayed there from 1924 to 1925.

The quai Branly is located along the rive gauche of the Seine river in the 7éme arrondissement of Paris. It begins in the extension of the Quai d’Orsay, near the Pont de l’Alma and the Place de la Resistance and ends at the quai Jacques-Chirac, near the Esplanade David Ben-Gurion and the Passerelle Debilly. On the Seine side, it serves the port of La Bourdonnais. Below pic quai branly carrousel on pont d’ Iena to Palais Chaillot

paris quai branly carrousel on pont diena to palais chaillot nov17

The quai Branly bears the name of Édouard Branly, a French physicist born in Amiens, one of the forerunners of the TSF. wireless transmission, He discovered the principle of radioconduction and that of telemechanics. He is one of the forerunners of radio.  Thanks to Branly’s  discovery of the radioconductor  , and his work on the principle of  radioconduction. Guglielmo Marconi in 1899 made the radiotelegraph connections which marked the birth of wireless telegraphy. The quai Branly received its name by decree of January 30, 1941, the authorities serving the Vichy regime having insisted on honoring this French scholar who died in Paris on March 24, 1940. This choice was not questioned at the Liberation. On April 14, 2021, the Paris Council voted to rename most of the quai Branly from the portion located in front of the Quai Branly museum to the place des Martyrs-Juifs-du-Vélodrome-d’Hiver, in the 7éme arrondissement and 15éme arrondissements “quai Jacques-Chirac”, in tribute to the former President of the French Republic. The same principle that the museum is now quai Branly – Jacques Chirac.

Some of the things to see here me think are :

Near the Pont Bir-Hakeim bridge was erected the monument in memory of the 1st Free French Division, with a bronze bust of General Diego Brosset in 1953. The site of the former headquarters of Météo-France, at No 1, at the corner of avenue Rapp and opposite the Pont de l’Alma . The buildings of this headquarters, now destroyed, were bought, in February 2010, by the Russian State, to build on their land a cathedral, the new seat of the Russian Orthodox Bishopric of Chersonesus and a cultural center of the Russian Orthodox Church. Construction began in 2013 on an area of ​​4,200 m2 and was completed in 2016. (see post)
Alma Palace, at No. 11, residence of the French Republic and former seat of the Superior Council of the Judiciary (CSM).
Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques-Chirac, (see post) no 37, museum of arts and civilizations of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas with its green wall overlooking the quay. It takes the place of the former Ministry of Foreign Trade.
The Tour Eiffel tower, on the Champ-de-Mars near the Pont d’Iéna (see posts).
Maison de la culture du Japon in Paris, at 101 bis. and  National Memorial to the Algerian War and the fighting in Morocco and Tunisia.

The Place de la Bourse is located in the 2éme arrondissement of Paris. You get there by Metro line 3 Bourse, It owes its name to the Palais de la Bourse,(Brongniart) built on its site between 1807 to 1825, It opened at the same time as the Palais de la Bourse, absorbing part of the rue des Filles-Saint- Thomas. During the Three Glorious Days revolution, the square was the scene of confrontation between the insurgents and the troops. It officially took its current name on June 21, 1844. Below pic pl de la bourse to rue 4 septembre and Opéra Garnier.


There is a market on the Place de la Bourse, Tuesdays and Fridays from 10h to 20h is one of the only Parisian markets to be open in the afternoon. You have here the main attraction me think even if not open to the general public the Palais Brongniart: inaugurated in 1825.(see post).

Other sights worth seeing me think are at no. 2: chamber of commerce and industry of the Paris – Île-de-France region; No. 4: trade union chamber of stockbrokers; no 5: one of the first press agencies, the Office-Correspondance, in 1830, nos 6-8: post office; no 9: Fournier press agency; nos 10-12: daily L’Information, in the future Nouvel Observateur building; no 13: Havas and Restaurant Champeaux information agency; today AFP Agence France Presse (see post) ,no 40, rue Notre-Dame-des-Victoires .No 29 rue Vivienne by the passage of same name,

Anecdotes tell us that the first Théâtre des Nouvelles was built in 1827 at 27 bis rue Vivienne opposite the Stock Exchange (former Bourse), The Opéra Comique settled there from 1832 to 1840, then the Théâtre de Vaudeville from 1840 to 1868.The theater was demolished in 1869 to allow the extension of rue Réaumur (now rue du Quatre Septembre). A new Vaudeville theater was built on Boulevard des Capucines , then it became a cinema Gaumont Opéra. 

L’Argent, (the money) a novel by Émile Zola published in 1891, describes in detail the intense activity of the Place de la Bourse shortly before its peak: arriving from all four corners, while the rue du 4-Septembre and the rue Réaumur do not have not yet been pierced, a ballet of cabs and omnibuses crisscrosses a large square covered with chestnut trees and benches, riddled with rumors and negotiations, in shops (stationery, pastry chef), banks, media, cafes and restaurants arranged all around, Indeed a wonderful novel by Mr Zola!

The Rue du Commerce is in the 15éme arrondissement of Paris. The street begins on Boulevard de Grenelle, at the aerial metro level, in the extension of Avenue de La Motte-Picquet and ends at Rue des Entrepreneurs. The rue du Commerce has formed since the middle of the 19C one of the three or four lively and attractive shopping axes of the 15éme arrondissement. And must say one of my favorite places for shopping too, The street was the main shopping street of the former village of Grenelle was formed in 1837 under the name of Rue Saint-Guillaume , It takes the name of rue de la Montagne-Noire on February 1, 1877 before taking its current name by a decree of March 16, 1877. Below pic rue de commerce to Church St Jean Baptiste de Grenelle.


It is crossed by rue Letellier, rue Fondary and rue du Théâtre. It serves as the starting point for rue Tiphaine, rue Frémicourt, rue Gramme and rue Lakanal, but also as a point of arrival at avenue Émile-Zola. Its length is 675 meters with an average width of only 18 meters. Due to this narrow width, it is a one-way lane for automobile traffic. Recent developments also limit the parking of vehicles. Yes indeed but there is an undergroun parking at 76 Rue du Commerce, This street is also served by metro Commerce line 8 at Place du Commerce. Metro Émile Zola line 10 on avenue Émile-Zola, and 20 meters from the intersection with rue du Commerce and La Motte-Picquet – Grenelle ,Metro lines 6 8 and 10,

The Rue du Commerce is the result of an urban planning operation carried out in the 19C.The construction of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church in 1825 (see post), the Pont de Grenelle bridge in 1826, the development of a port on the Seine for waterway traffic and a river station for storing goods, as well as the construction of the Théatre Grenelle theater in 1829, complete this set, organized into a global network. The facades of houses and apartment buildings adorned with sculpted patterns, bands and cornices meet the tastes of the middle bourgeoisie that want to attract to this new district. The opening of the rue Frémicourt, then its extension in 1905 by the avenue Émile-Zola, created new links between the Grenelle district and the rest of Paris in full development. But, for its part, the rue du Commerce will keep much of its original cachet, in part no doubt thanks to the strong presence of activities on the ground floor of the buildings bordering the street.

Today, rue du Commerce is still an important shopping street with many shops selling perfumes, lingerie, clothing, tableware, decoration and gifts, bank branches, a few restaurants and cafes including the famous Café du Commerce at no 51,(see post) as well as food shops (bakeries, butchers, etc.). One of the best shopping street in Paris.; not only for the selection, which covers everything from one-of-a-kind boutiques to affordable fashions, but because you will be shopping where the locals go.I do!!!

Some of the other significant things to see in rue du commerce me think are:

At no 93: building from 1876 which takes up the size and aesthetics of the first constructions of Grenelle; no 87: building from 1860, with a beautiful cast iron grille and a largely preserved molding; no 71: first large building built (in 1864) just after annexation to Paris, with the aesthetic standards of the capital; Nos 56 and 116, rue du Théâtre: building having retained its original volume and simplicity, contrasts and marks a landmark on the street; The Paris tourist office on the rue du Commerce: https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/257944/Rue-du-Commerce

The rue du Temple is one of the oldest streets in Paris, located between the 3éme and 4éme arrondissements, in the Marais district. It is 1335 meters long, and begins at its at 64 rue de Rivoli and ends at 13 at Place de la République. The street is served by the Hôtel de Ville metro lines, 1 and 11, République metro lines 3,, 5, 8, 9 and 11, Temple metro line 3 and metro Arts et Métiers lines 3 and 11. One of my spots closer to Pl de la République for my business trips stays in Paris ! Below pic rue du Temple to the Place République.


The rue du Temple owes its name to the Order of the Templars, installed in the mid-13C in this district known as the Temple district even today. Remains of fortifications dating from Philippe Auguste are preserved at nos. 69 and 71 rue du Temple, The current rue du Temple is formed by ministerial decree dated February 18, 1851. The rue du Temple, which was located between the rue Michel-le-Comte and the Vieilles-Haudriettes and the boulevards Saint-Martin and the Temple; the rue Sainte-Avoie, which was located between rue Neuve-Saint-Merri and rue Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie and rue Michel-le-Comte and rue des Vieilles-Haudriettes; rue Barre-du-Bec, which was located between rue de la Verrerie and rue Neuve-Saint-Merri and rue Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie; and rue des Coquilles, which was located between rue de la Tixéranderie and rue de la Verrerie.

The part of rue du Temple located between rue de Rivoli and rue de la Verrerie first bore the name of “rue des Coquilles”, then in the 14C, it became “ruelle Jean-Gentien” (treasurer of the king). ), then “rue Jacques-Gentien”. The part between rue de la Verrerie and rue Saint-Merri will be called “rue Barre-du-Bec”, then “rue de l’Abbaye-du-Bec-Hellouin” towards the beginning of the 14C. The part between rue Saint-Merri and rue des Haudriettes was called “rue Sainte-Avoye” between 1515 and 1851; Madame de Sévigné stayed there before settling in rue de Thorigny. At the corner of these streets was the mark of the jurisdiction of the great priors of the order of the Temple namely: the scale of the Temple which was nearly 16 meters high. This patibular scale (pillory) appears on texts of 1550. The Passage Sainte-Avoye, between rue Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie and rue Michel-le-Comte, was part of the main street of the Temple then of the rue du Temple. formerly between the rue Michel-le-Comte and the boulevard du Temple, and which nowadays goes from the rue Michel-le-Comte to the place de la République was in the 13C the rue de la Milice-du-Temple before soon after become rue de la Chevalerie-du-Temple.

Some of the wonderful architecture and history of this rue du Temple that I like are :

No 17: site of an entrance to the former Hôtel de Du Guesclin at the end of the 14C
No 22: former hotel of the Marquis de la Maisonfort (1718) then of Canet du Guy (1752)
No 24: corner turret between rue du Temple and rue de Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie, dating from 1610,
No 41: the former auberge de l’Aigle d’Or or Golden Eagle inn was the head of a stagecoach line in the 19C. A Louis XIII staircase can still be seen in the passage. In the beautiful courtyard with the facades there is a café-theater, the Café de la Gare !
No 43: 16C mansion with listed facades. Adjoining the former Golden Eagle inn. It has a majestic staircase with Henri IV ironwork and a black and white paved floor. There is the Association of Young Chinese of France (language school).
No 57: the mansion of Maximilien Titon 16C, supplier of the arsenals, is at the end of the courtyard. Here resided in 1830 François Fortuné Guyot de Fère, one of the founders of the Free Society of Fine Arts in Paris,
Nos 60, 62-69,71: location of the Porte du
Temple gate of the enclosure of Philippe Auguste in the 13C.
No 62: Passage Sainte-Avoie. On the site of the former Hôtel Neuf-de-Montmorency, the Passage Sainte-Avoye was opened in 1828; in 1838, when rue Rambuteau was opened, this hotel completely disappeared. The Constable Anne de Montmorency died there in 1567. The hotel became the property of Mesmes and that of Antoinette de Mesmes, wife of Louis Victor de Rochechouart de Mortemart (older brother of Madame de Montespan) Duke and Duchess of Vivonne, who remained there in 1678. In May 1716, the banker John Law set up his first bank there. This passage follows the route of the enclosure of Philippe Auguste which exited in the current rue du Temple between nos. 60 and 62. If no trace of the enclosure is currently visible, however, you can see that these two numbers are not in the same alignment.
No 70: at the corner of rue de Braque is the Hôtel de Testars, located on the site of the former Butchers of the Templars

 No 71: the former Hôtel de Saint-Aignan, built from 1645 to 1650, for Claude de Mesmes, Count d’Avaux, responsible for Finances in 1641. In 1680, it became the property of the Duke of Saint-Aignan. Paul de Beauvilliers, who was responsible for the education of the Duke of Burgundy, the Duke of Anjou and the Duke of Berry with Fénelon, had it overhauled in 1691. Having become a national property during the French revolution, it was from 1800 to 1823 the City/Town hall of the former 7éme arrondissement. Today it houses the Museum of Art and History of Judaism.
No 79: Former Hôtel de Montmor (1623), owned by treasurer Jean Habert de Montmor, known as “Montmor le Riche”. His son Henri Louis Habert de Montmor, friend of Madame de Sévigné, who had created a draft of the Academy of Sciences frequented by Descartes, Molière, Huygens, Roberval, and whose very rich library bought by Colbert is now part of the collection of the National Library of France, lived in these places from 1643. In 1751, the hotel became the property of Laurent Charron, farmer general from 1757 to 1768. It was he who gave it its current appearance,
No 122 (formerly no 40): Honoré de Balzac’s family settled there in 1814 and lived there until 1819.
Between nos. 178 and 207 is the site of the former Porte du Temple of the enclosure of Charles V. This gate was located at the outlet of the current rue Meslay (formerly “rue du Rempart”) at the level of no 2 and 207 rue du Temple. I stayed in hotel by here several times!
No 195: Church of St. Elisabeth of Hungary. A few meters further on, rue du Temple is joined by rue de Turbigo. The odd side of the end of rue de Turbigo and the even side of rue du Temple border the Place Elisabeth-Dmitrieff square, where the only exit of the Temple metro station emerges. The rue du Temple reaches a few tens of meters further on the Place de la République.

There you go folks, another dandy beautiful set of glorious streets of my eternal Paris. I have criss cross them many and have many in my blog already, Hope you enjoy these architecturally and historically stunning streets of Paris as I.

And remember happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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