October 21, 2017

Getting around public transport in Paris and IdF

On a cloudy on and off rainy day ,and the sun in and out with temps in the 15C/60F in my neck of the wood, I left early into the main town here and then came back. This is the time to tell you again about the public transport options in Paris and the region IdF=ïle de France of which Paris belongs.

First, let me re post two previous posts on transports in Paris going back to the beginning of  my blog experience in 2010 and another in 2012. It might be interesting to some to see the differences.

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2010/12/11/public-transport-and-getting-to-paris/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2012/07/06/paris-transport-bits-and-pieces/

Of course, as you can by the post, trying to tell all on the transports in Paris is a tall task, there are so many variables and locations that the reader might be wise to ask me if doubts as some already have in my post on airports connections on private. I will just try to update on the previous posts and a bit more to help you understand. As for me, I have been using public transports in Paris since 1990, all modes at all times and days; whether on business or personal. After a few years, I have become accustomed to do public transports on business trips still need to do in the area and on personal trips I use my car. Yes ,you can drive in Paris…. if used to do so in big cities of course if your experience is from smaller towns than Paris might seems overwhelming at first.

The Paris transport sites that sometimes overlaps to the region is the RATP=Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens https://www.ratp.fr/en

The weekdays operating hours of the Métro are from 5h30  to about 01h15.  On Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as on the eve of bank holidays, trains run until about 02h15.  The RER operates daily from 5h30 to about 01h20 . When the metro is closed, the Noctilien night bus network takes to the road. Night buses operate from 00h30  to about 5h30.

Roissybus connects Paris (Opéra rue Scribe) to the Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport (CDG) and runs from 5h15 to about 0h30.  Buses depart every 15 to 20 minutes and the trip takes about 60 to 75 minutes.  Orlybus connects Paris (Denfert-Rochereau) to the Orly airport (ORY) and runs from 5h35  to about midnight. Buses depart roughly every 8 to 15 minutes and the trip takes about 30 to 40 minutes.  Orlyval connects the Anthony RER B station and the Orly airport (ORY) and runs from 6h to 23h35 . Trains depart roughly every 4 to 7 minutes and the trip takes about 8 minutes.

Mobility impaired folks can take advantage of the accessibility programme to make 57 RER A and B stations accessible for persons with reduced mobility: These stations are clearly marked by the access pictogram on our line maps.

RER A B C D E  are Five lines that serves 257 stations and stops including  33 inside  Paris.). You , also, have 8 trains lines in the region IdF all named with letters for easy distinctions. These are Trains H, J, K, L, N, P, R, and  U.  You have 10 tramway lines running in and around the periphery of Paris , these are lines  1, 2, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11Express.  There are really 16 lines of Métro and these are lines 1, 2, 3, 3Bis, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7bis, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14; all with 303 stations/stops. The bus lines are numbered from 20 to 199. To understand the number we go to a nice definition: The first number correspond to a quartier or neighborhood of Paris such as the lines Saint-Lazare/Opéra for the lines 20 to 29 , and Gare de l’Est for the lines 30 to 49).  The second number corresponds to the periphery neighborhoods ; for example  the west or ouest for the  3 ,and the southeast or sud-est for the 7. The lines 20 to 99 are the ones inside the city of Paris and the near periphery. The bus lines 100 to 199 are for the suburbs of Paris and some like the lines 102, 109, 111, 132 , and 169  entered a bit inside Paris. The night bus Noctilien works around 5 axis on big stations with correspondence such as the stations Châtelet, Montparnasse, Gare de l’Est, Gare Saint Lazare, and Gare de Lyon.  All the RER stations are served by the Noctilien bus and its 47 lines working from 0h30 to 5h30.

The prices are adjusted every year usually around July but sometimes in January, and of course it goes up/ Right now the single inner Paris ticket or Ticket t+ cost 1,90 €; and if planning to be for a few days it would be cost effective to buy the Carnet of 10 Tickets t+ for  14,90 €. For the bus if buy it on the bus it cost 2€ and if buy it with the metro Ticket t+ will be 1,90€, and the carnet works the same. There are other tickets ,the most commonly used are the tickets origin/destination to do a traject between two stations in the region of  Île-de-France. Once you validate the ticket it is good for the trip with a limit of 2 hours after validation. It allows you do the roundtrip between points in Paris and the RER ,Métro, The tramway T2 between La Défense and Issy Val de Seine as well as the tramway T4.It is good on both directions and can be use on the bus Noctilien as well.

The forfeit Mobilis is good for one calendar day from 0h to 24h to do as many trips as you need in the zones chosen and all modes of transports except going to the airports CDG and Orly. The Mobilis is given in a magnetic coupon with the chosen zones (Paris has 5) ,you need to write your name and the first day hour of use, as well as validated on the entry machines to the transports, usually yellow. This is a personal ticket and cannot be used by another person, not exchange and not reimbursable.  The costs per zone are Zones 1-2 7,50€ ,Zones 1-3 10€, Zones 1-4 12,40€ and Zones 1-5 17,80€.

The other use by visitors especially foreigners are the Paris Visite, you have as well several reductions to discover Paris and the region in entertainment, transport, culture museums attractions etc.  You buy according to your needs and stay , always good to compare on single ticket use on what you plan to do here. The costs are Zones 1-3  on days 1, 2, 3, and 5; 12,19,50,26,65,and 38,35€ respectively and on Zones 1-5 on days 1,2,3, and 5; 25,25, 38,35, 53,75, and 65,80€ respectively. There are reduce prices for the 4-11 years old, free below 4.

There another good one that is a take down of what we use to go to work in Paris but design to help the visitors. This is the Navigo Découverte, that comes in a case, the identity card, and a magnetic card to recharge money into it. This card allows to travel all over for a week and you need to keep all of them with you. The cost of the card along is 5€ and need to go to an agency SNCF, OPTILE, RATP, or the counters of the  Guichets Services Navigo SNCF.  You will receive it immediately with a life span of 10 years, keep it as for next visit it will just need recharge new money and off you go, the card keeps the money unused on it. The only situation is that it needs to be use from Sunday to Saturday.

The site for the region and some lines in Paris is call the Transilien and you can access it in English here:  https://www.transilien.com/en

Many ask for the use of Wi-Fi in the public transport and Paris is modernizing as I write.  Right now the Métro and RER stations with free WiFi are: Metro  Gare de Lyon (M1 platform, direction La Défense);  Gare du Nord (M4 – SNCF transfer hall; M4 around information and ticket desks); CDG Etoile (Transfer hall, Sortie Carnot); St Lazare (Transfer hall); Porte Maillot (Around information and ticket desks) ;Chaussée d’Antin (Around information and ticket desks); Gallieni (Eurolines access area);Bibliothèque François Mitterrand (Passenger area) ; St Denis Université (Passenger area). On the RER : La Défense (Transfer hall; RER A platform, direction Paris; Mezzanine (1), Mezzanine (2)); Auber (Transfer hall); Cité U (Around information and ticket desks);  MLV Chessy (Around information and ticket desks) Noisy Le Grand (Passenger area, bus station side) ; Val de Fontenay (Passenger area)

If you are going to or from the airport, there is also free WiFi available on all our Orlybus and Roissybus.

How to connect to the Wi-Fi:

To connect to WiFi service, first activate the WiFi function on your smartphone, tablet, laptop or other portable device; then select the network named “RATP gratuit” and validate the General Users Conditions (CGU).  You can enjoy 20 minutes of free internet access, and at the same time discover our services: the RATP and Next Stop Paris apps and the maRATP programme.

Zenway is an itinerary search engine that is more intuitive. Using large tactile displays, Zenway allows you to make multi-modal itinerary searches and access practical information about the station’s immediate area – map, address search, points of interest, available services – in 7 languages. This orientation information rounds out the real-time traffic information provided on our multimodal displays.  You can already explore our Zenway passenger information displays at Gare de Lyon, Montparnasse – Bienvenüe, Denfert Rochereau, Charles de Gaulle – Etoile, Les Halles, Madeleine, Gallieni, Concorde, Porte Maillot, Marne-la-Vallée Chessy, Gare du Nord, Saint-Lazare, Val d’Europe, Bir-Hakeim, Bastille, Opéra, La Défense, Saint-Michel, Grands-Boulevards, Havre-Caumartin, and Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre.

I will try to uploads some helpful maps on the whole system here, and they are name Paris do not know how but it shows the metro, RER, Noctilien, Buses, zones tariff map, whole network map etc.. Enjoy Paris and its wonderful Ïle de France region or the island of France! Enjoy your weekend and happy travels. Cheers!

Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris

 

 

October 20, 2017

Some news from Spain LII

Getting back on my beloved Spain on its best face. The weather is nice in Madrid at 67F  and hotter sunnier days for the weekend with little chance of rain.

Some of nice things happening in Madrid and Spain are these:

Museo Lázaro Galdiano (Calle Serrano, 122) from November 17 onwards there is an exposition for the first time showing the collection of primitive Flanders put together by a private collector José Lázaro Galdiano. We travel from the 15C to the 16C in wonderful art pieces from the schools of Hertogenbosch ( Bosco), Brussels (Lucas Gassel), Bruges (Gerard David and Adriaen Isenbrandt), and Anvers  ( Quentin Metsys , and Jan van Dornicke). A total of 73 works of arts some inedit and some after a process of restoration. More here :http://www.flg.es/your-visit-to-the-museo-lazaro-galdiano

Museo Reina Sofía (Calle Santa Isabel, 52) Until November 27th and then from December 20 to March 18 2018.  Soledad Lorenzo gave her collection to the  Museo Reina Sofía in 2014.  A selection of the works there , about 392 from 89 artists are shown now for the first time in two consecutive expositions. Different generation of artists from Spanish to International especially from the USA with paintings, drawings, sculptures, photos, engravings, audiovisual work and installations. The first expo shows the work of Spanish artists of 3 Generations that the gallery Soledad Lorenzo was active. Here next to known artists like Pablo Palazuelo and Antoni Tàpies, you see works by Soledad Sevilla, Txomin Badiola, Ana Laura Aláez, Guillermo Pérez Villalta ,and  Juan Uslé. Then, the expo personal questions or  Cuestiones personales, opens on Dec 20th dedicated to the recuperation of the figurative language and the transformation of the representation of the work in the last part of the last century . Here is shown works by  Gordillo, Broto, Barceló, Schnabel, Juan Ugalde, and George Condo to name a few. More here: http://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/exhibitions/soledad-lorenzo-collection

Staying in the Museo Reina Sofia we have the expo of William Kentridge  From November 1 2017.  The South African artists William Kentridge (1955, Johannesburg) prize Princesa de Asturias in 2017 showing the exposition Basta y sobra  (Enough and more than enough). Kentridge  is famous for export to other media like animation, theater, opera a new etiquette way of drawing  from his beginnings learned to draw as an spectacle  and he filmed it. He drew with carbon paper of used newspapers, and now you can see his work here, a reflection of his efforts against tyranny and authoritanism. More here: http://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/exhibitions/william-kentridge

At the Fundación Canal de Isabel II (calle Mateo Inurria, 2) until January 5 2018.  Magnum contact pages or Hojas de Contacto. There were not conceived to be shown and many photographers are reluctant to show them even today . However, the secrets of some of the most famous of Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Marc Riboud, Steve McCurry, Cristina García Rodero , and others of the agency  Magnum will be shown. From the landings of Normandy, to the revolts in Paris in May 1968, the protests in Tiananmen square or the act against the twin towers will be some of the events shown in photos. More in Spanish here: http://www.fundacioncanal.com/18049/expo-magmum-hojas-de-contacto/#None

And now a bit of a tour thru my beautiful Spain.

 At Sahagùn in Léon on your way to Santiago, St James you will see a group of beautiful Churches of different times like the Church of San Lorenzo or the Church of  San Tirso.  Here you can follow 6 different routes to discover really truly wonders in time. If I have to choose one, it will be the Church of  San Facundo y San Primitivo de Cisneros.  There are more around Villafáfila (Zamora) as well as in Guaza de Campos (Palencia)  where you find about 18 buildings of great architecture and historical value .  There are two belltowers with gorgeous views over the  Tierra de Campos (land of fields). One of them is found at Paredes de Nava, forming part of the Church of  San Martín that houses the center of interpretation of the municipality , and the other the local tourist office . Another one is the  Fuentes de Nava, the highest belltower in the province that of the Church of San Pedro.  If looking for something more natural you go to the lookout at  Autilla del Pino ,where you can see a dozen towns and great sunsets.

Continuing in our tour of my beloved Spain , You reach the Canal de Castilla. One of the tranches of more significant tourism wise is found done by the boat Antonio de Ulloa from Medina de Rioseco. You can even do it on foot!! or in bicycle!! There are several museums and interpretation centers along the route. The most impressive baroque looks on Churches are found in Santoyo, in the beautiful Church of San Hipólito de Támara de Campos ; but there are more like at Frechilla or the Church of Santa María de Fuente de Nava.  July and August is great to come during the Organ Festival when all are working the organs. Even in  Boadilla de Rioseco , the town has invited several artists to use their streets and buildings for improvising art museum on the streets.  You only need to past by their mudéjar Churches and squares as well as the ruins of the old train station or slabs in the old Cemetery

In Becerril de Campos  stop by the old Church of San Pedro,converted into an astronomic center; where you can observe the meridian with a dark camera like the ones used by the Hungarian jesuist Juan Wendlingén (1715-1790) , which was built for king Fernando VI.  Later past by the pretty Church Museum of  Santa María la Antigua that houses one of the best collections of renaissance art including works by Pedro Berruguete, and Alejo de Vahía. In this region of Tierra de Campos, you will see a great dam or natural reserve such as Reserva Natural Lagunas de Villafàfila (Zamora) and the Natural space or Espacio Natural de la Nava and the Campo de Palencia; two essential sites for the observation of birds of the Iberian peninsula. Here you find the biggest concentration of great bustards birds in the world? and also 221 other species including aquatics. At the Church of Santa María de Mediavilla,passing by the Church of  Santiago Apóstol ,and the Church de la de Santa Cruz. All of them with guided visits as well as the works related to the canal de Castilla such as the old flour factory or antigua Fábrica de Harinas. At  Villoldo, the perfect place to explorer the Frómista and its romance Church of  San Martín or in  San Cebrián de Campos; the Church of San Cornelio y San Cipriano. A wonderful ride, more on this region and the autonomous region of Castilla y Léon here: http://www.turismocastillayleon.com/

Then, we search for comics stores in Madrid, plenty of them;but some of the latest to come out are these:

Red Flacks Comics located in the district of Malasaña, a few steps from the Plaza del Dos de Mayo.  The underground of the 1960’s and 1970’s and the junior American to dig into their boxes to find the jewel like the first Futurama (35 euros, in English). However, there are prices for all pockets like the magazine Mad (5 euros, in English)  to the no 7 of Black Hole (90 euros, in English). For the lovers of the superheroes classics of  Marvel like Fantastic Four (22 euros, in English) or the Star Wars, like the December 1977 issue on the magazine  Famous Monsters (25 euros, in English).  Do not forget the mythical albums such as the detective Dick Tracy (25 euros, in English) or the black humor of Idées Noires (41 euros, in French). More here: https://m.facebook.com/redflackcomics/

Arte 9 Calle Dr Esquerdo 6 , you find here Corto Maltés, as Equatoria(22 euros), the last number of the adventures of marine created by  Hugo Pratt, or the series of 3 albums of Érase una vez en Francia (22 euros). For the lover of Star Wars the book of graphic designs  (44 euros). At the lower level you find the cards of  Yu-Gi-Oh! and Magic on Fridays and Saturdays from 17H. More here: https://www.facebook.com/arte9madrid/

Akira Comics  at Avenida Betanzos 74 open here for over two decades and by next March 2018 will expand to  700 m2 of space . Even if the name refers to the Japanese mangas in its shelfs you find stories for all tastes like the albums of the Marvel Universe (4,25 euros each), Some with original front portrait design for the store. You find toys like the figurine of the son of Batman (29,95 euros). More here: https://www.akiracomics.com/

The Comics Co at Calle Divino Pastor 17, 13 years at same address; and here you can find the American superheroes  to the publication of Corto Maltés.  The store specializes in the books of Tintín. You find here in original language or Spanish all the literature associated with Tintin.  The complete collection of figurines of the personages of the series some small some in white (35 euros), others huge and at all colors like the silhouette of  Tintín and Milú (135 euros). More here: https://www.facebook.com/thecomicco/

You come to the culinary of Madrid, at this ample bar with walls of Bordeaux colors and golden signs with the castizo spirit of Madrid. This is La Playa de Lavapiés, a creation of friends and frequent guests of the street bars of the calle Argumosa.  You can try the afrodiac drink of  La Cachonda, cloves and cinnamon or the  Mermafrodita, rose petals and pear or the La Rosita, a touch of red fruits or the La Estrecha, with gingebre and lemon grass.  Also, the destornillador, with slices of ice and orange and each week are added new creations . The cocktail is the double of beer and vermouth with a tapa.  It has a small terrace to see the world go by. Open Tuesdays to Thursdays from 18h to 02h and Fridays 18h to 02h30 ,Saturdays and Sundays from 13h. More here: https://www.facebook.com/laplayadelavapies

From an article in El Mundo newspaper; took this excellent blog on Madrid, Secretos de Manu, Pamplona en Madrid: http://www.secretosdemadrid.es/

The article mentioned how the district of Hortaleza comes from the vegetable gardens that were done here, under the Fountain of Cibeles there is the safe of the Bank of Spain or the smallest store in Madrid is still there a few steps from Plaza Mayor. When you live in Madrid (I did) you come out looking at the sky and try to imagine what more can the city impress on you . Maybe that is why we call From Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day!  The city is very energetic and vibrant, which I knew that !!! For nice photos go to the garden or Jardín del Príncipe de Anglona, or the lookout Mirador de la Huerta de la Partida, in the  Casa de Campo; as well as the garden or  Jardín Educativo del Monte Mediterráneo, next to the museum of  Sciences, an oasis next to the  Castellana. The author third book on Madrid with the name of Secretos de Madrid 2 (Secrets of Madrid 2)  will reach the stores next month. Webpages here:

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/jardines-del-palacio-del-principe-de-anglona

http://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/Vivienda-y-urbanismo/Urbanismo/Madrid-Rio-Especial-Informativo?vgnextfmt=default&vgnextoid=5acc7f0917afc110VgnVCM2000000c205a0aRCRD&vgnextchannel=2af331d3b28fe410VgnVCM1000000b205a0aRCRD&idCapitulo=5697981

http://www.mncn.csic.es/Menu/Exposiciones/Permanentes_jardinEducativo/seccion=1182&idioma=es_ES&id=2010100411300002&activo=11.do

A bit of  Malaga, at the Museo Carmen Thyssen calle Compañia 10 will be the exposition of Juan Gris, María Blanchard y los cubismos (1916-1927)  until February 25 2018.  Pablo Picasso and George Braque  redefine the world of arts in the 20C as fathers of Cubism and this expo shows how Juan Gris and María Blanchard helped this movement to move on with a different look at arts in the world . Here at the museum you can see works by  Dalí, Moreno Villa,and Cossío as well. More here: http://carmenthyssenmalaga.org/en/exposicion/juan-gris

Moving over to Valencia , you can see the constellations or Las constelaciones de Julio Gonzáez at the  IVAM , calle Guillem de Castro, 118 until January 14 2018.  Since 1985 , the IVAM owns 10% of the work in sculpture of  Julio González. This year they are showing 42 of his work together with other 11 artists work to show another vision of the one considered the father of steel sculpture.  You can also see the German documentary that shows the importance of this creator in the 20C. More here: https://www.ivam.es/en/exposiciones/julio-gonzalezs-constellations/

Another one, the end of an era, a Spanish tradition is now dead. The taurino spectacle of the Bombero Torero” ( the firefighter matador) has said his last goodbye last September 15 2017 in the plaza of  Almodóvar del Campo (Ciudad Real), putting an end to 69 years of history. Rafael Celis,55 , the last of a dynasty is ending the show ; he found no replacement, and did not look for one either. The personage was created in 1928,inspired from a drunken firefighter with a thick mustache that  Pablo Celis, encounter when worked in a theater. The show became a hit from 1953,when he got the idea of including dwarfs of the circus in his show like the famous Eduardini in a bullfights arena.  At 18h15 it will be unveiled a plaque on the big gate of the arena next to other memories of the mythical taurino days of  Almodóvar del Campo. Another past time goes bust, but even if already past, worth mentioning here for the memories, for the history, for the good times Thanks Bombero Torero!!!

Let’s move on south to another great place of mine. Arcos de la Frontera is a wonderful town full of m onuments and how well preserve with its proverbial whiteness. Full of temples, chapels and convents. You see the castle or Castillo de los Duques, the gate or Puerta de Matrera, next to the wall with its palaces and mansions. It was the capital of Taifa de Arcos and duchy, the town looking at the Guadalete river . No beach but has a lake is artificial of 250 meters long but has restaurant with terrace and Nautical club where you can enjoy Padel surf, sailings, aquatic ski, boat ride and swimming; it is call El Santiscal in the natural forest of Cola del Embalse de Arcos where you can see many wild birds like the fishing eagle. You can take a trip to the rock Peñon de Zaframagon reaching here by the Via Verde de la Sierra road near Grazalema where you find one of the biggest colony of vultures birds in Europe. In town you can see pottery makers, ceramics, leather and fabric makers dating from the 18C, plomb and forge steel as well. Not to forget the gastronomy with vegetable meat balls, windmill garlic, stews, rices, escargots, pig products, etc  as well as the wines like at the Bodega de Albalà. Tourist office for Arcos de la Frontera here: http://www.cadizturismo.com/destinos/provincias/cadiz/municipios/arcos-de-la-frontera/?set_language=en

The Bodega de Albalà site is here in English: http://www.huertadealbala.com/en/home/

We end the trip in my gorgeous Madrid. The city welcomes Harry Potter at the IFEMA from November 18 2017. Giant statues of the personages are all over the city for a total of four.  They will be up until December 10th even if the exhibition will be on until end January 2018. The four statues will be at these four points in Madrid:

The starting point will be at the Glorieta de Bilbao. Here you will find the statue for  “Dobby no tiene amo. Dobby es un elfo libre” (Dobby has no owner, dobby is a free elf) . What  Potter said coming ouit fo the mouth of the elf that at the end has its freedom. The Dobby de Bilbao measures 1,60 meters.

Next is the Plaza de Colón. About 10 minutes walking you arrive here.  You find the hat of one of the houses of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin the students belongs. You remember this hat with more than 10 centuries old doubted on the head of Potter or the face of fear on his best friend Ron Weasley,in the selection of first year. There is a replica of 3 meters high and 4,5 meters wide with the same sad face as the movie

We come to my emblematic best of the city , the Puerta de Alcalá. Who wanted to fly at some time in our life with a Ford Anglia much better right? You need to walk about 9 minutes to reach the gate of Alcala to see the 105E Anglia in blue that the father of  Weasley modified to be able to fly. The replica of 4,5 meters long and 1,4 meters wide.

And we end the journey at the Plaza de Callao. You reach here in about 18 minutes walking from the Puerta de Alcalá.  In the center of the square you find the  Nimbus 2000, the most precious flying broom of the good player of  ‘quidditch’ with a beautiful handle in mahogany wood. The replica could take not one but several Potter’s as it measure 2,4 meters long.

More on the Harry Potter exhibition in English here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/harry-potter-the-exhibition-feria-de-madrid

And that’s all folks, until next time on my blog airwaves or linewaves ::) Have a great weekend y’all. Cheers

 

 

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October 19, 2017

Some news from France CLXXII

On a cloudy cool humid Fall day looking at the wonderful trees already with the leaves fallen I write this update on my belle France.  Temps are about 17C or 62F rain calling for tonight but none now in my neck of  Brittany.  Over in Paris the temp is a bit hotter but still cloudy at 71F  and no rain call for.

There is a new edition no 37 of the Asterix  cartoon series out already in stores. Entitled “Astérix et la Transitalique” this new adventure takes them into a course on chariots across the transalpine peninsula facing teams coming from many countries at the times including a champion Roman named Coronavirus. Photo is from Les Echos. More in French here: http://www.asterix.com/la-collection/les-albums/asterix-et-la-transitalique.html

Paris

The latest show by Bartàbas and the horses is coming on and expect a tour of France later on. It has been an inspiration for like me all lovers of horses. Putting the art on the arena and showcasing the horse at its very best. The spectacle is call Ex-Anima. See it is a must if in France. You get there for example from Opéra Garnier  take metro line 7  direction La Courneuve-8-Mai-1945 and get off at  Fort d’Aubervilliers, take exit or sortie 1 and walk about 3 minutes to Zingaro at  176, Avenue Jean Jaurès. More here in French: http://bartabas.fr/theatre-zingaro/spectacles/

The dept 93 Seine-Saint Denis tourist office has more in English here: https://uk.tourisme93.com/ex-anima-zingaro.html

From the local newspaper le Parisien I learn of new statues by the Centre Pompidou. Just open this morning the statues of  Renzo Piano (seated) and Richard Rogers (standing), the two architects that built the Beaubourg 40 yrs ago! The statues are in solid inox steel and painted in two tones of green. They are facing in the Place Edmond Michelet facing the Centre Pompidou. The official site is here in English https://www.centrepompidou.fr/en

The Grand Paris Project continues and now approved 51 projects to turn Paris into the modern age (do not know yet if for good or bad). The new architects will unveil a new Paris with a metropolitan identity. It is in combination with the other big project on transportation, the Grand Paris Express. About a third of the sites will be close by one of the future metro stations. Amongst the new concepts are the  «Lumières Pleyel », creating a  space of 176 000 m² in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis) including a building that will go over the railroad tracks near the future Olympic Village (Paris 2024) . A metropolitan demonstrator in the area of  Ardoines,in  Vitry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne), a future  glass storefront where the warehouses are now been demolish to leave space for a program of  139 832 m², with new activities, commerces and residences. Also, the  «Maison du peuple » at Clichy-la-Garenne (Hauts-de-Seine) a building of the 1930’s that will be renovated including a tower of almost 100 meters(330 feet).  Photo is from Le Parisien. More on the project in English here: http://www.grand-paris.jll.fr/en/grand-paris-project/

The Grand Paris Express in French is here: https://www.societedugrandparis.fr/gpe/le-grand-paris-express-en-resume

Paris

From October 20th to evening of November 5 2017 the rooftop of the tour Montparnasse will be a roller skating ring, time for school vacation. You will have a panoramic view 360 degrees where 80 skaters of all ages and all levels will slide in security. The roller skates will be provided on site but bring protection such as helmets and knee pads. The rink will be available 7 hours per day and two night sessions until 23h. The first is for October 28 on the theme of Halloween!! and the second November 4th with a Disco night! The Tour Montparnasse in the 59th floor at entrance by 33 avenue du Maine. Hours 13h to 20h free admission for the skating, but need admission tickets in the terrace for 17€ More info here: www.tourmontparnasse56.com

News for the frivolous travelers starting next May 2018 at the airport of Beauvais the airline Wizz Air will start flight to Koutaissi in Georgia with 3 weekly flights that will become the longest flight leg at the airport. Also, the Spanish airline Volotea will do flights Beauvais – Ajaccio in Corsica with two flights per week. Tickets are on sale for Spring Summer 2018. Keep an eye on it here in English: https://www.aeroportparisbeauvais.com/en/passengers/

I like to tell you about a great cheese of France. It is from my wife’s region she grew up with it and has not stop even now. I got on it in 1990, and has become my favorite cheese as well.  This is the BRIE and specially the crowned Brie de Meaux. The king of cheese, the cheese of kings crown in the Congress of Vienna 1815 by all leaders of Europe at the time of the peace after Napoleon. A bit of chronological history here:

774 Charlemagne said of Brie ” I just come to discover one of the table most delicious ever tasted” After trying a piece of the Brie de Meaux in the abbey of Rueil-en-Brie. By 999, Robert II the Pious, enjoyed so much that he helped sell it in person! 1200, the Brie becomes a political weapon when Blanche of Navarre served it to flatter king Philippe Auguste to obtained from him the regency of the County of Champagne . 1534; Rabelais cited the Brie in his novel Gargantua. 1600, Queen Margot makes toasts from the Brie to Henri IV that is very fond and stop him from seeing his mistress Gabrielle d’Estrées. 1668 La Fontaine served a Brie in the peak of a raven when telling of the story of the fox for his novel. 1710, king Louis XIV loves the Brie and wanted it every day in the menu.  59  cars do the trip Versailles-Meaux to supply him every week of the cheese for the table of the king!!! 1725 king Louis XV marries Marie Leczinska ,the gourmand queen that invented the bites à la Queen from the Brie cheese. 1815 at the Vienna congress minister Talleyrand a great diplomat serves the brie cheese where all proclaim it king of the cheeses and the cheese of kings. 1980, the Brie de Meaux received the designation of AOC as well as AOP as well as the Brie de Melun, the smaller cousin. You have plenty of official info on this wonderful cheese from the association of cheesemakers here in French: http://www.briedemeauxetdemelun.fr/

And you can see a bit of history here with youtube:

On . the home front my wife is doing ok under treatment ,and has passed all well; now is the long battle with Pancreatic Cancer begins.  All vital organs are ok and no loss of weight. Hoping for the best with lots of enthusiam for life and the 27 years already lived together. So far. Thank you in advance to all my readers for your best wishes.

Enjoy life is beautiful but it can be short. Have a great end of week y’all. Cheers

 

October 18, 2017

Some news from Spain LI

Here is the turn of my beloved  Spain. There is a lot things going on there now but I concentrate on the tourism/cultural side of things. Spain is everything under the sun! Right now is about 60F or 15C in Madrid nice weather in Fall with rain forecast later tonite and tomorrow. Bear with me this is one huge post with lots of information for your leisure tourist travel in Spain and more !!!

Recently the baroness has commissioned the Thyssen 25 yrs a photographic chronicle a free exposition on the 25 years of the Museum or Museo Thyssen. You saw 26 photos personally selected by the baroness coming from her archives, the museum, EFE news agency, and the ABC newspaper from the best moment of the history of the pinotheque. In 2016, there were 1M persons that visited the museum or  a 10% increase from 2015. And as part of it’s year long 25th anniversary you will see wonders.

You have an expo on the genius Picasso-Toulouse-Lautrec. They had a 17 years age difference and 9 cm of height but their talent was inversely of their statute. They spend the majority of their careers in Paris and never met!!! A young Picasso arrived in Paris at 19 yrs in 1900, and Toulouse-Lautrec already was sick and will died a year later before his 37th birthday in the Château de Malromé. The career of the French genius only lasted 15 years and the Spanish more than 7 decades! Picasso died in 1973. Moreover, there are many similarities and affinities vital as well as creative between the two masters of modernism that will be measure in the Thyssen museum.

 Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec had more names and last names then height with just over 1,5 meters (about 5 feet). He was born in 1864 at Albi France in a aristocratic family. His father was the Count Alphonse de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa who married his cousin sister Adéle Tapié de Celeyran. The child was born with an congenital anomaly that made it worse the fracture of his femur in falling from a horse. This stop his bones to grow normal. Pablo Picasso  was born in 1881 at Malaga and measure 1,63 meters (about 5,60feet ) coming from a middle class family, his father was a painter and art professor. He arrived to Paris with his friend Carles Casagemas and took an atelier left available by Nonell on the rue Gabriel. He was depressed from the refusal of Germaine, Casagemas took his life in the Hippodrome leaving Picasso immense in a melancholy blues.  He exhibit the portrait of a dead Casagemas still with the print of the bullet that took his life. Both share the admiration for El Greco, Degas and Ingrés of which Turkish bath or Baño Turco always obessed Picasso.  They ,also, share the way of looking of work and the drawing skills,the affection for the caricature and pity for the less fortunate ,passion for the circus and the erotism. Picasso self portrait in several occasions while Toulouse-Lautrec a couple of times. He had a self portrait that he drew in 1893 on the backside of the poster for Jane Avril in the The Divine Japanese or El Divan Japones; serious client of the Moulin Rouge, Le Chat Noir, or the Le Mirliton. Picasso frequented in Barcelona the Els Quatre Gats and the Barrio Chino as well as La Butte  ,the hill of Montmartre as well as Toulouse-Lautrec, the Moulin Rouge, Moulin de la Galette, and Folies-Bergére.  Recently arrived in Paris he is able to expo in 1901 in the gallery of Ambroise Vollard and some of these paintings are shown in the halls of the Thyssen. See it and believe the genious at “Picasso/LautrecMuseo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Paseo del Prado, 8 Tuesdays to Sundays from 10h to 19h Saturdays 10-21H from now to January 21 2018: more here: https://www.museothyssen.org/en/exposiciones/picassolautrec

Let’s have a memorable walk in my beloved Madrid, the one of my adolescence and every year thereafter of coming back to it, From Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday!!!

You need to be at the Parque del Buen Retiro and see the famous Palacio Cristal (Crystal Palace) or why not go to the romantic Parque de El Capricho , that still keeps a bunker from the Spanish Civil War. And there are others such as the parque Tierno Galván, the Botanical garden or Real Jardín Botánico or the newer Madrid Río ( by the river Manzanares). See the famous museum of Prado but please visit the museo Sorolla and the spectacular Museo Lázaro Galdiano;passing by others less known such as the Casa Museo Lope de Vega or the museo del Romanticismo. For the Madrid culinary tradition have a cocido Madrileño at restaurante La Bola,calle La Bola, 5, founded in 1870; or the Casa Lardhy founded in 1839 where so famous it has been named in worked by Galdós, Azorín, and Gómez de la Serna.  The modern Madrid allows you to take a Segway tour that starts in the Plaza Mayor and ends at the culturally wonderful Matadero.  You can, also, take a ride in the Tuk Tuk going by  Neptuno, Gran Vía, Templo de Debod ,and many others. Some of the webpages here:https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-del-retiro

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-del-capricho

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-enrique-tierno-galvan

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/real-jardin-botanico

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/madrid-rio

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/sorolla-museum

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/lazaro-galdiano-foundation-museum

http://labola.es/

What about the wonderful castles or castillos of where else Castilla or Castile in and around Madrid.

In the middle of the Sierra Norte you come to  Manzanares el Real. One of the best preserved castles in Madrid and one of the oldest. When there was no castles in the Cave of Los Aljibes rupestres paintings were seen here and now the Museum or Museo Etnológico y Arqueológico keeps a good collection of them. The castle is the vast area of the Mendoza family that gives the name to the castle in the middle ages. In the interior it was signed the statutues of the autonomous region of the community of Madrid in 1983. More here better in Spanish: http://turismomadrid.es/es/portada/10059-castillo-de-los-mendoza.html

Another beauty is at  San Martín de Valdeiglesias, near  Ávila  on the river Alberche. The castle or Castillo de la Coracera, built in the 15C many times restored had the honor of hosting the Queen Isabel (I) la Católica, that lived here when she was named heir to the crown of Castilla. Also,  Álvaro de Luna,  strongman of  her father king Juan (John) II,of Castilla. More here in Spanish;  http://www.castillodelacoracera.com/

Batres, limits with  Toledo. It was the  La Gran Watria, as it was called house an important Roman villa, destroyed and restored by the Christian near the river Guadarrama . In time the castle or Castillo de Batres  was famous by one of its inhabitants the poet Garcilaso de la Vega. Reopen in December 2017, more here: http://www.castillodebatres.es/

Chinchón is a must if not for its bullring in the middle of the town with gorgeous houses around it. The Plaza Mayor, of medieval origins does it and more since the 15C.  The castle or  Castillo de los Condes, built by a count and residence for many centuries as well as resisting the war of succession to the Spanish throne. So much damaged was left that later become a liquors factory. More here in Spanish: http://turismomadrid.es/es/ver-y-hacer/cultura/red-de-castillos/10817-chinchon.html

Villarejo de Salvanés, one of my nicest memories visiting the region for the last several years. The castle or Castillo de Villarejo de Salvanés is uniqueNot only its origins is very much documented or its role in the wars but for the Homage tower or  Torre del homenaje, that today is all that is left of the castle. Look at the particulars of this castle that the peaks in the crown of the tower are cylindrical when they are usually on the sides of the tower are in the center here 3 on each side. More here in Spanish: https://todosobremadrid.com/que-hacer/castillo-de-villarejo/

Fuentidueña de Tajo , we reach the end of the castle tour with the castle or Castillo de Santiago,also known as the tower or Torre de los Piquillos, belonging to the order of Santiago and one of the strategic enclaves of the reconquest.  It served as a prison and kept some personalities such as Pedro Manrique or Álvaro de Luna. It was a house of kings too, but the most famous was the one who gave the name to the tower or  Torre de Doña Urraca.  This lady also known as the owner of the town and springs at the foot of the castle was born here. Of all this today only ruins remains but worth a detour. More in Spanish here: https://todosobremadrid.com/que-hacer/castillo-de-fuentiduena/

One interlude on a nice bottle of wine just tasted and recommended for the lovers of Madrid and Spain: Bernabeleva Carril del Rey, vinos de Madrid 2015, garnacha grapes about 23€ from Bodega y Viñedos Bernabeleva. Blackcurrants and Redcurrants liquorice, lots of fruit and balance tanins fresh. More in English here: http://www.bernabeleva.com/index_e.html

You want to eat octopus or pulpo in Madrid too far from Galicia ,no problems. We have it all in the city of Spain. Just go to Casa Toribio for the traditional. Or the in omelette like at Las Tortillas de Gabino or with cheese tetilla and kimchi purée at Morgana. And even more a la Galician in Lùa cook à feira or like the oven with potato purée and  ajada (garlic and papripka sauce). Webpages here:

http://www.restaurantecasatoribio.com/#sl_i3

https://lastortillasdegabino.com/

http://morgana.eltenedor.rest/en_GB/

https://www.yelp.com/biz/l%C3%BAa-madrid-2

Just to show some culture here. The seven brothers Elías, Judah, Josua, Cristo, Israel, Aaron , and  Josué  together in the musical Nacidos para bailar .  From the start in May 2016 at the Teatro Tívoli in Barcelona, now it is spreading. They are the  Los Vivancos a mixture of rock of Metallica and Deep Purple. See them at the Teatro Nuevo Apolo, plaza Tirso de Molina, 4 until November 12 2017.  More here: http://www.summummusic.com/los-vivancos/

The creation of  Alphonse Mucha, considered as the father of Art Nouveau, the Czech artist went beyond such as been sculptur, painter, photographer, illustrator, and designer,  The American press had call him the best decorative artist in the world in the early 20C and now the protagonist of an exposition that Arthemisia has brought to the Palacio de Gaviria  with collaboration of the Fundación Mucha. It contains 200 works that traces the trajectory of the artist from his beginning in Paris to being famous for the poster on actrice Sarah Bernhardt in the opera Gismonda. The divine Sarah was so impressed that offered him a contract for 6 years. In the Epopeya eslava, 20  historical portraits that tells of the Eslovaquian unity with last work by the artist such as the triptice  The age of Reason, knowledge and love  that he could not finished due to the resurgance of Nazism. One of the first citizens arrested by the Gestapo for his condition of Mason , a men that dedicated his last years on spread peace. More here in English: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/alphonse-mucha-gaviria-palace

And continuing we have the exposition entitled Zuloaga en el París de la Belle Époque. 1889-1914,or Zuloaga in the Paris of the Belle Epoque 1889-1914 in the room of the Fundación Mapfre at Recoletos.

The exposition brings together about 90 works of Ignacio Zuloaga, and other artists like Picasso, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Giovanni Boldini, Jacques-Émile Blanche, Auguste Rodin ,and Émile Bernard.  Portraits and sculptures of the creation of the basque artist that shows the progress until WWI , when the European theater was radically changed . Ignacio Zuloaga arrived in Paris with 19 yrs old and found amongst others Santiago Rusiñol, Isidre Nonell, Hermenegildo Anglada-Camarasa, Joaquín Sunyer, Pablo Picasso, and Edgar Degas.  With them he entered in contact with symbolism and other artistic movements that laid the foundation for modern art that he participated.  See it all until January 7 2018 at the Fundación Mapfre ,Paseo de Recoletos, 23. More here: https://www.fundacionmapfre.org/fundacion/en/exhibitions/recoletos-hall/zuloaga.jsp

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the creation of the ceramic center or Centro Cerámico de Talavera de la Reina,the museum or Museo Cerralbo presents  Evolución-Revolución. 25 años de cerámica, a show of a tradition with today’s creations .  The expo combine pieces taken from the centuries past including vases, azulejos (decorated tiles), and decoration elements of architecture as well as collection pieces from a number of makers such as Guille García-Hoz, Aitor Saraiba, Rubenimichi , and Luis Sánchez Parejo. More here: http://www.mecd.gob.es/mcerralbo/la-casa-museo/recorrido-salas.html

And the expo here: http://www.mecd.gob.es/msorolla/colecciones/colecciones-del-museo/ceramica.html

A bit of info on a nice area and the Cabrales cheese…in the heart of the Picos de Europa mountain range. the Council of Cabrales, is form of 19 towns and 2K people! and one of the most beautiful of the Principality of Asturias. Picos de Europa  are the 10 peaks most deep on Earth , one of them is the peak of  Trave (1.445 m).  One of the best walkers heaven route is the one known as the garganta del Río Cares, (the throat of the Cares river) between the towns of  Poncebos and Caín (province of León).  The traject is about 11kms between mountains of 2000 meters high over canyons, bridges and falls ;You can get more info on the walks here:  www.cabrales.org.  You see peaks such as the Torrecerredo (2.600 m),the roof of the mountain range of Cantabria, and the peak of Urriellu (or Naranjo de Bulnes), symbol of Spanish alpinism with a height of 2.500 m, the peak of  Pozo de la Oración (about 600 meters outside the Poo de Cabrales); peak of  Camarmeña, in the town of same name ; the lookout or mirador de Pedro Udaondo  in the town of Asiego,named after the alpinist , and the lookout or Mirador de Bulnes,in the town of Bulmes.You can climb on foot here and a cable car as well from Poncebos, price: 17,10 euros.  The rupestre quaint paintings of the cave or cueva de La Covaciella. Today its impossible to visit them but the interpretation center has a replica and a tactile screen showing its course at the Edificio Casa la Barcena, in Carreña de Cabrales; admission 1,50 euros.  The main street or Calzada romana of Caoro, in Arenas de Cabrales, shows the presence of  Romans in the area. In the same town you see the mansion houses from the 17C and 18C well preserved such as the  Casa Palacio de Los Mestas y Cosio (17C),  and the Church or iglesia de Santa María de Llas.  The medieval time stays in the many bridges crossing over rivers that irrigate Cabrales like the La Jaya (Poncebos), Pompedri (La Molina), and La Olla (en Berodia). The wonderfully spectacular caves of Cares at only 1km from the town of  Arenas de Cabrales. You can see the cured cheeses here admission 4,50 euros; more here:  www.fundacioncabrales.com)

There are today  28 queserías or cheese makers in Cabrales ,making one of the best blue cheeses of the world. The cheeses matured in 3 to 6 months in natural caves ,today only five remaining in the mountains with difficult access.  There is a guided visit of about 45 minutes in the cheesemaker home of Queseria Ganaderia Vega de Tordin La Eria, Arenas de Cabrales. You can see the entire process here from curing it, feeding it, and milking the cows to the worker, dry chamber, conservation and labeling zone. The tour ends with tasting: price 4 Euros , reservations at tel: +34  674 59 77 38. More here:  www.vegadetordin.com Also, at the Queseria Main Barrio la Heria, s/n, Sotres de Cabrales there are organized tours that include the cave of maturation , and tastings of two types of cheese, mermelades, and ciders price of 7,95 euros. Reservation at tel: +34 618 93 80 44; more info here : www.quesosdecabrales.es).

Moving right along the north and into the Basque country we reach Bilbao!

It has been already two decades Bilbao is synonymous with the museum Guggenheim. From its opening in October 18 1997 at the banks of the Nervión river, next to the bridge or puente de La Salve; the museum of modern art has been the principal pull to the city by tourists with more than 1Million visitors per year.  The installations are in  24.000 m2 of space and on the exterior are emblematic designs such as the giant sculpture of the spider Mamá , the enormous tulipans of polychrome steel and of course  Puppy, the flowery dog of 12 meters. The museum is celebrating its 20th year with a complete program of expositions and other activities like music, cinema, theater, dance, and gastronomy; admission 13€ for the 20th anniversary program. In addition, the titanic walls of the pinotheque will be projected with the film Reflections, a light and sound show running for a bit over quart of hour on the 20 years story of the emblematic building. There will be 7 showing each day and the access to the garden will be free (already past) . The best place to see the show will be from the streets of  Paseo de las Universidades, between the Puente de la Salve ,and Pasarela Pedro Arrupe. https://www.guggenheim.org/blogs/checklist/architects-critics-curators-and-museum-directors-reflect-on-twenty-years-of-the-guggenheim-museum-bilbao

However, there are other worthy museums and monuments to see in Bilbao or Bilbo. One of them is the Museo de Bellas Artes or fine arts museum located only about 5 minutes on foot from the Guggenheim.  With more than 100 years of history the pinotheque is considered one of the best and most complete in Spain! Items from the 13C to our days, and more than 10K objects of Basque arts antique, modern, and contemporary, work on paper, applied arts as well. The permanent collection can be visited free every day between 18h to 20h, and the temporary exposition have a reduced price on these hours. https://www.museobilbao.com/in/

Right in city center/downtown in the old town or Casco Viejo de Bilbao, there is a building from the 17C that was the college of St Andrew of the Company of Jesus and now have other cultural centers. Such as the Basque arqueological ethnographic and historical museum or Museo Arqueologico, Etnogràfico e Historico Vasco at  Plaza de Miguel de Unamuno, with a collection that includes the Biscayan arqueology and etnography of the Basque country from prehistory to the 18C. Amongst the exposition showing are arms from the civil war, Carlist wars, the Basques and the sea, the pastoral life, and domestic arts on ceramics, and textiles :admission 3€. more here! https://tourism.euskadi.eus/en/museums/basque-museum-basque-archaeological-ethnographic-and-historical-museum/aa30-12375/en/

Not too far about 600 meters you see the old convent of the Incarnation or Antiguo Convento de la Encarnación, founded in 1513, Today house the museum of sacred arts or Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro at the Plaza de la Encarnación, 9, with more than  2.000 works from sculptures and paintings related to religion , some dating to the 3C.  The pinotheque also has workshops and guided circuits thru the old town for 1,5 hours duration and 3€ admission. http://www.bilbaoturismo.net/BilbaoTurismo/en/otros-museos/diocesan-museum-of-sacred-art

Another stop a must is the marine museum or Museo Maritimo Ria de Bilbao where it was the shipbuildings of Astilleros Euskalduna, next to the palace by the same name.  In the interior parvis you see the old docks  , lifting equipment and a restored one the la Carola, several boats showing as well as metal work on boats.  Inside, the expositions shows the evolution of the Ria (estuary)and its history;admission 6€ .More here: http://www.museomaritimobilbao.eus/mmrb/web/paginas/index.asp?cod=30B0F148-9898-4775-AC34-6FA176BD059A&Reg=2FE5D2A4-B09C-4E16-ACD7-9FF0851B391D

The foundation or Fundación Siglo de Oro writes a page on the history of classical theater in Spain. The showing of  «El Rufiàn dichoso” OF Cervantes.  It is one of the most valued works and the only saintly comedy, written between 1605 and 1615 belonging to his last times with several hot subjects for the times, laughts, and aleogoric persons.. The work reaches its high point at the Teatro de Bellas Artes of Madrid. The story tells of the conversion of a men  Cristóbal de Lugo, belonging to the underworld of Sevilla and domestic servant of the inquisitor  Tello de Sandoval and his wife, María de Sandoval, that are at the same time his protectors. Showing until November 5 2017. More in Spanish here: http://www.teatrobellasartes.es/es/ex/1481/el-rufian-dichoso

The once resident of Mougins, south of  France , where the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso spent the last years of his life ,and where he died in 1973 was auction today and given to a New Zealand financial person name Rayo Withanage ,founder of the real estate firm of BMB for a bit more than 20M €.  The house was baptized as the Mas de Notre Dame de Vie, and the auction house of R365 the Dutch subsidiary of Christie”s took place in the tribunal of Grasse. The Spanish artist from Malaga purchased the house in 1961 and made it into a workshop where he worked and lived until his death. There lived too until taking her life in 1986, Jacqueline Roque ,his last wife. The daughter of Jacqueline Roque and engineer André Hutin inherited the house and sold it to the auction for 12M€. The residency home has 1700 square meters and surrounded by 3 hectares of land with views of Cannes, and the massif of Esterel. Three floors includes 32 rooms including 15 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms as well as tennis court, pool, spa and wine cellars. House description in pdf file here: https://storage.googleapis.com/s2media/files/5960f25635e93d3c99b67e93_b40c31736edea458a724c0cee3386e2e.pdf

And with the great one Picasso I finish my blog post for today. Enjoy it, as I do, Spain everything under the sun . Cheers

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October 17, 2017

Tour de France bicycle race is here again, 105th edition!!!

And we got the schedule for the great one, the Tour de France bicycle race in its 105th edition. This time it passes by my Bretagne/Brittany/Breizh in many stages.

Mark these days down, July 9-29 2018. Here are the stages/etapes dates, and length in km :

Date Etape Km
7 juil 1. Noirmoutier – Fontenay-le-Comte 189 km
8 juil 2. Mouilleron-Saint-Germain – La-Roche-sur-Yon 183 km
9 juil. 3. Cholet-Cholet (clm) 35 km
10 juil. 4. La Baule-Sarzeau 192 km
11 juil. 5. Lorient-Quimper 203 km
12 juil. 6. Brest – Mûr de Bretagne 181 km
13 juil. 7. Fougères-Chartres 231 km
14 juil. 8. Dreux-Amiens 181 km
15 juil. 9. Arras-Roubaix 154 km
16 juil. Annecy
17 juil. 10. Annecy – Le Grand-Bornand 159 km
18 juil. 11. Albertville – La Rosière 108 km
19 juil. 12. Bourg-Saint-Maurice – L’Alpe-D’Huez 175 km
20 juil. 13. Bourg-D’Oisans – Valence 169 km
21 juil. 14. Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux – Mende 187 km
22 juil. 15. Millau-Carcassonne 181 km
23 juil. Carcassonne .
24 juil. 16. Carcassonne – Bagnères-de-Luchon 218 km
25 juil. 17. Bagnères-de-Luchon – Saint-Lary-Soulan 65 km
26 juil. 18. Trie-sur-Baïse – Pau 172 km
27 juil. 19. Lourdes-Laruns 200 km
28 juil. 20. Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle – Espelette (clm) 31 km
29 juil. 21. Houilles – Paris 115 km

 

The first stage is from Noirmoutier island into Fontenay-le-Comte on 195 kms on nice terrain but skipping the passage du Gois under water on certains times a day and one of the best roads of the world.

By the 4th stage it will enter Brittany at Sarzeau in the Peninsula or presqu’île de Rhuys . It will continue here on stage 5 going along backroads from Lorient to Quimper. Moving into stage 6 going from Brest to Mûr de Bretagne! a hill of 2 kms on a 10% inclination point (taken with a car and already exciting to do I imagine with a bike will be super). July 13 will be stage 7 from Fougéres and leaving Bretagne into Chartres.

The famous July 14 National Day or Fête Nationale will be from Dreux to Amiens in Picardie. By stage 8. On July 18 o stage 11 will be passing Albertville , a town my wife worked before our marriage.  On stage 18 July 26 the race will arrive at Pau, a nice town for us. Many years ago we used to go here with my wife’s family to see the race passing by.

The last one on July 29 stage 21 will be from our beloved Yvelines dept 78 of the town of Houilles and into the Champs Elysées of Paris. Wonderful!!!

Follow the race officially here: http://www.letour.fr/en/news/2018/2018-tour-de-france-new-places-to-build

See the official map in picture and one of my oldies from 2015 passing by Saint Avé (see tour de france in my previous post in my blog) near my job near Vannes. Enjoy it , one of the traditions of France!

France Saint Ave

 

October 16, 2017

Some news from France CLXXII

This is another day in the saga, and due to Ophelia storm off the Irish coast we are having a different day here in Brittany. It was announced sunny and warm but it turn out grey humid cool and temps in the 15C or about 60F.  And this is time to tell you a bit of what is going on in my belle France.

In the 17éme arrondissement de Paris on the street or rue Mère-Teresa you will see soon a passarelle that will bring together the ZAC Clichy-Batignolles (parc Martin-Luther-King) to the new district of  Saussure-Pont-Cardinet. It will have 120 meters long and will be accessable to pedestrians, bicycles, buses and all vehicules with a speed maximum allow of 30 KPH or about 18 MPH. The bridge passarelle will be open by end of 2017. Métro Wagram, Rome, and the trains station Pont Cardinet take you here. 

There is a new concerts sports arena just behind the Grande Arche de La Défense (Hauts-de-Seine dept 92) business and shopping area. The U Arena able to sit 40K ,and just opening with the concert of the Rolling Stones this coming Thursday. It will be the home of the Racing 92 rugby team of the French first league or Top 14. Inside you will be like entering a big oven of 40 meters high with seats in the shape of U around the field. The stands are exchangeable and could go from 5K to 40K persons, will take 20 hours to change the venue from a stadium to a concert hall. It will have 28 kiosks for food /drinks and an innovative system to order. The beer glasses will be filled from the bottom by a hole in the bottom of the glass. It will be super connected with 4G and Wi-Fi for all and 15K simultaneous connections . On its four corners will have a huge screen of 1600 sq meters to receive the images on 44 video projectors with roof mapping as well as in the 7th levels of 11 totals inside a glass enclosure. More here in French: https://www.uarena.com/billetterie-evenements/concert/no-filter_e17

Something closer to my old neighborhood town , this is the beautiful Saint-Germain-en-Laye:

There is a gorgeous terrace with views over Paris of 2500 meters long just next to the castle that has been pressure clean for the first time in 100 years! The castle now houses the Musée d’Archéologie Nationale at Pl Charles de Gaulle. A magnificent piece of French history where Louis XIV was born in the old now gone castle and a very interesting museum of archeology from the area.  Museum here: http://musee-archeologienationale.fr/  

and castle here: http://www.saintgermainenlaye-tourisme.fr/en/exploring/castle-and-domaine-national

Another great place to be is the Théâtre Alexandre Dumas at Place André Malraux, jardin des Arts. Tel +33 (0) 1 30 87 07 07. More here: http://www.tad-saintgermainenlaye.fr/

You will do well to stop by an old favorite for meat cuts and take out food at the Boucherie Lepeltier, 58, rue de Paris. Tél. +33 (0) 1 34 51 01 60. https://www.yelp.com/biz/boucherie-lepeltier-saint-germain-en-laye

And you look up the mansion on the same street that belongs to Madame de Maintenon ,now there is a wonderful resto is even better at Le Buron du Vieil Abreuvoir, 3, rue du Vieil-Abreuvoir . Tél. +33 (0) 1 30 87 05 58.http://www.saintgermainenlaye-tourisme.fr/en/savour-city/restaurants/le-buron-du-vieil-abreuvoir-991123

To get good CD and DVD to rent out and watch inside the médiathèque  or Library Bibliothèque Multimedia at  9, rue Henri-IV is great and a very good selection. More here: http://mediatheques.saintgermainenlaye.fr/venir.aspx

Every Monday the jazz crowd heads for the animated shows of Lindy Hop at the Bal de la Marine. This is a peniche (boat) at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. They give lessons at the peniche Cercle de la Mer. This is a private club but with interested persons of the ocean you can go in as it is done for 40 years! The quintet of jazz players is call the Césarine & The Swing Cotton. Location le Bal de la Marine Port de Suffren just seeing the Eiffel tower above you .  Time! from 20h and initiation price 5€ a full course 15€. More here: http://www.cercledelamer.com/contacts-2/acces/

Some of the night entertainment of a city made for it are some of my favorites:

The French version of the Opera ,the most Parisian of Verdi, Don Carlos , Opéra Bastille, until November 11 at 18H. https://www.operadeparis.fr/saison-17-18/opera/don-carlos

And the Barber of Seville or Le Barbier de Seville, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, from December 5-16 2017 at 19h30; a must theater very nice indeed. http://www.theatrechampselysees.fr/saison/opera/opera-mis-en-scene/il-barbiere-di-siviglia

How about the work of Le Temps qui reste at the nice Théâtre de La Madeleine, 19 rue de Suréne until November 4th. https://www.theatre-madeleine.com/spectacle/piece/le-temps-qui-reste

At the Théâtre Edouard VII, 10 place Edouard VII, until November 14 admission 70€ worth it great show La Vraie Vie and beautiful theater not far from the Madeleine and grand department stores. More here: https://www.theatreedouard7.com/e_affiche_detail_spec.php?id_spectacle=61&rub=1

The Théâtre Le Ranelagh, 5 rue des Vignes (16éme) is showing until January 14 2018 the work of L’Avare. admission 35€. This is a nice seldom use theater but rather nice and a very nice area of my favorite Paris. http://www.theatre-ranelagh.com/fr/saison-2017-2018/l-avare

And not to be outdone, my beloved Versailles at the historically wonderful Théâtre Montansier, 13 rue des Réservoirs is showing the Le Médecin malgre lui .http://www.theatremontansier.com/evenement/le-medecin-malgre-lui-2/

Ok ok so I sneak one here,a real beautiful Brasserie with Parisian tradition of family from the Aveyron region is the Brasserie Flottes, 2 rue Cambon, (1eme) tel +33 (0) 1 42 60 80 89. Of course here any beef is glorious as well as the pig lacquer in honey: more here: http://flottes.fr/

It is England in all it’s finesse with a salon de thé and cakes that are to kill for. This is a library next to my old work place very English, this is WHSmith 248 rue de Rivoli (Ieme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 44 77 88 99. More here: https://whsmith.fr/

Right around the corner you can smell the perfumes at Boutique Fragonard, 207 rue Saint Honoré, Tél. +33 (0) 1 47 03 07 07.  https://www.fragonard.com/en/

And they have launch creations inspire on theatrical objects very original indeed, as well as funny. These are found in the Boutique de la Comédie Française 2 rue de Richelieu, tel +33 (0) 1 44 58 14 30. More here: https://boutique-comedie-francaise.fr/

And by Delamain, there is a friendly ambiance that allows you to discussed all your needs with the salespersons and they find all you need fast too. This is the library or Librairie Delamain, 155, rue Saint-Honoré (Ieme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 42 61 48 78. http://www.librairie-delamain.com/

And do not forget ever when in Paris, you must visit the Jardin des Tuileries, the first masterpiece of the grand gardener of France ,André Le Nôtre. Main entrance 113 rue de Rivoli facing rue Castiglione. More on it here: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71304/Jardin-des-Tuileries

At the wonderful Hôtel Nacional des Arts et Métiers, you find a wonderful restaurant inside. From the rue Réaumur  go into the patio of the Hôtel and find the restaurant in a typical Italian trattoria style , mamma mia this is good, and of course the hotel is nice too but not tried.  A great romantic meal in Paris, try it to believe, you will. More here: https://www.hotelnational.paris/fr/page/restaurants-national.13.html

Now, let’s check out the rest of France on some of my most memorable spots. This is FRANCE.

At Rouen  the 2 CV Tour gives you a half hour of fun and you can take it all in two hours with a convertible classic of French automobiles the 2CV horsepower. The 30 minutes ride takes you into the city center/downtown along the rue Jeanne-d’Arc ,rue du Gros-Horloge, place du Vieux-Marché… etc. The 2 hours ride is the total ride in the city center/downtown with a panorama of the Sainte-Catherine (the hill overlooking the city),  panorama Canteleu , and the Basilique Notre-Dame de Bonsecours up a very hilly road. Check it out at 2CV Tour from 29€ to 49€  Tél. 33 (0) 7 64 09 01 76. More here:  https://www.rouen-2cv-tour.com/home

We go to Chantilly , and discovered the  Pavillon de Manse. Here you find the  machine des Grandes Eaux built in 1678  to feed water to the fountains and basins of the gardens of Le Nôtre. The pumps, siphons, and tubes have been restored and the young is encourage to experiment the new. From Tuesdays to Sundays ,family visit animations for 3€ for the 3-15 and 7€ for adults.  More here in French: http://pavillondemanse.com/accueil/visites/visites-individuelles/

At not so much visited but a city full of history and heritage is Orleans . The first Biennale d’architecture (architecture biannual) , organize by the Frac Centre-Val de Loire. During more than 6 months the creation of 48 architects will be shown in about a dozen cultural and historical sites of the city and the region.  It will last until April 1st 2018. More here: http://www.frac-centre.fr/index.php?lang=2

The historical nice abbey or Abbaye de Royaumont, the biggest Cistercian monastery in the region of Île-de-France, and only 35 km from Paris.  This is very nice solemn peaceful and beautiful architecture and history. It is reopening after renovations from now; see it at Asniéres-sur-Oise, Tel +33 (0) 1 30 35 59 00. More here in French, English still been work on:  https://www.royaumont.com/en/home

Just north of Paris at Pierrefonds ,they are celebrating the 150 years of the Castle. There will be aan exposition in  Centre des monuments nationaux until Nov 20th putting together a series of photos and designs of the castle in 1867! In the heart of the forest of Pierrefonds ,the castle and its medieval looks are a figure of imagination and the history of royal France. More in French here: http://www.chateau-pierrefonds.fr/Actualites/Il-y-a-150-ans-premiere-ouverture-du-musee-au-public

Practical information in English on Pierrefonds here: http://www.chateau-pierrefonds.fr/en/Prepare-for-your-visit/PRACTICAL-INFORMATION

At modern yet old Le Havre we are having the 13e Transat Jacques Vabre. Top chrono for  Salvador de Bahia, Brazil on Sunday November 5 at 13h35.  However, since October 27th at 16h the festival starts off in the center town with a course village on the wharfs of the basin Paul-Vatine where the 41 sailing boats will be tied up such as Class40, Multi50, Imoca, Ultime..etc. Free admission until November 5th from 10h-20h and to 22h on Fridays and Saturdays. More here: https://www.transatjacquesvabre.org/en/

Then, stick around in nearby Dunkerque for Operation Dynamo , the program on the beach or plage de Malo-les-Bains, the site of the evacuation of the allied troops to England in WWII. You can cap it off at the  Musée Dunkerque 1940, house in a casemate bunker of Bastion 32, HQ of the defense of the fortified sector of Flandre (8€ admission)  . Later ,visit the exposition of  «L’envers du décor», consecrated to the turning of the film Dunkirk or Dunkerque. (free access until Nov 10th) More info at Tel +33 (0) 3 28 66 79 21. And here: http://www.dunkirk-tourism.com/What-to-see-do/Dunkirk-1940/Dunkirk-and-Operation-Dynamo

Going east to lovely Strasbourg to see the unique Château Musée Vodou house in an old water tower dating from 1878. It houses the biggest collection of private object having to do with the cult of Voodoo from West Africa in the world; more than a 1000 pieces collected by a true fan of the cult and Africa. Open Wednesdays to Sundays from 14h to 18h free until 14 yrs of age and then 14€ adults.  Tél. 33 (0) 3 88 36 15 03. More info here: http://www.chateau-vodou.com/fr/chateau-musee-vodou-strasbourg/

Moving in back to Paris we can stop at Epinal  and its museum of images or Musée de l’image, rich of one of the biggest collection in Europe with more than  100K printing on the course of the last 5 centuries from the  17C to our days.  Saints figures, images of Napoléon, the WWI and contemporary artists illustrations. Open Tuesdays to Sundays for just 1€ until 18 yrs old and 6€ adults. More in French here: http://www.museedelimage.fr/le-musee/le-musee-de-l-image/une-ville-des-images

Coming closer to our new home at Nantes, discovered the wonderful city museum of arts or Musée d’Arts de la Ville ;one of the best in the region. After a long period of renovation it is now open with a new building dedicated to contemporary arts ,a new restaurant ,and library bookstore. You can walk from the train station and admission is  8€. More in French here: https://museedartsdenantes.nantesmetropole.fr/home.html

You know there is a Louvre nord, north, yes it is at  Lens. There is a new exposition on the place of music in the old civilizations of the old West to Rome passing by Greece and Egypt. they will do reproduction of sounds from old instruments and the oldest song known in the world. Interesting see it at Louvre Lens until January 15 2018. More here:  http://www.louvrelens.fr/en/musique-et-sons-de-l-antiquite

Going up to the west a bit to where family is located, you come to Le Cateau Cambresis and the wonderful museum or Musée Matisse, showing now the painter and illustrator Alain Godon on the idea of the importance of the voyages of Henri Matisse from New York to Tahiti. An expo of popular colors with 150 works to see. From now until March 4 2018. More in French here: http://museematisse.lenord.fr/fr/Expositions/Godon/tabid/1075/Default.aspx

We move all the way south to Marseille and the Bonne Mère with the exposition of Jack London and his travels in the south seas between 1907 and 1909. It shows a mixture of audiovisuals, marine objects,and photos of the times many of which are on loan from the grand American and European museums. AT La Vieille Charité, 2 rue de la Charité, Marseille. tel +33 (0) 4 91 14 58 80. More in French here: https://vieille-charite-marseille.com/expositions/jack-london-dans-les-mers-du-sud

Back up closer to me at Chinon, in the fortress open every day there is an open space the Camp des Assailants (Attackers camp) showing an exposition on the technique of the middle ages wars; all at the foot of this castle one of the most known in the old kingdom of France. Many rooms traces the history in a museographic showing with multimedia borne in 3D, sound etc. All until November 13. More in English here: http://www.forteressechinon.fr/en/things-to-see-do/events/277-the-enemy-camp-October

How about going to Burgundy and the always wonderful Hospices de Beaune ready for its 157th edition organize for November 19 on a gastronomic weekend of organ, food and festival of wines. More of this a must extravaganza in your travel calendar here in English: https://www.beaune-tourism.com/discover/hospices-de-beaune-wine-auction

Leave you with a jewel of French castles in my wife’s region of Seine-et-Marne, Vaux-le-Vicomte, there is an exposition of film posters of those filmed in the castle from the Iron Mask to Moonraker, and Jean de La Fontaine amongst many such as here: http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=Ch%C3%A2teau%20de%20Vaux-le-Vicomte,%20Vaux-le-Vicomte,%20Seine-et-Marne,%20France&ref_=ttloc_loc_3

And the official program in English at the castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte here: http://www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/en/vaux-vicomte-at-the-movies/

What a way to end this post. Enjoy the bounties and beauty of my belle France. Until next time on the printing airwaves of my blog. Enjoy your week, Cheers.

 

 

 

 

October 11, 2017

Cap d’Ail, and a sneak at Monaco

And after the hectic travel day , time to tell you about my latest hunts in the south of France. This is the famous French Riviera, very chic and very much in the news lately. The road A8 is the famous traffic jammer road of France especially in Summer, lucky me took it now flawless with hardly any traffic.

I had a taste of Cap d’Ail just in the border with Monte Carlo, Monaco! The tourist office here : http://cap-dail.com/en/home/

I arrive by Avis rental car from the Nice-Côte d’Azur airport coming in on the A8, then M6007, and into city center and port Cap d’Ail. The ride was flawless into my hotel.

Ahh the Hotel was the venerable the Riviera Marriott Hotel La Porte de Monaco in the port de Cap d’Ail right by the harbor on avenue du port. Wonderful views over the harbor , and city including Monaco from my room in 5th floor. More on the hotel here: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mcmcd-riviera-marriott-hotel-la-porte-de-monaco/?removeBrowserLangPref=true

I had my underground garage parking with many fancy cars of great value for 25€ per day; a must as parking is very tight on a Cape location. My room was a king size room facing the harbor towards avenue du port. Glorious!!!

Once here I headed to get some foodie and drink, so stop by the Restaurant Le Cap that gives to the side of the hotel facing the harbor by the pool, and had my Riviera Club Sandwich ,huge and excellent for 20€ with a glass of Carlsberg beer.

A bit of relaxation around the harbor, walks of sizing the huge amount of money in the harbor yachts and beautiful apartments all around the hilly mountains around the harbor. An idyllic place for a honeymoon, romantic, couples, not really for a business meeting or tourism.

At night , I headed with some friends over to Monaco to find a place for dinner. We were recommended the Restaurant Amici Miei at the harbor of Fontvieille facing the cliffs and on top the Prince of Monaco’s castle; lovely.  This is an Italian restaurant cook by mamma herself and husband serves you with all the dishes explanation. The top is the son who is also a server comes to pick us up from the hotel and back, style chic this is after all Monaco.  The restaurant site is here: http://www.amici-miei.com/

And if you need more as their site is under construction, check my favorite place in my blog roll bottom of my front page here: https://www.thefork.com/restaurant/amici-miei/6830

Again, the place is very chic upscale and nice. The kind of place you can dream of retiring too lol! A bit slow pace for me, too up the ladder but worth a visit in my belle France. I left the hotel and came back to Nice airport (see previous post). The trip was nice and quicker until the airport……

Another adventure another needle in my map of France, and at least can say I was here! Enjoy the small introduction to Cap d’Ail, I saw a nice beach too, and lively city center so might be a repeat with the family God’s willing in the future.

Stay safe and enjoy your life’s giving they are precious; happy travels. Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

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October 10, 2017

When France is on strike ,the world shakes ::)

Indeed this is a national pastime , I am convince. Here in my belle France going on strike looks like a party a great event to be out ,and to tell each other of the mess we found in our days at work or travel. I have stories but they seem so natural and so routine that I seldom mentioned them. Now is time to tell at least one.

I had my trip to Cap d’Ail just in the border with Monaco for this past weekend and early week. It seems a natural simple trip until…..monsieur madame Gréve decided to intervene.

I took my usual leisure drive with my car on the N165 road to the airport at Nantes Atlantique, it was first block by a huge accident and long lines of jams , but luckily I left much early with plenty of time, even thus needed to rush to the gate at gate 42 to take my Easyjet flight to Nice Côte-d’Azur airport.

The flight was flawless even still complaint about the lack of food and paying for anything extra you want, not my kind of airline but……you know.  I arrive at the airport of Nice by 14h40 or 2:40 pm

I headed to the Avis car rental counter where I was ask to choose a car so decide to pick a Fiat big wagon, can’t even recall the model name lol!!! Once out of Terminal 2 to the Car Rental Center, was a bit difficult to find the spot J21 ,so needed to ask an attendant, fine. I had purchase a GPS package knowing all these corniches (very tight turns hilly roads ) here and not been back in a while. Finally, got into my car and put on the GPS to reach the closest final destination Port du Cap d’Ail.  Well , this is like a fortress to get out me think, and I do quite a bit of car rentals here (found out some of my collegues found it so as well reassuring not alone lol!). It took me two round trip tours inside the car park and ask an attendant again to finally get my car out of the car rental parking lot going thru security gates and ticket machines and al. Amazing control….!!

And I was on the road, the GPS worked very nicely ,indeed.  But it directed me to the expressway A8, really want to go all the way on the M6007 but already a bit tired of the turns and the desire to reach destination opted for the easy directions on the A8.  This is a toll road twice for a total of 3,90€ each way. The tolls station can take cash coins and credit/debit cards and you can ask for a receipt on a green or red button.

I reach my hotel on the spot, no problems at all. This was the Marriott but on that more on a later post to follow. There was underground parking ,nice for 25€ per day and the cars underneath were awesome !

Now the headache was on the way back fron Cap d’Ail. I left the hotel alright with my GPS but this time it took me into Monaco where the famous regular police check point ask me for my papers just routine and nice manners; we need these.

I already knew by email alert my flight on AF return by Orly then Nantes on October 10th was cancelled due to the air controllers strike on the day in addition to others. So rather than risk an extended strike, decided to change my flight to come back on the 9th October.  The drop off car rental was nice and got on my T2 terminal at Nice.

The flight was to leave at 17h30 and reach Orly terminal Ouest or west by 18h55. However, the flight was delayed on Air France and missed my connection at Orly West! Wow here began the fun. Missed flight and the strike starting officially the employees of the airline were busy and the people screaming for quicker service….me included lol!!!

All flights to Nantes were gone and there was no more schedule because it would fall after 22h and the strike was officially started.  Therefore, after much negotiations with the AF staff, they book me on a flight to Lorient; nearer me and know the airport if you can call that ….

Then, I said to them, wait my car is at the Nantes airport covered parking! and would reach Lorient by midnight (which did ). The employee of AF got to work again for me, (I am Sky team gold member); and told me there would be a taxi at Lorient waiting for me to take to Nantes about 1h43m away and AF will cover the bill!!! Wonderful. The fly was done on a ATR 42/72 two propellers airplane that serve as a taxi to get passengers out of Orly , one group landed like me at Lorient and the plane will take off again to drop another group in Quimper !!!

The cries of passengers to find connections was frenetic and loud , and the airline employees were doing their best to get them out before the strike, even losing money which indeed with me they did.  The gates were changing ,and some cancellation posted on the board, sure was to be many passengers stranded. I heard my colleague was robbed of their suitcase in city center/downtown Nice!! and other colleagues were attack by knife and hospitalize while doing some tourism in Marseille. Just to top it all off for the day.

Me at Lorient a bit past 10pm or 22h the taxi was waiting for me. The guy was a nice talkative type and we had a great trip, it was saying talking the trip goes faster ,indeed. We discussed the world and try to fix it hehehe!!! and figure out he likes Spain and scuba diving but it’s more into rugby then football/soccer…oh well .I reach the covered parking at Nantes airport by midnight.

My car was waiting for me to take me home. The ride out was fine and the road was empty, arriving home a bit past 2am or 02h00. At least, I made it back very tired but glad to be home and now can watch the news on the strike; even the nurses are on strike not enough paid and support  see life is a routine here. The teachers too, not enough staff, we seems to have a bunch of complainers not realizing why 85 millions people come to us to indulge themselves of our way of life !

The good thing it is my last trip by airplane of the year and my time will be taken with the family and taking care of my wife illness; we go to Rennes to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Enjoy your week and keep safe in the airwaves! Cheers

Cap d'Ail Cap d'Ail Cap d'Ail Cap d'Ail Lorient Nantes  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice  Nice Orly Orly

 

 

 

October 7, 2017

My travels in the Morbihan ,XXXVII

Well here is another Saturday and I am at home, the early morning was cold already at 6C then went up to 18C and a bit more sunny. no rain, and nice ride into Vannes to get a few things done before my next trip.

The good thing is that my wife accompany us even if she is beginning to be tired of her sickness which we are going for a second opinion October 11 in Rennes.

As of now we continue in our lives as usual and today we went to get my car a new windshield glass at Norauto ,and then over to Leclerc hypermarket for some groceries, lunch at Flunch cafeterias and visit the wine fair at the hypermarket in a big tent house outside.

Now we are back at home waiting for the big match tonight between Bulgaria and France qualifying game for the Russia World Cup 2018. OF course, live on TV at 20h45 or 8:45 pm. French time

This is part of often routine in out belle France, and my effort to show how we live everyday far from the glamour of the big names ticket fashion of France. Every day working people are very similar all over the world, you don’t have to believe we drink Mouton-Rothschild every day, wear Christian Dior, perfums by YSL, and Michelin 3 star restaurants for dinners lol!!! Nothing of that is the norm here. We do appreciate the tourists who come searching for them ::)

My favorite car repairs maintenance center here is Norauto, the one in Vannes I am client since they open in 2011, I a founding client!!! Here is the link if ever in the area and need a good mechanic: https://centres.norauto.fr/centre/vannes/271

To have groceries is great here, we have hypermarkets and they are all house in a shopping center with many other stores and free parking as well as restaurants; the one we like is Carrefour and most often is E Leclerc at ZC Parc Lann activity business center. This is a huge all inclusive grocery store with the opportunity to buy a lot more than groceries; well practically everything. Here is their location if in the area for shopping! http://www.e-leclerc.com/vanes

We could not walk much with my wife so we had lunch right inside the E Leclerc center while waiting for my car to be done nearby. The chain Flunch (or anglo lingo Family Lunch) is nice at reasonable quality and good prices.  If with a large family, want to eat like any other French family this is your place, more here: http://restaurant.flunch.fr/vannes/flunch-vannes/

While at it, we were in the wine fair of E Leclerc, this is a couple times a year for summer and winter on all supermarkets and wine shops in France, always a big event. You have a great selection of wines from all the regions of France as well as accessories and good advise on hand. We like to come for ideas and some shopping, even if prefer to buy direct from the producers on my travels or Nicolas if not. Hit the bottle sign and go into a book style spread on the wines; here is the webpage: http://www.e-leclerc.com/vannes/promotions/prospectus?OuvrirPaf=1&idPAF=17G034G

And now nice relax ready for the game with some wines from our two loves, France and Spain. Calzadilla syrah allegro 2009 from Huete, Castilla La Mancha and Vouvray moelleux 2014 white for the sweets ::) Bulgaria vs France read all about it here and watch ,we win we should secure first place in the group and advance (oh yes Spain already qualified). More here: http://www.espnfc.com/preview?gameId=431664

Enjoy your weekend wherever you may be or going, and keep your life happy. I will be reporting next weekend from the south of France. Cheers!

 Vannes  Vannes  Vannes  Vannes  Vannes

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October 5, 2017

How to ,from and back the airports of the Paris region.

Ok I am on my mood to show you how to get around the airports of the Paris region, CDG Val d’Oise dept 95) , Orly( Val du Marne dept 94)  and Beauvais (Oise region dept 60). I have use them all over the years and lately a lot CDG but this weekend will go back to Orly ::)

I start off the links to them here:

CDG http://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/access/paris-charles-de-gaulle

Orly http://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/access/paris-orly

Beauvais https://www.aeroportparisbeauvais.com/en/passengers/

I will star with CDG Terminal 1. Yes there is one, indeed.  It has post office, and currency exchange bureaus as well as lost items office. Children’s areas by the CDGVal hall 5 departure gates 2 and 17. At the same level there is a pharmacy. Game Arcade at departure gates 1 ,3, 4,5,7. As far as restaurants you have in the public zone McDonald’s Naked, and Paul ; and under security area Alto Café in satellite 2, Brioche Dorée in satellite 1, 4,5,6, Café Eiffel nad Pradier.  You can rent cars such as Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Enterprise Citer, and Sixt.

Moving on to the busy Terminal 2 where I go by the most. I will broke it down into satellites A,B,and C and satellites E,F,and G.

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 Dorée, Espressamente 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.

And there is a Terminal 3 sometimes used; the police is base here, as well ATM cash distribution machines in public area, currency exchange, internet kiosks, plastic wrapping luggage in departure hall and children’s spaces with video games airside. Restaurants are in public area Brioche Dorée, and by security Alto Café.

Inside the CDG airport complex in addition to walking you can take the CDGVAL airport shuttle monorail train. This goes constantly between Terminal 1 passing by Parking R (here there is a Mercure hotel) , Terminal 3 (here 5 min walking to roissypole hotels and line buses including RER B)  , Parking X, and Terminal 2 (here you connect with the TGV RER B and hotels). The service is open 7/7 days from 04h00 (4am) to 01h00 (1am), and by bus from 1am to 4am. Trips take about 8 min so they say , never time it. More here: http://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/access/paris-charles-de-gaulle/public-transport/cdgval

Also, there is a navette shuttle bus the N2 operating from 5h30 to 23h going around all the terminals  but in T2E only between 21h30 to 23h. This is a free service, more here: http://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/access/paris-charles-de-gaulle/inter-terminal-shuttles

You can get to the airport by car of course, no problems at all Porte de la Chapelle on the A1 or the A3 by the Porte de Bagnolet, then A1 keep on right lane.  More on parkings here: http://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/parking/paris-charles-de-gaulle

However, must visitors come and go by public transports. there is the Bus Direct line 2 goes from CDG to Porte Maillot, Trocadéro, Tour Eiffel; and line 4 goes to Gare de Lyon, and Gare Montparnasse.  There is line 3 takes you from CDG to Orly airports ,stops at CDG in T1 arrivals gate 32, T2A-C gate C10, T2B-D gate D14, and T2E-F gate E8. The stops at the airport are at T1 arrivals gate 32, 2A-2C gate C10, 2B-2D gate D14, and 2E-2F gate E8 or F9.  Trips take about 40-60 minutes and cost 17€ with R/T 30€, more here: http://www.lebusdirect.com/en/

Then, you have the ever popular RER B,not my favorite and passing thru some of the worse areas in the Paris region. Trains go every 12 minutes again never time it, and takes ,about 30 minutes to Châtelet-Les-Halles from 4h56 to 23h40 stopping at T1,T2 TGV station and then CDGVAL to terminals and it goes to Paris from T3 and T2 take the RER Band from T1 take the CDGVAL shuttle to T3 Roissypole station.  More here: http://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/access/paris-charles-de-gaulle/public-transport/rer-b

The wonderful Roissybus is great, leaves from all terminals to the angle of rue Scribe and rue Auber behind the Opéra Garnier every 20 minutes and takes about 50 minutes ride. The return goes to CDG T1 exit 32 arrival level, CDG 2A-2C between exits 8 and 9, from CDG 2D exit D11, and from CDG 2E-2F , from T3 arrival hall running from 6h to 23h. cost is 12.50€ more here: http://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/access/paris-charles-de-gaulle/public-transport/roissybus

At T3 RER B station or T2 Gare TGV train you can go on the RER B to Antony, then Orlyval to Orly every 3-8 minutes from 6h to 23h.  More here: https://www.orlyval.com/en

There is a direct TGV service to CDG which taken often, this arrives at T2 TGV station between E and F. More here: http://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/access/paris-charles-de-gaulle/public-transport/train

There is a night service call Noctilien between Paris and CDG 00h30 to 5h30, two lines N140 and N143, there are five points in Paris for correspondence such as Châtelet, Gare de Lyon, Gare Montparnasse, Gare de l’Est/Nord, and Gare Saint Lazare. To CDG T1 gate 12, CDG T2F gate 2, and CDG T3 bus terminal at Roissypôle. More here: http://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/access/paris-charles-de-gaulle/public-transport/bus-ratp-noctilien

Taxis of course, another dandy here are the Les Taxis Bleus, Taxi G7, then the new ones Alpha Taxis and Taxis 7000. My favorites are the taxi bleus ,more here: https://taxis-bleus.com/fr/

Let’s go over Orly the south Paris airport.  Here you have two terminal West and South or Ouest et Sud.

The terminal west or ouest has urgent medical care by Gate B arrivals around the clock. Vaccination center from Mondays to Saturdays 8h-12h and 14h-19h Sundays from 8h to 19h in urgencies with an added fee. Lost items space on arrivals facing elevators:lifts A100 from 7h to 16h. You have courtesy telephone booths at level 0, information desk at level 1 departures gate A, level 0 arrivals gate B. Tourist desks are at level 0 arrivals gate A and assistance to person with specific needs at welcome center level 1 departure gate A. Family areas in public area departure level, video games arcade in rooms 10,20,31, and 40 Sony PS3. Luggage weights balance in Hall 1,2,and 3. Internet kiosks entrance to halls 2 and 3-4; post office arrivals gate A M-F 8h to 18h30 Sat 8h to 12h30. Banking HSBC arrivals gate A 8h30 to 19h15,ATM cash distribution machines at arrivals gate A, departures leaving the CDGVAL train and at gate G. Plastic wrapping luggage at Hall 1 departures and prayer room at level 0, business center at Hall 2. Pharmacy at departure level, and restaurants such as in public zones central hall, Café Pouchkine, Caviar House & Prunier Seafood bar, ladurée, Monop’daily, Carrefour city (arrivals) and Red d’Hippo. At Hall 1 you have Starbucks, Boco in departures , and Hall 2 Ladurée , Paul by gate B at departures, and Hall 3 Paul at departures gate G. Under security areas you have Hall 1 Exki gate 10, Hall 2 Exki gate 20, ,and Brioche Dorée, Hall 3 Kayser Relay, gate 31 and Hall 4 Eric Kayser, Ladurée by gate 40. Car rental available are Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Enterprise Citer, and Sixt by exit A; you can even rent motorbikes.

You have connection between terminal Ouest and Sud on Orlyval every 4-8 minutes at Orly Ouest get it at Gate A departures and Orly Sud at Gate K pedestrian walking area and Orly Ouest at Gate 1 level Arrivals. As well there are navette bus between the parkings and the terminals; more here: http://www.parisaeroport.fr/passagers/acces/paris-orly/navettes-inter-terminaux

Moving on to Terminal Sud or South, you have here medical service by stairs S3 lower level M-F 8h to 17h. Assistance of persons with needs, lower level Gate B, ¨Pharmacy level 1 public area; children’s area public entrance with playstation games in halls A and B, smoking section in hall A and B; information kiosks in public area departure and arrivals, tourist information lower level near gate L; internet kiosk in central area hall A and B. RATP Paris transport desk by gate K, ATM cash distributors in public area lower level by gate A and near gate C, duty free shopping area level 1 hall A and Hall B gate 20 international baggage area. Currency exchange at lower level towards gate C and Hall A. Prayer room on chapel in level 2, mosque and synagogue at level -1. Interfaith office at level -1, plastic wrapping luggage station at level 0 gates B and C; business center in Hall B. Restaurants in public area are level 0 Brioche Dorée, departures and arrivals, Paul at gate B and Starbucks. Level 1 you have Cup, McDonald’s, Paul,and Zumo. Level 4 conference center, terrace with views on the airplanes.  ¨Past security areas you have at level 1 hall A, Bert’s, Kayser relay, Paul and on Hall B, Exki, Illy, and Kayser Relay.

You can get to Orly by car of course, the road A6 by the porte d’Orléans A6a or by the porte de Gentilly A6b than the A106 until Orly airport.  All well posted. Coming from Orly to Paris you can take the Porte d’Orléans ,A6a or Porte d’Italie A6b. Parkings are at P4 or P7 for both terminals. Direct access to airport at parking P0 and P2 for Orly Ouest and parkings P1,P3, and P6 for Orly Sud. More here: http://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/parking/paris-orly

You can, also, take the Direct Bus here on the line 1 going from places in Paris such as Gare Montparnasse,Tour Eiffel, Trocadéro, and Place de l’Etoile to Orly. The bus stop at T Ouest exit D arrivals, Sud exit L arrivals, takes about 30-40 minutes one way 12€ Roundtrip 20€. More here: http://www.lebusdirect.com/en/

There is the combination RER B and Orlyval with transfer at Antony for both terminals. You get the Orlyval at terminal Sud exit K. Orly Ouest at exit A departures.one train every 4-8 minutes doing it from 6h to 23h. The traject takes about 25 minutes to Châtelet-Les-Halles.

There is a navette bus service between both terminals At Sud is at Gate H and at Ouest is at gate D and it goes to all the parkings too.

There is ,also, the RER C then navette Go C Paris shuttle. To Paris you go from Pont de Rungis the RER C station is at exit G bay 6 at Orly Sud and arrivals level bay B exit H at Orly Ouest.  Departures every 15-30 minutes from 4h34 to 12h56 or 4:34 am to 12h56 am the trip takes about 35 to 50  minutes from Paris Gare d’Austerlitz. More here: http://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/access/paris-orly/public-transport/rer-c

The Orlybus from Place Denfert-Rochereau in front of the RER station there, every 15-20 minutes from 5h35 to 23h05 takes about 30 minutes ride. The return is done from Orly Sud exit G quai 3, and Orly Ouest arrival level gate D, quai B from 6h to 23h30. More here: http://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/access/paris-orly/public-transport/orlybus

Now there is the tramway the T7 depart from metro station Villejuif Louis Aragon/RER C station La Fraternelle. It arrives at Orly station takes about 35 minutes and it’s open from 5h30 to 12h30 or 5:30 am to 12h30 am.

Taxis are available such as Alpha Taxis, Taxis Bleus, Taxis G7, and Taxis 7000. Again your choice, I used the Taxis Bleus and they are enough for me. More on the Bleus here: https://taxis-bleus.com/fr/

You can go from Orly to CDG by Le Bus Direct line 3 stop at Ouest at exit D, and Sud exit L takes about 1h10-20 cost 21€ one way or 36€ roundtrip.  You can ,also, take the OrlyVal then RER B to CDG T1 or T2 TGV terminal. You take the Orlyval to Antony and there take the RER B to CDG airport.

The airport at Tille Beauvais is simply low cost airlines like Ryanair. There is a direct bus whether you have ticket or not from the airport to the parking Pershing on the side of the Porte Maillot in Paris. The trip takes about 1h15 but it is really dependant on the traffic especially on the A1. The connection in English are here: https://www.aeroportparisbeauvais.com/en/acces-et-transports/navettes/?tx_find_find%5Bpage%5D=2&cHash=a0212aeeaaf8cae57ef6ffa8b420e32e

You can go by car but unless you have been in the area before driving I would not tell you to do it. Basically you have to leave Paris on the A14 past Paris and into La Defénse area in Neuilly-sur-Seine , take the A86  direction Colombes/Cergy-Pontoise, and hook up with the A15 to go direction Épinay-sur-Seine/Cergy-Pontoise/Gennevilliers-Village/Argenteuil-Orgemont; take exit A115 direction  Calais/Amiens/Beauvais/Ermont/Franconville-Centre/A16; take slightly left and join the road N184 direction  A16/Calais/Amiens/Beauvais/Aéroport Charles de Gaulle continue on the N184, follow panels for the  A16/Amiens/Beauvais/L’Isle-Adam/Presles N184 go turning slightly right and the road becomes the A16 stay and get off at exit 15 direction Beauvais-Nord/Aéroport Beauvais-Tillé/Clermont. Follow the panels still a bit more until you reach the airport….

Car rentals are better explained here: https://www.aeroportparisbeauvais.com/en/acces-et-transports/location-voitures/

Taxi from Paris is very expensive but if you can get to the train station in Beauvais the ride is about 15€ daytime and 20€ nighttime. To Paris the station is at the Gare du Nord; the Gare de Beauvais train station here: https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frbva/beauvais/transports-horaires

Local bus network Corolis let you go and see the city of Beauvais on line 6 especially nice. More here in French: http://www.corolis.fr/se-deplacer

There you have it  , is a long list and it looks difficult but it’s actually easy. Really!!! Anyway if you have any questions let me know and gladly will help you. Cheers and enjoy the trip!!  I will be near Monaco this weekend ::)

 

 

 

 

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