July 23, 2017

Plougastel Daoulas memories again in the Finistére breton

Well running around with a friend , took her to see this town and when realize again in my surprise, the last time wrote on it was in July 2012!! Even when my sons celebrated birthdays here!!!

The town is Plougastel-Daoulas , the center of Strawberry in Brittany! You can see a museum on it. The beautiful Calvary and the nice Church of Saint Pierre (St Peter).

I am not going to go long on this one as have several posts on the town. You can search for it in my blog.

Needless , to say, the Calvary is one of the better ones in Brittany.  It was built between 1602 and 1604 as an offering for saving the town from the plague of 1598.

The story of the restoration is a nice one me think.  On August 23, 1944 American bombs as they move their army from Brest partially destroyed the calvary with several statues completely destroyed. Here comes an American officer , John D. Skilton,  who was a conservator of a museum in Washington while a civilian and was present in Plougastel-Daoulas  at the moment of the bombardment. He heroically saved several of the statues and stone and created back in the USA, the Plougastel Calvary Restoration Fund Inc , with the goal of raising funds to restore the Calvary. This was done !

You can see the position of the Saints and Angels as well as Christ on the three pictures describing the Calvary joined here.

See ,also, the monument to the fallen on the Church and Calvary property dedicated to the fallen in previous wars of France.

The Church Saint Pierre;(St Peter) , the Church was built in 1870 but damaged with the bombings of August 1944. It was restored by 1950. The Church has a nice rosary dating from 1654-1656 and an altar on top of a entombment of Christ from the 16C.

Info on tourism in French here: http://www.mairie-plougastel.fr/tourisme/decouvrir/patrimoine/architecture/

Tourism on the region of Brittany and this town in English: http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-our-destinations/brest-terres-oceanes/unmissable-sites/presqu-ile-de-plougastel-and-daoulas-abbey

Enjoy the ride into the Finistére, always fascinating at the end of the  World ::) Cheers

Plougastel Daoulas Plougastel Daoulas Plougastel Daoulas Plougastel Daoulas Plougastel Daoulas Plougastel Daoulas Plougastel Daoulas



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July 23, 2017

Historical Auray, a lot more than a harbor Saint Goustan

I just checked my blog, the last time wrote on Auray was in December 2015!!! Unbelievable if you notice that I live just 11 km from the town and my train station is there lol! It goes to show you the choices we have in our beautiful Brittany and especially the Morbihan Breton!

Auray is Saint Goustan and a lot more up hill in the haute ville.  The tourist office is here: http://www.auray-tourism.com/

And the region of Brittany in English is here: http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-our-destinations/southern-brittany-morbihan-gulf/unmissable-sites/saint-goustan

We love to go by the place Notre Dame because that is where the town’s main Church Saint Gildas is located.  Even thus, they claim it is the place Gabriel Deshayes. An imposing building as all these old Churches.

The Church of Saint Gildas is given this name due to a priory of the 12C that depended from the Benedictine Abbey of the peninsula or presqu’île de Rhuys. Worked began in 1623 and were not finished until 1663.  The bell tower is square of three levels and was finished in 1701. It has two porches of Baroque and Renaissance style and in the interior there is a statue of Christ from the 16C. The nice marble altar in the Levallois style dates from the 17C. The organ is a Waltrin dating from 1761.

All around this area you will find plenty of shops and restos to please everyone. There is also the city hall or Hôtel de Ville nearby. Then ,you go to the Baisse Ville or lower town. This is Saint Goustan.

At Saint Goustan, a very steeply area by the river Loc’h (confluent of the Auray), you can get on the little train or petit train in the Place Saint Sauveur. Here along the Quai Franklin you can see the sleeping house when Benjamin Franklin entered France in 1776 to seek support of France against England possible re invasion and he got it from King Louis XVI in Versailles.

On this harbor today, you can set sail by cruise up the river Auray or into the islands in the Gulf of Morbihan with the Navix boat company. http://www.navix.fr/ports-de-depart/

You will see the still in renovation Chapelle de Notre Dame de Lourdes dates from 1878.  You get to see the Church Saint Sauveur, very nice condition and overlooking the high hill of Saint Goustan. The Church is on rue Saint-Sauveur, dates from 1469.  You can still see the lower gate entrance from this time, as the rest was lost on fire in 1886 then rebuilt. Plenty of wooden sculptures such as the pulpit or throne of Saint Goustan, and the choir enclosure done in 1929.

I believe I have mentioned this before but here it goes again; who was Saint Goustan? The district bears his name now, the patron Saint of the fisherman and marines. He was born in 974 in Cornouailles and raised by pirates at 18 yrs old, wounded he was left abandon in the island or île d’Houat  (in the Gulf of Morbihan) where he lived by providence that provided him with fish (so he is represented by a fish) and the care of Saint Félix, that will convert him to Christianism.  He became a monk in 1025 and founded a priory on the island or ’île de Hoëdic (Gulf of Morbihan). He now rests with his brother monks in the abbey of Saint-Gildas de Rhuys (Presqu’île de Rhuys).

More in French from the city of Auray here: http://www.auray.fr/auray/architecture/saint-goustan/

A whole new (or old) world at your fingertips with wonderful restaurants/bars, one of our favorite areas in the Region of Brittany! I guess we come so often we do not write all the time ::)

Not only Benjamin Franklin has a plaque, and wharf name after him but also a bar, resto, and the auberge with a plaque. We remember Benji a lot!!! However, here ,also set sail for Acadia (Canada) “Razilly’s expedition of three ships, holding 300 men, perhaps a dozen or so women, and supplies aplenty, all financed by his own trading company, departed Auray in early July 1632 and arrived at La Hève three months later.  He left most of the men and supplies at La Hève(Nova Scotia), until then just another fishing station on the Atlantic shore of Acadia but now his new headquarters, and hurried to Port-Royal( today Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia )to take possession of the old post from the surviving Scots, who he returned to Britain via France.  After 18 years of neglect and English interference, French suzerainty in greater Acadia finally was restored. “As per Wikipedia.

Ok so welcome to Auray, you will find it plenty of history, quaint, magical and seafaring strong. Enjoy your Sunday,cheers.

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July 22, 2017

Vannes , the market , the Cathedral and more!!!

Once again by Vannes, my backyard town and work city. I was walking around with a visitor from US staying with us and of course we needed to visit some repeat locations but always wonderful to be in Vannes ::)

We walked by the ramparts and visit the tour connetable or constable tower as well as the laundry or lavoirs passing by the Porte or gate of Saint Vincent.  We went up to see the place Valencia and the house where Saint Vincent lived as well as the Two women faces of Vannes or Vannes et ces femmes in what is now the villa Valencia restaurant. All while passing the Cohue fine arts museum and chateau Gaillard archeological museum. Passing by Place Henri IV was great again with all its wooden houses always a pleasure to see. They go back to the 14C thru the 17C. Of course, we did see the Chateau de l’Hermine off the garden of the Garenne and back now doing expositions.  The imposing sparkling clean building housing the Burton store is very nice to see the contrast with the older architecture surrounding it.

Of course ,not to missed the Le Port or harbor area and all the shops and restos;bars around there and up rue Saint Vincent into rue du lait and the place du poids public and place des Lices.

The imposing great Cathedral St Peter or Cathédrale Saint Pierre safekeeping the tomb of Saint Vincent (Vicente Ferrer of Valencia , Spain), who evangelized this area in the early 1400’s. The official site is here in French: http://cathedrale-vannes.cef.fr/index.php/patrimoine/la-cathedrale

From the city page in French you have more info than in English of course: http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/histoire-et-patrimoine/qr-patrimoine/cathedrale-saint-pierre-en-detail/

In the Cathedral , you has to see the chapel of baptisms, holy sacrament, the tomb of Saint Vincent, mea beata Virgin Mary chapel, the wonderful organ that host many concerts next July 26th.  The many beautiful chapels along its length inside including that of Sainte Anne, patron Saint of the Brittany and who is celebrating the major pardon procession July 25-26 in Sainte Anne d’Auray (see previous post in my blog).

Another reason to come to Vannes is it’s wonderful market on Saturday morning especially. You have the outdoor flea market going on all the way into place des lices and then the food market all around place du poids public and into rue le Hellec. Not the least the Halles aux Poissons of fish market and the many shops bordering this huge space of merry go around goodies, the best reason to live here!!!

Did I tell you I love Vannes? YES; and many posts to prove it, just do search and see them all. Plenty of information to make this your one stop Brittany visit. Kenavo!!

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


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July 21, 2017

A return to Sainte Anne d’Auray,and Sainte Anne!

Hello,again is me ::) I have not written on this religious town since 2014 even if it is just 20 minutes from my house. However, on July 25-26 it will be the pardon holy day of the Saint in the town, and we passed by it for just an opener. More on the pardon here: http://www.sainteanne-sanctuaire.com/?mode=grand_pardon

I am talking about Sainte Anne d’Auray and the Basilica of Sainte Anne; the patron Saint of Brittany. According to the Bible, the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus.  The official page is here in English: http://www.sainteanne-sanctuaire.com/?langue=en

The Auray area tourist office in French: http://www.auray-tourisme.com/home/nos-villes-et-villages/sainte-anne-d-auray.aspx

I would not go into more details as I have written on the story and history of this high religious stop in the Morbihan Breton on several occasions. Suffixes to say it is a wonderful complex of the Basilica of Sainte Anne, to the statues of her all over the park, the mausoleum to the dead for Brittany in the wars, to the area where Pope John Paul II visited in 1996.

The importance of the statue monument to the Count of Chambord is here as well; very well mentioned in the history of France. The monument has four faces, including the two Saints of France and Paris, Sainte Jeanne d’Arc in the front , and  Sainte Geneviève behind, as well as two great heroes of France ; Bayard on the left and  Du Guesclin on the right, all standing on foot.  On top of the statue you will see a golden crown on his right, representing the monarchy of France.  It is here where the prayers were said  on the apparitions in August 1623 to March 1625 and 1628 ,when  Anne d’Autriche (Austria) ask to make  Sainte-Anne public prayers and daily to have a descendant of the crown to the throne.  It became a tradition thereafter by the house of France or  Maison de France  to ask of Sainte Anne the birth of future princes of France.  More here on official Chambord page in French: http://www.comtedechambord.fr/homme/memorial/

You will see the stairs or Holy Stairs. This monument was built in 1662 by the Carmelite Fathers. Currently located in the area of ​​the spine, the Scala Sancta was until 1870 the front porch of the Basilica and thus defining the place reserved for prayer. You can read more in the official page given above on the Basilica.

On the same webpage you will find info on the monument plaque to Pope John Paul II visit in September 26 1996. It is made exactly 16,129 blocks offered by the pilgrims. It is surrounded by 12 granite columns, recalling that these are the twelve bishops of the twelve dioceses of the ecclesiastical region of western France who invited the Pope to come to this region: Angers, Bayeux, Coutances, Laval, Le Mans, Luzon, Nantes, Quimper, Rennes, St. Brieuc, Sees, Vannes. There is figure stele bearing the image of John Paul II.

You see the baptismal fountain or fontaine, the place of the first prayer and statue of Sainte Anne right coming straight to the Basilica. More in the webpage of the Basilica, a primer here: By choosing the fountain as a place of its first appearance, St. Anne reminds us of the importance of source water, but above the water of baptism: as water is essential to our lives, baptism is essential to grow in faith. The water of baptism makes us children of God and St. Anne, by appearing at the fountain, invites us to return to our baptismal promises.

More on the webpage above and on this wonderful site here: The Basilica dedicated to Saint Anne is the heart of the sanctuary. It replaced, in the late 19C, in 1872, the first chapel built by Yves Nicolazic chapel became too small to accommodate the crowd of pilgrims.  It was built in the same field of Bocenno which was found the original statue of St. Anne by Yves Nicolazic.  Neo-Gothic combines the grace of the Renaissance, model houses the tombs of Yves Nicolazic (1591-1645), the man who saw St. Anne and Pierre de Keriolet the penitent (1602-1660).  A bas-relief on a pillar of the choir, right, points out the spot where Yves Nicolazic and its neighbors, discovered the statue of Saint Anne March 7, 1625.

In the photos you will see a Chapel dedicated to Sainte Anne (St Anne) and another one to Sainte Marie (St Mary). The beautiful organ is spiral right against the left side wall of the altar.  And the stained glass is wonderful vivid and bright well done and tells the story well.

Again, a day is needed to see this wonderful spot and very worth the detour for those traveling along the N24 or N165.  Enjoy the photos and have a great weekend. Cheers

Sainte Anne d'Auray Sainte Anne d'Auray Sainte Anne d'Auray Sainte Anne d'Auray Sainte Anne d'Auray Sainte Anne d'Auray Sainte Anne d'Auray Sainte Anne d'Auray Sainte Anne d'Auray Sainte Anne d'Auray Sainte Anne d'Auray Sainte Anne d'Auray Sainte Anne d'Auray Sainte Anne d'Auray Sainte Anne d'Auray Sainte Anne d'Auray Sainte Anne d'Auray Sainte Anne d'Auray



July 21, 2017

The best of the beach Carnac and Quiberon!

Ok so today was windy , cloudy, and a bit of rain with cool temps but anyway there is always a good time to go out in Brittany. As we said, when there is a will , there is a way. So we headed for our favorite beach towns with a visiting friend.

It’s amazing to read that I have not written on Carnac since June 2015 in my blog yet it is a wonderful beach about 30 minutes from my house and an Unesco World Heritage Site on the megalith stones!!!

The tourist office in English for Carnac is here: http://www.carnactourism.co.uk/

We took a ride by La Trinité sur Mer, Plouharnel, and then headed for Carnac arriving in city center doing some walks checking the high prices on the shops and then headed for a the Grande Plage or big beach here. Of course ,nobody on the water , too cold and windy , just the thrill of been on a nice flat sandy beach.  A view of the grande plage in French here: http://www.carnactourism.co.uk/node/454

We went by our favorite places such as Memestra brasserie facing the grande plage and the Fisher’s Club right on the sand, both wonderful to spend a day there! Ther webpages to follow:



Then, we moved on to Quiberon, our favorite spot on a peninsula. We did came back thru the Côte Sauvage or wild coast, both previously written on it.

We cam straight to our favorite water hole here L’Esplanade Café on the place Hoche facing the Grande Plage or big beach here. You have plenty to choose from all around as well as a wonderful promenade boulevard facing the beach and plenty of goodies. You, also, have a Fisher’s Club here.

At the L’Esplanade Café you can drink the famous Belzubeth 8,5% beers as well as the St Omer premium drafts. All very friendly and nice ambiance always.

The Esplanade Hoche here is surrounded by shops, restos, bars galore on a central compact location in the beach. You can, also, spent a day here or combine the day with the above Carnac.

More on the above here in French : http://www.quiberon.com/se-restaurer/brasseries/1016873-lesplanade-café

And more on the tourist office of Quiberon here: http://www.quiberon.com/

And more on the tourist page of the region Bretagne:



Enjoy the ride, more to come soon, in my beautiful Brittany, Bretagne, Breizh, and kenavo !!!

 Carnac  Carnac  Carnac  Carnac  Carnac  Quiberon  Quiberon  Quiberon  Quiberon

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July 19, 2017

Domaine de Villarceaux in the Vexin!

Here is another one, I have written in one of my compost posts and not given a deservently post. This is the Domaine de Villarceaux in the Vexin park of Val d’Oise dept 95 north west of Paris.

The Domaine de Villarceaux, is located in the middle of the park or parc naturel régional du Vexin français along the A15 road direction Rouen from Paris. It is a castle from the 12C 13C eras.  It was part of the defensive line to Paris from Normandy and on the 16C it becames an agriculture area.

By the 17C it houses memorabilia of the love affaires of Louis de Mornay, marquis de Villarceaux, and Ninon de Lenclos. In the 18C Charles-Jean-Baptiste du Tillet, marquis de la Bussière, nephew of the Marquis de Villarceaux, inherits the property. He dismantled it from a feudal look and built the castle we see today.

In 1989, the regional council government of the region of Île-de-France agrees to it’s renovation and maintenance as well as open it to the public.  They signed a leasing bail for 99 years with the Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer. Eventually, it opened to the public in 1990.

It has other elements exteriors such as the tour des condamnés » (or tour Saint-Nicolas) , and the pavillon de Ninon. These common areas form an enclosure with two other smaller towers or tours still visible. One of the them houses the artisans working there. They were completely renovated in the 16C.

The pavillon de Ninon is a building with nice decorations from the 16C and 17C and it’s open in rare occasions and for small groups, you can ask to see it.The Tour Saint Nicolas and the medieval terraces with medicinal plants and is open to visitors. The Parterre sur l’eau are a rare example of the jardin sur l’eau or garden over water.   The miroir de Ninon17C a water space in   mirror because the castle from high up reflects on the water with a nice cascade.

And the Castle high up or château dit   du haut. Done in the 17C , this is the new castle done by the Marquis de la Bussiére. The windows are big with nice views towards the French gardens on the hills of the castle all the way afar. You can see the country side of the Vexin from here too. The Vertugadin from the 18C name from the skirt weared by the women of the times. It gives you a perspective of view from the high terraces to the lake 530 (1749 feet) meters further down!Statues of the 17C and 18C coming from Rome (palace Altieri) and of Côme (Villa d’Este) are all along the promenade.

The  cour d’honneur from the 18C; encircled by the common buildings and the coat of arms of the owner as well as a Chapel dedicated to Saint Antoine (Saint Anthony) and Saint Michel (Saint Michael) . it allows the carriages to arrive on the hills high ground of the castle. There is great view from here too. There are moats on the borders to stop the access without hiding the view like a wall would. The Orangerie 19C with two greenhouses one warm and the other cool to culitivate oranges and exotic fruits . They were conserved in a fridge underground still in the park; and ice was taken from here to mix with the grass and keep for the summer.

Here you have a nice page with a beautiful video of the property text in French: http://villarceaux.iledefrance.fr/bienvenue-villarceaux/chateau

Contact and info in English from the department 95 Val d’Oise tourist page here: http://www.valdoise-tourisme.com/diffusio/en/to-see-and-to-do/culture/chaussy/domaine-de-villarceaux_TFO105889266312.php?tfo%5BgC%5D=|MoCulturePatrimoine|CulturePatrimoine|ComPlusAlpha||-TT|&tfo[page]=16#.WW-tSsIUnmI

There is a nice market there like in the old days which when we have been here.  These are call the European Days of trades of art, with artisans in the common building showcasing all kinds of old and new trades. As well as a gourmand market later on in the year. More in French here: http://www.bergerie-villarceaux.org/index.php?page=a-villarceaux

A lovely way to spend your day not far from Paris. How to get here:

From Paris porte de la Chapelle by car, get on the A15  direction Rouen which becomes the N14,same road ,continue direction Magny-en-Vexin, exit or sortir at Vernon / Hodent. Continue on the road D86, direction Chaussy. You will then see signs for the castle. In Summer ,like now, there is the Baladobus for 4€, take the regular train from Gare Saint Lazare to Cergy Pontoise and take the bus or take the RER A from several locations in Paris to Cergy-Préfecture and take the bus.  More on the directions here: http://villarceaux.iledefrance.fr/venir-villarceaux

And the Parc Naturel Régional du Vexin Français in French with more on the region and transports. http://www.pnr-vexin-francais.fr/fr/le-parc/actualites/en-cours/bdd/actu/2

Enjoy the ride and get out of Paris, France has a lot more to offers. Cheers

Villarceaux Villarceaux Villarceaux




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July 18, 2017

Gare Saint Lazare train station Paris

Just looking over my blogs I notice that I have not dedicated a post to my old precious wonderful train station in Paris. I worked there for 9 years or so and came always by the Gare Saint Lazare.

Paris has several train stations ,7 to be exact. These are Montparnasse where I go in now when visiting Paris; Nord, Lyon, Est, Austerlitz, and Bercy. The Saint Lazare has a nice hub and connection to my beloved Versailles on the rive droite train station there, closest to home.  Info on the rive droite is here in French: https://www.transilien.com/fr/gare/versailles-rive-droite-8738286

The Gare Saint Lazare train station is located in the Europe neighborhood or quartier of the 8éme arrondissement or district of Paris. It was the first station built in 1837!!! Being amongst other numbers the second in France in numbers of passangers with over 105M (2015) . It has a whole complex protected by France National Monument designation such as the areas of the front facade, and roofstops as well as the main hallway or salle des pas-perdus , and the hallway of embarkation , the facades and roofstops facing the rue de Rome, as well as those facing the old  hôtel Terminus Saint-Lazare, now the Hotel Hilton Paris Opéra, its lobby and the entry as well as the interior decoration.

Vast renovations has been going on, and it is not the same station I used to do to go to work anymore.  The transformation of the old hallway or sale des pas perdus into a shopping center on three levels with 194 meters long (213 meters on the façade),the creation of an underground parking and better connection to the metro of Paris.  The big glass canopy on the sale des pas perdu which is in steel and wood dating from the 19C have been raised to create an airy space for protection against fires. The WWII bunker in the first basement near platforms 4 and 5 (my usual old platforms) behind the commercial gallery were destroyed as was not compatible with the new image. Further renovation had the open spaces to the rue de  Rome and rue du Havre as well as the rue intérieure, between the main building and the hotel Concorde Opéra Paris has been expanded. A new taxi stand is now at the cour du Havre and by the cour de Rome a bus terminal. Work is done from the passarelle dite l’Impératrice linking the station to the hotel to allow guest to go directly from hotel to station inside.

Line J and L on regular trains go for hundreds from here as well as the RER E, and big lines such as those covering part of Normandie with terminus in the coast of the Manche between Dieppe and Cherbourg. The big lines are not much used here concentrating on the suburban services instead. The metro lines 3,12, 13,and 14 are direct. There is a hallway where you can connect  from the station at Saint Augustin to the line 9 in the station Saint Lazare of the line 14 and onwards to the train station gare Saint-Lazare.  You can join the station Opéra from  Saint-Augustin and Saint-Lazare by going to the platforms of the RER E and then taking the hallways leading you to the metro lines 7 and 8 of the station Opéra as well as the station RER A of Auber. The bus lines here are 21, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 32, 43, 53, 66, 80, 81, 94 and 95. Hours start by 5h30 (5:30am) to 00h47 (12h47 pm). The bus schedules are here: https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frpsl/paris-saint-lazare/transports-horaires/transports-collectifs/bus-urbains

Buses 95,81,and 27 are great sightseeing too and cheaper than the tourist buses….They are at terminus in the .cour de Rome, place Gabriel Péri and rue St-Lazare.

The official SNCF in French here: https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frpsl/paris-saint-lazare

On the section Plans de la Gare you have pdf file you can print for maps of the station, here


And the regular train TER schedules here in French: https://www.ter.sncf.com/normandie/gares/87384008/Paris-St-Lazare/prochains-departs

The city of Paris tourist office has more in English: https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73404/Gare-Saint-Lazare

And this is the car/auto parking I have used lately, very good ,convenient to all. As well as the site I use here for parkings NeoParking: https://en.neoparking.com/paris/detail-parking-saint-lazare-klepierre-m2.3236600-48.8760700-c11033-ppd/

For the new shopping center which is great indeed, here is information in English: http://www.club-onlyou.com/St-Lazare-Paris

And a brand new resto not try yet Lazare on the parvis of the station; http://lazare-paris.fr/

A magnifying network map of trains RER , metro ,tramways of Paris here: https://www.transilien.com/sites/default/files/atoms/files/region_gf_mep_sncf_v2017-01b.pdf

making a train station connection mainly for those on the Eurostar but can be easily adapted to others see here in English. https://uk.voyages-sncf.com/en/about/connecting-trains

Now , as said ,I used to come by here to work in Paris but only while working did not use the public transports, upon arriving at Saint Lazare I walked 18 minutes to the office same time as taking the public transport but you see Paris, glorious grand department stores, Madeleine, rue Saint Honoré, passing by rue de Rivoli , like I said once in Paris, walk. If this is not possible, than use the Bus, see Paris above ground, much better ::)

Later, as came to visit it and entering thru another station (Montparnasse) I did use the bus especially lines 81,and 95. Sometimes on dire time took metro line 6 that goes above ground for sections of it. And of course, continue to walk as much as possible. Enjoy Saint Lazare always good memories for me. Paris is eternal….!

Enjoy your week, mine just goes into time off, vacation for a long five day weekend. Cheers

Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris


July 18, 2017

Some news from France CLXIII

And we are on the 18 July 2017, and cool not much sun, heavy rafts of rain and thunder wow;big thunders, lights went out in my job’s cafeteria/lunch room!!!  Anyway temps got to 30C and now a cool 23C or about 75F. And tomorrow will be cooler around max 68F !!!

What is going lately in my belle France well ,here are some updates:

Night evenings and workshops on gardening are organize all summer long here at Café Renoir inside the museum or Musée de Montmartre, 12 rue Cortot (18eme) open everyday from 12h to 18h, admission 4€. More info here: http://museedemontmartre.fr/en/cafe-renoir/

On the occasion of the Transalpine immigration program Ciao Italia, the Palais de la Porte Dorée will have a big parvis terrace with the best from the Dolce Vita. The palais is at 293 avenue Daumesnil (12eme) until October 15 Wednesdays, to Sundays, and from midday to midnight. More here: http://palazzo-portedoree.fr/

The above on Le Figaro in French on the Italian immigration from 1860-1960 where 2 million of them reach France. http://www.lefigaro.fr/sortir-paris/2017/04/19/30004-20170419ARTFIG00048-paris-un-siecle-d-exode-au-musee-del-histoire-de-l-immigration.php

The Mona Bismarck American Center open for the first time in summer with a musical program dedicated to the pop culture USA.  DJ  and groups will be live with cinema projections all taken care by Bonhomie with food and cocktails. 34 avenue de New York (16eme) until end of September and from Tuesdays to Saturdays  18h to 02h and Sundays to midnight More here: https://www.summerhouse.fr/

The grand magasin Au Printemps Haussmann continues with its renovations.  After the move of the Mode Homme (mens fashion) in the rue du Havre to a building in the boulevard Haussmann , followed by the renovation of the L’Enfant (children) and la Maison  (house deco),now its the turn of the cosmetic beauty space or Beauté  to renovate itself. The new space is dedicated to perfums and cosmetics open its door Monday. It has created the space in a building in the rue de Provence and rue de Caumartin with 3 000 m2  space in three floors !! More in French here: https://www.printemps.com/magasins/actualites/le-printemps-de-la-beaute-fait-peau-neuve/paris-Haussmann

One of the prettiest terrace in Paris is also, one of the most hidden. You have to climb and descend to the Seine river facing the tour Eiffel and entered in the Palais de Chaillot as going to the museum or musée de l’Homme, and continue.  Daytime is sompteous and nighttime with the light on the Eiffel is sublime. Enjoy the Le Café de l’Homme, open every day from 12h to 14h at  17 place du Trocadéro (16eme), Tel +33 (0) webpage:  https://www.cafedelhomme.com/en

And if you descend the stairs along the bridge or Pont Alexandre III on the left bank to come into the Faust terrace, unique space with a view of the Tour Eiffel, the Grand Palais, and the pont des Invalides. Le Faust, open everyday from 12h to 14h with DJ from 19h, dancefloor dancing on Fridays and Saturdays until 06h00 . At Pont Alexandre III (7eme) tel +33 (0) Webpage: http://www.faustparis.fr/

High on a building in the Ménilmontant ,the Perchoir has  a great terrace, with patient on street level with a long line of guests always ready to come here. The plus is once inside the views over the roofstops of Paris is sublime with the lights of the Church of Ménilmontant and further the Basilica of Sacre Coeur. Le Perchoir, Mondays to Wednesdays from 18h to 02h, Thursdays and Fridays from 16h to 02H and the weekend from 12h to 02h; at 14 rue Crespin-du-Gast (11eme) Tel +33 (0) Webpage here: https://leperchoir.tv/

From now you can enjoy the swim in the basin de la Villette (19eme). IT will open at 13h the first swim site in the city. It is a floating structure with 100 meters long split into three spaces and a beach with cabins, showers, palms all in the quai de Loire on the south side of the basin. It is with free admission every day from 11h to 19h until the end of Paris plage 2017 September 4th. For security reasons,the entry will be limited and with order; no more than 300 swimmers at a time and no more than 1000 each day. More on Paris beach and the swim at Villette here in French. https://www.paris.fr/parisplages

A phenomenon in Paris, the bicycle or Vélib/ This is already 10 years of the Vélib since July 15 2007 when JCDecaux started it. Some statistics. 305 648 members, 324 millions rentals, 1225 stations in Paris and suburbs; 39 944 attachement stations for bikes, 18 162 available bikes; 97 197 average usage per day, and 17,2 minutes the average time of usage. More info here: http://en.velib.paris.fr/

And for next year November 2018 the Festival International du Film , a new name in Compiègne for the centenary of the WWI peace or Armistice. This is for this year webpage:http://festivaldufilm.compiegne.fr/

The Château du Plessis-Brion opens again in summer. From this coming Friday to August 31st you can see the castle with foundations of a feudal fortress that you can tell better in the gothic cellars and other parts from early 16C.  It is the only renaissance castle in the Oise region and this year for the first time you will have treasure chases for the kids. Le château du Plessis-Brion, 2, rue de l’Eglise. Open every day except Mondays from 9h30 to 11h30 and 14h30 to 17h ,admission are adults 5 €. Tél. +33 (0) More info here: http://en.noyon-tourisme.com/Walks-and-visits/Visits-and-heritage/Chateau-du-Plessis-Brion2/(language)/eng-GB

the latest expansion of France’s treasures is the Centre Pompidou to open temporarely in 2019 at Shanghaï ; in the district of West Bund –Xuhui. An art district of Shanghaï  that extends over several kilometers on the west of the city along the quais of the river Huangpu.  In this same area you have the well known museum of the célèbre Yuz Museum ; more here in French:  https://news.artnet.com/art-world/centre-pompidou-shanghai-897869

And last but not least, the aviary and the palmarium are all advantages that add to the splendor of the botanical garden. The whole thing is covered, so you can get lost regardless of the mood of the weather.  Parc Floral, Jardin Botanique de la Ville de Paris3, avenue de la Porte-d’Auteuil (16eme). From 8h to 16h on weekdays and 9h to 17H the weekends and Holidays. More here: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71343/Parc-Floral-de-Paris-Jardin-botanique-de-la-Ville-de-Paris
Enjoy your week, I have one day tomorrow and then off to welcome an old friend from USA visiting Brittany for the first time ever lol! Breton galore!!! Cheers




July 16, 2017

Port Haliguen in Quiberon peninsula!

I am back , just another wonderful day this morning into my best backyard and it was packed, fortunately know my way around here very well ::) found street free parking behind a hotel lol!!

What I am talking about, well it’s Quiberon, the peninsula south of me, my backyard. And more specifically Port Haliguen; which not written much about yet….

There is a nice lighthouse done in 1856 and the marina was done from 1968; it is now on its way to be improve and enlarge from it’s current 1200 moorings. The governing body is on a plan right now and you can read more on it here in English as well : http://www.quiberon-port-haliguen.com/en/

There are beaches in between very nice, the wild and secluded plage de Castéro  and Kermorvan to the left facing the harbor and plage de Porigo to the right all the way to the plage du Fort Neuf.  Several fishing, boating, beach shops have opened up here as well as créperies, restos and bistro à vins. You can, also, see the expositions in the Maison du Phare a sort of events place for the area.

More info on the above on my favorite beach website here:




Current and next expos on the Maison du Phare here in French: http://www.quiberon.com/evenements/499284-expositions-dart-a-la-maison-du-phare

You find all kinds of boats here from cruisers to dingy zodiac types , from motor to sails ,combine, and catamarans. It is really a gorgeous spot to be in . We parked behind the Port Haliguen hotel right facing the harbor on a side street for free! Plenty of this type of parking if you come early.

The lighthouses are always a pretty sight, and the bigger one from 1856 or phare de Port Haliguen can be seen for 10 miles with a height of 12 meters and no more in operation. Two smaller red phares or lighthouses are on the causeway out to see; the one on the left has 11 miles vision at 8 meters high; the one on the right has 8 miles vision of a high of 7 meters. On the north dam, there is another lighthouse,this one green with a vision of 6 miles and  9 meters high.

Then, there is the Maison du Port or house of the harbor where the Yacht Club de Quiberon is house with a full program and plenty of boats in its yard. If interested, more info here in French: http://www.ycquiberon.com/contacter-le-ycq.html

Then ,you have the Capitainerie or harbormaster in Port Haliguen, VHF Chanel 9. Contact on right hand column of this webpage: https://www.passeportescales.com/en/port-haliguen-quiberon

Oh yes if you are looking to stay close to the action than by all means consider the Port Haliguen Hotel right across from the harbor! More here: http://www.hotel-port-haliguen.com/fr/accb5/

And if you are looking for a nice hotel and thalassa spa for relaxation and not far from the beaches than take a look at Sofitel Thalassa Hotel  more here: http://www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-0557-sofitel-quiberon-thalassa-sea-spa/index.shtml

There is always time for a Casino de Quiberon (over 18 yrs needed), not too long thus ::) but its right by the beach and very near the Grande Plage or big beach center of it all here. More on the Casino; http://www.casinodequiberon.com/

You have a nice train station where you can walk to the Grande Plage and all the rest is not far, we parked and walk all over… the train station only in summers a special service from Auray on the Tire-Bouchon service or screwpull train. More on it here: http://cdn.ter.sncf.com/medias/PDF/bretagne/Tirebouchon90X1260mm_tcm55-12725_tcm55-76999.pdf

There is plenty of shopping in town and of course a supermarket for groceries and sundries items, we have visited the Casino supermarket lately and it is very good for a tourist beach town. The hours are : Mondays to Fridays from 8h45 -12h30 and 14h30-19h15, Saturdays 8h45 to 19h15 continuous and Sundays mornings from april to September. In Summer, it is open continuously from 8h45 to 20h Mondays to Saturdays,  and open full day on Sundays. More and for updates here: https://magasins.supercasino.fr/supermarche/quiberon/CS282

Driving out of town it is great to do so on rue du Port Haliguen where the Casino is on, and you past just in front of the Church of Notre Dame de Locmaria in city center. I have written on it several times before. You ,also, drive on the causeway in and out, one road two lanes in and out, and past the historic fort of Penthievre, still a military installation but a site of firing squads assassination during the Nazi occupation.

All the above on photos posted here. Enjoy Quiberon, we came out alright, the crowds were coming in, just need to know the swing ::) Enjoy your Sunday and until next blogtime; Cheers.

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July 16, 2017

La Roche Maurice, and other Finistère!!!

Saturday was a busy day , nice sunny and great to be out. So we decided to ride along the N165 into areas we have been briefly in our lovely Brittany/Bretagne/Breizh. We rode into Hanvec, Landivisiau, and La Roche Maurice in the Finistére dept 29 next door neighbor.

We have been by this area before, just a bit more into it ,we can never have enough of Brittany, its gorgeous. Here is the last post touching on La Roche Maurice. https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2012/11/08/the-other-finistere-small-quaint-nice-towns/

As I said we rode on the D16 from our town to connect with the N165 at Landevant, and continue straight into first Hanvec , then La Roche Maurice , and finally Landivisiau before heading back home on the D18 to connect with the N165.

Passing by Hanvec, we saw the nice imposing Church Saint Pierre (St Peter) in city center/downtown. This is a small town , where Eugéne Boudin describe it in 1867 as a vast town with a spectacular view of the inland hills; here he finds what was to be his wife  Marie-Anne Guédès which he married in le Havre. Vast history of Sirs of Kerohan and Quélen and many calvaries and monuments to show from old age. The Church of Saint Pierre  is on the side of an older church of which the only remaining parts of the south porch from 1625 . After been almost in ruins it was ordered to rebuilt and finally finished in 1877 with the spiral tower not done until 1879.

Here we continue our route to reach La Roche Maurice, two major monuments here. First, the Church enclose paroissial of Saint Yves. This is a gorgeous church with an ossuaire and chapel with calvary all together in an enclose area in city center. Not far from there the feudal castle in ruins of the old counts of Léon with a wonderful tourist office.

The Church Saint Yves; more here from the city page in French: http://www.larochemaurice.fr/fr-fr/patrimoine/l-eglise-saint-yves-et-l-enclos-paroissial

You see a Calvary of Christ with soldiers in costumes of Henri II, the Church built in the 14C replacing an older Church.  The stained glass and the belltower dates from 1589.  The stained glass windows shows in 21 panels the life of Christ.  They were renovated several times the last in July 11-20, 1950 with on the left view the statue of the Virgin of Notre Dame de Bon Secours and on the right the polychrome group of Saint-Yves between the rich and the poor. The rood screen was done in 1570-1580 in sculpture polychrome oak wood.  The gallery shows several personage with 12 statues in lower level and 12 others on top of the rood screen where you see the Cross of Christ surrounded by the Virgin and Saint John with views of the daily life. The ossuaire is in renaissance style with an inscription dating from 1639 with a writing on the front of the entrance door that says remember men that you are only but dust.

Another key monument to visit is the  Castle of the counts of Léon, the area under their jurisdiction in 1100’s. Do not forget here to visit the new tourist office at the foot of the castle ;it has great representation of its history and a nice friendly welcome. Inside you see a passage way that led from the castle to the riviere on what was an old house recently demolished to built the tourist office!

This is the castle in local language call the Castle of Roc’h Morvan or La Roche Maurice. The tourist office on the castle here in French: http://www.larochemaurice.fr/fr-fr/patrimoine/l-eglise-saint-yves-et-l-enclos-paroissial?id=99#histoire

The castle was first mentioned in 1263 but it is really a lot older than that. During the Franco Breton wars of 1489-1491 initiated by the viscount John II of Rohan that tries to inherit the duchy of Brittany because of the ascentry of his wife Marie de Bretagne against the king of France Charles VIII, the castle is completely dismantled.  By 1580 the Rohan in the war of Religions takes to the cause Protestant and this signals the destruction of the castle, which was never rebuilt.  The castle stayed in the hand of the Rohan family until it was acquired by the general council of the Finistère in 1986.

Finally, on our way back home we stop at Landivisiau, a quiet in land town with a nice halle de terre native or bio product covered market sharing the building with the salle François de Tournemine theater in city center/downtown, all facing the nice Church of Saint Thuriau.

Location contact for the halle terre Native or covered live earth market here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/halles-terre-native-landivisiau

The salle François de Tournemine here: http://www.landivisiau.fr/fr/salle-municipale/1512/salle-francois-de-tournemine

And the Church Saint Thuriau original Church dates from 1554 and then renovated until the one today done in 1968. The belltower is from 1590! The porches are rich in statues of Saints ,and a wonderful organ from the 19C. More from the city on the Church in French here: http://www.landivisiau.fr/fr/information/61960/le-patrimoine-landivisien

Lovely country great for a car ride in a natural environment and coming up to quaint pretty towns all over the Finistère and Brittany/Bretagne/Breizh. One day I will see you on this roads welcome to let me know when in the area.

Enjoy your Sunday, me continuing on to the boats lol! Cheers

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