June 28, 2017

A love affair with Madrid

Madrid is big on my map, once bitten it is very hard to forget. There is a saying in town, that said, From Madrid to heaven, and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday! I am always looking at it from wherever I am.

I have written many posts on it here in my blog, just search Madrid and you know what I mean. However, today ,I will tell you about a book; yes a book about Madrid that made me think of how wonderful this city is and how lucky that I found it and also to read the book and exchange notes with the book writer.

The book is titled: A Load of Bull: An Englishman’s Adventures in Madrid; written by Tim Parfitt on Pan MacMillan Publishers London ISBN 978-1-4050-4619-0 year 2006.

It’s the real story of Tim Parfitt who in the 1980’s was given the task to start the publication of Vogue and later GQ Spain. He was working for Conde Nast in London and got a 6 weeks assignment in Madrid. This 6 weeks turn into 9 years and during this time he discovered the real Spain. “there wasn’t any other type of Spain, was there?” But there was, “there was Madrid”

He goes on to tell his story from his arrival in Madrid in January 31 1988 at the tender age of 27.His office was by the Plaza de España.

I am not going to tell you the whole book, if you like Spain and Madrid specially then it is a require reading.

He goes on to mention many of the places I went as a teen living in Madrid ,I arrived December 30 1971. Here is my first entry on Madrid about me there , a bit…. https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2010/11/28/my-life-in-madrid-spain/

Some of these places still memorable for me and always seems to stop by either going in or just passing by again for the memories, the first that comes to mind is the Gran Café de Gijon: http://www.cafegijon.com/

He went on to Riofrio under the Centro Colon ,now gone: https://www.yelp.es/biz/riofr%C3%ADo-madrid-2

He talks about his life there and the struggle with the Spanish language (poor guy not my case) ; the funny translation and the nuances of Spanish street naming.  Speaking of the Plaza de Cibeles and Paseo de Recoletos, the communication palace then now palace of Cibeles  passing under the Puerta de Alcalà where the Cafeteria Simpatia was now, also, closed….https://es.foursquare.com/v/cafeter%C3%ADa-simpat%C3%ADa/4c927523911b8cfac17eedb5

At the corner of Calle Serrano and Calle de Recoletos was the Vogue building at No 4 Izda (izquierda=left). And where the welcome to Madrid was “where 8pm means 10 pm”!

Where he tried his first dish of testicles or Criadillas! where he assembled his team of collaborators.  Vogue magazine was created in the USA in 1892, then UK in 1916, France, 1921, Australia 1959, Italy 1965, Brazil 1975 Germany 1979 and now Spain in 1988!!!

He learned that in Madrid the rush hours were 2PM and 4:30PM the times to go to lunch and come back, no one is in a hurry in the mornings nor to leave at night.

He speaks about my beloved Retiro park Parque del Buen Retiro especially on the side of plaza de la Independencia and go into the Palacio de Cristal. He learned to tapear or go out for tapas from 8pm and better to stand by the bar counter as locals do.

Going for more old authentic Madrid he headed to El Timon near the Centro Colon  business building. Now totally change new owners deco menu etc the location here: https://11870.com/pro/el-timon-madrid

The Plaza de España and it’s statue of Don Quijote with Sancho Panza and the donkey and wandered down Gran Via to Calle Preciados off Plaza Callao and down towards Plaza del Sol; glorious!!!

You cannot missed the Museo del Jamon now a chain of restaurants and the wonderful Plaza Mayor. Go onwards to the Plaza de Oriente and into the Palacio Real; get the cable car or téleferico and ride over to Casa de Campo . One day try the walk or jog from plaza Colon to Las Ventas Monumental bullfight arena….!!!  

Buying an old typewriter from a gone shop in Calle Hortaleza and try those different Spanish letter keys !!! How about the first date driving a taxi from Paseo Recoleto to the fountain of Neptune in the Plaza de Cànovas del Castillo ,then un to San Jeronimo and to Las Cortes or Spanish parliament out into Plaza Santa Ana to land in nearby Cerveceria Alemana ,who of course, this one is still there! http://www.cerveceriaalemana.com/main/

And the party continue to Los Gabrieles (now gone 2004) and then Viva Madrid (still open) on the Marcha or walk of Madrid following the Movida . more on them here: http://www.guiadelocio.com/madrid/tarde-y-noche/madrid/los-gabrieles

http://www.restaurantevivamadrid.com/fr/

How about going to Segovia and having lunch at Pedraza while looking up the Aqueduct in the Plaza de Azoguejo and leaving Segovia by the road to Soria and into Pedraza. See more in Spanish in the guias viajar here: http://guias-viajar.com/madrid/viajes-excursiones/segovia-pedraza/

Stop in Madrid at one of my all time favorites Cafe el Espejo en paseo Recoleto. More here! but just sit at the bar and enjoy the view in and out! https://www.yelp.com/biz/cafe-el-espejo-madrid

Try the old yuppie place of Cafe Bar Castellana at paseo de la Castellana ,8. Well now there is Otto there but this was it: https://es.foursquare.com/v/bar-castellana-8/4b05c04af964a5206ce222e3

He found out the Spanish way that we call just about anybody a “friend” even if hardly met and of course we refer to an intime friend those higher up that makes us look good; actually as the book ” THIS IS A LOAD OF BULL”. And of course, the other is ” mi casa es tuya” my house is yours, but we rather meet in a bar lol!!! Or the Viaducto or viaduc meaning we take the bridge over off days to connect into several like a long week lol!! old practice not anymore as it is the siesta….

He found out the big party is May 15 San Isidro for a long party…and into the late nights in bars like Archy, Pachà , Cafe Central (Plaza del Angel) and El Sol or the Cock bar in Calle de la Reina or Museo Chicote in Gran Via to end at Almonte a Sevillian club in calle Juan Bravo. Or a fancy Botin in calle Cuchilleros.

Archy now closed: https://11870.com/pro/archy

Pachà is now Barcelo but this was pacha: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/pach%C3%A1-madrid-3

Cafe central still there: http://www.cafecentralmadrid.com/

El Sol still there: http://salaelsol.com/

Cock bar still there more subtle nowdays: https://www.yelp.com/biz/bar-cock-madrid-2

mythical museo chicote is still there: https://www.yelp.com/biz/museo-chicote-madrid-2

Almonte for a taste of flamenco is still there: http://www.almontesalarociera.com/

Botin a tradition still there: http://www.botin.es/en

Also, moving apartment to one by Calle Lope de Vega nearer the Prado Museum. A practice of hora intensiva or intensive hour ;this was done in summers so you worked only until about 3PM to avoid the heat without a lunch break;then do this after 3PM for lunch and then Siesta until the evenings. Finding out in summer of operacion salida or exit operation when folks leave Madrid to escape the heat; and they all leave at the same time lol!!! And by August 31st is operacion retorno, operation return and they all come back at the same time lol!!!

One more tried Taberna  La Bola  a classic in Madrid still going strong.  more here: http://labola.es/

See more of the nearby towns such as Aranjuez and Chinchon. Back to Madrid for something exotic El Cuchi Mexican restaurant near Plaza Mayor. Already gone thru two different restos in the address El Cuchi is gone. This was it: https://www.yelp.es/biz/el-cuchi-madrid

See and pay a visit to Las Ventas Monumental bullfight arena for a look of tradition. All official in Spanish here: http://www.las-ventas.com/ and of course do not forget to see the Museo Taurino behind it on the story of the bullfighter. more info here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/bullfighting-museum

You come to the Calle de las Huertas and stop by La Fidula for a fino sherry or go on to Casa Alberto for a glass of red with a pincho.  You continue the food frenzy in the Calle Marqués de Cubas at the Catalan resto Paradis. Go back to the Plaza Mayor and visit the Cava San Miguel  for a nice cold beer. You should not missed two great ones of Madrid , Casa Paco and Casa Lucio,and one of the classic upper upper Zalacaîn

La Fidula today is a concert hall: https://www.lafidula.es/

Casa Alberto; still there : http://www.casaalberto.es/

Paradis still there: http://www.restauranteparadismadrid.es/category/menus/

Cava San Miguel now la Taberna Chiquita; https://www.yelp.com/biz/la-taberna-chiquita-Madrid

Casa Paco : http://www.casapaco1933.es/

Casa Lucio :http://casalucio.es/en/

Zalacaîn: now closed for renovations: http://www.restaurantezalacain.com/

Getting back to the apartment at Lope de Vega, you can try La Dolores bar; https://www.yelp.com/biz/la-dolores-madrid ; and further you come to Villa Rosa tablao flamenco off the Plaza Santa Ana, now closed: http://www.tablaoflamencovillarosa.com/es/

Some fancy visits to the British Chamber of Commerce; club Puerta de Hierro, Club Equitacion de Somosaguas all special visits. Then go up to wonderful Navacerrada and eat at Casa Felipe Asador. Navacerrada was my first attempt of skiing at the tender age of 12, well did not work out ::) fell all over the place and decided it was not for me.  The resto here: http://www.restaurantefelipe.com/

And the activities at Navacerrada continues: http://www.puertonavacerrada.com/

Time to move again this time to Serrano, 145 corner of calle Guadalquivir;nicer area still today. Here it is nice to jog alone Paseo de la Habana and along Plaza Sagrados Corazones next to the Bernabeu Stadium at the corner of Castellana and Concha Espina.

You came to the old ,Club 31 in Calle Alcalà 31; and for ligher meals go to Delicatessen Mallorca. The first one change owner and location but still Club 31 here: http://www.restauranteclub31.com/quienes-somos

The second one http://www.pasteleria-mallorca.com/listado-de-tiendas

He continues writing about the new things found in Madrid and of course learning Spanish, this was already 1992 the year of the Barcelona Olympics. However, Madrid had totally seduced him. And he visit Carmona near Sevilla to be with a women he met Patrizia and visit her parents.

He found La Parra a Seville style restaurant in Monte Esquinza; more here: http://www.laparrarestaurante.com/ , visited the bullfight arena at Aranjuez and had a nice party in Palacio de Gaviria , which was and is a great place to be/ more here: http://eschermadrid.com/

The hit came later meeting Kirza half Dutch and half Danish but born in Malaga, hey welcome to Spain. She had two kids from previous marriage and was only 29. He move in with her and the kids on January 1993. New place Calle de Povedilla 13 parallel to Calle de Goya in Salamanca district. They tour together deeper into Spain, Sevilla and Ronda and going to parties together. Even to Barcelona where the stays were at the Hotel Arts in the Olympic Port. They were married in Holland and photos splashed all over the medias.

And they move out of central Madrid into a bigger home in Calle San Martin de Porres by the Puerta de Hierro. Location distrito here:http://www.madrid.es/

Kirza was pregnant and his best friend Luis was diagnose of leukemia eventually passed away at 58. And Tim became the managing director/General Manager of Conde Nast Spain.  The son finally arrive Toby in July 7 1994 at the Clinica Nuevo Parque. http://www.sanidadysalud.com/clinica-nuevo-parque-HO280611.html

And this needed another moved to Monte Alto in Humera just outside Madrid. and a moving in nanny and the black retriever dog Barnaby. And the new born child was baptized in the Church of Humera. Location of new house: https://www.pozuelodealarcon.org/tu-ayuntamiento/gabinete-de-prensa/reportajes-especiales/humera%3A-un-barrio-con-solera

And the journey is over. Tim said it, Madrid is one of the most perplexing, anarchic, and exuberant cities on earth:Madrid. He fell in love with the country, the city and its people and do we once bitten by the Madrid magic. Or From Madrid to heaven and hole in the sky to look down on it everyday!

I happened to contact him and exchange emails with him as what struck more of the story which is awesome and the book is wonderful; was the fact that we both went on similar paths of places in Madrid and fell in love with the city me too young needed to move on with my mother or life would had be different for sure. Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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June 28, 2017

Some news from France CLX

And we are half way in the week and arriving to the end of June, full summer season is here. Temps are been mild around 15C or 64F and cloudy with sun in and out, some light rain and more schedule for tomorrow in my area. Some more goodies from my belle France:

today starts the Summer Sales or Soldes d’été in France for the most part of the territory and will last until August 8 midnight give or take some spots in the country like the Alpes-Maritimes or Corse.  On a recent Survey by Toluna  for the group  LSA, with  1511 persons interviewed,  73%  of the French think of participating in the Sales this year less 4,4 points than last. This represent about  2,2 millions shoppers less and about 52% do not know yet what budget to apply to them.  Even with all this, the great department stores give it a great importance as 12%  of annual sales of Au Printemps , and  8% of the Galeries Lafayette are done in this period. More on them here: https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/actualites/A11688

Enjoy the Sales before the entire renovation of the shopping center Parly II  in Chesnay (just outside Versailles) as by next January 2018 it will be like all new. There will be a connecting bridge to link the stores of BHV and Toys r’Us with 13 new stores just before Christmas. Four names are already guaranteed to be there such as JOTT, Armani, New Balance, and Rituals. After the stores the cinema will be expanded  with a UGC cinema of 12 showings and 2200 places seated. This is great and it was our favorite shopping place when we lived in Versailles for ten years. More on it here: http://parly-2.com/

There is a revolutioin of sort coming for the public transports in the ile de France and Paris. The bus network of the RATP will be modifie in the coming months as it has never been renovated since 1950!!! There will be 4 new lines and modification on about 46 lines over the 60 now existing. The transport site will change name from STIF to Ile-de-France Mobilités. The new plan should be in service by end of 2018. More in French here:  http://www.stif.org/developpements-et-avenir/nouveau-grand-paris/t-zen/article/presentation-du-t-zen.html

And of course, with all these changes, price hikes are a rigueur. From August 1st the  Pass Navigo will go up 3%, and will then cost  75,20€ (from the  73€ now). The price of the single metro ticket will remain the same but the carnet of 10 will go up 40 centimes to 14,90€. The price for the tickets “Origine-Destination” (where the cost is already over 7€) will supposely not increase. More here: http://www.navigo.fr/titres/le-forfait-navigo-mois-presentation/

Going over the wonderful park or Parc des Buttes-Chaumont (19eme),that is celebrating it’s 150 years!! and stay one of the favorite spot of Parisiens that went there for 6 millions last year. The park is located between the districts or  faubourgs Belleville and Villette, annexed to Paris in 1860. The work on the park began in 1864 with huge efforts that lasted 3 years with over 1000 men and hundreds of horses. They installed about 39 kms of rails to extract  800 000 m3 (cubic meters)  of rock using dynamites explosives. A factory of pumping was created in the basin of the Villette to bring the water to the top of the park and feed the cascade, streams and network of irrigation. It is the most expensive park after that of  Montceau with a visionary creation. As it is only about 20 cm of vegetable land recovered from the chalk on which nothing could have sprout; in fact the Buttes-Chaumont are the first garden off the soil , like an inmense flower pot. Around it ,it has 6 hills that forms several valleys where the engineers did a picturesque scenary to invite you to a voyage. It has an alpine orientation that is call the petite Suisse or little Switzerland; this was a wish of emperor Napoléon III  that himself had spent his childhood in the germanic Switzerland.  Large uphills criss cross the park sometimes with streams like the Alps region; a Vosges style forest is planted along the rail lines of the Petite ceinture.  In the Central island you have behind some vegetation an imitation of the cliffs of the Etretat normande with its arch and peak ,and at the top on the belvedere a roman temple in miniataure call the  Sibylle inspired by the one in Tivoli (Italy) culminating at 30 meters above the lake. The park has inspired many artists such as Aragon, Tardi, Despentes, and  George Sand did praises on it, Jacques Tardi  the croque on his aventures with Adèle Blanc-Sec, Alain Resnais filmed in  On connaît la chanson , and represented the ceiling background for Vernon Subutex, the recent trilogy of romance of Virginie Despentes. The greatest hommage to it came from Aragon who in the  « le Paysan de Paris » mentioned the park settle in the inconcious of the city of Paris. A must when coming to Paris.More on it in English from Paris tourist office here: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71468/Parc-des-Buttes-Chaumont

And from today to Friday the European languages will be mixing in the streets, theater and cinema Ermitage of Fontainebleau. The 6th edition of the Festival Série Séries dedicated to European series with this year the theme courage. Each serie presents its members creators, scénaristes actors on site after the diffusion of each episode creating a real interaction with the public. Each projection is follow by an exchange with the public. You can see « Guerilla »,the new series produce and played by Idris Elba,a German espionnage series name « Same sky », as well as the series  « Match »,a Norwegian series name, and the « The simple Heist », coming from Sweden without forgetting the animated cartoon series such as « Ernest et Célestine »,a French series for small children. More info to be found here:http://www.serieseries.fr/en/index.php

And this is the time for fleas and garage sales in France as summer arrives; vide greniers and brocantes et marches these are my favorites over the years here:

We start at the classic place in Paris Le village Saint-Paul ; in the heart of the Marais between the streets of rue Saint-Antoine and the Seine river, the village Saint-PAul is a must for lovers of antiques, finds and designs of arts. Also, English porcelains and wooden furniture, antiques from the 18C or even going back to the 17C to our days. A must to walk on the rue Saint-Paul, rue Saint-Antoine and rue Santa Maria in the 4eme district/arrondissement. More here: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/72538/Le-Village-Saint-Paul-Le-Marais

Another nice one is at the Trolls et puces, 5 rue du Marché-Popincourt 11eme where fleasgoers and restaurant people are associated to propose the crème de la crème of the yearFrom second hand furniture to lamps, mirrors, etc the selection is very nice and renovated oftenMore on their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Trollsetpuces/

Another we love is the Village Suisse  in the heart of the 15eme district not far from the  tour Eiffel, you have about 150 stands on the site of the old Universal Exposition of 1900. You have decorators interior design, antiques, and art galleries in the middle of suspended gardens and patios covered with trees. Le Village Suisse, 78 avenue de Suffren, 15eme. More here: http://www.villagesuisse.com/

And we all know the very popular flea market of Saint-Ouen,however, have you visited the fleas of the Porte de Vanves ?  Here is where you find the best, a giant flea with crazy merchants offering all the rare and beautiful; you need to come early to get the best. Les Puces de la Porte de Vanves, Avenue Georges Lafenestre and avenue Marc Sangnier, 14eme district. More here: http://www.pucesdevanves.fr/

How about some water in Paris, in summer you need it there too.

It is not a pool but a nice splash of water very refreshing in the middle of summer. This it the water sprays in the place de la République , that reflect like a mirror of water,and if stay a while the effect will be like taking a big dive with less effort. https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/90901/Place-de-la-Republique

You go to a new place the Démesure sur Seine, a terrace of 900 m2  with giant  barbecues, cocktails à gogo , and good Dj  music. The team has started the Piscine sur Seine, with inflatable boats on pools ,great novelty for Paris . La Piscine sur Seine 69, port de la Râpée – 12e open from 17H free admission.  This took place this week but be on the lookout for the next opening it is great I was told. More here: https://www.facebook.com/lademesuresurseine/

And of course, the place to be this summer will be the bassin de la Villette, yes you heard right it will finally be open for swimming. A great basin sunk in to the waters of the Villette and you can swim all summer. Le Bassin de la Villette 45, quai de la Seine , 19eme. https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71943/Bassin-de-La-Villette

And on a similar vain, you have six parks in Paris open this summer 24/24; these are La place des Vosges (4eme) Le jardin des Grands-Explorateurs (6eme) ,Le parc Montsouris (14eme), Le parc André Citroën (15eme), Le parc des Buttes-Chaumont (19eme), Le square Séverine (20eme) .

Continue with summer activity with the open air Cinema drive in and other in Paris. Around a transat boat, on the lawn, under the stars around a pique nique you can see the classic films of today and yesterterday from July 20 to August 20 at the Terrasse du Parc de la Villette , 211 avenue Jean Jaurés, 19eme. https://lavillette.com/villette/informations-pratiques/

And the 2017 edition starts for the chapeaux de roues Friday July 7 with film and concert by the original band of the  Gardiens de la Paix. There is a chase from July 7-21 and from August 4-18 on the mayor’s office courtyard in the Jardin de la Folie Titon, 28 rue Chanzy, 11eme  More here on location; http://equipement.paris.fr/jardin-de-la-folie-titon-2842

There is a program in memory of  Alfred Hitchcock with one of his most celebrated film The Birds or Les Oiseaux, and two comedy evenings with the Dark Shadows of Tim Burton ,and Moonrise Kingdom of Wes Anderson… From 21h be there with a small pique nique before the film at 22h30. You can the long chairs but it is advise to bring your own with cushions because this is very popular. July 6-8 at the  Château de Vincennes  1, avenue de Paris – 94300 Vincennes: more here: http://www.chateau-de-vincennes.fr/Actualites/Saison-culturelle-2017

You will enjoy the new programming for the next edition of the Festival Silhouette  in the very nice park of the Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge, film projections on fiction, clips, animation, and experimental and also concerts to dance at the apéro hour ;From August 25 to September 2 Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge – 19eme. More on the location here: http://equipement.paris.fr/parc-de-la-butte-du-chapeau-rouge-1811

 Something unique in Pigalle that houses a basketball court with the most style in Paris. After some renovation that took 2 years the founder of the brand Pigalle in collaboration with Nike has it open again. Blue, rose, yellow, and gray on the image of the unisex combo of Nikelab x Pigalle. A basketball court with futuristic vision stamp  « Pigalle » and « Duperré » awating the sports minded and the more artsy people on earth! Playground Duperré  22, rue Duperré – 9eme,  Open from 10h to 20h in Summer time. More in Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Playground-Pigalle-Duperre/524336780939081

And last for this post but not least,the wonderful story of the Tati stores is slowly coming to an end. Who searching for real bargains off the tourist traps have not come here during the years; Tati is an institution. Well no more unfortunately for many families it is up for sales. The main store is known to Parisiens as the Tati Barbés, and it will be taken over by another chain call Gifi, also,very popular here. They are negotiating for the former employees destinies and the owner of the building which guarantee is coming to an end, this will be to follow up to see what happened finally to the white and rose window store at Barbés. The Tati site here: https://www.tati.fr/nos-magasins.php

And Gifi stores site here: https://www.gifi.fr/

Enjoy the rest of your week. Cheers!

 

June 26, 2017

Again the Tour de France 104th edition

And we are just around the corner of the next tour de France bicycle race.  The next will be the 104th Edition, and will be running from Saturday July 1st to Sunday July 23rd in 21 stages over 3540 kms.

The previous one I have in my blog was in 2015 when it passed just next to my employer near Vannes in the Morbihan Breton; more of it here: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2015/07/13/tour-de-france-in-the-morbihan-bretagne/

Some of the teams already announced for this year’s edition are: (country abbrev in French)

AG2R La Mondiale: Jan Bakelants (BEL), Romain Bardet (FRA), Axel Domont (FRA), Mathias Frank (SUI), Ben Gastauer (LUX), Cyril Gautier (FRA), Pierre Latour (FRA), Oliver Naesen (BEL), Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA)

BMC Racing Team: Damiano Caruso (ITA), Stefan Küng (SUI), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Richie Porte (AUS), Nicolas Roche(IRL), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI).

Bora – Hansgrohe :Maciej Bodnar (POL), Emanuel Buchmann (ALL), Marcus Burghardt (ALL), Rafal Majka (POL), Jay McCarthy (AUS), Pawel Poljanski (POL), Juraj Sagan(SVQ), Peter Sagan (SVQ), Rudi Selig (ALL).

Cofidis: Nacer Bouhanni (FRA), Dimitri Claeys (BEL), Christophe Laporte (FRA), Cyril Lemoine (FRA), Luis Angel Maté (ESP), Daniel Navarro (ESP), Florian Sénéchal (FRA), Julien Simon (FRA), Geoffrey Soupe (FRA).

Dimension Data: Edvald Boassen Hagen (NOR), Mark Cavendish (GBR), Stephen Cummings (GBR), Bernhart Eisel (AUT), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (AFS), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Mark Renshaw (AUS), Scott Thwaites (GBR), Jaco Venter (AFS).

Direct Energie: Thomas Boudat (FRA), Lilian Calmejane (FRA), Sylvain Chavanel (FRA), Yohann Gène (FRA), Adrien Petit (FRA), Perrig Quéméneur (FRA), Romain Sicard (FRA), Angelo Tulik (FRA), Thomas Voeckler (FRA).

Katusha-Alpecin: Marco Haller (AUT), Reto Hollenstein (SUI), Robert Kiserlovski (CRO), Alexander Kristoff (NOR), Maurits Lammertink (NED), Tiago Machado (POR), Tony Martin (GER), Nils Politt (GER), Rick Zabel (GER).

Orica-Scott: Michael Albasini (SUI), Esteban Chaves (COL), Luke Durbridge (AUS), Mathew Hayman (AUS), Damien Howson (AUS), Daryl Impey (AFS), Jens Keulekeire (BEL), Roman Kreuziger (RTC), Simon Yates (GBR).

Sky: Chris Froome (GBR), Sergio Henao (COL), Vasil Kiryienka (BLR), Christian Knees (ALL), Michal Kwiatkowski (POL), Mikel Landa (ESP), Mikel Nieve (ESP), Luke Rowe (GBR), Geraint Thomas (GBR).

Team Sunweb: Nikias Arndt (ALL), Warren Barguil (FRA), Roy Curvers (HOL), Michael Matthews (AUS), Simon Geschke (ALL), Ramon Sinkeldam (HOL), Laurens Ten Dam (HOL), Albert Timmer (HOL), Mike Teunissen (HOL).

Trek-Segafredo; André Cardoso (POR), Alberto Contador(ESP), John Degenkolb (ALL), Fabio Felline (ITA), Michael Gogl (AUT), Markel Irizar (ESP), Koen de Kort (HOL), Bauke MOLLEMA (HOL) , Jarlinson Pantano (COL).

UAE – Team Emirates: Darwin Atapuma (COL), Matteo Bono (ITA), Kristijan Durasek (CRO), Vegard Stake Laengen (NOR), Marco Marcato (ITA), Manuele Mori (ITA), Louis Meintjes (AFS), Ben Swift (GBR), Diego Ulissi (ITA).

Wanty – Groupe Gobert: Frederik Backaert (BEL), Thomas Degand (BEL), Guillaume Martin (FRA), Marco Minaard (NED),Yoann Offredo (FRA), Andrea Pasqualon (ITA), Dion Smith (NZL), Guillaume Van Keirlsbuck (BEL), Pieter Vanspeybrouck (BEL).

The official site to watch it live is here in English: http://www.letour.fr/le-tour/2017/us/

Notice this year the race will begin in Dusseldorf Germany !! hey a town I have visited!!! Here was my post on the city: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/11/26/a-new-city-on-my-map-dusseldorf-germany/

It will ,also, past by Belgium and Luxembourg!

Then stage 7 from Troyes to Nuits-Saint-Georges should be sublime, also, stage 10 Périgueux to Bergerac wow! Stages 11-12 around Pau! and Stage 16 Le Puy-en-Vélay to Romans-sur-Isére, and of course the finish in Paris.

Some schedules to watch on TV is here in English:

http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/tour-de-france/tour-de-france-live-tv-guide-233516

And here is a video in 3D of the route of the 104th edition of the Tour de France!!

 

See on the roads folks, enjoy it and happy end of june 2017. Cheers

June 24, 2017

Pointe du Raz in pays Bigouden; Finistére Breton!

Today was a hectic day and lots of things to do so done tonite and rest tomorrow. However, the day was cloudy cooler nicer to go out with temps in the 15C  to 22C this is like less than 75F all day. The sun did came out a bit later in the day but while we were where we were going was not. Anyway this is Brittany and we went next door to the Finistére dept 29.

We had lots of errands to do and started in Vannes picking up my retouch jean from Armand Thiery; then going to V&B to pick some more Belgian and German beers in Auray. Both of which I have written extensively in previous posts. We finally headed for Finistére.

Getting back on the N165 passing the ria river of Auray over the  Kerplouz bridge we headed to our destination by taken the D784 just after Quimper direction Audierne.

We headed for Pouldreuzic in the pays Bigouden to get to the boutique factory of Hénaff (founded in 1907) the great Breton deli with all its delicacies. This was wonderful and we loaded up on more than 130€ shopping on cans from duck mousse to rabbit, deer, wild pigs, tuna, hams,  in different blends as well as cider (130 m2 of space). The store has a museum 3€ admission but it was closed. It is a nice compact store with cold cuts pates on the right and souvenirs , fisheries and home deco items on the left side.  The factory is just around the corner and they have a full service center for the community . You have a salon de thé and garden playground next door with picnic tables. The opening hours varied in low and high season; right now is high season. More here: http://www.henaff.com/en/henaff/

Once we did our shopping in Pouldreuzic town, we had some time left so we headed forward to the Pointe du Raz, the furthermost point in the peninsula passing towns like Landudec, Plozévet, and Plouhinec with nice churches and the great harbor of Audierne.

The Church of Saint Démet in Plozévet is nice. It has elements of the 12C and built in the 14C with later renovations. The town of Plozévet is at the crossing of the roads D784 and D2 near the coast and west of  Quimper. More in French on the town go to “La Commune” on top row and on bottom go for “Le Patrimoine Communal de Plozévet.” http://www.plozevet.fr/

The Church Sainte Anne in Landudec is also nice. Built with donations from 1528 to 1540 and rebuilt in 1904.  The town is unique finding itself between the Pays Glazik , and the Cap-Sizun, itselves between the Pays Bigouden ,and the Pen Sardinn. A bit more here in French: http://www.landudec.fr/decouvrir-la-commune/

The Church of Saint Winoc in Plouhinec is nice. Built between the 16C and 18C even if many elements are found from the 15C.  These were seeing passing on our way to final destination in Pouldreuzic or Pointe du Raz. Bit more on the Church in French here: https://www.plouhinec.bzh/decouvrir-commune/tourisme

We finally reach Pointe du Raz, in the Cap Sizun, at the westernmost point in the peninsula seeing the vast atlantic ocean and the lighthouses of the island of Sein. The view here is magnificent over the vast ocean and you are on a cliff with rocky stony footpath leading you to the edge!  Parking starts from 6,50€ and there is plenty of shops and restos on the point to keep it a day. You see the grandeur of the panorama on the Raz de Sein very famous by seamen with their lighthouses of the Vieille, and the Tévennec, as well as the fascinating island of  île de Sein. More here on the grand sites of France in French: https://www.pointeduraz.com/grand-site-de-france/un-site-exceptionnel

And from the Finistére tourism office in English: http://www.finisterebrittany.com/pointe-du-raz

A place not to miss if coming to Brittany at least arrive to see it and have lunch on site great combi.

We did passed by the harbor beach town of Audierne, this is very picturesque like a post card and great ambiance along the waterfront. The tourist office will tell you more, I love the town and will be back in the Pays Capiste ,just before the Le Pointe du Raz.   http://www.capsizun-tourisme.bzh/en/discover/audierne/

In the above link you can find more of the Pointe du Raz and Cap Sizun as well as the île de Sein.  A lovely ride coming back late to get to my car wash at E Leclerc Vannes and the grocery shopping for other stuff there , finally reaching home pretty late. Sunday will be to rest lol!

Enjoy your weekend and Sunday, until next time ,and thanks for reading my blog; cheers.

 Audierne  Audierne  Audierne Auray Auray Landudec Landudec  Plouhinec  Plouhinec  Plouhinec  Plozévet  Plozévet  Plozévet  Plozévet  Pointe du Raz  Pointe du Raz  Pointe du Raz  Pointe du Raz  Pointe du Raz  Pointe du Raz  Pointe du Raz  Pointe du Raz  Pointe du Raz  Pointe du Raz  Pointe du Raz  Pointe du Raz  Pouldreuzic  Pouldreuzic  Pouldreuzic  Pouldreuzic  Pouldreuzic  Pouldreuzic  Pouldreuzic  Pouldreuzic  Pouldreuzic

 

 

 

 

June 23, 2017

Some news from Spain XLV

Here here this is Spain hot and beautiful. Temps are in heaven hot but so is the Spanish soul. this is the season and Summer is here, hear all about it, this is Spain. Some ramblings to tell you all.

Some of the best of the Valencia region: this is Alzira with its Arabic walls and part of the Route of Monasteries near the natural site  or Paraje Natural Municipal La Murta, previously known as the Valley or Valle de los Milagros.  This valley has medicinal properties due to its flora to make plant medicines. Now there is a walk path of about 9 kms that takes you to some of its better sites such as the monastery of  Santa María de la Murta, finished in 1401. More here: http://www.valenciaturisme.org/en/things-to-do/the-monastery-route/

You go to the fountain of the baths or Fuente de los Baños, in Montanejos, known since Arabic times. The Moorish king  Zeit-Abu-Zeit  was  aware of the medicinal properties of the waters of the river Mijares , and according to legend it ordered built the baths for the women in the harem to kept young and beautiful.  These properties of the waters keep a year round temperature of 25C and has been for centuries. Now it is part of health tourism. Up the waters at about 2,5 kms you arrive at the urban center and the dam of Arenoso, where you see one of the wonderful natural attraction of the region in the narrows or  Los Estrechos.  This is a canyon of about 25 meters wide and more than 100 meters high where you can practice the climbing and live water sports. More in Spanish here: http://www.visitmontanejos.com/fuente-de-banos/

Reaching Vilafamés, of Arabic origins where you still find some ruins such as the foundation of the castle on top of a hill where the town rises. Even if the early remains of the town goes back to Paleothic Superior, found in the cave or Cueva Matutano.  Also, in the cave cavity of  El Tossal de la Font you find remains of Homo Sapiens of  80.000 years old, while in the basement of the castle and the rocks or  Rocas de Mallasén you find remains of rustics paintings. More in Spanish here: http://vilafames.org/es/poble/patrimoni/

You continue on towards Villena old town is to go back to the Middle Ages. The Castle of Atalaya built by the Arabs in the 12C reign over the town. It is one of the oldest construction of its type in Spain with a tower of square ground and two bodies as well as Almohades tombs. More here http://www.turismovillena.com/?lang=en_EN

At the foot of a castle of the Arabic period that still conserve almost instact its towers and walls you come to Chulilla. A small town of middle ages and stone age time at the extreme of the river Turia with a deep ravine of 160 meters deep from which a castle rises overlooking the town with several hanging bridges. In the canyon of or barranco de Falfiguera, back in 1998  it was discovered rustic paintings of the Epipaleothic period  (3500-2000 AC.) with zoomorphic and antropomorfic drawings some of them not found in other parts of the Mediterránean.  In Chulilla, you can, also find remains of the Copper and Iron age belonging to the Iberian people. More in Spanish here :  http://www.chulilla.es/es/turismo/page/cultura-patrimonio

In the small coastal town of Canet d’en Berenguer just a few km from Valencia and next to Sagunto. You have some of the vestiges of the Roman period. In the 14C the town was known as Canet d’en Berenguer and went to the power of Francisco Berenguer, and his descendants from which the town takes its name. Here you find the beautiful beach of Raco de la Mar with a blue flag rating and a lighthouse of 30 meters high with a reach of 25 miles dating from 1904. The particularity of this lighthouse is that is located 300 meters inland surrounded by orange trees.  More here in Spanish: http://www.canetdenberenguer.es/turismo/playa

And the beach here ! https://www.playas-valencia.com/en/playas/raco-de-la-mar-beach-corner-of-sea/

Moving on the other side of Spain, to Galicia; we have in Ferrol of the finest and whitest beaches such as DoniñosEsmelleFragata , and San Jorge all rated blue flag safe and clean. From Ferrol you take the route in the direction of Cariño to reach Doniños.  Here you find all kinds of services such as small restos or chiringuitos, and bars, even Children playground, parkings, bus stop, showers, emergency post with 2 kms of fine sand , golden dunes and a great lake with great fauna. A paradise for surfers that for the second consecutive year host the national surfing championship or  Campeonato Nacional de Surf  from June 26 to July 2nd organized  by the Spanish surfing federation or Federación Española de Surf. More on the beach here: http://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/10112/doninos?langId=en_US

On the other hand the beach at Doñinos is a historic beach as this is the point the English navy pick to attack Ferrol in 1800 when it was made impossible to entered thru the harbor one of the best protected in the world with three castles and a huge underground chain amongst them.  The difficulty of the landing due to bad seas, the heavily guarded beach and the lake made it possible for the English defeat. You can reach it by Balon at 2 kms taken the route towards the beach of Doñinos.  It has two access one at  Outeiro, on the north with ample parking and the other at Punta Penencia,  to the south and less service.

Moving onwards to O-Vilar Cobas, this beach is in the form of a shell in a rural surrounding with some summer chalets.  To the right of the chalets there is a rocky entrance only on low tide to the beach of  Playa Os Botes (also known as beach playa Mourella). It is near the bus stop to Beceiro. More on the beaches in Spanish here: http://www.concellodevaldovino.com/?q=es/node/155

Between the beaches of  O Vilar and Esmelle, next to San Xurxo  that together form the natural bay of  San Xurxo, you find the beach of playa Fragata, known also by the name of  Porto Bello. A bit smaller than Esmelle. A bit more here in Spanish; http://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/10216/a-fragata?langId=es_ES

Continuing on our beach round of Galicia, and passing by the city center/downtown of Cobas in the direction of A Pedreira you reach to a magical spot where you have a chapel in the island or isla de Santa Comba (legend the image of the saint with her son arrive here by a stone boat and in its honor the romance chapel of Santa Comba was done in the 12C). Next to it you find the beach of the same name with white sands with some black gravel stone which is really magnetite a mineral derive from iron. The beach is isolated so need to reach it by car, worth the ride. From here along the littoral you have the protected areas  (EU) of the network Red Natura 2000. A bit more here: http://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/10110/santa-comba?langId=en_US

We finished in the nearby town of  Valdoviño, on the beach or Playa de Pantín, to enjoy the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro along the world championship of surfing from August 28 to September 2nd next ; along its numerous surfing schools. A bit more here: http://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/10105/pantin?langId=en_US

We finished the beaches and go inland to historic and vibrant Pamplona.

The old town is party time especially along the streets of Estafeta, San Nicolás, Calderería ,and Navarrería.  However, there is another historic area where you have artists shops  and designers next to bars such as the streets of  Curia, Compañía, Merced ,and  Dormitalería with its own bohemian style on the shadow of the gothic Cathedral of Pamplona. The fluvial park of Arga next to the old ramparts with green spaces such as those of  Vuelta del Castillo,and  Taconera,surrounding the defensive walls in the time of king Felipe II.  These spaces are the scene for the Marathon of San Fermin and the running of the popular running of the ramparts or  Las Murallas . More on tourism in Pamplona here: http://www.turismodepamplona.es/verpagina.aspx?idpag=1&idioma=5

Closing out with the ongoing Madrid Orgullo or World Pride 2017 with the LGBTIQ Pride festival ; the hotels are booked, the restos packed and the party is just beginning; so you either have it or just come in for a walk: More in English here:http://www.worldpridemadrid2017.com/en/

Cheers and enjoy your weekend wherever you are in our world.

 

 

 

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June 21, 2017

Some news from France CLVIIII

And I am back in milder weather at last. Today got up to 30C only…. and sunny. We had an open air picnic in our employer’s vast park (work in  a castle in ruins with a vast modern buildings in the forest).  So, it is time to tell you more about my belle France and especially eternal Paris.

Right off the bat, today is 36th Fête de la Musique or music festival all over France; its a tradition that is taken roots really fast.

Over in Paris; the biggest and all over, we used to have even in the metro riding lol! Now the nicest one me think is by the Palais Royal. Starting at 14h the orchestra of the school of Buissonnets of Rueil-Malmaison will kick off the day. 16-17h Vilorio a former singer and trompist of metal fusion that mixes in the pop, funk, and Latin. Then ,the group Midnight  Colors, with the Camerounaise Nelly W and the  pianist composer Arnaud Fournier around jazz and blues. Continuing at 18-19h you will see “KaraRocké” a karaoke version XXL with volunteers going on stage to take over the songs of rock, of various artists. By 20h the Belgian singer Coely with Rap, and hip-hop as well as soul and R’nB. At 21h the batterist Tony Allen of Nigeria one of the pioneers of the afrobeat mixing traditional Nigerian music with jazz, funk etc. He has worked with Charlotte Gainsbourg here in France already.  You will hear the 20syl of Nantes with the electronic touch and the American rapper Mr J Medeiros from 22h. Lastly, the duo AllttA will close out the night.  More in English here: http://traduction.culturecommunication.gouv.fr/url/Result.aspx?to=en&url=http%3A%2F%2Ffetedelamusique.culturecommunication.gouv.fr%2FActualites%2FDecouvrez-la-programmation-musicale-du-ministere-au-Palais-Royal

Moving over to my beloved Versailles , you will have electro music at the Place de l’Europe with the group Ostud & Soundmotion ,and the pop rock of the 50’s will be by the Place des Manéges. Several groups will be around town  such as by the Cathédrale Saint-Louis, Cour des Senteurs, Cour de la Grande Ecurie , and the jardin des Etangs Gobert. More in French here: http://www.jversailles.fr/article/article/fete-de-la-musique-la-progr/

And of course my nice Pluvigner, will have it by the  Place Saint-Michel  from 21h30 -23h tonite with the local group Dan Ar Draz and Clarisse Lavanant, and at the Place du Marché from 23h to 01h the presentation of the group YP’s with pop.rock music and later a huge Breton party or Fest-noz with the group Arvest to close the party. More in French here: http://www.pluvigner.fr/agenda/fete-de-la-musique/

Dealing also with delights and food, some of the best summer tables in Paris all tried by yours truly.

Balagan, 9 rue d’Alger (1st) Tel +33 (0) 1 40 20 72 14; everyday more here: http://www.balagan-paris.com/fr

Roberta, 5bis rue La Vieuville (18st) Tel +33 (0) 1 42 59 33 32 , everyday. more here.http://fr.newtable.com/restaurant-roberta-3668.php

Polissons, 35 rue Ramey (18) tel +33 (0) 6 46 63 57 59 everyday except Sundays. more here: http://www.polissons-restaurant.fr/

Maison Maison, facing the 16 quai du Louvre (1st) no tel, open everyday. More here: http://fr.newtable.com/restaurant-maison-maison-3671.php

The roofstop of Monsieur Mouche, port de la Conférence, pont de l’Alma (8th) ; more in Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/monsieurmoucheparis/

Racines des Prés, 1 rue de Gribeauval (7th) tel +33 (0) 1 45 48 14 16, everyday except Saturdays only lunch and Sundays all day. More here: http://www.racinesparis.com/racines2

Détour, 15 rue de la Tour-des-Dames (9th) tel +33 (0) 1 45 26 21 48 everyday except Sundays and Mondays. More here: http://fr.newtable.com/restaurant-detour-3637.php

Crabe Royal 19 place de la Madeleine (8) tel +33 (0) 1 81 69 96 70; everyday except Sundays. More here: http://craberoyal.com/

Drugstore Publicis, 133 avenue des Champs-Elysées (8) tel +33 (0) 1 44 43 75 07; more here: https://restaurantledrugstore.com/fr/le-drugstore

Sea Bar Ostrea, 60 rue de l’Arbre-Sec (1st) tel +33 (0) 1 85 81 11 11  ;only evenings Closed Sundays and Mondays. More here: http://fr.newtable.com/restaurant-sea-bar-ostrea-3627.php

A historic icon of Paris is ready to open on July 5th, on the Place de la Concorde, this is the Hotel de Crillon. An architecture marvel of the 18C done by the Ange-Jacques Gabriel a symbol of luxury French style is to open again after extensive renovations.  It will be managed by the group Rosewood Hotels and Resorts with Saudi ownerwhip; this the former residence of the counts of Crillon that was turned into a hotel or Hotel des Voyageurs in 1909. It will have 124 rooms vs 147 before with 33 suites, 10 suites Signature and done by the best in the business such as Karl Lagerfeld for the decorations. Aline d’Amman the artistic director will be invited with 3 decorators designers such as Tristan Auer, Chahan Minassian and Cyril Vergniol (previously collaborated with Alberto Pinto). It will have a hair saloon and brasserie a spa and pool done by the arts decoratif experts of Minassian. And the kitchen by Christopher Hache previously experiences at Briffard, Senderens, Frecho, etc. Hôtel de Crillon 10 place de la Concorde (8) tel +33 (0) 1 44 71 15 00. More here: https://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/hotel-de-crillon

There is a new exposition at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, . until January 14, 2018. Inspirations, hommage by artists to great men of our times with their productions. From Darwin to Jackson Pollock appearing in L’ordre des Pierres (2007) Orson Welles and Michel-Ange in Par des temps incertains (2001) and many more to discover. Valerian et Laureline en mission pour la Cité. 30 avenue Corentin-Cariou (19) open every day except Mondays from 10h to 18h and Sundays from 10h to 19h. admission 9€-12€:more here: http://www.cite-sciences.fr/en/explore/temporary-exhibitions/valerian-et-laureline-en-mission-pour-la-cite/

Here all about it here Paris mayor is at it again!!! From tomorrow Thursday June 22nd there will be ticket to purchase for 3,80€ for all polluting modes of transport coming into Paris; this is by the regional govt more here: https://www.iledefrance.fr/fil-presidence/pic-pollution-forfait-anti-pollution-si-etat-ne-prend-pas-charge-gratuite-transports

Then, the city of Paris on October 1st 2017 Paris will be completely traffic free with only the boulevard périphérique , the  bois de Boulogne, and of  Vincennes open to traffic. More in French from the city here: http://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/environnement/a-paris-l-annuelle-journee-sans-voiture-le-1er-octobre-concernera-l-ensemble-de-la-capitale_2247043.html

Something wonderful in Seine-et-Marne, at Provins back again. The lights, the flamboyant decorations, the banners and flags resembling the middle ages are back June 24 and 25 weekend.  These are the médiévales de Provins. Costumes and spectacles from the period come to meet Dame Garance and her husband Enguerrand that will explain the fabrication of pigments on cloths. Saturday the evenings will be high in colors with a Bal, concert of medieval music and to close the 34th edition, an illumination at 22h and spectacle of fireworks at 22h30. The festivities will be Saturday from 10h to 22h30 and Sunday from 10h to 17h30. admission is 11€ and 15€ for the two days.More info at http://provins-medieval.com/fr/

And something to celebrate the coming to Versailles of the tsar  Peter the Great of Russia we have many things going on in my old dept 78 Yvelines. From the La Machine de Marly to Marly-le-Roi, the Datcha of Russian writer  Ivan Tourgueniev at Bougival, the Skit du Saint-Esprit at Mesnil-Saint-Denis where the hermitage founded by orthodox monks is one of the emblematic sites of Russia in the department . For this occasion there is an exposition at different sites such as Bougival, Versailles, Marly-le-Roi, Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines, Le Mesnil-Saint-Denis, and Rueil-Malmaison (dept Hauts-de-Seine 92)  to discover the great Russian personalities of the time from the tsar to artists, writers etc that have marked the history of Bougival , and the surrounding towns. More info at email: office-tourisme@ville-bougival.fr or tel +33 (0) 1 39 69 21 23.  More here and do print the pdf file communiqué de presse: http://www.tourisme-bougival.com/visiter-bougival/la-russie-en-yvelines/

Enjoy the end of week as always looking forward to that weekend.  Enjoy the music y’all, Cheers

PS. Do not want to wait to next post because this is wonderful and just going on in Paris; La Fête Foraine des Tuileries; right in the jardin des tuileries; going on now until August 27th. You have over 60 attractions with 20 carrousels of wooden horses, ice skating, crazy cars, phantom trains, shooting galleries, fishing, trampoline, toboggan, climbing, the great wheel is the most popular. It is open every day from 11h to 23h45 in the week and from 11h to 00h45 Fridays, Saturdays, and eves of Holidays. More in the Paris tourist office in English here: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-show-exhibition/135470/fete-des-tuileries

 

 

 

 

June 18, 2017

Father’s Day in Bretagne/Brittany, something to celebrate!

Today,it’s that time again, Father’s Day in France. I am still very lucky to have mine alive at 82,not so lucky with my Mom who passed away in 2007 here in France.

The last time we celebrated Father’s day in 2015 and took him to the very nice Restaurant Le Gavroche in Vannes; I wrote about it here: https://paris1972.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=10838&action=edit

This year we have done the same and gone back to the same restaurant. Here is their webpage: http://www.legavroche-vannes.com/

Ratings are good here 3,5 out of 5 in Yelp(one of my recommended sites in my blogroll below main page) : https://www.yelp.fr/biz/le-gavroche-vannes-2

The restaurant is in the neighborhood of Saint Patern at 17 Rue de la Fontaine,in Vannes. Taking the N165 expressway and go out at the Vannes Centre road D767; past the traffic circle of Pompidou and continue on Avenue Georges Pompidou , take slightly right to ge on avenue Jean Monnet on next traffic circle take left towards Rue Madame Lagarde which will become Boulevard de la Paix , here take a quick right into Rue de la Fontaine to the restaurant on your right hand side just before the Church of Saint Patern on your left. However, the best for parking is to continue onto Rue du Maréchal Leclerc and park along the ramparts of the old castle ruins facing the gardens of the Garonne.

The menu for 17,90€ included for me a fish soup for entrée, piece of butcher steak in pepper sauce, potatoes, pumpkin purée, dessert of the day a baba cake of coconut and passion fruit in caramel colis, all down with a bottle of La Gardiere 2016 St Nicolas de Bourgueil in the Loire, irish coffee, coca cola for my father and the house digestif blend of rum and vanilla liquor all for 22,95€ per person ,not bad. Happy Father’s Day.

I did started my day voting in my congressional or legislative second round election in my town of Pluvigner; very light again and expected a very low turnout. Usuallly dissatisfied with the political spectrum and the new president governing with 50% of voters…. Time will tell.

Back to Vannes, we did our usual walk and saw a wonderful Breton service at the Church of Saint Patern, the oldest in Vannes. Many beautiful wooden houses and the ramparts of Vannes with its wonderful Constable tower , Gate or Porte Prison, The regional govt building or prefecture gardens are lovely, and Garonne garden. Always a magical place to be even in 32C weather.

My father kept up walking and had a wonderful dinner, ate it all! very happy to get him out of the house and spent some time with him on our busy lives. He really enjoy it and was very happy with the outing so Father’s day done well.

We arrive home in the heat by 15h or 3PM and now relaxing waiting for another week of heat as temps are call to be in the early 30C here or near 90F for the rest of the week.

You have a wonderful Sunday and a great Father’s Day if celebrating it. Keep cool, and happy travels;Cheers.

ps. Enjoy the photos.

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

 

 

June 17, 2017

Quiberon is awesome and it’s our backyard !!!

One more time to Quiberon. Looking back ,I have already 10 posts entries in my blog on it, possibly more than any other single location and for good reason. This is awesome playground just south of me.

Today was hot, temps at 30C or 88F and sunny bright some wind, just a regular summer day before summer. The folks were turn towards the beaches and traffic going there was heavy ,especially from 14H or 2PM onwards.

We decided that after our family errands we will head there for a nice brunch late lunch on a hot Saturday afternoon. This we did, and headed easily with little traffic towards the center of Quiberon, this is the Place Hoche just before hitting the Grande Plage or big beach and just after place du Varquez, and the site of the market on Saturday mornings.

The parking is very nice if arrive early with 210 spaces metered parking, and just walks to the beach and the resto/bars in and around the square and Esplanade or big promenade after the parking Varquez and just before the Place du Varquez.

Here, you have the Café de l’Esplanade Hoche, and Remy the owner, always pleasant helpful talkative and the drinks and snacks just great for a wonderful afternoon. Later on in the evening they stay open until 2-3 AM and the crowds gets more lively. We go with the family so we stay to go in the afternoons more quiet and more time to talk.

We had our usual pate in Mousse de Canard à l’orange (duck in orange ) and Patê de Lapin aux pruneaux (rabbit in prunes) ,and Terrine de Canard au miel (duck with honey), saucisson comte, (comte cheese sausage) ,and of course our local beer 8,5% Belzebuth  (a meaning from the New Testament of the head of demons) , here is just a wonderful Celtic/Breton beer blonde. Wonderful mild houblon taste just melts in your mouth, more on it here, beware of the Devil. Brasserie Grain d’Orge, 185 rue Léo Lagrange, 59500;Douai, Hauts de France region. More here: http://www.belzebuth.fr/

The tourist office on it is here in French: http://www.quiberon.com/se-restaurer/brasseries/1016873-lesplanade-café

And this is the merchant’s site of Quiberon: http://www.quibactiv.fr/commerces/lesplanade-cafe/

The site in Facebook is here: https://www.facebook.com/Esplanadecafequiberon/

It is a fun place, and good quality price ratio, a must for us when stopping in Quiberon ,which is often ::) We live just 45 minutes by car and this is a peninsula with several beaches along the way and the wonderful Wild Coast or Côte Sauvage I have detailed earlier on my blog. Highly recommended if in the area or just come it will be worth it.

Stay cool, drink liquids (any ::)) and have a blast summer times are here again. Cheers

 Quiberon  Quiberon  Quiberon  Quiberon  Quiberon  Quiberon  Quiberon  Quiberon  Quiberon

 

 

 

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June 16, 2017

Some news from Spain XLIIII

On a hot day here and announcing 32C for the weekend , of course nothing to compare to the 40C been register in Madrid, we are moving on Friday, TGIF is here and the weekend is looking good.

Now for some of the latest from my beloved Spain, España, Espagne, here are the favorites places in Madrid to have a vermus that wonderful summer drink drank by all as with friends and family. A tradition of Madrid:

El Anciano Rey de los Vinos Calle Bailén, 19 , Metro: Ópera , Tel +34 91 559 53 32; open from 9h to 24h , closed Tuesdays. The magnificent across from the Cathedral or Catedral de la Almudena, and nearby the Royal Palace or Palacio Real. Many stories here since 1909, one of them is that King Alfonso XIII  arrived here by a secret tunnel that connect it to the Royal Palace.  Here the vermù is serve by draft and with hose serve on a short legged cup and with a tapa.  If you want something more hearty go for the regalito de torito ( a brick paste filled with oxtails of the toro and piquillo pimentos), ohh yummy! More here : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/restaurants/el-anciano-rey-de-los-vinos

La Ardosa ,Calle Colón, 13, Metro: Tribunal, Tel +34 91 521 49 79 ; open from 8h to 02H. (Saturdays and Sundays from 11h) ,it never closes! It opened it’s doors in 1892 as a wine store. Finally, in the 1870’s that it was a tasca or tavern. Here we have the vermù in draft of Reus served in a narrow glass. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/restaurants/bodega-la-ardosa

Bodegas Ricla , calle Cuchilleros, 6, Metro La Latina , tel +34 91 365 20 69; from 12h30 to 15h30 and 19h to 24h closed Sundays nights and Tuesdays.  A bit narrow spaces and closed to the Plaza Mayor has a beautiful bar counter in Tin and drafts handles of  yellow brass   ; it opened the doors in 1867 .  Here you can try the wonderful  callos a la madrileña,  boquerones en vinagre, and  bacalao en aceite con pimientos; check out what they are ::) More here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/bodegas-ricla-madrid

Camacho  Calle San Andrés, 4; Metro: Tribunal, Tel +34 91 531 35 98 ; open from 12h to 02H, closed Sundays.  The tavern is handle by three brothers who took over the business in 1980, when the family  Camacho  retired without descendants.  The vermú  draft as an iris served on a short glass and narrow with  cubes of ice, slice of orange, and straw.  You can have a media combinación this is with a gin and sprite type soda; to eat try the skew of tuna in tomato sauce. More here in the yelp recommended site on my blog:  https://www.yelp.com/biz/casa-camacho-Madrid

Muñiz, Calle Calatrava, 3 , Metro  Puerta de Toledo; tel +34 91 365 66 47; open from 7h to 24h always open.  This is a good idea before going to the Rastro , the aperitif bar to be in. The vermù is from the barrel served in elongated glass, wider in the mouth. You munch away on small sardines or boquerones en vinagre,,,,croquettes and skews of  chitterslings. More here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/mu%C3%B1iz-madrid-2

Stop Madrid Calle  Hortaleza, 11 , Metro Gran Vía; Tel +34 91 521 88 87 ; opened from 12h to 02h, always open. It has three locations in Madrid at  Atocha, Alberto Alcocer ,and León, but this one is the original ,opened from 1929.  It is loud and corner centro Madrid with a beautiful floor of mosaics ceramics and a bar counter is of marbre. The vermù from draft, reserve of the house and served on glass with short leg ice cubes and orange. Also, try the white drink in a bottle Nordesía. To munch try the hams, anchovies etc.. More here: http://www.stopmadrid.es/en/

Taberna de Antonio Sànchez , Mesón de Paredes, 13 ; Metro  Tirso de Molina ; Tel +34 91 539 78 26; open from 12h to 16h and 20h to 24h.  Closed Sunday nights.  It is named after the bullfighter that founded the tavern in 1830. It is decorated with heads of bulls and a wooden counter cover in zinc. At the extreme of the bar counter the brass drafts runs the vermù  a bit sweet taken with a tapa of anchovies  or sausages , croquette or oxtails bulls meats. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/restaurants/taberna-de-antonio-sanchez

The mythical and come back favorite Café Comercial  ,Glorieta de Bilbao, 7; Metro  Bilbao ; tel +34  91 088 25 25 ; from 8h to 02h always open.  This was the oldest café in Madrid and last March reopened the doors with new ownership.  The mythical bar counter in marbre stays here to try the vermù in draft done in Reus with ice cubes in an old fashioned glass; you can take a bottle home for 18€.  To munch potatoes in garlic sauce, olives, mussels, croquettes of ham ,salads and iberian ham sandwiches..More here:http://cafecomercialmadrid.com/

La Carmencita, Calle Libertad ,16, Metro Chueca, Tel +34 91 531 09 11 ; open 9h to 01H always open. A bar opened in 1854 and renovated recently . The vermù has about 20 different offers like the Virgen de Loreto, Valdepablo, Arlini, Perucchi, Luna Reserva, Carpano, Punt e Mes, and  Casa Mariol.  There are four ways to serve it, artesano, traditional, Americano with Campari and soda , the manhattan sweet or dry with bourbon or negroni with campari and gin. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/restaurants/carmencita

Donde Sànchez Calle Santa Isabel, 5 (inside the Mercado de Antón Martín) ; Metro  Antón Martín ; tel +34 639 12 64 07 , open from 12h to 21h, Saturdays until 16H; Closed Saturday nights, Sundays and Mondays. The bar counter is a tasting place and offers a nice vermù served in martini glass with Burlador, Miró, San Bernabé, Amillo Reserva or  Petroni.  You can add a montadito sandwich of sardines in olive oil. More here: http://www.mercadoantonmartin.com/donde-sanchez-cosas-ricas/

Latazo, Calle Santa Isabel, 5 (inside Mercado de Antón Martín) ; Metro Antón martin ; tel +34 655 12 73 00; open from 9h to 21h, Saturdays until 23h, closed Sundays. This is a modern one and not visited but heard by my family there that is a good one too. The vermù of the Casa Mariol, Lacuesta Reserva, Domingo or Espinaler  while you enjoy a chunk of  red tuna in olive oil , mussels in hot tomato sauce or razor shells au naturel. More here: http://www.mercadoantonmartin.com/latazo/

La Hora del Vermut Plaza San Miguel, s/n (inside Mercado de San Miguel) ; Metro Sol ; Tel +34  91 758 81 23 ; open from 10h to 24h, always open. Here you will find about 70 references of Vermus in draft, red, white, and rosé that rotates every week.  You can munch on the brochettes of cold cuts on the next side counter; you pay on the spot ; it has a branch at  Platea , Calle Goya, 5. More here: http://www.mercadodesanmiguel.es/en/puestos/la-hora-del-vermut/

And out of food into theater work, the famous Carmen will be in the Teatros del Canal until June 25. A Spanish legend, created by the French with arrangement by a Russian, choreography by a Swedish that lives in Sevilla; this is Carmen : choreograph by  Johann Inger, music by  Marc Álvarez and arrangements of the Opera of Bizet of Rodion Shchedrin, produce for the version of Alberto Alonso of 1967, that started his wife Maya Plisetskaya.  More here: http://www.teatroscanal.com/espectaculo/carmen-compania-nacional-danza/

Music Festival of summer is here: See these!

Noches del Botànico, from June 22 to the 29Th, with Tony Bennett, Bryan Ferry,  Franco Battiato and Giorgio Moroder. Others are here too Rubén Blades, Ub40, Jamie Cullum, Pablo Milanés, Anastacia, Madeleine Peyroux, and José James etc. In the Real Jardin Botànico Alfonso XIII, admission 33-132€: more here: http://www.nochesdelbotanico.com/

Rock Fest Bcn, from June 30th to July 2nd, with artists such as Aerosmith, and Alice Cooper. Others here too Europe, Sepultura, Wasp, Saxon, Paradise Lost, Rosendo, Rage, Gotthard, Metalfall, Blue Öyster Cult, Airbourne, and Avantasia. At Santa Coloma de Gramanet, Barcelona (Can Zam) ;  daily admission from 110-130 euros. More here: http://rockfestbarcelona.com/

BBK in July 6-8 Bilbao, with artists such as  Depeche Mode, Phoenix, and The Killers. Others will be : Justice, Fleet Foxes, Die Antwoord, Two Door Cinema Club, The 1975, Austra, Brian Wilson, Cage The Elephant, Primal Scream,  and Austra. At Kobetamendi, Bilbao  admission 55 euros. More here: http://bilbaobbklive.com/fr-fr/home-fr

Starlite from July 13 to August 26 , main features will be Elton John, Joaquín Sabina, Miguel Bosé, and  Eros Ramazzotti. Others will be Juan Magán, Anastacia, Art Garfunkel, Juan Luis Guerra, Manuel Carrasco, Pretenders, Luis Fonsi, Ben Harper, Malú, and The Cranberries. At  Marbella, Malaga, Auditorio la Cantera de Nagüeles; Admission from 25-1,155 euros. More here: https://starlitemarbella.koobin.com/?idioma=EN

One of my spots for this coming  summer will be at the Chateau or Castillo de Belmonte ; it is said that it took its name from the beauty of the countryside; for many years it was named Bellomonte,or beautiful forest. Here Don Juan Manuel, nephew of king Alfonso X El Sabio,ordered built in the 14C a palace and the first ramparts walls of the city.  It is right in the Route of Quijote and birthplace of the poet Fray Luis de León. At the extreme of the city you have the other important spot the Church collegiale of Colegiata de San Bartolomé  and the castle or Castillo de Belmonte. In between you have the nice architecture of the old town. Many movies were done here in the Castle such as El Cid, with Sophia Loren and Charlton Heston in 1961. More on the castle here: http://castillodebelmonte.com/en/

The Colegiata de San Bartolomé, was built in the mid 15C on the site of a Visigoth parrish of the 5C in the style mostly gothic. It has two gates or puertas ;one of the Sun or Sol  oriented towards the midday and flanks by gothic peaks and that of the Pardon or Perdones to the orient and has a figure of the Saint or San Bartolomé.  Inside you will find the pulpits of Coro, that belongs to the Cathedral at Cuenca, the chapel of the assomption, chapel of St Peter, St Paul and the Main Altar chapel ; that of St James, and St John the Baptist (that preserves the baptismal stone of Fray Luis de León).  There are concerts of sacred arts held here with an organ from the 18C.  Inside you have also the tombs of the family of the Marquis or Marqués de Villena. Admission is 2€ . More in Spanish here: http://www.descubrecuenca.com/es/enclaves-y-poblaciones/la-mancha/colegiata-de-san-bartolome-belmonte-69#ficha

From the Church in about 500 meters you will find the windmill or Molino de El Puntal, an impressive example that preserves all its machinery and open to the public with exhibitions of its work, and tiles . For visits call here Tel +34 635 41 10 43. From the windmill you can see wonderful views of Belmonte.

Aspalgatas shoes in Madrid, tradition obliges to go to my family all time favorite at Casa Hernanz, Calle Toledo, 18 ; Metro La Latina; Tel +34  91 366 54 50. The family here has been producing alpargatas for over 150 years! a Madrid tradition a must to visit even if not buying. You can choose from 50+ different colors done with cotton, linen, natural skin or velour in all kinds of sizes up to 50 and different heights until 15 cms ;also , do laces for shoes. More here: http://www.alpargateriahernanz.com/

Another coming along just fine is Calzados Lobo, Calle Toledo  ,30 Metro La latina ;; Tel +34 91 366 40 17. It was founded in 1897. It has a nice façade in red and inside there is the 4th generation of family. All kinds from flat to pointed with laces or not, many colors and from 6€. it has stores in Tenerife and Valladolid as well. More here: https://www.calzadoslobo.com/

Something unique to finish this post on my beloved Spain.

The museum or Museo Arqueologico Nacional (MAN) has revealed its secrets finally! The museum preserves four momies, three Egiptians and one Guanche (Tenerife my people!!!). They have undergone a strict studious tomographic that has allow to discovered more of them.  The main discovery is that one of the momies that of Nespamedu was indeed a  priest of Imhotep and doctor of the pharaoh that ruled in Saqqara or Alexandria and had about 50 yrs old when he died. The real surprise was what It had in the wrapping, it was shown to have decorations like collars, bracelets, pulses, and up to 16 plaques of charms that have been identify as sets of plaques of four sons of Horus  one of the most significant ancient Egyptian deities ; thise momie came to Madrid from the Cairo museum in 1925 donated and was initially identify as a women. It was ,also ,reveal two other momies were women. The first one arrived in 1887, and it was a young women between 20-35 yrs old of the intermediate third period between the 9C and 7C BC. The other momie a women too was given in the same year of a women around 40 yrs old of the ptolemic period  who had Arthrosis and a bad dental health as well as remains of the heart, as the old Egyptians conserve the heart inside the momies as for them it was the organ where the  mind and feelings lie.

The Guanche momie is one of the best preserve of the ones still existing from the period. It comes from a funeral cave in the canyon or  Barranco de Herques in  Tenerife. It arrived in Madrid in 1764 and the new analysis have reveal that the Guanches did not extract the organs n the process of embalment of the dead as the Egyptians did. The Guanche momie preserve all its organs as well as a perfect denture. See them here http://www.man.es/man/en/museo/el-man

You all have a great weekend and until next time by Paris1972-Versailles2003 ::)

 

 

 

 

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June 14, 2017

Some news from France CLVIII

Well here I am again and temps in the glorious 32C or about 90F sunny hot this is Summer already.  And already almost half way in June moving to vacation time next month and August, the big one lol!

Some info on attendance on the museums of our World, some paid and some free, the most visited according to this organisation TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index are: