March 25, 2017

Day and Night in Vannes!

So we reach another weekend and it is great at 18C sunny a bit windy but clear with no rain. Just lovely day to start a good Spring weekend and ready for the change of hour tonite we move one hour ahead.

I ,as usual try to pin my blog on my daily life here in my belle France as much as I have the courage to print it here hehehe! Well , night outing with colleagues from work and then fast food lunch with the family..

Friday to finish our week in style and the load becoming less, we went out from work with our co workers men and women to a nice bar in Vannes by the ramparts ,that is very popular here and with our company colleagues too.

The bar is here from the Morbihan tourist office in French as they have no webpage but a facebook page in the link as well. http://www.morbihan.com/vannes/les-valseuses/tabid/2256/offreid/6e865926-850e-4c19-8f16-4a17559bc55c

This is the Les Valseuses, the name derives from a hotty French movie of 1974 with Gerard Depardieu Patrick Dewaere, Jeanne Moreau ,and Miou-Miou ;on the first  grand role of Isabelle Huppert. This was a film someone might call it porno but not classified as such with only a under 12 audience here: a bit of here in youtube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oqas85UYjuI

The bar has posters of the film all over , there is a front entrance room and the bar on your left, then another room and a bigger room in the back. All around dotted with medium size screen TV’s showing sports events. The outside or right hand side of the building ,there is an outdoor terrace with live music shows as well as inside in the back big room. The crowd has all kinds of ages showing up but adults.  The facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/lesvalseusesvannes/

I had a great beer call the Bruges Triplet of 9% in a pint, great taste ,had a couple and still standing lol! Great cheers and good times on a Friday night by the ramparts of Vannes ,porte Poterne  ,the bar is very near that and the Constable tower or tour du connétable.

Then, this afternoon doing our errands as usual at Conforama for my boys table, the micromania for their games, Buro 56 for their computer pad, and E Leclerc for our major groceries, we had lunch in the brand new Burger King !!

Now, if you have read my posts before, you know my boys were born in Florida USA. The headquarters of Burger King is there in Miami so it’s a natural for us to be fans of BK and the Whopper. Yes even in France ,they are popular, the place was pack. You can beat here a good chunk of double beef (whopper double) , onion rings, desserts ice cream with kit kat chocolate, and big sprite soda for less than 11 euros.

The Burger King franchises coming back to France are handle by main franchisee Groupe Bertrand, and they are slowly but surely taking over the Quick fast food restaurants, at least most of them that are of Belgian origins. We have two one in Ploeren next to Vannes and another a bit further at Théix. So far, the ones at Ploeren, Vannes is done. And we try it!

For GPS lovers the resto is at 32 Rue Edgar Touffreau, 56880. Ploeren. It will be open every day from 11h to 23h and the drive by until midnight Fridays and Saturdays.

You have menus from 6,90€, burgers of the moment are the double steakhouse, fries, onion rings , salads, snacks, desserts like smoothies, shakes etc King box for the little ones, and sodas, water, orange juice, coffees. But, more here: https://www.burgerking.fr/restaurants/q/vannes-ploeren

The restaurant is just over the expressway N165 from city of Vannes limits along over the road on avenue du marne into the traffic circle you see it, on the left of the Buffalo Grill resto. bus no 5 of Vannes takes you there too, direction Luscanen stop at de Cadoudal ,and walk about five minutes to resto. More here at KICEO, https://www.kiceo.fr/sites/default/files/ligne/ligne_5-kiceo.pdf

So now we have our favorite fast food resto near us too lol!!! In fact we have everything under the sun here from many places, you will be surprise. Stay tune for the Morbihan dept 56 and Vannes (where I work!).

Enjoy your weekend wherever you are; cheers.

Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes

 

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March 22, 2017

Some news from France CXLXVI

Hi y’all, here I am back. Today was cloudy windy and cool at low of 8C or about 44F, the rest of the week looks to be the same or worse. And this is Spring time already lol!!!

So I got good news of my international travels as going back to Spain next month and May will be in Poland and Brazil. Now for some news going on in the Belle France!

The return of night racing at the Vincenne racecourse or Vincennes Hippodrome de Paris are back each Tuesdays and Fridays evenings starting today. You will be able to have a dinner at the restaurant Le Panoramique. You can, also, get a tour of the racecourse. More info here : http://www.vincennes-hippodrome.com/en/

Shhh from the advise of chef Yves Camdeborge according to interview in the le Figaro newspaper. The chef started at Crillon, then Régalade, and now has around the Odeon that are tops like the Comptoir du Relais.

For a coffee L’Express Bar, 23, rue du Roule (Ieme). Tél.: 01 45  08 11 41. https://www.yelp.fr/biz/l-express-bar-paris

For a breakfast by the hands Le Servan,  32, rue Saint Maur (11eme). Tél.: 01 55 28 51 82. https://www.yelp.fr/biz/le-servan-paris-2

For a dinner for two ; Saturne, 17, rue Notre-Dame-des-Victoires (2eme). Tél.: 01 42 60 31 90. http://www.saturne-paris.fr/

For a last glass of the night Castel15, rue Princesse (6eme). Tél.: 01 40  51 52 80. https://www.yelp.fr/biz/castel-paris

For an exceptional dinner  Le Clarence. 31, av. Franklin-Roosevelt (8eme). Tél.: 01 82 82 10 10. http://www.le-clarence.paris/

To do your market shopping Place d’Aligre (12eme), http://en.parisinfo.com/shopping-paris/93225/Marche-Beauvau-Marche-d-Aligre

To buy your bread, baguette La Pointe du Grouin, 8, rue de Belzunce (10eme). Tlj. Pas de tél. http://www.lapointedugrouin.com/

To indulge on a sweet dessert Sébastien Dégardin 200, rue Saint-Jacques (5eme). Tél.: 01 43  07 77 59. http://www.sebastien-degardin.com/

Bosquets of the gardens of the Château de Versailles will have several contemporary arts exhibits this year instead of just one as in the past. The work exposed will be in cooperation with the Palais de Tokyo in Paris this coming summer. Stay tune here: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/estate/gardens

One of the biggest hotels in Paris is undergoing renovation that will keep it minimum load until December 2017. The hotel is visible in the Porte Maillot with its 34 floors and 995 rooms. It was known for a long time under the name of Concorde La Fayette, and it is now under the name Hyatt Regency Paris-Etoile since 2013. Only 193 rooms will be available for reservation and the entry lobby will be located at 62, boulevard Gouvion Saint-Cyr (17eme). OF course the great panoramic bar in the 34st floor will be totally redone as well. See it here: https://parisetoile.regency.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html

Initiatives-Coeur , the innovators of the long sailing boat with red and white colors will be at the 1st level of the Tour Eiffel from today. This monocoque of nearly 8 tons and 18 meters long was carried here by a huge towing system of 300 tons capaciy. The sailing boat is dedicated to the campaign for donation and awareness of the association Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque, that allows lesser able children suffering from cardiac problems to be operated in the best condition for free. The boat will be here until May 10. It wil be exposed on the lawn of the Champ-de-Mars to be able to be accessable to all as well taken pictures. There are photos and film on the job done by this boat inside/ A great way to see something nice and do something good for all Children. More here in French; http://www.initiatives-coeur.fr/

The porte de Montmartre (18eme), as the local saying goes when you leave Paris by this gate you dont said we passed the péripherique or beltway but rather you say we pass by the Passage-miroir or mirror passage. This is the way to the flea market of Saint Ouen and for many years hosted a clandestine market with about 400-500 biffins or chiffonier ( second hand merchants). From 2009, the mayor’s office of Paris has authorized about 200 of them at this location. They are there Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. They are supervised by the Aurora Association to help the poor. More in French from the Mayor’s office of the 18 arrondissement (district) of Paris here: http://www.mairie18.paris.fr/mairie18/jsp/site/Portal.jsp?page_id=825

world water day, the metro area of Paris or Grand Paris will have ready for bathing the river Marne in 2022 and the Seine in 2024.  There will be a section of about 700 meters on the river Bièvre ,that runs from Antony to Paris and completely covered early in the 20C because of the pollution. It will be clean up by the area near the Parc du Coteau,in the cities of Arcueil and Gentilly by 2020. Bit more here: https://www.valdemarne.fr/vivre-en-val-de-marne/le-parc-du-coteau-de-bievre

The work of the Grand Paris transports hubs is coming along with the Grand Paris Express. It envisions four new stations of automatic metro by 2030 such as lines 15,16,17,and 18 , and four lines will be extended such as line 4 by 2020, Line 11 by 2022, Line 12 by 2019, and line 14 between 2019 and 2024. Are you lost already lol!!! A great interactive map by Les Echos business journal here/ https://www.lesechos.fr/infographie/20170313_FuturMetro_GrandParisOK/20170313_FuturMetro_GrandParis.html

From March 24 to the 26, you will have the occassion to taste many different brews of black coffees that will be offered by the merchants coffeegrinders of the region of Ile-de-France ,and the Oise. There are 42 that will open their doors in the day dedicated to coffees organizing tastings ,shops, and training on coffee grinding with hors d’ouvres.  One of the participant I know from my days in the Yvelines dept 78; this Joris Pfaff, best coffeegrinder of France in 2014 , and Champion of the Expresso black coffee in  2013, that will be there during the event of the  Comité français du café (French Coffee Committee). The business is located in Triel-sur-Seine since 1930.  Today in France there are about  more than 1000  of this artists of the coffee grinding each year becoming better at the trade.  The best or the « Rolls » of this preparations by Pfaff, is the  100 % Geisha  of Colombia, very floral, and cost about  25,90€ , the 250 grams (about 9 ounces).  The cheapest blend he has goes for about  3,90€ for the same quantity ; but we can have pleasure on nice ones from 5-8€. More here:  http://cafe.cafes-pfaff.com/

Places to have a great lunch outdoors in Paris/ Some of my favorites are :

The jardin de l’Arsenal by the water with shade and sunny spots linking to the Canal Saint-Martin to the Seine river. Always great to have an apéro drink on the banks of the canal Saint-Martin and Canal de l’Ourq. There are plenty of bars and restos very nice there such as the Okay Café, Point Éphémère, Marcel, etc etc.

We can taste the oysters on the lawn by the level of the bridge or pont Louis-Philippe on the road voie Georges Pompidou, it is now pedestrian and cost 14€ for 12 oysters not bad for the location ! You can sit at the end of the island or île Saint-Louis, under the quai de Bourbon facing the Hôtel de Ville.

At the end of the rue de l’Abreuvoir and the rue Girardon, next to the château des Brouillards,few steps from the house of Dalida in the rue d’Orchampt, place Dalida has a nice bust of her with a view towards the Sacré-Cœur to drop for sublime. !

In the heights of the parc de Belleville you have a great view of all Paris. Regular musical events are organize there on Saturdays, and a great bakery up the steps!

In the parc de la Villette at the end of the Canal de l’Ourcq this is quiet sublime and nice spots hidden sometimes and layout gardens along it without getting wet. Also at the Vignes Montmartre, a little square facing the vines very nice and cute ,good for a date ,romantic interlude at the Rue des Saules. The jardin des Rosiers in the square des Francs Bourgeois a little haven of peace and calm right between three mansions, and a garden here to see Paris. Not the closest to inner Paris but less frequented as well with nice architecture of the bridges and stairs you see it by the Allée des Cygnes 15eme.

This is Paris always eternal, and it is in la belle France, where else ! Cheers

And update do not want to wait for next time so here are the latest from la Belle France, and thanks for stopping by.

Welcome to the Duty Free of Galeries Lafayette recently opened at 21 , boulevard Haussmann (9eme). It is located at the old stores of Surcouf and the la Halle, and the façade is typical of the department store with the name « Shopping & Welcome Center ». A complete center dedicated to the Chinese visitors that represent about 25% of total sales of the store or about 2B€., with an average purchase of 1400€ per visitor.  This shopping space of 4 200 m2 will be in two levels renovated by the Architect Ora-ïto. It offers the articles preferred by the Chinese from leather goods jewelry, sun glasses, deluxe pens all on the street level, and on the basement beauty, parapharmacy, groceries, tea, caviar, wine and liquors, kitchen accessories, and gifts

The spectacles hall of the Bal Blomet (ex-bal nègre), mythical place of the folly years will re-open this week at 33, rue Blomet  (15eme). The name will simply be the Bal de la rue Blomet. Every Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays you will have shows on cabaret, musical comedy, jazz, and classical music. A space for 70 tables will be available for dining. The shows will cost between 10-20€. More information at Tel +33 (0) 1 44 93 00 27 or  www.balblomet.fr

And taking from my coffee talk above, where to drink a good black express coffee in Paris, here are some nice ones :

Araku Coffee : 14 rue de Bretagne ,3eme, from 11,50€ the 200 grams or about 7 ounces

Belleville Brûlerie : 10 rue Pradier ,19eme, from 13,50€ the 300 grams or about 11 ounces

Les cafés Pfaff (see previous post in my blog) 6 rue Sauval ,1eme , from 3,90€ the 250 grams or about 9 ounces

Télescope café : 5 rue Villedo, 1eme from 2,50expressos

If you want to know where to find flea markets and garage sales etc, the best sit that I use is  www.vide-greniers.org) , with dates of events a month in advance.

The 2017 edition of the faire of trones or Foire du Trône will start on March 31st at 18h30. You paid 25€ and can use all the rides inside. The proceeds will be renverse on the association Petits Princes. It will be on the lawn of Reuilly at the entrance to the Bois de Vincennes (11eme). They will have about 350 rides ,stands and restaurants. The star attraction will be the  «sky fall»  that can give you a free fall from 80 meters. Many more on site you can see on the webpage below.  The fair will then be open every day from midday to midnight (1h am on Saturdays and eve of Holidays) until May 28 2017. More here: http://www.foiredutrone.com/  Tickets and deals on entrance can be had here in French:  http://www.mestickets.com/Foire-du-trone-paris-vente-pass-tickets.html

See you around ::)

March 20, 2017

Some news from Spain ,XXXVIIII

The week starts and my enthusiasm for the blog grows , here I am again ::)  In Madrid it is about 71F or 20C in evening and tomorrow it is expected sun going up sort of and 66F or about 15C.  You have a nice week ahead .

As usual many things happening in Madrid and other cities; I am so excited to tell you about the movement now Fallas in Valencia and the great painter native of Valencia Joaquin Sorolla.

Joaquín Sorolla  love so much his native land that end up creating a small Valencia on the street Calle Martínez Campos in Madrid, today ,it is his museum. More on that museum here : http://www.mecd.gob.es/msorolla/en/inicio.html

By the city hall square or Plaza del Ayuntamiento, is the heart of the Falla festivities and open to all ; the  Fallera Mayor, who is in charge of given order so it begins the Cremà or burnings.  This is the place as well where you see the loud and explosive mascletás; concert of firecrackers! Just to make a point , I am a bit late this year on it as it is over this past weekend. The official page for this event is here in English : http://fallespatrimonicomu.info/en/home/

While in the above square see the splendid Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas ; that today is the museum of Museo Nacional de Céramica Gonzalez Martî. More on the museum in Spanish here: http://www.mecd.gob.es/mnceramica/institucion.html

Close by you see the Church or Iglesia de San Martín , where he married Clotilde. You cross the street of calle San Vicente Mártir,and you are by the street calle Mantas. Here at No 8 there is a plaque indicating where he was born. He was baptized in the Church or Iglesia de Santa Catalina, just behind the nice round square or Plaza Redonda.  When his parents died in 1865, he is left orphan and there are folks who took him and his sister ,uncles that lived in street or  calle Don Juan de Austria,20; today it is the house of the region of Aragon or Casa de Aragón ; close by the school or Escuela de Artesanos de Valencia , where he began to paint.  His first studio was closer to the hotel at  calle San Martín, 9. Here he began to paint his city, Valencia.

One of the first to be painted was the Cathedral , discovering inside renaissance paintings that he did not even knew as well as mysterious crypts and underground tunnels that had access by the museum. More on the Cathedral here: http://www.catedraldevalencia.es/

The house of a Saint very closely linked to Vannes in the Morbihan Breton where I live as he evangelise this area by 1419 thereabout and his body lies in the Cathedral St Pierre et St Paul at Vannes , France. Here we talk about the La Casa de San Vicente Ferrer, where it has works by Sorolla such as the  Ex voto y Pouet; you come across the building call Lonja where you will see further paintings of the master at the door, and stairs. He, also painted the Church or Iglesia de los Santos Juanes, whose interior damaged during the Civil War still can be seen ; better faith took the Church of Iglesia de  San Nicolás  that only needed to be clean to show all it’s splendor as we see it today. More on the house of Saint Vicente Ferrer here in Spanish: http://www.visitvalencia.com/es/que-visitar-valencia/museos/museo/7456

You continue tracing his footsteps at the College or Colegio del Arte Mayor de la Seda, one of the most emblematic buildings of Valencia from its golden age. More on it here: https://www.museodelasedavalencia.com/en/

Near the college is worth visiting the center or Centro de la Artesania de la Comunidad Valenciana that is the guardian of old traditions and its personages.  All agree that Sorolla  wanted to teach at the school or Escuela de Bellas Artes where he studied, and today it is the Center or Centro de Exposiciones del Carmen, in a wonderful district that has not change at all.  More of it in Spanish here: http://www.consorcimuseus.gva.es/centro-del-carmen/?lang=es

You should not missed the new IVAM or Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno dedicated to the maestro Ignacio Pinazo, in the room where the remains of the medieval ramparts were found. More of it here: https://www.ivam.es/en/

Close by to the above you will find the house or museum of a friend of Sorolla, José Benliure, maybe the best kept secret of Valencia.  Here is a bust that made the friendship of his friend by  Mariano Benliure in the city museum or Museo de la Ciudad  that occupies the old palace or Palacio del Marqués de Campo, or the ninot indultado that represent it on the museum or Museo Fallero that occupies the old convent of the house of  San Vicente de Paül.  To see more of his works you need to cross the river by the bridge or Puente del Mar that you can see in one of his paintings at the museum or Museo de Bellas Artes. Here, it is recreated a museum within a museum showing 57 of his works.

Some links for the above in order here:

http://www.visitvalencia.com/en/what-to-visit-valencia/museums/all-the-museums/museum/7465

http://www.museosymonumentosvalencia.com/en/museums/museo-de-la-ciudad/

http://www.visitvalencia.com/es/que-visitar-valencia/museos/museo/museo-fallero

http://www.museobellasartesvalencia.gva.es/

It is worth seeing the nice collection of sculptures in the Vale Mariano Benliure.  More here: http://marianobenlliure.org/

A visit to the beach or playa de la Malvarrosa en el Cabanyal is wonderful. More here:http://www.visitvalencia.com/en/what-to-visit-valencia/valencia-beaches/la-malvarrosa-beach

From this beach came out the best works and was the last he saw on this trip after suffering from an attack of apoplexy in 1920.  Close by is the square or Plaza de la Armada Española you have the monument that the city has erected on his honor.  A nice webpage here on Valencia and the bust here:http://www.esculturaurbana.com/paginas/ben026.htm

You won’t be far from the museum of another great friend of Sorolla, this is Vicente Blasco Ibañez, that this year we are celebrating 150 years of his birth; more info here: http://casamuseoblascoibanez.com/#

At the beach hotel of Hotel Las Arenas  opened in 1838  that he knew very well and it shows one of his original paintings in the main dining room. More here: http://www.hotelvalencialasarenas.com/en/

And we reach the end of this wonderful trip on Joaquin Sorolla, one of my favorite painters and had visited his museum in Madrid as well as walk and or visit some of the places above on my visits to Valencia; you are encourage to do the same.

Now some tips on bars tabernas to have a glass of Sherry or Jerez in Madrid; of course only my favorites. These are:

Casa Baranda , Calle Colón, 11 , Tel +34  615 374 999 , it does not closed and no credit cards accepted. http://cevichedesandia.es/casa-baranda-la-nueva-taberna-de-madrid-en-homenaje-a-paco-manteca/

Lambuzo  ,Calle Conchas, 9; Calle Ponzano, 8 ,and Calle  Alonso Cano, 10; Tel +34 91 143 48 62, 91 513 80 59/ 810 520 818. Closed Sundays nights and Mondays. http://www.barlambuzo.com/to-drink-en.html

Palo Cortado , Calle Unión, 5; tel +34 91 547 25 00. Closed Sundays and Mondays. http://www.tabernapalocortado.es/

El Quinto Vino , Calle Hernani, 48 ; Tel +34 91 553 66 00. Closed Sunday nights and Mondays. http://www.elquintovino.com/

Zahara de Osborne,  Plaza de Santa Ana, 1. Tel +34 91 522 63 64; does not closed. http://zaharadeosborne.es/en/

La Venencia , Calle Echegaray, 7 . Tel +34 91 429 73 13. Does not closed.  One of the classic taverns of Madrid with a great selection of  fino, amontillado, palo cortado, etc. No web but a nice write up on this site: http://catavino.net/sherry-bar-madrid-la-venencia/

Bodega and club Los Generosos , located inside the wine store  Reserva y Cata (Calle Conde de Xiquena, 13), this is an association of 12 persons that are aficionados of Jerez . If you have time contact  Luis Vida ;Tel +34  617 737 967 for a trip. Their blog is here:  http://losgenerosos2014.blogspot.fr/

And the wine store Reserva y Cata ,one of my favorites in Madrid is here: https://reservaycata.com/

You have a family and visiting Madrid then you must visit Parque Warner. Already open for business and celebrating 15 years to have parties with all the family and many nice rides. You will be met by Bugs Bunny and Pato Lucas (duck lucas) with music and dance routines. Here the musical Rock of Ages like a broadway show with rock’n’roll and the wild west awaits you with ballerinas of Can Can show style; and the kiddies will chose the winner of the dance of the Looney tunes. Big dance festival and choreograph routines on the streets of the park. There is the big Hollywood boulevard with the wildest gangsters of the west in the Warner Bros Studios showing 3-D movies such as  «La LEGO film» , and «San Andrés». You will see spectacles such as the Loca Academia de Policia, with new vehicles and acrobats and the Gotham City Streetmosphere Show, that shows a fight between Batman and the Joker.

You will see stars of more than 30 personages where Parque Warner is the only one in Europe where you can get to know them and share moments. The superheroes such as Superman, Batman, green flashlight, Flash ,and Wonder Woman, as the justice league or La liga de la Justicia, and the Joker, Robin ,and Catwoman, that will be in the streets of Gotham City. As well as cartoons such as Bugs and Lola Bunny, Pato Lucas, Piolín,and  Silvestre, Oso Yogui (yogy bear)  Boo-Boo, Coyote,and Correcaminos, Sam Bigotes, Los Picapiedra (flinstones), Scooby Doo, etc etc. The end of the party is with the Celebration Parade 15th Anniversary, an impressive parade to celebrate the 15 anniversary of the park with all its personages, vehicles, and theme carriages on the streets. More here: http://parquewarner.com/en/node/22236

The Council of Ministers of the government has named the replacement for the director of the Prado museum. The new director will be Miguel Falomir Faus (Valencia, 1966),is a  doctor of History of Arts and Professor of the University of Valencia was since 1997 department head of the Italian paintings of the renaissance and from 2015 adjoint director of conservation and investigation of the museum. He is internationally recognize as been from 2008 to 2010, as Andrew Mellon Professor of CASVA (Center on Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts de la National Gallery de Washington). He is now finishing the catalog edition of  Tiziano en el Prado ,and for the last two years he directed the conservation areas of the museum located in the Centro de Estudios of the Casón del Buen Retiro. More here in Spanish: https://www.museodelprado.es/aprende/enciclopedia/voz/falomir-faus-miguel/b3a927d0-1c0b-49ba-afbb-e71e9bd23979

You can see the theatrical musical of the film Dirty Dancing  playing until June 4 2017 at the Nuevo Teatro Alcalà, Sala 1, at Calle Jorge Juan, 62. Playing Fridays , Saturdays, Sundays from 18h to 22h. Mondays at 18hn Wednesdays and Thursdays 20h30; admission 18€. Been played by  Amanda Digón, Christian Sánchez, and Fanny Corral. More here: http://www.teatroalcalamadrid.com/programacion/espectaculos-en-cartel/12-espect%C3%A1culos-en-cartel/107-priscilla-reina-del-desierto-29.html

Great concert by an up and coming Spanish singer from Malaga that I like a lot. Showcasing her latest release “Munay”, Vanesa Martin will be September 16 2017 at the plaza de Toros Monumental de las Ventas, Calle Alcalà 337; 22h admissions from 20-35€. More here ! http://www.vanesamartin.es/

You got it , it’s Spain ,everything under the Sun. Have a great week y’all. Cheers

 

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March 19, 2017

Some news from France , CXLXV

Finished Sunday and nice mild weather of 12C or about 55F in Breton lands and about the same in Paris with no rain in sight. Just picking up some nice things to see and do coming up in France and especially in Paris.

At the route de Suresnes (16éme),my previous passing route into the town of Suresnes and Paris by the Bois de Boulogne you find the domaine de Longchamp, a white castle building that many people would ask what is it? Well ,it does not matter, the truth is it has become after a long renovation the home of the fondation GoodPlanet.  Led by  Yann Arthus-Bertrand, from May 13-14 all the weekends they will have talks and exhibits on ecology, environment, and generosity with the great photographer. On its first exposition it will be presented the inedict images of Human, a video portrait of humanity done in 60 countries. More here in English: https://www.goodplanet.org/en/who-we-are/taking-action-builds-happiness/domaine-de-longchamp/

Already since today Sunday 19 March, the department store le Bon Marché (and its Grande Epicerie) will open 7/7 ! After doing so the BHV ,and the Galeries Lafayette,it’s the turn of the le Bon Marché. This ,already has created 150 jobs both permanent and temporary!! Good going; see the stores here:

http://www.lebonmarche.com/en.html

http://www.bhv.fr/en/

http://haussmann.galerieslafayette.com/en/

The recently designated “ ZTI” zones or  zones touristiques internationals in Paris. They are in 12 areas such as the Champs-Elysées Montaigne, Haussmann, Le Marais, les Halles, Maillot-Ternes, Montmartre, Olympiades, Rennes/Saint-Sulpice, Saint-Emilion-Bibliothèque, Saint-Honoré/Vendôme, Saint-Germain, and Beaugrenelle.  Also, they are in Cannes, Nice, and Deauville. More here in French from govt source ; where it says “Cartes des 12 ZTI à Paris, you can click and a map of the areas will show.  http://www.economie.gouv.fr/vous-orienter/entreprise/commerce/creation-des-zones-touristiques-internationales-a-paris

The famous passe Navigo is evolving a lot since I used to use it while working in Paris. Already from January you can use the navette on the river Seine, such as Batobus: http://www.batobus.com/en.html

Also, from mid April you will be able to use the Navigo Pass for auto rental libre service as  Autolib’ at : https://www.autolib.eu/faq/

It ,also, will serve to use on the Vélib bike service and on the electronic tickets for the train Thalys. http://en.velib.paris.fr/    ; and https://www.thalys.com/fr/en/

The impressionist painter Camille Pissarro has a nice museum that has recently been renovated in Pontoise. After 6 months of work, it has reopened with new rooms of exposition in the street level floor to allow works of arts to be shown in 250 sq meters of space.  The museum was opened in 1980, and now it is more accessable and practical.  You are , also, able to see works from his sons  Lucien, Georges ,and Ludovic-Rodo, but ,also, of Daubigny, Guillaumin, Signac, Hayet, Piette, Cézanne, Caillebotte, Goenette, and Luce. From today to June 11 you will be able to see an exposition on Camille Pissarro of old and new works shown.  The location is 17, rue du Château, 95300 Pontoise . From Paris you can take the RER C to Pontoise and the museum is walking distance from the station,also in regular trains from Gare du Nord and Saint Lazare stations. More here: http://www.valdoise-tourisme.com/diffusio/en/to-see-and-to-do/culture/pontoise/musee-camille-pissarro_TFO105893370800.php?tfo%5BgC%5D=|MoCulturePatrimoine|CulturePatrimoine|ComPlusAlpha||-TT&tfo[page]=54#.WM7bFVU1_IU

For something unique and historical of France, go see the Société Faure at La  Croix-Saint-Ouen to see the horseshoe making history of the only remaining maker in France today. The firm was established in 1910, and you can reach it by train from Paris Gare du Nord station to Compiegne station than taxi to the firm only about 5 kms. More here: http://www.fers-faure.com/cavalnet/p/65/directement/

I come back to the arts, on American painter Joe Bradley. Since the Biennal of Whitney in 2008, he does not stop breaking prices record reaching sometimes the million USDollars. The Fundacion Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte (Faba), will open the château de Boisgeloup for the first time to the public in April and May to invite the painter born in Maine in 1975 to expose his work in the sculpture shops of Picasso!! A great gift to this graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design of Providence. At this place about 100 years after the meeting of Minotaure and the ballerina Olga Khokhlova,celebrated at the Musée Picasso. More info here: http://www.fabarte.org/en/news/

More on the castle of Boisgeloup and Picasso, here: http://www.tourisme-gisors.fr/en/town-walk/

You can reach Gisors from gare Saint Lazare in Paris by train and then taxi to the castle above mentioned or the car of course, but I put public transport as most folks coming here use it instead of the car, which to me is always better but… If you need driving guidance to any of these places let me know.

The wonderful Musée d’Orsay is coming back for the night owls lovers. For the 4th time this old train station will revert on the fall of night into a promenade where paintings, music,and poetry will be mix. You have Thursday March 23 from 18h to 23h to do this. You will be in the middle of the exposition “Au delà des étoiles. Le paysage mystique de Monet à Kandinsky” And ” Curieuse nocturne Au delà des étoiles”.  night owl admission price of 9€ and free for those under 26. Info at tel +33 (0) 1 53 63 04 63 of course the exposition will regularly run to June 11. More general info here:  http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/events/exhibitions/in-the-musee-dorsay/exhibitions-in-the-musee-dorsay/article/au-dela-des-etoiles-44978.html?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=254&cHash=1e123ff4c4

And a great event , great year on Rodin, his greatest work the Le Penseur in 1906 was put in front of the Panthéon, later transferred in 1922 to the Hôtel Biron that itself was opened in 1919.The majority of his work was shown here. However, walking the streets of Paris you can find many of his work.  Please ,note this event, ” Rodin, l’exposition du centenaire au Grand Palais”, until July 31 2017. Wednesdays to Mondays from 10h to 20h, night times on Wednesdays, Fridays,and Saturdays until 22h. More here: http://www.grandpalais.fr/en/event/rodin-centennial-exhibition

Now, I will tell you where you can find some of his work in Paris.

You come to the Théâtre des Gobelins at 73 avenue des Gobelins (13éme) that now houses the Fondation Jerome Seydoux-Pathé. The bas-reliefs of the théâtre des Champs-Elysées (8éme) were done by Antoine Bourdelle. The group of cariatides in the Théâtre de la Renaissance (10éme) are the work of Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse. At the metro station Varenne, line 13 where there is the Musée Rodin, located at 79 rue de Varenne (7éme). The work of the  L’Âge d’Airain at Place Rodin (16éme); the bronze made a scandal in 1877 because Rodin had insinuated the mold was that of his face. Another mold is at the courtyard of the high school or Lycée Rodin (13éme). The work the  Ève, L’Ombre et La Méditation  is at the Jardin des Tuileries all three statues near the Musée de l’Orangerie. The statue of Honoré de Balzac at Boulevard Raspail since 1939, this monument to Balzac is on the spot by boulevard Raspail near the Carrefour Vavin. Another version of it is seen in the garden of the Musée Rodin.  The statue of  Victor Hugo , is at the angle of avenue Henri-Martin and Victor Hugo (16éme), this was initially ordered for the Panthéon. Instead another one was chosen by Rodin where the writer is surrounded by three muses. The stele block of César Franck was done for his grave at the Cementary of Montparnasse, the musician dead in 1890 was honored by Auguste Rodin with a medallion in haut relief.

Some links for the above places here:

Theater of the Gobelins no longer exist but the work is still there: http://www.salles-cinema.com/anciens-cinemas/cinema-rodin

Indeed gorgeous to visit even just for the theater of Champs-Elysées : http://www.theatrechampselysees.fr/en/the-theater/historical-chronicle

The theater of the Renaissance here: http://theatredelarenaissance.com/

metro Varenne and Musée Rodin, http://www.musee-rodin.fr/en/visit/plan-your-visit-paris

high school or Lycée Rodin here : https://www.ac-paris.fr/serail/jcms/s2_111988/accueil

Jardin des Tuileries statues of Rodin, good site: http://www.nella-buscot.com/jardins_paris_tuileries_rodin.php

Rodin of Balzac, https://www.franceculture.fr/architecture/le-balzac-de-rodin-cest-une-sculpture-de-lobscenite

Rodin of Victor Hugo, (French) ; http://www.musee-rodin.fr/fr/ressources/fiches-educatives/rodin-et-victor-hugo

tomb César Franck, in French cementary of Montparnasse: https://www.landrucimetieres.fr/spip/spip.php?article870

Enjoy your week, y’all ::)  and remember life is beautiful; la vie est belle, or la vida es chula or even la dolce vita !!!

 

March 19, 2017

31st Salon de l’Habitat Viving ,Vannes

On a nice sunny Sunday , we headed to the 31st Salon de l’Habitat Viving of Vannes in the Parc Chorus Expo halls A and B. This was on March 18-20 2017.

You have under one roofs all the experts on home renovation, decoration, construction, enlargement, and rearranging homes. All the tendencies on living better, easier and efficient were on the program during these 3 days.

We came for ideas for our home, as we are planning to have it all done before retirement in x years ::)

There is an admission of 5 euros per person but since we were invited by participating in other events here, we got in for free!  The Parc Chorus Expo park is nice and with all amenities including a nice restaurant for sit in dining and terrace.

The event info is here in French : http://vivingbrest2016.salons.seiya.gl-events.com/viving-vanes

And the parc chorus official site is here in French on how to get there : http://www.lechorus.com/infos-pratiques

It is located for English info, on the Parc du Golfe a wonderful area we like to go a lot as there is a bowling alley, restos, aquarium and butterfly museums as well as the Expo park. Here we go to the islands in the Gulf of Morbihan by boat ferries on the Gare Maritime.  Some of the popular companies to do the crossings are these; names at the end on the links:

http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/activities/cruises/111870-compagnie-du-golfe

http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/activities/cruises/367485-les-vedettes-du-golfe

http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/activities/cruises/111894-Navix

At the habitat salon we had about 220 businesses on two halls ,and 20 new this year.  Saturday, the show started at 11h30 with a shop on  “Evolve its habitat” , then at 15H the “The extension of the home”  by 16h the next shop atelier of “Settle on a small plot”. Sunday at 11h30 the shop ” High performance homes”  , 15h the “Extension of home”, and 16h  “Tips on how to succeed the renovation of the house” . Tomorrow Monday at 15h “The extension of the home”. For the first time to the salon, visitors will have the opportunity to prepare their visit by getting their tickets printed and appointments with the pros done online  by going here (those like us already with free admission just needed to go online to active with a code) : http://ouest.viving.fr/vannes/billetterie-vanes

Many ideas and appointments made for the rest of the month to get some pricing and information on getting tax credits for work done on the house with savings in heating and cooling that be 30% as credit d’impot and additional 10% for visiting the show. So we will see our budget once we get the quotes.

We have a nice simple lunch on site with ham and cheese sandwiches, lemon tart and blueberry muffins, orangina soda and Heineken beers for 9€ per person.  Now ease on at cozy home and mentally prepare for another week of work lol!!!

Enjoy your Sunday wherever you are. Cheers

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March 18, 2017

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton XV

Today we got early because even if living we try not to be tourist lol! so pictures are few in between and it’s time we do more of our little town in the Morbihan. It has been a new experience for us, this is the smallest town we have ever lived in, even myself. The town claims to have about 7K inhabitants but it looks as it has less than that. This is Pluvigner. So a bit more for the newcomers to my blog.

As we just finished celebrating St Patrick’s day, a bit more on that. Pluvigner is a parrish founded in the 5C by Saint Guigner and his companions who came from Ireland to Christiniase the Armorique (Today’s Brittany). Saint Guigner was born in Ireland and was known there with the name of Fingar. He was a son of king Saint Patrick who Christianise Ireland (today it’s Patron Saint).  His father upset that he left his native parrish chase him to the point of having to leave Ireland. In Armorique  he takes the name of Saint Guigner. According to legend he disembark in Pluvigner and found a monastery at Moustoir in around 445AD. By 450AD, his father died, he comes back to Ireland to renounce his heritage and the crown of his father. In Great Britain he tried to Christiniase the invading Jutes, Anglos, and Saxons that occupied a vast pagan territory; and he reunites an expedition to arrive in Cornouaille around 455AD with 770 men.  The Jutes and Anglos commanded by chef Hengist massacre Saint Guigner and his troops. Over the years it change a bit on the name but finally takes its current name of Pluvigner in French or Pleuwigner in Breton language. Plu from the Breton roots of Plo or parish and vigner from Guigner the Saint; therefore it literally translates as the parrish of Saint Guigner=Pluvigner!

Voilà, and now I live here since August of 2013;after lived before in Brec’h just 11 kms from Pluvigner since May 2011. All in the Morbihan Breton!

Today ,was our market day or jour du marché and we come here often, just took some pictures today.  Coming walking from our house to the city center market, at Place St Michel. We walked by our hairdresser Annie, and the post office, our mayor office, into the market itself to buy our usual goodies: cheeses, meats, vegetables/fruits from the producer’s direct to us, the best of France! The market is held every Saturday from 8h to 13h( 1pm). More on our city official page here:  http://www.pluvigner.fr/marche-hebdomadaire/

We, then stop by the Le Relais to drop some used clothing for the poor. Behind the post office at 10 rue Général de Gaulle; more here: http://www.lerelais.org/oudonner.php

We continue on to our favorite beer store, V&B in Auray to return some used bottles and get new ones loaded ,and ready for the last VI Nations rugby match between France and Wales. More on the store here: https://magasin.vandb.fr/766390-v-and-b-auray

Finally, on the way back home, we did our other groceries at the E Leclerc hypermarché in Auray ZA de Kerbois.  More here: http://www.e-leclerc.com/auray

We try to enjoy the best of France, and do our non food ,miscellaneous  groceries in the supermarkets and the real stuff in the markets here and elsewhere. We buy the beer and wine at specialize stores, and we go into farms to buy some goodies like eggs, strawberries, pork meat etc. La Belle France!

Now we are back home with a nice lunch from the goodies we just purchase fresh and nice ,and ready for the big match. Tomorrow Sunday ,we are planning a trip to a housing expo for ideas on housing and decoration in Vannes. Stay tune.

Enjoy your weekend wherever you are, and remember La vie est belle, la vida es chula, life is beautiful or even you heard of the Dolce Vita lol!

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March 14, 2017

Some news from Spain ,XXXVIII

Ok so far away in Breton lands here is my latest on my beloved Spain, here it is 13C or about 59F while in Madrid it is now about 62F or 14C.  We have cloudy skies and dark days no sun, no rain. Same in Madrid but tomorrow should be better.

Some ideas to get away for Father’s Day in Spain : You go to Consuegra (of Quijote windmill fame) where you have the Casa Rural El Retiro de La Mancha, a great complex for a great weekend. It has many gastronomic offers and guided visits to the castle or Castillo de la Muela. More information here: www.elretirodelamancha.com

Another is the Casa Rural Juliana, province of Cuenca . Here you will learn about the wonderful olive virgin oil and the honey of  Alcarria. You can go on the route of Olives of the Mancha and Colmenas with tasting of olive oils and honeys.  You can do ,also,  a guided visit to the famous monastery or Monasterio de Uclés. Something I will do next summer. I will be in another house nearby but this one is a good one too. https://www.escapadarural.com/casa-rural/cuenca/casa-rural-juliana

And why not visit a traditional Galician winery in Castro Rei, of the denomination of D.O. Ribeiro, where they will explain the process and processing the wine as well as tastings .  Also, there is a thermal spa in  Termas de Prexigueiro with pools of hot natural water treatment with vinotherapy, partial message. More information here: www.pazoalmuzara.com

And on one we visit last summer and post here in Chinchon you have the Hotel Rural La Graja. It has a thermal circuit of one hour and a message of 30 minutes. At night, you have a gourmet tasting in a nearby restaurant. You can have more information here: www.lagraja.com

And on the balnearia Parque de Alceda in Cantabria you have a place to relax with great local cuisine. It has outdoor thermal pools with the water coming from a spring at 26C or about 78F. A great getaway place ;more info here:  www.balneariodealceda.es

We continue on the world of Arts and culture by visiting the museum or Museo Guggenheim of  Bilbao; tourist bus to see the city in one shot. See the museum here: https://www.guggenheim-bilbao.eus/en/

And why not another wonders in a lovely city , visit the Hotel Rural las Treixas in Zamora. It is at the Puebla de Sanabria, a rural hotel to relax in style. They offer anti stress treatment with the best gastronomy of the region. More info here: www.treixas.com

More in arts see Faces a showing of more than 50 photographs in black and white of movie director Isabel Coixet done from her 22 movies. This expo is free until June 30th in the Espacio Cultural La Térmica, avenida de los Guindos, 48 Malaga. It has shots from artists like Time Robbins , Juliette Binoche, Rinko Kikuchi or Candela Peña. You can see the passion of the moviemaker for the publicity world, expressive of the human body and the photography. More here :http://www.latermicamalaga.com/isabel-coixet-recoge-su-fascinacion-por-el-rostro-humano-en-la-exposicion-faces-en-la-termica/

And we are back in Madrid ,where  Alberto Álvaro  traces the places of Madrid walking and photographing in the Barrio de las Letras, Malasaña or Lavapiés districts. Walking by with the small of freshly baked bread and seafood in all the places of a  bygone era. My Madrid. He once walked by the street Calle de Echegaray and took aim at the small businesses of Madrid  to have them in photos.  Two years and hundreds of instant photos with all label and square format he present it in an expo call Reliquias de Madrid or Madrid relics. He has taken seafood stores,restos, bakeries, chicken fast food ,steakhouses and even videoclubs taken you to the nostalgia and memories . He tells the story of walking by street or calle de los Tres Peces ,and feeling like seeing a scene from a movie. There he found three relics , one printing store, shoe store, and creamery store that are not longer there. More here:  https://www.instagram.com/reliquiasdemadrid/?hl=es

You run to the Círculo de Bellas Artes and see the work of Francis Bacon with more than 100 works on paper by the artist coming from a collection of more than 600 drawings of Cristiano Lovatelli Ravarino, partner of the artist for many years that are put together in the Francis Bacon Collection of the Drawings Donated to Cristiano Lovatelli Ravarino. They all belong to the last decade of the artist painter, including the parents of  Velázquez, clergy portraits, auto portraits and those of friends ,and images of his eternal obsession, such as cruxifiction, addomens, heads etc to put the figure into a space.  The expo is “En Francis Bacon. La cuestión del dibujo”, there are works in black and white to rend homage to Van Gogh, atelier shops of  Guercino or Leonardo Da Vinci,  more auto portraits, and painting of his friends, etc . Circulo de Bellas Artes, Calle Marqués de Casa Riera 2, showing until May 21 2017. More info here:  http://www.circulobellasartes.com/exposiciones/bacon-la-cuestion-del-dibujo/

One of Madrid best icon cafés closed since last July is making a comeback under new ownership. This is one of my favorite and we discussed with friends there its closing so sad, now I am thrilled to read and tell you that from March 21st it will be open again! Café Comercial part now of the Grupo Escondite who also owns Lady Madonna, El Escondite de Villanueva ,and Bárbara Ann. The Café Comercial in the Glorieta de Bilbao is 130 years old founded in 1887 with the name El Comercial, giving light to the novel “La Colmena”,  of the Nobel prize winner Camilo José Cela, and here many famous came to meet such as the writers  Antonio Machado, Enrique Jardiel Poncela, Rafael Azcona ,and Rafael Sánchez-Ferlosio. Be there from March 21 I will be back in summer.

Flamenco the history of the jonda culture is having a show in the Biblioteca Nacional or national library . You will see 150 works coming from the  Biblioteca Nacional de España ,and Museo Reina Sofía, Museo Picasso de Barcelona, the Fundación Cante de las Minas de la Unión and many private collections.  A trip thru 400 years with books, manuscripts, recordings, drawings and paintings as well as fragments from film, photographs and record label covers as well as posters ! It will show one of the earliest manifestation of flamenco in work like the La Gitanillla of Cervantes or stamp paintings such as El Vito of  Goya, to arrive of the films of Saura, etc. Literature and books , newspapers articles from Chaves Nogales, Gómez de la Serna, Caballero Bonald or Félix Grande, and movies from directors Val Del Omar, Rovira Beleta, Serrano de Osma, Carlos Saura,and Tony Gatlif, capturing artists like Carmen Amaya, Antonio El Bailarín, La Paquera ,and Enrique El Cojo. Until May 2nd, more info here: http://www.bne.es/es/Actividades/Exposiciones/Exposiciones/Exposiciones2017/PatrimonioFlamencoLahistoriaculturajonda/Index.html

The cycle Andalucía Flamenca is in vogue in Madrid.  You can still catch up with Rocio Marquez March 17, Marina Heredia y Dorantes ,April 21st on the camara room and on May 7 in the sinfonia room Arcangel with Miguel Poveda, Estrella Morente and Manolo Sanlùcar. More here: http://www.cndm.mcu.es/ciclo/andalucia-flamenca

How about Charles III king Carlos III; in his 300 year anniversary of his birth. In the museum of history you will see over 200 pieces part of the collection of the city of Madrid,  Museo del Prado,National Heritage, National library ,and the museum of natural sciences or Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, this in addition to those already exhibit at the Museo de historia,which is in the former hospice of San Fernando, calle Fuencarral,78 : more info here:  http://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/Cultura-ocio-y-deporte/Cultura-y-ocio/Museo-de-Historia-de-Madrid?vgnextfmt=default&vgnextoid=ab18a1ead63ab010VgnVCM100000d90ca8c0RCRD&vgnextchannel=c937f073808fe410VgnVCM2000000c205a0aRCRD&idCapitulo=10206017

 The XXXIV del Festival de Otoño a Primavera de la Comunidad de Madrid or the fall to spring festival of the Community of Madrid is on. You have the calendar from March onwards here: http://www.madrid.org/fo/2016-2017/calendario.html

Big sporting events coming up such my better ones of Real Madrid FC (my team OK).  Real Madrid vs Barcelona European league game admission from 35€ on March 27 at Wizink Center, more info here:https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/wizink-center

The Madrid half marathon is back; April 2nd and will be run from Paseo del Prado (between Neptuno and Atocha),and finish line at the Paseo de coches in the parque de El Retiro. More info here: http://www.mediomaratonmadrid.es/

Then, you have the match between Real Madrid FC and Atlético de Madrid (the derby) on April 9 in the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. A game part of the Liga Santander, 1st division football/soccer in Spain. More here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/santiago-bernabeu-stadium/virtual-tour-3d

And the El Clàsico game of the liga Santander between Real Madrid FC vs Barcelona on April 23rd  at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Another angle from the tourist office of Madrid and more info here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/real-madrid-fc-barcelona-liga-santander-santiago-bernabeu-stadium

Then, we have Heroes Manga festival as well lol! At the Feria de Madrid complex will have the XVI edition of the Salón del Manga y la Cultura Oriental; at this edition it change its name to Héroes Manga Madrid (before it was  Expomanga),a must for all lovers of illustrated stories from Japanese origins. On April 22-23 2017 and more info here: http://www.easyfairs.com/es/heroes-manga-madrid-2017/expomanga-2017/

I love the Feria del Libro de Madrid  (book fair of Madrid) and this year is no exception. A must for all readers abound on earth.  From May 26 to June 11, 2017. Since 1933 in the Paseo de Recoletos, and my parking is just off Cibeles lol! Then, it was moved to the bigger Retiro park . The coming one will the 76 edition and will have about 365 chalets and 480 exposing members amongst them, official organisms, distributors, specialist bookman, general libraries, editors from Madrid and beyond. From 1982, the event is call as today the Feria del Libro de Madrid and always opens up with a member of the Royal family walk in the morning. More info here: http://www.ferialibromadrid.com/#

And another big event in Madrid as anywhere in Spain is the Holy Week or Semana Santa. This year from April 9 to 16. marching virgins and saints on the streets of Madrid with drums and trumpets with a sacred song. And time to taste those Torrijas! More info from tourist office and official web of the event here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/easter-madrid

The next one is wonderful and roots of Madrid, the Fiestas San Isidro from May 12-15, the castizo soul and the spirit of Madrid come together each year to honor the city Patron Saint. Again more here from the tourist office and webpage of official event here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/sanisidro-madrid

In my time there I always enjoy these festivities and lucky to be there again in summers and the next. The zarzuelas or operettas or feast of San Cayetano, San Lorenzo, and my favorite the Paloma  are held from August 5-16 this year. This is the history of Madrid by its Verbenas.  This is the theater presentation of la Verbena de la Paloma, https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/la-verbena-de-la-paloma-teatro-Victoria

And on the Summer feast here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/august-fiestas-madrid

And do you know we are celebrating 400 years history of the Plaza Mayor of Madrid all year long!  It is a huge program with its own webpage in Spanish here; https://plazamayormadrid4c.es/agenda/

The  above will be huge so much schedule will take a blog of its own to tell you.  The tourist office of Madrid has plenty in English here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/4th-centenary-plaza-mayor-Madrid

Some in the area of Plaza Mayor even older you ask, well there is. Here are some: the oldest business is not far, just at Calle Mayor ,59, call the Antigua Farmacia de la Reina Madre founded in 1587 by a Venecian chemist with fame as he provided medicines to king François I of France while prisoner in the tower or Torre de los Lujanes in the Plaza de la Villa. The original was in the Calle Sacramento in 1914 when it was translated to the current place with structure, furniture and medicines and all! More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/shopping/botica-la-reina-madre

While it is call the Posada del Peine ? because it was a gift that offer the proprietor to their guest , a comb=peine and posada a hotel type. It was given tied up to a cord in the bathroom so it will not be taken from the room.  Those that walked by the street Calle de Postas, next to the Plaza Mayor, will have notice the beautiful façade that you see today in the modern hotel of the chain Petit Palace that opened in 2006 at the same spot that one day occupied the Posada del Peine that worked as one from 1610 to 1960! More here: http://www.petitpalacemayorplaza.com/

And we have more, that are from about the same age as the Plaza Mayor. these are the Posada de la Villa in Cava Baja, 9  that opens by 1642 where it was a windmill once of flour,the only one in the city. It welcome all visitors to the city and today serve an excellent roasted lamb in wood oven! More here: http://www.posadadelavilla.com/index_en.html

The other place and one of my favorite corners in Madrid is the Libreria San Ginés , attach to the Church of same name next to street Calle Arenal at Pasadizo de San Gines, 2 (and you know what’s on that street too ::). It’s origins go back to 1650 when Diego Logrono worked as a librarian. Here, you will find old books and used, with post cards, posters etc. You can take a picture with its stalls outside; and you too can come up with stories like mine. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/shopping/libreria-san-gines

And that is all folks, Spain is everything under the Sun! Enjoy your week. Cheers!

 

March 12, 2017

Some news from France CXLXIIII

And after a huge rain deluge in the morning, the calm has come back but still cloudy and 15C or about 64F. This is family Sunday ,and we are having some goodies with northern France beers….

Some of the latest from France, and especially Paris are here:

The mayor of Paris ,Anne Hidalgo announce the arrival of an extra 100 agents to enforce the cleanliness of the city in addition to the  260 agents already hired since  2014».  There in all categories from cleaners sweepers drivers supervisors etc. It will have about 7000 persons by years end; a very nice budget. In addition, the number of inspectors will increase by 50% from now to the summer of 2018 to fight against the incivilities. More order in the streets and more respect for all. It already has 1900 agents and by January 1 2018 will have 1500 more. Also, a budget of 1,5 million euros to   the ratting of Paris so that the rodents do no make their return already infesting many parks and gardens in the city. http://www.paris.fr/services-et-infos-pratiques/prevention-et-securite/prevention-et-securite/prevention-et-securite-2283#la-lutte-contre-les-incivilites_16

http://www.paris.fr/actualites/objectif-paris-propre-de-nouvelles-mesures-pour-la-proprete-4629

The fashion weeks started January 5 by the Mens,followed by the costumes, and the female fashions of fall winter 2017 the fashion weeks ended in Paris on March 7 .More than 600 passarelles from New York to Paris by way of London and Milan, the question is what is the purpose?  The industry has a lot of glamour but less sales and the ones that are going up are the super expensive collection for the rich. Thoughts. http://www.modeaparis.com/1/article/dates

And more fashion why not from the Great Cristobal Balenciaga, at the Musée Bourdelle, Palais Galliera. Entitled “ Balenciaga l’oeuvre au noir” , over 100 customes in black shown until July 16. This will follow «  Costumes Espagnols entre ombre et lumiére » at the Maison Victor Hugo (21 june – 24 september 2017) , and will close out with “Mariano Fortuny” at the Palais Galliera (4 october 2017 – 7 january 2018). More here: http://www.palaisgalliera.paris.fr/en/exhibitions/balenciaga-loeuvre-au-noir

The inmortal opera Carmen of Bizet will come to Opera Bastille on a play done by Calixto Bieito from now to April 14’ and then again from June 13 to July 16 2017. https://www.operadeparis.fr/saison-16-17/opera/Carmen

The celebration of the 40 years of the Centre Pompidou de Paris is not just been held in Paris but in Seine-et-Marne dept 77. At the La Ferme du Buisson ,Centre Photographique d’île de France,and the parc Culturel de Rentilly. The film by Rossellini as the center piece. The activities will be open to the public Wednesdasy to Sundays from 14h to 19h30 The presentation is running from now to July 16 with the following schedule: vernissage Saturday March 11, there is a navette bus with reservation at reservation@fraciledefrance.com 11h15 from Place du Châtelet Paris. At 12h le chateau, parc culturel de Rentilly, at Bussy Saint Martin 14h30 Centre photographique d’île de France at Pontault-Combault ; 16h30 La Ferme de Buisson ,Noisiel, 18H projection of the film by Rossellini in a big screen and 19h30 return navette bus to Paris . The transportation between the sites will be done by réservations Tle +33 (0) 1 53 34 64 43 or email  taxitram@tram-idf.fr More here in English: https://www.fraciledefrance.com/soixantedixsept/?lang=en

An incourtanable place for me and my other half is to the Epicerie du Bon Marché department store. Completely remodelled in 2013 and now open on Sundays from 10h to 20H !!! A Paris must for all. Until March 26 you have the 3 days of TBM  with 30% discounts on many items;too bad I am now so far !More here: http://www.lagrandeepicerie.com/evenements/tbm.html

March 17-19 there is the Hérmes show jumping international CSI 5 at the Grand Palais, the best of horse jumping in the capital. This is Hérmes sponsored event. More here: http://www.sauthermes.com/en/the-classes/

The fireman are honoured in Paris, celebrating the 50th anniversary of founding the brigade in paris; this is showing at the Hôtel de ville or city/town hall of Paris.  It became an unit in the 19C  under the leadership of Napoléon Ier.  By an Imperial decree he lent this job to a group of military personnel, creating the Battalion, later a regiment in 1867 and finally a brigade of volunteers in March 1st 1967. Until April 29, Mondays to Saturdays from 10h to 18h30  in the Salle des Prévôts Tapisseries.  More here: http://quefaire.paris.fr/14638/exposition-pompiers-de-paris

The “Printemps des Poètes” is on until March 19 in Paris. This 19th edition will make in evidence the work of Léopold Sedar Senghor and Tchicaya U Tam si. At the Bibliothéque de l’Arsenal, 1 rue de Sully , Paris 4 ; more here in French : http://www.printempsdespoetes.com/

The inescapable Chatou fair returns for its 94th edition on the island of the impressionists! The fans of flea market ,antique, art of the 20C, and local produce will end up in this bucolic setting around 500 merchants from antique dealers, second hand dealers, jewerlers and art galleries.  This year the theme will be French style Napoléon III furniture to designs of Pompidou . On the boulevard Voltaire a small fair within a fair with hams and suckling roasted pigs roasted on the spot , pata negra, and ducks . Until March 19 from 10h to 19h admission 6€  free navette from the station gare of Rueil Malmaison. More here: http://www.foiredechatou.com/

It will be a long March awaiting Spring on March 20th, and the changing of the clock here on March 26th. Hoping for better weather, and our vacation times in summer and Christmas all taken care of. Enjoy your week wherever you are in our beautiful world. Cheers!

 

 

 

 

March 11, 2017

My travels in the Morbihan XVI

Today was another nice day, it started foggy in the early morning but then it clear up to 18C or 64F and sunny, to come back later in the afternoon evening to cloudy gray and 13C or 58F about.

We just saw France beat Italy in the VI Nations rugby championship of the Northern Hemisphere  from Rome 18-40. They have one game remaining vs Wales Saturday March 18. Now watching England vs Scotland with England going over all over 20×0 in the 27th minute.

Before that we did our errands on our daily life here, nothing like the travel guides but just the real life of the French.

We did our ideas and purchases in another of our favorite stores for building materials Leroy Merlin in Theix near Vannes. Here they are: https://www.leroymerlin.fr/vanes

We are looking into work to make our home top shape into our retirement and we had look at prices for velux window, garage door, ceiling fans, parquet floor, etc. You have to plan ahead to we look at what’s available and prices to put into our budget.

There we had some lunch in a burger join that is been slowly replace by Burger King, the one in Vannes is already with the sign waiting the official opening as BK. However, in many and the one here in Théix is still a Quick chain with origins in Belgium.  So we had our bacon supreme, long bacon, etc burgers here with fries and coca cola as well as strawberry milkshake etc. The Quick chain site here is at https://www.quick.fr/fr/restaurant/vannes-est-theix

Then, running to see the France rugby game we came rushing to the Pépinière de Penhôet where my other half got her four plants to replace in our garden. This is a family business nursery with an extensive selection, good advise, and good prices all along the N165 in Ploeren on the village attach to it of Penhôet. More on it here: http://www.pepinieredepenhouet.com/

We normally try to avoid personal photos but my boys are good to show helping in the nursery and we are so proud of them ,been so good and family bond boys. The oldest just became 25 on the 9th of March and the other are identical twins (the heavy and the light we can tell lol! )of 23.

And continue watching that rugby match with some beers from Germany and Belgium lol!!! now England is still winning 30×7 at the 39 minute! Enjoy your weekend y’all. Cheers

Theix Theix Ploeren  Ploeren  Ploeren  Ploeren

 

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March 10, 2017

Birthday of my oldest 25 and still a great relationship, Vannes it was!

Today was the day we celebrated my oldest 25th year birthday on a wonderful sunny day with temps as high as 18C or about 64F. The birthday was yesterday ,but I took a day off today so can hook up a long weekend.

We started out from home early by 9H or 9am to get my car wash at the dealer for free ::) This is in Vannes Ford  Mustiére dealer. From here we went to Micromania for the game gift and more goodies for the gang as they are very active players ,and big customers there lol!!!

Finally, on the morning run, we stop by Armand Thiery our favorite men’s clothing store. I pickup a business shirt, pullover and spring jacket just for the run of spring! More on this wonderful stores here: http://www.armandthiery.fr/

We came back to do our lunch for the birthday at his favorite restaurant been a good humble young men, we ate at Tablapizza, also in Vannes. This is in the Atlanville shopping/resto Parc Lann area; more here: http://www.atlanville.fr/actualites

I took my father too and he was happily came along for his coca cola! We had for apéro or entry drink an oranger, bananier fraise, fizz pamplemous , whisky lanson, martini rosso, and coca cola for my father; then the main dish were Espagnole with chorizos pizza for 3, carré camembert, Roulaide chévre miel rolls for 2 , we all had the meal with a bottle of Fitou Chateau la Grange 2015 red for 3 as well as Monaco rose beer, grimbergen blonde beer, and more coca cola for Dad. The desserts were café chocolat gourmand for 4, profiterole with strawberry ice cream, and coupe tout chocolate. All came out for 28.90€, nice.

We, then walk over to Electro Depot to buy more gadgets for the kitchen , electronics, and computer external drive Maxtor. Finally, went back to Micromania to pick up a free T-shirt and stop at Carrefour for my father to do some of his groceries.

We ,then ,made it back home for some rest before we figure out what to do in the weekend. We will do some research today on preparation for our trip to Spain this coming summer. I am set for Poland and Brazil in May, possible back to Spain in late April on business…. Life is beautiful in France, la vie est belle en France or La vida es chula en Francia!!!

TGIF enjoy it wherever you are;cheers.

Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes

 

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