October 30, 2020

Sightseeing in Paris, by land and water!

Another post update folks, too  many old post left in the vault. Now is the best time to bring them out and have them more visible. Hope you enjoy my black and white series….

Over time I have read some folks claiming to want to be in Paris with limited time, sometimes even in between correspondance at the airports. Even thus I do not agree this is the best way to see the city, sometimes time and money comes into play. So if you are in Paris or near and want to take a quick look at the city general overview to perhaps get into the feeling to see more in depth later (believe me you will ::)) than do these suggestions. FYI, I have written individually on some of these in my blog already. Hope it helps you enjoy my eternal Paris!

Bateaux Parisiens are an institution in Paris , my favorite ,my first taste ever with the Seine river back in 1972 (hint:blog title). It has been my favorite always. Day or night cruises, Lunch or Dinner, Enchanted cruises for children, romantic cruises for all. You get in at Port de la Bourdannais just off the Eiffel tower on the river Seine down the stairs to your right. Site in English: https://www.bateauxparisiens.com/en/the-company.html

The perennials on the block or how river cruising was started by the Bateaux Mouches ,lunch and dinner cruises, night and day cruises, you get on board at Port de la Conférence, Pont de l’Alma. Site in English: https://www.bateaux-mouches.fr/en

The old fashion way of navigating the rivers anywhere, the Canal Saint Martin experts Canauxrama, 2,5 hrs of cruise into parc de la Villette, full day cruise to guinguette country (french country music), and now the Seine river cruises. You get it at port de l’Arsenal at the bassin de la Villette, 13 quai de la Loire. Site in English:  https://www.canauxrama.com/en/

The ride on the bridges of Paris by the Vedettes du Pont Neuf, at the square du vert galant near pont neuf of course. Site in English: https://www.vedettesdupontneuf.com/home/

Batobus is a noble concept of taxi on the river, you can get on and off all along its route per day. 9 stops on the Seine river to discover Paris. Take at port de la Bourdannais near Eiffel tower on the river go down to your left. Site in English: https://www.batobus.com/en/parcours

Paris Canal, is a newer concept to take you beyond the city into the river Marne, and Canal de l’Ourcq, as well as Canal St Denis, etc, you can on it at bassin de la Villette ,19 quai de la Loire, or quai Anatole France just next to musée d’Orsay boat ramp, or inside the parc de la Villette in front of the folies des visites du parc. Site in English: https://www.pariscanal.com/cruise-seine-canal/

Vedettes de Paris , take it at the port de Suffren, near Eiffel tower once go down on the river stairs to your left. Its a ride under the bridges of Paris on the Seine, very nice indeed. You have it for children, night, etc.  site in English: https://www.vedettesdeparis.fr/?lang=en

Cityrama was a world known brand of bus tours in cities, no exception in Paris . Now they have change name to Paris Tours.  Site here in English  :https://www.pariscityvision.com/

Euroscope, bus tours in minibuses with professional guides with pickup and return at your hotel,transfers to hotel/train/airport stations. At 46 rue de Provence, 75009. Site in English here  https://www.euroscope.fr/contact/

France Tourisme, visit Paris main monuments, diner cruise on the Seine, or Eiffel towers restos ,also booking for cabarets such as Lido and Moulin Rouge. One stop shopping. Also, tours all over France . Its at 6 rue Amiral de Coligny, 75001 or 33 quai des grands Augustins, 75006. Site in English here : https://www.francetourisme.fr/index_en.html

Paris Authentic, a special way to see Paris in a 2CV car Citroën with chauffeur or driver. Many wonderful surprising places to go. You will be pickup at your hotel or train station in Paris for the ride, enjoy it ,its unique! Site in English : https://www.parisauthentic.com/en/

Les Cars Rouges, tourist coach/bus  service  for visiting Paris in English or Spanish. The original tour in double decker buses.  They have change name to the Big Bus Paris. Site in English: https://www.bigbustours.com/fr/paris/bus-touristique-paris/

These have been over the years my favorites and even if some change names they are still reliable. Hope you enjoy the short visits or when the feet gives in ….Enjoy Paris!!

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

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October 30, 2020

Paris and getting around!!

So here I am again, trying to update much older posts since I started my blog in November 26 2010! And one of them is transports in Paris or how to get around. Let me do my best to update this information for all. Hope you enjoy it.

Many visitors and even folks outside of Paris ask for ways to move about in Paris and to come in. Many guides abound on this ,and I will try to give you my five cents worth stemming from personal experiences over the last 17 years.

First, most folks come thru CDG(Charles De Gaulle) airport which is known as the main Paris airport but is not in Paris but in Roissy-en-France town in the department 95 Val d’Oise , and Tremblay-en-France a town in the department 93 Seine Saint Denis. It is now in zone 5 and can cost over 10 euros minimum to come into Paris while in the city it cost less than 2 euros to move about. Versailles is in zone 4.  Several ways to come in into the city such as taxis, buses,  RER trains or reseau express regionale and roissybus etc. 

Some things never change for a long time and one of them is the line from the CDG airport at Terminal 2 between wings CD and EF follow signs for TGV/SNCF to the platform direction Paris, and take the RER B. There is one almost every 12 minutes, and the travel time is about 30 minutes to Châtelet les Halles inside Paris.  If you arrive in Terminal 1 you take the the automatic airport metro train CDGVAL to terminal 2, the buses or navettes are the line 1 stops at level or niveau 5 or you can walk from the automatic walking escalators. The return out can be done on the buses to level or niveau 5 at portes or doors A5 and B6 stops TGV/RER. From terminal 3 on foot to Roissypole about 250 meters. 

You can, also, take the Roissybus a bus service from all terminals to Rue Scribe/rue Aubers on the side of the Opéra Garnier, place de l’Opéra. Every 15 minutes or so and it takes about 50 minutes travel time. All is done between 5h45 and 23h each day.  The old Les Cars Air France,were given a bit of confusion as many folks believe you needed to come on Air France to use them, when in fact all could; therefore, now they are call the le Bus Direct. You still have line 1 to Place Charles De Gaulle or Arc de Triomphe on the side of 1 av Carnot or from Porte Maillot on the side of Blvd Gouvion-Saint-Cyr, now, also Trocadero, every 15 minutes from 5h45 to 23h. Line 2, to the Tour Eiffel,Place de l’Etoile, Porte Maillot. Line 3 to Orly airport connection, and line 4 to Montparnasse at rue du commandant Mouchotte or from gare de Lyon at bd Diderot, every 30 minutes from 7h to 21h30. 

If you arrive very late you can take the bus Noctilien, from midnite to 5h. You have five points in Paris at Chatelet, gare de Lyon,gare Montparnasse,gare de l’Est,gare du Nord , gare Saint Lazare and Orly airport. For updated info here: https://www.ratp.fr/en/getting-around-night/its-easy-get-around-night

You can take regular bus services No 351 from CDG to areas such as international bus terminal at Galliani or porte de Bagnoles, Vincennes or Montreuil for 2 euros to connect with the metro. Taxis stands are waiting outside terminals or main railroad station the best known are Taxi G7, and Alpha Taxis. My experiences in the region have been with G7 always good.

From Orly airport,situated on the town of Orly in department 94 Val de Marne, the transportation is from Orly Sud and Orly Ouest , take the OrlyVal until Antony then RER B to CDG or into Paris. You also have buses Le Bus Direct line 3, all every 30 minutes from 6h to 22h30 ,(weekends out is 7h). Between terminals Sud and Ouest you have free connections on OrlyVal, navette buses. By bus on Orlybus depart from Paris at place Denfert-Rochereau in front of entry to RER station, every 15-20 minutes, from 5h35 to 23h05 travel time about 30 minutes.

You can interconnect from CDG T1 and T2 airport to Orly Sud or Ouest  by taking the RER B from CDG T2 until Antony, then OrlyVal, frequency every 10 minutes from 6h to 23h or Le Bus Direct. I admit this is web information as not been thru Orly well believe since 2010. My second home is CDG.

You can also take the TGV fast trains from Terminal 2 at CDG to north, south and west lines as well as Thalys. I have connected even to Disneyland and Brussels Midi from here too.

There are many shuttle private companies operating to suit must tastes, mine have been serve well by yellow van on several occassions. However, not taken them since 2011 and now they are call the Paris Shuttle info here: https://www.parishuttle.com/

You can purchase several options of tickets according to your lenght of stay and needs, I will compare all before deciding on the ones to purchase as per personal choices/needs. The single ticket in Paris zone 1-2 is 1,90 Euros on machines and counters ,on the buses is 2 Euros. then you have the carnet of 10 tickets for 16.90 euros, usually enough for most people. The airport prices are apart and different, these are from CDG RER B to Paris 10.30 euros, the Roissybus is 13.70 euros, the Orlybus is 9.50 euros, the T7 is 1.90 to Orly, Bus 183 from porte de Choisy to Orly is 2 euros, and the OrlyVal is 9.30 euros. These have change a lot and could in the future especially next by Jan 1 2021.

You can buy a daily card call Mobilis for the whole day of travel on zones 1-2 Paris for 7.50 euros. You can buy for a whole week the Navigo Semaine for all Paris proper métro, RER, bus, Tramway and trains except the line Orlyval, all zones 22.80 euros ,the same for the month is 75.20 euros. There is a newer pass Navigo Easy to travel in metro, RER lines inside Paris, bus lines in the region of Ïle de France, OrlyBus , RoissyBus, tramways and the cable car of Montmartre to charge on the card according to section travel.

To Versailles zone 4 is 3.65 euros, and to Disneyland Paris is zone 5 RER A 8.40 euros. The touristic Paris Visite Pass never used it. You can buy for one day on zones 1-3 for 12 euros. Again, these are today’s prices they have change a lot over the years and bound to change again by Jan 1 2021.

To book trains, and I am a grand voyageur member is the old SNCF voyages now oui.SNCF webpage: https://en.oui.sncf/en/

To come to Versailles take the metro to pont-Sévres on line 9 in Paris and take the bus No 171 leaving you right in front of castle!  The RER C trains from Paris takes you to Versailles rive gauche château station as well as regular trains takes you from Saint Lazare to station rive droite (my old station) and  Montparnasse to station Chantiers. From the airports there is no direct line, you need to come to Paris then Versailles.

The bus lines are my favorite when not using the car in Paris. The lines are numbered from 20 to 199. To understand the number we go to a nice definition: The first number correspond to a quartier or neighborhood of Paris such as the lines Saint-Lazare/Opéra for the lines 20 to 29 , and Gare de l’Est for the lines 30 to 49.  The second number corresponds to the periphery neighborhoods ; for example  the west or ouest for the  3 ,and the southeast or sud-est for the 7. The lines 20 to 99 are the ones inside the city of Paris and the near periphery. The bus lines 100 to 199 are for the suburbs of Paris and some like the lines 102, 109, 111, 132 , and 169  entered a bit inside Paris.

The above list could not be all inclusive but gives you a general details of ways into and out of the city. If any doubts you can ask me and will gladly help out. As for me, I have been using public transports in Paris since 1990, all modes at all times and days; whether on business or personal. After a few years, I have become accustomed to do public transports on business trips still need to do in the area and on personal trips I use my car. Yes ,you can drive in Paris.... if used to do so in big cities of course if your experience is from smaller towns than Paris might seems overwhelming at first.

Hope it helps your travels in the region of Ïle de France, my old home region in my belle France. Travel is easy on normal days, nowdays are not normal so plan ahead and have alternative plans. Hope you have enjoy the post.

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

October 29, 2020

Paris passes, needed?

This is one of earliest posts in my blog back in 2010, and its time for an update….They have become rather popular, don’t ask me why… I believe that if coming to see 3 monuments or more they are worth it. However,  i never see 3 monuments in a row so never use them. This is an informational post.

paris louvre musee from tuileries gardens mar13

Museums are wonderful exponents of life in Paris. It showcase the culture and way of life of its people and often of others interelations with France. It is one of the main attractions for visitors to Paris. First, there is the Paris Museum Pass

With the pass you can enter for free without waiting in line and as many times as you wish in more than 60 museums and monuments in the Paris region. You may have to go thru security lines on them but they go quickly and certainly more quicker than buying individual tickets for them.  The trick is to decide what museums to see and how many to see, this as in anything in travel needs planning ahead of time. It is a good idea to involved all members of a family in decision and the planning processus.

You have choices of 2, 4 or 6 days passes, with the prices correspondingly. You can purchase the pass at the museum and monuments included in the pass ; at the tourist office of the city of Paris, 25 rue des Pyramides   1éme, the tourist desks at the airports CDG ; Orly airport , and FNAC stores such as Champs-Elysées,Saint-Lazare, Ternes, and Forum Les Halles, as well at Disneyland Paris main entrance. Also, at Versailles at tourist office avenue de Paris.  Usually there are individual discounts for the under 18 and residents of the UE under 26 yrs old. There are free on the first Sunday of every month; see individual museum or monument for latest details

The Paris Museum Pass is a very practical tourist card that quickly pays for itself, allowing you to avoid queues and have unlimited access to more than 50 monuments and museums in Paris and its region. It should be remembered that only visits to the permanent collections are included with this pass. If you wish to access temporary exhibitions or guided tours, you will have to pay for the entrance separately.  Before you start using the Paris Museum Pass, you will need to write the date of the first visit on the back of the pass, along with your first and last name. I recommend that you make your first visit in the morning to make the most of the first day and get the most out of your pass. Please note that these are consecutive days. The Paris Museum Pass has another important advantage to take into account: this skip-the-line will save you from having to stand in lines , usually endless in Paris. 

The official Paris museum pass in English: https://www.parismuseumpass.fr/t-en

The Paris tourist office on the museum pass: https://en.parisinfo.com/what-to-see-in-paris/paris-pass/paris-museum-pass

The city of Paris has join several other cities to issue a Paris Pass card offering unlimited access to more than 50 tourist attractions and museums in Paris, while avoiding the queues. This pass will also allow you to travel stress-free thanks to unlimited access to public transport included in zones 1 to 3. This card is aimed at a very specific audience: if the purpose of your trip is to go shopping on the Champs-Elysées or to take your children to Disneyland, this pass will obviously not be profitable. On the other hand, if you want to explore Paris and discover every nook and cranny of the city, this card will help you save big. If you hesitate between buying this card or the Paris Museum Pass combined with the Paris Visite card for transport; it will depend on whether you plan to use the tourist bus, take the boat on the Seine or make a few additional visits (Opera, Wax Museum, Espace Dalí…).

The official Paris Pass Card in English: https://www.parispass.com/

The Paris tourist office on the Pass Card: https://en.parisinfo.com/what-to-see-in-paris/paris-pass

By purchasing the Paris Visite card, your trips will be made easier since it includes the Paris Visite pass. You can therefore take unlimited public transport in zones 1 to 3 of Paris.

The RATP Paris Visite card on transports here: https://www.ratp.fr/en/titres-et-tarifs/paris-visite-travel-pass

Of course these are not all the museums or monuments of Paris, there are over 1000 of them, the passes is a city and regional tourist effort to regroup the best known generally speaking. At least hope it gives you some heads up for future visits to the city of lights!

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

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October 29, 2020

The districts of Versailles!!!

Oh well here I am again looking back at my previous posts and darn it cannot find anything on the districts/neighborhoods of my beloved Versailles!!! An oversight indeed! I wrote on the other cities but not on the one I lived! Well time to remedy that in my blog, for the memories of old! Versailles is it!!!

Well what else. I need to bring you up to speed on this historical ,Royal and magical town of France. Of course, my beloved Versailles. Usually, cities are divided into districts and then neighborhoods and they give you a feeling of an idea of where you are going. And you need to come to Versailles!

The districts/neighborhoods of Versailles are Bernard de Jussieu-Petits Bois-Picardie , Chantiers, Clagny-Glatigny, Montreuil, Notre-Dame , Porchefontaine, Saint-Louis, Satory, and Instance du château(the castle).

Let me give you the views on most from my views on living there in no particular order.

Notre-Dame (my district!): the most chic district, in the hyper-center, around the Place du Marché, the shopping streets and Notre-Dame Church, which extends roughly from the Lycée Hoche to the Château. At the avenue de l’Europe stop, before the Prefecture, all buses pass. Just a stone’s throw away, the essential Monoprix where toddlers and their mothers dress. The icing on the cake is located between Versailles Rive-Droite station and Boulevard de la Reine, it is the famous “Quartier des Prés”, highly prized for its strategic location.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Saint-Louis is a former military-traditional district with its ex-swarms of children in velvet breeches and worn yellow oilskins, Saint-Louis has changed well ,and attracts today many young families with a more contemporary look. In this 18Cdistrict, the oldest of Versailles, several emblematic streets like the rue Royale and its shops , which crosses the historic Carrés Saint-Louis, the pedestrianized rue de Satory, ideal for a lunch in the sun. far from the Potager du Roi and the delightful Parc Balbi, finally the rue du Vieux Versailles, which has become a mecca for children’s activities with all kinds of workshops, each more delicious than the next.

Versailles back of hotel de ville nov12

The Satory district in priori trusted by the families of gendarmes and soldiers, this somewhat out-of-the-way district now hosts an industrial center of excellence.

The Chantiers district undergoing major changes, this district where very little was happening is undergoing titanic works around the train station. It is reborn in the form of a modern district, inspired by Art Deco, where transport, housing, offices and shops coexist.

The Porchefontaine district is a former popular suburb of Versailles, today it is the area where young families with small children live and dream of a home. The nearby forest and its sports facilities ,including a beautiful, little-known equestrian club and tennis courts that are more accessible then Jardy are its assets. On the Rive-Gauche-Château RER C train line therefore serving the south of Paris.

The Montreuil district is a small village in the heart of Versailles, dominated by the Saint-Symphorien Church and its curious republican architecture. The rue de Montreuil conceals shops, each more charming than the next.

The Jussieu-Petits Bois-Picardie district is a quiet HLM (low income housing) district with large parks, ideally equipped for children, a stone’s throw from Montreuil train station.

The Clagny-Glatigny district is the most residential and green because right on the edge of the forests of Fausses-Reposes in Versailles and on the edge of the Haras de Jardy and Sans-Souci, in Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt. With buses A, H and G, close to the center and the Rive-Droite train station.

From a more touristic version

The Notre-Dame district (of course my old neighborhood) is the oldest district of Versailles. It was built by king Louis XIV to beautify the surroundings of the castle. King Louis XIV undertook to create this district north of the Castle, on virgin land, in order to beautify the surroundings. The inhabitants gradually settled in from 1671, building according to precise rules along streets surprisingly straight and wide for the time. The district still revolves around the original institutions: visit the Notre-Dame Church, which was the king’s parish. There is also the Montansier theater, opened in 1777, and the Place Hoche, originally Place Dauphine, the first octagonal square in France. A few steps away, installed in a charming 18C mansion, the Lambinet museum will immerse you in the atmosphere of a period mansion, unless you prefer to discover the collections on the history of the city of Versailles and the French revolution etc.

The Saint Louis district is made up of two historically distinct parts: Old Versailles and the Saint-Louis district itself. The Old Versailles, which corresponds to the location of the medieval village acquired by king Louis XIII, is the historic heart of the city. Stroll through the heart of this district: you will discover a large number of remarkable and particularly well-preserved monuments such as the Récollets convent, the Grand Commun built under king Louis XIV to house the court kitchens, the former Hôtel des Affaires Etrangères and the Mariners built under king Louis XV. The most emblematic site of Old Versailles is the Salle du Jeu de Paume, which was the scene of a major episode of the French revolution. You will admire the Saint-Louis Cathedral , a superb church which preserves a very fine collection of period paintings as well as the King’s garden or Potager du Roi, designed to supply the castle’s plethora of population. Moved on to the Carrés Saint-Louis, this collection of small houses built under king Louis XV to serve as shelter for a new market. There is a very friendly atmosphere there!

The Antiquaires or Antiquarians district a place steeped in history, near the castle, the Notre-Dame market and the Lambinet museum, is a privileged walk for all amateurs and professionals of antiquity. In the center of Versailles, 50 antique dealers welcome you. Whether you are a lover of beautiful objects, jewelry or silverware, antique or art deco furniture, old, modern or contemporary paintings; or collector of weapons, old books, engravings, earthenware and porcelain, old toys or archaeological remains; or simply occasional bargain hunter, here you will find something to satisfy your curiosity and meet your desires from the most reasonable to the craziest !

The Montbauron and Montreuil districts are located further upstream from the Avenue de Paris leading to the Château. The neighborhood of Montbauron is dominated by the Butte Montbauron and bounded by the avenues of Paris, Saint-Cloud and Europe, this district has everything of a small village which deploys its cobbled streets around a central square, Place Charost. It is in the middle of the city, on a height, that the four reservoirs of Montbauron were built in 1686 to collect water from the surrounding ponds. Of these four reservoirs, only two remain and only one is still assigned to supply the fountains of the castle.

The neighborhood of Montreuil has a village feel and was not attached to Versailles until 1787. It has therefore developed a little away and retains the charm of a village, gathered around the Saint-Symphorien Church, an early example of neoclassical architecture. It is in this district that, under king Louis XIV, the Italian musicians assigned to the chapel of the castle settled. Visit their home, which now houses the Union Compagnonnique museum. Its proximity to the Château also meant that Montreuil was chosen by some great ladies of the court in the 18C for the installation of beautiful mansions, such as the domaine of Madame Elisabeth, sister of Louis XVI, whose park you will appreciate!

From a more touristic point of view they are group into Notre Dame, Saint Louis, Antiquaires, and Montbauron-Montreuil. As above translated from Versailles tourist officehttps://www.versailles-tourisme.com/visiter-et-explorer-versailles/versailles-une-ville-a-decouvrir/visite-des-quartiers-historiques-de-versailles

From living there the neighborhood councils or conseils de quartiers of the city of Versailleshttps://www.versailles.fr/mairie/les-conseils-de-quartiers/

From the Maisons du quartier or neighborhood home of the city of Versailles: https://www.versailles.fr/maisonsdequartier/

And why not this is another city but just crossing the street and you are in Versailles, my boys high school was here so will tell you a bit on its districts too ok. Le Chesnay used to be called the town now is call Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt. A very nice place too even if not in the tourist trail.

The Plateau St Antoine district: A stone’s throw from the Rive Droite train station and adjoining Saint-Jean-Hulst stand up, majestic and opulent, the millstones of the Plateau, which make the peepers of any self-respecting local housewife shine; nonetheless, they are far from affordable for all budgets and sell out in the blink of an eye in a market that remains very confidential.

The Bas-Plateau district: if you have not managed to reach the coveted peaks of the Plateau St Antoine, you can nevertheless find what you are looking for in the northernmost district of Chesnay, in other words the Bas Plateau with pretty houses, sometimes terraced, often dating from the 1930s, nestled at the foot of Saint Antoine, offer a family setting and proximity to Blanche and Saint Jean.

The Parc Aubert district  is built around the pretty Aubert park, this predominantly residential area is close to Parly 2 mall and access to the A13 autoroute de Normandie; on the other hand, it will appear off-center to those looking for the proximity of Versailles train stations.

 The Parly 2 district is to all those looking for the cachet of the old, go your way! For everyone else, this huge condominium, which dates from the 1970s and is one of the largest in Europe, has real assets: functional apartments, greenery, a nearby shopping center, as well as easy access to the Domaine de Versailles.

The Old city/town hall district stretches from rue de Versailles to the brand new library: it has quite diverse habitats, ranging from residences on rue Caruel Saint Martin and rue de Versailles, animated by its small market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, in very quiet social housing and very close to the library, through the workers’ houses on rue de la Celle ;some in red brick are reminiscent of their English counterparts: do not think about you there however, everything is spruced up, raised, refurbished by families looking for houses and gardens in the immediate vicinity of Versailles and its stations.

The city of Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt on the heritage and history in French: http://www.lechesnay-rocquencourt.fr/D%c3%a9couvrir/256/

And as I am at it, why not the other nice town we like ,next to Versailles. To the East of Versailles, the small town of Viroflay cultivates its discretion, nestled between two forests of Meudon and Fausses-Reposes on either side of the D910, which connects the castle to the Pont de Sèvres in Paris. Among the best served in the Ile-de-France region, the town has three train stations such as lines L and N to Saint-Lazare and Montparnasse, RER C (rive gauche château), tramway T6, bus 171(to château) and so on. With excellent public and private schools, dynamic sports and cultural associations and a covered market, this charming little family village is mainly made up of houses built at the start of the 20C, many of which are millstone. The shops are divided into three points: near the market by avenue du Général Leclerc, and around the train stations of Viroflay Rive Gauche and Chaville-Vélizy. When you’ve tasted it, you don’t want to leave!

The city of Viroflay on its heritage and history in French: https://www.ville-viroflay.fr/decouvrir-viroflay/histoire-et-patrimoine.html

And now I feel better, you have a full picture of my old home, and glorious places. Hope you can come and see it again or first time, you will be back. It is a must my beloved Versailles.Hope you enjoy the post.

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

October 29, 2020

The other churches of Versailles!

Well read all about it, no photos !!I feel bad to do this post but feel the information is useful for many including me. And yes, this is Versailles! where I lived for almost 10 years! I have written about my area Church ND and the Cathedral, and couple other churches like Ste Elizabeth and St Symphorien  with photos, and not these ones.

Therefore, need to change that and will post for information only and maybe one day as a visitor can finally take a picture lol!

The Church of Jeanne d’Arc built between 1923-1926,in the quartier or neighborhood of Clagny-Glatigny, 17 rue Albert Joly, Built initially in wood, it responds to the wish made by Mgr Gibier, Bishop of Versailles on August 31, 1914. He would have promised to build a church in honor of Joan of Arc if the city survived the German offensives.

On May 16, 1920, Joan of Arc was canonized in Rome. In Versailles, Canon Subtil, in charge of the fulfillment of the vow and pastor of the new parish, instituted the tradition of a preparatory novena, so that “the city does not forget the vow made to the Saint”. In 1930 the Mutin / Cavaillé Coll organ, donated by a parishioner for the temporary wooden chapel, was installed in the gallery. In 2007, the parish acquired the organ from Studio 103 from Radio France. It was inaugurated in September 2008. The walls covered with stone arabesques contrast with the large fresco in the apse. In 1934, the oil painting on mounted canvas covering the entire apse and representing four scenes from the life of Saint Joan of Arc was placed at the back of the choir; it is signed Henriette Lebon-Delore, a pupil of Maurice Denis. It has four scenes: on the left, Jeanne, keeping her sheep near Domrémy, hears the voices of Saint Michael, Saint Catherine and Saint Marguerite. In the center, the coronation of Charles VII in Reims. On the right, his martyrdom in Rouen. And above, Joan is welcomed into Heaven by her holy protectors. The three large glass roofs with geometric figures are by Maurice Rocher. Their surface is insufficient to provide the required clarity. When the double front door is not open, Sainte-Jeanne d’Arc Church remains a rather dark church.

The official webpage: http://jeannedarc-versailles.com/

The Church Sainte Bernadette des Petit Bois built 1930 in the quartier or neighborhood of Jussieu-Petits-Bois-Picardie at 7 rue Saint Nicolas. The first stone of what was then a chapel was laid on February 21, 1937. The presbytery was not built until 1963. This church became a parish on September 30, 1959. The main facade of triangular shape was pierced in its center by a bell tower pierced with rectangular bays. A triangular porch surmounted by a tympanum surmounted by a cross precedes the entrance. A front porch flanks the first porch.

The official webpage: http://sainte.bernadette.free.fr/

The Saint Mark’s Church ,and English Anglican speaking church in Versailles going back to 1814 at rue Peintre Lebrun, where there was a hospital caring for British soldiers, the church was built in the same spot in 1912.

St. Mark’s Church, dedicated to St. Mark the Evangelist, It is attached to the Anglican Diocese of Gibraltar. It is believed that the origin of the Anglican Church at Versailles dates back to the purchase of a piece of land in 1710 by the then British Ambassador at the court of Louis XIV. However, there is no document attesting to this hypothesis. The first documentary trace that we know of dates back to 1814 and concerns the funeral of a British soldier who died in the hospital, just before the Battle of Waterloo.

Between 1825 and 1859 the church rented the reformed church on rue Hoche. In 1860, the construction of a new building for St Mark’s Church, made of wood and iron, which is apparently the old iron church destroyed in the fire of 1911, was inaugurated. The tiny church was rebuilt in 1912 on the same site, and reopened on November 21. It still exists, now occupied by the Protestant Church of the Nazarene, webpage : https://www.chapelleversailles.org/

In 1985, a large plot of land was purchased, along with an old house, at 31 rue du Pont Colbert on the outskirts of Versailles in the Porchefontaine district; the old church was sold to the Protestant Church of the Nazarene (see above). A large room of worship for 250 faithful was inaugurated on May 13, 2012. The old room of worship, now on the ground floor, will be used for group activities, such as catechism. The main entrance is at 31 rue de Pont Colbert.

The official webpage: http://www.stmarksversailles.org/

The Church Saint Michel, 18 rue des Celestins, in the district of Porchefontaine, began as a chapel in 1908 to become a church in 1926. It is name Saint Michel because consecrated church on the saints day. Many musical concerts happened here all the time.

The facade of the main entrance is slanted and consists of a gable wall. The portal is slightly raised, accessible by a staircase. A clock surmounts the front door. The bell tower, pierced with bay windows, is at the crossroads of the entrance body and the nave. The sidewalls are supported by buttresses, and pierced with arched windows. Originally, a first chapel was built and inaugurated in 1908, and this is the front part in millstone. It became a parish in 1928. The church was enlarged in 1937 ,it is the part corresponding to the central nave.

The official webpage: https://paroisse-saintmichel-versailles.fr/histoire-de-la-paroisse/

To celebrate the Roman liturgy you come to the Chapelle Notre Dame des Armees, at 10 impasse des Gendarmes, born out of the spirit to serve the soldiers in 1852 ,built in 1877 ,when the military no longer use it, the city took over, then fideles Catholiques took over and administered since 1988 under the Roman rituals of 1962.

An association of prayers spiritually supports this soldier’s home. Pope Leo XIII, canonically erected an archconfraterny in 1875. Notre-Dame des Armées, which then had several thousand members throughout France. Neo-Gothic in style, it is located at number 10 Impasse des Gendarmes, near avenue de Paris and next to the Hôtel de Ville of Versailles; previously served by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint-Pierre, it is today priests of the diocese of Versailles who perform the offices there according to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, aided in this by the canonical association of Saint John Bosco.

On September 8, 1914, an apparition took place in this chapel to Marcelle Lanchon, 23, child of Mary who would become a nun, under the name of Sister Marie-France. It is an apparition of the Virgin, of Saint Teresa, of Saint Michael and of the Lord. The message concerns the love of the Virgin Mary for France, the invitation to pray for France and the Lord’s desire to reign over France. The Lord asks to see the image of his Sacred Heart reproduced on flags. Miss Marcelle Lanchon, a nun who had received the name of Sister Marie-France, born December 31, 1891 in Rouen, died October 20, 1933 in Les Chesnay (today Les Chesnay-Rocquecourt) in her community at 6 avenue de Bellevue. She would have witnessed Marian apparitions and the Sacred Heart in the Chapel of Notre-Dame-des-Armées and was a member of the Pious Union of Adorers of the Heart of Jesus. No canonical investigation by the bishop of the diocese has yet been opened, and the Catholic Church has not recognized these apparitions. She rests in the Notre-Dame cemetery; at 15 rue des missionionnaires in Versailles.

The Official webpage: https://notredamedesarmees.com/

At 3 rue Hoche you will find the Protestant Temple, it was a site to celebrate the feast of the king , and finally in 1821 the English Protestant  community took over ,after many works including one that took them to do their rituals inside the castle by the cour des marbres, the temple is now recognised as cultural association according to the 1906 law of separation of state and church. About 1250 protestant families belong to the Temple today. The parish is a member of the United Protestant Church of France.

On May 24, 1821, under king Louis XVIII, the government authorized the establishment in Versailles of a Protestant church of the Anglican faith. It was established in 1926 at 3 rue Dauphine, since then renamed rue Hoche, in a former Catholic chapel. The chapel then dates from 1769, built under king Louis XIV on the site of the mansions of Marcillac, La Rochefoucauld and Conti to serve as a resting place during the Corpus Christi procession, which led from the Church Notre-Dame de Versailles to the Royal Chapel of the castle. Desecrated during the French revolution, the chapel was used as a meeting room and then as a temple for the Theo philanthropists.   In February 9, 1828, under king Charles X, the government authorized French Protestants, of the Reformed and Lutheran faiths to celebrate their worship in the Anglican Church. From that time on, the temple was therefore a united Protestant church, bringing together in a spirit of openness and tolerance several denominations in the same temple. The current temple was built from 1880 to 1882, according to a sober and classic plan of Protestant architecture of the time, with an open Bible on the pediment.

The official webpage: https://www.eglise-protestante-unie.fr/versailles-p71718/histoire/histoire-de-l-eglise-protestante-reformee-a-versailles-42

Ok ok, there are a lot more, this is a very traditional city, royal town of France! So here are a few more listed!

Chapelle de l’Ermitage, 1 Rue de l’Ermitage
Chapelle du Couvent des Sœurs servantes du Sacré Cœur,109 Avenue de Paris
Chapelle du Lycée Notre-Dame du Grandchamp,(chapel in a historic high school),97 Rue Royale
Chapelle du lycée Sainte-Geneviève (chapel in a historic high school),2 rue de l’Ecole-des-Postes
Chapelle Notre-Dame de l’Espérance, 37 rue du Maréchal Joffre
Chapelle Saint-François de Sales,9 Rue de l’École des Postes
Chapelle Saint-Joseph de Glatigny,29 Boulevard de Glatigny
Chapelle Saint-Maurice de la caserne Satory (Fesch), (military chapel)De la Martinière (Satory)
Église adventiste (Adventist Church), 22 rue des Réservoirs
Eglise du Couvent des Récollets, 9 rue des Récollets
Église Évangélique de Pentecôte(evangelical Pentecost) ,15 bis rue du Parc de Clagny
Église Évangélique du Nazareen, 15 rue du Peintre Lebrun
Mosquée de Versailles, 31 rue Jean Mermoz
Synagogue,10 Rue Albert Joly

Well I hope you will come to see the history of Versailles in its churches next time. And do take pictures!! I promise will do when this virus is over eventually. Stay safe!

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

October 28, 2020

My best restaurants in Versailles!!!

Well since I am with the resto bug, might as well continue. Versailles was my town where I lived for 10 years, and it’s time to update this list now that I come back just to visit from Brittany. The original post was done in 2011!!! Looking back, I realized was not into going out so much as cooking in house but then again there are a few.

By now, I have done Restaurant lists in some of the mayor areas I have been so see France, Brittany, Madrid, Mexico etc in my blog. The France post I did some times for eating habits here ,but for the rest I just tell you about the names of my favorite local restos,bars, cafes, etc.

Le Boeuf à la Mode, 4 Rue au Pain, 78000, ,this is the sublime cozy romantic, French traditional restaurant of old I like to seek and keep. It was our favorite while there. Very near Castle on the marche Notre Dame area tuck away in rue au pain ,but well known.  You wont go wrong here for an evening in Versailles.  webpage: http://www.leboeufalamode-versailles.com/

Relais de Poste, 2 Rue des Etats Généreaux. Well this one is a simple clasic old post relay place tuck by the direction of the Chantiers train station ; but close enough to the Rive Gauche train station too. If you want simple French food amongst locals then come here, its one of my favorites for lunch. Now new owner and name Le Paris Versailles is there, their webpage: http://www.leparisversailles.fr/

Broadway Cafe, 15 rue Ducis, by the marche Notre Dame around the old bays of the market the street goes around them. Tex-Mex well done and nice Coronas, great for lunch and inexpensive. No webpage

Sister’s Cafe, 15 rue des Réservoirs.An American in Versailles. hamburgers, big juicy like back in the old home all made to order, plus big salads another great lunch suggestions. Right by the street on the right side of chateau looking at it,cant missed it right past the théatre Montansier same sidewalk. More here:  https://www.sisterscafe78.fr/

Au Chien qui Fume, 72 rue de la paroisse, Tel  +33 01 39 53 14 56,
near church Notre Dame and marché Notre Dame. A great institution of the highest French culinary experience, great for dinner,you can’t go wrong here.  Here since 1839 serving delicious oyesters dishes. webpage  https://www.lechienquifume.com/

Angelina, Cour des Princes, pavillon d’Orléans, Chateau de Versailles.  Tel  +33 01 39 20 08 32.  It also has a coffee shop at the Maison du Suisses in the Petit Trianon building inside chateau properties. Refine as the Paris legendary store, a must for pastries and hot chocolates for me! Our break from walks and jogging in the gardens by the Petit Trianon! More here:  http://en.chateauversailles.fr/plan-your-visit/facilities/angelina-petit-trianon

La Flotille, Parc du Chateau, by the Grand Canal inside Chateau property.  Another classic in the Chateau de Versailles with great views over the Grand Canal in the terrace in summers. Great menus from 26€ but try the monkfish dish delicious . webpage  https://laflottille.fr/en/

Taverne de Maitre Kanter, 5 Rue Colbert. Later it became the Pavillon Colbert by 2019 , and now closed.  Tuck away right to your left coming out of chateau, little street, cozy with great views over the parvis ,and splendind Alsacien cuisine, I go for the Choucroutes Lol! Here just for the memories

Brasserie du Théatre, 15 rue des Réservoirs, Just next to you guess it, Théatre Montansier(marie antoinette love it), I love the food and be in history right in my city, cant go wrong for the ambiance and decor.  webpage: https://www.brasseriedutheatremontansier.fr/

Bistrot du Boucher, 12 rue André Chénier, in the marché Notre Dame area as well. It’s a chain but great, traditional old fashion French cuisine and great cuts of beef par excellence. webpage here :  https://www.bistrotduboucher.fr/nos-restaurants-bdb/restaurant/28-versailles.html

Le Montbauron, 23 rue Jouvencel . This is the perfect place to have a nice simple dinner and a great evening of pool playing American and European styles. Great ambiance.  Best way to get here is come up chateau on ave de Paris straight past govt building on your left ave de l’Europe, continue 100 meters and the next street to your left is rue Jouvencel. More info here: https://www.facebook.com/Montbauron

Le Saint Claire, 2 Rue de Satory, right by castle on the Sceaux side to your right coming out of Chateau. Great terrace in summers looking at Chateau for wonderful views, service is continous. Live music. Traditional French cuisine, webpage:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/French-Restaurant/Le-Saint-Claire-149616765077704/

La Crêperie Royale, 5 Boulevard du Roi. If you want something light and very French try a Crêpe, great tasting with different combinations, and wont bulge your wallet. Walk to your left from Chateau, continue going around it and you will get to rue des Résérvoirs stay on this road that changes name to boulevard du Roi ,the crêperie is on your left hand side. Easy walk and see the city Lol!!! webpage:  http://www.creperieroyale.com/

Pizzeria César by Simone Zanoni , 8 avenue due Général de Gaulle. When you want to eat pizza but not from the chains, this is it, and live karaoke music too, great ambiance especially in the evening, and great for the budget menus from 14,50€ to 18€ in the evenings. From rive gauche train station RER cross the street and its on the Les Manéges building. webpage: https://www.facebook.com/pizzeriacesarbysimonezanoni

Subway , 35 rue du Maréchal Foch. Yes you got it its the American sandwich chain, all over Paris but has one in Versailles, when my rave for the old calls for this is the place to go ,close to me and my kids school. Very friendly fast service. So bring your simple big inexpensive appetite to this store. More here:  https://www.subway.com/fr-FR/FindAStore?zip=versailles

Pub O’ Paris, 15 rue Colbert. The place for sports and beer and have a great time very near the Chateau just to your left going out. This is the rugby and football/soccer place to be in the evenings, live music, and just great friendly time. Come and be merry; webpage  http://www.puboparis.com/index.php

Les Caves du Roi Soleil, 5 Passage Géole. An old institution of prison for reformers,now a bar/danse club, great ambiance and very quiet normal people great for all ages. you have different themes with especially the Tuesday evening champagne soirée. Just by the marché Notre Dame north area to your left. Something to let you loose while in old Versailles ;more here:  https://les-caves-du-roi-soleil.business.site/

Planéte Food, 7 Rue du Général Leclerc,  simple kebabs Lebanese and Greek foods well done, clean, inexpensive delicious for the lunch taker or quick bite family. Many students come here including mine. Very near Castle, from train rive gauche turn right on second street turn right the resto is on your right hand side. From castle ,turn right take first at Sceaux left then on Satory turn right into Rue du Gen Leclerc turn left , resto on your left hand side. Now open for take outs.

Le Canard d’Or, 30 bis rue des Résérvoirs. The best Chinese resto in town, very near Castle just go around to your left coming out and take the last street as rue des résérvoirs turn right and the resto is on your right hand side about 200 meters.  webpage: http://lecanardor.fr/restaurant/

Not really a full restaurant per se, but as the only hotel that I can recommend because been there as a lodging tourist and visit as a resident and know it very well is the Hotel du Cheval Rouge , 18 Rue André Chenier off the Marché Notre Dame. You are in the middle of it all ,walking distance maybe 7 minutes to the chateau, it is an old horse stables of the king and now a hotel with breakfast and inner court private parking. webpage : http://www.chevalrougeversailles.fr/fr/

Well these are my favorites,over time living and visiting Versailles and its area. There are many more to explore! I was last there in November 2019. Hope you can enjoy them when stopping by my beloved Versailles.

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

October 28, 2020

My best Shopping in Versailles!!!

Ok so here I am again ,updating my blog as this post was done early on when I started blogging! And of course, it needs a complete revamping. Just short lived in Versailles for almost sublime 10 years! and last visited in November 2019.

Everybody’s favorite subject,and the family past time lol! Having a large family shopping is an event, and one to have patient and enjoy it. I would like to share with my readers some of my favorites hunts in Versailles and nearby, these are my choices for a local living point of view but it can be use by visitors too. Of course, will leave you the shopping inside the castle in another post. Hope it helps.

We are big fan of the L’Occitane for many many years, the store in Versailles is very nice and friendly getting you nice products from Provence. 39 rue de la Paroisse.  It is very near the collegiale Notre Dame Church and our former home. Open from tuesdays to fridays 10h-13h30 and 14h30-19h, Saturdays 10h-19h; Sundays 10h-13h and English is spoken. https://fr.loccitane.com/bp/Versailles-Paroisse,74,1,b02OCST059.htm

For jewerly, watches, etc the favorite in town is Eté Joaillier 38 rue de la Paroisse, next to l’Occitane store above Open tuesdays to saturdays 10h30-13h and 14h30-19h. https://www.etejoaillier.com/

Bags ,handbags, leather, and travel accessories the ultimate is the Le Tanneur, 7 place Hoche, not far from us neither. open tuesdays to saturdays from 10h to 1çh30, Saturdays and Sundays from 10h -19h30. https://www.letanneur.com/pages/notre-maison

For gifts, souvenirs, t shirts , you come here Select Souvenir, 6 ave Gén de Gaulle, in the Les Manéges building across from RER C station rive gauche-château. Plenty to see on way in or out of Versailles.  Open tuesdays to Saturdays from 10h to 19h. And you might had met my oldest son worked here!!! And no webpage!

For flowers , the lady in the house went just over Au Nom De La Rose at nearby 21 rue de la Paroisse. https://www.aunomdelarose.fr/nos-boutiques/

For toys, kids games of European and French design and fabrication you cant beat. La Cabane De Louison, 69 rue de la Paroisse. http://www.lacabanedelouison.fr/

For wines ,other than going to the chain Nicolas, my favorite is at  50 rue de la Paroisse . Open tuesdays to fridays 9h30-13h and 15h to 20h , Saturdays 9h30 to 13h and 15h-20h ,Sundays 9h30 to 13h. https://www.nicolas.com/fr/magasins/VERSAILLES-PAROISSE/s/00008432.html

You can definitively be satisfied at Aux Caves du Chateau, 9 place Hoche. Wines, spirits,champagnes, with gifts in mind too, and artisan beers all since 1840. Open tuesdays to saturdays from10h-13h and 15h-19h30. Sundays in the mornings 10h-13h too. English spoken. https://www.facebook.com/AuxCavesDuChateau

For cheeses go to Fromagerie Le Gall ,in the marché Notre Dame building named Carré à la Marée. open tuesdays to sundays 7h30 to 13h and 16h to 19h, closed Wednesday ,and sundays afternoons. English spoken. the best cheeses in town from all regions of France including the real ones from the farm to you. https://www.legall-versailles.com/

For teas from around the world and to find that rare one, the one to visit is La Route du Thé, 26 rue de Satory,on the ave Sceaux side of chateau. open tuesdays to saturdays from 10h30 to 19h, English spoken. https://larouteduthe.com/fr/nos-comptoirs

For chocolates try the real thing from a local chocolatier, Yves Thuriés Chocolatier, 37 rue de la Paroisse, near church collegiale de Notre Dame. All is made in house from 100% cocoa beans of the best regions, also try the macarons and pâtes de fruit.  https://yvesthuries.com/chocolatier/versailles-B81/

Of course, have a separate post on this but could not forget, the market or marché public, my all time favorite, and regular as noted above in the cheese store is the Marché de Notre Dame and Halles Notre Dame, the difference is the Marché is open air, fruits, veggies, etc alternating with a clothing market while the Halles are covered market dating from the domaine de Clagny c1665. There in the carré Notre Dame . You get here from chateau follow straight out to your left and take ave Saint Cloud to the corner of ave de l’Europe and rue Marechal Foch, you take a left and the marché is right in front of your eyes. Marché open Tuesdays, Fridays,and Sundays from 7h30 to 14h , and the Halles open tuesdays to saturdays 7h to 19h30, some Mondays and Sundays from 7h to 14h. 

If you prefer buying flowers in a market to take home, then the best is at sidewalks on ave Saint Cloud just by the underground parking Saint Cloud corner ave de l’Europe. Open Tuesdays,Fridays,Saturdays all day and Sunday mornings. There are ,also, flowers at the Marché Notre Dame see above.

For all your Cigars needs, and pens, and wallets, and the best advice from all over the world products of great quality. Gifts, pens, and tabac specialties like lotto, and English spoken try La Havane, 21 rue Hoche. http://alahavane.com/

For fish and seafood, of course I know, you need to have a kitchen but so what I also know many of you do when visiting so I am giving away my poissonnerie or fish market L’Espadon, Halles Notre Dame, Carré à la Marée, open as the Halles Market above. https://www.facebook.com/poissonnerie.espadon.versailles/

And of course the bakeries cannot be forgotten, several are good, but my choice for the blog will be Boulangerie (Maison) Guinon at 60 rue de la Paroisse , doing it since 1802 and still the best, go for it when in town. Open Tuesdays to Fridays 9h To 14h. https://commandeguinon.fr/#/commande-en-ligne/bons-plans/nos-produits

For coffee lovers try La Finca, 15 rue de deux Portes.  At the area around the marche de Notre Dame on the chateau side as you stand in the center. Go around the Halles Notre Dame and it is there its a tiny place full of coffee grounders machines. And no webpage.

For groceries there are the Leader Price chain store at 58 rue de Chantiers (near train SNCF station)  https://www.leaderprice.fr/magasin/versailles

Monoprix, 5 ave Georges Clémenceau (also a Monop by 27 Rue Carnot).   https://www.monoprix.fr/monoprix-versailles-versailles-78000-s 

Carrefour City is at 67 Avenue de Saint Cloud, end of Rue de la Paroisse. M-S 7h to 21h and Sundays 7h to 13h. https://www.carrefour.fr/magasin/city-versailles-saint-cloud-67

Franprix, 5 rue Rameau near our Notre Dame Collegiale Church. 7h30 to 20h30 Mondays to Saturdays and 9h to 12h Sundays! https://www.franprix.fr/magasins/4151

You have bigger supermarkets outside if you have a car, but these in town are pretty good for your needs.

There are several good libraries or book stores in town , however, my favorite is Gibert & Joseph, 62 rue de la Paroisse, near Collegiale Church Notre Dame,  chain also in Paris. https://www.gibert.com/stores/versailles-gibert-joseph-librairie

For photos and we always need those we headed for Photo Station,  50 rue de la Paroisse. They are franchises, and have a general webpage here: https://www.photostation.fr/

For clothing we shop sometimes at Damart as was my dear late wife Martine favorite at 43-45 rue de la Paroisse. Damart is a chain all over France. https://www.damart.fr/magasins/versailles

I shop at Burton; 11 rue Georges Clemenceau.10h to 19h30. Mens clothing! and we have one out west near my current home now. https://www.burton.fr/nos-boutiques.php

Another one we shop while in town Eram, 13 rue du maréchal Foch. Clothing for the family. https://www.eram.fr/magasin/france/versailles/01319-eram-versailles/

Haircuts at Jean Louis David when the family wanted as I did my own. 15 rue du maréchal Foch. Could not verify if still there but we did had at the Parly II shopping center in Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt. :https://salons.jeanlouisdavid.com/fr/coiffeur/france-33/yvelines-78/le-chesnay-78158/jean-louis-david-1031

Pharmacies are many but my is at Pharmacie de la Place de Hoche, 6 Pl de Hoche. On the other side of the square nearer the palace of Versailles. https://www.pharmacieplacehoche.fr/

Several post offices too the one I use most is at La Poste ,47bis rue du Marechal Foch; between the market of Notre Dame and the train station rive droite. https://www.laposte.fr/particulier/outils/trouver-un-bureau-de-poste/bureau-detail/versailles-notre-dame/15051A

Several banks including the Banque Populaire, Caisse d’Epargne, CIC , Credit Agricole, HSBC, La Poste, LCL , Societé Générale, but I did most the  BNP Paribas at 1 rue du Marechal Foch the most. https://agences-bancaires.banques-en-ligne.fr/banque-bnp-paribas-versailles-foch-24711.html

If you have problems with your laptop or computer while here like we did the moment we landed go to the pros at  VART electronique will definitively help you. They are at 42 ave de Saint Cloud. Any country will do, they do them all !!!  just north of the ave de l’Europe and ave saint cloud you go right to a side street call allée de l’avenue saint cloud. They have been there for ages… https://www.antenniste-versailles.fr/

if you are looking for antiques, head here first The Antiquaires de Versailles , you might save yourselves time. The site has all the info you need and good direction, see post. http://www.antiques-versailles.com/venir-nous-voir/ 

If you want to walk in a quaint old fashion street full of goodies and feel like in times past while enjoying nice little restos and small misc stores ready to wear clothing, then head for the Rue de deux Portes off rue Carnot to the marché Notre Dame . A wonderful old world walk that we enjoyed very much to take especially along on weekends.

Well I think I touch the most of old memories with updated text and webpages. Again, hope you enjoy this magical walk thru my beloved Versailles.

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

October 28, 2020

Fort La Latte!!!

And to finish my road warrior tour of the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 of my beautiful Bretagne I take you to a wonderful castle fort. This believe or not is my first time here as we have so much to see and I am catching up! The road D34 is a wonderful trip to take and you can see my post on it before.

For now let me tell you a bit on the Fort La Latte at Plévenon!

The Fort La Latte, or Château de la Roche Goyon, is a fortified castle located on the pointe de la Latte, near Cap Fréhel in the Côtes-d’Armor department 22 in the town of Plévenon in the bay of Saint-Malo. The castle was built in the 14C by the lord of Matignon, Étienne III Goüyon.

fort latte arriving oct20

Construction of the castle began in the 1340’s, its keep dates from 1365-1370. In 1379, following the return from exile of the Duke of Brittany Jean IV, the castle was besieged by Bertrand Du Guesclin. The castle was attacked and taken a second time in 1597 during the Wars of Religion, this attack by the Catholic League against the occupants loyal to Henry IV marked a time of abandonment of the castle which was partially burnt down. It was not until the 18C, under king Louis XIV, that the castle regained its strategic interest and was bastioned. From 1892 it was sold to various private owners before being bought by a passionate Frédéric Joüon Des Longrais in 1931 who undertook extensive restoration work. Electricity did not arrive at the castle until 2001. Albert II prince of Monaco pays a private visit to the castle, July 5, 2012 in the footsteps of his ancestors the Goyon Matignon.

fort latte entr trail oct20

The Fort La Latte has two towers, one opening onto the barbican, the other onto the courtyard of the castle; each has its own drawbridge. In the courtyard, there is a water cistern, a chapel, the various defensive means in particular the locations of the gun batteries, and of course the keep. On the way leading to the castle, one can observe a small standing menhir which according to legend would be Gargantua’s “tooth” or “finger”. In front of this first tower, there is also a ram and a pillory. The barbican is decorated with a small medieval garden. A tinker, a kind of catapult, as well as a panorama of the bay of St Malo are also present.   The courtyard is home to many amenities, such as the cistern, the chapel built under king Louis XIV, the governor’s home and the keep. Completely backfilled in the 17C to use cannons, the original medieval soil is up to eight meters deep below the current soil. The water tank cistern has a capacity of 20,000 Liters, was to be able to serve the entire garrison. There were eight guns under king Louis XIV. The larger ones had a shaft eight meters long. Fort La Latte also has a ball oven which used to heat the cannon balls red. The keep is equipped with machicolations and several types of loopholes: crossbow-shaped crossbows for crossbow shooting and very elongated single-slit archers for archery. Holes for shooting arquebus or smaller holes located on each side of the loopholes and bombard or larger holes. A line of bombardment is visible at the level of these loopholes and corresponds to the capture of the castle in the 16C which was accompanied by a cannonade of the keep.

fort latte entrance oct20

fort latte tower oct20

The tourist office of Dinan Cap Fréhel has more on the Fort La Latte in English: https://www.dinan-capfrehel.com/en/our-destination/not-to-be-missed-any-circumstances/fort-latte-impressive-fortress/

The tourist office of Brittany on Cap Fréhel and Fort La Latte in English: https://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/cap-frehel-saint-malo-mont-saint-michel-bay/cap-frehel-and-fort-la-latte/

Official Fort La Latte webpage in French: https://www.lefortlalatte.com/

Hope you enjoy this marvel of architecture and history at Fort La Latte in Plévenon, Côtes d’Armor dept 22 of my lovely Bretagne. Another spot on my map and worth the detour indeed. We will be back for more.

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

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October 27, 2020

Cap Fréhel and its lighthouse!

Another wonderful monument to see riding along the D34 in Côtes d’Armor dept 22 of my beautiful Bretagne. This is at Cap Fréhel or some would say Plévenon. A wonderful cape at the end of the lands of Brittany facing the English anglo normand islands.

The town of Fréhel is known that started when text tells us that an abbey existed on the mound where the New Bourg was built in 1870. Under the name of Glayo abbey, it was cited in 1159 as a dependent of the Saint-Aubin des Bois abbey by cession of the Saint-Jacut abbey

In the town the main place and wonderful place to be is the seaside resort of Sables-d’Or-les-Pins ( see post)  created in the 1920s on the dunes along the great Minieu bay between Pléhérel Plage and Plurien. On August 14, 1944, a task force of the 28th American Infantry Division was tasked with attacking the nazis forces occupying Cap Fréhel. They arrived in Plévenon in the evening. The next day, August 15, with the help of FFI resistance fighters, it attacked the Frosh aerial reconnaissance station. The nazis surrendered around noon.

The Cap Fréhel or cape is a point of pink sandstone with a tormented relief that separates the bay of Saint-Brieuc to the east from the Bay of Saint-Malo, on the Channel coast. It is located in the town of Plévenon and not on the adjacent one of Fréhel, as the name of the latter might suggest. This cape is one of the most impressive in Brittany: the cliff dominates the sea from around 70 meters. The spectacular red cliffs show red sandstone dipping shallowly to the west and which is sometimes cut by large veins of diorite which rise almost vertically. Located 8.5 km from the center of Fréhel and 4 km from the center of Plévenon, access is via a coastal road D34, either from the east, passing near Fort La Latte ( see post), or from Sables- d’Or-les-Pins, (see post) to the west On a clear day you can see the Channel Island of Jersey. The wonderful beaches here are several such as the cove of Sévignés (at the foot of the cliffs of the cape), the Fosse (accessible by going down the dunes), or even the Grèves d’en Bas a recognized surf spot.

The old lighthouse or Vauban tower, in granite, was built under Louis XIV in 1701 by one of Vauban’s disciples, Jean-Siméon Garangeau. A more modern and taller lighthouse was built between 1845 and 1847, in place of the current one. It was electrified in 1886. Nazis troops destroyed it in August 1944. The current lighthouse, rebuilt in 1946, was inaugurated in 1950; with 32 meters high, its lantern dominates the sea from 103 meters. On a clear day, its light is visible more than 100 kilometers away.

frehel

In May 1694, Vauban inspected the northern coasts of Brittany and proposed the construction of a tower to warn of attacks by the English fleet. Around 1840, Léonce Reynaud, in front of the state of the building, plans to build a new octagonal tower 22 meters high that can support a Fresnel lens. Range of fire increases to 25 miles.

frehel phare old oct20

During WWII, the lighthouse served as an observation post for the Nazis army which dynamited the lighthouse on August 11, 1944. Only the old Vauban tower remained standing and supported a temporary fire until 1950. Begun in 1946, the construction of the current lighthouse is completed by the lighting of the fire on July 1, 1950. The electrification by the network is done simultaneously.

frehel

A small building is also built at the end of the cape, it is the mist siren.

frehel

The town of Plévenon in French: http://www.plevenon.fr/

The dept 22 Côtes d’Armor on the Cap Fréhel area: https://www.visitcotesdarmor.com/Explore/Iconic-sites/Cape-Frehel-Cape-of-Erquy

The tourist office of Bretagne on cap Fréhel and Fort de Latte: https://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/cap-frehel-saint-malo-mont-saint-michel-bay/cap-frehel-and-fort-la-latte/

The DIRM Ministry of the Seas, on lighthouses such as this Cap Fréhel in French: http://www.dirm.nord-atlantique-manche-ouest.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/phare-du-cap-frehel-a131.html

The lighthouses of France on Cap Fréhel in French: http://www.pharesdefrance.fr/index.php/les-phares-a-voir/bretagne-pays-de-la-loire/phare-de-cap-frehel

And there you go a wonderful spot on my Bretagne and a beautiful lighthouse or phare! A nice place to visit me think, and beautiful views over the cliffs! Hope you enjoy the the tour.

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

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October 27, 2020

Glorious ride on the Côtes d’Armor, the D34!

Ok so we were in our best road warrior mode as was able to drive out and visit other areas. Sometimes we held back as even if can go many places are closed or in limited schedules in my belle France. Not the case in the dept 22 of the Côtes d’Armor in my beautiful Bretagne.

We set out from home but stop for lunch in Pontivy (see post) and from there continue to Cap Fréhel and surroundings! Beautiful area that had just bypassed rather quickly in the past. The lovely trip took us to the department road D34 along the ocean wonderful ride free soul, glorious road warrior trip, the best.

frehel cliffs behind phare oct20

OF course, we stop, saw smell and took pictures that had not done before. However, the best was the car ride, the very best to go where others can’t fast and comfortable and again the D34 is gorgeous my pictures do not give full credit to it.

Let me share what the official tourist sites shows and my own points here on the scenic D34 department road.

frehel cliffs to phare oct20

From Fort-la-Latte,(see next post)  it is possible to reach the tip of the cape via the hiking trail along the Anse des Sévignés. Fantastic beach at low tide with difficult to access. This can be seen from the D34 department road. But before arriving at Fort-la-Latte, you will have bypassed the Baie de la Fresnaye, it borders the east coast of the cape, after Saint-Cast-le-Guildo. You can drive along its left bank, the small road will join the main route to the cape a little further. Before entering this road on the bank along the cape, you can turn left towards the small river of Frémur and its beautiful Chapel of Saint-Sébastien, Gothic, dating from 1536. The Château de Varouault, nearby, is worth the glance in passing. By road or by the sentier des douaniers path along the coast for about 5 km, you will arrive at one of the ends of the Emerald Coast. Cap Fréhel via the D34, here nature reigns supreme. No human construction. We are along , we breathe pure air. The pink of the cliffs is supported by the pink of lavender. The end of the cape being covered with a thick moor, the whole forming a very typical Breton landscape and conducive to legends! Cap Fréhel offers one of the most magnificent natural landscapes of the Côtes d’Armor ; that of a tongue of land tanned by the winds and covered with a low moor, which seems as if suspended seventy meters above the mountains. With its large pink cliffs, Cap Fréhel forms an essential natural and historical ensemble during a visit to northern Brittany.

In good weather, the eye looks from this promontory to the Channel Islands. Bird sanctuary, Cap Fréhel is a delight for lovers of iodized walks thanks to the path that goes around it. There are two lighthouses at the end of Cap Fréhel. Vauban at the end of the 18C, and the new one in 1950 built the old fortified lighthouse. Its lamp spins 103 meters above the sea, and is visible 110 km away. Great view from the top of the lighthouse, especially on a clear day. Many painters have let themselves be won over by these bewitching landscapes, both by the sunsets and the morning mists. The cape ,and its islands is an important ornithological reserve, and from the hiking trails, you can even see penguins (rare in France). West of Cap Fréhel, towards Saint-Brieuc (see post) by the D34, the Emerald Coast road with its capes, beaches, sensational coves, and hiking trails, is incredibly beautiful, especially in the summer after 16h, when the colors turn orange-red. The plage du Croc beach in Pleherel and its beautiful dunes is very beautiful. The church of the Old Town, next door, is worth a stop. Pass the Sables d’Or les Pins beach, or Grande Plage, the site was already inhabited in the 2C, since the remains of Gallo-Roman thermal baths can be visited there. Very beautiful seaside resort with its large beach, this village was built for tourism between 1922 and 1924. Large villas in Anglo-Norman style, and others more art-deco line the coast. The city grew very quickly during the Roaring Twenties and its growth stopped dead at the time of the 1929 crisis, which explains the feeling of unfinished business in Sables-d’Or. The magnificent Saint-Michel islet and its 1881 chapel are accessible at low tide.

frehel beach to cap oct20

Find the D786 then the D34 towards Erquy this port is the first for scallop and prairie fishing. Erquy offers the architectural charms of its many pink sandstone houses. Jointly, the Erquy and Fréhel capes have joined the network of major sites in France. Erquy offers some very beautiful walks, and first and foremost at Cap d’Erquy with colors a little similar to those of Cap Fréhel. One can also see on the cape the ruins of a fort, and a ball oven. Admire the Château de Bienassis, built in 1400 but was partly destroyed during the wars of the League. It was confiscated during the French revolution then transformed into a prison, then acquired by the family who still own it since 1876. Inhabited, the castle can nevertheless be visited. The castle’s pink granite mass is surprising. The interior was renovated in the 19C.

A trip by car that I recommend to all lovers of the free road! The D34 we will be back for more time and already one of our best pretty areas of my beautiful Bretagne. Hope you enjoy the ride and walks, and bike rides.

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

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