April 23, 2017

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton XVI

And yes this is family Sunday in lovely Morbihan Breton department 56 of Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh in la belle France. Today cool and sunny, a great walk in town indeed.

We had our usual errands from yesterday, we had to stop by upon returning from our escapes in the neighborly Finistére, to pick up some plants in our favorite garden shop, the Pepiniére de Penhouet, in Ploeren near Vannes. Right off the expressway N165 Nantes-Brest.


It is huge, all along the expressway, and great friendly expert service. We buy all our plants, trees, dirt from them and very good results so says my other half…. I just the transport guy lol!

We got Three more plants, to cover our desert Breton style garden with lots of stone gravel tiny like stones. We just found our house when it was for sale, and wow looking at it now we sure done a lot work ,yes we did,do, but to see the old picture and compare it to now is awesome. I will put the old picture here.ok.

Then, today it is Sunday April 23rd 2017. This is the first round of the  French presidential elections pitting 11 candidates from all sorts of thinking. I did my civic duty and voted, will see the results. There is a second round with the two top winners from today, and the 2nd round will be Sunday May 7th. Just before another great 3 day weekend on May 8 is Victory 1945 Day here.

My place of voting is on the other side of town about 18 minutes walking from our house which we enjoy doing and did walk over to vote. The place is the Salle Marie-Josèphe LE BORGNE, a big complex for events and sports as well, a picture and more here: http://www.pluvigner.fr/la-salle-marie-josephe-le-borgne/

Of course, we could not go into city center/downtown without picking something like the Euro Millions lotto ticket and a good smelling looking roasted farm chicken from our local supermarket Proxi. Sunday meal is been prepared ::) They are one of the brands of Carrefour on small towns off the beaten path. http://www.franchise-proximite.carrefour.com/nos-enseignes/franchise-proxi/commerce-alimentaire-proxi/

If care to know more about the elections ,and can read French, this is my town webpage: http://www.pluvigner.fr/elections-3/

There is, also, some of the local newspaper take on the elections too.

the Telegramme newspaper: http://agenda.letelegramme.fr/pluvigner-elections-presidentielles/360415

the Ouest-France newspaper: http://www.ouest-france.fr/elections/resultats/morbihan/pluvigner-56330/

We won’t know the results until about 20h and later tonite. See you around Pluvigner ! Enjoy your Sunday wherever you are! Cheers

And me will be off the waves for a week until the next holiday period of Labor Day May 1st. I can’t wait to be back in my lovely Spain and especially a day in Madrid. Hasta pronto !

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April 23, 2017

Some news from Bretagne, XXIII

As a continuation of my last post on Commana and the parroquial enclosure, we had time and try to see always something else before returning home. There is so much to see here and so little time really. I will be away for a week in Spain from tomorrow so off I go from the radars until the big Labor Day weekend here in May 1st (three days weekend).

Just as a reference this is my last post on the Commana and the Finistére dept 29 of Brittany:


Going to this area is always a wonderful experience, passing by the Monts d’Arrée, this is a semi desert area in the Finistére very close to Breton history and folklore.

The area is composed of sedimentary and metamorphous rocks dating back to the Paleozoic period. The hills mark the limits of the Cornouaille and Léon parishes of old Brittany. The landscape is close to that of Ireland and Wales. As I said, it is in the Finistére department 29 of Brittany and have main towns as  Berrien, Botmeur, Brennilis, Commana, Huelgoat (my favorite jellies are made here! Les 4 saisons) , La Feuillée, Le Cloître Saint Thégonnec, Loqueffret, Plounéour-Ménez, Saint Rivoal, and Sizun (see my post on this town). Not your typical name towns off the beaten path of tourists but the real still Brittany,and their Breton language. It is the heart of the  « Bretagne bretonnante » or lower Brittany (Breizh-Izel inn Breton) with its traditions , legends and preserve ecosystem. The Monts d’Arrée are part of the Parc Naturel Régional d’Armorique created by law in 1969.  

It houses the highest peaks in Brittany! That of the Roc’h Trevezel with 384 meters and Roc’h ar Feunteun 371 meters , Roc’h Trédudon at 383 meters and Roc’h Ruz (red rock in Breton) ,the highest of them all at 385 meters. The area has lots of history and many encounters going back to the year 554AD .  The evangelism was done first by Saint-Joua at Brasparts (where he died), the combat of 55AD between the armies of  Comonor , Count of de Poher, and  Tudal, Prince of  Domnonée (supported by King of the Francs  Childebert) at the site of  Relecq (in town of  Plounéour-Ménez),at the foot of the Arrée.  Here the first abbey was done that of the Abbaye du Relec by the year 560AD by a disciple of Pol Aurélien, even if history keeps the date of 1132AD as the date of the foundation of the abbey by the Cistercian order.

We did try to stop by the museum or Ecomusée Monts d’Arrée just off Commana direction Sizun, but on Saturdays it was closed when we were in the area, see some pictures of it from outside; a great place to see the history indeed, will be back; only in French or Breton, the webpage is here:  http://ecomusee-monts-arree.fr/

There is a great site on this area but in French, the flora , fauna, traditions and great interesting places from even a huge radio and TV antenna that helps transmit in the hills and valleys of the Arrée is a sight to see along the road D764. more here: http://www.monts-arree.com/

More from Tourism of Brittany here (the French version has more info): http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-our-destinations/heart-of-brittany-kalon-breizh/unmissable-sites/monts-d-arree-and-the-montagne-st-Michel

And the tourism of Finistére here (good English version):  http://www.finisterebrittany.com/arree-mountains-and-montagnes-noires

Enjoy the magical Finistére and Bretagne or Breizh; degemer mat = welcome ! Enjoy your Sunday!

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April 22, 2017

Go Finistére and visit Commana enclos Church

One of the Church religious enclosures in Brittany, this one in Finistére, on the town of Commana. We left early on a wonderful day that saw temperatures go up to 23C or about 72F and sunny.

Commana is about 1h35 from our home and we left by car along the N165 to exit Morlaix , Plouay going into the D764 and D48 ; the town is right in the Parc Naturel Régional d’Armorique; a natural park passing by the famous Breton historical area of the Monts d’Arrée.

The enclosure or enclos paroissial de Commana  is done around the Church of Saint Derrien. It was built in the 16C to 17C and it is considered one of the most beautiful in Brittany. It includes the Church, the enclosure itself, and the Arc de Triomphe.

The legend about this Saint  Derrien is that he save from drowning the Prince  Élorn  ,by which the river now bears his name. Refusing to be given land in exchange for this good deed, the Saint demand that a church be built in Commana. So this was done in 1645.

The belltower is 57 meters high on one of the best hills of léon which are at 262 meters above sea level. The belltower looks straight , austere arid on the image of the semi desert Monts d’Arrée; the date of 1592 is engraved on the base.

Inside, you have the retables of Sainte Anne, a work of art baroque from the 17C more precise in 1682 ; there are two other retables those of  the Rosary or Rosaire , and the  Cinq-Plaies or Five Wounds.

The chapel retable of Sainte Anne, is a work of art baroque from the 17C, measuring 6 meters by 8 meters high. It is composed of three parts, in the middle the Virgin and Sainte Anne looking at the Enfant Child having in its left hand the globe of the world.  See the two columns twisted and decorated in guirlandes of vines and leaves. The lateral niches enclosed Saint Joseph ,and Saint Joachim. Higher up you see the Sainte Virgin and the Angel Gabriel. Below it the throne of the Eternal Father held by two angels.  At the summit you find Sainte Trinité and God Eternal Father holding his sons ,all built 1682.

The retable or altar chapel of the Rosary or Rosaire shows the statues of the Virgin and the Child offering the rosary to Saint Dominique and Sainte Catherine de Sienne.  The two niches laterally enclosed the statues of Saint Joachim , and Saint Joseph. Below them, you see a figure of the Father and Mother presenting their Child to the Holy Virgin.

The central niche of the  Chapel retable of the Cinq-Plaies shows the Lord showing its wounds.  On the side two angels crowned in roses have a crown of thorns and nails ; showing laterally the statues of Sain Sébastien and Sainte Marguerite.  They are dated from 1852. The image of these to the figures on the boat of the times makes you think that like the retable of Sainte Anne, they are done by the marines of Brest.

The baptismal chapel dates from the 18C.  However, the urn dates from 1656, located at the heart of a column decorated with gadroons, fluted and surmounted by a canopy in wood to five parts carried by five pilasters to which are attached two cardinal virtues (the Justice and Temperance) and the three theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity). Above the canopy, balusters support the dome above the statue of Jesus holding a cross, sustained three caryatids. This last work dates from 1683.
Coming into the enclosure you pass by an Arc de Triomphe ,closed of a wrought iron grille dating from the 18C. It was open only for wedding or funeral to allow processions, the access to the Church being usually by steps located on the left side of the Arc de Triomphe.
Once through the Arc de Triomphe, you see , immediately on the left, the Reliquary Chapel, improperly called ossuary. Dated 1677 to 1687, this building is very sober, has only one door and four windows each with stouts. Only the rosettes and spitters spiral carved dragons adorn the façade. There are two cavalries; the first one is located between the arc de triomphe and the South porch is dated 1585, however the cross carrying the date of 1742, which suggests that she has replaced a cross dating from the 16C. Dating from 1624, the second Calvary is located more in the cemetery. 
And more in French from the department 29 Finistére here; http://www.finisteretourisme.com/enclos-paroissial-de-commana
You will come enchanted with these wonderful buildings of history and faith in a very faithful Brittany. there is a circuit of these ,see them here briefly in English, a lot more in French: http://www.finisterebrittany.com/discover/unusual-parish-churchyards
Each weekend or most, we tend to go out and see these, the beauty and the choice of Brittany is inmense and a lot more than galettes and cider and or beaches. Enjoy Commana. Happy weekend, Cheers.
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April 20, 2017

The jewels of Paris, Intercontinental Hotels

I believe I have mentioned this briefly in my many posts on Paris since 2010 ::) However, I have not written a post on them alone. It could be a short post or long, the bottom line I have great memories of these hotels and would like to share it and have a post to remind me for a long time.

At my time, there were two properties Intercontinental Hotel or l’Inter (now the Westin Paris) on rue Castiglione near the Tuileries garden,  and the Le Grand Hotel Intercontinental and its wonderful Café de la Paix by the Opéra Garnier. Now,there is another one call the Marceau.

The newest one is at 64 Avenue Marceau, and the webpage is: http://www.ic-marceau.com/en/home/

So why I have good memories of it and always will remember them? Well , I used to worked in them, and was in charge of all intercontinental hotels including Cannes, and the Holiday Inn hotels in France own outright by the group Intercontinental Hotels Group. Two wonderful years bouncing from one to the other in an top management position in the Accounting dept.

I went thru wonderful Christmas parties for the employees, to welcoming and meeting some of the famous and known such as U2, Condoleezza Rice , Sec of state USA; Stéphane Bern , French actor, presenter and many many more. Working with the upper class of the French nobility including Princess Napoléon, to the marquis and dukes of France; and the famous brands who held many events in the hotels from Louis Vuitton, to Chanel, to the fabulous Fashion Weeks of Paris.

Funny stories from how to keep famous groups in the hotel because the money was late in arriving, to doing special invoicing for Louis Vuitton and Sanofi pharma group; to helping with the princesses and prince of the Middle East; and of course helping my colleagues from serving as English/French  translator for the film crew from South Korea (needed to spent a night in the hotel ,junior suite looking at the Eiffel tower!); and helping out the expat community on providing free host in the great salon (historical monuments of France) for charitable events (raising funds for the hurricane Katrina of New Orleans LA USA fame).

The Intercontinental Paris-Le Grand webpage is here:  https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/gb/en/paris/parhb/hoteldetail#scmisc=nav_hoteldetail_ic

and it’s attach Café de la Paix is here: http://www.cafedelapaix.fr/en/

The ceilings of the Café de la Paix were done by Charles Garnier of the opera fame and many others, they are historical monument of France and the intricate work you see, has even more value than those in the hotels. You do not have to eat in to just past in and see the ceiling.

The Le Grand hotel at the corner of 2 rue Scribe,and 12 blvd des Capucines, has a wonderful bar with leather sofa seats and piano music to soothe your soul in Paris. It ,also, has a great I-Spa by Algotherm. La Verriére is a wonderful garden style bistro with a great glass cupola right in the middle of the hotel. It was built between 1861 and 1862 for the coming of the Universal Exposition of 1867. The palace hotel was opened in great pomp by the Emperatrice Eugénie as well as the Café de la Paix in May 1862 ( soon to have 155 yrs old). The salon a historical monument of France here is call Salon Opéra and on the side is facing the Opéra Garnier!

My offices were in the mezzanine section off the general public but we needed to walk into the public areas unassumed and enjoy the beauty ::)

The HQ handling all the hotels was at the Intercontinental Paris or affectionally called L’Inter. It was at the corner of the streets 3 rue de Castiglione and rue Rivoli. It opened in 1878 as the Hôtel Continental. It was built at the lot of the old Ministry of Finances burned in the uprisings of 1871 ; the Grand Dukes of Russia stayed here each time passing by Paris.  The hotel was renamed  the Inter-Continental Paris in the 1970’s then the The Westin Paris in 2005 ,and now call the The Westin Paris -Vendôme from  2010. The historical monument of France here is call Salon Napoléon.

It ,also has a Spa, Six Senses, and great bar ;these are Le First, and Le Terrace under the cupola in the garden center of the hotel; but my favorite and always around here was Le Tuileries Bar ,very cozy sofas and great drinks, taking you back to the 19C: more on it here: http://www.tuileriesbar.com/en/

The offices were again in the mezzanine area off the general public but we could walk all over, and I did as my job will take me to see the restaurants/bar personnel as well as the rooms. The walks between the l’Inter and Le Grand were sublime passing by the Place Vendôme into the Place de l’Opéra!!  Many of the colleagues working in non management positions are still there as well as some who have move up to management position now. A good bunch of people.

One other IHG property I was responsible for was in Cannes, the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in the Croisette! I visited there,and knew all the management staff;some came over to Paris later on. A rich history as well since 1913 as the Carlton Hotel catering to rich and noble Russians from the Grand Duke down. In 1922 the first league of United Nations was held here,and the film Festival of Cannes was done here in 1939.  The Hitchcock film To Catch a Thief was done here in 1954, and Grace Kelly Princess of Monaco had it as almost her personal residence. It became as we know it today in 1982 when the IHG took majority interest.

In all, in those early years of 2004-2006, I was, also, responsible for the Holiday Inn -pl de la République in Paris (now a Crown plaza hotel), and the Holiday Inn Disneyland ,who of course, I not only visited on business but also stayed with the family while going to Disneyland Paris(the hotel is now call the Vienna House Magic Circus Hotel).

Those days were good and the ambiance fantastic, I always stayed now in these hotels even in other visited abroad like the Intercontinental Castellana in Madrid, or the Athenatum in Athens Greece or the Intercontinental Dusseldorf in Germany. And many Holiday Inns all over.

As to why the journey was over, well as it happened in our world, I and all the management class was dismissed when our employment contract was held at the l’Inter and it was sold to a pension fund from Singapore ,who in turn gave the management to the Starwood chain, and they decided to change the name to the Westin along with dismissing the management personnel on a nice transaction deal in my belle France.  The package was nice, the leaving was hard ,even today I missed the ambiance, the friends, the place.

And now that you know from where I am coming from, well do stay there, eat there, drink there, is a Paris France institution and worth the detour for all. Cheers!Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris


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April 20, 2017

Some news from Spain XLII

Moving right along, and some sun but still cooler temps even this morning down to 3C and afternoon 14C or 37F to 58F.  However, in my beloved Spain the temps are high, evenings 63F or about 16C and mornings 71F during daytime or about 21C and sunny. La vida es chula ::)

And as I am getting ready to go back to Spain next week, and probably no internet…will be on the road in the countryside… Here are some interesting information me think to make your visit to Spain more enjoyable.

Just to make a nice walk , and yes we walk , you can get ready for that big Feast of San Isidro, the Patron Saint of Madrid with a visit to the Church, and museum/house of his beginnings.

San Isidro or Saint Isidore was a farmer, well maker, Mozarabic peasant and miraculous men. He was from Madrid and canonized in 1622. He was born in 1082AD before the territory came back to Christian hands with king Alfonso VI. San Isidro visited the current site of the Church with his wife, also, a Saint, Santa Maria de la Cabeza; here the roots of moors from the Madrid of the 11C blends in. Next door, is the home of his master, Juan de Vargas, where the Saint and his wife lived and died. It is now a house museum. The Saint is credited with many miracles most of them related to the water,and the city preserves most of the spots.One of the most representative is the Church or Iglesia de San Andrés; in its interiors you have a patio and renaissance well, from the same, he gave a miracle saving his own son according to legend. San Isidro saved his son from been drowned when he made the waters rise only to the mouth. His feast is coming in May ,all about it here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/sanisidro-madrid

And the Church here : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/colegiata-de-san-isidro

Moving right along,  you can stop at the square or plaza de la Paja , here there was the city market on the one called the  plaza del Arrabal; the name given before to the now Plaza Mayor. The Plaza de la Cruz Verde ends at the  Calle de la Villa, Calle del Rollo, and the mounted Calle de Segovia, where it was the scene of public executions of the Holy See. The name  ‘Santa Cruz verde’ or Holy Green Cross was the symbol of the Spanish Inquisition and from that came its name.

Continue meandering along these gorgeous streets full of history and architecture and you come to the street or Calle de San Justo, where the wonderful Basilica Pontifical of Saint Michael or Basilica Pontifica de San Miguel. This is one of the oldest parishes and the one with more history in Madrid. A wonderful example of the Italian Baroque of the 18C ordered built by the queen Isabel de Farnesio. The old temple here was that of San Justo built in 1738 and later damaged by fire on the Parish Church of San Miguel. Today ,most know it by the wonderful market or Mercado de San Miguel here. The Basilica at Calle de San Justo keeps very nice historical persons buried inside, such as the father of Francisco de Quevedo as well as maternal grandparents, and a brother. In the parish archives it is kept the death certificate of  Rodrigo de Cervantes,the father of  Miguel de Cervantes. More here:  www.bsmiguel.es/esp-contenido/historia.html

You should not miss coming to the convent garden or El Jardín del Convento, a store selling all goodies done in the convents and monasteries from different parts of Spain. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/shopping/el-jardin-del-convento

You continue on the Madrid of the Austrias to the Catedral Castrense .  The previous monastery of the Bernadine monks founded in 1615.  Built by  Juan Gómez de Mora, one of the architect of the Plaza Mayor.  The Church belongs to the Armed Forces of Spain since 1980. More here:  http://www.arzobispadocastrense.com/index.php/arzobispado/iglesia-catedral-de-las-fas

You come to one of favorite spots lately. And not many know the underneath the Cathedral of the Almudena you have resting about 1500 souls, all in a gorgeous crypt supported by 558 columns, keeping the soul of many nobles and important families of the time. All at the feet of the Patron of Madrid, the Virgin of the Almudena or La Virgen de la Almudena ( ramparts in Arabic) ,and enclosed in 712AD upon the fall of the city to the moors. It was taken back by the Christians in 1085AD when  San Isidro only was 3 yrs old. The wall or ramparts fell apart and the Virgin was discovered; after many centuries later, She was put in the now gone Church or Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Almudena, the oldest temple in Madrid until it was demolished by 1868. From these ruins, the current Catedral de Santa Maria de la Almudena was built and finally consecrated in 1992. The crypt, that however,was done in 1911. Meanwhile the Almudena was built and consecrated , the Real Colegiata de San Isidro served as the provisional Cathedral of Madrid. More here:  http://www.catedraldelaalmudena.es/

And as we are now getting hungry ,why not stop in one of the classic restaurant of old and new  Madrid. La Bola, serving always the dishes of Madrid such as ropa vieja (old clothes), pisto manchego (ratatouille of the Mancha) , special croquettes, and bunûelos de manzana con helado ( bakers paste with apple and ice cream) ,and of course the cocido madrileño ;more here:  http://labola.es/

Where are buried the kings of Spain? Well studies have shown that even if they more or less know where the Visigoth, moors, and others are, they have no proof they were put there. However, we do know where the Christian kings are, and they are here:

Royal Pantheon of the Cathedral of Oviedo or Pantéon Real de la Catedral de Oviedo, where most at least 8 and their families are buried in six baroque niches in the new chapel of Our Lady of the King or Capilla de  Nuestra Señora del Rey Casto  that was built early on the 18C.  The great exception was king Pelayo who was buried in the Holy Cave of Covadonga or the  Santa Cueva de Covadonga. More here: http://www.oviedo.es/la-ciudad/cathedral

Royal Pantheon of San Juan de la Peña or Pantéon Real de San Juan de la Peña.  They are in the old sacristy of the high Church or Iglesia Alta  in the old monastery , where there is a reformed pantheon ordered by king Carlos III in 1770, lies the remains of some of the Navarrene kings of  Aragon , the first Aragonese counts and the three kings  of the ramirense dynasty such as Ramiro I, Sancho Ramírez, and Pedro I, together with their wives.  Then, in the Iglesia San Pedro el Viejo de Huesca you have the continuation in kings  Alfonso I el Batallador ,and Ramiro II el Monte (in a Roman coffin from the 2C). More here:  http://www.monasteriosanjuan.com/real-monasterio.php  ;and the second Church here: http://www.huescaturismo.com/en/monumental-detalle/8/the-church-and-cloister-of-san-pedro-el-Viejo

Royal Pantheon of Royal Saint Mary of Nàjera or Pantéon Real de Santa Maria Real de Nàjera. In this Riojan monastery you have the burials of the kings of the kingdom of Nàjera-Pamplona; the predecessors of the Kingdom of Navarra that held power from 918AD to 1135AD. Some of these coffins are in Roman style. More here: http://www.santamarialareal.net/es

Royal Pantheon of San Isidore of Leon or Pantéon Real de San Isidoro de Léon. This is romance style that keeps the burials of the reign of king Fernando I in the 11C; the remains of the kings of Leon and their families from Alfonso IV  that reigned in the 10C to García, king of  Galicia who died in 1090AD. Nearby in the Cathedral of Léon you have the burial of king Ordoño II that lived until 924AD. More here:  http://www.museosanisidorodeleon.com/inicio-eng  ;and more on the Cathedral here: http://www.catedraldeleon.org/index.php/catedral-informacion/breve-resena-historica

The Cathedral of Toledo, also, has burials of six kings of Castille. Three in the old chapel or Capilla Vieja, including kings Alfonso VII El Emperador, and the first three Trastamaran kings in the chapel or Capilla de los Reyes Nuevos:such as kings  Enrique II, Juan I and Enrique III. More here: http://www.catedralprimada.es/

The Cathedral of Sevilla, in the Royal Chapel or  Capilla Real  houses the burials of three kings , the most charismatic of Spanish history such as  Fernando III El Santo, his son, Alfonso X El Sabio , and Pedro I El Cruel, as well as consorts and some family members.  On the other Church or Iglesia de San Hipólito de Córdoba , it keeps the burials of the successors kings such as Fernando IV ,and Alfonso XI. More here:  http://www.catedraldesevilla.es/  ;and more on the Church here: http://english.turismodecordoba.org/seccion/royal-collegiate-church-of-san-hipolito

The Monastery of Poblet or Monasterio de Poblet. A Cistercian temple in the province of Tarragona, was the Royal Pantheon of the crown of Aragon until the 15C. There you will see the burials of their principal kings; only kings Pedro III, and Jaime II rests on the nearby monastery or Monasterio de Santes Creus. More here: http://www.poblet.cat/index.php?&&&&ZW4%3D  ; and more here on the Santes Creus: http://patrimoni.gencat.cat/en/collection/royal-monastery-santes-creus

The Monastery of the Huelgas or Monasterio de las Huelgas. Mostly gothic temple has well preserved burials of the kings  Enrique I ,and Alfonso VIII as well as other members of Castilian Royal family of the 12C, 13C,and 14C.  Nearby, you can visit the chartreuse or  Cartuja de Miraflores , where Queen Isabel Católica, (the Catholic or I) ordered built a wonderful burial pantheon for her parents and brother Alfonso. More here:  http://www.monasteriodelashuelgas.org/  ; more on the chartreuse in Spanish here: http://www.cartujadeburgos.org/cartujos/historia-cartujos/

The Royal Chapel of Granada or Capilla Real de Granada. It was ordered built by the Catholic Kings (Fernando and Isabel ), and represented a trend in the architecture as well as funerary sculptures.  The burials of the Catholic kings were done by Domenico Fancelli,while those of daughter Juana together with that of Felipe El Hermoso were done by Bartolomé Ordoñez. They are all surrounded by exceptional works of arts of the times. More here:  http://www.capillarealgranada.com/

The Royal Crypt of the El Escorial monastery or la Cripta Real del Monasterio de El Escorial, built in the 17C a,and housing all the kings and many of their family members from king Carlos I  to Juan III (did not reign).  The only exception on this period were kings Fernando VI,and Barbara de Braganza that are in the convent at Madrid or Convento de las Salesas Reales (Iglesia de Santa Barbara); and king José I (Joseph Napoleon) whose remains are in the Les Invalides of París , as well as king  Amadeo I  that is with his wife at the basilica or Basílica de Superga de Turín (Torino, Italy). More here:  www.patrimonionacional.es/real-sitio/palacios/6172

More on the convent Salesas Reales here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/iglesia-santa-Barbara

Invalides de Paris; http://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71310/Hotel-national-des-Invalides

And the basilica of Superga, Turin, http://www.basilicadisuperga.com/en/

A wonderful event not to missed if in Spain, the 80th anniversary of Guernica by Pablo Ruiz Picasso, and the 25th anniversary of its arrival at the Museum or Museo de la Reina Sofía . It will have a momentous exposition and the exhibition of an interesting documentation that tells us how the portrait was ordered by the II Republic, and the trips the portrait took to raise funds for the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War.  It shows the history of this portrait by showing an emblematic interpration of it thru a series of about 180 works by the master Picasso , many on special loans, that will help trace the history and execution of this master piece as we know it today; it will be exposed until September 4, 2017. More here:   http://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/exhibitions/pity-and-terror-Picasso

I told you, Spain, everything under the Sun, and a lot more. Enjoy the post,and have a great end of week, tomorrow is TGIF ::) Cheers



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April 18, 2017

Some news from France CLII

And once again that pep talk about France. The sun tried to come up today but was up and down with temps in the 15C or about 62F. We have a nice four day week and then its the weekend again ,and my trip to Spain !!!

For now let’s keep cool in la belle France shall we:

Flixbus , bus service intercity is offering the La Défense.  From May 18 it will serve the business district from the underground bus terminal of terminal Jules-Verne on the line N 709 that will be extended to Rouen.  This night line will have daily connections towards Lyon  with a departure at 23h15  from the La Défense.  There will be two stops in Lyon, one at  the  gare de Vaise at 5h15 and the second at the gare La Part-Dieu at 5h50.  On the trip back from there the bus will arrive at  La Défense at 6h45 and will leave from gare La Part-Dieu  at 23h59 , and the gare de Vaise at 00H35. Of course check the times as from now to then they may change. More here: https://www.flixbus.com/

As already mentioned in my previous post, the Villages Nature, has started construction, due to finish by June 30 2017.  This is the entertainement activities park done by Pierre & Vacances(Center Parcs)  ,and Euro Disney  at Villeneuve-le-Comte, a few kilometers south of Disneyland Paris. The park should open to the public by mid August 2017.  It consists of a park divided into five themes, such as Aqualagon, Ferme BelleVie, Forêt des légendes, Jardins extraordinaires ,and the Promenade du lac. More in French here:  http://www.centerparcs.fr/fr-fr/villages-nature_ms

Another update coming from the Domaine de Méréville. About 50 guided visits are planned this year.  To start , they are limited to the picturesque garden ,one of the last examples in Europe of a Anglo-Chinese passages park as we would have seen them in the 18C.  There is a castle where lived the Marquis Jean-Joseph de Laborde,but still not ready to welcome visitors. However, the almost 400 hectares of park are done. You can ask update if passing by to visit it, worth the detour at  tourist office or office de tourisme d’Étampes, tel +33 (0) or email:  tourisme@caese.fr.  The next dates available for the guided tours are April 22, 23, 29 , 30, and May  6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, and 28.  More here: http://www.etampois-sudessonne.fr/fr/evenements

And more info in French on the Domaine from the dept tourist office of the Essonne ,dept 91.


For it’s 70th anniversary the Festival de Cannes,has played with the cards on the selection of films. It is expected that Michael Haneke will have his 3rd palme d’or, that will be historical. However ,even if the idea is to bring the lesser known artists to the Festival, you can’t escape to think folks like Sofia Coppola, Jacques Doillon, François Ozon or Michel Hazanavicius are not your type of unknown artists as such.  The rest that were kept for the competition are indeed less known and with great projects such as Naomi Kawase, Yorgos Lanthimos, Lynne Ramsay, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Hong Sangsoo, Todd Haynes, Noah Baumbach, and Fatih Akin.  More info here: http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/
The house of Louis Vuitton continues it’s incursion into the world of Arts. Associating with the plastic artist Jeff Koons to reveal the collection where the master word is transmission.  The American artist will inspire here by the « Gazing Ball » a series of reproduce works of arts by the great masters,and to post on the great bags and small leather goods of the Louis Vuitton. The works that will appear are such as  « La Joconde »(mona lisa) of  Léonard de Vinci, the  « La chasse au tigre » by Rubens, the  « La Gimblette » by Fragonard,  the  « Champ de blé avec cyprès » by Van Gogh and as well the « Mars, Vénus et Cupidon »  of Titien.  The famous « Rabbit » of Jeff Koons  will ,also be there in accessories.  The artist even played with the famous monogram letter of Louis Vuitton by signing the works as « J.K. ».  All ready to become collectors items and shown from April 28. More here: http://fr.louisvuitton.com/fra-fr/histoires/masterscampaign#section-masters
We have great cold cuts here , all over the country, and Paris is central;  you can have a wonderful saussages too like from black pigs of Bigorre done by  Pierre Matayron,;just the meat, pepper, and dry as wanted for 12€ Boucherie Terroirs d’Avenir : 6, rue du Nil, 2eme. Tél. +33 (0) 1 85 09 84 48.  More info here, the real thing of my belle France: http://www.pierre-matayron.fr/fr/points-de-vente

Another is known for his wonderful hams, with a great taste at 9,45€; this is at Lastre Sans Apostrophe : 188, rue de Grenelle, 7eme. Tél. +33 (0) 1 40 60 70 27.no webpage but worth a detour You will find it near the école militaire.

And get on with steakhouses rare but some good ones here too. One of them is the Greffeuille ,120 rue Saint Denis, metro Etienne Marcel line 4 as closest. If you like the sausages such as the Andouillette ,lamb from the Aveyron, serving the great chefs of France with quality meats and good tasting on site in a butcher shop.  Here is their store in Paris, http://www.allaiton.com/boutique/content/15-la-boutique-greffeuille-aveyron-a-paris

Another one is Clover Grill,  6 rue Bailleul, nearest metro line 1   Louvre – Rivoli. The steak here is king with the famous Entrecôte beef black from the Baltic  , aged in oak with the aromas of whisky, or try the undercut of beef from Kansas,USA, tender to please the most of the  globetrotters or the amateurs of the ancient sauces. More here: http://www.clover-grill.com/

Finally , see the Café des Abattoirs,  10 rue Gomboust , metro pyramides lines 7 or 14 as closest. The last one of the Rostang family, setup in a crowded resto with tables very close to each others, again the entrecôte, come to be the king. The best beef coming from the Breton Côtes-d’Armor, dept 22 of Nantes or Armoriques races of 400 grams of beef at least. More info here: http://www.cafedesabattoirs.com/

The next exposition at the musée Ludique that is at 34 quai d’Austerlitz in the 13eme of Paris will be dedicated to the super heroes of DC Comics. The expo will be until September 10 2017 and it’s entitled L’art de DC -L’aube des super héros. You will find about 250 originals models created by Bob Kane, Frank Miller or Alex Ross. More than 300 works recherché for the cinema and costumes and accessories from films. You will see the original costume for Superman worned by Christopher Reeves and the series Wonder Woman done by Lynda Carter, Batman from 1989 of the Joker, and accessories from the batman vault. the visitors to the exposition will recreate the history of their super heros from the 1930’s to our days. More info here: http://artludique.com/index2.html

The high gastronomy is not just for the restaurants but, also ,in hotels of Paris and France. The hotels deluxe with their codes sought of by Auguste Escoffier, the genius that opened in the end of the 19C the Ritz on the place Vendome and Savoy of London.  Now we have Christian Le Squer to continue the legacy. At the  Au Cinq, the restaurant in the Four Seasons Hôtel George V, he show you the traditions of the trade. M.  Le Squer has reinvented the gratinée à l’oignon.  Instead of serving it liquefy in a deep plate he presented it solid on a pure white dish with small caramels onions around it. It is served with a Madeira 1986 Verdelho d’Oliveiras.  You can indulged at the Le Cinq. Four Seasons Hotel George V: 31, avenue George-V, 8eme. Tél. +33 (0) 1 49 52 70 10. Of course be prepare to pay dearly but the very top of French cuisine.  More here: http://www.fourseasons.com/paris/dining/restaurants/le_cinq/

And on the continuing elimination of the auto from Paris, the mayor Hidalgo keeps bringing more bicycle lanes to Paris. This time is the section from Nation to République . This is the future lane that will be created along boulevard Voltaire. The work will be for 3 kms and will have the day before 2020. IN the plan there is work to do for 700 kms of bicycle lanes in all Paris. Several publication such as Le Parisien. and see the photo from Le Parisien newspaper showing losing as much as 90 hours in traffic jams in the Paris area;which couple with the pedestrian ideas cutting off traffic into Paris on the voie Georges Pompidou is just creating more traffic havocs.


You have the exposition of “De Zurbaran à Rothko – Collection Alicia Koplowitz – Grupo Omega Capital“; Until July 10 2017. the collection from the Spanish business women Alicia Koplowitz to be seen in the musée Jacquemart-André.  There is nice works of arts here such as the “the Virgins” of  Zurbarán , and from Luis de Morales,a portrait of the 16C of Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, but, also, of  Goya, Picasso, and Toulouse-Lautrec. You can see as well masters such as De Kooning, Rothko, Lucian Freud, Louise Bourgeois, and Miquel Barceló.  A very nice presentation in a wonderful place. More here: http://www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com/en/node/2050

Great libraries in Paris, some of them down right historical. However, many not as well known and just as historical and nice. One of my favorites is the La librairie du cinéma du Panthéon ,15 rue Victor-Cousin, metro line 10 or RER A Luxembourg.  Taken the works from the library Ciné Reflet and under the patronage of the Thé des Ecrivans, you come to a cine club library open since 2013. You have all novels, travel , youth books here. An oasis of calm and knowledge in Paris.  More info in French here: http://cinelitterature.fr/

And last, pay tribute to a great one of Paris and the world, Colette. Actresse, dancer, mimic, romancier, newspaperwomen (in 1914-18 WWI) , creator of a cosmetic line, the leading figure of women avant garde with a strong connection to nature. The first women president of the Académie Goncourt.  Today, her maternal home reborn with her youthful days; open to the public since 2016 at the  rue Colette (before  rue de l’Hospice). It is done loyal to the writing of the actor with bourgeois decoration and the status of a rich family whose members were musicians or music lovers;  Colette played the piano, and mom went to the Opéra. The house or La Maison de Colette, 10, rue Colette, Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye ; guided visits of the house and gardens  from Wednesdays to Sundays from 10h-19h and Fridays to Sundays from 10h-17h ; from November 1st to March 30th. Reservation is recommended at tel +33 (0) 3 86 45 66 20. admission is 9€ adults open every day from 10h to 18h . IN the castle of the town ; small Library. you can go by car in about 1h30 from Paris . By train from gare de Bercy, to Joigny or Auxerre. More info on the house here: http://maisondecolette.fr/   and on the museum  Inside castle here: http://www.musee-colette.com/index.php?id=110

Enjoy France, is as a whole a movable feast ::) Cheers!

April 16, 2017

And another football/soccer day at Vannes

And another nice day in the Morbihan Breton as we were back at Skellig for a day of football/soccer.

This is indeed a nice sports bar and friendly service where the folks recognize right away on the second coming. It is in the Atlantville business park in Vannes right next to the cinéville or cinema parc lann .  More on it here: http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/activities/with-children/195981-cineville-parc-lann

The Atlanville area restaurants where Skellig is located is here: http://www.atlanville.fr/le-skellig

The place is open everyday from 17H or 5pm and closes from midnight to 2h on Fridays and Saturdays to 01h on Sundays to Monday. The selection of drinks and specially beers is great and TV sport screens are all over with a big one in the central galley.

You walk in thru a narrow entrance after passing the small terrace outdoors and upon entering the bar is on your left, the big screen TV is in the central galley and there is another section in the back and right hand side, the toilets are in the back right back area and very clean.

Of course, we were there for the big Premier league match between Manchester United and Chelsea, 6th and 1st in the league respectively. My oldest son is a fan of MU, so we went for the go. He came out happy as MU won 2×0 dominating the entire game! Happy camper indeed!!!

They offered lunch and dinner and have formules menu. We dad the beers Guinness, Affligem, Kilkerny, and cold cuts sausages of wild pigs. There is a variety of sausages to go alone with your drinks.

The area is family oriented and very safe, we go there a lot to eat in the restaurants around it like Tablapizza, Brooklyn Café, Hippopotamus, and Kergalette.  More on them here: http://www.atlanville.fr/

In all a wonderful evening ,night or late afternoon to share with your family; I did with my 3 boys , a lovely time to spent together. A nice place to stop by when around Vannes, Morbihan, Brittany, France ::)

Something more to bring you over ,Vannes


Have a great Sunday y’all, Cheers.

Vannes  Vannes  Vannes  Vannes  Vannes  Vannes




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April 16, 2017

Why not the Temple of Debod, Egyptian and very much Madrid!

Thinking already on Spain which will be back last week of this month, I thought of something unique and semi hidden in Madrid, but a must to visit. This is the temple of Debod in the parque del Oeste and more precisely in the parque de la montaña (where an old Civil War hq was ).

It dates from the year 200 AD and known also as the temple of Amon a gift from Egypt to Spain for helping in the flooding of the Nile in the 1950’s.  I have written a bit on it way back in my early days of blogging. Here is that post:


The pieces of this temple were brought to Spain by boat over a long period finally reaching Spain by Valencia harbor; coming on the ship “Benisa”, a total of 90 trucks moved the 1356 blocks of stone to the current site but some stone from Villamayor in Salamanca was needed to filled in the missing parts lost on the retrieval of the stones in Egypt. It finally was assembled in its current location in July 18, 1972, while I was still living in Madrid.

From the exterior the best moment to see it is as the sun goes down in the evening, eerie nice silhouettes indeed. The interior is superb and a must see in Madrid like I said.

You must see inside the Capilla de Adijalamani or of the reliefs. It has scenes that represent the king adoring the gods and offering sacrifices.  The motifs are related to the cult of the gods in the area and link to the sacred monarchy. In it’s chapel you have the god Amon de Debod that received the cult with other divinities such as Isis, Hathor, Osiris, Horus, Apset, Mut, Satis, Anukis, and Horajty. Imhotep occupies a priviledge site in the access to the chapel.

You then, come to the room of  Mammisi.  The word Coptic signify “place of birth” and makes the point of the room where the goddess of the temple gave birth and celebrating the mystery of the divine birth.

There are other rooms below, these are:

The Vestibule ,decorated with Augusto and Tiberian today mostly erase due to the last earthquake of the 19C and stealing.

The antechamber de Naos, small room that allows you to wandered in the 3 chapels ,here the only light entered the temple that reach the main Chapel as above and the Naos

The room of Naoi, or central chapel has the only naos preserved. it is in ptolemic style and dedicated to gods Isis and Amon de Debod.

The south hallway on which in it’s wall you see a solar clock.

The Osiris chapel, relics of Osiris, in the terrace . It is a roofed chapel in the terrace of the sanctuary as in Egyptian temples. It was done to stop the rain water to entered the god Osiris that was not beneficial.

The Terrace, this is the place where important ceremonies were held, especially the ritual of the new year. The karma of the god Ra combine with the divine statues of the temple that were taken to the terrace by priests the night before the Egyptian new year.

The headroom Chapels, on each side of the Chapel of Naos you have two Chapels attributed to Osiris and Mahesa.

The Uabet, the purification site of the priests of the temple. Opens its doors to the Vestibule.  this area was damaged when the archeologist that worked here in the 20C saw it.

The Crypts, one of the few ptolemic temples that had crypts open in the Chapels. The main one is the treasure crypt that opens to the chapel of Mahesa , where the statues of the gods were kept. The other was probably a laboratory where the perfumes of the divinities were kept; this one, opens to the inferior chapel of Osiris.

You see several graffiti’s in the temple. Thanks to these graffiti’s we know the temple was visited by Barbarians, nomads or semi nomads that later could have been converted into a Christian Church or refuges of hermits. In the Muslim period it was ,also, occupied and was visited from the West. Amongst the graffiti’s in the Debod , it is found caravans and herds of camels, gazelles, a boat with oars, Coptic crosses, accounting symbols, Greek inscriptions, also Coptic, Arabic (religious characters),and several signatures from travelers!

In the terraces of the Temple of Debod you find several blocks these are:

The blocks of Apedemak, this is a monument that has three horizontal lines with ancient lettering  texts divided by a ankh (symbol of eternal life) entitled Adijalamani. In one of the lines you have the epitaph well like of Apedemak referring to the king been Apedemak the principal god of the temple.

You see the stalls in stone of a Lion and a Greek urinerium; it is very damaged but on the laterals you have an urinerium with the feet back of the lion. Difficult to understand today.

The Madrid tourist office here tells you more in English,on how to get there, free admission ,but limited numbers at one time allowed in, something like 60 at one time.  Also, depending on the weather as the temperature below can get really hot and the AC don’t always work. There has been episodes of high humidity as well that have created problems to keep it open. So my recommendation is to contact the tourist office and ask if open when you are there. email: templodebod@madrid.es


It tells you of a specialiased site for the Temple here in Spanish:  http://templodedebod.memoriademadrid.es/

Another view from the city of Madrid webpage in Spanish: http://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/Cultura-ocio-y-deporte/Cultura-y-ocio/Templo-de-Debod?vgnextfmt=default&vgnextoid=46caa0d03aa8b010VgnVCM100000d90ca8c0RCRD&vgnextchannel=c937f073808fe410VgnVCM2000000c205a0aRCRD&idCapitulo=1251721

So enjoy this beauty now, it is old and you never know, but it is wonderful. I remember in my youth going around the park as kids playing and then going inside all sweaty so nothing feld on the heat hehehe! Then, have come back each time with my girlfriend , then wife, then the boys and again this summer always a nice stop in Madrid. Something awesome historical and beautiful in a very nice park as well, right there not far is the cable car to Casa de Campo or teleférico. Enjoy it, and Happy Easter y’all!! Cheers

Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid




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April 15, 2017

Some news from France CLI

So we hit the low point as the weather has turn cloudy and cool breezy here just on the Easter weekend, which in France is given as Easter Monday off, therefore a backward 3 day weekend.

We had some errands to do in order to be free Sunday for the football/soccer matches and see what we do on Monday; always a last minute family type except the big vacations in the Summer and Christmas times. The summer vacation is taken already, will be again Spain, of course!

We are already thinking Christmas will be somewhere in France. Every year we change over most of the time ::)

Things happening in my belle France, are:

There is a new or fairly new thing to do in Paris, it is the Timescope (see photo from the Les Echos business journal ) and it lets you see in 3D Paris of yesteryear actually way back.. It is already 389 years since April of 1628 ,and if you go to the now pedestrian street of voie Georges Pompidou and get yourself behind the telescope or Timescope, you will be able to see Paris as it were on that date!!! The Timescope  telescope machine is by the bridge or pont d’Arcole. It is on that date that the city hall or Hôtel de Ville was built, and the place de Gréve takes form with its colorful houses , the trading harbor on the banks of the Seine river and its boats with the people living underneath the bridges. The first of these timescopes was installed at the boulevard Richard Lenoir in front of the place de la Bastille.  Here for 2€ with an online ordered ticket, you can see the Bastille in 1416, and on the eve of the French revolution in 1789. In the parc Rives de Seine, there is reconstruction work in detail of these events. There is even a film in 3D by just turning the eyeglasses on the machine around you in 360°. More info and ordering directions here, which you can turn to English at bottom right: http://www.timescope.co/

The parc Rives de Seine, in French here: http://www.paris.fr/rivesdeseine

Things are coming along on the Publicis Drugstore; it has plan to be open by May 15 at 133 avenue des Champs-Elysées with a wonderful cafeteria style café of 2000 sq meters space open 7/7 and until 02H or 2am. Keep an eye for this opening here, a must when visiting the area; http://www.publicisdrugstore.com/#/brasserie/brasserie/

A wonderful event in a historic romantic area of Paris. Everything moves around Pigalle, rue Lepic, Sacré Coeur, Moulin Rouge etc, this area inspired many movie producers:directors from the beginnings of the 7th art. The museum or Musée de Montmartre will have an exposition with the Décor de Cinéma ; showing of this period in black and white and color as well.  The collection of the Cinémathéque Française, Fondation Jerome Seydoux-Pathé, muse Gaumont, Archives Pathé-Gaumont, Societé Femis, société d’histoire et archeology de le vieux Montmartre and Moulin Rouge will be showing until January 14 2018! ;more here: http://www.museedemontmartre.fr/exhibitions

Do you know cher visitors that in the Périphérique de Paris or beltway there are 99 cameras capturing on 750 devices with as much as 80 frames at the same time to see what you all do on the 35 kms of the beltway: yes big brother is watching you . Of course, some locals do not even know of this, too bad, I do ,I am on the road and do keep tracks of these devices. Mind you these are not speed radars but rather surveillance cameras ::) You can read more in French here: http://www.paris.fr/services-et-infos-pratiques/deplacements-et-stationnement/amenagements-et-travaux-de-voirie/le-peripherique-3213

And now on one of my favorite subjects but lazy to write about it ,with so much to write on in the belle France of course. Let’s talk about wines!!!

Do you know we have a sleeping giant in China coming along. It is ,already, the second biggest country in vineyard area just behind Spain.  However, advancing rapidly, last year it grew its area by 17% according to from where I am getting these notes the Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV).

847 000 hectares of vineyards just 100K behind Spain! with France and Italy coming in as third and fourth respectively (the world has 7,5 million hectares of vines) . China is the fourth biggest importer of wine in the world with two times less volume than Germany, the No 1 and the same volume of 2B€; its purchases have increase 15% and 22% if we count bottles, a symbol of the quality of wines imported.  As of 2016, the biggest consumers of wine were the United States, 13%; France 11%, Italy 9%; Germany 8%, and China 7%.  As far as wine produce, the world total is at 267 million hectoliters in 2016 with Italy in first place, followed by France, and Spain.

These last 3 countries accounts between them anyway from 55-57% of the world commercialization whether we speak of volumes or values. France has 28,5% of the value exchange and in first place far ahead of Italy with 19,3%. France has increase its importations of 3,6% in volume and 9% in value due to several mediocre harvests and a deficit on low level wines that she had to import from Spain.

In other parts of our world, the United States had a strong increase in production while the rest of the American continent especially Argentina, Chile, and Brazil suffered from the climatic effect of El Niño. South Africa had a strong dry season that, also, penalized the production. However, Australia and New Zealand increase their production by 9,5% and 34% respectively. These last two has created a niche in European sales.

More of the story in French from the business journal Les Echos here: https://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-services/conso-distribution/0211963723515-la-chine-continue-dagrandir-son-vignoble-2079092.php

And if passing by Bordeaux , do not missed the wonderful Italian connection of ” Il Meneghino“, a place in the Milanese scene now here since May 2016. located at 121 123 Cours Victor Hugo down on the rue Sainte Catherine of much pedestrian shopping and near the bridge or pont de pierre by the Garonne river. More info and menu here: http://www.ilmeneghino.fr/ristorante.html

Ah and almost forgot, the La Cité du Vin at Bordeaux, it’s first exposition until June 21 2017; Bistrot! de Baudelaire à Picasso. It will show about a hundred works of the masters with paintings, photograph, designs, film ,and literature. It will shed light on the essential role of the cafés and bistros to the creation of society at the end of the 18C to our days. It will leave us sometimes our France to come into Europe and the United States mixing traditional mediums of photography and films celebrating the wonderful links of films and cafés to the world of arts. More info here: http://www.laciteduvin.com/fr/vivez-la-cite-du-vin/expositions-temporaires/bistrot-de-baudelaire-picasso

Get wet in the basin de la Villette! The 3rd edition of the course  Open Swim Stars Paris will be held June 17 and 18 on the water basins of the Villette, and Pantin. You can sign up from today!There will be five courses between the two days going from 1 to 5 km. The compétition is open to all license or not swimmers as long as space available. 500 for the 5 kms and 1000 for the other swims. The swimmers who are not license will need to provide a medical certificate of at less than one month old; the water temperature will be between  18C and 22C (about 62 to 72 F). this course is inspire by the mythical La Traversée de Paris  that was organized between 1906 and 1940 on the Seine river. More info here in their facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/events/388471058200628/

And as we are in Easter, where to find your eggs in Paris or elsewhere as m favorites, when my boys entered France already French, they enjoyed these events; such as the wonderful Seine-et-Marne dept 77 castle of  Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte ; activities until April 17 from 10h to 17h More info here: http://www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/en/vaux-vicomte-celebrates-easter/

And from 10h , April 16, the Jardin d’Acclimatation , bois de Boulogne just off the Place Maillot you can still take the little train and admission combine. More here http://jardindacclimatation.fr/evenement/grande-chasse-aux-oeufs-2017/

And of course to buy that Easter chocolate, well so many places but if have to pick a couple it will be :

Hugo & Victor  40, boulevard Raspail (7eme), tél. +33 (0) 1 44 39 97 73 ; 7, rue Gomboust (1eme), tél. +33 (0) 1 42 96 10 20. Buy the figurines or Personnages T’choupi  from 5€. More here: http://www.hugovictor.com/

Christophe Michalak, 8, rue du Vieux-Colombier (6eme), tél. +33 (0) 1 45 49 44 90 ; 16, rue de la Verrerie (4eme), tél. +33 (0) 1 40 27 90 13 ; 60, rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière (10eme),  tél. +33 (0) 1 42 46 10 45. try the boucliers garnis; like saucer shape (milk chocoalte, bronce color ; black chocolate, color red ;dulcey chocolate, color blue) price 25€. More here: http://www.christophemichalak.com/

Happy Easter y’all !!!!! Cheers!


April 14, 2017

And we have to settle for football/soccer at Vannes

It has been sunny and cool around here with temps in the 15C or about 62F; a lot warmer in Madrid!! My troubles with Orange and the internet made me fearful as come to realize the internet is everything or almost today lol!

My telephone cable that links to the house for internet, tv,and telephone service drop off the pole and we were with nothing… calling Orange was nothing, technician will come by April 19 not sooner. Call the Mayor’s office (Mairie)  as there is a cable down on the ground, and was told call the maintenance dept (service techiques) of the city, they in turn send a message to Orange. Call and write complaints to Orange and on the call was told call the firemen on the cable !!! At the end got from Orange a temporary airbus box to connect to the internet but no telephone line nor tv yet, we will have to be patient with the customer service here in boony land lol!

Ok so now settle into nicer things, the Champions of football.soccer are here on the quarter finals and my all time only team is playing; Real Madrid FC;yep the best ever by all accounts. More here: http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/index.html


They were playing the other historical club  named Bayern Munich at Allianz arena in Munich. Well we ran over them won 1×2 but we could have score more goals.

The best part is since no tv nor internet at home needed to go out and find me a bar showing the game.Not easy when you live in the countryside.

So we headed for Vannes,where I work,and more bars..and found one I have been just once for a drink during daytime, this is Skellig

Here is the area where they are Atlanville and more on them in French : http://www.atlanville.fr/le-skellig

And the dept 56 Morbihan tourist page : http://www.morbihan.com/vannes/pub-le-skellig/tabid/1564/offreid/f13f4fe2-f401-4858-a21d-722998438312

A bit more on them :  This is an Irish Pub style bar restaurant with lots of animations from live music to karaoke to live sporting events and arrows game. the concerts change every week . The main here for me is the Sports, TV screens on all walls and a big one in the center living room style !  You a simple menu for lunch and dinner of salads, burgers, steaks, etc  The service is nice and friendly and a well behave crowds unless a goal scored ::)

There is a small terrace outside the main entrance and once inside the bar area is to your left. ah the toilet is to your right ….

We are going back Sunday with my sons and friends from work to see the English Premier game Manchester United vs Chelsea; just to say one of my son’s likes MU but the rest are for the Real Madrid lol!!!

And we should be back for the return match at Bernabeu on April 18 20h45 or 8:45 pm French time.

And of course, we start today a long 3 day weekend, Happy Easter, Good Friday,and Monday of Easter to all. Cheers

Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes