October 18, 2018

Rennes ,revisited!!!

So today driving to work was foggy dark eerie but nice! easy drive as always in my Breton woods! I like to come back to Rennes, a nice city even once considered living there but not. I visit once in a while and drive by it even more often but needed an update on it ,especially on the history and things to see there.

You can search my other entries on Rennes in my blog. I will just tell you a bit more to get to know the Brittany/Bretagne/Breizh of my adopted land.

Rennes, Capital city of the department of Ille-et-Vilaine(no. 35) and region of Brittany . The city is located in the upper Brittany, eastern part of Brittany at the confluence of Ille and Vilaine rivers from which the department takes its name. It is at 55 km from the coast of La Manche closest to the sea. Rennes is located more than 250 km from the island of Ouessant. In distance, it is closer to Angers (128 km) than Brest (210 km) and closer to Caen (154 km) than to Quimper (180 km). Rennes is located at a more or less equal distance from the large seaports of the West which are Le Havre (204 km) and La Rochelle (220 km) as well as the maritime and military port of Brest (210 km), the city is also located 120 km from the great seaport of Nantes-Saint-Naza Ire. Those of the Atlantic Ocean (90 km), and is the only Breton city of more than 25 000 inhabitants that is not located on the seaside or estuary. Finally, far from any land border, the city is however only 120 km from the Anglo-Norman island of Jersey. Rennes is located 63 km south of Saint-Malo, 35 km west of  Vitré, 58 km north of Redon and 125 km from my house. So as you can see it is pretty fairly central to all.

The city is very easily accessible (think already said that ::)) as it is located at the crossroads of a star network of expressways such as the N157 to the east to Vitré, Laval, le Mans and Paris. The N 137 to the south towards Nantes, La Rochelle and Bordeaux.  The N 24 to the west towards Vannes, Lorient and Quimper. The N 12 to the north-west towards Saint-Brieuc and Brest.  The D 137 to the north towards Dinan, Dinard and Saint-Malo.  The A84 to the north is towards Fougères, Caen, Rouen and Lille. The TGV Brittany, takes you from the train station or Gare de Rennes to Paris Montparnasse in about 1H25 and 45 minutes from Le Mans by TGV. Rennes is also accessible in  about 2h22 from Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle Airport (TGV station), 1H22 from Massy TGV, 2H 5 from Marne-la-Vallée (Disneyland), the Rennes-Saint-Jacques Airport, located seven km from the city center, to the south-west on the town of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande. The airport opens the city of Rennes with national and European destinations such as Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse, Strasbourg, London, Barcelona, Dublin, Manchester,Madrid, Birmingham and Amsterdam.



The history of Rennes covers a period of several centuries. In the Gallo-Roman era, the city founded by the Riedones bears the Gallic name of Condate. The city saw its political power grow in the Middle Ages by successively becoming a fortress of the swamps of Brittany and then capital of the Duchy of Brittany. Under the former regime, the Union of Brittany (1532)  to France gradually up Rennes to the rank of big provincial city. The establishment of the Parliament of Brittany in Rennes in the 16C and the Palace of the Palace of Brittany in the 17C, however, allowed Brittany to preserve until the French Revolution a certain autonomy with regard to the royal power of the time. Rennes played an important role in the revolt of the stamped paper in 1675. Victim of a terrible fire in 1720, the medieval wooden center of the city is partially rebuilt in stone (granite and Tufa). Still predominantly rural until WWII, Rennes truly developed in the 20C.

Nice outdoors were sprung such as the Thabor park  not far from the city center;  Oberthür Park; the leisure base of the Gayeulles in the north east of the city; Bréquigny Park in the south;  Les prairies Saint-Martin, along the Ille-et-Rance Canal. The Porte Mordelaise Gate until the 15C, the city grew in the shelter of this wall as its political and economic role increased. At the beginning of the 15C, the town of residence of the Dukes of Brittany, however, has no landmarks outside its Cathedral!



Two new ramparts walls were built in the 15C to ensure the development of the city. In 1422, Duke Jean V decided to build an enclosure to the east that surrounded the “new city”, marked by shops and religious congregations. This new enclosure is completed in 1452, but already another extension is underway. In 1449, Duke François I took the decision to extend the city walls to the south of the Vilaine river. The “new City” thus protected by the ramparts is above all a set of unhealthy and flooded lands where a modest population lived. The interest is nevertheless real to ensure effective protection of both banks of the river and to protect the industrial districts. In 1473, this enclosure was in turn completed. It was during this century that the city was embellished by equipping itself in 1467 with its first civil monument: the Tour d’Horloge (Clock tower), quoted by François Rabelais in his work of Pantagruel

In 1561, the parliament of Brittany fixe itself in the city. The Palace of parliament was built between 1618 and 1655. Many mansions built for the gentlemen of Parliament, such as the hotels of La Noue and the Racape de la Feuillée, built on the place des Lices in 1658. The place Royale where the parliament of Brittany sits and the new square dominated by the city/town hall, less monumental and obedient to cannons less rigorous than its neighbor. The monumental aspect of the place Royale had a strong symbolic value. It was a matter of representing the Dominion of the royal power over the provincial parliament following the revolt of the stamped paper, the square serving as a jewel in a monumental statue of Louis XIV .

The arrival of the train to Rennes in 1857 leads to the urbanization of the alluvial plain located to the south of the city. On the basis of the plan of planning conceived between 1852 and 1855, large boulevards are drawn: cours de la Gare(present Avenue Jean-Janvier) to reach directly the city center from the station, Boulevard de la Tour d’Auvergne, allowing to facilitate the connection between Saint-Malo and Bordeaux (Imperial Road D137), boulevard de la Liberté between these two axes on the backfilled moat of the ancient ramparts already demolished at the time. This plan will be overall achieved; Only the Champs de Mars will be reorganized to allow the extension of the barracks of the Colombier (dovecote).

Some things to see I like

The city is endowed with structuring buildings such as the Imperial High School (1803), University Palace (1847-1855), new Hospital of Hôtel-Dieu in the north of the City (1855), Prison (1863-1876), as well as numerous barracks located on the edge of the city. Finally, in 1897, Rennes inaugurated its power-supply tramway network, consisting of five main lines, facilitating urban travel. There are still some vestiges left today.

There is the Cathedral of St. Peter’s, one of the nine historic cathedrals of Brittany. Classically styled in facade and neoclassical interior, it is the seat of the Archdiocese of Rennes. The Saint-Sauveur Basilica celebrates Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues, protector of the city of Rennes. The place Sainte-Anne houses the former convent of the Jacobins. The old Gothic chapel of Saint-Yves Hospital, located on Rue Saint-Yves, is now a museum on the evolution of Rennes, and is home to the tourist office of Rennes.



Located on the highest point of Rennes, the pro-Cathedral Notre-Dame en Saint-Melaine was used as the temporary seat of the Bishopric of Rennes. A former abbey church, it has kept all its adjoining buildings, its cloister and its monks ‘ garden: the present Thabor Park. The tower and the transept of the ancient Benedictine abbey of St. Melaine are from the 11C. It has 14C Gothic arcades and a bell tower with a gilded virgin.


In the heart of the new city district , the Church of Saint-Germain, the former parish of the merchants and then of parliamentarians, is the last major edifice of flamboyant Gothic style (15-16C) in the city. The Church of Sainte-Thérèse, of Art Deco style, built between 1932 and 1936 , notably adorned with mosaics. Les Halles Martenot, built from 1868 to 1871, welcomes the market des Lices every Saturday morning. The Halles Centrale, covered market of 1922-26, were shouted municipal and then converted partly into a contemporary art gallery today


The Portes Mordelaises (gates), a two-towered châtelet and drawbridge, border the remains of the ancient medieval fortifications of the 3C, up to the Jehan Duchesne Tower of the 15C at rue Nantes, and the ramparts of the 15C to the east of the Gallo-Roman fortifications at place Rallier-du-Baty. The wooden-framed houses, also known as half-timbered houses, draw the boundaries of the old Rennes: they are typically present in the streets around the rue de Champ-Jacquet, and the place Sainte-Anne and Place des Lices. The rue Saint-Georges has kept many houses of the 17C some houses with wooden pans on rue Vasselot. Traces of the 16C on the facade of 20, rue dù Chapitre.


The Palace of the Parliament of Brittany, which gave Rennes its role as the capital of the region/province of Brittany, was a long time one of the few stone buildings in the city. The construction of buildings on the ground floor of granite and the floors of white stone came later such as the Hotel de Blossac, which hosts the Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs, is built on this model. The theater of the city was inaugurated in 1836. At the same time, the Palais du Commerce, located on the Place de la République, was built from 1885 to 1911 this building is currently used by the Post office. The Champs Libres, a cultural installation comprising the activities of four structures: the main library of the city, the Museum of Brittany and the space of Sciences. Opened in March 2006. Also worth a look the Museum of Fine Arts.





As said, written on it before with plenty of info for visits but just out of simplicity and habit, here are some webpages to help you further plan your visit ,which is a must.

Tourist office of Rennes

Tourist office of dept 35 ille-et-Vilaine

Tourist office of Brittany on Rennes

Hope you enjoy the information and get you to taste Rennes and Brittany. I know had a couple friends from an old defunct travel forum who had visit me in my neck of the woods Breton ,and both love it! Maybe you…

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

October 18, 2018

Brest , sea and traditions of Finistére!

And we go way up Brittany into the wonderful Finistére dept 29 in the region of Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh and see wonderful sea and traditions at Brest. I have come here several times and more in my blog.

However, I like to come back to these places where most touristic is given and dwell on something I like history; Brest has plenty of it.

Brest is an important port, the second military port in France after Toulon, at the western end of Bretagne. In the Middle Ages, the history of Brest is confused with the history of its castle. then Richelieu makes it a military port. Brest will develop around its arsenal, until the second half of the 20C. Heavily marked by bombardments during WWII, Brest saw its historic center almost entirely renewed during the Reconstruction.

Brest is today a university town . Important training of the officers of the national Navy. Brest is also an important research center focused on the sea, including the largest of the centers: The Naval Academy was founded here in 1752, the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle was built here, and every four years, in July, Brest hosts the great International  sea, boats ,and sailors Festival.




A train terminus, a single railway (line Paris-Montparnasse-Brest), a road terminus (two expressways, the national Road N12 and the national Road N165, coming from Paris and Nantes-Quimper . If Brest is a port in metropolitan France ,the closest to the American continent, the attempt to create a transatlantic passenger port was only fleeting under the Second Empire; Brest does not even have a direct maritime connection by ferries with the British Isles nor with the Iberian Peninsula . The automobile remains the preferred means of transport by the Brestois. A third national road, the N 265, connects them to the east. A section of this route is part of the bypass that partially contours the city.


me going to Brest on the N165. pont de l’iroise



Brest is developed on a plateau located a hundred meters above sea level, a paradoxical situation for a port, “turning its back to the sea” a main urban axis (Place de Strasbourg-rue Jean-Jaurès-Place de la Liberté-Rue de Siam-Rue de la Porte-rue Anatole-France, Rue Victor-Eusen) parallel to the coast. The district of the Sept-Saints, built around the eponymous Church of the Seven Saints, was the historical nucleus of the city center of Brest, Brest itself (left bank), on the edge of the Penfeld before climbing on the plateau above. All the old Brest was belted in ramparts built by Vauban, and was organized left bank around two main streets that departed from the gate of Landerneau: The Grande Rue (renamed Rue Louis-Pasteur in 1907), the main artery of the city which went down to the Arsenal, and the rue de Siam. On the right bank, otherwise called Recouvrance, the Main Street was the rue de la Porte leading to the Porte de Conquet. Brest was little by little driven out of its historic heart, which is the Penfeld, by the military who will fully take ownership of it at the end of the 19C, which will result, among other things, in the destruction of the neighbourhoods bordering the Penfeld like that of the Seven Saints.

The city center of Brest has had its deepest redesign since the reconstruction of the city and the renovation of the Place de la Liberté, with the arrival of the tramway, put into service in June 2012, the rue de Siam has become pedestrian, which also benefits the adjacent streets. The lower part of the Rue de Siam saw its appearance completely transformed with the redevelopment of the Place des Français-Libres. Rue Jean-Jaurès has gone one-way, which has significantly reduced car traffic. The Recouvrance bridge received a new apron with more rounded shapes; Finally, the shopping rue de Recouvrance, the Rue de la Porte, has been completely renovated.


In 1914, troops made up of Breton soldiers fought on Belgian soil and in particular in the town of Maissin in the province of Luxembourg and since then two towns commemorate this link. It is called Rue de Brest and Rue du 19th Infantry regiment of Brest. At the Franco-German cemetery in Maissin is a 16C Breton Calvary transferred from the Tréhou.. From May to October 1918, hundreds of thousands of American soldiers landed in Brest. The world’s largest steamer, the Leviathan, served only Brest, and it brought 10 000 men to every voyage. Camps were established around Brest to house all these soldiers while waiting for their transfer to the front. Since the entry into War of the United States until the Armistice, the Brest Harbor received 105 troop transport ships and 784 110 men.


During WWII, Nazis troops entered Brest on June 19, 1940. The first bombardment of the Allies on the city began in 1941 and lasted until the occupation of the city on 18 September 1944 by the American troops, after a siege of Forty-three days, the Battle of Brest. The collateral damage is immense. At the end of WWII, Brest was besieged by the 2nd, 8th and 29th US 62 Infantry Divisions, members of the 8th Army Corps commanded by General Troy Middleton of the third American army; The city is liberated after 45 days of siege.

Every four years, in July, Brest hosts the Great International Festival of the Sea, boats and sailors Festival. The highlight of the feast is the Great regatta during which the whole fleet sails from Brest to Douarnenez where the feast extends, along the rocky and carved coast of the Breton point, and passing for many between the Tas des Pois.

Things to see

The jardin des Explorateurs ( explorers), called thus because it commemorates the sailors of Brest, offers a breathtaking view of the port and the castle as well as on the harbour of Brest. The Jardin de l’Académie (academy), close to the castle, dominates the port of commerce.

The  Beaches such as Moulin-Blanc beach, Sainte-Anne-du-Porzic beach, and the marinas such as Port of Moulin-Blanc, Port of the Château. The arsenal of Brest.

The road of the Corniche and the Jardin des Explorateurs offer views on the arsenal of Brest. On the edge of the Moulin Blanc Marina, Océanopolis is a large, giant crab-like building. Center for scientific and technical culture of the sea, showcase of all activities related to oceanography its 42 aquariums containing in addition some 3 700 m3 of sea water, 10 000 animals of 1 000 different species. Océanopolis has the largest jaws in Europe.


The Saint-Louis Church is a modern-style monument erected during the reconstruction of Brest between 1953 and 1958, after WWII on the ruins of the ancient Church of St. Louis, built between 1686 and 1785.   The Church of St. Martin was built between 1865 and 1877 in a Neo-Romanesque and neo-Gothic style. The annexation district will take the name of Saint-Martin in the aftermath the Church of Saint-Sauveur de Recouvrance, is the oldest parish church in Brest, dating from 1750, the oldest religious building in Brest, unfortunately in ruins, is the Chapel of Saint-Guénolé on the banks of the Penfeld, ancient site of a cult of water and fertility.


The Brest Marine Museum, a decentralized establishment of the National Marine Museum, houses a collection of models of ships, paintings, sculptures. It is in the castle.  The Musée de la Tour Tanguy is a free municipal museum presenting various historical documents and models reconstituting the old Brest from before 1939.  The Museum of Fine Arts is a point of anchor in the new city: a place to find, through artistic expression, a memory elsewhere erased. This is why the acquisition of European painting has been preferred from the end of the 16C to the present day.  The Fort Montbarey Memorial Museum tells the history of the department of Finistère during WWII and its liberation.




Again just out of habit and simplicity , some webpages to help you plan your trip here in addition to my blog posts on Brest are

City of Brest on heritage

City of Brest tourist office

Tourist office of Finistére on Brest

Tourist office of Brittany on Brest

It is a rebuilt city from WWII but still with very nice monuments and wide boulevards we like it, hope you enjoy the post on Brest.

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


October 17, 2018

Beautiful fortified Quimperlé!

Coming back to a dear city to me and only 50 km or about 32 miles from my house in neighboring Finistére dept 29 of Brittany; this is Quimperlé!

I have written before on it of course, and plenty to see here, I like to give an update and a bit more on the history I like. Its a prosperous city with a past to the sea and unfortunately some floodings but always comes back like a strong fortified town it is also. The tradition with horses is big here as well.

Let me tell you a bit more on beautiful fortified Quimperlé!

Quimperlé the Breton name of the city is Kempere. The name of Kempere comes from the Breton word kember which means confluence and the river Ellé. Indeed the Ellé and the Isole converge at the height of Quimperlé to give birth to the Laïta, a long ria of 15 km subjected to the tide, which was navigable and allowed Quimperlé to be a sea port. Quimperlé is mentioned for the first time in 1038 under the name Kemperlensem (then in 1050 of Villa Kemperelegium, 1082 Kemperele, 11C Anauroth Kemper, 1135 Camperelegio, 1154 Kimberlik, 1160 Karger , 1220 Kemperele). Nowadays, the name in Breton is written kempere

The N 165 expressway crosses the municipality from east to west. It crosses the valley of the Laïta by a viaduct about 1 km south of the city and Quimperlé is served by two exchangers, that of Kervidanou to the west, that of Kerfleury to the east, a half-exchanger also serves the city center, only in the sense to or from Lorient.

Quimperlé is typically a bridge city, born to the place where the first bridge over the estuary was traditionally located, at the boundary between the maritime part and the fluvial part of the valley. It was also a port, the existence of which is attested from antiquity; Destroyed by the Vikings in 878, the activity subsequently resumed, notably after the creation of the Abbey of St. Croix in the 12C and remained relatively prosperous until the 19C, exporting grains, wines, salt, spices and limestone for construction . Beautiful merchant houses, dating from the 16C to the beginning of the 19C, testify to this activity; Quimperlé then traded with Flanders, England and the ports of the Atlantic coast to Madeira; On the “Quay” (now Quai Brizeux), the ground floor of the houses was occupied by the warehouses welcoming grains, salts and wines, the living quarters being located on the upper floors

A high city(Ville Haute) and a low city (Ville Baisse) are traditionally distinguished. The lower town (aristocratic and religious center) developed around the Church of Saint-Colomban, of which there is only one façade and the Benedictine abbey of Sainte-Croix de Quimperlé, while the high city developed around the church Saint-Michel and its place (center of commercial activity).

On the 13C, Duke John I Le Roux (Duke 1237-1286) built ramparts around the lower town to protect it. A moat connecting the Ellé river and the isolé river was dug for a girdle of water. He also founded, through his wife Blanche of Navarre, an abbey of preacher Brothers (Dominicans), later called “White Abbey” (probably in remembrance of Blanche of Navarre, unless it was in reference to the color of the suit of Monks), intended to limit the power of the abbey of Sainte-Croix and established in the east of the city on land dependent on the bishopric of Vannes and around which is established the new district of Bourgneuf.

During the war of the Succession of Brittany, Quimperlé supported the Pretender Jean de Montfort. He died around 1345, as a result of his wounds at the siege of Quimper. He was buried in the Abbey church of the Dominicans (White Abbey) of Quimperlé, where he has his tomb.

In 1505, Duchess Anne of Brittany travelled to Quimperlé. In August 1594, the city housed a Spanish garrison led by Juan de Aguila who soon afterwards went to burn nearby Rosporden.

The monument to the dead of Quimperlé bears the names of 342 soldiers and sailors who died for France during WWI. The monument to the dead of Quimperlé bears the names of 51 people at least dead for France during WWII. Among them were many resistance fighters who died in deportation, for example Auguste Génot, who died in deportation as well as four members of his family, his wife Jeanne (gassed in February 1945 in Ravensbrück), his daughters Annie (died as a result of her deportation in April 1945 in Bergen-Belsen) and Marie (gassed in February 1945 in Ravensbrück) and her son Eugène Genot (died on 1 March 1945 in Neuengamme); Still others died in deportation as Eugene le Grand (died on 2 May 1945 in Bergen-Belsen), Pierre Lemée (died on 3 March 1945 in Nordhausen), and Mathurin Tibullus (died at sea in Lubeck Bay when he had just been released from the concentration camp of Neuengamme), too, such as the Genot family, members of the Turma-Vengeance group or Hervé the Helgouach (died on 7 February 1945 in Schandelah). Julien Mauduit, whose name is not found on the monument to the dead of Quimperlé, was also a resistant, arrested in Moëlan-sur-Mer and died on 22 February 1944 in Buchenwald.

Some of the nice things to see here are:

The Abbey of Sainte-Croix de Quimperlé is a Benedictine abbey, founded in 1029 or 1050, by the Count of Cornouaille, Alain Canhiart. It is, with the Church of Lanleff, in the Côtes-d’Armor, the only church in Brittany to have a circular plan, modelled on that of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. This plan has, moreover, the form of a Greek cross. Sainte-Croix is the highest-level Romanesque church in France.


The Church of Notre-Dame de l’Assomption is the former chapel of the bourgeois community of the city: its nave, dating from the 13C, and in a primitive Gothic style. The building, also known as Saint-Michel, is a construction of the 13C and 16C, surmounted by a square tower.


The White Abbey is the former Dominican convent. Founded in 1265, by Duke John I, it closes in 1790 and is purchased as a national property, serves as a quarry of stones, but the buildings of the 16C are still partially preserved, as well as the portal of the 15C.. It suffered destruction during the French revolution: destroyed church and conventual buildings disfigured. Sisters settled there at the beginning of the 19C and, since 1960, the places housed the order of the Daughters of Jesus of Kermaria. The Saint-Joseph chapel is built from 1932 to 1935, and is decorated with stained glass windows. The Ursuline convent was also sold as a national property in 1793. All during the French revolution.


The private hotels of the rue Brémond d’Ars and rue Gorrequer, including wood-framed houses. The Brémond Hotel in Ars.  The Hotel Akinyemi du Christi.  Hotel Bréart de Boisanger. The “House of The Archers” (Ti ar Waregerien) is a wood-framed house with a 16C façade on the street.

The presidial was a building built in 1653, on the model of the neighbouring house (on the left) , on the ground floor, the crowd (covered market) and, upstairs, the town community and the sénéchaussée (Royal Court). From the building, all disappeared, except only one beautiful stone staircase, two flights, which included access to the prison (house next to the right). Note that there has never been a presidial in Quimperlé. The room at the back of the staircase, of more recent construction, is used as a temporary church, during the restoration of the abbey Church of St. Croix, and serves, at present, as a municipal place of exhibitions.


The Frémeur hospital is the last hospital of medieval structure still existing in the west of France. The chapel of the hospital, called Chapelle Saint-Eutrope, is a characteristic medieval hospital chapel: small but very high in order to allow the patients to hear religious ceremonies from the stands or from their beds.


The Lovignon Bridge (17C), also known as the ornate bridge, had six gothic arches, of which only two were left, one at each end; The four arches, destroyed during the floods of 1746, are replaced by two large middies arches, with important fore-beaks. The bridge keeps its old structure in the back. The railway viaduct that crosses the Laïta dates from 1862.


A beautiful city to see and enjoy it as we do, hope it helps your come on over! See Quimperlé!

Some webpages in addition to my previous posts to help you enjoy Quimperlé are

City of Quimperlé on heritage

Tourist office of Quimperlé

Tourist office dept Finistére on Quimperlé

Now you are all set , remember Brittany is the 3rd most visited region of France by tourist even if stay mostly domestic and some British!

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

October 17, 2018

Gorgeous Quimper at Finistére!

Another dandy from my area this one on neighboring department 29 of Finistére and ,also, some posts already done about it in my blog. I like to give you a bit more on history on gorgeous traditional Quimper!

This one is about 96 km or 59 mi from my house! Lovely ride along the N165 expressway direction Brest. Full of traditional Breton history and customs , enjoy the ride once again! Also, direct TGV trains from Paris Montparnasse here, my route!

Quimper and its region, the Glazik country possessed a traditional costume worn from the French Revolution until the 1950’s. For men, the top of the suit was usually blue or black. Glazig means little blue in the Breton language. The origin of the use of this blue sheet seems to be the availability on the markets of Quimper of sheets stocks used hitherto for the manufacture of the uniforms of the imperial troops. The color rained and the stocks were massively used, until the hue gave its name to the country. The top consisted of a white or clear shirt  with long sleeves which was formerly of flax, hemp or more recently cotton. The shirt was coated with a jacket (Jiletenn in Breton language) of long-sleeved wool sheet Also, covered with the most recent velvet fashions, and embroidered with vivid colors at certain times and for families of a certain financial ease. It was closed on the front by two rows of buttons. The long-sleeved jacket was then covered with a short-sleeved jacket (Chupenn in Breton language) that was not buttoned but also covered with velvet and embroidered.

For the bottom of the men’s suit, it is black or dark striped trousers or bragou (puffy pant in Breton language) that were worn according to the times. The feet were shod with wooden hooves (botoù-koad in the Breton language) or black leather shoes (botoù-lêr). When the bragoù were worn, they were in combination with Gaiters (botreoù) of wool or leather on the calves. Flannel or leather Belts (Gouriz) were also worn at certain times or by some affluent populations. In addition, the men wore a black felt hat covered with black velvet ribbons (Tog Voulouz) that extended to the back in guides, embroidered or beaded for the most affluent. The various costumes in the fashion Glazik are currently worn and presented occasionally by various groups of Breton dances (Celtic circles) of Quimper as Eostiged ar Stangala de Kerfeunteun, Danserien Kemper of Ergué-Armel, Mederien Penhars of Penhars, Keltiad and of the country Glazig (Celtic circle Gwen-ha-du de Landrévarzec) especially on the occasion of the Breton Festivals of Quimper (Cornouaille) or the surrounding area. The Cornouaille Festival is usually on the third week of July.

Quimper has 9 chapels, and 8 churches.. In Breton, the city is called Kemper.

Saint-Corentin Cathedral is located in the city center.. It is Gothic in style (13C-19C). Burned in 1720, the two neo-Gothic arrows were rebuilt in 1854 and rise to 77 meters altitude. The Priory Church of Locmaria is Romanesque in style and dates from the 11C-12C. The Romanesque building was remodeled in the 15C and restored. Inside, very sober, one can see, in the left aisle, three tombstones of the 14C, 15C  and 17C and, on the beam of glory, a Christ in robe. In the right-hand side, a door gives in the garden of the ancient Benedictine Priory (16-17C) which maintains a gallery of the cloister of 1669 and two arcs of the 12C.


The old Quimper (ramparts, old houses, whose house of the Caryatids, Rue du Guéodet extends in front of the Cathedral, between the Odet and the Steir river canals. The rue du Parc along the Odet leads to the quay of Steir. This small tributary, now ducted and covered before its confluence, offers a vast pedestrian area. The city center is visited by the small train.

The Quimper Museum of Fine Arts is located near the Cathedral. The Breton Departmental Museum (archaeology, ethnology, antique furniture and costumes, prints, earthenware) in the former Episcopal palace. The Museum of Earthenware. Located on the edge of the Odet, the museum is set in the former Porquier house built in 1797. Rich of a fund of nearly two thousand five hundred pieces exhibited by rolling, it traces, on two floors, several centuries of the history of Quimper and its earthenware. The Théâtre de Cornouaille, for the national scene, and the Max-Jacob Theatre, 6 Boulevard Dupleix,are nice venues.



Place de la tour d’ Auvergne, stood before the WWII the monument erected in 1908, in memory of the Carhaisien the Tower of Auvergne, “first Grenadier of the Republic”, born in 1743, killed in Battle of Oberhausen in Germany on June 27, 1800 and author of various Works on the Breton language. This bronze statue of the sculptor Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire representing on the masonry pedestal the exhaling hero supported by a winged victory, occupied the center of the square, which now serves as a paid parking lot (Which is my favorite parking area now!). A granite replacement statue, the same character at the guard, by the sculptor Robert Michel, was erected after the war.

In the small space on the edge of the rue René-Madec, along the Stéir river was inaugurated in 2003 a stele surmounted by a bronze bust of the resistant Jean Moulin to mark the 60th anniversary of his death. In the 1930’s  he had occupied the duties of Deputy prefect of Châteaulin. It is the same for the stele to General de Gaulle, who uttered his last great public speech during his trip to Quimper in 1969.

The jardin de la Retraite (Retreat) is located in the city center inside the ramparts of the ancient fortified city. At that time it was the garden of a monastery. Species come from all over the world as some trees come from China, South Africa or New Zealand. Its total area is 5 800 m2. Overlooking this garden is the Jardin de la Paix ( peace). It was inaugurated in April 2013 and includes a set of Mediterranean plants on 900 m2. Also in the city center, near Mount Frugy, the Jardin du Théatre Max Jacobs (theater) has been gathering plants from China and the United States since the 19C. It extends over 6 400 m2. Finally, the Jardin de Locmaria (Priory Garden), located along the Odet river , near the historic district of Locmaria, includes 150 medieval plants in order to reproduce the garden at the time of Anne of Brittany. Its surface is 1 700 m2. Further downstream from the Odet, the Château de Lanniron has been home to French gardens since the 17C on 27 hectares.




Hope you enjoy the reading of a special traditional city of Brittany that is a must to visit. As have some posts on it already but never mind will give some webpages to help you further plan your visit here

City of Quimper on tourism

Tourist office of Quimper

Tourist office of Finistére on Quimper

Tourist office of Brittany on Quimper

There you go do enjoy Brittany, 3rd most visited region of France but mostly locals and the British lol! Hope it helps you come to this wonderful city of Quimper.

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


October 16, 2018

A jewel of Morbihan: Hennebont!

And once again in my Morbihan cher et bien aimé , like to give you another visage or look of this wonderful town of Hennebont near me. I have written several posts on it before but not so much into history, I will remedy this now.

Hennebont of Morbihan in Brittany; only 10 km from Lorient and 45 km from Vannes, and 24 km from my town.  Hennebont is referred to as the “gateway to the Blavet” river valley because of its geographical location. To the south the river joins the ocean. Its waters at the mouth are thrown into the bay of Lorient mingling with those of the Scorff and the Atlantic. The coastline is located about 15 kms.

The name of the town is attested in the form Hanebont in 1114 , it is a Breton compound formed of the elements Hen-“old,” ancient Celtic from  Seno and bont mutated form of bridge.It was in fact at Hennebont that the first bridge was built to allow the crossing of the Blavet river  and this fact explains the development of the city. It is said Henbont in Breton. Born of the Blavet and its bridges, Hen Bont means indeed old bridge, according to the etymologists. From the time of the Iron Age, a Gaulish oppidum is installed on the site of Polvern, along the Blavet river.

History has mainly retained the siege of 1342, during the war of succession of the Duchy of Brittany which pitted the supporters of Charles of Blois and Jean de Monfort, the two contenders to the succession of Duke John III. Charles of Blois besieged the city’s ramparts. In the absence of her husband, Jean de Montfort, a prisoner of the French, Jeanne of Flanders victoriously organizes the resistance and takes refuge behind the walls of Hennebont. The stronghold, on the verge of surrender, was delivered in extrémis by the English fleet, which came to the rescue of the besieged after retraced the course of the Blavet river . During this siege, Jeanne de Flandre will gain her nickname of Jeanne La Flamme (flame)for her fearlessness in combat. During the wars of the League, in 1590, René Arradon, after welcoming the Spanish troops landed in Saint-Nazaire in from the city of Vannes, begins the siege of Hennebont with his company of  soldiers and three hundred Archers, aided by Spanish troops; Hennebont capitulates on December 22, 1590.

On 7 August 1944, a large part of the city center was destroyed by the bombardment of the Nazi troops entrenched in Lorient’s famous pocket by the  Allied troops.

Some of the nice things to see here are the Bro-Erec’h towers and the medieval enclosure (ramparts and enclosed city).The Church of Notre-Dame-de-Paradis, built in Gothic style from 1514 and finished in 1530. The Hennebont National Stud farm. The nice district of Saint-Caradec and the old town as well as the Abbey of  Notre-Dame-de-la-Joie.





Just to give you a hint to visit one of the most picturesques and historical towns of the Morbihan dept 56 of Brittany and France. I lived about 24 km or 12 miles from it!

You can browse my blog to find more on Hennebont , but for now leave you with some webpages to additionally help you plan your trip here. And remember if the woods cry out for me ok

City of Hennebont on heritage

Tourist office of the South of Brittany on Hennebont

Tourist office of Brittany on Hennebont

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


October 16, 2018

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton XXVIIII

And here I am on a Fall week of October at home and thinking where I am in the world map. So many places visited already 81 countries, and lived in 5, and citizen of 4, and several languages like 4 so why this small town of Pluvigner in the Morbihan breton of Brittany, France.


Well it goes without saying, my best living as yet and enjoying it fully. This is history and love it, quaint streets building of historical value right in the cross roads of the Morbihan equidistance almost from good size cities like Lorient and Vannes and Pontivy; along major roads and close by TGV available train stations, local and departamental bus lines and all the amenities of a small town with all the trimmings. The city center is at 31 km from Lorient and 27 km from Vannes

So , this is Pluvigner, and what is it? Well I have written on many of its sites before, but this is about history after I am an amateur of history . I have membership in the local heritage association that tries to preserve and enhance history and architecture. Their webpage is here: Heritage association of Pluvigner

The town city hall page on history/heritage in French is here: City of Pluvigner on heritage

A bit of the very old history.

Pluvigner comes from the Breton “Ploe” (parish) and “Guigner “, a Breton Saint. The story of Pluvigner begins in the 5C with the installation at the place called “the Moustoir ” by Guigner, son of an Irish king named Clyton. Saint Patrick converted him to Christianity despite the opposition of his parents. Hunted by his father, he left for the Armoric where King Audren offered him a place to establish his hermitage. On the death of his father, King of Ireland, he went to his native country. Guigner, still known as Prince Fingar, had his head cut off in the year 455 by a man named Hengist, King of the Angles.

Pluvigner is a primitive parish which included Pluvigner and its truce Bieuzy-Lanvaux, the territories of Landaul and Landévant, as well as part of the territory of Camors (the southern third). The parish of Pluvigner is attested in 1259 in the form “Ple Guinner ” and in 1325, 1337 in the form “Pleu-Vingner “. A community of the Sisters of Wisdom settled in the city center on January 27, 1774, following an epidemic.

Pluvigner belongs first to the jurisdiction of the barony of Lanvaux until 1238, then is awarded to the Cistercian abbey of Lanvaux and finally to the Collegiate Church of St. Michael. Pluvigner was erected in a town in 1790. The following appellations are found: Pleuvigner (1427), Pluvigné (1448), Plevigner ( 1464, 1477, 1481), Ploevignier (1536).

In the 5C, lived Saint Guigner, son of one of the many kings of the Hibernie. Converted by Saint Patrick, he came to settle, with several compatriots, in the Armoric (name given to this area by the other side of Brittany or British). Back in his homeland, he renounced the throne left vacant by his father, and went into the insular Cornouaille, to work on the conversion of the infidels; There he gathered the palm of martyrdom around the year 455. The Bretons, who came to settle here in the 6C, adopted him as patron, either in remembrance of his sojourn in the country or for another cause. If they did not bring with them, from the very beginning, relics of the Saint, they obtained it later, because in the 18C one still possessed two femurs and two arms of the Holy man.

When the districts were abolished in 1800, Pluvigner passed through the arrondissement of Lorient; At the reshuffle of the cantons, in 1801, he retained its title as chief-jurisdiction and acquired Landaul and Landévant. One of the beautiful feasts of the parish is the Baniélo, where the numerous relics and banners that are preserved there are in procession. In 1887, Pluvigner was enriched with a young girls ‘ orphanage founded in Bieuzy; A Chapel was built dedicated to Notre-Dame-des-Pins (1891).

The feudal jurisdiction of Pluvigner belonged almost entirely to the barons of Lanvaux. After the confiscation of 1238, she passed to the Duke of Brittany. This one gave a part to the abbey of Lanvaux around 1250, and a larger part to the collegiate Church of St. Michael in 1383. Later, in 1563, the monks of Saint-Michel alienated their fief from Pluvigner ,and was offered to Mr. René de Malestroit, Lord of Ker and Kerambourg. The latter, soon finding his market unfavourable, sued the sellers and teased the monks of Lanvaux for their share of jurisdiction in Pluvigner. One of his successors, Andre de Robien, RMS. De Kerambourg, formally contested, from 1684, the jurisdiction of the Abbey of Lanvaux in Pluvigner, and began against the religious an unfair trial, which extended for a century, before Parliament and before the Council of the King. Mr. De Robien claimed to be the only lord of Pluvigner, and he had the audacity to remove from the parish church the arms of the King, successor of the dukes, and to substitute his own; But a ruling of the Council of State put it in order in 1731. Besides the small fief of Lanvaux-Pluvigner, the monks of the abbey still had that of Broel since 1516, and they also saw it challenged by the family of Robien.

The Church of Saint-Guigner (16C). Our Lady of Nettles, (Notre Dame des Oties) in the village, touches the parish church and communicates with her through the sacristy. It has the form of a Latin cross; The transepts are shallow and seem older than the rest of the monument. The choir is square; On each side, two arched arcades, now clogged, imply the primitive existence of two collateral. The square of the transept is separated from the nave by three arches, one large and two small, in warhead, worn on polygonal pillars. The windows are ogival, and the fire and trilobed mullions. A chapelle Notre-Dame-des-Nettles (1426 ) it is now ruins of arches left of this Church next the town’ s Church of Saint Guigner.



Other Chapels in the city are

The Chapelle Saint-Adrien (15C) Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Fatima-aux-Granges (1895), Chapelle Saint-Colomban or Saint-Colombier (1453) ,Chapelle Saint-Mériadec (11C), Chapelle Saint-Guy or Guyon (circa 1600) , Chapelle Sainte-Brigitte (16-17C),Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-la-Miséricorde or Mercy (17C). Chapel of the Trinity (end of the 15C), Chapelle de Saint-Bihui (1593) The Chapel of Saint-Goal (17C),Chapel of Saint-Fiacre, in ruins in 1888, and rebuilt in the 19C. The ancient Chapel of St. Guénaël, rebuilt at the end of the 19C in an isolated place and mentioned in 1930, nearest to me.



Also, the Fontaine Saint-Guigner (1526). The set includes a three-basin wash house ,the Fontaine Notre-Dame-de-la-Misericorde or Mercy. And the Château de Rimaison (before 18C), rebuilt with stones from an older château (now a restaurant creperie but the chapel still intact). The Chateau of Keronic (1426). Siege of an ancient lordship called Queronic or Keronic ; Château de Kerlois (15C), located on the Sainte-Anne road and transformed in the 17C. The old castle of Tancarville (located in the former spawning of Trelecan). The lordship belonged to the family of Lanvaux. The private chapel which was enlarged in the 15C, then restored in 1640, is dedicated to Saint-Fiacre and seems dated from the 12C. You can see a 15C altarpiece; The Manoir du Guern (circa 18C), which served as a presbytery. It is made up of a large body of dwelling. There is a small oratory with an 18C wooden altar surmounted by the statues of Saint Yves and Saint Vincent Ferrier; The steles of Pluvigner and Cosquéric (Iron Age). A dozen stones have been listed on the territory of the town of Pluvigner.





As you might be able to tell the town Of Pluvigner is full of historic monuments and rich architecture even if it is a small town of just over 7K folks! Enjoy as I do!

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




October 15, 2018

Norman trails at Granville!

While thinking of my trips and those remarkable ones in my belle France (hard decisions) and rememberance of my dear late wife Martine, we came to this part of Normandy which have bypassed in the past (as so much to see lol!) ,and decided to stop for a closer look. We as always were glad we did and found another jewel of our France.It is hard to believe this is already my 15 years in France, and 1674 post in my blog!

So, therefore, i come back to you for Granville off the Mont Saint Michel bay….and concentrate this time on the sea, that wonderful ocean now north of me.

You need to concentrate in one area and then  move on by car to the next one low town or high town (basse ville ou haut ville). The city has a wonderful high town area  with gorgeous views over the city and the sea. The pointe du Roc is magnificent and plenty of old bunkers from WWII on the Atlantic wall construction by the Nazis. The walkpaths are wonderful and you need to be in good shape to walk all these.  Passing by the fishing harbor and then the pleasure marina with all those restaurants/bars along the way is gorgeous.


Granville is a town in the department 50 of the Manche in the region of Normandie.  The roads of D971 from Carentan, D924 to Villedieu-les-Poêles and D973 from Avranches. All leads you here. Granville is located 25 km from the   expressway A84 (E401). It is also crossed from north to south by the D911, the coastal road to Avranches. The Paris-Granville line, departing from Gare de Paris-Montparnasse, has its terminus at Granville train station.   Granville is located 17 km southeast of its insular district of Chausey, 288 km west of Paris-Notre-Dame, point Zero of the roads of France, 49 km southwest of Saint-Lô, 24 km north-west of Avranches, 27 km Southwest of Coutances, 91 km south of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, 23 km north of Mont-Saint-Michel, 26 km northeast of Cancale, and 99 km southwest of Caen.

It is a seaside resort and climatic station of the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel at the end of the coast of the Havres, an ancient port of mussels and the first port of hard shell seafoods of France. It is sometimes dubbed the “Monaco of the North” because of its location on a rocky headland, the presence of a casino and several large luxury hotels. On a land occupied by the Vikings, the town founded by a vassal of William the Conqueror in the 11C, former city of Corsairs,and the fortress of the defence of Mont Saint-Michel, became as early as the 19C a seaside resort frequented by many artists, equipped with a golf course and a racetrack. Homeland of the Dior industrial family (Christian Dior is buried at the local Church).

On 9 March 1945, when France was liberated and the Allied troops, eight hundred kms away, had begun to cross the Rhine, Nazi troops based in the isle of Jersey still occupied launched a daring commando raid against Granville. Although spotted by the Coutainville radar, the Nazis aboard light boats managed to land at night in the port of Granville. They dynamited the   port facilities and sank four cargo ships. Fifteen American soldiers, eight British and six Frenchmen were killed, seventy Nazi prisoners were released and five Americans and four British were captured before the German commando fled, and the city finally could say it was liberated.

For the historical war lovers as I am, read more here in English: 3945km historical site on Granville

The port of Granville dates from the 16C. It is managed by the central and South-channel CCI and includes recreational activities, fishing, shopping and passenger traffic. From a mussels and oysters port in the 19C, it became a port of passenger transport with the stars Sweet France, Jolie France II and Joly France I destined for the Chausey and Channel Islands.

A trading port with the capacity to accommodate ships of   18 meters wide, 125 meters long and five to six thousand tons of capacity. The first fishing port of Normandy with shells (clams, whelks, almonds, scallops, crustaceans (lobsters, cakes, crabs, spiders) and fish (sea bream, rays, bats, soles, yellow places, bars, mullets, pout, cuttlefish, squid) for the Local consumption with a Selling hall market, a refrigerating terminal and a computerized products sale capacity.

A marina from 1975 of thousand rings in the basin of Hérel. It accommodates three thousand five hundred passages a year, with an average of three boaters per ship. Located a few minutes ‘ walk from the city center. Hérel’s Marina is one of the local economic lungs.





On the tip of the rock (Pointe du Roc) dominating the city, the barracks Bazeilles built in 1758, the barracks Genoa-Champagne built in 1788 and the battery built in 1942 by the Nazi occupant can still be seen.   Curiosity of the port, the form of refit is a port equipment located wharf of the Pan-coupe. Completing the development of the harbour, this basin was built in 1887 for the maintenance of the land-fishery. Built in Chausey granite blocks, it is oval and 85-meters long. Restored in 1975, the form was abandoned by fishermen three years later following the installation of a boat elevator/lift.



Two lighthouses of the town: The Lighthouse of Cape Lihou and the lighthouse of Chausey. Located on the tip of the Roc (pointe du roc) at 34 meters above the highest seas, the Cape Lihou Lighthouse was built in 1828 according to a study by Augustin Fresnel. The lighthouse of Chausey, completed in 1847 and up to 19 meters, was designed on the model of the Carteret lighthouse of the same designer. It features a square tower overlooking a rectangular building. Finally, the lighthouse of the Sénéquet is located on the rock of Sénéquet, two miles off the harbour.





Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Granville on the history

Tourist office of dept 50 Manche on Granville

Tourist office of Normandy on Granville

Hope you enjoy this revisit and do come over, it is wonderful and on clear weather nice views of Mont Saint Michel can be seen, gorgeous at Granville.

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




Tags: , ,
October 15, 2018

Some news from Spain LXVIII

And on a cloudy rainy day in my neck of the woods and heavy rains flooding from Portugal over to Spain and into southern France , I like to give you an update on things of my beloved Spain.

Just recently back from another wonderful trip into Spain, specifically Barcelona. This is the time to tell you a bit about the latest from the land of the Sun.

It was in 1957 when the Winter Theater of Broadway saw the birth of a New York version of the classic of William Shakespeare with stroke of dance, blood, passion and colorful dresses of the fifties. There was a total of 732 functions and was the starting point for an ambitious tour of the United States until 1960. During its sixty years of life, the eternal musical has been able to be seen uninterruptedly in scenarios from all over the world. In 1961 ‘ West Side Story ‘ became a film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, a hurricane that swept the popular culture and broke Oscars ‘ records for a musical film. Now ‘ West Side story ‘ rises proudly back on the charts, because the story of Tony and Mary has passed generations and hearts. At the Teatro Calderón in Madrid, the protagonists of the musical are beaten to death and are madly wanted. The Sharks and Jets have landed in our country, for the first time in a Spanish version, and the urban Romeo and Juliet continue to die of love 61 years later. Teatro Caldéron Madrid

One sad news:

The painter Eduardo Arroyo has died this past Sunday in Madrid at 81 years. Besides being a painter, he was a draughtsman, engraver, sculptor and scenographer, as well as one of the most outstanding members of the ‘ Nouvelle figuration ‘ (narrative figuration). Arroyo represents the continuity of an artist identity that generated the avant-garde in the 1930s, and whose configuration is contributed by Spanish artists like Picasso and Miró. Born in Madrid in 1937, he was educated in the Spanish capital during the postwar period and lived in exile in France during the Franco dictatorship until he decided to return to Spain in 1976, with the advent of democracy, which meant that his work could only be seen with normality in Spain from 1980. It has received a good number of distinctions, among which one can highlight the National Prize of Plastic Arts of the Ministry of Culture, in 1982, or the Gold Medal of Merit in the fine arts, in 2000. He was also appointed in 1983 ;Knight of the Arts and letters by the Government of France. More on him hereBiography and works of Eduardo Arroyo

One of the great one opera classical singers of all time. Montserrat Caballé, with its full name María de Montserrat Viviana Concepción Caballé i Folch, is a Spanish soprano born on 12 April 1933 in Barcelona and died on 6 October 2018 in the same city. Dubbed La Superba (the superb) because of her technique, her length of breath, the amplitude and nuances of her voice (especially her pianissimi), she is famous for her interpretations of the bel canto repertoire, including the roles of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti. Montserrat Caballé, claimed increasingly excited his cosmopolitanism and loaded hard against the Catalan independence:  “I need to say this, I am from the United Nations since 1988 and we have been taught the coexistence. The peoples of the world have to be united. We can’t make chains, chains are for slavery. Human chains are for separating. Chains can be iron, gold, silver, but they have to be good chains. They don’t have to be chains that separate and humiliate. It has been said that there have been a million and a half people in the streets, where were the 7 million remaining?. When you are lucky enough to travel around the world, as it has happened to me, and you know so many people and so many different peoples you realize that hostilities do not work. I have been an ambassador of Spain as all singers. And as I was taught in the United Nations, by the Union of people and Peoples. Whoever puts chains hurts me, removes all the rest, sends them out. I am very happy to be born in Barcelona, to have married a Aragonese, that my mother was from Valencia and that my children have studied in Spain. ” Amen RIP Grande de Espana!!! A bit more on Caballé: Billboard magazine on Caballé

The farewell of torero Juan José Padilla Bernal contained a barbaric emotion. He was born at Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz) May 23 1973. The farewell in the ring where he lost his eye and was born again, where the legend was hatched, had become an event. The popular hero of the Buccaneer flags, the bullfighter of the seven lives and forty of them, the man of steel reconstructed with titanium replacements, put the end to 25 years of wars with blood and fire. The storm unleashed on the Plaza de la Misericordia (square of mercy) at the time of the bullfight was added to the climate of overflowing expectation. The thunderous storm seemed to be muted before the deafening ovation that caused its appearance. The closed deck amplified the rumble. Unbraided the Paseíllo, the cyclone ascended as an exhalation to the box  his fans to give them a cloak of stroll. Thank you, thank you, and a thousand times. God then wanted to reward Juan José Padilla with a bull for eternity. Tortolito was called the Cuvillo of farewell. The joy, the fixity, the son, the rhythm, the category and the quality of the supreme bravery. What a way to ram. Padilla flag pole rushing his faculties to the train that was coming to him. Excitement above the marksmanship. And he gave his children, his wife, his family, the beam and the engine of the resurrection. Tortolito responded to all the proposals. The ecstasies seized the tenders. Waving the flags of the skull and the tibias; The pirate passed his badge savoring the moment. And he kissed kneeling the sand that saw him die and resurface.It was his farewell,  Sunday, October 14, 2018 at the Plaza de la Misericordia during the Virgin of Pilar Fair in  Zaragoza. Farewell warrior! More in Spanish here: ABC newspaper on Padilla

A new show specially designed for the Florida Retiro , in which actor and comedian Alex O’Dogherty will be the master of ceremonies. In Dinner Show format, other artists will succeed the main star during the following months so that the evening in which one day was the most popular party room in Madrid do not stop surprising. Beyond the stage, the gastronomic proposal created by Michelin star chef Iván Sardinia will consist of this new stage in a composition of dishes full of souvenirs and nuances with the dessert , and the show The earring lost by Lola Flores”  as a golden touch. Located inside Retiro park at calle Republic of Panama S/N. Timetables: from 20h30 to 0h2. Pandora Party on Thursday from 01h30 to 06h . Prices: Dinner and Show: 85€.My old stumping ground in another era came here for youthful dances lol!!!More info here: Florida Retiro

And now let me give you some insight into the Madrid I love and some off the beaten path ideas. Remember I used to lived in the city and visit every year for upteens times. From Madrid to heaven in a hole in the sky to look down on it every day!

With the calle Rompelanzas, this one is one of the shortest street  in the historic quarter. It is, rather, of a passage, which Roman innkeeper described as a “petty alley “ that with the pompous name of Calle de Madrid runs behind the backs of the city hall house. Now we see it much more picturesque, by the renovations of the area and the elevated passageway with which connected the houses of Cisneros and the Villa by the Plaza de la Villa. Once here, do not miss the opportunity to walk the quiet alleys, squares and gardens hidden around. From the square the street comes out , plaza de la Villa: Tourist office of Madrid on Plaza de la Villa

Calle de la Escalerilla de Piedra (Street of the stone ladder). You can see in the Plaza Mayor, in the upper part of the stairs of the Arco de Cuchilleros, has been protagonist of stories, legends and novels. Here the pulpit came to the tavern, where bandits and conspirators were allegedly gathering. By this place began one of the great fires of the square in August of 1790. The stories said that from this outgoing Friar Antonio, from the Convent of San Gil, encouraged the locals to the uprising in May 1808, against the French invading forces, originating the war of independence. And, in case all this was not enough, around here you enter the house where Benito Pérez Galdós located the home of Fortunata! The square from where it comes from Plaza Mayor: Tourist office of Madrid on Plaza Mayor

As a curiosity, you can go to see the famous ahuehuete tree of the Parterre (Taxodium mucronatum), protected as a singular tree and considered the longest in the city, with an approximate age of more than 360 years.  Located in a French-style garden in the western part of Retiro Park, very close to the Puerta of Felipe IV that leads to Calle Alfonso XII, this specimen-25 meters high and 5.50 meters of perimeter in its trunk-may have been the first to be planted when built the palace of Buen Retiro (that gave the name to the park/gardens), although some say it was later. A description of Retiro Park: Tourist office of Madrid on Retiro park

The various shields (escudos) that Madrid has had over the course of different eras can be seen by numerous buildings, streets or fountains of the city. The oldest that is preserved in stone is the one that is at the height of the number 21 of the Calle Segovia. It is a reconstruction of one of the 16C made in the 17C. The bear perhaps, the tree-which some say is not a strawberry, and the Royal Crown appear here in a part of the façade that was preserved from the old house of the Pastor demolished in 1988, which became the headquarters of the Transhumane Council of Madrid and Toledo , and that today is integrated into the side of a modern building. As an anecdote, you may recognize the place in the scenes of some films, such as “Los Amantes Pasajeros “(Lovers Passengers) 2012, by Pedro Almodóvar. Once here, go up the stairs and reach the Castiza statue of the Violet, in the gardens of Las Vistillas, a pleasant place to contemplate, as its name suggests, the excellent views towards the Manzanares River, the country house and the Cathedral. Now, see when you go, because its usual tranquility gives way to multitudinous concerts and dances during the Fiestas de La Paloma, in August, or San Isidro, May 15..My favorite Verbena of Madrid , Fiestas de La Paloma virgin. More on the fairs here: Fairs verbenas zarzuelas of August in Madrid

Madrid is one of the few cities in the world that has two twin monuments. To see them you have to go to the district of Moncloa-Aravaca, at the height of the Puente de la Reina (Queen’s bridge). The hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida was built between 1792 and 1798 following the order of king Carlos V. The temple, one of those dedicated to San Antonio de Padua, is very simple, neoclassical, with a Greek cross plant and a dome with lanterns. Inside, surprise the frescoes painted by Francisco de Goya, where characters are dressed as Majos (nice looking boys) and Chisperos (low class boys). To preserve the paintings, between 1925 and 1928 rose an identical Church next to serve for the cult, leaving the first as a memorial museum and Pantheon, because there rest the remains of the Aragonese painter since its transfered in 1919. A tradition: In its surroundings, by La Bombilla, it is celebrated, every 13th of June, the verbena of San Antonio, with the collection of muffins of the saint so that ‘ do not miss bread during the year ‘ and the ritual of the pins with which the  potentially marriage age girls  continue the custom of the Modistillas (dressmaker) of the 19C. More on the hermitage here: Tourist office of Madrid on San Antonio de la Florida

At present, the water of Madrid is the responsibility of the Canal of Isabel II, but years ago, this was facilitated through public sources, like that of Fuente del Berro although it belonged to the Crown-, born with the Vera of the Abroñigal Brook. Protagonist of Zarzuelas, this pipe is one of the aquifers with greater tradition and fame in the city. If you come to the district of Salamanca, go through the historic garden of the Quinta de la Fuente del Berro and, among great specimens of trees, you can still find a sewer cover that leads to the galleries of your watersource, closed in 1977. Head to the Park and you will see the source of the Fuente del Berro outside, next to one of the entrances, on Calle Peñascales , an old mansion, a Becquer’s monument, a statue of Pushkin, a couple of small ponds and a waterfall.! More on the Berro fountain here: Tourist office of Madrid on Fuente del Berro

Traditionally it is considered ‘ patron of the people of Madrid ‘ (and the firefighters) to the Virgen de la Paloma. Its festivities, around August 15th, are the most traditional and were reflected in the zarzuela la verbena de la Paloma. (Again see above my favorite of all times) .Its parish, with a curious baptismal font of immersion, is of mudejar style with Gothic elements, and is located in the small and collected square of the same name, next to the Puerta de Toledo, in the district of La Latina. Very close, by Calle Toledo , we arrived at the Collegiate Church of San  Isidro, in number 37, a temple representative of the religious architecture of the 17C in Madrid built according to the design of the architect Pedro Sánchez. In which it was a provisional Cathedral, from 1885 to 1993(when Almudena was completed), the mortal remains of the patron Saint of Madrid, San Isidro, and his wife, Santa Maria de la Cabeza, are guarded. From there, you can also explore the squares and gardens of the center and visit some of the city’s oldest churches: St. Nicholas with a 12C Mudejar tower, San Pedro el Viejo and San Andrés. As more in the fiestas of August link above you find here on the Collegiate Church of San Isidro: Tourist office of Madrid on the Collegiate Church of San Isidro

And to finish the tour, with an ecological gem. A place outside the walls that opened its doors to the public in November 2016. The chosen point is the Holm oak with more than 300 years in the Quinta de Torres Arias,(an old farm of aride towers) where it is possible to forget the world under the huge shade of its great cup. With access from Calle Alcalá, no. 551, almost next to the impressive Quinta de los Molinos and relatively close to Capricho Park, this 17 hectare estate belonged to the Madrid aristocracy since 1600. Inside, you can find numerous and exceptional species of trees, a palace for now, not visitable, accompanied by blocks, a cow ranch and a slaughterhouse, as well as two greenhouses that stand out for its antiquity and a small orchard. All this constitutes an excellent centennial wall agricultural area of extraordinary ecological richness. More on Torres Arias: Tourist office of Madrid on Quinta Torres Arias

See  also , los Molinos here: Tourist office of Madrid on Quinta de los Molilnos

And Capricho park:  Tourist office of Madrid on Capricho park

Hope you enjoy the post as much as I did in my beloved Madrid. Always Madrid, and now fondly memories of my mother and I there, and lucky to be able to come back often and walk all theses spots of yesterday , today, and tomorrow.

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


Tags: , ,
October 15, 2018

My travels in Lorient, events!

Well I could have done another My travels in the  Morbihan but realised all the info was from Lorient or nearby so for lack of a better creativity i am just doing the My travels in Lorient bit,::)

Lorient is a sub regional government city for the department of Morbihan 56 in Brittany and very close to me, in fact is about equal distance to Vannes as well and even thus we come to Lorient often, the habit is to go to Vannes most of the time. However, there are lots of happening here and nice areas too, even if the town is much newer, square thanks to WWII.

This is some of the happenings I like

The Salon du Chocolat is coming back again to Lorient October 26-28 at the Palais des Congrés;Brittany is heavens on chocolates and one of the best masters are from the region where have presence in Paris..read my blog! More on this extravaganza here: https://www.salonduchocolatlorient.fr/galerie-des-chefs/

The Palais des Congrés site and map to the above event is here: https://www.expo-congres.com/grand-public/evenement/salon-chocolat-2017/

At the Cité de la Voile in Lorient you see a great event on corals of our world, Tara Pacific on Saturday October 27 2018. More details in English here: https://oceans.taraexpeditions.org/en/m/agenda/retour-de-lexpedition-tara-pacific-a-lorient/

And moving right along at Lorient, we have the Salon de l’Auto October 19-22 2018 at the palais des Congrés as above event. Great brands present including my glorious Ford; Come in by bus ,car, or train is easy even from Paris. More info here in French: https://salon-auto-lorient.fr/

Jazz anyone? Love it, and Kyle Eastwood (the son of Clint) will be here November 20 2018 at the Les Arcs of Quéven (near west of Lorient) for a show at 20h30. He had already composed many of the songs for his father’s movies including Invictus and letters from Iwo Jima. You can come by car of course on the N165 or by train from Paris Montparnasse direct to Lorient and then bus 51 to Quéven , stops  Quéven-Mairie or Place de la ville de Toulouse More info here: https://www.queven.com/programmation/kyle-eastwood-quintet-jazz/

Musical encounters at the Domaine de kerguehennec in Bignan October 20-21 2018 with ateliers to learn music as well as contemporary arts exhibitions. Only drawback you need a car about 30 minutes from Vannes; worth it just to see the castle. We walk our dog there in the park lovely. More in French here: http://www.kerguehennec.fr/actualite-agenda

The Casino at Larmor-Plage will have Spanish nights October 19-20 , admission 28€ includes entrance, sangria and tapas, paella , catalan cream with orange dessert and the show of flamenco music and gypsies with the group Sanfuego, Another car trip 24 bd port maria very easy from Vannes or Lorient train stations with direct Paris Montparnasse. More here http://www.casino-larmorplage.com/animation-larmor-plage.html

The Cineville (cinema) of Lorient propose several opera plays such as   Samson and Delila (Saint-Saêns) October 20th 18h55, and La fille du Far West (Pucchini) October 27th 18h55 . The performances were done in the Met of New York and now showing in film version here. Also, Ballets from the Bolchoi of Moscow and Theater from the Comédie Française; more info here: https://lorient.cineville.fr/opera?salle=lorient

Do not go to Lorient without tasting some delicious wines and tapas type offering at Bibovino (a chain) 6 rue Charles de Clairabault great selection of bottles with finds by the sommelier such as Cave de Clairmont 2014 Crozes Hermitage. You can taste, eat and take home as well, a whole meal can be arrange around a bottle or more..midday menu of 10€ open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h30 to 23h closed Sundays. More here: https://www.bibovino.fr/content/89-bibovino-lorient

For the quintenssional French present of a baguette or a pastry heads here to our favorite Jean-Baptiste Simon 5 Rue du Maréchal Foch, Lorient with personalise cakes, delicious muffins, special orders, and a take out section for all tastes and pockets. There are ,also formulas menu for a bit over 6€, open Tuesdays to Saturdays 6h30 to 19h45 Sundays from 7h to 13h. no web tel contact +33 (0) 2 97 64 18 99.

Another one for take out we enjoy there is the La Grande Poissonnerie de Keroman, 5 rue B Fachon, rondpoint des sous-marins, Lorient tel +33 (0) 2 97 64 40 37. A whole world of fresh fish and seafood right from the ocean off Brittany’s coast as well as down to Oléron. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 8h30 to 13h and then 15h to 19h closed Sundays. A presence in Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/lorientpoissonnerie/

And as we are heading for Halloween, what better way to stock up for the kids here at Ouest Féte with 3 locations from Guidel ,Séné, and Quimper. The one in Séné is at the park Zone de Poulfanc , 14 rue d’Alsace, tel +33 (0) 2 97 01 31 15. Everything for the adult and child to look super even rental of accessories such as tables games etc for an event with the family and or friends. More here in French: https://www.ouest-fetes.com/

And where it can be celebrated safe… well at the La Compagnie des commerces (an association of merchants) organizes an afternoon of animations on October 31st at several locations in Lorient. At 15h : concert place Paul Bert. 17-18h : cries of Klak and candy distribution at rue de Liège, rue Paul Bert, rue de la Patrie , and  rue du Port. 18h : reading of a Halloween stories at the shopping center in city center Espace Nayel. All looks like fun. The shopping center here: direction Espace Nayel in Lorient

Other activities for Halloween in the big capital city of the Morbihan of Vannes are

Halloween at the Aquarium on October 31st!
For the occasion, children (12-year-olds) who come disguised will have the free offer! And since there is no age for fun, the 12-year-olds will also be able to disguise themselves. http://aquariumdevannes.fr/parkings-proximite-aquarium-vannes/

Halloween in Speedpark, from October 21st to November 5th… Speedpark welcomes you in a Halloween atmosphere! Come in disguised and you will have the laser session at only €5! Http://www.kartingbowling.com/vannes/page-contact-et-plan-d-acces-11.html

Halloween Party at Patinium’s ice rink on Tuesday, October 31st! Day and evening in disguise from 2pm to 10.30 pm.  6 rue Georges Caldray in Vannes.

And there you go ready for the fun days of October at least at Lorient, even if need to go back to work yikes! trick or treat not for meee, enjoy the post.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!
Tags: ,
October 14, 2018

A bit of the sea at Cap d’Ail, Alpes-Maritime!

SO on a bit cloudy cool grey Sunday in my neck of the woods reminicents of Fall just now, and looking forward to another weeks of reports why not indulge myself on the Sea; not just the one near me mind you but far away in my belle France. I like to come back to Cap d’Ail, in Alpes Maritime dept 06, PACA region.

As in everything in my belle France for me especially since living here already 15 years  of my life, I have realised that the whole country is beautiful. Not that folks tells me, or books told us, but living it and enjoying it everyday reminded me that no matter where you are in France, there is always the exclamation “Oh how beautiful it is! “Well this place is no difference.

Let me come back to tell you a bit more on this corner of France ,really a corner of France! I had a taste of Cap d’Ail just in the border with Monte Carlo, Monaco!  I arrived by Avis rental car from the Nice-Côte d’Azur airport coming in on the A8, then M6007, and into city center and port Cap d’Ail.

The town is crossed by the RD 6098 (lower Corniche) and the RD 6007 (formerly RN7-known as the “Middle Corniche” called Avenue Prince-Rainier-III-de-Monaco) on its northern periphery. On the seafront, the coastal Trail is an old renovated course of 3 600 m, joining the beaches Mala and Marquet, passing by the pointe des Douaniers (Customs). To the north: border with the Turbie. /Isola 2000, at 105 km. /Grenoble, at 340 km. /Lyon, at 492 km. /Paris, at 954 km.  To the east: border with the Fontvieille district of Monaco. /Menton, 16 km away. /Ventimiglia (Italy), 29 km away. /San Remo (Italy), 59 km away. /Genoa (Italy), at 183 km. /Rome (Italy), at 694 km.  To the West: border with Èze. /Beaulieu-sur-Mer, 9 km away. /Nice, 18 km away. /Toulon, at 170 km. /Marseille, at 226 km.

Main arrival of Garlic merchants in 1848, Cap d’Ail, which was called before its creation la Turbie-sur-Mer, was the maritime façade of the commune of La Turbie before it was detached in 1908.   At the end of WWII it was liberated on September 3, 1944. The town has beaches famous for their natural, as well as a coastal path, bordering a typical Mediterranean vegetation. The steep terrain, characteristic of the Monegasque watershed, plunges the town from the vertical slopes of the dog’s head to the wild coves of the Mala beaches.

A webpage for the heritage and monuments and such info here: City of Cap d’Ail on heritage info

A superb walk in a wild and very bucolic setting is to be done by the seaside Trail (coastal trail). This stroll (approx. 3.6 km) will take you from the Marquet Beach to Mala Beach, you will pass by pinewood forest and overlook the cliffs and rocks where the waves come to crash. Close to the sea, a peaceful garden, the Sacha Guitry Park has been set up in restore land next to the villa (which once belonged to this famous author). He is not the only one to have been conquered by Cap D’Ail.  Its 5 km of coastline has attracted many personalities, the Prince of Wales, the Tsarevich, the Lumière brothers, Greta Garbo, Apollinaire, and of course Cocteau…

The artificial port of Cap d’Ail, at the eastern end of the territory of the town, has its northeast quay on the border with Monaco, in Fontvieille as the entire eastern part of the town. The port of Cap d’Ail extends over a water body of 47,000 m² and has 257 mooring berths. Regattas and feasts of the sea are organized during the season and attract many amateurs. The Heliport is 3 minutes away, allowing Monaco and Nice to be connected by a 6-minute flight. The Marina can accommodate boats up to 60 meters.

More on the port of Cap d’Ail here: Port of Cap d’Ail in English

cap d'ail

cap d'ail

cap d'ail

The wonderful beaches which had no time to see them all, but briefly Mala is worth it for sure.

Pissarelles Beach: The only way to reach it is via a winding path off the lower Corniche road. The beach of the Pissarelles is reserved for the most sporty, it is lined with rocks and accessible by a path a little difficult for the children.

Mala Beach: Accessed either via the Littoral Coastal path or via the Mala steps which run alongside the great and illustrious Eden residence. The Mala Beach is nestled in the vegetation and accessible on foot by a small footpath, it is also family oriented and has 2 restaurants.

Marquet Beach: Popular with both families and sports enthusiasts, the beach offers many activities. It can also be accessed and used by the handicapped. The Marquet beach is the most family-run, gentle slope and easy access, it houses the nautical circle and has 2 restaurants.

More on the beaches from the tourist office: Tourist office Cap d’Ail on the beaches

More on my favorite webpage on beaches of France here in English: Plages tv beaches webpage on Cap d’Ail

cap d'ail

cap d'ail

There hope you enjoy this place, Cap d’Ail, a bit pricey due to the proximity of Monaco ,but for a romantic getaway is perfect indeed…..

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




Tags: , ,
%d bloggers like this: