May 30, 2023

The Château de Chenonceau, the exteriors !!!

I like to tell you more of this magnificent castle ; therefore, I have split the post into interior, and exterior for your reading pleasure and mine, There is plenty written on it but always more is great me think on the Château de Chenonceauthe exteriors !!! Yes love castles and lucky to be in prime region just less than 4 hrs from my house. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Chenonceau castle front jan22

The history of the Château de Chenonceau is marked by an almost uninterrupted succession of women who built, embellished, protected, restored and saved it. The first castle is a medieval castle from the 12C and 13C, of which only the keep remains: the Tour des Marques. The builders of the current monument are from 1513 to 1517, Thomas Bohier and especially his wife, Catherine Briçonnet…The forecourt is a copy of the former medieval fortress surrounded by moats. Still standing is the well decorated with a chimera and eagle, emblem of the Marques family. You walk the front coming to the impressive main door. Dating back to François I , made of sculpted wood and painted, it bears on the left the arms of Thomas Bohier and on the right those of Katherine Briçonnet, and at the top the salamander of François I.

chenonceau castle going in apr07

The main alley leading to the castle is planted with plane trees for almost 1 km. On each side of the main aisle: the 16C farm on the right, the Labyrinth and the Caryatids on the left. The bridge of Diane authorized in 1517 by letters patent of François I, and unexecuted, to connect by a bridge the castle to the left bank of the Cher in 1555. a bridge of five semicircular arches, narrower and offset towards the downstream by compared to the facade of the original castle. The construction of the bridge takes place from 1556 to 1559.

Chenonceau castle ent parvis jan22

The pair of 18C sphinxes framing the main aisle, After taking the large avenue lined with plane trees and past the two sphinxes at the entrance to the castle, here is the forecourt of the estate. On the right and bordering the forecourt, the Domes building and the Cires museum. In the center, in front of the castle, the Cour d’Honneur with the Tour des Marques. On the left, the Chancellery built in the 16C which leads to the Garden of Diana. On the side, you can still see the well, adorned on the coping with a chimera and a double-headed eagle, emblem of the Marques family. This tower, which for a time housed the souvenir shop, is no longer accessible to the public.

Chenonceau castle tour marques apart front castle jan22

The Château de Chenonceau actually has two parts: A medieval keep high on the right bank of the Cher river which was remodeled in the 16C. A Renaissance main building built on the river itself, constituting the main part of the castle. The Marques tower is the only visible vestige of the old medieval castle of the Marques family, razed by Thomas Bohier in 1515. It corresponds to the keep of the old building, consisting of a round tower, as well as a turret housing the cage of ‘stairs.  The Renaissance dwelling consists of an almost square main building 22 by 23 meters with two floors plus a basement flanked by corner turrets, built on the powerful stone foundations of the old mill once bordering the bank. This is extended by a two-story main building and an attic which rests on the south facade of the dwelling, built in 1560 in an already almost classical style, and resting on a bridge of five arches spanning the Cher river. The lower floor is notably occupied by a gallery. Access to the ground floor of the main building is via a staircase followed by a small bridge.

Chenonceau castle gardens to castle galerie over cher river jan22

I cannot complete this post without mentioning a fabolous lady who we owe saving the castle for eternity to enjoy, Madame Dupin. It was refurnished and decorated by this daughter of the wealthy banker of Louis XIV and then of Louis XV, a charming and spiritual young woman, bearer of the spirit of the Enlightenment. Each summer, she received the elite of celebrities of the time, writers, philosophers, artists and scholars, from Marivaux to Fontenelle and Buffon, without omitting Montesquieu or d’Alembert, linked to the prodigious adventure of The Encyclopedia, To organize her enlightened meetings, Madame Dupin had a secretary, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who is also the tutor of her son, a spoiled and difficult child. ‘She saved the castle by telling the mad revolutionaries of the French revolution that by destroying the castle, they would remove the only bridge linking Montrichard to Bléré, which would go against the interests of the people. This consideration was retained as the revolution needs roads and bridges and passages from one bank to the other of the Cher are rare with a Castle-bridge, So Chenonceau was therefore useful, and saved ! Thanks to Mrs. Dupin, the chapel was saved because it was transformed into a woodburning reserve. All religious signs have been concealed. Madame Dupin died in 1799, aged 93, surrounded by the affection of the villagers. She was the wowan of Lettres de Chenonceau. She is buried in the park of the castle. Her estate is difficult without a direct heir, she had transferred her affection to her son-in-law, who had remarried the daughter of the Marshal of Saxe and a dancer, herself the widow of a bastard of Louis XV ! From their union, was born François Maurice Dupin, father of the future George Sand, whose real name was Aurore Dupin. And I say thank you Mrs Dupin !

Chenonceau castle tour marques front castle jan22

Some of the best movies ever filmed in the castle that I like and follow in my life were the 1913 film La Dame de Montsoreau of Emile Chautard.  The 1921 film of the original Les Trois Mousquetaires of Henri Diamant-Berger (1st part), and the 1932  film Les Trois Mousquetaires of Henri Diamant-Berger (2nd part), Also, the 1963 film Scaramouche of Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi, Watch them in all their versions always,

Chenonceau castle front side along cher river jan22

As an added anecdote on this post as love the history of it . In 1891 Crédit Foncier (a bank) sold the entire estate to José Emilio Terry, (family of Cuban origin, born and died in Paris) son of Tomas Terry (of Irish paternal descent, Terry was born in Caracas Venezuela died in Paris) and by Teresa Dorticos (born in Cienfuegos Cuba died in Rome Italy). The estate will remain in this family until 1913.

The official Château de Chenonceau:

The local Touraine Loire Valley tourist office on the castle:

There you go folks, a dandy in the marvelous Loire Valley of my belle France. You need to come to the castle of the ladies, Château de Chenonceau! It is a must me think, Hope you have enjoy this post as I
And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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May 29, 2023

My curiosities of Vannes !!! Part II

And out we went again yesterday to see our glorious capital City of Vannes ! Always an adventure back in time full of architecture and history I like, We had to do some errands and in the area with time we did our walk again, and would like to tell you again about some of the beautiful spots in Vannes that have written before but these are pictures from this week, For reference, this is the capital City of the beautiful dept 56 Morbihan, and in my lovely region of Bretagne of my belle France ! Let’s go into my curiosities of Vannes !!! Part II .Hope you enjoy it as I

Vannes Parc Garenne to garden remparts view of Cat et St Patern may23

The Tour Connetable or Constable’s Tower,was built in the first half of the 15C, is a building integrated into the ramparts of Vannes. Despite its fortified aspect, resolutely turned towards the defense of the city, and although the tower has artillery casemates in the lower room, the initial purpose of the Constable’s tower was to house the commander of the armies of the Duke of Brittany . His name therefore comes from his function, the most illustrious representative of which was Arthur III of Brittany, known as “the Constable of Richemont”, Constable of France and Duke of Brittany.

Vannes tour Connetable ramparts may23

The Tour Poudriére or Powder Tower was refitted in the second half of the 15C on the foundations of an old 12C tower. This tower with artillery casemates (two gunboats served by a straight staircase and a return) was used at the end of the Middle Ages as a powder reserve, which earned it its name powder magazine. Part of the curtain wall between the Joliette and Poudrière towers is the only section to be permanently accessible to the public, the entrance being on rue des Vierges.

Vannes tour Poudriere et cat st pierre afar may23

The Château de l’Hermine was a small fortified castle integrated into the ramparts of the city of Vannes. The castle was the main residence of the Dukes of Brittany between the end of the 14C and the 15C. Ruined then dismantled in the 17C, it was replaced during the 18C by a private mansion , the Hôtel Lagorce, The current building as the hotel dates from 1785 , Acquired by the State in 1876 to house the Artillery School of the XIth Army Corps, the building underwent modifications. From 1960 to 1974, the hotel housed the General Treasury of the department of Morbihan. In 1976, it became the property of the city of Vannes, which assigned it to the Law School of Morbihan and then to various associative and cultural activities, including the Cultural Institute of Brittany. A few years ago, the Law School joined the campus and the City/town hall set up two large exhibition halls on the ground floor of the hotel.This cultural orientation continues today awaiting other duties.

Vannes Chateau de l'Hermine front may23

The Cathédrale Saint Pierre or St Peter’s Cathedral is the seat of the diocese of Vannes, it also bears the title of minor basilica. Gothic in style, it stands on the site of the former Romanesque cathedral. Its construction spanned five centuries, from the 15C to the 19C, and if we include the lifespan of the Romanesque bell tower preserved from the old church, we arrive at a construction period of seven centuries. As a whole, the cathedral remains, despite everything, faithful to the old Romanesque and includes a nave accompanied by ten side chapels, a transept with unequal arms, a choir wrapped in an ambulatory and two axial chapels in a row. Official webpage:

Vannes tour Poudriere et Cat st Pierre may23

The église Saint Patern or St Patern’s Church is located at rue de la Fontaine and rue Saint-Patern. The church was built on the existing foundations of a much older church, which held the relics of Saint Patern (the first bishop of Vannes). The original church had been built in the 11C and had replaced the another church which had suffered damage at the hands of Norman invaders at the turn of the 9-10C. Given the presence in the church of some bone fragments of Saint Patern, a visit to the church was one of the seven stages of this pilgrimage so popular in the Middle Ages, the task for the pilgrim was to visit the tombs of the seven founding saints of Brittany, the ancient bishops Brieuc, Malo, Samson, Corentin, Pol, Tugwal and Patern in Vannes, The “Tro Breiz” has recently regained some popularity and pilgrims, hikers and enthusiasts of Breton history are again seeking out the old pilgrim pathways. See belltower in below picture. Official webpage:

The préfecture of Morbihan is the capital of the department of Morbihan (56). It houses the prefect and the services of the prefecture. Inaugurated in 1865 under Napoleon III, the new prefecture of Morbihan is built on the site of the former Jacobin convent very close to the Saint-Patern district. This building, built on a U-shaped plan, is similar to the Louis XIII style with its body 30 meters wide. The decor of the pediment refers to the Empire (imperial eagle) and Breton history with representations of Nominoë, Count of Vannes, and Alain Barbetorte, two heroes of Breton independence. The Hôtel de la Préfecture as officially known is surrounded by a five-hectare park. Most of it is made up of an English garden designed in 1862 by Louis-Sulpice Varé, landscape architect from Paris, author of the Bois de Boulogne. Placed below the archives wing, a French garden of 5,000 m2 was redesigned in 1975. And we metered parked here easy !

Vannes préfecture et belltower ch St Patern may23

Le parc de la Garenne or jardin de la Garenne or the Garenne’ gardens is considered the oldest in the city. In the 12C, the land of the park became the property of the Saint-Gildas de Rhuys Abbey (see post) , which endowed it with the Saint-Guen priory. Thanks to an exchange of land, it became the property of Duke Jean IV in the 1380s. After the union of Brittany with France (1532) , it became the property of the kings of France, who then left its use to the captains and governors of the city. After having ceded, in 1569, a portion to the Saint-Nicolas hospital, then in 1635, the northern lands (today occupied by the Hôtel de Préfecture and its gardens, see above) to the Dominicans to establish a convent there, only the top of the Garenne and its slopes towards the city remain in the royal domain. The western boundary walls and monumental staircase were erected in 1749, The work thus ensured ended on December 3, 1753 when the park was completed, Here is a sad episode in the history of Brittany (see posts) The Breton immigrants coming from England to fight the French revolution were captured around Quiberon and sentenced at Auray, some of the leaders of the Quiberon landing were shot in the park on July 28, 1795, The war memorial to the fallen was inaugurated in the center of the park in 1923 as the city’s war memorial. It is composed of a large column surmounted by a winged victory. Four lion heads flank the corners. The tomb of an anonymous resistant was dug at the foot of this column in 1945 and four stelae bearing the names of the victims of WWII were inaugurated there in 1947.

Vannes parc garenne mon to fallen may23

Below the above you have the Jardin des Remparts or Ramparts’ garden at the foot of the ramparts wall of Vannes, It is a must during a visit to Vannes. Indeed, this French-style garden open since the 1950s, Over the seasons, the garden of the ramparts evolves and is adorned with magnificent colors for our greatest pleasure. The garden is bounded to the west by the ramparts of the old town, to the south by rue de la Porte-Poterne and to the east by la Marle iver ,and rue Francis-Decker. The garden covers an area of approximately 15,000 m2 and requires the planting and maintenance of 30,000 flowers every year. A playground covers the northern part of it, on the side of the Portr Prison gate (see post),The ramparts of Vannes are fortifications erected between the 3C and 17C to protect the city.

Vannes jardin des remparts to lavoir may23

The Lavoir de la Garenne or Garenne washhouses are a former public washhouse, very close to the ramparts. Originally dating from the 17-18C, these washhouses were actually built between 1797 and 1807. To cope with the influx of washerwomen, they were enlarged twenty years later, between 1827 and 1831, It became private property, and were acquired by the City/town hall of Vannes in 1928. Laundry in the dirty waters of the Marle river was prohibited by the city in 1951. The washing machines then fell back on other washhouses located upstream, close to the prefecture in washhouses opened between 1923 and 19652, or at the Etang au Duc, or lake of dukes until 1962, The Le Marle, “the river of Vannes” ensured its water supply before mixing with the Gulf waters. In the heyday, the washerwomen used to come here to do their laundry.

Vannes lavoir garenne garden may23

The history of Vannes cinema begins with a first fixed cinema as we know them today, created two years before WWI or Great War in France It was in 1919 that the cinema of La Garenne opened, founded by Father Jean-Marie Guillaume, The cinema opened as such in 1925, The father was a drawing teacher at the Collége Saint-François-Xavier or middle school in a former patronage room called the Saint-François room belonging to the Saint-François Xavier middle school. The school is still in Vannes today ! As the cinema quant historical nice and beautiful facing the Château de l’Hermine !

Vannes Cinema Garenne may23

There you go folks, a wonderful walk around a beautiful City that needs to be visit more by tourist to my belle France, Vannes or Gwened in the local Breton langauge is a must to visit me think, Again, hope you have enjoy this latest forays into the City by yours truly and my curiosities of Vannes !!! Part II as I.

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

May 29, 2023

My curiosities of Vannes !!! Part I

We come by here always, we eat here , enjoy it here ,ride boats here, and do shopping galore on many items yet I need to tell you more, I have come back in my road warrior mode and new picture taking and always a good idea to tell you about my capital City of Vannes or Gwened (Breton) in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56, in my lovely Bretagne,and my belle France. I like to tell you more of my curiosities of Vannes , awesome, a must to visit , wonderful indeed, Hope you enjoy this post as I

The Le Port is a lively and urban district of Vannes, covering an area of 1.5 km². It has many corners of greenery such as the Parc de la Garenne, the Butte de Kérino and the Jardin de Limur.(see posts). The place Gambetta, of hemispherical plan, marks the end of the port of Vannes and puts it in contact with the historic old town by the Porte Saint-Vincent.

This is a building you should not go by without coming in. Loads of information and good one is inside with a helpful staff. This is the Golfe du Morbihan Vannes Tourism -office of Vannes at the Quai Eric Tabarly.

Vannes le port tourist office may23

You have at Le Port also, the nice Le Kiosque at the Esplanade Simone Veil – Right bank of the port.  Free admission open every day from 10h to 13h and from 14h to  18h. Now presenting the expo  Landscapes of the coasts of Brittany by Erwan le Cornec.  The city of Vannes is presenting in the Estran an exhibition by Erwan Le Cornec. Since 2006, Erwan Le Cornec, a geographer by training, has been photographing the coasts of Brittany at low tide. By plane or helicopter, he travels the sky to witness the singularities of the foreshore, his favorite subject of study. An exhibition produced in partnership with the Conservatoire du littoral. Until june 11 2023

Vannes Estran expo center le port may23

The carrousel or merry-go-round of wooden horses is enjoying happy days at the port, it is at 1 Avenue de Lattre de Tassigny,  You have right there the music kiosk or bandstand , The bandstand appeared in 1889 on Place Théodore Decker. It is now located on a lively promenade after the carrousel , and is widely used by all the musical groups in Vannes which, like the National School of Music, often have their headquarters nearby. The wonderful Conservatory of Music of Vannes was founded in 1908, The Conservatory offers courses in music, early, traditional, current music, as well as in theater and plastic arts. It also offers early learning workshops in music, theater and plastic arts from the age of 5. The history I like tells us that the land was given at the beginning of the 17C to the Discalced Carmelites. The monks had a first church built there in 1629, then, the following year, the first conventual buildings, including the monks’ outbuildings and a cloister. A second construction, completed in 1737, with the choir being also rebuilt in 1865, As usual it was seized during the French revolution, when it was only occupied by 12 religious, Later, passing through several hands, it ended up being acquired by the city of Vannes. The city set up a museum there (until 1945), then a college. It changed its destination one last time, when the National School of Music moved there in 1981.

Vannes carrousel and conservatory of music may23

Vannes conservatory of music and music kiosk le port may23

There are many things going on in the Le Port of Vannes, one of these next to the Capitainerie or harbormaster building is a cafe style open building for artists, Here you will find on the building with whales painted on its facade the B.R.E.F Rive Gauche – Bar, makes available to artists in the process of professionalization and those established workshop on the 1st floor, the ground floor is a place of life with exchanges, and the 1st floor artists from all horizons experience their creative process, Then, you have the mailbox or La Boîte à Lettres on painter in letters with painting in old letters. Realization of signs by hand, durable or ephemeral, on various supports: frame, truck etc. Less plastic, more characters, avant garde.


The city of Vannes on its heritage:

The local Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on the heritage of Vannes:

The Brittany region tourist office on Vannes :

There you go folks, something nice around boats, history, architecture, the sea what else do you want ! I am always around here just sublime ! Again, hope you enjoy this post on my curiosities of Vannes ,part I as I.

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

Tags: ,
May 29, 2023

More of the beautiful Le Port of Vannes !!!

We come by here always, we eat here , enjoy it here ,ride boats here, and do shopping galore on many items yet I need to tell you more, I have come back in my road warrior mode and new picture taking and always a good idea to tell you about my capital City of Vannes or Gwened (Breton) in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56, in my lovely Bretagne,and my belle France. I like to tell you more of the beautiful Le Port of Vannes !!! , awesome, a must to visit , wonderful indeed,to the left below pic our favorite parking for free!  Hope you enjoy this post as I.

Vannes le port marina arriving old free parking by the canal may23

There are a couple worth mentioning as the ports of Vannes: There is the Commercial port located just upstream of the old Kerino swing bridge, infrastructure that allows vehicles to reach the east of the city towards the innovation park, any and the city of Séné and this in order to relieve congestion traffic in the city center, the quays of the commercial port welcome the goods which arrive in Vannes after crossing the Gulf of Morbihan. This has now converted to a promenade as motor vehicules must pass under the Kerino tunnel, The pleasure boats marina which houses of course pleasure boats and at the exit of the marina, the Gulf Park is the starting point for boat trips to the islands of the Gulf of Morbihan and off the continental shelf in the Atlantic ocean,

Vannes le port marina looking to old town may23

Another nice area is the Place Gambetta square, of hemispherical layout, marks the end of the port of Vannes and puts it in contact with the historic center by the Porte Saint-Vincent (see post) ,It divides the canal marina into two sections which are the Rive Droite or Right Bank – Faubourg de Kaër neighborhood which has the impecable Promenade de la Rabine located on the right bank of the port, the Promenade de la Rabine is made up of a long alley of trees that stretches for nearly 800 meters between the port esplanade and the north and the quays of the commercial port to the south. The term rabine is of Breton origin, it means “alley planted with trees”. And the Rive Gauche or Left Bank – Faubourg de Calmont neighborhood, Much older as from the Middle Ages, along the road linking Séné to Vannes (current road D199 and rue Monseigneur Tréhiou), Calmont was an extra-muros suburb occupied in particular by bargemen and fishermen. Calmont included the city’s quarries, lime and tile kilns. You can access the walled city through the Porte de Calmont ; located after the Port Authority (capitainerie or harbormaster), the Left Bank is the subject of an ongoing redevelopment project.

Vannes le port marina to old town sailings boats may23

The Le Port is a lively and urban district of Vannes, covering an area of 1.5 km². It has many corners of greenery such as the Parc de la Garenne, the Butte de Kérino and the Jardin de Limur.(see posts). The port of Vannes is a commercial port, a passenger port and a marina located north of the Gulf of Morbihan along a 1,200 meters channel in a south-north direction, which leads the boats from the commercial port of Pont-Vert in the floating basin, at the foot of the Porte de Saint-Vincent gate (see post), gateway to the old town section of Vannes.

Vannes le port marina looking to old town boats may23

The Marina has a capacity to host 280 boats on pontoons. It can accommodate 34 boats on dead body. The captaincy of the marina welcomes you: From January to mid-April and from mid-October to December and from 9h to 12h and from 15h to 17h, Monday to Saturday (excluding public holidays). Mid-April to end of June and September to mid-October 8h to 12h and 15h to 18h, Monday to Saturday (excluding public holidays). And In July and August From 8h to 12h and from 15h to 19h, 7 days a week.

Vannes le port canal to gulf of morbihan may23

The port of Vannes has a visitor area for your stopovers with 60 places available. Popular with locals and visitors alike boaters and tourists thanks to its location in the heart of the city, the Marina is equipped with many facilities: harbormaster cultural kiosk, tourist office, green area  and underground parking le Port. Lovely areas indeed. And one of our favorite parking spots is up this promenade! for free!! 

Vannes le port canal to old town city center may23

The port of Vannes is a wet basin, maintained at a minimum depth of 2.10 meters by a lock gate, whose opening beaches follow the tide times. Furthermore, access to the port is also constrained by crossing the old Kérino bridge built over the channel, downstream from the lock gate. This opens only at the times indicated, and only if boats are ready to cross it. It is therefore imperative, for each ship, to anticipate its movements to enter and leave the port of Vannes.

Vannes le port ecluse kerino on canal may23

The Pont de Kérino is a swing bridge crossing the channel of the port of Vannes downstream of a lock gate done in 1988. The city of Vannes decided to replace it with a tunnel; the Tunnel de Kérino done in 2016.

Vannes le port canal by old control tower of old bridge may23

A bit of history I like tells us that in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Vannes was located in the middle of an agricultural wealth which played in favor of its port. In 1604, a new quay was built on the right bank. At the time when the Parliament of Brittany went into exile in Vannes, the flow of the river was slowed down by the accumulation of mud. To solve the problem, a hunting lock was built upstream from Porte Calmont. In 1754, new problems forced the city to build a new hunting lock. To facilitate the docking of boats, new quays were built at the same time. Since 1977, a tide gate has guaranteed a deep water basin and can accommodate up to 230 boats.

The city of Vannes on the place Gambetta and Le Port

The local Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on the port marina of Vannes

The Brittany region tourist office on Vannes :

There you go folks, something nice around boats, history, architecture, the sea what else do you want ! I am always around here just sublime ! Again, hope you enjoy this post on my beautiful Le Port of Vannes as I.

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

May 28, 2023

My favorite places to eat in the Le Port marina of Vannes !!!

We come by here always, we eat here , enjoy it here ,ride boats here, and do shopping galore on many items yet I need to tell you more, I have come back in my road warrior mode and new picture taking and always a good idea to tell you about my capital City of Vannes or Gwened (Breton) in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56, in my lovely Bretagne,and my belle France. I like to tell you more of my favorite places to eat in the Le Port Marina of Vannes , awesome, a must to visit , wonderful indeed, Hope you enjoy this post as I

The place Gambetta, of hemispherical plan, marks the end of the port of Vannes and puts it in contact with the historic center by the Porte Saint-Vincent. The place was created in 1835 in order to clean up a low zone corresponding to the old ditches of the city, in which the sewage accumulated. The Marle river then threw itself into the channel leading to the Gulf of Morbihan, between two mudflats. The construction of the houses of the place du Morbihan(current Pl Gambetta) was completed in 1843.  The square was restored in 1976, which gave rise to the destruction of the surviving arches of the old St. Vincent bridge. New road works, in 2005, brought to light a last ark still in condition. The free space is almost entirely used by the terraces of cafes and restaurants. Very nice indeed !!!

Vannes la gambetta resto pl gambetta marina may23

Right here you have the nice Le Gambetta resto on pl Gambetta with great views over the marina and great cold beers, We have come here several times mostly on a quick eating and drinking mode so continue our journey, For a basking in the sun ambiance and good cheers do stop at the Le Gambetta. Ideally located opposite the port of Vannes, next to Porte Saint-Vincent, the Gambetta is very popular. First merit to note: the service all day long:

Vannes la gambetta resto pl gambetta may23

The A l’Aise Breizh Café, right on top of the capitainerie or harbormaster in the Le Port marina area of Vannes. This is the pleasure marina with berths for 3000 boats!!! You eat on top of the capitainerie and see the canal with all those boats. It is a very prize location so reservations are a must here, the views worth the coming. Food is good and seafoof is delicious! 

Vannes le port capitanerie et l'aise de breizh resto on top right cafe expo may23

Vannes le port capitanerie et l'aise de breizh resto on top right cafe expo side may23

Le Tarmac in rue Ferdinand le Dressay on the other side of the pleasure boats marina canal that takes out to the Gulf of Morbihan and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean! We have come back several times more.  They have a terrace right on the sidewalk facing the canals, and then a street level room and a very cozy first level or 2nd floor US. The service is friendly and prompt, the prices very reasonable and the food is good. Many times here with the family and the place to be to hangout with collegues from work.

Vannes le Tarmac resto across marina may23

The city of Vannes on the place Gambetta and Le Port

The local Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on the port marina of Vannes

The Brittany region tourist office on Vannes:

There you go folks, something nice around boats, history, architecture, the sea what else do you want ! I am always around here just sublime ! Again, hope you enjoy this post on my favorite places to eat in the Le Port Marina of Vannes as I.

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

May 28, 2023

One good chain, La Boucherie restaurants !!!

I have written on several restaurants in my blog, many times in individual posts in my road warrior trips in my belle France and elsewhere, Sometimes, I indulge myself in telling you about a particular restaurant on a post of its own, This took my latest visit to one of them while with my sons and our dog Rex, to do this post about La Boucherie. Hope you enjoy the post as I

Vannes La Boucherie resto front may23

La Boucherie restaurant steakhouse that we have visited are in Auray and Vannes, all in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne in my belle France, Let me tell you a bit on this wonderful restaurant ,and hope you enjoy me telling you about it as I.

Vannes La Boucherie resto dining room may23

La Boucherie, that we have patronized are at Rue du Gay Lussac, Zone du Parc lann, Vannes ,we had lunch and dinner here , lunch today, and ,also at their location in the zone Océane 3 rue de Danemark, Auray.

The Groupe la Boucherie is a chain of more than 150 grill restaurants, under the La Boucherie, Bistrot du Bouchet and Assiette au Bœuf brands in metropolitan France, in the DOM-TOMs (Martinique, Réunion) but also internationally (Luxembourg , Switzerland, Thailand, Russia, Colombia, Morocco, Ivory Coast, United States). La Boucherie restaurants offer butcher’s pieces, refined and cut in its own workshop, which has been part of the group since 1999 located in Brive-la-Gaillarde in the dept 19 of Corrèze and the old area of  Limousin today part of Nouvelle Aquitaine region.

The story goes that in 1974, Jacques Salmon, a butcher by trade, transformed his restaurant Le Refuge in Megève into a meat restaurant. Bertrand Baudaire joined forces with him in 1983 to develop the La Boucherie concept. In 1996, La Boucherie restaurants were developed as franchises. In July 2019, the La Boucherie group announces the acquisition of Poivre Rouge (another resto we had visited and had one in Vannes today call Le Rest’o ,and not visited yet) ,and its 78 points of sale across France.

In May 10, 2023, information from Le Figaro newspaper mentions La Boucherie’s interest in taking over nine Courtepaille restaurants (another chain we have visited) and maintaining the brand and contracts of the 72 franchisees in the network, while Courtepaille is in receivership, This is expected to happened for the Boucherie , and as well some Courtepaille had change name to Choppe & Compagnie ! (not try the new name yet)  In addition, another branch Buffalo Grills (which we have visited and had one in Versailles now closed) are also under debt restructuring with the new owner Napaqaro , this group holder of the brand Popeyes (tried them once in Fla) in France is hoping to open 20 restaurants in 2023.

Back to the La Boucherie, you can have here all kinds of meat such as beef: rib, rib steak, tenderloin, steak, roast beef, minced meat… veal: roast, chop, escalope, blanquette, sautéed, minced… pork: tenderloin, rib, roast, homemade sausages, half-salt… poultry: chicken breast, leg, wing, whole free-range chicken, turkey, duck (fillet or leg), quail, pigeon, etc. lamb: leg, crown, shoulder, rib, fillet, lamb shank… and offal: beef heart, beef or veal liver, kidney, tongue, tripe…As well as a wide choice of charcuterie such as pies, rillettes, individual or sliced sausage, white and dry ham, andouille sausage, smoked sausages, from Strasbourg, from Frankfurt, from Morteau, etc.

For the record, I had the new Stefano burger with goat cheese, fries, pays d’Oc red wine in garafe, the instant gourmand with coffee plate and a bottle of water. all for 25 euros. Just about average price for us on a meal in France.

The official La Boucherie restaurant on locations

The RestaurantGuru reviews on the Vannes resto

The RestaurantGuru reviews on the Auray resto

There you go folks, yes we have been out a lot ,and of course now with more vivid memories than ever as my dear late wife Martine was the motor that got me going to these places. I think you would love this chain of La Boucherie always with a smile friendly service good quality/price ratio and domestic animals are welcome ! Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

May 28, 2023

More of my Parc Goh Lanno of Pluvigner !!!

This is ,me think ,the best sports complex in my beautiful Morbihan 56 , and just lucky to have it in my town and just literally across from the house. I have written several posts on Pluvigner, my town as why not write about your own town ! And of course, done a previous post on Parc Goh Lanno, but need to tell you more of it, Therefore, let me tell you again about the sports complex of Goh Lanno park !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I

I actually was convice by my sons for walking with our dog Rex to the Clinique Vétérinaire de Chêne vet clinic for his annual vaccin, and this time his European Union passport !!! It is a leisurally 10 minutes walk from the house so pieca of cake walk, Rex love to see me and he is a good boy indeed already 5 years old and always with us, They usually do this task but on a sunny nice day,I decided to take the walk with them. It was very nice and my boy dog Rex, a mix border collier/labrador or Borador is just marvelous. We have it since he was 4 months old taken from a dairy farm nearby and it has been a joy. I had dogs always and finally convince my wife to have one, unfortunately for her my dear Martine passed away April 30 2018 due to cancer… and the dog means a lot to me now. Even more , it is a link with the glorious nice family past.Too bad not many writes about the town they live in but I do and plenty of posts in my blog under the town’s name or some news from Bretagne or Morbihan etc. It is a town with about 7,6 K folks very wide spread out in superficie. In fact , the brother of the former mayor told me it has the same surface as Marseille !!!

Plu Clinique de Chene Rex with NF for vaccines may23

Rex clinique de chene Rex side passport may23

Plu clinique de chene boys with Rex in consultation may23

The Goh Lanno sports complex is huge. The park has been renovated with seated stands for 2000 folks,  It also, host the local basketball and volleyball teams in the nice fieldhouse. The Rugby and Tennis parts are improved as well, and there is even a rugby clubhouse on site. The chapter here is associated with the Auray rugby club.

Plu Goh Lanno park clubhouse et basket may23

Plu Goh Lanno park rugby clubhouse and tennis courts may23

Plu Goh Lanno park walk trails may23

The city of Pluvigner on the parks and Goh Lanno:

And we even have a tourist office right by the mayor’s office or City/town hall or mairie at Place Saint Michel:  It is the local Baie de Quiberon tourist office on Pluvigner Email contact:

The local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Pluvigner :

There you go folks, a dandy in quiet quant friendly countryside town of Pluvigner but only 30 km from the beautiful beaches of Morbihan and the great Gulf of Morbihan, sublime, Therefore, if you are ready for the off the beaten path of my lovely Bretagne, then stop by and do let me know iok. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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May 27, 2023

The La Barcarella of my Pluvigner !!

My town ,my loving Pluvigner, time flies when having fun already 10 years here !!I have decided this year to patronize the local businesses first and then head out in my road warrior mode, It has been a nice experience indeed.  Most write about far away lands we visit but seldom about the one we live in, Needless, to say the meaning of Pluvigner is big on my family. I had written several post on our lives here but left inside general posts our experiences of the local businesses such as the wonderful La Bacarella pizzeria resto brasserie , and its time given credit where credit is due. This is my take on the La Barcarella of my Pluvigner !! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Pluvigner La Barcarella resto arriv ch St Guigner back may23

Pluvigner La Barcarella resto out to back of ch St Guigner may23

The Barcarella restaurant is located at 4 place du marché , even if the real market is held at pl St Michel nowdays, The resto is very friendly with local folks always attentive and talkative which I like ,and good price/quality ratio, It is open every day from Monday to Sunday at noon for lunch, and from Friday to Sunday at night for dinner.

PLuvigner place du marché parking may23

La Barcarella, brasserie, pizzeria and créperie all into one behind the Church St Guigner (see posts) . All decorated with pirates and corsairs portraits trinkets and memorabilia that the owner has collected over time and purchase in flea markets! You have a dining room with the bar area and kitchen and then to the right as you entered another dining room. Our dog Rex once again fantastic even with other dogs in the dining room! 

Pluvigner La Barcarella resto back inside pistolets may23

Pluvigner La Barcarella resto dining room pirates may23

Pluvigner La Barcarella resto and Rex may23

The anecdote here is that while eating we heard English on a near table, we asked and the lady was from Los Angeles Calif and living in Pluvigner ! Unfortunately, she is selling her home to go back to LA, she is missing something. However, proof we do have many here and we need to be in town more lol!!!

The local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on the La Barcarella :

The RestaurantGuru reviews on the Barcarella :

There you go folks, my town of Pluvigner, Another memorable town for us , of the many in my life, and now more empty than ever missing our love ones, Life goes on and the town has been good, hard to tell the future but I believe this will be my last town, from here to the sea at Honfleur Normandie as our family has. Again, hope you enjoy this kind of post, and do get to know me more. Do read my many posts on Pluvigner in my blog !

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

May 27, 2023

Wines news of Spain XIII

We are now in nice Spring 2023, its time to tell you once again on the wines of my dear Spain, As said, this goes back from my beginnings ,and I still go for them everywhere, Therefore, will try the monumental task of telling you about my favorites anecdotes and news of Spanish wines and hope to continue this series as my others with your blessing and likes. Here it is ,again coming back at you my wines news of Spain XIII!! Of course post No 13 or the non Romans, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The estimate of national wine consumption as of March 2023 falls by 9% compared to the same month of 2022, standing at 9.58 million hectoliters. according to the Spanish Wine Interprofessional Organization. Wine production slightly increased 1.5% to 35.9 million hectoliters, With data from the State Tax Administration Agency as of February 2023, Spanish wine exports set a new record with 2,990.5 million euros in the interannual period. The drop in volume (9.4%) was maintained during those twelve months to 20.7 million hectoliters. The trend here as in France drink less but better quality,

The new mandatory labels for wines will show a list of ingredients and nutrients from December 8, 2023. These regulations, designed to provide a higher level of information to consumers, will require that all wine labels include nutritional information and a complete list of ingredients. This an European Union directive which of course will create higher costs on the bottle for the consumer, but what do they know !!

The Volcanic wines are erupting. They live one of their best moments since the 15C !!!, when, for the first time, they became fashionable and from the Canary Islands they spread throughout the rest of the world. In Spain, this archipelago is the only volcanic terroir in which old soil layers alternate with much younger ones, subjected to strong erosion, with plantations from sea level to almost 1,700 meters above sea level, and diverse climates. The most cultivated grapes in the archipelago are black and white listán, black and white vijariego, volcanic white malvasia, and negra moll (red). However, there are several dozen more. There are studies that put them at more than 80: Some 40 do not exist anywhere else on Earth; They only survive here. The vines arrived in the Canary Islands about 500 years ago by the hand of European settlers. French, Majorcan, Castilian, Portuguese… They all brought different branches. A couple of centuries later, around 1870, a phylloxera plague devastated the vineyards of Europe. The insect never reached the Canary Islands, There are 11 designations of origin on the islands: Tenerife has five (Ycoden Daute Isora, La Orotava, Tacoronte-Acentejo, Valle de Güímar and Abona), while Lanzarote, La Palma, Gran Canaria, La Gomera and El Hierro each hold their own. The most recent is the D.O. Islas Canarias, launched in 2011 by AVIBO. The Bodega El Grifo, in Lanzarote, is the oldest winery in the archipelago. It has been making wine uninterruptedly since 1775, and since its foundation, three families have held its property; the current branch, since the end of the 19C, with global fame ,gold medals in Brussels included, they produce 350,000 bottles a year in their 60 hectares of vineyards, in addition to the grapes of 150 viticulturists who produce for them. The Associacion de Viticultores y Bodegueros de Canarias (AVIBO) webpage:

The Ruta del Vino de Ribera del Duero Wine Route breaks Record with a 43% Increase in Visits, Wineries remain the main focus of attraction for visitors, with 74% of visits. Of the total number of visitors, 92% were national, and 8% foreigners, Typical of this still uncover area, In economic terms, the average cost of wine tourism visits to the Ruta del Vino is less than 15 euros, while the average cost in the winery stores reaches 74 euros. On the other hand, the wine museums also registered an increase in visits, exceeding the figures of the previous year by more than 7%. Currently, the Ribera del Duero Wine Route has 227 associates, making it the route with the greatest offer of services of the Wine Routes of Spain Product Club. This Route crosses the four provinces of Castilla y León that make up the Denomination of Origin of the same name : Burgos, Segovia, Soria and Valladolid. Webpage :

The Chivite Las Fincas Rosado 2022 wine, a commitment to regularity, the presence of red berries and other fruit aromas is clearly appreciated. They are accompanied by delicate floral notes and hints of the skin of some citrus fruits. Its flavor reveals the presence that light contact with the skin of red grapes leaves and its structure, stylized, elegant and with nerve, places it in a world apart. Just by looking at his cape, which is close to but not quite pale pink, one discovers the identity of this almost blanc de noirs (white from red varieties). It is a Provençal-style rosé made with some of the best Spanish viineyards. A friendly, striking, suggestive and very gastronomic wine that, vintage after vintage, exceeds its commitment to regularity. Bodega/Winery: J. Chivite Family Estates Garnacha (80%) and Tempranillo (20%) webpage info :

In the heart of La Mancha, the 1,000 hectares of this corner emerge splendidly, where a mountain brimming with life and a vineyard coexist in perfect balance. A beautiful example of cooperation between nature and human beings that encourages us to be optimistic. Finca Antigua, located in the town of Los Hinojosos (Cuenca province), Sautéed between the imposing mountain at more than 900 meters of altitude, the 420 hectares of vineyards spread over 40 plots are integrated. Following this idea that the viticultural activity should be integrated into the environment, the Martínez Bujanda Family has worked with conviction so that from the 2022 vintage all the wines produced bear the organic seal on the label. It is worth highlighting the Finca Antigua Viura on Lías for its expression, volume and finesse, capable of evolving over time with surprising results, achieving different profiles and very respectful of the grape: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Petit Verdot are the six bottled wines under this category, in addition to the Crianza Único, which is made with a mixture of varieties just like the Reserva. But the true jewel in the crown is found in Clavis, a truly unique wine made from a single plot that is home to a fascinating variety of grapes, whose blend crystallizes in the vineyard itself. The obligatory panoramic view of the estate from the viewpoint will give us an idea of the immensity of the environment and how the correct judgment of the human being has shown that nature and wine not only complement each other, but that there is a mutual enrichment , This year marks the 20th years of the inauguration of the winery, located in one of the highest points of the farm, from where its unique environment can be observed and from where the qualities of each variety are interpreted with the best possible criteria. Finca Antigua Ctra. Quintanar- Los Hinojosos km 11.5. 16417 Los Hinojosos (Cuenca) webpage:

They say that when Teobaldo I, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne, arrived in Olite, he did so with roses, fruit trees and vineyards. Surely, that vineyard was small grain muscatel, a variety that the troubadour king, famous for his music and poetry, had brought back from his first crusade from the Mediterranean. Teobaldo’s intention at that time seems to be that it was not so much to distribute coins but food that was the true wealth. The rose, a very particular variety from Provins (yes wonderful Rose of Provins Seine et Marne 77 France), was edible and, together with the fruit trees and the vine, began to be known as the “king’s gift”. Muscatel, a grape that is not very productive and sensitive to diseases such as mildew or the cluster moth, was not exactly very popular with winegrowers , At the Navarra viticulture and oenology station, for which Javier Ochoa was responsible for a decade since its founding in 1981. The story goes that years later, Robert de Niro would enter the Zalacaín restaurant in Madrid and try Ochoa Moscatel for the first time. The prestigious American actor left there with some box and the distributor’s contact for his restaurant in New York !! The winery located in Traibuenas at thegates of the Bardenas, the family owns 25 hectares of this variety, approximately 20% of the total of the entire DO Navarra. In the midst of a dry climate, with increasingly extreme summers but in a well-ventilated area, the clusters of this vine overripe really well. Ecological care has also promoted in-depth knowledge about the behavior of the variety and soil management, in addition to promoting a landscape in which vines, flowers and native fauna such as kestrels, partridges, hoopoes or hares are mixed. You can love a wine, a vineyard and a variety, that is what happens to them with their muscatel. The MdO was an idea that blossomed in the mind of Adriana Ochoa, the young winemaker on a trip to Italy. She returned home and thought that it was possible to make a selection of grapes for that style of wine. The muscatel, in addition to having different phases in its maturation, does not behave in the same way throughout the vineyard. In cooler areas the profile of the grape is more delicate, it has higher acidity and more citric fruit, perfect for a moscato. Webpage Bodega Ochoa :

The new Domecq’s ! Santiago and Tomás León Domecq sign with their family name a project that is not exactly new, but which is now bringing its very old wines to the public for the first time. In very limited editions, yes, because the total production of Bodegas León Domecq does not exceed 30,000 bottles. Its soleras are supplied from 14 hectares in the “La Compañía” vineyard, attached to the Finca El Majuelo in Pago Macharnudo, a true historic Grand Cru of Jerez, wineries that produce and breed wines but do not put them directly on the market but supply the big brands in the area. The soleras of Bodegas Vides enjoyed great prestige, although they did not have visibility until Lustau, a pioneer in so many things, included his palo cortado in his “Almacenista Collection” of wine artisans. Bodegas Miguel Domecq, such as Entrechuelos, and the generous ones from the Cooperativa Vinícola de Trebujena, in addition to the personal project with which he signs wines such as Meridiano Perdido from old vines on albariza soils. The starting point is a very biological fino en rama that would fully fit into that style called “fine amontillado”, with an average aging of 11 years, followed by an amontillado with eight years of aging under flor veil and 12 oxidative. and a stick cut with two years of biological and 18 more without a veil on the boots. Oloroso is the jewel in the crown since it is over 40 years old and serves as the basis for the range of “cabeceos” -medium, cream- with a PX with two decades of history behind it and more than 400 grams of sugar per liter. The range is rounded off with a vermouth that is drier and more balsamic than others from the Jerez school, very spicy, and for what they describe as “the best Gran Reserva Sherry Vinegar in the world” and which has more than 75 years of solera. The winery building on Calle Justicia, in the Barrio de San Mateo, was completely renovated in 2021, respecting its historical value and its foundational elements. It is one of the last intramural Jerez wineries and where grandfather Tomás, Pedro Domecq’s brother, settled to start the family business in 1850. Webpage :

The Guia de Vinos Gourmets or Gourmet Wine Guide 2023 at the Madrid Gourmet Fair was the venue chosen by the Gourmet Wine Guide to present its latest guide, which is the 38th in its history of dissemination and cataloging of the best wines in Spain , Its my bible, still have the year 2000 edition !!! ,webpage:

Some interesting history with great care of the impact of the railroad in the wine world of Spain, Interesting me think,

The historical relationship between the train and wine has a lot of romanticism, but also change, progress, revolution. In Spain, since the mid-19C, the railway not only drew the physiognomy of cities such as Haro, Jerez de la Frontera or the towns of Cariñena, leaving endless black and white film images, but also brought large wagons technological advances such as electric lighting to Jerez with a long relationship with the railway. The railway line that linked the city with the shipping ports of El Puerto and Trocadero was the first to be created in Andalusia, in 1854. Later, in 1872, the so-called wine train was put into operation, an urban line that ran through all the main wineries of Jerez to load the merchandise in their own facilities and then connect with the Jerez-Trocadero line, The urban layout of that wine train and the machine itself, which was how the railway that ran through the city was affectionately known, worked like the arteries of Jerez for almost a century, from 1872 to 1962, being a fundamental piece of the export machinery of the Jerez wineries. There is a beautiful tribute to this past in the González Byass winery, whose facilities are a small city within the city ,The house of the famous Tío Pepe is made up of an urban network of buildings, wineries and interior streets, which visitors can partly tour on board a little train that recalls and pays homage to the old Jerez machine. González Byass was precisely the winery that promoted the railway project in Jerez, participating in its financing through the purchase of shares, Webpage on the train :

To talk about the importance that the steam railway had in La Rioja, specifically in Haro, until it gave its name and fame to the popular Barrio de la Estación, we have to go to France, a little before the phylloxera attack that would devastate European vineyards. Mid-19C. The owners of the Savignon Frères wine company, originally from Bordeaux, decided to settle on the other side of the border in search of better conditions to continue their activity as a result of the great powdery mildew crisis that their vineyards were suffering. We are referring to the fungus that affected the French vineyard before the arrival of the phylloxera plague. Thus, in 1859, they settled on the land known as Cantarranas, a neighbor of the Rioja town of Haro, laying the foundations for wine production in what would later be known as the Barrio de la Estación. However, this area ceased to be a strategic investment for Bordeaux entrepreneurs when, at the dawn of the 20C, the phylloxera crisis came to an end and the French vineyard began to recover. With one foot in the new century, the French company put its facilities up for sale, And they have been in the hands of Bodegas Bilbaínas since 1901. In fact, in addition to locating its wineries in Haro, Valdepeñas and Alcázar de San Juan next to the railways, Bodegas Bilbaínas commissioned the design of specific machinery to facilitate the transfer of wine by this means. All told in the book La estación de los sueños, edited by Bodegas Bilbaínas on the occasion of the commemoration of the 120th anniversary of its foundation, Webpage info on book :

In Aragon, wine was traditionally transported by cart; With them, the muleteers distributed the product both inside the region and in other Spanish provinces, even reaching Madrid. The containers used at that time were leather boots. When phylloxera devastated the French vineyards, wine exports from the area to France experienced a spectacular increase, and if at first the transport continued to be done by cart, soon the great demand it required new means of transport , From the region the wine began to be taken in carts to Ricla or Zaragoza, and there it was embarked on the railway. The wine container had become the wooden pipe, more in line with the needs of the new times. In 1887 the narrow-gauge Cariñena-Zaragoza railway came into operation. The opportunities for export offered by the railway were countless. It allowed the wine to reach the French market more easily, after linking up with the Zaragoza-Alsasua-Irún network. The Zaragoza-Valencia railway, which crossed the regional vineyard, allowed shipments to the French or Basque market directly from Cariñena, The book El tren del vino’, written by Marco Antonio Campos and Mariano Rodríguez tells the story, with the publishing help of the La Asociación de Amigos del Ferrocarril de Cariñena or association of friends of the railroad of Cari±era the book can obtained by contacting the Librería La Arboleda of Cariñera Facebook page

Currently, the wine is transported fully palletized and in truck containers, ensuring rapid and correct distribution to the destination markets.

There you go folks, another wonderful post on my dear Spanish wines, Hoping for a long lasting memories of my dear Spain anits wine news, An area already shining for several years, and getting better me think, Hope you enjoy the new series of wines news of Spain XIII as I

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

May 27, 2023

Some news from Spain, CXLVIII 

This is yours truly with another episode of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and we are in Spring !! I am eagerly looking forward to be back to Spain too !! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, By the way CXLVIII is old Roman for 148, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

And this bit of news just in , My Madrid leads the reception of foreign tourists in April 2023 with 22.3% of the total, As for the rest of the Communities, the following positions are occupied by Catalonia (20.1%) and the Balearic Islands (15.7%). All this with Catalonia registered the highest year-on-year growth (21.9%), followed by Valencia (21.4%) and Madrid (20.4%), My dear Spain received 8.1 million international air passengers in April 2023, 16.9% more than in the same month of 2022. In the first four months of 2023, more than 25.2 million people arrived, 34.9% more than in the same period last year, according to data released this Friday by Turespaña. In the month of April, passengers to Spain from all the main countries increased with 57.6% of all passengers were from the European Union, experiencing a rise of 15.2%, while the flow from the rest of the world, which accounted for the remaining 42.4%, grew by 19.2%., In terms of countries, and comparing with the figures for April 2022, the markets that registered the highest growth are Portugal, with 31.9% more, followed by Italy and the United States, with 28.8% and 22, 9% respectively. In volume, the United Kingdom was the leading issuer of passengers in April 2023, with 1,794,841, and growth of 12.1% per year. The United Kingdom represents 21.1% of the total share of arrivals. The arrival of British passengers affected all the autonomous communities, but especially the Canary Islands, which was the destination of 25.7% of its passengers, its the new British invasion lol !!. After the United Kingdom, Germany remains the second country of origin for international passengers. Passenger arrivals from Germany (14.5% of the total) increased by 4.8% in April, especially benefiting the Balearic Islands (37.3% of passengers). Also, 9.4% of the flow of passengers received in April arrived from Italy, registering an interannual growth of 28.8%, which particularly benefited Catalonia (30.3% of passengers) and Madrid (25.9%), For its part, France issued 8.6% of all passengers in April, showing growth of 16.8%, which mainly favored Madrid and Catalonia. In the case of the Netherlands, international passengers experienced an increase of 5.2% in April, with the Valencian Community, Catalonia and Andalusia as the main destinations. In total volume, Madrid Adolfo Suarez Barajas airport added 1,811,380 international passengers in April 2023, compared to 1,549,890 from Barcelona airport. In third place was that of Palma de Mallorca, with 1,034,958 international passengers in April. There you go folks, Spain is everything under the Sun !!! The official TurEspaña Spain national tourist office:

Theodor Kallifatides, the Greek writer living in Sweden, visits Andalusia with the Fundación Tres Culturas and the Centro Andaluz de las Letras. He tells the story « I was at the doors of a theater waiting for the girl I liked to arrive, who never did. Then the theater doorman, seeing my waiting and my loneliness, said to me: “Why don’t you come in? They are representing a play by a Spanish poet named Federico García Lorca.” I thanked him for the invitation, but I told him: “I’m waiting for a girl.” And he replied: “You don’t know if she’s going to arrive, but the best thing you can do is wait for her inside ” I listened to him. They were representing Boda de Sangre or Blood Wedding and from the first moment I was spellbound by the text. Federico was not a poet. He was a supernatural force that trapped me forever ». Theodor Kallifatides remembers that afternoon sitting in the lobby of a hotel in Seville while answering questions from Publishers Weekly in Spanish « . His visit to Spain coincides with the tribute that the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid paid him by awarding him the Gold Medal.

The book Los mundos infinitos de Lorca, written by Luis Antonio de Villena and illustrated by the artist Juan Vida, participates in something new and original, in a different look at the life and work of a major poet, whose legacy lives up to Lope de Vega, Quevedo or Juan Ramón. The infinite worlds of Lorca, edited by the exquisite Tintablanca, was presented at La Mistral, in one of the most beautiful bookstores in Spain, a short walk from Puerta del Sol in Madrid. Sitting in Lorca’s little theater that the bookstore has in its basement, recalled that in the past century there was not a poet more tied to love and desire, to that norm that agitates flesh and star alike, hunger, carnality, omen and pain. Federico Garcia Lorca was born into a wealthy rural family. He knew social inequalities since he was a child and without losing the innocence with which he did theater and puppets at his house, he went to Madrid, to the Student Residence. There he met Dalí and Buñuel, Madrid was the center of a world that Federico extended to New York first, where the genesis of some of his best works is found, Cuba later and Buenos Aires last, where he triumphed, made money and, of course, he felled in love again. A first-rate poet, someone who, when assassinated in a terrible and fratricidal war, becomes the violated and pure image of a historical drama. The injustice of crushed innocence. The green destruction of the generous olive tree Federico, instead of for that bullfighter, wrote for himself the verses in Alma Ausente (absence soul) that said: “It will take a long time to be born, if he is born, / an Andalusian so clear, so rich in adventure.” Indeed ! Webpage:

Do get a hold for those book lovers the .Una muchacha en el Alcázar or a girl in the Alcazar of Ana Cardenas, The scene Segovia 1808. A love story during the war of Independance or Peninsular war In the Segovia of 1822. The same day that Pedro turns fourteen, he is rejected as a cadet at the Segovia Artillery Academy. Marita, the woman who raised him, then confesses some of the secrets she kept, knowing that by revealing them their lives will change irremediably. They need to find the boy’s parents and this search, which will be as risky as it is bitter, will lead them both on a single path towards the truth, from the towers of the Alcázar to the home of Don Alfonso, a potentate, who is surrounded by mystery. and that he lives obsessed with the disappearance of his only daughter. Buy it on Amazon, El Corté Inglés, FNAC and Casa del Libro, Very good book me think, webpage:

Magical Segovia !! Take a look at the Royal College of Artillery possibly the oldest active officer training center in the world. It was founded in the Alcázar in 1764 where it remained until the fire of 1862. The curriculum was already very ambitious when in 1792 it was inaugurated a large chemistry laboratory that would go down in history as the place where the famous Louis Proust enunciated the Law of Definite Proportions , The fortress was a royal palace, institutional and military building, archive headquarters, artillery school, and prison status and also had his golden minute on the screen. In 1965 Orson Welles filmed scenes from Chimes at midnight here and more contemporary is the cameo of the Alcazar in a chapter of The Simpsons. Walt Disney was inspired by its peaked towers to recreate Cinderella’s castle and if you are looking for that, see the Alcazar like a fairytale castle and you will be breathless, you have to distance yourself from it and admire it from the Pradera de San Marcos or the lookout of the valleys. Inside, the fortress is like an open jewelery box: baseboards, stained glass windows, coffered ceilings, armor, and up to six rooms full of treasures, such as Los Reyes, with its sculptures of Spanish monarchs from Don Pelayo to Juana la Loca and of course, paintings of great value such as the work The Holy Family of the Master of Santa Anna Hofje, from the 16C. In the rooms dedicated to the College, you can also see the famous El Galopo canyon, Sublime a must to visit in my dear Spain !

Whoever goes to Sevilla for the first time (not just for a barber) has to make a stop at the Cathedral, the Torre del Oro, the Giralda, the Reales Alcázares, the Casa de Pilatos, the Maestranza, the María Luisa Park, the Plaza de España, the palaces of San Telmo or Dueñas, the Archivo de Indias, the Basilica de la Macarena and the museums of Fine Arts and Contemporary Art. Just to mention some of the must-see monuments and spaces. It would be necessary to take a walk through neighborhoods as emblematic as Santa Cruz or Triana. At Calle Sierpes , from Plaza de la Campana to Plaza de San Francisco, one of the most commercial streets in the city and where most of the well-known brands (and others not so much) are found,so shopping come here ! Those with a more alternative profile have the surroundings of the Plaza de la Encarnación , where shops selling artisanal products (such as Buffana Hats) or organic (Verde Moscú or Zapata) are concentrated. The area has been called Soho Benita ( Calle Benito Pérez Galdós is one of the epicenters; hence the name) and also brings together cafes, art galleries, taverns, restaurants and cultural centers. If the idea is to enjoy a flamenco tablao, there are many interesting options. Like Los Gallos, El Palacio Andaluz or El Arenal, to name just a few.

Well you and I know about ranking , everybody has one but anyway here is another from the booking platform Musement, based on 200 cathedrals and churches in Spain, La Sagrada Familia The spectacular basilica, which has been under construction for more than 140 years, has become one of the symbols of Barcelona, and once when finished it will be the tallest church in the world, The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela Presiding over the Plaza del Obradoiro, it is the most outstanding work of Romanesque art in Spain, and the final goal of the Camino de Santiago, one of the main pilgrimage routes in Europe , The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia of Barcelona is located in the Gothic Quarter . The construction of this temple ended in the 15C and it is an excellent example of Catalan Gothic architecture. The Cathedral of Sevilla with its five naves, it is the largest Gothic-style cathedral in the world. Its bell tower, the famous Giralda, has the classic structure of the Almohad minarets and with its 104 meters high it is one of the most emblematic monuments of the urban profile of the city, The Cathedral of Mallorca , located in the old town of Palma de Mallorca , this Mediterranean Gothic jewel is one of the tallest cathedrals in Europe, since its central nave is approximately 44 meters high. The Monastery and the Basilica of Montserrat are located in the spectacular enclave of the Montserrat Natural Park, famous for its abrupt rock formations. Every year, thousands of people come to this sanctuary to venerate the Virgin of Montserrat, the current patron saint of Catalonia, better known as the ‘Moreneta’ for the dark color of her face and her hands. The Cathedral-Basilica of Nuestra Señora del Pilar, is one of the two cathedrals present in Zaragoza. It is said that this jewel of Baroque art was built around the column (the pillar) on which the Virgin leaned when she appeared to the Apostle Santiago on the banks of the Ebro River. The Basilica of Santa María del Mar,14C, it was the temple of the shipowners and merchants of Barcelona. Currently, it is considered one of the best examples of Catalan Gothic architecture. Its three naves and 33 chapels are located at almost the same level, thus accentuating the impression of space and spaciousness. The Cathedral of Santa María de Regla of León, also known as the ‘Pulchra leonina’, is in the French Gothic style. One of the highlights is the huge collection of stained glass windows built mainly between the 13C and 16C, which occupy an area of 1765 square meters. Having reduced the walls to their minimum expression to replace them with stained glass windows is precisely one of its most valuable characteristics. The Cathedral of Burgos began to be built in the 13C following the French Gothic style, although it underwent numerous modifications in subsequent centuries. On both sides of the main façade, inspired by the cathedrals of Paris and Reims, rise two towers crowned with openwork spires, which are already part of the urban skyline of the city. Wonderful monuments indeed.

From May 19 i2023 n the Patio de La Casa Encendida (Ronda de Valencia, 2) it will be possible to visit Picasso: Sin Título or Untitled. The exhibition covers a total of 50 works from the painter’s last period (1963-1973), through the eyes of 50 international artists. A total of four rooms will be used for this contemporary exhibition that commemorates, for the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death, 50 years of his renowned professional career. Webpage :

The Teatro Barceló theater has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC) by the Governing Council of the Community of Madrid. In 1930, this building was designed to be used as a cinema, but currently, it acts as a nightclub on Calle Barceló , close to the Malasaña neighborhood. The building constitutes a relevant example of Spanish rationalist architecture from the first half of the 20C, it functioned as a cinema until 1974, (I did saw movies there ! ) ; the year in which the last film was shown. Between 1975 and 1979 it was used as a theater, while in 1980 it opened as a discotheque, under the Pachá brand, becoming one of the most famous nightlife venues in Madrid. In addition, it originally had a party room in the basement, a use that is maintained today. The architect of the Teatro Barceló, Luis Gutiérrez Soto, is also responsible for projects built in Madrid such as the Zurich Building (1925), the Callao Cinemas (1926), the Europa Cinema (1928), the Renoir Retiro Cinemas (1939) or the La Unión y El Fénix (now Mutua Madrileña) in the Paseo de la Castellana (1965). Webpage:

The next season of the Teatro Real delves into the myths of Medea and Orlando, season 2023-2024, which will start on September 19 2023 with the premiere of a new production of Medea de Cherubini by Paco Azorín and with Ivor Bolton in the pit , The infanticidal myth of Medea will serve, on the one hand, as a tribute to Maria Callas on the centenary of her birth and, on the other, as a thematic thread around violence and revenge together with the homonymous score that Charpentier composed at the end of the 17C. In the case of Cherubini’s Medea, it is an absolutely novel recovery, since Heiko Cullmann’s critical edition prepared from the original French edition will be used, which is the one that everyone knows and that gave Callas fame The concert version of Haydn’s Orlando paladino in the hands of the specialist Giovanni Antonini and the musicians of Il Giardino Armonico and, finally, La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina by the baroque composer Francesca Caccini, who will raise the curtain in a concept stage by Blanca Li co-produced by the Teatros del Canal and Tenorio with music and text by Tomás Marco, who has brought together various texts around Zorrilla’s Don Juan. The work, which begins with verses that Lorenzo da Ponte wrote for Don Giovanni, will have four performances (May) in a stage proposal, this time in the main room, by the Agrupación Señor Serrano Teatro Real has taken stock of the numbers of the institution, which will offer 119 opera performances and a total of 455 shows throughout the next season, Webpage:

This have a post on my dear Madrid but recently celebrated its most important date and have this from one of my blooks on it so here it goes again,worth to be there on its time and see the real Madrid and Spain, The Madrid of San Isidro: a route between miracles, chulapos and dumb and smart donuts, some chickens and a concert in the Pradera cannot be missed. Nor a session of chotis and pasadobles in the gardens of Las Vistillas, with two contests included. And all, of course, dressed up with the chulapo (-a) suit, the parpusa and the carnation all typical folklore Madrileño ! They are some of the classics of the San Isidro festivities that are repeated May after May. This year marked by the fourth centenary of the canonization of the patron Saint of Madrid, whose Holy Year concludes next Monday May 15 2023 with countless special acts related to the figure of the man from Madrid. Thus, in addition to the traditional procession on the 15th, you can enjoy exhibitions, conference cycles, dramatized performances about his life on the Puente de Toledo and the Pradera, instrumental and lyrical concerts, zarzuela shows or cultural visits to places that marked their trajectory. Also joining the anniversary are mythical pastry shops such as La Duquesita or Viena Capellanes, which cannot cope with the preparation of the classic donuts, divided into silly (without sugar icing), ready (with it), French (well covered with almonds) and from Santa Clara (with meringue on top). In the case of La Duquesita, it is part of the new Madridulce project, which brings together several hundred-year-old pastry shops such as El Pozo or Casa Mira to value the city’s confectionery, focused these days on donuts. Of course, on the occasion of the Jubilee Year, most have prepared new recipes inspired by the saint. Viena Capellanes, for example, with 150 years behind it, adds meringue flavored with violet and small pieces of violet candies, so traditional in Madrid. The Holy Year will close at the Colegiata de San Isidro (Calle Toledo, 37), in the heart of the La Latina neighborhood, on Monday with a closing mass at 11h. The incorrupt body of this saint with a dark complexion and a 1.80-meter statue (an outrageous height for the time!), which was previously in the Church of San Andrés, located in the homonymous square, is kept on its main altar. And before, in the Bishop’s chapel, in Plaza de la Paja, 5. It was ordered to be built by the Vargas family, one of the most powerful of the time, for which San Isidro worked in order to house his mortal remains. The wonderful San Isidro Museum. The Origins of Madrid (Plaza de San Andrés, 2). This is one of the key corners on the route of the farmer’s patron through the city. In it, not only is the history of the city rescued over 500,000 years through archaeological objects from the Paleolithic to the 16C, but it is also believed that the saint died in this building, since it was the house of the lords to whom that served, the aforementioned Vargas. The document was discovered in the Church of San Andrés in the year 1504, when an inventory of ecclesiastical assets was being carried out. For example, it is believed that he could have been born on April 4, 1082, shortly before Alfonso VI of Castile reconquered the city after more than 200 years in Muslim hands. He came into the world at number 4 Calle del Águila, where the Chapel of San Isidro is now located. As a tribute, it opens on the 4th of each month. It is also known that the saint used to stop at the Atocha basilica on the way to his farm work. Returning to the museum, here is the famous 27-meter-deep well in which he saved his son Illán from drowning, one of the nearly 438 miracles attributed to him. The chronicles say that he prayed so much to the Virgin of Almudena that, suddenly, the water level rose and the child came out of the well as if nothing had happened. In the current Paseo de la Ermita del Santo, on his side, he managed to make water sprout from the ground after sticking his hoe into it to quench the thirst of his patron, Don Iván de Vargas. In his honor today stands the San Isidro Fountain, next to the Ermita del Santo, the cemetery with his name and the Pradera. Some of the miracles he performed are detailed in scenes painted on leather in the Ark of San Isidro in the Almudena Cathedral. The route would continue in the Capilla de la Cuadra (Pretil de Santiesteban, 3), where the man from Madrid kept his oxen, the same ones that plowed alone when he dedicated himself to prayer. The Puente de Toledo bridge is not far away, decorated with two Churrigueresque niches of both the farmer and his wife, Santa María de la Cabeza, whom he met in the town of Torrelaguna, when his family had to take refuge there after an Arab offensive. The relics of his wife were kept for a time in the Casa de la Villa, the former seat of the City/Town Hall. Now, they rest next to those of her husband in the Collegiate Church of San Andrés ro St Andrews in Madrid. A wonderful story indeed, must see me think !

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! We are in Spring !!; just enjoying our veranda again, now sunny day. Time to enjoy my some news from Spain  once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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