October 22, 2016

Some news from Spain XXXI

So time to speak about Spain, and do stay tune on TVE for October 31, the 15th anniversary of Operacion Triunfo, a TV show of young talent singing favorite tunes the whole group is coming back for an anniversary edition already well known singers in the Spanish speaking world. You will have David Bisbal, David Bustamente, and Chenoa amongst the 16 participants. More about it here in Spanish; http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/ot-el-reencuentro/ot-reencuentro-happy-day-para-concursantes-operacion-triunfo/3758939/

The restoration work being carried out in the South Tower of the Cathedral of Santiago have allowed to locate a sculpture from the school of master Mateo ,the statue is coming from the medieval facade of the Pórtico de la Gloria, which is semi buried in a small cabin on the base. The  sculpture, 1.85 meters tall and probably representing a prophet, could be placed in this location in the 16C, when the medieval facade that then covered the Pórtico de la Gloria was removed. In this place it was covered of dirt and it has remained lost until now. The figure, which has no wings but a Nimbus holder, also a large figure and barefoot, so experts, dating it from around the year 1200, believe that it could be a prophet. The piece is complete with the exception of the head, which is missing, since it was common that when the figures were disintegrating it was withdrawn the head.  More here in English: http://www.epa.eu/arts-culture-and-entertainment-photos/archeology-photos/sculpture-discovered-buried-under-santiago-de-compostela-cathedral-photos-53081078

Bershka Collection ,Gran Vía, 25 metro Gran Vía/ Sol | Tel +34 91 522 20 96 . The famous Spanish brand part of the group Inditex, and dedicated to the latest tendencies of young folks fashion has presented the opening of their newest store at the Gran Vía, Madrid. More here : http://www.bershka.com/es/store-locator.html?countryName=ES&location=gran%2520via%2520madrid#/

The Canada or canyon of the Real Segoviana nestle between Galapagar  and Collado Villalba in the community of Madrid is something to marvel.  You get there by the highway direction to A Coruña, the  A6,until exit or salida 18,direction El Escorial on the road  M-505, you continue until about the km 20 passing the town of Galapagar and just before passing the bridge that crosses the swap embalse of  Valmayor. Keep going for about a km until reaching the parking just before the college(school) of San Diego del Escorial.  Or take bus from intercambio de Moncloa , the línea 661A just to the school of San Diego del Escorial. It has pathways of about 72 meters established by edict of 1273 done under king Alfonso X El Sabio (the sage). Therefore, this road pathways conserve it’s original paths from 13 centuries as when the king walked it they were already done many years before. All part of the Parque Regional de Guadarrama; more here in Spanish: http://www.parqueregionalguadarrama.org/Los-caminos-del-Parque-Regional/canada-real.html

comprehensive exhibition that will take place in the Thyssen Museum, until January 22, dedicated to the Impressionist master ,Renoir, a sample of its evolution and its sensitivity to treat female intimacy. If we are to believe Henry James, the women in 1890 (which are contemporary to the painted by the Impressionists), despite the gloves, parasols, boas, corsets, hats with feathers and skirts that graze the ground, they had a public life surprisingly released in comparison with that of our grandmothers or mothers in the 1950s. But, how were those women in their privacy? The marriageable, lovers, mothers, girls…? That is the fascinating question that is Renoir exhibition: intimacy through five sections titled: Impressionism, portraits, landscapes, family and domestic scenes and bathers. More here: http://www.museothyssen.org/microsites/exposiciones/2016/Renoir/index_en.html
The Festival Movistar + Series, which you can enjoy in the capital from 28 to 30 October. It has change their usual enclosure to relocate, this time in the Chamartín train station. The admission, as always, is free. Noteworthy are the exclusive pre-premières of Buena Conducta, with the Colloquium of Juan Diego Botto, and the Medici: Lords of Florence, with the visit of its creator, Frank Spotnitz. David Trueba and Manuel Jabois, among others, will talk about the limits of humour and we see Mad Men, Twin Peaks, The Big Bang Theory, Mr. Robots or game of thrones, among a host of options. But as there is no space in this text for the activities programmed and not you should miss any. For more information see the webpage : http://www.festivaldeseries.com/
Until October 30 is celebrated in the District of Lavapiés and surroundings the  VI Multicultural route of the Tapas and the Music. There will be about 88 participating bars along the route offer 120 snacks prepared for the occasion. Each one costs just €1.50 and for one euro more may accompany him bottle or Caña of  Estrella Damm beer, sponsor of the event. But the best of this quote is that, in addition to eating and drinking, the party has room for different musical acts and a good number of activities on the street. More here in Spanish: http://tapapies.com/
For the first time Irene Escolar (Madrid, 1988) climbed to a stage was to interpret Mariana Pineda, of Lorca. She was nine years old. Last season, already with 27,she show it to the public. It is clear their “intimate relationship” with the poet from Granada. Just doing it at the Residencia de Estudiantes, within the Festival of (Otoño y Primavera) autumn to spring, reading Lorca, a recital which will lead to the to the Teatro Pavón Kamikaze in November. More in Spanish here: http://teatrokamikaze.com/programa/leyendo-lorca/
The Festival of the Trashumancia will be in Madrid this weekend a bit late on posting but something that is a tradition happening every year and worth the detour!  I translated at best the information from the city of Madrid page that follows in Spanish.

“The sheeps will enter the Friday 21 October in the evening  by the Casa de Campo. They will leave by the King‘s gate (Puerta del Rey)  at 10h (10AM). At Sunday 23 October, they will go on the gardens of Virgen del Puerto, then  walk the paseo of Ciudad de Plasencia (Athens Park) and go up Cuesta de la Vega, Calle Mayor, Puerta del Sol and calle de Alcalá to the Cibeles Palace.  Between 12h30 and 13h a  greeting will take place in front of the Palacio de Cibeles to the representatives of the Municipal government and payment of the maravedis, in compliance with the Concord of 2 March 1418, the good men of the Mesta and the procurators of the Council of the town, with the participation of the Mayor Manuela Carmena. The Herds will surround the fountain of Cibeles nonstop continuing his return to the Casa de Campo by calle de Alcalá, Puerta del Sol, calle Mayor, Cuesta de la Vega, Paseo de la ciudad de Plasencia and Virgen del Puerto, being provided to pass over the bridge of the King  Puente del Rey) between the 14h and 14h30In Cibeles, after the ceremony of the Mayor,  at the  workshop in the Gallery of crystals in which children’s participants will have the opportunity of working with raw wool from flocks of sheeps.” http://www.madrid.es and from the TV station of Madrid more in Spanish: http://www.telemadrid.es/noticias/madrid/noticia/mas-de-2100-animales-participan-en-la-fiesta-de-la-trashumancia-en-Madrid
Vascongadas of Sorolla.(Basques) .Intimate Sorolla. Until January 8 in A Coruña (Museum of fine arts). For the first time, shows 32 sketches made by Joaquín Sorolla (do see the museum of his work in Madrid superb)  for his work Vision of Spain. The work was one of the most demanding of his career and ended up becoming one of its most emblematic products. This set of drawings and gouaches was the result of trips of the Valencian throughout Spain, which attempted to capture spot colors, traditions, customs, festivals and work from different parts of the country.  More here in Spanish: http://museobelasartescoruna.xunta.gal/index.php?id=371
And Halloween is coming and even in Spain lol! Skulls and pumpkins ( Calaveras y Calabazas). Up to Tuesday 1 November in Gijón (Botanical Garden). The Halloween party is just around the corner and to celebrate it as it deserves. These activities, which will take place in various forms until 1 November include gastronomic workshops on pumpkin, chestnut and Apple; children‘s Theatre, concerts, gymkhanas, exhibitions and much more.  More in Spanish here: https://botanico.gijon.es/eventos/show/35597-taller-infantil-en-el-botanico-especial-calabazas-y-calaveras-la-bruxa-curuxa
The Festival Periferias  has until Sunday, October 30, in Huesca (at several spaces). The 17th of the multi-disciplinary Peripheriques festival. In the tight schedule, concerts, performances, fashion shows, screening movies, performing arts, exhibitions, performances of humor, dance and literary tributes are scanned. More in Spanish here: http://www.periferias.org/
A Jazz festival in Madrid!  JazzMadrid 2016; from October 25th to November 30th. Playing at different places all over Madrid, with the main one at Conde Duque 11.  The festival page in English here: http://www.festivaldejazzmadrid.com/2016/en/  ,and the conde duque place here in English: http://condeduquemadrid.es/en/actividades/music/jazzmadrid-en/
Of course, why not take a tour of the best soccer/football stadium of the world and the world’s best club, Santiago Bernabeu stadium (Real Madrid FC); tickets here: https://aravolo.com/es/m.imup.com/tour-bernabeu/tour-bernabeu-adulto/
And how about visit to the tomb of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra at the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians in Madrid, the author of from best the Spanish language is known literally. From 2015 it is a new thing to do in Madrid and well worth the detour. More in English here: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/visit-tomb-cervantes-convent-Trinitarians
And to close out this post, last but not the least, see the changing of the Royal guard at the Royal Palace in MadridOn Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11h (except in the month of July and August that will be from 10h until 12h), always and when permitted by official acts or weather) at the Puerta del Principe (Prince’s gate). The sentinels of the Palace (two on foot and two on horses) dressed with gala – blue, white and red – uniforms similar to that used by the Spanish army in times of King Alfonso XIII, make a changing of the guard every  30 minutes – until 14h-, accompanied by a Fife (piccolo‘s high-pitched tone used in military bands) and a drum to interpret military marches following orders and regulations voices. More here in Spanish, (English is not available): http://www.esmadrid.com/cambio-de-guardia-en-el-palacio-real
Until next time by Spain, enjoy , Spain everything under the Sun ! Cheers
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October 20, 2016

The wines of Bordeaux

I am a wine aficionado since had my first taste of it by my grandmother at the tender age of 8. Traveling allow me to visit many wine estates in many countries from Chile to Germany passing by France, of course my favorite. And amongst the favorites areas Bordeaux reign supreme. Many tried to imitate and even think of surpassing it but never never never; Bordeaux is it. UNESCO calls on France as the World Heritage Intangible site on Gastronomy and Wines for a reason. The first way back in 2010: http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/RL/gastronomic-meal-of-the-french-00437

I have written before on Bordeaux and its wines here: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/02/19/bordeaux-its-wines-its-beaches-sublime/

And Bordeaux does not disappoint us again this year with a 19% increase in production. The official governing body or the  Conseil interprofessionnel du vin de Bordeaux (CIVB) predicts at least 5,5 millions hectoliters, or a volume even higher than last year. Considering that only Alsace and Bordeaux had a 19% progression in comparison with last year; and the only vineyard area in France to held head high in a tough year that saw France as a whole come down by 12% in its wine production in 2016 with a total production of 42,2 hectoliters.

The Bordeaux region is located on the Atlantic ocean and on the left and right banks of the Gironde river. With its 119 000 hectares and its 60 appellations, the Bordeaux region represents the largest French AOC vineyard. Divided into five sub-regions are the Medoc, the Graves, Entre-Deux-Mers, rive droit and Sauternes, the region has a temperate oceanic climate. Its soils are rather argilo-limestone, Sands and gravel are found in the area of Graves.  The main red grape of the region are merlot, cabernet-sauvignon and cabernet franc. The three white grapes are Sémillon, sauvignon and muscadelle. The Bordeaux region produces 90% of red wines, and is the largest exporter of  AOC wines. All major wine regions of the world, Bordeaux produces the highest level of quality with regularity. It is perhaps for this reason that Bordeaux is still today one of the most beautiful displays of French wineThe Bordeaux region has different rankings, which reward both the quality of the soil and the work done. The most well-known in-between are the classification of 1855, classification of Graves, Saint-Emilion ranking and the ranking of the Crus Bourgeois of the Médoc.
The Entre-Deux-Mers  is a vast region located some 80 kms southeast of the city of Bordeaux. As its name suggests, this geographical area is wedged between two large rivers: the Dordogne to the North, and the Garonne River to the South. The Entre-Deux-Mers form the AOC wine-growing zone the more extensive of Francer with a size of about  7000 hectares,and a production of about 335 000 hectoliters.  Some of the known areas are the  Côtes de Bordeaux,  Cadillac, Loupiac, Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux,and Bordeaux-Haut-Benauge. Most use the appellation name of  Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur. 
The Graves region is located south of the Médoc on the left bank of the Gironde river between the city of Bordeaux and Langon in about 60 kms. This region represent about  4.4% of the vineyard land in Bordeaux producing about  240 000 hectoliters per year.  It is about 73 % in red wines and  27 % for whites and sweet wines.  The main areas are the Graves, Graves Supérieurs (only for sweet or moelleux wines) ,and Pessac-Léognan. At Pessac-Léognan created in 1987, there is the only and one Château Haut-Brion the only one here designated as First Grand Cru in 1855 classification
The Médoc  is located in the left bank of the Gironde river and extends over 60 kms north to south and 10 kms wide covering 10 600 hectares of vineyards. The production is all red wines with about 300 000 hectolitersIt has several appellations of great renown and my favorite of all such as Haut Médoc, Médoc, Saint-Estèphe, Pauillac, Saint Julien, Listrac-Médoc, Moulis-en-médoc ,and Margaux as the main ones. The sub region is divided into 60 grand crus from the 1855 classification or about 20% of the area production and the main ones are Château Lafite Rothschild (Pauillac) Château Latour (Pauillac), Château Margaux (Margaux), Château Mouton Rothschild (promoted in 1973) ,and Château Haut-Brion (Pessac-Leognan  région of the Graves).
The Right Bank (rive droite) region, on the right bank of the Gironde and Dordogne river north of the Bordeaux area. It encompasses the sub regions of Bourg and Blayes, on the middle of the Libourne with Saint-Emilion, Pomerol,Fronsac, and Castillon.  The land is argile calcaire (Fronsac, Saint-Emilion) and stones (Pomerol).  The wines are mostly red.
The area of the Sauternais or Sauternes is located about 50 kms southwest of Bordeaux on the left bank of the Garonne river.  The vineyards of  Barsac and Sauternes are in this area. It  has a production area of 900 hectares for Barsac and 1 400 hectares for Sauternes with an average output of 35 000 hectoliters per year. The appellation encompasses five towns such as Sauternes, Fargues, Preignac, Bommes ,and Barsac.  Well noted Barsac has its own appellation and on certain years it can choose it or Sauternes. The area is cross by the Ciron river and the wines are about 80% whites with the main ones as  Château d’Yquem (only 1er Grand Crue from the 1855 classication) . However, many others are premiers crus such as Château Rieussec, Château La Tour Blanche, Château Caillou, and Château Lamothe.
Some of the places that I purchase wines here all good, when not visiting the properties here are
Nicolas (my favorite) : http://www.nicolas.com/
and of course many hypermarkets as well.
In vinos veritas ,enjoy it fully ::)
October 19, 2016

Some news from France CXLV

Here I am again, so fast  ::) yes there are things going on even the All Saints’ day in France, Toussaint.

The Tour de France of cycling will start from Düsseldorf, on July 1, 2017 . It will be hit’s 20th starting from abroad and its fourth from Germany. The riders of the ‘Grande Boucle’ were indeed  in  1965 Cologne, Frankfurt in 1980, and West Berlin in 1987. After Germany, the peloton of the Tour, which will take a total of 3.516 km, will also make a foray in Belgium and then in the Luxembourg. In France, the beautiful part will be made in the mountain stages, with five massive crossed: the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Massif central, Vosges and the Jura . The race ends with a time trial in Marseille, before a last step to the departure of Montgeron,  in the Essonne department 91 (city that welcomed, in 1903, the first start of the Tour de France) and arrival , as per usual, on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. Previously, the 198 riders will cross, the nave of the Grand palais in its full length which will be impressive indeed; simple the best on bikes.
The history of Paris is jealously guarded at the Musée Carnavalet. A rich collection of about 613,000 works that goes from the Mesolithic to the present day. For the first time since its opening in 1880, the Museum Carnavalet, located in the heart of the Marais, in the 4éme arrondissement or district, will have a full move as it has known extensions, renovations, or the union in 1989 with the hotel Peletier of Saint – Fargeau. The Museum, which spans some 14,000 m2, will be completely empty, and the works stored north of Paris in temporary offices . The closure of the Museum to the public, on October 2, and will continue until the beginning of 2017.
The first vacation of the year indeed begin on Thursday and end two weeks later, on Thursday, November 2. “the school year has thirty-six weeks in the less divided into five periods of work, of comparable length, separated by four holiday periods. Or periods of work about seven weeks, separated from two weeks of vacation on average. Respecting this rule, holidays should begin on 14 October and students home on 31 October. On the eve of 1 November. “exceptional holiday toussaint this year.” Vacation heavens of France. I will be off Oct 31 and Nov 1 which will make a four day weekend Vive la France!
One that I have been with my kids is still going strong at Les Ferme de Gally à Saint-Cyr-l’École ; From 26 to 31 October, young and old can thus have fun digging a pumpkin. Before or after, they will go to meet the animals, will walk and visit buildings decorated in the colours of autumn. And each will leave with his masterpiece. More here : http://www.ferme.gally.com/_magasin-horaires-et-plan-d-acces-jardinerie
Ludwig van“, the Beethoven myth . The expo is made fun with an audio guide and a booklet for children from 7 years old. Extracts of letters of Beethoven, excerpts of the composer‘s work, the sound the tone shifted course staged a Ludwig parachuted in the 21st century. Possibility to start family with a workshop that addresses the major themes of Beethoven with a variety of musical instruments. Until January 29 2017. More here : http://philharmoniedeparis.fr/fr/activite/exposition/17348-ludwig-van
And on June 17 2017 we have the exposition Espèces d’Ours or the  world of bears in the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution, jardin des plantes, more here; http://especesdours.grandegaleriedelevolution.fr/en
“Doctor Strange in preview (age 10 and up); Fans of the Marvel Universe have appointment on 25 October at the Grand Rex  for exceptional projection of the adventures of doctor Stephen Strange, Scott Derrickson. More here : http://www.legrandrex.com./
Cinekids (age 7 and up) , Be not afraid! Costumes in order to participate in the Halloween special screening on October 30 at the Forum of images (1éme). On the screen, the mouse of Gore Verbinski (Rango, 2011): a House haunted by a small mouse ready to do anything to scare off newcomers… A funny and hilarious movie. More here; http://www.forumdesimages.fr/les-programmes/cinekids-saison-2016-2017/la-souris
Where else but France and Paris in particular. Enjoy it. Oh yes temps is 61F or about 15C afternoon. Cloudy cool yes ,yes it is la vie est belle! Cheers


October 18, 2016

Some news from France CXLIIII

Well been busy and a bit behind on my blog, but will catch up. Today more of the Fall season and the days becoming shorter or darker, temps about 15C or 62F and cloudy cool humid, real Breton ambiance!

Check out the food for cold days and cloudy nights, at Les Fondus de la Raclette, a wonderful resto in Paris where to try the great Raclette, a dish we do at home often and even more in Fall/Winter time like now. http://lesfondusdelaraclette.com/

In the Théatre du Palais Royal see the exibition until January 8 2017 of Edmond Rostang; a new work to see,that was not written yet but eventually only had a name,Cyrano de Bergerac more here http://theatrepalaisroyal.com/edmond/

Some things to do in Marseille, more than the usual sites  , a city have been and love the vieux port area. See the Vieille Charité built in 1640 to care for the poor people. http://vieille-charite-marseille.com/

See the Grotte Cosquer  by the cap Morgiou in the Calanques between Marseille and Cassis . It was discovered in 1991 by Henri Cosquer, at 37 meters above sea level ; it has three rooms with only one decorated see more here: in French; http://www.marseilletourisme.fr/grotte-cosquer/

Visit the Calanques is a must. All in French here: http://www.calanques13.com/

At the Picasso Museum, until February 5 ,2017 you see an exhibition of two great masters Picasso and Giacometti , Picasso of the giant protean work , violent and voluptuous and Giacometti known for his three dimensional distant and elongated style. More here: http://www.museepicassoparis.fr/picasso-giacometti-2/
Discover immediately at the Théatre du Rond-Point and the play  “The cry of the potato of Connecticut”, the poem absurd and hilarious by comic traveler Patrick Robine, staged by Jean-Michel Ribes affectionately done. Until October 30th , last one hour.  More here in French: http://www.theatredurondpoint.fr/spectacle/le-cri-de-la-pomme-de-terre-du-connecticut/
Museum promenade of Marly-Louveciennes.  According to management, at least 300 works of art on the 3,000 that the Museum would have suffered from the sudden flood that occurred Saturday night in the basement, following a burst pipe the historical collection is intact. The affected objects are from  the graphic arts supply. Fortunately, none seems unrecoverable for the time being”the Museum closed to the public”until further notice “. It evokes a minimum duration of six weeks. This is a beautiful site off the beaten path you all should plan on visiting, it is near where I used to live in Versailles; more here :http://www.musee-promenade.fr/
The association of the friends of the organ of Senlis to restore the great organ of the Cathedral. The rehabilitation is expected to be completed by 2020 the city of Senlis expends on  average 1 M€ annually for the maintenance of its rich historical heritage. In near future, the walls of the city, the West portal of the Cathedral or the hotel of the Vermandois could benefit from the same patronage.  More on the organs here: http://orguesfrance.com/SenlisCathedrale.html
Michel Colucci or the great comedian Coluche will have an exhibition of his life and belonging in the hotel de ville de Paris until January 7 2017. More on the city of Paris webpage here in French: http://www.paris.fr/actualites/c-est-l-histoire-d-un-mec-4011
Until October 23rd on 19 train stations in France;Chefs de Gare ,  such as  Amiens, Agen, Avignon TGV, Dijon,Limoges Bénédictins, Lille Flandres, Lyon Part Dieu, Marseille Saint Charles, Metz Ville, Nantes, Paris gare du Nord, Paris Est, Paris Saint Lazare, Paris Bercy Bourgogne-Pays d’Auvergne, Paris gare de Lyon, Paris Montparnasse, Reims, Strasbourg, and Tours  you will have a chance to taste the gastronomy Française with local chefs, more in French here: http://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/actualites/chefs-gare-gastronomie-entre-gare
The Opéra de Paris honored the choreographer George Balanchine, gone in 1983, with four ballets programme from October 22nd to November 15 2016; these are Mozartiana, that gave him a start, Sonatine, created in 1975  with sharing on Maurice Ravel, Brahms-Schönberg Quartet  and the Violin Concerto. The decoration will be by Karl Lagerfeld. More here: https://www.operadeparis.fr/saison-16-17/ballet/george-Balanchine
And until next time, stay safe, be good and enjoy travel a nice way of life indeed;Cheers
ps oh yes we work less and enjoy it more see picture lol!!!
October 13, 2016

And Dublin is a lot more than just green!

Well for many  years heard of Dublin  ,in fact used to lived near a neighborhood that was call Dublin for the many Irish immigrants there. Now finally, I made it to Dublin, Ireland. The tourist office is here: http://www.visitdublin.com/home

I came over as usual doing a round trip, flying this time from Rennes St Jacques airport to Paris CDG T2E ,change to T2G for the flight from CDG to Dublin terminal 1. Easy nice connections and good parking at Rennes; if only I arrived very early by 5h15 (5:15am) to open the airport lol! The Rennes airport site is here: http://www.rennes.aeroport.fr/en

And this is Dublin airport site: https://www.dublinairport.com/

Once in Dublin, took the tourist way (not the taxi) but the airlink express bus to city center; 6€ one way or 10€ roundtrip purchase. Easy and convenient as it drops you off in the main areas of Dublin central.  Took bus 747 here is the site and schedule: https://www.dublinbus.ie/Your-Journey1/Timetables/All-Timetables/74711/

I headed straight to my hotel for check in, this was the historically wonderful The Gresham Hotel at O ‘Connell street; third floor and very nice service indeed.  The site here: https://www.dublinbus.ie/Your-Journey1/Timetables/All-Timetables/74711/

Once in the room, took a right turn out the door to see the city the best way walking both ends of O’Connell St. I went passed the wonderful Ambassador Theatre at Upper O’Connell Street; this is a like a roman amphitheater shape really nice even if no time to see a show, looks promising for next time. Webpage here: http://ambassadordublin.com/

Right pass it you see a wonderful church, Abbey Presbyterian Church at Parnell Square, beautiful architecture indeed and worth a look inside which no time this trip. Webpage is here: http://www.abbeychurch.ie/

I continue my walks , across the hotel almost, you see the General Post Office ; done in 1818, also, the building where the free Irish Republic took HQ here in 1916. It is now a museum post office, more here:  http://www.anpost.ie/AnPost/History+and+Heritage/Home/

Up the O’Connell street by the abbey church you have the Garden of Remembrance Irish Freedom park; a lovely place full of history and nice architecture statues; more here: http://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/details/garden-of-remembrance/31215/#53.353936|-6.264127|16

You can see the wonderful Epic Ireland showing the heritage of Ireland for more than 70 million people; a glowing show, and a must to see:  more here: http://epicirelandchq.com/

How about a walk to Temple Bar, well it is more than a bar which it has one, but also a district full of life best at night, just perfect, I could stay here for years!!! Just over the river Liffey passing thru Dublin. See the wonderful Samuel Beckett bridge that can be moved ! or the O’Connell bridge my passing bridge. More on the bridges here: http://www.bridgesofdublin.ie/browse

Of course, I did stop to eat and drink a must in Dublin ::) Look at this friendly bar the Parnell Heritage Pub off the ambassador theatre, and the service and food was great, the best fish and chips I ever had with the Clonmel 1650 Irish lager beer just wonderful for 21€. More on parnell here: http://theparnell.com/

Continue into my walks you see the Spire of Dublin a needle type tower 121 meters high just be ready to bend your head this is high indeed right on O’Connell Street; more on it here: http://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/details/the-spire/31186/#53.350921|-6.260294|16

You see around here the Charles Stewart Parnell statue; he was the leader founder of the Irish Parlamentary party.  A nice place to stop from a historical point of view. More on him and the statue here: http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/an-irishman-s-diary-1.593341

You can see the O’Connell Monument, the memorial toDaniel O’Connell, a 19C nationalist leader of which the main artery street is name after.  See more on him here: http://www.danieloconnells.com/about-daniel-oconnell/

I came across a nice building that is the Gate Theatre, founded in 1928; another wonderful architecturally done place of fun right on by the city center and O’Connell Street and Parnell Square . More on this one here: http://www.gatetheatre.ie/

I did passed by the Dublin Writers museum showcasing the history of Irish great storytellers, a quaint old building that is the perfect place to go in and read books and plays; more here: http://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/details/dublin-writers-museum/31258/#53.354366|-6.263985|16

I ate and drank at the hotel and again came back for drinks at the Parnell Heritage Pub, great place. However, for dinner headed to the Winding Stair resto by the temple bar district. It is, also, kept the tradition of the bookstore it was. Now the restaurant is a lot of fun, great friendly service and good food.  My food here was the McLoughlin’s pressed corned brisket terrine with pickled shallots, capers, dalkey mustard and sourdough toast €12.95 as entrée and the Char-grilled 28 day dry-age Irish beef strip-loin steak with sticky onions, roasted garlic truffle butter and homemade chips €28.00 as main dish. Plenty of Languedoc of France red wine had a bottle as this Domaine de la Provenquiére 2014 Merlot Languedoc 26€: ; with coffee to end it all. Classy place see more of it here:  http://winding-stair.com/about-us/

Of course walking around Temple Bar district, and so many choices, did not go to the Temple Bar bar, as such, here: http://www.thetemplebarpub.com/

I will just have to be back, and soon to Dublin, great trip even if a short one. It’s now on my list of places to visit with the family. Wonderful Dublin. Enjoy it and cheers around Temple Bar.

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October 8, 2016

Vannes and just getting around town again !!!

Ok so just a cool day ,it seems Fall is here and now we get 16C or about 62F and tomorrow rain announced. My father was visited this morning and now ok to go out Monday so that is good news and doing just great; my son will get him at the hospital. I am on my way to Dublin and need to get up at 3h or 3am to get to the airport at Rennes! of course will be in Dublin before midday tomorrow!!!

Here in Vannes we had a normal day. First, the post office to send out those letters; then the bank to drop off the slip my sons got their new debit cards, and then we headed for Vannes giving time to visit my father.

All around the Le Port or pleasure marina harbor today there were music group presentation and exhibition of local crafts, very lively indeed. The harbor or Le Port is the heart of all that is going on here: more info in French from the city page here: http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/port-de-plaisance/

We parked on the other side of the canal by rue du commerce , for free, right by the canal that leads into the harbor and the out into the Gulf of Morbihan. A great fantastic medium of relaxations, boats, people, and just plain fun.

We had our apero lunch at le P’tit Belon (previous from early in the 20C it was called the Café de Manu) oyster bar right behind the covered fish market, Halles aux Poissons, and on a market day like today even better. The market covers many streets but primarily the squares of place des lices and place du poids public.  Here we had our Fischer beers (2)(Alsace), saussison sec bellota ham , 6 oysters, and sandwiches of bellota hams and cheese all for about 8€ per person.  no webpage but easy to find, at 3 place de la Poissonnerie.

On our way out near the Porte Saint Vincent coming out into the place Gambetta you have the bakery Saveurs du Port, delicious sweets and even better breads of chorizo, lardon, and champagne tradition as well as the usual baguette. We grab them all! and will be part of our dinner tonite.  More in English from Vannes tourist office here: http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/activities/Shopping/foodstuffs/819497-saveurs-du-port

Finally, to end our day in the Capital city, we did our groceries or courses at the Carrefour hypermarket near the road N165. And we saw an interesting wallpicture of the Chateau de l’Hermine of such fame here, the original is right by the ramparts. Doing groceries is not my cup of tea and insist on doing it fast, not an easy task with so many individuals in the family but that is part of the fun of shopping together. Carrefour is nice indeed at least in Vannes. It has several stores and restaurants inside for a mini shopping center as well more here: http://www.carrefour-vannes.fr/infos-pratiques/

And now it’s time to pack and have some dinner snacks , get some sleep and be ready for tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday in Dublin. More to come , enjoy it; have a great Sunday and back writing again, smile on my face! Thanks to all well wishes for my father, really appreciated. Cheers

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October 8, 2016

Some news from France CXLIII

Ok so another weekend and here I am before my next trip. Nostalgia of leaving on business trip and my father still in hospital ,doing better, but still for a few days more. Hard to go by his room and not there, eerie feeling of things that hope will give me a few more years.  Yesterday in Vannes temp was about 15C or 62F aprox. cloudy and it looks as Fall is here to stay.

Some of the latest news from France and Paris in particular dear to me are as follows:

The extension work of the tennis Stadium Roland Garros of the porte d’ Auteuil, where stands the second lifting of the Grand Slam of the year, can resume construction pending the judgment planned before the end of the year.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). Born in Dublin; the almost universal celebrity of the author of The Portrait of Dorian Gray, translated in all languages and illustrated one hundred times, will have an exhibition “Oscar Wilde, the absolute impertinent”, – so informative that it would be enjoyed longer at the Petit Palais . A first in Paris, although Wilde has often stayed there, he is buried in the cemetery of Père Lachaise in a monumental Tomb in sphinx androgynous figures. Wilde was a rabid celebrity and entertainment idol.

Marc Chagall in particular: violinists, the lovers on their cloud, the Red roosters and donkeys Green Apple, very little for us… And yet! When the former Director of the Foundation Maeght in St. Paul-de-Vence (Alpes-Maritimes), Jean-Louis Prat, designed an exhibition in Landerneau (Finistère) on this strange artist, we say it must be seen. some 300 works of art – paintings, sculptures (these are less well-known), drawings or prints – from the exhibition. We discover a friends Chagall of writers of his time, but also familiar with the maestro such as Malraux (which binds a beautiful friendship which will culminate with the command of the ceiling of the Paris Opera, including the model shown), but also the Don Quixote of Cervantes. Louis Aragon, but also Nicolas Gogol; Jean Paulhan and Jean Fontaine; the Decameron of Boccaccio, as the Bible… When the imagination of Chagall confronts the words, his painting frequents anyone. “Chagall, from poetry to painting”. Fund Helene & Edouard Leclerc for the culture, the Capuchins, Landerneau (Finistère). Tel.: 02-29-62-47-78. Every day from 10 to 18 hours. Until November 1. €35. www.Fonds-Culturel-Leclerc.fr

And more here : http://www.lemonde.fr/arts/article/2016/10/05/la-peinture-de-chagall-tout-un-poeme_5008277_1655012.html#JGlqgwMEdpaumFeg.99

Manuel Falla at his best in Volver Amar with Olivia Ruiz playing at the Théatre Chaillot, more here; http://theatre-chaillot.fr/jean-claude-gallotta-olivia-ruiz-volver

The July column(colonne de juillet) , which stands in the middle of the place de Bastille since 1840. An injustice soon repaired  in the spring of 2018, the lower parts of the  column , containing the tombs of 700 revolutionaries in 1830 and 1848, will reopen to the public after more than 30 years of closure. But the real revolution will take place with the redevelopment of the place by the city by 2018-2019. It plans to create a vast pedestrian median meeting the monument to the basin of the Arsenal.  19. This is the number of maximum visitors who will visit the July column at the same time from its opening to the public in the spring of 2018 it will be also impossible to climb to the top of the 50 meters high column “it would be much too dangerous because, at the top, the platform is extremely  tight.  Source Le Figaro

the site of the Versailles Tourist Office, www.versailles-tourisme.com, which support approximately 90% of requests for information to tourists, gets a makeover. In the coming weeks, a new version in English and Spanish will be developed.

The Samaritaine very big renovation which should be done by the end of 2018,New areas with shops, a hotel of luxury, offices, a hundred social housing and a crib. The 4,000 tons of debris will be transported by barge to the Paprec group processing center on the banks of the Seine in Gennevilliers (Hauts-de-Seine). The equivalent of no less than 850 trucks on the road. Before be loaded onto a barge, they must travel six kilometers, from the pont Neuf to Ivry

The Nacre hotel should open its doors in March or April 2017. Housed in a building of the former factory Desmarest, it has 22 rooms, including two suites, and a 64-seat restaurant. . In the middle of the building will be the main entrance, with the lobby and the check-in counter. On the side, to the left, the restaurant that will have a terrace for sunny days. At the rear, kitchen, reserves, the offices and the staff room. To access both floors, where are located the rooms, a grand staircase or an elevator. On the first floor spacious and bright rooms await guests. Some overlook the nearby Museum of Pearl through large windows. Second, the rooms are attic, but larger. They will accommodate families. The hotel will be entrusted to a Management company still to be chosen  leparisien.fr

The hotel site is in the works, here is the newspaper article in French: http://www.leparisien.fr/meru-60110/meru-l-hotel-de-la-nacre-ouvrira-ses-portes-au-printemps-2017-04-10-2016-6175471.php

For great dog and even cat grooming come to the Ho Doc Chic 26 rue Vavin.  http://www.hodogchic.com/

Plenty of shops here dedicated to the horse , at the Village Suisse.     http://www.villagesuisse.com/

A wonderful library of literary greats has been renovated and reopen. http://www.librairie-ledivan.com/

The great Musée Jacquemart-Andre has the exhibition “Rembrandt Intime”. http://www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com/fr/rembrandt-intime



October 3, 2016

Away from blogging for a reason.

It’s been a while not on my blog for a reason. My father is ill and in the hospital. I spent Friday night last in the emergency service of Chubert Hospital in Vannes with him. A very personal side.

He is there and improving and just today got a call will be transfer to the Hematology service. He is diabetic and apparently had an infection due to low white cells so now trying to bring this up. I will be there every night this week at least.

Chubert Hospital is very good, he has been there before and always great service and friendly staff. They all enjoying him with his English and Spanish verses and asking and talking a lot. The French escapes him too old to learn another language he is 81 now.

The hospital main page is here : http://www.ch-bretagne-atlantique.fr/etablissements/hopital-chubert-a-vannes-416.html

It has a nice boutique store and Cafeteria restaurant inside and plenty of spaces in the rooms. Main entrance is at 20 Boulevard du Général Maurice Guillaudot . City line buses stopping there are  4 : Le Poteau / Arradon ,6 : Fourchêne / CCIM , 8 : Plescop / Saint Nolff Mairie.  Also, the city inter urban bus lines stop by 200 meters of the hospital such as line 20 : Elven / Vannes ,line21 : Plougoumelen / Le Bono / Baden / Vannes,line 22 : Surzur / Vannes, line 23 : Lamor-baden / Port Blanc / Le Moustoir / Vannes, line24 : Monterblanc / Vannes ,line  7 TIM : Le Hézo / Noyalo / Vannes ,Line 8 TIM : La Trinité Surzur / Vannes, Line 9 TIM : Sulniac / Treffléan / Vannes ;and the departément 56 line buses stops nearby at about 200 meters; Line1 : Quiberon / Auray / Vannes ,line 2 : Grand-Champ / Vannes,line  3 : Pontivy / Vannes, line  3b : Saint-Jean-Brévelay / Vannes, line 4 : Ploërmel / Vannes, line 5 : Baud / Pluvigner / Auray / Vannes, line 7 : Arzon / Vannes, line 8 : Damgan / Muzillac / Vannes, line 9 : Rochefort en Terre / Questembert / Vannes. The train station is ,also, by 200 meters from the hospital.

Vannes bus lines city and intercity KICEO: http://www.kiceo.fr/

Dept Morbihan 56 TIM bus lines : http://www.morbihan.fr/les-services/vos-deplacements/transports-collectifs/fiches-horaires-tim/

Train station Vannes: (Gare de Vannes) : http://www.ter.sncf.com/bretagne/gares/87476606/VANNES/prochaines-arrivees


pdf file of the hospital layout and its parkings is here: http://www.ch-bretagne-atlantique.fr/documents/Images/266_patients_et_visiteurs/599_vous-allez-accoucher/141217_MASSE_VANNES_3Drotation.pdf

It will be my home for the next week at least. Even if next Sunday need to fly out to Dublin will be back Tuesday. Hoping by then my father will be home with me. So excuse my writings for a while ; I WILL BE BACK.


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September 28, 2016

Some news from France ,CXLII

This is mid week and already at the blog, lol! this is a virus of enormous proportion , when I started in 2010 I never thought it would be this fun, and it has been. Now here it’s cloudy with 20C or about 62F bit humid cool it feels but no rains, oh here is Vannes, Morbihan, Brittany, France.

I like to dwell on some things happening in France in general and Paris in particular.

at the Centre Pompidou, you have the exhibit “René Magritte, la Trahison des images” until Jan 23rd 2017.  More here in English : https://www.centrepompidou.fr/cpv/ressource.action?param.id=FR_R-5eb6563d265bc29ee4435e693f322ec&param.idSource=FR_E-45018ba5-54f4-43be-81c6-dd37eb7844d8

The pedestrian only Paris this year (past sept 26th but will be practice every year)  has been enlarge from 11h to 18h and 45% more space intra-muros that is inside Paris proper. Many activities and shops will be showcase along the routes. More here : http://capgeo.sig.paris.fr/apps/ParisSansVoiture/

Soul Train of old !!! remember the show, now the Mona Bismarck American Center comes back to the source with a program November 12 on films and presentations such as  Shabba Doo, and  Jean-Paul Goude. More here: http://www.monabismarck.org/events/soultrain?lang=f

You can see « Faust »  in the Théâtre du Châtelet, open door with performers with rock of Robert Wilson going on until tomorrow (sorry for late reporting); more here: http://chatelet-theatre.com/fr/event/faust-i-et-ii

Anybody tried the wine apps out there? well not a techie myself but plenty to choose from and more coming up. Wine Ring is one but do not score high with the experts. Delectable and Banquet, works in tandem and they score very high.  A tad below is Vivino, and bit further down Wine Searcher . Not good at all were Snooth, Drync, Corkz, Hello Vino, and Cellar Tracker. The newest one is Omnipair that according to the experts looks promising. I will be far from all of them, but hey you can read it here too ::) More at Bloomberg here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-26/the-best-wine-apps-for-choosing-buying-and-remembering-bottles

You heard here on the CDG Express or the Charles-de-Gaulle Express. This is a straight line from Roissy CDG airport to the Gare de l’Est in Paris for 2023. It will have a price of about 24€ and get you in within 20 minutes. Now, the closest one is the RER B in about 50 minutes and 10€ but going thru some of the worse areas of outer Paris. The new CDG Express will use about 24 kms of the 32K route using as well the line K (Paris-Crépy-en-Valois line) and even the RER B in case of accidents. There is talk of a new tax to help pay for this of 1€ on the airplane tickets with work Schedule to start in 2018. The runway 2 of CDG is already doing preparatory work on it including an underground tunnel to host the CDG Express train. More in French at the  Le Parisien here : http://www.leparisien.fr/info-paris-ile-de-france-oise/transports/coup-d-accelerateur-pour-la-liaison-express-roissy-paris-26-09-2016-6152395.php

The survivor from the Colonial Exposition of 1878, the old aquarium of Trocadéro needed to closed in 1985. It opened again built underground in 2006.  This year it has 17000 fishes and 4 million liters of water to celebrate its 10th anniversary .Aquarium au jardin du Trocadéro, Admission is 19,90 € adults . Open every day from 10h to 19h. On Saturday October 1st each senior paying will give the chance to enter for free two persons between 1-59 yrs of age. More here http://www.cineaqua.com/index.php/en/

The concession for the Jardin d’Acclimatation has been extended for an additional 25 yrs to a group which includes 80% LVMH and 20% by Compagnie des Alpes (also handles Astérix). The gardens were opened by Napoléon III in 1860 and has 60 hectares along the Bois de Boulogne. 18 new attractions will be created including 9 free and 26 existing attractions will be renovated. The goal is to reach 2,5 million visitors per year. One of my family favorite parks in Paris for years… http://www.jardindacclimatation.fr/

king Charles X rests since 1836 in the convent of  Kostanjevica, present day Slovenia. The last king of the Second Restauration ruling from 1824 to 1830 before taking exile.  There is a group trying to bring the rests back to his native France and to the Basilica of Saint Denis, Charles X, the last of the Bourbon kings ,but also his son  Louis de France and niece Marie-Thérèse (oldest daughter of king  Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette) to be alongside at Saint Denis royal necropolis.  Webpage in French here: http://www.leretourdecharlesx.fr/

The others that were brought back from  outside of France are those of emperor  Napoléon Ier, died in island of Saint-Hélène (south Atlantic) in  1821,to joined the  Invalides during an official ceremony in 1 840. Those of king  Louis-Philippe Ier, called the king of the French or « roi des Français » in 1 830 (under a constitutional monarchy), died in 1850 at Claremont (UK), and transferred to the chapel of Saint-Louis of Dreux in 1876.

The opera of the  Fantôme de l’Opéra  will now be shown in by before November at the Théâtre Mogador… This after a fire on last Sunday morning at the theater touching the main salon as well as the decorations.  More here : http://www.stage-entertainment.fr/theatre-Mogador

There will be a new exchange on the autoroute linking the A86 to the N118 at Vélizy. In this axe that will be in service by 2019 closing passing the shopping center centre commercial Vélizy 2  ,and will connected to the street rue du Général Valérie-André. Badly needed as when we lived nearby it was always traffic jams there so imagine now it’s worse. More here in French : http://fva-velizy.fr/un-nouvel-echangeur-sur-la86-en-2018-a-velizy/

How to get around Paris within 3 hrs away , well come to my department 56 Morbihan, Le Figaro says so! And more on Chartres, Reims, Orleans, Dijon ,Saint-Malo, La Grande-Motte, Cheverny,  Biarritz, Le Havre, Sophia-Antipolis(Biot), Dinard, Montgaudry, Marseille, Lyon, Pyla-sur-Mer, Strasbourg,Roquebrune-Cap-Martin,Pommard, La Rochelle, and Les Sables d’Olonne. Of course, all these in several weeks lol! Come to think as people ask what to see around Paris, well the whole of France ::)

And coming up is the Nuit Blanche or white night in France. From October 1 to the 2nd overnight that is 19h to 7h. The transformation is the theme this year and the place tops will be the berges de Seine or along the river Seine. The love theme of course will be here as there will be a walk starting from rue Lobau, just behind the Hôtel de Ville all the way to the island or ile Saint-Germain, at Issy-les-Moulineaux. Many institutions participate on this year themes such as the Musée du Quai Branly, Pavillon de l’Arsenal,  Petit Palais,  Théâtre du Châtelet, Monnaie de Paris, or the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts.


and tourist office: http://en.parisinfo.com/paris-show-exhibition/135251/nuit-blanche-a-paris

Enjoy it all;until next time Cheers!!! And tomorrow another day off lol!!!

September 27, 2016

Vannes, has it’s days but ,also, it’s nights

Ok so yesterday was time off from work and decided to take a walk in Vannes to some of the places we like to shop,eat,and play .

The city is the capital of the department 56 Morbihan but only has about 55K inhabitants and about 13K university students.

Some of the nightlife is shown here: (in French) ,http://www.soonnight.com/paris/q/vannes/vannes,0,0.html

and this one in French too, http://www.guidedenuit.com/discotheques_morbihan

Well , we started out the day going to Jardiland , the garden store to get some plants ::) the one in Vannes is very friendly and helpful no need to know anything about plants , they tell you all lol! https://www.jardiland.com/nos-magasins/vanes

Then, you go over the market days by place du Poids Public and place des Lices in old town; the best one in the region on Saturday morning but good to stop by even on weekdays for the local merchants around the squares. More on markets here : http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/savour/regional-markets

Here we went for our lunch at Tablapizza ,this is a chain of pizzerias here, but the one in Vannes is super friendly and good food, they already know us lol!!!  They do burger wraps that are sublime and also chicken, honey and goat cheese wraps, and of course chorizo pizzas ::)  and good wine we had a bottle of Rosé from Tavel Beaurevoir by Michel Chapoutier. Like this one; http://www.chapoutier.com/tavel-rose,beaurevoir-2015,wine,31.html

And the resto site is here! http://pizzeria.tablapizza.fr/73203413606738/restaurant-vanes

And to show you some of the nice night haunts of the city, you go to Chicago private club after hours,  and before have a nice dinner at Restaurant Oscar  with great food and good company ; decorated in an American prohibition era design, very stylish, more here:  http://www.restaurant-oscar.com/

And of course for late late night after 23h (11PM) to 5h (5AM) ,Fridays andn Saturdays, you go next door to Chicago Music Hall, great cozy place indeed, just giving you a taste, more here: http://www.unlimited-card.com/commerce/319/le-chicago-music-hall/vannes/

The Chicago used to be the La Bodeguita ;now a bit of video from Vimeo , glad I am not there lol! Enjoy it and do come to Vannes ::)

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