August 9, 2017

Some news from France and Spain


Hello y’all, this is my last post before my long summer vacation in Spain, and won’t be back to the last day in August. Therefore, I like to thank you all for following my blog up to now and looking forward to more posts for all to enjoy including me ::)

Here in my lovable Morbihan it is sunny ! temps around 18C or 60F Méteo France calls for rain in the afternoon but can’t tell by looking out.  In fact they call for rain into the night …..The Weather Channel has it at 62F cloudy with risk of rain by midday…well I am looking out bright sunny no clouds oh well here goes the weather again.

Paris is at 64F cloudy as well ……and chance of rain today and tomorrow. Madrid is at 73F a bit cloudy but no rain, hey where is the heat wave !! well it says goes up to 95F by Sunday!

A bit more on both countries coming up.

The INSEE, the French statistical office has an increase in tourist for the 2nd trimester of 2017 with hotel nights at 56,6 Millions or a 6,3 % increase over same period last year. The foreign visitors are back with an increase of 10% and it tells France could reach 88-89 million visitors this year or an increase of 5-6% over 2016. Of course, if all else stays the same. Like the latest attempt in Levalois-Perret (92) outside Paris of military Sentinelle security personnel been run over by a car with 6 wounded ,two serious but not death threatening just this morning.

Know about tourism in France from the official French page here:

In Spain things are popping, according to the provisions of the Spanish hoteliers, Confederation Espanhola de Hoteles y Alojamientos Turisticos (CEHAT) ,they expect 56,7 million hotel nights or an increase of 8,8% over the same period last year. On the whole, they expect to have 80 million visitors this year 2017. The main foreign market is the UK and even the Brexit still has not cause any differences. They have increase by 14% the visits to Spain and increase expending by 19%. IN the long range visitors, the leading market is the USA with an increase of 19,4%, the Asians 34,5% (Japan, China,South Korea,and India), all due to better air connections, weak Euro and terrorist insecurity elsewhere.

Know about tourism in Spain from the official Spanish page here:

There is a new contest on popularity by the site El Viajero Fisgon, that gives the favorite town of the Spaniards to visit. These are in order Ronda, Pastrana, Albarracín, Cadaqués (Cataluña), Alcalá de Júcar (Castilla-La Mancha), Cudillero (Asturias), Santillana del Mar (Cantabria), La Alberca (Castilla y León), Trujillo (Extremadura), Colmenar de Oreja (Madrid), Frigiliana (Málaga), Hondarribia (País Vasco), Altea (Valencia) ,and Vejer de la Frontera (Andalucía) to name a few. More here:

And have you heard the news lately, the song Despacito by Luis Fonsi has become the first video to surpass the 3M views in Youtube and the most likes in history! The video has been seen in 40 countries with translations.  I would not post the video here but easy to find in YouTube.

Why people comes to Spain, well for sun and beach , but not really there is so much to see.  Unesco declares 46 sites for world heritage sites only the third country behind Italy (53) and China (52) and surpassing France (43) and Germany(42)!

Some statistics from Wikipedia ,Eurostat;etc on most hit cities to come:

París is the Unesco Heritage site most recherche

Number of Visits in Wikipedia to these sites during  2015,en millions. París,6,82 m; Rome,5,76 m,,Istanbul,4,78 mi,,Auschwitz,4,64 m, Statue of Liberty NYC;4,09m, The Great Wall of China,3,82 mi,Taj Mahal,3,69 m,Vienna,3,48 m,Budapest,3,43 m,Vatican City,3,34 m,Mexico City,3,26 m,Prague,3,25 m,Pompeii Italy,3,17 m,Venice Italy,3,16 m,Machu Picchu Peru,3,02 m,Moscow,2,81 m,Warsaw Poland,2,7 m,Rio de Janeiro,2,49 m,Stonehenge,2,46 m. Etc etc

And something not done yet, but have folks doing it and sure one to pop over is camping cars. Some tips from Erwyn Himer Group.

To choose the model, caravaning market you have basically four types, the Camper, freer movement, Capuchina, space with bedroom for driver, families or groups, Integrated almost like a bus design and the profil with good quality price ratio. The speed for camping cars is 90 KPH on conventional roads and 100 KPH in expressways/motorways. Parking is allow on designated areas for campings. The rights such as shower, lavabo, and sink need to be empty in spaces designated for that. The leftout water are to be kept in tanks and to evacuate them need to find a sewer or pvc exit pipe like.  Like I said ,not an expert but always curious about them for later on in life ….. more on this here:

And where I am going next, well Spain all over the Castilla and Leon and Castilla La Mancha regions. Base here:


Enjoy your vacations as I am looking forward to enjoy mine, today is my last day at work lol!!!  Happy camper indeed!!! And a road warrior soon on the motorways of France and Spain!! Cheers

August 6, 2017

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton XX

Here we are on a tranquil Sunday midday already and a bit cloudy temps at 19C about 67F. And time to stop and reflect on my blog and new things coming up.

We are preparing our long summer vacation in our beloved Spain, right with all the family;sad my Dad will stay behind as too frail to do much walking. We have what is call here operation tranquilité vacances; where you can alert the gendarmerie police that the house is empty for vacation and who stayed behind like senior citizens; the police will make rounds to your house even check if doors are well closed etc.

The packing is done with all involved , well me I am always vacation ready so have my things on a corner ready to go already lol!!  The boys will need to organize their equipment ::) video games dvd, iphones etc cables chargers all the works. The brochure for sightseeing all pack, and map ideas done.

We are traveling by car all the way by non tolls roads as we do not like to travel paying taxes ! All the way down to Pau, where we will rest in a hotel for the night before the second leg straight to our house in the mountains of the Serrania de Cuenca at 1400 meters high. We have done this trips before so we have our stopping point for rest, eat, and shop along the way even in the Pyrénées mountains (more of this on our return in late August/early September. The weather calls for cloudy but no rains temps from 13C to 27C depending on the day and whether morning or afternoon, so nice for car travel!!!

I like to thanks all those who follow, read, comment ,like my blog along the years since November 2010 ,it has been a wonderful experience and I thank my friend from Madrid who encourage me to do it on WordPress. Again many thanks to all, you make it enjoyable.

It has been 465 111 views of my posts with the highest day at 977!!! 865 comments, and 331 blogs followers. My viewers are from countries of my original intention and prove correct. Most come from the USA and France, with bit down the line UK, Germany,Canada, Spain, Italy,Brazil, Netherlands, and Poland; and more. I have already 1057 posts !!! not counting this one…

While still here will be able to watch the UEFA Super Cup in Skopje August 8th between my Real Madrid FC vs Manchester United. More here:

And while in Spain, I will be to watch live! the Super Cup of Spain between my Real Madrid FC vs Barcelona on August 13(at Barcelona), 16(at Madrid) two match series. More here:

Then, on August 23rd in Madrid , we host the 38th edition of the trophy or Trofeo Bernabeu  against guest club Fiorentina of Italy. More here:

And the official La Liga Santander, first division starts on August 20th vs Deportivo La Coruña at Riazor to kick off the season; second game at home vs Valencia August 27th. The key games as usual the derby  against Atletico Madrid will be on matchday 12 (the weekend of November 19th) at the Wanda Metropolitano and matchday 31, either the 7th or 8th April, at the Santiago Bernabéu. And the  Clasico at home on matchday 17, which will be played on Wednesday, December 20th. The return tie will be played on matchday 36, on the weekend of May 6th.  The full schedule here:

My temple, Santiago Bernabeu stadium:

The Club World Cup this year played in the United Arab Emirates will be held December 13  with the semifinals leg and a team to be determine. We are here thanks for being the reigning European Champions. More on this tournament here:

Our junior team the Castilla Real Madrid pending confirmation will begin their league 2nd B group I ,on August 20th vs Rayo Majadahonda .More on them and the rest of the farm clubs of Real Madrid here:

The basketball section of Real Madrid which of course, I ,also, follow will start with the Liga Endesa on September 30th,October 1st vs Retabet Bilbao Basket at the WiZink Center.  The first Clásico will take place on Matchday 8, on 11 or 12 November at the WiZink Center with the return being played on the weekend of 10 and 11 March, corresponding to Matchday 22. The derbies against Movistar Estudiantes will be on Matchday 14 at home on the weekend of 30 and 31 December and n Matchday 31 on 5 or 6 May. More on the schedule here:

The Euroleague will have the Real Madrid at the home of Anadolu Efes in Istanbul on Thursday the 12th of October, and will close out the Regular Season at home against Brose Bamberg on the 6th of April 2018.  The Clàsico here vs Barcelona of the season will be played on match day 12 at the WiZink Center on the 14th of December, with the return leg on match day 23 at the Palau, on the 23rd of February 2018  More here with schedules:

The Endesa Super Cup will be Real Madrid vs Herbalife Gran Canaria  on Friday the 22nd of September at the island court. The other semi-final sees Valencia Basket take on Unicaja de Malaga. It will be the seventh consecutive season that Real Madrid have taken part in the Endesa Super Cup, having already won the trophy on three occasions (2012, 2013 and 2014). More here:

The WiZink Center for basketball is modern, wonderful right in the city close to the center, a long way from the originals arenas and the one I went first Vista Alegre!!! More on the new Center here:

To start your history with the club, Madridista card is perfect for all no matter where you live; the road starts here, and I encourage my readers to be Madridistas, of course ::) More here: (oh by the way Socio is tops ::))

So, therefore, I will have plenty of football/soccer to see even on vacation lol!! Can’t be too far from it;my lifelong club is like a family with many friends along the years because of it.In Spain and abroad.

Be good, happy travels, enjoy it now not later, and keep up with the blog please ::) Thanks and Cheers y’all.





August 5, 2017

My travels in the Morbihan ,XXXVI

Well, this is my last weekend before the trip and then will be no writing until September. I will get plenty of photos hopefully good ones and new ones with some oldie favorites in my beloved Spain.

For now , here in my gorgeous Morbihan Breton, it was nice hot and sunny with temps in the 23C until later in the afternoon we had a nice breeze and temps down to 20C. Still sunny and no rain.

We had to get ready for our trip so we did not plan anything far out, just going to our local favorite towns of Auray and Vannes. Plenty written on it in my blog, just do search.

We started in our town of Pluvigner, and drove by the place St Michel , with the Church of Saint Gildas and before the poissonnerie or fish market in town we do shop.  From the real food of France, reason major we are here, this is the fish market in Pluvigner;

Then, we went to Auray for some pressing tailor needs and we went into city center and the lovely Chapelle Saint Héléne or L’Hôpital. It was a hospital for the poor and sick and today a center of community events and the adjoining tourist office of the area.  We went crossing the railroad tracks near the train station of Auray that I used so much for trips to Paris and Nantes. There just before getting to the expressway N165 ,you see the marshes of the river Loc’h/Auray always wet. The chapel here:

We continue onwards to Vannes, where it was absolutely packed like never before. The tourists are in great numbers. We park as always easy and free by the canal in le Port harbor area.

There ,you see how we arrive at Le Port harbor area and all the traffic and crowds , we went by the old Chapelle des Ursulines now part of the lycée St Paul.St George (high school now).

We went around Le Port and saw our usual hangouts that did not stop this time but worth a picture, such as Gambetta and Le Tarmac along the harbor marina. I took a picture of the fish in the harbor came out ok, more than ever, the fishes are back , a good sign indeed! See the Gambetta on Facebook:

And Le Tarmac :

Then, we got into the marché or market day in Vannes . Absolutely the best in the region; where we do our fresh shopping from cherries to fish and mussels to mangoes! All wonderful , simply the best. More here in French:

A walk along the place du poids public, and place des lices coming in under the gate or porte Saint Vincent into rue Saint Vincent is magical for all to come in by there. You will then, head up uptown the old town into another time, a medieval time.

And we came home to start our packing, a whole family trip needs careful planning and packing. We are leaving middle of week next for Castilla la Mancha, Spain ::)

You all enjoy the weekend and happy travels wherever you are or going. Cheers

 Auray  Auray  Auray  Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes



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August 4, 2017

Some news from Spain XLVIIII

Ok so maybe one last post on Spain before getting there, can’t wait. We had in my area a cloudy, rainy cool day all day and still with temps at 20C or about 69F.

It is nice to speak about Spain and their parks , some very close to me like Guadarrama , Teide, and Picos de Europa. Here is more on them

Parque Nacional de la Sierra de Guadarrama just north of Madrid. A mountain range running east to west in the peninsula (Spain) There are many roads to get there like the Calzada Borbónica in Fuenfría or the Macizo de Peñalara; also, in bicycle like the La Horizontal, Calderuelas, Pinares de Canencia, Las Zetas de La Pedriza, Pinares de La Barranca , and the Valle de La Fuenfría. You can do escalade or climbing on the La Pedriza de Manzanares. You can top if off by visits to  La Granja de San Ildefonso or the Monasterio de El Paular. You can stop by for lunch of gambas a la plancha, pork chops and grill meats at Sala, Ctra de los Molinos, 2 Guadarrama or Casa Ochoa calle Virgen de las Nieves 70). For more info visit the Centro de Visitantes Valle de la Fuenfria, ctra de las Dehesas, km 2, Cercedilla; open every day from 9h to 20h. More here:

Parque de la Sierra Nevada (Almería/ Granada). This is the biggest park with 80 000 hectares and the only Spanish Mediterranean mountain with more than 2000 species of flora; as well as many fauna. The best known trail is El Sulayr with about 300 km of trails that allows you see the park in stages. You can go by road on the Carretera al Veleta , the third highest peak of Spain. You can stop for lunch at Ruta del Veleta, Avenida de Sierra Nevada, 146 Cenes de la Vega, Granada; a stylish palace mudéjar with a branch at Monachil. More info at the Centro de Visitantes El Dornajo, ctra A-395, direction Pradollano, km 23, Guéjar, Sierra Nevada, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10h to 14h and 17h to 19h . More info here:;jsessionid=03ACA1726F0299348C402D12FF3709F2?idEquipamiento=19476

Tablas de Daimiel , Ciudad Real. Best to visit early in the morning or late afternoons. The tables or tablas are form by the overflowing of the rivers Guadiana and Ciguela.  You have three pedestrian routes to cover the whole park. The itineiraire of Isla del Pan is the most famous and takes 2 km with wooden passarelles. Here on the island or Isla del Pan you find the unique formation of forest of tarayes (tamarix). You can stop for lunch at  El Bodegon, calle Luchana 20, Daimiel; an old bodega of the 18C.  More info at the Centro de Visitantes de las Tablas de Daimiel, open everyday from 9h to 21h. More info here:

Teide(Tenerife) ,my family from both side of grandparents are from here.  These have an incredible view with a geological monument , volcanic cones, and sides of mountain in lava creating a multitude of colors. Parque Nacional del Teide is the most visited in Spain , and it has four roads to reach it. To climb to the highest point Pico Teide (3718 meters) you need a permit beforehand. The famous and wonderful canyons of  Teide,its great plains where the eroded lava is held in high altitudes and sides that you can walk on them is wonderful. The peak or Pico del Teide you can see free with guides and prior reservation. Do not miss the lookout or Mirador de los Roques de Garcia.  You can have lunch at  Tasca Tierras del Sur, calle pedro gonzalez gomez 20 Granadilla de Abona. More info at the Centro de Visitantes de El Portillo, ctra TF 21 de la Orotava a Las Canadas, Portillo de la Villa. Open every day from 9h to 16h. More info here:

Picos de Europa (Asturias/Léon/Cantabria). The biggest chalk formation in Atlantic Europe with an enormouse unlevelling between valleys and peaks that surround it. You have free guided tours during the Summer.  One spectacular tour is to see the Vegarredonda and Ordiales that starts around the lake or Lagos de Covadonga  and travel on hills around the municipality of Cangas de Onis. El Refugio de Vegarredonda is the intermediary point in the walk tour just where the ascend to the lookout or mirador de ordiales begins (a national balcon of 1700 meters on top of a side canyon vertical of 1000 meters over the valley of  Angon where you see wonderful views over the municipalities of  Ponga, Caso, and  Sajambre, and peaks like the western massive of the Picos de Europa). You can have a very good lunch at the Rincon de Don Pelayo, Real Sitio de Covadonga, 25 Covadonga, Cangas de Onis . More info at the Centro de Visitantes ,Sotama, avda Luis Cuevas, 2ª Tama, Cillongo de Liebana.Cantabria. More info here:

Couple of nice restaurants that open in August in Madrid are:

Lavinia, Calle José Ortega y Gasset, 16. It is a great liquor store as well with a huge selection on wines (Also at Pl Madeleine Paris). Great menu with chipirones a la andaluza con piparras fritas, steak tartare, ensaladilla rusa, mollejas con berenjenas etc; and over 4500 wine references alone! More info here:

El Perro y la Gallina, Calle Claudio Coello, 11, with an air of English club , own by the founder of the cracker company that shows in the decoration of the resto. It is dog friendly, and the menu includes ensaladilla con carpaccio de gambon, ceviche al pesto and tacos al pastor etc.  More info here:

And now let me tell you a bit more of my background, DNA for real, my grandparents on mother and father’s side comes from Tenerife, and I grew up with the traditions. Now let me tell you a bit on Tenerife and its wines as well.

Tenerife has the best vineyard festivals, and way back was a great kingdom of pre Christian times that still you can find tells of it.  The name of Tenerife comes from a king Guanche (how locals derive from, and king =mencey) that share the island with nine sons giving to each a kingdom. From the beginning of the Castilian conquest (ended in 1496 attach to Spain) the town of  Icod de los Vinos  was an important center of cultivation.  The cith of Santa Cruz is in the kingdom of or menceyato of Anaga .  It will a good idea to walk the street or calle Imeldo Serís, very typical of the origins. Some of the monuments here are Parrish Church de la Concepción, located in the Plaza de la Iglesia, dating from 1502,  the fountain or fuente de Isabel II,(queen) in the square or plaza de Isabel II, a monumental  neo classical work built in 1844;  Plaza de la Candelaria, an esplanade on cobble stones that was the entrance to the now gone castle or castillo de San Cristóbal , that has an obelisk in marbre carrara of 4 meters high sculpture in the 18C ; the  palace or  Palacio de los Carta, now a bank  built with quarry stone and one of the baroque jewels of the city  with neo classical elements. The baroque temple Church of  San Francisco dating from 1680; theater or  Teatro Guimerá dated 1850, it has decoration in golden panes and musical frescos inside and comedy masks.  The park or Parque Marítimo César Manrique,next to the castle or castillo de San Juan; the Parque de la Granja, or the  Parque de Don Quijote; the Parque García Sanabria  is a romantic park with valuable modern sculptures.

We move on to the city of  San Cristóbal de La Laguna, the second city of the island, and capital of the menceyato Guanche of Anaga , and the island. It preserved the richness of its monuments ,with mansion of sunshine, convents and good nightlife. You can walk along the Plaza del Adelantado and its most interesting street the  Calle San Agustín. See the Church  de la Concepción (1496-1511), with a belltower of 1701.  In the nave you have mudéjar arts on teak wood . It is nearby the Chapel of  San Miguel dating from 1506 now converted to an exposition hall. In the convent or convento de los Agustinos ,there still a bell, a cloister of red stone from the 18C, an a beautifical balcon on the Canaries style.  The original convent or convento de Santa Clara dating from the 16C keeps a lookout tower on the mudéjar style. You can see a similar one in the convent cloister or convento de clausura de Santa Catalina de Siena. the notable mansion of  Nava dating from 1585 now of different styles. In the 18C it was home to many literary and utopian reformists of the times. Other nice mansions are those of  Casa del Corregidor, plateresque gate, and the Casa de los Capitanes,dating from the 16C.

We continue with the city of La Orotava a typical tenerifian town with influences of English, Andalucian , Normandian, and Castilians. You should not miss the botanical garden of the parque botánico ,la Hijuela created in the 18C. La Orotova is the home of the DO of the Valle de la Oratava wines done with grapes of malvasía, and solera bodegas (wines not known on the mainland not elsewhere) the best bodegas are those of Valleoro and Tajinaste. The mansions of  Casa Machado-Llerena and Casa de Torrehermosa, Casa de los Balcones , and the buildings of the street or calle Colegio. From the lookout or mirador de Humboldt you can see the best views of the town  , Puerto de la Cruz, and its extraordinary botanical garden or  Jardín Botánico.

And the trip goes on to La Guancha the best known bodega on the island from the DO designation  such as Bodega Viñátigo, good white wines even if  95% of it stays in the island. You can try the Viña La Guancha (wines of the brand  Viña Zanata) are good too.  The Bodegas gives freely wine to taste in the festival or feast of San Andrés,  November 29-30 2017 next.  It has a nice square or plaza de la Pila, from the 17C with a small botanical garden. Some more bodegas in Icod de los Vinos with good quality are those of  Francisco Javier Gómez Pimentel (Aceviño). Around Icod  you find the wonderful caves of  Cueva del Viento, the longest volcanic tube in the world with 14 kms of tunnels where live 55 animal species adapted to subterranean living; it has been discovered fossil of a giant lizard and remains of a huge pre historic rat.

And we arrive to my specific area of DNA ! the valley or valle de Güímar , where my grandparents comes from on all four sides !!! This is an area with huge arqueological interest like the necropolis of the kings or  menceyes Guanches with hundreds of mommies, and the pyramids of  Güímar (and yes you are not in Egypt!). You see the interesting volcanic formation of the Malpaís de Güímar. You should stop by the Church of San Pedro, that has many sculptures of local folklore.  The city Candelaria (my paternal grandparents were born here) was an important Guanche inhabited area and grew from the 1526  around the sanctuary of the Patron Saint of the Canary Islands (first of Tenerife) , the Basilica of the Virgen de la Candelaria. Here you can walk on the square or plaza de la Basílica, with bronze statues of our ancestors kings and the Casa Consistorial,with tenerifian architecture  The DO on these lands are from the grape white Listán especially.  The coop or  Cooperativa de Abona ,and in Güimar, the Bodegas of  Juan Tacoronte Cejas , and  Tomás Guzmán Mesa are very good indeed.

And two sites to know more about the wines of Tenerife are here:


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August 3, 2017

Some news from France CLXVII

It seems I am blogging a lot on the latest in France, but later on will be resting on my vacation in Spain; and there is so much to tell you of my belle France!  Today was a windy cooler day with hardly any sun in my Morbihan Breton, temp is now at 19C or about 67F. While in Paris eternal is 78F and more sunshine;low tonite will be around 63F.

In continuing with the mayor’s office of Paris trying to get rid of the car/auto and many businesses as well; we have a good allied in the Prefect of Police of the region of île de France who is in charge of regulating and enforcing traffic laws on the whole. He does not like the Mayor’s ideas , and you know neither do I ::)

The Mayor idea is to redo completely the beautiful street rue de Rivoli, a central axis of the city running from the Place de la Concorde to the Place de la Bastille…!!The crazy idea is to create a cycling lane in double direction! They will get rid of the two-way lanes of automobiles today.  From now the automobile folks will conduct their travels on one Indian file lane !!!next to the bus lane and a cycling lane bidirectional of 4 meters (about 13 feet).  To this end the préfet de police or Police chief ask to get rid of this project and maintain the double lanes for automobiles next to the bus lane. Now even the taxis are complaining especially those from the taxi stand at Saint Paul (4eme) as they said rightfully so with two lanes there is already a traffic jam , and the bus lane they have to get out because of deliveries to the merchants; with one lane it will at least hell on wheels!!! To be Continue….Now see nice photo from Le Parisien newspaper here!


One more finding in France of archeological significant. They have found a little Pompeii at Sainte Colombe in the Rhône. It has already been declared by the Minister of Culture as an “exceptional discovery!” They estimate the site was occupied about 3 centuries ago and it is of 7000 m2 space quite a size. They will continue the search until September but from August it can be visited. More in French here:

In on the archeological mindset I continue on the matter. While building some apartments in Marseille, they have found something wonderful that will save about 600 M2!!! The vestiges of the Greeks, old of 2600 years coming from the first time of the Phoenician city. Marseille is known as the oldest city in France!  The first Greek colony in Gaul founded by the Phoenicians who came from Ionia (today the Turkish coast) in 600 BC.  The quarries of the Greek antique or La Corderie done against the backdrop of the Church Notre Dame de la Garde on Bd de la Corderie, by the search of the Institut national de Recherches Archéologiques Préventive or INRAP. We are on the first times of the city about 50 years after its foundation, with the oldest traces coming from early the 6C BC. The quarries were exploited until about the 2C BC. The place is about 1200 square meters with 5-6 meters high, very near the Vieux Port where at the times it was a harbor here in the shape of a horseshoe. More here in French:

And not antique but new design coming up as well;  on the square des Larrys,  at Puteaux. They have installed a wonderful Clock that can be seen from the lower street of the rue Monge. This is a luminous floral clock ! It was done in the shop of Huchez,from  Ferrières (Oise),and it measure 2,80 meters in diameter (about 9 feet) ; all inspired, design and assemble there. This is a well-known jeweller with a family tradition since 1832 and have done more than 2000 clocks in France with 1200 sold each year. More on Huchez here in French:

Something nice ,for all ,but especially for visitors me think. The Greeters, beginning in France in the years 2000, these are volunteer guides where 60% are retirees that welcome tourists French and foreigners for tours of the city on areas they know well. The origins of this movement started in New York back in 1992; today they are present in 34 countries and 150 towns. Here in France ,they are under the Fédération France Greeters ; and the Paris branch has about 400 members able to offer you a guide in about 15 languages including Chinese! You simply need to go their site and sign on for the areas of interests to you and available dates . Not too far from me in Nantes, was one of the first branch in France and one of the most active today with about 40 members hosting about 300 tourists on average with about 30% foreigners. More on them here:

There is a professional competing organization, this is the Fédération nationale des guides interprètes et conférenciers (FNGIC), 1 000 members, and not as open as the greeters. This was created in 2115 and officially open in April 2017. Their webpage is .  Then, you have the newest one the LocalBini  , trying to be the first platform of collaboration community economic dedicated to Tourist and Cultural experiences in Europe. They propose tours in Paris, Geneva, Zurich, Lisbon and since July London and Rome. The idea is simple, you sign up for free on the site and reserve an activity.  Their webpage is here!

Something visitors probably do not or will not understand, there is a lot more than Paris in France. And now according to a survey by Empruntis, a real estate broker one over two Parisian wants to leave Paris. Leaving a capricious climate, pollution, and crowded places or searching for better pay.  According to this study  46%  of Parisians wants to leave the city. The more expensive districts are the ones where the people wants to leave the most. Two third wants to leave the arrondissement or districts 1er, 3e, 4e, 6e ,and 8e. While a whopping 70%  of the districts 18e and 20e arrondissements would want to do that.  Even, if as a whole the region of ile-de-France  stays the one that attracts the most buyers of property. More in French on where we like to go all else been equal:,8119

And now for some interesting Summer cruises in Paris:

In August the non-profit org  Freegan Pony,  that serves the unsold food at the huge market south of Paris ,Rungis,  go on a cruise !  You will see serve all along the cruise sandwiches du monde or world’s sandwiches  done with products non caliber and with a glass of rosé wine. August 26 and 27 departs from the bassin de la Villette at 19h30 , duration 2h; more here:

A more romantic cruise ,Croisiere du vieux Paris , along the Seine to find the secrets of the canal Saint-Martin !  There will be a cruise of 2h30 making you pass by the vault tunnel of the Bastille, the wonderful passerelles of the Canal , the levies and the bridge or pont levant de Crimée ! Departing every day at 9h45 and 14h40 from the Port de l’Arsenal and 9h45 and 14h45 from the bassin de la Villette. Fridays and Saturdays at 18h from the basin de la Villette or the pont de l’Arsenal, duration 2h30. More here:

Then, you have the cool Safari Boat, a cruise with music each Wednesday at sundown. Along the Seine with rhythm concerts with live DJ’s from the best at the moment such as Agar Agar, les Naive New Beaters or the  Fishback  to name a few.  You need to come quick Wednesdays from 19h departing from 2 quai Saint Bernard (5eme), reservation is obligatory. More here:

A Paris favorite foodies place and now in the west ,dept 92 Hauts-de-Seine. In the lower part of the harbor of Port bas d’Asniéres by the quai du Docteur Dervaux.  Here Rosa Bonheur in the west is born! The menu has tapas ham Serrano, cream of Artichoke, tarama with urchins corals or pizzas in wooden fire. La Rosa Bonheur à l’Ouest, 20  quai du Docteur Dervaux – 92600 Asnières. Open Wednesdays to Saturdays from mid day to 23h45 and Sundays from mid day to 21h. More here:

The MoMA is coming to Paris. from October 11, is giving some of its works of arts to the Fondation Louis Vuitton until March 5 2018. The exposition “Etre Moderne: le MoMA à Paris, presents collections of exceptional value some never before shown in France. More than 200 works of arts retracing the history as a role of collections in the world are presented. The museum of Modern Art was created in 1929 interested in plastic arts of the times. Etre Moderne : le MoMA à Paris will show all the works acquired by the museum during this time. From the first movements of the modern art to the expressionism abstract passing by the minimalism and the pop art. You will see paintings, sculptures, stamps, photos ,films, numeric works, performances, architectural objects and design. Works from Paul Cézanne, Edward Hopper, Constantin Brancusi, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Marcel Duchamp ,and Alexander Calder to name a few will be on display. Some of the works never shown in France before will be  Les boîtes de soupe (soups cans) Campbell of Andy Warhol (1962) , and the  Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey of  Diane Arbus 1967.  Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 avenue du Mahatma Gandhi , (16eme). More info here:

All Summer from early on 7h (7am) the écurie enchantée is proposing to extend your time in the afternoons with an equestrian show. An excuse to stay later on in the day with a nice place.  It all begins from August 6th at the Villette. The place has 3000 m2  and is ready to welcome the weekends of summer all comers even the insomniacs like some of us.  In the exterior you will see the night light on the vast space of trails . Many other activities such as baby-foot, jacuzzi, badminton, arcade games or society games. All with a mega floor of dance of about 1000 m2 and the mini shops like a market, yoga courses, tattoos etc and about 500 m2 of restauration. All on Sundays in August 6-13-20-27 from 7h to 21h. More here in Facebook:

And let’s close this post with something all should do in Paris. Forget the public transport or even the car, the best way to see Paris is walking. Do it, try it, and keep at it. The more you walk the more you will love Paris. I have done it ,and I am not known for walking in the French sense,which is done a lot here. However, I have come used to and it is wonderful. Some of my favorite walks in Paris ,the city of romance and more.

You give yourselves a start from the métro Censier-Daubenton ; take the street rue Daubenton and go towards the Mosquée de Paris. IT would be worth to enter, admission needed but the gardens are just worth it. Come out and go back  towards the rue Monge, on the right you will pass by the discreet entrance to the  arènes de Lutèce at No 49, a jewel of Roman architecture. Go towards the Place Maubert, and stop by the Church  Saint-Julien le Pauvre by the rue Lagrange, then the  rue Galande (dating from the 12C).  Continue on to the square Viviani.The old grand tree here in the entrance to the garden is the oldest tree in Paris ! The walks continue right here to the rue de la Bucherie that allows you to walk along the bergers of the quais de Seine to come to the pretty Anglophone library of the Shakespeare & Company. We keep walking, yes!!! straight into the rue de la Huchette. You will arrive at the nice wonderful  place Saint-Michel and see the wonderful fountain here. Go around to the little pretty place Saint-André-des-Arts to link up with the boulevard Saint-Germain by the rue Suger.  I encourage you to take some time here to see the Church Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the oldest in Paris built in 1163.  Take the street rue de l’Abbaye, and look at the entrance door at no. 14, you will see the wall the hall lobby of the remains of a monks dormitory, a nice medieval vestige ! Come back to the  boulevard Saint-Germain,and take rue Bonaparte until the Church  Saint-Sulpice. You need to go in to see the paintings by Eugène Delacroix.

Another nice walk is to start from the métro Raspail.  You should see the passage d’Enfer, on the right of the rue Campagne-Première, even if unfortunately it has wrought iron grills to cover it.  You notice the beautiful house at 242 boulevard Raspail where Picasso lived for a while in 1911! Take again the  rue Campagne-Première, and see the house on no 31. Again at no 17, you will a pretty small street full of shops. And you arrive at the boulevard du Montparnasse, turn right then go until the restaurant brewery  Closerie des Lilas. This  brasserie was the site of encounters of several intellectuals like Gide or Apollinaire.  You turn to the left and take the avenue de l’Observatoire. You will end up at the Fontaine des Quatre Parties du Monde, a symbol of the urban art of the 19C.  And you see a wonderful view of the jardin du Luxembourg. You walk pass the jardin des Grands Explorateurs  until the jardin du Luxembourg  then turn left  and take the  rue Auguste Comte , then  rue Vavin,at no 26 you will see a nice building in white ceramics built by the architect Henri Sauvage.  You continue walking to rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs until rue de la Grande-Chaumière.  At the end of the street you will reach the Carrefour Vavin, today call place Pablo Picasso.  Here you will find four great brasseries or brewery restaurants such as the  Le Dôme, La Coupole, La Rotonde ,and le Select. Several artists come to here for discussions and redo the world. You cross the square Picasso and take the rue Huyghens. Continue straight until the cemetery or  cimetière du Montparnasse. Here many famous are buried such as see the tomb of  Jean-Paul Sartre ,and  Serge Gainsbourg. You come out from here and take the boulevard Edgar Quinet until the rue de la Gaîté, quant in full of theaters and bistros (one of my favorite areas of Paris!) ; you take left to the avenue du Maine until the rue Raymond Losserand, the business street of the district  and walk a further 500 meters to the rue des Thermopyles,a pretty paved street. End

The best to buy for walks in Paris is the book you can buy in all tabacs, FNAC etc is the L’Indispensable :le petit parisien. Enjoy the walks.

And have a great Friday, TGIF indeed and the weekend! Cheers



August 2, 2017

Always special ,Vannes

Again a special day is any day in Vannes, our capital city and my work city. It is nice not so cool and not so warm ,just perfect with the sun out and in. Temps still in 19C or about 71F.

I was out with colleagues after work , as we had to say goodbye to one, and why not do a bit of an au revoir or good bye in Vannes.

I was the first one in the bar ::) got easy parking by the ramparts of the old castle and did a bit of walking around the beautiful medieval buildings. Finally, I headed for the bar just before 19H.(7PM).

Before, the bar did some walking around the old city and took some pictures with my mobile/cellular telephone, not the best but will do for this amateur photographer ::)

The gate or porte Poterne is very old (1678-1680) and nice over a stone bridge getting you into the old town just by the bar mentioned below. Here you have the wonderful Jardin de la Garenne and the Tour du Connétable (constable tower) , les lavoirs or laundries, wonderful views over the Cathedral St Peter (St Pierre) and Church of St Patern; a great façade of the cinema Cinéville Garenne just in front of the Chateau de l’Hermine (old hotel Lagorce), at 12 Rue Alexandre le Pontois. A nice view from the back of the marché couvert des lices or covered market which I usually take the picture from the front!

We went to the Les Valseuses, a popular bar here near the gate or porte Potern and behind the Chateau de l’Hermine and the gardens of the Garenne.  The bar is name after a popular movie of the same name that came out in 1974. More on the bar from the tourist office here:

We/I come here often and it is very friendly service, good prices and historical place on one side the ramparts and the beforementioned chateau de l’Hermine and on the other side is Place des Lices and medieval Vannes. A city untouch by the ravishes of war and with buildings originals from as far back as the 14C.

This was just a sentimental goodbye as you should know on jobs ,the friendship enduring ones are what counts. And we will be back to the Les Valseuses eventually to continue our ins and outs of Vannes.

It is all over my blog but for ease of reference this is the main tourist office of the city in English here:

Until next time and enjoy the photos of a beautiful city even with my cellular/mobile telephone they came out not too bad ::) Cheers

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August 2, 2017

Some news from France CLXVI

Yesterday was a sunny calm wind day in the Morbihan Breton, looking out of my window ,it feels a slight breeze, temps at 21C or 72F. It is bug time again to write about my belle France. The countdown began for my long European summer vacation soon.

If anybody around will be by the Les Valseuses bar in old town Vannes tonite ::)  Just behind the Chateau de l’Hermine and close by the ramparts of Vannes. more here:

Issues with public transport, always a nightmare in Paris if you happened to have worked there like me for 10 years; lucky some visitors that do not have to go thru this everyday.

there is work going on to renew and renovate the rails for 3,7 km (2,2 miles) of the RER A requiring the closing of the line between La Défense and Nation until August 27th. As you come out of the RER A station Auber, you will see water in the tunnel coming from the phreatic nappe at about 30 meters deep and one of the lowest point in this line. There is extraction of stones here needing to close four stations Charles-de-Gaulle/Etoile, Auber, Châtelet-les-Halles, and Gare de Lyon.  There are seven trains of 200-400 meters long doing this work according to the SNCF (France rail authority).

The work continues in the rue de Rivoli to make a bicycle lane on the bus lane now ; this will this line stop between rue de Fourcy ,and the rue Lobau in the 4eme arrondissement. They will maintain the two lanes road for cars/autos until mid October 2017. This according to the city of Paris

There is a new entrance by the rue Custine for the new station of Château-Rouge requiring closing the old entrance at the crossing of boulevard Barbés and rue Poulet in the 18eme arrondissement. The new station will be on the metro line 4 .  This according to the RATP ,the Paris region transport authority.

If you follow the news, there has been a huge delay at Montparnasse (my station luckily no need to travel there now!) The delays are going on two days! Many of the trains are been change to the station gare Austerlitz and some others to the one at Massy-Palaiseau.  This in the effort to make it possible for 3 out of 4 TGV to continue working. The SNCF has indicated the motive of this huge delays was a defect in the isolation of an electrical installation on a signal post !!!. Of course, the government criticize them for this delay but the govt knows they are on the red and do not want to bail out again!!

And Paris France has it’s Olympic Games for 2024!! making the 100 anniversary of the first one in 1924! Credit goes to Bernard Lapasset and Tony Estanguet.  The first one is former President of the International Federation of Rugby and the latter is former Olympic Champion in canoe and member of the CIO; and will be the organsier boss of the organisation committee. Los Angeles were given the games of  2028.  Giving them a bit more on Marketing period that will give them better revenues. More here:

A landmark gone and too sad to report here from my beloved Versailles.

The librairie Puzin library opened in 1908 in the 30, rue de la Paroisse (not far from the marche Notre Dame and the Church of same name) my area…! has stop activity! The webpage here:

The last books were sold to another wonderful library in Versailles, Le Facteur Cheval. Georges Robert Puzin, a Parisien already established in Paris at the avenue Wagram, opened another one in Versailles because his wife wanted to be close to the Royal town  where her sister lived.  They first, opened at the  rue de Maurepas, and shortly after at the current address at the rue de la Paroisse. The family library story will continue as one nephew has a library in Senlis (Oise-60). History abound here, as once Marcel Proust came to lived not far at the Hôtel des Réservoirs and a year later writes in his book “L’affaire Lemoine” telling about a witness of a customer from the librairie Puzin! Versailles the owners rightfully said are of gentle, curious and culture people! Yes indeed.

I will missed stopping by or passing by for many years and even visiting the city now always stop by there. 1908 is a long time to have a library, 109 years!!!!

And after this still sad news, we go eat ice creams in Paris! Many popular ones, these are my hidden favorites.

You come to Hugo & Victor 40 bd Raspail (7eme) Mondays to Fridays and Sundays from 10h to 19h ,Saturdays from 9h to 20h, one scoop 3€ on site or 3,50€ take away. Flavors change every month, like Herbacé for August, and chocolate in September. there are more than a dozen flavors in cone or cup great:more here:

Continue onto Géronimi, 5 rue Férou (6eme) from Tuesdays to Sundays from 9h30 to 20h ,3,80€ to take away, 4,50€ on site. The owner are from Corsica and just open the shop last December. About 30 flavors with a nice Salon de Thé or in terrace.  More here:

Lastly , in my choices you come to Senoble, 11 rue des petits-champs (1eme) open every day from 10h to 22h, minimum two scoops 3,70€ to take away or 5€ on site. It has two stores one at the île Saint Louis and other near the Palais Royal. it does 7 sorbet done on site home made with season fruits like the mandarine kalamansi or the fraise mara des bois (strawberries).  More here:

And this one is closer to me but saw an article in Le Figaro that just need to tell you about it.

In the bay of Lorient only 6 kms from the continent you have the island or île de Groix. It only has 8 kms long and 3 kms wide but it has many mysteries to geologists. On the North side as well as South is rocky coast but it has some beautiful beaches like the one at anse de Locmaria, on the south side or the beach at Grands Sables, one of the only beaches in Europe to have a convex shape! Info on the beaches here in English:

The traject lasts about 45 minutes arriving at the harbor or Port Tudy by the Compagnie Océane serving the island all year around departing from the maritime station of Lorient. Round trip cost is  34,50€ per adult . There is Escal’Ouest that links the island from May to September as well  leaving from the harbor at the Cité de la Voile or Port Louis. Round trip are between  20€ to 28€ for an adult.  The island can be done with a car but is is very nice by bus with  3 lines of them with spaces ; there is one individualise minibus you can contact the  «chauffeur de Groix», at +33 (0) You have many bike rentals at Port Tudy as well. You can see a natural reserve such as the réserve naturelle François Le Bail, with a great mineralogical value in its rocks, schists, blue and green, micaschists unique in France. The association Bretagne Vivante organises tours and if you like to go under water the club de plongée Subagrec does baptism ,explorations, and training for scuba diving.


Compagnie Océane:


réserve naturelle François Le Bail:

Bretagne Vivante:

Club de plongée Subagrec:

The tourist office of the île de Groix is here(French):

And I was here on business luncheon once ,and nice memories and history behind it. For the lovers of chic Paris. The mythical Le Pére Claude, 51 avenue de la Motte-Picquet, 15eme, tel +33 (0) 1 47 34 03 05; menus at 29,50€ and 35€. Open every day. This is where Jacques Chirac and his cabinet came to eat what was offered by the previous owner a name Michel Troigros. A minimum is 3 plates serving dinner or lunch to choose from 5. We had the 29,50€ menu of  entrée, plat, café gourmand, glass of wine and water; great value/price ratio. You have 7 other specialties totaling 17 dishes to choose from ! More info here:

Now, let’s close this post with one of my favorite staying in France, the wines. And especially at this time, what to drink with the heat, hot summer months.  In reality all three main colors can be serve in Summer as long as we know which ones.

The rosé wines are evidently the first ones to think when we think of sun and summer, however, careful not all rosés are refreshing. The more corsés with a sustain robe are for the cooler summer times. The more dry will be be cooler and you put them all in the fridge or in a bucket of ice while serving it.

The red wines can be light and fruity for the strong heat of summers. The wines from the Val de Loire (my favorites), or the pinot noir of Alsace are good for this time. We drink them between 12 and 14C and not at room temperature. We put them in the fridge to cool and bring out the perfums.

The white wines of summer are to be drank between 8c to 12C and some like the grands of Burgundy or those of Alsace better around 10C to preserve their perfum. The most refreshing are again those from the Val de Loire, Corbiéres and Corsica.

We can serve the Champagne between 8-10C. On some are more appropiate than others in Summer. We tend to go for the extra brut with a sugar content less important.  And a final tip, serve all of them about 2C degrees less of the temperature recommended because they can warm up fast in the glass.

And, one final point on wines from Le Figaro.  The prestigious house of the Côtes-du-Rhône of the family Marcel Guigal ,especially present in the Côte-Rôtie and Saint-Joseph  just came to purchase a vinyard in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the Domaine de Nalys with 50 hectares and well known for its white wines. It was owned by the insurance group Groupama, now this vinyard oldest in the appellation with origins going back to the 17C.

The family Guigal webpage here:

The Domaine de Nalys here:

Have fun, we are in AUGUST in France; do you know what that means ? Lol!! Cheers

July 31, 2017

Some news from Spain XLVIII

ok so back into Spain, this is the countdown 10 more days and I am in my Spain. Now here in beautiful Morbihan, there is sun and hot weather finally feels hotter but only 21C or about 69F. Down in Madrid it is gorgeous sunny and 89F!!!

Ok so now let me tell you a bit of the latest from the South….that is Spain here.

There is a lot history between the two countries not always nice, but this one it is. Between Irùn Spain and Hendaye France there is a river Bidasoa and in the middle there is an island Isla de los Faisanes in Spanish or L’île des Faisans in French (eng. Pheasants).  It only has 5000 square meters or 53 800 square feet of which 6 months each belongs to Spain and France! It is guarded each time by the commandant marine of San Sebastian (Donostia) and Bayonne.  The island is 215 meters long by 38 meters wide in an oval form filled with black poplar trees , low grass and stone megalith that reminds us of a moment in history when on November 7 1659 the Treaty of the Pyrénées was signed here putting an end to the 30 years war.  In one of the clauses of this treaty, the infant Maria Teresa of Austria daughter of king Felipe IV of Spain was to married king Louis XIV of France!

In the years to come many marriages and prisioners of both countries were exchange here mutually; some of which were there in 1659 were D’Artagnan captain of the musketeers, and the painter Diego Velazquez . The deal was that was a cessation to France that before they belong to Spain. However, 200 years later the Treaty of Bayonne of 1856 did finally divided the island by the two countries, when the erosion in the river caused the island to shrink to about 80 meters long and 5 meters wide. The two countries combined for the necessary work to make it splendid again to the size we see today. The gardening and cleaning of it is share as well between the city mayor’s office of Irùn and Hendaye. The only things does not exist in the island is pheasants as Victor Hugo wrote in 1843! More info in English here:

Continuing with the French Spanish connection, actress Jeanne Moreau is dead at 89 yrs old. Consider the grand dame of French cinema.  She was borne January 23rd 1928 of French father and English mother .She played under the best of France/Europe such as François Truffaut, Louis Malle or André Téchiné.  Orson Welles called her the best actress in the world!  and the first women part of the academy of fine arts in the history of France, pole bearer of the New wave and muse of directors such as  Elia Kazan and Luis Buñuel,of which she worked in  ‘Diario de una camarera’. In  2001 she was the first women member of the Academy of fine arts of Paris and the only actress presiding the Cannes film festival in two occasions. She played in movies such as  ‘Jules et Jim’ (1962) ,’La mariée était en noir’ (‘La novia vestía de negro’) (1967), of Truffaut, ‘La notte’ (‘La noche’) (1962), of Antonioni,or “Moderato Cantabile” (1960), of Peter Brook, that gave her the best female performer of Cannes. A great one passed away RIP.

The fields of lavander are gorgeous by Brihuega and Villaciosa de Tajuña . In summer , in the La Alcarria they are 10% of world production or about 1000 hectares, and the fields of these towns are full of them in July especially. 2000 kg of the plant each harvest ,and broken down into 250 hectáres for perfums, cosmetic, medicine, and restoration as well as about 750 hectares for decoration and perfums.  And you see the Festival of lavender of Brihuega again in July 2018:

More of the lavender in Spanish with guided tours here:

And this is summer festival abounds in my Madrid, and I look forward to them.

We have three main feasts or festivals such as those of  San Cayetano, San Lorenzo , and the Virgen de la Paloma, all of them in the districts of  Lavapiés and La Latina.  The first one are those of San Cayetano,next August 3rd,  but these can begin from today July 31st.

My favorite and the one I always went with my mother first, and now with my family is the Virgen de la Paloma in the Plaza de la Paja to Plaza de las Vistillas. There are from August 11 -15 in honor of the Virgin of the Pigeon or Virgen de la Paloma. Activities for the whole family.

This year the Asociacion de Empresarios de la Hosteleria de la Paloma (assoc of merchants of the hostelry of the Paloma) will begin even from August 4 to August 15 in the Ruta de la Tapa Slowfood (tapa route of slow food). Participating restos will be  ‘La burbuja que ríe’, ‘Casa Mateos’, ‘Los Ángeles’, ‘NdelT’, ‘Viuda de Vacas’, ‘Concepto Bistró’, ‘Bar Coto’, ‘Casa Antonio’, ‘Bar La Sixta’, ‘Bar Marathon’, ‘Mesón La Paloma’, ‘Mutxomas que pintxos’, ‘Tapioca Chill’, ‘Bar Txirimiri’, ‘Zaida 26’, ‘La petit Boheme’, ‘La Cervecería Lorena’ and ‘El Bombín de Sabina’. Everyday from 18h to 00H (midnight), you can take photographs with a local costume Chulapo/a if do not have the costume on. It will be done in the bar El Atril (gay bar) , calle de la Paloma,9. Also, the August 11-12 until OOH midnight there will be the the cry of the Virgin , sang by Pepa de Chamberî. Monday August 14 in Las Vistillas the show of La Verbena de la Paloma organized by the castizo association De Madrid al Cielo (the best show). Everyday there will be different musicals such as Catenca de Macao at 23h August 12th, Plaza de la Paja, and Mikel Erentxu at 22h45 August 15 in the Plaza de las Vistillas.  August 15 the festival will end with the traditional lowering of the portrait of the Virgin of La Paloma that will be at 14h15 by the firemen of the city hall of Madrid.  In the morning a floral offering of the Virgin from 10h in the front of the  school of La Salle-La Paloma, and after a solemn Mass at 13h in the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Paloma. In the afternoon at 20h a procession. More of it in Spanish from Madrid tourist office here:

El Capricho, is one of the prettiest park in Madrid but also one of the least known! It is done in the style romantic with a beautiful botanical , sculpture and artistic details . This green lung of Madrid hides one of the secrets of Madrid a bunker from the Spanish Civil War  unique in Europe in perfect state of preservation. It’s origins go back to the 18C when the aristocrat Doña María Josefa de la Soledad Alonso Pimentel, duchess of Osuna, decided to create a place for leisure and relaxation with nature. The park El Capricho is located in the Alameda de Osuna, just outside city limits, by Barajas. The bunker has  2 000 square meters built 15 meters below ground during the Spanish Civil War as well as the palace, dance room, and the ermite or chapel. The duchess of  Osuna is credited with many feasts, events and talks that shows the literary wisdom of the times as well as the promotion of the arts with many donations and shows presenting even the one and only Francisco de Goya–. In 1834, at the death of the Duchess of Osuna the park began to decline each passing year worse until in 1974 the city purchase the land and started renovating it. The work finished in 1999 and since then it is open to the public.  More here :

The wonderful Caixa Forum is exhibiting a great show coming from the British Museum that shows the beauty of the Helenic arts that the Beligian artists  Jan Fabre will be showing in the  Teatros del Canal.  Monte Olimpo, an spectacle of 24 hours where he will make the public relives what the Greek of yesteryear fell . The exposition entitled  Agón! La competición en la Antigua Grecia. The show opens with a beautiful statue of the goddess  Victoria Niké, and close out with fries fragment of the mausoleum or  Mausoleo de Halicarnaso,the giant tomb built by king  Mausolo de Caria in the year 350 BC. This monument was considered one of the 7 wonders of the old  world  and the first time the British Museum loans it out.  You see in this area room showing of sculptures from the funerary group such as a head of a lion, and two warriors, one Persian and the other Greek. Between the two rooms you will see many amphorae’s, vases, cones, and tablets that shows the daily life of the Greeks.  You will see the splendid corps of the statues with more than 2 meters high of a warrior and a discus thrower , this one a Roman version of 120-140 AC of a work credited to Naucides, known artists of bronze statues of the Olympic winners.  Lastly, do not forget the rooms dedicated to the wars loaded with military bronze with a Roman bust copy of Euripides, the drama writer from Athens that today we continue to show works such as Medea or the Las Troyanas,(Trojans). Show that even today we are not that different from those competitive and party Greeks of the past. Expo open until October 15 and admission is  4€. More here:

And to finish the post , some news on getting continents together. The company Hélity Copter Airlines will begin regular lines by helicopter. What was now a long tiring trip from Spain to Ceuta and other destinations in Africa ,now will be done in 10 minutes (trip Ceuta to Algeciras) to 25 minutes (trip from Malaga airport) . The flights will be done in a AW-139 chopper with 15 passenger and two crewmembers. The prices will be from 35€ to 150€ and the company ,also,offers sightseeing trips and private charters for business and individuals. More in Spanish  here:








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July 29, 2017

Presqu’île de Rhuys and the star Port du Crouesty!

Oh well another rainy day in the Morbihan, but no need to stay home with the place pack with tourists and the beaches restos loaded and of course traffic is well heavy black rating. We cut across the coastal roads and avoid the traffic so again we went out to one of our favorite places.

We like the peninsula because they have a laidback beach/ocean ambiance, nice natural settings, historical sometimes, and nice seafood restos/bars to just relax and see the world. This is the case for the Presqu’île de Rhuys and it’s star spot the Port du Crouesty.

I have written before and you can find those posts in search space. The tourist office for the area is

We went out on our fast motorway/expressway the N165 direction Nantes and got off the exit for Sarzeau following the signs always for it until past it you see Port du Crouesty. First thing you see is the nice Casino JOA of Arzon, the town of which the port is part of.  Great for sporting events on TV, nice drinks and relax ambiance without careful not to spend your mortgage…more info here:

Arzon is a small nice town with a quaint city center/downtown and Church that you can see the belltower from the harbor marina of Crouesty. ON the tourism webpage bit more on Arzon here:

We passed this time by Sarzeau, a medium size town for our area with a quaint city center:downtown and some interesting market we stop by on our merry go around ways in our area. You are well worth the stop at Le Comptoir Breton for all kinds of locally made goodies from food items to souvenirs. Open every day you can stop by the store or order online. More on it here:

And the tourist office take on the town here:

The next town you should visit is Saint Gildas de Rhuys , this is a bit bigger town , and you have nice quaint local markets to buy goodies such as the Spar Supermarket.  Spar is a general grocery market very much in coastal areas which we have tried in several spots all over France; their local webpage is here:

We went around St Gildas one of the oldest town in the area, and it has full of nice beaches and a great abbey. More on it on the tourist office here:

The best beach at St Gildas for the wild look at it and nice dunes is  plage du Goh Vélin beach , this a vast beachfront wild with nice rocks and the impressive Pointe du Grand Mont rocky overlook nice above it.  For the beach here is more in English:

For the rocky mount Grand Mont is a medium effort walkers route all bordering the beaches and also a bit inland into the marshes; more here in English. I put this for info; as we are not really into walking around ::)

See the photo map for the location of the Grand Mont ,and the beach of Gov Vélin.

Saint Gildas du Rhuys

Another better beach we like around this area is the Kerver beach or plage du Kerver.  This beach goes into the city limits of Arzon and Port du Crousty as well. It is very expansive white sand beach with plenty of water sports available and snacks beach hut across it. Simply a great family beach and safe waters too; highly recommended. More in English here:

Another nice family beach we like for the amenities, friendly services and great white sandy beach is Fogeo beach or Plage du Fogeo; more here:

There are beautiful views from the beach of Goh Vélin  into the outlaying’s islands of Houat and Hoedic and the Quiberon peninsula to the right. You can see the photo map with location of these islands.

Saint Gildas de Rhuys

We finally arrive at our final destination in Port du Crouesty harbor marina, gorgeous area we have been here several times since arriving in the region and my boys enjoyed the tandem bicycle rides on the beaches!  More on the tourist office here:

This is a huge marina with several sections, a wonderful lighthouse, great harbormaster and resto Le Cargo, carrousel rides for the kiddies, bike rentals (Abbis), boating rides, cruises, you name it On the water. It is surrounded by a long line of restaurants and shops all wonderful ::) we love to shop here and especially eat!!!

There is a nice Notre Dame du Croisty Chapel at the tip (it was here in 565AD they found the intact body of Saint Gildas) , and from the marina promenade you can walk to the wonderful Miramar La Cigale thalassa spa.

We have eaten on several restaurants here ,all good. The last one this lunch was at the Crous’ty Pains bakery,at the place d’Artimon, one of the newest addition to the harbor marina area. The experience was great, big tuna sandwich, nice gourmet caramel filled and glaze cake, big bottle(50 cl) of orangina and a large coffee for 9,40€, good deal, excellent service, good well done for others had all kinds of sandwiches and cakes and it was all good. no webpage yet but not far from main square at wharf marker M on the marina.

You will see the nice Maison du Port or harbor house done for all kinds of events and activities with a nice seafaring architecture, and the Capitainerie or harbormaster building with the Le Cargo resto next to it and on top. More on the harbormaster here:

You will see plenty of seafaring facades of homes and apartment building that gives it a nice quaint old look and pleasant for walks at any time.  Again the rain was on and off but another nice outing in the Morbihan Breton, here water is not for discussion; we go out. Another wonderful spot in my Breton lands and you area all welcome to try it.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend wherever you are, and happy travels. Cheers!

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July 28, 2017

Some news from France CLXV

Never a day goes by without not been able to talk about France and Paris especially; it is eternal awaiting. Today was nice not too windy and temp in the 23C during the day now in the evening is 22C or about 72F lol!!! And the weekend is here!!!!

Some of the nice things about Paris ,France.

One of the classics the club Nüba now has been transformed into the  Communion. See the new look here and on Facebook:

The rooftop  of the Cité de la Mode et du Design  always offers you splendid views on the city.  The décor of the terrace on the roofstop changes every week with a new ambiance zen and impressive Tel +33 (0) 1 76 77 25 30 get there on Gare de Lyon or Gare d’Austerlitz. More info here:

Do you know Auteuil, ,,Paris? Well this is one area I know well as used to come by here with my car , yessss car into Paris center for many years… However, I did some serious walking as well ,and will tell you a bit of a walking tour you can take.

First ,you start at the Porte de Saint-Cloud (metro line 9) and go direction rue Michel-Ange. You will see along the way many buildings from the 1930’s. You turn right on the rue Parent-de-Rosan and you will see the old Auteuil, magical area with an eerie cementary wall done in 1800. Behind this wall , you can take a look into the subdivision of Villa Claude Lorrain and take a walk along the street rue Parent-de-Rosan to discover other charming subdivisions such as  Emile Meyer, Dietz-Monnin, and Cheyson.  You, then climb onto rue Boileau, a magical street of old Paris. Passing the boulevard Exelmans, (great one and not much walk by visitors) you will see further evidence of beautiful Paris with buildings such as the hôtel Danois, today the Embassy of Algeria.  Take a look at the Art Nouveau style of the Hôtel Roszé further up the street.  You will come to the neighborhood or hameau Boileau , and it’s famous Normand house, maybe you too will be lucky to find the folks there to give the digicode to go inside. Continue on towards the nice imposing Church Notre Dame of Auteuil that I passed so many times by car and on foot couple times into the rue Molitor and avenue Chardon-Lagache,where you will see the Metro entrance with a retro look . The Church here is a building in roman-byzantine style built in 1892.  Once inside , the sun light will shine at the end of the day and makes the interior very celestial romantic nice indeed.  While in the area do not forget to see the pool or Piscine Molitor, the hidden garden of the station, and try some wonderful chocolates at chocolaterie servant, while at the brasserie auteuil get a nice drink while playing in the central pool table and up its rooftop. Perfect Paris.

Some links on the above, the Church:

The pool Molitor in English here:

And the Chocolaterie Servant in English here:

The Auteuil Brasserie in English here:

The garden of Auteuil in French here:

And the mayor’s office of the 16 arrondissement/district of Paris of which Auteuil is now part since 1860.

And to continue on the lungs of Paris and the green peaceful spaces, here are more of my favorites over the years; working there and visiting too while living just nearby.

On the side of the cemetery or cimetière du Père-Lachaise  there is a hidden garden all natural (not so hidden now ::)) simply call the Jardin Naturel, at 120, rue de la Réunion (20eme).  open every day until 20h30. From the city of Paris in French metro line 2 takes you here and more photos:

You have another cute one small on the French style kind of hidden in the very public Marais. It is at the end of a small street with it’s back on the hôtel d’Ecquevilly (17C) old name, very romantic ambiance. Square Saint-Gilles Grand Veneur-Pauline-Roland  9, rue du Grand-Veneur (3eme). Open every day untl 20h30.More here from the tourist office of Paris in English:

And on one of the unique museums of Paris , the old Musée Guimet you have a tranquil place with basins, small bridges of stone and bamboo transporting you to the Rising Sun ambiance of Japan. You see the galleries of Budhist pantheons nearby to discover the art and culture of Japan as well, with tea ceremonies in all. Musée national des Arts Asiatiques Guimet, 6 place d’Iena, (16eme). More in French here:

You, then come to a more secluded garden in the square Roger-Stéphane just steps from the store Bon Marché . Several romantic corners and a basin with a small cascade.  Location at rue Récamier (7eme). Open every day until 20h30. More info in French from the city of Paris:

 And of course, until the garden on the rooftop of the store BHV Marais with a vertical vegetable garden  open until October every Wednesdays from 17h to 19h. BHV Marais Roof Garden, 52 , rue de Rivoli (4eme).  More info in English here:

A little jump back into another nice arrondissement district area of Paris I like for a walk or driving by. This is the new Clichy-Batignolles.

The origin of the name Batignolles has been difficult to determine for sure. It is thought of it comes from «bastidiole» meaning little country home, that later came to «Bastignolles» , and finally Batignolles. The land area covered from the forest of Rouvray to just outside Paris and a place for hunting until the French revolution. The village was attached to Clichy located just outside Paris city limits.  It gained importance because the people avoided paying a tax the Parisiens came here to drink on guinguettes or music hall houses. In early the 18C the secondary homes multiply for city folks to gain some country air! In 1830 Batignolles and Monceau were raised to a town and in 1860 detached from Clichy and attached to Paris. The arrival of the railroad change the district with the construction of the train station or gare Saint-Lazare (1842) and later the goods station of Batignolles (1844).

This is the area that grew in artistic fervor with the arrival to lived here of Edouard Manet helping as well the impressionists movement. His shop and house were here. Starting from 1870, they gathered at the Café Guerbois, 9 avenue de Clichy with his friends. Frédéric Bazille, also had his shop here and were visited by the Renoir, Cézanne, Sisley, Monet,and many others such as Emile Zola. At 11 avenue de Clichy in the house Hennequin, founded in 1830, you can find material on the artists of today. On the literature side, this district had visitors and renters such as Alfred de Vigny rented in 1838 at 1 rue Nollet, Paul Verlaine lived on the streets of rue Nollet, rue de l’Ecluse and rue Lemercie and buried at the cemetery of Batignolles.  Stéphane Malarmé lived at 89 rue de Rome where he received his friends Paul Verlaine, Oscar Wilde, André Gide, Paul Valéry, Paul Claudel, for his famous literary meetings the “Tuesdays at the Rue de Rome”.  Many performers are link to this district too, such as Barbara born at 6 rue Brochant, Jacques Brel lived at the  Cité Lemercier and creates his famous song  Ne me quitte pas here! Nowdays the extension of the metro line 14 and the new stations of bus stop,and RER will inevitably change the district in the future in full expansion . Let’s hope that the new does not change the old of it’s soul!! See it walk it while you can.  I stayed in hotels here and park for free while visiting the rest of the district and Paris !More in French with an interactive map on the right side here:

A pause on the historical wonderful eternal Paris. Let’s drive, train, bus over to Le Havre. This city is celebrating its 500 years! Call a summer in Havre or ” Un été au Havre”. Many events on the city previously wrote in my blog . Rebuilt after WWII from ashes (90% destroyed) it is now a city worth visiting into the real France ::) Many activities are programmed, you can see them all here in English:

This interactive map show you the many faces of Le Havre in French:

The calendar of events per month and activity are here in English:

And my personal visit to Le Havre entry in my blog with photos here:

To finish this post, something I like all my life, inspired even to know about Paris , Madrid, Key West, and Havana, the great Ernest Hemingway. Some of his spots in Paris are here to follow as July 21st was his birthday.

Ernest Hemingway dream of participating in WWI but could not come due to his myopia condition; therefore he enlisted as a volunteer in the Red Cross and did participate this way in the Italian front. He was wounded in his thighs by an Austrian rocket during his service and was came home a heroe in 1919. In 1921 after marrying Elizabeth Hadley Richardson, he decided to come  to France to continue his writing skills honing as a correspondance for the Toronto Star in Europe. This was a great timing as in the 1920’s Paris was the Eldorado of Americans.

In Paris, Hemingway discovered the new lectures and work on his style on the side of such influential personnages as Sylvia Beach, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and Gertrude Stein that take him under their wing. He lived for a while in a hotel of the 6eme arrondissement/district; the Hôtel d’Angleterre, 44 rue Jacob (6eme). Full of history and still standing there, webpage here:

The Hemingway , also, lived on a small T2 one bedroom apartment in the 74, rue Cardinal Lemoine(5eme) (now building with 21 apartments on 5 floors)  from 1922-1923. At street level or first floor of the building there was a music hall and it was nearby the Place de la Contrescarpe.  It is on this apartment that Hemingway wrote amongst others the novels  “My Old man”  and the famous “Paris est un fête” ( a movable feast) the later posthume that tells his crazy years in Paris.

 Created by Sylvia Beach an American  librarian and editor in 1919, the library boutique came rapidly a point of research and encounters by the English and American writers that lived in Paris. here Hemingway borrows and buys many books,and discovered Tolstoi, Dostoievski, Eliot, Joyce, but also, Flaubert, Stendhal, and Henry James. At the times the library company  Shakespeare & Company was located at 12 rue de l’Odéon, but today it is located at 37 rue de la Bûcherie, (5eme). webpage :

Also, Adrienne Monnier the companion of Sylvia Beach opened in 1915, a library at 7 rue de l’Odéon (6eme) , the house of friends of books sort of my amateur translation of  «La maison des amis des livres».  The libray also lent books and regularly organizes séances of public lecture.  Today, it does not exits anymore (today building of 12 apartments in 5 floors) but you can stop by to imagine the story and the cultural dynamist of the times.

You,can also, stop by Chez Lipp for a potato salad and a beer or at Pré-aux-Clercs where the menu was 12 FF and a bottle of wine 60 cents!!! WAS, not anymore !!! Brasserie LIpp, 151 boulevard Saint-Germain (6eme), Le Pré-aux-Clercs, 30 rue Bonaparte (6eme).

The encounter of Hemingway with Gertrude Stein,  an American poet, writer, dramatist, and feminist made great teaching on the automatic writings as Hemingway normally did not remember than what he wish to remember , however thanks to her and those of Ezra Pound , he ends by discovering his own style. Gertrude Stein is today known to have participated in the development and diffusion of the literature and modern art. It was her who shape the young artists as a lost generation for the mores of the wars. Her apartment in Paris was at 27 rue de Fleurus (6eme) ;now a building with 26 apartments in 6 floors.

Paris is eternal, see it at least once in your lifetime, and then…..dream on, you will be back, and like me for good ::) in France.

Enjoy your weekend, we do not know where we are going, lol! last minutes travelers ::) Cheers

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