Archive for May 15th, 2011

May 15, 2011

Some news from France XLVI

Well here I am on a leisure Sunday morning, the gang is already in their electronic moods, mother cooking some dessert, and papa on the blog ::)

It is a bit cool but the sun is trying to go up so usually afternoons are warmer. I am getting ready for another week of hectic running back and forth. I will be in the Morbihan area of Bretagne Tuesday ,before I do my car maintenance check.

Next saturday one of my son is going to a birthday south of Versailles, while the other two are going shopping in La Defense. On Sunday we will have our going out dinner at Chez Clement before I head back out to the Morbihan again.

We love the Chez Clement restos and the one in Bougival in my department Yvelines no 78 is historical. You have four rooms with exquisite decorations such as véranda Saint Michel, color glass mirrors of Champs-Elysées, Rotonde de Petit Clamart, or flower garden of Bougival. This restaurant was founder by Clement Blanc , the same who started in the butchery business founded in Paris the popular Au Pied de Cochon near Les Halles.  The restaurant at Bougival is enclosed by 2 hectares of gardens (5 acres), and the original here was the local famouse Coq Hardi. The location is at  15 bis, quai Rennequin Sualem, 78380 Bougival, Tél. +33 01 30 78 20 00; this is just off the N13 that linked Saint Germain en Laye with Versailles and its just across from the Seine river passing by here. the chain webpage is at we come here regularly so if in the area ::)

Next we are getting ready to show a dvd on Bretagne for places to visit eventually, part of the family planning. Even on a weekend we hardly ever stay home, so much to see here, in the la belle France. If you want to see more of this UNESCO world heritage site, at the gulfe de Morbihan check out their tourist webpage

I might have to come back into Paris by thursday next, depends on the meetings, but it will by by fontaine St Michel area. Always on my car, my second home. Driving and taking all the scenary is the best way to travel and see France at its best. Regardless of all those travel books, driving here is very easy. I will probably have my lunch at the cafe just facing the fontaine,Saint Severin. Lovely views, nice contempo place, great service, and lovely food.  3, Place St Michel ,Tel +33 01 43 54 19 36 ,just coming off metro Saint Michel.

School is winding down here, mai has its vacation at the end of month,then june and for some july is vacation of summer ,my oldest will wait until august as he is working man like us… While late last month, they went on their school trips, one to Pont l’Eveque and the other to Val Cenis in the alps ,the other working man stay with us to visit nearby towns on weekends. some of the photos are here for their trips.

Also, I was honored to have a visit by one of my favorites persons from my previous travel forum ,he came all the way from Australia with a group of about 19 Aussies. We had a blast at Cafe du Commerce,51 rue du commerce,75015. The service,the food and the wine was good. But must important the company we share and the love for travel was shown. Its not everyday you finally see someone you have been sharing travel tips and memories over the years and suddently you are seating next to each other chatting like we have known each other for years….Thanks Wal. My old camera broked just days before and leaving Vannes I purchase a cheap one that was water proof encaissing for 3 meters lol!(10 feet). The crunker will be going for developement this coming week for sharing here. He is still driving around France like a rabbit and into Switzerland and Italy before coming back to France. Maybe I can still catch up with him again at Versailles ::)

Let me give you my favorite walk around place Saint Michel, and some buildings to see, just an overall hints to see on your next visit. ok. The place Saint Michel ,one of the must to walk by in Paris, amongst many I know, I know. …right there you will see the Fontaine Saint Michel, an architectural  symbol of Paris.However, right the kiosque that sells postcards, newspaper etc on the west side of the plaza ,you will find one of the smallest street in Paris, rue de l’Hirondelle.  You entered on the old Paris , Hirondelle, Gît-le-Cœur, Grands Augustins, tour de Nesle ,these are buildings from the 18C and sometimes 17C with names intact.  rue Gît-le-Cœur give you the idea of a romantic leyend but in reality it means  Gilles le Queux (that means “cuisinier” or cook in old French).  At this street my dear French teacher was born, she still strong at 90 living in the USA where I first learned my French in Perth Amboy, New Jersey!

You continue on by que quais and you will come to the Hôtel des Monnaies ,built in 1771 with a long facade of 120 meters (396 feet) that made legal tender coins until 1973. Continue on the quais by the Seine and you will come to the Institut de France, Mazarin creates a college of four nations that in 1775 became the Institut de France on the old site of the Tour de Nesle, and today it houses the famous French institution like the Académie française (founded1635),the Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres (founded  1663), the Académie des sciences (founded 1666), the Académie des beaux-arts (created in 1816) ,and finally the Académie des sciences morales et politiques (founded 1795).  if you turn at the quais here into rue Bonaparte, just there you will see a building, that is the  école nationale des Beaux Arts or the National fine arts school.  The building is between rue Bonaparte and the quai Malaquais. The oldest section is the chapel dating from early 17C and was erected for the the Couvent des Petits-Augustins. Here it was the first French museum during the period of the French revolution and the Empire !!!  If you continue on rue Bonaparte you will come to the old Church of St Germain dés Prés, one of the landmarks of Paris.

Continue on rue Bonaparte and cross blvd Saint Germain, take a left
into the  rue du Four and then a quick right into the rue des Canettes.
it is the same rue or street since 1260! with plenty of small bars to have a nice old world new beer!  Plenty of student area for the last 400 years! and right after you come to place St Sulpice , and the church built in 1643  and it was the queen Anne of Austria who put the first stone on the construction. Its two towers of 70 meters high (231 ft) its four meters higher than Notre Dame! and made famous for the Da Vinci Code movie.Just by the church on the rue de Saint-Sulpice , on the north side of the church, take the rue Garancière to its end, and you will be in front of the Palais du Luxembourg( now the site of the French Senate), and the beautiful garden or jardin du Luxembourg. You continue on the rue de Vaugirard (the longest street in Paris),then turn left on  rue Rotrou, at its end you are at place de l’Odéon in front of the theater of the same name. The Théatre de l’Odéon was built in 1782 to house the French theater. It was the centerpiece of the student revolts of May 1968. Get around it to rue Racine at the west of the plaza turn quickly left to head on rue de l’Ecole de Médecine. Here you will be walking in an old gallo roman road between two winegrows, its sidewalk to the left you go down to see a plaque to honor Sarah Bernhardt, a large door give access to the Couvent des Cordeliers or the refactory as it all that is left of it that served as meeting site for the Jacobins during the French revolution.

Coming down on the  rue de l’Ecole-de-Médecine, you will arrive at the  carrefour de l’Odéon (not to be confused with the place de l’Odéon). This is one of my favorite areas in Paris to hang out by the way.  You will a statue to Danton,  at the same site where the house that he lived during the French revolution!!. On the other side of boulevard Saint-Germain, you will see many buildings of standing this is the street cour du Commerce Saint-André. This cour or passageway was open in 1735. At the beginning it was twice as big but needed to slim down to create the boulevard Saint-Germain . Here lies the famous, just that Cafe Procope ,and from here the attack on the Palais des Tuileries was planned in June 20 and August 10, 1792. In the middle of this passageway, you have a discreet door not always available for passing but if you can will take you to wonderful place of beauty call the cour de l’Hôtel de Rohan. It was actually before the Hôtel des évêques or bishops resident hotel of the city of  Rouen. Inside it has 3 small courtyards in succession with one of the most medieval and renaissane ambiances still preserve in Paris. You can see the last  “Pas-de-Mûle” of Paris (stone that serve to help the horseman mount the horse), finally you will leave this fairy tale place by the  rue du Jardinet.

You take the rue du Jardinet until the end, on its crossing you will come to a street call rue Serpente, then take your left to rue Hautefeuille. You will see a small tower or tourelle in French. Nobody is sure of the name of the street rue Hautefeuille, some think it was the site of the  Chateau de Hautefeuille ,and other a Roman temple, for certain is one of the oldest streets in Paris . At no 5, you will discover the beautiful tourelle or small tower giving to the street , and it is the most important proof of the old Hôtel des Abbées of Fécamp , that was built first in 1292 then rebuilt during the renaissance. If you continue to the end of rue Hautefeuille, you will find your starting point at the place Saint-Michel. Voilà , is it Paris gorgeous ::)

Enjoy it. Cheers!!!

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