Archive for June, 2011

June 26, 2011

Pays d’Auray , my new place in France

Well here I am back and with new photos to share the wonderful world of  France. Today, I will talk a bit about my new area the Pays ‘Auray. Its a agglomaration of several towns into a metropolitan system of cities. The capital and main city is Auray or An Alre in Breton language. Then you have St Anee d’Auray the most important religious site in Brittany as it is the site of the patron saint of Bretagne, Sainte Anne.

The webpage for the pays d’Auray or the metropolitan area with information in French is here (i have it in the towns page ) http://www.auray-tourisme.com/accueil/nos-villes-et-villages.aspx

You can go into each town and find all information to the particular town.

Auray is to start very historical, one Benjamin Franklin landed by sea here at age 70! to try to convince king Louis XVI the support for recognition and credits to the new nation of the United States of America; he got it!!! You can know all about by walking the quai Franklin in the old port district of St Goustan in Auray, an extention of its city center medieval look.

Here at the port, St Goustan ,you will find all good old world accommodation, great boating, and cruise ships to the outer islands, and plenty of cheers and bar,bistros,and restos which especially at dinner time makes you go back in time, romantic, nice, quiet, educated; great for the whole family.

Maindering its cobblestone streets , you will see a plethora of shops typical of the area. You will love to climb the old Chateau d’Auray now in ruins but the climbing gives you a look over the town, the port area and beyond with magnificent views and at night very romantic!

Over to the city center area crossing the old bridge or pont vieux you will come to the Halles, a covered market selling all the goodies of the land and sea. Plenty of  wandering old world streets, and beautiful shops,restos,bars etc. µ
See the Chapelle Eternel ,given to Franciscan friars in the 17C to established a school for girls today its richly preserved. Chapelle Ste Helene, one of the oldest in town chapels. Chapelle du Saint Esprit anothter old chapel of great architectural significance.

Wonderful place de la Republique takes you in center stage to all the above areas;its where the halles or market is located. Going over to walking the street you will see plenty of maisons en bois or woodend houses of old, very nice. Another area is the churches of ST Gildas,and Charles-le-Blois of historical significance, and the memorial to Cadoudal, a peasant chief who fought against the French revolution, his tomb and of thousands of chouans or peasants Bretons are at the memorial of Kerleano, his native home.

The train station here is my public transport contact with the world as it has direct Roissy CDG TGV service as well as thru Montparnasse in Paris. There is an Auraybus service for free from the gare train station to the city center area in summer months, but walking is about 15 mins.

The Franklin was a natural to have some crepes,cider ,and great views at ST Goustan,and be right in American history too nearby plaque attesting to the landing of Benjamin Franklin. address: 21 Place St Sauveur, 56400 Auray tel +33 (0) 2 97 56 65 56

Moving over to the adjacent town of St Anne d’Auray you entered into the religious heart of Britanny, here is their patron saint Ste Anne, the grandmother of Jesus ,and mother of Mary, who appeared to a peasant Yves Nicolazic in around 1623. One of the cities of sanctuary in FRance it welcome Pope John Paul II on September 26 1996 and a plaque and park is name after him.

The basilica of St Anne d’Auray is magnificent, the annual pilgrimage from all over Britanny and beyond is held on July 26 each year. You want to know what is a sanctuary city, then see this site in English http://www.villes-sanctuaires.com/?lang=en

You see here the cloister, the holy stairs, the inside of the basilica, the chapels,the memorial to fallen soldiers of Britanny, the house of Yves Nicolazic, the park of Pope John Paul II, you want to know more about this wonderful place, then see this website http://www.sainteanne-sanctuaire.com/index.html

You have a wonderful wax museum showing the life of peasant Nicolazic and the history of the area all in wax figurines of large sizes, very nice indeed to see a real life picturial of the history here, the admission is 4€ open every day, and Pope John Paul II also was here! its to the right facing the basilica cant missed it, the mayor’s office has wonderful photos of the city here http://sainte-anne-auray.net/spip.php?rubrique32

All around the huge basilica you will have old world accommodation and wonderful restos serving the popular Breton cuisine of crepes and galettes in different palates.  For me so far I have tasted this one and its gooood ! Le Ty plouz : 20, place Nicolazic 56400 Ste Anne d’Auray, Tel +33 (0) 2 97 58 56 61.

And to recap, my village 2000 strong and part of the Auray region, just 6 kms from the train station! and direct access to the N165 main route linking Nantes to Brest and connection to everywhere on the road warrior, the place is name Brech or Brec’h in Breton.  The valley whre the river  Loc’h runs toward the prot at  Saint-Goustan, connects with the river Auray before ending into the Gulf of  Morbihan, and the UNESCO world heritage site. Many chapels of old are here and the Ecomusée de Saint-Dégan , with all the natural beauty of the area and its agricultural past and present. website here   http://www.ecomusee-st-degan.fr/

See ,also, the Moulin de Treuroux or windmill of old at site for more info here  http://moulin-de-treuroux.pagesperso-orange.fr/Le_moulin_de_Treuroux/Le_Moulin_de_Treuroux.html

One of the most beautiful chapels in all of the Morbihan dept is the Chapelle de Saint Quirin in the hamlet of St Guerin near me in Brech. The 16C chapelle Notre Dame de Grâce is another jewel near me. A new chapel in the traditon of old is the one of Notre Dame de la Route, near me in the village of Mané Salut.And the Chartreuse, the historical one as it was built after the battle of Auray in 1364AD that face Jean de Montfort to his cousin and rival Charles de Blois, for the duchy of Brittany.

And if you want to learn the Breton traditional danse then come over for the  festoù-noz (night parties in breton) where the traditional dance puts together all the generations around music and dance bretons.Danses of two or three such as Laridés, Gavottes, Plinn, Fisel, An dro…and even in circles ! You come to the feast of « Les mardis de la Dañs » The tuesdays of the dance at  Brech (Brec’h) every tuesday in july and august at 20h at Park Kreisker and its free!.

Until next time in Bretagne by the Versaillais Pedmar10!!!!

June 25, 2011

Some news from France LIII

Hi you all here is a nice sunny Saturday even at 18h45 or 6:45 pm in lovely country in the Morbihan near Auray.

I now have a lot of photos and my next task will be to download to computer as it is a new digital camera hopefully all will be ok ::)

My event last week was good at Chateau Thierry near Epernay/Reims; had nice lunch with wine at the office! stay at a nice BW hotel in town;then went to Versailles saw the family and next day was at the Aero Club de France (near Arc de Triomphe) in Paris hosting a cocktail reception for the Paris Air Show my US University ERAU held; geat to see old friends and met new ones in a historical splendid place as is the Aero Club de France.

Chateau Thierry

from hotel look champagne at Chateau Thierry

I went to Carnac and Carnac plage as well as la Trinité sur Mer;gorgeous,today. First Carnac is only about 17 kms from me, not only great monolithic stones around but the city center is lovely with a wonderfully decorated church and huge halles market; i had my lunch here at Le Cozy restaurant, and it was cozy alright, into a hallway away from the street, and very nice service, the food wonderfuly fish “colin” in a shrimp sauce plus entrée St Jacques terrine with celeries, great rouge Breton beer (3 ::))and coffee for 24 euros; not bad with the tourist season just underway by july 14 according to locals I spoked with.

Carnac plage or the Grande Plage is huge reminds me of those Florida USA getaway beach isolated now but huge come tourist season soon. Nuts and almond trees and plenty of sand and sun. Even saw a Latino Cafe , next time ::) I did walk once park by the mediatheque or library just to the left of the church, a total of 5 kms!! great for the soul under the Breton sunshine!

It was on to la Trinite sur mer; this is heaven of sailboats, huge marina facing the sea with hundreds of boats at anchored, park up the hill at St Joseph and came down on stairs right to the harbor. The harbor area is lovely , and will come back to it;at night!

At La Trinité sur Mer, did purchase at the Trinitaire lovely butter cookies and salted candies, the goodies of the region to take back to the family. The place is huge with all kinds of regional items and gifts plus clothings; its right on the beach commerces section ,cant missed it. Pictures to come later.

Now getting ready for another week of hard meetings at work, then the family is coming next weekend for a week to see schools and get to know the area before the big move, hopefully by the beginning of the next school year. My father will be in Florida USA for the month of July visiting his sister.

I have travel plans with the job to take me to many places in Europe, some been to it some will be new places to add to my 55 countries batch. Also, will be back to Paris in August and September for meeting and possible encounter with some travelers visiting the city.

The weather has been fabulous and sunny so far tomorrow here will be  a record 30°C announced.  Rains have been small and short periods, the sun has rule. Well until next newstime and for me to get going with the new camera and put the photos here, see ,read,hear you all soon. Stay with a happy face and happy travels as I am told some of you are really spending time out, great,good for you,and yours. Cheers.

June 18, 2011

Some news from France LII

Well I am back slowly getting to my blogging habits. I finally have internet at my new apartment, and just bought me a new samsung digital camera!!!

After all the paperwork and running around of getting settled in and all connections on, while getting to work normally ,this is my first full weekend free!

I took advantage of it right away. Camera in hand to take my first pictures of the area, went to a sleepy little village of Pluvigny not far from my place. Found out it has a nice cave de vins and cidres!!! just what the doctor ordered.

On my way along country roads like the D19 end up in Brech ,which is where i live ::) just to go over the mayor’s office and do my mails, and see the famous museum of St Degan, ecomusée. Continue along and found a jewel call St Anne d’Auray; here there is a huge basilica with many memorials including the one Pope John Paul II visited in 2008; my first pictures will be from here, it is gorgeous again. Impressive buildings; St Anne is the grandmother of Jesus,and the patron saint of the Bretons; it appear to a Breton farmer in around 1628AD and the shrine was built later in her honor. You must visit it.

Continue doing my shoppings along the way and end up in my area biggest town, Auray ,this is wonderful. Many buildings to visit and a great halle or market of fish ,seafood right in pl de la republique city center! Along the river you go down to St Goustan, and the place is sublime. Its a small town inside a town, along the river Loc’h with boats  and quais and the remnants of an old castle with wonderful views. All alongisde the quais there are bars,restos all facing the river and medieval streets with more of them. Plus another big church and monuments;all seems medieval lost in time. Definitively a place to come back and check every nook and cranny of it

I did had my Breton galetes at the Franklin jsut facing the plaza,and alongside Quai Franklin, name after Benjamin Franklin who at age 70 landed here in 1776 to try to convince king Louis XVI to acknowledge the existance of a new nation and allows credits so it can grow up well, this is of course the United States of America! Franklin was here ,and then I was too, just 15 mins from my apartment!!!!

You see I just tasted the waters today, and it looks I will very busy with extraordinary photos to come. Once I learn how to figure it out hehehehe!!

I am on to be by Chateau Thierry, on june 21 on business, time to stop by the house in Versailles on the way back, then on june 22nd will be in Paris all day on events relating to the Paris Air Show, my US university is involved in, and I am the director of alumni in France for it, ERAU, Eagles soar!!!

Until next time stay tune, you never know what you will see around here next ::)

June 11, 2011

Some news from France LI

Well enjoying a wonderful pentecost 3 day weekend holiday in France, I was able to come back home to Versailles from Auray in the Morbihan the area of my new job. The ride was fantastic in opposite direction to those going to the beaches for the weekend,and the weather was cloudy, sun ,and some rain mixes. took 4h23m for the trip by car.

The new area is awesome beautiful and peaceful, I live in an apartment that is just at a roundabout on the main road in the village, we have about 2000 people there,then for about 1,2 km we have the main city center where the church, post office, and mayor’s office is , all total the town communities we have about 6K people. It is only 4 kms from the expressway and it takes me only 30-35 mins by car to go to work.

This is a mayor holiday here for those allowed to take the optional day off, like me and my family.  We are ongoing with the paperwork trail of finding and changing schools for the kids.

News from Paris, there will be a restaurant at the Opera Garnier!  It will be open by June 27th headed by two stars chef Christophe Aribert.

the American brand ELement for skateboarders has open a 154 sq meters  store in Paris at 7, rue de Marseille (75010). Tél. +33 01 42 00 96 95

A mise à jour or update on the free entry to museums in Paris are worth reminding folks for the summer just around the corner. The city of Paris museums such as Musée d’Art Moderne (75016),Carnavalet (75003), Cognacq-Jay (75003), Cernuschi (75008),Petit Palaiss (75008,Musée de la Vie Romantique (75009), the Mémorial du maréchal Leclerc (75015) ,and the Jean-Jacques Henner  (75017) -are totally free.  In periods outside temporary exhibits these museums are also free, Maison de Victor Hugo (75004),Maison de Zadkine (75006),Maison de Bourdelle (75015), and Maison Balzac (75016). Also , free admission to the Musée Curie (75005), musée de la préfecture de Police, de la Bible, du Compaganonnage all in the 75006; musée  de la Légion d’honneur (75007) ,and Parfum (75009). The shops or Atelier Brancusi  (75004), the Arènes de Lutèce (75005), and the Plateau-Centre d’art contemporain (75019) open their doors without asking for admissions.

Then you have the big museums and institutions such as Louvre,Centre Pompidou, Orsay, Rodin, are free the first Sunday of each month. The Maison Euroèenne de la Photographie  (75004) is free every wednesdays evenings.  As far as monuments you can visit without admission the first Sunday of each month from NOvember 1st to March 31 includes the Conciergerie, Sainte Chapelle  (75001),the towers of Notre Dame  (75004),Panthèon  (75005), and the Arc de Triomphe  (75008).

For theaters you can get discount if purchase same day at the Esplanade Montparnasse, and place de la Madeleine ,and on the garden terrain at the center of the place des Ternes, prices can be half price for Cat I ,but you have to go early as they are sold quickly. Kiosks open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 12h30 to 20h,and Sundays from 12h30 to 16h.

For folks who follow me, I will come back to the Paris area on June 22nd for a dinner at the Aero Club de France, 6 rue Galilée, near the Arc de Triomphe on a business event, and will have lunch with friends from Florida USA at my favorite hangout La Gare resto in the 16th, webpage http://www.restaurantlagare.com/ you will never go wrong here, it used to be a train station left unused and then converted to a large resto, with bar, huge terrace, and jazz music. The resto is right over the railroad tracks of old.neat.

Paris 18 arrondissement, did I tell you its famous for Montmartre, well also some less desirable areas but for some years its making a comeback, the opinion of locals like me. You all have seem or need to the church of Sacré-Coeur, or walks along the trails of Amélie Poulain (a famous French movie) or go to many shops along coquette Pigalle. The 18éme is the most populated district or arrondissement of Paris and it ,also has the most contrasts  according to Le Figaro newspaper article.  Abbesses and Lamarck neighborhoods are for the well to do and bobos, Jules Joffrin area is more family residential and the Goutte d’Or a lot popular and working class.

Trying to change the image many trees have been planted along boulevard de Clichy; and Pigalle, the sex-shops, little by little are giving way to stores of bio products and fancy bars . Especially around Abbesses, nice chic stores abound and the real estate goes up. The traditionals still have the wine fair or Fête des vendanges de Montmartre, that is held every october. Come back to it you will see the difference if a regular visitor,and if new visitor will find a new area of Paris to call home.

Near me only until June 13 the Antiques are king, in Versailles its the Fete du Printemps, all around its old squares such as Passage Carré, Village,and Bailiage, with over 50 antique vendors. all in the Notre Dame neighborhood near the market.

Before I forget, finally bought me a new camera, so the photos will come back as soon as possible. The event just finish in my new area of the Morbihan was the week of the gulf or semaine du golfe, with many seafaring activities, check this space out for the next one its awesome even if had no pictures ;http://www.semainedugolfe.asso.fr/

This is my closest town (Auray) tourist office webpage http://www.auray-tourisme.com/ ;its all boats, nice creeks, lovely bays, and wonderful ocean, not to leave out great fish and seafood, my favorites !!! Degemer Mat is Welcome in the Breton language that is more and more taugh in schools.

The area is very nice with all the commodities of the Paris region less the traffic,noise, etc. I have riden all over with ease, and I believe will like the area a lot, all is so easy to reach and the folks very friendly, even at work ::)

Again I am very busy already planned visiting plants in France and abroad like Belgium, Czech Republic, and Portugal. I will get internet connection at new home by next tuesday so will keep up the blog going with great news and awesome photos. Stay tune !!!

Have a wonderful weekend, and for locals JOYEUSE PENTECÔTE !

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