Archive for July, 2011

July 30, 2011

Some news from France LV

Well here I am at home, a quick weekend getaway to be with family again. I am ready to go out to get my older boy and eat out in Versailles.

In the morning I went to Paris Orly to pick up my father from his month long vacation with his sister in Miami/Key West, Florida USA. He has lots of stories and many goodies from the old home.

The weather in the Paris area is gorgeous today, very sunny but not hot and clear, the buildings the monuments were clearly visible even from the A13 highway. tomorrow is more of the same so a nice weekend. I will head back home tomorrow too.

The good news is my twin boys have school to start in Sept near Vannes, Morbihan area, and my older boy has interview mid august with a school that will put us all there quicker. The house is for sale by owner for now, waiting to see how is the market reaction. Hopefully , we will be all together by Christmas.

I continue with my travels next week is near Anvers, Belgium ,and I just came back myself from Lisbon ,Portugal. Then August is kind of quiet here always, and september everything kicks off high with more trips around France and afar.

Now great events in Paris ,musée quai de Branly, arts-expositions, the MAYAS ,from the beginning to the top,  or better in French, Mayas, de l’aube au crépuscule. this is running now until October 2, tuesdays, wednesdays, and sundays from 11h to 19h, nighlty on thursdays, fridays and saturdays until 21h. 160 pieces shown coming from the Mayas civilization in Guatemala are on displays, wonderful! webpage http://www.quaibranly.fr/

Great cinemas runs in Paris now, my favorite all times is at LA VILLETTE. movies after movies shown the best and some to find, going on until August 21 2011, in the prairie du triangle du parc de la Villette, Paris 19, Tel +33  01 40 03 76 92. And its free!!!.webpage  www.villette.com

Paris plages is on again, with the usual warning to us locals to avoid the city center of PARIS for driving ::) Its their 10th anniversary with many special events, and its gaining in popularity ever since, Paris Plages, until august 21th on the parvis de l’hôtel de Ville , voie Georges Pompidou , and on the bassin de la Villette. Open from 8h to midnite, free admission. webpage . http://parisplages.paris.fr

If you want guided visits of Paris, this one is recommended by friends who came over, and other local know them with good reputation, weppage http://secretsdeparis.blogspirit.com/ head by Thomas Dufresne, tours are 10 euros and last about 2 hrs, check out the blog above,and enjoy Paris with company.

Well I am on my way out of the area, but as with many, we will always have Paris/Versailles , for me tops. And, and, I only be 5 hrs away by car and 3h50 mins by TGV train.

So see you in the Morbihan, Brittany of France. and enjoy France, its a movable feast all by itself. Cheers!!!

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July 24, 2011

The presqu’ile de Sarzeau in the Morbihan

 

Last friday morning was the day my kids saw their new school and we too; so we took a ride over to see a bit of the area. Wont say the school as todays’s world is a bit crazy ;but the area of Suscinio near Sarzeau is gorgeous.

The official tourist office webpage is at http://www.tourisme-sarzeau.com/ and the nearby area forming the semi peninsula or almost  island is here http://www.rhuys.com/

One of the principal attractions of the area other than those relating to the ocean activities and beaches is the Chateau de Suscinio ,old home of the Dukes of Brittany, its a wonderful place that will be explore more in detail in the future I am sure, the website is here http://www.suscinio.info/index.php3

You have wonderful towns to visit, on our first trip we spent some time at Sarzeau, the main town in the peninsula. its a wonderful small town with mariners inspiration and great mussels of the area, a wonderful church and great market on friday mornings to 13h. Parking was easily found at parking Wilson just around the corner from place Richemond, the city center.

We at at the Connetable, and it was wonderful of mussels,steaks, banana splits, and good rose wine of Bordeaux! It is right at pl Richemond front of the church. Menus start from 16 euros and we took the a la carte but only pay 79 euros for four persons.

There is a wonderful beach just behind the castle of Suscinio and quaint city life in a smaller scale. Best to go by car off the N165 road take the D780 then D198 signs are well posted all the way. There is bus No 7 of the department morbihan system from Vannes , the best transport site for BRittany use by all is Breizhgo or go brittany at http://www.breizhgo.com/index.php/bretagne/

We are very happy with the choice of area already! and the school seems excellent, so figure in the future we will have to shop for our house here and around. Right now we rent apt on the other side of Vannes and keep our home in Versailles. Changes are happening well and easy. I will be in Lisbon Portugal next week and then come back to go to Paris Orly to pick up my father coming from Florida USA. Quiet busy beaver indeed.

Cheers and give me your latest too as well as comments are always welcome;no spam please. Enjoy it!!!

 

 

July 20, 2011

Some news from Bretagne IV

Again the week weather wise has not been good here, cloudy and lots of rainy days and nights, poor tourists which are here already from all over Europe.

Its not going to get better for the next few days unfortunately.  Rain is in the weather person eyes.

As for me, getting ready to pick up the remnants of my family tomorrow at the train station of Auray coming from Paris Montparnasse. They will be here for the weekend to see schools on friday, then head back monday to begin my oldest work study courses.

Today was my Dad”s 76 birthday and having a great time in his sister house in Miami Lakes, Fl USA. The other of my sons is near Valencia Spain vacationing with his girlfriend’s family (lucky him). He is still there into August !!!

I will pick up my father at Orly by month’s end. In my job duties will be traveling to Lisbon Portugal end of this month, and already booked for Anvers Belgium first week of August. I will travel to the centre of France too in Sept. That is heavy with work travel as the company convention will be held in a nice hotel in Chantilly with a seminar by the ave George V in Paris.

I will try to bring the family here into another wonderful area of the MORBIHAN, that is check out this weekend the area of Sarzeau and its sea castle of Suscinio.

In the meantime stay safe, and keep in touch even if some lazy ones do it by email and not here ::) Go ahead make my day !!! Cheers!

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July 10, 2011

Some news from Bretagne III

Here I am in a cool cloudy Sunday sitting typing some words into my blog. My family left this morning to Paris Montparnasse and arrive safe and sound. Now its the start of another week and paperwork,and travel.

Paperwork because the schools seems ok, all willing to take them by next school year in september, and the older study course for his degree and job is also in the works, so in all it was a very frutiful week of stay with me.

Then ,one of my twin boys will travel to Calpe in Spain on july 14 with his girlfriend’s family to be there until August 9th; all in all a very good vacation;and first time that long away from us…HE is 17 and really looking forward to 18 in november.

My father will be returning from Florida USA by july 30th at Orly ,and I will be there to pick him up ,stop by the house Versailles, and return back on Sunday.

I will be going on business trips ,first to Prague on July 13-15, then Lisbon July 26-28, and then Anvers,Belgium on August 3-5 so far all are booked. I will then probably bring the family back in August for school confirmation meetings etc very busy times ahead

The blog will slow down a bit with all this planning and travel, but I will stay close looking into it for any comments. As I said the weather is rainy cloudy cool, hoping for better weather by next weekend. Stay tune and until we meet again ::) Cheers

July 9, 2011

Quiberon re visited, heaven on the Morbihan

We are back from a wonderful ride to Quiberon with the family. The day started cloudy and rainy but by midday it was lovely sunny and hot with plenty of folks even on the sand in the grande plage or big beach. We took a ride by Carnac Grande Plage and La Trinite sur Mer just for a taste, they will be back there soon.

Before I continue the official tourist webpage for the Quiberon is at http://www.quiberon.com/

We arrive by car and again use the train station parking, you have 4 hrs free but so far no enforcement; and its 5 min walking to city center just at the entry of town. In havier days you can park by the Semaphore (parking for 1150 cars) and a free bus takes you to the gare maritime or marine station which is right in city center by the big beach. There is really no train but during summer months a TER train is run from Auray. The rest of the year is a bus line 1 from Auray or nearby Vannes.

The city center is really divided into the center of town, the Port Maria,and the Port Haleguen; the later is for fishing aficionados and a fishing port. Port Maria is where the marine passenger station is located that take you to adjacent islands like Belle Ile, etc and loaded with goodies, then of course city center has it all.

Today morning until 13h there was the marché or market day at Vazquez ,really huge with all kinds of goodies. We loaded up on cheese,honey, far breton (a flan type of sweet) and gateau breton a la framboise (breton cake with raspberries), plus gifts to bring back home from a watch, coffee mug, tshirts, to chains. The place is loaded ,has it all, and will surely be back on Saturday mornings.

The area was lively by midday, many families, with jumping boards for kids, plenty of sand play, and lots of people watching by the Grande Plage many restos, bistros,bars, and ice cream ,churros or chichis places.

We stop by the Comptoirs de la mer marine clothing/gifts store, the Belle iloise sardine and tuna canning company (you can have a tour), the Quiberonnaise fish canning(tour too),the Riguedel boulangerie pattisserie confiterie local famous store for the local taste , and went as far as the castle by the ocean, still in private hands!!!

The highlight was lunch at Quai Ouest, 51 Rue de Port Maria, Tel +33 02 97 30 52 87 , just looking at the fishing cooperative at the end of the big beach or grande plage. Funny the name if translated can be Key West (remind me of the place in Florida). I have the seafood menu of seafood platter of different shrimps,snails,oysters,mussels,etc plus a dish of Lieu noir fish sort of pollock in a buttery potato sauce with more mussels,brandade de morue or codfish potato dish, steaks for the kids, water, orangina ,and 8 beers! all for 90 euros for 5 persons! all delicious wiht friendly service, time just right.

We walk a lot into all the little side streets all wonderful and nice homes; walk back to get the car and took a car ride into Carnac, where we walk on the Grande Plage there , bigger but a bit more away from city center by a good 200 meters,then went into La Trinite sur Mer;nice again with the pleasure boats bay;crossing the bridge into Auray and our aprt. Everyone was please with the area , and very eager to finally be here all together;pending school year next.

Enjoy it, cheers!!

 

July 8, 2011

Some news and food from Brittany or Bretagne II

Well today while I work ,the family was riding buses all around the area, and it was rainy and windy, typical of Britany or Bretagne lol!!!

The tourist season is here, the roads were packed, and traffic jams for the first time were seen on my way home. Luckily I know the area well and got to the gare d’Auray or train station where is ,also, a bus station or gare routiére to pick my family.

They went to the local FNAC store to get their video games, and found a goodie of a chocolate store, great chocolat which I had a field day just tonite. It is call Chocolats de Roland Réauté at Rue Theophraste Renaudot, Vannes at the ZAC de Kerlann, with webpage at www.chocolatsrolandreaute.com

After work ,and picking them at the train station, I took them for dinner at a wonderful town, the center of Breton religious fervor as it is their patron sainte town of St Anne d’Auray, just down the road D19 from me. There next to the Basilica of STe Anne we had a wonderful Breton dinner with crepes of andouille,eggs, and cheese, also, another call infirmiere or nurse with bacon, potatoes, fried onions, and then a banana split, plus coffee and capuchino, plus two bottles of Rose cider yes rose doux pink cider delicious ,all 5 persons the addition came to 88 Euros!! The place is Creperie Les Ajoncs, 4 rue de Vannes, ST Anne d’Auray, Tel +33 0297 57 62 94 it is also a slaon de thé; email creperiesainteanne@orange.fr

And tomorrow is Saturday I will be taken them to Quiberon for the day ,as they will head back to our principal home in Versailles. The schools went ok and sure will be here in september, then the house needs to be sold and move here ,so the song goes on or the beat goes on as the saying goes. Stay tune for more here tomorrow, and of course photos because as usual we forgot the camera today ::)

The tourist office webpages for Vannes and Ste Anne d’Auray follows; www.tourisme-vannes.com

 www.sainte-anne-auray.net/spip.php?rubrique6

 

July 6, 2011

Some news and food from Brittany or Bretagne I

Well gastronomy and wines is one thing that makes France famous, in fact the only UNESCO world heritage mention on it was won by France. Its a good reason to be here.

Every region has its part and goodies to savored, I like them all,been to all, but now living on a job assignement in the morbihan department of Brittany near Auray.

My forays has been to a lot of supermarkets those known names all over France such as Carrefour, Leclerc,Super U, and have a field day on bakeries.

Did I said bakeries yes Boulangeries and patisseries are wonderful and here is no exception. We just had a pain de campagne from the bakery across the street from my apt, just wonderful wheaties stuff with a fine hardy crust. And not forget those chocolate almond pastries they make oh my God oh la la la ,c’est super bien sur. Just drive by corn er hoet which in Breton means the end of the forest or the oree du bois _in FRench ::)

I have try the Bar Franklin at St Goustan old area of Auray, 21 Place St Sauveur, Tel +33 02 97 56 65 56as well as the Relais  Franklin , 8 Quai Benjamin Franklin Tel +33 02 97 50 78 67; both delicious crepes and galettes of breton fame with a nice view of the river Loch leading unto the ocean at the gulf of morbihan (another UNESCO World heritage site).

I did resto le Cozy, 2, rue Saint Cornély at Carnac, Tel +33  02 97 52 60 84  for hardy modern French cuisine of terrine de colin a fish, and ST Jacques en mustard sauce with pasta with the great local bonnets rouges beers!!!

Then we came back for the Creperie la Fromentin ,10 Rue Château, Tel+33  02 97 29 18 29, in city center Auray just going down hilly old world street into the St Goustan area, where for historical reason the name remains but the food is traditional French, having tuna in a sauce of poivre, squash, string beans,and potatoes ; my gang had steaks and fries of course, and hashis parmontier and crepes a l’oignion. All wash down with the house cider of course.

Not to leave out the local bar at Corn er Hoet ,bar restaurant in route de corn er hoet,Brech, even with an American flag hanging out always in front;good cold beers on the good is great.

I am sure that the culinary searches will increase as time goes on, we have our work cut out, back to Quiberon on saturday with the gang.

Not to leave out the goodies one can find here such as La Trinitaire biscuits and sweets etc of Breton originality, at Carnac and all over the region.

Come on now the beach season is just begun really, and folks are in, traffic will tell me that. Keep tune for more on the region and we will continue to report on it.

Enjoy it! Cheers!!!

 

July 5, 2011

La Trinité sur Mer, pleasure boaters paradise

This will be one of my favorite places around here, its a pleasure boaters paradise and wonderful waterfront section of nice restos and great views over the boats. Its only about 18 kms from home so very close, about 11 miles.

The main tourist office for it is at http://www.ot-trinite-sur-mer.fr/

I went exploring the area at first so later can come with the family for further detail exploration. Already like the fact you can scuba dive here right from the pleasure boat harbor. One of the largest harbor for pleasure boat on the coast, about 2000 boats are there daily!

Well there is no train station, you come from Paris Montparnasse or Roissy CDG to Auray and then take bus 1 here. There is a local bus during summer the Tribus but the best way is by car on the N165 Nantes-Brest road, parking is very nice at st joseph just from the main harbor road turn left and follow the panels to it.free parking!!!

you visit the port harbor area and see it from the bridge done in 1958; then see the beach just beyond the port,and the best way is to walk the city center and see the shops and wonderful places to eat and drink. There is a halles des poissons or fish market permanently ,and a station of SNSM or lifessavers at sea in which I am a donor for years.

It will be sublime to come here at night and see the harbor the water,the boats and have a nice Breton dinner::) Its really a boater paradise and you can try the fishing on foot by 14H from the tourist office they organise groups for it;inquire.

The two main beaches for swimming and activities are  the plage de Kervillen, and the  plage du Men-Dû, at the limits with  Carnac.

for eating the Aux Terraces de la Plage is a great creperie (the local food delicacies) done in many shapes and colors ::) this one with a great view of the harbor; webpage http://www.auxterrassesdelaplage.fr/ at the beach of Kervillen.

Very nice galleries of Art such as Plisson with nautical motifs great for a souvenir.Also,several souvenirs shops along the quais facing the harbor.

In all a very pleasant day and sure to be back several times here, which will update to you. I am in heavens, Hemingway call it Paris a movable feast, but he did not travel much here if he did, he would have done a second book and call it France is a movable feast ::)

Enjoy it, cheers!!!

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July 4, 2011

Carnac, a lot more than stones!!!

Well Carnac is world famous for its monolithic stones an UNESCO world heritage site, they can be impressive. However, my first trip here was to feel the town, see the beach, enjoy the walks ,and get inmerse in this wonderful beach town just 17 kms from my new home.

Here is the tourist office webpage  of Carnac http://www.ot-carnac.fr/

You can here by bus line 1 from Auray or Vannes or by car off the N165 Nantes-Brest line. I found easy parking by the tourist office and near city center. There is no train station here you get to Auray from Paris montparnasse or Roissy CDG and get on bus line 1 to Carnac.

Plenty of commerces in town, the grande plage is just about 2 kms from city center which i did on foot and was great;nice almond trees just like Florida hehehehe! It is indeed a huge beach very nice white sands for the whole family, actually there are five beaches all around you!!!!.

I ate at Resto Le Cozy and its just that very cozy at the end of a courtyard with open air, very well serve, nice st jacques dish with terrine de colin a fish and local bonnets rouges beers, coffee, just wonderful ,Restaurant Le Cozy, 2 rue Saint Cornély 56340 ,tel +33 02 97 52 60 84.

The city center is very nice with indeed world feel, pretty shops, and nice restos.  The things to see here are the museum of prehistoric where the whereabouts of the monolithics stones are explained as best they can! webpage http://www.museedecarnac.com/ ,the Church St Cornely of the 18C at pl de l’eglise. There is also several chapels around that attest to the Breton tradition very deep rooted, and of course the monolithic stones which you can find here http://www.carnac.monuments-nationaux.fr/

In all a very nice family vacation, and friendly relaxed atmostphere with beautiful natural beauty.

Enjoy it! Cheers!!!

 

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July 2, 2011

The Presqu’ile of Quiberon, Morbihan,Bretagne

Well this is by far the best area so far that I have seen in my new area. The Quiberon is actually a peninsula( presqu’ile is almost island in French)  jetting out from mainland France into the Atlantic ocean in the department of Morbihan no 56 in Brittany, west of France. You best get there by car from Paris A13 towards Rouen, then Caen, then there take the A84 towards Rennes, then the N24 direction Lorient or get off from the N24 to the N166 direction Vannes then N165 direction Lorient. You can do it from Paris on the A11 direction Le Mans but higher tolls. The trains get you to Vannes or Auray, from Roissy CDG or Montparnasse in Paris, and one ride to Quiberon during july and August, and the Lorient airport ,webpage at http://www.lorient.aeroport.fr/ or even Nantes ,the one I will take on my business trips at http://www.nantes.aeroport.fr/ANA/Page/

The buses run from Vannes or Auray schedules here on the T IM transport circuit. http://www.quiberon.com/espace/fichier/93_bus-au-9-04-2011.pdf

I did go as always by car and found easy parking by the side of the church and near the tourist office, in front of gare or train station, just 5 minutes walking to the tourist office and city center. However if pressed for time and easy parking try this one parking de Kerne near the embarkation port http://www.parkingdekerne.com/Bienvenue.html ,and if your walking is not up to par, then in summer months you can hop a city bus Quib Bus with pdf file you see the schedules ,stop,fares here http://www.quiberon.com/espace/fichier/111_depliant_quibbus_2011.pdf

The website for details on the area is at http://www.quiberon.com/

At St Pierre de Quiberon one of the principal towns in the peninsula you have the Fort of Penthievre of Breton historical value right overlooking the ocean.  You can visit the memorial to resistance fighters in the region who were shot by the nazis, now a wonderful cross stand and a great view of ocean and nearby beaches.

Many beautiful beaches including the wonderful Belle Ile and cruising companies that takes you there such as la Compagnie Océane and the Compagnie des Iles or navix with webpages respectively of http://www.compagnie-oceane.fr/ and http://www.navix.fr/

There is a wonderful petit train that allows for a quick sightseeing and pick the best to come back in details , the info is here http://www.petittrain-quiberon.com/

The beaches are wonderful if for a short time they remind me of the ones grew up with in Florida USA, the Grande Plage just next to the city center of Quiberon is wonderful, just go in and out secure and with all amenities.

You have a wonderful excuse to walk, along the Grande Plage or Big Beach to  Port Maria  (where the docks are to visit the nearby islands) and the nice  Casino, the so call Promenade de la Plage ,and Boulevard Chanard are very nice, and all along city center you have the field of an old town but a beach town as well with numerous shops,restos, bars, etc to keep you busy for a while.

For gourmand ,you cannot missed this wonderful place the Maison d’Armorine just before hitting the main city center area in a artisanal park, but with outlets stores in town, the webpage is http://www.maison-armorine.com/ .Another wonderful store is La Trinitaine, 13 rue de Verdun ;many stores too, webpage http://www.latrinitaine.com/detail_magasin.php?id=10

For some plays and dancing at night ,you can rely on the Casino, (not been in it yet but the area and facilities look very nice) The official webpage is at http://www.casino-quiberon.com/ Another area not been is on the thalassa and spas around, they are well known and folks from all over Europe come here, in fact, it was German tourist who alerted me to them and did stop by outside. Here is the webpage with Quiberon on it, http://www.thalassa.com/en/destination-thalasso/vacation-treatments-thalasso-spa-QUIBERON_EN.html

Once again, no hotel as only have my apt about 30 minutes from here ::) Did had my lunch at the Restaurant Le Colibri by the Grande Plage, great spot, people watching par excellence and the prices right and food good, cant ask for more lol! at 1 boulevard Chanard, and even you can have your breakfast here (need to come back ::)))
The biggest market day is Saturday morning at the Place du Varquez; very popular with all the products fresh even the fish lol!! I am in heavens!! but also clothings, artisanal, etc.

Not to missed this wonderful store where I have already done some damage and its great with all sea motifs and supplies, as well as gifts many around even near my apt but they are all good; Le Comptoir de la Mer or the Sea counter store, it is by Port Maria in Quiberon, the general stores webpage is http://www.comptoirdelamer.fr/les-magasins.html

Overall the town and area is wonderful ,highly recommended, and the season really starts by July 14 to August 30 or so, come early in the morning to avoid the only road that reaches this heaven in paradise, you wont be disappointed once you are here. I will make it my hang out place for the next stage in my life.

Cheers!!!

 

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