Archive for September, 2011

September 24, 2011

Some news from France LVIIII

gare de lyon very early if you want to avoid the crowds!

Well here I am in Versailles, another trip back home. Its a special day because we are celebrating my wife’s birthday tonite,and our house is for sale by a realtor ,finally. Our move to Brittany is going well, the whole thing is very slow in France, land of the burocratic paperwork maze, but alas, all is going well.

As you might know, we are heading now into October, and fall vacation time leading up to all saints day or Toussaint Nov 1, then Armistice or end of WWI day on Nov 11, my boys school will be off from October 21 to Nov 2nd. During this vacation period we all plan to go out, so roads, hotels will be a bit more pressing ::)

My next trip will be a company business trip to Paris by Sept 28-30th, staying in the 17th of Paris and having conferences by the Arc de Triomphe. We will visit a trading room in the commodities market while there.

There is a nice expo at the Parvis de Notre Dame in Paris where the museum part will show a presentation in 10 stone design of the latest finding there, showing more clearly the evolution of Paris since Lutéce times. info as follows  ; location 7 parvis Notre-Dame, Pl Jean-Paul II, 75004, opening hours tuesdays to sundays from 10h-18h, closed Mondays, holidays and the Easter Sunday as well as pentecost day ,Tél +33 (0) 1 55 42 50 10.

When in Paris and need a space to work and keep tabs of home and business, you can choose and find it all here http://www.eworky.com/ ;name wifis areas and connection all over France, so far in French only.

see it here, an independant webpage for parking information in Paris, you find it on the map and they tell you all it has, prices included. webpage http://www.parkingsdeparis.com/EN/car-reservation-map.php you can reserve your space even before arrival! Also ,for camping cars etc. lots of good info and in English too.

this site in French tells you every taxi stand in each arrondissement of Paris, webpage http://www.taxis-paris.fr/ also the Paris region, with airport connection ,and shuttle information. A wealth of information for the visitor and resident alike. Hope it helps

This is a site I have used a lot, the parking in La Defense, area, good for visitors too, and enjoy by many working Parisiens ,nice overview of parking areas by building, you go into the window ,tap the name of the building you are looking and it tells you all the nearby parkings. webpage http://www.parkingsladefense.fr/

A great event ,that is going on now, I have seen it as friends of the castle, and partake in many heritage events in France, this one is a jewel, the story of the Library of Versailles from 1761-2011 (250 years of history), located at the building of the Hôtel des affaires étrangères (old foreign affairs building, where Benjamin Franklin came to sign pact of cooperation and help of his young nation) . It will last until December 3 2011, its in French ,but the official site is this one http://www.bibliotheques.versailles.fr/Statique/

Do you know you can rent a room at the Chateau de Versailles? yes indeed, done all the time, a lot more than visitors come here ::) The ones are La Gallerie des Batailles , at the wing of centre or aile du Midi, created by king  Louis-Philippe  in 1837. There are 35 painted frames on the walls that trace the most significant periods in French military history from Tolbiac (496 AD) to Wagram (1809 AD). My favorite place. Others are Salle de Croisades in the north wing, Gallerie des Cotelle, looking toward the bosquets and garden,the Orangerie, Chapelle royale or royal chapel, and the royal opera.

So much to do ,and see, France its a movable feast indeed. I have been to many places here while visiting and now living for the last 8 years; however, each day ,I see new things that amazes me. I am seeing and still in the moving stage, once all this paperwork is out of  the way, I plan on been keen on seeing everything around up close and personal ::) Cheers, and until next chat.

September 18, 2011

Rochefort en Terre, inland Morbihan

Well I continue my week-end travels in and around my area of the Morbihan. Today was a bit cloudy with rain on and off ,so decided to head inland instead of beaches. There is so much to see, and I am just touching the basics for later in depth research and enjoyment.

This morning I was with my boys by Questembert , a nice small town with lots of history and the wonderfully rich Rochefort en Terre. The official tourist webpage is at http://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.com/

We rode by car off the N165 and got on the D777 later the D775;which you can connect from the N166 as well before reaching Vannes. THere is a train station in Questembert but I would imagine the car is king here.

Questembert has a wonderful Halles or market stalls from the 16C instact as well as a beautiful church of St Pierre, nice walkable streets and flower bunches all around. We just stop here on our way for a quick look.

We headed for our destination at Rochefort en Terre. A medieval town full of quaint cobblestone streets, old homes from the 16-17C, wonderful church from the 12C, and many shops and restos to satisfy everybody. The area is well known for leather and antiques items and there are shops galore about them. Many stores specialising in the local delicacies, and souvenirs from the fairy tales of king Arthur and the figurines and dragons of this leyend abound.

We purchase a dragon by my son and chains with medieval swords on them, very nice and good value at 5_10 euros each. The shop name is Le Lutin Charmeur at the main street and shopping eating street in town. Parking is at the end by the old chapel of ST Michel under the trees and only 2,50 euros for the whole day!!!

Fo lunch we checked into the oldest building serving food in town at Le Cafe Breton, 8 rue du Porche, Tel +33 (0) 2 97 43 32 60. We had a bottle of local cider cave des sangliers, a galette complete with ham and cheese,complete bacon and onions, and the savoyarde with ham,eggs and fresh cream, 3 congolaise crepes with coconut ice cream and malibu rum as well as chocolate, 3 coffees all for 49 Euros for 3 persons. Very nice service too.

The day was a special heritage one in FRance or journée du patrimoine so we took advantage for a free admission to the Chateau de Rochefort en Terre as well as museum ,and an exposition on stone tile cutting as from the 18C. The chateau first residents tells us is from 1118AD, and by 1374 AD was part of the Dukes of Britanny.  After many ownership transfer and destruction after the FRench revolution, it was purchase by American painter, designer, Alfred Klots (born in St Germain en Laye of American parents) in 1911. During WWI, he opened it for the Red Cross to care for American soldiers. He and his son spent their time between the property and Baltimore ,MD,USA until father death in 1939 and son in 1976; the castle is now part of the department or state of Morbihan, and its open to the public with large section of paintings by many American painters who came for a visit even afterword the owners passing. More on the Klots from the Maryland Historical Society, http://www.mdhs.org/findingaid/klots-family-papers-1889-1978-ms-2404

I must, also, add Rochefort-en-Terre is part of the nomination of the Most Beautiful towns in France. As per the webpage in English at http://www.les-plus-beaux-villages-de-france.org/en/rochefort-en-terre

So there you have it ,the Morbihan or petite mer or small sea is more than just water, its a beautiful country indeed. Some photos of my incursion there.

September 17, 2011

Vannes ,Versailles, both V, and both Victory for me!

Well having lived for almost 8 yrs in and around Versailles and worked in Paris left a huge mark. These cities will always be eternal for me and my family, and sure will come back to them often. However, now living near Vannes and my dept capital, which I visit every day its a change I like very much.

Both Versailles and Vannes are full of French history, and while one has a huge gorgeous castle ,the other has fortifications, towers, and quaint medieval streets to match it and overpass it. Vannes its gorgeous, and worth a visit by all while in FRance.

Today my typical weekend started with a trip to the post office in Brech and doing my duty of contact with family; then went to renew my auto insurance in a new place and policy at Auray city center. Came back pick up my twin boys at home and headed for Vannes. Of course the groceries were done last night in Vannes as well with the boys.

Vannes its sublime, starting from the Port area ,the easiest parking venue for my Ford headed into inner city center immediately. A great walk up ramparts and medieval streets , war memorials, and finally a nice lunch at La Tour Trompette, 4 venelle de la tour trompette off the porte Saint Vincent. This is a tower from the 1300’s and now it is a creperie with a nice courtyard inside open terrace just with the tower above you. Tel +33 0() 2 97 47 15 12. We had a bottle of local cider from the presqu’ile de Rhuys, and galettes complete, super complete and vannetaise with andouilles the local sausages, crepes of almonds and chocolates, banana and coconut, banana split, and 3 coffees all for 57 Euros for 3 persons.

We then proceeded to buy some wines at the local Nicolas store, at pl poids public, near the marche des poissons or fish market. There bought some second labels of famous Bordeaux properties like leoville baron,and Daumesnil,Arcins, and chablis from Rocard,Montigny from Buxy burgundy area, and sancerres.

We continue to the Carrefour commercial shopping center for a boys visit to micromania and some video games purchases, plus mangas books at carrefour. Some baguettes bread and headed home to relax, write the blog and watch TV, plus thinking of what to do tomorrow Sunday.

Do not missed a visit to the Cathedral of Vannes where the founder catholic evangelist of the area from VAlencia Spain is kept inside, Father Vicente Ferrier. Climb the ramparts ainto the old castle to see the city and view the war memorials. However,the real thrill is to walk its quaint medieval streets and shops ,have a drink, and see the modern world go by while sitting in the old!!! just greeeeeeat.

Some photos to illustrate the beauty of the city of Vannes. And dont forget, today start the days of heritage in France, journées de Patrimoine, with many buildings and sites usually close to the public will be open on these days.

September 15, 2011

Paris, Latino beat, its hot!!!!

Well definitively has a latino beat to it, I was part of it and now will give you an update on my previous post on dance, music and nightime in Paris.

 I will start with Tango, yes like the last tango in Paris and the reason of the name of my blog ,get it ::). It will be hot at Centquatre when it receives the singers Maria Grana and Raul Lavie, as well as the dancers Gloria and Eduardo Arquimbau, stars of the revue Tango Argentino started by  Claudio Segovia in 1983 at Chatelet. Au Centquatre, see Noche de Tango from sept 17 with courses by Gloria and Eduardo on the  18 sept. Information at +33  (0) 1 53 35 50 00.

This goes on  with a show at  Châtelet  with the show Tanguera, a musical comedy by Daniel Barenboïm. Theatre Chatelet ,from october 15 to November 2nd . information at +33 (0) 1 40 28 28 40.

We switch now to Mariachis with the group Mariachi Vargas, stars of , Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, created at the opera of HOuston USA.  Also at Theatre Châtelet from Sept 23-27 same telephone as above for informationi.  And ,also, Calacas at Théâtre Zingaro, from November 2 ,information at  +33  0892 681 891 (not free call  from France).

 

 You go to  the Maison de l’Amerique Latine which will host artists from Ecuador,Brazil,Venezuela, and Mexico from Sept 23 to October 2nd at Maison de l’Amérique latine, 217, bd Saint-Germain (75007). Tél. +33 (0) 1 49 54 75 00.  Latino American fervor from colonial arts from the 16C to 19C with over 50 paintings and 30 pieces of silver at Musée Lambinet at Versailles,  from Sept 17 to December 24. right off blvd de la reine. The guitarits Yamanda Costa of Brazil will do choros of classical samba at the  Auditorium du Louvre from October 28th at 20h. The show Soy de Cuba  with music of cha cha cha  with dancers and  musicians at theatre  Cigale from  Nove 15-27th.  The show in FRench of Lagartijas tiradas al sol (lezards étendus au soleil) a theater show at the  Maison des arts, Créteil,  from Oct 4-8  and the theatre  L’Apostrophe, Cergy- Pontoise, Oct 11-12 ;information at Tél. +33 (0) 1 53 45 17 17. The group Son de Madera & Camperos de valles, Mexicans musicians with improvisitions at the musée  Quai Branly, October 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 October ;information at  Tél.+ 33 (0) 1 53 45 17 17. 

 

To dance Tango with beginners and up go to the Casa del Tango 11, allée Darius-Milhaud, 75019 with Frédérique Behar. And to fit  you up for it buy supplies and shoes at Lysandre  as well as flamenco. 46, rue de la Voûte (75012 ). Tél. +33 (0) 1 43 43 04 73.

Some addresses to see and be seen Latino in Paris go to  CUMBIA, grocery store, salon de thé and lots of info on Colombia ;113-115, rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006 Tel +33 (0) 1 40 49 02 82). The Peruvian gastronomy is tops at El Picador ,9, rue Lacépède, 75005. Tel +33  (0) 1 43 31 06 01), while the best beef Argentine is had at Anahi, 49, rue Volta,75003, Tel +33 (0) 1 48 87 88 24), The very branch trendy Unico at 15, rue Paul-Bert, 75011.Tel +33  (0) 1 43 67 68 08), with a rotisserie style try the La Pulperia  11, rue Richard-Lenoir, 75011, Tel +33  (0) 1 40 09 03 70). A very nice FRanco-Brazilian ambiance at the Aux Enfants de Paris, 116, rue Amelot, 75011 ;Tel +33 (0) 1 47 00 70 74. To taste ragout of shrimps with coconut milk there.. For  cocktails and tacos go to the Taqueria Candelaria ,52, rue de Saintonge,75003. Tel +33  (0)1 42 74 41 28. For a drink and dance in a hot place go to my favorite place at Barrio Latino 46, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine, 75012.  The palace version of it is at Bar 228,  with Brazilian drinks and five cachaca style drinks to choose at Dali  228, rue de Rivoli,75001. Tel +33  (0) 1 44 58 10 44.

A selection from local latin music radio station LATINA 99.00 FM at www.latina.fr are

For Mojito and Caipirinha go to the Ritz, 15, place Vendôme (75001 ), and the bar of Hôtel Raphaël, 17, avenue Kleber (75016 ).

The nights of Latin Angel.  hot latin dance music at the Romeo Club , 71, boulevard Saint-Germain (75006), the first 3 fridays of each month.

For Rum and Cigars go to Cubana Cafe  47, rue Vavin (75006). near Montparnasse. 

 

There you have it enjoy a hot Latin night in Paris, why not Cheers.

September 13, 2011

Some news from France LVIII

Well back from my company convention at Chantilly and Paris; boys started school and the daily activities of life takes off again in France.

My boys are doing well and alread expert in taking the local buses to and back from school in Sarzeau, Morbihan dept 56. I am looking forward to have them for the weekend to go out and explore the local area together.

My company convention was big huge, we had a great hotel at Dolce Chantilly, and went into Paris at Eurosite ave George V, in between we had a special show at the musée vivant du cheval at Chantilly and a boat ride aboard Dauphine in the Seine river at night with lovely views of Paris. ahh oui Paris eternelle, we will always have Paris indeed.

All is back to normal with my house in Versailles for sales plus some furniture. Getting the last paperwork out of the way before the whole family is together in the Morbihan, hopefully before Christmas.

As to Paris the Grand Paris project is underway that will take a whole new meaning to metro/train transportation by 2018 and last lines by 2025.  This is the webpage you can see in French http://www.latribune.fr/static/pdf/cartedu%20grandparis.gif

Basically, the metro automatic will have  200 km of lines and 72 stations. The city of Orly and its airport will have the line 14 of Paris metro  passing by Villejuif.  The airport at Orly will also be linked to the west at the University of  St Quentin en Yvelines ,and passing by the northwest of Nanterre. La Défense will be link as well to the airport at Roissy CDG passing by the airport of Bourget. Finally, a last course that will be call the Super Metro will finish the circle, beginning from Bourget, crossing the stations of  Sevran-Beaudottes, Chelles, Champigny Centre, Créteil ,and continuing just to Villejuif. Other networks will complement this circle inside of it linking directly the Stade de France and  Champigny-sur-Marne  passing by  Rosny-sous-Bois.  The first section will be done by 2018, and the rest by 2025.

Here in my new area the action is picking up with kids out to school, and darker days plus the usual rain on and off, fall is coming. Until october 21 for the next school vacation period and more travel. Now some pictures here which I usually dont put better now than never, enjoy them. Cheers

 
 
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