Archive for October, 2011

October 20, 2011

Domaine de Kerguehennec,Morbihan

This is another attempt at Versailles, it is one of if not the best castle in the Morbihan department. It is about 15 kms from my house,and car is the only way to get here.

You take the voie express or fast road N165 to exit with the D767 direction Pontivy. Then it becomes direction Locminé, then St Jean Beveley, and Bignan 56500;you have well posted signs all the way so by car is very easy to find. Plenty of free parking when you get to castle or Domaine.

It is a castle from the 18C and renovated in the 19C, today own by the department council of the Morbihan. In 1847 it had 2000 hectares to the 175 it has today. It had two families that contributed big time to its grandeur. The first was the brothers Hogger in 1703 Swiss stockholders in the company of the Indies;by the end of the 19C was purchase by the comte Paul-Henri Lanjuinais.

The property is surrounded by works of modern art all around its gardens. It has a huge lake with very nice forest like ambiance. The lawns is an easy and popular domaine of families who come here with their children and lays gracefully in the grassy lawns. ADMISSION IS FREE!

The main webpage is at www.kerguehennec.fr

It is open every day  from 11h to 19h from October 16. Tel +33 (0) 2 97 60 31 84. Its a great way to spend your day with the family in a nice property with an even better garden/forest area and all admission and parking free!  Plus a nice cafe to have snacks and light food on site if a bit pricey.

During periods you find exposition of different forms of Art,and shop to teach you and youngs of how to do it. In all we had a great time, and nice easy ride;you are welcome to discovered this hidden jewel of the Morbihan.

Some photos to follow, enjoy them ;cheers!!

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October 18, 2011

Port Louis and the Indies

Continuing our blitz on the Morbihan i will talk a bit about Port Louis. This is easily reach from my house on road D781 coming from Etel or on the national road N165 direction Hennebont, then Port Louis. You can come by train to the station in Lorient then bus to Port Louis, TGV service from Paris Montparnasse. You can make by boat from Lorient, public transport at webpage  http://www.ctrl.fr/  and by air to Lorient airport from Paris and Lyon, on Air FRance ,webpage at http://www.lorient.aeroport.fr/

THe parking is easy at the entrance to the Grande Rue or by the Pointe harbor area. There is also plentyof parking by the Citadel.

The Pointe is a nice harbor/marina side typical of the Morbihan area, and gorgeous. The Grande Rue is an old quaint street full of shops, restos, pubs etc leading straight to the Citadel.

The Citadel is a marvel of Vauban fortifications, and the guard fortress to the city, famous for its trade with the Indies in America. The first company of trade was done here, and the museum inside the Citadel today tells you of this wonderful period.

The official tourist webpage for Port Louis is at  http://www.ville-portlouis.fr/Tourisme_et_patrimoine/Accueil_et_information/default.aspx?Art=2020

I must add even thus not in summer months last weekend was very nice and sunny here, and folks were at the beach by the Citadel a nice stretch of sand next to an old fortress, very romantic i imagine at night ::)

Another area of boats and port is port locmalo on the other side of the bay. Walking the old town is a must, and we did walk all over once parking the car at the entrance to the GRande Rue. A very enjoyable town to visit and onc we certainly will come back to.

Here are some photos ,so enjoy them.

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October 17, 2011

Etel,the ria of Morbihan and tuna trawlers!

This is the ria or river meeting the sea of Etel, wonderfully beautiful, as well as the old famous port of tuna fishing in France! Come on and know a bit about it.

This again is about 30 mins by car from me, and it is best taken the N165 direction Lorient and get off at exit that says Etel, there you follow the signs to D781. Parking is plentiful by the harbor with over 1000 places.  I did not see a train station sign but then again never use them privately.

The city center is nice with a nice church and shops all around the plaza, there is the Mayor’s office with a balcony with beautiful views over the harbor below it.

You get on best at rue de la liberation and walk about 5 mins to the harbor area. Plenty of restos and bars here and coming down on LIberation. There is a fishing market with huges bays fresh off the water!

The views are wonderful and I am sure will be back several times here. WE ate at the resto L’Abri du Pecheur right at the harbor, tel +33 (0) 2 97 55 31 34.WE had galettes of st jacques, complete, and mussels with chorizos that was sublime; a bottle of cider brut, banana split and creme brulee, plus 2 capuchinos and one coffee all for 56 euros for 3 persons. The service was very friendly and fast;recommended.

One of the nice things to see here, and the main one is the musée des thoniers or museum of tuna fisherman. Etel was the main center of it from the 1930’s with a flotilla of 250 boats; from 1945 the motor boats chalutiers takes off from here to far away places like west Africa. Very nice and inexpensive museum of 4,50 euros admission adult. It has activities every month for young and old alike in a friendly warm environment ,great for families. The webpage for more info is at www.museedesthoniers.fr

It has a nice beach all around the river mouth on both side of the bay, plus a wonderful marina, in all a very nice seaman environment. Shopping is held best at the comptoir de la mer store with all supplies for fishing of course, souvenirs, clothings, linens ,etc.

The official tourist webpage is at http://www.etel-tourisme.com/

We shall be back here ::) Enjoy the photos

October 16, 2011

Traveling in the Morbihan, and a lot more of it!

Well this another weekend and fall season is here so traveling in good nice cool weather is a breeze.

We took our ways and abouts to visit Erdeven, and Plouhinec, that comes out in many Brittany tourist brochures. The towns are very picturesques especially Plouhnic and Erdeven has wonderful beaches too.

Its another easy drive for me along the D22 direction Erdeven to hit city center right on, the imposing church tells you of arrival.  I found the fame a bit too much, other than a nice beach area, the rest has nothing to see, I was disappointed from the magazines and videos I have seen of it from tourists authorities. The official tourist webpage is at http://www.ot-erdeven.fr/

However, Plouihnec was different not a beach near but beautiful city center with quaint streets and houses, lots of restos in its center, and nice gorgeous church. This is the town to spend a day relaxing in small city life at any time of the year.

We were driven by car ,and found parking very easy at JP Collard center at Plouhinec. The official tourist webpage is at http://www.plouhinec.com/default2.asp#

It is lovely rides like these that makes Bretagne and especially the Morbihan so nice, with many choices, and great towns for most.

I am touching base on all of them when times allowed on weekends, and hope that later on with the family here we can go back to the best in detail; we have time ::)

Hope you enjoy the photos and help you planned your vacations in the Morbihan ::) Cheers

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October 11, 2011

A love affair call PARIS

Just the thought of going to Paris area again makes me think of all the wonderful years spent there, and with me forever. I will be there october 21 to bring my boys over, then back to Morbihan on the 22nd. My house there still on sale and the moving is slow but no other choice.

I will be back October 29 for the toussaints or all saints day holiday and come back november 1 with my father and the boys. My oldest will stay with mom until house is sold. I will traveling the route a lot, luckily I was thinking of changing my car and decided not to ,good decision because the kms are now on the old car ::)

Some of the favorites places I am looking forward  to see and shop at the quai des marques at Franconville, dept 95, Val d’Oise, all brand names at outlet mall prices, can reach it by gare st lazare train and then bus or better take the car, more info at www.quaidesmarques.com

Another wonderful place is the museum of the Pinocotheque at pl de la Madeleine; wonderful modern arts and plenty of souvenirs shop. More info at www.pinocotheque.com you can reach it on metro lines 8,12,and 14 ;sortie or exit pl de la madeleine as well as buses no 24,42,52,84, and 94 arret or stop Madeleine. Surrrounded by wonderful chic shopping at my favorite shop street rue Tronchet.

Next is an unusual place that most people overlook but its the best Asian museum in Europe!! Musée Guimet ,more info at www.guimet.fr its reach by metro stop Trocadero, Bossiére,and Iéna; its right off pl d’iéna.

Another cute one, that my boys enjoy at any city is the wax museum or Grevin.  more info at www.grevin.com. right off metro Grands Boulevard _line 8 and 9  as well as Bourse-line 3, and Richelieu-Drouot-line 8 or 9.

For the gourmand and I am one, head for the museum of chocolate or Le Musée Gourmand du Chocolat; more info at www.museeduchocolat.fr  see the choco story complete with tastings ,reach it at metro Bonne Nouvelle line 8 or 9, metro Strasbourg-Saint Denis line 4 or buses No 20,39, and 48 stops or arrets Poissonniere, Bonne Nouvelle or porte Saint Denis.

For something magical see the biggest cinema in Europe! at Paris visit Les Etoiles Durex, more info at www.legrandrex.com ;you have special effects,  archives images, and film sets all in front of you.  get there on metro Bonne nouvelle line 8 or 9 its right off the metro exit on blvd Poissonniere.

For savoring my old habits why not a visit to the Hard Rock Cafe! well been to those in the States, USA that is, now this one is not the same but when you are here and want to see there, this is as close as it gets.more info at www.hardrock.comm/paris . You reach it on metro Grands Boulevards lines 8 or 9 . There is always discounts at some local hotels or the tourist office at  25 rue des pyramides, metro pyramides lines 7 or 14.

Then, see some exotic buildings ,popular to many, and always visited by me when times allowed. These are in line this time:

The Pantheon, where the illustrious man of France are at rest, its wonderful for the history and the experience of these men. By public transport it is best the RER stop Luxembourg. More info at the Centre des Monuments Nationaux de France,site www.monuments-nationaux.fr

Another is the Conciergerie, the first Parisian royal palace, and the site of the last days of queen Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI.  Very centrally located with access on metro Chatelet, St Michel or Cité, line 4 as well as RER Chatelet-Les Halles,and St Michel. same webpage as the pantheon. While in this area visit the remodeled Forum Les Halles shopping area and the church of St Eustache.

Last but not least, head north for the Basilique de Saint Denis, where most of the kings and queens of France rest in peace. same webpage as the others above. You reach it on metro Basilique Saint DEnis line 13.

if by car use the wonderful parking garages of Vinci at www.vincipark.com

And of course cant leave without stopping by Versailles ,my royal town, je t’aime Versailles !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  RER C will take you from many places in Paris like St Michel, and also get there from Gare St Lazare or Montparnasse and bus 171 at porte de Sévres drop you right in front of castle!! more info at www.chateauversailles.com

Until we read you me read me you again, see you in France,cheers.

October 9, 2011

Traveling in the Morbihan, continues

Well Sunday is a slow day in France, time to be with the family. As mine still split between our two homes in Versailles and Brech, we (the twin boys and I) decide to go for a ride before coming back home for games and foodies.

We went out to check Sene, a town just to the south of Vannes ,right into the gulf de morbihan, and went all the way to St Ana , a port harbor very picturesque with a nice resto to come back for it as today it was closed.

We took a couple pictures, and walk around the area, vry nice and chic, lovely homes, and the sea of course, the sea is always good ::)  We came back to Vannes to eat and the boys decided to go back ,back American so we had lunch at KFC ,yes you know it kentucky fried chicken, had a branch here too lol!!!

Really, unless you head to tourist heaven in Port area of Vannes or ST Goustan in Auray ,or Quiberon, not much is open today afternoon. But we are well adjusted and we have everything at home ::)

The boys are getting ready as going to Versailles by October 21st, >I will come back for the job, my son will visit girlfriend grandpa at Nantes from the 25th and I will be heading on business to Madrid. Coming back the 28 evening to go pick them up home on the 29th and stay the Toussaint or all saints day holiday in France there, returning back to the Morbihan on Nov 1st. November it seems a busy traveling day at work….to be continue.

Now home watching TV and everybody on the internet with each computer’s. The family is back home connected and visited the area of La Defense ,near Paris yesterday with my oldest and wife. Until next time in my blogging ways, cheers and have a great week ahead everybody.

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October 8, 2011

Traveling in the Morbihan

Today Saturday was a day of setting off with the boys to different and usual parts in the department of Morbihan No 56 in Brittany ,France.

It was a  cloudy overcast day, a bit cloudy at first then opening up a bit with sunshine later on. The temps was about 15°C. no rain thus. We set out from home and first headed for the city center to see if the post office was open, hehehe here they close at 12h so we got there late it was closed lol!!! The bourg of Brech is fantastic isn’t it ::)

We then set out to city center Auray to get some cash and walk a bit, trying to see the post office there but it too closes at 12h so tought luck; we walk a bit more seeing the beautiful church of St Gildas in pl Notre Dame. This is a small but gorgeous church you all should see when visiting the area.

From we went to the city of Ploemel, we stop in city center and walk a bit around the church there but it was closed. It looks like a very nice old building with typical breton stones all over. We went over the gare or train station, and seek out the Karting complex there just to know where it is as the boys are looking forward to using it.

We,the, set out for Quiberon, the wonderful peninsula. WE did our usual walk and were able to find free parking in city center, winter time the tourists are out and the city is all for us ::) We did finally had our lunch at our usual place , the Quai Ouest resto which literally means Key West ( as in our old Florida hounds); we had our tuna on the plancha, hamburgers,beers, and desserts of floating isle,chocolat mousse, and caramel pudding ,plus coffee all for 61 euros for 3 persons.The resto is at the point of the bld ocean bordering the ocean, and its a great location for people watching as well as always great food and service. It has become our regular hangout in the city.

WE then left this wonderful beach town and headed for the seat of government in the department ,the city of Vannes. There we had our usual stop with the boys, the FNAC electronics games stores chain where we spent quite a bit of time ::) and Dad came out paying out again for mp4 machines. We then went over the Carrefour commercial center for our grocery shopping and a shoulder bag for my kid ,before finally heading home again with more traffic than usual.

Now we are leisurely at home watching TV and dad on the internet, well they are on the internet too but more multi handy with these gadgets than I ::)

We are all looking forward to next weekend when we will be heading to Versailles and see the rest of the family, and then next following week my son goes to Nantes to visit girlfriend’s grandpa,and I go to Madrid on business trip. The following week is a Four day weekend here so will be back in Versailles to get my father over with me as well. Busy and multi tasks, thats me ::) See you around the world somewhere, cheers

October 5, 2011

Auray, quaint,historical,and medieval

I am back in my backyard as I live just 11 kms from this wonderful town, seat of my area for citizen services. I love the area of Saint Goustan, very historical and quaint river front area.

The city has a good train station with direct service to Paris Montparnasse on TGV, and bus connection to nearby towns, an Avis rental car counter ,and 3 taxi companies. From the train station to ST Goustan is about 20 mins walking leasurely.

It has several chapels or small churches,  and very old medieval streets full of commerce activity and souvenirs galore. The food and drink area is well serve, including some historical eating places that the name cannot be change to protect history.

Outiside is the monument to Cadoudal the great General who led the Chuans or farmers in the area in their revolt against the French revolution remaining royal and Catholic until the end.

However, the best part of all is going down to St Goustan, the district just bordering the river Loch, that eventually ends in the Gulf of morbihan (Unesco World heritage site). This area is where Benjamin FRanklin came in 1776 to seek support from the French king  for the news nation of the U S A. And he got it !!! Beginning the oldest continous alliance in the world between the two countries that is to this day even with some distractions.

You can sleep where he did and eat where he did at ST Goustan relais Franklin and Bar Franklin, even the street is name after him Quai Franklin. Tourist info can be found here  www.auray-tourisme.com

The department tourist info can be found here www.morbihan.com/  and the region of Brittany or Bretagne here  www.tourismebretagne.com/

There  is a nice inexpensive hotel by the train station or gare d’Auray call the Hotel Terminus; webpage http://www.hotel-terminus-auray.fr/ also in city center there is the fine Celtic at http://www.celtic-hotel.fr/ and the wonderful historical near the cathedral the Cadoudal at http://www.hotellecadoudal-auray.com/

For eating go to my favorites La Fromentine, just on rue chateau coming down from city center to st Goustan area, hilly street steep going down to river but worth it, no web but tel +33 (0)2 97 29 18 29 .L’Armoric is all in one pizza, resto, bar at pl Saint SAuveur on the river bank just after the old stone bridge, no web but tel +33 (0) 2 97 24 10 36, and the famous Bar Franklin on the same pl St Sauveur  facing the plaza no web but tel +33  (0)2 97 56 65 56. And finally the Relais Franklin, along the quai Franklin facing the river Loch no web but tel +33 02 97 59 32 98.

You have great Italian ices and churros at L’Igloo just after the stone bridge going down to St Goustan, and a nice souvenir store, then up the road rue de Chateau you have antique, arts shops, souvenirs ,until you reach the top of the hill and enter into the city center of Auray.

In all  you will have a very good time here, for bigger shopping you can go to nearby Porte Océane which along the N165 road with Super U,Leclerc hypermarket, and many other stores including the Comptoir de la >Mer with all kinds of fishing and seafaring stuff.

Have a great time in my backyard and details let me know. Some of my latest photos to follow,enjoy them.

October 3, 2011

Inland Morbihan: Elven and St Ave

The department of the Morbihan or small sea in breton petite mer in French is a wonderful place I have been finding out. Most people go to the coast and beaches inmensily popular and beautiful, however, inland there are nice picturesques towns to visit and get the other face of France.

Elven is a nice small town with a beautiful church of St marie and the tours of Langoet (16C) to visit and eat in city center at Le Lion , it is easily to reach off the N166 from Rennes and have bus service from Vannes. The town webpage is at http://www.elven.fr/

St Ave is closer to VAnnes and near my work area, it has a nice city center with an old chapel right in city center, plus a great wine shop,  Au nom du Vin, a nice place to stop on way home. The town webpage is at http://www.saint-ave.fr/

These are all with nice city center with nice terraces to pass a leisure day away from the crowds at any time of the year. Shopping is great with a hyper U in St Ave as well, and on your way to VAnnes the centre commercial Leclerc with a multicinema and a restaurant circle with 8 including hippotammus,la boucherie,pizza del arte, kergalette (my favorite breton crepes at 10 rue jacques Rueff tel + 33(0) 2 97 46 27 12); maitre kanter,brooklyn wifi bar, skellic irish bar,tablapizza.

So there you have sea side and land side to choose from , this is the Morbihan ,department 56 in Bretagne, west of France. Best way is the car of course, but the TGV from montparnasse in Paris put you in VAnnes or Auray or Lorient very easily, and the bus system of VAnnes www.tpv.fr link the main cities.There is an Avis car rental at the train stations open until 18h. The closest airport is at Nantes about 1h30, and Iberia and Air France flies from there amongst others. Enjoy the photos.

October 2, 2011

Paris, we always have Paris and come back for more

Well I am back from a three day two night spin on Paris !! Its strange now to come back to a place I know so well, second home always will be. This time was special because the company paid for the trip so I was doubly greatfull to be in Paris.

I came from Vannes (Morbihan 56) by TGV train to Montparnasse took about a bit over 3 hrs, and this time the trains connection works! I had time to stay by the Jardin Atlantique on the roofstop of the gare Montparnasse a place of heavenly thoughts with its beautiful basin of Miroitements and the ile des Hésperides right on it so green and peaceful.  This is just around the corner from my old office location in rue des Departs.

I made connection on metro line 13 and then line 3 to reach my hotel at the 17th arrondissement or district of Paris. Hotel Magellan was nice chosen by the company and full of history as it was there that the NASA folks who came for the Paris Air Show of 2001 stayed and their autographs photos are hang on the wall. I just needed to walk along blvd Pereire to the ave de la GRande Armée where my office meeting were held. It was heavens to walk Paris streets again !!!!!

I just happenned to stop by for coffee at Le Congres at porte Maillot as used to do consulting work off ave Amiral Bruix. and for my late night escape came back to the porte de Champeret and had a blast with old friends at Le Chope Champeret before heading to the place de la Republique at Casa del Campo for a wild late evening.  My poor coworkers went to the Meridien hotel for a night of live jazz (done that been there).

Too bad missed the Nuit Blanche october 1 for the first time in 8 years, saw on reports and TV that is again nice. recommend to all to write the dates down and be here during the Nuit Blanche, started in Paris and now spread to other European cities.

The trip back was business like as the connection was done on line 1 at porte Maillot to Etoile-Clemenceau for line 13 to Montparnasse and back on the TGV direct to Vannes, where my reliable Ford was waiting to take home in 25 minutes. The weekend was full of adventures with my twin boys, for posts to come and plenty of photos of the beautiful morbihan area of brittany.

In Paris, during the short time was able to meet my company requirement of time, and met old friends that is always welcome. Paris will always be there, and always looking forward to come back to it;its eternal. Cheers

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