Archive for November, 2011

November 27, 2011

What about the Real Madrid !!!

Here we are just after playing the derby vs Atletico de Madrid, and my REAL MADRID is leader by 6 points over the culés. It was a wonderful weekend indeed.

It started by taking Atletico out of the stadium in a 4X1 victory with a double by CR, then our neighbors Getafe beat the culés 1X0, and the timing is set at 6 points advantage,and one more game vs Sporting Gijon on Dec 3rd, before the first clasico vs the culés which if we win and no doubt this time we will we will sentence the Liga for good.

Then its on to the Champions already first in our group with one last formality game vs ajax there Dec 7th ,and on to the eighth finals at top in our group winner. The Copa del Rey or King’s Cup still coming up playing a very small team Ponferradina on Dec 13th ,that if we put our heads to it we will surpass easily too. In all it looks like the year of the Merengues, and it confirm the latest findings.

The French sports daily L’Equipe which was an integral part in the creation of the Champions league or as it was call before the Cup of Europe ,has just named the Real Madrid as the best team in the history of the competition. In the overall 56 editions of the Champions, Real Madrid is first ,followed by AC Milan, and Bayern Munich. The much publicize culés only arrives in fourth place. The top ten are Real Madrid 483 points, AC Milan 330, Bayern Munich 288,Barcelona 250,Liverpool 237,Manchester United 229, Ajax Amsterdam 220, Benfica 217, Juventus 215, Inter Milan 184 points.

The magazine L’Equipe also created an all star selection of those that played in those Champions over the years. In this selection, there are two players that have wore the shirt of Real Madrid are Alfredo Di Stefano and Clarence Seedorf.

In another developement for the first time in 38 years the Real Madrid is wearing red shirts as second uniform or away games. Before it was in 1971 and 1973 my times of living in the city!!!!

In basketball the team played in the caja magica, then went back to the Palacio de los deportes or sports palace . The team is in tied in points with the cules but second on points average in the league. IN the Euroliga we are second to Maccabi in our group, which is passing for the second round. We play Milan Nov 30, Dec 1 on our next match there. Last liga Endesa result we beat CAI Zaragoza on a great performance by Ibaka. Our next game here is vs Valencia in Madrid palacio de los deportes on Dec 10th;

In all is a great year, the only concern I have is the expenses done to get here, totally against the team historic handling of mixing international with nationals, it seems today we pay out checks to bring known players from abroad and the farm system is left to nothing or bait to exchange like a stockmarket. This is what is done when you bring an entrepreneur lke Florentino Perez as president of the club. The jury is out on his actions that are more on the business side and less on the football side. The team is winning on galactic signatures including the coach. Time will tell if the investment was worth it.

Our farm team in tercera or third division is Real Madrid Castilla beating previously first Lugo 1X0 now we are the leaders there. It has 3 players champion of Europe under 19 in Carvajal, Morata, and Alex. Next game vs Atletico B on Nov 27th.

ON history let me tell you that the Real Madrid is the only team that hve beaten a current world champion when on May 30,1954 we beat reigning world champion Uruguay 2×0 at Chamartin stadium with goals by Di Stefano, min 30, and Zàrraga min 54.

The club is trying to improve the facilities n the training grounds at Valdebebas, now even a hotel for the players and staff is envision. More of this on the club official webpage . This project started in SEpt 30,2005 given it a new name as Real Madrid City and the farms teams a new name as the Fabrica or factory team.

The next big project in union with the above is to renovate the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid ! There since Dec 14, 1947 and already a FIFA top rated stadium as a five stars rating. One of the improvements will be the enlargement of the trophy room/museum (oh yes it will grow for sure::)) and the tour Bernabeu will be expanded inside facilities to see (already 750 000 persons paid visits per year). It will have a plaza in front of stadium on paseo de la castellana and another one by the current esquina del Bernabeu. A new underground parking for capacity of 1000 cars and improvement on the current one at padre Damian and concha Espina with 500 places. More of it in the official club webpage at

In all again, a wonderful weekend, and all looks very promising, I will keep an eye on with my friends from Plataforma Blanca so the club continues to enforce its sporting objectives ahead of the material ones.

Until next round ball news and very white wishes to all our followers worldwide, we are one family;love you all. Hala Madrid !!!!

November 26, 2011

Paris, we are back here again, or is it always here…

Well stop by Paris briefly on my way home, and already looking forward to the Christmas season back in Versailles/Paris area with the family. First some new things

The BHV store at rue de rivoli ,near the Hotel de Ville is opening from December 5 to the 18 a new resto bar at the top with great views of Paris, entrance on 55 rue de la Verrerie , the charge will be 10€ admission plus one cocktail included, from 17h to 20h.  Blue lights, lounge music,white tents for a polar and romantic ambiance !

More and more Parisien and France restos are using board, black tables, and chalk boards to announce the menu; the traditional cartes will slowly disappears. Wait now for the electronic tablettes and sms text menus too.

My son broke his D&G glasses but luckily wont cost to replace as we had insurance, done by next saturday lol!! He is happy now ,and dad too ::)

Versace will be sold at H&M stores all over, this began at NYC last November, it will be under SA Collection name. Check it out in Paris too; at this moment Christmas is in the air in Paris, therefore, Karl Lagerfeld and Vanessa Paradis open the windows at Printemps, and Charles Winston after a concert at the rooftop did it for Galeries Lafayette. Tony Parker, the French basketball player did it at Disneyland, and Audrey Tautou, the French actress will do for the illuminations at the Champs-Elysées.

There is a new fragrance o Lolita Lempicka call Si Lolita now out.  Now the new thingy is that this Christmas will be a Noel British or a British Christmas in Paris. That means lots of British motifs and clothes, and fragrances, etc etc. My boys will love it. Just read Sylvia Fendi of the famous name just love South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida USA lol! And one of her favorites is to go by Little Havana, and eat at Garcia’s.

New areas chic to discover in Paris, around Bastille, go to Rue de Charonne,rue Keller, for a feast of colors, with plenty of mangas, tattoos, and bars until very late…. by the Rue Roquette, plenty of Latin bars awaits you. Getting near pl de la Republique (one of my best areas) check out Rue Oberkampf, rue Saint-Maur, at the crossing with rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud with the best bistros full of people with the world. Dont forget to stop by the new cultural info center at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal ,metro sully-morland, bastille ,webpage

Just in France will have again a luxury cruise liner call FRANCE in 2015. Alain Ducasse the great chef is designing the 8 restaurants the boat will have!!! A boat of 17 bridges, 260 meters long, and 640 passenger capacity. It will come of the shipyard of St Nazaire not far from Nantes and me. It will a vitrine or window shop for all that is luxury and good of France.  This of course to relieve the first boat call France, I am sure those cruisers will know what I am talking about, and those new should get on this one, it is the ultimate. Cheers

And again my favorite LE FIGARO of the weekend has its top 15 bistros for Paris, voted by the locals ! Café des Musées 49, rue de Turenne, IIIe. Tél. : 01 42 72 96 17. Le Comptoir du Relais 9, carrefour de l’Odéon, VIe. Tél. : 01 43 29 12 05, Fish la Boissonnerie 69, rue de Seine, VIe. Tél. : 01 43 54 34 69; Le Café Constant 139, rue Saint-Dominique, VIIe. Tél. : 01 47 53 73 34;Bistrot Paul Bert 18, rue Paul-Bert, XIe. Tél. : 01 43 72 24 01.; L’Ourcine 92, rue de Broca, XIIIe. Tél. : 01 47 07 13 65. L’Entredgeu 83, rue Laugier, XVIIe. Tél. : 01 40 54 97 24;Le Baratin 3, rue Jouye-Rouve, XXe. Tél. : 01 43 49 39 70.L’Office 3, rue Richer, IXe. Tél. : 01 47 70 67 31. Racines 2, 39, rue de l’Arbre-Sec, Ier. Tél. : 01 42 60 77 34. Le Pantruche 3, rue Victor-Massé, IXe. Tél. : 01 48 78 55 60. Le Garde Temps 19 bis, rue Pierre-Fontaine, IXe. Tél. : 09 81 48 50 55; Vivant 43, rue des Petites-Écuries, Xe. Tél. : 01 42 46 43 55. Philou 12, avenue Richerand, Xe. Tél. : 01 42 38 00 13. Chatomat 6, rue Victor-Letalle, XXe. Tél. : 01 47 97 25 77. webpages not in all of them but easy in google.

Something from France telecom to see beautiful videos of chateau de Versailles and Fontainebleau and many more, the biggest museums of the world, links here

Enjoy Paris, its always eternal ::)

November 26, 2011

A new city on my map ,Dusseldorf, Germany

I  admit, Germany always is a gravity pull, and been there on business and family trîps, so this time went for a short spell on business to a new city on my map, Dusseldorf, wonderful

It is during the Christmas season ,so plenty of Christmas markets in the zentrum or center, and we did walk the nights away. The Konigsallee area is gorgeous, and the hotel I stayed is the best, know it well because work on them in management years ago in France.The best way is by taxi only 21 euros, the train is about 6 euros but need to have changes, and no need to start your trip stress out with these taxpayer supported schemes. IF you must the sites are

this is the airport site above and info on getting to the city abound.  for trains go here

for information on tourism ,the site is at

The walks in the zentrum old city center was great, full of life nothing left unseen, the people were in their best moods. The bars were full, we had a great time at the Intercontinental Hotel lobby bar, and then went on to check out the two next ones that are a must for everyone visiting the city. The hotel webpage is at

probably my biggest link but worth the information on it.

For the best steaks western style and wines galore head for the The Classic Western Steakhouse, Tubmannstrr 12 , Tel +49 (0211) 20031507. top US beef with sound of country music and old western photos all over the walls,huge and delicious. I had the regular cut of juicy steak, mashed potatoes, nutty cake for dessert which I even forgot its German name, and share a bottle of 2008 Errazuriz Chilean red wine. webpage at  for the wine ,the webpage is here ,one of the best of Chile and the world

The next evening we went for old German chow, of beef and potatoes and green beens at a place where the beer never stop coming, I had ten glasses, and it was delicious, we walk home lol! This was at Brauerie Schumacher, Oststr 123, Tel +49 (0211) 828 9020. A brewery there since 1838, pub with beautiful wood carvings, we went to the back a special room for our group behind close doors lol!!  webpage

The airport was great too, very clean, and friendly even without speaking German. I try the resto on the travel gallery on the E3 level , Das Gasthaus , more chow, this time flaky meaty fish, mashed potatoes, and the same nutty walnut cake type with a large Becks beer lol! ready for the plane.

I started and return to Nantes airport in France, easy quick in and out place, and then my car home 1h30, on the N165. In all a very nice trip, and a discovery is made to come back to Dusseldorf with the family  next year;some photos to share, and some given that I am in it.

November 20, 2011

Paris the Christmas season and the twins 18 b-day

Here we are in another year ends, Christmas is my favorite time of the year. What better way to do so than plan for it at Paris, this is just the beginning of some posts to come. It is complimentary to the page Paris at night and Christmas 2011.

I was in Paris because its always an excuse, because it was my twin boys 18 birthday wow!! now big men, times flies, and because it was the start of decorations, and Christmas market in the Champs-Elysées.

I took off from Vannes in Brittany by car as usual, with my twins boys who goes to school here while the mom and older plus my father stays in Versailles waiting for the house to be sold(have two realtors working on it). The ride was as usual very smooth on the N165,N24,A84,and A13;gas was at 1,359 euros per liter and tolls were 14,30 euros one way. Still a lot cheaper than going by train or plane or else. We arrive Friday night late just enough to sleep and ready for Paris the next day.

The day was begun at the George V parking lot underground ,one of my favorites spots to park my car as in several others. Of course,no question we drive a car, yes and a Ford to boot,nothing is better than driving. You see all, and visit all nooks and crannies of the city at your will .

We then proceeded to a  huge visit and Dad/Mom hefty price tag at Virgin Megastore at the Champs-Elysées. This was great as usual and they got their X360 videogame machine plus all kinds of tapes,and videogames. We then walk the Champs-Elysées just like tourists do, and it was fun, we heard/saw folks from many countries enjoying themselves in the big avenue; and lots of shopping too, who says there is a crisis lol!!!

We walk as far as the place de la concorde, and the big wheel or grande roue was there flashing already a Paris landmark and waited by many. The chalets or market stalls were abundant and nice with wood from the French vosges , all kinds of them, and they were already busy with the crowds. We notice some over pricing, as my oldest son work in the business of souvenirs stores in Versailles, there the prices sometimes are half of those in Paris ::) However, it seems of little importance as folks were gathering gadgets all over the avenue.

We visit the Sport24 store to see some nice shirts by Real Madrid but again a bit overprice than I could pay in Madrid ::) The main point was the walk and seeing all the lights been ready,and the festive mood of the people, lots of French kisses on the avenue, young lovers abound….

Finally it was time to head back, to find something to eat, well we were in tourist heaven so not much choice,however, we had eaten at Pizza Pino at montparnasse before and it was good portions at good pricing so we opted for it. Pizza Pino has a branch in the Champs-Elysées right in front of l’entrecote and next to pizza roma, cant missed it. The food and service was as always with us very good, the whole gang really enjoy it, the prices were a bit higher than montparnasse but then again you are in tourist central::: The experience was good overall. two bottles in pitchers of beaujolais nouveau, four goat cheese pizzas, one bruno and one palerme, ice creams,and creme brulée, plus cafe plaisirs-2 with sweets, plus 3 reg coffees, for the whopping 193 euros for 6 persons. We left happy as it was, also, my twins birthdays and as they wanted to shop for their gadgets there we ate on site.

We did not finish shopping we went across to FNAC another dept store , at the Champs-Elysées, and we purchase two samsung digital cameras there plus more cd, and dvds tapes for the kids and Dad ::) We then went over to the George V parking garage got in my car and drove over to the port de Suffren where the boat Maxim’s is.

The boat Maxim’s is a double decker maroons off the Seine just below the Tour Eiffel, and own by Pierre Cardin. Every year I get invitations to the tastings of wine and goodies there, you can eat on the upper deck or just buy and go home. Over the years we have done both, this time we just bought our regular house wines from the Loire,beaujolais nouveau, and plenty of chocolates, French chocolates home made by artists of the genre, really good. The parking there is free with attendance,and you get to see and walk around the Eiffel tower which after so many trps over the years no need to go up again lol!

The Maxim’s as usual was packed, parking in and out difficult because by the quais is one way only same road, the tops of the Eiffel tower esplanade was full of folks and the glow of the tower was as always nice. We were loaded ,more broked ,but very happy as usual of our Paris escapades.

We headed home but knowing it was late and just the hour for folks coming in and out of Paris for the night activities we took the direction of La Defense, went around the N13 direction suresnes and reach the A13 at just Versailles, nice ride by the road warrior once again. Here are some photos of the day, made more special because of my twins boys 18 birthday !!!

November 13, 2011

Nice Pontivy deep in the north Morbihan

Continuing this wonderful armistice weekend, we head out for the city of Pontivy, north of Morbihan, about 45 kms from our home. It was an easy trip by car on the D768 that connects on both ends with the N24 and the N165, very centrally located. The town has no train station so connections are done from Vannes by bus to Pontivy, see the area transport site . parking is plentyfull and best is at the pl aristides briand right in front of the prefecture ,hotel de ville govts buildings,and right next to the river, central to everything. During summer months you can reserve a train ride between the old line of Auray and Pontivy, that is been try to keep alive by aficionados, the link is here

The tourist office for the community of towns including Pontivy is wonderfully located on the river in a peniche boat Duchesse Anne, very innovative indeed and nice. One of the sights not to missed is the Basilique Notre Dame de Joie, built n the 16C and renovated in the 19C, all representing the family Rohan of great influence here. There are a number of churches and chapels about 90! in the country surrounding Pontivy and the city itself, it will take several trips to see them all lol!!!

The hightlight of your visit should be the Chateau de Rohan, the magnificent castle of the Rohan and the dukes of Brittany,from 1396 AD, Jean II finally decides to built a castle in 1485 to show their power in the region. It is 90 by 75 meters with two huge towers on each side. To see it cost 3,70€ per adult.

Napoleon built up the city to show its Republican gains, from 1806 works start linking by a water canal Nantes to Brest passing by Pontivy then linking Lorient by the  canal du Blavet. The canal de Nantes-Brest is opened in 1842 . Around this plane as locals call it, the govt buildings of the prefecture, hotel de ville, mairie ,and prison were built. The imperial lycée or high school in 1806 of Joseph Loth,the theater,and the train station that no longer takes passengers today.

There is a farmers market at the Plane or pl Aristides Briand, every monday all year all day. The goodies here is one of the best in France been the Bretagne the most agricultural part of France.

The webpage for the city showing some of its jewels is at  ; the site for the agglomoration of Pontivy or community of towns is at  The name in Breton is Pondi, and about 12% of students takes breton in elementary school today. the hospitality was very nice by all we encounter on the streets.

We had lunch by the castle just facing it, at L’Aiglon brasserie,pizzeria, resto, very nice, family atmosphere, sunday was all French families in there, and nice service, we had pizzas volcanos with chorizos and seguin with goat cheese,banana splits 2 and peach melba, 3 coffees and a bottle of Beaujolais village for 78 € for 3. Location 42 rue du Général de Gaulle, tel +33 (0) 2 97 27 98 08 webpage

It was a pleasant trip, and one to keep in mind to come back in details later on with the entire family. I hope you enjoy it, and think about your next trips in Bretagne, in the Morbihan, to keep Pontivy in mind. Took several photos as usual, enjoy them.



November 11, 2011

Lorient, the raide, and its ports

Today its Armistice Day in France, celebrating the end of WWI and honoring those braves who fought for our future. Always on guard to keep the good ones afloat.

I started my day with the boys watching the early morning ceremonies at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on TV; very moving to see the honoring by the President Sarkozy. Then it was done with the groceries at carrefour market in Pluneret ,close to my home. Finally, we headed to visit Lorient.

I was told it is a new city after the destruction done to it in WWII, and indeed it was different, sort of like any city in Florida, USA but with the added flair of a cool cloudy misty day by the harbors it was nice after all. The city was lively, many people out,and the plazas were ongoing, however ,the restos were a bit empty.

We had our lunch very American, at the Subways sandwich chain that has franchisees here in France, and of course, one in Lorient by the Place de l’apero,and the main bus center for the city. Its always nice to go back in time and eat at places now you normally dont ::) Those BMT still rocks lol!

We went by car of course, on the N165 got out at exit 43 or sortie, but the signs also has Lorient on it so its easy, just follow Lorient Centre to reach the center of town and into the harbors areas. There is a train from Paris montparnasse on the TGV line that reaches here often. Parking is plentiful lots of it, we did it by rue de la patrie on the big esplanade facing up to the palais de congres.

The official tourist webpage is at  ,and for the local bus transport information is at  ,however, the best portal for transport in Brittany is at

The walking in its street is always my pasttime and enable me always to know the town visit better. There is many ports actually five, the best known at the pleasure boat or port de plaisance, port de peches or fishing port, and the port de commerces or commercial port. Boat out to outliying islands is available, and there is nice beaches by Lamor Plage going down on the road D29; there is also, to see an old submarine base from the time of WWII when the nazis established their uboat hq here. The tower of discovery or tour de la decouverte,and the Thalassa an old boat of marine research that ended its days at sea here,and now can be visited.

The area has FNAC, Galeries Lafayette,Monoprix,H&M, stores all around the main plaza and of course the commercial center Noyel with lots of more stores in a mall style setting. Restos,cafes,brasseries abount around this area which in summer season is packed with visitors. One more town to check out further in details in my tours of Brittany or Bretagne.

One unique event that I wont missed next year is the Festival Inter Celtique or Celtic festival where representatives of Celtic tradition from its regions such as Scotland,Ireland,Asturias,Galicia,and of course Brittany come to share their traditional music,danse,and artifacts. Always more information here

For the theater concious,there is a renovated theater the Grand Theatre that looks impressive and sure will tickle my fancy to try see it inside for a show one of these days, the official webpage is at

Hotels you  have an Ibis, Oceania (my business hotels),and the Victor Hugo. However, two that caught my eyes,but did not stay of course, were the Hotel Restaurant Les Gens de Mer, or the folks of the Sea, right by the port de peche or fishing boat marina, webpage ;and the Hotel les Oceanes, by the boat station to outliying islands, webpage

Hope it helps your visit to this nice city, I for one, will surely come back to it. Cheers!



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November 9, 2011

Paris, here I come again,and again,again ,again and again

Yes, Paris is a place to come back again and again,AND ,if you are lucky enough to have worked there and lived nearby in Versailles you have the best in the world.Now that I am away starting a new chapter in my life in the Bretagne of France, every chance to come over is for excitement and nostalgia.

I was there yesterday by Montparnasse then Porte Maillot,and walk on the Champs-Elysées to the ave de la Grande Armée,grand indeed. Let me catch up with some of the latest from Paris. Little things to do in the most beautiful city in the universe!!!!!!!!!

Electric cars will be available the gare de Lyon to do your trip in the city,just go to the Avis counter there. This will begin november 21th and you can rent for half a day or full day. Marseille will have it too.

To preserve our European rights on train travel you can always call Europe Direct 00 800 67 89 10 11 or go to

You should know due to heavy work to improve the railroad lines in France, schedules will change as of December 11th for 85% of the train network in France. The work will continue in 2012.

On more touristic notes, you can go to the Grand Palais from now to January 9 2012 for a story of video games at the galerie sud-est. The event for all aficionados of the videogame, more information and reservation at

A wonderful retrospective on Spanish paintings from Zuloaga to Velazquez will be at the Musée de l’Orangerie in the jardin des tuileries. more information at and see exposition on the left column.

Great showing of Chinese history at the Louvre from now to January 9 2012, every day from 9h to 18h except tuesdays, with night admission to 22h on wednesdays and fridays. You go in by the pyramide du louvre cour napoleon; reduce rates after 18h on wednesdays and fridays for 6€ from the normal 10€. The program is call “La Cité Interdite”  or the forbidden city. More info at

At the Musée du Luxembourg, you will see the 3Cézanne et Paris” expo from now to February 26 2012; from 9h to 22h on fridays to mondays,and 10h to 20h on tuesdays to thursdays. admission 12€. the museum is by the French senat and famous garden at 19 rue de Vaurigard, metro lines 4 and 10 Odéon as well as RER B Luxembourg.Buses 58,84,and 89 takes you here too.

Of course, there is plenty more, but these are some of my favorite events;enjoy them they are all grand.

For a bit off Paris, this coming weekend there is the Salon du Chocolat at Vannes ,the city I work now. at the Parc des Exposition (le Chorus,an very old cereal storage place now use for these events) ,admission is 5€ with great chocolates makers and the special guest, the country of Peru. Chocolates of the Incas….more info here , and of course I will be here lol!!!

And something I have been and will sadly missed this year is the Hospices de Beaune, the 151st edition coming up November 20th. It will have famous chef Michel Troisgros that will do six menus around the famous appellations of Pouilly-Fuissé,Corton,Corton-Charlesmagne,Meursault-charmes,Mazis-Chambertin, and Pommard-épenots. they will have 618 bottles of red wine, 143 bottles of white wine for sale by Christie’s. the benefits of the sale will go to charities of heart surgery and France Alzheimer. more info at

And as always, we will always have Paris, right !!! ::)

November 4, 2011

Versailles/Paris at night is sublime….Superb

Just a visit to the tourist center is enough to know why Versailles is the most popular castle in the world… very nice streets lighted up and quaint to walk by with good company in a world of its own.

I came back home and quickly went out shopping near Paris just north of Versailles in quai des marques,Franconville, dept val d’oise-95. Then went took a stroll in by rive gauche train station, and to see my ” second home” the castle at night is very romantic ,glorious, magnificent !

This morning went to pick up my other son,at Villepreux , coming back from visiting grandpa of girlfriend in Nantes, so she lives just south of Versailles. They met at the private high school in Le Chesnay, all in the Yvelines ,dept 78 west of Paris.

Now we are ready to head out to Paris, have some get together with folks from travel forums and close friends that will meet us there at Au Trappiste by Chatelet. My 3 boys are going with me for a boys night out ::) Paris its always any excuse to come back to it.

We will be back late, and then Versailles will be cooler,nighty, exotic, romantic, just glamorous under the stars. Versailles it is worth a kingdom for France lol!

Halloween, it is more and more done here, but not as much as in the USA. We dont participate anymore but do buy the candies for the neighborhood kids. Then on Nov 1st is a holiday All Saints Day, or Toussaints ,no work for us so relax. This is ,also, the day we head back to Bretagne and back to work on Nov 2nd. I will be back for work meetings in Paris on Nov 8th, and will see what the job holds for me as far as travel to branches around the world.

Lately Le Figaro is putting out some top 10 list, and the latest was on the best poulet roti or roast chicken in Paris. The Winner was L’Ami Louis, 32 rue du Vertbois, 3eme, but my favorites were rank high again on this list; such as Au Pére Claude,51 av de la Motte-Picquet, 15eme, J’Go, 4 rue Droout, 9eme (also at Toulouse main one), Chez Clement, 17 bd des Capucines, 2eme near Opera;and my perennial one La Gare, 19 Chaussée de la Muette, 16eme,bon apétit!!!

Here are some random pictures of night in VersaillesParis and al. , some not so well taken as did not had the camera night ready. The meaning is the same, Versailles / Paris is a combination not to forget ever . Cheers.

November 4, 2011

My latest encounter with Madrid…..

Well I was back in one of my favorites cities in the world last week, Madrid.

It is difficult to explain it, I lived here for four years in the 70’s with my late Mom, and started to come back often after graduating university in 1982. Even more after moving to France in 2003. The city always has that special nostalgia about it, no matter how many times I come as soon as landed in Barajas or entering the inner ring roads by car, Madrid comes alive in my mind.

This time was a 3 day event for business my company send me there, it was by the south on the highway to Valencia. The welcome was great and was able to share some moments with my colleagues in Madrid. Looking forward to come back already.

I took off from Nantes airport in Bretagne (yes), after always a rest night at Oceania HOtels Nantes airport, direct fly to Madrid Barajas T4 terminal on Air Nostrum regional of Iberia. The flight was delayed 35 minutes no surprises as I expected it. Landing was smooth, and immediately got my combinado pass at metro to go to line 8 to Colombia stop and change to line 9 to Sainz de Baranda, where my hotel was. The ride was smooth easy and very nice,not crowded at all.

My hotel was the Ayre Gran Hotel Colon, at Pez Volador 1, off the corner with Calle Doctor Esquerdo. This is a four star hotel with live music ,TV, pool, the works in a very nice complex, hightly recommended.

I immediately took off as my friend was already waiting at the lobby, and went to search a place to eat, funny we end up at Cerveceria Cruz Blanca just down the road at Calle Doctor Esquerdo 157. This was a great choice, the food was delicious, and the service very nice and attentive. I had my patatas bravas, eggs with morcilla, and piquillos red peppers with codfish, plus a nice beer of the house -2,and a nice vanilla, red fruits cream concoction with a expresso coffee, my friend had similar things ,all for 47 euros for the two.

I did my duties of the job and for lunch the colleagues had told me the Cruz Blanca above was a great place to eat, and it did show. Recommended. We went to eat at the industrial park resto Gran Via where we had paella and nice house beer again, this time the local guys paid.

The next day I stay with old friends at their home so I keep it that way. For lunch my colleagues took to resto San Jordi in a commercial center by the conde de casal metro stop at line 9, and we had morcilla with eggs, love it, and mero blanco fish with a nice house green salad, rose wine from Castilla and a local beer as apero, plus a delicious milk cream flan, that was recommended and it was great, then expresso coffee and again the locals show their color to pay for it.

I finish doing walks all around calle doctor Esquerdo, walk to Retiro park edge, then Plaza Manuel Becerra,and back towards Calle Alcala. This is where I lived, and unfortunately saw the area a bit dirty and some characters ,of course all change . Anyway the feeling of walking these streets again was hard to describe in words….great:

My travels from hotel to office were handled by the locals with their cars so,just wait a bit as traffic and heavy rains did occur, the rain was unexpected the traffic is a way of life now there.

Finally the last day came back with the Director of the local branch to the airport, and took off again on Air Nostrum of Iberia, well not really took off as it was delayed 1h30minutes!!!!!!!! with only coffee serve yikes!! at least the trip was paid by the company lol!!

I landed at Nantes, and had my car waiting at the parking lot P1, the ride home was smooth and hardly any traffic being so late, arriving home by 1am and ready to go to the office by 9am before heading into the major holiday here of All Saints Day or Toussaints. More of that in Versailles later.

For now here are some photos of this trip. Enjoy Madrid, or as we say Madrid to heaven in a hole in the sky to look down on it every day ::)

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