Archive for January, 2012

January 29, 2012

Ploermel, another inland jewel in the Morbihan

Well today was a day to pack for the week’s trip to Paris on business, and my son back to school. So we were very busy, as a matter of fact, we went out to visit two inland towns which I have heard were nice and not too far from, about 30 mins rides. So in the morning we head out for Ploêrmel, just at the junction of the N24 and N166 roads. We went to the other in the afternoon leave for a later post.Stay tune.

Ploêrmel is easy to reach by car, N165,the N166, then just at junction with the N24 you head right into city center. It is ,also, about 45 mins from Rennes by car on the N24.  You can get all the itineraries in Brittany at this webpage http://www.breizhgo.com/ The gare or train station is at Boutique SNCF 4 rue Charles de Gaulle, open Mon to Sat from  9h30-12h and  14h -18h, right inside a shopping gallery  « trait d’union ».  The regional train lines is the TER Bretagne webpage here http://www.ter-sncf.com/Regions/Bretagne/fr/Default.aspx  .  pdf file with bus line no 4 for connection to Vannes and elsewhere here http://www.ploermel.com/pdf_horairesTIM_2011.pdf , and the site for buses in 56 dept Morbihan is here in French http://www.lactm.com/fr/

The tourist office is at http://www.tourisme-ploermel.com/. The city and nearby town in the agglomeration are here in French ,http://www.ploermel.com/

The town is nice and on a Sunday very easy to walk and park, , I park right in the center by the hotel de ville, easy time parking otherwise but today free. Some of the sights not to missed here is the church of St Armel, dates from the 15C ,you will find many historical items here such as the voute of oak tears, coffins of the dukes of Brittany Jean II and Jean III, and the mirror representing the tree of Jesse. The statue of Saint Armel as the tradition is to deposit pieces of butter as it is known to be the one who taugh the Breton how to make butter, commonly call < St Beurriau >, current statue dates from the 20C.

Another worth seeing is the Astronomical clock or Horloge Astronomique and the museum of La Mennais, all at Pl Le Mennais, and inside a courtyard, a sigh is posted walking down a driveway to it from the street about 50 meters. The astronomical clock was done from 1850 to 1855. It is free admission and its open 20 october to 31 march every day from  9h30 to 18h continuosly. April 1st to October 20 open every day from  9h30 to 20h continuously. The museum Jean Marie de La Mennais you can see its precious personal library and the presence of the congregation in the world of education. You can ,also, visit the tomb in a chapel of this great men. Admission is free all year and from 10h-11h and 15h-18h.

The next thing is to walk its narrow pretty streets,and see the action unfold, obviously on an open day, Sunday is good to take a peek and come back for better. The T Murphy’s Irish pub is an attraction of itself to check it out.27 rue de la Gare , Tel +33 (0) 2 97 93 68 68. Or the nice Cafe de la Tour, 1 pl d’Armes, Tel +33 (0) 2 97 74 05 40.

The town is nice, on the way from Rennes to Vannes, at the crossroads, maybe a nice stopping point, definitively good for a day. And more knowledge of the Breton region of France. Cheers, and some photos.

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January 28, 2012

A walk on the train station of Auray and historical walk at the village of Brech

Today while waiting for my kids on their ski trip to the Franche-Comté area, I decided to take a ride by the train station earlier and take some photos, as been by there and yet a photo lol!! Then went around my bourg or village of Brech in pays d’Auray just some nice walks to see nature and some buildings that need to be known to the world by using my blog. Here is the story,

I pick up my boy at the Vannes train station by 18H or 6pm, and was so happy of his trip, and see snow lol!!! He can keep it. Lots of snow and ski, and photos for them, and of course the nice gifts for Dad and Mom and brothers. Always nice indeed….Another successful trip of school in France.

However, before that time, I was alone,and decided to do some walk or drive or both. All the things I do to enjoy my blog and travel friends, unusual things that otherwise would go unnoticed but because of todays bloggers and travel forum exchanges, we go beyond the call of duty to take pictures and stories around the areas we live. Believe me ,if it weren’t for all these travel pages and blogs I probably wont not know half the things that go around in my neck of the woods.

I went like I said to the gare d’Auray or train station,we have used it before but dont recall taken a photo of it, so here it is, also the bus terminal,and auto train section of it, plus the place de la gare where the post office, Avis car rental ,hotel ,and brasseries restos are,not to mention the newstand and cafeteria inside the station. Nice, small, convenient (direct to Paris Montparnasse on TGV Atlantique), and all the needs taken care of.

Then, I drove around my village of Brech, its actually part of Pays d’Auray, so for most needs we go to Auray, about 9 kms away or 5 miles; however ,Brech is divided into about 7 communes or villages plus the center or bourg where the church, post office,tabac are located as well as the mayor’s office and local ,real local govt offices are. The city webpage is at http://www.brech.fr/ ,and if you go to the tourisme section you will have in French (of course) the area sights to see.  http://www.brech.fr/tourisme.htm

One of the most interesting is the Ecomusée St Degan, where the agriculture and doings of the area are all shown, from older days.  It has its own webpage in French here http://www.ecomusee-st-degan.fr/ . It cost 5€ adult to get in but worth it and its open Mon-Fri from  14h -17h30, and from Nov 14 by appointment from Mon-Fri from  14h- 24 ,for more information contact email  contact@ecomusee-st-degan.fr

Another nice monument sight to see is the church of St André, it curiously has 24 capitouls from the 13C,the belltower was added in 1896, and many stones to built it taken from the chartreuse or cartegian monastery nearby.

You have the Chartreuse, it was built in 1382 AD in memory of the soldiers who fought in the war of succession in Brittany ,where the toughest battle was held on Sunday, September 29 1364 the day of St Michel. François II, Duke of Brittany change the collegiale of the monastery of Chartreux in 1480 AD, an order founded by St Bruno. Under the revolution, the chartreuses were  chase out. The abbey Gabriel Deshayes, priest of Auray put in here in 1812AD the Filles de la Sagesse, or daughters of the  Wisdom who were in charge of caring for the blind, deafs, and hard of hearing or understood. In 1814, under the restauration in France, the bones of the immigrants who were shot in firing squad during the revolution at the Champ des Martyrs(field of heroes)  in 1795 were transferred here . It is by the village of Penhoet, off D120e coming to Brech on the D768 off the N165 expressway. More info in French here http://fillesdelasagesse.free.fr/reseaux/chartreuse/chartreusepresentation.php

You can ,see several chapels in the area, some near me are the Chapelle Notre Dame des Fleurs, dates from the 18C, a site of pilgrims very popular during the Spring pardon or forgiveness period of believers.  Another one in the center near the river Loch, is the Chapelle Saint Jacques or Santiago, St James, inside he is shown with his pole and st jacques shells, , the chapelle was built in 1464, and it is mentioned on the road to St Jacques de Compostela from 1648.

The river Loch is historical and beautiful by its river banks. This river grows out in the middle of the Morbihan dept in Brittany and goes all the way meandering like a snake into the Gulf by Carnac and into the Atlantic Ocean.  The road just before the bourg or city center here, has a nice park/garden with plenty of ducks:::!!! and just in front a parking for camping cars with all amenities. You also has plenty of chambres d’hotes in town just across from the cute and traditional post office building.

You can get  your goodies at the L’official Gerard Tel +33 (0) 2 97 57 66 62 , boulangerie patisserie epicerie store in town ,bakery, sweets and small grocery store with the unique symbol of an American flag in its rightmost window not on my picture. Then you have the Le Moana tabac/cafe, the town meeting for coffee and a glass of beer, plus lotto tickets, and stamps when post office is closed,and WiFi tel +33 (0) 2 97 57 62 00;  as here the hours are country, only in the morning on Saturday and only afternoons for the post office, and all close by 7pm dit 19h lol!!!

For food as always, we head to one that by now has become our hangout at Le Bistro du Port in the historic distric of St Goustan, Auray. Here we had our usual moules au curry or curry mussels, st jacques galettes, vodka,porto,a bottle of local cider brut, creme brulée, and coffee for two at 53 euros. What a living my friends…yes indeed.

Now some photos to show what I meant above. A wonderful area, liking it each day more, even if still have Paris/Versailles to go to often, again n Jan 30-31. Cheers.

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January 27, 2012

Some news from France LX

Well just time to post some of the latest happening in France and around…. maybe no pictures just text for a change.

To start with something not in France (its me…) Iberia Express will begin to offer low cost flights from Madrid Barajas airport on March 25 2012 to alicante,Palma,and Malaga. plans for more destinations to follow quickly; it is part of Iberia Airlines of Spain. wikipedia has more in Spanish as it is just new http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iberia_Express ,google translator should do a pretty good job of translation to your language.

Coming around my current neck of the woods, Auray, we have wonderful gardens and garden centers around that I like to share a site and a couple of them with my readers; the site is in French ,very local find HortiAuray ,webpage http://www.hortiauray.com/  Inside there is a minefield for those in love with nature and decorations,loads of information on plants and flowers, how to ideas, and tools, recommendations to do a garden (again all can be translated with for example google translator) ;from this site it takes you direct to the gardens of Bretagne or Brittany where i am ,webpage http://www.apjb.org/fr/carte-des-parcs-et-jardins.html ; one very near me you can read there as No 10 is Parc de Keronic Château de Keronic 56330 – Pluvigner ( yes inside a castle!) another is no 17 and also a castle property at  Kerambar’h Château de Kerambar’h 56690 – Landaul. These are wonderful properties, worthy of a cinderella castle.

for garden centers local,not chains, but the real thing, try this one from the hortiauray site, La Pepiniére la Peignie , already visited, http://www.pepiniere-la-peignie.com/ , and they are Germans who settled in the area. Le jardins de Balgan,near Séné, and Vannes, is good but open in spring, summer times only http://www.lejardindebalgan.fr/actualites.html ;and le Clos d’Armoise, at Theix, just a bit south of Séné in the town of Theix, webpage http://www.leclosdarmoise.com/plantes-vivaces

For those seeking a more relax vacation, and more local/typical accommodations try this site A-Gîtes  for France in English and other languages ,http://www.a-gites.com/en/  ,to find those in my area you need to go to Brittany, Morbihan, or choose a particular city such as Auray.For example, this one looks nice,http://www.a-gites.com/en/advert-28074.html

The New Year Chinese is celebrated in Paris,the international city of France; the festivities will be tom Saturday,in the  Marais, from  14h30,and it will have a parade departing from  place de l’Hôtel de ville ( Paris 4éme),with the mayor of Paris,and the Ambassador of China in France . The parade will cross the 4éme and 3éme arrondissements by streets such as  rue du Temple, rue de Bretagne, rue de Turbigo, and rue Beaubourg .  There will be festivities by the métro Belleville from 11h30, by the same metro at 15h, shows of dance and martial arts will be presented. And a mayor parade in the 13éme arrondissement , starting at 13h passing by  44, avenue d’Ivry ,avenue de Choisy,  place d’Italie, avenue d’Italie, rue de Tolbiac,and the  boulevard Massén.

And when in Paris away from the popular places, try this Chinese and forget the others, La Nouvelle Fontaine d’Or ,39 Rue Jean de la Fontaine  75016 metro Jazmin line 9 tel +33  (0) 1 42 24 55 41. yes on the 16éme lol!

And to get away from it all, come back to the area of Gare de ‘Est, where I came into Paris with a young lady over 21 years ago, and found my French kiss irresistable, that we are still practicing, we came to eat here, and at least once a year we come back, Le Bistrot des Faubourgs   55, rue des Vinaigriers, 10ème   Métro Gare de l’Est but closer if you like at  Jacques Bonsergent and chateau d’eau  Tél +33 (0) 1 46 07 09 49 . Traditional French, the name change but the place still magical over the years, at least for us. You will make it your own too,I am sure.

Now an event we used to talk and still do from the time of grandparents , cycling, the sport of the everyday French, the guy with the baguette under its arms riding a bike on a cobblestone street in a stone medieval looking village, and then there are races too. The ones I keep an eye for it and sometimes follow in person are these with name and date of event, March 4-11 Paris-Nice , see it here,and if not update yet, it will soon, http://www.letour.fr/ , The tour de Normandie, March 19-25 http://www.tourdenormandiecycliste.fr/ , Paris-Roubaix on april 8, Tour de Bretagne yes!! April 25 to May 1st;Tour d’Italie or Giro di Italia, May 5-27, http://www.gazzetta.it/Speciali/Giroditalia/2012/it/ , In june 3-10 Criterium du Dauphiné, The grand daddy Tour de France, June 30 to July 22nd, then on August 18 to Sept 9 its the Vuelta a España or tour of Spain, October 7 is the Paris-Tour,  Enjoy them all!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My boys are coming back tomorrow night from Franche-Comté where they spent a week skiing lol!! Cheers

January 22, 2012

A leisure walk in my city, Auray, nice, quaint, and beautifully small

Well here I was all alone, my boys both 18 are gone skiing in the Jura for a week with the school, once coming back vacation time for winter is here from Feb 17-27, and we all should be by our home in Versailles and seeing the rest of the family.

So, therefore, I decide to take a walk in my city ,and take some pictures, the time was crisp cold,and sunny so photos were ok. The city of Auray actually has about 10K+ inhabitants, but it is well serve for its size. It has a local bus service call Auraybus, webpage here http://www.auray.fr/cadre-de-vie/auray-bus/  this is the city of auray govt site,in French, of course. It also tells of TIM or Transport Interurbain du Morbihan with lines 1,5,6,and 16 that allows you to connect with nearby cities such as Vannes. It ,also, has a train station nice and comfy with direct link with Paris Montparnasse with many services during the day in 3h30 , TGV Atlantique webpage http://www.tgv.com/fr/services/e-billet it has service where I have it, e-billet for electronic ticket and also home delivery that we use too. The line to Paris actually goes from Quimper and Brest and it can go to Lille or Roissy CDG or Disneyland. Then, you have the local TER lines for nearby local train service at http://www.ter-sncf.com/Regions/Bretagne/fr/Default.aspx

Then of course driving is my geek, the best is the parking by place Keriolet, very close to city center and Athena by the municipal pool. It has a port for pleasure boats, the Capitanerie is at 4 pl de Rolland at St Goustan, more in French here and contact at bottom of webpage http://www.auray.fr/cadre-de-vie/le-port/

The district of St Goustan, the low city historical part is getting a facelift that will last until 2014, the phases will be put in place so that the activity of tourism is not bother too much. The info in French from the city is here http://www.auray.fr/?id=1015#6230  The main of the renovation will be around la place Saint-Sauveur and quai Franklin. The public is invited to make donations to aide in this renovation with 66% tax deduction of amount given.http://www.auray.fr/accueil/quai-franklin/mecenat/ Anyway , we did went out for dinner a la breton, that is galettes and crepes at a real native place, Creperie St Sauveur, 6 rue St Saveur where we had 2 gargantua galette of ham and cheese,one madrilene with chorizos, one bottle of cider Coat albret, 3 banana splits, and 3 coffees for 54 Euros for 3 persons, real bargain. A quaint place very typically decorated and nice friendly service in a old street up the pl St Sauveur. webpage of tourism for the dept of morbihan ,show the creperie http://www.morbihan.com/creperie-saint-sauveur/auray/tabid/7419/offreid/2b3e3329-e5fb-42fb-8111-d31f6df92ec9/detail-restaurants.aspx

The city has several , a lot again for the size of the city of chapels,churches, monasteries, and towers of many centuries old ,including an old ruins of a castle once guarded the river entry from the Atlantic ocean to the Gulf of Morbihan to the river Loch. The city of Auray has a nice page in French with a great photo of the riviére de Loch, here http://www.auray.fr/auray/paysage/ Also, monument to the fallen of WWI, which I took a photo and it is in the city govt page too here http://www.auray.fr/auray/histoire/monument-aux-morts-virtuel/

To go to the Halles (see photo) or market is wonderful , all is fresh, brought in by fisherman, and delicious, the info again in French in the city govet,and with prices for those interested in having a stand, here http://www.auray.fr/auray/socio-economie/halles-et-marches/ Kerleano symbol of Breton resistance to the French revolution, and the train station, the main plaza pl de la Republique,and the district of St Goustan, all a must to see. The Chartreuse where the remains of those killed by the French revolution, are enterred, webpage at the tourist office site http://www.auray-tourisme.com/la-chartreuse/brech/tabid/8277/offreid/23a4acde-c549-4a97-8d00-26dd33b3ddc4/detail.aspx

Which by the way this is the tourist office of Auray that includes adjacent villages, http://www.auray-tourisme.com/#, and the main webpage of the city of Auray govt site http://www.auray.fr/auray/auray/ Now some photos of my walks ,before I hit the job trail tomorrow, end of month week yikes!

January 22, 2012

A movie and drink in Vannes ,anyone…..

Yesterday was a nice day, the last before my boys go out in ski vacation with the school here, so we decided to test the cinema again, this time a more serious movie, and go for some pints;;;;

Cinéville Vannes is great, huge spaces, great big screen, great sound, good friendly service, and the movie was good :;) Millenium, or the man who does not like woman, something like that. Daniel Craig was great, and damn the woman was fantastic, both on screen and very sexy off screen. A nice movie about a serial killer in Sweden who held an empire but use the power to rape his own family members;;;all living in an island, the main character a newspaperman who had come up with an earlier story that did not turn out too credible, was hire by the old man of the family to solve the riddle; the main character then hire as assistance the same woman who search out his false stories in his previous article.The two work out well, and I was hoping for them to stay together at the end, but I am a dreamer and today, the character stay with his old girlfriend bland bland….I take Lisbeth (Rooney Mara) anytime ::) Recommend to see it in any language. http://vannes.cineville.fr/programmes.php?salle=vannes-parc#0000131915

Just to be in the right mood we headed for lunch before the movie at the Irish pub nearby Le Skellig, it was slow as it was lunch, it gets going at nightime; but the service was good we had burgers,grimbergen beers red and blonde, plus coffees with small cakes and a share platter of goat cheese lardon bacons,and eggs, all for 76 euros for 3: it is right in the entertainment area of Atlanville, with other restos and stores all around it. Webpage http://www.atlanville.fr/skellig_presentation.shtml

We went around doing some last minute shopping for ski outfits like bags,gloves, etc, and then headed home. Before I finish the post, would like to add some spots in the Vannes area that are tops for night out, and really enrich the cultural events life in my area now ,some of them already visited. And then we had dinner, forgot the entry lol!! yes we went to La Boucherie is a chain of steakhouse (not bad for French steakhouse) and its right in the same area of skellig but outside the Atlanville area, walking distance of about 5 minutes: here we ate steaks of course with fries, red wine from Bordeaux, Chateau d’agassac 2008, creme brulée,dame blanche desserts, and coffees, all for 85€ for 3. location rue du  Gay Lussac , webpage at http://www.la-boucherie.fr/restaurants/67/FR/vannes-56

The cirque Eloize is coming to Vannes, Feb 8-9 at 20h30 and Feb 10 at 19h, at the theatre Anne de Bretagne,with 17 artists with many circus favorites plus the novelty of urban dances such as break dance and hip-hop!  Admissions will be from 21-27€  location Place de Bretagne,Vannes,  Tél : +33  (0) 2 97 01 62 00 webpage info at the city of Vannes site in French http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/culture/theatre_anne_de_bretagne/evenements/4118/index.html?&VIEW=DETAIL&AID=1181

The encounter of European Cinema or 11éme Rencontres du Cinéma Européen, from march 28 to april 3rd, admissions from 3-8€, held at the cinéville Garenne, and  Palais des Arts, Vannes; info in French for the palais des arts at city webpage http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/decouvrir_vannes/economie_entreprises/palais_des_arts_et_des_congres/4154/index.html , for the cinéville garenne,at http://vannes-garenne.cineville.fr/details.php?plan=01&idsalle=8186&salle=vannes

The salles or show places such as theaters,cinemas etc in the Vannes area are, the before mentioned Théatre Anne de Bretagne, Palais des Arts, Cinéville Garenne and Vannes,,and the others such as L’Echinova, 1 rue Léon Griffon 56890 St Avé or webpage http://www.lechonova.com/ for music concerts . La Lucarne, Rue d’ile Boêdic, 56610 Arradon, http://www.lalucarne-arradon.fr/?cat=5 for expositions, events concerts, Le Dôme, 1 rue des droits de L’Homme,56890 St Avé, a center for culture music and concerts, webpage at the city of st Avé in French http://www.saint-ave.fr/centre_culturel_le_dome.html , La Petite Scéne, 5 ferme de Maupéou, 56250 St Nolffs, right next to city mayor’s office in town, Auditorium des Carmes, place Théodore Decker,56000,Vannes at city page in French http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/culture/conservatoire_a_rayonnement_departemental/saison_des_carmes_2011/12/3570/index.html , Le Chorus,parc de golfe,5600 Vannes  webpage http://www.lechorus.com/ for events, exhibits, conferences at peninsula conleau.  Le Carré d’Arts, avenue des martyrs,56250 Elven, webpagehttp://www.csc-elven.fr/ , Salle Marcel Guého, 7 rue Jean Moulin,56450 Theix, webpage http://www.theix.org/scripts/site/04_page.php?cont_id=1&cont_appli_id=6&page_id=23Le Triskell, Parvis du Land Wursten, 56880 Ploeren at city mayor’s office webpage http://www.mairie-ploeren.com/Vie_pratique1/Espace_Culturel/default.aspx?Art=659&qry= , and Le Cairn, 56870 Larmor Baden, (wonderful beach), http://www.larmorbaden.com/index.php/SALLE-CULTURELLE-LE-CAIRN.html

Finally, if you want to keept track, of anything cultural, events,expos, concerts etc in the greater Vannes area, this is the official site in French but if have a question, I am here to help. http://www.enscene.net/accueil  ,and if you are interested to know news and events in general nature but also tourisme in the Vannes agglo area, this is the official site. http://www.agglo-vannes.fr/accueil/les_24_communes/les_communes_de_lagglo/arradon  with listing of towns that make up the region of Vannes. The area where I work ::) Cheers

January 20, 2012

A quick leisure trip into Lyon, the city.

During my trip to italy I had time to come out a bit and explore the city thanks to the great public transport system;however, the city was all in fog with under 3°C!!! hardly the time to be out,and the photos were not good unfortunately.

It was an opportunity to come back to the city visited years before, it has change for the better. Some of my observation and that of my hosts.

One of the great one born 300 years ago in Geneva but made this city his for long periods, is Jean-Jacques Rousseau, He lived here or around here from 1722-1724, and again from 1768-1770. Many activities he and Chambery for the rest of the year, the info is in French here http://www.rhonealpes.fr/622-rousseau-2012.htm

The city is known for its gastronomic marvels second only to Paris, so the food is sublime here. There is an exposition that is worth seeing if time allowed at the musée Gadagne, call “Gourmandises! Histoire de la Gastronomie” works ,films,and videos showing the culinary art of Lyon. webpage http://www.gadagne.musees.lyon.fr/

Some work of art in gourmand madmen I AM , from this occassion is;

Docks New York, 18 rue des Dosks, in the 9éme arrondissement , welcome back to memories with bagels,burgers,club sandwiches,milkshakes, and home made French fries!yes webpage www.bieh.fr, and other occassions i have been to the brothers bouchons of Lyon, Au Trois Cochons is great,but take your pick tastes they are all good, recommended, http://www.chabertrestaurant.fr/

Then grab a honey nectar at Divins Nectars,54 rue Saint-Jean, 5é, my miel d’acacia is great here. How about a great bar of chocolate, at Barres d’Or Noir, at chocolatier Bouiller ,one main store at 15 rue de la Croix-Rousse, webpage http://www.chocolatier-bouillet.com/#, finish it off with some great oils, olive oils that is,at A l’Olivier, 33 Cours F Roosevelt, 6é with webpage at http://www.alolivierlyon.com/

Then there is a new Terminal 3 at Lyon St Exupéry airport, my first taste of it, and it was good. Lots of low cost airlines are now base here. It has two levels connected by a walkaway,retails stores, and a food court. The airport site is at http://www.lyon.aeroport.fr/

You have easy TGV connections here too, for the train lover in you. Now with connections to Marseille in the 30 cities cover by this hub, the above airport site has more information, but you can go also to Brussels, Torino, or Milan, Avignon,Nicez, Grenoble,, Chambery,Arles, Aix-en-Provence, to name a few. It is an international airport so connections to many cities in Europe,Africa,and rest of France.

Now that we are in the ski season (my boys leave sunday for the Alps, somewhere in there ::) There are many bus or navette service from the airport/gares to the ski resorts/ You have direct connection from airport to Trois Vallées,Pardiski,Espace Kelly, Alpe d’Huez, Deux Alpes and Val d’Isére. They do five round trips per day, on Fridays Saturdays,and Sundays. You can find schedules and pricing at Altibus the company that service it.  webpage http://www.altibus.com/index.aspx

To move from the airport to center of Lyon as I did this time, you take the public service rhoneexpress, very good indeed even on say foggy day ! In about 30 minutes you are there. It leaves from the TGV station in the airport, every 15 minutes frequency, from 6h to 21h and every 30 minutes from 5h-6h and 21h-00h,you can buy ticket on the bus or at the automatic machines in the stations as I did. webpage http://www.rhonexpress.fr/

For more info on tourism in this region, see http://en.rhonealpes-tourisme.com/ and for tourism in Lyon, http://www.lyon.fr/page/accueil.html

Until next time and hope for better pictures. Cheers.

January 19, 2012

My ramblings in Europe,this time Carpi Italia

Well it was time again to take a trip,and the work is nice, this time I was at Carpi,near Modena and Bologna Italy.

This is a nice town, home of women fashion, this is whre they cut the fabrics that is put together elsewhere, plenty of models in my hotels oh boy were they beautiful.

My trip began at Nantes airport, where I took AF handle by regional service to Lyon St Exupery airport. Both nice comfortable level airports, and easy to navigate. I even will come back later with Lyon. The airports can be seen here ,first Nanteshttp://www.nantes.aeroport.fr/ANA-English/Page/Default.aspx , then Lyon  http://www.lyonaeroports.com/eng both in English versions. From Lyon took AF again to Bologna airport ,another nice size airport easy to navigate, the site is here http://www.bologna-airport.it/uk/?LN=UK

Of course the car is king took mine to get to Nantes and at Bologna was waited by a nice service call Auto Blu Noleggi, tel +39 339 3846496 email  autoblunoleggi@tiscali.it with great service by my driver Giacomo Franchetto, you wont go wrong using him all over Italy, he is GPS ready.

At my arrival at Carpi I took up residence at My Hotel Carpi, a great place ,prices, very good breakfast buffet, nice size rooms,and just before entering the town and close by the autoestrada autoway, the webpage is at http://www.hotelcarpi.it/

While there I took rides alll over town, but he fog was horrible, at Lyon,Bologna and Carpi plus very cold, so did the best thing to do in Italy,EAT!

I had my lunch at Trattoria Cacciatori at  Via griduzza, 1 – san marino 41012 – Carpi (MO)  tel:+39  059.681962, a great mix plate of pork,sausages,steak veal, and vegetables potatoes all down with a Lambrusco red wine.

For dinner we went to Pizzeria Moglieni, that to the best of me dont remember the name spelling correctly but it was in going to city center Carpi, we had a red peppers pizza that was sublime, plus more wine this time white.

Finally, on my last day we had lunch at a wonderful family restaurant that I highly recommend ,Il Carducci, Viale G Carducci, 16, 41012 Carpi tel +39 059 62 295 18, here we had a special pasta of the region with two broth chicken and beef and tortellini pasta, then a great rabbit done by grandma that was sublime, with red Menulpuziano d’Abruzzo red wine call Bacaro, the webpage is at http://www.ristoranteilcarducci.com/

the trip back was done late by 30 minutes due to bad weather at Bologna and Lyon,again I arrive home by 11pm or 23h. At least the food was great,and the company very sympa and friendly. Until next time in Italy by June I hope. Some pictures to follow up

January 18, 2012

Gastronomic Paris, world heritage of food and wine, yes….!

Recently the Le Figaro magazine section came out with a top 10 list of the restaurants people swear to come to Paris, and as always I can agree. The list is

Pierre Gagnaire, 6, rue Balzac, VIIIe. Tél.: 01 58 36 12 50.http://www.pierre-gagnaire.com/

L’Astrance, 4, rue Beethoven, XVIe. Tél.: 01 40 50 84 40. http://www.cityvox.co.uk/restaurant_paris/l-astrance_50668/profile-place

Alain Passard-L’Arpèrge, 84, rue de Varenne, VIIe. Tél.: 01 47 05 09 06. http://www.alain-passard.com/

La Tour d’Argent, 15, quai de la Tournelle, Ve. Tél.: 01 43 54 23 31. http://www.latourdargent.com/

Le Chateaubriand, 129, av. Parmentier,XIe. Tél.:01 43 57 45 95; http://www.cityvox.co.uk/restaurant_paris/le-chateaubriand-avenue-parmentier_58448/profile-place

Le Baratin, 3, rue Jouye-Rouve, XXe. Tél.: 01 43 49 39 70. http://www.cityvox.co.uk/restaurant_paris/le-baratin_2881/profile-place

Le Jules Verne, Tour Eiffel, IIe étage, Champ-de-Mars, VIIe. Tél.: 01 45 55 61 44.http://www.lejulesverne-paris.com/

L’Ami Louis, 32, rue du Vertbois, IIIe. Tél.: 01 48 87 77 48.http://www.cityvox.co.uk/restaurant_paris/l-ami-louis_208/profile-place

Le Flore, 172, bd Saint-Germain, VIe. Tél.: 01 45 48 55 26. http://www.cafe-de-flore.com/

Le Petit Vendome, 8, rue des Capucines, IIe. Tél.: 01 42 61 05 88. http://www.lepetitvendome.fr/

The Cityvox site is for lovers of Paris,where I write reviews on Restaurants in French under another name, secret taster…its a link to it in my blog

We can then talk about the 7éme arrondissement de Paris, for all thats whre the tour Eiffel is…and more…Some of my favorites places/hangouts over the years there are Bistro de Paris 33, rue de Lille,http://www.cityvox.co.uk/restaurant_paris/le-bistrot-de-paris_680/profile-place . Café de Mars 11, rue Augereau,http://www.cafedemars.com/ . Chez Françoise, esplanade des Invalides – Aérogare des Invalides,http://chezfrancoise.com/ ; Café de l’Esplanade,52, rue Fabert;http://www.cityvox.co.uk/restaurant_paris/cafe-de-l-esplanade_58035/profile-place  Thoumieux 79, rue Saint-Dominique. Tél.: 01 47 05 79 00 ,http://www.thoumieux.fr/ . La Fontaine de Mars, 129, rue Saint Dominique;http://www.fontainedemars.com/index.html

For seeing other than the Tour Eiffel,not on my top list, sorry…however, there is the whole Invalides complex especially the Musée de l’Armée at http://www.invalides.org/, see also in the complex the musée des plans-reliefs with a maquete or small scale repro of the city of Paris,and other fortified cities in France. The wonderful Musée d’Orsay, impressionists at its best, http://www.musee-orsay.fr/

How about a nice baguette, well its all over, but here in the neighborhood is nice ;Boulangerie Luisetti 178, rue de Grenelle VIIe. Tél. : 01 45 51 06 35.  And some nice pralines,and chocos delicious and stores in Paris elsewhere too,  à la Mère de Famille 47, rue Cler, VIIe. Tél. : 01 45 55 29 74;http://www.lameredefamille.com/#/home/

and for head home or go elsewhere ,why not line 8 at Station La TOUR MAUBOURG face au 60, boulevard de La Tour-Maubourg. wonderful ending for a day or two in Paris.

Activities in my favorites neck of the woods are Fontainebleau, the castle where we are celebrating the king of Siam the history and culture of Thailand have it here in French as still not translated to English, but it will run until Febr 27 2012, http://www.chateau-de-fontainebleau.com/Le-Siam-a-Fontainebleau,589

Plenty of activities at Versailles, where the faboluous Royal Fireworks are forthcoming in June and early July, see it in English http://www.chateauversaillesspectacles.fr/?&lang=eng

There you go for today, enjoy the Paris region still hard to dismiss it, I will be back end of January lol!! Cheers

January 15, 2012

Another leisure Saturday day in Vannes

Today we head in force as we had multiple things to do before Dad goes off to Italy on work mission tomorrow Sunday afternoon. Vannes is the capital of the Morbihan dept 56, and really the only city per se. It has everything you need.

Depending on your needs you can stay in city and go to country or stay in country and come over to city. Many tourists in the summer stay near the beaches or coast, then by 17-18h head back into a traffic trail into the city nighttime activities, which been the only city per se is where the party is ::)

It was our first day shopping as what it is here the Winter Sales (started jan 11), so the stores and traffic were a bit higher than normal, and we do shop even if men, ho ho ho…. We got of course, video games and drivers for the boys, and shirts, pullovers, socks for Dad, and jeans,shirts,and sweaters for the boys , at different stores in the area of Parc Kerlenn, FNAC and Armand Thierry, were our favorite hit shops of the day. If want to take a peek, here are the webpages , http://www.fnac.com/localiser-magasin-fnac/w-4  ,and http://www.armandthiery.fr/e_commerce/magasins.cfm

We did try the Cinéville at Vannes,the cinema for the first time. It is big modern nice, and the sound was great. We saw Mission Impossible, protocole Fantome, and it was tense, fast pace movie, the kind made for video games now; but an old copycat of the action movies of the Dad’s time ::)  The webpage for them is at http://vannes.cineville.fr/programmes.php?salle=vannes-parc

The tourist office for Vannes is at le Port area, just by the boats!! webpage http://www.tourisme-vannes.com/ ; then you have the department Morbihan tourist page at http://www.morbihan.com/ , and the region of Bretagne tourist page is at http://www.tourismebretagne.com/

The city is wonderful to walk in its center, and I have other posts about it here. However, outside the center , it is very modern, with all modern world commodities as you can see from the pictures, which by the way will post some food pictures,not overly enthusiastic about it but ,its a trend, and I need to keep up lol!!!

After the movie we went to eat, so by the area of Atlanville in Vannes there are about 6 restaurants,bars to choose from, some local some national brands, so we chose the Tavern de Maitre Kanter, its an Alsacien seafood/beef national chain, that we always like to be sure of good stuff,and nice prices. The service was fantastic, very nice, fast, courteous, and greeters all over. The ambiance was well seafood,and mariners designs, and many families there. I imagine as in others at night the bar section will grow ,and its well stock and good.  The webpage is at http://www.taverne-maitre-kanter.fr/vannes We had 3 Grimbergen 50cl beers, a choucroute kanter, moules creme,burger kanter, extra fries, banana splits, and coffees all for 81€ for 3. which is reasonable in France.

If you want more they are in Parc Lenn where there are a leclerc hypermarché,plus 3 other restos, and Decathlon store; the area where we were Atlanville is developed as a center of entertainment away from the center of the city, and it has a webpage here http://www.atlanville.fr/default.aspx

We finish our day with the bowling billards alley at the peninsula of Conleau, (also review in this blog before), there is a complex of butterfly museum, aquarium, passenger boat terminal to outlying island, an expo center, hotels like Mercure, and restos like Chez Paul. It also has discotheques and the bowling alley.  We arrive at Le Master bowling at parc du golfe, Very friendly place,and very beautiful girls lol!! (I will be back). The welcome was very friendly jokingly,and the price nicer than in the Paris region (of course). We play and I won the overall title beating my two 18 yrs boys, of course, they did beat me in one game, my excuse was I need more practice as they do play in school….excuses excuses but hey, life is tough ,you do what you must do ::) There is also pool table, games, sports cafe bar with large screen TV,and just a nice secure ambiance good to be back ,I am sure. The webpage is here http://vannes.lemasterbowling.fr/refonte/master.php

We then headed back home about 11 kms away or about 6 miles; Sunday will be a day to update my blog, pack,have lunch with the boys and head to Nantes airport to catch my AF flight to Lyon and then on to Bologna Italy. Until then stay tune and be safe. Cheers

January 14, 2012

A nice walk in Auray at night….

I just feld that I needed to go out with my boys on a night out; usually in my neck of the woods now things are pretty quiet, and they were….

We walk into city center Auray past the Hotel de Ville,and down the narrow streets alone…..not a soul ,down to the river Loc’h in the Saint Goustan district where there were four restos open while the quais are renovated,with huge stones carved out of the streets. At night it looks like a scary  sight but well we venture out.

I was told the whole region is very quiet at this winter time, and no tourists. Well, it is quiet and not too many tourists,with us there were 3 folks from England and us in the resto; usually a popping place in spring and summer at Le Bistro du Port, pl St Sauveur but this time eerie and nice at same time.

Its not often you or us to leave a deserted parking place in the center of a town, walk down narrow old, eerie streets down a river, and have a great meal practically alone ,and then walk back the same route to get to our car, all while seeming to have the whole town for us….lol!!! nice/

The tourism for Auray is great, this is where Benjamin Franklin came in 1776 and landed by mistake on his way to see king Louis XIV and ask for financial and more,,,support of France for a new nation just born, USA. The webpage is here  http://www.auray-tourisme.com/  ; take advantage to put the department or regional government tourist site iin Morbihan dept 56, at http://www.morbihan.com/  ; and why not that of the whole region of Bretagne or Brittany, here http://www.tourismebretagne.com/

We ate at Le Bistro du Port, pl St Sauveur port Saint Goustan, tel +33 (0) 2 97 29 15 38, no webpage but listed in the tourist office above here http://www.auray-tourisme.com/le-bistrot-du-port/auray/tabid/8269/offreid/79eed3f7-610b-4fc9-9e63-0c17879ea84b/detail.aspx

While there we had pizzas, crepes, and grim beers, such as pizzas 3 cheeses or fromages, pizza reine or queen,pizza catalane (with chorizos), crepes of banana and coconuts,a fish soup (delicious) coffees and 3 beers Grimbergen (Belgium)  50ml for 75 euros for 3. Great service very nice and prompt no need to call them… definitively been so close we will be back here.

Some photos of my Friday late night out with the boys,now over 18 so with Dad, really rocking around ::)

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