Archive for January, 2012

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 ,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  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 ; 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, , 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 ;and le Clos d’Armoise, at Theix, just a bit south of Séné in the town of Theix, webpage

For those seeking a more relax vacation, and more local/typical accommodations try this site A-Gîtes  for France in English and other languages ,  ,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,

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, , The tour de Normandie, March 19-25 , Paris-Roubaix on april 8, Tour de Bretagne yes!! April 25 to May 1st;Tour d’Italie or Giro di Italia, May 5-27, , 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. You can see further posts on Auray in my blog.

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.  It also tells of TIM  (now all in mobibreizh network ) 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. 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.

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, Benjamin Franklin entered here on its way to Paris and ask support for the American independance which of course he got!

The district of St Goustan, the low town historical part had a facelift that will make it wonderful already done, and the phases will be put in place so that the activity of tourism is not bother too much. The main of the renovation will be around la place Saint-Sauveur and quai Franklin.  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 18 Euros per person, real bargain. A quaint place very typically decorated and nice friendly service in a old street up the pl St Sauveur.  We have come here several times afterward and met the owners even in town.

I like the folks at Setch, 24 quai neuf, they were architects and from 2000 turn out painters, in French their story here ,

You see the new creperies like that of le Baracrêpes,3 Rue Saint-René the hilly street up to St Sauveur ,

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. Also, monument to the fallen of WWI.

To go to the Halles or market is wonderful , all is fresh, brought in by fisherman, and delicious, the few merchants are friedly helpful in all cuts a nice experience with the family.

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, is another place to see even if it is in the limits of the town of Brec’h.

Which by the way this is the tourist office of  the Bay of Quiberon on Auray that includes adjacent towns:

And the main webpage of the city of Auray govt site:

This is nostalgic town as when first came into the area their city hall handle my change of addresses and renew my French passport! And we have continue shopping here sometimes as well as our eye doctor still here. Anyway hope you enjoy the post and do visit historical Auray.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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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

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

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, 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,

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, finish it off with some great oils, olive oils that is,at A l’Olivier, 33 Cours F Roosevelt, 6é with webpage at

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

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

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

For more info on tourism in this region, see and for tourism in Lyon,

Until next time and hope for better pictures. Cheers.

January 11, 2012

2011 in review, Thank you all my friends, best wishes for 2012!!!!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 57,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 21 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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