Archive for February, 2012

February 29, 2012

Paris and the Oscar, we won

Well France is in a party mood as The Artist won the Oscar, and now  Jean Dujardin  is all over. This is more remarkable because of a silent movie type. Unbelievable that in these days, a silent movie can win the Oscar, when you consider all the high-tech gadgets around us.

It tells us that there is a genuine desire to go back to gentler times, more humane, and less robotics, for that I welcome the winner as an example for the future. The movie gathered five Oscars all together and a magnificent show of force, persevarance, and great artistic movie making. The Artist will be an icon for years to come.

Just to show some of the areas of Paris that are a favorite hangout of Jean Dujardin according to the Le Figaro.  As a child he spent 10 years in my neighborhood or close by town of Plaisir, where there is now a huge shopping center area, here, he ,also took the first course of impro stand alone comedy at age 16, and frequented the Castle or Château de Plaisir, 282, rue de la Bretechelle, tél.:+33  01 30 54 63 14. the shopping I am talking about is at

He,also enjoy in Paris the Jardin des Plantes at 57 rue Cuvier, and webpage .  He did his debut in 1996 with the Bande du Carré Blanc at the theater-cafe at Le Carré blanc, 44 rue Fontaine ; it closed and now it is rename the  Nous C Nous. His favorite hotel in town was the Park Hyatt Vendome , at 5 rue de la paix, webpage

He enjoy do the jogging in the morning by the quais of the Seine, and enter the church early morning to avoid crowds such as the Cathedral de Notre Dame. He loves to go to the movies at UGC Lyon-Bastille, 12 rue de Lyon, webpage  He enjoys eating at Dérriere ,69 rue de Gravilliers, webpage

All his professional endeavors are celebrated at Le Bastille, 8 pl de la Bastille, from the time of  his success with OSS117 (seen last nite by the family on TV) . Another where a shot from OSS117 was done with a blanquette dish is the Auberge Pyrénées Cévennes ,106, rue de la Folie Méricourt, tel +33 01 43 57 33 78.  One of my favorite places for theater plays is also one of his favorites places in Paris, Théatre Edouard VII, 10 pl Edouard VII, webpage

And on something extra, one of my all time favorite places in Paris since my arrival in the city back in 2003 to live permanently, is L’Alcazar, 62, rue Mazarine, now is the center of the popular TV show in France Top Chef. webpage

And, last but not least, in my new area of Vannes, Morbihan, Bretagne, we have a one star Michelin restaurant just crowned after only 10 months open!!! LA Gourmandiére, talk about good, and one reason for me to try it. Here is the webpage in case someone wants to beat me to it.

February 26, 2012

A walking ride to my two new loves ,Auray and Vannes.

Now that my family is with me, first weekend, it went nice and cozy. Not easy to have all together with my job ,and still waiting for our house to close in Versailles. In the meantime, we wonder again to our favorite towns, Auray ,where I now have an apartment, and Vannes where I work and is the center of government for my new department ,Morbihan No 56.

First, we set out last night to eat after arrival, and took them to our favorite place, Creperie St Sauveur at St Goustan in Auray. The place was packed with locals,but we had our table as usual, and as usual great friendly service and great meal. We set out to walk its cobblestone steep streets, and visit the two symbols of this district, the chapelle Notre-Dame de Lourdes and the Eglise de St Sauveur now closed.

Today, we drop off our boys in the cineville cinema for them to watch Chronicle movie, and we set out to Vannes, walking Le Port area and its cobblestone streets and the wonderful wooden houses, we then pick up the boys and went to eat at our favorite there the pub pizzeria CatWay by Le Port area.  We did enter the museum of Le Cohue, historical place here, now the Beaux Arts of fine arts museum more info in French here

If want to read more see the Vannes city webpage in English

We then came back home to have some hot coffee ,watch tv, play video games, and be ready for the week of work and school. The rest will do their travels with local public transport, done before,and now one more time. My travel now will depend on the job requirements,and the closing sale of our house. Until our next encounter in the blogging world, and hopefully the rest of the family and friends can see the entries. Cheers


February 16, 2012

Encore Paris, never enough of Paris….

Well Paris has just been name the world’s best university town !!lol!!! And here is the webpage to prove it ::)

I knew it had a good student numbers, sometimes restricted by the hours and the public transport system, and sometimes by noise laws going back to Lutétia; but it is lively,and this report proves it.

Good timing because I just came back to lovely Paris, another day of meetings but enough time to wander around my beautiful city. All along the Champs-Elysées, and Grand Palais, the Théatre du Rond Point with its panorama architectural building, just great, webpage ,and the wonderful Church St Joseph, the center of American Catholics in France at ave Hoche, then the beautiful magnificent parc Monceau , this is the page from the city of Paris mayor’s office, in French, usually more info than the English version, and you can translated online; , the Porte maillot, and the several train stations passed on my way to the city from the TGV Atlantique window.

The city was damp humid gray but nice,no rain,not cold a wonderful time to walk. I had my llunch at company HQ by Porte Maillot,and went back to ave Friedland for meetings before heading back home. Just my house in Versailles is sold pending the closing paperwork, and I will be on a business trip to exotic Cuba next Sunday. So until next week be good, rock, enjoy life, and be happy dont worry life is not crappy. Cheers

February 11, 2012

My new two loves, work in Vannes, live in Auray

Well on a crisp cool sunny day, and hotter as the day worn on, we set out to do our errands and catch up as the next weeks I will do lots of foreign travel on business. This weekend was spent with the twins boys.

We started out in Auray where we live, and went to do our usual gas filling station at Leclerc hypermarche, got some groceries done there, went downtown to take some cash from ATM ,and then went on to visit a treat.

Office workers have told me about an American couple who own a cafe in a small village not far from me, so we set out to check it out. We arrive by 14h30 and on slow season food was scarse but we managed a cold Lancelot breton beer chatting with owner Ellen at the Gorvello Cafe, a cafe, with arts and music events in season, and a B&B as well. It was refreshing to see a fellow American in this part of the woods, rare but not the only ones lol!!! We promise to be back in season with the whole gang for a real show of numbers ::) the webpage is here

As we were really hungry we came back into Vannes, for a nice mussels on cream or moules à la créme and chorizo andalouse pizzas, with banana splits, coconuts ices,coffees,and grimbergen red and blonde beers at our favorite hangout by the Le Port area the Cat Way Pub at pl Gambetta, overlooking the pleasure boat marina and canal. all for 60€ for 3 persons.

We then set out to do some shopping in old city center of Vannes, got those Leonidas chocolates for Mom, bottle of Henriot champagne, bordeaux wines ,and cd, books ,and video games of course at FNAC. We end up back home in time for the great match tonite France vs Ireland at 21h50 French time for the VI Nations rugby tournament; allez les bleus !!!!

Tomorrow is a promise movie of Sherlock Holmes 2  at Cinéville Vannes with the twins  webpage at    and then relax for the long week ahead.  ok update before the movie we have lunch at a new place call Brooklyn Cafe a cybercafe with free wifi and internet, large screen tv anbd wii games, cafe style brand new concept and nice at Atlanville area of Vannes. The site is  .The good news is that we finally will have a contract for our house in Versailles done next week,and we finally can look forward to be all together again by june 2012.

February 8, 2012

Some News from France LXI

Well here we are surviving a great cold spell, once four or five years we get a heavy snow time, but this time is coming back to back. Snow and polar icy weather. Paris is -9°C and on Versailles -11°C!!! wind chill,,, where I am it went down to -2°C only ::)

All these region are on alert orange for the cold, these are Alsace, Auvergne, Bourgogne, Centre, Champagne-Ardenne, Franche-Comté, Limousin, Lorraine, Rhône-Alpes ainsi que : Ariège, Aude, Aveyron, Charente, Dordogne, Haute-Garonne, Gers, Lot, Lot-et-Garonne, Lozère, Deux-Sèvres, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne ,and  Vienne.  In Paris the only ice breaker on the river Seine came into action !!!  to clear the canals of Ourcq, Saint-Denis, and Saint-Martin, to allow river navigation and stop folks from walking on the river lol!!! Record of electricity generation in France with  100.500 mégawatts (MW) at 19 h yesterday and maybe broken again today.

In another better news, the Tramway T3 is coming alone to start by December 2012, will hook up the périphérique and the  canal de l’Ourcq, until the porte de Pantin (20éme) It will have 26 stations. And be on the look out for 2015 a direct line from airport CDG to Opera metro area.

The according to an article in Le Figaro ,the hamburgers are taken over Paris, well I knew that, they are all over France!!! frozen food Picard, and others, yet France remains the only and first name by UNESCO world heritage immaterial winner in Gastronomy and wines !!yeah!!! Some of the better burgers joints in the city are

Le Camion qui Fume ,makes its turn regularly by the  marché Madeleine (8éme), porte Maillot (16éme),and at  Point Éphémère (10éme). Burgers 8 €, 10 € with fries.   Big Ferdinand  55, rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière, 10éme Tél. +33 ( 0) 1 47 70 54 every day except saturdays and sundays, prices  Burgers 12-14 €. Livingstone Steak House 106, rue Saint-Honoré, (1éme). Tel +33  (0) 1 53 40 80 50. open every day. Bacon cheeseburger: 14 €. Fries: 3,50 €. several extras such as coleslaw, and salads): 5 €.

Some unique museums that you need to visit, while in town, apart from the popular ones are Musée de la chase et de la nature or museum of hunting and nature in the wonderful  hotel de Guénégaud, the Musée Picasso, vastly in renovation on the wonderful hôtel Salé  ,the renovation will take to reopen by june 2013, and the wonderful project of the  Maison de l’histoire de France that will be in the rectangle of the Archives Nationaleshôtels de Soubise and de Rohan). If the project is maintained it will open by  2014 or 2015. In this area of Paris 3éme you can try the first creperie in Paris,  Breizh Café 109, rue Vieille-du-Temple. Tél.+33 (0) 1 42 72 13 77), webpage    and the wonderful  Café des Musées 49, rue de Turenne. Tél. +33  (0) 1 42 72 96 17.

Well just a bit update on things around the big town, Paris is eternal ,cant be away from it too long, you will die sooner lol!!! Cheers

February 5, 2012

Paris,once again, its endless, beautiful Paris!

One of often escapades to Versailles and Paris, combining business and pleasure. Had the TGV ticket for a meeting in Paris and was able to stop by the house in Versailles. Paris is eternal, each time it brings you closer in, until it suffocates you inhaling a wonderful drug that makes you come back again and again and love it with each try. Paris is eternal, Paris Je t’aime, t’aimer, t’aimerai!!!

All started at the gare de Vannes, taking my now usual TGV (love the drive but when company pays ::), the ride was smooth, and nice as we had First Class tickets. Arriving at Montparnasse and following up to my provided hotel at 6 rue de Colisée, Hotel le Colisée just off Virgin Megastore and the Champs-Elysées!!! Great welcome and on to my room.

Next day was meetings at HQ near Porte Maillot, lunch inside provided. Then in the evening met up with some French friends and headed for the back bars, the ones folks dont go to, but you feel the Parisien beat, a small down side bar on rue de colisée apart from tourists and hanging out with locals, beers, and amuse bouches galore until early am. The hotel was not far along. An opportunity to take pictures for the blog, somethings just passed by and never did and now with the tourist writer bug, do ::)

I head for home the next day for a quick lunch with the family and getting some work done in house. Then back to Paris for more meetings, and the return trip back. All the collegues met at Montparnasse and headed to the brasserie at grand lignes level where they created a table in the back for all 12 of us!!! Some cold beers and the usual job talks before we headed back to Vannes on the TGV arriving by 21h25/ I ,then ,need to have my car get me home about 17 kms away.

The webpage of my hotel is at and one of the symbols of Paris I went by (many times up but it was freezing…) The Arc de Triomphe at  shopping at the arcades of Champs-Elysées is wonderful and the omnipresent Starbucks cafe.

In another, there is a huge freezing spell in France going on with 43 dead, always unbelievable to me that so many die here from cold weather. I am use to heavy snow and cold, so the one here is mild. However, to the natives, it is very cold indeed/ It was -6C when I left and 6C when I arrive!!! snow was about 2 inches, but all major roads I take were clear. Many flights are cancelled at the Paris airports, so check your flights if coming now.

And France won it VI Nations rugby match vs Italy 30×12 a good start if with the weakest team. Also on taps the USA Super Bowl of American football, New York Giants vs New England Patriots, Go GIANTS!!!! If you be in Paris today or any other day you can see it at The American Dream 21, rue Daunou – 75002 Paris Site :  or  the Hard Rock Café 14, boulevard Montmartre – 75009 Paris Site :

And now some photos on my wanderings in Paris.

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February 2, 2012

Josselin, a castle and a lot more in inland Morbihan

One more trip into inland Morbihan, last Sunday afternoon, and another great experience, I surely will be back here, and recommend to all my readers. Josselin is a castle of history and beauty, and a Canal of historic proportions, plus the quaint streets of a beautiful town.

First the general stuff, the town official tourist webpage

you have plenty of tourist info at the city of Josselin page,

You come here from Rennes on the road N24 or from the N166 direction Rennes, and at the train station in Rennes is link with Josselin by bus service. the best in public transport is the Brittany region site at For best parking by car do so in the Promenades high above the city and great views as you come down on foot about five minutes to the Basilique.

Things to see is the church, Basilique Notre Dame du Roncier, leyend has it that in 808 AD, a laborer find a statue in a field of rubus plants, he brings the statue to the bishop but somehow the statue comes back to the same spot that was discovered, a chapel is built there once the laborer who was blind regain his vision. It is the site of the pardon or forgiveness celebration of the virgen for 1200+ years!  every september 8th. You can climb the tower 138 steps at a height of 61 meters. Inside its richly decorated. The parish site is here

Another must is the Canal de Nantes-Brest ,by 1923, the construction of the levy at Guerlédan and the railroads advancement to carry freight slow down the growth of waterways , before the canal was actually began construction in 1804, having 236 levies,  it was finally finished in 1842.  It leaves a beautiful waterway down the town nowdays nice for walks, eating, and sailing the canal, more info here in French,

There are many chapels or small churches around the city as typical of this region, all very nicely decorated, and with a great history behind, leave you to explore the Chapelle Sainte-Croix, chapelle de la Congrégation, chapelle Saint-Martin,and  chapelle Saint-Jacques. You can have wonderful promenades into another world, with woodend houses, old rails, and cobble stone streets, quaint nice shops, and places to eat and drink, from pl de la Resistance to pl Notre Dame,and from Pl d’Alzey to pl des Ramparts.

We then come to the castle, chateau de Josselin. webpage here  . it is close the day I went but something that will definitively brings me back here. Its 8€ admission and the contact email for info is at  Over 1000 years old, and to get to meet the Rohan family descendants still living there!! You need reservation as individuals to get in, or groups at different times of the year. A bit of history that I translates is by the year  1008AD , Guéthenoc, Vicomte de Porhoët, de Rohan and de Guémené, decides to built on a rocky hill looking over the valley of the Oust, a central village and a castle. Goscelinus, son of Guéthenoc, give his name to the castle which in turns becomes with the spelling of  Josselin. Inside, there is a dolls museums from 1984, done by castle owner Antoinette de Rohan , with the oldest doll dating from the 17C! This is the Musée de Poupées. There are ,also, gardens of course, A french garden, an English garden, and a rosary. The gardens admission is 7€, and guided visits are held. Actually the webpage can be turn into English ,just click on the UK flag.

It has a rich tradition of artisanat ,and artists from paintings to pottery abound. Great souvenir store in front of Basilique. We ate at Le Guethenoc, right looking at the Basilique, tel +33 (0) 2 97 70 69 57. Its a house from the 15C!! and webpage is here We had 2 leffe 50Cl beers, pizza guethenoc,and la fontaine, one milkshake, one double coffee all for 39€ for two. The service was very warm,and friendly,and the ambiance very old and nice,the food splendid of course. Recommended.

And to round up the day, did not stay ,but it looks wonderful and the location is superb ,facing the castle and right by the Canal Nantes-Brest is the Hotel Restaurant du Chateau, webpage here Also with a nice looking restaurant.

Hope you visit, I certainly will be back, a very enchanting town, what I dream of in France. Some photos next, and until next time on Paris1972!


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