Archive for June, 2012

June 23, 2012

Presqu’ile de Quiberon, our family’s best in the Morbihan

Here I am waiting for the big football match, and revisited this morning/afternoon the family favorite spot in Brittany so far, is the Quiberon or the presqu’ile because it is almost an island, reminds me of the keys of Florida USA. You will see why is my favorite as already have posts on it in July 2,9,and August 20,2011. Time for another visit.

Its an idylic semi island of wonderful beaches, bike trails, ULM light planes, surfing boards, ballooning, karting, horseback riding, you name it for fun is here. You have all the wonderful gastronomy of Brittany and France, as well as wonderful goodies like macaroons to take home. Nothing to be left behind the wonderful museum on the history of the region from French revolution times. You are in paradise.

It is only 35 kms from my home, and so far the rides by car has been wonderful. IN season, there is a bus from auray the line 1 of TIM coming from the gare or train station of Auray. As well as a little real SNCF train from Auray to Quiberon only in the summer. Of course, the best here is by car ,take the N165 expressway, and get off at exit Carnac/Quiberon, get on the road D22 for a while and at roundabout take the sign marked Quiberon amongst other but the road is D768. Its a straight ride to the tip of the peninsula.

The official tourist webpage for Quiberon in English is here http://www.quiberon.com/index.php?&id_site=5

Here is bus line 1 schedule for july and august 2012, http://www.morbihan.fr/UserFile/flash/CarteTIM/horaires/HLn1-E-2012.pdf

A town of Auray is a great base, that is where I live, but you ,also past by Plouharnel ,nice picturesque town just before the entering into the peninsula ocean side.  There is a wonderful secluded beach and boat harbor by Port Haliguen , that is great for families seeking quietness and beach.

Upon entering Quiberon you will see the parking Semâphore, that you can leave your car and buses takes you for free into city center by the gare maritime. This gare maritime has cruise ships into the outlaying island especially the Belle-ile. You will see just past the gare or train station parking (where I always park for easy in and out of the center) you have the church of Notre Dame Locmaria done from the 15C but after several fires and destruction, the current one dates from 1906.

There is a wonderful casino at end of the grand plage or big beach, for the game aficionados. The grand plage is great, lots of action, activities games, music,and beautiful people, see the tourist office pictures here http://www.quiberon.com/index.php?id_site=5&option=tourisme&id_page=&idCategorie=9&modeAffichage=liste .  There are wonderful hotels typical local ones which of course I dont need but have seen up close and look very nice such as Hotel de l’Ocean and Hotel Albatros. webpages http://www.hotel-de-locean.com/ and http://www.hotel-albatros-quiberon.com/

You have many wonderful restaurants,but first the best macaroons as Thierry Hafnaoui,3 place de la Duchesse Anne ,Quiberon, just voted one of the best macaroons in France, just wonderful.  For fish,seafood canning goods, a tradition in the area, head for the Belle Iloise at city center near the fishing coop at webpage http://www.labelleiloise.fr/fr/nos-boutiques/quiberon-port-maria.htm

There is plenty to eat, we were at l’Embarcadére resto last with mackerel fish and rice, complet galette noir ,chevre or goat cheese salad,moules curry, with leffe beers galore for 60 Euros for four.webpage at the department Morbihan tourist page, http://www.morbihan.com/bar-l-embarcadere/quiberon/tabid/7419/offreid/a3c2899a-0e27-452a-b96e-2482294735e6/detail-restaurants.aspx

We have been there to several others, like Quai Ouest, La Capitainerie,resto les 3 mats,le colibri,L’huitriere, quai des glaces,which I try to put contact info here, 51 Rue Port Maria, http://www.quiberon.com/index.php?id_site=5&option=tourisme&id_page=&idCategorie=2&action=rechercher&idChamp115=02.01.13.01.04 and http://www.quiberon.com/index.php?id_site=1&option=tourisme&id_page=&idCategorie=2&action=rechercher&idFiche=6471&pageX=1&evenement_pour_favoris=ajouter_au_favoris&titre_enregistrement_pour_favoris=Restaurant+la+Capitainerie&id_categorie_enregistrement_pour_favoris=2&id_enregistrement_pour_favoris=6471&has_mode_detail_pour_favoris=true&option_pour_favoris=tourisme&gps_lat_pour_favoris=47.47643&gps_lng_pour_favoris=-3.12764&gps_zoom_pour_favoris=13 and http://www.quiberon.com/index.php?id_site=1&option=tourisme&id_page=&idCategorie=2&action=afficherFicheDetail&idFiche=6757&pageX=1and http://www.quiberon.com/index.php?id_site=1&option=tourisme&id_page=&idCategorie=2&action=afficherFicheDetail&idFiche=5958&pageX=5

all at the Quiberon tourist office webpage.

not to missed the flea market by the pl Vazquez and on towards the grand plage. The pretty gardens next to the hotel de ville or mayor’s office on main street towards the grand plage. Market on wednesdays and Saturdays from 8h to 15h.

Not to forget the petit train or touristic train for a nice ride in town. IN all again this is a place we will be back several times, as indeed unanimously is our family’s favorite of all the places we have seen so far in Brittany. Now some pictures, and enjoy them with moderation. Cheers.

June 21, 2012

Some news from France LXXVII

allo allo today is the first day of Summer and also the 31st Fête de la musique. A wonderful event started in 1982 by culture minister Jack Lang of France. Today it is held in 110 countries around the world announcing the beginning of summer.

I have participated in several but unfortunately this year been in moving transit I am in Brittany and waiting for work travel next week to Brazil.

The site to see it all and you can click for each area in France is the  Culture ministry of France webpage http://fetedelamusique.culture.fr/fr/edition-2012/programme/programme/?programme_ile=76&=OK&simpleform_submitted=formIle&fromSimpleForm=1

and why not see a good movie at the MK2 Bibliothéque , webpage http://www.mk2.fr/ 128 ave de France 13éme. The photomaton at the renovated Palais de Tokyo, great show at avenue du President Wilson, 16éme , webpage  http://www.palaisdetokyo.com/

Looking for a fairly new hotel Hotel Thérese at 5-7, rue Thérèse 1éme, 43 rooms very romantic ,webpage http://www.hoteltherese.com/   .You can take a romantic ride at night on the Funiculaire or cable car up Montmartre. at  Place Suzanne-Valadon 18éme until 0h30 (just past midnight).  The little boats at the park  Buttes-Chaumont, you can rent them by the hour or more and glide on the lake ,  Rue Botzaris  ,19éme every day from 7h30 to 21H,and in summer to 23h.

See a wonderful museum very little known at  6, rue Furstenberg ,6éme.  the Musée Delacroix, webpagehttp://www.musee-delacroix.fr/fr/

Two wonderful theaters one is the Théatre éphémére de la Comédie Française, pl. Colette galerie d’Orléans du Palais-Royal, will be showing nos plus belle chansons or our most beautiful songs to july, webpage http://www.comedie-francaise.fr/   Then you have the romantic at the musée de la vie Romantique ,6 rue Chaptal , 9éme until July 15 webpage at city of Paris mayor’s site,  http://www.paris.fr/loisirs/musees-expos/musee-de-la-vie-romantique/p5851

In a survery by Le Figaro newspaper , the places Parisiens find the most romantics will have some surprises for visitors, the most is by the banks of the Palais-Royal, with 15,4 %  of votes. next came the gardens of the Musée Rodin,with 14,5 % , then comes the  tour Eiffel (illuminated version),bringing in  11,1 %  of votes, then the steps of the church of  Sacré-Cœur,and then the  pont Marie,  square du Vert-Galant, Bagatelle ,and lakes of the park  des Buttes-Chaumont.

And the cinema is of the honor in summer, from June 22 to 27  at the 13zme we have the Italian week or the semaine italienne at the cinema Escurial . At the  11, bd de Port-Royal ,13éme.webpage http://www.lesecransdeparis.fr/nos-salles~escurial

From June 29 to July 10, you have the forum des images at different sites in Paris,  this year honoring Hong Kong, with more than 80 films. webpage http://www.pariscinema.org/

From July 25 to August 26 at the prairie of  Triangle de la Villette ,19éme you can come to the Cinema in plein air or open air cinema on the program films such as  La science des rêves de Michel Gondry, Gran Torino de Clint Eastwood, A History of Violence  de David Cronenberg ou encore Virgin Suicides de Sofia Coppola (free admission).webpage http://www.villette.com/fr/agenda/Cinema-en-plein-air-2012.htm

Finally for me as a choice will be the Festival Silhouette from September 1-9 in the parc des Buttes Chaumont ,19éme , with concerts and short films in open aire, free admission. webpage http://www.association-silhouette.com/

And of course, in closing why not a galette breton, from my new area ,but you can have it in Paris too,La Compagnie de Bretagne  ,6éme, done by the  Roellinger, and the Rochon family. At  9, rue de l’École-de-Médecine. webpage http://www.compagnie-de-bretagne.com/

Have a great time, will be back there mid july for the move lol!!! Cheers.

Paris

June 17, 2012

Mantes la Jolie for the memories….

Well just back get to write about this town not too much known but did spent many times here, and now on my way out of the area (selling my house in Versailles) came back for a nostalgic walk and visit, and nice exposition going on great.

Mantes la Jolie is Mantes the beautiful, the name got stuck after king Henri IV wrote a letter to his mistress Gabrielle d’Estrées telling her, I love you ,my beautiful, and to disguise it was interpreted as Mantes the beautiful.  I came here often for local business meetings and then started to come with the family for lunch or dinner in town, nice memories that I am sure will linger. One must move on in life….

The best here to see is the Collegiale de Notre Dame, wonderful, already have other entry post on it here, Catholic webpage for the parrish here http://www.catholiquesmantois.paroisse.net/rubriques/gauche/paroisses/la-collegiale-notre-dame/la-collegiale-notre-dame-1

Then, you have the Tour St Maclou, from an old church now in ruins the tower is left for inmortality,and very beautiful in city center ,another place to visit, http://www.manteslajolie.fr/LA%20TOUR%20SAINTMACLOU

Then you go to the Hotel Dieu, or museum now, wonderful place, I was there when an exposition on Georgette Agutte was on, the great wife of Michel Sembat, and one of the leading exponents of Fauvism. It was showing her Oriental orientation in paintings, then you see the permanent collection of Maximilien Lucé, and see the photo on the family of Picasso (even if came out not that good), the discoveries of tombs coffins from antiquity of Jewish origins now on display here.  It is located at 1 rue Thiers,right next to the collegiale Notre Dame.

You can get here from Paris on train out of gare Saint Lazare and on foot 15 minutes you can get to all these places above; by car take the A13 direction Rouen, exit sortie 11 mantes la jolie est, then centre ville, then collegiale Notre Dame. about 45 minutes by car and park by the hotel de ville underground very nice a Vinci autopark. Or street metered parking when available, I usually can do it too like yesterday.

You can do lots of exciting walks in town, the one I like is the Promenade des Remparts all along the old streets and along the Seine river. Then you can do with the tourist office walks as promenade Notre Dame and promenade St Maclou.

Obviously I do not stay here been so close to home, but there are Accor hotels all over,and Hotel du Val de Seine, with views of the river at Rue Marcel Tabu ,just on other side of collegiale Notre Dame bord of river Seine, not been a guest but looks lovely, http://www.hotelduvaldeseine.fr/

To eat well you can have the La Fromagerie Guilbaud Jacques  to get  your best cheeses home,at  14 rue des Halles, a lovely street near Seine that is loaded with chocolates, butcher, boulanger, you name in an old world ambiance. Nice.  Coming up on the L’Ecrin Gourmande, 12 Rue Auguste Goust  ,is the street to turn to rue des halles, coming from the famous bridge de Limay, and the statues of the dogs or chiens of Mantes. You get the best chocolates and pastries here!! in town!  At a wonderful plaza coming towards the bridge de Limay, you come to le Coq Hardi, at 25 pl Marché au Blé ,tel +33 (0) 1 30 33 52 48, its a great brasserie bar, with a nice view over the place marché au Blé just around the corner from the Tour St Maclou.

You cant go wrong on the bakery of Le Douceurs de Mantes, an institution here, 42 Rue Nationale  tel +33 (0) 1.30.33.40.98  real goodies here each time. And for the best pizzas in town at Pizza del Teatro, 11 place de la république , perso blog page here http://delteatromantes.pagesperso-orange.fr/

One last word about the chiens or dogs of Mantes, it was a company of Archers under Charles VII in 1452AD  that were attached these dogs, here by the porte des poissons or porte de l’Etape they build a house for them as were given special priviledge to serve God and King. Unfortunately the bombs of WWII in 1944 and the rebuilding of the area with a new pont de LImay the house is no longer here, but the dogs remains ,see the photos.  I never done it from here but you can also, cruise on the Seine into  Rouen and Paris. In French but if need help let me know, http://www.croisieres-en-seine.fr/croisiere-mantes-la-jolie.html

Enjoy the photos and have a great end of weekend. Cheers.

June 16, 2012

Poissy, royal town and Louis IX

I am by Poissy, Yvelines, dept 78 ile de France. Near me. This is a royal town of France, kings came here ,and one was born nearby and baptised here Louis IX, future Saint Louis.

The town is very easy to get from Paris on the RER A at several locations, and the SNCF trains from gare Saint Lazare. Also, the road A13 autoroute de normandie takes you to exit 7 and Poissy very easily. Plenty of parking by pl de la Republique and the gare RER. The ile de France transport site is www.transilien.com

The main thing to see here of course is the Collegiale de Notre Dame, a church where the main figure of Louis IX is known. He was baptised here on April 25, 1214AD, and the urn of stone is still kept in the church. He later became Saint Louis. Inside you can see statues of him and his daughter Isabelle of France from 1300. webpage from the city of Poissy in French; http://www.ville-poissy.fr/fr/decouvrir-poissy/sites-et-monuments/la-collegiale-notre-dame.html

and the parrish site of the church, http://paroisse-poissy-78.catholique.fr/spip.php?rubrique37 , and the city tourist office http://www.poissy-tourisme.fr/fr/histoire-et-patrimoine/la-collegiale-notre-dame/

You can see inside an abbey a wonderful toys museum ; Musée du Jouets de Poissy, right by the enclos de l’abbaye, that also has a nice park open to walkers, but close otherwise. See the museum info in French here, http://www.ville-poissy.fr/fr/loisirs/vie-culturelle/musee-du-jouet.html ; the admission is 4€ and the hours are  open from Tuesdays to Sundays from  9h30 -12h and 14h -17h30. Closed Mondays and holidays.

One of the great liquors of France is here too, La Distillerie du Noyau de Poissy 105, rue du Gal-de-Gaulle , and one of the oldest too since 1698, the secret blend is not known but its delicious, see more here http://www.noyaudepoissy.com/

la villa  Savoye consider also known as “Heures Claires” or clear hours was built between  1928 to 1931 over a terrain of 7 hectares ,and it was the end of the cycle of white houses of architect Le Corbusier. See it at 82, rue de Villiers ,and more info at webpage http://www.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/search/?q=villa+savoye

Another nice place, and I have gone just to walk and relax especially after a hectic work day is at Le Parc du château de Villiers with its mini farm or ferme at  Avenue du Bon Roi Saint-Louis bordering the river Seine. The castle is not visited thus ,still private.

And the third best market outside of Paris is here at the covered market of pl de la Republique across the street from the mayor’office or hotel de ville and theater of the city; The mayor’s office is open on heritage days, the rest any time, and the covered markets are from 1825.

In all is a very pleasant town that needs to get more attention from the many visitors that past by Paris,and ask me what is there to see outside Paris, well this is one of them. Enjoy the photos;Cheers.

June 12, 2012

Paris, I will always have Paris….

This was a short trip and some new photos never before dare to take,but now there is a blog lol!

Its amazing the photos I am taking just because of the travel forums and my blog, never imagine will be doing this but now I just click away at anything, just like an in house tourist ::) The latest was my one day trip to Paris on business,which allow me to pass by the house in Versailles and check in with the family; all eagerly waiting for that closing of the house and the moving day by mid July to Brittany.

I ,again, had to take the TGV train from Auray passing Vannes, Redon, Rennes, and Paris Montparnasse, very easy indeed. The problem was the metro or subway or tube, boy was it dirty, line 13 was dismal dirty and papers and beggars, then line 1 was ok as passing to more chic areas. The hallways is always a long walk. Many tourists talk about the metro as if it is a visitor thrill, well let me tell to those who live here and need to go to work on them it s a nightmare. There is always a train delay (short power outages), and the works on the line by the La Defense, that makes you take buses lol!!! and then another train ,crazy indeed. I rather take my wheels, put the medal to the pedal and rock… which reminds me might need to take a driving course to minimise my points on my license, darn it…money money hungry governments.

I did stay at the Le Meridien for one night just to soak in the Parisien life at Porte Maillot and was close to the dinner my group was having at Bistro Saint Ferdinand. First, no need to expand on the Meridien is tops, be there or be square, period. http://www.lemeridienetoile.com/

The the food, Bistro Saint Ferdinand is part of a group of Bistro run by Dorr ,and it is just around the corner from the Porte Maillot on 275 Bd Pereire, webpage http://www.bistrocie.fr/anglais/index.php  The concept is simple a fixe menu of 42€ per person including sharing a bottle of wine for two, entrée, plat, and dessert, plus coffee. the price is ok for Paris but the food I thought was salty and bland no way for that price. I had avocado salad, coquilles saint-jacques,creme brulée, coffee expresso and the wine. Not one to pay for it, but glad try it with the company paying for it.

Then I took my usual stroll thru Paris, photos did not turn out well so need to discard a few, but the walk was from the porte maillot to concorde by metro then walk from there to gare St Lazare that allow entry into Versailles rive droite….Saw my wonderful place de la Madeleine, Concorde, department stores, and the church of the Madeleine, my old neighborhood where I once worked.  Wonderful to walk Paris again, a walkers’ paradise indeed.Do it…..!!!!

The usual is now taken photos of train stations as I passed them by, unique , thrilling ,and just plain dorky tourist in me. Hope you enjoy it,and thanks so much for reading my blog. Enjoy your week wherever you are. Cheers.

June 10, 2012

Sainte Anne d’Auray, a saint and a place in France

I was out today for my usual morning ride with the gang, and decided to pass again to a town very near me that has a special place in Brittany and France. Sainte Anne d’Auray is name after the grandmother of Jesus, mother of Mary in the bible ,the biggest religious center in Brittany and second only to Lourdes in France. Enough said.

This is the mayor’s site or mairie and has excellent photos in front page of the town, http://sainte-anne-auray.net/

The story here is long, so try to make it shorter. A farm worker named , Yvon Nicolazic,heard voices in breton language that told him  “Me zo Anna mamm Mari” or in French «Je suis la mère de Marie”, which means I am the mother of Mary.   This was July 25 1624, the eve of the feast of Sainte Anne. On March 7 after the call, the farm worker discover in his field in the area of Bocenno, a statue of Sainte Anne that came from an old chapel then in ruins. This event prove the authenticity of the apparitions. More than 400 years later pilgrimages happenned here, with thousands of folks, the most important was Pope John Paul II in September 20, 1996.

Everything on this town revolved around the sainte Anne, there is a memorial for the fallen Breton in WWI ,240 000 of them, showing the five parishes of  Brittany in the basement or bottom floor. Inmense. There is the esplanade where Pope John Paul II made his presentation in 1996, statues of the virgen sainte Anne in the forest ,gardens, in front of the basilica. A huge stair or holy stair built in 1662  where her 28 steps were taken as a wish and penitence for her. There are monasteries all around you, welcome center, stores selling religious items but with much calm.

And ,there is a statue call  >Sainte Anne et les marins< in memory of mariners or fisherman who have a strong devotion to the sainte.  The statue with the child enfant Jesus weights 12.50 ton, and high of  5.64 meters, done with 3 blocks of granite stone from  Kersanton  is magnificent. There is a chapel of the Immaculate Conception tothe east of cloister built in 1890. To the east of the chapel you will find the place where Yvon Nicolazic the farmer who had the visions was born, now the house dates from 1907.  The statue in front of basilica of Sainte Anne looking over a fountain is the only one representing Mary showing her mother (Ste Anne) . The others show her showing the heavens as was the mision “Sainte Anne, Mère de Marie, conduis-nous vers Jésus”. or Saint Anne, mother of Mary, guide us towards Jesus.

And of course, there is the basilica itself ,from a small chapel in 1625 done by Nicolazic ,the new one was finished in 1872 ,now keeping his tomb inside. Who is Sainte Anne ,really, well again to remind us all. Sainte Anne (Keranna in Breton)  is the wife of Saint Joachim, mother of the Virgin Mary , grandmother of Jesus. She was a juif having lived in Sephoris, near Nazareth in Galilee,then Jerusalem in Judea. The biggest Breton Pardon come in her dates July 25 and 26. The official webpage for the basilica and all, is at http://www.sainteanne-sanctuaire.com/

Nearby there are two important places dear to Breton history too,and very close to my house. Te first is the monument statue to the Count of Chambord, at its four faces it has the two saint patrons of France and Paris; Sainte Jeanne d’Arc in front and Sainte Geneviève in the back, as well as the two great heroes of the French chevalry, Bayard to the left and Du Guesclin to the right, all four standing. This is in honor of the support the count of Chambord had for Brittany.  You can his official site in French here, http://www.comtedechambord.fr/homme_memorial.php the statue is on the entrance to Sainte Anne d’Auray on the way out to the commmune of Brech.

And the site where the Chouans , farmers of Brittany fought the French revolution and were executed in 1795 (the remains are now at the Chartreuse d’Auray), here stays a site of rememberance, for it cause a break that still is talk about in this area by the elders. Its call the Champs des Martyrs or heroes field. A chapel was built in 1829 still there amongst the trees. With the insignias in Latin , “Hic Cecide runt” (or here they fell) ,and “In Memoria Eterna Erunt Justi” (in the eternal memory, they will be right).  It is on the way from Sainte Anne d’Auray to Brech turn on the signs and they will guide you into the departmental roads here. This site in French on heritage tells very well and has some nice photos of it;, http://www.petit-patrimoine.com/fiche-petit-patrimoine.php?id_pp=56023_6

Of course, we had lunch in our favorite creperie in town, creperie Les Ajoncs, rue de Vannes right on the side of the basilica on the road to Vannes,cant missed it. Family affaires ,name to best creperies n Brittany, no webpage at the Auray t ourist office, http://www.auray-tourisme.com/creperie-les-ajoncs/ste-anne-d-auray/tabid/8269/offreid/b596fda7-cbb7-4486-bc22-2282ca67bcfb/detail.aspx

A wonderful place full of history and faith, nice only about 10 kms from my house. Here are some photos. Cheers

June 10, 2012

Some news from France LXXVI

Well a bit raiiny today in my neck of the woods but did went out and will have more posts. However, a bit and tips about places in Bretagne and France in general are in order.Hope you can enjoy it in your visits or deplacements en France lol!

Want to speed race at 300 kph and legal, head for Pariswest at Maurepas in dept 78, mine; Universal Circuits, a games place will get you into a Formula I simulator. Thrill of 20 minutes for 20€. Open every day inclusing Sundays from  10h to  19h. Tél.+33 ( 0) 1.30.05.31.31. webpage www.universal-circuits.fr.

Climb the famous Buttes-Chaumont park. Do a descend of 20 meters high in the middle of Paris . The comité départemental de spéléologie  de Paris(CDS 75)is giving every Sunday an initiation in the parc des Buttes-Chaumont. The thrills are free and the materials is given on site.  the hours are from 11h to 18h and inscription on site from  10h30 in front of the pavillon Armand-Carrel, entry in front of the mayor’s office;direction Metro Buttes-Chaumont. Local information tel +33 (0) 1.43.74.71.13.

the stamps collectors will have a field day in France ( I am not but do buy the nice stamps when mailings to my friends and family) .One of the main event is a stamp on the Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte! They have even installed a temporary post office in front of the grille door to castle. The package is call « La France que j’aime » or the France that I love.  There are 12 historical monuments showcase,and will be made available from tomorrow in all post offices here.

Moving closer to where I live now, (pending my sale of house in Versailles, live in Auray). The July 24-29 2012 will be the Cornouaille at Quimper. Music and dance of different genres .You can come here on TGV from Paris montparnasse easy. These are parties done since 1923 and ecome a festival in 1982 on. Becoming the most important Breton event of the year, many music and dance is from our region now mine ::)  For info email  contact@festival-cornouaille.com  or webpage in French,     http://www.festival-cornouaille.com/

The rockers can come to malestroit July 27-28 for the Au Pont du Rock; the Revolvers, Sally Ford and the Sound Outside will be there.  webpage http://www.aupontdurock.com/

See the tango in Bretagne, and the name of my blog (in case not notice is paris1972 for the last tango in Paris movielol!!!simply the best). Now at wonderful La Roche Bernard you can see it here from July 12-15, the Escale Tango; with an hommage to the late  Roberto Navarro, see more at webpage  and try  the video, http://www.escale-tango.com/  in French but go to programmation and see all the artists and schedules.

Close to me at Vannes, the wonderful Jazz à Vannes, great wonderful with the great Yuri Buenaventura(a must) singing the great songs of old and now, this is a classic event from  July 30 to August 4 2012. Its the 33rd edition so its good lol! in French of course but under programmation and billeterie you have schedules and pricings, and directions webpage http://www.jazzavannes.fr/index.php/infos-pratique

You have the Fêtes Médiévales de Hennebont near Lorient, medieval events all over city center with animations in many streets,and a huge artisans market as well as chevalier tournaments with food on site, a great event in an old town. July 28 and 29 the 17th edition with free admission. webpage in location site but under programmation you can see all, in French, http://www.medievales-hennebont.com/nous_trouver.php

Another great event from July 15-25 2012 at Polignac, the Festival de Polignac, violins music and poetry recitals from Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, as well as dance and accordéon, percussions music and soirée flamenco with LInea del Sur. Nice event see it at the church of Guidel. webpage http://www.festivalpolignac.com/ you can hear music like fado at the site.

For the arts, sculptures, potteries, jewerly , paintings etc head for the peninsula of Rhuys and Sarzeau on Sunday June 24 , Les Arts dans la Rue in city center. Its the 4th edition, tourist office of Sarzeau http://www.tourisme-sarzeau.com/animations/calendrier.html

Same month in Vannes you have the 5th edition of the  Salon en Bretagne du Livre , book faire at the jardins des Remparts or the ramparts gardens of old castle in city center Vannes. June 22-24. from 10h to 19h free admission. webpage http://www.livresenbretagne.fr/

Near Lorient at Pont Scorff, you have a wonderful zoo doing great things this summer. Les Nuits Blanches des Animaux or the white night of animals will be on from June 26-28 july and from 19h. see it here, http://www.zoo-pont-scorff.com/

And of course dont forget the cinema, our ,the best is at Vannes, Cinéville, where we saw 21 jump Street today, very hilarious cops and bad guys game. The schedule is heavy as I have some more mark to go see there. You can come off the N165 expressway into exit 779 road and follow cineville/centre commercial signs, webpage http://vannes.cineville.fr/programmes.php?salle=vannes-parc

Have a great Sunday everyone, cheers.

Vannes

June 9, 2012

Vannes, the gulf of Morbihan, and I work here….

Well work here and live nearby ,so come here often on weekends, its the area biggest liveliest city, with a beautiful city center and great sea canals and passenger port. This is Vannes or Gwened in breton language.

Once again have other posts on it in my blog but for ease of information here is the city and department tourist offices. http://www.tourisme-vannes.com/    http://www.morbihan.com/

Today I just hang out with my twin boys both now 18, so we had some beers together at one of the icons of the area by the area of Golfe du Morbihan, Brasserie Edgar, 19 Rue François Daniel  at the parc du golfe, part of the Mercure hotel there, wonderful property and one of my favorite hotel chain anywhere. webpage for both here  http://www.mercure-vannes.fr/318-brasserie-edgar-.html

Right in the Parc du Golfe area always following direction for Le Port or Golfe, you have an aquarium, http://www.aquarium-du-golfe.com/

You ,also, have a butterfly garden or jardin aux papillons , http://www.jardinauxpapillons.com/

You have a bowling alley at Le Master just across from the Expo center, at http://vannes.lemasterbowling.fr/refonte/master.php  , facilities for discotheques, cafe, and sports TV screens.

You have a wonderful Aquatic Club or water training center with spa, great for exercises and relax for the whole family, at http://www.aquatic-club-vannes.com/activites.php?activite=1 plus an exercise with gym next door , Balnéo , that is rocking, just need to have more time to enjoy it, one time is not enough lol!! http://www.balneoforme.com/

Last , you have an Exposition center that does events, concerts, and expositions all year around,  handle by the organism Le Chorus, the next concert is on june 28 by  Anne Roumanoff a very well known comedian here. see it at http://www.lechorus.com/acces.php

Of course, that did not stop my gang from ruining me at the FNAC, and Game stores in Vannes. Lots of shopping in city center, and already full of visitors from abroad and other regions of France. The summer should be a bang. Have a great weekend. Cheers

June 8, 2012

The gardens of the ile de France………

I know many , millions, come to France to see its wonderful gardens, from the time of Le Notre and beyond, the gardens had pull a powerful magnet for visitors. As usual, we tend to focus in Paris bien sûr mais il faut réve et chercher autres endroits quasi belles or méme plus beaux que dans Paris. Just a bit more sites as beautiful or even more so than Paris.

I  try to tell you some of my favorites over the years in this special post. First, some sites that tell you about gardens in the Ile de France :

http://www.villa-ephrussi.com/

http://www.parcsetjardins.fr/recherche-geographique.php

http://www.jardins-de-france.com/

http://www.jardinez.com/

http://www.lesplusbeauxjardinsdefrance.com/

and get together from the ministry of culture of France, http://www.rendezvousauxjardins.culture.fr/

And now my favorites in the ile de France , my current region ,even if will move in mid july 2012.

Seine et Marne ,dept 77; Jardin du Domaine National de Champs-sur-Marne, French and English style gardens with a castle of course!  http://champs-sur-marne.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/

Jardin Médiéval de la Commanderie des Templiers, at Couloummiers, medieval gardens and the Templars story, http://www.commanderie-templiers.fr/

Domaine National du chateau de Fontainebleu, of course at famous Fontainbleau, http://www.musee-chateau-fontainebleau.fr/

La Fontaine aux Pigeons on medieval, La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, English gardens of 6 hectares, http://www.la-ferte-sous-jouarre.fr/component/content/article/20/886.html

Jardin de Vaux-le-Vicomte, of course the other beautiful castle of the Paris region, French style gardens, http://www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/

One near to me as my wife was born here, and we first talk dated walking this garden, Jardin Bossuet, in Meaux (as in brie cheese) ;French garden next to Cathedral,where the Bossuet rose was created, see it better in French, http://www.ville-meaux.fr/Le-Jardin-Bossuet.html

La Roseraie, see the rose of Provins, http://www.roseraie-provins.com/ gorgeous

Moving to the Yvelines, dept 78, where have my house. Abbaye des Vaux de Cernay, private gardens in an abbey see on weekend or with appointment in weekdays, http://www.abbayedecernay.com/

Jardins du Chateau de Breteuil, French gardens, http://www.breteuil.fr/castle/accueil.php

Musée Promenade de Marly-le-Roi, where kings used to walk, wonderful, many of the statues now at the Louvre. http://www.musee-promenade.fr/

Musée National de Port-Royal des Champs,historical gardens ,protected, see it,  http://www.port-royal-des-champs.eu/

Domaine National de Rambouillet-Bergerie nationale, English gardens and regular,historical, and animals, http://www.bergerie-nationale.educagri.fr/

Arboretum de Chévreloup, English gardens and trees, plants, near Versailles, http://www.mnhn.fr/chevreloup/

Domaine National de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, by the castle, gardens 18C, traces of renaissance, http://www.musee-archeologienationale.fr/ , Jardin du Musée Experimental Maurice Denis, in town, garden of the artist, http://www.musee-mauricedenis.fr/

Chateau et Parc de Vaux-sur-Seine, landscape garden from the 19C, http://www.vauxsurseine.fr/Le-chateau-de-Vaux-sur-Seine.html

Versailles, of course, my town, the one and only in the world, French and English style gardens, and veggie and fruit potager du roi lol! http://en.chateauversailles.fr/gardens-and-park-of-the-chateau–  and http://www.potager-du-roi.fr/ensp/default/EN/all/potager/index.htm

The Essonne dept 91, we have Conservatoire National des Plantes Médicinales, at nice Milly-la-Fôret, http://www.cnpmai.net/

Potager Fleuri du Domaine de Saint-Jean-de-Beauregard, flower veggy plots from the 17C! and castle, http://www.domsaintjeanbeauregard.com/v2/

We move now to Hauts-de-Seine, dept 92 ,just near Paris, Musée et Jardins Albert Kahn, parc and scenes with oriental motifs, http://albert-kahn.hauts-de-seine.net/

Parc de Boulogne, Edmond de Rothschild, landscape garden and japonese dating from 19C, http://www.boulognebillancourt.com/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=231?&leftid=477&mpid=3&submid=0&submid2=1&Itemid=489

Parc de la Maison de Chateaubriand et Arboretum, La Vallée aux Loups, romantic gardens, http://maison-de-chateaubriand.hauts-de-seine.net/web/chateaubriand/le-parc-de-la-maison-de-chateaubriand

Parc des impressionists, modern with rosaries, http://www.rueil-tourisme.com/FR/visite-le-parc-des-impressionnistes_4623.html ,and on same town of Rueil-Malmaison, the castle of the lady of Napoleon, Josephine. Parc du Chateau de Malmaison, nice gardens, http://www.chateau-malmaison.fr/

Domaine de Saint-Cloud, landscape huge nice, many events here like rock on the seine, http://saint-cloud.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/ and near there ,also, the Jardin Stern, design by JCN Forestier, to allow her handicapped daughter to walk inwheelchair in the gardens from back in 1927, nice, http://www.jardinstern.com/

Domaine de Sceaux, parc et musée d’ile de France, a museum of the region, and garden design by the great Le Notre. Wonderfully nice and big, http://domaine-de-sceaux.hauts-de-seine.net/

We end at dept Val d’Oise or no 95 where the airport of Paris CDG is (not Paris), Parc et Jardins de l’Abbaye Royale de Royaumont, http://www.royaumont.com/fondation_abbaye/

Jardin de l’Atelier de Daubigny, http://www.atelier-daubigny.com/ , also same town, Jardins duMusée de l’Absinthé, http://www.musee-absinthe.com/ , continue in the area of Van Gogh with the jardins du Chateau d’Auvers, http://www.chateau-auvers.fr/index.php?PHPSESSID=1e1022b3c98c8aa32e0fdec046610e01

Maison du Docteur Gachet, garden from 19C, http://www.valdoise.fr/6387-la-maison-du-docteur-gachet-a-auvers-sur-oise.htm

Domaine de Villarceaux, a gem, go there for shopping farm goodies too, and a gourmet event everyyear, http://www.iledefrance.fr/villarceaux

Parc du Chateau D’Ecouen, also a museum of the renaissance, http://www.musee-renaissance.fr/homes/home_id20392_u1l2.htm

Chateau de Stors, English style terrace gardens, town of L’isle-Adam, http://chateaudestors.com/

Chateau de la Roche-Guyon, fruits gardens and views of the Seine, nice tunnel withhistory of wwII,  http://www.chateaudelarocheguyon.fr/

Parc et Chateau de Méry-sur-Oise, with great water fountain, lakes, http://www.merysuroise.fr/download//horaires-parc.JPG.pdf

Jardin du Musée Jean-Jacques Rousseau, http://museejjrousseau.montmorency.fr/fr

Parc de l’Abbaye de Maubuisson, old abbatial park, nice, http://www.valdoise-tourisme.com/diffusio/fr/voir-faire/nature/st-ouen-l-aumone/parc-de-l-abbaye-de-maubuisson_TFO106590495640.php

There is a long list indeed, but all very nice, and some spectacular, you will have a good guide toget you started while in the Ile de France region,where Versailles and Paris for example are. Cheers

June 8, 2012

Chateau Thierry and Champagne;;;;;

I took a ride over to Chateau Thierry with collegues from work, part of a meeting, we did had time to see a wonderful champagne house that  I like to share with my readers.

This is their tourist page http://www.chateau-thierry-tourisme.com/eng

A bit of history, the area is known since  the 5C with the Gaulles then Thierry IV at the 8C, then Counts of Blois and Champagne to arrive at our times.  Jean de la Fontaine the great story teller was born here in  1621.  Here you are in the river Marne country, beautiful and close to where my wife was born.

It takes a turn from the department of the Marne 51 and Seine et Marne 77 to be in the deparment 02 of the Aisne  in the region of Picardie. The town takes the name from the merovigian king Thierry IV who had a castle here so Chateau Thierry is the name of the town today.

Château-Thierry  was of the key points of battles in WWI specially in 1918 between the American forces and the Germans around the bornes of Vauthier, that marked with stones the lines of the battles in WWI.  It again serves for battles in WWII  specially around 1940. The bridge of  Château-Thierry was defended by the men of the Aspirant de Rougé;and the new bridge bears his name. Charles-Armand de Rougé (« vicomte de Rougé»), fell in combat here on June 10, 1940.

I started my journey from Vannes on TGV train passing by Le Mans, and onwards to Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy(Disneyland), there we rented an Avis car to take on the A4 autoroute to Chateau Thierry.  The return was in reverse only this time we passed by Rennes onwards to Vannes.

Overnight we stayed in the wonderful Best Western Ile de France, second time I stayed here and both times very nice place to be. Webpage at http://www.hotel-iledefrance.com/ with beautiful views over the Champagne vineyards. Fully loaded even with a Spa service.

The highlight of the stayed was a visit to Champagne Pannier, fully explained just for us, after 18H with dinner underneath the cellars amongst the old bottles. We try the whole palate from extra brut to demi sec. A wonderful place, great welcome, nice friendly chat and tour, and delicious Champagne ,to say the same of the great food. The place can welcome visitors in French,English,and German languages and the facilities are magnificent. A recommended place to visit. Webpage http://www.champagnepannier.com/

In all a very nice stayed ,visit, and tastings, one to be remember and come back with the family. Hope you found a new place to visit in France too. Cheers

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