Archive for July, 2012

July 28, 2012

A Coruña, La Coruña y Galicia charms of the rias

Well just back from a nice interlude in A Coruña in Galicia, Spain and its near areas. It was a short trip with business in between but overall very nice.

It was a long flight driving first to Nantes airport, then catching Iberia to Madrid Barajas T4, which already has become like a second home lol!!! then the Iberia transfer to A Coruña airport. Going was gone easy but the return was hell, Iberia was one hour late in arriving, and when the connection at Barajas thinking will miss the flight went to the customer service desk, saw a long line! Then looking at the boards realise my flight was still boarding! (held because of the flight delays of the day) ,ran like a mad man to the gate K85 and was able to catch the last bus to the plane!!! Arrive at Nantes took my car and finally arrive home by midnite! I will try never again to take Iberia, two trips with them and two delays! This is the official site for the airport and also all airports in Spain; http://www.aena-aeropuertos.es/csee/Satellite/Aeropuerto-A-Coruna/en/

My business took me to Sada near A Coruña and was lodge at the AC A Coruña Hotel part of the Marriott chain just at the entrance to the city,and half way to the office in Sada. The hotel was very nice, friendly, with all amenities I needed. The rooms was big, and the bed; and it has a great breakfast resto with all you can eat included in the price of the room, and the AC Bar was great , cold drinks and light meals. One to consider when in town, even if a bit away from the coastline beaches. http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/lcgco-ac-hotel-a-coruna/

The interaction with the locals was great like a feel of been home; and it was. I got some feedback from them already that confirm my impressions.

Then, it was July 25th the feast of St James or Santiago, the patron saint of Galicia and Spain. It was a day off,so my old friend from Real Madrid days Nilo came to pick me up at the hotel. The poor man drove 110 kms to see me, I thought it was closer. However, the trip ,the company was like family. We drove to Xove, passing Ferrol Viveiro, Oviudo, Cabanas, St Ciprian has a beautiful beach sitting next to Xove.

We have a saying that once a Real Madrid fan, Madridista, you are always one and welcome the world over. Here is home ground and it is no different. We walk all over town stopping for tapas and drinks in so many places I lost count lol!!! It is a faster pace one that I need to get back in shape for it. The locals dont stop eating, drinking,and talking all day long.

We made a meal at the finca or family terrain just overlooking the nice beach of St Ciprian, and we had salmon, and percebes, and salads, plus white wine of Ribeiro, and it was fun all afternoon. I had some adjustments to make but was able to hold on the day and come back to A Coruña.

Here are webpages of the cities I spend the most time Xove and St Ciprian beach, http://www.xove.es/js/index.php  and http://www.esplaya.com/beaches/show?by=province&criteria=19&id=195

Also Galicia tourist office, http://www.turgalicia.es/Default.asp?cidi=I

I took lots of photos so will put them here, its my depository of souvenirs and nostalgia ,this blog. And sharing is a virtue maybe others will like it, and go there, it is a nice place to vacation too. I as a family already looking forward to it. Have a great weekend y’all.

July 21, 2012

The fortified city of Hennebont,,,lovely past, beautiful present.

Today was a wonderful sunny day here and the first with the family all in place. It was ,also, my father’s birthday -78 and thanks God going strong. So we went out to eat beef as he likes it anyway. I have heard about Hennebont as been a fortified city like Port Louis where i have already been, so decided to go there,new city for all.

Hennebont shows its old side the moment you entered by the viaduc over the port and river, seeing the trains going above you as you enter the town by the river port area. Immediately you see the ramparts of the old castle, still intact. You can even walk it on top all the way from city center to the river facing it. Great views of course. Even my father did it so anyone can lol!!!

There is a name Hennebont from at least the year 1000AD, from the 13C the castle was done by duke Jean I of Brittany.  From 1857, the haras nationaux  or horse raising training site is created at the old abbaye de la Joye. On august 7 , 1944, a great part of the city is destroyed by German nazi bombardments trench on the pocket of Lorient. The districts the most old were badly destroyed and a period of reconstruction began to what is today.

You must see the basilica of Notre Dame de Paradis, (done in 16C), on the flamboyant gothic style constructed between 1514 and 1524 on the honor of the virgin Mary under Notre Dame de Paradis . its tower is 65 meters high, and became a church from 1590, raise to basilica minor by pope Pie X on January 17 1913 for the exemplary devotion of the inhabitants of the city to the Virgin. In 1699 the peste causes lots of deaths in the city and the locals pledge a statue in silver to the Virgin if they can be spare of this desease. it became the Voeu de 1699, thereafter every year a procession is done all over the city, and the desease stopped. The procession continues to this day thus each last Sunday of September. See inside the stained glass by Max Ingrand retracing the great events of the history of Hennebont. The Organ (1652) is the oldest in the department of the Morbihan.

You must see the ramparts, (15C) placed at the old fortification of the times of duke Jean 1 (13C). Overcoming many wars such as the one of the succession of Brittany and the war of the league in 1590. The towers crown the corners at four cardinal points ,now only 3 remained, Tour St Nicolas (at south side), Tour des Carmes,(north east side), and the fortified porte or door at the east side, built before the 14C.  This last one, known as  Porte Broërec’h, the entry door to the enclosed city is flanked by two twins towers link by a bridge conserving the machinary of the raising bridge. A round walkway is seen on top of the towers whre great views of the city can be seen today.

La Porte Broêrec’h ,  is a defensive work to serve tower to tower the guards of the prison that it was  (Marion du Faouët,  the famouse brigand was held here in 1746), with room for the homeless and finally a museum; one of the richest in the department on the Breton Arts. Most of the rooms were destroyed on the Nazi bombardment of August 7 1944. today, the Tours Broêrec’h house in its ten rooms a museum of arts and traditions. Open from June 1st to 30 September from 10h30 -12h30 and  13h30 to 18h30. Admission  4 €/adults.

Le Haras National( done in 1857), with its park a la English with 23 hectares and 7 huge stables. Horses and its history are home here, a must to see and watch the show. Open Easter and all Saints vacation periods from Monday to Friday  9h30-12h30 and 14h -18h. Saturdays and Sundays 14h -18h May, June, and SEptember from Tuesdays to Fridays  9h30 -12h30 and 14h- 18h. Saturdays to Mondays 14h -18h July and August  every day from 10h to 19h. Admissions is 7,10€ Adults,etc. Show of horses during the regular visit on school vacations of Easter all zones  from Mondays to Fridays at  15h30 ; May, June, and September on Tuesdays and thursdays at 15h30. In summer from July 6 to August 28 at 16h  ” show équestre ” of one hour with the visit and show of horses ,spectacle  admission  11€/adults etc…35€ Tour en calèche  or carriage tour in summer from July 6 to august 28 on wednesdays to Sundays from 14h – 19h : 3 €/adults and  2 € Child. More information http://www.haras-hennebont.fr/

The official tourist office for Hennebont,http://www.hennebont-tourisme.com/

You can get here on the N165 road Nantes-BRest exit 40 for Hennebont centre by car. By train it has a train station or gare at  http://www.ter-sncf.com/Region/bretagne/gare/Hennebont.aspx  YOu can make from Paris gare Montparnasse direction Quimper Brest. The bus and boat network of http://www.ctrl.fr/ service to all these towns ,Brandérion, Caudan, Cléguer, Gâvres, Gestel, Groix (Ile de), Guidel, Hennebont,
Inzinzac Lochrist, Lanester, Larmor Plage, Languidic, Locmiquélic, LORIENT,
Ploemeur, Pont Scorff, Port Louis, Quéven et Riantec.

Regular TIM =transports interurbain du Morbihan buses such as no 17, http://www.morbihan.fr/UserFile/flash/CarteTIM/horaires/HLn17-E-2012.pdf  and taxi services,

La Galèze 1ç, avenue de la Libération Tél. 02 97 36 22 14, Ambulance Taxis Guidelois 16, rue Nationale Tél. 02 97 36 47 00; Taxi Hello ZI de Kerandré – Rue Denis Papin Tél. 02 97 36 11 11; Taxi Loy 22, place Foch Tél. 02 97 85 55 55; Taxi service Tél. 02 97 32 94 40

Last but not least, we had our lunch and happy birthday to my Dad. I chose the Pizzeria del Castello or The pizzeria du chateau in Italian, very nice friendly folks, who took our pictures, and were prompt and food well done. The resto is very near the Tours Broêrec’h . We had faux filet grill in sauce poivre 3, pizza primavera with chorizos, Tartiflettes, and Burger à cheval, apertififs from porto to jack daniels, kir, beer, then desserts from banana splits(2) ,poire belle helene, ice cream of different flavors; a bottle of Villa Burghese, Paqua, Bardolino red of Italy, very good. all 142€ for 6 persons. Great deal. http://www.morbihan.com/pizzeria-grill-del-castello/hennebont/tabid/7419/offreid/b54414a1-9891-4e81-93eb-db862d165c58/detail-restaurants.aspx

Enjoy the photos and sure will like Hennebont, only 24 kms from my house lol!!! Cheers

July 21, 2012

Some news from Bretagne VI

Well sunny times are back in Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh (Breton language), and the crowds are beginning to invade. Plenty of time for locals to partage and enjoy the activities thus. Always welcome sight to see folks in, meaning business is good, jobs are preserve,and all is more the merrier.

Some of the activities coming up are at Hennebont (see my next entry on this town), the mediéval de Hennebont are next July 28 and 29 2012; dont missed them ,they are awesome, and my family will enjoy it too.  www.medievales-hennebont.com

One of the best zoo or animal park in France is here ,nearby Branfere.  Nature and wild life at its closest best. see it at www.branfere.com

you can see two great stone sites, very much revered in this part of France, one is at Petit Mont, at Arzon, and the other is the Gavrinis that needs a boat ride from Lamor Baden. Both sites to follow. www.petit-mont.info  and www.gavrinis.info

At Lorient, the musée de la Compagnie des Indes is having a great exhibition on Japon in Brittany. Lasting until Sept 2 2012. see it all at  http://musee.lorient.fr/Detail_agenda_du_musee.1881+M546b8026709.0.html?&tx_agendasgl_pi1[backid]=1880&tx_agendasgl_pi1[event]=24289

We will have the musicales du Golfe  from Auguts 1-13, 2012 at 10 different towns in the Morbihan department (Séné,Elven,Vannes, ile d’Arz, Surzur, Baden, Saint Avé, Arradon, Plougoumelen and Theix). See the program at www.musicalesdugolfe.com

The jazz festival at Vannes with guest star Yuri Buenaventura will be from JUly 30 to August 4; This is the 33rd edition, more at www.jazzvannes.fr

Shopping sales started from June 27 and continue at shopping Center in Lorient,  the Espace Nayel, alongside the quais port area, see it at www.espacenayel.fr

For fishes in lorient the biggest fishmarket in the area, go to La Maison du Poisson, the house of fishes. You need to buy 3 min per person, they have it read cook for you, tasting areas, and spaces for self service. Open from Tuesdays to Saturdays hours 9h to 13h anbd 15h30 to 19h30, at rond point de la BSM, Rue Fachon, Lorient. www.lamaisondupoisson-lorient.com

For a more dazzling attempt of fun do the speedair parachustist, fast speed parachute flight in tandem with a pro drop from 2000 meters at more than 200 kph or about 120 MPH. you can get info and reservation at www.speedairparachutisme.com

Pour relaxer go to the Spa at Guidel plage about 15 kms from Lorient, open 7 days a week, forme, detente,well being, and vitality all along a nice place along the coast. More in French at http://www.spa-oceane.com/spa-guidel-presentation.php

While above, try one that is highly recommended, for a nice galette or salad while seeing the jet skis, boats,kites and beautiful people , the Le Moulin de la Galette, Le Bas Pouldu, 56520 Guidel  more info at www.moulindelagalette.com

Plenty to have fun in the Morbihan and Brittany in general during this wonderful summer. See you around soon. Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

July 19, 2012

Some news from France LXXVIIII

Nice sunny day today with the sun hiding sometimes, but finally the family is here, and all begins to take shape with the paperwork. It has been better than expected, done moving many times but always tackle it with respect ::)

To start why not from where I left off, Versailles (lovely never to forget my time there), following the UNESCO designation to France as Inmaterial historical site on gastronomy and wines, the city decided to get one as individual with the food and wine organisation in  France that is setting this up. The other cities vying for the title are  Lyon (Rhône), Beaune and Dijon (Côte-d’Or), Tours (Indre-et-Loire) ,and Rungis-Chevilly-Larue (Val-de-Marne).  And of course, Versailles.

Versailles already has the Potager-du-roi, and then  it welcomes 10 millions visitors per year and  6 only for the chateau.  It is the French city second most known in the world after Paris.  Its strength other than the previously mentioned potager du roi, is the marvelous sublime ,unique  marché Notre-Dame with its  120 stands amongst the most known in the region of Ile-de-France.  You have the farm that provided the food to the chateau in royal times such as la ferme de Gally, that is by Saint-Cyr l’école on the road D307 ,or just at the very end of Chateau property way behind the grand canal . The idea is to open a gastronomic center in the old building of the post office at  avenue de Paris just up from Chateau. Best of luck ,Versaillaises!!!

Paris plage is tomorrow!!! shils wont be there, will run to August 19th  only 800 meters of beach will be available and 1400 meters of promenade,on the rive droite, shorter than last year. The reason,  is to renovated the road along the Seine river ,Voie George Pompidou on the  rive droite . The work will last all summer with traffic closing from July 16. They look forward to enlarge the sidewalks, and make them more accessible to the mobility impaired folks ,and more green space. The next summer the work  will make the bike routes on the rive gauche better.

And now that summer is here, what are the favorites for a picnic à Paris ? Here are my favorites spots.  Along the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin , and Canal de l’Ourq, Also, on the quais de Seinebout of the  l’île Saint-Louis, on the  quai de Bourbon  facing the Hôtel de Ville and the  Pont des Arts (careful with bottles here the police dont like it). The Champ des Mars by the Eiffel Tower.  Parc de la Villette, the Buttes Chaumont , Les Invalides, Parc Monceau, Jardin des Tuileries, Jardin du Luxembourg, and one away from it all  L’île aux cygnes; especially along the Allée des CignesEnjoy sublime Paris.

Then many asking for French courses in Paris, well never taken one as I learned yeaars ago in the USA, and then married a Frenchie so that made the language come up fast,and then came to live in France in 2003 already as a French citizen ,after having visited the country first since 1972 and then with family since 1990 practically everry year. However, this site was recommended by some folks I trust , so I am putting it up here for reference. French Courses in Paris, http://www.french-courses-in-paris.fr/

last minute that is important to me a wine drinker and fan, France had a small dip in its wine production in 2012 to 46,489 millions of hectoliters or 8,7% less than last year.  The different regions of France and their wine production are  Languedoc Roussillon  12,9 millions hL or  -12,4 % from last year and so on, Charentes 8,824 millions hL (-5,1 %).  Aquitaine, 7,085 millions hL (-5,1 %). Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur  4,075 millions hL.  The  Val de Loire  2,959 millions hL estimated. The  Champagne  2,625 millions hL (-8,9 %). Midi Pyrénées 2,562 millions hL (-11,9 %). The  Rhône-Alpes will increase by  14,1 % with  2,198 millions hL. with much of it related to the Beaujolais. Alsace, 1,171 millions hL  (-1 %). Bourgogne  1,601 millions hL (-4,1 %). The Corse  345 000 hl  (+6,8 %).

Short and sassy this time, await my weekend, the first one with the family here, so a different travel as we will also seeing areas for a later house purchase. Have a great day and rest of week everyone. Cheers

Versailles

July 13, 2012

St Malo and Mont Saint Michel, the great nord….!

I was driving around coming to my Brittany Sud after finishing my move and decided to take a quick break and see two places that I have not been back in years. Knowing of the changes coming up, took a quick visit to St Malo and Mont Saint Michel.

St Malo is a mariners boaters, sailors , fisherman, lovers of the sea place, that definitively needs in depth visit, will do… The main city center is gorgeous even if my driving was fast and furious, the old Chateau area, the pleasure boats marina, and the Fort National seems enough for a more detail visit in the future. Stay tune.

The tourist office for St Malo is at http://www.saint-malo-tourisme.com/decouvrir  and the city with good information as well is at http://www.ville-saint-malo.fr/

Then  ,in my crazy driving times, took a nose dive into Mont Saint Michel. I have been here before many years ago before the travel forums and blogs bugs, now had the curiosity of seeing it again as changes are coming in 2015. And of course, the abbey is still a wonder to our world. How can an island rock with a monastery on top in the practical middle of ocean waters had lasted centuries, a miracle of St Michel indeed.

The tourist office webpage is at http://www.ot-montsaintmichel.com/index.htm?lang=en , and good sites nearby for exploring the MSM are Pontorson at http://www.mont-saint-michel-baie.com/?page_id=214  Avranches with the manuscripts history of MSM ,http://www.ot-avranches.com/index.htm , Granville, http://manche-territoire.for-system.com/granville.aspx?Globales/RZ=6929&NumEtape=1

The site for all the national monuments of France including of course the MSM in English, http://mont-saint-michel.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/  ,and the site to see the construction and changes coming up at MSM to 2015, http://www.projetmontsaintmichel.fr/index_uk.html

In all the abbey with its magnificent architecture and its glorious views over the bay are a must. A wonderful beautiful site to be visited again in depth, more than 3 millions see the most visited site in Normandy region of France!  Enjoy some photos on the run….::)

Have  a great weekend,now me with the whole gang here lol!!!!

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July 8, 2012

Carnac ,mythical stones and gorgeous beaches!

Continuing my escapades in my new region, checking it out, y’nah , for the record Carnac has been visited before in my posts of July 4 and August 21,2011. Its a splendid beach area just 15 kms or so from my home. Just to say that this morning I had my first traffic jam so far, not bad just a few minutes but its a sign the summer season has begun in earnest here.

Carnac is known for its megalithes stones, UNESCO world heritage site candidate indeed, http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/224/ one of many in France.

However, the things that attacts me here is the beach life, and restos with terraces along the beaches ,and the nightlife well at least to mingle in the restos but my sons love it ::)  Its just about 15 kms from my home so very easy to get in and out. The area can be reach better by car, along the N165 direction Carnac, see my previous post on Transport in Morbihan bits and pieces. In general , public transport can be figure it out here www.breizhgo.com

The drive is very nice along quaint villages ,and the main entry from my side of Auray is the Carnac bourg, this is what is considered the city center , usually where the church and mayor’s office is located. It has a nice central plaza with restos all around it ,and an escape from the more bustle at the beach or Carnac plage. You follow the signs for Les Plages, and you reach the area of beaches known as Carnac plage.  Here is  one beach after the other, my favorites are Ty Bihan (central) Légenèse, and the Grande Plage. There is also, St Colomban,Beaumer ,and Men Du.

The official tourist office for Carnac is at webpage http://www.ot-carnac.fr/en/

There is a petit train or little train service, that takes you around the city and into nearby La Trinité sur Mer, http://www.petittrain-carnac.com/circuit.php

There is ,also, a casino on the bourg side a bit away from the beach for those interested, not my cup of tea, but there is always someone who likes it, for info ,webpage http://www.lucienbarriere.com/fr/Casino/Carnac/Informations-pratiques.html

For hotels and accommodation been a beach area, there are plenty, however, I like the Best Western Le Celtique hotel and spa, secluded on a back street yet 100 meters or so from the beach, in a residential area, very nice and chic. I would love to spend a night here, I think you would too.  You have the link from Best Western hotels here http://www.bestwestern.fr/en/hotel-Carnac-plage,Best-Western-Celtique,93333  ,however there is a site of the hotel itself here http://en.hotel-celtique.com/  , and another version showcasing its Spa facilities thalasso here, http://www.thalasseo.com/best-western-plus-celtique-hotel-spa-carnac/fiche-produit?pid=260028&ebp=8lL.QlYVeQ7BL6AqQORYeouEF_QaVDGJFIIem46lMg

For a quick coffee, the lotto tickets, magazines, newspaper, and the must stamp, we had the opportunity to visit it especially for the lottery and newspaper this friendly Bar Tabac Le Marigny, very close to the beach, here is the OT tourist office with commerces in the city, you see the Super U grocery store its just on the other side of the hotel above and continuing on past the tabac le marigny, http://www.ot-carnac.fr/liste/pratique/commerces

It was time to eat again, and we came back to our favorite at the Memes Tra, just off across the beach at Ty Bihan, and very close to the tabac and hotel, great fast friendly service always, the food is delicious, we gang up on mussels is the season, curry and garlic sauces combination with delicious homemade fries, grimbergen beers, and more banana splits, Breizh gourmand (coffee with small breton cakes like far breton etc), and Quebec cup of ice cream different flavors. All 90€ for four. tourist office has listed with many others athttp://www.ot-carnac.fr/en/liste/restauration  the tourisme for the deparment of Morbihan has in French with more detail info,   http://www.morbihan.com/restaurant-memes-tra/carnac/tabid/7419/offreid/139d14ab-1752-441e-b3da-0cce74ce1512/detail-restaurants.aspx

Then, on our way we past by the famous megalithes or stones, this nobody is sure how they got there and how they were built, a mystery of the centuries, its very popular, we past by it and took the opportunity to stop and grab some info and photos. I am not into them stones, but its very historical and folks all over come to see it. The locals have a predilection for stones even decorating their homes with it on the facades. The webpage for the main house or maison des megalithes from the National Monuments webpage in English here http://carnac.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/

Like I said, the beaches are glorious, the time of the year to be out every day, unfortunately we work here (really we do ::)) but on weekend is fantastic, and then after my move next week comes August the vacation month in France. WE dont know where this year is dyfunctional but we wil find something lastminute….. Cheers y’all.

July 8, 2012

A paradise found, La Trinité sur Mer

Wondering where to go as next week will be busy with my moving out of Versailles, I decided to go back to La Trinité sur Mer. This is heavens for boaters, but a great leisure day can be spend here, more if you decide to partake the wonderful beaches especially those reaching neighbor Carnac.

I have written about LTM before in my posts of July 5, and August 21, 2011. So this is a recap with some common information. To start ,I always look up the tourist office ,the office is just before reaching the Casino on the quais, webpage http://www.ot-trinite-sur-mer.fr/  ,then for bit more on transports I take a look at the city mayor’s site ,and there under decouvrir or discover,you find more info even if in French, http://www.la-trinite-sur-mer.fr/rubrique_decouvrir_trinite.html

The highlights for me here other than seeing the boats, and walking the upper city hilly street all with beautiful views of the bay below is to eat or beach activities.  There is a great bridge over the harbor, pont de Kerister, and a nice resto A l’etage just by the end of the marina with good food and great views; upper floor with a cold one lazy outlook you can spend several hours there lol!!!  This site in French but nice picture tells you of the bridge of Kerister the new one from 1956 but was initially conceptualise by Gustave Eiffel (you know him!). http://locmariaquer.info/f221_%20le%20pont%20de%20Kerisper.htm  ,to go to this resto one of my favorite there ,no site but for contacts in advance, Tél. +33 (0) 2 97 59 56 12,and email  letage-latrinite@wanadoo.fr

Oh yes the beaches, well give the names, port biren, port, Men Allen,Kerbihan,Grazu, Ty Guard, Kervillen (the best), Le Poulbert, and Le Men Du. As mentioned the best sands are at Kervillen; the tourist office tells you more about them,http://www.ot-trinite-sur-mer.fr/en/les-plages.aspx

All this litoral form part of the Golfe du Morbihan, (UNESCO world heritage site) and its included in a study as one of the most beautiful bays n the world, here http://www.world-bays.com/gulf-of-morbihan-/-bay-of-quiberon-47-33.html

The whole area is also one of the worlds’ best site for nautical sports, and sailing is a must, this site tells you all about it, http://www.nautisme-baiedequiberon.com/annuaire

There is a nice grocery store right in town such as Carrefour City, and other specialise food stores. Carrefour is a chain, and there you will find the best prices for your in house food,sundry items. It is on your way from the center towards the Casino, on your left hand side, webpage http://www.carrefour.fr/magasin/city-la-trinite-sur-mer

Then, of course, you have the Casino for the night owls in town, with good views over the harbor, I long ago stop visiting this places, but I know from travel forums that they are still a popular destination for some, so here it is the local one, http://www.casinolatrinite.com/ ; In my opinion for better food and cheaper lodging you can still visit the Casino across the street but on the beach/harbor side there is the Hotel Ostréa, and the Le Bistro du Marin, nice places to eat and drink plus of course the gentle cool waters of the bay is idylic for sleeping lol!  Both on this site, http://en.hotel-ostrea.com/

Another place I do frequent and buy when I visit really early is the fish market, all fressssh off the boats and very nicely and cleanly done, they can even cook it for you on the spot!!! Yummy seafood from Brittany, the best in France for sure. They are the Halle aux poissons,open every mornings,and another foody ,veggie, clothings type flea market that is on in summers only ,Foodies on Tuesdays and all types on Fridays mornings from 8h to 13h by the Place du Voulien continuing towards the rue du Douet.

There is a funny petit train or little train ride that takes you into the hilly parts of La Trinité sur Mer and the harbor front up to nearby Carnac. A nice quick way to see the main points,and giving you time to come back to see more in depth later on. You get on it at La Trinité Sur Mer by the cours des quais along the marina; weppage http://www.petittrain-carnac.com/circuit.php

For lunch, this time we try the Créperie Le Goeland, just in front of harbor marina on main street, men du, and it is on a second floor, you entered to a stair in beton  up to the upper level by the parking La Vergie and turn left, its just about 25 meters ,and the entrance its there. Very good food, although the portions a bit small, sausages and cheese galettes, ham and cheese galette, with poire hélene and banana split desserts and half a bottle of sauvignon white wine from Touraine(Loire); expresso coffee for two ,37€. http://www.ot-trinite-sur-mer.fr/fr/creperie-le-goeland.aspx

One final note, I did went out scuba, my nose is not as fine tune as years back, but  the dives are not that deep usually in the 20-30 meter range, and did took the plunge once here a  weeks back, with Made in Blue, very good folks, have trips ,instructions,and supplies store. Another fun thing to do in la Trinité sur Mer, webpage http://www.madeinblue.com/

Enjoy the photos and the weekend, me out tomorrow for the move with a 20 M3 truck lol!

 

July 7, 2012

Bretagne, Morbihan some transports bits and pieces….

ok so one of the most difficult situation in Brittany, Bretagne, Breizh is the minimum public transport service. The idea of moving about freely as in the ile de France (Paris,Versailles) region is unheard of, nothing like 10 minutes of intervals on buses,etc, here you get one every two hours; the summer a bit better as it is tourist season for the region, the winter is dead.

Trying to figure it out is tough, luckily I depend on my car, my boys a bit less, we try to connect whereever they are as to from where I am coming from or a simple outing to city center Vannes for example can take all day to maximize the traject and shopping. So ,therefore, here are some bits and pieces of public transports in my new department of the Morbihan, dept 56 of Brittany, France. Listing by towns,

Starting from Auray, you have the connections with TIM or transports interurbain du Morbihan on lines 1,1bis,5,6,and 16. the site for all is at http://www.morbihan.fr/services/transports-collectifs.aspx   , 2€ , pay on the bus, then you have the city of Auray Auraybus, all year from monday to saturday, tickets sold on the buses as well, the city or region agglomeration site is at  http://www.auray-communaute.fr/index.php/vivre-habiter/deplacements/auray-bus

In summer you can take the train ride Tire Bouchon from Auray to Quiberon, a popular destination and already noted as my favorite spot. TER Bretagne you can buy tickets in all area train stations. cost is 2,90€ from Auray to Quiberon, navette service to passenger terminals and city center for 2€ FRom June 30th to Sept 2 and then weekend of Sept 15-16 2012. webpage in French but if help needed let me know, http://www.ter-sncf.com/Regions/Bretagne/fr/Loisirs_Tourisme/Les_Offres_TER/Lignes_Touristiques/DetailOffre.aspx?TypePage=TTO&ofr_id=tcm:16-62095

You have car rentals at the gare from Avis,Europcar, and the grocery chain Super U (which is ,also ,a national program same site) http://www.location-vl-vu.com/agence/5813/location-voiture-super-u-auray , there are good parking at Athéna (by the municipal pool) rue Henri Dunant, Chapelle Saint -Esprit, rue des Féves, place hulot,Place de Kériolet (my favorite just at city center side), place du loch,place notre dame,place raoul Dautry, rue du jeu de paume, Le verger. Taxis are AAD taxi Kerneur, TEl +33 (0) 6 62 32 00 23 or Allo Alta Taxi tel +33 (0) 6 62 18 56 78.

The city of Beltz, TIM buses line 16,18, rent bicycles at les vélos de la ria, 19 rue des sports (behind the Super U grocery store) http://lesvelosdelaria.monsite-orange.fr

Belle_île-en-Mer, bus Taol Mor everyday from april to november 7th, four regular lines, main station embarcadere espace Charles de Gaulle, A quai de l’Yser; www.cars-verts.fr  bicycke rentals at A loca scoot & Vélos 4 quai Bonnelle, www.velo-scooter-belle-ile.fr Au Cheval de FEr Quai Gambetta, www. auchevaldefer.com Cycles Reversade, 14 rue de l’église, www.location-reversade.com, Location 2 roues, Quai de l’Acadie, www.location2roues.com ; Roue libre, 6 quai Jacques Leblanc and rue du Pont Orgo, www.belle-ile-evasion.com   .You have taxis Jose Guégan aat jse.guegan@wanadoo.fr or tel +33 (0) 6 71 64 28 71. rental cars Avis, LMT car bike, www.lmt-carbike.com and Locatourisle, front of embarcadere or passenger marina port , www.locatourisle.com

Locmaria, bikes at locmaria cycle, rue des Acadiens, www.location-locmaria.com

Sauzon, bikes at cyclo loisirs, route du port, Pen Prad, tel +33 (0) 6 32 43 45 84

Brech, TIM bus line 5, info at as in Auray , and taxi Allô Brec’h taxi tel +33 (0) 6 72 82 37 13

Carnac, TIM lines 1 and 18, site as in Auray. bus Carnavette, from center to beaches in summer july and august 7 days a week, free main at mayor’s office or Mairie, Place de la chapelle, or Carnac bourg, tel +33 (0) 2 97 52 06 86. Rent bicycles at A bicyclette, 93bis avenue des Druides, carnac plage, www.velocarnac.com Cycles Lorcy, 6 rue de Courdiec, tel +33 (0) 2 97 52 09 73, and Le Randonneur, 20 avenue des Druides, Carnac plage (beach) at tel +33 (0) 2 97 52 02 55. Parking for your car available by Impasse des Korrigans, chemin du Tumulus, rue Paul Person, rue de Courdiec, Square Illertissen, Place Saint Fiacre, avenue du Rahic, La Poste, Port en Dro,Carnac plage (my spot). parking is free. Taxio Guimard Yann, tel +33 (0) 2 97 52 05 06.

Crac’h, TIM bus line 1 and 1bis see Auray for site. and local bus CC3R, goes to city center and beaches of Crac’h,locmariaquer,and Saint Philibert from monday to saturdays in july and august. Free. bike rentals at intermarché supermarket tel +33 (0) 2 97 59 15 90. Taxi Daniéle Jardin , 18 rue du stade, tel +33 (0) 2 97 55 11 34  and movil +33 (0) 6 08 48 38 21.

Erdeven, TIM bus lines 16 and 18 ,see Auray. bike rentals at Cyclo loisirs, blvd de l’Atlantique tel +33 (0) 2 97 55 91 07 and Marie-Claire Moizan,kerhat ,tel +33 (0) 6 70 89 86 46. Taxi, Allez-y TAxi, Kerouriec, tel +33 (0) 2 97 55 65 51.

Etel, TIM bus lines 16 and 18, see Auray. bike rentals at L’Abri du Pêcheur, 11 ruelle des quais, tel +33 (0) 2 97 55 31 34.

Houat, island, bike rental Houat vélos, on the port (harbor) tel +33 (0) 2 97 30 66 64. You can have your luggage and you transported to the house or port harbor by calling the mayor’s office or mairie at tel +33 (0) 2 97 30 68 04.

Locmariaquer, TIM bus 1bis, see Auray. Bus local, CC3R, goes from city center to campings and beaches of Locmariaquer, Crac’h, Saint Philibert, its free. tourist office contact tel +33 (0) 2 97 57 33 05. bike rentals, camping domaine résidentiel de Kerpenhir, 2 rue Henri Erzan, www.domaine-de-Kerpenhir.fr ,Camping Lann-Brick at www.camping-lannbrick.com, and Garage Lorin ,route d’Auray at http://localoc.free.fr ; taxi at ABL taxi 20 rue Clémenceau, tel +33 (0) 6 10 02 72 18 or taxilocmariaquer, Sébastien Mousset 9ter rue Saint-Jean, Crac’h tel +33(0) 2 97 57 31 31.

Plouharnel, TIM bus 1 and 18,see Auray. bike rentals, tourist office in summer at rond-point de l’océan, www.plouharnel.fr and train station or gare de Plouharnel in summer months. tel +33 (0) 2 97 58 39 16. Taxis ,taxi du dolmen, tel +33 (0) 2 97 52 40 40 and taxi de Plouharnel Kristof, tel +33 (0) 6 27 42 57 87. car parking by the train station and place de Gaulle;free.

Quiberon, TIM bus 1 ,see Auray, also see the train Tire Bouchon from Auray in summer months. The local Quib’bus goes in city center, gare train station,and port Haliguen in summer for one euro fare. info at Maury transport, www.maury-transports.com or mayor’s office, mairie tel +33 (0) 2 97 30 24 00.  bike rentals at Cycle loisirs rue Victor Golvan, Http://cycleloisirs.free.fr  or cyclomar at 47 place Hoche, www.cyclomar.fr  You can rent cars there at the Super U grocery store by 116 rue du port de Pêche, tel +33 (0) 2 97 30 42 09. parking is at Le Sémaphore,route de Kernavest, info parking.semaphore@ville-quiberon.fr or Kerné, by the passenger boat terminal, route de Kerniscob, info at info@parkingdekerne.com or www.parkingdekerne.com ,also at Sizorn, 36 rue de Port maria (april to september), Hotel de la Mer, 8 quai de Houat, and Hotel de l’Océan, www.quiberon-parking.com  ,however my favorite is by the gare or train station and then its 5 min walk to the beach and its free. Taxi, a babig taksi, tel +33 (0) 2 97 50 41 41. Abaca taxis Quiberonnais et Saint Pierrois, 24 rue des Tritons, webpge www.taxi-quiberonnais.com  ,and René Hochard, rene.hochard@dbmail.com or tel +33 (0) 6 64 71 69 86.

Saint Philibert, TIM bus lines 1 and 1bis, see Auray. and local bus ti’Bus CC3R see Locmariaquer. rent bikes at le pen-duick, 11 rue Abbé Joseph Martin tel +33 (0) 2 97 55 12 66

Saint-Pierre Quiberon, TIM 1 (except summers) see Auray. bike rentals at Cat Cycles, www.catcycles.com Evolution 2-Pôle Nautique 1 avenue de Saint malo, Penthiévre, www.evolution2-baiedequiberon.com and train station or gare at Rue Georges Clémenceau, www.saintpierrequiberon.fr  ;taxi at Taxi Nevo, 22 avenue de Bretagne or www.taxi-quiberonnais.com

Sainte-Anne d’Auray, TIM lines 5 and 6, see Auray. taxi Guernevé, tel +33 (0) 2 97 57 56 56 .

La Trinité-sur-Mer, TIM bus lines 1 and 18,see Auray.  local bus Trinibus, city center to beaches, harbor, villages in summer every day only .Free. contact Maury Transport at www.maury-transports.com or mayor’s office /mairie , www.la-trinite-sur-mer.fr  ;parking along the port or behind the creperie la Goeland. others are at Place du Voulien, le Grand Pavois, La Vigie,Kervourden, Le Poulbert, Cours des Quais, Place de la Mairie (fees), parking du terre-plein des américains, last two in zone bleau , parking limited by time. Otherwise the rest are free. TAxi, tête de station, cours des quais facing the fishmarket, allo taxi trinitain at www.taxis-trinitains.com

The sea connection to outlaying islands are diverse, to the Belle-île, Houat,and Hoedic, see the Compagnie Océane, www.compagnie-oceane.fr  leaving from Quiberon, and also Navix, www.navix.fr  departing from Quiberon, Vannes, Locmariaquer, Port Navalo, la Turballe, Le Croisic from april to september.

Leaving from Locmariaquer towards the Golfe du Morbihan or Gulf of Morbihan is also CML Latitude 56, april to september to Port navalo,Ile aux Moines, ile d’Arz, buy ticket at harbor, 1 rue Clémenceau or www.cml-golfe-du-morbihan.com  you ,have the passeur des îles to port Navalo and iLe d’Arz from april to september, at www.passeurdesiles.com  and the L’Angélus to Houat from locmariaquer at 9h30 on www.vedettes-angelus.com

connection at Etel (harbor) to Plouhinec (Le Magouen) le passeur, from june 1 to September 30th, www.site-gavres-quiberon.fr and departing from St Goustan in Auray the l’etoile du Golfe toward le Bono, www.etoiledugolfe.fr  and Navix, compagnie des Iles to the island in the gulf of morbihan from april 1 to September 18, at 4 quai de Belle-île, facing the passenger marina at Quiberon, www.navix.fr

And this is leaving out the major towns of Vannes,and Lorient.etc. the overall site for all transport in Brittany is at www.breizhgo.com

Hope its made a little easier to all visitors. Cheers.

Quiberon

 

 

 

July 6, 2012

Paris transport bits and pieces!

Here I am again, weeks over, and weekend is coming! As well as my fearful moving days too lol!

Lets go around about transports in Paris, we all know the sites, for metro ,bus, tram, is www.ratp.fr  and for the region of Paris Ile de France is www.transilien.com , and then you have the bus http://www.idf.veolia-transport.fr/reseau-bus-ile-de-france/ for the region of ile de France includes Paris of course. You have the airports, www.aeroportsdeparis.com ,and the late night buses, www.noctilien.fr  ,and the airport easy guide CDG , http://www.easycdg.com/pages/indexpag.html  and many others.

Do you know Paris was flooded before? worse was back in 1910, but all the lands bordering the river Seine are floods areas even going back to gare du nord and de l’est!!!  You know Paris has 20 arrondissements or neighborhoods, but do you know these are further broken down into quartiers or districts that numbered 80! With for example my fav area of Muette is a district the arrondissement is 16 or known as Passy. The other quartiers or districts in it are Auteuil, Porte Dauphine, and Chaillot.

The pricier arrondissements are the 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, and 16. The cheapest are the 13,19,and 20 in terms euros per square meter of real estate value. Paris has 34 bridges covering the river Seine, these are Grenelle, Rouelle, Bir-Hakeim, Iéna,Debilly,Alma, Invalides, Alexandre III, Concorde,Solférino, pont royal, carrousel, Pont des Arts, pont au change,Notre Dame, arcole, Louis-Philippe,Marie,Sully, Austerlitz,Viaduc d’Austerlitz ,National, Tolbiac,Bercy, Charles de Gaulle,Tournélle, Saint Louis,Archévéche,Pont au Double,petit pont,st Michel, Pont Neuf,Mirabeau, and Garigliano.

Paris has 16 metro lines known to many, but there are some closed and some never open. These are, Arsenal (closed sept 1939),Croix Rouge (closed sept 1939), Saint-Martin (closed sept 1939 ,it was the biggest station,  but it was decided too close to other two stations) , Champ-de-Mars (closed sept 1939), Martin Nadaud ( cancelled in august 1969 and merge with Gambetta on line 3, and creation of line 3bis) , Haxo ( was done to do the connection between lines 3bis and 7bis but the linkage never done ,and access was never completed), Porte Molitor ( access was never finished, it was to connect lines 9 and 10 to access Parc des Princes), Porte des Lilas-Cinéma ( old station in the 19éme now serve as filming spot for Paris metro).

A site to mark your bicycle paths in Paris, plenty to do it, lovely in the parks and gardens but very good alone the river Seine too,webpage with maps http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/search/run/france/paris

You have a great stadium in Stade de France, good for concerts and sporting events but also art shows, http://accueil.stadefrance.com/en/customers/event/stade-de-france-tour-pass

And of course, my favorite pasttime is driving in Paris, plenty of easy parking payable at Vinci parks, Effia, Q-Park, and Saemes  parking garages all over the city, I have found on street parking too, but I do have a debit card moneo that allows to use for small amounts in the parking meters otherwise its a bit annoying without it as some dont take coins. Along the river Seine is always plenty of opportunities to park, and always close on foot to where I am going.  Driving in the periphérique is at 80 km per hour and they have speed radars to catch you, inside the city maximum is about 50 km per hour but it depends on the day and time, sometimes I have gone 80 inside and sometimes 30. You make yourself aware of where the river Seine is ,and use the cardinal points, plus the many signs available for all the major sites and you will be cruising in the city of cruising lol!

To know the state of traffic at least before leaving you departure place use sytadin at http://www.sytadin.fr/ ,another I look sometimes is infotrafic at http://www.infotrafic.com/route.php?region=IDF

Its really easy, I will be driving again on Monday and while there will take another look at Paris as well as my town and soon former town of Versailles. However, I WILL BE BACK!!!

Have a great weekend everyone, cheers.

Tags: ,
July 5, 2012

Some news from Bretagne V

Its started as a rainy day and now its mixed n Auray, just back from work. At least tomorrow its Friday and the weekend is upon us. My last before the move from Versailles.

There is a great event coming up in Vannes, July 30th to August 4th 2012. The 33RD edition of Jazz à Vannes. We will have Yuri Buenaventura ,Madeleine Peyroux, Kyle Eastwood band,Tim Willis and the End, Marcus Miller a huge concert all over the city with food stands all day long. Tickets are 35€ adults ,discount for students and children, and easy access from paris montparnasse to Vannes and then 5 minutes walk to the center of it all; Jardins de Limur entry by rue des tribunaux, doors open 30 mins before concert. webpage here http://www.jazzavannes.fr/

Then,this is summer in the Morbihan dept 56 where I live now. Come eat the  oysters of Bretagne, just marvelous rich I try them good, see them here www.huitres-de-bretagne.com  and for something different see the organ play of the Cathedral of Vannes from July 23 to August 14 free admission at 20h45 (8:45 pm).

See the expo at Chateau de Rohan in Pontivy, ROL 2012 100 sculptures, until september 16 2012.http://www.morbihan.com/chateau-des-rohan/pontivy/tabid/7430/offreid/31171431-8da0-4a40-922b-769f63b62825/detail-visites.aspx

Do a medieval festival at the Festival Mediéval de Josselin on July 14 2012, and done every year on the Fête Nationale; http://www.medieval-josselin.com/

To discover one of FRance and the world best natural beauty products visit La Gacilly and Yves Rocher, you can see the jardin botanique, the Vegetarium, and stay at the eco hotel La Grée des Landes. http://www.yves-rocher.fr/control/com/fr/aventure/la_gacilly/

The biggest religious pelerigragne in Brittany and second only to Lourdes in France is coming near me at Sainte-Anne d’Auray. The patron saint of Breton,mother of Mary,grandmother of Jesus. the Grand Pardon, at July 25-26 2012. www.sainteanne-sanctuaire.com

How about visiting a submarine base from WWII at Lorient, and now a museum ,La Flore,, you really go inside! details in English here http://www.la-flore.fr/?langue=en

And one of the best zoos around,  Parc animalier de Branféré ,where the birds spectacle in front of the castle from early 18C is done. See pelicans,voltures, falcons, parroquet, and others in an aerial dance. See the Parcabout, where you can see the animals below just 2 to 8 meters high and observed the African plains with giraffes, zebras ,etc. You need a car, or taxi from train station in Vannes about 35 kms. Car take the voie express or fast road, N165 direction nantes and get off at exit Le Guerno ,there take the road D 139, direction Questembert, parking is free. Open every day from February 11 to November 7  2012. admission for all is 17€ adults. reductions for the rest. There is safari restaurant all Bio and local products, and boutique on site. webpage in French, http://www.branfere.com/visite-parc-animalier-botanique-2-146.html

Cheers and until soon.

Vannes

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