Archive for August, 2012

August 30, 2012

Some news from France LXXXII

VersaillesOnce settled in at work ,here I am again.  We are getting ready for another trip on business to Paris ,and then Madrid and then Mexico city, while in the meantime, there is this.

The Festival d’ile de France from Sept 8 to Oct 14, in 26 different sites all over the region, the official webpage is at http://www.festival-idf.fr/2012/blog/  You have free transport by navette bus at  5€  roundtrip that will allow you to hook up with the concerts from Paris (free from Cergy for the concert  New York,at  Domaine de Villarceaux). The reservation by telephone is obligatory at +33 (0) 1 58 71 01 01. There is a pass to attend at least 3 concerts for 17€ per concert!  For the young under 26 the price is 10€ per concert!!  Click on the map on the site and will take you to each concert venue for more information.

Some new happening in Paris, to open early September the change of the resto Sensing , that becomes  Guy Martin Italia (19, rue Bréa, 75006. Tél. +33 01 43 27 08 80).webpage http://www.guymartinitalia.com/  Same site but new menu  100% transalpine, new cave and new kitchen team.  The opening of  La Dame de Pic(20, rue du Louvre, 75001), by September 10th.  At the head will be the 3 michelin star chef  Anne-Sophie Pic (Valence)  that is ready to invest in Paris with simple dishes.  Welcome opening mat at  Ma Cocotte, restaurant design by  Philippe Starck,at the flea market of  Clignancourt(110, rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen Marché Serpette Tel +33 01 49 51 70 00).  After a bit of delay it should open by early October under chef  Philippe Amzalak (restaurant Bon, 75016).  It will have space for 250 persons open 7/7 , it has programmed some tapas for the aperos and simple dishes for snacking easy to go down.

More new ones,   Pierre Sang in Oberkampf, http://pierresangboyer.com/  a restaurant open to the people .  And by September 27 the second restaurant of the Palais de Tokyo ,13, avenue du Président-Wilson, 75016),it will be led by chef Gilles Malafosse  (of Petrus,75017) see webpage of museumhttp://www.palaisdetokyo.com/fr/lifestyle/saveurs/le-nouveau-restaurant . The taking over of Grandes Marches, 6 pl de la Bastille, 75012 by the group Joulie that already has in its carte some like ( les Congrès Maillot and Auteuil, Sébillon, Auberge Dab, etc…webpage as my link below blog http://www.cityvox.fr/restaurants_paris/les-grandes-marches_9989/Profil-Lieu ). Ready to open in October. Also, the third Nanashi inside the store Bonpoint, rive gauche at 6 rue de Tournon, 75006 where the chef  ­Kaori Endo  is in charge, webpage http://www.nanashi.fr/ . Finally, there is a second Stube, passage Verdeau(75009),to begin in the fall to conquer the lovers of currywurst and  strudel. webpage http://www.lestube.fr/

The hotel Costes is growing, after purchasing the neighboring hotel Lotti  at my old job street rue de la Castiglione (75001) the owner  Jean-Louis Costes will add about 40 additional suites that were confied to the decorator par excellence  Jacques Garcia, the transformation will begin in at the end of next winter.http://www.hotelcostes.com/ and http://www.hotel-lotti-paris.com/hotel-le-lotti-fr.html lovely photos on both ::)

Some chic Parisien in lovely places where the decor and food says PARIS : my short list. At the old pool  Art déco du Lutetia, dates from 1935  remodeled by  Hermès since last year, cher but glorious Le Plongeoir chez Hermès 17, rue de Sèvres, 75006. Tél. +33 01 42 22 05 39. open every day except Sundays from  12h-19h.Carte around 25-30 € (for teas and pastries ). http://fr.stores.hermes.com/Europe/France/Paris/Hermes-Sevres

Inside an old butcher shop, you find the most refine Argentinian in Pari, Anahi  49, rue Volta, 75003. Tél. +33 01 48 87 88 24.  Open all the evenings from 20h to midnight. Carte about  50-60 €. For the lovers of beef, big portions, my link as below in my blog http://www.cityvox.fr/restaurants_paris/anahi_5173/Profil-Lieu

An old fish market now a fish restaurant with lot of anglo expats community of Paris presence,  Fish la Boissonnerie 69, rue de Seine, 75006. Tél.+33  01 43 54 34 69. Open every day. Menus: 26,50 € (lunch.), 31,50 and 35 € (dinners). Love that tuna in mango sauce lol!!!http://www.cityvox.fr/restaurants_paris/fish-la-boissonnerie_5754/Profil-Lieu

We arrive at a marvel of Spanish touch now Joselin, this is and old bank with huge volumes and the deco very theatrical , all in gold; including a  chesterfield  in golden leather! ,and all dress up in red!! wow!  To boot it has an inmense hall all laid with tiles and with columns and pylon original of the bank. Well enough of description, the food is fantastic love that espadon in plancha, it is at the   Banke Hotel (part of Derby hotels) , 20, rue La Fayette, 75009. Tél. +33 01 55 33 22 22. Open every day . Formule: 29 € (4 small  entrées, 1 plat and 1 café gourmand).Carte at about  60-70 €.http://www.derbyhotels.com/en/hotel-banke/restaurants/josefin-127.html

Daniel Cremieux, modist and designer from men’s clothing to a lot more, see the main store at 28 rue Boissy d’Anglas 75008 http://www.danielcremieux.com/iphone/stores.html My wardrobe. And right by the church at 9, place St Augustin, 75008, see the store of Charles le Golf, http://www.charleslegolf.com/  and Armand Thiery, 45 rue Caumartin, 75009, http://www.armandthiery.fr/e_commerce/magasins.cfm

See at the musée des Impressionnismes, 99 rue Claude-Monet, 27620 Giverny, http://www.mdig.fr/ The exhibition of Delacroix à Signac designs of the Dyke Collection until 31 October, admission 6,50€ ,the evolution of designs in France from 1830 to 1930.

In my wonderful Versailles, the expo  of  Les Dames de Trianon  showing in a nice combination of portraits, the women who made the palace famous, Queens, Imperatrices ,favorites of the kings and queens as well as princesses.  on until October 14, admission is 10€ , held at the Grand Trianon, http://en.chateauversailles.fr/grand-trianon– ITS THE BIG PHOTO !!!!

And last a game, just showing in French news journal, GEOCASHING, seems like a lot of fun, and I will participate.  You have to hide something, and then give others a clue to find it. You can keep what you find or re hided again for the next participant. Fun!!! http://www.geocaching.com/

Until next time, have a great TGIF, Cheers

August 26, 2012

My wonders of Auray,nice town in the Morbihan

Today Sunday is my last day before going back to work tomorrow after a 3 weeks vacation which was mostly a rest period with the moving and paperwork changes. So we stay in town of Auray, and welcome the opportunity to finally meet a friend from the travel forums that was visiting the area.

In the morning I took my father for a walk of town and gave me another opportunity to take some pictures of Auray. Many times one reads of travel posts from visitors and we dont find the time to write or take pictures of our own town. So I do ,will take pictures of my town.

We headed straight for the parking of Keriolet as my father cant walk too much.

We did the tour around pl de la republique taking a shot of a wonderful little fountain at pl des roues, and going over to the chapelle Eternelle, then we took the car to go over the local municipal pool, the mediathéque or library, and nearby the chapelle Saint Esprit. This last one was not open due for an exihibition.

We went by some of our favorite stores so will let you know where to do some shopping here.

Sacmania, for all your bag,wallets, belts etc needs nice store good brands local like hexagona, local store at 3 Rue du Lait , webpage http://www.sacmania.com/

Charcuterie and take home food at the best quality at Eveno, 28 rue Barré, tourist office listing at http://www.auray-tourisme.com/charcuterie-rotisserie-eveno/auray/tabid/8284/offreid/d56c151c-3897-42db-a532-d271f70d2b8a/detail.aspx

Créperie St Michel,  great crepes and galettes in upper city center at 33 Rue du Belzic, webpage Auray tourist page   http://www.auray-tourisme.com/creperie-saint-michel/auray/tabid/8269/offreid/8b4cc1a1-abb8-4b73-acd4-1150fb3984fb/detail.aspx

Créperie Korrigane, 15 rue du Belzic, Auray tourist office listing at http://www.auray-tourisme.com/creperie-la-korrygane/auray/tabid/8269/offreid/1fb16b75-a8e6-4eb1-bb49-a8b37a36d0a9/detail.aspx

My clothing store MCS at  60 pl de la republique city center,tel +33 02 97 37 74 39 just behind the hotel de ville or mayor’s office.

Supermarché Sparr, grocery store for that quick impulse buying or fast need in upper city center 11 rue de Barré, just by parking Keriolet, http://www.spar.fr/proximag.php?mg=_mag&lang=F&mc=_mag&id=C1851

Monoprix, the classic discount store at 11 Rue Maréchal Foch ,webpage for this store, http://www.monoprix.fr/trouver-mon-magasin/monoprix-auray-auray-26.html

Then, you can cruise walking by le bélvedere a nice tree park that goes into stade du loch and you can climb down to the old castle ruins into St Goustan district in low city center. Great games held here. You can walk and see the chapelle du pére  Eternel when in the 17C Franciscans order arrive in town, then the cordeliers, and finally the sisters of the charity of St Louis in 1807, you can visit it in July 7 to September 3rd for free.

One of my favorites but when decided to take photos today it was close for an exhibition that opens later on. I am talking about the Chapelle Saint Esprit,Pl du Four Mollet, with historical facts translated here ” The duke of Brittany Johne II, crowned at Rennes in 1286 appreciated Auray and had built a chapelle du Saint-Sépulcre. It was located at the southeast of the building you see today, and was active still until the 18C housing a tomb chrome of Christ (today at the church of St Gildas). The last mass was held here in 1790,and later under the revolution was use as a military headquarters. IN 1831, it was acquired by the Ministry of War that took the renovation to house the soldiers, the chapel was completely disfigured. She found her original aspect after the renovation in 1994. It houses today each year a exposition of comptemporary arts.” Auray tourism webpage http://www.auray-tourisme.com/chapelle-du-saint-esprit/auray/tabid/8277/offreid/7e87038d-cd73-49e0-a688-32991827b894/detail.aspx

Of course a visit to the church of St Gildas is a must where you can see the tombeau chromowood body of Christ dating from the 1520-1550 period. A wonderful organ( 18C) very much in use with full musical schedule, and a very nice altar in marbre (1657). http://www.auray.fr/culture/patrimoine/les-restaurations/

You can come in summer and enjoy the municipal pool(piscine) and do your lectures year around in the municipal library or mediathéque, by the espace and parking Athéna at Place du Gohlérez , city webpage for library http://www.auray.fr/culture/mediatheque/ and for the pool http://www.auray.fr/?id=1412

Some miscellaneous photos like those from ave du prés Wilson looking towards St Goustan, and last but not least one of my favorite restos in St Goustan Le Bistro du Port at pl St Sauveur, and the meeting point of my friend Yehuda coming from Cuba to visit friends in the area and of course stop by to say hello. A nice first live encounter after many years of internet exchanges and hopefully more often get together from now on. Auray tourist webpage http://www.auray-tourisme.com/le-bistrot-du-port/auray/tabid/8269/offreid/79eed3f7-610b-4fc9-9e63-0c17879ea84b/detail.aspx

Now get ready to go back to work tomorrow,and hopefully will be back to my blog soonest as time will be less but travels will continue. Cheers.

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August 24, 2012

Quiberon, not bad even in the rain lol!

Well today went back to Quiberon is about 40 minutes by car from my house so it will be backyard heavens in the Morbihan of Brittany for me. As usual we entered by the Castle of Turpault.

The experiences here are always good, today was the only time it rain. Well its raining all over the region even chez moi.. That didn’t stop us from going over, a rendevous was missed but will hopefully catch up later. The tourist office for a recall at Quiberon is at http://www.quiberon.com/

You still have chance for the tire bouchon train for about 2,90€ from Quiberon to Auray to get there,and by car is easy off the N165 direction quiberon alll the way to city center, before you past by Plouhernel a nice town today it has a market or marché. A wonderful scenic drive is to get on the côte sauvage from Portivy , a panel will tell you to turn right for it.

Here we had our usual walk around the quaint streets of Quiberon city center, and along the beach, harbor, and fisherman coop front all the smell of the sea even on a rainy day was wonderful and good for the soul.  It was raining light and gusts of winds, but we still walk all over lol!

The church or Église Notre-Dame-de-Locmaria is at the entrance to the old section towards the beaches in city center Quiberon, we were just in before a wedding was to take place, very nice. It was built in the 15C , and very imposing building as you enter the town just past the train station or gare de  Quiberon, where we usually park as today for free.

In our walk we visited some of our favorites in town, such as

Les Dauphins de la presqu’ile, 17 Rue de Verdun where you can buy gorgeous decoration, mugs, plates, bags, food items and all kinds of trinkets to fill your home with goodies. webpage , http://lesdauphinsdelapresquile.com/

La Trinitaine, 13 Rue de Verdun, has my favorite breton biscuits and cookies in the area, madeleines, fish canning etc, nice,webpage http://www.latrinitaine.com/magasins/quiberon/

Chocolatier et caramelier le  Roux, 18 Rue de Port Maria , absolotely mouthful of flavor and quality in chocolates and caramel,the Breton way. A must in town. The Quiberon store and others including Paris, webpage http://www.chocolatleroux.com/Nos-boutiques?PHPSESSID=0d46c123f520b73fcc9994fea5e49712

Arc en Ciel, 22 Rue de  Port Maria, this is a flower shop but not your ordinary one, here you find quaint decorations friendly expert service in a gorgeous setting , for the flower pot in you; no web, tel +33(0)2.97.50.20.83

Boulangerie Yves et Diane Deniard, 33 rue de Port Maria, macaroons par excellent at an Euro a piece and mouthful, glorious in many flavors and nicely package for take home. Also, great breads and pastries in a traditional bakery and pastry shop, Tel 33 (0)2 97 50 19 87, no webpage.

Boulangerie patissérie Riguidel, 38 Rue de Port Maria , this is an institution here, and the especialty is the breton cakes especially the kouign amann done by fisherman that came from pays bigouden when Quiberon was one of the first port of sardines in France.  email for orders at maisons-riguidel@orange.fr and tel +33 (0)2 97 50 07 41.

Another stop to see if something can be brough home is the fish market in front of the church in city center Quiberon before heading to the beach, this is the Les Viviers Quiberonnais, 3 place Eglise, tel +33 02.97.50.07.87  , great fishes and seafood as fresh as you can get them out of the water. If you need to cook while around here lol!! love it.

I take an exception to tell you about a nice night time entertainement that is to please young and old alike right in Port Maria area as above businesses are, quaint, nice,and safe. Le Suroit  is on 29 rue de Port Maria; very nice. tel +33 02 97 50 17 84, and its open all year.  Over 50 yrs there and many international stars have supposely gone there, waiting to meet one. Open from 23h to 06H. no web.

We continue on to the end to see the Castle of Turpault, very nice out into the sea, and rumors has it its for sale….http://www.quiberon.com/index.php?id_site=1&option=tourisme&id_page=&idCategorie=10&action=afficherFicheDetail&idFiche=6761&pageX=1

Here at the end you will see a memorial to all the marines and fisherman that have perished at sea, a nice moving memorial.  And then we head back to have our meal, and we stop in one of our favorites there Quai Ouest (funny its translates into Key West as in Florida USA);  here the service and the speed are tops, even under the rain we ate in the covered terrace with heating.  It is at 51 Rue de Port Maria , right at the point along the quai de Belle Ile, tel +33 (0) 2 97 30 52 87 .  Here we had our mackarel in mustard sauce fish, with a fish soup sublime, some of us had mussels in curry sauce, salads ,burgers, heineken beers, and we left with 85€ for five that is reasonable. Then we had our desserts at Quai des Glaces  or ice cream key by the entrance to the grande plage/beach,  1 place Hoche . We had churros the Spanish crumb batter with sugar and caramel sauce that in France they call Chichis too, as well as ice cream cones of 3 scoops and flavors and a four scoops of flavors for 19€ for five. So total complete meal for 104€ for five with the best.

We will be back to Quiberon. Hope you stop by too. Cheers

August 23, 2012

Again Carnac, a lot more than stones ::)

This morning was another nice sunny hot day at around 28°C so we headed again for the beach, here you need to take advantage of each hour because the rentrée or coming back from vacation to work is soon, and then autumn and winter approaches. Carnac plage or beach is 30 mins from my house.

We go by car, and past always by Carnac Ville, the town away from the beach where the Church of St Cornély is located by the museum of history and archeology both already visited and nice for the whole family. You can search for Carnac here and see all posts on it ,there are becoming numerous. webpage for the museum is http://www.museedecarnac.com/ and church  official webpage http://pays.carnac.free.fr/eglise_saint-cornely.php?cont=pc

However, the main reason for us to come here is the beach and the quaint restos all along the beach at the section call Carnac Plage or Carnac Beach, which is about 2 kms from the town of Carnac.  All along Blvd de l’Ocean ,blvd de Légénes, and blvd de la Plage. The tourist office is at http://www.ot-carnac.fr/sejours?gclid=COC5_rWW_rECFcQNfAod9mwABg

We went to le men du beach or plage where the ilot or little island can be enjoy and did on low tide like today, we frolic with volleyball, football/soccer on the Grande Plage ,and we ate fine and lean with sandwiches and ice cream at La Peche Mignon bakery ,57 Avenue des Druides  tel +3302 97 52 08 34  with formula of sandwich, dessert and soda for 46€ for five,and then cross the street to L’Igloo, 56 avenue des Druides ,Tel +33 02.97.52.03.06  for four scoops of ice cream of different flavors (choices for all!) for 20€ for five, so we ate well for 66€.

We visited some businesses just for update for the blog as we do shop there often, and recommend to all, such as

La Belle Illoise, fish canning goodies ,77 Avenue des Druides http://www.labelleiloise.fr/fr/

La Trinitaine, biscuits Breton cakes and local products,  76 avenue des druides, http://www.latrinitaine.com/magasins/carnac/

We do recommend these other places for food,and drinks

La Tour de Pise, for great pizzas, 19 avenue Miln, http://www.morbihan.com/pizzeria-la-tour-de-pise/carnac/tabid/7419/offreid/9af71eab-324e-412b-8818-cf944dc7970b/detail-restaurants.aspx

La Luna Park, great for kids, and cybercafe at 29 Avenue Miln , http://www.lunapark-carnac.fr/

Planete Junior, great amusement park for kids,its part of luna park but this one can be rented for birthdays etc, and great rides amusement style, next door, http://www.lunapark-carnac.fr/video-planete.php

You have two nice galleries or shopping center small to do shopping here ,our favorites are Galerie RahdCôet at  56 ave des Druides,several shops for clothings such as Banana  Moon Shop for clothing, Ty kita for jewerlry , Ali Baba for trinkets of all kinds, and La Pôele à crépes for wonderful crepes breton.   Another nice shopping area is the Galerie de la Fontaine, with Olson’s for bags, and accessories, La Savonnerie for soaps and linens, and Le Transat italian resto for great pastas. you can see info on resto and shots of the galerie here http://latransat-carnacplage.fr/restaurant-latransat-carnacplage.php

As a side trip we went to check out a new beach at nearby La Trinité sur Mer, a nice boaters paradise place and it has great four stars camping de la Baie and plage, the beach is at plage Kervillen, however , we found it a bit rocky pebbles and algae too much, so we just took off with a couple of photos for the record.

In all a wonderful day at Carnac as usual. We invite you to come and say hello lol!!! Cheers.

August 22, 2012

Some news from France LXXXI

Here I am on a sunny leisure day and again its time to write about France or Paris , what came first? Hehehehe, well Paris all wants to hear even if there are nice things in other places like Bretagne=Brittany for example ::)

We have in Paris coming up the jazz festival de la Villette, a wonderful event in a magnificent arena. August 29th to September 9th 2012.  All the practical information is here in French but fairly easy to read by all, I think ;http://www.citedelamusique.fr/minisites/1209_jazzalavillette/infos.aspx

One of my favorite chocolatier belge is Léonidas. There might be better but this is very good, and stays nostalgic with me as it was the first box of chocolates I purchase for my girlfriend now wife way back in Meaux, then Paris, then Brussels, and now Vannes. They are very good and recommended, here is the webpage for the Paris region stores, http://www.leonidas.com/pralines?id=SHOP2EN&country=74&place=paris&btnSearchBrown.x=12&btnSearchBrown.y=5

My nostalgic favorite garden in Paris is the jardin des tuileries, because I worked across from it for most of my time in Paris. This was the park i came to relax, drink, walk, and see and be seen in Paris. It was the park that I waited to give time to meet someone in other parts of Paris and not seen to arrive too early ::) It is an inmense park garden in the history of Paris. I like to give some background info that I have gathered over the years. It was Catherine de Médicis in 1564 that had built a palace on the site of the tuilerie ( an old roofstile factory that did it for the fortress of the Louvre). During 3 centuries the Palais des Tuileries  knew of its inmense parties, the revolutionary conflicts, wars, the arrival of the Empire (Napoleon), etc. On May 23 1871 the revolts of the commune or city of Paris set fire to this wonderful palace that eventually was demolish by the city of Paris in 1882.  The stones were purchase by ambassador of Russia ,and sent them to Corsica  where a new family castle was built in  Alata( Chateau de la Pointe today). Many including I ,are trying to build it again to the identical in a private effort of gigantic proportion, we have a webpage http://www.tuileries.org/ . In 1664 king Louis XIV mades some changes and renovate the palace to his taste like corinthians columns of marbre. He decorates the hallways that joined the palace to the louvre (today pavillon marsans and pavillon de Flore).  He stops the parties and meetings here as he prefered first his birthplace at St Germain en Laye and later Versailles. king Louis XVI lived at Versailles, when the revolts started and they go to get him, the king comes back to occupied the palace on October 1789, by the February 1790, the  jardin des Tuileries is the center of revolts again due to the departure of the aunts of the king.  During the month of April that follows another group of revolts stops the king Louis XVI to go to Saint Cloud . On June 20 1792, the people invades the palais des tuileries and put their red caps (bonnet rouges) on the king’s head.  The defenders of the king were beheaded.  The palace is now comes to be call  Palais-National. At the place of the theater known as the Salle des Machines or machines room, they change it renovates it and rename it the salle de la Convention. On this salle or room that we enter by the terrace des Feuillants, on January 29 ,1793,  is where Louis XVI is judge guilty and sentece to death in his presence. The great party of the supreme council is held at the gardens in 1794.

Napoleon I ,also lived in the palais des Tuileries. The family of Bourbons lived here too after the restauration of the monarchy. Then again, on July 29 1830 the people attack the palace and after the royal troops were defeated the king Charles X goes into exile.  The branch cadet who stays in the palace ends up as the senior branch of the house of Bourbons.  Again, on the war of 1848 the king Louis Philippe and queen Marie-Amélile runs from the palace des tuileries towards Honfleur where a boat will take them to England in exile by a boat that was anchored at Le Havre.

After this , it was try to use the palace as a hospital ,then as a fine arts museum without success.  In 1852, the palace comes back ,the President of the Republic  Louis-Napoleon (Napoleon III) give a bals dance in the Salles des Maréchaux still holding the traces of the last revolution.  In March of the same year, the palace open the session of the Senate and Representatives at the same room or salle.  The President and the member of parliament swear allegiance to the new constitution here at the palais des tuileries.  Louis-Napoleon does renovation again ,and he puts the four busts of Racine, Voltaire, Corneille, and Moliére.  You see and the story goes, you see and I had told you here , it is impossible to find in a small space something to majestic of souvenirs and history. We ,all who love this place will prove to the observing readers on the same terrain, to collect the most rich emotions and historical anecdotes and to start with their most smallest of misteries of the Parisien life, their dreams and hopes.  In the Senate in 1882, Jules Ferry, the minister of Education, and fine arts swear to have it rebuilt to its identical form or similar  in the  name of the government ; lets hope other governement listen and read, and it can become a reality. It is a magical place, full of history of France and Europe.

In another, German impressionism comes to Quimper near me at the musée des Beaux-Arts, until October 2012, webpagehttp://www.mbaq.fr/expositions/en-cours/article/exposition-temporaire-die-bruecke/backto/accueil/

At the musée de l’Armée in Paris, they have a exhibit on the funnies or comics done by Gen Charles de Gaulle, until October 18,  2012 webpage http://www.invalides.org/program.html

And you are looking for something different to do in Paris, how about a cruise on the canal by Parc de la Villette, where the boat will cross the rising bridge on the  rue de Crimée and cross the  Bassin de la Villette  before seeing the great Rotonde de Ledoux. Then ,adventure with the levy of the Récollets where you will see the Hôtel du Nord . You will discover the canal Saint Martin in all its poetic turns with romantic passarelles with fishing boats and even those doing theater anchored about . You will go for 2 km in almost darkness under an underground vault filled with light holes of extreme beauty.  We come out of this underground marvel into the Port de l’Arsenal and the grand Bastille  that you can look up its 52 meters high ,and you enter the river Seine!. wonderful do it ! goes out at 14h30 you get there on metro porte de pantin line 5.  You can do in in reverse order from Musée d’Orsay, adult cost is 16€ see more here http://www.pariscanal.com/port-d-embarquement-du-parc-de-la-villette/paris-19/tabid/13365/offreid/6f83fe3d-ada8-4e35-87be-76e42dd5816d/page-de-detail.aspx

Another good site for Paris, and they do food cooking lesson, see it all here in English, and they have one coming on Food tour of Montmartre on August 25th, see site http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4059947412

And enough for now, next for me is Carnac tom, Quiberon friday, and the weekend who knows heck is too far ahead lol!!! Cheers.

Paris

August 22, 2012

Another afternoon in Vannes, the gateway to the gulf of Morbihan and more…

Another excuse to go where I work, and have it as a holiday; I am really on vacation but always the last minute road warrior.  Yesterday, we needed to do some errands and shop, so I gather my father and boys and drag alone the streets and stores of Vannes..

Its a magical city full of shops and restos all over, and yesterday it was vibrantly full. A nice summer day with temps in the 28°C and sunny. We drove by car of course, and went thru the back door on blvd de la paix, got on rue de la fontaine and found parking on the street payable but for 2 euros spent 6 hrs! And as everything is nearby on foot is heavens.

We went to the church of St Patern, is the second most popular after the Cathedral and it is gorgeous as well. In a very quaint old city side full of shops and restos, where we ate too. The church is in the St Patern neightborhood and was name after the first bishop of Vannes in the 5C.  The church was destroyed by Norman invasion in the 10C,and rebuilt in 1723. To visit and walk around its neighborhood is a delight that I recommend. Pl St Catherine, and webpage http://www.stpatern-vannes.catholique.fr/

We wandered all over the side streets,like Méné, pl des lices,de la Fontaine,de halles, Francis Decker, and the ramparts with the old castle ruins still visible plus a look at the entrance to the chateau de l’Hermine , 5 rue porte de poterne. We did some shopping in the covered market by pl des lices, and visit la Belle Illoise, La Trinitaine , the ice cream gourmand Alain Chartier, Monoprix store in pl jacques le Brix, la huche à pains bakery, and a brief visit to the museum of history and archeology at Chateau Gaillard, open from june to september and best in French at the city webpage here http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/culture/musees/musee_d_histoire_et_d_archeologie/2395/index.html

Got a nice shot of my regional government building or Préfecture du Morbihan, this is the official one, that is for govt employees and official functions, there is another one where the citizens go in for our daily routine as driver’s license,voting,etc. Saw the beautiful souvenirs and breton store La Trapenalgue our favorite in the city. All webpages are end.

Did I said, we ate, yes at the St Patern neighborhood and a wonderful find; Le Gavroche, a traditional French restaurant with terrrace in the back, with friendly Breton welcome of a brandy of rum and honey for free as a digestif! It is at 17 rue de la Fontaine, and we had steaks with cook vegetables, potatoes, grimbergen beers for five, coffee for five, and desserts from créme brulée to ice creams of many sorts all for 96€ for five. Good deal. webpage http://www.legavroche56.com/

Boys did go and shop at Empire Games a sort of star wars scenes of games and figurines, tshits etc all chic and different by pl des lices; very nice friendly service. Another store Japanim is by 14 Bis Rue Emile Burgault  that offers lots of mangas, dvd, cups, etc of the japanese genre of games and movies.

I did my usual majestic drive by the old porte de Poterne over the remparts to inner city that is always magical  going thru there.  And,of course see the old fortifications and the tour du Connétable majestic rising over the remparts gardens. The tourist office explains it very well in English, http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/discover-area/vannes-0

And now the webpages and places in Vannes of yesterday’s trip.

La Belle Illoise, fish canning local ,wonderful; 31 place des lices, http://www.labelleiloise.fr/fr/

La Trinitaine, cookies biscuits ,breton sweets, deco, souvenirs,and fish canning too, glorious at 19 place des lices, http://www.latrinitaine.com/

Alain Chartier chocolatier and glacier ,ice creams gourmands, mâitre chocolatier de France at 25 place des lices, and also a school of cooking desserts;;;http://www.ecoledesdesserts.com/alainchartier.html

Monoprix, discount dept store at place Jacques le Brix, http://www.monoprix.fr/trouver-mon-magasin/monoprix-vannes-vannes-168.html

La Huche à Pains, the best bakery at 23 Place des Lices, and two other locations, page at  http://www.lahucheapain.fr/

Empire Games, 20 place des lices, no webpage but easy entrance past the covered market.

Japanim, japanese cartoon,mangas the works from Japan, at 14 Bis Rue Emile Burgault , web is by mangas webpage with store information, http://www.manga-news.com/index.php/librairie/Japanim-Vannes

The covered market of Vannes or marché couvert des lices at pl des lices is best explained in French at the city webpage, full information available;if need more let me know, its wonderful. http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vie_quotidienne/marches_et_commerces/halles_des_lices/417/index.html

La Tapenalgue, 23 Rue des Halles , wonderful gifts of Brittany and foods items locally done. The store is in the old section very nice quaint area to walk too, our favorite.no web.

Dont forget the petit train, or little train that can take you past these places to get a general feel of the city if time is short, of course, walking is best. http://www.petittrain-vannes.com/

Again, as I have done several entries on Vannes, but for reminder the tourist office of Vannes is at http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/discover-area  and the department or province or state where we are is the Morbihan, and their tourist office is at http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/ Enjoy the photos!

August 19, 2012

REAL MADRID ,La Liga is here again Hala Madrid!!!

Allo ,hello, ola, Hola la Liga is here again… Today the Liga starts, that is football for most ,soccer for some,and calcio for a few of you. This is Spain top division, commonly refere as the Liga BBVA as sponsored by the big Spanish bank.

Real Madrid starts the third year of Mouriñho term in office, and defending Liga Champions. The team is the glory of Spain and its history, 32 Liga championships speaks loud and clear in my book. However, a team such as this needs more , a lot more. The European Champions league is made for them, won it 9 times more than any,and its the team ultimate goal. So this year we are going for the 33rd Liga and the 10th Champions lol! Hala Madrid

A bit about me and the game as my travel time had kept the football in the background. My first steps into the sports was while living in Madrid as a young boy of 10, there playing around the Elipa, met some young Spaniards who encourage me to try for the team. My grandparents are from Tenerife so I had Spanish citizenship too. Ins and outs of the politics of the system I end up playing in the formation training group for the Real Madrid at Casa de Campo fields. This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship (as Ricky said in Casablanca), actually it had grown stronger over the years, and now its a passion without limits. And I am glad that my sons had shown an interes in the club as well.

Leaving Madrid was of necessary for my parents, but been fortunate enough to come back often,and now living in Europe again, my trips there are frequent. This allows to give me time to stay closer to my love,Real Madrid. It has given me the opportunity to stay closer to other fans with the same love,and to make new friends in Spain that have remain close over the years,sort like a family away from home.

Tonite the Liga starts,and with that life comes stronger ,tonite at 19h (Madrid time) the quest for the ultimate begins, and we play tough Valencia at Bernabeu stadium in Madrid.  This will be the eighth time in its history against Valencia on the opening day of the championship, and in the seven preceding matches Real Madrid have managed five wins, four of them in the Santiago Bernabeu, and only two losses. In the total balance of matches Real Madrid has managed 58 wins, 10 draws and nine defeats in the 77 games in which they played at home against Valencia CF.

The 2012-13 Real Madrid roster is of Casillas, Adán, and  Jesús as goalies, Defenders: Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Coentrão, Albiol, Arbeloa ,and Varane. Midfielders :Kaká, Özil, Xabi Alonso, Granero, Khedira, Lass, Callejón ,and Di María. Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Higuaín, and Morata.

The Liga for the rest started yesterday, with the first wins of Malaga, Sevilla, and Mallorca vs Celta, Getafe,and Espanyol.  If you want to follow the Liga in Spanish try here which I have in my links below my blog ,http://www.fororealmadrid.com/index.php  ,and if you want to see the games when not available in your home country try this site I have use for years while outside of Spain, Roja Directa. http://www.rojadirecta.me/ you can see a lot more than football/soccer.

Enjoy the Liga, the best in the world, and see the Real Madrid the best club in the world. Official webpage http://www.realmadrid.com/cs/Satellite/en/Home.htm

Cheers and happy Sunday.

Madrid Real Madrid

August 19, 2012

St Malo, another magical place in my new Bretagne.

Today was time to visit this city with the family. I have past by rather quickly several times, and even gone in for some shots (see my other post on it here), but this time was an in-depth visit. Even if in-depth always leaves a lot to be desire, one more time at least is merit it. This is a very nice quaint inner old city town.

Saint Malo, sits in departement 35 ille et Vilaine, on the north section of Brittany.  The sea waves here by the bay are amongst the most important in Europe, with the ampleur between low tide and high tide can reach 14 meters (46 feet), therefore it is double what the ampleur of the Atlantic ocean!

A bit of history, it is a very old city dating to celtique times, and once the Romans retreated from the area around the year 423 AD, the area known as Aleth went thru a period of many attacks from the north.  It is here, that Saint Maclow, coming from present day  Wales , arrive on the rock that will take his name as Saint Malo in about 541AD.  In between the conflicts between Brittany and the kingdom of France, the area took advantage and on 1590AD it proclaimed its independance that lasted for four years. This gave rise to the popular local slogan, never french,never breton but always Malouins (men) or Malouines (women) (as the locals are call). It went to a brief period under the king of France in early the 15C and finally became part of the duchy of Brittany to France in 1593.

The local tourist office is at http://www.saint-malo-tourisme.com/  and the city of Saint Malo mayor’s office is at http://www.ville-saint-malo.fr/

You get here by car from Paris on the A13 or A11 to Rennes and then the N137 to Saint Malo. By bus you can take the keolis service at official site http://www.ksma.fr/  ,and by train at TER Bretagne , http://www.ter-sncf.com/Regions/Bretagne/fr/Default.aspx  Direct TGV service from Paris montparnasse in about 3 hours. Best parking is underground at quai Saint Vincent entrance on Avenue Louis Martin, paying about 8 euros for the day. Or if come early for free by the tour Solidor on rue de la cité or place Saint Pierre.

There are numerous sites to see, however, my favorites are; Les Remparts or wall defense area around the harbor of about 1754 meters long, dating as old as the middle ages. There are intact from 1944 on…The Chateau, housing the musée d’Histoire in the grand donjon from the .15C; fortification by Vauban in 1500AD. The Cathédrale Saint Vincent, already a cathedral since 1146AD, recontructed after losses during WWII, now remains work from the 12C to the 18C, and it keeps the tombs of Jacques Cartier and René Duguay-Trouin, webpage of the diocese http://rennes.catholique.fr/?Cathedrale-St-Vincent-de-St-Malo . The Maison de Corsaire, most of the facades recontructed after WWII, see the wonderful hotel d’Asfeld, 18C used during the French revolution as a woman prison, webpage at http://demeure-de-corsaire.com/ .  The Fort National and Fort du Petit Bé ,built during 1689 on planning by Vauban in the bay of Saint Malo, they can be reach on low tides only, webpage for the fort national at http://www.fortnational.com/ , and for the petit Bé at http://www.petit-be.com/ . The le Grand Bé, in 1848 the writer François-René de Chateaubriand was buried here,and it can reach in low tides. The wonderful three mast boat Etoile du Roy a replicate of a corsary frigate of 1745, wonderful museum, webpage at http://etoile-du-roy.com/ . The Tour Solidor is a wonderful place just outside intra muros in the quartier of Cité d’Alet,considered the oldest part where the original Saint Malo was founded; here on the donjon of the tower you have a musée des Cap-Horniers, in honor of the locals who were the first discoverers in the 17C, this as well as the musée d’Histoire above in the castle are explained here in the city of St Malo webpagehttp://www.ville-saint-malo.fr/culture/les-musees/musee-dhistoire-chateau-et-tour-solidor/#googtrans/fr/en

Of course ,walking the old intra muros town is a delight, you can spend hours here, all surrounded by beautiful buildings in a quaint old ambiance. The stores,bars, ice cream parlors, restaurants, créperies, and just shops are by the hundreds. I have some pictures of these streets that will show here below.

Not to be outdone ,there are good beaches here, we look at plage de Bon Secours,right in the middle area from intra muros and a wonderful pool with diving deck right in the ocean! plage du Mole is a bit secluded under the remparts and our favorite for its sandy white sand and tranquil waves. the beach or plage de l’Eventail is nice just below the chateau with a large cafe on beachside. Tourist office in French, plages=beaches,http://www.saint-malo-tourisme.com/decouvrir/eco-tourisme/plages

Just outside the city limits there is the Saint Malo aquarium. Now ,I am not too much into these smallish places but the gang love fish been born in a sunshine state ::) So we went ,and I must say was a welcome relief and nice laidout, including a dive into the Nautibus submarine ride and the big fish and sharks tanks was nice. You ,also,have a petting fish tank lol!!! nice for the entire family. admission for adults is 16€ a bit high but still worth it.  You have free parking !!! and you end up here n the N137 road at the entrance of Saint Malo. You can arrive by train to St Malo station and then local bus C1 stop aquarium.  Info email contact@aquarium-st-malo.com and webpage at http://www.aquarium-st-malo.com/

There is a petit train or little train, we didn’t took as we are used to walking but could be a respite for many and allows you to get an overview of the town,the adult fare is 6€ and it stops by the main gate porte Saint Vincent next to Chateau.  I did took some photos of it wandering around, the webpage is http://www.lepetittrain-saintmalo.com/

Again, dont use hotel as it is only about 2h10 from our home, but wandering about the town, we fell in love with the Hotel France et Chateaubriand,  a wonderful property right off the porte Saint Vincent, next to Chateau. It has its Napoleonic architecture style in a gorgeous quaint area appropiately call place Chateaubriand. The webpage in English is at http://www.hotel-chateaubriand-st-malo.com/index.php?langue=en

And of course, one cannot go away then eating at this magical place, so we had our lunch at one place recommended by coworkers, Créperie des Bés, 4 Rue Thévenard, close to the porte Saint Pierre at place du Guet, webpage at http://creperiedesbes.fr/ It was warmly welcome,and even thus the food was standard, the service and friendlliness was nice; it was ,also, an opportunity to meet one of my travel forum buddies Paul , for the first time; in all a wonderful experience. We have galettes of chorizo and potatoes,with kir and porto as aperos, a pint of leffe beers, and expresso coffee all for 78€ for five; We had decided to have our dessert elsewhere, as we saw plenty of ice cream parlors; we stop at Sanchez  9 Rue de la Vieille Boucherie , tel +33 ( 0) 2 99 56 67 17 no webpage. We had numerous cones and bowl of 3 and four scoops each of magnificent ice cream of all flavors so many cant remember them now, lol!!! just go there worth alone to visit St Malo ::)

Indeed a magical place,and one to keep coming back,which i am sure we will; some photos, cheers y’all

August 17, 2012

Quiberon, a name to consider for your future summers.

I dont get tired of coming back here, its a peninsula but gorgeous. I am not good of describing things, even thus some friends tell me otherwise,they are very kind. Quiberon or Kiberen in Breton, sits just south of me in about 34 kms ,jotting out into the sea with the islands of Houat, Hoedic, and Belle Ile just in front. The tourist office for it is at http://www.quiberon.com/

The best way to get here is by car from the N165 Nantes-Brest road, take exit 34 well posted. In summers ,there is train service from Auray ,call the Tire-Bouchon. You can refer back to previous posting on Quiberon on dates of 23/06/12, 20/08/11, 9/7/11,and 2/7/11.

I took today the wild coast or in French, Côte Sauvage, this is the road D186A that goes along the cliffs and village of the coastal area of the peninsula starting b Portivy all the way to port Maria in Quiberon.  This awesome magnificent, wonderful views of the ocean, with many small ilots beaches, and quaint old villages like at Portivy with a small harbor for boating and fishing. It will be considered by me that you must see it at least once in your lifetime; cliffs,and nature beauty are one thing but when combine with the beauty of the rocks, and waves of our ocean is stunning. See it. At the tourist office the explanation is in French but you can translated with google, yahoo or other service, http://www.quiberon.com/index.php?id_site=1&option=tourisme&id_page=&idCategorie=9&action=afficherFicheDetail&idFiche=6764&pageX=1

You will come into Quiberon by the chateau Turpault or Beg er Lann right out on the rocky coast and into the port Maria area with its fishing inner harbor and fish market, and the passenger boat terminal to the outer islands.  You will once again have your first glass of wine or beer at the Les Trois Mats resto in city center by the Place Hoche. You will get your bread and why not the pain d’épices at the boulangerie Pain d’épices  by rue Pouligner just off pl Hoche on your right, seeing from the plaza.http://www.paindepices.eu/index.html/

Of course, we do park in city center for free if you come early by the place Varquez, where the market or marché is held on Saturday mornings. Weekdays you have 4 hours parking for free there. It has rest rooms available and just further towards the beach you have a nice tree park and the place Hoche.

We dont stay of course ,but always on the lookout for things that friends or readers can use if visiting the area. The hotel La Petite Sirene is one of it, simple accommodation but big rooms and facing the grande plage or big beach ,great location to everything. You have from studios to apartments facing garden or ocean, from 65€ for 2 persons. The webpage is http://www.hotel-lapetitesirene.fr/

We do enjoy the grande plage or big beach, the center of it all here. It has kiddies areas, and grownups. Large beach with white sandy sands and wide enough to play games. The peninsula at its tip in Quiberon has many other beaches, such as Govino, Goulvars, and Conguel, the one at the tip which is gorgeous with views of the island of Belle Ilê picnic areas, campings, white sandy sands horse backriding, and nearby aerplane lessons.

Right by the beach at Goulvars, you have the wonderful upscale Sofitel hotel and the institute de Thessalotherapie a full servive thalaso spa place very modern and chic, with the beach across the road.The webpage  for the Sofitel properties  alonsgside both part of the group ACCOR is http://www.sofitel.com/gb/booking/hotels-list.shtml  ,and thalassa at http://www.thalassa.com/en/destination-thalasso/vacation-treatments-thalasso-spa-QUIBERON_EN.html

Finally we had our in between lunch and dinner meal lol!!! it happenned when you are on the road, was at a new place La Cabana, for us right at Pl Hoche, we always past by it and saw it always full. This time we try it. We were very  surprise , as the attention and service was good even in a full resto day. We had galette of beef and ham, sausages in a persillé sauce, pizzas farenheit with chorizos ,ham, mushrooms, etc. five sangrias as aperitifs, big pint glass of beer 1664 and panaches, desserts of various types and flavors from banana splits to exotic fruits like passion fruit and pineapples, all for 145€ for five persons. All in our range of prices.It has no webpage so I give you one I use to browse thru restos in France, in French of course.http://www.petitfute.com/adresse/etablissement/id/272026/la-cabana-restaurants-cuisine-francaise-debut-milieu-et-fin-de-mois-quiberon  , however the direct telephone number is +33 (0) 2 97 29 51 25.

Really another enjoyable day in Quiberon, and our trip continues thru Bretagne or Brittany or Breizh. Cheers.

August 16, 2012

Carnac is and will be my backyard beach.

I am on vacation but due to the moving and the paperwork that goes with it, (those who have move families will undertand)  ,our vacation will be this year on lastminute routine. Therefore ,why not start with those that are close to us like our backyard beach at Carnac.

Today it was sunny setting out so we got our picnic ready and set out for the beach early. We hit Saint Colombard beach early but by 13h or 1pm we needed to leave as the skies came in cloudy and rain began… So therefore ,its the old question for visitors, how is the weather ? lol ,we never know even with local forecasts its not a perfect science.

We did walk into the bunker that I wanted to do last time so this is a remnant from world war II and still there oxide rusting away but still there.  We again saw the kids activities early on with learning to swim and all in an inflatable pool! The rocks or reefs onto the beach is a sight to see, and the white sandy beach was a delight.

One more note, there is a nice hotel in Carnac, now there is a difference between the beach and the town, one is call Carnac ville and the other is Carnac Plage. The hotel de la marine is in Carnac ville, right across from the musée de la prehistoire (telling you about the history of stones here), and the mayor’s office or mairie. Also,the main church of St Cornely is here , so all is central in town. It is about 2 kms from the beaches. THe hotel is very nice that is why I mentioned here. webpage http://www.la-marine-carnac.com/

The musée de la préhistoire webpage is here http://www.museedecarnac.com/

We continue our journey into Le Men Dù beach just before reaching La Trinité sur Mer. Here there is an ilot that on low tides you can reach on foot!!! with a nice beach, and today morning ,it was that day. All natural environment with nice beaches all around you, just heaven on earth.

We took a ride along the coastal waters and we arrive at La Trinité sur Mer, another boat heavens place with a beautiful inner harbor and pleasure boats galore. There is a high bridge over the harbor that takes you back into our town of Auray.

We came home early due to the cloudy and rain, rain now stop but still cloudy. Until the next round tomorrow hopefully they are announcing 30°C weather and no rain and we will hit Quiberon. Cheers and stay dry.

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