Archive for August, 2012

August 30, 2012

Some news from France LXXXII

Once 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  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  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,  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 museum . 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 ). 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 . Finally, there is a second Stube, passage Verdeau(75009),to begin in the fall to conquer the lovers of currywurst and  strudel. webpage

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. and 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 ).

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

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!!!

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 €.

Daniel Cremieux, modist and designer from men’s clothing to a lot more, see the main store at 28 rue Boissy d’Anglas 75008 My wardrobe. And right by the church at 9, place St Augustin, 75008, see the store of Charles le Golf,  and Armand Thiery, 45 rue Caumartin, 75009,

See at the musée des Impressionnismes, 99 rue Claude-Monet, 27620 Giverny, 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,– 

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!!!

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 ,now closed.

Charcuterie and take home food at the best quality at Eveno, 28 rue Barré, more here!

Créperie St Michel,  great crepes and galettes in upper city center at 33 Rue du Belzic, webpage

My clothing store MCS at  60 pl de la republique city center, now closed.

Supermarché Sparr, grocery store for that quick impulse buying or fast need in upper city center 11 rue de Barré, just by parking Keriolet,

Monoprix, the classic discount store at 11 Rue Maréchal Foch ,webpage for this store,,-2.99050884160335/%20%2056400%20%20AURAY

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.”  Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Auray:

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).

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 , agglo area libraries on the Auray library :

At St Goustan,  one of my favorite restos in St Goustan Le Bistro du Port at pl St Sauveur. There are other wonderful places to eat here such as one of our favorite, Bar Franklin, right at 21 Place St Sauveur  , the corner of pl St Sauveurs and the quai Franklin alongside the river Loch. Here we had galette of bacon and cheese,cheese and ham two, 50cl beer Leffe for 3, coffee, and banana splits for about 14€ per person. And walking the cobblestone street with woodend houses, and old artist quarters at rue du petit port, and had  lunch at Creperie La Frégate, 11 Rue Petit Port  very quaint area but rather isolated and small portions, but all good. Here is the typical galette with bacon, ham, eggs, cheese,and the banana splits or dame blanche,  a bottle of house cider brut,and coffee all for 15€ per person.

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

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

La Trinitaine, 13 Rue de Verdun, has my favorite breton biscuits and cookies in the area, madeleines, fish canning etc, nice,webpage

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:

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;

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.

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 , 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 Suroitis on 29 rue de Port Maria; very nice however now closed, just for the memories.  Over 50 yrs there and many international stars have supposely gone there, waiting to meet one.

You have many wonderful restaurants,but first the best macaroons as Thierry Hafnaoui,3 place de la Duchesse Anne ,Quiberon, just voted one of the best macaroons in France, just wonderful.

For fish,seafood canning goods, a tradition in the area, head for the Belle Iloise at city center near the fishing coop at webpage

There is plenty to eat, we were at l’Embarcadére resto last with mackerel fish and rice, complet galette noir ,chevre or goat cheese salad,moules curry, with leffe beers galore for 60 Euros for four.

We continue on to the end to see the Castle of Turpault, very nice out into the sea, and  still private but a symbol of entering the city by the wild coast:

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.  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 and church  official webpage

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

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  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

La Trinitaine, biscuits Breton cakes and local products,  76 avenue des druides,

We do recommend these other places for food,and drinks

La Tour de Pise, for great pizzas, 19 avenue Miln,

La Luna Park, great for kids, and cybercafe at 29 Avenue Miln ,

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,

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

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 ;

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,

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 . 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, webpage

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

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

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

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


August 22, 2012

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.

Again, Vannes means Gwened if use the Breton language as Morbihan is small sea, mor=sea bihan=small, and you are welcome to my region, Degemer Mat !!

We went to the Church of St Patern (see post), 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.

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. (see post)

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.

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 19 euros per person. See separate post on resto.

Boys did go and shop at Empire Games  (now closed memories only) 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. My son’s favorite !

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. (see post).

And now some of the place we love in our capital city of Vannes.

Early goings in Vannes we were doing grocery shopping at E Leclerc with my sons and have a lunch/dinner combi at a nice cafeteria  we have seen and now was the time to try it. Le Vénélis cafeteria grill (this is closed and is now Flunch cafeteria which we have tried too)  is very friendly (we had extra portions on the plate at same price ) smiling staff, and great food at wonderful prices. We had boeuf bourguignone, spaghetti meatballs for some, and breast of duck for others, with a bottle of beaujolais nouveau red, bottle water Evian, sodas such as fanta and coca cola , desserts from natural fruits including kiwis, to passion fruit desserts, and coffee expresso for less than 18 euros per person.

La Belle Illoise, fish canning local ,wonderful; 31 place des lices,

La Trinitaine, cookies biscuits ,breton sweets, deco, souvenirs,and fish canning too, glorious at 19 place des lices,

Alain Chartier chocolatier and glacier ,ice creams gourmands, mâitre chocolatier de France at 25 place des lices, and also a school of cooking desserts;;;

Monoprix, discount dept store at place Jacques le Brix,,-2.75709876453306/%20%2056000%20%20VANNES

La Huche à Pains, the best bakery at 23 Place des Lices, and two other locations, see Facebook page :

We had our dinner at Villa Valencia. 3 Rue Bienheureux Pierre René Rogues ,where I had my filet mignon pork in a wok oriental style, and the kids had their pizzas , a bottle of Charles Pain, Chinon red wine , banana splits desserts and coffee for 24 euros per person.

We stop by Le Port for lunch at one of our favorite places, A l’aise  Breizh Café on top of the Capitanerie du port (harbormaster). We had our mussels =moules with the local guimennée sausages and fries, with  kouignamann breton sweet with a ball of apple ice cream ,and banana splits, plus a bottle of muscadet from Sauvion, for less than 22 euros per person.

We decided to try a different eating place this time and having passed by the pizzeria, we took the plunge into .It was a wonderful discovery as the service was fast and friendly, the food was excellent and with big portions, the place was full of local folks most with families. This Pizzeria Don Camillo at 20 rue du port, by the Le Port area across from the canal and the tourist office. We like it so much came back second time same week, once we like something ,we are very hard to let go, the couple owners are a delight and fun to speak with regulars of many years ,who even come to sample the wines that will be serve on the menu book! This time it was a chardonnay from the Languedoc area, but we stuck with our Rosé of the Côtes de Provence, les Diamantines of Domaine de l’Estan , very inexpensive and delicious rosé for about 11€ the bottle.  We had  pizzas in mediterrannée with chorizos, and goat cheese samplers, with cafe gourmand, the expresso coffee with four different small portions of sweet from tiramisu, mousse au chocolat, apple pie, and babba rhum cake, and the beforemention bottle of rose wine all for less than 19 euros per person! Facebook page:

 Japanim, japanese cartoon,mangas the works from Japan, at 14 Bis Rue Emile Burgault , web is by mangas webpage with store information,

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.

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. Now own by Aux Mille Délices of Lorient :

My favorite shopping store was Michel Loizeau at pl Henri IV , (now closed) the house dates from the 15C! Here you we got our Breton  winter clothing, bags ,umbrellas,and belts of the finest local quality. tant pis…

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.

Again, as I have done several entries on Vannes, but for reminder the tourist office of Vannes is at the Gulf of Morbihan tourist office :

And the department or province or state where we are is the Morbihan, and their tourist office is  at:

Enjoy Vannes! Cheers!!!

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 ,  ,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. 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

Cheers and happy Sunday!!!

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  and the city of Saint Malo mayor’s office is at

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  ,and by train at TER Bretagne ,  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 . 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 .  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 , and for the petit Bé at . 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 . 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 webpage

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,

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 and webpage at

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

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

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 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;enjoy it, cheers y’all

August 4, 2012

Some news from Bretagne VII

This was a rainy day until I came home and now the sun is out, so figure on trying to go by the weather service….

I am beginning my vacation time here today, and still going over brochures and maps on figuring how to and where to go …After some errands needed to do like renewing my French passport next week we will have something figure out, I hope.

In the meantime, here is some lineup of things to do in my corner of the world that are annual or often done events for planning ::)

The Haras National d’Hennebont which I went last week has an equestrain spectacle call “Le Voyage de Zabédério” or the travels of Zabédério, that is stunning, a must to see, running to August 16th this year.  and the Haras direct webpage is

You have at Belle Île a party and meeting place of the island folks, call les Insulaires, this is September 14 to 16, and the webpage is at

The Chateau de Suscinio is having heritage feasts an spectacles to do with history ,theater, cinema, chants of music and other nice activities in a former castle of the Dukes of Brittany.  events in August all month. open from 10h to 19 all summer.  Webpage in French but as always if interested let me know for any translation or direction,

The famous Festival Interceltique de Lorient is on from August 3 to 12 ,2012. The Celtic cultures of all people of Galicia and Asturias from Spain, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and France come together for many activities on language, music,and dance.  Webpage in Breton or French language only,

Right in my town of Auray there will be until September 9 2012, events in all is communes around the topic of “Détour d’Art” or all around art. You can participate on foot, bike, or auto, with 3 itineraries to visit 17 chapels and churches, 7 walkers circuits, and 2 concerts. And we have in English lol!!!

Coming up by Quimperlé ,not far from me is the les rias, Festival de Théatre de rue, from August 28 to September 2 2012.  All is free , 20 companies | 23 spectacles |12 créations | and more than 40 public get together. webpage in French,

The town of Ploemeur in my dept 56 Morbihan, is hosting from September 15-16 2012 a botanical garden encounter at the Chateau du Ter, with rare plants and vegetable collections.  The 11th edition of Les Botaniques!  ,you will have more info soon at the city mayor’s office site

Until September 30th you have at the historical Le Cohue of Vannes and exhibition by Pierre Buraglio on “d’aprés Delacroix et autres maîtres” OR after Delacroix and other masters. A beautiful recollection of what is now the Fine Arts museum of vannes or Musée des Beaux-Arts. this is in a very quaint old section of Vannes that walking to it is lovely.

The wonderful Domaine de Kerguéhennec, at Bignan is a wonderful oasis of another try to match Versailles, the castle is smaller but nice, and the gardens is beautiful. Here all summer there are activities for all, and this is great for kids too. All is running to September 30th 2012; Expos, sculptures, and collections of Tal Coàt. A nice property in the country of Morbihan.  The castle today is own by the regional council of Morbihan which is the webpage in French,

Some addition as summer is full of activities here, just back from a wonderful trip to Josselin ,story next.

L’ Art dans les chapelles” or the art in the chapels, 19 comptemporary artists in 25 historical  monuments sites, the art at its very best, in pays de pontivy until September 16 2012.  Free visits and then some exhibition for pay at 8€ ,see more at

Costumes and manners of the middle ages come alive n Lorient, see until August 31st,2012. la Tisserie, a wonderful exposition on many dresses and ways of live in the middle ages, admission to museum is 4,50€ adults and down, the expo is included in the price of admission.

A great country and western festival ,YES, but in the Morbihan breton, it had already past and I missed it ,but will certainly like to write it down for next year, its at inland Grand Champ just a bit north from me.  8th edition of the Grand Champ Country & Western Festival, more info here

Enjoy Brittany and Morbihan. There is a lot more, the summers here is full of activities, but try to give my best choices. Cheers.


August 2, 2012

Some news from France LXXX

Well some sunshine and some rain, and we are in August, my vacation starts after tomorrow’s last day of work. We have no dates nor sites as usual we will go on a limb and see whats out there to see.

In the meantime, wines from Bordeaux are kicking off a Route du Vin, or a wine trail to publicise their wine trade. The number of visiting caves in the Gironde dep is at  5 466 ,including 50 cooperatives; that is 87% of the caves of all the region of Aquitaine!!!  The average tourist spend 103€ in wines! From the tourist office all the wine tours available webpage

The Festival d’ile de France is coming up,  proposing every year from september to october, about 30+ concerts in historical monument places in the region. The programs are from classical music to renaissance , contemporary, world music ,and those of today.  Webpage here

There is still time to enjoy the Paris plage or beach until August 12.

A bit of British in Paris now as the Olympics are going on in London, there is a new Marks & Spencer store at   100, av. des Champs-Élysées ,open everyday until 22H.,fr_FR,pg.html

The chain pret à manger is very British and has locations in Paris at

Frog & Rosbif, very British by rue St Denis, and others , webpage

WH Smith my favorite bookstore in Paris, by 248 rue de Rivoli, webpage

or the wonderful Crabtree & Evelyn. THe essence of fruit, flowers and plants is wonderful, a family favorite and you can find in one of my shopping street at   18, rue Tronchet,  Tel +33  (0) 1 40 98 02 02. as a branch of the famous outfit.

The musée Grévin is enlarging its collection of about 250 figures. After the recent Scrat, Lambert Wilson, Nicolas Cage, Le Petit Prince,Sebastien Loeb ,now comes Penélope Cruz of Spain.

The Senegalese artist Youssou N’Dour  will sing in front of the pyramide du Louvre, on September 29th on the occasion of the opening of the Islamic arts department in the museum.

The chef Camdeborde moved to Le Comptoir du Relais at 9, carrefour de l’Odéon, and the menu is fantastic, one of my all time favorite restaurants in Paris, webpage  very chic, Parisien at its best.

For ice cream time, you know the Berthillon, and the Amarone, now I give you Pozzetto, 39 rue Roi de Sicile, 75004 at metro St Paul,  . Grom ,81 rue de Seine, 75006, metro Mabillon;  web:  ,and Mary, 1 rue Charles-François Dupuis, metro Temple. no webpage.

This is a great site to all of us in love with Paris, beautiful photos, not related to my blog but worth seeing them.

Enjoy France, I will be on the road next few weeks. Hopefully some ideas for my blog will come up, stay tune. Cheers

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