Archive for November, 2012

November 30, 2012

Some news from France LXXXVIIII

Well I am back from traveling and just came back from Paris, so here are some interesting things I heard and or read.

€The musée Dapper is showing about the Ashanti people of Ghana until July 7 2013; entitled Design en Afrique, the museum is located at 35bis rue Paul Valéry, webpage

The Fragonard parfums folks are out with its Christmas collection see it at

The wonderful Paris CDG airport has an entire area dedicated to children. The kids unaccompany are pampered to all places.  Air France alone bring over 3M children alone in its planes.  The service cost 50€ to 75€ per traject. On long trips the kids are assembled at terminals S3 and T2E and hall 4 at Orly too!

the jardin d’acclimatation one of my all time favorites is getting a face lift  , getting a change over to integrate the building thought out by Frank Gehry  for the Fondation Louis Vuitton. It will have free Wi Fi, free admission every Fridays from Jan 2013, an area of 3,5 kms for jogging, and next spring it will open to public a fifth of its area so about 4 hectares of terrain. The park is now managed by LVMH ,and they will plant as much as 90 trees and landscaping, fountains and playareas for free

Since I recently came from there, where is the best bo bun of  Paris? this is Vietnamese cuisine at its best, the recipe is  made up of a base of  vermicelle rice, soja, onions, sauté beef, cucumber, sometimes carrots, finely cut salads, lemon, unwrap peanuts coriander, and mint. The dish sometimes is served covered with pieces of nems and a sauce  nuoc-mâm. In Paris, you can try this marvel around the Asian quarters of the district of Belleville, the 13éme, and the little restos elbow to elbow in the 3éme. My favorite places over the years have been, Tricotin, 15 ave de Choisy 13ar, and the Pagondon, 21 rue des Grands Augustins 6ar. The link I write reviews in French for Tricotin, for Pagondon,

And close out with my favorite 10éme from the Canal Saint Martin to Chez Jeannette to the New Morning concert hall for Cuban music,this is tops and real French style.  This is the city mayor’s office on the Canal SM in French, it gives you more, you can translate with many internet sites or google but in French again it provides more,  and take a look of chez jeannette, lovely and the wonderful never old New Morning, Have it your Paris way. Cheers


November 24, 2012

Auray an entry to the gulf de morbihan and the Loch

ok it was hard to find a title to this entry, hard to talk of the place you live, and try to share information that is sometimes useful to visitors and sometimes not, as I always said having lived in four countries ,is that living and visiting are two different sides of life.

Today was rainy grey cool Fall day , and I just wandered about with the family as tomorrow afternoon I leave for Indonesia on a business trip that hopefully will allow me to take some pictures and share that experience with my readers and family.

I took advantage my sons were going to the movies in Vannes so we head out for Auray; the city center is always quaint and nice, today even more as on a rainy day and at lunch time not too many folks on the streets here. The Hotel de Ville building is always imposing at pl de la republique, and the quaint rue du lait,rue du belzic, rue de Barre, and pl Notre Dame as well as the new nook of venelle de trevegat . This was a find always saw this tiny little street off pl de la Republique and its says jardin du jeu de paume, well got in and indeed a very narrow street with beautiful wooden houses in perfect condition inside,and at the end the garden or jardin du jeu du paume,  a nice quiet place to relax and great toilettes lol!!! you discovered something new everyday here ::)

Of course, took another look at the monastery Chartreuse where the remains of the Chouans who fought the French revolution and killed in firing squads without trial are buried. Went over the Auray train station this time sneaking behind on a street that has a country store garden tools etc and took a shot at the back of the station,neat.

We visit many of the usual business shops that I have spoken before and finally we headed to Vannes to pick up my sons and have a lunch/dinner combi at a nice cafeteria at the Leclerc shopping center we have seen and now was the time to try it. Le Vénélis cafeteria grill 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 five persons for 88€! cant beat it. The cafeteria is open from 11h30 to 14h15 and 18h30 to 21h every day except Sundays.

We then headed to another shopping at Carrefour Vannes to get some more stuff ::) and enjoy the seasons traffic is picking up and the Christmas decorations are up already. I need to update my photo upload here as already reaching the maximum lol!!! Stick around for more in a weeks time as while away the site will be dormant. I WILL BE BACK…



November 17, 2012

A come back visit to Plougastel Daoulas…..and 19.

We came back to Plougastel Daoulas and a repeat visit as well to Bistrot Le Plougastel in city center. Today was my twins 19 years old birthday, and amongst clothing, games, and dvd, a lunch here was requested.

This is the place where the chef prepare for us their favorite dish, Poulet Yassa, its chicken in a macerated sauce with spices,lemon,and small hot peppers from Senegal,Africa, that the Breton chef brings in himself. The food is fantastic for my sons all love it. We the adults had fish and chips and salmon, with scoops of ice cream strawberry, vanilla, and caramel salé with whipped cream, coffees and teas. Of course , we began with an aperitifs of Kir of cassis, cerise that is blackcurrants and cherries flavors with white wine, I had my usual porto rouge or red porto. We dined with a bottle of cider from the local Manoir du Kinkiz, superb natural local product. All for 105€ for five. Nice ,yes you can.

The location of the restaurant is 1 Place du Calvaire  29470 Plougastel-Daoulas, tel +33 02 98 04 20 07; no web, this is at city center next to the church of Saint Pierre, cant missed it.

We had the chance to go inside the church of Saint Pierre, the last time could not as it was All Saint’s day here and there were services going on, so now took some shots of the inside, with retables and wood chapels from the 15C.  The church was rebuilt from the 17C at between  1870 and 1872. It was heavily damage during the bombings of August 22/23   1944, and rebuilt again in 1950.

Easy by car on the N165 exit D329 take direction Plougastel Daoulas on the second entry from roundabout circle. If you go on the first one ,you enter the Leclerc hypermarché and put cheap gas/petrol which I did.

Now we are getting ready for the assault on Roissy CDG and passing by Versailles our old home, first time revisit after official leaving just Sept 2012 lol! Enjoy Plougastel Daoulas and your weekend. Cheers!!

November 16, 2012

Vannes at night, its magical in the Morbihan

Well this was a night to relax before the big weekend, twin boys birthday 19 is tomorrow and then picking my father at Roissy CDG on Sunday morning lol!! Road warrior bien sûr

We were out on picking up our share of Beaujolais Nouveau wines by pl de poids public in Vannes,and then once car loaded, we went for a nice pizzas at Don Camillo by rue du port,in le port area of Vannes.

The wines took a running as we thought will be late, normally stores close at 19h here in provence France, but lucky for us we got there exactly on time just to find out the store normally close by 19h30 and sometimes 30h as per the manager. Both store personnel seen very knowledgable and friendly. ahh this is my favorite chain of wine stores ,NICOLAS.

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.

Once we finish, we notice in the pizzeria a poster announcing already a major event in the area for May 6-12, 2013 the Semaine du Golfe boat event during ascension French Catholic holiday next year.  It will be from several harbors including mine at St Goustan, Auray. A great event not to be missed if nearby here at the time or just come in if a sail, just boating enthusiast.

We walk Vannes at night, wonderful and very relaxing way to see the city from another angle, perhaps more intimate and up close. The main monuments are all lit up and beautiful especially the Cathedral of Saint Pierre., the Carmes auditorium, the Le Port area, and the quaint streets such as Rue des Halles, Pl des LIces, and rue Saint Guenhaêl, just lovely ,so enjoy the photos. And have a wonderful weekend y’all.


November 14, 2012

Some news from France LXXXVIII

It is time to talk about what’s going on in the Paris region and even the rest of France.

Let’s start with Modern Arts at the city of Paris Musée d’Art Moderne, at the expo the Art and war or arts et guerre, running thru February 13 2013 see more info at the webpage , this is at 11, avenue du Président Wilson next to palais de Tokyo.

The Vendée Globe sailing boat race around the world has begun from Les Sables d’Olonne , where it will also ends, but before passing by the Atlantic, Indian ,and Pacific oceans and the three major capes in the world  Good Hope, Leeuwin and cape Horn.  This is the traject from the official site  and you can see more in English here

Drink, bare glass of the pure absinthe  at Laperouse (15 €). Or trry the nice  «fée verte», the drink of the bar that replaces the  bourbon in the composition of the Mint Julep (18 €).  51, quai des Grands-Augustins (75006). Tél.:+33  (0) 1 43 26 68 04. All in a wonderful ambiance of old, weppage

And tomorrow it comes out in France the Beaujolais Nouveau, and I will be after work at my favorite wine merchant Nicolas near me to get my share lol! Its in my favorite links below in my blog but here it is the webpage

Then if you are lucky enough to be by Paris try it and have a great snapper or sole at La Marée Passy, in my dear 16éme at 71, avenue Paul Doumer  open 7/7 days and all fish and seafood at the best. webpage

Don’t forget to try Carette ,one of my all time favorites there, and the patisseries are sublime,,,, Trocadero my love and also by Pl de Vosges.

You have a lot shopping here, now some is for reference as obviously I dont shop for girls but do pass by and look !!) and the boys well , I am a boy lol! Alice à Paris (for the little fellas in you household)  at 11, rue de l’Annonciation, Tel +33 01 45 27 98 05) light and classic cuts , Cordelia de Castellane  at 3, rue Claude-Chahu,+33  01 45 20 06 52),selling gorgeous outfits even for the little ones ; Sœur at 5, rue Pierre-Guérin,+33  01 45 25 73 04), one of the stores fétiches of Inès de La Fressange(Miss France contest MC) this is for the  12-18 yrs and their mothers.  The olders can go to  COS at 60, rue de Passy, +33 01 53 92 52 60, and  NGR at  40 bis, rue de Boulainvilliers, +33 01 45 27 32 42)  dedicated to deluxe brands at good prices with collections changing all the time as well as at  KB Stock (several stores but the one at  rue Duban, +33  01 45 24 25 50 is great), this the discount haut gamme clothing or second hand items . Also at  Paradis Blanc , at 1, rue François-Ponsard, +33 01 42 24 16 61), simple forms on stock . For the second hand clothing depots you can try  Réciproque at 89 à 101, rue de la Pompe, +33 01 47 04 30 28), with several stores and the Dépôt-vente de Passy at  14, rue de la Tour, +33 01 45 03 95 21.

You go visit the only library in Paris dedicated to travel books,at  bibliothèque du Trocadéro Germaine-Tillon  at 6, rue du Commandant-Schloesing, old Bibliothéque du Trocadero simply, city of Paris webpage for more info

For other curiosities always fond of my passing there is the Musée du vin at 5, square Charles-Dickens, with a collection of wine objects and wine tastings, webpage . If you want to stay sane and sound of alcohol go to the  Pavillon de l’Eau at 77, avenue de Versailles, to see a permanent expo on water in the city and know the secret of its floating navy as well as temp expos. webpage showing how to get there, . You can cap it with the beautiful glass displays at Musée Baccarat  at 11, place des États-Unis, retracing the history of glass with a rich collection and historical documents, webpage .  Give it a artful visit to the Maison de Balzac at  47, rue Raynouard, right in the heart of a pretty garden where we can admire now the expo on the  Grisettes, along collections of manuscripts and objects belonging to the writer; webpage at city of Paris ,attention the museum is closed until April 2013,  And finally, the Cité de l’Architecture at  1, place du Trocadéro,where you have nice workshop for children and the wonderful architecture of Pairs thru its history. This better known as Chaillot, but the webpage is here

For antiquities in Versailles do not stop from visiting the Saint Louis district ,the area of the Cathedral, and see this man, wonderful objects , simply the best,

Wait not done yet, once a week is enough for this post.  I have come into knowledge of wonderful perfumeries open in Paris these are  Jovoy, at chic rue de castiglione, webpage  , le Labo , internationally known with boutique on the 6éme , webpage  Nose , new concept on the 2éme webpage ,  and  Acqua di Parma from Italy with love, store at 6, Rue des Francs Bourgeois ;webpage

Good and bad news, the renovations at Chateau de Versailles will be delayed and the Galerie des glace will be open,  The renovation of the Grands  Appartements will be delayed . However ,more news the pavillon Dufour, that now houses the administration of the palace and areas private of the palace will be entirely renovated; this to offer a better entrance to visitors modeled after the Pyramide of the Louvres, Paris. The administration will then be move to the Grand Comun at ave de l’independance Americain that will be finish soon and already renovated.

And yes finally , the Paris CDG airport will house a museum of  250 m2 with expositions renewing every 6 months. This will be by T2E on the new satellite wing at S4.  It will take turn with work from all the Paris museum, and word has it the first one display will be from the Musée Rodin.  It should have been finished by December but now it has been delayed into the new year. Look out for it here. 

Have a great week ,cheers.

November 10, 2012

Pleyben the old history !!!

Catching up on my latest trips of last week, I come upon Pleyben in the department of FInistére No 29 in Brittany,France. This is a wonderful town with a huge historical religous enclosure of saintly buildings and heavenly chocolate maker just next to it !!

First ,this is the tourist office for Pleyben,  and a reminder for the dept of FInistére,

I am about 1h20 from there, so the best way for me is by car, taken the free expressway N165, get off on exit Chateaulin/Pleyben after the first roundabout take direction Pleyben on the N164 straight into ave Charles de Gaulle in city center Pleyben, you come upon the Calvaire.  The bus you can look up here, according to the mayor’s office bus no 62 from Quimper ,and line 35 leaving from Chateaulin and line 61 leaving from Brest.

The main and best to see in Brittany ,and a must to visit is the religious calvary ensemble of St Germain l’Auxerrois in city center. It is huge, try to explain it.

The typical religious ensemble is made up of four elements, all associated. The cementary, the church, the calvary,and the ossuary . These are surrounded by a wall in stones with a portal or opening of great dimensions. The construction here dates from the 16C to 17C ,and it was completed in the year 1690 by joining the sacristy to a monumental gate called the gate of the dead or  ” porte de la mort “.  The wall around it the complex signify the separation of the living world from the dead, and serve to stop strays animals  to entered the sacred grounds.

The church or église Saint Germain is a mix of renaissance and gothic architecture. It has two bells with the best that one on the right , it is a renaissance tower crowned by a dome of lanterns. In the interior, the nave is a lambric vault of the 16C with sculpture walls of mythological or sacre personages so about 62 persons and  et 116 keys.  You will find several polychrome statues and it house a Grand Organ from 1688.

The Calvary or Calvaire built in  1555 ,and later displaced in 1738 making up 3 calvaries of the most importants in Finistère , and takes form like an arch of triumphe having about 30 scenes from the life of Christ, sculpture in stone of  Kersanton  ,and place at two levels, its aspect dates from 1743.

The Ossuary is the oldest in Finistère as an independant building of the church, dating from the 16C, it is one of the most impressive and one which the gothic architecture is the most fine and flamboyant.  It is at a place of an older cementary, and served for a long time as a funeral chapel where the bones of the passerbys were deposited as well. Later it was used as a school,and post office, by  1850, the conscripts took their lucky number for the army and the doctors had their vaccination campaigns.  Today, it has a museum.

Finally,the sacristy seen from outside or inside is one of the most beautiful of the ensemble ,and can go back to its construction in the period  1680-1690. It has a quadripode configuration, and the central dome and chapters ionics ressort a real showcase of the new French renaissance  in the parochial ensemble of buildings.

In the main plaza ,you will see a monument to the fallen in front of a church like building, this is the Chapelle de la Congregation,founded by the lords of the  Boissière, probably by the end of the 17C by the confrérie de la Congrégation.  It is ,also, known as the Chapelle Neuve  or new chapel as its recontruction was done in  1889, and its last one was done again in 1994. It is a place today for meetings, gatherings and communions of the catechism Catholic. You will have to walk and I will be back as there are another 6 chapels in town or nearby.

You have a tourist office in town also at the main plaza, Charles de Gaulle.  In all the trip was the highlight of the trip , having a wonderful historical building in front of you and a heavenly chocolate just across the street, wow!!! Enjoy Pleyben and your week end.Cheers!!

November 9, 2012

Plougastel-Daoulas, even the name is good lol!!!

Here I was going on the road and decided that a hotel need not be in city center so why not one just outside the big city of Brest. Well there was Plougastel-Daoulas, nice name indeed and what a find it is. We are even coming back here. First,the tourist office webpage and some more in the mayor’s office webpage

you come here on the N165 and get on exit/sortie  Plougastel ZA de Ti ar Menez on the road D329. or by train to Brest and then bus  line 25 : Plougastel (Kervenal – Brest Place de la Liberté) on Brest bus system

We stay cheaply and convenient off the N165 at the ibis budget hotel (old etap) off the Ti ar Menez artisanal zone and just outside Plougastel-Daoulas. webpage

We had some coffee and sweets at the wonderful bakery boulangerie and patisserie Aux Délices de Plougastel in city center across from the church of Saint Pierre. Which incidentally is another beauty to see.  The church of  Saint-Pierre, dates from the 17C ,it quickly become too small  ,and was destroyed in  1870 , the cementary displaced and all replace by a church of neo gothic style. It was destroyed by WWII  and it was rebuilt as see the belltower done with concrete. However ,some items do remain such as the descend of the Cross and two retables one of Saint-Pierre ,and the other of a Rosary.

You see in front parvis of this church a wonderful statue fountain of the Fontaine de l’Imageur,this is a memory to St James of Compostella and its in memory of the many artists ,painters, and sculptures who did the calvaries, retables etc around here,  and the monument to the fallen in both WWI and WWII as many locals perished in these horrible events.

You have a nice convenient small supermarket in city center by the church, Cocci Market ,very popular here that we take advantage in small towns to buy groceries. , we ,also, went at night and shop at the hypermarché Leclerc off the expressway,

You do come here first for the Calvaire or  Calvary of Plougastel  religious ensemble which is unique of Brittany. This one is one of the best around. It dates from 1602 – 1604 done on a base of yellow granite of Logonna-Daoulas. It has about 180 statues sculpture with kersanton of blue color depicting the scenes of the bible on the life of Christ. Legendary scenes such as those of Katell Kollet, it is one of the 7 grand calvaries of Brittany!!! .  It was built following the peste epidemy of 1598, there is a stairs on the northwest side allowing to go inside where the predicator is illuminated.  There is a story here that  I like to tell here, John Davis SKILTON, was an American Lieutenant that help rebuilt the calvary after WWII. He was part of the office of civil affairs of the US Army that was based at nearby Plabennec,and the war brought him to Plougastel in end August 1944 . He was an Arts adviser back in the USA, and sensitive of the damage caused by the war of this magnificent monument he helps in its restoration.  His first act was to collect all the pieces of Arts of this work, and guard them here. He went on to served at  Vittel,then Germany, where he helps return to France 18  wagons full of art work stolen during the war . Promise to come back and help rebuilt the Calvary,which he did. Go Yanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of course, we could not leave again without eating waiting to reach the big city of Brest, so we stop at Bistrot Le Plougastel , 1 place du calvaire, you know where right in the center of town, tel +33 (0)2 98 04 20 07. We had poulet yassa, and fish and chips, and salads, with leffe beers, banana splits, ice cream scoops, and coffee all for 128€ for five.  The chef is such a nice guy, he came out to meet us, discussed with us the recipe of chicken yassa, using peppers slightly hot that he brings from Senegal, and even pour one more leg to my kids on the plate at no additional charge wow!! We were so astound, we book my twins birthday next weekend there again lol!!! Of course, you must come here!

Finally pay a visit to the musée de la Fraise or museum of the Strawberry,here they are wonderful in comes in any shape of jar or item of food, we love them. It was in the 18C that  Amédée François Frézier brought from Chile a new variety of strawberries bigger than the local ones.  The market increase first with Brest by 1854, and the with the English. And then the world knows about them. Here is the museum webpage in French  admissions is 5€ adults and dates/hours are from February 15 to May 31 and from September 17 to end December 2012 ,and on Wednesdays to Fridays from  14h – 17h30, Sundays from 14h – 17h30. From June 1 to July 14 and from August 20 to September 16 2012 , open from Tuesdays to Fridays from 10h- 12h30 and  14h – 18h, Sundays from  14h – 18h. From July 15 to August 19 open from Mondays to Fridays from  10h – 19h, Sundays from 14h – 19h.

Its a great place and one it seems we will be back often in Brittany, this one in department Finistére No 29. Enjoy the visit, cheers !!

November 8, 2012

The other Finistére, small quaint nice towns.

We have so many towns all unique and many beautiful that will take many posts to write about them so I will combine some here done on my last forays into deep Brittany. I went to the department of Finistére or no 29, and visited towns such as Le Faou,la Roche Maurice, Morgat, and Crozon that I like to give a general overview here.

These are the webpages on them:

Le Faou,

La Roche Maurice,



and the tourist office for the department of Finistére is at

I first came into Le Faou, a nice small town with an imposing church of Saint Sauveur going way back, then continue to Morgat with a beautiful beach front and nice homes, ended at Crozon a harbor marina and great city center, and then went over inland to La Roche Maurice with its old ruined castle and the magnificent church of Saint Yves as well as a nice market where we shopped.

Le Faou, church of Saint Sauveur, The church was founded by the Hospitaliers de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem ,and was  rebuilt in 1544 and again in 1680,when a belltower was added renaissance style  facing the port. the nave was built with a double transept, the clock was raised  in 1629, the porch has the dates of 1593 and 1613 and preserve the wooden  statues of 12 apostles. the main altar and two confessions chamber are from the  17C and the baptismal urn has serpents unique to Brittany for the richness of  its sculptures. Several statues decorates the church including those of  Notre-Dame de Pitié, two Virgin Mary, saint Herbot, saint Yves, saint Éloi,  sainte Barbe, etc.. A typical church here very rich and beautiful.

La Roche Maurice, the castle, ruins castle of the old times, still looking over the cliffs below at La Roche Maurice.Finistere dep 29 Some events to translate the French site preceded by an old mount from the 11C, the name place in Breton is Roch Morvan and was the property of the viscounts of Faou, vassals to the count of Cornouaille,until 1160, from which date it passes tot he family of the viscounts of Léon. In 1180, Hervé I de Léon builts the current donjon or tower. many goes after Hervé I de Léon, until it passes without heritage descendant to his sister Jeanne de Léon, wife of Jean Ier de Rohan, that gives the Roch Morvan to the family of the Rohan.

For the defense of the area the viscount of Rohan gives in 1391,the guard of the castle to Alain de Rohan to Hervé Goello and Guéhomar Manfuric . In 1485 while been in prison here by François II , Jean II de Rohan pledges allegiance to the Duke and get his properties back. In 1487,the viscount turns against the king of France Charles VIII, and again loses his properties. It is with a French army that Jean II reconquer his titles lands in 1489. from the war of 1491, Charles VII authorise the viscount of Rohan to fix his property, but the castle is in bad condition. In 1678, the castle only serves as a prison, after 1789, the castle is used to extract stones. In 1926 an underground discovered cause a treasure hunt and shortly after the castle is name a national protected monument.

you can climb to the top. GLorious views over the valleys. contact info to reach it

The church of Saint Yves ,Beautiful church, the actual one is a replacement of a chapel from the 14C dedicated to Saint-Yves . It was built in the 16C , the Rohan gives free land and subsidy to rebuilt over half a century. The stained glass dates from 1589;the south portal from 1550, the bells hight of 60 meters, are from 1589. The stained glass represent 21 scenes from the passion of Christ. The armories were scratch during the French revolution and repaired in 1870. Redone in 1937, it was taken down and pillages by the nazis in 1942. It was dismantle in July of 1950 after it was kept in storage at Valy-Névez. It is flanked on the left by the statue of Notre-Dame de Bon-Secours and on the right by the polychrome of Saint-Yves between the rich and poor. THe robe is one of the most beautiful of Brittany ,done in 1570-1580, in sculpture polychrome oak.

Crozon, the church of St Pierre, another marble of a church in Brittany ,this one in Finistere and at the peninsula or presqu’ile de Crozon
beautiful retable and very high bellttower even seen from the sea to guide seaman into town. wonderful beauty, see it to believe, and come on over.

Lovely ride, enjoy the tour, and cheers.

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November 7, 2012

Some news from France LXXXVII

Let’s get it rolling, another wonderful escape to Paris, am I lucky? It seems the city nevers gets away from me and that’s fine too.

It was a long journey by TGV train from Auray stopping by Vannes, Redon, and Rennes before reaching Paris Montparnasse. Going was ok, taken the Metro to reach Levallois Perret for my business meeting was OK; the problem was coming back in the evening.

Metro was stop underground scary don’t like that, electric problems, on line 3, then arrive late for my TGV and luckily same rate so they just exchange for free but but, the next train was two hours later lol!!! So kill time at the gare is not fun, venturing out was fun a bit, and then the TGV was late,and slow down en route so I was supposed to reach home by 20h30 instead arrive at 23h30!! those are trains for you. BY car it would have been better lol!!!

I had the chance to visit my old office at rue depart, and then venture out a bit, and saw some of lovely Paris getting ready for Christmas season, by the way the lights are out at champs-elysées, must see. Went on for my business meeting alright with a nice lunch at classic French resto Chartier, classic was the St Jacques with wild rice, and the saucison de Lyon with red wine from the Côte Roannaise and coffee. Nice. One for the future reference, very well served and great food, in a nice elegant old world ambiance. This is at Levallois Perret ,dep 92 Hauts de Seine.

Now some of the latest from my pickup fresh air in Paris with a bit of pollution to balance your diet ::)

The Vélib bikes is in for sure with 23 801 bikes per day in 1 742 stations, however, complaints are falling in as there is a shortages of 5500 bikes as promised and the verification system is lacking so now the city will put an audit to find out.  No panic this is just to have some quality measurements in place to monitor quality of service.

Great even at Domaine de Chantilly (castle)  7, rue du Connétable, 60500 Chantilly. Tél. +33  (0) 3 44 27 31 80. open every day except Tuesdays from 10h30 to 17h.  Last until January 7 2013. Entitled «Delacroix et l’aube de l’orientalisme»,shows the affection of the Duke d’Amale for the Oriental culture , 22 paintings and designs retracing the history of orientalism, the expedition of Napoleon Bonaparte, the beginning of Romanticism, showcasing the artists  and travelers of the military oriental world. webpageénements-à-laffiche/delacroix-et-l’aube-de-l’orientalisme

Something new just very near Paris, Marks & Spencer has another store at the end of metro line 3 station Louise-Michel to find your  cheddar, sandwichs poulet tikka masala and others  poulet korma. The new store has  7 000 m² !!! open in the new commercial shopping center of So Ouest ,  31, rue d’Alsace, 92300 Levallois-Perret. Also,  RER C Pereire or the train sncf  line L, Clichy-Levallois. webpage of center and webpage of the store which does not even have the new one in it yet, first news from me lol!!!

Have some fantastic seafood at Le Garnier,111, rue Saint Lazare ,you may be wondering this is an old place Mallards nownew name and same good seafood, excellent dish like this one  cabillaud doré au beurre entouré de petits cèpes bouchons. Something like young codfish golden butter roast with small mushrooms buttons. email reservations here  part of the group Menut webpage

And the magnificent favorite of mine for years,  Café Prunier, 15, place de la Madeleine,. open every day except Sundays. Formule: at 35 €, menus at 40 € and 99 € (all caviar). Carte:between  60-70 €.webpage

up my alley, a new restaurant South African style , Restaurant Cap, 42, boulevard Pereire,. Tél.:+33  (0) 1 44 40 04 15. For lunch open every day except Saturdays, Sundays,and Mondays. For dîner,from Wednesdays to Saturdays  Métro: Wagram. webpage see more at bottom of my blog for the site,

And I left you with a nice parc Saint Cloud in dept 92 Saint Cloud easy at end of line 10 metro de Paris, seee it all here in French, a breath of fresh in the outer lungs of Paris.

Enjoy my belle France. Cheers!!!


November 4, 2012

Brest,the city harbor of the Finistére.

On my last weekend holiday of Toussaints I decided to go deep into Brittany and visit Brest, and as time became expandable I continue to visit some nearby towns such as Plougastel-Daoulas, Daoulas,la Roche Maurice,  Landenereau, Le Faou, Crozon, Camaret sur Mer, Morgat, Pleyben and just ride around.

The tourist office for the deparment 29 of Finistére is , and that of the region of Brittany is

We stay as a family in an inexpensive ibis hotel outside the city as we had a car, it was easy in and out, in fact, we love the car ::)  The rate  was  great at 35€ per night, and as we were only there for shower and sleep kept the price right for five!!

Our first attack was to visit Oceanopolis ,the great seaquarium of Brest, It was big, not so great on tanks etc,but very good in educational experience and information loaded on the oceans, the rades or river entry to Brest and the seafood of the world and Brittany. For families is great, there is discount if shows student cards ,for five we paid 70,90€. The place is divided into areas such as Polaire, Tropical, and Tempéré with exhibition on the abyss of the oceans, the fish fossils of deep oceans,and display on old fishing houses and living of old. The webpage is

One thing we always do is to come early and there was hardly anybody until about 10H30 when the crowds came and we already seen the best and most. We decided to go out and eat, as inside its cafeteria style, nice and good prices like steaks for 8€, but we knew of a resto in our near Vannes that had a branch near by so we went for it , its A l’Aise Breizh Café at the port moulin blanc by the port de plaisance or pleasure boats marina just right as you get out of oceanopolis. webpage great as always here, great burgers, desserts like banana splits, bottle of rose de provence Real,and coffees for 127€ for five.

The next day we finally venture into Brest, to the castle and the musée de la marine, inside the castle. done by Vauban in the 17C, you entered by the tour Madeleine. The structure is of a fortress , however, the most interesting part is the musée de la marine or marine museum inside.For 5,50€ and we needed to come back as at this time of the year it opened in the afternoons, from 13h30 to 18H, you see the whole history of marine life,boaters, and seamans in a wonderful setting inside the castle. webpage here

Not far from here you have the tour Tanguy and the pont de Recouvrance, with excellent views and tramways transportation all over, but we did walk as we like to see the city up front and personal. We stop by the musée des Beaux-Arts but did not go in,webpage here for information, . We did walk a lot all over the city, and went shopping at Espace Jaurés with FNAC store of course, cant forget those video games…lol! webpage

We were impresse by the bridge going to Brest over the rade the pont de l’Iroise. Great masterpiece of architecture. We did see the monument to Americans in rememberance for the world wars help to France. IN all its a pleasant city for a day including the oceanopolis. We found it too small for us so we needed to venture out, and that is for more posts ::) The tourist office for Brest is at ave Georges clemenceau at the end of pl de la liberté, and webpage here It has a good train station on TGV service and bus system as well as tramways. You can read about the train station or gare here from the SNCF folks,  and for the latter bus and tramway the service is Bibus webpage here

Of course we ate in Brest, and we choose something typical marine , trés british and full of youngs from the naval base there which by the way we had no time but you can tour it too. webpage

So we ate at Au Bureau, 10 rue de Siam at webpage  where the juicy burgers, the fish and chip and the camembert roti with desserts from coupe giante of 6 scoops of ice cream to banana split, with plenty of leffe blonde beers was for 122€ for five.

Enjoy Brest. Cheers!

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