Archive for May, 2013

May 30, 2013

Vannes and its ramparts towers!

Today it was 20C so sunny and cloudy at times but hot for the area. It seems spring is finally coming around, and yet not summer. I have my anniversary at work tomorrow ,and preparing a champagne and snacks party in my office;so went back to Vannes for shopping.

Its very convenient to shop in the old section in the petit Casino grocery store, actually when you see it from rue saint vincent you think is small but go thru the hallways and at the back is a nice size grocery store with all you for home, apartment, or hotel. I gathered my goodies here such as chips,and sodas, paper plates, etc. http://www.casino-proximite.fr/StoreLocator/Pages/StoreLocator_V1.aspx

I went over next door to the place du poids public and there is my favorite wine store Nicolas, so got me my Champagne at good prices, and the crême de cassis (will be a nice kir royale). http://www.nicolas.com/fr/magasin/vannes/vannes-10-18-465.htm

Of course ,not before making my nice walks in town along the ramparts is great parking at reasonable price, you get two hours for 1,50 euros. just facing the old ramparts and across from the Tour Connetable as well as passing by the Lavoirs or laundry and under the porte Poterne.  And of course, seeing happy visitors riding our petit train thru the old section of town. Just lovely old world and great walks.

Vannes tourist office is at http://www.tourisme-vannes.com/

Now getting organise for the big event at work tomorrow. Oh it is a custom here to celebrate your birthdays, marriage ,and time work in the company with your collegues , so after having a futsal or football salle or indoor football/soccer match today in the corporate league tomorrow will be time to have a drink allowed at work lol!!!

Cheers and enjoy the photos.

Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes

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May 26, 2013

Pays de Vannes,and the Gulf of Morbihan

This is where I work, but do come often with the family too. Its the biggest city in the area, and just lovely especially its inner central parts. However,it is ,also, the gateway to the gulf of Morbihan, and many boats do prowls the gulf waters to several islands.

This link will give you 360 views of the gulf area, and I have on Vannes, http://www.golfe360.com/tag/vannes/

More on Vannes in French,hopefully you can translate it with bing or google or other ,it is gorgeous as the best info is always in French. http://www.golfedumorbihan.fr/office-de-tourisme-vannes-golfe-du-morbihan/a-decouvrir/

Here is the tourist office in French with link on connection to the islands, http://www.tourisme-vannes.com/voir-faire/liaisons-vers-les-iles 

And this is a local paper, very local, that tells of the sea current and highs on the cities here in the Morbihan such as Vannes, http://www.morbihan.lemensuel.com/pratique/horaires-marees-morbihan-quiberon.html

So why water, well its all over us, in rivers, lakes,and the vast ocean not to mention the UNESCO Gulf of Morbihan or Golfe du Morbihan. The gare maritime or passenger terminal station at the Parc du Golfe is wonderful; we walk by it today, looking for information to take our jump into the islands this coming summer.  These are by the department all the boats and liasons here http://www.morbihan.com/loisirs-morbihan/se-deplacer/maritimes.aspx ,and this is the nice boats that go to the Ile d’Arz from the gare maritime of Vannes, http://www.ile-arz.fr/ . Gorgeous ride just like you see in the picture on the link.

The compagnie du Golfe does the run from the gare maritime of Vannes to the beautiful Belle-île-en-mer, http://www.compagnie-du-golfe.fr/

You can tell the gare maritime on any map by putting Gare Maritime, 7 Allée Loïc Caradec. Right in the same park or the parc du golfe , you have a wonderful Mercure Hotel with brasserie Edgar, one of our favorite hangouts when away from the city bustle and hassle; http://www.mercure-vannes.fr/ prices from 91€. and http://www.mercure-vannes.fr/318-brasserie-edgar-.html  with nice happy hours from 18h30 to 20h at Edgar’s Café next door.

You ,also, find a garden of butterflies or jardin aux papillons http://www.jardinauxpapillons.com/ ,and the Vannes aquarium or aquarium du golfe , http://www.aquarium-du-golfe.com/, and our favorite bowling alley, Le Master, http://www.lemasterbowling.fr/index.php

There is plenty of free car parking, and great bus service to the parc using the Kiceo transport system of Vannes, lines 3 and 11 takes you here.http://www.kiceo.fr/fr/les-lignes-urbaines/83.html

In addition a great walkers, bicycle trails into the chemin des émigrés, bordering all the gulf area around Vannes starting from the parc du golfe to Conleau along the promenade Paul Chapel. http://www.morbihan.com/pointe-des-emigres/vannes/tabid/7430/offreid/c54fadb6-8142-4aa1-9e9a-29d213bbf426/detail-visites.aspx

A sad story to finish as the above name or the point des émigrés is due to the atrocities of the French revolution ,when in 1795 , 748 immigrants who came to fight for the King were taken prisioners after the failed expedition of Quiberon, and shot to death in various parts of the Morbihan. The head of the expedition was executed on July 28 1795 in Vannes on the site of the Garenne today.  374 others were shot around town with many at the site of the Ermitage.  As a souvenir of this event symbolic this point was renamed the Point des Émigrés. The Chemin or pathway was done around its 70 hectares to make a preserve natural setting protected by law. The remains of these 748 are now resting at the Chartreuse in Auray where I live now.

Enjoy the sun, sea, and the pictures. Cheers

Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes

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May 24, 2013

Le Havre a lot more than ferries,still Normandy.

Its a city that suffers the horrors of WWII when it was practically destroyed been an important harbor. Then ,it reborn from ashes to be the modern nice city that it is today,and still an important harbor. Passengers boats comes this way in hordes, and it has a lot more.

I admit not been here in a while, always stop short of the Pont de Normandie and the Grand Canal aux Havre that follow it to Le Havre. It was special for us to be here and see it full time.  It has its tourist webpage here http://www.lehavretourisme.com/ and the city page with tourist information is here http://lehavre.fr/rubrique/patrimoine-dexception

I spent a weekend here walked all over the city,and visited many nice places, the friendly folks and nice merchants were evident this is a city open to the world ,and ready to be discovered.

The church of Saint François is nice with beautiful chapels and now under renovation by the city to save it from cracking up, we were there to see this work begins. The church is also call locally Saint François of Assisis, and it is one of the oldest building left in the city, done in the 17C. The style is mostly renaissance,and it survived the bombardments of WWII.  The site in French of the city said the renovation was to be done by April 2013 ,but there still lots to be done, as I witness, http://lehavre.fr/actualites/l-eglise-saint-francois-se-refait-une-beaute

You have wonderful Bassin du Commerce, with its wonderful statue at sea to the fallen in previous war, and the wonderful arch bridge over it, all leading to avenue de Paris full of nice shops and restos. It has an extensive bus and even tram service to move you all over, we try the bus line 3 and it was easy and nice. LIA is the local bus system ticket on bus cost 1,50€, more info in French here http://www.agglo-lehavre.fr/article/r%C3%A9seau-lia

We went by car so easier, and took a ride to GrandCap to visit the Auchan shopping center as there is no Auchan where we live now and just nostalgic to see it, nice experience driving under a tunnel right in city center to reach it;  here is the nice musical site of the centre commercial in French, http://www.grandcap.fr/ Auchan is a huge hypermarket here in France.

Of course , we went by the ferries LD to the UK, and the nice harbor area of the Marché aux Poissons, who not only sells fish and seafood but fruits and veggies, right in front of the ferry harbor : http://lehavre.fr/annuaire/marche-aux-poissons

We had to find some video games music dvd store here so of course we check out the omnipresent FNAC, however, we were delighted to find it at the Espace Coty, a super shopping center mall with modern commodities heated or AC, and plenty of parking. The stores were wonderful.  http://www.espacecoty-lehavre.com/ right in city center past the Hôtel de Ville to the right.

It has a nice train station with next door the bus station with connections to Paris, easy nice and on a good area, actually near our hotel. http://www.gares-en-mouvement.com/en/fraez/votre-gare/ also the TER regional site at Le Havre for trains, http://www.ter-sncf.com/Region/haute_normandie/gare/LE%20HAVRE.aspx

And the hotel we stayed is right in Quai Colbert ,the Kyriad Centre  , nice wonderful friendly service, with restaurant and bar we try very well made, and good prices, the rooms were modern and airy, with all amenities, nice stay. http://www.kyriad-le-havre-centre.fr/en/index.aspx

You have a nice structure the Volcan in city center by avenue de Paris, a sort of expo center done in a volcano shape, impressive; just around there you have the Le Lafayette bar great for a drink on the walk or run ::) closer to the shopping center Coty, http://www.cityvox.fr/bars-et-cafes_le-havre/le-lafayette_79324/InfosPratiques . The Hôtel de Ville is a nice building with a clock tower and wonderful gardens and water fountains. The day we were there it seems the whole town was getting married!!! so many one after the other, an assembly line hehehe!

The highlight of the trip was that traveling to Normandy we found Brittany ,our home. There was the Fête de Bretagne with groups, food ,arts, and just a street fair full of Breton tradition including their dance and music ,really super.And the groups were from nearby us Saint Avé lol!!! Actually May 18 and 19 was the Fête de la Saint-Yves at le Havre in the neighborhood or quartier of Saint-François around the church. This is the historic area of the Bretons in Le Havre ::). This is the webpage with info in French, http://www.fetedelabretagne.com/internet/jcms/prod_173417/fete-de-la-saint-yves-des-bretons-du-havre . Right around here we had our lunch at Bistro du P’tit Port  , wonderful and the views of the ferry harbor and fish market is awesome, http://www.bistrotduptitport.fr/

Then, we had across from our hotel and the bassin du Vatine  and Vauban the wonderful complex of the Docks. Here you have a nice cinema Gaumont, restos, shops in an old dockyard building totally restore to house this complex. THe Dock Océane for expo, theater ,arts, the Les Bains de  Docks  for a water park, Docks Café, and Jardin Fluvial. All of this around the places that are nice to use and some nex ones like O Blé Gourmand resto a la breton norman cuisine,  http://www.docksvauban.com/W/do/centre/fiche-boutique-O-BLE-GOURMAND ,  the whole complex is great and easily you can spent at least half a day seeing all around it. Here you have the Océane and Café expo places,  http://www.dockslehavre.com/ ; then you have the shopping and restos here, Docks Vauban, http://www.docksvauban.com/W/do/centre/accueil, the cinema Gaumont has its site here http://www.cinemasgaumontpathe.com/cinemas/cinema-gaumont-docks-vauban-le-havre/  , the Les Bains de Docks is closed until september 2013 but should be good then ,have a pool indoors, site here http://www.vert-marine.com/les-bains-des-docks-le-havre-76/  , and the jardin fluvial is over 2 hectares or almost 5 acres of over  700 meters long ,all bordering the  quais de la Saône ,and de la Marne. Here is more in French,  http://lehavre.fr/dossier/le-jardin-fluvial-0

Lovely as in France. Some photos of wonderful Le Havre. Cheers.

Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre le havre bus hotel de ville 3 5 my13 Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre le havre ferries cruises port my13 Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre

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May 23, 2013

Some news from France CV

This is the weather, always folks asking questions well the weather is hard to predict even by the pros. We are in Spring bu today is chilly, a Fall feeling still within us,and Summer well ,we will see.

Something to dream on are the gardens of France.  Giuseppe Penone of Italy is all over the Chateau de Versailles, he is the invited artist of 2013, until October 21st. His sculptures ,some especifically done for the exhibition will be presented to the public by the  Grande Perspective (big parvis going out to gardens back of castle) ,and in the Bosquet de l’Etoile. http://en.chateauversailles.fr/news-/events/other-events/a-year-to-celebrate-le-notre/annee-le-notre/expositions-1-en . Also,  the great garden and reading expo show going on http://en.chateauversailles.fr/news-/events/autres-evenements/lire-au-jardin-2013-en/lire-au-jardin-2013/accueil-1-en

At the Grand Palais, work by  Aude de Thuin back after an absent of 10 years, transforming the Grand Palais into a giant garden around the vegetables and small gardens such as  jardin de papier from parfumeur Francis Kurkdjian, potager vintage of Truffaut, etc. run is until June 3rd.http://www.grandpalais.fr/fr/evenement/lart-du-jardin-grand-palais

You have the beautiful  jardin-forêt de la BnF François Miterrand the 1 and 2 June from 13h to 18h. http://www.bnf.fr/fr/la_bnf/anx_visites/a.visite_mitterrand.html  and at Milly-là-Fôret you have the opportunity to meet  Cyclop of Jean Tinguely  that gives an eye opener on the environmental forest. June 1 and 2nd from 13h30  to 18h , réservation tel +33 01 64 98 95 18

 At Vallée aux Loups, 46-56, rue de Chateaubriand, 92290, Châtenay-Malabry, you have guided visits Saturday and Sunday from 14H30 to 16h, retracing the history of the du parc de Chateaubriand. Same activity at Saint-Cloud on the traces of  Le Nôtre, Contant d’Ivry ,and  Hurtault ( june 1 and 2 at 14h30) http://saint-cloud.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/ or at the garden of the Domaine de Villarceaux (june 1 and 2 from 14h to 18h) ,with the theme of contemporary arts into gardens ,http://www.iledefrance.fr/villarceaux/le-domaine/ . At  Gerard Garouste with the song of «Défi du Soleil» in Saint-Cloud to help children of ,http://www.associationlasource.fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61:garouste&catid=36:contenus  or at Domaine de Chamarande with artists interventions . To note, in the  jardin des Douves de Marcoussis, you will have the possibility of seeing students of the work done on the project of gardening paysage.http://chamarande.essonne.fr/patrimoine-paysager/

You have all of the above and more at the culture gardening site of France http://www.rendezvousauxjardins.culture.fr/

at the Museum d’histoire Naturelle, you have rare plants and small animals given away many activities of the festivities of gardening for free. Such as initiation to naturalist designs, analyse the song of birds, construction of an insect mound,games, films, animation, and birthing of butterflies. http://www.mnhn.fr/museum/foffice/tous/tous/guidePratique/calendrier/calniv2/ficheExpo.xsp?AE_ID=10715&LIEU_ID=158&MAN_ID=17648&SITE_ID=10&TYPEEVT_ID=11&idx=24&nav=liste&cl=fr  All this in the running fo the Fête de la Nature or nature party on May 25 and 26 just around the corner. http://www.fetedelanature.com/

Secrets of gardens in the Essonne dept 91 south of Paris, you will find from June 1 to 9, activities at flower garden at Saint-Jean-de-Beauregard, Noces de Figaro at Courson, game of roots at Courances, and ,also, opening of gardens to the public such as the collection of roses at the jardin d’Igor and Tamara at Saclas,the collection of bamboos of the Symphorine at  Janville-sur-Juine. more here http://www.tourisme-essonne.com/fr/coups-de-coeur/fiche/secrets-de-jardins-en-essonne-edition-printemps/

And Until June 2 at the grand jardin des Tuileries, where Le Nôtre grew up and died at the Tuileries after redesigned the gardens there ,you will have Jardins, Jardin to celebrate its 10the edition with an expo at the Louvre on  Le Nôtre and a new perspective on the new urban ideas. Demonstration of 14 gardens and 10 terraces by the gardeners paysagistes themselves on site. Next to this, 100’s of expo stand, designers and garden growers showing their creation from all over the area and France.  More here http://www.jardinsjardin.com/ 

To continue with Le Nôtre celebration, the Galerie des Puces shows many objects of arts life on gardens, tapisseries, garden utensils, tables chairs, dishes all design by Olivier Riols, founder of  Jardins Jardin, and extending over the  marchés Paul Bert and Serpette.all until July 29 ;more here http://www.paulbert-serpette.com/

La Galerie verte, will showcase advise on gardening from paysagiste Amaury Gallon, ,graduate of the école Tecomah (Jouy-en-Josas) ,who specialise in vegetable walls. The owner of the Jardins de Babylone, will present vegetable paintings in small and medium sizes (from 80 to 200 €),where the leaves and flowers have been fossilise thanks to the glycérine, that will allow to live for 10 years in the portrait. location: 6, rue des Jeûneurs,75002. Tél. +33 (0) 1 40 41 90 40. A field of Lin at  Palais-Royal, the American designer Hilton McConnico will plant a field of lin of about  1000 m²  in front of the  Louvre,from June 3 to 9.  An idea of the Confédération européenne  du lin et du chanvre (CELC) ,that helps build this form of art ,which had ask the previous decorator of cinema and scenary , lover of the vegetable world to come to do this here. La chaise Fermob, icône du Luco, the ambiance will be recreated at the Jardin du Luxembourg ,choosing 24 new colors from the mythical chair created in 1923 and redone by the designer  Frédéric Sofia for Fermob.  Lighter, bend ,the new model of aluminum is the latest vogue at about 169 €. Find it at Fermob83, av. Ledru-Rollin (75012) ,more info here http://www.fermob.com/

Not that the museum is not nice, but the best here is the Salon de Thé,right in the terrace gardens at the Musée de la Vie Romantique, 16 Rue Chaptal, (75009) . Info here http://www.paris.fr/pratique/musees-expos/musee-de-la-vie-romantique/p5851 . And last but def not least , the Le Relais du Parc  started the season with a new menu under chef  Stéphane Duchiron ,have lunch under the sun in a beautiful terrace ,ice cream sublimes under nice leafy trees. 55-57, avenue Raymond-Poincaré,(75016)  right inside Marriott hotel trocadéro,http://www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/hotel-information/restaurant/parsp-renaissance-paris-le-parc-trocadero-hotel/

Until next time, enjoy your week. Cheers.

May 21, 2013

Honfleur, Fête des Marins

I come here often and sometimes no photos nor stories just drive by ,its personal for me. My mother lies in the ocean buried at sea. The last time in my blog wrote on Feb 25 2011. Its time again, as the Fête des Marins is held again, the 152nd edition.

For the newbies, the tourist office offers an inmense amount of information and the latest news on Honfleur. The second most visited place in Normandy after MSM. We admire the architecture, the history of seamen and discoveries such as Samuel Champlain who discoverd Quebec in Canada. The seafood and cider, and calvados all around you, the friendly folks always willing to chat with you and even offer you a treat in a store; this is my Honfleur. I am glad I can again share it with my readers and family.http://www.ot-honfleur.fr/

From its wonderful breads and sweets at Aux Blé d’Or bakery of Olivier Deschamps at http://www.auxblesdor.fr/ wonderful all made in house by the best in town;;;always a stop. 

We arrive early so rather than the pale hotel breakfast we headed for the Cafe de Paris on 2 quai des passengers , and had the first encounter with the fisherman and tells of their stories as far as New Zealand. no web just the tel +33 02 31 89 33 44 just around the corner from the boat ramps on your way to the jardin public and the statues of personages of the city.

We wonder around visiting many places of old such as the church St Leonard, and the lavoirs or laundry baths, or the great church of Sainte Catherine with its Mass on the fisherman and their marine brothers. We walk and walk all over after having park our car in the nice parking de la mole for four euros per day!  We re visited the Lieutenant ,the old house by the bassin vieux port.

We took a boat ride into the majestic pont de normandie , on the Jolie France ,great folks keeping you at bay of the time by sms telephone messaging, wonderful service. We took the ride into the water we enjoy so much as a family for many years and remember coming here with my dear Mom. 9,50€ well spent; webpage http://www.promenade-en-bateau-honfleur.fr/jolie-france/

We had our lunch around the same area as breakfast by the quai des passengers almost across from the jardin public, the Bistrot à Crêpes; again no webpage just the tel +33 02 31 89 74 96. Very nicely serve with great steaks, burgers,and salads, good coffees, great ice cream italian homemade, and the beer heineken.

You come here for the museum of Eugéne Boudin and Erick Satie ,but ,also, the muséé de la marine to know the history of boating and fisherman here, very deep tradition. webpage for all here http://www.musees-honfleur.fr/

You, also, come here for the galeries of art , so many and so nice all over town, however, we all have our favorites. Mine are still the galerie du Dauphin , http://www.galeries-bartoux.com/fr/galeries/honfleur/galerie-du-dauphin.html ,and on same site the Galerie du vieux Honfleur, http://www.galeries-bartoux.com/fr/videos/galeries/galerie-du-vieux-honfleur-1.html

You come to shop at the latest opening of the Maison du Cidre Rosé, very nice folks and plenty of choices from Normandy. They represent many brands the most important coming from the Biscuterie Jeannette of Cabourg,

You have a wonderful page to find fine dining to any in Honfleur here http://www.honfleur-restaurant.com/acceuil.htm

However, the main interest to come here over the weekend of Pentecôte is the Fête des Marins, on its 152nd Edition!!! From the city of Honfleur site http://www.ville-honfleur.com/12-actualites/55-fete-des-marins.html

It all begins on Saturday 18 May, with sailing and races on the vieux Bassin, expositions of model boats at the petit Grenier à Sel,photos on this year the 100th coronation ceremony at the church Notre Dame de Grâce in the côte de grâce hill. Sunday 19 May you have the big Mass at the Church of Sainte Catherine at 10h and later the depart of the parade of Amis Honfleurais to the monument of the fallen at sea where a large ceremony is held. From 14h45 the big blues concert by JJ Blues by the carrousel/Lieutenant area in the vieux bassin. AT 17h the boarding of the Officials for the benediction at sea, and at 21h choral concert Scamlevilla at the church of Saint Leonard de Honfleur.  Monday 20 May, you come to the assembly in front of the hôtel de ville.By 9h a parade on the streets of Honfleur by more than 100 musicians, boat models,, children, officials, city,regional representatives and the people. You see the laying of a wreath on the monument to the French memory or monument du souvenir français and on the monument to the fallen or monument aux Morts, the church officials will join us in front of the church of Saint Catherine.  At 10h the banner of Pierre Berthelot is given to a chosen mariners/fisherman and sign the book of gold in the chapel of the church Notre Dame de Grâce. By 10h30 Mass in plein air with the benediction of the marines and boats and service for the dead. 12h30 we returned to the Hôtel de Ville with chanting of the La Marseillaise national anthem,and by 13h the diplomas given to the winning of the military preparation for the Haute Normandie region. And home as a happy camper, until next one in 2014.

Here are some photos , enjoy Honfleur.

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May 15, 2013

Some news from France CIIII

Here is midweek, our house hunting continues and just cloudy,rainy ,cool nice typical Breton weather in May. Some of the new buzz around are;

The Cannes Film Festival is going on with the stars walking on the Croisette, Michael Douglas, Steven Speilberg,Nicole Kidman,Cindy Crawford, Georgia May Jagger,Bérénice Bejo,Alain Delon,Sharon Stone, Lana Del Rey,  and many others arriving. This year the President of the jury and the jury are

Président du jury :
Steven Spielberg

Les membres du jury :

Vidya Balan
Naomi Kawase
Nicole Kidman
Lynne Ramsay
Daniel Auteuil
Ang Lee
Cristian Mungiu
Christoph Waltz

the selection for this year’s films are;:

Behind the Candelabra de Steven Soderbergh
Borgman de Alex Van Warmerdam
Grigris de Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
Heli d’Amat Escalante
Inside Llewyn Davis de Joel et Ethan Coen
Jeune et jolie de François Ozon
Jimmy P. d’Arnaud Desplechin
La Vénus à la fourrure de Roman Polanski
La vie d’Adèle de Abdellatif Kechiche
Le passé d’Asghar Farhadi
Like Father Like Son de Kore-Eda Hirokazu
Michael Kohlhaas d’Arnaud Des Pallières
Nebraska d’Alexander Payne
Only God Forgives de Nicolas Winding Refn
Only Lovers Left Alive de Jim Jarmusch
Shield of Straw de Takashi Miike
The great Beauty de Paolo Sorrentino
The immigrant de James Gray
Touch of sin de Jia Zhang Ke
Un château en Italie de Valeria Bruni Tedeschi

and the official site is http://www.festival-cannes.fr/ going on until May 26 2013.

This weekend is the nuit des musées or night of museums with many opening for free on May 18 saturday. Some of the best presentations will be of

Musée National de l’Orangerie, the students of the music conservatory will play pieces of jazz in the room or Salles Matisse-Picasso, from 21h30 to 23h30. THe Musée Carnavalet will show scenes of the Trois Mousquetaires of Alexandre Dumas in the gardens every three quarter hour from 19h30. Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature will have several artists , stories ,concerts until   midnite. Musée des Arts

 et Métiers, will encounter the play La Liberté éclairant le monde and a biplane Breguet 1911. Musée du service de santé des armées au Val de Grace, rarely open will have guided tours of the museum and the church from 19h30, reservations advised. Musée national de la Légion d’honneur et des Ordres de chevalerie, will have the grand maitre or grand master present to discuss with the public until midnite.  Musée d’Orsay, just across the parvis will have a free visit to the current exposition L’Ange du Bizarre,Le romanticism black from Goya to Max Ernst. Until 

23h. The Petit Palais will have some new works  from its reserves such as paintings by Félix Ziem,the sculptures of Jules Dalou, and the collection of medals. The Musée de la Franc-Maçonnerie, will have public conferences and guide visit to it s temple from 19h to 23h. The musée du Général Leclerc de Hauteclocque, Musée Jean Moulin in the 15éme arrondissement will have the theater presentation of Prémier combat:La Croix text from Jean Moulin from 19h to 20h30 reservation is obligatory at tel +33  01 40 64 39 44. Musée national des arts asiatiques Guimet, expo on the «Mystérieuses cités d’or» you will see dances and music of the students of the national conservatory. The Musée de Balzac, evening dedicated to woman as Balzac saw them. Musée national de la Marine, models and marine stories by the students of the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs.  This is all in Paris.

While in the region of Île-de-France, you have the following favorites;

Musée d’art et d’histoire de Melun in Seine et Marne dept 77, a theater spectacle at 20h30, 21h30 and 22h done by the company of the castles of sand or  compagnie Les Châteaux de sable. My nostalgic favorite the Musée Bossuet in Meaux also dept 77, passarelle of Venetian costumes until  23 h, and musical nights with carriages until midnite. Musée départemental de préhistoire d’Ile de France at Nemours,dept 77.  You will see the last mammouth found in France, baptise  Helmut. At the famous Chateau de Fontainebleau, dept 77, you will see the  grands appartements until midnite with an animation around the theme of lights and bulbs in the exterior gardens. Maison natale de Louis Braille at Coupvray dept 77, the native home of Louis Braille to start on his system of writing. The musée rambolitrain ,another nostalgic favorite in Rambouillet dept 78 Yvelines. collection of trains toys, and vapor train ride in the garden  from 20h to 01h only 1,50€. The musée français de la  photographie in Biévres dept 91 Essonne, guided visit ,and shops around the photo, creation of photograms with an inscription at tel +33 01 69 35 16 50. Musée des années trente-Espace Landowski, at Boulogne-Billancourt dept 92 Hauts de Seine, visit to the collections, the kids are invited to do their creations ,until midnite. Cité de la Céramique, at Sévres dept 92, porcelain expo on the music instruments in porcelain!done by Nicolas Frize. The musée de l’Air et de l”Espace at Le Bourget, dept 93 Seine Saint Denis; kiss the nose of the Concorde and an air orchestra playing music until 22h45.

and I close with a Bagel yes the popular American bagel is here to stay thanks to places like this one, you must stop by in Paris .L’Atelier du Bagel, 31, rue Saint-Lazare – 75009, Tél.+33 01 44 63 71 59. Open mondays to fridays from  11h30 to 14h30, and monday to Saturdays from  19h to  22h30 (eat in or take out as well as deliveries) webpage http://www.latelierdubagel.com/

Cheers Enjoy France!

May 11, 2013

Some news from Bretagne XII

This has been a nice long five days weekend due to holidays and rest days in France. We have done many things but for later, now let me tell you what’s going on in my part of the world.

First ,the Zoo at Pont Scorff  is celebrating 40 years this  year wow!  You have five hours of visit in a nice setting from an effort of local people who care about these animals; a nice family outing for a day near Lorient and me; see the new baby elephant born there… http://www.zoo-pont-scorff.com/

And ,then several events coming up that I like and chose for my blog, go there ,they are good. First, at the museum of fine arts or musée des Beaux-Arts of Quimper you have the exhibition of  De Véronése à Casanova an Italian journey until September 30 2013. http://www.mbaq.fr/expositions/en-cours/article/exposition-temporaire-de-veronese-a-casanova/backto/expositions/

The Tara Oceans Polar Circle trip will depart from the Cité Eric Tabarly on May 19 at 14h, expo will be shown free on may 18 and 19 in Lorient. This is a sailing expedition and grand for the whole family, one of our favorite spots here. http://oceans.taraexpeditions.org/en/tara-oceans-polar-circle-2013.php?id_page=1256

The nice post cards museum Cartopole near me at Baud will have a free admission day during the Nuit des Musées Saturday May 18. All about post cards and history of the region thru post cards ,unique and nice. http://www.cartolis.org/exposition.php in French but go here to know about schedules and admissions remember that day is free admission, Renseignements ( horaires, tarifs… )

Get closer to nature and come to the Fête de la Nature, all over France and of course the Morbihan dept 56 where I live, here a nice show is done May 18 and 19 at Gestel, in Domaine du Lain, free admission, Saturday from 14-19H and Sunday from 10h to 19h; http://www.fetedelanature.com/decouvrir-le-programme/animation?id_animation=2803

More on the music scene come to Astropolis in pays de Brest from July 4-14 2013. Some good artists like Pachanga boys, Elisa do Brasil etc will be performing live. Here are the artists  http://astropolis.org/ete2013/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=43&Itemid=107

City center Brest on May 25 the Le Printemps des Sonneurs will be back with big band style from 14h to 19h with bands marching and a big Fez Noz by 20h at the Caréne. Tourism of Brittany info here http://www.tourismebretagne.com/a-faire/les-evenements/le-printemps-des-sonneurs , in French but a bit of history of the Celtic big band you will encounter in pure traditional ambiance, http://kevrennsantmark.magix.net/website/#Un peu d’histoire

Not officially in Brittany but very well connected is the festival Les 3 eléphants held in Laval, from May 2′-26 2013. Great music especially from Don Cavalli,woodkid, Sallie Ford etc, the whole line up is here; http://www.les3elephants.com/programmation/

The Festival du bout du monde at the presqu’ ile de Crozon dept finistére 29 from august 2-4 2013 will be back with the great one Joe Cocker, Yasmin Levy, Cali,Amparo Sanchez, Kool and the Gang, and Jacques Higelin to mention my favorites, a must. The program here, http://www.festivalduboutdumonde.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=9&Itemid=200

Just over the other side of Normandy, we have one that I used to go and still goes strong ,so many oh my, but in July I will be traveling on business a lot so so, here it is for you. July 5-7 2013; the Festival Beauregard is a smash with this year The Smashing Pumpkins Local Natives, The hives, The Dusty rainbow experience, juveniles,Olivia Ruiz,  Benjamin Biolay,and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion to name a few known ones. Of course ,it will be held as always in th wonderful Chateau Beauregard at Hérouville-St-Clair n Calvados dept 14. the festival site http://www.festivalbeauregard.com/en/ And while at it you might make it an extra time to visit the adventures in the park gardens of the castle and the castle too, http://www.beauregard-aventure.com/english.htm  The off and on resident owner is English and a friend from the Paris days.

Back close to me at Landerneau we have on August 9-11 2013 the Fête du Bruit or noise party with amongst others Snoop Dogg, Saez, Madness, Sinead O’Connor,and the Jim Jones Revue. http://festival-fetedubruit.com/programmation-2013

Another that I heard from collegues here is pretty good is the Bobital Festival at Parc du Louvre à Bobital or about 10 kms from Dinan. YOu can go by train there then taxi over or car pooling as the best way to reach the park is by car; you will see Cali here as well as Lilly Wood & the Pricks,and The Octopus amongst others. http://www.bobital-festival.fr/2013/?page_id=2625

Last at Brest a nice place under renovation even when I visit is now open, in the  château-musée national de la Marine de Brest, the reopening of the tours Paradis  allows five new halls for expos inside the historical museum here since 1923 . The nex expo is dedicated to the contemporary Marines presenting the arsenal of Brest from after the industrial revolution to our days And of cours on the night of museums or nuit des musées on May 18 it will be free to the public, http://www.musee-marine.fr/brest.html

Click on the following link for the programme in your region, about the museum night, or nuit des musées in France;  http://www.nuitdesmusees.culture.fr/

Have a great end weekend everybody. Cheers

 

 

May 9, 2013

Nantes is in Brittany ,Yes!!!

I have written before on March 2011 in my blog, and on this wonderful long weekend ,I was there again. Nantes is in Brittany,Yes!!!!

The controversy lingered on for years ever since an adminitrative order in 1941 put them apart, but hey that was the treacherous government of petain, and it should be change. Nantes is Breton Nanoed.

The city has a nice big city look with a nice small town feel, that I like so much. Going again there is always a pleasure even if there is a lot to see in France, coming bac to places you like is a delight.

We arrive by car and immedialy sought parking on the street for free (holiday victory day 1945) by the Les Machines area. And then, we walked all over the city, easy to do so and see more of the local flavor.

The les Machines de l’île is at the old parc des chantiers navales, the navy depot, now converted into an amusement park of great proportion. Adult fare is 8€ and you have restaurant  and boutique service on site. There is a covered parking Les Machines as well. Or you can take line 1 of tramway to stop Mediathéque or Chantiers Navals and walk over the bridge Anne de Bretagne. Webpage www.lesmachines-nantes.fr

The best to see is the la galerie des machines with man made animals and birds as well as an avion or airplane with demonstrations that is very educational and active for the whole family. You can ,then, hop on a the Le Grand Elephant, 12 meters high, 8 M wide, and 21 meters long with 48,4 tons of steel and wood running at 1-3 kph! and ride all over the park and into the galerie des machines!Another item is the carrousel des mondes marins, a carrousel with fish machines all showing how the sea deeps and abyss all the way to the surface is interconnected. The carrousel is 25 meters high and 22 meters in diameter. Don’t forget to go thru the Serre Tropicale and see how  plants and machines animals interact. You go out and across the big hallway and into the shops /atéliers above where the artists do their work on the maintenance of these machines and plants. Right in this park you will find the Atéliers and chantiers navales de Nantes, building now an exposition center of great value with great work showcase as well as an excellent location. This was the old adminstration building for the naval shipyards of the city. webpage http://www.nantes-tourisme.com/activite/maison-hommes-et-techniques/ateliers-chantiers-nantes-2823.html

We walk over to the Naval museum , Maille Bréze with a real battleship cruiser to boot, webpage http://www.maillebreze.com/ ,and the Gare Maritime with great cruises on the river Loire such as with the Chantenay boat, webpage http://www.finist-mer.fr/navibus/navibus-loire-_R_200_3_.htm . Finally ,move into the city with the across the quai church of Notre Dame de Bon Port or as locals call it the church of Saint Louis, webpage http://www.notre-dame-de-nantes.cef.fr/?page_id=75  .Passing by the museum of Dobrée now under renovations to open in 2015, webpage http://www.loire-atlantique.fr/jcms/cg_7520/musee-dobree

We continue our walks thru the rue voltaire and see the Musée d’histoire naturelle, webpage http://www.museum.nantes.fr/pages/00-introduction/page1.htm o n our way to place gasclin and the théatre Gasclin, with great operas and musical presentation ,as one of the best in France. webpage http://www.angers-nantes-opera.com/informations.html, and the lovely Cours Cambronne gardens with info web here, http://www.courscambronne-association.com/

Follow that up with the Church of  Saint Nicolas, http://en.nantes-tourisme.com/activity/basilique-saint-nicolas-saint-nicholas-basilica-2760.html a wonderful spiral church. Going thru all places like visiting again the Mercure centre hotel we used to stay when living in the Paris region, and the old Chez Clement restaurant now change to L’Entrecôte same spot on place Fleurot de l’angle. and the wonderful local  landmark La Cigale restaurant.

Continue onto the place Royale, and its wonderful fountain of Nantes, and our favorite restaurant chain the Maître Kanter where we had a nice lunch with beers,and went over to the Amorino italian ice cream place to have the desserts here, sublime and grand, simple the best combination. webpage for resto http://www.tmk-nantes.com/ and the ice cream/coffee http://www.amorino.com/fr/newsletter/fiche-boutique/Nantes+-+Royale

We continue with our sightseeing on foot, into the tramway lines, the bus lines, the petit train de nantes, and the parking to check out at place du commerce. All the public transport and parking info on Nantes n French, http://www.nantesmetropole.fr/pratique/deplacements/ and the petit train site http://www.lepetittraindenantes.com/

We then arrive at the big ones, the Cathedral St Pierre et St Paul, the church of the bishop and built between 1434 and 1891!!! right at place Saint Pierre, with wonderful nave and tombs of the last dukes of Brittany François II and his wife Marguerite de Foix as well as revered general Lamoriciére, webpage http://www.cathedrale-nantes.cef.fr/ . This is wonderful and just next to it is the Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne, yes that’s right the castle of the Dukes of Brittany ,of course. Here Brittany by marriage of Anne de Bretagne was ceded by treaty to the France in 1532! A wonderful airy castle with lots to see today an exhibition on the wars of I and II. Great walk along the ramparts and wonderful views of the city. webpage http://www.chateau-nantes.fr/

And to close for those who have little time and one time visit,,there is also, the omnipresent hop on hop off bus ride, http://en.nantes-tourisme.com/nantes-tour-bus-touristique-22600.html

In all, a wonderful city ,deserving more time and visits, and this year 2013 named the European Green Capital!!! nice gardens and flowers all over…!!! Cheers

Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes

May 5, 2013

Some news from France CIII

Leisure Sunday today semi cloudy sunny temps  high of 18C or about 55F. Awaiting the big break end of next week two holidays and a bridge so only two days of work in la belle France!!!

We watch the TV program Top Chef, in the TV chain M6 here,and there is a new winner, Le Figaro ,came up with the previous winners and where they are now, so interesting for the culinary mind in us to tell you about them a bit.

It is Mme Naoêlle d’Hainaut the previous sous-chef of the Hotel Bristol,Paris that won! the 2013 edition. The Bristol is the only palace hotel in Paris with a four stars from Michelin.  Naoêlle now is looking to open her own restaurant coming up soon…. The first winner back in 2010 was Romain Tischenko,and since then he ,also, has a restaurant in Paris, Le Galopin, 34, rue Sainte-Marthe (75009) , tel +33 (0) 1 42 06 05 03. Open tuesdays to saturdays in the evenings and wednesdays to fridays for lunch. Formules of 20-25€, lunch and dinner 46€; http://www.le-galopin.com/#acceuil

The third winner of the competition in 2012 was Jean Imbert, trained at the famous Lyonnaise school or école Bocuse. He, too,has a restaurant , L’Acajou,  35 bis, rue la Fontaine, (75016). Tél. +33 (0) 1 42 88 04 47. Open every day except saturday, for lunch and dinner. formule lunch about 40€,and dinner about  60€. http://www.l-acajou.com/

The next is a semi finalist of the second competition in 2011 was Pierre-Sang Boyer, of Korean origin ,and trained in London, previously the chef of the Opéra of Lyon.  Open as him with Pierre Sang in Oberkampf, 55 rue Oberkampf, 75011; Open tuesdays to fridays  12-14h30 and 19-22h30  saturdays 19h_22h30, for lunch and dinner, formules from 15-25€ lunch, evening dinner about 35€.

Semi finalist of the first edition in 2010, Brice Morvent, open the restaurant Au Comptoir de Brice at the covered market or Marché couvert Saint Martin, 33 rue du Château d’Eau/20 rue Bouchardon ,75010. Open tuesdays to saturdays from 12h à 18h (continuous service) , and Sundays from  11h- 14h.  average formules from 30-40€. http://www.aucomptoirdebrice.com/

Semi finalist in 2011, the young  Toulousain  Paul-Artur Berlan, that took cooking classes with Franck Putelat in Carcassonne, the at Toulouse with Michel Serran, went to  Oslo,Norway ,before joining  chef Yannick Alléno at the Hôtel Meurice in  Paris from  2007-2010. He ,then did tours in March  2011 with the group of La Classe and Chez Vous (75009). He too ,open his restaurant as Metropolitain 8, rue de Jouy, (75004). Open every day except saturdays for the lunch and dinner; formules for dinner 35-55€. Lunch about  17-22€.  The resto is decorated with posters from the Metro=metropolitain. http://www.metroresto.fr/

And with a provençal cuisine and decor,  Stéphanie Le Quellec, winner of the second edition of Top Chef 2011, has been named the executive chef of the restaurant named La Scéne inside the Hôtel Prince de Galles (75003); the hotel(renovated) and resto is to open May 16. http://www.princedegallesparis.com/en/cuisine

The nuit européenne des musées or the European Museum Nights is opening with free visits to museums all over France on May 18 2013.  You can check out the activities by town here at official site, http://www.nuitdesmusees.culture.fr/villes/

Also, for those seeking great Jazz and I am one a good one is coming up in the popular district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris and its festival. Running from May 19 to June 3 2013, more here http://www.festivaljazzsaintgermainparis.com/  a great way to meet some new ones and come back to good oldies.

And you want a Food Revolution well its on its way to Paris on May 19, we need to stand up for good food not junk; and we have the final word. So get up and buy natural good farmers stuff not the industrialise crap. http://foodrevolutionday.com/  It starts on May 17 in about 75 countries, and why not join in near you!  Info, most of the activities in Paris will be in the 19éme arrondissement from 10h on. You will have a nice burger at La Cantoche http://www.lacantochepaname.com/  or in the lawns of the parc des Buttes Chaumont doing a nice pique nique as well as visit the jardins du Ruisseau, http://www.jardinons-ensemble.org/spip.php?page=rubrique&id_rubrique=10&recherche=+jardins+du+Ruisseau&tags=&x=6&y=9#2013-05-05

or participate on a blind test organoleptic at the Bellevilloise.
http://www.labellevilloise.com/visite-du-lieu/

And I leave you with the French site where I do critiques on restaurant in France,I have several places dear to me in my blogroll below the blog that can compliment what I write here in the blog. Enjoy FRANCE. http://www.cityvox.fr/restaurants_paris/Liste?searchSort=note,DESC;noteetavis,DESC;nbavis,DESC;nom,ASC

Paris

May 1, 2013

My travels in the Morbihan ,part III

I continue seek out new places and some I return to in my new area. This time in our search for a house we went back to a town I almost live in. This is Saint Avé in the agglomeration or metropolitan area of Vannes,a city of about 11K people.

When I first came into the area there was an apartment offered here but thought the stairs were a bit tight to go to the second floor so decided not to. This is how I got to know Saint Avé. Thereafter, came by several times to eat and shop at the Hyper U hypermarket here.

This time came in with the whole gang to seek some addresses for houses and see the neighborhood. Needless to say, the area is tops, very nice,big homes,clean, and a quiet feel even if on May 1 Labor day here in France.

The town has a walkpath on the camp de César as records have it the great Cesar of Rome had a camp here . Difficult to determine the exact date, but there it was at 125 meters high surrounded by wells and canals to protect its access and a good view over the gulf down Vannes way. It is a historical place named in France. More on the Saint Avé city govt page in French http://www.saint-ave.fr/patrimoine_archeologie.html

The church of Saint Gervais et Saint Protais suffered a lot on humidity problems, was destroyed in the 19C and rebuilt between 1830 and 1834 where the building of today is from. The old church dates back to the 15C and those parts dates from  1426 to 1481.  Read more in French at the city govt page ,http://www.saint-ave.fr/patrimoine_religieux.html

The other more known and kept is the Chapel of Notre Dame du Loc where built from  1475 to 1494 is still an example of the Breton religious art. Amongst the richest inside you will find retables in sand, a chancel cross from 1500, granite retables and an alabaster from England, a formidable collection of polychrome statues from the 15C to 19C where the it has the Virgin and the Child recently restored. More in French at the city govt page http://www.saint-ave.fr/patrimoine_religieux.html

There are many nice castles and manoirs or mansion houses around the city, a nice forest area, and great lively city center,a potential for the family,and a nice getaway for visitors and guest alike!

It is attached touristically to the Vannes regional government center and capital of the Morbihan, unfortunately the info on Saint Avé is not translated, you can see the items some of them posted here and use a translation service like google or bing, it will be a nice exercise to do so because of my post ::) Here are some photos ,enjoy them.

Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé Saint Avé

 

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