Archive for September, 2013

September 29, 2013

My travels in the Morbihan ,part VIIII

Well one of  those days in Brittany and the Morbihan no exception. Great weekdays and cloudy rainy weekend. Still grapping with the new house purchase and doing work and planning for more on it. So today Sunday , a cloudy and rainy day was a time to relax in the afternoon at home with a nice dinner of rabbit in mustard sauce with white burgundy wines,créme de cassis for the kir, and plenty of cheeses,and desserts ,home coffee and tea, just grand in our new dining room.

We took rides lately on towns surrounding ours such as Locminé, and Grand Champ, then we took a ride into Camors and Baud plus a nice tour of Pluvigner.  There is much to see here.

It is a huge region with plenty of history from the union of Brittany to France in 1532 to now, and the wars and the revolution against the French revolution that is not mentioned much in official media but its very clear and live here. The religious fervor much more than in other regions of France, the numerous chapels or small churches and grand, and the pardon or processions, the costumes, the dresses, the dance, and the language.

The more we interact with the local Bretons, the more friendly we think of them. Today we had neighbors coming in to help get work done and they brought their cousins for additional help, and giving products with good prices. The friendly welcome in the restaurants and services in town we already use, its very comforting to know we are in a nice area and a great friendly town.

This is Locminé main town’s webpage http://www.mairie-locmine.fr/index.php/2012-11-21-10-28-53/histoire-locale

and here is Grand Champ, http://www.grandchamp.fr/accueil_grandchamp , with the area tourist site of  Landes de  Lanvaux, http://www.landes-de-lanvaux.com/accueil_landeslanvaux/vos_loisirs/le_patrimoine_bati/grand_champ 

Here is Baud, where one of my sons take his bus to go his training aprentice job, http://www.mairie-baud.fr/ ,and the nearer town of Camors, http://www.camors56.fr/tourisme-activites/camors-en-bref and down to my own now at Pluvigner ,http://www.pluvigner.fr/module-Contenus-viewpub-tid-9-pid-290.html

You have here the Church of saint Pierre in Baud, and the church of Saint Sané at Camors; showing the most outstanding element is the altarpiece of the southern Chapel.  It has embossed with a brutal realism, the scene of the beheading of St. John the Baptist . According to records, the Church Saint-Sane dates from 1640. However, it was amended by annexes which came to piggy back on the main building at different times. The Church is the result of the merger of two chapels, which gives it an original appearance with its two opposite pinnacles. The sacristy was built with stones from the old Sainte-Suzanne chapel which stood to the North. It is its steeple dominates the pinion to the east.

The wonderful municipal pool  or piscine at Baud ,open to the public on Mondays from 17h to 19h30 for adults, wednesdays 15h to 18h for kids and adults, and Saturdays 15h to 19H30 for all, the fees for children under 16 is 1,80€ and for adults is 3,40€.  It is located in the city center, the swimming pool is open all year round. The basin has a length of 25 m and a depth of 90 cm and 2 m 10 maximum. A slide is available to the public. The swimming pool can be open in the summer thanks to its removable roof.

There is a daily bus service to connect with train stations in Auray and Vannes on TIM line 5 where you can connect to the TGV to Montparnasse Paris. 2€ per trip and the schedule now is at pdf file here http://www.morbihan.fr/UserFile/flash/CarteTIM/horaires/HLn5-H1-2013.pdf The gare routiére or bus depot is located across from the municipal pool and nex to the museum of post cards or Cartopole( history of Brittany on post cards nicely display). http://www.morbihan.com/musee-cartopole/baud/tabid/7430/offreid/8f3d05fa-84d5-4025-b342-0a8559bfc473/detail-visites.aspx

 Like I said ,plenty to see here and I will try, time permitting, to show you my new area in the next chapters on my blog.  Have a great Sunday. Cheers

Baud Baud Baud Camors Camors Camors

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September 22, 2013

My travels in the Morbihan, part VIII

Well just covering all the angles, my boys will be starting a job !!! in a new area so needed to know where they will and the transportation to get home on weekends for one and during the week for the other.

The one new for us was to be based at Locminé, a nice small town, famous for its resistance of the chouans to the French revolution! great battles here in 1796 and 1799. What most people think is that the revolution was done and over in 1789 but there was stiff resistance from the Vendée, Bretagne,and southern Normandie area until 1832, first with head on combats and then guerrilla warfare !!! Locminé  takes its name from Loch Menech, or site of monks. Many historians claimed that in the 7C many disciples of Saint Gildas de Rhuys prayed at the extreme corners of the parish of abbey Saint Sauveur de Moriac ou Moréac that eventually became St Colomban.

This is the local mayor’s office site in French,but for the history you can translated with google or bing. http://www.mairie-locmine.fr/index.php/2012-11-21-10-28-53/histoire-locale

The main sites here are many chapels, fountains, calvaries, and the church of St Colomban (old St Sauveur). and my in city favorite chapel Notre Dame du Plasker.

Chapelle Notre Dame du Plasker or The Lady of the Plasker chapel or chapel of the Congregation: located in the city centre, a place of prayers would have existed at its location as early as the 11th century. The present Chapel dates from the 16th century. During the French Revolution, the Chapel is transformed into deposit of material and is used for some time of a decadence temple.
In 1804, the municipality made down the upper part of the steeple and replaces it with the current “stove”. At the beginning of the 20th century the building escaped demolition.

Eglise Saint Colomban, (St Sauveur); This country church was built n the 15C and modified in the 1970’s . the abbey Laudrin, deputy mayor decided to built a new church than restore the old one, so it was done trying to preserve the facade of the 16C. When I arrive in town just before midday they was a mass going on, so did not want to take pictures inside. It is ,also, known as the church of St Sauveur on the new church taking from the old Saint Colomban.

There is an impressive lycée Anne de Bretagne or high school, a bit of history from the school site that I translated below a bit.

In 1926, the Congregation of the daughters of Jesus founded a home school to Kermaria (in Plumelin). This is first an agricultural course alternating or “internat” who officially becomes a home course in 1942, then the Institution for women in agriculture of Kermaria in 1951.  It was a school for girls, which ran a week over three. It was intended to provide young girls of the rural world, household and technical education in agricultural, allowing them to take their place in a farm. This led to the  development of new courses and forced the congregation to think about the construction of new premises outside Kermaria. In 1964, starts the construction of a new building in Locmine, 2 km from the parent company. But between the date of the design of the project and the opening date of the new buildings, education has evolved. The need for education “household” becomes in need of General and technical subjects. Thus the course home and technical skills Kermaria becomes the College of agricultural techniques Anne of Brittany. The move took place in 1966.
 
Yes you are in the country here and farm animals are everywhere ::) cheers for another episode of Morbihan beauty and  history.
Locminé Locminé Locminé Locminé
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September 21, 2013

My Travels in the Morbihan,part VII

One of the lately rare weekends where I can take some rides in my new area. Very busy on the job with conventions and preparing for long trip next month. Then, of course, is the new home, doing errands all over chasing the French administration, famous for been inadequate on a Napoleonic system ,they seems to hold on dearly and always fears of change.

Well enough for the squals. Today ,I did my trip to a nice inland town of Grand Champ, not far from my new home, in fact, its where I go now to work as it is easier to get to Vannes. The road D779 passes right by it.

Amazing, it has a tourist office, but closed until Sept 24.  It is call the Landes des Lanvaux, or the lands of Lanvaux for the old lord of the region many centuries ago. Here it is ,http://www.landes-de-lanvaux.com/accueil_landeslanvaux

Here you have ,well the traditional market day (marché) on Saturday mornings from 8h to 13h with fruits, meats, cheeses,cookies, galettes, etc by the place de l’église.

Grand Champ comes from its Gallo-Roman language Grandi Campo that has been seen in writings from 1224AD ,it is transform into the Breton language by  a chevalier named  Cillart that proclaims the name of  “Kercamp“,or the village of the fields.  At the Révolution, the people of Grand Champ take side with the local farmers or the Chouannerie revolt again the civil constitution ; the local hero of the revolts born in nearby Auray  Gen Georges Cadoudal  spent many times here. The town is invaded several times by the Chouans that cut the tree of the liberty here in one of their incursions in march 15 1794.

The place has a nice mediathéque or library ,picturesque city center, nice restauration, and the main of course is the church Saint Tugdual, the church dated from the early on but totally destroyed during the revolution. It was rebuilt in 1817. The Church houses  two showcases containing  embroidered chasubles of gold and silver thread, the oldest known in Morbihan, as well as a shining treasure of gold. Chalices, patterns, censer, processional cross, etc. are all unique pieces.

Another is the numerous chapels or small churches around, right in the city ,there is the Chapelle Notre Dame du Perpétuel Secours from 1898,right at rue saint yves.  Many more of interests in fountains, castles, and mansions of even the high fashion folks, some private still. Much to explore around.

Restaurant Roi Stevan, and the Auberge de Lanvaux, with the créperie La Galiflette, and the great chocolaterie artisanal La Cabouse with great chocolates.. And, for relaxing a nice municipal pool heated and covered.Only the chocolate has a webpage of its own at, http://www.lacabosse-creative.com/

For those on public transport ,there is a bus No 2 TIM department network from Vannes passing b the train station /bus station and pl de la liberation near city center, there that is connected to Montparnasse in Paris on TGV.http://www.morbihan.fr/UserFile/flash/CarteTIM/horaires/HLn2-H1-2013.pdf

Enjoy Grand Champ, and me just a tip of the iceberg still. Cheers.

Grand Champ Grand Champ Grand Champ Grand Champ Grand Champ Grand Champ Grand Champ Grand Champ Grand Champ Grand Champ Grand Champ Grand Champ Grand Champ

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September 20, 2013

Paris and Neuilly-sur-Seine, pourquoi pas?

Slowly coming back to my blog as moving a house and a entire family is not easy. We are now settling in, and keeping with my travels. I went back to my beloved Paris again, and this time to my ultra chic quartier des sablons in Neuilly-sur-Seine, dept 92.

This was an area that I used to worked so know it well; this time had a function at the marvelous théatre des sablons, site http://www.theatredessablons.com/ a fantastic place too ,and I had a blast.

Well, I went by TGV train from Auray to Montparnasse, and then took metro line 13 to my hotel, (company oblige) at Grand Hotel du Calvados, https://www.hotelcalvados.com/pa101se5/Hotel-calvados-welcome.html, right by the gare saint lazare, typical hotel here is smallish rooms and baths, basic breakfast place, nice friendly staff, good for a night or two and or single or couples. It is centrally located with unlimited transportation options.

However, before reaching the hotel ,I stop for dinner with colleagues at Restaurant Le Carré at 12 pl Saint Augustin; wonderful modern ambiance and inventive fusion food, with a côte de cochon that was to kill for it and great southwestern madiran red Tourus, nice souffle grand marnier to boot all for 54 euros, tops, chic, class, well done. http://www.restaurant-le-carre.com/

It was an easy to roam area, nice updated, Gare Saint Lazare is wonderful with a big modern shopping center inside. The area seems lively, LIKE I NEVER LEFT IT lol!!!!

Next day was business, so ,off I went to the theater of Sablons or Théatre des Sablons, I took bus 43 right at the Pasquier-Anjou stop across from the Chapelle Expiatoire monument to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette many missed. The bus dropped me off at Chartres just next to the theater. The line is here from RATP ,http://www.ratp.fr/informer/pdf/orienter/f_plan.php?nompdf=43&loc=bus_paris/

Then, in the evening, I took bus 82 right at Chartres stop too, and it goes all the way to Gare de Montparnasse in rue des departs, wonderful right to some of the best spots in Paris such Tour Eiffel! The line from RATP ,http://www.ratp.fr/informer/pdf/orienter/f_plan.php?nompdf=82&loc=bus_paris/

Had my late night snack at La Porte Océane at Montparnasse, and took my TGV back to Auray. The parking here is free, so very nice indeed. It is ,also,, the closest to my house now about 20 minute car ride. Reaching home by almost midnight and ready to work again today on a very light day. Now its weekend time.

You all have a great weekend ::) Some photos.

Neuilly sur Seine Neuilly sur Seine Neuilly sur Seine Neuilly sur Seine Neuilly sur Seine PAris PAris PAris PAris PAris PAris PAris PAris PAris PAris

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September 13, 2013

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton II

well another week is coming to an end, and here I am at home with a rest day off from work but really was more tiring.

The house is finally free of paperwork, and beginning to unload all those boxes, shaping our new home. Today , we finally have TV after a local tv repairmen took some live plug and replace those of Orange and bingo it works. Just to show you how poorly the customer service is still in France from the normal operators. Find a friendly store neighbor just about 500 meters from me and that is all it took. TV is back on lol!

Today is really when everything works and we can call it our real first day in our new home. So ,this weekend will be ,also, our first free of worries about administrative crap. My sons will begin a new job next week ,and so we are on for the last part of the year.

I will be in company annual convention in Paris then more meetings at home before heading next month on a busy schedule visiting Indonesia, China, and shortly after Vietnam. All company paid of course ::)

I just past another milestone as it was my birthday and my sons gave me a refrigerated wine cellar as gift,nicely neat to keep those bottles cool. Of course, I am still young ::) and created, and played and captained our company corporate football/league team! Season starts next week with games every friday at nearby town.

Just a reminder to all this weekend is Heritage days in France, and many buildings monuments, churches etc will be open to the public when normally not, I will try to see a couple in my new area, and try the homemade locally made home brew lol!

Until next time in Paris 1972 Versailles 2003 blog doldrums. Cheers. ps.by the way the picture is my new house, see the forest!

Pluvigner

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September 11, 2013

Some news from France CXV

Here I am on breton night of Wednesday, kids get off school at half day so traffic was less indeed. Another day in paradise, and waiting for the weekend as always ,the poor’s man reward.

However, while nice to be here, France beckons, and Paris awaits next week again, one can’t never be too far from Paris physically or mentally , it is always there.

Even the elusive Kris Kristofferson is coming to town.  He will be at  the Trianon, 80, bd de Rochechouart . Tél.: 01 44 92 78 00. On September 15 at 19h30. admission from  51 to 62 €. http://www.letrianon.fr/eventdetail592_KRIS+KRISTOFFERSON.html

Hey although nowdays I enter Paris by Montparnasse, I cannot forget my first train station of entrance to work in Paris, Gare St Lazare, it was a bit rusty and old, then, but it has gone a renaissance and its now I said one of the best train stations in France ,not to say Europe.  Take a look at its flashy store front website here http://stlazareparis.com/  and of course, if trains is all you care about, the SNCF info site will give it to you in English, http://www.gares-en-mouvement.com/en/frpsl/votre-gare/

This is a great theater near the area of my work,and visit next week, Théatre des Sablons, yes by metro Sablons or buses 43 and 82 at Chartres takes you here easy from Paris, the theater is in nearby Neuilly-sur-Seine dept 92. Great expectacles and Jane Birkin will be in December lol! http://culture.theatredessablons.com/spectacles

Come and relieve your 40’s when the video game took off and king now, with music n the basement or sous sol, with DJ and machines all over in a modernistic game environment, the food is classic of the times too, pizzas and pasta galore. The owners are involved in chic places like Pacha in Paris, so come and see it. Le Fantôme, 68, rue d’Hauteville (75010). Tél.: 09 66 87 11 20. Open from 11h to 2 h. Nostalgic because here was where my now wife worked,and be often afterward, the Paradis quartier , then and now magical Paris. No webpage yet but you get there on metro  Poissonnière (line 7), and metro Château d’Eau (line 4).

For the ecolo side, the bicycle is great in Paris and more and more lanes have been opened. At the end of August 2013 there were more than 700 kms of lanes in the Paris region!!! Some sights, places to rent and regulations :

«Paris à Vélo Sympa», was the pioneer for over 20 years now doing it. see it at www.parisvelosympa.com  then «Vélo Paris», has thematic rides by night,medieval and along the water, see it at www.veloparis.com . There are Vélos-Taxis such as around the Place de la Concorde , at the entrance to the jardin des tuileries as Drago Pousse-Pousse.  Tél.: 06 42 25 08 22. All from 15€,according to the distance. Tél.: 09 70 40 66 69.  www.tripup.fr

Don’t forget the stores , you have to be ready with the latest ,after all ,its Paris. The best is Vintage Cycles, offering many choices at 0, rue Alexandre-Dumas (75009). Tél.: 01 44 93 95 85. http://www.vintage-cycles.fr/ . Then you have Vélo Vintage with used bikes from the 60’s to 80’s to ride. 58, rue du Ruisseau (75018). Tél.: 06 13 13 42 27.  http://velo-vintage.com/. Another good is Bicycle Store, with accessories for bikers at 17, bd du Temple (75003 ). Tél.: 09 51 61 68 29. http://www.bicyclestore.fr/accueil.

The city riders gets a subvention or refund of 25% of the purchase price of bike with electric assistance up to 400 euros this is until December 31 2013 , info in French at city mayor’s office  http://www.paris.fr/pratique/deplacements-voirie/dossier/velo-a-assistance-electrique-paris-vous-aide/rub_7096_dossier_75490_port_16333

Right now you have from September 13 to 16 the Salon du Cycle at the parc des expositions de la porte de Versailles. You can test bikes on site, and rides with more than 400 brands from 27 countries. See all info here . www.lesalonducycle.com .

The cyclist takes a toll on Paris too, as many times they take their own rules at hand to the detriment of motor transport.  Here are some of the unwritten rules, first, the cyclists do not give up the fact to take the shortest distance between two points; they take any street even in one way against the flow of traffic; on traffic lights , on green light they go with the cars, on red light ,they pass on the pedestrian areas and continue; the bikers never get off their bike, they prefer to walk with it, there is no square, or public place that is prohibited for them; so beware of the bikers when walking or driving in Paris. See the photo on the plan routes of bikes in Paris .

Last but not least ,the famous pain aux raisins or raisin bread is one of my favorites for breakfast and one of the best is my favorite Carette at place du Vosges, with fauchon, angelina, Smith, Lenôtre, and Bread & Roses as contenders.http://www.carette-paris.com/fr/

And I leave you with Paris, the movable feast, the city of lights, the city where all should begin and end. Cheers.

Paris

September 8, 2013

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton!

Hi to all, a few days for the moving ,and its always a stressing moment here, once all the paperwork is in place all works well , but once you change even a bit, and its chaotic times.

After 12 days, I still don’t have television because we have a forfait that includes TV, internet, telephone and cellular, all else works except the TV. Tired of calling customer service and the technical dept of Orange, we ask for a technician to come home at no charge. This is now for the 14 september, which if all goes well, we will have TV after 18 days!!! Vive la différence !

In the meantime, all else goes very well, and we are all settled in with all boxes out, and all on display again.  Back to school for tries or stages to perfectioning of skills for the boys, and Dad is traveling again first to Paris for our company annual convention, and then to Indonesia, China and next month Vietnam.

The town we are now is call Pluvigner, same department of Morbihan 56, in fact only about 11 kms from where we were, but a much bigger home. 255 sq meters of home and 1000 m2 of land!!! The house is great, we will do some adjustment to our convenience but no major works needed.

It is 300 meters from the bus stop, and about 400 meters from downtown or city center, on the crossroad of a road that takes to my job in 35 minutes by car. We have huge supermarkets at 600 meters, and smaller grocery stores, and all amenities including the post office in 400 meters. All our neighbors are single home with big houses and land. So far many Bonjours,and nice help in finding things.

Pluvigner is a town of about 7500 people crisscross by many departamental roads such as the D16, D102,D133 ,D102 and the dept wde D768 going to the beaches of Carnac and Quiberon. About 35 kms from Quiberon and 11 from Auray.

We had our first walk in town today and we just came back in 20 minutes to see all of city center, very compact.  Quiet Sunday of course, all closed ::) But we even have a tourist office attached to the mayor’s office !!! A very historical town with 8 castles, and 19 chapels 2 churches, amongst other goodies all around the area encomprising Pluvigner.

I will have some  photos of it and will need to really start getting to know the region in the next few weeks, months,and years.  Its a country living ,totally change of pace for me, and just training ground for the retirement still years away. Have a great Sunday everyone. Cheers

Pluvigner

mediatheque and library of pluvigner

Pluvigner Pluvigner Pluvigner Pluvigner Pluvigner Pluvigner

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September 5, 2013

The churches of Rome

One thing happenned when you visit Rome, there are more churches than bars, lol!!

These were all over in any corner, end of street , middle ,beginning of street , n squares, around bridges and on hills. There all over the city.

Some are world famous, such as St Peter’s (not really in Rome but n the Vatican), St John of Latran, the church of Saint Louis of the French, Basilica of Santa Maria maggiore, church of fallen angel, basilica of santo apostoli,Santa Maria dei angeli e dei martiri, basilica St Cosme, santa maria in trastaverde, basilica st Sabina, basilica ambrosio e carlo, church of fallen angels, church of St Alessio,church of Scala Santa, church of St Andrea, church of St Bosco, church of St Croce in gerulaceme, church of st francis of assisi at ripa, church of santa maria dei carmelo,church trinità dei monti, church of santa maria miracoli, and some not remembering their name like at via st agnese in the Nomentano district.

Wikipedia says there are over 900 churches in Rome, and I tend to believe it.  This site tells them all, too numerous for me to post here, http://www.romeartlover.it/Churches.html

You can always check the tourist office at Rome http://www.turismoroma.it/cosa-fare-categorie/chiese-e-basiliche?lang=en

Now enjoy some pictures I took while walking around ,in and out and passing by. Enjoy Rome, it was ok after all. Cheers

Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome

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September 3, 2013

The Vatican and Rome

Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome RomeOn my recent trip to Rome, I needed to take the family by the Vatican area. It was hugely crowded, and long lines, even for the museum. As we are not into museums, we quickly took a tour of the place and head elsewhere.

However, the place is huge and magnetic, many pilgrimages do come, from many countries. The via della conciliazione is great leading from St Peter’s to the Castel San Angelo and its bridge over the center of Rome.

The bus 62 takes you all the way to the castel and if you are in Termini train station take bus 40 to the Vatican. 1,50€ one way per person no need for tours.

Walk the historical areas is our pastime so we did enjoy walking and seeing all the wonderful architecture and into the smaller streets to see the local life.

I leave  you with some pictures of it, hope you enjoy it, and do pay a visit even outside is wonderful.

ps I have moved into my new house; many things to do now lol!!!

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