Archive for November, 2013

November 30, 2013

Brest at Christmas time, marché de Noêl

Today was weekend opening day of the Christmas market or marché de Noêl at Brest and we were there right from the start at 11h.

It is a city I have written before ,last on April 11 2012. It is about 2 hrs from where I live now by car;and no tolls in Brittany! So we combine the trip to the city to do some shopping at the Christmas market, window shopping in city center,and lunch in one of our favorite hangouts here in Brittany.

We got up early and went by car following a new road from our new home, very country indeed and fast… Like I said, we arrive by 11h and decided to take a quick look at the place de la liberté where the marché de Noêl is held. The place was still trying to be open by the merchants so just did a walk around inspecting the différents chalets.

From there we went on a walk around town, into the train station, the pont de la recouvrance , the tour Tanguy, and the shopping center street of Rue du Siam.

Afterward ,we had our lunch at Au Bureau, right in 10 rue du siam.http://www.au-bureau.fr/restaurants.php  This is a pub with road signs of California USA,and a modern classic menu. I  had a toast on hot goat cheese, or toast au chévre chaud as entrée, then a huge hamburger curry, then a moelleux au chocolat, or chocolate cake with the center is melting hot ;at the end, two glasses of Leffe royale belgian beers, and all for 14,70€!!!

We got back to the marché de Noêl ,where we did some shopping in sausages, pan d’épices and one with chocolate; different cakes with Christmas motifs, vin chaud or hot wine drink, and a leather belt for me! For activities see the city site, http://www.brest.fr/culture/tous-les-ans-a-brest/noel-a-brest.html  it will last until 24 December 2013. Saturday 21 december there will be a teen party at the conference room of the Hotel de Ville! music by charles Dickens on Sundays December 8,22, Mondays 23 and Tuesday 24. Presentation of sister cities like Denver CO USA; different kiosks with music of several genres in city center ,concert on the 24Dec by Jean_Luc Roudaut; Choruses at salon Richelieu Hotel de Ville on each Saturdays and Sundays;revue from the 50’s,marionnettes for kids, and many more.

We then took a peek at the musée de la marine at the Château de Brest. We were there but very quickly and did not see the collection last time so this time we made up and saw the whole thing. Very nice welcome,and interesting story of marine;naval history of Brest and Brittany and France. Here is the official site in French, http://www.musee-marine.fr/brest  as well as the city of Brest info on it, http://www.brest.fr/culture/patrimoine/le-musee-de-la-marine.html

Its a museum on a laberinth of castle fortress rooms, towers, and dungeons, really neat to visit for only 6€ adults. After that we came home,and ready for another week of getting kids to their jobs in new location and me business trip to Madrid,Spain. Already thinking what to do next,and where lol!!! so difficult to choose in la belle France ::)

Brest Brest Brest Brest Brest

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November 22, 2013

Some news from Spain XII

This is time to write about Spain, its been a while but when you are far ,well busy…..

My team the Real Madrid , that have written so much on it here, is now in third place but will have that change at the end of the season ::) They are getting ready for the next Liga BBVA match vs Almeria;in the 14 game of the season in Almeria.  We have 31 points with 13 matches ,10 wins,1 tied,2 losses ,35 goals in favor, and 17 goals against (poor).

We play the first round of the King’s Cup (Copa del Rey) vs Olimpic de Xàtiva, on Dec 7 and the return on Dec 12 2013. And the bigger Champions league of Europe, we are playing the group rounds in Group B, vs Galatarasay of Turkey, Copenhagen of Denmark, and Juventus of Italy. We are in first place with 10 points our seconds only have 4! so we will go thru the next round.

In basketball, we are in first place undefeated 6×0, in the Liga Endesa with our next match Nov 24 vs our derby Estudiantes at home. In the Euroleague or basketball equivalent of the Champions league we are in Group B with Milano Italy, Efes Pilsen Turkey, Zalguiris Lithuania,Brose of Germany, and Strasbourg of France.

The sorting of the groups for the World Cup in Brazil next June 2014 will be held on december 6, and Spain will not be with France for the group ::)

In a contest in metropoli of El Mundo newspaper they had chosen as the best souvenir boutiques of the muséums in Spain as the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemizra, both of Madrid, then Alhambra of Granada, Fundacion Joan Miro , Barcelona ,and the Guggenheim of Bilbao.

In Spain we rendered honor to the 50 years of the Pirelli calendar;you know the one with the beautiful women…http://www.pirellical.com/50years/

And now that its about the time to be Christmas i missed most my times in Spain, Castilla y Leon, Zamora, Leon, Salamanca, Valladolid, Segovia, Soria, Avila y Palencia. memories….

The Centro Cubano, 41-1º Calle Claudio Coello, Madrid, the oldest Cuban restaurant in Europe (open in 1967) closed in 2011. Now I hear that members of the family are trying to open a new one in José Ortega y Gasset street. no name yet. Stay tuned. http://www.elcentrocubano.es/

I will be back again early December 2013 ::) Have a great weekend.

 

 

November 17, 2013

To Vannes and my boys 20 birthday !!!

Ok today is short and sassy. It is so nice that a special date falls on a Sunday. My twin boys are 20 years old today.

I am proud of them for been good, well behave kids. Always helpful around the house, and already on their way to adult life with their first job.

One is pursuing his wish of working in a garden wooden housing building here, the ones you see as tool sheds in your patio.. The other is working with cabinet and hospital suplies Equipment, building them such as the medical cabinet you see in hospital rooms and the beds that takes you into emergency rooms and operating rooms…

They chose the restaurant today as they are not level headed kids. Vannes is the perfect town as it is lively , biggest town in the area,and beautiful inner city still preserve as nothing was damage during the wars. I was happy that my father could join us as he is a diabètes patient and Under heavy medication. He took the trip just for his grandchildren :::)))

We went to Vannes and had reservation at A l’Aise Breizh Café, right in the  capitainerie in the Le Port area of Vannes. This is the pleasure marina with berths for 3000 boats!!! You eat on top of the capitainerie and see the canal with all those boats. webpage

http://www.alaisebreizhcafe.com/v2/index.php/plans-d-acces

The ambiance here is excellent, very helfpul happy, prompt service always.  The food is great well done and well presented. You need réservations for the evenings and weekends as it is packed with locals. ON Sundays you have many families from the area bringing their eldest to eat together. The dining room was packed and I love it.

I usually don’t go into what we eat here, (don’t want to make folks jealous ::)) but this is a special date and simple eating with family. We started with the apéritifs or apéros, we have Americano, juices, water  (grandpa), and breizh mojitos;all nicely done.

After that and some chat, we went for entrées or plat main dish as each had different tastes and hunger! I had the excellent fish soup, and then the dos de cabillaud with vegetables dish of the day or plat du jour; here always call the poisson du jour(fish of the day); then a banana split, and finally a expresso coffee. All that we drank a wonderful Rioja red Navajas bottle to blend in all origins lol!!!

We took a little walk in Le Port area as my father can’t walk too much, and then went back home. In the restaurant , my twins got a nice gift as a coffee mug from A l’Aise Breizh Café ,which ,also, has a boutique on each of their location ,and more alone.

it is a chilly 8C, day started cloudy but then went sunny in the afternoon, now in the evening is back to cloudy. We had expectations of 4C during the night;winter is here early….! Stay warm and have a great Sunday  and week.Cheers!!!

November 7, 2013

Some news from France CXVIII

Here we are in the fall, well almost winter. and we still doing house work on the new home. I just started opening my travel Library of boxes and hopefully finding my cdrom of photos lol!

The Le Figaro ran a competition on the best kouglofs of Paris, the nice alsacien specialty. The winner was Boulangerie Vandermeerch , 278, avenue Daumesnil,(75012). Tél. +33 (0) 1 43 47 21 66.  open every day except mondays and tuesdays. Again another winner from the overcrowdely touristic center districts of Paris. Like I said…

France benefits from one of the biggest and most dense network of libraries in the world. It has about  2500 of them (compare with only  1000 in the UK).  In Paris,there is a Library for each  4800 inhabitants – a record. The government just came to help more with an aide package of 9M€ to help the indépendants. there is even a new internet site that regroup them all.  It will help find your book, choose the Library closest to you, and reserve to pick up there. THe site is in French, http://www.parislibrairies.fr/

The fleas, brocantes, markets are plenty in France,and plenty also in Paris, there are two sites that will help you find them all. one is  le site http://quefaire.paris.fr/evenements/?c=31&quienparle=brocantes#pagination  , and the other is the site http://brocabrac.fr/ ;now go shopping the season is coming and so is New Years…

Now you can even have alcohol delivered  in 30 minutes!  it is on from 19h to 6h.  Allo Apero Night. You can choose from  champagne,  whisky,liquors,  Baileys, vodka,  gin, rum, and wine, also, apéritifs,beers, softdrinks and  salads ! webpage http://www.alloaperonight.fr/

nice place to stay ,the Hotel de l’Abbaye, 10, rue Cassette, 75006. Room done a la English with flower wallpapers, just magical to look ,so to stay is sublime. webpage http://www.hotelabbayeparis.com/fr/#/6

Until March 8 2014 at the Salle Saint Jean de l’Hôtel de Ville de Paris, you will see wonderful photographs of inmense Paris by Brassaî, call  Brassaï : Pour l’amour de Paris.  For more than 50 years Brassaî ,the writer, photographer, and movie maker had with Paris a total passion.  The city that made the red cord of his work and the heart of his réflexions all along his career. http://www.paris.fr/accueil/accueil-paris-fr/l-exposition-brassai-en-avant-premiere-dans-une-application-gratuite/rub_1_actu_137105_port_24329

Short and sassy, enjoy the week, here rains continue lol!!! AND just notice, this is my 550th post ,wohoo!!! I am smoking the WordPress page!

November 2, 2013

Some news from Bretagne XIII

On a cloudy rainy Saturday night, here are somethings that will happenned in my neck of the woods.

We are having the salon habitat November 16-18 at Vannes Parc Expo; this is the event to see al lthe latests on home ,decoration,renovation, énergies, gardens, pools, you name it for the home. http://www.deficom-evenements.fr/informations-pratiques-vannes-novembre/  and the chorus park is here with more information http://www.lechorus.com/salon-de-l-habitat-et-immobilier

They follow with the  Salon des Vins et de la Gastronomie de Quimper, in the GRAND HALL du Parc des expositions de Penvillers , this is November 16, 17,and 18 2013. http://www.deficom-evenements.fr/presentation-svg-quimper/

We will have a wonderful event from November 30th to December 1st 2013 the Salon Festi’Vini 2013 at Lorient and later on at Quimper. 30 winegrowers will show their wares and tastings purchases on site. Also, whiskies, rhums, chocolates ,and goodies gastronomiques.  This around one of the top wines and gourmand store in the area VINIGUSTO – 4 Rue  Jacques Brel, ZA Du Plénéno – 56100 Lorient webpage here http://www.vinigusto.com/la-cave-pxl-12.html  The area will be by the Brit Hotel, Le Kerotel,  1 rue Simone Signoret, traffic circle or Rd point du Plénéno(sortie or exit Lorient Centre).

At the parc du Chorus in Vannes (see link as in salon habitat above), we will have the Salon du Chocolat from November 8-11 2013, delicious eating all around, this is the 4th edition of this event ever so more popular. You have it all here http://vannes.chocolat-gourmandises-expo.com/

We have a unique festival of mimics here call the Festi’Mômes 2013 running from now to the 11 November at Questembert in inland Morbihan dept. Mimics from all over Europe comes over, and its great for the kids at all ages or the Young at heart like me. I have the webpage of the city of Questembert here just go to programme “télecharger le programme” and download the program http://www.pays-questembert.fr/node/1666

At the cinéville cinémas of Vannes, you have a whole season of opéra right on the screen, cinema style, There are presentation from the Metropolitan Opera like Tosca, Prince Igor, La Bohéme, and Falstaffs, then the Bolshoi theater will have présentations on Spartacus,the Golden age, (l’age d’or), and others for the 2013-14 season running now; click on the booklet to see the entire program in pdf file here http://www.cineville.fr/details.php?idsalle=8186&salle=vannes&opera=01

A unique lodging experience, go in the woods and rent a house on a tree or a train wagon turn lodging. This is the Dihan Evasion of different housing choices, all in a natural environment.  It is a space of 25 hectares with spa, hamman, sauna, tissanerie) , polynesian massages etc. it is at the lieu dit dihan-Kerganiet 56400 Ploemel near me, see more here http://www.dihan-evasion.org/

I like to go over some restaurants that I have written before, they are still in vogue and we frequent them such, today again .

A new one with new owners and totally remodeled is Le West, 14 allée des Menhirs, Carnac plage, glass, woods, sculptures, panoramic mezzanine, jardin and pergola all wonderful ambiance and great food. Beef angus from Scotland, and breton raised pigs with real ocean shrimps. http://www.ot-carnac.fr/fiche/clin-d-oeil/bar-cocktail—west-pub-compagny/741aba91-15d5-4271-891f-22e1778efe59

One of my favorites in old section of Vannes (town I work) is Chez la Mére 6 sous, 11 rue de Closmadeuc (at the end of street sort of alley). here you are like in a parisien bistro of old, pizza à la flammenkûche, hachis parmentier on site, are just to kill for, plenty of hearty dishes and great company. open Tuesdays to Saturdays. http://www.morbihan.com/restaurant-chez-la-mere-six-sous/vannes/tabid/7419/offreid/d031f62e-3a6f-4df1-8c0c-207f224ab514/detail-restaurants.aspx

La Gargouille, 9 rue Aristide Briand (near hotel la marébaudiére) open 7/7!!! a medieval restaurant setting, with a huge chimney, with traditional brochettes cook in front of you; st jacques, shrimps, beef, lamb, and diethetique dishes. The foie gras is done on site, unique, and the chocolate cake is known by many including my boys !!) Its unique for anniversaries and parties as the places is old, marvelously done. http://www.morbihan.com/restaurant-la-gargouille/vannes/tabid/7419/offreid/0071ec74-e557-4832-9a78-cc03b9f4991e/detail-restaurants.aspx

Closer to new home and the happening place at nights is L’Armoric at the St Goustan district of Auray (my previous town). This is concerts with live music, evenings karaoki, etc, great bar drinks, sports TV, and great restaurant next door all same complex by the river Loch. Great food and great times here;we are back often.  The magrets and foie gras are sublime here.  3 place St Sauveur, St Goustan, Auray. http://www.restaurant-pizzeria-bar-saint-goustan-auray.catchop.fr/

And right in my new town of Pluvigner, one of our best spots is a castle!!! Inside the Château de Rimaison, you have the créperie du château, at road D768 just before getting into city center.  You have a beautiful park, a chapel, and wonderful trees all around you. http://www.morbihan.com/la-creperie-du-chateau/pluvigner/tabid/7419/offreid/77b6dd25-f8af-4f51-86cc-b8ed70998603/detail-restaurants.aspx , and this is their own site in a blog! http://lacreperieduchateau.blogspot.fr/  ,and this is their blog for the castle, http://chateauderimaison.blogspot.fr/

Enjoy Bretagne, and especially the Morbihan dept 56 ::)

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November 1, 2013

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton IIII

Well today is a Holiday in France, it is toussaints or All Saint’s Day. It is a day to remember the loves that have passed away and the cementaries are full of folks visiting and flowers. I have already gone out with my father to purchase some beautiful white roses for my Mom; she rest off Honfleur Normandy amongst the brave like she was. We go there couple times a year to be close,and the flowers are kept in a vase at home with my father. As usual, this day is rainy,cloudy, and cool, all day so far.

We went out just to take advantage the supermarket opens in the morning and do the groceries, that way we will have the weekend freer. Now we are cooking some nice meal and wines, cheeses, etc. My boys are decorating more of their room with signs posts like bathroom, bedroom, game room etc sort of like a map Inside the house; you won’t get lost lol!!!

I took advantage of the short interlude on the groceries to first past with my father in the morning to see the fontaine de St Guigner right in town of Pluvigner, our town.  The fontaine Saint Guigner dates from 1526 AD. It is located at the crossing of the rue des Fontaines ,and  rue du Tanin. You can go by city center or easier go by the road D768 to rue des Fontaines right and the fountain is immediately on your left. The leyend of this fountain is that Saint Guigner with his sheperds pole had made the water come out from the ground and it became a fountain of deep devotion.  The day of the Pardon du Saint martyr ( repent of the martyr saint), the sick with rhumatism will drink the water and walk by the seven relics in the fountain.  The octagonal shape of the fountain, raise with a cross is completed with a laundry of 3 fountains. The source of the water is taken from a Stream rounded well of a meter deep that comes at the level of the stones. The city has other fountains and laundries that I will need to see in person, as seen in the city government page here http://www.pluvigner.fr/module-Contenus-viewpub-tid-2-pid-71.html

Later in the afternoon, I went out with the wife to search for the Chapelle de la Miséricorde; it is a chapel from 1600 AD; as there are many around here and I am just beginning to know my new area; slow by the business travels and house work. The Chapel of the  Miséricorde is located in the village way rural village of Kerven-Miséricorde on the South-East  side of the town of Pluvigner. It is well posted but you need a car as it is deep into farming areas here. The Chapel sits alone but its surrounded by farmers homes. The story is that is was built by the Sirs of the grand town in 1600 AD, then purchase by the family of Le Gouvello de Kériolet (a great Breton family) that lived in the château de Kerlois, nearby (and next on my agenda). The style is flamboyant gothic with traces of the Renaissance. THe building has four angles with pylons across and two poles.  This Chapel was the place of prayers of Pierre de Kériolet, also, known as the “diable de Kerlois”(devil of kerlois), that lived a life of crazy manners until been converted and ordained priest in 1637. The Chapel has several human heads sculpture into the stones and sand-stone building as well as a rich furniture including a tribune in polychrome representing the apostles. The repent ceremony or pardon is done the first Sunday of September. I need to be back for the Inside. http://www.pluvigner.fr/module-Contenus-viewpub-tid-2-pid-128.html

Just a bit more of my new town and area, still lots to do and see as in everything France, its beauty all around you and never a moment to think you know it all. Including things thousands that are not in any so call travel guide written by passer-bys outsiders. I see it too often in travel forums where we are too dependant on these guides, and forget there is a world to see on your own each day in movable feast France. Cheers.

 

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