Archive for May, 2014

May 14, 2014

Some news from France LXXXVI


Well here I am back and another glorious passing by Paris so time to write about some things going on in la Belle France.

First of all, a lot of people here  ask me where to stay in they go to Havana, well, traditional places are the Saratoga at paseo del Prado, ,the neo classical facade goes back to the 19C, enjoying fame from the 1930’s. The best room faces parque de la Fraternidad or fraternity park.  ; and of course for a drink go to the famous and now back Sloppy Joe’s , the original  at  the  corner of Zulueta and Animas Streets, now open at  Calle Empedrado 207. It goes back to the 30’s and back on top again with a bar 66 feet long or 20 meters! IT was closed in 1959 and since reopen, some of the famous visitors were Ramon Jacinto Herrera “Ray Tico”, John Wayne, Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, Ignacio Jacinto Villa y Fernandez “Bola de Nieves”, Mario Moreno “Cantinflas”, Jose Antonio Mendez “The King”, and many other personalities of the time. Just for my French friends.

Coming back home, do you know this year is the 100th anniversary of the Hôtel Negresco  in Nice: the history of France is there.6000 works of arts spread over 117 rooms. See it at 37 promenade des anglais, NIce,

You can come and relieve history at the Invalides with a video call La nuit aux Invalides, showing the historical past of post 1914 and liberation of Paris of 1944. You can see until May 25th at the Cour d’Honneur de l’Hôtel National des Invalides, see more at

Chantal Thomass, the lingerie queen of France will have the design of the coca cola light can in 2014. I try it at the salon Air France at CDG!!!

Have you seen the la librarie boutique du Petit Palais, in the pavillion north of the museum, a collection of works from its collections, very nice at ave Winston Churchill.  it is closed on Mondays.

Another wonderful property recently opened and commented on previous posts is the Le Carreau du Temple, 4 rue Eugéne-Spuller,  a metallic space of 6500 m2 now open with a main gallery of 70 000 square feet, closed on Sundays and more info here

Go to the new chic place in La Jeune Rue  around the Streets of rue Volta, rue du Vert-Bois, rue Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth on Paris 3éme arrondissement, beauty and good living abound, with top designer, chefs and grower producers, about 20 shops and a cinema are Under construction, see more at

Classy hotel from my friends in the business, hôtel Bourgogne & Montana, 3 rue de Bourgogne, 7éme. the building is from 1791 and Inside found deco with photos from Eugéne Atget, see more at and how about dinner in a train wagon in Paris!!! right out of the Orient Express at 1 rue des Fossés-Saint-Bernard, 5éme;  the chef from the institut du monde arabe is doing some wonderful créations until July 31th dinner serve from 19H, menu Anatolie 120€  see more at

Have a taste of our wonderful Lille famous Meert now in Paris at 3 rue Jacques-Callot, 6éme, closed Mondays the great waffles from 2,50€ a piece see more at

Have you ever ask me for an outlet store in France, we have been to those from McArthur Glen all over even the one in Luxembourg, great shopping, my kids were grown on clothing from them!  ; and if you want to know , the very first one we visited was at Roubaix as we have family in the Nord-59!

Further ,some good books on Paris, do we have books on Paris, you bet, some friends have built a Library on them lol!!! in French , Cafés,Restaurants, & Salons de thé de la belle époque à Paris, by Evelyne Saêz, et Jean-Yves Grégoire,editions Ouest-France, 13,50€

if you do not know where to start, or no time to read my blog, then get on the Paris Walks recommended by the Paris tourist office and done for English speaking visitors, , like to see the 108 Wallace fountains in Paris! from the first one in 1872 by donation of Sir Richard Wallace at boulevard de la Villette. see more at

Some of the public transport ideas in the works in the Paris region are long and varied to create a grand Paris express project. the line 14 of the metro will be extended from Saint Lazare to Mairie de St-Ouen by 2017. A line 15 from Pont de Sévres to Noisy-Champs in 2020. Line 16 from Saint Denis-Pleyel linking with Noisy-Champs in 2023. Line 17 from Le Bourget RER to Triangle de Gonesse and line 11 from Saint Denis Pleyel passing by Rosny Bois Perrier to Noisy Champs by 2025. Line 14 extension  from Villejuif IGR to Aéroport Orly, and line 18 from Orly to Massy and beyond by 2027. Line 18 extension from Orly to CEA Saint Aubin and onwards to Versailles Chantiers by 2030! More in English here

You need a Wi Fi service in Paris , and who wouldn’t nowdays, lol!!! well the city of Paris has it with a map in French but easy to read,

Do you know in 2013 83 million people visit France, tops in the world, yes I know we can’t please everybody but been first since Un WTO studies since 1949 is awesome. and of course 27 million past by Paris with 17 million foreigners! top top top!!! And we will increase the number of Greeters!  and here we are,

And don’t forget the next tennis event Roland Garros is from May 25 to June 8 at Paris, ; a new retractable roof is coming soon

do you know what is Mouzaîa? in Paris? well is heaven on the city, by the Buttes Chaumont, a Paris countryside ride. It is also called the quartier d’Amérique or  Americas district. IN the 19éme arrondissement or district of Paris. You can even have a nice drink at the Le Café Parisien, 2 place danube-et-danube. . The name comes from a hill in the north of Algeria where in 1839-1840 combats were held between French and Algerian during the conquest of Algeria by France. You can eat here at La Table de Botzaris, 10 rue du Général Brunet,

For something romantic in Paris, try the Vedettes du Pont Neuf boat rides on the Seine.  Square du Vert Galant, metro pont neuf or châtelet. They wll have concerts in the Seine 25 and 26 June 2014.violin cruise or croisiére en violon from 18H and romantic cruise ro croisiére romantique from 20h, apéro offert ride last about 1h30,  see and read more at

Of course not all is Paris;one of favorite visits traveling all over France is at the Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée in Marseille. see it at

In my beloved Versailles, the Grandes Eaux Nocturnes de Versailles come back from June 23 to September 13 2014.starting at 21h (9pm).  see more at

The Fondation Claude Monet at Giverny is now open until November 1st ,this is where the great Claude Monet lived from 1883 to 1926. You see the restored rooms where he lived, collection of Japanese prints, the famous gardens of Monet, see more at

Some tipbits, Paris takes its name from the Gallic tribe the Parisii. The Bastille was a fortress protecting the east of Paris. The grands boulevards in the rive droite follows the route of the wall of Charles V; in January 21 1793 king Louis XVI said goodbye to Marie-Antoinette for the last time from the Temple tower since destroyed. The winged statue on top of the Bastille means the Genius of a nation since 1840. IN 1852 ,Aristide Boucicaut founded the Bon Marché department store in Paris. At the Palais Royal some of the folks who lived there were Colette and Jean Cocteau. The tour Eiffel and Trocadéro have in common that both were built for a world exposition. And this is France, and Paris, and all. Cheers.


May 9, 2014

My Travels in the Morbihan, part XIII

well today was much better, nice sunny weather, and we took off again. We find very difficult to stay home even if in the area we need to go out. We had to do groceries, food shopping, and decided to do on the way back home and take a ride to new areas of my wonderful Morbihan. The tourist office for the department is at

and a tourist site for this particular area in French at Bretagne Arc  Sud here ,

We set out on the N165 towards Nantes, and stop by the D20 at Muzillac, also the D153 will work. Here we went past a wonderful shopping place for potteries, flowers,plants, home decoration just marvelous of the family Bloino. Ets Bloino  (closed) follow it direction Muzillac and then turn left at the second traffic circle. You see it from the road, and we will be back as we are preparting our patio/garden areas;

The place was surrounded by other businesses and we check out many from shoes stores to grocery store to bakeries. right at the Ets Bloino business park. 3 Zone d’Activité du Parc, 56190 Muzillac. It is a pleasant town that impress us very much. We went past the chapelle Saint Antoine de Penesclus just before hitting city center, and the story is that the Chapel along the street of the Penesclus, breton term meaning “the tip of the lock”.  It is written its existance since 1580, but it was moved and rebuilt in 1885 to allow the widening of the route de Vannes to Nantes. The 2 statues of Knights on the facade above the entrance would be Templar and date to the 15C. On the flat chevet of the choir Sainte Apoline and Saint Anthony statues surround the small statue of St. EloiThe modern stained glass of Eric Jégat (end 2003) symbolically recount episodes of the life of Sainte Apoline and Saint Antoine, who lived in Egypt and saved a pig.

We had the opportunity to visit the market or marché day in Muzillac, this is a big market covering all of the city center. Food and clothing are found from 8h to 13H30 Fridays all year long. In summer it can attain 150 merchants! It is at place du Marché, Place Saint Julien, Place du Vieux Couvent, grande rue, and allée Raymond Le Duigou.  The city heritage can be found here in French,

Finally, we were hungry, and on our way out of Muzillac on the road D20 we found this artisan bakery, boulangerie/pâtisserie/chocolatier of Gaël Artisan at 57 Rue Armorique, we had our formule for lunch for 6,90€ includes a delicious big tuna sandwich with baguette, Nutella chocolate delight in a glass, Orangina soda. Very inexpensive and great on the run. In fact we have seen them before in Vannes and they do have an outlet there, great!

We moved on to the town of Ambon,right along on the road D20 , a popular one for those going to the beaches of this area. We past by an old Church still Under renovation, église Saint-Cyr-Sainte-Julitte; it is a very old religious site maybe going back to the 3-4C!, some of the architectural description is to follow; the western façade is typical of Romanesque Breton. On the north side of the church, at the level of the second and third bays of nave, opens a porch from the 15C. Under the porch is located in arc full-handlebar paired access which may have existed as early as Roman  period. The South aisle of the nave retains the trace of primitive period, narrow, arched full-arch, which has been modified subsequently.Inside , the nave, preening, has five spans contacting the aisles by a sequence of arcades full-arches resting on massive square pillars.  In the end of the 14C or during the 15C, thchoir is completely modified. It is, then,  transforms it into flat chevet with two side chapels.  The North Chapel of the choir (Chapel of the Rosary) is enlarged, it bears the date of 1636-37. Ten years later about was built between the North arm of the transept and porch, the chapel of our Lady of mercy. The South aisle of the nave is then remade, it lowers its roof by masking the Romanesque bays of the nave. 1636 in 1649, it also realigns the lower parts of the nave, the façade, the south wall and the Bell Tower. In the 19C a new sacristy is done adjacent to the South Chapel. The city mayor’s office is at

We continue our journe South to the sea taken road D140 to Damgan, here we drove along narrow Streets and we stop to see the Church of Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle.  It was during the first half of the 16C the construction of the chapel dedicated to Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle, patron saint of travellers and sailors, begins. Originally, it had the shape of a barn because it had no steeple and soil was clay. Over the years, the building fell into ruins. It was in 1841 that a text refers to the need to rebuild a church. The chapel was demolished and in June 15, 1843 on the Fête de Dieu is the blessing of the foundation stone of the new Church of Damgan. The Morbihan tourist site has some on it, as well,not the town;

Going all the way to the beach area of Penerf; we hit the beach, and port of it. This is a pebbles beach but long and nice promenade pedestrian all around it , free parking just across. You have the Church of Saint Pierre, right across from the harbor . Its construction dates back to the 17C , first mentioned in 1580, and probably replaces an older church. The place was already inhabited since long and formed an own entity. It is extended by the addition of a chapel dedicated to the Virgin and revamped belfry. The North and South wings are added in 1853 and 1848 then the Church was restored in the 19C . Simple rectangular building, its Western gable served chalk as building material  in the 15C  and 16C.  During the creation of the parish of Damgan in 1820, before being common in 1824, heavily populated Pénerf strives to become parish. The Chapelle St Pierre was erected as a branch without ceasing to belong to the parish of Damgan, August 2, 1843.

There is a bureau du port or harbormaster, with boat ramp and old canon guarding as souvenir of 1759 when two ships fought and came ashore here.And a wonderful part to do foot fishing in low tides and go for the cultivation of oysters, panels tell you to behave. Way at the end on a dusty sand trail that I dare to go to take a closer look at the Tour des Anglais or English tower of historical significance, here is my findings on it. The Fire Tower built between 1442 and 1450, (ancestors of light houses), it’s  is the oldest “fire Tower” standing in its original architecture on the French Atlantic coast! The Tour was both Watchtower and beacon: she pointed out the entrance to the Pénerf River and allowed to watch the arrival of enemy privateers: boats of Jersey, Spain and England. A brief description is as follows , it is a cylindrical tower 15 meters high, built in coated rubble, on a pan base approximately 8.20 meters in diameter at the base and 1.70 meter in height, consisting of paired, restored and joined stones in 1978 protected by a built in grand Chase, a trunk of 3.80meters  high cone base and a top three levels 9.20 meters high. One meter thick walls are built in ‘stone of the coast’ with the exception of the two deadly round of granite Ashlar. A high parapet of  1 meter supported by Corbels granite based machicolations in console. The Tower, situated about 100 meters  from the banks, is one of the few remains of the defence of the coasts of the region. Worth a detour. Damgan, mayor’s office with some historical sights is in French here,

Done our round as said, we came back to do our groceries right in Muzillac ,and get it over with in one shot.Now relax for the rest of today and tomorrow as Sunday is travel day to Barcelona,Spain. Cheers and have a great weekend.

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May 8, 2014

My Travels in the Morbihan , part XII

Today was and is a rainy day ,nothing new in my Bretagne.  Its a Holiday for jour de la Victoire in WWII in the European theater. I have a pont or bridge off from work tomorrow too! So a nice four day weekend with the family. However, Sunday is off to Barcelona on business conference back Tuesday night.

So took advantage of the time I have to wandered my way to my country of the Morbihan dept 56, if you are late in reading my posts, here is the département 56 Morbihan tourist site;

We left late by 11h after a nice sleep and big breakfast in our salle de séjour or living room of 32 M2.(335 ft2). We then took off on the D16 towards Locminé to hook up with the N24 to Guillac on the D129 to Quily, and then to Le Roc Saint-André, and then to la Chapelle Caro before coming home. A nice ride for a relaxing there where most was closed for the Holiday.

The town of Guillac is very old and some foundations are there even before the Romans time. It is part of the Gallo language even if Breton had been spoken there then. It was part of the war of Succession of Bretagne, and battle was held here in 1351. A big economic boom when the river Oust was canalise into the Canal Nantes-Brest. The Church of Saint Bertin is an integral part of the history,  built in the first half of the 16C, the parish church was placed under the patronage of Saint Bertin. built in medium and small  style, it consisted originally of a single nave and a side chapel to the North with ogival flamboyant mullioned windows. There was placed the high altar from the community of Saint Jean des Prés Génovéfains (currently, altar of the Sacred Heart in the side south chapel). A single steeple was placed in the middle of the nave. The Church was then gradually expanded to acquire the current form; 1751: construction of a sacristy behind the north side chapel; 1849-1850: construction of the couch at the bottom of the nave;  1860-1861: construction of the choir and the South side chapel;  1879: construction of a second sacristy to the South of the chancel.  During the construction of the choir, the great canopy, formed of 16 panels representing the Ste Famille St Bertin and the 12 Apostles, was completely redone. In the North Chapel, stained glass (1888) represents St Sosthène and Ste Hermine, and, at the top of the nave (1873), right side represents St Louis and St Yves. All the other stained glass windows date from 1999. They are the work of the workshop the Nézet of Le Bono and symbolize the evangelization of all the men of all nations.  Above the altar of la Ste Vierge (North side chapel), the table of “gift of the Rosary” is an oil on canvas dating from the 17C.  There is a nice monument aux morts or monument to the fallen of WWI dating from 1924. The town mayor’s side,

We continue on to Quily on the road D174 , pure country and wonderful ride; big town of 342 inhabitants, where the main item is the Church of Saint Nicodéme. The Church was originally built as the Church of Notre Dame des Neiges (our lady of snow) but since 1802 it is that of Saint Nicodéme. Done in Latin Cross style. As I said very small country town no mayor’s office just an outpost 1, rue de l’Église, 56800 Quily.

We went on with our ride to the town of Le Roc Saint-André. This is right passing of the great expanse of the river Oust and a nice section of the Canal Nantes-Brest on a wonderful Pont or bridge with great views.  In the 18C , the Duke of  d’Aiguillon, commander in chief of the region starts the renovation of the routes of Brittany. Around 1760, he decides to replace the wooden bridge over the irver Oust at the level of the castle of  Crévy, with a beautiful stone bridge of 13 arches next to the old. The pont or bridge is renovated in the 19C to allow the navigation of the Canal de Nantes à Brest.  You ,also, will find a nice Church of Saint André, done in 1901-1903. This church, built under the leadership of Abbot Pirio and following the plans of architect Arthur Regnault, replaces a former treviale of the 16C Church, shaved in 1901, due to aging. The altarpiece is the work of André Le Dréan. The Chair and the high altar are the work of Treguoet and Plédran. The paintings of Saint-Benoît and Saint Romuald, painted by Lhermitais and dated 1738, come from monastery of camaldolese of Roga de Saint Gognard.

We had a drink at the bar Tabac La Chaumiére right in town, at 6 rue Nationale, that also, serves galettes/crêpes as a créperie. Open midday Tuesdays to Sundays and the evenings on Fridays to Sundays. There is a grocery store next door too Halles Dis!

And we went into the outskirst of town to see the Le Manoir de la Touche  Carné, the Manoir reflects well what life was segneuriale around 1450. It is built by  the House of Carné, then moves into the hands of the family of Rogiers in 1638, and then in the 19C to that of the  Du Breuil De Pontbriand. On the ground floor of the main building is a large room for the exercise of the right of high justice. a function that recalls the name of a nearby field said the “Moor of justice”. Upstairs, reserved for privacy, is divided into two parts with each home. The high rooms in the attic, disappeared in the 17C.  The house or manoir is done as a square with stair polygonal tower polygonal  plan towards the northeast corner on the front facade; It was amputated a wing in return; another wing including pantry and upstairs bedroom is adjacent to the West. A second main building, attached to the left is an add-on of the end of the 15C or the beginning of the 16C. The Court is closed to the North by a farm built in the 15C a barn of the 19C. There is a nice old Breton oven right outside.  You can have a guided visit with appointment at tel +33 (0) 2 97 74 73 13 (M. Lefèvre), it is free. The town mayor’s office is here,

We continue on the road D766A towards La Chapelle-Caro, it takes its name from the family of the Chapelle. This is a break-up of the original parish of PloërmelShe was nicknamed the lower-Chapel or La Chapelle-sous-Ploërmel’After having belonged to the great Lordship of Porhoët, La Chapelle-Caro enters the ducal domain in 1168. La Chapelle Caro is elevated to Viscount in 1576, into  County in the 17C, and held the lordship of Crévy in 1630The fief of La Chapelle, parish of La Chapelle-sous-Ploërmel, was held chronologically  as the Lord, by the  La Chapelle, and  Rosmadec, by marriage, February 19, 1505, at the Château de Blois, Jean III de Rosmadec and Jeanne de La Chapelleas a County, by the  Rosmadec, erection, in 1576This parish took the name of “La Chapelle Caro” in the 20C  due to its proximity with Caro. Teh mayor’s office site is here

However, as much as the name the interesting thing to see here is the Church of Notre Dame, built in 1868 to replace a former treviale Church and parish from the 17C, reworked in 1711. The present Church is in the shape of a Latin cross. A square Tower is located at the bottom of the nave. The stained glass windows are post1870. The Church houses a statue of saint Fiacre (16tC). A beautiful 16C (1500-1550) processional cross, silver plated on soul of wood, is kept in the sacristy; The façade of the Church was restored in the year 2007 as well as stained glass Windows.

In addition to the tourist office given at the start, this region has agglomeration of small towns with tourist information as well; you can ask for information on any of the towns above here

Enjoy the ride, into my country of Brittany. And may you enjoy a wonderful weekend as well. Cheers!

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