Archive for July, 2014

July 29, 2014

Paris again and Suresnes welcome back !!!

 Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes Paris Paris PAris PAris  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  Suresnes  SuresnesI had my thrill of getting my father at CDG coming back from visit to his sister in Fla USA. Now i am narrowing it down the last détails for my trip on summer vacation…shhhh! And the house garden is coming along with some décorations ::)

But my trip was of course my car, the best way to travel anywhere! We took off on the N12 ,A12, A13, D7 all the way to our hotel in Suresnes ,just for a one night rest before getting to CDG at T2E for the AF flight direct non stop.  And we chose the Campanile Pont de Suresnes as it was the city where i once worked.

The hotel was small rooms as usual , minimum bare amenities so only good for the one night, the breakfast at 9,50€ was too much for the continental breakfast buffet offered; the parking was one of the narrowest I have taken here and have a few::: the only good was the location right by the pont de Suresnes over the Bois de Boulogne and Porte Maillot Paris. http://www.campanile-paris-ouest-pont-de-suresnes.fr/en

Always passed by it never entered and finally on the visit use it, not that great. We did went up to Mont Valérien with a view of Paris and the American Cementary at Suresnes, from the French side a mémorial to those executed there by the Nazis. http://www.mont-valerien.fr/  and from the American side a cementary to the Fallen from WWI and WWII, http://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries-memorials/europe/suresnes-american-cemetery

We walked around the town for me nice memories of a good company and friends that still in touch, one must move on for better without forgeting the old good moments, and Suresnes was a very good moment.  The wonderful hotel de ville architecturally stunning, the levies on the Seine, the pont de Suresnes, and our lunch once again at my old lunch place Lotus d’OR restaurant , here http://www.lotusdor-suresnes.com/ same wonderful folks and great oriental food.

I went by old places of lunch like the Donatello Italian resto, at the place i write in French, as they have no webpage , http://www.cityvox.fr/restaurants_suresnes-92/donatello_200056305/Profil-Lieu  , stop by Le Rives, http://www.lesrives.com/ , the L’Entrepot ET Claude brasserie,http://www.suresnes-tourisme.com/l-entrepot-saint-claude.html , and they change Le Berry now there is a Gastronomie Plancha listed in the city of Suresnes page here http://www.suresnes.fr/Economie-Emploi/Guide-du-commerce-et-de-l-artisanat/Gastronomie-plancha ; and I stop by my favorite Irish pub in town LE PUB, http://www.cityvox.fr/restaurants_suresnes-92/le-pub_78109/Profil-Lieu, the Charlie Birdie on the quais looking at the Seine and Bois de Boulogne, http://www.charliebirdy.com/?page_id=13 , and my favorite bakery in town for those sweets and the fast formule Au Pain de Suresnes, http://www.suresnes.fr/Economie-Emploi/Guide-du-commerce-et-de-l-artisanat/Au-Pain-de-Suresnes, and the bar le Lafayette, http://www.suresnes-tourisme.com/le-lafayette.html

If I needed anything there was a small shopping with a Monoprix right on the bd Henri Sellier, Galerie Bagatelle, http://www.galerie-bagatelle.fr/

And of course great public transports to leave my car in the basement garage at work and just go over quick to Paris by metro, bus or tramway….http://www.suresnes.fr/I-love-Suresnes

And of course from Suresnes why not drive into the Bois de Boulogne and see the Grand Cascade, the Hippodrome Longchamps, the Moulin, the wonderful Fondation Louis Vuetton, the wonderful auberge du bonheur, and the wonderful again jardin d’Aclimatation that my kids remember when Young taken the petit train still there!!! and the ladies still doing their hussle at 7PM (19H) lol!!!

this is it, another time in tinsel town ,city of lights and the memorable return to my place of Suresnes, oh yes the McDonalds at place Henri IV oohh you are going to kill me but just for the memories sakes of course big mac anyone ? Cheers

 

 

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July 24, 2014

Some news from France LXXXVIIII

well its been a while but traveling and home work takes its toll; I am back.

It’s been scorching hot for the area, up to 34C over 90F and today it was 29C! and a downpour of rain , heavy for a while just arriving home. But getting closer to our summer vacation, and the house is coming along.

Some nice expositions in my wonderful Versailles are coming up as,maquettes de la marine imperiale at the Château de Versailles, until September 14 2014, exceptionally models of navy ships of the empire, awesome not usually shown many of them , shown every day except Mondays from 12h to 18h30 ,admission 15€.  http://www.chateauversailles.fr/les-actualites-du-domaine/evenements/evenements/expositions/maquettes-de-la-marine-imperiale/maquettes-de-la-marine/informations-pratiques-1

at the Château de Breteuil , the collection of furniture and dresses of the nobles for 400 years of history, there until December 30 2014 every day from 10h to 17h30 admission 15,90€ adults.http://www.breteuil.fr/

until December 31 2014,the New Guinea is of fashion at St Germain en Laye , musée d’Archéologie, expo every day except Tuesdays, from 10h to 17h admission is 5,50€ http://www.musee-archeologienationale.fr/

a nice romantic one, the boating (canotage) in the Seine from Maupassant to Mistinguett, at the musée de la Grenouillere, Croissy sur Seine, just over the Seine from Paris. until December 14 2014 , 4€ admission, open from 14h30 to 18h; http://www.grenouillere-museum.com/

and the latest shopping, Paris is on top. 50%, London second with 25%, Milan 18%, the fashion is the first thing they have in mind coming to Paris. next comes fashion  (51 %), souvenirs (40 %), cosmétics and perfums (38 %).  Survey done to Russians, Brazilians, Chinese and Japanese tourists with the Brazilians the biggest spenders at 6150€ per head! The study was done by the international cabinet, Abington.

more coming to Paris, Maison de Victor Hugo, until Feb 15,2015, a crossing of looks Victor Hugo,Jean Vilar, and Agnès Varda; admission is 7€  the house is open 10h to 18h .http://www.maisonsvictorhugo.paris.fr/

Until February 2015 at the Musée de Montmartre, the catalan artists, such as Utrillo to Picasso, open 10h to 18h 9€ adults, the history of the Catalan artists at Montmartre. http://www.museedemontmartre.fr/

The much announce opening of the Musée Picasso may finally comes through. It is estimated to be open by October 25, 2014. http://www.museepicassoparis.fr/

From Manet to Matisse at musée d’Orsay, running through February  22, 2015, hours 9h to 18h admission 11€. http://www.musee-orsay.fr/fr/evenements/expositions/au-musee-dorsay/presentation-generale/article/7-ans-de-reflexion-41150.html?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=254&cHash=a1bcb37531

At the Invalides, the view from the front of the grand guerre  until Jan 25 2015. Admission soon to be shown, hours 10h to 18h; http://www.musee-armee.fr/accueil.html

At the Conciergerie, a showing of Saint Louis, until Jan 11 2015, admission 8,50€ adults, hours 9h30 to 18h. http://www.monuments-nationaux.fr/fr/actualites/a-la-une/bdd/actu/1764/exposition-saint-louis//

At Cluny ,a voyage to the middle ages with cooperation of muséums of the same genre. Feb 20 2015, admission 8,50€, hours 9h15 to 17h15, http://www.musee-moyenage.fr/

And the département 93 Seine Saint Denis, with all its urban problems is catching on to tourism, not only the basilica of Saint Denis and the Legion d’honneur. They are doing the beach theme like Paris along the Canal de l’Ourcq; the most tourists here are Brazilians, Portuguese, South Americans, and French from the provinces. The département has good transport to and from Paris, such as Metro lines 3, 5, 7, 9,11, 12 and 13 as well as 4 lines of tramway and a fifth one under construction and 3 lines of RER trains.  A prolongation of the line 14 to Saint Denis is on Schedule under the program of Grand Paris to help out the traffic on line 13.

Do plenty to do, and these are just my favorites events, there are a lot more in la belle France. Cheers

July 19, 2014

Any excuse to visit Vannes, the city I work!

Well I work here, and its always hard to come to enjoy the city you work. Usually i go away but this is Vannes, capital of the Morbihan and  the only city we can call it here. It has everything and today it was packed.

There was police directing traffic on an invasion of camping cars like a convention of theirs, there was live music on a giant screen at the ramparts of the ruined castle there was the petit train slowing traffic all over lol!, and there was the Saturday morning market which is always tops. In all that we moved to visit and eat at our favorite places like a true road warrior of the region. The temp was hot around 26C and humid, very hot.

We started taking the boys to the movies on the matinee at Cinéville to see Transformers 4, something like that; http://vannes.cineville.fr/_cotecine/programmes.php?salle=vannes_parc#139587

then we went to have lunch lol!! at the new La Pataterie resto , ZAC Parc Lann, Rue Gay-Lussac, near the Decathlon store; this is a restaurant where the entire menu is around the Potato!!! We had the breton potato, with clam chowder sauce and cocktail shrimps for a special 10€! and a potato with bacon and hams, glass of red wine, and coffees for 15, 40€ each nice price for a lunch. http://lapataterie.com/en/this-way-for-la-pataterie/pataterie-vannes

I write for other travel sites and hate to write something that I do not show a picture. We have so much “experts” on these sites that rely on a one time visit of whatever lenght or the Google internet routine to give opinions. I rather do my own expériences and tell you so and do it with pictures of my own. So this afternoon after lunch  went around the places where I was missing a picture from Vannes. Some of these were hôtels that I have stayed on business as can do a rest day when going abroad on visiting our branches. These were the Formule 1 very dirt cheap hôtels to the Best Western Vannes and the Kyriad Vannes hôtels.  These are their webpages,

http://www.hotelf1.com/gb/hotel-2448-formule-1-hotelf1-vannes/index.shtml

For some reason unknown to me the Kyriad hotel is only shown in the French language version, but its there by Pl de la Liberation, http://www.kyriad.com/fr/hotels/kyriad-vannes-centre-ville#

http://www.bestwestern-vannescentre.com/UK/

And one nice place I recommended friends and have collègues stayed so know well but never stayed myself is the Maison de la Garenne, a bed and breakfast in a historical old mansion overlooking the ramparts and gardens of the Garenne; http://www.maisondelagarenne.com/localisation-de-la-maison-de-la-garenne-a-vannes

You get to see wonderful opera and theater shows evenings at the wonderful Théatre Anne de Bretagne, place de Bretagne, you see the line up coming up; http://www.theatre-tab-vannes.com/

Another area hotel where I have not stayed but visitors from our branches have stayed and had met them there recommended by my company is the Escale Oceania Hotel ( I have stayed at their Nantes airport property and they are very good).  This is just by the theater above and right at the entrance to the city center, you have private parking and public Centre parking next to it. http://www.oceaniahotels.com/hotel-escale-oceania-vannes?lg=UK

We end up the evening with dinner at Les Oliviers , 60, ave de Verdun, near the train station of Vannes. Today they only open in the evening from 19h30 the rest of the week is open for lunch as well. This time the gang join us for a family affair in one of the better restaurants in the city. My boss took me here once and now the family ,and we are going to another one next week so will do that too with the family as they are local jewels. The cooking here is market fresh and with gastronomic taste, the resto is in the Michelin guide.  So refine and local does not have a webpage, resa at +33 (0) 2 97 54 64 99. Reservation is a must, small restaurant, tops produce. Changes daily, today was lamb with ceboulette and bacon, creme brulée caramel, with a wonderful loire red wine; the menus are from 23€, do not hesitate to eat here when in the area.

And last on way home we made on the last 15 mins to buy our garden needs at Jardinerie Bloino in Muzillac so we got our paille to put in soil and avoid grass to grow, something like that I am nulle on gardens thingys. Where is the béton or cement ::)  web here http://www.bloino.com/

Cheers and have a great rest of weekend, enjoy the summer. Next weekend is back in Paris to pick up my father coming back home !

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

 

 

 

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July 12, 2014

Some news from France LXXXVIII

Well here I am, is late too late to Watch a football match that is nothing , so remind myself I have Monday off from work for a reason. Its our Fête Nationale, or the old Bastille day, the French revolution is celebrated here not by all but most. After all , it is a revolution, many innocents were killed and we must tell that too.

You ever wondered why a wonderful square in Paris is call Concorde? well it used to be call Place Royale, even before Place Louis XIV, and the it became Place de la Revolution , yikes… finally in the country reconciliation with its past it was call as it is today the Place de la Concorde. Concorde=concordia = concord.

We have some célébrations that are dear to me from previous years living nearby in Versailles.

For the festivities of the 14 July or Fête Nationale or previously Bastille Day, we have the free show at 14h in the salle Richelieu of the Comédie Française, Paris. This year will be an adaptation of Lucrèce Borgia of Victor Hugo by the prolific Denis Podalydès. The tickets need to be pick up the same day at the entrance to the Comédie-Française starting from 13h, and will be given by order of arrival :more here 1 Place Colette, 75001 Paris, www.comedie-francaise.fr/

The Bar La Vue in the 17ème arrondissement, open from 10h its doors to offer a wonderful view of the aerial show during the festivities done by the Patrouille de France. Once night arrives the place will propose a selection of drinks with various amuse bûche and regional specialties. The place Is perfect to see the fireworks and the final bouquet before the arrival of the DJ to prank up the rest of the evening. The price is from 21h on july 14 a cocktail of choice with 6 amuse bûches for 60€ more info at Place du Général Kœnig, 75017 Paris, www.barlavue.com/

At the hotel de ville of Paris, while commemorating the beginning of WWI , the concert and fireworks will have the theme « Guerre et Paix » war and peace. The national orchestra of France, the choirs of Paris, and the master of the Radio France, all under the direction of Daniele Gatti, will invite the greatest lyrics artists to the concert. It will be play from 21h30 on France 2 TV, France Musique , and on mondovision, the concert will be follow by fireworks done by the group Groupe F and for the first time thrown from the Tour Eiffel. More info here Champ de Mars, http://quefaire.paris.fr/

At the La Cité de la Mode et du Design, the Nüba , Charles-Baptiste will present « Réception du 14 juillet », an association dedicated to the Francophone and the French creation. This evening will showcase the young talents, offering lectures, and passarelles from the Le Rooftop de La Cité as well as projections, concerts , and DJ sets francophones from 16h until 02h. More info at 34 Quai d’Austerlitz, 75013 Paris, admission is free from 16h.

For more up tempo then head for the La Chesnaie du Roy, Route de la Pyramide,Bois de Vincennes 12éme where from  14h to 2h will have an event with customes of the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, ho ho ho; admission  10€ before 17h , and thereafter 15€. more info here , http://www.chesnaie-du-roy.com/intro.htm

and my favorite always since the start there, in fact was there while it was been remodeled with folks from nearby Hostal St Christopher. La Rotonde, all from 14h free admission at 6-8, place de la Bataille de Stanlingrad, 19éme.  A place with a  cocktail glass with stimulating gas taht will rock you into  600 m2 of  sunny terrace (hopefully) with a loud sound of DJ’s such as  Gauthier DM, Julian M. or Na’Sayah. 

A classic event of the July 14 festivities , several yachts of Paris will have evenings in their boats to see the fireworks. In the program on the river Seine there will be tastings on the high bridges of the yachts with portraits of the main monuments in light of Paris as well as along the quais de Seine with animations. More info at Yacht de Paris, menu all inclusive, from 295 euros to 345 euros par person, www.yachtsdeparis.fr/ .

and the traditional opening of many fire stations in the city of Paris for you to see and enjoy and remember they are there to help pass the night right and safe.

Caserne Rousseau / 21, rue du Jour – Ier / july 13 and 14,  Caserne Sévigné / 7-9, rue de Sévigné – IVe / Caserne des Arènes de Lutèce / 47-59, rue Monge – Ve /13 july only, Caserne Colombier / 11, rue du Vieux Colombier – VIe /13 and 14 july;  Caserne Blanche / 28, rue Blanche – IXe /only the 13 july;  Caserne Landon / 188, quai de Valmy – Xe /the 13 july but does a party together with  the great Point Ephémere ,info at http://www.pointephemere.org/category/concert/#5 ;  Caserne Chaligny / 26, rue de Chaligny – XIIe /13  and 14 july;  Caserne Port-Royal / 53-55, boulevard Port-Royal – XIIIe / 13 and 14 July;  Caserne Masséna / 37, boulevard Masséna – XIIIe /  13 july;  Caserne Grenelle / 06, place Violet – XVe / 13 and  14 july;  Caserne Boursault / 27, rue Boursault / XVIIe / 13 july;  Caserne Montmartre / 12, rue Carpeaux – XVIIIe /  13 july;  Caserne Bitche / 2, place de Bitche – XIXe /  13 july; and  Caserne Ménilmontant / 47, rue Saint-Fargeau – XXe /13 july.

So happy 14th July. and remember too. I leave with some thoughts in French from Le Figaro and prof and writer Jean Sévillia. http://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/histoire/2014/07/11/31005-20140711ARTFIG00347-jean-sevillia-la-veritable-histoire-du-14-juillet.php

 

July 9, 2014

A different part of Mexico.

Well this time the travels took me to a new area of Mexico, this is way down by State of Quintana Roo ,and around the city of Chetumal. This is some tourist info on them

http://www.grandcostamaya.com/

http://www.zonaturistica.com/en/tourist-attractions-in/427/chetumal-quintana-roo.html

http://www.mayanbeachgarden.com/chetumal.html

http://www.mexicodesconocido.com.mx/laguna-de-bacalar-y-cenote-azul-quintana-roo.html  ( in Spanish)

 

I took a flight on interjet Airlines from Mexico city to Chetumal airport, a small country strip with two flights per day. Here we rented a car and drove around to Bacalar,Calderitas, and Chetumal.  Funny thing is there is a casino but closed because of some irregularities so no go Inside.  http://flyto.mx/en/flyto/Aeropuerto_Internacional_de_Chetumal/_rid/64?language=en&lng_act=lng_step2

In Chetumal you have a wonderful museum of Maya culture right in town, and a great shopping mall ,Centro Comercial Las Americas,located at the area of El Encanto on Avenida Constituyentes and avenida Maxuxac with 48 stores including a big hypermarket Chedraui, Liverpool dept store ,and out has a McDonalds , Burger King, Applebee”s, and Inside a great VIPS we use for lunch. Go bottom Restaurantes to find them hit Quintana Roo, http://www.vips.com.mx/

The highlight is here is leisure relax in the Mayan riviera, the Bacalar lagoon  is located 38 km (24 miles) from the city, also known as the 7-color lagoon, and colonial monuments.http://www.zonaturistica.com/en/tourist-attraction/339/bacalar-lagoon-chetumal.html

We,also, visited the Cenote Azul, a wonderful place with a lake of 90 meters deep water with swimming possibilities and a great restaurant, boutique. this is at Bacalar, and just climb up from the marina Los Mulatos and see the nice fortress museum San Felipe, built in the 17C, then part of the war of the Castes,and now a museum Cost:$5 and times are Tuesdays to Thursdays ,and Sundays from9h to19H

http://www.mayanbeachgarden.com/Bacalar.html

 

http://www.bacalarmosaico.com/pages/activities/fort_s.htm

We had our lunch as well in Las Tortugas resto in Calderitas just next to Bacalar, along the Bay of Chetumal, wonderful fresh fried fish, fries, sweet bananas, yellow rice, and beers Modelo Especial, nice. http://www.guiacalderitas.com/restaurants/index2.php

We had our drinks here at Hotel La Laguna in Bacalar gorgeous place and we were allowed to roam free afterward, the site picture tells it all !! http://www.hotellagunabacalar.com/

Once the night arrive we use friends points to stay at the City Express hotel in Chutemal city center or downtown. Nice clean rooms ,AC ,breakfast resto, lobby with TV, and free parking, view of the city. http://cityexpress.hotelescity.com/es/hoteles/city-express-chetumal/informacion-general.aspx?hoteldatos=0CECECTM

Enjoy the pictures and another hot spot for retirement especially around Bacalar. Cheers.

chetumalchetumal calderitas Calderitas Calderitas Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Chetumal Chetumal Chetumal Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Bacalar Chetumal Chetumal Chetumal Chetumal Chetumal

July 8, 2014

Way over at Belize life is beautiful!

Yes way down over across Belize life is beautiful. I heard a lot about it as diving and fishing and retirement place for years. I have the chance to visited it for  a week, and I agree. However, it is catchy and sublime, one begin to think about why not a retirement there…. Belize.

The tourist board is here http://www.travelbelize.org/  and my best area Placencia, http://placencia.com/ , and again some others http://www.sanpedroscoop.com/2014/01/independence-mango-creek-hokey-pokey-ferry-big-creek-port-cardies.html

I had a different approach than most; coming from Chetumal ,Mexico, by car crossing the border (paying 306 BDollars) with my French passport, glorious trip. We started at the top of the country on the road from Corozal, on the corozal-progresso road downward bypassing Belize City, then on the western road to Belmopan (the official Capital city), continuing to Dandriga, then Independance/Mango Creek, to Placencia.

I saw picturesque colorful buses zigzagging the small country and in Belize city horse wagon and mini bus ride like a little train ride. Wonderful architecture, some gloriously rich, and above all , gorgeous beaches like the one at Placencia.

We went by the craftmarket in Belize City, nice with many souvenirs and all in USDollars. The Casino still imposing and the hôtels and restos we went.

The Ramada Princess hotel Calypso restaurant right on the bay. This is a great complex with hotel casino, and restaurants just near city center and the craftmarket, we ate here at the Calypso Beach Restaurant. wonderful fried fish whole from the catch of the day, and the local beer Belikin;  http://www.ramada.com/hotels/belize/belize-city/ramada_belize_city_princess/hotel-overview

We stopped by for the great WiFi at Rose’s bar restaurant in Placencia, and did some groceries at Ming Supermarket  near the post office in Placencia. The best area was by Barefoot bar and we stop at the funky Tupsy Tuna bar in Placencia by the beach, great ambiance. We stayed at the Paradise Resort ,wonderful accommodation, great hosts, funny people,and super views of the ocean not to mention the drinks at the bar and the Karaoke. Here is the website , http://www.belize123.com/

On the way back to Mexico, we entered Belize City, a bit more of  a little town with a nice beachwall along the ocean. We continue north on the Western road towards Chetumal Mexico to take our plane to Mexico City. The excuse for another post later.

Belize will be remember ,and will keep an eye for that retirement spot… Cheers.

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