Archive for May, 2015

May 24, 2015

And more Finistére at Roscoff!

Following my previous post on a swing by car thru the Finistére region no 29, we went by car to Morlaix and with time decided to take a plunge into Roscoff a bit further. This was a good choice as we enjoy the sea breezes here with plenty of visitors. The tourist office is here,

The town is very touristic and seafarer, with lots of British influx due to the Brittany Ferry trips. We came by car along the D58 road, very nice done road and very little traffic almost alone on the road !!!  We hit first the ferry port and saw the many cars lining up to go over the manche… This is a busy port indeed with 85% British visitors. The website for the ferry is here, .   We went by the Casino de Roscoff at port de Bloscon as well very nice and conveniently located by the ferry boat harbor ::)  website here

We ,then proceeded by car to the lighthouse or phare right off the street coming in by the fishing old harbor ;this lighthouse is 24 meters high and has 95 steps, the square top was started in 1914,as well as the optic lense and done in 1917.  Funny we follow the petit train into the narrow streets all the way to the parking behind the church Notre Dame de Croas Batz that itself was started built in 1520, with the belltower from 1576 and all done in granite. There is a marker on the wall as you come from the embarcadére to ile de Batz showing the spot where Marie Stuart of the Scotts once lived and also a plaque commemoration across from it. Queen at age 7 days! she crosses into Roscoff history as girlfriend of future king of France François II , she lands at Roscoff by the chapel of Saint Ninien , (today destroyed) on which remaining façade there is the writing of this event. Ann event in history longer to write about it in my blog.

We went to the pleasure boat marina of Bloscon, website here;

and the embarcadére or cruising terminal to the island or ile de Batz, very nice indeed, we went down on the side of the Ibis hotel to the stony beach and you a great view of the passerelle to get the boat here,nice. It is done several times a day but cancel in case of high tides with coefficient greater than 100. In addition to Roscoff tourist office, you have in French more on the island here ,

The town is very lovely with vibrant activities and plenty to shop for souvenirs and eating places. I rather think the beaches are great in season and one must come early for space. It has been years for me here;and first time with the family. Other than the tourist office link above, the petit train has an association of these wonderful family train in French here on Roscoff,

It was already late and as not planned to visit here ,we headed home, just our routine one day or weekend trips in our area and writing about it for eternity ::) . It goes to say, we will be back in season as it is nice for longer stay by the ocean . The road back was not the same as the one coming to Morlaix and then Roscoff. I always try to beat Michelin lol! We took the same road out of Roscoff back to Morlaix on the D58 briefly on the D712 and then on the D769, and then by La Feuillée change to the D764  and continue to Carhaix-Plouger to hook up with the N164 dir Rostrenen. At Mûr de Bretagne we got off heading into the D767 direction Pontivy, at Pontivy we took the D768 direction Baud, and here the road D768 direction Camors into our town. So in this way we saved 11 kms with 15 mins more of travel. In all the first one by Michelin won as the ride along the Mont d’Arrée is fantastic.

and now home writing about the new adventures; have a great Pentecôte or Pentecost day wherever you are and if celebrating it as we are on a 3 day weekend. Cheers.

May 17, 2015

A Coruña again a visit to the green of Galicia

Its been a while too long I think, last time here was in July 28 ,2012!! so this is like welcome back to Galicia and A Coruña. Again , this time a shorter stay but always pleasant full of memories ,good company and more souvenirs.

The tourist office of A Coruña is here ; and of the region of Galicia here;

I was on swing trip that included Portugal see last post; then came up here. I took off from Lisbon airport on Iberia airlines and it took me to Madrid (these days we go backward to go forward and its cheaper lol!) ,not enough time in Madrid just to catch the flight to Coruña small airport.  There friend pick me up and went to the hotel and then out.

The hotel was a new one never been in it, the Attica 21 Hotel, very modern contemporary in a nice area just about 6 kms from the beaches.  The district of Matogrande very up and coming area with lots of night life too. It is about 5 minutes by car from the airport fast driving.  The hotel has spacious modern rooms and a great breakfast restaurant with private parking and helpful staff. The webpage is here

From there we went out for dinner, and first had a drink with tapas at Soho Café, a trendy place with plenty of locals. We had some cañas or tall glass of beer Estrella Galicia, and then some bits of cheese and ham; great place and good company. The webpage is here ;

As it is the custom, we went out to another place for dinner, and this one was modern and trendy as well lots of university students and older crowd as well very nice, and great staff and food. We had the same beer Estrella Galicia with raxo de Puerco or pork bits with potatoes, and most of all lots ot talking. The place is call Bogarts Baar a mix of food and drinks, restaurant with high chairs and long high tables in a modern setting , young and vibrant. All was good. the website is on facebook but this site tells you a bit in photos of what this place is superb ,

Next day was all work, and then we went to a nice cafeteria, the ones workers come to eat lunch ,very local outside the city on your way to Sada, you get your buffet style place with a drink and dessert and coffee for about 15 euros; nice local ambiance and quiet family place. Cafeteria Restaurant Al Paso at Carretera N-VI, km 582 ;tel +34 670 053 065, it is part of the group Josmaga where you can see a picture of it.

It was time to head back home and was driven to the airport of A Coruña for my Iberia flight to Madrid and then Nantes France, where my car was waiting for the trip home in 1h30. Of all these flight connections and metro, taxi, personal car all went smooth and nice, quite perfect trip. It just remains an area to come with more time. that is a promise.

Enjoy your weekend and for me back to routine tomorrow until next month travels. Cheers.

A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña SADA



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May 16, 2015

Lisboa one more time is better!

One more trip to Portugal , more so in Lisbon than in the north near Coimbra but nevertheless too short, the opportunity is always there. It has been a year since I last visited this wonderful city and country. So here is again Lisbon, Portugal and to some lesser extend the wine region of Barraida near Coimbra in the north.

I flew straight from Nantes Atlantique airport to Lisbon on last Sunday. After driving about 1h30 from home to the Nantes airport on the N165. I was afraid of having the flight cancelled as was using TAP , and they were on strikes early May, but was fortunate enough the flight was handle by Portugalia regional carrier for TAP and was ok, flawless.

Once landed at Lisbon airport, the hesitation is to take a taxi as last time, but trying to be all places and see all, needed to take the public transport just to try or to be able to said I was here::)  airport site here;

Landing at Terminal 1 the way out was easy well posted except the metro signs, but I would think is easy, I speak Portuguese too ::) Once on the outside of the terminal, you see the metro entrance even with TV telling you about the incoming and outgoing flights, you go straight to the ticket machine. There was a small line with only four machines! but it move fairly quickly. I got my refill on my previously purchased card from last year, took two trips at 1,40 euros each. Then went on to the red or vermelho line to Saldanha and here took the yellow or amarela line to Cidade Universitaria, got up to street level here and walk on rua afonso coma pinto all around to my hotel on foot ,about 10 minutes.  Walking past the University stadium and café , and the hospital Santa Maria. It was hot about 30C so thinking not to do this again, better a taxi. metro site here;

I got to my hotel the Marriott Lisbon at Avenida dos Combatentes, nice spacious hotel if a bit out of the city center. The Marriott was for a finance conference, and I had the 15th floor with a great view of the city. the shortcomings was far from center and the bar right in the lobby and smallist. The rest was perfect, with great service, spacious rooms and baths, nice outdoor pool with terrace, nice restaurant, and very modern facilities.  The hotel site is here;

First night, it was free time, and as I have been here before and spoke the language , became sort of the tour director of the rest that came from several countries.  So we took taxis and went to Restaurante Pinoquio at praça dos Restauradores, website here ;

To my shocking surprise , others had ,also taken taxis and follow us to this place after hearing me talk about. Well we were 18!!! and no reservations. I got my best negotiating hat on and convince the nice folks there as always to come through and found us 3 tables close by to hold all of us. We had a great time until late at nite almost midnight , the poor folks had to kick us out lol!!! Of course, I have been here several times and know them all, nice folks, great food ,real Portuguese dishes and great prices. After, closing we just took a left turn into the next street Rua do Jardim do Regedor, and hold up a café bar with about 10 of us.  Don’t ask me the name because well could not tell…. Just we stayed until about 2am (02h).  We had a stew of beans lobster, shrimps, gambas, and potatoes with cold salted side dish of shrimps and local mussels going down with  nice local Sagres beer. Got a taxi back to the hotel.

Next full day, we had a dinner as part of the finance conference and they chose the Solar dos Presuntos, a very special famous people restaurant. Located at R. Portas de Santo Antão 150. Before arriving here we were given a bus tour of the main sights  such as Belem and the harbor area in Lisbon, a different way of seeing the city as I am always with a car here or metro. Places later as with a tour bus again not my cup of tea , hardly see anything well, but was the organisers who did this.  The restaurant was served a chunk of codfish with vinho verde white wine not my favorite there either so those in my table who mostly were the good guys from the night before agree and we kind of switch to beers. The website is this one;

After the famous restaurant meeting a group of about 8 decided is time to hit the road and were so delighted with Pinoquio that we went back there for drinks this time. Another round of good times and cheers before heading again by taxi to the hotel Marriott. Next day was half a day and more advisory council meeting of which I am a member. Finally, I was free again to visit other offices of my company in the country.

I check out of the Marriott into the local hotel that I always stayed when in town at Exe Parque Hotel at Rua Largo de Andaluz just behind the praça Marqués de Pombal and heading down to avenida da Libertade. this is a very modern spacious hotel tuck into the old section of Parque metro station and only about 7 minutes from the square Marques de Pombal. The website is here;

The welcome is very nice multilingual staff, walking distance to the best in Lisbon , right up of Marqués de Pombal is the park or parque Eduardo VII and down you have libertade, then square restauradores, Rossio square and  train station, and square  comércio. Spacious rooms and bath in a modern contemporary design. Price right too. I walk all over here and has become my home in Lisbon, and the side streets of duque de Loulé and the picturesque Mouzhino de Silveira street.

It was then time to be back at airport and time for my other branch in the north to come and pick me up after having meetings with them and other suppliers in Lisbon, we drove to near Coimbra on the A1 road. Had my usual meetings there ,in the region of Barraida wines, and was taken back to Lisbon at night. Here we met with other country folks and head out to watch the Champions football/soccer match of Real Madrid vs Juventus at the Bairro Alto area and chose a resto with TV’s all over call the Marisqueira M at 100 rua do Norte.  No website but tel is 351) 21 346 1027.  I had nice company but unfortunately my life team lost this time; well we have won 10 more than any other club by far…..Hala Madrid!

Then, was taken to the airport by car for another journey on next post of my Marco Polo adventure. Nice to be back in Portugal and Lisbon is very nice worth coming back for it ,and I will. Cheers.

Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon

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May 2, 2015

My Travels in the Morbihan ,XVIIII

 Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Guidel  Ploemeur  Ploemeur  Ploemeur  Ploemeur  Ploemeur  Ploemeur  Ploemeur  Ploemeur


passing la saudraye river on d152

This was supposed to be a grand weekend, Labor Day here so 3 days off weekend. Instead it has been miserable, rain all day hard sometimes, traffic jams all over as folks that planned on the beach now coming back in hordes. Even Vannes last night was almost impossible. Talk about small town traffic jam lol!!!

We had ideas of going over to Nantes on the Atlantique shopping center but the roads was completely jam on the N165 all the way there. So we turn around and decide to explore new areas on the Lorient area. Happy we did as here there is always great surprises and new found beauties all the time. An un-exhaustable abundant of natural beauty.

We went off the N165 to Ploemeur and took a ride by the little airport that already receive big planes at about 9 kms from Lorient and a mix use of civil and military. The naval base of Lann-Bihoué is here too since 1938. Big parking spaces one terminal ,one entry for arrival and one for departures. on the D163 follow the signs of Lann Bihoué .

I had to bring a collegue on a night trip here and now saw it better in daytime. You never know what rates you can find. We continue our journey to the town of Ploemeur, and on city center saw the nice Church of Saint Peter or St Pierre. The beauty is to go along the coast on the D306 and see the beaches such as Plage du Fort Bloqué ( 1 900 meters long), many menhirs or stones, and chapels, as well very nice quaint city center. Also, beaches at Kaolin, Peréllo, Port Fontaine,  Anse du Stole,Kerpape, Kerroch and Lomener. The church of St Pierre is from the 12C and was ruined in 1668. The reconstruction of the tower and bell was done in 1686, the four bells benediction was done in 1726 and two are newer from 1783. A copy of St Pierre is up at the front door and the original is in the altar.

Info on the town is at the city page in French,

and the agglo of Lorient site

some info on the Lorient tourist site in English,

and a bit more in English at the region of Morbihan site,

We continue our exploration of new or fairly new territory and went into a new one at Guidel. Great find. Plenty here

This is just covering the coast and wonderful beaches some secluded and most open and best for water sports like surfing. There is an imposing church of Guidel in city center, and surrounded by shops, restos etc vibrant. We decided to take a break here and eat lunch. We pick a picturesque Italian villa call La Villa Toscane  resto grill pizzeria at 15 place Jafffré. Very nice decoration toscane, great welcome nice friendly service, big portions good prices , and great quality. We have pizzas of different combi I had the Mexicaine with chorizos and spicy beef, expresso coffee and a bottle of côte de provence st tropez rosé we share all for 18 Euros per person, nice. Great pictures of the resto here

We notice that bus 60 from the Lorient agglo metro area takes  you all over here so good to know of those not with a car as we are always here with ours….schedules here

We came on the express road N165 and got in thru Ploemeur first and then Guidel and then back on the N165 home. From Ploemeur we took the D162 and continue into Guidel where we took the D152 coastal road before taking the D306 back to the N465 beltway at Lorient and the N165 home.

There is a great pleasure boat harbor at Guidel with great beach parking and plenty of restos and vacation homes even campings. Passing Fort du Loch (built in 1756)   and eventually Fort Bloqué (built between 1747 and 1758 after the English invasion of 1746, and it was integrated into the fortification network defending Lorient. During WWII it was part of the Atlantic wall done by the Nazis).

along great beaches and wild coastal cliffs. All the way out to Lorient. A place to come back to and explore in more details. I leave you with the taste and good vibration we had. Enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

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