Archive for June, 2015

June 28, 2015

Paris ,really no need to say more, it’s Paris!

One more time to Paris, come for work every month but nice to come with the family too. And this time even to meet friends from Georgia, USA. As said in my previous post, we arrive by car at Gare Saint Lazare and left our car there, if you buy in advance the tariffs is half price from 28€ per day to 14,20€!!! I do it all the time all over at Neoparking.

We walk out into Paris by going to one of my favorite off the hidden path places in Paris. The Chapelle Expiatoire, at rue Pasquier just walking down from Saint Lazare cross Haussmann and there it is. Encircle by a nice small park garden this is the old cementary of Madeleine, where during the French revolution many were literally dumped here such as Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette!

The cementary was open already since 1721, but more fame if any from the French revolution period of 1792-1794. Others dumped here were Charlotte Corday and the Girondins deputies.Also, Duchess d’Angoulême oldest daughter of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.

During the the end of 1814 once the revolution losses some of its grips, the monarchy tried one more time to come back. this is what happened when a descendent brother still alive (after the oldest son of Louis XVI was mysteriously disappear and never to be found again,Louis XVII) , the brother came back as Louis XVIII, and order the remains of his brother and M-A removed from here and buried at the Basilica of Saint Denis where most of the kings/queens of France are buried now.

Louis XVIII decided to erect a chapel as the same spot where his brother and sister in law were dumped. The first stone for this chapel was put on January 21 1815, the anniversary of the death of Louis XVI;and the building was done in 1826 under the reign of Charles X. It was a controversial spot for many many years, lots of politics and hassle , many times decided to demolished it.  Finally , ironically it was declared a National Monument of France just at the beginning of 1914….

You entered through a large pavilion that takes you to the center of the chapel showing the wishes of Louis XVIII to erect this monument. Once in the vestibule you go through some steps then take you to the inside garden. Here you have the campo santo or saintly field, a garden where it was the execution point of the place during the French revolution, now a sacred spot. You have huge stones as a symbol of souvenir of the courageous Swiss guards executed in 1792 while the arrestation of the king and queen at the Palais des Tuileries (today destroyed but a cause is on to rebuild it, I am in it,

You enter the Chapelle with a wonderful inmense dome with religious connotations such as the passion of Christ, Eucharism, trinity, and the tables of the law or commandments. At the entry it shows the transition of the bones from here to the basilica of Saint Denis. You have statues in white marbre representing Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.The will of Louis XVI is written on the black pedestal of the statue. Also, the last letter written to the sister of Louis XVI, madame Elizabeth is written on the marbre (sister also guillotine in 1794, just for being the sister),you can see here house in Versailles 73 rue de Paris).

The crypt is reach by stairs at the end of the chapel the black marble altar is where the exact location the bones of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were found. There is a confessional sacristy and lateral galleries of columns. The whole place small park and chapel is what today it is call square Louis XVI created in 1862. Admission adults is 5,50€. webpage

From here I had promise my friends will take them to another of old job hunts, where we spent many years of good cheers and many family vacation, The Le Grand Hotel intercontinental next to the marvelous Café de la Paix and Opéra Garnier.  I was met there by old boss, who as usual took my family and friends on a mini tour of the salon Opéra of the hotel ,historical monument of France, and done by Charles Garnier, the same as the opera and many others. Also, into the café de la paix another historical monument of France where it was reminded the ceilings are worth more than those in the salon inside the hotel. And I worked here in finance management ::)

In all, a wonderful day in Paris, once again ! You are never far from grandeur ,beauty, and good cheers while in Paris. Thanks for the good company of my friends from Georgia USA, and from my old boss who still is as gentle as when worked under him. Merci beaucoup.

Enjoy Paris!!!

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June 21, 2015

At least Father’s day is special, still.

Well here we are on a hot day up to 28C or about 82F sunny dry. it’s day that makes me think of my mother too, but at least I have my father. This is our day, it should be every day but we take at least one. To remember, think, enjoy the good things we have around us even if small.

Today, I went out with the family all five of us, and my father =6, he is already 80 with a pharmacy of medicines but looking strong. We had a restaurant reserved in medieval nice Vannes at 1pm or 13h.

We set out from our house knowing that it was music festival day as well, Fête de la musique in France and Vannes had circulation limited in the center. So we gather our knowledge and went around it parking on boulevard de la paix and going into the old quarters of Saint Patern by rue de la Fontaine.

This is marvelous area full of shops , libraries of old books, restaurants of many lands and bars. Including some traditional Breton créperies and restos. We choose our old reliable La Gavroche.

Before the lunch, we had our walk around the area , always pleasant; noticing some new business like the Portuguese resto now has a grocery store just a couple houses away!

Finally, it was time to go in, they already remember us!! It’s always a great thrill to be recognize when you patronize one of the local places here, very typical and nice we think. We had our table in the middle section so by now we have try it all front , terrace ,and middle.  The whole place is painted by a local artist we will contact to make them do some work in our house too ::) Many dolls, and puppets and a great wines , and local liquors collection.

The food of the day was pigs head so not our fancy ….we settle for the fish Dos de Colin with a herbal thai sauce(hake) in the menu for 17,90€ including a delicious entrée on goat cheese with tomatoes, and finish with a great rice pudding with caramel sauce. All with a porto rouge for apéro. We had a muscadet white wine from the Loire ,Chateau le Coing de Sainte Fiacré, and a expresso coffee to finish. All with excellent prompt service of breads, water, and change of utensils, perfect as always here. The rest had different things from steak with mashed potatoes, basque chicken in sauce, coca cola, aperitifs from vodka base to fruity non alcohol, More fish colin or hake, and ice cream from two to three scoops of different flavors all for 26,20€ per person.

We finished with the house serving of a digéstif liquor mix of rum, honey, and banana liquor on the house. Delicious. We went home with no traffic at all , I guess folks were either at home or at the beach…. Tomorrow one day and then on my four nights holiday vacation in Fontainebleau, Paris and Versailles! and coming back from that no time as off on business trip to Madrid, Spain ::)

Happy Father’s day to all celebrating! Cheers , life is beautiful, la vie est belle.

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June 13, 2015

Presqu’île de Rhuys has it all!

Well my regular rounds in my department 56 Morbihan, took me to the peninsula of rhuys or Prequ’île de Rhuys. Indeed a peninsula full of boats, megaliths stones, and especially beaches;great in summer, peacefully nice in winter season.

the region tourist office here ,  ; and here in English from same site you can see all the cultural and natural sites just go to the center clip link and ok.

We set out by car as it is only about 60 kms (about 37 miles) from me all the way to the tip of the peninsula. The road N165 runs Nantes to Brest and take it past Vannes to the exit with the name Presqu’île de Rhuys and Sarzeau the biggest town there. You will be on the road D780 and as we took some side steps we went on the D198 as well.

We stop at the village of Le Hézo to load up on cider! 2,50€ a bottle for a case mix of brut, doux, and fruité or semi sec. There is a museum here too, musée de la cidre,  and they show you how it is made ; and a great boutique with a lot more than cider, such as honey, jams, house deco items, whiskies, eau de vie de cidre, etc etc.

We continue on to arrive on the D780 to Sarzeau, before we made a quick look at a castle always planning but never done it, opens in July 1, Chateau de Kervelenan, wonderful property, the gardens are open more time, more here at thetourist office, ,  and then into the city ,there was market day of course, all Saturdays we load up on goodies and baguettes, saw the wonderful church Saint-Saturnin dating from the 17C where the square the market is held all around it. Plenty of parking by the cinema le Richmont area on the place des Trinitaires for free.  Markets info here

we wondered about town city center with the great ambiance of market day, but continue our journey for lunch. We took the road D198 and headed for Saint Gildas de Rhuys a  great peaceful community surrounded by great beaches and a nice quaint city center where we had our lunch. Pizzeria Restaurant Le Casier,

Here the service was very friendly and very attentive to detail as well as prompt. The resto has a nice garden terrace and then go inside with two dining sections we took the back by the wine cellar, very nice decoration and the food was great from moules/mussels( curry and white wine) to pizzas (rustique and mexicaine)and ice creams in two and three scoops,diabolo menthe, and a bottle of Spanish Rioja wine Arjona 2014 joven young red wine nice. all for 21.50€ per person.

Fully loaded we took turn on the local church just a few meters away, this is the Abbaye Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys  founded by one of the monks that left Britain for old Armoric (today Bretagne) when the migration leaving the Saxons invasions; today it is one of the most beautiful roman style churches in Bretagne/Brittany! Official site here in French ,

Just behind the abbey there is a circuit going to the beach or plage  de l’appel du 8 juin 1940, and the port aux moines boat pleasure marina, nice lovely place to relax too.

We continue our journey into deeper in the peninsula of Rhuys and came upon Arzon, a smaller town just across from marvelous harbor of Port de Crousty, and the church of Arzon, completely done in the 19C even if the town is one of the oldest here on record mentioned since 836AD.

We continue our journey into the corniche du phare and walk along the waterfront into the great lighthouse while getting a great look at the island in the harbor tip such as île de Meaban, Cromlec’h, Er Lannic,île longue, île de Gavrinis, and île de la jument. All wonderful view along the harbor high ground walkways. Beautiful peaceful boat and sea magic. Love it. We went around on the other side and into the pointe de Bilgroix to get more views of the harbor and the wonderful stone statue of the Madonna, near the entrance to a megalith dating 2500-3000 BC.

As this was the end of the road, we headed back home first on the D198 then the D780 and finally the N165 direction Vannes to the D768 and home. In all ,another wonderful day out in beautiful Morbihan, which as many of my readers know is petite mer in French or actually  small sea in Breton. Mor=Sea, Bihan=small. Cheers.

Le Hezo Le Hezo  St Gildas de Rhuys  St Gildas de Rhuys  St Gildas de Rhuys  St Gildas de Rhuys  St Gildas de Rhuys Port Navalo Port Navalo Port Navalo

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June 7, 2015

And Carnac is sublime in beach weather!

Again, before going to last post early this morning was in Carnac. Lovely area about 30 kms from my house, and believe it or not last wrote on it was on August 6 2013 in my blog lol!

The tourist office is here in English;

So went backward with previous post on LTsM, oh well. Carnac is sublime, a beautiful big beach=grande plage and plenty of bars/restos and shops all close in in a couple blocks, its like having a big street party with a beach lol!

It is only about 30 kms from my house (19 miles) , and we come here often on weekends when at home. Go early and you have all the parkings you need, go by noon and scramble to find one. So we leave home about 9h (9am) and always parking right by the entrance of the grande plage.  More on it in French on a beach site here,

There are other beaches there all over the coast as this map on the site can tell you,

And of course, the tourist office of Carnac has plenty too in English,

We had some drinks here while looking at the grande plage and the boys went into the water yikes! a bit cold for me even if the temp outside was 24C the water was like 16C! Out nice hangout is Memes Tra just at the corner of Miln and blvd de la plage upon the main entrance to the grande plage, see it all with style while having a really good Breton beer, Duchesse Anne at 7,5°!  not a webpage of its own but showcase in the tourist office site here,

We did our normal walks in town and by residential areas with the great beach mansions, did a bit of the tourist office visit (always recommended visiting or living here), did some shopping visiting our favorites la Trinitaine store next to the tourist office , here

And we went by the other spot that is a must to visit here bypassing an army of motocycle riders here for a weekend ride event along the route des kerlescan or D196. This is the route of the dolmens, menhirs, megaliths and alignements in French. These are stones from thousands of years that were move here in line on differents fields of which the main ones are along this road, Menec, Kermario and Kerlescan. It is thousands of stones all line up with meaning still to be found really. It is UNESCO heritage site indeed worth it.

At first , I saw them and wonder why would anybody would come here to see old stones, but then once here, realize it has a greater meaning to the local Bretons. Our homes like mine is full of them and gardens decorated with stones and house front with stones, it has a deep heritage meaning here. There is a house museum by the Menec site call the  Maison des Mégalithes; open every day , May and June from 9h to 18h, July and August from  9h30 to 19h30, and September to April from  10h-17h, holidays like Jan 1, May 1 and Dec 25 is closed. admission now is 6€ adults. To get here you do the N165 expressway then get off at exit 34 D768 direction Carnac, at the traffic circle Purgatoire take the road D119 direction Carnac until reaching the road D196 right to the house. The D196 camping cars are not allowed going westward.

Impressive to see and  undertand. Hopefully ,you will be able to print this pdf file it shows a map of all the sites along the road D196; print it and take with you.

You have the stones or menhirs, and the funeral enclosing from Dolmens,couloir ,and cistes. At Kermario you have 1 100 meters long of stone alignments with over  980 stones.  Kerlescan is the smallest but the best preserve; with 350 meters long of alignments and 140 meters wide, the great stone known as the giant of manio or  “le géant du Manio” it is about 300 meters west of the center of the ensemble.  The Champ de Menec the most westerly and in front of the maison des mégalithes is 1050 stones along  950 meters long. Here you find the tallest with more than 3 meters high call the giant du menec or  “géant du Menec”. See updated post later.

These are several sites that will help you undertand this wonderful showcase some in French and some in English.

more specialize reading in French at the Ministry of Culture.
at the institute for research in France
panorama des arts ,history of the arts site in France

The department of Morbihan tourist office in English

special section on them by the Morbihan in English

and the Region of Brittany tourist site in English

All showing the wonders of these stones, walking amongst them is a sight on special occasions, if not comptemplating them is awesome. Enjoy the history and wonders of Carnac.

Have a great Sunday everyone! Cheers!!

Carnac Carnac Carnac Carnac Carnac

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June 3, 2015

Some news from France, XCX

I come back to this series, so many since my humble beginnings in this blog , the Roman numerals are becoming more difficult to find lol!!! Already five years of blogging and counting it’s so much fun. We have sunshine today temps in the upper teens and up to 29C tomorrow! Can’t wait for another weekend….In the meantime in France,

We have a brand new brasserie Guy Martin at Roissy CDG airport, I Love Paris in terminal T2E hall L, try it this is from one of the most famous chefs of France (Le Grand Véfour).  Scale down version at the airport, with sandwiches gourment!

Some bars to have the sun in Paris; Buddha Bar Hôtel. 4, rue d’Anjou (8éme). Tél.: 01 83 96 88 70. From  18 h. . The former Hilton Arc de Triomphe is this one now , Hôtel du Collectionneur  51-57, rue de Courcelles (8éme).  Tél.: 01 58 36 67 00. . The Molitor at the toit terrasse or roof terrace. 8, av. de la Porte-Molitor (16éme).  Tél.: 01 56 07 08 50. ,   Prince de Galles. at Le Patio, 33, av. George-V (7éme). Tél.: 01 53 23 78 52.  One showcase n my blog before the Mama Shelter. 109, rue de Bagnolet (20éme). Tél.: 01 43 48 48 48;  ; Le Méridien Etoile. 81, bd Gouvion-Saint-Cyr (17éme).  Tél.: 01 40 68 34 34. You can see the sun here on a sunny day its flashing at you and great jazz music; resto jazz here ; and remember you don’t have to stay in these hotels to enjoy their restos/bars:so enjoy them!

How about pique-nique in Paris! the picnics are a popular event once weather starts to show up friendly::: Some of my favorites in Paris from a long list are:

by the Opéra Garnier, the small square or  place Boieldieu you can have some goodies from Grillé, 15, rue d’Augustin (2éme). Tél.: 01 42 96 10 64 . Small garden by  87, rue Vieille-du-Temple and get your goodies here Causses, 222, rue Saint-Martin (3éme). Tél.: 01 42 71 33 33, webpage

Take a baguette at Landemaine ,26, rue des Martyrs, and head for Rap 4, rue Flechier (9éme). Tél.: 01 42 80 09 91.  .Do try the Le Bagel Corner 40, bd Haussmann (9éme).

To have some bellota and pata negra hams of Spain go to Bellota Bellota, 11, rue Clément-Marot (8éme).  However, several stores in Paris see it ; see something wonderful along the SEine, the jardin flottant de Niki-de-Saint-Phalle, (7éme); near the port du Gros-Caillou.after getting loaded at Papa Sapiens 32, rue de Bourgogne (7éme). Tél.: 01 44 05 97 54.

The square Saint Gilles du Grand Veneur,  between boulevard Beaumarchais and the rue de Turenne,but first go up rue de Hesse or rue des Arquebusiers , and load up at the wonderful Maison Plisson 93, bd Beaumarchais (3éme) ; continue to Fontaine St-Sulpice (6éme) and facing the marché Saint Germain here is  Le Petit Capri Bazar 6, rue Mabillon (6éme),  and behind the rue de Charonne by no 159 you go to square Colbert , nearby load up on Caffe Da Rosa 15, rue Basfroi (11éme). Tél.: 01 77 37 99 98.!vierge/c5j9

And to finish what I could have call the foods of Paris ::) I leave you with one museum that needs to be known more, I do meetings next door and escape to its beauty many times. Musée des arts et métiers, 60 rue Reaumur, (3éme) open Tuesdays to Sundays 10h to 18h, and Thursdays to 21h30, considered one of the oldest industrial technical museums in the world;;;

Cheers and enjoy the week, we are almost there ::)

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