Archive for September, 2015

September 27, 2015

Some news from France ,XCXII

Well passing by Paris always brings the best of me, and more nice things to see and do, and admire. The city was bustling and vibrant as ever, full , the tourists keep coming 32,3M last year and this year 2015 should another record. I laugh when people tell me to find a place where tourists are not in Paris!!! They are all over; but here are some new ones.

Some new chic hotel, such as the Hotel Ekta, 52 rue Galilée double rooms from 140€ this is a nice area where I have done events like the nearby Aero Club de France. http://www.hotelekta.com/.

The great pastry maker Christophe Michalak going from teaching to creating a new patisserie Michalak at 16 rue de la Verrerie, open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10h30 to 19h. Tastes like guitar-shaped chocolates and popular Kosmiks verrines for 6,80€. So new not even yet on his webpage ::) http://www.christophemichalak.com/

You want new fashions and local ,then head for Front de Mode, 42 rue Volga , open  Mondays to Saturdays from 11h to 19H. brands like Veja, Misericordia, Naco Paris, jewelry and great creators behind the work. Local produce. The official site is just new hot off the press too but there is the main designer behind it page as well Sakina. http://www.sakinamsa.com/concept-store/ and the new site ; http://www.frontdemode.com/

The great Yannick Alléno already visit him at the resto Terroir Parisien  in the Palais Brongniart, now will have his new place at Stay,15 rue Boissy d’Anglas, a nice area by the Madeleine where I used to take my passport photos US!!! Dining with a terrace inside the hotel Sofitel, http://www.yannick-alleno.com/restaurant/stay-paris-le-faubourg/

And perfumes well the famous Fragonard has refurbished the boutique museum in Paris. 9 rue Scribe ,open Mondays to Saturdays from 9h to 18h. Musée du Parfum Fragonard, right in an old theater renovated for them. http://www.fragonard.com/parfums_grasse/GB/fragonard/paris/

How about a pontoon boat ride on the Seine? Green Rivers Cruises will do it.  They have sofas, and bars with capacity of only 11 persons! You go up the canal Saint Martin roundtrip up to Boulogne. Of course, you can do it in the Seine river too but its crowded on boats….http://www.greenriver-paris.fr/en/our-cruises

If you want to rent a hotel in Paris or elsewhere for a few hours without CB reservation, then try this site,  Dayuse; http://www.dayuse-hotels.com/fr/FR/

If you want to be close to Italy or Milan specifically in Paris then head for Ober Mama; (ober for oberkampf and mama for mamma Italian mother); you have the aperitivo concept here from 18h to 20h sort of happy hour with food included; the products use are straight from Italy with dishes from 10-15€ reasonable and good. See them at 107 boulevard Richard Lenoir. http://www.bigmammagroup.com/ober-mamma/

And for the anecdote following the above info, Paris vs Milan, ok Pop Paris 2,26M , Milan 1,35M, bikes Paris 13420, Milan 3370, places for an opera, Paris 2013 ,Milan 3000;  the first fashion week ,Paris 1973 and Milan 1958; foreign tourists welcome Paris 32,3M, Milan 2,7M! the most visitors comes from: Paris, British with more than 2,1M, Milan, Russians with 193K. Somehow Paris is tops.

You will see the museum was refurbished and renovated and now his work will be on stage at the Grand Palais Paris, call Picasso Mania for the Great Picasso from October 7 ,2015 to February 29 2016; http://www.grandpalais.fr/en/event/picassomania

You know Paris is surrounded by water… yes and there are many islands to boot, some of my favorites. Well ,some need a car, and its great on the road regardless of all those books telling you is not. I drive and its fun,just know your hours. The islands are La Dynamique in Puteaux, just outside Paris near La Defense; you can go on metro line 1 stop pont de Neuilly and walk to see the parc Labaudy, Naturoscope, etc. La Jatte in Levallois-Perret right over the bridge, get here on metro line 3 stop pont de Levallois-Becon, the island is like a boat shape and cradle of impressionists celebrated by Seurat’s A Sunday afternoon on the island; and see sites painted by Monet, Van Gogh, and Sisley. See the Temple de L’Amour, maison de la Pêche et de la Nature or house of fishing and nature.  Right over to Chatou (Yvelines) you  have the La Mythique, where Renoir and his guinguettes and canotiers reign supreme. There is a park dedicated to the impressionist movement, the hamlet of Fournaise with its restaurant and museum, as well as the center of contemporary arts. You can get here on the RER A  from Paris,stop Chatou-Croissy.

Coming up is again that wonderful event I have attended several times over the years, Fête des Vendanges in the butte Montmartre. Again this year from October 7-11. The smallest vineyard of France is here only given about 2000 bottles!aged in the cellars of the mayor’s office.http://www.fetedesvendangesdemontmartre.com/ . You can see the biggest gallery of Dali in France at the L’Espace Dali (11 rue Poulbot)http://daliparis.com/en/ ,and the remaining windmill of Le Moulin de la Galette(83 rue Lepic); restaurant and now awaiting new owners; http://www.lemoulindelagalette.fr/

And just to say we copy too, the Ministry of Defense in France is creating the French Pentagon right by Balard by the Place Balard and the boulevard périphérique in the 15 arrondissement of Paris. A huge city of 420K sq meters or about 4,5M sq feet. all branches of the military will be base here!  An ongoing project now its design stage and one of the great projects of Paris metro or Grand Paris.

Be ready for the biggest boat show around,the Paris Nautic December 5-13 2015.Porte de Versailles, info here http://www.salonnautiqueparis.com/GB.htm

How about those pools ok summer is gone but you can always stop by anytime on the covered pools such as Pontoise opened in 1934, http://www.carilis.fr/centre/espace-sportif-pontoise  ;Pailleron close to the parc des Buttes-Chaumont built-in 1933, http://www.pailleron19.com/espaces/aquatique/presentation/  the Buttes-aux-Cailles with a great vaulted ceiling recently renovated in the 13éme.http://www.parisinfo.com/musee-monument-paris/72885/Piscine-de-la-Butte-aux-Cailles

You know some of the nicest places in the flea market of St Ouen just north of Paris? This is dept 93 Seine-Saint-Denis.  Well see the old fashion looks at Les Merveilles de Babellou for the different women in you, Marché Paul Bert allée 1, stand 13 and 77;http://lesmerveillesdebabellou.com/

As above, what about that rare old book, this is the biggest Librairie L’Avenue founded at the flea in 1961, 31 rue Lécuyer with over 150K titles! http://librairie-avenue.fr/  If you like old photo equipments  for collections or sporadic uses, Au Vieux Format, 23ter rue Paul Bert, http://www.auvieuxformat.com/ ; getting that old record vinyl, cassettes etc go to Vintage Tourne Disque, marché Dauphine,stand 186 , 1fl (2 fl US) 140 rue des Roisiers.http://www.tournedisquevintage.com/pages/adresse-du-magasin—adress-store/28191898.html

Following along, see the wonderful furniture ideas at Habitat 1964, 77-81 rue des Roisiers, furniture, objects decoration and accessories for the living is here to boot, great selection. http://www.habitat.fr/vintage ; and don’t forget while there to eat at the historic (1958) restaurant Le Paul Bert, 20 rue Paul Bert with plat du jour from 15€. http://www.lepaulbert.fr/

And just for not leaving anything out from my umpteen nostalgic trip back to Paris, how about those mythical villages! small neighborhoods that seems just out of ordinary Paris. Talking about places like the Villa Léandre in the 18éme; this site tells you more of what I mean::) http://www.pariscotejardin.fr/2010/10/la-villa-leandre-a-montmartre-paris-18e/

The wonderful Villa Seurat in the 14éme , one of my best hangouts in Paris while living in Versailles and working by there, and the place of many like Chaim Soutine, and Henry Miller giving it a character by André Lurcat and designed by Bauhaus architects. The homes of the likes of Vincent Bolloré, Alain Afflelou, Xavier Niel, Myléne Farmer,and Carla Bruni; great walks you can do down rue Poussin or along the petite ceinture.  More from a popular French site Evous, http://www.evous.fr/La-Villa-Seurat-musee-d-architecture-en-plein-air,1160191.html

The petite Alsace or Villa Daviel in the 13éme near the Butte-aux-Cailles park. 40 houses built here of working class standing of the times; a bit more on the same evous site in French, http://www.evous.fr/La-Villa-Daviel-impasse-coloree-et-fleurie,1175787.html

The Villa du Danube gong from 70 rue David-d’Angers and ending at 11 rue de l’Ègalité near the park des Buttes-Chaumont in the 19éme is wonderful; 93 homes like windmills without blades and of course the Mouzaîa area with over 250 homes from the end of the 19C, more in evous ,http://www.evous.fr/Promenade-dans-le-quartier-bucolique-de-la-Mouzaia,1177270.html

And last but not least, the airport de Paris tell us that on  CDG Terminal 1 passageway 4 you can see the Louvre with photographs of the famous such as the winged victory of Samothrace, Delacroix’s The Women of Algiers, art objects, sculptures and more. http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr/docs/default-source/passager-fichiers/acces/plan-t1.pdf?sfvrsn=2

And there you have when you pass by Paris, all comes back in earnest. Now ready to go back to work and the real life, of course Paris is a dream ::) Cheers

 

September 11, 2015

Some news from Bretagne, XVIII

Well just before the start of a crazy travel itinerary that will take me away, will leave you with my Brittany/Bretagne/Breizh and some amazing stones!!!

We have many sites name on the world heritage list by UNESCO and others less known, but in all, the region is dotted with many megaliths or stones from ancient times that we are still trying to find out about them.  2000 years before the pyramids of Egypt, or Stonehenge, or the writings in Mesopotamia, there was Brittany and its majestic stones.

You have ,of course, Carnac with more than 3000 stones perfectly align for about 4 kms forming four groups of stones, Ménec, Kermario and LeManio , Kerlescan and petit Ménec, web http://www.carnactourism.co.uk/discover-carnac/standing-stones/megaliths-carnac

and while at it visit the museum of prehistory in the city center or bourg there, http://www.museedecarnac.com/

Right in Carnac , you have the site of  Kercado,here in the forest you have one of the most spectacular Dolmen and well preserve out and in, covered with a tumulus with a diameter of 30 meters (c 100 feet) and a high of 5 meters (c. 16.5 feet).  http://www.carnactourism.co.uk/detail/c8ebc662703418ab85d3f084d2568bdc/549863

You go on away to the Tumulus de Moustoir, not complete but amazing, with  85 meters long and 35 meters wide and 5 meters high,you can see a dolmen on the west side and two tombs and a menhir around it. http://www.carnactourism.co.uk/detail/c8ebc662703418ab85d3f084d2568bdc/549718

A very famous one is the Tumulus of Gavrinis on a high hill in a island inside the Gulf of Morbihan. You see it as you approach by boat . A Dolmen of 29 pillars many decorated with geometric drawings. You can only visit from April 1 to September 30 by reserving at Telephone +33 (0) 2 97 57 19 38.  The traject includes a stop on the isle of  Er Lannic where you can see the double cromlech semi submerge in the sea on high tide which includes 40 menhirs. The boat contact is here

Cale de Pen-Lannic
56870 Larmor-Baden
gavrinis@compagniedesports
dumorbihan.fr

Tél. +33 (0) 2 97 57 19 38

and more in French on the boat info

http://www.passeurdesiles.com/liaisons-regulieres-golfe-morbihan/gavrinis-cairn-visite-horaire-tariff

and tourist info in English; http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/activities/visits-and-discovery/112357-cairn-de-gavrinis

Coming along to the tumulus of Petit Mont d’Arzon, located overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It has been enlarge and renovated for thousands of years , and in its interior you find a dolmen with a serie of big stones entirely decorated with motifs geometrics and figurines. Only guided visits from April to September.  http://www.crouesty.co.uk/en/ARZON/Cairn-du-Petit-Mont-_c238252.aspx

The grouping of Locmariaquer, is about  10 kms from Carnac and considered one of the most complete site. You have the biggest in the world menhir cut in four pieces with 20 meters high and done 2000 years before those of Carnac. On the other side you can visit the  Túmulus de La Table des Marchands , and the Túmulus de Er Grah, whose interior has a nice decoration.You can visit all year round. Found the national monument site where others are too,but for Locmariaquer best in English; http://locmariaquer.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/

The Arch of Kerzerho ,   with more than 1000 stones and one of the most complete in the area. You can see the ring  of various dolmens and the one the  Name Croch and the  Mane Braz, in addition to more alignments and a huge sacrificial stone. Free access. http://www.ot-erdeven.fr/pages/r-2-s-20-a-34-les-alignements-de-kerzerho.php?id_langue=2

Come along to the grouping of Kergonan, on the biggest island in the Gulf of Morbihan the ile aux Moines You have a group of 24 menhirs forming like a horse shoe and around it a small museum. The other is the Pen Hap, one of the best places to see the island with a running dolmen. The island Moines is monks but there was never monks here ::)http://www.megalithes-morbihan.com/sites/kergonan-megalithic-enclosure.html

the ile aux moines tourism  here in French, http://www.mairie-ileauxmoines.fr/accueil/decouverte/tourisme

You reach the dolmen of Le Bignan, more inland away from the sea, includes a Tumulus of 30 meeters in diameter and on the interior you can visit the dolmen and a big menhir of nearly 7 meters high , as well as a second dolmen in deterioration of about 10 meters long. It is known locally as the “le trou des Chouans” or the hole of the chouans (the name given to counter revolutionary Breton against the French revolution, farmers really). Info found in French, http://www.morbihan.com/bignan/dolmen-de-kergonfalz/tabid/2258/offreid/3f4c0b2a-a0d1-492b-8234-1e7a460f4486

Lastly ,visit the tumulus de Larcuste, near the town of Colpo, there lies a grouping of two tumulus and in the interior it has been found other dolmen in a hallway type of setting in good state of conservation. Very near me, secluded in the fields ,need to read French; http://www.megalithes-du-morbihan.com/display.php?shortname=TUCOLLAR56&to=2

Ok so what is a dolmen ,tumulus,menhir etc. ? Dolmen is a stone dalle pose on a square stone structure of what is considered to be a tomb. Tumulus is the stone that covers the dolmen in a funeral type setting tomb. menhir are the stones carved and standing tall.  You can find in English a lot more information on them at http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/megalithes/

Yes we have some amazing old ,interesting and culturally enriching places in Bretagne/Breizh/Brittany.  Cheers!

 

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