Archive for December, 2015

December 30, 2015

Some news from France, XCXVII

So Happy New Year 2016 to all Bonne Année, Feliz Año Nuevo, Feliz Ano Novo!! And I will be getting ready for the next day to fly out to Asia (posts end of Jan’16).

The festivities will be tame down in Paris, very sober says the Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and no fireworks.  If around Paris to celebrated, two nice places to do it are the Bal Masqué Chez Papillon at  49, rue de Ponthieu (8éme). It will start December 31st at 22h and last until 06H before sale cost is a reasonable  50€ (admission, two drinks and , Open Bar Bulles  from 0h to 01h)  or pay 60€ at the door, space available. http://www.soiree31decembre.fr/party/bal-masque-chez-papillon-new-year-2016,41.html

Then, Le Perchoir Marais on the roofstop of the dept store BHV Marais. You will go in by  37, rue de la Verrerie (4éme). On December 31 from  20h15  to 05h.  admission for  100€. A must for the reservation at email  evenementiel@leperchoir.fr or tel +33 (0) 6 12 05 92 76. http://www.bhv.fr/actus/perchoir-du-bhv-marais/

And on this site you can pick many other options to wait for the new year in Paris, http://www.soiree31decembre.fr/home.html

And afterward for that magical Galette du Roi tradition, I will pick one amongst many; Dalloyau teaming with Studio Harcourt creating a galette with a portrait of creative flavors, a sheet of wheat malt flour, cream of almonds and peanuts, pièces of pears cook in vainilla of Ceylan, and milk malt caramel on the exterior. The interior a féve or wishing figurine of  Harcourt awaits you. For each galette purchase you will receive a frame on the cabin of Studio Harcourt in the store of Dalloyau Faubourg (8éme). On sales from January 1st at 45€ ,boutique at 101, rue du Fbg Saint-Honoré (8éme) , and other point of sales for  Dalloyau. Yummy!!!

Public transports again will be free from December 31 at 17H to January 1st 12h midday Metro will be running until 02h15 and some lines will continue after that but not stopping in all stations: these are the lines open

Line 1 : Bastille, Charles de Gaulle-Etoile, Château de Vincennes, Châtelet, Concorde, Franklin D.Roosevelt, Gare de Lyon, George V, La Défense Grande-Arche, Nation, Pont de Neuilly, Porte Maillot.
Line 2 : Anvers, Barbès-Rochechouart, Belleville, Charles de Gaulle-Etoile, La Chapelle, Nation, Père Lachaise, Pigalle, Place Clichy, Porte Dauphine.
 Line 4 : Barbès-Rochechouart, Châtelet, Denfert-Rochereau, Gare de l’Est, Gare du Nord, Les Halles, Mairie de Montrouge, Montparnasse, Porte de Clignancourt, Porte d’Orléans, Saint-Michel, Strasbourg-Saint-Denis.
Line 6 : Bercy, Bir-Hakeim, Boissière, Cambronne, Charles de Gaulle-Etoile, Denfert-Rochereau, Kléber, La Motte Picquet-Grenelle, Montparnasse, Nation, Place d’Italie, Trocadéro
Line 9 : Alma-Marceau, Franklin D.Roosevelt, Grands-Boulevards, Havre-Caumartin, La Muette, Mairie de Montreuil, Nation, Oberkampf, Pont de Sèvres, Porte de Montreuil, Porte de Saint-Cloud, Saint-Augustin, Strasbourg-Saint-Denis, Trocadéro.
Line 14 : Bercy, Bibliothèque-François Mitterrand, Châtelet, Cour Saint-Emilion, Gare de Lyon, Madeleine, Olympiades, Pyramides, Saint-Lazare.
The RER train will be working on lines going into Paris to suburbs; the night bus  Noctilien beltway périphérique will not be working and other will be adapted to work as such  N21 and N122 at Gare Montparnasse, N22 at Place d’Italie, N23 at Gare de l’Est, N24 at Gare Saint-Lazare.  The terminus for those following to the  Gare de l’Est will be change as such  N144 to Gare de Lyon and N145 to Gare Montparnasse.
The New Year at my favorite Paris restaurant La Gare (for those new to my posts this is an old train station Muette converted into a wonderful restaurant in a chic area of real Paris)  for 105€ per person with DJ and dancing music until the wee hours of the day after. The menu will be as such: Glass of Champagne apéro with Tartare of sea bream, chiffon of Jerusalem artichoke , entrée ;Duck foie gras with truffles, frozen in the Jurançon, bread with figs, main dish to choose between  Ballotine of farm poultry ‘100day bluefooted’, cream truffle, winter vegetables or Navarin of lobster to the butternut squash and chestnuts, crustacean emulsion, dessert will be Fluffy biscuit Guanaja, creamy banana chocolate, coulis mango and passion, coffee, reservation at +33 (0) 1 42 15 15 31, webpage : http://www.restaurantlagare.com/
As for me this year will be sober too; staying home with home cooking and drinks , and resting for my long trip thereafter, first by train to Nantes, navette bus to airport, sleep overnight at airport and very early take AF to Paris CDG and then Asia for three weeks!!
HAPPY NEW YEARS 2016 everyone!
December 26, 2015

Locronan ,back again at Christmas season !

Ok so continuing with the Christmas spirit we headed for Finistére departément 29 or the town of Locronan. The tourist office is here; http://www.locronan-tourisme.com/

I had visited the town back in same period in 2013 (see post), and I was told again that the Christmas market was taken off here well so so we decided to take a look.  The town is a Petite Cité de Caractère de Bretagne or a small town of character of Brittany. It shows the Breton traditions quite well, and the stone ambiance gives it an eerie feeling of Merlin ::) It is, also, one of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France or one of the most beautiful towns of France !

The town is small just around the Church St Ronan, and many quaint stores all around the center. I took an intrepid walk down a ravine very steep to see the chapelle de Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle (15C-17C).  More from tourist office here in French: http://www.locronan-tourisme.com/fr/component/content/article/324-chapelle-nd-de-bonne-nouvelle.html

In the tourist site they mention a Calvaire or Calvary ,and it shows in the picture I took, this is dedicated to Saint Eutrope. He is according to leyend the 13 apostle. It was martyred for having been stoned and shot for converting the daughter of a Roman governor of Saintes. The Calvary is one of the few monuments of this type built in limestone. A Madonna and child is carved on his lapel, on the other side are represented Angels gathering the blood of christ.

I was able to get Inside the Church of St Ronan and newer pictures, this is impressive and Worth coming here just for it.  We did our shopping in the Au Loup Garou Gourmand store with goodies like cider, seafood products in cans, candies, jellies etc.  It is known as the house of the 100 Breton beers as they are here in all shapes and tastes. No webpage but you must come in when in town.

We gathered our pastries and baguettes from Le Guillou boulangerie pâtisserie just yummy for the house.  And they have a webpage for your tasting eyes ::) http://www.kouignamann-locronan.fr/

And of course, we look at the Christmas chalets even if in the afternoon they were not light up yet. It is nice quaint but a bit smallish and we have other town as favorite here for that …..see my posts. We are only about over an hour from our house so another wonderful backyard town to stop by.

Enjoy the pictures and Merry Christmas ::) well by now more like Happy New Year 2016! Ours will be small as need to flight out to Asia. Cheers.

 Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan  Locronan

 

December 19, 2015

Some news from Bretagne XX

Here I am again, with the year best period coming up and us getting ready for our next travel outside Bretagne, let me fill you in on some interesting places, events going on here. This is the tourist site for Brittany, http://www.tourismebretagne.com/ ; and the tourist site for my departément 56 Morbihan, http://www.morbihan.com/

We have nice cities of character such as Rochefort-en-Terre, Josselin, and La Roche-Bernard worthy of a visit anytime. The Presqu’île de Quiberon with its Côte Sauvage is my favorite place in all, beaches, bars, stores and just plain beach bum lifestyle ::)

You can see a nice castle Suscinio by Sarzeau in the Presqu’île de Rhuys or the less known but impressive castle of Trécesson in Campaneac Inside the magical forest of Brocéalande of the king Arthur leyend.

Then, head for the islands of the wonderful world of the Gulf of Morbihan, at any time ,now in winter they are empty of tourists but locals are and really lovely, in summer they are pack with visitors. Île aux Moines and Île d’Arz are just great, many cruises companies take you there.  The biggest is Belle-Île and the idylic Hoëdic and Houat and farther away by Lorient ,you have Groix.

We have quaint muséums Worth seeing like the museum of passions and wings or Musée des passions et des ailes at Baden, open on Saturdays 15-18h; http://www.museedebaden.fr/ ; the Naîa museum at Rochefort en Terre in the castle park, with artistic imagination such as the leyend of a witch with movie, monumental,numeric, sculpture and paintings; http://www.naiamuseum.com/Naia_Museum/Naia.html

The Christmas season upon us as I have commented on other posts, have great rdv at Rochefort en Lumières until January 3rd 2016; and the same time at Vannes with the slide, white beard, and lights shows or Glise, barbe blanche et lumières. A more appropiate religious tone in Sainte Anne d’Auray site of the patron Saint of Brittany, with a Jesus Revival with a living nativity scene until January 3rd 2016. http://www.sainteanne-sanctuaire.com/?mode=actualites&id=1529

Other areas with Chrismas markets are at Saint Esprit Auray (see post).

As winter is coming even if hardly noticeable with temps in 13C now, we have indoor heated pools with tuboggan etc such as Vanocéa in Vannes,Alé’O in Auray, and Neptilude in Quiberon.  Many activities such as kayak,canoe, catamaran and char à voile are available in winter at Kayak de mer de Saint Armel, 47° nautique in Séné, and the voile at  Zefattitud ,St Pierre Quiberon. Not to mention, the casinos, with a new one open in Vannes (parc du golfe) and others at Carnac, Arzon, Quiberon, and Larmor-Plage.

You have wonderful events such as the Festival Roué Waroch, BZH vibrations in Plescop, Feb 19-21 2016. http://www.roue-waroch.fr/ , and the wonderful Corrida Saint Sylvestre December 27 2015 in Vannes on a course of 9,4 kms in the city Streets! Leaving 17h from the place Lucien-Laloche. http://www.aurayvannes.com/corrida-vannetaise-c32.html

A bit on the big cities like Rennes with its night life around les Lices Sainte-Anne,and the rue St Michel/St Malo; and the old Streets around the Place des Lices and Place du Parlement. The nice  museum of fine arts or Beaux-Arts, the Frac Bretagne, museum of dance.  A bit on the cousin Nantes, with the new Hangar 21 area on the île de Nantes with cultural, restos, bars animated action,and the quaint passage Pommeray, and the Château des Ducs de Bretagne. Museum of Jules Verne and the machines de l’île.

Step aside , a wonderful recipe share with you as we are getting our menu down all home made by ourselves, the boys team ,and  I do the booze ::)  Tartare d’huîtres dans son bouillon d’échalotes. 12 oysters from bay of Quiberon or equiv; 100 grams thick cream, 4 shallots; persil, thym, and laurel spices to taste and olive oïl, wine vinager, 50 cl of dry white wine, one big potato and bread. the decoration garnish :Clean potato and cut in four pièces, set up on a dish with salt, Pepper, olive oïl and a little water, covered it with aluminum foil and cook at 180C for about 15 minutes.  The oysters you opened and clean but keep the water Inside, cut up the shallots with a thin drop of olive oïl ; in a big casserole pot make dissolve the shallots in a thin cover of olive oïl, add the white wine, quart of laurel leave, a bit of thym, have it reduce in heat about a third way before putting the 8 oysters and their water as well as thick cream, cook for five minutes; put all in the blender, keep on hot, cut up with a knife the rest of the oysters , mix with the rest of the shallots that are left, ground persil and a thin drop of olive oïl and a drop of wine vinegar. Dressed the last part with the big potato and two slices of toasted bread,serve the cream of oysters in a glass. And voilà we hope that this is right and we don’t s.u. as we are amateur chefs lol!!!

inspired on the above by the Chefs du Golfe (gulf) a group of chefs from leading restaurants in the area who team up for recipes and events in their restaurants, the site is here, http://www.chefsdugolfe.fr/sitehtml/index.php

The best local product for drinks is the Andouille breton and the best is from Guéméné-de-Scorff. This sausage type is pork intestins rolled into one another and smoke in wood first oak and then beech during several weeks,and then cook in a broth flavored hay . It is needed several rolls of this manouever to make one sausage or andouille so therefore it is a bit pricier than most, but delicious!!!

The Halles des Lices covered market,Vannes  is on Tuesdays to Sundays from 8h to 14h  with late opening on these Holiday season. http://www.halles-des-lices.fr/

If not Inside, go out in Vannes at the Café barge Piano barge on the bay by the cruise terminal. Classic and romantic on the water, http://www.pianobarge.com/  ; and the Jam Session at the Café Bœuf at 4 pl Bir Hakeim, just open last october in Vannes with a concept of theater, concerts while you eat. Open 12h -15h and 17h-23h and on event nights to 01H;no webpage yet but contact tel +33  (0) 2.97.54.22.24. And of course, the home favorite Le Gambetta at Place Gambetta facing the pleasure marina with great place, food and service; sublime!!! http://www.legambetta.com/

Enjoy the times of our lives:cheers and be merry, Merry Christmas !!!

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December 18, 2015

Christmas in Auray, my old town.

Ok so if you have been reading my blog you know that until two years ago I was living in Auray, Morbihan , Brittany, France::)  However, I am still just 14 kms or about 9 miles away from it and do come often here. The tourist office is here; http://www.auray-tourisme.com/

As the spirit of Christmas is amongst us all, we took a ride to the city this morning to see any preparation for Christmas as usually they have the better one in the area closer to me. Indeed the preparation were going on for the big night and the célébrations were going on since December 14 and will last until December 31 2015.

Tonite they will have jogglers performing and tomorrow the bulk really begins with a slate of activities all posted in the tourist office special Noêl or Christmas section on two pdf files here http://www.auray-tourisme.com/tabid/9029/OffreId/6df367cd-b58f-4f53-befc-41f9b48e85a3/Default.aspx

All the activities will be concentrated this year in the Chapelle Saint Esprit for the Christmas market or Marché de Noêl and on the Village de Noêl at Place Notre Dame (square).  The Chapelle Saint Esprit is an excellent place of great historical value that has been preserve at all cost by the local people.

The Chapelle Saint Esprit was one of the most important chapel in the commanderies of the order of Saint Esprit, the members defended and protected the poor, orphans and the sick. It was first built here by the Duke John II of Brittany that had also founded the Chapelle du Saint Sépulcre (where is now the parking area South of the current Chapelle). It was in the later, that the gisant of Christ was founded and recently restored.From the 14C the chapel has been enlarged by the Religious orders that were here. The Chapel lost its Religious vocation during the French revolution (as usual);and from 1794 it served as a military outpost, the famous HQ Dugueslin where it welcome soldiers until the 20C, it ,also ,serve as safe heaven for the population during WWII , later housed School children, firefigthers, and local associations. Today, it still holds cultural events and plays of many diverse nature.

Enjoy the Christmas spirit wherever you are. Cheers and be merry, a very Merry Christmas to all. Auray  Auray  Auray  Auray  Auray  Auray  Auray  Auray

 

 

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December 17, 2015

Christmas again at Rochefort-en-Terre!!!

Once again I past by my favorite Christmas town in my region, this is Rochefort-en-Terre, magical land, tourist office here , http://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/ln/en/

We come by car on the N165 expressway getting off at La Roche Bernard and continuing on the road D774  passing Marsan, Paule, Limerzel, before reaching Rochefort en Terre on some wonderful twisting roads. You can also ,go by the N166 direction Rennes and then taken the D775 direction Questembert ,then road D777 direction Pluherlin,  and reaching Rochefort en Terre.

We have come every year for the last five here and each year is wonderful. http://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/feerie-noel-rochefort-en-terre/

And the site of the féerie de Noêl or Christmas here, http://rochefortenfete.canalblog.com/

We had our apéro at the Le Menestrel pub restaurant at Place St Michel, and then onward we go, tasting bit and bites all over the chalets and commerces open all night, the best is to get here by 17h30 or 5:30PM.

The castle of great painters history is all decorated for the event, http://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/decouvrir/patrimoine-et-musees/patrimoine-bati-bretagne/?tif_r=4de3e247-2ee9-434c-a972-4bf10948c8c3&Parc-du-Chateau-de-Rochefort-en-Terre

And even the Church Notre Dame de la Tronchaye  is on, http://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/decouvrir/patrimoine-et-musees/patrimoine-bati-bretagne/?tif_r=ff81d3ef-b474-4555-88a4-45b2b3e8b0ef&Eglise-Notre-Dame-de-la-Tronchaye

See the wonderful nativity scene at place des Halles and Place St Michel, the museum for the painters history from a Alfred Klots born in St Germain en Laye (78) but family came from Baltimore MD USA to renovated the castle and housed the painters.

Enjoy the Christmas spirit is all over , the best time of the year!!! Enjoy the photos of 2015.

Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre Rochefort en Terre

 

 

December 17, 2015

Some news from Spain XIIII

Well I have literally left Spain out for quite some time, this is one of my countries !!! Well here is something traditional for the Holidays coming up.

Where to spent your Christmas Eve in Madrid,(my city) ;for the moderate budget we have some of my favorites there Ayre Gran Hotel Colon  Pez Volador, 1 | Tfn.: 91 400 99 00 | Price: 93 euros (dining and confettis).Chlidren  Menú  (Under 12 ): 34 euros. This is where I have stayed lately in the city great hotel , friendly service and all central. Mercado de la Reina Gran Vía, 12 | Tfn.: 91 521 31 98 | Price: 90 euros (dining and cup of champa or wine). Real Café Bernabeu Avenida de Concha Espina, 1 (Puerta 30. Estadio Santiago Bernabéu) | Tfn.: 91 458 36 67 | Price: 149 euros (dining and confettis). Children Menú  (Under 12): 55 euros. Café de Colon (previus Café de los Artistas)  Goya, 2 | Tfn.: 91 431 86 15 | Price: 110 euros (dining and confettis). Puerta 57  Padre Damián, s/n (Estadio Santiago Bernabéu) | Tfn.: 91 457 33 61 | Price: 165 euros (dining), 210 euros (dining and confettis), 50 euros (confettis). Children Menú  (Under 12 ): 49,50 euros. Intercontinental hotel  Paseo de la Castellana, 49 | Tfn.: 91 700 73 71 | Price: 450 euros (dining and confettis), 125 euros (only confettis).Children  Menú  (Under 12): 125 euros.  .  Gran Melià Fénix Hermosilla, 2 | Tfn.: 91 431 67 00 | Price: 295 euros (dining).  Children Menú  (Under 10): 147,50 euros.  Palacio de Cibeles Plaza de Cibeles, 1 | Tfn.: 91 523 14 54 | Price: 231 euros (dining and confettis).

Then, you have the heritage cities to hold such a nice occassion, such as Alcalà de Henares and the year of Cervantes,http://culturalcala.es/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Programa-de-Navidad-2015_2016.pdf ;  the markets of Avilà, http://www.avilaturismo.com/es/agenda/v-centenario-santa-teresa-de-jesus/item/831-programa-conmemorativo-v-centenario the festival at Baeza ,http://www.baezaturismo.com/ sweet Christmas at Càceres, http://www.turismo.ayto-caceres.es/  the patios of  Cordoba, http://www.turismodecordoba.org/ draw one at Cuenca,http://turismo.cuenca.es/  traditional at San Cristobal de la Laguna , http://www.aytolalaguna.com/descubre.jsp go the past at Mérida,http://www.turismomerida.org/  see the history at Segovia, http://www.turismodesegovia.com/  route trends at Salamanca, http://www.salamanca.es/en/ gastronomic Santiago de Compostela, http://www.santiagoturismo.com/  the ninots of Tarragona, http://www.tarragonaturisme.cat/es the traditional tiovivo at Toledo, http://www.toledo-turismo.com/ and the guignols of Ubeda ; http://www.turismodeubeda.com/index.php/es/

And you can find more about them at the official heritage site of cities of the Spanish heritage, Ciudades de Patrimonio , here, http://www.ciudadespatrimonio.org/ciudades/index.php?idioma=en

The best guide to choose your Spanish wine, is Guia Peñin , for years the best, http://www.guiapenin.com/

I just had my Beronia red Rioja Reserva 2010 tonite ::)  and as in my blogroll at the bottom of my main page, the wines of Spain  and more is found all here at Apolo y baco , http://www.apoloybaco.com/

One of the best Spanish language site on Spanish gastronomy is here, the one I follow, Diario de Gastronomia, sharing ::) http://diariodegastronomia.com/ and for Madrid my Madrid the best in Spanish is here, Los 5 mejores; http://www.los5mejores.com/ ; and to rent the best of Spain in rural beautiful Spain, agroturismo casas rurales here  ; http://en.antiquanatura.com/rural-tourism/espana/

Enjoy Spain in the magical time of Christmas to Epiphany !

 

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December 15, 2015

Guérande, the best salt of France and a lot more !

One trip from Paris perhaps or better nearer Nantes in Pays de la Loire region for now, just over an hour from my home sits Guérande, a fortified town and home of the Salt. I got there as usual by my own car, following the N165 direction Nantes and getting off at La Roche Bernard taking direction La Baule , Guérande on the road D774. The tourist office is here , http://www.ot-guerande.fr/

As you entered the town you first see the wonderful ramparts encircling the town old city, impressive start; we got parking right in front of the ramparts for free on a Sunday, and just walk right in to the old town area , walking all over.

We stop at the store L’Œillet de Guérande for wonderful sel de Guérande or salt , and caramel milk salted and chocolate confiture salted, all wonderful as well as getting away with a salt pot for serving on the table the old fashion way !!! Right by the big collégiale Church St Aubin, the webpage is at http://www.oeilletdeguerande.com/

We continue walking along the ramparts wonderful feeling and quaint nice pretty Streets to get into the collégiale Church Saint Aubin, nice big Church nicely decorated. You can change into English but in French has more descriptions here by the tourist office, http://www.ot-guerande.fr/les-remparts.html

We went across to the covered market or halles very nice indeed,  come in to the Les Halles (intra-muros) ,you have the fish on Wednesday, Fridays Saturdays and sundays morning and other products the wednesday and Saturdays; more here http://www.ot-guerande.fr/marches-presqu-ile.html

You are still at the square or place St Aubin and looking at the covered market turn your eyes to the right and see the Chapelle Notre Dame de la Blanche , a chapel Church very nice and with lots of history as the treaty of peace between the dukedom of Brittany and the kingdom of France was signed here in 1381 thereabouts. http://www.ot-guerande.fr/les-remparts.html

After doing some more walks and some nice homes like the maison de Poitiers from the 15C at rue de Piloti we came to the time to eat. I chose Créperie La Flambée at the wonderful quaint street of Rur de Saillé; and it was a winner, a place to come back to.  It has a building with wooden work of the biscuiterie LU of Nantes with a chimney from the 15C! All are local fresh products from local farms and the owner serves the table, nice friendly service , we were in the first floor (2nd Fl US) and you ring a bell to get service from below!!! magical on time! We had pizzas ,calzone,and rumsteak dishes with great desserts like mine cocomangue coconut ice cream with mango sorbet and merengue, a nice expresso coffee and all was drank with the local bottle of cider royal Guillevic a unique apple that the cider can only be made from. Great!http://www.ot-guerande.fr/la-flambee-creperie-glacier-salon-de-the.html

We past by the quaint musée de la poupee et du jouet ancien at http://www.ot-guerande.fr/musee-de-la-poupee-et-du-jouet-ancien.html  inside the chapel st Jean, and on the same street we purchase knives for oysters and mussels very nice and good value at Céladon 26 no webpage. At the end you see the ramparts again by the Porte Saillé.

Past the place du vieux marché and the rue de la Juiverie (jewish quarters). Wonderful Guérande and we will be back!

Guerande Guerande Guerande Guerande Guerande Guerande Guerande Guerande

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December 11, 2015

One more time in Bucharest !

This is becoming routine, coming to Bucharest that is. About 5 yrs ago, I had never visited the country ,and since then this is my 7th trip here. Always welcome.

My trip is easy going by AF from Nantes to Paris CDG to Bucharest Henri Coandâ airport. Once there, I take a taxi Meridien to my hotel. Only that it was not the usual Ramada one this time it was a Pullman by Accor.  This is the country tourist un official ; http://www.turism.ro/english/bucharest.php ; and here is the tourist office http://www.tourism-bucharest.com/

The airport site is here, http://www.bucharestairports.ro/en

Once there took my coupon off a machine for the taxi, and I always take the Meridian waiting for you outside or arrange ahead, site here ;http://www.meridiantaxi.ro/

I got to my nice Pullman , this is my chain ACCOR of France, wonderful always anywhere. very nice big rooms bathrooms and plenty of restaurant from the nice chic Aspérge bar to the steakhouse Barbizon, and the breakfast brasserie Paris -Bucharest. Excellent service , prompt, nice, many amenities too much for me to use, as was in and out always. A great place to spend your day and across plenty of public transport buses and tramways in the World Trade Center area; site here http://www.pullmanhotels.com/gb/hotel-1714-pullman-bucharest-world-trade-center/index.shtml

I spent 3 glorious nights here and went on to eat at the La Placinte Moldavian cuisine restaurant with a wooden tray of pork kebaks, potatoes, salad, and compote or drain fruit drink of red fruits sweet and nice down with Ursus local beer was excellent.  Very nicely decorated Inside and nice friendly service.  I went to the Str. Nicolae Caramfil nr. 49 property, here is the site; http://laplacinte.ro/ro/pages/restaurante/2/

Another time out of hotel I went to the La Iancu restaurant just outside Bucharest in Otopeni where the airport is located, but a nice town. The service was very nice, and the food with the big veal steak fries and beers Tuborg was nice indeed, http://www.laiancu.ro/

I had my usual walks around the Romexpo exhibition center , like here http://www.romexpo.ro/

and did my walk and drive up to the University Romano American by the romexpo area, this is a private school ; http://web.rau.ro/index.php?newlang=english

Also, the impressive House of the Free Press, old communication palace, http://romaniatourism.com/bucharest.html#landmarks

Last, I stop by the Rin Airport Hotel for one night as leaving early and they have free included shuttle to the airport every 30 minutes , very nice and punctual. http://airport.rinhotels.ro/

And, a chance to pass by Paris again try CDG my second home ::) back in January for more exotic trips in Asia and now the Holidays are coming, and we still do not know where to go lol!

Enjoy the pictures and have a great weekend.

Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest Bucharest

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December 4, 2015

Some news from Bretagne, XVIIII

One day off before the start of another trip in Europe. So , this is it , more on my beautiful Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh. Tourist office here http://www.tourismebretagne.com/

I was as usual by Vannes, and got me some goodies such as a new butcher shop by pl henri IV that is absolutely delicious having it already at lunch time.  Visiting some old building like the palace of Limur, the city hall or hotel de ville as well as administrative offices, the stores, and shops along rue Emile Bourgault and leading to t he place Henri IV  with a view of the wonderful Cathedral Saint Pierre, all wonderful clear day in beautiful old Vannes.

Then, we do have things to do in Brittany and especially my department 56 of Morbihan. tourist office, http://www.morbihan.com/ and the tourist office of the capital city of Vannes, http://www.tourisme-vannes.com/

There is a great show at Le Dôme, Saint-Avé, a town I past everyday to work, Lo’Jo will be here Saturday March 5, 2016 20h45  or from January 14-17, 2016 Klaxon Cirque sous chapiteau the circus Under the dome tent, http://www.saint-ave.fr/centre_culturel_le_dome.html

You need to see the Cinéville cinémas at Garenne and Parc Lann (our favorite) multi cinema modern latest techno and great films for the entire family.  Places matinée from 5,50€  for films, shows for kids and opera plays on cinema vision screens most in the Brittany region. http://www.cineville.fr/index.php

At the cultural center La Lucarne at Arradon, you may wish to see Hugh Coltman January 29 2016 at 20h30 for remakes of songs by the great Nat King Cole. Klaxon as above at the Dôme will be here too. http://www.lalucarne-arradon.fr/?p=4033

The Festival of Youngs  music or Prom’nons nous will be back January 22 to February 9 2016 at many towns in the area from Arradon to Saint-Avé ; young musicians, players, shows , acts for the entire family more info here http://www.festivalpromnonsnous.fr/

Festival on the Streets free, the Lézard Ty Show, jam session 2016 from December 8 at 19h30 to December 19 at 20h different places in the area of Vannes, theater, music, with clic du clique, manu, kipik hip hop music all for donations to the feed the hungry organisation started by comedian coluche here resto du cœur. More info here https://www.facebook.com/pages/L%C3%A9zard-ty-show/508237532558687

And yes the magic of Christmas is here too even if less known than on the East of France. At Vannes from december 18 to January 3rd 2016. Chalets and entertaintment all over the city with heritage tours . More info on the committee of festivals here, http://www.comite-des-fetes-vannes.fr/ and the city of Vannes, http://www.vbs-56.com/vannes-plongez-dans-la-magie-de-noel-des-animations-gratuites-dans-toute-la-ville#.VmGv1v2FPIU

Also, at my other town Auray, Noêl à Auray, animations and chalets from December 11 to December 31 2015. Christmas markets on the 11-13 December and village of Noêl 18-20 December. http://www.auray-tourisme.com/home/sejourner/evenements.aspx#

Great souvenir and nice place to visit is the Musée sous-marin du pays de Lorient or the submarines museum of Lorient, open from December 20 to Jan 3 2016 from 14h to 18h as well as on Sundays. http://www.musee-sous-marin.com/  and see the Le Flore authentic submarine there, http://www.la-flore.fr/

The Château de Suscinio is magical and fortress style, open all year, with shops on explanation of what is the Middle Ages, life in a castle, and archeology explanations, December and january open from 14h to 17h. Great place indeed, see more here http://suscinio.fr/

Full program including Klaxon as above,and dance hip hop, theater of marionnettes, jazz etc all happening from now at L’Hermine espace culturel at Sarzeau, more here http://www.sarzeau.fr/vivre-au-quotidien/activites-culturelles/espace-culturel-lhermine/

And of course for the adults do not forget the Casinos we have good ones in near me such as one in Casino de Vannes! at Parc du Golfe , with machines, table games electronic roulette, and bar/brasserie resto. http://www.casinodevannes.fr/

And Casino de Crouesty with a great marina in Arzon, English electronic roulette, is new here with Christmas (30€) and New Year’s (109€) menus.  http://www.joa-casino.com/Casinos-Loisirs/CASINO-JOA-DE-PORT-CROUESTY

A great show Tal Coat from December 19 to May 20 2016 at the Hôtel de Limur in Vannes near the hotel de ville, graphic arts ,free admission on Rue Thiers, open Fridays, Saturdays,and Sundays from 13h30 to 18h. Great historical visual event in a historical mansion, built in 1685 and continue with the family Limur from  1820 to 1947; more info here http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesloisirs/hotel-de-limur/hotel-de-limur/ar, 19ticle/tal-coat-loeuvre-graphique/

For the health concious we have it too, the fair Respire la Vie (or breathes life) , salon bio, well being, and habitat, at the parc Expo from January 22-24 2016 from 10h to 19h; more info here http://www.respirezlavie.com/vannes/

For detentre and having a great time , food and entertainement head for L’Atlantique at the port of Vannes, , with 140 wine references, menus from 12€, 19,50€ and 25,90€. meats and fish/seafood  dishes, terrace with view to the harbor (port). Webpage at my favorite resto place here, the Fork or la fourchette, http://www.lafourchette.com/restaurant/l-atlantique/21978

Now enjoy some pictures at random today in my capital and work city… Cheers and TGIF !

December 2, 2015

Some news from France, XCXVI

Another passing of wonderful Paris; nothing to report about security for me was same as ever. The people were all over, and in fact easier on the transports. I took metro line 6 to Bir Hakeim from Montparnasse plenty of folks but not full. Just happened that I was ticketed by the metro police for the first time ever, always a first time, got in on the side from Bd Grenelle and forgot to validate the ticket go figure , even the experts missed it; got a fine 33€ but I can claim it back as the door swing was not secured open on both sides when it should be open from the Inside only, go figure for security !!!

Anyway with friends went to check this out very nice, in Paris, La Régalade Saint Honoré, same as in Porte d’Orléans but in a more classic neighborhood. You have here from pork to fish to seafood, but the best is the farm pork or cochon fermier. They have a nice terrace and open every day from 12h-14h30 and 19h-22h30.  no webpage,  106, rue Saint Honoré,tel +33 (0) 1 42 21 92 40. Really good French real food.

I came by taking the TER train from Auray to Rennes and then the TGV from Rennes to Montparnasse, the return was straight to Auray by TGV. Really easy on all runs.

Something to come later on but keep the dates as they will go fast.  Adele is coming to perform Hello and other hits at the Accor Hôtels Arena 12éme, June 9-10 2016 , cost runs from 51€ to 128€. Sales go on from December 4th 2015 at 9h. http://www.accorhotelsarena.com/fr/concerts-a-Paris/adele-accorhotels-arena

The gourmet festival is coming back to Paris for the second time at the Grand Palais, 18 chefs including Alain Ducasse, Guy Savoy, and Le Quellec, Sombardier amongst others; February 11 -14 2016, admission from 14€ more info here http://paris.tastefestivals.com/

The Château de Versailles is showing in the Galerie des Glaces an extravaganza in period costumes danse baroque, private concerts, and other theatrical visits in the Royal Apartments.  May 30 2016 from 135€ ; more info here http://www.chateauversailles-spectacles.fr/en/spectacles/2015/fetes-galantes-2016-fancy-dress-evening-hall-mirrors

Also, June 25 23h30 or 11:30PM the Grand Masked Ball of Kamel, Under the theme Beauty and the Beast, http://www.chateauversailles-spectacles.fr/en/spectacles/2015/grand-masked-ball-kamel-ouali-2016

and the Louis XIV the Fire or Sun King, July 7,8,14,and 15 at 22h or 10PM, more here http://www.chateauversailles-spectacles.fr/en/spectacles/2016/louis-xiv-fire-king

And one of my favorite castles and most visited , is Vaux-le-Vicomte, still in private hands of the Vogue, something wonderful every year and this one unique, normally they do a giant Christmas tree in the Grand Salon, but this year in honor of the 400 anniversary of Nicolas Fouquet, it will be occupied by a giant Wheel of 14 meters high (Grande Roue) and on the rest of the rooms over 8000 Christmas décorations. At the village of Maincy (77 Seine et Marne) from December 12, you can get reduce tickets here http://www.ticketac.com/ ; and the castle site is here http://www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/en/vaux-le-vicomte-celebrate-christmas/

The trip from Auray to Paris was nice, hope you enjoy the post. Cheers!

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