Archive for April, 2016

April 22, 2016

Some news from France, XCXXXII

Back to the regular post on things going on in France my choices:

A new place to try eat the best of France pâtisserie in Paris, this is Fou de Pâtisserie or crazy about pastries; 45 ,rue Montorgueil 2éme ;Tel +33 (0) 140410061. Open Tuesdays to Fridays from 11h to 20h, Saturdays from 9h30 to 20h and Sundays from 9h30 to 18h. Try the greatest expression of French pastries such as the Baba Rhum of Cyril Lignac, the napoleon or mille feuille of Hugo & Victor, the eclair caramel butter salé of Christophe Adma, the macaroons of Pierre Hermé and the madeleines of Gilles Marchal.

See the music of Carmen la Cubana until April 30th at the Théatre du Châtelet .

Five zoos around and in Paris great for the entire family are here:  Parc Zoologique de Vincennes ,at the angle of Avenue Daumesnil and route de la ceinture du lac Daumesnil :

ZooParc de Beauval, Route du Blanc, 41110 Saint-Aignan :

Parc de Thoiry, Château de Thoiry, 7877,Thoiry ,near my old home,

Parc des Félins, Domaine de la Fotelle, 77540, Lumigny-Nesles-Ormeaux;

And the La ménagerie du Jardin des plantes or petting zoo in Paris; Rue Cuvier, 75007, Paris :

Recently, the Le  Figaro magazine ask the US Ambassador Jane D Hartly what was the best example of the spirit of Paris that makes here recall the USA and these were the Jardin des Tuileries,Jardin du Luxembourg,Tour Eiffel and the firework on the 14th of July; and the Spanish ambassador Ramon de Miguel responded as the Tour St Jacques or St James, the musée Picasso, and the avenue des Champs-Elysées, the Pont Alexandre III, and the Hôtel des Invalides. And so on many others ambassadors.

The wrough iron gate or the grille de la Chapelle,located at the side of the royal chapel or Chapelle-Royale next to the square or place Gambetta in the Chateau de Versailles is open to the public once again. This will help the merchants of the side street rue des Réservoirs that was closed due to anti terrorists action under Vigipirate that closed most of the entrance to the castle on this side. Now the figh is on to have open the others by Chesnay and Saint-Cyr-L’école.Le Parisien

The château de Monte Cristo at Port Marly reopen its theatrical visits ;after much work of renovations. The tickets will be sold on a first comes first serve basis with limited seating capacity. Tariffs are 9€ adults information at the tel +33 (0) 30 61 61 35 or…

The Festival « Série Séries, will have place in Fontainebleau from June 29 to July 1st at the municipal theater, showcasing all the great European series on TV.

The famous concert hall Elysée Montmartre by blvd Rochechouart in the 18éme . arrondissement opened in 1807 ,and since 2011 closed due to fire will open its doors in the Fall of 2016. It will have a configuration of 1000 seats and 1500 more on foot. In 1900,it was the dancing hall and center of French Cancans ; in the years 1970’s it was the time for Coluche to start his career here and later turn into music hall and concerts saw many famous played here such as Alain Souchon, Alain Bashung, Bérurier Noir, Noir Désir, and Iron Maiden and as well international stars such as David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Daft Punk.There are now four concerts already booked that should open by September 15 next the singers will be Romain Humeau,Nov 23rd then Christophe Maé, Nov 26rd,already full. Follow in December by Marillon on the 10th and the group Hyphen Hyphen on the 16th. You can see the program starting from June 1st at this site

See you around folks!


April 7, 2016

Some News from Spain, XVIII

As have time today, will continue with the Spanish conquest ::) Many of us try to get into attractions, monuments, muséums  for the least possible cost ,meaning Free. Well ,Spain has many opportunities for this, and I will name most of them below. Just always check the official site before coming to them, you never know when they decide to change things.

Andalucia: Cordoba, Alcàzar de los Reyes Cristianos, Wednesdays to Fridays except holidays from 8h30 to 9h30

Granada, Huerta de San Vicente, Casa Museo Federico Garcia Lorca, everyday outside of Holidays.

Malaga, Fundacion Picasso Museo-Casa Natal Sundays is free.

Sevilla, Museo Naval Torre de Oro, on Mondays, Monasterio de la Cartuja, Wednesdays to Fridays from 19h onwards and Saturdays all day.

Castilla y Léon: Palencia, museo de Palencia, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays is free

Segovia, Museo de Arte Contemporàneo Estéban Vicente, Thursdays is free but closed until October 23rd

Léon, Museo de Léon ,free Saturdays and Sundays.

Valladolid, Casa-Museo de Cervantes, free on Sundays

Cantabria: Museo de Altamira, Saturdays from 14h and Sundays is free

Castilla-La Mancha: Toledo, Museo del Greco, Saturdays from 14h and Sundays is free

Cataluña/Catalunya: Museu Picasso de Barcelona First Sunday of each month from 9h to 18h30, and other Sundays from 15h to 18h30.
Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña MNAC , first Sundays of each month and Saturdays from 15h.
Museo de Historia de Cataluña-MHC , last wednesday of each month except July, August ,and September.

Communidad de Madrid: Museo del Prado, only museum collection Mondays to Saturdays from  18h,Sundays and Holidays from 17H.
Museo Reina Sofia, Mondays to Saturdays from 19h Sundays from 13h30 (from 14h30 only open for the collection 1 and some temporary exposition.
Museo Thyssen -Bornemisza, only the museum collection; Mondays from 12h (Mastercard Mondays) and the exposition of the program  ‘Miradas cruzadas’,every day.
Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando . Days not holidays ,some temporary expositions.
Museo Arqueologico Nacional, Museo Sorolla, Museo Nacional de Antropologia.Saturdays from 14h and Sundays.
Museo de America, on Sundays.
Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas, Sundays and Thursdays from 17h (from September to June), some temporary expositions and extraordinary openings.
Museo Cerralbo, Thursdays not holidays from 17h  (extraordinary opening), Saturdays from 14h and Sundays.
Museo del Traje ( permanent exhibition closed temporarly). Saturdays from 14h and Sundays. Also, July and August from 19h.
Museo del Romanticismo,Saturdays from 14h and Sundays.
Museo Làzaro Galdiano, Wednesdays to Saturdays from 15h30 ;Sundays from 14h ,and first Friday of each month  (From October 2nd 2015 to September 2016.
Palacio Real de Madrid, Mondays to Thursdays from 18h  (April to SEptember.) and from 16h  (October to March).
Real Monasterio de El Escorial , Palacio Real de Aranjuez, and Palacio Real de El Pardo , Holidays and Thursdays from 17h(April to September) ,and from 15h  (October to March).
Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales , and Real Monasterio de la Encarnacion. Holidays and Thursdays from 16h.

Comunidad Valenciana: IVAM Centro Julio Gonzàlez, Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, on Sundays .
Centro Cultural Bancaja, Salas Picasso, Damià Forment and Sorolla, free on Sundays.
Museo Valenciano de la Illustracion y la Modernidad -MuVIM, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays.

Alicante, Museo Arqueologico y de Historia de Elche, MAHE, free on Sundays

Extremadura:  Museo Nacional de Arte Romano,Saturdays from 14h and Sundays

Navarra:  Museo de Navarra, Saturdays from 17h and Sundays.

Pais Vasco/Euskadi: Vizcaya, Museo Vasco-Euskal Museoa, Thursdays is free
Museo Maritimo Ria de Bilbao on Wednesdays is free
Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, free on Holidays.

Guipúzcoa: Museo de San Telmo, free on Wednesdays.

Principado de Asturias:  Museo del Ferrocarril de Asturias, free on Sundays

Also, the mayority of these sites name above usually give free admission on dates such as April 18 ( International Day of Monuments and Sites),May 18 ( International Day of Museums),October 12 (National Day of Spain), December 6th  (Constitution day  in Spain), and as well on the anniversary of the museum.

Enjoy them with moderation ::) Spain everything Under the Sun.

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April 7, 2016

Some news from Spain XVII

Well getting back to my Spain and just a primer will be there in May and August so far booked this year . Some of the latest from the land of everything under the Sun.

Some of the wonderful Roman ruins and not so ruins in Spain are here some of my favorites spots:

Going to the villa Olmeda and the La Tejada in Quintanilla de la Cueza; rather than go into my short and sassy writing here is a page in English that tells you better about it, a must to see.

You can continue the route by going to Fuente Alamo, Puente Genil, Cordoba as well as the nearby El Ruedo, Almendinilla. Again better explained here

Following on we arrive at Villa Arellano, Navarra another wonderful manifestation of mosaics and walls decorated from Roman Times!

We arrive by Carranque, Toledo visiting the Casa de Materno; and going over to nearby province of Cuenca for visiting the places of Segóbrida and Valeria; more on them below

Following our story we get to see Centcelles, Constanti ,Tarragona; and the nearby formation of Dels Munts in Altafulla;more here

Following our trails we reach Veranes, Gijon, Asturias; and not to missed the Roman spas of Campo Valdés in the center of Gijon and also visit the Parque Arqueológico Natural de la Campa Torres; again more info here ;

We move on to Villaricos, Mula, Murcia and see the Fuente Caputa looking at the Roman site of Cerro de La Almagra,in the same Banks of the river Mula. more info here in Spanish; ; and Murcia Today English language paper has a nice story on it here;

Next , we stop by Brunel , Quesada, Jaén ,just in front of the mountains of Sierra de Quesada ,more on it here

OF course, these are just some of my favorites, Spain is loaded with Roman past and Worth the detour.

Now changing the subject how about those good deal restaurants including one of my all time favorite from my district in Madrid.  Plaza Quintana, Docamar! here since 1963 claiming the best patatas bravas of Madrid

And of course , more like Casa Mingo and the Asturian connection in Madrid, here since 1888. A classic!

Casa Hortensia, with the best fabada of Madrid….

La Gloria de Montera, nice decor with great traditional food at good price/quality ratio;

right in tourist central Plaza Mayor but very good price/quality ratio is Casa Maria;

And Orio, by Fuencarral, and Plaza Mayor, very good bar of buffets style goodies , good prices;

And last but not least two wonderful events coming up in Madrid; Prado and Attraction park, two old favorites of mine.

At the Attraction park in Casa de Campo you will find the wonderful Parque de
Atracciones de Madrid. I came here when a kid and then my kids came here nice
memories always;these days it is held the Comic Fan, an event that will bring you to the
park and the world of fantasy, science fiction and images. You will learn how to use a
laser sword and do comic shops and maquillage FX or pose for a theme photocall so you
look like a real actor/heroe. You will go into the world of Warcraft and do your own trailer
of a movie with a visual experience. There will be expositions, collection pieces,
boutiques, and animated spectacles .Of course, as well as enjoying the rides In the park
from April 9,10,16,17,23 and 24. The admission for all is 19,90€ per adult.
The great exhibition of French painter George La Tour continues in the Prado. The
baroque painter will have presented 31 works from his total around 40+. George La
Tour,was born in the current región of Lorraine,France, and remains a misterieuse
personaje. Very little documentation exist of him only that was attached to his family
in a difficult period of the Thirty years War and the plague, and that he already saw
fame while living. He had clients such as the King of Spain Cardinal Richelieu and
the Dukes of Lorraine, and his painting had a high price. He disappeared and was
difficult to identified his paintings later on. His daytime scenes were confused with
that of other Spanish painters like Zurbarán,and the nightimes with the Dutch school
of painters. Showing at the Museo del Prado , Mondays to Saturdays from 10h to
20h, Sundays and Holidays from 10h To 19h; admission 14€ adults. 50% discount if
coming Mondays to Saturdays from 18h to 20h and Sundays/Holidays from 17h to
19h. The exhibition will be on until June 12 2016.


Enjoy Spain !!!

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April 4, 2016

Some news from France, XCXXI

Here I am again trying the new feature of posting in WordPress. This is what the latest buzz I have for France in general and Paris in specific.

The 48 arms of the big wheel of Paris or the grande roue de la Concorde with a height of 70 meters (231 ft) will be in the colors of the Euro 2016 starting from today. A film on the Euro16 will be shown on a big screen located at the foot of the big wheel. This operation will be on until September according to the city of Paris, source Le Parisien.

The new vedette de paris boat rides are starting to show theater plays on the rides. The first two are from the theater Le Palace,and are played on the boat cruising the river Seine, they are the «Les 39 marches » ,and the «Welcome à St-Tropez ». The first is a parody burlesque from the film by Alfred Hitchcock, and the other is a light comedy. The show with a glass of Champagne is 34 €.

The Québécois Michel Goulet has taken some chairs from 1921 in the jardin du Palais-Royal and written poems on them with laser , the poems are by French and foreigners such as Baudelaire, Eluard, Cocteau, and Pasolini…etc. They are now been call the poetry chairs or chasse poémes.

The creation by Le Corbusier in 1933, the Cité de Refuge or house of refugee is not a museum but can be visited as well starting from May or June once the renovation is wholly done. They will be organize visits by reservation. The building is at 12 rue Cantagrel (8éme). The house is run by the Salvation Army of Paris,…

The city of Paris will redo several squares to make it more pedestrian accessable on a project from now to 2020 according to the mayor Anne Hidalgo, and more info in the city webpage The squares will be Bastille, Nation,Panthéon, Madeleine, Gambetta, des Fêtes, and Italie.

Hotel de la marine is due for a complete makeover costing about 100M€. This was the furniture guardhouse of king Louix XV and later the Ministry of the Marine was here for about 200 years, now there is a twist. The plan is to create a gastronomic center to complement France been named UNESCO world heritage of gastronomy and wines . Plans for a restaurant of 100 seats, and a Café in the street level (first floor ) floor , also , cooking classes, and tastings of wines ,conferences and exhibition space. Stay tune the works just begun this week 09 March 2016 ,according to the Le Parisien newspaper

And about those Parisien hôtels and the trend to go away from the “center” that I have been telling many here, well hôtels are going to the BP=boulevard périphérique road. 1588 is the numbers of hotels Paris has at end of 2014. About 82, 227 rooms, most in the VIIIe, IXe, Xe et XVIIe arrondissements or districts, they have an average of 75,6 % occupancy with an average price of 180,80 € per night per room. And they are new ones coming along in the Boulevard Périphérique, such as the Porte Pouchet Résidence Odalys city by 1st trimester 2017. Qualys by Porte de Montmartre by 2018. Residence Residhome by Porte d’Aubervilliers; by 2107. Hipark residence by Porte de Pantin by April 2016. Hotel Meininger by 2018 at Porte de Vincennes, Motel One by 2018 on Porte Dorée, another Hotel by 2018 on the Porte d’Italie, Novotel suite Paris Expo by April 2016 at Porte de Vanves; Hotel Mama Shelter by 2019 at Porte de Versailles, Hotel de la tour Triangle by 2020 at Porte by Porte de Versailles, and Okko Hotel by 2017 at Porte de Sévres. keep an eye on them. Le Parisien.

The garden of the musée Nissim de Camondo will be open to visitors until April 3 from 10H to 16h45. They were done in 1912 bordering the Parc Monceau. The visit will allow you to see the imposing façade of the mansion built between 1911 and 1914 for the Count of Camondo (1860-1935). The Musée Nissim de Camondo is located at 63, rue de Monceau (8émee). admission is 9 € normal adults. Metro Villiers and Monceau ,bus lines 30 ,94, and 84.Le Parisien

The big building in an Art Deco style at 52, avenue des Champs-Élysées (old Virgin Megastore) is in construction to build a Galeries Lafayette by October 2018 The department store will have about 9000 m2 in four levels including one in the basement. This historical building was purchase initially by the creator of the Galeries Lafayette Théophile Bader in 1927 to build one here but the world crisis of 1929 did not allowed it. The name was the Hôtel de Massa that was taken stone by stone and rebuilt in the gardens of the Observatoire de Paris. In the 1930’s the building host the City Bank of New York. Le Parisien

Fondation Louis Vuitton, has an expo on Chinese works inside. And on the outside a new canopy in glass with many colors; it will be done by May 10th. The canopy in wood covered with glass is similar to the one installed in the Les Halles de Paris

In the voie Georges Pompidou next to the pont Sully in the quais of the Seine will be build by November 1918 a monument to the fallen in WWI from Paris, about 93000 of them died between 1914 and 1918. The monument is schedule to be done by November 11 2016 Armistice Day here. It will a succession of plaques with the name of the fallen in alphabetical order;which will be about 100 meters long…

The boats return to the lake at the Castle of Rambouillet starting this Saturday 26 March 2016. You will be able to ride the boats around the islet or îles des Rochers or Festin from April 2 do it all the weekends from 10h30 to 19h. They will be available everyday in July and August from 12h to 19h. You will have available , electric boats and tandem bicycles as well. Rides of ½ hour of boating will cost 10€, more information at +33 (0) 6 14 08 82 80. Le Parisien

The museum Albert Kahn and garden covering 4 ha in Boulogne-Billancourt with a Japanese,French,and English gardens, a prairie and a blue forest will have this Saturday a new renovation project to enlarge it. At early 2018 we will see a new building of 2300 m² and several open spaces with a detail trail explaining each space for better explain the museum garden to the visitors.

The project of the supermetro line 18 linking Orly (Val-de-Marne) to Versailles by 2030 is now in the negotiation phase with the city. This line will connect between 2024 and 2030 the towns of Châteaufort, Magny-les-Hameaux, Voisins-le-Bretonneux,Guyancourt and Versailles

Decision to convert the buildings of the Grand Contrôle, du Petit Contrôle, and du Pavillon des 100 prémieres marches , built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, with a surface of 2 800 m2, all along the extension of the Midi wing in the Château de Versailles. The palace managing body will give some time for reflection before given order for bids on the construction which already attracts several hotel groups. Stay tune….


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