Archive for May, 2016

May 31, 2016

Some news from France, XCXXXIIII

Just starting the month of June.  Back from a wonderful trip to Spain, now back on my home turf of France.

The situation over the last terrorist act in France last November, the latest Survey in France tell us that 77% of the French won’t be concerned with it and will come to Paris. The city has started a tourism campaign to bring visitors back. Tourism means 500 000 jobs, 75 000 businesses, and 21 B Euros in revenue to Paris. Last few months we have a -15% decline in visitors with -22% less hôtels occupancy. The themes to bring this crowd back are Paris wild life or La vie Sauvage, with views over the parc Buttes Chaumont. Tea time or l’Heure du thé with a nice Paris terrace and Fast Food with a delicious cake, and Skyline with views on the perspective of the Palace of Versailles. From the provinces or inland France, 71% see Paris as a unique city, 62% as a rich cultural center, 36% calls for its diversity, less on gastronomy of 14% and night life comes in at 7%. More for coming to Paris according to Le Parisien newspaper.

At La Defense you will have célébrations with a Brazilian motif from July 7-14 and from 11h30 to 20h30 on Thursdays a late night to 22H. You will dance with samba and batucadas percussions all at the parvis de la Defense.

For the little ones, you have activities at the Palais de Tokyo, all from October 21th, more here in English :

The Centre Pompidou for kids from July, more here in English:

In the house of kids or maison des Petits in French you have plenty of activities for who else our kids. Initiation from babies on the world of the Arts.

In La Villette the Cité des enfants has plenty of activities for kids ages 2-12. more here in English:

The museum of the grass or musée en herbe ,in French ,activities from 3 yrs old to 103 ::) more info in French here:

You want tour or company visiting muséums with kids,the org Mom’Art will help you. In French , more here:  ; more info that they can answer in English at email

A line up of visits and arts to do with kids from Paris d’Enfants or Paris for kids and teenagers; here in French:

You have many kiosks of information or center of animation in Paris where you can go and ask for activities to do here , plenty. Some of the more central ones are here:

Center d’animation Les Halles-le Marais,  6-8 place Carrée, Forum des Halles. Mondays to Fridays from 10h to 22h and Saturdays from 14h to 19h
Center d’animation , Simon Lefranc at 9, rue Simon Lefranc 75004  ,open Mondays to Fridays 10h to 19h and Saturdays from 10h to 17h
Center d’animation Arras, 48 rue du Cardinal Lemoine, tariffs 1,40€ to 2€ 75005.  Open Mondays to Thursdays from 8h45 to 22h , Fridays 8h45 to 21h and Saturdays 13h45 to 17h45
Center d’animation Espace Beaujon 208, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
Center d’animation de Bercy.51 rue François Truffaut ,75012 Open  Mondays 12h to 22h30, Tuesdays 11h to 21h30, Wednesdays 9h15 to 21h15, Thursdays 9h45 to 22h30, Fridays 9h45 to 20h , and Saturdays from 8h45 to 13h and 13h45 to 15h45. Amongst many.
Many technological advances to ease the passing thru the airports of Paris. On CDG Terminal F there are machines to help you check in your luggage automatically, the carpet will be extended to pass quicker thru x ray machines ,all the controls for European departures will be concentrated in two wings of Terminal F, and already testing by AF and Paris airport an automatic boarding system. Article from Les Echos business journal.
More from Les Echos business journal, there is a find while doing the Rome metro that has slow down even further the construction of this needed line C . Yes this is Italy in France news ::) The line C was to carry 30 stations in 25 kms that will connect the southeast to the northeast of the eternal city. Already the project going on since 2006! Te station Amba Aradam-Ipponio was found at 9 meters the vestiges of barracks from the 2C! it is an area of about 1750 square meters consisting of 39 pièces with decorated frescoes and mosaics around 100 meters long corridor. Rome with 71 cars per 100 people and about 700K motos has more vehicles on average than any other European city. If we are to stack up the traffic, it amounts to about 20% of the entire city area. But the  Romans keep coming back to the city by car.
Misc, if you are coming to France and worry about your electrical appliances comp phone etc plugs and connections these site can help a lot;
If you need to find WIFI in Paris , see this :
If you need to find a post office in France , check this out:
If you are looking for a sea level place on the beach and need to know the waves and height , read this in French , just type the city in the blank link in the center;
And remember, coming up in France, the Euro16 European football/soccer championship starting June 10th France vs Romania.
And the 24 hrs of Le Mans auto race with the return of FORD to France, June 18-19 ;
And from July 2nd to the 24th , the one and only Tour de France;
Stay tune, is FRANCE.
May 30, 2016

A new look at my best souvenir of Madrid, Retiro park

This is my park, Parque del Buen Retiro , I lived for several years not far from it,every time back in Madrid and luckily often need to stop by,and lately in the city stayed by a hotel nearby. I wrote a historical post in my blog here:

This time had a whole Sunday for me, and why not, spent it at the Retiro Park. Very difficult for me to describe it, it was my youthful park, where my mother took me and I came back to the city in a new era with her and then myself, as my mother passed away in 2007, coming here brings closer to her as well.

This is my park, walking its winding trails and seeing the wonderful statues and buildings in it are just great beyond description. The snack bar by the lakes or estanque with its wonderful boats.Now they have rowing boats when Young coming here they had pedal boats as well. It was heaven by yourself to do it. Coming from behind the statue to king Alfonso XIII into the lake is wonderful and the views breathtaking.

You need to see the wonderful remains of the Real Fabrica de Porcelanas (1760-1812) with info in Spanish as now shown in the Prado museum here,

and the La Noria del Huerto del Francés vestiges of something wonderful here; this one of the machine that took the water to make the porcelain, and they are of Persian origins.  Many entrances to the park my old haunts was by Puerta de Alcalà where I lived not far, but lately coming by the Plaza Niño Jésus ( square of the Child Jesus).  You plunge into the garden or jardines del Marques de Pontejos , right along the Paseo del Marqués de Pontejos ,passing by the Rosaleda (rosary) ;

and the Parterre (main walk area), entrance by the Gate or puerta de Felipe IV, with an axis from the Casón del Buen Retiro  to the Fuente de la Alcachofa , and the lake or Estanque. You see here the oldest tree in the park that of a Cipré calvo (cypress) .You see structures of old now being use as many as rest rooms.

You do not listen to route planner or Google but come across walking in the park , coming by the estanque or lake into the other end by Calle Alfonso XIII. A magical walk with beauty of top gardeners keeper all around you.

You passed by the wonderful Palacio de Velázquez, (b. 1881-1883) an old structure use for temporary exhibitions for works of art.

You come to see the Palacio de Cristal (b 1887) iron architecture  modeled after Crystal Palace in London. It is now for temporary exhibitions as well and just airy and wonderful ;from afar is better.

You have the wonderful statue of the Fallen Angel fountain or Fuente del Angel Caido, (b. 1878) the only statue representing the devil . Very busy intersection in the park one of the must see.

And to top it off, the grand Lake or Estanque Grande (b. early 17C). The lake where families from very old days to now come to ride a boat any boat in the park is wonderful. The boys will rent a boat to roar for the girl ::) and seeing it from above the Statue to king Alfonso XIII is romantic indeed especially as night falls. Magical. A must in Madrid; see more here:

This is my park, the one amongst many in Madrid, but the very best of all. A must to see in Madrid, in fact , you never been to Madrid if not walk the park… Enjoy it. I always do. Cheers

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May 29, 2016

Iglesias,jardines y plazas de Madrid or Churches, Gardens and Squares of Madrid!

Busy on the blog as getting ready for end of month at work and closing branches, but just back from Madrid….My Madrid took time to be there on weekend and wandered around the city on foot all over. Some of my favorites are again here;

The Catedral de Almudena is wonderful and an even better museum sacristy on calle Bailén, next to the Royal Palace or Palacio Real and extending it to the gardens or jardines de Sabatini is a must. Coming to it by Calle Mayor from the Plaza Mayor is fantastic walking trip.

The Catedral Santa María La Real de La Almudena took yeaars to built and finally done recently in 1993…!  It is a Cathedral of 102 meters long and 73 meters wide built on different styles from neo classic in the exterior to neo gothic in the interior and neo roman in the crypt. The Cathedral was consecrated by Pope John Paul II and it is the first Spanish Cathedral consecrated by a Pope! The official site is in Spanish here:

The tourist office has it in English:

In the Plaza Jesus not far from the Westin Palace hotel and the Fountain of Neptuno there is another Church that stroke my fancy in my walks in the city.  The Basílica de Nuestro Padre Jesús De Medinaceli is small basilica in a nice district and it was built on the site of the convent of trinitian without shoes or Convento de trinitarios descalzos de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación! The new basilica was done in 1930 but did not get the nomination as such until 1973.  It is done in a Latin style and on the Inside the devotées worship the image of Our Father Jesus of Medinaceli. Its official site in Spanish is here:

The tourist office has it in English:

We move on to the Royal Palace or Palacio Real, this is an imposing castle where all dignataries are welcome but the King does not live, rather stays in a more humble castle of the Zarzuela,  leaving the official Royal Palace for visitors and heads of State visits.  The Royal Palace was built in 1734 after the older fortress was razed by fire.  The palace is second only to the Louvre in Paris and this one has 2800 rooms with only about 50 open to the public! It has 3 floors and 3 in between floors on the ceiling of each of the floors.  The façades measure 130 meters long by 33 meters high; with 870 Windows and 240 balcons that open on the street or the patio. The total land area is of 135000 sq meters, with 44 stairs and more than 30 salones or big main rooms. The official site in Spanish is here;

The tourist office has it in English here:

Right after the Royal Palace you see the Gardens or Jardines de Sabatini, a great wonderful garden. You have a stair like main entrance and another one through a grill gate at the end.  This was done in the 1930’s and has 2,54 ha or about 6 acres. The exact location is between calle de Bailén and Cuesta de San Vicente,on a terrace hanging over the field of the moor or Campo del Moro.  The gardens are in 3 terraces with the most wonderful me think is the second going along the north edge of the Royal Palace.

The tourist office has it in English here:

I came to the small wonderful quaint Catédral Castrense  off the Calle Mayor. The official name is the Iglesia Catédral de las Fuerzas Armadas (Church Cathedral of the Armed Forces), also,known as Catédral Castrense or Iglesia del Sacramento (Church of the Sacrement).  Here was the old monastery  of the Bernadines monks founded in 1615.  Only the Church is left of the original , the monastery was demolished in 1972. The Ministry of Defense used it since 1980 ;official site in Spanish here:

You can see interior pictures of this armed forces Church here in Spanish text;

There is a small Church in Calle Atocha, 6  name the Iglesia de Santa Cruz, sitting on the site of  the old convent of Santo Tomàs de Aquino of the Dominican order founded in 1583.  The current Church after several fires was built in 1889  and rénovations took part until 1902; done in neo gothic style with stones from nearby Colmenar. The tower facing the street has 80 meters high and on top there is square continuing the tradition of the old tower built in 1660 and known as the “Atalaya de la Corte” OR watchtower of the Court .  Parrish page in Spanish here:

And all this tour, centered around the Plaza Mayor, the center of it all rivaling the Puerta del Sol. Mayor is older and wonderfully decorated on its façades with a great equestrian statue of king Felipe III done in 1616 but place here since 1848; the square measures 129 meters by 94 meters.It dates from the 1580 until finished by 1619.  Some other things to look up here is the  Casa de la Panaderia with the shield of arms of Carlos II,and the very famous Arco de Cuchilleros or arch of cutleries street. The tourist office has more in English here;

One novelty on my walks was passing by the Cuesta de Moyano and see the lineup of libraries with books of many diverse universe ready for sale and expecting the Feria del Libro de Madrid that began May 27th to June 12th, 2016.  Tourist office on the libraries at Moyano here in English:

And the association of libraries that form the Cuesta de Moyano group in Spanish here:

And the Feria del Libro at Retiro park here:

This is Madrid and you can search more on my post by typing Madrid in the search space on the right column in my main page of the blog. Enjoy Madrid , I always do ::)

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May 29, 2016

The muséums triangle of Madrid…

Well ,not my cup of tea once seeing them once, but very popular for visitors to the city ,are the triangle of the top 3 muséums of Madrid. Namely the Prado, Reina Sofia,and Thyssen-Bornemisza.

There is so much to see in Madrid and many more nice muséums seen over the years but these 3 gets the most visitors. Their official webpages are here:

My initial visit as a yound teenager was the Prado(Paseo del Prado) and has remain the favorite of the big ones. The vast collections of top historical and social value are uneaqual in the world and so deserving one of the top muséums in the world. A must to see at least once totally.

It houses the greatest collection of paintings from the 14C to early the 19C of famous painters from the school of Flanders, Spanish, French, Italian,and German ;with a small collection of English paintings, collected by the royal branches of the Habsbourg and Bourbons. The museum started as a natural science building design from 1785.

The Reina Sofia(  is named in honor of Queen Sofia, wife of former King Juan Carlos I. It is house in the old Hospital San Carlos done in the end of the 18C.  It is a modern art and contemporary collections dating from the period of 1900 to our days.  The museum opens in 1990 and with a permanent collection in 1992.

We reach the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum, (Paseo del Prado); the museum is house in the Palace de Villahermosa ,in the angle of Paseo del Prado and Carrera de San Jeronimo and dedicated to  ancient art, modern, and contemporay in one.  It was done in 1993 after the reunification of works ,most given by the family of Thyssen-Bornemisza and other from collections already held in Spain.

The site of Spanish Culture has more on them such as

There is a smaller museum that is getting attention lately from local friends and that is the Caixa Forum(Paseo del Prado). It was design from an old industrial electrical plant into several levels/floors.  And an unique green wall on its side. it houses mostly contemporary  works but also, exhibits retrospectives of artists from earlier time periods.

official link:

and more on Spanish culture here:

A rich choice of culture , arts, and history to show the world the many facets of a wonderful modern city with traditions of old intact; Madrid. See it.

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May 29, 2016

Arrival in Madrid ,always heaven on earth!

Once again in Madrid the city of my youthful movida and Lucky enough to visit often nowdays; this time was a short 3 days but did I had fun.

Landing in T4 Adolfo Suàrez Barajas airport on Iberia; and taken that quick trip on the metro line 8 to Colombia connecting with the line 9 to Sanz de Baranda and my hotel as usual lately the Ayre Gran Colon Hotel.

It was a Saturday so the night of Bruce Springteen concert at the Bernabeu stadium, he was staying in the Westin Palace,the hotel of my business conference and all was busy trying to get a glimpse in vain.

I took the plunge to go out at night walk those wonderful lively great Madrid night time always busy never a dull moment. Madrid just breathing its air feels great, rejuvenating, stronger; I walk all over km after km it was fantastic. Stopping here and then for a caña or jarra (bigger glass of beer) looking for that Mahou or Miau!

Getting my typical real souvenirs at Arte Toledano in Prado, you find the finest of Toledo and Madrid here with medieval armor museum and ceramics, portraits etc gifts for all tastes and genuine Spanish.

Took a look at Atocha train station always imposing from the glorieta del Emperador Carlos V, and the many restaurants around it. It was the station closest to my piso or apartment when living here and a must to stop by.

In my walks I past by the Fuente de las Cibeles and Fuente Neptuno the main venues in victory for the Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid. On Sunday took part in the outside festivities of the  King’s Cup or Copa del Rey, between Sevilla and Barcelona at the Calderon stadium. Sevilla maravilla was short and Barcelona won but the ambiance was great. A point to make is seeing all those Catalans taken pictures in front of the Congreso de los Diputados (Spanish parliament) lol! And the great statue to Miguel Cervantes de Saavedra the writer of Don Quijote!

Moving along in my walks passing the Cine Ideal ,founded in 1916 in the site of the convent of the Trinity with shoes (sp?) or convento de los Trinitarios Calzados; later in 1932 was adapted to do teatrical shows and Spanish Zarzuelas theater plays , and finally in 1990 came back as a cinema. My mother used to bring me here as a kid !!! It is at calle del Doctor Cortezo,near the Plaza de Jacinto Benavente, but you can see it from Calle Mayor,

and the Teatro Calderon who was built in 1917; before it was call Teatro Odéon,   located at Calle Atocha, 18 just in front of the Plaza de Jacinto Benavente. Theater and Spanish Zarzuela with performers like Plàcido Domingo, the city tourist office;

You see wonderful architecture and places to see Madrid from above and eating out right on Calle Alcalà like the Instituto Cervantes, a wonderful place to expose the Spanish language and culture all over the world; the building is a fantastic architecture marvel.

You go on to the Plaza de España and the complex in honor of Miguel Cervantes Saavedra the writer of Don Quijote and the elements of Sancho Panza on one side and Dulcinea on the other. The Plaza de Oriente with its marvelous Teatro Real; actually a bit further back in the Plaza de Isabel II.

Not to forget the small quaint medievel Plaza de la Villa off Calle Mayor, this is the govt city hall annex of the city of Madrid. You can see here the Casa Lujanes with its tower, Casa de Cisneros ,and Casa de la Villa where the city hall is located ,with the statue to Alvaro de Bazan,hero of Lepanto amongst others.

Just a wonderful town, a must to see in Europe, the No 2 most visited country and city in the world according to UN WTO statistics, and well deserved. See it to believe it. From Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day!

ps. not to mention my team the Real Madrid became last night the winner in penalties kicks of the 11th Champions league title, the most in history, the greatest of all time. Hala Madrid for eternity. The French coach Zinadine Zidane became the first Frenchmen to ever won the Champions as player and coach! the link in my blogroll below is here for info:

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May 28, 2016

Eating in Madrid is heavenly in your plate!

When I started my blog having lived in Madrid for several years, wrote an entry on favorite restaurants in Madrid. A daring post as there are so many choices sure folks will differ. However, mine are from a local Spanish point of view and authentic in a city and country that is becoming so touristic to the taste as well, they call it international.

The post is here :

After 2010 many more trips to Madrid and many different places to try from hotel restaurants to new standing restos all over the city. Madrid is the new culinary paradise. Fusion of many new arrivals and the need to cater more and more to an international crowd the tastes have change  a bit. Even in typical restaurant you see folks of many countries, new immigrants to the city and country.

Some of the sites to find these gems are:

One that I have contributed and it is in my blogroll all the way in the bottom of my pages is :

another on my blogroll below is el tenedor or fork

The guide of entertainement or ocio is long time since my times living there

The best wine guide in Spain Guia Peñin

One of my favorite and it is a chain is the Cerveceria 100 Montaditos, like the ones by Atocha and Plaza Mayor.

Also, the famous Museo del Jamon, since 1978 ,a must for a first timer and even return visitors; love it by Gran Via and Atocha;

The new find, Cerveceria Cervantes, by Plaza de Jésus near the fame Westin Palace Hotel, a great contrast between richness of history and the new arrivals of traditional keepers, great tapas including iberico hams and mahou beers.

One of my all time favorites lately are the Cerveceria Cruz Blanca, both the one at Dr Esquerdo near metro Conde de Casal line 9 and the one by Menendez Pelayo just outside the Retiro park near metro sanz de baranda on line 9 too.

I did try by recomm the El Brillante near Atocha and just the back side faces the museum of Reina Sofia, great place wonderful calamars sandwiches and beer cruzcampo. Great ambiance you come to find in Madrid,

For a more fancy and dine with the famous trip head for the El Rincon de Estéban near the Congreso de Diputados (or Spanish parliament); here you have traditional Spanish cuisine surrounded by picture frames of the rich and famous and politically powerful. All entertain by don Estéban himself!!!

And of course for a great tapas evening , the now come back kid renown and great the Mercado de San Miguel,

Of course, do not forget the museum such as the mirador/terrrace of Thyssen in the Thyssen-Bonarniza museum great views and to be seen;  and

And if you indulge in some trips line on metro line 9 or like me by car, you can come to the town of Rivas VaciaMadrid, and eat at a wonderful cafeteria restaurant with all the locals , in a real inexpensive Spanish cuisine place, Palacio Criollo.

I hope you enjoy the latest and see the old favorites of mine, many years in Madrid since 1970-1974  living and in and out since 1982. We are back this summer, can’t get enough of Madrid and Spain in general. Enjoy, buen provecho.

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May 28, 2016

A Coruña here I come back !!!

Well almost exactly a year I came back briefly to A Coruña and always pleasant from the tricky airport to the ambiance and the food.

The tourist office is here :

I came in from Madrid (more of that later posts), and took Iberia flight very easy nice from T4 and the airport in A Coruña could not be any easier.

I took a taxi this time very nice friendly talkative guy and he took me to the scenic ride down the road along the bay into the center of town and back to my hotel; this was my request. The cost was less than 15 euros and I arrive at my hotel.

The Attica21 hotel is my hotel central here in the wonderful neighborhood of Matogrande very nice modern from the 20C architecture. The area is surrounded by nice hôtels , great restos and gyms too ::). The hotel :

Here had the opportunity to walk into places already guided before by locals such as the SoHo Café and Bogart Baar and a new one Fire Capitano just across the street from the hotel. I also, try the restaurant in the hotel were a buffet menu of 15€ was awesome quality /price the best.

I did some walk around and took a car trip to outside Lugo, not much time , so after the short stay and local tastes headed back home thru Madrid T4 again onwards to Nantes where my car was waiting.

I encourage those readers to visit A Coruña is really a small but nice city to visit and friendly folks. Cheers

A Coruna A Coruna A Coruna A Coruna A Coruna Lugo


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May 17, 2016

Some news from France, XCXXXIII

Something refreshing from France to you !!!

The Pont-Aven Museum just reopened its doors. Completely renovated, it has doubled its exhibition area to highlight the paintings of the famous school of Pont-Aven, which is illustrated in the wake of Paul Gauguin. The exhibition «Les Rouart, from Impressionism to magic realism» Unveils works by three generations of artists and patrons: Henri, Ernest and Augustin Rouart. Until 18 September 2016.

Joseph Mallord William Turner, major figure in English painting of the 19C showcase in the salons of the Hôtel de Caumont ,Aix-en-Provence with more than a hundred of watercolours, gouaches and oils on canvas from institutions such as the Royal Academy in London and the Ashmolean Museum of Oxford. You can also admire pieces from private collections, almost never disclosed to the public. “Turner and the color“, until September 18, 2016.

Summer arrives on the Canebière. Of Marseille. The evidence, the RoofTop of the R2 has just launched its music programming: on the huge roof terrace overlooking the Mediterranean, electro, House, but also of disco and funk, distilled by the best DJs of the moment. The German David August opens the prom this Friday before moving turntables to the New Yorkers Todd Terry Sunday.

Meriggio, the new concept store dedicated to Italian food, offers a selection of products of producers from the North of the Italy and Puglia. Weekly delivery of parmesan bio, panettone, burrata cheese, pecorino and fresh gorgonzola. A cellar and a restaurant in addition to the grocery store. 3, rue Rougemont, 9éme .

Claire Adelfang, Ivan Argote…Choices collectors weekend showing on May 21-22 2016. Palais de Tokyo  The third edition of Choices collectors weekend will be held in Paris offerings a journey through nearly 40 Parisian galleries and a collective exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo. Punctuated by openings, performances, meetings; This event allows you to discover the contemporary creation of the Parisian scene

The Parisian river banks will be colored the weekend of May 21-22 ! The Canal de L’ourcq to the canal Saint-Denis, the Festiwall invites you to discover or rediscover urban art. Say thanks to the association of love and the walls! and the The Wall Street art gallery for this Parisian event unique in its kind! twenty hours of artistic performances, an exhibition of The Wall in the Stalingrad Rotonde Gallery and a debate on urban contemporary art, not to mention creative and participatory, workshops led by artists such as Rays, Parisian pochoiriste EAN, and knock knock, street-artist and cartoonist. Festiwall Between the canal de L’ourcq and the canal Saint-Denis; The Stalingrad Rotonde 6-8, place Bataille de Stalingrad

Monuments to the dead of the great war 14-18 is an exhibition dedicated to the first photographic census of monument to the french dead. Drawing up their silhouette towards the sky, the monuments to the dead are lists of names engraved in stone: those of the French 1 350 000 dead or missing on the fields of battle or in the trenches. That we say these names? Expose these photographs to the Pantheon, it is symbolically bringing all soldiers killed during the great war in this high Republican place. It is also an ultimate tribute to “great men of the French nation“. Start date: May 21, 2016 End Date: September 11, 2016. Programming: Daily 10: 00 – 18:30 · Rates: admission € 8.50, discounted € 6.50. Place du Panthéon 75005 Paris· Metro: Cardinal Lemoine (10) ;· RER: Luxembourg (B). From April 6 to July 18, 2016,

the Musée de l’Orangerie offers exposure Apollinaire, the look of the poet. From 1902 to 1918, Guillaume Apollinaire was active as an art critic.  From the Douanier Rousseau, Matisse, Picasso, Braque and de Guzman, Cubism to the orphicism and Surrealism, academic sources to modernity, arts first to the popular arts. It will specifically honor the links of the poet with Picasso in a dedicated section…

Enjoy the news from France, tell me so lol! Cheers




May 15, 2016

Northeast Brazil, Natal ,Fortaleza, and more!!!

Back again from wonderful Brazil, and this time new areas to me. I went to the North East area covering a vast terrain of over 600 kms from Natal to Fortaleza and surrounding areas. I went thru Sao Paulo Guarulhos airport connecting to Natal and then by car on the road!!! wonderful all the way to Fortaleza and a bit more.  Official site for Tourim Brazil is here:

The tourist offices for main towns of Natal ,  and Fortaleza, site is down but here is good info for now:

The route started in Natal where I landed a the airport with LANTAM airline  (the new name for TAM airline)  stayed at the Holiday Express hotel by Ponta Negra beach area;

While moving around in the area by car, we ate at the wonderful Camaroés restaurant in Natal, recomm always of locals. shrimp is the name of the restaurant and you know why when you eat them here. Simply awesome in a bed of rice and cheese,

We then took a long road trip by car up towards the north, passing wonderful towns like Parapaiva, Aracati, Mossoro, etc.

One nice highlight of this trip is going to Canoa Quebrada, here we stayed at the Long Beach Hotel , great villa type place very quaint in a back road off the beach, this was tops:

Walking down Broadway towards the beach it is full of shops and restaurants, we stop of course at Café Habana bohemia, nice quaint and great shrimp cafe habana house dish.

We hit on Fortaleza a big city meaning Fortress, and there is one nice with canons looking at the sea,and now a military fort. Right around it you have the Passeio Publico or public park nice (see site with nice photos), and across the great Mercado Central or market with multi layered floors almost like a shopping center/Mall!! with the best prices in town, get some cashews the local favorites or Cajù. Next you have the wonderful Cathedral Metropolitana.

Paróquia São José, Catedral Metropolitana de Fortaleza

You have Le Cirque Amar circus that comes every year, nice event indeed, love them, can’t help putting it here: right next to great mall shopping Center Iguatemi:

Here in Fortaleza I stayed in the Comfort Hotel, central to all.

And we had a great lunch at Coco Bambù, another great seafood restaurant I love it. shrimp and fish cobia dishes were sublime indeed recommended by locals and now to you must eat here.

At Fortaleza Iracema beach, we were part of the celebration on the ousting of a President ! peaceful and very democratic an example to follow for many countries. Here we had our dinner with beers and fish dishes at Boteco Prai right next to the beach in the center of it all, great place must be there.

My last resting place lol!! can move here too, was at Praia de Langoinha or langoinha beach, a town by the beach, lovely. I stayed at the Vivamar Hotel right on the beach. We ate here too a combi of shrimp and fish cobia that was sublime while looking at the wonderful beach below us. The rooms face the sea too. Could not find a webpage for them so give you a reliable site with more info on it.

And I ended this wonderful trip flying out of Fortaleza airport  to Sao Paulo and then to Paris CDG. Taken the RER B train to gare du nord and then Metro line 4 to Montparnasse for the TGV train  home. A bit long but nice. See you next is my beloved Spain. Cheers

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May 7, 2016

And one more time by Vannes, Morbihan

The city I work on the outkirsts Inside a castle ruins from 1504, this is the metro Vannes. I am here every day weekend but try to keep the writings low, now one more time today just for the walks. To see it one more time before departing tomorrow to the northeast of Brazil for a week.

Vannes is it, the tourism info again is here:

It was a quick visit to the Le Port area .There was a expo on the meaning of the European Union very good timing indeed. Folks selling chicks from big chicken hens, Harley Davidson big bikes parked, beautiful boats as usual in the marina canal, and just plain lively ambiance.

We did some shopping at a new store La Cour d’Orgéres, jellies, cold meats in terrines and patês with artisans beers, and juices, cider, cookies florentins, etc all traditionally done, new store at rue St Vincent.,de206.html

Not to forget a last minute visit to the halles aux poissons traditional fish market, and the Saturday big marché or market between the rue le Hellec to place du poids public and into the place des lices. Always glorious.

We did our bread and sweets shopping at the Saveurs du Port just before passing the wonderful Porte de Saint Vincent: wonderful  ,and we took home plenty;;

We passed by our favorite take home pizza sprint (now purchased by Domino’s pizza) ,and got our boxload of them to eat at home and relax as tomorrow is a busy day.  The Mexicaine, four cheeses, ham and cheese and savoyarde with potatoes and bacon was great at 8.90 Eur per person!

And we are home relax , enjoy your weekend. Cheers

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