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 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.

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 :

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:

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.

 Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid

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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 6, 2016

A visit to Napoleonville or Pontivy!!!

I have my day off as bridge or pont here due to the Holiday of Ascension so enjoy the ride into inland Morbihan. Pontivy for a while was called Napoleonville due to Napoleon I affinity for the town. Tourism is here :!

One of my sons worked here for a while so we were in the area driving around and decided to pay a visit, my last post on record dates from April 2013!!! A return was a must.

We walk around the town reminicent of the places we have been, doing some shopping in bakery  Inside Intermarché supermarket , and drink in Le Rivoli bar cafe on Rue Nationale:


We had a wonderful lunch at resto Le Martray, pl du Martray on 32 rue du Pont, just so good we book for next weekend again. fish in crustacean sauce, bavette or steak in poivre sauce, half bottle of muscadet white wine, ile flottante dessert, coffees, and apero like porto red all for about 21 euros per person, and the service like at home.

We walked along the river Blavet on the quai d’Arcole especially and came into city on the back of the Imperial Church of St Joseph (église Impériale de Saint Joseph); néo gothic from 1860, It was built while visiting by Napoléon III Under an imperial subvention, the crowning Arrow was not finished so square top on the belltower seen today. In our timing it was closed but it is open  every day from 14h to 19h except Tuesdays and dates of events.


We, then, walked over to the other one, Church or Basilica(since 1959)  of Our Lady of Joy (église  Basilique Notre Dame de la Joie) ,this is a nice one and again was open at Place Bourdonnay-du-Clézio . Built in the style neo gothic flamboyant,the statues of  Notre-Dame de la Joie, sculpture in a trunk of oak wood and of  Notre-Dame de la Délivrance, revered by the pregnant women are two wonderful sights to see inside.

Nearby the latter one, you find a small Chapelle of Saint Ivy or congrégation of the chapel of St Ivy ;member artisians were many here since 1734; chapel rebuilt in 1776 and place at Place du Marché au Blé.  Completely restored from 1984-1989.

There is a very interesting monument by the Basilica ND dr la Joie,on the small park with a fountain. This is Le Monument de la Fédération Bretonne Angevin setup in 1896 here in honor of the volunteers of 1790 who fought for the French Republic  with the motto, « Ni Bretons, ni Angevins, mais Français. » or Not Breton, Not Angevins, but French.

A bit of history I like

Well our famous Napoléon Ier wanted to give this time more notoriety n central Brittany, at the time with only 3000 inhabitants . The idea during peace a center of great commerce and during war a military important stronghold.  From the year brumaire XII or November 9, 1804 it received the name of Napoléonville.  All is arranged to make this a model city with new architecture whereby the first stone was put on August 12 1807 in his presence.  It had large avenues and beautiful gardens,and many streets were name on imperial figures . An imperial high school or secondary school was created in 1808 , the the 3rd high school in Brittany after those of Rennes and Nantes This school recruits from the area of Morbihan and  Finistére .  The district of the cavalry was finished in 1811, the house of detention in 1813,the mayor’s office in 1834, the department government building in  1839 , and the justice building in 1846.  With the monumental buildings which responds to the huge bourgeoises mansions.

The town ask to be called Bourbonville after the first Restauration  1814-1815, and takes the name of Pontivy after the return of king Louis XVIII ,later it comes back to be called « Napoléonville » under Napoléon III. From  1870 the town regained the current name of Pontivy. Which of course in Breton is Pondi.

We came back home to relax as tomorrow is another weekend, and Sunday I am leaving for Brazil for a week of work. Stay tune. Enjoy your weekend !!!

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May 3, 2016

Some news from Spain, XVIIII

Back on Spain, looking forward to the visit end of May, and Real Madrid on the Liga and Champions run, great.

The site wine routes of Spain has a survey that shows the most visited wine routes in Spain in 2015 no surprise to me these are the wine route of wine and sparklers of Cava del Penedès Enoturisme Penedès , and the ones of the Sherry or Marco de Jerez Other routes in the ranking are the Ribera del Duero, Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, Rías Baixas, and Empordà.(the most growing one in terms of popularity). Other areas growing in following are the Bierzo, Bullas, Montilla-Moriles ,and Ronda, with more than 30% growth vs past years!

How to drop a tapa in Madrid, you can reserve on the next stop with Mahou the beer of Madrid, my beer ! here:

You want to see volcanos in Spain, well I can tell you of mine but here are some others to check out La Garrotxa (Gerona): El Croscat ; Olot (Gerona): el Montsacopa; Fuencaliente (La Palma): el Teneguía; Castilla La-Mancha: el Peñarroya y el Cancarix. Ok I will tell you about mine, Tenerife: el Teide (if you have read my blog , I am guanche tenerife from all four grandparents and back ¡) 3718 meters the third highest in the world at sea level with last eruption in 1798 but continue active with many times burst of fire and lava coming down for a bit.

Wilfredo Lam a Cuban Painter is on at the Museo Reina Sofia with 250 of its works, he died in Paris in 1982. Learned a the Academia de Bellas Artes de Madrid . His work is with the working class and best is Cmpesino (1926)  and Campesina castellana (1927);siding with the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War he goes into exile in Paris in 1938 , returned to Cuba in 1941 but the events there did not like and comes back to Paris. The work will be showing until August 15 2016.

You know the A3 or carretera de Valencia was started by the public works order of February 28, 1857 from the Puerta del Sol, given no 3 on the road A-1, the road past by Las Cabrillas, follow Carrera de San Gerónimo, Plaza de las Cortes, calle de Tragineros towards the Puerta de Atocha. A bit of history of Madrid, and I stay near there when in town nowdays.

The Red de San Luis started from a food market from the 17C to the 19C , the food items came mostly from Vallecas, and there was a Church of Saint Louis by Montera that was burned out in 1936; therefore the folks became to call it the Red de San Luis or Saint Louis. The metro station San Luis from 1919 was done by the Gran Via it was the calle Montera corner with Gran via, Hortaleza and Fuencarral, there was an elevator/lift there until 1970 when I arrive in Madrid

Palacio de Congresos RiojaforumC/ San Millán, nº 25 Logroño , the June 12 will have the Feria de los Vinos de la Rioja from 11h to 15h ; admission is 10€ (includes a glass and  3  wines from the fairs with tastings or 30 EUR with train from Bilbao More in Spanish here:

And you know the official weather of Spain, AEMET;

And the best route planner for Spain Guia Repsol  : just enters your destination here :

Do you know Spain has the 3rd biggest red of expressways in the world, behind China and the USA, yes indeed, Spain is moving fast here is the ranking in Spanish,

Last but not least, Atlético de Madrid is playing as I write the Champions league football/soccer semifinal vs Bayern Munich in Munich Germany. 15 minutes first half 0X0 which will make the Atlético advance to the final. Tomorrow is my team the Real Madrid vs Manchester City at the Bernabeu in Madrid. We have tied 0X0 in Manchester so in good seat to advance at our beloved home. Meanwhile, in the Liga BBVA we have made great advances from a while back behind 13 points to just one behind the leaders. Stay tune two games remaining in the Liga will be hot indeed!

Enjoy Spain, everything Under the Sun ::)


May 2, 2016

The beers of Brittany or Sir Lancelot

I had my day off today and took advantage to visit a brewery in near my area. My colleague at work used to work there and always told me about it , so decided to take a look this afternoon. Of course, the beers have been tasted before in bars in the region, but this time we were going to the source. The city page in French as what is to see is here :

I am talking about Brasserie Lancelot (Brewery Lancelot) in Le Roc Saint André, industrial park of La Mine d’Or. The official site is in French only,

It is about 63 kms from me along the N24 and then D724, D4 to just before entering the town of Le Roc Saint André on your left hand side there is a turn  name Parc Artesanal La Mine, turn here and go all the way to the end, the brewery is there.

they do about 16 000 liters of beers per day with about 7 regular brands and some 3 annual event brands. They were expanding as we got there with truck delivery of two more fermenting tanks of 4000 liters each. It is a boutique brewery all natural Breton products from the region and very popular here.

The add-ons are all natural from the hops to the orge cereals to their own  thin sugar pérvea. The have about 30 employees so far,and still run by the founders. The brewery was founded in 1990 and started developing beers right away until 2002 they went into cola soda making with the regional brand Breizh Cola already with a 15% market share in the region of Brittany!

You have the Cervoise Lancelot 6% volume alcohol, on yeast not filtered and aromatise with 7 plants. The bottle label design was done by Carmelo de la Pinta, a painter from Pont Aven.  The first beer of the brewery back in 1990.

Duchesse Anne 7,5% blonde in honor of Duchesse Anne of Brittany and twice queen of France.  La Lancelot, 6% golden color . La Blanche Hermine, white beer, 4%, carries the emblematic animal symbol of Brittany(Ermine) , done with peel of orange and coriander to give a fruity flavor. Bonnets Rouge 5,5% with baies de sureau ;red color malted fruity, and name after the local farmers revolts in 1675 against the king for high taxation. Lancelot Premium and Pils 4.8% blonde with high fermentation for the premium and low fermentation for the Pils. The Duchesse Anne Triple Hops 7,5% with flavors of citrics and pure malt and extra houblon on the method call  “Dry hopping”.  And the Lancelot Grand Cru, 7,5% triple for the 25th anniversary of the brewery.  The beer is pure malt, not filtered , non pasteurise and triple fermentation.

You have Bio beers such as one of the oldest in the brewery the Telenn Du 4.5% using sarrasin black wheat of Brittany like the one used to make the galettes! La Morgane 5,5% blonde and more feminine; from the leyend of the fairy of the isle of Avalon, other world of the  Celts. La Nuit Blanche 4,5% and La Nuit Blonde 5,5% both coming from the area of Dinan in Côtes d’Armor department 22 of Brittany.

Seasonal beers such as the XI.I Samhain, 11,1% a beer to celebrate the Celtic new year as Nov 1st was the first day of the year for the Celts and was honor day of the living and then Nov 2nd was t he day of the dead, many Irish came to the USA  in the 1840’s and on, and continue the tradition becoming the All Holy’s Eve and later Halloween from Oct 31st!  The Duchesse Anne d’Automme 7,5% with chataignes ! The Duchesse Anne de Nôel; 8% is a red beer done for Christmas.

Their beers are not imported and not enough production to be distributed all over France, so if want to taste need to come to Brittany and well Worth it.  A site to share all Breton beers in French is here:

Enjoy it!


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