Archive for June, 2016

June 29, 2016

Some news from France CXXXIIII

Here is another episode on the news of France and Paris in particular. Today was a rainy day light rain in about 14C weather was ok, and the job went smooth as end of month, the worse is yet to come closing month end and fiscal year end !

While we enjoy the summer and the decline in crowds  that goes alone with that (-30% less from normal time of year) to carry out several operations of  renovation of the Ile-de-France transport network. RER A from July 23 to August 21, included,  the most important railway line in Europe in terms of traffic (1.2 million passengers per day on average), commissioning over 40 years ago, will close between the La Defense and Nation stations for work for the renewal of the track, ballast and switch systems. The line 1 of the metro, the main alternative to join La Defense from Châtelet or gare de Lyon, with peak hours, even if the number of trains in circulation will increase the RATP  ask not to rush on this line, and offers several alternative routes including through the Transilien J and L lines departing from the gare Saint-LazareThe RER C (540,000 passengers daily) will be in 2016  in it’s 20th year of summer works, intended to renovate the tunnels of a line built for the universal exhibition of 1900. Traffic will be consequently interrupted on almost all of the sections inside. The line between Dreux and Plaisir-Grignon will renew 55 kms of track, dating back to the 1950s, trains will not operate in the evening from Monday to Friday in July and August. Users who will not be able to stagger journeys but  will have to go through bus rides, which will lengthen the time by about an hour and a quarter. See photo diagrams from Le Parisien and Les Echos journals, RATP, and SNCF.
The Fashion Week man summer 2017 continues in Paris with fashion houses  Givenchy, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, or even Paul Smith. Only absence noted, Yves-Saint Laurent.
Some nice places to stay around gardens in  Brittany is La Ballue  .  Here a roomful of grass decorated with a reserved ifs and wisteria, there a labyrinth inspired  by a project of Le Corbusier, a Music  Chamber planted with charms inviting them to listen to the song of birds and the rustle of the leaves, a  green theater in beech decor. And at the bottom, nod to the antique, a temple of Diana at the front and pilasters of Cedar borrowed from a project of ClaudeNicolas Ledoux. All plant folies playing on the diversity of the Greens. Canopy, woodwork and chestnut paneling, waxed floors, high ceilings, four rooms and suite offer sets refined in harmony with the beauty of the place.  And to adds access to a stunning heated pool and an outdoor spa and sauna in private gardens. From 210€ per night. Château de la Ballue, 35560 Bazouges-la-Pérouse.  Tél. +33 (0) 2 99 97 47 86.  http://www.la-ballue.com/en/home
While in Normandy  you have a dreamy Park bordered by aisles of century-old beech  around Miromesnil. At the foot of the castle where was born Guy de Maupassant, a spectacular grass parterre leads to infinity while under the windows of the old kitchens, an extraordinary garden where the beautiful nearby flourishesGuarded by high walls of brick which warm them and protect them from the nearby sea winds, squares of vegetables and flowers wisely aligned are organized along Green alleys. The show is an enchantment of artichokes, turnips, carrots, salads and ancient vegetables that follow the seasons and to which mingles a flowery palette of asters, roses, delphiniums, cosmos, zinnias, and Hamenagees in the Castle, a guest room and four suites sets  authenticity offer stunning views of the Park and the vegetable  garden. While in common, two cottages can accommodate from four to ten people. From 115€ the night. Château de Miromesnil, Terres de Miromesnil, 76550 Tourville-sur-Arques. Tel. +33 (0) 2 35 85 02 80.   

Brexit issues with UK ; not written on political subjects but many of my British friends are worry that this was an impromptu decision by an uneducated crowd. Time will tell.  Angela Merkel warned that the United Kingdom could not choose its relations with the European Union “à la carte”. A few hours later, François Holland has also warned London. “If the United Kingdom wishes to remain in the single market, it need that it pays in every sense of the term, including freedom of movement,” said the french president before journalists at the Summit of the European Union in Brussels. Things are still unraveling what will be a long summer and now 27 EU practically. Further unveiling of  ins and out will follow eventually and the EU will never be the same. Best of luck to all.
An 1, 350 bus network, more than 300 stations of metro, RER, thousands of Vélib ‘ and Autolib’… In theory Paris is the ideal city to get rid of the car and take advantage of public transportation or rental in self-service.  However,  many remain attached to their car or their two-wheelers for objective reasons: 65% believe that the car remains the fastest mobility medium. The mairie de Paris poll in the Le Parisien journal.  Further, the result is no surprise as 76% are against the reduction to 70 km/h of speed on the BP =boulevard périphérique  and 70% opposed to the ban on vehicle traffic from before 1997 introduced Friday in the capital.  As the motorist rights association 40 million d’Automobilistes.  http://www.40millionsdautomobilistes.com/
The parc Saint-James in Neuilly-sur-Seine was in restauration for nearly a year. It is  own by the Department of the Hauts-de-Seine, no 92 since 2009. The aim was to restore the Park to the state where it was (or almost) when it was created in the 18C. The Grand rock, the Palladian bridge, the Doric column, antique vases and garden dating back to 1925 have been restore.  It was a nice walk after attending the many meetings in the city for many years for me http://www.neuillysurseine.fr/parc-saint-james
A past event, sorry for late posting , but since I am a motocycle fan (growing up in Daytona Beach) I leave here for next year’s reference. For the fourth year, motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the world gathered at the racetrack at Linas-Montlhéry, a few miles south of Paris, to showcase vintage and custom bikes as part of the annual Cafe Racer Festival. Over the course of two days in June, the autodrome, which is nearly 100 years old, saw hundreds of bikes cross its tarmac. http://www.cafe-racer.fr/infos-pratiques/
For years, vintages of Burgundy have been smaller and smaller, while prices have gone up and up. Rain, floods, and hailstorms have decimated vineyards since 2010, especially in the Côte de Beaune (the southern part of the famous limestone strip that’s home to the most famous vineyards). Growers invested in weird anti hail devices, but, alas, they haven’t worked. Regional businesses are facing a crisis of how to survive. In 2014, which had some of the worst weather in recent memory, some winemakers  lost 90 percent of their crop; 2016 is already looking to be worse, weatherwise. This means the remaining grapes are much more expensive, and businesses that depend on making wines from them will be forced to pay a premium they increasingly can’t afford. Even in years without weather problems, the famous Côte-d’Or, the heart of the region, makes only 1 percent of the wine in France. The patchwork of tiny plots of vines is classified into basic Bourgogne, village-level cuvées, and at the top, premier and grand cru vineyards that account for only 19 percent of the wines. The Strategy says Bloomberg article from these are excerpts says Go for basic Bourgogne rouge and blanc from famous names, and buy village level Burgundies, especially those labeled vieilles vignes (old vines), and less expensive premiers crus from small negociants. More here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-28/winemakers-warn-of-a-coming-burgundy-apocalypse
In the town of Kremlin-Bicêtre, south of Paris suburbs the street or rue Pierre-Curie exist since 1926.  However, Marie Curie who died  8 years later was never added to the street name until now. Cérémonies are for today at 19h on the rue Pierre-et-Marie-Curie.
In my old neck of the woods, nearby Maisons-Laffitte is been name an Imperial city of France! This is a title given already by an association created in 2011 upon the initiative of the city of Rueil-Malmaison (Hauts-de-Seine), together with the cities of Compiègne (Oise), Fontainebleau (Seine-et-Marne),and Saint-Cloud (Hauts-de-Seine).  The city includes the Castle visited many times by emperor Napoléon 1er, the parc de Jacques Laffitte, the banker of the Emperor, and many villas built Under the Second Empire as well as a collection of objects of arts and engraving dating from the two periods.  http://www.ville-imperiale.com/en/le-reseau/
The Flâneries musicales de Reims 2016 held from June 23 to July 12 2016 at several sites including the city of Reims. This is the 27th edition with more than 50 concerts Under the direction of artistic director of the festival Jean-Philippe Collard. It will be held in about 50 sites in the city and surrounding areas.  More info in French at official site :http://www.flaneriesreims.com/la-programmation-des-flaneries-musicales-de-reims.html
Near me in the Morbihan Breton you have the La Gacilly town (home of Yves Rocher cosmetics etc) Now going on the Festival Photo de La Gacilly 2016.  Until September 30 on it’s 13th edition; more here in French : http://www.festivalphoto-lagacilly.com/
And not far from me at Paimpol, you have the boats arriving today in parade, between 14h and 14h45 grouped since Tuesday to Paimpol, the estuary of the Trieux deepwater port, border nature between these two Breton country: to  Goelo, Paimpol and its namesake Bay, and, 6 km to the West, the Trégor. Only the weather can upset this choreography timed based on the tide.  Because the port of Paimpol deserves it. It is reached between two hours and a half hours before the tide high and two hours and a half after. A channel then a lock are the passages required for berthing in the basins afloat arranged at the end of the 19C, when the cod fishing  was in full swing, when 80 wood schooners hoisted their white sails each end of winter for campaign. The armada of yachts has changed. These are pleasure boats now. Even beasts of race, as the Figaro Bénéteau, came first in 2012 for the kickoff of the Solitaire. And repeat this year, a stopover, between the second stage in the long course, 475 miles from the Isle of Wight  and the final struggle up to La Rochelle, except if Wind is against it until  July 5. More here : http://uk.paimpol-goelo.com/detail/633e7f40dd1e1bc8b6a033749c00d2c2/817918
And the Le Figaro excellent guide on what to do in Paris during July and August , our summer break. Translated by yours truly with big help from Bing (lazy I know).
take advantage of happy hour to discover the many bars and restaurants that offer bite-sized pieces €2 at the hour of the aperitif (from 6 to 8 July).  play investigators during the hunt for the treasures of Paris, on Saturday, July 2see Boss Bruce Springsteen on stage at the Accor Hotels Arena (12th), 11 or 13 July (there are some places in categories 1 and 2). admire New York City Ballet on the stage of the Théâtre du Châtelet (life) in the context of the Étés de la Danse (until July 16). taste the best of Lebanese cuisine at thanks (3rd), which welcomes in residence in Kamal Mouzarak (Tawlet) restaurants, from June 27 to July 2laugh and dance with the second edition of the hammock Festival in different places of the 9th (from June 30 to July participate in SUPERB, huge gay night at the Grand Palais with Zazie concert, dj sets by Giorgio Moroder and Charli GNB, performances, cabaret (July 9, from 7 p.m. to dawn) twist of laughter once fiftieth before La Grande Vadrouille, which emerges in version restored on 13 Julydialect in a barracks for the traditional fire ball, 13 or 14 July. visit the Parc Zoologique (12th) at night (until 22:30) and enjoy the return of animals (Thursdays until end of July) out his best breakdance to Menelik or Charlie on evenings moves from there Club stars, all Friday night of the month of July (10th). enjoy family of the expos, inflatable attractions, rides vintage, live matches and football public young workshops fair at la Villette (20th, until July 10). play Benjamin Clementine, Mogwai, Cat Power, Kurt Vile, or Woodkid at the Philharmonie in Days Off (19th, from June 30 to July 10). push to Vitry-sur-Seine (94) to discover the very nice theatrical festival “We will not go to Avignon” station at the Theatre (from 6 to 24 July).  to send in the air with the projection to the beautiful star of my life in the air by Rémi Bezançon, July 29 at 9: 30 pm in the garden of the madness-Titon (11th), in the context of the Chair and the screen. enjoy 32 free concerts from Fnac Live on the square in front of the Town Hall: Yael Naim, Vianney, Louise Attaque, Katerine, Keren Ann(IVe, 2023 July).  letting go on electro rhythm during the nights of the festival The Peacock Society in Parc Floral (12th, from 13 to 16 July). let short his creativity on the 24 pianos self-service scattered throughout the capital by Play me I’m yours (until July 13) to settle comfortably in the gardens of the Quai Branly and enjoy electronic napping (Sunday 3, 10 and 17 July). watch a match of the Euro in the middle of the fans in the Fan zone of the Champ-de-Mars (7th).  arise in a garden of the 18th arrondissement and listen to free concerts outdoors of Rhizomes (until July 10). listen to a concert of jazz to the free green (once paid admission € 6) to Parc Floral every weekend until July 31, the Paris Jazz Festivalsoar in Africa with performances, concerts, workshops and initiations of mythical Rosa Bonheur at the time of the festival «Rosa Africa» (19th, 1 to Thursday, July 23).  If offer a cocooning aperitif at le Meurice (Ier), who regales manicure, massage or hairdresser on the terrace of its spa transformed into range for a cocktail consumption charged €30 (the sea and game from 5 pm to 9 pm, until July 15). crack on a little dress or a short multi-coloured balances (until August 2)feast at the Buttes Chaumont sipping the cream of Parisian gastronomy (Inaki Aizpitarte, Yann Roofer, Sylvestre Wahid) when the House national du Fooding (July 13).  Marvel at the talent of the European picture Festival Circulations of the 104 (19th, until August 7). dinner at Maloka (9th), excellent Brazilian table of Raphaël Rego, pending the Rio OJ (from 5 to 21 August).  observe the Parisian celestial Vault from the Museum of Air and space of le Bourget (93) during the nights of the stars (from 5 to 7 August). embark aboard the USS Enterprise with the last Star Trek: without limits of Justin Lin (exit 17 August). enjoy a concert of classical music in the gardens of the Parc Floral (12th) with classic green (all weekends from August 6 to 18 September)

 (Re) see the best of the Big Apple on the big screen through the festival outdoor Cinema au clair de lune (from July 29 to August 14  contemplate the iguana Iggy Pop on stage at the festival Rock en Seine of the domaine de Saint-Cloud (92, 26-28 August).  ask the Butte du Chapeau Rouge Park to enjoy short films and free concerts of the 15th edition of the festival Silhouette (from August 26 to September 23). feel in Bombay for a day (August 28) thanks to the colorful feast of Ganesh in the 10th and 18th arrondissementsenjoy the Chamber music festival of the Orangerie de Sceaux (from August 13 to September 18).
well see what I mean, so much to do in Paris, a mouvable feast indeed. Cheers
Paris Paris
June 27, 2016

Some news from France CXXXIII

Back again for some wonderful news about glorious France, and this time sadder by the lost of Spain in the Euro16;now it will be all for France ::) Just an update France has 13 régions not 22 anymore, and they have all chosen their names; some kept the old, some has a new one, and then some have a combination of the old;see map photo here. France

This Tuesday, June 28th at 5.30 p.m., 40 of the largest private donors who funded the restoration of the belt of light of the Opéra Garnier, will unveil the 18 bronze caryatids freshly rehabilitated. They are still hidden behind a discreet veil, to preserve the surprise. Side  of Rue Scribe, already restored caryatids are in place. the most decorated side rue Halévy will have it’s  18 caryatids (women naked carrying a lantern – over their heads)  will be unveiled. But their stone base has totally changed. Far from scandal, when placed in 1874, they should now welcome the Parisians. High of blue marble of turquois creates columns. Boat prows, symbols of the city of Paris, made of bronze, as wished by Charles Garnier, but who had not had the money to do it at the time. All handrails have also been reworked in Carrara marble. Finally a good part of the grids have been restored.  Tuesday evening, at night, once the temporary power poles, wooden, will be removed, the belt of light of the Opéra Garnier will be a glow that most had for long as before. https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/visits/palais-garnier

ON 3 July, for the first time in its history, the BHV-Marais will officially open on Sunday. This store which will celebrate in September its 160 years!!!  For several months, and yet until end of 2017, it entered a huge phase of the rue de Verrerie  to the rue  du Plâtre! The building, of 2500 m2, will be inside a court, in the heart of the Marais, between Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie and rue du Plâtre. A 1000 m2 space will be dedicated to the public for exhibitions and 1 500 m2 will remain ‘invisible ‘ to the public. It will be available to artists for their daily work.  The Italian franchise Eataly, a kind of Mall, restaurant dedicated to the transalpine fresh products. In short a trendy store concept. It is a place where you can both lunch and do shopping, in short it will be a place of life. There will be  fresh produce, Delicatessen, a wine cellar, fish, and restaurant self service. On 3,000 m2, the bobos and tourists had to find their happiness!!!  http://www.bhv.fr/en/news-en/happy-160th-birthday-le-bhv-marais/

Goodbye  the Salon de thé, and hello the chocolate cellar. The famous chocolatier Jean-Paul Hévin has just opened its new chocolate cellar store at 231 rue Saint-Honoré (Ier), in the courtyard of a building dating from the 18C, close to the place Vendôme. News from Le Figaro magazine. https://www.jeanpaulhevin.com/fr/

The House of Chanel  has chosen to relocate three of its arts and crafts in the match factory in Aubervilliers in July 2015,and now it has set its sights on the Porte D’aubervilliers to implement by 2020 its ‘Manufacture de la mode” which will  put together some fifteen workshops, so-called”art houses”of its Paraffection subsidiary.  http://chanel-news.chanel.com/fr/home.html

http://www.chanel.com/en_US/#storelocator

The Navigo pass  (transport pass in the Paris area) pricing will be revised upward. “An increase limited to 3 euros”, in the  Ile-de-France region and, as of August 1.  Navigo pass will go to 73€. This is a political settlement between the RATP, the region île de France ,and the city of Paris. http://www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/c_21879/visiting-paris/

The Church of our Lady of the Assumption, that Van Gogh painted and is resting in the cemetery is in poor shape: fragile frame and roof, which lets the rain in are to be restored fully.  Van Gogh wrote about it  at Auvers-sur-Oise , “Auvers is fine, many old stubble, among others, which is rare, really it’s severely beautiful, is the characteristic and picturesque countryside ‘, he wrote to his brother Théo, who is buried also at the cemetery of the Church. The village conquered  him and he spent the last 70 days of his life, to immortalize landscapes and monuments; he has made not less than 60 paintings, before dying there on July 27, 1890.  Mayor Isabelle Mézières has appealed for donations via the Heritage Foundation. https://www.fondation-patrimoine.org/fr/ile-de-france-12/tous-les-projets-593/detail-eglise-d-auvers-sur-oise-peinte-par-van-gogh-43621

And can we recite some memorable movies about or with Paris over the years and its different districts where they were film:love these films ALL seen over the years. This is Paris from your living room.

The Louvre is not only one of the most famous museums in the world. It  is also a film set that has welcomed  the Da Vinci Code, by Ron Howard (2006), adapted from the Dan Brown bestseller.  Woody Allen loves Paris and in “Everyone says I Love You” (1997), the character played by the Director himself went on the Pont-Neuf with his loaf of bread under the arm, while his” Midnight in Paris “(2011) played by Owen Wilson took good time on the Quays of the île de la Cité, at the foot of the famous 36 Quai des Orfèvres.

Sofia Coppola knows something since she had transformed the Hôtel de Soubise (seat of the national archives) in replacement of the Palace of Versailles on the occasion of filming “Marie-Antoinette ” (2006).  In another genus, filmmaker Doug Liman changed the entry of the Conservatoire national des arts et Métiers in “La Mémoire dans la Peau” (2002); Ah the Latin quarter! The Sorbonne, its great schools… And therefore the films taking these buildings for scenery. In La Gifle by Claude Pinoteau (1975), the character of Lino Ventura as Professor of geography in the  prestigious Lycée Louis le Grand, Rue Saint-Jacques. The  Director will ask again its cameras in the area a few years later for La Boum (1980) where the young Vic played by Sophie Marceau studied in the institution of prestige of the district, the Lycée Henri IVMontmartre without thinking about  Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. In the Café des Deux Moulins ,Rue Lepic or near the grocery shop  Colignon at the top of  Montmartre , the film revealed Audrey Tautou to the general public was instrumental in popularizing the image of Montmartre abroad.  The Champs Elysées, signs of romance with the most famous example remains Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg in the cult work of new wave,  “A Bout de Souffle ” of Jean-Luc Godard (1960).  An idea taken up by Philippe de Broca in the l’Incorrigible (1975) with Geneviève Bujold and Jean-Paul Belmondo ? but also by the young Jean-Jacques Beineix in “Diva” (1981) and its tandem of actors played by Frédéric Andréi and Thuy An Luu.  The Montparnasse district is of course famous for its famous Tower but also for its brasseries known all over the world. The bistros of luxury that cinema has immortalized, in the image of the famous Closerie des Lilas which serves as a meeting place for the couple formed by Romy Schneider and Philippe Noiret in the “Le Vieux Fusil”  by Robert Enrico (1976).  More recently, it is  La Coupole, another must-see Montparnasse brasserie, which served as a filming location for the adventures of the characters played by Audrey Tautou and Guillaume Canet “Ensemble“, (2007)that’s all by Claude Berri.

Now on July 10th, the Eiffel Tower will find some calm and its usual hue. The suite will be played in theaters. The blockbuster of the summer produced by 20th Century leaves no doubt about its future. Indeed, displays of “Independence Day: Resurgence“, in theaters July 20, shows the Parisian monument ready to undergo the attack of a spaceship.

The anti terrorist plan call ‘Vigipirate’ in France  makes  it less accessible for leaving luggage in SNCF train station and more difficult nowdays in  2,3 stars  hotels who hesitate to keep the luggage of their clients when they make their room check out at noon, without necessarily leaving Paris.  In addition  renters of housing sites such as Airbnb and those who frequent the many places where it is more possible to have a small bag on you : fan-zones of the Euro, theatres, Department stores… Then what about the backpack or small suitcase?  well here comes City-Locker to the rescue offering a secure room which has the appearance of a shop in a shopping street, and in which we find 45 boxes of storage whose measurements XXL (81 cm in depth, 65 cm wide and 48 cm tall) are very welcoming. An address in the Marais, one in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, one between the gare du Nord and the gare de l’Est and one newly inaugurated between Opera and Madeleine. Between €10 and €16 per day depending on the period and the occupancy rate (comparisons SNCF billed around €9.50 but it is impossible to book ahead). City Locker will let you book ahead. more info at  http://www.citylocker.fr/site/files/

And now we come closer to me at Brest,Finistére dept 29 of Bretagne/Brittany/Breizh.

A fleet of 1,000 ships flying 200 insignias  and the Hermione as a main boat. From July 13 to 19, Brest 2016 looks like an exception ,not to miss indeed. Stroke of luck on the calendar, the 7th edition of these  maritime festivals, given every four years, fits between the Euro and the Olympic Games. Entrance one day 15€ , 9€  for children 10 to 17 and free for young ers. More info here ;  https://www.brest2016.fr/en

For fall, it is been build an aerial tramway, the first cable car  city of France. It will fly over the Penfeld, between the bottom of the famous  rue de  Siam, left bank and right bank, a new district built on a former military site rehabilitated. Three-minute panoramic overview of the arsenal, at the price of a single tram ticket.  You can see the project here in French,  http://capucinsbrest.com/index.php/un-projet-de-territoire/le-telepherique.html

Brest has the last army citadel since the 17C (Vauban) and still in activity. Since the 1950’s, it houses the maritime (naval govt) and a Maritime Museum. An exhibition “Brest, port of freedom, at the time of the American Revolution”, will open Until April 2017, with  more than fifty works, including a model of the Hermione boat (took Marquis de Lafayette to help Gen Washington) ,and the sword of Lafayette to  show the commitment of France and the strategic role of the Breton port in the war of the American colonists against the British Crown, daily, admission 6€. Tel. +33  (0) 2.98.22.12.39 and webpage of museum ; http://www.musee-marine.fr/content/brest-port-de-la-liberte

Going South to another favorite city of mine we seek the celebration of Saint Martin at Tours.

Martin was born Roman in 316, at Savaria, a village in Hungary. Engaged in the legion, he travelled the empire of Germany to the banks of the Loire. Very early attracted by the Christian faith, soon converted, it is known after having torn in two his own coat, his cape (this is the origin of the word ‘Chapel’), to warm a bashful cold man.  Appointed Bishop of Tours in 371, he crisscrossed the country with monk’s disciples who help him install Christianity. Martin died in  November 8 ,397AD ,and was buried on November 11 in Tours.

The exhibition «Tours en cape» on July 2-3 , the anniversary date of the ordination of St Martin, will be presented a show of cape and sword, «Saint – Martin Tours». A village of the era will be installed on the Place  Anatole-France. In its Center, the giant statue of St Martin, 4 meters (about 13 feet)  in height, that one  that is usually on the cupola of the Basilica. It will then be covered by a giant glass dome.  Throughout the day, the village will host shows, concerts and DJ as well as the circus, dance, street arts, etc.  A guinguette will be installed to quench the audience and serve cake Saint-Martin, a creation of the pastry chefs in the city.  A popular ball dance will conclude each day.  Its conclusion, an event on the water. After his death a few kilometers from the city, the body of St Martin had in fact been transported up Tours aboard a seagoing barge on the Loire. Legend has it that flowers blossomed as the passage of the convoy, despite the November frost. To honor the memory of the saint, 10 000 white flowers will adorn the city. And on the Wilson Bridge, 1 700 sky lanterns will be available to visitors who turn them on and let them spin in the sky.  More info in French here: http://www.saintmartin-tours.fr/

http://basiliquesaintmartin.fr/

http://www.tours-tourism.co.uk/node/1390

Enjoy the beauty of France. Bon voyage et à bientôt ::)

June 25, 2016

Euro16 France, the European Football Championship!

Well even if do not write much in my blog, this is my another passion football/soccer/calcio. Since playing alavin in the Real Madrid FC ::) And lifetime Madridista  member since 2004.

The Euro16 is been played in France and the phase of groups is already over, this is the positioning of the teams to qualify for the real knockoff rounds of the 8th, 4rt, semis, and final.

It all started with 6 groups divided into four teams each or total of 24.This is the first time playing with 24 teams to give it a more general European flavor and allow many first timers such as Iceland, Albany, Northern Ireland, and Wales.

The groups were:

Group A :France, Switzerland, Albania,and Romania, passing France and Switzerland in that order

Group B: Wales, England, Russia, and Slovaquia, passing Wales, Slovaquia and England as best 3rd

Group C: Poland,Northern Ireland, Germany, and Ukraine, passing Germany , Poland, and Northern Ireland as best third

Group D: Turkey, Spain, Croatia, and Czech Republic; passing Croatia,Spain in that order

Group E: Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, and Italy, passing Italy and Belgium  with best third Ireland.

Group F! Austria,Hungary, Portugal, and Iceland; passing Hungary ,Iceland, and Portugal as best third.

Now today we start the Eights-finals with the games going now of Poland vs Switzerland (fulltime finished tied 1-1 now extra time and then penalty kicks to decide the winner ,and it was  Poland !! ) at Saint Etienne Geoffroy Guichard stadium.

Wales vs Northern Ireland plays at 18h local time at Parc de Prince Paris

Croatia vs Portugal at Lens Félix Bollaert stadium.

June 26th  plays Germany vs Slovaquia at Lille Pierre Mauroy stadium. France vs Ireland at Lyon olympique Lyon stadium. Hungary vs Belgium at Paris parc de Prince.

June 27th, plays Spain vs Italy at Paris stade de France; England vs Iceland at Nice Allianz Riviera stadium. The winners advance ,the losers go home…

More info on Eurosport in English: http://www.eurosport.com/football/euro/final-phase.shtml

French sports daily L’Equipe here : http://www.lequipe.fr/Football/FootballTableau2374.html

The quarter finals will be the matching of the winner of Switzerland-Poland vs the winner of Croatia-Portugal. the winner of Wales-Northern Ireland vs the winner of Hungary-Belgium. The winner of Germany-Slovaquia vs the winner of Italy-Spain. The winner of France-Ireland vs the winner of England-Iceland.

And so on to the Semis. The final will be played July 10 at Stade de France, Paris.

The last two Euro were won by Spain in 2008 and 2012 for a total of 3 Championships. IF we combine the Germany and West Germany they have won 3 times too. France has won twice, Italy , Greece, Denmark , USSR, Netherlands, and old Czechoslovakia once each. The first one was in 1960 in France!

The official UEFA, organisation webpage is here in English: http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/index.html

And my favorite Spanish language sports journal, AS of Spain. http://resultados.as.com/resultados/futbol/eurocopa/2016/calendario/

As said, it all began in 1960 in France, won by the Soviet Union, with Yugoslavia finishing second. 1964 won by Spain with the Soviet Union second. 1968 won by Italy with Yugoslavia second. 1972 won by West Germany with Soviet Union finishing second. 1976 won by Czechoslovakia with West Germany second. 1980 won by West Germany with Belgium second. 1984 won by France with Spain second. 1988 won by the Netherlands with the Soviet Union second.1992 won by Denmark with Germany second. 1996 won by Germany with Czech Republic second. 2000 won by France with Italy second. 2004 won by Greece with Portugal second. 2008 won by Spain with Germany second. 2012 won by Spain with Italy second.

So there you go a brief description of the history of it and the current championships, it only gets  better !!!!! Of course, I am cheering for France, but Spain is close to my heart too. At the end I have two chances ::)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 24, 2016

Some news from France CXXXII

Ok it’s Friday, time to reflect on the weekend as we do always plan plan and plan. One word for my British friends, hang in there, you are still with us in heart and soul in Europe.

Lang Lang of China is coming to the palace of Versailles, to play Chopin! July 5 at 21h at the Royal Opéra, see it; http://www.chateauversailles-spectacles.fr/en/spectacles/2016/lang-lang-tribute-chopin

You want to follow Hemingway on his bars around the world, well here they are : El Floridita in Havana centro nothing did more for his fancies since 15 it was here he said. He was ,also, at  Sloppy Joe’s , Key West, Ritz hotel bar  at Paris or the  Chicote in Madrid . Also, Harry’s bar at Venice, Italy, and more while in Paris ,he also, went to La Closerie des Lilas, Le Dingo (now gone where he met F. Scott Fitzgerald ) or the Le Nègre de Toulouse resto now gone too. And of course, many others, who hasn’t read the book and this famous words of always true Paris If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

History of Sloppy Joe’s

http://grupomercadodelareina.com/en/museo-chicote-en/

http://www.elfloridita.net/

http://www.harrysbarvenezia.com/

http://www.ritzparis.com/en-GB/fine-dining-paris/ritz-bar?tid=17

http://www.closeriedeslilas.fr/

At the House or Maison de Balzac, until October 2, 2106, Expo on Balzac and the artists, myth and reality, http://maisondebalzac.paris.fr/en/node/300

see Charles le Brun, the sun king painter, until August 29 2016 at Lens ,Louvre museum : http://www.louvrelens.fr/en/ch.-le-brun

Camoin dans sa Lumiére or lights in  the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence , and see the Relationship of artists like Cézanne, Matisse , etc, until October 2, 2016. http://www.museegranet-aixenprovence.fr/en/exhibitions/a-voir/camoin-in-his-own-light.html

Fête du Cinéma 2016 is back, movie festival in Paris; from June 26 to the 29 2016. Movies from 4€ sponsored by BNP Paribas bank, http://www.feteducinema.com/la-fete-du-cinema

and the films on play are here: http://www.feteducinema.com/films-a-l-affiche/all

Be ready for summer in Paris going to these wonderful terrases:

Plaza Havana au Café  148, rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin (10e). Tél.: 09 81 29 83 38. open every day from 10h to 2h (11h to midnight on Sundays). Bar with mojitos  from 18h. https://www.plaza-havana.fr/

Taîsho in the Aquarium of  Paris – Cinéaqua. 5, avenue Albert de Mun (16e). Tél.: 01 40 69 23 23.  open Wednesdays to Sundays from  15h to 1h. https://www.instagram.com/taisho_fine_dinning_bar/

Grand Train 26 ter rue Ordener (18e). Tél.: 01 48 24 34 02. Open  Wednesdays to Sundays  from 11h to 23h30. http://www.grandtrain.com/

Le Jardin Municipal  55/57, rue des Francs-Bourgeois (4e). Tél.: 06 32 00 98 26.  Every day Mondays to Thursdays from 10h30 to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays from  10h30 to 1h , and Sundays from midday to midnight. http://www.creditmunicipal.fr/art-et-patrimoine/le-jardin-municipal/le-jardin-municipal.html

Barapapa  Port de la Rapée (12e). Tél.: 06 50 89 18 08.  open every day from  11h to 2h. http://www.barapapa.com/

And some others, like the Perchoir de l’Est on top of the train station Gare de l’Est! go by the wing or aile Saint Martin. Paillotte de l’Opéra on the terrace of the Opéra Garnier  1, place Jacques Rouche (9e). The roofstop du Point Ephémére with réservations wed to sun. if weather permitting go in by  200, quai de Valmy (Xe), street side.  And the Café HeJ in the gardens of the Institut Suédois, wed to sun, go in by the grill door in the garden on 10, rue Elzévir (3e).

This weekend (sorry for the short notice) musée du Quai Branly is celebrating it’s 10 years! free admission and many activities; http://www.quaibranly.fr/en/exhibitions-and-events/at-the-museum/shows-festivals-and-events/festivals-and-events/event-details/e/week-end-anniversaire-le-best-of-36456/

In my beloved Versailles, the palace is holding a mémorial on the days of Charles De Gaulle in the palace running until November 9, 2016: more here: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/news-/events/exhibitions/a-president-in-the-kings-palace-de-gaulle-in-Trianon

The programing will come soon and will run to July 16 2016; but do not miss the Versailles Festival; http://en.chateauversailles.fr/news-/events/spectacles/versailles-festival-2016-en

And the coaches or horse carriage museum  (Galerie des Carrosses) will reopen in Versailles after many years of renovation better than ever do not miss this opportunity.

Until October 25 2016 you can see the Les Jardins Musicaux or musical gardens ,  to see the gardens in summer is wonderful, with all its hidden corners and sections done with a musical promenade. More info here in French:  http://www.versailles-tourisme.com/agenda/sortie/les-jardins-musicaux-6.html?uid_agenda_trad=2929

and a pdf file map of the gardens for printing and directions: http://www.chateauversailles-spectacles.fr/sites/default/files/sites/default/files/pj/jm_2013.pdf

In the city of Versailles the famous Lycée Hoche (high school) will host an exposition on its actions during WWI call 14-18 au Lycée Hoche-students and wounded reunited ,on until December 1st 2016: more in French here: http://www.versailles-tourisme.com/agenda/sortie/14-18-au-lycee-hoche-eleves-et-blesses-reunis.html

 La voie de l’écuyer opus 2016, (way of the squire) in the Grande écuries in front of the palace of Versailles, directed by Bartabàs; more info here: http://www.bartabas.fr/en/Academie-du-spectacle-equestre/spectacles-16/La-Voie-de-l-eacute-cuyer-Opus-2016

The same Bartabàs will do every Sunday mornings the Les Matinales des écuyers new version.  Visit into the intimacy of work sessions, witness the rider’s daily training. Done every 20 minutes on Sundays from 10h to 12h; more info here: http://www.bartabas.fr/en/Academie-du-spectacle-equestre/lieux

In summer if you go by the tourist office at 2bis avenue de Paris, you can reserve a ride in horse wagon thru the Streets of Versailles! Every Sunday (except May 1) at 15h15 and every Tuesdays at 17h45, trip last about an hour and cost 23€. Contact the Versailles tourist office at  tel +33 (0) 1 39 24 88 88 or email  tourismeping@ot-versaillespong.com

For short weekend trips as I like here, we use weekendesk ; in French , here is more: http://www.weekendesk.fr/

And one of my favorites park when working in Paris  and living in Versailles was to go to the Jardin de Bagatelle in the bois de Boulogne ,exactly on the allée de Longchamp street. You can get here from Neuilly on bus 43 or 244 leaving from metro Pont de Neuilly. The park is open from March 1st to Sept 30th from 8h30 to 19h and the rest of the year from 9h to 17h. The castle in it is open from March 15 to October 31st Saturdays and Sundays afternoons.

This park was built on a spirit of the times a game of words when Marie-Antoinette yell chichel and the count of Artois (brother of the king Louis XVI) yell bagatelle. It took 900 workers working day and night in 1775. The gardener was Thomas Blaikie in the anglo chinese style, with an English garden with Under wood spots of water and shady grasses with cascades, caves, and a love pavillion. In the 19C the garden was enlarged into an orangerie and a parterre à la French style. One of its owner was  Richard Wallace (the same of the fountains Wallace) and adds pavillions of hunting and the Trianon.  It was acquired in 1904 by the city of Paris that adds a rosary ,themes gardens ,and contest on gardening specially on roses.

More in French from city of Paris  here: http://equipement.paris.fr/parc-de-bagatelle-1808 and English from the tourist office of Paris here: http://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71636/Parc-de-Bagatelle

Enjoy it, and have a great weekend everyone!

June 21, 2016

Some news from Spain XXI

Here I am again on Spain other of my beautiful countries, and Lucky to be there every year ,again this summer vacation there! Some interesting facts to know when going to Spain, everything Under the sun.

Some ideas for summer rural rentals as we are doing it too in the Serranias…. Suggestions:

Fuerte Grazalema (Cadiz) Natural Park of the Sierra de Grazalema, The Anadio (Jaén) livestock of bulls of lidia in the Natural Park of the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas and Sierra Morena. You have this wonderful rural house. http://www.fuertehoteles.com/en/hotels/fuerte-grazalema/the-hotel/?utm_source=Google-local&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=googleplaces

The Casona del Boticario( apothecary )(La Rioja) located in the heart of San Vicente de la Sonsierra. This old manor house from the 18C has 10 rooms with views of the countryside and a large garden You can go to Pecina (about 3-4 kms) to the Ermita of Santa Maria of the Piscina (swimming pool), on a Hill between two plaines of smaller hills. http://www.casonadelboticario.com/?lang=en

La Garriga de Castelladral (Barcelona)  14 rooms belonging to a community of cyclists and a Bikefriendly quality seal recognition. It has mountain bikes, electric bikes for adults and offers different routes to enjoy the surroundings. Those who brings their own bike can use a small workshop to store it and repair it. http://www.masialagarriga.com/en/

Finca El Cercado (Palencia) farm 4 kms of Baltanas and 30 kms of Palencia but also can go by boat or canoe the Emblematic canal of Castile(Castilla). http://www.fincaelcercado.com/en/

Candelaria Experience (Ávila) African lodge but in the South face of the sierra de gredos mountains offer excursions on horseback with a picnic included; they have a collection of vintage cars and horse wagons.  An airplane to fly over the massif of Gredos or the Rosarito reservoir, swimming pool, Spa and paddle tenis court, guides for bird watching, and possibility of water sports in the Isla de Valdecanas  A novelty, this year there are new crystalise suites that gives the feelilng of sleeping among the trees. http://candelariaexperience.com/

Finca El Carpintero valle del Jerte (Cáceres), on the southern slope of the Sierra de Gredos. Hence the Finca El Carpintero is the property has a pool of salt water and curdling garden of aromatic plants, chestnut trees and cypresses of considerable height.  A large hydrangea tree in the front door gives more than 2000 flowers every spring, and  their organic garden giving out jams and other products that will be served on the breakfast table. http://www.fincaelcarpintero.com/

Tierra del agua (Land of water) (Asturias)  Redes Natural Park.  We had to choose between hiking, excursions in 4×4, photographic safaris , tasting products ,guided harvesting as well as Casin cheese or cider production. http://www.tierradelagua.es/en/

The Anades (Guadalajara) sierra de Guadalajara and the parks natural del Alto Tajo, hotel rural Los Anades is located in the village of Abánades, has three cottages of stone and wood with a capacity for 8 people (four rooms) which, although within the complex, allow for a more independent life with the family. This does not prevent for dining at the hotel ,enjoy the pampering in the spa or request prepare a picnic…Breakfast is included in the House. http://www.losanades.com/

The House of the Moyas (Teruel) Valley of Olba, on the banks of the river Mijares.  Between the mountain ranges of Gúdar- Javalambre and Espadán, the Moyas House is  starting point for numerous excursions for mountain lovers who find here also, a real paradise for climbing, canyoning, mountain biking, and night crossings.  Consist of 2 accommodation; La Casa with capacity for 10 persons and enticing outdoor barbecue area located in a former wine bodega; and La Casita, designed for 4 persons.  http://www.lacasadelosmoyas.es/

Some about my Tenerife of heart:  It is possible to plunge into the forest of laurisilva in the Anaga massif to connect with nature or take advantage of the tranquility and privacy offered by the pristine beaches of the North. Recommendation: take a dip in the refreshing waters of Benijo Beach and watch a spectacular sunset. At La Orotava; there are several restaurants that combine local food with an exquisite atmosphere. Nearby is one of the culinary gems of the island: El Calderito de la Abuela. A cosy restaurant in which taste typical delicacies that make your mouth water as cheese fried with mojo palmero, cane honey and coriander mojo as they contemplate spectacular views over Mount Teide and the sea. Speaking of the Teide, there is an original way of living it. What better way to enjoy the sunrise or sunset from the highest point of Spain with Volcano Teide Experience tours as one has it never taken a tour but this one is recommended by local friends. The ravine of Masca enjoying views that take away the breath. El Medano, vibrant place and picturesque filled with bars where relax and drink a beer or two. Located facing the Bay of Los Cristianos, hotel Sensimar Gran Arona ,when looking for a quiet day, you can enjoy in its magnificent new Spa some of their star treatments. It can be also finished the day tasting the flavours of the island facing the Bay at the restaurant Culinarium. Hotel only for adults to enjoy the peace and live a perfect experience. Tourism Tenerife: http://www.todotenerife.es/en/

And back to Madrid ; some nice walking trails for summer: Chorrera de los Litueros or Chorro of Somosierra at Puerto Somosierra (Madrid). You get here by taking  A1 to exit 91, direction Somosierra leave the vehicle at the parking located left hand, west side of the port, next to the Hermitage of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad. You can start your walks from here (not a big walker myself but this is nice) . It is a succession of waterfalls, whose three main ones are at about 50 meters in height. Not much, we know that in the country of the blind the one-eyed man is King, enough in any case to be the highest in the community of Madrid. Both the vertical descend, as it is located at higher altitudes in the province: slightly less than 1,500 meters above the sea, at its highest level. Las Pedrizas, resulting in the birth of the Duratón, Segovia River known for harboring the colony of Griffon Vulture most important in Europe.

It was here  at Chorro de Somosierra, where occurred the famous charge of the Polish cavalry, integrated into the French army led by Napoleon, approaching to take  Madrid. Considered the greatest success of that elite corps, took place at the battle of Somosierra, on November 30, 1808. Napoleon entrusted to take the Spanish positions  to the Polish horsemen. These, eager to show their worth before the Gallic Emperor, made a suicide charge up the hillside ; they lost two-thirds of its forces, but they were able to take the enemy positions and put into flight  the Spaniards. It was the most legendary of their heroic military deeds which passed to the history.

Webpage (in Spanish): http://www.sierranorte.com/reportajes/ficha.php?rut=1

http://www.senderismomadrid.es/chorrera-litueros/

Some walking routes of Spain, again not a big Walker fan ,but these are wonderful taken the Caminito in the older days and Montfalco many Friends talk about them. Caminito del Rey (Malaga) was built between 1901 and 1905 as a service road for the dam of the Conde Guadalhorce, whose inauguration was done by King Alfonso XIII – hence the nickname of the road. It was reopened on March 28, 2015. The impressive journey runs 7.7 kms – 4.8 kms accesses and 2.9 kms gateways, along the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes Gorge, a natural cut made by the Guadalhorce River in the Sierra de Huma, and that in some stretch leads suspended at more than 100 meters high. Plunging down this trail is a great experience which can take about 3-4 hours, depending on the physical state you are in. more info here: http://www.caminitodelrey.info/en/#1

Montfalcó (Lleida-Huesca) opened in 2013, is located in the extraordinary Gorge of Mont-rebei in the Sierra de Montsec and connects the banks of the river Noguera Ribargorzana along a path of 4.1 kms. The most impressive segments of this route are the two air sections of foot bridges and staircases. The first from a height of 33 meters Montfalcó, after ascending 132 steps, while the second stands more than 50 meters vertically after 159 stair climbing steps.More need still to overcome a metallic suspension bridge of 36 meters in length connecting Huesca with Lleida. And if you still have forces, can link later with the historic “path” GR-1, that goes to the Congost de Mont-Ebei, an extraordinary carved path in the rock that reaches La Masieta, and has an area of 4 kms. In total, the full path can be done in 4 hours. More info in Spanish: https://www.escapadarural.com/blog/la-ruta-del-vertigo-las-escaleras-acantiladas-de-montfalco/

https://www.escapadarural.com/que-hacer/sant-esteve-de-la-sarga/congost-de-mont-rebei

http://www.alberguemontfalco.com/que-hacer/4/ruta-de-las-pasarelas-de-montfalco

Route of the Cares (León-Asturias) known also as ‘Garganta Divina’, (diving throat) the route of Cares is a wonderful journey of 12 kms which connects the villages of Cain (Léon) and Poncebos (Asturias). The road is literally carved in the Gorge of the River Cares, which flows through the National Park of the Picos de Europa, an authentic natural paradise. The original route began at Posada de Valdeón, but this point add 10 extra kilometres and is difficult to do in a day. It is not a tour very demanding ; the hardest part is the two kms of ascent from Poncebos, but you have to take into account the return, what sum in total 24 kms. It can be completed in 6-8 hours (round-trip). More info here: http://www.spain.info/en/reportajes/un_paseo_por_los_picos_de_europa.html

http://www.rutadelcares.org/en/index.php

And of course, do not forget this jewel,  See the Mezquita of Cordoba, first islamic and then temple of Christian, the Cathedral. One of the oldest European buildings in use and the most notable example of the symbiosis between yesterday and today which is part of the city of Cordoba. See it if you can. http://www.mezquitadecordoba.org/en/

People I know always ask me for the gold question how to get from the airport to the city in Madrid or Barcelona, even my business friends. So here is a simple information. At Adolfo Suarez Barajas-Madrid airport  a taxi will take on average 30 minutes drive and within the M30 beltway road of inner Madrid the price is fix at 30€; you need to determine your distance to see if taken a regular taxi comes out cheaper than the new fix price rule. For areas closer to the airport side arriving in Madrid will be cheaper on the regular taxi, but to the Centro, the fix rate is a winner. You have the bus Express  takes about the same on average 30 minutes and cost 5€ stopping at Cibeles, Atocha which are convenient to city transportation. The Metro (subway/tube) is on line 8 to Nuevos Ministerios for 4,50€ and you can get off as I do often before in Colombia for city connections.  In Barcelona, the taxi from Prat de Llobregat airport takes about 30 minutes and cost about 25-30€. You have the wonderful Aérobus for 5,90€ takes about 35 minutes stopping at Plaça Espanya and Praca Catalunya. for local connections. The metro L9 Sud, has a stop at Terminal 1 and 2,takes about 30 minutes cost about 4,50€; you need to make connection (like Europa Fira or Zona Universidad )as the line does not pass by tourist areas in Barcelona but its an option.

Enjoy it and have a great rest of the week y’all ::)

 

 

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June 20, 2016

Some news from France, CXXXI

ParisHere is back to the routine and some news on my belle France ;current and past. The times are rainy here but some sun is propping up for tomorrow around 21C  or about 62F in my area and from 7C to 29C all over France.

This Sunday, the small church Saint-Germain de Charonne , Paris 20éme ;(well known to lovers of  heritage but also fans of the cult les Tontons flingueurs film the final scene was shot here) will host again parishioners for the first time since December 2009. It is on this date that the Church of the 12C was closed for rénovations. Source Le Parisien  http://www.saintgermaindecharonne.fr/  
Until  the final whistle of the Euro16, the courtyard of the City/Town Hall of Paris  is transformed into ‘place de l’Europe’, event that mixes sports and cultural activities on countries engaged around the competition. Each nation also has a pavilion in which it can propose its own programming: concerts, debates, workshops… Every day from 10h to 22h until July 10, on the forecourt of the Hotel de Villehttp://www.paris.fr/actualites/uefa-euro-2016-l-europe-s-installe-sur-le-parvis-de-l-hotel-de-ville-3819
Last Saturday the bridge of Grenelle (pont de grenelle 15éme) came to the reconstruction of history.  On Tuesday, June 18, 1940 and the days that followed the call of general de Gaulle to the resistance, 790 cadets of Saumur, grande école de cavalerie, had fought valiantly alongside the French battalions to repel the advance of German forces to the South of the Loire. The bridge of Grenelle was renamed bridge of Grenelle-Cadets-de-Saumur in homage to these heroes, the public could attend an intake weapon involving many students officers while one of the survivors of the time spoke of his memories, followed by a grand parade in period costumes organized by l’Association Kufra. http://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/paris-ile-de-france/le-pont-de-grenelle-change-de-nom-1027711.html
The electric scooters in free access Cityscoot rental service will be available from Tuesday June 21st  in Paris, after a year of test in real conditions. The first 150 white scooters will be “scattered” in the streets of the capital as early as Tuesday and immediately available for rent; Speeds max 45 km/h, these scooters to a range of 70 km must be rendered in a zone for the time being limited to one-third of the area of Paris, which will be expanded gradually. Cityscoot, available ‘free-float’ (‘free full service”) may be borrowed and returned anywhere. Finished the problems of Terminal attachment defective or stations too full to make his rental vehicle. At the end of the lease (recorded when the user resets the helmet supplied with saddle of hygiene under saddle), the refund is done very easily. “Suffice it to park the scooter in the street…. “Finally, on parking for two-wheelers“, “from 400 or 500 scooters, nearby in November, it will cover all of Paris. The  aims is to increase the number to 1000 before end of March 2017, then to more than 3,000 by year 2020, with extensions in the neighbouring communes. http://www.paris.fr/actualites/avec-cityscoot-des-scooters-electriques-en-libre-service-2547
The ports of Asnières, from next month, a new future will emerge for the Van Gogh ports and port Bas and port Sisley in Villeneuve-la-GarenneBecause waterways of France (VNF), owner of the lands, has renewed the concession on these three rows, to Marinov, a subsidiary of SuezA Rosa Bonheur moored at port Bas already,  below the bridge of AsnièresAt the level of the pont de Clichy, next to the cemetery of dogs, Van Gogh port is composed of a restaurant and business Point P including. In addition to an upgrading of technical facilities, a gateway will allow to climb over the transformer which splits the port in two, in order to be able to move on foot on the banks. Marina opening will allow the arrival of tourist vessels. The new Van Gogh port should be opened in 2019. The Sisley port at Villeneuve, the Marina will be reinforced. It must also develop a restaurant. To inaugurate it in summer 2018.   http://www.haropaports.com/fr/paris/nous-connaitre/agence-seine-aval/port-dasnieres-bas
the 8th edition of ‘Saint-Maur in Pocket’, French literary event devoted to the book‘s in format pocket, near 30 000 curious came to buy books, and meet authors; this past June 18th. . Even the Queen of England, her lookalike came surveying this library open because this edition was under the sign of the British IslesCo-organised by the City/Town Hall and the Griffe Noir or Black Claw, this weekend event also distinguished the best writers of the moment. Thomas H. Cook took the price of the polar, Bernard Prou, french novel Award and the public was given to Agnès Abécassis for the soft kiss of Tyrannosaurus.  http://saintmaurenpoche.com/
On the parvis of the Cathedral of Meaux,  this past Saturday afternoon, many passers-by who stop at the new fountain. Opened at 14h, the fountain consists of a statue depicting a standing woman, carrying a baby, stairs, where streams of water falls. On the back, a plaque indicates the name Source of life Marne flows fertile and peaceful, and specifies that “here stood a fountain from the 13C to the 16C. The Marne, in latin, means mother, the latter, which is actually from the 15C  was built when the city of Meaux was divided in two municipalities When Meaux has been reunified, shortly after 1510, the two parishes in the other part of the municipality, together with five others, were therefore not represented by the fountain. The division symbol, it then was destroyed. Meaux my first town in France, my wife is a nativehttp://www.leparisien.fr/meaux-77100/meaux-la-nouvelle-fontaine-devant-la-cathedrale-seduit-les-passants-19-06-2016-5897423.php
The modernisation of the Paris transport network continuos  with an investment to improve the lines RER E and the line P in the next fifteen years. See photo. http://malignea.transilien.com/2015/05/21/un-episode-de-96-minutes-consacre-au-prolongement-du-rer-e/
The expressway management company , the Société des autoroutes Paris-Normandie (SAPN) launches from Monday ,June 20th the evening‘s work renovation at the toll booth of Buchelay  on the A13 expressway in the direction of Paris. Until June 24, workers will renovate the pavement at the level of the toll barrier. Neutralisation of routes are planned. Every night from 21h to 06h, the three routes to Paris will fall over in the other direction, only on the length of the toll. The day, only the fast lane will be offset by the emergency services. Accurate signage will be in place during these four days of work. https://www.sanef.com/#!/?axe=A13&sens=All
Placido Domingo after Paris visit Bougival  last Sunday to discover the villa Viardot, the name of the famous singer of the 19C. He ,then visited the dacha of Turgenev and the House of Georges Bizet. http://www.leparisien.fr/bougival-78380/bougival-placido-domingo-visite-la-villa-viardot-19-06-2016-5897955.php
The first stone of the future hotel Express by Holiday Inn Roissy just came to be. The hotel will be located in the heart of the Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport, close to terminal 1. It will have 305 rooms,  will be the largest among the fourteen chain Holiday Inn in France and one of the largest in Europe. The opening of the facility is scheduled for 2018. From trade publication more info here: http://hospitality-on.com/actualites/2016/06/17/holiday-inn-express-cdg-la-premiere-pierre-a-ete-posee/
Alexia Maceron, 20-year-old law student at La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime), native of Chantilly, won the title of Miss Diane 2016 this Sunday at the 167th edition of the Prix de Diane horse raceThe jury was chaired by former Miss France Sophie Thalmann , the wife of jockey Christophe Soumillon. According to the first estimates, some 35,000 people attended the event this year, a mythical race that has seen the filly  La Cressonniere, mounted by Cristian Demuro to victory. http://www.prix-de-diane.com/
Taking breakfast at one of the beauties of Versailles, the Trianon Palace Hotel at the salon Clemenceau, it would be difficult to imagine that the hotel was in many wars. It started as an auxilary hospital for the British troops in WWI, office hq of the Royal Air Force, and then the Luftwaffe during WWII, it saw the arrival of the Americans in 1944. Built in the Classic style, it ,also knew peace. Amongst the Crystal lights it saw the signage of the Treaty of Versailles. The class: http://www.trianonpalace.fr/
And how about that city by the mediterranean, Marseille ,crossroads of races and wonderful memories of my walks in the Vieux Port.  Envy of descending from the train station or gare St Charles into the boulevard taking you to the old port.  You take the boulevard d’Athénes and turn right into the Canebière. The smell of vegetables and the mamies, to the market or  marché des Capucins, and then just there the wonderful district of Noailles, this is Marseille at its best, a historic neighborhood. Dwell into the melting pot of the city into the rue Longue ,and rue d’Aubagne ; smell those dates, four spices, warm milk of M. Jacques, the leaves of fresh brick of the Carthage, pita bread of the  Cèdre du Liban, and the teas of Père Blaize.  Visit the pizzeria Chez Sauveur ,opened in 1943, the first one in the city. Here you try the  « moitié-moitié » or half and half. That is half emmental cheese, and half anchovies. Try the fish at Petit Nice-Passédat , superb; or a nice fish mackerel at  Villa Marie-Jeanne, or the great breads of Dame Farine.  Couple of anecdotes, the Aîoli is always eaten on Fridays for stay thin during Lent and especially the Wednesdays of Ash as well as Fridays. And, it was by the port of Marseille that coffee arrive in France in the 17C and the first coffee shop opened here to the public in 1671.
And one of most memorable moment ever was working in Paris by the jardin des tuileries area and participating in the Fête de la Musique. Well tomorrow is it again June 21st, in its 35th edition Under the thème of « La musique plus forte que … » The Music is stronger than … An event going on since 1982,  and very very popular, so go out and enjoy it http://fetedelamusique.culturecommunication.gouv.fr/
And at the Hotel national de l’Invalides until August 26th the La Nuit aux  Invalides festival. On the banks of the Seine at the shimmering frilly of the Belle Époque, the clatter of the war of 1914 to the cannonade welcoming the death of the King, they are 2000 years of history of  France and its capital that enchant the Cour d’honneur. http://lanuitauxinvalides.fr/en
Until 26 June, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris. To mark its anniversary the museum will be open 30 hrs straight From Saturday to Sunday next. http://www.quaibranly.fr/fr/expositions-evenements/au-musee/spectacles-fetes-et-evenements/fetes-et-evenements/details-de-levenement/e/week-end-anniversaire-le-best-of-36456/
And to the 30 October in Cannes, Salvador Dali ou l’ivresse des rêves or drunken dreams. At the Centre d’Art Malmaison. Over 170 works of art on display. more info; http://www.cannes.com/fr/evenements/annee-2016/juin/salvador-dali-ou-l-ivresse-des-reves.html
Enjoy France ::)
June 19, 2016

Île de Ré, the old Poitou-Charentes

The Île de Ré is a nice wonderdul island , the fourth largest on metropolitan France! It is now in the new region of France, Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentais ,waiting to choose a new compose name this year. The tourist office is here : http://www.holidays-iledere.co.uk/

The new region information page is at http://laregion-alpc.fr/  ; and the tourism office still Under the old name here : http://www.visit-poitou-charentes.com/

I have written before of La Rochelle, where my oldest son studied and we have visited several times. Ile de Ré been just on the other side was not our wish, but due to the National team of Spain staying there while the Euro16 European football/soccer Championship going on now in France, we decided to take a look. http://www.holidays-iledere.co.uk/news/ile-de-re-base-camp-spanish-football-team

Nice  surprise especially on St Martin de Ré. Previous posts on La Rochelle:

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2014/12/30/la-rochelle-continues-night-and-museums/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2014/12/29/the-seafarest-of-la-rochelle/

The ride was nice and we got up early leaving by 6H or 6AM taking the N165 direction airport of Nantes ,Nantes-Atlantique, then Bordeaux on the toll A10, and then La Rochelle on the A83 then  exit 7 to  the D237 , N11  and continuing to Ile de Ré  and then in the island on the d735 and D201 and D103. Coming back we took a more quaint trip going all the way on the D137  passing by the wine region of Clisson into the beltway or périphérique of Nantes into the N844 and then N165 home. The morning ride was foggy and cool at 10C and then the day went up into sunny and 24C as well as 21C on the way back.

The highlight of the road trip was crossing the the bridge linking the Mainland with the island, the Le Pont de Ré, magnificent and 8€ roundtrip toll. In French, all about the bridge here: http://www.pont-ile-de-re.com/

I went straight to the Atalante Thalasso hotel in Sainte Marie de Ré where the Spanish team was staying and to my upsetting disappointment the whole was block by police ,gendarmerie with wagon and steel barriers all even before reaching the hotel!!! http://iledere.relaisthalasso.com/hotel/fr

This is the price we paid by those who do not follow the law, the law abiding Citizens end up paying more. So sad not to see the team. We console ourselves with a walking tour of the town of Sainte Marie de Ré,nothing much to report.  There is decent Church of Ste Marie de Ré, a typical nice quaint market day by place d’Antioche; we had our breads at boulangerie maison Marin, right there, we walked to the dunes at Plage de Montamer, rocky and good for on foot fishing with some white sandy sections ; http://www.holidays-iledere.co.uk/plan/sights-culture/441586-plage-de-montamer ,and a wonderful seashore park, with children playground. tourism office here: http://www.holidays-iledere.co.uk/detail/71062516e35799e1f0d4865e9c0fcbdf/151348

We move on to Saint-Martin-de-Ré a bigger town and nicer, nice surprise in should be a nice stop for all. Here we went straight for the Stadium stade Marcel Gaillard  where Spain was to train during the Euro16. Again ,another disappointment as the stadium was Under security not even parking in the parking area, all cover the fences with a mesh to avoid the view in and not team. due to the terrorist condition the bus comes on training time and leave again, very difficult to see unless you camp out according to the security guard on duty…..arrgghhht. http://www.saint-martin-de-re.fr/fr/actualite/108033/euro-2016-saint-martin-de-re-terrain

We again has to settle for a walking tour of the town. We found parking by Vauban near the Citadelle , first hour free and then for the day 6€. This was a nice surprise as it has wonderful Vauban citadelle fortifications that you can go in into the inner yards of the enclosure, but not Inside as it is now a prison ::)  http://www.saint-martin-de-re.net/decouvrir-saint-martin-de-re/les-fortifications-vauban/

All along the border a wonderful view of the sea and views of the other smaller island the île d’Aix. There is a quaint lighthouse red (phare toit rouge) there and a wonderful harbor for pleasure boats into the center of the town.

By now we were hungry and mostly thirsty so without any real choosing I told the gang to eat at Le Phare resto pizzeria by 4 Quai de Bernonville facing the habor, and it was a 10. We ate in the terrace just next to the water, with a friendly fishing dog that no fear of going into the water! the service was fast and friendly and we had our usual mussels or moules au curry and Rochefort with pizzas, great Leffe beers and desserts like the rice pudding in caramel sauce with express coffee to finish all for 36€ per person, a bit high but good considering you are in a very touristic  island. Local link with more: http://www.trip-iledere.com/bar-restaurant-le-phare-saint-martin-ile-de-re/

We move on to the inner city, visiting the Church Saint Martin, with gothic ruins (from Normans invasions)  in the middle of the high city to be seen from the harbor. Today the oldest part dates from the 15C  on the walls on both sides of the high towers in ruins.  The belltower has a square tower and has three bells, such as the Marie Thérèse, the big one that sounds, the  Charles Catherine , the medium one, and the  Marie Pierre Michel Samuel Augustine , the smallest sound.

The refreshing busy town and the quaint harbor, pleasure marina ,and citadelle and great ambiance by the wharfs was a great surprise and a good consolation for missing out on the Spanish team. It would be a great vacation area combining it with beach there and sights additional at La Rochelle or even further north at Rochefort-en-Mer.

The Île de Ré has other spots such as Loix, La Flotte, Rivedoux-Plage,Ars en Ré, Saint-Clément-des-Baléines, and Phare des Baléines , as well as Les Portes en Ré passing a natural reserve area. Another wonderful spot in France, but they are so many ,can go nuts trying to see them all lol!!!

Cheers and happy Sunday. I will be waiting for new travels expériences soon.

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June 17, 2016

Some news from France CXXX

Again on the French waves in the middle of Euro16, and trip set for tomorrow see Spain in île de Ré, near La Rochelle, France.

The speed will go down again in France. Due to the needs to lower the mortality rate on the roads many efforts are been carried out to minimize it. OF course, the culprits always have to be the speed , but You and I know there is more to that like drug and alcohol the real culprits just will get the govt less money! The affected areas include a stretch of about 20 km from the A104 road between  the A4 and the N2, where each day about 150000 vehicles on average ride by . The record shows that between 2011 and 2015 , this portion of the road took 43 accidents causing 4 deaths and 59 injuries! The idea comes from the Alpes-Maritimes, where since July 2009 a portion of 70 kms from the A8 going by the Var into Italy you cannot do more than 110 kph. Around Tours (Indre-et-Loire), the A10 was lowered from 110 to 90 kph in 2011 reducing accidents and pollution even if 79 000 vehicles pass by this road every day. In  Valence (Drôme) a portion of the A7 was lowered to 90 kph where up to 200 000 vehicles passed by it every day.  In Chamonix (Haute-Savoie, the mayor has asked for a reduction from 90 to 80 kph in around the city at the foot of Mont-Blanc , regularly swamped by traffic. Finally, in Toulouse, prefecture has voted in February that motorists slow down.  It will soon have reduction less than 110 kph on the A62 urban areas. The other axis arriving on the city such as the A61 connecting to Narbonne should follow soon. Source Le Parisien journal.

The new count on the flooding in dept 78 Yvelines (my old home !!) has already declared 54 additional town as disaster areas ;these are, Les Alluets-le-Roi, Andrésy, Aubergenville, Aulnay-sur-Mauldre, Boissy-, BouafléBougival, Les Bréviaires, Bullion, Carrieres-sur-seine, La Celle-Saint-Cloud, Cernay-la-Ville, Le Chesnay (my boys school was here !!) , Courgent, CrespièresEpone, Les Essarts-le-Roi, Favrieux, Flins, Neuve-Église, Galluis , Gommecourt, Gressey ,Guernes,  Jouars-Pontchartrain, Lévis-Saint-Nom, Limetz-Villez, Magny-les-Hameaux, Mareil-sur-Mauldre , Marly,  Le Mesnil-le-  Roi, Medan,Méricourt, Mittainville, Montesson, Neauphle-le-Vieux, Neauphlette, Orgeval , Orphin, Le Pecq ,Poissy , Porcheville, Le Port-Marly , Rosny-sur-Seine,  Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines, Saint-Cyr L’école , Saint-Léger-en-Yvelines, Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse, Saint-Rémy-the Honoré, Tilly, Vaux-sur-Seine, Villepreux, Villette, Villiers-le-Mahieu, Voisins-le-Bretonneux. Source Le Parisien

Only two steps from the Grands Boulevards, the Hotel Panaché revisit the spirit of the ravishing Paris. For the day: kitchen Bistro and inexpensive prices.  And at night minigolf and glowing of the stars.   The hotel site here: http://hotelpanache.com/en/index.html

The Switzerland series are on with Wanderlust, at the terrace in the cite de la Mode for a month of celebrations, but also to electro, contemporary art, cinema, and every Sunday from 17H , literary performance with the big names of Swiss polar. Until July 10th http://wanderswiss.com/

On June 17 and June 20, Placido Domingo fans can listen in La Traviata by Verdi at the Opéra Bastille,  The return of a myth after fifteen years of absence https://www.operadeparis.fr/saison-15-16/opera/la-traviata

The contemporary Los Angeles scene at the Mona Bismarck American Center extended a second show at the galerie Thaddaeus Ropac de Pantin. On play the “Wasteland New Art from Los Angeles”  inviting 15 young artists from the West Coast to demonstrate that the city of Los Angeles is not a cultural desert. Until July 17. http://www.monabismarck.org/programmation/wasteland?lang=fr

http://ropac.net/exhibition/new-art-from-los-angeles-curated-by-shamim-momin

At Rennes, the garden of the Confluence, which meets  the waters of the Ille and the Vilaine rivers at Rennes is regularly crowded whenever a ray of sunshine warms its lawns. The Vilaine, one of the first courses of water channeled in France (from the 16C), The quai Saint-Cyr and the quai to Auchel become meccas of the aperitif outdoor , running, petanque, and the puck on wooden plank , a traditional Breton game . On Sunday, Apigne beach is for some Rennais, including those who do not go to  St-Malo is a nice place to lay down.  Pont-Rean the site of the Boel, a gorge surrounded by cliffs of purple shale is a must see there. http://www.tourisme-rennes.com/en

City of wine or Cité du Vin in Bordeaux by the quai Chartrons at the entrance to the float of the Garonne with 18C homes alongside it and 55 meters long rounded seamless covered with scales of glass and aluminum color plates of gold which reflect on the river. 20 educational artistic themes dealing with the grape and the wine in sensory experiences and immersion, 3 tasting rooms ;auditorium for 250 persons and a gourmet restaurant “7” is done to have a universal approach and to discover the wine in time and space, and not be overbearing. 83 donors contributed a total of 83M € including the city of Bordeaux (38%) but also the European Union (15%) Bordeaux Métropole (10%), the Conseil interprofessionnel du vin de Bordeaux (7%) and several patrons (especially large growers 20%). The admission to the Cité du Vin cost 20€ and inside you have a restaurant, shop, auditorium, temp exhibitions. Such as the Zola l’assommoir or the sleepy Picasso, a Space name Kim Basinger to showcase them. You will see a table upside down,and visual animations to the public and especially children to discover the dangers of wine.  http://www.laciteduvin.com/fr

The Ford is back to France, at Le Mans 24 hrs car race that is and big time indeed ;my favorite car ::) You will see the old Hotel de France at La Chartre-sur-le-Loir.

The first was destroyed to make room for parking. The second, he is still standing. An address known far beyond the border of the Department of Sarthe, even across the channel to believe the registration plates of parked cars . The Hotel de France it is here that John Wyer landed in 1964 at the head of the stable, Ford the GT40 to join the circuit by road!.In those days the last one to leave the road tests sometimes on the D29 road towards Tours or on the long straight of the D304 road . In 1966, Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon manage finally to put an end to the invincibility of Ferrari. Ford carries out even one triple filling the podium with his GT40 V8-powered with a single wiper from a Boeing 707 to ensure excellent visibility in the rain at more than 200 km/h on average. Since this date, the firm of Maranello (Ferrari) has never won the event while Ford won again in 1967, 1968 and 1969 the world most famous endurance test.  The place has not changed much since those days. It has been modernized without betraying the atmosphere. Only the pool has replaced bathing in the river Loir. The Hotel de France has become part of the Ford epic ; 50 years later Ford is back and celebrating it in two ways.

On the one hand with a limited “Black series” throughout its performance range  (Fiesta ST, Focus ST, Focus RS and Mustang). In homage to the GT40 N2, 50 units of each model will sport a black body with the famous white stripes. On the other hand the blue oval brand returned to the category LM –GTE Pro and intends to again write history.

http://performance.Ford.com/series/road-racing/news/articles/2016/06/Ford-preparing-to-go-like-hell–at-Le-Mans-24-hours.html

http://www.Ford.fr/experience-Ford/Evenements/Le-Mans

And of course, the Euro16 European Football championship are still going on and tonite plays Spain from Nice, France, vs Turkey, they need to win this one.

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2016/matches/#md/2

Until next time on the French waves , that is radio and beach , we have it all here ::)

 

 

 

June 16, 2016

Some news from France CXXVIIII

Back for another edition of Some news from France, a popular post I gather. Enjoy France and surtout Paris!!

You have this June 18 the Fête de la Musique, all over France even in my small town, but in Paris at the Esplanade des Invalides (7éme) you will be put in the Canadian hour at 19h.  For the  5e édition,of the night will have 6 artists such as Half Moon Run, Busty and the Bass, Philémon Cimon, Wesli, Les Hôtesses d’Hilaire, and Princess Century. The time to look towards North America.

http://nuitboreale.org/artistes-3/

At my Montparnasse 56 with a panoramic view on top of the Tour Montparnasse (15éme) ,work will begin that will end in 2019.  This will be a total renovation and all those architects wishing to participate can put up their bids until July 13,2016 . You can contact the choosing committee here  concourstour@demainmontparnasse.fr

ANFR (national agency of frequencies), Paris has now 1 150 ‘carriers’ of issue 4 G receiving a total of 2 103 antennas *. Bouygues Telecom, which owns the largest 4G network from Paris with 881 antennas, before Orange (649 antennas), SFR (627 antennas) and Free (243) the distribution of the antennas in the capital can be found on the site  http://www.cartoradio.fr/cartoradio/web/

The Tourist affluence in public transport in the capital, including on the occasion of the Euro16 has been accompanied by an upsurge of pickpockets. Within hours, the police arrested not less than 14 pickpockets surprised in flagrant delictof  stealing. A  Swedish supporter  taken for  €170 at the  station Denfert-Rochereau, a German who lost his wallet at the Saint-Michel station , a Mexican tourist at the gare du nord that lost his  laptop from his  backpack… The arrested, almost all minors, were placed in custody by the police of Paris.  http://www.prefecturedepolice.interieur.gouv.fr/English/Victims-what-to-do/Victims-what-to-do/Welcome-the-public

At Saint-Ouen, 350 antique dealers will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the flea market Paul Bert. The Paul-Bert market led to the heart of the flea market in Saint-Ouen at the end of World War II. This is where flea market in Saint-Ouen existed since the end of the 19C… over the remains of an ancient vine. In 1977, the garage located in its midst has also been transformed  and covered, and took the name of its founder, Alain Serpette. 10, rue des Rosiers, Saint-Ouen. Free admission, open to the public with an invitation to download on the website  http://www.paulbert-serpette.com./

The T11 express tramway will be the first line from the suburbs to suburbs in the Grand Paris area , which will connect Epinay at le Bourget in July 2017,  both tram and train, therefore, the future line will be visible as a streetcar, the Ile-de-France . It is expected that the segment be extended between Noisy-le-Sec and Sartrouville (Yvelines), passing to Argenteuil (Val-d’Oise). This project will be call the Trangentielle Nord, more in French here: http://www.tangentiellenord.fr/

The publication of a first list of 141 communes with the recognition of the State of Natural Disaster due to the recent flooding between May 28 to June 5th, will have an additional 46 communes towns in Seine-et-Marne dept 77. These towns are Beautheil, Bernay-Vilbert, bois-le – Roi, Boissy-le-Châtel, Celle-sur-Morin (La), Chalmaison, Champeaux, chaumes-en-Brie, Chevru, Condé-Sainte-Libiaire, Couilly-Pont-aux-Dames, Coupvray, Coutevroult, Crécy, Doue, Esbly, Ferté-sous-Jouarre (La), Frétoy, Guérard, Isles-lès-Villenoy, Jouarre, Lagny-sur-Marne, Lumigny-Nesles-Ormeaux, Maincy, Marolles-en-Brie, Moisenay, Montry, Mouroux, Orly-sur-Morin, Pézarches, Pommeuse, Roissy-en-Brie, Rozay-en-Brie, Saint-Augustin, Saint-Germain-sur-Morin, Saint-Martin-des-Champs, Saint-Méry, Saint-Ouen-en-Brie, Saint-Ouen-sur-Morin, Saint-Rémy-la-Vanne, Sancy-lès-Provins, Soignolles-en-Brie, Sourdun, Grafton, Villiers-sur-Morin, and Voulangis. Le Parisien newspaper report. Highlights those of my family, and Maincy is where the famous castle Vaux-le-Vicomte is but itself not damaged

Sunday the commemoration of the race Paris-Rambouillet. In 1899, she was one of the first motor races to be held in France.  80 centuries-old vehicles and their crews from France, but also England, Belgium, Germany and even from the United States will start at 8h30 at the Invalides in Paris and will join Rambouillet passing through the Valley of Chevreuse and the Abbey of the Vaux de Cernay. Sunday from  14h to 17h, the car show in the Park of the château de Rambouillet. Free admission. http://www.renaissanceauto.org/

Saint Germain en Laye (Yvelines dept 78). The National Archaeological Museum (in the castle) will open its doors to the public for free. It will be possible to  enjoy unique collections and participate in different workshops around a particular study of the bones of animals. Lectures will be ,also, organised around tours on Saturday and Sunday.  http://journees-archeologie.fr/c-2016/fiche-initiative/3077/Musee-d-archeologie-nationale

The public inquiry on the CDG Express project runs until July 12. This direct rail link between Gare de l’Est in Paris and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (terminal 2). The public hearing will be  Thursday at 20h30 at the Luxor cinema, 170, boulevard Magenta in Paris. Then Monday, at 20h30 at the Hotel Radisson Blu, rue de la Chapelle in Le Mesnil-Amelot (77). Site in French here: http://www.cdgexpress.com/presentation

Val-d’Oise dept 95, celebrates archaeology in the  7th Edition of National Archeology Day taking place this weekend. Guiry-en-Vexin, the Museum of archaeology is interested in the famous Gauls. Far from  Astérix and Obélix exposition this Friday to Sunday devoted to the emergence of trades: will allow visitors to discover their true story.  This Saturday and Sunday from  13h to 18h ,two specialists archeologist dressed in Celtic costumes will offer a demonstration on the manufacture of beads and bracelets.

Why not combine nature and history? This Saturday, from 10h30, an archaeological journey will lead the public to Genainville, Wy-dit-joli-Village and Guiry-en-Vexin (12€) under the label “country of art and history”.

Louvres, the Archea Museum also cooked up a program for this celebration.  http://www.archea-roissyportedefrance.fr/Activites-et-evenements/Evenements/Journees-nationales-de-l-archeologie-2016

This Friday, a conference-visit will present the history of the game of chess and its importance in the middle ages. This Saturday at 18h30 embracing historical humor with the projection in the open air of the series of Kaamelott 14h to 18h. This Sunday,  animations on the construction of the castles will be offered for free. http://www.pnr-vexin-francais.fr/fr/

Did you know that Paris is the world’s most thirsty city when it comes to wines? yes we drink more than any other metropolitan area in the world….Source : Vitisphere  from a study in INSEEC : https://www.inseec.education/

With a wine consomption per person over 15 years of age reaching  5,23 millions hectoliters ( 51,75 liters per person per year), Paris has the first place well ahead of Buenos Aires ,Argentina with 3,43 millions hl, 32,18 l/per/yr, The Ruhr around  Essen-Bochum-Duisbourg, Germany with 2,89 millions hl, 28,5 l/per/yr), London, UK  2,77 millions hl or 27,75 l/per/yr, and New York ,USA with 2,31 millions hl and 12,08 l/per/yr).  Arriving in 5th place  New York is nothing to surprise you as the USA is the biggest consumer of wines in the World. Only that when compare with consumption per person France continues to be the leader.

Hear all about it, as you know France, adopted a change in its regional administration areas from a previous 22 to now 13. Some kept the same name such as Bretagne, Île de France, PACA, etc etc , but the rest change. The nord pas de calais/Picardie  is now the Hauts de France and now  the old régions of Midi-Pyrénées and Languedoc-Roussillon coming under one as Occitanie (going way back to the original name of the area and language). This will be made official in the regional Council meeting of June 24th. http://www.gouvernement.fr/en/territorial-reform-adopted-by-the-national-assembly

Enjoy the anecdotes and stories of the Belle France ::)

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 15, 2016

Some news from Spain XX

And as the Euro16 is been played , here is some news from my Spain. I will be down Saturday to see the team in their hotel at Île de Ré, near La Rochelle,France!!!

The Canal of Castilla (Castile)  was one of the more ambitious dreams of Spain in the middle of the 18C Under King Fernando VI and the Marquis of the Ensenada, his most influential Minister, devised a project to connect the plateau with the Bay of Biscay through a pharaonic network of channels and locks that would extend more than 400 km. In the end, the lack of money and the stoppage of the works by the war of independence, coupled with the difficult  geography of the stretch of Reinosa and, above all, the arrival of the railroad ended up with this dream whose construction lasted almost 100 years ,from 1753 to 1849 and stopped at  207 kilometers, distributed primarily by the provinces of Valladolid and Palencia , with a brief passing by Burgos.

The Canal of Castilla lived his best years between 1850 and 1870, when they sailed nearly 400 boats carried by mules from the towpath roads on both banks of the canal, whose width varies between 11 and 22 meters, and its depth between 1.80 and 3 metersAlthough originally four channels – that joined Reinosa  with Segovia, were planned only came to build three: North, South, and Branch fields.

North Branch: ala del Rey or (wing of the King) to Calahorra de Ribas.  It is the stretch that has  the  greater number of locks, 24 in total, as it is also has  a greater slope: 100 meters.  It extends along 75 kilometers in which intersects the Pisuerga River, in the birth of the channel, and Carrion, in Calahorra de RibasBranch fields: Calahorra de Ribas-Medina de Rioseco: The starting point of this branch  78 km , becomes one of the most interesting and historical travel sections. Here the works of this magna company began July 16, 1753, and it also was the scene of the union, in August 1791, of  the North Branch and the Branch fields at the point known as El Serron ; about two kilometers from Grijota. The Branch fields  has just a drop and only has seven locks all the way.  Among them is the House of the King, an 18C building located in Villaumbrales which hosts the Museum of the Canal de Castilla. This place we can also opt for a walk in boat ‘Juan de Homar.  The South Branch: Serron-Valladolid : This section covers 54 kilometers and 18 locks. Does not present a great height and to be the shorter we can venture to explore it on foot in a couple of days , being one of the best ways to appreciate the rich natural and architectural heritage of the channel in all its glory. Before joining Valladolid, we can find the lock-gate 42, the only one that still retains its original wooden and iron gates, and a former hydroelectric station which houses the Center of management and Control of water resources.  The Channel dies in the dock of Valladolid.

http://www.canaldecastilla.org/

http://www.spain.info/en/que-quieres/rutas/rutas-culturales/ruta_canal_de_castilla.html

And for some enchanting hôtels in castles such as the paradores but others as well my selection:

Castillo de Buen Amor (castle of the good love!)  (in Villanueva de Cañedo, Salamanca) one of the best-known hotels and charming castles of Spain. It stands on an 11C fortress, converted into a stately home in the 15C. It is a singular and unique, building of Renaissance style, built in sandstone. It has five floors, numerous corners  and mezzanines. It has a large Tower of honor, three towers and a moat, which houses the gardens, swimming pool and a small lake.
Palacio Real de Olite (Royal palace of Olite) ( in Olite, Navarre)
He was considered one of the most luxurious medieval castles in Europe when it was built during the reign of Carlos III the Noble. It is composed of two palaces. One of them, dating back to the 12C, has been converted into a parador de Turismo. The other, the Royal Palace, is the most visited monument of Navarra. the most important example of civil Gothic in Navarra  and one of the most notable in Europe. Its walls, towers, arches, stained glass and a myriad of elements of the architecture of the middle ages will make you feel in another era. Public areas and part of the rooms of the hotel are fully integrated in the Palace.
Castle of Santa Catalina (Jaén)
Another of the castles that have now become paradores de Turismo. Located at the Summit of the Hill of Santa Catalina, it offers unrivalled panoramic views of the entire city. Imposing, stands out from afar  Jaen, a historic city, full of culture and vitality. Built on the remains of the old Arab fortress, it belongs to the Andalucian Renaissance and its monumental interior still retains the imprint of its origin as a crossroads of kingdoms, during the 13C. Your  main salon , with impressive arches crossed 20 meters in height, the dining room and great room, make it a worthy of Kings accommodation.
Castle of Sigüenza (Sigüenza, Guadalajara)
It belongs to the network of paradores de Turismo. It is an impressive medieval castle from the 12C, installed in a fortress of Arabic and built on a Roman settlement. It was the residence of bishops, Cardinals and Kings. Everything inside maintains the medieval atmosphere, with its traditional Castilian furniture. In its spacious rooms, four poster beds will make you to feel housed in an authentic Palace Chamber. This Royal fortress, thick walls, has a paved courtyard, a stately dining room, large function rooms for meetings and celebrations and a beautiful Romanesque chapel from the 13C. In addition, its location allows us to enjoy its incredible natural surroundings, such as the nearby Natural Park of the Dulce river and the Gorges of the Salt River.
Arteaga Castle (Gautegiz Arteaga, Biscay)
Napoleon III and his wife, the Empress Eugenia de Montijo, built the current castle on the ancient tower of Defense of Arteaga. Architecture and all its dependencies, conserving the ornamental and decorative elements of the time, will transport you to the France of mid19C, with all the luxuries available today. This neo-Gothic Tower made up of limestone and marble of Ereño is located in the reserve of Urdaibai, overlooking the estuary of Gernika. The Castle has six suites and seven rooms, a restaurant and a large wine cellar.
CAL Raich (Montfalcó Murallat, Lleida)
This rural house built into the south wall of the medieval fortress of Montfalcó Murallat. Dating from the 11C, it is made of stone and has been restored respecting its original architectural elements. CAL Raich has spacious rooms and has capacity for six people an unforgettable experience in a medieval fortress in contact with the rural environment.
Hotel Castillo Bonavía (Pedrola, Zaragoza)
An elegant three star hotel with 52 double rooms and eight suites, housed in a modern building built as a castle, and which resembles medieval times, blending tradition and modernity. The restaurant of the hotel, with large windows and the walls covered in tapestries and weapons, offers typical Mediterranean dishes cooked with a touch of author and avant-garde cuisine.
Posada torrepalacio de los Alvarado (Ribero de Montija, Burgos)
This former Palace of the 16C  tower has been restored to House a charming hotel. It has 11 cosy rooms, fully equipped, and a large area garden, ideal for walks and enjoy moments of relaxation.
The Feria del Libro or the Madrid book fair saw this past Sunday goodbye to its 76th Edition with expected sales of around 8,2M €, which will mean an increase of 3.5% over the previous edition; The 76th edition of the fair, which opened on May 27, has had 367 stands and 479 exhibitors (26 official bodies, 10 distributors, 63 specialist booksellers, 56 General booksellers, 177 publishers in Madrid and 147 publishers outside of Madrid). Its last edition closed with 7,9M € in sales, which meant an increase of 6.1 percent over the 2014 Edition. And I was there when it was going to start ,just lovely Retiro park! AND France was this year invited country! http://www.ferialibromadrid.com/
Marqués of Teran wines are in the “District of the wineries» Ollauri, municipality of the autonomous community of La Rioja. Views of the Ebro Valley and the Sierra de Cantabria, and the building only reaches to see 20%, very modern and comfortable, the rest is buried on a hill in the upper part of the village, an ingenious idea that confers natural air conditioning to the winery. A plus for the ailing ozone layer.  http://www.marquesdeteran.com/en/
The Fernan Gomez theater  and the Teatros del Canal are the main stages of great programming coming up.  In the first, Flamenco Madrid celebrates its second edition, directed by Ángel Rojas and already reaching its Equator  after the performance Juncal Demaria and his work Ana Frank (day 17) closure, is the turn of Antonio Canales, who will be on Saturday 18 June  with Bailaor, where it picks up its main root accompanied by the flamenco dancer Mónica Fernández and other singers and musicians, Juañares, Gabriel de la Tomasa and Paco Cruz.  Also special is the appointment of the 19 Sunday, as well as recommended for the whole family, Movimientos: the dance of the tip to heel… Suma Flamenca, the most veteran, now with eleven years behind them, and which premieres with main feature of  Aída Gómez.  In both, the unique functions of music, dance, lectures and exhibitions around most flamenco. Friday 17, act in the teatros del Canal with Carmen Linares & El Pele, in a hand crafted traditional Canto, while at Cafe Berlin, including this year at the festival, will play Juan Carmona. Saturday 18 occupies the cartel another of the great artists of the time, Estrella Morente, which is accompanied by guitarist Rafael Riqueni, and Sunday 19 becomes the turn of Farruquito and his Improvisao. It is his return to the roots, dancing only, accompanied by seven singers and musicians. On Monday 20, will offer a master class.
And yes always there , but lately the modern cuisine they are stepping up. Latin American restaurants. Past but good.

Latino restaurants have meant a revolution in Spain in the last decade, offering unexplored products and offer multiple perspectives of the kitchen from a point of view culturally inclusive. The Horeca day; The success of Latin American food in Spain, organized by EXPANSION, metropolis and Goya products, tried from different perspectives to this phenomenon, which has also strengthened the links between the two Spanish-speaking communities, on one side of the Atlantic. Impact Hub Madrid, C/Governor 26
And the Euro16, to see it in Madrid ,my favorite hunts of past and present.
La Esquina  del Bernabeu Avenue Concha Espina, 1. (Tel.: 914430675). On the terrace of this bar, located in the bleachers of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, free admission with registration in their site in Facebook.
Sports Bar Casino Gran Madrid. Motorway A6, exit 29. Torrelodones. (Tel.: 91 856 11 11). experience more similar to see matches in the stadium, but with an advantage: a wide range of tapas, burgers, salads… and dinner packages created especially to satiate the hunger during the euro. Animation and gaming complete the programming of this unique place.
 Panenka, Orense 6. | Tel.: 91 546 54 48. This modern establishment has become benchmark for lovers of football and popular destination for many familiar faces. After the broadcast of matches of Spain, there will be gatherings with footballers and journalists specialized in which you can participate any Assistant. In addition, a bartender and a DJ will be responsible for providing the best post-game atmosphere and, if hunger strikes, have a varied menu of appetizers, meats, sandwiches,etc.
Penalty Lounge Bar. Doctor Fleming, 3 (and two more branches) (Tel: 618268072). Match days offer a menu meeting which includes open bar of beer, sangria or soft drink, and varied dishes. In addition, outside of this offer, have glasses import (4 euros), beer (2 euros a pint) and 1 liter (from 6) minis.

The National team of Spain is staying at the Atalante Relais Thalasso of île de Ré near La Rochelle, France (I will be there Saturday!!!) in Sainte Marie de Ré ; http://iledere.relaisthalasso.com/thalasso/en

and the practices held at the Marcel Gaillard Stadium in Saint Martin de Ré. .From June 10th to July 10th 2016. As part of the Euro16 European Football/Soccer  Championship. http://www.holidays-iledere.co.uk/news/ile-de-re-base-camp-spanish-football-team

The tourist office is here http://www.holidays-iledere.co.uk/

And to brush up on your Spanish the local newspaper Loquo will lead you to many exchanges and more in Madrid community region.

http://www.loquo.com/intercambio-de-idiomas/madrid/

Have a great week, already half way to another weekend !! cheers

 

 

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