Archive for September, 2016

September 28, 2016

Some news from France ,CXLII

This is mid week and already at the blog, lol! this is a virus of enormous proportion , when I started in 2010 I never thought it would be this fun, and it has been. Now here it’s cloudy with 20C or about 62F bit humid cool it feels but no rains, oh here is Vannes, Morbihan, Brittany, France.

I like to dwell on some things happening in France in general and Paris in particular.

at the Centre Pompidou, you have the exhibit “René Magritte, la Trahison des images” until Jan 23rd 2017.  More here in English : https://www.centrepompidou.fr/cpv/ressource.action?param.id=FR_R-5eb6563d265bc29ee4435e693f322ec&param.idSource=FR_E-45018ba5-54f4-43be-81c6-dd37eb7844d8

The pedestrian only Paris this year (past sept 26th but will be practice every year)  has been enlarge from 11h to 18h and 45% more space intra-muros that is inside Paris proper. Many activities and shops will be showcase along the routes. More here : http://capgeo.sig.paris.fr/apps/ParisSansVoiture/

Soul Train of old !!! remember the show, now the Mona Bismarck American Center comes back to the source with a program November 12 on films and presentations such as  Shabba Doo, and  Jean-Paul Goude. More here: http://www.monabismarck.org/events/soultrain?lang=f

You can see « Faust »  in the Théâtre du Châtelet, open door with performers with rock of Robert Wilson going on until tomorrow (sorry for late reporting); more here: http://chatelet-theatre.com/fr/event/faust-i-et-ii

Anybody tried the wine apps out there? well not a techie myself but plenty to choose from and more coming up. Wine Ring is one but do not score high with the experts. Delectable and Banquet, works in tandem and they score very high.  A tad below is Vivino, and bit further down Wine Searcher . Not good at all were Snooth, Drync, Corkz, Hello Vino, and Cellar Tracker. The newest one is Omnipair that according to the experts looks promising. I will be far from all of them, but hey you can read it here too ::) More at Bloomberg here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-26/the-best-wine-apps-for-choosing-buying-and-remembering-bottles

You heard here on the CDG Express or the Charles-de-Gaulle Express. This is a straight line from Roissy CDG airport to the Gare de l’Est in Paris for 2023. It will have a price of about 24€ and get you in within 20 minutes. Now, the closest one is the RER B in about 50 minutes and 10€ but going thru some of the worse areas of outer Paris. The new CDG Express will use about 24 kms of the 32K route using as well the line K (Paris-Crépy-en-Valois line) and even the RER B in case of accidents. There is talk of a new tax to help pay for this of 1€ on the airplane tickets with work Schedule to start in 2018. The runway 2 of CDG is already doing preparatory work on it including an underground tunnel to host the CDG Express train. More in French at the  Le Parisien here : http://www.leparisien.fr/info-paris-ile-de-france-oise/transports/coup-d-accelerateur-pour-la-liaison-express-roissy-paris-26-09-2016-6152395.php

The survivor from the Colonial Exposition of 1878, the old aquarium of Trocadéro needed to closed in 1985. It opened again built underground in 2006.  This year it has 17000 fishes and 4 million liters of water to celebrate its 10th anniversary .Aquarium au jardin du Trocadéro, Admission is 19,90 € adults . Open every day from 10h to 19h. On Saturday October 1st each senior paying will give the chance to enter for free two persons between 1-59 yrs of age. More here http://www.cineaqua.com/index.php/en/

The concession for the Jardin d’Acclimatation has been extended for an additional 25 yrs to a group which includes 80% LVMH and 20% by Compagnie des Alpes (also handles Astérix). The gardens were opened by Napoléon III in 1860 and has 60 hectares along the Bois de Boulogne. 18 new attractions will be created including 9 free and 26 existing attractions will be renovated. The goal is to reach 2,5 million visitors per year. One of my family favorite parks in Paris for years… http://www.jardindacclimatation.fr/

king Charles X rests since 1836 in the convent of  Kostanjevica, present day Slovenia. The last king of the Second Restauration ruling from 1824 to 1830 before taking exile.  There is a group trying to bring the rests back to his native France and to the Basilica of Saint Denis, Charles X, the last of the Bourbon kings ,but also his son  Louis de France and niece Marie-Thérèse (oldest daughter of king  Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette) to be alongside at Saint Denis royal necropolis.  Webpage in French here: http://www.leretourdecharlesx.fr/

The others that were brought back from  outside of France are those of emperor  Napoléon Ier, died in island of Saint-Hélène (south Atlantic) in  1821,to joined the  Invalides during an official ceremony in 1 840. Those of king  Louis-Philippe Ier, called the king of the French or « roi des Français » in 1 830 (under a constitutional monarchy), died in 1850 at Claremont (UK), and transferred to the chapel of Saint-Louis of Dreux in 1876.

The opera of the  Fantôme de l’Opéra  will now be shown in by before November at the Théâtre Mogador… This after a fire on last Sunday morning at the theater touching the main salon as well as the decorations.  More here : http://www.stage-entertainment.fr/theatre-Mogador

There will be a new exchange on the autoroute linking the A86 to the N118 at Vélizy. In this axe that will be in service by 2019 closing passing the shopping center centre commercial Vélizy 2  ,and will connected to the street rue du Général Valérie-André. Badly needed as when we lived nearby it was always traffic jams there so imagine now it’s worse. More here in French : http://fva-velizy.fr/un-nouvel-echangeur-sur-la86-en-2018-a-velizy/

How to get around Paris within 3 hrs away , well come to my department 56 Morbihan, Le Figaro says so! And more on Chartres, Reims, Orleans, Dijon ,Saint-Malo, La Grande-Motte, Cheverny,  Biarritz, Le Havre, Sophia-Antipolis(Biot), Dinard, Montgaudry, Marseille, Lyon, Pyla-sur-Mer, Strasbourg,Roquebrune-Cap-Martin,Pommard, La Rochelle, and Les Sables d’Olonne. Of course, all these in several weeks lol! Come to think as people ask what to see around Paris, well the whole of France ::)

And coming up is the Nuit Blanche or white night in France. From October 1 to the 2nd overnight that is 19h to 7h. The transformation is the theme this year and the place tops will be the berges de Seine or along the river Seine. The love theme of course will be here as there will be a walk starting from rue Lobau, just behind the Hôtel de Ville all the way to the island or ile Saint-Germain, at Issy-les-Moulineaux. Many institutions participate on this year themes such as the Musée du Quai Branly, Pavillon de l’Arsenal,  Petit Palais,  Théâtre du Châtelet, Monnaie de Paris, or the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts.

Other places to check it out and it is worth all of it, are (my favorite spots but not all of them) : FAÇADE DE LA CONCIERGERIE (see it best from quai de la Mégisserie), VOIE GEORGES-POMPIDOU (pont neuf or quai de la Mégisserie ), PARVIS DE L’HÔTEL DE VILLE, LE BHV MARAIS ,HÔTEL-DIEU (place du Parvis de Notre-Dame) ,PONT DES ARTS, PASSERELLE LÉOPOLD-SÉDAR-SENGHOR, PONT DES INVALIDES, GALERIES DES FRESQUES GARE DE LYON, PONT BIR-HAKEIM, ESPLANADE DU PALAIS DE TOKYO, 59 RUE DE RIVOLI , ÉGLISE SAINT-EUSTACHE ,ARCHIVES NATIONALES , BIBLIOTHÈQUE HISTORIQUE DE LA VILLE DE PARIS, ÉGLISE SAINT-MERRY , FONTAINE STRAVINSKY (place Igor Stravinsky) , COLLÈGE DES BERNARDINS (corner of the rue Saint-Jacques and rue de la Parcheminerie),  ÉGLISE SAINT-SÉVERIN ,PLACE SAINT-GERMAIN DES PRÉS, BASILIQUE SAINTE-CLOTILDE ,JARDIN DU PETIT PALAIS ,CHAPELLE EXPIATOIRE (29 rue Pasquier), PLACE PIGALLE , PLACE HENRI FRENAY, THÉÂTRE DUNOIS (108 rue du Chevaleret), LES DOCKS CITÉ DE LA MODE ET DU DESIGN ,PLACE DE LA FONTAINE ,SQUARE AUGUSTE RENOIR ,ÉGLISE NOTRE-DAME DE L’ASSOMPTION, and VILLA BELLEVILLE (23 rue Ramponeau). More on it here in English: http://quefaire.paris.fr/articles/428

and tourist office: http://en.parisinfo.com/paris-show-exhibition/135251/nuit-blanche-a-paris

Enjoy it all;until next time Cheers!!! And tomorrow another day off lol!!!

September 27, 2016

Vannes, has it’s days but ,also, it’s nights

Ok so yesterday was time off from work and decided to take a walk in Vannes to some of the places we like to shop,eat,and play .

The city is the capital of the department 56 Morbihan but only has about 55K inhabitants and about 13K university students.

Some of the nightlife is shown here: (in French) ,http://www.soonnight.com/paris/q/vannes/vannes,0,0.html

and this one in French too, http://www.guidedenuit.com/discotheques_morbihan

Well , we started out the day going to Jardiland , the garden store to get some plants ::) the one in Vannes is very friendly and helpful no need to know anything about plants , they tell you all lol! https://www.jardiland.com/nos-magasins/vanes

Then, you go over the market days by place du Poids Public and place des Lices in old town; the best one in the region on Saturday morning but good to stop by even on weekdays for the local merchants around the squares. More on markets here : http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/savour/regional-markets

Here we went for our lunch at Tablapizza ,this is a chain of pizzerias here, but the one in Vannes is super friendly and good food, they already know us lol!!!  They do burger wraps that are sublime and also chicken, honey and goat cheese wraps, and of course chorizo pizzas ::)  and good wine we had a bottle of Rosé from Tavel Beaurevoir by Michel Chapoutier. Like this one; http://www.chapoutier.com/tavel-rose,beaurevoir-2015,wine,31.html

And the resto site is here! http://pizzeria.tablapizza.fr/73203413606738/restaurant-vanes

And to show you some of the nice night haunts of the city, you go to Chicago private club after hours,  and before have a nice dinner at Restaurant Oscar  with great food and good company ; decorated in an American prohibition era design, very stylish, more here:  http://www.restaurant-oscar.com/

And of course for late late night after 23h (11PM) to 5h (5AM) ,Fridays andn Saturdays, you go next door to Chicago Music Hall, great cozy place indeed, just giving you a taste, more here: http://www.unlimited-card.com/commerce/319/le-chicago-music-hall/vannes/

The Chicago used to be the La Bodeguita ;now a bit of video from Vimeo , glad I am not there lol! Enjoy it and do come to Vannes ::)

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September 25, 2016

Paris, the lesser Churches of Paris but gorgeous too!

Hello , to finish my last haunt to the city of Paris, I will close out with two Churches seldom written about but gorgeous.

Paris is a hotbed of wonderful sights and architecture that we seems never to run short of. I have worked and play in Paris for 10 years and still visit every month, but there is so much to see, you find wonderful things to see each time.

In this last trip to Paris I went by the Church Notre Dames des Victoires at the Place des Petits Péres near Victoires and the Church Saint Pierre de Chaillot up the Seine river on avenue Marceau closer to the Seine river than to the Arc de Triomphe.

First, I have written on the churches of Paris before in my posts, here are two of them

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2016/02/20/the-churches-of-paris/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/02/20/paris-the-other-churches/

The one Church or église Notre Dame des Victoires on the beforementioned square is a nice one, in a very popular place. It is a minor Basilica and one of five in Paris, located at the Place des Petit Péres by metro Bourse the closest.  King Louis XIII had it built to recognize the help of upper voices in his war against the protestants in 1628 after the siege of La Rochelle. It was not completed until about 1740, and it is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.  The religious site is here: http://www.notredamedesvictoires.com/?lang=en

The parrish site is here: http://www.paris.catholique.fr/-notre-dame-des-victoires-.html

and the tourist office of Paris in English;  http://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71945/Basilique-Notre-Dame-des-Victoires

You have a wonderful chapel to St Thérese de Lisieux inside very moving indeed. As many in France it got lots of damage during the French revolution being occupied by national lottery and than the stock exchange before finally given back to the Catholic cult in 1809.  The conventional building as it was were destroyed during 1859, and during the Commune of Paris by 1870-71 the Church was again ravaged and vandalized.  In 1927,the Church was raised to the rank of Basilica minor by the Pope Pie XI. Mozart came to prayed in this Church while in Paris. The Church is 62 meters long and 24,50 meters wide with a height of 15 meters, in a Classic style. A unique Church to see in Paris.

The other was the Church or église  Saint Pierre de Chaillot, 31 Avenue de Marceau angle rue Chaillot. The Church goes back to the 11C.  The current Church was built in the 1930’s finally done in 1938.  After , rebuilding the wonderful organ there is now a Festival every two years here ;the Festival Chaillot-Grandes Orgues. The Church is done in a Greek cross style with a belltower of 62 meters.

The Church webpage is here in French : http://www.eglise-chaillot.com/

and the parrish site is here: http://www.paris.catholique.fr/-saint-pierre-de-chaillot-1090-.html

Here the funerals of Marcel Proust were carried out in 1922, with only the statue of the Virgin remaining from this period; the current building is call the ” Cathédrale” or Cathedral.  More on the tourist office of Paris site in English here: http://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71145/Eglise-Saint-Pierre-de-Chaillot

It is an impressive big Church Basilica with great architecture and engrave decorations on the walls, wonderful chapels and a nice modern prayer section; another view of Paris.

Do we get enough of Paris? Do not think so, there is more to come eventually some other day:mine trip is over this time. Until next month….. Cheers

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September 25, 2016

Paris, and the palaces. Brongniart, and Tokyo.

Ok so there are palaces in Paris, you betcha! plenty of them, I just take two in particular because, well, been there several times.  Ah yes do not forget to check the Paris tourist office first, great source of info on Paris as well as the region ile de France tourist office (that is for Paris, Versailles, Fontainebleau etc).  Here they are:

http://en.parisinfo.com/

http://en.visitparisregion.com/

There you go ,now we move on. I had some time in Paris on my last visit last week and took advantage to see and revisit some of my favorite places (see previous post in my blog). I happened to enjoy the Palais de Tokyo and the Palais de Brongniart.

The Palais de Tokyo is a place for the contemporary and modern art exhibits on the west wing,  right along the Seine on avenue de New York and  Ave du Président Wilson.  On the east wing it houses the museum of Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. The building was a series of 3 built in 1937 during the International Exposition. They themselves have separate webpages such as:

http://www.mam.paris.fr/

http://www.palaisdetokyo.com/

There is work going on at the Palasi de Tokyo but the boutique library and restaurants (Tokyo East and Monsieur Blue (best me think) ) stay open. The upcoming exhibitions will be Rodrigo Braga Mer Interieure or Nuit Blanche by October 1st. It is the biggest concentration of space for contemporary modern art in Europe with over 22K m2 of space. Metro Iéna line 9 is closest ; if you live in France for example you can subscribe to the magazine Palais for 15€ /yr. I used to drive up to the back on place du Trocadéro and walk all over; this time I came over walking the Pont de l’Alma. Great place indeed.

The other palace that of Palais de Brongniart is closer to home as a wine aficionado. At the Place de la  Bourse, been the old stock exchange of Paris. Metro Bourse line 3 and ordered built by Napoléon Ier in 1807-1826 (finished). The stock exchange was important by 1885 been the second in the world behind London, and the building also, house the Commerce exchange house. Today it is managed by GL Events to host conferences, congresses, seminaries, receptions, business lunch/dinners, cocktails, galas, salons for various functions, and  expositions. I now come here for conferences. More info here in English: http://www.palaisbrongniart.com/?langue=en

Before in my days working in the city and living nearby, I came here invited by the magazine La Revue du Vin de France (see link my blogroll below posts page) , it is one of the great events of the year (see my post on the wine festivals of France, Foires aux vins) . This is an annual event and if you are close and love wines , absolutely do not miss it. Next one for info is on May 19-20 ,2017. More here: http://salon.larvf.com/fr/

The area around is wonderful with gorgeous walking things to see such as the Opéra Garnier, Place de la République, Palais Royal, Louvre, Church St Eustache, Le Forum Halles, etc etc etc. A glorious walking tour of Paris indeed.

And as the visit is not open to all, we encourage you to contact the tourist office of Paris for a tour of the Palais de Brongniart, it is gorgeous inside, some pictures of my privileged time in conference and of course time for relaxation ::)

In fact, an anecdote is that the palace of Brongniart is still very fond of the Bonaparte family and that is why it is mentioned on their imperial official authorize page Fondation Napoléon, here: http://www.napoleon.org/magazine/lieux/palais-brongniart-bourse-de-paris/

In all enjoy once again Paris, never tired of visiting even if each time harder to find places to go, as once you are bitten by some, difficult to search for others lol! Enjoy it. Have a great Sunday y’all.

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September 25, 2016

Paris ,Galerie Vivienne and Republique; contrasts!

Here I continue on my Paris haunts. For those new to my blog, I used to worked in Paris for 10 years while living next door in Versailles, the best 1-2 punch you can have. I have since, moved to Brittany in the Morbihan Breton for the last 5 years where I currently live and work.

Going to Paris is an every month event even if sometimes the possible business trips do not allow for much picture taking, this time was an exception as I had a whole day and half for me so indulge once again in the city beautiful, Paris.

The Galerie Vivienne is one of the historical cross over existing in Paris where under roof you have stores, restos etc that will take you from one street to the other on a covered passageway or gallery.  This Galerie Vivienne is 176 meters long by 3 meters wide; about 581 feet by 10 feet. The facades of the gallery are found on streets such as 4 rue des Petits-Champs, 5-7 rue de la Banque and 6 rue Vivienne; closest metro is Bourse on line 3 from where I was staying by pl de la République is a walking trip. The galerie were built in 1823.

It has been remodeled and it looks just gorgeous, the new site tells you all about here: http://www.galerie-vivienne.com/

The wonderful  Librarie Jousseaume (bookstore of old and new) and the Bistrot Vivienne are two of my frequent stops there and revisited! More on them here:

http://www.librairie-jousseaume.fr/c/portal/layout?p_l_id=PUB.1044.1

http://www.bistrotvivienne.com/

More on the gallery from the Paris tourist office in English here : http://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/100272/Galerie-Vivienne

Moving along rue Réaumur turn right and head for the Place de la République. Well written on it before, a must in Paris and the center of Parisien intricacies from all walks of life. I stayed on Hôtel Meslay République here on 3 Rue Meslay that I forgot to take pictures but stayed before so have it on other posts on the blog ::) Here is the webpage : http://paris-hotel-meslay.com/en/

Smallist hotel but the rooms in the 3rd floor are big and quiet. Breakfast serve on the vault basement in stones very quaint and of course steps from the Place de la République and the metro. I had my first night dinner at an old favorite simple place good for all visitors , that is Pizza Pino.  There I had my Palerme chorizo pizza with a nice quart (1/4 bottle) of rosé luberon region wine and the café plaisir , sort of coffee and sweets in one plate. all for 26 euros. The pizzerias are very popular and found in several locations in Paris. More here: http://www.pizzapino.fr/restaurants.php

The rest was spent walking around, what better way to visit Paris than to walk and soak in the beauty ,the architecture, the ambiance that is all Paris. You know it, walk and walk. Paris is eternal this way. Enjoy the pictures and Paris!

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September 24, 2016

Paris Arc de Triomphe ,Champs-Elysées,and Alma !

I had a much useful time in Paris on my last visit this past week, actually I think I walked a lot lol!

I came in as usual thru my Gare Montparnasse (see previous entry), and quickly moved to the Place de l’Alma and its bridge and then the avenue des Champs-Elysées and of course the Arc de Triomphe areas. This is a bit of that walking trip of glorious Paris,the one you never get tired of visiting even if lucky enough to live in France…

First, who does not come to Paris and not visit the avenue des Champs-Elysées ….even with all it’s tourist hordes all over ,it is still a wonder to see and feel and locals like it too.  However, I won’t tell nothing new, rather you taste it try it and see it, there is something for everybody here,and the new excellent official site has plenty in English to show you to the things you like to do. Here it is: http://www.champselysees-paris.com/

And for a magical video music from the great French singer Joe Dassin, here is youtube videos:

 

Moving on away from it you can cut across avenue Marceau or ave George V to reach the wonderful Pont de l’Alma and its square of Place de l’Alma (see the flame of liberty from the top part of the statue of liberty) . A magical place and bridge love by all locals and visitors alike.  The bridge is recent, built in 1969 to 1973 and 143 meters long by 42 meters wide with an old soldier Zouave to keep an eye on the rises of the river Seine flood prevention. This bridge replaces one done in 1854 and it now links the  Place de l’Alma on the right bank to the Quai Branly on the left bank. More on the Paris tourist office here: http://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73139/Pont-de-l-Alma

You will see a couple photos from the controversial Russain Orthodox Church been build on the quai Branly with Russian money and some says Putin’s money. The avenue Marceau is a wonderful street leading from the Place de l’Alma to the Arc de Triomphe passing by the Embassy of Spain, the Institut Cervantes (under renovations), and the Yves-Saint-Laurent foundation Pierre Bergé amongst the notable buildings here.

I stop here to have my lunch at the simple but chic  Berts right next Alma-Marceau metro line 9 exit off the Avenue du Wilson. More on the resto chain here:  http://www.berts.fr/o/nos-adresses/

Right by here, you see the entrance to the Sewers tour of Paris, well not my cup of tea to visit sewers but it is popular, the Egouts de Paris ;more info here: http://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71499/Musee-des-egouts-de-Paris

From the square Alma, further down on Avenue de New York, you can visit my old haunts visited many times the American Center of the Mona Bismarck Foundation. An American  contemporary arts center and exhibition place.  And see right across it the Bridge or Passarelle Debilly created for the Universal Exposition of 1900. And of course, the big Tour Eiffel across it.  More on them here: http://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73157/Passerelle-Debilly

The Mona Bismarck was for many years the home of many American organisations in Paris some of which I belong, and now it is totally dedicated to showcasing the American arts to the French public and of course all visitors to Paris. More here: http://www.monabismarck.org/

All in all, you never see Paris, but rather Paris see you, there is much more to Paris than a blog or a post. Paris is a movable feast you never stop loving it once bitten. Cheers

 Paris

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September 24, 2016

Paris and Montparnasse !

On my many trips to Paris now (see my history in Paris on previous posts), once again I got in by Montparnasse. A vast area where there are still many symbols of the grandeur of Paris in the 1920’s and afterward, where I once worked and now go in to Paris at the Gare Montparnasse.

The smaller area is in the 14éme arrondissement de Paris or district in the 53rd quartier or neighborhood. Many people comes here and are told of the 20 districts of Paris that you find in the postal codes like 75 then the district or 75014. What many missed is the fact that since the creation of the new Paris by Baron Haussmann under Napoléon III in 1860 it was created into four quartiers or neighborhood per arrondissement or district ; therefore, Paris has 80 or four per district.

Some of the things to see in this neighborhood are the Barrière d’Enfer on the Mur des Fermiers généraux (the second barrier of roads in Paris today and was the wall set up between 1784 and 1790.  The sculpture of the Lion de Belfort in the Place Denfert-Rochereau (the symbol of the territory of Belfort ) It was done by Auguste Bartholdi and as the Statue of Liberté done by him ,both points in the same direction in Paris. The wonderful boulevard du Montparnasse with some of the most famous cafés such as La Coupole and Le Dôme! The cimetiére du Montparnasse (cementary) where rest in peace such names as Charles Baudelaire, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Samuel Beckett, Guy de Moupassant, Sainte Beuve, Serge Gainsbourg, etc.  The wonderful metro station Montparnasse-Bienvenüe (metro lines 4,6,12, and 13) that links to the Gare de Montparnasse train station. The theater or Théâtre Montparnasse, Bobino, Theater de la Gaîté-Montparnasse, Theater Rive Gauche, and the Theater d’Edgar. The wonderful crêperies on the heights of rue du Montparnasse reminds you of little Brittany or petit Bretagne. The Fondation Cartier for the art contemporary, the Observatoire de Paris, the meridian of Paris crosses the districtAnd the Prison de la Santé or health prison built in 1861 and has held many notables still to this day the only prison inside Paris city limits still today!!!

It is, also, my old working quartier and my entry point each time coming out from gare Montparnasse now. The restos around the Gare de Montparnasse are like my second home for many years. On this latest visit I step in into Café bar La Marine for a taste of some fish and chips with cold Carlsberg beers and a new taste of  IPA rather sweeter brew; just nice ,,,,as always. Great cozy tables and great sports match ambiance; more here: http://www.allomatch.com/bar-sportif/paris/la-marine.html

Enjoy the ins and outs of your blog host ::) Cheers

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September 18, 2016

Josselin, the Rohan and beautiful inland Morbihan.

Ok so yesterday I was sitting at home and as usual late deciders ,last minute travelers, we remember Josselin, a nice town not far from us about 60 kms that we enjoy it’s medieval look city center. So there we went for the afternoon.

Josselin has a nice castle,  puppet/doll  museum , nice basilica and wonderful lovely inner street with wooden houses of old. A perfect getaway for a day any time. I have written before so won’t go so deep into it; these are the last posts I did on Josselin.

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2012/02/02/josselin-a-castle-and-a-lot-more-in-inland-morbihan/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2012/08/07/josselin-a-medieval-marvel-and-a-magical-castle/

We took the car went up the D768 to hook up with the N24 and away we went direction Rennes to Josselin nord exit, on the way back we took the same exit out into the N24 but we took the D767 exit at Locminé so we do our groceries shopping at Moréac Intermarché supermarket; here: https://www.intermarche.com/home/magasins/accueil/morbihan/moreac-04854.html

So now we are all settle at home relax, and in family time.

Today, was European Heritage days Sept 17 and 18, so the admission to all these places like the castle was either free or discounted.At the chateau de Josselin normal admission is 9euros today it was 5€. The combination with the Puppet/Doll  museum kept by the same family as the castle was discounted also, and offered a 2×1 deal for 10€ when normally it is 14€ per person. As you should know this is a historical castle for the Bretons and still in private hands: Josselin, 14th Duke of Rohan, and his wife, Antoinette, own and manage the property

The castle /museum site is here: http://www.chateaudejosselin.com/en/

Next imposing building to see is the Basilique Notre Dame du Roncier, in 808D leyend has it, a farmer who worked the land finds a statue of the Virgin and takes it home, however, the Virgin always comes back to the place where he found it ,and several times as well. The bishop ask him to rend a cult in her memory ; the daughter of the farmer who was blind recovered her sight and people flock to the place until finally a Church is ordered built.  More here: http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/josselin/basilique-notre-dame-du-roncier/tabid/8474/offreid/0fa14f8e-091c-4a1c-a9cc-edca60545190

Another interesting pleasant promenade and river boat ride can be had in the Nantes-Brest Canal that passes by the city and just on the back of the Castle along the river Oust. The walks behind the castle are sublime and the boat rides magnificents, also plenty of canoe and kayak activites here; more in English: http://www.josselin-tourisme.com/en/flaner-le-long-de-la-voie-deau-English

The walks on the city center are marvelous and you can see the oldest wooden house there from 1538 (maison Pouille now the tourist office)  . The district of Sainte-Croix has wonderful homes along the river Oust; the wonderful cinema Beaumanoir is great architecturally and a change from the modern look of cinemas today; see a movie here is gorgeous. Movie info here in French: http://www.cinemajosselin.fr/  and further from the tourist office: http://www.josselin-tourisme.com/en/leasures#!/cinema-le-beaumanoir-796474

Every Saturday at Place Notre Dame by the Basilica ,you have the market day from 7h30 very colorful and good produce.  Josselin is also, a Petite Cités de Caractére (small town of charm).  It is, also, a village fleurie de France with 4 flowers out of five possible; as well as a town of stage or village d’étape.  More on following links:

Village d’étapes offering great service to the visitor label from French government entity, here: http://www.village-etape.fr/wordpress/?portfolio=josselin

Villes et Villages Fleuris , show respect for the environment and great gardens and parks criteria. here: http://www.villes-et-villages-fleuris.com/parcs-et-jardins-josselin_14_21834.html#

Petite Cités de Caractére, small towns with charm label, more here: http://www.petitescitesdecaractere.com/fr/nos-petites-cites-de-caractere/josselin

There, is also, a Chapelle Sainte Croix small chapel facing the castle, and the chapelle de la Congrégation now use for expositions etc. There is a laundry behind the castle by the parking on the boat rides in rue du canal. It is label the Lavanderie.

Lovely day indeed, hopefully took some new photos for this post ….You are all welcome to the Morbihan of Brittany. degemer mat ::)

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September 17, 2016

The battlefields of France in WWI

Dates come and go and come and we sometimes find no time to write about certain dear things to us. This is the case of the Effort of many for a free Europe/World. I am particularly thankful to the Americans ,who I am and active voter from France on all elections. I like to pay tribute to those who fought and or died for our freedom from all Nations in this humble post. I have visited these places one time or another.

I married a French women from the Battlefields of the Marne, American Monument on the Route de Varennes near Meaux, today , there is a wonderful WWI museum there that you all should visit.  Museum of the Great War, Webpage here : http://www.museedelagrandeguerre.eu/en

The Battle of the Somme in WWI was a huge battlefront of 750 kms (about 465 miles) including two periods. Since September 1914 the course to the sea around the monuments of Ovilliers, Guillemont, and Flers. And then a north south line along the villages of Beaumont-Hamel, Thiepval, La Boisselle, Fricourt, Maricourt, Curlu, Dompierre, Fay, Chaulnes, and Maucourt.

It then , came again in June 1916 in the second Battle of the Somme, from Beaumont-Hamel and Bapaume to the north to Chilly,Chaulnes to the south; here the British and French fought side by side until a line at Maricourt. The battle involves about a million men and 200 000 horses as the official encounter began on June 24.  By July 2nd the losses were big already 58K men of which 22K killed especially by the British, their biggest losses up to that point in any war. Total by the December 1916 the losses were big, 1,2Million men out of combat for a total of 3M;the British advance only 12 kms the French 5-8kms alone the line.  Here too it talks about the great British offensive of Yprés from June to October 1917, the battle of Cambrai in November (first using tanks), and the tragic offensive of the French at Chemin des Dames.  1918, mark the commandement unique of the allied army to Marichal Foch March 26 at Doullens, the offensive by the Australians at Villers-Bretonneux, the American monument at Cantigny, monument to the 2nd division Australians at Peronne and the Canadian memorial at Le Quesnel, all evoke the counteroffensive that led to the armistice of November 11 at Compiegne.

You should visit the Historial de la Grande Guerre at Peronne: http://en.historial.org/

You can see the Cross to the 16st Irish division at Guillemont and Ginchy with Irish Treffles  for heroic action on September 3 and 9 1916. Also, remembering all the Irish who lost their lives in WWI.  At Longueval,  and the taking of Bois Delville by the South Africans  on July 15-20 1916. at specific Longueval, we honor also the New Zealanders that took bravery here on September 15 1916 taking objective near Flers the wood of Fourcaux, or high wood done by the 47th London division of New Zealand! You can see the South African memorial of Bois Delville with 63 hectares land of South Africa from 1920. Behind you will find a museum too with a replica of Fort du Cap. The New Zealanders have their memorial with a cross of the 12th battalion of Gloucestershire and the cementary of Caterpillar Valley, Scottish monument of the 1th Cameron Highlanders, 1st Black Watch, and the 47th division with a Cairn of 192 stones coming from Scotland to honor the 192 who felled here from the 9th battalion Highland light Infantry (Glasgow highlanders) and the London cementary.

The Canadians are here too, Memorial Canadien on the road D929 to the right hand side in granite stone toward the village of Courcelette, took part here September 3 to November 18 1916. Losing 24K of their sons. You have the memorial to Newfoundlanders  with 16 hectares done in 1925, you can see while getting there on the road a statue of a Caribou ,their mascot in bronce.  You can see at La Boiselle the Lochnagar Crater of 100 meters in diameter around here you saw the 34th Division of Scottish and Irish, there is a monument with a bas-relief in Bronce of Saint George attacking a dragon, cross of Saint Andrew(Scottish), and a large celtic harp(Irish) with inscription engrave in the stone relating to this battle of July 1,1916.

The great battles around Albert,  with great efforts by the British , the town was destroyed 90% and the town reconstructed with the help of the city of Birmingham in England. You can see the wonderful Basilique Notre Dame de Brebiéres, and not to miss the museum ,Musée Somme 1916: http://www.musee-somme-1916.eu/index.php?lang=en

You sillonned the area and can visit the Monument to the American and French nurses at Chaulnes, a gift from the USA and France Red Cross; at Lihons on August 21 1916 died in combat after volunteering to fight the nephew of Napoléon Ier Marshal Murat, a prince, you can see it on the road entering Lihons coming from Vermandovillers there is a small route on the left after the town cementary. See the wonderful Arc de Triomphe at Proyart , a huge memorial for a small town donated by a rich Champagne men who lost his only son in the war.  You can see the old train line that supplies the front lines, the P’tit Train de la Haute-Somme; and now its a tourist attraction at Eclusier-Vaux for the little train ride and a trains museum. More here: http://appeva.perso.neuf.fr/

On May 28 1918 ,just when the French retreat from the Chemin des Dames and losing Soissons, the Americans land and engage for the first time in the front of Cantigny, and they take the town on May 31.  The American who lost their lives here are buried at the huge American cementary of the Somme in Bony, not far from the imposing memorial of Bellicourt on the road N44, it has a chapel, secretary office, and welcome center. It is honoring of the Big Red One Division on the borders of the town in the road D26 direction Montdidier.(not far from the A16 direction Amiens.

At Villers-Bretonneux, you have the Australian Memorial on the road D23 direction Fouilloy/Corbie, two huge white towers with an even bigger one in the middle and the names of the dead written on it. It opened in 1938 and here it is held every year the ANZAC Day celebration. They were 331K volunteers from a population of 4,9M and casualties of  58500 men including 16000 dead. See ,also at the Le Hamel the parc memorial Australien built by Australia in August 7,1998; free to all with trenches intact.  It is here too in July 4 1918 Australian and American troops fought alongside with infantry, artillery, aviation, tanks, and paratroopers to begin the modern war tactics… More here: http://www.somme-battlefields.com/memory-place/franco-australian-museum-villers-bretonneux

Today, you can pay tribute to these great men in various cementaries all over France,these are: The French are care by the Ministry of Defense and in the Somme there are 20 national cementaries.  http://www.memoiredeshommes.sga.defense.gouv.fr/en/article.php?larub=80&titre=those-who-died-for-france-in-the-first-world-war

and for those seeking a love one this place can help: http://www.memoiredeshommes.sga.defense.gouv.fr/fr/article.php?larub=44&titre=sepultures-de-guerre

A site in French of many of them from many mostly Commonwealth nations here: http://www.picardie1418.com/fr/decouvrir/cimetieres-militaires-somme.php

The Commonwealth war graves commission takes care of the dead from the areas known as the Commonwealth UK, it takes care of 410 cementaries in the Somme along. http://www.cwgc.org/

From the USA, it is the American Battles Monuments Commission, who handles and maintain them, here is their webpage: https://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries-memorials#.V91_-cLr3IU

In addition footnote information, for the Australians the most memorable places other than Villers-Bretonneux are Amiens, Corbie Plateau, Le Hamel, Albert, Poziéres, Sailly-le-Sec and Peronne.

Towns in general of WWI history and conflict are Doullens, hall of the sole command, Froissy, petit train de la haute somme, Thiepval, memorial Franco-Britanique, La Boiselle, Beaumont-Hamel, Rancourt, Longueval, Albert, Chaulnes,Cantigny,Lihons, Aveluy, Soyécourt, Frisé, Eclusier-Vaux, Maricourt, Feuilléres, Bouchavesnes-Bergen, Flaucourt, Courcelette, Martinpuich, Mametz,Fay,Moislans, Corbie, and Montauban-de-Picardie.

And of course, there are many others like Vimy, the Indian Memorial at Neuve-Chapelle, Notre-Dame de Lorette monument in Ablain-St-Nazaire, National Museum of Franco-American cooperation at Blérancourt, the Clairiére de l’Armistice at Compiegne, the Memory of Walls Museum at Verneuil-en-Halate, Caverne de Dragons and Chemin des Dames near Laon, Second battle of the Marne Memorial and Dormans Ossuary at Dormans, Navarin Ossuary at Souain, The First battle of the Marne memorial at Mondement, Vauquois Hill near Fleury, The world peace center at Verdun, as well as the Verdun Memorial, Douaumont Ossuary and Vaux fort.

For me including those of WWII as well is the American Cementary of Suresnes (dept 92 just outside Paris) see the ABMC site above for more info.

Rememberance is to honor them, never forget. Enjoy your weekend. Cheers

Albert Peronne Suresnes Meaux Meaux Meaux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September 15, 2016

There are wine notes, tastings and then there is Parker

BordeauxWell it hit me saw an article on the last tastings rounds of a genius and prompted me to write this post. I love wines, I have been drinking it tasting it since birth, from my grandmother first at age 8 and then onwards to all the levels.

I tried them all, from obscure wine labels and lesser known countries such as Viñales from Cuba to the great ones of France and the Rothschilds. I used to work in a liquor store in Florida, and was in charge of the wine department ordering and replacing bottles, and attending the old fashioned income tax burning parties AND wine tastings.

From attending many wine tastings at different locations and have the privilege of meeting the best growers in the world from several countries most from France.  The pleasure of choosing France the mother of all wine tastings experts, knowledge, foundations. Where else would you see a French grape, or a French winemaker giving their expertise, or French investors on vineyards, or using French oak barrels for ageing, to using the same methods as in France, and then creating a wonderful bottle, à la French even if sometimes ego claims it to be better than the original French wine.

Now it hit me, Robert  Parker is retiring from wine tasting notes; oh mine. I was an original follower who signed up to his newsletters and purchase his books the moment it hit the bookstore; this was the genius of wine and especially French. What would Bordeaux becomes without him?

Robert Parker was a lawyer by profession born in  Monkton, Maryland, USA ;today he is 70 years old!!  He started writing his columns in the fame US magazine The Wine Advocate. He sold his empire to Singaporian investors many years ago.

Between April and June the most glorious of Bordeaux wines are presented to the tasters as each year , this time in 2016 Robert Parker is not there to taste the 2015 crop.  Bordeaux is orphan for the first time in many years; no more the 100 points scores.  I remember when the Château Pavie was given 100 and was helped to raised to premier Grand Cru Classé A of Saint Emilion, at the same level as Ausone, Cheval-Blanc or Angélus!!!

The great French consultant and winemaker of many Michel Rolland said of Parker « Si vous n’aimiez pas les vins qu’aimait Parker, vous n’aimiez pas grand-chose de bon ! » OR If you do not like the wines that Parker liked, you did not love nothing good! He had the world at his feet when announce a wine; such as Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte when in 2011 re evaluating the 2009’s he took the note from 98 to 100 , in one night he push the the sales of this wine by 3X the world over!

He has left some followers such as Neal Martin in The Wine Advocate magazine; and then James Suckling with a great following and after his depart from The Wine Advocate another takes his place such as James Molesworth .

With the retirement of  Robert Parker ,others takes or tried to take his place such as Antonio Galloni (USA) and even the French team of Michel Bettane et Thierry Desseauve . Others such as Tim Atkin, Jancis Robinson in the UK, Jacques Perrin in Switzerland, Jacques Dupont in France or even Decanter magazine, the most international of magazines from UK. But any arrives of combing world opinion on wines as did Robert Parker.

Now , it is not the explosion as before of reading a 100 by Parker as before .Even is some merits such in the 2015 vintage such as Pontet-Canet , Pauillac, Brane-Cantenac, Margaux, Haut-Bailly ,Pessac-Léognan, Pétrus,  Pomerol, Cheval-Blanc and Canon ,Saint-Émilion..etc.

Now, new horizons are happening in the expressway of Napa and Sonoma,  a boulevard of Bordeaux Crus opens up not only of the most prestigious labels but also of those of the Fronsadais or  côtes de Castillon , are founding their place in the Sun.

Saddened ,however, that Bordeaux has lost with the retirement of the guru, “the greatest Ambassador she‘s ever had”, an important trader of the place is difficult to turn the page. Bordeaux must forget Parker because it must. And regret because it‘s worth…Robert Parker.

The lessons are always remember , the memories of his newsletter full of love and energy will not be forgotten,this is my humble homage to a great wine guru of our time. Follow the wine, it is good for you and the soul. It is our blood.

Cheers and in Vino Veritas.

https://www.erobertparker.com/sitesearch/rparker.aspx

inspirational  source in French: http://www.lesechos.fr/week-end/gastronomie-et-vins/vins/0211263727310-les-bordeaux-apres-la-revolution-parker-2026127.php

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