Archive for October, 2016

October 30, 2016

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton XI

And here we are in the eve of Halloween in one of the most Celtic regions of the World, Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh. In the only department (or state or province) in France that is not French but Breton language, Morbihan or Mor=sea bihan=small or petite mer or small sea.

And this is my town , Pluvigner, Breton is Pleuwigner. Arises of the fact that Plu is the root of parrish and vigner is a contraction of Guigner or Saint Guigner who came from Ireland is now back in the 400’s to evangelise the region. We have the Church of Saint Guigner now the current one dates from the 16C.

We love to travel and sometimes we go out so much that we spent little time in our own town. So much friendly folks in a country time warp of a city of about 7000 people. If you follow the Roman numeral in my blog search area you can read all the other posts about it here.

We set out by car (lazy yes) to the main square Place Saint Michel, and there we notice the children’s playground and field where many activities are held, especially the antique cars event; walking we past by the favorite bar in town Le Stadium bar and just after the nice hotel to stay in town if passing by La Croix Blanche with a shot of the main artery of the town or the D16, avenue Général de Gaulle.

As we agreed we needed to know our town better, we head out for lunch to the Au Gout du Jour restaurant. This is a workers cantine open to the public as we are in an agricultural area, many come here to eat. Very French no tourists, and real chow from the country. And of course, who says France is expensive? only if you follow the travel guides written by foreigners, of course.

At the Au Gout du Jour, you have very nice friendly folks where eaten is like a family and patrons know each other. The food changes every day but it is a long list of items. We had for entrée a plate of cold cuts and mussels in tomato sauce, then a turkey roll stuffed with hams and a dauphine sauce, later came a plate of cheeses from camembert to goats, to emmentale , follow by the dessert of a banana and coconut cake in an English sauce; of course all watch down with house red wine, lemonade, and water in a bottle! All for 11,50€ per person!!!

And we took it from there to do more errands in Vannes before heading back home.  temps were nice about 12C or 55F and sunny and no rain! Now step back and enjoy the rest of my four days holiday to think of what to do next. Enjoy your weekend and happy Halloween to those celebrating it. Cheers

links:

http://www.auray-tourisme.com/bar-le-stadium/pluvigner/tabid/8284/offreid/7d19e76f-8b7d-4fb5-860e-485ac68733fe/detail.aspx

http://www.hotel-restaurant-pluvigner.com/315-restaurant

http://auray-tourism.com/restaurant-au-gout-du-jour/pluvigner/tabid/9278/offreid/9a9a43e6-1d45-4bab-b4af-d5995b083e45/detail.aspx

Ville/town page of Pluvigner

http://www.pluvigner.fr/

 Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner

 

 

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October 29, 2016

Halloween is coming around again! and more…

We are approaching the best part of the year for me. First , I have a four day holiday break lol! fantastic time to rest even from those travel days. Then, on the 31st October we have Halloween and on 1st November we have All Saints Day(Toussaint).

As it have it the best are around the big cities such as Paris. In my neck of the wood all is quiet and only private parties and association/churches etc.

You have a Halloween party at the Chateau Parc de Thoiry, scary ride in the laberinth from Saturday, Sunday, and Monday  ,admission from 18h30 to 19h30. You ,then have a Murder Party Sunday and Monday at 20h15 . Admission from 21 to 29€. 20 minutes from Versailles in Thoiry dept 78 Yvelines, best by car , bus on schedule school vacation from Montfort L’Amaury. By car from Paris, take the A13 autoroute direction Rouen at the porte d’Auteuil. Connect with the autoroute A12 direction Rambouillet and then the N12 direction Dreux, go out on panel Thoiry on the road D76 continue straight turning into the road D11 direction Thoiry, you will see the parc chateau panels. More info here: https://www.thoiry.net/en/how-find-us

You have another at France Miniature park, to Monday November 1, from 13h ,admission from 15€. You will see jogglers, magicians, clowns and plays all over the park.  This is France monuments at a scale size only 25 kms from Versailles, you get there by public transport as visitors will use this more , From inside Paris, Montparnasse or La Défense, take the train until La Verrière. Then a bus network will take you to the park such as bus 411, and 412 reach the stop France Miniature.more info here: http://www.franceminiature.fr/en/halloween-france-miniature

Until October 31 you have it at the Musée Grévin for kids 9h to 19h and adults 20h to midnight, admission is 15€; reach it at 10 bd Montmartre with metro lines 8 and 9.  more here: http://www.grevin-paris.com/fr/actus/oserez-vous-tenter-l-experience

At Chessy see Halloween in Disneyland, until Wednesday November 2nd. admission 39 to 45€ . Big is the night of Halloween on October 31 to 0h1 morning. more and better explain in French here : http://www.disneylandparis.fr/evenements/halloween-a-disneyland-paris/#

At the more French parc Asterix you have Halloween too. Until November 2nd , open from 18h to midnight on October 29-30-31 and admission is 38€. You will see new attractions just for the times of a haunted house, where the spirits of some errands pharaohs and a 3D film on Frankenstein. There is the House of Fears for the most daring ones but also, haunted streets or sorcery roads. More here : https://www.parcasterix.fr/en/shows-and-events

For the more active crowds , a great place I know and for Halloween should be superb is the Barramundi club with music from the 80’s and 90’s. 23h30 to 05h30(morning) Girls free, Guys 10€ with pass or 15€ otherwise. The club Le Barramundi has a ethnic decoration from the four corners of our world, sofas in red velours and a latest generation sound system. It is at 3 rue Taitbout (9éme) metro Richelieu-Drouot ,lines 8 or 9.  Print you Pass here (print as many as in your party) : http://www.parisetudiant.com/etudiant/sortie/generation-80-90-en-mode-halloween-filles-gratuit-3/imprimer/pass.html

And on October 31 go up to the top of Montparnasse, 19h to the sunrise! you can print a Pass for a discount  here: http://www.parisetudiant.com/etudiant/sortie/halloween-sur-les-toits-de-paris-afterwork-soiree/imprimer/pass.html

10€ with discount and drink included for the Girls and Boys 15€. superb ambiance guarantee at the LE TOUT LE MONDE EN PARLE on top of the  Galeries Lafayette and C&A stores at the foot of the Tour Montparnasse
4, rue du départ (15eme), get there by Metro lines 4, 6, 12, and 13 montparnasse bienvenue. More here in French: http://www.masoireeaparis.fr/evenement/105/halloween-sur-les-toits-de-paris-(afterwork—soiree)

For the Toussaints or All Saints Day falling on November 1st as a holiday here. This was created by the Pope Boniface IV in 610AD.  On the believers side, it is an important moment in the liturgy as the Day of all the Saints and the occasion to celebrate the example of the Saints. For the non believers it is a day to celebrate the memory of the near family members and to pay a visit to the Cementary. This is not to be confuse with the the All Dead’s Day or All Soul’s Day that takes place the November 2nd. However, folks just go the cementaries on November 1st and even from before over to the Holiday.

What is the link between the two Halloween and All Saints Day, well; most have it that it is a legacy of  Samhain, an ancient Celtic religious holiday marking the beginning of the “dark” season. In Ireland, some monks would have transformed the former worship in Catholic ritual at the time of the conversion of the island, in the middle ages. Costumes and lights were used to find peace with the spirits. The practice would have crossed the Atlantic with the British and Irish immigrants, before flourishing in the United States under the name of Halloween (contraction of “Hallowed evening”, i.e. “the Holy, Holy Night”). On the continent, the eve of all Saints Day was also an important aspect: in France, you take vigil  in the cemeteries, while in medieval Spain, we ring the bells to await the night of October 31.

There you go a bit of educational information. Now let’s get out and enjoy Halloween and then remember stronger our loves gone by. And I am ready ::)

Vannes

 

 

October 28, 2016

And the third time is a charm, Prague and the rest.

Well we are talking about the third lucky charm coming back to Prague, this time took some time into the countryside and even into Slovakia. Hurry trip by car moving fast and eating on road stops but now I saw more of a pretty country.

The tourist offices for the Czech Republic and Slovakia are here:

https://www.czechtourism.com/home/

http://slovakia.travel/en

I have, also, already came two times and wrote on it here:

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2013/11/29/i-made-it-to-prague/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2014/10/22/back-to-prague-and-it-was-nice/

And now its at it again.

I arrive this time as usual thru Prague Vaclac Havel airport. It is in the nearby town of Lestice. And arriving on Terminal 2 is a breeze;more here: http://www.prg.aero/en/

The difference was that I always get a taxi and never a problem,only once had to haggle over a price but was easily settled in my favor. This time I hire the Prague Airport Transfer service for a flat 550 CZK or about 21€ English spoken nice ride and good driver. http://www.prague-airport-transfers.co.uk/

I did some ride into town and did some walking until finally settling into my hotel. A new place very inexpensive and very nice, I have already experience knowing the investment guys in the St Christopher’s in Paris, but here it is call Penzion U Krystof in Praha 10 (10th district of Prague). http://krystof.cz/en/

It was new ,also, to have lunch at the road rest stops like Benzina,Mol, and Viva along the road 1 and into Slovakia.

http://www.benzina.cz/en/stations/Pages/main.aspx

http://cerpacistanice.molcesko.cz/

And of course the Czech motorway info page is very good for car travel there: http://www.motorway.cz/

I did had lunch at a nice stop hotel restaurant Atrium near Brno; http://www.hotelatrium.eu/en/en-contact/

Nice friendly and no English Pizza Next on 131 Zabehlicka street Praha 10, real good pizzas and a nice pint of Pilsner Urquel beer. all for 6€ lol! Cannot find a webpage for them but it is near the Hamr tennis complex on the above street.

Talking about the Hamr tennis sports complex, this is superb, and nice modern facilities. Even a soccer/football local match to watch, and great food at the Piazza d’Oro terrace restaurant overlooking the lake Hamersky. too bad is only in Czech, but the facilities are full, the restaurant was goulasch , rice and a nice krusovice beer for 4€ ;more here: http://www.hamrsport.cz/cs/zabehlice/

I drove by Brno and Bratisalva in Slovakia as well as visit smaller towns like Kurosov, Budmerice, Ostrokevice, and Radnov with lots of country and farms. All nice rolling roads and beautiful scenary. It will be a nice goal to bring the family here for an in depth look. Working on it already.

Now getting ready for a four day weekend in France, colder, cloudy, and foggy weather at around 11C or 51F.

Bratislava Bratislava Bratislava Bratislava Bratislava  brno Ostrokovice  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague  Prague

 

 

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October 22, 2016

Some news from Spain XXXI

So time to speak about Spain, and do stay tune on TVE for October 31, the 15th anniversary of Operacion Triunfo, a TV show of young talent singing favorite tunes the whole group is coming back for an anniversary edition already well known singers in the Spanish speaking world. You will have David Bisbal, David Bustamente, and Chenoa amongst the 16 participants. More about it here in Spanish; http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/ot-el-reencuentro/ot-reencuentro-happy-day-para-concursantes-operacion-triunfo/3758939/

The restoration work being carried out in the South Tower of the Cathedral of Santiago have allowed to locate a sculpture from the school of master Mateo ,the statue is coming from the medieval facade of the Pórtico de la Gloria, which is semi buried in a small cabin on the base. The  sculpture, 1.85 meters tall and probably representing a prophet, could be placed in this location in the 16C, when the medieval facade that then covered the Pórtico de la Gloria was removed. In this place it was covered of dirt and it has remained lost until now. The figure, which has no wings but a Nimbus holder, also a large figure and barefoot, so experts, dating it from around the year 1200, believe that it could be a prophet. The piece is complete with the exception of the head, which is missing, since it was common that when the figures were disintegrating it was withdrawn the head.  More here in English: http://www.epa.eu/arts-culture-and-entertainment-photos/archeology-photos/sculpture-discovered-buried-under-santiago-de-compostela-cathedral-photos-53081078

Bershka Collection ,Gran Vía, 25 metro Gran Vía/ Sol | Tel +34 91 522 20 96 . The famous Spanish brand part of the group Inditex, and dedicated to the latest tendencies of young folks fashion has presented the opening of their newest store at the Gran Vía, Madrid. More here : http://www.bershka.com/es/store-locator.html?countryName=ES&location=gran%2520via%2520madrid#/

The Canada or canyon of the Real Segoviana nestle between Galapagar  and Collado Villalba in the community of Madrid is something to marvel.  You get there by the highway direction to A Coruña, the  A6,until exit or salida 18,direction El Escorial on the road  M-505, you continue until about the km 20 passing the town of Galapagar and just before passing the bridge that crosses the swap embalse of  Valmayor. Keep going for about a km until reaching the parking just before the college(school) of San Diego del Escorial.  Or take bus from intercambio de Moncloa , the línea 661A just to the school of San Diego del Escorial. It has pathways of about 72 meters established by edict of 1273 done under king Alfonso X El Sabio (the sage). Therefore, this road pathways conserve it’s original paths from 13 centuries as when the king walked it they were already done many years before. All part of the Parque Regional de Guadarrama; more here in Spanish: http://www.parqueregionalguadarrama.org/Los-caminos-del-Parque-Regional/canada-real.html

comprehensive exhibition that will take place in the Thyssen Museum, until January 22, dedicated to the Impressionist master ,Renoir, a sample of its evolution and its sensitivity to treat female intimacy. If we are to believe Henry James, the women in 1890 (which are contemporary to the painted by the Impressionists), despite the gloves, parasols, boas, corsets, hats with feathers and skirts that graze the ground, they had a public life surprisingly released in comparison with that of our grandmothers or mothers in the 1950s. But, how were those women in their privacy? The marriageable, lovers, mothers, girls…? That is the fascinating question that is Renoir exhibition: intimacy through five sections titled: Impressionism, portraits, landscapes, family and domestic scenes and bathers. More here: http://www.museothyssen.org/microsites/exposiciones/2016/Renoir/index_en.html
The Festival Movistar + Series, which you can enjoy in the capital from 28 to 30 October. It has change their usual enclosure to relocate, this time in the Chamartín train station. The admission, as always, is free. Noteworthy are the exclusive pre-premières of Buena Conducta, with the Colloquium of Juan Diego Botto, and the Medici: Lords of Florence, with the visit of its creator, Frank Spotnitz. David Trueba and Manuel Jabois, among others, will talk about the limits of humour and we see Mad Men, Twin Peaks, The Big Bang Theory, Mr. Robots or game of thrones, among a host of options. But as there is no space in this text for the activities programmed and not you should miss any. For more information see the webpage : http://www.festivaldeseries.com/
Until October 30 is celebrated in the District of Lavapiés and surroundings the  VI Multicultural route of the Tapas and the Music. There will be about 88 participating bars along the route offer 120 snacks prepared for the occasion. Each one costs just €1.50 and for one euro more may accompany him bottle or Caña of  Estrella Damm beer, sponsor of the event. But the best of this quote is that, in addition to eating and drinking, the party has room for different musical acts and a good number of activities on the street. More here in Spanish: http://tapapies.com/
For the first time Irene Escolar (Madrid, 1988) climbed to a stage was to interpret Mariana Pineda, of Lorca. She was nine years old. Last season, already with 27,she show it to the public. It is clear their “intimate relationship” with the poet from Granada. Just doing it at the Residencia de Estudiantes, within the Festival of (Otoño y Primavera) autumn to spring, reading Lorca, a recital which will lead to the to the Teatro Pavón Kamikaze in November. More in Spanish here: http://teatrokamikaze.com/programa/leyendo-lorca/
The Festival of the Trashumancia will be in Madrid this weekend a bit late on posting but something that is a tradition happening every year and worth the detour!  I translated at best the information from the city of Madrid page that follows in Spanish.

“The sheeps will enter the Friday 21 October in the evening  by the Casa de Campo. They will leave by the King‘s gate (Puerta del Rey)  at 10h (10AM). At Sunday 23 October, they will go on the gardens of Virgen del Puerto, then  walk the paseo of Ciudad de Plasencia (Athens Park) and go up Cuesta de la Vega, Calle Mayor, Puerta del Sol and calle de Alcalá to the Cibeles Palace.  Between 12h30 and 13h a  greeting will take place in front of the Palacio de Cibeles to the representatives of the Municipal government and payment of the maravedis, in compliance with the Concord of 2 March 1418, the good men of the Mesta and the procurators of the Council of the town, with the participation of the Mayor Manuela Carmena. The Herds will surround the fountain of Cibeles nonstop continuing his return to the Casa de Campo by calle de Alcalá, Puerta del Sol, calle Mayor, Cuesta de la Vega, Paseo de la ciudad de Plasencia and Virgen del Puerto, being provided to pass over the bridge of the King  Puente del Rey) between the 14h and 14h30In Cibeles, after the ceremony of the Mayor,  at the  workshop in the Gallery of crystals in which children’s participants will have the opportunity of working with raw wool from flocks of sheeps.” http://www.madrid.es and from the TV station of Madrid more in Spanish: http://www.telemadrid.es/noticias/madrid/noticia/mas-de-2100-animales-participan-en-la-fiesta-de-la-trashumancia-en-Madrid
Vascongadas of Sorolla.(Basques) .Intimate Sorolla. Until January 8 in A Coruña (Museum of fine arts). For the first time, shows 32 sketches made by Joaquín Sorolla (do see the museum of his work in Madrid superb)  for his work Vision of Spain. The work was one of the most demanding of his career and ended up becoming one of its most emblematic products. This set of drawings and gouaches was the result of trips of the Valencian throughout Spain, which attempted to capture spot colors, traditions, customs, festivals and work from different parts of the country.  More here in Spanish: http://museobelasartescoruna.xunta.gal/index.php?id=371
And Halloween is coming and even in Spain lol! Skulls and pumpkins ( Calaveras y Calabazas). Up to Tuesday 1 November in Gijón (Botanical Garden). The Halloween party is just around the corner and to celebrate it as it deserves. These activities, which will take place in various forms until 1 November include gastronomic workshops on pumpkin, chestnut and Apple; children‘s Theatre, concerts, gymkhanas, exhibitions and much more.  More in Spanish here: https://botanico.gijon.es/eventos/show/35597-taller-infantil-en-el-botanico-especial-calabazas-y-calaveras-la-bruxa-curuxa
The Festival Periferias  has until Sunday, October 30, in Huesca (at several spaces). The 17th of the multi-disciplinary Peripheriques festival. In the tight schedule, concerts, performances, fashion shows, screening movies, performing arts, exhibitions, performances of humor, dance and literary tributes are scanned. More in Spanish here: http://www.periferias.org/
A Jazz festival in Madrid!  JazzMadrid 2016; from October 25th to November 30th. Playing at different places all over Madrid, with the main one at Conde Duque 11.  The festival page in English here: http://www.festivaldejazzmadrid.com/2016/en/  ,and the conde duque place here in English: http://condeduquemadrid.es/en/actividades/music/jazzmadrid-en/
Of course, why not take a tour of the best soccer/football stadium of the world and the world’s best club, Santiago Bernabeu stadium (Real Madrid FC); tickets here: https://aravolo.com/es/m.imup.com/tour-bernabeu/tour-bernabeu-adulto/
And how about visit to the tomb of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra at the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians in Madrid, the author of from best the Spanish language is known literally. From 2015 it is a new thing to do in Madrid and well worth the detour. More in English here: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/visit-tomb-cervantes-convent-Trinitarians
And to close out this post, last but not the least, see the changing of the Royal guard at the Royal Palace in MadridOn Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11h (except in the month of July and August that will be from 10h until 12h), always and when permitted by official acts or weather) at the Puerta del Principe (Prince’s gate). The sentinels of the Palace (two on foot and two on horses) dressed with gala – blue, white and red – uniforms similar to that used by the Spanish army in times of King Alfonso XIII, make a changing of the guard every  30 minutes – until 14h-, accompanied by a Fife (piccolo‘s high-pitched tone used in military bands) and a drum to interpret military marches following orders and regulations voices. More here in Spanish, (English is not available): http://www.esmadrid.com/cambio-de-guardia-en-el-palacio-real
Until next time by Spain, enjoy , Spain everything under the Sun ! Cheers
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October 20, 2016

The wines of Bordeaux

I am a wine aficionado since had my first taste of it by my grandmother at the tender age of 8. Traveling allow me to visit many wine estates in many countries from Chile to Germany passing by France, of course my favorite. And amongst the favorites areas Bordeaux reign supreme. Many tried to imitate and even think of surpassing it but never never never; Bordeaux is it. UNESCO calls on France as the World Heritage Intangible site on Gastronomy and Wines for a reason. The first way back in 2010: http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/RL/gastronomic-meal-of-the-french-00437

I have written before on Bordeaux and its wines here: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/02/19/bordeaux-its-wines-its-beaches-sublime/

And Bordeaux does not disappoint us again this year with a 19% increase in production. The official governing body or the  Conseil interprofessionnel du vin de Bordeaux (CIVB) predicts at least 5,5 millions hectoliters, or a volume even higher than last year. Considering that only Alsace and Bordeaux had a 19% progression in comparison with last year; and the only vineyard area in France to held head high in a tough year that saw France as a whole come down by 12% in its wine production in 2016 with a total production of 42,2 hectoliters.

The Bordeaux region is located on the Atlantic ocean and on the left and right banks of the Gironde river. With its 119 000 hectares and its 60 appellations, the Bordeaux region represents the largest French AOC vineyard. Divided into five sub-regions are the Medoc, the Graves, Entre-Deux-Mers, rive droit and Sauternes, the region has a temperate oceanic climate. Its soils are rather argilo-limestone, Sands and gravel are found in the area of Graves.  The main red grape of the region are merlot, cabernet-sauvignon and cabernet franc. The three white grapes are Sémillon, sauvignon and muscadelle. The Bordeaux region produces 90% of red wines, and is the largest exporter of  AOC wines. All major wine regions of the world, Bordeaux produces the highest level of quality with regularity. It is perhaps for this reason that Bordeaux is still today one of the most beautiful displays of French wineThe Bordeaux region has different rankings, which reward both the quality of the soil and the work done. The most well-known in-between are the classification of 1855, classification of Graves, Saint-Emilion ranking and the ranking of the Crus Bourgeois of the Médoc.
The Entre-Deux-Mers  is a vast region located some 80 kms southeast of the city of Bordeaux. As its name suggests, this geographical area is wedged between two large rivers: the Dordogne to the North, and the Garonne River to the South. The Entre-Deux-Mers form the AOC wine-growing zone the more extensive of Francer with a size of about  7000 hectares,and a production of about 335 000 hectoliters.  Some of the known areas are the  Côtes de Bordeaux,  Cadillac, Loupiac, Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux,and Bordeaux-Haut-Benauge. Most use the appellation name of  Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur. 
The Graves region is located south of the Médoc on the left bank of the Gironde river between the city of Bordeaux and Langon in about 60 kms. This region represent about  4.4% of the vineyard land in Bordeaux producing about  240 000 hectoliters per year.  It is about 73 % in red wines and  27 % for whites and sweet wines.  The main areas are the Graves, Graves Supérieurs (only for sweet or moelleux wines) ,and Pessac-Léognan. At Pessac-Léognan created in 1987, there is the only and one Château Haut-Brion the only one here designated as First Grand Cru in 1855 classification
The Médoc  is located in the left bank of the Gironde river and extends over 60 kms north to south and 10 kms wide covering 10 600 hectares of vineyards. The production is all red wines with about 300 000 hectolitersIt has several appellations of great renown and my favorite of all such as Haut Médoc, Médoc, Saint-Estèphe, Pauillac, Saint Julien, Listrac-Médoc, Moulis-en-médoc ,and Margaux as the main ones. The sub region is divided into 60 grand crus from the 1855 classification or about 20% of the area production and the main ones are Château Lafite Rothschild (Pauillac) Château Latour (Pauillac), Château Margaux (Margaux), Château Mouton Rothschild (promoted in 1973) ,and Château Haut-Brion (Pessac-Leognan  région of the Graves).
The Right Bank (rive droite) region, on the right bank of the Gironde and Dordogne river north of the Bordeaux area. It encompasses the sub regions of Bourg and Blayes, on the middle of the Libourne with Saint-Emilion, Pomerol,Fronsac, and Castillon.  The land is argile calcaire (Fronsac, Saint-Emilion) and stones (Pomerol).  The wines are mostly red.
The area of the Sauternais or Sauternes is located about 50 kms southwest of Bordeaux on the left bank of the Garonne river.  The vineyards of  Barsac and Sauternes are in this area. It  has a production area of 900 hectares for Barsac and 1 400 hectares for Sauternes with an average output of 35 000 hectoliters per year. The appellation encompasses five towns such as Sauternes, Fargues, Preignac, Bommes ,and Barsac.  Well noted Barsac has its own appellation and on certain years it can choose it or Sauternes. The area is cross by the Ciron river and the wines are about 80% whites with the main ones as  Château d’Yquem (only 1er Grand Crue from the 1855 classication) . However, many others are premiers crus such as Château Rieussec, Château La Tour Blanche, Château Caillou, and Château Lamothe.
Some of the places that I purchase wines here all good, when not visiting the properties here are
Nicolas (my favorite) : http://www.nicolas.com/
and of course many hypermarkets as well.
In vinos veritas ,enjoy it fully ::)
Bordeaux
October 19, 2016

Some news from France CXLV

Here I am again, so fast  ::) yes there are things going on even the All Saints’ day in France, Toussaint.

The Tour de France of cycling will start from Düsseldorf, on July 1, 2017 . It will be hit’s 20th starting from abroad and its fourth from Germany. The riders of the ‘Grande Boucle’ were indeed  in  1965 Cologne, Frankfurt in 1980, and West Berlin in 1987. After Germany, the peloton of the Tour, which will take a total of 3.516 km, will also make a foray in Belgium and then in the Luxembourg. In France, the beautiful part will be made in the mountain stages, with five massive crossed: the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Massif central, Vosges and the Jura . The race ends with a time trial in Marseille, before a last step to the departure of Montgeron,  in the Essonne department 91 (city that welcomed, in 1903, the first start of the Tour de France) and arrival , as per usual, on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. Previously, the 198 riders will cross, the nave of the Grand palais in its full length which will be impressive indeed; simple the best on bikes.
The history of Paris is jealously guarded at the Musée Carnavalet. A rich collection of about 613,000 works that goes from the Mesolithic to the present day. For the first time since its opening in 1880, the Museum Carnavalet, located in the heart of the Marais, in the 4éme arrondissement or district, will have a full move as it has known extensions, renovations, or the union in 1989 with the hotel Peletier of Saint – Fargeau. The Museum, which spans some 14,000 m2, will be completely empty, and the works stored north of Paris in temporary offices . The closure of the Museum to the public, on October 2, and will continue until the beginning of 2017.
The first vacation of the year indeed begin on Thursday and end two weeks later, on Thursday, November 2. “the school year has thirty-six weeks in the less divided into five periods of work, of comparable length, separated by four holiday periods. Or periods of work about seven weeks, separated from two weeks of vacation on average. Respecting this rule, holidays should begin on 14 October and students home on 31 October. On the eve of 1 November. “exceptional holiday toussaint this year.” Vacation heavens of France. I will be off Oct 31 and Nov 1 which will make a four day weekend Vive la France!
One that I have been with my kids is still going strong at Les Ferme de Gally à Saint-Cyr-l’École ; From 26 to 31 October, young and old can thus have fun digging a pumpkin. Before or after, they will go to meet the animals, will walk and visit buildings decorated in the colours of autumn. And each will leave with his masterpiece. More here : http://www.ferme.gally.com/_magasin-horaires-et-plan-d-acces-jardinerie
Ludwig van“, the Beethoven myth . The expo is made fun with an audio guide and a booklet for children from 7 years old. Extracts of letters of Beethoven, excerpts of the composer‘s work, the sound the tone shifted course staged a Ludwig parachuted in the 21st century. Possibility to start family with a workshop that addresses the major themes of Beethoven with a variety of musical instruments. Until January 29 2017. More here : http://philharmoniedeparis.fr/fr/activite/exposition/17348-ludwig-van
And on June 17 2017 we have the exposition Espèces d’Ours or the  world of bears in the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution, jardin des plantes, more here; http://especesdours.grandegaleriedelevolution.fr/en
“Doctor Strange in preview (age 10 and up); Fans of the Marvel Universe have appointment on 25 October at the Grand Rex  for exceptional projection of the adventures of doctor Stephen Strange, Scott Derrickson. More here : http://www.legrandrex.com./
Cinekids (age 7 and up) , Be not afraid! Costumes in order to participate in the Halloween special screening on October 30 at the Forum of images (1éme). On the screen, the mouse of Gore Verbinski (Rango, 2011): a House haunted by a small mouse ready to do anything to scare off newcomers… A funny and hilarious movie. More here; http://www.forumdesimages.fr/les-programmes/cinekids-saison-2016-2017/la-souris
Where else but France and Paris in particular. Enjoy it. Oh yes temps is 61F or about 15C afternoon. Cloudy cool yes ,yes it is la vie est belle! Cheers

 

October 18, 2016

Some news from France CXLIIII

Well been busy and a bit behind on my blog, but will catch up. Today more of the Fall season and the days becoming shorter or darker, temps about 15C or 62F and cloudy cool humid, real Breton ambiance!

Check out the food for cold days and cloudy nights, at Les Fondus de la Raclette, a wonderful resto in Paris where to try the great Raclette, a dish we do at home often and even more in Fall/Winter time like now. http://lesfondusdelaraclette.com/

In the Théatre du Palais Royal see the exibition until January 8 2017 of Edmond Rostang; a new work to see,that was not written yet but eventually only had a name,Cyrano de Bergerac more here http://theatrepalaisroyal.com/edmond/

Some things to do in Marseille, more than the usual sites  , a city have been and love the vieux port area. See the Vieille Charité built in 1640 to care for the poor people. http://vieille-charite-marseille.com/

See the Grotte Cosquer  by the cap Morgiou in the Calanques between Marseille and Cassis . It was discovered in 1991 by Henri Cosquer, at 37 meters above sea level ; it has three rooms with only one decorated see more here: in French; http://www.marseilletourisme.fr/grotte-cosquer/

Visit the Calanques is a must. All in French here: http://www.calanques13.com/

At the Picasso Museum, until February 5 ,2017 you see an exhibition of two great masters Picasso and Giacometti , Picasso of the giant protean work , violent and voluptuous and Giacometti known for his three dimensional distant and elongated style. More here: http://www.museepicassoparis.fr/picasso-giacometti-2/
Discover immediately at the Théatre du Rond-Point and the play  “The cry of the potato of Connecticut”, the poem absurd and hilarious by comic traveler Patrick Robine, staged by Jean-Michel Ribes affectionately done. Until October 30th , last one hour.  More here in French: http://www.theatredurondpoint.fr/spectacle/le-cri-de-la-pomme-de-terre-du-connecticut/
Museum promenade of Marly-Louveciennes.  According to management, at least 300 works of art on the 3,000 that the Museum would have suffered from the sudden flood that occurred Saturday night in the basement, following a burst pipe the historical collection is intact. The affected objects are from  the graphic arts supply. Fortunately, none seems unrecoverable for the time being”the Museum closed to the public”until further notice “. It evokes a minimum duration of six weeks. This is a beautiful site off the beaten path you all should plan on visiting, it is near where I used to live in Versailles; more here :http://www.musee-promenade.fr/
The association of the friends of the organ of Senlis to restore the great organ of the Cathedral. The rehabilitation is expected to be completed by 2020 the city of Senlis expends on  average 1 M€ annually for the maintenance of its rich historical heritage. In near future, the walls of the city, the West portal of the Cathedral or the hotel of the Vermandois could benefit from the same patronage.  More on the organs here: http://orguesfrance.com/SenlisCathedrale.html
Michel Colucci or the great comedian Coluche will have an exhibition of his life and belonging in the hotel de ville de Paris until January 7 2017. More on the city of Paris webpage here in French: http://www.paris.fr/actualites/c-est-l-histoire-d-un-mec-4011
Until October 23rd on 19 train stations in France;Chefs de Gare ,  such as  Amiens, Agen, Avignon TGV, Dijon,Limoges Bénédictins, Lille Flandres, Lyon Part Dieu, Marseille Saint Charles, Metz Ville, Nantes, Paris gare du Nord, Paris Est, Paris Saint Lazare, Paris Bercy Bourgogne-Pays d’Auvergne, Paris gare de Lyon, Paris Montparnasse, Reims, Strasbourg, and Tours  you will have a chance to taste the gastronomy Française with local chefs, more in French here: http://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/actualites/chefs-gare-gastronomie-entre-gare
The Opéra de Paris honored the choreographer George Balanchine, gone in 1983, with four ballets programme from October 22nd to November 15 2016; these are Mozartiana, that gave him a start, Sonatine, created in 1975  with sharing on Maurice Ravel, Brahms-Schönberg Quartet  and the Violin Concerto. The decoration will be by Karl Lagerfeld. More here: https://www.operadeparis.fr/saison-16-17/ballet/george-Balanchine
And until next time, stay safe, be good and enjoy travel a nice way of life indeed;Cheers
ps oh yes we work less and enjoy it more see picture lol!!!
Pluvigner
October 13, 2016

And Dublin is a lot more than just green!

Well for many  years heard of Dublin  ,in fact used to lived near a neighborhood that was call Dublin for the many Irish immigrants there. Now finally, I made it to Dublin, Ireland. The tourist office is here: http://www.visitdublin.com/home

I came over as usual doing a round trip, flying this time from Rennes St Jacques airport to Paris CDG T2E ,change to T2G for the flight from CDG to Dublin terminal 1. Easy nice connections and good parking at Rennes; if only I arrived very early by 5h15 (5:15am) to open the airport lol! The Rennes airport site is here: http://www.rennes.aeroport.fr/en

And this is Dublin airport site: https://www.dublinairport.com/

Once in Dublin, took the tourist way (not the taxi) but the airlink express bus to city center; 6€ one way or 10€ roundtrip purchase. Easy and convenient as it drops you off in the main areas of Dublin central.  Took bus 747 here is the site and schedule: https://www.dublinbus.ie/Your-Journey1/Timetables/All-Timetables/74711/

I headed straight to my hotel for check in, this was the historically wonderful The Gresham Hotel at O ‘Connell street; third floor and very nice service indeed.  The site here: https://www.dublinbus.ie/Your-Journey1/Timetables/All-Timetables/74711/

Once in the room, took a right turn out the door to see the city the best way walking both ends of O’Connell St. I went passed the wonderful Ambassador Theatre at Upper O’Connell Street; this is a like a roman amphitheater shape really nice even if no time to see a show, looks promising for next time. Webpage here: http://ambassadordublin.com/

Right pass it you see a wonderful church, Abbey Presbyterian Church at Parnell Square, beautiful architecture indeed and worth a look inside which no time this trip. Webpage is here: http://www.abbeychurch.ie/

I continue my walks , across the hotel almost, you see the General Post Office ; done in 1818, also, the building where the free Irish Republic took HQ here in 1916. It is now a museum post office, more here:  http://www.anpost.ie/AnPost/History+and+Heritage/Home/

Up the O’Connell street by the abbey church you have the Garden of Remembrance Irish Freedom park; a lovely place full of history and nice architecture statues; more here: http://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/details/garden-of-remembrance/31215/#53.353936|-6.264127|16

You can see the wonderful Epic Ireland showing the heritage of Ireland for more than 70 million people; a glowing show, and a must to see:  more here: http://epicirelandchq.com/

How about a walk to Temple Bar, well it is more than a bar which it has one, but also a district full of life best at night, just perfect, I could stay here for years!!! Just over the river Liffey passing thru Dublin. See the wonderful Samuel Beckett bridge that can be moved ! or the O’Connell bridge my passing bridge. More on the bridges here: http://www.bridgesofdublin.ie/browse

Of course, I did stop to eat and drink a must in Dublin ::) Look at this friendly bar the Parnell Heritage Pub off the ambassador theatre, and the service and food was great, the best fish and chips I ever had with the Clonmel 1650 Irish lager beer just wonderful for 21€. More on parnell here: http://theparnell.com/

Continue into my walks you see the Spire of Dublin a needle type tower 121 meters high just be ready to bend your head this is high indeed right on O’Connell Street; more on it here: http://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/details/the-spire/31186/#53.350921|-6.260294|16

You see around here the Charles Stewart Parnell statue; he was the leader founder of the Irish Parlamentary party.  A nice place to stop from a historical point of view. More on him and the statue here: http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/an-irishman-s-diary-1.593341

You can see the O’Connell Monument, the memorial toDaniel O’Connell, a 19C nationalist leader of which the main artery street is name after.  See more on him here: http://www.danieloconnells.com/about-daniel-oconnell/

I came across a nice building that is the Gate Theatre, founded in 1928; another wonderful architecturally done place of fun right on by the city center and O’Connell Street and Parnell Square . More on this one here: http://www.gatetheatre.ie/

I did passed by the Dublin Writers museum showcasing the history of Irish great storytellers, a quaint old building that is the perfect place to go in and read books and plays; more here: http://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/details/dublin-writers-museum/31258/#53.354366|-6.263985|16

I ate and drank at the hotel and again came back for drinks at the Parnell Heritage Pub, great place. However, for dinner headed to the Winding Stair resto by the temple bar district. It is, also, kept the tradition of the bookstore it was. Now the restaurant is a lot of fun, great friendly service and good food.  My food here was the McLoughlin’s pressed corned brisket terrine with pickled shallots, capers, dalkey mustard and sourdough toast €12.95 as entrée and the Char-grilled 28 day dry-age Irish beef strip-loin steak with sticky onions, roasted garlic truffle butter and homemade chips €28.00 as main dish. Plenty of Languedoc of France red wine had a bottle as this Domaine de la Provenquiére 2014 Merlot Languedoc 26€: ; with coffee to end it all. Classy place see more of it here:  http://winding-stair.com/about-us/

Of course walking around Temple Bar district, and so many choices, did not go to the Temple Bar bar, as such, here: http://www.thetemplebarpub.com/

I will just have to be back, and soon to Dublin, great trip even if a short one. It’s now on my list of places to visit with the family. Wonderful Dublin. Enjoy it and cheers around Temple Bar.

Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin Rennes Rennes Rennes

 
October 8, 2016

Vannes and just getting around town again !!!

Ok so just a cool day ,it seems Fall is here and now we get 16C or about 62F and tomorrow rain announced. My father was visited this morning and now ok to go out Monday so that is good news and doing just great; my son will get him at the hospital. I am on my way to Dublin and need to get up at 3h or 3am to get to the airport at Rennes! of course will be in Dublin before midday tomorrow!!!

Here in Vannes we had a normal day. First, the post office to send out those letters; then the bank to drop off the slip my sons got their new debit cards, and then we headed for Vannes giving time to visit my father.

All around the Le Port or pleasure marina harbor today there were music group presentation and exhibition of local crafts, very lively indeed. The harbor or Le Port is the heart of all that is going on here: more info in French from the city page here: http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/port-de-plaisance/

We parked on the other side of the canal by rue du commerce , for free, right by the canal that leads into the harbor and the out into the Gulf of Morbihan. A great fantastic medium of relaxations, boats, people, and just plain fun.

We had our apero lunch at le P’tit Belon (previous from early in the 20C it was called the Café de Manu) oyster bar right behind the covered fish market, Halles aux Poissons, and on a market day like today even better. The market covers many streets but primarily the squares of place des lices and place du poids public.  Here we had our Fischer beers (2)(Alsace), saussison sec bellota ham , 6 oysters, and sandwiches of bellota hams and cheese all for about 8€ per person.  no webpage but easy to find, at 3 place de la Poissonnerie.

On our way out near the Porte Saint Vincent coming out into the place Gambetta you have the bakery Saveurs du Port, delicious sweets and even better breads of chorizo, lardon, and champagne tradition as well as the usual baguette. We grab them all! and will be part of our dinner tonite.  More in English from Vannes tourist office here: http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/activities/Shopping/foodstuffs/819497-saveurs-du-port

Finally, to end our day in the Capital city, we did our groceries or courses at the Carrefour hypermarket near the road N165. And we saw an interesting wallpicture of the Chateau de l’Hermine of such fame here, the original is right by the ramparts. Doing groceries is not my cup of tea and insist on doing it fast, not an easy task with so many individuals in the family but that is part of the fun of shopping together. Carrefour is nice indeed at least in Vannes. It has several stores and restaurants inside for a mini shopping center as well more here: http://www.carrefour-vannes.fr/infos-pratiques/

And now it’s time to pack and have some dinner snacks , get some sleep and be ready for tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday in Dublin. More to come , enjoy it; have a great Sunday and back writing again, smile on my face! Thanks to all well wishes for my father, really appreciated. Cheers

Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes

 

 

 

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October 8, 2016

Some news from France CXLIII

Ok so another weekend and here I am before my next trip. Nostalgia of leaving on business trip and my father still in hospital ,doing better, but still for a few days more. Hard to go by his room and not there, eerie feeling of things that hope will give me a few more years.  Yesterday in Vannes temp was about 15C or 62F aprox. cloudy and it looks as Fall is here to stay.

Some of the latest news from France and Paris in particular dear to me are as follows:

The extension work of the tennis Stadium Roland Garros of the porte d’ Auteuil, where stands the second lifting of the Grand Slam of the year, can resume construction pending the judgment planned before the end of the year.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). Born in Dublin; the almost universal celebrity of the author of The Portrait of Dorian Gray, translated in all languages and illustrated one hundred times, will have an exhibition “Oscar Wilde, the absolute impertinent”, – so informative that it would be enjoyed longer at the Petit Palais . A first in Paris, although Wilde has often stayed there, he is buried in the cemetery of Père Lachaise in a monumental Tomb in sphinx androgynous figures. Wilde was a rabid celebrity and entertainment idol.

Marc Chagall in particular: violinists, the lovers on their cloud, the Red roosters and donkeys Green Apple, very little for us… And yet! When the former Director of the Foundation Maeght in St. Paul-de-Vence (Alpes-Maritimes), Jean-Louis Prat, designed an exhibition in Landerneau (Finistère) on this strange artist, we say it must be seen. some 300 works of art – paintings, sculptures (these are less well-known), drawings or prints – from the exhibition. We discover a friends Chagall of writers of his time, but also familiar with the maestro such as Malraux (which binds a beautiful friendship which will culminate with the command of the ceiling of the Paris Opera, including the model shown), but also the Don Quixote of Cervantes. Louis Aragon, but also Nicolas Gogol; Jean Paulhan and Jean Fontaine; the Decameron of Boccaccio, as the Bible… When the imagination of Chagall confronts the words, his painting frequents anyone. “Chagall, from poetry to painting”. Fund Helene & Edouard Leclerc for the culture, the Capuchins, Landerneau (Finistère). Tel.: 02-29-62-47-78. Every day from 10 to 18 hours. Until November 1. €35. www.Fonds-Culturel-Leclerc.fr

And more here : http://www.lemonde.fr/arts/article/2016/10/05/la-peinture-de-chagall-tout-un-poeme_5008277_1655012.html#JGlqgwMEdpaumFeg.99

Manuel Falla at his best in Volver Amar with Olivia Ruiz playing at the Théatre Chaillot, more here; http://theatre-chaillot.fr/jean-claude-gallotta-olivia-ruiz-volver

The July column(colonne de juillet) , which stands in the middle of the place de Bastille since 1840. An injustice soon repaired  in the spring of 2018, the lower parts of the  column , containing the tombs of 700 revolutionaries in 1830 and 1848, will reopen to the public after more than 30 years of closure. But the real revolution will take place with the redevelopment of the place by the city by 2018-2019. It plans to create a vast pedestrian median meeting the monument to the basin of the Arsenal.  19. This is the number of maximum visitors who will visit the July column at the same time from its opening to the public in the spring of 2018 it will be also impossible to climb to the top of the 50 meters high column “it would be much too dangerous because, at the top, the platform is extremely  tight.  Source Le Figaro

the site of the Versailles Tourist Office, www.versailles-tourisme.com, which support approximately 90% of requests for information to tourists, gets a makeover. In the coming weeks, a new version in English and Spanish will be developed.

The Samaritaine very big renovation which should be done by the end of 2018,New areas with shops, a hotel of luxury, offices, a hundred social housing and a crib. The 4,000 tons of debris will be transported by barge to the Paprec group processing center on the banks of the Seine in Gennevilliers (Hauts-de-Seine). The equivalent of no less than 850 trucks on the road. Before be loaded onto a barge, they must travel six kilometers, from the pont Neuf to Ivry

The Nacre hotel should open its doors in March or April 2017. Housed in a building of the former factory Desmarest, it has 22 rooms, including two suites, and a 64-seat restaurant. . In the middle of the building will be the main entrance, with the lobby and the check-in counter. On the side, to the left, the restaurant that will have a terrace for sunny days. At the rear, kitchen, reserves, the offices and the staff room. To access both floors, where are located the rooms, a grand staircase or an elevator. On the first floor spacious and bright rooms await guests. Some overlook the nearby Museum of Pearl through large windows. Second, the rooms are attic, but larger. They will accommodate families. The hotel will be entrusted to a Management company still to be chosen  leparisien.fr

The hotel site is in the works, here is the newspaper article in French: http://www.leparisien.fr/meru-60110/meru-l-hotel-de-la-nacre-ouvrira-ses-portes-au-printemps-2017-04-10-2016-6175471.php

For great dog and even cat grooming come to the Ho Doc Chic 26 rue Vavin.  http://www.hodogchic.com/

Plenty of shops here dedicated to the horse , at the Village Suisse.     http://www.villagesuisse.com/

A wonderful library of literary greats has been renovated and reopen. http://www.librairie-ledivan.com/

The great Musée Jacquemart-Andre has the exhibition “Rembrandt Intime”. http://www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com/fr/rembrandt-intime

 

 

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