Archive for December, 2016

December 14, 2016

Some news from Spain XXXIII

Well not far off my favorite visiting country now, Spain. If you read my posts then you know I am Spanish too ::) amongst others lol! a globetrotter travelers citizen.  I voted in Spain’s election, The USA election, and now ready for the French elections!!! Citizen of the World indeed. The temp in Madrid today is at 48F or about 9C with rains tomorrow more of the same but less rain.

And now, let give some insights into Spain and My Madrid especially (lived there).

To Madrilejos  where tourists can learn about the famous museum of Saffron(Azafràn)  known as ‘red gold’ to weight  a kilo of Saffron are needed more than 120,000 flowers, then after drying  the stigmas we lose 4/5  parts of its weight. The best time to learn about the fields of Saffron is in November. More here:

Consuegra  by the Sierra de los Molinos is mandatory if you visit Consuegra. La Muela Castle (Castillo de la Muela also of Consuegra), one of the best preserved of all Castilla La Mancha castles where the history of several centuries will be known through a theatrical  visit and will be appointed a gentlemen with a wooden sword for the kids. If you are an adult and want to, don’t stay with the desire and become an authentic noble toledano. more here:

The river ‘Guadiana’ in Villarrubia de los Ojos  the fourth longest  Iberian river reborn from the subsoil and in Daimiel flooded a plain which has the waters that bring you the Ciguela. A brackish and fresh water at the same time that in 1575 king Felipe II ordered to keep very well conquering today all that comes close to walk along its runways. The Guardana has irrigated 750 ha of its 1750 ha that can be flooded . Tablas the town near Daimiel can be lodged but needs reservation for at least 3 days two nights . Also, remember that in the nearby you have the archaeological site of Azuer Montilla from the bronze age, and the oldest artificial well in the Iberian peninsula without forget the Regional Museum there with vestiges of the rock that Roman and before them Muslims devised mechanisms to exploit the aquatic wealth of the place. More info here:

The Médulas, are the gold mines that were exploded in the open since the Emperor Octavio Augusto  one of the few examples covered within that category.  The medulas mountains two millennia ago supplied the precious metal to Rome now filtered through its tunnels the history of one of the most unique corners of Spain: el Bierzo. Plinio the Old wrote about it in its history theme Naturalis. At the time the gold extracted were the equivalent of 1.6 tons of gold per year. The mountain sits in the northwest corner of the Aquilanos mountains next to the Valley of the River Sil, ,the Medulas are considered the greater gold mine of all the Roman Empire. The snow accumulated in the nearby Monte Teleno played a fundamental role  in the exploitation of the mines. Converted into water during the spring, arrived at Cape River and fed the seven channels bordering the mountain not only through the channels that were used to ‘steal’ the Duero and the Sil, water tunnels – which are preserved today for more than 100 kilometers – or the large artificial caves that you can visit, but also for the mantle of chestnut and oak trees that dot the roads that surround it.  More here in Spanish,

Between the modern and the medieval the collaboration of the Musée Picasso in Paris and the MNAC Picasso – Romanesque now leads the exhibition dialogue emerges in Barcelona and will remain at the MNAC until February 26. More info here in English:

The exhibition ‘ Meta painting. A trip to the idea of art ‘ (from November 15 to February 19) that opens the Prado Museum.  Through 137 masterpieces by artists such as Goya, Velázquez, Titian, Rubens, El Greco and Van Dyck,  The  Prado  reflect on the craft, limits, rules and the protagonists of art from art itself .  Based  on the Royal Collections and the Spanish painting (115 of the 137 exhibits are from the Prado, of which only 52 are in the rooms of the Museum since most are in warehouses and deposits elsewhere , which are joined by 22 on loans), this exhibition examines the limits of that mirror that society and the artist is art that goes beyond the golden rectangle that it identified. More info here!

And we continue at Prado, the one and only with The Prado Museum delves into José de Ribera in ‘ Ribera. Master of drawing ‘ (from  22 November to February 19) You can see from the nearly 160 known you will see 52 drawings, along with 10 paintings and eight prints. Of these, a dozen have been in Spain as adoptions from Berlin and New York like the “ Hercules’ resting”. more in English here:

The Mapfre Foundation opens the Miro space, a permanent collection with 65 works from private  collections that reveal the more rebellious side of the catalan painter. Kills them not only at the level of formal leaving their mark on the surface but also using waste material, splints or recycling these banal canvas sleeping on the stalls in fact, 10 works of this kind are only known and four can be seen in Madrid from December 14 in the space Miro which inaugurated the Fundación Mapfre in Madrid. More in English here:

The capital city of Madrid was Muslim for more than two hundred years ,and Moorish in many other ways. Discovered its history into Arabic Madrid . Muhammad I of Cordoba founded the city by then called Mayrit ,and on principal was just a military outpost. Out of the ashes of this bastion came out the Royal Palace built by Felipe V. My Madrid has many faces welcome to find some more.

With two centuries of Islamic rule the walls were impregnable until 1085 where king Alfonso V had a soldier climb them with combat ready its 11 meters. The Christian troops came in afterward to conquered the city. Today, even the locals are sometimes call the Gatos or cats for this ability to climb. The Andalucian walls had nearly a km long and it is the oldest artistic monument in Madrid as witin it you have the  Cultural Institute (CalleMayor, 86) with a piece of it and then at the restaurant Korgui  (Calle del Rollo, 8) , and in the parking lot of Rouco Varela (Bailén, 12); but the best preserved stretch with a battered façade is located in the Cuesta de la Vega, alongside the Emir Mohamed I square , opposite Almudena Cathedral. More info in English here:

Our Señora de Almudena Cathedral or should we say Al-Mudayna? in Arabic means the Citadel, as it is there, in a tower of the Muslim wall, where locals hid the blessed Virgin once learned the infidel enemy was about to take the Peninsula , even with temporary lapses the Virgin was miraculously discovered on November 9, 1085  and protected his devotees all attempt of reconquest by the Muslims. Such was the intention of the Almoravides camping field where today is the Jardin del Moro but they were thrown back by a miracle of the Virgin causing them to have epidemics of plague to force them to withdrawed. More in Spanish here:

Museum of San Isidro, the patron of Madrid was born in Mayrit shortly before the city passed into Christian hands; under these circumstances, it’s more likely that the farmer had professed the Muslim religion before converting to Catholicism. And obliterated his heretic become base of miracles – up to 400 are attributed to the Saint! According to this hypothesis ,the Saint was called Idriss actually, a journeyman and worked all his life on the service of the family Vargas. What is now the Museum of San Isidro was his house. There is the well of his umpteenth miracles, but ,also parts of the archeological find that we speak of today. The entrance is free and is located in the  district of the Latina. More here in English:

In Madrid there are still some Churches that dates back to this period such as San Pedro, Santa María la Antigua ,and San Nicolás,one of the oldest in the city. Webpages on them here:

Moro de la Morería, Christians could not pass by the gate of the Moors; the Arab Court of Justice,  the alamin, was located in the Plaza del Alamillo (its name comes from there, later stood the chiquitillo alamo); the biggest Souk unfolded in the Plaza de la Paja, in the Plaza de la Villa, the mineret; here is where the Lujanes bought a mansion which is the oldest building in Madrid today; Alamborada Tower reminds the Minaret of a Mosque with its bricks, blind arches and typical tiles of Mudejar art. More here in English:

A watchtower to warn his people of future Christian invasions. The watchtower that drivers today see when parking in the Plaza de Oriente on the Floor 1. More on the square or plaza here:

Visit a hammam, to the Al Andalus is one of the few centers that there are in the city located on a cistern of the times of  Abd ar-Rahman (Atocha, 14).  There is another one in the train station of Chamartin, but the more authentic is the “Oasis”  (Sor Maria of Ágreda, 39). More on webpages here:

The vestiges of the Andalusian Madrid, whose taste can be followed in a mouthwatering gastronomic route. Like in the  restaurant Shukran (Alcalá, 62), Sahara( Libreros, 18) or the Badaweia (Costa Rica, 28). However, to eat a good couscous must go to Lavapies: Albahia (Lavapies, 3), The Habibi (Ave María, 41) or the Alhambra (Tribulete, 4). But in many of them you cannot  drink alcohol, warning! Restaurants recommendation from El Mundo newspaper.

My bible for many things Spanish, and the equivalent of Michelin but much better price and information me think is the Guide Repsol 2017 in its newest edition and also online . Covering a  total of 1 813 restaurants,,503 of them recognized with a Sun rating. Gastronomic proposals and traveling are well complemented ,every day with more content online to inspire travelers and my readers…It comes with maps or how to travel with pets or destination to get lost forever; just superb. More in Spanish here but the site can be change for itineraries etc.

After the peaks of the sierra de Guadarrama runs a province dotted with medieval villages, walled enclosures towns , towers and battlements, ditches and drawbridges ; this is Segovia Here I leave you with some of my favorites over the years living and coming to the area.

Well Segovia itself of course, the city. In addition to the fortress Alcazar that houses the  Museum of weapons and the General Military Archives ;complete visit 7€ and only the tower 2€ More info here:

Also, five minutes walk from the Alcàzar  is located the Hotel Palace San Facundo , where the tranquility exudes by all their facilities. Highlights it’s spectacular central cloister (where is located a cafeteria) ,a stunning closed glazed dome. With all amenities such as WIFI and parking,and some rooms have a canopy bed. Also, the Hospederia de Santo Domingo ;the Jewish quarter, a few meters from the gate of the Villa of Pedroza, and three centuries of antiquity, recently restored with a nice garden , bounded by the walls of Pedraza, from which you enjoy beautiful views of the Guadarrama.

And 33 km from Segovia, in the town of Turégano, lies the castle of the same name, dating back to the 12C . Integrated in the fortress there is the Church of San Miguel , flanked by a well preserved towers of the ancient Roman castrum. In 1703, was sent to build the Españada – so there were put the belltower  still visible from several kilometers away. The main use of the compound was as a prison and in its dungeons many illustrious prisioners such as the son of the Duke of Osuna, Admiral of Aragon and the Prime Minister of Felipe III, Antonio Pérez (entry:2€); and more here in Spanish ;

About 30 minutes east of Turégano,by car  you reach the lovely walled town of Pedraza. Located on a promontory in the piedmont area of Segovia and guarded by its fortress (Castillo de Pedraza ,built 13C and rebuilt 200 years later) ,the oldest in Europe.The castle was the residence of the Fernàndez de Velasco,then the highest authority of the armies of Castilla (Castile).  The enclosure has an imposing Tower of honor or Homenaje ,a moat and is surrounded in the majority by a cliff. The tower is the Museum of  Ignacio Zuloaga (the painter) ,which includes the study room and their private rooms as well. The weapons and entremuros yards ar the most visited rooms in the castle (entrance: 6€ entrance and museum tower 15€. More info here in English for castle and museum:

At Cuéllar, in the highest part of the province of Segovia (very close to Valladolid) there is an spectacular castle, also known as the Palace of Albuquerque, a formidable example of the Castilian strongholds.  Well preserved and consists of a mixture of different architectural styles, ranging from the 13C to the 18C; although predominantly Gothic and Renaissance. At the end of the 19C the building was virtually abandoned and fell victim to looting. In 1938 a criminal prison  was installed in it for political prisoners, along with a sanatorium for other prisioners with tuberculosis.  Today it has a centre of teaching and the Alburquerque archives.  They include its sumptuous entrance the huge ground parade with columns and double gallery, which opens tot the different rooms decorated with artistic tiles coffered ceilings of stucco and carved beams visits are always guided. Price: 3€. More information on Tel +34  92114 22 03 and more in Spanish here:

And at Coca; the most important and imposing of Spain. Located in the town of the same name, it was built as a Palace fortress in the 15C of  Spanish Gothic-Mudejar style.  It is surrounded by a deep moat and a triple defensive system. The lower square enclosure flanked by four towers.  The larger is the torre del homenaje or honor ,which in its interior has a narrrow spiral staircase that gives access to the Chapel , to the weapons room, and other rooms. From the top, you can see the castle of Cuellar and Iscar (entry  2.70€). More in Spanish here:

As you can see , Spain is everything under the Sun. Enjoy it as I do. Cheers


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December 13, 2016

Some news from France CXLVIIII

Well it is indeed Fall, and foggy nights and mornings to boot, but the temps stays very mild in the 10’s C or 50’s F.

Today , we talk a bit more on la Belle France, and me getting closer to vacation time this Friday until 2017!!!

We have seen here lots of talk about the pollution in Paris, and as one who has travel to several cities around the world I believe it is over publicize but you always have the ecos or as one Czech told me the! As you can see even below by the construction and improvement going on in the public transport system it is just not enough or Paris will be impenetrable on anything, and I had worked in Paris for 10 years and know how it is to deal with the hassle of it.

The next Committee (which meets with the region govt, the city of Paris, the region, 92 and 94, Airparif, and Bruitparif…) will h take place in February 2017.the main routes of substitution for the voie Georges-Pompidou, namely the rive droite quais and the boulevard Saint-Germain, have seen their travel time skyrocket, according to data gathered by the sensors of the city of Paris. In November, it took an average 14.9 minutes between 8h and 9h to go from Pl de la Concorde to Henri IV, 3 minutes more than in November 2015.  The rise is even stronger at night, from 18h to 19h: 23 min instead of 12 min, or nearly double! Ditto on the boulevard Saint-Germain: + 3.5 min in the morning, and + 9 min evening. Instant journey times, compared with data on the whole of the senior docks and the boulevard, are still more meaningful: to 18:30, need you 52 minuld quays to pl de Varsovie at the Porte de Bercy, against 39 minutes a year ago. Aiparif introduced 80 additional sensors to accurately measure changes in the quality of the air in the area. Impossible to say, before March 2017, if the pedestrian goal  has had an impact. On the other hand, for noise along high platforms, Bruitparif noted increases between 1.9 and 3.4 decibels. And more traffic jams spread out of Paris, on the roads N 118 and A 86 to the West and A4 to the East. As for the residents of the quais, they suffer an increase of 3 dB, or a doubling of the volume. From Le Parisien newspaper.

And we have the circus and the season to enjoy it most, here are an article on the Le Parisien newspaper that tries to choose between two circus families;

If you hesitate between Bouglione and Gruss for a session of Christmas circus, here is our comparison according to the Le Parisien newspaper.

  1. The animals. At Alexis Gruss, it’s 100% horses. Dressage demonstrations are impeccable. Bouglione, elephants are bluffing and the acrobats on their amazing back flips. The mini-       poneys patter in two shows, Gruss makes even spend time with the public for the enjoyment of the children.The costumes. Those of the Gruss singer inspired by Disney princesses dresses, with dresses in tulle, a little too much on the track. The Bouglione leotards are more varied, less flashy, different costumes of the Alberto Caroli clown perfectly adapted to her curves and his antics. Its large pants with straps or his costume leopard stick to the burlesque of the character.
  2. Originality. If the two shows are orchestrated to the millimeter, creativity award-winning side Bouglione, with its numbers of fly high, as the duo of rollers, where Mattleads Valentina in a whirlwind of figures to cut the breath. The deployment of two powerful athletes muscles impresses to the smallest. Gruss, equestrian prowess is arepetitive horsehair. Control of the horses is impeccable, certainly, but do pitch ten times standards of various colors finally tired. The final dance of the six couples of acrobats underwater is a successful bet.
  3. The music. Gruss on revivals, the voice of the singer, who serves as a red thread, can annoy and music vibrates too hard for the eardrums. The Bouglione Orchestra nicely accompanies the effects of surprise, the comic clowns.
  4. The scenography. Gruss has released the big technical means and made an effortby weaving a theme on the four elements. An overhead metal structure of 13 meters in diameter gives a dramatic touch and artistic feats in the air, in the sand under the water. The Surprise of Bouglione show is still more rhythmic, thanks to its humorous numbers.
  5. The numbers. They are more varied at Bouglione, which alternates light hoops, acrobatics, and contortionists, aerobatic… Gruss combines aerial acrobatic dances with theFarfadais troupe and Equestrian prowess. The juggling back of horses, the balances standing on the rear ends and leaps of part and on the other of the animal are incredible. But ultimately, Gruss is locked into repetitive numbers (juggling machetes, bowling, balls) and even the round of 28 horses on the track pulls lengthwise. The rollabolla (balance on a Board laid on a roll) definitely takes over at Bouglione, where apair of Russians held the balance on four levels.
  6. The laughter. They are absent in          Gruss and bad for children. At Bouglione, the provocations of the Italian clown arouse laughter and the sympathy of the public. Muriel in dress and basketball, and herboyfriend Scott black suit, hilarious burlesque magicians gives  a good communicative mood. They disappear with brio, come in boxes and invite a viewer on the track to get cut. Bouglione thought to inject a dose of comic relief, and it is successful.

Cirque Bouglione, Le Bouglione, show Surprise, at the Cirque d’hiver until February 26, 110, rue Amelot, in Paris (XIe). Rates: 10 € to €60. Tel.

Gruss, show Quintessence, crossroads of the Cascades, Porte de Passy (16éme), until February 19.Free shuttle to the exit of the metro/subway Porte d’Auteuil. Adult € 36 to € 70, child € 30 to € 45. Info on

The horizon of 2022, line 11 of the metro will be to Rosny (Seine-Saint-Denis) for new terminal. An extension of 6 km  (6 stations beyond hotel de ville de lilac) whose works were officially launched this weekend. Parisians can also rejoice because the 13 stations of the existing line will be upgraded in the program: creation of new access (hotel de ville, Belleville, Pyrénées, Telegraph, Porte de lilac, hotel de ville de lilac), new releases (Goncourt, Belleville) simple but also cutting an additional hallway for stations Châtelet and Jourdain, installation of escalators (Chatelet, hotel de ville, Belleville (, Pyrenees, Porte des Lilas) or elevators (Telegraph, Porte des Lilas, hotel de ville de Lilas)…improvements always to a diehard public transport system.

The pretty small Przewalski horses homes are slowly falling apart… The “factory” or le Fabrique- the horses paddock rich of its fifteen small pavilions inspired by the cottages of the hamlet of Marie-Antoinette at Versailles – needs a substantial restoration.   And as the Museum lack of money, the Heritage Foundation and the national Museum of natural history, which depends on the Menagerie of the jardin des plants, decided to react by launching a call for donations.

The factory  ( les fabriques de la Ménagerie) is classified as historical monuments. Its very 19C cottages (1890) stone, brick or wood, covered with thatch are damaged at the level of coverage and the masonry. Lovers of this unique place in Paris can make donations of 20€ to 1,000€ (tax-deductible)   In return, contributors will receive a thank you on a panel near the factory, a letter of electronic information, invitations to annual pass for the menagerie.And more here:

Ever wandered on a day the  Saint-Denis Basilica reach its highest arrow 86 meters high and demolished in 1846? Can we rebuild a tower demolished 170 years ago, downtown?  Yes, says the study. The metro or the regulations of the Bourget airport are incompatible with its construction.  Available the information required to rebuild this tower the same? Yes, sure Jacques Moulin. His file contains  hundreds of documents, sometimes very old, from the library hundreds of architecture and heritage information of the city of Charenton, the National Archives of Fontainebleau,  which precisely describes the operations of reassembly of the arrow.An inventory has helped to identify 300 stones of the old Tower, found in the gardens of the Basilica and at the excavation site.  “We found the complete mounting kit!” says Jacque Moulin. Now work on getting the permits and it can be possible; article from Le Parisien

The management of the train station Meaux currently provided by private enterprise Segar    whose contract will expire in September 2017.  A new contract is to be signed for the renewal. It is the first train station in the line P with over 14 000 passenger per day going mostly thru the Gare de l’Est or Paris Est . Unique because it is my wife’s native town, and I been there quite a bit over the years as now the family lives in villages all around it in the Meldoise region of the Marne.

The castle of Pierrefonds   the monument organizes workshops of two hours during which children can achieve maps pop ups of the Castle. A pine forest will take place in the room of the guards.  Shops will be December  18, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28 and 30 at  14h30. admission : 4,50 € children and  6 €  for accompanying adult.  Show at the price of admission. Réservation a must at tel +33 (0)

The Paris of Avedon and characters that drive it are narrated through 150 works in the exhilarating exhibition of the national library. “The France of Avedon” at the National Library of France, until Feb. 26. More here:

the great theater show of “42nd Street” of Harry Warren and Al Dubin. MS Stephen Mear. Paris, Theatre du Châtelet (tel +33 (0) 1 40 28 28 40). From 17 Nov. to January 8. 14h35. More here:

‘Petit Maitre ‘ is an intriguing piece, joined the repertoire of the French, but played only twice in 1734 (following a cabal). “The Petit Maitre of Marivaux. MS: Clément Hervieu-Léger. Comédie-Française,Salle  Richelieu (tel +33 (0) 1 44 58 15 15)  until April 24. 2017 14h45. More here:

Romeo and Juliet” were not on show at the Comédie-Française since 1954. “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare. Staging: Eric Ruf Paris, Comédie-Française (TEL +33 (0) 1 44 58 15 15), until May 30. 14h45. Until February 1, 2017. More here :

On the 18éme , things are moving,  Barbès will open a new place for music and the arts call 360 Paris Music Factory… Visite. More here:

And to close out this post, some anecdotes; do you know that Paris has about  6 290  public and private streets in 2012. Inside Paris the longest street is rue Vaugirard  that goes thru the  6eme and 15eme arrondissements with a lenght of 4 360 meters ! Not to confused with the boulevard périphérique that has about  35 000 meters or the avenue Daumesnil with 6 270 meters. The shortest is the rue des Degrès in the 2eme with only 5 meters 75 cm that is more like a staircase.  The oldest known street is the rue Saint-Jacques dating from at least the 1C AD, and it linked Paris with Etampes and Orléans in the Middle Ages.  The most steep street is not in Montmartre but in the 20eme arrondissement, this is the street rue Gasnier-Guy  with a 17,4 % inclination. Paris , also has 13 260 pedestrian crossings.  The street the most high is again not in Montmartre but in the 20eme arrondissement ,this is the rue du Télégraphe that is 128.508 meters in altitude. The narrowest street in Paris is the  rue du Chat qui Pêche which is only 1,8 meters wide.  The most expensive street in Paris is the avenue Montaigne in the 8éme that has a cost of about 17K euros in 2015 according to  Challenges et Meilleurs Agents. Streets name after woman, is only about 4% in Paris, according to survey from FranceTV or only  247 women. All in the leBonbon journal. Voilà c’est fini.



December 9, 2016

Some news from France CXLVIII

Ok today was a very foggy day here temps still nice at about 11C or 54F but not much visibility. So I came back home on the expressway as the country roads would have been dangerous.  And now the weekend starts ,planning planning again to go out into my Brittany.

In the meantime, here are some news from la Belle France. 

The Five Guys American fast-food chain opened Thursday morning its more great restaurant in the world on the Champs Elysées, a few steps from the first McDonald’s in France in terms of turnover, a Quick and a Burger King open end of 2014

Something about the pollution lately in Paris; The #pollution île de France will be high today (78/100 index) and average tomorrow (61/100).  Airparif reported.  The view over to Notre Dame .All about the measurement in French here:

The Festival of lights (fête des lumiéres) brings a bit of light and heat in the streets of Sèvres . The public will  recognize the famous blue of Sèvres and rose Pompadour developed in tribute to the benefactor of the Royal manufactory. In 1756, the workshop had left Vincennes for Sèvres, in a building built at the initiative  of  Madame de Pompadour, near her castle at Bellevue. Torchlight descent, which will begin at  19h (7 p.m.)  on the heights of Sèvres will now be either with torches, but with bright balloons. More here:

And what about those ice skating rings that are so popular this time of the year in my beloved Yvelines dept 78! Our favorites over the years! At Versailles, this synthetic surface of nearly 300 square meters  is installed in front of the city hall until January 2 (rate:  47). For the break,  we keep warm in a wooden where you can eat. Ditto to Maurepas, where the sliding track span 108 , on the market square, for three days. But it will wait until Friday 16  December to  start. That evening, the equipment will be it late until 22h or 10 pm (free).  Other popular rings are at ; Rambouillet, place Félix-Faure. Until 2 January. Price: from 2 to € 4/hour Carriéres- sousPoissy, in the sports complex of Alsace, ice track of 200 in a cottage, until 6 January. Price: €2-3

More for the seasons it’s here: Four merchants of Venice in the 17C placed their tyranny on women. “Rednecks” Goldoni will be onstage at the Montansier Theater this weekend. This Saturday and Sunday at 15h (3 p.m.)  at the Montansier Theater, 13, rue des reservoirs . Price: 16 to €40.  Information +33 ( 0) More here:

And the spirit of Christmas continues in the Chateau de  Villarceaux by  Chaussy, Saturday and Sunday from 10h to 17h.  More here:

At Beauvais

The enchantment of Christmas. Saturday, from 10h to 20h  and Sunday, from 12h to 19h, the ice rink and Christmas market opening, the on-site Jeanne Hachette (rates and schedules of the rink on the site of the city.  And also,this Saturday from 13h30 to 22h and Sunday, from 13h30 to 20h, opening of the big wheel (€4 (adults) and €3 (children)). Also, this Saturday and Sunday, from 11h to 18h, pony and horse walks proposed by the association Hercui-links (€2 theride). Walk of Santas. Saturday, from 14h., departure of the Hôtel-Dieu, organized by the association “Although in his plate, uncomfortable in his sneakers. Also, this Saturday at 15h30 , the streets of downtown, street show ‘The awakening of the villains’of the company Afozic. And also, this Sunday at 15h30, “the mechanical clock” ambulation of the company Luxor.

At Meru

New exhibition. Saturday and Sunday, from 14h30 to 18h30, at the Museum of Pearland Pearl, discovery of the exhibition “Once upon a time… old to the  toy World Games” (part 1). Single tariff for exhibition: €3.50, free for children under 5 years and a combined Museum + exhibition ticket: €7 adults, €3.50 less than 16 years old and students, free under 5 years old. Information at +33 (0) or on the website

At Compiègne

Christmas market. Saturday and Sunday, from 10h30 to 19h, on the square of the city/Town Hall, composed of many cottages.

Christmas circus. Saturday, 14 days, 17h and 20h as well as Sunday at 17h, to Royal circles. Ticket office at the checkout of the circus from 10h.

Christmas concert. Sunday at  17h, in the big ballroom of the Palace of Compiègne. In the program, for soloists, chorus and Orchestra, opening the “Zenobia in Palmyra” opera, Giovanni Paisiello, Missa Cellensis, Joseph Haydn. It will be preceded by a conference at 15h., entitled “Paisiello favourite composer of Napoleon”, by Vincent Haegele, historian, Director of the library of Compiègne. Rates (Ticket Office on site): concert only €25 and €20; concert and conference: €30. Reservations at  +33 (0)

Imperial Highway rides. Saturday, from 14h30 to 18h30, departure rue Saint-Corneille, for a ride in the streets of the city. Free. Exhibitions. Saturday and Sunday, from 14h to 18h, space Saint-Pierre-des-Minimes, ‘The happy days, Joujoulac’ a history of toys 100% forest of Compiègne. Saturday (last day), library Saint-Corneille, “Jules Verne and company: imaginary travel in the 19C. This exhibition revolves around the classic Jules Verne and proposes to rediscover famous writers between 1860 and 1910. Saturday and Sunday, from 10h to 17h  at the Palace, «Winterhalter», portraits of court between splendour and elegance Price: €9.50 and €7,50, free under 26 years old. Saturday and Sunday, Center Antoine Vivenel, “treasures of the middle ages, Europe to the Xivesiecle”.

At Pierrefonds

Exhibitions at the Castle. Saturday and Sunday, from 10h to 16h45, installation of the artist Mircea Cantor ‘Bellum & Maternitas’. Entrance to the castle: €7.50, €6, free for children under the age of 18.

At Chantilly

Exhibitions. Saturday and Sunday, from 10h to 18h, in the room of the Jeu de Paume of the Castle, “The Grand Condé, the rival of the Sun-King” as well as “The Duke of Aumale, historian”, in the cabinet of the Castle library . Information and prices on the site

Guided tours. Saturday and Sunday, 11h, 12h, 14h, 15h30, 16h, 16h30 and 17h, apartments of the Duke and Duchess of Aumale, located on the ground floor of the small castle. Price: €3 per person (to book on-site), in addition to the admission ticket of the palace(€17 (adults) and €10 (children 3-17 years)).

Lace Museum. Saturday and Sunday, from 14h to 18h, located at 34, rue d’ Aumale (Court Library), self-guided tour of the small museum consisting of three rooms where you will find unique collections (lace tile, time zones, preparatory drawings, quilted cardboards, shawls, dresses, Ruffles, fanchons, umbrellas, fans,…). Price: €5,€3 and free for children under the age of 18. Information at +33 (0) or on the website

Equestrian Christmas show. Saturday and Sunday at 14h30 and 16h30, under the dome of the great stables (Grandes Ecuries) , representation of the new show “Skin of donkey,” based on the tale by Charles Perrault. Price: €21 (adults) and €17,50 (children 3-17 years) (show+ horse Museum) or €30 (adults) and €22 (from 3 to 17 years old) (Show + domain).Booking of tickets at  tel +33 (0) or on the website

At Senlis

Christmas animations. Saturday and Sunday, from 10h to 12h

and from 14h to 18h  on the course-Thore, ride the little train of time. Also, all weekend, Christmas fun course, stand confectionery and hot chestnuts.

Paintings and sculptures. Saturday, from 10h to 12h  and from 15h. to 19h. in the Gallery Gilbert Dufois, discovered the new exhibit “Group 4”. Information  at tel +33 (0)

The collections of the Museum of hunting. Saturday and Sunday, 10h to 13h and 14h to 18h, discovering the new exhibition “Curiosities – ElisabethAmblard looks” presented under “Senlis, one (e) artist. Price: €6, €5 and €3, free for the residents and children under the age of 18. Information at tel +33 (0)

And from my family to yours , cheers of the season with French champagne, the only and best one.  A selection

Henriot, « Brut souverain » about 25€

Mailly « Grand cru », brut reserve about 30€

Ayala, « Brut majeur » about 30€

Piere Gimonnet & Fils, « Oger grand cru », brut about 30€

Duval-Leroy,  « Cuvée Fleur de champagne », brut premier cru; about 35€

Veuve Clicquot, « Carte jaune », brut ;about 35€

Tarlant, « Cuvée Zéro », brut nature; about 35€
Perrier-Jouët, « Grand Brut » ;about 40

Laurent-Perrier, « La Cuvée » about 40

Deutz, « Brut Classic » ;about 40

Pol-Roger, « Réserve », brut ;about 40

Gosset « Grand Blanc de Blancs » ;about 50€

Happy Holidays to all, and be merry in the merriest of seasons! Cheers

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