Archive for January, 2017

January 30, 2017

Some news from France CXLVIIII

Ok never to far from the happenings in my belle France here are the latest. Today was foggy and rainy here in Vannes , as we expect the week to be but temps in the 10C or 50F. In the Paris region, they expect a mix cloudy and or rainy days with temps in the 50’s F.

Let’s talk about those wonderful passageways in Paris. The passages; one is the passage des Panoramas entering by bvld Montmartre ; the first one to show up the sky with glass ceilings in 1805. It is a wonderful relic of Paris joining the Bourse with blvd Montmartre to go near the Théatre des Variétés. 20 years later in 1826 the Galerie Vivienne opens; gorgeously decorated housing relics of great name and taste such as the  librairie Siroux (1828), and the  caves Legrand (1880).  The passage Verdeau ,passage Jouffroy, and passage Bercy . You can see and read all their story at the association that cares for them to preserve what was over 60 and now only 19 remains. Take care of them ok. The association is here: https://www.passagesetgaleries.org/index2.html

The Paris transformation is going on, with new lanes ,trying to eliminate the car hopefully elections are near. The wonderful Boulevard Périphérique is 35 kms long, with about 1,2 millions vehicles each day, at a maximum speed of 70 kph (already reduce from 80) and an average speed of 38,9 kph due to traffic jams. The beltway road was finished in 1973 and still has about 100 000 folks living just off it. It has 99 radar cameras link directly to the control center by fiber optics. The goal is to change it for the better by 2030…. The Eco terrorists wants to lower the speed even to 50 kph which will be terribly ridiculous (they better go after the factories to and lower employment) .  They are proposing to reserve two lanes to bus ,taxis, electric cars,and the auto sharing or covoiturage. The traffic lights will have tricolors or other panels to regulate the traffic flow and will have green areas (of course) along the boulevard concrete. Hey another great idea but like I said way until May….

The wonderful Centre Pompidou is celebrating 40 years and some suggestions for improvement are flying off its top too. For one the restaurant on top George (in honor of G Pompidou) is very expensive even with the panoramic view terrace in top floor. The simple sample menu has Badoit water at  8€ ,Cesar salad at  24€ , An omelette as you wish cost you 15,50€  the raw meat tartare or the tuna a la plancha is 39€ ; well that is why we have many tourists lol! For fun ,there is a new gallery for kids below the boutique, dedicated for the 13-16 years old and in the basement or  sous-sol, ready to smile for the little ones opens Wednesdays Saturdays and Sundays from 14h to 18h only. Some anecdotes on the centre was that it took 681 presentation to show the winning architect  Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, the opening was January 1977. It had  5 000 invited person on a private opening at 21h. Amongst those that came for the grand opening were the Princess Grace of Monaco, Queen Fabiola of Belgium, the president of Senegal, and the poet Léopold Sédar Senghor as well as the dictator Mobutu of Zaire.  The Republican guard welcome them as well as president Giscard d’Estaing.  Today ,you go in by one door that of piazza but at the beginning it was a ant place to come in by four doors south, north, east and west. Salvador Dalí is the superstar of the Centre Pompidou. His two expos were the most visited still today ;840 000 visitors in 1979-1980, and 790 000 in 2012-2013.  The first time the personnel was on strike and even Dali could not get in! Salvador Dalí  is the only artist to have open admission in the center for 24/24  for 3 straight nights in March 2013. In the top 10 of most visits we find two Frenchmen ,Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), in 1984, and Pierre Soulages, 97 years old today in 2009-2010 as well as the one sought by foreigners with more than 500 000 visitors.  The musée national d’Art moderne, is in the  4e and 5e floor housing about  120 000 works dating from 1905 to 1965, where much is housed in the reserves of the museum for lack of space.  The MNAM  is the biggest museum of modern and contemporary art in Europe and the second in the world behind  MoMA in New York,USA.  However, the Beaubourg is the first loaner museum in the world. We can learn here about 250 languages or dialects from the popular English, German Spanish to also the  lapon, Zulu or navajo. Beaubourg,is a trip in our world. More here: https://www.centrepompidou.fr/

She has 241 years old in need of conservation who is this girl , well the statue of the Dame Fortune, quai Conti (6eme) in the court of the Monnaie de Paris, it is going thru a participation campaign to restore it and you can participate here :  https://www.culture-time.com/fr/projet/dame-fortune?utm_source_=%20ORST  . Sitting on a marble base, it is installed the sculpture of Louis-Philippe Mouchy since 1775.

Finally, the île Seguin will have its development : this is the old Renault factory island and now will have a cultural center of 24.500 m2, done by RCR Arquitectes. In other a hotel  «Arty» with works of art in each of it’s 220 rooms and 13 .000 m2, on top a pool, spa, and bar with a panoramic terrace.  heavy site to open but all is here: http://www.ileseguin-rivesdeseine.fr/

Somebody send a letter to the director of the Maison de Balzac in Paris asking for an advise on the chimney that was always call in his family the chimney of Balzac. Well it is !!! and nicely found, more here: http://maisondebalzac.paris.fr/fr/la-maison-de-balzac-soffre-un-faux

The old guards’ room of Catherine de Médicis that was made into a boutique where the funds were consecrated to the botanic vocation has closed its door on January 6 according to the Le Figaro. After 20 years of existance as a boutique, the pretty library or librairie du jardin des Tuileries, located at the entrance of the wrough iron door has closed. The content has been send over to the Louvre library boutique where opens Wednesdays to Mondays from 9h to 19h ,night time on Wednesdays and Fridays to 21h45.  More here: http://www.boutiquesdemusees.fr/en/boutique/museum/musee-du-louvre/

The Rétromobile from February 8-12 at the parc des expositions de la porte de Versailles (15eme)  admission 18€; free under 12. It will showcase the adventures of the secret agent Goldfinger 007 and show the Aston Martin DB5 car as well as many gadgets from the movie.

The next rendez-vous is on Cinecittà when the studio  Willy Rizzo (7eme) rends homage until April 1st in the show  «Rendez-vous à Cinecittà» , photos but also designs from the many who passed by here. Names like Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale, Anita Ekberg etc the best of the Italian cinema of the 1960’s. Studio located at 12, rue de Verneuil (7eme.  Monday to Saturday from 11h to 19h , admission is free.

After a great success on their first album , recognized by theirs Victoires du Jazz 2014 ,Thomas de Pourquery and Supersonic are back with ” Sons of Love” (coming out in March 2017).  To see them at the Gaîté lyrique,3 bis rue Papin (3eme)  until April 25 2017, admission 24,20€.  More here: https://gaite-lyrique.net/thomas-de-pourquery-supersonic

On February 7, 14, 21,and 28 2017 and with the resounding voice of André Malraux we honor WWII heroe Jean Moulin on the night at the Panthéon or La Nuit au Panthéon. time 18h45 admission 10€ Place du Panthéon (5eme) ;more here in French: http://www.paris-pantheon.fr/index.php/Actualites/La-Nuit-au-Pantheon

If you like chic Paris and who doesn’t, then you go this hotel from the 19C and great views of the hill and Paris. Hôtel Particulier, Pavillon D23,avenue Junot (18eme) . webpage: https://en.hotel-particulier-montmartre.com/contact

And of course, have photos in other posts, but leave you with the amazingly beautiful  Sacré-Coeur at 35 rue du Chevalier de la Barre (18eme). The Church to see Paris and for Paris to see the Church. A must anytime. http://www.sacre-coeur-montmartre.com/english/

Enjoy your week, I am back at work dohhh!

 

 

 

January 28, 2017

An American diner at Vannes and more!

Well reading my blog you know Vannes is the capital city of our department 56 Morbihan, and where I work, only about 30 minutes by car from our home. So we are always looking for something new there.

For the curiously inclined the tourist office is here : http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/

We came from home as usual by car into city center and parked by the Place de la République , 5 hours 4 euros.  Here is more on it; http://www.parkindigo.fr/fr/parkings/republique-56000100

Then, we walk. However, before we got there, we stop at the intermediate town of Auray to get a gift awaiting us from the Super U supermarket, a bag of grocery goodies for our good shopping days there ! nice! The store here: https://www.magasins-u.com/superu-auray

In and around the Super U, we have some of our shopping sites such as the pharmacy, the bureau vallée office supplies store, and the bakery all on photos here.

At the other end in the park Océane we stop by our friendly beers place V&B in Auray.  Of you course, you can get liquors and wines here too, but we do beers here only. Here you exchange the empty bottles for an eco 15cents and get new ones, of course always new supply.. The store is here and on photo; https://magasin.vandb.fr/766390-v-and-b-auray

We were now ready to tackle Vannes, and of course on Saturday morning, it has one of the best market days (marché)  in the whole region, my opinion. This is around the Place du Poids Public and the Place des Lices in the old town of Vannes. A wonderful place to be every Saturday morning.  The area markets and the one in Vannes for sure: http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/savour/regional-markets

You have the wonderful buses of KICEO the bus network of Vannes, just easy nice clean and good value. There is ,also, our friendly Nicolas wine store where we load up on these goodies of France and the world.  Links for the above are here:

https://www.kiceo.fr/

http://www.nicolas.com/fr/magasins/VANNES/s/00006994.html

And then we had a late lunch, place open 12-14h and 19h-22h in the old town of Vannes and had mentioned on previous post, now again by there and spoke with the owners; recommend them to get Mountain Dew sodas like in Rennes ::)

The place is Virgin Breizh Diner, an American Diner in Vannes.  The place is nicely decorated in American paraphernalia ,even a photo of Steve McQueen! the welcome is very friendly ,and we love the car seat in the front street level room; it has an upper level and toilets. We sat in the street level or first floor with bench seat against the wall and chairs on other side of the table. We load up on Miller genuine beer at 4,40€, a bit over but it is imported from all the way Milwaukee, Wisconsin lol! our biggest bill lol!!! We had appetizers such as onion rings and beignets in cheese and mild hot peppers all very good each platter for 3,90€ . We continue on the main meal which were hamburgers and hotdogs !! yeah ok ok we are just reviving some of our old home food ::) We had two Manhattan hotdogs with a big dog and lots of bacon on a bun bread, then 2 mystic burgers and 1 Texan huge hamburgers with sauce and cheese very good. We finish with milkshakes of different flavors mine was strawberries and mandarins.. All this for 22,29€ per person; considering some were imported and the rest like the beef locally grown and process in house, this is a deal. More on it here: http://www.virginbreizhdiner.fr/

Very satisfied we came back home as usual doing last minutes stops. First, back to Auray to visit Auray Motos, very well recommended by local natives as my sons are looking ahead to purchase scooters/bike this year. These folks are the best and very well explained the cost and maintenance for us. Their site is here: http://www.auray-motos.com/

And of course, the always needed  ,omnipresent in every French household, ;;;; you guess it the baguette. At our delicious Brest style breads in Pluvigner. Boulangerie Delumeau on the road D768 entering into city center/downtown. Something on the mayor’s office webpage here: http://www.pluvigner.fr/contacts/boulangerie-delumeau-2/

Now at home cozy and waiting for my Nescafé coffee, watching TV and of course the internet, this is a typical family day in France. Do not think we do things different here, it is the same anywhere , and I have lived in four countries as a citizen including France.

Cheers and enjoy your Saturday and weekend in general.

Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes

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January 27, 2017

Some news from Spain XXXV

Well thinking ahead and not to let my beloved Spain behind here are some news from the country of the movida and more. I will be back for summer vacation there:done.

But for now talking about the winter we still have, in my neck of the woods is 6C or about 44F, and my beloved Madrid is now raining and 42F. To go for snow there now:

You reach the Puerto de Navacerrada, in the sierra de Guadarrama, (my first ever try at skiing and it was not good at all , fell all over the place lol!) ; it is the closest station to Madrid at about 60 kms by the road A6, as well as cercanias train and buses. It has about 10 kms of skiing surface with a family ambiance with trails for different levels of experience. Next comes the Puerto de Cotos where you see Valdesqui with 19 kms of skiing surface and 27 trails with forest pines all around it. The farther at about 115 kms from Madrid by the road A1 and in the province of Segovia, you will have La Pinilla in the Sierra de Ayllôn . It has 20 kms of skiing surface with trails of some difficulty , you can do dogs carriage rides, snow bike, and snow running. The area is nice where you can visit Riaza and the medieval towns of Maderuelo, Sepûlveda, Pedraza, Ayllôn and Burgo de Osma. Also, get to walk in natural spaces like the Hayedo de la Pedrosa, and the banks of the river Riaza and Duratôn.

Some webpages for them are here: http://www.puertonavacerrada.com/

http://www.valdesqui.es/

http://www.lapinilla.es/site/

And a site for overall snow and ski conditions in Spain : http://www.nevasport.com/estaciones/

Moving on to land and history and wines we arrive at Toro. You see the Puente Romano or Roman bridge with 22 arches perpendicular to the river Duero; even if the bridge is from the 12C it is call Roman because it is build on one before. Do not forget to visit the Colegiata Santa Maria La Mayor, roman roots too, as well as the ramparts and the Church of Santo Sepulcro. The historical anecdote here it was the center of power struggle between the Queen Isabel la Catôlica or I and her niece Juana la Beltraneja. After the death of king Enrique IV father of Juana and brother of Isabel, part of the nobility took sides as to who will rule. The main battle took place here in 1476, and from the Portuguese side ; as Juana was born from a union of king Enrique IV and Juana of Portugal, and step daughter of  king Eduardo I of Portugal ; the Castilian side finally won and so went on to other wonderful things we know as the Discovery and the union of all Christian Spain. More on the tourist site here: http://www.turismotoro.com/index.php/es/

We go on nearby to the Museo del Vino de Pagos del Rey, located at Morales de Toro, a wonderful bodega that has a didactive museum and prize as the best enotourim promotion for 2016 and finalist in the event European Prize Museum.  Admission is free and at the end you can taste the wines of Toro D.O. and local cheeses. More here: http://www.pagosdelreymuseodelvino.com/

Parque Estelar Starlight , in Iruña de Oca; you will see wonderful heavenly stories with planetarium, telescopes, and several galactic space gadgets to see the galaxy like never before. Here is more of it: http://irunadeoca.eu/jardin-botanico-santa-catalina/el-jardin-botanico-de-santa-catalina-primer-parque-estelar-starlight/

The famous historical painting of  ‘Guernica‘ of  Picasso, icon of the contemporary art and symbol of the horrors of war is 85 years old and 25 resting at the Museo Reina Sofia. There are political moves to get it over to the Prado, that would be sad me agree; the idea is to put it in the Kingdom room (Salon de Reinos) been renovated in the Prado museum to enlarge its pinacoteca but hopefully not, stay tune.

And who ever writes about cementaries all over the world ,not me , but there are some , I admit that are just a place to see. IN Spain, there is now an association to showcase their values to visitors and locals alike. It is call the Asociacion de Funerarias y Cementerios Municipales or AFCM and created by Cementerios Vivos, an initiative to showcase the part of culture and heritage of these fields. The webpage is here : http://cementeriosvivos.es/

And some of the best outside Madrid are:  Cementerio Mancomunado Bahía de Cádiz.  A visit to modern Cadiz and following the path of the old with two centuries of history. The main things to see are the pantéon Moreno de Mora, Pyramide conmmeration crown with a bronze angel and the monument to the fallen in the war of 1898 for Cuba and Philippines ,guarding the fallen of this war that were send back to Spain. You have the one at  Montjuïc , Barcelona, looking over the sea with English garden, forest pathways with tendancies of look from the 19C and early 20C. It has more than 150 000 tombs with 6000 hypogeums and 70 pantheons, more info on here: http://www.cbsa.cat/

Continue on the dark side of life to Jardin in Alcalà de Henares, next to the river Henares with 35 hectares, a lake, and 33 species of animals, 27 of them birds. Each November 1st they celebrate next to the lake the diminishing of lights with direct music and offering such as pigeons release, balloons etc.  More here: http://www.alcaladehenares.cementeriojardin.com/cementerio.asp

The San Froilàn in Lugo, Galicia, very old and rich heritage on the foot of the camino de Santiago or the way to St Jacques. You can have guided visits and walks inside. More here:  http://www.lugo.es/ws/cemiterio/

 At San Sebastian you have the Polloe, named after the village of Polloe-Enea, the cementary began here in 1878. Neo gothic chapels where the folks resting here are Ignacio Zuloaga the painter, drama writer Miguel Mihura and the politician Clara Campoamor. More info at http://www.donostia.eus/ataria/web/polloe

And we end up in historic Granada at the cementary San José. It is overshadow the Alhambra following orders of king Carlos III. The first one was call Barreras in 1805 and today it is call San José. It has 110 000 sq meters with beautiful patios. More here :http://www.emucesa.es/cementerio/cementerio-municipal-de-san-jose-de-granada/

And to out to sea to scuba dive between 300 sculptures under water. You come to the recently open Museo Atlántico de Lanzarote, the first with underwater arts in Europe. It is located in  Playa Blanca, Yaiza,at 12 meters deep.  Exactly on the Bahía de Las Coloradas, with 2500 square meters of museum, easily reach by scuba divers , or snorkerls enthusiasts. Museo Atlántico. El Berrugo, 2, Puerto Marina Rubicón. Playa Blanca, Lanzarote. More info here: http://www.cactlanzarote.com/

Can’t leave this out as one of my favorite Spanish singing group is back. La Oreja de Van Gogh, San Sebastian after five years a new work, El Planeta Imaginario , will be shown in Madrid with all seats taken today Friday and Saturday January 28 at 21h30 in the La Riviera (Paseo Virgen del Puerto, s/n). More info here: http://salariviera.com/conciertos/la-oreja-de-van-gogh-2/

and for those not from Spain, here is their official site: https://www.laorejadevangogh.com/

Old bottles of Sherry or Jerez, a wonderful wine and some are looking for old bottles and the great wonderful taste. Young amateurs in 2005 at Sanlùcar de Barrameda found the Bodegas Sànchez Ayala forgotten barrels of amontillados , very old. They chose one and bought it , and this was the beginning of Equipo Navazos and the Bota 1 de Amontillado. The success was evident and continue to commercialise in all of Spain. More on them here: http://www.equiponavazos.com/es/inicio/

Then, the one and only Antonio Barbadillo from the old family bodega started on his own to gather manzanilla under the name of Sacristia B. Beginning in Sanlùcar with two barrels of 5000 half bottles or 37,5 CL of Bodegas Sanchez Ayala. After a great success the offering has expanded to Amontillados and Manzanillas as well as Olorosos of Marco de Jerez. The last barrel of manzanilla and amontillado came from Bodegas Yuste . It has a wonderful oloroso in Urium and it has found the lost barrel of pedro ximénez in Montilla (Córdoba), that will come out soon. webpage under construction here : http://sacristiaab.com/

One nice old small great restaurant in Madrid would like to share with my followers/readers here. This is Casa Ricardo at C/ Fernando el Catolico ,31 ,tel +34 91 447 6119. This is a taurino or bullfights taberna or tavern of yesteryear. It has gone thru some tough times but always comes back to continue its 60 years history. After family members passed away the old employees continue the tradition, this is Madrid. You can taste here the Morcilla of Los Navalmorales, rabo de toro guisado (oxtails bulls my favorite) or croquettes of oxtails bulls, huevos fritos con puntillas (fried eggs with lace) paletilla de cordero (shoulder blade of baby lamb) need to order in advance, and the habitas con  jamon or ham and beans. All surrounded by bullfight panels, posters all over the narrow dining room. More here:  http://casaricardo.net/

Something more : theater in Madrid at El Cartografo, until February 26 in Matadero, with great performers of tablas and bring them to current Warsaw. Here discovered an old leyend on the ghetto of Warsaw during the Communist oppression.  More here: http://www.elcartografo-teatro.com/

And further away in Bilbao Museo de Bellas Artes (beaux-arts museum) until February 6 you have the expo “La Cultura del Vino, Maestros del grabado de la Coleccion Vivanco”; all about in 75 works of art from masters of the time from the 15C to today. The culture of wine represented by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies, Andy Warhol, Paula Rego, Eduardo Chillida, Manolo Valdés, Miquel Barceló , and Eduardo Arroyo. More here: https://www.museobilbao.com/in/exposiciones/la-cultura-del-vino-253

And I close out this version of Some news from Spain with one of my favorite town Cuenca, and will be nearby this summer again ::)

Cuenca  has the honor of few cities in Spain to be considered world heritage site by Unesco, only 15 other cities bear this distinction. You have the wonderful hanging house or Casas Colgadas, dating from the 15C and one of them now housing the Museo Español de Arte Abstracto, with a purchase of a ticket you can see the whole of the hanging house. In its walls you will see painting by Fernando Zobel that also the train station bears his name. The museum is all part of the Foundation March, more info here: http://www.march.es/arte/cuenca/?l=1

You see nearby the Casas Colgadas the Puente de San Pablo bridge. The kings of Spain were photographed here during their honeymoon trip. It rises above the Huécar river early in the 20C on a steel design and construction. The original was made of stone to communicate the convent of the same saint (San Pablo=St Paul) . Today there is a parador or hotel here and the cells of the old monks are now the hotel rooms; however, it is still good to enjoy the cloister with lateral confessions and you can come to Mass service in the convent’s Church.  More on tourist site here in pdf file English info: http://turismo.cuenca.es/portals/aytoturismo/documents/cuenca_ingles.pdf

info on the parador San Pablo here: http://www.parador.es/en/paradores/parador-de-Cuenca

Enjoy Spain, everything under the sun. Have a great weekend. Cheers

 

 

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January 25, 2017

Some news from France CXLVIII

So here I am in a slight cold front passing by that have seen temps go down to -7C in the mornings and now it is 0C or about 32F. nice cool night and sunny day just fine thank you.

Something new is the battle in Paris and France for the rights of hotels and real estate agents to survive the avalanche of rental houses and apartments that places like AirBnb ,Abritel, and  Le Bon Coin are showing.

Hotels and agents from the following unions GNI-Synhorcat, AhTop ,  associations  of real estate agents like  Fnaim , and the SNPI, have place a demand in the tribunal to stop these practices. The apartment rental places do not have the same requirements to rent places as the professionals of the trade and this have cause some jealocies that have end up in court.  Starting January 1st 2019, the reservation sites will have the obligation of reporting to the public treasury or trésor public all the revenues received from individual:family renters.

Le Grand Véfour restaurant in the Palais Royal is celebrating the 25 years of Guy Martin extraordinary cooking skills.  More on this institution in Paris here: http://www.grand-vefour.com/en/

Big legal battle in France on the appellation contrôlée regions for Méthode Ancestrale sparkling wines,Clairette de Die  has been given the green light to produce a rosé version, despite an ongoing battle with the appellation Bugey-Cerdon Méthode Ancestrale, which has hitherto been the only one to make a rosé. The first Clairette de Die rosés are due to be released this spring. However, this week the Syndicat des Vins du Bugey, which represents the Cerdon growers, has launched an appeal with the Conseil d’Etat, the highest administrative jurisdiction in France, against the INAO (the French body that awards appellations) and Clairette de Die.  An opinion is just about to be heard on this by the State Council or Conseil d’Etat of France.

One of the best Chinese/Oriental restaurants in Paris , my opinion, is Chez Vong, 10, rue de la Grande Truanderie, 1eme.

And one of the best Italians is Caffé Stern,47 ,Passage des Panoramas,2eme.

You want to follow fame chef star Michelin Cyril Lignac properties in Paris, well follow me:

Le Quinziéme, 14 rue Cauchy (15eme) : http://www.restaurantlequinzieme.com/

Le Chardenoux, 1,rue Jules-Vallés (11eme):  http://www.restaurantlechardenoux.com/

Aux Prés 27, rue du Dragon (6eme) : http://www.restaurantauxpres.com/

Le Bar des Prés  25, rue du Dragon (6eme) : http://www.lebardespres.com/fr/

A chocolate shop à la New York where he spent two years: La Chocolaterie,  25, rue Chanzy (11eme)

And the pastries of the pâtisseries  Cyril Lignac ; 24, rue Paul-Bert (11eme) . 2, rue de Chaillot (16eme). 133, rue de Sèvres (6eme)  and  55, bd Pasteur (15eme. Tél. +33 (0) 1 55 87 21 40.

And at the famous Crypte archéologique du parvis Notre-Dame ,  7 parvis Notre-Dame – Place Jean-Paul II (4eme); you will find until May 26 , 2017 the expo L’or du pouvoir : de Jules César à Marianne. The story of money and gold coins in Paris.  More here: http://www.crypte.paris.fr/

And on my beloved Versailles, something wonderful on the court of Louis XIV and onwards to the French revolution, how to party! at the Chateau de Versailles  http://en.chateauversailles.fr/news-/events/expositions/fetes-et-divertissements-a-la-cour-en/fd/lexposition-1-en

And while in the city , just walk a bit further from the famous potager du roi and you will come to the wonderful Parc Balbi in Versailles; done for the Countess of Balbi mistress of the Count of Provence, brother of king Louis XVI.  More here: http://www.versailles-tourisme.com/patrimoine-culturel#!/parc-balbi-943149

And well for now that’s is all folks!

 

January 22, 2017

Some news from France CXLVII

Once again passing by lovely Paris even in the chaos of the traffic regulations and the pollution talks in fashion these days still a city to be reckoned with. Even losing 1M tourists already and rules that makes difficult to visit especially those wishing to arrive by automobile.  Now back to the drawing board to seek tools to avoid traffic and parking in Paris.

I was by there and as usual pick up some news locally to bring on here. Hope it helps.

Sadly to hear one of my favorite chains of Restaurants Chez Clement is closing ;bankrupt due to the crisis in the trade going on since 2014.  This is the chain known for it’s massive wood furniture and its pots and pans in copper hang on the walls loaded with flowers; it all started back in 1993.

The holding company still holds many memorable properties that will still be open and working fine such as the Maison Lapérouse founded in 1766, Le Saut du Loup in the Louvre, Les Jardins de Bagatelle by the Bois de Boulogne as well as le Tir aux Pigeons, also, the Café du Rond-Point in the theater of the same name and the Hôtel Ermitage in the heights of the Saint-Tropez (Var).

Not only is Chez Clement down , but other favorites are also on extention of oxygen by the courts such as the groupe Flo holding brands such as Hippopotamus (steakhouses) and Bistro Romain (Italian cuisine). According to article in the Le Monde newspaper of January 7, 2017.

Chez Clement my sentimental favorite now gone had branches in the Champs-Elysées, Maillot, Opéra, Porte de Versailles, Saint-Michel, Bougival (78), Boulogne (92), and Petit-Clamart (92). I have eaten at the Opéra (Bd des Capucines) near the Le Grand Hotel Intercontinental, and Saint-Michel( Pl Saint André des Arts ),and Bougival in the Yvelines dept 78 where had celebrated birthday parties for my sons.

The site is still on here:  http://www.chezclement.com/

The financial daily Les Echos point that the process is in reorganization under the Finance law of France similar to a Chapter 11 in the United States, and the idea is to try to save it, and the jobs, but will be a hard battle, I wish them good luck and will eat there again if staying in the area.

Other posts related to Chez Clement are here in my blog

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2014/02/24/again-paris-do-i-have-to-come-up-with-a-line-for-it/#comments

and on my list of the best both in Opéra and Bougival, and even in Nantes affiliate (5, Square Fleuriot).

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/01/08/my-best-restaurants-in-france-my-selection/

Many nice memories here for our family on what is eaten in style in France with good service, good food, and rich decorations. Hope it is saved.

Moving on in the culinary world of Paris , there are some new establishement worth looking into it me think. One not been yet is the La Réguliére , 43 rue Myrtha, (18eme) in the Goutte-d’Or district ,eating good food amongst books , Cartoons and romance novels with exposition and workshop on artists invitations. More here: http://www.paris.fr/actualites/la-reguliere-une-nouvelle-librairie-au-c-ur-de-la-goutte-d-or-4171 , and they also, have a Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/lareguliere/

Another that I have been is the La Rotonde de la Muette, 12 chaussée de la Muette (16eme) now reopen after renovation was finished.  The decoration is Art Déco with wooden motifs à l’Americain, banc seats with cushions and sofa in red leather with tables in marble.  This is sublime what coming to Paris is all about! More here: http://www.rotondemuette.paris/

As an information news, there is a new gluten free bio market in Paris , it is simply call Edmond, 90 ,rue de Rennes (6eme); 100% bio and without gluten, fruits, vegetables, meats, cold cuts ,oils, flours, and you can make your own sandwich to order. More her on bio site:  http://because-gus.com/restaurant/edmond-epicerie-100-bio-gluten/

Cut it here to tell you about two French companies that offer flights in France and even abroad. The first one does it from 6 French cities(Paris,Lille, Lyons,Marseilles, Mulhouse,Toulouse) and it’s call Aigle Azur or blue eagle.  Flying from Orly terminal sud, they flight to and from Algeria, Portugal, Mali , Guinea, Senegal, and China. site here: https://www.aigle-azur.com/en

The other is more known to me as it is part of the Air France/KLM group, this is Transavia.  Therefore, it has a lot more cities and destination to go to at many times lower prices. Also, base at Orly but in Nantes too, it has an option, the site is here for more info: https://www.transavia.com/fr-FR/destinations/

Another one is HOP! an affiliate low cost of Air France, and including regional airlines still trying to bring them all under HOP are Brit Air, Régional, and Airlinair.  The destinations are less than Transavia but still very good in Europe for connections and flights. I have used them often to connect from Nantes. More info here: http://www.hop.com/en/

nighttime you got it we have it too. One that is gaining and just came from absorbing my fav place Wanderlust is the Nuits Fauves.32 quai d’Austerlitz,(13eme).It has 1500 m2 space with three clubbing rooms,and two exterior terraces; all great tecno ,and house music , admission depending who is playing goes from 10€ and up, the hours are from 23h to 6h(11PM to 6AM).  More here: http://www.nuitsfauves.com/

And the new nighttime foodie Paris Texas ,74 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, from the success of the burgers the owners have come up with barbecue Texan resto. Open from 19h to 23h30 with a bar open until 2H or 2AM. Cocktails from 9€ menus from 14€. More here:http://www.paris-texas.fr/

Talking about the rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, a great ambiance of Paris on a street full of goodies from the chic restos 52 and Paris New York, and now the above mentioned , to the Indian restaurants of the Passage Brady and the African hairstylists even at 22h!

And for jazz the legendary Caveau de la Huchette, 5 rue de la Huchette (5eme) ; Since 1946! listen to jazz until 4h or 4AM as well as the Blues… One of my favorites hangouts in Paris over the years here; more here:  http://www.caveaudelahuchette.fr/2/

The French consume about 15 000 tons of game food per year on the best period from September to February.  Wild boar, pigeons salmis, to hare they just love it and me too of course ::)   Where to eat it at modest prices go to Le Répaire de Cartouche, 8 blvd des Filles-du-Calvaire (11eme) just off place de la République menus from 19€. the deco to match. More from the tourist office of Paris in English here: http://en.parisinfo.com/paris-restaurant/70680/Le-Repaire-de-Cartouche

Go, run to the Musée Picasso, but you can see a glimpse if little time (tant pis) at the CDG airport in the espace  musée. The expo Picasso Plein Soleil or full sun Picasso is there now. At the museum thus, you have the largest collection of Picasso work in the world with over 200 000 pieces of archive and 5000 works of art. The expo at the airport comes from here on 22 creations from the hotel Salé in the Marais. More here at the airport : http://espacemusees.com/index_en.php  ;and the main museum site here : http://www.museepicassoparis.fr/en/

If near the museum in Paris don’t forget to visit the oldest market in Paris, the Marché des Enfants Rouges, 39 rue de Bretagne (3eme), created in 1615! you find all from food to clothing to flowers here.  The story in French from the mayor’s office Paris 3eme arrondissement ,http://www.mairie3.paris.fr/mairie03/jsp/site/Portal.jsp?document_id=11632&portlet_id=969   ;and hours and transports from the mayor’s office of Paris here: http://equipement.paris.fr/marche-couvert-des-enfants-rouges-5461

The Institut du Monde Arabe has until February 26 the expo of the adventurous of the seas or Aventuriers des Mers. 1 rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard (5eme).  From Sinbad to Marco Polo , from the Omeyyades to Alexander the Great, the biggest Arabs explorers will be showcase with more than 200 works of art.  Nice and beautiful place indeed. More here in English: https://www.imarabe.org/en

And this show is endless because the scheme is of everyday life in France or Paris or anywhere. My good friend Olivier Giraud continues at the Théatre des Nouveautés,24 blvd Poissonniére, (9eme) not far from the gare Saint Lazare metro grands boulevards, the show “How to become Parisian in one hour?”. More here: http://www.theatredesnouveautes.fr/spectacle/olivier-giraud

Many breweries springup in Paris but my favorite is the traditional one Gallia, 5 rue Méhul , Pantin (93) just outside Paris. It was the emblematic beer of Paris from 1890 to 1969 and greatly re introduce by the current owners in 2009. the Gallia lager the best, with wheat white, ale houblon and brune houblon as well. A new one is getting aged to come out in next Spring. They go on tours for 7€ lasting about 1h30 and worth it for the amateurs of historical good beers.  More here in English! http://www.galliaparis.com/en/

Anécdote from CDG magazine, the metro of Paris is the 9th busiest in the world and the first in Europe with 48 passengers per second! and more than 4 millions per day. !!! And here it is: http://www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/c_21879/visiting-paris/

The new museum in Paris ,opened last December 2016 is the Grand  Musée du Parfum, all about perfums.  In the 8eme arrondissement with over 1400 m2 (previous the fashion house of Christian Lacroix was here), 73 rue du Faubourg Sainte Honoré .  You can smell the first perfume of Kyphi of the antique Egypt to Jicky de Guerlain a new beginning in perfumerie dating from 1889.  More here! http://www.grandmuseeduparfum.fr/

Paris is the world’s capital of cabarets! right: you know the Moulin Rouge( 82 blvd de Clichy), Lido( 116bis avenue des Champs-Elysées) , Paradis Latin( 28 rue du Cardinal Lemoine), and the Crazy Horse( 12 avenue George V). Should I tell you more? ::)

Try it and will make you come back for seafood lovers like me , the Au Rocher de Cancale (from Brittany of course) 78 rue Montorgueil (2eme) ,the façade is a historical monument of France, and inside is the seafood platters and the great planchas to share, another historical monument of France ::) More with menu here: http://au-rocher-de-cancale.zenchef.com/

Again that shopping outlet mall for brand names not far from Paris in my beloved Yvelines dept 78; One Nation Shopping, 1 avenue du Président John Fitsgerald Kennedy, Les Clayes-sous-Bois. You have here Cacharel, Zadig & Voltaire, Armani, Courréges, and Kooples Sport and Diesel just to name a few. Over 90 stores and easy only half an hour from Paris and 10 minutes from the Chateau de Versailles by car of course. It is possible by public transport from Montparnasse and by car directions are easy take the autoroute A13 direction Rouen/Normandie than get on the autoroute A12 direction Dreux, get on the right lane to get on the N12 continue direction Dreux and from this National N12 get on exit or sortie Plaisir/centre commercial Régional, follow the signs for One Nation Paris. Prices 30-70% off ! More here:  http://www.onenation.fr/en/

Elsewhere, we have the wonderful Carnival de Nice coming up February 11 to 26 , almost like Rio (been to both).  This year it will celebrate the “King of Energy” with a grand finale of fireworks and the burning of the monarch as an effigy.  More here: http://www.nicecarnaval.com/en/index.php

At Grasse, the cité des parfums where LVMH just installed the nose of its Dior and Vuitton. There is the musée international de la parfumerie and perfume houses like Fragonard, Molinard, and Galimard. More here: http://www.museesdegrasse.com/en

Enjoy it and have a great Sunday. I am back see next post. Cheers

January 13, 2017

Driving in Paris, the new and the ugly!

Well just before leaving on an Asian tour, I read in the Le Parisien newspaper about the new driving laws for Paris.

I used to worked in Paris and did it for 10 years. At first ,I took the suburban trains to Gare Saint Lazare and the Metro Concorde. As time went on , was really tired of the sardines ambiance underground and sad long passageways and people pushing around just to get in first. I ask for a way to walk, and surprise find out it took me 18 minutes on the metro rides and underground walks and the same time just walking straight out of Saint Lazare.

And of course, what better way to go to work than passing by the Grand Magasins and the church of the Madeleine and going around it and forward into rue Faubourg Sainte Honoré /rue Sainte Honoré ! and into  rue Cambron and then ,rue de Mont-Thabor and into rue Castiglione ,just glorious route on foot; never again underground.

The, had to come to Paris for meeting friends and others zombies of the night scene and darn those public transport quit at 12h47 so how to get back home!!!  The car, always the old reliable car, and a friend remind me about we are use to drive coming from America. So tried the car to Chatelet to meet some friends at a brasserie; and that was the last time came on public transport to Paris, almost 5 years of car driving. And now visiting by car and love it as well.

The mayor of Paris, Anne (Ana) Hidalgo a native of Cadiz Spain is trying to overhaul all that is Paris with these laws supported by the Eco terrorists  in France and Europe. First came the fines that I reported on the last post on Some News from France, and I am ok with the much older cars but to give someone a sticker and ask to pay 4,18€ to determine which day they can come to Paris is ridiculous .

These stickers or vignettes you can purchase it by internet from the government here: https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/

Any day in weekday or working days from 8h to 20h you have to see the year of your car and when can you come to Paris. This rules start on January 15, and are part of the Zone de circulation restreinte (ZCR). Or restrained driving zones including the boulevard périphérique. And it will be tougher later on from July 1st 2017,  the vignettes or sticker No 5 (diesel vehicles registered before Dec 31 2000) will not be able to drive in Paris at all on weekdays.

For now the vignettes will be only given a verbal warning when driving with the wrong number in Paris while 2016 ended . however, in 2017, it will have a fine for  68€  for cars and up to 135€  for trucks driving inside Paris between the hours of 8h and 20H during the weekday without been eligible for a sticker or  vignette.

And if the city designate a day with high pollution even vehicles with sticker may not be allowed to come in , the police prefectural will have the final word on who can come in inside Paris, from inside the A86 in not including the expressway, of course.

I am a member of this organization ,40millionsdautomobilistes ,that is trying to make sense of the traffic laws here and helping a bit the automobile user, it is 40 millions because that is roughly the amount of autos license individuals in France; their webpage is here: http://www.40millionsdautomobilistes.com/

And the Paris tourist office tells you of all means of transport including the car with the usual exclamation that is difficult to drive and find parking in Paris,nonsense. Where did you learn to drive?

http://en.parisinfo.com/practical-paris/how-to-get-to-and-around-paris

Of course, this will not have much of a different to visitors who use public transport most of the time, it will  just diminish eventually the activity of locals around Paris and will just move to other more friendlier cities. The exodus has begun to cities like Bordeaux and the countryside like around my area ,more and more Parisiens around here lol!

I am a diehard so will probably find me a way to get in and limit my days with the car there and go to Versailles instead taking the REC C into Paris. You stay tune as Paris is changing in many ways hopefully not to be destroyed by politicians. See the picture table of vignettes by categories and the map on speed zones now allow in Paris.

Enjoy your weekend, I will be busy getting ready for my trip so see you in a while. Stay healthy and be good ::)

 

 

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January 11, 2017

Some news from France , CXLVI

So this is again the routine in the world of France. Here is cold then mild nice only 9C or about 49F and no rain so far. Not as well did the East where they had even some snow already. Paris about the same now 50F and cloudy  but tomorrow rain as best as the weather folks can tell.

I will be out next week on a trip to Asia for a week, so stay dry and good….I will be hot and cool ::)

For now here is what is cooking in the Belle France.

The école nationale supérieure des Beaux-Art in the rue Bonaparte (6eme) is celebrating their 200 birthday,and many works on renovation is going on.  A museum will be open to the public soon this year. It will showcase a roadmap on the alumni of the school and the entrance will be on the quai Malaquais. The visitor can walk by the Salle Melpomène, the Church of Petits-Augustins and the adjoining cloister, as well as the stained glass cover courtyard of the Palais des études and Amphithéatre d’honneur. The school was founded in January 1817 with heritage collection such as 450 000 works of paintings, molds, sculptures ,designs, photos, and stamps . You can see the whole program here

 http://www.beauxartsparis.com/en/about-us

Two exotic places to eat in Paris with a Latin flair are the Uruguayan  Comptoir Montevideo, 44, rue Coquillière, Paris (Ier). Réservations required Tel +33 01.40.26.84.31. https://www.lafourchette.com/restaurant/comptoir-montevideo/270027

And the Venezuelan  Bululu Arepera, 20, rue de la Fontaine-du-But à Paris (18eme). Wednesdays to Sundays lunch and dinner ,info  Tél. +33 01.42.54.96.25. https://www.lafourchette.com/restaurant/bululu-arepera/79689

Le rap  is in Paris, at the Scred Festival, more than 30 groups are in show here such as the locals  Bastard Prod, with Furax , and ,also,  La Classic. Will be this weekend Fri, Sat,Sun. concerts admission 23€ or 65€ for the three days.  You can participate at La Place 10, passage de la Canopée (1eme), Théatre de Dix-Heures, 36 boulevard de Clichy (18eme) or the Le New Morning , rue des Petites Ecuries (10eme). More info here: https://scredconnexion.com/news/le-scred-festival

And of course, the fines will go up , what do you think they put all those electronic radars? get more money because the death on the road continue to  rise. Starting January 1, 2018 the idea of not paying a parking fine in Paris will go up from 17€ to 50€ n the  arrondissement or districts of zone I in the 1er to the 10me and 35€ in the suburbs in zone II from the 13me to the 20eme.  Of course, they tell you that in cities like London it is 96€ , and Barcelona is 55,50€ , to soften the blow  but its here that matters. And that is not enough the parking meter will go up too from 4€ per hour in zone 1 but the more you stay the more you pay like  8€  for the third hour, 10€  for the fourth hour, 12€ on the fifth and to reach 6 hours will cost 24€  now to 50€,  so a rise of 108 % !  In the suburbs of zone II the rate will be 2,40€ , the first hour to about 9,60€  starting from the fifth hour. Almost nothing, it’s an all out war on the car. And to add the Mayor of Paris Anne (Ana) Hidalgo is Spanish born from Cadiz lol!

This year is the coming out of a movie on the life of the late singer Dalida , very much in love by all Parisiens. It comes out today. At the place Dalida (18eme), there is a bust of Dalida on a throne in the butte Montmartre she made it home and lived for 25 years, from 1962  until suicide on May 3 ,1987.  Her house was at 11, bis rue d’Orchampt ,that she purchased in 1962. Upon her death, the place was sold and made into apartments sadly. She went often to eat at the Moulin de la Galette, just steps from the house and had her usual table by the window, and on her last years she went here almost every day usually with friends.  After her death , it is at the cementary of Montmartre that was put in the 18eme division, Dalida or Yolanda Gigliotti. RIP. More here on her page and movie about to come out: http://dalida.com/actualite/film-dalida-2017.html

A new skyscraper will be build at La Défense, at the Jardins de l’Arche ,with about 200 meters high. It will be next to the U Arena , show hall and home of the Racing 92 rugby team that will open next October  with a view of the terraces of Nanterre.  It will have superficie of  65 000 m², where 45 500 m²  will be dedicated to hotels such as the group Intercontinental Hotels Group, presenting hotels of the gamme of  Crowne Plaza,  Holiday Inn , Staybridge Suites. The remaining 19 500 m²  will have offices, business center, spaces for co-working ,and fab-lab, a gym and shops.  All to be done by 2022.

More on La Défense, the hotel Melià, opened in February 2015 facing the pont de Neuilly, with a panoramic restaurant .  The Esplanade de la Défense will have a Sofitel and the Cnit will house a Hilton.  This year facing the  U Arena, a hotel  CitizenM  will open with 170 rooms.  In 2021, behind the Cnit in the place du Pouce de César, you will see the towers of Sisters, where one will be entirely occupied by a hotel. And my company world headquarters will move in this year too ::)

And the RER E train will go out further from Paris reaching Mantes-la-Jolie and Poissy, two royal towns of France with wonderful Cathedrals, see search and key in these names for my post on them. This will be from La Défense and do for opening by 2024, you heard it here first.

You come in 2017 to Paris do not miss Rodin at the Grand Palais , the Louvre with Rembrandt and Pissaro at Luxembourg.

http://www.grandpalais.fr/fr/evenement/rodin-lexposition-du-centenaire

http://www.louvre.fr/en/rooms/salle-rembrandt-Holland

http://museeduluxembourg.fr/expositions/pissarro-eragny

Some of my favorites around Les Halles à Paris , never wrong here: Au Pied de Cochon 6, rue Coquillière,  more here http://www.pieddecochon.com/

and for a splurge inside the Halles,  Champeaux, the latest from Ducasse ,Forum des Halles , La Canopée, Porte Rambuteau; more here: https://www.restaurant-champeaux.com/fr 

Stay healthy and happy travels ;Cheers

 

January 8, 2017

Chambord ,the king last stand

A wonderful huge castle in the Loire region Centre-Val de Loire. Departmet Loire-et-Cher no. 41. It is only 14 km east of Blois, 47 kms southwest of Orleans, and 164 km south of Paris (about 101 miles). Exit or sortie 16 of the expressway A10 (on the road to Bordeaux)  will put you at 14 km from the castle.  With its 5 550 hectares and 32 kms of walls, Chambord is the largest enclosed park in Europe.  It has not less than 426 rooms and  282 chimneys!

The tourist office of the region is at  http://www.bloischambord.com/decouvrir/nos-chateaux-de-la-loire/domaine-national-de-chambord

The castle , town of Chambord page is at  http://www.chambord.org/

The department tourist page is at  http://holidays-loire-valley.com/

In 1519, François I started not far from Blois in the middle of a desert with trees and marshes on a semi abandoned village a huge project. Victor of the battle of Marignan, the young king intends to seduce by stones as he seduce by arms. It’s time to dazzle the world by a new and perfect work. Chambord was the first castle of François I entirely done from scratch.  As I am writing this , a new program on French TV channel ARTE is going on about the castle.

On the northern front you see what a looks like a military fortress surrounded by towers. During its construction François I visited 14 times!!! The towers give a impregnable view over the gardens and forest, great for the second vocation that of hunting. Coming out of the staircase to the top you see a lantern that is not inhabited but serve as lookout and has a fleur de lys the symbol of French royalty.

On the southern front you see a lower cercle base where to see the garden at eye level.  Here you see the donjon tower coming to the royal wing as a refuge and passing into the forest by the king. It has 156 meters (about 515 feet) of façade and inside a wonderful staircase.

You should not miss from the visit the audiovisual room (film presentation), the double revolution staircase, the apartments of François I and Louis XIV, the carved arches of the second floor, the terraces, and the North parterre garden at minimum.

Chambord is originally dedicated to the arts. The Moliére’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme was played for the first time before Louis XIV in 1670! It, also, offers many nature activities in the park, like horse show, carriage ride, visit of reserves in a 4X4 vehicule , visit on foot or by bike etc

François I died in 1547, with finally only passing 72 nights in the castle in 32 years of reign. Work continue under Henri II but he ,also, died in 1559, consolidation work is still done in 1566  under Charles IX. Far from the court, Henri III and Henri IV do not lived in the castle. Louis XIII only spent two nights in the castle, and from 1639, the castle is only occupied by the brother of the exile king Gaston d’Orléans. We need to wait until the coming of Louis XIV to finished the project of François I;giving the work to famous architect Jules Hardouin-Mansard. Louis XIV lived only 9 times here , first in 1650 and then lastly in 1685 (company of Madame de Maintenon) ; coming each time on the occasion of the play by Moliére, Monsieur de Pourceaugnac and le Bourgeois gentilhomme.

The king Louix XV used the castle to welcome host the father-in-law Stanislas Leszczynski, king of Poland in exile between 1725 and 1733. By then, the king of Poland leaves for its final place in Nancy. The castle stays uninhabited for many years until 1745, Louis XV gives it as donation to the Maréchal de Saxe that becomes governor for life and lives there permanently since 1748 until his death in 1750.  After, the later passing, the castle is lived by the governors like his nephew Von Friesen died there in 1755, then the marquis de saumery until 1779, and the marquis de Polignac chase out by the French revolution in 1790. After much destruction by the revolutionaries, the castle is in very bad shape by 1796 but still intact.

By July 1802 the first consul Napoléon Bonaparte gives the castle to the legionnaire that after two years finally comes to lived here ,general Augereau. Finding the castle totally deliberated and begins a period of renovation. Under the emperor Napoléon I, it was decided to use it as a school for girls of the legion of honor guard in 1805 but the decision was not followed. The castle comes into the legion of honor guards and rename the principality of Wagram and given in 1809 to the maréchal Louis-Alexandre Berthier, prince of Neuchâtel and Wagram; he comes only one time to the castle! in 1810. Upon his death in 1815, the castle was put up for sale by his widow not able to keep up with the costs.

In 1821, the castle is acquired by national subscription sale to the young Henri d’Artois, duke of Bordeaux, upon the death of Charles X, the prince is the chief of the senior branch of the house of  Bourbons and takes in exile the courtesy title of Count of Chambord. He continues from afar to invest money for the renovation of the castle. During his period , the castle is open to the public. During the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, the castle served as a hospital and in 1871 the Count of Chambord lived briefly. He calls upon the French to bring the monarchy back under the white flag of the French monarchy; (bad decision the representatives wanted a constitutional monarchy similar to that of the UK). Upon his death in 1883, the castle passes to the descendants prince Bourbon Parma and nephews Robert I of Parma, Duke of Parma and Plaisance, and his brother Henri de Bourbon-Parma count of Bardi. Upon the death of the latter in 1907, it passes to his son Elie de Bourbon duke of Parma and Plaisance.

With financial situation the castle passes to the French State on April 13, 1930 after been used during WWI by the government.  From the beginning of WWII the castle becomes the center of tri of the treasures of the national museums of Paris and the north of France to be evacuated and protected from the bombings of the Nazis. After the war, the objects of arts are re send back to their original places most of it to the Louvre museum.  Work of restoration and renovation follows.

Today still open to the public the castle or domaine national de Chambord  covers 5 440 hectares of which 1 000 hectares are open to the public, also, the biggest forest enclosed park of Europe. A marvel of our times and much needed to be visited while in France.

The castle practical information can be translated to several languages, time and prices can change so check the official site Chambord.org above. parking is 6€ per day the closest to the castle. Food inside at the Café d’Orléans is very nice for simple sandwiches snacks etc and soft drinks. The Café des écuries outside is very nice and can see the castle with good views. On the Village square approaching the castle you have several eateries as well and shops.  There is a nice boutique inside by the entrance with all the trimmings including food local product, and there is the La maison des vins de Cheverny, very good for tasting and buying the local wines that are good and good prices.  You can ,also, rent cottages just inside and at the door of the castle very nice; not use them but they look good.

 Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord  Chambord

See the portrait room with pictures of Louis XVI !!!above photo

 Chambord

Enjoy the Sunday, I am off tomorrow lol! but lots of errands to catch up the new year. Happy New Year and best wishes for 2017!

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January 6, 2017

Some news from Spain XXXIIII

And the days are getting colder and foggier as today was 1C or about 33F with fog very dense in the country coming home. However, let’s bring some news on Spain, everything under the sun ::)

Some concerts coming up in Spain worth going too even if the price is high.

Aerosmith. Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer, Brad Whitford had been seven years without dropping by Spain and Madrid it has been 20 years , but Aero Vederci Baby tour with an air of farewell is well deserves a visit  . The Boston boys have extended their end (originally planned for July 5 Zurich) to finish it on July 8 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. June 29 in Madrid (Rivas auditorium) July 2 in Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Barcelona (Parque Can Zam Rock Fest Barcelona) and July 8 Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Estadio Heliodoro Rodriguez Lopez). From 79,30€.

Bruno Mars World Tour, April 3 in Madrid (WiZink Center) and 7 April in Barcelona (Palau Sant Jordi). Tickets sold out (except the VIP, to 275 euros).

David Bisbal Hijos del Mar tour, after the concert of Almeria (june 2) have been confirmed, at the moment, performances in Valencia, Murcia, Barcelona, Tarragona, Alicante, Malaga, Puerto de Santa Maria, Sevilla, Madrid, and Bilbao (the latter, October 7). From 29,50 €.

Deep Purple. Considered a legend of the hard rock, the British band says goodbye to the scenarios after nearly a half-century of existence (formed in 1968). Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ian Paice (the only remaining original picture),  Steve Morse and Don Airey will come to Spain in midsummer  on their album tour , inFinite. It will come out by the beginning of 2017 (the first single will be released on 20 January)   The Long Goodbye Tour, June 30 in Barakaldo, Bilbao (Bizkaia Arena BEC), 1 July in Barcelona (Rock Fest) and 3 July in Madrid (WiZink Center). From 50€.

Guns N’ Roses. Axel Rose, Slash and Duff, founding members of the legendary rock band, returned to the stage in mid-2016. Not In This Lifetime Tour  comes to Spain. Tickets for Madrid flew in just seven hours, but it still available at San Mamés, Bilbao ; the first big rock band to play at Athletic Bilbao stadium. May 30 Bilbao (San Mames Stadium) and June 4 Madrid (Vicente Calderon stadium), From 108€.

Sting. Three years after the release of The Last Ship, the former leader of The Police , published 57th & 9th streets , which owes its name to the crossing of the streets of Manhattan that crossed on the way to the study, a more rock album. the British will only offer a performance in Spain, in Barcelona, for which entries have flown.  March 21 in Barcelona (Sant Jordi Club). Tickets sold out (except the VIP, a 292€).

And something that just passed but good to keep in mind when in town to purchase toys, the stores I like are:

Circus Kids | Argensola, 2 | Metro Alonso Martínez | Tel.+34 91 052 12 74 with webpage at  www.circokids.es.

Disney Store | Avda Monforte de Lemos, 36 (CC La Vaguada) / ave de Gran Bretaña/n (CC Parque Sur-Leganés) /, 2 Moreras  (CC centro oeste-Majadahonda) | Tel +34  91 481 15 23 / 91 634 41 04 , webpage http://www.disneystore.es

Juguetronica | Alberto Aguilera, 1 | Metro Bilbao | Tel +34 91 447 88 08 webpage at juguetronica.es

Horta Bazaar | Conde de Peñalver, 25 | Metro Goya | tel 91 402 43 68 Weppage http://www.hortabazaar.com, house founded in 1931 ,this store of life follows the special charm that only 85 years of history can explained.

Ciudad Real province was appointed in 2012 world heritage site by Unesco, El Almadén , which has the largest (and oldest) mercury mines in the world, the activity of the mining Park of Almadén concluded in 2002, but now it is possible to visit its installations and descend by the San Teodoro Pozo until the first floor located to 50 meters deep to discover the way that worked on them in the past and know how is It was  quarried the mercury in the 16C and 17C althrough this mine has been exploded for more than 2000 years. The surface has trains to transported visitors and continues the visit to the furnaces of Audeles from the 17C by the Puerta San Carlos IV. And the Museum of Mercury which explained the geology and history of this chemical element.

La Real Prision was the prison in Almaden in the 16C and they were required to work the mines to do their sentence.  Being the building directly connected to the mine. The prisioners did not even have to go outside. The sentence to them was to work in teh mine of Almaden until the year 1799 when the sentences ended and now houses the famous school of Engineering and Industry of Almaden. The town have the unique hexagonal square in the world. This square was built in the 1752, and was one of the first squares built in Spain. It has the peculiarity of accommodating 24 houses on its façade, and its contruction can in order to afford the Real Hospital of miners of San Rafael (Which today is the historical archive of Minas de Almaden) with its bullfights. Currenly these homes have become the only hotel in the world located in a bullring. Morehere: http://www.almaden.es/turismo.html

The good things about Cordoba:

Jardines de la Victoria or Victory Gardens , a Beautiful park designed in the 18C amongt roman mauseleums. By 2013, the market of la Victoria, Andalusia gastronomic market was opened.  It is the perfect place to start tasting delicacies s the exotic salmorejos created by Juanjo Ruiz in his Salmoreteca, the 100 Flamenkitos flamenquines or the Iberian ham from los Pedroches of Covap. Nearby, Albeniz 16, Aldo Cabrera made the best pizzas of Córdoba and all with names of celebrities like Mick Jagger or Banksy.

By Puerta de Almodovar come to meet another world in another era of narrow streetswhere good restaurants are concentrated. As Casa Pepe de la Juderia, at Romero, 1, a classic to prove good popular Cordoba cuisine, including the rabo de toro, and with superb views from its rooftop. There are other equally great as El Churrasco,Romero 16, famous for its lamb dishes. Or Casa Mazal, Tomás Conde, 3,    epecializing in Shephardic cuisine. The district has since 2014 its own gastronomic market Los Patios de la Marquesa,calle Manríquez.

In front,the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos hiding excellent local restaurants as Puerta de Sevilla, in calle  postrera-, 51. A good place to test the almodrote of Eggplant with mint or andafina, a stew of lamb. Another good alternative, with almost 100 years of history, is Taberna la Viuda (San Basilio, 52), which offers innovative varieties of native dishes such as oxtail flamenquín. And for you who like the salmorejo, Juan Peña(Doctor Fleming, 1) offers 20 varieties.

Near the Mezquita cathedral Bodegas Mezquita wineries , are Corregidor Luis de la Cerda, 73, who has restaurant, but above all with a great pantry where Cordoba quality products purchased. Also adjoining Casa of Pedro Ximénez, where you can learn first hand the product. Moreover, Sojo grupo transformed the Horno deLuis at Cardenal Gonzalez , 3.  And those who prefer to combine gastronomy with flamenco, El Burlaero Calleja  de fuego 5, is perfect.

Paseo de la ribera wineries  Bodega Campos(Lineros, 32), a gastronomic institution since 1908.  Tapas , a good place with views is the tavern of the River (E. Romero de Torres, 7 or garum 21, in San Fernando, 120, the Bistronomic Tapas Bar of Jose Luis Santiago. The porridge of pistachio is unique. To finish the day few places are as pleasant as Fusion Sojo, fine seasonal cuisine. La  Copa  with views, on the terrace of the Sojo Ribera in the same ride.

Plaza Corredera, this 17C square hides the Penadonde Sanchez market before it was a hat factory. The most advisable is to the Taberna Salinas (Tundidores, 3), a century-old local where try spinach with chickpeas, pork and a pastel cordobés trotters for scrumptious.

Plaza de las Tendillas, considered the heart of the Centre of Cordoba, are the bars and taverns of tapas. From the classic El Correo Jesús Maria, 2, or the Casa del pisto, in Plaza San Miguel, 1, passing through Aguaceros in the  same square, or A Cuatro Manos, San Felipe 13 . To eat in more serious plans, the El Blazon, José Zorrilla, 1, or tavern La Montillana, in San Álvaro, 5. And in Barqueros, 2 there is the main store of Covap (Cooperativa Ganadera del Valle de los Pedroches) where you can acquire hams and other products from the area.

Where do you left me with France in Madrid. You heard of José I Bonaparte (Joseph) or Pepe Botella oldest brother of Napoleon I. Despite the fact some experts argue that he did not even taste a drop of alcohol. The nickname of ‘King of squares or Rey de Plazuelas.Since his arrival in the summer of 1808. He found a sealed city with an intricate urban layout that was stifling for the French.  Orders went out  to open spaces,  demolishing churches, convents and  complete housing blocks, resulted in squares hence his nickname ,well known as the  Oriente, opposite the Royal Palace. The squares of San Miguel, Santa Ana, Mostenses or San Martin is also the Gallic King heritage.

Palacio de Linares, originally named Palacio de Murga – by their owners, José de Murga y Osorio Raimunda; Worked started in 1877  following the style of Adolf  Ombrecht French. It is located in the plaza de Cibeles, one of the essential for every lover of architecture, because it is home to the Palacio de Buenavista . José I (Joseph) chose it as headquarters of the Museum josefino , seed of the Museum of the Prado – and the Banco de Españathat, despite the Venetian Renaissance style responds to the European model that was intended by the French monarch to Madrid. The Calle  Alcalá Street stop at corners as  spectacular as the building of the Instituto Cervantes. The old Banco Espanol del Rio de la Plata located right in front of two palaces that could perfectly be located in a city like Paris. They are the mansions of Urquijo and Fontagud 47 Alcalá and Barquillo 5, streets respectively; nowadays are seat of the National Commission of markets and competition, occupying practically the entire block until Plaza del Rey square.

The Gallic traces on the capital in one of the perfect places to learn more about France: Oh Délice!. This ’boutique  gourmet’, in plaza de Chueca, is famous for its peculiar-tasting cheeses and wines.  A temple of the craft products from the neighboring country, talks the types of how many grapes ,delicacies of French regions etc Not  rare that science, philosophy or history end up linking this kind of informal meetings. More here: http://www.ohdelice.es/

Enjoy Spain and Madrid especially, just wonderful to celebrate the 3 Wise Kings parade or Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos, those that came from different corners of the world to provide gifts of their regions to the new born Child in Bethlehem , Jesus. Thereafter, sort of, traditions hold we give our kids the toys/gifts on Epiphany day.

Enjoy Spain, we are planning to be back in summer 2017. Cheers!

 

 

 

 

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January 3, 2017

Some news from France , CXLV

Hi there, and welcome to 2017 on my blog Paris1972-Versailles2003. For those new, I name my blog back in November 2010 after my very first encounter with the most beautiful city in the world, PARIS; coming on the heels of the great movie The Last Tango in Paris with Marlon Brandon, and Maria Schneider. Thereafter, added my year of permanent resident citizen in France on August 2003 in royal Versailles.

Ahh for my own sake, the CXLV is post No 145 in the series.::)

Some happenings and anecdotes from France and Paris in particular.

Between 2009 and 2014, the number of Parisian went from 2 234 105 to 2 220 445. Or a loss of  13 660 inhabitants in less than five years.  14 out of 20 districts are concerned.  Only four peripheral districts escape this trend and see their population increase between 2009 and 2014: the 12th, 14th, 17th and 19th. The reasons according to the mayor’s office is the lower birth rate affecting cities and an increase in the number of second homes in Paris. Now the next Council of Paris (30, 31 January and 1 February)a tax on second homes will be increased and will multiply the devices to encourage homeowners to put their apartment with the devices ‘multiloc’ or ‘ rent solidarity” Just to fight against Airbnb. Big battle on renters in Paris trying to make some additional income because not only they escape paying some taxes, but the homes remain off hands for permanent renters. They make more money on the tourists! Source: INSEE

After the BHV, Galeries Lafayette ,and Le Bon Marché ;the Au Printemps will finally be allowed to open its doors Sundays. Employees working occasionally on Sunday in addition to their working time, can make up to 12 maximum Sundays per year and will benefit by Sunday worked 100% of the salary increase, a compensatory rest day  due to work on a day not worked and 60€  child care assistance.  And further, ,employees normally scheduled Sunday as a day of work will enjoy the same benefits with the exception of the compensatory ceilings of 12 Sundays. Great idea, finally catching up here in la Belle France.

This small structure created in 1960 in a beautiful 17C  house surrounded by gardens, in the rue Cortot, and a high place in the history of art, where successive painters Auguste Renoir, Raoul Dufy, Suzanne Valadon and Maurice  Utrillo came to paint and lived. Yet for four years the Museum of Montmartre is fighting for its entry into the fold of the Inter Museum Association which about 56 cultural venues in Paris and the and Ile-de-France region and proposes the Paris Museum Pass, which allows visitors free access to museums. Only here, Montmartre is excluded from the Pass. http://www.museedemontmartre.fr/

Well surprise right? Not really if you live here. Parisians rarely visit the monuments of their beautiful city. Even when they walk in the streets of the capital on the weekend. They don’t know the history of their neighborhood. Given this situation, a start-up embarked on market tours specifically designed for Parisians . For a year, “My Beautiful Paris” offers to help discovered the secrets of the city of light. Visits take place in small groups max 15 persons and last for 2 hours, renewed every month. To find out the full program, the dates to visits and buy a box online or an individual visit the webpage  www.redecouvrirparis.fr.  For info a gift giving card for two cost 39€, for 4 cost 74€ and for 6 places cost 99€ and 12 it is 199€.

something interesting and part of the French everyday life is the baguette well here is one of the best and most historical flour makers.  The Bourgeois Mills settled in Verdelot, if not there by chance 25 kms west of the commune of  La Ferté-under-Jouarres in the Seine and Marne, dept 77. Stones were  made,for several centuries to grind the seeds.

“The global benchmark of the wheel was there”, says David Bourgeois.  The last Mills closed in the 19C. “The Millers tradition  continues: it was the best stone to crush the grain.  There are millstones of La Ferté  to Asia and South America as early as the 16C, the know-how of the millers of La Ferté who made these circular stones was recognized worldwide.  Milling was good from the siliceous rock, stone as it is very porous. The stones  was, also, used to build the houses of  île-de-France region for the millers. The French Revolution at the end of the 18C 3000 people lived directly from this activity at  La Ferté. Bourgeois Mills  by the numbers:

200 million. The number of baguettes made annually by the Bourgeois flour.   40M€ The annual turnover of the Bourgeois mills.50 000 tons. The amount of flour per year. 1,000. The number of customers bakers, within a radius of 300 km. 95 the number of employees; 22 the number of company  delivery led trucks.

One museum I passed by on my last visit to Paris is the musée Jeu de Paume at the Jardin des Tuileries. Showing now Soulévements, L’histoire de la geste populaire. Until January 15 2017. 282 works coming from 105 lenders on 1000 sq meters of space with 210 enlevements seen by 21 partner institutions. It gives the space to the philosopher and art historian Georges Didi-Huberman. 

Talking about Montmartre do not missed the seafood of La Mascotte, 52 rue des Abbesses ;webpage here http://www.la-mascotte-montmartre.com/

For something down, get the roasted chicken of Le Coq Rico at 98 ,rue Lepic, webpage here: http://www.lecoqrico.com/

And for the ladies you find those wonderful Parisian creations at Spree , 16 rue la Vieuville; webpage here : http://www.spree.fr/en/ 

The activities of Versailles are great with this extravaganza going on until March 26, 2017. An exhibition showing varieties and ingenuity of entertainment provided by the court, making Versailles simply monumental, extraordinary and fantastic to show off its parties and shows. More in English here: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/news-/events/expositions/fetes-et-divertissements-a-la-cour-en

And to end with a bit of nostalgia for the Circus with CirkaCuba by Circus Phénix in the Pelouse de Reuilly, 75012 until January 15 in Paris and then on tour in France. These are Cubans artists doing their best which is dancing and acrobatic dancing acts, more info here: www.cirquephenix.com/ and the show info CirkaCuba is here: http://cirkacuba.cirquephenix.com/

 

Last minute on the Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi, The Louvre Abu Dhabi – annex of the famous Paris Museum in the Emirates – open end of 2017, on the island of Saadiyat, with two years behind the original schedule.The building housing the future Museum, in the form of rose of the sands and capped by a huge dome inspired by the traditional Arab architecture, was designed by the french architect Jean Nouvel. Its construction, which started in January 2013, cost 582 million euros, according to AFP. A collection of 600 works of arts. The Louvre Abu Dhabi will bring together 8600 m2 of space, not to mention the outdoor areas , works of all civilizations and all periods, including contemporary arts unlike its French home . It has already built up a collection of more than 600 pieces including 300 loaned b French partner museums for the opening.

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