Archive for April 3rd, 2017

April 3, 2017

You know the Vendée, Noirmoutier island, part I

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThis is the beginning of several posts on the Vendée old region of France , historically proud and independent not a fan of the French revolution.   It is today in the region of Pays de la Loire; but it was the historical province of Poitou, specifically the department correspond to the old Bas-Poitou.

I have passed by here many times , but as always in my belle France, there is so much to see and do ,little time , will need a lifetime ::) However, this Sunday I took a decision to go and visit in the island of Noirmoutier and it was a pleasant surprise or rather I knew it would be beautiful !

the department tourist office is here in English:

And the island of Noirmoutier tourist office is here n English:

We rode by car of course, the best way to travel in country. taking the N165 down from me is about 2h45 and 207 kms. We cut by Pont Chateau D773 to the N171 and then , the Pont de Saint Nazaire on the D213 or Route Bleue towards Bourneuf -en-Retz, to Bouin on the D758  onwards to Beauvoir sur Mer ,then get on the D22 to Fromentine, and there take the D38 at La Barre de Monts ,and on the bridge or pont de Noirmoustier.  The ride was wonderfully good and easy with great sites along the ocean and marine terminals and the marais Breton or Breton marshes!

We passed once on the island the town of Barbâtre and its windmills or moulins. The nice intermarché supermarket at La Guériniére. Here there is a nice monument stone to a fallen B17 US crew in WWII; and the beach or Plage de la Cantine (more in other posts see one photo here).

All the way to the bus station or gare routiére  in Noirmoustier, with the bus 13 that makes runs of about 2hrs to Nantes as well as 171 to La-Roche-sur-Yon. You see a small aquarium or Sealand, a bit smallish for 13€ is a bit expensive but it is right in the digue or canal out to sea. There is a nice petit train or small train ride out from Place d’Armes.

And the historical home of the Oratoire de Sainte Marie de Euphrasie Pelletier.  The Saint was born here in 1796 with the name Rose Virginie Pelletier and was canonize in 1940. She left us in 1868 at the age of 72. It now houses the religious order of the Bon Pasteur  for the retirement periods which they purchased in 1951.  The order joined with those of Notre Dame  de Charité in 2004. This house is the birthplace of the Saint.

There is ,also, a petit train or little train rides from the Place d’Armes by the castle. As well as a nice Hôtel de Ville or city hall building on the Place de l’hôtel de ville. You see an interesting stone by the digues on the canal of the anchor stone of the boat that brought St James or Santiago de Compostela to Padron, and both cities are twin so the gift to this island.

Then, there is the Les Salorges, old salt storage buildings now use as a cultural center for theater plays, concerts etc facing the canal out to sea.

In all a wonderful day sunny nice and full of visitors! The first day of tourist season and it was packed, things look rosy in the coming weeks and months for Noirmoutier island or Noirmoutier-en-île.

Barbâtre and its beaches here:

And its windmills here:

traffic on the bridge or Pont de Saint Nazaire here :

The bridge or pont de Noirmoutier here :

The great and handy Intermarché supermarket at La Guériniére here:

The monument to the fallen crew of the US B17 here: (great photos) !

Plage de la Cantine or Cantine Beach in La Guériniére and other beaches on the island here:

Gare Routiére or bus terminal at Noirmoutier here:

the aquarium SeaLand here:

The founders of the order included Sainte Marie here in French:

On the Oratoire more here in French:

The city of Noirmoutier city hall here:

And the petit train or Noirmut’train  site here:—balades-en-petit-train

On the stone of St James from Padron to Noirmoustier in French here:

The Salorges cultural center more here:

 Noirmoustier  Noirmoustier  Noirmoustier  Noirmoustier  Noirmoustier  Noirmoustier  Noirmoustier

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April 3, 2017

Some news from France CXLIX

I am at it again folks, back from wonderful trip to the Vendée (more later on ) and tomorrow to Paris, what else is better in life ! Here the sun has come back and temps are very nice in the 18C or 64F during the day.

Some of the things going on in my belle France are:

According to an article in the newspaper Le Parisien the first automatic bars on the trains of Paris will see the light officially at gare Montparnasse in Paris (where I will be arriving tomorrow) and voilà it is said will be the first day of them tomorrow Tuesday April 4 2017. I will see ! As in the metro, the passengers will have to show proof on the digital machines before allow to pass, and they will open automatically if the ticket is good. After Montparnasse ,they will be up at 12 other stations such as Marseille, Rennes, Nantes, Aix-TGV, Lyon-Perrache, Lyon Part-Dieu, Gare de Lyon, Gard du Nord and Gare de l’Est in Paris ,and onwards as well as Bordeaux, Saint-Pierre-des-Corps (Tours) from now to 2018. This is an effort to stop fraud and have everyone do pay their ticket to the trains.

 And it’s official, the quais and voies or wharfs and roads along the Seine river in Paris will be pedestrian. Only allow will be cyclists, joggers, and walkers so the car is out. The opening will be today at 14h30 on the ramp of the square Garcia-Lorca facing the Hôtel de Ville. This in addition to the pedestrian areas of the rive Gauche and rive Droite that now extends over 7 kms  (bit over 4 miles) on to the bassin de l’Arsenal  to Bastille ,and until the Champs-de-Mars at the foot of the Tour Eiffel; this is a space of 10 hectares (almost 25 acres) taken away from the car. It will be dotted with restaurants and activities for all, see the photo.

One for the car the exchange of the autoroute A4  at Bailly-Romainvilliers  will be ready for the opening of the Villages Nature, expected for end of July.  First, the traffic will be open to the road taking résidents to Villages Nature at Disneyland Paris, as well as the road taking the automobilist coming from Paris towards Villages Nature.  There has been some delays due to conflict between the regional gov and the State etc because they have ask for a toll booth between the A4 and the N36 to get around the toll at Coutevroult , and the city center/downtown of Bailly-Romainvilliers.  For this reason, they are still working on the traffic circle that will take you from the Villages Nature, and the access road to the camping ranch of Davy-Crockett.

More happing for some local news but I think will impact the visitors as there is talk of a nice hotel been built there. The Ile de France region has finally agree to the re construction of the high school or lycée Jules-Ferry  of  Versailles on the plains of Satory (not my kids school but off the Sceaux street leaving from the palace.  This will allow a space of 20K M2 (about 215K sq ft)  an open area in the district of Saint-Louis.  The new school will be on the area of the old caserne Fesch or headquarters Fesch at the entry to the plain of Satory. This can be done by 2023. On the empty space left from the school at Saint-Louis, the space will be divided in two parts of the rue rue du Maréchal-Joffre,that will be put up for sales and could host an apartment complex of good standing and a luxury hotel.  More again from the Le Parisien newspaper here:

And now we are going to control the restaurants, hotels, cafeterias, and slaughterhouses and businesses in the meat supermarket, market and farm direct sales with notes! It will be posted on the government site Alim Confiance or food trust site here :

This type of initiative is already on in 8 European countries such as UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Denmark , Finland, Lithuania, and Norway. Awaiting to do it are Germany and Sweden.  They have found improvement on the health issues and sanitary conditions; for example in ten years in Denmark the improvements have been around the 20% on hygiene.  Of course, this will weed out the unscrupulous business owners trying to squeeze an euro from the public and the tourist visitor. It will , also, add to the costs of things I am sure.

A bit from my recently visited area I like:

At Saint-Jean de Monts on April 14 you can see art from Johannes Vermeer, and the Dutch painting school. This will be on at the Médiathéque Espace Culturel at 19H for free. this is the town library folks info at email: or tel +33 (0) 2 51 58 91 12

You can have Paris style cabaret shows at the La Belle Entrée, Rue de la Paix, St André Goule d’Oie. It’s the biggest of its kind in all of Pays de la Loire region. They offered lunch and dinner spectacles, for more check their site here:

The famous Harlem Globetrotters basketball show will pass by this area on April 23rd, at the Salle Michel Vrignaud, Challans, more info here:

Kyle Eastwood, (yes you know it the son of Cliff) is a great jazz player and will be performing at the salle de L’Echiquier, at Pouzauges on april 8 at 20h30. He compose the music of many of his Dad’s films such as Mystic River, Gran Torino ,Invictus; and came out with his first solo record in ” From There to There” in 1998. He will be there with his vocal Joni Mitchel and his English quintet, and one Cuban drummer.  Nice to see indeed; more info here:

For a roller coaster event and BMX, disco roller, and crazy cart come to Notre Dame de Monts at the Esplanade and avenue de la mer from 11h to 20h on April 22-23. “Tous en Roller” awaits you there: more info here:

And of course , these are just my favorite, there is a whole lot more in my belle France!

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