Archive for October, 2017

October 31, 2017

Some news from Spain LIIII

A bit on my Spain, and the treasure heritage that it has to offer. Today is sunny but cold down to 6C this morning here in my neck of the woods, now as I write is up to 9C; however, in Madrid it is 54F or about 12C and cloudy with no rain in sight. A break from my other love , France.

The latest from Spain are the following:

One of the greatest victories in the history of Spain was held at Pernambuco, Brazil.  The naval battle was so big, that upon returning it was ordered to paint scenes from the battle and kept it for later history. The paintings were eventually given as gifts to king Felipe IV as he was able by this victory to avoid the Dutch from taking the sugar production in Brazil.  The naval museum or Museo Naval de Madrid has open an exposition entitled the victory of Pernambuco or  «La victoria de Pernambuco». For the first time since the 18C that these paintings will be shown together. The naval battle pictures were separated in 1734, due to a fire in the Alcàzar de Madrid where they were exposed for the king; the fire took away other valuable paintings by Tiziano, Velàzquez, Rubens, Durero, and Tintoretto.  Someone, put these paintings canvas in roll and threw them from a window!!! The painting were saved but the guides telling about them did not. The naval museum is ,also, showing the standard flag that was carried in the battle on the battleship Santiago. The flag is 4 meters of silk and oleo, having on one side a Christ in crucifiction, the Saint Mary and St John, and below them St James (Santiago Matamoros). More info here: Museo Naval de Madrid

Another valuable showing will be the treasures in the La Caja de las Letras del Instituto Cervantes! . This safebox is always open in the lower floor of the building.  It was created in the year the Instituto Cervantes moved to the new location in the Calle Alcalá 49, where it was before the Central Bank. The story started with the writer Francisco Ayala, who was the first one to occupied one of the 1800 boxes in 2007; he left a handwritten letter and a personal wish that will be made public in 2057.  He was followed by many such as the poets  Antonio Gamoneda and Carlos Edmundo de Ory, and the artist  Antoni Tàpies.  IT continues to grow with the first investigative  of the Scientist Margarita Salas in 2008 while working with Severo Ochoa in New York. The Mexican Elena Poniatowska, left a wrist band that was used by her father while fought in WWII and had the first edition of the night of Tlatelolco.  Nicanor Parra  left a typewriting machine and Fernando del Paso kept a shirt from the poet José Carlos Becerra.  The dnacer and choreographer Víctor Ullate left the vest on which he played the «El Madrid de Chueca» with the Ballet Nacional in 1982, as well as a watch from his grandfather and a ring from his father.  A watch purchased in 1946 was the gift of  John Elliott, the latest member of the Caja and the first Hispanic American in doing so, leaving his gift in box no 1492, next to the one by Gabriel García Márquez, that has dirt from his native Aracataca, as well as a plaque with the first paragraph of his novel «Cien años de soledad». The next gift will be on the 75th anniversary of the passing of Miguel Hernández. Juan Goytisolo left a camera to be developed in 2031.  The wealth of Spain is not in the bank of Spain but in the museums such as the Thyssen, Prado, and Reina Sofía, and others, archives and libraries as well as the architecture heritage. Really ,these are our banks, and it is there where we keep what we are and what we have been . More here! Instituto Cervantes

Telefónica, the great telephone company of Spain is the sponsor and partner of the museum or  Museo Reina Sofía. It has thru their consulting firm  Synertic Partners ,done the first Big Data survey of the museum The technology allowes to process high data volumes with the aim of given information on the public choices while attending the museum.  It is the most exhaustive study done until now and it was done between April 5 to September 4 2017 while the exposition entitled «Piedad y terror en Picasso. El camino a Guernica», was held on the 80th anniversary of the famous portrait. The expo drew 680K persons coming from 189 countries with a median of 4 800 persons per day.  More than  60%  were foreign visitors with 10 countries representing 80% . The most visitors came from Italy  17,4%, then France, Germany, USA, Japan, Argentina, Portugal and the Netherland.  Of all tourists in Madrid in those months  11,5% visited the museum  Reina Sofía.  50% came from Italy and France with each country having a special day for visiting!! The Americans prefer the Mondays, the British, Sunday, Japanese come in groups, the Italians prefers the free periods . There were 111.000 mentions in  Twitter, the most platform used with 97% positive comments!  The study took a volume of information of 157 gb , or 30K more than the complete works of Shakespeare. More in Spanish here: telefonica on Reina Sofia

The so calle black years or  «années noires» of París, the years of the Nazi occupation (1940-1944)  as told by Spanish Fernando Castillo, that has already written on theses periods in «Noche y niebla en el París ocupado» (2012), and «París-Modiano» (2015)-, now completes the work with the «Trilogía de la Ocupación» . A short essay on having the exile Spaniards as witnesses of those days with more than 40 artists telling in newspapers, or fiction stories talked about the period when they passed by Paris.  There in the Republican universe you read about the communists José María Quiroga Plá, and Emilio Gómez Nadal), in the planet of the persecuted with Victoria Kent, and Consuelo Berges , and the Catalan galaxy of Rafael Tasis, and Sebastià Gasch, Just Cabot, Ferrán Canyameres, Mercè Rodoreda…etc ,and the independent stars such as Max Aub, Corpus Barga, Manuel Viola, and Carles Fontserè, together with the resistant meteorites of Jorge Semprún.  In another place you have the satellites of spies with Antonio Zuloaga, and Joan Estelrich), the Astros of journalism in Enrique Meneses, Mariano Daranas, José R. Alonso, and Jesús Suevos), and the origin of the universe with Gregorio Marañón, Manuel Chaves Nogales, Carles Soldevila, and Josefina Carabias. The last planet of Luis de Armiñán), and an astro of its own star  C. G. R. (César González Ruano).  Some were there just passing such as Chaves Nogales-,and other lived off the Clandistine movement and other held newspaper positions with squaling and gossips  in the Spanish community where they hide from a scary policemen Pedro Urraca, that took away Lluís Companys , and Julián Zugazagoitia, killed by firing squad later in Franco’s Spain. Victoria Kent passed as a diplomatic service and refugee without papers avoided the police raids of Urraca ,and when the Nazis arrived lived in hiding in a modest apartment without even go out into the streets; there wrote four years of  my life or «Cuatro años de mi vida (1940-1944)», All the suffering until the arrival of the liberating Spaniards in the Leclerc free French division. María Casares, daughter of the last president of the ministry council of the Republic could not escape to London but her father could and return to Paris in the summer of 1940 where she published «Résidente privilegiée»  finally in 1980,a work of exile living.  Different to others her friends were mostly French including Albert Camus ;she exposed the false heroes after the triumph of the war; read the book in Spanish if you can , recommended.  The book title is «Españoles en París» by Fernando Castillo Ensayo. Fórcola, 2017. 156 pages. 17,50€; good book:more in Spanish here: Españoles en Paris book

Much has been written on who took the first ear of a bull in a bullfight in Madrid. The writing by Antonio Díaz-Cañabate: there is no precedent on the arena by the Puerta de Alcalà but in 1876 two years after opening on the old plaza de la carretera de Aragón,(today Calle Alcalà) the third bull name black sox or «Medias Negras», the ears were taken by the matador Chicorro with a great courage took the ears and offered them to the Princes of Bavaria in attendance with king  Alfonso XII. So  José Lara «Chicorro» took the honor of been the first. However, the records give this gesture to be the first time later in 1910 , the previous ones did not count so said some experts ; to them the first one was Vicente Pastor, that did it on the 4th bull of the day name «Carbonero» or charcoal maker. More here:  Chicorro

The etnographic museum or  Museo Etnográfico de Castilla y León (Mecyl) will show in their next exposition the photographic collection obtained from negatives of Roberto Kallmeyer  from a series of engraving by painter  Francisco de Goya on the subject of the tauromaquia (toro art).  The exposition entitled  «Del trazo a la luz. La tauromaquia de Goya en las fotografías de Kallmeyer», opened this past Friday and will be on until January 14 2018 in the Mecyl of Zamora ; it can be visited free in the temporary exposition room of the  Etnográfico de Castilla y León,; it includes 42 photos part of the  serie that Roberto Kallmeyer (Madrid 1915-Madrid 2004) did from the engraving of Goya for the first edition of the La Tauromaquia that Rafael Casariego published in 1960. More here: Mecyl La Tauromaquia

Let’s imagine that Bartolomé Esteban Murillo is the host and decides to walk the streets of Sevilla, take them in with is eyes, discovered them like him saw them, and painted on his work. The same city four centuries later. But his was in the 17C of Sevilla, then the gate to Europe and America and capital of the Western world. This would be the year of Murillo or the  Año Murillo,and make this anniversary like him the presence in the city to have a dialogue between the past and the present.  To see his paintings in the Churches as they were originally done, and travel in the city of which he was inspired, imagine how the personages lived in his paintings and listen to the music that plays in the paintings he did. All this in 6 expositions until January 2019 will displayed him with 600 of his work. The main collection will be at the museum of fine arts or Museo de Bellas Artes, will allow for the first time to reunite the majority of his work coming from Germany, France, USA etc, The work the jubilee of the  Porciúncula, is already in the museum for its restauration from last June. Two centuries later the work that was at the retable of the convent of Capucins returns on loan from the museum of Cologne (Koln) Germany until April 2018.  The size of it allows for some reason to escape the French troops and went to private hands in 1814; later by different owners until 1876 became part of the collection of the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, where it is housed until now.  IT is part of the 24 works of Murillo that will go a renovation by the team of the fine arts museum of Sevilla. More info here! Murillo in Sevilla

And late but celebrating Halloween in Spain is more and more visible. Happy Halloween !!!

Joy Eslava  calle Arenal, 11, Metro: Ópera , admission 15€ with one drink or 12€ with flyer contacting email  listas@joyeslava.com. The Tuesday night will be filled with zombies, blood clowns as well as masks with a terror look!. More here: Joy Eslava Halloween

And to go at with scary hamburgers in Madrid, two leading places to do so. Even if late reporting ,sorry.You can try these places anytime, they are good…::)

Tommy Mel’s. A chain with a 50’s décor offering a bloody dish, the Halloween Angus Burger, with bourbon sauce and sweet chili you can try it tonite in all restaurants of the chain. Tommy Mel’s

Hard Rock Café Madrid. Paseo de la Castellana, 2. Another chain for the addicts to burgers. Here you have scary figures creeping out with a Halloween Vodoo  until today. It has pork, squash with black breads and also the Evil Eye,a cocktail with white rum, and a editable eye. All deco like a prison with prisioners included lol! Hard Rock Cafe Halloween

Now, let’s take a nice easy walk in sublime spaces. It is easy entry level really, we did it and we are not walkers.

You go the beautiful forest of the horseshoe or  Bosque de La Herrería. At San Lorenzo de El Escorial. You first need a car by taking the expressway A6 direction A Coruña , until exit or salida 18. Continue on the road  M-505 to San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Once in town, you take the road or street of the carretera de la Estación, then, Avenida de los Reyes Católicos, and then Avenida de la Constitución  until the traffic circle of the road  M-600. Take this road , take first to the right and continue until next traffic circle  take the first exit on the right on road  M-505, direction Puerto de la Cruz Verde. Follow this road for 4 km until km marker 32, where you take the road on the left to the Silla de Felipe II (a monument the chair of king Felipe II ). Leave your car in the parking space in front of the Church or  ermita de Nuestra Señora de Gracia.

Then on foot to find the Cueva del Oso, you have indicators map at the  Silla de Felipe II. You start from the Church or ermita de Nuestra Señora de Gracia, with a recreation area around it. From the panel in the front next to the road you go up to the Silla de Felipe II on asphalt road about 12 meters then take a right on a road you see on your right reaching the heigh of a door on the left next to a panel on the pole you see the red white sign of the walkers trail. Go up until a curve in the road to the Silla de Felipe II. Finally, there is no more asphalt road and you cross an area of banks follow this road on the left and see various stones of different sizes (big) where you can see on the distance the Monastery of San Lorenzo. Continue walking you come to a V on the road take the road on the right next to the descend on the road and find space amongst the rock-stones, this is the most difficult part on the walk but easy i am telling you!!! You reach the flat area and on the right you see the circle on the foot of a hill on which the tops you find that chair again, the Silla de Felipe II.  And no , you are not going in circles its easy. HEre you can get refreshments on the weekends . The road ends here and you go down the hill a few meters to continue on another road below it on the left behind a barrier gate; easy downward walk leaving behind the fountain or  Fuente de los Hermanos, (fountain of the brothers) you see another wooden panel indicating a few meters more on the right in an area of trees you see the mouth of the cave of the bear or the Cueva del Oso. IT has two stones on top given a triangular roof, and long at the end you see a small cavity space with part of the roof open and just in front of the cave there is another area of rest on the ecological pathway with several panels that tells you about the flora and fauna of the area.

Returning by the same road you will do nice to finally go to that chair ,the Silla de Felipe II , there is a metallic panel and it is worth reading it as it tells you how the king saw the area in his times.  Now time is different to different folks but like I said we are not walkers and the time is right on the one told in the site , about 1hour to 1h30 we took less in between ::) this is roundtrip time on foot not counting any stops you might do; the trip is 3 km on pretty flat terrain except the Chair lol! the highest point is if you go up to the Church or ermita Nuestra Señora de Gracia, at 1000 meters; and the top of the chair or Silla de Felipe II, 1 120 meters. Of course, you need walkers shoes or boots and a coat if on cool periods we did it in August so t shirt will do lol!! More info here: Cueva del Oso

Enjoy the natural and artistic beauty of my beloved Spain. It’s everything under the Sun and more !!! Cheers

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October 29, 2017

My travels in the Morbihan XXXVIIII

And on a nice sunny weekend of end October 2017 I write to you about the department 56 Morbihan of Brittany, France!  As I write the temps is 13C and tonight we change the hour , back so 17h or 5pm tomorrow will be 16h or 4pm !! This is something never understood ,we seems to like differences all over when instead we should be more equal.

We did some errands today as usual ,and since I like to share our daily life in France away from the glamour blogs and the idea ,we do not have all dresses like YSL, this is  a continuation of our stories.

We went to Vannes ,is not only the capital city of the department but the main town in everything. In fact, sometimes I think it is the only town lol!!! Well mine is only 7K folks and laidback peacefulness great for family life. We do not complaint.

We got up early by 8h and went to do our banking, taken some cash for the morning market (even if many take bank cards we like the old fashion way in the markets). We went straight to the Marché or market day in the place du poids public in Vannes.

We arrive and parked by the underground parking  République at place de la République just crossing rue Thiers we are in the market; the whole day stay cost only 1,60€ !!!

Once in the market we know our merchants of many visits to we headed straight for our cheese provider the couple Ménacer, and we got our farm made Brie de Meaux, goat cheese from our area, and ewes cheese from the Basque pyrénées ; of course these cheeses have nothing to do with what you get in the supermarket even here in culinary France there are differences. The industrial revolution still going on it seems, and many goods in supermarket match any in the world. Once you get to the farm traditional produce products ,then France moves full steam ahead of all.

After tasting some of the cheeses, and purchase done, we move ahead to our fruit and vegetables stand of folks from nearby area of Séné. Here we got raspberries, blackberries, black grapes, mangos, clementines, pears, and figs. Some already tasted at home and they are sublime!!!

Here , we went not far into the place de Poissonnerie and the Halle aux Poissons or fish market open on Saturdays and great fish and seafood from nearby coasts all fresh and good ,delicious. We went to our local provider from penvins mussels bouchot the very best from our region for 4kg or about 9 lbs.

Once loaded with the goodies, we need to find something to wash it down. Of course, our wine merchant is right there in the Place du poids public ,Nicolas. We load up with about 24 bottles of the liquid red and white to bring to our cellar. The service is always friendly and helpful as the staff already knows us all well.

Finish the tasks, we headed home but continue to do some errands in Vannes. Stopping by the centre commercial Carrefour, we check into the micromania video games store to check on orders, then, the pharmacy there to put to date our health cards, and Carrefour hypermarket to buy some sauces that are needed lol!

And the roundtrip was done. All good and happy we headed back home to cook some good stuff for tonight and tomorrow Sunday, a day of family rest in Breton lands… We are headed into the end of October, some Halloween decorations in the stores are in order but here the celebrations are minimal , much more in Paris. And we are heading to November, where Thanksgiving here is none, some in Paris. Christmas is the big time here and we are ready with some ideas and hoping my wallet is not ruin lol!!!

Stay tune for more goodies in 2017, and you all have a great Sunday wherever you are. Happy travels and good health and cheers to all. Salut!!

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October 26, 2017

Getting around in Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh…

People come and go and go around in my Brittany, but they always ask me for public transports, not the best in the country…car is still king; but we do have as in France overall good public transportation to take you all over Brittany. I will try to tell you about some of that.

There are still great train coverage even TGV lines from Rennes to Brest, Quimper and Saint-Malo, the rail system provides Brittany with a good service. With today’s expected speeds: the TGV takes 1,25 hours from Paris to Rennes and 2,25 hours from Paris to Vannes even 3,25 to Brest; other TGV lines offer direct connections between Rennes and Lille , Lyon, Strasbourg and Marseille amongst some. The TER (Transport Express Régional, or express regional transport services by train and bus) successfully serves the main cities in Brittany. The main webpage is Voyages SNCF

There are others for the TER Bretagne here: TER Bretagne

And a very popular line in summers from Auray to Quiberon peninsula the Tire-Bouchon or corkscrew train service here in English: Tire Bouchon train

By car is snap, located 5h30 hours from Paris to Vannes by road the A13 inland and the Autoroute des Estuaires  A84 by the coast from Rennes to Caen. From Rennes, a complex network of dual carriageways and 2×2 lanes connects to all the cities in Brittany: Rennes-Lorient, Rennes-Vannes, Rennes-Brest, Rennes-Quimper, Rennes-Saint-Malo, Rennes-Saint-Brieuc, Rennes-Nantes, etc. Unlike other road networks in France, it is toll-free roads as per Breton tradition since 1532!!!. It is said that Brittany’s free road network is a legacy of Anne de Bretagne who ordered the abolition of tolls between Brittany and France while married to the King of France. In fact, it is as a result of a political decision taken in the 60s to open up the region to the rest of the country.  The expressways are here Autoroutes de France

There are ,also, many roads with no tolls such as coming out of Paris on the A13 get off at the A12 direction Rambouillet and get on the lane for the N12 direction Chartres, Le Mans and take you all the way to Fougéres and into Brittany.

The carpooling vogue is big here and plenty of sites offering this service with bays of parking specifically design for the exchange meeting place. More can be found here in each department of the region of Brittany, Finistére 29, Côtesd’Armor 22, Morbihan 56, and Ille et Vilaine 35:

In Finistère : www.ticoto.fr

In Côtes d’Armor : www.covoiturage-finistere.fr

In Morbihan : www.covoiturage.morbihan.fr

In Ille-et-Vilaine : www.covoiturage.asso.fr

There are eight airports in Brittany: Brest , Rennes, and Lorient , Quimper, Dinard , Lannion , Morlaix and Saint-Brieuc. There are daily flights to Paris from Brest, Rennes, Lorient, Quimper and Lannion), and connections with national and European cities are available. An international airport will soon be built in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, between Rennes and Nantes but still with a lot of controversy by the ecologists. We do are serve as well by the airport in old Brittany, Nantes Atlantique which I used the most by far. The others I have used are the ones in Lorient and Rennes.

Lorient: http://www.lorient.aeroport.fr/en

Rennes: http://www.rennes.aeroport.fr/en

The ports of Saint-Malo and Roscoff welcome travellers heading to the UK (Portsmouth, Plymouth and Poole) and Ireland (Cork), with the port of Saint-Malo also experiencing busy traffic to and from the Channel Islands. Regular ferry services connect Brittany to its many islands: Île aux Moines, Île d’Arz, Île de Bréhat, Île de Batz, Ushant, Molène, Île de Sein, Belle-Ile, Groix, the Glénan Islands, Houat and Hoëdic.
Brittany has 5 major trading ports: Brest, Lorient, Roscoff, Le Légué and Saint-Malo.

Port of St Malo : http://port.saintmalofougeres.cci.fr/fr/compagniesbrmaritimes.html

Port de Roscoff: http://www.plaisancebaiedemorlaix.com/en/introduction-to-the-port-of-roscoff/access-sea-and-land

And more from Brittany tourist office on cruise, passengers boats in Brittany: http://www.brittanytourism.com/practical-information/getting-around-brittany/by-boat

Many modes of transports are explain here in Brittany’s tourist site : http://www.brittanytourism.com/practical-information/getting-around-brittany

We have plenty of cycling paths and it is a heaven on earth here, very much in vogue and see next edition of the Tour de France passing by Brittany in one of my recent previous posts.

Brittany’s network of cycle paths and walking trails is part of the quality of life and is one of the region’s tourist attractions. There is a network of routes approved by the Fédérations Françaises de Cyclisme et de Cyclotourisme. This will allow you to explore the Breton peninsula along the coast, cross east to west along the canal from Nantes to Brest and travel inland from north to south. It is part of the European route that goes from the north (Stockholm) to the south (Lisbon) of Europe via Brittany. More on the Federation and renting bikes in France on the official site in French: https://ffct.org/ff-cyclotourisme/nos-partenaires/partenaires-tourisme/

Bus service is pretty good especially in major cities ,a lot less in the country. In my town there is only one bus service line 5 TIM passing 2-3 hours intervals. If you ever in the area from Vannes, Auray etc this is the line in pdf file format: http://www.morbihan.fr/fileadmin/Les_services/Deplacements/Transports_collectifs/Fiches_horaires_TIM/Morbihan_TIM5-Automne-2017.pdf

The four Breton departments work together to offer affordable transport by bus/coach.

In Finistère : www.viaoo29.fr

In Côtes d’Armor : www.tibus.fr

In Morbihan :   www. morbihan.fr/services/transports-collectifs.aspx

In Ille-et-Vilaine : http://illenoo-services.fr

A site in French showcasing all the types of transport in Brittany is here: http://transports.bretagne.bzh/vos-deplacements/le-reseau/

To make your journeys by public transport simpler, you can use Breizhgo.com to work out all your journeys by train, coach, bus, metro, tram and boat. The site in English:  http://www.breizhgo.com/en/

How to find transport information on each department/province/state  with their id number in Brittany:

Côtes d’Armor 22

https://www.vacances-cotesdarmor.com/S-informer/Comment-venir-se-deplacer#

îlle et Vilaine 35

http://www.bretagne35.com/comment-venir-en-haute-bretagne

Finistére 29

http://www.finisteretourisme.com/venir-en-finistere

Morbihan 56

https://www.morbihan.com/accueil/pratique/votre-sejour/comment-venir

And specifically on each major city in Brittany (I took a sample of Brest, St Malo, Rennes, Vannes, Lorient, Quimper, Morlaix, St Brieuc, Pontivy ,and Fougéres), the tourist office has excellent info on how to come here :

http://www.brest-metropole-tourisme.fr/infos-pratiques/venir-et-se-deplacer

http://www.saint-malo-tourisme.com/saint-malo-pratique/transports

http://www.tourisme-rennes.com/fr/infos-pratiques

http://www.tourisme-vannes.com/pratique

https://www.lorientbretagnesudtourisme.fr/pays-de-lorient-pratique/venir.cfm

https://www.quimper-tourisme.bzh/shopping/commerces-et-services/?slg=commerces_services&mdf_cat=-1&page_mdf=10854

http://www.tourisme-morlaix.bzh/venir-morlaix-bretagne.html

http://www.baiedesaintbrieuc.com/infos-pratiques/liens-utiles/transports

http://www.tourisme-pontivycommunaute.com/Bouger/Acces-et-transports

http://www.ot-fougeres.fr/accueil/pratique/transports

This of course is a general overview of the major cities and departments, much is more, if you ever by here and need to know how to get around, let me know.  Enjoy Brittany as much as I do;some pictures to enhance the post to follow.

Enjoy your week wherever you are and happy travels, Cheers!!

October 24, 2017

Some news from Spain LIII

I am back on the Spain trend, this is a natural. Lots of goodies going on with the cultural tourist side of my beloved Spain. It will survive as it has for centuries together.

The temp in Madrid tonight is  67 nice sunny that is about 22C and no rain in sight with plenty of good weather for the rest of the week.

I did a big post on things going on in Spain last LII but figure there are still plenty more nice ones for the Fall season and even Winter coming up , so, therefore, here they are:

You like to do bicycles in a city well Madrid has BiciMad.  And it has become bigger and better with 42 new stations. Some of the district even got multiple stations such as Arganzuela, Salamanca , and  Chamartín.  As well for the first time going outside city center into past the M-30 beltway and into my  Ciudad Lineal, and Puente de Vallecas. Arganzuela, even goes from 11 to 22 stations!!! with one near the bus station or  Estación sur de Méndez Álvaro and another in Legazpi. Salamanca,already has 27 stations but will add 10 to bring closer the interchange transports area of Avenida de América.  Chamartín  will add 6 more stations such as in  Tetuán,(4) and  Retiro, (3).  With these new additions BiciMad will have 468 new bicycles for a grand total of more than 2.500 for about  62.000 users .  The city /town hall is looking forward to have double the service by 2019, reaching 4.000 bikes and 350 stations. It is been look into connect the service with the University or Universidad Complutense de Madrid. More here in Spanish: https://www.bicimad.com/

Another anecdote and of course we all have used it one time or another , I know I had even this past August in Cuenca. There are 21 968 pharmacies in Spain. The country of the OCDE with the most pharmacies per 100K inhabitants with 47.3 while the median is 25,1 according to the General council of official colleges of pharmacies or in Spanish : Consejo General de Colegios Oficiales de Farmacéuticos. In these pharmacies you have working 49 429 pharmacists and if count the technical staffs as well giving direct employment of 80 000 persons; this from the enterprise federation of Spanish Pharmacists or Federación Empresarial de Farmacéuticos Españoles (Fefe).  There is a pharmacy for each 2.119 inhabitants while in Denmark it is for each 15.000 ,Sweden one for each 7.500.  Today, pharmacies cover about 98% of all municipalities in Spain. You are well covered!

Let’s get back to the Arts! There is a new play call weddings of blood or Bodas de Sangre from a work of Federico Garcia Lorca showing at the Teatro Maria Guerrero until December 10 2017.  It speaks of the relation between the fiction and reality.  You get to the theater by metro Colón, Banco de España or Chueca. More here in Spanish: http://cdn.mcu.es/espectaculo/bodas-de-sangre-2/

And how about a whole neighborhood or district full of Arts, well there is one in Madrid. It is call the Barrio de las Letras or literature neighborhood. The Barrio de las Letras  takes its name from the many writers that had lived there over the centuries.  In this neighborhood you had met Lope de Vega ,Quevedo,Tirso de Molina , Ruiz de Alcarcón, Moratín , and Bécquer.  To honor them, there is a spectacle that will presented by the Compañía Nacional de Teatro Clásico (National company of classical theater) in the room or Sala Tirso de Molina; until October 29th.  This is a trip by its streets to discover literary pages.  This is the neighborhood of most talent per square meter in Madrid . The spectacle is divided in three parts ; the first one is from writers from the 16C and 17C such as Lope de Vega, Cervantes,  Quevedo ,and Góngora.  The second part is centered around the world of Cafés such as the Fonda de San Sebastián , and the talks or  tertulias del Parnasillo such as in the Espronceda, Larra, and  Mesonero Romanos as well as the black cat or Gato Negro in Benavente, and Valle Inclán). The third is from the action in the 19C with writers like Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Espronceda, the composer Eusebio Blasco , Galdós, Benavente, Echegaray, and  Elena Fortún. See more here in Spanish: http://teatroclasico.mcu.es/2017/09/06/barrio-de-las-letras/

More on the neighborhood Barrio de las Letras here in English: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/madrid-neighbourhoods/barrio-letras

Moving right along into drawings and David Aja, who once met the master Will Eisner in a summer course at El Escorial and told him ,you will be a comic designer one day. Well Davis is today one of the most renown and complete of its genre and header of the American comics Marvel where he worked on the series «Hawkeye» («Ojo de Halcón»), «Harnak» ,and «Scarlet Witch» («La Bruja Escarlata») and recognised with prizes. Now you can see his latest work at the Patio Herreriano de Valladolid, «David Aja. Primera Retrospectiva»  to January 7 2018 with 350 pieces showing the positive side and his principal influences such as David Mazzucchelli, Alex Thot or Frank Miller. In addition, the last graphic novel still undone will be  «The Seeds» and will be arriving at the shelves in March 2018. More here in Spanish: http://www.museopatioherreriano.org/MuseoPatioHerreriano/getPosts/12489

More into drawing expositions is MartinMorales, El Dibujo Inagotable, 50 Años de Contribucion al Humor Gràfico Español.  Running until December 10 2017.  Francisco Martinmorales is one of the designer drawers of the gold half last century together with Forges, Màximo Peridis and El Roto.  This exposition will be divided into 6 sections resuming his life and as well a humoristic tour of Spain in the last 50 years.  First section is the origin of the censure showing drawing about free expression, prohibit drawings and old jokes from the old days such as Tejero, and the 23-F. Then, the period of Felipismo such as dedicated to Felipe Gonzalez, and then from Aznar to Bambi and the election of Rodriguez Zapatero.  All drawing published in the newspaper ABC from 2007 to 2010; the last drawing been digital with the computer. All can be seen at Museo ABC calle Amaniel, 29-31. Tel  +34 91 758 83 79; from Tuesdays to Saturdays  from 11h to 20H and Sundays 10h to 14h, admission 3 euros. more here:   http://museo.abc.es/

Another anecdote of a wonderful Spanish tradition, as told by the entrepreneur Simon Casas who handle the plazas of Las Ventas, Nimes, Valencia, Zaragoza , and  Alicante. On a conference at the Centro Cultural Miguel Delibes, Valladolid ; where he said «la tauromaquia es el arte donde conviven la vida y la muerte». Or the toro tradition is an art where life and death live together.  As told during the XXII Jornadas Taurinas de Castilla y León, organized by the  Consejería de Cultura y Turismo de la Junta.

Let’s take a ride in Castilla y Léon. We can visit Pedraza, province of Segovia. Just hour and a half by car from Madrid. And only  37 km from Segovia. To come to a medieval town with walls ramparts with just one gate to access it, a gate from the 11C rebuilt in the 16C by lord of Pedraza. A castle as well from the 13C with all trimmings including a tower , well, levy bridge, and exterior wall with canons emplacements .  It was in the hands of the Fernández de Velasco, dukes of Frías, and constables of Castilla,  You see the atelier of famous painter Ignacio Zuloaga, that purchased it in 1926, restored it as well. Today, it is a museum with works by the artist including a portrait of the Countess of Baena by Goya, a Christ by El Greco and a Flemish one of the 17C.  Each Friday of the month you have a guided visit as well as the museum with prior reservation.

There you have the typical central square with romance Church of San Juan, baroque with its tower; the square for the families to walk to see the bullfights from the balconies since 1550 until today and its patron saint feast in early September ; the mansions and blazon houses from the 16C and 17C, on which one of them lodged king Carlos IV, and each July it is celebrated the Concerts of candles or Concierto de Velas,  where all the lights of the town are turn off  and windows are closed while playing music.  It is said that it houses a house for the emperor Trajan and the cave showing paleothic drawings named the Griega or Greek . And the gastronomy is excellent here known as the restaurant of Madrid  especially on Sundays and festivals where the  lechazo (roasted lamb) and cochinillo asado (roasted pig) , white beans from la Granja, and the drink ponche segoviano. You can try all of these in my favorites places since young the restaurante La Olma de Pedraza, a mansion from the 16C with two terraces in the square or plaza del Álamo. Another equally good alternative is the El Yantar de Pedraza, at the Plaza Mayor with its own balcony, where you can ,also ,try the patatas revolconas (potato dish), sopa castellana(Castilian soup)  or the huevo de oca del Duratón (goose egg from Duraton. Restos here:

http://laolma.com/

http://www.elyantardepedraza.com/en/

Tourist office and city hall of Pedraza in Spanish: http://pedraza.info/

Another wonderful area of my beloved Spain is Jàtiva, (Xativa) Valencia. In the interior of the Comunidad Valenciana only 60 kms south of Valencia. You come to the monumental Jàtiva.  Guarded by an impressive fortress and an old town with an enormous heritage lineup.  Here it was the episcopal seat of the Visigoth era, birthplace of Popes Borja 15C and stalwart of the Austria’s in the war of Succession 18C. It is known the town has canals and sources dating back to the Muslim times and sometimes call the city of the thousand fountains! All divided into 3 forms , the royal, monumental, neighborhood/individuals such as the Fuente Real of 25 water spouts with a dozen water handles of bronce in the form of snakes where water comes out constantly. It is located in the square or Plaza de la Fuente Real, done in 1806 to replace an Islamic spout from the 11C. Here in the old town you see the Plaza de la Trinidad, and the fountain or Fuente Real de la Trinitat (last third of the 15C), the oldest in the city with a rare gothic fountain still preserve; located right in the old royal road where you will see meeting the buildings of the Palacio de Alarcón (1730), now the courthouse and the antiguo Convento de la Trinidad (15C), now the municipal archives .  In nearby you see the basilica or  Colegiata Basílica de Santa María, or La Seu (16C), of which the construction of it took 400 years. It houses an important collection of sacred art.  The fountain or Fuente Real de San Francisco was renovated in 1764 and located in the square of Plaza de San Francisco, baroque style and on the cup there is an image of  San Francisco, replacing the original lost end of the 19C.  The fountain or La Fuente Real del León (1818 neo classic style) , and the  Fuente Real de los Peces this one from the mid 19C located in the Plaza del Trinquet, was built to give drinking to the animals and the people. The castle or Castell is located in the heights of the sierra Vernissa, worth a detour with steep roads of 2 kms, and you see the emplacement of the people Iberic, Romans ,Visigoths, Arabs and Christians, where it is recommended to stop to see the beauty of the country.  The first stop should be at the lookout or Mirador del Bellveret, where the old wall ramparts ends with fantastic views of the city . You continue your journey to the ermitage or Ermitas de Sant Josep (end  18C ) and the Ermita of  Sant Feliú,one of the oldest Churches in the region dating from  1265.  It was built on the old place of the Saetabis , Roman and Visigoth place .  Between way of the two Churches you have the arqueological park with the remains of a Islamic palace from the 12C now only visible the tower or  La Torre Ametlla, of gothic origins, and the  Torre del Sol (almohavic style  1201) on the edge of the mountain. Finally, you reach the castle a double fortress form by the minor castle the oldest part of Iberian roman origins and the major castle or Castell Major, next to the  Plaza de Armas,built in a medieval period and better preserve. Here you find the entrance gate, lookout tower, water depot, chapel, prison cells and gardens. Admission is 2,40 euros . If you do not like to walk or can’t there is a small train ride by all the old town and the castle days out at 12h30 and 16h30 from the Fuente del León. Price 4,20€. More on tourism here in English: http://www.xativaturismo.com/en/

And let’s talk about one of my favorite subjects, wine. Spanish wine is very good and much improve in the last few years. One of the best are Capataz, fino, solera de la familia, Montilla-Moriles, Bodegas Alvear, 24€ a new bottle from the oldest bodega of Spain!!! that is big words. an old fino or amontillado young, fresh and powerful, biological upbringing for 12 years and now electric!  More here: http://www.alvear.es/index.php/en/component/k2/item/124-fino-capataz The other is Fino del Lagar, Saca spring 2017, Bodegas Toro Albala, Aguilar de la Frontera, 10€, created in honor of the old wines of Lagar with 10 years ageing , powerful, strong aromas of bread, dry fruits, olives and glicerine good acidity, lots of corps with character and personality of its own. Magical!  More here: http://toroalbala.com/finos/

And a bit of news from the wine groves, we have; the  Grupo Peralada announced the purchase of the Navarra group of Grupo Chivite, and as well the labels  Gran Feudo, and  Viña Salceda. This as well as the acquisition of the ecological cellars of Privat and the bodega Oliver Conti, to increase its coverage of the  La Rioja,where it already had the firm of  Fin de Siglo, entering now into  Navarra, Ribera del Duero , and Rueda.  The Grupo Peralada has ongoing construction of a new bodega in Empordà, where it will be introducing their wines with a production of 2,8 million kilos of grape ; the opening is expected for  2019 . This fusions solidify the Grupo with sales of 60 million euros and presence in about a hundred markets in the world. More in English here: http://www.grupperalada.com/lineas_vitivinicola.php

The newspaper El confidencial section Gentlemen shows again for 2017 the best 50 wines of Spain from reds, whites and sparklers and sweets. They do this every year, and the selection I cut it down to my favorites that I have tried. This is the whole lineup in Spanish: https://www.gentleman.elconfidencial.com/multimedia/album/gourmet/2017-10-23/mejores-vinos-espana2017_1344614/#1

Porrera 2014 Vi de Vila.  this is from the  cariñena and some  old garnacha  in new oak barrels and then another fermentation in vases and amphora’s of terracotta. Great find indeed.  http://www.vallllach.com/els-vins/?lang=en

Alabaster 2014.  a heavyweight Toro with fruity elegance complex and unctuous , very old grapes of tinto del pais ; superb. http://www.sierracantabria.com/tesolamonja/?idc=407

Pago Garduña 2013.  This is a great syrah from the high elevations protected by trees around the vinyard. From bodegas Abadia Retuerta; https://www.abadia-retuerta.com/en/shop/abadia-retuerta-pago-garduna/

Others are in no particular order;  Viña Pomal Vinos Singulares Graciano 2012 ; Gran Reserva 890 2004 ; Mauro VS 2012 ;  Pago de los Capellanes 2010 Parcela El Picón;  Viña Pedrosa 2011 gran reserva ; Marqués de Griñón 2013 syrah ;  Enate Uno 2010 ; and  Ramón Bilbao Viñedos de Altura 2014.

Two sweet wines that I adored are:

Jorge Ordóñez nº 2 Victoria 2012.  Once in the region 15 years ago Mr Ordóñez  took all the grapes used to make pasas in the axarquia of Malaga area and turn it into wine 100% Moscatel de Alexandria, sweet white of immense complexity, just superb.  http://www.jorgeordonezselections.com/single-wine.php?wineID=22

Pedro Ximénez de añada 2014 PX.  A precious amber color for this sweet of the grape Pedro Ximénez  a notable generous wine . Very aromatic notes that settles into the glass with notes of figs, toffee, almond liquor, critics and other memorable moments that bring to the mouth a seditious texture. http://www.alvear.es/index.php/es/vinos-alvear

Pazo de Señorans Colección 2012 ; great notes of quince paste or membrillo and honey wonderful from Galicia. http://www.pazodesenorans.com/#/albarino

And they you have it. I told you Spain is everything under the Sun. Enjoy it, have a great week y’all. Cheers

 

 

 

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October 22, 2017

My travels in the Morbihan XXXVIII

Ok so this is another Sunday October 22nd, on a cloudy sometimes sun and temps still mild for our period in the 60’sF. We had a bit of football/soccer activity but not much, oh yes tonite is the French classic Marseille vs PSG; and my Real Madrid plays Eibar in Spain. In Europe things are moving right along as usual, we in France are going thru some changes with the new President trying all kinds of new things, so strikes are in the horizons ,nothing new.

I stay close to home this weekend, needed that ,after a bit of business travels and hectic travel plans due to strikes oops yes . We are vaguely sitting around the couch watching TV ,but did went out yesterday to do some errands.

Saturday morning we went to Auray, so close to us but it looked weird to be there as not been back in a while. We went in to the parking Keriolet, the closest to city center/downtown. We find one right away which is a lucky omen, and we walked past a nice convenience grocery store we go when in need call Spar supermarché.  Here is their webpage but lol! the street name is wrong on their webpage..should be Rue Jean Marie Barré.. https://www.spar.fr/bretagne-magasin-spar-morbihan-56/commerce-auray-groupe-casino/magasin-tz851.html

The Rue Jean Marie Barré was nice and vibrant as always and so was the place de la République near the city hall or Hôtel de Ville. Our intended need to be by here however was to find mussels, and we were headed for the covered market here; however, it was already almost empty of goods been smaller on a nice size town, the goodies go quick. The city of Auray official page is here in French: http://www.auray.fr/accueil/?no_cache=1

We went on to get our Belgians/Germans beers at V&B in the parc Océane near the N165 in Auray. Here we practice the bottle deposit thingy for recycling purposes and you get new ones so about 20 beers were load up for the house. Their webpage is here: https://magasin.vandb.fr/766390-v-and-b-auray

We had to run to Vannes for the mussels. My first choice always, but the family always has other ideas ::) We did got there in time. I parked by the canal in Le Port harbor area is free and just about 200 meters walking so not bad at all. After parking we went straight for the covered fish market or the Halle aux Poissons at place de la Poissonnerie. Bit more here in French from the city hall of Vannes here; http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/marches/halles/

There is a huge open market here by Place du poids Public and Place des Lices (Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8h to 13h30). and right on the last one you have the covered market Les halles des lices.http://www.halles-des-lices.fr/  I have written extensively on these before. The fish market as well but this is the best place to get fish/seafood in the department unless you go direct to the fisherman which you can do here too. The market many fishermans family brings their goods for the day here to sell all day and in the week too.  This is heaven, all fresh direct from the local boat and local stuff.

Taking advantage of getting our mussels in Hûitres Richard ,Route de Badel, Séné ; we stop by our Vietnamese vendor just outside the market on the open market street and got all our Cantonese rice, pork nems, and beef dishes we all like.

Being around here shopping in a medieval surrounding and just next to a Canal port anchoring about 3000 boats of all sizes is always a wonderful family experience for us here.  This is Le Port area. Lot more info from the city of Vannes in French here: http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/port-de-plaisance/

Facing out from the Porte Saint Vincent that behind it takes you into the old town and the markets mentioned above, you give your back to the gate or Porte and going left of the Canal you find the before mentioned parking at the end passing  the harbormaster and some very nice restos bars that we frequent too, like Dowds Irish pub, Le Vent d’Est and Le Tarmac all good. Right here in the Le Port area on the right side with your back to the Porte Saint Vincent you have a great underground parking, the carrousel, the tourist office and many more restos/bars.

It was then time to come back home and cook those mussels or  Moules de bouchot from the Pernef area just in our department 56 Morbihan, that we purchased just this morning in the fish market in Vannes. We do it with wines from the Loire whites of course, onions, and tomato sauce light; we combine it with home made fry potatoes (yes we do it from scratch), and accompany with great Loire white like a Vouvray sec. Just a perfect family meal for the day, 9 pounds of mussels plenty of white wine, and camembert cheese raw milk from Normandy, this is la belle France.

We settled into some TV leisurely at home and waiting for those big football/soccer matches and try the Asian cuisine with nice beers. Enjoy life, it is indeed short. Happy travels and enjoy your Sunday, Cheers.

October 20, 2017

Some news from Spain LII

Getting back on my beloved Spain on its best face. The weather is nice in Madrid at 67F  and hotter sunnier days for the weekend with little chance of rain.

Some of nice things happening in Madrid and Spain are these:

Museo Lázaro Galdiano (Calle Serrano, 122) from November 17 onwards there is an exposition for the first time showing the collection of primitive Flanders put together by a private collector José Lázaro Galdiano. We travel from the 15C to the 16C in wonderful art pieces from the schools of Hertogenbosch ( Bosco), Brussels (Lucas Gassel), Bruges (Gerard David and Adriaen Isenbrandt), and Anvers  ( Quentin Metsys , and Jan van Dornicke). A total of 73 works of arts some inedit and some after a process of restoration. More here :http://www.flg.es/your-visit-to-the-museo-lazaro-galdiano

Museo Reina Sofía (Calle Santa Isabel, 52) Until November 27th and then from December 20 to March 18 2018.  Soledad Lorenzo gave her collection to the  Museo Reina Sofía in 2014.  A selection of the works there , about 392 from 89 artists are shown now for the first time in two consecutive expositions. Different generation of artists from Spanish to International especially from the USA with paintings, drawings, sculptures, photos, engravings, audiovisual work and installations. The first expo shows the work of Spanish artists of 3 Generations that the gallery Soledad Lorenzo was active. Here next to known artists like Pablo Palazuelo and Antoni Tàpies, you see works by Soledad Sevilla, Txomin Badiola, Ana Laura Aláez, Guillermo Pérez Villalta ,and  Juan Uslé. Then, the expo personal questions or  Cuestiones personales, opens on Dec 20th dedicated to the recuperation of the figurative language and the transformation of the representation of the work in the last part of the last century . Here is shown works by  Gordillo, Broto, Barceló, Schnabel, Juan Ugalde, and George Condo to name a few. More here: http://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/exhibitions/soledad-lorenzo-collection

Staying in the Museo Reina Sofia we have the expo of William Kentridge  From November 1 2017.  The South African artists William Kentridge (1955, Johannesburg) prize Princesa de Asturias in 2017 showing the exposition Basta y sobra  (Enough and more than enough). Kentridge  is famous for export to other media like animation, theater, opera a new etiquette way of drawing  from his beginnings learned to draw as an spectacle  and he filmed it. He drew with carbon paper of used newspapers, and now you can see his work here, a reflection of his efforts against tyranny and authoritanism. More here: http://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/exhibitions/william-kentridge

At the Fundación Canal de Isabel II (calle Mateo Inurria, 2) until January 5 2018.  Magnum contact pages or Hojas de Contacto. There were not conceived to be shown and many photographers are reluctant to show them even today . However, the secrets of some of the most famous of Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Marc Riboud, Steve McCurry, Cristina García Rodero , and others of the agency  Magnum will be shown. From the landings of Normandy, to the revolts in Paris in May 1968, the protests in Tiananmen square or the act against the twin towers will be some of the events shown in photos. More in Spanish here: http://www.fundacioncanal.com/18049/expo-magmum-hojas-de-contacto/#None

And now a bit of a tour thru my beautiful Spain.

 At Sahagùn in Léon on your way to Santiago, St James you will see a group of beautiful Churches of different times like the Church of San Lorenzo or the Church of  San Tirso.  Here you can follow 6 different routes to discover really truly wonders in time. If I have to choose one, it will be the Church of  San Facundo y San Primitivo de Cisneros.  There are more around Villafáfila (Zamora) as well as in Guaza de Campos (Palencia)  where you find about 18 buildings of great architecture and historical value .  There are two belltowers with gorgeous views over the  Tierra de Campos (land of fields). One of them is found at Paredes de Nava, forming part of the Church of  San Martín that houses the center of interpretation of the municipality , and the other the local tourist office . Another one is the  Fuentes de Nava, the highest belltower in the province that of the Church of San Pedro.  If looking for something more natural you go to the lookout at  Autilla del Pino ,where you can see a dozen towns and great sunsets.

Continuing in our tour of my beloved Spain , You reach the Canal de Castilla. One of the tranches of more significant tourism wise is found done by the boat Antonio de Ulloa from Medina de Rioseco. You can even do it on foot!! or in bicycle!! There are several museums and interpretation centers along the route. The most impressive baroque looks on Churches are found in Santoyo, in the beautiful Church of San Hipólito de Támara de Campos ; but there are more like at Frechilla or the Church of Santa María de Fuente de Nava.  July and August is great to come during the Organ Festival when all are working the organs. Even in  Boadilla de Rioseco , the town has invited several artists to use their streets and buildings for improvising art museum on the streets.  You only need to past by their mudéjar Churches and squares as well as the ruins of the old train station or slabs in the old Cemetery

In Becerril de Campos  stop by the old Church of San Pedro,converted into an astronomic center; where you can observe the meridian with a dark camera like the ones used by the Hungarian jesuist Juan Wendlingén (1715-1790) , which was built for king Fernando VI.  Later past by the pretty Church Museum of  Santa María la Antigua that houses one of the best collections of renaissance art including works by Pedro Berruguete, and Alejo de Vahía. In this region of Tierra de Campos, you will see a great dam or natural reserve such as Reserva Natural Lagunas de Villafàfila (Zamora) and the Natural space or Espacio Natural de la Nava and the Campo de Palencia; two essential sites for the observation of birds of the Iberian peninsula. Here you find the biggest concentration of great bustards birds in the world? and also 221 other species including aquatics. At the Church of Santa María de Mediavilla,passing by the Church of  Santiago Apóstol ,and the Church de la de Santa Cruz. All of them with guided visits as well as the works related to the canal de Castilla such as the old flour factory or antigua Fábrica de Harinas. At  Villoldo, the perfect place to explorer the Frómista and its romance Church of  San Martín or in  San Cebrián de Campos; the Church of San Cornelio y San Cipriano. A wonderful ride, more on this region and the autonomous region of Castilla y Léon here: http://www.turismocastillayleon.com/

Then, we search for comics stores in Madrid, plenty of them;but some of the latest to come out are these:

Red Flacks Comics located in the district of Malasaña, a few steps from the Plaza del Dos de Mayo.  The underground of the 1960’s and 1970’s and the junior American to dig into their boxes to find the jewel like the first Futurama (35 euros, in English). However, there are prices for all pockets like the magazine Mad (5 euros, in English)  to the no 7 of Black Hole (90 euros, in English). For the lovers of the superheroes classics of  Marvel like Fantastic Four (22 euros, in English) or the Star Wars, like the December 1977 issue on the magazine  Famous Monsters (25 euros, in English).  Do not forget the mythical albums such as the detective Dick Tracy (25 euros, in English) or the black humor of Idées Noires (41 euros, in French). More here: https://m.facebook.com/redflackcomics/

Arte 9 Calle Dr Esquerdo 6 , you find here Corto Maltés, as Equatoria(22 euros), the last number of the adventures of marine created by  Hugo Pratt, or the series of 3 albums of Érase una vez en Francia (22 euros). For the lover of Star Wars the book of graphic designs  (44 euros). At the lower level you find the cards of  Yu-Gi-Oh! and Magic on Fridays and Saturdays from 17H. More here: https://www.facebook.com/arte9madrid/

Akira Comics  at Avenida Betanzos 74 open here for over two decades and by next March 2018 will expand to  700 m2 of space . Even if the name refers to the Japanese mangas in its shelfs you find stories for all tastes like the albums of the Marvel Universe (4,25 euros each), Some with original front portrait design for the store. You find toys like the figurine of the son of Batman (29,95 euros). More here: https://www.akiracomics.com/

The Comics Co at Calle Divino Pastor 17, 13 years at same address; and here you can find the American superheroes  to the publication of Corto Maltés.  The store specializes in the books of Tintín. You find here in original language or Spanish all the literature associated with Tintin.  The complete collection of figurines of the personages of the series some small some in white (35 euros), others huge and at all colors like the silhouette of  Tintín and Milú (135 euros). More here: https://www.facebook.com/thecomicco/

You come to the culinary of Madrid, at this ample bar with walls of Bordeaux colors and golden signs with the castizo spirit of Madrid. This is La Playa de Lavapiés, a creation of friends and frequent guests of the street bars of the calle Argumosa.  You can try the afrodiac drink of  La Cachonda, cloves and cinnamon or the  Mermafrodita, rose petals and pear or the La Rosita, a touch of red fruits or the La Estrecha, with gingebre and lemon grass.  Also, the destornillador, with slices of ice and orange and each week are added new creations . The cocktail is the double of beer and vermouth with a tapa.  It has a small terrace to see the world go by. Open Tuesdays to Thursdays from 18h to 02h and Fridays 18h to 02h30 ,Saturdays and Sundays from 13h. More here: https://www.facebook.com/laplayadelavapies

From an article in El Mundo newspaper; took this excellent blog on Madrid, Secretos de Manu, Pamplona en Madrid: http://www.secretosdemadrid.es/

The article mentioned how the district of Hortaleza comes from the vegetable gardens that were done here, under the Fountain of Cibeles there is the safe of the Bank of Spain or the smallest store in Madrid is still there a few steps from Plaza Mayor. When you live in Madrid (I did) you come out looking at the sky and try to imagine what more can the city impress on you . Maybe that is why we call From Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day!  The city is very energetic and vibrant, which I knew that !!! For nice photos go to the garden or Jardín del Príncipe de Anglona, or the lookout Mirador de la Huerta de la Partida, in the  Casa de Campo; as well as the garden or  Jardín Educativo del Monte Mediterráneo, next to the museum of  Sciences, an oasis next to the  Castellana. The author third book on Madrid with the name of Secretos de Madrid 2 (Secrets of Madrid 2)  will reach the stores next month. Webpages here:

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/jardines-del-palacio-del-principe-de-anglona

http://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/Vivienda-y-urbanismo/Urbanismo/Madrid-Rio-Especial-Informativo?vgnextfmt=default&vgnextoid=5acc7f0917afc110VgnVCM2000000c205a0aRCRD&vgnextchannel=2af331d3b28fe410VgnVCM1000000b205a0aRCRD&idCapitulo=5697981

http://www.mncn.csic.es/Menu/Exposiciones/Permanentes_jardinEducativo/seccion=1182&idioma=es_ES&id=2010100411300002&activo=11.do

A bit of  Malaga, at the Museo Carmen Thyssen calle Compañia 10 will be the exposition of Juan Gris, María Blanchard y los cubismos (1916-1927)  until February 25 2018.  Pablo Picasso and George Braque  redefine the world of arts in the 20C as fathers of Cubism and this expo shows how Juan Gris and María Blanchard helped this movement to move on with a different look at arts in the world . Here at the museum you can see works by  Dalí, Moreno Villa,and Cossío as well. More here: http://carmenthyssenmalaga.org/en/exposicion/juan-gris

Moving over to Valencia , you can see the constellations or Las constelaciones de Julio Gonzáez at the  IVAM , calle Guillem de Castro, 118 until January 14 2018.  Since 1985 , the IVAM owns 10% of the work in sculpture of  Julio González. This year they are showing 42 of his work together with other 11 artists work to show another vision of the one considered the father of steel sculpture.  You can also see the German documentary that shows the importance of this creator in the 20C. More here: https://www.ivam.es/en/exposiciones/julio-gonzalezs-constellations/

Another one, the end of an era, a Spanish tradition is now dead. The taurino spectacle of the Bombero Torero” ( the firefighter matador) has said his last goodbye last September 15 2017 in the plaza of  Almodóvar del Campo (Ciudad Real), putting an end to 69 years of history. Rafael Celis,55 , the last of a dynasty is ending the show ; he found no replacement, and did not look for one either. The personage was created in 1928,inspired from a drunken firefighter with a thick mustache that  Pablo Celis, encounter when worked in a theater. The show became a hit from 1953,when he got the idea of including dwarfs of the circus in his show like the famous Eduardini in a bullfights arena.  At 18h15 it will be unveiled a plaque on the big gate of the arena next to other memories of the mythical taurino days of  Almodóvar del Campo. Another past time goes bust, but even if already past, worth mentioning here for the memories, for the history, for the good times Thanks Bombero Torero!!!

Let’s move on south to another great place of mine. Arcos de la Frontera is a wonderful town full of m onuments and how well preserve with its proverbial whiteness. Full of temples, chapels and convents. You see the castle or Castillo de los Duques, the gate or Puerta de Matrera, next to the wall with its palaces and mansions. It was the capital of Taifa de Arcos and duchy, the town looking at the Guadalete river . No beach but has a lake is artificial of 250 meters long but has restaurant with terrace and Nautical club where you can enjoy Padel surf, sailings, aquatic ski, boat ride and swimming; it is call El Santiscal in the natural forest of Cola del Embalse de Arcos where you can see many wild birds like the fishing eagle. You can take a trip to the rock Peñon de Zaframagon reaching here by the Via Verde de la Sierra road near Grazalema where you find one of the biggest colony of vultures birds in Europe. In town you can see pottery makers, ceramics, leather and fabric makers dating from the 18C, plomb and forge steel as well. Not to forget the gastronomy with vegetable meat balls, windmill garlic, stews, rices, escargots, pig products, etc  as well as the wines like at the Bodega de Albalà. Tourist office for Arcos de la Frontera here: http://www.cadizturismo.com/destinos/provincias/cadiz/municipios/arcos-de-la-frontera/?set_language=en

The Bodega de Albalà site is here in English: http://www.huertadealbala.com/en/home/

We end the trip in my gorgeous Madrid. The city welcomes Harry Potter at the IFEMA from November 18 2017. Giant statues of the personages are all over the city for a total of four.  They will be up until December 10th even if the exhibition will be on until end January 2018. The four statues will be at these four points in Madrid:

The starting point will be at the Glorieta de Bilbao. Here you will find the statue for  “Dobby no tiene amo. Dobby es un elfo libre” (Dobby has no owner, dobby is a free elf) . What  Potter said coming ouit fo the mouth of the elf that at the end has its freedom. The Dobby de Bilbao measures 1,60 meters.

Next is the Plaza de Colón. About 10 minutes walking you arrive here.  You find the hat of one of the houses of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin the students belongs. You remember this hat with more than 10 centuries old doubted on the head of Potter or the face of fear on his best friend Ron Weasley,in the selection of first year. There is a replica of 3 meters high and 4,5 meters wide with the same sad face as the movie

We come to my emblematic best of the city , the Puerta de Alcalá. Who wanted to fly at some time in our life with a Ford Anglia much better right? You need to walk about 9 minutes to reach the gate of Alcala to see the 105E Anglia in blue that the father of  Weasley modified to be able to fly. The replica of 4,5 meters long and 1,4 meters wide.

And we end the journey at the Plaza de Callao. You reach here in about 18 minutes walking from the Puerta de Alcalá.  In the center of the square you find the  Nimbus 2000, the most precious flying broom of the good player of  ‘quidditch’ with a beautiful handle in mahogany wood. The replica could take not one but several Potter’s as it measure 2,4 meters long.

More on the Harry Potter exhibition in English here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/harry-potter-the-exhibition-feria-de-madrid

And that’s all folks, until next time on my blog airwaves or linewaves ::) Have a great weekend y’all. Cheers

 

 

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October 19, 2017

Some news from France CLXXII

On a cloudy cool humid Fall day looking at the wonderful trees already with the leaves fallen I write this update on my belle France.  Temps are about 17C or 62F rain calling for tonight but none now in my neck of  Brittany.  Over in Paris the temp is a bit hotter but still cloudy at 71F  and no rain call for.

There is a new edition no 37 of the Asterix  cartoon series out already in stores. Entitled “Astérix et la Transitalique” this new adventure takes them into a course on chariots across the transalpine peninsula facing teams coming from many countries at the times including a champion Roman named Coronavirus. Photo is from Les Echos. More in French here: http://www.asterix.com/la-collection/les-albums/asterix-et-la-transitalique.html

The latest show by Bartàbas and the horses is coming on and expect a tour of France later on. It has been an inspiration for like me all lovers of horses. Putting the art on the arena and showcasing the horse at its very best. The spectacle is call Ex-Anima. See it is a must if in France. You get there for example from Opéra Garnier  take metro line 7  direction La Courneuve-8-Mai-1945 and get off at  Fort d’Aubervilliers, take exit or sortie 1 and walk about 3 minutes to Zingaro at  176, Avenue Jean Jaurès. More here in French: http://bartabas.fr/theatre-zingaro/spectacles/

The dept 93 Seine-Saint Denis tourist office has more in English here: https://uk.tourisme93.com/ex-anima-zingaro.html

From the local newspaper le Parisien I learn of new statues by the Centre Pompidou. Just open this morning the statues of  Renzo Piano (seated) and Richard Rogers (standing), the two architects that built the Beaubourg 40 yrs ago! The statues are in solid inox steel and painted in two tones of green. They are facing in the Place Edmond Michelet facing the Centre Pompidou. The official site is here in English https://www.centrepompidou.fr/en

The Grand Paris Project continues and now approved 51 projects to turn Paris into the modern age (do not know yet if for good or bad). The new architects will unveil a new Paris with a metropolitan identity. It is in combination with the other big project on transportation, the Grand Paris Express. About a third of the sites will be close by one of the future metro stations. Amongst the new concepts are the  «Lumières Pleyel », creating a  space of 176 000 m² in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis) including a building that will go over the railroad tracks near the future Olympic Village (Paris 2024) . A metropolitan demonstrator in the area of  Ardoines,in  Vitry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne), a future  glass storefront where the warehouses are now been demolish to leave space for a program of  139 832 m², with new activities, commerces and residences. Also, the  «Maison du peuple » at Clichy-la-Garenne (Hauts-de-Seine) a building of the 1930’s that will be renovated including a tower of almost 100 meters(330 feet).  Photo is from Le Parisien. More on the project in English here: http://www.grand-paris.jll.fr/en/grand-paris-project/

The Grand Paris Express in French is here: https://www.societedugrandparis.fr/gpe/le-grand-paris-express-en-resume

From October 20th to evening of November 5 2017 the rooftop of the tour Montparnasse will be a roller skating ring, time for school vacation. You will have a panoramic view 360 degrees where 80 skaters of all ages and all levels will slide in security. The roller skates will be provided on site but bring protection such as helmets and knee pads. The rink will be available 7 hours per day and two night sessions until 23h. The first is for October 28 on the theme of Halloween!! and the second November 4th with a Disco night! The Tour Montparnasse in the 59th floor at entrance by 33 avenue du Maine. Hours 13h to 20h free admission for the skating, but need admission tickets in the terrace for 17€ More info here: www.tourmontparnasse56.com

News for the frivolous travelers starting next May 2018 at the airport of Beauvais the airline Wizz Air will start flight to Koutaissi in Georgia with 3 weekly flights that will become the longest flight leg at the airport. Also, the Spanish airline Volotea will do flights Beauvais – Ajaccio in Corsica with two flights per week. Tickets are on sale for Spring Summer 2018. Keep an eye on it here in English: https://www.aeroportparisbeauvais.com/en/passengers/

I like to tell you about a great cheese of France. It is from my wife’s region she grew up with it and has not stop even now. I got on it in 1990, and has become my favorite cheese as well.  This is the BRIE and specially the crowned Brie de Meaux. The king of cheese, the cheese of kings crown in the Congress of Vienna 1815 by all leaders of Europe at the time of the peace after Napoleon. A bit of chronological history here:

774 Charlemagne said of Brie ” I just come to discover one of the table most delicious ever tasted” After trying a piece of the Brie de Meaux in the abbey of Rueil-en-Brie. By 999, Robert II the Pious, enjoyed so much that he helped sell it in person! 1200, the Brie becomes a political weapon when Blanche of Navarre served it to flatter king Philippe Auguste to obtained from him the regency of the County of Champagne . 1534; Rabelais cited the Brie in his novel Gargantua. 1600, Queen Margot makes toasts from the Brie to Henri IV that is very fond and stop him from seeing his mistress Gabrielle d’Estrées. 1668 La Fontaine served a Brie in the peak of a raven when telling of the story of the fox for his novel. 1710, king Louis XIV loves the Brie and wanted it every day in the menu.  59  cars do the trip Versailles-Meaux to supply him every week of the cheese for the table of the king!!! 1725 king Louis XV marries Marie Leczinska ,the gourmand queen that invented the bites à la Queen from the Brie cheese. 1815 at the Vienna congress minister Talleyrand a great diplomat serves the brie cheese where all proclaim it king of the cheeses and the cheese of kings. 1980, the Brie de Meaux received the designation of AOC as well as AOP as well as the Brie de Melun, the smaller cousin. You have plenty of official info on this wonderful cheese from the association of cheesemakers here in French: http://www.briedemeauxetdemelun.fr/

On  the home front my wife is doing ok under treatment ,and has passed all well; now is the long battle with Pancreatic Cancer begins.  All vital organs are ok and no loss of weight. Hoping for the best with lots of enthusiam for life and the 27 years already lived together. So far. Thank you in advance to all my readers for your best wishes.

Enjoy life is beautiful but it can be short. Have a great end of week y’all. Cheers!

October 18, 2017

Some news from Spain LI

Here is the turn of my beloved  Spain. There is a lot things going on there now but I concentrate on the tourism/cultural side of things. Spain is everything under the sun! Right now is about 60F or 15C in Madrid nice weather in Fall with rain forecast later tonite and tomorrow. Bear with me this is one huge post with lots of information for your leisure tourist travel in Spain and more !!!

Recently the baroness has commissioned the Thyssen 25 yrs a photographic chronicle a free exposition on the 25 years of the Museum or Museo Thyssen. You saw 26 photos personally selected by the baroness coming from her archives, the museum, EFE news agency, and the ABC newspaper from the best moment of the history of the pinotheque. In 2016, there were 1M persons that visited the museum or  a 10% increase from 2015. And as part of it’s year long 25th anniversary you will see wonders.

You have an expo on the genius Picasso-Toulouse-Lautrec. They had a 17 years age difference and 9 cm of height but their talent was inversely of their statute. They spend the majority of their careers in Paris and never met!!! A young Picasso arrived in Paris at 19 yrs in 1900, and Toulouse-Lautrec already was sick and will died a year later before his 37th birthday in the Château de Malromé. The career of the French genius only lasted 15 years and the Spanish more than 7 decades! Picasso died in 1973. Moreover, there are many similarities and affinities vital as well as creative between the two masters of modernism that will be measure in the Thyssen museum.

 Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec had more names and last names then height with just over 1,5 meters (about 5 feet). He was born in 1864 at Albi France in a aristocratic family. His father was the Count Alphonse de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa who married his cousin sister Adéle Tapié de Celeyran. The child was born with an congenital anomaly that made it worse the fracture of his femur in falling from a horse. This stop his bones to grow normal. Pablo Picasso  was born in 1881 at Malaga and measure 1,63 meters (about 5,60feet ) coming from a middle class family, his father was a painter and art professor. He arrived to Paris with his friend Carles Casagemas and took an atelier left available by Nonell on the rue Gabriel. He was depressed from the refusal of Germaine, Casagemas took his life in the Hippodrome leaving Picasso immense in a melancholy blues.  He exhibit the portrait of a dead Casagemas still with the print of the bullet that took his life. Both share the admiration for El Greco, Degas and Ingrés of which Turkish bath or Baño Turco always obessed Picasso.  They ,also, share the way of looking of work and the drawing skills,the affection for the caricature and pity for the less fortunate ,passion for the circus and the erotism. Picasso self portrait in several occasions while Toulouse-Lautrec a couple of times. He had a self portrait that he drew in 1893 on the backside of the poster for Jane Avril in the The Divine Japanese or El Divan Japones; serious client of the Moulin Rouge, Le Chat Noir, or the Le Mirliton. Picasso frequented in Barcelona the Els Quatre Gats and the Barrio Chino as well as La Butte  ,the hill of Montmartre as well as Toulouse-Lautrec, the Moulin Rouge, Moulin de la Galette, and Folies-Bergére.  Recently arrived in Paris he is able to expo in 1901 in the gallery of Ambroise Vollard and some of these paintings are shown in the halls of the Thyssen. See it and believe the genious at “Picasso/LautrecMuseo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Paseo del Prado, 8 Tuesdays to Sundays from 10h to 19h Saturdays 10-21H from now to January 21 2018: more here: https://www.museothyssen.org/en/exposiciones/picassolautrec

Let’s have a memorable walk in my beloved Madrid, the one of my adolescence and every year thereafter of coming back to it, From Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday!!!

You need to be at the Parque del Buen Retiro and see the famous Palacio Cristal (Crystal Palace) or why not go to the romantic Parque de El Capricho , that still keeps a bunker from the Spanish Civil War. And there are others such as the parque Tierno Galván, the Botanical garden or Real Jardín Botánico or the newer Madrid Río ( by the river Manzanares). See the famous museum of Prado but please visit the museo Sorolla and the spectacular Museo Lázaro Galdiano;passing by others less known such as the Casa Museo Lope de Vega or the museo del Romanticismo. For the Madrid culinary tradition have a cocido Madrileño at restaurante La Bola,calle La Bola, 5, founded in 1870; or the Casa Lardhy founded in 1839 where so famous it has been named in worked by Galdós, Azorín, and Gómez de la Serna.  The modern Madrid allows you to take a Segway tour that starts in the Plaza Mayor and ends at the culturally wonderful Matadero.  You can, also, take a ride in the Tuk Tuk going by  Neptuno, Gran Vía, Templo de Debod ,and many others. Some of the webpages here:https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-del-retiro

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-del-capricho

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-enrique-tierno-galvan

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/real-jardin-botanico

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/madrid-rio

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/sorolla-museum

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/lazaro-galdiano-foundation-museum

http://labola.es/

What about the wonderful castles or castillos of where else Castilla or Castile in and around Madrid.

In the middle of the Sierra Norte you come to  Manzanares el Real. One of the best preserved castles in Madrid and one of the oldest. When there was no castles in the Cave of Los Aljibes rupestres paintings were seen here and now the Museum or Museo Etnológico y Arqueológico keeps a good collection of them. The castle is the vast area of the Mendoza family that gives the name to the castle in the middle ages. In the interior it was signed the statutues of the autonomous region of the community of Madrid in 1983. More here better in Spanish: http://turismomadrid.es/es/portada/10059-castillo-de-los-mendoza.html

Another beauty is at  San Martín de Valdeiglesias, near  Ávila  on the river Alberche. The castle or Castillo de la Coracera, built in the 15C many times restored had the honor of hosting the Queen Isabel (I) la Católica, that lived here when she was named heir to the crown of Castilla. Also,  Álvaro de Luna,  strongman of  her father king Juan (John) II,of Castilla. More here in Spanish;  http://www.castillodelacoracera.com/

Batres, limits with  Toledo. It was the  La Gran Watria, as it was called house an important Roman villa, destroyed and restored by the Christian near the river Guadarrama . In time the castle or Castillo de Batres  was famous by one of its inhabitants the poet Garcilaso de la Vega. Reopen in December 2017, more here: http://www.castillodebatres.es/

Chinchón is a must if not for its bullring in the middle of the town with gorgeous houses around it. The Plaza Mayor, of medieval origins does it and more since the 15C.  The castle or  Castillo de los Condes, built by a count and residence for many centuries as well as resisting the war of succession to the Spanish throne. So much damaged was left that later become a liquors factory. More here in Spanish: http://turismomadrid.es/es/ver-y-hacer/cultura/red-de-castillos/10817-chinchon.html

Villarejo de Salvanés, one of my nicest memories visiting the region for the last several years. The castle or Castillo de Villarejo de Salvanés is uniqueNot only its origins is very much documented or its role in the wars but for the Homage tower or  Torre del homenaje, that today is all that is left of the castle. Look at the particulars of this castle that the peaks in the crown of the tower are cylindrical when they are usually on the sides of the tower are in the center here 3 on each side. More here in Spanish: https://todosobremadrid.com/que-hacer/castillo-de-villarejo/

Fuentidueña de Tajo , we reach the end of the castle tour with the castle or Castillo de Santiago,also known as the tower or Torre de los Piquillos, belonging to the order of Santiago and one of the strategic enclaves of the reconquest.  It served as a prison and kept some personalities such as Pedro Manrique or Álvaro de Luna. It was a house of kings too, but the most famous was the one who gave the name to the tower or  Torre de Doña Urraca.  This lady also known as the owner of the town and springs at the foot of the castle was born here. Of all this today only ruins remains but worth a detour. More in Spanish here: https://todosobremadrid.com/que-hacer/castillo-de-fuentiduena/

One interlude on a nice bottle of wine just tasted and recommended for the lovers of Madrid and Spain: Bernabeleva Carril del Rey, vinos de Madrid 2015, garnacha grapes about 23€ from Bodega y Viñedos Bernabeleva. Blackcurrants and Redcurrants liquorice, lots of fruit and balance tanins fresh. More in English here: http://www.bernabeleva.com/index_e.html

You want to eat octopus or pulpo in Madrid too far from Galicia ,no problems. We have it all in the city of Spain. Just go to Casa Toribio for the traditional. Or the in omelette like at Las Tortillas de Gabino or with cheese tetilla and kimchi purée at Morgana. And even more a la Galician in Lùa cook à feira or like the oven with potato purée and  ajada (garlic and papripka sauce). Webpages here:

http://www.restaurantecasatoribio.com/#sl_i3

https://lastortillasdegabino.com/

http://morgana.eltenedor.rest/en_GB/

https://www.yelp.com/biz/l%C3%BAa-madrid-2

Just to show some culture here. The seven brothers Elías, Judah, Josua, Cristo, Israel, Aaron , and  Josué  together in the musical Nacidos para bailar .  From the start in May 2016 at the Teatro Tívoli in Barcelona, now it is spreading. They are the  Los Vivancos a mixture of rock of Metallica and Deep Purple. See them at the Teatro Nuevo Apolo, plaza Tirso de Molina, 4 until November 12 2017.  More here: http://www.summummusic.com/los-vivancos/

The creation of  Alphonse Mucha, considered as the father of Art Nouveau, the Czech artist went beyond such as been sculptur, painter, photographer, illustrator, and designer,  The American press had call him the best decorative artist in the world in the early 20C and now the protagonist of an exposition that Arthemisia has brought to the Palacio de Gaviria  with collaboration of the Fundación Mucha. It contains 200 works that traces the trajectory of the artist from his beginning in Paris to being famous for the poster on actrice Sarah Bernhardt in the opera Gismonda. The divine Sarah was so impressed that offered him a contract for 6 years. In the Epopeya eslava, 20  historical portraits that tells of the Eslovaquian unity with last work by the artist such as the triptice  The age of Reason, knowledge and love  that he could not finished due to the resurgance of Nazism. One of the first citizens arrested by the Gestapo for his condition of Mason , a men that dedicated his last years on spread peace. More here in English: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/alphonse-mucha-gaviria-palace

And continuing we have the exposition entitled Zuloaga en el París de la Belle Époque. 1889-1914,or Zuloaga in the Paris of the Belle Epoque 1889-1914 in the room of the Fundación Mapfre at Recoletos.

The exposition brings together about 90 works of Ignacio Zuloaga, and other artists like Picasso, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Giovanni Boldini, Jacques-Émile Blanche, Auguste Rodin ,and Émile Bernard.  Portraits and sculptures of the creation of the basque artist that shows the progress until WWI , when the European theater was radically changed . Ignacio Zuloaga arrived in Paris with 19 yrs old and found amongst others Santiago Rusiñol, Isidre Nonell, Hermenegildo Anglada-Camarasa, Joaquín Sunyer, Pablo Picasso, and Edgar Degas.  With them he entered in contact with symbolism and other artistic movements that laid the foundation for modern art that he participated.  See it all until January 7 2018 at the Fundación Mapfre ,Paseo de Recoletos, 23. More here: https://www.fundacionmapfre.org/fundacion/en/exhibitions/recoletos-hall/zuloaga.jsp

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the creation of the ceramic center or Centro Cerámico de Talavera de la Reina,the museum or Museo Cerralbo presents  Evolución-Revolución. 25 años de cerámica, a show of a tradition with today’s creations .  The expo combine pieces taken from the centuries past including vases, azulejos (decorated tiles), and decoration elements of architecture as well as collection pieces from a number of makers such as Guille García-Hoz, Aitor Saraiba, Rubenimichi , and Luis Sánchez Parejo. More here: http://www.mecd.gob.es/mcerralbo/la-casa-museo/recorrido-salas.html

And the expo here: http://www.mecd.gob.es/msorolla/colecciones/colecciones-del-museo/ceramica.html

A bit of info on a nice area and the Cabrales cheese…in the heart of the Picos de Europa mountain range. the Council of Cabrales, is form of 19 towns and 2K people! and one of the most beautiful of the Principality of Asturias. Picos de Europa  are the 10 peaks most deep on Earth , one of them is the peak of  Trave (1.445 m).  One of the best walkers heaven route is the one known as the garganta del Río Cares, (the throat of the Cares river) between the towns of  Poncebos and Caín (province of León).  The traject is about 11kms between mountains of 2000 meters high over canyons, bridges and falls ;You can get more info on the walks here:  www.cabrales.org.  You see peaks such as the Torrecerredo (2.600 m),the roof of the mountain range of Cantabria, and the peak of Urriellu (or Naranjo de Bulnes), symbol of Spanish alpinism with a height of 2.500 m, the peak of  Pozo de la Oración (about 600 meters outside the Poo de Cabrales); peak of  Camarmeña, in the town of same name ; the lookout or mirador de Pedro Udaondo  in the town of Asiego,named after the alpinist , and the lookout or Mirador de Bulnes,in the town of Bulmes.You can climb on foot here and a cable car as well from Poncebos, price: 17,10 euros.  The rupestre quaint paintings of the cave or cueva de La Covaciella. Today its impossible to visit them but the interpretation center has a replica and a tactile screen showing its course at the Edificio Casa la Barcena, in Carreña de Cabrales; admission 1,50 euros.  The main street or Calzada romana of Caoro, in Arenas de Cabrales, shows the presence of  Romans in the area. In the same town you see the mansion houses from the 17C and 18C well preserved such as the  Casa Palacio de Los Mestas y Cosio (17C),  and the Church or iglesia de Santa María de Llas.  The medieval time stays in the many bridges crossing over rivers that irrigate Cabrales like the La Jaya (Poncebos), Pompedri (La Molina), and La Olla (en Berodia). The wonderfully spectacular caves of Cares at only 1km from the town of  Arenas de Cabrales. You can see the cured cheeses here admission 4,50 euros; more here:  www.fundacioncabrales.com)

There are today  28 queserías or cheese makers in Cabrales ,making one of the best blue cheeses of the world. The cheeses matured in 3 to 6 months in natural caves ,today only five remaining in the mountains with difficult access.  There is a guided visit of about 45 minutes in the cheesemaker home of Queseria Ganaderia Vega de Tordin La Eria, Arenas de Cabrales. You can see the entire process here from curing it, feeding it, and milking the cows to the worker, dry chamber, conservation and labeling zone. The tour ends with tasting: price 4 Euros , reservations at tel: +34  674 59 77 38. More here:  www.vegadetordin.com Also, at the Queseria Main Barrio la Heria, s/n, Sotres de Cabrales there are organized tours that include the cave of maturation , and tastings of two types of cheese, mermelades, and ciders price of 7,95 euros. Reservation at tel: +34 618 93 80 44; more info here : www.quesosdecabrales.es).

Moving right along the north and into the Basque country we reach Bilbao!

It has been already two decades Bilbao is synonymous with the museum Guggenheim. From its opening in October 18 1997 at the banks of the Nervión river, next to the bridge or puente de La Salve; the museum of modern art has been the principal pull to the city by tourists with more than 1Million visitors per year.  The installations are in  24.000 m2 of space and on the exterior are emblematic designs such as the giant sculpture of the spider Mamá , the enormous tulipans of polychrome steel and of course  Puppy, the flowery dog of 12 meters. The museum is celebrating its 20th year with a complete program of expositions and other activities like music, cinema, theater, dance, and gastronomy; admission 13€ for the 20th anniversary program. In addition, the titanic walls of the pinotheque will be projected with the film Reflections, a light and sound show running for a bit over quart of hour on the 20 years story of the emblematic building. There will be 7 showing each day and the access to the garden will be free (already past) . The best place to see the show will be from the streets of  Paseo de las Universidades, between the Puente de la Salve ,and Pasarela Pedro Arrupe. https://www.guggenheim.org/blogs/checklist/architects-critics-curators-and-museum-directors-reflect-on-twenty-years-of-the-guggenheim-museum-bilbao

However, there are other worthy museums and monuments to see in Bilbao or Bilbo. One of them is the Museo de Bellas Artes or fine arts museum located only about 5 minutes on foot from the Guggenheim.  With more than 100 years of history the pinotheque is considered one of the best and most complete in Spain! Items from the 13C to our days, and more than 10K objects of Basque arts antique, modern, and contemporary, work on paper, applied arts as well. The permanent collection can be visited free every day between 18h to 20h, and the temporary exposition have a reduced price on these hours. https://www.museobilbao.com/in/

Right in city center/downtown in the old town or Casco Viejo de Bilbao, there is a building from the 17C that was the college of St Andrew of the Company of Jesus and now have other cultural centers. Such as the Basque arqueological ethnographic and historical museum or Museo Arqueologico, Etnogràfico e Historico Vasco at  Plaza de Miguel de Unamuno, with a collection that includes the Biscayan arqueology and etnography of the Basque country from prehistory to the 18C. Amongst the exposition showing are arms from the civil war, Carlist wars, the Basques and the sea, the pastoral life, and domestic arts on ceramics, and textiles :admission 3€. more here! https://tourism.euskadi.eus/en/museums/basque-museum-basque-archaeological-ethnographic-and-historical-museum/aa30-12375/en/

Not too far about 600 meters you see the old convent of the Incarnation or Antiguo Convento de la Encarnación, founded in 1513, Today house the museum of sacred arts or Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro at the Plaza de la Encarnación, 9, with more than  2.000 works from sculptures and paintings related to religion , some dating to the 3C.  The pinotheque also has workshops and guided circuits thru the old town for 1,5 hours duration and 3€ admission. http://www.bilbaoturismo.net/BilbaoTurismo/en/otros-museos/diocesan-museum-of-sacred-art

Another stop a must is the marine museum or Museo Maritimo Ria de Bilbao where it was the shipbuildings of Astilleros Euskalduna, next to the palace by the same name.  In the interior parvis you see the old docks  , lifting equipment and a restored one the la Carola, several boats showing as well as metal work on boats.  Inside, the expositions shows the evolution of the Ria (estuary)and its history;admission 6€ .More here: http://www.museomaritimobilbao.eus/mmrb/web/paginas/index.asp?cod=30B0F148-9898-4775-AC34-6FA176BD059A&Reg=2FE5D2A4-B09C-4E16-ACD7-9FF0851B391D

The foundation or Fundación Siglo de Oro writes a page on the history of classical theater in Spain. The showing of  «El Rufiàn dichoso” OF Cervantes.  It is one of the most valued works and the only saintly comedy, written between 1605 and 1615 belonging to his last times with several hot subjects for the times, laughts, and aleogoric persons.. The work reaches its high point at the Teatro de Bellas Artes of Madrid. The story tells of the conversion of a men  Cristóbal de Lugo, belonging to the underworld of Sevilla and domestic servant of the inquisitor  Tello de Sandoval and his wife, María de Sandoval, that are at the same time his protectors. Showing until November 5 2017. More in Spanish here: http://www.teatrobellasartes.es/es/ex/1481/el-rufian-dichoso

The once resident of Mougins, south of  France , where the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso spent the last years of his life ,and where he died in 1973 was auction today and given to a New Zealand financial person name Rayo Withanage ,founder of the real estate firm of BMB for a bit more than 20M €.  The house was baptized as the Mas de Notre Dame de Vie, and the auction house of R365 the Dutch subsidiary of Christie”s took place in the tribunal of Grasse. The Spanish artist from Malaga purchased the house in 1961 and made it into a workshop where he worked and lived until his death. There lived too until taking her life in 1986, Jacqueline Roque ,his last wife. The daughter of Jacqueline Roque and engineer André Hutin inherited the house and sold it to the auction for 12M€. The residency home has 1700 square meters and surrounded by 3 hectares of land with views of Cannes, and the massif of Esterel. Three floors includes 32 rooms including 15 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms as well as tennis court, pool, spa and wine cellars. House description in pdf file here: https://storage.googleapis.com/s2media/files/5960f25635e93d3c99b67e93_b40c31736edea458a724c0cee3386e2e.pdf

And with the great one Picasso I finish my blog post for today. Enjoy it, as I do, Spain everything under the sun . Cheers

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October 17, 2017

Tour de France bicycle race is here again, 105th edition!!!

And we got the schedule for the great one, the Tour de France bicycle race in its 105th edition. This time it passes by my Bretagne/Brittany/Breizh in many stages.

Mark these days down, July 9-29 2018. Here are the stages/etapes dates, and length in km passing by Brittany:

10 juil.4. La Baule-Sarzeau 192 km

11 juil.5. Lorient-Quimper 203 km

12 juil.6. Brest – Mûr de Bretagne 181 km

13 juil.7. Fougères-Chartres 231 km

The first stage is from Noirmoutier island into Fontenay-le-Comte on 195 kms on nice terrain but skipping the passage du Gois under water on certains times a day and one of the best roads of the world.

By the 4th stage it will enter Brittany at Sarzeau in the Peninsula or presqu’île de Rhuys . It will continue here on stage 5 going along backroads from Lorient to Quimper. Moving into stage 6 going from Brest to Mûr de Bretagne! a hill of 2 kms on a 10% inclination point (taken with a car and already exciting to do I imagine with a bike will be super). July 13 will be stage 7 from Fougéres and leaving Bretagne into Chartres.

The famous July 14 National Day or Fête Nationale will be from Dreux to Amiens in Picardie. By stage 8. On July 18 o stage 11 will be passing Albertville , a town my wife worked before our marriage.  On stage 18 July 26 the race will arrive at Pau, a nice town for us. Many years ago we used to go here with my wife’s family to see the race passing by.

The last one on July 29 stage 21 will be from our beloved Yvelines dept 78 of the town of Houilles and into the Champs Elysées of Paris. Wonderful!!!

Follow the race officially here: http://www.letour.fr/en/news/2018/2018-tour-de-france-new-places-to-build

See the official map in picture and one of my oldies from 2015 passing by Saint Avé (see tour de france in my previous post in my blog) near my job near Vannes. Enjoy it , one of the traditions of France!

October 16, 2017

Some news from France CLXXII

This is another day in the saga, and due to Ophelia storm off the Irish coast we are having a different day here in Brittany. It was announced sunny and warm but it turn out grey humid cool and temps in the 15C or about 60F.  And this is time to tell you a bit of what is going on in my belle France.

In the 17éme arrondissement de Paris on the street or rue Mère-Teresa you will see soon a passarelle that will bring together the ZAC Clichy-Batignolles (parc Martin-Luther-King) to the new district of  Saussure-Pont-Cardinet. It will have 120 meters long and will be accessable to pedestrians, bicycles, buses and all vehicules with a speed maximum allow of 30 KPH or about 18 MPH. The bridge passarelle will be open by end of 2017. Métro Wagram, Rome, and the trains station Pont Cardinet take you here. 

There is a new concerts sports arena just behind the Grande Arche de La Défense (Hauts-de-Seine dept 92) business and shopping area. The U Arena able to sit 40K ,and just opening with the concert of the Rolling Stones this coming Thursday. It will be the home of the Racing 92 rugby team of the French first league or Top 14. Inside you will be like entering a big oven of 40 meters high with seats in the shape of U around the field. The stands are exchangeable and could go from 5K to 40K persons, will take 20 hours to change the venue from a stadium to a concert hall. It will have 28 kiosks for food /drinks and an innovative system to order. The beer glasses will be filled from the bottom by a hole in the bottom of the glass. It will be super connected with 4G and Wi-Fi for all and 15K simultaneous connections . On its four corners will have a huge screen of 1600 sq meters to receive the images on 44 video projectors with roof mapping as well as in the 7th levels of 11 totals inside a glass enclosure. More here in French: https://www.uarena.com/billetterie-evenements/concert/no-filter_e17

Something closer to my old neighborhood town , this is the beautiful Saint-Germain-en-Laye:

There is a gorgeous terrace with views over Paris of 2500 meters long just next to the castle that has been pressure clean for the first time in 100 years! The castle now houses the Musée d’Archéologie Nationale at Pl Charles de Gaulle. A magnificent piece of French history where Louis XIV was born in the old now gone castle and a very interesting museum of archeology from the area.  Museum here: http://musee-archeologienationale.fr/  

and castle here: http://www.saintgermainenlaye-tourisme.fr/en/exploring/castle-and-domaine-national

Another great place to be is the Théâtre Alexandre Dumas at Place André Malraux, jardin des Arts. Tel +33 (0) 1 30 87 07 07. More here: http://www.tad-saintgermainenlaye.fr/

You will do well to stop by an old favorite for meat cuts and take out food at the Boucherie Lepeltier, 58, rue de Paris. Tél. +33 (0) 1 34 51 01 60. https://www.yelp.com/biz/boucherie-lepeltier-saint-germain-en-laye

And you look up the mansion on the same street that belongs to Madame de Maintenon ,now there is a wonderful resto is even better at Le Buron du Vieil Abreuvoir, 3, rue du Vieil-Abreuvoir . Tél. +33 (0) 1 30 87 05 58.http://www.saintgermainenlaye-tourisme.fr/en/savour-city/restaurants/le-buron-du-vieil-abreuvoir-991123

To get good CD and DVD to rent out and watch inside the médiathèque  or Library Bibliothèque Multimedia at  9, rue Henri-IV is great and a very good selection. More here: http://mediatheques.saintgermainenlaye.fr/venir.aspx

Every Monday the jazz crowd heads for the animated shows of Lindy Hop at the Bal de la Marine. This is a peniche (boat) at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. They give lessons at the peniche Cercle de la Mer. This is a private club but with interested persons of the ocean you can go in as it is done for 40 years! The quintet of jazz players is call the Césarine & The Swing Cotton. Location le Bal de la Marine Port de Suffren just seeing the Eiffel tower above you .  Time! from 20h and initiation price 5€ a full course 15€. More here: http://www.cercledelamer.com/contacts-2/acces/

Some of the night entertainment of a city made for it are some of my favorites:

The French version of the Opera ,the most Parisian of Verdi, Don Carlos , Opéra Bastille, until November 11 at 18H. https://www.operadeparis.fr/saison-17-18/opera/don-carlos

And the Barber of Seville or Le Barbier de Seville, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, from December 5-16 2017 at 19h30; a must theater very nice indeed. http://www.theatrechampselysees.fr/saison/opera/opera-mis-en-scene/il-barbiere-di-siviglia

How about the work of Le Temps qui reste at the nice Théâtre de La Madeleine, 19 rue de Suréne until November 4th. https://www.theatre-madeleine.com/spectacle/piece/le-temps-qui-reste

At the Théâtre Edouard VII, 10 place Edouard VII, until November 14 admission 70€ worth it great show La Vraie Vie and beautiful theater not far from the Madeleine and grand department stores. More here: https://www.theatreedouard7.com/e_affiche_detail_spec.php?id_spectacle=61&rub=1

The Théâtre Le Ranelagh, 5 rue des Vignes (16éme) is showing until January 14 2018 the work of L’Avare. admission 35€. This is a nice seldom use theater but rather nice and a very nice area of my favorite Paris. http://www.theatre-ranelagh.com/fr/saison-2017-2018/l-avare

And not to be outdone, my beloved Versailles at the historically wonderful Théâtre Montansier, 13 rue des Réservoirs is showing the Le Médecin malgre lui .http://www.theatremontansier.com/evenement/le-medecin-malgre-lui-2/

Ok ok so I sneak one here,a real beautiful Brasserie with Parisian tradition of family from the Aveyron region is the Brasserie Flottes, 2 rue Cambon, (1eme) tel +33 (0) 1 42 60 80 89. Of course here any beef is glorious as well as the pig lacquer in honey: more here: http://flottes.fr/

It is England in all it’s finesse with a salon de thé and cakes that are to kill for. This is a library next to my old work place very English, this is WHSmith 248 rue de Rivoli (Ieme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 44 77 88 99. More here: https://whsmith.fr/

Right around the corner you can smell the perfumes at Boutique Fragonard, 207 rue Saint Honoré, Tél. +33 (0) 1 47 03 07 07.  https://www.fragonard.com/en/

And they have launch creations inspire on theatrical objects very original indeed, as well as funny. These are found in the Boutique de la Comédie Française 2 rue de Richelieu, tel +33 (0) 1 44 58 14 30. More here: https://boutique-comedie-francaise.fr/

And by Delamain, there is a friendly ambiance that allows you to discussed all your needs with the salespersons and they find all you need fast too. This is the library or Librairie Delamain, 155, rue Saint-Honoré (Ieme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 42 61 48 78. http://www.librairie-delamain.com/

And do not forget ever when in Paris, you must visit the Jardin des Tuileries, the first masterpiece of the grand gardener of France ,André Le Nôtre. Main entrance 113 rue de Rivoli facing rue Castiglione. More on it here: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71304/Jardin-des-Tuileries

At the wonderful Hôtel Nacional des Arts et Métiers, you find a wonderful restaurant inside. From the rue Réaumur  go into the patio of the Hôtel and find the restaurant in a typical Italian trattoria style , mamma mia this is good, and of course the hotel is nice too but not tried.  A great romantic meal in Paris, try it to believe, you will. More here: https://www.hotelnational.paris/fr/page/restaurants-national.13.html

Now, let’s check out the rest of France on some of my most memorable spots. This is FRANCE.

At Rouen  the 2 CV Tour gives you a half hour of fun and you can take it all in two hours with a convertible classic of French automobiles the 2CV horsepower. The 30 minutes ride takes you into the city center/downtown along the rue Jeanne-d’Arc ,rue du Gros-Horloge, place du Vieux-Marché… etc. The 2 hours ride is the total ride in the city center/downtown with a panorama of the Sainte-Catherine (the hill overlooking the city),  panorama Canteleu , and the Basilique Notre-Dame de Bonsecours up a very hilly road. Check it out at 2CV Tour from 29€ to 49€  Tél. 33 (0) 7 64 09 01 76. More here:  https://www.rouen-2cv-tour.com/home

We go to Chantilly , and discovered the  Pavillon de Manse. Here you find the  machine des Grandes Eaux built in 1678  to feed water to the fountains and basins of the gardens of Le Nôtre. The pumps, siphons, and tubes have been restored and the young is encourage to experiment the new. From Tuesdays to Sundays ,family visit animations for 3€ for the 3-15 and 7€ for adults.  More here in French: http://pavillondemanse.com/accueil/visites/visites-individuelles/

At not so much visited but a city full of history and heritage is Orleans . The first Biennale d’architecture (architecture biannual) , organize by the Frac Centre-Val de Loire. During more than 6 months the creation of 48 architects will be shown in about a dozen cultural and historical sites of the city and the region.  It will last until April 1st 2018. More here: http://www.frac-centre.fr/index.php?lang=2

The historical nice abbey or Abbaye de Royaumont, the biggest Cistercian monastery in the region of Île-de-France, and only 35 km from Paris.  This is very nice solemn peaceful and beautiful architecture and history. It is reopening after renovations from now; see it at Asniéres-sur-Oise, Tel +33 (0) 1 30 35 59 00. More here in French, English still been work on:  https://www.royaumont.com/en/home

Just north of Paris at Pierrefonds ,they are celebrating the 150 years of the Castle. There will be aan exposition in  Centre des monuments nationaux until Nov 20th putting together a series of photos and designs of the castle in 1867! In the heart of the forest of Pierrefonds ,the castle and its medieval looks are a figure of imagination and the history of royal France. More in French here: http://www.chateau-pierrefonds.fr/Actualites/Il-y-a-150-ans-premiere-ouverture-du-musee-au-public

Practical information in English on Pierrefonds here: http://www.chateau-pierrefonds.fr/en/Prepare-for-your-visit/PRACTICAL-INFORMATION

At modern yet old Le Havre we are having the 13e Transat Jacques Vabre. Top chrono for  Salvador de Bahia, Brazil on Sunday November 5 at 13h35.  However, since October 27th at 16h the festival starts off in the center town with a course village on the wharfs of the basin Paul-Vatine where the 41 sailing boats will be tied up such as Class40, Multi50, Imoca, Ultime..etc. Free admission until November 5th from 10h-20h and to 22h on Fridays and Saturdays. More here: https://www.transatjacquesvabre.org/en/

Then, stick around in nearby Dunkerque for Operation Dynamo , the program on the beach or plage de Malo-les-Bains, the site of the evacuation of the allied troops to England in WWII. You can cap it off at the  Musée Dunkerque 1940, house in a casemate bunker of Bastion 32, HQ of the defense of the fortified sector of Flandre (8€ admission)  . Later ,visit the exposition of  «L’envers du décor», consecrated to the turning of the film Dunkirk or Dunkerque. (free access until Nov 10th) More info at Tel +33 (0) 3 28 66 79 21. And here: http://www.dunkirk-tourism.com/What-to-see-do/Dunkirk-1940/Dunkirk-and-Operation-Dynamo

Going east to lovely Strasbourg to see the unique Château Musée Vodou house in an old water tower dating from 1878. It houses the biggest collection of private object having to do with the cult of Voodoo from West Africa in the world; more than a 1000 pieces collected by a true fan of the cult and Africa. Open Wednesdays to Sundays from 14h to 18h free until 14 yrs of age and then 14€ adults.  Tél. 33 (0) 3 88 36 15 03. More info here: http://www.chateau-vodou.com/fr/chateau-musee-vodou-strasbourg/

Moving in back to Paris we can stop at Epinal  and its museum of images or Musée de l’image, rich of one of the biggest collection in Europe with more than  100K printing on the course of the last 5 centuries from the  17C to our days.  Saints figures, images of Napoléon, the WWI and contemporary artists illustrations. Open Tuesdays to Sundays for just 1€ until 18 yrs old and 6€ adults. More in French here: http://www.museedelimage.fr/le-musee/le-musee-de-l-image/une-ville-des-images

Coming closer to our new home at Nantes, discovered the wonderful city museum of arts or Musée d’Arts de la Ville ;one of the best in the region. After a long period of renovation it is now open with a new building dedicated to contemporary arts ,a new restaurant ,and library bookstore. You can walk from the train station and admission is  8€. More in French here: https://museedartsdenantes.nantesmetropole.fr/home.html

You know there is a Louvre nord, north, yes it is at  Lens. There is a new exposition on the place of music in the old civilizations of the old West to Rome passing by Greece and Egypt. they will do reproduction of sounds from old instruments and the oldest song known in the world. Interesting see it at Louvre Lens until January 15 2018. More here:  http://www.louvrelens.fr/en/musique-et-sons-de-l-antiquite

Going up to the west a bit to where family is located, you come to Le Cateau Cambresis and the wonderful museum or Musée Matisse, showing now the painter and illustrator Alain Godon on the idea of the importance of the voyages of Henri Matisse from New York to Tahiti. An expo of popular colors with 150 works to see. From now until March 4 2018. More in French here: http://museematisse.lenord.fr/fr/Expositions/Godon/tabid/1075/Default.aspx

We move all the way south to Marseille and the Bonne Mère with the exposition of Jack London and his travels in the south seas between 1907 and 1909. It shows a mixture of audiovisuals, marine objects,and photos of the times many of which are on loan from the grand American and European museums. AT La Vieille Charité, 2 rue de la Charité, Marseille. tel +33 (0) 4 91 14 58 80. More in French here: https://vieille-charite-marseille.com/expositions/jack-london-dans-les-mers-du-sud

Back up closer to me at Chinon, in the fortress open every day there is an open space the Camp des Assailants (Attackers camp) showing an exposition on the technique of the middle ages wars; all at the foot of this castle one of the most known in the old kingdom of France. Many rooms traces the history in a museographic showing with multimedia borne in 3D, sound etc. All until November 13. More in English here: http://www.forteressechinon.fr/en/things-to-see-do/events/277-the-enemy-camp-October

How about going to Burgundy and the always wonderful Hospices de Beaune ready for its 157th edition organize for November 19 on a gastronomic weekend of organ, food and festival of wines. More of this a must extravaganza in your travel calendar here in English: https://www.beaune-tourism.com/discover/hospices-de-beaune-wine-auction

Leave you with a jewel of French castles in my wife’s region of Seine-et-Marne, Vaux-le-Vicomte, there is an exposition of film posters of those filmed in the castle from the Iron Mask to Moonraker, and Jean de La Fontaine amongst many such as here: http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=Ch%C3%A2teau%20de%20Vaux-le-Vicomte,%20Vaux-le-Vicomte,%20Seine-et-Marne,%20France&ref_=ttloc_loc_3

And the official program in English at the castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte here: http://www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/en/vaux-vicomte-at-the-movies/

What a way to end this post. Enjoy the bounties and beauty of my belle France. Until next time on the printing airwaves of my blog. Enjoy your week, Cheers.

 

 

 

 

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