Archive for December, 2017

December 31, 2017

Happy New Year, Bonne Année, Feliz Año Nuevo 2018!!!

 

One photo from AP Thibault Camus to celebrate the New Year on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe of Paris!!!

Paris

A very special brief post on wishing you all a very very Happy New Year and best wishes for 2018. May all your hopes and dreams come true in good health. We stay home as in the last few years, with the kids grown and far from family we do not want to go out into the crowds of end of year.

We decided to cook a nice roast duck  breast in Madeira sauce all home made by the expert French cook in the family, my wife. Then, we added dauphiné potatoes, and dish of cheeses like goat, brie, awe milk ,and comtal , and ice cream log or buché glacé of various flavors. All wash down with Champagne Tsarine Brut for the apéro, and Chateau Patache d’Aux  Médoc 2012, and Chateau Saint Martin red Listrac-Médoc 2012 , both wines from the Bordeaux region.

We started with various amuse buche biscuits, coated peanuts in fruit flavors, potato chips chorizo and cheese, olives in garlic without seeds, and the Wolfberger Gewurztraminer Alsacien white 2016.  A grand total of 6 persons, including my immediate family and my father. We had some wonderful jelly of passion fruit from Guadaloupe as well as the chocolate ice cream log.

All the while we switch TV from the celebration in the Champs-Elysées news flash, as well as the TVE celebration in the Puerta del Sol at Madrid . It was wonderful, I had a cam camera of it and was great indeed! Just for a bit of ambiance as best we can. We constantly stay in touch with family and close friends by Facebook and Skype and this year Whatsapp.

The town was quiet and with police training on avoiding firecrackers in my area. The temps is a bit rough as we are having the storm Carmen passing by temps are at 9C or about 48F but high winds heavey rains at times ,and expecting the high tide to go by coefficient of 100 that can create flooding in coastal towns.

Another year goes by, and I to begin work tomorrow January 2nd after two weeks vacation; it’s going to be tough. Then, by mid month will fly out to Asia for a week as last year! The year will be critical as we will know our retirement options by end year and then can really prepare for it. So far, we think we will remain here in lovely Morbihan Breton.  Too far to figure where we will be going on trips, but me on India and China and maybe Tenerife, Spain looms possibles. Anyway , we are not long range planners but last minute ::)

Will have some personal photos here ,not a fan but for the special day it is worth it, me think. Again happy travels and best wishes for all followers and readers of my blog in 2018. Cheers!!!

PluvignerPluvignerPluvignerPluvigner

December 30, 2017

The Royal town of Poissy, Yvelines dept 78, Île de France

Poissy PoissyPoissy

Another of my memorable times while living in Versailles and working in Paris for almost 10 years was Poissy. This town is close in the royal circle of the Yvelines dept 78 in the region of Ïle de France.

Getting out into the A13 autoroute de Normandie direction Paris until exit sortie 6 Versailles centre that brings you on the N186 is only 23 kms or take a bit longer but more scenic route on the D190 into the N13 at St Germain en Laye and onwards to the N186 to Versailles. The bus no 9 from Poissy train station/bus terminal next to the bus terminal annexe at rue de l’Europe in Versailles near the Castle on Transdev network here: https://www.transdev-idf.com/ligne-Express%209/poissy-versailles/015-PA-2RS

As the year 2017 is coming to an end I like to remember memorable places of mine and this is another one. I used to come by here on many business trips and to get my sons off school at the train station in Poissy , also a stop for the RER A into Paris.

The memorable museum of toys and the delicious historical drink Noyau de Poissy as well as its wonderful Collegiale Notre Dame Church which witnessed the birth of King Louis IX as well as baptized (the future Saint Louis) are worth the trip easy from Paris on the RER A train. It ,also, has a nice marché Beauregard or market day and a pretty riverfront (Seine) scene of music jazz and restaurant on a peniche boat. La villa Savoye and the parc Chateau de Villiers are good too the park is just across from the Seine river.

I have written two posts on it and will like to bring them up here in case you have missed it. After all, I just realized done already 1160 post on my blog I can’t even remember them all if not for the search button lol!!!

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2012/04/08/poissy-the-town-of-louis-ix-royal-and-saint/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2012/06/16/poissy-royal-town-and-louis-ix/

The city has an excellent page on their main sites of interest in French here: http://www.ville-poissy.fr/index.php/cadre-de-vie/decouvrir-poissy/sites-et-monuments.html

And a good tourist webpage in English here: https://www.poissy-tourisme.fr/en/directory/categories/heritage

Last year the Collegialc Church of Notre Dame celebrated its 1000 years and the friends of the Church has a webpage very nice even if it is only in French here: http://sonetlumieredepoissy.com/saint-louis/

Again, in French , the tourist office of the department Yvelines has a lot more on the town and the Collegiale Church of Notre Dame here: http://www.sortir-yvelines.fr/Art-et-culture/Art-et-culture-dans-les-Yvelines/visite-decouverte-yvelines/visiter-poissy-ville-royale

For the lovers of nature, walkers, bike riders etc the city is squeeze between two wonderful and historical forests. The forest Domaniale of Saint Germain en Laye to the west and the Forest Domaniale of Marly le Roi to the south. It is ,of course, at the confluent of the Seine river with three islands that of Migneaux ,the Grand Motteau and of Blanc. You can even arrange a boat ride at the harbor or Rue du Port, rive gauche right by the old bridge ; the existence of which is not sure but have found written document of the existence of a wooden bridge going back to 1162! the bridge was 400 meters long over the Seine river from Poissy to the town of Carrières-sous-Poissy , of this bridge only is left about 6 arches but only about 330 meters away from the new bridge and 570 meters from the bridge of the island of Migneaux that links it to the city.

In all a very nice town for a walk to see the beautiful buildings and lively life not to mention home to the manufacturer of PSA Peugeot automobiles. Easy ride from Paris for a good day of seeing something different in France. I will put couple photos of the Church on this post again. Heck update did not see a picture of the main men Saint Louis so here it goes.

Hope it helps your future travel plans. Happy travels and Happy New Year 2018!!! Cheers.

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December 30, 2017

My travels in the Morbihan, LVII

Well plenty of time and short trips so we continue in the local experience saga in the Morbihan Breton. Today again was a cloudy gray cool rainy day with ups of 13C or about 55F. We cruise near us all day.

We started out in the morning going to our local pharmacy (pharmacie de la Place)  for the new medicines for the lady, this is a nice place and friendly folks. They are at place du marché in our town; see photo. More here: http://pharmacie.pharmavie.fr/378529-pharmacie-de-la-place-pluvigner

WE could not get everything and some were left to pick up later, so we continue onwards.

We needed to get more bio medicine in Santé Nature store in rue d’Auray, Baud, part of the La Vie Claire bio chaine. Very friendly fokos and always a chat .Their store is here: http://www.lavieclaire.com/magasin-bio/baud.html

Baud, is another small picturesque town here with a museum of post cards ! More on the town here: https://www.mairie-baud.fr/culture-et-patrimoine/histoire-et-patrimoine/

We drove to the country roads of the D779 and D16 near me, and continue on to Auray.

This is the town we lived before when we moved to the Morbihan, Brittany and lived on the outskirts of it.  Their tourist office is here: http://www.auray-tourism.com/

Leaving Pluvigner we left the market day on Saturdays behind and went on to do our last grocery shopping of the year at the E Leclerc of Auray in the parc of ZA Kerbois just across from the parc ZA Océane and very near the expressway N165 as well as the gateway to the beaches of Carnac and Quiberon etc.  The hypermarket Leclerc is here : http://www.e-leclerc.com/auray

We did quite a bit of shopping as we dig for apéro or amusebouche for the New Year at home. We will be following the TV on the activities in Paris avenue des Champs-Elysées! Starting at 23h30 tomorrow. The store was lively with plenty of folks all doing the same.

We past by the town of Pluneret just off the N165 expressway before arriving in Auray on the D768.  Part of the agglo of Auray and same tourist office ,their city page is here: https://www.pluneret.fr/situation-geographique-plans#

WE did our round up n the area and came back home early to rest and prepare for the big weekend, sad part I go back to work on Jan 2nd yikes!

We passed by another small town we go by a lot this is Camors on the D779 road.  Very old Bretons buildings to see, and also accessable from the D768 road. More in the city page here: http://www.camors56.fr/cadre-de-vie/histoire-et-patrimoine?showall=&start=1

Coming home we tried the wonderful real on the spot Brie de Meaux  ,St Faron, we got after visiting the town birthplace of my wife , the cheese was superb as usual and we purchased a whole round wheel of it or 3,5 kg or 7.7 pounds. We included with our exotique Antilles grocery store Hibiscus in Vannes and delicious mangos and rose guava ; then moros  (moors) dark rice and sweet plantains like been in the Caribbean again !: accompany by a white loire wine of Domaine du Grand Air Gros Plant 2016.

http://www.hibiscus-vannes.fr/

http://www.tourisme-paysdemeaux.com/1685-fromagerie-de-meaux-saint-faron

http://www.domainedugrandair.fr/

We are now cozy , ate good, and relaxing for the night TV and thinking what to do tomorrow before the hordes takes over the roads for the New Year parties. It’s been a long time since participated in these night long parties, they were full of great memories and fun, now is another responsibility that I take seriously.  Nowdays , the activities and fun are all concentrated in Paris , for the most part. Here is a site in English with plenty to do; hope it helps find yours if in town. http://www.newyearseve.paris/

We will wait what 2018 has for us, wishing all the best to readers and friends of my blog, you have made it easier to cruise along the year 2017 and looking forward to be here in 2018 with the daily life of ordinary working folks in France. Cheers!

 Auray  Auray  Auray  Auray  Auray  Auray  Auray  Auray  Auray  Auray Camors Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner  Pluvigner

 

 

 

 

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December 30, 2017

Some news from France CLXXVIII

Let me tell you some last minutes news on my belle France closing out 2017. The weather is wet and cool all over and snow already in the Alps, some heavy traffic situations there, and strong winds in the Mediterranean part. Here chez moi, all is very quiet just the usual rainy day.

The event at Versailles is Kapla, where visitors could admire the work of the model construction of most of the grand monuments of Europe, like the tour Eiffel, Sagrada Familia, Tower of Pisa, Big Ben etc. At the Espace Richaud until Jan 14 2018. From 12h to 19h admission 5€ adults free for under 26! More here: http://en.versailles-tourisme.com/this-month-in-versailles/exhibition-kapla-at-the-richaud-space-1327482

At the parvis de la Grande Halle de la Villette you will see a great rides event, this is the 2nd edition of the fun fair or Jours de Fête giving your family over 30 rides including a nice ice skating rink, carrousel etc.Location; Place de la Fontaine aux Lions, parvis de la Grande Halle de la Villette, 211 avenue Jean Jaurés, 19éme; until January 8 2018 Sundays to Thursdays 12h to 20h Fridays and Saturdays 12h to 23h, free admission but rides are 10€ pour two. More here: https://lavillette.com/en/evenement/jours-de-fete-2017/

And ,for the fourth time, Paris is giving you a light spectacle for awaiting the New Year. Lights projected on the Arc de Triomphe with a musical film of 20 minutes dedicated to Parisian life as well as firecrackers on the minute 4,3,2,1, and Happy New Year 2018. Get by the Place de l’Etoile (16éme) on December 31 from 32h, free.

The Brasserie Barbés temple of the north of Paris will transform for the 2nd time in a New Year’s celebration into a club of three levels all party until the wee hours of the morning. All furniture will be out and the 750 m2 will have three ambiances themes each on each level orchestrated by Teki Latex DJ and founder of electro label Sound Pellegrino. You will have electro, hip hop, house, and disco. Also , a vast patio open sky and a confidential dancing. All at Club Barbés, 2 blvd Barbés (18éme) December 31 from 22h to 05h, admission 35€. More info here: http://www.brasseriebarbes.com/

Some places to celebrate the New Year in style if in Paris at this time.
Party until dawn and free Champagne until 01H with pastries free until 05H at the Aquarium du Trocadéro, le Club 5, avenue Albert de Mun (16éme). From 21h to 05h admission 49-59€. More info: http://www.soiree31decembre.fr/soirees/aquariums-new-year-tour-eiffel,24.html

The historical Opéra Garnier; you will be able to walk into the dance floor, heated terrace, salon lounge inside, and the square outside as well as the vaulted mezzanine with a panoramic view of the party. All nicely decorated in 800 m2 space of dancing, with DJ El Paco with the best clubbing music of the last 30 years. You know it ,this is at 8, rue Scribe (9éme). From 22h to 06H, admission 55-65€. More info :http://www.soiree31decembre.fr/soirees/reveillon-prestige-opera-garnier-2018,68.html

With DJ Sebastien Kroos keeping you busy all evening together with a light show in one of the best neighborhoods in Paris at the YOYO at the height of fashion, with at the end a breakfast will be serve included in the admission price. YOYO is in the Palais de Tokyo 13, avenue du Président Wilson (16éme). From 22h to 06H ,admission 55-65€. More info :http://www.soiree31decembre.fr/soirees/reveillon-100-dancefloor-au-palais-de-tokyo-yoyo,25.html

And if looking for a New Year’s meal, my favorites would have to be these:

Les Grands Verres, (inside Palais de Tokyo) 13 avenue du Président Wilson (16éme) menu New Year at 120-150-170€ more here: http://www.palaisdetokyo.com/fr/page/les-grands-verres-restaurant

Le Drugstore, 133 avenue des Champs-Elysées, (8éme) menu New Year at 190€ more info here: https://www.publicisdrugstore.com/en/le-drugstore

At my beloved Versailles, go to the Grande Ecuries for the horse spectacle A VOIE DE L’ECUYER, admission 16-25€ to note the stables are not heated. This is on December 31 15h: more info here in French: http://bartabas.fr/academie-equestre-de-versailles/spectacle/

And closer to me now the best I hear are at

Dinner New Year at Sarzeau space Culturel l’Hermine, Rue du Père Coudrin . Admission 95€ from 20h to 03h reservation at +33 (0) 6 88 74 74 21 or (0) 6 07 06 74 23. More info; http://www.animation-sarzeau.fr/index.php?op=newtopic&topic=10

And why not a boat in the Gulf of Morbihan to await the New Year 2018 with the Navix company for 159€ per person. Boarding at the Gare Maritime of Vannes at 21h30 and you return by 02h30 (2:30am).More info here in pdf format and in French: http://www.navix.fr/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/affiche-reveillon-2017.pdf

As in other news….
The Paris transports will be ready, hopefully::) Six lines of the metro (1,2,4,6,9, and 14) will be open past their usual schedule between 02h15 and 5h30. However, not all stations as an example line 4 the direct between Montparnasse and Saint-Michel and on the 9 no stops either between Nation and Oberkampf . The same will be on the RER trains and Transilien. However, on the RER A and B will work all night both ways. ON the other lines RER C and D ,lines H J L N P and T4 tramway will only work in the direction Paris tothe suburbs. On the Noctilien night buses the circulation in Paris will be restraint with some modifications especially on lines finishing at Châtelet. Also, lines N21, N122, and N145 leaving gare Montparnasse and the N22, N144 leaving gare de Lyon, and the N23 leaving gare de l’Est and the N24 leaving Saint Lazare. To link up with these stations you can use the beltway or rocade lines N01 and N02 (circular lines).
More info here in French: https://www.iledefrance-mobilites.fr/actualites/profitez-pleinement-de-soiree-nouvel-an-ile-de-france-mobilites/

Bear in mind the service will be free. Some of the further actions to secure safety will be filtering points to access the rond-point de l’Etoile as well as the avenue des Champs-Elysées. There will be about 31 checkpoints with police presence to search you upon entering these points.

One final point, the free WiFi in the public transport is again delayed. You will need to be patient until the first trimester of 2018 to see the 3G/4G service show up in the biggest 60 stations, with another 60 will be fitted in another six months. The end to cover the whole network will be done by before 2019. This is the service to regulates it call Arcep (Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques et des postes) or something like the regulation authority for electronic and post communications.

And we will have a homemade meal all from the farms surrounding us and good wines as well as Champagne Tsarine of Reims. All cozy the 6 of us, as usual far away from family and roots, the life of globetrotters. Enjoy it wherever you are or will be awakening to 2018. Stay safe and Happy New Year 2018!!!

December 29, 2017

My travels in the Morbihan, LVI

Here I am back again, taking advantage of my vacation time, and tell you about things French out of the tourist trail. The day has been miserable cloudy and rainy humid, cold at 6C or about 45F all day long. I came home from my errands and still the same… Well at least not back to work until Jan 2nd ,and that will be a bomb ::)

The duty of the day was not pleasant as needed to take my wife to the hospital in Vannes for her treatment. I drop her off in the morning by 8h30 or 8:30 am  in external consultations and then pick her up by 15h or 3 pm. The hospital here is very good, and clean, well practically new.  They made a huge addition to the existing hospital and practically all services have been move, some more left to go. The Hospital is name Prosper Chubert part of the Bretagne Atlantique group. More on it here: http://www.ch-bretagne-atlantique.fr/etablissements/hopital-chubert-a-vannes-416.html

The hospital is conveniently located oh oh oh to our main bus terminal and the train station of Vannes (connections to many including Montparnasse Paris);  very lively area and with many hotels and restaurants propping up.  This is the site of the bus terminal in French telling you the bus lines present here intercities and of course the local ones too, which my sons use a lot. Lines 1,2,3,4,6, and 8. https://www.busbud.com/fr/gare-routiere-de-vannes/s/10968

Local area Kiceo bus network is here: https://www.kiceo.fr/

The train station from where I go out a lot especially to Nantes and Paris is here: https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frvne/vannes

We passed by Auray, our previous town, and we passed the train station there too, which the bus terminal next to it as well. I take this one to Montparnasse Paris sometimes as it passes by Vannes as well. The gare d’Auray is here: https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frxuy/auray

Here you see the wonderful Auray river just before it hits the Gulf of Morbihan (Unesco World Heritage Site) and continues into the Atlantic Ocean. More in French about the river Auray here: http://www.auray.org/villes/riviere-auray.php

All along the road D768. As we continue on this road we go by the town of Brech, small but historical town with nice Chapel, Church, and the Chartreuse where they guard the remains of the 795 Breton killed by the French revolution while trying to gain independence and waiting for the help from England in 1795.  More in French here: http://www.auray-tourisme.com/la-chartreuse/brech/tabid/8277/offreid/23a4acde-c549-4a97-8d00-26dd33b3ddc4/detail.aspx

Finally, we entered our town the scenic way up D768 into the rue Hein Guir (the street of our family doctor) ,that you can see the bell tower of the Saint Guigner Church ,main in town.  And for info on Pluvigner tourism if not ask me you can contact the tourist office there: http://www.pluvigner.fr/contacts/office-de-tourisme/

Settled down at home and waiting still for the old year dinner on December 31st and then the New Year’s family gathering in our house and plenty of Skype and FB connections with the world.

Enjoy yours and happy days ahead; Cheers!

 Auray  Auray  Auray Auray auray river passing D768 into town Pluvigner Vannes Vannes Vannes

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December 29, 2017

My travels in the Morbihan, LV

So we are moving right along to end all of 2017 , another wonderful year of life’s ups and down, but la vie est belle bien sùr. Today was a cloudy day again, some rain and temps in the minus 1C or 30F in the morning to 10C or 50F in the late afternoon. Full of running around in my department 56.

As continuing my saga of writing about daily life here in my belle France and especially on gorgeous Morbihan of Brittany, the only department in France that is not a French name ::) Proud Bretons… Morbihan means petite mer in French or small sea as Mor=sea and bihan=small in Breton language… Degemer Mat ::)

I had my usual round by car in the morning we went to a animal refuge or SPA de Lorient, as we are looking into adopting a dog….Yes!!! I always had a dog since childhood, but moving around for many reasons and having kids took a time out from them. Lately , my sons and I finally convince my wife so we are looking around. Reading the internet, talking with dog grooming places and veterinary center in my town, visiting the area refuge has been a task in the last few days; today it was the SPA de Lorient.

The animal refuge of Lorient is actually in the town of Larmor Plage or beach and it is a former bunker area of WWII part of the Atlantic Wall !!! The place is very clean , nice dogs, and good hosts. We thought of getting a puppy, but with so many needs around in our world, why not bring joy to a poor dog. We have looked into a golden retriever 1,5 yrs old but not adoptable yet; then a Labrador/pit bull cross but a bit too much for our tastes. We saw one this morning a griffon small dog black and 9 yrs old very adorable but old. We would like to get it and offer him the last few years of good living and loving care. Any suggestions? the site for the lorient animal refuge is here in French of course: http://www.spa-lorient.com/index.php

We headed back to Vannes for our lunch ,and settle for our old reliable pizza chain Tablapizza in the Atlantique shopping area where everybody knows us already lol!! It does makes feel good when you patronized and all know you and come to talk to you; feels good. The place was full as it is a working day for many except lucky me. We had a bottle of Juliénas 2016 Les Capitans Beaujolais red with l’Espagnole pizza with chorizos of course, then a café mini gourmand with expresso coffee and pineapples small cuts and fondant chocolat. All with our special discount card was 18€ per person. More here: http://pizzeria.tablapizza.fr/73203413606738/restaurant-vannes

Finally, we finished a nice deal. I had a Ford Kuga 2014 very nice car if a bit big and high for me. Always a Ford men ,never had any other since college/univ days…long ago. My local Ford Mustiére salesperson call me up and told me there were deals for end of year going on. So we went to talk to him without conditions. As we went on, we realize the deal was very good and fit quite nicely into our plan for working life last years. We end up getting a Ford Focus brand new with 6 km on it!!! Actually done in Germany on Nov 16, shipped to the dealer here on Nov 29th and purchase by me on Dec 28th ::)

It is a shorter payment terms and about same monthly payments so by the time I am ready to present retirement ,either it will be paid off or will get a new one…::) The folks here were excellent ,talking about the so call popularly famous French administration ,but in our case ,very easy (of course we are French citizens) . The BNP Paribas bank was great and getting the funds out for the down payment in just a click of a computer key, the dealer (Mustiére) was confirming at the same time, and my auto insurance broker MMA was there with the insurance certificate on time! All I did was take the car out and roll on into 2018 with it!!!

Now tomorrow will be hospital check up day for my wife so we can finally relax into 2018 with the family at home. Maybe another outing before the year is out lol!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018 to all and best wishes for all your desires for the coming year. Cheers!

 Vannes  Vannes  Vannes  Vannes  Vannes  Vannes  Vannes Pluvigner Lorient Lorient

 Larmor Plage  Larmor Plage  Larmor Plage  Larmor Plage  Larmor Plage  Larmor Plage

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December 28, 2017

Notre Dame Church in Cholet , Maine et Loire, dept 49.

This was a surprise, did not realize that this town could have such a beautiful Church. As a lover of Architecture and History, these fascinates me and I go a great length to visit them all; working on it!

I am talking about the Notre Dame Church in Cholet. It is right in city center/Downtown of the city  at the parvis Jean-Paul-II , and surrounded by the old town and a great square Travot.  The short end of it tells us that here was a castle and the now Church was just a chapel of the castle, then the parish Church was built and over and over again on the same spot the current Church occupy today. This region has suffered greatly in the 19C due to the voracious French revolution, that only destroyed many religious buildings but murdered many of the folks in the area of the Vendée or wars of the west as they were called.  The people here has taken to rebuilt these religious buildings to counter the wrath of atheists and wars that succeeded. The current Church was built between 1854 and 1887. It is considered one of the best work and preserved of buildings from the trouble 19C in the region.

It is told that the first sign of a Church here was from the 11C and by around 1185 it became the parish Church.  For a long period of neglect, and after the French revolution it was used as a stable and then a prison.  The deterioration was imminent and by 1812 danger of fallen stones from its walls , the Church was closed to the public. In July 1814, the remains are demolished and new Church took over in the Poitevin style with a lantern tower bell tower below the altar, on ordered of the Duke of  Angoulême this was finished in 1820. The new Church was soon found too small and the fourth Church on the spot is built starting in 1854 and finished in 1887.  It was built of stones in a neo Gothic style of the 13C; it has a choir with five Chapels and a transept. It is capped with two steeples, each with a slender, pointed arrow, surmounted by a wrought iron cross, rising to 65 meters above the square.

The religious part of it can be found here in French, info on Masses etc. https://messes.info/communaute/an%2F49%2Fsaint-pierre-notre-dame#lieu:49/cholet/notre-dame

A bit more info in English can be found from the tourist office here: https://en.ot-cholet.fr/exploring-discovering/heritage/monuments-buildings/historic-.html

Let me tell you some of the wonderful things you can find inside.

First, the ceilings are magnificent high and clean and just gorgeous, with beautiful stained glass in the walls recounting the story of the birth and last judgment of Christ.  There is a nice pulpit chair and a baptismal chapel with engraving that is just gorgeous. The towers front façade were recently clean and renovated and work is continuing on the rest of the Church while it stays open.  There at this time a Nativity Scene quite nice.

The building outside is huge or it seems that way to me. The reconstruction has been a success. There is a wonderful statue of my favorite Joanne of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc) on the left side wall half way the nave.  You have an organ from 1903 renovated afterward on several times but just gorgeous encrusted on the wall from the bottom up and a big rosary window above it.

There are several Chapels  showing the Virgin and the Enfant Jesus, St Peter’s, the Last Judgment , and Christ at the Cross. The impressive statues at the back in white stone are one on St Remi baptizing Clovis for the foundation of France and St Genevieve battling Attila the Hun defending Paris (St Genevieve is Paris patron Saint). Impressive.

Overall, this is a very nice Church, that could be mistaken for a Cathedral. Big, spacious, bright white color showing throughout ,and nice statues. Just for it alone and the place Travot could be worth a visit.

Enjoy it and help preserve for humanity’s sake. Another jewel from my belle France. Happy New Year’s 2018 to all my readers, friends, and family reading me on this your blog too. Cheers!!!

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December 27, 2017

And the 49ers of Cholet !

Ok so in continuing the saga looking into new areas in my belle France, we decided today to visit Cholet in the département of the Maine-et-Loire no. 49 in the région of Pays de la Loire. This is a historical town of very much links to the Vendéen wars against the French revolution. In what was the Anjou area.

As usual , I passed by these departments and regions all the time but always lack the time to visit all. France is a movable feast ::) The tourist office for Cholet is here : https://en.ot-cholet.fr/

The tourist info in French from the city of Cholet is here: http://www.cholet.fr/welcome/tourisme.php

As I said the history is huge here, and  my small contribution on this post is not enough.  And as usual, I went by car/auto; taken the N165 direction Nantes hooking up direct to the N844  direction Poitiers/Angers ,on exit sortie 44  linking with the N249 direction Poitiers  exit 38 (passing by Clisson see post on that) into the D753 that takes you into Cholet Centre city  center. We parked in the limits of the city center at parking Turpault easy in and out for 40 cents ::)

This is the lands of Foulque Nera Count of Anjou , and passing by one of his loyal soldiers who later passed it on to their sons until the family lineage is gone in the 13C.  Passing again by several hands until becoming part of the reign in 1343 due to the grand extensors of salt ,by 1463 the lands are even sold to the Duke of Brittany! However, nothing compare to what behold the town and area during the French revolution, especially during the battle of Cholet in 1793.  it goes to textile and shoes industries ups and down until today a revitalizing town on the move.

The first thing we did after parking the car is walk the town as we love to do. We saw a very modern and nice shopping center right in city center!  the  « Les Arcades Rougé »; something different to have one around the old town.  Anchor by a Super U supermarket and with plenty of stores of all kinds and Irish pubs as well ! More here in English : https://en.ot-cholet.fr/exploring-discovering/shopping/retail-therapy-cholet.html

As usual for those who can read French, the information is much more on the shopping center here: https://www.ot-cholet.fr/grand-public/decouvrir-et-visiter/shopping-les-arcades-rouge-cholet.html

We parked at Turpault a nice small garden with plenty of inexpensive parking fees and walk along rue Nationale to the center really less than 5 minutes.  Walking by saw the big shopping center mentioned above and the McGill irish pub facing us!

There is a huge wonderful Place Travot, it seems the center of it all in town. There is an impressive building now hosting the Mercure hotel; and you can see the back of Notre Dame Church (later in another post).

You have nice winding old streets like the rue Bretonnaise or Breton street ,and the Grand Pharmacie in the place Travot , and the long and winding rue Nationale, actually cut in half by the place Travot. All very nice.

However, as often happened here in our belle France; tradition calls for specific lunch hours , and even missing by a few minute and with half a restaurant empty the answer will always be, we are closed or food service is over!!! We arrive there to a place we have picked to eat at 14h06 that is 2:06PM and were told the routine answers. We tried others in the Place Travot and the answer was the same, and of course many were even closed. So we end up hungry as usual and settle for the all American chain Subway sandwiches !!! Part of the arcades rouge shopping center ,more here: http://subwayfrance.fr/trouver-un-restaurant/recherche/47.059407_-0.8797869999999648/5/cholet

So we had a nice big 30cm long BMT my all time favorite here from younger days, and my 7Up along with a chocolate cookie ! neat and came out to 9.10€ per person; at least my wallet was in heaven. I was still upset of seeing all this wasteful job creation opportunity lost here in my belle France. And we headed back home.

Not before, stopping for some liquids to lighting up our New Year’s meal and do a car wash on my Ford;tomorrow I will have a brand new one, but of course another Ford, my lifetime car/auto and never a problem. Until my next post, I want to wish you all a very very happy New Year 2018, full of travel stories, good health, and more posts ::) Cheers!

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December 26, 2017

The South Morbihan:Noyal Muzillac, Muzillac ,and Ambon.

Pluvigner Pluvigner  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Noyal Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac  Muzillac  Ambon  Ambon  Ambon  Ambon  Ambon  Ambon  Ambon  Ambon  AmbonToday was a cloudy sunless rainy day but we the road warriors set out to see some areas that seldom do or just passing in the south of our department of the Morbihan Breton or No 56. It is ,also, a special day for the adults as me and my wife celebrates today 27 years of marriage !!! It has been fun ::)

these are not going to show on the tourist main page, or even secondary; these are inland Bretons lands, the very best way to see and get to know the country. We love to travel here.

As usual we set out from our home on the D768 road and pass by a quaint campint car area with a camping site, we had friends stay here when they came by the barrels (too many) and they found it right. This is the Camping la Clé de Prés just outside our town limits. For those coming by camping is simple basic stop on the way to the famous beaches south of us. More info here: https://www.camping-la-cle-des-pres.com/

We then took the N165 direction Nantes and continue until exit/sortie Muzillac no 20. A good site to find out the exits and what they have on them in the whole of the Nationale 165 is here: http://www.stationaute.com/highway/n165

And we arrived first at Noyal Muzillac, parked by the Church. This town saw the birth of Julien Daniélo ,the secretary of Chateaubriand. It has a Maison du Patrimoine or house of heritage from 1602 ,and today serve souvenirs and ice cream etc to all in season, winter is closed. The Chapelle de Bengué dating from the 17C ,the sacristy is from 1798, destroyed during the French revolution it was rebuilt in 1817. There is a fountain St Martin done in 1839 , and across the street a laundry or lavoirs from about the same period. The house at 6 rue de la Poste with stone blazon’s of noble houses from the 16-17C. The town has several houses some dating back to 1532 in renaissance style showing the wealth of the town from times afar. The town is name “Communes du Patrimoine Rural de Bretagne” OR towns of rural heritage of Brittany preserving the essential traditions of this region.

The main point here at least for me is the Church of Saint Martin,done and or renovated from the 11C to the 20C. Several of its stones are from Romanesque and Gothic periods. Several polychrome statues of Saints, 3 portraits from the 17C in the choir and nerf as well as one done in 1819 in the south Chapel. The most impressive a Nativity scene covering the entire town that lit ups on a touch of a button, really nicely done and a pleasure to see.I am sure it was just for the season to be merrier…

A more detail look at this town is on the area tourist page in French : https://www.tourisme-arc-sud-bretagne.com/Decouvrir/Bourgs-hameaux-de-caractere
And the city page of Noyal Muzillac here: http://www.noyal-muzillac.fr/Tourisme/default.aspx

We finally visit this town lol!!! To get here we needed to past by one we have already visit, plainly Muzillac. . From the same tourist office above and from the city page of Muzillac in French info here:http://www.muzillac.fr/category/decouvrir/histoire/les-circuits-patrimoine/

Famous town because in June 1815 a battle of Pen Mur the local farmers or Chouans fought the Imperial army and beat them with the help of 400 high schools students from Vannes. The two main things to see here are the Old Convent of the Ursulines done in 1678; later under the French revolution in 1792 to get them out of their convent and send them to Vannes. The convent was sold as national property (confiscated); in 1982 they were purchased by the city and made a cultural center that opened in 1990. And the Church Sainte Thérése done after fire took away the older one in 1934 in a Latin Cross style, and neo roman architecture. It has crosses, portraits and calices from the 17C onward, and a nice Nativity scene in the right front corner.

Further from the parish bishop place translate into English at best as such: After a fire in 1929 that destroyed the bell tower of the old Romanesque Church of Bourg-Pol, a new one was built in 1934 closer to city center. It was dedicated to Ste Teresa de Lisieux even if the parish keeps St Pol de Léon as patron Saint. We can see inside a statue of the Virgin in exotic wood, and another of St Joseph (in oak wood). The one on St Joseph is an auto portrait of the sculptor. The stained glass windows represent the life and spirituality of Ste Teresa. The Church is inspired in the Romanesque architecture of the old one and in art deco of the year 1925. In French here: https://messes.info/lieu/56/muzillac/eglise

We saw the weather turns worse but we continue our cruising along the waters of the Gulf of Morbihan into the town of Ambon, here we saw a nice picturesque Crêperie restaurant typical of the Bretons and decided to stop in for late lunch. Briefly ,the town has of course a Church Saint-Cyr-et-Sainte-Julitte is the name. Here the basement is from the 9C! most is built in the 12C with some 15C and 17C renovations. After some excavations done it was found a choir and a transept were updates of a Roman temple of the 3C, a paleochretian sanctuary of the 6C showing a façade and a Roman nerf, sculpture chapters and altar from the 17C. The Church as enlarged with the addition of a sacristy from 1636-1649.

The tourist info is on the same Bretagne arc sud as above site for all. The city mayor’s office in French is here: http://www.ambon.fr/index.php?module=Contenus&tid=2&category=113&filter=pub_category^sub^113

And now the créperie Le Fournil, so much good things here you are bound never to make a mistake. They are feature in the dept tourist office and their site is under construction but believe me they are alive and kicking and very very good local stuff. Their official site is here :http://www.creperielefournil.fr/

We were warmly welcome and sitted right away. We had front window seating facing the Church. We started with 100 Cl of Cider Brut Nicol from nearby Surzur, this is more than a bottle (75)::) We then ordered our galettes. I had a duo of bacon and Emmental cheese; others had complete bacon with soft eggs, super complete, montagnarde, twice. Then we had desserts, and I had the coupe antillaise with rum raisins ice cream and caramel sauce. WE left as it is for 17.2€ per person. Delicious and a nice find, we will be back.

We reach home again by the N165 but in addition to rain, we saw a big traffic jam ahead and went around the N166 by way of the D135, N779 to D16 and home safe and sound and rested.

Now more time to celebrate at home the 27 ::) !!!

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December 26, 2017

A Royal town in the Yvelines, Saint Germain en Laye

For some reason, must be nostalgic Christmas night and memories float in my mind I remember Saint Germain en Laye. It is a town link easily on the N186 to my beloved Versailles where I lived and taking advantage of the location wandered to all these wonderful towns of France in the Yvelines dept 78 region of the ïle de France.

Saint Germain en Laye is a Royal town not only because it hosted and or was visited by Kings but the one Sun King Louis XIV was born here! It is also only 19 km from Paris Notre Dame Cathedral with just an elevation of 193 meters. A forest that covers 3/4 of its city limits territory! Where the kings used to hunt too. Also, a cinematic city with already 15 films done here over the years.

A town that saw the birth of  (year following name) :Henri II, 1518; Marguerite de France, Queen Margot, 1553 ; Jeanne d’Albret, (mother of Henri IV and great figure of the Reformist era) ,1528;Charles IX , 1550 ; Louis de Buade count de Frontenac,( Governor of New France (Canada)),1622; King Louis XIV, 1638 ; Philippe de France, duke of Orléans,1640 ; Philippe de France, duke of Anjou, (oldest son of Louis XIV), 1660; Marie-Louise  of England , (daughter of king James II of England exile in the city and buried at the Church of St Germain across from castle), 1692;  Claude Debussy ,1862 ; Edouard Bourdet, 1887;  Jehan Alain, 1911 ;  Christian Fouchet, 1911,(ambassador and previous minister and follower of the first hour of Gen de Gaulle); José Artur, 1927; Michel Pericard (1929-1999), (previous mayor of Saint-Germain- en-Laye (1977-1999),deputy of the Yvelines  (1978-1999) , and Vice President of the National Assembly of France (1997-1999); Jean-Edern Hallier, 1936;  and Pierre Douglas, 1941…

A town that saw the passing of figures such as (year of death following name) : Louis XIII,1643 ; James II king of England, 1701; The knight  Ramsay  1743 ; François de Beauharnais, (father in law of Joséphine), 1800 ; prince de Polignac, 1847 ; Adolphe Thiers, President of the IIIe Républic, 1877; the Poet Catulle Mendès, 1909 ; Henri Cochet, Tennis champion 6 times winner of the Davis Cup, 1987; Suzanne Chantal, roman writer, 1994.

And who have passed by in the city, some of the famous are : Molière, alias Jean-Baptiste Poquelin; Mozart for a day in 1778 ; Benjamin Franklin also in 1778; Alexandre Dumas father and son. The father wrote  “Les Trois mousquetaires” and “Le Comte de Monte Cristo” in the city while commander of the national guard in town as well as directs the theater.  The son wrote  “La Dame aux camélias” in the city. The musician Claude Debussy, and the painter Maurice Denis , that has a museum in the city as well. And of course, many many others too numerous to mention.

The city has been cited as the house of the famous or maisons des illustres by the ministry of Culture of France, UNICEF city child friendly, two leave branches  Ville Nature for the natural protection, three flowers Ville Fleurie for the protection and decoration of its trees/flowers; Accueil Vélo for the best host on cyclists from the tourist organizations, and the Les Rubans de Patrimoine or ribbons of heritage for its preservation of the heritage sites in the city.

It’s history goes way back in the history of the French kingdom and is very rich starting with king Louis VI le fat in 1124 building a residency, and Saint Louis a Chapel ,and Charles V both are made rebuilt/renovated. Henri III has a New Castle (château-neuf)  built in 1556, and does many other improvements such as the gardens; many things done here such as the marriage of François I in 1514,birth of Henri III in 1519, jurist dual or coup of Jarnac in 1547, proclamation of the edict of 1563 by Charles X that fix January 1st the beginning of the year for all of France, signature in 1570 of the peace of  Saint-Germain to end the wars of religions, birth of Louis-Dieudonné, future king Louis XIV in 1638.  Baptism of the Grand dauphin, marriage of Mademoiselle de Blois and prince de Conti (whose palace is today the city hall of Versailles !),  Concerts of Lulli and Quinault, comedy showing by Molière. The  Château-Vieux  becomes the center of European politics with the exile of king James II of England, king of Scotland until his death in 1701. Louis XVI ordered the passing of the water of the town in 1777 ,and gives the Château-Neuf  to his brother , the Count of Artois future king Charles X.

After the Revolution, Consul, Empire, Restoration, and Monarch of July the town goes thru its ups and downs. The castle is converted into a prison (Rouget de Lisle was a prisoner here he who wrote the Marseillaise), a hospital, horse cavalry school, military headquarter, and later military prison. The opening of the first railroad line in 1837 linking the city with Paris gives a new breath of air to the city. The visit of Queen Victoria of England for a pilgrimage to the tomb of James II in 1895 allows in the mind of Napoléon III to create the museum of antiquities in 1867 (still there in the castle). The peace with Austria is signed in St Germain en Laye in 1919 dismantling the Austro-Hungarian empire. The Nazi high command and other army services take possession of the castle as HQ of Nazi forces from Holland to Biarritz during WWII. Finally, the city is liberated in August 1944.

After the end of WWII the OTAN makes the high command in Europe called SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) led by Eisenhower chose to be installed between the towns nearby of  Louveciennes and Marly-le-Roi. Living quarters for the military was built in Saint Germain en Laye on the location of the current village of Village d’Hennemont; where their children went to the school of SHAPE, today still going on as the Lycée international.

THe king Louis XIV has renovated the castle especially the apartments by the Architect Louis le Vau and the gardens by André le Nôtre. Before Versailles, even thus later the king moves there. King Louis XV wanting a Church bigger than the current one there ordered the constrution with the first stone laid in 1766 of the Church of Saint Germain with the finished in 1827. The house of the education of the children of the legion d’honneur is done in 1811. The castle is totally renovated with a new look by orders of Napoléon III in 1863 as we see it today.  The museum of Antiquities , gallo and celtic arts is open to the public in 1867.

The city tourist office in English is here: https://www.saintgermainenlaye-tourisme.fr/en

And the city of Saint Germain en Laye where the information above was translated is here in French: https://www.saintgermainenlaye.fr/140/decouvrir-la-ville.htm

You should not missed the Theater Alexandre Dumas as it was the inspiration of Dumas father who eventually saw the light of the theater, more here in French: http://www.tad-saintgermainenlaye.fr/

And to let your imagination run wild , here is the Château Vieux (old castle) site now is the Archeology museum info here in English: http://en.musee-archeologienationale.fr/

And info in English on the Church of Saint Germain is here:  https://www.saintgermainenlaye-tourisme.fr/en/places-must-see/eglise-saint-germain-633123

And of course the market here at the place du marché  Neuf is very good and with over 700 shops in city center you are in for a treat; I know used to come here very often, and always a pleasure. Here is info in English on the market: https://www.saintgermainenlaye-tourisme.fr/en/activites-et-loisirs-english/les-marches-de-saint-germain-1055791

Enjoy Saint Germain en Laye, plenty to read above,and if questions for details let me know gladly will help out. Enjoy the Holidays and Happy New Year to all! Cheers.

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