Archive for January 2nd, 2018

January 2, 2018

Some news from France CLXXVIIII

And here we are, it’s 2018 already. Darn another year well after a certain age you do not wish the year to go by as you will too ho ho ho, playing the devil’s advocate lol!! Anyway, another cloudy, rainy, stormy weather with Carmen and now Eleanor storms passing by near me but not affecting me so far.Temps in the 8C or 47F in my lovely Morbihan Breton.

Some rumbling with those French public transport you all love to get on it (not me) , well they are costly billions to renovate. Recent accidents proves it the system is old outdated and will take years and a lot of taxes to fix it. But we are getting rid of the car as well, eventually we will be enlighted to go back to the horse ::)

The service update of the now famous Vélib’, where one third is electric will be going further slowy from January to March 31st. There will be 1400 stations in Paris and in about 60 other towns in the metropolitan area . Oh the Vélib is a bike system to ride on the streets, more here in their new site:

Two new lanes dedicated to the bus in the interstate roads or autoroutes A3 and A12 will be installed with emergency spaces on the sides.  The A3 for 1,3 km before the Porte de Bagnolet  will be on this first semester and on the A12 between Saint-Cyr and Bailly,in the coming summer.

And on the Paris RATP , the bus line  341 already is equipped with 23 electric buses.  The line 115 and 126 will be partially equipped early this year.  Even the tourist buses like Open Tour Paris will be equipped the first trimester of 2018.  By the second trimester, the SQYBUS of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines  will have 3 electric buses as well first in the suburbs of Paris. More here:

Already this month, the app  «Andilien », will allow persons with mobility impaired to take the train without reservation in 97 train stations SNCF in the region of Ile-de-France. More in French here:

The automatic RER A will be operational by the second trimester of 2018 in the central section.  You will gain time in the traject between  Vincennes and La Défense.  More here:

By next weekend of July 21-22 the gare du Nord underground trains RER B and D will be closed for the traject from Saint-Denis to Roissy and Mitry, until the gare du Nord.  From July 9 to Augsut 27, this line of the L Line will be closed to do work on the viaduct of  Marly.  After the Francilien train will be used in the axe to Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche (Yvelines dept 78). In December 9th the fourth lane at Cergy will be able to improved the performance of the line L and the RER A. By year’s end the Tramway T3 between Porte de la Chapelle and Porte d’Asniéres will be up and running.

A new transport card lol! the Navigo Jour will be on this month, and allows the users to travel freely in the interior of the chosen zones all day with a tariff of 7,50€ for two zones or 10€ for 3 zones. More in French here:

The first tunneling of the Grand Paris Express will be open February 3rd and will open up by early March at Champigny, the second and third trimester at Noisy-Champs. 41  work sites will be don along the line 15  Sud Boulogne-Noisy-Champs. What is tunneling, well read and see in French here:

For reasons of work going on in the inter connections between stations of the line 15 Sud and the stations RER it will be needed to cut the circulation for a few days in 2018. At Ardoines to Vitry, the RER C will cutoff in the month of May. A Noisy-le-Grand, the RER A will be cutoff  a week in November.  The direct connections between the airport Roissy CDG and the gare de l’Est are ongoing.  The first work will be done from now to the end of 2018 by the airport; this line will be in service by 2023.

And of course, money money will cost you more parking in Paris. Where the money goes no one knows… The first 11 districts of Paris as well as Neuilly-sur-Seine will cost you 50€ or 35€ if paid within 3 days. Other towns follow suit with costs at around 30€ and even some decided to keep it at 17€ . Now this one tells you how and where to park, just be sure its legal and do not overstay. The best way to avoid these fines is to use an underground garage like I do; and cheaper online reservation. More here:

FYI, my underground parking in Paris is done with NeoParking , and they even have it in English here:

A great dining experience is open in Paris and done by Groupe Ludéric. You can dine in the museum or musée Baccarat. The restaurant of this chic mansion in the place des Etats-Unis (16éme), taken over by Olivier Maurey, and his groupe Ludévic. They have opened the Cristal room, the restaurant of the Baccarat house that served dishes by fame chef  Guy Martin (around 169 €) in a décor created by Philippe Starck.  This old mansion of  Marie-Laure de Noailles, ancestor of the Marquis de Sade, that was from 1920 to 1950 the most extravagant feasts of the French artistic scene.  The stunning yellow brick walls are kept as well as the crystal lustres of Baccarat.  It had made partnership with Alain Ducasse that also took the Ami Louis, Aux Lyonnais or Benoit, restaurants that are part of the culinary heritage of Paris. With illustrious sites such as the Mini Palais at the Grand Palais 58éme) or Ralph’s at Saint-Germain-des-Prés (6éme); the Aux Halles, Champeaux or the future bar Le Jules soon to open in the spring. Cristal Room Baccarat, 11, place des Etats-Unis (16éme). Tél.+33 ( 0) More here:

Groupe Ludéric here in French:

Now, a little story I like as worked not far from there and passed many times in front of it; gladly never needed to be in it ::) The Hôpital Foch at Suresnes.

It opened in October 25 , 1936 on the hills of Mont-Valérien with the presence of the French president  Albert Lebrun, the president of the council  Léon Blum, and the USA Ambassador. It was operational the next year and now celebrating its 80th anniversary there is a book out on it.  « 1937-2017, l’histoire d’un hôpital » all 130 pages of it. The hospital site is here in French:

In 1929, saw the birth of the Franco American foundation of Mont ValerienThe American Bernard Flursheim , and the French minister Justin Godard  starts the project of construction of a hospital with 350 beds (today 600)  and obtained that the widow of Marshal Foch allows the use of his name on the year of his passing.  The foundation acquired the terrain of the old castle or château Worth, demolished by the sons of the famous fashion designer. They sold the property with the condition that the Anglo-normand house is preserved ,which it has, housing the offices of the foundation and the hospital. Wealthy Americans Consuelo Balsan and the princess of Polignac, provided the funds.  From 1945-1949, it was known as the « l’hôpital de la SNCF », or the hospital of the railroads ; during WWII it was the care units of the military French and later Germans. It was managed by the liberation day by the public assistance office. In 1949, the management was given to the disability bank of the SNCF and for many years it was known as such the hospital of the railroad SNCF. 50 years later the financing is weak, lack of investments even with a great reputation. IN 1960 ,it was at Foch that first transplant of kidney was done between patients not twins. This year 2018 there is a new campaign for donations so the hospital continues and modernize with the numerique and robotisation acquisitions. All worth it. More here in French on the Foundation and donations:

You will come to France and see many renovation on the train station, it must. However, some of these are works of arts indeed. The train station in Nantes that I take often and again next week, is ongoing a huge renovation to the spring of 2020. Passarelles along the rails, easier access to the platforms (12 million passenger in 2016), the whole district will be renovated like on the south station or Nantes Sud there will be offices and 1900 housing units, and on the north of Nantes Nord, the circulation roads that bothers the access to pedestrians will be re directed.  And not just at Nantes; also, Saint-Etienne, Rennes, Lyon etc all are ongoing with renovations and calling artists to do it right. The famous architects will do the station at Saint-Denis-Pleytel on the future metro of the Grand Paris Express. And ,also, chefs of fame will be doing some goodies in them. Such as the previous chef of the Ritz, Michel Roth will be doing his tricks at Metz train station. By end 2018, Alain Ducasse will be at Montparnasse, and Jacques Maximin at gare de Nice. Christian Le Squer, a Breton will do magic at the Rennes train station. Take a look what will look like the train station at Nantes!

And coming up at my beloved Versailles, two great events to come.

In the Chateau de Versailles see the the magic of the Fêtes Galantes, you must come dressed in a quality baroque style costume and be wearing it when you arrive at the Palace (all guests must find their own costumes). No access will be granted to anyone not respecting the appropriate dress code. The dress packages will be the Marquis and Marchioness ticket (from 135€), Dukes and Duchesses ticket (from 260€), and  Kings and Queens ticket (from 370€). In the Hall of Mirrors or galerie des glaces, Monday May 28, 19h30 or 7.30pm. More here:

The other event will be the The Grand Masked Ball at Château de Versailles, Sat June 23rd  11h30 in the Orangerie. Here Baroque costumes, wigs, champagne, club atmosphere…Wearing a baroque costume and a mask (compulsory) you are invited to attend the most original of parties in the magnificent Château de Versailles Orangerie and in its gardens specially staged for the event. Come dressed in a quality baroque costume to be worn on arrival (all guests have to find their own costume). Your face must be masked on arrival and during the entire ball. No admission for those not wearing a costume The Masked Ball ticket gives complimentary access to the Fountains Night Shows on June 23rd. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult. More here:

Good to see near me Carnac, Le Musée de Préhistoire de Carnac in it you will see one of the most complete pre historical collections in the world retracing history from the evolution of men in Brittany to the Paléolitic era to the Middle Ages. This is just south of me and well worth coming here. More here:

My first day back to work was slow and well, sad, but made it and now forward. Glad just got confirmation by Nescafé order is shipped ::) And still raining ::) Hope you have a great week, Cheers!

Update: Due to storm Eleonor in France many things are happening ,hope is not affecting your travel plans.
The train service in Paris is again stop service on the Transilien SNCF. The traffic was delayed and even stop on the lines H, J, K, and U. The RER C as well was stop. Strong winds reaching up to 140 km/h or about 85 mph at the top of the Eiffel tower were recorded ,and the tower was closed to the public until further notice. The mayor of Paris announce that the parks will also be closed all day as the Météo France, announce winds up to 100 kph or about 62 mph. The airport Roissy CDG also had traffic delayed up to 30 minutes with winds of up to 134 kph or about 83 mph between 7h and 7h30. Three flights were re routed to Barcelona, and Lyon with normal times returning by the afternoon. The traffic was also delayed at Orly, and Beauvais airports. The roads were not spare as on the A13 autoroute de Normandie the traffic lanes were cut to two lanes in the direction to Paris. Many branches of trees felled on it from the nearby Forest of Marly by the location of Orgeval causing slow traffic. Still many places without electricity but to say in my part of the woods all is fine and dandy thank you ::)

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