Archive for June, 2018

June 30, 2018

Again we have the Tour de France !

The greatest bicycle race in the world is back. There may be others older, but this is the grand daddy of them all. My family on my dear late wife side are fanatics and I even purchase a bike myself couple years back. Not the biggest user of it, but we enjoy a leisure ride in the park once in a while. However, the Tour de France is it, we watch it wholly and it is superb. Even if not into bike the views of the race on TV are super. If you have the chance like us to go and watch it live, then you can tell the love for the sport here.

In my neck of the woods now, the Bretons are avid bikers and there are so many clubs and competitions all year around. The Tour is very much followed by all here and on my job too is big.

This year’s event will be no different. The Tour de France starts July 7 for its 105th edition. The first stage will begin in familiar local territory in the island of Nourmoutier (île de Noirmoutier), Department 85 of Vendée, region of  Pays de la Loire and the final in Paris after 21 stages.

I will tell you the stages and their trajectory with a map to follow

1: Noirmoutier-en-L’Île / Fontenay-le-Comte (flat run of 201 km)

2:  Mouilleron-Saint-Germain / La Roche-sur-Yon ( flat run of 182,5 km)

3: Cholet-Cholet ( against the clock of 35,5 km)

4: La Baule-Sarzeau (flat run 195 km)

5: Lorient-Quimper (average mountain run of 204 km)

6: Brest-Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan (average mountain run of 181 km)

7: Fougères-Chartres ( flat run of 231 km)

8: Dreux-Amiens Metrópole (flat run of 181 km)

9: Arras Citadelle-Roubaix (stony road of 156,5 km)

10: Annecy-Le Grand-Bornand (high mountain run of 158,5 km)

11: Albertville-La Rosière (high mountain run of 108,5 km)

12: Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arcs / Alpe d’Huez (high mountain of 175,5 km)

13: Bourg d’Oisans-Valence (flat run of 169,5 km)

14: Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux / Mende (average mountain run of 188 km)

15: Millau / Carcassonne (average mountain run of 181,5 km)

16: Carcassonne / Bagnères-de-Luchon (mountain of 218 km)

17: Bagnères-de-Luchon / Saint-Lary-Soulan (mountain of 65 km)

18: Trie-sur-Baïse / Pau (flat run of 171 km)

19: Lourdes / Laruns (mountain run of 200,5 km)

20: Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle / Espelette (against the clock of 31 km)

21: Houilles / Paris Champs-Élysées (flat run to end of 116 km)

The end will be in Paris as always when in about 52 km of run the race will enter the city and inside Paris there will be 8 rounds in a circuit of 13 km . For this year’s race so far 22 teams are confirmed.

Looking at the schedule above , 4-7 stages will be in my Brittany and runs 4-5 will be in my dear department 56 of Morbihan so will see them lol!!!  and sentimental previous experiences will be at 18 by Pau, and 21 Houilles (Yvelines dept 78) and Paris. All the big names will be there again so another very nice Tour coming up.

You can follow it in the official site in English (you can change to German and Spanish and of course French as well) : https://www.letour.fr/en/overall-route

Enjoy the race ,remember July 7 next Saturday be there or be square!

And remember, always my thanks, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all!!!

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June 30, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXIII

So on a very hot Saturday with temps up to 32C or about 90F and intense sun, and many things to do and tell you in my lovely Morbihan department 56 of Brittany.

We had as usual our breakfast, took our dog Rex out and feed him as well. Then, he was put in the Veranda with door half open and plenty of water in his water bowl.

We set out to do our usual errands in our family life now with the boys and me as my father stays home as usual watching TV and most of the time Spanish TV in cable like TVE.

I had to take the boys to Micromania for some orders pending as usual from them, they just don’t stop, the most popular customers in the store, everybody knows them and even the store manager had come to our house for lunch! This store is in the shopping center Carrefour in Vannes.

We went to try a store we have been before but closer to home just to re check prices on animal food, dogs of course as we  have one now 7 months old Borador (mix border collier mom and Labrador dad). This is Animalis in Ploeren just outside Vannes; and it was confirmed the prices are higher so we move on.

We went by our favorite animal store Maxi Zoo at the near town of Séné next to Vannes going along the inner city streets easily as our expressway N165 is beginning to be full of traffic with visitors especially from the British isles. Estimates this year put Brittany in the top 3 of favorite French destinations for vacation by the French, of course we know ::) Here we did purchase our usual dog food 15 kg bag and again nice and cheaper. So we continue here.

As we got there in the shopping plaza les quais de Séné, we saw that a popular shoe store chain here Chaussea had summer sales of up to 70% on most of their stock. So we went in to take a look,and as usual things remaining from her mother’s time , we got out with one pair of sandals for my oldest, and two pairs (one sporty and one dressy) for me; both pairs for 52€! (who says France is expensive!). There are some nice names here including one of our favorite resto chain Au Bureau an English style bar restaurant ,and Chausséa, MaxiZoo, Sport 2000, Gifi , and CrocBook.

We had to eat and believe or not again, my boys insisted on going to Burger King! Well ,can’t really blame them , born in Florida they grew up with BK, and here is a connection to the old country. So we went for lunch at the BK in Ploeren, just outside Vannes. We tried the new whopper chorizo menu lol!! and blueberry muffins dessert ! A nice boys lunch , always missing our dear late wife Martine and heck of a mother. She will always be on our side on the tables.

After this lunch, we went for our groceries as we needed to be ready for the big football/soccer game coming up.  Our groceries are done in a couple hypermarkets here and this time it was E Leclerc in Ploeren, Vannes. We loaded up for the game here too with the boys leading the way.

WE rush home by side roads to reach home just five minutes before game match. The match well the Russia World Cup 2018 8th finals between France and Argentina. We won 4×3 (that is France) with the young Mbappe netting two goals.  It is big here, there are celebrations all over as if we won the World Cup and now a new best is born in Mbappe; all part of the hyper media of our days.  There still a lot to run in this World Cup. Tonight is the game from which our next rival will come, Uruguay vs Portugal. Photo below is from my TFI TV channel !!!!

Now cruising at home waiting for the next game and all loaded up. The temps are still higher with Paris getting around 36C (97F) and by us around 33C!! (91F) Another heat wave for the next couple of days.

In we are staying in the shade lol! Hope you enjoy our every day life in the belle France. The real living in France.

Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 27, 2018

An hommage to Paris,Martine and us!!!

We have a nice sunny day today high will be by 31C or about 87F just gorgeous outside and the beaches are full. I like to look back in my blog just to see Paris, well Paris is everywhere. Paris is eternal why tell more. It is time to show you to search for my other posts on Paris! There are so many covering most if not all subjects. I let you do the searching  ,there is something for everyone in it.

Paris

Gare de l’Est Paris, our first trip by train the route to her office in Paris 11

It reminds me that almost 8 years ago (November 26 2010) , a group of friends from an online travel forum VT now part of TA, asked me to write a book or a blog on my travel experiences. Well, it was nice, but me a book lol!! My writing is rambling all over, just could not be done. However,  a blog well maybe. Have an American friend living in Madrid for over 20 yrs already who is into these blogs thingy and recommended to me WordPress  because it was easy to set up me not tech oriented. So it was done Paris1972-Versailles2003.com came about with the name of Paris as my first year visited the city while living in Madrid. The year of Versailles is from when came to live in France permanently at that Royal city of France.  The blog have been entertaining thanks to all those readers “like” and comments ; I really enjoy it.  As my  Frenchie from Meaux, Martine, passed away last April 30th from the dreadful cancer, I have come to appreciate more the fact that I am French and live in this wonderful country. I thank her for that,  and will continue to showcase my love for France (if anything to honor her) ,and my roots of Spain in my blog.

Meaux palais episcopal jun10

Enjoy Paris, the most beautiful city in the world, and for reason the most visited too…

There you go enjoy Paris, my beloved dear Paris and my belle France (thanks Martine). And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

June 24, 2018

Metropole Nantes!

I was going to see some World Cup games with a friend near Nantes city, and as usually go by there on my trips out by plane at Nantes Atlantique airport the trip was on usual territory. One of my best friends just moved there, and we went to visit and share some pints with the football/soccer games of the World Cup.

The games were so so on the first game Belgium beat Tunisia 5×2 a really lopsided game. The following one was a bit better as Mexico doing an excellent World Cup beat South Korea 2×1, and finally the best matchup of the day saw Germany beat Sweden 2×1 on a last minute free kick from Real Madrid ‘ player Toni Kroos , superb shot and kept Germany with chances of continue and avoiding catastrophy at home. More on official webpage: https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/

All with plenty of pints from Germany, Belgium, and Brittany and munchies food plancha style. And with good company. the town is Orvault and it is one of 24 comprising the metropole of Nantes as well as the 5th biggest town in it.

A bit of info in French from the city of Orvault with a map of what is the Metropole of Nantes:  http://www.orvault.fr/mairie/presentation-de-la-ville/orvault-dans-la-metropole

The site in French of the Nantes Metropole on Orvault is here:  https://www.nantesmetropole.fr/institution-metropolitaine/24-communes/orvault-22473.kjsp

Of course ,Orvault is today in dept 44 Loire-Atlantique, région of Pays de la Loire ; and was on the historic territory of Brittany. Dense traffic around here even if on weekends is ok; The national road N165 (known as route de Vannes because it goes my way there) is actually starts here by the beltway or boulevard périphérique of Nantes. This one crosses Orvault,and it has two exits/sorties or call here gates or Portes these are the porte de Rennes at No 37,and porte d’Orvault at no 36. There are no train station because it uses that of Nantes. The tramway is connected on line 2 which goes around the area we were (even if we went by car lol!) this line has the departure and terminus at Orvault-Grand Val, it goes by Le Cardo, and reaches Nantes city, and line 3 by the districts of Beauséjour , Plaisance, and Petit Chantilly. There is also a bus line 86.

We really went to see friends as locals, but it has some interesting spots to see as always in these territories worth coming back for the tourist look. Some of these are:

The Château de La Tour built in the 12C, and renovated in the 16C and again after 1900. It was done of granite stone in the neo gothic style of the 20C. The Chapel of the castle was built in the 15C ; it has a stained glass showing the founders of it done in the 16C shown also the Calvary and the deposition of the Cross. There is also, the Château de la Morlière a manoir or big mansion house of the 18C. As well as the newer Château de la Gobinière built in 1872. In 1923, the castle was given to a Catholic congregation of the Dominican Sisters of Comptenplacies, that in turn in 1951 left it to another congregation of the Sisters of Retirements. The Diocese of Nantes sold the castle to the city of Orvault in 1976. The Castle is surrounded by a park, named today as parc Michel-Baudry (that was the mayor when it was sold to the city). There is a municipal theater call the théâtre de la Gobinière in the property. There is a Church of Saint-Léger from the end of the 19C.

Well as said, not a tourist visit but a personal one, and we went by the route de Vannes and Rennes; and of  course we went to get some goodies at the wonderful E Leclerc hypermarché just walking distance from the house. Webpage here:  http://www.e-leclerc.com/orvault

Nantes

And the most important the beers, no time to stay ,just came to purchase and take home for the games at the Bistrot Houblon also at walking distance from the house. Their webpage is at Facebook here:  https://www.facebook.com/bistrothoublon/

Nantes Nantes

At the end we stayed on untl 3h or 3am or a very nice party ambiance amongst friends really nice these days to have a stop like this, especially in my situation. I just wanted to make it part of my blog so the memories can lingered more. And now for more games at the World Cup today!!!

Enjoy your Sunday , and remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all!!!

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June 20, 2018

Some news from France CXCII

So here I am in my pretty Morbihan of Brittany, Summer officially starts June 21st here but it is already 28C or about 80F very hot sun ,no rain very hot clear sunny day. I just came back from my monthly escapade to Paris and have many things to tell you.

First, this is the time of terraces in Paris. That wonderful sublime institution of a Parisian summer out on the sidewalk and seeing the world go by. Well , I have some favorites to share with my readers

Baïeta. 5, rue de Pontoise (5éme).  Tél. +33 (0) 1 42 02 59 19. open every day except Sundays and Mondays . Menus: à 29 € (lunch.), 45 et 85 € (dinners). Carte: between 50-75€.

Les Fables de la Fontaine with new chef 131, rue Saint-Dominique, (7éme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 44 18 37 55).

Uncino. 31, rue de la Bruyère (9éme). Tél. +33 (0) 9 73 28 31 56. open every day except Saturdays lunch and Sundays/Mondays dinners. Formule: à 25 € (lunch), menu  32 € (lunch.). Carte: about 40€

Hugo & Co. 48, rue Monge (5éme). Tél. +33 (0) 9 53 92 62 77. open every day except Saturdays and Sundays. Carte:between  30 and 45 €.

Sauvage. 55, rue du Cherche-Midi (6éme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 45 48 86 79. open every day except Sundays and Mondays . Carte: about  35-50 €.

For the Sunday market with terraces head for the Les Enfants du Marché. 39, rue de Bretagne (3éme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 40 24 01 43. open every day except Mondays and Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesday (dinners). Carte: between 35  and 55€.

B.B. 21, rue Blanche (9éme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 42 40 12 12. open every day  Carte between 40 and 60 €.

On horse races Thursdays best to head for the Le Petit Pré. Hippodrome de Longchamp. Grille d’Honneur. 2, route des Tribunes (16éme). From Thursdays to Sundays  Carte between  25 and 40€.

IF simply want a glass of wine or beer heads for the le Bal de la Marine  in the Port de Suffren, below the Eiffel Tower on the Seine river (7éme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 47 05 66 57.

And if looking for a great roofstop now with plants heads for the top of store Au Printemps at Perruche au Printemps. 2, rue du Havre (9éme). Every day open mid July  Carte: between 30 and 50 €.

In the hotels you have great ones too  ,these two old hangouts still looks good. Anne at the Hôtel Pavillon de la Reine. 28, place des Vosges (3éme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 40 29 19 19. open every day Carte: about 80 €.

And the new table lineup at the old Hilton for a while now name Hôtel Le Collectionneur 57, rue de Courcelles, (8éme). Tél. +33 (0)1 58 36 67 97).

Enjoy your summers in Paris!!!

And now even better the music festival all over France, and Paris is big on it. We will have it even on the campus of my company! June 21st is it, Fête de la Musique!!!

A very nice one at the Church Saint-Eustache. From June 20 at 16h to June 21 at 21h . Church located at  2, impasse Saint-Eustache (1éme). Another wonderful in the middle of government, the House of Representatives or Assemblée Nationale , june 21 from 18h30 to 22h30 you will enter by 128, rue de l’Université (7éme). Great places for a great event in Paris.

Great spot in Versailles at Rue de Satory off Avenue de Sceaux. Also at the parvis de Potager du Roi and the parvis de la Cathédrale Saint Louis.

The full program in Paris ,but you can search elsewhere too official webpage :  Culture Ministry Fête de la Musique

And what about those open Summer films events glorious in Paris; these are my favorites

The 14th edition of  Films sous les étoiles  (movies under the stars) have programs for free at the parc de Saint-Cloud from June 22-24  2018. First showing at 22h. More here:  http://www.domaine-saint-cloud.fr/Actualites/Films-sous-les-etoiles5

And the big one from July 19 to August 18 2018. Showings begins at  22h30. At the Parc de la Villette. Prairie du Triangle – 211, av. Jean Jaurès (19éme). Free admission! You can hire a cover and drinks from 19h30 for  7€. Forfait 5  20€. The name is Festival de cinéma en plein air de la Villette 2018. more info here: https://lavillette.com/evenement/cinema-en-plein-air-2018/

And as the World Cup of football/Soccer is now, why not see in big all big around you.  3500 square meters of space on the 8th floor (9 US) in the parking of Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. There will be a specific space of 150 square meters dedicated to watching the games until July 15 in a giant screen all games shown by French TV station TF1. And the suspended garden or  Le Jardin Suspendu is only to open on Thursdays to Sundays but in France advance in the rounds it will exceptionally open for them. There will be space for Grill, and shop Fratelli, as well as bars on site.  Le Jardin Suspendu.  The entrance is facing the  40, rue d’Oradour sur Glane (15éme). Thursdays to Sundays from 16h to midnite , Fridays from 16h to 02h ,Saturdays from 11h to 02h and Sundays from 11h to midnite. Free admission. Directions here: Le Jardin Suspendu

And if not enough , another big is coming to Paris well bigger now. The biggest H&M Swedish chain in France will be open today at 11h   at the angle of rue La Fayette and boulevard Haussmann (9éme). Right by the big department stores area ! It is open Mondays to Saturdays from 9h30 to 20h and Sundays from 11h to 19h.

In my trip to Paris yesterday, I stop by the Seine at Levallois-Perret in Hauts de Seine dept 92 and along rue Anatole France by metro line 3 pont de levallois bécon ,and then had a car ride and went by Dupleix on the line 6 and had me my lunch at Au Dernier Metro on 70 Boulevard de Grenelle. Couple planchas of ewe milk cheese with ham, pate, terrines chorizos salad and bread down with a leffe beer blonde just what Paris is all about. Info on the resto recommended by a Parisian friend who lives just around the corner. Official webpage : http://au-dernier-metro.lafourchette.rest/

and my favorite for comments from folks like us Yelp here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/au-dernier-m%C3%A9tro-paris-2

Yesterday an incident never seen, even the public workers of several Paris institutions were closed due to a strike. Including the Château de Versailles, and as well as the musée d’Orsay, Arc de Triomphe, Panthéon, château de Vincennes, Basilique de Saint-Denis, and the Notre Dame towers were closed as of mid day 12H, they are planning on reimbursement to those already with tickets. Well I told you its a past time and we are used to it but unfortuantely for a visitor to have this happened. Sorry.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI or Great War, there will be a wonderful air show  with about 90 airplanes flighing non stop for five hours organized by the aéro-club de Meaux-Esbly, Seine-et-Marne 77.  1900 ‘s music live and five bands from the US army representing the USA will be there. The show will see flying machines from WWI and WWII as well as modern planes.  Two Mirages 2 000 coming from Nancy will do a tactical demonstration , while a third one will do an interception of a civil airplane. There will be an expo space of 1 000 m2  presenting dozens of old vehicules like a taxi of the Marne of WWI. You will discover kites Saconney that took observation photos  during the conflict.  The only paying event will be a simulator ride on a fighter jet Rafale, 5 €. Good for the whole family.

And for now it is all from my side of the corner or the ocean in the Morbihan 56.  Have a great week, and remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!

June 17, 2018

The beer is catching on to wine in France!

Well a major past time here is the wine of course, the simply the best in the world, often imitated and many times wishing to be, the French wines are tops for years. However, what is a fact and you need to spent some time in the local bars and brasseries of France is that the beer is catching up. I know for a fact in my beautiful Brittany, the beer is king.

I like to give you some numbers on this phenomenon.

The market for beers continue to grow in France; in 2017 the sales went up again 3,3% representing 3,4 billion euros and by 2018, it is already 3,8% higher as of February. There is a huge numbers of breweries artisanal done and micro breweries popping up all over.  As of 2017, there were 1280 breweries in France , and if you look back, in 2014 there was only 550 including 30 institutional ones. In 2015, it went up to 700 and now by May 2018 it is close to 1300!.

As I dwell into the beers and wine since adult younger ages ,and work on establishments as well as holding diplomas on wine from France and Spain, I had written some blog posts on beers here, these are: Beers of France and Brittany

Beers of Brittany

However, the sales are becoming more niche specialized brands for specific groups. In 2017, 400 liquor stores sold 80% of their sales on the offering of beers and some even 100% !. As in Paris liquor stores  such as  Brewberry, Moustache blanche, La Cave à Bulles, and the chain Bières cultes, as well as in the province (outside the Paris region) you have La Capsule at Nancy, La Minute blonde at Niort,  and franchises such as La Cervoiserie ( we have one in Vannes) and Orge & Houblon.

The biggest tendance is the IPA beer(  India Pale Ale ) a style of beer that is as usual as asking for a mojito. It was the style most represented at the beer event Planète Bière (next event March 2019 see webpage) .  Almost all the breweries present had an IPA. Leffe, was the first one three years ago with the Leffe Royale Cascade IPA. Tried it but not my glass of beer fyi. Planéte Biere

This innovation is the fundamental line of the big French brewery Kronenbourg SAS, with a history of 354 years!  They have three new products out, on the market of non alcoholic beers growing at 10,6% from last year, the Aromatic market at 11,2% and the tasting beers at 11,9% growth.  A fact, the French are more and more liking the beers with 80% of us drinking it in 2017. In the stock exchange , Anheuser-Bush InBev  has a porffolio of 500 brands of beers of which the famous Leffe (Belgian abbey beer). Last year, they presented us with the  Caractère by Leffe. They had included brewing in oak of Scotch whisky into it having them dried before dipping into the beer in a tank for maturation! In 2018, Leffe Ambrée ( amber scented) a combination taste of a lager blonde type and the complexity of a dark beer for this summer on a limited edition, and announcing as one of the most refreshing of the Leffe beers with a taste of sweet and sour.

Some of the trends:

In aperitif beer: Vitus, from the German brewery Weihenstephaner which would be the oldest active brewery in the world.  In tasting beer: The Original, from the Scottish brewery Innis & Gunn. A beer brewed at low temperatures, infused with pieces of bourbon casks thanks to the amplifier Kit, a special technology inspired by the percolator. Since then, Innis and Gunn has launched his beer mangoes on the Run, an India Pale Ale (IPA) infused with mangoes.  The beer card. Maps are established around a theme such as local beers (Parisian, Ile, Breton…), artisan beers with different styles, etc. On the map of the beers of the restaurant Spoon by Alain Ducasse in Paris, we quote the one made by Philippe Starck in collaboration with the Olt Brewery in Aveyron. The acidity. Acid Beers (Sauer) are obtained with the help of certain yeasts and this was the great trend at the BXL BeerFest, Brussels International Festival. There were some on all the stands. Acid or aged beers in casks. To appreciate the Sauer, you need an educated palace. They are complex but the acidity can produce very pickled beers that give ideas of original chords with dishes and cheeses in particular. The beers are no longer distinguished by their color – blonde, redhead, Brunette… – but by their style (IPA, Pils, Stout, Sauer…). Wild yeast. A type of fermentation appears, from wild yeasts found in a natural environment, tamed by the master brewers of Heineken or the Belgian brewery Alvine. The latter took two years to control a yeast found in the forest in the central Massif.  Organic and gluten-free beers. These are not background trends. Small thought for the brewery of Vézelay, which produces organic beers without any input, in accordance with the law of Purity enacted in Bavaria in the 16C. The BLX Beer Festival site in Brussels: BXL Beer Festival

Raw materials and brewing techniques. Experiments and innovations take part in the dynamics of a brand while bringing new flavors. Beer aged in new oak casks or in casks having wine content (Sauternes, Pinot Noir, Meursault), rum, cognac, whisky or calvados. Beers brewed from stale bread, grapes, smoked malt with beech wood, wheat malt (or cheese), rye, buckwheat, oats. Beers flavoured with the addition of plants, fruit, fruit juices, non-alcoholic beers…You name it they are all innovating ideas and surprisingly there are markets for them!

Styles and large families:
Lager: A generic term for low, blond, amber, brown, cold and refreshing beers, the most popular being pils, or pilsner. A blond, light, well-hopped beer.
Ale (ale means beer): traditional beer from the United Kingdom, high fermentation, light in alcohol. It is available in Pale Ale (Claire), mild (mild), Brown (a bit sweet), bitter (very hoppy, so bitter), Porter (brunette), stout (black, malt-based very roasted barley), barley wine (meaning barley wine, with a lot of malted barley, strongly Alcoholic).
Within this family of beers is the India Pale Ale (IPA), rich in very specific hops, with citrus, floral, earthy, fruity aromas…
Abbey beer: Beer is named after an abbey but brewing is carried out by an outside brewery.
Trappist: Beer brewed in the enclosure of an abbey or under the control and responsibility of the monastic community.
Double or triple: Used in Belgium for Abbey Beers in particular, these denominations refer to the strongest beers in alcohol. The double is a dark beer measuring at least 6% alcohol. The triple is a blonde or golden beer that titles between 7.5% and 9%. I am just trying one from France and another from Brittany; Duchesse Anne Triple 9% and Belzebuth at 8,5% blonde pilsners.
Specialty Beers: Those that are unclassifiable in other families, generally regional beers and high fermentation.

There are three types of beer fermentation, these are:

The high fermentation beers : In the brewing, the yeast work at high temperatures between 15C and 25C ( 59F and 77F) transforming the sugars into alcohol and carbonic gas.

The low fermentation beers : the yeast work at temperatures between 5C and 12C(41F to 54F).

The beers with spontaneous fermentation: the yeasts work in the changing air climates making a natural fermentation putting the malt of the beers in open barrels.  This is the case of the lambics and  gueuzes beers of Belgium.

There are big events coming such as from June 29 to July 1 2018, the 2e  Parisian edition of World Beers of the Mutualité houses.  Where 20 Nations and 120 breweries will be present to show off their malts.  Also, from August 25-26 2018, at Brussels the next  BXL BeerFest will be held with many beer lovers of the world as well as independent breweries (see above the site for BXL BeerFest). Here is the webpage for the Parisian event in English: Beer Worlds in Paris

We have lately been set on the German beers which we can get here easily with La Cervoiserie  or V&B beer :wine stores. We do continue to drink the Belgians and Bretons as well as wines. In fact, a meal is not perfect without neither of them! Yes yes, we drink in  moderation but this is a cultural thing and we are very traditionalists ::)

Anyway hope you have enjoy the update, and remember, drink in moderation and don’t drink and drive. After all, we need you to continue with happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 16, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXVI

Here I am on a Saturday afternoon, my errands are done and time for World Cup football/soccer on TV. The day has been cloudy, and fine rain for a while then stop it is supposed to be like that tomorrow too. We have run into some flooding over in Seine et Marne our family area ,and for the first time in 40 years ,the village was flooded!!!

We are still searching for places to go, I have a run at Paris on the 19 June and then possible friends visits in Nantes weekend of the 23-24, another one in Guérande, and that is about all . In July, I am for the Philippines but not set yet. Time goes on without my beloved dear late wife Martine. As said, she was the organizer to go places and it is missed.

In my ongoing posts to tell the world of everyday life in my belle France away from the tourists and fancy places of our beloved country, I have set out to tell you how is life here ,really for a normal family. No clichés as life here is as anywhere else. I know lived in 6 countries and many regions and average a home every five years!!

We got up this morning waiting for the nurse to come in for my father, yes here they come to your house. He is going on 83 and with diabetes so needs to control it. He is ok. He is independent still and love it! Once the nurse came and went ,we set out with him in tow by car.

My son had already gone out in his scooter to get us the baguette breads so essential here can’t have breakfast without it and not even lunch or dinner lol! From our town city hall webpage the boulangerie Tual in city center pl Saint Michel: Boulangerie Tual Pluvigner

First stop , the bank to drop off some papers in Auray, quick turnaround. The bank is out of the old town zone. Then ,we continue to Electro Depot in Vannes to get some external hard drive for my sons games etc. Very nice Verbatim done deal. The boys walking in photo.  The store chain is very good on prices good guaranties, and good service indeed.  Here is the webpage: Electro Depot Vannes

We got on to get me some computer ink for the printer at my favorite office supply store here, Bureau Vallée in Vannes. Always available, cheaper than most or all places and good service. Here is the webpage: Bureau Vallee Vannes

We got back into the big complex of E Leclerc hypermarché in Vannes. Here we put gas, diesel now at 1,414€  a liter or about 5,34 € a US Gallon (about 6,21 US Dollars), and yes gas has always been more expensive here but can’t  go around on gas/petrol alone::) Comparing that in my previous country of  Miramar, Broward county, Florida USA the diesel is at 3,19 USD or about 2.75 € today exchange rate. My full tank came to 51 euros!

We went with the boys to browse at the Centre Culturel Leclerc inside the shopping center, and then we did our groceries. IN the time, we  purchase the Father’s Day gifts as it is Tomorrow Sunday June 17 in France. It has an unique webpage for the books, dvd, cd, etc section here: Centre culturel Leclerc

I got my usual wish , always good bottles of Bordeaux wines with the nostalgia that these properties we had visited with my late wife Martine over the years on several occasion and are our favorites.  I got some underwear t-shirts for my father as he likes them for wearing all day.

Finally, we did our groceries. E Leclerc Hypermarché is an experience like not anywhere. This is huge and it has everything for the house from clothing,to appliances, entertainment, garden, you name it and it is all here in one stop shopping.  The webpage is here: E Leclerc Vannes

Now , let me tell you, this is World Cup Russia 2018 on football/Soccer, we are fanatics yes… and me played even at low professional league levels in USA and France (Yvelines dept 78). My team if you read my blog is the Real Madrid FC forever Hala Madrid!!! (Played Benjamin for it in Madrid in the 70’s). Then, as National team well then it gets complicated. Having lived and citizen of four countries when competitions like these come around choosing is hard. At this World Cup , I have two sentimental teams, my beloved blood country Spain and my marriage adopted country of France. Spain started out brilliant 3X3 vs Portugal (current European Champions) ,and they are off to good after some troublesome coaching moves (but very strategic for my club) . France just finished their first game wining barely 2X1 vs Australia!

Spain is in group B with Portugal, Iran, and Morocco. and France is in group C with Australia, Peru,and Denmark. The official FIFA World cup webpage is here: FIFA World Cup Russia 2018

We will continue to follow the Cup until the big finale July 15 2018. May the best win,,,,,nahh which is my team, won’t tell you ho ho ho!!!   Enjoy it

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 4, 2018

The Churches of Rome, Italy of course!

Seeking refuge in  previous trips, I remember been convince to go to Italy. Well been there on several business trips but never thought of vacationing. The boys and their historical perspective probably gotten from me, told me about how about Rome huh! the mother already visited it while single so it was a natural thing to go as a family. And so we did , Rome we came.

The structures are typical of what you can find in Europe, very old, historical, great architecture the food etc. I found the most unique element the Churches, after all whether we believe or not ,they mark the cultural essence of a country looking thru the Churches. And Rome has plenty, about 900 of them!!! ; I would like to tell you our favorites.

One thing happenned when you visit Rome, there are more churches than bars, lol!!  These were all over in any corner, end of street , middle ,beginning of street , n squares, around bridges and on hills. There all over the city. Some are world famous, such as St Peter’s (not really in Rome but n the Vatican), St John of Latran, the church of Saint Louis of the French, Basilica of Santa Maria maggiore, church of fallen angel, basilica of santo apostoli,Santa Maria dei angeli e dei martiri, basilica St Cosme, santa maria in trastaverde, basilica st Sabina, basilica ambrosio e carlo, church of fallen angels, church of St Alessio,church of Scala Santa, church of St Andrea, church of St Bosco, church of St Croce in gerulaceme, church of st francis of assisi at ripa, church of santa maria dei carmelo,church trinità dei monti, church of santa maria miracoli, and some not remembering their name like at via st agnese in the Nomentano district. Enjoy some of them….

Oratorio dell’Angelo Custode, or more like the Oratory of the Angel in Custody. It is currently from the 18C in the Piazza Poli, 11 on the Via del Tritone. The original Church here was from 1576 but changes and demolition this is what is left today. It is extremely decorated inside.

Rome

Then you have the Church Santi Ambrogio e Carlo  in the via del Corso ,437. It used to be the national Church of the Duchy of Milan, but since unification of Italy has been the regional Church of Lombardy. It ,also, contains the Chapel of St Olav, the national shrine in Rome for expatriates and pilgrims from Norway.

Rome

The Basilica dei Santi XII Apostoli or Church of the 12 Holy Apostles. It is a 6C Church parish and titular and  minor basilica dedicated originally to St James and St Philip whose remains are kept here,and later to all the Apostles. Today, the basilica is under the care of the Conventual Franciscans whose headquarters in Rome is in the adjacent building.

Rome

Coming up to the Basilica Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri or the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs . The Basilica is dedicated to the Christian martyrs known and unknown. By a brief of 1561 Pope PIus IV ordered the Church built to be dedicated to the Most Blessed Virgin and all the Angels and Martyrs. This came from a vision in the ruins of the Baths in 1541 by a Sicilian monk; the story that these Martyrs were Christians slave labourers who had been set to constructing the Baths; it is also the personal monument of Pope Pius IV whose tomb is in the apsidual tribune.

Rome

The imposing Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere or Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere. One of the oldest Churches in Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I.

Rome

Santi Cosma e Damiano. or Church of St Cosme; it is on the east side of the Roman Forum on via dei Fori Imperiali 1. It was an important church and was the main entrance that used to be of the Roman Forum. The main body of the Church was formed from an ancillary building in the south corner of the Temenos enclosure of the Temple of Peace that occupied the south east part of the Imperial For a and the fabric of the Church is the only part of it to survive above ground.

Rome

We went up to Basilica di Santa Sabina All’Aventino. or Basilica of Saint  Sabina. It is perched high above the Tiber river to the north and the Circus Maximus to the east. It is next to small public park Giardino degli Aranci (Garden of Oranges), which has a scenic terrace overlooking Rome. It is a short distance to the headquarters of the Knights of Malta.  Santa Sabina is the oldest extant Roman basilica in Rome that preserves its original colonnaded rectangular plan and architectural style. Its decorations have been restored to their original restrained design.

Rome

The wonderful Cathedral Santissimo Salvatore e Santi Giovanni Battista ed Evangelista in Laterano or Cathedral of the Most Holy Savior and of Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist in the Lateran. It is the oldest and highest ranking of the four Papal major Basilicas, giving it the unique title of Archbasilica. Because it is the oldest public church in the city of Rome, and houses the cathedra of the Roman bishop;  it has the title of Ecumenical Mother Church of the Catholic faithful.

Rome

Santa Maria di Montesanto is another jewel in the Piazza Popolo at the entrance to the Via del Corso ,there is another Church here but apparently we like this one better.Santa Maria in Montesanto, erected over a church with the same name that lay at the beginning of Via del Babuino, was occupied by Carmelite monks. The name Montesanto (Holy Mountain) referred to Mount Carmel in Israel.  The construction of the present church was begun on July 15, 1662.

Rome

The Scala Santa or Holy Stairs are a set of 28 white marble steps that are Roma Catholic Relics located in an edifice on extraterritorial property of the Holy See in Rome near the Archbasilica of St John in Laterano (St Giovanni).  Officially, the edifice is titled the Pontifical Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs (Pontificio Santuario della Scala Santa). The Holy Stairs, which long ago were encased in a protective framework of wooden steps, are in an edifice that incorporates part of the old, Papal Lateran Palace. The Holy Stairs lead to the Church of St Lawrence in  simply the  Sancta Sanctorum or Holy of Holies, which was the personal chapel of the early Popes.

Rome

The Basilica di Sant’Alessio all’Aventino  was built in the 3C to 4C to honored Saint Boniface of Tarso and Saint Alessio of Rome with a location at piazza Sant’Alessio, 23.

Rome

Church of San Rocco is a church at 1 Largo San Rocco, dedicated to Saint Roch.  It is next to theMausoleum of Augustus. Founded in 1499 by Pope Alexander VI as the chapel of an adjacent hospital, it was rebuilt in 1657 , and later changes were made introducing the Neo-Classical style to it. A new, Palladio influenced façade  was built in 1832.

Rome

Sant’Andrea al Quirinale or  Church of Saint Andrew’s at the Quirinal. It was built for the Jesuit seminary on the Quirinal Hill .The Church of Sant’Andrea is an important example of Roman Baroque architecture.  Ordered to be built in 1658 and the church was finished by 1661, although the interior decoration was not finished until 1670. The site previously accommodated a 16C church, Sant’Andrea a Montecavallo.

Rome

We continue to the Church of Saint Bosco or Giavanni Bosco; a minor basilica located at Viale dei Salesiani, 9; the main entrance is on the Piazza San Giovanni Bosco. The basilica is on a monumental axis overlooking a large square (piazza San Giovanni Bosco) which is continued by the wide Viale San Giovanni Bosco to another large square, piazza dei Consoli. The Church was under the care of the Salesians of which St John Bosco was the founder.

Rome

And we arrive at the  Basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme or Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem.  It is one of the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome. According to tradition, the basilica was consecrated circa 325AD  to house the  relics of the Passion of Jesus Christ brought to Rome from the Holy Land by Empress St Helena, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine I . At the time, the Basilica’s floor was covered with soil from Jerusalem, thus acquiring the title in Hierusalem; it is not dedicated to the Holy Cross which is in Jerusalem, but the Basilica itself is “in Jerusalem” in the sense that a piece  of Jerusalem was moved to Rome for its foundation.

Rome

Church of St Francis di Assisi à Ripa; The first Church dedicated to St Francis , was finished in 1603. you can see the cell where he slept and the rock he used as a pillow in 1219 as well as his crucifix.  Rebuilt several times the latest is in 1680. Very nice Church.

Rome

Another one, Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo al Celio or Basilica of Saints John and Paul. An old basilica of Rome located on the Caelian Hill. The church was built in 398AD, by will of the senator Pammachius  over the home of two Roman soldiers, John and Paul martyred under the emperor Julian in 362. The church was thus called the Titulus Pammachii and is recorded as such in the acts of the synod held by Pope Symmachus in 499. It is home to the Passionists and is the burial place of St Paul of the Cross. Additionally, it is the station Church of the first Friday in Lent.

Rome

The closer to home San Luigi dei Francesi or Church of St. Louis of the French. It is not far from Piazza Navonna square.  The Church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, to Saint Denis the Areopagite and St Louis (king Louis IX of France). Designed and built between 1518 and 1589, and completed through the personal intervention of Catherine de Médici who donated to it some property in the area. It is the National Church in Rome of France ,and the current Cardinal-Priest is André Vingt-Trois ,Archbishop of Paris.

Rome

Church Santa Maria in Traspontina  is a Carmelite church on the Via della Conciliazione ,the main road of the neighborhood of Borgo, San’Angelo 15. The church was established as a cardinalatial titulus by Pope Sixtus V in 1587. The dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Carmel. the Chapel of St Knud (king Canute IV) is the National Shrine of Denmark.

Rome

Basilica Parrocchiale Santa Maria del Popolo or Parish Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo.  It stands on the north side of Piazza del Popolo (people’s square) . The church is hemmed in between the Pincian Hill and Porta del Popolo,  one of the gates in the Aurelian Wall  as the starting point of Via Flaminia. The church contains works by several famous artists, such as Raphael, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Alessandro Algardi, Pinturicchio, Andrea Bregno, Guillaume de Marcillat, and Donato Bramante . There is a legend involving Santa Maria del Popolo revolves around the evil memory of emperor Nero and Pope Paschal II cleansing the area from this malicious legacy. To be read fully.

Rome

Church Santa Maria dei Miracoli was begun in 1675 and finished in 1681.  It is located in the Piazza del Popolo by Via del Corso With a circular plan, it has an elegant 18C  bell tower, and an octagonal cupola. The interior has a rich stucco decoration. The monuments for Cardinals Benedetto and Gastaldi done as well  for the cupola and the lamp. The dedication is to Our Lady of the Miracles because of a miraculous icon of her over the high altar.

Rome

And we continue…. Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin or Basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin. The church was built in the 8C, during the Byzantine Papacy, over the remains of the Templum Herculis Pompeiani in the Forum Boarium ,and the Statio annonae, one of the food distribution centers in ancient Rome.  Santa Maria in Cosmedin was the titular Church  of the Popes Gelasius II and Celestine III ,  as well as antipope Benedict XIII. Among the former titular cardinal deacons of the church was Reginald Pole, the last Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury.

Rome

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore or Basilica of Saint Mary Major.  This is a major one to see. It is a Papal Major Basilica and the largest Catholic Marian Church in Rome from which size it receives the  title Major. The basilica enshrines the venerated image of Salus Populi Romani , depicting the blessed Virgin Mary as the help and protectress of the Roman people, which was granted a Canonical coronation by Pope Gregory XVI in 1838 accompanied by his  Papal bull Cælestis Regina.  Pursuant to the Lateran Treaty of 1929 between the Holy See and Italy, the Basilica is within Italian territory and not the territory of the Vatican City State. However, the Holy See  fully owns the Basilica, and Italy is legally obligated to recognize its full ownership thereof and to concede to it “the immunity granted by International Law to the headquarters of the diplomatic agents of foreign States.

Rome

Another one closer to home is the Church of the Santissima Trinità dei Monti, often called merely the Trinità dei Monti  or in French La Trinité-des-Monts done in  late Renaissance.  It is best known for its commanding position above the Spanish Steps which led down to the Piazza di Spagna (Spain square). The Church and its surrounding area (including the Villa Medici  are the  responsibility of the French Republic. In 1502, king Louis XII of France began construction of the Church of the Trinità dei Monti next to a monastery, to celebrate his successful invasion of Naples. During the Napoleonic occupation of Rome, the Church, like many others, was despoiled of its art and decorations.  In 1816, after the Bourbon restoration , the Church was restored at the expense of king Louis XVIII. As a plus in  front of the cCurch stands the Obelisco Sallustiano,  moved here in 1789. It is a Roman obelisk in imitation of Egyptian ones, originally constructed in the early years of the Roman Empire for the  Gardens of Sallust near the Porta Salaria. The hieroglyphic inscription was copied from that on the obelisk in the Piazza del Popolo known as Flaminio Obelisk.

Rome

Church Santa Maria di Loreto  built in the 16C  located just across the street from the Trajan’s Column near the giant Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II. After the Jubilee of 1500, the association of bakers (Sodalizio dei Fornai) received permission from Pope Alexander VI  to built a church at this site. Construction of this church began in 1507  with an octagonal floor plan; the dome and the lantern were completed  some 75 years later. The church was built atop an earlier 15C chapel, which contained an icon of the Virgin of Loreto, since the church retained the icon and acquired the title.

Rome

Sant’Agnese fuori le mura or Church of Saint Agnes Outside the Walls What are said to be the remains of Saint Agnes are below the altar. The Church is built over the Catacombs of Saint Agnes, where the Saint was originally buried, and which may still be visited from Church permission. A large basilica with the same name was built nearby in the 4C and its ruins can be seen near Santa Costanza (via Nomentana) in the same site. The existing Church was built by Pope Honorius I in the 7C and largely retains its original structure, despite many changes to the decoration.

Rome

This site tells them all, too numerous for me to post here;churches of Rome: http://www.romeartlover.it/Churches.html

You can always check the tourist office at Rome on churches and basilicas here: https://www.turismoroma.it/en/tipo-luogo/churches-and-basilicas

There you go , and this is just a sampler we saw and took pictures; there are soo many. Anyway this is Rome, the cradle of the Catholic Church so should  be no surprises. The history ,architecture and just beauty are enough to bring you in regardless of your beliefs. They are an integral part of any visit to Roma! Hope you have enjoy it as we did/do. And see in search my posts on Rome ok.

An remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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June 3, 2018

My boy REX, the dog!!!

Ok so given some glimpses of our dog Rex , but need to do a post just for him on a quiet homey Sunday. More posts later had worked during the week.

I always had dogs in my single life; and even as I was married back in 1990 with my Frenchie Martine. As we began to have kids, it was difficult to handle both and my previous dog was almost 12 yrs old and became a bit jealous been female and aggressive so my parents kept her until her last days and me went on without a dog for years.

As my boys became older, the need to have a dog grew , but my wife wanted none of it. Finally, we convince her as the boys also wanted a dog. She was very enthusiastic once the decision taken, and was the first one to go and buy him a bed ,and ball toys etc. We are customers of Maxi Zoo store in Séné next to Vannes.

Unfortunately, for us, my Martine could only enjoyed Rex, our borador dog for 19 days before she went into the hospital and finally passed away last April 30th from cancer. We will missed her tremendously, and no words can describe my and the boys pain. However, we have Rex.

Rex is our boy ,and her legacy with us. We love him very much, and he is very active and well behave. I have my three young men to help me out doing everything with me. Rex will go on as a memorial to Martine, and warm and happy moments we had.

Pluvigner

ready to help loves those pebbles

Pluvigner

ready to jump the wall already

Vannes

of course not afraid of water

As said, Rex is a borador, that is pure mix Border Collier and Labrador taken from a cattle/milk farm nearby here. He is now fully up to date on all his needs with the Clinique Vétérinaire du Chêne in our town.

So, therefore, here are his latest pictures taken around us. For all animal lovers out there.  And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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June 3, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXV

So here we are on a Sunday ,not so good coming up. We have no clouds so far, not really knowing where we are going to go. My dear late wife Martine was a catalyst on these things, always ready and suggesting places to go; now it is up to me.

I will continue to tell about daily life in our belle France; leave to others to tell you only the glamour; life is a combination of everything. My daily life here is no different than anywhere else I have lived, and that includes five countries and holding passports from four. We have come a long way and fully understand what is globalization or mondialisation.

I went out last Friday at work and decided while walking to our cafeteria ,which is a full grown restaurant to take a couple shots of the outside. Very nice and very innovative French food inside too as well as the usual burgers and fries lol!

Last Saturday was our errands day with the boys. We did our duties with the bank at Auray, and then went back to Vannes to have lunch in one of our family favorite pizzerias (we love pizzas) this is the chain Tablapizza, good Espagnole chorizo pizza and a great Saumur-Champigny red 2016 Les Chanteraines.

We went for a spin to nearby Electro Depot store of plenty of electronic gadgets and home accessories and we got some earphones, cups:plates, etc .

Continue practically next door to do our groceries at E Leclerc hypermarket, always a treat with so much selection, service, and reasonable prices. We skip the market this week.

We got home and took a tour with our dog Rex, he had his first taste of dog food sausage  on real beef from Germany. Very happy to do so. He is now relaxing , yes as soon as he is in the veranda he is calm once inside the house he does not stop moving high energy borador of 6 months old.

Now we are unwinding our simple Saturday day. I have already been accepted our long summer vacation at work for August. Really, we have so many in mind with little effort missing one member of the family. She always wanted to go to Toulouse from where her father’s family comes from. Then, I was thinking going to the Bordeaux area instead of again to Spain.  We are looking at Lyon area, and Paris of course even if repeated we used to lived in Versailles.  Nothing settled yet it will be a slow last minute thing as usual for us. Then , have some friends telling me will visit from the USA in the next few months ,will see. Lastly, the mother’s side family always gets together in Auvergne area as the stepfather is from there, so will see if we have a family gathering there. Will see.

And this is Sunday. Well, we have storms alerts orange coming to our end and its already by Lorient, in the afternoon it should hit us. As simple rain storms can cause havocs here, we are staying home and resting on memories on this family day in the Morbihan Breton of France. The temps now are 15C it should go to 25C but then 66% chance of rain  anx thunderstorms warnings until midnight. This is for all west coast of France, or about 29 departments. So we are staying dry.

I did cut some bad grass in the garden, and took our Rex out, he is so playful running all over the house patio we have 1000 sq meters or about an acre of land. Cheers

 

Enjoy your Sunday wherever you are. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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