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.

I have written previous posts on it, and will let you do the reading here


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) :

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 30, 2018

Paris and the Jardin d’Acclimatation!

Time to write about gardens but not just any garden , France has thousands, and Paris hundreds, some are historical wonders, and others follies to sink in, this one is for the dreamer the kid in all of us. I have taken my boys here when younger days of  visiting France, and then as teens while living here; it is wonderful and now better than ever.

I usually tell you the history I like and then some; this time will start in reverse ok.

The Jardin d’Acclimatation has reopen on June 1st better than ever! The ambiance is SteamPunk on the old Paris style. The luxury group  LVMH has invested 60M€ to create a park to rival the major better known in the ile de France region where Paris is located. They are hoping for 3 milllions visitors by  2025, and they started out with a bang surpassing the estimates for the first week attendance.

They have put together 40 attractions of which 17  are new and 4 roller coasters, as well as 500 animals from exotic birds, goats, rabbits, lambs etc, 16 restaurants,and  18 hectares of natural forest setting. There are petting zoo for teens, ,a nature reserve park with animals and a sport trail all to make it a must stop in Paris.

These 18 hectares or acres of natural reserve are blend in with the attractions to give it a green effect . In the small farm you can see animals ready for your children to meet up close. You can imagine a marriage between a Harry Potter universe and that of the Lords of the Rings or even Jules Verne or Victor Cabret. All in an architecture of the 19C with bronces, copper and lead metallic à la tour Eiffel are in place.

The emblematic Dragon of the park has been renovated with a new look and the roller coasters are in a vapor train style.  Some of the new rides are bobsleigh of 12 meters high in an airplane turbine type setting, as well as flying boats.  There is an admission forfait to see all for 29€.  Otherwise, you can go in to the park without the rides for 3,5 to 5€ and even can buy the ticket on cellular/mobile telephones apps.


Opening hours from June 1 to November 30 2018 location is Jardin d’Acclimatation ,Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi Paris 16 , between the porte de Neuilly and the  porte des Sablons in the bois de Boulogne, along the boulevard Maurice-Barrès (Neuilly-sur-Seine).  The park garden is accessable on the Metro line 1 out at les Sablons that is about 400 meters from the main gate via the rue d’Orléans. Or as we always do, go to line out at Porte Maillot and take the petit train (little train) that will take you to the main entrance of the garden park.  This petit train is a railroad line in narrow gauge of 50 cm and opened in 1878, to connect the Porte Maillot to the Jardin d’Acclimatation, on a distance of 800 meters. It is the first line in France on narrow gauge carrying passengers! The garden park is also reach by bus on lines  43, 73, 82, 93, PC1 ,and 174. There is underground parking at Porte Maillot. More info on the petit train here/ Petit Train


Jardin d’Acclimatation official webpage:

So now will give a bit of history I like

The transformation of the Bois de Boulogne in 1852 calls for the creation of a garden park at the entrance to the Forest,and for this reason an association was created in 1854. The association had as an objective to the contribution and introduction of the acclimations of animal species for agriculture ends, commercial or entertainment. By 1858, the association obtained from the city of Paris a concession space of about 15 hectares bordering the Bois de Boulogne to create a garden park of useful animals in the country. At the same time, in 1859, Emperor Napoléon III gives the concession of another 4 hectares; the garden park is opened by emperor Napoléon III in 1860.

The garden park is closed to the public during the war of 1870, prohibited the entrance of the public and used to raise animals to feed the population in case of an attack.  During this time some animals are evacuated to other zoo parks outside of France but as the transports are paralysed and Paris is attack on all fronts.  The winter is hard and the rationing is not enough; some of the last animals are killed for feeding the population such as the elephants Castor and Pollux.  At the end of the siege there is only one animal left.

Here it was created Human expositions as wild humans for quite some time. In 1877, some Nubians are shown ,and so on for the next quarter century about 22 huamn expositions are done . The majority of these were of African origins but alos Indians,  Laplanders, and Cossacks. The human expo are done at the same time as the animals on many cases from the same region.  These wild exhibitionis of the 19C creates huge arguments of the days as the humans were enclosed in cages as well as animals next to them.  The garden park becomes in this period a high place of Anthropology in Paris. For the next quarter century that follows the pace of these exhibitions slows down as they were about 15 between 1903 to 1931 the date of the last one. Later ones took a more colonial feel with the tribes shown between each others from all the France colonial such as Sénégal, South Africa,  New Caledonia, etc.

By  1929, the land of the garden park owned by the city of Paris is transfered to the city of Neuilly-sur-Seine, and then  to the 16e arrondissement of Paris.  In the 1960’s , the garden is renovated and a national museum of arts and popular traditions set up here in 1969 in a new building.  There is a small petting zoo farm opening in 1971,a theater in 1973,  a lawn(grass) museum in 1975. The tent of Silvia Monfort  is set up two years later in 1978. The garden park goes oriental with a tea house, a black lacque bridge, and later a Korean garden.  The before mentioned museum is closed out in 2005, and the last scientific works of the grass museum are gone too.

In 2006, the group LVMH gets the authorisation to build the Fondation Louis-Vuitton, designed by Architect Frank Gehry, on the site of the old bowling of the garden park that was demolished in 2014. The concession of the garden park to LVMH is renovated for 25 years ending in 2041. As this is done, the group LVMH promise to invest and renovate the garden park  as mention in the first part of this post.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here in addition to those already given above are:

Tourist office of Paris in English:

The webpage of the management company the luxury group LVMH  on the jardin:

There you go folks, a wonderful garden park of many family memories and open to all. You need to visit it is great and now better than ever. If you have children or young teens this is a must indeed in your travels to Paris. Hope you have enjoy the post.

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

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June 30, 2018

The spot of L’Epine in the Marne 51!

As we drive all over our beloved France and into Europe, we come across some interesting towns, we stop see, sometimes eat and then move on. The trip in the Marne department 51 are always welcome, this is the heart of Champagne. My wife’s side and her came here early to work in the vineyards and earned their first money.

We drove going elsewhere actually coming from Châlons-en-Champagne on the N44 to catch up with the faster autoroute A4 and moving on to Verdun and back.  It was a pleasant stop and a nice historical and religious center of France. I am talking about L’Epine but more importantly about the Basilica there.

The town of L’Epine or Thorn is a town in department 51 Marne in the region of Grand Est. The town belongs to the metro or agglo area of Châlons-en-Champagne The next biggest town is   Châlons-en-Champagne and is located 8 km west. The train station closest is located in Châlons-en-Champagne at 9km. There is no webpage for the city hall or mairie but it is at 33 avenue du Luxembourg 51460 L’Epine.

The main thing or only thing to come here is to see the wonderful Basilica of Notre-Dame de l’Epine, whose construction began in 1405 and finished by 1527 , and where we can see a Santiago de Compostela statue in wood from the 16C. Inside there is,also, a robe in stone with 3 arcades from the 15C where the Virgin is held.


The statue of the Virgin holding the Child Jesus was discovered in the Middle Ages according to legend in a bush of thorns on fire and from this comes the name of the town and devotion to the Virgin. The Church received Basilica status in 1914. The Basilica has dimensions like a Cathedral and done in the Gothic style. The façade inspired by that of Toul Cathedral has three portals on two arrows, the one on the right has 55 meters high and on the left demolished in 1798 to put a telegraph was rebuilt in 1868. There are gargantuas figures outside like at Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris.

Many travellers were amazed by the beauty of this Basilica such as Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Paul Claudel and Paul Fort. The two important dates here are the pilgrimage of the Diocese in May and the Assomption Day as it is the Patron Saint day.

Is really worth the detour for the magnificent of the Basilica, between Reims and Verdun on the A4 and off the N44 towards Châlons-en-Champagne, you will be gladly surprise.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

The area tourist office of dept Marne 51:

Chalons-en-Champagne tourist office on the Basilica:

The metro or agglo area of Châlons shows more in French of this magnificent Unesco World Heritage site Basilica. Agglo Chalons-en-Champagne

Hope it helps. Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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June 29, 2018

The glorious Tuileries garden !

So back to the blog, and to tell you about a wonderful beautiful inmense garden I came to love and became my favorite. I had visited before, visiting is different than living as many should know. Of course, I am talking about the Tuileries garden or Jardin des Tuileries in Paris.

I came to know it intimately while working off rue de Castiglione off rue de Rivoli for several years. It was my lunch break lol!!! and on weekends will bring the family to walk on it ride poney rides, and swings the fairs of many games on it, the Grande roue (now gone thanks to Paris city hall) , all very memorable moments and a thrill to past by it once in a while now.


You get there on metro Tuileries (design of Hector Guimard),the entrance is located along the gardens of the Tuileries, rue de Rivoli on line 1 or Concorde lines 1, 8 and 12 .The first line 1 of Metro built it has two staircases with low frames with cartridges with an entrance and an exit.  The Tuileries Garden is open daily from 7h30 a.m. to 21h. Also bus lines 24, 42, 52, 72, 73, 84, 94, and my best parkings underground here are Concorde  Place de la Concorde (corner of Avenue Gabriel and Place de la Concorde), and Tuileries by 38, rue du Mont Tabor.

It is actually a series of gardens and the locals sometimes call it the Jardins des Tuileries in plural. There is the Tuileries and then the Carrousel. Let me tell you a bit on them and more now.

The Tuileries garden extends from the Palais du Louvre (east) to the Place de la Concorde (West), it is bordered to the north by the Rue de Rivoli, the place de Pyramides and to the south by the Seine river . The Arc du Carrousel, built in 1806 in the Carousel’s garden, marks the entrance to the Tuileries. The Palace of the Tuileries, which closed the Louvre on its west side, was burned during the commune in 1871 and its ruins were razed in 1881 by the third Republic. From the 1st arrondissement or district created in the 16C to the site of old Tuileries which gave it its name. It is the most important and oldest French garden of the capital, which used to be the palace of the Tuileries, a former royal and imperial residence, now extinct, see above. I was a former treasurer to rebuilt it but it is difficult and costly almost 400M€ the webpage is here if interested to help. Comite National pour la Reconstruction des Tuileries

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The Rue de Rivoli is located in the early 19C between Rue de Rohan and rue Saint-Florentin, in particular the impasse  and the grounds occupied by the Dames-de-l’Assomption. The garden then expanded during the development of the Tuileries Wharf, a support wall is built along the terrace of the water’s edge, with stones extracted from the quarries of Châtillon.  In 1519, king François 1er had chosen this vast land occupied since the 12C by tile factories. In 1553 Catherine de Medici decided to settle in the Louvre and to have a castle built, she bought land at the Tuileries and built an Italian park with fountains, a cave, a greenhouse and a menagerie, the Palais des Tuileries.

Catherine de Medici buys these lands between the walls of Charles V and the walls of the Fausses Jaunes (ditches). Starting from 1564, it began the construction of the Palais des Tuileries, while beginning the development of an Italian garden to the west until the glacis of the enclosure (present Place de la Concorde). It consists of six aisles in the straight direction and eight in the witdth direction, which rectangular compartments comprising different plantations (trees, quinconces, lawns, flower beds, etc.). In the years 1605-1625 an orangery and a petting zoo were added. In 1664, Jean-Baptiste Colbert and King Louis XIV ordered the garden to be entirely redesigned by André Le Nôtre, who had already illustrated himself in Vaux-le-Vicomte.  Royal Gardens of Versailles, Marly, Saint-Cloud and Saint-Germain.  The destruction of the Palace of the Tuileries opened a perspective towards the Place de la Concorde, the Avenue of the Champs Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe, the Avenue of the Grand Armée, and the Grand Arche de la Defense.

At the western angles of the garden, Napoleon III ordered built two identical buildings:

An orangery in 1852, in the southwest, today hosting a museum of modern Art, the Musée de l’Orangerie. The Museum of the Orangerie is a museum of impressionistic and Impressionists paintings located in the garden of the Tuileries, at the western end of the terrace of the waterfront, Place de la Concorde it presents works by Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Amedeo Modigliani, Le Douanier Rousseau, André Derain, Chaïm-Soutien, Marie Laurencin, Maurice Utrillo, Paul Gauguin, Alfred Sisley and Kees van Dongen. Orangerie museum

A Jeu de Paume in 1861, Northwest, today hosting a museum of Contemporary Art, the National Gallery of Jeu de Paume.   The Jeu de Paume Museum.  The building is located on the terraces (rue de Rivoli) dominating the Place de la Concorde in the Tuileries garden.  The Jeu de Paume game was built in 1861 on the model of the Orangerie was a gym where the ancestor of tennis was practised.  At the beginning of the 20C, the building is a national museum.  The museum was remodelled in 1986, following the opening of the Musée d’Orsay, and became a place of temporary exhibitions.  Webpage :


The Tuileries Garden, is of major historical importance, has 22.4 hectares. Between the wings of the Louvre, the Carousel garden is 6.2 hectares. The Tuileries and the Carrousel are separated by the Tuileries Terrace.  These two gardens are accessible to visitors.. To the east, three small gardens enshrine the building: Along the Rue de Rivoli lies the Garden of the Oratory (4 500 m2), and, opposite the Seine, the Garden of the Infante (3 900 m2) and the Garden Raffet (1 250 m2). These small gardens are not accessible to the public.

The gardens of the Carrousel and the Tuileries are true museums of open-air sculptures: At the carousel are exposed twenty sculptures of Aristide Maillol and the Tuileries, the visitor can admire more than 200 statues and vases of first importance, ranging from  17C to 21C. This vast garden offers varied walks, at the rhythm of the seasons, and relaxation areas for young and old alike.

By Auguste Caïn Deux Lionesses attacking a bull the Nubian lion and his prey lion and wild boar igre slaying a crocodile

By Aristide Maillol  the Mountain (1937) The Air (1938) The River (1938) Elongated Girl (1921) The Nymph (1930) The Three Graces (1938)

By Paul Gand   Medea Statue in marble.

By Louis Lévêque,   the Young Nymph (1866). By Pierre le Gros   Vetturie (1665).

Paintings immortalizing the Tuileries gardens amongst some are by  Édouard Manet, music at the Tuileries Garden (1862), Adolph von Menzel, afternoon at the Tuileries Garden (1867) Claude Monet, Les Tuileries (1876),. Maurice Prendergast, the Tuileries Garden (1895), Camille Pissarro, the Tuileries Gardens (1900), and Paul de Castro, the Tuileries Garden in Autumn (1921).


During WWII, part of the garden was transformed into a garden because of the lack of supplies during the Occupation. On 25 August 1944, General von Choltitz, commanding officer of the “Groß-Paris”, received an ultimatum from Colonel Pierre Billotte  of the 2nd DB and replied “I do not accept ultimatums”. In the ensuing fighting, Captain Branet seized the hotel Meurice, rue de Rivoli, headquarters of the German occupying forces; Captain Julien goes to the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré to reach the siege of the Kommandantur, Place de l’opéra and on his side Lieutenant Bricard clears  the Tuileries garden. The ten commemorative plaques affixed along the garden at the corner of Rue de Rivoli and Place de la Concorde do not fully account for the intensity of the fighting and the number of casualties.

Since 2005, the management of the Tuileries Garden has been entrusted to the Louvre museum, which ensures the development and maintenance of it. A real treat in Paris.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to this wonderful beautiful garden park are

City of Paris on Jardin des Tuileries :

Tourist office of Paris on Jardin des Tuileries:

Tourist office region of ile de France on the Tuileries garden:

Hope you enjoy all Parisiens do even if loaded with tourists in a heavily visited area of Paris; is a must. Paris is so much indeed!

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

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June 29, 2018

A park in Paris, parc Monceau!

So looking over my blog did not see a post on this wonderful park of Paris. Darn, believe or not, it was my first park visited in Paris. I was with a group of friends and decided to have a walk in a park and they chose this one. Well, of course, I have come back to it.

The parc Monceau is a treasure in Paris, not the biggest, not the prettiest maybe, but a wonderful collection of follies, great architecture in and out on the mansions that surrounded it and two good museums.

Parc Monceau  Metro  Monceau Line 2. The unique entrance with crested entourage done by Héctor Guimard is located on line 2 line direction Porte Dauphine-Nation at  Boulevard de Courcelles  on the edge of the Parc Monceau. The park is in neighborhood or quartier Europe in the 8éme arrondissement or district of Paris. Bus line 30 also takes you here.

The Parc Monceau with an area of 8.25 hectares  whose main entrance is near the Rotunda by Boulevard de Courcelles, an exotic garden English style park, Inaugurated on  August  13 1861 by emperor  Napoleon III. The park is a kilometer in circumference , a  full tour of the park measures precisely  1 107 meters (bypassing the children’s playground, it takes 990 meters). Great for bikes I did my first bike ride in Paris here many years ago lol!


A bit of history I like.  The Duke of Chartres buys  land of one hectare at the Rue de Courcelles in 1768. In 1778 the future Duke of Orléans  buy it and asked  Carmontelle to arranged  the space known as the “Folly of Chartres”. The landscape artist Thomas Blaikie enlarges this English garden where there is erected a pyramid, a pagoda and various other follies in the taste of the time.

The architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux adds in 1784, a rotunda, pavilion of  the neo gothic style surrounded by a peristyle of 16 columns,there is  the new General farmers  running along the garden. During the French revolution, the garden was confiscated and became in 1793 national property after the Revolution, the park in a pitiful state was restored to the Orléans family.  Between 1802 and 1806 the park is demolished and another pavilion built in its place, Orleans sells and then buys in 1819. A little before 1830, the Duke’s son, future Louis-Philippe, King of the French, had the “Temple of Mars” transported to the enchanted Garden of his castle in Neuilly; It is somewhat altered to become the Temple of Love (Neuilly-sur-Seine). In 1852, half of the park was allocated to the Pereire brothers and the other to the State which sold its estate to the city of Paris.  The wall of the general farmers is destroyed, it remains as vestige of only the rotunda old granting offices (three other pavilions are moved to the place Denfert Rochereau, Place de la Bataille-de-Stalingrad and Place de la Nation.

Things to see and look there:

A few steps away is the Naumachie, an oval basin bordered by a Corinthian colonnade that comes from a church of St. Denis destroyed in 1719. Nearby, stands a large Renaissance arcade style, relic of the City Hall of Paris burned in 1871 (there are also fragments of columns) marble statues of writers and musicians are found at the corner of the groves. They represent Maupassant,  Verlet, Chopin, Gounod and Musset, Ambroise Thomas or Édouard Pailleron . The park is surrounded by luxurious buildings and private hotels. It has been painted many times including the great ones Gustave Caillebotte (1877), Claude Monet (1876), and  Henri Brispot (1908).

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Private hotels are located along elegant shaded avenues and closed by four monumental doors.  Most of these routes bear names of great 17C painters such as Avenue Velasquez, Avenue Ruysdaël, Avenue Van-Dyck, rue Rembrandt, Rue Murillo. The park is crossed by the Avenue Ferdousi, the Allée Michel-Berger and the alley of the Countess-de-Ségur. Many elements dating from Carmontelle and metamorphosed under Napoleon III remain: The colonnade that borders the Naumachie, the pyramid, the only vestige of the ancient folly of Chartres, the Renaissance arcade of the Paris City Hall destroyed in 1871, the Little Bridge, the grotto and the waterfall.


In a green setting, appear, at the corner of the groves we discover rare or exotic  trees such as a sycamore maple aged over 130 years and high of 35 meters , a sumptuous purple beech, a tulip of Virginia and a plane tree of the Orient, the biggest in Paris (more than 170 years and 7 meters in  circumference.

The 2 charming museums,  occupying 2 superb mansions of the 19C.  The Museum of Nissim de Camondo which allows to plunge into the life of the great families under the Second Empire and to discover also the tragic fate of a family of great lineage of Sephardic  Jews  having made fortune in the bank and whose descendants will be deported and killed in Auschwitz.  ).  At the south entrance is the Museum Cernuschi  amuseum of the city of Paris specializing in the art and archaeology of ancient China. The museum webpages to follow

Museum Nissim de Camondo

Museum Cernuschi

A playground for children ,a merry-go-round and swings open every afternoon, ponies on Wednesdays and weekends;  clowns  on Wednesdays and weekends from the lawns where it is good to run and picnic. Parc Monceau is open until 20h. and until 22h. from May  1 to  August 31. Check times and dates for the playground at the city of Paris parks page below.


Some further webpages to help your trip here,and it is all worth it.

Tourist office of Paris tument/71356/Parc-Monceau

City of Paris parc monceau :

Hope you enjoy a tranquil time amongst beautiful buildings and a great garden park indeed of beautiful Paris.

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

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June 28, 2018

The wines ok ,but then again a Pauillac is out of this world!

If you have follow my blog over the last years, you know that wines play an important part of my life. I have detail my experiences in previous blog posts so will skip it here. Bordeaux is a wonderful city ,and written on it too. However, when it comes to speak about the Médoc that wonderful peninsula we tend to usually call it by the broader name of Bordeaux is awesome.

And ,if I can tell you about Pauillac then we are talking about what wine is all about, and what the world for many years are trying to imitate without success in my opinion.  The peninsula of Médoc is what is surrounded by the Atlantic ocean, the Gironde river, the pointe de Grave, the forest of Landes and the marshes of Bruges. Simply put, you have one of the best beaches in France on the Atlantic ocean side and the best wines in the world on the Gironde river side. All divided into three areas, Bas-Médoc, Haut Médoc, and the Landes. When it comes to wines, it is these famous areas that makes it great, appellations such as Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Saint Estéphe, Pauillac, Saint Julilen, Listrac-Médoc, Moulis-en-Médoc, and Margaux.

All of these using different grapes in a mix by now just call the Bordeaux blend.  The main grapes representing  more than 90% of the grape varieties are:
· The Cabernet Sauvignon  brings frame and structure to wine and guard capacity.
· The Merlot  roundness, flexibility, complexity and ability to appreciate the younger wine.
· Cabernet Franc  brings roundness, fruity, complexity to wine.
The complementary varietals meaning in addition to the above in the blend are :
· Malbec or côt brings flexibility, roundness and structure, but demands that the yield be well controlled.
· The Petit Verdot brings aroma, framing and structure, but requires good maturity.
· Carménère is an almost absent relic grape but still available

However, enough of general news, what I really like to tell you about is Pauillac.

Well I wrote on the beaches of Medoc, and Bordeaux, and wines in general but not on my favorite wine spot in the world. No need to explain just tell you the name, Pauillac.  Pauillac is located in the department 33 Gironde in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine on the river side. The town is about 50 km from Bordeaux. The best way to come here is by car, from the rocade or beltway of Bordeaux take exit 7 or 8 then take the road N2 via Blanquefort (the route of chateaux) or the D1215 via Castelnau de Médoc. Also, there is a bus 705 from Bordeaux passing thru several wine communities and of course Pauillac, the schedule of Transgironde is here in pdf file.

There is also the regional TER Nouvelle Aquitaine trains, webpage :

The interesting bit of history I like here is that even if the town is known since pre history it is only until the 18C wine commerce that it became known.  In 1777 , Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette arrived in Pauillac on the banks of the Gironde river to eventually reach USA to help the American people gain their independence. A stone is erected in the river front of Pauillac to commemorate this event showing the boat La Victoire. The words written on it says, D’ici, le 25 mars 1777, s’est embarqué Marie Joseph Paul Yves Gilbert Motier ,  Marquis de LAFAYETTE, avec l’espoir de rallier les Amériques,  A bord de la “VICTOIRE”. Simply saying that here on March 25 1777, set sail Marie Joseph Paul Yves Gilbert Motier , Marquis de La Fayette with the hope of reaching the Americas on board the Victoire.

As said  the wine here is big, glorious simply the best in the world. The vineyards of Pauillac are Grand Cru with almost 1100 hectares and about 37 wineries of which 18 are Grands Crus class 1855. These are:

Premiers crus : Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Latour, and my favorite Château Mouton-Rothschild

Seconds crus :  Château Pichon-Longueville, Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

Quatrième cru : Château Duhart-Milon (part of Mouton Rothschild)

Cinquièmes crus : Château Pontet-Canet, Château Batailley, Château Haut-Batailley, Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Château Grand-Puy-Ducasse, Château Lynch-Bages, Château Lynch-Moussas, Château d’Armailhac (Mouton property), Château Haut-Bages LIbéral, Château Pédesclaux, Château Clerc Milon (Mouton property), and Château Croizet-Bages

Other than the wines things to see in Pauillac

The parish Church of Saint-Martin at the place Maréchal Foch; the museum inside the Château Mouton-Rothschild with wine objects from all civilizations. The Orangerie in the Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande with a private glass collection as well as those coming from Venice, Bohemia and French/English glasses from the 17C to 19C. It comprises about 700 pieces collected by owner May-Éliane de Lencquesaing.

The caves of Artigues, built in 1897 as a replica of those of Lourdes and with a statue of the Virgin. To allowed the pilgrims to drink water of Lourdes, they will exchange with the priest of Lourdes a barrel of wine of the Château de Haut-Bages with one full of water of Lourdes.

Some events of interest happening at Pauillac are;

The Spring in the Castles or Le Printemps des châteaux done in April bringing all properties from those of 1855 classification to the cooperative wines. More in French here:

The festival of the lamb of Pauillac in the pentcote weekend.  A very appreciated lamb dish traditional of Pauillac. More in French here:

The Marathon du Médoc, each second Saturday in September. More here:

The property of Château Mouton-Rothschild is a splendid place , beautiful gardens, great cellars and a wonderful museum all in one.  In 1954, Rothschild married his mistress, Pauline Fairfax Potter (1908-1976), an American, born in Paris, who was a fashion designer at Hattie Carnegie. After their marriage, she makes use of her aesthete talents to restore the old warehouse of the property and make it a superb mansion, which makes it famous in the world of fashion and interior decoration. She was born Pauline Potter at 10 rue Octave Feuillet in the Paris neighborhood of Passy in the 16éme district to wealthy expatriate American parents of Protestant background.Her mother was a great-grand-niece of Thomas Jefferson and a distant cousin of Britain’s Lord Falkland and Lord Cary.  Her father was a playboy who was a grandson of an Episcopal Bishop of Pennsylvania, and a nephew and great-nephew of successive Episcopal bishops of New York . Baron Philippe de Rothschild  belongs to one of the three branches of the Rothschild in France. He was a Grand prix pilot under the pseudonym of “Georges Philippe”, screenwriter, theatre producer, film producer, poet, and one of the world’s most famous winegrowers. Both are now deceased. The property was carried out by the daughter of first marriage, Philippine de Rothschild, under the stage name of Philippine Pascal, she was previously known as an actress, mainly at the Théâtre (Comédie-Française), but also, in a more marginal way to film and television. She was the daughter of Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Elisabeth Pelletier de Chambure, who died in deportation in Ravensbrück in 1945. Current principal of the company is Philippe Sereys de Rothschild , the son of Philippine de Rothschild, who lately is in relation with French actress Carole Bouquet.

Other properties of the company are  the  Domaine de Lambert, Baron Arques, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Mouton Cadet, Opus One in Californai and  Viña Almaviva in Chile amongst the best known. The company is part of a select group of winegrower owners call Primum Familiae Vini (often abbreviated PFV, Latin: “First Families of Wine”) is an association of family-owned wineries with a membership limited to twelve families. The official webpage is here:

Hope you enjoy it the general overview of this town and wine properties and especially my Mouton Rothschild, I am direct and received all their primeurs wines and lists.  The official webpage for them is here:

The whole of the properties are in this webpage:

And for orders online as we do in France, need to check if allow in other countries is here:

The museum of Mouton Rothschild is here in English:

Personal Pauillac photos here, as a memoriam anecdote, my dear late wife Martine was not into wine when we married in 1990,however, over the years she became alongside a good taster and fine companion, will be missed forever.

Pauillac PAuillac Pauillac PAuillac Pauillac Pauillac

Other webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Pauillac city hall and tourism :

 The Médoc wine region tourist office on chateaux:

 The country or pays de Médoc on tourism

The Gironde 33 tourism:

The wines of the Médoc:

Enjoy it as I do every day is part of a state of mind or culture at its best. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!



June 28, 2018

How to come and get around Versailles!

I have heard many bloggers pointing of the crowds and transportation mishaps coming to Versailles, my former home in the Yvelines, ïle de France region for almost 10 years. I think I know a thing or two on how to move about in Versailles. I have written before on it and would like to give it to you early

Getting to Versailles

Versailles is a city of a bit over 100K folks but it is done very wisely modern by the kings of France, it is pretty much rectangular and all starts at the palace. The three big avenues from it commands all, avenue de Saint Cloud, avenue de Paris, and avenue de Sceaux. The Domaine of Versailles as it is call the whole complex was much bigger than today, well have written several posts on it, right now there is about 807 hectares of it (about 8 sq km or 3 sq miles).

The Castle sits as independent with the neighborhoods coming out from it , mine was Notre Dame. Other famous are Saint Louis, Montreuil, Chantiers, and Montbauron. Folks as said come here for the palace mainly, not really to blame but a shame missing on so much, you need more time here. I have written on the monuments and their place in history many times before so will let you do some search in my blog.

The castle/palace/museum is open every day except Mondays from 9h to 18h30 , however, the Trianons opens at 12h (garden closes at 19h) , and the Coach Gallery (wagon carriages) open   by 12h30.;closing by 18h30 The park and gardens are open every day and they are free except on Musical Fountains Shows and Musical Garden. The Trianons you can come through the Gardens or through the city (by the porte Saint Antoine on ave de Versailles). Versailles has three city train stations the one closest on foot to the Castle/palace/museum is on the RER C express trains to the Rive Gauche station on ave Général de Gaulle; however, the other two Rive Droite and Chantiers can be access to the Castle/Palace/museum and the Trianon on the local bus TRI from April to October.

The park domaine per se has the following entry points   on foot thru the Main Gate (place d’Armes) 8h until 20h30; the Queen’s Gate (bd de la Reine and allée des Moutons) 7h to 20h30, Sailor’s Gate (Rue de Saint Cyr (D10)) 9h30 to 19h, Saint Anthony’s Gate (porte Saint Antoine ,along avenue de Versailles) 9h30 to 19h and the Grille of the Royal Star (further back of the Grand Canal on chemin Etoile Royale off the road D7) only accessable on weekends and holidays from 9h30 to 19h15. You can come with vehicles thru the Queen’s gate by 9h until 17h50 last entry and the   Saint Anthony’s Gate only on weekends from 9h last entry at 17h50.  The tricky part are the gardens where you need to verify the dates according to the times you will be here, otherwise the entry points and times are everyday from 8h to 20h30 with last admission at 19h and on foot you can come thru the Main gate 8h to 19h ,the Dragon’s Gate (side of theater Montansier off bd de la Reine) from 12h to 18h30, Neptune Gate (bd de la Reine  and Petit Allée Saint Antoine), Menagerie Gate (Allée des Matelots debut Grand Canal) and Little Venice Gate (by La Flottille resto debut Grand Canal) on similar times. At Porte Saint Antoine below, you can come from avenue de Saint Cloud on bus 19 and stop at Parly II/Les Chesnay(a nice shopping mall and my kids schools)  walk down and entered for free and no crowds to the gardens/Trianons and Hameau properties without going in .We love it for jogging and walking many times. Bus schedule here:

transdev bus 19 Express bus



As told the main entrance is thru the main courtyard passed the grille iron gate and statue in front of king louis XIV; if you do not have a pre purchase ticket (which you should), and not eligible for free admission (like a student or under 26 UE) go to the ticket office first, on the left of the Main courtyard in the South Ministers’ wing and then to Entrance A of the Palace. This is for individual entries. If you have reserved your tickets in advance then go straight to Entrance A with your ticket and proof of identity. And lastly, if going to the Trianons first opening at 12h go straight to them by their Saint Anthony’s gate (Porte Saint Antoine at Allée de Saint Antoine)) next to it is the Hameau of Marie Antoinette and then the Petit and Grand Trianon.

The basic info on influx of visitors is split in two ; high season from April 1st to October 31st and low season from November 1st to March 31st. However, avoid Wednesdays as it is school day off in France and mom stayed home thinking where to go out, and on Fridays which is the weekend. So come on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and be there at opening time with your advance purchased tickets.

Basic transportation info tells you that you can get here by

RER C to Versailles Château-Rive Gauche from many points in Paris and it is about 8-10 minutes walk to the palace. Leaving from Paris Montparnasse you can come to the Chantiers station which is only about 20 minutes from the palace or take the TRI colorful bus from the city stopping in all stations and palace as well as the Trianons. And Last my station the Rive Droite coming from Paris Saint Lazare train station and about another 20 minutes to the palace or take the TRI bus as told above.


The Versailles bus network Phebus is excellent on time, clean and very helpful drivers. I have their webpage with the TRI schedule as you will it the most. Well ,here is the schedule until October 28 2018 in pdf file:

The Phebus network webpage is in French:

For quite some time now there is a bus from Paris RATP Bus No. 171 from Pont de Sévres metro station to the Château of Versailles ave de Paris facing the castle. The map of the route here:

The city of Versailles has a great explanatory page on coming to Versailles here in English:

Hopefully it comes out, this is the city of Versailles with a very nice interactive map of the city and surrounding areas, you can enlarge bottom left and print it.

The tourist office of Versailles has plenty of practical information on getting,moving about in Versailles use it:

I must add driving here is easy, from Paris or Normandy on the A13 autoroute de Normandie on exit or sorties 5 and 6. Coming from the west as I do now I take the free N12 and exit:sorties 1-4. There is good parking underground at Notre Dame and Saint Cloud parkings and above ground my favorite at Sceaux next to the rive gauche RER station. Here is the site to book in advance your parking at Sceaux; It s the site I use for all my parkings in France, very reliable:


At the end of the Avenue de Sceaux above picture and after the parking you have the wonderful garden of Jardin des Etangs Gobert.

You can from Paris following the old King Louis XIV road that still can be done in automobile as well. Leave Paris on rue de la Convention and cross the Seine river at Pont Mirabeau, next street over from the Seine is appropiatly Avenue de Versailles take a left on it and go to the traffic circle at Porte de Saint Cloud ; take direction Boulogne-Billancourt on the D910 (this is it); continue past the wonderful traffic circle of Marcel Sembat, and continue on Avenue du Général Leclerc (same D910) ; cross the Seine river at the Pont de Sévres passing on your right hand side the museum of Sévres or manufacture and continue you are still on the D910 road. Passing the quaint town of Chaville, continue and entering Virofray the road changes to the D10 ,continue same road.(the street name changes to Avenue de Paris appropriable) but same road D10. And you know what, this is Versailles!!! Leading head on to the palace/museum!!! The road of the Kings of France coming from the Louvre fortress (now museum).

From the Hôtel de Ville or even closer from the rive gauche train station you go left (not right to the castle) and continue on avenue du Général de Gaulle continuosly street is the Rue Royale at the corner of rue d’Anjou you have the Carré Saint Louis many intimates stories of the kings and an antique shops heaven on either side, if you turn right and continue on rue d’Anjou you will reach the St Louis Cathedral, and onwards to Rue du Maréchal Joffre you hit on the Potager du roi vegetable gardens. If at this street, you turn left you will get to the romantic Parc Balbi on your right hand side.  If you turn right on rue du Maréchal Joffre  eventually becomes rue de Satory, you turn left on rue de l’Orangerie and you will reach the Orangerie from the outside go in on the porte grille de Cent Marshes (100 steps), and right across you see the Piéce d’Eau des Suisses walk alone the edge of the lake to the back you will see the only statue in Versailles to king Louis XVI! If you get off from the rue de Satory into the rue du vieux Versailles you will reach the Salle de Jeu de Paume and continue further you will reach the rue de l’independence Americaine (where the municipal library keeps the table where the support of France for the US independence was signed) . All within walking distance.

Ahh this is the iceberg on the mountain of possibilities in my beloved Versailles, the Royal town of France, history on every brick or every tile on every stone of France and many of the World.  Enjoy it

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

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 post all (I think…) my previous posts about Paris in my blog. I let you do the searching  ,there is something for everyone in it.


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 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.


The episcopal palace gardens behind the Cathedral at Meaux

Enjoy Paris, the most beautiful city in the world, and for reason the most visited too…From oldest to newest posts me think…

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 27, 2018

Moving up to Orthez and a Jeanne!

And moving up from the mountains and closer to the expresways , and another jewel in the deep south of France. What better place than to see history, architecture and a different story of France, Protestant one.

We wandered by car always, to see these jewels of our belle France, and we encounter Orthez. Let me give you my previous blog post on it: See Orthez

Orthez is a town in the département 64 Pyrénées-Atlantiques,in the région of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Half way between Pau and Bayonne and traverse the town by the gave de Pau and its tributaries rivers.

A bit of history I like

The oldest finding on Orthez (which still nobody seems to decide from where the name comes from)  is  from the 11C. This was two romanesque Churches ,one in the neighborhood of old town by the bridge, and the other by next around the Church of Saint-Pierre (St Peter).  The town resulted in a union of these two around 1260 with the creation of a municipal council sort of.

In the 13C to 15C , Orthez was the residence of the Viscounts of Béarn; Gaston Fébus declared the independence here in 1347. However, by 1460 the resident was transfered to Pau. Even if Orthez remained the biggest town and most dynamic of the Béarn during the monarchies of France. At Orthez , all the products with destination to the port of Bayonne was assembled. In 1566 Jeanne d’Albret had transfered the Protestant academy of Béarn here ,and it was transformed into an University by 1583 under king Henri IV.

The town grew under the monarchies into the suburbs of Moncade, where there is a castle , a bit isolated from the town as it had military functions. In 1814  there was the Battle of Orthez  with the victory of the Anglo-Spanish troops of the duke of Wellington against the Napoleonic army of Marshal Soult.  Not much influence on the town but a major influence on the war in Spain. At Orthez, there is great interest for the bullfight and traditioin is even older than the current arena (arena of Pesqué, 1927), and the town is member of the Taurino towns of France association. webpage here: Toro bullfights towns of France

What are the things to see at Orthez

The former Auberge Saint-Loup, today a private house at  rue du Pont-Vieux was in the 16C a hospice to welcome the pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela. A very rich medieval architecture indeed.

The house or maison Batcave another nice medieval architecture example today private home. The Hôtel de la Lune, another stop for rest of the pilgrims of Santiago de Compostela, from the 15C. The Castle of Baure, and Castle of Préville, as well as the fountain of the Place Saint Pierre (by the Church) inmortalized by the painter Maurice Utrillo in 1923.

The house or Maison de Jeanne d’Albret , today is the tourist office and a Protestant museum of the Béarn. Originally, this house was a bourgeoise mansion from the 16C that was given as a donation by a Captain of the militias of Albret to the king Antoine de Bourbon and Jeanne d’Albret to obtain titles of nobility.  Here ,also, there is the museum of or  musée Jeanne d’Albret,dedicated to the long history of Protestanism in the Béarn. Very educational and historical a must to see and worth the visit to Orthez alone in my opinion. The official webpage here: Museum Jeanne d’Albret

The Church Saint Peter’s or  Saint-Pierre dating from the 13C with a choir.  The work was not finished that a century later meanwhile changes of styles were done. Amongst the particularities of this Church is there is no collateral and the highest vault of the Béarn. In the 16C, the Protestants confiscated the Church. By 1865, the Church was restored and enlarged with a bell tower built under the entry portal.  It conserved an sketch of the panel of the Pantheon of Rome the martyr of Saint Denis that was offered by the fine arts in 1924.  Two statues in wood representing Sainte Anne, mother of Mary, (grandmother of Jesus) and St James.

There is the Protestant temple at 20 rue du Général-Foy), consacrated in 1790. Another nice Church is that of the parish Church of  Saint-Barthélémy.

The castle of Moncade and its donjon tower built around 1250 by ordered of  Gaston VII Moncade on a strategic place and fortified from many centuries ago. This is a bit outside Orthez but right from the town is easy . Gaston Fébus completed the fortifications to give it the current form. It has an splendid courtyard and a nice tower that was saved from the city from using the stones to build home around the area. When we were there , a medieval horse knights competition was going on very nice indeed.

The old bridge or Pont Vieux, dating from the 13C and 14C by the river.  It was begun by  Gaston VII Moncade at the moment of Orthez becoming the capital of the Béarn and carried his court.  Originally, it had two towers and today you see the unequal arches and a central fortified tower. It resisted two attacks in Orthez, that one of 1569 by the Protestants troops of Montgomery ,and in 1814 by the attack of the duke of Wellington after the Napoleonic troops.

As an anecdote in closing, the very famous and nice guy Alain Ducasse was born here on December 13 1958 ; three stars Michelin with 22 restaurants in the world at last count.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and it will be well worth your time are

City of Orthez on tourism in French :

Tourist office of Orthez :

Tourism Pyrénées Atlantique (Orthez town of art and history) :

Tourism of Nouvelle Aquitaine;

There you go for a wonderful tour of the deep south of France. Hope you enjoy the ride!

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

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