Archive for June 11th, 2018

June 11, 2018

The other Yvelines dept 78. Cities of many souvenirs!

On a mundane day in the west coast of France, we remember our wonderful times too in the west of Paris, Yvelines dept 78 ,region of ïle de France.  A magical moment to lived in the Royal city of Versailles and worked in the most beautiful city in the world , Paris. We went around a lot, and on many not your typical tourist towns but nevertheless it is our life and my blog is all about that. Footprints all over France ,and the world.

I like to share with my readers some of these towns, all memorable for our family. These are La Verriére, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, and Elancourt.

La Verrière  is in department 78 Yvelines in the region of Ïle de France only 40 km from Paris and 20 km from Versailles. It is believe La Verrière occupy the site of the village of Watreias in the forest of Yvelines that was given by king Pepin in 768 to the Abbey of Saint Denis.

There are many good roads here and taken many times when lived in Versailles, the N10 passes north of the town and the D58 takes you to Elancourt ( mini France  park) and the south to Mesnil-Saint-Denis to Dampierre-en-Yvelines. The D13 takes the western part of the town to the northwes at Montfort –l’Amaury ( Heredia’s house) and on the south to Mesnil-Saint-Denis and later Chevreuse.  There is a great train service here and my oldest son used it a lot. There is a nice train station connecting with the line N Rambouillet-Paris Montparnasse and Line U La Verriére – La Défense..

A bit of history I like

The parish of La Verrière was created in 1739 with the fusion of three villages such as La Petite-Verrière, la Grande-Verrière and l’Agiot, it finally became a city in the French revolution but stayed small during the 20C even if the situation was good bordering the big road N10 that goes from Paris to Chartres.  In 1972 , there was a union of towns into a metropolitan area or agglomeration call the Nouvelle Ville de Saint Quentin en Yvelines, La Verrière was part of this area.

Thing to see from afar and the gardens is the Chateau de La Verriére . It was in 1507, the lands were purchased by Barthélemy Séguier, noble and judge that starts to built the castle , his descendant Jean Séguier, adviser to the king Louis XIV finished it in 1660. The gardens were done by André Le Nôtre gardener of the king. Over the years transformed into many things it is now the psychatric center Marcel Riviere. More in French here:

City hall and a bit of history in French:

However, how I came to know this town is because my oldest son spent his schooling here initial path to become a commercial agent or salesmen at the specilised school CFA AFFIDA; in lieu of University studies. The school was very nice, good folks and easy to go on direct line train from Versailles or even a bus. 401/415 of the SQYbus network. So , I can say came into this area by car, train ,and bus!

The school

La Verriere

In Saint Quentin en Yvelines we love to come shopping at the mall there ,for the cinema and celebrated many younger days birthdays with friends at the bowling alley. The cinema Cine Cité SQY is still there more here;

The shopping center has many stores gone now and heard they may demolished it for housing ,unfortunately, the memories will stay on . The Bowling Star is also gone ,I heard and is not listed in their official site so another one for the memories;

In the nearby town of Montigny-les-Bretonneux there is an explanation on the bowling but no mention yet is gone.

Montigny le Bretonneux

This later town of Montigny-le-Bretonneux ,we used to go to see the baseball games of the Montigny Cougars playing in the French second division or like Triple A level; since 2017 thereabouts ,they have move up to the First division top league in France, their stadium was on our way to the shopping center/cinema/bowling;  here is their official site

The city hall of Montigny with tourism info in French; Tourist things to see Montigny

And we went as far on the N10 to the town of Coigniéres to buy fresh groceries at discount in the Grand Marché ;lovely my dear late wife Martine will search for anything! At the Marché-o-Frais, rue de la Gare , and the Grand Frais, 3 rue des Fréres Lumiéres angle rue du Gibet

webpage here: Grand Frais supermarché

The city hall of Cogniéres on tourism here: Coigniéres and history

And last but not least in this memorable dept 78 Yvelines, when passing on the D58 we had visited at Elancourt, France Miniature park, model building of the main attractions in France, more here:

City hall of Elancourt in French on history and tourism; Elancourt heritage and history

In all many memorable moments with the boys and now missing their mother even more nostalgic indeed. We cannot forget these towns, it is part of us been French.

This is the agglomeration or metro area of Saint Quentin en Yvelines (SQY)with all these towns in English ,not check the whole webpage but believe many is in English too.  Agglo Saint Quentin en Yvelines

Plenty things to do, which even living near could not see it all, so much to see here!!! museums: Museums in SQY

Hope you enjoy this other side of life in France, not visiting but living the real thing. Maybe just maybe you may feel to want to come to these areas just to take a look at how we live normal life away from the tourist throngs , just maybe ,you will be surprise. As I always said, Hemingway wrote about a movable feast of Paris because he only visited there, if he had gone out, he would had had the need to write a second book, France, is a movable feast! ::)

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

June 11, 2018

Go in country Portugal at Curia and Muterde!!!

So we are in off the beaten path sites, these are areas perhaps you won’t find in tourist books but there are wonderful beautiful places with great architecture and especially great wines of Portugal. I have the privilege to travel by car, the best way around and can go into these places fairly easy.

Once arrived in Lisbon, all came back,been there before, it was a breeze. This is the official site ANA, for the airports there: Official Lisbon airport webpage

A taxi was waiting for me to take me to the hotel, Radisson Blu Ave Marechal Craveiro Lopes,390<; This was a nice modern hotel, and near the main expressway out to and from the city, the service was tops Webpage: Radisson Blu Hotel Lisbon

I went down to the Malhoa bar,and watch the football/soccer games from Spain and France they were showing!!! heavens!!! The resto was very nice as Bordalo Pinheiro, very good service ,and prices, and the food was delicious.

So therefore, let me give you a taste of what they are. The wonderful towns of Curia and Muterde in the Bairrada wine region.  I went to these by car as said, and it was a memorable trip, always love to go to these places rather than the tourist trail so overburden in southern Europe these days.

Curia is a town in the Tamengos area part of municipality of Anadia, closer to Coimbra;  where you have several spa thermes baths with a nice Belle Epoque or Art Nouveau architecture The thermes here are good with sulphuric calcium and magnesium especially good for gout , stones, urinary infections, hypertension ,rheumatic  pains and muscles strains. They were know since Roman times but not until 1865 they were utilised in mass like today

Some of the things to see in Curia are

The Thermes spa park of 14 hectares with hotel beautiful trees and flowers , tennis courts, artificial lake of 1 km with boat facilities. The Palace Hotel da Curia, art nouveau style opened in 1926  has an Olympic pool built in 1934 the second oldest in Portugal.; the Hotel do Parque Curia, also style Art Nouveau built in 1922 and still with the same family. The train station of Estacao de Caminho de Ferro has decoration in ceramic tiles retracing local traditions like winegrowing or leitao da Bairrada ( small baby pig dish).



The hotel I was based is one of the legendary spas thermes in the region;  The Curia Palace Hotel  : Almeida hotels on the Curia Palace Hotel

This was grand, belle epoque style with almost an empty hotel and full restaurant just for me!!!

Coimbra Coimbra

Wine moments in the Bairrada region;


A webpage to help plan your trip on these lands is here:

Tourism of Portugal on Curia;

Murtede  is a town in the municipality of Cantanhede

There is a Chapel of Santa Maria Magdalene, the Murtede Brige, Casa das Palmeiras and lookout. The area is part of Bairrada wine region.

The Portuguese wine council from the region is here in Portuguese:

Other than at the hotel I ate at Cabana do Pastor near Muterde, just typical food with the local families just superb. Cabana do Pastor


In this municipality of Cantanhede you have plenty of wine tours with time. The muni page has wine adegas( wineries) to visit in Portuguese. Municipality of Cantanhede on wines

My recommendation the Quinta de Baixo or the farm downunder, part of the Niepoort family ,more here in English: Niepoort Quinta de Baixo wines

Enjoy the ride, it is unmistakable real Portuguese heavens. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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