Archive for July, 2018

July 30, 2018

My New Jersey!

Well, here I am sitting in my desk and thinking. Looking at my blog, I realized not done much writing on my first encounter with freedom, a pity. I will make that up rather quickly by writing in this post about New Jersey. Yes, you got it that State in the United States of America.

I spent my teenagers years there, (total of 13 years) going thru middle school,high school, driving license, and US Citizen as well as my first steps in working life. All many memories to really forget ,never have, a Panther forever!

I will give some history I like, especially, and of course the stories above are from the late 1970’s to early 1980’s. ok

Looking afar and long, now nostalgia sets in. I cannot believe not written more on this dear place of my world’s travel.  This was my introduction to the American way of life, the American dream, and my first touch of Democracy. After running away from left and right wing dictatorships I finally made it with my parents arriving in wonderful New Jersey, USA, the Garden State! As a teenager boy. I think I owe it, Jersey, at least one more blog post here.

As briefly as I can make it ok.  New Jersey  State borders on the west by  Pennsylvania and Delaware, on the north by New York State, and on the south east by the Atlantic Ocean. It’s capital city is the historic Trenton and its biggest city is metropolitan Newark. It is one of the smallest State but one of the most densely populated one as well. Sitting in what we call, the Tri-State area of NJ, NY, and CT(Connecticut) was my area or Central NJ. And I have been all over the State, from playing football/soccer to helping out in my parents small businesses.

The name for the State was given in reference to the Isle of Jersey given in honor of Sir George Carteret, a native of the island and on which these land was given in the 17C. He, is also, name for the city of Carteret near my old home in Middlesex County.  New Jersey is divided into three geographical regions, such as North Jersey, under the influence of New York city ; Central Jersey, my area and we can call it neutral. Then, South Jersey in the valley of the Delaware and near the city of Philadelphia as influences. The State is divided into 21 Counties and 566 towns, last count.

A bit of history I like. In  1630, the territory of New Jersey was populated by the Amerindians Lenape or Delawares. The Dutch settled on the site of present-day city of Jersey City (on the west coast of the Hudson, opposite the tip of the island of Manhattan). These establishments were an integral part of the colony of New Netherland, which also included New Amsterdam, which would become New York after the region was controlled by the British from 1664.

King Charles II of England gave part of the region to his brother (the future James II. The latter distributed the lands between the Hudson and Delaware Rivers to two friends who had remained loyal to him during the Civil War: Sir George de Carteret and Lord John Berkeley of Stratton.  In 1673, Berkeley sold half of New Jersey to the Quakers who made their colony. The province of New jersey was itself divided into two provinces: West Jersey and East jersey (see below on the city of Perth Amboy) , between 1674 and 1702.

In December 1776, the Continental Army led by George Washington crossed the Delaware River and engaged in the Battle of Trenton. On January 3, 1777, the Battle of Princeton was an American victory over the troops of  Lord Charles Cornwallis. During the summer of 1783, the Continental Congress met at Princeton University, which became the country’s capital for four months. It was in this place that the news of the signing of the Treaty of Paris, in 1783 (at Versailles), came to the political leaders. On November 20, 1789, New Jersey was the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights. Finally, slavery was abolished on 15 February 1804.

The State of New Jersey has Indians even if not recognized as such upon my last readings on it; these are the Nanticoke Lenni of Lenape  and the  Nanticokes and Ramapough of Mount Ramapo.   The National Park Service managed 12 parks in New Jersey, of course the Washington-Rochambeau historic trail is dear to me; the Pinelands, Ellis Island,and Crossroads of the American Revolution are good ones too. This webpage tells you: National Parks in New Jersey

More on the history of the State of New Jersey here: Official State of New Jersey on history

And further brief, I lived in Middlesex County, yeah right there. Part of Central Jersey but stuck up near North Jersey and across from New York City.  The capital of the county is New Brunswick, on which, the municipal courthouse I became US Citizen in 1980!. The surrounding counties are Union on the north, Monmouth, on the southeast, Mercer on the southwest, and Somerset on the northwest.

More on the history of the county of Middlesex here: Official Middlesex County on history

And now on the city I lived the first 13 years of my life in the USA.  Perth Amboy  on the mouth of the Raritan river  and goes into the Raritan Bay later joining the Arthur Kill (kill=bay ,old Dutch as first settlers of the area), strait separating  Staten Island NY from the coast of New jersey.  Perth Amboy is known as the “City by the Bay,” referring to Raritan Bay.

A bit of history I like.  Perth Amboy was settled in 1683 by Scottish colonists. It was called “New Perth” after James Drummond, 4th Earl of Perth, and the Lenape Native Americans called the point on which the city lies “Ompoge”; the native name was eventually corrupted and the two names were merged. Perth Amboy was formed by Royal charter in 1718, and the New Jersey Legislature reaffirmed its status in 1784, after independence. The city was a capital of the Province of New Jersey from 1686 to 1776 (see breakdown below).

Perth Amboy borders the Arthur Kill, (and my house was by there looking at NYC Staten Island), and features a historic waterfront. The Perth Amboy Ferry Slip was once an important ferry slip in the area, The Raritan Yacht Club, one of the oldest yacht clubs in the United States, is located in the city.  Perth Amboy is connected to the Staten Island borough of New York City via the Outerbridge Crossing (and I played football/soccer underneath at Rudyk park!!).

In 1684, Perth Amboy became the capital of East Jersey and remained the capital until the union of East and West Jersey in 1702, and became an alternate colonial capital with Burlington until 1776. A few of the buildings from this early period can still be seen today. Most notably, the Proprietary House, the home of William Franklin, the last Royal Governor of New Jersey and estranged son (and traitor of US independence) of Benjamin Franklin (him a patriot of US independence), still stands in the waterfront area of the city. St. Peter’s Church was founded in 1718 by the first Episcopal congregation in the state. Its current building, dating from 1875, is surrounded by a graveyard of early inhabitants and displays a collection of stained-glass windows with religious scenes as well as early depictions of New Jersey receiving her charter and a meeting between William Franklin and his father, Benjamin.  Perth Amboy City Hall, first built as a courthouse in 1714, survived major fires in 1731 and 1764 and is the oldest city hall in continuous use in the United States (yes since 1789). The Kearny Cottage, moved from its original location, is a remaining example of 18C vernacular architecture. Perth Amboy was an important train station for travelers between New York City and Philadelphia, as it was the site of a ferry that crossed the Arthur Kill to Tottenville, Staten Island. Regular service began in 1709. This ferry became less important when the Outerbridge Crossing opened in 1928, but continued to operate until 1963. In 1998, the Perth Amboy Ferry Slip was restored to its 1904 appearance. A replica of the ticket office has been constructed and is used as a small museum.

Local attractions include the Perth Amboy Ferry Slip, two small museums, an art gallery, a yacht club, and a marina. Near the marina lies a park with a small bandshell. On Sunday afternoons in the summertime, Perth Amboy hosts the Concerts by the Bay in the park’s bandshell.

The Outerbridge Crossing, which opened to traffic in 1928, is a cantilever bridge over the Arthur Kill that connects Perth Amboy with Staten Island, NYC. Known locally as the “Outerbridge”, it is part of a popular route on NY-440 / NJ-440 from the south and west to New York City and Long Island. Despite the assumption that the name is derived from its location as the southernmost bridge in New York State and Staten Island, the Outerbridge Crossing was named in honor of Eugenius H. Outerbridge, first Chairman of the Port Authority. The bridge clears the channel by 143 ft (44 m), providing passage for some of the largest ships entering the Port of New York and New Jersey.

The Victory Bridge carries Route 35 over the Raritan River, connecting Perth Amboy on the north with the borough of Sayreville to the south, and onwards to the Jersey Shore beaches.  Now renovated twin bridges, each carrying two lanes of traffic, an outside shoulder and a bike lane. The city has NJ Transit train service at Perth Amboy station. The station provides service on the North Jersey Coast Line to Newark Penn Station, Hoboken Terminal, Secaucus Junction, New York Penn Station and the Jersey Shore.  NJ Transit buses serve the Port Authority Bus Terminal on the 116 route, Elizabeth on the 48 line, with local service available on the 813, 815, and 817 bus routes on last reading.

Perth Amboy High School (or PAHS)( the Panthers!!!)  is a four-year comprehensive community public high school which serves students in ninth through twelfth grades.  The current Perth Amboy High School was built in 1971, to replace an earlier building that opened in 1881.  And this older building that opened in 1881 was my Middle School name William C McGinnis before going into the High School! The PAHS webpage: Perth Amboy Public Schools on the High School

More on the history of Perth Amboy here: Official city of Perth Amboy on history

Now, there you go, a brief to the point talk about a wonderful State of New Jersey, Middlesex County, and city of Perth Amboy. Humble beginnings from scratch, the best immigrant way, and proud of it. More proud of my parents who show me the way, the good way. Theses places will always remain in my heart and soul no matter the years gone by,and wherever in the hole of the Earth I will be living. Now living in France as French by the way ::)

And , as always I tell you, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

July 27, 2018

Some news from Spain LXIIII

So its time for my beloved Spain and the latest finds and news. There is always a happening there ,especially in Summer time when all of Europe goes south (well most of it).  Spain is everything under the Sun!

We are cloudy cool fresh air in my neck of the woods at 25C but in Paris it is 36C lol! My beloved Madrid is sunny at 90F or about 32C.

How to travel the cities without a car?  Very big indeed and Spain is great for it. The getaways are part of the essence of the summer, but what about the car? If this year you go from picking it up the best thing is that you choose an easy to walk in many destination. In Spain many cities have invested in the last few years in improving their pedestrian connections, something that benefits their neighbors but what can also take advantage of tourists.  In addition to having the opportunity to immerse yourselves  in the heart of cities without unnecessary hassles or noise, walking through urban centers on foot helps reduce pollution in cities by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases and improving Air quality.

According to a study conducted by Holidu in which we analyze the kilometers of pedestrian roads that have each Spanish city, the best city in Spain to visit on foot is Granada, which has 91 kilometers, but in the ranking also enter Vitoria-Gasteiz, or Valencia.  Besides the Alhambra and all its treasures Granada also keeps the largest pedestrian area in the country in proportion to its size. This Andalusian city has 21% of its pedestrian-only use streets. In fact, in the center of the city is restricted the road traffic, so you visit on foot the area where the cathedral is located, the royal chapel or the monastery of San Jerónimo is very comfortable.

With 70 km  of pedestrian streets, the capital of Alava, Vitoria-Gasteiz, has 19% of its urban fabric pedestrianized. Thus, the city represents a favorable environment for the pedestrian . In the old town, where you will find most of the converted into pedestrian area, you can walk around enjoying the abundant samples of architecture of the 15th century, squares such as the Virgen Blanca or visit the Renaissance palaces of Bendaña and Escoriaza-Esquivel.

The count goes on to  Valencia, where there are 136 pedestrian km  19 % of the total urban fabric. There have increased considerably the pedestrian streets in recent years, as the city opted for reducing pollution by applying measures such as the restriction of road traffic in some areas. In Valencia you can enjoy strolling in the neighborhoods like El Carmen, one of the largest medieval neighborhoods in Europe as well as historic buildings of the city such as the silk market, the colorful Central markets of Valencia, or the squares of the Reina (Queen) and the Virgin(Virgen).

The Bizkaia capital is in it too,  Bilbao has 44 km pedestrian  that translate into 18% of its urban fabric. There you can visit on foot the old town, where to enjoy the mixture of the most traditional places of the city with the most innovative and make a stop at the Teatro Arriaga, the Plaza Nueva or the Church of San Antón.

Salamanca is surprising there too . The most University City in Spain has 17% of its urban fabric pedestrianized. There visitors can not miss the square of the town hall, considered one of the most beautiful in the country, the cathedral and the university, which this year celebrates its 800 anniversary and where it is obliged to look for the frog.

Cuenca (indeed we did a lot of walking), the city of the hanging houses has 23 km. This means that 15% of its streets only allow pedestrians. There, in addition to the famous houses you can also visit the main square, the cathedral or the ruins of your castle. There, in addition to the famous houses you can also visit the main square, the cathedral or the ruins of your castle. Cuenca (Castilla-La Mancha, Spain), the famous houses hung, UNESCO World Heritage Site Cuenca (Castilla-La Mancha, Spain), the famous houses hung, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Sevilla the Andalusian capital has 102 pedestrian km, 15% of the total urban fabric. There you can find pedestrian areas in the well-known neighborhoods of Triana, Los Remedios and in the center of the city. Besides the Giralda and the Plaza de España, in Seville it is also essential to visit  Calle Sierpes, full of traditional shops or Calle Feria, where a large number of artisans are concentrated.

Without leaving Andalusia we encountered Huelva. There the pedestrian area is 13% of the urban area where you can enjoy a visit to the Plaza de las Monjas, in the center of the city, a walk through the Gran via or the Herrera style architecture of its city/town hall or the Cathedral of the Mercy.

The city  with 13% of its pedestrian urban fabric. With 110 km of pedestrian roads, including those on Calle de Petritxol, in the Gothic quarter, the first pedestrian street in Barcelona, where traffic was banned in 1959 or the well-known streets of Enric Granados, full of shops and bars or workshops , where the medieval charm goes from the command of the most original shops. Can’t wait to be back in October on foot!

In Toledo there are 37 km. This implies that the Castilian-manchego capital has 13% of its network of Pedestrian  streets. Most of it is in the old town, where visitors can feel like medieval times. In Toledo it is essential to visit the Cathedral of the city, the Alcazar, the monastery of San Juan de los Reyes or the Church of Santa Maria La Blanca.

The main entrances to the national park are by Cantabria through Potes  and Fuente Dé; In Asturias by Cangas de Onís and Arenas de Cabrales, and in the case of León, by Valdeón. The Picos de Europa National Park celebrates its one hundred years as the first natural protected area of Spain. You will want to go up to one of the most spectacular landscapes in Spain. The road  from  June 1st  and until the September  30, the route closes to the private vehicles. For environmental reasons you can only hop on the regular bus.

It was encouraged to do this park by Pedro Begl, Marquis of Villaviciosa, an advance  men of the time that, worried by the disappearance of the favorite sites  of hunting that lived there, but also in love to the head of its landscapes, undertook  a crusade that culminated in 1918 with the declaration of the National Park of the mountain of Covadonga, later, of the Picos de Europa.  A century ago, the peaks were very different. Apart from the locals, I only knew these mountains a handful of madmen. Tourists and pilgrims who today crowd on the stairs that access the Holy Grotto are oblivious to that.

The route of the Reconquista recalls the flight of the Saracens defeated by Rodrigo (El Cid) . Three  days of walking along the northern facade of Picos to Sotres. There begins another of the most famous paths, which goes up to the Naranjo de Bulnes. On the outskirts of Potes, the monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana has concluded a couple of months ago its particular Holy Year. Thousands of people have passed through the Lignum Crucis, the largest preserved piece of the Cross where Christ died. Liébana is another access to Picos. Thanks to Fuente de Dé cable car, you go  in the heart of this mineral world on a flight of just a few minutes .  More info here : Parque Nacional Picos de Europa

Life in Santander walks the opening of the Centro Botin  has placed it  better on the map. Because it has always been there, bragging about Bahia, although many times  has lived with his back to sea, and wanting to show the  best face. The private art Center  is located on the Albareda pier in the gardens of Pereda. Imposing and light on par, it is articulated in two volumes connected to each other by a structure of squares and footbridges. The building does not touch Earth, is suspended on pillars and columns at the height of the treetops. The light fills every instance and offers unbeatable views of the bay. Until September 2, you can visit the exhibition Joan Miró: Sculptures 1928-1982. Do not stop browsing  while shopping,  and if you fancy a coffee, sit in the cafeteria, it is very nice.

There is a boat service that makes panoramic visits of one hour in the bay. Heading to the beach of El Sardinero, next to the maritime Club, is the monument to the Raqueros, some statues by the sea reminiscent of children with few resources that, in the late 19C  and early  20C, were looking for life by the port. With small thefts and recovering from the water the coins that were thrown by the crew and the people, they survived in the area. The Magdalena Peninsula, which you can walk on foot or in a Trenecillo (carriage train). From its beach you can see the islands of the tower (Islas de la Torre), where there is a sailing school, and the Horadada, a rocky arch that emerges from the waters. The summer residence of  king Alfonso XIII has even a free public minizoo in which seals, sea lions and penguins inhabit. Once upstairs, take two minutes to sit on the bench that looks out over the island of Mouro.  We reached the beach of the Biquinis (bikinis) , they count by the loudspeaker of the boat, which owes its name to the foreign students who wore this garment in the 60’s. They were the first bikinis that were seen in Spain! The most beloved of the beaches of the city may be that of the Sardinero-in fact it is two beaches-, of fine sand and with a promenade that is enjoyed at any time of the year. Your casino will remind you at the time of Biarritz. If the water is too cold, enjoy contemplating the skill of the surfers who come here.

Also animated area to find table and resto service  are the streets Of Hernán Cortés, Peña Grassy or the taverns of Paseo de Pereda. The bar of the restaurant El Puerto is a bustle at the time of the appetizer. The tour can be accompanied by an artisan gelato; Regma-There are locals all over the city-and Capri is an institution. Wondering will discover Pombo’s Square, where the café of the same name invites you to enter and take a break, and the Plaza arcaded (Porticada) . If you have see if around in the great bookstore Gil, maybe it’s time to start a good novel.  The Renfe Alvia connects Santander with Madrid from 30 euros. In the tourism web of Cantabria find more info: Tourism Santander

In this small town of Empordà you can play everything to blackjack. Or dine in a Michelin-starred restaurant. Or wield the golf clubs. The visitor also comes for a four-handed massage with grape pips. You can even walk among vineyards, take refuge in the tranquility of a medieval cloister or contemplate one of the oldest editions of Don Quixote.  Peralada, 15 minutes from Figueras ‘ AVE station, is a place with many  edges. And with a long history at the Castell, installed in a Carmelite convent from the 14C. A castle that from 1923 belongs to the family Suqué-Mateu and in whose gardens is celebrated for more than three decades the music festival with the most glamour of the Costa Brava. For this scenario have paraded many of the great voices of  music : From Plácido Domingo to Ermonela Jaho and Javier Camarena to Jonas Kaufmann.

The guided tour begins in the cloister and church of the 14C. We see cannons of the 15C of the defense of the castle of Púbol and rare ossuaries; Rubens tapestries and Romanesque capitals of the master of Cabestany. Among the 2,500 pieces of glass-one of the best private collections in the world-we find an Egyptian piece from the time of Tutankhamun.   A whole cabinet of wonders. During the Civil War, the museum housed hundreds of works of the Prado that were here before continuing on its way to Geneva. At  this point, under the library, thework of Goya’s Mamalukes was restored. He had to mend a scratch and used a piece of a butler’s grandmother’s nightwear.   The family wanted to recover the wine tradition of the castle from the moment Miguel Mateu acquired it in 1923. Today it has 150 hectares of vineyards. And is already underway the construction of the new winery in charge of the architecture studio RCR, which last year won  the prize Pritzker. It will be a sustainable winery (with 40 percent of geothermal energy) and fully integrated into the environment . The fast train  AVE (www. renfe . com) connects Madrid and Barcelona to Figueras, 15 minutes by car from Peralada.  More info here: Tourism Empordà

The trip or the Xacobea route of the Arousa  Sea is the way by sea. From the Ría de Arousa to the Plaza del Obradoio, passing through Rianxo and the Church of Santiago de Padrón  .Already in the 1960’s, the foundation route Xacobea of the Sea of Arousa-Río Ulla rescued the tradition of this fluvial sea crossing , has only been in recent years when it has become popular, to the enormous interest that produces the way and the desire of many pilgrims to do so again in a different way.

The sources of this tradition are found in the Codex Calixtinus, this unusual travel book written in the 12C that has inspired countless generations of pilgrims to follow the Milky Way of Finis Terrae.  We are told that the body of the Apostle Santiago was moved by sea from the Palestinian coast to Galicia in a stone boat, to finally be buried in Mount Libredón, in the current Compostela. To this end, the maritime itinerary followed by its disciples, Teodoro and Athanasius, brings us closer to the sepulcher through the Ría de Arousa, taking land in the Roman river port of Iria Flavia the ideal would be to find a friend, even a friend of a friend , with a boat in the area that is willing to join the adventure. or to hire the services of a specialized company like Bluscus that adapts to any requirement. The starting point, if you want to be rigorous, should be located either in San Vicente de o Grove, or in the port of Aguiño in Ribeira. From there and following the coast to the north is mandatory to make a series of stops in places as charismatic as a Pobra do Caramiñal, one of the best preserved villas with a rich historical-artistic heritage. Not forgetting Boiro, or the port shellfish of Cabo de Cruz and then approaching Rianxo.  You can also take advantage of visiting Sálvora, one of the two islands of the National Park of the Atlantic Islands with which  will meet on this route.

Another of the highlights of the sea route is Cambados, without doubt one of the most beautiful towns of the Rias Baixas where you can take advantage to try a good Alvariño  (white wine) after touring its old town. Following the route through the heart of the Rias Baixas is reached the Illa de Arousa that for centuries belonged to the Episcopate Compostela before ending together with the mainland, at the height of Vilanova, where ends the second stage of the spiritual variant of the  Camino Portugués or Portuguese way.   On the way you can Cortegada the island, another of the jewels of the National Park of the Atlantic Islands, is passed in front of the romantic towers of West, remains of the old fortress of Catoira, before entering, already at the mouth of the river Ulla , in the Brañas of Laiño, a protected humid area, the boats now cannot get there, ending their voyage in Puentecesures. After visiting  Rosalía’s house museum but also the Camilo José Cela Foundation, it is time to gain  momentum  when approaching the Church of Santiago de Padrón where the Pedrón is located, under its main altar where, it is said, docked the stone boat that brought  Santiago (St James).

For those who follow the spiritual variant and want to reach  Compostela, there is still a stage to Santiago that allows you to know Faramello, one of the most moving  pazos in Galicia. It is open to the public and if you are lucky, you can agree with one of the guided tours that makes the magnificent property and its surroundings, from there, in just two and a half hours you can walk to the Plaza del Obradoiro and enjoy the restored  gate of The glory (Puerta de la Gloria). Bluscus is specialized in personalized itineraries.   Alvarnnaútica and the Pilgrim’s Boat have regular services. More information: Tourism Galicia way of Santiago

Some ideas for the Summer in my beloved Spain, so many really. It can take a lifetime, I know lived there since a young child and continuesly visit throughout my life ,still lots to see and do in my beloved Spain. And all thanks to wonderful grandparents from Tenerife!

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

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July 26, 2018

Simply other Passages of Paris!

As I sit in my window looking out a hot breezy summer day in the Morbihan breton, I can’t help thinking of my walks in Paris. As said, Paris is an outdoor living museum, like no other, and by far the most beautiful city in the World. I did and do a lot of walking in Paris, if need to take the bus above ground Paris is glorious.

Some of these walks made me realize further the beauty of the city, in its history, architectures and facts. One of these pleasant walks took me to see two passages or covered walkways of Paris seldom seen and full of charm. I like to tell you about them now.

The Passage du Bourg-l’Abbé  with a length of 43 meters allows to pass from 120, rue Saint-Denis to 3, Rue de  Palestro, originally  extended until the passage de l’Ancre, but it was notched by the piercing of the boulevard de Sébastopol.  It was built in 1828 ,and the mezzanine retains original ornaments, the entrance to the side of the Rue de Palestro, designed by the architect Henri Blondel in 1863,, also architect of the Bourse de Commerce (trade exchange house) . Henri Blondel will come back in 1889 on the Rue de Palestro for a house built  at 15 rue du Louvre , but will give more scope to its composition by doubling the entrance arcade and accompanying the opening of powerful figures of Atlantis’s.   The Cariatides, sculpted by Aimé Millet, in 1863 author of the Grand Apollon of the Opéra Garnier are allegories of trade and industry, symbolized respectively by the anchor, attribute of the Merchant Navy, and by Machines parts.  The nooks of it is filled with a beehive, emblem of economic activity.

Paris Paris

It is located at 120, rue Saint-Denis – 3, Rue Palestro, with access on Metro: Etienne Marcel ,line 4 and Bus 29 arrêt/stop Etienne Marcel.  Open from Monday to Saturday from 7h30 to 19h30. It bears the name of a village called “Le Bourg l’abbé”, which bore this name because it depended on the abbot of St. Martin.

It has little activity today and hardly ever notice not even in the Paris tourist office lineup, however, it is very nice historical piece of covered passageways in Paris and will do good to stop by passing by here.

In 1825, the House of the Taxi of the Grand Cerf, which was the terminus of the Royal Couriers, was demolished. The opening date of the passage remains unclear. It was probably opened in 1835. The style of the canopy is however of a later period. The history of the Passage du Grand Cerf is closely linked to the history of the neighborhood ( quartier)  Saint-Denis which was in 1830 the most popular and industrious of Paris where there were small factories and workshops.  Its height, 11.80 meters, the highest in Paris, and a lenght of 113 meters was the most important of all the Parisian passages. It’s partially metallic structure allowed building two levels of fully glass facade. The house only starts from the third floor. Thus, it was said that this Passage was more intended for production and handicrafts than for the luxury and sale of its products. In 1862, it was bequeathed to Public Assistance. A gradual disaffection interfered with its maintenance. Abandoned for many years, the Passage of the Grand Cerf was rehabilitated in 1990. It is today one of the most attractive passages in Paris. The “fleas” market of contemporary furniture are held twice a year.

The passage of the Grand Cerf, connects the 145, rue de Saint Denis to 8, rue Dussoubs, in the 2éme arrondissement of Paris, in the neighborhood or quartier of Bonne-Nouvelle. The name of the passage refers to the old sign of a hotel. The passage is open in 1825 on the site of the Grand Cerf Hotel. This hotel, which belonged to the Hospices administration, is also across the passage of the Bourg-l’Abbé which faces it, in rue Saint-Denis, was inaugurated in April 1828 and ,however, a guide dated 1831 indicates that the passage of the Grand-Cerf is still under construction…  The current architecture of the passage makes it rather go back to the year 1845 than 1825. This is actually the year where this passage was covered by a large canopy. The use of metal structures made it possible to situate it at a high height and thus to raised large glass surfaces in height, at the level of the interior facades of the shops.

The passage was built on the location of the Terminus house of the Grand Cerf where the Royal stagecoaches brought the courier destined for the east of France. The decoration is in neoclassical style, the metal walkways and the woodwork showcases bring a chic and sober side, two floors of skylights illuminate the passage. The shops of the passage of the Grand Cerf are mainly those of designers and creators (jewelers, furniture.etc..). It was necessary to invest to maintain it and finally the Public Assistance plans to sell it. After failure to sell it , it was finally sold in 1985. This allowed to restore it and rebuild it identically.

Paris Paris

A sequence of the film by Louis Malle ,Zazie  dans le Métro (in the metro/subway/tube ) was shot in 1960 in the passage.  Anne Français (1909-1995), painter, lived at 4, passage du Grand-Cerf. The birthplace of the French politician, Léon Blum is located next to the passage, at number 151, formerly number 243. An episode of the series Les Cinq Derniére Minutes (the last five minutes), with Jacques Debary, was shot in the passage du Grand Cerf.  The TV show Un Coeur sur Mesure ( a custom-made heart), is first broadcast  on 25 July 1981. The crime takes place in a tailor shop located in the gallery.

It is located at  145, rue Saint-Denis – 8, rue Dussoubs with access on Metro Etienne Marcel line 4 or Bus  29, arrêt/stop Etienne Marcel.

A more popular and active passage, with a reference in the Paris tourist office. Info here: Passage du Grand Cerf

And there it goes folks, another trivia walking tour of Paris. And some interesting nice building passageways as well. Not far from the Palais Brongniart, post written earlier in my blog.

Hope it helps your curiosity. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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July 23, 2018

Some news from France CXCVI

On a nice sunny breezy Monday I come back to you for the latest news gossips and whatnots of my belle France and especially gorgeous Paris.  The temp in my neck of the woods is 26C or about 78F and in Paris hotter at 87F no rain in sight !

It is becoming hotter and when you still need to work sad; folks asked me aren’t you at the beach, well I live here work here and not on vacation yet ok. It seems to me friends and family thinks that by living here we are on an eternal vacation time lol!

Anyway ,enough of my ramblings; here are the news.

Update:  More beautiful. Bigger. Enthroned in the heart of a garden facing the Museum of Modern Art, the Palais Galliera, which houses the Fashion Museum of the city of Paris, closed its doors last week. Objective: To make a new metamorphosis by doubling the area of its exhibition spaces thanks to the exploitation of the reserves. To develop new spaces in vaulted cellars in red bricks with a total area of nearly 700 m2. The new galleries will bear the name of Gabrielle-Chanel. Parisians and tourists will have to wait until December 2019 to discover the new face of the Galliera Palace which will become the only permanent Museum of fashion in France. More here: Palais Galliera

Just read in our nice little Parisian newspaper appropiatly call Le Parisien, that we will be for a long haul in parkings in Paris. At least as long as we have the immigrant from Cadiz in the Mayor’s office of Paris lol!  This is their reporting:  So far they were only used to park your good old car gas/petrol or diesel. Tomorrow, they will also be used to recharge your electric vehicle, to borrow or rent other cars, to park bikes or scooters, or even to… harvest mushrooms , this is in the underground parkings of Paris! The idea is  to equip with charging stations thousands of parking spaces. The objective of the city is to reach about 30% of the places equipped with terminals. A considerable upheaval when we know that Indigo(system)  currently has only 113 terminals on more than 57 000 spaces or… 0.2%;  diesel cars will indeed be banned in the capital in 2024 and it will take alternatives , well mine is due to be change in 2020 lol!!!.  The city of Paris plans to promote the parking of the two wheels underground (that is motos, scooters, bikes). According to our information, a “Multipark” pass will be proposed by the end of 2018. It will allow scooters and motorcycles to go down to park in any underground parking, from different operators, for about 70€  per month (50€ subscription for parking, plus 20€ to enjoy 4 hours of parking per day in other parks , without reservation). For secure car parks for bicycles, with offers of subscriptions around 10€ per month. In addition, with the failure of Autolib (car system similar to velib for bikes), new car-parting services are being deployed, and the underground parking lots will also have to be reserved for some places. The Saemes (parking group) thinks, for one of its next car parks, to create an urban farm on a level. The underground car park has little light and a constant temperature, which is an advantage for growing mushrooms or endive!! With all these new services, how to park your car “normal” like today? The city/town  hall of Paris is not worried. They claim the number of cars is dropping, and at the same time, the number of road places increases with the parking reform. they are at 12% of the “vacuum rate” in open spaces, the city is being assured. Source: Le Parisien

And more work… During the work, the trains circulate and the station is open! The RER A station has, at Vincennes, major restructuring work which will take place there for three years, until 2021 ,of course for the comfort of the passengers, namely the creation of a public bathroom, a bicycle set-up Véligo along the passenger building, rue Aubert, the improvement of accessibility for people with cognitive disabilities and the creation of an opening on the place Pierre-Sémard. The press kiosk will disappeared in the works, the city plans to install a newsstand on the place Sémard.  The extension of the passenger building on the place Pierre-Sémard, but also the expansion of the two secondary accesses located on Rue de la République, the complete renovation of the quays and, in the end, the main access will be by place Pierre-Sémard, facing the Rue du aprés-midi and not by Rue Aubert. As far as the pedestrian pathway is concerned, the signs have just been laid. A crosswalk, marked in yellow, was created to reach the north sidewalk of rue Aubert, so as to avoid walking on the roadway and to cross safely across the entrance to the station. More in French here: city of Vincennes on RER A works

The Butte aux Cailles, an authentic little village hidden behind the Place d’Italie(13C). In the enclosure of the butte by an open passage on the Boulevard Auguste-Blanqui. First, the inescapable historical reminders, like the worker’s past of the small enclave built on quarries. Here were turning factories and small shops of old trades thanks to the water of the river Bièvre (now buried ,you can walk on top at rue de Biévre near St Germain-des-Prés). It was in 1860 that the former Hill of 62 m in height, once attached to the nearby town of Gentilly, incorporates  into the City of Paris,  before playing an important role in the battle of the Commune of Paris, in 1871. In the previous century, it was also there that landed in 1783 the famous first balloon flight of Pilâtre de Rozier. Street art artists love to express themselves on the walls of these places. We pass the famous Rue des Cinq-diamants, or the cute place Paul-Verlaine has us the facades of the charming little Alsace, this set of half-timbered houses that once housed workers.  Next  photo Stroll call the  “quails and scoundrels” of Atypic’Photo will be July 29. Price:39€ (and 16€ for accompanying persons without a camera). Registration at A Typic Photo

Goodbye, Marks & Spencer. Long live the Galeries Lafayette. The department store will set up in the Beaugrenelle Shopping Centre (15éme) in the second half of 2019 in lieu of the British store specializing in ready-to-wear and food . While waiting for the opening of the future store, Parisians and visitors can discover the new store of 52 Avenue des Champs-Elysées (8éme) which should open its doors in March 2019.  Stay tune here: Galeries Lafayette

And my nostalgic beautiful Yvelines dept 78 , we have good news.    The mansion in which Georges Bizet composed and orchestrated “Carmen” was awarded the “heritage of regional interest” label. A new step in relaunching the site. This heritage of regional interest label is a label that covers the unprotected regional heritage of which “heritage value is a regional interest”. 30 sites in Île-de-France region  received this label: the house where Georges Bizet is the only one in the Yvelines. This boost allows the city of Bougival to advance on its great project of European Music Center on this site. It will be distributed in several places. First of all, Bizet’s house, which will host an artist’s residence, and the “Espace Carmen”, in which excerpts from the opera are broadcast in conference rooms. Also located in Bougival, Villa Viardot, which belonged to the soprano Pauline Viardot, will be part of the project. In ruins, it must, above all, benefit from important restoration work. This is a great effort and here are the other sites as well in French: Heritage sites of regional interest Ile de France

The Promenade des petits ponts,(walks of small bridges) in Chevreuse, is certainly the most romantic place in the Yvelines, Ile-de-France region. Imagine a trail along a canal that spans about twenty flowering walkways, not two alike. Beautiful stone houses and antiques. More vivid testimony of this story: The Château de la Madeleine, and its 12C dungeon, perched on a mound of land offering an incomparable view of the city. Chevreuse, it is also a city very quickly turned on water, with the Yvette river crossing it, and its canal not far from the beautiful Church of Saint Martin, the Place des Halles recalls the large wheat market, one of the largest in Ile-de-France which stood there until the French Revolution. The city has also seen many personalities: the beautiful Marie de Rohan, Duchess of Chevreuse to the many lovers, the sulphurous poet and revolutionaries Fabre of Eglantine, or the playwright Jean Racine. Chevreuse,  guided visits contact  email:  charonmi@wanadoo.fr.  More information on  Memories of the Chevreuse

Since the death in 1975 of Baron Guy-François de Roig, the last owner of the premises, the Château de Jossigny had only opened its doors on rare occasions. It is therefore an exceptional visit of this 18C castle that the Heritage Festival of Seine-et-Marne (dept 77) proposed in recent days the 35th Heritage Days scheduled on 15 and 16 September 2018. For this reopening to the public, several rooms on the ground floor of the building were refurnished the “bean” sofas, closed to the public due to the collapse of the floors, thus took place in the alcoves of the Grand Salon, under the portraits of the castle’s sponsors, Augustin Leconte des Gravels and his wife Marie-Anne de Bragelongne. The vestibule, the gentleman’s Lounge, the dining room and the kitchen are also filled with precious testimonies of the life of a pleasure house, partly destroyed by the Prussian occupation in 1870. More here: Official site of the Chateau de Jossigny

Another great event at Chantilly is back!   On track. Warm lights, Oriental music… The horses and their riders follow each other in the great stables which will propose from this Wednesday the show “On the steps of Marco Polo”. Rehearsal started. For an hour, we witnessed the travels and meetings of the Italian merchant, first embodied by Moroccan rider Ibrahim Chihi. Eight riders accompany him from Wednesday to August 26th, at 14h30 (2:30pm), at the grand stables or Grandes Ecuries de Chantilly. admission 21€ adults. Information at tel +33 (0) 3.44.27.31.80. More here: Domaine de Chantilly events

A dandy with new chef, admit been here on business lunch ,but the mounting of the top is great with wonderful views of Paris. Set on the roof of the Théatre des Champs-Elysées Theater in the 8th arrondissement, with its dining room and two terraces, each offering a sumptuous view of the capital, the Maison Blanche (white house) is one of the mythical places. The new chef is Fabrice Giraud, has nothing to envy  the previous ones. The light for lunch niçoise salad that has blown me away by the freshness of its ingredients and the tart-fruity balance of the seasoning. See it at the La Maison Blanche,15, avenue Montaigne, 8éme. Tél.+33 ( 0) 1 47 23 55 99. Formules lunch two dishes at 49€, three dishes at 59€.  Menu carte about 100-120€ with a half bottle of wine per person. More info here: Restaurant La Maison Blanche

Summer in Paris is without concession. Pushing us to look for the trenches. And we find this small square lined with roses with eternal flowers, protected by the Hotel du Grand Veneur, historical building reminiscent of the petticoats and corsets before the take of the Bastille. Great for a late afternoon picnic and escape the heat of Paris.  square Saint-Gilles du Grand Veneur 9, rue du Grand-Veneur, 3éme. Bring your baguette et voilà. More info here: Tourist office of Paris

And last but not least, we have away from Paris in beautiful historical stunning Rouen.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), the Museum of Fine Arts of Rouen in partnership with the Centre Pompidou and the  Metropolitan Museums,  presents an important exhibition devoted to his work, Until September 24th, 2018. Entitled “ABCDuchamp: the Expo to understand Marcel Duchamp”. It proposes a course in the form of an ABC to better understand the magnitude of his work, its impact on the artistic scene of the time and its influence on the different currents of Contemporary art and current creation.  Such work as the ready made and iconic fountain that created a veritable shockwave in 1917 in the art community. Nice.  More in French here: Musee des Beaux-Arts de Rouen

There you go for now folks, that’s is all … Stay tune as France is a movable feast ::)

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

July 17, 2018

Some news from France CXCV

Back starting the week and already cooler weather with a nice breeze in my neck of the woods , the Morbihan Breton.  and Temps are 22C or about 72F  with periods of cloudy to semi cloudy skies. Inland Paris is at 77F or 25C but cloudy too.

Let me bring you up to the news of my belle France.

By now you should know, France is the World Champion in football/soccer ,yes! A very young rich team won it with great team spirit and minimum ball possession a change from past winners. As their glorious elders-among whom was the coach Didier nDeschamps-, they descended the emblematic Avenue des Champs-Elysées on an imperial bus in front of about 300,000 people, according to a Police source. Overflow by the French patrol air acrobatic team, the itinerary had been marked with barriers to contain the impressive crowd coming to cheer its Champions, winners on the eve of Croatia (4-2) at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.  French Football Federation or FFF in French : https://www.fff.fr/?home

Another great , this time French institution, the Tour de France continues its rounds around the country (see my previous post on this years tour in my blog).   It will be going by Croix-Fry, Glières, Romme,  and Colombière as the tour tackles the first Alpine passes on today, in the 10th stage between Annecy and Le Grand-Bornand (158.5 km). Departure from Annecy at 13h15 (actual departure in 13h35), arrival at Grand-Bornand towards 17h57 (forecast at 36 km/h average). More here: . https://www.letour.fr/en/stage-10

The ranking so far : https://www.letour.fr/en/rankings

Some bubblies to entice your summer, anywhere but better in France.  Of course, as always these are only my personal choices, no prices is needed…..It’s Champagne!

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte 2008 , this is a great vintage. This champagne is nervous with its pinot noir base. Chardonnay brings the elegance of white flowers and honey in a balanced field. The miller comes to complete the whole with a sweet fruity.

Champagne Veuve Clicquot Rosé , this is unique by adding red wine to its white wine to obtain a rosy colour and an affirmed structure. Madame Clicquot was still ahead of her time when she created it. If a word had to define it, it would be gluttony. It was born to arouse pleasure with a fleshy mouth dominated by red fruits and brioche.

Champagne Gosset  Grand Blancs de Blancs it has a clean style that it owes in part to the fact never to carry out, during the elaboration of the wines, malolactic fermentation. The wines are therefore always more acidic and keep well. The nose of this 100% Chardonnay is floral. Its flowers exude a sweet scent lemon worthy of those found in Sicily with, in their flesh, bursts of honey. In the mouth, vivacity dominates without obscuring delicacy.

Champagne Moët & Chandon Ice Imperial  this one ,thus comes out of its codes to be consumed with ice cubes, fresh, in a large glass with why not citrus zests. It’s very aromatic. Let’s go. And it’s so good!

Champagne Ruinart Rosé Chardonnay, one of the three main grape varieties of champagne with Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier, is his spine. For this rosé, the cellar chief has added Pinot noir. The wine has energy with a wide aromatic palette dominated by red berries and spices. In the mouth, the bubble is lively, the matter greedy on a final dominated by the freshness of the grapefruit.

Champagne Counts of Champagne Taittinger Rosé 2005 It is one of those rare vials where fullness has settled almost naturally over time. This champagne is now coming to its perfect maturity with its aromas of wood strawberries. In the mouth, it is a remarkable balance. We are hypnotized, glass after glass, by its crunchy, its measured gluttony while developing a remarkable acidity.

Champagne Laurent-Perrier, Grand Siécle  this prestige bottle, made up of an assemblage of Chardonnay (55%) and Pinot Noir (45%), is the fruit of three exceptional vintages. It is for this reason that the concept of vintage, dear to all the iconic bottles, is not on the label. This champagne has intensity and delicacy. It offers notes of citrus fruits, brioches and even Acacia honey. In the mouth, it is straight with a balanced mouth touch. Do not serve it too cold because it would not express all its qualities.

Champagne Mumm RSRV Blancs de Blancs 2012 , exclusively chardonnay, come from a single grape harvest. It’s a reflection at some point. This photograph projects in the palate notes of white flowers, citrus fruits with a hint of orange blossom. The mouth is lively but without aggression. The floral mixes with Acacia honey for a thirst-quenching finale.

Enjoy it fully from now is great, Champagne. Salut!

Another Paris innovation and where else!  Take a nap or sleep at the museum every day at 14h, the Museum Quay Branly-Jacques Chirac makes an appointment to the lazy, sleepers and other strollers for an unusual moment of pause: In the calm in its garden, sunbeds and parasols invite you to an hour of sleep . Through the sound backgrounds of the museum’s collections. Tuesday to Sunday.  More on the museum here:  http://www.quaibranly.fr/en/

A wonderful gorgeous event in my area near me at Lorient. A must to see.  The Inter Celtic Festival of Lorient touches all forms of music from the Celtic countries, but also cinema, visual arts, dance, history, literature… Its 48th edition will take place from August 3 to 12, 2018. In the course of the editions the concept of “intercelticism” has been imposed with the promotion of a single region, but of all the nations of the establishment of the Celtic populations throughout history. Artists from Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, Australia and even northern Spain were invited to participate in the festivities. Wales as a guest of honor this year. This great event mixes millennial songs, rock, folk, jazz and symphonic works. It even tends to transcend disciplines by including in its programming creations of dance, cinema, visual arts, literature.. The kickoff will be given by the Grand Parade, broadcast on France 3 TV. The 2018 edition will display a selection of artists handpicked. The program with date , site, and performer is below:

Friday  3 August  : – Port de Peche Keroman : COTRIADE / NORDET ;- Salle Carnot : DUO L’HARIDON / NEDELEC / RUZ REOR ;Saturday 4 August   – Palais des Congrès : PEPE VAAMONDE / THE MURPHY SISTERS ;- Quai de la Bretagne : RONAN PELLEN / ANNIE EBREL / SPONTUS / SKOLVAN / E LEIZH ; – Stade du Moustoir : NEW ROSS PIPE BAND ;- Théâtre de Lorient : CALAN / ROBIN HUW BOWEN / ALAW ; Espace Marine : LE VENT DU NORD / DE TEMPS ANTAN / VISHTEN ;  Sunday  5 August  : – Espace Marine : EOSTIGED AR STANGALA / KERLENN PONDI / YANN TIERSEN ; – Théâtre de Lorient : ALAIN GENTY ; – Quai de la Bretagne : KEJAJ ;  Monday 6 August: – Espace Marine : BAGAD DE LORIENT / MABON / CALAN / ALAW ;  – Théâtre de Lorient : GILLES SERVAT ; – Quai de la Bretagne : STARTIJENN / NOON / THE MURPHY SISTERS ;Tuesday  7 August  : – Théâtre de Lorient : JACKY MOLARD / TEJEDOR ; – Palais des Congrès : KIEZ AR BED ;- Eglise Saint Louis : ROBIN HUW BOWEN ;- Quai de la Bretagne : LES FRERES GUICHEN / ANXO LORENZO ; – Espace Marine : DENEZ PRIGENT / ORCHESTRE SYMPHONIQUE DE BRETAGNE (OSB) / RHIANNON GIDDENS ; Wednesday  8 August : – Quai de la Bretagne : DEUS’TA / SILABENN TRIO ;- Espace Marine : BAGAD DE LORIENT / OUTSIDE DUO ; – Palais des Congrès : ALAIN PENNEC / PADDY KEENAN / ANXO LORENZO ;Thursday 9 August : – Quai de la Bretagne : ZONJ / LES FRERES LANDREAU / SOIG SIBERIL / TRIO ROBLIN EVAIN BADEAU ; – Théâtre de Lorient : TRIO EMPREINTES / JULIE FOWLIS ; – Eglise Saint Louis : MICKAEL GABORIEAU / FABRICE LOTHODE ;- Palais des Congrès : RAG FOUNDATION / BERTRAN OBREE ;- Espace Marine : HAT FITZ & CARA ROBINSON ;Friday 10 August : – Quai de la Bretagne : TANGI JOSSET / WILLY PICHARD / ARNAUD ROYER / ORIAZ ;- Stade du Moustoir : THE SASSY SWINGERS ;- Palais des Congrès : REGIS HUIBAN ;- Espace Marine : ORCHESTRE SYMPHONIQUE DE BRETAGNE (OSB) / SECKOU KEITA / CATRIN FINCH ; Saturday 11 August : – Quai de la Bretagne : LES OURS DU SCORFF / ’NDIAZ / AMPOUAILH ;- Palais des Congrès : ROBIN HUW BOWEN / RODRIGO ROMANI ;- Espace Marine : MANIC STREET PREACHERS / NOLWENN KORBELL; Sunday 12 August: – Quai de la Bretagne : RED CARDELL / STEVAN VINCENDEAU / LE BOUR / BODROS / DJIBOUDJEP / SYLVAIN GIRAULT / GWENFOL / WIPIDOUP / THOMAS FELDER / UKAN / BODENES HAMON QUINTET.

Main Location for info at  11 Espace Nayel – 56100 Lorient (city center by the marina pleasure boats inside the shopping center same name) Opening hours of the Celtic village are Friday : 19h – 23h , Saturday : 12h – 14h / 19h – 0h , Sunday : 12h – 15h / 19h – 23h , Monday to Friday : 12h – 14h / 19h – 23h More info in French here:  https://www.festival-interceltique.bzh/

And back to Paris for a new park opening up today!   Like if Paris needed another park well here it is all redone and nice.  The highly anticipated Jardin Truillot (11éme) opens to the public after a year of work. This green space of 5 600 m2 long connects the Church of Saint-Ambroise to Boulevard Voltaire, and Richard-Lenoir. On the Voltaire side or  Côté Voltaire, first access to a large lawn of 570 m2, framed by vine plants (Chasselas grapes), where the public can relax and picnic. On the right, a shared garden open to all inhabitants, one arrives on a central plot of clear concrete, also accessible by the third entrance of the garden side Impasse Truillot (street); on the square, a wall of expression was reserved for street artists. And the cast-iron fountain promises to be stormed in the summer. It will be completed in August by a fountain of sparkling water on the side Boulevard Voltaire. Benches and games carved in tree trunks recovered from the Parisian trees complete the ensemble. Finally, a wetland for harvesting runoff takes place next to Richard-Lenoir. It will be completed by a pond after the demolition of a bar brasserie and its hotel La Grosse Bouteille  in the summer of 2019 which will also allow to enlarge the garden. And allow entrance from the garden Truillot side of  Boulevard Richard-Lenoir (11éme). In August, the reproduction in 4 meters by 4 meters of a photograph of Robert Doisneau taken in 1959 and representing the bar of La Grosse Bouteille will be hung at the top of the wall of a building overlooking the garden as consolation for the demolition. The city of Paris has it in French on the future opening but I got them ahead it is open today lol! City of Paris, Jardin Truillot

A site on gardens has more in French: jardinons, garden together on Truillot

Another Paris innovation, we rock for Summer. The Generali balloon or dirigible or zeppeling , located at Parc André-Citroën (15éme)  proposes until 1 September 2018 night flights over Paris every Friday and Saturday from 21h  to 23h. You can fly aboard the Generali balloon  to enjoy an exceptional view of the capital. The balloon  rises to 150 meters above the Parc André-Citroën, in the 15éme arrondissement of Paris for about fifteen magical minutes, the adult rate is 12€, Children under 12 yrs 6€ and it is free for Parisians under 12 years! The balloon can only fly in times of good weather conditions. Feel free to consult them before you come on; more info here:  www.ballondeparis.com

Something nice worth remembering and support. The museum of the world wars in France.  This one is small done by a lover of these old war memories. Real treasure rooms for history buffs. The house is on three levels with the first dedicated to the city of Saint-Maximin (Oise dept 60), the second to the Nazis, and the Resistance fighters, the last to the Allies. You can find pieces of planes, of course. But also old clothes of soldiers, dishes of the third Reich, fuel depots, pavements of concentration camps, feeding cards… Over the years, the relics of that time piled up in his garage. It was not until May 8, 2016 to see the inauguration of the Saint-Maximin bombing museum, the museum is open every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon from  14h to 18h. Price: 4€ (adults), 2.50€ (children). Information: Cellular/mobile tel +33 (0) 6.12.12.21.38. More info on a site in French about WWII: Picardie Bombing Museum Saint Maximin

Last, but never the least a nostalgia point for me, or maybe useful to some visitor who dares leave Paris to the suburbs. This was part of my going and coming to work for my initial year in France, and believe me is ok for a visitor to do it a couple of days but you have to do it everyday to work is not fun ,public transports.  The Cergy-le-Haut  train station closes its doors this Saturday and lasts for a month and a half! All users will have to reorganize for the months of July and August. The RER A will be terminated in Cergy-Saint-Christophe until September 2, and then find your own or buses.  The work closing is due to the creation of a fourth track in the station of Cergy-le-Haut. By hosting both the terminus of the RER A and the peak times, the trains of the North Branch of the line L of Transilien from Paris Saint Lazare, (line taken in those early days of Paris) ,the station of Cergy-le-Haut is today the most busy of the network of the Île-de-France . The bus route  45 , which normally does not serve the Cergy-le-Haut train station, will be changed. The bus will stop in front of the 3 stations of Cergy. Plan to lengthen your travel time by the order of 20 minutes….or more!  At the end of the month, from 28 July to 26 August, the RER A will also be interrupted between La Defénse and Nation, making it much more difficult for those working (or visiting this part of the city) in Paris. The RER A in French from the Transilien ïle de France regional train RER transports: RER A Transilien Ile de France region

Their site in English, less info me think. Transilien Ile de France region transports

There you go , up to date. Enjoy France, Paris ,ïle de France region ,the Morbihan and Brittany region, all mines!

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

July 13, 2018

Some news from France CXCIIII

And why not something on the latest happening in France and especially Paris from my angle of view or is it point? Maybe straigth line direct ,here it is folks

Track game or jeu de piste at the Louvre museum now starting their  own “adventure game” at the Jardin des Tuileries. After registering online, go to Diane’s kiosk for the beginning of the riddle. What does André Le Nôtre  testament reveal? The answer is hidden somewhere in the largest Parisian garden. Until August 26th. Free game, duration 1 h 30 More  in French  https://www.louvre.fr/mysteres-aux-tuileries-l-adventure-game-du-louvre

The french fries or La Frite a new monomaniacal spot opened 5, rue de la Fidelité in the 10éme arrondissement. Pont Neuf  is the first Parisian fries shop. In the tray, golden Normandy potatoes in high quality beef fat. It nibbles with chiffonade ham, pastrami or fish fritters. More at   https://www.frite-pontneuf.com/

After the Château de Chambord, the Conciergerie, and the Palais des Papes d’Avignon, it’s the turn of the Château of Blois to adopt the Histopad, the tablet of reality augmented by the young French sprout Histovery. From July 12th, visitors of the Château de Blois will be able to point this tablet in the places to see them reappear at 360 degrees as they existed in the Renaissance, with their furniture and decorations. More at http://en.chateaudeblois.fr/2487-the-digital-tools-of-the-chateau.htm

And the National Day or for many abroad still the Bastille Day ;  the fireworks of July 14th are coming with 30 minutes of show! The July 14th parade troops in the spotlight! Free Concert in the Champs de Mars; with classical music in the spotlight! Firefighters ‘ ball of 13 and 14 July; the feast and the good humour of the firefighters! The Champs de Mars will be closed for concert and fireworks.  A second perimeter of protection will be activated from 14h (2 p.m.) on Saturday, around the Eiffel Tower  to host the traditional concert of July 14th at 21h (9:30 p.m.) followed by the pyrotechnic show (23h or 11pm). The Champ-de-Mars and the Place du Trocadéro will be surrounded by barriers whose accesses will be protected, filtered and controlled. In this area, police officers will be able to carry out identity checks, bags, baggage and vehicle searches. 2 200 members of the security forces will be mobilized. More on the festivities from the tourist office here: https://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/major-events/bastille-day-in-paris

Accustomed to flying in the sky of Paris, the soldiers of the Air Base (BA) 107 of Vélizy-Villacoublay (Yvelines 78) off the A86 highway, will participate in the parade on foot of 14 July on the Champs-Elysées this Saturday. This is a first since 2011! See them in the parade in Paris.

At Poissy (Yvelines 78) There will be a dance party with DJ, at  Place de la République, from 20h to  02h (2am). By 23h (11pm)  on the banks of the Seine river , there will be  fireworks, on the theme of Le Corbusier. From  19h!30 (7:30 pm), The traditional  firefighters ‘s  ball with concert at 21h (9 pm)  and DJ from 23h (11:30 pm) , entrance fee 10€  with a consumption. More info from the city of Poissy: https://www.ville-poissy.fr/index.php/agenda/855-bal-des-pompiers-de-poissy-2018.html?date=2018-07-13-19-30

At Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines 78) . From  19h30 (7:30 p.m), the inhabitants are invited to gather around a parade, then around many animations before the fireworks fired at 23h (11pm), from the lawn of the Boulingrin, in the park of the castle. https://www.saintgermainenlaye.fr/112-1004/fiche/fete-nationale-edition-2018.htm

At Versailles (Yvelines 78) TheFirefighters ‘ ball from 20h to 03h (8pm to 3am) at the barracks (4bis Avenue de Paris) with the  group Los Képitos Txaranga and the H2O Troupe, as well as Nick Stevanson.  Price 10€ with  consumption.  https://www.versailles.fr/actualites/toute-lactualite/detail-dune-actualite/actualites/bal-des-pompiers-une-grande-fete-populaire-au-pied-de-lhotel-de-ville/

At the theater or Theatre in  Vésinet (Yvelines 78) the Amaranthus company presents the play “Mon Isménie” in the Discovery Garden. The city/town hall of Vésinet organizes theatrical performances in the Open Air. It is Eugene Biche who is put in the spotlight with a staging of Pierre-Sébastien Kuntzmann. Free and open-entry performances on Saturday at 20h30 (8:30 p.m). and Sunday at 17h (5:00 p.m). More information at  https://www.amaranthus.fr/

From the vestibule of the Royal Chapel, to the Galerie des Glaces, through the Salon of Hercules, the Royal serenade of the Château de Versailles accompanies visitors for 40 minutes of visit. In the large apartments, they will stroll, at sunset, in the company of the musicians of Folies Françoises and the dance company L’Eventail. This Saturday at 18h30 (6:30 p.m.),  7h30 (7:30am), 19h30 (7:30pm)  and  19h50 (7:50pm). Rates: 24€  in full price, €21 in reduced price. More information on the website of the Château de Versailles. Info here: http://www.chateauversailles-spectacles.fr/en/spectacles/2018/royal-serenade-hall-mirrors

Closer to me in my town we will have the usual Breton Fest Noz party and Fireworks Saturday, July 14 official ceremonies in the morning by 11h15 (11:15am). in front of the City/Town Hall (memorial wreaths Depot – Parade) July 14th Festival from  21h (9pm) at the  Goh Lanno Sports Complex Parade at the lanterns, departing from the barracks , hosted by the Bagad of Landaul  and popularly  animated by Koskerien and Ambiance 56 groups. Small snacks and bar on site. More info in City of Pluvigner (this is my town now). More info here: http://www.pluvigner.fr/actualites/fete-du-14-juillet/

The Historique of Vannes are back with show, a parade ,and firework, participants and spectators occupy the city center of Vannes. If you wish to attend or participate in the historic festivals 2018, go on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 July 2018 in Vannes. The event brings together many spectators in a period atmosphere. After the Belle epoque, Napoleon or Anne of Brittany, the historic feasts of Vannes 2018 will honour the Renaissance and Henriette of England. Extras and artists will come back to animate the streets and revive the coming of Henriette from England in the “Renaissance” atmosphere. More here: https://golfedumorbihan56.com/vannes-les-fetes-historiques-2018/

More from the city of Vannes : https://www.mairie-vannes.fr/outils-et-services/vannes-actus/actualite/actualite/article/annonce-du-theme-2018-des-fe/

At historical Auray there will be July 13 and 14  from  19h (7pm) in the Place du Loch, a popular  Bal with DJ Arnaud.  Onsite dining organized by Auray Football Club (fried mussels-sausages merguez-crepes) opening at  22h (10pm) the stadium doors visual control and search of the bags at the entrance to the stadium. Glass bottles and alcoholic beverages will be banned in the stadium enclosure.  By 23h (11pm) fireworks at the Loch Stadium of a singular pyrotechnic spectacle provided by the company HTP-Hubert Thézé pyrotechnics Guichen 35. By 23h30 (11:30pm) dance party with Dj Arnaud ;free admission
. More here: https://www.auray.fr/Agenda/Loisirs/Bal-et-feu-d-artifice

And as usual we will try to participate in our town as it is not far from our house. For the football World Cup Russia final between France vs Croacia, there will be giant screen TV from 17h in the espace Athena in Auray (this has been cancelled by the mayor’s office due to security concerns). In Vannes it will be in the college Jules Simon next to the city hall with a maximum permitted of 4500 persons.

Also, in Paris, a giant screen will be installed on the Champ-de-Mars, near the Eiffel Tower. Giant screens will also be installed in Bordeaux, in the Chaban-Delmas Stadium. In Rennes, the giant screen installed on the Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle remains operational for the final. In Nantes, a giant screen will be installed in the XXL Hall of the exhibition Center, at the Beaujoire. This just in the World Cup final will also be shown in large wide screen TV at the faboulous Place du Marché Notre-Dame in Versailles. 

Catch the fever it will July 15 from Moscow Russia ;more on the World Cup here: https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/matches/match/300331552/#match-liveblog

And I leave you with expectation, it is a huge weekend in France, all stop the National Day of July 14 and the World Cup final of July 15, too much partying lol!!! cheers

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

 

July 8, 2018

Some news from Spain LXIII

And Summer is here already very hot all over and in my beloved Spain it is sizzling, my friends from Granada reported going up to 39C!!! 102F! In my neck of the woods we have gone up to 32C about 90F!

Here is the latest news I can pick up from Spain.

The Royal Palace of Olite, in Navarre, in fact, this medieval palatial complex is so special that it already hosted  travelers in the 15C.  It’s maximum splendor during the reign of Charles III of Navarre also known as ‘ The Noble ‘, who honoring his French origins called expert architects from all over Europe to remodel and expand the building under the distinguished French civil Gothic style that was in vogue at the time. The Palace was  partially destroyed in 1813, when fire made it to partially collapsed ; later rebuilt more than a century later, when the fallen walls were re-erected respecting the French design that one can presently observed.

You can distinguish two parts in the medieval building: the commonly known as ‘ Old Palace ‘ and the ‘ New palace ‘: The old part, where the Parador national de Turismo is now located, corresponds to the building erected on an old Roman fortress that was remodeled during the 13C and 15C and that keeps features of Gothic and Renaissance architecture in its walls. Its exterior is characterized by the large stone walls that surround the palace and the circular turrets with slate roofs that rise in the corners. A large courtyard gives access to the interior of the enclosure where there are three gardens, the grapefruit, the aviary and the Mulberry, the latter being the home of a centenary Mulberry and the central nucleus of the ‘ New palace ‘, where were the ostentatious royal chambers with flared windows and the towers from which the Kings followed the tournaments held in their palace.

The Palace of Olite is in the historic centre of the town of Olite, 42 km south of the city of Pamplona and to get there you can go by car or by bus from the capital of Navarra. To access the palace you will have to pay an entry of 3.5 euros per person and can be made in summer time, every day from 10h to 20h ( 10am to 8 pm). More on the palace and parador below.

Palacio Real de Olite : http://www.turismo.navarra.es/eng/organice-viaje/recurso.aspx?o=3153&

Parador de Olite : http://www.parador.es/en/paradores/parador-de-olite

The ancient inhabitants of al-Andalus (Andalucia) called these lands Fash al-Ballut, “The valley of the Acorns “, and today it is enough a walk by the place so that there is no doubt about the origin of such name. The region of Los Pedroches, in the north of the province of Córdoba, has been synonymous with dehesa for centuries, a natural environment that nourishes life and prosperity throughout the region for centuries, the Dehesa de los Pedroches-which presumes to be the largest continuous dehesa of all Europe- It has been the main sustenance of the region, providing wealth thanks to the breeding of lamb and, above all, the pampered Iberian pork-here prefer to Cochinos or filthy pig, a real star of local cuisine.

A D.O. Pedroches denomination of origin designation. Each herd enjoys a space equivalent to one hectare per pig , at Finca Las Lagartosas in Villanueva, tourists have the possibility to spend a day in the Dehesa to know all its secrets as you walk between Holm Oaks and Cork Oaks. In addition to the beauty of the landscape, the experience allows to taste the typical products or participate in a ham-cutting workshop. More in Spanish here: Finca Las Lagartosas

The dryers, like that of IBESA, also in Villanueva, have emulated the model of many wineries and offer a guided tour of their facilities, in which they explain the whole process of production of their delicatessen, including tasting and demonstrations of howto get the perfect ham cut. More in Spanish here: IBESA

Among the most important buildings is the former audience, an outstanding civil construction of the 17C, today Museum of Local History. Nearby there is also the interpretation center of the Dehesa and the parish Church of San Miguel (16C), under whose square is hidden an old refuge from the Civil war. The visit to Hinojosa del Duque is essential to know its stately buildings, a sign of wealth and one of the reasons that king Alfonso XIII granted the population the title of city. Another of its jewels is the spectacular Church of San Juan Bautista,(St John the Baptist)  with a superb renaissance façade. Pedroche is the oldest locality in the region and was its capital in the time of the Catholic monarchs. Here it is obliged to visit the Church of El Salvador, whose Renaissance tower, 56 meters high, allows you to enjoy one of the best views of the region. Pozoblanco is probably the best known locality, because in its bullring , the great Spanish bullfigher  Paquirri lost his life. Leaving aside sad bullfighting milestones, the population is now capital of the region, and offers a varied sports offers such as in addition to a equestrian club and a shooting range, Pozoblanco attracts fans to airplanes and fishing, and especially golf lovers , because not in vain has the first municipal club of this sport that was created in Spain. The Pantano de la Colada swamp, near El Viso, is another enclave that attracts locals and visitors. In addition to numerous sporting activities, the swamp has a landscape of great beauty that in winter serves as a refuge for cranes from northern Europe. With the arrival of twilight, these birds quietly fly in flocks, offering a spectacle difficult to describe.  The AVE train arrives at the Pedroches in just an hour and a half from Madrid. More info on the Los Pedroches below!

Turismo Los Pedroches: https://turismolospedroches.org/

Local tourism and business center on Los Pedroches: https://cietlospedroches.es/recursosturisticos/

Terraces in Madrid for the summer, some of my favorites that can recommend are

Aduana ,calle Hermosilla, 2 (inside the Gran Meliá Fénix Hotel); metro  Serrano or Colon Tel +34  91 431 67 00 ,Average price: 50 euros | It doesn’t close. It has only decoration: to this rooftop (on the seventh floor of the hotel) you will have enough views of the Discovery Gardens, Paseo de Recoletos or the National Library.  I have stayed in the hotel as well tops! Aduana in the Gran Fénix

Behia , calle Manuel de Falla, 5 ; metro Santiago Bernabeu ;tel +34 91 421 19 07; Average price: 35 euros.  It doesn’t close. Decorated with wooden floors and covered by a structure that allows it to be open all year, the elegant exterior space of Behia offers market cuisine. Behia

Cafe Comercial Glorieta de Bilbao, 7; Metro: Bilbao ; Tel +34 91 088 25 25. Average price: 35 euros ; It doesn’t close. The historic café (just under new management been here in old and new still very good) takes a few tables to the roundabout, protected by awnings. Now owned by Grupo El Escondida, has strengthened its gastronomy on Sundays, brunch by Café Oliver on the second floor (28 euros). Cafe Comercial

Calista, Paseo de la Castellana, 95 (in the Torre Europa); metro  Santiago Bernabeu ; Tel +34 91 770 78 99 . Average price: 20 euros. It doesn’t close. In the Bajos of Torre Europa (basement of Tower Europa), its terrace is decorated with illuminated trees and hanging wisteria. Calista

The new exhibition of the Thyssen Museum explores for the first time the connection that was established between the life and work of the disciple and his teacher. The paths of Claude Monet and his master Eugène Boudin crossed for the first time in the spring of 1856 almost by chance, when they coincided in the stationery store Gravier, in Le Havre. It was just then that Boudin, 16 years older than Monet, wanted to congratulate him on his work as a caricaturist, and encouraged him to continue studying and painting, inviting to do it with him.

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum delves into the relationship forged between the two artists. Through a hundred works that include loans from museums and institutions such as the Musée D’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery in London or the Metropolitan of New York, the exhibition is recreated in the picturesque landscapes with which master and disciple put to the test in their brushes. First, formed under the grey skies of Normandy. Then, protected by the light of the Mediterranean. Many landscapes and brushstrokes later, in 1874, Monet invited his teacher to join the first Impressionist show, where he exhibited seven portraits in what can be interpreted as homage to his mentor. As Monet himself once wrote, “If I have dedicated myself to painting, I owe it to Eugène Boudin “.  The show is until September 30th 2018. Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Paseo del Prado, 8. More here: Thyssen Museum on Monet and Boudin

After its exhibition in Sevilla, Valencia and Valladolid, the Museum of  Sorolla in Madrid hosts the exhibition Sorolla. Un Jardin para pintar or a garden to paint, which crosses the evolution of the painting of the Valencian artist while designing and seeing the  growth of  his own garden. The exhibition contains more than 170 oil paintings, sketches, drawings, sculptures, tiles and photographs related to his passion for the gardens. Sorolla painted on numerous occasions Andalusian gardens such as the Alcazar of Sevilla and the Alhambra in Granada. These inspired him to start building his in 1910. It is a Mediterranean garden where the features of the gardening of the Italian Renaissance are mixed with the Hispanoárabe.  Museo Sorolloa Calle General Martínez Campos, 37, in the  Chamberí district , metro Rubén Darío. More here: Museo Sorolla

Update , be prepare as Madrid is following the lead of other European cities making it tougher to go in with a car, a series of vignettes decals on pollution will begins by November, the areas in question are in all the center. Lucky me I always park outside the centro area ::) Here is a map from El Confidencial newspaper.

Now enjoy Spain, and Madrid especially in the summer heat , not too many but all is open really, we go there every summer. Well now maybe not as my wife is gone, really need to soak in all these trips and see what we do next.

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

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July 2, 2018

Some news from France CXCIII

And to catch up on that is wonderful of my belle France, here I am again. Today for a change we have rain , pouring rain and some lighting forecast with temps in the 30C  or about 85F very sticky hot. Now it is really raining lol! Paris is the same but a bit hotter!

Let me tell you what is going on in the Hexagone ::)

Well lots of work going on in our wonderful….sihh public transport system for the Summer.    The A86 and Line 11, the summer site. And it promises to be impressive. To allow the extension of line 11 to the east of Mairie des Lilas in Rosny-Bois-Perrier, the A86 motorway will be cut between Nogent-sur-Marne (94) and Rosny-sous-Bois (93) from 8 to 14 August.  RER C in the central section, traffic is interrupted from 15 July to 25 August between Austerlitz and Javel to allow the work of asbestos de Saint-Michel, the replacement of 6 km of rail between Pont de Alma and Invalides and between Musée d’orsay and Michel. The Alma Bridge station must also be accessible. In the west, in Saint-Quentin en Yvelines (78), 5 switches must be replaced and 3 deleted, as well as 1.2 km of renewed track. Not to mention the north. A Gennevilliers (92) in particular where the Pont de l’etoile will be replaced. RER B and D, occasional work. The K line cut off there will be no closing during the day, but the trains will stop punctually earlier. On the North Line B, 46 km of Catenary and 45 transformers will be replaced between Le Bourget (93) and the Sous-Bois (93). On the RER D, 7 km of tracks will be changed between Creil (60) and Villiers (95), as well as 12 km between Villiers-le-Bel (95) and Saint-Denis (93).

Line L, a new viaduct. Between Garches and Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche, there will be no train between 7 July and 26 August, in order to finalize the replacement of Marly Viaduct. The one that will allow the new trains, the Ile, to circulate.  Line H, a bridge to pass over the A16. The line will be cut from 14 July to 12 August between Montsoult and Luzarches in order to lay a rail bridge on the A16. Indeed, a new motorway section of 3 km will be born on the road between L’Isle-Adam (95) and the Francilienne. It will bypass the municipalities of Maffliers (95) and Montsoult (95) from the north. The Paris Luzarches line will have to pass over the highway.  Eole to the programme, in particular, wharf arrangements, creation of a new underpass and widening of the rail bridge in Poissy (78), arrival of the pieces of the Tunneler during August in Courbevoie (92), end of the assembly of the metal frame of the Footbridge of the future station of Nanterre-la-Folie (92) or construction of the bridge over the Seine in Nanterre-Bezons (92/95) to connect the line E to the J. No summer T4. The tram will not circulate between Bondy (93) and (93) from July 6 to September 3 to allow the installation of a new signalling system, with training of the drivers and realization of the white steps.

SNCF and RATP set up alternative buses. Each time, alternate buses are set up or alternative lines will be reinforced (1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 13, 14). The travel times remain however longer. Source Le Parisien newspaper of Paris of course!

 

For those daredevils driving hahaha! A remnant of the Renault era, the blue metal bridge that connects the banks of Meudon to Seguin Island (dept 92) will disappear at the beginning of the year.  The historic Pont Seibert, which connects the banks of Meudon with Seguin Island, will disappear.  It dates from 1931 and was built by Seibert. It was decommissioned in 1992 following the closure of the Renault factory and reopened to traffic in May 2011 in favour of the urban development of Seguin Island. It extends through the Daydé Bridge, which joins the right bank of the Seine . You can see a map location of the bridge here : http://www.ileseguin-rivesdeseine.fr/fr/projet/pont-seibert-0

The Seine-et-Marne Heritage Festival puts in another stage in Brie-Comte-Robert for concerts, archaeological visits, track play. Throughout the month of July, proposing to discover 4 remarkable sites of Seine-et-Marne (dept 77). The historic town of Brie-Comte-Robert (with a nice castle), the village of Larchant and its church of Saint-Mathurin, the castle of Jossigny and the astonishing depot of locomotives of Longueville  until July 29 program in French here http://www.chateau-blandy.fr/emmenez-moi-festival-du-patrimoine-en-seine-et-marne

A wonderful event always a regular there too bad far now in the west.  At Saint-Germain-en-Laye,(dept 78)  this past Saturday. The 366th edition of the famous carnival La fête des Loges is been  held until August 19. The feast of the lodges brings together nearly 200 attractions spread over 8 hectares of terrains and forest. The festival of the lodges is one of the oldest carnival fairs of France which has been held every summer since 1652!!,yes. More info here in French : https://www.fetedesloges.org/

A wonderful deed all French are proud of, saving historical beautiful places for all the world to marvel at.  The Logis des Moins de La Maladrerie Saint-Lazare was chosen among the heritages to be renovated by the Stéphane Bern (a famous presenter of history architecture and just France )  mission . The work will begin in October the Maladrerie Saint-Lazare de Beauvais the building dating from the 13C, the Logis Des Moines, this 35 meters long heritage and an area of 450 m2 .  The Maladrerie Saint-Lazare is a former hospital institution dating from the 12C, located in Beauvais, this site is today a cultural and tourist center that welcomes the public all year round.  First known act concerning the Maladrerie Saint-Lazare de Beauvais is an act of donation of a house of a bourgeois of Beauvais to the Church of Saint-Lazare. This act is dated 1131. This document does not mean in itself that a maladrerie existed as such around the church of Saint-Lazare but suggests that a community of lepers is organized at this time, on the instigation of the bishop of Beauvais. The Maladrerie Saint-Lazare is the only one of these eleven leprosarium that has survived. It is an exceptional heritage and to date represents one of the best preserved maladreries in northern Europe. At the French revolution, the Maladrerie Saint-Lazare is sold as national property. Divided into three batches, the Maladrerie becomes a farm. During WWI, the Maladrerie served as a headquarters for various Army Corps, with Beauvais being a rear base for the front located further north.

Spared by the bombardments that destroyed the city at 80% during  WWII, the Maladrerie Saint-Lazare did not leave unscathed, however, since in 1939, following heavy rains, the bell tower of the Chapelle Saint-Lazare collapsed, then a few years later, it was the choir’s turn. Overall, it is in a remarkable state of conservation making it one of the most beautiful medieval barns in the north of France. Its frame, entirely of period, is composed of oaks dated by dendrochronology of the winter 1219-1220. The interior consists of three naves of nine bays separated by two rows of large arcades composed of sixteen pillars with square base.  On the walls of stone, many graffiti testify to the intense occupation of the site for eight centuries. Sometimes simply decorative, these also serve as a marking to indicate the filling height of straw or hay from one year to the next. The oldest building on the site, the Chapelle Saint-Lazare is a remarkable testament to Romanesque architecture in the region. The decor of a great sobriety and the very clean lines are characteristic of this Romanesque style of the 12C.  More in French here : https://maladrerie.fr/

News all over the French news here and well deserving another resident of the Panthéon.   The fourth woman to receive this honour, Simone Veil, accompanied by her husband Antoine Veil, made their entrance this past Sunday at the Panthéon of Paris. Panthéon de Paris

Three years after the opening of the Plisson House in the Marais, the adventure continues to market place Saint-Honoré. Notice to the gourmets: bigger, the fresh market, which also makes cellar-grocery and tables, adds a restaurant parisien, a lounge of snacks, takeaways and a corner dedicated to utensils of all kinds. More info here:   www.lamaisonplisson.com

The immersive theater arrives in France with the opening of the Secret, a new room dedicated to this Anglo-Saxon concept where spectators are free to evolve in the heart of the action. First programming from this past Friday at 21h with Helsingor, the adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet . www.le-secret-paris.com

A bit more on Arles and the spirit of Provence. Vincent Van Gogh lost an ear and surely the reason in Arles. But there were no paintings left. After living there for more than a year, he left in bad terms with the inhabitants, tired of the turbulence of this Dutchman a little too much on absinthe. The artist committed suicide shortly after leaving the Camargue. The New York Times even propelled Arles to the 28th place of world destinations to visit and renamed it “New Cultural Cradle of Provence”.

Its historical heart still bubbles with an intense cultural life. Near the banks of the Rhone, here is the fief of Actes Sud. In the world of publishing, it is an exception, with the major publishers having their seat in Paris instead. The manuscripts are studied on the floor of the building. The ground floor is a place of life. We stroll between the stalls of books, in search of literary nuggets. Then we make a stopover at the café located in the center of the bookstore until the beginning of a session at the cinema Actes Sud, where we can see the novelties like the classics of the seventh art. More here: Actes Sud

Some great cultural shopping in Arles.

Boutique-Gallery, Dou Bochi esthétise the Art of living  in Arles. A matter of Style signed by Eric Berger and Antoine Rambourg. The place offers summer clothes, bag-bags in linen and leather, ceramics of the Atelier Buffile and wax subjects of the candles makers of Prémontes . All in a chic and timeless palette. 16 rue Réattu  Tél. : 09 82 31 07 60. Webpage in Facebook

La Marchande des 4 Saisons passed by the Ecole du Louvre, Anne Carpentier settles in her office, signed Jeanneret, in Arles. Under two arches and Gothic vaults, its gallery-casket brings together modernist furniture and antique busts, contrasting photo prints and pieces by young designers from the Ecole d’art de Lausanne (Ecal). A nice mini-wax replica of the ancient obelisk, made with the workshops Luma was a nice gift. 12, rue de la Rotonde  Tél. : 06 84 86 81 42. More info here:  www.lamarchandedes4saisons.com

And of course, back to Paris for the coming Summer. Great places to mingle and shine after all Paris is eternal but we are not ::)

It is the occasion to discover the Bois de Boulogne in its best day, that of its landscaped green spaces, its lake and its birds. There are for an hour of oars (after, each one’s rhythm) to go around the lake, passing through the main island and its kiosk of the Emperor Napoleon III in 1852. Lake of Bois de Boulogne 14, chemin du lac Inférieur  16éme open daily from February 15 to October 30, 10h to 19H €8 for thirty minutes, €12 for one hour, €21 for two hours,  bail €50 , 5 people max per boat. More here: Bois de Boulogne

Five minutes from the Porte Dorée on Lake Daumesnil. All the details are thought. It’s like the Trianon of Marie Antoinette. A waterfall, a cave, bridges, an island with a magnificent rotunda that overlooks the whole, and on which you can stop… Lake Daumesnil   route de ceinture du lac Daumesnil  12 éme  open  from mid-February to mid-November every day from 10h to 01h  before Nightfall  €13 hour (1 to 2 persons) or €14 hour (3 to 4 persons) deposit of €20 without reservation. More here: Boating lac Daumesnil

It is called “The Pearl of the Bois de Vincennes”, just that. The lake hosts many species of birds that make you forget what city you are in, the time of the ride: Swans, grey herons, goose geese these boats can accommodate up to five people. As for the more athletic, the lake also offers canoes for rent. Lac des Minimes  Avenue de Nogent – 12éme  open daily from 13h30  during the school holidays open from 13h30 to 19h30 on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 11h to 19h30 on Sundays from March to end of November €10 Hour (1 to 2 persons) or €12 hour (3 to 5 persons)  Deposit of €10 or ID (passport etc) More here: Lac des Minimes Vincennes

There is a invincible attraction in the Jardin d’Acclimatation that the smartest Parisians have known since its inauguration, in 1928 . Another lazy thing! Effortlessly, you let yourself be carried by the wild and enchanted river, in full green flora, Jardin d’Acclimatation,  Mahatma Gandhi Avenue 16éme  open daily from Monday to Friday from 10h to 19h on weekends, school holidays and public holidays between 10h to 20h.More here: Enchante River Jardin d’Acclimatation

Were you talking about electric boats and the possibility of being led in a boat without effort? Well, it’s happening in the north-east of Paris, at the marina of La Villette. We reassure you, it is without license and hyper easy to take in hand. The captaincy of Marins d’Eau Douce or freshwater sailors will explain everything. For the craziest, there are 20 km of stroll in all, with three longer courses: to the Grands Moulins de Pantin (two hours), to the parc de la Bergére (half a day), or to the lock of Sevran (one day). Meeting place at the  basin of La Villette  37, quai de la Seine  19éme open daily from 9h30 to 22h 5 people max per boat €20 1/2 hour, €40 half hour rate on Wednesday. More here: Villette boating

Stay shaded in Paris for the Summer!

In the Petit Pré a (very) large garden to entertain the jaded Parisians of crowded micro-terraces. To access it, direction Longchamp Racecourse. On the menu: barbecues at times, cocktails of egg, nap at the foot of a tree or even petanque between buddies. Just a few steps from the Bagatelle gardens, this new garden is intended to be the new rendezvous food of the west Parisian Le Petit Pré Grille d’Honneur 2 route des Tribunes 16éme. more info here: Le Petit Prés

This House on the water  OFF Paris moored at the foot of Austerlitz station in the 13éme arrondissement, we sip a cocktail, we eat tapas and above all we take advantage of the swimming pool next to the Seine (and its emblematic buoy) lulled by the Games of light and the reflections of the water  OFF Paris Seine  86, quai d’Austerlitz – 13éme  https://offparisseine.com/fr/

It is on the roof of the Grand Boulevards hotel, halfway between the bourgeois neighborhoods and the popular suburbs, that has just settled the cocoon green ,The Shed. After crossing the hotel lobby, a walk in the elevator, you will discover a guinguette and its hidden, suspended and protected garden. There is a strong doubt that there is better setting to come and drink at the hour of aperitif (happy hour/after work) . The Shed   17, boulevard Poissonnière – 2e https://www.grandsboulevardshotel.com/fr/

Nestled in the heart of the Jardin des Plantes, the beautiful plants is all that one loves the most in the countryside: a real family house in the country decoration where you can stop for tea, drink a cocktail or eat a piece . Les Belles Plantes  47, rue Cuvié – 5e  https://www.restaurant-lesbellesplantes.com/

There you go Paris and France have a lot going for this coming Summer or is it already ! lol! yes hot and rainy so be prepare or be square lol!!

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

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