Archive for July 20th, 2018

July 20, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXIIII

So here I am earlier than ever or most as I had the day off from work. It was special because it was my Father’s 83rd birthday and he lives with us. The day was sunny but not too hot around 24C or 75F.

We had as usual many errands to do usually done on Saturdays lately, but as we had the day off we did them today,and tomorrow is work around the house, painting and fixing for the Summer break ahead. My vacation is in mid August onwards.

In my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of Brittany we set out to do the routines of an every day family in France without the glitzy ribbons of the famous and fake news tribal groups.

We started our day going to by now famous liquor store, V&B in Auray to load up on German beers (my favorite is the Krombacher pilsner) here at 2,10€ with deposit refund for the bottle,  and Rosé wines from Gascogne of all places but a reputable name for years you won’t go wrong at 5,20€ it can’t be beat. The Rosé de Presse 2017, Domaine du Tariquet.

We then, move on to our bank as we needed to make some moves in our finances to have a soft landing in my retirement so the bank in Auray BNP Paribas is great with excellent service by our able advisor Madame ….

We stop by at Micromania in the Shopping center Carrefour in Vannes for my sons to pick up a cable to connect to their new game machine, another one !!! It looks as I have a TV studio at home.. oh well. My sons in front!


We then move on to Electro Depot to buy a big 127 cm or 50 inches TV for their better reading of the video games, something with the word 4K in it go figure too high tech for me.  Well they got a good price and of course Dad help with the price ::)


We got back home to deliver the TV and beers/wines but needed to come back to celebrate my father’s 83. So here we go again back to our now almost home Vannes to have lunch with Dad at Hippopotamus steakhouse chain, that has been renovated and upgraded for their menus. The service was impeccable, even with no WiFi the manager provided his own code so we had connection! The server was very nice and prompt, and the food all agree was better than we ever had at this chain . Which it has been at least 8 years we did not go to them.


not often on photos my Dad is 83 today!


Anyway, my father was happy to do so and had his couple of beers 1664 French with us so more to celebrate what has been a sad year for us.  We had different things but I had my usual Burger Hippo and fries, crème brulée or sort of custard crème vanilla, and a couple of pints of the 1664 French beer. We share the foie gras platter with cassis jelly and breads. All very well done, surprise return.

We finally ,came to our beloved E Leclerc hypermarket for our groceries, again a day in advance. This is a huge place in a multi shopping center with other stores and restos, very popular and convenient covered parking.  We did our bags and Dad did his as usual he does during the week with his grandson (my oldest son) but as we were in a special weekend we all did it together and it was fun to chase my Dad all over the hypermarket on his rounds lol!!

Then we finally came home at last. A time to organize all we did and put away what was done. ALso, the list oh yes the list we got from their mother, the list to do things. We already wrote down tomorrow is painting the laundry room, and cutting some trees and if time, get to Vannes again to sell our old TV to an Easy Cash outlet.  To be continue…. And of course, we took care of our 8 month old dog Rex, enjoying life very much with us and we with him !!


You all have a great weekend, and fun loving family time. And, remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

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July 20, 2018

This is Brussels: Church of St Nicolas

In our continuing trips thru Brussels we discovered many things, many are very popular, after all Brussels is a popular tourist destination. However, some are less popular but the impact is bigger , unique, historical, and I like history.

I have mentioned it in  my many previous blog posts on Brussels but never a page for itself, which it merits. Therefore, this is it ,the post of the Church of Saint Nicolas of the Stock exchange of Brussels! It is by rue de la Beurre surrounded by wooden old houses in a residential area.

The Church of St. Nicolas of Brussels, built around 1125, is one of the first four Churches of the city of Brussels and best preserved in its successive developments. Being close to the Bourse’s palace (stock exchange), it is commonly called Saint-Nicolas de la Bourse or Saint-Nicolas-au-Marché ,of the Market.


Close to the Senne, Saint-Nicolas was the oratory of the district of the merchants and those whose activities depended on the small river port. (Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myre, is the Patron Saint of the merchants). Built in 1125, the church was still dependent on the Chapel of Saint-Michel parish in 1174.

The interior structure is surprising, with the choir extending obliquely to the central nave. This is a testament to the turbulent history of the Church. From the Romanesque church (12C) there are still some vestiges in the entrance porch, discovered during the reconstruction of the façade in 1956. This Romanesque Church was equipped with a tower-shaped front-body, which is mentioned in 1289. This tower housed the bells of the city and was therefore the belfry of Brussels. Destroyed by a storm in 1367, it was immediately rebuilt. The choir is what remains of the oldest as it dates from 1381.
The Chapel of Our Lady of Peace, in extension of the left aisle of the nave, was added in 1486.



The Church was damaged during the religious troubles of 1579, which led to the separation of the Catholic Southern Netherlands (and under Spanish domination) from the northern United Provinces (Protestant). A century later, new damage was caused by the bombardment of Brussels of 1695. On this occasion, the tower was destroyed for the second time, the bells half-melted by the fire having fallen and having crushed the lower  floors.  The bell tower, unable to withstand the weight of the carillon of thirteen bells that had just been reinstalled, collapsed in 1714. The Church was closed in 1797 and sold in 1799. It was a question of demolishing it, but it was bought by the former Masters of Factory and then returned to worship in 1804.  The main façade was rebuilt in 1956.  The Church was completely restored between 2002 and 2006.

Many paintings of masters adorn the walls of the church such as a Virgin and the Child of a disciple of Rubens.  The confessional, the pulpit of truth in the Louis XVI style of the late 18C, the grille and the choir stalls (18C) are other works of art. The most recent work is a modern-style canopy-the assumption of the Virgin done on the occasion of the restoration of the Church in 1956. It is installed above the entrance gate.  Also, Vladimir Icon of St Nicolas, painted in 1131 by an artist from Constantinople. It was here that the Brabant painter, Michael Sweerts, was baptized in 1618.



The shrine of the Martyrs of Gorcum:  In June 1572 nineteen people, priests, religious-including 11 Franciscans-and lay Catholics, were put to death in Gorcum (Gorinchem) in the Netherlands for their faith in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and their attachment to the Pontifical authority. The martyrs of Gorcum were beatified in 1675 and canonized in 1867 by Pope Pius IX.  Since the canonization of the Martyrs of Gorcum in July 1867, it was choosen to celebrate the same year of the feasts in their honor in the Church of St. Nicholas, because this Church was near the place where stood until the French Revolution the convent of Recollets, to which several of the martyrs, including the Brussels natives, had belonged. On this occasion, the Cardinal Archbishop of Mechelen offered to the Church of St. Nicholas a skull of a martyr, which was placed in a shrine with other bones of the same martyrs, sent by the convent of the Recollets of Gand. In 1868, a new gilded copper shrine was made , which can still be seen today.


Recently, the  bronze copy of Saint Nicolas, which has just been installed in the Grand Place as the original, completely restored, has found refuge in the Church of St. Nicolas.
The statue of St. Nicolas was dismantled for security reasons. It was agreed to make a copy of bronze and restore the original to ensure a conservation in the best conditions. The statue represents a standing St. Nicolas, leaning with one hand on the stock and blessing three small children at his feet. Saint-Nicolas is considered the Patron of the Haberdashers, a corporation owning the house since 1641.


Some webpages to help you plan your trip to see this beauty are

Tourist ofice Brussels :

Hope it helps find these gems in Brussels it will make your trip a fully enjoyable one surrounded by history and architecture. The area is very nice too.

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

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