Archive for August, 2018

August 31, 2018

A beautiful island, Noirmoustier!

And yes we do have plenty of islands in metropolitan France. they are some of prettiest islands you can imagine and still most little visited. I am lucky to have several nice ones around the Gulf of Morbihan, but even down the coast south you have a wonderful universe!

I am from nature a lover of these islands, reminds me of my roots in double islands of our world. Coming to them is always pleasant and full of expectations. The one I will tell you today is no difference. The Noirmoutier island is heavens on earth, so much you need to book in advance for the best season, and can be a bit pricey for that.

And let me give you a more historical/geographical view on the ïle de Noirmoutier! Don’t forget to see my several posts on the island.

The island of Noirmoutier is in the Bay of Biscay located in the Department of the Vendée (85). It is connected to the mainland by a submersible roadway called the Passage du Gois and, since 1971, by a bridge. It is made up of four communes in a community of communes of Île-de-Noirmoutier. Its length is approximately 18 km, its width varies from 500 meters to 12 km and its area is 49 km2. It lies south of the Loire estuary, northeast of the island of Yeu and southeast of Belle-Ile-en-Mer (Morbihan Breton!) . Separated from the mainland by the Strait of Fromentine, located at its southern end, it closes the Bay of Bourgneuf or Bay of Brittany, in its western and southern part. The island is often dubbed the “island of the Mimosas” for its climatic sweetness allowing the mimosas to grow and bloom in winter. Its dominant landscapes are salt marshes, dunes and holm oak forests.

Until the beginning of the 19C, the island of Noirmoutier had only one town with a seat at the village of Noirmoutier. Barbâtre became independent in 1858 before the constitution of two other communes some sixty years later in 1919 these are Guérinière and L’Epine.  The main towns are today:

The city of Noirmoutier located in the northeast of the island and its historic capital. Its center is marked by old monuments such as the Castle (see post), the Church of Saint-Philbert, (see post) the hotel Jacobsen, etc. includes, salt marshes, an agricultural plain, the seaside resort of the Bois de la Chaize, the fishing port and the pleasure port , the old Abbey of La Blanche as well as the two villages of the Vieil and Herbaudière. The rocky nature of the coasts makes the beaches rather smaller than those that border the Bois de la Chaize (ex: Plage des Dames , Souzeaux beach, and  L’Anse Rouge.

The village of L’Epine is located to the west of the island comprises a part of the salt marshes, the port of Morin (north of the village), a part of the Bois des Eloux (south of the village) and the Moulin de la Bosse. The beaches of L’Epine form a continuous sandy cord bearing different denominations according to the zones (plage Saint-Jean,plage de la Martinière.,beaches, punctuated by breakwaters which contribute to the defense of the island against the sea.

The village of La Guérinière is located in the centre of the island. With the seaside village of Sable d’Or and Sable de la Tresson, located to the south of the town. The sandy beach of the Guérinière offers a view of the bouchots (mussel culture) and the Huïtres parks installed at sea and visible at low tide. At the beach la Cantine,see old WWII bunkers.

noirmoutier noirmoutier

The village of Barbâtre, of rangy form by the extension of the suburban subdivisions , is the southernmost municipality of the island, it comprises the two routes connecting the island of Noirmoutier to the mainland: the Gois (passage du Gois submersible Road) and the new bridge. The urbanization of the 20C has extended the village to the old hamlets of Midi, Frandière and the Fosse. The beach of Midi is the beach of Barbâtre, it is the longest of the island, sandy cordon of more than 5 km long.

The village of  Vieil is located to the north of Noirmoutier and is part of its communal territory. It is a peaceful village of quiet streets stretching between the Bois de la Chaize and the Bois de la Blanche. The beaches are pretty rocky.

The village of Herbaudière is located in the north-west of the island, also integrated into the commune of Noirmoutier. It is the fishing port and the main marina of the island. The beach of Luzeronde, south of the Herbaudière, is sandy and quite steeply inclined, it offers a view on the island of the Pilier (north-west of the island).

For reference as not gone to any of these are in the south of the island the state Forest of Barbâtre in the northeast is the forest of the Bois de la Chaize on the west and south side, the small national Bois des Éloux. Natural setting for the nature lover in you.

A bit on the transports in and out

Until 1971, the island of Noirmoutier was an island accessible at low tide through the famous Passage du Gois ,a roadway about 4.5 km across the south of Bourgneuf Bay. Since then, a bridge supporting the D38 road also connects it to the mainland. I did the going to the island by the modern bridge coming from Nantes and then the return passed the Gois passage, super a must to do! This road the D38 travels the island from south to north to the port of the L’Epine, and the port of the Morin. From the Guérinière, the D948 road (very good road and scenic) crosses the salt marshes to reach Noirmoutier. Again , not use for information only: During the whole year, the bus station of Noirmoutier is served by a bus service connecting Nantes (Nantes train station) and La Roche-sur-Yon (Departmental network Cap Vendée). Also, the departmental Council of the Vendée set up an island service called the Bus d’ïle (Bus of the island) serving nearly thirty stops, while during the same time, the city of Noirmoutier organizes a free shuttle service “Gratibus” Ensuring daily connections between the Vieil , the Herbaudière and the village of Noirmoutier.

A bit of history I like

The story goes much older even with megalith stones found but I will keep it brief and later history. It was on the old island of Her or Hero that the monk Saint Philibert settled in 674. There he founded a monastery which was later at the origin of that of Saint-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu. He organized the salt harvest and the construction of many dikes. To fight against the Viking invasions, the Lords of the Garnache, the owners of the places, as well as the monks, built successive fortifications from 830.

noirmoutier

The island of Noirmoutier, like the ancient island of Bouin (now attached to the mainland), depended before the French revolution of the lordship of the Garnache, fief sometimes Poitevin (Duchy of Aquitaine and County of Poitou) in the Middle Ages, sometimes linked to Brittany with Breton expansion in the 9C broken by Viking incursions, then legal links with the Brittany marches region from the 16C to the 17C.

In the course of its history, the island suffered several attempts at invasions: English (1342, 1360, 1386); Spanish (1524, 1588). However, could not resist the Dutch invasion of 1674 by Admiral Cornelis Tromp.

In the 15C, the island of Noirmoutier is attached to the Thouars, which belongs to the family of Amboise. In March 1479, by his patent letters, King Louis XI confirmed the privileges granted by king Charles VII. In 1562, the Huguenots Corsairs from La Rochelle took over the island, which they made a sanctuary until 1569. During the French revolution, the island was the scene of two battles of the War of Vendée (for the maintain of the monarchy and Catholic faith): the first in 1793 resulted in a Vendée victory, While the second the following year saw the defeat of the latter.

Things to see in my opinion here are

The climate of the island also promoted very early the production of sea salt. Thus, as early as the 5C, the Benedictine monks began to transform the wetlands into salt marshes in order to harvest the white gold. These cover a large part of the island territory today. The salt and the flower of salt are still harvested in artisanal fashion and the production reaches, the best years, 1 500 tons of salt.

noirmoutier

The Castle of Noirmoutier dating from the 9C; the Church of Saint-Philbert, a former Benedictine abbey with Romanesque and Gothic style. It contains a beautiful crypt of the 11C, as well as the first tomb of the monk Saint Philibert, its founder in the 7C. Here you have a nice butterfly garden museum to see live.

The former Hotel Lebreton de Grapillières, a beautiful 18C mansion, now a tourist hotel under the name of Hôtel D’Elbée; Mansions dating back to the 18C.

The Estacade, emblematic building of the island of Noirmoutier. The first wood boom of the Bois de la Chaize was built in 1889. This boat pier played a major role in the development of seaside tourism in the early 20C. The work was completely restored in the years 2013-2014.

The passage of the Gois, submersible roadway, main tourist attraction of the island.  The Bois de la Chaize is known for its woods of holm oaks and mimosas, as well as beautiful shady beaches. A hundred seaside villas ,a majority of which date from the late 19C and early 20C were built in this forest. La promenade des Souzeaux along the ocean with several creeks. The lighthouse or Maison phare de la Pointe des Dames in the Bois de la Chaize; in Le Vieil, one of the village of the island facing the coast has several vacation centers for families. The National Natural Reserve of the marshes of Müllembourg, and the Regional Natural Reserve of Polder de Sébastopol. And of course, the many beaches mentioned above early in the post with the towns descriptions.

noirmoutier

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of the ïle de Noirmoutier: https://www.ile-noirmoutier.com/en

Department Vendée 85 tourist office on Noirmoutier island: http://www.vendee-tourism.co.uk/en/discover/nature-and-countryside/noirmoutier-island/

Local private guide on all about the island of Noirmoutier in French: http://www.ilenoirmoutier.fr/

Region Pays de la Loire on Noirmoutier: https://www.enpaysdelaloire.com/cote-atlantique/5-experiences-originales-a-noirmoutier

There you go plenty of info and photos of a beautiful island ok away from Brittany not bad at all ::) Enjoy it

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

August 30, 2018

Trevi Fountain in Rome!

Upon my business trips to Rome for some time, the time was tight, but did manage to get to some monuments; one of the famous ones always saw it on films was the Trevi Fountain. Once got to know Rome a bit; came with the family on a flight from CDG to Fiumicino airport, got to our apartment in Nomentano , got a bus 62 (best deal and see more above ground) and went to see it first thing!

 

It is very very touristic spot, sometimes overwhelming but you need to be there either early in the morning or at lunch time when everyone else does it. And still there will be folks there. However, at least for the first time,is a must to see in Rome. We came back several times by it in our two weeks in Rome. My boys finally convince me to take them ,and they all like it; my dear late wife Martine loves the sweets especially there!

I have written pieces of it in my other posts on Rome, however, it deserves a post on its own, therefore, here it is. Enjoy it la Dolce Vita.

The Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) is the largest and one of the most famous fountains in Rome. Built between 1732 and 1762, it is located in the Trevi Rione, in Piazza di Trevi, and is attach to the Poli Palace. The Trevi Fountain is an example of the perpetuation of the Baroque style in the 18C Rome, by its mixture of  monumental effects.

A bit of history I like

This monument was conceived at the request of Pope Clement XII who organizes in 1730 a contest to celebrate, with a fountain, the aqueduct of the Aqua Virgo built in 19BC.   Carried out on Piazza di Trevi, at the time three ways converge towards this square, hence the name of Trevi. The fountain is done in 1762, and inaugurated on 22 May 1762 . The Trevi Fountain wa the subject of a restoration in 1998 in order to modernize its hydraulic system. In 2014,came another restauration without the need to completely mask the monument to the public. However, the fountain was empty and visitors cannot easily see or approach the fountain. It is reopened to the public on November 3, 2015.

Architectural description

The composition of this monumental ensemble is dominated in the lower part by a rocky travertine cliff carved also from animals and plants, in the midst of various streams of water. In the center, a large niche framed with columns, with a coffered ceiling, houses the god of the ocean, Neptune, who drives a tank shaped like a shell drawn by two winged sea horses one of the horses is peaceful while the other seems agitated, in order to symbolize the two aspects that can be offered to us by the sea, themselves preceded by Tritons. The large central niche is framed by two smaller side niches occupied by two marble sculptures; on the right, the statue of safety and left that of prosperity, alluding to the effects of pure water. These two round-tops are themselves surmounted by two panels in bas-relief representing on the left, the general and politician Roman Agrippa commanding the construction of the aqueduct of the Aqua Virgo that feeds the fountain and right, the girl who discovered the source feeding the fountain.

Rome

The four large Corinthian columns support enrichment and an attic adorned with a panel on which is engraved the great inaugural inscription and which is adorned four small allegorical statues; from left to right, the abundance of fruits, the fertility of the fields, Autumn richness   and landscaping. The ensemble is crowned by a balustrade and by the arms of Pope Clement XII held by two cherubs. The Trevi fountain is water-powered by the Aqua Virgo Aqueduct, built in 19BC. This 20-km long canal fed water throughout the Middle Ages, the area of the champ de Mars field; A part is visible in the underground archaeological area.

Rome

It was customary to throw a coin by the right arm by turning its back to the fountain before leaving “the Eternal City”, a superstition associated with the fountain being that whoever makes this gesture is guaranteed to return to the Italian capital in order to retrieve the coin. After some less good folks this practice is forbidden, and the coins of the fountain is now collected by the authorities and donated to the Catholic Caritas charitable association. Every morning, before the arrival of tourists, the circulation of water is cut. The fountain is cleaned with a brush and the coins are assembled in a long snake line, using long poles, and removed by suction, under police supervision.

Rome

The Cinema in the Trevi fountain, and one reason I came looking for it. My favorite films are: In The Fountain of Love (1954) by Jean Negulesco, three young Americans make the vow to find Prince charming by throwing each coin in the fountain. The La Dolce Vita (1960), Federico Fellini shows Anita Ekberg taking her bath in the fountain in evening dress, under the eyes of Marcello Mastroianni (superb). In 1995, on the death of Marcello Mastroianni, the city of Rome veiled the statues in black. Other famous by Federico Fellini is Roman Holiday.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is a must are

Site dedicated wholly to the Trevi Fountain

Tourist office of Rome on the Trevi Fountain

Region of Lazio tourism on the Trevi Fountain

There you go, all set, go. It is a must in Rome and a wonder always to look at it, love is in the air, and it is good for the soul. Enjoy it

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

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August 28, 2018

How about Mettlach, Germany!

In my lapse on Germany after finally coming on family visits we were base south of Trier and by car traveled all over the Western parts. One town caught the attention of my dear late wife Martine from brochures, this was Mettlach; the reason ,shopping !!!

I like the town for its quaint architecture, on the banks of the Sarre river, and the quaint restaurants around the main square on a hilly terrain down to the river. Of course, if you are into shopping of the good names at reduce prices then this is it for you!! My Martine love it!!!

Let me tell you a bit more on Mettlach, my previous touristic blog post is here: Mettlach in the Sarre of Germany

Mettlach is a municipality in the district of Merzig-Wadern in Saarland,  approximately 7 km (4.3 mi) northwest of Merzig, and 30 km (19 mi) south of Trier. Here we took again the B51 south from Konz-Trier. Very nice picturesque road takes you right along the Sarre river entering town over the bridge on Von Boch Liebig Strabe(street).

A bit of history I like

Mettlach, formerly Mettloch, was a village and abbey in the Duchy of Lorraine, attached to the Diocese of Trier. The Abbey of Mettlach was founded in the 7C by Lutvin, who was the first abbot.

For those in the footing, there is a nice castle ruins outside of town. The Castle of Montclair is in ruins.  At the Convention of  1778, it was recalled that, in accordance with what had already been stipulated in 1661, between France and the Elector of Trier(local govt at the time), the fort and Château de MontClair could never be relieved or reinstated. The way the tourist office has it, you go from the parking place at the Pfaffkirche in Mettlach, following “Tafeltour ” signs you will reach this picturesque small castle after about 3.5 km of walking. The Trail is quite steep, but it leads through beautiful woods with several viewing spots with benches where you can relax, if needed, so it is still enjoyable.

There is an opportunity for river cruising very popular here even if we had no time or no willingness to do so, it is here for information only.

Cruises on the Sarre river from Mettlach: https://www.saarflotte.de/english/return-excursions

The Church of  Liutwinious name after the first abbot who founded it here is very quaint nice on a hilly plateau overlooking the city below, worth the climb.

Mettlach

Mettlach

Like I said, we came here for the shopping and the whole town seems to be gear for the factory outlet stores especially that of fame Villeroy & Boch! Here we took small plates and cups and went on to the others to get some more goodies always temptation abount here, the prices are right for the quality product, the places is picturesques and quaint old world ,and just dandy places to eat. A nice find indeed.

Mettlach

More info on the shopping below

Outlet factory store shopping in Mettlach: https://www.tourist-info.mettlach.de/de/outletshopping.html

Outlet factory shopping in English: http://www.mettlachoutletcenter.de/en.html

Villeroy & Boch in Mettlach: https://www.visitsaarland.co.uk/Media/Attractions/Villeroy-Boch

Official webpage Villeroy & Boch : https://www.villeroyboch-group.com/en/visitors-and-tourism/old-abbey-discovery-centre.html

Some additional webpages on tourist info to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist info city of Mettlach: https://www.mettlach.de/tourist-info/

Tourist info region of Sarre: https://www.visitsaarland.co.uk/Media/Cities/Mettlach

There you a nice spot indeed to spend a day of glorious shopping ,good food, and nice picturesques scenes on the Sarre river. Enjoy it

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

 

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August 25, 2018

The time will be cherished forever, the pain will remain, and the memories will linger my dear Martine!

And here I am alone, not really, my sons are all around me and still my old Dad with me.  It is a cloudy day and some rain was felled. I have come back from a trip, a special trip to a special place in our family’s heart. This entry will try to make it brief and share a bit more personal with my readers, friends and family who reads.

I have just came back from Honfleur , dept of Calvados 14 in region of Normandy. Why Honfleur, well people asked me. When we came to France we lived in Versailles and on our many runs in France and neighboring countries we came for a visit to Honfleur. Mine all mine, everybody felled in love with the quaintness of the town, architecture ,and the fact that the sea plays a major part past and present here and we are islanders on all sides !

Over the years we came back visiting the town and participating in its many activities and felled more for it. When it was the unfortunate time to say farewell to my dear mother Gladys, she asked to be deposit her ashes here, why tombstones for a traveling islanders , the sea is life. I took my mother on the Notre Dame du Port boat from the SNSM société nationale de sauvetage en mer or the National Marine Rescue Society. This is a volunteer life savers at sea ,former marines ,fisherman , and sea lovers who come to help the distress at sea in France.

The people were very nice and humble to us. We continue to visit the town ,and I became a donor for the association,back in 2008. My father always told me if his time comes, he too will out here at sea. I told him , I will follow suit and made it known to my sons. As the unfortunate lousy cancer came and took my my dear wife Martine, I had asked her where, and she too told me to put her ashes at sea here. And so I did on Friday ,August 24 2018 at 10h between Honfleur and Le Havre out at sea with the braves of Normandy. I was told by the boat Captain and President of the SNSM Honfleur station the ashes were spread at coordinates 49°2’6′ 08 N and 000° 10′ 850 E.

A phase is turning and now the duty is done, the paperwork is mostly done minor details left but easy.   Life they tell me is to be continue and so I will, there is no sensible  alternative. However, the memories, the souvenirs, the happy face, the energy and love will remain forever. I am very lucky to have met her at that 36 rue de Noefort, Meaux , Seine-et-Marne dept 77 and before on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées in beautiful romantic Paris.

Yes, they tell me too ,time will ease the pain. Heck, I am human, time will not heal any pain. The pain will be there, I will just have the will and need to continue with my  young men sons. We are very much together, always as a family remembering those words in the 3 Muskeeteers of Alexandre Dumas, One for all ,and All for one! We stand together.

I will put the previous post in hommage I did in my blog for my dear loving wife Martine, and some of the photos of this special sad trip here. The rest is up to you. And me.

The ordeal of a good bye

Hommage to my dear late wife Martine

In memoriam my sweet wife Martine

An hommage to Paris and Martine

 

Honfleur

out to sea between Honfleur and Le Havre

Honfleur

coming back to Honfleur and the garden promenade on right

Honfleur

ecluse levy to open boats out and in at sea

Honfleur

Notre Dame du Port waiting for our day at sea

Honfleur

Notre Dame du Port of the SNSM of Honfleur

Honfleur

Notre Dame du Port waiting for the volunteer crew

Honfleur

going in to the Notre Dame du Port at Honfleur

 

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

ps. if you think the SNSM job is a worthy one, and would like to help  with Euros here is their official webpage in French of course. No obligation at all just for information. SNSM org

August 21, 2018

Cathedral St Stephen, Toulouse!

Back to the blog to tell you about one of our favorite cities in France.  I have written several posts on one of our favorite cities of France, Toulouse. If anything my dear late wife Martine father’s side family comes from here. The post that best describes the city in general is here.

Toulouse the pink city

This time I do justice to the Cathedral of St Stephen or Cathédrale Saint Etienne de Toulouse. A city of many Churches, Basilicas, and Chapels, the Cathedral for us is it.

Tolouse

The Cathedral of St Stephen or Cathédrale Saint Etienne of Toulouse and located near the Grand Rond (a garden).The Church of Toulouse was founded in the 3C by St Saturnin, it’s first bishop, who suffered martyrdom around the year 250 AD. As for St Stephen’s Cathedral, we do not really know the exact origins. According to some historians, it was built on the foundations of a Chapel built by St Saturnin and rebuilt by St Exuperius, 150 years later. However, the first mention that we know of is provided by a charter of Charles the Bald given, in the year 844 AD, for the benefit of the Churches of the city. At the time of the Gregorian reform, in 1078 AD, Bishop Isarn decided to rebuild the then-ruined Church, a new Church located on the site of the present nave known as Raimond VI.

Toulouse

Now divided into 3 bays, it is covered by a vault with the powerful cross-section of square warheads. High and wide by more than 19 meters. The counting of the brick walls, the beauty and the power of the lines, evoke the constructions of the Cistercian order, then represented on the episcopal seat of Toulouse by Bishop Foulques. The rare sculptures are the keystone of the arches, one adorned with the cross of Toulouse, and the Capitals of the armature on the back of the façade. The great rosary would be added later by 1229.  The 13C begat 2 cathedrals, the one evoked above and another joining towards 1270, when the count of Toulouse was attached to the crown of France ,if this project had been fully realized, we would have in Toulouse a Cathedral equivalent to those of Reims or Amiens.

Thereafter, various works executed according to a different plan, bring the fantasy of somewhat enigmatic achievements. These are, in other things, the portal of the Archbishop Denis du Moulin (1447), the big pillar and the steeple of Cardinal Jean d’Orléans (16C). The 20C saw an unnecessary transept arm realized at the expense of a chapel of the 15C. Its architecture is peculiar because it is composed of architectural elements of various eras. The Cathedral adjoins the former Episcopal palace, now occupied by the prefecture government building.

On the Western Wall, you will recognize a rosary, directly inspired by that of Notre Dame de Paris. The main originality of the building is to present two very distinct parts, a Romanesque part at the back of the nave, the nave Raymondine, and a gothic part, the Choir. These two churches were connected  in the 16C by Jean d’Orléans. The Choir is twice as wide as the Romanesque nave, so the central aisle is broken in line. The southern Roman wall was extended by the Gothic church. This gigantic project began in  1272, under the aegis of Bishop Bertrand de l’Isle .

In 1609 a vault in the Choir calls for an initial project provided for a ceiling height of 40 meters, the vault is now only 28 meters, and is nonetheless impressive. In 1794, the majestic bell of 12 or 13 tons, the Cardailhac, was thrown from the top of the steeple, plunged deep into the earth and broke, despite several layers of straw arranged on the forecourt. The fortified Romanesque steeple houses a carillon of 17 keypad bells and 5 on the fly! The Cathedral is the only Church in Toulouse to have preserved its original stained glass windows dating from the 14C for the older ones. It also has an organ with woodworks of Béhorri and Morisot and a altarpiece of Pierre Mercier and Drouet  from 1670.  The history of this Church is so enamelled with modifications, renovations and reconstructions that it could be called “the unfinished Cathedral.”

The furniture of the Cathedral presents a series of works of great interest. In the canopy, incomplete, of the 14C, adorn the Chapels St Pierre, St François, St Augustin, and St Vincent de Paul. The Royal canopy ,15C offers the portraits of Charles VII and his eldest son, the future Louis XI. Remarkable vaulting keys present, among others, the image of St Louis, seated on his throne, Raised in Heaven by two Angels, Around 1300, the Chapel St Joseph, Chapel of Ste Catherine and of a bishop, these sculptures from 1340 by the maker of the Chapel of Rieux ,On the southern collateral, see the woodwork of the choir and the great organ, executed from1610 by L. Béhorri and A. Morisot, constitute a rare ensemble of sculptures, which complement the great altarpiece of the master altar by Gervais Drouet and Pierre Mercier , from 1660-1668, it is surrounded by grates in wrought iron from 1766 , a curtain in 33 pieces, from the 16C and 17C, dedicated to the history of St Etienne and all Saints Bishops of Toulouse. In the collateral are the tombs of the president of Lestangpar A. Legoust from 1623, the Bishop H. De Sponde, 17C, and the president of Puyvert ,1784. Finally, two paintings of the 17C ;the triumph of Joseph by H. Pader, under the organ, and the Adoration of the shepherds by Nicolas Bollery, School of Fontainebleau.

The tour of Chapels

The baptismal font chapel. On the left side itself it contains the fonts composed of a circular tank resting on a polygonal base. Several entries are engraved on the tank as well as the date of 1305.  The transept wall shows the organs The choir is made up of wooden stalls once fenced by a rood, with a choir organ and a platform for practices, and ends with an Episcopal necropolis, located under the altar accessible after several steps bounded by a balustrade. The gothic nave is surrounded by 15 pentagonal chapels, vaulted in the last years of the 13C.

The Chapels on the right, behind the pillar of Orléans the Chapel of the secondary altar of the Cathedral. The altar and Tabernacle in marble, Louis XV style, the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels(Notre Dame des Anges) . erected under the episcopate of Jean d’Orléans at the beginning of the 16C, the chapel has since been dedicated to the Virgin as evidenced by the keystone that represents it the former chapel of St. Lawrence it serves as a passage to the Cour Sainte-Anne.

The Chapel of St. Vincent de Paul was completed in the first half of the 14C. The vault key bears effigy of Saint Dominique the chapel was originally dedicated to him. After the concordat it was dedicated to Saint Vincent de Paul in memory of his stay in Toulouse: He studied theology from 1597 to 1604 at the University of Toulouse.

The Chapel of St. Augustine originally dedicated to St. Catherine whose image is on the keystone of the chapel. It is found below the Annunciation on the stained glass window with the palm of martyrdom and the image of the wheel of its torment.

The Chapel of St. Germaine, originally dedicated to Saint Nicholas, which is on the keystone of the chapel, was dedicated in the 18C to Saint Francis of Paul, whose stained glass traces his life. Finally it was dedicated in 1876 to Saint Germaine de Pibrac.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross, the Chapel was restored in 1879. The reliquary dates from this time it is in painted metal.

The Absidials Chapels are: The Chapel of the Relics disposed of the closed niches of bronze grates, which contain the relics of different Saints. The oak confessional of 17C and other the Chapel of St. Joseph, the Chapel of the Sacred Heart , the Chapel of Saint-François-de-Sales, and the Passage Chapel towards the Sacristy, this Chapel finished around 1279, was originally dedicated to the body of Christ.

The Chapels on the left (from the Sacristy) are the Chapel of Saint Joanne of Arc; This chapel dates from 1279. The current decorations date from 1922 after its canonization in 1920. It became a memorial for the parish soldiers who fell in WWI. On the right is a statue of St. Clotilde and left of Sainte-Geneviève. The Chapelle Saint François-Xavier, completed in 1279, was originally dedicated to Saint Martin, which is always present on the keystone. Reworked and restored from 1843 to 1846 the Chapel is then consecrated to St. Francis Xavier. The Chapelle Saint-Roch, this Chapel contains the cenotaph of Joseph and Jean François Sylvestre Roux de Puyvert. Work in polychrome marble of the sculptor François Lucas 3rd quarter of the 18C. The Chapel of Saint Peter, completed in 1286, is the seat of 24 canons whose group was created in 1259. The Chapel of Saint James (St Jacques).

Toulouse

The ambulatory it enshrines the Choir and serves the Chapels. The two organs are located in the Gothic part. The Tribune organ of the Cathedral weighs about thirteen tons. It is 12 meters high and 10 meters wide. It is not placed on a stand, but hung on a vertical wall. The original organ dates from 1612. Restore the last several times in 1977. The Choir organ by Aristide Cavaillon-Coll (organ factor) dates from 1868.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here in addition to my blog post of course, are

Official site Cathedral St Stephen Toulouse

Tourist office of Toulouse on the Cathedral

There you go, a nice Cathedral, great city of pink and just a wonderful time always. One of my fav spots for retirement in my belle France!

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

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August 19, 2018

17th Edition Saint Christophe old vehicles show at Bignan

Ok so busy day today lol!! This is the third of a series today on the town of Bignan.  Sunday is usually calm and family time here. However, I am on vacation finding places to go and things to do without too much preparation as I am in no mood to do that. Therefore, I saw the 17th edition of Saint Christophe old Vehicles show at the Domaine de Kerguéhennec in Bignan and off we went.

This event is done every year and this time organize by the Avrbignan association. Its Sunday so what the heck get out of the house we did and glad we did it. The association site of old antique vehicles is here in French: http://avrbignan.fr/

 

We love cars so been to several of them here and elsewhere. Even in my town there are every year. The freedom of the road is unequal and never replace. Put your pedal to the metal and rock!!! Of course, always with moderation, we are even going down to 80 KPH rules in France on one way lane department roads like the one today on the D767 ! OF course ,even if the death on the road increase again…of course is not speed but they get plenty of money from it last read the government racks in more than 700M € in fines!!!

Bignan

So let’s get to the old slow cars (even if new they went faster than today).

The 17 edition of the Saint Christophe was one of the zillions of events held at the domaine nowadays. It was an all day affairs even if we only stay for the antique old cars display show at 14h. The cars left from Baud to Bignan, there a Mass in the tent at Kerguehennec by 11h then lunch at 12h30 for 11€ including ham, cold cuts, fries ,cheese, fruit tarts and coffee. By 14h the exhibition of the vehicles were shown all parked behind the stables out to the left of the Castle. By 16h30 there were prizes given to the best show and at 19h another dinner 10€ without drinks but kir Breton offered for free, live music by Kelt ha Breizh, celtic Breton songs of course.

Bignan

Again, the webpage for the Domaine (and Castle) of Kerguéhennec is here: http://www.kerguehennec.fr/le-domaine

The site is in French , so I put the above webpage on the page of agenda and cultural events coming up on it. Hope it helps. http://www.kerguehennec.fr/actualite-agenda

There you go a nice old fashion old car show nearby on a beautiful surroundings, perfect Sunday. Hope you enjoy it too

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

August 19, 2018

Chateau Museum of Pau!

And I bring to a place our family gathered for many years, first on my dear late wife Martine’s side for the Tour de France, and later us just even staying there as a base to see more of the region. This is Pau, in dept 64 Pyrénées-Atlantique in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine.  Wonderful Pau is only  about 200 km from Bordeaux and Toulouse and 250 km from Zaragoza in Aragon,Spain. We have come by car always so know they have a train station quite nice and an airport nearby; the roads are super and we have taken them all such as the A64 La Pyrénéenne, A65 autoroute de Gascogne, N117 and N134 and as well the great beltway of Pau the D817 with lots of speed radars so check the sites to avoid them ::)

I have written several post on it, I leave you with my favorite post …on Pau. Wonderful Pau

In the city center of Pau, in old Béarn, there is the old Castle of Pau (and museum too), famous for having seen the birth of the king of France and Navarre, Henri IV. It is accessed by the Pont de Nemours. Its position allows to control the passage on the Gave de Pau (river canyon) located further south below.  The Castle estate is made up of a park, stretching westward along the gave, and by the buildings themselves, located on the east side, whose interior houses a museum. The east entrance of the Castle overlooks the Boulevard des Pyrénées which connects the castle to Beaumont Park!

Begun by the Viscounts of Béarn in the 11C, and in particular by Centulle le Vieux, the castle was gradually built throughout the Middle Ages. It is above all a military work of a typical castle, built at the top of the small hill that dominates the Gave delimited by the ravine of Hédas. In the 12C and 13C, successive dynasties of the Viscounts of Béarn built three towers at this fortress, which were named Mazères, Billère and Montaüser.

Gaston III de Foix-Béarn, better known as Gaston Fébus. This warlord, in a delicate situation since, by his possessions, under the rule of the enemy kingdoms of France and England, makes the Béarn, a united and autonomous region. He developed a network of strongholds in order to defend this territory. The Château de Pau was thus strongly transformed in order to become a imprenable citadel. Fébus built the Brick dungeon, which was thirty-three meters high, and engraved the inscription: “Febus Me Fe” (“Febus Me Fit”, in Béarn language). It also makes the Tour de la Monnaie and the south wing of the castle.

In the Renaissance, the installation of the Court of Navarre in 1512 significantly altered the appearance of the castle. Of fortress It was initially, it becomes a residence of pleasure. Henri Albret resides there accompanied by his wife Marguerite of Angoulême, sister of king François I, and better known as Marguerite of Navarre, author of the Heptahedron. The two sovereigns are at the origin of the development of a terrace in the south as well as the courtyard of honor, the construction of the staircase of honor in place of the old kitchens, the installation of the new kitchens in the north wing and the development of the gardens. The future king Henri IV was born at the château on December 13, 1553. The fame of this king, cradled as a child in a preciously preserved turtle shell, gives the castle, which saw it neither grow nor die and where it made no embellishment, a particular taste.

After the illustrious passage of the future King Henry IV and the death of his grandparents, no ruler will reside in Pau until the 19C. The castle was entrusted to the care of the Gramont family, and was thus maintained, but its ceremonial furniture was gradually removed and a large part of its estate was amputated under the constant pressure of the sprawling city. As to preserved it from demolition under the French Revolution, the castle arrives in a pitiful state when Louis-Philippe decides to fully restore it (same idea for Versailles). He therefore had the idea of restoring from 1838 the castle of the one who reconciled Catholics and Protestants to make it a royal residence, but it will not reside there however. The exterior of the castle is also strongly remodelled with the addition of a mock tower to the West (Louis-Philippe tower) by symmetry to the Mazères tower, the transformation of the fore-guard into a chapel and the destruction of the old fortified corridor. Louis-Philippe, renovator of the Castle as he was of Versailles, exiled in 1848 in England where he died two years later, could never stay in this place.

The restorations of the château stopped in 1848 are taken over in 1852. In 1859, we start the demolition of the East building, then we build the portico. The two medallions representing Henri of Albret and Marguerite de Valois placed above at the same time the construction of the buildings connecting the portico to the Montaüser tower. They restored the chapel, reinforces the staircase of honor, takes over the facade of the wing of the middle (aile du midi), establishes a library in the living room Bernadotte to install the six thousand books bought in 1867 by Napoleon III to the former mayor of Pau. The castle received the visit of Napoleon III but also those, more numerous, of the Empress Eugénie during her multiple cures in the southwest. In 1868, it was the Queen of Spain, on the run, Isabel II and her suite, who lodged at the castle. The Third Republic made the castle a presidential residence before becoming, in 1926, the National museum that it remained and which houses the works preserved since the time of Henri IV and especially during the restoration operated by Louis-Philippe. Indeed as in Versailles, a wonderful castle museum to be seen a must..

Let me tell you about the architecture, which is very rich, will be brief.

The main entrance takes place on the side of the city, by a bridge of bricks and stones built during the reign of king Louis XV, to replace the medieval drawbridge. A three-arch portico was built between 1859 and 1864 in the Renaissance style. Cour d’honneur , the courtyard of the castle has an original form, punctuated with sculptures and medallions at the doors and windows.

Pau

Pau

Towers of the Castle:

The Gaston-Fébus tower in the southeast, also called the dungeon. The latter was completed by Fébus in the 14C, it was built almost entirely in brick on a height of 33 meters. It had like the other towers, a slate blanket that was removed after a storm in 1820. In the part currently facing the Parliament of Navarre, the President of the States of Béarn proclaimed the name of each newly elected sovereign. The tower served as a prison until 1822.

The Mazères and Louis-Philippe Towers at the West End,start with the Mazères Tower is the oldest of the castle since it dates from the 11C while that of Louis-Philippe Tower was built in the middle of the 19C to echo in its twin tower. The two Towers measure each 22.5 meters. The Mazères tower refers to the village of Mazères-Lezons, on the other side of the Gave de Pau.

The  Montaüser tower to the north, the tower was devoid of stairs to its origin in the 12C. The garrison was, thus, tasked to mount the tower with ladders which were withdrawn after climbing. This tower was once a well to forget in which the criminals were locked up.

The Billère Tower in the north-west of the castle refers to the village of Billère in which the good king Henri IV was fed in the Lassensàa house. This tower measures 30 meters high, counting the attic, it was built in the 12C

The Napoleon III Tower, this one was carried out at the end of the 19C under the orders of the emperor in front of the Gaston-Fébus tower. It ends the castle at its northeast end.

Pau Pau

Pau Pau Pau

Blessed in 1843 by the Bishop of Bayonne, the present Chapel was set up in 1840 in the old drawbridge door built in the early 16C. It was located in a small room on the first floor of the south wing of the castle

Pau

Three walls surrounded the castle in order to protect it from the external aggressions constitutes an advanced defense for the castle. It was built by Fébus below the castle in the south, and was used to watch over the Gave de Pau, the Pyrenees and Spain in the distance.

In the 16C, the family of Albret created an exceptional set of gardens and parks around the castle the kings of Navarre thus develop a warren, an orchard, a chesnut grove, a vine, a small and a large park (named lower-level and high-level) the Haute-Plante (high level) is transformed into a public place (present Place de Verdun) as well as a cemetery. The lower level is, in part, preserved and the gardens become accessible to the public in the mid-19C. The lower level now occupies 23 hectares in the heart of the city with parks and gardens, as well as a forest. The present place Gramont occupies the other part of the original lower level.

Pau Pau PAu Pau

Let go inside shall we, again briefly.

The Salle des cent couverts (room of the hundred utensils) has vast proportions allowing to accommodate a rich tapestry décor and a huge table of oak and fir in the large living room The Grand Salon or large reception room of the castle created with the present waiting lounge a large room in the castle where the court (assembly of nobles and clergy) of the Béarn was gathered in the Middle Ages. From the end of the 15C it became the throne room of the kings of Navarre. The coffered ceiling sees the golden figures of the fine gold of Henri IV’s grandparents

Chambre du roi or King’s bedroom,that actually was to be born King Henry IV was probably in the present family lounge on the lower floor. The Turtle shell, the first cradle of the future sovereign, is a central element of the legend of the good King Henri IV. Since the 18C, the latter has been the object of a cult in Béarn, it is solemnly worn during processions in the streets of the city. During the French revolution, a local collector, Mr de Beauregard, decided to substitute the turtle shell with a similar turtle shell that he possessed. He was helped in his company by the concierge Lamaignère on the night of April 30, 1793. The very next day the false shell was burned in the public place. Fortunately the real shell was finally made it in 1814 to king Louis XVIII, many testimonies confirmed the identity of the legendary Cradle.

Apartments of the Empress originally built for the wife of Louis-Philippe, Queen Marie-Amélie, these apartments were finally occupied by the Empress Eugénie. These apartments include a boudoir, a bedroom, a bathroom, a wardrobe, a maid’s room and a dressing room. The empress came many times in the castle of Pau during her travels between Biarritz and the spa resorts of the Pyrenees .

 Family Lounge, this piece was conceived in the 19C in order to be a meeting place for the relatives of the sovereign, family and friends in particular.

The staircase of honor, or grand staircase, serves all the great apartments of the castle. It was made at the beginning of the 16C by the grandparents of Henri IV. It is a Renaissance-style realization, close to the staircases of the castles of Bury ,and Azay-le-Rideau. Marguerite of Angoulême and Henri Albret signed the staircase of their initials H and M throughout the building. Two large vases of red porphyry adorn the bearings, these are gifts made by the King of Sweden Charles XIV Jean, born in Pau, to Louis-Philippe.

The Château de Pau concentrates one of the most important collections of tapestries outside of Paris. It gathers 96 pieces, coming from 17 different draperies, but mainly woven by the Gobelins in Paris. Several main themes are covered by this collection: The hunting scenes, the works of the fields, the noble leisure’s of the 16C, the Royal  parties and, of course, the life of Henri IV. It was only from 1860 that two paintings by Charles-Gustave Housez  and Eugène Giraud on Henri IV were installed in the family lounge, judged too austere.

Pau

Some of the webpages to help you plan your visit to this wonderful castle are

Official Castle webpage : https://en.chateau-pau.fr/

Tourist office of dept 64 on the castle : http://pratique.tourisme64.com/patrimoine-culturel/pau/musee-national-et-domaine-du-chateau-de-pau/PCUAQU064FS0004W.html

Tourist office of Pau Pyrenees: https://www.pau-pyrenees.com/home/notre-patrimoine/une-touche-de-culture/musee-national-du-chateau-de-pau

Nice info in English on the Chateau de Pau: http://www.chateau-pau.com/english/index.htm

There you go another gem of my belle France so many right, yes! And as a base, Pau is great even going into Spain! Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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August 18, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXVIII

I am back on my wonderful department 56 Morbihan of Brittany. It has been hotter around 25C or 77F but clouds and sunshine in and out. We in general, have better weather than the rest of France and it shows. We have been invaded by folks from all over France and some European countries like the most, the UK, and Germany but also,Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Italy as well. It is said , Brittany is the third most visited region of France ,behind Ile de France 1 and PACA 2.

The locals like me knows how to get around this and avoid the expressways or N roads here. However, had a former boss friend from Paris visiting me with his wife last night and coming from the Rhuys peninsula not far from me usually is 40 minutes, took him almost 1h10 due to heavy beach traffic on the N165 expressway or as we call here voie express. Anyway we had nice rosé wines from Corsica and pizzas of different flavors at my house with a bit of whisky, porto, and vodka aperitifs (apéros) before meal drinks. Lots to catch up and we had a pleasant evening. We did get a nice gift from the Camargue , rose wine which is nice.

Then ,today our regular errands day while not traveling. And traveling nowadays is hard as do not have my second half anymore (Martine passed away last April 30th due to cancer) we are content to just be with us , glued together and share moments. I tend to go back to old posts and revive them again for the memories. The public gets the benefits of more information on traveling the world with me.

Amongst the many associations and institution I support in France and Spain especially are those dealing with cancer here. The Ligue contre le Cancer du Morbihan and the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale.  Their webpages to follow

https://www.ligue-cancer.net/cd56/journal

https://www.frm.org/

Now back to the errands of today.

We did some cleaning around the house, and left to have lunch out. We have not been for quite a long time to a chain we have visited before so we decided to go today. This is the steakhouse US style (but smaller steaks) Buffalo Grill at Ploeren just outside of Vannes. The webpage is here; https://restaurant.buffalo-grill.fr/261646-buffalo-grill-vannes-ploeren

Here we had the new menu Tennessee Burger with barbecue sauce and a potato patty that was very good and a good deal. We got it down with a bottle of Côte de Provence rosé from Masfleurie 2017 and had desserts base on ice cream Coupe America. All came in for 23.30€ per person ,which is about average.

 

From there we walk to the nearby favorite office supply store for printer ink HP at Bureau Vallée. The store webpage is here: https://www.bureau-vallee.fr/nos-magasins/magasin-ploeren-vannes-14/

We continue to do my car wash and gas up/petrol at E Leclerc hypermarket in Vannes, where we ,also,did our groceries as usual. Loading up on all essentials the quick way I am afraid. All in one spot shopping!  Webpage here: http://www.e-leclerc.com/vannes

 

By this time we had it all done and were back at home ready for our late evening TV and meal which nowdays is light and plenty of liquids glory of France! And of course, my FB, my LK, My Blog and my Whatapps…..keeps me busy and entertain nowadays. Thank you for your loyal support.

Tomorrow is a quiet day for us. Probably just a ride out to just say we were out of the house. Monday due some administrative errands and then go on to the Loire for wine tastings!

And remember, life is beautiful but can be short, enjoy it now. Happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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August 16, 2018

Some news from Bretagne, XXIIII

Way back in my initiation to blogging I did a series of entries showcasing my new region of Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh. This went on for a while in fact reviving this thread is no 24, with the last written on April 27 2017! You can search all of them in my blog by typing some news from Bretagne in the search box on the right hand column of my front page.

It has been amazing ride and later developed into more detail description of the events and towns here. However, today I go back because I have been in two of the regions of Bretagne , my own Morbihan dept 56,  and neighbor Finistére dept 29. So will do another Some news from Bretagne post.

I started my day after our family continental breakfast with painting! yes we painted a room in our basement (our basement has 130 sq meters or 1400 sq feet) on materials already purchase with my dear late wife Martine. We were thinking of doing two rooms in the basement for guests and we have it all done, just the room partitions is left to do! The boys did a good job and were treated with their favorite young people food, Star kebad and a sparkler mousseux from the Loire Vignobles Marchais that was not too bad for 6 euros lol! This was a great family affairs and I love it! The kebad has very friendly husband and wife team and  has a Facebook page here : Star Kebad Pluvigner

From here we went into our neighbor Finistére in the fortified town of Concarneau that we have visited many times and several blog posts on it. This time we were there for something special. FIFA Under 20 Women World Cup is been held in several cities in Brittany and today the quarter finals was SPAIN vs Nigeria!!! The game was played at Stade Guy Piriou with heavy security. We are so closed we could not miss cheering the girls so Spain won 2×1 and has a historical semifinal appearance which turn out will be against France yikes !!!! France beat North Korea 1X0 on a penalty kick. I will be neutral ::)

The game was pretty good, fast and lots of chances, Spain was dominating the first half ,winning 2X0 ,  a bit less the second half when Nigeria came back. They are very happy to be able to reach the semi finals for the first time. We had a blast there. Ah parking was funny, we saw it full around the small stadium and some VIP spaces so we ask a cop and told us go across to the E Leclerc hypermarket , so we did for free and an underground passageway to go from the hypermarket to the stadium to boot! Great!

As we were still about an hour from home decided to come back and celebrate the win closer to us in one of favorite bar and many times mentioned in my blog, the V&B of Auray. This is a nice concept of bar and liquor store where the closing time is 20h (8pm). The folks at the Auray store are very nice and have come to know them. The store is on a crossroads to the beaches south such as Carnac and Quiberon ,and just off the road N165 voie express or freeway here.  Here we had our usual German beers with my favorite Krombacher and wild pig and pepper sausages cut in thin slices.

After this indulgent we came home to relax and wait for a Paris friend visiting us by tomorrow.

Enjoy your day wherever you are, life is beautiful but short. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

August 16, 2018

The Summer feasts of Wine in France!

This is a nice breezy not too hot not to cold day in my lovely Morbihan and we set out to do many things (more of that on later post). However, wine is in the air, Summer is the tradition of wine and the refreshing idea of drinking it with friends and family.

In my humble efforts to tell you all about wines in France from a seasoned taster, drinker, collector and diplomé person of France let me tell you the latest happening. Oh yes I will be in the trail by August 21th in the Loire.. Some of the tourist activities you can join are

Tasting under the Earth , some of the latest tasting going on in my belle France.
The Ardèche winegrowers make their wines grow old in spectacular galleries, and on the Cave of Saint-Marcel. A speleologist guide and a wine expert take you to taste them in the dark. Spéléoenology, 58 euros/pers. (2 h 30 to 3 h 30.)  more at www.escale-ardeche.com

For tasting on the waves , see Denis Retiveau, winemaker and Marinier, embarks on his cabin flat bottom boat ;this flat-bottomed boat, topped by a hut, slips over the Loire (or Vienna) river while you enjoy a drink of wine from his Domaine des Champs Fleuris.
From 25 euros/pers. More info at  www.loire-vins-aventure.fr

A canvas at the vineyard. In Puyloubier, Provence, in a Transat, enjoy a cinematic projection in the vineyards. A food truck treats you all night. 11 Euros/pers. Every Friday night, until September 7th. More info at these sites :  Www.chateau-gassier.fr and www.billetweb.fr

Have a carriage Ride at the Château Fontainebleau du Var , they organize carriage rides on its field grown in organic farming and biodynamics. 11 Euros/pers. (30 minutes.). More info at Chateaufontainebleauduvar.com

Have a “Escape game “ in the property. At the Castle of Rayne Vigneau, in the Sauternes, invites you to unravel the mysteries of its property. Its thrilling escape game ends with a tasting.  30 euros, from 4 pers. (1 H 30.) Book 72 hours in advance. More info here:  www.raynevigneau.fr

How about an animated course. The visit of the cellar Robert and Marcel, very close to Saumur, is worth visiting. Eight scenographies, around the wine, punctuate the course in the underground of the La Perrière. 5 Euros. The cellar with sensations. Until September, 11h to 15h and 16h to 17h. More info here:  Www.robertetmarcel.com

The latest and 15th edition of Vines, Wines, Randos is upon us!

Event held from 01 to 02 September 2018 by the Interloire,association of vineyards and growers . Offering to you for the occasion 15 unpublished courses each composed of a exceptional stage. 3 hours of relaxation, conviviality and taste sensations on the occasion of VVR.. All guided by a winemaker, you leave for one of the 15 walks offered, punctuated by tastings, pairings and wines and discover the wine know-how. The kit of the perfect hiker in hand, you have all the ingredients to taste the savours of the terroir and discover the riches of the Loire heritage.

On your return, you are welcomed in the village VVR, in a festive atmosphere ensured by a group of music.. This VVR event is routes of 6-9 kms , with a family trail of 3 km, 2 days of hiking, -15 winemakers walks, including three new courses, 20 appellations tasted. 400 winegrowers. And 12 000 participants.

Practical information :Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 September 2018
Timetable: Departures between 9h and 16h15; Price: 6€ and 1€ for under 18 years pre-registration on the site before August 30th, on site 10€. Address: 62 Rue Blaise Pascal, 37019 Tours. More in English here: http://vvr-valdeloire.fr/en/

Some hints on where I am going next: Loire

 

And do enjoy it all or as many as you can !!! It wonderful in my belle France. And remember , happy travels ,good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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