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

Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, Vittoriano of Rome!

On my family trip to Rome and surrounding Lazio region area we were confronted with lots of history and architecture which we love. However, one building really struck us for its size, meaning and even a bit of controversy. It sits in the middle of old Rome yet the building is newer sort of a big contrast that Romans and visitors alike come to understand and like. We like it too.

I have written on bits in my previous Rome posts, but think a separate post will do justice to this wonderful building, oh yes it is the Monument of Vittorio Emmanuell II the unifying king of Italy known there as Vittoriano as well.

Rome

In fact, looking back of my blog, only had briefly mentioned it on a post on squares of Rome, piazzas! So many things to see in my Europe sometimes overwhelmed with ideas. Now is the time to make up for it.

The monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, also known as Vittoriano, is located in Piazza Venezia (Venice Square) next to the Capitol. At the center of the monument stands the altar of the Fatherland (Altai della Patria), while the interior of the building houses the museum on the Reunification of Italy (Museo del Risorgimento).  The immense monument of an immaculate white marble, made between 1885 and 1911 to celebrate the 50 years of the Italian unity. It was built in honor of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy unified in 1861. It was built in the neo Classic style.

Rome

Architecture description, brief.

The monument, along with its grand staircase, is full of dazzling white marble extracted from the quarries of Botticino, Brescia. It is a profusion of columns and fountains where throne an equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II, supported on both sides by 16 columns. The reliefs represent the Italian cities, the great reliefs on both sides of the altar of the Nation; these sculptures evoke Italy in art, science, religion and law. The structure measures 140 meters wide and 70 meters high. Above the building, on each side, representing unity and freedom, two statues inspired by the representations of Athena lead a quadriga. Below burns the eternal flame, on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The fountain, on the left, symbolizes the Adriatic Sea and on the right of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Romans have given it a number of humorous and somewhat uncomplimentary nicknames, including La torta nuziale (the wedding cake), dentine ( the Gears), Macchina da scrivere (the typewriter) and the Zuppa inglese (English soup) etc. However, today most Romans consider this monument, which continues to attract many visitors, as one of the symbols of their city.

Rome

Rome

What is there to see, really.

The monument holds the Tomb of the unknown Soldier with an eternal flame, built under the statue of Goddess Roma after WWI following an idea of General Giulio Douhet. The body of the Unknown Soldier was chosen in 1921 from among 11 unknown remains by Maria Bergamas, a woman from Gradisca of Isonzo whose only child was killed during WWI. Her son’s body was never recovered. The selected unknown was transferred from Aquileia, where the ceremony with Maria Bergamas had taken place, to Rome and buried in a state funeral in the same year 1921.

The flags of disbanded units of the Italian Armed Forces, as well as the flags of ships stricken from the naval register of the Italian Navy are stored at the Vittoriano in the so-called Shrine of the Flags (Sacrario delle Bandiere). The oldest flag on display is the flag of the 19C frigate Giuseppe Garibaldi. When an Italian military unit is reactivated its flag is taken from the Vittoriano and returned to the unit, which with the flag receives also the name, traditions, and military honors bestowed upon the flag over time.

One of the most attractive aspects of the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II is the panoramic view that is obtained from the terrace at the top of the Quadrigas. Panoramic elevators/lifts are the only way to get to the top floor but the nice views from above make it worthwhile to climb.

Rome Rome

It is at the Piazza Venezia Free admission but to get the elevator/lift admission to top terrace is 7€. You have some nice nearby places to see as well such as the Basilica of Saint Mary in Aracoeli only 48 meters, Museum of the Capitole 134 meters, Capitole square 142 meters, Venice Palace 187 meters and the Trajan steps at 273 meters (the longest 273 meters is about 900 feet.

In all, it is a nice area to walk and walk we did. I do like to walk in the cities rather than public transport; I do come in by car , parked and walking we go; the best way to see and feel a city is walking above ground lol!

A webpage on tourism of Rome with a good (better) explanation of the monument here: http://www.060608.it/en/cultura-e-svago/beni-culturali/beni-architettonici-e-storici/monumento-a-vittorio-emanuele-ii-vittoriano.html

Hope you enjoyed this modern part of Rome ::) as we did.

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

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August 30, 2018

Another time in Vannes, my Capital city!

So continuing in my lovely vacation with lots of rests and quick pinch to several places, I cannot keep away for long from our Capital city of Vannes of the Morbihan Breton in Brittany of course. Degemer Mad ! Welcome Bienvenue to all. Less text and more pictures lol!

We had some errands to do and needed to go city center/downtown Pluvigner to find out the frames store (créacadres) was closed for holidays lol!! It figures. We drop off some old techno in our local Super U hypermarket for recycling purposes and set out for Vannes. Tomorrow is home heavier stuff out to the rubbish/garbage dump and continue painting our basement/sous sol! I admit to have a strange feeling walking these streets without my Martine, memories are hard to erase and it feels sad.

In Vannes, we did a quick stop to Micromania at the Carrefour shopping center to get the latest gadgets in video games for the boys, and then hop over to FNAC for some reading and tech reviews before well we were hungry.

That is my suggestion , and we went to a place been a couple times with colleagues from work , this time came with my boys to Le Tarmac in rue Ferdinand le Dressay on the other side of the Canal in the pleasure marina that takes out to the Gulf of Morbihan and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean!

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They have a Facebook page as many businesses now have: https://www.facebook.com/tarmacvannes/

They have a terrace right on the sidewalk facing the canals, and then a streel level room and a very cozy first level or 2nd floor. The service is friendly and prompt, the prices very reasonable and the food is good. We had tapas dish of accras (codfish cake), with breaded shrimp ,crackers tortilla Mexican style with guacamole sauce for 8,50€ and hot dogs with fries for the boys, all with a bottle of Vigne Antique côte de Provence rosé 2016 wine all came about for 15€ per person.

Vannes

We had all day to do and why not do some walks in wonderful medieval Vannes all kept original no wars did anything to it. It is lovely to walk here. Of course, we come by car so easy , we park on free parking past the Place Gambetta up the rue Ferdinand le Dressay and you will see the parking lot on your right passing the Harbormaster house.

vannes

vannes

We then take off on foot all over the city, it is easy to walk and very pleasant things to see. As I have written so much on it will not go into details here, just type in search Vannes and see all the posts going back to 2011 here in my blog.

First, the canal on the pleasure boat marina is awesome, it says can hold up to 3000 boats and goes all the way to the Gulf of Morbihan which is Unesco listed(and holds about 12 islands). You have the tourist office and underground parking here too as well as restaurants all around it on both sides. Like the one we went above.

vannes

Walking past the wonderful Porte de Saint Vincent , a gate to old town along Rue Saint Vincent, a Saint from Valencia Spain who came here around 1400’s and his body rest in peace at the Cathedral of St Peter at Place Saint Pierre.  The street is full of shops even a Casino supermarket!

vannes

This street takes you on the left to the Place du Poids Public and further into the Place des Lices, two lively architecturally nice squares in old town Vannes.  We do a lot of our shopping here, and the Saturday morning market is awesome. Just around the Place du Poids Public you have the rue de la Poissonnerie that leads you into the Halles aux Poissons or fish market.

vannes vannes

Right in the corner of the two squares Poids Public and Lices you have the 17C Hôtel Francheville or Mynier recently completely renovated done in tufa style stone as the original. Up into the old town you have wonderful architecture, and the passing of the Cathedral St Peter as well as the fine arts museum La Cohue by place St Pierre and also a back entrance on lovely rue des Halles.

This rue des Halles is wonderful plenty of stores and restos from buildings as far back as the 14C! By here you will find the archeological museum of Vannes house in the Chateau Gaillard and its magnificent tower at rue Noé.

vannes

You come into Place Valencia,name in honor of the before mention Saint born there, and also lived while in Vannes in the upper level of what is today the library La Procure.  There is a statue of the Saint in the wall. Here there is also the famous statues of the two women right on the wall of the restaurant Villa Valencia.

vannes

You can side step into the place Henri IV just before the place St Pierre where the Cathedral Saint Peter is located, here is wooden houses going back to the 14C and after, loaded with quaint stores and one great chocolatier de France ….Coming up to this latest square you have the rue Saint Salomon, another wonderful medieval street full of shops. Right next to the Cathedral there is rue des Chanoines with more wooden houses taking you to the ramparts of Vannes!

vannes vannes vannes

vannes

Ok so this was just an afternoon walk, there is a whole lot more here and my previous posts will show you. One really nice find we did moving here, and we love it! You too if you take the time to come and into history, architecture, and good French/Breton foods.

I will put the city and tourist office webpages here for ease of findings things as they are probably in all my other posts as well.

The city of Vannes in English, for tourist type info I have in History and Heritage. http://en.mairie-vannes.fr/discoveringvannes/history-and-heritage/

The tourist office of Brittany on Vannes: http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-our-destinations/southern-brittany-morbihan-gulf/unmissable-sites/vannes

The department Morbihan on Vannes in English: http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/home/discover/morbihan/the-main-destinations/vannes

Hope it helps you come and enjoy this jewel of Brittany and France as much as we do. 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 29, 2018

The wines Nantaise or Muscadet or Poiron Dabin!

Ok let’s talk wine again! If you have been reading my blog you know my love for wines went back to my first sip from my maternal grandmother at age 8! It’s a tradition in our house ever since and into marriage and family life it continues. Today with so much to do and see in my belle France sometimes we skip trips to the wineries ;however, in my vacation time we took it to see one not far from Nantes in the Loire Atlantique dept 44 region of Pays de la Loire.

the vineyards here are the home of the Melon de Bourgogne or simply melon and gives a minerally flavored white wine known as the Muscadet or higher up we have the Muscadet Sévre et Maine sur lie. However, there are other wines  as the AOP region (Appellation d’Origine Protegée by EU standards that in France is same as AOC appellation d’origine controllée) can be broken down into parcels outside the appellation where the growers can choose other grapes such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir , etc. These of course are not AOP wines but just as good indeed if looking at the right producer=winemaker.

Let me tell you briefly about this region and wine appellation first, before we go into the property visited.

The region is located in the departments of the Loire-Atlantique (44), the Vendée (85) and the Maine-et-Loire (49). A single IGP (Iindication Géographique Protégée more at EU level) wine appellation, the Val de Loire.   The vines are planted on shale, granitic and silty soils. The main grape varieties that make up the vineyard are for red wine, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay, Pinot Noir and Négrette. For white wine, Melon de Bourgogne, Chenin and Sauvignon.  The list of wine region within this AOC are Coteaux Ancenis, fiefs Vendéens, large Plant of the country Nantes, Muscadet, Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire, nutmegt cotes de Grandlieu, Muscadet Sévre and Maine.

More reading to do and learning as we all do is to read these webpages that enhance anybody vision and appreciation for these wines.

Tourist office of Nantes: https://www.nantes-tourisme.com/en/vineyard

Tourist office of the region Pays de la Loire : https://www.paysdelaloire.co.uk/Loire-Valley-wine-routes

Info webpage of the winegrowers of the Nantes region: http://www.lesvignesdenantes.com/association-les-vignes-de-nantes/

The Loire Atlantique dept 44 has more info in French: https://tourisme-loireatlantique.com/theme/vignoble/

Hope you get to know these wonderful wines of the Nantaise, old Brittany you know ::)

The property we visited was that of Poiron Dabin in near town of Chateau Thebaud village of Chantegrolle. Why this property? Well we like to go to places already spoken with the owner either by telephone , email, or in fairs , city tastings promotions etc. Once I realized the property has potential to like it , the personality, the winemakers, and the wines, then we proceed to a formal visit to the property itself. We came to know Poiron Dabin by attending the wine event Village Vignerons in Guérande a while back (see that post); and by speaking with Cynthia and JP we realized these were real wine aficionados who love to tell their trade and wines to all; the wines that follow 3 of them were very good and a great price/quality ratio.

Chateaud thebaud

Once past that stage, we proceed in making reservation for a visit to the property. This we did last Monday August 27th. We arrived by 10h30 as agreed and all was ready with a nice welcome tasting of four bottles from sparklers to pinot noir wines. We proceeded to given a booklet map and go walking in the vineyards!!! This was fun we did about 3 kms or 1.8 miles of vineyards of Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Tannat, Melon de Bourgogne, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc fields and fields about 70 hectares or 173 acres!

Chateaud Thebaud

The best was that on several posts along the route you needed to find the bottle! lol! This was great you find the bottle , you drink it, (we carry cups, corkscrew, etc all provided for). The walk seems like heavens as we seriously search for more posts with wine bottles !!! It was a huge field with a horse farm in the middle of it all, but we were able to find 6 out of 8 bottles; not bad for amateur walkers in the sun at 25C or 77F.

Oh yes the walk is divided into two parts one in the morning and another in the afternoon, with a break for lunch .Oooh did I said Lunch ! wow this was superbe, on our way back we call to let the organizer of the walk know we are close by and she had already all prepared. A huge picnic basket full of cheeses, small tomatoes, cold cuts including pate de champagne delicious ,and baguette breads as well as fruit yogurt like strawberry, framboise etc and of course accompany by the house wines from Pinot Noir, to Muscadet ,Chardonnay and a sparkler brut rose as well ,ending with Maxwell House coffee, bread and butter or tea!!  This trip is explained further in only French here: http://www.poiron-dabin.com/fr/oenotourisme/activites-sur-place/

chateau thebaud

You are ready all of this plus the tasting, and the supplies of the walk for 30€ per person , we thought this was a still and will surely be back in Fall. English and Spanish is spoken too ! The property webpage is here: http://www.poiron-dabin.com/en/home/

They can ,also, propose a tour in a local river flat bottom boat and wine tastings. This is La Divette option, you can inquire in the property contact email here:  contact@poiron-dabin.com

The property of Poiron Dabin produces about 600K bottles per year and were ready to start harvest for 2018 in a couple weeks! They do Melon de BourgogneChardonnayPinot GrisPinot Noir, Fié GrisCôt Malbec, and Berligou, a historical red variety from Britanny ( great red a gift of the duke of Burgundy to his cousin the duke of Brittany in 1460!), petit Manseng and rich Gewurztraminer.

chateau thebaud chateau thebaud

As what we did after tastings all these wonderful wines well we purchase of course. About two cases of wines lol! We do drink in moderation ::)

Our lot included Berligou, sparkler on the traditional method (ie champagne) 2016, Berligou marché de Bretagne 2016 red, Perle de Seduction mousseux demi sec sparkler and The Pinot Gris Rosé Val de Loire et voilà we are taking care of rather nicely.

In all, it was a wonderful day in the vineyards as usual in my belle France or rather beautiful Loire Valley, in the coastal Pays de la Loire (not to be confused with the castle known Centre-Val de Loire region more inland). Enjoy the post and En Vino Veritas

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

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 27, 2018

Lovely, quaint Dublin!

And let me bring back memories of my trip into Dublin. This was needed,and first came on a business conference of two days and later came back for a week! personal visit. It is time we go back if the will and force is still with me to go traveling out with the boys. Time will tell.

Let me bring you up to date on wonderful Dublin. I have a previous blog post on it here: Dublin more than just green

I like to go into more of the history and  a general overview of the best to see in my opinion of course.

Dublin The city is located near the central point of the eastern coast of the island of Ireland and in the center of Dublin County The name “Dublin” is generally considered from the original Gaelic Dubh Linn (“The Black Pond”) which now means “bay “Smoke”, the name of a basin of a tributary of the Liffey, near which was erected the first stronghold of the Irish Vikings, or Gall Gàidheal. OF course, here I came by plane direct from Nantes to Dublin international airport and then the airport bus to old city center where from there did a lot of walking, great!

A bit of history I like

In the year 837, Thorgis returned there for the second time, accompanied this time by a fleet of one hundred and twenty Viking boats. Sixty of them go up the Boyne River, the other sixty the Liffey River. According to the Annals of the time, this formidable military force gathers under his authority. Unknown in his own country, all the tales relating to his conquests are found in Ireland and the British Isles. Upon their arrival in Dublin, his men took over this community of fishermen and farmers and erected a strong fort according to the Scandinavian construction methods, on the hill where is the present Castle of Dublin. King Brian Boru, nicknamed Boroimhe, Brian Mac Cenneidigh, born in the year 941 in the Thomond in Ireland, was buried in Dublin in the year 1014, at the age of 73 years. He tried to unify Ireland; He died at the Battle of Clontarf on April 23, 1014, in his tent, on a Good Friday.

After the invasion of Ireland by the Normans (1170/1171), Dublin replaced the hill of Tara as the capital of Ireland, the power settling at the Castle of Dublin until independence. After their victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, the Protestant troops of William of Orange, among them 3 000 French Huguenots, installed many of their men in Dublin, to stand out from the controversial Protestants who had colonized Ulster and Munster for a century. The 239 Huguenots of Dublin have a collective burial, Huguenot House in the small street of Mansion Row near the park of St Stephen Green, created in 1693 in the new Dublin, where are engraved the names of 239 of them, listed in alphabetical order.

Since the beginning of the English occupation in the 12C, the city has played the role of the Capital of the Irish Island, in all forms that political authority has taken: The Lordship of Ireland (1171-1541); The Kingdom of Ireland (1541-1800); The island as a member of the United Kingdom (1801-1922); and the Irish Republic (1919-1922).

The Easter Uprising in 1916 placed the Capital in instability, and the Anglo-Irish War, while the Irish Civil War left the city in ruins, many of its most beautiful buildings having been destroyed. From 1922, following the partition of Ireland, Dublin is the capital of the Free State of Ireland (1922 – 1937) and then of the Republic of Ireland. After WWII (known as “the Emergency”) in reference to the state of emergency decreed from 1939 to 1946). Today, it is still the Republic of Ireland or Eirie.

Dublin

Things to see abound some are

Of course, plenty of theater choices and good ones. The most famous theatres are the Abbey Theater, the Gate Theater, the Gaiety Theater and the Olympia. The Abbey Theater was founded in 1904 by a group of writers, including Yeats, in order to promote the literary talents of Irish authors. It allowed the discovery of works by authors such as Shaw, Synge, O’Casey, and at the same time to serve as a springboard for national and political revival of the early 20C. The Gate Theater was founded in 1928 to promote avant-garde European and American works. The Gaiety Theater specializes in musical productions: operas, musical comedies, ballets. The greatest theater is the Mahony Hall,and Ambassador theater is not bad at all!

Dublin

Kells’s book is kept in the Trinity College library. The Chester Beatty Library has many manuscripts, drawings and other rare books whose oldest documents date back to 2700 B.C. The main museums are the National Gallery of Ireland, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery and the National Museum of Ireland divided into three sites, archaeology in Kildare Street, decorative arts and history in Collins Barracks and Natural history in Merrion Street..

There is a vibrant nightlife in Dublin, indeed is true. Dublin is dotted with pubs, especially around Temple Bar, located on the south shore of the Liffey, is the attraction of a crowd from all over the city and many tourists who come to take the pubs by assault.   This area was developed as a cultural district with art galleries, the National Film Center (Irish Film Institute), and photography Studios. The streets around St Stephen Green,Harcourt Street, Camden Street, Wexford Street and Leeson Street, in particular, there are a lot of nightclubs. The brewery of St. James Gate , where the famous Guinness has been produced since 1759. O’Connell Street is one of the main avenues with many places and squares of Georgian architectural treasures such as   St Stephen Green, Merrion Square, Ely Place, Fitzwilliam Squares

Dublin

Trinity College, a university founded in 1592 by queen Elisabeth I of England and home to the book of Kells, a illuminated manuscript dating from about 800, making it one of the oldest books in the world. Christ Church Cathedral, some parts of which date back to the original Danish construction. St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Pro-St. Mary’s Cathedral, Dublin Catholic Cathedral;   Dublin Castle, Dublin Writers Museum, and the Ha’penny Bridge, which owes its name to the price (half a penny) that had to pay any person to have the right to cross it and enter the city.

Dublin

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of DublinDublin tourist office

City of Dublin; https://dublin.ie/living/things-to-do/

Tourist office of Ireland on Dublin https://www.ireland.com/en-us/destinations/republic-of-ireland/dublin/dublin-city/

Dublin city council site: http://www.dublincity.ie/

There you go a nice city to visit and we are looking forward for a repeat. Enjoy it fully.

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

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August 27, 2018

How about Bitburg, Germany!

On a nice cool cloudy day in my beautiful Morbihan and away from the beaches, let me tell you about our escapades to the neighboring country of Germany. Specifically, Bitburg.Just a note ,plenty of Germans in our area now ::)

I admit was not really into going to Germany, for some reasons had enough in my neck of the wood. My sons interest in heavy metal music and German groups finally convince me to go. Of course, been there on business trips several times, but never on a personal trip until then. The boys love it of course, and we came to like it too, learning very well the full scope of opportunities for travel in compact Europe. And as the Euro is plenty around so much easier.

And we went to Bitburg from our base just south of Trier. Here is our blog post on Bitburg: Bitburg and the Bitburger beer

Bitburg is the capital of the district Bitburg-Prüm in Rhineland-Palatinate State, 30 km (about 18 mi) north of Trier in the southern part of the Eifel.  The traditional talk is a local variation of Luxembourgish language.

A bit of history I like

Bitburg was founded about 2000 years ago as a crossing point on the road between Lyon and Cologne by Metz and Trier. Its first name was Vicus Beda

In the middle of the 10C, the town was acquired by the County of Luxembourg (later Duchy), then in 1443 by the Duchy of Burgundy. Since 1506 the city has successively belonged to the Spanish Netherlands, then to the Austrian Netherlands from 1714. The city fell into the hands of the French in 1794 (during the French revolution) and became in 1798 the seat of a the department of the Forests (fôrets). According to the agreements of the Congress of Vienna, the city was entrusted in 1815 to the Kingdom of Prussia, where it was successively city-arrondissement of the Grand Duchy of Bas-Rhin, then of the province of Rhineland-Prussian

Towards the end of WWII, Bitburg was devastated at 85% of its surface by bombardment and declared “Dead City” by the Americans. Although located in the French zone of occupation, the forces that stationed in the city after the war were made up of Luxembourg troops, replaced in 1955 by French forces stationed in Germany. In 1965, an American-controlled NATO support base was added. At the end of the 1980’s, the French withdrew their last men and NATO took over the former French barracks. After the Gulf War successively settled the 525e tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) “Bulldogs”, the 53rd TFS “Tigers” (after moved to Spangdahlem), the 22nd TFS “Stingers” and finally in 1994 Bitburg Airport was occupied by the 36th TFW.  The US present ended in 1994. Currently, only a few parts of the Bitburg barracks are still governed by NATO. Needs to see which ones….not sure.

Transports in and around Bitburg

The B51 is an important link between the north and the south. Like the Roman road between Trier and Cologne, it joins the region of Trier and Luxembourg with the north. And this was the road we took always there. In recent years, the A60 Liège-Wittlich has been passing close to the city; but as a beltway preferred the B51.

The rest not try at all just for information; there is a train station of Bitburg-Erdorf frequented by the Eifelbahn of the line Gerolstein-Trier and the Eifel-Mosel-Express (RE 12) of the line Cologne – Euskirchen – Gerolstein – Trier. The DB Regio Südwest Eifel-Mosel-Express also passes through Bitburg-Erdorf.

Things to see

In the buildings of the old School of Agriculture of 1882 today is the Museum of the region Bitburg-Prüm. The latter proposes, through many objects, a good retrospective on the 2 000 years of history of Bitburg and the Eifel. There is a nice Church of Our Lady in city center with quaint restos and architecture around it, Nice bells outside the Church.

And the main reason we came is for the brewery lol! Bitburg bier, one of the best. A German blonde beer of low fermentation (pils) brewed at Bitburg since 1817. Their famous slogan is “Bitte ein bit “. Not fluent in German took it from the web as meaning   Please, a Bit,” or “A Bit, please” . Johann Peter Wallenborn founded the brewery in Bitburg in 1817 at the age of 33.  The beer was featured in the 2011 film, X-Men : First Class. The only lags is the tour is only given in German on most days, English is by appointment. So we took it in German anyway, the main thing was the beer lol! It is a must to visit in town indeed.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Bitburg : https://www.eifel-direkt.de/en

City of Bitburg and history: https://www.bitburg.de/cgi-bin/cms?_SID=fake&_sprache=en&_bereich=artikel&_aktion=detail&idrubrik=1002&idartikel=100052

Luxembourg, Trier tourist info page in English: https://www.lux-trier.info/en/explore/city-diversity/bitburg-2

Brewery Bitburg: https://www.bitburger-international.com/bitburger/

There you go another dot on the world map for us and hopefully for you too. Enjoy it!!

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

August 26, 2018

The ocean is all around you, Honfleur!

So in continuing with my special place in Normandy, I have come to realize long ago that even if the beach is not the best, the ocean, water is all around Honfleur and an integral part of its attraction. There is nothing better than walking ,eating or playing knowing you have the ocean next to you. This Honfleur has plenty and we love it as much as our lovely Brittany.

As said, I have several posts on Honfleur here , covering several years, so no need to remind you search will find them all. There is no need to tell you about the history of the place, it has been mentioned plenty already. I like to give you a bit on the ocean side and photos, more photos of my special HONFLEUR.

I will first tell you a bit from the city on the old basin or Vieux Bassin the ones we all go to as soon as arriving in Honfleur.

The paddock harbor , called Havre Neuf until the construction of the Central basin. It then becomes Western Basin or old basin (Vieux Basin in French). In the inside of the fortified enclosure was the port, consisting of a stranded haven of 120 meters in length and 50 meters in width, which communicated with the sea by a ship lock, wide of 15 to 20 meters and located roughly on the site of the levy of the Western Basin(Bassin de l’ouest). This harbor of stranding, at the bottom of which the standing water resulted by means of locks located at the site occupied today by the Petite Poissonnerie shop, was bordered, on the west side, by a narrow wharf and by houses; beyond these houses, the fortified enclosure was on the very site where we now see the wall of the Saint Catherine Wharf. (Quai Sainte Catherine) .

Two towers dominated and defended the entrance to the Inner Harbor. It is in this basin so small, which barely had a surface equal to half of the smallest of the current basins, that the Honfleur sailors were arming their ships, in quite a large number at a time, for Newfoundland and Canada, for the East Indies and the coast of Guinea, finally for the race and for these warlike expeditions in which their pavilion was honored as  Colbert sent Duquesne to this port to examine what improvements he was likely to have. The demolition of the fortifications was decided, dominated by the neighboring hillsides of the city and outside to withstand the artillery of the time; the Bourbon bastion (or barre) and the largest part of the enclosure on the western side were razed; The houses to the west of the port (Quai Sainte Catherine) were expropriated and, in 1684 – 1690, Wharf walls were built, a hunting lock established at the bottom of the basin, the jetty of the lieutenancy repaired. The work was completed in 1690.  The wall of the Saint Catherine Wharf was redone in 1791 – 1794; The wall of the Quai Saint Etienne from 1811 to 1813, when the demolition of the old wall, dating back to the reign of Louis XIV, was deemed indispensable. This ancient wall, of which there remains vestiges beneath the embankments of the Quai Saint Etienne, was two or three meters behind the wall of the wharf by which it was replaced. It can shelter from 1668 vessels from 3 to 400 tons. In the 18C, the vieux bassin (old basin) was reserved for coasters and armaments for fishing. Samuel de Champlain, Jean Denis or even Binot Paulmier de Gonneville  embark from these docks for great expeditions to the New World.

Honfleur Honfleur Honfleur Honfleur Honfleur Honfleur

The old basin (vieux basin) now hosts many pleasure craft. Honfleur is a port of call for boaters going up the Seine in the direction of Paris. The quays in the Seine are host to many cruise ships. The inland port allows to receive during the season of the river cruisers with Honfleur offering the possibility to receive 5 steamers simultaneously.

Boat trips out of Honfleur: http://www.honfleur-tourism.co.uk/discover/sea-side/boat-trips/

Honfleur

Fishing: About fifteen trawlers practice artisanal fishing in Honfleur. The grey shrimp “the little Grey” is very popular here and is still caught by some boats. The St Jacques clam shells of the Seine Bay occupies part of the fleet from October to the end of May, depending on the harvest resources. You will, also find the Sole and various fish dishes according to the seasons that can be bought at the bottom of the trawler or fish market.

Info on the port of Honfleur: http://www.honfleur-tourism.co.uk/discover/sea-side/harbours/

Marine forecast on weather in French; http://marine.meteoconsult.fr/meteo-marine/meteo-abords-du-port/manche/previsions-meteo-honfleur-274-0.php

The Butin beach is already a Blue Pavilion (means is tops )since 2009. The Butin beach is equipped with sanitary facilities, beach cabins, showers, a paddling pool, a playground and a snack bar. Since 2017, a minibus ensures a transfer between the car park and the city center, see the timetables at the bus station at rue des vases.

The Pavillon Blue award here: http://www.pavillonbleu.org/laureats-communes-2018/14-honfleur.html

My beach site Plages Tv I always follow and no problems in 28 years of beaching in France. http://en.plages.tv/detail/butin-beach-honfleur-14600

Honfleur

And one organization that is dear to me. Very much on the sea saving lives and helping those wishing a final rest at sea. SNSM =société nationale de sauvetage en mer or in English: National Marine Rescue Society,their history there here.

It is necessary to go back to 1848 to find the first bases of a real sea rescue organization in Honfleur, i.e. at the time of the creation of the Chamber of Commerce. The sinking of an English brig, the “Endearvour”, in 1857, in front of the port of Honfleur, proving the urgency of a better organization and, by decree dated August 12, 1857, the Emperor Napoleon III created the rescue Station which he entrusted the management to the Chamber of Commerce.

In 1865 the Central Rescue Society of Shipwrecks was created in 1884, the Count of Châteauvillard, bequested to the Central Rescue Society, so that Honfleur could be endowed with a lifeboat, the rowing boat ” Châteauvillard “commissioned in 1885. In 1907, Mrs. and Ms. Augustin-Normand, ship builders in Le Havre but whose family was of Honfleur origin, offered a lifeboat to Honfleur. It was named “Jacques Augustin-Normand”. Baptized at Le Havre in 1908. By 1926, the inauguration of the new station, the shelter, and the new lifeboat “Alphonsine-Émilie” After  WWII, the Honfleur flotilla, largely destroyed by the nazis, had gradually been replaced and a new lifeboat was awarded to Honfleur by the Central Rescue Company, the “Fernand de Wegmann”.  The lifeboat “Fernand de Wegmann” was first modernised in 1973 in Cherbourg and then in 1984 in Honfleur. In 1986, the station was provisionally equipped with a second-class star, the “Robert-Edmond de Bassac”. In March 1988, the “Patrons Dubarre et Corvic” modernized in Saint Malo, joins the station of Honfleur.    In 1990, with the help of generous donors, the National Marine Rescue Society puts into service in Honfleur, a Zodiac MK III GR Inflatable boat, equipped with a 40 hp engine. Since 1994, the station has a first class vedette “Notre Dame du Port” In April 2013, the vedette boat is equipped with two new more modern engines. A new Zodiac comes in 2013 to reinforce the means of the station at Honfleur.

The Honfleur webpage for SNSM: https://www.snsm.org/etablissement/station-snsm-de-honfleur

And the same webpage with a map locator of all their stations in France: https://www.snsm.org/etablissement/carte

Honfleur

And more information in French can be had at the city of Honfleur official webpage here: http://www.ville-honfleur.com/decouvrir-honfleur/honfleur-et-la-mer/

Enjoy a beautiful city by the ocean. Honfleur will make you come back and realize even more the beauty we have in our hexagone=France.

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

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