Archive for August 1st, 2018

August 1, 2018

One more look at the Gran Via, Madrid!

Ok so this is not new, but always heavens for me. Got to tell more of the history of this great artery of my beloved Madrid. So much so, that is World famous as one of the great avenues of the World.  I am talking about the Gran Via of Madrid.

I have one poor previous post on it,shame on me. Anyway, here it is: Gran Via of Madrid

There are so popular and so many written on it,that I have overlook writing about it. It is so essential of Madrid, well you could not come to the city without walking it at least. The Gran  Via is part of the history of Madrid,and all is represented there.

Let me give give some history on it, that I like.

The Gran Vía is entirely located in the Centro or city center district, it extends over the districts of Justicia, Parlamento, Sol, Universidad and Palacio, for a total length of 1 300 meters (4290 feet).  It comprises three sections, the first of which extends from Calle de Alcalá to Plaza San Luis, the second to the Plaza Callao and finally the third to the Plaza de Espana.

As the project progressed, the three sections each bore a different name: Calle del  Conde de Peñalver for the first, Avenidad Pi y Margall for the second and  Calle Eduardo Dato for the third.  In April 1936, the first two sections took the name of Avenida  de la CNT before being redesignated as the Avenue of Russia at the beginning of the Civil War. A new change was made in November 1937 in favor of Avenue of the Soviet Union. That same year, the last stretch took the name of Avenue of Mexico. On 24 April 1939, after the victory of Gen.  Franco, the ensemble was baptized Avenue José Antonio (as I came to know it first).  Finally, in 1981, the Socialist mayor Enrique Tierno Galván gave it the official name of Gran Vía for the first time, and as of today.

Offering a wide range of styles ranging from the Viennese secession to the New York Art Deco, through the Plateresque, Neo-Mudejar and Haussmann architectures, Gran Vía is considered a showcase of the arts built from the twilight of the beautiful era at the dawn of the years 50’s.

The construction of it took quite some time and many streets and building razed to make room for it. However, to note ,there were three attempts to do this road and finally at the third it was the charmer.

First,in 1862, after the refurbishment of the Puerta del Sol made five years before and the subsequent extension of the Calle Preciados to the area of the current Plaza de Callao, the Advisory board  drew up a first project consisting of the Extension of the aforementioned street to the Plaza de San Marcial, where the Plaza de España is currently located. Second in 1886 a project of prolongation of the Calle Preciados was approved, describing a large east-west transverse Avenue between Calle de Alcalá  and The Plaza de San Marcial,  offered three alternatives to join Calle de Alcalá, from the Church of San José, with the current Plaza de España. This project presented an avenue of 25 or 30 meters wide with roundabouts at the crossroads with the most important streets. This project was the origin of La Gran Via zarzuela (Spanish Operetta), with music by Federico Chueca and  scenes by Felipe Pérez y González. The work, premiered on July 2 of that same year and which garnered a great success.

Madrid

In 1897 the municipal architects  were in charge of making a new project and in 1899 presented their project of reform of extension of the Calle  Preciados and link of the plaza de Callao with the Calle de Alcalá in it was proposed the realization of the work dividing it in  three sections as such;  Avenue A (534 meters), from the Plaza de San Marcial (current Calle de los Reyes) to Callao; The Boulevard (409 meters), from Callao to the Red de San Luis and Avenida B (417 meters), from the Red de San Luis to Calle de Alcalá. The total length would be 1,316 meters and the width of 25 meters, except the Boulevard that would be 35 meters. It would  achieved, according to the project, the direct communication between the districts of Argüelles and Salamanca; The decongestion of the Puerta del Sol, the disappearance of a whole cluster of narrow and unhygienic streets and a more comfortable link between the stations of Atocha and Príncipe Pio. This one was approved on August 21, 1904, the works began finally on April 4, 1910. The first section, between the Calle de Alcalá and the one of Montera was carried out between 1910 and 1915. On March 28, 1917 it was officially reported that the works were finished, although the definitive delivery occurred on July 18, 1924. The second section, the Boulevard, between the Red de San Luis and Callao, took place in the following four years, between 1917 and 1922, although the definitive delivery of works was on August 20, 1927. The third section, was planned to continue in the direction of the Calle de  Jacometrezo, towards the Cuesta de San Vicente, in an almost straight extension with the second stretch, but was changed to splice with the Calle de la Princesa, which proved to be a success, so it was built and between Plaza de Callao and the Plaza de Espana; It was started on February 16, 1925 and was completed in 1929 although the delivery of works was on September 22, 1932 and some buildings would not be completed until after the Civil War.

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

Some emblematic buildings on the Gran Via are:

Edificio Metropolis (1911), Strictly speaking it does not belong to this street, since it is the number 39 of the Calle de Alcalá, but, coming up from the Plaza de  Cibeles, it serves of undoubted letter of presentation of the Gran Via.

Madrid

Gran Via 1 (1916-1917) An eclectic-style building with reliefs and modernist-style tiles. Throughout its history it has been occupied by the Café Molinero, the Sicilian-Molinero restaurant, The Case de Piano , the Aeolian or the Grassy jeweler since 1952, which has a clock museum.

The Hotel de Letras, named for its construction, in 1917, “lodgings for the Count of Artaza”, is occupied by a hotel since 2005.

The Casa Matesanz, located at n ° 27, at the corner with the Calle de Tres Cruces, inspired by the architecture of Chicago to make this commercial building.

The Telefónica building, No. 28 (1929-1953 the highest skyscraper in Spain. It is also one of the first in Europe.

La Casa del Libro, no 29, had a construction firm now encloses about 30 small stores .

Gran via 8 (1915) The first house that was finished building on the new avenue. Here was the famous patisserie-cafeteria of Aquiles Caserta. The Loewe store is located in its street level since 1939.

The façade of the Oratory of the Knight of Grace (1916), (Oratorio del Caballero de la Gracia) no 17. From the Gran via you can only see the apse of this Church. It was designed a new façade aligned with the rest of the buildings. In the 1970’s was given the view of the apse practicing a great arch in the facade of Luque.

Madrid-Paris Building (1922-1924), at no 32. It was the tallest building up to 1929, in which it was surpassed by that of Telefónica. In 1934 after the purchase of the building by the dept store chain Sepu suffers a great transformation. This building also houses the PRISA group headquarters, where some of the country’s main radio stations are concentrated, such as the main 40, M80 radio, or the Cadena SER.

The Palacio de la Musica built  for the general public company of spectacles, has been unoccupied since 2008, and lately city is trying to change the building code so that stores can move in.

The Palacio de la Prensa, No. 46 built from 1924 to 1928, takes its name from the fact that it was ordered by the Madrid Press Association. It housed the headquarters of various newspapers and, until 2015, that of the Socialist Party of Madrid.

The Carrión building (also known as the Capitol Building) cultivates an air of resemblance with the Flatiron building in New York. Built between 1931 and 1933, it bears the name of its sponsor, Enrique Carrión y Vecín, marquis de Melín. He is best known for his immense luminous sign in the colors of Schweppes.

Lope de Vega building (1945-1949), no. 53, 55, 57, and 59, it hosted the a big underground shopping center. The Hotel Lope de Vega  and a theater opened in 1949  with the play Tonadilla by Concha Piquer, and change to cinema in 1954.renovated in  2003, it change name to be call now  Emperador, and the shopping center was reduce in space.

Cinema  Rialto of Madrid (1930),no 54.  The cinema opened in  1930 with musical variaties of Paramount. Between 1932 and 1934 it was called Astoria. By 1957 it hosted the last dance of cuplé. Today it is call the Teatro Rialto and it shows musicals such as Los 40, O Cabaret, etc.

Coliseum building (1931-1932), no 78. The building has an American style architecture and was ordered built by the music composer Jacinto Guerrero. The cinema opened here in 1932 with the movie Champ.

Already reaching the Plaza de España, you can see the buildings of España and  Torre de Madrid, both at more tan 100 meters high. Torre de Madrid built in 1957, was during many years the tallest building in the city until the Torre Picasso.

Madrid

How to get to Gran Vía, well its easy all know it you can’t missed it. However, by metro takes you there Plaza de España on lines 3 and 10, Santo Domingo onn lilne 2, Callao on lines  2, 3,and 5, and of course Gran Vía on lines 1 and 5. Buses of Madrid last confirmed were lines 1, 2, 3, 44, 46, 74, 75, 133, 147, 148, 202 and  M2.Also, nearby Plaza de España, you can get there on Metro as above plus Noviciado on line 2. Buses as above and addition to lines  25, 39, 138,  C1 and C2.

Also, some info webpages on nice places to shop in the Gran Via here

https://granvia2.com/web/en/

And some description of some of the stores, restaurants and hotels in the Gran Via ! First a google map to help directions!

Madrid

The new H&M, at no 37 ,lets you see the tinsel of the old Cinema Avenue and the legendary Pasapoga party room, where they passed from Nazi spies to stars such as Ava Gardner or Gary Cooper; at no 34 Zara, One of the official stores of Real Madrid, at no 31; Or PRIMARK, the new dept store whose shocking space in number 32 has caused furor. At no  27, where the amazing fabric store Julian Lopez survives.  And more , Benetton’s shop, 41, Lacoste, 51, Carmina, 58.  at no  2 Ramón Freixa has installed its new restaurant there: Atico. At no  7. Jeweller Sanz, another of the representatives of luxury in Gran via. It’s been going on since it was opened in 1946.at no  9,  the Catalonia Gran Vía Hotel, formerly known as Catalonia Gaudí, stands in a building from the beginning of the 20C; at no 10 Mercado de la Reina, Which is not a market but an inspired restaurant, yes, with the fresh market products of the day and in the traditional stalls

No 12.the mythical Chicote Museum, which is also not a museum but a joint of all life. A classic cocktail between the classics, on the spot for 84 years and now has been transformed into a music club. Sunday Brunch and Dj sessions with people like Bimba Bose or Sofia Cristo   no 13. Cultural Center of the armies, or military Casino or army and Navy center.

N º 24. For years it has hosted the circle of the Mercantile and Industrial Union of Madrid. But now it’s the Gran Via Casino. No. 26 Papizza: Unlike other local pizza at the cut, this has seats and seating space. The best, your happy hour: everything to 1 euro from 17 to 7pm. And next, the Swiss Union, there since 1840. No. 25. Gran Vía Hotel, mythical from 1920 and now member of the TRYP group. In the basses is Bershka, known for being the squat of the legendary Madrid Rock.

Number 27. House Matesanz Era the year 1923. It houses the headquarters of Madrid Diario and the School of Decoration. Underneath is Julián Lopez’s knitting store. And a plaque recalls its past: in the 16C it was one of the few buildings designed by the architect Juan de Herrera in the capital, and in it lived the sculptor of Felipe II Giacomo da Trezzo, or, as it was known for posterity , Jacometrezo. And cornering, Cortefiel’s shop.

No. 30. Sfera, the first fashion shop on this sidewalk Pans and Company, also with terrace on the street-difficult to understand the attractiveness of terraces like these right next to a car-filled avenue. No. 31 in the lower floor are the Real Madrid Store, the Clarks shoe store and a Pull & Bear

No. 39. Allianz Building, 1926. A mysterious animal presides over its facade: it is a winged lion of San Marcos that holds a book whose inscription reads: “Pax Tibi Marce, evangelist meus ” (“Peace be with you, Marcus, my Evangelist”). The street level are occupied by a Swarovski store and a Ulanka footwear. No. 38. Jules, boys ‘ clothes. The Atlantic Hotel and the Nike store. No. 40. Springfield Woman, and Burger King.

Cine Callao (another of the few historic ones that resist), a Desigual and FNAC store. Although it seems that the French teaches has always been there… what goes; In fact it was the company that replaced the Almacenes Galerías Preciados in 1993, after being absorbed by the El Corte Inglés in the 1990’s. N º 41. The Carrión building, on which the Benetton shop is located. In this same issue, also the Vincci Hotel and the Capitol cinema, n º 43. The first Vips-Gino and the Iris shoe store n º 45. Another disappeared, the cinema Rex. The one who does hold still is the Hotel Rex, right on top.

No. 53. Hotel Emperador. Not everyone knows the secret he hides on his rooftop: a roof garden, or Beach club. That is to say an outdoor swimming pool on the attic floor. Share number with a newest Tommy Mel-remember both the Peach Pit of feeling to live-and a Bingo. No. 56. More shops, Carmina shoes, Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks.

No. 63. A 100 Montaditos with Super Terrace, which goes from Ole Madrid to Salvador Bachelor. Hotel Vincci at Gran via 66 at ,p. 70. Hotel Playa Senator. The best, your spa. Next door, the theatre room La Chocita del Loro, known for its performances of monologues. No. 69. Another Burger King, this one is big N º 72. Grilled meats at María Parrilla’s restaurant. And the Tryp Madrid Centro Hotel, next to the Museo del Jamon (Ham Museum reto) , the only one on this street.

Some webpages to help you know and enjoy more of the Gran Via are

Tourist office of Madrid on Gran Via

Memories and History of the Gran Via

Now ,I feel more complete about this wonderful Gran Via of Madrid. Enjoy it as I do

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

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August 1, 2018

Some news from France CXCVII

Quick run down on the latest from my belle France. It was sunny in the morning now cloudy in the afternoon, temps at 72F where I am while in Paris is 82F. Here is 22C while in Paris should be around 27C

Now August is here, and vacation time also near, can’t wait even if this year will be sad as not with my dear late wife Martine around. Time goes on , memories flashing!

The renovation of this great Church of the 9éme arrondissement will begin in 2019. Steeple, lantern towers, porch and roofs it goes, the scaffolding on the facade of the Church of the Trinity ! Currently at the mid-height of the building, it should reach the top of the steeple, at 60 meters, at the end of August . The restoration of the façade which opens on the square, the steeple, the two towers-lanterns arranged on either side of the monument, the porch and the roofs :The great building site of the Trinity which will start in 2019, should be completed in 2023. During the work, the church remains open every day and the masses continue to be celebrated every Sunday at 11h and 19h. Very nice Church wrote in my blog on it before.

Well follies of our modern world will come to hunt you or make our taxpayers money out the window.    This past Tuesday, the 4 000 Autolib ‘ that are in the Île-de-France live their last hours. At midnight, it will no longer be possible to board a Blue Car. The autoparting service, which has been in place since 2011, ends on Tuesday night. The 150 000 subscribers have until Tuesday night to make a final farewell to their Autolib ‘. However, in case of non-return of a vehicle before 00H midnight, users are at risk of a financial penalty. 250m in debt! Leave us these dandies!

While the public transports problems continue with half hazard solutions and not long term;the beat goes on; lucky you only for a few days here, those that are here and need to work everyday is hell.I know it.   Again, yes again ; a technical incident on the tracks causing the giant blackout. The incident started last Tuesday at 20h (8:00pm) on this fully automated line that crosses Paris from east to west and serves many tourist sites of the capital (Louvre Museum, Tuileries Gardens, Avenue Champs-Elysées…). A technical problem that affected a train between the stations Saint-Paul and Bastille totally paralyzed the traffic on the line. After the big mess on Tuesday night, back to normal for the users of Line 1 of the Parisian metro. More than two hours of hell for more than 3000 travelers. With twelve trains totally blocked on this line 1, it was between 3200 and 3800 users who were trapped, from police source. These travelers had to be evacuated down the tracks!, in sometimes chaotic conditions denounced forcefully by many Internet users on Twitter. Welcome to public transport in Paris!

And, don’t we love strikes, heck is a national pastime. In front of the entrances to the Eiffel Tower (7éme), water foggers soften the expectation of visitors under the Sun this past Tuesday. But as every year, lines/queues often extend far beyond the barriers… and extend the expectation of tourists. One of the three entrances to the Eiffel Tower is only for visitors who have booked in advance. A third access exists, by staircase only: The third elevator is only used in case of troubleshooting, explains the direction the online presale should concern 80% of the tickets by 2021. Internally, the SETE (operating company of the Eiffel Tower) has ensured to keep all the jobs by training the cashiers to other trades, including hospitality agent. After several meetings this Tuesday, the threat of a strike always hovers over the old lady. !!! Be prepare call ahead.

Just in for the Eiffel tower from their official site: “Le août, en raison d’un préavis de grève, l’activité de la tour Eiffel pourrait être perturbée. Visiteurs munis de billets, consultez vos mails pour plus d’information. Suivez l’évolution de la situation sur nos réseaux sociaux et notre site internet”. Meaning there is a possible strike tomorrow August 2nd, those with already purchase tickets check your emails for more information,and follow the evolution of events in social media and the Eiffel webpage.

The exhibition presents nearly 80 photographs of the years 1945 to 1960, on the theme of the street, and for the most part unpublished, out from the reserves of the Centre Pompidou. A look at this post-war period, seen from the street in several European cities.  Sabine Weiss au Centre Pompidou ,expo until October 15 2018   Place Georges-Pompidou ,4éme. Centre Pompidou

The new sign of a escape game, You have Sixty Minutes, opens its first Parisian room: The Cannibal of Paris. It all starts at 57, rue de Maubeuge, in the 9éme, on a night of 1972. “Following a violent dispute, a man carried a fatal blow to his wife. Not knowing how to get rid of the body, he decided to cut it out, then came to mind the idea of tasting a piece. This experience was for him a revelation and will be the first of a long bloody series…  Open from Monday to Sunday from 10h to 22h. For groups of 2 to 6 players, starting at 16€ per person.   You Have Sixty Minutes  Le cannibale de Paris 57, rue de Maubeuge – 9éme. You can book your session online at  You have sixty minutes

A pint at 3€ with a portion of  French fries? It seems that is a yes at O’Petit Paris gathers the crowds from Monday to Sunday, from  14h  to 01h30, and water the barge with  its beers at 3€ in Happy Hour (3.90€ after), its planters at 2€ and its fries that fly out, all in a village atmosphere dear to Paris. Inside, this old tea room has a PMU atmosphere that will delight the fans and for others, the terrace would do very well. Attention, it closes at 23h  but the most seasoned will make their the end of the sidewalk past that time 8, cour des Petites-Écuries ,10éme. More here: O’Petit Paris

Some visit to the masters and inspirational folks on France can be found below for your Summer trips.

About 130 years ago, in 1887, Alphonse Daudet  buys the charming mansion below in Draveil, on the banks of the Seine, with its copyrights money. The writer wrote almost the most of his work knowing that he shared his time between his holiday residences and his apartments in Paris. La Maison Alphonse Daudet, rue Alphonse Daudet, 91210, Champrosay – 91210 Draveil . Count about 1h drive, RER D station Ris-Orangis, then 15 minutes walk.

The Departmental museum of Stéphane Mallarmé born in 1842, the poet is a teacher of English, his “livelihood obliged”, and has an intense poetic activity. The museum settled in its house on the banks of the Seine, although it also lived in Rue de Rome in the 17éme of Paris. The museum is at  4, Promenade Mallarmé-77870, Vulaines-sur-Seine. Count 1h40 by taking RER B to Melun station then Transilien R to Vulaines-sur-Seine Samoreau, then walk for 20 minutes

Château de Médan ; Maeterlinck, Belgian author, and Ronsard are roommates at the very beautiful castle of Médan, alongside Cézanne. We are obviously talking about their memoirs that still reign in this former hunting lodge, which was barely saved in the post-war period.Located at  50, rue Pierre Curie – 78670, Medan. One hour from Paris by car, not served by train networks

The Maison d’Emile Zola while you are in Médan, take the opportunity to discover the house of Emile Zola, who lived from 1878 to 1902 in this House which he was able to buy thanks to the success of his novel L’Assommoir. It was here that he wrote his novels afterwards and led a rural life.  Located at 26, rue Pasteur – 78670, Médan .An hour from Paris by car, not served by train networks.

The Maison de Chateaubriand, in the Valley of the Wolves, is the place where he fled after his exile from Paris by Napoleon because of his hostility to the first Empire. He will write several of his works, in particular Les Martyrs, the itinerary of Paris in Jerusalem, The adventures of the last Abencerage , and the memoirs of the Tomb, in the Velléda tower.Located at  87 rue de Chateaubriand, but better put in your GPS  rue Eugène Sinet. The Vallée aux Loups site can give more in French, need a car. http://vallee-aux-loups.hauts-de-seine.fr/infos-pratiques/les-acces-aux-domaine

The Maison d’Elsa Triolet-Louis Aragon The couple blossoming in the heart of this 5 hectares park, at the Moulin de Villeneuve. This mill of the late 12C was often the setting and source of inspiration for their writings. Today, the House makes both office of Memory place with the apartments and the tomb of the two writers, a place of research with a library of more than 30 000 volumes and place of support for contemporary artistic creation. Always interesting to take a tour. Located at Moulin de Villeneuve – 78730, Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines. One and a half hours by car, not served by train networks.

The Château de  Monte Cristo is Alexandre Dumas who lived in this palace perched on a hill. He bought it in 1846 except that three years later he was riddled with debts and forced to sell this home. Located at Chemin du Haut Ormes-78560, Le Port-Marly. An hour from Paris about: Take the RER A to Saint-Germain-en-Laye and then the bus 259, stop at the station Jaurès

The Maison de Balzac ,he lived in this House of Passy under a nickname  “Monsieur Breugnol ” to flee his creditors . The little carousel lasted seven years thanks to a clever ploy: the house had two entrances, in two different streets, rue Raynouard  and Rue Berton. Entrance on 47, rue Raynouard – 16éme Metro Passy.

The Musée Jean-Jacques Rousseau Museum  is in the Val d’Oise dept 95, we go to meet the writer, musician and philosopher Genévese. It stays at the “Petit Mont-Louis” from 1757 to 1762, fleeing Paris,  “City of smoke, noise and mud”( really changed in almost 300 years lol!). He will come out with his Social contract published in 1762. Located at 5, rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau – 95160, Montmorency. About an hour from Paris: Take the Transilien H train at Gare du Nord to the La Barre Ormesson, then the 337 bus to the cemetery of Deuil-la-Barre, then count a 25 minute walk.

The Musée Cocteau Museum; this museum house was the home of the French poet graphic designer, draughtsman, playwright and filmmaker. He will reside there for 17 years, first occasionally, then definitively from the moment he binds himself with his new companion Édouard Derma, far from the tumult of his Parisian life. Located at 15, rue du Lau – 91490, Milly-la-Forêt . At about 2h by car, not served by train networks

The Musée Victor Hugo Museum in the Marais, this is the hotel of Rohan-Guéménée where Victor Hugo lived, which  became a museum in 1902. He lived on the second floor from 1832 to 1848, before his exile. To this day, the apartment details the existence of the poet before, during and after this exile. Located at  6, Place des Vosges Metro Chemin Vert or Bréguet-Sabin line 4.

Some ideas for peace and quiet this Summer :

The Little Venice of the Val-de-Marne (La Petite Venise du Val-de-Marne) at metro line 8 Créteil-University. We find four islands bordered by the Marne river, nested in each other. An oasis of greenery in this bucolic landscape and on the river float some boats and kayaks… pretty walkways, original architect Villas; Even the pigeons have left room for swans and mallards. In case of small or big hunger, we stop at the Domaine de Sainte Catherine, where we taste a market cuisine , while admiring the banks of the Marne on the terrace shaded by centuries-old trees.

Just a few meters from the Seine, benches of rigor are hidden in a well-known square of the inhabitants of the district. In the shade of trees, one reads sitting or lying on stone benches… in the form of an open book to read is to live in full light. So why not, but in town and especially in Paris in the summer, it’s still nice to be in the shade and a little hidden to avoid those who speak loudly when you want to be quiet in our stories. Take advantage of these quiet spots to classic books, a novelty and all the other books you love! At the Square Gabriel-Pierné  5, rue de Seine 6éme.

What is calmer than the flowing water? Nothing, and it is not the aficionados of the Vert-Galant square at the tip of the island ïle de la Cité that will tell you otherwise. When you are at the end of the park, feet in the water and facing the capital, it is perfect to make the emptiness and dive into a novel. We love it!  Square Vert-Galand, 15 , Place du Pont Neuf 1éme

The garden of the Fondation Eugène-Napoléon, hidden in the depths of 12éme, at rue de Picpus, is an oasis of calm and voluptuousness as we love them. But it stays between us, please. Jardins de la Fondation Eugène-Napoléon;  1, rue de Picpus  12éme

And ready for Summer in Paris? I give some to think about!

After tasting the Frozé, the Granite with Rosé, or the Rosé Sangria, we get to the Rosénade, a subtle mixture of rosé wine and lemonade. Something to try this Summer in Paris.  The ingredients of the Rosénade:

30 ml of Absolut Vodka Lemon, 150 ml of rosé wine, 2 leaves of basil, 1 quarter of a lemon, 15 ml of sugar syrup, 45 ml of carbonated water. You do in a shaker: basil, lemon and sugar syrup are mixed. We fill the ice shaker and add the vodka and the rosé. Shake, Shake, shake. We filter the whole thing and we pour into a cocktail glass. We add the carbonated water, a slice of lemon and a leaf of basil. Voilà c’est Paris!

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

August 1, 2018

This is classic Deauville!

So let me write a post about a classic town that I have not been per se but passed by several times in the area. This is glitzy and old charm town but it is very famous with the upper class; I am talking about Deauville.

Deauville in the Department 14 of Calvados in the region of Normandy. Norman Seaside Resort, it is considered, with its casino, its palaces, its classic villas, its racing fields, its marinas, its convention center, its American film Festival, its golfs and its discotheques, as one of the most prestigious city in France. It attracts thousands of tourists each year, especially Parisians because of its relative proximity (about 200 km), which is worth being dubbed the “21st arrondissement of Paris” (21st district of Paris) thanks to the A13 highway  ,and the A132 connector as well as the Deauville Train station.

At the mouth of the Touques river  which separates it from Trouville-sur-Mer, and stretches partly along the river. A bridge connects the two communes. From a traditional point of view, it is in the north of the Pays d’Auge  and from a tourist point of view, it is located on the Côte Fleurie. Adjacent to the southwest of Trouville-sur-Mer, the agglomeration is 13 km north-west of L’évêque, 16 km southwest of Honfleur, 17 km northeast of Dives-sur-Mer and 42 km northeast of Caen.

The name Deauville is attested in the Latinized form  Auevilla in 1060, then Deauvilla later on. The original Village was built on the height of Mount Canisy, belonging to the Bishopric of Lisieux during the old regime (referring to monarchies).

A bit of history I like

There is still little, of ruins of the castle of Lassay, which  was believed still practically intact in 1830. This castle was built in 1676 by Armand de Madaillan, Count of  Lesparre, Marquis of Lassay. Well known in the court at Versailles, while he was wooing the Duchess of Montpensier,  Countess of Auge, staying  in Honfleur. It was a little embellish reality, the castle was only a simple mansion, it was in this faithful to its gascons origins. It was his son, Count and Marquis of Lassay, who had the Hôtel de Lassay built in Paris, now residence of the President of the National Assembly of France.  King  Louis XIV made parishes of Benerville, Tourgéville, Saint-Aja and Deauville a lordship under the name of Montcanisy. The Domaine de Montcanisy becomes by inheritance of his granddaughter, and then the  Duke of Brancas-Lauraguais. The Duke gave sumptuous feasts in favour of Madame du Barry, favorite of Louis XV, but also later for Sophie Arnoult,a  singer at the Opéra de Paris and his mistress. The castle was sold in 1824 to a Parisian named Auger who let it degrade.

It is Dieppe that inaugurates in France the Sea Baths in 1812, it achieved success with the Duchess of Berry who passes the seasons. The relay is taken by Trouville-sur-Mer, which is still a village, and will develop with the new French bourgeoisie, but also with the aristocracy of the Second Empire (Napoléon III). In 1847, Trouville, to establish a regular correspondence with the Paris trains which now arrive in Le Havre, built a long jetty at the mouth of the Touques river  to facilitate the berthing of the big ships. This disrupts the sea currents and the sand now accumulates along the marshes and the warrens of Deauville, pushing the ocean and creating a large sandy beach

The realization of the plan of planning, designed by  Architect Desle-François Breney,  sharing the space in four zones: by the sea, the permits to the avenue Impériale, the luxury residential area with the casino, behind a popular urban area, at the foot of the Hill a worldly area with the Hippodrome and along the Touques river  a zone of activity with the port and the wharf of the railroad. The space is enshrined in a quadrilateral, structured around a cardo with an avenue connecting the casino by the sea at the Hippodrome and the Imperial Avenue, former “customs Road”, parallel to the sea, connecting the other bank of the Touques by a bridge, and shared by a grid of broad streets. Excluded from the urban plan, the old village remains exiled to the top of the hill, around the church of St. Lawrence, in connection with the popular area by the extension of its paths vicinal classic plan is inspired to Breney by the Parisian principles of the Baron Haussmann.

At the beginning of the 20C, Deauville remained in the shadow of Trouville-sur-Mer, a station more famous for Parisian clientele. Grand Hotel du Casino and has a new casino built in its place inaugurated  in 1912. In 1912 is also opened the Hotel Normandy and in 1913, a second palace, the Hotel Royal, is built at the location of the Villa Louisiana of Baron Erlanger  and that of the Duke of Morny, thus turning a page of the history of Deauville. During ,WWI, the Royal, like many other Norman hotels, was transformed into a complementary military hospital to receive the wounded directly from the front through the railway line. The villa de Flots built by Botele, prefect of Police of the Second Empire, bought in 1867 by Count Roger de Gontaut-Biron, is demolished in 1911 to make way for the Normandy-hotel.

The city of Deauville builds the tennis club Lawn-Tennis  in 1913; In 1911, Count Le Marois built the grandstands of the Hippodrome de la Touques, inspired by those of Longchamp in Paris. In 1912 and in 1913, it is conceived, at the back of the casino, a set of luxury boutiques for, among others, the jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels and the stylist Coco Chanel. It incorporates the Café de la Potinière. These stores of spring open their first shop outside of Paris, it is in 1924 that are opened the Pompeian baths  with the famous “plates” and in 1929 that is created the Yacht club

During  WWII, Deauville was occupied by the Nazi army. On 19 August 1944, Kommandant Major Rimmer summoned the municipal authorities, tob the city/town Hall, for a farewell party before leaving the city to settle on the heights of Trouville and Now everyone is waiting for the liberators. It was the units of the 6th Airborne Division of Major-General Richard Gale, the parachutists of the night from June 5 to 6, 1944 on the Orne channel  that was entrusted with the liberation of the country of Auge (pays d’Auge) . The Belgian units of the Piron Brigade, who have passed Gale’s orders, are entrusted with the liberation of the coast, and after Cabourg, Dives-sur-Mer, Houlgate, Villers-sur-Mer, they arrive in sight of Deauville and Trouville. From August  20, contacts were made between the envoys of Deauville and the Allied troops who now know that the Germans evacuated the West Bank of the Touques including Mount Canisy.  It was only on Thursday 24 August at 8h15 that the Belgian troops crossed the Touques  river on a makeshift footbridge thrown on the ruins of the bridge between Deauville and Trouville. Allied forces chase the Nazis  in their retreat to Belgium and the Netherlands. It is in remembrance of their liberators that the bridge rebuilt between the two cities bears the name of “Bridge of the Belgians”.

Some things to see and do here, of course ,the Beach is it really for my opinion.

Tourism develops around the casino and the two luxury hotels of the Groupe Barriére, prestigious shops (Hermes, Coco Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Prada, Armani, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Tod, Weston, Pardha Jewellery…) and the Centre International de Deauville (CID), which hosts throughout the year numerous festivals, concerts, shows, congresses and seminars and every season the horse races. The Golfs Barriere of Deauville, the Admiralty, and Saint-Ganesh, scattered in the hinterland  of Deauville, the tennis-club on the waterfront, the Yacht club, the nautical center, the slopes of karting..The horse sector is particularly present through regular sales of thoroughbred horses at the Elie-de-Brignac establishment, including the sale of yearlings in August, of international renown; The organization of Grand Prix races on the Hippodrome of the Touques and on the Hippodrome of Clairefontaine as well as the organization of the “Deauville Polo Cup” every year, in the month of August.

Saint-Laurent Chapel a former parish church of the 12C and 13C, where Yves Saint Laurent contributed to its restoration. Villa Strassburger, on the grounds of the  Ferme du Couteau  built at the beginning of the 20C  it is called Strassburger because it became, in the 1920’s, the Deauville  residence of the American billionaire Ralph-Beaver Strassburger. His descendants have donated the villa to the city of Deauville which has been providing it since its management and maintenance. The Trouville-Deauville train station, rebuilt in neo-Normand style in 1931 and which inspired that of Dalat (Vietnam) and Pointe-Noire (Republic of Congo) . The Villa Breloque is the dwelling in which the painter Eugene Boudin  lived the last year of his life and died in  August 8, 1898. The promenade de la plage,  The board and its  Pompeian Baths,  the place Morny, its jets of water and its covered market;  the arcades  of the Avenue du General-de-Gaulle.

Deauville

Deauville train station on ways of Normandie

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Deauville tourist info : https://en.indeauville.fr/

City of Deauville on parkings : https://www.mairie-deauville.fr/ville/stationnement

Dept 14 Calvados tourism on Deauville: https://www.calvados-tourisme.co.uk/en/discover/the-coast/deauville-in-calvados-on-the-normandy-coast.php

Normandy tourism on Deauville: http://en.normandie-tourisme.fr/discover/normandy-must-sees/the-10-top-normandy-must-sees/deauville-180-2.html

Side kick next door Trouville-sur-Mer tourism: http://en.trouvillesurmer.org/

There you ,if refinement is your taste ,this one is for you,even more than Paris. This is old money here ,even if lately some well to do families do come and some curious ones too. Like I said is an alternative to vacations in France for anyone. Enjoy it.

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

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