Archive for September 1st, 2018

September 1, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXVIIII

So here I am , we are, all are ok! Another sunny day in my beloved Morbihan Breton, temps of 21C or about 72F ,and we are starting September. Also, my vacation is ending next Sept 5 so back to work the 6th yikes!!! 3 weeks has gone fast and so hard to think of returning ,but we must indeed;;; to continue traveling lol!

The month is a sad one for me as will be the first time, sorry if bothered you with my personal tidbits , but its all out from the heart. This month is my birthday, (naaah no way no number given) still young at least at heart which is where it counts, in my opinion. However, will be my first birthday in 29 years that my dear late wife Martine will not be with me … physically; and to add to the misery, her birthday is on the 26! We were days apart same year and so much in common. She is missed and remembered every day. Thanks for putting up with my trivias.

Therefore, life continues they tell me (not the same just move on) , and we have to do the errands of our daily life in France, now with my 3 young men and still Dad in tow. We went out early to attend our first Forum des Associations in our town, we already have 5 years living in the house and town, which is my average per domicile in my lifetime!!! So ,the town and job is catchy. The place of the gathering was the Le Borgne community center, which is also the place I do my voting duties for elections. This is it in my town: Salle Marie Josephe le Borgne


This many towns, have it, call the Forum des Associations or the association:clubs get together to introduce the locals into all kinds of activities. My twins boys got into the football/soccer club, they will be in C level or rookies as this is a competitve environment they are not used to. They have done basketball and archery before but doing football as now we all like it and struck together around it. First practice is next Wednesday at 19h15

As for me well I join the Patrimoine club or heritage club ,the one dealing with history architecture of all our things to see and more; very neat group, we will go into libraries to search the history of our area and visit many of them. The first tour on the 16 will be in the library recherching a murder that took place here in 1765!  It should be fun over Fall and Winter !


Then we stop in the post office for our weight mailings needs and continue to Auray a nearby town to stop at the new branch of Bureau Vallée now closer to us as we used to go to Vannes for our office supplies . Auray is only 14 km (less than 9 mi) from me while Vannes is 27 km (less than 17 mi and where I work).

The post office here: Post Office Pluvigner

Bureau Vallée Auray: Office supplies Bureau Vallee at Auray

And the beat goes on.  We came to Vannes of course, to purchase some paint and accessories as we are painting our basement walls in order to eventually do rooms, we have a big basement with space for 3 cars which we do not use, cellar, and laundry room below.  This is in our favorite Castorama building supplies store. webpage here: Castorama of Vannes

As the lunch time was reach, and we are always hungry, we ,also, needed to do our groceries and decided to do so in one two punch at the E Leclerc shopping center anchored by the hypermarket E Leclerc in Vannes just across from the Castorama store. Here there is  a nice Flunch family restaurant (in fact the name is a concoction of Family Lunch=Flunch). It is  a typical modest prices family restaurant chain here and good for the price quality ratio. Even in my ultra top management position (head of dept 1,7B€ company responsable for 28 countries) , I love the simplicity of these places and to mingle with the human beings.  Webpage location here: Flunch of Vannes


And of course, we did our groceries for the non essential items (as the good food of France is elsewhere in mom and pops historical places). This is the E Leclerc hypermarket with webpage location here: E Leclerc of Vannes

And from there we came home, to do more measuring in the basement for our project ,and requesting quotes from a couple of places to change our garage door and driveway door to the street. Will see….

Saturday is almost gone, and we are back at home, doing our usual TV ,blog, social media, and some refreshing rosé wine from the Loire. Life continues indeed , it is so short . I have an anecdote do not recall if mentioned here. A older gentlemen is harrassed by his family to do a medical exam for prevention; he refuses always. Until one day, the family finally convince him to see the doctor and do the complete medical exam. There talking with the doctor, was asked what was the last time he had a medical exam, and the gentlemen responded never! Doctor surprise asked him his age, and he responded 60 years old; the doctor was surprise, upset, started sermoning about the advances of medicine and that in the 60’s folks lived to 60 while now they can go to 84 etc etc etc. The gentlemen sat there quietly while the doctor went on his tirade of the advances of medicine. Finally, the gentlemen asked the doctor, if this science of medicine he was talking about can tell him how long he will be dead!!!  Well , the moral of the story is we live too short, its a steal to live to 84 when we will be dead 84 and as many zeros you like to add on. So ,therefore, life is beautiful, live it to the fullest ,and always remember the good times you had around your love ones. That is all folks!

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

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September 1, 2018

Vatican city State of Rome!

Today on a sunny day, let me tell you about something celestial. I have heard about it all my life, and came to watch ceremonies on TV for many years. Even on my business trips to Rome never had the time to get there, until then. The family call to visit Rome and of course, we needed to come here, the Vatican city State, the seat of the Catholic Church.

I remembered taken the bus 62 all the way from Piazza Bologna to near the back of Castel de Sant Angelo and then walk to the Vatican City. It was a hot day in August, but we are used to that and the walk slowly arriving on the Via della Conciliazione was marvelous. I like to tell you a bit more on the history of it.


Vatican city (Citta del Vaticano), the papal residence, was built over the tomb of Saint Peter. The Vatican’s position as a sovereign state within a state was guaranteed by the Lateran Treaty of 1929, marked by the building of a new road, the Via della Conciliazione. This leads from huge St Peter’s Basilica to Castel Sant’ Angelo (castle). Vatican is the smallest state in the world, based in Rome, Italy. Inside the Vatican city we can find 11 Vatican Museums with the restored Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, and Vatican Gardens, an enchanted place, a system of large and small gardens, fountain, fish pool and enclosure for rabbits. They date back to medieval times when vineyards and orchards extended to the north of the Apostolic Palace. The Vatican, in the long form the State of Vatican City (Stato della Città del Vaticano The Vatican consists of two separate legal entities, the Holy See, spiritual entity and the State of the Vatican City, temporal entity. The link between these two entities is the Pope, leader of the spiritual and temporal, with absolute power (executive, legislative and judicial).



The Vatican, an important archaeological site of the Roman world, located on the hill of the same name, is the seat of the papacy and the Catholic world. According to the Catholic tradition, it goes back to St. Peter himself, as the first bishop of Rome and is the official center of all Christianity since the Emperor Constantine in the 4C, but this point of view is not necessarily shared by all historians or by all Christian denominations. The city is situated on what was called in ancient times the Ager Vaticanus which consists of a small plain on the banks of the Tiber river, rising at some distance in a hill of low elevation, the Montes Vaticani (Vatican Hill).


A bit of history I like

The ancient origin of this territory of the Papal States is an accumulation of land donations received by successive Popes, from the Constantine’s times to that of the Lombard kingdom . The Pope was thus placed at the head of an important land estate known as the Saint-Pierre heritage, under Byzantine suzerainty.

Some villas, built around imperial gardens, were owned by Agrippina. The latter’s son, Emperor Caligula , had a private circus, the Circus Vaticanus, which was one of the only vestiges of the present Vatican obelisk. It was there, as well as in the adjacent gardens, that the martyrdom of many Christians of Rome took place at the time of Nero . It is said that Saint Peter was buried north of this circus, in a necropolis that skirted a secondary road, via Cornelia. At the place of his burial, the emperor Constantine built between 326 and 333 a grandiose Basilica at the site of the ancient Roman circus, which was then demolished. The building was replaced by the present Basilica in the 16C and 17C. The construction of the Vatican Palace began under the pontificate of Nicolas V in the first half of the 15C.


In 1870, after the evacuation of the French troops, Rome was conquered by the Piedmont troops and attached to the Kingdom of Italy. Pope Pius IX, who resided at the Palace of Quirinal (first the official residence of the kings of Italy, then the President of the Italian Republic), then fled to the Vatican Palace. Its refusal to annexation entails a political and diplomatic dimension to the conflict caused by the Italian state. This controversy lasts until the Lateran Agreements in 1929, which ensure that the Italian government respects the borders of the State which it then recognizes de facto. The oldest army still in exercise, if you can say, is that of the Vatican. This army is recruited since 1506, exclusively in the Swiss cantons. The pontifical troops have no longer been in the line of fire  since their defeat by the Italian troops, which occurred in 1870.


The architecture and structures of the Vatican City

The Vatican State is enclosed in the walls imposed by article 5 of the Lateran Agreements, which is entirely landlocked in the city of Rome, in the Italian territory. This enclave includes St. Peter’s Square, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Apostolic Palace, Vatican museums and gardens.   The Holy See also has full ownership over several buildings located outside the Vatican City, which enjoy a diplomatic status such as  immunity, like an embassy. These include: The entire Lateran: the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Palace and its annexes, as well as the Scala Santa Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore; Basilica of Saint Paul . Outside the walls and its monastery; it has several  palaces containing the services of the Roman Curia: the palaces of the Daterie (date-building) and the chancery (seats of the Roman Rote, the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature and the Apostolic Penitentiary), the Palace of the Propagation of the faith (seat of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples), etc.; and the Castel Gandolfo complex, the pope’s summer residence. In addition, the Gregorian University, the Vatican Radio station located in the suburbs of Rome and various other buildings are tax-free and preserved from any expropriation. These buildings and properties are not part of the state of the Vatican City, but their cumulative area is about double that of the Vatican.

Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome

The official languages of the Vatican City are: Italian for the state of Vatican City;

Latin, the official language of the Roman Catholic Church and the legal language of the Vatican; French for the diplomacy of the Holy See (the Vatican is registered as a Francophone state with international organisations); German for the Vatican Army, the Swiss Guards; Other languages are also used: Italian, for dialogue with the Diocese of Rome; and French, English and Spanish for dialogue with Catholics around the world.

There you and now as my usual self some webpages to help you plan your trip here

The Holy See:

The Vatican State govt page on monuments:

The Vatican State info on times practical info etc.

Unesco World Heritage  Site, of course.

Useful info on visiting the museums:

And now you are all set to visit this wonderful place, even if not religious the magnitude of the buildings, the history and architecture in them will amaze you. Enjoy it

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

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September 1, 2018

The Piazza Navona of Rome!

In my family trip to Rome, we walk a lot, we find it the best way to see the city after arriving there. We arrived by air in Fiumicino airport, took the bus to final destination in Nomentano and then the rest on bus or foot. Above ground is the best way always!

We love to see the history and architecture of the cities and towns we visited and in the eternal Rome we love our times by the Piazza Navona square. It is superb and a must to visit while in Rome. There is lots of things to see there and I have written several posts on the city but this was one of our favorite walks.


I like to tell you a bit more of this wonderful square. On a cloudy or not good photos ,they are a bit dark for that day.

Piazza Navona is Rome’s largest tourist square. Located in the northern part of the Campo di Marte, near the Pantheon, it is built on the ruins of the Domitian Stadium of the 1C, of which it retains the exact form. It is, with its monumental architectural décor  one of the most beautiful ensembles of Baroque architecture of Rome.


The Piazza Navona is originally a stadium built by Emperor Domitian in 86AD. Domitian introduced a cycle of Greek games: running, fist, javelin throwing and discus-throwing. In the 5C, the stadium is no more than ruins. Until Mid-19C , every summer the drains of the three fountains were blocked and the center of the square was flooded to make the Lake of Piazza Navona !


The present square is adorned with three fountains. The center, known as the Fountain of the Four Rivers, built by ordered of Pope Innocent X and completed in 1651. The four rivers symbolize the four parts of the world: the Danube for Europe, the Nile for Africa, the Ganges for Asia and the Río de la Plata for America. In the center of the Fountain is the obelisk of Piazza Navona bearing in Egyptian hieroglyph the name of Domitian, which is surmounted by a dove, emblem of the family Pamphili (Roman noble family giving many Popes such as Innocent X).  The obelisk is 16 meters high (about 52 feet) which originally was part of the Circus Maxentius found in the Appian Way regional park. It is a masterpiece of Baroque art, full of curves, effects as the obelisk appears to be placed on the void, a cave being built under its base and movements; It is a theater to herself, a spectacle in action.



Two other fountains adorn this square: the Fountain of Neptune and the Fountain of the Moor, dating respectively from 1574 and 1576. The figure in the Fountain of the Moor was initially called Seashell Fountain; this fountain is located on the southern side of the square. The basin of the Neptune Fountain, arranged at one end of the Navona square, received carved ornaments at the end of the 19C approximately in 1878.


This Navona square is one of the main tourist places of the city with its monuments, restaurants, terraces, artists and street animations. Other monuments on the square are the Stabilimenti Spagnoli, Palazzo de Cupis, Palazzo Torres Massimo Lancellotti, Church of Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore; Palazzo Braschi (Museo di Roma museum), Sant’Agnese in Agone, and Palazzo Pamphilj.

One of my best recollection of it in the movies was on the National Lampoon’s European Vacation.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Rome:

And a nice place to see on the spot with webcam:

It is a very nice square indeed, and a highlight of our family trip to Rome.  And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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