Archive for October, 2018

October 30, 2018

Some news from France CXCXVII

So here I am on a sunny cool day in my Morbihan Breton only 12C sunny no rains nothing else to report, great! We are fully into the end of October and Halloween waiting be scary be nice and trick or treat ok!

Let me give you the latest from my sources on what is happening in my belle France ,and gorgeous Paris! Oh yes Paris is at 11C  but cloudy !

Oh for some is trouble. The white one has arrived!!! Nearly 950 people were stranded in the night from Monday to Tuesday on the roads of Haute-Loire where a brutal snowy episode fell, while 195 000 homes were still without electricity in France this Tuesday morning. The main regions affected are the Auvergne ,Rhône Alpes, the Centre Val de Loire and the center of the Limousin, according to electricity provider Enedis. According to the weather report in France this Tuesday morning, 17 departments are still concerned with the orange alert and the current snowy episode. It is the Ain, the Allier, the Ardennes, the Aube, the Cher, the Corrèze, of the Côte-d’Or, the Creuse, the Loire, the Haute-Loire, the Loiret, the Seine et Marne, the Marne, the Haute-Marne, the Nièvre, the Puy-de-Dôme, the Saône-et-Loire and the Yonne. !! Not me ::)

View from the outside, the large house located at 32, rue de Toul, in the 12éme arrondissement of Paris, is hardly distinguished from the other buildings erected in the quarter at the beginning of the 20C. However, above the doorbell, to the left of a black gate, a small plaque today takes on a historical value: “SON-RE Pierre Henry“. Fifteen months after the composer’s death (July 5, 2017, at the age of 89 years), it is still the only indication of the place which was both his home and his studio (“Son-RE” meaning “sound and electro-acoustic research”). On October 31,(tomorrow) Isabelle Warner, widow of Pierre Henry  will return the keys to the house rented since 1971. Then the building will probably be demolished to make room for a building. Again Paris trivia is gone. More on Pierre Henry: https://www.discogs.com/artist/7209-Pierre-Henry

And more, a masterpiece of the Renaissance, the Fountain of the Innocents (1éme), just a few steps from the canopy, is hard to see. Sculpted in 1540 by Jean Goujon, the silhouettes of the naiads with the veiled body that dance between the Corinthian pilasters are gradually crumbling. Not to mention the marble basins, hopelessly empty and more and more chipped… At the city/town hall, it is announced that it has launched in early October a study which will be made by the end of the year to obtain a precise state of the restoration needs of the fountain and an estimate of the cost of the operation. Still Paris fall behind their monuments! Here is the fountain: https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73158/Fontaine-des-Innocents

This winter, fashion is checkered. On cashmere, mohair or silk… For the winter season, small or large-tile motifs are printed on dresses, cardigans, jackets and other ponchos.Be ready winter is coming and fashion Paris gets the best out.

The Niflette is a Halloween bake good, originally from Provins, the iconic pastry of All Saints (Nov1)in the medieval city will be honored as it should be on November 11th. In the Middle Ages and to the feast of All Saints. The niflettes would then have been distributed to the orphans at the exit of the cemeteries, Niflette finding its origin in the Latin injunction “do not flounder!”, that is, do not “weep”. It is a puff pastry with a custard in the center. It is found nature or scented with the orange blossom.flavor. tourist office here:  https://www.provins.net/

The old refectory of the abbey of Royaumont will be the scene of a unique spectacle on November 24th. This one, free of charge, will cover the history of the Scottish ladies, these women doctors, surgeons or nurses from across the channel, who led alone during WWI a military hospital in the walls of the abbey. From December 1914 to February 1919, they will be a total of 477 ladies from Royaumont to take care of nearly 10 861 wounded, including 8 752 soldiers. The abbey here: https://www.royaumont.com/en/home

Show on November 24th at 18h Free. Registration at email:  plume.poesie8@gmail.com. A call for donations is being made for the funding of this unique representation here:  www.helloasso.com/associations/plume-poesie

Astrophysicists, historians, neuroscientists, artists…etc. The inaugural lesson is the entry ritual of any new teacher at the Collège de France. A large oral as free as protocol as the image of this institution born under François I. In the 5éme arrondissement of Paris, to attend the inaugural lesson of Amos Gitai, the new holder of the annual chair of artistic creation of the Collège de France. He is the first filmmaker to occupy it. Before him, the composers Pascal Dusapin and Philippe Manoury, the plastic artist Anselm Kiefer or the writer Alain Mabanckou have succeeded.  On the stage of the Grand Amphitheatre Marguerite de Navarre, they are allowed in to the Speaker’s office. According to tradition, it is in this small room adjoining the amphitheatre that the applicant patiently, surrounded by professors of the Collège de France entered and make their presentation of acceptance to the Collége de France. More on the Collége de France here: https://www.college-de-france.fr/site/fr-about-college/index.htm

Within the framework of the centenary of the Armistice, (end of WWI) a large exhibition of panels made by the photographer Philippe Abergel, will be installed on the facades of the Napoleon Barracks, at the corner of Rue de Rivoli and Rue de Lobau. You will be able to discover the daily life of the little hair guys (youngs soldiers for WWI) or Poilus in French. An exhibition of Centenary objects in a Polaroid format. The opportunity to take another look at the poilus, with the idea that behind these small craft creations, this cache of knowledge how to do. 14-18 Monument to the Fallen of the Great War Hôtel de Ville Paris, until December 15 2018. More here:   : http://memorial14-18.paris.fr/memorial/

In collaboration with Sandra Reignoux, the music library of Paris offers you an unprecedented exhibition of about fifty drawings by visionary artist Daniel Johnston. Drawings collected by Sandra Reignoux during a correspondence from 1999 to 2003. Arts Factory will also be joining the exhibition to present you other works to the graphic universe, where you can attend concerts and film projections. A high-color program. Last Night Daniel Johnston saved my life.  Music Library of Paris 8, Porte St Eustache until November 8th, from 12h to 19H: more info here:   https://www.paris.fr/equipements/mediatheque-musicale-de-paris-mmp-2883

Something buzzting with excitement here is the spread of this guy in social media and even the News on FR2 this morning. A star is born. His name is Salif Gueye, aka Salif la Source. This street dancer, unknown a few days ago, literally ignited social networks. His video of Michael Jackson’s moonwalk at Beaubourg made the buzz. An American career seems to be drawing for this Parisian. This is our feel good portrait of the week. At the age of 22, the hip-hop dance was even knighteded by American basketball player Lebron James and actor Dwayne Johnson. This real Michael Jackson fan seems to be the new incarnation of the King of Moonwalk. He repeated the dance steps of the thriller singer, Fred Astaire, James Brown and many others, with a relentless and correctness that touched the fans of MJ and the others. Originilally fromf Dakar and who grew up in Epinay-sur-Seine in the dept  93 Seine-Saint-Denis. Ten hours of dance a day: it can be said, dance is the whole life of this young man who sees far the dancer of Beaubourg should fly soon to the United States!.

At the time of the 20th anniversary of the World pasta Day, it goes back to the origins of a must: pasta with carbonara. This is called “Carbonara” because there is so much pepper that looks like coal! It is probable that at first we put all this pepper to mask the taste of the rancid deli. Carbonara is a dish born in Rome it is quite recent, a priori of the 1940’s, when the Americans were still in Rome. They say that in their equipment they had freeze-dried eggs and old bacon that they sold to the Romans. And the Romans had pasta. Here is a dish prepared with the help of Tommaso Melilli, Italian chef and culinary columnist for Slate.

Preparation time: 15 min, Cooking time: 15 min, Ingredients for 2 persons: 200 g hard wheat pasta, spaghetti or linguine (preferably Italian brand), 2 beautiful slices of guanciale (cheek of dried pork), 1 egg and 2 yolks, 60 g of Pecorino Romano , Pepper from the mill.  Cut the guanciale into pieces and melt it in a frying pan, cold start and dry. Reserve the pieces and the melted fat separately. In a casserole, beat the eggs, add 6 to 7 rounds of Pepper mill, the finely grated pecorino. Whisk all the way until you get a creamy consistency. Gradually add the fat of  warmed guanciale. Then, cook the pasta al dente (Reserve 1 glass of cooking water). In the frying pan on very soft fire, pour the pasta, the sauce, the pieces of guanciale, add a few spoonful of cooking water and mix quickly and vigorously to get the Mantecatura (link between the pasta). It has to go very fast, and it heats very little, so the egg is just starting to coagulate. Serve immediately, possibly adding some more pepper. Ciao Italia! Oh a dish we eat here too often and my boys love it!!!

Here is a find; nestles a small pearl in terms of Savoyard or Burgundian fondue, since 1987. Quality/price ratio, it is not better elsewhere because the formula at 16€  gives the fondue, the meat (for the Burgundian), the croutons of bread (for the Savoyard), and the fresh salad and homemade potatoes at will. Yes, at will. There’s no way we’re going to get enough. In addition to the lunch time, the glass of wine and the coffee are offered! . At Heureux comme Alexandre 13, rue du Pot de fer. More info here: Heureux Comme Alexandre resto

And for the history in me, here is a nice one to end the post

“No sir it’s a revolution!” This sentence, pronounced in the bedroom of king Louis XVI in Versailles on the night of 14 July 1789, remained engraved in history. But we know less the person who pronounced it… François Alexandre-Frédéric de La Rochefoucauld, Duke of  Liancourt. Born in La Roche-Guyon, he will spend his childhood there and regularly attend. But it was his cousin Louis-Alexandre de La Rochefoucauld who officially lived there. François, in particular, owns the Château de Liancourt (Oise dept 60 only the common areas exit today), and its magnificent park. To cultivate the majority of this historical garden, in particular to experience the techniques that he observed during his trips abroad. The castle itself will be replaced by factories dedicated especially to the work of wool. This is the career of this astonishing man who is currently retraced in the halls of the Château de la Roche-Guyon. On this famous night, as anger rumbles outside, he is the one who takes charge of waking up Louis XVI, and answering him when he naively asks him if it is a “revolt”. The Duke of Liancourt was then Grand Master of the King’s wardrobe and under his responsibility more than 200 persons. Of course, if he has won such a title, it is because François de la Rochefoucauld is a convinced monarchist. But his political opinions are not summed up in this… François de La Rochefoucauld is also the founder of the l’école d’Arts et Métiers (School of Arts and Crafts) and will participate in the creation of the Caisse d’épargne, (savings bank), always in the logic of helping the poorest population to progress. These are all facets of this resolutely modern man who are presented at the Château de La Roche-Guyon. A castle, which still belongs today to its descendants. “No Sir, it is a revolution! The lives of the duc de La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt”, until November 25, from 10h. to 17h. daily, admission: 7.80€. More info here as the castle is closed but the show is on: Chateau de la Roche Guyon

The city of La Roche Guyon on the castle: The castle at the city of La Roche Guyon webpage

And there you go another things to do in my belle France, and even outside Paris! And for the disclaimer, these are only my favorites from the lot; there is a lot more going on!

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

 

 

 

 

 

October 29, 2018

Some news from Spain LXVIIII

And here I am on a cloudy cold Autumn day in the Morbihan Breton and thinking of my Spain, and of course , cannot be too far from it. Already plans to go back!!!

There is always something going on in Spain and their tourism is climbing so much already on the steps of France, the all time no 1 leader according to the UN-WTO. And this is even with the political haggling of usual Spain; if not they will be no 1 long ago.

I like to give you the latest info according to me hehehe! well…..

Valencia is a good choice to take children to gain knowledge. In the City of Arts and Sciences, known for its iconic architecture, children can find a section dedicated to them in which specialized monitors will teach them small scientific concepts in a fun way. The museum also organises the ‘ science on stage ‘ workshops, which children can sign up for. More info: https://www.cac.es/en/home.html

There stands out the Chocolate Museum, in Barcelona where activities are organized for children between 0 and 7 years ranging from the experimentation with chocolate for the little ones until the blind tastings so that the older ones learn to distinguish the aromas of this product and to differentiate between variants of the same. It also offers workshops for the whole family where you can learn how to make chocolate lollipops. More info: http://www.museuxocolata.cat/?lang=en

Almeria has been chosen this past Wednesday as the Spanish Capital of gastronomy in 2019 after its candidacy was left alone in the struggle organized by the Spanish Federation of Hospitality and the Spanish Federation of Journalists and Writers of tourism. More info at Foods and Wines from Spain(official): https://www.foodswinesfromspain.com/spanishfoodwine/global/whats-new/news/new-detail/almeria-spanish-capital-gastronomy.html

Some picturesques towns to visit in my beloved Spain off the beaten track a bit,suggestions ok.

Cadaqués, Girona . Located in the Cape of Creus-Alto Empordà, this fishing village is one of the most beautiful in Catalonia and the easternmost of the Iberian Peninsula. In 1998 it was declared a Natural park. Its peculiar beauty made Salvador Dalí choose it as a summer residence and his house-museum is the most visited of the town. Its white houses in front of small coves, its steep alleys and its walk to the lighthouse of Cala Nans are its hallmarks. http://www.visitcadaques.org/?lang=uk&sec=

Laguardia, Álava . From the top of a hill and surrounded by a great wall, this medieval-rooted town is the capital of the Rioja Alavesa, on the left bank of the river Ebro. In its old town, considered one of the most beautiful in the Basque Country, highlights its Plaza Mayor arcaded and its Paseo del Collado, which borders the place with the extensive vineyards appropriating of the landscape. I recommend the night visit to the bodegas Solar de Samaniego, converted into the wine cathedral with the impressive murals of the Australian Guido van Helten. https://laguardia-alava.com/index.php/en/

Lastres, Asturias. Located on the top of a cliff over the Cantabrian Sea, this seaside town is one of the most visited in Asturias, especially since it was recorded there the TV series Doctor Mateo (for Spanish viewers). Its urban center, declared a historic complex, leads you to a maze of narrow cobbled streets leading up to the 18C Church of Santa Maria de Sábada. https://en.desdeasturias.com/la-villa-marinera-de-lastres/

La Alberca, Salamanca. It was the first town in Spain to be declared a National Historic site in 1940. Its facades, full of colors and flowers, are very popular. This town, integrated in the region of the Sierra de France, is also famous for its cobbled streets and its characteristic arcades. The villa was already constituted in the 13C and associated with the crown. http://www.laalberca.com/GB/index.php#

Villanueva de los Infantes, Ciudad Real.  This village of La Mancha, where Francisco de Quevedo died, and whose streets also crossed Lope de Vega and Miguel de Cervantes, was declared a National Historic site in 1974 by the archaeological sites found there, belonging to the Copper Age and the Bronze Age. Highlights the monumental ensemble around its main square built in the 17C and the more than 250 shields that look on its facades. http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/villanueva-de-los-infantes-13531/descripcion/

Chinchon, Madrid. Perhaps the most picturesque town in Madrid with a medieval square that still preserves its typical 15C houses, with its wooden balconies and arcades and where it was proclaimed King Felipe V in 1706. It’s Castillo de los Condes (Counts) is a must visit, as well as the purchase of anise, garlic, oil and wine. http://www.ciudad-chinchon.com/turismo/en/conoce-chinchon/lugares-interes/edificios-historico-artisticos.php

Aínsa, Huesca declared  National Historic site complex since 1965, this villa located in the Hautes-Pyrenees of Huesca is one of the places that frequent more tourists. It stands out its medieval old town and its stone houses, arranged in a staggered way.(see writing below)

Morella, Castellón .This town, guarded by an enormous military fortress of almost two kilometers and located at 1,000 meters of altitude, possesses sixteen towers and an impressive castle. It has witnessed battles of El Cid Campeador or the war of succession. His undisputed beauty has made it a World heritage site. http://en.morellaturistica.com/

And let me take you into the wonderful Pyrénées from where I drive all the time north south ,west east sublime. One of the entrances to the Pyrenees is located in the municipality of Aínsa-Sobrarbe this year has been chosen as the capital of rural tourism in Spain. It is the first municipality in Aragon in number of rural houses (37) and places to stay (262). The Unesco World Geopark of Sobrarbe-Pyrenees, which has a heritage with more than one hundred geological interest sites. Therefore Escaparural.com,(I rent from it very much recommended) the digital platform dedicated to the promotion of rural accommodation, had chosen it rural capital. The webpage for rentals is here: https://www.escapadarural.com/que-hacer/ainsa

The peculiarities of the old town of the village of Aínsa. Each street has a history to tell, since, in the antiquity, each one stood out for hosting the houses of certain social classes. For example, in the Calle Santa Cruz lived the people who belonged to the lower, like artisans and laborers, whereas in the Calle  Mayor, or Calle Gonzalo I, emphasized the buildings of the nobility. It does not matter which of the two streets you walk, as both lead to the Plaza Mayor and the castle. From the Torre del Homenaje (tower of the homage)  of the fortress to the main entrance, passing through the parish Church of Santa Maria, famous for its crypt and the belfry with spectacular views to the nearby places. Also the old Town treasures a Jewish bath discovered 400 years ago. Also you have to visit the ecomuseum of the Pireneica Fauna. It is not a common cultural space, but an interpretation center open 11 months a year dedicated to the animal world of the Pyrenees. In it it is possible to admire birds of prey incapable of living in freedom for having received  physical damage. From a real owl to a toed eagle, through a kind of bearded vulture. The latter is the only  Osteófaga Bird of the world, i.e. capable of ingesting bones. You can admire from 200 to 400 birds that come down from the mountains when they leave for food, fed twice a week in winter and three in summer. In addition, all those who become partners can enter three times a year in two enclose glass booths to take pictures of the vultures.

Another indispensable museum is the Traditional Crafts and Arts museum, a private collection, preserved in an old manor house, which houses more than 1,500 pieces from the 19-20C. From pottery and ceramic objects to blacksmiths ‘ instruments, such as curious pica-shaped horseshoes, through woodworking tools, knitting utensils and a kitchen of the period with fireplace included.  A few kms from Aínsa, the Latorrecilla rises beyond its architectural peculiarities, there is another reason why it is worth going there: the bees. The beekeeper Paco Parra and his family, in addition to selling artisanal honey, have devised my friends bees, a classroom of nature where they perform guided tours dedicated to the life of drones, worker bees and queen.

Lleida’s AVE train station is just over an hour’s drive from Aínsa. You can also reach Zaragoza or Huesca and then drive. On the website of the city/town hall of Aínsa : www.villadeainsa.com.

More on local tourism from the municipality Ainsa Sobrarbe here: Tourist office of Ainsa Sobrarbe on heritage

Moving down to my fav region of Spain other than Madrid you have a beauty many times visited and worth the detour.

In the province of Cuenca, in the heart of the Quijote route and an hour and a half drive from Madrid, Belmonte stands out for the unique beauty of its urban center, its stately buildings and its important monumental patrimony, one of the richest in the area , which has earned it the title of good of Cultural interest town. It includes its most recognized enclaves, which crown the two hills that surrounds the beautiful walled village of La Mancha: The Collegiate Church of San Bartolomé and the Castle of Belmonte , both buildings of the 15C. The castle, built in 1465 in the Cerro de San Cristóbal on a previous fortress, by order of Don Juan Pacheco, first Marquis of Villena and authorized by King Enrique IV of Castilla. Privately owned (descendants of the Empress of the French Eugenia wife of Napoleon III), the enclave has become a tourist destination thanks to its exhibitions, museums, theme park, historical recreation days, medieval battles and dramatised sessions, which transport the public to bygone times.

In Gothic-Mudejar style, the castle is a national monument, with a star-shaped structure around the courtyard (plaza de Armas). It was the refuge of Juana la Beltraneja at the end of the 15C, prison of the Napoleonic troops during the War of Independence (1808), residence of the Empress of France Eugenia de Montijo (1857), Convent of the Dominicans (1885) and prison during the Civil War ( 1936).

As the Sun falls, the castle becomes a frightening place and what better time to check it out than the Halloween weekend. Those interested in touring their halls and darker corners can do so from 1 to 3 November (from 20h to 01h.), dates in which the spectacle of terror will take place call Virus. More info here: http://castillodebelmonte.com/en/virus-halloween-2018/

For about 45 minutes, the public, distributed in groups of no more than 14 persons will go through the different areas of the fortress in which they have unpleasant encounters. Attendees will also participate in the story, know first-hand some of the characters who inhabited the castle centuries ago and have to follow the instructions that will indicate them during the tour. The dungeons, torture rooms and the most gloomy corners of the castle will be the scenarios of this event, not recommended for pregnant women, people with heart problems or under 12 years. More info at the Castle site here: http://castillodebelmonte.com

To complete the tour, it is obligatory to take a walk around the newly opened theme park Trebuchet Park, located at the foothills of the fortress and inside its walls. The enclosure houses 40 real-size, perfectly operational siege machines, rebuilt with the utmost historical rigor based on existing documentation. The sample explains the importance of such weapons during the Middle Ages, in which the sieges were much more numerous than the open-field battles. More info :http://castillodebelmonte.com/en/trebuchet-park/

Of this neo-tasca, put with modesty but with luminosity in a small side of Calle Edgar Neville ,for those who have not yet learned the new street, is the old Calle General Moscardó, have opted for the fixed menus, changing every day according to market.

They serve as total surprises that the diner will see arriving at your table without prior description, and only with a question about possible allergies. This fashion, which certainly saves work and avoids wasting time, can be somewhat irritating, or at least puzzling, for the traditional customer who prefers to study a menu card and choose between their offerings. But the surprise menu is here to stay, and you have to get used to it. Ignorance of what you are going to eat turns the choice of a wine into a Russian roulette game. White, red, sparkling? Light, powerful? The portions are small, and on occasion the Iberian ham found it even less. But the good level of each dish leads you to accept it in good measure, in addition, announce until December 2018  an interesting promotion for its second anniversary: a 30% reduction on the bill. It’s going to be something to take advantage of…!!!

Something to taste different in Madrid. Lúbora, Calle Edgar Neville, 39  .Webpage: http://www.lubora.com/

And finish with the arts , sublime romantic, wonderful for the senses in my Madrid.

Legend of the transgression, icon of the modernity, precursor in the naturalness and declaration of its bisexuality, the Reina del  Art Deco (art deco queen) Tamara de Lempicka is the protagonist of the new exhibition of Arthemisia, that will be seen in the Palacio Gaviria until the next  February 24 2019. 200 works, from more than 40 private collections, museums and lenders reveal, in this first retrospective dedicated to Lempicka in Madrid, an unknown dimension of the creator, besides, of course, to illustrate magnificently her artistic trajectory. The work of Tamara de Lempicka, a journey that reveals the aesthetics of the 1920s, the geometry of Cubism, elements inherited from Futurism and a powerful influence of the Bauhaus coexist in the exhibition with photographs (with Dalí, with Otto Preminger…), Lamps, furniture, vases, screens… and other Art Deco objects, and with dresses, hats and delicate shoes (designs by Salvatore Ferragano), proposes an immersion in the environment in which she developed her art as a the painter. Where:  Palacio de Gaviria, Calle Arenal , 9. More info here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/tamara-lempicka-gaviria-palace

There you go for my Spain, worth a detour I say lol! Spain , everything under the sun.

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

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October 26, 2018

More wine news from France!

And once again I gather some efforts to write about one of my favorite hobbies yet seldom write on it. This is wines of course, if you read my blog you know about my qualifications and experiences so rather than repeat let me tell you the latest wine news from France! Simply the best ::) End of discussion!

Well is the 2018 harvest coming along? From my ins to the wine growing region near me in the Loire the 2018 should be very good and now from the experts of my fav Bordeaux it is confirmed. Bordeaux had another great vintage in 2018 – at least, those who managed to ward off the mildew did.

Jean-Basile Roland of Château Rauzan-Ségla says, “it was impossible to run from plot to plot because of the configuration of our plots. But we reduced the impact. It could have been worse. We did a drastic crop reduction in August, and we have lower volume, but we’re very, very happy with the quality and with our selection in the vineyard.

In Pessac-Léognan,Château Malartic-Lagraviére, not organic but with some organic and biodynamic plots, had little damage. “They’re small plots, two and four hectares,” says Jean-Jacques Bonnie.

At Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste in Pauillac, Emmeline Borie says “we had no mildew. Somebody came looking for it, and found just one berry in the vineyard with mildew.”

Philippe Casteja of the Domaines of Borie-Manoux says that for some people, “le pont” caused problems. The pont is the bridge to “le weekend”, taking it easy on Fridays, in other words. “There would be three days dry, then three days rain. If you were not very careful and on the spot, you had problems. It’s a matter of the politics in each estate.”

But the good news is that the wines in the vats are looking good.  Sauternes is still being picked, and the botrytis is spreading nicely. There was some evaporation of water from the grapes before the botrytis set in, reports Fabrice Dubordieu of Château Doisy-Daëne, and hail hit parts of Sauternes but not Barsac; he’s expecting a good year.

At Domaine de Chevalier, M. Bernard likes the look of his Cabernet Sauvignon, “It was the driest September for the last 60 years”, he says. “To say so early that this will be one of the best vintages in Bordeaux; but we are sure. Sometimes we have some doubt, but this year we are quite sure.” Generally the quantity is good, too, he says, in spite of the worst that mildew and hail could do.

at Château Rauzan-Ségla, M Roland says “the Merlot is splendid, and the Petit Verdot amazing; the first Cabernet Sauvignon from the vats is quite impressive.” M Borie of Château Grand Puy Lacoste adds that “the quality of ’18 is crazy”.

And you know who these names are don’t you!

A surprise, do not like it but it is doing great marketing and coming up very nicely here in France, especially those that shop in supermarket for wine, which I don’t.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte: Today, the Union of Cooperatives located in Chouilly (Marne) Associates 4 500 winegrowers for a surface of 2 100 hectares and 10.4 million of bottles produced. Which puts the mark, in terms of volume, just behind Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot.

Today, 40% of our volumes are destined for the international market. They would like to achieve parity with the French market, i.e. 6 million bottles sold in France and 6 million elsewhere, and that’s within five years.  They have great margins of progress in the United States, where they are imported and distributed by the group Ste Michelle. They benefit from its network. In addition, they have signed a three-year partnership with the Canadian company Cirque du Soleil last May. We are now their official supplier in the US and Canada.

They are already the preferred brand of the French, as confirmed by several studies carried out by the Nielsen group.

And the complexities of Burgundy continues.

Nothing so surprising about these Cistercian lands overlooking the three villages of Aloxe-Corton, Ladoix-Serrigny and Pernand-Vergelesses, in Côte-d’Or. The 66 hectares planted with ash trees, beech, oak and chestnut trees culminate at 388 meters and style one of the most famous wine-growing hills in the world, whose flanks include 167 hectares of vineyards classified as Grands Crus, from which are derived Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Corton and Corton-Charlemagne appellations.

Among the many owners, the Maison Louis Latour alone has about twenty hectares, a continent on the scale of Burgundy. Aubert de Villaine, also co-owner of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Vosne-Romanée, has invested heavily in recent years, with three parcels and a closing contract, for a total of about 6 hectares. The Burgundian family Méo-Camuzet is also present today in Corton, like the Freys who bought the château of Corton-Andre, renamed Corton C, Patrick Landanger of the Domaine Pousse d’Or and others. Thus, 20% of the Corton-Charlemagne appellation has changed hands over the last twenty years.

The Hill’s wine rating is at its highest, and the price of the land rises to heaven. In a generation, the value of the land has quintupled, however, compared to the Côte de Nuits, almost untouchable, the hill of Corton proves to be an excellent quality-price ratio for investors. This situation makes the premises very sensitive to new transactions that are emerging.

Like the climate, the territory becomes a quasi-philosophical concept when the Burgundians take ownership of it. Burgundy is a very fragmented region. Subjects of biodiversity cannot be apprehended in any other way than collectively. The environment needs to be managed in common. That is how they have been able to fight land erosion. This is also how they distributed to everyone honey plants and reimplanted hives

In other words, some accuse the Latour and Villaine of wanting to freeze the hill of Corton for the benefit of the historic owners who “play the Rent”. Burgundy cannot be frozen because it is an economic entity that lives, makes wine and sells it. The idea is not to freeze, but to evolve within the framework of a tradition. Of course, they are not going to evolve from a geographical point of view because they are stuck between the Morvan and the Saône plain. But they are progressing in the know-how, in technological knowledge, in Biodynamics.   ”

The hill of Corton in figures: 1 000 hectares of which 550 ha of Vine and 167 ha of Grands Crus in the name of Corton and Corton-Charlemagne.   3 communes Aloxe-Corton, Pernand-Vergelesses and Ladoix-Serrigny share the hill. 2015 year of the inscription of Corton Hill on the Unesco heritage list.

Well not really wine news but indirectly it is, the tourist business in France. Record revenues on tourism for France 2018 it will  be more than the record in 2014 of 54B euros. According to the Bank of France (Banque de France). For the 12 months running ending Aug 2018 France had already 56,8B euros. All the main 6 country visitors had an increase in revenues with the British on top with 1,9B and then the Belgians Japan is in 10th place just behind China. The USA is in 4th place without telling the amount. On the contrary, French vacationing outside total 39,5B euros as a whole worldwide.

Among the great villages of the Côte de Nuits, Morey-Saint-Denis is undoubtedly the most unknown or even the most misunderstood of the wine aficionados. The story explains much of this disaffection: until the 1960’s, the wines of Morey-Saint-Denis were bought by the traders of Côte de Nuit and Beaune to assemble them with wines of Chambolle-Musigny or Gevrey-Chambertin, better known and easier to market.

Another significant element, the absence in the village of Morey-Saint-Denis of large historical family property, pioneer of bottling at the Morey-Saint-Denis estates has taken on its neighbors a delay of notoriety that the town still behind .

All of these considerations deserve to be reviewed. Modest in area with 133.53 hectares of vines, the name of Morey-Saint-Denis is not lacking in advantages thanks to five Grands crus: Clos de Tart, Clos de la Roche, (which has added its names to that of the town), Clos des Lambrays, and Bonnes-Mares, mainly located on Chambolle-Musigny, but a small part of it is included in Morey-Saint-Denis. These five Grands Crus pass through the town, from the south to the north, glorious succession of exceptional terroirs in the middle of the hill.Therefore, try them more and you will be delighted.

The French vineyards  will produce even more than expected, confirming  2018 as a good vintage, with a production up 27% compared to the catastrophic harvest of 2017, according to figures revised by the Ministry of Agriculture. With an estimate of 46.7 million hectolitres (against an estimate of 46.1 million at the end of August), the services of Agreste, the department’s statistical body, even consider that production 2018 should be 6% higher than the five year average ,as told to the Press by the specialist wine Council of FranceAgriMer. The Department’s Services have revised the estimates upwards from the sunshine and have also better estimated the losses related to downy mildew and drought, there have been strong attacks of downy mildew, with very heterogeneous consequences.

If vineyards such as Champagne or Burgundy-Beaujolais seem to be able to count on remarkable yields (respectively + 39% and + 20% compared to the average of previous years), the basins of Languedoc-Roussillon (-2%), Southeast (-11%) and Corsica (-5%) have, as announced in the first estimates, all experienced a setback compared to the average of the last five years.

In Bordeaux, although some areas have been severely affected by hail and downy mildew, harvesters have regained normal production levels, an increase of 9% from the average including the nightmarish harvest of 2017. On the stock side and in particular the VCI (individual complementary volumes), intended to help producers in the bad years, customs have unsurprisingly unveiled figures in sharp decline,  a fairly logical evolution compared to the disappointing harvest of 2017 , the most modest of the post-war. In the aggregate, stocks destined for trade and production, at 47.8 million hectolitres, fall by 11%. The VCI’s fell by almost 70%, but will skyrocket in some vineyards after this year’s beautiful harvest. They were able to support French exports, which remained in volume (+ 1.6% to 14,680,000 hectolitres) from August 2017 to July 2018 and even experienced a sustained increase in value to + 6.3%, reaching record turnover over the period of 9.35 billion euros!

The  bio-driving of Château Lafon-Rochet has stopped. They made the decision in February of this year according to Basile Tesseron, head of the property at Saint-Estèphe since 2007, operates a turn at 180 degrees for the 41 hectares of the family estate. The bio is not sustainable in Bordeaux today according to him. Copper treatments leave residues in soils that do not disappear, the multiplication of passages leads to over-consumption of fuel for machine gears that wear out much faster, which generates a grey energy, explains him. We must take into account the globality of the elements and find other solutions, such as accept the mushrooms we are fighting today and a certain rate of harvest loss. This is the price to pay to leave a sustainable world to our children.

The city of Dijon, a stage privileged by many Chinese tourists travelling between Paris and Geneva, aims to become a destination in its own right for these wealthy visitors, betting on its gastronomy and the famous wines of Burgundy. The entry door of the route of the Grands Crus of Burgundy, Dijon put on the Chinese tourists. The city benefits from a double inscription by UNESCO, for the “gastronomic meals of the French” and for its “climates” (name given to the terroirs in Burgundy). It will inaugurate in 2020 an international city of gastronomy.

In Dijon in 2017, Chinese visitors represented the first foreign nationality and totaled almost 95,000 hotel nights out of a total of 3.4 million accounted for by INSEE (French govt. statistical office) throughout the French territory. The capital of Burgundy receives some 2 million tourists a year and is ranked ninth city of France in the number of hotel nights for international visitors. This summer they have had a 20% increase in Asian tourism including Chinese in Dijon , and these visitors are increasingly a high-end clientele, seeking cultural offers and authentic experiences related to gastronomy and wine.

A promotional program designed to conquer a high-end Chinese clientele, through the strengthening of links with Chinese tourism professionals as well as campaigns on social networks. The young generation of Chinese travelers  are looking for different experiences. They also spend more and more on gastronomy and wines, and less in luxury brands and shopping. Some 2.2 million Chinese tourists are expected in 2018 in France. Their attendance had jumped 19% last year, after a gap following the terror attacks of 2015. The average Chinese spending basket per stay (excluding transport) is evaluated by the Banque de France (Bank of France) at 1,647 euros per visitor.

The Reds look beautiful in silky tannins, aromatic whites and drinkable, the  2018 vintage is something to delight the winegrowers of the northern Rhone Valley even if they had to juggle the spring rains and the Summer heatwave. In 2018, the winegrowers of the North Rhone are happy  with volumes on whites and phenolic maturity arrived faster with fine balances. It cannot be denied that the situation was difficult until the beginning of June with the rains that caused a high pressure of downy mildew but contained thanks to the always vented and airy hillsides. The risks are of course stronger in bio, hence the importance of preventive treatments. The beautiful weather on the changes climats and until the harvest was particularly pleasant for the cellar as well as for the harvesters. It’s a dream vintage that allowed them to choose the right moment for each parcel without the need for arbitration, which rarely happens. This will not necessarily be a very long-guarded wine, but it will take at least 15 years.

On the Reds, they climbed to 13.5-15 ° on some vats, which had not happened since more than 20 years except in 2003. The acidity is low but not catastrophic with silky tannins and no aromas burned as in 2003. The big harvest allowed to avoid overconcentration and to keep the typicality on blackcurrants, gooseberry and fresh fruits with a nice finesse of tannins even if this year it will still have a southern style. Finally, the vine, especially when it is not totally weeded, is resistant to excessive heat, which would not have been the case 10-15 years ago.

The harvest took place from August 28 to September 22  without discontinuing and under an intense sun and homogeneity of maturity, on all the northern appellations, has forced to harvest all at once, the Crozes-Hermitage but also the Côte-Rôti, the Saint Joseph and the Hermitage. Of course, it was the viogniers on Condrieu and the marsannes that were the priority. The parcels of La Landonne in the  Côte-Rôti, and Les Bessards in Hermitage were picked on the same day of Sept 13th with a very good maturity and natural degrees of around  14 °. Everywhere, the acidity is weak, but not a major concern. On the occasion of the first tastings, the quality of this vintage 2018 is remarkable with a tannic frame at the same time dense and velvety and a beautiful sucrose.

One example from one of my fav producer over the years.  Christelle Accosta, technical director and Clément Bartyschi, cellarmaster of Maison Chapoutier:

“We accumulate the beautiful vintages since 2015 and 2018 will be very pretty despite a complicated and intense start of the season to fight against the fungal pressure. But we passed through downy mildew, except for a few small impacts on St. Péray. The plots in altitude of Cornas and Côte Rôti will give exceptional qualities and more homogeneous, which is not always the case contrary to the always regular Hermitage. Saint Joseph should produce full maturity wines with pretty balances. For Crozes-Hermitage, it was necessary to know how to harvest at the right time especially in the plain where the degrees are quickly rising after the rains of September. It will be a beautiful year at Syrah with wines flourished with pretty silky tannins and without hardness.”

There you go from the world of wines and yours truly with the cooperation of my LRVDF magazine, and official government sources as above.

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!! As well as En Vino Veritas!

 

 

 

October 24, 2018

Some news from France CXCXVI

And here we are cruising on a Tuesday in my lovely sunny cool 64F Morbihan. Time me think for an update on what is going on in the world’s most visited country, my belle France! Oh yes Paris is cloudy at 61F,sorry!

The venerable Opéra Bastille, 30 years already! (Happy birthday, Joyeux anniversaire!)Building a modern and popular opera, radically opposite the Opéra Garnier originally built for the bourgeoisie of the Second Empire so many have mentioned: This was the objective assigned by President Mitterrand to the 757 architects who participated in the international competition launched in February 1983 to build the Opéra Bastille. Winner of the competition, the Uruguyao-Canadian architect Carlos Ott ,and finally opened in 1989.

With 2 745 seats, Bastille is the largest European seated opéra . The  opera room covered with black velvet that absorbs sound, in perfect harmony with the grey granite walls..The most remarkable, it is the ceiling of 700 m2 all in glass that illuminates the room with a very white fluorescent light it is the gigantism of the scene of a surface of 750 m2, lined with a back-stage of the same size and two lateral scenes of 500 m2 Each! Not to mention the rehearsal room of 2 500 m2. All decorated with 22 fire-cut metal curtains weighing 8 tons each. These curtains also serve as an acoustic boundary, which allows to repeat several shows at the same time

On the rue de Lyon side, the building houses the workshops for the production of the scenery of the performances given in Bastille and Garnier. In this factory of 8 000 m2, the small hands of the opera are dealt: sculptors (polystyrene in which are carved some elements of decoration), shoemakers, jewelers, dyers, launderers, Upholsterers… A hundred enthusiasts of great talent who together form a true conservatory of craft arts.

Here is the official webpage: Official Opéra Bastille

New setback for the city of Paris in the banks of the Seine!. Last  Monday, October 15  the Administrative Court of Appeal confirmed the cancellation of the pedestrian use of the quays on the right bank, the flagship measure of mayor Anne Hidalgo,Socialist Party of Paris. In its judgment, the court not only confirms the judgment of the Administrative Tribunal which, on 21 February 2018, cancelled the deliberation passed by the Paris Council on 26 September 2016 to create a pedestrian area in place of the 3.3 km of the Voie Georges-Pompidou (Iéme and 4éme). But the appellate judge goes further by cancelling by way of consequence, the order of Pedestrian use taken by the mayor of Paris on October 18, 2016. Ok so enough of changing Paris! In French here! Administrative Court of Appeals Paris

Something useful. Pierrick Bourgault  is the author of a small guide that lists more than 200 bars in activity in the capital. Genius under the stars. This is the name of a hotel bar… Ibis, which will make you change your mind about Ibis hotel bars, says Mr. Bourgault. It has a huge terrace with large trees and guinguette and a charming indoor garden, built in the spirit of the green squat. To listen to jazz in an unexpected place. 15 rue Bréguet (11éme). More info on the book here on the FNAC: Pierrick Bourgault Paris book

Anecdote: Because yes, every 1st of every month is the same thing, you forgot to load your Navigo card! So here you are stuck in a long queue for more than 30 minutes and you are late, once again. Luckily, your boss will be late too! So no stress, you are late and it’s normal in Paris, everyone is late! Yes!!! Just saying…!!!

Boissise-la-Bertrand: A new dam on the Seine to manage the increase in traffic near Melun.77 Seine et Marne. See the picture;nice Levy on the Seine Boissise-la-Bertrand 77

Always looking for new place for your domestic animals ? Good news! Pauline and Sarah, two friends passionate about animals, open the first dog cafe in Paris: Dog District! A la carte, you can enjoy snacks, pancakes, sandwiches, coffee, tea or original drinks with the names of each of Pauline and Sarah’s 9 dogs. You can go to meet the dogs in need of love around a small café, and even decide to adopt one if the coup de coeur was to happen (we will not lie, there is a chance that it happens). Dog District opening end 2018, start 2019.For now more in Facebook: Dogs District Paris

Here it is the largest independent bookstore in Paris, which opens this past  Friday 26 October.  Located in Paris, on the side of the Grands boulevards, precisely at 25, Boulevard Poissonnière, the new and large independent bookshop is very much awaited. And its opening is only a matter of hours. The project is ambitious: on 450 m2, the shop replaces a children’s clothing store. The most: A team of enthusiasts, ready to make you discover their favorites and their favorite books. ICI  Grand boulevards 25, Boulevard Poissonnière More here on site I follow : ICI Grands Boulevards Paris

A bit on some wonderful tree parks that are worth the detour me think,and one that is a must!

L‘arboretum national des Barres, located in Nogent-sur-Vernisson (Loiret 45), is certainly the largest and most illustrious. This domain, created in 1820, by Philippe-André de Vilmorin, son of the founder of the famous Seeds company, brings together over 50 hectares more than 2 600 species and subspecies of the most diverse trees and shrubs .More info here: Arboretum des Barres

Located on the ancient domaine of Louis XIV, the arboretum of Versailles-Chèvreloup was created much more recently, in the mid-years 1960, by the National Museum of Natural History, for a scientific purpose, planting the trees according to their origin rather than their botanical classification. Since the spring, this vast area of 200 hectares planted with 10 000 trees of 2 500 different species is fully open to the public. Yes not far from my old home , lovely historical place seldom visited by tourists. More here: Arboretum Chevreloup Versailles

And a site to see them all in France: Association of arboretums of France

And now last but not least, the foodies, food , repas apéros, à la table!!! in my belle France and gorgeous Paris! + been and recommended by yours truly = not been but well recommended

Le Scénarium. =Behind the façade of a mysterious couscous specialist, this “speakeasy” (Secret bar) offers its chic decoration and its microphone to all amateurs, musicians of various styles or comedies. 198, rue Saint-Maur (10éme). More here Le Scenarium Paris

Chez Hélène. =A tiny coffee shop in a small street… but that makes them happy. In addition to her stage, the boss makes available instruments! Tenor Sax, Casio organ, amp, guitars… And for the record, the bar has its copy in  Shanghai, arranged by Johnny, the ex-husband of Helen. 43, rue Damesme (13éme). More here: Chez Hélène Paris

Le Connétable. + The frame is responsible for history: This was the former mansion of the Cardinal of Retz. This restaurant-theatre-night bar, open from Monday to Saturday until 05h (5am), welcomes in its vaulted cellar  one or two concerts every evening, or almost. The show listens in silence, as in the theatre. 55, rue des Archives (3éme).More here: Le Connetable Paris

The first place of ephemeral conviviality stamped Ground Control + opened in the city of fashion, quai de Austerlitz, in Paris. The concept? Bars, a dance floor, couches, a new way to apprehend the city in a festive and informal way. Over time, other urban areas were invested, the last being in 2017 the former postal sorting center of the SNCF, 150 years old, located two folds from Gare de Lyon (12éme). And in the bag, there is the opening in November of a new Ground Control on the most beautiful avenue of the world, in Le Galerie 26 at the avenue des Champs Elysées!.  More here and see the pending news of the gallery (le galerie).  Ground Control Paris le Galerie

And if lookig for some good Italian in Paris here are my newest suggestions!

The Roman Giovanni Passerini ,who became known at the Gazzetta and in its micro-table Rino-serves in its corner restaurant delicious fresh pasta embellished with bold sauces (pici with octopus stew, marinated cuttlefish and friarielli; Casarecce with turbot, asparagus and oregano; Ravioli of guinea fowl, poultry juice and Bottarga) Restaurant Passerini. = 65, rue Transverse (12éme). Tel.: 01 43 42 27 56. Every day except  Sun, Mon. and Tue. Formulas: 26 to €48 (lunch). Menu carte  approx. 40-70 €.

The stand of Riccardo Ferrante . (see above Ground Control) Which daily makes tasty fresh pasta from a variety of ancient organic wheat from Abruzzo (the solina, which gives its name to the resto) and seasonal products. Casarecce All’amatriciana, three cheese ravioli, gnocchetti with violet broccoli and hazelnuts… worthy of the best transalpine trattorias! To be enjoyed on one of the large guest tables, under the hall of 4500 m2.  Solina à Ground Control. 81, rue du Charolais (12éme). Open every day except Mondays. Menu Carte aprox. 15-20€. More here Solina pasta Ferrante Paris

Calling in this canteen run on two floors, little sister of Deux fois plus de Piment (11éme) and big sister of Cinq fois plus de Piment (3éme). After tasty pork ravioli, we attack excellent sichuanaises noodles (beef, chopped pork or seafood), served in a spicy sauce with varying degrees (to be chosen on a scale from 0 to 5). Level 1 is enough to awaken the most hardened papilla. To taster beware… Trois Fois Plus de Piment. + 184, rue Saint-Martin (3éme). Tél.+33 (0) 6 52 66 75 31. Open every day except Mondays Menu carte aprox  10-15€.More info here : Trois fois plus de Piment Paris

And that’s all folks!! for now in the Frenchie waves with a Breton twist. Enjoy your week, mine is cruising already thinking where for next weekend!

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

 

 

 

October 19, 2018

Some news from France CXCXV

So let me take a break from my lovely Brittany ! if I can . So I can update you on my belle France and especially on my romantically beautiful exciting Paris! Ok ok I am not going into the poetic me, anyway I probably fail in that dept but will bring you up to date on the events and my ramblings in the city of lights and love!

The weather is sunny nice almost like Summer here now at 65F or about 15C… about the same at Paris! Did I need to tell you the weekend !!glorious and ready to step out again into my Brittany love.

Palais d’Iéna Suspension historique.  A century of abstract sculpture (1918-2018) from the unprecedented angle of the aerial suspension, it is the exhibition not to be missed at the Palace of  Iéna. Some fifty works signed by the greatest (from Alexander Calder to Sol LeWitt) mingle in this grandiose architecture of Auguste Perret. Until 28 October 2018. More here Le CECE palais d’Iéna Paris

Orphée et Eurydice. Version Berlioz.  It is indeed the score prepared by the French composer in 1859 for the resumption of Gluck’s opera by the famous soprano Pauline Viardot: He then fixes a few verses which he denounces the silliness and proceeds to some improvements of the narrative. But to these reshuffles, Raphael Pascal has added his own. At the opening festive and luminous,disconnected from the drama to come. Do not miss this production of the opera of Gluck at the Opera Comique Hall Favart . More here Opera Comique Paris

Les Journées des plantes de Chantilly at the Domaine de Chantilly awaits 200 exhibitors: nurserymen, collectors, landscapers, plant professionals, horticultural associations, sellers of accessories and tools… From collection plants to great classics, lectures, animations, green hands will find their happiness. From Friday 19 October to Sunday 21 October 2018 from 10h to 18h. admission from 12€ to 20€. More here Flower Show at Chantilly

La Dame de cœur, le son et lumière from Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, comes up to October 25 2018. Centenary of the Armistice obliges, the story happens at the end of WWI, on a battlefield. In the Twilight, a meeting is established: that of a young French nurse and an American dying soldier. The Soldier’s dream? Discover Notre-Dame, which he has never been able to visit.  From this tragic starting point, starts a festival of lights and colors, where the paintings follow one of the most famous Parisian monuments. The great lady is adorned with a thousand motifs that marry her rich façade, and seems to come to life before our eyes. Magic! Forecourt of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.  15 meetings up to October 25 2018 from 19h30 to 21h30. Free event ,more here:    Sounds and LIghts from Notre Dame Cathedral Paris

As part of the 50th anniversary of the disappearance of the Franco-Japanese painter Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita, a free exhibition, organised from October 20 2018  to January 13  2019, highlights his “great compositions” and makes them dialogue with art Contemporary. Tuesday to Saturday from 14h to 18h, Sunday from  14h  to 18h30. Château du Val Fleury at Gif-sur-Yvette. Free admission. More here :  Expo on Foujita

Meaux Beach, in Seine-et-Marne, is the only licensed and supervised whitewater bathing site in Île-de-France region! And my dear late wife Martine native town!. It is advisable to park behind the extended Quai Jacques-Prevert, in the parking lot located at the entrance to Avenue de la Marne. The beach is less than a five minute walk away. For snacks to eat try the captain’s Guinguette, where are offered aperitif baskets (7 euros) or formulas (main dish, dessert and drink at 13 euros) to be enjoyed on a covered terrace. With the Marin d’eau douce , you can rent electric boats without a permit for walks upstream of the Marne (40 euros per hour for five people).  More info here:   Swim by the Marne at Meaux

In Paris, they are trying to clean up the waters of the Seine and Marne river to open more beaches along them from now until 2025. An ambitous plan that I will keep you updated.

 

And now the coup , Pay to enter Paris? Builds on the experiences of London (UK), Stockholm (Sweden) and Singapore. 2,50€ per vehicle per day in a city of more than 100 000 inhabitants; 5€ in cities of more than 500 000 inhabitants and 10 euros maximum for heavy vehicles!!!  . This is already in London and has not lowered emissions still very high there but different rules now In London, if a motorist wants to access the London center between 7h  and 18h. from Monday to Friday, he must pay a fixed rate of 11.50 pounds, or 13 euros, regardless of the number of trips between the area and its exterior. Weekends, bank holidays, evenings and nights are free. In Stockholm, it is another system: every passage from 6h30. to 18h30 from Monday to Friday is paid but is capped at 10 kroner per day or 11 euros. The rate also varies depending on the timetable, to encourage you to take your car during off-peak hours. Every month, the bill is sent to the taxpayer. In London, residents of the area benefit from 90% discount. Electric cars are exempt as well as buses and taxis. Stockholm on its side is much less complacent with its motorists but the toll is tax deductible for those who do more than two hours a day by taking their car to get to their work instead of taking public transport. These two European capitals do not tax the cars of disabled people, the police cars or even the ambulances. London and Stockholm use automatic optical recognition systems for effective registration plates; In the English capital, 646 cameras were installed. They analyze 650 000 images of plaques per day. The authorities then send the bill to the motorists.  Singapore is with another device. Motorists have a coder box  in their car. As soon as they want to access the city center, they insert a prepaid card and the box communicates with the terminals installed at the entrances of the zone. Still in the Asian city-state, they project for 2020 is to use a GPS system that would geo locate the cars and calculate the distances travelled to adapt the tariffs  And the beat goes on with the car. This is the way to say as it is elsewhere why not here !! .Drive in Paris now Driving in Paris France

An American tourist was arrested on Thursday, at the entrance to the Château de Versailles, for using a drone to take pictures of the monument. It was a little over 12h30 in the afternoon, when the security PC of the castle alerted the police after noticing a man who was using a drone in the place d’Armes, in order to take shots, which is forbidden by law. On-site officials brought the tourist, aged 39, to the police station . Keep aware of the laws, do not do this ever ;ask if photos permitted etc do as the French do , period. So mad my former home is nice do not touch it !!! News in Le parisien newspaper, history of the city of Versailles  City of Versailles heritage

I also deplore the disappearance of the playground of the Jeux du Poussins Luco (game of chicks luco), in the Jardin du Luxembourg, where the small Parisians could bellow  more than half a century  on a Tyrolean and mute their families under the ramies of the Luco. I called the Senate (owner of the premises): Believing me reassure, they told me that the dealer family for fifty years has not been renewed (strange, right?) But that there would be new operators in March 2019, after six months of work, with games much more interactive. Sadly. Where Paris is going!!! The owners are the French Senate! Senate of France Jardin du Luxembourg

A bit of a nice seldom known event but nice again…The music festival is back in the Orangerie of the departmental estate of Sceaux until June 2019. The small nights of Sceaux have existed since 2011. More here Festival Orangerie at Sceaux

The Maison de Victor Hugo, Place des Vosges, Paris invites all to discover an unpublished exhibition of the political and literary cartoons of the author of the Misérables (wretches), published in the press between 1830 and 1885. To be seen until January 6, 2019. Exhibition caricatures, Hugo on the one. Maison de Victor Hugo. 6, Place des Vosges (4éme). Open Tuesday to Sunday and from 10h to 18h. Admission 8€. More here:    Maison Victor Hugo Paris

Trick or treat is coming; kids be ready, I will join you!!! Halloween!!!  One of the popular event for the kids and mine younger did participated at St Cyr l’école (Yvelines 78).  Pumpkin Feast (Halloween) at Gally Farms at both locations Sartrouville and St Cyr l’école.  From October 26-31 2018. More here:  Ferme de Gally St Cyr l’école

With Peur sur le Parc or fear on the park at the Parc Asterix and the Halloween Festival in Disneyland Paris, you can play to scare yourself. Activities for all ages, metamorphosed attractions and parades, scary shows and encounters to give you goose bumps. The perfect place to have a good time and a little ruffling during Halloween 2018 season. They are great did participated with my boys ,and still brings the kid in me as well. Enjoy them

Parc Astérix. Plailly (Oise dept 60).Until November 4  2018.  More info here : Parc Asterix fear on the park

Disneyland Paris. Marne-la-Vallée (Seine-et-Marne 77).Until November 4 2018. More info here  Disneyland Paris Halloween Festival

Some off the beaten path sites in Paris

To go to this Cathedral is a journey. I loved this sensation, the quality of silence, this distance that one can suddenly take with the outside, with our Lives . Some off the beaten path beauties of Paris; the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky. 12, rue Daru (8éme) More info here: Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Paris

The wonderful  parc Monceau of my days in Paris, It’s a green lung of Paris that reminds me of so many souvenirs, the pony rides for the boys, the rides, the swings. It is very big… it is a real pleasure to walk there. Parc Monceau. 35, Boulevard de Courcelles (8éme).More info here from the city of Paris :  City of Paris on Parc Monceau

A great cheese maker and an excellent baker. This is real living in my belle France and nothing beats a local market. The products are always fresh, sorted on the shutter , see it at the covered market or Marché couvert des Ternes. 8, rue Lebon (17éme). More info here from the city of Paris:  City of Paris on the market of Ternes

When a room full of spectators responds present, it is enthusiastic, it feels like a surfer who overcomes a wave. It’s exhilarating. And then, we must salute the quality of their programming  See the wonderful little Théâtre Tristan-Bernard. 64, rue du Rocher (8éme). More at Theater Tristan Bernard Paris

Caravage à Rome, Amis et Ennemis ( From Caravage to Rome friends and enemies) All the beauty up to January 28 2019 at the  Musée Jacquemart-André.158, bd Haussmann (8éme). A wonderful work indeed in a very nice museum. More here: Museum Jacquemart-André Paris

Mary Poppins à la Philharmonie. Wonderful in Paris. For the first time, the famous Disney film is presented in Ciné-concert. A perfect opportunity to rediscover in family this sparkling musical with timeless themes.  November 3 and 4, 2018. At the Paris Philharmonic (19éme) More info here Philarmonie de Paris on Mary Poppins

And to finish with the culinary arts of France, tops!

An old favorite especially when my trips to Switzerland were often and rejuvenated indeed. The Rostang family takes over the spectacular institution of Gare de Lyon and celebrates Lyonnaise and Mediterranean recipes. The LeTrain Bleu (blue train) is a gastronomic restaurant in the neo-Baroque style and Belle epoque of the 1900’s located in the lobby of Paris-Gare de Lyon train station in the 12éme arrondissement of Paris. The restaurant re-opened its doors on September 12th, 2014. The kitchens have been fully modernized. All the decorations and frescoes have been cleaned, restored, the walls repainted and the gilding ironed back to the gold leaf. The parquet floors and all the furniture were redone identical, however the club Chesterfield armchairs of the lounges were not kept. New armchairs and seats and chairs now have the new blue color.  On the ground floor the brewery was previously transformed into a musical bar. More on it here: Le Train Bleu at Gare de Lyon Paris

A street kitchen with pepper and salt on the left bank, where the market Saint-Germain proves that in these neighborhoods Blondin and two glasses of the street of thirst, starts to kindly open the mouth. Potato Tortilla: Well at the rebound. Iberians croquettes: Sharp. Wagyu: Biting . My latest gamble and it was great as usual in romantic Paris. Le Café du Marché. 6, rue Lobineau (6éme).Tél. +33 ( 0) 1 42 02 77 20. Open every day except Sunday dinners and all Mondays ; closest metro/subway/tube is Saint-Germain-des-Prés. More here : Le Café du Marché

Enjoy my belle France , all of it. And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

October 16, 2018

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton XXVIIII

And here I am on a Fall week of October at home and thinking where I am in the world map. So many places visited already 81 countries, and lived in 5, and citizen of 4, and several languages like 4 so why this small town of Pluvigner in the Morbihan breton of Brittany, France.

Pluvigner

Well it goes without saying, my best living as yet and enjoying it fully. This is history and love it, quaint streets building of historical value right in the cross roads of the Morbihan equidistance almost from good size cities like Lorient and Vannes and Pontivy; along major roads and close by TGV available train stations, local and departamental bus lines and all the amenities of a small town with all the trimmings. The city center is at 31 km from Lorient and 27 km from Vannes

So , this is Pluvigner, and what is it? Well I have written on many of its sites before, but this is about history after I am an amateur of history . I have membership in the local heritage association that tries to preserve and enhance history and architecture. Their webpage is here: Heritage association of Pluvigner

The town city hall page on history/heritage in French is here: City of Pluvigner on heritage

A bit of the very old history.

Pluvigner comes from the Breton “Ploe” (parish) and “Guigner “, a Breton Saint. The story of Pluvigner begins in the 5C with the installation at the place called “the Moustoir ” by Guigner, son of an Irish king named Clyton. Saint Patrick converted him to Christianity despite the opposition of his parents. Hunted by his father, he left for the Armoric where King Audren offered him a place to establish his hermitage. On the death of his father, King of Ireland, he went to his native country. Guigner, still known as Prince Fingar, had his head cut off in the year 455 by a man named Hengist, King of the Angles.

Pluvigner is a primitive parish which included Pluvigner and its truce Bieuzy-Lanvaux, the territories of Landaul and Landévant, as well as part of the territory of Camors (the southern third). The parish of Pluvigner is attested in 1259 in the form “Ple Guinner ” and in 1325, 1337 in the form “Pleu-Vingner “. A community of the Sisters of Wisdom settled in the city center on January 27, 1774, following an epidemic.

Pluvigner belongs first to the jurisdiction of the barony of Lanvaux until 1238, then is awarded to the Cistercian abbey of Lanvaux and finally to the Collegiate Church of St. Michael. Pluvigner was erected in a town in 1790. The following appellations are found: Pleuvigner (1427), Pluvigné (1448), Plevigner ( 1464, 1477, 1481), Ploevignier (1536).

In the 5C, lived Saint Guigner, son of one of the many kings of the Hibernie. Converted by Saint Patrick, he came to settle, with several compatriots, in the Armoric (name given to this area by the other side of Brittany or British). Back in his homeland, he renounced the throne left vacant by his father, and went into the insular Cornouaille, to work on the conversion of the infidels; There he gathered the palm of martyrdom around the year 455. The Bretons, who came to settle here in the 6C, adopted him as patron, either in remembrance of his sojourn in the country or for another cause. If they did not bring with them, from the very beginning, relics of the Saint, they obtained it later, because in the 18C one still possessed two femurs and two arms of the Holy man.

When the districts were abolished in 1800, Pluvigner passed through the arrondissement of Lorient; At the reshuffle of the cantons, in 1801, he retained its title as chief-jurisdiction and acquired Landaul and Landévant. One of the beautiful feasts of the parish is the Baniélo, where the numerous relics and banners that are preserved there are in procession. In 1887, Pluvigner was enriched with a young girls ‘ orphanage founded in Bieuzy; A Chapel was built dedicated to Notre-Dame-des-Pins (1891).

The feudal jurisdiction of Pluvigner belonged almost entirely to the barons of Lanvaux. After the confiscation of 1238, she passed to the Duke of Brittany. This one gave a part to the abbey of Lanvaux around 1250, and a larger part to the collegiate Church of St. Michael in 1383. Later, in 1563, the monks of Saint-Michel alienated their fief from Pluvigner ,and was offered to Mr. René de Malestroit, Lord of Ker and Kerambourg. The latter, soon finding his market unfavourable, sued the sellers and teased the monks of Lanvaux for their share of jurisdiction in Pluvigner. One of his successors, Andre de Robien, RMS. De Kerambourg, formally contested, from 1684, the jurisdiction of the Abbey of Lanvaux in Pluvigner, and began against the religious an unfair trial, which extended for a century, before Parliament and before the Council of the King. Mr. De Robien claimed to be the only lord of Pluvigner, and he had the audacity to remove from the parish church the arms of the King, successor of the dukes, and to substitute his own; But a ruling of the Council of State put it in order in 1731. Besides the small fief of Lanvaux-Pluvigner, the monks of the abbey still had that of Broel since 1516, and they also saw it challenged by the family of Robien.

The Church of Saint-Guigner (16C). (see posts) .Our Lady of Nettles, (Notre Dame des Oties) in the village, touches the parish church and communicates with her through the sacristy. It has the form of a Latin cross; The transepts are shallow and seem older than the rest of the monument. The choir is square; On each side, two arched arcades, now clogged, imply the primitive existence of two collateral. The square of the transept is separated from the nave by three arches, one large and two small, in warhead, worn on polygonal pillars. The windows are ogival, and the fire and trilobed mullions. A chapelle Notre-Dame-des-Nettles (1426 ) it is now ruins of arches left of this Church next the town’ s Church of Saint Guigner.

Pluvigner

Other Chapels in the city are

The Chapelle Saint-Adrien (15C) Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Fatima-aux-Granges (1895), Chapelle Saint-Colomban or Saint-Colombier (1453) ,Chapelle Saint-Mériadec (11C), Chapelle Saint-Guy or Guyon (circa 1600) , Chapelle Sainte-Brigitte (16-17C),Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-la-Miséricorde or Mercy (17C). Chapel of the Trinity (end of the 15C), Chapelle de Saint-Bihui (1593) The Chapel of Saint-Goal (17C),Chapel of Saint-Fiacre, in ruins in 1888, and rebuilt in the 19C. The ancient Chapel of St. Guénaël, rebuilt at the end of the 19C in an isolated place and mentioned in 1930, nearest to me.

Also, the Fontaine Saint-Guigner (1526). The set includes a three-basin wash house ,the Fontaine Notre-Dame-de-la-Misericorde or Mercy. And the Château de Rimaison (before 18C), rebuilt with stones from an older château (now a restaurant creperie but the chapel still intact). The Chateau of Keronic (1426). Siege of an ancient lordship called Queronic or Keronic ; Château de Kerlois (15C), located on the Sainte-Anne road and transformed in the 17C. The old castle of Tancarville (located in the former spawning of Trelecan). The lordship belonged to the family of Lanvaux. The private chapel which was enlarged in the 15C, then restored in 1640, is dedicated to Saint-Fiacre and seems dated from the 12C. You can see a 15C altarpiece; The Manoir du Guern (circa 18C), which served as a presbytery. It is made up of a large body of dwelling. There is a small oratory with an 18C wooden altar surmounted by the statues of Saint Yves and Saint Vincent Ferrier; The steles of Pluvigner and Cosquéric (Iron Age). A dozen stones have been listed on the territory of the town of Pluvigner. (see posts).

As you might be able to tell the town Of Pluvigner is full of historic monuments and rich architecture even if it is a small town of just over 7K folks! Enjoy as I do!

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

October 15, 2018

Some news from Spain LXVIII

And on a cloudy rainy day in my neck of the woods and heavy rains flooding from Portugal over to Spain and into southern France , I like to give you an update on things of my beloved Spain.

Just recently back from another wonderful trip into Spain, specifically Barcelona. This is the time to tell you a bit about the latest from the land of the Sun.

It was in 1957 when the Winter Theater of Broadway saw the birth of a New York version of the classic of William Shakespeare with stroke of dance, blood, passion and colorful dresses of the fifties. There was a total of 732 functions and was the starting point for an ambitious tour of the United States until 1960. During its sixty years of life, the eternal musical has been able to be seen uninterruptedly in scenarios from all over the world. In 1961 ‘ West Side Story ‘ became a film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, a hurricane that swept the popular culture and broke Oscars ‘ records for a musical film. Now ‘ West Side story ‘ rises proudly back on the charts, because the story of Tony and Mary has passed generations and hearts. At the Teatro Calderón in Madrid, the protagonists of the musical are beaten to death and are madly wanted. The Sharks and Jets have landed in our country, for the first time in a Spanish version, and the urban Romeo and Juliet continue to die of love 61 years later. Teatro Caldéron Madrid

One sad news:

The painter Eduardo Arroyo has died this past Sunday in Madrid at 81 years. Besides being a painter, he was a draughtsman, engraver, sculptor and scenographer, as well as one of the most outstanding members of the ‘ Nouvelle figuration ‘ (narrative figuration). Arroyo represents the continuity of an artist identity that generated the avant-garde in the 1930s, and whose configuration is contributed by Spanish artists like Picasso and Miró. Born in Madrid in 1937, he was educated in the Spanish capital during the postwar period and lived in exile in France during the Franco dictatorship until he decided to return to Spain in 1976, with the advent of democracy, which meant that his work could only be seen with normality in Spain from 1980. It has received a good number of distinctions, among which one can highlight the National Prize of Plastic Arts of the Ministry of Culture, in 1982, or the Gold Medal of Merit in the fine arts, in 2000. He was also appointed in 1983 ;Knight of the Arts and letters by the Government of France. More on him hereBiography and works of Eduardo Arroyo

One of the great one opera classical singers of all time. Montserrat Caballé, with its full name María de Montserrat Viviana Concepción Caballé i Folch, is a Spanish soprano born on 12 April 1933 in Barcelona and died on 6 October 2018 in the same city. Dubbed La Superba (the superb) because of her technique, her length of breath, the amplitude and nuances of her voice (especially her pianissimi), she is famous for her interpretations of the bel canto repertoire, including the roles of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti. Montserrat Caballé, claimed increasingly excited his cosmopolitanism and loaded hard against the Catalan independence:  “I need to say this, I am from the United Nations since 1988 and we have been taught the coexistence. The peoples of the world have to be united. We can’t make chains, chains are for slavery. Human chains are for separating. Chains can be iron, gold, silver, but they have to be good chains. They don’t have to be chains that separate and humiliate. It has been said that there have been a million and a half people in the streets, where were the 7 million remaining?. When you are lucky enough to travel around the world, as it has happened to me, and you know so many people and so many different peoples you realize that hostilities do not work. I have been an ambassador of Spain as all singers. And as I was taught in the United Nations, by the Union of people and Peoples. Whoever puts chains hurts me, removes all the rest, sends them out. I am very happy to be born in Barcelona, to have married a Aragonese, that my mother was from Valencia and that my children have studied in Spain. ” Amen RIP Grande de Espana!!! A bit more on Caballé: Billboard magazine on Caballé

The farewell of torero Juan José Padilla Bernal contained a barbaric emotion. He was born at Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz) May 23 1973. The farewell in the ring where he lost his eye and was born again, where the legend was hatched, had become an event. The popular hero of the Buccaneer flags, the bullfighter of the seven lives and forty of them, the man of steel reconstructed with titanium replacements, put the end to 25 years of wars with blood and fire. The storm unleashed on the Plaza de la Misericordia (square of mercy) at the time of the bullfight was added to the climate of overflowing expectation. The thunderous storm seemed to be muted before the deafening ovation that caused its appearance. The closed deck amplified the rumble. Unbraided the Paseíllo, the cyclone ascended as an exhalation to the box  his fans to give them a cloak of stroll. Thank you, thank you, and a thousand times. God then wanted to reward Juan José Padilla with a bull for eternity. Tortolito was called the Cuvillo of farewell. The joy, the fixity, the son, the rhythm, the category and the quality of the supreme bravery. What a way to ram. Padilla flag pole rushing his faculties to the train that was coming to him. Excitement above the marksmanship. And he gave his children, his wife, his family, the beam and the engine of the resurrection. Tortolito responded to all the proposals. The ecstasies seized the tenders. Waving the flags of the skull and the tibias; The pirate passed his badge savoring the moment. And he kissed kneeling the sand that saw him die and resurface.It was his farewell,  Sunday, October 14, 2018 at the Plaza de la Misericordia during the Virgin of Pilar Fair in  Zaragoza. Farewell warrior! More in Spanish here: ABC newspaper on Padilla

A new show specially designed for the Florida Retiro , in which actor and comedian Alex O’Dogherty will be the master of ceremonies. In Dinner Show format, other artists will succeed the main star during the following months so that the evening in which one day was the most popular party room in Madrid do not stop surprising. Beyond the stage, the gastronomic proposal created by Michelin star chef Iván Sardinia will consist of this new stage in a composition of dishes full of souvenirs and nuances with the dessert , and the show The earring lost by Lola Flores”  as a golden touch. Located inside Retiro park at calle Republic of Panama S/N. Timetables: from 20h30 to 0h2. Pandora Party on Thursday from 01h30 to 06h . Prices: Dinner and Show: 85€.My old stumping ground in another era came here for youthful dances lol!!!More info here: Florida Retiro

And now let me give you some insight into the Madrid I love and some off the beaten path ideas. Remember I used to lived in the city and visit every year for upteens times. From Madrid to heaven in a hole in the sky to look down on it every day!

With the calle Rompelanzas, this one is one of the shortest street  in the historic quarter. It is, rather, of a passage, which Roman innkeeper described as a “petty alley “ that with the pompous name of Calle de Madrid runs behind the backs of the city hall house. Now we see it much more picturesque, by the renovations of the area and the elevated passageway with which connected the houses of Cisneros and the Villa by the Plaza de la Villa. Once here, do not miss the opportunity to walk the quiet alleys, squares and gardens hidden around. From the square the street comes out , plaza de la Villa: Tourist office of Madrid on Plaza de la Villa

Calle de la Escalerilla de Piedra (Street of the stone ladder). You can see in the Plaza Mayor, in the upper part of the stairs of the Arco de Cuchilleros, has been protagonist of stories, legends and novels. Here the pulpit came to the tavern, where bandits and conspirators were allegedly gathering. By this place began one of the great fires of the square in August of 1790. The stories said that from this outgoing Friar Antonio, from the Convent of San Gil, encouraged the locals to the uprising in May 1808, against the French invading forces, originating the war of independence. And, in case all this was not enough, around here you enter the house where Benito Pérez Galdós located the home of Fortunata! The square from where it comes from Plaza Mayor: Tourist office of Madrid on Plaza Mayor

As a curiosity, you can go to see the famous ahuehuete tree of the Parterre (Taxodium mucronatum), protected as a singular tree and considered the longest in the city, with an approximate age of more than 360 years.  Located in a French-style garden in the western part of Retiro Park, very close to the Puerta of Felipe IV that leads to Calle Alfonso XII, this specimen-25 meters high and 5.50 meters of perimeter in its trunk-may have been the first to be planted when built the palace of Buen Retiro (that gave the name to the park/gardens), although some say it was later. A description of Retiro Park: Tourist office of Madrid on Retiro park

The various shields (escudos) that Madrid has had over the course of different eras can be seen by numerous buildings, streets or fountains of the city. The oldest that is preserved in stone is the one that is at the height of the number 21 of the Calle Segovia. It is a reconstruction of one of the 16C made in the 17C. The bear perhaps, the tree-which some say is not a strawberry, and the Royal Crown appear here in a part of the façade that was preserved from the old house of the Pastor demolished in 1988, which became the headquarters of the Transhumane Council of Madrid and Toledo , and that today is integrated into the side of a modern building. As an anecdote, you may recognize the place in the scenes of some films, such as “Los Amantes Pasajeros “(Lovers Passengers) 2012, by Pedro Almodóvar. Once here, go up the stairs and reach the Castiza statue of the Violet, in the gardens of Las Vistillas, a pleasant place to contemplate, as its name suggests, the excellent views towards the Manzanares River, the country house and the Cathedral. Now, see when you go, because its usual tranquility gives way to multitudinous concerts and dances during the Fiestas de La Paloma, in August, or San Isidro, May 15..My favorite Verbena of Madrid , Fiestas de La Paloma virgin. More on the fairs here: Fairs verbenas zarzuelas of August in Madrid

Madrid is one of the few cities in the world that has two twin monuments. To see them you have to go to the district of Moncloa-Aravaca, at the height of the Puente de la Reina (Queen’s bridge). The hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida was built between 1792 and 1798 following the order of king Carlos V. The temple, one of those dedicated to San Antonio de Padua, is very simple, neoclassical, with a Greek cross plant and a dome with lanterns. Inside, surprise the frescoes painted by Francisco de Goya, where characters are dressed as Majos (nice looking boys) and Chisperos (low class boys). To preserve the paintings, between 1925 and 1928 rose an identical Church next to serve for the cult, leaving the first as a memorial museum and Pantheon, because there rest the remains of the Aragonese painter since its transfered in 1919. A tradition: In its surroundings, by La Bombilla, it is celebrated, every 13th of June, the verbena of San Antonio, with the collection of muffins of the saint so that ‘ do not miss bread during the year ‘ and the ritual of the pins with which the  potentially marriage age girls  continue the custom of the Modistillas (dressmaker) of the 19C. More on the hermitage here: Tourist office of Madrid on San Antonio de la Florida

At present, the water of Madrid is the responsibility of the Canal of Isabel II, but years ago, this was facilitated through public sources, like that of Fuente del Berro although it belonged to the Crown-, born with the Vera of the Abroñigal Brook. Protagonist of Zarzuelas, this pipe is one of the aquifers with greater tradition and fame in the city. If you come to the district of Salamanca, go through the historic garden of the Quinta de la Fuente del Berro and, among great specimens of trees, you can still find a sewer cover that leads to the galleries of your watersource, closed in 1977. Head to the Park and you will see the source of the Fuente del Berro outside, next to one of the entrances, on Calle Peñascales , an old mansion, a Becquer’s monument, a statue of Pushkin, a couple of small ponds and a waterfall.! More on the Berro fountain here: Tourist office of Madrid on Fuente del Berro

Traditionally it is considered ‘ patron of the people of Madrid ‘ (and the firefighters) to the Virgen de la Paloma. Its festivities, around August 15th, are the most traditional and were reflected in the zarzuela la verbena de la Paloma. (Again see above my favorite of all times) .Its parish, with a curious baptismal font of immersion, is of mudejar style with Gothic elements, and is located in the small and collected square of the same name, next to the Puerta de Toledo, in the district of La Latina. Very close, by Calle Toledo , we arrived at the Collegiate Church of San  Isidro, in number 37, a temple representative of the religious architecture of the 17C in Madrid built according to the design of the architect Pedro Sánchez. In which it was a provisional Cathedral, from 1885 to 1993(when Almudena was completed), the mortal remains of the patron Saint of Madrid, San Isidro, and his wife, Santa Maria de la Cabeza, are guarded. From there, you can also explore the squares and gardens of the center and visit some of the city’s oldest churches: St. Nicholas with a 12C Mudejar tower, San Pedro el Viejo and San Andrés. As more in the fiestas of August link above you find here on the Collegiate Church of San Isidro: Tourist office of Madrid on the Collegiate Church of San Isidro

And to finish the tour, with an ecological gem. A place outside the walls that opened its doors to the public in November 2016. The chosen point is the Holm oak with more than 300 years in the Quinta de Torres Arias,(an old farm of aride towers) where it is possible to forget the world under the huge shade of its great cup. With access from Calle Alcalá, no. 551, almost next to the impressive Quinta de los Molinos and relatively close to Capricho Park, this 17 hectare estate belonged to the Madrid aristocracy since 1600. Inside, you can find numerous and exceptional species of trees, a palace for now, not visitable, accompanied by blocks, a cow ranch and a slaughterhouse, as well as two greenhouses that stand out for its antiquity and a small orchard. All this constitutes an excellent centennial wall agricultural area of extraordinary ecological richness. More on Torres Arias: Tourist office of Madrid on Quinta Torres Arias

See  also , los Molinos here: Tourist office of Madrid on Quinta de los Molilnos

And Capricho park:  Tourist office of Madrid on Capricho park

Hope you enjoy the post as much as I did in my beloved Madrid. Always Madrid, and now fondly memories of my mother and I there, and lucky to be able to come back often and walk all theses spots of yesterday , today, and tomorrow.

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

 

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October 14, 2018

A bit of the sea at Cap d’Ail, Alpes-Maritime!

SO on a bit cloudy cool grey Sunday in my neck of the woods reminicents of Fall just now, and looking forward to another weeks of reports why not indulge myself on the Sea; not just the one near me mind you but far away in my belle France. I like to come back to Cap d’Ail, in Alpes Maritime dept 06, PACA region.

As in everything in my belle France for me especially since living here already 15 years  of my life, I have realised that the whole country is beautiful. Not that folks tells me, or books told us, but living it and enjoying it everyday reminded me that no matter where you are in France, there is always the exclamation “Oh how beautiful it is! “Well this place is no difference.

Let me come back to tell you a bit more on this corner of France ,really a corner of France! I had a taste of Cap d’Ail just in the border with Monte Carlo, Monaco!  I arrived by Avis rental car from the Nice-Côte d’Azur airport coming in on the A8, then M6007, and into city center and port Cap d’Ail.

The town is crossed by the RD 6098 (lower Corniche) and the RD 6007 (formerly RN7-known as the “Middle Corniche” called Avenue Prince-Rainier-III-de-Monaco) on its northern periphery. On the seafront, the coastal Trail is an old renovated course of 3 600 m, joining the beaches Mala and Marquet, passing by the pointe des Douaniers (Customs). To the north: border with the Turbie. /Isola 2000, at 105 km. /Grenoble, at 340 km. /Lyon, at 492 km. /Paris, at 954 km.  To the east: border with the Fontvieille district of Monaco. /Menton, 16 km away. /Ventimiglia (Italy), 29 km away. /San Remo (Italy), 59 km away. /Genoa (Italy), at 183 km. /Rome (Italy), at 694 km.  To the West: border with Èze. /Beaulieu-sur-Mer, 9 km away. /Nice, 18 km away. /Toulon, at 170 km. /Marseille, at 226 km.

Main arrival of Garlic merchants in 1848, Cap d’Ail, which was called before its creation la Turbie-sur-Mer, was the maritime façade of the commune of La Turbie before it was detached in 1908.   At the end of WWII it was liberated on September 3, 1944. The town has beaches famous for their natural, as well as a coastal path, bordering a typical Mediterranean vegetation. The steep terrain, characteristic of the Monegasque watershed, plunges the town from the vertical slopes of the dog’s head to the wild coves of the Mala beaches.

A webpage for the heritage and monuments and such info here: City of Cap d’Ail on heritage info

A superb walk in a wild and very bucolic setting is to be done by the seaside Trail (coastal trail). This stroll (approx. 3.6 km) will take you from the Marquet Beach to Mala Beach, you will pass by pinewood forest and overlook the cliffs and rocks where the waves come to crash. Close to the sea, a peaceful garden, the Sacha Guitry Park has been set up in restore land next to the villa (which once belonged to this famous author). He is not the only one to have been conquered by Cap D’Ail.  Its 5 km of coastline has attracted many personalities, the Prince of Wales, the Tsarevich, the Lumière brothers, Greta Garbo, Apollinaire, and of course Cocteau…

The artificial port of Cap d’Ail, at the eastern end of the territory of the town, has its northeast quay on the border with Monaco, in Fontvieille as the entire eastern part of the town. The port of Cap d’Ail extends over a water body of 47,000 m² and has 257 mooring berths. Regattas and feasts of the sea are organized during the season and attract many amateurs. The Heliport is 3 minutes away, allowing Monaco and Nice to be connected by a 6-minute flight. The Marina can accommodate boats up to 60 meters.

More on the port of Cap d’Ail here: Port of Cap d’Ail in English

cap d'ail

cap d'ail

cap d'ail

The wonderful beaches which had no time to see them all, but briefly Mala is worth it for sure.

Pissarelles Beach: The only way to reach it is via a winding path off the lower Corniche road. The beach of the Pissarelles is reserved for the most sporty, it is lined with rocks and accessible by a path a little difficult for the children.

Mala Beach: Accessed either via the Littoral Coastal path or via the Mala steps which run alongside the great and illustrious Eden residence. The Mala Beach is nestled in the vegetation and accessible on foot by a small footpath, it is also family oriented and has 2 restaurants.

Marquet Beach: Popular with both families and sports enthusiasts, the beach offers many activities. It can also be accessed and used by the handicapped. The Marquet beach is the most family-run, gentle slope and easy access, it houses the nautical circle and has 2 restaurants.

More on the beaches from the tourist office: Tourist office Cap d’Ail on the beaches

More on my favorite webpage on beaches of France here in English: Plages tv beaches webpage on Cap d’Ail

cap d'ail

cap d'ail

There hope you enjoy this place, Cap d’Ail, a bit pricey due to the proximity of Monaco ,but for a romantic getaway is perfect indeed…..

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

 

 

 

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October 14, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXI

So here I am on a busy Saturday just back and tired  the running around is awesome but with a few beers is even better: oh I said tired not in the proper sense but only tired of not been able to stay more out lol! And on my 1 672 post!!!!

The weather around here is fully Autumn and leaves fallens and turning yellowish not to mention the temperature is crazy from 15C in the morning to 25C in the afternoon! Anyway we did went out to do our errands

We started at the bank in Auray, ho ho ho of course, we need to get those moneys in the right account. Then, we continue to do my son’s moto enthusiast deal at Morbihan Moto or Dafy accessories for a nice bag from yamaha. The store is an often trip for us lately since he purchase a scooter Mash from this dealer, and loves the freedom of it. It is at nearby Ploeren. See it here: Morbihan Moto

Once arriving in Vannes, we parked as always nice and easy at the Parking Republique next to the post office and the department government building. This and other parkings here: Parkings of Vannes

vannes

Then , we move on to FNAC oh yes definitively they needed to load up on guide books and mangas here, this is in Vannes. I have told you about this store before several times, one of our favorites for many things; the local webpage is here: FNAC at Vannes

From there we went deep into old town Vannes to seek out another of my boys favorite the Japanese mangas store Japanim; again mentioned before, this is one of their favorite store and more here: Japanim store at Vannes

vannes

From here been around, we just headed for the Saturday morning market day in Vannes, just super and one of favorite activities in the area for years, where the merchants are now very well known to us and they recognise us immediately with many tastings delights. More info on this one the best and others here: City of Vannes on market days

vannes

vannes

vannes

We did go into our favorite wine store Nicolas for a load of 6 bottles of Château Cavalier provence rose wine by one of my son’s as roses are his favorites and this property is very good. The store here: Nicolas at Vannes

More on the wine here: Château Cavalier

vannes

By now we were loaded and hungry. We had tried this restaurant in Honfleur Calvados Normandy a while back and posted, however, saw they had a property near us lol! (so much to see everywhere!!!) So we decided that we will try it locally, and this was the day. We headed direction Lorient on the N165 expressway to the town of Lanester ,which is loaded with stores, shops, restaurants you name it all alongside the expressway. There we found our Oncle  Scott.

Oncle Scott (Uncle Scott) is an American Western inspired chain of 6 by a Frenchman who fell in love with the concepts while visiting the USA. The restaurant is nicely decorated with western, indian artifacts and the service is prompt and friendly. The food is awesome American style with lots of quantity for the plate , loads of it. I thought will be blown like a balloon lol!

lanester

lanester

lanester

I had the big double stack of beef Cadillac burger with green salads, baked potatoes and French fries, down the hatch with good cold Sol Mexican beers , and a nice Pecan Addict dessert with you name it pecans and brownies in a vanilla caramel ice cream! A bit extra on the beers and the bill came out to 31,75€ per person. A great deal for lots of food on the table big quantities in fact you can easily share one burger!  We are planning to celebrate my twins bday next month here so if in the area drop me a note!

The restaurant is at  Rue Gustave Zédé, Parc d’activité de Malebos; 56600 Lanester
Tél +33 (0) 2 90 61 24 91. General webpage here: Oncle Scott

lanester

Now with full bellies and happy campers , we headed back into the expressway N165 heading back to Vannes to do our groceries at our favorite E Leclerc hypermarket and Cultural center for more books by my boys as well. The grocery shopping here is fun and the folks especially by the butcher shop love us and we do them too!!! There is a centre commercial or shopping center here with other smaller stores and even underground parking which we love. More here: E Leclerc hypermarket at Vannes

While there ,the gendarmerie or national police type here was holding demonstration on security as well as the volunteer sea rescue org SNSM of which I am a donor, great job helping folks at sea and on the beaches as lifeguards. There was also some cars on display including a beautiful Caravelle in the USA market by Renault and call in France the Floride (Florida).

We did our usual walking around before heading back home to rest and get on the news , blog and friends and family contacts afar. Also, a nice football /soccer game Holland vs Germany! You stay well

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

October 12, 2018

Some news from France CXCXIIII

It’s about time catch up with my belle France! Times are in Autumn for sure, leaves are changing colors and falling as well as cool breezes and temps that go from cold to warm like 20C now. It’s a wonderful season and we are thinking Christmas already.

To catch up with the latest news here are some of interest to many ::)

Should the Grand Paris be confined to Paris and the small Parisian crown, should it be extended to the poles of activity such as Roissy and Orsay, should it extend over all the Parisian urban agglomeration thus overflowing to the former cities of Cergy , Evry or Marne-La-Vallée or should it grow to the limits of the Ile-de-France region?… Big questions arising and still not decided, most do not think will start before 2020 or nothing due to internal politics.  Grand Paris

Pink book, Fawn book in the Menagerie of the Jardin des Plantes (5éme), where this week, two young males snow panthers came out of their den for 17 years in the menagerie, and a nice double for the parents. Esha the mother, born at the zoo in Helsinki (Finland) in June 2012, arrived 5 years ago at the menagerie, and the father of the little ones, Makalu, born in the Basel Zoo (Switzerland) 3 years ago, lived in the jardin des Plantes for two years. It is advisable to choose instead the ends of morning and late afternoon. And to book his weekend of October 20 and 21: The Menagerie organizes a weekend event “meeting with the Snow Panthers”. Jardin des Plantes snow panthers  

The impunity of cyclists is over (its about time to enforce the law). This past Thursday, the police were specifically targeted during road control operations carried out in the Hauts-de-Seine in Saint-Cloud, Rueil-Malmaison, La Garenne-Colombes, Courbevoie, Nanterre and Neuilly. In the latter city, the police of the territorial traffic and Road Safety Company (CTCSR) of dept 92 were stationed in the Winston-Churchill square for a good part of the morning. With the aim of stopping those who, by bicycle, pass the red lights, calling from  the handlebars, listen to music on the headphones while pedaling or driving on the sidewalks; So many offences sanctioned by a fine of 90 euros. Those who do not have the required light equipment-front and rear lights and reflective plates were fine  45 euros.  Le Parisien fines on cyclists in dept 92

The town of Provins (dept 77 Seine-et-Marne)  continues the restoration of its ramparts; The goal: to safeguard the ramparts constituting the enclosure of the high city, the total length of which is 16 km. The city intends to make it accessible to the public the round road, secured by an interior guardrail. In addition to the ramparts, it will also be the restoration of the dome of the Church of Saint-Quiriace and the Church of St. Croix in the lower town.Provins on things to see

Provins on the ramparts

Passed but… Rambouillet has decided to pay homage to its Napoleonic past. The City, Castle and National Bergerie (Shepherd)  together organize a great weekend of historical revival, with 250 enthusiasts in costume of the period, Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 October 2018. The emperor loved to come and rejuvenate himself in this residence in the heart of the forest, far from the capital and its protocol. Castle, National Shepherd and Palace of the King of Rome, in Rambouillet (78). A small free train connects the sites. From 7.50-18€  . Chateau Rambouillet

Le festival international du cirque (circus international ) is showing 11 acts by international troops from October 13-14  2018. The jury is presided by Eugène Chaplin, son of Charlie Chaplin. Event at Les Mureaux (Yvelines dept 78).  Festival du Cirque Les Mureaux

Born from the merger of the tourist offices of Roissy-en-France, Ecouen and Luzarches, the entity “Roissy, clé de France” has just developed a new roadmap. Objective? Become an indispensable place for business tourism.  Roissy Cle de France

Musée en Herbe or  Budding museum. The museum hosts an unprecedented exhibition until January 20 2019 which honors the famous Monsieur Madame. It is in trying to explain to his son what a tickle was that Roger Hargreaves created the first character of the collection,  “Mr Tickle ” in 1971. Since then, the same son has taken over the torch and the collection counts 91 different characters. 23 contemporary artists had carte blanche to give their own interpretation of the Monsieur Madame. Exhibition Monsieur Madame at the Herb Museum 23, rue de Arbre-Sec  1éme, until  January 20, 2018; Open Monday to Sunday from 10h to 19h,  Nights on Thursdays until 21h; Rate 6€.   More info: Musée en Herbe museum

The rental cost per RER station is the study carried out by the company Cushman & Wakefield, which gives you all the rental values in euros, per m², over one year. The study shows that in the Parisian suburbs, on average, the rental value is 215 €/m²/year on the 249 stations of the RER network against 365 €/m²/year for the 302 stations of the Parisian metro. Therefore, it seems near an RER is cheaper to rent than near a metro station. The rents vary from €380/m²/year on average for zone 1 (city of Paris) to 130 €/m²/year for zone 5(farthest zone from Paris). On the same line, the disparities are very important: for example on the RER C line, there is the highest rental value at 580 €/m²/year, at the Musée-d’Orsay station and on the reverse one of the lowest with the Dourdan station at 90 €/m²/year. The line C covering Pontoise, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Dourdan and Saint-Martin-d’Étampes is according to the study, the most expensive line on average. On the other hand, line D is the cheapest on average with 200 €/m²/year. Line A, the busiest of Île-de-France and Europe, displays an average value of 210 €/m²/year.

The Spanish soul in Paris some favorites :

The authentic ambiance of a Spanish bodega and tapas as we can only find in Spain, is what you will find at La Abuela,(grandmother) the Gourmet den of the 9éme.  La Abuela, 43, rue Notre-Dame-de-Lorette Open. Mon-Sat: 12h-15h then from 19h to 02h00 Tel. +33 (0) 6 59 12 20 40;  Find the Abuela on Facebook and Instagram.

If the proposed kitchen transports us to Spain, the road was inspired by traditional and family recipes. You will find great classics like the tortilla or the Patatas Bravas. Boca Dos, 41, rue des trois-Frères 18éme. Tel. +33 (0) 1 83 06 45 02;From  Tuesday-Saturday: 17h to 02h; Find Boca Dos on Facebook & Instagram.

A small, ultra-intimate tapas bar, this 11éme Spanish restaurant is renowned for its warm welcome and the personality of its patron. Here, Zero Head Start and family atmosphere, we can speak loudly and express clearly this joy of living, as in the streets of Madrid in fact.  Bodega Potxolo  7, rue de la Forge-Royale.   More info on Facebook.

It’s Spanish folklore in a subway hit. Direction the 12éme arrondissement to taste tapas, paella, Sangria, zarzuela, Arroz Negro (Iberian charcuterie).  Casa De Espana  72, avenue Ledru-Rollin   Casa de Espana

Add a layer, come and revive the Spanish music to your ears thanks to the concerts organized at the Bodega Cambronne every weekend. We also eat very well ; and indeed great ambiance my favorite of all listed here now. La Bodega Cambronne  37, rue Cambronne 15éme : La Bodega Cambronne

It is absolutely necessary that you taste the paella of El Sol, restaurant of the 8éme arrondissement as family as intimate. And if you’re lazy to chat or stay at the restaurant, they also make it to share and take away El Sol  22, rue de Ponthieu  :More here: El Sol

New menus, best quality-price ratios, room and service rethink… A time soap opera with the bistronomy, the histories regain colors . The Le Procope was putting the package to celebrate its renaissance. Certainly it never really passed the gun to the left, but it was just like. Founded in 1927 in the Montparnasse district, the Parisian brewery and its Art deco decor.  Le Procope

The transformation began softly about ten years ago, with the group Joulie, collector of  dormant beauties, which took over emblematic Parisian addresses such as the Bouillon Chartier, the European or the Wepler. But the real quake is the takeover by Olivier Bertrand of the groups Fréres Blanc (2016) and Flo (2017), who each owned about fifteen breweries very badly in shape. The patron of a restoration empire that can rely on the success of Burger King France has the intention and the means to restore them to the taste of the day.

The Bertrand group started with cosmetic measures, to find the chandelier of yesteryear: Opening of the terrace – previously glazed, it was as engaging as an old coral train. The creation of a well-visible scale bench in the room also highlights the fish turn of the new map where the good old sea sauerkraut has reappeared. Prices went down so that the average ticket goes from 60 to 50 euros. The brasseries (breweries) is not an has been. It’s more of a safe value.  More here: Groupe Bertrand

See at Compiègne an impressive bunker, an open-air museum along the front line, the famous clearing of the Armistice… On the eve of the centenary of 1918, visit memory around this town of the Oise (dept 60), in the heart of the Great War.(WWI).

Clearing of the Armistice of Rethondes, in the forest of Compiègne. This is where the festivities of the centenary of the end of the Great War will begin, with, in the culmination, a ceremony to be attended by Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel on the afternoon of 10 November. Also Trump!

Starting by the Armistice Memorial is the best way to immerse yourself in this past has benefited from a renovation and a new scenography, as well as an extension of more than 500 m2 of the exhibition area. The famous wagon – at least one identical car, the original having been destroyed – in which the Armistice was signed, is still there. A chronological presentation that evokes in particular the highlights of the conflict. A visit in a dozen steps that makes the beautiful part of the 3D: the period with the pictures on glass plate According to the old process steréoscopique which gives a striking effect-a technique that consisted of taking a picture with a device to two objects thus recreates the conditions of the terrain – and that of today, generated by computer, in a new projection room. At the exit of the museum, take a walk in the clearing to discover moving monuments, including this sacred slab on which one can read, engraved in the same granite of Vire as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Arc de Triomphe: “Here on November 11th succumbed the criminal pride of the German Empire defeated by the free peoples it intended to enslave”

Some webpages to help you plan your trip and know more about this important lesson in history. World War I or as we call it in Europe ,the Great War.

Tourist office of Oise dept 60 on WWI

Tourist office of Compiégne on Centennial

City of Compiénge on tourism

official Armistice museum

Hope you enjoy the reading, a bit late as was traveling lol!! but remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!! AND TGIF =thanks God is Friday the weekend is here!!!

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