Archive for October 12th, 2018

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!!!





October 12, 2018

Shopping, eating, resting in Barcelona!

So here I am winding down my last trip to Barcelona. It’s a city luckily to have visited a few times , and each time see a bit more of it. However, one thing is certain relaxing lodging environment, invigorating shopping and delicious food is what is all about for me.

On this post, will tell you about my hotel (Crown Plaza), the shopping at the Arenes or Arenas de Barcelona, and eating at a couple of places all within easy walking distance of my hotel. So stay tune ,here I go my way!

First, I stayed at the wonderful Crown Plaza Fira Barcelona; a five stars and wonderful hotel of course paying 165 euros per night! The facilities were impecable and would love to stay there again when back to the city. A bit more from the hotel’s page

Located 200 meters from the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, the Crowne Plaza Barcelona-Fira Center offers stylish décor and spacious accommodations with Flat-screen TVs and Hydro-Massage Showers. Offering a fantastic view of Barcelona, the 173 Rooftop Terrace Restaurant features an outdoor pool, sun loungers and a dining area where you can enjoy Mediterranean specialties as well as a selection of drinks and cocktails. El Mall Restaurant serves a buffet breakfast and Mediterranean cuisine. In addition, the hotel has an elegant piano bar. Free Wi-Fi is available in the public areas and in the Rooms. You will also find a free Internet point in the lobby area. From the hotel, the historic center of Barcelona is easily accessible by bus or metro. The Crowne Plaza Barcelona-Fira Center is located 500 meters from Poble Sec and Plaça d’ Espanya Metro Stations. The Poble Espanyol Museum and the Joan Miró Foundation are 200 meters away as well as all the wonders of Montjuic.

And of course for the benefit of those road warriors ,the  closest car parking is at BSM Rius i Taulet, Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina, 16, located facing the Plaza del Universo square. Ideal for reaching on foot all in M ontjuic and the Plaça d’Espanya by the Fira congress hall and the fountains of Montjuic. Easy access to the Avinguda Para-lel and the Gran Vía de las Cortes Catalanas. The useful webpages below, and cannot avoid telling you once I worked for the chain in an accounting management function.

official Crown Plaza Hotel

official Intercontinental Hotels group on the Crown Plaza








I went first to a nice find, just walking and heard the guys singing while setting up the tables so the gourmand curious in me told me this is a good happy place, the food must be good. Well it was super, with great Galician Patatas Bravas, and ham and codfish croquettes all down with a pint of Estrella Damm cold beer and coffee cortado all for 22€; the server was of course friendly and with 10 yrs in Barcelona coming from Argentina (probably following Messi !) Oh the place omg was the Casa de tapas Cañota at Carrer de Lleida, 7.

A bit more on it from the tabloids:

In the Parallel/Poble Sec, you will find the restaurant Casa de tapas Cañota, a place where the classic spirit merges with a fabulous offer of Tapas. Its renovated decor, at the hands of a designer, makes this place a casual and informal restaurant with striking graphic illustrations. The menu is informal and economical and is based on excellent tapas of great variety par all tastes, without leaving aside the quality that characterizes the products of this Restaurant. At Casa de tapes Cañota you can have a good time in the company of friends watching football and tasting tapas; It also has a heated terrace with access to the mobility impaired. Closest metro and buses at plaça d’Espanya , and Poble Sec.

More here: official Casa de Tapas Canota

And reviews on my blog roll favorite Yelp: Casa de Tapas Canota on yelp



The second night I went to a more fancy restaurant on Paral-lel avenue again not far from the hotel. This was again friendly and plenty of food, tapas entries from shrimp to ham croquettes, and codfish fritters, to a nice size steak in pepper sauce , all wash down with plenty of local Rene Barbier red wines, crema Catalana dessert, and coffee for about 35€. Great ambiance and funny moments to share by all there, I was way at the end in a cozy enclosed area of sea decor ,really nice and wonderful corner.  Oh yes the restaurant was the L’Amfora ,Avinguda Paral-lel 184 , metro plaça d’Espanya line 3.

A bit more info from the tabloids:

Have an authentic Catalan and mediterranean experience. Enjoy a beautiful
maritime environment with your people while you savor the tapas selection,
traditional paellas, exquisite grilled meats and the most selected seafood
from the tank. Obviously, do not miss the typical desserts and the popular
sangria of Catalan cava. Furthermore, it has private meeting rooms for
groups, vegetarian and vegan multiple options and children menus. They are
located next to the plaça d’Espanya square, The Fira Congress Palace and The Magic Fountain of Montjuic.

official l’Amfora Restaurant

And more reviews at Yelp from my bottom front page blog roll:

L’Amfora on yelp




And of course the shopping nearby in the area,what better then the Arenas de Barcelona, the old bullfight ring!  Built at end of the 19C and opened in 1900 in a neo mudéjar style and ended bullfighting here in 1977, after came the shopping center we know today. Right by Plaça d’Espanya (Spain square) you reach it on metro line 1 and 3, bus V7 and 165, and if coming from the airport the Aerobus leave you just on the other side of the square!

For direction, some pointers:

To eat had tried a while back, L´Arrosseria de las Arenas on the ground floor; delicious combination of rice dishes from the Mediterranean. Enjoy a restaurant in true Gaudí style and experience the most modernist Barcelona, concentrated right here in this restaurant, which offers excellent service and typical Mediterranean cuisine.

For stores Desigual and Mango are ok and my fav for shoes Casas are designer shoe shops with the best, most innovative brands. For all those who love trendy shoes with the most exclusive designs. With a women’s, men’s and children’s department, the entire family can find just what they need for their feet, season after season.

Perfumes Sephora and Orange mobile telephone  store, and a nice supermarket chain inside , Mercadona. As well as  modernistic beautiful 18 showing cinema with all the trimmings.

More here: The Arenas of Barcelona Shopping Center





There you go a nice 3 days 2 nights in wonderful Barcelona, short and sassy or pretty and smooth, a nice getaway in Europe to well rainy Barcelona but I was hardly wet with good timing to go out. Enjoy the photos and places of Barcelona; and see you soon in Asia.

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

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