Archive for October, 2018

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!!!

October 11, 2018

Montjuïc and Barcelona!

As I come here, do not know why but always start and end here it has become symbolic omg ! Barcelona has a lot to offer and you need several days to enjoy it or as me come several times to see bits of it each time. By now done that…

Montjuif is different. It is like a miniature city within it and you can easly spend days here not only sightseeing but shopping and eating/drinking your heart out. The place to be seen with wonderful museums. I love it!

A bit on what is here my favorites:

Montjuic is a hill in Barcelona with a height of 173 meters above sea level, which houses a homonymous district, in the district of Sants-Montjuic. There are remains of an Iberian settlement from the 3C BC and the 2C BC have been found.   In 1751 the present castle was built.

The mountain or actually meaning Jewish Mountain is internationally known for having served as reference for the estimation of the first definition of the meter!. They measured the length of arc of the meridian that passes through France, from Dunkerque to Montjuic Barcelona, between 1792 and 1798; The measurement results were used to establish the decimal metric system! Amazing!.  On the occasion of the International Exhibition of Barcelona of 1929, the urbanization of some areas of the mountain was completed, why the different pavilions that rise up by the slopes of the mountain would be built . On both sides of the promenade that leads from the Plaça d’Espanya, in the district of Sants-Montjuic, and from where you can enjoy great views.

The Jewish cemetery of Montjuic is located in a small field located on the north-eastern slope of the mountain of Montjuich, about 100 meters above sea level, from where the whole medieval city of Barcelona was dominated, in whose interior the Jewish quarter was located. The first written news about the Jewish necropolis in Barcelona dates back to the 11C (1091), This necropolis lasted until the end of the Jewish Quarter in the year 1391AD , when it suffers its devastation and the plundering of funerary tombstones. When it was recorded the first archaeological performance carried out within the enclosure, in a more or less controlled way. This made it possible to confirm that the necropolis stretched on both sides of the road leading to the castle of Montjuic, which corresponds to the current road of the Castilla. The archaeological excavation works of the years 1945 and 2001 have allowed to document a part of the necropolis with more than 700 graves. It is, by its characteristics, the largest, most significant and most representative ensemble of the memory and culture of the Jewish community during medieval times in the area of Catalonia and, most likely, of the western Mediterranean.

In the mountain, there are several Olympic facilities that hosted the Barcelona Olympic Games 1992. In Montjuic are also places of tourist interest like the Pueblo Español or Poble Espanyol or Spanish town , an enclosure built for the exhibition of 1929 and that collects streets, squares and places characteristic of all Spain, as you can see in its entrance with the towers of Avila , or a typical Andalusian patio, with its streets full of flowers, besides being populated of restaurants, bars and places of entertainment and spectacle, here are   the Theater Lliure, the Mercat de les Flors (flower market), the Greek theater, the Joan Miró foundation, the cultural center CaixaForum , the MNAC (museum of national arts of Catalunya), the Ethnological Museum of Barcelona and the Museum of Archaeology of Catalunya. Crown the mountain the castle of Montjuic, former fortress and military museum.

barcelona

barcelona

barcelona

barcelona

 

barcelona

barcelona

In the Avinguda María Cristina, main entrance to the hill of Montjuich from the Plaça d’Espanya (Spain square), there are several pavilions built on the occasion of the International Exhibition of 1929, the majority of which are now part of the Fira Barcelona Congress hall , which It organises some of the most important salons, exhibitions and exhibits in Spain. The itinerary of the avenue is marking of water columns on both sides of it, culminating in the magic fountain and the waterfalls of Montjuic, which on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays show a unique spectacle in the world of water, light, music and color.

barcelona

BArcelona

barcelona

barcelona

 

The large extensions of gardens, and the spectacular views offered by the city of Barcelona from it. Among the first, the historical Botanical Garden which has a unique collection of cactus, and the new Botanical Garden of Barcelona specializing in the flora of the Mediterranean areas of the world. The Hispano-árabic-style gardens of the Laribal, which through a series of terraces with pergolas, squares and fountains (such as the famous Font del Gat) lead to the Greek theater, an open-air theater inspired by the ancient Greek theatres, especially in the Epidaurus. The gardens of the Umbraculum., and finally, the gardens of Miramar were located on the hill seafront view. Also in the 1920’s was located in the northwest slope of the hill the nursery of three Pins, where plants were cultivated to supply the gardens of the city; In its grounds was installed in 1993 the garden of Petra Kelly, in homage to this German ecologist.

barcelona

barcelona

barcelona

Transports with originality to reach Montjuic are the cable car or funicular of Montjuic that connects the hill with the district of Pueblo Seco and the cable car or funicular de Montjuic that runs on the north superior side of the hill and as well the aerial cable car that connects the Port of Barcelona. Also, by metro such as Paral-le line 2 and 3, plaça d’Espanya lines 1, 3, and 8, the Fira 1 MNAC line 2 and the newest INEFC line 2.

More info from the tourist office of BarcelonaTourist office of Barcelona on Montjuic

Enjoy it , worth the detour indeed and I stayed by the area too each time! And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

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October 6, 2018

Museum of Fine Arts at Tours!

And since will be away for a few days , let me finish my story on the city of Tours with its wonderful museum in a historical building.  The day still cloudy and rainy and temps are down to 15C or 59F.

Need to tell you about a museum; granted I love history and all related to museums are part of it, even if do not go to as many as I should. The Museum of Fine Arts or Musée des Beaux-Arts of Tours is excellent. Let me tell you a bit on the history and collection,just brief,you get the idea come and see it, you will be glad I told you so.

Tours

The Museum of Fine Arts, its in the old Episcopal palace of the bishops near the Cathedral, since 1910. It has a beautiful collection of French paintings and the primitive Italian or old Italian masters painter such as Mantegna, as well as sculpture by Rodin, Houdon and Others. It has a cedar trip planted in 1902 while a visit by the Barnum and Bailey Circus with around it an elephant killed while going while that year.

Tours

A French-style garden extends past the episcopal palace of the 18C, which has retained part of its original decor. A cedar of lebanon, tree can be seen in this same courtyard, in a building in front of the palace, Fritz, a stuffed Asian elephant, slaughtered because he became uncontrollable during a parade of the circus Barnum & Bailey in the streets of Tours on June 10, 1902. Access to the elephant and the large cedar tree is free inside the park.

Tours

Tours

tours

A bit of history I like

The museum houses in its underground the most beautiful lapidary inscription to the glory of the Turons (original inhabitants of Tours). The first bishops had chosen to settle in the vicinity of the Cathedral, in a palace built on the rampart of the 4C which still remains today of beautiful traces including the corner tower. Another vestige of this period was a chapel backed by the Archbishop’s palace dating back to the 4C and rebuilt in 591AD  on the orders of Gregory of Tours. This building was transformed in the 12C and partly destroyed in the 17C during the development of the new Archbishop Palace. In the 12C the so-called synod wing was built. Constantly transformed over the centuries, this immense hall where two meetings (1468 and 1484) were gathered the States General of the Kingdom of France is one of the most evocative historical places in the history of Touraine. After 1789, French revolution, the Archbishop’s Palace became a theater, a central school, a library ,then by 1792 became the deposit of the works seized (nationalisation) at the French Revolution. A first museum opens to the public in 1795.

Under the Empires and throughout the 19C, the buildings were again assigned to the Archdiocese. The works thus leave this place and move to temporary premises, in the former convent of the Visitation, then in the old stewardship, before the inauguration in 1828 a building created specifically to welcome the museum on the Place des Arts along the Loire river. It was only in 1910, when the city became the owner of the premises, that the collections reintegrated the old Archbishop Palace as of today.

And what is in it… well read on…

The Museum’s oldest fund consists of works seized in 1794 (during the French revolution aftermaths) from the houses of emigrants, churches and convents, in particular the large abbeys of Marmoutier, Bourgueil and La Riche, as well as paintings and furniture from the Château de Chanteloup and the Château de Richelieu. Among the most famous are Gabriel Blanchard, François Boucher, Louis de Boulogne, Jean-Pierre Louis Laurent Houël, Charles de La Fosse, Charles Lamy, Eustache Le Sueur, Joseph Parrocel, Jean Restout. Gaëtan Cathelineau , student and friend of David, Professor of drawing at the Royal College of Tours, bequeathed about fifty paintings of ancient painters, including the only undeniable Hubert Robert of the collection, “Cascade under a ruined bridge”, and an astonishing Louis Cretey, “Tobie and the Angel”. In 1963 the museum receives the collection of the painter and collector Octave Linet, constituting one of the largest collections of Italian primitives after the Louvre Museum and the Museum of the Petit Palais d’Avignon.

The museum maintains an important and fairly homogeneous collection of paintings punctuated by several masterpieces, including the two paintings by Andrea Mantegna   coming from the San Zeno Altarpiece (the Last of the three elements of the predelle, the Crucifixion, being preserved at the Louvre museum): the ancient French painting is represented abundantly for the 17C and 18C. The French painting of the 19C is also amply represented, the collection of Flemish and Dutch paintings presents works by major artists such as Rubens and Rembrandt. The 20C is illustrated above all by a beautiful set of abstract paintings.

For the sculpture, you will find notably the imposing Diane huntress (Diane chasseresse) , bronze of Jean-Antoine Houdon, one of the very rare original prints of the work in marble executed from 1776, as well as works by Antoine Coysevox (bust of Louis XIV), Auguste Rodin (Balzac drape, bronze, 1898), Antoine Bourdelle, Alexander Calder (Mobile, painted metal, circa 1957) and Olivier Debré.

Like I said, simply a must to visit while in the area or in Tours. Some of the webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Tours on the museum

Official Museum of Fine Arts

Region Centre Val de Loire on the museum

Tourist office of Tours on the museum

Hope you enjoy the post and make you think about coming over to see it, Tours is wonderful or is it Centre Val de Loire or the valley of the kings or is it France!

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

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October 6, 2018

Château de Tours!

And on a rainy cool Saturday I come back to my belle France , but hold on just before leaving tomorrow to my dear Spain…again! The weather in my lovely Morbihan Breton has been like it is Fall and the leaves are fallen nicely.

However, let me tell you about a favorite town of mine, Tours in the Centre Val de Loire region and its wonderful historical castle ,even if today there is not much left of it. So here I go with the Château de Tours.

This one is strictly on the history I like; but why would you visit a castle otherwise!

The Château de Tours, in dept 37  Indre-et-loire, is located on the edge of the Loire in the oldest district of Tours, close to the Cathedral of Saint Gatien, erected on the remains of the ancient city whose towers originates. Almost entirely destroyed in the 18C, its two remaining towers are accommodateded with a new building used by the army from the French   Revolution. After serving as barracks, it is in this singular configuration that it is taken from oblivion and restored in the second half of the 20C

Tours

The 11C initial dungeon and its dependencies were later absorbed by a quadrangular enclosure in the 13C, before a massive destruction leaving space for military buildings from the 18C onwards.   The Counts of Blois, became Viscounts then counts of Tours, had in the 9C a residence located more to the east of the castle (tower Hugon) note 2-the new stone construction of the 11C is erected on the site of primitive thermal baths used until the 4C (Lower-Empire), from the time of the Gallo-Roman City of “Caesarodunum” . It is built by one of the counts of Anjou, probably Geoffroy Martel winner of the House of Blois who appropriated the Touraine in 1044 after the Battle of Nouy.

Consecutively built between 1044 and 10606, it recycles to the north and west the stone wall and bricks of the gallo-roman fortification of the Old City close (castrum) in the corner of which it is built. This 4C wall, much thicker (4.50 m) than those of the new building (2.60 m), is already endowed with towers and gates. The Comtal castle, obviously more residential than defensive, is composed of a large quadrangular room 28 meters longng by 8 meters wide, oriented North/south with a public residential floor , having five windows and a square tower near blind 6 m by 6 meters adjacent in the southeast corner, having three or four floors, where could be located the chamber of the Counts of Anjou.

Tours

The château comtal located in the northwestern corner of the ancient City-which encompasses the cathedral and the Bishopric-controls the outlet of the only bridge spanning the Loire, on the road between Paris and the south-west of France; The construction of the latter, mainly in stone, was undertaken in 1034 by Count Eudes II of Blois, just before his successor, Thibaud III   of Blois, lost the County. The castle also had to control the other doors of the area, North and west, close to the Center enclosure at this time, presumably at the end; The Porte Saint Maur   on the north fortifications and the Porte d’Arcis to the west; The latter being endowed with a circular tower (which will survive until the middle of the 19C), separated from the farmyard by an outer ditch spanned by a bridge, located on the main urban axis (the Grande Rue) leading to Chateauneuf to the west and Amboise to East (through the gate of Orléans controlled by the Hugon Tower on the east flank of the city).. The castle was damaged during the struggles between the French king Philip Augustus and the Plantagenets at the end of the 12C. The romane primitive cathedral, close to the castle, is destroyed on this occasion. The castle is intended to ensure the symbolic presence of the new power and the new form of government established in the town.

Tours

Saint Louis, during the regency of Blanche de Castille restores it and enlarges it in the first half (or at the End) of the 13C, from the south and the east, encompassing the ancient comtal edifice of the 11C and 12C, to turn it into a strong Quadrangular Royal site of 2 000 m2. In the 15C, the tower of Guise, which still remains today, sees its coronation redone with machicolations, its levels completed, in addition to other developments on the Logis. One of the northern openers is equipped with a échauguette in 1467. It was also at this time that Marie d’Anjou would have ordered the construction of a more comfortable, three-story independent building, The new castle of the king, known today as the Logis du Gouverneur , which also borrows the foundations of   the Gallo-Roman compound, on the east side of the Loire, in the perimeter of the Castle’s lower courtyard .

The castle has its chapel , decorated . It communicates with the residential floor of the 11C, where the Aula (overlooking the north-west tower), which is heated by 3 chimneys and illuminated by 6 windows. But the perimeter of the site extends to the south and east of the castle, on a little less than 2 ha, of which more than 4 000 m2 for the right-of-way of the old castle . It is sectored, features in addition to the new logis, the farmyard of the old castle, its annexes that occupy the old outer ditch, including a large stable and a shed of coaches, of different periods, and leads into the “grande rue” to the South (current rue   Albert-Thomas) where it is necessary to pass to access the château, through a sculpture gate, and which constitutes more than ever the main artery of the city on an east-west axis taking advantage of the important development of exchanges with Chateauneuf. The defensive system at 360 ° of the castle is reinforced by palisades planted in the ditches, deep from 7.20 m to 9 m, and on the shore of the Loire; The master tower, which controls the entrance and the Loire, has a base in the form of Anti-aries and anti-undercuts, has archers, some of which are later fitted out for firearms and its machicolations allow vertical firing.. The château, which was above all a royal residence of passage, except a time for Marie d’Anjou and the young dauphin is gradually abandoned by the Kings to the benefit of more hospitable residences of the Loire Valley of the Renaissance.

Tours

On June 24, 1436, Marguerite of Scotland (11 years old) marries, in the Chapel of the castle, the son (13 years old) of King Charles VII, besides duke de Touraine, and of Marie d’Anjou, the future Louis XI of France, before the Archbishop of Reims. Louis XI will be the last king to regularly frequent the castle of Tours without really living there. He set up his government from October 1461, also living at the château of Amboise or warring, until 1470, where he definitively carried his court to the Château de Plessis-lès-Tours, which his father Charles VII already attended when the place was called Montils-lès-Tours. After the so-called King of France Henry III murdered his father, Henri de Guise, head of the Catholic league, he had the son and his whole family locked up. The young Charles, 15, has been retained for less than 3 years in the master tower of the Château de Tours, at level 4 in the custody of thirty Archers. He escaped on August 15, 1591, the day of the assumption after he went to the chapel of the castle to hear the Mass.

In the 17C, the castle is already very dilapidated. The place was the subject of various uses, as a prison (from the middle of the 15C) and, simultaneously, as Arsenal (16C and 17C), to which it was adapted. In this period, the tower of Guise, which serves a time of powder magazine, benefits from major repairs (in particular in 1628 and 1647) which do not prevent its general state from continuing to dégrade. . The castle then serves as a deposit of begging between 1768 and 1782 and still in prison, although a project of the years 1770-1780 foreseeing the construction of a new prison on the whole of the Castle’s right-of-way is finally abandoned. It served as a quarry of stones from 1780, especially for the construction of the quays of the Loire, then for the military barracks. The establishment of the army on the site from the French revolution, reinforced in the Napoleonic era, leads to keep the castle only the emblematic parts still standing and especially the construction of multiple dedicated buildings that will transform its Physiognomy and later the whole place. Tours becomes military region under Napoleon III. Several units will successively hold garrison, thus affirming the vocation of military lodging that had already partially been the castle since the mid-17C.

Only two towers of the old castle are thus preserved, East side, but hardly renovated. They are connected by a three-story barrack building, probably built around 1781 or near that date known today as the “Mars pavilion”. The latter is built at the site of the great inner courtyard of the old castle and its est3 enclosure and backed by the ruins of the dilapidated habitable part of the said castle, west side around the castle thus metamorphosed, acquired by the city of Tours in 1815 for making it a great barracks the first in Tours-, many buildings for barracks and stables are erected from 1816, then between 1824 and 1832, connecting among others the castle and the House of the governors,(Logis du gouveneurs) or independently. The whole barracks, which includes the remodelled castle, now connected to the house of the governors, officially takes the name of “general Meusnier” Barracks in 1887, after having been named “de Guise” until then. And later successive from 1826 Cavalry Barracks (3rd Regiment of the Guards of honour, 9th RCT for example), then Infantry from 1845 (32nd RI for example until 1934) and for other military uses, it will last until the years 1960, before the site was returned to the city of Tours in 1968.

After WWII, the castle still served as a prison under the Nazi Occupation. What remains of the castle of Tours, the house of the Governors including, are truly valued as historical and cultural heritage of the city only since the beginning of the 1980’s, after the archaeological excavations and the clearing of the site. In the northwest corner there are in particular the bases of a ten-meters diameter tower that protrudes outside the enclosure Wall. This tower that belongs to the 13C castle has replaced an older tower of the 4C the tour Cachot Secrets which can have a better idea with the Gallo-Roman tower which is preserved   adjoining the Bishopric (present Museum of Fine Arts) and the remains of the Tour du petit Cupidon, which constituted the south-west and southeast corner of the castrum, respectively. Today there is no more than a central building (the pavilion of Mars) dating back to Louis XVI (18C), bounded by its two cylindrical towers of the 13C, which are the most authentic testimony of what was the royal castle, although the degradations and the many restorations have removed them from their primitive state: The Guise tower, embellished in the 15C, which is the only one to be complete, and the tower Cachot Secrets, of which it is now missing the high-flushed part, probably before the 17C. There is nothing left of the fourth tower that bordered the old castle in the Southwest.. Thus, the dependencies are currently occupied by the siege of the municipal police of Tours, Place des Turones, accessible from the rue   Lavoisier, at the level of the former entrance of the barracks (or by the rue du maures) and the southern parts.   All the other dependencies were destroyed. The majority of the place d’Armes is transformed into a parking lot (place des Turones) but the trees that once adorned it always decorate the places.

Now, two museums and two libraries animate the site The main entrance (pedestrian) is on the Loire, between the castle and the Logis du Gouverneurs or House of the governors, alternatively on the other side by the course the Armorial which has a parking (place des Turones). Access to these museums is free of charge, subject to the opening days..The Museum of Contemporary Art of the Château houses the services of the heritage, exhibitions and international relations of the City of Tours. The history workshop of Tours from 1985 to the House of governors (Logis du Gouverneurs.

The Urban Archaeology Library of Tours; From 1984 to the House of Governors where it was created, the “national Centre of urban archaeology of Tours” (CNAU). The study Library of the Archaeological Society of Touraine; Since 2012, the “archaeological Society of Touraine” (SAT) maintains on the ground floor of the Logis, under the responsibility of a curator-librarian, a study library where the complete collection of its publications is accessible from 1842, who are authoritative in the discipline, and 12 000 specialized books covering prehistory with modern archaeological and heritage history, from Tours to the confines of the Touraine.

It is a nice place to see next to the Loire river and very interesting museums. To help you plan your visit I will post several sites of valuable information here

City of Tours on the castle useful information

Tourist office of Tours on the city sights

The Touraine area tourism on the castle of Tours

Loire Valley tourism on the city of Tours sights

And there you go another nice thing to see in wonderful Tours or towers a city to be visit and revisit, hope you enjoy the history, one reason I love to travel.

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

 

 

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October 5, 2018

My new hotel / restaurant finds of Mexico!

And on a rainy cloudy day in Mexico city I started this post from my hotel room in Insurgentes Sur. I want to tell you at my latest adventures on the lands of CDMX but rather than mix with views of other places will indulge on a more mundane tour of hotels and restaurants in CDMX or Mexico City. And see my other posts on my latest trip to Mexico city and Merida.

I have to say I came here from Nantes airport, than Paris CDG than Mexico Benito Juarez airport and then a private ride to my hotel  ,the City Express Insurgentes Sur next to the wonderful Teatro Insurgentes. I am back from a glorious (again) 11 days in Mexico! Coming from 30C at Merida to 13C here was a big change indeed. If interested in the theater that had no time to see on this trip, info in Spanish is here,now playing hello Dolly! Program at Teatro Insurgentes

I will try to break down the trip into parts, starting with putting together the Hotels and Restaurant I patronised on the trip ,except the part in Merida where no hotel, I stayed with family living there for several years.

Like I said, the trip after cancelling my flight thru Amsterdam, I was put in a flight on Aeromexico from Paris to Mexico City. This was done same day and just an hour different. I arrived same day in Mexico. Initially went straight to my first hotel the City Express Plus at Insurgentes Sur and Mercaderes streets.  In addition to been across the street from the wonderful Teatro Insurgentes, this one has restaurants next to it and a nearby great supermarket LaComer (Comercial Mexicana) with great stuff to buy of great quality price ratio. More here: City Express Plus Hotel Insurgentes

As I was visiting business clients and needed out, when back in the city at the before mentioned hotel was booked so got me into the nearby City Express Patio Universidad at Av. Popocatépetl 546, and it was another property that I rented on previous trip too. This one is closed basically across the street from Shopping center Plaza Universidad and has plenty of stores and restaurant right on the same building as the hotel as well. More here: City Express Plus Hotel Av. Popocatépetl

mexico

Finally, the initial hotel was available and as closer to the things I needed to do, change back to City Express Plus at Insurgentes Sur lol!!! The above hotels are nice, centrally located to nice areas and shopping eating etc, the only drawback, the storage closet space is very small and for visiting on leisure might be a disadvantage. This was just about the hotels tasted this time here; the rest is on Restaurants.

Back in Mexico city , I like the simple pleasant friendly nice typical local food of the VIPS cafeteria chain, the one at Insurgentes Sur 1581 and Mercaderes st is very nice indeed. I ate there several times lunch and dinner. More here: VIPS insurgente sur

And the site above can take you to the VIPS Polanco as well across from Plaza Polanco, where more local goodies were taken in, including the traditional chili en nogada shown. Enjoy it.

Moving right alone… a nice oldie but good that I just had no time but took a picture anyway to remind of last time believe did not take ,this is the Wing Stop Sports in Insurgentes Sur 2375. More here: Wing Stop Sports at Insurgentes Sur

mexico

i had to try one of all time favorite and my hangout when visiting the USA, this one is in Mexico City at the airport terminal 1 lol! great nachos and bohemia oscura (dark) beer as well as mashed potatoes chili’s . Oh yes the chain is Chili’s of course. More here: Chili’s Mexico

And we arrive at some dandy find, The Gran Leon de Oro restaurant on calle Mercaderes off Insurgentes Sur is wonderful, very business like and refine, service superb and the food delicious, great tacos con lechon (roast pig) and Victoria beer. More at El Gran Leon de Oro on Yelp

And I had to have some old world taste while in Mexico, yes the choices are unlimited as I told you earlier. I had a couple one lunch and one dinner at the Le Pain Quotidien Belgian chain at Insurgentes Sur.  The Roast Beef platter and a Bohemia oscura beer did the trick as well as tartines later on;; more here:  Le Pain Quotidien at Insurgentes Sur

Next I went back to the Americas with the popular Italian food chain restaurants of the Olive Garden in the CC Patio Universidad. Nice pepperoni pizza my all time favorite were indulge here with a nice XX Dos Equis beer/ More here: Olive Garden at Patio Universidad

I did tried one cafeteria chain dear to me as they were once customers of my company on electronics ,the days I used to come to Mexico almost every month for years. This time went for lunch at the Centro Insurgentes Sanborn’s cafeteria.  Nice local dish and beer that I do not even recall now lol!!! bear with me pleasee! At Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur 1605 .More on the Sanborns here: Sanborns in centro insurgentes

And I end this post with one of my all time favorites in the USA, Spain and Mexico, a chain but so many good memories with friends and family, this is TGIF or Thanks God is Friday restaurant chain. At the Patio Universidad shopping center there is a nice one with full of screen tv’s showing sporting events. A nice glazed burger and a 2X1 Corona beer special did the trick this time! More here: TGIF at Patio Universidad

I hope you enjoy my latest culinary hunts in Mexico lindo y querido, and do try the different cuisines here National and International, lot of fun,and if with company much better. Until next time.

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

October 5, 2018

Some news from France CXCXIII

And on a nice day out cool but sunny in the morning and hot and breezy in the afternoon, I like to get back into my belle France on the latest tidbits from yours truly.  I am looking forward to my next travel geek coming up Sunday more later.

As for now, let me give you some news and hope you can enjoy them while visiting the most beautiful country in the world ! Wait!!! do they say that about Paris? Lol!

The Oktoberfest in Paris from the  region of Bavaria in Germany, are reproduced identically. A large marquee with a wooden interior, a music group from Munich and a local cook with typical dishes such as the pork shank settle at 20, Avenue Porte-de-la-Villette (19éme) from this Thursday until October 14th. This party started in October 1810 at the wedding of Louis 1er of Bavaria, and the weddings to which the citizens of Munich were invited were held in a meadow at the edge of the City. Thus was born the “feast of october” which takes place under capitals in the same place still today in Germany. and special beers are made for the occasion. The one tasted in Paris for ten days will be that of the Maison Paulaner, who sells nearly half of the beers consumed in Bavaria during the celebration of the Oktoberfest. At the Paris Event Center, 20, Avenue Porte de la Villette (19éme). Admission : 21€ with Drinks. Until October 14th from 18h30 to 23h30. Except Friday and Saturday until 00h30. More info here: https://www.oktoberfestfrance.fr/paris/

Info on the site of the event here: http://www.parisevent-center.com/oktoberfest-2018-quand-le-paris-event-center-se-transforme-en-un-chapiteau-bavarois-geant/

It is 120 years that it fascinates and amazes all generations. To the point that it welcomes every two years more than one million visitors to each edition, to the exhibition center of the Porte de Versailles. renamed Mondial Paris Motor Show, The world of the 2018 automobile sees Big. This year, it welcomes twice as many brands as usual, since they will be 500 to be invited. Held Friday and Saturday from 10h to 22h, Sunday from 10h to 20h and every day until October 14th. At the  Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles (15éme) and Place de la Concorde (8éme). Admission from 14-18€, free for under 11 years. Information at  https://www.mondial-paris.com/fr/visiteur/auto

For 10 years, the Nat Geo Wild France channel has amazed us with the splendors of Nature. In the third place of the thematic channels of discovery, it sensitizes the general public and especially the youngest, to the fragility of our Ecosystem. In our current world, 750 animal species have disappeared, 2 700 are in the process of extinction and 12 500 are under threat. Between a quarter and half of the species will be at risk by 2080, according to news from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Wednesday, October 10, Last of the three afternoons for children at the Puebla pavilion, Nat Geo Wild organizes in the context of its anniversary, fun workshops from 14h to 17h around the discovery of nature and its protection. Responsible cooking, gardening, recycling, makeup, origami, virtual reality… These smart workshops are open to the public on Reservation. At the Arc des Butte Chaumont, Avenue Darcel, 19éme Entrance by the Avenue Simon Bolivar, metro line 7bis Buttes Chaumont ,and line 11 Pyrenees. On the park here: https://www.parisinfo.com/musee-monument-paris/71468/Parc-des-Buttes-Chaumont

On Nat Geo Wild France here: https://www.nationalgeographic.fr/nat-geo-wild

The program of renovation of the small zoo of the Jardin des Plantes (5éme), The menagerie , founded more than 200 years ago in the heart of Paris, must pass into gears. It is the welfare of the thousand animals of 170 species, who live in the historic paddocks and factories of the menagerie of one of the oldest zoos in the world. The work begun since 2014 will continue, especially in the factories of the Menagerie. However all is open for visits and the work might continue into 2019. More on the news here: http://www.jardindesplantes.net/fr/journalistes/communiques-dossiers-presse

The city/town hall of Montfort  L’Amaury (Yvelines 78) confirmed this Thursday the burial of singer Charles Aznavour (A great loss for France and the world, my inspiration as a child to learned French) in the cemetery of the town. It will be held on Saturday at 13h. “in strict intimacy”. On Saturday morning, a religious ceremony must also be held at 10h. in the Armenian Cathedral of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, in the 8éme arrondissement of Paris. Access will be limited to family, relatives and officials. “my land is French. I had a small vault built in a cloister of the 12C in my town Montfort  L’Amaury in the Yvelines, he had told the public in 2009  to the Corsican newspaper Corse Matin. The singer who died on the night of Sunday to Monday October 1st will therefore rest well in the family vault, alongside his parents and his son. The singer lived four years in a large mansion in Galluis, before joining Switzerland in 1971.  The house is now for sale 8 rooms, 600 m2, 2 650 000 €. With its pond, dug pool and stone outbuildings, the property of current owner Francis Darrou marks all the criteria of the perfect place. In 1971, Charles Aznavour had taken less time to find taker, attracted by Switzerland and the softness of its fiscal climate.More on the city hall webpage in French: http://www.ville-montfort-l-amaury.fr/Montfort-l-Amaury-derniere-demeure

Saturday Night is “Nuit Blanche”, something like sleepness night. The highlights of this 17th edition ;the opening for the first time until 04h (4am) of the zoo of the Porte Dorée , The course of a kilometer dotted with golden ribbons between the Invalides and the Champs-Elysées (with concerts and performances), or the eruption of a Amazing Red Geyser in the middle of the plant desert of the city of sciences, recalling the land force of Nature. Eyes will sting Sunday morning!! More info here: . www.paris.fr/nuitblanch

The old mansion of Elsa Schiaparelli, at 20 rue de Berri, was one of the most beautiful hotel innovations of the year. The Hotel de Berri adds to its luxurious range of services a table… Italian of course: Le Schiap, entrusted to the Tuscan chef Michele Dalla Valle. More info here:  https://www.marriott.fr/hotels/hotel-information/restaurant/parbe-hotel-de-berri-a-luxury-collection-hotel-paris/

The Feast of Vine and grape coincides with the first day of “Paris breathe” in the city center  (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th arrondissements closed to traffic from 10h to 18h). Expect good sneakers and time: everything that the capital counts in hillsides and Clos harvested is visited on Sunday. For the less intoxicated: the French federation of hiking in Paris organizes a vine-growing vineyard, from the best known to the most secret. More info by middle of the page at https://www.rando-paris.org/ev%C3%A9nements-du-comit%C3%A9/

After four years of work, the Hotel Lutetia (great to be open many stories and friends encounters here over the years) opened in 1910 by the owners of the Bon MArché begins a new cruise in life. In a Five-star setting, the restored Eiffel-tower, decorated with a work by Fabrice Hyber, hosts the Salon Saint-Germain where the Executive chef Benjamin Brial officiates. The Bar that Gainsbourg loved and sang Eddy Mitchell, now called Josephine, found the frescoes buried under coats of plaster. Chic, refined, it lost its intimate and hushed side: difficult to get along after 19h. But the real novelty, the Akasha wellness area, 700 m2, niche in the basement, lit by light rays: long pool, spa Carita, Fitness Room. An annual fee of  6 800€  allows non-residents to sweat and swim there. The impressive stone ship stowed between boulevard Raspail and Rue de Sèvres overcame the storms to trace its route again. Without departing from his legendary Art Nouveau style and Art deco. More here: www.hotellutetia.com

We Love Art l’a fait ! The Museum of the Centre Pompidou will be transformed into an ephemeral club on Thursday 18 October from 23h30. The perfect opportunity to get your hips up to the end of the night! On the occasion of the FIAC (international Fair of contemporary art), We Love Art will turn on Thursday 18 October the forum of the Centre Pompidou, usually reserved for the reception of visitors, on a festive night. The program: a performance by the artist Davide Baluda in the contemporary collections, from 22h30 to 23h30, followed by an after-party until 04h (4 a.m). The luminous installation of the Visual System team will pair perfectly with the sound of electronic performances of musicians, to make you vibrate all evening on this digital dancefloor… The Rendezvous is taken! Centre Pompidou Place Georges-pompidou 4éme arrondissement. More info here: https://amis.centrepompidou.fr/yacp/

From November 7 to 11, the salon Fine Arts Paris is set up at the Carrousel du Louvre, to highlight what the Parisian and international galleries do best in painting, drawing, and Sculpture. Recognized art dealers and young emerging galleries will mingle to present their selections of works, modern or old. This exhibition will also be the occasion to discover new or rare works, such as the canvas of Louis de Boullogne, originally designed to decorate the mansion of the writer Charles Perrault, and disappeared during the destruction of the building in 1683; Or the first plaster masterpiece of the Bonaparte family portraitist, before he was known as such. A sculpture will be particularly honored, thanks to the presence of specialized galleries but also the setting up of a “week of sculpture” in more than twenty museums and Parisian institutions such as the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée Bourdelle, The Musée de la vie Romantique or the Musée Rodin. This exceptional week will allow the lucky ones to enter the private reserves of the largest museums, to attend unpublished private visits, or to participate in workshops to learn about the technique of sculpture and meet contemporary Artists. finally, the Salon Fine Arts Paris will be an opportunity to attend an exceptional exhibition about Henry de Triqueti, a 19C painter who became a famous sculptor.  A week to perfect  your artistic culture!  Salon Fine Arts Paris, carrousel du Louvre, 99, rue de Rivoli, (1éme) Admission is 15€ reduce to 7,50e for the under 26 yrs old. More info here: https://finearts-paris.com/en/home-2/

There you go I am on the run, preparing for next trip and then cool off period before Halloween; then November back out to Asia and on and on, early 2019 back to the Americas and then Asia again. Who knows, my time is getting nearer to retire and can’t wait!

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

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