Archive for December, 2018

December 30, 2018

The roads of my belle France,visiting family!

So we are arriving at the end of 2018 , I am glad is over, not a good year for me, as you know, still vivid memories of my dear late wife Martine. I drove this week to her mom house, the grandmother of my boys and the rest of aunts and cousins in Seine et Marne. It was a memorable trip of many nice good souvenirs that will be with me forever.

As I will have this trip and one post on my beloved Versailles,  I have decided to brake it down in sections. This one of course is my driving  love the roads and my car is my second home. So therefore, here are some pictures of my round trip this week, a personal one!

On the way there I took the old fashion road , the one from Paris took first to meet my wife; now coming from Brittany it was the N165 to the N166 to past Rennes and then the A84 to the exit at Fougéres to get on the N12 all the way to Versailles by the N186 , did a brief tour of my beloved city in my old neighborhood , had a walk with my dog Rex, and then kept going on the D985 by Villa d’Avray all the way thru my old job hunt at Suresnes crossing the Pont de Suresnes into the allée de longchamp in the Bois de Bolougne, to the boulevard Périphérique into the Porte Maillot and follow the BP all the way to the Porte de Pantin to take the old reliable and slow N3 .

The N3 or nationale 3 is going thru every town next to Paris and every red light you can imagine but it is the old road I took to meet my later wife in 1990! We used to come by the Porte de Pantin, parked by the Church St Germain in Pantin, free parking and take there the metro into Paris at the Eglise de Pantin line 5! taking us to Gare de l’Est station and sometimes taking the train back to Meaux in Seine et Marne her native town.  This was the old days, now I would not recommend novice or tourists to take this road or traject.

Pantin

This N3 takes you right into Meaux and and then the town sightseeing to rearch my inlaws in the tiny village of Chambry right by the Battle of the Marne WWI area and the wonderful Museum of the Great War next to the territory of the USA in the Monument Américain.  I reach the town by the country side on a great field of wheat !!!

chambry

The trip with the stops for my father who is on diabetes medication at 83 and my dog Rex pit stops plus our eating and sightseeing a trip that normaly took 6 hrs this time we did 10 hrs of car driving all by yours truly and I love it!!! Glad always to see the family ,more of those stories later , stay tune.

The way back was easier the modern way. I left the village on the A140 to connect with the A4 past Disneyland Paris (which is in Seine et Marne dept  77 ::)). I went straight into the BP=boulevard périphérique of Paris , easy (dont read all those scary cats transport books) , I continue into the A86 towards Versailles and this will bring you right into the N12 back to Fougéres, and then the A84 to Rennes and then N166 to Vannes and the N165 to our home easy 6h30 hrs even stopping for lunch and walks of Rex!

So, therefore some road pictures into my memory bank here at wordpress which is running up!!! Again ,thanks for reading , and more for liking it and Happy New Year 2019 and best wishes or as we say here Bonne Année et meilleurs voeux!!!

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

December 24, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXVIII

And with the tradition of my now travels in the Morbihan I come back again soonest as this is the season to be  merrier and preparation are all over. Even with some road block from the yellow jackets we are still moving smoothly in our neck of the woods. Temperature is a warm 13C or about 55F cloudy but no rain! Just the nice day we need for our Christmas eve preparation.

We did slept a bit more than usual but got up rather quickly with me pulling the cord on the boys. I did took the dog out and allow him to do his things, then feed him, put some manure dirt around our Rose plants for added protection from winter days, cut some bad grass always creeping out, and did my breakfast , ready to take on the days chores.

We went to our favorite hangouts. First, was Bureau Vallée in Vannes for our 2019 calendars . We continue to E Leclerc hypermarket for last minutes Christmas shopping , and had our lunch at the unusually Brooklyn Café very French indeed but fish and chips was in order with our working out routine sprite and fanta sodas lol!! (We will get more of the other stuff later tonite) just a warm up. They are part of a group of restaurant in the Atlanville area north of the N165 road. More of Brooklyn Cafe here: Brooklyn Café at Atlanville

We finally headed for the town of Le Hézo, in the Rhuys peninsula to load up on cider, apple juice, breton sweets and the local gifts for my in laws that will be visiting next week in Seine et Marne dept 77. More on the Musée/Maison du Cidre  (House/Museum  of ciders) place here: Museum of Cider at Le Hézo

They live in a village off Meaux, the native town of my dear late wife Martine. There will be the opportunity to walk the streets of this town so much personal with my boys and remember many souvenirs on a sad note but one we must endure and go thru it. It will give me the opportunity to load up on traditional Brie de Meaux cheese , (the king of cheeses, the cheese of kings Vienna 1815) where they still do it the traditional way not the ones in supermarket or even in markets!. This is the Fromagerie Saint Faron cheese makers, webpage here:  official tourist office of Meaux country and Fromagerie St Faron

Finally on our way home, we stop at our favorite Boulangerie/Pâtisserie Delameau (now new owners Y et E) to pick our pre order of Christmas goodies including a pain au surprises a loaf made up of small sandwiches, sweets, Christmas log, etc etc etc. Always delicious and my late wife Martine most favorite place in town! And you can see why she was right is a favorite in town. It will be a trying Christmas but we are ready for it.

pluvigner

I take once again this time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas full of joy and health with your love ones and friends. This is indeed still a very special day in our calendar.

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

December 22, 2018

Place du Châtelet, and theaters!

So it seems taking the liking of these streets/squares places of my eternal Paris.  And Merry Christmas again to all my readers. So ,ok here is another gem for you to walk all over it and do enjoy some of the best theater outings in the city of lights. For repetition sake, the most beautiful city in the world!

I like to bring you over to the Place du Châtelet and the wonderful fountain , statues and theaters of Châtelet and Ville that is here. I had to say, keep saying go all over Paris and do have my favorite district in the 16éme but in one square this is it I am all over it, do see me around here for lunch , apéro or even dinner many times ::)

I let you do the sightseeing on this one as it is pack for the season. That is, the Theatre du Châtelet at the Place du Châtelet and inaugurated in 1862. More info here: http://chatelet-theatre.com/blog/

The Place du Châtelet is located at the intersection of Rue de Rivoli, from avenue Victoria Avenue and the quays of the Mégisserieet de Gesvres, on the east-west axis, and from the boulevard of Sébastopol and the Boulevard du Palais, by the Pont au Change, on the north-south axis. It was built at the site of the Grand Châtelet, a former fortress which served as a prison and a court under the former regime, and which was destroyed in 1802 during the reign of Napoleon Ier.

The Place du Châtelet is equipped with a metro station, accessible from the center and the sides of the square: The station Châtelet, which serves the metro lines 1 4 7 11 14 ; RER Chatelet – Les Halles A B D and Bus lines 21 38 47 58 67 69 70 72 74 75 76 81 85 and 96.

The center of the square is reserved for pedestrians. There stands the Fontaine du Palmier a column erected in 1808 to the glory of the Napoleonic victories. A pedestal with a fountain was added in 1858, raising the column. The fountain, adorned with sphinxes and statues. Along the quays, there are two theaters built at the request of Baron Haussmann: the Theatre du Châtelet (see above) and the Theatre de la ville; more info here: https://www.theatredelaville-paris.com/en

Paris

paris

The idea here is to sight see, window shopping, zip a coffee, have a glass of wine, do some shopping, and then go to a theater play, choose your site ,is all wonderful. Enjoy it in Paris, of course. So ok can’t resist. My hangouts are Le Zimmer right on the square or a bit further Au Trappiste (tops for aperos/happy hours/after work) at rue St Denis. Here are some reviews from Yelp my blogroll recommended place:

https://www.yelp.com/biz/le-zimmer-paris

https://www.yelp.com/biz/au-trappiste-paris?osq=au+trappiste

Paris

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

 

 

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December 22, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXVII

SO here I am on a cold gray rainy Saturday in my lovely Morbihan. The season to be merrier is here and we are all over locally doing errands and sights to be repeated always. We are getting ready next week to be with family on wife’s side in Seine et Marne 77 east of Paris near Disneyland.. Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!2018!!!

For now we took off just to get out of the house and get some cold medicines for my sons, regular stuff for the times at our local pharmacy in Pluvigner. Then, We took off for the Quiberon peninsula south of us about 40 km from home.

We took the route of the Côte Sauvage or wild coast  a beautiful road along the ocean waves pouncing on the cliffs we ride on ,and onwards toward Quiberon. Once there the market was done but we were for our daily dose of beers at our favorite hangout and friendly owner.

We stop by at L’Esplanade Cafe at pl Hoche facing the grand plage or big beach of Quiberon, the cafe bar is sideway to the beach. We enjoy the company and had our usual Belzebuth 8,5% beers well me my sons on medication had their smoothies lol! a bit serious faces!!! Along some nice duck paté à l’orange and breads. We went for a second round and this time I try the La Goudale de Noêl 7,2% Christmas beer nice balance of spices and caramel. We left happy once again.

Quiberon

On the way back, we stopped at our favorite local store La Trinitaine in the town of Carnac along the coast too but the store is inland. We loaded on fish soups , pates, etc for the entrée dish here and now we are all set for Christmas! This is a big store of their chain and factory outlet as well so more selection and better prices!

St Philibert

The route of the wild coast is always awesome and we love to drive, walk here and even stop at the restaurant there Le Vivier. This is prime area and very much sought after by tourists especially British and Germans.

The tourist office is here in English: Official Tourist office of Quiberon

And back jhome in time for my football/soccer match at the World Clubs Championship of UAE facing surprise Al-Ain local club vs my other love Real Madrid CF of Spain! Hala Madrid!!!!! Just to start! More info here: https://www.fifa.com/clubworldcup/

Enjoy your weekend wherever you are and Merry Christmas to all my readers indeed. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

December 22, 2018

Champagne, wines, and liquors of Christmas 2018!

As we are getting into the season to be merrier and we will just hit the last weekend before Christmas , its time for me to come to you with some juices or the best for the season.

In my family, we have a tradition that we will keep even if one strong pillar of it is missing physically of sharing drinks, old and creating new ones, all with food all at home and with moderation ,never a problem.  So, therefore, let me give some last minute ideas from France (the root of it all) , that I believe can be adjusted to wherever you are for the holidays. Beware some of these bottles may not be available where you are but from the readings they should be easily replace with something locally available! Another thing, all of the below suggestions have been tried by myself or a trusted family member of the same line of tastes as I.

To accompany a festive fish, a poultry, seafood or for the aperitif, here is my selection of Champagnes at good value for money  With a nice cheese platter: Its graceful bubble, its slightly stewed fruit aromas will flatter the hard pasta. You’ll enjoy its refreshing finale. Coeur des Bar, Blanc de noirs, Champagne Devaux, 32€

With pineapple chicken skewers: This organic champagne with fine bubbles has a mineral frame. Very pure, it can support the associations of sweet and savoury feasts and bring freshness to these duets daring. Cuvée Brut bio, Champagne Duval-Leroy, 28€

With a creamy poultry: Its green-tinted dress announces the plant partition. White, hawthorn-acacia flowers, allied with roasted notes, hug each other in the nose. Mineral and frankly lemon, this champagne is lively. Propose it with creamy dishes to give the reply to the smoothness. Fleur de Craie, Blanc de blancs Champagne Bolieu, 21€

For an iodized appetizer: Ideal to accompany a cocktail of iodized feasts based on smoked salmon, fish eggs and crustaceans, this lively champagne has flavors of yellow fruits such as peach and apricot. Champagne Pannier, Brut selection,25.90€

With Christmas dinner: This low-dose champagne is complex and greedy. You will find a slight toast, notes of white fruit and even a hint of honey. Champagne Mandois, Brut Origine, 30€

With a bar filet in salt crust: This winemaker’s champagne in the pale yellow robe has fine bubbles and a bouquet reminiscent of acacia and fresh butter. The whole is aerial and delicate. Perfect with fish. Champagne Sanger, Terroir Natal, Blanc de blancs, 24€

With foie gras toast: Its bouquet flowers citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, but also very lightly pear. Fresh and well-balanced, this champagne has tenderly brioche notes. Beaumont des Crayères, Grande Réserve Brut, 25,70 €

With a stuffed young rooster with morels: In the nose, this champagne has pretty gourmet notes of vanilla, honey and roasted summer fruits. Complex, it is supported by its minerality. The dishes of character, with the flavors of undergrowth, have its preferences. Champagne Yves Jacques, 23.50€

With a dessert : Its dress is pink with coppery reflections and a string of fine bubbles. Intense, its bouquet develops aromas of rose, fruits of the wood and even of blood orange. To enjoy in the company of a red fruit log or a macaroon. Cuvée La Douce Folie, rosé Brut, Champagne La Borderie, 35€

With spice-marinated prawns: The white flowers and the notes of cut grass that this champagne develops are well-married with spicy dishes. But we also appreciate its gourmet amplitude in the palate. Champagne Philippe Gonet, Réserve Brut, 24€

To accompany a festive fish, a poultry, seafood or for the aperitif, here is my selection of white wines at good value for money.  With a stuffed poultry: The chardonnay cultivated on a limestone terroir gives a cuvée in the nose of stone with shotgun. Very complex, this wine offers a hint of grilled and exotic notes. A dense white that generously rugs the palate. Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune, Lucien & Fanny Rocault, 10,90€

With a seafood platter: The Domaine Romy cultivates 25 hectares of vineyards in the extreme south of Burgundy. This floral cuvée comes from a plot of 4 hectares surrounded by a clos. Raised on fine lees for 6 months, this finely toasted cru will appreciate the flesh of crustaceans. Clos de la Chapelle 2016, Domaine Romy, AOP Bourgogne, 10€

With a fried foie gras: In homage to the goddess Sirona who watches over the river Ciron (responsible for creating the morning mists conducive to the appearance of Botrytis on the grapes), this cuvée 100% semillon is golden. We appreciate its balance between the white flowers, the quince and its vivacity. Sirona 2015, Les Vignerons de Tutiac, Sauternes, 15€

With a bar fish in salt crust: Mineral and focused on white flowers, this white wine offers a very representative extract of the typicités of its grape. With the fish but also with the goat cheese, it gives the replica. Domaine des Crêts, Climat “En Bout” 2015, Mâcon-Chardonnay, 14,70€

With a risotto with crustaceans: Products with the Aligoté grape variety, the wines of the appellation Bouzeron possess material. It is named after an assemblage of 3 plots; The nails, the tower, the Cordères. A hint of hazelnut, acacia blossoms, a note of stone and citrus flavours stand out at the palate. Les Trois 2013, Maison Chanzy, Bouzeron, 14,50€

With a stew of Lotte: Assemblage of Grenache Blanc, Rolle and Roussanne, this organic white is subtly woody. In the heart of the Alpilles, Mas de Gourgonnier is an environmentally friendly family winery. Reserve du Mas, Mas de Gourgonnier, AOP Les Baux-de-Provence, 12.60€

With a goat dung : This 100% Rolle high six months on fine lees in barrel has a pale dress. His light toast comes to underline the finesse of citrus fruits. A balanced wine to be tasted with simplicity. Vallon Sourn 2017, Les Vignerons de Correns, 11,50€  with roasted scallops: This sweet white fruit nose reveals a zest of citrus. It gives him freshness and pep. Perfect with scallops with aromatic herbs. Château de Rouquette 2013, Loupiac, 10.50€

With a sea bream with fennel : Her dress is shiny and her nose lemon. Oscillating between roundness and freshness this white of the Haut-Var is perfect in the company of the iodine dishes. Terres de Berne 2016, Côtes de Provence, 15€

With salmon : Very fine, this white wine has exotic notes of pineapple. Ample to the palate, it evokes the ripe fruits. He will know how to be subtle and discreet in the company of character dishes like smoked salmon. Vita Bella, Château La Mascaronne, Côtes de Provence 15€

Very well choose your digestif for your Christmas meals. This is the drink after the meal families here enjoy, less often in restaurant but in special family meals we still do. Spirits (eaux-de-vie) are liquors obtained by distilling wine, marc, cider or fruit. There are also numerous fruit spirits, alcohols derived from the fermentation of smashing fruit: cherries, mirabelles, plums or berries and obtained by distillation. What about fruit liqueurs? They come from a maceration or an infusion of fresh fruit .

So which ones to choose ? These are the spirits of wine or cider, type Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados which are the most sought-after consumers in the holiday season. While brandies or fruit. liqueurs would be more regional winks or would act as nice gifts This is according to the cellar master of the Galeries Lafayette Paris. It is better to have 2 to 3 references of digestifs to propose to your guests. The holidays, at home, are the opportunity to enjoy nice products as long as you do not take risks.

To second the good advise from Galeries Lafayette, here are some I have tried that are super! Maison Dudognon, Vieille réserve, Cognac. This small family house develops in all discretion a cognac of high quality, very balanced thanks to an exemplary outfit of the vines and a flawless ageing. Price France 48€. Château de Lacquy, Bas Armagnac 1995 ; the château de Lacquy is a traditional armagnac,who did not give in to the sirens of the white Ugni Blanc to favor the Baco, which gives it a lot of class. Price France 79€.

Let’s have a break from drinking and propose a nice gift idea for the Holiday and those in the mood. These folks I have followed for many years , lost count, always good notes and the book is a classic. One of my all time favorite wine experts Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson with their book World Atlas of Wine, publisher Flammarion,in France price 45€

And to finish this post ,a bit on those wonderful bubblies at little price that are coming strong all over and France will not be left behind. The Cremants and one of my favorite region Bordeaux. They can be an exceptional quality/value purchase for the Holidays!

With 80 million bottles sold in 2018, in constant increase of 5 to 7% in the last ten years, Crémant is present in eight appellations: Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Die, Jura, Limoux, Loire, and Savoie. Today, it manages in blind tastings to compete with Champagne and is particularly distinguished by its varietals and a different terroir. For Crémant, the minimum duration between circulation and marketing is 9 months, compared with 15 for Champagne and… one month for prosecco!; produced with faster and cheaper methods, this Italian wine extends in all markets: the harvest is mechanical and not manual as for Crémant, and the second alcoholic fermentation, which produces the effervescence, is made in vats and not in Bottle as required by the traditional method. For the last five years, the figures for Crémant de Bordeaux have exploded: 1,200 hectares, or 50% more in two years; 75,000 hectolitres foreseen this year, which is five times more than in the early 2010’s. In 2017, 20% of Bordeaux’s annual sales had taken place during the year-end celebrations. With an average price of between 6 and 10 euros, Crémant is mainly sold in large distribution and 20% exported, especially to northern Europe, but also to Japan and the United States, the world’s first sparkling wine market.  The Crémants has exploded with an increase in sales year to year of + 29% by volume and 35% in value between October 2017 and October 2018); to be served very cold between 6-7C (43-44F), they go well with aperitifs to desserts, especially with seafood, white meats or sushis.

Some of my bottles that had in the last couple of years are from names such as Bulles de Lalande-labatut, Domaine de Grava Jaillance, Chateau Turcaudn Charme d’Aliénor, Lateyron, Fleur de Rauzan, Domaine du Cheval Blanc , Jean-Louis Ballarin, Domaine de Laubertrie, and Grangeneuve. The ones to bring up as my best experiences were from Ballarin and Lateyron, their webpages are here:

Crémants of Lateyron

Crémants of Ballarin

For further dwelling into this fascinating world see below the two webpage, the first one is the Bordeaux wine council on crémants and the second one is the appellations of Bordeaux and specific the section on Crémants.

Bordeaux wine council on Crémants

Planet Bordeaux on territories and Crémants

Just go and ask your local wine merchant, cellar or distributor, to know the availability of these wonders of our world, and enjoy them fully with moderation of course! Merry Christmas to all !!!

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

PS And I could not leave without leaving some pictures of the bubblies been able to take photos and some like the Pommery and Pol Roger will be on for this Christmas 2018 in our house. You are welcome!!

December 21, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXVI

Need to have a break from all those glorious towns and come back to my lovely Morbihan and our errands. The season to be merrier is near and we will try to do our best after our losses of dear wife and mother. The weather is definitevely more wintery cold and gray, and light rain falling on Friday but sometimes is worse somewhere else. We take the best of what we can get.

Let me bring up to date. The pastries snacks order for Christmas is done, and will cook something local with great Champagnes and wines to at least get a family unity here far from the rest of the family; the closest been 6 hrs away by car. We are planning to visit the grandmother in Seine-et-Marne (77) after Christmas, mainly because my oldest son is ongoing auto school for his license until Friday.

As my oldest school is in Auray and my Dad needed some adjustment to his hearing aid also in Auray, we took some time to walk around our previous home as nowdays not much there, spending more time in Vannes. Here are basically a pictorial.

We set out early to get bedding for our dog Rex already one year old and nice, we love him to death! He is a mix labrador, border collier, more on the collier side we think. Right now he is already sleeping in his new bedding in the living room!!!  We got that at Maxi Zoo in the town of Séné (next to Vannes). As we were there, had our lunch at a new place.

We passed by it and finally decided to stop in. Le Triangle brasserie restaurant in Séné. Nothing fancy just a regular French mom and pop resto.We had our usual pint of Leffe blonde beer with a bib of sirloin steak, fries,and salad, and expresso coffee for 20.50€ per person ok for lunch. It is diagonally opposite the Maxi Zoo store.  Here is a bit more on it: Le Triangle Séné

Sene

sene

sene

From there we went to Auray, drop off my oldest at his auto school (for driving license) and then walk around inner city Auray taking some photos which usually have no time to take on this historical wonderful small town by the Loch/Auray river that flows into the Gulf of Morbihan and then the Atlantic ocean! Enjoy the pictorial!

Auray

from upper town to lower town St Goustan port

auray

pl de la République behind hotel de ville Christmas tree and market

Auray

from old castle to st goustan quai Franklin and the auray river

auray

Christmas market area at pl de la République behind hotel de ville

auray

pl de la République from hotel de ville towards lower town and st goustan port

auray

from above castle ruins to st goustan and the L’Armoric bar resto ourhangout! at pl St Sauveur!

Enjoy it the season to be merrier, Merry Christmas to all my readers and best wishes from the heart!

I have to give it again, the Auray area tourist office : Tourist office of Auray

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

December 20, 2018

Museum promenade/Aqueduct Marly-le-Roi

And here I am back into my old home ground, in the Yvelines dept 78 of the ïle de France region. This is heavens ,history, architecture and good views all over. I have seen a lot but just touching the surface, there is so much more to see in my belle France!

I like to tell you about a walk, promenade, that became a museum. About an idea of an aqueduct that became just a dream, and about impressionists painters, some of the best all in one area. This is Marly-le-roi and Louveciennes town areas of the Yvelines. I passed by them often and even visited friends at Marly-le-roi. Not to mention walked these places of history and beautiful quaint villages/towns.

The museum is exceptionally close. Reopening scheduled for fall 2019. More here: Musée Promenade of Marly le roi

Marly le roi

You will cross the national domain of Marly-le-Roi. Although today there is nothing left of the castle of the time, pavilions and basins built for king Louis XIV, the estate retains a royal charm with its many aisles, its statues and the remains of the old buildings. You can pass through it, visit the Musée-Promenade de Marly-le-Roi-Louveciennes The museum traces and illustrates, with the help of an interactive model of the estate and its collections fine arts, archaeology and decorative arts, the splendour of the ancient residence of the Sun King. Models and technical objects present the famous machine of Marly, admirable hydraulic prowess, built under king Louis XIV to supply water to the fountains of Marly and Versailles.

Marly le roi

A room is dedicated to the favorite of king Louis XV, Madame du Barry, and to Madame Vigée Lebrun, portraitist of Marie-Antoinette, both residents of  Louveciennes. The museum regularly offers temporary exhibitions, animations, guided tours, lectures, concerts…etc.

Think of going back down to the village in front of the sublime place de l’Abreuvoir which served as a diverting the waters of the gardens of the estate. Now to the banks of the Seine river, whose changing and dazzling colours attracted many painters: Corot, Sisley, Pissaro, all painted these recognizable views from Port-Marly. Many have come to settle there to enjoy the tranquility of this pretty town on the banks of the Seine. Follow the banks of the Seine, and you will discover the representations of the most beautiful impressionist paintings, posed, at the same place where the painters laid their easels! In the program Le village de Voisins (neighbors) painted by Pissarro in 1872, the « Barrage de la Machine de Marly » (Dam ) by Alfred Sisley or the “Route de Versailles” by Renoir

The aqueduct of Louveciennes, sometimes called the aqueduct of Marly, is a aqueduct bridge built in the 17C during the reign of king Louis XIV. Located in the town of Louveciennes (Bougival also claim it !) in the Yvelines dept 78. It was part of the hydraulic system designed to supply water to the gardens of the Château de Marly and the park of the Château de Versailles from the Seine river. The aqueduct was composed of 36 arches. Its length was 643 meters for a width varying from 2 to 4.4 meters and a height of 10 to 20 meters; a monumental machine, the machine of Marly, located on the Seine river below, at the height of Bougival, pumped the water of the river with the aid of fourteen impellers. By pipes laid on two paved ramps, it made it climb the nearly 150 meters of elevation of Louveciennes Hill. The aqueduct was taken out of service in 1866 and replaced by underground pipes during the Siege of Paris in 1870, the Tower of the Levant served as an observation post to the future Emperor William 1er and to Chancellor Bismarck. This tower was renovated between 1998 and 2000.

Louviciennes

More from the Paris tourist officeTourist office of Paris on the museum promenade

Also, the area tourist office from Seine Saint Germain en Laye (in French) on the promenade : Tourist office Seine SGL on the Promenade Marly

Tourist office Seine SGL on aqueduct of Louveciennes

Therefore, there is a lot more to see than castles here, and you should enjoy it all surrounded by lush surrounding in noble French traditions. Hope you enjoy it as part of your visit to that other famous city nearby….

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

December 20, 2018

Let’s remember Le Nôtre!

Now this is almost winter but gardens are always in my mind; lucky to live in such a country that worship them. And my favorite gardener of all times, André Le Nôtre.

On a cloudy rainy cool Tuesday afternoon awaiting the start of my Christmas/New Years vacation in my lovely Morbihan of Brittany, I can only think of my beloved Versailles,after  almost 10 years of residency, it is always in my mind. So, therefore, let me tell you a bit more about Versailles and one of its greatest exponents André Le Nôtre.

Most now know who is Le Nôtre, so I will cut short the introduction. He was born in Paris March 12, 1613 (birthplace site the Tuileries, the gardens!!!) ; and the site of his first work thanks to Catherine de Médicis.  There is so much missing on his life because most of the papers of his genie were lost over the periods!!!. His family: André Le Nôtre is a son probably also a  grandchild of the gardeners of the Tuileries. His father, Jean, had the title since 1625 of plants and garden designer, and share the responsibility with Claude 1er Mollet of the Tuileries gardens. His grandfather Pierre Le Nôtre, was in charge since 1572 of the upkeep of the terraces garden of the Tuileries.  André Le Nôtre marries in 1640, Françoise Langlois, daughter of an artillery commissary of France, they have 3 kids, all died of early age. Moreover, the tradition continues because two of his sisters became gardeners too. Françoise marries Simon Bouchard, manager of the orangeries of the  Tuileries, post that allows the bequest of their children in the same field. Elisabeth marries the gardener Pierre Desgots,that worked most notably at  Chantilly, and their grandson Claude Desgots will be the next closest collaborator of André Le Nôtre. He learned the trade of designing by working for 6 years with the shop of  Simon Vouet in the Louvre. It is here that he meets and befriends the painter Le Brun (later work with him at Vaux-le-Vicomte and Versailles, etc ). He, also, worked in the gardens of Luxembourg Paris, Palais-Royale Paris, Chantilly, Saint Germain en Laye, and Fontainebleau. His hands are at work too at  Trianon, Clagny, Maintenon, Saint-Cyr , Meudon, and maybe Marly. In the châteaux de Saint-Maur, Saint-Martin de Pontoise, Chaville, Louvois, Pontchartain ,and Conflans, as well as in the provinces such as  Gaillon, Guermantes, Castries, Les Rochers, and so on and on…Also, internationally, such as Greenwich for Charles II of England in 1662. He conceived a project for the Château de Racconigi in Italy in 1670 and remade the gardens of Venaria Reale in Italy in 1674-1698.  .He started his work at Versailles by order of the King in 1662 next to Le Vau and Le Brun. The making of Versailles begins, and so the ever bright start of Le Nôtre rises to touch the heavens and stay there forever in the minds of all of us that admire this place so much. During the year 1675: he received, on this occasion, the order of Saint-Michel followed, in 1681, of the Order of Saint-Lazare. The photo below is in Versailles!!!

versailles

He lived on a house not far from the Pavillon de Marsan (building where today is the musee des arts décoratifs in Paris rue de Rivoli), and it is in this nearby house where he died on September 15 1700. His funeral was celebrated in the Church St Germain de l’Auxerrois near the Hôtel de Ville of Paris and he is buried at the nearby Church Saint-Roch at 254 rue Saint Honoré.  The chapel that hosts its tomb is adorned with a painting entitled The Martyrdom of St. Andrew. His widow, Françoise Langlois, soon ordered a funeral monument to honour her husband’s memory. Realized before 1707, he took a seat in front of the high altar, under a large arcade. Detaching itself on a background of marble veined with colour, it consisted of an allegory in white marble holding the epitaph of the Gardener, in gold letters on a black marble, all surmounted by the coat of arms of the deceased, with the famous three snails and the necklace of the Order of Saint-Michel; Below, at the Spectator’s height, was placed on a console the bust of the deceased, the head slightly turned to the right. Desecrated during the revolution, there remains of this burial that the bust

Upon his death, the local newspaper Mercure Galant said of him in 1700, (Trans) ” The king came to lose a man unique, and in love with is service to him, and a strong admirer of his own art, that had given him honor. It is Mr le Notre, general controller of buildings for his majesty, its gardens, and manufacturers of France….Never a man has given more of all that he has been able to give and contribute to the beauty of gardening…” The government of France has in the ministry of culture a space for him all alone in French, that is the honor of a good son, http://www.lenotre.culture.gouv.fr/index.html

Versailles celebrated big time his 400 annivesary in 2013 and I wrote a similar post of which this one mostly borrowed . Some of the activities and renovations due to his celebration by the city were:

versailles

The beautification of the avenue de l’Europe, with a cyclable path along the sidewalks without interruption from the there to the ave Saint Cloud jonction to the avenue de Paris.  Th jardin des Senteurs at the cour des senteurs right by the Potager du Roi(itself now under renovation). The renovation of the garden in the Maison des Musiciens Italiens  (see previous post on it) as well as jointly with the SNCF to have bicycle paths from the train stations to visit the city on a vélo! it will criss cross the city and give you an opportunity to see more than the castle museum.

The great allée Le Notre, more often overlook by visitors, it is the extension of the castle  envision by Le Nôtre, along the axe allée des Mortemets that goes to the eau des Suisses at the today caserne Pion almost at the doors of the city of Saint-Cyr-l’école right by the ferme de Gally (see previous post), back of the Grand canal! A complete renovation in the gardens all dear to me such as Potager du Roi, parc Balbi, and domaine de Madame Elizabeth (see previous posts). The Allée Royale in the castle will be an excellent opportunity to see his work up close starting from the bassin d’Apollon descending to the Grand Canal, and beyond into the Etoile Royale going to the communities dear to me such as the Saint-Cyr-l’école,Fontenay-le-Fleury, Rennemoulin, and Villepreux (road 307).

Versailles

paris

An “André Le Nôtre International Prize” was founded in 2013 on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the birth of André Le Nôtre. It was presented in the context of the meetings André Le Nôtre of Versailles. It is intended to reward landscape architects from all over the world, for the whole of a work (from conception to realization, through the quality of the mastery of work, knowledge and know-how).

Hope you can see some of his work in France, they are all gorgeous. One reason Versailles is so nice!!

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

December 19, 2018

Some news from France CCXIIII

So this is the season to be merrier even if I have to try harder.  I will be the first Christmas without my dear late wife Martine of 28 years, and the 26th Dec is our wedding anniversary too. Getting stronger and moving on, there is so much to tell about my belle France these days coming up to the end of 2018. I will be on vacation starting tomorrow, and as usual still do not know where I am going lol! Excuse me!!!!

Just in could not wait until another Some news from France. The 500 years of renaissance of Leonardo Da Vinci, shows ,food:wines, heritage , sciences and innovations done by the Centre Val de Loire region 500 events in all; loads of info here at vivadavinci. Vivadavinci, Leonardo Da Vinci 500 years!

And of course ,do not missed to visit Amboise and the Château du Clos de Lucé; more here: Château du Clos Lucé

It is probably the most famous Parisian metro/subway line, seen by tourists and locals, and for cause: it is a good part outside above ground. Line 6 between Charles de Gaulle-Etoile and Nation, 6th line of the RATP network by its attendance, is also the one that spends the most time outside. And it is for the renovation of its famous viaducts that the line will undergo heavy work, very annoying for the users, during the next two summers. Line 6 will indeed be completely closed to traffic, between the stations Montparnasse and Trocadéro, during the summers 2019 and 2020.

Especially since the summer, at the same time, the SNCF maintains its work on the central section of the RER C, which will cause six weeks of total cut-off. This summer, with the stations Bir-Hakeim and Champs of Mars-Eiffel Tower closed, the metro station closest to the most visited Parisian monuments will be Trocadéro, a 13 minute walk.

A large pedestrian esplanade of 155 meters long on 35 meters wide with breathtaking view of the Trocadéro on one side, the Eiffel Tower on the other and the Seine on both sides. This is what could be, on the horizon 2024, the Pont d’iéna Bridge  which now hosts three lanes of vehicular traffic in each direction. The hypothesis will only be confirmed in April when the selection board (composed of elected officials but also architects) holds the winning team and its project. But it is already strongly fought by the city/town hall of the 7éme arrondissement. Time will tell stay tune!

Something that is not surprising to me as on business trips need to take them and only on business trips ; the trains of France lol ! In a report published this week, the Arafer, the regulatory authority for railway and road activities, is alarmed at the high degradation of the train service in France, and in particular the TGV. The rail constable studied all high-speed relations in France and his verdict is unappealing: 24% of the TGV have a delay of at least 5 minutes. Thus on 114 million passengers TGV in 2017, 26 million were delayed by more than five minutes compared to the theoretical timetable, and nearly 4.3 million had a delay of more than 30 minutes. Oddly enough, only 1.6 million passengers operated the famous G 30 guarantee which reimburses 25% of the ticket price (probably because the refund is to your name and not the company so never used them lol!). But the SNCF has huge margins in front of it by dealing with the operating deficiencies that caused more than half of these delays. A tip: When your trip includes a correspondence between TGV and TER or vice and versa, the 15-minute rule between two trains will not necessarily protect you from a magnifying glass! Be careful: Plan more time.

Now will dwell into fashion, men’s that is , sorry ::)

Do men take out the great dress garments at the end of the year celebrations? I’m not sure! The storefronts of department stores, which are not the type to miss a commercial opportunity are always a good barometer of real consumption trends. This year, their storefronts dedicated to the masculine fashion put rather in front of outdoor sets of spirit high mountain, a style at the same time in vogue, perfect for possible winter holidays and, especially, for the weeks and months to come, now that the cold has arrived. In short, the evening clothes are not particularly highlighted. But that doesn’t mean that a little more dressed style is not fashionable.OK c’est la vie en ma belle France!

Lousy me with gardens but dwelling a bit into my dear late wife Martine domaine; For its 18th edition, the jury of the National Vegetable Gardens Competition has awarded 21 remarkable gardens in terms of diversity, good practice and aesthetics. Organised by the French National Horticulture Society (SNHF), the Figaro as partner, the Jardinot Association and the National Interprofessional Seed Group (Gnis). The ones from closer to me were the  garden of 600 m2 divided into two plots that is cultivated for 35 years with a perfect technical mastery in Villeneuve-Saint-Georges (Val-de-Marne). Hayat Kontate in Arcueil (Val-de-Marne) in the category “Shared vegetable gardens set up and cultivated within a company or by an association”. Unique me think.

And from tomorrow ,Wednesday, December 19, a new playground in the Nelson Mandela garden. 300 m2 to play football, basketball and ping pong. To realize this giant mural on the ground, it was necessary to design tools but also paints capable of adapting to the soft coating usually tinted in the mass. The result: An abstract motif that reminds the artist of the cartography and satellite visions of the highways and paths that continue from the ground to the football cages, through the baskets of basketball. In order to completely insulate the space, the balloons were adorned with climbing plants and mobile urban trees which mingle with the plants. Entirely painted by the street artist Romain Froquet. By the les Halles, Paris of course!

Whether small or large, we meet at the parc des Rives de Seine on the banks of the Seine river  to practice free winter sports as can rarely be done in the capital. Speaking of course of cross-country skiing , curling or biathlon. See you on the slopes!  Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville 4émé from December 22nd to January 2nd 2019 and from 13h to midnight.

A year after opening an exceptional audience, the hotel Mezzara at 60, rue Jean-de-La-Fontaine, 16éme in the autumn of 2017, the Cercle Guimard again pays homage, with a beautiful book, to this unsung masterpiece of Art Nouveau built by Hector Guimard In 1910. Entitled “Hôtel Mezzara by Hector Guimard”, 28 pages, 20€ book. In the Bookshop Le Cabanon at 122, rue de Charenton 12éme, and the bookshop of the Cité de l’architecture (city of Architecture)  at the Palais de Chaillot 16éme. If the hotel Guimard located nearby, at 122 Mozart Avenue , was sold and divided into apartments, making the hotel Mezzara a Hector Guimard Museum and a center dedicated to Art Nouveau would make it possible to realise the architect’s wish. Stay tune….

Something local for me to keep track of.  One month after voting for the first time the merger with the city of Saint-Germain en Laye, the municipal council of Fourqueux was called this last Monday evening to deliberate again on the issue. It will answer on behalf of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and must be effective on 1 January. The first municipal Council of this new entity, which will first gather together the 70 councilors of the two cities, is convened on 7 January 2019. Fourqueux is a chic town next to SGL and they should match! Stay tune.

l’Atelier des Lumières 11éme arrondissement house in the former foundry of 1835 transformed into a digital art center of 3300 m2 will honor the Dutch painter. His works will be projected at 360 °, including floors, thanks to a special technology named Amies (Art & Music immersive Experience). Especially since in just ten years, Van Gogh has made more than 800 paintings and more than 1000 drawings: a gigantic production that allows us to create a solid digital exhibition. By his painting, Van Gogh has upset the history of art and digital can be a great way to account for his universe. “Van Gogh, The Starry Night” and “dreamed Japan, images of the floating World” at the Atelier des Lumiéres. 38, rue Saint-Maur 11éme arrondissement. From 22 February to 31 December 2019. Rates: 14.50€ (full), 11.50€ (reduced) and 9.50€ (children). Open Monday to Thursday, 10h-18h. Nightly on Fridays and Saturdays until  22h  and Sundays until 19H. On weekdays, closing of the ticket office on the spot at 16h, purchase online only. Week-end: Buy online only at  https://www.atelier-lumieres.com/fr/van-gogh-nuit-etoilee

On November 4, 1922, British archaeologist Howard Carter discovers the mythical tomb of the pharaoh of the 18th Egyptian dynasty (14C BC) in the Valley of the Kings. A tomb containing an extraordinary treasure, part of which will be revealed to us in this immersive exhibition. The Grande Halle offers us the unique opportunity to admire 150 objects of world heritage and to travel, for a moment, in the time of the pyramids. Tutankhamun, the treasure of the Pharaoh at the  Grande Halle de La Villette 221, Avenue Jean-Jaurès 19éme arrondissement from 23 March to 15 September 2019 . https://lavillette.com/programmation/toutankhamon_e185

Some cozy places to spent your Christmas in Paris are:

The Petit Boutique hotel in the quartier Saint-Honoré transformed its terrace by setting up a Slavic hut surrounded by fir trees. An intimate refuge, with its Scottish rugs, velvet cushions, colorful candles, fluffy benches and friendly tables, as well as a platinum to listen to its own vinyls. The Le Roch Hotel. 28, rue Saint-Roch 1éme.   https://www.leroch-hotel.com/restaurant-bar

The pop-up bar all of red lacquered, nestled in a suite with terrace and view on the Eiffel Tower, promises a trip in the Shanghai of the 1930’s. Shangri-La Hotel. 10, Av. of Jena  16éme.Every day from 18h. to midnight.   http://www.shangri-la.com/paris/shangrila/dining/bars-lounges/le-bar/

The palace, always offbeat, plays the cards of a frosted terrace. Under an inflated and transparent igloo, it is not feared to settle down to take a vintage Champagne cup well beaten by picking tapas with truffle or caviar admiring the icebergs of mirrors stranded in the water basin. At Royal Monceau Hotel , 37, Av. Hoche  8éme. Daily from 12h to 23h   https://www.leroyalmonceau.com/en/bars-leisure/our-terrace-garden/

A place to see Santa Claus or Papa Noêl and one of my favorite places in Paris. Descending directly from the sky, Santa decided to put his sled on the roof of the Montparnasse tower. Christmas at the Montparnasse Tower. 33 Avenue du Maine 15éme. Coming from Santa Claus on 19, 22, 23 and 24 December from 14h to 18h   https://www.tourmontparnasse56.com/fr/nos-evenements/noel-sur-le-toit-de-paris/

For the first time, Galeries Lafayette organizes a walk in the air on a 9 meters long glass walkway suspended at 16 meters above the void. You will be able to see more closely the most famous Christmas tree in Paris, from the third(4th US)  floor of the store. And bonus: This memorable moment will be immortalized for free by a photographer! Les Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann, 12, rue de Mogador. https://haussmann.galerieslafayette.com/events/glasswalk

And in closing , a bit on wine etiquette much needed ,especially around these dates:

Young, intense and tannic wines need to breathe.  Even a white wine can win to be carafé. Instructions not to miss. The carafe has the power to speed up the time that passes over the wine. It allows it to complete its evolution, to help its growth. For it puts it in contact with the indispensable companion, who is also the worst enemy: OXYGEN. The more a wine is deprived of oxygen, the longer its life slows, the longer its ageing. Put it in contact with the air and the needles of time are wrapped. Decanting a  wine is therefore valuable for that does not have the means to allow time to time. The young, intense wines, cramped in a bottle, need to evolve, to relax, to breathe. This is the case with red wines from Bordeaux, South-West(sud-ouest), Rhône, Languedoc, Spain, South America and North America. In short, all the powerful and tannic wines that have not had time to skate will be happy to be decanted. The wine will gain in intensity and complexity, its structure is more molten in the mouth. It is quite easy to estimate the need: past the stage of the corkscrew, these wines do not smell much in the nose and, in the mouth, behave like a small compact ball that weighs on the tongue instead of investing the whole palate. In this case, one does not think: the contents of the bottle are poured into the carafe. It is no more complicated than that. You can then go up one level. If wine emanate from unpleasant odors of reduction, close to cabbage or onion, it is necessary to act vigorously and, why not?, with panache: Perform the maneuver in height, in the manner of the Mint tea servers, shake the carafe vigorously until that the wine begins to foam, signs that CO2 is emitted under the effect of oxygenation. One can even transfer from the carafe to the bottle several times in a row to further accelerate the aeration effect. The carafe is just an example of a container, but if the wine is particularly young and restive, you can use a bowl, a vase, any container. It is better still to finish by reintegrating the wine in its original bottle, otherwise you will have trouble to impress your guests by bringing a bucket on the table lol!

Enjoy the seasons wherever you are and very much so in France, where else!!! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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December 18, 2018

The Castle/Museum at St Germain en Laye!

And now that I am in the neighborhood of St Germain en Laye, a wonderful town near my old home, why not tell you again about a wonderful castle of great historical significance and a beautiful museum today. It is a must see while here and very easy to get to from Paris.

The town of St Germain en Laye is located in department 78, call Yvelines , west of Paris. It was very near me and I did shopping and eating out there often with the family. It is ,also, the birthplace of king Louis XIV with a beautiful castle now a wonderful museum. To come best on the RER A from many points in Paris, or the train  station Grand  Ceinture ,just at entry to the city from the west, train from Paris gare St Lazare, the official site for the local trains is http://www.transilien.com/web/site/lang/en

The most obvious parkings  is by the RER station, two call RER and Chateau parking in two levels. The other is to go underneath the Vieux Marché or market area on ave de la République, or the parking Pologne at rue de Pologne or the Monoprix store parking. The city of SGL has a good explanation on parkings and public transport even in French can easily be understood, here http://www.saintgermainenlaye.fr/cadre-de-vie/venir-circuler-et-stationner-a-saint-germain/rer-bus-voiture-taxis-liaisons-avec-les-aeroports/

The town offers many sightseeing choices and it is very easy to get to from Paris.  The town grew because of the castle and the forest that surround it which are magnificent with a wonderful view of Paris in the distance and its monuments at the park done by Le Notre. The name is old possibly from 972 AD when king of the French Robert I had built a monastery in honor of St Germain ,probably St Germain des Prés. The name of the town can be translated as Saint Germain of the forest in new French.

St Germain en Laye

In 1777, King Louis XVI donated the New Castle, in bad condition, to his brother Charles, Count of Artois, the future Charles X. He had it demolished with the intention of rebuilding it.  Under the Empire, the Château-Vieux was repaired to form a cavalry school. It hosts the Special Military School of Cavalry, opened in 1809 and merged, in 1914, with the Special Military School of Saint-Cyr. From 1836 to 1855, the castle was transformed into a military penitentiary. It was extensively restored under Napoleon III . On March 8, 1862, an imperial decree acts the creation in the castle of a Museum of Celtic and Gallo-Roman Antiquities (later renamed Museum of National Antiquities, then recently , and still today the Museum of National Archaeology).

St Germain en laye

The castle revolves around an inner courtyard in the shape of a trapezoid, taking the primitive route of Charles V Castle. The wings that frame this courtyard traditionally bear the following names: King’s Wing (north wing), Queen’s Wing (east Wing), King’s Children’s wing (southeast wing), Chapel Wing (southwest Wing), and the Feast Hall Wing (West Wing).

St Germain en laye

The ballroom is located in the West Wing. Unfinished at the death of François I, it was inaugurated by his son Henri II at a grand banquet in 1549 to celebrate the baptism of his son. It is more than 500 m2 and has a monumental chimney with a stone motif, which features the salamander; the emblem of François I. Louis XIV transformed it into a comedy room, and the team of formidable instruments. More than one hundred and forty representations of all kinds were given in this room considered the largest of the whole kingdom. Lully and Molière knew their hours of glory here. In 1666, king Louis XIV performed himself in the Ballet des Muses. This room now houses the comparative archaeology room.

The castle museum are well kept with a beautiful chapel of  St. Louis, located in the Gothic castle, is a vestige of the ancient fortress. It was built by Saint Louis in 1238. Louis XIV, although born in the Château Neuf, was baptized there. An inner courtyard, floors of antiquities artifacts from the region very nicely display, and the adjoining park design by Le Notre overlooking Paris. Behind the castle in what is now the restaurant Pavillon Henri IV, a marker displays the fact that king Louis XIV was born there.

Of course, the castle now the museum of antiquities or musée national des antiquites it covers in three floors wonders of the old days found in the surrounding areas, and it is considered one of the best in its genre.  Behind you see an archdoor leading to the Pavillon Henri IV restaurant (great dining) an enblem showing this is where Louis XIV was born. The parc and gardens were done from  1668 to 1675 by the great gardener Le Nôtre, and it has an expansive view over Paris and the vineyards of Le Pecq that after doing so from antiquity are now back in form from 2000 onward producicng pinot noir base wines.  The museum page is here,  Museum of National Antiquities SGL

St Germain en laye

The tourist office of SGL for more info is here  http://www.ot-saintgermainenlaye.fr/

Some of the stories and personalities of the Castle and the city of Saint Germain en Laye were:

king François I married Claude de France in the Chapel of the old castle in 1514 , and became its favorite living property. Henri II is also born here, and he became king in 1547!  Charles IX established a glass making trade in 1561, and  Henri IV exempt the inhabitants of all taxes in 1599 priviledge that lasted until 1789! king Louis XIII spent his youth at the old castle, and it was while hunting from here that he discovered another place to later build his hunting lodge-Versailles. He later died here in 1643, while his son Louis XIV was born here in 1638. As king Louis XIV spent a great deal of his time here from 1661  to 1682 afterward the castle decline as the new other property was been built at Versailles. The king of England Edward II came here in exile from 1689 to his death in 1701 at the old castle, and is buried across the street at the church of St Germain (see that post).

A town that saw the birth of  (year following name) :Henri II, 1518; Marguerite de France, Queen Margot, 1553 ; Jeanne d’Albret, (mother of Henri IV and great figure of the Reformist era) ,1528;Charles IX , 1550 ; Louis de Buade count de Frontenac,( Governor of New France (Canada)),1622; King Louis XIV, 1638 ; Philippe de France, duke of Orléans,1640 ; Philippe de France, duke of Anjou, (oldest son of Louis XIV), 1660; Marie-Louise  of England , (daughter of king James II of England exile in the city and buried at the Church of St Germain across from castle), 1692;  Claude Debussy ,1862 ; Edouard Bourdet, 1887;  Jehan Alain, 1911 ;  Christian Fouchet, 1911,(ambassador and previous minister and follower from the first hour of Gen de Gaulle); José Artur, 1927; Michel Pericard (1929-1999), (previous mayor of Saint-Germain- en-Laye (1977-1999),deputy of the Yvelines  (1978-1999) , and Vice President of the National Assembly of France (1997-1999); Jean-Edern Hallier, 1936;  and Pierre Douglas, 1941…

A town that saw the passing of figures such as (year of death following name) : Louis XIII,1643 ; James II king of England, 1701; The knight  Ramsay  1743 ; François de Beauharnais, (father in law of Joséphine first wife of Napoléon), 1800 ; prince de Polignac, 1847 ; Adolphe Thiers, President of the IIIe Républic, 1877; the Poet Catulle Mendès, 1909 ; Henri Cochet, Tennis champion 6 times winner of the Davis Cup, 1987; Suzanne Chantal, roman writer, 1994.

And who have passed by in the city, some of the famous are : Molière, alias Jean-Baptiste Poquelin; Mozart for a day in 1778 ; Benjamin Franklin also in 1778; Alexandre Dumas father and son. The father wrote  “Les Trois mousquetaires” and “Le Comte de Monte Cristo” in the city while commander of the national guard in town as well as directs the theater.  The son wrote  “La Dame aux camélias” in the city. The musician Claude Debussy, and the painter Maurice Denis , that have a museum in the city as well. And of course, many many others too numerous to mention.

So therefore, is it worth a detour out of Paris glitz! come on over the Yvelines dept 78 of the region of Ïle de France; the first , history , architecture, marvels of my belle France. Enjoy SGL wholly!

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

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