Archive for December 1st, 2018

December 1, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXIIII

Ok so its time to write again about my State, Province, or Department 56 of Morbihan in the region of Brittany, France. It is a rainy grey, cool, foggy day of 13C or about 55F in mid day while driving around for my errands.

The trip was made more exciting for the fact that France is on strike once again at last!! Yes we are sometimes call the World Champions of strikes/demonstrations, but as I said, this is democracy at its best from the ground up, people initiated and this time no political party just common folks doing what they think is right. Do I agree you may ask freely? Well I am not in the position of many of them, been in middle management with a multinational French company in charge of 18 countries and 28 branches accounting wise. However, I do appreciate the hard working individual who comes to the end of the month and just barely makes it or not at all. The costs keep rising and the benefits reduced, I think the current president is going too fast. Remember, he was elected by chance as an opportunistic campaign changing from the Socialists party to create a new movement En Marche while the rest were going with problems of their own. I did not voted for Macron either mind you. Yes , I am a French citizen and voter on every occasion.

And yes even if all the focus of the media is on Paris (of course its the capital and bigger groups), we are on the go here in my Morbihan. In my area of Vannes, the capital of our department there have been escargot or snail drive blocage of main roads, blocking of oil refinaries,and home building materials stores, main intersections blocked like the roundabout of Luscanen and Kergiran. Today while grocery shopping a group march inside the E Leclerc store singing La Marseillaise national anthem in their yellow jackets (gilet jaunes)! I rode around and claxon my car in support,and wearing the yellow jacket in the dashboard of my car in support.  They deserve better in my opinion. Some pictures.

vannes

inside E Leclerc hypermarket Vannes

vannes

ramp off N165 to D779 and E Leclerc overbridge was block at Vannes

vannes

traffic circle luscanen police there but off over bridge was block by gilet jaunes or yellow jackets

And youtube on the demonstrations in Saint Lazare train station and Place de l’Etoile (Arc de Triomphe) Paris.

 

Before all the above, we went to get our dog food at our favorite store Maxi Zoo in the town of Séné, next to Vannes. And of course, we got him his Christmas treat and yellow coat  So he will have a nice Christmas indeed, already one year old and very adorable borador! I have shown pictures and webpage of the store before.

While there, and in the company of my father, I invited all to Au Bureau, an English style sports bar that is very nice if a bit slow today. We had our reblochon burger , pint of leffe blonde and cafe gourmand for me and the rest different things to about 25€ per person. We have been here before with webpage and pictures, here are some more of today.

sene

sene

sene

From there we went to of course ,Micromania at the Carrefour shopping center in Vannes for my sons new exchanges and purchases.  All while raining as it was all day. Then, we headed to E Leclerc hypermarket in Vannes (Plescop) to do our groceries shopping before heading home.

vannes

Raining still and with demonstrations all over we rather stay home even if agree with all that as said.

You all have a wonderful weekend and if in France stay away from these events as fun as they can be, there is always the party crasher that can make your day a sad one. Stay safe

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

 

 

 

 

December 1, 2018

Some news from Bretagne, XXV

Well it has been a while not written on this series of mine, my creative genious lol! It has been blend in with other similar posts I am sure. Brittany is always in my mind, we call it home! for the last 8 years!! All in the Morbihan 56.

However, let me give you an overview on a beautiful region north of me in department 29 Finistére. I have written several pieces on it in my blog , but this one just surface while reading on it from the Le Monde newspaper. Morlaix and its bay are magical indeed. So why not dedicate one Bretagne news post only on it right ? No pictures as have plenty on individual posts on the region here in my blog. ok here I go ,hope you enjoy it

Bay of Morlaix; from the Exotic Garden of the island of Batz to the parish enclosure of Guimiliau, passing by the impressive mausoleum of Stone of Barnenez… The bay also finds itself in winter.A very nice spot in my lovely Brittany up north in Finistére dept 29.

Roscoff, the land-sea harmony at its best. The beating heart of this small port town is at its peak, between the old harbor and the cove of Laber. Facing the channel, the small city is warm as long as the door of the estaminets is pushed. The exotic and Botanical Garden of Roscoff brings together rare collections of plants, mainly from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Chile or Mexico..The greenhouse too succulents, the rock at the top of which the view on the deep water port and the bay is splendid, or even the Palm Grove are as many mini-gardens in a set that does not usurp its name.

At Batz, ginger and impatience from Roscoff, at low tide, boarding for the island of Batz is at the end of the wharf, a long footbridge that ends with steps that plunge into the sea, ten minutes walk from the quay. The Georges-Delaselle garden, which holds many surprises. Thanks to the influence of the Gulf Stream, it grows palm trees from Asia and Africa. Rediscovered in the 1980’s, this garden created from scratch by a Parisian insurer from 1898 is one of the most beautiful in France. Ginger, impatience of Zaire, digital of the Canary Islands: in the beautiful season, the names of flowers are enough to make you dream. From the top of the lighthouse, at 67 meters above sea level, the spectacle of the island entry is magnificent. On 170 hectares of arable land, the plots of potatoes, cauliflowers, asparagus or fennel are rhyming the seasons. The fishermen of the island also contribute to his reputation of an ideal self-sufficiency.

Plouescat version of Seychelles island. To the west of Roscoff, the granite blocks of the beaches of Plouescat evoke the Seychelles. At the Roc’h ar Mor, a family restaurant a little gruff, we have lunch facing the sea at the end of the beach of Porsmeur.

At Guimiliau,  What an ordeal! To reach the parish enclosures, it is necessary to drive due south from Roscoff, by the valley of the Penzé which leads quickly to Guimiliau. The Guimiliau enclosure is typical: A central Church, a monumental gate, a Calvary and a wall of enclosure that surrounds the whole. It is so perfect that it says everything about the village opulence of the 16C and 17C in this corner of Brittany. The great Calvary brings together dozens of characters, sometimes dressed in the fashion of Henri III, who reigned at the time of its construction, sometimes in the biblical garments of Palestine from the beginning of our era. The large porch and the admirable funerary chapel vie from the outside with the splendor of the furniture found under the blue vaults of the church: the baptismal fonts and the thousand-colored altarpieces testify to the genius of the anonymous artists of the early reign of Louis XIV. You have to be wary of parish enclosures: They can cause an addiction. Not to miss the retable of Commana, the ossuary of Sizun or the beam of glory of Lampaul-Guimiliau. In Guimiliau, a brand new architecture and heritage Interpretation Center (CIAP) ,the enclosures allows adults and children to measure the diversity of these unique buildings in the world.

At Carentec, a fort and oysters from the beach of Kelenn, in Carantec, the boat that leads to the château du Taureau at brisk pace. Planted in the middle of the bay of which it kept the entrance, this 16C fort, enlarged by Vauban in the 17C, became the star of local tourism. Carantec, it is a seaside resort opulent, which hides in its most exclusive district, at the point of Penn al Lan, two treasures: the Parc Claude-Goude which descends not so soft to the oyster parks, and the oysters of Prat ar Coum , the operation of Alain Madec. Before leaving Carantec, the walkers will not forget to take a stroll on the island Callot, little marvel of 40 houses that the high tide cut of the continent line half the time.

The Parthénon de Barnenez  ;Like a stone giant, the great cairn of Barnenez seems to sleep on the right bank of the Bay of Morlaix, facing the sea. This huge mausoleum, 75 meters long and 28 meters wide, conceals eleven burial chambers divided into two enclosed parts but of different ages: The primary cairn in dolerite, a local rock, is darker than the posterior cairn, which it serves of support. The latter consists of rubble and large granite slabs of l’île Sterec (Island). The eleven dolmens in the Neolithic corridor were exhumed in 1955 by workers who used the cairn as a quarry. Difficult to date precisely, probably between 4 500 and 3 900 years BC some slabs are adorned with decorations whose symbolic value is not entirely clear: a triangle axe blade for strength, a shining hair idol that would be the evocation of a goddess of fertility and death, or a U for the horned beasts and the zigzags that evoke the water.

The beauties of Morlaix sunk in a valley, dominated by an omnipresent viaduct, the city of Morlaix is a cul-de-sac. The Saturday morning market, place des hostages, in front of the city/town hall, the discovery of the house in Pondalezau 9, Grand’rue typical of these 16C wood-framed buildings,  and the promenade under the viaduct arches are the keys to a first approach. From the middle part of this two-story art work, accessible on foot, the landscape opens to the north, where the river runs towards the bay. On the upper floor, the trains come and go from Paris-Montparnasse. It is thanks to them that this exotic and not so distant land is also capital, a little Parisian when come the holidays season ,but is Breton, finally, in all seasons.

There you go a marvelous spot in my Bretagne/Brittany/or Breizh, degemer mat to all!

Some webpages as usual to help you plan your visit here and you must ,I say so!!!

Tourist office of Bretagne on Bay of Morlaix

Tourist office of the Bay of Morlaix in French

Tourist office of Finistére on bay of Morlaix

Chamber of Commerce Pleasure sea of bay of Morlaix in English

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

 

 

 

December 1, 2018

Cap Hispania and Batignolles! Paris of course!!!

In my continuing dangerous saga of places to shop and eat in my eternal Paris, I shall bring you to two favorites of many years and still going strong. The time is nice mild weather at 12C and not so cloudy in my neck of the woods Breton as well in Paris. Just a lovely Autumn sequence so far.

We love Spanish food as well, and I mean Spain, so  searching for one I look up Spanish food sections in restaurants and webpages dealing with the subject in France. Here I found one Cap Hispania in the 17éme arrondissement of Paris and went for it. It has been a find ,a jewel, a precious location for all that is good from Spain.

As I look around for a parking on street nearby, I was led past the Pont Cardinet and over the railroad tracks leading to the Gare Saint Lazare and into the Brochart area where I end up parking underground of the Batignolles covered market and voilà another wonderful find. This is Paris, the more you walk, drive it the more you will find wonders!

They have become my staple ever since those 2003-2004 times and up to now when in the city I look up them up and stock up on goodies not well found in my Morbihan Breton. Let me tell you a bit about them and maybe you too will have your find in eternal Paris.

The covered market or Marché couvert des Batignolles, at 96bis Rue Lemercier 17éme of Paris by metro line 13 Brochart as well as bus lines 54 and 74, is a wonderful example of glorious shopping in seldom visited areas of Paris. We go here once in a while and it is our area of dear shopping see below. The market, built on the ground floor of a residential complex of the 1970’s, is undoubtedly one of the most bobos in the capital. Customers often seem to know each other and really feel a neighborhood spirit. There are about fifteen traders and organic product stalls. This market is mainly food-centered with an excellent butcher at reasonably reasonable prices, a well-stocked grocer, Breton terroir products, Mediterranean products, Lebanese, Moroccan, African, a Portuguese rotisserie and a wine cellar. The place, you will have understood, is very popular with the locals. It is open Tuesdays to Fridays from 8h30 to 13h and from 15h30 to 20h, Saturdays from 8h30 to 20h and Sundays from 8h30 to 14h.

Paris

Paris

Paris

Some webpages to help you find it and enjoy it fully are

City of Paris on the covered market of Batignolles

Tourist office of Paris on the Batignolles market

One of the biggest professionals at the same time wholesaler and retailer in the distribution of Iberian products since 1998.  Cap Hispania, our Spanish grocery store in Paris has approximately 180 references of duly selected savory and sweet gourmet products, including Iberian ham at a price-almost-friendly. The advice is second nature, conversations sometimes stretch, and we leave the arms charged with the latest goodies.

Cap Hispania, it is simply the paradise of lovers of Iberian charcuterie. You can go there to catch a sandwich at lunchtime, to buy ham at retail or wholesale, to fill up with tapas for the evening. Beautiful whole hams are hanging from the ceiling. And not just any of them.. The Serrano arrives directly from the Salamanca region and has been refined 12 to 14 months. The Pata Negra comes from a particular breed of pork, the Iberian pork, and patiently waited more than two years before joining the stalls of Cap Hispania.  When a Bellota, the rolls of hams, it is derived from pigs raised in the open air and exclusively fed to the acorns from autumn to spring. After more than 30 months of refinement, it is particularly tasty and melting.

Paris

My dad at Cap Hispania

The stalls of Cap Hispania also abound with first-choice deli meats, like the lomo, made with pork loin, all kinds of chorizos, or the delicious Cecina de Leon, this meat of salted beef, dried, smoked and then refined . Besides, the Spanish cheeses, less well known, only asking  to be discovered, but do not overlook the Manchego from Castilla La Mancha Don Quijote quarters!. The right side of the store is reserved for the fine grocery section. Cap Hispania has brought quality gourmet products from Spain: Olive oil from Andalusia, Jerez vinegar, canned white tuna from Biscay or anchovies from the Cantabrian coast… this is a good way to revise your geography of Spain!  On the sweet side, one feasts of course of the Turrón (nougats), which some like hard and crunchy (that of Alicante), and that others prefer fondant and tender (that of Jijona), but also of marzipan or polvorones. The common point between all these sweets? The almonds!

Paris

paris

Cap Hispania, 23 rue Jouffroy d’Abbans, 17éme/ Metro line 3  Malsherbes, and  Wagram Open Monday  16h-19h, from Tuesday to Saturday 10h-14h and 16h-19h30. Tel. +33 (0) 1 46 22 11 60.

Official Cap Hispania Spanish groceries deli

Yelp reviews on Cap Hispania from my Blog Roll

And there you go two off the beaten path sights that will make your mouth watered and enjoy the culinary choices of my eternal Paris. After all, is it that one big reason you are here visiting or as me living lol! bon appetit!

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

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