Archive for January, 2019

January 29, 2019

Some news from France, CCXVIII

So let me put a pause on my posting on wonderful travel places to come to you on the latest in my belle France. It is light raining in my neck of the breton woods Morbihan but hardly any winds and definitively no snow. I believe the weather might get worse as the day go by with storm Gabriel around Europe. The Paris region will be hit worse because of the snow. Be careful if driving around here visiting from those other European countries!


February 1 2 3 2019. The 8th edition of Paris Face Cachée or Paris hidden face with the city of Paris and RATP transport network to go and discover the off the beaten paths of the Grand Paris area.  The metro station Porte de Lilas, not in use but only for films.! This was the metro abbesses in the film Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain.  The station was called Haxo done in 1921 but never used. In a building of 6 floors not far from the train station Gare du Nord where you do not see nothing from the exterior but in the interior is an air space for the RER trains extraction of air!  There is an anti-aircraft bunker under the Monnaie de Paris in the 6éme. On the other side of the BP =boulevard périphérique or beltway of Paris in Montreuil (Seine-et-Denis 93) there is a studio for doubling voices and to do it for real with recordings and all. Over 100 experiences will be serve this year with hoping of reaching 10000 curious visitors. The only holdup the places are hard to come by as the demand is big and only done on the online site. The official site in French: Paris Face Cachée 2019

The entire programming for reservation online here: Paris Face Cachée reservations online a must

The Weather Channel  has placed 33 departments on alert Orange(next to highest) such as the Ariège,  Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées and the Pyrénées-Atlantiques for avalanche hazards; The Charente-Maritime,  Gironde and  Vendée  for violent winds; The Aisne,  Ardennes,  Aube,  Eure, Eure-et-Loir, Loiret, Marne, Haut-Marne,  Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, Nord, Oise, Orne, Pas-de-Calais, Paris,  Seine-Maritime,  Yvelines , Seine-et-Marne,  Somme, Yonne,  Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne and the Val-d’Oise for snow.  From the morning, this Atlantic disturbance will bring rain between Brittany (it did but not much chez moi)  and Aquitaine. The winds became violent on the southern coasts of Finistère and Morbihan (not inland just the coasts) with gusts between 90 and 110 km/h. This afternoon, the wind will strengthen near the ocean with gusts up to 130 km/h on the south coast of Finistère and up to 110 km/h on the coasts of Vendée and Charente. In the east, ice can affect the pavement in the morning between the east and the north of the Alps.  Tonight and in the night, the disturbance will collide with cold air. When contacted, the first flakes will appear in the northwest before winning the central regions to the north in the evening. These snowfalls, sometimes strong, will be directed in the night to the Grand-Est and the Rhône-Alpes region. At the same time, winds will increase on the Vendée and Charente coasts with gusts of up to 130 km/h (115 km/h in the land).  Normandy, Paris region, Hauts-de-France and Champagne and Ardennes for snow with an average of 3 to 8 cm, locally between 10 and 15 cm and to a lesser extent peripheral regions with 2 to 5 cm on average. In prevention, the road N 118, which connects Pont-de-Sevres (Hauts-de-Seine) to the Ulis (Essonne) via the Yvelines, will thus be closed to all traffic, in both directions, finally starting at 15h  on Tuesday. Have it on F degrees but can be change to C on top right.

Salvador Dali, who died just 30 years ago, said: “The only difference between a madman and me is that I am not crazy.” Yet his face and that of the misunderstood genius Vincent Van Gogh appear on the poster of the event “The madness of the artist.” And  “at the edge of the Abyss” at the Library des Batignolles 17éme, 30th January at 19H. The Georges Brassens Library 14éme, organizes a writing workshop “Madness in All States” (19 January and 2 February from 10h30 to 12h30 pm), inspired by excerpts from Antonin Artaud, Marguerite Duras and others. Then, an evening of reading the texts of the participants by two actresses will take place (February 2 from 19h to 21h). The  exhibition of the Museum of Art and History of the Hospital, ” The art of the fools at the Art psychopathological/the collection Sainte-Anne around 1960» at the library André Malraux  6éme. It will be followed by a guided tour of the latter (February 9th at 13h).

“Dice-integrated” (Feb. 14 from 19h  to 21h) is a dramatized reading of Albert London’s madmen, his investigation and immersion in insane asylums. It will be held at the Bibliothèque François Villon  10éme. One of the members, Alex Adarjan, will host a 14h30 workshop (February 21 from 17h  to 19h30) where participants take possession of a plateau of the Valeyre Library 11éme to feel what the incarnation of a crazy character is. How to interpret a disturbed personality with accuracy and fragility? At the Library Andrée Chedid  15éme, the troupe revived Camille Claudel, interned during the last thirty years of her life, through archives and letters (7 February from 19h to 20h). The Library of Police Literature  5éme will deal with the relationship between madness and crime. The first French serial killer, the Ripper Vacher will be at the heart of this subject that defies reason (February 2 from 16h to 17h. More in link below

The Festival Jazz a Saint Germain des Prés ,Paris unveils the first names of the programming of its 19th edition, including Richard Galliano on May 17 or the Biréli Lagrène Trio on May 23rd. To not miss these concerts events, the passes are already on sale for a very jazzy spring. More here:

I love these anywhere but these orangettes, are delicious at the Sous les Amandiers,  65, rue de Maubeuge  9éme. Tél.: 09 86 08 19 40.Metro line 7 Poissonniére. They have a facebook page no web.

The story Un Regard Moderne à rue Gît-le-Cœur is an Ali Baba cavern full of books everywhere by a great enthuastic owner . Philippe le Libraire. 32, rue des Vinaigriers 10éme. Tél.: 01 40 38 11 39.

Wonderful Cinema which we have enjoyed and the boys love it is the MK2 Quai de Seine. 14, quai de la Seine  19éme. More here :

It is an Australian who has settled in a large warehouse and who produces his own beer, with a restaurant menu inviting ; it is very nice in the summer. Paname Brewing Company. 41 bis, quai de la Loire 19éme. Tél.: 01 40 36 43 55

The Charles. If only the bar of the Burgundy Hotel in the Saint-Honoré neighborhood, (great area my walking rounds to go to work in Paris by there for 2,5 yrs!) freshly revamped, is much more chic than Bohemian. A monumental fresco on the ceiling of the bar around the collection of Baudelaire. On the bar side, Marco Del Re’s wall collages have been preserved, making a vibrant homage to Matisse. Where the cocktails are re invented for 17-18€ inspired by music, from Walt Disney’s film and history, naming his cocktails by key dates like 1492, 1515, 1789..And big names such as Oscar Wilde, who, like Rimbaud, Joyce, Hemingway, Poe and Baudelaire frequented this muse to the excesses. In homage to these illustrious characters, the  Barman has listed a selection of absinthes on his card, accompanied by a menu of light tapas from 9€. Le Charles (Hôtel Burgundy). 6-8, rue Duphot, 1éme. Tél.: 01 42 60 34 12. Hours every day from 18h to 0h30. More here :

News of the street ! While the Oscar de la Renta brand was about to settle in its new Parisian boutique, but it is a majestic 17C oil painting that was discovered behind a wall.. The old Reed Krakoff shop, located in the 8 rue Marignan, dates back to the 19C. The family that owned it demolished its walls to connect two floors, when a piece of wall broke loose, unveiling the work of art. The oil on the discovery canvas dates from 1674 and would be signed by the painter  Arnould de Vuez, close to the court of king Louis XIV. It shows to recount the adventures of the Marquis de Nointel, Ambassador of Louis XIV to the Ottoman court, when he arrives in Jerusalem with a procession and meets Oriental characters. !

Every Thursday from February 7, the restaurant everyone talks about organizes an open raclette (with or without pork) from 19h to 23h, with open white and red wine as well as open softdrinks. On the program, a raclette dinner will be from 19h to 21h, followed by a clubbing atmosphere with the best of general sounds to eliminate the raclette smoothly. The rooftop  of the Tout le Monde en Parle,  above the Galeries Lafayette and the C&A, at the foot of the Montparnasse tower, 4, rue du Départ – 15. Reservations :

After the Place de la Bastille, Pantheon , and  Nation, it is the turn of the Place Gambetta to be refurbished, within the framework of the program Reinvent our squares in Paris; which concerns 7 squares of the capital. It’s the beginning of seven months of work. The configuration of the Gambetta sector will not be transformed, and only one small section of the rue du Cambodge will become pedestrian, while on the square, the traffic will continue to be done in the roundabout around the main Fontaine Jean Dismier. The terminus of  bus lines 60, 69 and 102 will be transferred to the rue du Japon, behind the City/Town Hall.

With 2 217 new cars sold in 2018 in Paris intramuros (Paris city only 1-20 arrondissements or districts) where 14 383 vehicles were sold in total in the region, Peugeot, according to the figures of the AAA Data study that we publish this past  Monday, arrives at the top of the sales in the automobile market in the capital. In front of Renault which has sold 1 860 cars, Volkswagen 1 261, Toyota 1 099 and Citroën 960.

There you my latest tidbits from the most visited country in the World ,again. 90M in 2018 and we say merci beaucoup! And of course, Paris, 32M!! in 2018 and we say Paris ça fête or a movable feast! And 2019 is looking great! thank you all merci à tous et toutes!

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

January 27, 2019

Basilica minor San Francisco el Grande, Madrid!

And why not continue this wonderful ride in my beloved Spain and sublime Madrid! Well for the bragging rights, lived there and visit every year for many years, Madrid is it. ahh sorry grands I am a citizen too! And it has so much to offer seldom seen by visitors. Even if Spain is the second most visited country in the world (85 M 2018) according to WTO-UN and many others.

I have several ,many posts on Madrid in my blog. However, consider many to be in the general sense and on some spots deserve a post on their own. This is the case for the Basilica minor San Francisco El Grande. I like to give you a bit more on it now.

The Royal Basilica of San Francisco El Grande is in the district of Palacio, within the historic center of Madrid. It presides over the western face of Plaza San Francisco , set by the intersection of Calle Bailen  and the Carrera de San Francisco street. It is part of the Franciscan convent of Jesús y María, founded at the beginning of the 13C, on a now gone  hermitage dedicated to Saint Mary.  The current Basilica was built in neoclassical style in the second half of the 18C. The Basilica stands out for its dome, considered as the third largest diameter circular plant in Christendom. For its sumptuous interior decoration, made in eclectic style at the end of the 19C, and for its art gallery, representative of the Spanish painting from the 17C to 19C, with paintings by Zurbarán and Goya. Its management corresponds to the pious work of the Holy Places of Jerusalem, an autonomous body dependent on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.


A bit of history I like

The place was previously occupied by a convent-Franciscan hermitage, which, according to the legend, was founded by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1217. When king Felipe II converted Madrid into the capital of the kingdom, in 1561, the convent was gaining in wealth and importance and came to receive custody of the holy places conquered by the Crusaders, through a protective Junta of the pious work of Jerusalem, and the curated General of the Indies. In 1760, the Franciscans demolished the primitive building to built, on its plot, a larger temple which the works had to be suspended in 1768, due to the technical complications , the cupola, finally was done in 1770. The Basilica  as a whole was finally completed in 1784. Eventually, it was converted into a hospital, according to decree of  1812. In the year 1836, the Franciscans were expelled and the Basilica was in the hands of the Spanish State, through the Royal Heritage Organism (Patrimonio Real). In 1838, it served as headquarters to an infantry barracks, while recovering the religious cult.  In 1869 the idea of the national pantheon was resumed. During the next five years, it housed the mortal remains of different personalities of Spanish history, including those of Calderón de la Barca, Alonso de Ercilla, Garcilaso de la Vega, Francisco de Quevedo, Ventura Rodríguez, Juan de Villanueva and Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (The Great captain). They were deposited in a chapel and returned in 1874 to their respective places of origin.

The rehabilitation period  was used to decorate its interior, in a process that extended from 1880 to 1889 and in which different Spanish artists specialized in mural paintings and decorative arts participated. In 1926, King Alfonso XIII returned the temple to the Franciscans. On June 30, 1962 was declared a Minor Basilica by Pope John XXIII and on November 8, 1962 it was under the patronage of Our Lady of the Angels, after a new consecration. In November 2001, after decades of work, the church reopened to the public.


A bit on the construction and external look:

The Basilica of San Francisco el Grande is a central and circular plant, with vestibule and apse. The roof is solved by a large dome, guarded by six small domes, which surround the base of the building by the north and the south. The dome of San Francisco el Grande is 33 meters in diameter and 58 meters high (72 meters from the ground level). As far as the circular plant domes are concerned, it is the third largest diameter of Christendom. It is made of solid brick, made on a single sheet. At its start, the leaf has a thickness of three meters, which goes down to the coronation, where the thickness is lower than the meter. The dome is crowned by a circular lantern, with spire and wrought iron cross over the arrow.

The main façade is east-facing, and presents two bodies. At the bottom are three arches of half a point, fastened by Doric pilasters. The Ionic order dominates the second body, consisting of three roofed windows.  The façade is dominated by two towers, one at each end, slightly recessed. They are covered with wavy spires, topped with vanes. In its vanes, 19 bells are lodged, eight of them in the South Tower and the remaining eleven in the North Tower. The bell towers are framed with paired pilasters. The dome and its lantern protrude between the two towers, dominating the whole.

A bit more on the interior:

The most notable parts of the hall are the seven doors that allow entrance to the enclosure, which were carved in walnut wood in the 19C. The interior roundabout is paved with marbles, as well as its plinths, sumptuously decorated, its main artistic values are concentrated in the mural paintings of the cupola, the result of the renovation and refurbishment works, in the last third of the 19C. The main chapel is installed in the apse. Until the reform of the late 19C, it was presided by a canvas depicting the appearance of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary to St. Francis of Assisi.

The six secondary chapels are distributed symmetrically, three on the northern side of the roundabout and three in the Southern. They are separated from the large circular space by means of pillars, which are supported by different half-point arches, which allow access. The chorus is installed in the upper part of the lobby. It was ornamented with the Gothic ashlars of the Cartuja de Santa María de El Paular, carved in walnut wood. The Basilica of San Francisco El Grande house a museum formed by 51 paintings, among other artistic pieces. The most valuable pictorial works correspond to the Spanish and Italian Baroque. Other romos are the Ante-Sacristy and the Sacristy.

Around the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande are some interesting buildingns. One of the most important is the Capilla del Cristo de los Dolores or Chapel of the Christ of Sorrows for the venerable Third Order of San Francisco, located in an adjoining building, next to the northern facade of the Basilica. It was built between 1662 and 1668. In the year 2007, it was inaugurated the Dalieda of San Francisco, which extends to the south of the Basilica, where, in the Middle Ages, was located the cloister of the primitive convent on which the temple rises. To the west of the building, extends towards the Almudena Cathedral, the next door parque de La Cornisa, so called by its location to the edge of the hollow that forms the valley of the Manzanares river.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Madrid on the Basilica

Tourist office of Madrid on the Basilica

There you have it in a nutshell , one of the nicest off the beaten path sites in Madrid, even if in an area very much frequented near the Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral. Enjoy the Basilica minor San Francisco el Grande.

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

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January 21, 2019

Some news from France CCXVII

And here I am direct at you again on the tidbits of my belle France, which thanks to you all have become as popular as I wanted to be over the years. This is in Roman numerals the but is the 218th post!! Thank you.

It is cold and sunny today -1C or about 31F today and even colder in Paris this morning. As I write , it is 3C  (about 38F) in my neck of the woods and the same in Paris, still morning. But hey nothing to stop me or you to enjoy the beautiful France; 90 millions this past year wow its awesome! and expecting 100M in 2019!!!!!

In 2018, the Louvre was the most popular museum in the world, with 10.2 million visitors, 25% more than in 2017. With a bonus for the Louvre, which combines the advantages: its collections cover several centuries of history within a majestic historical monument; It houses masterpieces including the most iconic, the Mona Lisa; It is located in Paris, the world’s number one destination. In fact, three quarters of its visitors are foreign. The permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou recorded an increase of 18% of their attendance; the Museum of the Quay Branly-Jacques Chirac saw its growth of 7%, Versailles of 6%, Orsay of 3%. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by Jean Nouvel, received incredible media coverage for its opening in November 2017 and attracted for more than a million visitors, valuing the Louvre in the Middle East, Africans, and Asian region. The museum currently has 70 international collaborations: Exhibitions, research, excavations, various exchanges. The Centre Pompidou has installed antennas in Malaga, Brussels and is going to establish itself in Shanghai… The French regional metropolises, which have invested a great deal to equip themselves with attractive museums, are thus able to drain several hundred thousand visitors a year. On the other hand, the Paris Opera receives 97 million euros of state subsidies (from happy French taxpayers like me), compared to 28.5 million for the twenty operas in the regions combined, to which 18 million euros came from private patrons in addition. Compile from various newspapers.

In Marseille, the Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean (MuCEM), for which it is necessary to book and justify its identity as a conservation and resource Centre, a 800 m² “control apartment” presents a rotating sample of the funds Preserved by the museum, pieces from all eras, provenances and dimensions. The Marseille institution now retains the collections. Georges Henri Rivière , his founder, to whom the MuCEM is currently dedicating an exhibition, had imagined, from 1937, to show the gallery of studies to the general public.  The artists ,also take up the reserves is to expose anonymous artists whose creations are taken from the reserves of the museums where he intervenes, for example the Museum of Arts of Nantes, the MuCEM, and until February 3, at the Museum of Fine Arts of Rennes. In Paris, the Museum of the Quai de Branly-Jacques Chirac has long been the example of the reservations visible with its tower of instruments, 27 meters high and which exhibits 10 000 musical instruments. These reserves are not  visited but an application gives elements of information and the walls diffuse the sounds of the instruments that are kept there. The Louvre-Lens goes even further in this logic. The reservations, visible from the lobby, are visited by groups on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Visitors were able to benefit from a guide in the food shop to see the reserves. News from various newspapers in France.

Imagine a health course of 40 km that meanders between the marshes and the boulevard périphérique of Paris, along a vegetated weft dotted with sports challenges. This dream for aspiring marathoners and sportsmen of Sundays may become reality by 2024. At the request of the City/Town Hall of Paris, the Parisian planning workshop Apur has just made a long study on a project of “Urban Sports Walk” along the green belt. Specifically, the course, already equipped with seven sports challenges sites, would be equipped with ten new challenge sites for bodybuilding or cardio-training work. Many recreational facilities such as children’s games, petanque, table tennis, foosball, climbing walls, board games, etc are also provided on 17 points along the route as well as convivial spaces such as picnic tables, fountains, Superloos etc. According to Apur, 600 new alignment trees will have to be planted, sidewalks widened for 9 km, a band of 42 000 m2 cleared of bitumen from the trees, 6 km of vegetated walls and about 15 pedestrian crossings created in the most perilous zones. See attached map. More info here:

400 years is a celebration! To celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the departmental estate of Sceaux  (Hauts de Seine 92) where he lived, inaugurates an exhibition of family portraits of this minister of Louis XIV. Until April 21, 2019. Château de Sceaux stables.Every day except Monday from 13h. to 17h. until 28 February and from 14h  to 18h30  starting March 1st. Admission is 3-4€. More here:

This is the year of the 7th art in the Yvelines dept 78. In 2019, no less than 31 new cinemas should be opened. In total, the department will count 6 780 new armchairs. The most important will be located at the Vélizy 2 shopping center,(Vélizy-Villacoublay) (nice shopping and cinema we like) which is to open in February 2019 ,a complex of 3 800 armchairs in total in 18 rooms on two levels. More here:

At Plaisir, UGC also invests in pleasure, where the opening at the end of 2019 of a multiplex cinema Cité of 9 rooms and 1 280 armchairs to play the role of Open Sky locomotive, the shopping center whose work continues along the road D11. The developer also builds the Open Sky shopping mall, for fun. The signs Primark, Zara, H & M or Undiz will be the locomotives of the center, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019. More here in French:

In Maurepas, the multiplex, the first stone of which was laid at the end of November, will have eight projection rooms and 1 700 seats on 5 000 m² and two levels in the area of the Leisure Village. A parking space of 500 is planned to accommodate the 400 000 annual visitors expected per year. To achieve this attendance, the complex will be equipped with the latest technologies with an ICE room (immersive Cinema Experience) and a MX4D room with seats that move according to the action of the film. The establishment is expected to be opened by October 2019. More info here in French:

And it’s not over: next year, 12 rooms should open at the Parly 2 shopping center, at Le Chesnay next to Versailles! This is great our favorite cinema is improving! More here in French:

And after all the above you might be hungry , really hungry, so heads for…aka for serious meat lovers only.

Is meat consumption down? For the-good-restaurateurs, this may be a godsend. As long as you don’t just push a trivial rib steak on the plate but offers an “experience”, a moment. Its Beefbar, just open last October in the former Marbeuf farmhouse in Paris, a few steps from the prestigious Avenue George V, is already filled. A few days ago, walking between carpet rolls and plasterboard, we were struggling to believe that the deadlines would be kept. He never doubted.  The place, magnified the Art nouveau room. Beefbar , created in Monaco in 2005 and present since then in Monaco, Mexico City, Cannes, Budapest , and Hong Kong, and now Paris. The meats served will be chosen and worked with the utmost care, including a limousine of Auvergne refined 60 days and of course Kobe beef. More info here:

There you go happy Monday lol! always a drag I know, but hey there is always going to be a first day of the week! Enjoy your week wherever you are!

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

January 20, 2019

Markets of Valencia, Spain of course!

And I bring out east of my beloved Spain, and into the mediterranean. I came here as a boy when my Aunt lives just south in El Saler, then spent many years without coming back,and then voilà came often the last few years! This is Valencia the city of the paella and a lot more.

I like to take you into a bit of history on its gastronomy delights ,and what better than the markets or mercados of Valencia. The two I love are the Mercado Central and Mercado de Colon, with the later been my favorite of all.

Let me start you off by showcasing the Mercado Central or Central Market to many is the most popular and the most visited of all in Valencia.

The Mercado Central is located in the Plaza Ciudad de Brujas.   It is considered as one of the masterpieces of Valencian modernism.



It is a construction of Valencian modernist style began to be built in the year 1914 and ended in 1928. The Mercado Central combines metal, domes, glass, columns, the Gothic memory of modernism, as if it were a cathedral of commerce, combining with the neighbouring Lonja de la Seda. In the center of the building you can see a large dome topped by a weather vane.

It is located on the Plaza del Mercado , next to the Lonja de la Seda or silk market and the Plaza de la Ciudad de Brujas. The old Calle de la Paja separates the Mercado Central to the Church of the Saints Juanes. On the opposite side, the Mercado Central gives to the beautiful Calle Palafox, Plaza en Gall and Calle de las Calabazas.

This spectacular market, has 1,200 stands in which sells all kinds of food such as fish, shellfish, fruits, meats and sausages both for domestic consumption and to supply important restaurants in Valencia, which is crowned as the market biggest fresh produce in Europe. The purchase in this place is loaded with great charm by the beauty of its architecture and the tradition and history of the market.



I like to give you here some webpages to help you plan your trip here and is a must.

Official Mercado Central

Tourist office of Valencia on Mercado Central

City of Valencia on Mercado Central

Then , I move on to the one we like the most and do parking there when visiting the city lately. This is the Mercado de Colon or Columbus market.

The Mercado de Colón is located in Calle Jorge Juan ,19 , the building, was conceived and realized between the years 1914 and 1916. It is one of the best examples of the architecture of the Valencian modernism of the beginning of the century.


The Mercado de Colón is located in the city’s Eixample, between the Calle Colón and Gran via Marqués de Turia (Calle Conde Salvatierra, Calle Jorge Juan, Calle Cirilo Amoros, and Calle Martínez Ferrando), located in what was formerly the gas factory of the Marqués de Campo

The administrative antecedents of the Mercado de Colon (Columbus market) are in the continuous requests of owners and neighbors to the city council towards 1890, in which they requested the implantation of provisional or definitive markets in the area of the Ensanche to avoid the itinerant sale that was generated with the need to obtain goods and necessities without the inconvenience of reaching the remote Mercado Central markets or that of Ruzafa.

The Mercado de Colon, like any modernist work, participates in a vast vision of architecture as a total work of art, in which design extends from the conception of the building to each of the elements that form it, with special emphasis on the applied arts. The design of the cast iron columns, in brick, in polychrome ceramics: used as an aesthetic and ornamental element in mosaics and claddings of facades, glass, stone ashlars, artificial stone, used for the program Iconography of the market and carpentry.


The Mercado de Colon has a total area of 3,500 m². It presents a basilica plant of 3 naves, a central one of 18.60 meters high and two smaller sides of 9.70 meters. With lighting with cantilevers of 6 meters. On each side, organized in 9 bays of 7 meters of separation. The structure consists of trusses and metal lattice arches made by profiles composed of colonnades joints, and screws in the links with the foundry pillars that support the roof, with heights of 8 meters and 5 meters, with capital and ornamented base. The cover is made by means of square fibre-cement plates , which are fastened with wire to their diagonals. The access to the enclosure is produced by eight large doors that provide a great permeability and connect functionally with the environment throughout its perimeter. They are made with profiles and steel plates, with ornamental elements of smelting and forging.


The doors are located in the chamfers and in the centers of each facade. In the facade towards to the Calle Jorge Juan is located a pavilion for municipal uses, 31 x 7.5 meters base, which rises in a pointed arch of 16 meters high and 13 meters of light between supports , with the depth of a creak. It starts from two rectangular base bodies, in one of which is the access staircase to the upper gallery. In the other there are several municipal galleries distributed on three floors. Between the two elements it crosses a gallery destined to offices, built like a bridge between the supports of the arch.  Two chimneys topped with curved shapes lined with ceramic fragments are raised on the canopy deck. This façade presents a complete iconographic and symbolic program, in which they are present from the poultry (turkeys, ducks, hens pheasants, geese, roosters) until the butchery (meats, pigs, cows, rabbits), passing by the fish (crabs, crayfish , eels, fish, molluscs), vegetables (pumpkins, corn, peppers cucumbers, tomatoes), snails, flowers of different type and, of course, the fruit (figs, lemons, apricots, pineapples nuts, pineapples, vines, bananas, melons, pomegranates, apples, oranges , pears).  Unlike the facade of the Calle Jorge Juan, the towards to that of Calle Conde Salvatierra, consists of a single plane lacking volumetry, executed in brick and with combination of natural and artificial stone .

The plane of this facade is limited laterally by troncocónics columns finished in pinnacles, in whose center opens a large parabolic arch of brick of similar dimensions to the other and whose eardrum is closed by a colossal window. The lower part is topped up to about 4 meters high by means of a glass canopy on metal carpentry. At the base of the two great side pinnacles are placed the flower stalls, of great lightness and wavy cover also covered with ceramic fragments. This façade, on the other hand, appears without ornaments, except for some isolated and imperceptible details in the whole as the Rams, the Snails, the pears and the strips of garlic.


Valencia Pantalan 5 mercado Colon aug16

On December 24, 1916, Christmas Eve, the Mercado de Colon was inaugurated, and according to a local newspaper, it was a spectacular event: from the bullring came a cavalcade formed by the mounted Municipal Guard with the timpani and bugles of the city , the rock of fame, market vendors, the fishing groups, birds and meats and flowers, fruits and vegetables, a chariot occupied by the Queen of the party accompanied by her court of Honor. The Municipal Band and a section of the Civil Guard closed the celebration.


The Mercado de Colon has been transformed into a hotel center, with a traditional horchatería, a biocafeteria, Biobrewery, a cafeteria-franchise, two foreign breweries and a restaurant coexist with a florist and the only three original establishments that have lasted: a delicatessen , a fish shop and a fruit shop. A   basement that houses a parking area, leaving the central part free for cultural events.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is a must are

Offical Mercado de Colon

Tourist office of Valencia on Mercado de Colon

City of Valencia on Mercado de Colon

And there you go , a shopper’s paradise full of history and gorgeous architecture. IN addition, a great city ambiance and people pleasers, a joy to be there. Hope you enjoy the tour of the wonderful Mercado Central and Mercado de Colon of Valencia.

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

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January 17, 2019

Some news from France CCXVI

And I am back on my regular news coverage of France , my take, my opinion, my tastes. Today is sunny!!! temp 6C or about 45F no rain of course just lovely in my beautiful Morbihan breton 56. In eternal Paris is about the same at 43F as well as in my beloved Versailles.

Let me tell you the latest news on my belle France.

There are three weeks of filming in Paris for the production of Roman Polanski’s film, “J’Accuse or I Accuse”, a feature film devoted to the Dreyfus affair with the principal actors Jean-Dujardin and Louis Garrel. The shooting started last November 26th to end on March 7, 2019 for allow a release in early December 2019. The Church of Saint-Germain L’ Auxerrois, was in the spotlight. Inside, while a huge luminous veil occupies the top of the church, an ambient mist creates an atmosphere of the end of the 19C. J’ accuse, the tribune of Emile Zola, denouncing one of the largest anti-Semitic cases in France, starring Louis Garrel in the role of Captain Dreyfus, accused of espionage. Jean-Dujardin is Colonel Marie-Georges Picquart, head of counter-espionage, who will eventually discover that the evidence against Dreyfus was false. More here in Allôcine:

In this period of Epiphany (I am a bit late sorry), the galette de Rois is in the spotlight on all the displays of our bakeries. This winter pastry, more commonly known as Parisienne, makes the happiness of the 7 to 77 years old. Glazed, caramelized or creamy, these artisans of the capital revisit in their own way this traditional dessert, of the New Year. At Douceurs et Traditions, 85, rue Saint-Dominique, 7éme, Metro La Tour-Maubourg. At Karamel Paris, 67, rue Saint-Dominique ,7éme, Metro La Tour-Maubourg.  And  Un Glace à Paris, 15, rue Saint Croix de la Bretonnerie , 4éme, Metro Hôtel de Ville.

Webpages for above pâtisseries :

Beans and patties of kings are the inseparable of the pastry. Celebrating the 500th anniversary of Château de Chambord ( dept Loir-et-Cher), slips in his patties, beans with the effigies of historical figures, such as François I and Louis XIV, who contributed to the fame of the castle. Gluttony, the beans of the houses Hugo and Victor ,7éme and Karamel Paris, 7éme celebrate the desserts with unpublished pieces. More sporting, the 11 winning and red beans of the boutique Un Glace à Paris 4éme, will make you meet Emmanuel Petit, world Champion 98 and Emmanuel Ryon, best worker of France, to celebrate together the Epiphany. The wine of course will be white, and sweet enough to embrace the sweetness of the dessert. A semi-dry Champagne; or a muted Muscat ,whose fermentation was brutally halted by adding pure alcohol are in order.

A story of France and the people that belongs as French. 1954,the cold envelops France, at Saint-Denis, Smaïl, a worker, is sleeping outside, at minus 13 °C, on the site where he works. A few steps away from the location of the future Stade de France, where 44 years later, his son, help gave the football World Cup for France in 1998; his son Zinedine Zidane. Histoire d’Une Nation or Stories of a nation,will be projected this Thursday evening today 20h15  at the cinema L’Ecran  in Saint-Denis. This series in four episodes was aired in September and October last on France 2 TV. It interweaves the little stories and the great, drawing the portrait of a France that was built, sometimes in pain, according to successive waves of immigration, from 1870 to 2005. This suburb, where the generations of immigrants from Spain, Italy, Algerians, Malians mingled, inevitably fed the work. The film also gives the floor to immigrants and children of immigrants from Marseille, Toulouse, Clermont-Ferrand… There is a common history, a French history that has not been told. And from this point of view, the Seine-Saint-Denis is not atypical, Free entrance.More here in French:

During the night of 12 or 13 October 1973, five wooden sculptures dating from the 16C and 18C were stolen. Only Sainte-Anne and the Virgin could be found. Forty-six years after being stolen from Houdan, a statue representing St. Anne and the Virgin will return to her place in  the Church of St. James (St Jacques) the Major of Houdan. The statue of Sainte-Anne and the Virgin, with a height of 94 cm in polychrome wood, was to be auctioned  last December 8th by a sales hall which has a street-corner in Heidelberg (Germany) for a starting price of 6 000€. Luckily it was found before the sale by Eurojust an European service tracking these stolen goods. In a similar story, a statue of St. Christopher in Wood, stolen from the church of Cergy-Village in Cergy (Val-d’oise 95) in November 1973, resurfaced last October. The work was spotted in Frankfurt (Germany) when it was to be sold. Be aware of what you buy in these markets in Europe.

A WWII bomb was discovered on the site of the future Tramway line 13. The bomb discovered in St Cyr l’Ecole, right next to the train station. It’s an English bomb dating back to WWII, weighing 500 pounds or about 250 kg and 115 kg of explosives, this bomb, in the event of an explosion, could cause a crater 4 meters wide and 3 meters deep by projecting splinters within a radius of 300 meters. This kind of discoveries remains rather common in this area.More from the agglo area here in French:

A chemical transformation, more accurately, carried out by micro-organisms, bacteria, yeast or mold on the sugar in the absence of oxygen. And now it gives us the three pillars of French gastronomy: bread, cheese and wine. Moreover, two of them (hint: not the cheese) symbolize the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The fermentation holds the divine. When it is controlled by the human hand, fermentation gives a more complex taste to the food and keeps it longer. It’s useful. Enjoy it the tip.More in French from the La Revue du Vin de France:,fermentation-definition-dictionnaire-du-vin-vocabulaire-lexique,10355,4025490.asp

In the opinion of professional buyers like designers, Paris offers this season the most beautiful stage for the fashion of men. The American, British and Japanese labels feast on the public. Fashion Weeks, from last Tuesday night, first day of parades in the city.  56 shows (10 more compared to the previous edition) , and 26 presentations, 15 nationalities are on the program until  this coming Sunday evening, making once again (and even more than ever) Paris the great capital of men’s fashion; definitively, Paris is a springboard to fame and fashion for the youngest but especially for the most adventurous. The LVMH brand is set up under the dome of the Opéra Garnier; where the men’s fashion has never paraded. The company eco-friendly Lime will make available to the small world of fashion, a fleet of electric scooters, in partnership with Paris Fashion Week. More here in French on the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode:

The first 12 cars sold in France are indeed produced by one of the two French car groups,no surprise very local mindset. The top 3 is made up of the Renault Clio, followed by the Peugeot 208 and the compact SUV Peugeot 3008. In fourth position , the first model of the Citroën C3. Next comes the entry-level model of the low-cost Dacia manufacturer, the Sandero. In sixth place is the Renault  Captur, followed by  the Peugeot 2008 and the compact 308. Dacia Duster in 9th, Renault Twingo ,10th, Renault Megane ,11th and Citroën C3 Aircross 12th. The first foreign car on the list is German. This is the Volkswagen Polo, which is followed by a Japanese: the Toyota Yaris produced in France in Valenciennes! . Follow again by locals Peugeot 5008 and the Renault Kadjar. A second Volkswagen, the Golf, slips to 17th place, been the most sold car in Europe, and due for a generation change this year. The 18th place is occupied by the Opel Corsa which will also change generation this year. It will be developed on the platform of DS3 Crossback and Peugeot 208, Opel being passed into the lap of PSA. In the penultimate position is the small Fiat 500. The Ford Fiesta manages to climb to 20th place.Of course, I am a Ford lover, but not the Fiesta, mine  done in Saarbruken and Valencia!  According to the French Automobile Manufacturers Assoc or CCFA:

My Ford dealer has invited me to a party this coming Saturday with food and drinks and maybe can get another deal from my salesperson lol!! Always out you never know…Stay tune ::)

The company Novaxia is planning to reallocate the phantom metro station Croix Rouge into a culinary space. Located in the 6éme arrondissement, the station will be transformed into a Halle halfway between an underground market and a restaurant with a cocktail bar on long quays of 75 meters. Another project is the Le Chai subaquatique or the underwater cellar; here not only can you have a drink (or two) but you can dive! Led by Winereef , the project includes a diving pit, a food market and urban agriculture garden. Réservoirs de Passy 16éme arrondissement. These and more new to paris at Reinventer Paris webpage :

Do not recall if told you before but a classic is coming nearer me at Montparnasse (my entry point to Paris for the last few years).

It’s the Bouillon, the real, the only, the first in the matter.At the bottom of a small courtyard, the Bouillon Chartier captivated by its beauty preserved since 1896. Here is all the traditional French cuisine that is in the spotlight with low prices that make the house proud. And this, the group Joulie (owner of the Bouillon Chartier) understood it well, since a second  Bouillon  will open its doors at 59, boulevard de Montparnasse. More here:

The Le Chalet des îles on an island in the Bois de Boulogne, is since its creation under Napoleon III,  been a high-level spot for meetings. In the evening for  the social evenings and the day to sink into one of those armchairs by the fireside. As a country house that you would never want to leave, you can stay for hours to enjoy the quiet, yet so close to Paris. Le Chalet des ïles; 14, Chemin de Ceinture du Lac Inférieur 16éme arrondissement, open very day from noon to 22h30.  Webpage here:

We are painting you think of period furniture, grand piano and monumental chimney. You want some more? At the bar of the hotel Aubusson you can spend the evening enjoying the Jazz concerts (from Wednesday to Saturday evening) sipping a whisky by the fire. For the workers (or the most connected) the WiFi is free. Café Laurent, 33, rue Dauphine 6éme arrondissement, open daily from 12h to Midnight. Webpage here:

On a non tourist news, I close out this news bulletin,  but me think worth telling you.  On Saturday 12 January at 9h (9am), a violent explosion caused by a gas leak erupted in the Boulangerie Hubert at rue de Trévise in the 9éme arrondissement of Paris. Since then, the city Hall of Paris has indicated that 6 Parisian buildings are at risk of collapse. Nine buildings are temporarily banned from occupancy, six of which threaten to collapse. The city of Paris remains fully mobilized in support of the victims. At the request of the mayor of Paris, they will all benefit from an accompaniment in their rehousing. They will also do everything they could to facilitate their efforts, particularly with regard to insurance. The commitment is clear: they will be at their side in this very difficult moment and we will not leave anyone without accommodation solution, City of Paris, the eternal city. A tribute was given this Thursday to Simon Cartannaz and Nathanael Josselin, the two firefighters killed in the explosion of the rue de Trévise in Paris. The Barracks Champerret,(HQ of firefighers brigades of Paris)  in the 17éme arrondissement of  Sergeant Simon Cartannaz and Corporal Nathanael Josselin had a farewell emotional tribute to these under 30 men who risk all to save, according to police more than 20 lives here. RIP

Enjoy your visit to our eternal Paris  you are in good hands here. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!




January 8, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXIII

And here I am back on the news of my Spain! It is weird entry as my site is telling me to use HTML and not visual text lol! Will see how it come out!

Anyway, it is mild in my beloved Madrid; quite sunny at 58F or about 14C pretty much the same in my neck of the woods now a bit cloudier and cooler at 11C or about 50F. Well let me tell you about Spain!

The Altamira museum suspended this past Friday in exceptional way the visits to the World Heritage Cave by the increase of the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) inside the cavity, an increase that is natural and seasonal and that is determined by the climatic situation. It had decided to maintain the regime of controlled access and limited to the cave of Altamira consists of a visit per week for five people of 37 minutes of duration, which is carried out under a strict protocol of clothing and lighting, and with a tour and times of permanence defined for each area of the cave. The visit to the cave of Altamira takes place every Friday at 10h40 and can participate in the selection procedure of the five participants all persons over 16 years who are visiting the museum between 9h30 and 10h30 of that same day..More info in Spanish of course:  Cuevas Turisticas de Espana on Altamira
The museum webpage in English: Min of Culture site on Altamira caves  And the local Cantabrian tourist site: Cantabria tourist office on Altamira caves

Banksy’s work arrives for the first time in Spain with an “unauthorized sample of works from private collections” that will be exhibited in the Espacio 51 de Ifema (51 space of Ifema) , in Madrid, starting this past Thursday. The exhibition : Banksy, genius or vandal?  will include more than 70 creations, including original works, sculptures, installations, videos and photographs. Of those selected by the Lilley Fin Art/Contemporary Art Trade Gallery,  the main curator of the British artist, highlights the original serigraphy of the series ‘ Girl with Balloon ‘, similar to that recently self destructed in London after being auctioned by more than a million euros. will also be present works of the series ‘ The Walled Off Hotel ‘, created last year in Bethlehem with views to the Israeli wall that surrounds the city, and photographs of the project ‘ Dismaland ‘, the dystopian amusement park that Banksy inaugurated in Somerstet, as well as pieces dedicated to ‘ Brexit ‘ and other topical issues.  In Madrid, visitors will be greeted by  an impressive audiovisual surround installation, specially created for this exhibition. More here:

The coolest neighborhood in the world is closer than we thought and specifically in the center of Madrid. Lavapiés or Embajadores in the end it is the same, a multicultural neighborhood where the mixture of ethnicities, countries and cultures prevails. At least it is the opinion of the magazine ‘ Time Out ‘, which on the occasion of its 50 anniversary was proposed to find the coolest neighborhood on the planet and see where it was in Madrid! See more here:

And from my angle to choose something unique and nice of Madrid you can go to

Taberna La Elisa  : This Castiza Tavern offers traditional Castilian cuisine without great secrets, hence the success among the neighbors and visitors of the area. Try your potatoes bravas, your pig’s ear or its version of the classic Pincho matrimonio (marriage) is immerse yourself in the usual gastronomy, although updated, from Madrid. Calle Santa Maria, 42.More here:

Sala Equis, here the gastronomy and the culture go directly from the hand. Not only is it a restaurant (located on the ground floor of the premises), it is a cultural center where movies, thematic clicks and other types of encounters are exhibited. A place where the tapas premium is the tapas: Pan bao of Bull’s tail, hummus of coconut and lime, or sandwich of black bread with squids. And everything while you enjoy a free concert. At Calle Duque de  Alba, 4.  More here:

La Fisna , (great place if you are into wines like me) One of those places always with tradition and solera that is still successful in Madrid. It stands as the ideal place for wine lovers, not only because it is a shop, it is also a tavern where to eat and pairing well are insured. In his menu a little bit of everything: homemade chicken marinade, Madrid tripe, truffled Bologna or Pacenta bao. And, of all, a lot of wine to choose from.  A cozy wine bar , beautiful bar hall with brick seen on the walls, aluminium bar and barrels as a candle-holder to enjoy the more than 300 references that propose, good stock of foreign labels, references of the Jerez, Champagnes.etc All wines are priced at store prices plus four euros of corkage. At Calle Amparo, 91. More here:

A bit of tourism into wine country of my beloved Spain

Haro, in La Rioja Alta, is much more than viticulture and wineries, although everything or almost revolves around them. These are lands of the Ebro river basin, which arrives here from Miranda, and continues to draw sinuous meanders, passing through the bridge of Briñas, Gothic and seven-eyed. It is this river water that waters the vines, this and the one of the Oja-Tiron river. But, in addition, Haro boasts no seven hills such as Rome, but three hills, which are the ones that escort the villa, and two mountain systems that shelter it, the Obaerenes mountains, which start in the impressive gorge of Pancorbo, and the Sierra de Cantabria. The lighting here dates from 1890, which is not bad, and took place-if you want to recall such a milestone-in the Plaza de la Paz, where eight spotlights and 260 bulbs were lit. The first particular house to enjoy light was… guess what? The Doctor’s! In 1891 the electrical installation was completed and Haro was placed on the route of the cities of Modernity: Haro, Havana,  Paris,etc.

What to see other than vines well;  from the medieval tower, next to the Arch of St. Bernard, which was to reach the village, converted into a museum (also the Santa Barbara), or the city/town hall, which is in the aforementioned Plaza de la Paz, which is 18C and neoclassical , the Church of Saint Thomas, Renaissance, known for its tower, passing through which was the Convent of St. Augustine of which today  is a hotel (Los Agustinos), or the Bretón de los Herreros theater. And do not leave, there is still more: the Basilica of Our Lady of the Vega, in the square of the same name, this of the 10C, although it is mainly baroque; The hermitage of San Felices, which is in the crags of Bilbio, in what is called Conchas de Haro, four km from the village. The famous wine battle is celebrated here. You said palaces well see the  Bendaña, also called “Terni”, Plateresque, with Mudejar gallery with stars and intertwined flowers; that of  Salazar, almost Herrera and Pre-baroque; That of the Counts of Haro, Renaissance lower  and Baroque details, and that of Tejada, emblem of the villa, rococo; the ones of Condestables, and Bezaras. Enjoy them.

But wait this is after all wine country par excellence.

An interpretation center of Rioja Wine, or Centro de Interpretación del Vino de Rioja where it was going to be but here. To know everything about the vine, its cultivation and the elaboration of wine, which has much to say also the neighborhood in question, which is the Estacion ( station), where they camp at its wide seven wineries, five centenarians, which make it a whole theme park!.More on the Center here:

Some of its beauty I have enjoyed for many years and now fruit of their labor are winning prizes galore.  It is no other than the Muga Aro 2015, which has just been named best wine of Spain 2018 with 99 points from James Suckling, awarded by the guru , in addition to being placed in the position 32 in the Top 100 of the world and be the only Spanish reference among the first 50. It was James Suckling himself who has described this wine as “supersexy, sophisticated and tasty.” And if you are pink, lean down the Flor de Muga, in the 19th place of the Top 100 of Spain and with 94 points on 100. This one with a hint of raspberry and some watermelon. You are in Haro, remember, Bodegas Muga, founded in 1932! Here is the bodega:

And you should walk and do some serious tapas rounds here and enjoya ll these and many other wines , do so at this neighborhood. The one at Herradura, the must area to be ;includes the streets of Calle de Santo Tomás (the Church’s tower on the back) and Calle de San Martín. Haro that is Enjoy it!!! Haro tourist office here:

Let me bring you back to an area very dear to me as spent many summers here with the family and dear late wife Martine.

Too mountainous if compared to La Mancha and little uneven rough in relation to the Serranía de Cuenca. This is the Manchuela, the region that extends between those  provinces of Cuenca and Albacete. With a river, the Júcar. Much of its course runs through a deep canyon that water has been carving in the limestone land for millennia. Gorgeous!

This is the biggest whim of the Júcar river  in the Manchuela conquense (Cuenca). The meanders of the river have chiseled the rock to give rise to a kind of peninsula on which the town was built. If we add the forests of pines, ramparts, towers, bridges, gorges and the castle, it seems a place out of the imagination. The majority of these elements overlook the path of the small circuit Hoz de Alarcón (see my post on Alarcon). In one of its recesses is created the town of Alcalá del Júcar, already in the province of Albacete. Start exploring the streets on the slope of this town built on the canyon wall, in the caves of Masagó you can see how they are, or how they were, those houses built by scratching the mountain. A tunnel enters its bowels to the other part of the rock. Inside, these caves house a bar, a restaurant and a couple of museum spaces. Like Alarcón, Alcalá del Júcar also has a castle. It was Muslim and from it comes its name: Al Qalat, fortified place. And, like Alarcón, it also passed into the hands of Juan Pacheco, Marquis of Villena, once the Christian conquest. You will arrived now at Jorquera or Sucro as  called by the Romans and Xuquer, devastator , the Muslims of Al-Andalus, in allusion to its indomitable character. To the bridge of Maldonado ,this bridge, precisely, leads to a very special place. The cave-houses of the other half-deserted river margin have now have  become stylish accommodations. Until Alarcón, the first stage of the trip, comes the autovia del Este (Madrid-Valencia)  or  A-3 and its link to the old national road  N-III, from which comes a small road. Afterwards, just follow the Júcar river, downstream. Well posted.More info here on the Cuevas:

Las Pinturas Murales de Jesus Mateo more info at

And at on the área of Manchuela tourism  in Spanish:

And back to my Madrid for more wines, simply awesome store and lucky I have it closer too in Paris (Madeleine). Lavinia at Calle José Ortega y Gasset, 16. The winery store of this establishment is one of the best in the world and in its small gastronomic space (that this year, in addition, it has premiered a terrace in the Madrid Milla de Oro (Golden Mile) ). It is possible to try any of these references at store price. In addition, it has a small tavern menu, with an offer of wines by glasses (some of them of high range, they are preserved thanks to the system Coravin) and dishes of season (salad, anchovies). Every Friday there’s bouillabaise! Awesome!!! More info here:

And to do credit for those that credit is deserve. The newspaper El Mundo of Madrid from which I get many of my articles has a section call El MundoVino or the world of wine and they offered prizes to the best winemaker and their work. This is the XXV edition and the winners were:

The Red wine of the year is the least named of the great wines of López Heredia, the Viña Bosconia Reserva 2006 R. López de Heredia-Viña Tondonia, (which is just darn good mind you oops sorry my words), which in this vintage reaches a particularly notable level of delicacy and finesse, and also represents one of the best relationships pleasure/price of the entire Spanish wine spectrum. A wonderful bargain and a classic. Classic is already the splendid  Do Ferreiro Cepas Vellas 2016 Gerardo Méndez Lázaro, in one of his best vintages, coming from the astonishing vineyard of more than 200 years that together with Jancis Robinson discovered two decades ago without being able to almost believe our eyes. Albariño as a great white wine worthy of those of the Rhine or of Burgundy. And finally that pink work of a French artist, Bertrand Sourdais, (and the French are here of course) who arrived at the Douro from another river, the Loire, where the tradition of the rosé is important. But here, in the Highlands, its Le Rosé de Antídoto 2016 Bodegas Antídoto collects and updates the local tradition of the clarets: two thirds Tempranillo, one third greater Albillo Mayor. The result is an immense and complex wine that surpasses the color classifications.

Honorable mention goes to these worthy liquid of the gods (seek them out wherever you are!) : Castillo de Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2009 Marqués de Murrieta, DOC Rioja. El Misterio 2015 Compañía Lebaniega de Vinos y Licores, sin DOC.  Finca O Figueiral 2016 Coto de Gomariz, DO Ribeiro.  La Bota 83 de Manzanilla Pasada Bota Equipo Navazos, DO Jerez y Manzanilla La Plazuela 2011.  Las Beatas 2015 Cía. de Vinos Telmo Rodríguez, DOC Rioja. María 2013 Viñedos Alonso del Yerro, DO Ribera del Duero. Pago Valdebellón 2015 Abadía Retuerta, VT Castilla y León. Pedro Ximénez de Sacristía 2011 Alvear, DO Montilla-Moriles . Tilenus Pieros 2011 Bodegas Estefanía, DO Bierzo. Viña de Martín Escolma 2013 Luis A. Rodríguez Vázquez, DO Ribeiro. Viña El Pisón 2015 Viñedos Lacalle y Laorden, DOC Rioja.

En Vinos Veritas indeed!!  And I leave you this time with the fruit of the gods, enjoy it. Enjoy Spain, everything under the Sun!

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


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January 7, 2019

Some news from France CCXV

Ok hey been a while not on my routine news of my belle France! Well with the holidays and vacation and just getting back to work today…. Oh yes need to tell you more of my France, with all the extra exciting news happening always in the Hexagone... I leave those to others more sadder folks. Let me concentrate on the beauty of it and the positives of it all.

Update on gare du nord Paris!  The administrative steps taken, the the work will be able to start at the end of 2019-after obtaining the building permit. The lifting of the first European railway station-222 million passengers per year-must be completed before the 2024, and looks spectacular. Some 600 million euros of work are programmed to accompany the increase of the passenger flow-800,000 in 2024 against 700,000 today-with the creation of a starting terminal, modernize, secure, open the building and adapt it to the new Mobility.  Three times larger, the new station with a 300-meters platform will include 100,000 square meters dedicated to railway activity, traffic, shops,restaurants, and leisure. The project also has a collaborative workspace. The station will remains open, the work will have to take place at night. Noise and anti-dust devices had to be imagined. It may be necessaire to relocate some of the nearby residents. It sure will be awesome!

France has become the sexiest destination in the world. The proof, while the cruise collections are usually shown in exotic and exceptional destinations, Louis Vuitton and Gucci decide to “cruiser” in the south of France. It will be at the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence for Louis Vuitton with parade between the sculptures of Miró, Calder or Giacometti.More here:

The abundant music of John Williams will be performed live by the Orchestre National of Ile-de-France, to the rhythm of the images of the saga to the planetary success.. Originally, George Lucas, designer of the “Star Wars” and director of the first film (1977), wanted, on the model of “2001: The Odyssey of Space”, to use classical music (“The Bolero” of Ravel, in particular). But Steven Spielberg advised John Williams, who had composed the very effective music of the “Jaws of the sea.” The sequel is known. The adventure lasts for more than thirty years..More info here:.

There are places that make their space, immediately. The Brach,opened only two months ago, and here the all-Paris has taken it in a bang  with its superb terrace overlooking the Eiffel Tower. The Brach is the last creation of the Evok group, which already has two chalets in Courchevel, a restaurant in the Palais Royal and another 5 stars in the Opéra, the Nolinski, this former sorting center of the post office in the 1970’s, between the Rue de la Pompe and rue Jean-Richepin.  Everything has been deconstructed and rebuilt to create this hotel of glass, with its restaurant of 150 covered with DJ in the evening, starting at 19h30. Mediterranean menu. The decoration is thought from A to Z by Philippe Starck, the inevitable. This summer the big terrace should make a bang, with its young and trendy clientele. The open kitchen lets the chef see the floor. A pastry, at the entrance, presents succulent cakes. In the floors, 52 rooms, including seven suites with their incredible terraces, will certainly be rented for endless celebrations, with plunge in the Jacuzzi and immense loungers with welcoming cushions. The interior decorations are loaded with desire. Warm. With dressing and ample marble bathroom. The gym is open to people who are not members of the hotel as well. The address: Le Brach, 1-7 Rue Jean Richepin (16éme). Tél. +33 (0) More info here: Le Brach Hotel Paris

The Disney’s Hotel New York before it closes its doors for renovation work, which will last until the summer of 2020. Inaugurated at the same time as the Disneyland Paris Park in 1992, this hotel is the first of six that the amusement park has to be closed for renovation. More than just a facelift, it is a real makeover that will know the four star hotel, which will be redecorated in the colors of the Marvel universe. Disney’s 2009 comic book franchise is one of three universes in the planned expansion of the Walt Disney Studios between 2019 and 2025, with the Snow Queen and Star Wars. The hotel’s future logo, which will be renamed “Disney’s Hotel New York-the Art of Marvel”, surrounded by extras embodying several superheroes of the franchise universe. The spirit of New York will be preserved but all the spaces will be redecorated, with unique works such as posters, statues or derived objects. The hall will be embellished with comic drawings in black and white retro lit and superheroes engravings, on stainless steel plates that adorn the columns. Three Ironman armours will welcome visitors to the New York City Bar and a panoramic view from the top of a Big Apple skyscraper. At each of the eight floors of the art galleries work in the hallways recall a different Marvel hero like Captain America, Spiderman or Ironman. All according to Disneyland. More here:

 Saint-Serge Church, in the 19éme arrondissement, near the park of Buttes-Chaumont. The wrought iron grate contrasts with the illuminated signs of the rue de Crimée . After a winding dirt road that rises to the hill, a wooden pavilion appears, hidden in the middle of the greenery: it is the Orthodox Church of Saint Serge. Everything is gilding, profusion of ornaments and colors… Blue walls, green columns, a red carpet that stretches to the iconostasis. From the ceiling frescoes to the carved benches, the meticulousness of the motifs is striking.   Back in 1857. A German, a certain von Bodelschwing, seduced by the magic of the place, decides to build a Lutheran temple. The style is clean and simple, unique to Protestant buildings. In 1924, the Orthodox Committee bought the land and ordered sketches from Dimitri Stelletsky, a prominent theater decorator. The artist after finishing his work left a plaque with the inscription “I started painting the church on November 6, 1925. I finished on December 1, 1927. Dimitri Stelletsky. » Princess Elena Sergueievna Lvova. her father is no other than the brother of Prince Lvov, President of the Provisional Government after the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II. She was one of those Russian aristocrats forced to leave their homeland after the 1917 Bolshevik revolution. It is only after her arrival in France that she dedicates herself to the art that will occupy her whole life: the iconography. By the end of the 1920’s, she had become one of the best of her time. From Finland to Tunisia, through the Notre-Dame-du-Signe Church of bd Exelmans 16éme arrondissement, its icons are everywhere.   In 1924, when many Russians joined France after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Metropolitan,Euloge,  the figure of local orthodoxy, was looking for a church for the formation of his priests.  Thanks to donations raised by his community, he manages to acquire the land of the hill at an auction… on July 24, 1924. The feast day of Saint Serge de Radonége. From then on, the Parisian building was dedicated to this inescapable personality of Russian religious history.  Church of Saint Serge, 93 rue de Crimea . Visits outside the offices by appointment at mob +33 (0) or by email at Entry is Free. Tourist office of Paristourist office of Paris on St Serge Church

Chambourcy (78)  – La Defense (92) in half an hour chrono, it is now possible. Precisely from 7h30. This  Monday morning as I write, when the first shuttle of the new express bus line set up by Ile-de-France Mobilité, (old STIF) will leave the stop Renaissance, direction the most business district of Europe, via the autoroute  A 14. Two departures in the morning, at 55 minutes apart, and two returns, at 18h and 19h, are programmed daily. An excellent solution to prevent motorists from going into the city centers  of Saint-Germain or Poissy to take the RER A. In time was coming would have been great! Fopublic transports in the region of Ïle de France: ViaNavigo ile de France transports

The Parc Saint-Paul still innovates with a new attraction: Dino Disk’O. proof of the park’s good health. At Parc Saint-Paul, all the attractions are accessible to children over 1.20 meters (3ft 11 in). And it works.  the park is off the road D931 in Saint-Paul, dept Oise 60 Hauts de France, and only 8km west of  Beauvais. More here: Official Parc Saint Paul

The largest private European collection of objects in the saga imagined by George Lucas is entering the Espace Expo Lafayette Drouot. A new exhibition site extending over 1000 m2 and which will host almost 600 exclusive objects, owned by Daniel Prada, an intergalactic fan of Star Wars. The Expo takes us into the universe of this iconic work through a series of mythical pieces and a unique scenography . Star Wars : The Fans counter-attack.  Espace Expo Lafayette Drouot  44, rue du Faubourg-Montmartre 9éme arrondissement until February 28 2019. More info here :

Les Beaux-Arts de Paris (Paris fine arts) pays homage to Leonardo da Vinci and his contemporaries, exposing for the first time thirty drawings of masters of the Italian Renaissance, including four drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and those of other great painters. A prestigious and exclusive collection!  Léonard de Vinci et la Renaissance Italienne, Beaux-Arts de Paris, 14, rue Bonaparte ,6éme arrondissement ; from January 25 to April 19 2019. More info here :

A landmark of many poets, musicians and painters, the Butte becomes, starting from 1870, a magnificent playground for all these artists. The Museum of Montmartre plunges us back into this artistically fast period, through a playful and poetic route where we can stroll through the village, from workshop to workshop. A nice way to rediscover the neighborhood! Artists in Montmartre, mythical places and workshops     Musée de Montmartre  12, rue Cortot ,18éme arrondissement , Until February 10 2019.More info here:

In three key periods, this expo focuses on the representation of black figures in the visual arts, the abolition of slavery in France (1794) to the present day. It is also interested in the dialogue between the artist and the model, through the major works of Théodore Géricault, Charles Cordier, Edouard Manet, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, and the photographers Nadar and Carjat. The black model, from Géricault to Matisse   at the   Musée d’Orsay  1, rue de la Légion-d’Honneur ,7éme arrondissement ; will be from March 26 to July 21 2019, SEE IT ; more info here :

The Paris Council approved the launch of the operation “Eiffel Tower Site”. The programe: a space of 54 ha (about 133 acres) around the monument with the aim of rebalancing the public use for the benefit of pedestrians and improving the accessibility to the monument. And a bonus: You can find information points for tourism, cultural animations, toilets or even shops! Stay tune. More in French here: Paris Council news

Everything is part of the project Reinvent the Seine. By this way, in the summer of 2017, Fluctuart entered and won the project. We are talking about an urban center whose access will be totally free. However, it must be stated that it is not about any center… We still talk about a building nestled on the Seine at the edge of the Invalides bridge overlooking the Grand Palais. We’ll be dealing with a mastodon of 1000 m2 on three floors. So the place is full of surprises. In addition to a permanent collection, we will have access to temporary exhibitions. Fluctuart will also house a bookstore and a large terrace where it is possible to consume cocktails and brunch in particular. Waiting for this building full of promises planned for the spring 2019. Stay Tune!!! More here in English! Reinventer la Seine Paris

And I leave you with something to try at home, we will , I promise!

Catalan-Breton Paella: The recipe of Catherine Roig: chicken thighs, rabbit legs, smoked breast, Catalan rice and Breton scampi. This multi-influences paella is a family heirloom for the journalist Catherine Roig, born to a Spanish father and a Breton mother.

Preparation time: 1 h 15;  Cooking time: 1 h 50;  Difficulty: Medium ; Ingredients for 6 persons

20 cloves of garlic (+ 2 for parsley); 2 onions; 2 red peppers; 2 green peppers;  2 chicken thighs, cut in four;  3 rabbit thighs, cut in four;  100 g smoked breast cut into large bacon;  3 Chipolatas sausages cut into 2 cm pieces;  500 g of mussels; 6 Live lobsters;  400 g of calamari in pieces or rings; 500 g of Spanish round (or long) rice;  800 g peeled tomatoes (Datterini are ideal);  1 large pinch of saffron pistils;  6 strands of parsley; 4 to 6 soup spoons. of olive oil;  Salt, sweet pepper

Step 1: The confit of onions and the compote of peppers. Chop garlic and onions, make them come back in a paella dish with olive oil. They should not burn but cook for 15 to 20 minutes. clean, seed out and cut the diced peppers, add to the dish, salt, pepper, cook for 15 minutes stirring. All this has to be soft…

Step 2: Meat and calamari. Add the bacon, turn 5 minutes, then add the chicken and rabbit, mix 5 minutes, add the Chipolatas and calamari, mix 10 minutes and simmer for 20 minutes stirring regularly.

Step 3: Tomatoes, mussels and scampi.  Pour the tomatoes with their juice into the dish, cook for 20 minutes, stirring. Boil 1.5 L  (about half a gallon US) of water, infuse the saffron, reserve. Sprinkle the rice over the entire surface of the dish, mix well, and watered half of the saffron. Pour the remainder gradually until the rice is cooked. Don’t stir the paella again. Then, 5 minutes after the rice, add the mussels and the lobsters. The rice should be very slightly crunchy, and it must remain juicy. It can take 20 to 30 minutes. Chop together the remaining garlic and parsley, and sprinkle the paella. Voilà ! buen provecho ou bon appétit! kalon digor!!!

There you go ,enjoy it fully, its all worth it. And remember, happy travels ,good health, and many cheers to all!!!






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