Archive for January 3rd, 2019

January 3, 2019

Again back to lovely Auray!

So this is still a nice place to visit, very historical for many countries and my former home in Brittany. I took some walks in the town again, it is always lovely to walk its streets, this wonderfully lovely Auray ,in the Morbihan breton.

I happened to be with my father who elderly cannot walk too much, so I drove to a city center parking, left him there and did my walks around the town. We were waiting to pick up my oldest son from driving school here in town, where he is taking the dreadful difficult French highway code.

I left my car in the Keriolet parking, this is the closest to city center and all amenities in the Haute Ville or upper town of Auray.

auray

And here is a map of city center rigth in the Keriolet parking…You can see the round red button saying vous etes ici or you are here!

Auray

I walk down to the place de la République or Republic square where the city/town hall is and the wonderful covered market for fresh fish/seafood early in the mornings. A very nice area of wooden houses too or maisons en bois.

auray

auray

auray

Right at place de la République there is the photo shop we do all our photos here. This was before a Photo studio of a friend of our photo studio in Versailles!!! And we were recommended lol! Well one of the principals just purchase the whole thing but the friendlies continues.

auray

I went walking up rue du lait or milk street a very old street with many picturesques stores and some we patronized such as the bag leathers place sacamania. You go up by the covered market and city hall and up you reach the Place Notre Dame and the Church of Saint Gildas ,the main Church in town.

auray

On the other side of the covered market and the main entrance (as above) you come into rue JM Barre , also, full of shops and many we patronized such as the take out traiteur and bakeries and our Optic 2000 old store (we have a partner now in our town). On this street you have a mini supermarket Sparr now completely renovated and very nice.

auray

Auray

As we did this street Rue JM Barre can, also take you towards the Church of Saint Gildas, the main Church in town. And been so nice ,and visited many times, could not resist to see it again inside.

auray

auray

auray

Finally, on the way back , took first a ride with my father to the Saint Goustan harbor area of Baisse ville lower town of Auray. This is the place to be and was already full on the places we like to go at 16h30, actually after 19h all comes alive and the whole Place St Sauveur gets full of people, as this time of the year mostly locals. Summer times we get many tourist from the British isles.

auray

auray

And from here we went up again with the car to pick up my oldest boy at driving school! and we came home to have a nice steak , and rabbit terrine dinner with Bordeaux red wine of the Mouton-Rothschild stable…

Hope you enjoy the tour! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

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January 3, 2019

Gare Chantiers, Versailles of course!

Ok this time will venture into something new ,ohh yes even Versailles has places not been too much or nothing at all. This one is in another land, the district of Chantiers and it even has a train station! I will tell you a bit more on the Gare Chantiers of Versailles.

The only thing that brings me here is that my sons took it to go to Montparnasse area for video games competitions and one of their girlfriends came in and out by here to their high school where they met. I just sometimes will bring them over by car that is all. However, it is a major train station of Versailles and worthty of its mention. Especially if you are in the Montparnasse area of Paris, take the train there to Chantiers and then the TRI phebus bus to the Castle between April and October. Or just walk is not far either.

The Gare de Versailles-Chantiers is on the line of Paris-Montparnasse to Brest and of the line of the Grande Ceinture or grand belt of Paris, located in Versailles, district of Chantiers, in the Department of Yvelines no 78 , in the Île-de-France region.

Versailles

picking up boys at Chantiers

It is in the center of a seven-branched railway star layout connecting it: towards Paris: At the Gare Montparnasse (Transilien N and Direct Line Montparnasse-Chartres), at the Gare d’ Austerlitz by Pont du Garigliano in the north-south direction and by Massy-Palaiseau in the south-north direction on line RER C, at the station of Gare Saint-Lazare via la Défense (line Transilien U), by the connection of Viroflay which joins the line of Saint-Lazare at Versailles-Rive-Droite; towards the southwest, in Rambouillet, Chartres, and beyond to the west of France; To the West: in Granville (line of Saint-Cyr to Surdon) and Mantes-la-Jolie by the line of Plaisirs-Grignon in Épône-Mézières; and towards the east, in Massy-Palaiseau and Valenton of the Grande Ceinture.

Versailles

passing by Chantiers

A bit of history I like

The history of the gare Chantiers of Versailles has already begun when the opening of the station of Versailles-Chantiers was done on 12 July 1849. Its name of “Chantiers” work construction area ,comes from the fact that during the construction of the Castle in the 17C, the district in which it is located was composed essentially of constructions dedicated to the size of the stones.

This new station is characterized by a convex façade, which is part of the classical architectural tradition with curved bays, pilasters and cornices. A few touches of modernity are read in the low wings that flank the central building body symmetrically. The buildings located at the back are treated in the style of the 1930’s.   A bridge crosses the tracks to reach the observation post. It contains the stairs that serve the quays.   At the inauguration of the buildings, in 1932, the press bursts with enthusiasm, journalists wrote: It is the most modern and daring of all the major stations of France by its conception.

It is a train station which has a passenger building with counters adapted for disabled people, automatons Transilien, automatons, the information system on the traffic of real-time trains, elevators, Device for controlling expanded notes and magnetic loops for hearing impaired persons. A free Wi-Fi network is available since 2016.   It is equipped with four central platforms framing eight lanes. A passenger hall overlooking the tracks transversely allows access to the various quays. The train station is served by the bus lines ARC, B, BAK, G, H, H Express, I-LFA, K, L, P, R, T Express, TRI, W, X, Z, 22 and 24 of the Phebus bus network of Versailles, as well as bus lines 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 39.12 and 39.37 H of the SAVAC transport Company and , at night, by the lines N-1 and N-3 of the Phebus bus network, and N145 of the Noctilien network. Parking for vehicles and bicycles is available.

A new footbridge with a length of 65 meters for a width of 10 meters was inaugurated on April 5, 2016 to a hundred meters to the west of the existing bridge, this gateway is accessible by a new hall, connected itself to the existing hall by a large gallery on the front of the current station. The designers chose to maintain an architectural style of the 1930’s in harmony with the existing building and to use the natural light for the lighting in a maximum way, with large windows and a rectangular dome above the New Hall.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here and ride the trains by here are

Official SNCF train info on the Chantiers station

Official Ile de France region Transilien transport webpage on Chantiers

Official grand Versailles transport changes to come at Chantiers

It is a station still in constant renovation but the trains continue to come. It is as said easly reach from Paris with good link up transportation to the Castle and the city. However, the best is to walk it. From the Chantiers station in front of Place Raymond Poincaré you come into Rue des Etats Généraux and turn left.  Continue straight into Avenue de Paris and turn left. Continue straight into the Chateau de Versailles. I never measured it of course but google tells me is about 1 km or 13 minutes walking.

Hope you enjoy it, and really come out to see Versailles. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

January 3, 2019

Osmothéque of Versailles!

Ok so again back to my beloved Versailles. This one is so off the beaten path things to see in the city that you need reservation from the city tourist office or the Osmothéque itself. It is not open any time you need to make prior reservation ok. Just to show you Versailles has some unique places, a lot more than most think of only the castle/museum!

This a perfum museum sort of or a historical reservoir of scents going back milleniums, and is call the Osmothéque of Versailles. They claim to be the World’s only frangrance archives! I have been once out of curiosity taken advantage of my boys school trip here. But if you are into perfums well forget the others come to the roots of it at Versailles!

The Osmothéque museum , archives as you like is located at  36 Rue du Parc de Clagny,  inside the school ISIPCA (Institut supérieur international du parfum, de la cosmétique et de l’aromatique alimentaire). You can reach it from Paris Saint Lazare to Rive Droite train station in Versailles (was the closest to my house too) end of terminus. Once at train station go out and turn right on Rue du Maréchal Foch , bear right and turn right at Avenue du Général Mangin and continue on same street later name Avenue de Villeneuve l’Etang ,take a quick left into 36 Rue du Parc de Clagny, the Osmothéque is on your right hand side of the street. I never measure it but google says is 1,2 km or 16 minutes walking , and I tell you doing this into nice residencial neighborhood.  Or if like to take the wonderful Phebus bus network ,take at Rive Droite train station the lines H or A (my boys line to school!) and get off at stop or arrêt ,Place La Boulaye , that get you within  4 minutes on foot from it taken left Avenue Jean Jaurés to Rue du Parc de Clagny right again and the Osmothéque is on your lefthand side. For the rdv or reservation to see it you can ,also,call +33 (0) 1 39 55 46 99 English spoken. 

Versailles

original building of the Osmothéque in the ISIPCA campus in Versailles

In brief! The Osmothèque, is the only conservatory tracing the history of perfumery. Founded in 1990 by Jean Kerléo and other confirmed perfumers, such as Jean-Claude Ellena and Guy Robert, the Osmothèque is responsible at the international level for the authentication, registration, preservation, documentation and reproduction of fragrances, all archived in their original formulation at the Osmothèque depot and viewable by the public. There are a large number of masterpieces of perfumery, including some rare fragrances (because they are no longer produced elsewhere or according to the same formula) as the Cyprus of François Coty, the Eau de Cologne extra old by Jean-Marie Farina or even the Royal Fern of Paul Parquet. Many historical fragrances are also available, such as those of Elisabeth of Poland, Napoleon 1er or Eugénie de Montijo (wife Napoleon III).

A bit of history I like

The creation of this first conservatory of perfume was initially proposed to the French Society of Perfumers in 1976 by Jean Kerléo, perfumer at Jean Patou, in order to record and preserve the history of perfumery. When in 1988, the project received the support of both the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Versailles-Val-d’Oise-Yvelines and the French Perfume Committee, a storage facility was provided at the premises of the Higher International Institute of Perfume, Cosmetics and aromatic food (English version of ISIPCA). The Osmothèque was officially founded on April 26, 1990 with a first collection of 400 fragrances including reproductions of the Osmothèque and products supplied by perfume houses such as Chanel, Guerlain or Lanvin.

The Osmothèque represents the largest perfume archive in the world, storing more than 4 000 fragrances of the present and past (including 800 extinct), mostly in their original formulation and preserved at a constant temperature under argon atmosphere. The fragrances present in the collection are either reconstituted from the formulas archived by the Osmothèque’s internal perfumers (known as osmothécaires) or supplied by external perfume houses, analysed and authenticated by the Osmothécaires archivists. As legal deposit archives, the Osmothèque receives a supply of all the new perfumes produced in France and a large part of the world, in addition to those obtained by its program of acquisition of compositions. The institution also collects a library of materials used in perfumery, both natural and synthetic, historical and contemporary. A vault, inaccessible to the public, finally contains the historical fragrance formulas, unfortunately largely unusable because of the raw materials not found today.

In the rarities contained in the Osmothèque are included elements of ancient perfumery, as the Royal scent of the Parthian kings described by Pliny the Elder in the 1C, medieval eau de cologne of the 14C as the water of Elisabeth of Poland’s Hungary and powders of the 18C as the powder of Cyprus The collection also counts 19C perfumes of houses such as Farina, Guerlain, Houbigant, Lubin, F. Mayo, L.T. Piver and Roger & Gallet, including the Eau de Cologne extra old by Jean-Marie Farina of 1806 and the Imperial Eau de Cologne of Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain created for Eugénie de Montijo in 1853. In the same period there is also the Eau de Cologne made for Napoleon in 1815 during his exile on the island of St. Helena.

Most of the archives of the Osmothèque is devoted to modern perfumery (beginning at the end of the 19C), presenting countless original masterpieces now extinct or reformulated, as the forbidden Fruit of Rosine fragrances created by Henri Alméras, the Cyprus and Emerald of François Coty, Le Tabac blondde Caron by Ernest Daltroff, Jicky of Aimé Guerlain, Royal Fern of Paul Parquet for Houbigant or even Parfum Idéal by Houbigant. Countless bestsellers are also present in their original formulas such as Chanel No. 5 created by Ernest Beaux, Shalimar by Jacques Guerlain and the Eau Savage of Christian Dior by Edmond Roudnitska.

The Osmothèque also publishes books on the theme of perfumes, in addition to a bilingual periodical entitled The News of the Osmothèque, available online and at the bookshop of the Osmothèque.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Official Osmothéque of Versailles

Tourist office of Yvelines dept 78 on the Osmothéque in French

An official youtube video from the Osmothéque in French with English subtitles

Hope you enjoy this off the beaten path visit to my wonderful Versailles. And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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