Archive for January 4th, 2019

January 4, 2019

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXX

I am back with the routine of life in beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of Brittany. The winter temps are here, this morning -3C or about 26F  so on the rest of the week. We are ready! At least not raining and defiinitively no snow lol!!! You stay tune for my blog in 2019…I am reminder my memory is fast approaching maximum at 72% ,and wordpress invites me to sign up for the business level at 25 USD per month!!! I can’t believe I am approaching 40K photos in my blog!!!  Will see if continue with this one or need to start a new one, suggestions?

I will try to continue telling you about our daily life here , the real thing ,not the glamour of Paris but the real French life. You will find out is the same as anywhere else, same clothing, similar foods, and drinks, and the same headaches of tax season lol!! And me from two countries with the USA been an ass!!

I could have call it Auray but already one under that so not to repeat will put in my routine My travels serie ,this one on the Morbihan. Tomorrow off to Normandy and new surrounding, always something new in my belle France!

I went into Auray, to drop off some clothing for the needy, we always do never throw anything away ,someone can use it. The Les Relais of Emmaus are very good for this. More on what they do in French here:  Les Relais

We then headed to take my oldest to his driving license course on the highway code, still with possible up for the test end January 2019. This is in Auray too by the city center. While he was there , I took off with my twin boys to Leclerc shopping center in Auray for a coffee at L’Océa bar café inside and kill off some time perousing at the Espace Culturel there on what else travel books and maps!!!


We then went over to put gas/petrol at Leclerc, the lowest prices in the area for my diesel yeah!! and load up for the trip tomorrow early am.


After this we pickup my oldest at his driving school by place Maréchal Leclerc. Auray.

On the way home, we stop at our bank as my Dad needed some cash, he always still think cash, bank card still not his thing lol! Our bank (BNP)  is in Auray too, the closest branch and opening accounts for us, very nice people very friendly solve all issues fast we love it.


And it was a bit late in the day ,still me on vacation waiting for this weekend Epiphany which we Spanish descend folks still celebrate if a bit low key no gifts we do that at Papà Noêl time Dec 25th. We were hungry nothing prepare at home with a bunch of guys so right across the bank is the friendly Domino’s pizza outlet and we like that from way back in the U S A! So we jump in for pizzas of different kinds, do not know I just know mine had beef and potatoes lol! yummy with a nice glass of red wine! at home take out ok!! We are all set until tonite!



And now ready for preparating the trip overnite Saturday maybe depends on what we see, we are road warriors so who knows. Another round of gilet jaunes or yellow vests in France tomorrow act VII and who knows but who cares, we go on: the motto is do not leave for tomorrow what you can do today, life is too short and believe me I know unfortunately.

Enjoy my routine mumblings and wanderings and who knows what I write but is real nothing imitated but the real thing of living in real France, the most beautiful country in the world oh wait is that was for Paris only lol!

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


January 4, 2019

Our snow ski experience in France!

And now let me go into something new to me sort of. The short story of my life is that while living in Madrid by the year 1972, a group of friends took me to ski at Navacerrada ski port just north of Madrid. It was a horrible experience ,and I rolled down the mountain for a scary while until finally somehow stop with the help of some passerbys (if you can call that in the mountains). That was the end of my snow ski experience, once a beach bum always a beach bum I guess lol!

Rolled over several years, and it was my boys turn to try snow skiing! This time in France! We went with school trips into the Northern Alps on the French side. For the boys it was a memorable trip and really enjoyed!! Me and wife ,stay on the sidelines just enjoying the before and after ski crowds, hanging around and trying all those mountain cheeses or say wines.

I like to give you a bried introduction to these two sites; they are tops in France for skiing at all levels. Abondance and Val Cenis, with the latter been more pro specialists.

I rather give an overall look at the history and the facilities with webpages and let you do the reading further. Its a subject of an experience but far from me to handle. However, I wanted it to have a “history” in my blog for family’s sake. Hope you enjoy it too.

Abondance is a town in the Haute-Savoie department no 74 of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France. It is located in the French Chablais, and is the capital of the canton of Abondance. It is more precisely in the upper valley of the Dranse, southern and mountainous region of the Savoyard Chablais with notably the Mont de Grange (2 432 meters) and the Mont Chauffé (2 093 meters) mountains.




The beginnings of the skiing practice were early as by the year 1930 there was already a ski club for holidaymakers. The club then published the first publications related to local tourism. The telecabin was inaugurated in 1964. Abondance is a tourist town and has on its territory a northern area of the valley of Abondance, as well as a winter sports station, the Essert (20 km of generously arranged slopes) which is part of the domaine des Portes du Soleil ( gates of the sun).

Things to see in Abondance:

The Abbey of Abondance founded in 1108 by regular canons who were settled in the Abondance Valley since 1080. First a priory, it became an abbey in 1140. The decline of the abbey was rapid since the mid-15C due to the Commende system (Someone who was not required to observe the obligations inherent in his or her charge) . The Feuillants relaunched it from 1607 to 1761, the date of its final closure. From 1836, it the town who managed it. The terrace between the city/town hall, the school, the road and the way to the square of the church, with the degrees of access, the retaining wall of the land and the plantations are all protected.

The Notre-Dame-d’Abondance Church was built around 1275. It is the only Church in Savoy to possess an ambulatory and absidiales chapels; Gothic cloister of the 14C presenting a set of murals depicting the Marian cycle, among them the Annunciation, the Nativity, the flight to Egypt or the wedding of Cana. These paintings probably date from the first half of the 15C and illustrate the current art style, but also by many details the local environment. The iconography is part of a late Gothic style reminiscent of the Florentine school. The House of the Val of Abondance: a tour presenting the pastoral, cheese, geographical and historical richness of the valley.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Abondance

Official area Savoie tourist office on Abondance

My fav site for ski info Skiinfo in English on Abondance

City of Abondance on heritage

Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis is a former town in the Savoie department no 73 of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France. It merged on January 2017 with the municipalities of Bramans, Lanslevillard, Sollières-Sardières and Termignon to form the new town of Val-Cenis (even thus it was already like this way before locally). Lanslebourg is located in the Maurienne Valley, at the foot of the Col du Mont-Cenis. It is 23 km from Modane and 128 km from Chambéry.

Val Cenis Lanslebourg

 Val Cenis Lanslebourg

Val Cenis Lanslebourg

A bit more of history I like here

During the annexation of the Duchy of Savoy by the French Revolutionary troops in 1792, the Maurienne Valley belongs to the department of Mont-Blanc. The municipality of Lanslebourg is administratively attached to the canton of Lanslebourg, of which it is the capital city, within the district of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. During the administrative reform of 1798 and the creation of the new Department of Lake Geneva, the situation of administrative attachment of Lanslebourg does not change

The emperor erected a new town, ephemeral, Mont-Cenis, in 1807, from the villages of the Hospice (also parish), Grand Croix and the Ramasse, reducing by the same two thirds the town of Lanslebourg.

On June 24, 1940, France signed the Armistice of Villa Incisa with the fascist government of Italy, after only a few days of battle in the Alps, and precarious victories for the Italian Army. Lanslebourg, like eight other villages of Haute-Maurienne (Termignon, Lanslevillard, Bessans, Bramans, Sollière-Sardière, Bonneval-sur-Arc, Aussois, Avrieux) and three of Haute-Tarentaise (Séez, Montvalezan, Ste-Foy), is now under the Italian rule, with locals appointed by the Italian command. The Bando del Duce of 31 July 1940 had indeed passed the eight villages occupied under a regime of annexation. From November 11, 1942, the Italians occupied the whole of Savoy. On September 8, 1943, the Italian occupation ends in Lanslebourg as in the rest of the department, the Nazis replacing the Italians. After , WWII, the Col du Mont-Cenis was ceded by Italy to France in 1947 by the Treaty of Paris.

Some of the things to see here are

The Domaine de Val Cenis Vanoise Winter Sports Resort is located on the town and that of Lanslevillard. The Church of the Assumption-of-the-Virgin, now a baroque space, is a permanent exhibition place created in an ancient church. It is designed to give the keys to reading the Savoyard Baroque Art. It also presents temporary exhibitions on the history and heritage of the valley. The Assumption Church, built between 1828 and 1830 , has a neoclassical-style painted décor. Also, Fort of Bramble near the Col du Mont-Cenis.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Tourist office of Haute Maurienne on Val Cenis

My fav Skiinfo webpage on ski on Val Cenis

Tourist office of Savoie on Val Cenis

City of Lanslebourg mont Cenis on Val Cenis

There you go if you want to ski these are nice areas of my belle France. Very family oriented and frequent by the French youth a lot. Just be carefull don’t fall off a mountain lol!!!

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





January 4, 2019

The galerie des Carrosses, Versailles of course!

Ok maybe I am cheating as this is part of the Chateau de Versailles but apart in a separate building across the street so maybe you go for the nice horse show and by pass this beauty just back open to the public not far back. I was here before they renovated it as Versailles has so much more to see than the castle. I told you so!

The new galerie des Carrosses or Gallery of Coaches/carriages is a wonderful place indeed ,and I am glad is back on, will look forward to visit now renovated. And to take more photos the one below is from my photo copy on photo believe is from 1991-92. It is in the Grande Ecurie or Great stables of the king across from the castle.

The galerie des Carrosses or Gallery of coaches-formerly Museum of Carriages (until 2006)-is a museum located in Versailles , dept 78 Yvelines, in the ïle de France region of France, which presents a collection of coaches mainly from the 19C. It is attached to the public establishment of the castle, the museum and the National Estate of Versailles and housed in the Grand Ecurie across from the castle.


A bit of history I like

After the carriages were dispersed during the revolutionary period, and selling at the end of the French Revolution, this museum was created by King Louis-Philippe I in 1833 when he decided to transform Versailles into a museum of All the glories of France (and therefore saving the castle from demolition!!!). It is then installed in the Grand Trianon, in a small building. The first museum of the Trianon opened its doors to the public in 1851.

Both Museum of the history of France and Salon of Automobile of the 18-19C, the gallery of coaches presents the most beautiful prototypes and the latest advances of the French bodywork in terms of comfort, performance and technique as well as traction, suspension, and first cut convertible.

The collection consists mainly as said of 19C vehicles with sedan and gala cars of the imperial Court of Napoleon I, the funeral chariot of Louis XVIII; and the carriage of the coronation of Charles X. The museum has only a few vehicles dating from the old regime with the sedan of the Dauphin Louis de France chairs with carriers and six sleds. The coaches of the gallery are the creations of the best artists and artisans of luxury of the court: architects, carpenter, saddler-bodywork, shimmerer, locksmith, bronzier, chaser, gilder, melter, painter, plasterer, trimmers, and knitters.etc.

In 1978, the collection at the Museum of the Carriages or wagons of Trianon, built in 1851, was moved to the Grande Ecurie. In 1985, the Museum of Carriages was opened to the public. In 2007, the Museum of Carriages closed its doors for the expansion work. In 2016, the museum is open again to the public. the Gallery of Coaches or La Galerie des Carrosses in the Grande Ecurie is the new name.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Chateau de Versailles on the gallery

Tourist office of Versailles on the Gallery of Coaches

Hope you enjoy it with the family lots of nice wagon/coaches and even more history in them. And Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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