Archive for February, 2019

February 28, 2019

Other Churches of Brussels!!!

So I am moving up again to my neighbor Belgium, many times here taken advantange of family near the Belgian border. I have several posts on one of my favorite cities in my blog, but feel obligated again to tell you a bit more of its most interesting monuments.

What better way to do this then by showcasing several Churches of historical and architectural significance in the city of Brussels and nearby Schaerbeek. Therefore here is a bit more on these wonderful buildings!

The Royal Church of St. Mary is on the Boulevard de la Reine in Schaerbeek, a suburn of Brussels. Built in the 19C in the Romano-Byzantine style, the church is located on the Royal Route leading from the royal residence of Laeken to the royal palace in Brussels. Officially dedicated to Notre-Dame de l’Assomption ,she is popularly associated with Louise-Marie d’Orléans, the first queen of the Belgians, earning her the qualifier Royal.

Further along, with the Rue des Palais and the Rue de la Reine, a large royal route is created linking the royal residence of Laeken to the royal Palace of Brussels. On the plan, at the beginning of the Rue des Palais, a parcel of land is destined for the construction of a church. The work site opened 1846. There is a statue of Notre-Dame in the main façade and three bells,  Marie, Joseph and Salvator are installed in 1866. The Way of the Cross is placed during Lent 1868. The black granite baptistery takes its place in 1873. The definitive completion of the work is officially done in 1888. On October 14, 1902, On the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Church is solemnly consecrated.

From 1887 the stained glass windows are installed. In 1894, Confessionals are done. In 1899, a new bell which will be removed by the Nazis occupier in 1943. Throughout the 20C the Church will be embellished with suitable furniture, especially in secondary chapels. Thus the benches of Communion done in 1905) and the organs in 1907. The Way of the Cross is blessed in 1908. But above all, the Sanctuary is built from 1900. A carved copper altar in a Romano-Mosan style replaces the primitive altar.

The degradation is such that, in 1966, the Royal Church of St. Mary is closed to the public because it is considered too dangerous! The liturgical offices are celebrated in its Crypt. In 1982, the complete restoration work of the historic monument began. They’ll last 14 years. Facade, turrets, pinnacle, porch, cornices; everything is inspected and restored. All the stained glass windows and the bell tower covering its three bells as well. Inside large surfaces of ceilings and the stuccos that are restored. The Royal Church of St Mary is reopened to the public in 1996.

City of Schaerbeek on Royal Church of St Mary

YELP favorite site on reviews on the Royal Church of St Mary

Brussels

The Church of Notre-Dame des Victoires at Sablon, is located on the edge of the Sablon. It was not until the 18C, more precisely in May 1716, that a written record of the name Notre-Dame des Victoires was found, which was already at that time in use by the people, because one believed, wrongly, that it had been founded to celebrate the victory of Duke John I at the Battle of Worringen. On the other hand the reference to the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 is well established.

The arrival in 1348 of a miraculous Virgin whose cult and procession called Ommegang were soon to supplant the devotion and procession to Saint Michael was to give this Church a major role in the social life of Brussels. The progression of this nearly century-long workyard is poorly known, due to the disappearance of the crossbow archives. The Choir was completed in 1435, as evidenced by mural paintings bearing this date. The north transept was probably completed around 1450, and the south transept and the first five bays of the nave were already done. It had built two chapels: the Chapel of St. Ursula north of the Choir done 1651-1676, and the Chapel of Saint Marcou south of the choir,1690.

Under the French revolution , the Church of Notre-Dame des Victoires was spared the anti-religious zeal of the revolutionaries, its priest having agreed to take an oath to the Republic. It was nevertheless closed for a few years, then returned to the cult under Napoleon I, as a branch of the Church of Notre-Dame de la Chapelle. The Chorus is illuminated by eleven lancets of some fourteen meters high separated by fibrous pillars. The Choir is framed by two baroque chapels. In the north the Chapel of St. Ursula is the sepulchral Chapel of the Tour and Taxis, the general postmasters from the 16C. The sponsor’s funerary monument a white marble allegorical group consisting of virtue, time and fame, accompanied by a group of Angels, stands out on the black background. The second part is dominated by a statue of St. Ursula, around two genies symbolizing death and life; in niches an allegory of truth and an allegory of hope. Under the chapel is the family vault of the Tour and Taxis, during its opening in 1928, the bones and coffins of nineteen members of the family were found, disturbed during the French revolution. They were then brought together in a single sarcophagus. To the south, the Chapel of Saint Marcou, which is during that of Saint Ursula, was also commissioned by the Tour and Taxis. His prescription is the same; the entrance gate is topped by a statue of Saint Marcou accompanied by the date 1690. The interior in faux marble color is decorated with various statues. The canopies above these two chapels come from fragments of ancient stained glass, the arms of the transept are decorated with two registers of arches surmounted by a frieze of cabbage leaves, dated 1545. The nave has a central ship flanked by four collateral. It is divided into seven bays; the five spans originally planned and two additional bays built at the beginning of the 16C. The pulpit of the Truth in Baroque style was made in 1697 for the now gone Augustinian church. It is decorated with medallions of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Virgin and Saint Thomas of Villeneuve. It is based on the sculptures symbolizing the four evangelists: the Angel, the Eagle, the Ox and the lion. In the north brace of the transept a jacquemart of the 15C rings the hours.

Brussels site on the Church Notre Dame

YELP reviews on the Church of Notre Dame

Brussels

The Church of Saint-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg, built between 1776 and 1787, is part of a set of nine neo-classical buildings that form the perimeter of the Place Royale in Brussels.  The Church is  Royal parish and Cathedral of the diocese to the Belgian Armed Forces.   It succeeds two neighboring places of worship; the Castrale Chapel of the Palais du Coudenberg and the Church of the Abbey of Coudenberg, both demolished for the occasion. The Church of  Saint-Jacques (St James) is the third known church in Brussels, after Saint-Géry (destroyed at  the French revolution) and Saint-Michel (now the Cathedral Saints-Michel-et-Gudule). It is possible that Saint-Jacques originated as a castrale chapel of the first castle built around 1100 by the counts of Louvain on the Coudenberg, the highest hill on the right bank of the Senne river that crossed the  town. Most probably St. James (St Jacques) was a adjacent church at a hospice for pilgrims from Santiago de Compostela next to the castle, which would explain its title of St. James. The presence of a church on the Coudenberg is attested in the 12C. The name of its servants is known from 1121.

In 1183 the Brabant was erected in the Duchy, and the Coudenberg became the habitual residence of the Dukes. During the construction of the first precinct of Brussels in the 13C, the Church, the hospice (now Prévôté) and its gardens, which extend to the present  rue Brederode  are found intra muros. In remembrance of his parents, the Emperor Charles V built, in extension of the Aula Magna, a gothic chapel which became the new Chapel Castrale in place of the Church of the Prévôté. In 1774, Prince Charles-Alexandre de Lorraine proposed to transform the square  into a royal square. As neither the old Gothic-style castle Chapel, nor the ruins of the abbey church, presumably in Romanesque style, were compatible with the neoclassical taste of the late 18C, they were demolished and replaced by the Church of St Jacques in a Neoclassical style  that we know today.

For the Church of St Jacques, the work was completed in 11 years (from 1776 to 1787). The interior of the Church is built between 1785 and 1786. In 1849,it replaced the old bell tower with an imperial wooden dome tower with four bells and, in 1851, decorates the pediment of an original fresco of the Virgin consoling the afflicted. In neoclassical style, the interior of the Church is united, sober and solemn. Outside, the façade evokes, with its triangular pediment and its six Corinthian columns, the appearance of a Greco-Roman temple. Two large statues frame the porch, king David and Moses. The three statues of the pediment, Saint James (in the center) with Saint Andre (to his right) and Saint John (to his left). After the annexation, on 1 October 1795, of the Austrian Netherlands by the first French Republic(revolution), the Church of St Jacques became, for a period of time, a temple of reason before being rendered, by the signing of the Concordat of 1801, to the Catholic cult in 1802.

Other religious events concerning the Belgian royal family were celebrated in Saint-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg Church, such as the funeral of Charles of Belgium 1983 and King Leopold III 1983 or the eulogy mass of King Baudouin 1993. Several royal children received baptism such as Leopold II in 1835, Albert I in 1875, Leopold III in 1901, Charles in 1903, Marie-José in 1906, Josephine-Charlotte in 1927, Baudouin in 1930, Philippe in 1960 and Astrid in 1962. In 1978, the Church of St Jacques was entrusted to the Apostolic Vicariate by the Belgian armed forces. In 1986, this vicariate became the Diocese of the Armed Forces and the Church of St. James (St Jacques) its Cathedral. The titular bishop of this diocese is the Primate of Belgium, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels.

Military parish of St Jacques Church

YELP reviews on the Church of St Jacques

Brussels

The present St. Catherine’s Church was built on the site of a basin of the old Port of Brussels between 1854 and 1874. Opened in St. Catherine’s Square, it replaced an ancient building dating back to the 15C. It was finally consecrated to the cult in 1874. It is the only religious building built in the Pentagon (historical center of Brussels) since the end of the old regime. The Italian campanile adjoining the entrance to the Church of St. Catherine is, in fact, the Baroque steeple that lined the choir of the old church demolished in 1893.

Inspired by 16C French churches, such as the Saint-Eustache Church near the Halles of Paris; the Sainte-Catherine Church presents a hybrid architecture, between Gothic forms and Baroque decoration. The size and sobriety of the interior of the Church is reinforced by the white coating that covers it. It presents a homogeneous furniture, designed in Neo-Renaissance style, to which were added the main works of the old church, such as the washbasin, the cupboards of the sacristy. The pulpit of truth would come from the Cathedral Saint-Rombaut de Malines. By 2014, following a decision by the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, the Church of St Catherine in Brussels was reopened to worship and placed under the responsibility of 4 young priests of the Brotherhood of the Holy Apostles.

Official site St Catherine Church

YELP reviews on St Catherine Church

Brussels

There you a bit long even if condensed a lot just to give you a better overview of these magnificent Other Churches that are worth a visit while in Brussels. Hope you enjoy the tour!

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

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February 27, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXII

So back to the latest news from my belle France. All under a wonderful sunshine of 18C lovely in my Breton woods!!! By Paris, is the same!  Let me be a bit different this time as France is a whole country with all kinds of issues like many others but seldom spoken by visitors seeking the glamour of my adopted country.

Ok so can never always tell you the nicest things about Paris, France ,I am aware of it all been citizen/resident of many countries and many large cities. Paris has its down side too, just be aware when visiting.

The number of deaths on the roads of metropolitan France increased by 3.9% in January 2019. 238 people were killed, nine more than in January 2018, Wednesday announced Securité Routiére (official road safety organism). This increase in agglomeration(cities) and on highways, comes after the announcement of a historical decline in  2018, with 3 503 killed (Hexagone and overseas). The results that had led Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, ardent defender of the 80 km/h limitation that it is legitimate to discuss this measure, in the context of the great national debate. Of course, speed is not the main issue, bad road conditions, traffic circles, priority on the right, etc are the issues but they do not gather money like a speeding ticket lol!!!

Looking more closely at the surveys made available by Airparif (the body for Air quality control in île de France region), it was notice that the air has been described as Bad already four days since January 1, 2019 compared to three over the whole of last year ! Of the four days with a bad index in 2019, three have been found since February 12 , two at the top of the pollution peak of  February 21 and 22. The levels of particle concentrations have also justified the establishment of an alternating circulation in Paris from today February 27. Charles Karimi, a forecaster at Airparif, explained that without wind or rain, these discharges of particles, mainly due to road traffic and residential heating, etc., remain in the atmosphere and cannot escape because of the very cold air that creates a kind of bell cover over the Ile-de-France region. This is more like the factories around Paris, the overcrowding with no park and ride parking’s, public transport that is still not enough for the population , and the building heating yes in Paris, all these a lot more than simply road traffic which has been there since day 1.

107 homicides in Ile-de-France region in 2018, twenty less than the previous year! This is one of the positive developments in the numerical balance of delinquency delivered by the Ministry of the Interior in its data state 4001. The number of armed robberies decreases in the capital. A significant decrease of almost 9% over one year and even half -55% over 5 years which reflects a fairly general trend in Ile-de-France, except perhaps in Seine-Saint-Denis 93 where the number of robberies of this type has fallen only 2.62% since 2013. On the other hand, the number of sexual assaults is progressing throughout the Ile-de-France and the Oise. They increased by 25% compared to the previous year in Paris and in the Hauts-de-Seine, in the latter department, they even almost doubled + 90%! over five years, between 2013 and 2018. So even if Paris by major city standards is still a safe city, common sense should prevail at nights by all, but especially women.

In the ligher things of my belle France, there are as always some nice developments to tell you.

In the spring of 2020, this 14 000 m2 operation overlooks the Parc des Expositions (fairgrounds). It will feed the restaurants of the site and the inhabitants of the area. On the heights of a building under construction, to the southeast of the exhibition center of the Porte de Versailles (15éme), a landscape echoes the ephemeral largest farm of France. It is here, at the top of the future Pavilion 6, that the largest urban farm on the roof of the world will be created.  It will be complemented in the spring of 2020, with the delivery of the new hall and the two hotels under construction, a Mama Shelter and a Novotel of 440 rooms in total. More than a thousand fruits and vegetables of about thirty different species will be pampered each day, in season, by some twenty gardeners. The production will feed the restaurants of the exhibition center, starting with the le Perchoir, which already is present on several Parisian rooftops, which is set on the panoramic terrace of the new hall. More on the parc des exposition and the Salon de l ’Agriculture going on now: https://en.parisinfo.com/what-to-do-in-paris/info/guides/salon-international-agriculture-paris

And on the farm press release in French here: http://www.presseagence.fr/lettre-economique-politique-paca/2019/02/22/paris-la-plus-grande-ferme-urbaine-en-toiture-au-monde-bientot-a-paris/?print=print

Le musée de la Grande Guerre du Pays de Meaux (Seine-et-Marne 77) or The Museum of the Great War of the country of Meaux. Welcomes comics authors (BD) interested in the 14-18 period. The opportunity to meet them and to visit this great museum for free!! Great event indeed and wonderful museum. More here: https://www.museedelagrandeguerre.eu/en/la-grande-guerre-en-bd.html

Ski, snowboard and curling trails give a winter sports air to the One Nation shopping center, in Clayes-sous-Bois (Yvelines 78). You can ski there every day until Sunday, March 10, 2019. And it’s free.The mall info here: https://www.onenation.fr/en/

Indeed, between February 27 and March 3, 1969 took place the legendary move of the halles of Paris to Rungis: 20 000 people, 1 000 wholesale companies, 10 000 m3 of equipment, 5 000 tons of goods left Paris for the south of the capital where a new blazing market , installed on 4.2 km, was waiting for them . This is the Rungis market today one of the biggest in the world, celebrating 50th anniversary!. https://www.rungisinternational.com/rungis-50e-anniversaire/

The two cabins of the Montmartre funicular are as new! After three long years of work, the famous 18C funicular railway was completely renovated. 25 years after its operation in its current form, the new funicular, frequented by more than 4000 people per hour, announces its great comeback! The modern cockpit will undoubtedly appeal to travelers: New benches, new floor, LED lighting, more dynamic information screen and a stroke of paint on the outside. The renovations taking place every ten years, the next is planned for 2027 and 2028. You have time! More in tourist office of Paris: https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/103125/Funiculaire-de-Montmartre

The official tourist office of Montmartre! http://www.montmartre-guide.com/acces-a-la-butte-montmartre/

The Paris Music Festival is back! And with it, three days of celebration, music and love with a ton of concerts at a very sweet price, at all in the craziest places of the capital. A lovable program awaits you for this new edition, with a beautiful headliner, such as one named Bertrand Burgalat, talented musician and patron of the label Tricatel, who will perform at the Musée des Arts et Métiers (Museum of Arts and Crafts). You will also find Zombie Zombies on stage with a choir of teenagers, Bashar Mar-Khalifé in solo piano with Faraj Suleiman in the first part, a tribute to Rachid Taha. But also the wonderful Hugh Coltman, Apple, Sage, Ignatus, Louis Aguilar, Gael Faure, Barbara Carlotti, Silly Boy Blue or even Zaza Fournier. This year you have an appointment in places such as the American Cathedral, the College of the Bernardin, the archaeological crypt of the Ile de la Cité, the Hôtel de Lauzun, the Museum of Arts Deco or the Eugène Delacroix Museum. With a single rate of 10€ per concert, no more, no less. From March 14 to 16 2019. More here:  http://paris-music.com/

The brand new Institut Français de la Mode (French Institute of Fashion) or IFM Paris. This Parisian fashion school was created by the merger of the French Institute of Fashion and the School of the Trade Union Chamber of Haute Couture (ECSCP). The Bachelor’s registration is open for the beginning of the 2019. A Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design, a three-year course, taught in French and English, at 13 000 euros per year for EU nationals, 19 000 euros for all others. It will teach the anatomy, drawing, cutting, patronage, creation of images, staging, but also the industrial and economic reality of fashion. The creation of a collection of 6 to 8 silhouettes accessorized is to be carried out in the last year. More here: https://www.ifmparis.fr/en/

Cannes and its Croisette is in fashion! again!   It is offering itself a big facelift. The old bathing establishments are going to be demolished to give way to harmonized dismantling structures. The mayor, David Lisnard, decided to launch an international competition in 2019 to entrust architects and landscapers with the requalification of public spaces. The main asset of the Croisette is their village sides, where you can do everything on foot, go from hotel to beach, shopping, join the Palais des Festivals. Nowhere else in France, even in Paris, we find on less than 3 km such a concentration of luxury shops with some sixty brands which, since 2016, can open on Sundays or in the evening with a golden square registered in the perimeter of the International tourist area. Since 2009, the Groupe Barriére has dedicated 120 million euros to its two flagships, the Majestic and the Gray of Albion hotels, including the construction of a new wing for the Majestic housing 42 suites and 2 penthouses. The Martinez completed in 2018 a construction site of 150 million euros. The Intercontinental Carlton, (owned by Qatari Katara Hospitality Fund now under my management accounting wise once!), has undertaken extension work (more than 13,000 m2) and modernization that should be completed in 2021 with an estimated investment of more than 250 million euros. Finally, the JW Marriott Hotel (own by groupe Jesta), by 2020, will offer 2,500 m2 of new commercial areas and a renewed hotel offer on 7,800 m2. Amount of expenditure, about 32 million euros. Indeed a total facelift of an already glorious boulevard de la Croisette of Cannes!! More on it here: https://www.cannes-destination.com/must-see/la-croisette-cannes

There you go, many things still to do and common sense will prevail, I never had any problems whatsoever here nor my family. Other than some speeding tickets lol!! but now down to 11 points out of maximum 12, okeerokee!

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

 

February 26, 2019

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXII

Well here I am the local guy, its been a while doing this continent tour and more to come back to my dept 56 Morbihan breton in the region of Brittany, my home for the last 8 years! I like to catch up a bit as some interesting events are coming up that we participate over the years

N164 the Breton free road of course that goes from Châteulin (Finistére 29) to Montauban de Bretagne(Ille et Vilaine 35) is in repairs for improvements; the highway is 162 km long and so far 106 km are done. The rest are to be finish by 2021 And there is more work in the planning in the Côtes d’Armor 22 to be done by 2022/23 or even 2025.

The tourism is up in Brittany, I told you we are the third most visited region in France, the World’s top vacation visitor visits. There were 97,5 million tourist in Brittany in 2018!!! The numbers come from the CRT comité regional du tourisme. Even with this is 2% less than in 2017 due to a school vacation that was shorter, the weather was no help , the strikes of the SNCF train network and the yellow jackets strikers at end of year 2018.

However, the foreigners are up! With hotels and campings full and positive increases over 2017. The most as I see it too are from the UK, Germany, and Belgium. What would be the impact of Brexit to tourism in Brittany? That is the big question, time will tell. Official site her: https://acteurs.tourismebretagne.bzh/

The old 35 yrs old cocodrile of the aquarium of Vannes is getting larger quarters!  Eleonore she is already 4 meters long! And 200 kg!  It was found in the sewers of Paris when it was 2 years old and was hosted by the Museum of d’Histoire Naturalle . The crocs can live to 70 years old in the wild and up to 100 in captivity!!! And they can run fast but only for about 20 meters!  Tips I know from growing up in their tropical areas. The aquarium webpage is here: http://aquariumdevannes.fr/photos-videos-aquarium/

Coming up in  June 14-16 the Livr’ à Vannes book fair with over 200 writers on site!  This will be the 12th edition!More here:  http://www.livreavannes.fr/

March 2-4 the Salon de l’Habitat on its 33rd edition at Vannes! All to  know how to buy sell and renovate your house and financing ideas of course. Time to check it out !!!  At the Chorus in the parc du golfe in Vannes of course! More here:  http://ouest.viving.fr/vannes/salon-habitat-immobilier-viving-vannes

February 23 to March 3 Salon de l ’Agriculture in Paris its 56th edition  but we are big there!!! At the Parc des Expositions de la Porte de Versailles of  Paris. All you need to know about our wonderful gastronomy from where it comes from and how it is raised.  The exponents listings here: https://www.salon-agriculture.com/Catalogue-2019/Liste-des-exposants/(search_text)/bretagne/(search_on)/all/(limit)/48/(sort)/most_viewed

And the Salon Vins & Gastronomie de Vannes ! March 9-11 2019. The 27th edition and I will be there for the 8th time!!! Again!!! At the Chorus in the Parc du Golfe, loads of goodies from my belle France foods, accessories  wines you name the crème de la crème be here or be square lol!!More on the Salon here:  https://www.salons-vins-gastronomie.fr/fr/vannes

The Chorus exhibition hall here: http://www.lechorus.com/salon-des-vins-et-de-la-gastronomie

At Arzon, Criée de Port Navalo, the event  Imagine ton Naviere ! imagine your boat. From Saturday 6 April to Sunday 9 June 2019 the exhibition invites the public to imagine how men design and then build ships to meet their desire to move on the water. By browsing the exhibition, its digital games and interactive manipulations the visitor becomes in turn naval architect and navigator. Free entry. More here:  https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/arzon/imagine-ton-navire-a-la-criee/tabid/701/offreid/ebb065cd-6484-4c22-8982-7d969a3a29f1

Sunday July 14 2019 at Sarzeau – Port de Saint Jacques,  FÊTE DE LA MER (Feast of the sea) .During the day; games on water and on land, and empty attic fleas market. In the evening; popular ball and at nightfall, fireworks. Possibility of eating on site. Free admission. More here:   https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/sarzeau/fete-de-la-mer-port-saint-jacques-a-sarzeau/tabid/718/offreid/c1b1f67c-3a17-47d2-95b3-fc1727d53aac

Every 2nd  Saturdays of the month  at  Vannes-Le Port from 9h to 18h. The quays of the book , professional market of the old book, used, vinyl records and postcard organized by the Association of Booksellers of South Brittany (weather permitting) .About 10 exhibitors . Free attendance. More here:  http://www.lesquaisdulivre.fr/

There you go some nice activities near me, I will be around!!! and planned trips already to the Loire, Amboise, and Honfleur. Stay tune ok!

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

 

 

February 24, 2019

Sept Îles or Seven Islands of the Morbihan!

So after a bit of running around the world with special feature Europe and the grand lady of them all France in terms of tourism of course (UN-WTO) I bring you back to my beloved home of the Morbihan dept 56 of Brittany. Always lovely and the 3rd most visited region by the French!

I was out with the boys in my continue quest to find new places and planning for bigger trips starting in May, I came upon the idea of going further than we have gone just south of us. Imagine only 21 kms and there are still places not seen lol! I have been to Baden but never reach the outer point of land before the gulf of Morbihan this is Sept Îles or Seven islands , and I like to tell you a bit more on the beauties of my region.

baden sept iles inner bay boats feb19

baden

Sept îles or seven Islands is a Breton island located in the Gulf of Morbihan and part of the town of Baden. It is a private island but very easy to walk around it as in all the islands of the Gulf respecting the privacy and environment. It is connected to the mainland by a tombolo of sand submerged at high tide. It is indeed a tombolo. This form of coastal cordon only exists in about ten points of the French coast. The most well-known in Morbihan is undoubtedly the one that connects the Quiberon Peninsula to Penthièvre (which we passed every weekend). More modest, Baden’s sand bank is always regularly covered by the sea and offers a beautiful postcard view of the Gulf of Morbihan.

baden

baden

You get there from Baden taking the road D316 direction Locmiquel and then the Route des Sept-Îles which will take you directly to the entrance of a beach facing the island. Only way to go these wonderful spots is by car or bike.

The beach, fragile, is protected by a stone dike on the east side. Violent currents make it dangerous by certain times as the heights of water and   certain winds can be strong. It communicates with the cove of Baden by a coastal road which allows to reach on foot the town of Baden, located 3 km, passing through megalithic tombs.

Find out about the tide schedules so you don’t have to be trapped on the island in which case the return could be done waist water deep or more! You have to know that in this place when the sea goes up, a strong current is created. The walk on the island is done with a view to 360 degrees on the Gulf of Morbihan! Whether you take the right or the left you will return to your starting point.

baden

baden

baden crossing sept iles on low tide feb19

baden

Stop on one of the small beaches of the island or on a rock to admire the Gulf of Morbihan. You will see the pointe de Blaire! The town of Locmariaquer and the entrance to the Gulf of Morbihan between Port-Navalo and the islands of Ile Er Runio or ile Le Grand Huernic. You will walk about 2 km on the Sept-Iles and if the weather and envy tells you, continue to the right of the tombolo by returning to the mainland. See my previous posts on these towns.

baden

baden sept iles l’Ile Er Runio feb19

baden sept iles l’Ile Le Grand Huernic feb19

The south side of the island is entirely surrounded by oyster parks. Between the tables, you can also reach the nearby island of Er Runio on foot.

baden

baden sept iles moules 3 feb19

baden sept iles moules 4 feb19

Opposite, at the pointe de Blaire, you see this ruin house been the remnant of a pharaoh project that has not succeeded. Built by Count Dillon at the beginning of the 20C as well as a wharf, this “Harbor House” was to be the freight station of the future great deep water port he imagined there… The idea collided with its cost, war and other ports took away the project.

baden crossing sept iles channel harbor house feb19

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here in addition to asking me are

Tourist office of Morbihan 56 on Baden and Sept îles

Tourist office of the Gulf of Morbihan on the Sept Îles

My favorite beach site Plages tv on the Sept îles beach

City of Locmariaquer on Baden and the Sept îles in French

Another wonderful escape in my beautiful department 56 of Morbihan in my beloved Brittany region of my belle France! This is Seven islands at Baden!

Oh yes I almost forgot. We need to eat gone all day so I knew of a place in town that always ask for reservations ,but try it anyway and of course it was full long line to wait, so we decided to go on foot in city center Baden looking for another. We hit a find which we are sure to be back ,this is the type of places you find in Brittany or France for that matter pure local no advertising family run but just a jewel of a cuisine!  We found the Les Kerguelen at Baden just next to the Church St Pierre. The family was very nice homey, and they have a bar cafe on street level and the restaurant in upper level; very cozy. We had lunch with few people there and had the opportunity to exchange with the owner. We had an entrée all you can eat of salads of various kinds, patês, cold cuts, fish salads, and bread/butter. The main dish we had the parmintier du canard or duck ground beef in mashed potatoes, and also spaghetti carbonara for others; all wash down with a quart of red and rosé house wine which was good. Then , the dessert was a home made apple pie or white/dark chocolate fondue for some; a plate of cheeses which we took the goat cheese and the camembert very nice and soft. Finish with a expresso coffee all for 13,30€ per person!!! Just what the family was looking for and found!  The city has a nice picture and info on the restaurant here: City of Baden on Les Kerguelen

baden les kerguelen front feb19

baden les kerguelen inside dining fl 2 feb19

 

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

 

 

 

 

February 24, 2019

Chapelle Notre Dame de la Clarté, Perros Guirec!

And as the coast is nice I continue my tour of the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 of my beloved Brittany at Perros Guirec! This is a wonderful area full of great beaches and stone creations by the coast as well as numerous monuments of great historical architectural values that I like.

Let me bring you to another jewel that having written in general before, feel it ought to have its own post. Let’s talk about the Chapelle de Notre Dame de la Clarté or Our Lady of Clarity Chapel.

Notre-Dame-de-la-Clarté is the name given to a Chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, located in the neighborhood of La Clarté in the town of Perros-Guirec in Côtes-d’Armor,dept 22 of the region of Brittany.

Perros guirec

Some of the local traditions I think are nice to tell you.

The local (costarmoricaine)  tradition of the 15C tells us that a certain lord of Barac’h, in Louannec, nearly failed with his squadron near the Sept-Îles. The mist was so thick that the sailors ‘ death seemed inevitable. All on their knees made a vow to Notre-Dame: The commander would build her a chapel if she created a saving hole in the fog. The miracle took place and the Lord of Barac’h built the Chapel of Notre-Dame de la Clarté. Much later, in August 1944, the American troops had planned to bombard Mez Gill, a camp entrenched at 200 meters from the Chapel. In retaliation, the 600 Nazis, pointing their guns at Perros, threatened to bomb the city. On August 7, 8 and 9, the mist covered Perros-Guirec preventing destruction. On August 10, the Nazis surrendered without resistance.

Perros guirec

A bit of history and architecture I like

The local tradition has always maintained that the construction of the Chapel was ordered in 1445 by Pierre de Tournemine, Sieur de Barac’h, of English descent. We can therefore say, with the departmental archives of Côtes-d’Armor, that Roland IV, founder of the Collegiate Church of Tonquédec and Lord of Ker Uzec in Pleumeur-Bodou was also the founder of the Chapel of Clarity(Clarté). At his death in Rhodes about 1470, his property passed to the Coskaër of Rosanbo, of which one of the descendants was Aline, Countess of Combourg, the sister-in-law of François-René de Chateaubriand!

Notre-Dame-de-la-Clarté Chapel belongs to the flamboyant Breton style. There are some irregularities which contribute to its originality without prejudice to harmony: a single southern transept. A square tower surmounted by a pink granite-laced steeple that seems not to be in the shape of the architectural ensemble. The Chapel is surrounded by an enclosure with a 17C granite base in its center, adorned with a wooden trunk for offerings. Further on, a cross erected in 1630. The lintel of the porch is remarkable with a representation of the Annunciation facing a Pietà, as a reminder of the prediction of the old Simeon: “You yourself, a sword will pierce your soul!” We can also see, around a window in mullions, the inscription “Le Carro”, coats of arms that have become illegible and, above, a Virgin Mother.

 Perros guirec

 Perros guirec

Paved with slabs of Brélévenez shale, arched two spans of warheads, flanked, according to tradition, by two benches of stone , the porch is worth seeing, above all, by its 17C statuary of polychrome wood, a Virgin to the Child, Saint Anne, consecrated officially Patron Saint of the Bretons, on July 26, 1914, learns to read and pray in a Bible to Ste Mary, her daughter, St. Peter, and the Four Evangelists St. Matthew in winged man, symbol of birth, St. Mark, accompanied by a lion, of the Resurrection, Saint Luke and his ox, of immolation, and Saint John in eagle, of Ascension.  On the leaves of the oak door; Saint John the Baptist carrying a sheep, Saint Peter, the key in the hand, the Virgin of the Annunciation and the angel holding in hand the scepter of power, the Virgin to the Child, and St. Paul armed with the sword, symbol of the power of the word of God expressed by his letters.

Perros guirec

The ancient descriptions describe a rood of the 15C, destroyed as most of the Breton roods in the 17C, under the pretext that they prevented the faithful from seeing the officiator. In the same way, the pulpit has now disappeared. It is facing Christ in the 15C Cross. Among the many ex-votos, one can notice, besides the traditional plates of marble, of pink or grey granite, models of boats, testimonies of dangers surmounted by their captain and their sailors.  The statues are remarkable and their diversity does not break the harmony of the ensemble. One notices in particular, in the main part, a Saint-Fiacre recognizable to his spade; a Sainte-Anne in painted wood, from the 20C,and a Saint-Yves between the rich and the poor.

Perros guirec

The altarpiece of the 18C, whose construction began in 1767, is thus described on the deed of command an untainted wooden niche in order to place the image of the Holy Virgin of Notre-Dame of Clarté in middle of the altar, with, on the right side of the so-called niche such a figure as that on the left side. The stained glass windows of the 20C.

Perros guirec

The tourist office has a bit more on this wonderful Chapel of Notre Dame of Clarity.

Tourist office of Perros Guirec on the Chapelle

This is a nice walkable neighborhood of La Clarté, and the chapel is very nice indeed, worth the detour, enjoy Perros-Guirec and the Chapelle de Notre Dame de la Clarté!

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

February 22, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXV

So coming back at you at my beloved Spain , everything under the sun. Well it is sunny now with temps of 64F or about 18C, just fine , I have similar in my neck of the woods !!!

It is time tell you the latest and traditions of my Spain, this time with an emphasis on gastronomy and wines, what else, the country is loaded; I say the best component. And enough conversation topics to heal the troubles of my today’s Spain.

Do we say Pizzas? yes the cuisine of the world, and Spain is nothing to be left behind. My lovely Madrid has plenty, and will give you some good ones of my own.

Grosso Napoletano. The Neapolitan pizzas in this house are already spread over five sites in Madrid. In the menu, classic creations such as the Margherita or the piquant Diavola share protagonism with the Borghese (with truffle and speck) or the Cantabrian (with anchovies and sauce with San Marzano, cherry, olive oil and garlic).  My take was at Paseo de La Habana, 27, the original: more here: Grosso Napoletano Madrid

Luna Rossa , visited at Calle San Bernardo 24. Opened a quarter of a century ago, it has been in the hands of Ana Zucchini (daughter of the founder) for two decades. Its raison d’être is Neapolitan cuisine, especially pizzas made in a wood-fired oven (such as Arrabiata, with hot sobrasada and fennel seeds, or Tonno, with tuna, olives, basil and onions). The space, recently restored, preserves the rustic charm of yesteryear. More here: Luna Rossa MadridLuna Rossa Madrid

Of course, if you want your regular eat in take out delivery place then no one better in Madrid than TelePizza, doing it for years!!! Several locations all over the city, I have in my old neighborhood of Quintana (Ciudad Lineal): Telepizza Quintana Madrid

And why not alone,no way, we need to have a good beer with them and Madrid has plenty of this too. My favorites amongt many are

Cervecería Santa Bárbara .Although it has several branches in Madrid, the one that occupies us in these lines is the original (opened in the year 1815). It is a reference to the time of the appetizer: for its beautiful bar of marble rods fly  and the doubles, with cream instead of foam, of soft bitter taste and uniform. Do not leave without tasting the prawns of Huelva, the canned cockle and the anchovies in vinegar with french fries of Churrería . The original at Plaza de Santa Barbara 8:More here: Cerveceria Santa Barbara

La Ardosa. Although it started as a wine tavern where it was sold in the region of Toledo from which it takes the name, when Gregorio Monge (father of Angel, current owner) was made with the business transformed it into a brewery, a pioneer in outside brands such as Guinness or Pilsner. Now, this passion is preserved (European labels are always served in double glass) and is complemented by a good vermouth of Reus. To accompany, salmorejo, potato tortilla, salted and pickled. As a curiosity to add that in this address you will find the first tap of Guinness of Madrid . Calle  Colon 13.More here; La Ardosa Madrid

Bar Martín. Martín Jiménez is the third generation that directs this bar devoted to the appetizer first opened in 1940. Besides calluses, Banderillas and Russian steaks, to drink the rods triumph, pulled with a lot of grace from Madrid (not in vain, our host is Master marksman of Mahou, the beer that is very local ). At Avenida de Menendez Pelayo 17. No webpage but a reference in my favorite YELP: Yelp on Bar Martin Madrid

La Dolores. Inaugurated in 1908, this centennial house is one of the most traditional bars in Madrid. Easily recognizable by its beautiful tile façade, inside an army of duly uniformed waiters is struggling to serve the reeds, doubles and muds (earthenware jars) of beer served as ordered by the canons of Madrid: Up to half, blow to up and up. They always go with a snack of bucket, but if you want something more it has an incredible collection of canapés and rations to match (boquerones and anchovies) served with olives, piparra and french fries .At Plaza de Jesus 4. A wonderful bar and great area for walks before or after: no webpage but my favorite YELP here: Yelp on La Dolores Madrid

Cerveceria Cruz Blanca, Calle Doctor Esquerdo, 157  or Ave Menendez Pelayo, 47 both locations are great and my hangout in Madrid for the last few years. Great service, good food, prices to match and great cold beers, the terraces are superb! These are setup as franchises so are you up for it? try them you will love them. More here: Cerveceria Cruz Blanca Madrid

Then I take you to something typical of Galicia and Madrid, hard to tell I like them both even if grew up eating the Madrid style; talking about the stews or Cocidos. Here are some where to eat them well in both places. No carnival without stew. At least in Galicia. With just similarities with the Spaniard (coincide in being a mix of meat, vegetables and carbohydrate and to have the soup as an entrée), the Galician is a hearty recipe that is enjoyed in Galicia, but also in cities like Madrid. In Madrid, Casa Gallega, where it is served with cabbage (instead of grelos or Nabizas), and Sanxenxo.  Meanwhile, Sal Negra dispatches both Madrid and Galician stew styles

At Coruña or Puxigo (as Pontes), which incorporates Grelos de Villalba, and Cabana (Bergondo), classic overlooking the estuary that prefers cured and non-smoked pieces. Sarria is Roma, restaurant-hotel of the Fontal family with 44 years where they serve the stew or also only the horn. And the recipe includes that piece almost wild as a star: the head of the pig (Cacheira, or hat), tasty and cartilaginous that, if you like, derives in a real enjoyment and can be of Celtic pork (salted and cured before their cooking, they sell it in Carnicas and Teijeiro) or Galician pork without this marking. More on hotel restaurant Roma here: Hotel Restaurant Rome in Sarrià

Time for Carnivals in Orense province,Galicia and more celebrations!!

The carnivals (from March 1 to 6), many of the municipalities of the province of Orense have been celebrating one of the most festive and expected moments of the year for several days. The Entroidos, popular name for which in Galician lands are known the carnivals, of the oldest in Spain, are characterized by the presence of picturesque masked characters of ancestral origin, denominated in different way according to the locality ( cigars, barbers, screens…), which take over the streets forming part of lively and colorful parades and troupes. This tradition is a special claim for the towns of Laza, Manzaneda, Verín, Viana do Bolo and Ginzo de Limia,  which lasts up to five weeks in some cases. Putting Orense capital as a starting point, I propose a route to live three of these most popular carnivals in Galicia: Ginzo de Limia, Verín and Laza, to the south of the province, make up the “magic triangle” of the Entroidos.

Ginzo de Limia. The most durable, since it takes place over five weekends, in which charangas, parades and musical acts do not cease. The main protagonists are the screens, some characters in white suit, a peculiar mask and red cloak with colorful ribbons and bells chasing, cow bladder in hand, to those who are not disguised. Once reached, they take them in twinkling to a bar, where they will have to pay glass of white wine and gather in the Plaza Mayor and then start their characteristic dances and jumps through the streets of the town. See program here: https://www.paxinasgalegas.es/fiestas/entroido-2019-xinzo-de-limia-0686.html

Verín.  At 35 km, this town next to the Portuguese border, protected from the top by the castle of Monterrey ,a fortress of the 10C perfectly preserved. It starts its carnival on February 21 with the traditional Thursday of Compadres, a parade predominantly Male that runs through the streets of the village to the Plaza Mayor. Sunday 24 February by 11h is the day for the cigars, which flood the streets with their characteristic wooden masks, their colorful costumes, which hang the legendary clashes of cowbells and a crop called Zamarra, the rhythm of brass bands and the clink of their bells. On Saturday and Sunday March 2-3 are the big days of the carnival, in which the whole city turns over. Plaza de la Merced welcomes the baptism of the Cigarrón on Saturday,16h30, while at Av. de Castilla is the place for the Grand Parade ,Sunday at 12h, with the participation of cigars, floats and troupes that parody politicians and society in general. More info here: http://www.visitchavesverin.com/es

Laza. It is obligatory to move to the central Plaza de la Picota and to the adjoining bars of this town  60 km from Orense. Although it will officially begin on February 28th, with the thursday of Comadres, the carnival has already several weeks of celebration, with the four Fridays of Folión ,street party from 23h. The main protagonists of this celebration are the Peliqueiros, characters armed with their officer sheepskin coats, their clashes at the waist and their demonic animal masks that roam the streets imposing their law. These accompany the leaflets, groups of 30 to 40 people with different instruments, whose mission is to scare away evil spirits. This ancestral celebration continues until Tuesday of Carnival ,March 5, the farewell day with the Peliqueiros, the parade of floats, the will of the donkey and the Queima do Arangaño. More here: http://www.entroidodelaza.com/dias-de-entroido/

Orense. It is also worth the festivities that mainly fill the historic center of Orense, the city bathed by the Miño river. The celebrations in the capital start on Thursday of Comadres ,February 28, a night traditionally reserved for women. From there, there are five days of uninterrupted festivities in which everyone goes out into the street in disguise or with a mask. More information and program in  http://turismodeourense.gal/

Let’s talk about wine stores; sure we like to go to the source, but sometimes little time so what to do to grab the beauty of Spanish wines? Well heads for these wonderful wine stores of my trail.  You know the best known ones are all based in Madrid and Barcelona, where abound, and those reference addresses that are for offer and service. Asking in Madrid, there are many that I will recommend Lavinia, Santa Cecilia, Viuda de Cuenllas, or Mantequerías Bravo come to mind.  And there, in Barcelona, as many others as Celler de Gelida, Lafuente,  La Carta de Vinos, or Enoteca Divins. But the wine stores continues beyond these big cities and it is in those other wine stores in which today I will take you with my favorites over the years.

La Vinatería Yáñez ,calle Padre Sacramento 11. Zaragoza. They have since 1953 focused on the sale of wines apart from those dedicated to the diffusion of their culture. It gathers several thousand references among which the representation of foreign labels stands out. Good offer of malts, Armagnacs, brandies… Conditioned rooms for tastings and conferences, and good library of consultation. More here: La Vinateria Yanez Zaragoza

Vinoteca El Lagar, Calle San Lesmes 14 bajo. Burgos . A small space that houses labels of very different nationalities, since they have great relevance the foreign, especially those of French origin. It has a part destined to distillates and various gadgets useful for wine. More here: Vinoteca El Lagar Burgos

Vino Cutanda La Bolsa de los Licores, Avenida Ramón y Cajal 14, Albacete. Family business located in the center of the city, opened since 1982, and with more than 2,500 references; Wines from all the processing areas of the world as they gather a thousand foreign labels. They complete the wine offer, with spirits, accessories, gourmet foods, and various activities.   More here: Vinos Cutanda Albacete

Valentín Moreno e Hijos ,Calle Méjico 8, Guadalajara. Dedicated to wine since it opened in the mid-sixties, it responds to the name of its founder. Now the third generation owns it and among its more than 700 references there are wines from all over the world, although the protagonists have the patriotic, with special attention to the Manchegos. They include distillates and miscellaneous wine accessories.  More here: Valentin Moreno e Hijos Guadalajara

The Palacio de los Licores, Calle Correhuela 24, Salamanca. A neighbor of the Plaza Mayor of Salamanca, this large wine market brings together more than 1,500 selected wines, liquors that surpass the five hundred brands, specialized publications and accessories. More here: Palacio de los Licores Salamanca

Casa Claudio , Rúa San Andrés,  A Coruña. With two points of sale in the city, this was the first, inaugurated in 1889 and therefore emblematic store in terms of the sale of oenological and gastronomic products: wines (on 3,500 references), liquors, distillates, canned, sausages, spices, etc. They also schedule tastings.   More here: Casa Claudio A Coruna

La Licoreria De Cuenca,  Avenida de la cruz roja Española, S/N,warehouse and store open to the public where we purchased last in Spain, at Cuenca of course. This last address is off the A-40 ,Autovia de Castilla La Mancha. A place to visit. They have a store in city center at Calle Doctor Alonso Chirino, 9-Bajo ,where you can make your purchases as well. In it you can find a great variety of wines, liquors and delicatessen products. They have 21 years of experience. The webpage is here: http://www.lalicoreria.es/

Hope you enjoy the ride in my beloved Spain, the second most visited country in the world by UN WTO standards.

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

 

February 22, 2019

Palladium Prague of course!

So moving right along to my wonderful travel spots of the world. I have been several times to Prague in the Czech Republic and enjoyed it very much. However, after seeing so much monuments me like to do some shopping too lol!

Well not the crazy shopping guy, and which guy is it? However, I do like to go to the quant stores as well as the big shopping center/Malls in the cities I visit and see the difference in display, store names, and prices. This was no difference once into Prague daytime.

I came by chance as was close to my hotel, the Palladium shopping center and was pleasantly surprise. Immediately set in to my territory and explore it all on a couple of visits. Their main webpage is here: The Palladium shopping center in English

So here is a bit of a difference from my travel blog posts!

Palladium is a shopping mall in Prague. Opened in 2007, at the site of the former barracks, the site where Palladium stands was under control of the Army for more than two hundred years (1780s — 1996). until being sold in 1996.

Prague

The Palladium that mixes ancient and modern architecture with five-level center, which houses 180 shops and 20 restaurants, is located in the Nové Město district at Namesti Republiky. The Metro station Náměstí Republiky on line B  or the tram stop Náměstí Republiky for overground public transport. I did not came by car but good to know! The 24-hour Palladium parking garage, the largest parking garage in Prague (district center 1), is located under the popular Palladium shopping mall. This safe and pleasant parking garage boasts 900 parking spaces on three underground floors; the parking garage is conveniently accessed by ramp from Revoluční Street.

It is one of the biggest shopping centers in the Czech Republic. It is directly opposite another shopping center, the Kotva Department Store. It also has a market right in front in Republic square.

Prague

It is also possible to make a lunch break at the Palladium; the top floor of the shopping center is entirely dedicated to catering. A wide choice is available: juice bars, fast food, traditional Czech cuisine, Italian cuisine, Asian cuisine… There are also many banks and telephone operators. Some of my favorites when stopping by are the Costa Coffee shop and Pizza Hut !  as well as for the boys JRC Gamecentrum and Comics Point, and my Samsung. As to clothing I go for Lacoste, Hugo Boss, C&A, Bata shoes, and Adidas. All in very nice surroundings.

 Prague

All in a glamorous Republic square or Náměstí Republiky in nice Prague. A different visit from the loaded places to see there,see my previous posts on Prague.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Prague on Palladium

Yelp on tips by visitors to Palladium

There you go again a nice reprive from the sightseeings in Prague and good for the whole family. Enjoy shopping in Prague!

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

 

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February 21, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXI

And here I am with the latest handn picked news of my belle France. Always something going on in the World’s most visited country!!!  The temps here is lovely sunny nice no rain, and just wonderful.  Right now is 52F or about 11C in my neck of the woods, with Paris at 62F ,about 17C and sunny.

So therefore, some of my latest tidbits on my belle France!

Final clapping for the Beverley, lol! Just news never been here , really honest. Forbidden to minors, the last cinema X of Paris  will definitely close its doors this Saturday February 23rd . At 75 years old, Maurice Laroche, owner since 1993 of this discreet establishment located 14, rue de la Ville Neuve, 2éme arrondissement, a few steps from the Grand Rex, decided to take a well-deserved retirement. Will console ourselves with the Beverley box which contains, for 60€, a DVD telling the story of the establishment, photos and a CD with the song of the house! According to the National Film Centre (CNC), after the closure of the Beverley, there will be only one X-cinema in France: the Vox in Grenoble! More here in French: https://salles-cinema.com/paris/cinema-beverley-a-paris

The martial arts enthusiast had an institution on the 15éme. A space whose tatamis have seen the training of several generations of Judokas, Aikidoka, yogis and practitioners of various martial arts: the Shiseikan Dojo,(been here as my French family are all enthusiasts of these arts)  nestled for over 70 years in the courtyard of a private building on Rue Lecourbe, will have to move or closed by September 2020. More on this nice place in Paris here:  https://dojoshiseikan.wordpress.com/

The Vincennes Racecourse, (a wonderful place to be anytime) has a date on Sunday February 24 2019. It is called the festival at the Hippodrome and puts in the spotlight this year ,Brazil. Between a capoeira dance, Batucada (Brazilian music and percussion), traditional dancers, pastries and a Portuguese-speaking carnival, families can attend the ten afternoon trotting races. Because this racecourse is the French temple of the Trotters and that it runs this Sunday the Grand Prix de Paris. A marathon, for horses, 4.1 km.  At the Hippodrome de Vincennes, 2 route de la Ferme , 12éme arrondissement. More here : https://www.vincennes-hippodrome.com/fr/

This Sunday, February 24th, 2019, your children are invited to the Château de Fontainebleau (one of my favorite castles of all of France!)  for a carnival punctuated by the reviving dance and duels with the sword. They are expected to be welcome disguised in front of the golden gate and then be trained in the arts of fencing and dance as they were practiced then. The program includes weapons courses and demonstrations of duels. The swords are of course of wood, suitable for children during animations. On the other hand, demonstrations are made in the period of time, when the weapons were actually used to injure in the duels and they were not wearing protections. The only safety of the actors is their technical mastery and their synchronization in these millimeters fencing shows. Sunday, February 24th, from 14H to 17h.  Château de Fontainebleau (Seine et Marne dept 77), Place du Général-de-Gaulle.  Admission 9€ In addition to the entrance fee to the castle (10-12€, free for under-25). On Reservation because places are limited! More here:  https://www.chateaudefontainebleau.fr/CARNAVAL-AU-CHATEAU,1505

Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 February 2019, the Ferme du Buisson in Noisiel (Seine-et-Marne dept 77) hosts a large medieval festival and heavy-metal concerts name Cernunnos Pagan Fest (noisy but good my sons are into both). The program: Scenes of reconstruction of life in medieval Scotland, initiations to traditional Celtic dances, but also ancient games, demonstrations of combat and spectacles of fires. There are even smaller ones, with make-up workshops, calligraphy, young audience shows. More info here: http://www.lafermedubuisson.com/programme/cernunnos-pagan-fest

Vintage game consoles await the nostalgic of the first emotions to the controllers. Well my sons are into it but on the modern side, this should be interesting in my wife native town) They will be at the Retrogaming play on 23 and 24 February 2019 in Meaux (Seine-et-Marne dept 77). RGC (Retro-gaming Connexion), Replay and Chezmoa associations return on February 23rd (Friday) and 24th(Saturday)  for retro gaming Play 2019. The retro and alternative video game festival will launch its 2nd edition at the Meaux Coliseum to promote the videogame heritage and the history of the video game, always in the same desire for sharing and conviviality.  https://www.rom-game.fr/agenda/3227-Retro+Gaming+Play+2019.html

Michael Bunel is a photo-reporter born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines dept 78). For several years he has been walking the world’s roads to trace the path of exiles fleeing conflict zones. His work is exposed at the La Cle. Interesting to see the other side on the people’s side. More here:   https://www.saintgermainenlaye.fr/en/111-1269/fiche/la-clef-exposition-michael-bunel-exil.htm

New metro lines, new stations, 200 km new tracks. The Grand Paris Express is the urban project that will change the landscape of Paris in 2030 (they needed too overcrowded but do not think this will help much ). Seven teams of architects responsible for building the 68 new stations have been associated with artists who must design original creations. Each metro station will have its own works of art! To create a large collection of works, such as a museum of the twenty-first century open to all audiences. More here :  https://www.societedugrandparis.fr/gpe/le-grand-paris-express-en-resume

It happens that the city of Paris has decided to put a clean coup on the Regional Express network of Île-de-France region, with these new RER  “New Generation”. The RER project  “NG ” could well change the lives of the RER D and E passengers, who were seriously starting to rust rails (this will help these lines often overlook for the more glamorous ones such as A and B). These new trains will accommodate up to 1860 people, with 600 seats spread over two floors. These new RER, without separation between cars to optimize the space, will show an exceptional comfort, because this is where the whole issue lies for the manufacturers. So air conditioning and USB ports will be available to you. Spaces with and without seats for short trips, as well as more comfortable spaces including only seats for longer trips. As for the ends of the train, they will be reserved for strollers, wheelchair users and travelers with suitcases. More info here:   https://www.iledefrance-mobilites.fr/actualites/le-futur-rer-dile-de-france-se-devoile/

There you short and sassy as they said. Hope you enjoy it the runs of my news entries ,and thank you for your support.

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

 

 

 

February 20, 2019

Piazza di Spagna, Rome of course!

Well back to my Rome as could not do justice to it without writing of another of my favorite squares. If you want to know Rome and its most modern look then by no means come to the squares. I have written several posts on Rome as my favorite Italian city, but feel that I need to tell you a bit more on the Piazza di Spagna or Spain’s square of Rome!

The Piazza di Spagna is one of my favorite squares in Rome, located in the luxury shopping district with via Condotti, Via del Corso, via Borgognona, via Frattina and Via del Babuino all around it! This is a very nice area to do your walks and very chic we love it!

rome

rome

A bit of history I like

In 1494 thanks to King Charles VIII of France, Saint Francis de Paul bought a vineyard at the top of the present 18C monumental staircase which dominates the Trinity square to build a monastery for the minimal brethren. Between 1502 and 1519 King Louis XII of France built a first part of the Church of the Trinity-of-the Mounts in Gothic architecture next to the monastery. It was completed in the 16C by a new Church. This Church/Monastery as well as the Church of Saint-Louis-des-Français nearby and as well the Villa Medici have since been administered by France. In 1620 Spain took possession of this square renamed Spain’s square (piazza di Spagna) to establish at No. 63 its embassy to the Holy See in a renaissance building. In 1629 the Barcaccia fountain was created at the request of Pope Urbain VIII. Between 1644 the Palace di Propaganda Fide was built south of the square. Since 1622 it has been the seat of the Congregation for the Evangelization of the peoples of the Roman Curia. At the beginning of the 18C there are many hotels and inns: The District is entirely dedicated to the accommodation of foreigners. And according to the parish registers of all the inhabitants of the holy city, the area of Piazza di Spagna can be considered one of the most cosmopolitan of Europe.

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Between 1723 and 1726 the French cardinal Pierre Guérin de Tencin ordered built by France La Scalinata , monumental staircase in marbre of late Baroque style of 138 marches on three levels which was inaugurated by the Pope Benedict XIII on the occasion of the Jubilee (Holy Year) of 1725.

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In 1789 the Obelisk of the trinity of the mounts of the Salluste Gardens is placed in front of the Church at the top of the staircase by decision of Pope Pius VI.

In 1854 Pope Pius IX erected the ancient column of the Immaculate Conception in front of the Spanish Embassy on Mignanelli square, which extended the Spain’s square (piazza di Spagna). Every 8th December, the statue of the Virgin is the subject of an annual Marian pilgrimage with the presence of the Pope.

In the 19C the British poet John Keats spent the last days of his life at No. 26 in the Casina Rossa where he disappeared in 1821 (to the right of the monumental staircase looking at the church). In the same house, the Swedish writer Axel Munthe, author of the Book of San Michele, opened his medical practice at the end of the 19C. The house is now a museum dedicated to its two famous inhabitants. In 1834 the Sovereign Military Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta installed its international headquarters in a palace of 68 via Condotti with an extraterritorial status granted by the Italian state.

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The Rome tourist office tells you a bit more: Tourist office of Rome on Piazza di Spagna

In all as I have told you in previous posts, for us, the walks in the square ,the food ,shopping is what is grand about Rome, just to do something different than what is usual to see in Europe. You will love the walks around the Piazza di Spagna, just lovely. Enjoy it as we did

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

 

 

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February 19, 2019

The strawberry museum of Plougastel-Daoulas!

And here we are in lovely historical Plougastel-Daoulas in the Finistére dept 29 of my beloved Brittany. So much beauty of architecture and history abound us here,and for a change will not repeat the introduction as on the previous two posts and will tell you about something unique and different you can find here.

It is the Musée de la Fraise & du Patrimoine; right in city center.  Sort of the Heritage and Strawberry museum a lovely place right around the main sights in town. The strawberry has a long history here. However, the museum is much recent.

Plougastel Daoulas

The adventure begins in 1980 with the creation of the association “Friends of the heritage of Plougastel”. In December 1985, the municipality acquired the “Nicolle House“. The objectives were initially to conservation action, pedagogical action and tourism action. From 1990, the House of heritage is growing, seeing an extension to be built. Two years later, in 1992, the Museum of Heritage opens in its entirety. In 1995, the museum became the Museum of Strawberry and Heritage as it is today.

Plougastel Daoulas

The heritage of Plougastel is presented through the costumes, its furniture, its architecture and its agricultural history. The strawberry, emblematic and inseparable from the peninsula of Plougastel, is put in the spotlight.  Today, the museum consists of nine showrooms on two levels, presenting the history of the strawberry from the 18C to the present day and all the particularities of the heritage of the peninsula of Plougastel

The first floor tells you the history of the strawberry and the commerce with Europe, especially England. From types of strawberries to harvesting, collecting, and packaging as well as shipping it. It tells you the strawberries here are the local variety and the white strawberry brought all the way from Chile in South America. And yes the strawberries here are the best, we buy them in all kinds of versions yoghurts are great!

Plougastel Daoulas

The second floor or 1er étage here, tells you about the traditions , customs of the local Breton families and paintings/objects of arts depicting the life and time of the area and the strawberry harvesters. You can taste them in the boutique below where you will find very nice objects dedicated to the strawberry. We got our jams and tea flavor strawberry .

Plougastel Daoulas

You can taste them in the boutique below where you will find very nice objects dedicated to the strawberry. We got our jams and tea flavor strawberry. The welcome is very friendly and informative and the family trip is wonderful; especially as it involves food lol!

The official webpage is here: Strawberry museum of Plougastel-Daoulas

Tourist office of Brittany on the Strawberry museum

Tourist office of Finistére dept 29 on the Strawberry museum

The planting here goes way back . The first variety cultivated on a large scale was the “Strawberry of Chile”, because it was brought from Chile, South America,  later supplanted by new varieties such as the “Pineapple Strawberry”, then the “Royal Princess”, also known as “Strawberry of Angers”, then by the “Strawberry of the Mayenne”. Enjoy it

Another nice different stop in my lovely Brittany at Plougastel-Daoulas. You will do good to stop by indeed.

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

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