Archive for February 12th, 2019

February 12, 2019

Retirement time in France! opinions!!!

Ok so today I come to you on a non travel related subject ,really; it could be too lol! Well , my dear readers and travel buddies, I am getting to that age, yes the golden egg or whatever, and its time to think about retirement!!

I am in in what could could be my last full year of my working life per se. Not that I would not continue to dabble in consulting work later on, but to finally get my retirement benefits and start enjoing time and travel even better or at least I hope.

So let me give some light into the subject in my belle France. As the minimum retirement age is 62 years, it is important to anticipate and wonder which French cities are the most accessible or offer the most enjoyable living environment. The cities of the west of France and especially of the southwest have achieved better scores than their eastern municipalities, in particular thanks to air quality, safety and overall lower fixed expenditure. Limoges exceeds with one head all its sisters thanks in particular to its security and its pleasant living environment. It has therefore distinguished itself as the ideal destination to retire. Le Mans and Nice close the podium .

Some of the most mention areas of my France for retiremet heavens are the Var department as one of the most adored places of the elderly who wish to enjoy the Mediterranean climate that bathes this department of the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’azur. The Charente-Maritime is also a destination that pleases seniors, interested in its vast seaside and the beauty of its landscapes. New retirees who don’t like big cities will enjoy it. This department is appreciated for the quality of its living environment and for the dynamism of its cities (Montpellier, Agde, Béziers, etc.), but also for the charm of its small communes located on the periphery. The Hérault is endowed with many infrastructures specially set up for the elderly. The Alpes-Maritimes is the ideal place to spend a peaceful retreat in the sun. This department houses large cities like Nice, Cannes, Antibes and Menton,

And of course, my own neck of the woods is showing up right up there, hint hint!! The Morbihan (Brittany) is also interested in a large number of retirees who appreciate the authenticity and beauty of its typically armoricaines landscapes. With vibrant, human-sized cities such as Lorient and Vannes, this is the ideal destination for those who no longer want to live in the big cities. Its rich history and cultural life are suitable for many seniors. The map below show in red the most wanted places to retire and in blue places people are leaving elsewhere!

Security, access to care, Estimation of the cost of living;  Estimated from 4 weighted sub-criteria: The average price of m², the housing tax, the water price, the garbage disposal fee.  The quality of public transport ,Cultural offer with criterion: The number of museums, the number of theatres and places of culture, the number of active cinema screens, the number of festivals; Potential access to an active social life, the living environment. According to these criteria the best are: Limoges, le Mans, Nice, Bordeaux, Perpignan, Saint-Étienne, Caen, Nancy, Angers, Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble;  Dijon Marseille Aix-en-Provence; Metz ,Tours, Toulouse, Reims, Brest, Rouen, Lyon, Montpellier, Nîmes, Nantes, and Rennes.

And if even want to spread our wings and go retire at a pleasant place here the scores are high on Portugal, Morocco… and Florida(USA) lol!!! it is retirement USA heavens for sure. But Spain, Malta or Italy can be an interesting options to retire abroad as well of course.

So there, gave you some thoughts now is your turn to give me yours please. I like this post to be more than just glitter photos and travel anecdotes but a working post where you can help me decide. Its your only chance to there take it and go for it. And I thank you.

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

February 12, 2019

Church of Saint Leonard, Fougéres!

Moving right alone in my beautiful Brittany and visiting the neighboring departmet of Ille et Vilaine no 35 we come to the city of Fougéres! Again, several entries in my blog on it, but as a general descriptive nature. I feel obligated to mention some single out as my favorites.

From Fougéres came out Armand-Charles Tuffin, marquis de La Rouërie, that went over with La Fayette and fought with gen Washington for American independance. He was promoted to Colonel for courage and valor in the battlefield and the US Congress in 1817 gave him the US citizenship honorably. fyi

However, walking around town we came upon this Church that stands out and took a closer look, we were pleasantly surprise, another jewel in my belle France! I like to tell you a bit more on the Saint Leonard Church of Fougéres, in dept 35 Ille et Vilaine, region of Brittany!


Saint-Léonard Church  is located in the upper town in the immediate vicinity of the city/town hall and the public garden. The impasse Saint-Léonard separates it from the seat of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the country of Fougéres.


The Church of Saint-Léonard was erected in the 12C by the monks of Pontlevoy on the plateau which dominates the Castle of Fougéres. It was rebuilt from 1407 to 1636 in a flamboyant Gothic style in order to meet the demands of the demographic increase that the city knew. Desecrated at the French revolution, the Church was profoundly revamped in the 19C, including the reorientation of the sanctuary, its expansion and the construction of a new main façade.

Church Saint-Léonard is a typical example of the religious buildings built in upper Britain at the end of the Middle Ages. Without a transept, finished by a flat bedside, its ample nave is accosted by a row of chapels built according to the foundations and the needs of a growing population.

I like to go a bit more on the description of it

The main façade dates back to the 19C and replaces the original choir. Placed on a high step, a real stone lace, it transposes the models of the large flamboyant facades of Ile-de-France (Beauvais, Senlis, Sens or Meaux) under the Breton skies, using brilliantly the Kersanton stones for a result of the most graceful. The main door, with a perforated tympanum, is surrounded by buttresses with pinnacles, a gable crowning the whole and interrupting a first finely gallery bordering a terrace located at half-height. A six-meters diameter rose is the major ornament of the front piece. A second balustrade surmounts the intermediate stage that a pediment adorned with foliated balusters motifs finishes. Two powerful buttresses, embellished with pinnacles and finished by pinnacles, balance the horizontal lines of the degrees or galleries, even contributing to a certain upward momentum of the work. The steeple, built in local granite, endowed with gargoyles in the shape of cannons and a Renaissance gallery, the tower ends with high belfry crowned by a dome with lantern.


The Church of Saint-Léonard presents a simple basilical-type layout. It is indeed a large nave of nine bays accosted by collateral, the first span constituting a kind of narthex opening on two chapels. The building is akin to a Halle church, the Doves covering the main nave having been raised to a height higher than the vaults of the secondary naves during the 19C. The liturgical space of the choir is singled by the presence of a triumphant arch at its entrance and the vaulting of warheads from the last two spans of the church. The latter date from the 19C which saw the change of orientation of the building, the main façade being now turned towards the upper city.


Most of the stained glass windows of the Saint-Léonard Church date from 1959. The bombardment of the city in 1944 having blown the old glass. The windows of the collateral and the bedside of figures in foot of Breton Saints or having been the subject of special veneration in the Middle Ages and under the old regime ,such as Saint Joan of Arc and Saint Geneviève, Saint Yves and the Curé of Ars, Saint Crépin and Saint Crispinian, Saint Aubert and Saint Michel. The Church still retains some fragments of its 16C stained glass and the oldest stained glass of Brittany from the abbey of Saint-Denis and dates from the 12C. These pieces, exhibited in the chapels flanking the main façade of Saint-Léonard.


In the Chapel of the Baptismal Fonts ,on the north under the tower, fragments of an entrance of Christ in Jerusalem that adorned the former mistress-glass and other scenes of the 16C. Fragments of a resurrection of Lazarus, of Jesus in the Temple, of the adulterous woman. In the Chapel of the Sacred Heart; the exploration on the body of Christ, donor and Saint-Yves. Rondel of the 12C presenting two scenes of the Life of St. Benedict, coming from Saint-Denis: Romanus giving to Benoît his flow and Benedict nourished the Easter day by a priest. It is the oldest stained glass in Brittany. It was given to the Church of Saint-Léonard around 1898. The large organs were built in 1881.


There you go another worth a detour and may be considered an off the beaten path trip as most folks coming over here stop at the castle for the day and leave ;pity there is a lot more to see in Fougéres.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are (in French there is always more info of course)

City of Fougeres on heritage

Tourist office of Fougeres on the Church in English

Tourist office of Brittany on heritage of Fougeres

There you go all set, go, you will be glad you did. My beautiful Brittany is awesome! And even as off the beaten path, the St Leonard’s Church is a dandy to see; hope you have enjoy the post

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


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