Archive for March, 2019

March 28, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXVI

And here I am back at you on my beloved Spain, oh yes and times are getting warmer !!! It sunny and 15C in my neck of the woods or about 58F but in Madrid it is also sunny and 65F or about 18C. Enjoy the latest and see you maybe this summer there!!!

The biography, the Nature, the topicality of the tradition, the biography as impulse of the writing, the music like shelter and as space of coexistence in the classrooms, in the parks, in the street. In life. That’s the date. That’s what MarPoética will deploy in Marbella. Because poetry is of all.  Every day in the afternoon y 18h30, the famous Park of the Constitution (Parque de la Constitución) will unfold the Cycle ‘ Words of the Sea ‘, in which they ask the voice and the word the youngest, recognized and award-winning poets. Another of the great scenarios of the meeting will be the Royal Hospital of Mercy (Hospital Real de la Misericordia) where from the 20h30 will develop the ambitious ‘ Poetic Dialogues ‘, which call the debate to authors of first line. More here:

https://marpoetica.es/programacion

The culture of cheese, so deeply rooted in the Spanish tradition, needed specialized establishments to nurture and nurture it. Fortunately, we have some temples with experience and expertise.One of the best in Madrid at Poncelet , Calle Argensola 27 More here:  www.poncelet.es

A free marathon with the best works of Garcia Lorca. On Wednesday March 27th is celebrated the World Theatre Day, a day that since 1961 remembers the importance that this art has to create a free and committed citizenship. The Royal Post Office (Real Casa de Correos),home of the Community of Madrid, hosts this Saturday a marathon of Lorquianas works to commemorate the centenary of the arrival of the Andalusian poet to the Residence of Students. The Act will commence at 18h.

It has Been more than two decades since, in 1994, a score of sculptures by Fernando Botero took the Paseo de Recoletos of Madrid, and enjoyed such a welcome among the pedestrians during their stay that one of them was finally gifted to the city, achievement that they did not get New York or Paris, where it had traveled before this same exhibition. His Woman with a Mirror rests, since then, placidly and face down beside the Paseo de Recoletos, turning her back to the Calle Génova. Now, a large selection of canvases by the versatile Colombian artist, who in the decade of the 70’s came to consolidate as the most quoted living sculptor on the planet, he rushes his last days in Marlborough. Considered one of the great exponents of contemporary figurative painting, his balances of composition also speak of his understanding of the mechanisms of abstraction. The same is true of its color management, another of the features of its canvases, in which humor and critique always walk by hand. Gallery Marlborough (Calle Orfila, 5).Until Saturday, March 30th.

Some curiosities of my beloved Madrid:

If today’s Retiro park seems like a fascinating place, at the time it was a much more impressive place. The Royal Site of the Gran Retiro (Great Retreat) came to count, centuries ago, with 20 buildings, five squares, six ponds and eight hermitages.

Anyone who has gone through the Puerta del Sol knows that everyone, of any creed or condition, has a hole in it. Something that is also true in a physical way, because it has an area of about 11,000 square meters.

In the Plaza de Colon area are the Gardens of Discovery, a space full of symbology. For example, the three large blocks that we can observe next to the pond represent the three caravels of the famous Columbus expedition of 1492.

We go now with a disturbing fact, and that in Madrid there are more dead people  than alive. Only in the Almudena cemetery can we find the remains of some five million people!.

The disputes in the 17C in Madrid could be caused by the slightest reason. For example, not giving up the seat in the Church or passing in front of another by a door could be reason enough to end paddling in mourning (duels).

Located in the Alameda de Osuna, the park of Capricho is almost with total security the most beautiful in Madrid. One of the great surprises that it has prepared to the visitors is a bunker of the Civil War of 1500 square meters that can be visited by means of previous reservation, the so-called Jaca Position.

Did you know that Madrid has a castle? This is a fact that very few people know and with whom we encourage the reader to investigate a little more, visit included. We refer to the Castle of the Alameda, erected in the 15C, and located in the district of Barajas.

Robustness and agility, have strong and clear voice and not have been processed by racketeer or disturbing. These were some of the requirements required to be able to be a Sereno in Madrid in the mid-20C. Sereno, the men who guarde the streets of Madrid and many times thought to be a watchdog of the government system. However, very handy of opening the door of buildings late at night if forgotten the key or came too drunk!

If you walk through any neighborhood of the city you will not advance too many meters until you run into a gym. And it is that these places have experienced a real boom in the last decade. The first Gymnasium in Spain opened in Chueca in 1859.

The growth of Madrid led to the development of neighborhoods on land that used to be a very different function. For example, where today is Moratalaz, there was a meadow in which King Alfonso XIII liked to play polo. Ok

What would be Lent and Easter without French toast (Torrijas)? This sweet, of European origin but of long tradition in Spain, consists of a slice of bread of several days that, once soaked in syrup, milk or wine, is battered in egg and fried in a frying pan with oil. It is usually sweetened with molasses, sugar or honey and sometimes it is aromatized with cinnamon… It looks pretty much like French toast, but it’s not the same. The III Contest of French Toasts of the Community of Madrid,( III Concurso de Torrijas de la Comunidad de Madrid) which, on this occasion, has been organized by three associations (Craftsmen Artisans of Pastry-Confectioners of Madrid, Association of Cooks and confectioners of Madrid and Hotel Business Association of Madrid) and it has developed in three different categories: traditional, innovative and gluten-free elaborated by bakers as well as by cooks and food confectioners.

The Latasia Restaurant has not had a rival. Among the innovative proposals, the restaurant Koma, made with iced horchata or the Barra Dulce (sweet bar) with tea chai and chocolate. Café de la Opera (in the lower floor of the Hotel Opera, opposite the Teatro Real) to taste its classic French toast. In addition, the reinterpretations that can be tasted in Catalonia Atocha (a pair of brioches inspired by breakfast and in the afternoon snack that children usually take) and the one presented by the restaurant El Etxeko of the Hotel Bless (French-toasted ingot, caramelized and perfect flavor and texture, with almond cream and pistachio ice cream)

The best for me its still the Viena Repostería Capellanes (Vienna Pastry Shops Chaplains) at Calle Alcalá, 127 ,and other locations in Madrid, Also, the Patiseria La Oriental calle Ferraz, 47. From April 5 to 21 , you can taste the best French toasts in the pastries, restaurants and hotel that have participated in this contest. More on the contest here: http://www.asempas.com/asempas/iii-concurso-de-la-comunidad-de-madrid-las-mejores-torrijas-de-madrid-2019/

If you fancy the famous American dish (burgers) and don’t want to resort to the battle burgers, investing just a little more skyline diner is an option to contemplate. Always among the listings of the best burger, in their flirty and central local feel like staying and their burgers bet on quality ingredients. It can be created to taste, for those who start by removing the greener part or fleeing the sauces. Its Strenght is the artisan bread and the three types of meat to choose (D.O. Avila Veal, Black Angus and Pollo Campero (farm chicken). At Calle de Jesús, 14. Tel. +34  913 89 67 00. average Price 15-18 euros. More here: https://www.skylinediner.es/

During the 1930s and 40’s of the 20C, the border towns of Alcoutim (Portugal) and Sanlúcar de Guadiana (Huelva), separated by the river, were dark and abrupt places, where smuggling was rampant. The porters defied the law to pass merchandise from one side of the Guadiana to the other in wartime, both day and night. This cross-border activity marked the daily lives of the inhabitants of both populations and, at the same time, established a cultural and emotional link between their people. In memory of those times, and twinned by a tradition and a common feeling, Alcoutim and Sanlúcar jointly celebrate the third edition of the Festival of smuggling, (Festival del Contrabando,) an event in which, for three days from Friday 29 to Sunday 31 March, its inhabitants revive the past through a program full of activities, with ingredients as important as art, culture, gastronomy and natural heritage shared by both villas. The official start of the festival will be on Friday 29th by 15h30 with the opening of the Market of Trades and Fair, a traditional rural market that has become one of the attractions of the event. The most anticipated moment of the festival is the inauguration of the Floating Bridge on Friday 29th, at 16h, an ephemeral platform that connects both municipalities (the rest of the year, to access from one side to another must be done by boat), which has become a tourist attraction. Thousands of people will cross the bridge in the water, between the pier of Alcoutim and the one of Sanlúcar, the three days that is installed, which facilitate to the public the access to the different events of the festival on the shores. Places like the Castillo de San Marcos, in Sanlúcar de Guadiana, or the Castle of the Villa and the Hermitage of Our Lady of the Conception, in Alcoutim, accommodate some of the festive activities, but it is worthwhile to visit them with tranquility. The complete program is here in Portuguese: http://www.cm-alcoutim.pt/pt/destaques/4298/festival-do-contrabando-une-dois-paises-em-torno-de-uma-identidade.aspx

The Old Convent of Santa Fe receives 250 works of modern and contemporary authors little represented in Spain. One of the works of modern and contemporary art of the Roberto Polo collection that from this Wednesday 27th March, can be seen in the old convent of Santa Fe. The meeting, which has been possible after four years of work between the Government of Castilla-La Mancha, the Cuban-American collector Roberto Polo  and the journalist and art expert Rafael Sierra, assumes that for 15 years a renewable period by the one who signed the free transfer of 475 works of 171 artists will remain in the region. The agreement, signed last July, includes the opening of another headquarters in the old Court of the Inquisition of Cuenca, a 16C building that will house the rest of the cession and whose rehabilitation is not completed until 2023. From the beginnings of the abstraction with Kandinsky, the constructivism with The Lissitzky, the new realismes and the surrealism with Max Ernst. It is a bridge that allows us to recover the relationship between Spain and Flanders, which was lost in the 17C.

The Old Convent of Santa Fe ,closed since 1973, whose construction began in the 9C as the palace of Rahman III, then passed to the order of Calatrava and, in the 16C, Isabel the Catholic gave it to the Mother Superior of Santiago. After 15 years of restoration, the space has recovered the palatial Andalusian part and the caliphal Qubba, of which the poly lobular arches of the vault are still preserved, since that small chapel of Bethlehem, currently with mural paintings of the 16C has always been a place of prayer. Corpo also has a temporary exhibition hall, which shares with the Santa Cruz Museum and presents, for the first time in Spain, a large exhibition (60 canvases and 135 drawings) by Belgian artist Werner Mannaers. The visit to both spaces will be free until March 31st.

The bullfighter José Tomás Toreará this year at the Granada Corpus Fair on Saturday 22nd June. This will be the first paseíllo of the Spanish season of José Tomás, who wore lights in national arenas for the last time last year 29 June 2018 in Algeciras. More on Corpus Christi in  Granada here:  http://www.lovegranada.com/feasts/corpus-christi/

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

Tags: , ,
March 28, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXVI

And here I am talking again about my belle France and some of the interesting things I like about it. The sun is out, 18C even and nice almost beach weather in my neck of the Breton woods.

As mentioned before in my blog ; the building between the 52 and 60 Avenue Champs-Elysées is like a book that combines the history of Paris and that of commerce. The Galeries Lafayette will open to the public on this coming Thursday, at noon, a new concept, hybrid of the department store and the concept store. Thirty years previously, Virgin Megastore invented both the concept of flagship of a sign and the theatricalisation of the sale-mini-concerts in support-in the majestic architecture from the 1930’s of the former offices of the first National City Bank of New York.

The Galeries Lafayette Champs-Elysées add to the art deco heritage; combining in 6,500 square meters, at the entrance an immersive tunnel worthy of the corridor of a spaceship of Kubrick, boxes of glasses hung on the second floor under the dome that was cleared of the false ceiling and a monumental staircase that connects the first and second floors. The furniture mixes kinds of ruffled carpets for shoes with rounded linear in gold or silver metal. The atmosphere is airy and sophisticated. The 650 selected labels-from mid-range to luxury share the same aisles and the same connected hangers with a digital display showing the available sizes. The visual identity incorporates the very typographical logo. All staff are employed by Galeries Lafayette. No demonstrators.  The man and the woman mix in the aisles. The dressing rooms like the toilets are unisex. The fluidity of the era of time… The basement offers 30 to 50 dining seats for 10 sweet or savoury brands such as  Chocolaterie Ducasse, Marcolini, Kaspia, A la mère de Famille, Maisie Café, comptoir Vérot.etc.More soon here:  http://www.galerieslafayette.com/i/nos-magasins/

Taillevent, belongs to the history of our gastronomy, and even a little more. All influential figures have marched since the post-war period. In the mansion of the Duke of Morny, former owner Jean-Claude Vrinat knew how to place capitalism gurus, Ministers, media bosses and showbiz stars. He had reached Nirvana, three Michelin stars, in 1973, kept until 2007. Chef David Bizet replaces Alain Solivérès, chef for almost 17 years of the restaurant Le Taillevent. 70 years after getting the first star, it’s a page that turns for this big house that welcomes its sixth chef at rue Lamennais, always looking to get back its 3 stars.More here:  https://letaillevent.com/en/

l’English-language Library in Angers.  Talking about Brexit that huge decision that will linger in time as a bad play, time will tell. The largest English-language library in Western France lists 1 876 members of 74 different nationalities. Liz, has been living in Angers since 1995, but she is still not French. This week, she had even planned to go to Ireland to apply for nationality, and thus double her chances of staying European. Ken, for the regulars has been living in Angers for over forty years. He met Marie-Madeleine. They loved each other and then married. He remained, became an English teacher at the European high school Sainte-Agnès. Ken is 65 years old today. He listens to the BBC morning and evening, comes to recharge in the English library. Despair. “How can women and politicians justify this position when they see the economic catastrophe that is on the horizon? At Swindon, they still believe that Honda’s departure has nothing to do with Brexit. There are 3 500 jobs which, in 2022, will disappear with the closure of the factory of the Japanese manufacturer. More here: https://www.lemonde.fr/m-le-mag/article/2019/03/26/a-l-approche-du-brexit-la-grande-angoisse-des-anglais-d-anjou_5441271_4500055.html

It’s spring, the beautiful days come back and many Parisians and regional folks are riding their bikes again.  And they need to know the laws too! Cyclists discover on this occasion certain special rules of the Highway Code. The wearing of headphones is one of the most expensive tickets to which cyclists are potentially subjected. This offence is punishable by a fine of 90 euros in case of payment within 15 days, increased to 135 euros beyond and up to 375 euros in case of payment after 45 days. And it’s not the only one. Riding by bike, Scooter or trottinette on a sidewalk is forbidden, except for children up to 8 years of age. Ride in a forbidden direction and go to the red light… unless explicitly authorized. Cyclists are obliged to respect the traffic lights. Except when triangular signs allow them to go straight or right. Please note that bicycles are not required to use a bicycle path unless this requirement is indicated by a blue-bottomed circular panel (they should be). yet doubling the cars by the right when cycling is an offense. Circulate under the influence of alcohol. Drink or drive, you have to choose, even on a bicycle. But unlike a legend, a cyclist cannot get points on his license. While in Germany, the limit of alcohol allowed by bicycle is twice as high as driving (should be the same, but this is Europe!). The city of Paris has intensified the video-verbalization to enforce them. More than 23 200 fines (PV) have been compiled since January 2018. The law by the Association Déplacer à Bicyclette : https://mdb-idf.org/code-de-la-route-a-velo-droits-et-devoirs/

The Domaine de La Grange-la Prévôté, in Savigny-Le-Temple, has been labelled “heritage of regional interest”, this past Tuesday, by the Permanent Commission of the Regional Council of île-de-France chaired by Valérie Pécresse. It joins the other twelve sites of Seine-et-Marne (dept 77) having already received the precious label of the region.  In Savigny-Le-Temple, the Domaine de La Grange-la-Prévôté derives its name from the existence of a Provost in the 14C but the Castle and its Commons date for the most part of the second empire.

In Bassevelle, the staking aircraft Lighthouse “Petit Bassevelle”, rue de l’église (at road D 55), was a luminous landmark with neon lights used to guide air navigation. It was installed in the place called Les jerseys in the early 20C and is part of a set of three aeronautical headlights close to each other located in Jouarre and at the Marchais-en-Brie (Aisne, dept 02).

At Combs-la-Ville , the Church of Saint Vincent, place du Père-André-Jarlan, is in the image of Sénart: a new building on ancient foundations. The Church mixes vestiges dating back several centuries, like the Bell Tower with a choir, a bedside and a nave demolished and rebuilt from 1900 to 1902.

At Coupvray , labeled “village of character”, several elements of the small heritage are honored: the fountain, the Royal Terminal and the wash-houses (lavoirs). One of the washing-houses, said of the Médisances, at the top of the village, was built during the French revolutionary period at the site of an old fountain, is fed by the sream of the Fréminette and enjoys a nice roof open to the center which allows to recover the rainwater.

At Crégy-lès-Meaux, the Maison des Carmes  , received the label as well. The former convent of the order of the Barefoot Carmelites, built from 1622 in a corniche overlooking Meaux in the North, was dispersed in the French revolution. The house belongs to a private owner. The lawn promenade of 180 meters long between its two towers restored by the municipality is a town area covered by the GR1(walkers way) and offering a breathtaking view of Meaux. The convent welcomed monks from the order of the Carmelites who walked barefoot, hence their name of barefoot Carmelites. They lived un-cloistered and actively participated in life outside their convent, preaching in parishes, forming students, etc.

At Guercheville, the Dovecote next to the City/Town Hall, rue Grande. It is easily recognizable by its shape and it’s bicolor, beige and brick façade. It is one of the remains of the Castle, bought by the town in 1984 with the farm and its portal. If the farm was demolished to build the City/Town Hall, the gate was preserved, the Dovecote became the City Council Hall and the barn was transformed into a holiday guest room.

At Maisoncelles-en-Brie, the Church of Saint-Sulpice has three elements classified and restored: the altar of the 17C and two altarpieces, which were even lent to the Musée du Louvre for the time of an exhibition!.

The Vexin (wonderful natural park we enjoyed while at Versailles) crosses over the Seine. For the first time since its creation in 1995, the Vexin Regional Natural Park (PNR) will count from the towns on the left bank of the river. As part of an extension of this park which now counts 78 towns on the Val-d’Oise(dept 95) and 20 in the Yvelines (dept 78). Nine towns from the Yvelines will be added, by 2021, to this list; these are Bennecourt, Mousseaux, Limetz-Villez, Rolleboise, Méricourt, Freneuse, Moisson, Hardricourt and Triel-sur-Seine.More here:   http://www.pnr-vexin-francais.fr/fr/le-parc/

With more than 45 000 visitors, the Cerny – La Ferté-Alais aerial meeting is one of the most popular events of the Essonne (dept 91). The 47th Edition of the “time of the propellers” will take place on June 8-9, 2019. On the program, aerial shows accompanied by pyrotechnic effects, baptisms of the air but also animations around the theme of aeronautics. It is calling for volunteers. Only criteria to apply: to be at least 16 years old (parental authorization necessary for minors), to be motorized or to be able to access the ground by their own means. A letter of motivation must be sent by May 15 May. The letter to be sent to Amis de Jean-Baptiste Salis, Aerodrome de Cerny/La Ferté-Alais, 91590 Cerny or by émail:  Bureau@ajbs.fr. More info here:http://www.ajbs.fr/presentation-du-meeting-2019/

The town,La Ferté-Alais : https://www.lafertealais.fr/tourisme/tourisme-fertois

Take a leap in the past to Saint-Cloud (Hauts de Seine dept 92). The Castle has disappeared, but the gardens remain a must-have. In addition, on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, you will know all about its history through a guided tour. Duration: 45 minutes. Departure 15h in front of the historical Museum. Open every day from 7h30 to 21h. Free. More here:  . http://www.domaine-saint-cloud.fr/en/Prepare-for-your-visit

Admire the Eagles in Provins (Seine et Marne dept 77). The “Eagles of the ramparts” show, in the open air, resumes this coming Saturday with new atmospheres in staging and a new fairy character amidst the nocturnal birds. From the Hawk to the Eagle, through the hawks and owls, the Raptors shave the heads of the spectators, on the ramparts of the medieval city. From March 30 , at 14h30 and 17h on weekends, at 14h30 and 16h. on weekdays. Rates: 8 to 12.50 €.  Into line Tel. +33 (0) 1.60.58.80.32. More info here:  https://www.provins.net/sites-incontournables-de-provins-tourisme/tous-au-spectacle/les-aigles-des-remparts/

Nautical activities in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines ( Yvelines dept78). Since last summer, a small outdoor activity park has entertained children at the Trappes recreation base. A caterpillar on Rails, logs of water, boats that move by pedaling, rolls in large transparent balloons on the water, a trampoline of 15 carpets or a mini-karting of 60 meters in the open air offer a playful getaway. From 6 to 12 years. From 5 to 10 minutes the activity, from 1-2€  the ticket according to the quantity purchased. Parking of the Base: 5€ per car. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 10h to 20h. Info line Tel.+33 (0) 6.08.04.24.69. Entrance by the roundabout Éric Tabarly,road  D 912, in Trappes. More info here:   http://saint-quentin-en-yvelines.iledeloisirs.fr/comment-venir-sur-lile-de-loisirs

Slide in a pedal boat in Pierrefonds (Oise dept 60). Another activity on water, pedalo, on the pond of Pierrefonds. You can get tired by pedaling with a breathtaking view of the Castle, amidst the ducks and herons, before having a drink on the terrace by the water. Open daily according to the weather. Rates: 3.70 to 4.80€. Pier, Deflubé Causeway. Info line tel. +33 (0) 9.52.80.12.26 . More info here : https://www.lembarcadere-pierrefonds.fr/

Sceaux Park organizes its Cherry Blossom Festival from April 21st to 22nd! As every year, the city of Sceaux welcomes the arrival of spring around many festivities. On the program, big festive picnic made by food trucks, at the rhythm of the taikos and the parades of Awa Odori… Ideal for tasting delicious sushi and drinking sake in peace, in an idyllic bucolic setting. More than just a party, it’s a real Japanese gathering that will be happening! This year, the festivities will also be punctuated by various workshops, dance, and many artistic and musical performances. The opportunity to discover Japanese artists who will accompany you to the sanshin (small guitar of southern Japan) and to the shinobue (traditional flute) all the weekend! More info to get there:   http://domaine-de-sceaux.hauts-de-seine.fr/english-section/practical-information/

In honor of its 130th anniversary, the Eiffel Tower organizes a festive weekend on March 30th and 31st with concerts, animations and an adventure game. The goal? Discover the famous Tower in all its facets and uncover the secret of the Eiffel on workshops. Alone, or as a team, you will need to find the name of a confidential file by deciphering a series of puzzles scattered on the 1st floor as well as in the gardens of the tower. And bonus this weekend: the whole course will be scripted with comedians in period costumes in immersive scenery. An experience not to be missed for lovers of history and secrets! More info here:   https://www.toureiffel.paris/en/news/130-years/come-and-discover-eiffel-tower-adventure-game-march-30-and-31

There you, there is always something going on in my belle France, the Héxagone with just a tip of the iceberg of opportunities to enjoy. Hope you can enjoy them too.

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

March 24, 2019

Distillerie du Gorvello at Sulniac!

So let me tell you for a change of a local producer, we buy from direct. Of course, they are very near us in the lovely Morbihan dept 56 of Brittany. This post I like to introduce to another gem of my belle France know as the culinary birthplace of the world and already recognized by Unesco, first!

We like some spirits with our meals like good Europeans and better Frenchmen, so this ,also includes Cider. I have been drinking cider since a child from the region of Asturias in my beloved Spain. As time went on and my travel horizons expanded I came to know Norman cider, and then once moved to my beautiful Brittany, also Breton cider. Which is better is up to you, me I like the Breton cider ::) Why the apples the varieties are awesome with tastes going to all the palates.

And to think we found it by just road warrior trips in  my area! We were on the road looking for goodies found a new one and we have been back! this is the nearby Distillerie du Gorvello just before reaching the castle of Plessis Josso (see post apart)  off the road to your left and then left again.  From the expressway N165 take exit 22 Le Gorvello/Surzur at traffic circle follow direction Le Gorvello and follow the arrows to the Distillery. A wonderful place making cider, apple juice, liquors from apples such as pommeau de Bretagne, Fine de Bretagne, vinager of cider, etc as well as cold cuts canned goods. It has won many medals in the region and a family business. It is better to call ahead for tours as they change all the time; we did not go on it as we already visited the making of cider here, but did tasted the apple juice Gullivec and Tradition and Gullivec ciders as well as pig canned good terrines, all purchased as well for home and the road trip!!!  Prices are great from 3 euros the bottles and up.

Sulniac

It is in the immediate vicinity of Vannes and the Gulf of Morbihan, at the village of Sulniac , the Gorvello distillery is a small family farm specializing in the cultivation of Apple Cider.  Drive up rue Thiers from Le Port marina and get on the expressway N165 direction Nantes  at exit sortie 22 take direction first La Trinité Surzur and quick right into the road D183 direction Sulniac, you past the signs for the Castle of Plessis Josso and on the next road with a small sign (need to be alert not to missed it) turn right and see signs for the distillery. Worth the detour

Sulniac

The production activity is right on site with a workshop located within one of their orchards, here  carefully and according to artisanal methods its develop quality products including aperitifs and distilled spirits with their own alembic and aged in oak barrels in the cellar.

Sulniac

The flagship products are  Fine Bretagne AOC , Pommeau de Bretagne AOC, Little Prince Guillevic ,Cider from Brittany IGP and AB, AB Apple juice, Cider vinegar et Other local products. We have tried most already. Delicious, old fashion way the one we like and glad to be in France and the prices are family soft.

Sulniac

Sulniac

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Distillerie du Gorvello in French

Regional Gulf of Morbihan tourism site on the Distillerie du Gorvello in French

Tourist office of dept 56 Morbihan on the Distillerie du Gorvello in English

There you go a bit of tourism with good home made products of the champion France , will not go wrong here. Remember the name Distillerie du Gorvello at Sulniac dept 56.

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

March 24, 2019

Lisbon antigua and beautiful!

I took a trip to Lisbon right after the 10th Champions of Real Madrid of Spain, and its Portuguese stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe, and Coentrao. It was a short trip but full of souvenirs and good company. This is a re post from May 2014.

Lisbon deserves more visits, and getting to know it, it is an exciting city full of life and happy friendly folks always willing to help ,directions, food choices, and just have a good time there

My trip took me first to Nantes airport, then Paris CDG and finally Lisbon on AF; same return flight taken. The airports of Nantes and Paris CDG are very familiar to me after so many trips thru them. Lisbon was easy two terminals, came in and on terminal 1. Coming in took a taxi as was very late, has to haggle with the taxi driver who wanted 20€, told him my maximum was 15€ and he finally accepted. Figure the ride was for about 10-12 euros, so ok for 15 late at night almost midnight. You have to be sure the meter is on or don’t get in the car, otherwise be prepare to haggle easy for me as I speak Portuguese. The airport of LIsbon site is  https://www.aeroportolisboa.pt/en

On the way back ,I took the metro at Picoas line amarela(yellow) to Saldanha, here took the line Vermelho (red) to the airport all in about 40 minutes. all for a machine ticket of 1,90€ (including charge of rechargeable card of 0,50c). A great bargain indeed.  The metro, also, has the azul or blue line and the verde or green line, and its easy in English here  http://www.metrolisboa.pt/eng/

While in the city I stayed at the wonderful modern, clean and perfect location Hotel Exe Parque Lisboa , at Largo Andaluz 13, near metro stops Picoas , Marques de Pompal or Parque. webpage here   http://exelisboaparque.selectionofhotels.com/

Lisbon

The rooms were spacious, bath too, the views on the 2fl a bit obstructed by the nearby buildings but for the location, services can be beaten. right off the marque de Pompal monument and the superb avenida da Libertade. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. I will no doubt have no problems staying there again.

From the hotel I took my walks in the evenings all over the vast avenida da libertade from the monument at plaça marques de pompal all the way to plaça Dom Pedro IV, where I even past a branch of the famous Parisien resto Brasserie FLO. Beautiful fountains stores and the great plaça restauradores with beautiful buildings all around it.

Lisbon

Lisbon

Lisbon

Lisbon

Before long it was time to eat,and I was told about a restaurant there at plaça de restauradores call Pinoquio (like the famous character Pinocchio), this is seafood of Portugal at its best. The service was impeccable friendly,and the food sublime. it started to rain but no bother I was in heaven. I order my usual beers and then the dish was Feijoada de marisco. This is magnificent casserole of shrimp, lobsters,clams, and white beans stew, just fab and of course enough for one person ,really it could be ordered for two. Its a great dish I will try to imitate at home; here is the recipe in Portuguese: Petiscos Portuguese recipe for Feijoada de Mariscos

Like, I said, it was raining light, and I decided to face it and walk back seeing all the sights and smells of avenida da Libertade. During the daytime went to the Tivoli forum shopping a deluxe shopping center right on the avenida da libertade, and had lunch in the food court there, where a vast cafeteria serves different kinds of fast food, we try the beef people counter with a goat cheese hamburger with limonade. More info here: https://www.lisbonlux.com/lisbon-shops/tivoli-forum.html

Lisbon

And I came home not before setting my sights on returning either in October with me or in summer with the family; will see, it is tempting Lisbon is catchy, maybe I have the city at heart by now.

The tourist office of Lisbon  is at https://www.visitlisboa.com/?lang=en-GB

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

Tags: , ,
March 23, 2019

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXIII

So here I am back to my popular series, this one on My travels in the Morbihan, now in its 73rd edition! Thank you dear readers, friends, and family for your support to my passtime.

We go out during the week for the routine and then on weekends we try to go out again and then some. It has been hard since losing my dear wife Martine but I am coming alone fine with closer trips and planning some long ones starting next  May. For now our local routine.

We had a good morning sleep today Saturday and after a nice home breakfast still mix American and French we went out to our lovely Morbihan breton dept 56.

We needed some linen so set out for our favorite popular Conforama and got my sons some sheets, well they pay by now so its easy lol! Conforama of Vannes that is. Already popularly feature in my previous posts.

We went on to visit our sub prefecture of Lorient which even if only about 30 km from me was a while not visited. It shows we cannot think we know towns because just a few months away and the city has change. Less parking available and now with a Saint Louis brocante flea market going on the city was packed. We did manage to fine underground parking at Place d’Armes for only 1,60€ for the day!

After that we came to that moment of eating and we came searching for what it was announce will be soon in Vannes, this is the other burger joint as France is inundated with them for good reason .Good inexpensive beef menu for families. I know many think this cannot be in France but it is just another country in the sea of fast food chains all over the world. As I travel for business to many remote parts of our world there is always that other name present lol!

We came and found Roadside Burgers at 28 rue Auguste Nayel very near the Place Aristide Briand, central for all that is good in Lorient. The side order of the so call crazy fries was good and portion was big, a mix of French fries with half cheddar cheese melted and other caramelized onions. I did get my love from Pepsi ,the Mountain Dew soda difficult to find in France (previously in Rennes or Paris) this is great but was typically French not cold enough but just fresh “frais” and we never get used to this.  I ordered the Strawberry milkshake and it was good but the size was a bit smallish. All this the bill came to 14.70€ per person. Again a bit more expensive than our favorite Burger King.

Lorient

Lorient

As they are other burger chains opening up around here I believe they will have a tough time to survive ,but then again fast food is so popular, the formal original dining will be left for the rich and famous!

As we had time, we wondered around the city center and re visit our favorite wine chain store Nicolas at 1 Rue de la Patrie in city center where we had purchase before and do so all over France with no problems ever.  Of course, as far as wine store experience is concerned.

Lorient

We went into the Centre Commercial Nayel as it brought memories but it is just a mall shopping center type, good parking underneath thus. Plenty of stores and restos inside too.

Lorient

We, also, visit our favorite techno entertainement store FNAC right at the square or place Aristide Briand and it was super big and full of specials,I even got me an external portable hard drive from Maxtor! I needed it too many photos lol!!!

Lorient

On the way out of Lorient, we needed groceries so rather than go back to Vannes, we did it on the run at Lanester, next to Lorient where there was a nice E Leclerc hypermarket we like the chain; so groceries were done here.

Lanester

Finally, it was time to get back home to be ready for the match, yes we are going to see live on French TV the qualifier for my Spain vs Norway, European Championship game! Of course, our France already won easily yesterday 1X4 vs Moldavia!

So, now we are home and ready for the game with good cold beers of Brittany, namely the Mutine lol! sort like mutiny!

Therefore ,need to go, enjoy your weekend wherever you are. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

March 22, 2019

The Axe Majeur, get out of Paris!!!

Ok so let me take you out of Paris but not that far just next door to dept 95 Val d’Oise going west of Paris. Well you know this is the dept where Roissy CDG airport is located, not in Paris ok. I have come by here on my routine road warrior trips with the family and found gems off the beaten path sites!

One of them was the Axe Majeur of Cergy, Val d’Oise dept 95 of the Île de France region. Let me tell you a bit more on it ok.  You dont even need a car to come here, and its wonderful to view, if you like architectural wonders and natural views this is it for you.

The Axe Majeur, its at 30 km from Paris on the A15 road out of porte de Clichy. You can get here from gare Saint lazare train station direction Cergy-Pontoise and stop at Cergy-St Christophe. Out of station turn left and follow the city center street all the way out you will come to the axe majeur with signs. The site for the region train service is the Transilien, https://www.transilien.com/fr/gare/cergy-saint-christophe-8738249

This is the creation of artist sculptor Dani Karavan. You have several architectural points here,first is the Tour Belvédere, 36 meters high ( 118.8 ft) inside there is a stair to the top for magnificent views towards Paris main attractions. Then, you have the Place des Colonnes Hubert Renaud, its circular rounded plaza at 360° angle ,and you go here by passing apartment buildings done by architect Ricardo Bofil.  Follow this with Le Verger, parcs des Impressionists, the painters place, with gardens and fruit trees that in the summer are just delicious to even look. You reach the Esplanade de Paris, the place for gathering and people watching, the stones on the floor are from the Cours Napoléon in the Louvre! ,and the 12 columns are a link to the companies that sponsor this and the Arche du Carrousel by the Louvre. You come to the Terrace, you come to see the Valley of the Seine, and the natural beauty of the area from above with Paris and La Defense just ahead.  Next, the jardins des  Droits de l’Homme or the garden of Human Rights, it has trees including an olive tree from Italy representing peace.  Hey that’s the silhouette of my Dad below photo lol!

Cergy

Cergy

beyond is Paris!

Next ,the Amphithéatre or amphitheater for events that brings the locals and visitors together. Then comes the Scéne, link directly to the river Oise, allowed to hold water events in conjunction with the amphitheater.  Now you are in the Passarelle, (under construction) that will link the amphitheater with the ile Astronomique or astronomic isle and eventually reaching the base de loisirs Cergy-Pontoise (a popular playground park with swim,horse,team sport complexes).  Now you see the ile Astronomique, site of an old sand dunes for construction now itself under construction it will have scuptures from the world.  The Pyramide, done so that the wind and sun plays a part in its lights, you can only go by boat and navigate inside of it! And you have reach the extreme point in the Carrefour de Ham; about 1,5 km from the Ile Astronomique will allow you to see the work and the laser lights ending in a crossroad of routes coming into Cergy-Pointoise.

Cergy

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Axe Majeur information

Interactive visit to the Axe Majeur

And again in French, the city of Cergy official page showing the Axe Majeur,  http://www.cergy.fr/notre-ville/lieux-cles/culture-patrimoine/lieux-remarquables/

Something different to see in the Paris region, and nice, the Axe Majeur is unique. And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

 

Tags: ,
March 21, 2019

My ramblings in Europe, this time Carpi Italia!!

Well it was time again to take a trip,and the work is nice, this time I was at Carpi, near Modena and Bologna. This is a re post from 2012.

This is a nice town, home of women fashion, this is where they cut the fabrics that is put together elsewhere, plenty of models in my hotels oh boy were they beautiful. I was offered nice Adidas t shirts with my boys name on them!

My trip began at Nantes airport, where I took AF handle by regional service to Lyon St Exupery airport. Both nice comfortable level airports, and easy to navigate. I even will come back later with Lyon. The airports can be seen here ,first Nanteshttp://www.nantes.aeroport.fr/ANA-English/Page/Default.aspx , then Lyon  http://www.lyonaeroports.com/eng both in English versions. From Lyon took AF again to Bologna airport ,another nice size airport easy to navigate, the site is here http://www.bologna-airport.it/uk/?LN=UK

Of course the car is king took mine to get to Nantes and at Bologna was waited by a nice service call Auto Blu Noleggi, tel +39 339 3846496 email  autoblunoleggi@tiscali.it with great service by my driver Giacomo Franchetto, you wont go wrong using him all over Italy, he is GPS ready.

carpi

At my arrival at Carpi I took up residence at My Hotel Carpi, a great place ,prices, very good breakfast buffet, nice size rooms,and just before entering the town and close by the autoestrada autoway, the webpage is at http://www.hotelcarpi.it/

carpi

While there I took rides alll over town, but he fog was horrible, at Lyon,Bologna and Carpi plus very cold, so did the best thing to do in Italy, EAT!

I had my lunch at Trattoria Cacciatori at  Via griduzza, 1 – san marino 41012 – Carpi (MO)  tel:+39  059.681962, a great mix plate of pork,sausages,steak veal, and vegetables potatoes all down with a Lambrusco red wine.

carpi

For dinner we went to Pizzeria Moglieni, that to the best of me dont remember the name spelling correctly but it was in going to city center Carpi, we had a red peppers pizza that was sublime, plus more wine this time white.

Finally, on my last day we had lunch at a wonderful family restaurant that I highly recommend ,Il Carducci, Viale G Carducci, 16, 41012 Carpi tel +39 059 62 295 18, here we had a special pasta of the region with two broth chicken and beef and tortellini pasta, then a great rabbit done by grandma that was sublime, with red Menulpuziano d’Abruzzo red wine call Bacaro, the webpage is at http://www.ristoranteilcarducci.com/

The trip back was done late by 30 minutes due to bad weather at Bologna and Lyon,again I arrive home by 11pm or 23h. At least the food was great,and the company very sympa and friendly.

Until next time in Italy ! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: ,
March 20, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXV

So hey news are happening things are schedule and France is moving on regardless of the noise making that is part of our entertainment and makes us unique ,different and well visited. The temps have been mild with temps going up to 57F or about 13C with cloudy and foggy but no rain here.

Let me give you something to plan on in my belle France.

By now ,we know that there are 20 districts in Paris or arrondissements ,and that they are articulated like a snail to form the Capital. The first division of Paris in districts dates from 1795, with a cutting in 12 parts (9 on the right bank, 3 on the left bank). The other 8 were annexed by the law of 16 June 1859, thus integrating the “suburbs” between the old wall of the farmers and the walls of Thiers in the capital.

Some communes such as Belleville, Grenelle, Vaugirard and La Villette are then totally absorbed, others are partially annexed (the District of Ternes of Neuilly, the District of Glaciére of Gentilly, the District of Picpus of Saint-Mandé), still others are shared between the capital and the city of origin (Auteuil, Bercy, La Chapelle). They now form the definitive contours of Paris. Last news that redraws the map, the Mairie de Paris (Mayor’s office of Paris) decided to merge the first 4 districts (1-4) of the capital after the municipal elections of 2020. After a citizens ‘ vote last October 16 , the name “Paris centre” was chosen.

Each district has its own identity and specificities. All have assets that we do not necessarily suspect. The 15éme is the largest, the oldest ,the 6éme, the 17éme the most eclectic with four very different neighborhoods, from the Ternes to the Epinettes passing through the Plaine-Monceau and the Batignolles. Some tidbits on them to follow:

The 2éme it’s the smallest in area at 99 hectares. The 19éme with a total area excluding greens of 97.57 hectares is the biggest ,(thanks to the parks of the Villette and the Buttes Chaumont), the 19éme arrives at the top green area. The 11éme with a density of 40,827 inhabitants per km², is the most populated. The 16éme with 5 metro lines crossing it (1, 2, 6, 9, 10), and 24 stations in this district holding the most stations in its territory. The 7éme at Rue des Saints-Pères, here an apartment of 1000 m² (16 rooms) sold 39 million euros last February 6 to an European industrialist as the most expensive in Paris. The 16éme with the most museums total of 18 including the Louis Vuitton Foundation, Cité de l’Architecture, Marmottan Museum, and the Guimet Museum. Around the Bastille there are 3 district converging the 4, 11 and 12 . The 4éme and 8éme has the most historic fountains with 10 each. And the 20éme has the most libraries with 7! This is Paris!!!

In the ongoing silent battle to get the trains out of the red , the SNCF’s tariff schedule will evolve progressively during the year 2019. If the frequencies cards remain unchanged, SNCF recycles the good old “2 in 1” formula for the other discount cards. Thus, the cards “child” and “family” will only be one, as well as the cards “senior” and “weekend”.

But the main change is about how tickets are booked. While it was enough until now to specify to have a subscription card to get the right fare, you will be asked, at the end of the year, to type in additionally the number of the card. Thus, you will no longer be able to buy a ticket for your children, relatives, friends or collaborators, without being in possession of their card number.

These measures will enable the company to improve what is called the unitary recipe (get more money) indeed, by controlling the filling of its trains more effectively, it will be able to offer more tickets at the very last minute price. Finally, SNCF wants to remove the paper tickets for the exclusive use of e-tickets. This is the end of the journey incognito since for an e-ticket, it is necessary to give an identity and a date of birth (as in airplane) that can be verified by the controller. Stay tune!!

Twenty international artists of all generations and of all practices (video, painting, graffiti, music, sculpture) to express themselves in the depths of the House of Champagne Pommery. From the outset, the descent of the grand staircase which gives access to the cellars and which would gladly call a red carpet is punctuated by the sound and light of Pablo Valbuena. Welcome to a new space-time. Here, the sculptures of Ida Ekblad emerge from the alcoves; There, a work by Holly Hendry, which recovers the ventilation ducts and industrial materials of the heaters. A monument 30 meters high. . This will be the 14th edition of the Expérience Pommery, Domaine Pommery,Reims until June 15 2019.

For fourteen years, at the initiative of Pierre Hermé, the biggest names of pastry are mobilising for a good cause. In 2019, there is a new format and a new cause: that of the children of Madagascar, alongside the Association Zazakely Sambatra, chaired by Stéphane de Bourgies.  Great cause great product, France at its best! Relais desserts members of about hundred shops in France-will offer limited edition boxes of 5 macaroons highlighting the Malagasy flavours: chocolate, vanilla, spices, exotic fruits…Of course, the best in Paris and the world are Pierre Hermé 72, rue Bonaparte (6éme). Jean – Paul Hévin, 231, rue Saint-Honoré (1éme).   Sadaharu Aoki . 35, rue de Vaugirard (6éme). Arnaud Larher. 53 Rue Caulaincourt (18éme), and Laurent Duchêne . 2, rue Wurtz (13éme).

Some of the goodies coming up that I like are

 Embark on the new 10-km hike from the Arboretum of Versailles-Chèvreloup and travel among the lush vegetation of three continents   from April 1st. Visit the King’s vegetable garden (potager du roi) during the 11th edition of the very nature Esprit Jardin Festival at Versailles, May 4-5.

Breakdancer in the parking lot of 2000 m2 of the Institute of the Arab World, 6éme transformed into a dance floor before demolition and invested by the sounds of Rap and R&B of classics only, April 6.

Share the deep admiration of Fellini for the genius of Picasso by reliving the imaginary dialogue of the filmmaker with the Spanish artist at the Cinémathèque 12éme from April 3rd to July 28 2019.

Take off by immersing yourself in the exhibition “Ocean, an unusual dive” and go to meet the singular fauna of the great depths at the National Museum of Natural History ,5éme from April 3 to January 5 2020.

Stroll among the 150 galleries of modern and contemporary art from the post-war to the present day at the 21st edition of Art Paris Art Fair in the Grand Palais,8éme, from April 4-7.

To understand the conflicts of the 20C through the work of Pablo Picasso, following the guided tour of the Expo “Picasso and war” in the army museum or Musée de L’Armée, 7éme, from April 5 to July 28.

Choose and run the 42.195 km of the Paris Marathon from the Champs-Élysées and cross the finish line Avenue Foch on April 14th.

Drinking beers in the Green: for its 3rd Edition, the Mondial de la biére (beer worlds competition and tasting) is being deported to the Parc Floral ;12éme from May 17-19.

Get behind the scenes of the Opéra Bastille or go to meet the artisans of crafts who work for the good performance of the shows in Garnier during the 13th edition of Tous à l’Opéra or all at the Opéra from May 3-5.

Meet great chefs and taste their dishes in small portions under the nave of the Grand Palais, during the 5th Edition of Taste of Paris , 8éme, from May 9 to 12.

The departmental Council and ASO have signed a convention to have the final stage of the tour de France starts from the  Yvelines dept 78 in the coming years. The TOUR went by here in 2012 from Rambouillet to Paris Champs Elysées 20th stage. 2013 from Versailles to Paris Champs Elysées on stage 21. In 2015 from Sévres to Paris Champs Elysées on stage 21, and in 2018 from Houilles on stage 21 to Paris Champs Elysées.   And back this year to Rambouillet on July 28!

The complete tour on Youtube video here:

So enjoy France its a movable feast (Hemingway did not travel enough from Paris ::) ) and remember, happy travels, good health, and  many cheers to all!!!

 

March 20, 2019

Evreux, the other Normandy!

Indeed this is the other Normandy, might say off the beaten path and worth the detour. It was a collegue native of Evreux who told me first about the city, and the traveler in me told us to come visit. Glad we did,another gem of a Cathedral and nice Evreux!

Let me update the post and tell you a bit more on nice Evreux, different Normandy!

A very lively city tuck away in the Normandy countryside by the Eure river in the department of the Eure no 27. Its easy to get here by road from the autoroute de normandie A13 exit 13 just before the toll bridge. You have great parking underground at hotel de Ville, and Victor Hugo off rue Franklin D Roosevelt.  Not far from here is the train station at 4 blvd Gambetta, direct trains to Paris Gare Saint Lazare.

It is an old city first bishop Taurin from 989, and once under the kingdom of Navarra (Spain) until 1400.

We enjoyed the canals as well as the wonderful Notre Dame Cathedral. Some of the highlights of the trip would be the Bell tower or Beffroi,  the bishop’s palace is today the museum of Evreux (open as such in 1960)  with many works since antiquity to the 18C, especially see the statue of Jupiter , as well as painting from Flemish and French masters.

The ramparts along the canals are very picturesque quaint areas of walk and great for a lunch and people watching.

Evreux

It has a wonderful theater de la ville de Evreux, and nice market or marché at Place Clemenceau good on wednesdays and sundays mornings.

As far as places to eat there are plenty ,good, and excellent prices if compare to Paris. My favorites are the Le Benjamin  at 2 rue Franklin D Roosevelt just before getting into the pedestrian city center area,and parking by place victor hugo. You can have bowling here too; webpage: LE Parvis bowling and Benjamin resto Evreux

Evreux

For sweets, macarons, chocolates, and delicacies made at home try the Chocolatier Normand Auzou at 34 rue Chartraine city center, also properties in Le Havre, Amiens, etc . The chocolates are mouthful and the macarons sublime! Webpage Chocolatier Auzou at Evreux

Evreux

Shopping here other than wine is the ciders of the Auge, at A la Vallée d’Auge, 16 pl Clemenceau, Place du Marché :webpage:  A la Vallee d ‘Auge Evreux

La Cave du Beffroi, 6 rue de l’Horloge, great for wines, liquors, ciders,and accessories; open Monday thru Saturdays, great selection of local goodies to grab by the case! Webpage: La Cave du Beffroi Evreux

In all, the city center has pedestrians walkways and its loaded with stores all at better prices than Paris.  Hope it helps you see the other France just as beautiful in the other Normandy, and nice Evreux.

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

Tags: ,
March 19, 2019

Chantilly, more than a cream, a beautiful castle!

And I bring the crème de la crème ooops nah as the title says it is more than a cream Chantilly is a beautiful historical and architecturally stunning castle and proud member of the Friends of Chantilly Castle!

I like to tell you a bit more reloading an old post of this beautiful property. Of course, one of my favorites in France. Hope you enjoy Chantilly, the castle!

This is a cinderalla castle ,wonderfully done and maintain, full of history and hunting stories of France.  Chantilly is ,also, the name of the town, in the department of Oise, No 60 ,in the region of Hauts de France  ( previously Picardie and historically the region of the Valois) , north of Paris, and right in the middle of the forest of Chantilly.  World renown for its cream of Chantilly, but also, a beautiful castle with a museum of Condé, racetrack or hippodrome, and a museum of the living horse! It took a great beaten in WWI as the opposition hq was based until Marshal Joffre got rid of it in the great battle of the Marne. In WWII ,the hq of the opposition was installed at the grand ecurie, the town was liberated by the Americans in 1944.  Afterward it became a great residential area full of horse lovers, and most of the jobs are found south towards Paris region.

The main route to reach Chantilly is the A1 and A16 autoroutes easily accessable from Paris or London.  The train station Chantilly-Gouvieux is on the line Paris-Lille from Paris gare du Nord, and also on the RER D from Paris.  It is only about 30 kms from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.

chantilly

A bit of history I like

The area is the domaine of the Montmorency family from the 15C to the 17C, then it passes to the Conde house, junior house of the Bourbon branch from the 17C to the 19C.  Only the petit chateau is original from the 16C, the Grand Chateau is a reconstruction from the 19C ( 1875-1881)  . It was the son of king Louis Philippe Ier,Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale that inherits the castle and adorned it with paintings and objects of arts.  He in turns donates all to the Institut de France and the collection is turn into the museum of Condé inside the Castle ( the best collection of old paintings in France behind the Louvre!) . The Grandes  Ecuries built in 1719-1740 AD  today house the musée vivant du cheval or the living museum of the horse ,and the gardens is done by none other than Le Notre. All these complexes are worth a visit, a must to see while in the Paris area.

chantilly

chantilly

Chantilly

chantilly

chantilly-chateau-des-princes-de-conde

A bit of a tour at the properties. In the Petit Chateau, you have the appartments des Princes or princes apartments, where the Grand Condé lived; the Duke of Aumale was reserved the apartment in the ground floor. You can see a beautiful collection of manuscripts in the Cabinet des Livres or library ,where you will find the original copy of the “Trés Riches Heures du Duc de Berry”. The galerie de Monsieur le Prince or the gallery of Mister Prince has works of arts showing battles under the command of the Grand Condé.

chantilly-library-at-chateau-chantilly-1876

The Grand Chateau, once crossing the galerie des Cerfs or gallery of deers dedicated to hunters and hunting, you will the tapestries from the 17C, then the galerie de Peintures or paintings gallery, showing the tastes and likes of the Duke of Aumale with paintings of military battles, Richelieu,Mazarin and Gabrielle d’Estrée au bain. At the end of the gallery you reach a rotonda or main hall, you see the Vierge de Lorette by Raphael, turn to your right at the end you see the salle de la Smala and the rotonde de la Minerve where portraits of the family of Orléans are shown.  Come back a bit and see the Cabinet de Giotto dedicated to the primitive Italians, then in succession you see the Salle Isabelle, wonders from the 19C as Delacroix and Ingres, Salon d’Orléans, with porcelains of Chantilly taken from the factory founded by the duke of Bourbon in 1725. The visit continues with the salle Caroline,  work by Van Loo and Watteau etc,then Cabinet des Clouet a collection of works of arts in miniatures, opening into the Santuario where the works of Raphael Vierge de la maison d’Orléans, the Trois Glaces, Esther et Assuerus, portrait of the marriage coffre by Lippi, forty miniatures by Jean Fouquet as told in the book by Heures d’Etienne Chevalier, and you will finish this tour on the Cabinet des Gemmes that houses the beautiful jewerly and enamels as well as miniatures ,and the Tribune showing the 8 places favorites of the Duke of Aumale. All just gorgeous !

chantilly

chantilly

chantilly

chantilly

Then ,you move into the gardens, compose of three sections, the jardin a la française design by Le Notre, the jardin anglo-chinois around a hameau or house dating from 1773, and the jardin anglais from 1819. It takes about an hour to really see these. You can make longer by going to the Potager des Princes or prince veggies garden. Begin at the English garden or jardin anglais with its platanesques trees, take the allée Blanche and continue on the canal des Morfondus to reach thechapel of St Jean (built 1538); take a half turn and cross the canal des morfondus by a passarelle bridge to reach the hameau or country house created in 1774, along the banks you will see the Grand Canal to see the castle from the back great view indeed. When you return go by the allée des Philosophes; you can see kangaroos if you go outside their sleeping time very early.

chantilly

chantilly

The official webpage of the Chantilly castle properties ,you can see it in English at http://www.chateaudechantilly.com/en/  with up to date information and pricing.

You can go see the Hippodrome or racecourse,not open to the public during racing unless you pay but off you can ask to see the racecourse and training stables at 5 ave magdalene , see the info in English  http://www.france-galop.com/en/node/60

chantilly

The living museum of the horse or Musée vivant du Cheval, near the castle you can see it, walking distance, you see about 30 different races of horses for real actual horses of course as well as poneys, in the Grandes Ecuries you have 240 horses, 500 dogs, and just wonderful, performances are done daily. see webpage Chantilly Living museum of the Horse

chantilly

The tourist office for Chantilly webpage has lots of goodies, and if you have any questions just let me know ok.   Tourist office of Chantilly in English

Hope you have enjoy the ride or the visit to a wonderful castle museum of Chantilly, see it from Paris its easy. Enjoy it

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

 

Tags: ,
%d bloggers like this: