Archive for March 10th, 2019

March 10, 2019

Schengen, is Europe of the future!

And I bring out east again to neighboring nice Luxembourg and one icon town that is a symbol of European unity, that desperate goals seek by over 400 million people trying to live in peace and prosperity. Not easy I know but we keep on trying…

I like to show you a bit more on Schengen. The European Center, the famous old Castle and the Church of St Sauveur. Hope you enjoy and thanks again for reading.

Schengen is a town in the canton of Remich in Luxembourg. The town is located in the extreme southeast of Luxembourg, close to the tripoint Germany-France-Luxembourg. It is a wine town, part of the Moselle vineyard.

We rode from Germany on the B51 over the 419 and into Wellen crossing the Moselle into Grevenmacher and then down south on the 10 and 152 to Schengen. Easy beautiful rides along a wonderful river and very nice scenaries.

In 1949, was the laying of the first stone of the building of the Church of St Sauveur was consecrated in 1950.  This after many fires had destroyed the much older Church on the site several times. The large roof gives a light appearance. Likewise the corners and nooks of the Church, the Romanesque arches of the windows and the lateral position of the tower underline this aspect. The vaulted nave ends in an impressive triumphal arch and culminates in the choir which is illuminated by six high and narrow stained glass windows.

The tabernacle, the Annunciation ,and the Way of the Cross are made in copper the doors of the Tabernacle show the scene of the Annunciation. The paintings of the Way of the Cross have no frame and are perfectly integrated into the architecture. The consecration crosses and the interposed candlesticks are reminiscent of the consecration of the Church of St Sauveur. In the niches to the left and to the right of the triumphal arch of the lateral altars are dedicated to the comforter (left) and the Savior of the World (right). On the left under the rood is the old baptistery. On the 25th anniversary of the Schengen treaties an icon of the patron Saints of Europe was put in.

So new the city of Schengen only shows a picture of it! City of Schengen on St Sauveur Church




The visitor European Center houses the European Museum, a permanent exhibition about the European Union and the Schengen Agreement as well as a Europe information center with documentation about the activities of the European Union. The Euro Center was the treaty of free exchange of people in Europe something that is in vogue today in Europe and test this initiative done in 1990.

Even 30 years after the first treaty was signed, the term Schengen is still a symbol for the freedom of movement and the abolishment of borders in Europe. Inaugurated in 2010, the European Museum is dedicated to the history and significance of the Schengen agreement. The exhibition is spread over 200 m2, retraces the development from a Europe of borders towards a more unified Europe with a common citizenship in a clear and interactive manner. The abolishment of systematic border controls within the Schengen zone has been the first step in applying the four fundamental freedoms established with the Treaty of Rome in 1957.

Official Schengen information Center and Museum





Schengen Castle in Schengen near the borders with France and Germany. Dating from 1390 but almost completely rebuilt in the 19C. The 14C fortified castle was torn down by the industrialist Jean-Nicolas Collart in 1812 who built a residential manor house in its place. All that remained of the medieval building was its round central tower. The castle’s most famous visitor was certainly Victor Hugo who visited the Castle in 1871 and made a sketch of the old tower.

From 1939, the Schengen castle was occupied by the congregation of Saint Elizabeth, but in April 2010, it opened as a hotel and conference center. Together with the surrounding buildings, it has meeting facilities for up to 100 participants. It is part of the gardens with more info in French here.

Schengen Castle gardens in German gardens site



Some further webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is a must to see in Europe

Tourist office of Schengen in English

Tourist office of the Moselle basin on Schengen in English

Tourist office of Luxembourg on Schengen in English

Hope you like it as we did lovely ride along the Moselle river by car glorious and then the town is very quant indeed historically famous. Schengen is Europe!

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

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March 10, 2019

Salon Vins et Gastronomie of Vannes 2019!

Once again I bring you back to the wonderful superb Salon Vins et Gastronomie of Vannes 2019 held over this weekend at the Chorus expo center in the Parc du Golfe. It is beyond words, the perfect place to meet and mingle with real producers of the goodness of my belle France, many of which later come to visit on their turf, and by now are just friends.


This year is no difference. I moved here and heard about it but always too many to choose from went elsewhere, then in 2014 got the bugs and was nice skip again 2015/2016 and by now have gone to the events in 2017/2018/2019! Let me put for the memories at least mine the last visit to the salon in my post.

Salon Vins et Gastronomie Vannes 2014

Salon Vins et Gastronomie Vannes 2017

Salon Vins et Gastronomie Vannes 2018

And let me tell you a bit more on this year edition, which is actually the 27th in my area! The show was on March 9/10/11 from 10h to 19h with Monday to only 17h. Admission is 5€ adult but as I go often we get invitation for free from growers. There is free parking, lending of wheels caddy with proper personal ID, restaurant on site even to drink the bottles you purchase there, and tasting glasses with a deposit of 1€ (you can keep the glass or get the refund at end). Anybody under 16 yrs of age entered free.You get there by bus line 7 except Sundays from the train station at Vannes or the city center pl de la République for 1,50€.




The stands are many and varied with producers coming from the Alsace, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Charentes, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, Corsica, Southwest France, Valley of the Loire, Valley of the Rhône, and even wines from Moldavia! ,also, those producing beers, cocktails, liquors, and food such as pâte, cheeses, foie gras, nougats, chocolates, candies , escargots etc etc you name you have a cross section representation of the best of France, and most from brands we know here but not exported. That is why the Fair is call Wines and Gastronomy!! bon appétit.


And from us, well hard to remember as once trying several we stuck with only a few for the last several years. However, from the list I can recall the Domaine Fleishcer of Alsace, Domaine des Gaudets Morgon of Beaujolais, Chateau Mercier of Bordeaux, La Rose Pauillac, Bordeaux, Domaine Fillon of Burgundy, Champagne Godmé Sabine, Champagne Robert-Allait, Roxane et Cyrano, southwest France, Domaine des Sanzay, Valley of the Loire, also from the Loire, Domaine Hérault, Vignobles de la Rodaie(Cousseau-Boireau), Domaine des Liards Berger Fréres, Alain Chartier chocolatier from our area, le Nougat de Montségur, Les Saveurs Catalanes, Maison Gastellou, Miellerie de Huelgoat, and Coutellerie Moret. If you see any of these names in your area, buy it you will be glad! I had highlighted the ones we purchase this year. Enjoy them without moderation lol!!!



And we came back to watch the VI Nations rugby match between Ireland vs France losing 26×14  of course, we have a bad team this year. However, with the goodies of above we are in heavens cheers!

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


March 10, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXIIII

Of course ,cannot be too far from my beloved France. So here I am back with my regular news, hope you enjoy them this is like my 222 post on the series! I can’t believe either lol! Today was mostly sunny and temps went up to 13C so nice day to be out ,on this later post.

Let me tell you about my France as lovely as it is and more.

Heritage Lotto, 2nd year! After the success of the first edition last year, Stéphane Bern, the Heritage gentleman chosen by Emmanuel Macron, and the minister of Culture, officially launch the new campaign this past Monday morning in Aisne (dept 02). Last year, the operation had reported 22 million euros for the restoration of 269 monuments in peril. This year, no fewer than 865 files were deposited with the Bern mission in the hope of being helped. Eighteen, are the ones that will appear on the scratch tickets, have already been selected.  A great work of Stephane Bern who I happened to meet and doing a great job of preserving our heritage. More here in French : France Culture on heritage lottery

After the Père-Lachaise cemetery, 6 other Parisian cemeteries-not all located in the perimeter of the capital-are going to be grassed this year. But unlike the terrain of the 20éme arrondissement, the result will not be visible immediately since in these other cemeteries the grass will be planted by sowing. Intra-Muros, seeds will be planted in Vaugirard (15éme) and Montmartre (18éme). The aisles will gradually grow green. Extra Muros is also the case of Àthiais (Val-de-Marne dept 94), Bagneux (Hauts-de-Seine dept 92) or Pantin (Seine-Saint-Denis dept 93), where the largest cemetery in Paris will host 5000 m2 of seedlings. In the long run, the city of Paris aims to bring all its 20 cemeteries to the green lawn.  More on cemeteries of Paris here: City of Paris on cimenteries in French

And why not going to my pink city of Toulouse, many visits , family all around it and with many friends ,as well as a gorgeous town. But did you know about the Japanese!

Greenery, sushi counter, Asian art collections or a specialized bonsai store, the Occitan capital (Toulouse) is a good-hearted opening to the traditions imported from Japan. The Japanese Garden Pierre-Baudis extends its 7 000 sq meters in the charming district of Compans-Caffarelli, between the exterior and interior boulevards that surround the city center. As for the Japanese themselves, they are about 400 to have settled in Toulouse, whether for personal or professional reasons. It is to them and the tourist office , that I owe these addresses, among the most interesting of the city. Tourist tourist office of Toulouse  webpage:

Raw fish at Motchiya; 10 rue Palaprat. Formula starter-flat around 17€, house dessert at 3.50€. Open Monday to Friday from 12h to 19h. More at:

L’Arbre en pot . In Toulouse, offers a choice of bonsai trees and private classes to maintain them. Nestled in the heart of a courtyard in the historic district of Saint-Etienne, this store is visited as a garden. 12, rue Tolosane. Open Tuesday to Friday from 19h, Saturday from 10h to 12h and from 14h to 19h. More at

The Gourmet deli Tokaido Ya, where to find typical food from Japan, but also take out dishes. This Cambodian own opened in 2001 one of the oldest Japanese grocery stores in France. Four years ago, Asia Délices, renamed Tokaido Ya, moved from rue d’Austerlitz to La Colombette, but the offer is still as large. Located at 31, rue de la Colombette. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10h to 13h. and from 14h to 19h More at

At the Georges-Labit Museum , the sculpture of the Amida Buddha, depicted standing on a lotus flower. In 1893, Georges Labit, the son of a wealthy Toulouse entrepreneur, built this Moorish-inspired villa near the Canal du Midi to house the pieces acquired during his innumerable voyages. After his death, the museum guides its collections towards the arts of Asia and Egyptian antiquities. The section dedicated to Japan is rich in the Edo era golden-wood Buddha Amida, scary Noh theater masks or forty prints in free consultation. Located at 17, rue du Japan. Open every day except Tuesdays and public holidays from 10h to 18h from June to September (17h from October to May). More info here:

To Toulouse from Paris is very easy , inexpensive, and you should enjoy a full day at the pink city of Toulouse; by train: A/R from Paris-Montparnasse with TGV prem’s from 50€ trip is about 4h20. By plane: A/R from Paris-Orly with EasyJet, from 70€.

At the hotel Negresco in Nice, the death of Jeanne Augier at 95 years, of which 60 reigned over the most emblematic of the Nice palaces was in itself a surprise. For a year, Madame, as everyone else calls her there, no longer came out of her apartment nestled in the lofts of the sixth floor of the hotel. But from there to die in the midst of Christmas holidays while the establishment shows an occupancy rate of 80%..! The grand hôtel of   Nice is the scene of a strange judicial affair. At stake, the fate of the last 100% French capital establishment of the Riviera. More on hotel here: Official hotel Negresco Nice

And yes we have visitors who does these things… With its breathtaking view of the Iron Lady, the Metropolitan Hotel Eiffel Suite has become the most instagram room in Paris. The hotel located on the 6th and last floor of the Le Metropolitan Hotel, a few steps from the Trocadéro. The suite 611 Eiffel Tower has become the new playground for influencers. The reason for its success? A huge ox-eye window with a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower. As a result, hundreds of guests book the room at 640€ a night (just that), only to take the pose in front of the famous window. You will still have to wait at least 4 months before you can take advantage of the suite and make (finally) inflate your instagram account. More on hotel here! Hotel Metropolitan Paris

The theater théâtre de l’Œuvre was born in 1893. At the beginning, it was only a small concert hall initiated by the Duc de Grama: the Salle Berlioz. It was on December 22, 1912 that Lugné-Poe moved to the Salle Berlioz, which became the théâtre de l’Œuvre. It creates a different theater, in an intimate atmosphere, without pub or star, among friends… At the Paris liberation (WWII), more and more works will be created there, making this place a must in the capital. Adapting to its time, the theater will present classic and then more contemporary pieces, like those of Camus or Sartre… Many will be rewarded by one or more Molières. The théâtre de l’Œuvre is more than 100 years of history, and very diverse shows. Nice to stop by. More here: Theatre de l’Oeuvre Paris

The theatre Le Ranelagh is more than 120 years of history. Concert hall, theater, cinema, this high place of French culture has seen many great artists parade. Imagine a theater all made of wood, with moldings coming from another time, with vintage traps and unsurpassed acoustics. Known for its projections of cult films like the Children of Paradise to name only one, it is a multi-cultural place. The theatre has 300 places held and preserved by Catherine Develay hosting numerous shows. From concerts to Ranelagh children, there will be for everyone. It’s up to you to choose your favorite show. Theatre Le Ranelagh, 5, rue des Vignes 16éme. Another off the beaten path beauty for the theater incline. More here: Théatre Le Ranelagh Paris

We will have to wait until May 21 for the inauguration of these 13-meters-high fountains, which promise real spectacles of water and lights. Until then, there is nothing to stop us from observing them as they will soon be put on the road. Located all along the Champs-Elysées, these crystal fountains are designed to make its sumptuousness to the most beautiful avenue in the world. And for cause, these are luminaires mounted on bronze mats of 13 meters high that are installed, to which come attach 3060 facets of Swarovski crystal designed to make the water of the fountains sparkle! All illuminated by led lighting, just that. More on the official Champs Elysées site: Champs Elysées on the Crystal fountains in English

And a nice easy recipe we are doing on today; like to share some French cooking once in a while as we are not good cooks lol!  And now one of my favorite and a nice simple recipe me think for even the amateurs in our house. La Tartiflette en gratin!

Preparation time: 30 min Cooking time: 2 hours, difficulty: easy;  Ingredients for 6-8 people

1.2 kg firm-fleshed potatoes , 150 g smoked bacon cut into bacon, 1 large farmer’s reblochon cheese, 400 g thick raw cream ,4 onions ,  ½ glass of alcohol type Madeira, yellow wine, or cognac (to deglaze), Butter,Salt, pepper to taste. Then,

Step 1: The onions , Peel and chop the onions. In a frying pan, make them come back with a big nut of butter and then add the bacon. When onions and bacon are translucent, deglaze with alcohol. Out of the fire, add the raw cream, mix, salt very lightly (little, because of the bacon and the Reblochon), Pepper generously.

Step 2: Potatoes, Peel the potatoes, cut them into very thin strips using a mandolin.

Step 3: assembly ; In a buttered gratin dish, place a layer of potatoes, then a layer of the onion-bacon-cream mixture, then a layer of potatoes… In the manner of a napoleon (millefeuilles). Finish with a layer of potatoes. Cut the recoating into two halves, then cut them in along their thickness. Cover the potatoes with the pieces of the crust up. Bake at 180 C for two hours. Serve with a crunchy, red-or romaine-style salad, and a Jura chardonnay white wine. Bon appétit!

And I leave you today with the top most visited sites in Paris, you may find a surprise there. This is voted by visitor and local surveys in order from 1 to 10.

Notre-Dame Cathedral, 6, Parvis de Notre-Dame   4éme. Sacré-Coeur Basilica of Montmartre, 35, rue du Chevalier-de-la-Barre 18éme. Louvre Museum, Rue de Rivoli 1éme ; Eiffel Tower ; Champ-de-Mars ,5, Avenue Anatole-France 7éme. Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges-Pompidou ;Place Georges Pompidou 4éme ; Musée d’Orsay ; 62, rue de Lille 7éme. Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, 30, Avenue Corentin-Cariou 19éme. Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-la-Médaille-miraculeuse (Notre-Dame-of the Miraculous Medal Chapel) ,140, rue du Bac 7éme.   Jardin des Plantes (with the national Museum of Natural History and the Menagerie) ,57, rue Cuvier 5éme. And the Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile, Place Charles de Gaulle 8éme.

Enjoy my belle France and gorgeous Paris. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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March 10, 2019

Galerie de Diane at Fontainebleau!

And here I am back at the castle very dear to me. Just not to be biased I am friends of these castles Versailles, Fontainebleau, Vaux-le-Vicomte, and Chantilly. I  have written many posts on my souvenir favorite Fontainebleau, for the record, the first castle I ever visited in France in 1990 with my late dear wife Martine. Again Fontainebleau is in department 77 Seine-et-Marne in the ïle de France region east of Paris.

I like, however, to show you some of its jewels inside and one of them is the Galerie de Diane or Diane’s Gallery! This is my contribution to its fame!

Rebuilt on the orders of Napoleon I, the Galerie de Diane or Diane’s gallery is the longest room in the castle. Its decor replaces the compositions relating the myth of Diane that had been carried out under Henri IV after the construction of the gallery, located above the gallery of the deer. The ceiling painted under the restoration replaces the decor of the second school of Fontainebleau. As for its development in the library, it dates from Napoleon III.


The library of the Château de Fontainebleau, is located in the Galerie de Diane. This golden gallery, formerly known as the Queen’s Gallery, connecting the Queen’s apartments and the Aviary’s office, 80 meters long and about 10 meters wide, was first decorated with scenes illustrating the myth of Diane, that of Apollo , and the king’s victories, on the wooden attics of the walls and the ceiling of the broken vault. Its former decor is particularly known to us thanks to a rich album watercolour of percussion, and fragments of paintings and panelling, preserved today in the castle.


During the French revolution, Diane’s gallery became a prison in which, among other things, Trinitarian clerics were incarcerated. Damaged, it was restored first under Napoleon I who abolished the decorations of the 17C, then during the Restoration period, when its vault was adorned in the style of the painter David such as Diane on her chariot going to Endymion. These decorations are complemented by 24 historical scenes in the troubadour style , notably Charlemagne passes the Alps , 8 of which have come as donations. Used as a banquet hall by king Louis-Philippe, it was transformed into a library under the Second Empire, in 1858, as above by Napoleon III.



Some webpage to help you plan your trip here are

Official Chateau Fontainebleau on the Galerie de Diane

Friends of the Chateau de Fontainebleau on the Galerie de Diane

Hope you enjoy the post and do look out for the Galerie de Diane when visiting the castle of Fontainebleau, it is gorgeous!

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


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