Archive for March 17th, 2019

March 17, 2019

A tribute to friendships and good cheers!

And I need to re write this old post as it brings very nice souvenirs overall. I have been lucky to have visited 81 countries of our wonderful world (dont read the fake news) , and lived in 6 (Cuba, Spain, USA, France, Brazil, Nigeria, and Swizerland) and able to fluent speak 4 languages (English, French, Spanish,and Portuguese). I have dealt with the internet and travel forums and enjoyed finally even meeting some of the folks there and even had them visited my home and even stayed in my home! over the years. I am now alone as my dear late wife Martine, who accompany me on many of these trips and welcome these folks to our home is no longer due to the dreadful pancreatic cancer; this one is for her too.

I like to bring this post up again the best way I can, reblogging do not know how that works lol! Sorry not techie but humanoid lol! Here is part of my story.

Over the years I had the opportunity to meet wonderful folks from around the World that have come over to meet me in France or Spain or USA or me meeting them in their country. I like to pay tribute to their enduring friendship in this up dated post.

I have had the opportunity to be involved in several travel forums over the years that have been fulfilling to say the least. Encounter folks from many lands who right away established a good friendly rapport with, and it continues for some.

Some of the sites were Madridman, Cityvox(now yelp), Slow Travel, Tripadvisor, Virtual Tourist (now gone), Fodor’s, and Bottin Gourmand (as taster in France). I am no longer with any for reason of time and personal expressions that led me to start this blog, and away from forums. It is my intention to help readers enjoy the beauty of my surroundings and travels, and to help them enjoy their visits to these wonderful places more and better.

I have met them in New Jersey USA, Florida USA, Madrid, Spain, Paris, France, Versailles,France, Suresnes, France, St Germain en Laye, France , South Africa, etc. Some have come and some I have gone over, the general feeling is the same. Our love for travel and the human spirit remains strong attachment to our continuing relationship.

It is with great joy that I decide to interject my blog travel writing with this one, a special post in Paris1972-Versailles2003 blog. A bit of an explanation on the name: Paris 1972 was the first time I saw Paris visiting it from my home in Madrid! Versailles 2003 was my coming to live permanently as a French citizen in France from Florida USA! Two important dates in my life.

Those met in Madrid

madrid

madrid

madrid

Those met in Paris

paris

paris

paris

paris

Those met in Suresnes, Hauts de Seine dept 92

suresnes

Those met at Versailles!

versailles

versailles

Those met in Carnac, Pluvigner , Morbihan(56)

Carnac

Pluvigner

Those met in Johannesburg, South Africa.

South Africa

Thank you very much, and may the relationships and friendships  grow stronger with time. And welcome all new readers and followers to my blog.  La vie est belle en France, life is beautiful in France.

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

 

 

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March 17, 2019

Ben Thanh Market at Ho Chi Minh City!

So here I am taking you back east all the way to Vietnam. I have visited the country several times in the last few years and always impressive with its recovery after the wars. My main city was Ho Chi Minh City or old Saigon; even if some locals still call it Saigon!

On the several posts done on the country , I like to tell you about one particular spot that I got in by surprise walking from my hotel once, and then on another occassion came back to see it fully inside. This is the Ben Thanh Market, a must to visit.

The Ben Thanh market or Ho Chi Minh Market,  or Saigon market , whose Vietnamese name is Cho Ben Thanh is the best tourist shopping destination in Ho Chi Minh City. This tourist spot is located in the heart of the city, in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City, more precisely the Ben Thanh market  is located at the end of a commercial street call Le Loi, and at the beginning of the Le Lai street.

Ho Chi minh city

This building, which covers an area of more than 13 000 m 2, is made of cream-painted concrete with red roofs. Rectangular in shape, has 4 entrance doors or access inside the building, each door is equipped with an animal as a symbol of this entry, for example at the door of the animal is a cow. The highlight of the main façade is the huge clock housed in the middle of the front door turret.

ho chi minh city

Cho Ben Thanh Market was built in 1914 by the French in Ho Chi Minh. Although the building is relatively modern market, the inhabitants of the city and traded near the river since the 17C.

On the market you can find clothes, shoes, accessories, jewelry, equipment, pet shops, crafts, flowers, spices, nuts, food and restaurants . If you can’t find what you want inside the Ben Thanh market, you won’t be able to find it in Ho Chi Minh city!,so is the claim.

ho chi minh city

As a rule, prices are not fixed and will need to be haggle, or as traders say, apply a discount (except for restaurants). During the day, traders and stands  inside the market building, but in the evening , after 18h, the market closes to make room for the so-called Ben Thanh Night Market. A part of the traders mounted their stalls and shelves outside the Ben Thanh Market and all the restaurants and food stalls, without exception, continue its activity at the gates of Cho Ben Thanh Market.

The market opens its doors in the early hours of the morning and closes in the evening at 18h.  It is open every day of the week ,Monday to Sunday, whether it is a holiday, only during the Lunar New Year (Tết) and holidays, some stores can be closed. From 18h until midnight, outside the market, it continues the night market as above mentioned.

ho chi minh city

Hope you enjoy the tour, and see some webpages to help you plan your trip here

Official Ben Thanh Market HCMC

Vietnam Guide hotels.com on Ben Thanh Market

A nice Youtube video on Ben Thank Market:

There you go always busy but so many wonders inside to bring home as souvenirs from Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon. Enjoy Ben Thanh Market!

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

 

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March 17, 2019

Chateau de La Roche Guyon!

And I am coming to an old hunting ground when I used to lived in Versailles. Now out west have been lagging passing by here but always good to remember. This is an updated new blogging of an old post from 2011. It is always good to have nice memories of the Castle of La Roche Guyon!

Let me tell you a bit about with some personal old photos included! La Roche Guyon is in dept 95 Val-d’Oise in the Île-de-France region. Very nicely along the A13 by car, direction from Paris on the autoroute A13 of normandy, direction Rouen, at Mantes exit 14 take it followed direction Limay than Vétheuil./La Roche Guyon or even better the A15/D14 more scenic out of Paris.

We always stop by La Roche Guyon, make it a one two punch hard to resist while driving this beautiful area great for weekends. Here you have the Chateau de la Roche Guyon, here the Seine river form an unique turn by the river with a high elevation ideal for a lookout from those invading Normans

la roche guyon

A bit of history I like

In the 3C AD, the troglodyctives caves, and the local lord Guy eventually gave the name to Roche Guyon. History tell us that from the year 911 AD, the treaty of Saint Clair sur Epte giving Normandy to the Vikings, the Roche Guyon keeps the limits of the frontier with the French kingdom over the Seine river.  The French revolution has a tragic and bloody event here, as the owner of the castle was Louis Alexandre de La Rochefoucauld, he was very close to the ideals of the American Revolution and translate to French all the articles of the constitution of the States of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina with first editions in 1778.  He along with the Marquis de Lafayette, joined the estates generals and guided in principles the avenants of the French Revolution, elected President of the department of Paris in 1791. Aftet the revolutionaries turn against him for fear of his democratic ideals, he take refuge with his wife and mother at  Forges-les-Eaux where he hides there but in september 4, 1792 while doing a carriage transfer at Gisors he is arrested and massacre by stoning while his mother and wife looks on in disbelief.  More than 1000 are taken prisioners there and killed, the mother the Duchess of Enville is spare with the daughter in law by the intervention of the local people who appreciated their support always. She died in Paris in 1797 and the grandson continues with the property of Roche Guyon which eventually passes to his heir, the Cardinal Rohan. Some renovation is done to preserve the castle from lack of care in years later.

la roche guyon

Then WWII starts, from 1940 the village is occupied by the nazis, and on 1943 a civil defense field  created.  In February 1944, marshal Rommel established his command HQ in the Château de La Roche-Guyon.  The town is liberated the 8 august 1944 after 8 bombs hits the Chateau ,taking about 20 yrs to make it back to how it was before the war.

la roche guyon

The castle and gardens are now visited from February 5, every day from 10h to 17h. From March 28 from  10h to 18h during the week and 10h to 19h the weekends, from October 31 every day from 10 to 17h.  The visit is done following the terrases, then along and inside the salons or rooms, then the circuit of donjons /towers, and chapels, then the casements. Dont forget to visit the gardens just in front of castle towards the Seine river.

La roche guyon

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Chateau de La Roche Guyon

City of La Roche Guyon on the Castle in French

Hope you enjoy the ride, it is a historical nice place to visit and the views over the garden and into the  Seine river are sublime. Enjoy La Roche Guyon!

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

 

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