Archive for April, 2019

April 29, 2019

Saint Vincent Ferrier at Vannes!

So much to see and do in my wonderful Vannes of my lovely Morbihan and beautiful Brittany. However, some things holds you and make you reflect even on the bounties of been able to enjoy what I see around me and appreciated. Then, it hits you a person , a men who come from my beloved Spain, and so revered here with the Bretons. I need to write a post on him.

Please bear with me as I write to you about Saint Vincent Ferrier , or Vicente Ferrer as known in Valencia , Spain!  Saint Vincent Ferrier spread the word of God to the Bretons from March 3 1418 to April 5 1419.

Vannes

Vincent Ferrier (Sp. Vicente Ferrer) was a priest of the Dominican order, born on 23 January 1350 near Valencia (Crown of Aragon) and died on 5 April 1419 in Vannes (Morbihan,Brittany), which remained famous for his public preaching. Some of his relics are revered at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Vannes. He is the patron saint of the Valencian Community in Spain.  Vincent is the fourth child of a man born of the Aragonese nobility, Guillem Ferrer, from Palamos and Constança Miquel. It was named after Saint Vincent of Zaragoza, the patron of his hometown, Valencia. In 1379, he was ordained a priest in Barcelona. Initially, he taught theology in Barcelona and then at the University of Lleida, where he obtained a doctorate in theology.

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Close to Pedro de Luna, then Cardinal and future Pope Benedict XIII, Vincent Ferrier first joined the papacy of Avignon, rejecting the legitimacy of  Roman Pope Urbain VI in his treatise de Moderno Ecclesiae Schismate. He later became a confessor of Benedict XIII, now antipope and emblematic figure of resistance in Rome. But for the sake of Union of the Church, he eventually resigned himself to abandoning the cause of Benedict to recognize the Roman Pope. His official waiver took place in 1416, at a time when the Council of Constance was working to end the Schism.  A tireless preacher and evangeliser of Europe for twenty years, from 1399 to his death, he travels to Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and even goes to Scotland. He is often accompanied by an impressive amount of disciples, to the point that he must essentially preach in large outdoor spaces in order to be heard from the crowd. We lend him the gift of languages, given his ability to communicate with so many different peoples.

Vannes

The Relics of Saint Vincent Ferrier at St Peter’s Cathedral of Vannes

He was successively a Professor of Philosophy, eighteen years old! Professor of Science, Professor of Theology. His authority was necessary. His lights were used in the throes trials of the application of Canon law and Civil law. His decisions had the force of law. Chapters and bishops, parish priests and religious, neighboring and rival cities referred to him as arbiter of their disputes. He travels sometimes on foot, sometimes on the back of mule. He goes from Avignon to Valencia, bids farewell to his homeland, travels all the provinces of Spain, crosses the Pyrenees to San Sebastian, visits all our Midi region, passes to Italy, evangelises Switzerland, the center of France, goes back to Belgium, returns to the Franche-Comté, tilts towards Bordeaux and finally heads to Brittany!

To appreciate the results obtained by Saint Vincent Ferrier during his 20 years of apostolate, we must know what Europe was in the 15C. Everywhere, war. The Turks were to settle definitively in the eastern provinces. It was the time of the great pity of the Kingdom of France. Three quarters of the territory were at the mercy of the English troops, who had accumulated in their passage the material ruins. The black plague had made incredible havoc.  In France, the very Christian country, the practices of paganism had been re-enacted. The sign of the Cross was ignored by many. There was still a lot of misery, but they did not always respond to a need for faith; they were often erected to ward off a bad spell at the crossroads of roads. God spoke so clearly through the lips of the preacher brother that one only recognized an attitude in front of him, that of the penitent who implores forgiveness.

One of the most difficult works that a missionary can encounter is the conversion of Jews and Muslims. Everyone knew their hatred of the Christian name. Their obstinacy is explained: on the first weighs the responsibility of the Deicide, and the paradise of Muhammad is too easy for the latter to decide to follow the hard path that leads to heaven. The Moorish Kings of Granada also wanted to hear the voice of the famous missionary. They picked him up. Saint Vincent went to their call.  It is to him that we owe the intense Christian vitality that distinguishes us even today. But do not believe that we were the only beneficiaries of his zeal. It is the whole of Europe that should come to its Tomb, for it owes its life. He tore it from paganism. Where his action was more particularly felt, in Spain, Italy, France, the storm raised by Luther came crashing powerless. Faith crumbled: under the fire of his inspired verb, she resumed the solidity of granite.

He is the Adviser of Pope Benedict XIII in the throes questions that the Schism is born. When Spain finally feels the need to get out of the political crisis that threatens its existence, it chooses nine delegates who will have to settle the succession to the throne. After a month of laborious studies, these men, the most illustrious of the Kingdom, doubted themselves. But as soon as master Vincent expressed his opinion, they rank as the one who is required.

And he came to Brittany ,finally!

Twice already the Duke Jean V of Brittany had prayed to Saint Vincent to come and evangelise his States. A final letter from the Duke, written at the beginning of November 1417, exposed the dismal situation of religion among the Breton populations. For the third time, Designated person by the duke Jean Bernier began his journey. He met with Vincent in Tours, in the last days of December, and was happy enough to triumph over all the resistance. On February 8, 1418, Saint Vincent arrives in Nantes. He stayed there for nearly two weeks, and went on to Vannes where the Duke was standing with his court. He preaches in Fégréac, La Roche-Bernard, Redon, Muzillac, Questembert, and on Friday, March 4, he is in Theix.

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The Apostle is at Theix on March 30th again. On the 31st of the evening, he travels to the Abbey of Prayers, near Muzillac. He arrives in Guérande on 8 April. He preached through the peninsula, and on 14 April he was found in Saint-Gildas-des-Bois, where after talking about perseverance in good works, he healed a demonic that was brought, solidly garrotted, to the parish church. He then went back to Rennes, and the capital of Brittany made him a triumphal reception. On April 20-22, he preached on Place St. Anne in front of a huge crowd. All the houses that began to populate this square opened their windows to the impatient listeners, and saw up their roofs to cover themselves with the most impatient. For about ten days he travelled around the area. Fougéres, Vitré, Montfort heard him. Then he returned to Rennes on 2 May 1418.

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The Apostle pursues his mission by the north coast of Brittany. The canonization trial mentions Quintin, Châtelaudren, Guingamp, La Roche-Derrien. It is certain that he visited Tréguier, Lannion, Morlaix, Saint-Pol de Léon. Lesneven kept a long time in a silver reliquary “the cap of Monsieur Saint Vincent Ferrier”. From Quimper,   Apostle Vincent headed east, passed through Concarneau, Quimperlé, Hennebont, then ascends inward and evangelized Guémené, Pontivy, La Chèze, La Trinité-Porhoët, Josselin, and Ploërmel. He went to Redon a second time, and went down again to Nantes.

In the early days of 1419, Saint Vincent slowly moved to Vannes, where his prodigious career was to be completed. Alas! Vannes was no longer to hear the voice that had awakened the souls of a deadly lethargy. The sick would no longer surrender in the Cour Dreulin, their foreheads would no longer bend under his blessing hand. The thaumaturgy Apostle, the soberer of material and moral life, slept without hope back in the miraculously furrow. On 25 March 1419, Saint Vincent was seized with a violent fever. Soon the Holy missionary entered into agony. He clasped his hands, looked up at the sky, held his crucifix one last time, and on Wednesday of the week of passion, 5th day of April, in the year 1419, the glorious confessor and friend of God, brother Vincent Ferrier, native of Valencia, religious of the order of Preachers Brothers, returned to God the spirit, in the city of Vannes, in the hotel of one of the bourgeois of the city. On Friday, April 7, the funeral, took place in great solemnity. The Tomb had been dug between the Choir and the high Altar on the north side, opposite the Pulpit. Saint Vincent had promised his good people of Brittany never to forget them. He kept his word beautifully, and his tomb was the living source from which bursts of dazzling wonders sprained. They are always there much at least in St Peter’s Cathedral, the relics that proved to our ancestors the incomparable power of Saint Vincent. Several centuries have passed. The time had only taken on our hearts where he threw oblivion. The dust of these bones kept his immortal power: we could test it, if we had faith.

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France is not forgotten his missions, it travels all the south before being called in Brittany in 1418 by Jean V, Duke of Brittany. He travelled practically all of Brittany from town to town for nearly two years and returned to Vannes, exhausted, where he died on 5 April 1419.   After the many miracles recorded on his tomb attributed to him, the Duke  Jean V of Brittany asked that the Dominican be canonized. Pope Calixte III proclaimed his canonization on 29 June 1455. The Pope designates the Breton prelate Alain de Coëtivy to lift the relics of the Tomb; the ceremony took place in Vannes on April 5, 1456. He’s celebrated on April 5th still. A nice story me think.

Some webpages to help you understand more the man, the city of Vannes, Brittany and Spain are

Official Saint Vincent Ferrier Vannes

Official St Peter’s Cathedral of Vannes on Saint Vincent Ferrier

It is still very much visited, every time I stop by the Cathedral the chapel is with many, and it is a nice story that helps the travelers on its journeys as he did. Saint Vincent Ferrier of Valencia ,Spain, Vicente Ferrer. Hope you have enjoy it.

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

 

April 29, 2019

Saint Emilion of Vannes!!

Well not many know this , it still a small space in an old town of the Morbihan breton. If you are into wines ,and go beyond the simple tasting and drinking of it and into the history of the men and women who creates them, then you too will come to Vannes. This is my hommage to the story of Saint Emilion, that wonderful wine town of Bordeaux who started it all by a Breton monk from Vannes!!!

Saint Émilion was intendant of the Counts of Vannes, monk and hermit Breton. He is celebrated on 16 November and is the patron Saint of wine merchants and traders. Born in Vannes, the capital of the Broërec in Brittany, he was intendant of a count of Vannes whose name is unknown. According to a legend, he gives bread to the poor of the area of present day Vannes in hiding from his master. The count wanting to take him on the fact, stops him while he transports under his mantle the bread. He asks him to open his coat, but Émilion makes a miracle by transforming the breads into pieces of wood.

He became a monk in Saujon, near Royan. Forced to flee due to the influx of pilgrims as a result of his miracles, he settled in a solitary retreat in Combes, near what became Saint-Émilion, and died in 767. Nearby, a great Latin-speaking poet, Ausone,(in a great wine name now) had erected his villa in the 4C. Saint Emilion settled in a cliff where he dug a troglodyte Hermitage.

A metro station in Paris has its name ,cours Saint Émilion on line 14. Saint Émilion is the patron Saint of the parish of Loguivy-Plougras , Côtes-d’Armor, dept 22 of Brittany. A hamlet in the commune of Motreff, in the dept 29 of Finistère, Brittany is called Saint-Émilion.

And in his native city of Vannes it has, at 24 ,rue des Viérges, a statue of the famous hermit. Built and blessed in 1986. In 2009, a second granite statuette housed in a small monument was placed on 8, Avenue Saint-Emilion . This discreet reminder of a local Vannetais, which symbolizes first of all life, will offer the passing folks the opportunity of a small pause in a pleasant site. Indeed it is nice.

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A bit on his life, Saint Emilion

Emilion made the decision to go to Spain to visit Santiago de Compostela, and to withdraw himself unknown in this region to serve the Lord God alone. On his way, Emilion stopped in a monastery of Saintonge, region of Saintes. The Abbot of this Benedictine monastery, Martin, engaged Emilion to become a monk. Saint Emilion was named cellarer, i.e. steward of the monastery. The place of this Hermitage has now become the city of Saint Emilion. It was then only a forest just a short distance from the Dordogne. This beautiful  Dordogne river comes from the Massif Central, to the north east, and will extend to the west, 80 km farther, with the Garonne river this great estuary that is then the Gironde. Blessed waters of the best wines in the world!

On the edge of the forest there was a rocky escarpment and caves. Saint Emilion fixed his Hermitage, with an oratory, in one of these caves. But Holiness attracts, and once again Saint Emilion is being sought. Folks came to see him, ask questions, hear him, and sometimes convert. Among the converts, Saint Emilion then decided to propose to some to live with him in community to teach them, to train them and to support them in their good dispositions. The monastery of Saint Emilion was born.

This monastery of Saint Emilion known many hours and misfortunes over the centuries. The Sarrazins/moors damaged it; then it was taken over by monks from the Benedictine Abbey of Nanteuil near Poitiers. Then lay people seized it; they were brought to its doorsteps by Gosselin, Archbishop of Bordeaux, who set up regular Canons, followed by the religious Esterp. Finally this abbey was secularized by a bubble of Pope Clement V in 1309, and until the French revolution it remained collegial. With the end of the revolution it was in ruins. The Monolith Church and its bell tower remain. The Church was dug into limestone rock, a massive so-called karstic stones. The steeple built above, with its 133 meters high is the highest of the steeples of the Bordelais region after that of the Church of Saint Michel of Bordeaux.

The wines of Saint Emilion are excellent, rightly famous. There are: Saint Emilion, Montagne Saint Emilion, Puissegain-Saint Emilion, Lussac-Saint Emilion, Pomerol, and Lalande de Pomerol. All from a hermit’s story from Vannes !

He has best on him from the tourist office of Saint Emilion. Tourist office of Saint Emilion on history

Ok so en vino veritas and enjoy the wines of Saint Emilion. However, if you want to see him do come by his native city of Vannes. He is a popular statue here for many visitors.

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

 

April 26, 2019

Le Port at Vannes!

We come by here always, we eat here , enjoy it here ,ride boats here, and do shopping galore on many items yet I have only mentioned in bits and pieces in previous blog posts! It is time I pay my tribute to a wonderful part of Vannes, Morbihan and Brittany at least, this the Le Port, harbor marina, grand living, la vie est belle!!! This will be follow up by a series of posts on Vannes, lovely quant historical medieval Vannes! Stay tune!

Where can I start! well not into the creative mind I will just tell you a bit of the history and what is around it and photos of course. Just to remind you, if you are in Vannes you need to be here. And to some of my lucky friends who have already visited, you know it!

The port of Vannes is a commercial port, a passenger port and a Marina located north of the Gulf of Morbihan along a 1 200 meters  on a south-north  channel that leads the boats from the commercial port of Pont-Vert to the afloat basin , at the foot of the Porte Saint-Vincent, entrance gate of the old town of Vannes. The port is a lively area of the town of Vannes.

A bit of history I like

The first traces of the existence of a port in Vannes date back to the Roman occupation of the city of Venetes then known as Darioritum. The research carried out on Darioritum shows that the port was the heart of the urban and commercial growth of the 1C to 5C .Until the end of the 14C, no document known to date allows to specify the actual configuration of the port. From 1604, a new wharf is built on the right bank. The Porte Saint-Vincent and the double-antenna bridge which served it  are completed around 1625 facilitating the passage from one side to the other south of the ramparts. At the time of the exile of the Parliament of Brittany in Vannes ,1675-1689,  a hunting lock is fitted upstream of the Calmont gate to clean the moat of the garbage and wastes that accumulate there and weaken the current of the river. A second lock, known as Kérino, is mentioned in 1683, much further downstream.

In 1697, the left bank of the port saw the realization of its first wharf, the pier Billy, the name of its owner. In 1754, recurrent problems of pollution and siltation forced the city to incur considerable costs for the construction of a new hunting lock in front of the Saint-Vincent bridge, and the development of new docks to the south in order to facilitate the docking of boats. At the end of the 18C, king Louis XVI wanted to take out the cities of the middle ages, the reorganization of the space by the filling of ditches. This project is accompanied by the desire to build a place in the form of a hemicycle. It is only in 1835 that the place Gambetta (old place du Morbihan)  is carried out. the project of requalification of the left bank between 1995 and 2001 is continued by the operation of raving and restoration of 45 facades located around place Gambetta, rue du port and Rue du Drézen.  Finally, in 2003 , in order to give a more important place to pedestrians and to create new service establishments it was done the landscaping of the spaces: realization of a parking under the paved esplanade of granite and the driveway of wood decking, construction of the new harbormaster , the cultural kiosk and the Tourist office.

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vannes

Popular with locals and visitors alike boaters and tourists thanks to its location in the heart of the city, the Marina is equipped with many facilities: harbormaster cultural kiosk, tourist office, green area  and underground parking le Port. The Port of Vannes webpage is here for more info:  https://www.passeportescales.com/fr/horaires-vannes

The current look of the port of Vannes and its neighborhood dates from the end of 2000. The second phase of the project which was started in 2011 took care of the  the upstream of the port of the Marina, such as the development of the commercial port and the maritime station on the right bank, the future of the buildings of the departmental Directorate of Territories and the Sea (ex DDE ) on the left bank and the construction of the Kerino tunnel at the port entrance. At the Directorate there is  now a café gallery showing works of arts related to the sea;nice.

The docks of the port of Commerce welcome the goods arriving in Vannes after crossing the Gulf of Morbihan. At the exit of the Marina, the Parc du Golfe (Gulf Park) is the starting point for passenger boat cruises of the outlying islands, and the Gare Maritime. Many passenger and cargo boat cruisers are here to take you out into the outlaying islands. The city of Vannes has a listing of these companies here: City of Vannes on passenger boat cruisers

The place Gambetta, of hemispherical plan, marks the end of the port of Vannes and puts it in contact with the historic center by the Porte Saint-Vincent. The place was created in 1835 in order to clean up a low zone corresponding to the old ditches of the city, in which the sewage accumulated. The Marle river then threw itself into the channel leading to the Gulf of Morbihan, between two mudflats. The construction of the houses of the place du Morbihan(current Pl Gambetta) was completed in 1843.  The square was restored in 1976, which gave rise to the destruction of the surviving arches of the old St. Vincent bridge. New road works, in 2005, brought to light a last ark still in condition. The free space is almost entirely used by the terraces of cafes and restaurants. Very nice indeed!!!

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vannes

Located on the right bank of the port, the Promenade de la Rabine walkway is made up of a long alley of trees stretching about 800 meters between the Esplanade of the Port to the north and the docks of the commercial port to the south. The construction of a wharf and the destruction of the Saint-Julien Chapel in 1740 allowed the widening of the rows of trees in front of the convent of Carmelites barefooted in 1745. As the docks expanded southwards, the Promenade de la Rabine was extended. In 1887, the extension of the promenade beyond the Santière, to the Pont-Vert. More info here: Tourist office of the Gulf of Morbihan on the Port of Vannes

The Marina has a capacity to host 280 boats on pontoons. It can accommodate 34 boats on dead body. The port of Vannes has a visitor area for your stopovers with 60 places available. More on the Marina here: boaters site on the marina of Vannes

And more from the city of Vannes: City of Vannes on the Marina

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vannes

Some further webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Tourist office of Morbihan dept 56 on Vannes

Tourist office of Brittany on Vannes

And a site on sea levels that change every day so check if coming by boat or surfing etc. The Tides of the Gulf of Morbihan and Vannes

There you go something nice around boats, history, architecture, the sea what else do you want… Enjoy le Port of Vannes.

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

April 23, 2019

The Presqu’ile of Quiberon!!!

On a calm cool evening at home , let me tell you a bit more of my local area.  Well this is by far the best area that I have seen in my region. The Quiberon is actually a peninsula( presqu’ile is almost island in French)  jetting out from mainland France into the Atlantic ocean in the department of Morbihan no 56 in Brittany.

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You are best get here by car from Paris A13 towards Rouen, then Caen, then there take the A84 towards Rennes, then the N24 direction Lorient or get off from the N24 to the N166 direction Vannes then N165 direction Lorient. You can do it from Paris on the A11 direction Le Mans but higher tolls. The trains get you to Vannes or Auray, from Roissy CDG or Montparnasse in Paris, and one ride to Quiberon during july and August, call the Tire Bouchon from Auray train station. There is ,also, bus line 1 TIM from Auray train station.. As always , I come here by car, is only about 40 minutes by car from my house, and find easy parking by the side of the church and near the tourist office, in front of the gare or train station, just 5 minutes walking to the tourist office and city center. Or if come early like we do just park at parking Varquez after the morning market on Saturdays!

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You really know you are entering the peninsula after the isthmus of Plouharnel and you come into the Fort of Penthiévre , still a military post. This is at before entering the second important town in the peninsula, St Pierre de Quiberon .  You can visit the memorial to resistance fighters in the region who were shot by the nazis, now a wonderful cross stand and a great view of ocean and nearby beaches. There is, also, a museum to the wars of the west or chouans. I have other posts in my blog on them.

Once in the big town of Quiberon, which you entered on the main road by the train station before heading into city center and the beach areas or by the wild coast (côte sauvage) along the cliffs and once see the castle of Turpault (private) you are in town. Again written on these areas in previous posts in my blog. Once in town you can move nicely with the Petit Train or litle train. Allows for a quick sightseeing and pick the best to come back in details , the info is here  Petit train of Quiberon

Of course, walking is best and this is gorgeous to do along the beaches.

The beaches are wonderful if for a short time they remind me of the ones grew up with , the Grande Plage just next to Place Hoche , the city center of Quiberon is wonderful, just go in and out secure and with all amenities. You have a wonderful excuse to walk, along the Grande Plage or Big Beach to  Port Maria  (where the docks are to visit the nearby islands) and the nice  Casino, the so call Promenade de la Plage ,and Boulevard Chanard are very nice, and all along city center you have the field of an old town but a beach town as well with numerous shops,restos, bars, etc to keep you busy for a while.

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We do enjoy the Grande plage or big beach, the center of it all here. It has kiddies areas, and grownups. Large beach with white sandy sands and wide enough to play games. The peninsula at its tip in Quiberon has many other beaches, such as Govino, Goulvars, and Conguel, this last one at the tip of the peninsula which has gorgeous views of the island of Belle Ilê ,here you find picnic areas, campings, white sandy sands horse backriding, and nearby aerplane lessons.

My favorite site on beaches Plages TV on the Grande Plage also my favorite here: Plages TV on Grande Plage in English

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quiberon

For some plays and dancing at night ,you can rely on the Casino, nice views of the beach/ocean and good restaurant. The official webpage is at Casino of Quiberon

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I give some places to eat all around the beach at Grande Plage, wonderful places ,they are our hangouts so if in town let me know ok.

You will once again have your first glass of wine or beer at the Café Hoche resto in city center by the Place Hoche. More info here: Tourist office of Morbihan on Cafe Hoche

Quiberon

And of course, another great favorite that I have even done a post on it, Esplanade Hoche at Pl Hoche across from the one above. More here: Esplanade Hoche Cafe

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My lunches, the Restaurant Le Colibri  is a great spot, people watching par excellence and the prices right and food good, can’t ask for more lol! at 1 boulevard Chanard, and even you can have your breakfast here ! right at the tip of the beach entrance. More info here: Restaurant Le Colibri Quiberon

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There is a resto bistro right on the sand call Fisher’s Club, we had our beers, and tapas of red peppers with goat cheese, calamar in its sauce, ham and cheese rolls, codfish fritters, with a great look at the beach, grandiose!!!  Very nice cool place , to relax by the sea, sublime, and even kids space to boot. classic on the Big beach of Quiberon.   More info here: Fishers’ club at the Grande Plage of Quiberon on the sands!

Quiberon

For dessert, we went over across to the Quai des Glaces or Ice wharf  parlor to have our 3  ,4 and even 5 scoops of ice creams like marc de bourgogne, pruneaux d’armagnac, strawberries for me with churros or chichis as call here. At the place du Hoche just going down to the beach at Grande Plage. Wonderful friendly service always , great ices and good prices. They do have a FB page.

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Finally we had our in between lunch and dinner meal lol!!!And we have come back as well several times. La Cabana, (sadly closed 2020) for us right at Pl Hoche, at the entrance to the Big beach. . We are always very  surprise at the attention and service given even in a full resto day, and prices correct.

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For info on eating places in Quiberon, here is the tourist office pdf file listing:  Tourist office of Quiberon pdf file listing of places to eat and drink

The biggest market day is Saturday morning at the Place du Varquez; very popular with all the products fresh even the fish lol!! I am in heavens!! but also clothings, artisanal, etc.We come at the end for best prices and cheap parking.

Quiberon

Overall the town and area is wonderful ,highly recommended, and the season really starts by July 14 to August 30 or so, weather permitting, come early in the morning to avoid the only road that reaches this heaven in paradise, you wont be disappointed once you are here. I will make it my hang out place for the next stage in my life.

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Quiberon in English

Tourist office of Morbihan dept 56 on Quiberon

Tourist office of Brittany on Quiberon

Tourist office of Quiberon on the beaches in English

This is a paradise especially in Summer months, compare to any and believe me I was born on a Caribbean beach and travel to many around the world. Enjoy wonderful Quiberon and its beaches ,good for the whole family!

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

April 23, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXVIII

Ok so on a cloudy rainy day in my neck of the woods and the same at Madrid, except the rain temps of 53F (11C) there and 61F (16C)  with me. Its time to tell you a bit more about my beloved Spain!

Update on the news the new mayor of Madrid has cancelled the regulations to enter the center of Madrid.

The DGT’s (Direccion General de Tràfico) environmental label, which will be compulsory since April 24th, must be visible in your vehicle to enter the Madrid (more on the fashion in Europe to charge you more to come to the city without adequate public transports or park and relay garages), something that will be a minor infringement of the ordinance and that will be associated with fines of up to 100 euros. All labels can be purchased at the post offices, and also in several workshops, thanks to the agreement of the DGT with the Spanish Confederation of Workshops. To purchase it in person, it is essential to present the registration  of the vehicle for which the sticker is requested, and the DNI (personal identification Documento Nacional de Identidad) of the owner of the vehicle or the person authorized for it. In addition, you can buy  online ; the sticker has a price of five euros at any site. The label would reach the selected home address within three days, but due to the high volume of orders, it may take up to 10 working days.

There are four types of stickers, depending on the emissions of the vehicle: Zero Emissions,  ECO, C ,and  B.  Madrid delimits the motorized access to much of the center of the city depending on the levels of pollution. Cars with labels B or C can only access the Central Madrid area if they stay in a car park, but never to cross the perimeter. They will also be able to enter if they have the invitation of a resident registered in the area, since each one has 20 invitations per month. Cars with ECO or zero tags can access the Central Madrid area without any risk of fine. All registered in the area of Central Madrid, regardless of the label that have their vehicles, can circulate without problem and park in your car park or in the area , either blue or green. If at any time you need to access the city, either by tourism or for work, you will have to have visible the sticker of the DGT that corresponds according to the emissions of your car.So visitors if renting a car make sure it has the corresponding sticker! More on the DGT here: http://www.dgt.es/es/la-dgt/quienes-somos/estructura-organica/jefaturas-provinciales/madrid/madrid.shtml

New chapter in the family war of the Alvarez Mezquíriz. The family owned the Bodegas Vega Sicilia and Grupo Eulen again have the swords in high, this time, by the decision of the five litigious  sons ‘ of the founder,  Pablo, Emilio, Elvira, Marta and Juan Carlos, to modify the statutes of El Enebro SA Owner of Bodegas Vega Sicilia,(the most historically famous Spanish wine label)  to prevent a shareholder from forcing the sale of his or her share if the company does not share dividends. It has convened an extraordinary meeting, next May 24th, called to approve  “The modification of the social statutes. María José Álvarez, who controls 59% of Eulen through the company Daval Control, has a 16% stake in the El Enebro. In 2013, its five brothers sold their shares of Eulen with Enebro for 100 million euros, operation which is contested judicially. Info in newspaper The Confidencial 23/04/2019 .The wine here: http://www.vega-sicilia.com/en/

Premio Cervantes award given to her by the King Felipe VI  this  past April 23, Day of the Book, the Uruguayan poet Ida Vitale (Montevideo, 1923) has offered an ironical apology for an affirmation of the author of Don Quixote regarding the craft of poetry to which she has applied her whole  literary career that still today, at her 95 years, is still in full activity. A ceremony held in the auditorium of the University of Alcalá de Henares has recalled her readings “Libres y Tardias” or free and late of Don Quijote in an illustrated edition that already read as a teenager in her  native Montevideo and immediately fascinated by the respect that showed Cervantes for her character. Vitale’s speech has followed the usual model of the genre: Homage to his predecessors, Cervantes, Garcilaso, Baudelaire, vindication of the Spanish language, rejuvenated and revitalized on the American shores ,brief biographical exegesis and acknowledgments.  The spider’s thread woven by the poet has succeeded in trapping the author of Don Quijote, to pluck it from prose and recover it for poetry, the creative imagination of the award-winning poet. Well done! Official Culture Ministry of Spain: http://www.culturaydeporte.gob.es/cultura/areas/libro/mc/premios-cervantes-40/presentacion.html

And how about that weather huh! Always gives the current but what about a bit ahead , well call in the AEMET or the meteorological agency of Spain. They say, today Tuesday the rains and showers will affect the Atlantic and Cantabrian slopes and in the north of Aragon and Catalonia, where there are likely to be occasional storms before the crossing of an Atlantic front, reported by the AEMET. Rainfall may be extended to the rest of the peninsula throughout the day, except in the Levante coast in northern Huesca and Catalonia, rainfall will be locally strong and persistent. In the Canary Island there will be probability of rainfall in the north, without ruling out some afternoon showers in the rest of islands. During the Wednesday, temperatures will not vary too much, but if the wind blows strongly in many areas of the interior and coastline. In fact, the AEMET has already activated several yellow warnings (risk) by wind. On Thursday, another front will leave rain in the western half of the country, in the surroundings of the Pyrenees, and can be strong in the west of Galicia and Pyrenees. As of Friday,the Anticyclone will again act of presence and therefore the rains disappear. Temps will be accordingly low before going up by Friday. Official webpage here: http://www.aemet.es/en/portada

Beautiful and unknown off the beaten path places of my Spain:

The Manchuela, between the provinces of Albacete and Cuenca, this natural region comprising about 25 municipalities is a gem from all points of view. It includes wonders like the Hoz del Júcar with spectacular villages including Jorquera and Alcalá. But also the valley of the Cabriel that can be seen in all its grandeur from the lookout or Mirador del Ensueno. Official in Spanish more info on Manchuela: http://www.dipualba.es/mademanchuela/rutasturisticas.htm

The Pedroches, this region of near Cordoba hidden in the foothills of Sierra Morena that connects with Extremadura but also with Castilla La Mancha, is one of the best kept secrets of Andalusia. They call attention to their huge meadows where they feed  one of the best hams porks or  Pata Negra, best in the World. More on the Pedroches here: http://www.dipualba.es/mademanchuela/rutasturisticas.htm

And you have four towns of prominence of Castilla La Mancha because of their connection to Don Quijote have joined together to design ; the country of Don Quijote, a dream route, a new planning for your next trip and by car is glorious! More on the below towns in Spanish more info here: http://paisdelquijote.es/

Very glad to tell you that tonight on Spain TVE the route was shown in the program  España Directo that I watch every night; it is awesome do it. cheers

Alcázar de San Juan, this town in the province of Ciudad Real is the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, so they claim. In its Church of Santa Maria La Mayor (St. Mary the Eldest) , you can see a baptism game on whose margins a manuscript reads “This was the author of the story of Don Quijote “, words that Don Blas Nasarre would sign in 1748 when he found the baptism game in the name of Miguel. There you can also visit the Museum of Hidalgo, located in the old palace known as the Casa del Rey (king’s house), where the historical and ethnographic heritage of Castilla-La Mancha is exhibited and disseminated. The Formma Museum, where the Manchego pottery is shown, its spectacular palace and ecclesiastical ensemble or the windmills of the Cerro de San Antón are another of the attractions of Álcazar de San Juan.

Argamasilla de Alba;  in the cave of Medrano you can visit the place where Cervantes was prisoner and who saw the birth of the history of Don Quijote. The castle of Peñarroya, the Church of San Juan Bautista or the Pósito de la Tercia are another of the obligatory visits in this locality that serves as gateway to the Natural Park of the Lagunas de Ruidera, a place that hides one of the great wetlands of the geography  of Spain.

Campo de Criptana has the original windmills that inspired Miguel de Cervantes to narrate the most famous adventure of universal literature: Don Quijote against the Giants. Its Sierra and the district of the Albaicín are the zenith of the literary Cervantes universe and paradigm of the Manchego quaintness. There is no better place to contemplate all the stain in its splendor and one of the most beautiful sunsets on the planet. It is best to go through the Pósito Real, former bank to give loans in kind to farmers in times of shortage. The caves, the snow well or the Sara Montiel Museum (great Spanish actress and singer), complete this quixotic kingdom.

Finally, you get to El Toboso , the homeland of universal Love;  the home of Dulcinea. In its streets and squares we find phrases carved in the walls of the facades, which honor the chapter IX of the second part of the book, which narrates the visit of Don Quijote and Sancho to El Toboso in search of Dulcinea. The Casa de Dulcinea Museum, which belonged to Mrs. Ana Martínez Zarco de Morales, to which Cervantes immortalized as Dulcinea (sweet Ann or Dulce Ana or Dulcinea), maintains part of its 16C structure; Typical example of the houses of gentlemen and wealthy Manchego workers. Several museums, such as the Cervantino or the graphic humour “Dulcinea”, as well as the set of churches and convents make up one of the places that keep a love story without borders.

And finally, to find something classy, good, vintage, second hand, griffés stores in Madrid, my family swear to these ones; enjoy it the shopping!

Vintalogy:  It is the largest vintage clothing store in Europe and boasts that there you can find accessories that are not in any other second-hand clothing store. Most of their garments come from the United States although more special ones, such as dresses and jacket and trouser sets, are selected by themselves one by one. At Calle Atocha 10. More info here: https://vintalogy.es/

La Mona Checa:  It is located at the beginning of what is known as the ‘ vintage ‘ shopping street of Madrid, Calle Velarde. From its beginning in Tribunal until its end in the Plaza del 2 de Mayo, you will be able to find all kinds of treasures among its different  locations .Calle  Velarde, 3. More in this blog of them: http://lamonacheca.blogspot.com/

So enjoy Spain, everything under the sun. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 19, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXVIII

Ok so back to my channel lol! thank you for reading me, its always a pleasure. If you like the world, travel, good food, sports , the good life than you are in the right spot Paris1972-Versailles2003.com  Going strong thanks to you all since November 2010! and already 2025 posts!

Now, let me tell you a bit on what is going on that I like in my belle France!

Ok so the bus routes in Paris change from this April 20th so be aware, love the bus, is above ground and see more of beautiful Paris! Some examples of my old routes are Gare St Lazare to Gare Montparnasse on bus 94 30 minutes; Gare St Lazare to Opera Garnier bus 27 7 minutes; Gare St Lazare to place de l’Etoile (Arc de Triomphe) bus 22 15 minutes. Gare Montparnasse to Rue de la Féderation on bus 82 30 min still intact my current line. However, an example of the changes are on the rue d’Estrées,loses its bus stop of line 28 . The rue d’Estrées , behind the école militaire, is preparing to lose its line 28. From tomorrow Saturday in fact, in favor of the new bus network in Paris, the line slightly modifies its route. It will always leaves Saint-Lazare but will stop now in Montparnasse, and no longer Porte D’Orléans. The bus 28 will no longer make the little hook by Avenue de Lowendal, place de Fontenoy and Rue d’Estrées, but will draw straight on Avenue de Duquesne. A stop actually lost: Fontenoy-UNESCO.! More info at RATP here: Official RATP bus transports Paris

Something I have told you before is now finally here! Eataly the immense Italian food court opens its doors this past April 12 at noon in the Marais, in Paris. It is organized around a central square, the “Piazza”, closed by a glass roof. The grocery part responds to the Platonic idea of a good transalpine supermarket: foison pasta, olive oil galore, dried mushrooms, Genoese pestos and Trapanese..etc.. Nearby, there are counters where you can buy takeout cheese, cold cuts, fresh pasta, and a bakery open from 7h (7 am).

Of course, most of the food comes from Italian producers. But  the mozzarella is made with milk from Auvergne!  And 50% of the meat comes from Burgundy or Normandy. The meat counter is also held by a Parisian butcher. To tackle the hexagonal market, the restaurant chain founded in Turin in 2007 saw the big things: 2 500 square meters, seven restaurants, 3 000 products referenced in the grocery department. With BHV and Galeries Lafayette, with whom the chain of restoration has signed the exclusivity of its franchises in France. Eataly Marais Paris more info here: https://www.eataly.net/fr_fr/magasins/paris-marais/

It’s already been three years since the transalpine restoration explodes in Paris, and eleven months that big Mamma inaugurated its Felicita, (also mention in my previous news posts) a huge restaurant area 100% Italian in the 13éme arrondissement.  More on Felicita here:  https://www.lafelicita.fr/#1

One of the classic recipes of my belle France. I share with you the ones from my family and many others here!  Paris-Brest, you know it! Ok your difficult part will be to convert the metric system into the Anglo types sorry, you can do it!!

Preparation time: 40 min; Cooking time: 50 min; a bit difficult but with these recipe you can do it too!  Ingredients for 6 to 8 cakes: for cabbage dough, 100 grams of mild butter, 10 g of sugar, 200 g of flour, 5 or 6 eggs, 20 g of crushed almonds, for custard: 1/2 liter of milk, 4 egg yolks, 50 g of sugar; 50 g of flour. For Italian meringue: 3 egg whites, 120 g of semolina sugar, water. For Praline cream: 3 egg yolks, 50 g sugar, 150 g pomade butter, 60 g Praline paste (or powdered Praline).:

Step 1: cabbage paste: place 3 decaliters of water (ok American friends this is about 0,2 quarts or less than a quarter of it) , butter, sugar and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, pour the flour at once, and mix with the wooden spoon. Stir the eggs one by one, stirring vigorously. With a socket pocket, the bed in the shape of crowns (10-12 cm in diameter) on a baking sheet. Brown egg and sprinkle with slivered almonds. Bake at 180 °C (ok ok ,350 degrees F) for 30 to 40 min, then let cool on fire, open door. Leave the oven and let cool. Slice the crowns in half.

Step 2: custard: whiten the eggs vigorously with the sugar. Add the sifted flour and a pinch of salt. Boil the milk and stir-fry the boiling milk on the pan. Pour into the Pan without stirring until the cream thickens.

Step 3: the Italian meringue: pour the whites into the robot’s tank. Heat 3 tbsp. of water with 100 g of sugar on low heat. When the temperature reaches 110 °C (230F), beat the whites with 20 g of sugar, at maximum speed. When the syrup is at 118 °C (244F), pour it into a net on the tank wall, and let it rotate with the whites at medium speed for about 10 minutes. Keep it in reserve.

Step 4: Praline cream: heat 1 tbsp. of water and the sugar in the Pan up to 115 °C (. Whisk the yolks to the drummer. Pour the sirloin syrup over the robot tank wall and beat at high speed until the mixture blends. Add the butter in pieces, and then stir in the Praline. Assemble the three devices to the spatula. With a fluted sleeve, garnish the lower parts of the crowns. Add the covers. Sprinkle with icing sugar. Ok easy piece of cake we did with the boys so you can do it too. Let me know ok lol!

Who will save the Beaujolais? In the absence of investments, the vineyard lost 40% of its surface area and 50% of its turnover in 15 years. Moreover, if consumers often place them first in Burgundy, is wrongly associated with the Rhone Valley. Most folks dislikes Beaujolais but loves Morgon. Except that Morgon is a Beaujolais!.  One of the ten vintages that counts the vineyard, and probably the best known with the Saint-Amour.

The problems are two: First, the vineyard is in poor condition. In the absence of investments and means, the vine is wasting. Second, it is the oldest in France, which is not a blessing, since replacing it is expensive. The cellars and the winery are no better. It will take a good decade to make the Beaujolais pimping. But to do so, the difficulty should be  to seduce consumers again.  Let’s see the good side; the Beaujolais is the second most famous wine appellation after  Champagne. The bad? Its fame does not come from its quality but from the operation “Beaujolais Nouveau”, to the global success. Yet there is no shortage of assets, between vintages with excellent value for money, delightful landscapes, iconic winegrowers.

In the beginning, the Beaujolais was great. In 1936, when the first AOC wines were born in the country, the Beaujolais Crus were like Chénas or Moulin-à-Vent made prized custody wines, which are sold at the same price as those of Pommard, Corton or Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Then, in the 1980’s, operation “Beaujolais Nouveau” spreads like wildfire: to market a wine produced in September from the third Thursday of November, so very young and without waiting for the following spring. And everything changes.  The event was built up by Parisian bistros, the English, party enthusiasts and the media. It has become a global event that has not been mastered. We were not able to keep the counterweight of the terroirs. There was a tsunami of unique thought, everyone rushed into it.  To be follow its course because it does not look good….Official site on Beaujolais more info on them here: https://www.beaujolais.com/en

In the never ending saga of the yellow vest or gilets jaunes will be difficult to know  where these yellow vests will manifest in Paris. Some events evoke the Champs-Élysées, others the area of Notre-Dame. But the big Avenue will be forbidden to access for the fifth consecutive Saturday, while the ïle de la Cité, and the outskirts of the capital will this time also be  inaccessible to the demonstrators, as has already indicated the Prefecture of police. Even if the yellow vests call to converge on Paris this Saturday , rallies are also advertised in other cities, as in Lille, Lyon, or even Bordeaux. The fear of new actions of the black blocks that is a mysterious group The Black blocks Paris called on Facebook to make it a black Saturday on the Champs-Élysées…Stay out.

On a better note, they fought the flames all night. They saved works of art. This past Thursday, a huge tribute, full of emotion, was rendered to them. This past Thursday afternoon, the firefighters of Paris were celebrated and honored by the Parisians and tourists present on the parvis of the City/Town Hall during a ceremony organized for “those who saved Our Lady”. “I want to tell you our infinite gratitude, our eternal recognition and I will propose to the next Council of Paris (next June) that you be granted the honorary citizenship of the city of Paris, to honor this Act of bravery and your commitment on a daily basis” announced Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris addressing the fire brigade. A distinction that will undoubtedly be unanimous with politicians and Parisians alike.Amén!! More on the City of Paris webpage: https://www.paris.fr/actualites/notre-dame-ceremonie-d-hommage-jeudi-devant-l-hotel-de-ville-6713

And of course, my Versailles could not be left behind and on one of its action very unique was this  The Château de Versailles  proceeds of an auction of 25 cabinets of Château Mouton Rothschild which was to be devoted to the restoration of the Château de Versailles will eventually be assigned to the restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. Go Versailles! More info here in French at the Le Parisien newspaper: http://www.leparisien.fr/yvelines-78/versailles-se-sacrifie-pour-notre-dame-17-04-2019-8055375.php

And to close out on my beloved Versailles. A campus “as in Harvard” for the trades of the Chateau of Versailles, the Minister of National Education announced this past Thursday the creation of a place of life and training dedicated to professional sectors in the heart of the Royal Stables (ecuries). The project to create a campus of excellence in the Royal Stables, dedicated to the trades of the castle: gastronomy, green spaces, crafts and building trade on heritage properties.Go Versailles! These are the Royal Stables: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/estate/royal-stables

And to close out the latest news post on something near me ; Ïle de Groix,by the coast of  Lorient in my lovely Morbihan, go fishing for  the day and a maze of streets in Locmaria on the wild coast, facing the ocean, this small port and its maze of alleys form an ideal setting for a stroll. The dundees, these old tuna boats (Groix having once been the first port of tuna in France), have disappeared. But at low tide, the bay remains a good spot for fishing on foot (shrimp, abalone and crab for the lucky). Around the lighthouse, the beach and its rocks belong to the geological nature reserve François Le Bail, due in particular to the presence of blue cellophane, a rare rock. Nearby, the trail leads to the plage des Sables rouges (red sands beach) , whose minerals have earned Groix its nickname of île aux grenats (garnets island). It is one of the only convex beaches in Europe, that of the great sands advances in the sea. Another peculiarity: it moved several hundred meters in the second half of the 20C. Still as immense, it offers, with its white sand, its water in fifty shades of blues and its wooded cliffs, a breathtaking spectacle, worthy of an exotic island.Indeed crowded in Summer but worth the visit. More info here: http://www.groix.fr/

And there you something for everyone lol! Well I take them all! I am working on Good Friday in France but will have Monday off as Easter Monday and so a 3 days weekend. Do not know where as with us its always last minute. Happy Easter, Joyeuses Pâques, Feliz Pascua!!!

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

 

 

April 16, 2019

The grand lady Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris

This is my first post historical only on Notre Dame de Paris. Here is a list of what is save most and not. This was due to the fire of April 2019.

What was save.

The relics of the passion of Christ; The Crown of thorns is the most precious relic preserved in Notre Dame. According to Christian tradition, she was laid on the head of Jesus with his crucifixion. Besides the Holy Crown, Notre-Dame preserves two other relics of the passion of Christ: a piece of the cross and a nail of the passion, which could be saved. The tunic of St. Louis the white adornment of King St. Louis was evacuated from the Cathedral at the beginning of the fire, as was the discipline of St. Louis. The 16 copper statues that adorned the great arrow of Notre-Dame, now destroyed, were withdrawn four days before the fire. They are currently in a safe place in Périgueux, where they are being restored. These representations of the twelve apostles and the four evangelists, Matthew, mark, Luke and John, date back to the great restoration conducted by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in the 1860’s.

The topping of an altar and several elements of an altar were taken out of the Inferno: six candlesticks, two candleholders, a Korean Holy Martyr, a Virgin and child. The two towers and the large stained glass window of the South façade were spared by the fire. The North and South rosettes, the two largest, are 13 metres in diameter. They are represented in medallions, prophets, Saints, Angels, Kings, scenes of the life of Saints, etc. The three rosettes present in their center, respectively, the Virgin, the child Jesus and the Christ in Majesty. The cross of the altar of Notre-Dame,

Some minor damage were the great organ saved, but the organ was not burned in the fire that ravaged the building, but its structure could suffer damage inflicted by the smoke. The small organ, which was under the arrow was damaged by the fire .

What was destroyed . Done between 1630 and 1707, the Corporation of the Parisian goldsmiths offered every May 1 a canvas to the Cathedral. On these 76 “large Mays “, 13 are today presented in the different chapels of the nave. “There are four very large ones, notably a Laurent de la Hyre, who a priori are destroyed.

What has been destroyed the arrow, the rooster, and its relics . The arrow had already been reconstituted by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in the 19C. Three relics were nestled in the Rooster perched on the arrow: a parcel of the Holy Crown of thorns, a relic of Saint-Denis and one of St. Genevieve.

The “forest ” is lost , the roof was erase by the flames. This ensemble, of which most of the elements date from the 13C is one of the most beautiful structures in France. For architectural historians, it is a considerable loss of a heritage that tells a story and a know-how of artisans, sometimes from father to son.

The Minister of Culture has indicated that the “major parts” of Notre Dame treasure are safe at the safe of the City/Town Hall of Paris.

She will be back already 400M euros raised and counting!!! yes indeed as by now there are 922M euros raised in 2020. I have several posts on the updates.See posts

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

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April 15, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXVII

In continuing my saga of making known some of the things to do in my beloved Spain here I am again with some of the latest tidbits. My 77th post since Nov 2010! thanks. The weather in my neck of the woods is sunny breezy cool, no rain! and in my lovely Madrid is 17C sunny nice , this is about 63F.

The Fifth edition of the initiative Welcome to Palace! Or Bienvenido a Palacio! Locals and visitors can get to know some of these architectural gems of the region of Madrid, such as the Palace of the Dukes of Santoña, the current headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce, industry and Services of Madrid; The Palacio de Buenavista, headquarters of the Army, and the Palacio del Infante Don Luis de Borbón, in Boadilla del Monte, among others. A program that extends until January 2020 and will allow you to know for free these properties through guided tours, concerts, theater plays, itineraries and conferences.

On this occasion, the recitals will take place in the Palacio de las Marquesas de Fontalba on the 9th and 10th of May at 20h; In the Palacio del Duque de Santoña, June 8th and 9th at 12h; In the Palacio de Buenavista, June 12 at 20h, and in the Palacio del Marques de  Amboage, 17th and 18th July at 20h30. The registration period, both for guided tours and for concerts, is now open at  Bienvenido a Palacio! official site

The dramatized visits, this year will be held again in the Palacio de Fernán Núñez, headquarters of the Spanish Railways Foundation. This activity, already indispensable on Christmas will be held between December 2019 and January 2020 in Madrid. The palaces that can be visited on this occasion are the Buenavista (headquarters of the Army), the Palacio de Don Javier González-Longoria (General Society of Authors and Publishers), the Palace of the Duke of Fernán Núñez, the palace of the Marquis de Amboage ( Residence of the Ambassador of Italy), the Palace of Godoy, (Center of Political and Constitutional Studies), the Palace of the Marquis of Rafal (residence of the Ambassador of Belgium), the palace of the Duchess of Parcent  (Ministry of Justice), the Laredo Palace (Center International Historical Studies Cisneros and Museo Cisneriano), the Palace of Joaquín Sorolla (Museo Sorolla) and the Palace of Infante Don Luis de Borbón, among others.

Marclay in Compositions, one of the most ambitious samples of the artist in Spain in recent years, which can be seen in the MACBA until September 24. In The images you can play the piano, the guitar, shout, sing, whistle, clap, roll on the ground or tap, among the endless attitudes related to sound, but in each of the four screens can be seen a different clip but synchronized  with the rest as if it were a perfect music quartet.

Marclay became world famous when his film The Clock (2010) won the Golden Lion of Venice the following year and became a masterpiece of contemporary art. The 24-hour film made with thousands of fragments (Truncates tiles) of films in which watches or people who watch or wonder the time synchronized with real time, is not in the MACBA for the desire of Marclay. But , you can see Screenplay (2005), another collage with silent movie images. More info here: https://www.macba.cat/en/exhibition-christian-marclay/1/exhibitions/expo

The reopening of the Teatro Salon Cervantes in Alcalá de Henares is 30 years old. The building housed a theater since the late 19C, but it was in private hands. After many works and years of inactivity, the City/Town Hall bought the parcel and rehabilitated the theater, which opened its doors again on April 14th, 1989. The belief that Cervantes was born in the garden of the Convent of the Capuchin Fathers was spread like gunpowder by Alcalá in the 19C. After the confiscation of Mendizábal in 1836 the land was acquired by individuals, who built a theater on the plot in 1888 in just 29 days. They placed two commemorative plaques on the façade and got the City Council to give the street the name of the author of El Quijote, a denomination it maintains. Its bad condition forced to reform it in 1925, which provoked an important aesthetic change in the facade and in the lower floor,  the capacity was widened and the wooden boxes of the second floor were replaced by a structure of work, which is still preserved. After the Spanish Civil War,  began to project films, but also served as a ballroom, hence its current name. There was nothing to guarantee that Cervantes was born there but a document was found  in 1943 and showed that he did was born  in the Calle de la Imagen (parallel to the one that bears his name Calle Cervantes). The Birth House of Cervantes opened in 1956. The Local was conditioned in 1979 as a bingo room, but years later they abandoned it. In 1985 the City Council acquired the property. The Teatro Salon Cervantes, currently integrated in the Network of Theaters of the Community of Madrid, has a rectangular layout and its facade tryptic is of modernist style. It has a seating capacity of 458 persons distributed in a rectangular patio, a tiered amphitheater and two boxes on the sides. More info in the network of theaters of Madrid here: http://www.madrid.org/clas_artes/red/alcala.html

And the Alcalà de Henares Theater Salon Cervantes site here: http://culturalcala.es/espacios/salon-cervantes/

One up my alley while living there in Madrid is the Teatro Daoíz y Velarde that finally will see the light next year. After years of struggle and vindication, the neighbors of the Pacifico and Adelfas neighborhoods, in the Retiro District, see the theater promised them, a scenic space  located on one of the nave of the former military barracks Daoíz y Velarde  of Italian style, which will have two rooms and a capacity of more than 400 persons. The Theater will have an independent access to the rest of the cultural center and a central space for different uses and that contains a mural with images on the history of the Retiro District. More info here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/espacio-cultural-daoiz-velarde

At the Teatro Real (Royal Theater of Madrid). Seven titles of the 12 planned for 2019 and 2020 will be completely new to the spectators. This is The case of Il Pirata, of Bellini, or Iris, of Pietro Mascagni. Titles to which one must add Into The Little Hill (George Benjamin), Three Tales (Steve Reich) and three clear bets highlighted by Matabosch as very risky: The passenger (Mieczyslaw Weinberg), Lear, of Aribert Reimann, and Achille in Sciro, of Coselli.

Throughout the 18C,Ma drid was one of the main centers of the creation of operas. The great casters Farinelli began together with Felipe V a series of productions that continued throughout the century with its successors. And among them is Achille in Sciro. It is a work of Coselli premiered in 1744 in the Coliseo del Buen Retiro (in the park), commissioned by Farinelli himself. But he never staged again. Also noteworthy are the recitals that will be offered by three stars such as Anna Netrebko (on November 1), Joyce DiDonato (May 15) and Philippe Jaroussky (May 25). In the section of ballet are scheduled the performances of the English National Ballet, the National Ballet of Spain and the Nederlands Dans Theatre  (Dutch theater co).More info here: https://www.teatroreal.es/en/temporada/4917

Go to Toledo is always sublime, many times there and never tired of seeing it. Now lets see it through the eyes of Eugenia de Montijo, (Impératrice of France married Napoléon III).

The conversion of the Palace of Eugenia de Montijo in the only five-star hotel in the Old Town of Toledo serves as a pretext to rediscover the imperial city and fall back in love with it. It is not known exactly when Eugenia Palafox Portocarrero de Guzmán y Kirkpatrick were for the first time in this city so attached to history and literature, but had to be before becoming Empress of France after her marriage to Napoleon III. It Is known that there were many trips between Granada, Madrid and Paris, and Toledo was the perfect place to take a few days off before entering the capital. Also still family castle at Belmonte in Castilla La Mancha as well. See my posts on items mentioned here.

One of the favorite places of Eugenia de Montijo in Toledo was the Palacio de Fuensalida, now the seat of the Presidency of the Board. She was interested in its architecture and, above all, its relationship with the Empress Isabel, wife of Carlos I and mother of Felipe II. In the interior of its Palace, converted into a hotel her spirit and, at the same time, play with themes such as fashion and design that were so important in her life Eugenia de Montijo, Autograph Collection. Her portrait is hang in  the bar-cafeteria located in the lobby.

Eugenia liked to recommend the route that begins with the Puerta de Bisagra (Hinge gate), modified under the reign of Carlos V to make it more ornamental than defensive, to go later to the Plaza de San Vicente before reaching the Cathedral. Next to the Puerta de Bisagra stands the Church Santiago del Arrabal, the largest and most beautiful Mudejar church in Toledo. From here you can go up the Calle Real del Arrabal towards the city center. Before reaching the Cuesta de las Armas (Slope of the arms). It is worth observing the Puerta del Sol, on the right, and the Chapel of San José, a Renaissance work usually closed because it is privately owned that houses inside Greco’s paintings. Not far from the Archiepiscopal Palace stands the Church of San Marcos (St. Mark), the only existing remnant of the convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians back in the 13C. Nowadays it is the exhibition center of the Caja Castilla-La Mancha Foundation. At the end of the  Cuesta de las Armas is the Plaza de Zocodover, the neuralgic center of Toledo, place of appointment and meeting of its neighbors since the Moslem period (the origin of its name, Suk-al-Dawad, the market of the meat animals). Nearby are the Hospital and Museum of Santa Cruz and the Alcázar.Lost in the sunset that is contemplated from the Alcazar, a magical panorama on the Tajo river. Although , I would also propose to look in the morning to the viewpoint of the plaza del Conde from where another extraordinary vision of the river is contemplated with dozens of cicadas sounds as backdrop. As to the hotel itself , here is more info: https://www.fontecruzhoteles.com/en/hotel-eugenia-de-montijo/

Quant visits holes in my beloved Madrid. Enjoy the walks!

Incursion in the Montmartre of Madrid. Every Sunday morning and for three decades, the Plaza Conde de Barajas, located next to the Arco de Cuchilleros, off the Plaza Mayor , and a few steps from the Mercado San Miguel (market), becomes the exhibitor of dozens of artists. The painters who meet here show off their painting works. Watercolors and oils coexist with the drawings, acrylics and sketches that give color a large palette of genres and formats.Nice indeed.

A visit to  the Sistine Chapel of Madrid!. The frescoes that cover all its walls, from the roof to the ground, have earned this nickname to the Church of San Antonio de los Alemanes (Germans), located in Calle Ballesta. Its elliptical layout  is another of its major peculiarities.

Since 1839, the halls of Lhardy have been silent witnesses to the history of the capital. Benito Pérez Galdós mentioned it in his National Episodes. Isabel II visited incognito in some other occasion, and Alfonso XII did the same in his meetings with the Duke of Sesto. Located in the Carrera de San Jerónimo, Lhardy was the first hotel in Madrid to allow the entrance of women alone. Its cocido (stew), as famous as its callos (tripe), includes in its three overturns chickpeas, carrot, potatoes, cabbage, chorizo, morcilla (blood sausage), sausage and stewed meats. More on the institution here: Restaurant Lhardy

The Valencian confectioner Luis Mira began to sell turrones (nougats) in a street post in the Plaza Mayor. Today, the house that bears his surname , stands, a few meters from Lhardy, as a sweet reference. Although their specialty is turrones made from traditional ingredients, their artisan recipes also include cakes, buds, marzipan or polvorones (Spanish shortbread). Casa Mira heirs site here: Casa Mira Madrid

In the Madrid neighborhood of La Guindalera, belonging to the district of Salamanca, still resist some of the curious Villas of modernist airs that brought together the modern Madrid colony, which was said to be the most European enclave of all neighborhoods Madrid  Of the more than 60 homes that were built between 1890 and 1906, only a dozen survive. A very nice walk indeed here.

Popularly known as the Cuesta de los Arrastraculos, an explicit nickname that alludes to the times in which it was a ravine of dirt, the stairway that shorten the biggest slope of Madrid connects the Calle  Segovia and that of the Calle Moreria. The origin of this name is divided between two possible beliefs. On the one hand, the presence in the past of blind neighbors who dwelt in the humble houses that dotted the hillside. On the other, the visit of St. Francis of Assisi, in which, according to tradition, returned the view to two indigents after ungirded eyelids with oil.

And last tip but not least,this hidden mirador (lookout) framed in the area of the Vistillas presents, behind the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande, a few sunsets that have nothing to envy to the Temple of Debod. The more than 4,000 square meters of this botanical garden host up to 724 specimens of all kinds of dahlias which reach its greatest splendor in the month of June. Enjoy them all in my lovely dear Madrid!

Vestidos Simultanios or Simultaneous Dresses ,three women, shapes, colors, of 1925, is one of the works that stand out in the exhibition Pioneers: Women Artists of the Russian avant-garde, in room 43 of the National Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza. It is a sample that reveals the importance of these artists, who not only participated in complete equality in this crucial movement of the avant-garde of the early 20C, but in many cases were names that led some of their currents to follow. They are key figures of the essential Russian avant-garde. The exhibition brings together 12 works, selected from the permanent collection of the Thyssen, by the artists Natalia Goncharova, Alexandra Exter, Olga Rózanova, Nadeshda Udaltsova, Liubov Popova, Varvara Stepanova and Sonia Delaunay. These creators did not become a group, but many of them met and influenced each other. Along with their paintings, photographs of the artists are exhibited and a small review of their trajectories. More info here: https://www.museothyssen.org/en/exhibitions/pioneers-women-russian-avant-garde

And here is a find! Hear all about it in my blog! Two valuable 13C manuscripts by Bernardo de Brihuega, collaborator of King Alfonso X, have been located in the Provincial Historical Archive of Ourense (AHPOU). This is a folio and a loose sheet, in Castilian, of the lives and passions of the Apostles , of the end of the 13C or beginning of the 14C,  and that constitute the oldest preserved testimony of this work, of which until now only some late copies were known. Such as from the second half of the 14C to the beginning of the 16C, in Latin, Castilian and Portuguese. The fragment located in the Historical Archive shows that De Brihuega’s work would have been disseminated and translated into the Western peninsula. The Historical Archive of Ourense is state-owned but is transferred and depends on the Department of Culture. In its five linear km of its deposits it guards 221 funds, of which 153 are of private origin. It is headquartered in the former Episcopal palace.The webpage for the Historical Archive of Ourense is here in Castilian or Galician: http://arquivosdegalicia.xunta.gal/portal/arquivo-historico-provincial-de-ourense/content/el-archivo/index.html

There you ,and now is the best times to visit Spain, Semana Santa (Holy Week) is on and the cofradias prepare for the march on the streets of the great Saints/Virgins of my Spain. Happy Easter, Feliz Pascua, Joyeuses Pâques! 

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

 

 

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April 14, 2019

Fine Arts Museum at Pont-Aven !

So moving right along in my beautiful Brittany, I like to bring you to the coastal area and the fine arts extraordinaire! It is not far from me and have several posts in my blog on it. However, as usually me feel a single post on the museum is worth it. On a sunny day of 18C in my neck of the woods, let me re introduce you to the Fine Arts Museum at Pont Aven. Musée de Beaux-Arts de Pont-Aven.

The Fine Arts Museum is located in Pont-Aven, in the Finistère Dept 29 of Brittany.  Created in 1985, it aims to make known the painters who stayed in this city and made the reputation of the École de Pont-Aven and the Nabi movement. Paintings, drawings, watercolors by Paul Gauguin, Émile Bernard, Paul Sérusier allow the discovery of these pictorial movements of the late 19C.  The Museum also hosts temporary exhibitions highlighting certain themes or artists, mixing different styles and inspirations, from the Pont-Aven school to contemporary art.  Since 2012, the Museum has been transferred to Concarneau Cornouaille agglomeration which undertakes from 2013 its total renovation. The Museum, was enlarged from 850 to 2 000 m2 spread over seven levels at its reopening on 26 March 2016. I was there!!

Pont Aven

I have come here many years ago on the old property of Villa Julia (the museum de Pont Aven) and then it went into a long postponed prolonged period of renovation until finally open recently. We finally went inside the new one; a bit disappointed that it has been rebuilt in a contemporary modern look without any trace of its old turn of the century allure. Anyway, this is the place where the painters of the School of Pont Aven met, and the Nabis and the initial Americans and then the rest with its resident master Paul Gauguin.

The Villa Julia was for Julia Guillou who was a servants in the Hôtel des Voyageurs, after the death of the owner in 1871 she borrowed money from the residents  to buy the hotel.  She welcome all and had a good inside on the artists who visited the town, when she passed away in 1927 a huge crowd came in even from Paris.  The founders of the School of Pont Aven who to paint the beautiful country around and inside Pont Aven staying at this hotel since 1888 and at the nearby Pension Gloanec ; artists such as Paul Gauguin, Charles Filiger, Meijer de Haan, Claude-Emile Schuffeneker, Armand Seguin, and Wladyslaw Slewinski. 

The Americans came here first by 1850 and then the British, Australians, Scandinavians, Irish, and Dutch followed.

After 1888 the artists came in to be known as Nabis, such as Sérusier, Roussel, Vuillard, Lacombe and Filiger under the advice of Paul Gauguin, did painted here a lot.  All of this is shown in the museum with films, drawings and paintings from the artists. The plain Julia room is richly decorated in wood carving of the times. The museum is worth a detour for the art lover in all of us.

It was pleasure visits by some of the great painters of the time that made this museum possible. The first one was Jean-Baptiste Corot and his friends stay in 1862 on the Breton coast, in the small village of Pont-Aven, located between Concarneau and Quimperlé. In June 1886, Paul Gauguin made his first stay in Pont-Aven, on the advice of the friend Breton painter Armand Félix Marie Jobbé-Duval, as well as Pére Tanguy, his color merchant. Between 1887 and 1896, Paul Gauguin returned on numerous occasions and met Émile Bernard. They adopt new techniques of painting such as synthetics and compartmentalism, characterized by large flat, pure colors, surrounded by a black line and suppressing the classical perspective. Many painters joined them in Pont-Aven such as Paul Sérusier, Charles Filiger, Maxime Maufra, Henry Moret, and Ernest de Chamaillard, forming the École de Pont-Aven (school).

The Museum of Fine Arts of Pont Aven project really took off with the beginning of the construction and development work of the establishment in the autumn of 1984. The Museum of Fine Arts of Pont-Aven was inaugurated in  1985, and the renovations of the new museum started in 2013, the museum closed on September 15 2012 at night, and  re-opened again on March 26 2016.

The ground floor(1 fl US), apart from the traditional infrastructures (reception, crates, shops…) has an important resource center on the Pont-Aven school. On the first floor (2nd Fl US), the Julia room is named in honor of Julia Guillou, who built this hotel between 1881 and 1900, which later became the museum. This is the dining room of the old hotel, whose woodwork has been preserved and restored, to which three 21C luminaires of Matali Crasset have been added. This room serves as a reception room, Conference venue or concert hall. The second floor (3rd fl US) is dedicated to temporary exhibitions. The third level (4th fl US) presents the permanent exhibitions on the artists ‘ hostels, the chronology, Paul Gauguin, the founders of the Pont-Aven school, Japonisme, the Nabis and Pont-Aven after Gauguin.

Pont Aven

Pont Aven

pont aven

pont aven

pont aven

An indoor garden on the terrace is visible from the bright glazed hall that serves the levels of the museum, with plants referring to the works of the Pont-Aven school . An annex is integrated for the Museum’s reserves.

Born without a collection, the Museum of Fine Arts began an important acquisitions campaign from its inception. It currently has a fund of about 4 500 works of which half is dedicated to graphic arts (engravings, watercolors, pastels…). The scanned chronological period ranges from 1870  to the after 1900.  The collection includes works by artists of international recognition such as Émile Bernard, Maurice Denis, Paul Gauguin, Georges Lacombe, Paul Sérusier among others, but also lesser-known artists such as Pierre-Eugène Clairin, Émile Jourdan, Maurice Elin, and Marie Luplau. The fund also opened up to foreign artists such as Constantin Kousnetzoff, Carl Moser, and  Sydney Lough Thompson.

pont aven

pont aven

pont aven

pont aven

The Museum of Fine Arts of Pont-Aven today aims to make known the work of artists inspired by Brittany and more particularly by Pont-Aven, since the 1860’s  until the 1970’s, to develop a scientific work chronological period and to open up to contemporary creation. In 2016, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris signed a partnership with the Musée de Pont-Aven. The purpose of this sponsorship is to build a scientific partnership and to obtain more easily loans from the museum. Three other museums in France are partners of the Musée d’Orsay.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here and I say its must are

Official museum of Pont Aven

Official Brittany assoc of museum on Pont Aven

Tourist office of Finistere dept 29 on Pont Aven museum

Tourist office of Brittany on Pont Aven museum

It is very nice town to walk especially along the river and quant shops and restos we have come to love. The museum is a must for all really. Enjoy the Pont Aven Fine Arts Museum!

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

April 11, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXVII

Oh wow, just reliazed having so much fun with my lovely Brittany, had not been around my belle France news report! Well of course, the news and fun of my France are too many for just one blog even less a series of posts, but I do my grain of sand effort to show you the best of the most visited country in the world, for good reasons.

The weather has been mixed with cold rain and now calm sunny beautiful Spring times. Here in my neck of the woods is 13C (about 58F)  but will go down in the morning of tomorrow to 1C! At our grand Paris is a bit cooler at 11C and 55F. The weekend looks a bit colder again.

Now let me tell you a bit on what are the things nice and lovable and like by me. Oh CCXXVII is the Roman numeral for 227th post on the series since Nov 2010! Thank you!!

When Fellini Dreamed of Picasso at the Cinemathéque Française of Paris, and until July 28 2019, with an integral retrospective of the films of Fellini until  May 25th.More info here: . http://www.cinematheque.fr/programmation/quand-fellini-revait-de-picasso.html

Pastry passion ice Fruttini by MO is the new gourmet jewel of Saint Germain des Prés, located just a few steps from the Bon Marché.More info here:  https://fruttinibymo.fr/

From 8h. to 18h  today Thursday, the rue du cloister Notre-Dame ,4éme will be closed to traffic. A 100 meters high crane will be installed. Starting at 10h30, the first eight statues of the Apostles and Evangelists of 3 meters in height (but whose heads have already been removed) and which have been there from the great restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral by Viollet-le-Duc in 1861, will be lowered to the ground in order to be themselves rehabilitated. The end of this work is planned for 2022. See more info here:  http://www.notredamedeparis.fr/

The project to reenchant the Champs-Elysées on the horizon 2024,  date of the Olympic Games in Paris. While 63% of Parisians believe, in an Ipsos survey, that it remains the most beautiful avenue in the world, it is also considered “noisy”, “artificial”, “stressful” or even “dangerous”. On 100 pedestrians, in addition to tourists, 22 people work here and only 2% are Parisians who come there for pleasure. 15 hectares of gardens are spread out along the Champs-Elysées, between the Seine and the Elysée in particular. And there are twenty times less walkers than at Parc Monceau which is only 8 hectares. They have began to open an ideas box, with closed and theme family parks, a pedestrian walkway between the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais, a sports course on the Seine side, bathing basins on the Seine river, and cultural animations . I need this but tourist galore come to it. More info here :  https://www.lejdd.fr/JDD-Paris/sondage-pour-30-des-parisiens-les-champs-elysees-ne-sont-pas-la-plus-belle-avenue-du-monde-3875114

The Hotel de la Marine, a historical monument built under king Louis XV, continues its renovation, started in 2017. The monumental worksite must be completed in about a year, for an opening hoped for in June 2020. With an ambition  to making the place, inaccessible since 230 years, a place of life for Parisians, who expects 600 000 visitors per year on 6200 sq meters. The Cour d’Honneur or Court of honour is in the process of restoring its volumes of origins, with its arcades that had been cloisonné when the building welcomed the naval staff, the court will become the living center of the hotel and it will be open permanently, allowing the passage from the rue Royale or the place de la Concorde. This transverse artery will host a CMN bookshop, but also a quality grocery store offering takeout. Restaurants, whose card will be entrusted to the chef Jean-François Piége, and a coffee shop, more classical, come to enrich this leisure offer. Finally, a tea room, this time by the brand Alain Ducasse, will find its place on the 1st floor (2nd fl US). Visitors will be able to access the tour concentrated on the 1st floor. The apparat lounges, all gilts and pendants, are preserved in their 19C origins. Their little addition, the terrace that offers a unique view of the Concorde and the Tuileries. The 18C section, the intendant’s apartments, are still in the process of restoration, with the bet to find the decorations and original furniture. More info here:  http://www.hotel-de-la-marine.paris/en/

The GoodPlanet Foundation, created by photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand to educate the public about ecology, inaugurated on April 13th and 14th 2019 its new season. And it’s a book of new things. In the Castle, exit Humans, the beautiful series of video portraits on giant screens. The new permanent exhibition is called Planet Ocean and it transports us to the seas of the globe, for four hours of underwater images, fascinating, in the world of the abyss Domaine de Longchamp, Bois de Boulogne ,16éme  Saturday and Sunday April  13-14 2019, 11h  to 19h  free admission. More info here: https://www.goodplanet.org/en/

A street art fresco of 150 m2 underway at Gare de L’Est. The day may be a little less bleak from today onwards. In order to bring art a little closer to Parisians and Franciliens, the urban art production house Quai 36 has appealed to the ONOFF collective to create an immense street art fresco. To enjoy it, we will take the exit/entrance Château-Landon from the station. Gare de l’Est place du 11 Novembre 1918, 10th. More info here :  https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frpst/paris-est

Direction Fluctuart, the first center of urban art floating in the world with a unique transparent structure, which will offer exhibitions, creative workshops, bookstore and festive evenings from the end of May. The space of 1 000 m2 totally transparent and in the heart of Paris will valorize the trends of urban art, from the pioneers of street art to contemporary artists, and will particularly highlight the emerging and innovative practices. Scattered in three levels, the structure of the place is completely modular and transparent. Pont des Invalides 2 Port du Gros Caillou  7th. More info here :  https://fluctuart.fr/

Just a teaser to keep abreast of what is going on, Paris and France in general are moving on to another record year of visitors, estimates run to 100M visitors! So pack early and plan well, things will be busy. Enjoy l’Hexagone!

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

 

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