Archive for April 3rd, 2019

April 3, 2019

Pau, Aquitaine, wonderful region!

This was my headquarters destination for the first traject of our vacations, Pau is an interesting town. We had passed by it many times, even stay in quick night hôtels on the town, but never really wandered about it, and we decided that after so many choices we have here to pick one that we have not seen fully; so therefore, this is it PAU. We came avoiding tolls on the N165 to Nantes then the N149, and then the D824,D834,D932, etc to the N10,A63 free ride to the D834 again entering Pau on the rocade at the D817. This is a re post of August 2014 but worth the detour and repeat.

The tourist office is here,  Tourist office of Pau  , and the city page is here  City of Pau on heritage

pau

We came by car as always, and we rented inexpensive hôtels in the outskirts so enjoy the sights and smells of the basque without paying for excessive hôtels and tolls, which with a family can leave quite a bit of centimes for better things. Our favorite chain is ACCOR and for this trip we chose the Ibis Budget Pau Est ,wonderful service by manager Véronique and great stay easy on and off from the highways and straight down the city center of Pau.  More here: Ibis hotel Pau Est

We had to tell you about the castle museum of Pau; (see post apart) here is their homepage  http://chateau-pau.fr/  This is a wonderful property still Under renovation but the public is still invited in with guided tours, as well as individuals. The gardens are great wonderful views over the Pyrénées mountains and well maintained.

We visited the museum of Bernadotte, the birthplace of this   Jean-Baptiste Jules Bernadotte chosen by Napoleon I to secure the continuation of the royal house of Sweden in 1818 he finally became the king of Sweden, today the current king Gustav is a descendant Bernadotte.

pau

We visited the boulevard des pyrénées famous look over the mountains and took the funiculaire or cable car up and down;and it is free!!!  more here: Tourist office of Pau on the Funicular

pau

We went to several wonderful churches such as Saint Martin, Saint Jacques, and the religious Library now of the Church of Reparatrice. We took a walk by the museum of deportation and liberation that was closed but in the beautiful park of Villa Lawrence. Many more about them and ideas here too numerours to mention,  the museums and parks are here: Tourist office of Pau on cultural heritage

pau

pau

We did our shopping in the Auchan cc near us, wonderful place with all you need including micromania hehehe and Flunch restos,nice refreshing site to relax after a long day of sightseeing.  CC Auchan at Pau

pau

Of course we ate out, and the best there was pizzeria l’Etna at rue Sully, very nice folks and great food at reasonable prices. Even thus some of the rating is average 3 out of 5 we found it above average for the price, quality, excellent service, and quick; leave you with my site in English The Fork : The Fork on the Etna of Pau

pau

We did lots of eating in house, buying at the Auchan cc or the covered market Halles in Pau is excellent fresh produce great quality and good prices for take home from veggies to wines; every day except sundays and at place de la République,  now totally renovated! more here: Halles or covered market of Pau

pau

We did our shopping of goodies here mostly the kids bought stuff like foot locker,fnac, micromania, lacoste and hugo boss, we settle for the food, chocolates !!! the L’Atelier du Chocolat at Maréchal Joffre is excellent, we got the touron basque or the basque nougat,  more here: Atelier du Chocolat at Pau

pau

Also, at the palais des pyrénées shopping center where FNAC ,Micromania are located off place Clemenceau you find the Chocolaterie de la Couronne, here we went for the suedoise or swedish and the pallet des pyrénées, delicious, try it;  more here:  Chocolaterie de la Couronne

pau

pau

We did took a peek at the Galeries Lafayette store at place Clemenceau, and had our cold beers at the Café de l’Europe just there too at rue Maréchal Foch  with nice fast friendly service. We , also, stop first one at La Brasserie Royale at place Royale for cold beers and drinks.

pau

pau

pau

The above was done in and out as we got our wheels and travel all over the region and even into Spain on one day trips from our base in Pau. Great family trip, and good driving all the way with little or no traffic. Over 2450 kms of travels by the road warrior once again. Cheers and stay tune for more.

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

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April 3, 2019

Deep pyrénées at Saint Jean Pied-de-Port!

We continue our journey now in the  Southwest  and we enter the domain of the Basques as well as their reputed excellent cuisine. As much as driven this is a new area for me. I usually driven by pass this mountaineous area to go by Oloron Sainte Marie or go further into Saint Jean de Luz/Bayonne/Biarritz areas.  We took the plunge into Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port again in the Pyrénées Atlantiques dept 64. We drove from Pau and took the most scenic route ,meaning mountains !! This is a re post of August 2014! Worth the detour!!!

We set out on the N134 direction Oloron Sainte Marie, and here took the road D919 direction Aramits (yes please the famous member of the 3 muskeeteers is from here ,the film Aramis personage real name  Henri d’Aramitz) so I can say been to see Richelieu, D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos ,and now Aramis. My motto all for one and one for all !! Here we took the road D918 directon Tardets, and then we hit the mountains on the D26 to reach Larrau and then Iraty and its col de Bergagi!!!1327 meters high through the clouds wow!!! on third gear on the D19 now, then again thru huge mountains we hit the road D18 direction Saint-Jean-le-Vieux (here they had a fairs all goodies from the region and it was packed traffic directed to connect with the road D933 that took us in to Saint Jean Pied de Port at last!!! Great ride !!!

St jean pied de port

St jean pied de port

St jean pied de port

We got in thru the citadel ramparts of the old castle of citadelle de Mendiguren that you can meandered through. tourist office is at  St jean de port tourist office

and the town site here,  City of St Jean de Port on heritage

St jean pied de port

St jean pied de port

You need to see the Church of the Assomption de la Vierge (that locals still insist is the old name that counts such as Notre-Dame-du-Bout-du-Pont) . The various gates or portes surrounding the old town along rue de la Citadelle such as Porte St Jacques, Notre Dame, Navarre, Spanish , and France.  This street is full of shops and restos very quaint and picturesques. The Bishop’s prison or Maison prison des évêques is nice small museum. Photos to follow not in order.

St jean pied de port

St jean pied de port

St jean pied de port

St jean pied de port

St jean pied de port

 St jean pied de port

The most impressive for us however, was the food, we are very gourmand and wine lovers so we had our lunch with local products at a butcher, traiteur shop, this is the real thing forget the restaurants. We had our Bayonne ham, Roncal brebis(ewe) (goat) cheese, basque sangria with piment espelettes,and delicious cherry and apple gateau basque or basque cakes  at Charcuterie Basquaise Maison Gastellou on 9 rue d’Espagne (and we follow them when in our Fairs). Go for it !!. We took it and ate at the parc with an overview of the city by Place Floquet. We then came back to buy more to take home ::)  See them here: Maison Gastellou at St Jean Pied de Port

St jean pied de port

St jean pied de port

St jean pied de port

We went for the basque macarons at the La Fabrique de Macarons on rue de la Citadelle, yummy for desserts. here they had almonds, chocolate, lemon, noix de coco, almonds with piment d’espelette, flavors that we clean the house.  More here: La Fabrique de Macarons

At the La Caves aux Fromages we clean up on brebis(ewe)  cheeses in different shapes and textures from Ossau-Iraty region simply awesome we eat them at home like bread lol!!! They are at the place des remparts back on the left of the covered market, this is what you would get there the real thing. More here: The Ossau Iraty cooperative on the La Cave aux Fromages

And to end it all, we stop by the store of Etienne Brana, one of the original irouléguy wine and do not forget the apéritf wine Txapa ::)  , the page for them, which you can also tour their winery, we decided to go for the wine at the store instead on rue de l’église.  More here:  Etienne Brana winery and store

Now we were all set to go back on a full day swinging since early hours, we decided to take it easy and go thru more flat terrain now; so we head out of the D933 road direction St Jean le Vieux. Then took the D918 direction Mauléon-Licharre.  Continue on fast empty departémental roads we took the D2 direction Navarrenx (which had already visited) , took the D947 direction Orthez and then the rocade road D817 to Pau. And rest at our base there!!! but ready for more…always!

Hope you enjoy it ,really very nice part of my belle France. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 3, 2019

Bieuzy Lanvaux, Landaul closer to home!

A wonderful sunny day in my area and home , so again took advantage and took our little ride with the family as usual.  The temps go up to 20C here today and you can see the folks out like summer is here even if not officially. This is a re post from April 2014.

I set out this morning into the country near me, at Bieuzy Lanvaux, there are a wonderful Church of Saint Bieuzy , small typical looking chapel like so many in Brittany. This one is high on a hill overlooking the Loch plateau, and better park at the bottom and walk up as the Streets are very narrow and steep difficult for a turnaround.   A bit of history on this Church in French by the city of Pluvigner http://www.pluvigner.fr/eglise-saint-bieuzy/  Saint Bieuzy is also called saint Bihui.

The legend says that the saint was struck in the skull with a knife because he did not want to interrupt his mass to cure of rabies the dogs of the Lord of Melrand. He wished to make a last visit to his friend Saint Gildas and made a stop at Bieuzy-Lanvaux.   The Chapel is built in the memory of its passage. Built on a hillside, the Church overlook the village. The southern facade is from 1593, year where the Church has been modified. The western façade wastransformed when the chapel became the parish church, annex.

On this occasion, a slightly protruding massif has been integrated as well  the Portal full- arch dated 1838. On the back wall of the choir is arranged a table of the Holy Family. There are also two side niches of carved wood from the 17C, located in the choir.

On the left the statue of Saint Bieuzy is presented on the right a throne to Madonna and Child. Several other statues are present in the Church: those of Sainte Brigid, Notre-Dame de Lourdes, Saint Joseph and Saint Theresa.  A statue can intrigue the visitor: that of a Holy Knight dressed in a coat and holding a shield but no sword. It could be Saint Michel.

 bieuzy

bieuzy

bieuzy

We, also, visited briefly the Logis de Florange, one of the main banquet, wedding places here in the country, the pride of the area if you are holding a family gathering. It has a multitude of links for trips, vacation, tourism in the area, here  https://www.relaisdefloranges.fr/

Last on this area , we went by the front of the Abbaye de Lanvaux, this is private, but full of history. When the local rebels ,the Chouans, gathered here with General Cadoudal (of Auray) , waiting for the immigrant breton to arrive from England by Quiberon, this is where they camp out. Unfortunately the landing was discovered, and the link up never happened, instead many immigrants 795 were sentence to the firing squad, and today are buried in the Chartreuse of Auray.

bieuzy

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

A bit of history , other,  this  monastery is located near the old Castle of Lanvaux and the fief of the Barony,  the construction is set as in  1138!!! by the Abbot Ruaud and Cistercian monks, with the support of the baron Alain de Lanvaux who donated to the monks of Bégard of a Manor House on the right bank of the river Loch. In the 18C a Abbey House is built near the convent. It eventually installs a glassworks in 1824 and a smelter in 1827.

In 1824,  was built at a small distance of the convent, a glassworks,  which was  replaced,  three years later,  by a foundry.  The property of the convent and the  neighboring  properties  has passed, then by various hands. But , the park and the forest of Lanvaux with 207 hectares and the forest of the abbey with 45 hectares remained the property of the State.

We past effortless thru the city center of Pluvigner as it is market day or jour du marché, and got some goodies, and then a tour into deep country, passing by the town of Landaul and its nice Church or église Saint-Théleau in city center.  This parish Church of Landaul, having been demolished in 1862, the Chapel Notre-Dame de Bon-Secours nearby, itself built around 1450 , becomes the parish Church in 1863.  To give to the new Church a form of a cross , two chapels, one to the north, the other south of the nave are added. The original facade is preserved.

Landaul

Here you absolutely need a car, you go into lieu-dits or section in the country that are attached to nearby towns but are on their own, with only tiny black panels telling you are entering  Kerlios or Kéronic , etc.

And it is here that I wanted to stop by living just 7-10 km from them!  The first one encounter was the Château de Kéronic, a private residence sitting in a long one way road that at the end into the woods you come across the castle right at you!!  Beautiful property that is usually open on heritage days in September.  A bit of history, my hobby amateur but doing it for many years and volunteer and or friend of many here in France.  It is an imposing remake of the  15C / 17C reworked by  the family Harscouët  Saint George circa 1860.

Pluvigner

Its still the property of this family, currently represented by the vicomte  Christian de la Tullaye.   The lordship of Queronic or Keronic was Henry de Launay in 1427.  In 1717 it passed by marriage to the Lenvos Carpenter, who kept the castle  until the Revolution. In the 19C, the Castle entered the family Harscouët Saint George, it is  always in this family.

Pluvigner

The entrance to the cour d’honneur ,several times restored, has a pond , private chapel, surrounded by a large forest. The park of Keronic  was designed by Legendre in the 1880s, is remarkable with its land plants from heather, rhododendrons, camellias and hydrangeas, as well as exotic trees such as sequioas, araucarias, etc.  It has a pond and French style garden. The castle can be seen from afar, from the grid at he end of a long beautiful road of trees, 2,5 km to the northwest of Pluvigner right on the road D 102 direction Languidic.

We moved on to the other side of Pluvigner to visit another private property, the Château de Kerlois; This is even more difficult to find as there is no panel on the road D102 and we found it by pinpointing the lieu-dits on the map and figuring the grassy wooden entry off the road looks like a grand house was there. Well, it proved right as once going thru this narrow one way road, passing some rusted gate, we came across the beauty of this castle. Info you can find on the link above from Pluvigner city town hall.

Pluvigner

A bit of history here too, of course. The castle dates mostly from the 17C (facade) but retains some elements of the 15C. At the beginning of this 15C, it then belonged to Eon of Kernigues, Squire of the Duke Jean V of Brittany. In 1607, the lordship of Kerlois was acquired by Olivier Le Gouvello, Lord of Keriolet. His son, Pierre de Keriolet, spent his childhood. The private chapel was built by the mother, in Thanksgiving for the conversion of her son in Loudun. In 1800, the castle is owned by the Bobinnec family. The seigneurie belonged in 1407 to Eon Kernigues, Squire of the Duke Jean v. It then passed to the Lestrin of Saint-Avé, the Keriolet Gouvello .  The garden was planted of medicinal plants and a vegetable garden. It must be said that at the end of his life the man without faith nor law, housed a hospice at the rear of the Castle. The 17C marked the transformation of the Park in a French style garden.

Pluvigner

The 2 highlights of this park are camellias with over 15 varieties and remarkable charms; you can admire a beautiful cedar of the bicentennial Lebanon brought back by an ancestor of the current owner, who was Captain in the Royal Navy. Its chapel was restored in the 18C, as well as its beautiful stables. Acquired around 1800, by Armand de Bobinnec. The Castle is now the property of his descendants, the  family Bourjac.

As both of the above castles are still in private family hands and are only available for seeing in heritage days and then some not, passing by them is nice enough me think, and they are just so near that I do passed by them often. More in French at the City of Pluvigner heritage page:  City of Pluvigner on heritage and its castles

And time to rest, and think of what to do tomorrow ::) Have a great week!

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

 

 

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