Archive for May, 2019

May 29, 2019

The Municipal Theater of Fontainebleau!

So sticking around familial and sentimental territory I like to tell you a bit more on a nice property very near the famous Château de Fontainebleau. This is the nice Italian style Municipal Theater.  I as usual have written bits on it in my previous posts on Fontainebleau but feel that it merits a post of its own. Therefore, here it goes briefly.

The Municipal Theater or Théatre Municipal is located at 6, rue Denecourt, corner of rue de Richelieu in Fontainebleau very near the Castle.

Fontainebleau

Built from 1905 in a Louis XIII style combining brick and stone, the theater is inaugurated in 1912. Outside of Paris, it is one of the few Italian theaters and one of the most beautiful in the whole  Ile de France region. The building consists of a foyer, a curvilinear theater room, a reception hall with possibilities for organizing specific cultural events, a home and ancillary rooms. The Municipal theater has a 650-seat capacity Concert Hall and a Ballroom. Classical and imposing, strongly integrated in the urban landscape, the theater is a major pole of attraction and cultural and artistic identity within the city. Indeed is very nice, something different and cultural to see while in Fontainebleau.

Some webpages to help you enjoy the visit here are

Tourist office of Fontainebleau on the Theater

City of Fontainebleau on the theater’s agenda

And there you go , I am not a huge fan of theaters, only for the architectural or historical point of view of them. This one is tops of the list, all worth a visit while in Fontainebleau, dept 77 of the Seine-et-Marne, in the Ïle de France region. Hope you can enjoy it.

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

 

 

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May 29, 2019

La Salle de la Belle Cheminée, Fontainebleau!

I am back now in sentimental area and property. This is difficult to write as many wonderful moments with my dear late wife Martine visiting the castle and town of Fontainebleau in her region and becoming Friends of the Castle. However, drawing on my photos I like to bring them to life for memories’ sake. Hope you enjoy them and do visit the castle is a must while in France. Several post about it in my blog.

Let me tell you about a part not open to the public but had several meetings there and as the castle is renovated maybe will be open one day. The piece in question is the room of the beautiful chimney and its relations or in French la Salle de la Belle Cheminée of the Château de Fontainebleau!

The Salle de la Belle Cheminée (or the beautiful chimney room) is one of the works commissioned by king Henri IV. Above the Belle Cheminée, lies a bas-relief of Henri IV on horseback representing the King on his illustrious white steed.

The wing of the Belle Cheminée, also known as the aile(wing)  de l’Ancienne Comédie or wing of the old comedy, built between 1565 and 1570 in stone of Saint-Leu, derives its name from the chimney that occupied the great hall in the 18C. It was taken down and her sculptures were scattered. The name of old comedy comes from the theater that king Louis XV had made. First known as the Salle de la Belle Cheminée from 1597 to 1601, it was called a theater from 1725, on the occasion of the marriage of king Louis XV; It was destroyed in 1856 by a fire.  The monumental exterior staircase has two Italian ramps. It makes the connection with the cour de la Fontaine (courtyard of the fountain).

Fontainebleau

fontainebleau

La salle de la belle cheminée et moi!

Commissioned by king Henri IV in 1597 and finished in 1601, the Belle Cheminée of the Château de Fontainebleau was dismembered in 1725 (see above the theater). The fragments were taken in the 19C into two other chimneys in the castle. Other fragments are in reserve at Fontainebleau. The Louvre museum presents the central frieze which separated the upper part forming mantle from the fireplace.

It is now in a theater setup for meetings and the chimney still there , still call the beautiful chimney room and one that hoping to be shown to the public if not already ::)

Other rooms in relation to the Belle Cheminée are worth mentioning on this post.

In the Salle des Gardes (room of the guards) you will notice two great figures that surround the chimney coming from the famous Belle Cheminée by then disappeared, sumptuous carved monument. to the glory of the victorious king of 7 meters high,by  6 meters wide. On the left is the allegorical figure of Peace; it lowers, to smother it, the torch of war, reminding us that by the edit of Nantes (1598), king Henri IV had put an end to the civil religious wars between Catholics and Protestants. On the right, the allegory seems to be Obedience;  a young woman is about to pass a harness to a lion. The good King Henri was indeed, against any golden legend, an autocratic sovereign, reinforcing the Royal authority and announcing the absolute monarchy of his grandson, Louis XIV. The remainder of the chimney, of a more grey hue, was carved in 19C.

And to continue the circuit of king Henri IV born at the Château de Fontainebleau.

In the Chapel of Saint Saturnin, you will see in the décor of the coffered vault, the figure of king Henri IV and that of queen Marie de Medicis. In the first room of Saint Louis, in the upper part of the paneling, paintings by Ambroise Dubois from the Cabinet of the King and that of the Queen. In the second room of Saint Louis, an equestrian portrait of the King, coming from the Belle-Cheminée. In the Salon Louis XIII (room), in which he was born, you will see bouquets painted by Jean Dhoey. In the Chapel of the Trinity, above the galleries, the arms of France are attached to those of Navarre. The décor of the chapel was commissioned by king Henri IV. In the Galerie aux Cerfs (deers), the bronze reproduction of the Diane Huntress who adorns the fountain of the Jardin de Diane that runs along this gallery (the original marble is in the Louvre museum), a bronze reproduction of the Lacoon (the original marble is in the Vatican Museum.)

The Jeu de Paume room, whose entrance is to the right of the Jardin de Diane, was rebuilt after a fire, according to the plans of the hall intended by king Henri IV. In the Henri IV part of the Castle, the Cour des Offices are under the porch, on the ceiling the figures of the King Henri IV and Catherine of Médicis.

Some webpages to help you further plan your trip here are

Chateau de Fontainebleau and the salle de la Belle Cheminée

Chateau de Fontainebleau and the reign of Henri IV

Again, this is special, a must to visit while in France. So much history of France and Europe is here, as well as loving architecture details as above. You ought it to yourselves to visit the Château de Fontainebleau!

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

 

 

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May 26, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXXII

And here I am on my CCXXXII post on news of my France. It has been an incredible journey for me to come closer to what is going on in my belle France; hoping that it has giving you more insights into my beautiful adopted country. Oh it is No 232 for the rest ::)

I like to tell you a bit more on the news of France today Sunday 26 May on European Elections Day and Mother’s Day in France!

Ok so let’t start off with a bang on the results of the just finished Cannes Film Festival. Discover below the complete list of this 72nd Festival of Cannes winners

Palme d’Or: “Parasite ” by Bong Joon-Ho.  Grand Prix: “Atlantic” by Mati Diop. Jury prize: “Les Misérables ” by Ladj LY and “Bacurau ” by Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles.  Directing award: Jean-Pierre and Luc and Dardenne for “the young Ahmed”. Prize of the screenplay: “Portrait of the girl on fire” by Céline Sciamma. Award for feminine interpretation: Emily Beecham in   “little Joe “.  Award for male interpretation: Antonio Banderas in   “Pain and Glory “. Special mention: Elia Suleiman for “It must be heaven”.  Caméra d’Or: “Nuestras Madres ” (our mothers) by César Díaz. Palme d’Or short film: “The distance between the sky and us” by Vasilis Kekatos.  Special mention of the short film jury:   “Monster God ” by Agustina San Martín.

The attractions with thrills, the fairground stalls, the encounters with animals will be at the Jardin d’Acclimatation ,Paris. But the most beautiful sensation, today Sunday, will undoubtedly be that of the joy of moms shared with children. For the Mother’s day, the park with 47 the most modern rides, after a vast restoration, do not forget its traditions. The direction of the garden has planned to offer at the entrance, a rose to each mom and a relabelled of free workshops, once the entrance fee is paid. Jardin d’Acclimatation, 45 Mahatma Gandhi Avenue (16 éme). Métro Les Sablons. This Sunday from 10h to 19h. Entrance fee at 5€ for adults, free for children under 3 years old. Free animations and workshops. Hurry up if still in Paris! More info here: http://www.jardindacclimatation.fr/agenda/fete-des-meres

As I told you on an earlier post ,today is European election day and as usual France is been a bit slow but much better than last elections. The media is reporting quite a few French voters went to the polls this Sunday morning (And I did my civic duty already) to elect their European deputies. A figure, however, up from 2014. European elections 2019:19.26% participation level by noon today May 26th. The polling stations opened at 8h in France on Sunday, as in 20 other countries for the European elections. 47.1 million French are called to vote to renew, as every five years, their 74 deputies in the European Parliament; 79 if the UK is forced to leave the European Union( working on Brexit seems to be hard and long). More info from the European Parliament here: https://election-results.eu/

The departmental Stadium Yves-du-Manoir in Colombes (Hauts de Seine Dept 92). will host the women’s selection trainings next month for the United States. United States-Chile on 16 June will be the first official game at the Parc des Princes,Paris 16éme. The World Soccer/football women championships will be held in France starting from next June 7 with a France vs South Korea game. The USA is in group F, my other love France is in group A, and lastly my other love Spain is in group B; plenty of choices lol!!   More info here: https://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/matches/

Imagine Victor Hugo’s “Notre-Dame de Paris”, whose autograph manuscript is exhibited by the National Library this weekend, exceptionally, on the occasion of its Festival. There is only one version, these 455 flying slips written in four months. The writing is also heritage. Thanks to Hugo. “I give all my manuscripts, and all that will be found written or drawn by me, to the National Library of Paris, which will one day be the library of the United States of Europe,” adds the writer to his testament in 1881. The little story in the big news. Like the last words of queen Marie-Antoinette before her execution: “my eyes no longer have tears to weep for you my poor children; Farewell, Farewell! ». The semicolon perfectly traced, a few hours from the end point of the guillotine. The exhibit “Manuscripts of the extreme”, until 7 July 2019 at the BNF in Paris (13 éme). Every day except Monday from 10h to 19h, Sunday 13h to 18h. price:9€. Information at https://www.bnf.fr/fr/agenda/manuscrits-de-lextreme

In 1853 the name of Adolph Alphand is much less known than that of Haussmann, but the capital owes him, largely as well, his present physiognomy. Squares, parks, wood…   The passage from Trocadero to the Eiffel Tower will be vegetated by the time of the Olympic Games of Paris 2024, it is suggested another name: the “promenade Alphand”. Towards the end of 1853, the landscaping of the Bois de Boulogne, which was entrusted to him by Napoleon III, on April 15, 1854, Napoleon and Eugénie inaugurated in great pomp the first phase of the work of the old forest of Rouvray, where François Ier used to hunt for game. On that day, in front of the big waterfall (grand cascade) totally artificial and fuelled by an ingenious hydraulic system, the Imperial couple suddenly sees, at the given signal, the water gushing from the rocks!

For Adolph Alphand, it is the first day of a long career paved with glory. For thirty-seven years, the engineer of the bridges-and-roads will shape the new face of Paris, as an accomplished ace of urban surgery. To his credit, an impressive list: two immense forests Boulogne and Vincennes, arranged on either side of the city; 24 squares accessible in half an hour on foot for all Parisians, rich or poor, as demanded by Napoleon III. We must include as well the Square de Batignolles, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Rond-Point des Champs Elysées, Bois de Boulonge, Parc Monceau, boulevard Voltaire, Serres d’Auteuil, Square Montholon,Square du Temple, Jardins du Trocadéro, Parc Montsouris, and the Bois de Vincennes. More on the area here: Tourist office of Paris on areas of pedestrian idea

City of Paris webpage on info on the Grand site tour Eiffel: City of Paris on the project Grand Site Tour Eiffel

At Bazoches-sur-Guyonne (Yvelines dept 78) you can come to see the House of Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of the European Union, it is in his home, which we can now visit, that Jean Monnet drafted the text which, in 1950, laid the foundations of the European Union. The reception, which also serves as a small souvenir shop, offers umbrellas, flags, stickers and other pens in the colours of the European flag. For it is here, in the hamlet of Houjarray in Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, that the idea of a Union between the countries of the old continent was born. An idea that he had for several years by Jean Monnet and that he will end up dreaming black on white in 1950, in this house which he had acquired in 1945. This text, made public by Robert Schuman, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, remains considered as a founding document of the EU. A visit that is freely realized, and free of charge. Inside, the public can discover the salon where Jean Monnet expressed his projects to the decision makers of the time. The bedroom, the dining room complete the ground floor while upstairs, a projection room and interactive tables installed there since the month of January allow to know more about the life and work of man in a more playful way. More info here: https://jean-monnet.fr/en/maison-musee-jean-monnet/presentation-modalites-de-visite/

It was after several rewritings of La Recherche that he imagined that a Madeleine cake could bring the past to a resurgence. In the salons of the literary Hotel Le Swann, in Paris, the madeleines are pass before going to the Proustien spring, nine days of festivities in Eure-et-Loir celebrating the centenary of the awarding of the Goncourt prize to À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, (in the shade of the young girls in bloom) on December 10, 1919. Also, Illiers, his inspiration, became Illiers-Combray in 1971 in homage to the Romanced village of the writer. The Proust Museum is installed in the la maison de Tante Léonie or aunt Leonie’s house. The museum page in English: https://www.amisdeproust.fr/index.php/en/practical-information

Official on Marcel Proust achievements and the aunt Léonie house here in French: http://proust-personnages.fr/?page_id=4315

The actress Isabelle Carré is to see, until June 30th, at the Théâtre de la Renaissance,20 boulevard Saint-Martin 10éme, Paris, where she plays in the La Dégustation (tasting), a romantic comedy that explores the world of wine. She interprets a bachelor whose life changes after the meeting with her wine merchant, incarnated by actor Bernard Campan. One emerges from this story with the urge to tighten the others in its arms. We’re getting happier. The character is perhaps a little amateur, but his humor is not bold. We are in a humor that mixes everything, that does not separate. More info here: https://www.theatredelarenaissance.com/project/la-degustation-isabelle-carre-bernard-campan/

This Museum of Air and Space is located in Le Bourget (Seine-Saint-Denis dept 93), ten minutes from Paris. The number of birthdays it celebrates in 2019 alone justifies you to venture beyond the city. The Bourget airport celebrates its centenary this year. It was here, in 1919, that the first French civil airport was created. Although the number of passengers in that year was limited to 740, but twenty years later, on the eve of WWII, this figure had risen to 45 000. The growth of air transport will make that from 1961 onwards, the Bourget will be abandoned to the benefit of Orly (Val-de-Marne dept 94) then Roissy-en-France (Val d’Oise dept 95) in 1977. The 50 years of the first flight of the Concorde, the famous supersonic, as well as the 50 years of the mission that saw the first man walking on the moon on July 21, 1969, an opportunity to revive the seventeen Apollo missions through some emblematic objects. In addition, as every two years, Le Bourget welcomes this year the 53rd International exhibition of Aeronautics and Space (Paris Air Show) open to the general public from June 21 to 23rd. Finally, this anniversary year will end in apotheosis with the reopening of the great Gallery in the historic terminal, a nugget of the art deco architecture, conceived and realised in 1937. With one of the richest collections of aircraft, aerostats, mock-ups, uniforms, photographs, prints, posters and art objects in the world. More Information in French here: https://www.museeairespace.fr/

To all dreamers and lovers of sweet moments, the Les Heures Bleues or blue hours are made for you. Halfway between the end of the day and the beginning of the night, it is a perfect time for a chill party to share with friends, a white 1664 in hand. Neither too hot nor too cold, the air is ideal for an original afterwork or happy hour evening, to relax and especially to enjoy full animations. Every Wednesday and Friday, you will be able to fill up with animations. And you’ll have a choice! You can take part in a plant music workshop, and test your musical talents by making a few notes with citrus. Plus, a super DJ set of 16 pineapples. The group that usually plays with pineapples, will blackmail oranges and lemons for the occasion. Workshop 1664-the Les Heures Bleues at 47, rue du Cardinal-Lemoine 5éme Every Wednesdays and Fridays from 18h30 to 22h30. More info here: https://www.atelier1664.fr/about

For the resumption of the tour, the Freix Baravane selected the hottest spots of the summer: from Faust in Paris to the marvellous Island of Torcy, from Pete the monkey to Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer to Scopitone in Nantes, the evenings and festivals are chained to the delight of Holidaymakers! In the program there will be: Festival, Mölkky games and of course cocktails, including the inescapable Sangria Blancaby Freixenet, and poptails with Freixenet ice ! La Freix Baravane to September 23 2019. More info here ! https://www.freixenet.fr/landing/?redir=/project/la-freix-baravane/

There you as always plenty to see in my belle France! Enjoy it to the limits!

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

 

 

 

 

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May 26, 2019

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton XXXI!

Once again I come to you to tell you a bit on what we do here and the real routine life of living in France for a common family. Yes France is glorious the large number of visitors tells us that, and we know it. Not only because we are French and live here for 16 years already ,but because we were French before living here and visited every year from 1990 to 2002. And as my title of my blog tells you, I alone have been coming to Paris especially since 1972!

But now for the last 8 years I have been  on the west of France in lovely Brittany and beautiful Morbihan dept 56 way out in country living in a small town of Pluvigner with only about 7K folks. Since my birth town was even smaller , I have traveled the world always in bigger cities to come back like to the roots in a small town. However, very much alive as today there was a youth rugby festival here sponsor by BMW, and of course the European elections.

pluvigner

We set out to vote by 10h walking as we live not far from city center and the voting hall. This is always at the Salle Marie-J. Le Borgne right after the cemetery.  May 26 Sunday , today is an important day that might shape the future of Europe as France is heavily counting on staying close rank and banner country for the European Union. Whether against or for it, it is the one thing that have kept Europe at peace.  I did my civic duty and voted, may the best win, and remember democracy is the rule of the mayority with the rights of the minority; so be it.

pluvigner

pluvigner

As I walked with my sons and our dog Rex,(he had a blast) , we sometimes forget the nice we have and seldom past by it unless needed ,as the urge is always to go out, not shabby either if you have been kept with my posts on the Morbihan, plenty of nice things to see here. As I have said many times ,Hemingway felled short when he describe Paris as a movable feast, he should had travel more into the country side of France! As France is a movable feast!

We past by the city center/downtown Place Saint Michel and Place de la Placen all along rue Gén de Gaulle. And into the rue Maréchal Leclerc and back on the Route de Bieuzy . In passing we saw again our emergency convenience story Proxi, the Poste or post office building very much in use by us international globettroters , the city/town hall with its nice garden, the pharmacy , a must stop for my father’s medicines as he suffers from diabetes.

pluvigner

pluvigner

pluvigner

We check the new electric meter counter installed recently and my consomption is now less by 36 euros per month!! great!!! I always like to look at our eyeglasses store Optic 2000 which occupies a very nice building in city center/downtown. And of course our voting place.  Not to ever forget the wonderful Church of Saint Guigner belltower. Saint Guigner is the one who came here from the islands (UK) back in the 400’s and the town carries his name as Plu is breton for parish, and vigner is a contraction of Guigner so the parish of Saint Guigner became, Pluvigner or in Breton  Pleuwigner !

pluvigner

And so it goes our Sunday now home getting ready for that special barbecue cook out and some cold beers or wine depend on the mood was ready to eat, my boys take cares of the grill and I put the drinks. Life goes on, we do not even want to mention but I must that today is Mother’s Day in France as well. Unfortunately we do not have one now, they are at sea ,and I believe their spirit is guarding us and helping us as we go along in life. Happy Mother’s Day for those celebrating.

We come to another blog ends, there are over 2100 for me now a wonderful experience thanks so much to readers like you, and I appreciated very much. Enjoy your Sunday!

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

May 22, 2019

The Ciders of Brittany, II

On a still sunny day in my neck of the woods Vannes and also at Paris, I like to update a previous post I did in my blog on the ciders of Brittany. This is as close as you can come to call it the drink of the Bretons (except maybe beers) and we love it. Of course, I need to add nothing new to me as have been drinking ciders since birth all from Asturias Spain. Later on got into Norman cider , a competitor lol! and lastly as living here in Brittany have taken to the Breton ciders , especial all on their own. Let me tell you a bit more on them.

Well, we do drink beers and have some good ones (see previous posts), and wine (not from present day Brittany) but not really; the original to go alone with the galettes and crêpes is the cider of Brittany. We love it and buy by the case ::)

Let me tell you a bit about them, as they can differed a bit from areas within Brittany, and we drink mostly those in the Morbihan dept 56. You can find out about the Breton ciders here: http://www.lescidresbretons.com/maison-cidricole-de-bretagne_actualite.htm

An organization especialising about those in Finistére dept 29 is here: http://www.cidref.fr/les-cidreries

And to locate a good cider distillery you can look here: http://www.lescidresbretons.com/cartographie/cartographieV2.swf

Now some background onto them:

The designation Appellation Cidre de Bretagne or Cidre Breton is a protected geographical area such as a Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP) since 2000.  According to the Union Nationale Interprofessionnelle Cidricole, the Breton ciders are characterized by a variant color from straw yellow to tainted or woody brown  according to the varietal composition and the terroir (site of cultivation of apples). Now , you can reach when done thru here: http://www.cliaa.com/pagec.php?interpro=62

The variety Guillevic label rouge given since 2000 is done using apples of the Guillevic variety only, pure juice ,not gasified not adulterer and non pasteurized.  It is produce in my area of the Morbihan and it is with a soft acidic flavor and aromas of fresh fruit, flowers, and exotic fruits like pineapples. The body is pale yellow, with green reflects, crystalline with fine persistent bubbles.

The Breton Cider is serve in cups of terracotta shiny smooth call Bolées ,small bowls with handle or without and the form in cylindrical style. You have Cidre doux or sweet with less than 3 degrees alcohol, Cidre Demi-Sec or half dry with alcohol between 3-4 degrees and the Cidre Brut with alcohol of 4 degrees or more usually 5,5 degrees.

The production of fermented apples is known in Brittany since the 8C. In the 12C several varieties of apples from Spain (I started drinking the ciders of Asturias Spain !) were grafted with local varieties to improved their concentration of tannins and the conservation of ciders.  Until the end of the 19C the harvest of apples and the cider production was very loose and the price varies in the same proportions according to the harvest of apples, the offer and the quality. Brittany produces 40% of all cider consumed in France with the biggest producers located in a radius of 60 km around the city of Rennes, representing 84% of the volume in Brittany. Also, in addition, you have about 70 artisans local producers in farms that gives a different twist to this wonderful drink.  The legend has seven large ciders in Brittany, on the terroirs of the Nantais country, the country of Rennes, Redon, the Val-de-Rance, the Goëlo, the Guillevic and Cornouaille. We only build a legend on great stories, and the cider of the 21C is a Breton one.

As to the production and apples we have plenty to tell, to condense here it is.

The first ciders arrive in the market early October coming from the region of Dol (Dol de Bretagne) ; the farmers from the marshes kept this tradition to collect the apples early. It is a cider doux, acidic, very nice to the taste on drinking but needs early drinking. The varieties of apples are the rouget de Dol and rouget blanc, bit apples. It was sold like table apples in England and Germany.

In Ille-et-Vilaine dept 35, was for long the biggest producer of cider apples in France; and the areas of the basins of Rennes and Vitré  still are the region with the biggest production.  The ciders here are generally light, acidic low in alcohol and nice bouquet.  The varieties are the bedan rouge aigre, marguerite and gilet rouge.  Before ,this region exported part of its apples to Germany for apple juice.

Along the valley of the Rance , and around Dinan the cru call  “de Pleudîhen” is more acidic and stronger than that of Rennes.  The varieties are  the Jeanne renard, chevalier jaune, and marie menard.  The land is more granitic, and the arable land less deeper and less rich than on the basin of Rennes given apples less stronger, fruits richer in sugar,and a density on the must higher.  The Valley of the  Rance has always been a rich region of cider apples and exported the ciders to other areas of Brittany such as Léon  and Trégor, where varieties stronger and good conservation are harvest such as the richarde, vallon, and toupie etc.

The more we go west, the more the crus are acidic and less apples to mix with. The region of Vannes is an exception.  Here is the base for the guillevic variety that only use alone a doux, acidic well perfume and average alcoholic. In the south of the Finistére dept 29, in the apple orchards of Quimperlé they mix the acidic varieties in  Clohars-Carnouët, Moëlan-sur-Mer, Pays Bigouden ,and Fouesnant . The crus are known for their strong color and acidic taken from their varietals such as Chuero briz, c’huero ru and kermerrien. In the north of the Finistére , you have it is not much cultivated and import their apples from the east of the Côtes-d’Armor (dept 22) such as  Dinan, Plancoët, and Matignon. The basin of Fougères produces a lot of apples but do not give a cru well done.

Now we try many in the various restaurants we go to or crêperies but the ones we do buy for home and like the best are in Morbihan dept 56:

Distellerie de Gorvello in Sulniac, the Tradition brut, more here: http://www.distilleriedugorvello.fr/

Sulniac

The musée du cidre in Le Hézo but nice cider on the spot produce, more here: http://museeducidre.com/

The Cidrerie du Golfe , at Arradon, more here: http://la-cidrerie.fr/crbst_7.html

Cidrerie Nicol at Surzur, more here: https://www.cidres-nicol.bzh/

Cidrerie des Terroirs at Colpo: more here: https://www.cidreriedesterroirs.fr/

You get the idea , it is drank a lot and especially when a good galette or crêpe do not make the mistake of eating them with wine, beer is an exception, but a cider is a must.

The Tourist office of Brittany has more in English: Ciders of Brittany

Enjoy the Ciders of Brittany , is as local as you can get , get them while they last, traditions are important. Drink in moderation of course, but drink lol!!!

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

May 22, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXXI

And back at you with my regular some news from France posts; thank you for reading and hoping always you can use it and enjoy it. We have summer weather here in France with sunshine and 20C in my neck of the woods Vannes or about 70F; while in Paris we have the same sunshine and 69F. As many friends and family tells me now time to enjoy the beach, oh yeah I still work here lol!!!

And now let me give something to rant about at least me. The landscape changes of Paris will be detrimental to continue holding the No 1 most visited city in the world if the continuing changes do follow up. The latest is again on restrictions.

In 2024, Parisians will be able to cross the Seine river on foot!, from Trocadero to the Eiffel Tower. The surroundings of the monument will be transformed into a huge garden, according to the project “Grand site Eiffel Tower: discovering, approaching, visiting” launched by the city mayor’s office back in January 2018. And the questions are beginning to come in, where are going to drive a car? On both sides of the Pont d’Iéna, at best motorists hesitate to take the project seriously, at worst they are criticize it as “a new anti-car charge of the Mayor of Paris! On the other hand, on the sidewalks of the bridge, looks and cameras pointed at the Eiffel Tower, phones in selfie mode and bus tickets in hands, most passersby rejoice. Normal, it is the visitors of the Eiffel Tower, dumped by tourist buses or by the Parisian Metro!!. One local explained “In this neighborhood the sidewalks are wide enough for people to circulate quietly, there are already many pedestrian facilities, cyclists etc! I myself have been cycling for 10 years, and there are bike paths 3 times wider than car lanes. Traffic becomes very difficult especially for merchants, and for all those who need the car, they should not be forgotten!”.

This is the impressive project unveiled this past  Tuesday in the late afternoon by Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, who will literally disrupt the Trocadero landscape at the école Militaire passing through the Pont d’Iéna to be soon vegetated and very much pedestrian,  and of course the Champ-de-Mars and the Eiffel Tower. Kathryn Gustafson, is the architect whose project was selected this past Tuesday by the tender Commission, among the 4 finalists projects. This American landscaper,  who studied at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Paysage de Versailles ! will draw and rethink 50 ha in the heart of Paris. Place du Trocadéro, no more roundabout around the equestrian statue of Marshal Foch. The cars will circulate in double direction on the outer part. New bleachers in the central open ground on the Parvis will offer both 12 000 seats and a view of the tower. The Parvis des Droits de l’Homme ( human rights square)  remains unchanged, but below, again, the gardens of Chaillot will be transformed by bleachers that will stretch all along the basin and water games. A set of kiosks and harmonized booths will offer souvenirs, treats and information. The place de Varsovie ( Warsaw) will be totally reserved for pedestrians. The Pont d’Iéna will be, between 2021 and 2023, totally wooded and planted with lawns. Only public transport and emergency vehicles will pass through the existing lanes instead of the current sidewalks. Quai Branly, in the direction of Bir-Hakeim, the cars will be relegated to the tunnel. On the surface, a track at 20 km/h will allow the passage of cars in the opposite direction. Another one will be reserved for buses. Objective: to facilitate the crossing by pedestrians from the quay to the Eiffel Tower. The place Joffre will also have to be reviewed. To this is added a continuous walk to Bir-Hakeim, creations of luggage storage, requalification of the kiosks, highlighting of the site… All this is planned, in a first phase, for the 2024 Olympics. At the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, visitors will be able to discover them and project themselves in the 4 pedestrian projects that have been proposed. Two virtual reality helmets will be made available. Info: 21 Boulevard Morland 4éme. Free exhibition, from Tuesday to Sunday from 11h to 19h. Guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays at 17h. More info on Paris mayor’s office in French here : https://www.paris.fr/actualites/un-appel-a-projets-pour-reamenager-la-tour-eiffel-5397

Until 2 September 2019, the children’s Gallery of the Centre Pompidou proposes to learn about the practices of prehistory in contemporary fashion.  It welcome children with animators and guides. From 4 years old. Centre Pompidou 4éme, Children’s Gallery, open from 11h  to 19h daily except Tuesday. Accessible with the entrance ticket, in connection with the exhibition “Prehistory, a modern enigma”. Rates: 11-14€.  More info here : https://www.centrepompidou.fr/en/Visit/Exploring-as-a-family

It is a large-scale restoration that has just begun at the Church of St. Louis de lÏle 4éme). The work in this church is expected to be completed in spring 2022. Know that worship and concerts continue to be assured. The restoration of the Spire, a steeple in stone of 18C, is one of the main points of the construction site which includes the renovation of facades and stained glass windows.  More on the Church here: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71200/Eglise-Saint-Louis-en-l-Ile

Marnes-la-Coquette is decidedly a separate town. The least populated town of the Hauts-de-Seine (dept 92) attracted the greatest. In the early 1950’s, Jean Marais (famous French actor, director, writer, painter, sculptor, Potter and stunt man.) built a house on one level, where he lived from 1954 to 1971. Today, this house is for sale for 4.95 M €. At the time when Jean Marais bought the land, there was already a 19C hunting lodge Pavilion that has been renovated into a pool house. There is also a beautiful vegetable garden with cultivated greenhouses and vines of the 19C. The hero of the cloak and dagger films, Peau d’âne and Fantômas, also welcomed Jean Cocteau (Famous French poet, graphic designer, draughtsman, playwright and filmmaker). in his walls.   However, my passing to work by this town made me stop for the most important element here, the Memorial de l’Escadrille Lafayette (monument erected in memory of the volunteer American aviators engaged in WWI).More info on them here: https://www.marnes-la-coquette.fr/la-decouverte-de-notre-village/visites-et-promenades/le-memorial-de-lescadrille-la-fayette/

It is an exceptional heritage site but still little known. Built near Crépy-en-Valois in the 14C, the Donjon de Vez (Dungeon)  re-opens this past Monday with many novelties designed to seduce a wider audience. The Dungeon of Vez is the name usually given to the Castle of Vez, a 14C castle located in Vez in the Department of Oise (60). The Dungeon itself was built between 1390 and 1410 by Jean de Vez and probably his brother-in-law Robert of St. Clair, himself having remained  without descendants. It never belonged to Louis D’Orléans or a member of his family, but Jean de Vez was his Chamberlain and evidently appealed to an architect of the Royal or Ducal entourage. The pentagonal plan Dungeon has four livable floors, and its only defensive elements are its machicolations at the edge of the summit terrace. It is located on the edge of a large walled enclosure, partly contemporaneous, in the posterior part, and built on older foundations. In its center, there is a chapel of the same time as the castle and the ruin of the house from the years 1360/1390. In addition, exhibitions of modern and contemporary art are regularly organized such as sculptures, paintings and stained glass. More info here: https://www.donjondevez.com/

Musée des beaux-arts de Dijon or fine arts museum .Installed in this Palace of the Dukes and the States of Burgundy since 1799, the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts sweep a large period, from antiquity to the 19C. Renovated architecture, wider exhibition space (4 200 m2) and scenography more readable to rotate the approximately 130 000 works of the permanent collection. Not to mention the exhibition of the now local  Dijonais Yan Pei-Ming around the emotions. Located at 1, rue Rameau. More info here : https://musees.dijon.fr/exposition-yan-pei-ming-homme-pleure-17-mai-23-septembre

Moutarderie Fallot or Fallot mustard shop .It is one of the emblems of Burgundy, whose seed was historically cultivated in coal clearings. To become acquainted with the making of this condiment, the historical mustard Edmond Fallot proposes, in partnership with the tourist office, workshops of 1h15 to apprehend the manufacture and even realize its own mixture, to flavor according to its tastes. Tuesdays and Sundays, 11h  and 17h. 10€ admission, located at  16, rue de la Chouette .More info here : https://www.fallot.com/en/

The architect Philippe Maidenberg’s project for this hotel in the 2éme arrondissement of Paris, the 123 Sebastopol Hotel, as based on a film script: to succeed in associating in the same place, a Director, Claude Lelouch, a Screenwriter, Danièle Thompson, actors, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Agnès Jaoui, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Elsa Zylberstein and a famous film music composer, Ennio Morricone… In the sixth fl (7 US), the universe is dedicated to Jean-Paul Belmondo, boxing atmosphere, gym, punching-ball; black and white rooms for Claude Lelouch on the fifth floor, blue for Danièle Thomson in the fourth, with a room inspired by La Boum. Improbable ties and moustache for the third floor, framed like paintings, evoking the main character incarnate by Jean-Pierre Bacri in the  Le Goût des autres (taste of others). The rooms on the floor imagined by Elsa Zylberstein evoke the world of dance under the eye of Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes, whose portraits were chosen. When on the floor of Maestro Morricone, a decoration based on music, including a master score reproduced in giant format on the wall. Last cinematic touch: the entrance is done by pacing a red carpet. From 160€ for two, including breakfast . More info here: https://en.astotel.com/hotel/123-sebastopol-en/overview

Are you tired of having to go back to Uber(especial us locals)  because you missed the last subway and the night-time is coming in an hour? That should cheer you up: the Parisian Metro will be open all night from September 2019. For the time being, the test will take place one night a month, for 6 months. We already know the days concerned: Saturday 14 September, Saturday 12 October, Saturday 9 November, Tuesday 31 December, Saturday 11 January, Saturday 8 February and Saturday 7 March. The Metro will operate nonstop from Saturday to 5h30 until midnight Sunday night. But beware; experimentation does not concern all metro lines! Only lines 1, 2, 5, 6, 9 and 14 are affected. The T3 and T2 tram will also be part of the game. And be vigilant on your night trips by Metro, because not all stations will be serviced.  More info check RATP here : https://www.ratp.fr/en/horaires-metro

From 22 May to 15 September, the Petit Palais celebrates Paris. More than 600 work, whether paintings, sculptures, costumes or even furniture, are gathered to honor the city of light during the romantic years. From the fall of Napoleon in 1815 to the revolution of 1848, these years represent a great period of founding the identity of Paris. The direction of the exhibition is made through various neighborhoods and iconic places of Paris, from Notre-Dame to the Latin Quarter and through the Palais-Royal. Very great artists are exhibited at the Petit Palais for this trip in romantic Paris. The works of Delacroix, Girodet, Chassériau, Préault or even Barye and many others are to be found at this exhibition, very Parisian and very complete. Paris Romantique, 1815-1848. Petit Palais ; Avenue Winston Churchill 8éme. More info here : http://www.petitpalais.paris.fr/expositions/paris-romantique-1815-1848

The French Opera was started at the beginning of the reign of king Louis XIV. Stemming from the Court Ballet in vogue under the last Valois and Italian Opera introduced in France by Cardinal Mazarin, it is in the ambiguous relationship between the affirmation of a national ambition and the aspiration to a transalpine model that is created the first Opera Academy in 1669. This exhibition celebrates the 350th anniversary of the first French lyric scene through a course that traces the activity of this institution, from the time of the Sun King to the French revolution.  The exhibition course revolves around 130 pieces, mostly from the collections of the BnF (national library of France) and the national archives. Manuscripts, drawings of costumes and projects of decorations are attached, among other things, to describe the process of impregnation of the Italian culture by the performing arts in France. The national and international influence of this great institution is also at the heart of the exhibition. Start: May 28, 2019 end: September 1, 2019. Bibliothèque-musée de l’Opéra , Palais Garnier, 8 rue Scribe. More info here : https://www.bnf.fr/fr/opera

There you go enjoy my belle France and sublime Paris. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

 

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May 22, 2019

How about those European beers!

Ok lack of imagination for titles on my post well you know me by now… I like to tackle a special subject that can be travel related too. I if reading my blog very much into wines , collector, drinker, and amateur lover of the grapes and my god Bacchus ! Certified connasseur by France and Spain. However, I do indulge in other drinks such as beers.

For a friendly chat or apéro as we call it in France, sort of a happy hour US or after work UK, we tend to dwell into beers for the better and quicker conversation lol! Over the years I have appreciated them more and more and by now in my home we tend to divide the subject depending on the type of food we are going to serve. A barbecue of course it is always beers!  Therefore, let me write something on my favorite beers, as have done in the past with those of Brittany and others in my blog. Other than Breton, like the Duchesse Anne triple as the French do not know beers , sorry!!! we drink Belgians, Irish, or German beers at home and at bars. Of course, while in Spain , we do drink the beers there but only our favorite from Madrid Mahou. Lately, we have been trying Czech beers too lol!!!

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Belgian beers are among the most varied and the most numerous beer collections in the world. They vary from the very popular “pils” to the exclusively Belgian appellations of lambic (spontaneous fermentation), old brunette, red beer or raw beer through the famous Trappists! and other Abbey or seasonal beers.  Since 2016, Belgian beer has been inscribed in the intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO under the title: beer cultivation in Belgium.

The Guild of the Brewers of Bruges saw the day in 1308, that of Liège in 1357 and that of Brussels in 1365. In the 16C, the “Maison de l’Arbre d’Or” (house of the golden tree) on the Grand-Place in Brussels was bought by the Brewers from the upholsterers. Restored in 1638, the Brewers ‘ House was destroyed during the bombing of Brussels by Marshal Villeroy in 1695. Rebuilt between 1698 and 1707, it is embellished in 1749. After the abolition of the corporations, it was sold as a State property in 1793 under the French occupation. A bit of more recent history, in 1934: the monks of Westmalle brew the first triple, yes! In 1954, the House of Brewers on the Grand Place of Brussels becomes a corporatist house. In addition to the Brewers Guild and the Chevalerie du Fourquet, it houses a brewery museum in the basement (yes very nice). In  2007, was the creation of the Belgian family brewers label bringing together the family Breweries of more than 50 years of existence.  In 2008,  InBev merges with the American brewer Anheuser-Busch. Anheuser-Busch InBev is thus created and maintains its position as a world leader.

Authentic Trappist product at the moment, and six are located in Belgium: West-Vleteren, Westmalle (yes!) , Achel, Rochefort, Orval and Chimay (yes!). We know the doubles of the Trappist abbeys, but also the Sint Bernardus Pater, Maredsous (yes!)  and the Witkap Dubbel. The white beers, this type of beer, aged 400 years ago, had disappeared in the  1950’s, but was revived by Pierre Celis in his brewery in Hoegaarden.

Belgium beers webpage on tourism of beers

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Guinness  is a dark Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness at St. James’s Gate, Dublin, Ireland, in 1759. It is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide, brewed in almost 50 countries, and available in over 120.  The acquisition in 1986 of Distillers company, a Scottish group, including the brands of Johnnie Walker, Ballantine’s or Chivas Regal whiskies. Guinness PLC disappeared in 1997, the date of the creation of the company Diageo PLC by merger-acquisition with Grand Metropolitan.

The Guinness is a stout, a black beer topped with white foam, known worldwide for its flavor and its special appearance. Guinness is strongly linked to the history of Ireland; it is one of the symbols at the international level. The brand uses a Celtic harp such as that of Brian Boru or Trinity College as part of its visual identity. This 14C harp model is one of the traditional symbols of Ireland since the reign of Henry VIII in the 16C. Guinness used the harp as a symbol in 1862 and then as a logo deposited in 1876. However, it is reversed compared to that of the national coats of arms.

This beer is a stout, a type of beer of high fermentation from the beers porter that became famous in the 18C in London. It’s almost black brown color (but which is actually deep red; to be seen in the light) comes from the use for its design of highly roasted malts and roasted barley grains. The cream-colored foam layer that caps the beer is the result of a nitrogen addition during the draught . This latter characteristic poses the difficulty of obtaining an identical flavor and texture between the Guinness pressure and those sold in bottles and cans. In 2016, under the pressure of vegans, Guinness modifies its ancestral recipe; it renounces to use the traditional fish-native bladders to filter and lighten its beer and now uses a new filtration process. their beers are now Vegan

The Guinness draught is the flagship variety of the Guinness range; it is also the best-selling beer in Ireland. The extra stout is a separate range within the Guinness range of beers. Stronger, more “corsed”, with more pronounced bitterness, the extra stout is also exported abroad under the name foreign extra stout.

Official Guinness and its beers

Diageo corporate owner of Guinness

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The German beer (we drink most) originates in the high Middle Ages. For centuries, beer has been part of German culture and gastronomy, and the country is studded of Bierpalast (“beer Palace”), Biergarten (“beer garden”), Bierstube (“Brasserie”), Bierkeller (“beer cellar”), Bierhaus (“house beer “) and Bierzelt (” beer tent “) found at the many beer festivals.  In Germany there are a large number of types of beers but the immense success of the pilsener  dominating 70% of the market eclipsing many regional varieties, apart from the export and the Weissbier which occupy about 10% of the internal market.

In 736 in Geisenfeld in Bavaria, there is a mention of a fermented beverage based on barley. In 766, mention was made of the oldest beer delivery from Geisingen to the Abbey of St. Gallen (Switzerland). In 974, the first brewing authorization was given by the Emperor Otto II of the Holy Roman Empire to the Church of Liège (Belgium).

The Thuringian have a document of 1434 (Wirtshausgesetz) written in Weißensee, which states the only ingredients allowed: water, barley, hops. Decrees in Regensburg in 1453 or Landshut in 1493 prohibit any aromatization except that of hops. In 1842 also arrives from Bohemia, the pilsener which was to be immediately successful.

During the recasting of the Biersteuergesetz in 1993, the rules of the former are maintained as a preliminary law of beer and the tax provisions transferred. Now the regulation on the eligible ingredients is no longer valid only for the production of beer in Germany for the German market. Imported beer is not subject to these regulations; and German Brewers can also escape if they produce for export, unless they receive exemptions for special beers. Now the beers still adhering to its principles are classified among the traditional Lebensmittel (“traditional foods”) and protected also by European decree. The Reinheitsgebot (German Beer Purity Law)  is in fact the longest existing law ensuring the food quality of a product for health.

The German beers are legally classified according to their densities: Einfachbiere (“simple beers”) , Schankbiere (“consumer beers” at pressure), Vollbiere (” “complete beers”) , representing more than 90% of the production, Starkbiere (‘ strong beers ‘) or Bockbiere .  To which are added two genres apart: Lückenbiere, all beers banned before 1993 under the classification of the time ; Biermischgetränke, variegated drinks or cocktails based on beer and fruit juice, aroma or energizing. The beers are also classified by type or style so very many!

Centrally and industrialized in the North, breweries are more artisanal and more localized in the South. Only Bavaria contains half of the 1 300 breweries in the country and 4 000 of the 5 000 beer brands produced. The largest concentration of breweries in the world is located next to Bamberg, in the upper Franconia region of Bavaria. The Weihenstephan Abbey founded in 725 holds the oldest brewery still in operation (since 1040).  In 2004 Oettinger dethrone Krombacher (my favorite!) from the top of the biggest breweries

Since 1810, the Oktoberfest has been the largest party in the world for two weeks in Munich. Beer consumption here reaches its peak; there are only doses of one liter. Almost as well known and famous in Germany, the Cannstatter Volksfest in Stuttgart is also a huge festival. The Deutschen Bieres Tag (“German beer day”) is celebrated on April 23rd since 1994 in honor of the famous Reinheitsgebot law.

Popular beers of Germany webpage

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Czech beer has a long and complex history. The first known brewery in the region dates back to 1118. The city of Brno had been recognized for brewing rights as early as the 12C, while the two cities traditionally associated with Czech beer namely Plzeň and České Budějovice, have had a brewery since the 13C. The history of modern beer in the Czech regions (Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia) dates back to the creation of the Pilsner Urquell in 1842 which revolutionized the brewing industry. Previously, Bohemia was famous for its wheat beers, known in Czech under the term “světlé pivo” (light beer), the equivalent of the German “weissbier” or the Belgian “witbier”. Most of the large and medium-sized cities owned at least one brewery. But the largest breweries were in České Budějovice , Plzeň , and Prague. Important breweries were also found in the towns of Rakovník, Žatec  and Třeboň.

The two most famous (and most exported) Czech beer brands are Pilsner Urquell, the first and archetype of Pilsner beers and Budweiser Budvar . Other major brands include Bernard, Gambrinus, Krušovice, Radegast, Starobrno, Staropramen, Velkopopovický Kozel and Svijany. Budweiser beer produced in the Czech Republic (founded in 1795 and having begun exporting to the United States in 1871); American Bud produced in the United States since 1876. A verdict of the European Court of Justice of July 2010 stipulates that Budweiser beer has the exclusive use of the Budweiser brand throughout the European Union. Its a case of the little country devasted by wars vs the big giant marketing and immigration power.

According to the Czech law, beers are divided into the following categories, regardless of their style and colour: Lehké, a light beer that stands at 8 ° Výčepní, a table beer that is between 8 ° and 10 °  Ležák, a classic Lager beer which is between 11 ° and 12.99 ° premium, for beers exceeding the threshold of 13 °. Originally, Pilsner just meant that the beer was breated in Plzeň. By extension, the term now refers to a pale and hoppy Lager beer. The Czech Beer Festival in Prague is the largest beer Festival in the Czech Republic and is held for 17 days each year in May!. It is possible to taste more than 70 different brands of Czech beers. The Pilsner festival is a two-day beer festival held each year in October by the Pilsner Urquell brewery in Plzeň.

Original Czech beers webpage

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And there you, actually the main beer producing and historical countries in the world. We just take a few of their beers for personal and family enjoyment, drink in moderation ,it is all for fun as well as keeping the traditions! However, the beers of Ireland, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic are all very good indeed!!! Hope you can enjoy them too.

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

 

 

 

 

May 21, 2019

The Fest-Noz of Brittany!

Ok so this is a traditional local Breton music sang and dance all over here on all major events. It is part of the Celtic Breton culture and you cannot avoided. I got into it as love all that is historical cultural traditional and it is a lot of fun indeed.  I have been asked to write something about it and I went back to newspaper articles and Fest Noz sites translating them and this is what I came up with. Hope you enjoy and you too be intrique about trying it, I said , its a lot of fun! The Fest-Noz of Brittany or the bal festival of Bretagne!

A Fest-Noz is a Breton word meaning “night party”, as opposed to Fest-Deiz for “day party” , and is a type of revivalist festivity, essentially a ball, invented in the 1950’s in the center of lower Brittany , essentially the Haute-Cornouaille, with the aim of recreating the festive gatherings of the peasant society which punctuated the days of collective works and which disappeared in the 1930’s. During the   1970’s , thanks to the folk movement, in particular the effect Alan Stivell from 1972 onwards, the festoù-Noz are no longer confined to the center of Brittany.

The Fest-Noz is part of the peasant of the old tradition still well alive in the late 1920’s and in some places like Maël Carhaix, Rostrenen, etc until around 1935, to fall into disuse throughout the late 1930’s. These were, on the one hand, the members of the Celtic circles, eager to have fun outside of their scenic obligations, on the other the former still well-valid peasants who animated the first Festoù-Noz new way, a time baptized “Breton balls” in its urban form. They take all the traits of balls: entrance fee, open to all audiences, musicians and singers advertised by display, elevated stage, refreshment bar with red-lemonade and Champagne Breton.

Loeiz Ropars organizes the first competition of Kan Ha Diskan in 1954 in Poullaouen, whose popular success exceeds expectations. In 1955, he organized his first Fest-Noz in a dance hall in Poullaouen, after the second singing competition. This historic evening, marks both the return to tradition and the adaptation to the new conditions of social and economic life . The singers concur in the room, on a separate stage of the dancers, in front of a microphone. These also provide the first recordings of Kan Ha Diskan, made by the first Breton record company Mouez Breiz. The first urban Fest-Noz was held in Quimper in 1958, under the name of Bal Breton. From the beginning of the 1970’s, Alan Stivell, who obtained recognition nationally and internationally, popularised Breton music and dance practiced in Fest-Noz on a large scale. Today, the dancers are looking for the pleasure of dancing in groups to share a privileged moment, all together. In a way, participate in a large-sized Fest-Noz as it often organizes in close proximity to the big cities Breton gets closer to a nightclub outing, see it as a musical trance.

There are hundreds of traditional dances, the most famous of which are: the Gavottes, the L’An Dro, the Hanter-Dro, the Laridé, the Plinn, the Kost ar C’hoat, etc. During a Fest-Noz, it is practice dances in chains or in rounds as everyone stands by hand and arm, couple dances, and dances to figures, such as the Jabadao or the many avant-deux of upper Brittany. The dances of lower-Brittany are most often arranged in two or three dances: thus, for example, the Gavotte-Bal-Jabadao follows characteristic of the lands of the south of the Cornouaille. You must dance the complete sequence with the same partner.

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The music that can be heard in these festivals is three types: a cappella song, Kan Ha Diskan, accompanied singing, or purely instrumental music. Beyond the traditional instruments, there are nowadays groups with a wide variety of tendencies, from rock, jazz like Diwall, Skeduz, and Roll Ma Yar.etc to punk like the Les Ramoneurs de Menhirs , and mixes from all countries. Stringed instruments such as violin, double bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and bass guitar , as well as North African percussion have long been adopted to animate the Festoù-Noz, there are usually several groups that follow each other on stage, sometimes in the dance. A Bagad, a solo musician or a band is also commonly encountered. At the end of Fest-Noz, it is not uncommon for musicians and singers to make together an ox: a few pieces in a more or less improvised way, with a possible participation of musicians present in the audience.

The main webpage for these festivities and event scheduling is the Tamm Kreiz, here: http://www.tamm-kreiz.bzh/

From May 25 2019 in the context of the Festival of Brittany, the organization Emglev Bro Gwened organizes an event of magnitude on that Saturday under the umbrella of the festival FEST TI AR VRO, with groups likeBoullig Ruz, David Pasquet trio, Korriganed, Tam Glaz, and the Celtic Cercle of Vannes will perform.  Festival of Brittany or Fête de la Bretagne

The association that is organising the main events of the Festival of Brittany is the Tiarvro-Bro-Gwened  (in Breton Vannes the capital city of the Morbihan dept 56 is call Gwened) more on them here: Breton traditions association in Vannes Tiarvro Bro Gwened

Different Fest Noz in the Morbihan dept 56:  https://www.fest.fr/agenda/morbihan/fest-noz-et-fest-deiz

the tourist office of the Gulf of Morbihan area on traditional festivities here: https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/accueil/a-faire/agenda/fetes-traditionnelles

UNESCO world heritage info on the Fest Noz in English: UNESCO on the Fest Noz

Ok so this is a traditional local Breton music sang and dance all over here on all major events. It is part of the Celtic Breton culture and you cannot avoided. I got into it as love all that is historical cultural traditional and it is a lot of fun indeed.  I have been asked to write something about it and I went back to newspaper articles and Fest Noz sites translating them and this is what I came up with. Hope you enjoy and you too be intrique about trying it, I said , its a lot of fun! The Fest-Noz of Brittany or the bal festival of Bretagne!

And I hope you do try it , very nice family gathering and fun for all. The Fest Noz of Brittany unique gift to the world of inner France, in the Breton lands!

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

May 19, 2019

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton XXX!

So for a change and keep up with the news in my town, yes do not know why not too many people writes about their town? We seems to go into an ever lasting vacation dream where we are far from home and forget about where we do most of our daily life. Not me, not my family.

We had enjoyed every place we had lived, averaging a home every 5 years or so there has been many, hard to keep up now lol!! But we try at least in FB we can go the page of the town or the school we went to and keep up with the news and many old friends some have not seen in 35 years!!! But we try.

Coming to France (and already French) to live permanently in Aug 2003 took us luckily to lived in some awesome town such as Versailles! But, also some much smaller off the beaten path towns like Pluvigner, where surprise to us we have been already 6 years in the house we are in now  a photo peek ::)

pluvigner

This is backdoor Breton woods, real living à la Française, nothing fancy like the famous tourist towns, and I admit, when in Versailles sometimes it got well uptight when you do your errands surrounded by curious foreigners. Here we get an occassional English or German passing by and we have two English families in town, one still works married to a French lady (Leeds) and the other couple are both English and retired (Sheffield).

Then, we have a kebab resto Star Kebab, which is of Turkish family as the only immigrants in town outside of the beforementioned. And of course, we are Americans, and me of Spanish/Cuban descend! My dear late wife Martine was the Frenchie that got us to love this country a lot to call it our own now. A nice mixture for our world!

So, the latest venture to eat out in town was to one my sons and dear late wife had already been and alwas talk about the gentle owners and very friendly who gives away a sweet call lokum (turkish delights), I finally try it. The Star Kebab(previous owner sold it to his cousin and still open) in pl St Michel walking distance from our house was nice, the service of the couple was as told, the locum was given, and the food very nicely best price and good, kebab or grilled meats, a Middle Eastern variation that in Europe first started in Berlin ,Germany with doner kebab in the 1970’s created by Turkish immigrants. I am told it is on the same ballpark of the Gyros Greek, the Tacos in Mexico, and the Wraps in the USA. Anyway, here was lamb meat with vegetables including tomatoes, and french fries , the bread was Turkish origin and the drink was a Belgian blonde Leffe beer, also Heineken, and Desperados! all for 9.50€ per person nice for Dad!

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The traditions here are firm Celtic-Breton, with lots of Fez Noz or breton festival and Celtic music, the panels and even mayor’s office is translated into Breton and French. On our 14 july celebration for our National Day (old Bastille day) we had Celtic dances, and a badag band singing celtic songs, and of course plenty of galettes, crêpes, and Breton beers!

Next May 31st, June 1st we have a Fez Noz here at the Salle Marie-Josèphe Le Borgne , Rue Maréchal Leclerc. The local groups Les Fréres Mahévas, Rozenn Talec/Yannig Noguet, Triorezed, and War-Sav will perfom.  The organizer page is in FB here: Fez Noz Pluvigner organiser webpage

For the traditional cooking we go to the Créperie le Vorlen where  Jean-Noël Barranger owner (done tour of France in restaurants but native of Meaux as my dear late wife; he sold it new owners) does wonders in the restaurant . Located at the entrance of the ring road, D768  the restaurant is the corner with the rue de la gare and route d’Auray. The recipe of Lili Kerzerho always a la carte with Rost er Forn (wood oven roasted pig portions with bake potatoes and herbs) an institution. The first and third weekends of each month, on site or to take away. We are at home here; more on the resto creperie here:  http://www.creperie-le-vorlen.fr/

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Another favorite is the Crêperie du Château at the Château Rimaison (closed new owners and discontinue the crêperie sadly) almost across the street from the above and directly across our favorite bakery pastry shop now under new owner YD Boulangerie , 9 rue de la Gare. The crêperie is located at 7, route de Landaul the side entrance on D102 facing rue de la Gare . At the Château Rimaison in the middle of palms and nice stones , with a big veranda to really enjoy the pleasure of the moment. Isabelle (the one we have more contact native of Vannes and 5 children! sold the property for over a million euros) and  Yann, her companion in the Crêperie du Château had participated in the contest on the TV French chain TFI of the « L’addition s’il vous plaît » or sort of the note or bill please!

Ok for the bakery Boulangerie YD as above with new owners Yann and Deborah. Yann bake bread until mid-afternoon so guarantee freshness.  Some novelties appeared new with sourdough bread and a relaxing chestnut bread. Soon it will be the apple slipper stuffed with salted butter caramel pastry. The specialty of Deborah,the pastry section is all homemade and only works with local products. This is the case of Plougastel’s eggs or strawberries. No webpage but contact is at Tel. +33 (0)2 97 50 93 08.  Ok update, got the new picture as usually my boys go to get the breads but today I did, the baguettes but here we call them Tradition, or Breizh or Moulé depending on what you want in the wheat!! ,normally what you usually call the regular baguette here is the Moulé baguette. We prefer the breizh style which is Brittany in the Breton language.

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Of course , these are our providers and eat out in town so hightly recommended if passing by and of course welcome chez pedmar10!

We have our friendly hair salon for domestic animals where our boy Rex gets his haircut and nail clipping etc the friencly Tou Beau Tou Propre (closed,but nice here for the memories) at pl Saint Michel in city center Pluvigner. Of course, they have a presentation in FB here: FB page of tou beau tou propre

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If traveling with domestic animals I highly recommend our clinic where we take care of Rex vaccines etc. The Clinique Vétérinaire du Chêne at route de Brandivy off the road D768 (route d’Auray) across from Lidl supermarket. And the friendly dr Carole M is always attentive to our boy Rex! Clinique vétérinaire du chêne

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And for us we do the Pharmacie de la Place at Pl du Marché (now closed and move closer to our house! ) city center and walking distance from us as most. They have a friendly staff and always very pointing on details of the medications especially for my Dad which is on diabetes treatment under control! Pharmacie de la Place, Pluvigner

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We go to other restos in towns such Scampi pizzeria, and Baccatella creperie and also the bakeries in old city center but these are once in a while when the above are more contants. The doctor, eye store, dentist all are in city center walking distance too. The closest big supermarket is a Super U which is at 1,1 km from home or about 0.7 mi which here is walking distance! but we seldom go to it unless to gas up the car. The big hypermarkets at Auray and Vannes wins over. The eye doctor is in Auray 18 km away or about 11 miles. The ones in Vannes are at 24 km or about 15 miles as well as the other main stores like FNAC or Micromania or Carrefour Vannes.

The main roads here are the D768 or D779 with connections to the D16, D101,D102, and on the national highways N165 , N166, and N24. All easily reach from my town whether south to the beaches or north into the in lands of Brittany. Paris is about 471 km or 292 miles or 5 hours with Tolls Or as we do 465 km or about 288 miles or 6h30 traject with no tolls! These tolls or taxes can add up 29,50€ each way!

And Sunday is to relax, use FB the blog, keep up with the family, phone calls, and do some TV with tonight Sully the story of the pilot who landed the plane in the Hudson river between NY and NJ USA! Or the Treasures of Europe with stories on the old Czechoslovakia, Moravia and Bohemia, the Czech Republic is full of landscapes, villages and castles and has nothing to envy other Central European countries. I agree ::)  And me waiting for the promise barbecue from my sons lol!!

Enjoy your Sunday and have a great week ahead, here Mother’s Day is celebrated on May 26 next Sunday it won’t be here ,we lost our mothers. However, happy Mother’s Day in advance to all those celebrating, cherish them they are irreplaceable and awesomely good!

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

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May 18, 2019

Some news from Bretagne, XXVI

Do need to go back to my old series that I have overlook lately as busy at work and home. However, did some series on France. I will like to tell you things of my Brittany and especially as much as possible of my Morbihan dept 56. Again, this is Bretagne or we local (adopted) call it Breizh. And I live in the only department or province or state of France not in the French language! Mor=sea bihan=small so in French would have been Petite Mer or in English Small Sea, but in Breton sounds even better Morbihan!

Ok so I am doing some writings on the towns of Brittany and especially lately on the Morbihan. However, do you know what is going on around this neck of the woods? Well , plenty coming up and I would tell you here ahead of time for your planning pleasures!

Festival Les Indisciplinées. Enter the autumn to the rhythm of music… The “Les Indisciplinées” festival, dedicated to contemporary music, offers an event rich in surprises, discoveries, emotions and conviviality. See you in November 2019 for the 14th edition. http://www.lesindisciplinees.com/

20ème édition of the Marathon, Duo de l’Hermine et Foulées du Golfe.  On Sunday OCtober 29 2019; this one some of my collegues participate and do well.  The Vannes Marathon now has one of the most beautiful running circuits in the world thanks to its route which follows the coastal paths of the Gulf of Morbihan: the most beautiful bay in the world ! Vannes offers running enthusiasts the opportunity to complete the legendary 42.195 km marathon event. Over the years, the Vannes Marathon has become an essential meeting place for all runners in France. Our mythical event confirms its ranking in the top 10 of French marathons! More here: https://www.marathon-vannes.com/

Semi-Marathon Auray Vannes. The big sporting event of the new school year!  Don’t miss the big sporting event of the new school year: the 45th edition of the Auray-Vannes international half-marathon. The start of the half-marathon (21,100 km) will take place at 13h in Auray. The 12th edition of the “10 km d’Arradon” will be launched at 12h15. The arrivals of the races are made on the athletics track of the Kercado stadium in Vannes. More info here:  https://www.aurayvannes.com/

Le Mille Sabords du Crouesty Golfe du Morbihan. See you from 31 to 3 November 2019 for our 35th edition by  Rue du Vice Amiral d’Harcourt – Port Crouesty ,56640 Arzon. The  1st boat show for second-hand boats. At Mille Sabords, you have 1000 and one opportunity to sell or buy your boat. Whether you are a windsurfer or a prestigious sailboat, a fisherman or a speedboat, discover more than 1000 models of all sizes and styles and enjoy the many activities on the theme of the sea. Good for the whole family. Free admission from 9h30 to 19h. More info here:  https://www.lemillesabords.com/

Catagolfe 31st edition. See you at the end of October 2019.  The Gulf of Morbihan, our magnificent playground, is still as magical as ever, combining technical passages, strong wall currents and counter-currents, wind accelerations and island related devents, not to mention the beauty and variety of sites that are available to us in quieter moments. Since the first edition in 1988, in the last century, boats and sailors have evolved and so has the Catagolfe.  We now have a specific class “flying boats”, a DIAM 24 class. While keeping its sporting and competitive side at a high level since the title of French Raid Champion will be awarded in class C1, the Catagolfe will seduce you with its friendly side. The ground team is currently developing the final touch to the festivities program. At Pointe d’Arradon 56610 Arradon next to Vannes, stay tune in webpage for more info here:  http://www.catagolfe.srvannes.fr/arriver-catagolfe

Trophée des multicoques or  Multihull trophy; The event will take place from 28 to 31 August in La Trinité-sur-Mer and is open to the Ultimes, ex Orma, multi 50 ‘, multi 2000, Diam’s 24 and Dragon fly. All will be in Quiberon Bay . At Môle Loïc Caradec 56470 La Trinité Sur Mer. More info here : https://www.tropheedesmulticoques.com/fr/

Festival de la Voile 2019  or Sailboats Festival. Every weekend on August 15th, the “Festival de la Voile” is a great opportunity to celebrate on the water, but also on land. This year will be no exception. And to respect the tradition, once again, ïle-aux-Moines has wrapped itself in multicoloured sails during three beautiful days of intensive regattas. Free of charge. At Le Port 56780 Ïle aux Moines. More info here:  http://anim-voile.com/

Les Fêtes d’Arvor. A large gathering in Vannes dedicated to Breton cultureThe Fêtes d’Arvor, organised by the Festivities Committee, thrills the streets of Vannes on the weekend of 15 August. Shows, exhibitions, bagadoù concerts, fest-noz, parades in costumes… participate in this great gathering dedicated to Breton culture. The highlights of this event are the election of the Queen of Arvor and her dolphins as well as the sumptuous fireworks display on August 15 on the ramparts of Vannes, which closes these three days of celebrations. All over city center/downtown Vannes. More info here:  http://www.fetes-arvor.org/

Festival Interceltique Lorient. A wonderful event indeed. Rendez-vous for the 49th edition from 2 to 11 August 2019 will be the year of Galicia (Spain). The world’s largest meeting of Celtic cultures: a festival of research, creation and encounters, open to the world. Since its creation 49 years ago, the Lorient Interceltic Festival has been promoting intercelticism: a common identity based on the diversity of cultures. Today, it has become one of the largest festivals in the world and every year a country concerned with Celtic culture is invited as a guest of honour. 50,000 artists, 260 events,  shows from tradition to rock and jazz. Ten days and ten nights of culture and celebrations with all the Celtic nations. At Rue Pierre Guergadic 56100 Lorient. More info here:  https://www.festival-interceltique.bzh/

Festival Belle Ile On Air. The only event of contemporary music in Belle Ile en Mer. The Vauban citadel will vibrate to the rhythm of contemporary music. “Belle Ile On Air” is the only island event of contemporary music and is sold out every year since its creation. The festival will celebrate its 12th anniversary in 2019! It takes place in the magical setting of the Bois du Génie in Le Palais, and offers an eclectic programme. Two evenings of concerts and an afternoon of fun activities, always to music.   The objective of this festival is to surprise and introduce artists still little known to the general public, by not limiting itself to any musical style. Rising stars from the French or international scene will be present in Belle-Ile: from Afrobeat to Techno, from Hip Hop to Funk. At Bois du génie 56360 Le Palais (main town on the island). More info here:  https://belleileonair.org/#accueil

Festival “Au pont du rock” The oldest summer festival in Brittany!. See you on August 2 and 3, 2019. It is in the small town of Malestroit (lovely look it up in my blog) that the oldest summer music festival in Brittany takes place every year at the end of July. It is part of the Breton cultural landscape as a major event in musical culture. From the alternative rock wave of the early days, to the rock of today, the Pont du Rock is an independent, open and free spirit mixing great names and young discoveries. More info here: https://www.aupontdu!rock.com/

Grand Pardon de Sainte-Anne d’Auray. The largest religious pilgrimage in Brittany, and one of the top 3 in all of France.  The story of Sainte-Anne d’Auray (see my several posts on it in my blog) began in the 17C, with the apparitions of Saint Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary, and grandmother of Jesus, to Yves Nicolazic, the village’s pious ploughman. At the time, Sainte-Anne d’Auray was a hamlet called Ker Anna, the “village of Anne” in Breton. During an apparition, she asked him to rebuild the chapel dedicated to her in the 6C. The news spread throughout Brittany and pilgrims set off for Sainte-Anne d’Auray, giving birth to the largest pilgrimage in the region. In the 19C, the crowds were so large that the chapel became too small. To remedy this, the basilica was built between 1865 and 1872. Since then, every 26 July, the village has welcomed thousands of pilgrims for the Great Forgiveness: a unifying moment for all Christians and all Bretons, of which Sainte-Anne is the patron Saint. At  Rue de Vannes 56400 Sainte Anne d’Auray. More info here:  http://www.sainteanne-sanctuaire.com/?mode=agenda&id=2478

Les Musicales du Golfe or the Gulf musical festival, from 7/27/2019 to 8/11/2019. 8 concerts in 8 different locations punctuate the 2019 edition. Sarzeau, Vannes, Saint-Avé, Theix, Arzon, Surzur, Baden, Plougoumelen, as well as Vannes Agglo and the Morbihan County Council invite you to this musical celebration. More info herehttps://www.musicalesdugolfe.com/

Festival Jazz en Ville at Vannes The summer event not to be missed! Indeed very nice and great sites all over the city. The Jazz En Ville festival will return from July 22 to 27, 2019, for the 4th consecutive year! During one week, the city of Vannes invites you to free concerts, meetings with musicians, workshops/conferences, activities for audiences of all ages, concerts in the city’s clubs… Access to the animations and concerts is free of charge. At   Jardin de Limur,  56000 Vannes. More info here:  http://www.festivaljazzenville.fr/

Grand Large U-Ship Tour de L’Ïle de Groix, off the city of Lorient, On 7/13/2019 . It is THE friendly regatta from mid-July to mid-July in Lorient: a fishing competition on Saturday morning with aperitif on the magnificent white sandy beach in Groix; the Tour de Groix open to ALL boats, and of course, great moments of conviviality and beautiful encounters during the crew dinner, the awards ceremony and the closing drink.At Lorient maritime terminal to the island. More info here:  http://www.lorientgrandlarge.org/?mode=actualites_grand_large

Detour d’Art, something unique for all lover of history and architecture like me,do this.  Like an open-air museum, the Auray area has 1001 chapels, each one more beautiful than the next! For its 13th edition, Détour d’Art invites visitors to discover this exceptional religious heritage, at the crossroads of Breton art, history and legends! From July to mid-September, the chapels of the Auray area open their doors and exhibit their architectural masterpieces to the general public. Statues, sculptures, paintings: each religious monument contains treasures that bear witness to the religious fervour of Brittany and the know-how of its craftsmen. Chapel from the 13C to the 20C, in Romanesque or Gothic style, from the most modest to the one classified as a Historic Monument… The route runs through the open countryside and small villages such as Brec’h, which reveals the secrets of the Saint-Quirin Chapel, Notre-Dame de la Route and the Chartreuse. As a family, young and old alike will be able to discover the 4 Keys of Time, through a game of puzzles and observation, so that the visits become a huge playground! As for the artists, they will be rocked by the Celtic, Baroque or classical tunes played during the chapels in concerts, or will devote themselves to one of the many artistic workshops Croc’ta Chapelle: drawings, sculptures, pottery…More at the my local area tourist office at 20 rue du Lait, 56400 Auray. More info here:  https://www.detourdart.com/

Escales Photos : Festival du Mor Braz. Escales Photos is the only cultural event that exhibits large format photography on 6 municipalities along the Morbihan coast. we look forward to seeing you for this 7th edition from June 15th to October 31stPresent in Locmariaquer, La Trinité-sur-Mer, Plouharnel, Le Palais, Houat and Hoëdic, Escales Photos tells the story of the history, wealth and particularities of its territory and its inhabitants in the form of photographic reports hung on the walls of the houses. For the past 5 years, from mid-June to the end of October, 20 archival or commissioned photographic reports have been presented in large format. Breton, French and foreign photographers came to look at the realities of this piece of land bordered by the Gulf of Morbihan to the east and the Quiberon peninsula to the west. Every year, a beautiful place is given to photography of the past with subjects steeped in poetic humanism.   Escales Photos opens the doors of Mor Braz  (how Breton call the Big sea ) to you, so have a good trip! Free admission. 56340 Plouharnel. More info here:  http://www.festival-escales-photos.fr/

Salon Littéraire Livr’à Vannes. The 12th edition of Livr’ à Vannes/Levr’e Gwened, will be held in the magnificent site of the Remparts gardens in the heart of the city of Vannes from 14 to 16 June 2019. The first generalist literary fair in Brittany is organised by the City of Vannes in partnership with the five Vannes booksellers, with famous names associated with the history of this fair, sponsored since its inception by Yann Queffelec and Irène Frain. Quality and free of charge are the main features of this major literary event, which offers an exceptional line-up of nearly 150 authors, heads of posters (Marc Lévy, Colum Mc Cann, Katherine Pancol for example in 2017), authors of Breton literature, children’s literature, but also comic strip authors and “Young Adult”, which are becoming more and more numerous. You will have the opportunity to meet the authors, participate in the many round tables and conferences during these three days. Not to be missed is the presentation of the Prix de la Ville de Vannes, the highlight of the exhibition.   So many special moments await visitors to Livr’à Vannes who are real readers, and connoisseurs. Livr’à Vannes also has a real role to play with the Vannes schoolchildren, in connection with the work of the teachers and the four media libraries of the City, with the organisation of a school day during each edition . See you in Vannes in June 2019! At Jardin des remparts 56000 Vannes. More info here:  http://www.livreavannes.fr/

Morbihan Paddle Trophée Ouest France. . Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 June in the Gulf of Morbihan and in the Auray river. The 6th Edition of the Morbihan paddle trophy west-France in the Gulf of Morbihan. Rates: elite 50€, raiders and recreation 40€ and 25€ young (under 15 years). More info here: http://morbihanpaddletrophy.fr/?page_id=235

La Semaine du Golfe du Morbihan . From 5/27/2019 TO 6/2/2019 An international maritime event, a cultural and popular celebration in the magical setting of the Morbihan . Large gathering of traditional boats in the Gulf of Morbihan, every 2 years, on Ascension Day. “Gulf Week” is the major maritime event for crews of classic and traditional yachting. More than a thousand traditional and classic boats divided into coherent and identifiable fleets, which sail every day and vary their calls between ports and anchorages. The result: a “bursting” maritime festival that animates the entire Gulf of Morbihan. It is the particular geography and physical specificities of this  “small sea” with its islands and islets, the narrow gully that separates and protects it from the high seas, the tidal spills, the lapping, the currents and counter-currents that determine and punctuate the entire nautical programme of the event. The Grande Parade, which closes each edition and will turn the great channel into the setting for a grandiose maritime show. This year the guests of honor are: Venetia and Norway.  Main point at Le Port, Vannes. More info here:  https://www.semainedugolfe.com/

Grand Prix du Crouesty. From 6/7/2019 TO 6/10/2019. Organised by the Yacht Club du Crouesty – Arzon, the Grand Prix du Crouesty is the essential sailing competition that closes the Atlantic Trophy and the Brittany Championship every Whitsunday weekend. The races are visible from all the panoramic viewpoints of the Bay of Quiberon. Rue du Vice Amiral d’Harcourt – Port du Crouesty Capitainerie du Crouesty 56640 Arzon. More info here:  https://www.ycca.fr/post/31%C3%A8me-%C3%A9dition-du-grand-prix-du-crouesty

Fête de la Bretagne or Festival of Brittany. Come and experience the Breton spirit from May 17 to 26! 2019. Driven by the pleasure of gathering, celebrating and discovering the region and its talents, the Fête de la Bretagne is a unique family event that brings together several hundred thousand people each year, from Brittany, France and around the world. Through an eclectic but accessible programme, these 10 days of celebration offer you a concentration of Breton singularities, around creation, sharing and above all conviviality. And in order to be open to as many people as possible, many of the programming events are free. Around Vannes; more info here: https://www.fetedelabretagne.bzh/

L’art dans les chapelles or the Art of the Chapels.  Like a painting by a master placed in the heart of the Pontivy area, “L’art dans les chapelles” presents works by twenty contemporary artists every summer in outstanding religious buildings. The theme for this, the 25th year, is art and sharing. From 8 July to 18 September, twenty contemporary artists are exhibiting their works in 15-16C chapels in Pontivy. With its combination of protected countryside and cultural heritage, “L’Art dans les Chapelles” is a hymn to contemporary creation. At each halt, a guide welcomes visitors and tells them the story of the chapels and the works. At 6 quai Plessis 56300 Pontivy. More info here:  http://www.artchapelles.com/accueil_/466-0-0

Des peintres entre terre et mer – Du Faouët à Concarneau  or of painters between sea and land from Faouët to Concarneau. Up To 10/6/2019. The diversity of Brittany, a land of inspiration for many artists in the 19-20C, is still unknown to this day by many of us. Through this exhibition, you will discover the interest shown by some painters both inland and along the coast. The proposed trip from Faouët to Concarneau will be marked by several stops passing through Scaër and Rosporden, or Bannalec and Pont-Aven, but also through Quimperlé before going along the south coast and reaching the city of Ville-Close (Concarneau).  The exhibition will highlight the artists’ artistic and ethnographic view of these people of the sea and land and their world through the seascapes and rural landscapes, as well as the scenes of collective life, animated on festive and market days, or the more intimate scenes of life in the marine and peasant interiors, not to mention the work of their daily lives. Bringing together numerous works from public and private collections, this presentation will also include several paintings from the Faouët Museum’s permanent collection and will be accompanied by a richly documented and illustrated catalogue. 1 rue de Quimper Musée 56320 Le Faouët. More info here:  http://www.museedufaouet.fr/pages/actu/actualite-l-exposition-du-moment-152.html

Expositions du printemps au Domaine de Kerguéhennec.  (see my previous post on the domaine)Or Spring expositions at the Domaine de Kerguéhennec up to 6/2/2019.  The artistic programme of the Domaine de Kerguéhennec focuses on the dialogue between art, architecture and landscape. The link between heritage and creation is at the heart of the cultural project. The artistic and cultural programme takes into account the variety of exhibition spaces and invites visitors to move around the different areas of the estate: the open space of the former stables, ideal for the display of monumental works and installations; the enclosed and intimate space of the sheepfold, for the Tal Coat collection; the quality of the volumes and light of the rooms on the first floor of the château, which encourages visitors to stroll and discover painting. The Domaine offers, simultaneously, two or three exhibitions of contemporary art, monographic and thematic. Two housing workshops are available for artists in residence. Six artists are welcomed each year. The works produced in this context are then presented at the Domaine or in other venues in the department. 56500 Bignan. More info here: https://www.kerguehennec.fr/actualite-agenda

And last but not least;  Côtes & Nature. More than 250 free nature outings. Up to 12/31/2019. The Morbihan Department has more than 3,500 hectares of sensitive natural areas, sites that are characterized by remarkable fauna and flora. These are fragile sites, which the Department preserves, studies and maintains. “Coasts & Nature” is the opportunity to come and observe this remarkable natural heritage more closely! More info here: http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/vannes/cotes-nature/tabid/8387/offreid/2ee1c55e-5e55-429e-b03b-755e9e7c658d

There you go folks, now cannot tell me I didn’t told you so! Plenty to do in the countryside of my beautiful Morbihan and lovely Brittany in my belle France, a movable feast on its own! Enjoy them if you can, they are all worth it and recommended by yours truly.

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

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