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 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 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 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.

pluvigner

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 17, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXX

And back at you as the weather turns and France reawakens ,even if a bit cloudy we have a nice 16C  or about 62F in my neck of the woods and Paris has 64F and sunnier! I have to tell you more because France always has more. So my latest favorites of the many are to follow below.

This American of Chinese origin has made many monuments around the world. In 1983, he won the Pritzker Prize, the “Nobel of Architecture”. The architect Leoh Ming Pei, renowned in France for being at the origin of the Louvre pyramid, inaugurated in 1989. He has died at the age of 102 years. He is the son of the American artist, born in China in 1917, who announced the news to the New York Times. Some of his work were the Dallas City Hall, Cleveland’s Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame or the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong. He, also built the East façade of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., more recently, he was also asked by Qatar to designl the Islamic Art Museum in Doha. RIP

Just after the fire of Notre-Dame Cathedral, the amount of donations, fueled in particular by the announcements of the great fortunes and companies of our country, was valued at one billion euros. But for the time being, this astronomical sum is far from being reached. According to our own count (Le Parisien newspaper) of the four collecting agencies selected by the State, 71 million euros have, to date, been casted on the half-billion that was directly promised to them. In detail, the Heritage Foundation is still awaiting the payment of 170 million euros, the Fondation Notre-Dame 300 million euros, the Fondation de France 20 million euros and the Center for National Monuments, 1 million euros.  Firstly because we do not know the budget necessary for the reconstruction, the expertise is coming to begin. Secondly,because most of the donations have not yet materialize.  Agreements will be signed between the Associations and the families Pinault and Arnault, who respectively promised 100 and 200 million euros. Payments will be made as the project progresses, many communities, which have not yet unlocked the promised appropriations, should do so in the coming weeks. Some mayors have still made a backhand retreat facing the sling of administrations preferring to give a boost to the the local buildings threatening ruin. From Le Parisien newspaper . Notre Dame Cathedral webpage here: https://www.notredamedeparis.fr/en/

At the Church of St. Paul and St Louis  4éme, the three large 17C stained glass windows that frame the altar of the Virgin were removed this week., and transported for restoration to the workshops in Tusson (Charente). So, the two large bays on both sides of the statue as well as the oculus of the upper part, protected by a kind of Plexiglas, let pass a white light that will illuminate the choir until September when the stained glass windows will be restored. As the Church has 49 stained glass windows and the donations allow to renovate two to three a year, the whole work will take about fifteen years. The first two were restored in the Choir Chapel in 2018. The Church parish is here: https://www.spsl.fr/contact

175 patronyms will be added on the wall of the names of the 76 000 Jews deported from France. 1 823 names, 1 097 first name and 1 498 dates of birth will also be changed. Fourteen years after its inauguration by President Jacques Chirac and Simone Veil, herself a survivor of Auschwitz, the wall of the names of the 76 000 Jews deported from France (including 11 400 children), erected in the courtyard of the Holocaust Memorial (4éme), will be fully demolished and replaced by a new one, also with stones from Jerusalem . The construction site began at the beginning of the past week and will be completed by January 27  2020 for the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Soviet army in the Auschwitz camp. Formed from the archives of the Gestapo anti-Jewish service recovered in August 1944, the lists of the names of men, women and children sent to the death camps were not free of errors: some for example, could be arrested under false patronyms (alais names of resistance or Frenchized…) .That’s why the spelling of 1 823 names and 1 097 first name is going to be changed. 1 498 dates of birth will be added or modified, and 175 names of deportees found through departmental archives or family intervention will be added. The Memorial of the Shoah  is at 17, rue Geoffroy l’Asnier , 4éme. Open every day, except Saturday, from 10h to 18h, until 22h on Thursdays. Free admission. More info here : http://www.memorialdelashoah.org/en

The elected folks  of the depts Yvelines 78, Hauts-de-Seine 92 ,and Val-d’Oise 95, as well as those of Calvados 14, Eure 27, and Seine-Maritime 76  are determined to put the Seine on the front of the  tourist scene. Of the 350 km separating Le Havre from Paris, there are only twenty-five Seine river stops. The reception and the information to the tourists must be improved thanks to the trails and, why not, local guides. The banks of the Seine must be animated, brought to light as is the case in the Hauts-de-Seine. The river must also become useful again. In Mantes-la-Jolie, the barge of the Boucanier offers an original concept of floating restaurant popular especially in summer ( I attest to that very nice ambiance). In Bennecourt, a little further downstream, a lover of the Seine had the good idea to launch a floating cottage. This water camper can be rented by individuals or promoters.  In Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, the Seine is put forward every year by perpetuating the national pardon of the batellerie, (river boat building, a nice place indeed with a museum) a ceremony that is both commemorative and religious. Not to mention the Guinguettes that return to the taste of the day or the Seine docks made to pedestrians, as has been the case in Sartrouville since the beginning of the May’19. More info on the Fluvial Seine on the magazine Fluvial webpage here: http://www.fluvialnet.com/voies-navigables/bassin-de-la-seine

Info on tourism in the  Seine estuary in French: http://www.bassindelaseine.vnf.fr/tourisme-et-domaine-r316.html

In the evening, come to the castle for a Cine-Bal. The TAM dance company will initially offer a playlist of music films. Then a dozen film-danced sequences will be broadcasted on a giant screen. On the Parvis of the City/Town Hall, farandole of associations this coming Saturday from 14h,  and spring market on Saturday from 10h to 22h, and Sunday from 10h to 18h. At the Castle, night of the museums Saturday from 20h to midnight. Free, more information at tel +33 (0)1.64.73.49.00 and  City of Champs-sur-Marne (77) page here: www.ville-champssurmarne.fr

In it find a pdf file in French with all activities and a map! http://www.ville-champssurmarne.fr/actualite/doc/Champs_Fete2019_programme.pdf

Pierre-Paul Heckly’s collections auctioned this coming weekend by an auctioneer from Fontainebleau, Seine-et-Marne dept 77. Pierre-Paul Heckly was an architect and navigator located in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines dept 78). He died in 2018, and left behind a real Ali Baba Cave. Tens of thousands of objects, fruits of 60 years of discoveries, according to his multiple passions; bronzes, paintings, prints, crystal, silverware, furniture., etc. In the House, not a square cm or inch that does not carry or support a work. Upstairs, erotic drawings, a collection on the theme of marine anchors, an empire bed or the collection of almanacs Vermot (some dating back to the 1920’s). Close to these pieces of choice, drawings of unknown artists and trinkets caught in flea markets or souvenir shops, like this showcase that is brimming with objects on the theme of the scallops, of a perfect bad taste. But also hundreds of boxes of sardines, full and carefully listed. Or dozens of meters of shelves filled with glasses and beer mugs from all over the world. the most striking collection remains that of advertising lighters, it has 28 000 in its collection. The incredible collection of Pierre-Paul Heckly, is on sale Saturday and Sunday May 18-19  at the Auctions House Osenat  located at 9-11, rue Royale,Fontainebleau. Information and registration via the website . https://www.osenat.com/catalogue/96096?npp=150&

Last night, according to reports in the Le Parisien newspaper ,  the final project of the renovation of the Gare du Nord was unveiled. A green roof, sports fields, bicycle parking…Its new face totally amazing!  For the busiest train station in Europe. The work of the big work will  end in 2022, without consequences on the movement of trains. A second stage will begin in March 2023 for the upper floors and the impressive 11 000 m2 park. The ambitious idea of making the Gare du Nord the showcase of the French art of living (mais ouii). The giant rooftop terrace of 7700 m2 originally planned for 11 000 m2, and its lawns and garden.  Also, apart from children’s games, you can find rest areas, different cafés and many benches for a chilling moment. The rooftop terrace will also offer a range of equipment for sportsmen, at affordable prices: Padel (small tennis), basketball courts, as well as a trail of 1 km long and 50 m of elevation where to spend in the open air after a large day. 2000 bike places will be available in the secure parking lot, it will even have the possibility to have it repaired, to drop the equipment in lockers or to take a shower after a long journey. A space of 45 000 m2 will offer many shops, cafés and restaurants but also local shops and a range of surprising services such as a medical practice, a co-working space or a library. The project includes a lounge area with a waiting zone for Thalys travelers as well as a more extensive duty free area for Eurostar travelers. Official Gare du Nord SNCF: https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frpno/paris-gare-du-nord

A simple local guide to the Gare du Nord in French: http://www.gare-du-nord.paris/

From 1960 to 1980, musical currents crossed the channel, transforming Paris and London into multicultural capitals. The “Paris-London exhibition: Music migrations 1962-1989” at the Museum of the History of Immigration  proposes to explore the music that has moved the previous generation. One learns how several generations of immigrants, in these two former colonial powers, have seized the music to make their rights heard, claiming their place in public space and contributing to the transformations from the economic and cultural times of both countries. Shows, performances, concerts, screenings and encounters will enrich this magnificent Expo. You will be transported by pieces of reggae-punk, ska, R&B, Rachid Taha punk, electro-rap, rock Etc. Palais de la Porte Dorée,  Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration,  293, avenue Daumesnil 12éme Paris. More info here:  http://www.histoire-immigration.fr/paris-londres

Now let’s finish with a bang and dance away in the nights of Paris for the young at heart.

It is not a grocery store but a bar located in the 11éme arrondissement. L’Alimentation Générale or L’ali-gé  for the intimate locals. It’s a rather chill atmosphere: you can have a drink with your buddies in the early evening and then sweat until the end of the night to the sound of concerts and DJ sets. At 64, rue Jean-Pierre-Timbaud 11éme Metro Parmentier, Couronnes, or Goncourt.  Open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 19h to 02h, and Fridays and Saturdays from 19h  to 05h!.More info here:  http://alimentation-generale.net/

A real institution in the Belleville neighborhood, the Café Chéri (e) changes at the very end of the weekend. Exit the regulars who come to take their coffee, from 22h to 02h, the DJ’s raise the temperature of this room to the red neon: electro, rock or even jazz, the Café Chéri (e) always makes you happy. 44, Boulevard de la Villette,19éme. Metro Belleville. Open every day from noon to 02h. More info here:   https://www.facebook.com/cafe.cherie/posts/?ref=page_internal

Located a few steps from the Grands Boulevards, the B58 is a bar that wants to mingle culture and fiesta. Expos, stags evenings, the bar has the reputation of being a festive place where you drink well, and not too expensive! The small plus: the B58 can be privatized. At 58, rue richer ,9éme. From Tuesday to Saturday from 18H to 02h . More info here:  http://www.b58-paris.fr/

The party animal that is in you must definitely test the Favela Chic. Known to locals, this tropical-like bar will make you dance until the end of the night! You can even enjoy in the first part of the evening of friendly concerts. At 18, rue du Faubourg-du-Temple ,11éme. Metro République. Open from 19h30 to 02h  from Tuesday to Thursday and until 04h30 on Fridays and Saturdays. A real ambiance assure! More info in their Facebook page here :  https://www.facebook.com/FavelaChicSurofficial/

Located right in the heart of the Villette, this property is completely hybrid. A la folie its a restaurant, bar, guinguette and club, this is the kind of spot where you can spend a whole day. Outside, deckchairs to chilled  and inside a bar quite sympathetic to the colorful and urban décor of Parc de la Villette, 26, Avenue Corentin-Cariou 19éme Metro Corentin Cariou. Open Monday to Thursday from 12h to midnight and until 02h on weekends. More info here: http://alafolie.paris/

You who have a bad image of the neighborhood  of Saint-Michel and its tourist bars(indeed), be attentive and do not miss the Le Cavern Club. Not only because its prices are unbeatable in view of the neighborhood  with 3,50€ cocktails during Happy Hour! (mais ouii), but also because the music is cool. And the little thing in addition: a hidden staircase that leads to a huge vaulted cellar with a second bar. In terms of music, Electro-House enthusiasts should be delighted.  At 21, rue Dauphine, 6éme. Métro Saint-Michel. Open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 18h to 02h, and until 06h on weekends. More info here:. http://www.lecavernclub.com/

And they you go be ready for the end of Spring and Summer in France sublime, this is the best time to be here except maybe October and December.  Enjoy it fully as we do. France is a movable feast!.

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

 

 

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May 16, 2019

An apartment life in Honfleur!

Hi y’all, here I am again to tell you more of wonderful Honfleur, salut ! la vie est belle chez ma belle France! A bit of a story telling and travel tip and anecdote as well for you. Of course, this is in Honfleur, Dept 14 Calvados of the region of Normandy in the country of France! Sort like the city X, county Y, state Z and country U,if you know what I mean!

I am sure as most of us, when first started traveling I chose hotels, very inexpensive ones hehehe! then as time went on and jobs became better I move up to nice luxury hotels and not so luxury ones. Lately, the last 15 years or so, and the family growing we came to taste apartments, gîtes, houses, apart-hotels mostly in France, Spain, Germany, and Italy.

Lately , we have stayed in apartments as was the case on our last trip to Honfleur early May’19. We search the usual popular online places and finally settle on the Le Loft at Honfleur rue des Prés off Rue de la République, walking distances to all in the city.

Their online site I found it is here: Info on the Le Loft at Booking

Honfleur

Honfleur

A bit of a real description as shown in public mediums is this: Le Loft offers pet-friendly accommodation. The accommodation includes a seating area with a flat-screen TV and a DVD player. Also have a dining area and terrace. The kitchen includes an oven, a microwave, a toaster, a kettle and a coffee machine. The private bathroom comes with a shower. The old port of Honfleur is 200 meters from Le Loft.

Honfleur

Honfleur

Honfleur

The booking was done by first email with a 30% deposit up front which is discounted from the total, checks in euros or cash are only accepted. Pets are allowed and we enjoy bringing our 17 mos Rex with us and he love it, well behave and we all had a great time walking around in the city. Final details were handle by telephone text messages. The welcome was puntual by the mother of the owner, and she took us thru the rundown of the property and some suggestions on where to eat and buy groceries always welcome. The apartment has a lockbox key so no need to carry the key around just remember the digicode! Oh check in was 15h or 3pm and check out 11h or 11am , the key then is left at the door to let know the maid time to clean the apartment. All flawless and we sure would rent again from these folks.

See our previous posts on eating and shopping in Honfleur for the places we use this time and even in previous visits. At the end it was another memorable visit to our beloved dear Honfleur and I felt a single post on the accommodation was merité even if seldom do this myself….Oh the owners also handle about 11 properties for rentals in the city so there are other choices all around the same area as Le Loft.

Tourist office of Honfleur on accommodations

So there you have another possibility when visiting Honfleur is to rent an apartment, good deal from the Le Loft. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 14, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXVIIII

Ok so its time for another update on things happening in my belle France. We are still very nice and sunny with temps in 18C! or 66F in my neck of the woods and 64F sunny in Paris. All is looking great the rest of the week! Now for the news:

And why not start right away the post with my latest recipe concoction done at home with the boys !  Blanquette de Veau  or Veal Blanquette recipe: preparation time: 30 min: cooking time: 2 hours.  Ingredients for 6 people :

1 kg of veal (shoulder, collar), in large cubes, 2 carrots peeled, 1 onion peeled and cutup 3 cloves, 1 white  leeks, 1 branch of celery, 1 bouquet garni, Salt brut, 150 g of onions bells (or fresh shallots),200 g of mushrooms of Paris , Juice of 1/2 lemon, 100 g of butter, 60 g of flour, 150 cl of fresh cream, 1 egg yolk, white pepper, sugar, parsley or fresh thyme. You translate the measurements lol!

Step 1: the meat, put the pieces of meat in a casserole. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Keep boiling for 5 min, drain and rinse in cold water.

Step 2: Vegetables; Cut the carrots into sticks. Slit the Leek in the length and wash. Put the bleached pieces of meat back into the cleaned casserole. Add the cutup cloves, onion, carrots, leek, celery, bouquet garni. Cover with water, salt, bring to a boil and skim. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Step 3: onions; peel and wash onions or shallots. Put them in a frying pan and cover half of water or Blanquette broth. Add 20 g of butter, 1 pinch of salt and sugar. Cover and cook over low heat until evaporation.

Step 4: mushrooms; Cut the mushrooms from Paris into quarters. Put them in a small saucepan of Blanquette broth, add 20 g of butter, lemon juice and 1 pinch of salt. Simmer for 15 min. drain and reserve.

Step 5: the white  sauce  In another saucepan, melt 60 g of butter, add the 60 g of flour, stirring vigorously to make a white sauce. Cook for 2 min, stirring with whisk. Withdraw 60 to 80 CL of broth and pour gradually, stirring with whisk. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until a sauce is obtained. Salt, pepper.

Step 6: the finishing; Drain meat and carrots. Put the meat in another casserole. Pour over the sauce and the vegetables. Heat a few minutes on a very gentle heat while stirring. In a bowl, whip the fresh cream and the egg yolk. Pour into the casserole, stirring well. Add a dash of lemon juice. Serve well warm, garnished with parsley or fresh thyme, with white rice. Voilà! Bon appétit!!!

72nd Cannes Film Festival takes hold of the city and the tabloids of the whole world. Film industry professionals, international stars and actors in the making mingle with the crowd eager for surprising images and encounters… The Cannes Film Festival is the place of every attention for a fortnight. Big events or small anecdotes sometimes take on oversized dimensions, some facts even built its legend .Too bad I am probably going to be there in November this year so missed it again. More info here: https://www.festival-cannes.com/en/

And enjoy the French Summer with lots of favorite Festivals over the years coming up, briefly, these are:

The Les Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles, at Arles from July 1 to September 22 2019 ;more info here :  https://www.rencontres-arles.com/en

And at La Rochelle Aux Francofolies  from July 10 to 14 2019 more info here : https://francofolies.fr/

And at the Festival international de piano in La Roque-d’Anthéron, from July 6 to August 18 2019. Concerts start and finish late. More info here :  http://www.festival-piano.com/en

The wonderful local for me The route of rock or La route du rock in Saint-Malo,dept 35 of Brittany . From August 14 to 17 2019. More info here :  http://www.laroutedurock.com/

Finally, another favorite is the Jazz in Marciac festival concert from July 25 to Auguat 15 2019. More info here : http://www.jazzinmarciac.co.uk/

For his new exhibition at the Museum of Hunting and Nature,( Musée de la chasse et de la nature) Théo Mercier ,born in Paris in 1984, composes a strange animal store destined at first to humans, i.e. visitors. But not only, because the artist goes further: he questions the relationships  from the link to the disunity  that exist between the animal and ourselves, through certain objects extracted from the everyday life and their context. For years, it has been an eclectic collection according to his discoveries in flea markets or bazaars. Stripped of any utilitarian function, the elements that compose it are transfigured by the artist’s gaze.  More info here:  https://www.chassenature.org/every-stone-should-cry/

The routes offered through 48 galleries and 15 institutions, places of exchanges that bring together, for three days and in different quarters of the capital, amateurs and professionals of modern and contemporary art: This annual event  proposes to the public to meet, from  May 17 to 19 in  galleries, artists and collectors. But also to better identify, identify and understand the trends of current creation.   The participant are mentioned here: http://parisgalleryweekend.com/galeries/

The Musée de l’Armée or Army museum joined the Fondation Napoléon to renovate the tomb of Napoleon I in the Invalides, as well as those of his brothers buried near the Emperor, under the famous dome. All looking forward in 2021 for a  “Napoleon season”, with exhibitions and concerts, to celebrate the bicentennial of his death, in 1821, in St. Helena. The famous sarcophagus of the Emperor, in red quartzite, is rather well preserved but this is not the case of the soils that support it. The stone, enamel and marble marquetry soils were damaged by time and the stone falls from the dome. Therefore, an appeal for donations has started, because all you see in Paris takes money to keep for you, and you can help too. More info here: . https://fondationnapoleon.org/en/

I can’t believe how popular she is when all she does is denegrade Paris, talking about the Mayor Ana Hidalgo (or Anne for the French, I know her as a native of Cadiz, Spain). The rue Boris-Vian is still looking for a makeover as the family of Boris Vian still threatens to withdraw from the city the authorization to exploit the name of the artist because of the state of the street that bears his name, in the 18éme. This year, the successors of the writer, poet and musician, gathered, in this small path of the neighborhood of Goutte-d’Or, last May 2, the day of St. Boris, to reclaim once again the works of rehabilitation, promised for years. This arcades passage in stairs that crosses the rue de la Goutte-d’Or between the rue de Polonceau and rue Charbonnière should benefit from a complete requalification. In particular the arcades, now masked by unsightly palisades, which serve as a niche for traffics. And, in the worst of luck, a fire, which occurred last February, has finished degrading the premises. Time to take care of the heritage of Paris!

The King of the fairground of Paris was rescued from expulsion by.. King Charles X! This will amaze more than one, and already amused again Marcel Campion whose cleat for two stalls of fairways, place de la Concorde , did not pass very far. He was able to find complete plans dating from 1828, by which King Charles X passed by law the property of the place de la Concorde to the Prevost of Paris… Except the 20 meters ditch between the still existing railing and the wall of the Tuileries garden, on which are installed these two stands. Since 1854, the architect Jacques-Ignace Hittorff has filled these ditches. “I have always known fairstands at this site,” says Marcel Campion. For his part, he has been occupying the stands for over twenty years. And he will make a new request, before the Council of State, for the installation of his Ferris Wheel,(Grande Roue) which was laid on nearly 150 m2, on this same ditch. The city of Paris counter attacks the decision in court. To be continue… But hoping for the court to decide on his favor.

« Visible Invisible », the exhibition of contemporary art which opens its doors this today  May 14th at the Domaine de Trianon, constitutes a gift for the establishment. It is difficult to contradict the five invited artists-Nan Goldin, Dove Allouche, Martin Parr, Eric Poitevin and Viviane Sassen wore an original and quirky look at Versailles.  The exhibition runs  every day from Tuesday to Sunday, from 12h  to 18h30 pm, from May 14th to October 20th at the Domaine du Trianon of the Château de Versailles. More info Information here:  https://www.chateauversailles-spectacles.fr/page/versailles-visible-invisible_a252/1

Since 1995, the Warluis Aviation Museum has been attracting enthusiasts, who have come to admire the Mirage 3, the Fouga, the Magister , Messerschmitt and the Beechcraft C-45. And soon, a seventh plane should be added to the collection, a Mirage F1. To participate in the creation of a new hangar that will house the iron bird from the weather… And perhaps others in the meantime, visitors will soon be able to enjoy an all-new air control tower. It is said to be built like that of Beauvais. The Warluis Aviation Museum is located on Rue des Bruyères,Warluis, dept 60 Oise of the region of Hauts de France. More info here: http://museedelaviation-warluis.com/

Inaugurated for the universal exposition of 1889, the iron lady will celebrate its 130 years on Wednesday, May 15 (tomorrow!) with a spectacle of sound and light.  On May 14, 1889, the Eiffel Tower opened its doors to the public. In honor of its 130th anniversary, the famous monument will be entitled to a festive day on Wednesday, May 15th with a free concert on the square and a new luminous show.   More info here: https://www.toureiffel.paris/fr/actualites/130-ans

At the Marché de Saint-Ouen (fleas market), we celebrate the spring in two different atmospheres thanks, on the one hand, to a first meeting in the showroom of the Marché Dauphine to listen and admire various works of sound and visual proposed in collaboration with the National Center of Plastic Arts, and on the other hand, an exceptional presentation dedicated to artisans of art in the exhibition halls of marché Biron. From Saturday 18 May to Sunday 30 June, 124 rue des Rosiers – Saint-Ouen  More info: http://www.marcheauxpuces-saintouen.com/3.aspx

Dock B is a good place to live hyper animated as we like. Located on the ground floor of the General Stores (Magasins Généraux ), on the edge of the Canal de l’Ourcq in Pantin, Dock B has almost become an indispensable of our daily life. You have to say, you could not dream better than a hybrid space mixing artistic pleasures, playful and gustative. Thus, on 1200 m2, the venue presents a concert hall, exhibition and a restaurant of the size of three. There, I particularly like to quench our thirst at a low price. More info here: http://dockbpantin.com/

In good French, we do not hide our worship for the Baguette. And to celebrate, the marché aux fleurs et aux oiseaux de la Cité invites you to discover the world’s largest bakery, its bakers from Grand Paris and their Canadian guests. From this past Monday, you will be able to attend the national competition of the French tradition ,the baguette. Marché aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux de Cité , place Louis Lépine and Quai de la Corse,4éme, from 9h to 18h30. More info here: Marché aux fleurs et aux oiseaux

Art, music, food, drinks, anyway, the perfect recipe for a successful evening. This is what the La Grand Surface proposes, a new place that rethinks the art gallery version uncompleted . It promises to be super cool. A month of rain fell in 24h last week in the Paris region. Great in May! However, the Sun gives us a shy return, so why not enjoy it? We take you by the hand to take you to the coolest things in the city, and all that without spending a dime. Here we go! La Grande Surface, 24, Boulevard des Italians 9éme; from 18h  to 02h. More info here : http://lagrandesurface.paris/

Paris’écrit (wrote). Take part in the first day dedicated to handwriting, the opportunity to write a sweet word or a letter of love or hatred, everything is possible as long as you write it by hand. More than 200 places participate and 120 writing points are scattered in Paris and 80 writing workshops will be organized . More info on where to find them here : https://quefaire.paris.fr/parisecrit

There you go, the latest from my belle France and Paris the most beautiful city in the world; as others attest as well, 40 million visitors in 2018!!! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

May 13, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXVIIII

Well well its been a while isn’t it; but here I am on my favorite latest of my beloved Spain. Hot and sunny as it should with 82F or about 28C. Spain everything under the sun! and here is more hot stuff for you

González Byass presents Tio Pepe (uncle pepe)  Fino en Rama 2019, a jewel of very limited elaboration that arrives, like every year, in the spring. 67 boots have been chosen for the tenth edition of this Fino en Rama. Guarded by the stillness of the Bodega of Constanza, they are boots that reflect the terroir of Macharnudo and Carrascal, in an intense and elegant way, and that have retained a forceful and thick flower veil giving all the character and style of Tio Pepe, a cultural icon living and legacy of a family of wine founded in 1835. Tio Pepe Fino in Rama 2019 presents a pale gold color opalescent due to the flower in suspension. On the nose it is intense and fragrant with memories of bakery and fresh yeast. For its intensity and sipidity, it is ideal to enjoy with fish, shellfish and vegetables, as well as rices of varied styles. Serve cold in the best cup of fine glass.Oh yeah olé olé et olé!

Ramón Bilbao opens the doors of Mirto Experience, a sensory trip with which to discover the history of the brand through an adventure in time. A tour that will embrace different eras while the visitor discover the rooms of the Espacio Príncipe dressed for the occasion at Calle Principe de Vergara, 9, located in the Barrio of Salamanca, next to the park of Buen Retiro. The visit will include the tasting of several vintages of Mirto, directed by the winery’s wine tourism team. The reason for this celebration is the 20 years that this 2019 meets Mirto.To celebrate it, Bodegas Ramón Bilbao has prepared an exciting tour around the trajectory of this tempranillo, considered one of the most outstanding Riojas of today. Yes indeed RB!

 Jean Leon launches to the market MS-18, the fourth wine of its experimental range elaborated 100% with the autochthonous variety Malvasia of Sitges. After experimenting with the varieties Xarello, Cabernet Franc and Sumoll, the Penedès Winery has now chosen this aromatic Mediterranean white grape to complete its collection of monovarietal wines and create a fresh, intense wine with very good acidity that It reflects the essence of variety. On a limited production of 2,481 bottles, MS-18 represents a tribute to Penedès, the land that gave Jean Leon the opportunity to produce wines with uniqueness, personality and identity. It comes from young vines planted at 145 meters of altitude in a clay and fresh soil, which are harvested by hand and elaborated with delicacy in search of a young and fresh style. Bright yellow, the wine exudes fine aromas of flowers and lychee fruit with an apricot background. In the mouth, it stands out for its round entrance, followed by a balanced acidity and a delicate perfume. The Malvasia of Sitges is a historical variety originating in the south of Greece that reached the Garraf at the beginning of the 14C thanks to a almogavar who fought under the orders of Roger de Flor. His line is also composed of the monovarietal wines X-15 and X-16 (Xarello), CF-15 (Cabernet Franc), SM-16 (Sumoll), and now MS-18 (Malvasia de Sitges). Enjoy it

Yes indeed often overlook by more famous regions but this is the wines I grew up with and they have advance enormously over the years. The wines and vineyards of Aragon with a first place (my opinion)  occupied entirely by Campo de Borja ,Calatayud , and Somontano wines, which are consider as the native country of the great caste of the north-east of Spain-and today of several other parts of the world, the Garnacha.My favorite have been from these bodegas. The region of Campo de Borja, and Bodegas Borsao with the wines of Borsao Crianza Selección (2015), Borsao Berola (2015), Borsao Red Selección, and Borsao Rosé selection (2018). Also, the region of Somontano, and the Bodegas Laus with the wines of  Vino Laus Rosé (2018), Laus Blanco (2018), Laus Crianza (2015), and Laus Reserve (2013). Try them seek different and enjoy the wines of Spain!

The Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities awarded to the Prado Museum crowned a year of celebrations for the Pinacoteca which, for its bicentennial, has organized a hundred acts, has traveled through the Spanish geography and has opened to other arts Like film or dance.  The strong plate, with which the celebrations began, was the exhibition  “Museo del Prado 1819-2019. A place of memory  ” . A chronological journey through the history of the museum with works by Renoir, Manet, Picasso or Pollock, who inaugurated the King Felipe VI  last November. The 2019 temporary exhibitions program includes names like Velázquez and Rembrandt, Goya, Fra Angelico, and Sofonisba Anguisola and Lavinia Fontana, two of the most notable women in Western art history. Since the Royal Museum opened its doors on November 19, 1819, the institution has become one of the main custodians of the Western pictorial memory and the fundamental reference point of the Spanish culture.

A past story but worth mentioning. In 1967, one year after announcing its withdrawal of the scenarios, Jacques Brel attended a presentation in New York of the musical The Man of La Mancha, based on the novel of Cervantes, a blockbuster of Broadway with libretto of Dale Wasserman, music of Mitch Leigh and lscript of  D E Joe Darion premiered in 1965. The Belgian singer-songwriter, who loved Don Quijote because he himself felt Quijote as a Dreamer, Madman, Idealist, Chronicler of up rootedness and heartbreak  was fascinated by the spectacle and immediately asked for the rights to make a French version. Especially enraptured was left by the letter of the El Sueno Imposible or the  Impossible Dream, one of the most known topics of the work: “Soñar, lo imposible soñar / vencer al invicto rival / sufrir el dolor insufrible / morir por un noble ideal” or To dream, the impossible to dream/ to defeat undefeated rival/ to suffer the insufferable pain/ to die by an noble ideal. In the autumn of 1968, the year in which all the dreams seemed possible, Brel returned exceptionally to the scenarios to embody Don Quijote in his particular version of the American musical and that song sounded for the first time in French, translated as the La Quête (The search), which immediately became part of the most popular repertoire of the singer songwriter and also of the Chanson Française (French songs)  in general. L’homme de La Mancha (the man of La Mancha) premiered at the La Monnaie (the Brussels Opera House) and, shortly thereafter, was represented in Paris for five months. Jacques Brel directed the adaptation and signed the translation and arrangements of all subjects. It was one of the last times he could be heard live before his premature death at 49 years for cancer in 1978. Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of his death and the 50th of the premiere of L’Homme de La Mancha in the La Monnaie, four major European theatres (KVS and La Monnaie  of Brussels, Teatro of Liège and Teatro Español in Madrid) joined last year to revive the dream of Brel in a new production that premiered in autumn of 2018 in the KVS and arrives this week in Spanish, where you can see until Saturday May 11th. This is past but worth mentioning because of Brel and Cervantes: the info is here:  https://www.teatroespanol.es/lhomme-de-la-mancha

The lamp that crowned the main hall of the noble floor of Casa Batlló, the building created by Antoni Gaudí between 1904 and 1906 on Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona, appeared after having lost track of it for decades. Located in the center of the space where the family of the textile industrialist Josep Batlló I Casanovas received their visits and celebrated the most important events of the House, the whole world gave it for lost until a few months ago. In the end, the brass structure and the hand-carved glass pieces, one by one, only had to be cleaned and assembled, based on silver wires. This way the parable of this monumental ceiling of 99 centimeters in diameter, about 65 kilos of weight and 68 centimeter of height, plus 12 cm of the central apron was recovered. It is a lamp of imperial style of that was then carried out in the north of France or south of Germany, but we do not know who the designer is. What Gaudí did with her was to boost her snail. I don’t know if you made it to measure, but I guess we can’t say it’s a Gaudí design because we can’t document it. The scaffolding of the façade will be removed on May 23rd, 2019 after renovation of  Casa Batllo.

Things to do in my beloved Madrid ; On Wednesday 15 May, Fiestas de San Isidro. Dress up with your best hats, waistcoats and shawls and go out for a walk around the city. There will be varied concerts (Matadero, Plaza Mayor, Plaza de Oriente, the Las Vistillas park ), the traditional pilgrimage and Verbena of the prairie of San Isidro, dance, cooking and popular stew, children’s activities, fireworks shows, guided urban tours, Tropical festivals and generalized festive atmosphere. Where: several spaces. More information:  https://sanisidro.madrid.es/

Saturday 18 May; Van Van Market and Lost & Found Market. It takes time first in Barcelona and finally arrives to Madrid one of the gastronomic markets of reference. The Van Van Market offers handcrafted products, author food trucks, pop-up kitchens and various parallel activities. Next to it, the Lost & Found is also celebrated, devoted to clothing and vintage products. Where: Conde Duque. More information : https://www.condeduquemadrid.es/

And the concept Van Van Market here:  https://www.vanvanmarket.com/es/

And the Lost & Found here: http://lostfoundmarket.com/madrid/

Sunday 19 May; Friends Fest. It is an immutable law: if you catch a chapter of the Friends TV series half-started, you will inevitably be stuck to it. The Friends addicts have an appointment with a festival that allows you to visit Monica’s apartment, have a coffee at the legendary Perk Center or go out for a recreation of the show’s presentation. There is no lack of merchandising in the series at an event that will be closed on Sunday 19. Where: IFEMA ;how to get there here: http://www.ifema.es/Institucional_06/informacion_general/situacion_y_accesos/mapa/index.htm

More information on the Friends Fest here:  https://friendsfest.comedycentral.es/

Super Summer is getting here and we love it. Hope you plan to enjoy it too. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

May 5, 2019

Riec sur Belon and the oysters!

When you go to the culinary spots of gastronomic France you might have heard the word Belon..if you are into seafood..if you are especially into oysters! Well the Belon flat oyster that conquered the world was from here, the original. After much desease dissimanated the ponds ,again a group of ostriculture folks came back in the 1980’s to start all over again, and they are here!!!

The area is large for oysters here but for the flat oyster it is at Riec Sur Belon. A quiet town but a much better port, because it is by the Port du Belon where you find the growers. Therefore, have to tell past on the teaching on the history, texture and goodness of this oyster only in Brittany to the World!!

riec sur belon

French oyster farming is generally based on two types of oysters, including flat oysters (Belon oysters) and hollow oysters. Belon oysters are considered one of the rarest of all oysters. Consumed very long ago (since antiquity) by the Gallo-Romans, the flat oyster or Belon oyster is of European origin. Its breeding was well known by the Romans who would have imported it exclusively from France. The victim of two Epizootics, those of the 1920’s and 1980’s , she began to regain her production lately thanks to traditional oyster farmers who insisted on their survival for our enjoyment. In addition, the Belon appellation came from a Breton river (Belon) which gave its nomination to flat oysters. Indeed, the Belon oyster is cultivated mainly in Brittany.

riec sur belon

riec sur belon

riec sur belon

The Belon oyster is an oyster with a rounded shape with a firm flesh of white color. In this case, it is sometimes nutted with brown or grey colors. It can be eaten rather raw, rather hot, and is best known for its unique and distinctive hazelnut flavour. Unlike the hollow oyster, it systematically changes sex following each fertilization. The move of the Belon oyster must be done with caution!  Unlike hollow oysters, the flat oysters or Belon oysters rather prefer calm, gentle and deeper waters. As a result, it is favorable to cultivate them in rivers or deep areas, beyond 16 meters, in the absence of any abundant of flora oxygenated by strong currents.  Cultivated most often in a natural mixture of seawater and fresh water, the oyster of Belon allows you to enjoy the taste of hazelnut at length.

Beyond its iodized taste similar to all oysters, the Belon oyster  is particularly distinguished from others thanks to its more consistent flesh and also to its slight harshness. As a result, the Belon oysters are highly appreciated by countless gourmets all over the world. In addition, it is also rich in oligo elements indispensable for the human body, including protein, carbohydrate, lipid, magnesium, etc. That said, to use it, you can use it either on a bed of ice or by accompanying it with a lemon zest. And it helps with a nice cold Muscadet Maine et Sévre sur lie of the Nantais area of old Brittany!

A webpage that tells a bit on the main feature the Belon oyster: Area tourist office of Quimperle terre oceane on the Belon oysters

The oyster aquaculture activity begins in the Belon estuary in the mid-19C by the Lord du Balay installed its first oyster park in 1857, the Solminihac family began this activity in 1864, the Cadoret family in 1872. Several renowned oyster growers are still in activity in Riec-sur-Bélon, including Thaëron House, Château de Bélon (Solminihac family) Anne de Bélon, Noblet establishments (all four in Belon) and Cadoret establishments in the Porte Neuve.

riec sur belon

riec sur belon

I like to offer you some of the main players here and places to eat it on site as we do!

Chateau de Belon

Above webpage of Chateau de Belon where we purchase ours and below the photos

riec sur belon

riec sur belon

Anne de Belon

Resto and farm Chez Jacky

riec sur belon

Thaeron oysters

City of Riec sur Belon on oyster producers

riec sur belon

Of course, since it is my first post on Riec sur Belon, will give you some of the things to do in the town (bourg) and harbor (port).

Riec-sur-Bélon is a town in the Finistère Dept 29 of Brittany and in the old Cornouaille. Belon is the name of a river that the ancients called “Beln “. Its territory is bounded by the Aven river to the west and the Belon river to the east, two small coastal rivers whose valleys partially invaded by the sea form two rias that meet at the southern end of the town at the pointe de Penquernéo. The neighboring towns are Moëlan-sur-Mer in the east that separates the Belon river, Nevez and Pont-Aven to the west, which separates in part the Aven river, Bannalec and the Le Trévouxau in the north, and Baye in the northeast. The town is located at 12 km west of Quimperlé, 17 km east of Concarneau, 27 km west of Lorient and 35 km east of Quimper.

In 1533, Charles de Guer, son and heir of Yvon de Guer ,Lord of the Porte Neuve bought the barony of Riec, distinct from the lordship of the Porte Neuve, to Antoine Montbourcher, Lord of Plessis-Bordage and achanson of Duke François I. At the end of the 19C, Riec took its definitive configuration and became in 1898, Riec-sur-Belon.

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here and you must seafood lover in us!

Tourist office of Brittany on Riec sur Belon

City of Riec sur Belon on heritage

City of Riec sur Belon on the oyster history

A town to be revisited again and again by the coast, the beaches, the oysters!!! Enjoy Riec sur Belon!

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

May 4, 2019

Guidel Plage, the beaches are back!

I went out today to see some of the coastal towns of my lovely Brittany , both in Finistére dept 29 and Morbihan my dept 56. We have come here before but as usual is this land of gems, time is not enough. So we had time and came back for a bit more of its beach ambiance and great food lovely views and discoveries. This is Guidel plage or Guidel Beach but as always here there is also a Guidel simple , the bourg or administrative part.

Guidel is located in the coastal area of the dept 56 of Morbihan,my home. It borders the Atlantic ocean, limited to the west by the Laïta river which marks the border with the Finistère dept 29. All in Brittany, of course!

A seaside resort of the coast of megaliths, its coastline has several sandy beaches. Which are big soft sand and great! It is currently included in the area of Lorient, and is part of Lorient agglomeration. With an area of 52.29 km2, it ranks among the largest town of the Morbihan. It is bordered to the west by the Laïta river which marks the boundary with the neighbouring Dept 29 of Finistère and to the south by the Atlantic Ocean. The town of Guidel, (the bourg) which serves as the capital, is the most important settlement. It occupies a central position within the towns limits. To the south, at the mouth of the Laita river, a large secondary settlement was developed, Guidel-Plages (which is heavens) . To the north, the village of Locmaria, constitutes a secondary agglomeration. The town of Guidel is located at about 10 km west of Lorient and   10 km south of Quimperlé. It is about 40 km (25 mi)from my house!

The maritime façade of Guidel stretches 4 km long from the mouth of the Laita river to the Fort du Loc’h. The coastline consists of long beaches: the beach of the Bas Pouldu or Guidel-Plages, located at the mouth of the Laita river are great! ; the Fort du Loc’h beach, and the Fort Bloqué beach. These beaches are separated by rocky areas with low cliffs. The beaches of Guidel are a surfing spot. They are among the ten most favorable sites for the practice of this sport in Brittany.

Plages TV on the Beaches of Guidel

Surfing forecast at Guidel

Great for boaters too , a nice marina, more info here: Ports of Lorient country, on the marina of Guidel

guidel plage

The town   of Guidel has a multitude of monuments, such as the tumulus of Kerméné, the Fort du Loc’h, as well as remnants of WWII bunkers. It has several other tumulus, dolmen and menhirs. The Chapel of Saint-Mathieu , located in the district of Saint-Mathieu and whose characters and phylactery of the outer wall of the south transept are protected relics here. The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul ; 19C; partially rebuilt after WWII. The Chapel of the Madeleine: the present Chapel dates from 1883, but on the site of an ancient chapel dating from the 18C of which only the small steeple was preserved, having probably replaced an older Chapel, reserved for lepers. The chapels bearing the name “La Madeleine ” are for this reason built away from the agglomerations. The Chapel has statues of St. Anne, St. Herbot and St. Magdalene, as well as a painting; Mary Magdalene in front of the Lord’s feet. It has as well several other Chapels. Some info below

The city of Guidel on its heritage

Tourist office of Lorient south Brittany on Guidel heritage

The beach is it here, and oh so nice, in good weather they can compete with any anywhere and I have been to some. This are wide extensive sandy, protected bay, and pretty sand dunes all around you not to mention the wonderful restaurants and bars lively daytime and nightime!  We have settle on one Le Roof.  Brasserie Le Roof invites you to a relaxing and refreshing break. On the large terrace, with breathtaking views of the sea and in the shade of the immense maritime pines propose, noon and evening, to enjoy in all conviviality and with the feet in the water the indispensable mussels-fries, the speciality of the house, but also grilled sardines, fish and chips , omelettes, cheeseburgers, mixed salads and ice creams.  And a nice Grimbergen brassin de printemps or spring brewing beer ! Open from 9h to 24h, seven days a week. A very pleasant place already couple times here all wonderful. More in their Facebook page here: Facebook page of Le Roof of Guidel plage

guidel plage

guidel plage

guidel plage

And of course ice creams galore at La Caramella kiosk right on the beach!

guidel plage

The Guidel are nice and surrounded by gigantic sandy beaches, Guidel Plage welcomes you for a relaxing seaside retreat. For a refreshing swim, you will be spoilt for choice between the beach of the Pouldu (best), that of the Falaise, that of the Loc’h or that of Fort-Bloqué. Thanks to the beach clubs, you can try all sorts of nautical activities from windsurfing to kayaking. A wide range of sports is at your disposal. Do not miss to visit the mouth of the Laita, this coastal Bay stretches between the Marina and the bridge of Saint-Maurice winding along a river of 15 km of litoral with irregular curves. like I said you will be in heavens.

guidel plage

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

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