Archive for May 31st, 2019

May 31, 2019

The coastal beaches of my Morbihan!

So we are waiting for summer but is it already here? We had 23C today or about 74F and sunny, the first traffic jams going towards the coast were felled coming back and the foreign license plates from UK, IRL, and Germany are beginning to be seen quite often. We have a four days weekend due to Ascension Day and today bridge break off day and as usual we did not had anything planned!

We are last minute travelers and usually take our two big vacation periods in August and Christmas/New Year’s time. The rest we just wandered around our areas or an occassional weekend treat. Today I decided to go into unchartered territory sort of. We go by the area but with so much to see we continue to by pass wonderful spots that now I take the time to see ,locally. Here are two gems from the towns of Ploemeur and Larmor Plage in the Morbihan dept 56.

ploemeur

Of course, I have written on these two before , but today will concentrate on the coastal area and its beaches. They can compare with any and are a wonderful spot to soak on the French flair ! Let me tell you a bit more on them.

Ploemeur is a town on the Atlantic coast bordering four cities: Lorient, Larmor-Plage, Guidel and Quéven. It has 17 km of coastline. On this range there are several beaches, without counting several coves. The way to the sea is a 13 km circuit linking the center of Ploemeur to the seaside.

In the hamlet of Kerroc’h , part of Ploemeur, west of the pointe du Talud, there is the Port Blanc-Kerroc’h beach which is mostly frequented by locals. It opens on the port of Kerroc’h, which is rather a mooring area for small boats, historically there were fishermen who practiced coastal fishing and there is a boat ramp very busy. The Port Blanc – Kerroc’h beach is a family beach of fine sand of 100 meters long surrounded by rocks, and of course swimming is not supervised. This beach is equipped with: sanitary, drinking water point, showers, and telephone booth. I must add and you can see by the photos that it is very nice cosy beach and very nice for families, with plenty of eating facilities up the street. There is, also, a lighthouse pointing towards the Belle ïle en Mer and a Calvary in honor of the fallen fisherman!

ploemeur

ploemeur

ploemeur

ploemeur

 

The nearby Pointe du Talud is located between the beaches of Pérello and Kerroc’h. There is a promenade along the cliffs anchored in the sea. The natural and the diversity of the landscapes constantly moving over the seasons and the weather will amaze you. This advance of land in the sea will make as much the pleasure of walkers as fishermen. This is more secluded and grassy sandy walks along the ocean are always wonderful. The area is loaded with mobile homes both for rentals and all year living as residents. The big thing here is a very nice camping or Camping Pointe du Talud, great for the whole family. More info on the Camping is here: https://www.campingpointedutalud.com/

ploemeur

City of Ploemeur and its beaches

Plages tv site on the Port Blanc Kerroch beach

Local tourist office of Lorient South Brittany on Ploemeur

Larmor-Plage is located on the west bank of the entrance to the harbor of Lorient which marks the confluence of the Blavet and Scorff rivers, it faces the island of Groix and the Atlantic Ocean. The territory of the town extends inside the harbor of Lorient, allowing a view on the peninsula of Gâvres, the Citadel of Port-Louis and Lorient. The coastline is rich and varied, alternating rocky coast, sandy beaches such as port Maria, and Toulhars etc., dune cordon with its marshes at Anse de Kerguelen, and Parc Océanique, the coastal urban area with its ancient and contemporary villas, the village center surrounded by the Notre Dame de Larmor Church and its Tower fortified steeple that responded to the salutation of the naval ships passing through the access channel of the harbor by a flock of bells. Larmor-Plage is a seaside resort, adopted by tourists and local walkers for its beaches, its Marina, its restaurants in the village, on the port, and along the promenade of port Maria, its traditional market on the place du Bourg on Sunday mornings and its promenades with a view on the island of Groix and the harbor of Lorient.

The plage de Toulhars is a family beach lined with a pedestrian promenade. A popular venue for beach volley enthusiasts. Toilets and showers are available, pets are not allowed. The beach is supervised from July 01 to August 31. The beach of Toulhars forms a cove that gives the whole landscape its coherence. In the immediate vicinity of the town, the seafront of Toulhars is the main seaside area of Larmor-Plage, with its pedestrian promenade on both sides of the cove and its row of modest-sized resorts, where some high-rise buildings recently have been pretty much integrated. The two landing-stages, today abandoned by the port users and maintained by the town, serve as a place for walks.

larmor plage

larmor plage

City of Larmor Plage on its beaches

Plages tv site on the Toulhars beach

Local Tourist office of Lorient South Brittany on Larmor Plage

And there you go a nice one two combination for a day or weekend soaking on the nice Breton sunshine and great bounties of the sea on site! Not to mention the nice pure air walks along the ocean, always nice. Hope you enjoy the beaches of Ploemeur and Larmor Plage as we do.

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

 

May 31, 2019

The Circus Maximus of Rome!

So we went off to Italy , well I went off several times mostly on business trips, but with the family we chose Rome. Such an impressive name and a great introduction for them to Italy. There is so much to see , very old stones of very old history nevertheless, a primer from where most began. I have written several posts on Italy and most on Rome in my blog.

However, as usual many have been general in scope and I feel this spot in Rome deserves a bit more description and information on it. I will tell you a bit more on the Circus Maximus or Circo Massimo of Rome or Roma!

The Circo Massimo or Circus Maximus literally “the biggest circus”,  is the largest and oldest racecourse in Rome, considering the importance of its dimensions and the richness of its history compared to the dozen or so circus of Rome, it is often called simply “Circus” by the ancient writers. The largest public building of ancient Rome, it is mainly dedicated to chariot races but it can also be used for other types of show or during triumphal processions, especially from the reign of Trajan. Today, it is located in the rione of Ripa and remains the scene of large gatherings at festivals, concerts, or other major events.

rome

A bit of history I like, just a bit ok

The Roman tradition attributes the foundation of the circus to Tarquin the Elder, in 599 BC, with the first works of arrangement. Its location corresponds to the site where, in the time of Romulus, the rites and the first sacred games, called Consualiaa, which included equestrian races, would have taken place in honor of the god Consus. At the end of the 4C BC appear the first permanent structures but it was not until the end of the 1C BC, with the work undertaken by Julius Caesar and Augustus, for the building to adopt its definitive form of Roman circus.

At the beginning of the 4C, Emperor Constantine I restored the circus magnificently, and prepared a site on the spina for a new obelisk taken from Karnak in Egypt and arrived in Rome in 323. In May 357, the Emperor Constantine II resumes the project of Constantine I to raise a second obelisk on the spina. This second obelisk is a monolith of 33 meters, the largest in Rome, as high as a 10-story building. It was carved out of Syrian Aswan pink granite during the reign of Tuthmosis  IV between 1401 and 1390 BC. It is today known as the Lateran Obelisk, because it was re-erected on the Place Saint-Jean-de-Latran in the 16C.

In 549 took place the last race, under the reign of Ostrogoth king Totila, after which the Circus Maximus  is left abandoned and falls into ruin. During the Middle Ages, the stones and marbles of the terraces and tribunes are gradually re-used in the construction of various palaces and churches. In 1587, the Constantine II obelisk was removed. Broken into three pieces, it is transported and reassembled in 1588 in the Place Saint-Jean-de-Latran. In 1589, the obelisk of Augustus was in turn moved to Piazza del Popolo. After the Renaissance, there is almost nothing left of the vast construction.

Under the Empire, with the construction of the amphitheater of Statilius Taurus and especially that of the Coliseum, the circus is no longer the privileged place for the organization of much of the entertainment that took place under the Republic,  like gladiator fights, hunting shows, and fighting wild beasts. However, this type of show does not disappear completely from the circus; representations continue to be given from time to time.

Today’s and it’s uses of the Circo Massimo!

The grassy valley that today forms the Circus Maximus is used for major events such as concerts, popular gatherings like the celebration of Italy’s victory at the 2006 World Cup with a million people, or giant outdoor cinema sessions.

The Circus Maximus extends in a very elongated plan that ends up occupying virtually the entire valley between the Palatine and the Aventine. In reality, its maximum capacity (in the 4C) was 95,000 to 100,000 spectators (that is 1 / 10th of the population of Imperial Rome).  A bit on the Interior Architecture, just to name the main places such as the  Arena, Spina and Euripus, Obelisks, Bleachers and Pulvinar, and Prisons. Outdoor Architecture, you have the Facades, Associated Temples, The Consuls Altar, The Fornix Steriti, and the Arch of Vespasian and Titus.

The ways of getting here are varied. Directions to get here are easy, we took the bus and then walk . However, there is the Metro, line B (stop Circo Massimo). The Tramway line 3 (stop Aventino/Circo Massimo). And the many bus lines passing by such as the  51, 75, 118, 81, 85, 87, 118, 160, 186, 626, 673, 810, and N2 nighttime bus.

Ok so as usual some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Rome on the circus

Quadrata or square Rome webpage on info of the Circus

Cultural site of Rome on the circus

All Italy map of the circus and surroundings in Rome

There you go , now you are all set for a wonderful time in Rome and the Circus Maximus or in Italian Circo Massimo. Hope you have enjoy the brief tour.

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

 

 

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May 31, 2019

Two temples for Rome!!

So I take you now to the Romans oh not the old ones oh well they are still old as in Rome. In our wandering walks we stumbled sometimes into interesting places some not really research but nevertheless very nice architecture which we love much, thank you…;

While in Rome, do as the Romans do is an old cliché I have known since birth, and this we did while in Rome with the family. Doing this we came across the Temple of Victorious Hercules and the  Temple of Portunus! I like to tell you a bit more on them and to see soon more in depth, I hope.

rome

The Temple of Ercole Vincittore ( victorious Hercules) , rises in the square of the Bocca della Verità (mouth of truth) in Rome, not far from the temple of Portuno inside the forum Boario. Due to a mistaken attribution, born during the Renaissance, the temple is sometimes still popularly referred to as the Temple of Vesta; The error is due to its circular shape that makes it similar to the true temple of Vesta located in the Roman Forum. Dating back to 120 B.C., it is the oldest building of preserved marble currently in Rome

The Temple of Ercole Vincittore was later restored under the emperor Tiberius , and owes its preservation, like many other Roman monuments, to the fact that it was transformed into a church in the Middle Ages; it was in fact consecrated in 1132 and dedicated to Saint Stephen of the Carriages, then to be transformed in the 17C in the Church of Santa Maria del Sole (St Mary of the Sun Dedication: Blessed Virgin Mary), because not far from the church, on the edge of the Tiber, was found an image of the Madonna from where a ray of sunshine departed.

A bit on it’s construction

The temple is circular in shape, and is made of marble. Its plant has a diameter of about 15 meters. The original marble used for the opera was Greek. It rises on a foundation with rings of capillaceous blocks in turn on a platform in blocks of tuffa of dark cave, which incorporate the outlet of the deposit of filth. The base has a stepped base, thus lacking the Italian podium. The cylindrical cell, open to the east, is decorated with a high plinth, outer layers and the upper part in imitation of the isonomic masonry. In the floor of the cell opens a Favissa, a deep well in the shape of tholos (round Greek style). The central part is surrounded by twenty 11 meters high flared columns with a base of its own and Corinthian capitals; Eleven columns and nine capitals date back to the restoration of the Tiberian period and are recognizable because in Apanus marble from Luni. Some capitals have lost the upper part.

Tourism of Rome: Tourist office of Rome on Hercules temple

The Temple of  Mainly Fortune or Portunus (Tempio di Portuno) is a Roman temple , one of the best preserved of all Roman temples. Its dedication remains unclear, as ancient sources mention several temples in this area of Rome, without saying enough to make it clear which this is. It was called the Temple of Fortuna Virilis from the Renaissance, and remains better known by this name. If dedicated to Portunus, the god of keys, doors and livestock, and so granaries, it is the main temple dedicated to the god in the city. It is in the Ionic order and located by the ancient Forum Boarium by the Tiber river.

The temple was originally built in the 3-4C BC, but was rebuilt between 120–80 BC. The rectangular building consists of a tetrastyle portico and cella, raised on a high podium reached by a flight of steps, which it retains. It has a pronaos portico of four Ionic columns across and two columns deep. The columns of the portico are free-standing, while the remaining five columns on the long sides and the four columns at the rear are half-columns engaged along the walls of the cella.

If still in use by the 4C BC, the temple would have been closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire. The temple owes its state of preservation to its being converted for use as a Church of Santa Maria in Gradellis  in 872 A.D., and Santa Maria Egiziaca in the 15C (Saint Mary of Egypt).  Its Ionic order has been much admired, drawn and engraved and copied since the 16C.

Tourist office of Rome: Tourist office of Rome on Portunus temple

I have one picture and got both of them, amazing only realise this after back and started looking at them! oh well one shot two monuments enjoy it

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

 

 

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