Archive for May, 2019

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!!

May 3, 2019

King and Queen at Versailles!

So its been a while do not tell you about my beloved Versailles, a city I lived for almost 10 years and had visited upteen times over the years since 1990. My sons went to secondary school and  prep school with the bus network of the city , all great memories. I have been telling my readers there is a lot more than the palace/museum at Versailles, but folks keep asking me of it…. Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on the magnificent bedrooms and adjoining rooms of the Kings and Queens who inhabited it. Oh yes this is Versailles, capital of the dept 78 of Yvelines in the ïle de France region.

Versailles

How about the King’s bedroom , apartment:

The first antichamber or Salon du Grand Couvert (also known at the time of Louis XIV as the room where the king had supper), gave on the cour de Marbre and on the cour de la Reine. Battle scenes with the battle of Arbela , which was hung on the chimney formed the main elements of decor. After the death of Queen Marie-Thérèse and the Dauphine, Marie-Adélaïde de Savoie, the antichamber served for the occasions when the King dined alone in public in the Salon du Grand Couvert. For his occasions, a table with a single chair was erected in front of the chimney. Opposite the chimney was the tribune for the musicians who played at the meal; the tribune was abolished in the 18C.

Versailles

One of the most famous scandals in the history of the reign of Louis XIV knew his epilogue in this room. Primitively, the second antichamber and the Chamber formed part of the Queen’s apartment; However, in 1684, after the death of Marie-Thérèse, the two pieces were attached to the apartment of the King. The second antichamber served as the place where the mistresses waited for their entrance to the King during the little sunrise and the grand sunset. Because of the collection of paintings by the Italian artist, Jacopo Bassano, aka Le Bassan, which were exhibited in this room, the room was nicknamed the antichamber of the Bassans. The famous Noli Me Tangere by Lambert Sustris decorates the chimney in 1701, the second antichamber and the King’s bedroom were merged to create the Grand Salon, the Salon de l’Oeil-de-Boeuf, which became the main antichamber of the King’s new chamber. When Louis XIV settled in the King’s room in 1684, the next room was designated for the King’s salon or the salon where the King dressed. The King’s salon served for seventeen years as the place where the ceremonies of the King’s rise and sunset were held.

Versailles

Bedroom of Louis XIV. This parade room was carried out on the site of the King’s lounge, a room that went back to the time of Louis XIII. During the reign of Louis XIV, it underwent many modifications until its completion in 1701, like that of the construction of the Galerie des Glaces which demanded the abolition of the three windows doors to the west that overlooking the terrace, replaced by three doors of the bottom that were clogged to form an alcove. With the establishment of the King’s room, the room became the physical and ideological center of the castle, the sovereign had dinner at the Petit Couvert . Every day the King’s sunrise and bedtime ceremonies were held, attended by a hundred people including officers of the chamber and wardrobe, courtiers, diplomats, governors, etc

versailles

The top-of-doors counted the portrait of Francisco de Moncada and a Self-portrait by Antoon Van Dyck, a Saint John the Baptist by Caravaggio and Marie Madeleine by Le Guide. The Saint Cécile by Le Domenichino was exposed in the archivolt above the chimney and opposite another work of the painter;   King David playing the harp. Above the canopy bed topped with ostrich feathers and egrets, was the stucco allegory of “France watching over the King’s sleep” carved by Nicolas Coustou, this bas-relief being topped by a trellis hanger crowned by two renowned. The present hangings are not copies of the primitive hangings of the King’s room; Indeed, the brocade was removed from a drawing made for the winter hangout of the Queen’s room. It was only after the beginning of the project that the original drawings of Louis XIV’s hangings were found, due to economy, the weaving was already in motion, the King’s room was restored with the winter draperies of the Queen’s room.

Versailles

Official Chateau de Versailles info on the King’s bedroom

The Queen’s bedroom is a room of the Queen’s large apartment in the Château de Versailles. Although a bedroom, this room of the castle is, like the Grand Chamber of the King, a place of theatrical staging; the Queen’s bedtime, but also public adoptions of the children of France, etc. On either side of the Royal bed, a door gave access to the passages de Versailles, allowing the sovereign to go directly into the rooms of her children. Like the rest of the castle, the French revolution led to the chamber being emptied and, no more, there were not many elements of the chamber as it was decorated under Louis XIV for Marie-Thérèse.

Versailles

Versailles

The room was the main bedroom of the apartment, the one where the Queen was most often. She slept there, often joined by the King. In the morning she received during and after her toilet, which constituted a court moment as regulated by the label as the rise of the King (the label was a set of rules that must be respected by the nobles). This is where the public deliveries took place; 20 children of France were born there.

Versailles

Versailles

The décor retains the memory of the three Queens who occupied the room: the division of the ceiling dates from Marie-Thérèse, wife of Louis XIV, and the paintings and woodwork were made for Marie Leszczynska, wife of Louis XV. All the elements were preserved from the time of Marie-Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI, for which only the furniture and the chimney were delivered new.

Versailles

Official Chateau de Versailles on the Queen’s bedroom

Now there you go Chateau de Versailles by popular demand from close friends and family. These are even more wonderful on site ,hint hint;;;; but they are beautiful anyhow. Enjoy my Versailles,another world, another era, and plenty of loving memories for us.

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

 

May 3, 2019

Menceys and Tenerife!

Ok I will once again deviate a bit from my usual posts to tell you about a personal place of mine. I grew up with the traditions and came to live in Spain, and visited Tenerife as an adolescent only to think for it always. As they tell me, the DNA is strong or blood is thicker than water! La sangre es màs espesa que el agua!

I like to tell you a bit about seldom heard history or misplace in the travels of many. This is my rendition of a special place for all of us Islenhos or islanders of Tenerife from whatever we are now! I will tell you about the square, the basilica, and the statues read on….

The Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias is a large square located in the main center of the Marianne Villa of Candelaria  on the island of Tenerife. It is located next to the Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria (Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria or Notre Dame) ,the patron Saint of the Canary Islands, and is the meeting place for pilgrims and celebrations of the most important festivities of the municipality.

In the place where the square is located, once was the Playa de la Arena beach, the place where the Convent and the old Church of the Virgen de Candelaria were situated. In the center of the beach was the castle of San Pedro, which was built in 1697. This bastion was designed to defend the Church and the Convent of the Virgin of pirate attacks and lootings, the castle was practically destroyed in the storm of November 1826, the same in which the original image of the Virgin of Candelaria was lost. After the start of the construction of the Basilica of Candelaria in 1949 was thought the need to create a wide square that framed the basilica taking advantage of the great natural esplanade of the beach. The foundation works of the square began at the end of 1950. Finally, the Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias is inaugurated on January 31, 1959.

The Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias has two main entrances, the Calle Obispo Pérez Cáceres, which is the pedestrian and commercial street of the town, and the Calle de los Principes which is the vehicular entrance street. One of the attractions of this last street, are a series of mosaics made in volcanic stones, located in a small tunnel  and where the seven Canary Islands are represented next to each other, except Tenerife which is in front of the other islands on the front wall.

The Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria ,and the Royal Convent  are located on the south side of the square, on the east side by the sea, is the sculptural ensemble of the Menceyes of Tenerife, meanwhile in the north wing is the Calle Obispo Perez Cáceres and on the west side is the main artery exit of the square .

On one side of this square are the statues of the nine Menceyes that ruled the nine Menceyatos (pre-Spain kingdoms) of Tenerife. Nowadays they are bronze statues, which replaced other volcanic stone sculptures that were moved to another avenue in the 20C. Specifically, it was August 13 ,1993 when the new figures of the Menceyes were inaugurated, the work of the sculptor José Abad. These statues are very appreciated by all the Canaries, because they represent a very essential part of our culture.

These bronze statues represent the nine Guanches kings (Menceyes in Guanche languages or Spanish Castilian -Reyes), and were the descendants of the Mencey Tinerfe the Great, son of Mencey Sunta, who had his court in the Menceyato of Adeje (one hundred years before the conquest by Spain) and ruled the entire island. Hence the name Tenerife or Tinerfe Anichet the land of Tenerife. These were divided into 9 menceyes or kingdoms as Acaimo: Mencey of Tacoma; Anjona: Mencey de Abona.; Añaterve: Mencey de Güímar (the one of my grandparents, that today is the territory of the modern towns of El Rosario, Candelaria (paternal grandparents were born here), Arafo, Güímar (my maternal grandparensts comes from a village south of here call Pajara),and parts of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and San Cristóbal de La Laguna). Bencomo: Mencey of Taoro.(last King 1496)  Beneharo: Mencey of Anaga. Pelinor: Mencey de Adeje. Pelicar: Mencey de Icode. Romen: Mencey of Daute. Tegueste: Mencey of Tegueste.

Candelaria

Candelaria

One of the statues held in his hand the “ Zanata stone “, in particular the Mencey Romén held it. It is a small rock of elongated form with inscriptions supposedly of Guanche origin ,the original  people of the Canary Islands. Currently, the Zanata stone is held at the  Archaeological Museum of Tenerife, city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Some webpages on the above to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Tenerife on the Plaza in English

Tourist office of Tenerife on the Menceyes -kings

A bit more on our Basilica of Our Lady Virgin of Candelaria . Even thus pictures are not allowed in for good reason.

The Basilica is consecrated to Our Lady  Virgen de la Candelaria (patron Saint of the Canary Islands) whose original image was found in 1390 by two Guanches shepherds. The Basilica of Candelaria was built in the place where the Guanches venerated the Virgin after the conquest; the Cave of Achbinico is situated behind the sanctuary. Today, the Basilica is one of the main Marian shrines and pilgrimages of Spain. Every February 2 (Day of the Virgin of Candelaria) and August 15 (Popular Day of the Virgin of Candelaria chosen by the Bishop) This Basilica welcomes the thousands of pilgrims who arrive at the Villa Mariana, to venerate the Virgin of Candelaria the days of her major feasts.

Candelaria

Basilica Ntra Sra de la Virgen de Candelaria, credit WebTenerife.com

The height that gives it its bell tower of 45 meters makes it a dominant feature on the horizon of the Villa Mariana of Candelaria and its surroundings. The Basilica of the Virgin of Candelaria is one of the greatest examples of neoclassical architecture in Spain. Next to the basilica and attached to it is the Royal Convent of Our Lady of Candelaria, run by the order of the Dominicans, religious order in charge of the sanctuary, in it is the Museum of Sacred Art.

In 1596, King Felipe III declared protector and patron of the Virgin of Candelaria, a position that his successors maintained. The monarch, after ascending to the throne, declared himself patron of the Royal Convent of Our Lady of Candelaria, hence the rank that the sanctuary has since. It is therefore the first Marian shrine in the Canary Islands to receive royalty title from the Spanish monarchy. On January 24, 2011, the temple was elevated to the dignity of Basilica minor  of very good degree by Pope Benedict XVI.

Tourist office of Tenerife on the Basilica

So therefore, go there for more than the beaches, and our mojo, there is more to Tenerife with its history of old and new and its wonderful monuments. Hope you enjoy the post as much as me writing it did. Candelaria, Pajara, Tenerife are with me is in my blood.

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

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