Archive for June, 2019

June 26, 2019

The central Market in St Germain en Laye!

Let me bring you back to my previous beloved Yvelines dept 78 in the ïle de France region. It is a magical region of many castles and monuments attesting to the monarchial powers of France and one major reason folks keep coming to visit us. I was lucky enough to live by there and came to visit this town very often.

I like to tell you a bit more on the market of Saint Germain en Laye. We always love to come here shopping and walking its marble streets and 700 shops! Not to mention , the nice monuments abound. So here is my brief take of something you can spend the whole morning on!  I have to say it is very easy to come here from Paris on the RER A and it leaves you just in front of the castle and around the street from the market.

St Germain en Laye

The place du Marché-Neuf is a square in the city center of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Here was the location of a old market, a new market, replacing the then existing market, which will then be called, in time, the new market yet the locals still refer to it as the old market…..

This square originally located between the rue de Buzot and the forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye was the cemetery of the city, the center of Saint-Germain-en-Laye being then located around the Castle. Until 1763, the hospice, located in the present rue de Poissy, had received permission from King Louis XIV to operate an open-air market hall, located right next to the cemetery of the city. In 1771, a first building, the wheat and flour Hall, was built.

St Germain en Laye

The new market square was created in 1776, on the site of this cemetery that had been transferred due to the extension of the city and for reasons of hygiene, to become the new market place, replacing the old market, the old market, then located at the crossroads corresponding to the intersection of the current Rue au pain, rue de Paris and Rue du Vieux-Marché. Indeed wonderful old streets full of charm, architecture ,and history, and did i said shopping!

St Germain en Lay

At the beginning of the 19C, the houses surrounding the square were built in 1820, and the arcades complemented the ensemble.   In 1911, the building of the post office and telecommunications was built on the site of the wheat and flour market. In 2007, an underground parking lot is arranged manage by Q Park, and then in 2009 water jets fountain came to decorate the place.

The Central Market at place du Marché-Neuf open Tuesdays and Fridays from 8h30 to 13h and Sundays from 8h30 to 13h30. Even if we had a good one in Versailles, we came up the N186 often here to shop as well and take my dear late wife Martine to the local Damart store near the Monoprix. Nice memories forever.

Some webpages to help you come and enjoy shopping in St Germain en Laye are

City of St Germain en Laye on markets

Tourist office of St Germain en Laye on the markets

Tourist office of the Yvelines dept 78 on St Germain en Laye heritage

Blog by merchants of St Germain en Laye on the markets

There you go , now you are all set to come in for a great shopping morning , afternoon sightseeing in St Germain en Laye for a grand day in the Yvelines away from crowded Paris::)

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





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June 25, 2019

Botanical garden of Brussels!

So in my wandering days over most of Europe I came to Brussels. It remain one of my favorite cities and love to come back to it each time. I have come here by plane, train, and auto and never mind, in the city we try the metro and the bus but we walk and walk most of the time.

One of those walks took us to the Jardin Botanique de Bruxelles or Botanical Garden of Brussels.  Well what was there is a garden there but the main thing is the cultural center surrounded with a park with statues and fountains that holds events and it is very livley. I like to tell you a bit more on it ok.

The Jardin Botanique or Botanical Garden of Brussels is located on the territory of  Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, at the corner of Rue Royale and the boulevard du jardin botanique, is a public park located on the site of the former State Botanical Garden in Brussels created in 1826, and whose buildings house a cultural center, the Botanique, known as the “Bota”.   Victor Hugo, during his first stay in Brussels in 1852, wrote: “Brussels has two unique wonders in the world: the Grand Place and the panorama of the Botanical Garden”.


Thus, in 1826, the territories of present-day Belgium, which had been part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands for the past ten years, acquired a beautiful wooded, airy and well-supplied area, to create a complex housing Brussels collections of existing plants. The Royal Horticultural Society of the Netherlands was born. Later under Belgium independence from 1830   was the Royal Horticultural Society of Belgium.

The Orangery consists of a central domed rotunda and two glass side aisles with two columned buildings at the ends. The pattern of the monumental structure corresponds to that frequently used in the 19C. The building and gardens were officially opened with fireworks, a country festival and a banquet at the first exhibition of horticulture products organized by the Royal Horticultural Society of the Netherlands from September 1-3; 1829.

It was at the end of the 19C that the sculpted decoration of the Botanical Garden was commissioned and realized. It is decided to equip the park with a series of sculptures with the aim of both beautifying it and stimulating public art. The ensemble includes 52 sculptures, executed between 1894 and 1898, including various fountains, sculpted groups and figures evoking time, seasons, plants and animals, as well as electric lights.



In October 1938, the decision was made to move the botanical garden. On January 1, 1939, the State took possession of the 93 hectares of the Bouchout estate in the town of Meise, which will now be devoted to botany and where the National Botanical Garden of Belgium, renamed the Botanical Garden of Meise, was established after its transfer to the Flemish Community on 1 January 2014. In April 1940, the plants of the outdoor collection were moved, then it will be the turn of the trees and shrubs, then the large greenhouse raised in Bouchout. In an unrecognisable site, the building is saved from abandonment by the decision of the Ministry of the Wallonie Community to convert it into a cultural center, whose name Le Botanique recalls its former assignment. The last element that graces the upper part of the park, an iris garden was inaugurated in 1995. This park garden is served by the metro station: Botanique on lines 2 and 6.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Brussels on the botanical garden

Gardens of Brussels, the garden Jean Massart

There you go another maybe can say off the beaten path site of Brussels as it is outside the main ring road away from tourist heaven Grand Place. Enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of the Le Bota now.

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



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June 25, 2019

Midi and Geel, Belgium!

Got you! the title is a bit odd even for my creative ungenius but is all I could come up with! As I brag so much about my road warrior pasttime all over Europe, many times I have to encounter folks who think that weird I do not take public transport in France. Well ,if you live in Europe you know that cannot be true.

I have done many many train rides (grand voyager frequent traveler lol! )all over not to mention riding on tramways, buses, metros, and taxis to know and be able to speak about transportation. Of course,not to forget my educational background is aviation ::)

So this is as good an opportunity to tell you about one train trip took several times to our neighboring Belgium. The title should be longer as I started the journey always at Gare du Nord in Paris but have written before on it so will spare you the sermon lol! However, from Paris Nord took Thalys to Midi train station in Brussels and there rented my Avis car rental to reach Geel just outside Anvers or Antwerpen. The places are very familiar by now…. Let me tell you a bit on the trips, briefly!

The train; the Brussels Capital-Region has three main train stations: Brussels-South (Sud), Central (Midi) and North (Nord).  I have walked by the others, but the one used has been always Midi. From Paris Nord station (Gare du Nord) you can take off on the Thalys to Brussels Midi . At Brussels-Midi, the main station of the Brussels agglomeration, Thalys high-speed trains take you comfortably and quickly back to Paris with 23 daily Thalys trains ensuring the connection in just 1h22 without intermediate stops.


Brussels-Midi station, more commonly known as Gare du Midi, located on the territory of the Brussels municipality of Saint-Gilles. This station, which was a terminus when it was inaugurated in 1869, and the second station was inaugurated in 1949, and  covered with a yellow and smooth brick facing and is surmounted by a square clock tower became a station of passage from the junction Nord-Midi in 1952. The station has 22 lanes, including two dedicated exclusively to Eurostar trains. It is located at Avenue Fonsny 47B ,Brussels main entrance and back side is Place Victor Horta, 26 Saint-Gilles side and where I get my car rentals Avis!

Belgium train webpage in French on the Midi

Thalys train webpage in French on Paris Brussels

From there took my glorious rental car to Geel.I guess could be shorter to do Anvers but I book for Brussels because like it better ok!

Geel is a Dutch-speaking city of Belgium located in the Flemish Region in the Province of Antwerp. The central point is the pleasant market (markt)  square, facing the Saint-Amand  Church. With its attractive terraces and easy parking . The oldest part of the city hall dates from the 17C. Not far away, the Sint-Dipna Church marks the place where the saint was buried.

A bit of history on Geel, briefly !

In 1795, the Duchy of Brabant was dissolved and Geel made part of the French department of Deux-Neuves, the precursor of the present province of Antwerp. Geel actively participated in the Belgian Revolution of 1830, resulting in the award of an honorary flag from King Leopold II.  A major occurrence in the history of Geel is the battle of Geel (also referred to as the “Gheel bridghead”) in September 1944, one of the heaviest and bloodiest fights during the liberation of Belgium. Eventually the territory of Geel, and the smaller villages around it, were finally liberated on September 23 1944.

One big event taking place here is the Reggae Festival. The Reggae Festival, one of the larger reggae festivals in Europe, takes place usually early in August just outside the city center. More info in English here:

One nice monument I always like to have my beer looking at it is the Church of St Amand.

The Sint-Amandskerk or St Amand  is the oldest parish church in Geel. It is located near the Markt square in the center of the city.  It is a late Gothic church that was built from 1489-1532. The predecessor burned down in 1489. This was built in Brabant white sandstone. The rebuilding of the church took place in 1490 in brick. A few parts of the sandstone structure remained. The tower has a substructure from around 1400, partly also from 1489, and was raised to 59 meters in the mid-16C. In 1567 most of the works of art in the church were destroyed by the iconoclasm. Only images of Saints Dimpna and Gerebernus were spared, as well as two paintings, including an Adoration of the Three Kings.  The interior of the church, as it is revealed today, dates from the Baroque. It concerns the paneling of the side aisles and the confessionals. In addition, the choir stalls from the end of the 17C, a pulpit from around 1715 , the high altar from 1748. Furthermore, on the pillars the statues of the Apostles and the marble choir enclosure from 1693.  The stained glass windows can be seen in the south facade.

Tourist office of Geel on the Church in Flemish


The market square,(Markt)  facing the St-Amands Church and bordered by attractive café terraces, is the focal point of the city  Stroll through the shopping streets Nieuwstraat, Pas and Stationsstraat and end your shopping with a relaxing terrace on our traffic-free market!  The annual fair takes place from 22 to 26 June. The autumn door is on 2 October and during the weekends of 10, 11, 17 and 18 December you can come for Christmas shopping.  An overview of all stores and events can be found here:

One excellent hotel to stay here and walking just around from the main square with excellent personal service is the Hotel Verlooy.

Hotel Verlooy , at Pas 117,(street address) Geel  . The 12 rooms are luxuriously furnished with comfortable beds, unique light design and spacious bathrooms. Oak parquet floors and the use of natural materials create a comfortable space for body and soul.The rooms take their name from the world of pastry with a nod to the neighboring bakery-pastry Verlooy, renowned in the region. Your morning starts in the best possible way with a crisp breakfast in the veranda, overlooking our winter garden. Possibility to rent bicycles and e-bikes only with prior reservation. Parking, WiFi and minibar in the room are free. Hotel Verlooy is a comfortable base just 200 meters from the main Market (Markt) Square.

Hotel Verlooy webpage


And the overall tourist webpage for Geel is here: Tourist office of Geel in Flemish

There you go a nice train ride which as said can be taken all the way to Anvers but much better the ride from Midi into the side roads of Anvers to reach wonderful picturesque Geel. Hope you enjoy the ride.

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




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June 24, 2019

The districts of Madrid!!!

I like to take very old posts yes going back to 2011 and bring them to life because they not only remind me of my good time in the city of Madrid but I think can be of curiosity and help on those traveling there now. You want to know where you are ok here is my run down on the districts of Madrid. I will try  to tell you a bit about the districts or neighborhoods of Madrid.

My beloved Madrid has 21 districts with names such as Arganzuela, Barajas, Carabanchel, Centro, Chamartín, Chamberí, Ciudad Lineal (mine), Fuencarral-El Pardo, Hortaleza, Latina, Moncloa-Aravaca, Moratalaz, Puente de Vallecas, Retiro, Barrio de Salamanca, San Blas, Tetuán, Usera, Vicálvaro, Villa de Vallecas, and Villaverde.

The visitor should have heard of Barajas as that’s where the airport is located now name the Adolfo Suarez International airport in Barajas.  Then the popular ones are Centro, Chamartin, Chamberi, Fuencarral-El Pardo, Hortaleza, Latina, Moncloa-Aravaca,Retiro, and Salamanca. My old district was/is Ciudad Lineal but no tourist there just working class Spaniards and plenty of local flavors in bars, restos. The real Madrid if you are into culture and traditions.  I will mention them all with highlighted the upper real estate value neighborhoods.

Some recaps for Arganzuela starts by the Puerta de Toledo and in it you find the Vicente Calderon stadium that was for the football/soccer club Atletico de Madrid (now in new stadium the Wanda) . Several suddivisions or barrios here are Acacias,Chopera, Imperial,Delicias, Legazpi, Moguer, and Atocha (the train station is here).

In Barajas, as mentioned you find the international airport for Madrid, you have here the Ermita de la Virgen de la Sociedad a church, and its suddivided into barrios or neighborhoods as Casco Viejo Barajas, Alameda de Osuna, Timon and Corralejos. The other that attaches to it is Valdebebas  where the Real Madrid FC has a training center and farm team site of Real Madrid-Castilla.

Carabanchel, it was once famous for a prison in the Franco dictatorship,now gone. Here you have the Church Ermita del Santo, San Isidro Labrador, the patron Saint of Madrid. The neighborhoods are Vista Alegre (old home at the arean of the Real Madrid basketball team!), Vista Bonita, Abrantes, Opañel, San Isidro, Comillas. In Vista Alegre was the old arena for the Real Madrid basketball team, 8 times European Champion.

Centro, this is where most visitors come as most attractions are in it or around it.  Puerta del Sol,Gran Via are all here, the IN place for the movida as well as Joy Eslava discotheque, Royal Palace, etc all guide books talks about it. The neighborhoods are Palacio,Embajadores,Corte,Justicia, Universidad,and Sol.

Chamartin, this is the other train station of Madrid; as well as the greatest Santiago Bernabeu Stadium home of Real Madrid CF, FIFA club of the 20C,and IFHHS European club of the 20C, 12 times European champions, simply the best!  You have plenty to shop and be merry here, a place that needs further research by visitors. Its like home to me ::) . the neighborhoods are El Viso,Prosperidad,and Ciudad JardinHispanoamericaCastilla ,and Nueva España.

Chamberi, a small neighborhood, and popular with students residencies, has neighborhoods such as Gaztampide, Arapiles, Trafalgar, Almagro,Rios Rosas,and Vallehermoso.

Ciudad Lineal, well this is my district where I lived  for four years in the 70’s and come back to it like a pilgrimage every year.  This was carved out in 1892, and the most prominent feature is the church Nuestra  Señora de la Concepción  ( Our Lady of the Conception).  Neighborhood here are Ventas (the bullfight arena is here),  Pueblo Nuevo, and my old nostalgic place Quintana right on Calle de Alcala Street; another barrio that most associates with the district is that of Arturo Soria, very nice.


Fuencarral-El Pardo; biggest district in part for the Monte del Pardo and Salto de Viñuelas forest parks. This is where the king has his residency. the nice neighborhoods are Barrio del Pilar, El PardoValverde, Peñagrande, la Paz, and Mirasierra amongst others; all very nice neighborhoods.

Hortaleza, with a nice mirador de sanchinaro or lookout tower just outside the M30 ring road. neighborhoods here are , Canillas,and Palomas amongst others.

Latina, this is a very popular district with lots of night action and tapas. From the river Manzanares all the way to the town of Alcorcon, this is a nice chuck of district.  You see the very nice Puente de Segovia or bridge of Segovia over the Manzanares river. Neighborhoods are Aluche (where have some good old friends), Cuatro Vientos, los Carmenes,and Campamento amongst others.

Moncloa-Aravaca, this is the University area, plenty of bars,restos and the Puerta de Hierro ,Casa de Campo and its attraction parks ,Palacio de la Moncloa, neighborhoods are Casa de CampoArgûelles, Ciudad Universitaria, Valdemartin, El Plantio and Aravaca.

Moratalaz, outskirts of the beltways road M30 and M40, out away from attractions. neighborhoods are Marroquina, Pavones, Vinoteros amongst others.

Puente de Vallecas, popular local district home of Rayo Vallecano, 2 division and sometimes  1 div football/soccer club. I used to come a lot by here in my youth. The end of year San Silvestre marathon race is run thru here! Neighborhoods are Numancia, Portavoz, and San Diego amongst others.

Retiro, this is another highly visited district around the Parque del Buen Retiro and the magnificent museums such as Prado! , and the botanical gardens. Neighborhood are PacificoEstrella,Jeronimo, ibiza,and Niño Jesus.

Barrio de Salamanca, the chic and trendy in Madrid along the Paseo de la Castellana and Calle Serrano streets. The place to be and be known in town. Neighborhoods are RecoletosGoya,Fuente del BerroCastellana, and Lista amongst others.

San Blas, residential more and more from an industrial past, coming of a la mode. Neighborhoods are Simancas, Canillejas, Salvador amongst others. In Canillejas  (My aunt used to lived here when it was an electric tram that took us here before the metro lol) you can get the bus to airport 101/200 and other nearby cities like Torrejon de Ardoz and Alcala de Henares all linked with line 5 of metro my old line lol!

Tetuan, the Cuatro Caminos round point and the ave Asturias are very lively here, a must to find in Madrid. See older homes of Madrid by Bravo Murillo street. Neighborhoods are Bellas VistasCuatro Caminos, Castillejos, etc.

Usera, very residential and industrial north of Manzanares river, some neighborhoods are San Fermin, Almendrales, and Moscardo.

Vicalvaro, this is an university district and has the fabolous Faunia park of nature, good for the kids. Neighborhoods are casco historico (old center) and Ambroz .

Villa de Vallecas, very laidback parroquial and country area in southern part of Madrid, nice to see the real city away from tourists. Neighborhoods are Casco Historico(old center)  and Santa Eugenia.

Villaverde, in the south of city was industrial now becoming more residential, some neighborhoods here are Ciudad de los Angeles, San Cristobal,and San Andres. The newer autoroute A42 now passes nearby.

Hope it helps orient yourself next time looking for a rental or visiting the City of Madrid, and remember, “From Madrid to Heaven, and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day” 

One thing never to leave home without it. Tourist office of Madrid in English

And the city of course and its districts: City of Madrid on its districts in Spanish

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

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June 24, 2019

In Auray V&B on the beer run lol!!!

So we had a nice Saturday sunny warm and waiting for the announce canicule of next week; we headed to cool off. No, not the beach this time but getting to our hang out beer place for a nice cold one and pick up some more for the house.

I have written a couple…posts on beers in France and Brittany which unknown to many it is very popular. Especially here in Brittany the beers are more than wines and then we counter the ciders!

One of favorite hangout because it is family oriented and friendly folks whether at the V&B stores in Séné , or Vannes or Auray. Of course, we go more to the store in Auray in the porte Océane 9 rue d’Irlande; next to the expressway N165 and the point of depart for the beaches south.


Oh yes, the stores are the V&B vins et biéres or wine and beers stores. The concept is very nice as they have a package store for take home sales and a bar with TV screen for on the spot pleasures. They stock Breton beers, and French but mostly the popular are the Belgians and Germans. We drink all of course, but again generally we go for the Germans.


Their general webpage is here: V&B official webpage

The Auray store is here on same webpage: V&B store at Auray

From their franchise site I translate at best into their story.  The originality of the concept is design around a strong idea, anoblir the beer and democratise the wine. The DNA is expressed in store by a sale blend into a cellar of wines and beers and spirits, double from a bar space dedicated to the discovery and the tastings.  The concept is reinforced by the after-work or happy hour, this trend that pleases and brings together all generations at the end of the day after work around a drink. The stores close between 20h and 20h30. In this warm atmosphere, an important place is given to choice and advice.  They make sure to maintain conviviality in their stores by offering the customers many activities: themed evenings, sports broadcasts, concerts… V and B, it’s not really a bar and not really a store, it’s a place to live that allows you to discover carefully selected products.


A bit of history I like

V and B was born in 2001 at the opening of the first store in Chateau-Gontier , in the department of the Mayenne 53, in the region of Pays de la Loire, a place where a wine and beer cellar lives, as well as a tasting area. From its first steps, V and B builds an image of conviviality around its worlds produced thanks to this tasting space, now a key element of the store.  The concept thus drawn quickly proved its worth, and developed with the expectations of our customers.

In all, always a pleasant family place to have a cold one, watch some sports and just say cheers to the patrons and owners who are always very friendly and by now know us very well ho ho ho!!!

So if in the area and want some decent normal great place to have a beer or glass of wine or scotch feel free to stop by at Auray and you will be pleasantly welcome ::) Oh yes please know your intake and drink in moderation but drink !

Auray VB terrace jun19

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

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June 23, 2019

Archives of Madrid!

So I take you back to my wonderful beloved Madrid. Another soft spot in my heart and always come back to it, lucky me. I have written many posts on my city and you can tell my inclination for it. It never cease over the years since that day I came upon it in 1971.

Let me tell you a bit about an off the beaten path that is right in one of the most visible streets of Madrid!! I like to tell you a bit on the archives of the Community of Madrid in the old Church of San Ginés , Calle Arenal 13! off Puerta del Sol!!!!


The Calle de Arenal is a popular historical streetof Madrid, linking the Puerta del Sol and Plaza de Isabel II (Opera) Its name comes from the primitive stream that flowed through its path before urbanizing the area with which it appears labeled already in themap of Teixeira from 1656 as in the successive maps of the city of Madrid

A bit of history tell us that a route determined by the topography, the ancient Arenal, formed by the runoffs that flowed into it, followed the course of the intermittent Arroyo de la Zarza stream which, coming out of the ravine of the same name (in what would later be the Puerta del Sol), reached the plazuela del Barraco which would then be filled into the popularly known Plaza de la Opera. From there, taking the abundant flow of the Caños del Peral, the Arenal basin ran south in search of the stream of Leganitos, in the vicinity of the so-called Cuesta de San Vicente. The Arenal separated two of the oldest outskirts from the primitive medieval village, the one of Saint Ginés to the south ,and sheltered from the Church of San Ginés, and that of Saint Martin extending northward under the rule of the Benedictine abbey of San Martín , a Mozarabic priory

The first palaces were built in the 16C, disappearing gradually to make room for the houses of stale families of Madrid, In the second half of the 19C, the central and populous street was filled with hotels and houses of travelers and take out eateries in the books of foreign travelers of the 18-19C and first third of the 20C. the opening in 1853 of the Travasia del Arenal on the main road to link with the Plaza Mayor.   Although renovated on successive occasions, the Church of San Ginés still occupies the space from which we have the most distant news of a building. At number 11 is the new Teatro Eslava (Joy Eslava), a historic scene of various chapters of Madrid’s night history since the 1870s. Indeed fantastic souvenirs here.

From the cafes, you can remember the Café de la Europa, and the new Café de Levante, at number 15, with talks and encounters of the likes of Ramón María del Valle-Inclán, José Martínez Ruiz «Azorín», the painters José José Gutiérrez Solana, Santiago Rusiñol and Julio Romero de Torres, brothers Pío and Ricardo Baroja and cartoonist Rafael de Penagos. Even old shops such as the bookstore of the Librería de los Bibliófilos Españoles (Spanish Bibliophiles), the Prast Confectionery, or the castiza chocolatería San Ginés, in the Pasadizo de San Ginés are preserved. It is one of the most popular places to have chocolate with churros since it was founded in 1894. More on Chocolateria San Ginés here:


In 1106, during the pontificate of Pascual II and reigning in Castilla Alfonso VI, Bernardo de Cluny, first Archbishop of Toledo, consecrated outside the walls of the city of Madrid the church in honor of San Ginés, martyr of Arles. In 1360, Juan González, chaplain to King Pedro I and priest of the Parish of San Ginés carried out an important work of reconstruction by placing the royal shields on its walls.

The year 1641 is mostly demolished the old factory of the temple of San Ginés and this same year, King Philip IV entrusts the royal architect, the traces and supervision of the work of the new temple until its completion ,and with responsibility for its construction. On 10 May 1645, solemnly inaugurated the new temple, the date on which royal privileges are granted.

In the 18C, the parish church of San Ginés undergoes a major transformation within it.  Today the regional archives of the community of Madrid are kept in the Church of San Gines as well in Calle Arenal, 13.

The tourist office of Madrid on the Church  of San Ginés de ArlesTourist office of Madrid on the Church San Ginés

An anecdote for Spanish philes; In San Ginés de Arles Church was married, by proxy, Lope de Vega on his first marriage to Isabel de Urbina in 1588. The church was demolished in 1642 and the current church was  built between 1645 and 1672 as we know it today.

Another wonderful spot in my beloved Madrid come to see it for more than the church alone and you will be glad your read my post. Enjoy Calle de Arenal in Madrid!

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

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June 23, 2019

Basilica de Jesus de Medinaceli, Madrid

This is one that needs to be seen more in my Madrid. the post is from Sept 2017. the church is near the Palace Hotel and the Congress of Deputies of Spain very nice area I will be again this Summer.Very venerable and one of the most visited by Madrileños; it will be worth your detour at the Basilica de Jésus de Medinaceli


I have come by here several times over the years and taken some pictures but never enough and never a post. It is time this wonderful Church Basilica gets it’s worth from me. This is Madrid!

The Basilica de Jésus de Medinaceli is located at the Plaza de Jésus near the Westin Palace Hotel and the wonderful Cerveceria Cervantes and other spots in my previous posts.

This is one of five basilicas in Madrid, and is located on the site of the previous Convento de Trinitarios Descalzos de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación ( convent of the barefoot Trinitarian of Our Lady of the Incarnation b. 1606) . It is ,also, the seat of the order of the Archicofradia Primaria de la Real e Ilustre Esclavitud de Nuestro Padre Jésus Nazareno de Medinaceli; b. 1710 , and given status in 1928 by Pope Pius XI; yes it is long ::) the fraternity…

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June 23, 2019

Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid

The National LIbrary of Spain or Biblioteca Nacional de España. It is in Madrid and if you really want to know Spain then you must come here and read , see hear the history of the Kingdom of Spain. reblog from sept 2017. Enjoy it.


Another highlight building passed many times and even played at Plaza Colon since youth is the Biblioteca Nacionalde España or National Library of Spain ,right on Paseo de Recoletos just below the Plaza Colon.

The official webpage is here:

To read the books here you need a batch and authorization but there is plenty of areas where you can have a guided tour. The Exhibition Rooms and the Library Museum, where various exhibitions and cultural activities are held, are open to all.

The library was founded by King Philip (Felipe) V of Spain in 1712 as the Palace Public Library (Biblioteca Pública de Palacio). All publications done in Spain needed to deposit a copy here first. In 1836, the library’s status as Crown property was revoked and ownership was transferred to the Ministry of Governance (Ministerio de la Gobernación). At the same time, it was renamed the…

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June 23, 2019

A work of love, Paris and Martine!

So is once again time for me to remember my dear late wife Martine. I am sorry, I need to do this post. The pain , I was told will smooth out with time , but it seems not to be true. I have written memorials before but I wanted to do a post on happy times we spent together on the  28 years of marriage and our passing by the city we met , Paris.

Even thus she was from Meaux, Seine-et-Marne dept 77, in the Brie cheese region, she worked in Paris 10éme when I met her. She later follow me very courageously to Florida USA where we traded citizenships and then she convinced me gladly to come to live in France permanently in 2003. It has been the best decision of my life and I owe it all to her.

So without much words but as the saying goes , a picture is a thousand words here is me , Martine, and Paris. We will always have Paris !! Bogart was right!!!


with VT friends at La Gare resto in Muette


La Gare resto and visiting friends again from US


Thanksgiving in Paris with MF on left

paris 9

around old thanksgiving store for American goodies


loaded with dominos pizza off rue st dominique to eat out at port de suffren below the Eiffel


Bistro Romain Champs Elysees near the Arc de Triomphe


Au Trappiste rue St Denis near Châtelet


early on by Samaritaine dept store of old


early on out from Meaux to her job on the 10éme this is the Gare de l’Est train station


bois de boulogne cascades love that water fall


market flowers near Conciergerie and she loves gardening


as i met her on her job at the 10éme arrondissement of Paris in 1990!

Life is beautiful but short to many , done do not leave for tomorrow what you can do today. Do it, we did it well!!! And remember, happy travels, together/sharing are better; good health, because we needed to go on, and many cheers to all, because we mean it to all of you!!! We will always have Paris!!!!

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June 22, 2019

Masaryk train station at Prague!

Ok so will dare go into unusual territory for me. I ,of course been to Prague several times over the last few years but always by airplane! So why write about a train station? Well, read on….

I was staying near by and did my usual desperado walks in town. Just a simple mobile phone map and off I went into the city of Prague around my hotel. And voilà, I came into this train station which I found very nice architecturally so good for my tastes and I went in as a tourist! The experience was nice, and I like to share it on a single post for the train station.


Masarykovo Nadrazi Train Station  Hybernska street, Prague district 1 . It is the oldest train station in Prague, located near Namesti Republiky (great spot to be in Republic square) in the city center and very close to Hlavni Nadrazi (the international train station). I wandered about as was staying at the nearby Hilton Hotel  in V Celnici Street . This station services mostly suburban destinations, it is not so interesting for foreign travelers. Except me who was just walking around the neighborhood!


This train station can be reach by the numerous tramway service passing near it such as tram  24, 26; and Métro line A, and line B; the local trains stopping here that I know of are the  S4, S5,  S54, S7; and the bus lines  176, 207, and  AE (check this for latest info).

It was the first railway station in the city to serve steam trains, and the second oldest railway station in Prague. The station came into service in 1845.  Nowadays the station only serves regional and suburban trains, because the larger Hlavní Nádraží does not have enough capacity.  The station is currently being reconstructed, and will become the terminus of the planned railway connection with Václav Havel Airport.  A new plan for the train station Masarykovo Nádraží includes a walkway above the station. The rooftop walkway will reconnect neighborhoods that have been divided for 170 years!. The renovation of Masarykovo Nádraží is related to the creation of a new railway connection with Kladno and Václav Havel Airport, as Masarykovo Nádraží will be the last stop for both routes.(need to get update on when is done).



Masarykovo Nadrazi (Masaryk Train Station), was named after the first President of Czechoslovakia Tomas Garrigue Masaryk. The. Masaryk Station is mainly the terminal station of numerous regional train lines.  Important streets near Masaryk Train Station include Havlickova, V Celnici, Hybernska, and Na Porici. All very central for visitors and I love it.



Some webpages to help you enjoy this station are

City of Prague on public transports in English

Official train network on the Prague train stations

So there you go another nice walking experience in a city and country I do not speak the local language at all but always helpful folks in English that will guide you around if the mobile phone does not do the job lol!! For me is the best way to see any city walks until your shoes falls off!!! There is always a friendly bar/resto to refresh ::) Enjoy the train station Masarykovo Nádraží lol!

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

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