Archive for July 28th, 2019

July 28, 2019

Tour de France 2019 Final!!!

So quick post so happy to see another wonderful Tour de France, even if this year could not go on the spot, is an event the family looks forward every year and the TV coverage is super , say better even than on site for the views if the ambiance is less of course. Consolation.

I wrote earlier on the start of this wonderful historical traditional race back on July 5th here

Tour de France 2019 !!!

And now after 21 stages the race is over at the ave des Champs-Elysées in Paris. The last race was great because it passed by areas we love and been to them and even lived; starting from lovely Rambouillet in the Yvelines dept 78.

The youngest winner in history , Egan Bernal of Colombia. Impressive and many friends very happy about him. I know his native town as visited and the area too. He is from Zipaquira in the vally of Boyacà where they have a wonderful Cathedral in a salt mine with the 14 steps of Christ awesome. This is not far from Bogotà.

He , Bernal not only won the yellow jersey but also the best young rider at 22 years old he has a huge future in cycling ahead. He is the firs Colombian to win the tour de France as well!!

The final race in Paris was won by Caled Ewan, of Australia , his third stage in the race, rather a good future there too.  Peter Sagan, on points, Roman Bardet on climber, Movistar as team , and Julien Alaphilippe as combative spirit also won recognition.

The top general overall winners were

1º Egan Bernal (Ineos)  Colombia

2º Geraint Thomas (Ineos)  1’111 Great Britain

3º Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo Visma) – 1’31” Netherlands

4º Emanuel Buchmann (Bora) – 1’56” Germany

5º Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck) – 3’45” France

6º Mikel Landa (Movistar) – 4’23” Spain

7° Rigoberto Uran, (EF Education First) Colombia

8° Nairo Quintana, (Movistar Team) Colombia

9º Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)  Spain

10° Warren Barguil, (team Arkea-Samsic) France

The official webpage for the tour de France: Tour de France 2019

Another great race with all kinds of weather situation and injuries and broken hearts and very happy winners as always. Until next time in France, the tour de France!

Ah took some pictures from the TV here that do not want to go to waste so will post some in a kaléidoscope to follow, hope you enjoy them.


Tour de France 2019 TV photo!

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

July 28, 2019

Church and Chapel at Gourin!

And so continue on our latest trip in my department Morbihan 56 of the region of Bretagne or Brittany in my belle France, we stay at Gourin! This is a town just one hour from my house yet this is our first time there! And we like it, will be back.

We were there for the Statue of Liberty (see previous post) and wandering around even met a collegue native of Gourin! After a bit of walk and some local advise we encounter a great combo. The Church of St Peter and St Paul and the next Chapel of the Virgin or Our Lady of Victory. I like to tell you a bit on them as they are next to each other!

The Church of St. Pierre et St. Paul (St Peter and St Paul) at 9 Place de l’Église  Its enclosure included the cemetery, the Chapel Notre-Dame des Victoires, a Pietà and an ossuary .


The construction of the Church of St Peter and St Paul began in 1490 with the support of the lords of Kergoët, Kerbiguet and Tronjoly. The church was completed in 1500. The inauguration took place on March 21, 1500 . The church of Gourin is today a beautiful church in stone , except for part of the north wall which is tufa (shale). The parish enclosure, if not surrounded by walls, is still materialized and includes the Chapel Notre-Dame des Victoires, the church and the Pieta exterior, which dates from 1875. The ossuary was built in 1778 with the stones of two old chapels (Saint-Pierre and Saint-Yves) which rose in the cemetery. This cemetery, abandoned in 1850, surrounded the church, as in most parishes.


The bell tower, built in 1745, is a tower with balustrades and bell towers in flamboyant Gothic style, typical of the region of the Montagne Noirs (Black Mountains). You can access the “bell chamber” by a small spiral staircase. Four bells, melted in Villedieu-les-Poêles (Manche dept 50 ) were blessed during a grandiose party, on October 27, 1901, by the archipriest of Pontivy, the abbot Kerdaffret, native of Gourin. Each bears a name: Anne-Perrine, Marie-Louise, Marie-Aurélie and the greatest Edmée-Joséphine. The latter, the respectable weight of 609 kg (modest for a bell but the smallness of the bays of the tower does not allow to receive larger), had for godmother, the countess of Lescouet. Electrical handling replaced the manual ringer after WWII.

gourin ch st pierre et st paul altar jul19

The stained glass windows of origin were destroyed during the French revolution. The current stained glass windows, bright, with shimmering colors were set up in 1874-1875. The organ was built in 1864 by the Belgian factor Hippolyte Loret. Restored in 1930, in 1960, then again from 1997 to 2000, when the new organ was restored to its original place at the front of the platform.   The organ of Gourin is one of the best preserved of the region. It is the only organ of such quality existing in the perimeter of the Pays du Roi Morvan (country of king morvan) and the townships of Plouay and Cléguérec.


The église or Church of St Pierre et St Paul is oriented, of a rectangular shape with polygonal choir, includes a nave of seven bays, opening on the aisles by arcades in third-point resting by penetration on polygonal pillars.The fourth bay, which supported the tower, is isolated by two large arches that separate it from the nave and choir. The nave, formerly solid (there are still some entrances and fragments of sandpits), is covered with a wooden cradle and the choir is vaulted with ogives. 16C bas-reliefs depicting scenes from the New Testament and a Notre-Dame de Pitié decorate the altarpiece of one of the altars. The altarpiece dates from 1686 and the Virgin of Pity, in polychrome wood, dates from the 16C. The exterior decoration of the creepers, cushioned buttresses of pinnacles and portals is flamboyant. The windows with radiating network or flamboyant, still contain some fragments of stained glasses. The pulpit to be preached seems to date from 1778. There is an ossuary 1778, a Calvary and originally two chapels. In 1961, the ossuary is transformed into a municipal workshop.


Some webpages to help you plan your visit to Gourin and the Church of St Peter and St Paul.

Tourist office of the pays du roi morvan on the church

The Catholic parish of Gourin on the church

City of Gourin on the Church St Peter and St Paul

The Chapelle Notre-Dame-des-Victoires or aka  Chapel of the Virgin b.1509. Destroyed by a fire, the chapel was restored and enlarged in 1830.


It has a rectangular shape with three naves and a three-sided apse. The bell tower, with pinnacle double lantern superimposed, dates from the 16C. The steeple is carved with a little hare, which gave birth to a curious legend. You will find there the tombstone of Tad Mad (Jean Marie Gorrec, priest of Gourin from 1758 to 1772): according to a popular tradition, to frolic infants on the tombstone of Tad Mad accelerates their learning of walking.   Two cherub heads are carved above the gate.


Some webpages to help plan your trip to Gourin and the Chapelle Notre Dame des Victoires are

City of Gourin on the Chapels including ND des Victoires

The Catholic parish of Gourin on the Chapel ND des Victoires

There you go a one two punch on the same spot in nice Gourin, we will be back, really a nice friendly good ambiance town north of the Morbihan almost near the Finistére Breton. Hope you enjoy the find as we did. Until next time in Gourin.

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

July 28, 2019

Gourin and America!!!

So in my road warrior trip I have come into many towns all over the world and especially my belle France. Some have been passing by chance others well known in advance but this one well;;; it is so close yet was so far. Only an hour from my house but this is my first time there! And there, because I have heard the story of the important link between Gourin and the immigration to the USA and Canada.  I like to tell you a bit of this story and many others in subsequents posts in my blog on Gourin an amazing little town. The amazing thing as well was that while walking the city center got to see one of my collegues from work near Vannes, he had moved nearby but a native of  Gourin and was visiting relatives!  So I got good tips lol!!!

Gourin is a town in the department 56 of Morbihan, in the region of Bretagne (Brittany), it belongs to Cornouaille (Cornwall) Morbihannaise. It has the particularity of being 83 km from Vannes, its departamental capital city , and only 40 km from Quimper, the departamental capital of the Finistere, dept 29 . Gourin is also located 15 km from Carhaix-Plouguer, 47 km from Lorient, 71 km from Brest, 74 km from   Saint-Brieuc and 143 km from Rennes. As well as been 71 km from my house! The routes we take are the D102 into the D769 (Lorient-Roscoff road) and the Quimper-Rostrenen-Saint-Brieuc road D1 which takes us right into city center Gourin.


A bit of history I like

In the 11-12C; Gourin was the seat of a viscount that extended over the parishes of Gourin, Guiscriff, Langonnet, Le Faouet and Leuhan and the Trier of Roudouallec, Le Saint, Lanvénégen and La Trinité. Among the viscounts of Gourin are the names of Cadoret who rose up in 1075 against Duke Hoel et Tanguy I who participated in the First Crusade with his Duke Alain Fergent. The Viscount was attached to the ducal domain from 1265. Gourin then became the seat of a ducal bar which after the act of union of Brittany to France in 1532 will become the seat of a royal seneschal until its removal during the French revolution.

The first lords of Tronjoly were the Kergoet, who lived in the old manor house from 1426 to 1660. The present castle was built in 1768, replacing the old manor. At the beginning of the French revolution, the lords of Tronjoly sheltered refractory priests and chouans (rebels against the revolution) . Under the supervision of the republican authorities, the L’Ollivier were forced in March 1793 to settle at Le Faouët and some members of the family emigrated; among them François Urbain L’Ollivier de Tronjoly, wounded during the landing of Quiberon (Breton immigrants from England coming back to fight the French revolution) on July 16, 1795, was tried and executed in Vannes on August 1, 1795 (as about 795 others) . More of the castle in a separate post and immigration exhibit as well.

An interesting part of the town of Gourin which is fascinating to me even if heard before , it is now the time I decided to visit the town only one hour from my house!!!

In the late 19C and early 20C, especially between 1902 and WWI, Gourin and its region experienced a strong emigration, mainly of young men, to North America, although it began in the 18C. There was a second wave of emigration from the cantons of Gourin and Roudouallec in the 1950s following the visit of the Canadian consul., several y oung Gourinois went to Canada between 1948 and 1953. Many of the Bretons currently living in the United States are from the Gourin region (it is estimated that the Montagne Noire region around Gourin has lost about 4,000 emigrants to the United States between 1945 and 1958). But emigration to this country began around 1885, not all emigrants are young men, but sometimes older people, small farmers, small traders or craftsmen, not having land able to feed them; At the end of the 19C and at the beginning of the 20C, a large group of emigrants from Montagne Noirs ( Black Mountains) settles in the resort area of Lenox, Massachusetts , with women becoming housekeepers, and men as gardeners. By 1928, there were approximately 3,000 inhabitants of Gourin in New York, 400 of whom were directly employed by Michelin (founded in 1901 in New York), the factory of Miltown, in New Jersey, and who recruited Bretons in a privileged manner. Between; only the years 1946 and 1955 emigrants, mainly young, leave the region of Gourin (13.4% of the population), a large part of it to the United States, the Bretons emigrants tend to regroup in colonies, a real “Breton district” being created for example in New York, on the border of Brooklyn and the Bronx, between 49th and 52nd Street; others went south to Louisiana and Florida or west to California. Three agencies of the “Compagnie Générale Transatlantique” also had their headquarters in Gourin and Roudouallec at the time to organize travel to the United States. The return to the country of some of these émigrés, nicknamed “Americans”, sometimes enriched, was a powerful vector of modernization of agriculture and housing as well as changing mentalities; but most remained settled permanently in North America. These emigrants were also sometimes nicknamed “ar lostou ru” (“red tails”) in local Breton, referring to the color of their license plates.

Proof enough of this exchange of the Bretons with America is the fact that they have a replica of the Statue of Liberty, in the central square, (place de la Victoire) testifying to the exodus of the population of Gourin to the American continent.  Air France donated in 1996 to thanks the travellers who went the route from their office in Roudouallec until 1985 ;the initial statue of Liberty! The new  Statue of Liberty of Gourin will be identical to that of the Luxembourg Garden in Paris (in partnership with the Réunion des Musées Nationaux) There is a fund raiser going on to do this .



There are other wonderful things to see here but I will tell you I separate posts in my blog soon.


As to been after lunch, we still got a bit hungry so we stop by at the local bakery pastry and salon de thé shop Le Clec’h at Rue Jacques Rodalle just before the steep street leading to the Statue of Liberty. Nice abricot pastries indeed to keep us at bay until back home! And a nice mayor’s office across too. And do not forget the usual wonderful Saturday morning market at Place Stenfort!




Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and you should lots of history here and America at Gourin.

City of Gourin and its heritage things to see

Local tourist office of pays du roi morvan on Gourin

And there you go now me and you have seen  Gourin! A nice find and certaintly been so close a return trip is in order. I had a good impression of the town, lively, clean , good ambiance and wonderful things to see. What can I say, my beautiful Morbihan dept 56!

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






July 28, 2019

Canal Saint Martin, Paris of course!

Ok so cannot be too far away from Paris so once in a while will pop in with something of my working city. Even thus my new duties will take me less coming to the city the memories will be memorable from wherever I will be… I like to touch on something that have come several times, and especially with the family for fun times along its banks. It’s just a break from my restaurant series!

Let me tell you a bit about the Canal Saint Martin! And to start let me tell you , recommend you , to take a cruise on Canauxrama on the canal sublime!  They propose several times and tours, the official webpage is here: Official Canauxrama cruises on the Canal Saint Martin


We went always early to walk its banks and basins and even the Rotunda, we park just south of the Bastille tower underground. Precisely 53 bd de la Bastille webpage here: Bastille Indigo parking underground

From here we simply walk all over and had an easy out as well. Once in the city walk all over with the convenient of entering or leaving at any time.  Going over the Arsenal and the Rotunda Ledoux or Point Ephémére or Rotunda Stalingrand ,and the basin de la Villette! You will love the walk along this wonderful canal St Martin! And now a bit more history info I like a lot!


The creation of the Canal Saint-Martin is decided along with that of the Canals Saint-Denis and Ourcq. The construction of the canals was delayed by the situation in France between 1809 and 1815. Then king Louis XVIII re launched the project. Funding must be found: the prefect proposes to use private capital. In 1818, the Compagnie des Canals de Paris was created. It won the auction opened by the City of Paris in November 1821 for the construction of the Canal Saint-Martin in private concession, The prefect of the Seine laid the foundation first stone on May 3, 1822. The new canal was inaugurated by king Charles X on November 4, 1825.


In 1860, Georges Eugene Haussmann, prefect of the Seine, included the Canal Saint-Martin in his plans to modernize and expand the city. The canal is then covered in part by vaults including Boulevard Richard-Lenoir. In 1908, the recovery was extended to create the current Bd Jules-Ferry. The Canal Saint-Martin is mainly used to transport passengers for tourist cruises and little for the transport of goods. It is open 363 days a year. Its banks are also popular with Parisians for strolling and even picnicking !

The Canal Saint-Martin is a 4.6 km long canal located mainly in the 10éme and 11éme arrondissements of Paris. It connects the Villette basin and beyond the Ourcq canal to the port of Arsenal (the marina of Paris) ; which communicates with the Seine river. It is a small-scale canal originally intended to provide drinking water in the capital. Opened in 1825, it has nine locks and two rotating bridges for a total drop of 25 meters. In the network of Parisian canals, 130 km long, which belongs to the City of Paris includes this canal. This canal along its extension is reach by the following Metro stations Bastille, Bréguet – Sabin, Richard-Lenoir, Oberkampf, République, Goncourt, Jacques Bonsergent, Gare de l’Est, Château-Landon, Colonel Fabien, Louis Blanc and Jaurès.


The entrance to the canal consists of the double lock of the Villette located in the Place de la Bataille-de-Stalingrad, near the Rotunda Stalingrad. In its open-air section, it is bordered by the docks of Valmy and Jemmapes. The Louis Blanc basin is supported by a masonry bed that rests on stilts. When it was decided to bury the canal, the bed had to be lowered, the basement being of gypsum there. Pillars 16 meters deep had to be sunk, about every 10 meters. But the water has gradually dissolved in the ground and the canal now rests on a void.


The Canal Saint-Martin is then covered from Bd Jules-Ferry (Temple vault built in 1907). It then passes under the Bd Richard-Lenoir (Richard Lenoir vault built between 1860 and 1862), and finally under the Place de la Bastille (the Bastille vault made in 1862) to open onto the port of the Arsenal. The vaults Richard Lenoir and Temple are pierced with ventilation vents.They also allow the natural lighting of the tunnel.


The canal Saint Martin has several basins, these are the basin des Morts; Combat Basin; Louis Blanc Basin; Recollets basins; and the Marais Basin. They are separated by five locks, four of which are double such as La Villette lock (No. 1 and 2); Lock des Morts (No. 3 and 4); Recollets lock (No. 5 and 6); Temple Lock (No. 7 and 8); and the Arsenal Lock (No. 9). The crossing of the canal Saint Martin is made by two revolving bridges, two fixed bridges for cars and by pedestrian walkways: they are the footbridge of the locks of the Villette (passarelle) ; Rue Louis Blanc Bridge; Eugéne-Varlin Bridge; Bichat Bridge; Grange-aux-Belles turning bridge; Grange-aux-Belles bridge; Richerand Bridge; rue Dieu revolving bridge; Alibert bridge (passarelle) ; and the Passarelle des Douanes bridge (or pont des Douanes bridge 1860).


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Paris on the Canal St Martin

City of Paris on its canals including St Martin

My fav Yelp reviews on the Canal Saint Martin in English

There you go another dandy and sublime eternal Paris, like no other city in our world. The Canal Saint Martin is one more reason why the most come to Paris and why it is No 1 in most travelers wish list. Enjoy Paris and its Canal Saint Martin!

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

Tags: , ,
%d bloggers like this: