Archive for August 13th, 2019

August 13, 2019

Le petit trains or the little trains!!!

Now on a windy cool semi cloudy day in my neck of the woods, and temps of 21C or about 65F let me bring you to the magical world of litle tourist trains which abound in my belle France. I cannot tell you all but the most significants for my family and with some pictures of some of them.

We have enjoyed them tremendously especially when visiting and early on that my boys were younger,now grown men difficult to get them into them but the memories lingered for the parents ,especially. I like to briefly share some of our favorites petit trains with you all. Enjoy it as we did! No specific order of the experience.

The Petit Train of Tours taking you to the old neighborhoods of the city of Tours such as the  Hôtel de Ville – Palais de Justice – Basilique Saint-Martin – Place Plumerau – Théâtre – Place Foire Le Roi – Château -, and  Cathédrale Saint-Gatien. More about it here: Petit train de val de loire, Tours

The Petit train of Albi is great for the hilly streets and a a great experience when approaching the Cathedral! More info here: Tourist office of Albi on the petit train

The Petit Train of Rouen, other than Paris and Versailles this one was the first one taken in France way back in the 90’s, and repeat with the boys A wonderful experience on the old neighborhood of Rouen and the parvis of the Cathedral! More info here: Tourist office of Rouen on the petit train

The Petit Train of  Bourges. hah, when we saw the steep streets at first this one was the best option to see the most important monuments and choose those most like to come back on foot! The approach to the Cathedral is awesome. More info here: Tourist office of Bourges Berry region on the petit train

The petit trains of Quiberon, Vannes ,and La Trinité sur Mer/ Carnac are awesome especially at the beginning of the summer beach season as later are packed! Theses towns are in my beautiful Morbihan, just south of me,  and they are worth the walk but on a petit train at first is sublime. More info on their sites here:

Petit Train of Quiberon

Petit Train of Vannes

Petit train of Carnac

quiberon

Quiberon

carnac

Carnac

vannes

Vannes

la-trinite-sur-mer

La Trinité sur Mer

The Petit train du loch in Auray. Also, in my lovely Morbihan breton and the first one taken while living here. It is a good idea as the lower town of St Goustan is very steep in streets and cobblestones; so a first try here is recommended. More info here: Tourist office Bay of Quiberon on the petit train of Auray

Auray

The Petits Trains du Val de Loire, and in Amboise. A lovely ride on the Château Royal; Château du Clos Lucé,  the banks of the Loire river and the golden island or l’île d’Or . Great views magnificent rides and we take our house wines here so we tested a few time after a long day lol! More info here: The petit trains du Val de Loire in Amboise

The Petit train of Angers, a wonderful ride on old Angers discovering the Cité la doutre, wooden houses ,anecdotes as told by the conductor and of course the Cathedral. More info here: The Petit trains du Val de Loire in Angers

The Petit train of Beaune! from departure at the  rue de l’hôtel Dieu in front of the Hospices of Beaune! Nothing more sublime than this and a narrated tour of the old town with its wonderful monuments and the vineyards of Burgundy! More info here: Visio petit train of Beaune

Under the slogan  «Bénodet, bonne idée» or Bénodet, good idea, take a ride into the old port and town of Bénodet, by its corniche de l’estuaire to the corniche de la mer, along the ocean and to the pointe Saint Gilles to the Fort du Coq. Great sights of boats and sea always gorgeous. More info here: City of Bénodet on the petit train

benodet

The Petit train of Caen, again one of the earliest little train we took as a family , great memories. You take at the wonderful Church of St Pierre facing the tourist office , and go on to see the  Château, Abbaye aux Dames,  port, Tour Leroy,  Abbaye aux Hommes, place St Sauveur, and the old city center of Caen. Still very nice to do! More info here: The Cap Petit Train of Caen

The Petit train of Chartres, another of the earlier ones we took and very nice. Along the banks of the river, to see all monuments and of course the Cathedral of Chartres glorious as ever. More info here: The Petit train of Chartres

The Petit train of Deauville; this one is a long run worth it to avoid long walks, you can always come back to the best sights. Starts at City center and goes into Place Morny, Vieux Marché (old market), Yatchs basin, Port Deauville, Poney Club, Mini-Golf, CID, Piscine (pool), Plages (beaches) and along the sea, Les Planches, Promenade M. d’Ornano, new gardens ,  wonderful luxury Hôtels, and Casino,and back to the city/town hall or  Mairie. More info here: The petit train of Deauville

The Petit train of Dieppe, a nice narrated ride on the narrow streets of Dieppe with history of the town included.  The ride takes you into the old town, and the port, the landing beach and its monuments. More info here: The Petit train of Dieppe

The Petit train of  Guérande ; very nice on narrow cobblestone streets and as have friends with small children here we took it too lol! Goes from the foot of the gate or porte St Michel, the main entrance to the fortified city. More info here: The Petit train of Guérande

The Petit train of La Baule, a great ride from the bay 8 km connecting the towns of La Baule to Pornichet. Passing by great beaches and wonderful view of the ocean! More info here: The Petit train of La Baule

The Petit train of Le Mans,another great idea on a narrow steep and cobblestone fortified town. You go into the old town of the  Cîté Plantagenet and the pedestrian center, along the banks of the Sarthe river, with story telling indeed very interesting. More info here: The Petit trains du Val de Loire in Le Mans

The Petit train of Nantes. A great ride with lots to see and come back for it in details later on. The trip goes into the city center retracing the history of Nantes.  You leave from the wonderful Cathedral Saint-Pierre, to the center gazing at beautiful architecture we like it still. More info here: The Petit train of Nantes

Nantes

The Petit train of Quimper , goes to the historic center town and into pedestrian only streets! and along the wharfs or quais of the Odet river! More info here: The Petit train Celtic of Quimper

Quimper

The Petit train of Saumur. Very nice as it was the last petit train we took as a family after my dear late wife Martine passed away from cancer. You ride along the banks of the Loire river into the historic equestrian and military heart of the buildings of the cavalry, Church of St Pierre, medieval streets of the city center to arrive at the majestic Château de Saumur overlooking the Loire river. More info here: The Petit train du Val de Loire in Saumur

The Petit train of Tolouse. It has two tours or trips one lets you see the monuments such as the Place du Capitole, Basilique St-Sernin, Place St-Pierre, Quais de la Garonne, Church de la Daurade, neighborhoods or quartiers Croix-Baragnon and St-Georges, and the Place Wilson.  The second trip takes you to discover the monuments of the neighborhoods or quartiers Dalbade, Palais de Justice, and the public gardens such as  Jardin Royal, Grand Rond. Also, the palace or Palais Niel, and the Canal du Midi. A sentimental favorite in France and worth the ride on both tours. More info here: The Petit train of Toulouse

The Petit train of St Jean de Luz. a nice ride looking at its beautiful houses, Church of  Saint-Jean-Baptiste (St John the Baptist), thalasso and casino,the house of the future queen of France Maria Teresa of Spain, and the wonderful place Louis-XIV. This one is going back a lot but nice memories, More info here: The Petit train of Saint Jean de Luz

st jean de luz

The Petit train of Fougéres, you go to the foot of the castle at place Raoul 2. And go no with a beautiful ride into old Fougéres for a 40 minutes ride! More info here: The Petit train of Fougéres

Fougeres

The Petit train of Montmartre, Paris. It was the second petit train we ever took in France! Well this one by now is very touristic in my opinion but with the steep cobblestone streets of Montmartre it is still a good idea to take it at first. You will ride into its picturesques streets, the ateliers of painters, the monuments, the cabarets, the vineyard, and the wonderful Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Sacre Coeur with a panoramic view of Paris to end start at the Place du Tertre. More info here: The Petit train of Montmartre, Paris

The Petit Train of St Malo. another good option on a narrow cobblestone fortified city to take the tour first. You take it at the Esplanade Saint Vincent, between the tourist office and the Castle. More info here: The Petit train of St Malo

St Malo

St Malo quai-st-vincent

The Petit train of Port du Crouesty, Arzon; you take it from here to the next port harbor of Port Navalo passing by the windmill or Moulin de Pen Castel. A nice ride along the ocean and harbors; more info here: The Petit train of Arzon, Port du Crouesty

Arzon

The Petit train or Noirmout’train of the island or île de Noirmoutier . This offers four tours but take the grand tour first time to see it all.  These are call the découverte or discovery , village anciens or old towns, marais salants or salted marshes and the grand tour or big trip. More info here The Petit train of Noirmoutier or noirmouttrain

Ile de Noumoutier

And last but not least, the first petit train we took in France in our dear beloved Versailles. It is an internal train on the property of the castle even if sometimes it is taken outside on heritage days . We have not taken it since 2011! You will ride in the property of the Domaine of Versailles which includes the gardens, the palace/museum, and the Hameau, Petit and Grand Trianon. Sublime to take it at least once and if too tired of the walks in the domaine. Enjoy it. More info here: The Petit train of the Domaine of Versailles

Versailles

Versailles by rive gauche RER C station

There is one more webpage that showcase all of the above and a lot more petit trains in France. For info it is here: The Petit trains of France

Wow, impress myself no idea on how many of these wonders we have been to, great memories indeed. Much have been said about the little trains or petit trains and sometimes the price ratio does not seems correct. However, for someone with limited time and or not good at long walks they are a perfect choice to do here. Enjoy them as we have done over the years, and glad still around us for the enjoyment of all! The Petit trains are sublimes!

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

August 13, 2019

Rue des Deux Portes, Versailles!

So taking you back to Versailles , never too far away my old lovely home.. I could write a book on Versailles but I am too lazy for this , even this post lol! There is so much to tell on a relativily small city about 100K it can have a big punch. And yes, do walk and do get out from the palace/museum you will be surprise.

Anyway, this is my Versailles my home for almost 10 years in my belle France. And this is not a thing to do from Paris but a place to be visit on its own, talking like a real Versaillaise!

This is a very quant nice street in my old district of Notre Dame (written on it in my blog) , and one of the shortest nicest streets you can find in any town. The Rue des Deux Portes!

In the old Versailles, Notre-Dame district, the pedestrian street of Rue des Deux Portes is a place full of charm, calm, out of time. The rue des Deux Portes is an old passage of about 100 meters connecting rue Carnot and Place du Marché. It was formely closed by two doors. The rue Carnot (former rue de la pompe) is coming right off Avenue de Saint Cloud and takes you into rue des deux portes to the Notre Dame market! Very quant!! It dates from 1687 and has small balconies of the 18C.

Versailles

Over a hundred meters along the neighboring gardens of the former Hotel de Toulouse, this passage had twelve houses spread on each side. of the way. The centuries have passed, but the Rue des Deux Portes has kept its character. This is certainly what gives it its so authentic side

A bit of history tell us that at No 17 in 1789 , the brother of the poet Ducis was holding a shop of earthenware and porcelain of Sevres. On the market side, a plot corresponds to one of the exits of the former hotel of the Count of Toulouse which led to the rue de la Paroisse at No. 66 (today there is a LCL bank). Nowdays you can find nice eating places here such as the L’Elephant d’Argent at No 6; the Créperie des 2 Portes at No 12, and the Les Biscuits de Madame Georges at No 7. Coming into the Place du Marché (Notre Dame) you have on your right our old Orange tel internet store and next our fav must resto in Versailles Le Boeuf à la Mode (already feature in my blog).

And even if not there anymore, let me add a bit of old history of Versailles on the before mentioned Hôtel of the Count of Toulouse.

The Hôtel de Toulouse was at the rue de la Pompe today rue Carnot. It was given this name from the Count of Toulouse ,natural son of king Louis XIV and Madame de   Montespan. After the death of the count the hotel passes to his son the Duke de Penthiévre, great admiral and governor of Bretagne, he stayed at the hotel and kept all his important papers there. In 1739, the secretary of the duke monsieur Delalot had a monkey with him and one evening very cold left the room, the monkey trying to imitate the master took the torch to bring more fire to the chimney and causing as a result a fire which destroyed the important papers of the State of Bretagne and the Marine, while suffering heavy damage the hotel itself. It never recovered and is no longer there.

This is my old neighborhood , Notre Dame, full of charm indeed, and lovely and beautiful ok so get out of the palace/museum and walk Versailles, the city that is,enjoy it as I do.

Of course not a specific webpage on the street but leave you with the best of Versailles.

City of Versailles on heritage and monuments

Tourist office of Versailles on discover the town

And there you go another jewel in the crown of Versailles, a city to walk and embark yourselves in the history of France, Europe and even the World! Enjoy it

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

 

 

August 13, 2019

Boutiques, curiosities of Versailles!

And back to familiar territory of old, my beloved Versailles. Ok so the the city is more than a castle, I know. However, there is so much still to see inside and I am afraid folks rush thru it on just a one day trip from Paris! It really deserves more, really!

I like to tell you a bit on some of the nice boutiques and eating places inside. You will be in heaven! Enjoy my Palace/musuem of Versailles.  And it is in the Yvelines dept 78 of the Ïle de France region, ok!

We dare go in the property to take some pictures, and I like to point out the many boutiques and resto to eat and shop inside, such as the Librarie des Princes, by the Cour d’honneur for books and music.

The Library of Princes  is on 200 m2, and in the form of an apartment. From the boudoir to the dining room, by way of the library and the bedrooms, works and objects celebrating the French way of life are on offer. These rooms with very marked atmospheres will allow the public to discover more than 1000 different books presented alongside objects and by-products. The disguises of princess, marquise and queen, rub shoulders with the chivalrous world of budding musketeers. Reproductions of 18C toys such as totems, spinning tops, bilboquets, drums and rattles of princes and princesses, invite to playful moments to shared. And many books as well. Worth the visit indeed!

Official Palace of Versailles Library info in English

And an official  precise site for it as you do not need ticket admission to the Château de Versailles to come here is : http://www.librairiedesprinces.com/

versailles

The  Boutique de l’Ancienne Comédie, for souvenirs and nice local castle oriented gifts. The boutique is located at the exit of the tour circuits of the Palace/museum, this shop occupies the historic space of the old cisterns of the bouche du Roi (King’s mouth), under the cour des Princes. You can see what is available on the below link.

Official Chateau de Versailles on the boutique items

versailles

Angelina at the Petit Trianon. This was our hangout when jogging/ walking in the domaine property at the time of me living there; enormous, awesome, grandiose magnifique to have a light meal while looking at the Palace gardens , the back view and the Petit Trianon next to you!!  Angelina installs during the beautiful days a beautiful terrace under the trees, in front of the Petit Trianon. It is used in an outhouse of the Trianon, then you brings your  trays outside. There is a very nice outdoor terrace of 100 seats and heated in Winter. Also in Summer, an  ice cream cart.

Official Chateau de Versailles on Angelina

Versailles

And of course, when talking about Versailles there is never enough on me. There are about 4 places in the world that are just too much of souvenirs! One of them is Versailles, of course. While now in Bretagne, my soul is still there and why not combine the two while in town , Breton foods and the Versailles ambiance!

The wonderful rue Satory off ave de Sceaux, (walk easy from palace) ,and of course a nice Breton lunch at Le Blé Noir, 9 rue de Satory, from a true citizen of Quiberon,Morbihan , my stop now when in town, lots of local discussion indeed took place; and we both agree we have the best of the world, Versailles and the Morbihan ::)  Great galette de chévre or goat cheese,lardons and tomatoes, 50Cl  pitcher of cider,and expresso coffee. Great!. And now part of a group with two outlets in Paris! More info here: Le Blé Noir at Versailles

versailles

versailles

One emblem of the city that actually divides Versailles from Le Chesnay (now new town of Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt (which is actually the union of two neighboring towns) ) is the Monument aux Morts (monument to the fallen)  at Place de la Loi. Lovely photo of rememberance. Enjoy my eternal Versailles!

versailles

And I hope you enjoy the tour as much as I did telling you about it. Versailles is it! And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

 

%d bloggers like this: