Archive for September 15th, 2019

September 15, 2019

Some news from France, CCXLIIII

So just back from Madrid and need to get back to my current living location for the last almost 17 years now, wow time flies when you are having fun lol! It’s time to write about my belle France, and it is a hot sunny day today with temps up to 25C or about 77F. I need to get back in the routine so while keep posting on my recent trip to my beloved Madrid will put the latest tidbits on France ok.

All have just tasted, stars in the eyes, some bottles of poulsard (or ploussard), savagnin or chardonnay, products without chemical weed killers. They also served as a source of inspiration for a generation of Jura winemakers who dusted the homeland of yellow wine and revitalized the smallest vineyard in France (less than 2,000 hectares). The general public is still unaware of it, but a new wave of connoisseurs is praising these wines, often with autochthonous grapes, marked by the strong identity of a terroir and the personalities of eco-friendly winemakers. In France and abroad, there are few trendy wine bars that today do not have Made in Jura on their menu. General look search for these towns on the bottles Lons-le-Saunier, Château Chalon (best); Poligny, Arbois (good too), and Salins-les-Bains. Enjoy the ocean of French winemaking at its best! More info here:

Lapérouse. This mythical address, which covered the secrets of Victor Hugo to Orson Welles via Michel Houellebecq, Serge Gainsbourg and François Mitterrand, benefits from a renovation as discreet as recent. The front door is small, you must bend to avoid rubbing the ceiling with the top of your skull. You learn by the way that the expression “to hit the bell” comes from the very low architectural configuration of the lounges of this old inn opened in 1766. The men bumped their heads regularly going from one room to another. When you enter the bar, on the ground floor, you have the distinct feeling of entering history. We like the idea of his second youth offered at the restaurant that saw the great Escoffier practice his art. The door that communicates with the kitchen remains open so that he can see the guests enter.You go upstairs; fortunately, the hostess’s blue, rustling tulle guides you through the maze of stairs stretched with velvet. You go past the private rooms, envious, before discovering the restaurant room. The ceiling is low, as expected, but covered with a celestial fresco that carries you away. Lapérouse, 51, quai des Grands-Augustins, 6éme. Open Tuesday to Friday from 12h30 to 14h and 19h to 22h, Saturday from 19h to 22h. tel +33 (0)1-43-26-68-04. Webpage:

Rochefort, in the Charente-Maritime, a wonderful town to visit away from Paris. At about 3h30 time from Paris deserves more than a pause on the road to ïle d’Oleron.You go for the Corderie Royal, the International Center for the Sea, located in the heart of the arsenal of Rochefort. You can spend the whole day there, thanks to a single ticket. Start with the visit of the famous Hermione, identical replica of the frigate of the Marquis of  La Fayette that took him to the USA. More info here :

The word “camping” puts you in a state of deep depression while your children dream of sleeping under a tent? Well we have done quite a few but in a mobile home! .The Escale des chateaux de la Loire, near Tours, offers nights in a perched hut, trailer, pod, or in very pretty lodges way Out of Africa with the advantage of being only fifteen minutes away from the Château de   Chenonceau, one of the most beautiful in the Loire Valley. Built on the Cher river, the gallery of Catherine de Medici always amazesus before running into Diane’s gardens, getting lost in the labyrinth, then discovering the donkey park, the flower garden and the educational hive. To visit also around, the garden of Château de Chaumont-on-Loire, its international festival of the gardens, and a string of other pretty castles . More info here :

Something wonderful for the whole family we have enjoyed over the years with the boys in younger age. Now a new house haunted catacombs way, populated by corpses, crossed by a cold wind, where the walls collapse and the lights darken … An initiatory course led by Dr. Cérébrus, littered with vampires and undead … If your children are already thinking about Halloween, they should love “Fear on the Park”, the flagship event of All Saints day in Parc Asterix, from October 5 to November 3. There are also 47 attractions to put your head upside down and forget that tomorrow … there is school!! . More info here :

Off-season, any season south of me just wonderful the huge beach of Carnac or Grande Plage in my Morbihan is even more beautiful .. For a bowl of iodized air, in the heart of the Gulf of Morbihan, you spend the weekend at the Best Western Hotel, (not stayed there of course but visited the property and its very good with great location) 5 minutes walk from the sea. You can enjoy Carnac without tourists, or, if the weather is good, opt for one of the bike / picnic tours offered by the hotel: the choice of the beautiful islands of Groix, Houat or Belle-Ile or a getaway in the salt marshes. Hotel just off the main blvd from the beach at 17 avenue De Kermario. More info here:

Heritage Days or Journées du patrimoine are coming up, September 21 and 22. So one suggestion is to go to the Eden Theater a survivor. It owes its title of the oldest cinema of the world still in activity to the private projections of the Lumière brothers, that it accomodates since 1895, and still more to the 250 spectators of its first paid session, in 1899, with the program Lancement d’un navire or launching of a ship. In La Ciotat. More info here :

The Yves Saint Laurent fashion house will inaugurate its first coffee shop. called Café Saint Laurent, this new canteen will be open today! September 15th, in time for Paris Fashion Week. Nestled in the heart of the first arrondissement, and just a stone’s throw from the Saint Laurent boutique, this new café will immerse you in the fancy and minimalist world of the famous house with sweets all more enticing than the others. Café Saint Laurent Rive Droite at the corner of rue du 29 Juillet and 213, rue Saint-Honoré .Not yet a webpage more here : Fashion Network on the Cafe Saint Laurent

Through videos filmed in 360 °, projected in an immersive space of 9m2, you will be transported directly in a beautiful setting. Travel to two of the most extraordinary places in the Pays de Fontainebleau: its forest and its emblematic castle. Between its 22 000 hectares of preserved nature (twice the surface of Paris!), Its exceptional landscapes, its gorges and breathtaking views you will have something to do. Follow in the footsteps of the kings of France by visiting the “true home of kings”, the Château de Fontainebleau. Throughout its galleries, its fully furnished rooms and the throne room of Napoleon I you will find yourself dreaming of being a true emperor. A true immersion in another era, the castle being the most furnished in Europe. The exhibition Reveal your true Nature: the immersive experience in the forest and the castle of Fontainebleau ,from September 18 to September 22 at the Gare de Lyon Paris .More info here :

One of the better establishments of Paris is transformed, for a weekend, into a temple of gastronomy. The idea? Bring together ambassadors of the bistronomy, emerging and promising talents or tasters artisans and caterers, for an unparalleled culinary journey . The Food Temple at the Carreau du Temple 4, rue Eugène-Spuller, 3eme. From September 20 to 22. More info here:

On the terrace of a cafe rue Saint-Martin in the fourth arrondissement, nothing seems to indicate -except the discreet shells on the shoulder of a statue of Saint-Merry Church , but the path from (Camino) Compostela pass here on this narrow pedestrian walkway. So an association wants to seal a shell every 25 to 30 meters in Paris, to materialize the path that crosses the city from north to south for 9 km!. The   association Compostela 2000 has submitted projects for which Parisians can vote until September 22 so to do the same in the fourth and fourteenth arrondissements. Paris is indeed the starting point of Via Turonensis, one of the four main routes leading to the Camino Francés,(French way)   the final stretch in Spain. At dawn, often in May and September, pilgrims begin their journey at the foot of the Saint-Jacques tower. For those coming from the North, the Porte de la Villette is the entry point to an almost straight line crossing the capital. More info here :

A century-old place that hosts a media library at the forefront of modernity. The Royal Charity, founded by Anne of Austria in 1645 for older women, and library of Fontainebleau since 1936, reopens this past Saturday, in premises of 1500 m2 whose surface has been doubled, the media library will draw between 19,000 books, 73 titles for young and old, 500 DVDs and 200 audio books. See the Médiathèque de Fontainebleau, 15, rue Royale. More info here:

And my grand finale! of course, another of my love, Versailles!

It’s a bit like the auto show of the 19C! Opposite the Château/museum of Versailles, the Galerie des Carrosses or gallery of coaches exposes a procession of state cars, all more impressive than the others. Installed under the majestic vaults of the Grande Ecurie or Great Stable. Soft lighting, solid oak walkway, everywhere, luxurious fabrics, bronze and gold. One glance is enough to understand: the pieces visible here are an invaluable treasure. Under king Louis XIV, nearly 1,500 men work in this temple of French riding. The racks date from this time. As a remarried Napoleon freshly divorced from Josephine, the Emperor requires forty sedans of the greatest luxury to parade with Marie-Louise of Austria. Upholsterers, wheelwrights, carpenters, gilders, miroitiers all came here. To achieve such wonders, fifty craftsmen are solicited., each coach is a feat. How to keep marble in front of the coronation coach of king Charles X drawn by eight horses, it has as much gilt bronze as wood, bringing its weight from 1.5 to 5.5 tons. The wheels are imitated from antique floats, the benches of silk velvet embroidered with gold threads. the little carriage of the dolphin Louis Charles of France, pulled by two goats. A little further, a surprising collection of fairy sledges in which the nobility was racing on the snowy paths of the castle park. Leopards, dragons, mermaids adorn these fancy vehicles that offer visitors the most fantastic dream trips. Galerie des Carrosses, in the GrandEcurie, facing the Château/museum of Versailles ( Yvelines dept 78). Open fromTuesday to Sunday from 12h30 to 18h30 (17h30 from November to March). Free admission!. More info here :

There you go a wonderful time as Fall is in the air and we are still with Summer weather here!!! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

September 15, 2019

Museo Archéologico Nacional, Madrid of course!

And now let me bring you a big one that is a must to visit while in my beloved Madrid. I have passed by a thousand times over the years, and always got to the library not the museum. As said so much to see and do in Madrid difficult to choose in our time there. However, this time was different as was coming with my young men alone and needed to introduce them to our culture. Therefore, in we went and was super!

I like to tell you a bit or as briefly as possible on the Museo Archéologico Nacional or the National Archelological Museum in Madrid!


The National Archaeological Museum based in the National Library and Museums Palace , a 19C building, which it shares with the National Library and is located on Calle Serrano , next to the Plaza de Colón. It is the main Spanish museum dedicated to archeology. It’s collection is based on pieces from the Iberian Peninsula, from Prehistory to the Modern Age. However, it also has different collections from outside Spain, especially from Ancient Greece, both from the metropolitan and, above all, from Magna Greece, and, to a lesser extent, from Ancient Egypt, in addition to a small number of parts from the Middle East.


A bit of history I like

The project of a National Archaeological Museum was set up in 1862. In that year it was decided to build a building, the National Library and National Palace  at the end of the Paseo de Recoletos, which would serve as the headquarters of the National Library, the National Museum of Painting and Sculpture (better known as the Trinity Museum) and the National Archaeological Museum. On March 20, 1867, through a royal decree, the queen Isabel II signed the creation in a political and social context in which the 1868 revolution was forged.

Its founding collections came mainly from the Royal Cabinet of Natural History (predecessor of the current National Museum of Natural Sciences), to which the funds of the Museum of Medals and Antiquities of the National Library were added, integrated by around 100 000 coins, medals and notches, as well as for a thousand archeological and artistic objects, those of the Higher School of Diplomats, and those of the Royal Academy of History.  on July 9, 1871, the inauguration took place at the hands of King Amadeo I, and at the time it had four sections such as  1st floor- Primitive times, with 2703 objects. 2nd floor – Middle Ages, with 3033 objects. 3rd floor – Numismatics, with 103 096 gold, silver, bronze and lead coins. 4th floor – Ethnography, with 3500 objects from Asia, Africa, America and Oceania.

The new artistic tendencies were imposed in the museography and all the decorative aspects derived from neoclassicism, eclecticism and Art Nouveau were eliminated; the pieces were intended to absorb the attention of the public without the hassle of complementary ornaments. During the Spanish Civil War  (1936-39) the pieces of showcases, pedestals and rooms were removed and, stored in drawers stacked inside a scaffolding, they were stored in a room, leaving only copies of pieces exposed on the walls. Once the contest was over, the post-war period in the Museum lasted until 1951 and was characterized by provisional displays.

A bit on the architecture I like

The 1865 project proposes a rectangular, three-story building, geometric and symmetrical with respect to the central axis of Paseo de Recoletos to Calle Serrano, with a cross inside and superposition of orders. It has four bays, with four pavilions in the corners. On the facade of Recoletos an octa-portico advances where a staircase that ascends from the garden ends, while on the Calle Serrano facade the wall is interrupted with seven spans between columns, before which appears an  access staircase. The arms of the cross and the bays leave room for four courtyards and in the center of the floor a large octagonal space. As for the roofs, they are gabled, and on the central body a 30-meter dome. In the second project the building expands and acquires its current dimensions and, among the changes with respect to the previous one, the number of openings increases. Surrounding the entire complex stands an iron fence 700 meters long, with three gates, two on the facade of Paseo de Recoletos and one on Calle Serrano. The Paseo de Recoletos façade presents an order of Corinthian columns, with a pediment as an auction; on the other hand, the Calle Serrano facade has Tuscan capitals on the first floor and with Ionic on the superimposed colonnade. The center of the facades gathered an outstanding set of statues and reliefs depicting illustrious characters of letters and symbolic arts and representations.

After this rearrangement the museum reopening its doors on  April 1, 2014. The works involved an increase in the useful area, which went from 19 280 to 23 303 square meters, and the space dedicated to exhibition, from 7300 square meters to 9715  distributed in 40 rooms, despite which the number of pieces exhibited in the new installation has not only not increased but has been reduced to 15,500 (although several of them form assemblies, so it can be said that 13,000 units are shown exhibition), compared to 18,000 that were previously exhibited. Likewise, new museum formats were incorporated, such as audiovisual media.

The National Archeological Museum today! Some pictures due to running out of memory on the blog! And I took 26 here Lol!

The museum  now has 40 rooms after its remodeling. It’s collections are exhibited in 12 exhibition modules, these are: Archeology and heritage; Prehistory; Proto-history; Roman Hispania; Late antiquity; Middle Ages; Modern age; History of the museum; Middle East; Egypt and Nubia; Greece and Currency.


The highlighs are the reproduction of the ceiling of the polychrome of the cave of Altamira (Santillana del Mar, Cantabria), in an underground room located under the outdoor garden. It also has one of the most outstanding collections of numismatics at European level, with 300 000 coins.  Among the non-Spanish collections stands out that of Greek vases, mainly painted scenes vases, one of the best in Europe. Although it had since its inception some pieces from the Royal Collection, received through the Museum of Medals and Antiquities of the National Library, and the Royal Cabinet of Natural History, through its successor, the National Museum of Natural Sciences, the great impulse was the purchase in 1874 of the collection of archeology of the Marquis of Salamanca, the most important 19C Spanish private collection in its field, which included 944 of them. Another milestone was the purchase in 1999 of the Várez Fisa collection of archeology. Of the 181 works, more than a hundred were Greek vases, first level and in fact superior in quality to much of the pre-existing collections in the museum.




There you go a nice building and with elevators/lifts to take you to the different rooms as well. There is staff available in all the rooms where you can ask for additional information on the pieces. The display is modernistic fantastic we love it!! And sure to be back.  Again, the National Archeological Museum is a must in Madrid!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official MAN Museo de Archeologia Nacional in English

Heavy loading but worth the wait for a virtual visit ! of MAN: Official virtual visit of MAN Museo de Archeologia Nacional

Tourist office of Madrid on the Museum

There you go  you have it all,now its time to come in and visit it, all worth it I am telling you. My beloved Madrid has a lot more than the Museum Triangle! Enjoy it

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

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