Archive for October 16th, 2019

October 16, 2019

Grand Thêatre de Tours!

Ok so I have been to some theaters usually in Paris (where I used to worked) or in Vannes (where I now work) but very little into the details of the performance. My main interest on them is the architecture and history of these buildings which are of the story of France in most cases.

The city of Tours is a wonderful place to be with plenty to see and do, and we have been there of course. One of the building monument that took our eye fancy was the Grand Theater of Tours or the Grand Thêatre de Tours. Let me tell  you a bit more on it ok

In our street walks of Tours, always good to walk in towns here, we took a detour into the rue de la Scellerie with ambiance the district of the antiques shops, book shops, and china porcelain , to the right you see the flamboyant façade of the Grand Théatre!

The Grand Théâtre of Tours is a 913-seat auditorium, it is home to the Opéra de Tours, which has a permanent choir and is also home to the Centre-Val de Loire-Region Symphony Orchestra.


The Grand Théâtre de Tours is built on the old church of Cordeliers. As early as 1796, this church was converted into a 800-seat theater by a private individual, the citizen Bûcheron. In 1867, the hall was bought by the city of Tours, which was demolished and replaced by a new ensemble inspired by the Opera Garnier de Paris The inauguration took place on August 8, 1872.


In 1883, a fire destroys a large part of the building with only the facade and the four walls remaining This second and current theater is finally inaugurated in 1889. The Grand Theater of Tours is a theater in the Italian style. Decor representing a theater scene in the Middle Ages, the Cardinal du Bellay introducing François Rabelais to François I and the Glories of Touraine.


Hope you enjoy the architecture of it and why not come to see a play here, the area is quant pretty and old world looking very romantic I must say. Enjoy the Grand Théâtre de Tours!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Opera of Tours on the Grand Theater history

City of Tours on the Grand Theatre info

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



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October 16, 2019

The streets of Tours!

And here I go again with walks; oh well you know i love the car and can’t be without it . However, there is a point in getting to a place and then another on seeing the place. The best way to see a place is to walk. And Tours is wonderful to do walking with plenty to see and do, see in search my previous posts on Tours with many of the sights there.

For now  ,let me tell you about the streets of Tours , I enjoy walking there some of them with photos.

The Château de Tours by the Place des Turones, accessible by the rue Lavoisier, at the old entrance to the barracks or the rue des Maures. The street rue Lavoisier  is along from the Loire river Avenue André Malraux next to the Château de Tours ;the Musée de la Typographie , Cathédrale St Gratien, Cloître de la Psalette, Musée des Beaux Arts just before the Place François Sicard and the garden of same name.


The Rue des Halles starts at the wonderful Halles of Tours or covered market in Place des Halles, and it continues passing by the Basilique Saint Martin de Tours, and the Tour Charlemagne. It continues on as the rue de la Scellerie which passed the Grand Théatre to the jardin François Sicard and the musée des Beaux Arts !


The rue de Corneille starts at the Grand Théatre (rue de la Scellerie) and continues to the end at rue Emile Zola. It is wonderful to see the great Haussmannien style homes along this short and quant street.


Another quant street we like is the Rue des Bons Enfants it  is around the Place Châteauneuf/Rue de Châteauneuf with nice parking area. It is a very old quant street we like it, and short ends at rue du Président Merville. On the backside is the Rue des Halles and the Basilique St Martin de Tours as well as the Tour Charlemagne. Also, the old  Palais de Ducs de Touraine back gives to the Rue des Bons Enfants , the entrance been on 15 Place de Châteauneuf.


The Passarelle or pont Saint-Symphorien or Pont de fil is a pedestrian and bicycle suspension bridge crossing the Loire river, built from 1845 to 1847, roughly at the site of the old medieval bridge of Eudes, demolished in 1784 but of which traces remain upstream.

A monument to the Fallen, dedicated to the volunteers of 1870 for the sacrifice of the soldiers of the 88th mobile regiment of Indre-et-Loire, was erected on the southern entrance, on the Château de Tours side , which at the time of the conflict was a barracks, having been moved to this place in the 1970s, from the Place du Chardonnet where it was originally since July 1914.

Since the outbound lane of the Pont Wilson (bridge) is reserved for a pedestrian / bicycle traffic due to the tramway, this being in addition to the developments on the banks of the Loire river already made, walkers and strollers now have, in Tours, a closed circuit around the Loire river, passing through the two bridges, which allows them to enjoy part of this Loire heritage in the Val de Loire perimeter. Finally, the Passarelle St Symphorien is on the pilgrimage trail of Saint-James of Compostela, in the direction of L’Île-Bouchard coming from Vouvray on the GR 3 way.


And the dandy is the Rue Nationale at 700 meters long, it extends on a flat land from north to south. It connects the Place Anatole-France , where the Pont Wilson opens and the Avenue de Grammont. It is one of the oldest and most commercial streets of the city that cuts in two the old or Vieux-Tours and is one of the main arteries of the city. Its rectilinear layout is in the center of a very beautiful prospect, called the major axis of six km and constituted from north to south by the Avenue de la Tranchée, the Pont Wilson, the Rue Nationale and the Avenue. from Grammont. The northern part of the street is wider than the southern part.  Since the installation of the tramway in 2013, the rue Nationale becomes pedestrian.


The Rue Nationale, formerly known as rue Royale, was really opened in 1777. Under the mandate of the mayor of Tours Jules Charpentier ,the rue Royale was renamed to the Rue Nationale. At the beginning of the street are the Central Library of Tours, the Saint-Julien Church , and the Musée du Compagnonnage . At no. 17 was the renowned Hôtel du Faisan (Pheasant), and on no. 39 was Honoré de Balzac’s birth house. The big retailers are present on Rue Nationale such as the Galerie Nationale at the southern part of the street.


In all a great walking city indeed, and we have plenty in my belle France! Oh yes as a reminder Tours is in dept 37 Indre et Loire in the region of Centre-Val de Loire !

The tourist office of Tours as reference here: Official tourism office of Tours

The tourist office of Indre et Loire as reference here: Official tourism Indre et Loire on Tours

And there you go hope you enjoy the walking of Tours! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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October 16, 2019

Tour de France 2020!

Ok so you are going to K me again this is an event way ahead but me think is good to plan ahead. When you have these big events I think it is always good to know the dates and the towns so you have plenty of time to plan your family’s trip. And I mean plan everything. This is the case with the Tour de France cycling race. The ultimate!!

Update, due to the wuhan virus the Tour de France  will be postponned for Saturday 29 August to Sunday 20 September 2020!

I am not an expert nor I ride now but still love it and all my family do. For all even the views of the cyclists going thru the wonderful countryside of my belle France is enough to come and see it, either on TV or even better on site. Over the years we have followed it usually around Pau but sometimes near me now and even near Paris. Let me tell you a bit about the 2020 edition of the Tour de France.

A Tour de France entirely in France, with mountain from beginning to end and in which the only test against the clock will be in the penultimate stage, ending in the hard climb to La Planche des Belles Filles. This is the route of the 2020 edition of the Tour de France, which will be held from June 27 to July 19, 2020 dates advanced by the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Southern Grand Départ from Nice will have three exits with an initial stage for sprinters and on the second day there will be a mid-mountain exam with 4,000 meters of unevenness in order to fight the Leader from the beginning. In fact, on the fourth day the first final will appear on high, on the high in Orcieres-Merlette, 7.1 km at 6.7% level.

The sixth stage will be another arrival up in a port like Mont Aigoual, which will link up to 34 km of final ascent. It will be on the way to the Pyrenees, protagonists of the second weekend. Two days, Saturday July 4 and Sunday July 5 with the first with Balès (11.7 to 7.7%) and Peyresourde (9.7 to 7.8%); and the Sunday, with Hourcere and Marie-Blanque. After the rest day, the race will reach the Atlantic coast, between the islands of Oleron and Ré, with the wind as the main protagonist. Nor will forget the Tour de France to honor the recently deceased Jacques Chirac, with the longest and only stage that passes 200 km at 218 ending in Sarran, in a second week that will end with the final in Grand Colombier.

The final berth will be blatantly mountainous, with a day on July 14 with five ports and final in Villard-de-Lans, to give way to one of the great novelties the next day, the Col de Loze, an extension of the station Meribel, which leaves a rise of 21 km to 7.8%, the last four hard and exceeding 2,300 meters of altitude. Everything, after having made the Madeleine before (17.1 to 8.4%). Stage reigns before another mountain day (four ports on the way to La Roche-Sur-Foron) and the decisive 36 km chrono ending at La Planche des Belles Filles, the hand-to-hand duel where the organization expects the winner to be decided.

The stages of the Tour de France and brief commentaries from AS and L’Equipe sports journals.

1st stage (June 27th): Nice –Nice (medium country) 156 km.The first stage of this Tour de France will make a great loop in the Nice hinterland with, rare thing, three difficulties to borrow from the inaugural Saturday.

2nd stage (June 28th): Nice –Nice (high country) 187 km. From the second day, the long but steady col de Colmiane pass (16 km to 6.3%) placed in the first third of the stage, then in the wake of the Turini pass (15 km to 7.4%) both already punctuated Paris-Nice in 2018 and 2019 respectively – and the slightly more affordable Col d’Eze (7.8 km at 6.1%) will stand in front of the peloton, in a Tour de France which begins full slope (nearly 4000 m of elevation gain).

3rd stage (June 29th): Nice-Sisteron. 198 km. Without being a mountainous stage as the day before, the profile of this day will be slightly bumpy when the riders leave the Mediterranean shores for the Provençal hinterland, and will rise to above 1000 m before descending to Sisteron for an arrival which will be disputed between bruisers and/or sprinters.

4th stage (June 30th): Sisteron – Orcières-Merlette. 157 km. A 4th stage that already reaches the 2,000 m of altitude at its arrival: the first days of the 2020 edition will be steep, with the line drawn at the top of the climb of Orcières-Merlette, only 7 km but at 6.7% average. The foot also includes the steepest pass, with a second kilometer of ascension announced at 8.2% average. The riders will have already negotiated a first difficulty at nearly 1500 m before

 5th stage (July 1st): Gap-Privas. 183 km. Runners will leave the Hautes-Alpes gently sloping for the Ardèche buttresses through the Rhone Valley, often open to the winds of the South and, why not, to the curbs. Long-distance breakouts could be a breeding ground for victory if the sprint teams do not lock the race.

6th stage (July 2nd): Teil-Mont Aigoual. 191 km. Back on the slopes for the fourth time in six days with an arrival at Mount Aigoual that the Tour de France had not visited since its only passage in 1987. It’s not so much the last 14 kilometers that will make the difference, with their alternation between plateau and final elevation at a pleasant 4% average, as the formidable and irregular Lusette pass (11.7 km at 7, 3%) just before, including two kilometers passed in 11 % of slope. A total of 34 km climb that will reduce the organisms after not even a week’s drive.

7th stage (July 3rd): Millau-Lavaur. 168 km. A hilly stage but without real big difficulty. If weather conditions do not spread the peloton in small clusters, the riders could come out unscathed.

 8th stage (4th of july): Cazères-sur-Garonne – Loudenvielle. 140 km. A sequence of three well-known passes, an arrival in the valley in a rather narrow stage: the Pyrenees stand before the peloton at the end of the first week of racing. Col de Menté, Port of Balès and Col de Peyresourde punctuate this mountainous stage which finally switches to Loudenvielle. The succession of three climbs introduces the lightning but strong passage that makes the Tour de France in the Pyrenean massif.

9th stage (July 5th): Pau-Laruns. (we have been here before!!) 154 km. Second day Béarnaise before the day of rest, again a wild severity. The brutal succession of the Hourcere and Soudet passes, planted well in the middle of the stage with 11 km at 8.8% followed by 3.8 km at 8.5%, barely interspersed with a descent of 5 km before the pass of Marie Blanque and its 7.7 km at 8.6% is added to the table in the last third of the stage, conclude a first week of Tour de France particularly marked by the mountain, unpublished in the modern history of the test.

10th stage (July 7th): Île d’Oléron (The Château d’Oléron) – Île de Ré (Saint-Martin-de-Ré).170 km. The Tour de France will go from island to island (wonderful to see) after the day of rest, for one of the few steps possibly for sprinters.

 11th stage (July 8th): Châtelaillon-Plage – Poitiers. 167 km. New stage with very soft relief, which will still be able to smile to the teams of sprinters on the Poitevin line .

12th stage (9th of July): Chauvigny-Sarran. 218 km. The longest stage of this 2020 edition will lead the pack towards Sarran, through a bumpy course without being really nothing complicated.

13th stage (July 10th): Châtel-Guyon – Puy-Mary. 191 km. A profile that will leave no respite, typical of those stages of mid-mountain that have worn out the bodies of runners in 2019. All incessant climbs and descents, this stage crossing the Massif Central is announced as the one with the biggest difference in altitude of the 2020 edition – 4400 m for 191 km of course. Among other celebrations listed: the Col de Ceyssat pass, the Col de Guéry, the Montée de la Stéle, the Estiade coast, the Anglards-de-Salers coast before concluding by the Col de Néronne pass (3.8 km to 9.1%) which precedes by 5 km the final rise of Pas de Peyrol, a sacred delicacy of 5.4 km to 8.1% of average. And whose 2.5 ultimate kilometers stand at nearly 12% with a passage to 15%. Big program in perspective.

14th stage (July 11th): Clermont-Ferrand – Lyon. 197 km. A stage marked the passage of the Béal pass in the first part of the race. Not enough to decide the fate of the stage before a descent to Lyon and some bumps on the menu in the very last part of the race: the coast of the Duchère, the rise of the Observance and the Côte de la Croix-Rousse will spice up the finale.

15th stage (12th of July): Lyon-Grand Colombier. 175 km. From almost every angle: from Lyon, runners will approach the Grand Colombier by almost all its possible access and drive. First by coming flirting with him from the west, to the saddle of Fromentel (11 km to 8.1%, including slopes between 11.5 and 22% in the last three kilometers), before s’ turn to go down to the north and hang on the Col de la Biche (7 km to 8.9%). They will then have to turn east, join Culoz and tackle the Grand Colombier, which is so difficult (17.4 km at 7.1%), irregular, with a brittle rhythm, where in several places the slopes follow slopes of 12%!

16th stage (July 14th): The Tour-du-Pin – Villard-de-Lans. 164 km. If the Chartreuse massif and the Col de Porte pass, which appear quite early in the stage (km 47) do not already scatter part of the peloton, the Vercors, its climb of access (by Saint-Nizier-du -Moucherotte), its plateau and its final coast at Villard-de-Lans, could legitimately be the theater.

17th stage (July 15th): Grenoble-Col de la Loze. 168 km. The queen stage of this Tour de France will cross the Madeleine and will end at the top of the Col de la Loze Pass, an unprecedented climb to the spectacular finale, destined to become a classic of the Great Loop. A narrow road opened last May and closed to cars has made accessible to cyclists the summit of the Col de la Loze (2 304 m), which connects the valley of Meribel to that of Courchevel. The extraordinary strength of this climb does not lie in its length (21.5 km in total from the foot, Brides-les-Bains), nor in its average percentages (7.8%), but in the unique profile of last six terminals, on the new elevation road. This consists of a succession of impressive walls and floors, with many passages over 20%. Short laces, violent raids and incessant ruptures of slope, which offer cyclists a phenomenal field of expression.

18th stage (July 16th): Méribel – La-Roche-sur-Foron. 168 km. Since it was retracted due to weather conditions in the 2019 edition, here is the Cormet Roselend served on the menu of 2020, but this time in its direction Bourg-Saint-Maurice – Beaufort. Then come a solid sequence of the Col des Saisies, the Aravis, the rise of the plateau Glières (back to the program after an appearance in 2018)

19e étape (17 juillet) : Bourg-en-Bresse – Champagnole. 160 km. Part of the Ain to join the reliefs of the Jura, it will not present difficulties comparable to the previous days and could benefit the sprinters.

20th stage (July 18th): Lure – La Planche des belles filles (against the clock). 36 km. The only stage against the clock of this Tour de France 2020 will be played on 36 km with a final in hill. And what a rise: the now classic Planche des belles filles, on the program for the fifth time in nine editions. Nearly 6 km to 8.5% (in “normal” version for 2020 after the “Super Planche” of 2019) with ad hoc passages at 13 or even 20%. A chrono during the penultimate stage is not new in the recent history of the Tour de France all editions from 2002 to 2008, then those of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 or even 2017 were filled, with a single change of leader on the eve of the arrival in Paris, in 2011. But the uniqueness of the individual chrono this year makes it a unique event.

21st stage (July 19th): Mantes-la-Jolie (Yvelines dept 78! – Paris .122 km. As every year until 2024, the last stage of the Tour starts from the Yvelines to reach Paris. By an agreement between the Tour de France and the dept 78 Yvelines! My old home!

The official webpage of the Tour de France:

There ,now you are all set to come in, bienvenue  and enjoy the race ,the Tour de France 2020.

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


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