Archive for November, 2019

November 30, 2019

The Place and Fountain St Michel, Paris of course!

Ok hoping you are enjoying the ride as I, with my many posts on my eternal Paris taking advantage I am in the area for a while. The post is the same following brief stint in my blog like writing a bit on the Place St Michel and its fountain on a previous post.

This time with new pictures let me tell you  a bit more on one of the must see in Paris, do you read me, walk!!! walk Paris I did all over and the beauty is many monuments are so close to each other you will have a full list of monuments in a short while. OF course, many of these I have already entered but even if do there is time to see many in a small radius Paris is walkable ,just do it.

Now a bit on the wonderful fabolous Place Saint Michel and Fontaine Saint Michel of Paris of course!


The Place Saint-Michel is a square located in the Sorbonne and the Monnaie neighborhood or quartiers of the 5éme and 6éme arrondissement or districts of Paris.


It should not be confused with the former Place Saint-Michel, located further south and incorporated into the Boulevard Saint-Michel in the 1850s. It owes its name to the proximity of the Pont Saint-Michel bridge, which was located near the Chapel Saint-Michel du Palais.

The square was created during the breakthrough of Boulevard Saint-Michel, in 1855 under Napoleon III. The breakthrough of this square led to the disappearance of the Place du Pont-Saint-Michel, part of the rue Saint-André-des-Arts, part of the rue de l’Hirondelle and part of quai des Grands-Augustins. The Saint-Michel bridge built in the 14C was redone at the same time as the square. The Place Saint Michel officially takes its name in 1864.

The Fontaine Saint-Michel fountain is located on the Place Saint-Michel, at the intersection of boulevard Saint-Michel and rue Danton. It has the distinction of occupying alone a whole gable wall.   The Saint-Michel fountain is part of the aeration plan of the city planned by Haussmann under Napoleon III.


The first idea was to erect a huge statue of Napoleon I but it was abandoned, and at the insistence of the municipal commission  who wanted to recall the memory of the old Chapel Saint-Michel in the city.  it was finally the struggle of Good against Evil which was retained as a program with the Archangel Michael slaying the Devil in a triumphal arch surrounded by winged chimeras or dragons.

The Fountain of St Michael is 26 meters high and 15 meters wide. It is composed in the manner of an ancient triumphal arch, a rhythmic bay marked by Corinthian columns in red marble from the Languedoc cushioned by four bronze statues representing the cardinal virtues. The composition with a central niche framed by four columns and a pediment is a reference to the Medici fountain of the Luxembourg Garden. The purpose of the polychromy is to balance the lack of illumination. This fountain, whose construction began in June 1858 was inaugurated on August 15, 1860.

The tourist office of Paris has info on it in English: Tourist office of Paris on the Fountain of St Michel

There you go another dandy in my eternal Paris, a wonderful area and while there I had the nostalgia to eat for lunch was perfect at the Le Clou de Paris ,1 Rue Danton right by the Place Saint André des Arts which itself is near the Place Saint Michel!  Fantastic service and the food was delicious lentils and sausages with bacon, ,crême brulée, all with a quart of Bordeaux house red and expresso coffee, all for about 25€;nice!!! Oh yes came by car lol! and parked at the underground right there St Michel (indigo group) super! Of course, I have a totally different opinion then the so call travel site, the resto is great maybe not crowded had to do but great nevertheless. No webpage. The RestaurantGuru reviews here:



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

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November 29, 2019

One more time, Conciergerie de Paris!

Here is my continuing journey in my eternal Paris as I am stationed nearby these days lol!! Can’t be too far away from Paris and I need to bring up new pictures which brings great enjoyment to me even if not a pro at it. The fun is what kinds la vie est belle!!

I have written before on many things in Paris and sometimes I must return back to them even if nothing more to tell, the pictures alone are my compensation, and Paris is a huge one indeed. I have written on the Conciérgerie de Paris much on its history on another post.


The building is imposing indeed and even on rainy , lead filled Paris lol! and demonstration by all, there were lines to get in! Power Paris!!!


The wonderful golden clock is fantastic to look at and many were doing just that as I got muscled in to take my picture lol! I am a tourist !!! love it!!! Can’t help it to tell you a bit more!


As you know the Conciérgerie is found on the ïle de la Cité, along the Quai de l’Horloge in Paris. it is the oldest prison in France, very sinister memory moreover! A stroll on the side of this venerable place filled with a thousand memories dating from the Middle Ages is needed, especially when there is more than enough to tell and see.

When you arrive on the banks of the Seine,you are always amazed to see this majestic building, a mix of architectural styles, to be there. The Conciergerie seems relatively quiet, a beauty for the eyes.


The Conciergerie is actually the old Palais de la Cité, which was nothing less than the Palace of the ancient kings of France, the Capetian. The Conciergerie, also encompassing the modern Palace of Justice. The Sainte Chapelle, built by Saint-Louis, was also part of the Palais de la Cité.

There are two towers, the tour d’Argent or silver tower (where the royal treasury was kept) and the tour de Caesar tower (in memory of the Roman foundations on which the tower was built) were built by king Philip IV the Fair and completed in 1313, and they have reached us , intact. Today, you can appreciate the reflections of the illumination of the Conciergerie at night in the Seine river, it is a must to see.

There are no less than 2700 sentenced to death in just two years who will go through the Conciergerie! Marie-Antoinette and Robespierre stayed here, before going to the scaffold, you can also visit the cell of the former Queen of France. The cell was put back in the origina state, with wax figures for the guards, dressed in period, objects, sinister … it changes from the Palace/Museum of Versailles, for sure. It was nice to see a seat in Marie-Antoinette’s cell that was actually used to do her intimate needs !!

In the 19C, the future Napoleon III was also locked up, as well as the anarchists Orsini and Ravachol or Marshal Ney. The prison function will continue until 1914, when it becomes a national monument, and open to the public. A wonder to be seen again and again while in Paris

Just for the record, the tourist office of Paris on the Conciérgerie: The Conciergerie on Paris tourist office in English

Hope you enjoy the post and thanks for reading me , and Paris will reward you again and again, eternal Paris. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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November 29, 2019

The foodie in me, best restaurants! World and France!!!!!

Ok so this is fun for me and love to eat good haa that is maybe one good reason I am in France lol! Written pieces on food and wine before, and will try once in a while to post interesting foodies reports here. I just saw one that caught my attention and translated a bit of it from Les Echos business journal on their weekend edition.

First, credit where credit is due, this is the Les Echos webpage on the whole article in French: Les Echos on the best restaurants in the world from La Liste!

And here are some excerpts in English

What are the best restaurants in the world? The question may seem inept, or terribly complicated … Better for what and for whom? Five years ago, Philippe Faure decided to take the issue seriously, and even to respond methodically. The former diplomat, who also owned the Gault & Millau guide and President of Atout France (the national tourism development agency), founded La Liste, an app that lists the best restaurants in 180 countries for travelers. A “metaclassement”, a bit like that of ATP for tennis or that of Shanghai for universities, which provides both a practical tool (the app La Liste) and a very original track record. By its methodology, it puts forward addresses often different from the three Michelin stars, or the list of the 50 best restaurants in the world established by the British The World’s 50 Best thanks to the votes of regional juries.

In exclusivity, Les Echos Week-End reveal the main results of The 2020 List, which will be formalized on Monday, December 2, during a ceremony at the Quai d’Orsay

Starting with the laureates, who are four this year. Two new names appear, and both are in Tokyo: Nihonryori Ryugin and Sugalabo. The first, an institution run by Seiji Yamamoto, offers elegant traditional cuisine (kaiseki). The second, only 20 seats, was created five years ago by Yosuke Suga, a chef with a more international and even French inspiration, since he worked for Joël Robuchon for a long time. The two other 2020 winners are more familiar to the list, since they were already big winners last year: Le Bernardin in New York, a Manhattan restaurant whose chef, Eric Ripert, is French, and Guy Savoy at the Monnaie,Paris.

Of the 1,000 best restaurants on the planet that we have distinguished, Japan is the first country in terms of number of establishments this year. It is being followed by China, which is gaining momentum. Then come France, then the United States. However, France is still doing well. We have made the accounts: with 120 restaurants ranked in the Top 1 000 for 67 million inhabitants, France has a ratio of 1.8 per million inhabitants. It is better than Japan and its 148 tables among the best 1,000 (1.16), and much better than the United States (0.28) or China (0.1). We are reassured!!!!!

Find the list of the first nine restaurants in the ranking, whose score is 99 or above.

Guy Savoy Monnaie de Paris / France (Paris) / Chef : Guy Savoy / Score : 99.5

Le Bernardin / Etats-Unis (New York) / Chef : Eric Ripert / Score : 99.5

Nihonryori Ryugin / Japon (Tokyo) / Chef : Seiji Yamamoto /  Score : 99.5

Sugalabo /Japon (Tokyo) / Chef : Yosuke Suga / Score : 99.5

 Kitcho Arashiyama / Japon (Kyoto) / Chef : Kunio Tokuoka / Score : 99

 L’Arpège / France (Paris) / Chef : Alain Passard / Score : 99

 Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse / Monaco / Chef : Alain Ducasse / Score : 99

 Martín Berasategui / Espagne (Lasarte-Oria) / Chef : Martin Berasategui / Score : 99

 Sushi Saito / Japon (Minato-ku) / Chef : Takashi Saito / Score : 99

For business travelers or inveterate foodies, here are the best restaurants according to The 2020 List, in 20 capitals or major cities on the planet.

Amsterdam : Ciel Bleu / Chefs : Onno Kokmeijer et Arjan Speelman

Barcelona : Lasarte / Chef : Martin Berasategui

Berlin : Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer / Chef : Hendrik Otto

Brussels : Sea Gril / Chef : Yves Mattagne *

Doha : Idam (Alain Ducasse) / Chef : Damien Leroux

London : Gordon Ramsay / Chef : Gordon Ramsay

Lyon : La Mère Brazier / Chef : Mathieu Viannay

Madrid : Coque / Chef : Mario Sandoval

Marseille : Le Petit Nice / Chef : Gérald Passedat

Montréal : Le Mousso / Chef : Antonin Mousseau-Rivard

Moscow : Twins Garden / Chef : Ivan et Sergey Berezutskiy

New York : Le Bernardin / Chef : Eric Ripert

Paris : Guy Savoy Monnaie de Paris / Chef : Guy Savoy

Pékin : The Beijing Hongkong Jockey Club / Chef : Johnson Meng

Rome : La Pergola / Chef : Heinz Beck

San Francisco : Atelier Crenn / Chef : Dominique Crenn

Shanghai : Ultraviolet / Chef : Paul Pairet

Singapore : Odette / Chef : Julien Royer

Tel Aviv : Lumina / Chef : Meir Adoni

Tokyo : Sugalabo** / Chef : Yosuke Suga

Tokyo : Ryugin** / Chef : Seiji Yamamoto

* Déménage en mai 2020 à la Villa Lorraine.

** Ex aequo.

The authors of La Liste (the List), also list good bistros around the world. Here are their ten favorites in the Hexagone (France).

Au Vieux Comptoir ; obsolete, genre The Traversée de Paris. The charcuterie (Jura, Basque Country, pâté de l’Ardèche) is carefully selected, such as scallops, fish or veal kidneys from Corrèze. Regressive desserts, like this drunk baba of rum. 17, rue des Lavandières Sainte-Opportune, 75001 Paris. Tél. : 01 45 08 53 08. Budget menu à la carte from  40- 55 €.

Le Grand Pan :  Benoît Gauthier has earned a loyal following with his no-frills appetizers (creamy cold white bean soup) and left the choice between a saddle of golden lamb with saltire or a braised pork cheek with red wine. In the evening, soup of office, and choice between a pork chop (Ibaïona), beef (blonde of Aquitaine), veal (of Mauléon) or a Breton lobster. 20, rue Rosenwald, 75015 Paris. Tel. : 01 42 50 02 50. Count from 35 to 55 €.

Café de la Fontaine :Bruno Cirino is a huge chef whose talent can be put to the test both at the Café de la Fontaine and the Hostellerie Jérôme, the big table in the hinterland. Depending on the season, the market or the auction, the menu will feature a brandade of sweet pepper cod or Mediterranean fillet of red mullet with wild fennel. 4, avenue du General de Gaulle, 06320 La Turbie. tel. : 04 93 28 52 79. Menu 33 €.

Café Brunet :  Installed in 1875 in a building of the fourteenth century, this bistro is resistance. Here, no trendy dishes or interchangeable menus. The canaille menu announces the color: féra, apples in oil, candied pork cheek or grilled sausage, French toast … found. 18, place Gabriel Fauré, 74940 Annecy. tel : 04 50 27 65 65. From 26 € to 33 €.

Mets Môts : The old printing press has kept some traces of its past, but the delicate and tasty cuisine does not invite nostalgia. The pie, tart red cabbage, like the blood pigeon, fondue caramelized or pumpkin pie recall that the chef is a former Gagnaire. 98, rue Fondaudège, 33000 Bordeaux. tel : 05 57 83 38 24. Menus lunch 22 €, evening 33 € and 58 €.

Le Goût des Choses : It is said that Marseille is the capital of a continent named Mediterranean. Precisely, Olivier Rathery went on a stroll before settling there, about ten years ago. The slightly aniseed cod moss evokes Florida, the Chimichurri sauce applied to Simmental beef fillet, Argentina. 4, Place Notre-Dame-du-Mont, 13000 Marseille. tel : 04 91 48 70 62. Menus 24 € (debit), 32 and 41 €.

Daniel et Denise : Created in 1968 by Daniel Léron (MOF), taken over by Joseph Viola in 2004 (also MOF), this corkscrew institution is a sanctuary of the sapper apron, fat double (in the cap), passed the beaten egg, breaded, seared served crispy with a gribiche sauce or a snail butter. 156, rue de Créqui, 69003 Lyon. tel : 04 78 60 66 53. Formula (dej.) 21 €, seasonal menu 33 €.

Le Bistrot d’Antoine :A stone’s throw from Place Saint-Etienne, in the heart of Strasbourg, Antoine Kuster proudly composes his menu with the products and traditions of Alsace. Frog legs, schniederspaetle (stuffed ravioli), wild boar stew, roasting cock, hand-molded pudding. A paradise for gourmets. 3, rue de la Courtine, 67000 Strasbourg. tel: 03 90 24 93 25. Menu 33 €, carte 45 €.

Terre-Mer : (yes this is in my area !!! good one)This is the good address of Auray, in the Gulf of Morbihan, where Anthony Jehanno and his wife remind us of the immemorial links that the Bretons have woven with the sea. The “pot-au-feu” of  gamberoni and marrow , followed by a monkfish tail, boudin, hock and langoustine bisque illustrate a creative and respectful approach to the products.20, rue Louis Billet, 56400 Auray. tel. : 02 97 56 63 60. Formula 28 €, menus 34 and 55 €.

Le Patio :   Although it promises to be self-taught, the young chef has a job: for example, scallops, cream of endives, confit pork belly, potatoes, or small cabbages (chocolate and passion cream). /blood orange). No map, but a slate and a reasonable addition. 5, rue Christine, 50100 Cherbourg. tel : 02 33 52 49 10. Menus 22 € (lunch) and 30 €.

And there you go folks, we keep on ticking the world with the best culinary skills and tastes even in far away places , they are either French inspired or French expatriates doing the work of heavens on earth. Bon appétit!!

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


November 28, 2019

Some news from France, CCXCII

Rapid fire news from France and especially Paris. If visiting next month be ready for strikes and big time. I drive but if using public transport it will be a battle, well even the roads will be more saturated as the French takes alternative routes. Just saying…

Be on alert if visiting Paris in Decembe 2019. Because, on December 5, and probably also the following days, rare will be the means of transportation. Traffic could be virtually zero on the RATP network. Automated metro lines – the 1 and the 14 – should thus work, unless the massive influx of users forces the RATP, as a security measure, to close the stations.  On December 5th and 6th, it will be chaos. People have anticipated, they are more or less organized. It remains to be seen what will happen on Monday 9th. It is announce massive so be ready and trace alternative routes. If doubts , questions, let me know here. Or in French info on the strikes here :

And for the shoppers be aware of Black Friday yes it happened in France too and Paris is ready!!!

The parking tickets for annoying or abusive parking are not reserved for motorists. Some drivers of buses/coaches have experienced this from today Thursday afternoon, near the Opera Garnier. Parking is only allowed on reserved and paying places by purchasing a bus/coach pass at the rate of 90€ for 6 hours of parking in the central area and 50€ for 24 hours in the rest of the city. According to estimates by the city/town hall, 1200 buses criss-cross the city daily in high season. To park, they have only 467 dedicated places of which less than half in the center area !.Easy to pass laws without the solutions that is Paris today. Source Le Parisien newspaper

In the project to extend the by 2024, a giant step has been taken with the completion of the civil works of the future RER E to Mantes La Jolie (Yvelines 78) .At the Nanterre station. The first rails will be ready for commissioning by the end of 2022, with the promise of a new generation line for travelers. The extension of the RER E towards the West takes shape with the end of the civil engineering works of the future station of Nanterre, one of the three new stations of the line with those of Porte Maillot and La Défense. In its central part, the future line RER E will be the most interconnected line in the region of Île-de-France. It will be with all the RER A, B, C and D, 10 of the 14 metro lines, 7 train lines, 5 tramway lines, the future lines 15 and 16 of the Grand Paris Express, a hundred lines of buses including those serving the three Paris airports. In concrete terms, the RER E, which starts today from Chelles-Gournay and Tournan, east of Paris, and ends at Haussmann Saint-Lazare station, will see its extended line of 55 km to Mantes La Jolie in 2024. An extension that requires digging 35 meters deep tunnel 8 km in dense urban area, between Saint-Lazare and Nanterre. Ok so this should help indeed ! Info in French here :

In their hands, a red, green and golden banner stamped Seine-et-Oise. Set by five passersby to a mahogany stick, the banner of the Amicale, a former fanfare of the town, offered in 1868 to the music company of Roissy-en-France by Emperatrice Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III. It had mysteriously disappeared in June 1979. In 1870, the war is raging but it is saved from the flames that ravage the city/town hall. The hour, however, is the French Republic. The reference to the emperor is thus erased and replaced by the mention Seine-et-Oise, still visible today. The Seine et Oise is the old region today Yvelines (78). More in French at the Le Parisien newspaper.

The pavilion of Russia presented at the 1878 World Fair had then joined Nogent-sur-Marne (Val de Marne dept 94). Its current owners have created two extensions respecting the building. More in French at the tourist office of Nogent sur Marne :

The latest photos of the 4,000 archival projects from the 1950s to the 1980s are posted on signs. Visitors are invited to tag them to identify places and projects. The rooms where the documents are kept, some of which are over 1,000 years old. A departmental archives reading room welcomes a thousand people a year, who consult nearly ten thousand documents in total. But via the website, eight million documents are consulted by 600,000 visitors. The building in Montigny-le-Bretonneux (Yvelines 78) houses the equivalent of 32 km of paper archives, among which are some exceptional documents. For example, there are plans for fortified places ordered by the intelligence service of Louis XIV and a beautiful watercolor plan of the city of Marseille or the story of Madame du Barry, part of England to find the diamond river that had been fly, specifies a guide. There is also the route of the first railway, which connected Paris to Saint-Germain-en-Laye, on which occurred the first train accident that almost put a stop to its development. It contains the minutes of the trial of Landru, who killed eleven women, in his house in Vernouillet (78), then in that of Gambais, guillotined in 1922 in the courtyard of the prison of Versailles. But also those of the former militiaman Paul Touvier, tried in 1994 by the Court of Yvelines for complicity in crimes against humanity or those of the last death row in the history of France executed in public. It was Eugene Weidmann, born in 1908 in Frankfurt am Main, a German serial killer who acted in the 1930s in France. Nicknamed the “killer with velvet eyes”, the man who recognized six crimes was guillotined on June 17, 1939 in Versailles, on the current place André-Mignot, in a festive atmosphere so shocking that the authorities decided after that to abolished public capital executions. Departmental Archives of Yvelines and the old Seine-et-Oise, open from Tuesday to Thursday, from 9h to 17h30 and one Saturday per month, from 9h30 to 17h30 (only on reservation of documents 48h in advance, next opening Saturday, December 7), located at 2, avenue de Lunca , Montigny-le-Bretonneux. Information tel +33 (0) or on webpage :

In the family room of the palace of Compiégne, wedged between the seats in Louis XV style gilded wood, the Fiat Stanguellini seems ready to put the gas to the allée des Beaux-Monts that faces it. In another wing of the castle, under the tapestries and gilded moldings of the anthapel, the experimental motorcycle Moto Major of 1948 triumphantly sits on its ivory white podium.  Further on, at the top of the staircase of honor, is the roar of the Mercedes Benz 3 liters of the racer Rudolf Caracciola who buzzes in the ear of the visitor. Welcome to the exhibition “Concept car, pure beauty”, which opens this coming Friday in the rooms of the Château de  Compiègne. An event dedicated, for the first time in France, to these record or experimental vehicles of which there is often only one single copy. Until March 23, 2020,  twenty-eight vehicles, record cars or motorcycles, will be exhibited between the hall of the columns, the guard room and the various lounges. A sign of this renewed ambition, the kitchen court, closed to the public since 1998, has been reopened especially for the launch of the exhibition, after renovation works. Until March 23, at the castle of Compiègne. Every day, except Tuesday, from 10h to  16h30 (last access at 16h). Rates (including permanent collections): from 7.50€  to 9,50€. More info at castle webpage :

This is the good news of the day, the exhibition of Van Gogh that hits hard since February is extended until January 5, 2020! This first in the world of art is the subject of a great sound and visual creation at L’Atelier des Lumières for many months. An immersion retracing the intense life of the painter through his greatest masterpieces.

 In the fall of 2020, the magic of Disney will stop at the Palais des Sports during an exceptionnel cinema-concert that will delight young and old Parisians as well as visitors. On the program: a musical and visual experience out of the ordinary. In front of a giant screen of 20 meters in ultra HD, a symphony orchestra accompanied by talented singers Emily Pello, Dan Menasche, Judith Derouin, Igor Bouin and even Cerise Calixte, the French voice of the heroine of the film Vaïana: The Legend of the End of World, will punctuate this enchanted trip. The Disney show in concert – Magical Music from the Movies will go through the Palais des Sports in Paris on October 24 and 25, 2020, it will cross France with nearly 30 other performances in Bordeaux, Caen, Dijon, Grenoble, Lille, Limoges, or Lyon. We dreamed about it, they did it! In the fall of 2020, the magic of Disney will stop at the Palais des Sports with a program, a musical and visual experience out of the ordinary.  We all know them by heart! Aladdin, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, The Snow Queen or The Lion King, all represent the soundtrack of our childhood. Ready to rediscover the pleasure of screaming?  Whether nostalgic, small singer or dreamer, this unusual film-concert is the show of the year not to be missed! Disney in concert – Magical Music from the Movies,  At the Palais des Sports, Dome of Paris, 34, boulevard Victor, 15éme arrondissement. Tickets like my favorite FNAC here: FNAC ticket for the Disney show

 And if not enough, another nice  museum in a memorable place for me. My first working train station where I learned the art of public transports lol ! Art Ludique or Fun Art – The Museum is the first museum in the world devoted entirely to the arts and culture industries. It brings together under the same roof video game, animated film, comic strip, manga and cinema design.  The museum will also be the first museum in the world installed in a train station in activity. Having signed an agreement with SNCF Gare & Connexions, the Art Ludique museum moved to Gare Saint-Lazare in 2020 and will open its doors in 2021. With an exhibition area of more than 1300 m2, the museum will present a permanent collection and evolutionary and temporary exhibitions. Formerly located at 34, Quai d’Austerlitz in the 13éme arrondissement, in Les Docks, city of fashion and design. More info here :

There you go plenty to do in my belle France and especially in my eternal Paris, the most beautiful city in the world witness by millions over the years especially that Bogart and we will always have Paris!!!!

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

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November 28, 2019

Paris and Tour St Jacques!

So on a nice Sunday braving the demonstrations I took my car into Paris, glorious!!! Easy once again ride on the A3 getting around Porte de Bagnolet into inner Paris and easy parking at Place Saint Michel!! And for diversity the way back I took out by the Porte de la Chapelle as easy as well!

As to minimize my word count I said once into Paris the best way is to walk, and walk I did all over, many posts to come. However this time will tell you a bit more on the St James’s Tower in Paris, Tour St Jacques.


Here is the must read from the tourist office of Paris: Tourist office of Paris on the tour St Jacques

For admission ticket information and visits official site is here: Official site for visits to the Tour St Jacques in French

Actually  ,do not recall having a post on it alone. So credit is due,here is my take on it

The Saint-James tower or Tour St Jacques is the only vestige of the Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie church, whose new bell tower was built between 1509 and 1523, this bell-tower is erected in the middle of the first Parisian square, which bears its name , in the 4éme arrondissement of Paris.


While resuming certain elements of the contemporary Louis XII style, this building shows how much Parisian and particularly religious architecture is reluctant to the innovations brought from Italy and remains as in the hotel Cluny, faithful to the essential style 15C flamboyant Gothic. While the general architecture of the building remains essentially faithful to the flamboyant Gothic style of the 15C, it does not take less certain novelties induced by the new Louis XII style that triumphs then marking a transition between art Gothic and the Early Renaissance.


A bit of history I like

The Tour Saint-Jacques is an old Bell tower constituting the only vestige of the Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie church, dedicated to Saint Jacques le Majeur (St James the Major). This sanctuary was home to a relic of Saint James and was a famous place of pilgrimage and the place of worship of the merchants of the neighborhood.

This bell tower was built between 1509 and 1523. It measures 54 meters up to the balustrade. The church was destroyed in 1793 and closed by the French revolution and became a national stone quarry site. It is said that the tower was not demolished because of the Church Saint-Jacques-du-Haut-Pas on the hill of  Sainte-Geneviève . A statue, installed at the base of the tower, reminds us. It is true that the later buyer of the church had a condition of not demolishing the tower. It was at the time one of the tallest monuments in Paris.

In 1824, an industrialist buys the tower to install a foundry of lead shots, turning it into a plumb bob. In 1836, after two fires, the tower was bought by the City of Paris. In 1852 the work undertaken on the occasion of the piercing of the rue de Rivoli and its decided of the restoration of the belfry. The statue of St. James, destroyed during the French revolution, is replaced by another, 3.80 meters high. The Church of Saint-Jacques d’Illiers-Combray, dear to Marcel Proust, retains the lead, made in 1858 to serve as a model for the sculptor. It was offered by Napoleon III to the municipal council of Paris which had made the request.

At the foot of the tower, was created in 1856 the first square of Paris (now place tour Saint-Jacques). At the foot of the tower, at the end of the 19C, the hiring of the workers takes place in the open air, the meeting place of the latter, as was the Place de Grève (current Place de l’Hôtel de Ville) is closed.

Since 1965, a plaque offered by Spain to the city of Paris, on the initiative of the Society of Friends of Saint Jacques, makes it a starting point for pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. On the platform is installed a small weather station since 1891. It depends on the Montsouris Observatory. The carved symbols of the four Evangelists, the lion (Mark), the bull (Luke), the eagle (John) and the angel (Matthew), appear in the corners. The current statues date back to the beginning of the 20C, like gargoyles and eighteen statues of saints decorating the walls of the tower. The sculptures date from two eras. Some are from the origin of construction in the 16C, others were created in the 19C and 20C.


Visits are again possible. They are organized by an association authorized by the City of Paris and are limited to 17 people per hour, especially because of the narrowness of the stairs, 85 cm (about 33 inches)! Going up 54 meters or about 16 floors! Enjoy it

There now have another monument mentioned of my eternal Paris so good to be near it again and taking full advantage lol! Enjoy the Tour Saint Jacques! And remember, happy travels good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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November 28, 2019

Again by the Hôtel de Ville de Paris!

So here I am again walking my glorious eternal Paris! Its a great feeling to be back in the area even if already used to the countryside, coming to the big city such as Paris is always welcome by yours truly!  Paris is a movable feast indeed!

As usual I walk many streets and by many monuments already visited or walk by again is a must such as now. I like to bring you another post on the Hôtel de Ville de Paris or Paris’ City Hall. My last entry on it was back on March 28 2018!

The Hôtel de Ville de Paris or city hall is the building that houses the municipal institutions of Paris. The first hotel was built in 1357 by the Prévost of Merchants Etienne Marcel, It symbolized the municipal freedoms acquired against the power of King Charles V. It is located at Place de l’Hotel-de-Ville, in the 4éme arrondissement or district of Paris. The Hôtel de Ville, was re built from 1873 to 1892, in Renaissance style, as itw as burned at the time of the Commune uprising in 1871 ; it was extensively decorated almost identically reproducing the old city hall building of 1553.


The Hôtel de Ville  is bordered  by the Rue de Rivoli and south by the Seine river, the Pont d’ Arcole provides access to the Ïle de la Cité. I do not want to repeat my previous post as these are new pictures but will give you a brief description and some nice walks you can take from it ok


In the 16C, king François I rebuilt the city hall in the Renaissance style. The central pediment is adorned with a clock accosted by the figures of Work and Instruction, the Seine and the Marne rivers ,lying down, and surmounted by the City of Paris symbol. The Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, known at the beginning of the 12C as Place de Grève (name now commonly call the famous French demonstrations or strikes), will be renamed Place de la Maison Commune during the French revolution. The Place de Gréve was renamed Place de l’Hôtel de Ville in 1803 and it is a pedestrian area since 1982.

In 1977 a mayor was elected by universal suffrage, Jacques Chirac, (see my post in his honor) who would later become president of the French Republic (France). The voters from the 20 districts (arrondissements) of Paris elect, in a two-round listed election, the borough councilors ,who will designate the borough mayors and then the mayor of Paris.  As of today.

Since 1967, the expressway on left bank located on the old port forms a 13km highway linking Saint-Cloud to Bercy (voie Georges Pompidou). Every summer, stands Paris-Plage or beach along the banks of the Seine. The Place de l’Hôtel de Ville served as a setting for parties organized by the city such as the Saint Jean (st John) fireworks festival on June 23 or to celebrate the births and marriages of the Royal family, but also was the place where the executions from 1310 to 1830 were held such as those of Ravaillac, La Brinvilliers, etc. Today, the Place de l’Hotel de Ville is a major attraction point for discovering the Marais and is still the favorite place for festive gatherings of all kinds.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here and yes it can be visit with prior reservation.

City of Paris on the Hotel de Ville

Tourist office of Paris on the Hotel de Ville


Now read this and do some wonderful walks in my eternal Paris from the beautiful Hôtel de Ville de Paris !

After admiring the Hôtel de Ville, continue your walk towardsthe Rue François Miron past the Saint Gervais Church, whose origins date back to the 6C but which was built in a 17C style combining orders Doric, Ionic and Corinthian.  Note in passing the elm located Place Saint Gervais in memory of a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. It was under the elm that justice was done. The Rue François Miron, of Roman origin, led to the time of the High Roman Empire in Melun. Remnants of this period were discovered during the course of track leveling work in the course of the 19C. The other streets around, such as rue des Barres, rue de l’Hôtel de Ville and rue de Brosse, were formed in the Middle Ages and have retained their layout.

At 2 -12 Rue François Miron there were medieval dwellings of a single unhealthy floor. They were destroyed in 1733 to allow the construction of houses for the Saint Gervais factory. Note the motif of wrought iron guards, still visible today, representing the parish’s weapons, namely the elm of Saint Gervais. The Couperins, famous 17C musicians lived at this address. On No. 10 Rue François Miron was born Alexandre Ledru-Rollin in 1807, who in 1848 entered the Hôtel de Ville to proclaim the French Republic. Appointed Minister of the Interior, he re-establishes universal suffrage. At No. 16 -22 Rue François Miron would be the location of the first Baudoyer door, opened in the 11C, at the intersection of Rue François Miron and rue des Barres.

The rue Grenier-sur-l’Eau has retained the original features with its cobblestones, its axial stream animated with shops and craftsmen. It is, in some places, very narrow because of the corbelling of the houses facing each other. In the background stands the bell tower of the Church of Saint Gervais. The rue de l’Hotel de Ville, dating back to the Middle Ages, was formerly called mortellerie, whose ethology derives from a mortelier, meaning mason, because many masons reside there. It’s no coincidence that the Maison des Compagnons du devoir de Paris or Paris Companions of Duty House is located at No. 80-86 . Its origins date back to the 13C when the cathedrals and the great cities of Europe were built.

On the odd side of the Rue de l’Hotel de Ville, at Nos. 89, 91, 95, 103, 107 and 109, the street has kept some tall and narrow houses of the 17-18C. Rue des Barres has preserved some houses built from the 16C to the 18C and some traces of older remains, including No. 12 , the hotel of the abbey of Maubuisson dating back to the 13C remodeled in the 19C. At the time, many religious congregations had their Parisian feet on the ground to settle business in the city.

After strolling through the meandering winding streets of rue Monceau Saint Germain neighborhood, join the banks of the Seine river to enjoy the many taverns and terraces there. Why not try a traditional dish at Trumilou, quai de l’Hôtel de Ville or Chez Julien, at the corner of rue des Barres and Pont Louis Philippe, unless a Burgundy dish tempts you to Bourguignon du Marais, rue François Miron, before continuing towards the Ile de la Cité by taking the Pont de l’Arcole to join the Marché aux Fleurs (flower market), nestled between the Prefecture and the Commercial Courthouse and the Hotel Dieu. This flower market, installed since 1808 at Place Lepine, is a refreshing bubble to discover plants, shrubs and orchids of all kinds. Birds and Sunday artists like to meet the weekend.(see my post on the market).

There you I told you many times Paris is a movable feast, eternal, light and beauty to behold all around you. It’s one of those cities you can fall in love with without been human being but just a city of monuments and ambiance chic and beautiful. For me Paris is eternal! Hope you enjoy the tour

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

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November 27, 2019

More streets and squares of Paris!!

And I continue walking in Paris , it is sublime gorgeous cant find words , Paris is eternal! No other city in the world has such charm chic beauty since it was discovered by god knows who lol!

The train station of Paris-Est,or Gare de l’Est ,initially called Gare de Strasbourg , is one of the six great train stations terminus of the network of the SNCF in Paris. It is located in the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul neighborhood or quartier , in the 10éme arrondissement or district of Paris. Its facade closes the perspective of the north-south axis pierced by Baron Haussmann and mainly constituted by the Boulevard de Strasbourg. I went by it because it was the first train station I tried in France coming to see the office where my girlfriend then dear late wife Martine worked in Paris 10éme arrondissement or district.


The Place de la Nation, formerly known as Place du Trône and then Place du Trône -Renversée, is a square on the border of the 11 and 12 arrondissements. Routes from the Place de la Nation in a clockwise direction starting from the Avenue du Trône between the two columns are the Avenue du Trône continuing to the Porte de Vincennes via the Cours de Vincennes; Avenue Bel-Air; Rue Fabre-d’Eglantine ; rue Jaucourt; Avenue Dorian  boulevard Diderot, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine, leading to Place de la Bastille, boulevard Voltaire leading to the Place de la République through the city hall of the 11éme arrondissement, avenue Philippe-Auguste leading to the cemetery of Père-Lachaise,rue de Tunis; Avenue de Bouvines; and Avenue de Taillebourg.  In 1787, Michel-Nicolas Ledoux erects two columns to frame the grant barrier (wall of Farmers General) and the entrance of the racecourse of Vincennes. They were not yet surmounted by the statues of Philippe Auguste and Saint Louis which were not added until 1845. The square takes the current name of Place de la Nation on the occasion of the national holiday of July 14, 1880, under the Third Republic.


The Place de la Bastille is a symbolic place of the French revolution, where the old fortress of the Bastille was destroyed between July 14, 1789 and July 14, 1790. You have clockwise, starting in front of the angel of the column: Rue Saint-Antoine, continuing along Rue de Rivoli, passing through the Hôtel de Ville and the Châtelet and leading to the Place de la  Concorde; the rue de la Bastille; boulevard Beaumarchais (leading to Place de la République); boulevard Richard-Lenoir extended by boulevard Jules-Ferry, then the quai de Valmy, continuing the canal Saint-Martin which leads to Stalingrad; Rue de la Roquette, passing through Place Léon-Blum ,where the 11éme arrondissement city hall is located , and leading to the Père-Lachaise cemetery; the rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine, leading to Place de la Nation; rue de Charenton, leading to the Porte de Charenton via the 12éme arrondissement  city hall; the passage de Cheval-Blanc, the rue de Lyon, leading to the Gare de Lyon; boulevard de la Bastille and boulevard Bourdon, both skirting the port of Arsenal to the Seine; and Boulevard Henri IV.

The provost of the merchants of Paris, Etienne Marcel, built a fortified gate that defended the Rue Saint-Antoine and was flanked by a small bastion, a bastille. Charles V., wishing to preserve his hotel at Saint-Paul from a sudden attack, ordered the rebuilding of these fortifications on a much larger scale. Hugues Aubriot, provost of the merchants of Paris, laid the first stone in 1370. From 9 to 14 June 1794, the guillotine was installed in the square, cleared of the remains of the fortress of the Bastille, now called Place Antoine. 75 persons were guillotined on the Place de la Bastille. Louis-Philippe decided in 1830 to build the column of July, already planned in 1792, but this time to commemorate the revolution of the Trois Glorieuses or Three Glorious days. Nowdays ,the Place de la Bastille is very much appreciated by the young crowd especially on Fridays and Saturdays with several cafés, restaurants, cinemas and nightclubs !


The Place des Victoires is a square dedicated to Louis XIV, it is, with the Place des Vosges, Place Dauphine, Place Vendome and Place de la Concorde, one of the five royal squares in Paris. Starting from the north, and in a clockwise direction, the square gives access to the following streets ; rue  Vide-Gousset, the only street that does not leave the square in the axis of its radius;  rue d’Aboukir; rue Etienne-Marcel,  rue Croix-des-Petits-Champs; rue Catinat;  Rue La Feuillade. The square  is dedicated to the military victories of Louis XIV.


The Place Saint-André-des-Arts is a square located in the quartier of La Monnaie in the 6éme arrondissement. This route is located at the outlet of Place Saint-Michel, Rue Fran cisque-Gay, rue Hautefeuille, rue Danton and rue Saint-André-des-Arts. This street takes its name from the former church of Saint-André-des-Arts that was there and was demolished during the French revolution. At No. 30 in 1830,was the location of the Bureau des Journal des Artistes where the first meeting of the office of the Free Society of Fine Arts of Paris took place on October 18, 1830. The composer Charles Gounod was born there; a panel History of Paris pays homage to him at the crossing with the rue Suger. Simone Veil lived there at the beginning of her professional career.


Old walls of Paris can be seen by the Porte Saint-Antoine, or Porte Baudoyer. It then crossed the Lycée Charlemagne, the Rue de Jouy, the Convent of the Ave-Maria then arrived at the Rue des Barrés, the Porte des Barrés (also known as the Porte des Béguines) to end on the upstream edge from the Seine river to the Tour Barbeau. This one is off Cluny!


There you a wonderful ride on a combination of car driving and walking that was excellent even with the demonstrations in my Paris , routine!

This is an activities site in French sponsored by the city of Paris, good info here: Que faire à Paris or what to do in Paris!

City of Paris on walking in place de la Bastille: City of Paris on pedestrian trails around Pl de la Bastille

City of Paris magazine in French: City of Paris magazine in French

And of course what else Culture in Paris:  City of Paris on cultural offers

And last from me for now but not least the tourist office of Paris: Tourist office of Paris in English

Enjoy the sublime beautiful Paris and walk its streets , squares alleys bridges the works/ because I said Paris is eternal. Salut de Paris!

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

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November 27, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXXVIII

Ok so here I am again but this time is my beloved Spain. Never a moment without it even in this destabilizing times. Spain never change always like this but somehow moves along. Spain everything under the Sun!

Some of my favorite latest from Spain are

The city of Salamanca is always ready to trick anyone who approaches the banks of the Tormes river  and is sure to be trapped by the heritage, culture and gastronomy of what is one of the main inland tourist destinations in Spain. Well known its most emblematic buildings, after approaching the charismatic Plaza Mayor, its mythical University or the unique Casa de las Conchas, it is worth enjoying the Charra capital from another perspective, from the top, to decipher its streets to flush its heaven. This is possible from the towers of the Cathedral; the towers of the Clerecía,(Clergy), Scala Coeli; and the viewpoint of the Convent of San Esteban, which open its doors for all those who want to look out at their battlements, caress their pinnacles and ring their bells. a wide range of museums, such as the History of Automotive, Commerce, the Art Nouveau Art Dèco-Casa Lis Museum, the Monterrey Palace or Monumenta Salmanticae.

Tourist office of Salamanca in English :

Clean skies in which to identify the light emitted by other planets or stars that carry there much more than us and that will survive us. One of them is the Sierra de Gredos. one of the corners of Spain recognized with the Starlight destination certificate for its magnificent conditions for astronomical observation and astrophotography: altitude, minimum light pollution and clear days, which allow tourists a unique experience.

The extensive Sierra de Gredos, to facilitate observation there is a network of stellar viewpoints, which is deployed by the towns of San Martín del Pimpollar, Navarredonda de Gredos, Hoyos del Espino, Navalperal de Tormes, Santiago de Tormes, Zapardiel de la Ribera, Navatejares, Puerto Castilla, Umbrías and Nava del Barco. All of them include panels, an observation platform, terrain conditioning, elementary astronomical information designed for a non-specialized family audience, parking area and fenced perimeter for added security. As well able for mobility impair folks.

And although it is the night views that give the singular touch, in the light of day the views in which Unamuno defined the “Castile roof and stone heart of Spain”, declared a regional park in 1996, the Natural Reserve of the Sierra de Gredos is one of the greatest natural and tourist attractions in the province of Ávila, which highlights not only its relief, but also the diversity that is within it.

Tourist office Castilla y Léon on Sierra de Gredos in English :

The paradox nests in the gaze of the artist Andrés Rábago, in his incarnation of El Roto, which admire so many readers. This week, the Prado Museum inaugurated the exhibition «No se puede mirar» (Can’t Look), that shows thirty-six drawings in which El Roto talks with Francisco de Goya, the paradoxical genius caught these days in an impressionist debate about whether he was anti-bullfighting or not.

Prado Museum on El Roto in English :

Such day as today, 27 November,  200 years ago, the most important art gallery in Spain opened its doors. Between the corridors of the Prado Museum, the immortals of El Greco, Velázquez or Rubens continue to exchange glances as a remembrance of a past of patrons on this side of the Atlantic and conquests to the other, but as in every story in history, there is a part that it is left out: specifically, the basements of the Villanueva building guard more than 2,500 works that the general public does not see, except on exceptional occasions. The key to access these 6,000 square meters of warehouses is only in the hands of the ‘brigade’ , a team of just seven people with the delicate work of transporting and escorting centuries of artistic creation, and the museum’s security personnel. Yes many museum have the same including the Louvre kept as far as Chartres, no different here. If only there is more space and money to show them ! I have seen the Louvre collection underground.

Prado Museum on the 200 years in English :

A determined Rafael Campallo, (22 Nov) dressed in a burgundy red suit, pays homage to the mining origin of Flamenco over the starry sky of the Isabel II Ballroom of the Royal Theater. Without hesitation, with a tense face, a collected and sober dance begins. On the floors of the two heels he makes laps on himself and alternates between zapateadas (shoes taps) and flew laps, rather than being a dramatic dance it seems a sentimental dance. Campallo zapateado is accompanied by the singing of Miguel Soto and Jesús Corbacho, while David Vargas and Jesús Rodríguez channel the rhythm with the guitars. The Isabel II Ballroom was initially used for parties and masked balls, in fact between 1841 and 1850 it was the provisional headquarters of the General Courts. But since 2018 it has become a flamenco tablao. This show is passed but here are the next ones at this beautiful salon

Teatro Real or Royal Theater on the show :

Today Tordesillas has about 8,000 inhabitants and, at first sight, nothing invites you to think of a link with America, not least with lands as far away as the Moluccas, the final destination of a mythical journey, of the homeric odyssey of the Renaissance. You are in Castilla la Vieja (old name for what today is mostly Castilla y Léon) , hard and austere land and little entrepreneur in tourism promotion. A small museum without too many pretensions recalls the treaty signed in this noble village on June 7, 1494, by which Spain and Portugal divided the world as was known. Negotiations took place in the oldest of these two noble masonry and brick buildings that now house the museum dedicated to the agreement and that stand next to the imposing Church of San Antolin. If one lets the imagination fly, one can believe to see the entourage of the Catholic Monarchs and of Juan II of Portugal through these streets, crossing the bridge over the Douro river, reaching to negotiate the treaty by which the world that was being disputed would be distributed and that they didn’t even know. The treaty came to calm the tensions between both powers by agreeing the dividing line of the territories to be discovered in the meridian located 370 leagues (2,054 kilometers) from Cape Verde. As seen in the maps and simple explanations of the museum, all the lands to the west of the meridian would belong to Castilla-Aragón, while those located in the east would correspond to Portugal.

The original of the Treaty of Tordesillas (the Portuguese version), in fact, is not found here, but in the Archivo de Indias, in Sevilla, in a safe that only two people have access to. On the occasion of the ephemeris, the valuable document was during three weeks of this past July in the houses where it was signed. Other events related to the V Centenary include the theatrical visits organized by the Tourist Office of Tordesillas.

Tourist office of Tordesillas on the museum :

An anecdote I like

Because of its flavor, its aroma and because it clears us … Coffee has become, behind water, the second most consumed natural drink in the world. In the last 35 years, its intake has increased by 35% reaching almost 10 billion kilos a year. According to Mundo del Café, on average one person consumes 1.3 kilos of coffee in 365 days.  Spain outperforms the US by one position, in terms of its annual intake per person. Specifically, it is ranked 19th in the world ranking, with 4.5 kilos per year. In Spain, more than 22 million people (63% of Spaniards over 15 years old) drink at least one cup of coffee a day, an average that rises to 3.6 daily coffees during the week. In this sense, a Spanish work of CIBEROBN (Network Biomedical Research Center. Pathophysiology of Obesity and Nutrition), attached to the group of Preventive Medicine at the University of Navarra, found a greater longevity associated with coffee consumption after studying a total of 20,000 volunteers, university graduates from all over Spain, for an average of 10 years. The study found that, at the same age and many other relevant factors, consuming coffee was usually significantly associated with lower mortality. He has been the author of this research, Giuseppe Grosso, from the University of Catania (Italy), along with Estefanía Toledo, from the University of Navarra and researcher at CIBEROBN, who have presented the report ‘Coffee and metabolic syndrome: a review of the latest research ‘during the 13th European Nutrition Conference, organized by the Federation of European Nutrition Societies (FENS) this week in Dublin, Ireland. Of course, this is coffee done in Spain, you need to be here to have the same effects :😊))

More on the coffee here :

Thanksgiving with class in Madrid well head for the mythical restaurant Horcher, Calle Alfonso XII, 6 it raises a Thanksgiving Day based on some of its best known dishes: those of hunting. And it does it on a very special date, in celebration of the 76th anniversary of the opening of the restaurant. Webpage :

For who prefers something sweet to put in the mouth, what better than to visit The Cookie Lab , Calle Serrano, 149. It is the quintessential American store in Madrid and in which bite by bite it is capable of moving to New York, Chicago, the West Coast and even Minnesota. And they weren’t going to miss the chance to do something special. Therefore, throughout the whole day 28, they will be offering special creations dedicated to this day such as pumpkin cookies, apples with cinnamon or pecans, a delight for the senses. Webpage :

And Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends !

On November 28, CVNE will celebrate its 140th anniversary with a visit to the new facilities of the Haro winery, following its recent expansion. One of my all time favorite wine bodegas of my Spain.

The history of CVNE begins in 1879 with the arrival of the Real de Asúa brothers in Haro and after 100 years of history, the winery is in the hands of the fifth generation of the family, whose focus is on the production of quality wine , handmade and traditional. The group currently has seven wineries and its next major project is the rehabilitation of Davalillo Castle, an icon of La Rioja. Compania Vinicola del Norte de Espana  (CVNE) is a family business born in the area called Rioja Alta within the Rioja Qualified Denomination of Origin classification. Its first and main winery is located in Haro, in its original location, in the Barrio de la Estacion. It also has another winery in Rioja Alavesa, in the town of Laserna, next to Laguardia, under the Vinedos del Contino.  In the summer of 2004 a new winery was opened in Laguardia, under the Vina Real teaching, which will support the company’s growth plans for the coming years. Currently, CVNE cultivates about 600 hectares of vineyards, whose production represents 50% of its needs. The rest is bought in the best areas of La Rioja following a rigorous quality control method.  The winery has acquired in 2019 vineyards in the frameworks of Ribera del Duero, Valdeorras and Cava, within a clear expansion program. Webpage :

And there you go folks, lovely indomidable Spain awaiting for you and yours. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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November 27, 2019

Marche aux Fleurs, Paris of course!

Ok so here I am back in my eternal Paris, never too far from it but now just around the corner! And on my free time don’t hesitate to come to see it again, never enough of my Paris in my belle France!

The one I am going to tell a bit more is on the flower and birds market at Cité in my Paris. I believe done some reference to it in my previous posts on Paris but never a single post on it and it is deserving and now with photos lol! My dear late wife Martine came here and took me here first , many memories she loves the gardens and gardening. I just carried the bags !


The market is nestled on the Île de la Cité, the Marché aux Fleurs et Oiseaux or flower and bird market ,since 2014 call the Queen Elizabeth II Flower Market, has been an institution since it settled there at the dawn of the 19C. Located at the exit of metro Cité, this picturesque market has kept its charm and authenticity despite the thousands of tourists who flock every day to go to the nearby Notre-Dame Cathedral.  It is located on Place Louis-Lépine. It is surrounded by the quai de la Corse along the Seine river, the building housing the commercial courthouse along the rue Aubé , that of the police headquarters bordered by the rue de Lutèce , and the Hotel-Dieu separated by the rue de la Cité. Most of the flower market is housed in six metal pavilions on both sides of tree-lined avenues. The loop formed by the Allée Célestin-Hennion is the main internal service road. Some of the flower shops are located at the northern end of the market, on the north sidewalk of the quai de la Corse, in dismountable premises next to the stone parapet overlooking the Seine river.

paris marche aux fleurs front nov19

A bit of history I like

In 1808, a vacant lot located between the Quai Desaix (current quai de la Corse) and the Rue de la Pelleterie (now gone ) was transferred to the city to transfer the flower and shrub market that had been established until then. At the quai de la Megisserie. The market is circumscribed by landmarks that separate it from Quai Desaix, rue de la Pelleterie, rue de la Barillerie (boulevard du Palais) and rue de la Lanterne (rue de la Cité since 1834). It is also planted with trees and two basins were established. It was inaugurated on August 16, 1809. In 1840-1843, the administration had the market renovated (rebuilding the two basins, laying granite borders around the market and paving with bitumen, etc.).

The commercial courthouse of Paris was built between 1860 and 1864 on the western part of the market. The rest of rue de la Pelleterie and that of rue de Marché-aux-Fleurs (breakthrough after the demolition of the Saint-Pierre-des-Arcis Church in 1797), as well as rue Gervais-Laurent, rue Saint-Pierre- des-Arcis and rue Sainte-Croix-en-la-Cité were demolished in 1866 to develop a new market. The current market is inaugurated in 1873.

It is composed today of about twenty iron and cast iron shelters and some Wallace fountains, the market offers only flowers. It is in 1881 that the fowlers of the old Marché Saint-Martin join the florists of Île de la Cité. Since then, every Sunday, the flower market gives way to a beautiful bird market, to the delight of Sunday walkers who discover and hear hundreds of birds squealing in their cage.

The other days of the week, the twenty metal constructions erected on the Place Louis-Lépine shelters all kinds of plants, trees and plants. Whether you are looking for seasonal flowers in a greenhouse in the Paris region or rarities reported from around the world, difficult not to find happiness among this varied colorful and scented treasures! Strolling the green alleys of this picturesque market, you can also discover rodents, fish and even decorative objects. The flower market promises a pleasant walk in the heart of Old Paris which, in the absence of clean air, will offer us a good bowl of floral scents !!!


It is located as the Marché aux fleurs Reine Elizabeth II or Queen Elizabeth II Flower Market at Place Louis-Lépine (square) 4éme arrondissement of Paris. Metro: Cité line 4. Open Monday to Saturday from 08h to 19h30 for the flower market, Sunday for the bird market.



It is a wonderful place to be and be a real Parisien indeed. You will find great conversation here and wonderful flowers and planting tools. We love it and brings back many nice souvenirs to stop by again as I did, very much.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

City of Paris on the flower market in French

Tourist office of Paris on the flower market in English

There you go now it is in my blog love it, you will too. The Marché aux Fleurs of my eternal Paris. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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November 26, 2019

Notre Dame and the Bouquinistes!

Who has not come to Paris and stop by the book stalls along the Seine river near the Notre Dame Cathedral? This is essential Paris and we have been here since 1990, in fact I still have book and frame portraits of what we purchase from them!

It is one of the wonderful walks and knowledge trip you can make in Paris and oh talk to them , they love it and will tell you many stories. I was by there again why not! and got into the Notre Dame Cathedral so sad to see in its current condition! Let me tell you a bit more about it and the wonderful Bouquinistes!


The bouquinistes of Paris are booksellers of old and used books, present on a large part of the banks of the Seine; on the right bank, from the Pont de Marie to the quai du Louvre; on the left bank, from the quai de la Tournelle to the Quai Voltaire. More than 200 booksellers manage nearly 900 boxes on the banks of the Seine !!!



The term “bouquinistes” appears in the Dictionary of the French Academy in the 1762 edition with the following definition and graphic: “The one who sells or buys old books” The tradition of Parisian booksellers begins around the 16C with small peddlers. Under pressure from the booksellers’ corporation, a by-law of 1649 forbade portable shops and the display of books on the Pont Neuf. The power at the time was keen to limit parallel markets not subject to censorship. Traveling booksellers are therefore, depending on the period, hunted and then reinstated under approval.

During the French revolution, from 1789 to 1795, in spite of a sharp decline in editorial production, only revolutionary newspapers and pamphlets were printed, and second-hand booksellers prospered and enriched themselves with the requisitions and plunderings of libraries of the aristocracy and the clergy. Under Emperor Napoleon I, the quays are embellished and the booksellers spread from the quai Voltaire to the Pont Saint-Michel bridge. They are then finally recognized by the public authorities and they obtain the same status as the public traders of the city of Paris.

In 1859, concessions were put in place by the city of Paris and booksellers could establish themselves at fixed points. Everyone is then entitled to 10 meters of parapet for an annual license fee. Openings are from sunrise to sunset. Finally, it is in 1930 that the dimensions of the boxes are fixed.  However, if the sale of books remains the official name, these boxes have always traditionally offered other items: prints, stamps, coins and small flea markets, or even souvenirs. In 2014, second-hand booksellers launch their first festival. Fifty booksellers came together to present their best selections of old and second-hand books.


The tourist office of Paris on the BouquinistesTourist office of Paris on the Bouquinistes in English

A further discussion on the reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. See my previous posts on the reconstruction efforts.

It is told that to date, 39 different companies are working on the site. Among the trades represented, there are masons, locksmiths, crane operators, scaffolders, sculptors, glass masters, analysis laboratories, safety and security agents, depollution specialists, …. Since the site was restarted in August, the decontamination facilities have been able to accommodate about 80 companions simultaneously. New decontamination facilities will allow from January 2020 to accommodate up to 240 workers.

As part of this vast operation to clean up polluted areas, a security perimeter will be established again, resulting, according to the Paris police headquarters, in the modification of traffic security rules in this sector. The rue d’Arcole between n ° 19 and rue du Cloître de Notre-Dame , and the Rue du Cloître de Notre-Dame from the no 16 to the rue d’Arcole, and the pedestrian path along the Hôtel Dieu on the forecourt side of Notre Dame, between the rue d’Arcole and the alley of the rue de la Cité, will be affected by these restrictions.

Nevertheless, according to the Le Parisien newspaper, the monument is “still in danger”. However, in six months time, architects, technicians and craftsmen managed to consolidate two-thirds of the cathedral. Among the works evoked, the installation of metal tie rods on the nave, the realization of a cover hat above the roof to ensure the water tightness of the site, and especially, the dismantling of the scaffolding still in place. A delicate operation that should last between four and five months.

In 6 months, under the management of the project management delegated to the DRAC, the action of the management team with the companies made it possible to advance decisively on several points, such as:

Consolidation of the gables of the north and south braces and the western gable;  consolidation by hooping and then removing the chimeras located at the northeast corner of the south tower;  tarping high vaults;  hooping of the two pillars of the ruined nave; protection of the wish of Louis XIII against the possible falls of materials; removal and evacuation of the “Virgin with the Pillar”; laying nets under the vaults of the nave, choir and transept; removal of stained glass windows and grooving of the high bays of the nave and choir; removal of ground rubble by robots in connection with the Historic Monuments Research Laboratory (LRMH), the Regional Department of Archeology of the DRAC and the scientific police (carried out to date at about 80%);arches of the choir, the nave on the north side (completed), the nave on the south side  and around the crossing of the transept (coming soon) ;  laying a floor leaning on the drop-shaped walls above the high vaults of the nave, the choir and the two transepts; Inspection of gargoyles in the basket.

Site installations have gradually been put in place on the site, including: setting up a security guard 24 hours a day, the installation of a fence all around the construction area, the creation of a traffic lane on the periphery of the monument, the creation of a base-life zone, the use of locker rooms, decontamination units and 3 approach locks, and the deployment of barnums on the forecourt to store the evacuated rubble (wood, stone, metal).

paris notre dame cat under repairs nov19

Future work to be done include:

Removal of rubble located on the upper surface of the vaults in liaison with the scientific police and the regional archeology department of the DRAC;  cleaning the vaults to start the diagnosis;  deployment of a construction site SSI; Implementation of metal tie rods to stabilize the nave; and dismantling of the scaffold stuck at the transept crossing, this one still weighing on the building a risk of collapse. Sensors were installed to monitor the movements and ensure the safety of the site and residents.

The official wonderful webpage of Notre Dame CathedralOfficial Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris

There you go folks, a beauty of a walk even if not advisable to get close to Notre Dame even if not barricaded due to still traces of lead. A walk along the Seine river and the wonderful bouquinistes is a must while in Paris. Hope you enjoy the tour.

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



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