Archive for December 16th, 2019

December 16, 2019

Some news from France, CCXCIIII

Ok hear all about it, France still is on strikes! wait not all of France, you should come over to friendly Morbihan Bretagne. However, if you are or planning to be in Paris on the next few days leading to Christmas be aware there are major strikes. I have given some news in previous runs of Some news from France and here is the latest.

Due to the 13th day of strike in public transport and the third national interprofessional day of strikes and demonstrations against the pension reform, the users who wish to move this Tuesday December 17 must still expect multiple disruptions. L’Express journal takes notice.

SNCF plans 1 TGV on 4, three TER on 10 and 1 Transilien on 5. Only 5% of Intercités trains will be in circulation. The SNCF called on Monday the Ile-de-France residents to particularly avoid the commuter trains on Tuesday, on the thirteenth day of the transport strike, the expected crowds could make the stations dangerous

Given the current social movement and the events planned for tomorrow, transport conditions will be “particularly difficult” on the RATP network. Only lines 1 and 14 will run normally (of course they have no conductor are automatic!), While eight lines 2, 3bis, 5, 6, 7bis, 10, 12, 1 will be stop.

A third of the buses will run. Tramway traffic will be 50% insured. Traffic will also be “very disrupted” for RERs with one RER A in two and one RER B (CDG airport usual way) in three only during peak hours for the two lines. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation indicates that it has asked airlines to reduce their flights to and from Orly Airport by 20%.

Favorable for a universal retirement by points, the CFDT will not be in the head of the Parisian procession, between Place de la République and Place de la Nation this Tuesday. It refuses to parade alongside the inter-union (CGT, FO, CFE-CGC, Solidaires, FSU) from which it does not share the watchword of withdrawal.

Since last December 5, the date of the start of the unlimited strike at the RATP and the SNCF against the pension reform, the Vélib   bike network has beaten attendance records. On average, 145,000 journeys are made per day by the park’s 16,000 bikes, with peaks at 165,000 on certain days. It is two, even three times more than an ordinary December day. Each bicycle is thus used up to 13 times daily (instead of 6 or 7) and the average distance per race has gone from 2.4 km to 3.6 km .The current difficulties nevertheless underline the distance that remains to be covered.Smovengo to honor the terms of the contract which binds it to the Vélib ‘Métropole joint union. Only 16,000 bikes are currently in circulation against the 20,000 to 24,000 planned.

See it live in French here, the strike I mean ! C’est la gréve! Its the strike webpage on strikes in Paris

But as all is not lost, we are indeed leading up to Christmas always a magical moment. Do you ice skate? I was lousy at it as everything on ice/snow but the thrill was always there!

The Grand Palais des Glaces is back, for a fifth and final edition before major works. It is the largest skating rink in France, with its 2700 m². Indeed is a treat enjoy if you can!

For the first time, the Galeries Lafayette got involved into ice skating as well. On the rooftop of the department store on Boulevard Haussmann 8 floor (9th US), it is also possible to slide in peace. The place, with its exceptional view of all of Paris, is truly conducive to an enchanted break on ice. Here, however, no actual glass on the 176 m2 of sliding surface, but a special plastic coating which reproduces the feeling of sliding wonderfully. Open daily and free,

The Brasserie d’Auteuil  16éme, which has also installed a mini-ice rink on its roof terrace, to particularly appeal to its weekend clientele. You can also skate in the Jardin des Tuileries , the jardin du Trocadéro   and on the roof of the Grande Arche de la Défense. The Plazza Athénée hotel hosts an ice rink and a mountain chalet in its private garden. If you are really wealthy, the palace hotel Peninsula Paris offers an ice rink to its customers with an incredible view of the Eiffel Tower on the huge private roof terrace of the Katara suite.

This is good! Taken over by the founders of the O’Sullivans pubs, the emblematic Le Pub Saint Germain founded in 1968 rediscovers the taste of beer and Irish pub. It reopens this past Wednesday at Rue de I’Ancienne-Comédie, 6éme. The iconic pub from the 1970s and 1980s will regain its DNA thanks to the founders of the Irish O’Sullivan pubs Here shown closed but now will be back, see Yelp

In 2023, the group will open a 4-star hotel in the famous Saint-Denis Tour Pleyel tower. It will have 700 rooms and suites. The works will start in 2020. whose views will overlook the Eiffel Tower, the Stade de France and a large part of the Parisian suburbs. The future of the Pleyel tower, which rises to 130 meters in height in the sky of Saint-Denis. The concept of a hotel in a tower is very popular in Germany, which played in the choice of the H-Hotels group. Because the practice is still very rare in France, where only the Hyatt Regency of the Porte Maillot 17éme peaks at 137 meters in height. Note that one of the Mercuriales’ two towers, the Twin Towers of Bagnolet, will also eventually house a hotel managed by Marriott.

And this is sad! The transformation project of the north and northeast part of the Hôtel-Dieu 4éme, unanimously qualified as a “heritage massacre” and “architectural vandalism” by the 55 heritage experts of the Old Paris Commission , in an opinion published last week, Specialists condemn both “the densification of the courtyards of the Hôtel-Dieu, on the rue d’Arcole side”, by the construction of two 4-story buildings and the creation of patios, but also the opening of a new entrance overlooking the quai de Corse. We need to keep our heritage!!! More detail on the story and more in French here:

And how about having Christmas in a castle! Read on…. Six castles of Île de France celebrate Christmas. The castles of  Vaux-le-Vicomte, Champs-sur-Marne, Versailles, Fontainebleau, Rambouillet and Chantilly amaze visitors with pretty very professional Christmas shows.

Château de Rambouillet  (dept Yvelines 78) Saturday December 21 and Sunday December 22, 2019, at 10h30, 14h and   15h30. By reservation. Reduced price for the accompanying adult: € 9 and free for the participating child. Duration: 1h30. Visit the Castle with the Merchant of Dreams, a costumed animator who tells fables, eccentric tales and other stories to sleep standing up … December 23 and 27, 2019 at 10h30 and 15h, December 29, 2019 at 10h30 and from January 2 to 5, 2020 at 10h30 and 15h. By reservation. Prices: adults: € 11.50, children from 5 years: € 7.50.

The castle puts on its festive clothes and shines in a thousand and one colors. Féerie is the watchword of Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, transformed into an enchanting Palace colored with pink, yellow, blue, green, silver… Visitors are immersed in a wonderful world where illuminations, garlands, gifts and fir trees brightly decorate the whole of the domain. Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte. Maincy (dept Seine et Marne 77). Until January 5, 2020. Prices: € 19.90 for adults and € 14 for children aged 6 to 17. Free for children 6 and under.

A stroll through the large apartments and the Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors) immerses the visitor in the time of Louis XIV and its baroque atmosphere. At nightfall, the musics of Rameau, Moulinié and Sanz are mixed, by the ensemble of Folies françoises conducted by Patrick Cohën-Akenine, and the dances of the Compagnie de l’Eventail. In one part, the Galerie des Batailles (Gallery of Battles), a duel with the sword takes place while a little further, a Baroque Santa Claus sits in the middle of an illuminated forest. Visible through the windows, pyrotechnic effects flood the royal terraces. Château de Versailles (dept Yvelines 78). Les Parcours du roi or The King’s Course. Access door B. Thursday, December 26, Friday, December 27, Saturday, December 14, 21 and 28, 2019 at 18h 18h20., 18h45., 19h10 and 19h35. Duration: 1 hour. Prices: from 30 to 45 €.

The royal residence of the Château de Fontainebleau is hosting a new Christmas spectacle in the Salle des Colonnes (hall of columns), which features the Fables of La Fontaine. Famous animals – lion, wolf, raven – magically come alive with the humorous play of actors from the Skull troupe in period costumes. The opportunity to revise his classics in the fifteen small plays that mix mystery and magic. Château de Fontainebleau (dept Seine et Marne 77). Les Fables de la Fontaine or The fables of the fountain. From December 21, 2019 to January 5, 2020. Daily at 14h. and 16h (except December 25 and January 1). Duration: 1 hour. From 6 years old. Price: € 9 in addition to the entry ticket for people over 25.

Poetry and enchantment are the watchwords of this new show shaped by the Bienaimé family. This year, The Midsummer Night’s Dream gives way to a reinterpretation of Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland adventures. Alice finds her friend the Hatter but also Snow White, Rapunzel or the Little Mermaid. Young and old will admire the equestrian prowess of the acrobats. Grandes Écuries de Chantilly or Great Stables . Rue du Connétable, Chantilly (dept Oise 60). Alice et le manège enchanté or Alice and the enchanted merry-go-round. From December 1, 2019 to January 6, 2020 at 14h30 and 16h30. Prices: € 21, € 17 (3-17 years old), free (less than 3 years old).

The Château de Champs-sur-Marne immerses the visitor in an original Christmas with “Le Grand Réveillon”. The dramatized tours allow you to explore behind the scenes of the castle and cross several chapters of its history thanks to a thrilling “mysterious crate” plot. The route starts in the mysterious basements of the castle, then to the second floor, place de la domesticité The new Grand visiteur or big visitor option allows you to be received in Madame la Comtesse’s lounge for a cup of tea or coffee as in the 19C. Château de Champs-sur-Marne. 31, rue de Paris ( dept Seine et Marne 77). Le Grand Réveillon. Weekends from November 29 to December 1, December 6 to 8, December 13 to 15, 2019 (Friday from 18h30 to 22h., Saturday from 9h to 23h., Sunday from 9h to 21h30. Prices: from 8 € to 20 €. In groups of 30, every 10 minutes.

There you plan well and fully enjoy your time in my belle France. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!



December 16, 2019

The market at La Rochelle!

And here I take you a bit south of me on a wonderful area of my belle France. We have fond memories of La Rochelle not only because we visited several times and its wonderful but because my oldest son passed part work of his hotellerie/restaurant degree here! Oh yes La Rochelle is in dept 17 Charente-Maritime in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine.

Briefly mentioned elsewhere on my posts on La Rochelle figure worthy of a post on its own. Therefore ,here is the info for all on the Markets of La Rochelle!

Here you have two main markets but the one is feature and the other mention for info.

It is under the 19C market halles and in the heart of the Old Town that the market in La Rochelle takes place. Wednesdays and Saturdays are the big market days. There, the cheese stalls, florists and early vegetables extend into the neighboring streets. Open every morning and every day of the year until 13h30.

La Rochelle

The market was built from 1834 to 1836 on the site of the Grande Boucherie, the city’s first meat hall. It is the place to be if you want to let yourself be tempted by local products. The charm of this market is also due to the numerous terraces of the cafes and bistros that surround it and allow you to enjoy the friendly atmosphere of the market in the early morning and at aperitif time.

La Rochelle

On the market, an entire aisle is dedicated to seafood: sea bass, cuttlefish, sardines, shrimps, oysters and mussels … fishmongers, oyster farmers and mussel farmers welcome you. Certain traders have been present on the market for several generations, such as Chez Mélie, which has been expanding its bench since 1891!

Another big market in La Rochelle is the market in the La Pallice district. Open every Sunday morning from 8h to 13h, it is spread over two sections, with one for the usual peddler sellers, selling hats, accessories and all kinds of other things, and the other for food and the small market halls. Less central, this market is found in the west of La Rochelle. Greengrocers, market gardeners, fishermen, oyster farmers, cheesemongers, pork butchers, poultry farmers, deli workers and bakers all make your mouth water in this big square which comes alive every weekend of the year, as it bursts with thousands of colors and smells!

For more info on the markets see the tourist office here: Tourist office of La Rochelle on markets in English

City of La RochelleCity of La Rochelle on markets

And if you are around this time, enjoy the Christmas market from December 12 to january 1 2020. Happening by the Cours des Dames, place Verdun, place de la Motte Rouge , and the Vieux Port (old port). More info here in French: Christmas market info for La Rochelle in French

Pics from 2018.

La Rochelle

La Rochelle

There you go a nice round on foot in a wonderful town La Rochelle; be there !

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

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