Archive for December 22nd, 2019

December 22, 2019

Church of St Peter’s at Questembert!

So coming by here or passing more often, I have already told you about the 16C covered market or halle in city center Questembert. As traveling road warrior fashion, I have seen the church but never care to go in as seen too many here.

However, this time with the boys, decided to take a peek as it is next to the Halle covered market! And, here is the brief introduction to Questembert and the Church St Pierre!

But first , a bit on the town itself, oblige duty.

Questembert is located in the department 56 of Morbihan, in the region of Bretagne. The town sits right on the regional road D775, between the towns of Vannes, 21 km,(the one we always take) and Redon. The nearest beach is about 14 km away at Ambon. The train station is at neighborhood of Bel-Air,and is the stop point for TER Bretagne trains, allowing you to reach the stations of Vannes or Redon (used and passed on both) to access connections with the TGV Atlantique.


Questembert comes from the Breton “kesten” or “kisten” (chestnuts) and from “Perz” or “Perh” (region). Questembert is a former primitive parish. A Frankish colony would have settled on its territory at the time of Childeric and would have given to this territory the names of Mons Columbarum and Alemania. The Norman Vickings were stopped in 890 at Questembert (at a place called Koët-Bihan or Coëtbihan) by King Alain Le Grand (the Great). A 5 meters tall granite stele was erected on Place Gombaud in 1907 on the occasion of the millennium of the death of King Alain the Great. It commemorates the victory of the Breton chief over the Normans.

And how about St Peter’s or St Pierre, the church.

The construction of the Church Saint Pierre, began in 1863 and will not be completed until 33 years later with the construction of the bell-tower. It was built on the ruins of the old Saint Martin du Vertou church. With its 55 meters high and its beautiful architectural lines, the bell tower has an exceptionally imposing allure; it must have been visible from the surrounding parishes. Inside, the choir has remarkable woodwork, a monumental high altar and an organ gallery.



The Saint-Peter’s Church replaces a 16C church and which has undergone many transformations in the 17-18C. The foundation stone of the current church was blessed in 1863 . The bell tower of the current church, in Gothic style, measures 55 meters and dates from 1895. The woodwork of the choir, dates from 1867. The pulpit to preach, dates from 1875. The main altar, dates from 1888. The organ gallery dates from 1892.


The city of Questembert has a bit info on it

City of Questembert on the church St Pierre in French

City of Questembert historical presentation in French

And now I feel better to give credit to this wonderful town where we sejour several times and friends live there who we see often while in Vannes. Questembert is an in country small town that is worth a detour for the church, the halle, and its many chapels. Enjoy it

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



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December 22, 2019

Passage du Havre, Paris!

So on a cool gray day of Fall and coming up on the magical Christmas 2019 I am at home for the end of year holidays. Coming from Paris where i was working nearby gave the chance to catch up on some places dear to me when used to lived in Versailles and worked in Paris.

I have told many posts on shopping in Paris over the years in my blog and on the season to be merrier could not let go anymore giving a full post to one of my favorite places ; the Passage du Havre. Right ouf of the Gare Saint Lazare train station which I took for so many years to go to work. It has been improved tremendously over the years now and so has this shopping center.


I used to stop by for picking last minute requests from my sons at the FNAC and having my wrist watch fix all the time lol! and just getting some hot chocolate. The place is totally renovated from when I used to stop by. Go figure , Paris moves quickly and never a dull moment coming back for a visit, again! And yes this is a passage for many off the beaten path!

The passage du Havre is a covered passage located in the 9éme arrondissement This passage was formed in 1845 on the grounds belonging to Sieurs Fouquel, Selles, Doux and Durand-Billion. Its opening to the public was in 1846. It was  name du Havre due to the nearby Cour du Havre street.

It has now 44 stores on 23,500 square meters facing gare Saint-Lazare train station, the Passage du Havre shopping center was launched in 1997, and acquired in 2000 by Eurocommercial, and renovated in 2012 to cope with the transformation of the train station itself into a commercial center. Eurocommercial in France , the real estate company includes Les Grands Hommes (Bordeaux), Les Atlantes (Tours), Les Trois Dauphins (Grenoble) and Grand A (Amiens) as other shopping centers.

This passage at a right angle before its transformation included numerous toy stores and models of boats and trains. Now the main stores I have visited are L’Atelier du Chocolat, FNAC, L’Occitane, Maison Pradier, Louis Pion (where they always fix my watches lol!) Yves Rocher, The address location is 109 rue Saint Lazare.Open Mondays to Saturdays from  9h30 to 20h,Sundays from 11h to 19h.

To facilitate your access to the metro network, direct access to lines 3, 12, 13 and 14 is possible via level -1 inside the Passage du Havre. In addition you have access nearby to the RER E station Haussmann Saint Lazare. The Vélib bike network with stations at Saint Lazare and Cour du Havre nearest. And plenty of bus service at the bus depot next to the train station or gare Saint Lazare even taken by yours truly on bus lines 24 27 80 81 95 amongs many others


Escalators are available at the entrances to Rue du Havre and Rue Caumartin. They allow you to move effortlessly between the two levels of shops. The Passage Terrace is accessible from the garden. You can sit down for lunch or take advantage of the deckchairs to take a break.

A wonderful place already in an area full of shopping galore, the best in Paris triangle with the nearby Au Printemps and Galeries Lafayette dept stores! Enjoy the shopping ,hurry up time is less less for the season to be merrier. If not due come when visiting Paris a nice spot to indulge all things Parisiens!

Webpages to help plan your trip are

Official Passage du Havre shopping center

Tourist office of Paris on the Passage du Havre

There you go folks happy shopping and thanks for reading me over the years, Merry Christmas! , Feliz Navidad!! Joyeux Noël !!!

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




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December 22, 2019

The markets of Graulhet and Lavaur!

And now I bring you back down to my dear late wife Martine’s family region where we still have family. Of course, we have been by here several times over the years and have plenty of posts in my blog, but as usual by quick road warrior me I have left out more on the some and especially the lovely markets of Graulhet and Lavaur in the Tarn dept 81 of the region of Occitanie.

Graulhet ,where we still have family like I said.  The town needs to be reach by car as there is no train station, and even this it is a bit off the A68 road connecting Toulouse to Albi and really link to Gaillac by the D964 road . Naturally, we come here by car always.

The main market here is on Sundays morning from 8h to 13h at Place de la République and Place du Jourdain. Then, there is smaller one on Thursdays from 8h to 13 at Place du Jourdain.

You have some information in the area tourist office here: Tourist office of the vineyards and bastides on the market at Graulhet

And why not a bit of history on the city again, in French. City of Graulhet on its history in French

Then, we move on to Lavaur from where my dear late wife Martine’s  father was from. Of course, we have visited the place several time and written before in my blog on the town.

There are two weekly markets in Lavaur which take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays by Allées Jean-Jaurès.

The small Wednesday market is reserved for local producers, from 8h 12h

The bigger Saturday market is open to everyone from 7h to 13h: here you will find the works such as cold meats, butchers, bakers, fishmongers, cheeses, poultry, fruit and vegetables and other producers of seasonal fruits and vegetables, but also headgear, clothing and accessories, shoes, hardware, thrift stores, second hand booksellers and various peddlers.

It is the essential meeting of Wednesday and Saturday morning, on the boulevards which surround the old town. Hundreds of stalls offer you the opportunity to discover all the producers of the surrounding farms. However, it is also and above all an incomparable place of exchange not to be missed . Indeed not just the purchase of wonderful mother earth best products but the talk and ambiance of any town and here they talk, you are in Cathar country!!

A bit more on the markets: City of Lavaur on its markets

A quant visit to a nice architectural and historical building , the Halle aux Grains, now offering various cultural events throughout the year, including shows for young audiences and live shows, concerts.

The Halle aux Grains was built from 1879 to 1881. On the ground of the cooler ,a former underground ice warehouse. It was intended for the market for silkworm cocoons, which lacked space at the Old Market. It is hexadecagonal and offers a lot of space because it has no pillars. The fall of the silk trade in Vaurais, at the end of the 19C, confined it only to the sale of grains. The central lightning rod vane represents a winged dragon: was it to dissuade the granivores? Ha good question. It is located at Place Stalingrad


At the Halle aux Grains and my dear late wife Martine

City of Lavaur on things to see and do

There you go two simple towns in a wonderful region of my belle France very dear to me, memories forever. Hoping you too will see the enchantment and visit this Tarn department 81 of region of Occitanie (they are in old Midi-Pyrénées region).

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



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