Archive for January, 2020

January 28, 2020

Little Melrand and St Barthélemy!!!

So , here we are again driving around my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of the region of Bretagne/Brittany in my belle France. There is so much to see I had said will take me a lifetime and won’t be enough.

Folks do come in hordes here and including other Europeans but usually they all concentrate on the wonderful Gulf of Morbihan south of me (or the sea side). However, there is so much on what we call côte ou en terre or inland that will amazed you . Of course  ,you need to like architecture and history as I do.

Let me take you to two small gems in the Morbihan. Hope you enjoy the off the beaten path sites.

The town of Melrand is located in the department of Morbihan,56 in the region of Bretagne/Brittany. The oldest mention of the name of Melrand is attested in 1125 in the cartulary of Redon, in the form of Melran parrochia. In 1273, the name is written Melrant, in 1387 we find the current form of Melrand.

Melrand is a rural town belonging to the community of towns of the Pays de Baud. The village is located 14 km from Pontivy, 15 km from Baud, 32 km from Lorient and 45 km from Vannes. The town is bordered to the east by the Blavet valley. It is crossed by the Sarre, Houée, Brandifrout and Blavet rivers (D142). It is traditional to make Melrand a Breton town resulting from the emigration of Bretons driven from Great Britain by the Anglo-Saxons in the 5C and who settle along the coasts and rivers by clearing sparsely inhabited lands. How Bretagne or Little Britain can to be way back….


Some of the things to see in town and around it are in no particular order:  Cross of Kerentrec’h., Well of Kerhoh. Motténic stone burial mound (tumulus). It was excavated at the end of the 19C , and is located in a heath dependent on the village of Locmaria. It is 27 meters in diameter by 2 meters in height. The Calvary on base and altar on the road to Guémené-sur-Scorff 19C, and located on the road to Guémené at the exit of the town. Other bigger monuments are the Flamboyant 16C Locmaria Chapel: bell tower, 16C stained glass windows, 17C altarpiece, statues, 16C baptismal font. Flamboyant 15C Saint-Fiacre chapel: 16C rood screen one of the last four still in place in the Morbihan, painted panels, 17C wooden altarpiece elements and two statues, holy water baptismal font. And the Notre-Dame du Guelhouit Chapel and its 17C scala: located in the hollow of the valley where the Sarre river flows and at the foot of a hill with wooded slopes. The chapel is dated 1683.

The main church is the Church of St. Pierre (Peter) 15-17C with a granite bell tower from 1733. The parish church dedicated to Saint-Pierre is a complex church that has been altered many times over the centuries. It retains, on the south side, part of the nave from the first half of the 15C, pierced by a broken arch window as well as two molded doors on balusters with capitals. The southern porch and the interior arcade of the north chapel, located at the entrance to the choir, are also a survival from medieval times, probably from the first half of the 16C. The date 1661 written on the porch corresponds to a late modification. Five half-chapels, two to the south and three to the north have been grafted onto the long nave. The chevet with sides is flanked by a sacristy on the south wall. The southern porch is preserved. The bell tower has a massive square tower with octagonal drum and polygonal spire in masonry.



You need a car to reach these small in land town but the quant beauty of their natural habitat will entice you as me to come back. I saw posting for the Taxi Nicol tel +33 (0)6 80 20 33 48, and even by the city/town hall. The train station closest is Vannes, and the airport is  Lorient Lann Bihoué the exact location but also officially known as the South Brittany airport or Bretagne Sud. Of course, I always come by car and up my alley on the road D768 put you in touch with this world very easily, you connect with the road D142 to reach Melrand and St Barthélemy.

A bit on the history in French of MelrandCity of Melrand on history and heritage

Saint-Barthélemy is located on the way to Melrand on the road D142 up from the D768 from my house in about 45 minutes. Old truce of Baud erected in town on July 17, 1867 . There is a nice looking modern Church of Saint-Barthélemy 19-20C. In the shape of a Latin cross, it was built near the old chapel of Saint-Barthélemy which has become a parish church since 1871. The old chapel which dates from the 16C was demolished, and in 1891 gave way to an ordinary modern Gothic style chruch. It is a large nave ending in a semicircular apse. The current church was blessed on October 27, 1895. The bell tower was built in 1913.

St Barthelemy

A bit of info in French on the town of St Barthélemy is here: City of Saint Barthelemy on heritage

And there you a wonderful ride off the beaten path into deep Morbihan, what a pleasure it is always.  And of course the shopping local is simply the best and when it goes along with the sights it is what my idea of my belle France , beautiful Morbihan and lovely Bretagne is all about.

Enjoy the ride thru Saint Barthélemy and Melrand! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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January 28, 2020

The Poul Fetan at Quisinic!

Here we are in back country Morbihan dept 56 of my Bretagne in my belle France. I have passed by here several times but never got in too inland me thought but trying to see it all and with my boys decided to go in into nature and see a wonderful site that in Summer should be awesome.

Let me introduce you Poul Fetan in the small town of Quistinic. Of course in winter it is closed but I got a special peek inside ::)

Poul-Fetan means the washhouse of the fountain in the Breton language. It was built in the 16C, Poul-Fetan is located on the top of a steep valley overlooking the Blavet valley. As in many villages, the modernization of agriculture has little by little made traditional agriculture disappear, the peasants left the countryside to gain the city, and Poul-Fetan fell into oblivion in the 1960s -1970.


Poul-Fetan was acquired by the town of Quistinic in 1977. Thanks to the tenacity of a team of volunteers, supported by the town, the village will escape the announced death and will be reborn from its ashes. The restoration of the buildings began in 1979 and as of 1985 the village opens to the public.   Today, the numerous activities offered on the site allow you to rediscover this rural life of yesteryear. A leap in time which is an enchantment for both young and old!


A journey between nature and traditions in Morbihan. With family or friends share a good time in a village that lives to the rhythm of the 19C. Take part in daily life activities such as washerwomen, pancakes, butter, etc. 17 Breton games such as stilts, skittles, pucks, etc. Discover the shops and the craftsmen of the village.


Welcoming and generous, the artisans perpetuate here ancestral gestures: making butter, spinning wool, feeding farm animals , so many unique moments in which you are warmly invited to participate. If the work is sometimes rough, you will laugh out loud at the tasty gossip of the washerwomen. After the effort, you will feast on good dishes at the Auberge Ti Fanch ‘ such as the soup cooked in the fireplace, farz with bacon or vegetables etc. Here, you can taste the specialties with a wooden spoon and the flavors are incomparable. At the edge of the village, typical Breton games to challenge yourself with family or friends, and the beautiful chestnut forest which invites young and old to have fun in the company of facetious korrigans. In Poul-Fetan, each house tells the soul of Brittany through the families who lived here over a hundred and fifty years ago!!


Some webpages in English to help you plan your trip here are

Official Poul Fetan village

City of Quistinic on Poul Fetan village in French

Tourist office of Morbihan 56 on Poul Fetan village

tourist office of Brittany on Poul Fetan village

In town, and around you have apart from the seven chapels scattered throughout the countryside, the town has the particularity of hosting two religious buildings side by side. The Saint Pierre Church dates from the 18C, its bell tower is wonderful. Next to it stands the Saint Mathurin Chapel, the current chapel dates from the 18C, but another chapel or an oratory stood in the same place from the 15C.

Some directions to get to his inland wonderful area full of nature of my beloved Morbihan. You go there on the expressway N165/E60 direction Lorient, get off at the expressway N24 direction Rennes, exit/sortie at La Gare de Baud. The old train station no longer in use of Baud! I go from Pluvigner on the road D102 direction Languidic past this town continue on the D102 and on the site of Kerantarf take the road D23 becoming same road the D327 and signs will take you up hilly road to Route de Kerfec to the Poul Fetan village. This is all country inland nature and narrow hilly roads ok.

Some info on public transport , of course , never taken it here just for info ok.You can go with a bit of effort by bus from Lorient Gare d’échange, CTRL network on line 42E until Kergonan, then bus line 46  until Quistinic , you walk about 1km to the village. Info on buses here:

Bus Line 46 : Quistinic Centre <> Languidic- Kergonan. From Paris Montparnasse you can take the TGV to the Gare de Lorient and do the bus as above. Also, there is an airport in Lorient Aéroport de Lorient Bretagne Sud that regular flights from Paris and Lyon, and need to take a bus to the above Gare d’échange (bus terminal) and then as above. Info on the airport here:

Here is the town of Quistinic on the heritage things to see there: Town of Quistinic on heritage

And there you go, another wonderful spot now bette known in my wonderful Morbihan 56 which never stops to amaze me on its beauty and diversion of things to see and do. Hope in family you can enjoy it too, the Poul Fetan village. 

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

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January 28, 2020

The treasures of Languidic, Morbihan!

And back in my home , do make runs here and there to be able to see the wonderful treasures I have nearby.  This was the case this week when I took around into the town of Languidic about 30 minutes from home by car, and came upon some familiar monuments that needed to see more closely.

I have been to the town before briefly and as often the case came back for more up close details. My previous post on Languidic is here: My previous post on Languidic in my blog

I like to tell you more on this picturesque town of the Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne.  The town of Languidic by its surface, the most extensive town of the Morbihan in the county of Lorient. It is located 35 km from Vannes, department prefecture (capital city), 30 km from Pontivy and 18.5 km from Lorient, sub-prefectures , as well of 10 km from Hennebont, the capital of the canton. The road RN 24 expressway, linking Rennes to Lorient, crosses Languidic from north-east to south-west for approximately 15 km. north-west / south-east axis with a branch line joining the departmental D765; the departmental D 158, on a northeast / southwest axis; the departmental D 189, to the east, which joins the departmental D4; and the departmental D 724 which follows the axis of the expressway; and the departmental D 765 which serves the village of Tréauray in the extreme south. Languidic is served by bus line 17 of the TIM network (regional dept network). Half an hour by road from the town of Languidic, you will find the Lorient – Bretagne Sud airport with flights to Paris, Lyon etc on a limited basis, and there is no train station so connection is done in neary towns such as Lorient.

A bit of history I like , briefly is

The War of Brittany’s Succession. The town was first supporters of Jeanne de Penthièvre, Henry de Spinefort, captain of the city of Rennes, and his brother Olivier, captain of the city of Hennebont, soon joined Jean de Montfort (to take duchy against king of France). They notably defend the city of Hennebont during the siege of Charles de Blois (for the king of France); the Languidian campaigns are then plundered by the Breton and French soldiers.

Languidic’s first city council, made up of the mayor and eight municipal officers, met in 1790 in the church sacristy. However, revolutionary fever does not take. In 1791, the members of the assembly gave up their function, no longer recognizing themselves in the ideas of the new regime. As in the rest of France, the priests are hunted down. From 1794, the presence of troops was essential to protect the Republicans (revolutionaries) entrenched in the town; the Chouans (rebels against the revolution) are becoming more and more daring; in late 1794, they venture into the town and cut down the tree of Liberty, and in the night of March 4 to 5, 1795, they kill the mayor. When the Quiberon Breton immigrants (from England) landed in 1795, hundreds of Languidicians went into battle; 87 are taken prisoner and released after paying a ransom. In Languidic, in 1799, the Chouans found themselves facing a republican troop. The fight was over, the former dispersed the latter. Royalists take over the territory: a cache of weapons and clothing is set up in the Kérallan wood. Fierce opposing the French revolution in this area of my Bretagne.

At the fall of the First Empire,(Napoléon I) the municipal council affirmed its attachment to the Royalist regime: in 1820, Languidic participated in the national subscription of the Château de Chambord; in 1822, it voted subsidies for the erection of a war memorial for the Quiberon expedition and a monument to Georges Cadoudal (General hero of the Chouans native of Auray) During his official trip to Bretagne in 1960, the President of the French Republic Charles de Gaulle stopped in the town to greet the people gathered on the Place de l’Église. Upon his death, it is decided that this square will bear his name; Place Général de Gaulle.

The city page presentation ,location is here: City of Languidic on location and presentation of the town

The things to see here are many, we have concentrated on two of them in city center.

The église St Pierre or St. Peter’s Church was built between 1876 and 1879 and replaces two older buildings. The first was erected around 1329, in roughly the same location. The second was built in the 15C, perhaps in 1453 or 1433. This date is inscribed, in Gothic letters, on one of the beams and outside of the building The church was built at different times, that is why we found inside Romanesque capitals when the whole was in ogival style. Today, the church shelters one of the rare bells of the region prior to the French revolution. “Kolas” or Nicolas dates from 1783 and was not melted because it was used for civil sounding of the bell. The silver chalice and the tin ciborium, respectively from the 17C and 18C. In 1933, a martyrdom was built on Place Général-de-Gaulle.



Between 1980 and 1990, several renovations marked the 100th anniversary, including, among other things, the installation of two huge stained glass windows in the transepts and the installation of gas heating.  The huge stained glass windows were done in 1982 , one the creation of the world and the other the Jerusalem celebration. In 2000, a roof repair was undertaken. An unfortunate incident destroyed part of the bell tower, which will be rebuilt and consolidated, regaining its supremacy in March 2001. At the beginning of 2002, a complete cleaning of the exterior was carried out, restoring their shine to the original stones.



In the town’s center, the Chapelle Notre-Dame-des-Fleurs Chapel, in flamboyant Gothic style, was built in the 15C , started in 1451 , and then restored in the 18C and 19C. A Calvary, dating from the 17C, stands at the entrance. The Chapelle is located at the corner of rue des Fleurs and rue Saint-Aubin, and a few meters from the presbytery. It was done in devotion to the Virgin Mary , indeed, the chapel was mentioned on September 28, 1451 in a document of Pope Nicolas V. In flamboyant Gothic style, the chapel is built on a plan in the shape of a Latin cross comprising a single nave, a transept and a choir with a flat chevet. is 25 meters long and about 6.5 meters wide. The blue flower means at the same time the Mother and the Virgin.



The uniqueness of this Chapel is the following. The Association of Parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Morbihan of the Ukrainian Diocese of the Patriarchate of Constantinople was newly created to serve the spiritual needs of their community, which is also joined by the faithful of Russian, Georgian and French Orthodox origin. The Chapelle Notre Dame des Fleurs is lent to them once a month by the rector of the parish of Languidic, so that his Christian brothers in the other lung of the universal Church can find a place of prayer and this with the blessing of the bishop, once a month. Here, worship is practiced in their original language and traditions. The readings are read by members of the parish, in Ukrainian and French What you know in my little corner of the world as it is only 30 minutes from my house by car!

The town of Languidic on the Chapelle: The city of Languidic on the Chapelle Notre Dame des Fleurs

The regional tourist office of Lorient: Tourist office of Lorient Bretagne south on Languidic things to see

Other things worth seeing here are the Castle of Kerrous (19C), Castle of Quellenec (15C to 18C) and the Castle de la Fôret (17C to 19C). In the cemetery, you will find the tomb of Marie-Thérèse-Perrine-Joséphine Hersart de la Villemarqué, daughter of the philologist Théodore Hersart de La Villemarqué and the recumbent figure of Pierre Guillozo, former parish priest of Languidic. To cure a shy child or a child with speech difficulties, legend has it that parents place a sachet of seeds or stones there after a prayer.

Finally, as in my wonderful Morbihan, the Languidic territory is integrated into the production areas of 3 products benefiting from a protected geographical indication (IGP): Cider of Bretagne or Breton cider, black wheat flour from Bretagne (in Breton; Gwinizh du Breizh) and poultry from Bretagne; simply the best of my lovely Bretagne and my belle France.

And there you go ,now I feel redeemed to show you this part of my lovely Morbihan dept 56, so much to see and we will keep coming back for more step by step in a never ending search for beauty, architecture, history,and just wonderful fields. Hope you enjoy my Languidic.

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


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January 27, 2020

Cathedral of Saint Alain, Lavaur!!!

Well ,and our trip ended in Lavaur, and why not end Lavaur with its majestic monument, a must to visit the town if anything else. The Cathedral of Saint Alain is a masterpiece that needs to be discovered by many.

I happened to come here often as it is the native town of my dear late wife Martine’s father Pierre and know all the story. Right now is a sentimental town and Cathedral for us and lucky to be able to see again this time with my 3 young men and nice borador Rex.

Let me tell you a bit more on the wonderful Cathedral Saint Alain of Lavaur.

The Saint-Alain Cathedral in Lavaur is the only city in the southwest of France, to have a Jacquemart, emblematic character, wooden automaton hoisted in the tower.

The legend of the Jacquemart tells that, during the wars of religion, a Protestant prisoner locked in the tower of the cathedral had the obligation to ring the bells every hour, day and night. He devised a stratagem, by constructing a mechanical figurine to do it in his place, and could thus escape the jailers! See in lower tower in picture below.


The nice history of this marvel condense style by yours truly.

The Saint Alain Cathedral is a church of southern Gothic style , and which was built between 1255 and 1300. At the front is the Bishopric Garden (see this post). The origin of Saint Alain honored at Lavaur remains unknown. The foundation of the Saint-Alain priory is certified by a charter of August 5, 1098 to the Benedictine monks of the Saint-Pons-de-Thomières abbey, responsible for rebuilding the Saint-Elan church in Lavaur, then in ruins , which proves that the worship of Saint Alain in Lavaur is clearly prior to this date.


A Romanesque church was then built between 1099 and 1211 by the Benedictines of Saint-Pons for their priory of Lavaur, destroyed during the Albigensian (cathars) crusade during the siege of 1211. The current Saint Alain Cathedral was rebuilt in the middle of the 13C, started around 1255 retaining the small southern steeple of Jacquemart from the Romanesque style. Of pure southern Gothic style with a vast single nave of slender proportions such as high of 23 meters by wide of almost 14 meters, the 13C church had only five spans closed at both ends by a straight wall. The erection of the priory as bishopric of Lavaur in 1318 transformed the church into a cathedral, a prelude to enlargements of the it which would continue until the beginning of the 16C on the initiative of the bishops.




Thus, in the 14C, chapels were built between the buttresses. In the middle of the 15C, the chapel currently used as a sacristy was built, under the name of Saint Martial and in 1480 contiguous to the west of it, the canons established a chapter room dedicated to Saint Gauthier. Frescoes paintings executed in 1730 adorn its walls, telling episodes of the history of Lavaur. With the promotion of the city to the rank of Bishopric in 1318, the cathedral underwent a series of embellishments: apse on the east side in 1332, north and south chapels between the middle of the 14C and the beginning of the 16C, a powerful bell tower and monumental portal to the west at the end of the 15C. The great Cavaillé-Coll organ was installed in 1876 in a magnificent polychrome carved wooden organ case 1523, a masterpiece of Renaissance art from the South.


It was especially in the last quarter of the 15C that great works are undertaken giving the Saint Alain Cathedral its present look. Its width is 13.80 meters and its total length 73 meters. Passing from the construction of a new episcopal palace adjoining the cathedral to the north (destroyed at the beginning of the 19C) it undertook to build the imposing western bell tower with three terraces, 42 meters high and, to connect it by an additional span to the rest of the church, realizing at the same time a vessel of a great extent. The curious crown carved in fleur-de-lis at the top of the tower recalls that it was completed under the episcopate and it was still at the end of the 15C that a chapel was attached to the south of the old Romanesque porch, well preserved, with rich capitals reminiscent of the childhood of Christ. A new side entrance, adorned with pinnacles, surmounted by the bishop’s shield is then made on the south flank of the connecting span.


Since 1967, the altar of the Saint-Alain Choir has had a table whose exact provenance we do not know. It was found in 1876, in the chapel of the Lavaur hospital, but it is not there its place of origin This Romanesque table, in white marble probably from Saint-Béat, is part of the rest of the production altar tables from the ecclesiastical province of Narbonne. The upper side is slightly hollowed out, but its great interest comes from the sculpture of its slice cut into a chamfer, The main theme of the front side: a blessing Christ in a circular mandorla, is the same on both tables. A series of angels, completes this face. On the right side are represented two angels supporting the altar table itself, a motif which can be found on the cutter of one of the capitals of Saint-Sernin Basilica in Toulouse. The sculpture on the left side is of a more delicate interpretation; it would represent two angels worshiping the bread of heaven. The fourth side was intended to be engaged in masonry and is not decorated.


A very beautiful organ completes the overall arrangement with a high-quality Renaissance buffet by Toulouse sculptor Nicolas Bachelier ; instrument redone in 1889 by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. Finally, the first mechanism and the bell that makes the famous Jacquemart ring, date from 1523. But it appears that the automaton (currently 3rd generation) will not take place until 1604. In 2016, the Saint Alain Cathedral was the subject of renovations, so the painted decor of the 19C today has a second youth. Take the time to admire this Cathedral as a whole!!


Some webpages to show more of this wonderful monument.

City of Lavaur with pictures of the Saint Alain Cathedral

Tourist office of Tarn Agout on Saint Alain Cathedral in French

The Catholic Diocese of Albi on the Saint Alain Cathedral of Lavaur

There you go a masterpiece and should be visited more , even if Lavaur is still in the off the beaten path of most visitors. It is a wonderful church surrounded by beautiful buildings and gardens all walkable. A delight me think. Do come and enjoy the Saint Alain Cathedral in sentimental Lavaur, the Tarn 81 of Occtanie in my belle France.

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

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January 27, 2020

La Granja de San Ildefonso, a palace in the mountains

Looking at some older post in between some new finds I did came up with this one. La Granja de San IIdefonso is in a small mountain town near Segovia and in it has a palace done in the style of Versailles for good reason ,read on. It’s smallish but the style is the same. I figure needs more exposure in my library of posts now almost 2700!!! Hope you enjoy it; Cheers
And remember, happy travel, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


On our way back from Segovia we came up the mountain of Navacerrada to see La Granja de San Ildefonso and its Palace. I have to say ,never been here, even if heard all about for yeeears and coming down to Madrid several times a year. Been with the family and already at Segovia , I said ,this is the closest I will ever be so let’s give a visit. It is about 11 kms from Segovia.

We arrive on time, but the palace was getting some facelift, and we did not go in , and believe or not ; I was not impressed. Maybe so used to the best castles/palaces in Europe , especially France and Spain, seen this one was a bit letdown. Nevertheless , the gardens are gorgeous and a brief visit while from Segovia will be good.

The tourist office of the Spanish heritage monuments in…

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January 27, 2020

Museum and Library at Lavaur

And I go on with off the beaten path areas in off the beaten path Lavaur, the city by the Tarn dept 81 in region of Occitanie. A wonderful small town loaded with goodies to see and enjoy it me think.

I will touch briefly on these two as looking at the building from the Esplanade de Plô (see this post) I realise it was something nice but had no time as going to the big one there,the Cathedral. Nevertheless, point taken and mark for our  next visit to Lavaur , a sentimental town for us.


First the Museum or musée du Pays Vaurais is at 1 rue Jouxaygues not far from the monastery and cathedral.  The museum is being restructured, the permanent collections are not visible. Donc, so much for not visiting it , better when we are ready to see it.

Today the museum’s reserves ,several thousand objects, include rich collections of sacred art, fine arts, archeology, popular art and traditions as well as the workshop funds of the old factory Puget organ unique in the old Midi-Pyrénées region now part of Occitanie. One important collection is that of paintings/sculptures of the Cathedral of St Alain of Lavaur. A masterpiece of the first Southern Gothic, a few decades earlier than Sainte-Cécile d´Albi. The building constitutes a major milestone in the genealogy of the great Gothic churches of the Midi.

A first museum was created in Lavaur in 1898, within the City/Town Hall. It then benefited from some state deposits or donations. Abandoned, it was relaunched in 1952 by the Archaeological Society of Lavaur and called the Musée du Pays Vaurais. It then enriched itself with numerous donations and deposits. In 2002, the semi-associative establishment definitively became municipal.  Today, the museum is located in the former house of the Sisters of Christ, a large building bought by the the town of Lavaur in 2001.

City of Lavaur on the museum Vaurais country

My information came from the site museums of Occitanie in French here: Museums of Occitanie on the Vaurais of Lavaur

The Médiathéque Guiraude de Laurac media library, is in the former convent of the Sisters of Christ, between Saint-Alain cathedral and the Esplanade de Plô. The story goes that at the beginning of the 13C, Guiraude de Laurac, lord of Lavaur,(cathar believer) occupied the Château du Plô overlooking the Agout river valley. During the capture of the city by the troops of Simon de Montfort (against the cathars), she died assassinated on May 3, 1211, precipitated alive in a well. The sense of hospitality, the spirit of tolerance and the freedom of thought, which characterized the chatelaine of Lavaur have permeated in the city and founded the rascal identity. In homage to Dame Guiraude, the name of the media library has become established.

It is configure as such: On the ground floor: Reception area for lending and returning documents. And on the 1st floor: (2nd US) ,the teenagers & adults area with books for loan or on-site consultation: magazines, novels, documentaries, large print books, police, science fiction, local funds … The multimedia space offers a large collection of self-service CDs and DVDs, two music listening stations and a screen for viewing films, cartoons or documentaries.

City of Lavaur on the mediatheque in French

Official mediatheque of Lavaur in French

And there you go a brief detail ,noter, worth coming back for it, and on the schedule to see these, the boys would like it as I. Lavaur is nice deep in the Tarn and just lovely. I said worth a detour indeed

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


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January 26, 2020

The Jardin de L’Évêché , Lavaur!

And coming right along on our road warrior trip to sentimental areas, and once again in the town of Lavaur, Tarn dept 81 of Occitanie region of my belle France. I have walked by here with the family several times.

This time on a sentimental trip without my dear late wife Martine, took the boys and our Rex , borador dog for a walk. This is the Jardin de L’Évêché or  Bishopric’s garden  of Lavaur and would like to tell you a bit on it finally in my blog.


The Jardin de L’Évêché or Bishopric’s garden of Lavaur. The garden of the Bishopric is an English park of 1855, flanked by two majestic centenary cedars c. 1875. The plan of the terrace is decorated with the statue of Las Cases , the memorialist of Napoleon Ier at Saint Helena. This statue made of low relief pedestal was inaugurated in 1865.


Perched on the belvedere overlooking the Agout river, these gardens offer a remarkable view of the Saint-Roch (or Lavaur) bridge, a monumental stone structure built between 1773 and 1791, and the eddies of the river. Known as a place of festivity (the Garden Festival takes place there every year in July) and tranquility, this space – very popular with locals and the curious is steeped in history. Became episcopal seat in 1317, the bishops decided to build a fortified palace in Lavaur organized around a central courtyard. In the 17C, they bought the land from the consuls and laid it out in vast gardens composed of French flowerbeds, a vegetable patch, and a fishpond.


During the French revolution, the palace and its annexes were destroyed. This space, which became communal property in 1852, was then transformed into an English garden in 1857. It was named Jardin Las Cases, in memory of the confidant of Napoleon Bonaparte in Saint Helena . It was later renamed the Garden of the Bishopric as in French, Jardin de L’Évêché. It is next to the wonderful Cathedral St Alain!

We had the opportunity this time to walk Rex our dog in it and it felled very nice, sad that one dear person was not with us but invigorating as she must fell we were back there again. Like I said, the trip was very sentimental.


One reason to stop by in Lavaur is this garden ,and the bridge and the monastery, and museum library and of course the Cathedral all around you, its awesome me think.

The city of Lavaur on its heritage in French: City of Lavaur on its heritage

The tourist office of the Tarn dept 81, the first picture is the Bishopric garden with an aerial view also included the Cathedral St Alain. Tourist office of the Tarn dept 81 on Lavaur

Hope you enjoy the tour and walk as we did /do in quant old beautiful Lavaur. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!!




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January 26, 2020

Tour des Rondes , tourist office of Lavaur!

And why not visit the tourist office of the place you are visiting? Well we do all over, planning and on site visit to soak in all the good of the place. No different for us here in our belle France. Of course , Lavaur has one and it is very nice historically and architecturally stunning to see.

Let me tell you a bit about the Round Tower or Tour des Rondes or tourist office of Lavaur. The Tour des Rondes remains the only vestige still visible from the fortifications of the old town.


It is circular brick tower built before the 12C, it constituted a rampart ensuring, on the south side, the defense of the ditches which led to the Naridelle stream. This deep ravine forced people moving between Toulouse and Castres to cross Lavaur, it was only partially leveled at the end of the 18C, and today is the road to Castres. This tower was thus part of the protective walls during the siege of Lavaur by Simon IV de Montfort and the Albigensian Crusade against Catharism.

Very damaged, the Tour des Rondes was completely renovated in 1627, giving it its contemporary structure, notably the openings for musketry. It was baptized “Executioner’s Tower” in the 19C as it is under this name that it appears in an alignment plan of the city of 1809, undoubtedly in reference to the guillotine which was preserved in Lavaur during the French revolution, before being moved to Castres.

It became property of the town of Lavaur in 1826 and served from the 1830s as a public slaughter of pigs, after the withdrawal of authorization for individual slaughter in the city, and until a municipal slaughterhouse was built   in 1871 in the Saint-Roch district. Other works were carried out in June 1879, when it contained utensils of public weight, and the Round Tower was entrusted to the Philharmonic Society. New repairs were carried out between 1986 and 1988. The Tour des Rondes currently houses the Lavaur Tourist Office (since April 1, 1992) and an art exhibition hall.


It is about 5 minutes walking from the traffic circle at the end of allée Jean Jaurés towards the Tour des Rondes along Quai la Tour des Rondes street.

And what webpage to give you for it? Well you know it is the tourist office of Lavaur! And combines the intercommunal duties with Saint Sulpice another nice town in the area! Tourist office of Lavaur at the Tour des Rondes

City of Lavaur on its heritage and more in French

There you go and a nice walk down away from the halle aux grains



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January 26, 2020

The land of Sherry or Xéres or Jerez;vinos olé!!!

helloo world
well looking back of some of my old posts found this one on Sherry and as we are winter, best time to try it, cheers I am having my apero lol!! Happy Sunday y’all!!!

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


Here I am back after a most wonderful week in the corners of Spain down in the province of Cadiz, autonomous region of Andalucia, Kingdom of Spain. This is for real Chiclana de la Frontera ,and Jerez de la Frontera. Gorgeous.

The tourist office sites are here:

The sherry wines are made mostly from Palomino grapes in this part of the world for centuries, whites wines of Manzanilla and Fino ,and darker oxidize wines such as Oloroso and Amontillado, and dessert wines done from Moscatel and Pedro Ximenez. The word of Sherry is an English version of Xeres or Jerez. The area covers from Sanlùcar de Barrameda to Puerto de Santa Maria passing by Jerez de la Frontera.

The history here goes back to the Phoenicians to the year 1100 BC! but the distillation was born with the Moors in 711AD ,and from 1264 Under Spanish Kings the…

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January 26, 2020

Some news from Bretagne, XXVIII

And it has been a while not giving you news of my lovely region of Bretagne or Brittany or Breizh. Well been away on jobs and vacation so now is time to catch up on my marvelous region and its events coming up that I like. The weather has been cold down to 1C or 34F some rain but no snow ,or worse as in other parts of the country. Right now we are cloudy and 11C (about 51F= with lows of 7C . In looking at our eternal Paris they have it cloudy too but 45F degrees.

Discovery Walking Tours at Saint Gildas de Rhuys (in the Rhuys peninsula). For this outing at low tide, discover in the company of Gwen, the shells of our coasts (cockles, clams …). Travel by individual cars. Wearing boots and a bucket is recommended. Equip yourself with spoons or knives with round ends to facilitate fishing. Prices: € 6.50 / adult and € 5.00 / child (5 to 12 years old). Info & reservations essential at the latest the day before at Tel Mob +33 ( 0) 6 82 18 34 36. The next closest trips are schedule for February: Monday 10 (sea coef 106) at 9h45: March: Monday 9 (sea coef 99) at 8h45

Tourist Information Office, Rue Saint Goustan, Saint Gildas de Rhuys. Tel mob +33 06 82 18 34 36 More info here :

7 years later, without ever having left, Eiffel returns to the top of his game to defend on stage his 6th opus “Stupor Machine”. Romain Humeau and his three musicians are finally back with the same desire to do battle. Through inhabited and ambitious rock, the group proves once again that by constantly reinventing itself, it knows how to do what it does best: federate the troops while taking pleasure in being afraid. Next Saturday, March 28, 2020 Opening, La Pietà invites you into its quirky and multidisciplinary universe, a concentrate of edgy texts (in French!), Punk attitude, noise guitars, electro beats … A noisy and efficient live, that promises! More info here:  L’Echonova on Eiffel La Pieta

Sayag Jazz Machine is finally back on stage with a brand new album, 13 years after No Me Digas (don’t tell me). Embark on a crazy road movie, a clever mix of jazz, electro jungle and drum’n’bass with hip-hop accents accompanied by an electric flow. The show promises to be hot! Prices: addict 9 € • 12-25 years 10 € • presale 12 € • on site 14 € Info and reservations: 02 97 62 20 40 email: More info here:  L’Echonova on the sayag Jazz Machine
Above on the whole Hivernales du Jazz (Winter jazz) more info here: Les Hivernales du Jazz Festival

The Californians of The Mystery Lights are revisiting the golden age of US rock without nostalgic revivalism. Between garage-psyche of the 60’s, punk of the 70’s and well-felt synths, they are the spearhead of Wick, the rock division of the label Daptone. King Biscuit is back with his new album “Hammer it! “. A resolutely rocky blues blues, a fiddled experimental violin and careful arrangements that make you want to stamp your feet … we are already looking forward! This tray will be completed by Rod Hamdallah, discovery of this 15th edition, fed with antique blues and garage rock, soulful and nervous. After having scoured all the bars in Atlanta, he comes to preach the good word for the first time in France.  More info here:

All the above at the cultural concerts complex of St Avé,  L’Echonova, located at 1 rue Léon Griffon, 56890 St Avé. From the freeway N165 get off centre ville direction St Avé stay on the D126 towards city center and after the second traffic circle turn left you will see the complex Echonova well mark.

Something nice and serious to me. Come dance at the Grand Bal Masqué (mask ball) which will take place at the Palais des Arts in Vannes on Saturday February 1st at 20h30 (8:30 p.m.)  The INNER WHEEL Service Club in Vannes is organizing a major charity event for the benefit of the Vannes Association Faire Face Ensemble, (face it together) which has been working for 10 years to provide support, comfort and improved well-being to people with cancer and their relatives. Information:  Entrance fee 30 euros (1 drink and sweets)
Table reservation by SMS to mob tel +33 (0) 681141517.  Check payable to the Inner-Wheel Club of Vannes address: Hôtel le Roof-Presqu’île de Conleau-56000-Vannes
follow our facebook page: masked ball from the InnerWheel club in Vannes with more info here: Facebook page of the bal masque of Inner Wheel Club

This is a wonderful Association Faire Face Ensemble (Face it Together) that even if we did not need to use them it is worth recognising and help; their webpage in French is here: Association Faire Face Ensemble of Vannes

Festival Jeune Public or for young audiences Prom Nons Nous from January 27 to February 12, 2020. The Great Journey of Georges Poisson. The story goes that the evening of December 31, Georges Poisson, lighthouse keeper, invited Marinette and Lucienne to celebrate the new year. Outside, it’s a storm … Our two friends disembark in this strange place, breathless and soaked … 304 steps higher, Georges is not there. His boat is not there. If his boat is not there, it is worrying. It’s that he left. Left ? But where ? Go around the world? Marinette and Lucienne try to find the trace of their friend and take us on the great voyage of Georges Poisson. A spectacle that takes you into the imagination, into the unknown and the great adventure. More info here: Festival prom nons nous of young public on Georges Poisson

For the above: reservations at L’Hermine > Sarzeau Rue du Père Coudrin tel +33 02 97 48 29 40. Tickecting at

And to arrive at the above:  Cultural space Hermine – rue du Père Coudrin – 56370 Sarzeau. Direction take the freeway N165 to exit Sarzeau and continue on the road D780 to city/town center/downtown Sarzeau along allée des ducs de Bretagne panels well mark.

And how about a nice historical walk in quant old historical Auray!  Implanted at the bottom of a ria since the Middle Ages, the city of Auray has evolved over the centuries. You will be invited to discover the architectural and historical evolution of the city through four emblematic places: the castle, the city/town hall, the Saint-Gildas Church and the small theater. Places of power, prayer and culture. A stroll through Auray from the Middle Ages to the 20C.  Meeting place at Place du République (front of city/town hall) at 14h30. Visit time 1h30 to 2h. Payment on site, without reservation Tel +33 (0) 2 97 84 18 32.  And to know a bit more other than my posts in my blog here is the region tourist office of the Bay of Quiberon in English: Tourist office of the Bay of Quiberon on Auray

The Vannes Festival of Photos: 20 Years of the 2000 years. From Friday April 10th to Sunday May 10th the event 2000 to 20 years. This is the theme of Vannes Photos Festival for this new edition! On the program: the place of new technologies, ecological concern, the link to territories, to communities a great event indeed!. More info here: Official Vannes Photos Festival

The Morbihan Paddle Trophy West France on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 June in the Gulf of Morbihan and in the Auray river. 6th edition of the Morbihan Paddle Trophy Ouest-France in the Gulf of Morbihan!! Be ready!! The program

Saturday June 15: 13h. The Grand Marche sur l’Eau (walk on water) (4.5km), non-timed and open to everyone between Le Bono and Auray. 14h. Derby Giants Sup and 100 m launched in the port of St Goustan. 18h SNSM (volunteer lifeguard at beaches and at sea wonderful group) in the port of Vannes. 20h dinner

Sunday June 16: 11h30 Elites long distance race (28 km) from Vannes (Kérino dry dock) to Auray.  12h30 long distance Raiders (16 km) from Locmariaquer to Auray.  13h. Leisure race (8.5km) from Baden (Dreven) to Auray.  13h Youth race (under 15) from Crac’h Fort Espagnol to Auray (7 km).  15h30. 1/2 final and final Derby Giants Sup and 100 m launched in the port of St Goustan. 16h Prize giving at Auray.

Prices:50€ Elite,40€ Raiders and Leisure, 25€ Young people (under 15). Info & reservations : Official Morbihan Paddle Trophy

The Ultra Marin Raid Golfe du Morbihan  is back ,and spend a pleasant sporting moment in an exceptional setting in Bretagne. A human adventure during which discovery, conviviality and solidarity take on their full meaning!  Grand Raid: 177 km of racing around one of the most beautiful bays in the world.  Raid 87 km; Trail 56 km, Customs round 36 km; Nordic walking 25 km . Team relay; Great solidarity challenge. Many friends here participating every year!! me watch lol!! More info here: Official Ultra Marin event

4th edition of the Quiberon Scrabbles Festival. From February 5 to 9, 2020, at Espace Louison Bobet. The CoupeJean Louis Genis February 5, TH3 10h- 14h 16h30. Etape du GrandPrix Coupe Originale Breizh February 6 and 7 TH4 in PO, 3 min per move :16:30 p.m. Etape du Grand Prix Scrabble Classic February 7 and 8. 2 nd rounds 9h30 to 10h30. Saturday 14h – 16h30. Sunday 9h30- 13h30 . Stage of the Grand Prize Prize list. More info here: Official Scrabbles Bretagne Festival at Quiberon

This is it for now winter reporting from my beautiful Morbihan in lovely Bretagne of my belle France! Hope you get the chance to enjoy one of these events.

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





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