Archive for February 16th, 2020

February 16, 2020

Ramparts of Guérande!

And I come back to a very familiar town, there is plenty written in my blog on it but feel the part of the ramparts are not; this is Guérande. I did came here a lot to visit collegues and get some Clisson wine , however, do not know now as my best friend left France for work to Canada.

I like to tell you a bit more on the ramparts of Guérande! Awesome!! a must to visit!!!

The ramparts are fortifications that surround the medieval city of Guérande, in the Loire-Atlantique department 44 of the Pays de la Loire region. The medieval city of Guérande is one of the few to have preserved its ramparts in their entirety. It is also one of the best-preserved in France. It has been little altered since its main construction phase in the 15C and very little restored in the 19C. It currently includes 10 towers, 4 doors, two of which are flanked by towers, and a postern which opened in the 19C, connected by a curtain, over a length of 1.434 meters.

Guerande

The gates or portes are :

Porte Saint-Michel , the Châtelet reported around 1350, refurbished around 1440-1450, the cover was put in place in the 17C. Restored in the 19C. The Châtelet includes a Museum of the Friends of Guérande, founded in 1928, which brings together an interesting collection of headdresses and traditional costumes from the peninsula, as well as archaeological collections and the Treasury of the Collegiate Church of Saint Aubin de Guérande. This gate dominates the Place du Marché au Bois square.

 Guerande

Porte Vannetaise (you got it we come thru here from Vannes!): 13C. It is one of the oldest elements of the enclosure, it is of “Philippian” style. Some authors put forward the hypothesis that this gate was one of the elements of the Castle, or fortified Logis serving as a residence for the Dukes of Brittany, others, that it was linked to the residence of the bishop of Nantes called the bishopric.

Guerande

 

Porte de Saillé: 16C. As for the Porte de Bizienne (more recent), the Saillé gate is made up of only one simple opening apparently little fortified, in fact the external earthen fortifications, leveled in the 18C, ensured this defensive function. The surrounding wall between the Porte de Saillé and the Poterne du Tricot, is dated according to some authors of the 12C and would therefore constitute the oldest surviving element of the first enclosure of Guérande.

Guerande

Porte Bizienne: historians assume that the name of this gate originates from a noblemen of Guérande. It is the most recent element of the fortified enclosure.

Guerande

The towers or tours of the enclosure are 7 towers and these are the Saint-Jean tower (early 15C), the Sainte-Catherine tower (collapsed in early 1818, now disappeared), the Abreuvoir tower (1460-1470), the Gaudinais tower (mid 15C), the Kerbernet tower (mid 15C), the Sainte-Anne tower (mid 15C) and the Theological tower.

The roads and moats around the ramparts are:

The mail or boulevard, built at the end of the 15C or at the beginning of the 16C, located between the Saint-Michel gate and the Saillé gate for the part still preserved, constituted a first line of defense, reinforcing the ramparts becoming less effective with the development of attack artillery, and moreover made it possible to deploy cannons. Its current appearance results from the installations of the Duke of Aiguillon who made it enhance and transform into a tree-lined promenade. This hill derives its name from the mall, an ancestor of croquet a sport which the gentlemen practiced.

Guerande

The moats, originally dry, were dug between the Mail and the ramparts to strengthen the fortifications. They once completely surrounded the fortified enclosure. However, they were partly blocked because of the odor they gave off (part of the inhabitants threw their waste there). A part was however preserved between the Bizienne gate and the Vannetaise gate.

Some webpages in French for more better info to help you plan your trip here are

City of Guérande on the ramparts

Tourist office of La Baule-Guerande in English on the ramparts

Tourist office of the Loire Atlantique dept 44 on the ramparts of Guerande

A wonderful town in old Bretagne and very much like to visited for various reasons as above. Hope you enjoy the ramparts of Guérande! A must to see indeed

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

 

 

February 16, 2020

My other boy, Rex!!!

Seen pictures of dogs and I go crazy, love them to death/ One of men’s and probably the best friend indeed.  I have written on my dog Rex before but seeing post on dogs made me write again about him who just happened to be laydown just below me as I write!

A bit of a recap on previous posts.

I always had dogs in my single life; and even as I was married back in 1990 with my Frenchie Martine. Once boys came to be all 3 of them I stopped having them and gave my current dog Maite to my parents. As my boys became older, the need to have a dog grew , but my wife wanted none of it. Finally, we convince her as the boys also wanted a dog. She was very enthusiastic once the decision taken, and was the first one to go and buy him a bed ,and ball toys etc. Unfortunately, she could not enjoy it fully as passed away from cancer. My boy Rex is my legacy of her and it is treated like a son in our house.

He is Rex, we got him from a dairy farm near me at 4 mos old a mix Border Collier and Labrador as commonly call Boradors. He is as gentle and protective as can be expected from  a farm dog.  He is now 27 months old fully black with white toes and 26 kg or about 57 pounds healthy as he can be with regular visits to the Vet at the Clinique Vétérinaire du Chêne, gourmet type dog food at Maxi Zoo with now a store closer to us in Vannes, and beauty salon baths cuts etc in our town at Tou Beau Tou Propre.

My boys takes him to the local big park Goh Lanno which of course I have written before on all the previous places above.  And he is very goood boy , very gentle , loving and we love him back hugely. We have taken him in the car to the Maxi Zoo store and to eat outs all very good. We are lucky to live in a house with a huge patio 1000 sq meters or about 10760 sq feet. That is him below with a neighbor apple in his mouth lol!!

pluvigner

On our last family trip with the boys we went to Toulouse and we took him with us and was perfect! Walk all over Toulouse with us!!! and even went ok to restaurants. We went to Lavaur and did the same thing , a pleasant outing. We take him to different parks now and already on schedule to go out on vacation with us again in May’20!

Toulouse

Lavaur

He likes Goh Lanno but also the pointe des Immigrés littoral park in Vannes! And right now we cannot think of doing nothing without him. And gladly ,nowdays there is plenty here to go around with a dog.

vannes

He is still laying down by me as always the protective guy, if I leave the chair he follows me everywhere in the house even the toilet which I need to close the door or he goes in too lol!!!

pluvigner

He is a good French dog as he loves the baguette bread! and just eats everything, we need to control it because he doesn’t stop eating if we let him. My luck is that with 3 grown men around the house they do most of the work ! and love him too , he wakes them up in the mornings as when I leave I open the upstairs door and goes into their bedroom to lick them up!!

pluvigner

Overall, it was the best thing that can happen to me after the shock and now he is nosing up my arms because he wants attention, he says I do too much writings lol!!!!

Do you have dogs? or family member with dogs? How are they? I am on a borador group and is great interaction with the dog owners!!! Anyway have a great doggy day y’all

And remember, happy travels (with dogs better), good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

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February 16, 2020

Another of my house wines, Marchais!

Ok so did a run but coming back, wine is part of my life since first tasted from my grandmother at 8 yrs old!! With us its a tradition of great proportions, my sons continue the trend.

I have written several posts on wines and even one on this region but need to come back for more as it is one of our house wines and we go often, thinking of been back already!

Thouaré sur Loire is in the department 44 Loire Atlantique south of me in the region of Pays de la Loire. Historically part of Bretagne … and only 13 km from Nantes. And about 2 hrs by car from my house.

The area around Thouaré-sur-Loire has the authorization to produce the wines of the following appellations: Coteaux d’Ancenis, Gros Plant du Pays Nantais, Muscadet; the Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire, and the Loire Valley.

The Muscadet is a dry white wine of AOC (appellation d’Origine Controllée) mainly in the Loire-Atlantique dept 44, south of Nantes, and partially overflowing on the Maine-et-Loire dept 49 and the Vendée dept 85 ,all in Pays de la Loire region. This wine from the Loire Valley vineyards comes from a unique grape variety, the melon of Burgundy (Melon de Bourgogne) . This appellation has been classified AOC since 1936.  The Muscadet vineyards has several appellations: the Muscadet-Sèvre-et-Maine, the Muscadet -côtes-de-Grandlieu, the Muscadet-coteaux-de-la-Loire and the Muscadet without any particular denomination.

The properties we have chosen to buy are but about 3 but the main buy is done at Vignobles Marchais lately, this is at La Blandiniére hamlet just outside the town of Thouare-sur-Loire, and it has been a pleasant find. We first met at the village vignerons of Guérande .  About the second time we visit the owner Philippe Marchais arrived we were surprise by  a visit by radio chain France Bleu and the owner Philippe was interviewed right in front of us. I was one of the ones chosen to be spoken to and was indeed on the air!!!

thouare

It is in the vineyard near Nantes, in the heart of three terroirs Le Loroux-Bottereau, Thouaré-sur-Loire and Mauves-sur-Loire , that the history of the Marchais family, winemakers from father to son is written. In the heart of a green setting, the vines stretch, offering an exceptional setting for a total immersion in the world of winegrowers. Here, the muscadets-sèvre-et-maine with a generous and floral nose (such as Le Grand Clos du Moulin du Pé or Le Domaine de la Bronnière) and muscadets-coteaux-de-la-loire (the Thouaré vineyard) with a nice minerality are worked with passion. In this winery, you can choose between Le Grand Clos du Moulin du Pé, which is a fine local classic, or the historic muscadet of the vineyard: Le Domaine de la Bronnière, or the unusual Saveur d’Origine. Especially the sparklers rosé and white perles lutines and the parasol rose from old grapes before phylloxera call the 54 dating from the 1800’s.

thouare

thouare

True independent winemaker, Philippe Marchais strives to develop wine tourism by highlighting his work with wine, and it is successful. In his cellar, you will find wines from other family production, but also wines from winemakers from Loire, Bordeaux, Burgundy and elsewhere; local products such as Loire fish terrines, local beer and many other delicacies to discover, wine accessories and many gift ideas. A multifaceted place, very pleasant to discover. Also, in good weather the Bar!!!

thouare

Their official webpage here: Vignobles Marchais

The independent wine growers official site on the Marchais property: Official Independant winegrowers on the Marchais vineyards

We come by car of course; taking the freeway N165 towards Nantes stay out of the city center and continue on the A844/N844  get off at sortie 41 on the route de Paris which is the D723 into Thouaré and see the restaurant Au Chemin de Nantes turn right here into the La Baisse Hiliére road and the wine property is on your right corner with D68 route de Mauves. No bus or train by here that I know.

Enjoy the ride close to the loire river and wonderful countryside with the smell of the melon de bourgogne! And do visit vignobles Marchais the real thing down to earth la vie en rose of my belle France.

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

 

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