Archive for April 29th, 2020

April 29, 2020

Some news from France, CCCV

And why not my other love in our world, my current adopted country of my belle France. This is a special post due to the current world situation on the wuhan virus and the need to keep abreast of the information. So therefore, this is a post concerning only France.

And why not start with that wonderful Tour de France bike race which has been re arranged but is on!  The tour de France re schedule for Augsut 29 start in Nice will continue as even if the Prime Minister of France had indicated no major event before September 2020. The tour will be set up to avoid crowds as well. However, the biggest challenge will be to run a Tour without any pre races like the Dauphiné, and riders will be up for a big test.

Official tour de France in English here: Le Tour de France

And now the covid19 information about the situation in France and the slow coming out from it. The goal is for September but all is depending on how the measurements and the virus behave from May 11th 2020.

The de confinement rules will be different depending on the health situation of each department as place on RED or GREEN (this will be decided by May 11). The authorities will use three indicators to decide: the number of people infected in the past seven days; tension in hospital or intensive care units; the ability to perform tests and detect chains of contamination. According to the Prime Minister, the situation will be clearer on May 7 and will make it possible to decide whether to come out of the confinement on May 11.

By May 11: According to a principle of trust and responsibility, there will be no certification or control for the elderly, but visits and outings must be surrounded by precaution. Groups will be limited to 15 students, welcomed in schools or extracurricular premises, with respect for barrier gestures, and provision of hydro alcoholic gel. Masks will be prohibited in kindergarten, not recommended in elementary school, except in special cases (symptoms detected). All teachers and supervisors must wear them. Daycare center or Crêches: They will welcome groups of up to 10 children. Priority will be given to children from single-parent families, caring or teaching parents, or parents both unable to telecommute. Masks will be mandatory for supervisors, not for children.

Metro, buses and trams were severely limited during containment. They should retain reduced capacity. Only one seat out of two will be accessible and a flow limitation must be implemented if necessary. During rush hour, transportation could be reserved for working people (with possible control). School Buses The wearing of a mask will be compulsory for drivers and middle school students. Only one seat out of two will be filled. Taxis and VTC Wearing a mask will be compulsory if the vehicle does not have Plexiglas protection.

The offer of mainline trains will always be reduced, reservations will be compulsory on all trains, TGV or not. They will remain limited to compelling professional and family motives. A certificate will be required for trips of more than 100 km. Public or private gatherings: They will be authorized but limited to 10 people. Individual sports activity – cycling, running, etc. – will again be possible outside beyond the 1 km limit. The rules of physical distance must continue to be respected. Team or contact sports will always be prohibited, as well as indoor sports

Unlike large museums, small museums and libraries will be able to reopen because they can operate more easily while respecting sanitary rules, explained the Prime Minister. The cemeteries are scheduled to reopen on May 11. The number of people allowed to attend funeral ceremonies will continue to be limited to twenty, even after May 11.   Reopening of parks and gardens will depend on the dynamics of contamination in the department.

With the exception of cafes, bars and restaurants, all shops are allowed to reopen. However, they will have to set up a limitation of the number of customers and a flow management to respect a minimum distance. The wearing of a mask will be recommended: shops may prohibit access to customers without a mask. Prohibited during confinement, they may reopen, except as decided by the prefect, depending on the configuration of the premises.

To avoid moving beyond the living area, the prefects may decide not to let open, beyond the food sections already open, shopping centers of more than 40,000 m2, which risk causing such population movements. Teleworking should continue wherever possible. Oh yeah won’t see my boss lol !! Positive people will have the choice between isolating themselves at home (which places the whole household in the fortnight) or isolating themselves in a requisitioned hotel. The objective of this strategy is to break the chains of transmission. There will be “checks if they should be necessary, but this system is based first and foremost on good citizenship. “Brigades” will be created in each department in order to identify and test the contact cases of a patient positive for SARS-CoV-2. The tests will be fully covered by the health social system CPAM.

From April 30, an e-commerce platform will be set up by La Poste (post office) to distribute several million masks to the general public every week. In addition, the State will bear 50% of the cost of orders made by local authorities. The government has set itself the objective of carrying out at least 700,000 virological tests per week by May 11. This figure corresponds to the “1,000 to 3,000” new daily cases planned by the scientific council, multiplied by the 20 to 25 people who encountered them on average in the previous days.

By May 12 When teleworking is not possible, staggered hours are encouraged. Wearing a mask is mandatory when distance is not guaranteed. Guides by profession will be developed: 33 are available, it takes about 60 to cover all sectors.

From May 18, middle schools will be able to reopen starting with the sixth and fifth grade classes in the French system . The masks will be compulsory and provided to students who do not have them.

Not before June 2: High schools will not reopen before June 2. Vocational high schools or Lycée Pro should be the first to welcome students again. Depending on the health situation, the government will decide to reopen the major museums from June 2. They will remain closed until then. And depending on the health situation, the government will decide to reopen the multipurpose halls. They will remain closed until then. Places of worship will remain open, but the government is asking religious organizations not to hold ceremonies until June 2. Sports other than individual and outdoor will remain prohibited. And depending on the health situation, the government will decide to reopen these closed cultural places, where spectators stay for a long time, from June 2. They will remain closed until then. As a precautionary measure, frequenting the beaches will remain prohibited until at least June 2. They will remain closed at least until June 2, but their reopening remains unlikely on June 15, had already said Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy.

Not before September: Sports events are prohibited until September. The 2019-2020 season of professional sport, especially that of football/soccer!!!, will not be able to resume either, according to Edouard Philippe. All festivals, major cultural events, fairs, etc. who were subject to prefectural authorization will be prohibited, at least until September. The city/town halls will continue to offer, except in emergencies, a postponement of marriages.

The above information was gathered from various sources including the Bretagne cover newspaper Ouest France and Telegramme as well as le Monde, Le Parisien and le Figaro. 

The Ouest France is here in French: Ouest France newspaper on covid19

Le Telegramme on the covid19 in Bretagne, if continue the trend we should be in GREEN by May 11th: Le Telegramme newspaper on Bretagne

And the Worldometer/coronavirus in English on the situation in France (on latest update you go to official French govt source that feeds worldometer) : Worldometer Coronvirus on France

And there you reporting live from my belle France! We should be out as we haver been throughout our history, allez les Bleus!!! Wishing all the best, stay safe hold on we shall overcome.

And remember, happy travels, (yes we will), good health, (stay safe at home), and many cheers to all(better to tell us that later)!!

April 29, 2020

Some news from Spain XC

So are we getting some news as when we will get out of the wuhan virus I like to give you some updates on my regular series Some news from Spain. This is concerning only Spain.

First, something we have always keep track of and visited while going on many times over the years, La Vuelta!

The organization of La Vuelta bike race of Spain, in agreement with the UCI (International Cycling Union), agreed to postpone the 75th edition of the race. The Vuelta was originally to be held between August 14 and September 6, departing from the Netherlands. However, the forced reorganization of the annual cycling calendar, following the world health crisis caused by COVID-19, has forced a change in plans. The Vuelta 2020 will be held in autumn, on dates yet to be determined, it will have 18 stages and will start in the Basque Country. The start the Spanish round with the Irun – Arrate stage. Eibar in the reorganization of the calendar with the exceptional variable of a 20-day Tour and not with the 23 initially planned. The 75th edition of La Vuelta will be marked as a historic race in many ways. It will be the first time in the last 35 years that it has less than 21 stages. The last time this circumstance occurred was in 1985, in an edition that had 19 stages. Likewise, for the first time since Unipublic took over the race in 1979, La Vuelta will start in the Basque Country. The Basque Country had spent almost five decades without hosting a first stage of the race. In 1961, La Vuelta started in San Sebastián, with a team time trial with a start and finish in the city of San Sebastián.

More in official webpage in English:  Official La Vuelta cycling event of Spain

And now updates on what is coming up from the government sources on the wuhan virus or covid-19 as it relates to Spain.

It will go as Fase 0 or Phase 0, preparation and which begins on May 4, includes the opening of small shops, which include bookstores and archives, and which may go back to their own activity with the security and prevention measures dictated by healing for this initial phase. From May 4 you can open the retail trade and the bars and restaurants prepare food to pickup or take hom. But it will be on May 11 when the first phase of this process of return of economic activity will begin.

In Fase 1 or Phase 1, the Libraries (lending and reading with limited capacity). Cultural acts and shows of less than 30 people in closed places (with 1/3 of capacity). Outdoor cultural acts and shows of less than 200 people (as long as you are sitting and keeping the necessary distance). Museums (visits only, not cultural activities) 1/3 capacity with control of crowds in rooms. Active and nature tourism for limited groups of people. Audiovisual production and film and series filming will also resume.

Cinemas, theaters and auditoriums will be able to reopen their doors, reducing their capacity to a third, in phase 2 of the de-escalation process (which would take at least four weeks), which has four stages and will be completed by the end of June, as announced by the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez.

In Fase 2 or Phase 2 :the activity will return, with controlled and reduced capacity for cinemas, theaters, auditoriums and similar spaces (with pre-assigned seats) with a capacity limit of 1/3. Monuments and other cultural facilities (visits only; no cultural activities) 1/3 capacity. Exhibition rooms, conference rooms and multipurpose rooms 1/3 capacity, with agglomeration control. Cultural acts and shows of less than 50 people in closed places (1/3 of capacity). Outdoor cultural and leisure events and performances for less than 400 people (as long as they are seated and keep the necessary distance). Active and nature tourism for larger groups of people.

In Fase 3 or Phase 3 the de-escalation will continue with the activities with 1/3 capacity in phase II, they can go to 1/2 capacity in this phase. Performing and musical arts rooms with a capacity limit of 1/3. Cultural acts and shows of less than 80 people in closed places (1/3 of capacity). This phase, there is the bullfighting exception. Squares, venues and bullfighting facilities with a capacity limitation that guarantees one person for every 9 m2. It is also necessary to include in its reopening cultural acts and shows, theme parks and outdoor leisure of less than 800 people (as long as it is seated and keeping the necessary distance). And active and nature tourism. In addition to beaches, in conditions of safety and distance.

The source for most was the leading newspapers in Spain ABC, El Mundo and El Pais. The latter is here in Spanish: El Pais on regulations for covid19

The map of covid19 in the comunidad de Madrid by towns in Spanish from the newspaper ABC: ABC covid19 by district of Madrid

Gathered information on the virus from the Worldometer/coronavirus  in English on Spain (You can go to source and see it by regions): Worldometer Coronavirus counter Spain

We will get over this one as we have in the past. I am looking forward to the opportunity to return to my beloved Spain before year’s end 2020. Wishing you stay at home and safe. Un abrazo

And remember, happy travels (it will come back), good health (stay safe), and many cheers to all (indeed)!!!

Tags: , ,
April 29, 2020

The streets of Pau!

Believe it or not, one of my most precious moment is to walk the cities, towns and villages I have visited. Sure the monuments are seen and I am an amateur of architecture and history, but walking brings all that in much better. And once you are in town walking beats anything else. This is no different in one of my memorable cities of my belle France, Pau. Therefore, let me tell you something about some memorable streets of Pau. Hope you enjoy it and do walk it!!

The Place de la Déportation, a few steps from the Castle, is a pretty square in the pedestrian part of the city . Surrounded by old buildings, which give it all its charm, offers a superb view of the whole city below and is organized around a still running fountain which dates from 1620, at the time when it still housed the Navarre Palace. Today it has been renamed in memory of those who died during WWII. Several flower beds, brightening up the square, the start of the tour of the little train and a monument in memory of Louis Barthou. The benches were ideally placed there: the square overlooking the Boulevard des Pyrénées, you just have to sit down for a moment to enjoy the breathtaking view of the mountain. Observation which, for the most curious, can be supplemented by the binocular station which is right next to it. One of these typical places that makes the charm of Pau! And it has been said “Memories are our strengths. Never let memorable dates fade away. When the night tries to return, you have to light the big dates, as you light torches. » by Victor Hugo. « Les souvenirs sont nos forces.Ne laissons jamais s’effacer les anniversaires mémorables. Quand la nuit essaie de revenir, il faut allumer les grandes dates, comme on allume des flambeaux. »


The Place de Verdun is located in the city center of Pau. to the south, in a one-way direction west-east, is rue Antoine de Bayard. You descend by rue Corisande towards Place Gramont with its fountains and arcades. To the east is Rue de Liège, in a south-north direction in circulation. North of the square, Cours Camou has an east-west direction. Rue Michelet links the square to the Pau exhibition center. To the west is Rue du Maquis du Béarn, which runs alongside the sports grounds of the Bernadotte barracks. The square is cut in two by rue Ambroise Bordelongue.


The site of the present Place de Verdun was originally occupied by a vast, unsanitary swamp. Under the leadership of Henri d’Albret, this area became one of the royal gardens of the Château de Pau in the 16C. It was then called the Haute-Plante, on which were planted chestnuts, fruit trees, vines, flowers etc. The Haute-Plante hosted the most important cattle fair in Béarn until the end of the 19C. The Bernadotte barracks were completed in 1875 after work spread over almost 50 years, this was wanted during the Restoration to defend from Spain. The barracks could accommodate up to 5,000 men, making it one of the largest in France. The current Place de Verdun was then used as a field of practice and maneuvers. It welcomes arrivals from the Tour de France. And we have waited here for it with the family!


At the back, the statue represents three hairy men from the Great War (WWI). The plaques pay tribute to the victims of the various conflicts. One of them testifies to the presence of the 18th line infantry regiment alongside the Americans at the Battle of Yorktown during the War of Independence (USA). This statue is a gift made by Miss Alice Cushing in 1925 to symbolize the Franco-American friendship, the latter was resident in Pau and owner of the Villa Beverly (current Saint-Dominique school). The monument is cut in white stone, it is the work of the American sculptor Charles Ayton.

The Place Reine-Marguerite is the oldest square in Pau, it was built in 1590 by order of Catherine de Bourbon, sister of King Henri IV. The square plan, consists of 27 arches surmounted to the west by three-story buildings dating from the 18C and to the east by Art Deco style building dating from the 1940s. Built on three sides, it is open on rue du Maréchal Joffre. It is also accessible via rue de Foix. A fountain dating from the 19C takes place in the center of the square. On December 31, 1590, Catherine de Bourbon orders the construction of a new halle, on this occasion several houses will be acquired then demolished in order to create the site of said halles, which will be held in the open air for a little over twenty years. In 1619, after the acquisition of the last plots, a wooden halle on stone pillars will be built to cover the population of bad weather. This one, on two levels, accommodates the merchants on the ground floor and a printing works on the first floor. The current Rue de Foix was then opened at the same time to facilitate exchanges. In 1711, the land around the square was sold to neighboring owners. They will have to build at their expense and according to a pre-established architectural plan a series of arcades, in front of a gallery welcoming shops and stalls qualified at the time as hangars intended to later accommodate the rest of the halles . The plans for these hangars drawn up around 1730 have now disappeared. In 1751, after the completion of the hangars   (arcades and their galleries), the wooden halles is demolished and it is only at this time there and after many deliberations, that the owners will be authorized to build buildings above these arches. During the French revolution the square was used for public capital executions on the gallows or the wheel. In 1826, the construction of new hallse on the current Place Clemenceau reduced its frequentation until becoming a simple commercial square at the end of the 19C. It was renamed Place Reine-Marguerite in 1897 in honor of Queen Marguerite de Valois, wife of King Henri IV. The eastern part of the square was devastated by a fire in the 1940s, the arcades were removed in favor of a late Art Deco style building. In 1970, on the occasion of the construction of the Place de la République halles(see post), the city bought the eastern part of the square, and in a historical concern, decided to restore the arcades while preserving the modern building. The Place Reine Marguerite square, then a large parking lot, will then undergo a renovation and will be moved in and provided with a fountain on the site of an old well.


The Place Royale is the central point of the city, it is notably bordered by the City/Town hall of Pau, by the old Hôtel de France and by the Boulevard des Pyrénées. (where you can climb stairs to the square) .Commissioned by the States of Béarn, the Place Royale was fitted out in 1688, as in many other cities in France, to accommodate the statue of Louis XIV. The square also had a church who will be named Saint-Louis. This, which was in place of the current City Hall was started but will never be finished and the land will remain in ruins for several centuries. In 1793, the statue of Louis XIV was shot down during the French revolution. The square is now known as Place de l’Égalité, and a few years later, Place Bonaparte. The 19C will be that of the opening and the enlargement of the square, which then takes its current proportions following a decree of Napoleon Bonaparte which orders in 1808, during a passage in Pau, the destruction of the wall to reveal the view of the Pyrenees. In 1831, the pavillon des bains (bathhouse pavilion) was built below the square and in 1839 it was decided to cut down all the trees and replace them with rows of lime trees.


In 1843 at the request of king of the French, Louis-Philippe, a standing statue of King Henry IV was made out of Carrara marble. In 1854, the private ruins of the unfinished church were bought by a private company of shareholders. The building was provided with a casino, with its concert and game rooms and its large ballroom as well as the small Italian theater. A few years later, the town of Pau which had its eye on the building bought it in 1876 and settled there in 1878 (city hall) after some renovation work, judging its premises from the city hall of Place Clémenceau, too cramped.


Adjoining the emblematic Boulevard du Midi (current Boulevard des Pyrénées), it experienced an unprecedented boom in the 19C. Marked in particular by the construction of the Splendide Hôtel in 1861, the Hôtel de la Paix in 1863 where the ex-first lady Mary Todd Lincoln (wife of US pres Abraham Lincoln) settled from 1877 to 1880. The Hôtel de France was built from of 1868 then by its symmetry in 1901 and finally by the portico which connects them in 1910. The cercle Anglais or English circle club making the angle with the rue Louis Barthou in 1870 before becoming in 1900 the current Consulate of Spain. The Place Royale will be provided with its emblematic kiosk in 1887 and the small pavilion of the baths was transformed into a temporary casino in 1884 and will remain so until 1899 when it was transferred to the Palais d’hiver (winter palace) built the same year. This pavilion, which is now baptized the Pavilion of the Arts, was radically altered in 1907 in order to accommodate the funicular the following year and consequently to extend the surface of the square deemed to be too small on public holidays. Today it still remains an important square in Pau, which illustrates the harmony between the city and the exceptional character of the landscape facing it.

The Place Clemenceau is one of the central squares in Pau. It links the historic axis of rue Joffre to the east of the city. It is connected to the Boulevard des Pyrénées by the Palais des Pyrénées and the Boulevard d’Aragon.


Originally, the site was occupied by a set of religious buildings including the Notre-Dame-des-Morts Chapel, a cemetery, the Church and Convent Notre-Dame founded around 1616. At the beginning of the 19C, the Notre-Dame Church is very degraded, and a gendarmerie barracks will be installed in part of the building. The new halles was built in 1837 and was inaugurated the following year, also welcoming the services of the City/Town Hall before their move in 1876. The square was then also equipped with several hotels including the Henri IV Hotel ,(current Bourbon Hotel) as well as the Hôtel des Pyrénées. It also welcomed in 1908, the Galeries Moderne, subsequently Nouvelles Galeries then Galeries Lafayette. The new halles was dismantled from 1929 in order to be moved to the second halles, built in 1876, place des Écoles (now Place de la République). The space freed up then constitutes the current floor space of the square. The church was however spared and was dismantled stone by stone and reassembled between 1930 and 1932, left bank in the quarter of XIV Juillet under the name of Notre-Dame-Du-Bout-Du-Pont Church. The Palais des Pyrénées is built in the ocean liner style, a late version of the Art Deco movement, and it will be inaugurated on November 29, 1930. The Palais des Pyrénées will contain various shops such as a travel agency, furniture stores, cafes, a casino, mini golf and a car dealership. The concert hall hosts artists like Edith Piaf but also boxing fights with Marcel Cerdan. Between 1951 and 1958, the palace was largely altered. The dome placed in the center of the building as well as the covered colonnade below were destroyed in 1952, thus making it possible to clear the view of the Pyrenees from Place Clemenceau by means of a pedestrian crossing becoming Avenue de Lattre de Tassigny. In 2006, the town decided to completely renovate Place Clemenceau and the Palais des Pyrénées. An underground car park with 400 spaces is built and the square therefore becomes entirely pedestrian with the installation of a fountain and water jets. The Palais des Pyrénées is completely renovated to accommodate 16 commercial brands over 10,000m² and offices over 2,500m. At Place Clemenceau see the Le Carrousel Palois !


The official city of Pau on its history and heritage in French: City of Pau on history and heritage

The Tourist office of Pau on heritage in English: Tourist office Pau Pyrenees on heritage

And there you go now you can have a better view of the wonders and architecture/history of this wonderful city of the Pyrénées, Pau! We are very fond of it and many family trips that thankfully to this blog will remain for a long time with us. Hoping it helps you make it part of  your history too. Hope you have enjoy the post.

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

Tags: ,
%d bloggers like this: