Archive for May 21st, 2020

May 21, 2020

Bikes in Pluvigner!

Well what a name and a surprise to many lol!!! Well just as many think I only ride in a car all over here and don’t realise that in France or Europe for that matter, public transports many times is a need ,so yes done it all from taxis, tramways, funicular/cable cars, buses, metro, train short medium and long, over country lines you name it. Still car/automobile is king for many reasons already expressed in many posts in my blog.


What many do not realised either is that I have experience with bicycles or bikes or vélos in France; just to say tried them all can’t argue with me…. And follow for upteens years the Tour de France and Vuelta de España even going to see a stage or two or plenty over the years.

Now I am in back country Pluvigner, Morbihan dept 56 of my beautiful Bretagne. If you know about bikes and probably most readers know more than I, then you know Bretagne or Brittany is a hotbeds for many good ones. Even in little Pluvigner.

One of the best from our town was  Jean-Marie Goasmat was a pro cyclist born in Camors (Morbihan) on March 28, 1913 and died on January 21, 2006. Living in Pluvigner (Morbihan), he was nicknamed the Farfadet de Pluvigner or Adémaï. He was the most popular sportsman in Brittany. Each year, a Jean-Marie Goasmat Grand Prix is run in mid-August at Malachappe a district of Pluvigner.

His long career was marked by numerous victories from 1933 to 1951. He notably won a famous stage of the 1936 Tour de France which ended in Briançon. His performances on the 1938 Tour de France aroused a lot of interest in Brittany winning the 8th stage of the Tour de France. However, when he had to assume the role of leader in 1939, the Army did not grant him permission (he was indeed performing his military service) to compete in the Great Loop.Nevertheless he was the 1939 French military champion. Other interesting races he had performed well were the 1941 Critérium de France (occupied area) ; 1942 Grand Prix des Nations (free area), Critérium de France (occupied area); 1949 2nd place in Paris-Limoges ;1950 3rd stage winner Tour de Luxembourg,and the 1951 Paris-Bourges, 3rd stage Critérium du Dauphiné libéré. On the big races he participated in the  Tour de France with year and result to follow: 1936: 28th, and stage winner, 1937: 18th 1938: 11th and stage winner ; 1947: 9th; 1948: retirement ;1949:; 22nd 1950:, 35th ;1951 21st; and the Tour of Italy 1938: 18th.

There is a great local race here we watch in city center every year call La Pluvignoise, next one in Sept 2020 if all goes well with the virus. The last one took place a Sunday, September 15, 2019, fictitious departure from the city/town hall, at 14h15.; entry to the circuit at 15h50.; arrival at 16h45; Pass-cyclist race, 13h45.  Since 2011, the event has been closely linked to the name of Warren Barguil, the professional runner from Arkéa-Samsic. The Morbihannais (as locals of Morbihan are call) had signed one of his very beautiful victories on the pluvignois circuit.

The race details is here: Velo Press Collection on the Pluvignoise 2019

There is also a Tour de Bretagne that in some years has passed by Pluvigner, the next was to happened late April to early May 2020 but postponned and cancelled due to the virus. We will wait until next year. More info here: Official Tour de Bretagne

In my town there is a vélo or bike club of all ages and they do run all over the roads lol! I am an educated driver and person to allow for all manifestations as long as the rule of law is kept. If you happened to by here and need more info you should contact them. The local club stars of Pluvigner or Etoiles cyclistes Pluvignoise is here in French: Etoile cycliste Pluvignoise

If need to rent bikes for a ride in our area other than above, these recommended sites by the Morbihan tourist office will do the trick. Morbihan tourist office on bike rentals

If you want to know bike trails to practice or ride while in the area this is the France bike tourism webpage on Brittany on bikes site with plenty of info on the 200 km of trails available but in French: France Vélo tourisme on Brittany bike trails

Now if you had read my posts, you know that I did rode a bike in Paris! yes the early Vélib and we rode into the Parc Monceau with a group of friends. I dare to do this and with company it was fun, I believe this was 2008 or 2009 ! However, I do have a bike, surprise!!! I and only I taught my boys to ride them and then as the years went by there was only one left I ride in my blue days on the park nearby Goh Lanno in town. Of course, I am not a road rider , do it just for fun in the park. My boys are now into cars and motos/scooters etc. ;;;;!



my bike any takers !!!

The other activity which is big here clubs all over and even at work is walks, yes the Bretons walk into the woods/forests looking for Merlin and Morgane etc but they don’t get tired, they do VTT and Trialhon races and mini marathons and full marathons. They keep inviting me but I go to watch them lol!!!

This is the tourist office of the Bay of Quiberon which we belong and tells a bit about the walks in our area. Tourist office Bay of Quiberon on walks in the Morbihan

Now this is a walk of about 7 km which we have not done the whole but did some of it and is call the Saint Tremeur or a chapel here.  The full swing goes from the fontaine St Guigner to St Tremeur and back. I have done post on the monuments and sigths of course. More info on the walk from the association of walkers of Brittany randobreizh here: Rando Breizh on walks in Pluvigner

And if you want a bit more on Pluvigner from the tourist office which we have an annex in town see the Bay of Quiberon  tourist office here: Tourist office Bay of Quiberon on Pluvigner

So there you go folks a bit country and a lot of Breton soul in my adopted area , already 9 years here , time flies  with all the ups and downs of life. We will resist and go on living la vie en rose or as I said La vie est belle in my beautiful Morbihan 56. Hope you enjoy this unusual tour!

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

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May 21, 2020

Port Vell, Barcelona!

So lets go back to Barcelona, Spain shall we. This is a city actually my oldest son visited first, way back in elementary school and spent a month with a local family as a student exchange from France. Then, I came on a business conference and then well the family came aboard as usually it is with us. Pleasant experiences and again missed telling you about Port Vell or old port of Barcelona. This is my makeup post.

The Port Vell,is Catalan meaning old port, is the historic port of Barcelona. It separates the Gothic quarter from La Barceloneta. It is reached either by La Rambla or by Via Laietana.

Currently the facilities of the Port Vell are destined for sports boats such as the tank dock and the La Barceloneta dock. There is a part of the port also reserved for cruises. More info on cruises which not taken is here: Port Vell bcn cruising and ferries



Also in the central part you can find an area dedicated to commercial use, known as the Maremagnum a mall containing shops, a multiplex cinema, bars and restaurants, IMAX Port Vell and Europe’s largest aquarium. I really enjoy the shopping here and the walks in the area, nice. Webpage here : Maremagnum shopping and entertainment complex


You get there as we did on Metro Line 3 the “Drassanes” stop, it goes directly to the ferry terminal area, also, there are bus lines 59, 14, 91, 57, 157  allow access to the port. La Rambla in its vast sea communicates with the city’s port at Plaza del Portal de la Pau, where the Columbus Monument is located. It also has a shuttle bus service for cruises, and direct access to the coastal road (B-10) for access by car. You never know me but will mark this parking: World Trade Center parking

The Colon or Columbus Monument is a sculptural ensemble located in the Plaza del Portal de la Paz in the Ciutat Vella district. Built in homage to the discoverer Christopher Columbus, it is erected at the junction between the Ramblas and the Paseo de Colón, opposite the Port Vell. The monument was built on the occasion of the Universal Exposition of Barcelona in 1888. Opened on June 1, 1888, in full exhibition, it quickly became one of the most characteristic icons of the city. Inside the column there is an elevator that allows you to go up to the hemisphere located under the feet of the statue, from where you can see the city.


The monument measures a total of 57 meters in height, and is divided into three sections: a circular base, with four flights of stairs 6 meters wide, decorated with eight lion statues and eight bas-reliefs with the shields of the Spanish provinces and the main acts carried out by Colón; an eight-sided polygon, four of them arranged as buttresses, in the shape of a cross, with allegorical statues from Catalonia, Aragon, Castile and León, as well as figures of characters from different origins who helped Columbus, such as the Aragonese Bernat Boïl , the Catalans Pere de Margarit, Jaume Ferrer de Blanes and the Valencian Luis de Santángel; then stands the iron column, of the Corinthian order, with a base with several groups of caravels with two taps that hold the Barcelona shield, as well as winged Famas, the fluted shaft with a central relief alluding to the Navy and the inscription Barcelona to Columbus, the capital with representations of Europe, Africa, Asia and America, a county crown for the County of Barcelona   and a hemisphere for the newly discovered part of the globe; finally the statue of Columbus.

An attractive way to see the port as a whole and from above is the Barcelona Air Shuttle, which crosses the air from the San Sebastián Tower in La Barceloneta, passing by the Jaime I Tower next to the World Trade Center, communicating the port with the Montjuic mountain.

Finally, for the looks::)  Marina Port Vell is a world-class home port for superyachts. Originally built for the 1992 Olympic Games, the marina recently completed its transformation to a 151-berth luxury facility, creating the ultimate destination for yachts up to 190 metres. Webpage here: Marina Port Vell


The Port Vell webpage has a map you can magnify and tell all the points of interest nearby, it is here in English: Port Vell on points of interests or things to see

The tourist office of Barcelona on the maritime heritage in English: Tourist office of Barcelona on maritime heritage

And as customs and port goes hand in hand this is the customs (aduanas) building in Barcelona! Very near the Columbus monument for info.


This is a nice area for walks, shopping, eating ,and the beach ; there is very nice night activities there too with lots of clubbing. All in one spot or neighborhood. Enjoy Port Vell Barcelona.

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

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May 21, 2020

Hôtel des Archevêques de Sens,Paris!

And here is one, not really looking for it, just arriving and parking at the Indigo Pont Marie , walking along on rue de l’Hôtel de Ville got myself looking at this building, now i have heard about but never look into it, as said so much to see in my beautiful Paris of my belle France. I was actually going to the jardin Saint Paul for a rest stop and looking at the ramparts remains of Philippe Auguste and lunch at Chez Mademoiselle resto. As you can see by the photo sign ,it is a great artery for bikes as well.

All change once hitting the building of the Bishop’s hotel of Sens now Forney library. The  The Hôtel des Archevêques de Sens is a wonderful architecturally stunning building with a nice history to it. I like to tell you a bit more on it, hope you enjoy it and keep in your to do list while in Paris.

The Hôtel des Archevêques de Sens is a 15C mansion located in the 4éme arrondissement at 1 rue du Figuier. It now houses the Bibliothéque Forney.


The wonderful history of this building and Paris that I like

Paris did not become archbishopric until 1622. Before that date, the city depended on the archbishopric of Sens (dept 89 Yonne ,Bourgogne-Franche-Comté). The Archbishop of Sens Guillaume de Melun, Primate of Gauls and Germania, on which depended seven suffragan bishoprics, among which there were Paris, was then personal adviser to the kings of France and, his offices often calling him to Paris, he acquired  Jean d’Hestomesnil’s hotel built in 1345.

Later King Charles V wishing to stay outside the ramparts of Philippe Auguste, to overcome the nuisances of the city and be able to easily reach the castle of Vincennes and finding the Louvre too narrow and sinister. He then, requested and acquired between 1361 and 1366, four residences in the Marais neighborhood or most of the block between rue Saint-Antoine, rue Saint-Paul, quai des Célestins and rue du Petit-Musc to make his great royal residence, the Hotel Saint-Pol. This set included the hotel that the Archbishop of Sens had built in place of a house and gardens. This first hotel of the Archbishops of Sens was located on the site of the current nos. 2 bis to 8 of the Quai des Célestins.

Again later, Tristan de Salazar, archbishop of Sens from 1474 to 1519, had this hotel rebuilt from 1498 to 1519 for a new, more sumptuous residence which is the current building you see. The Hôtel de Sens later lost its splendor as from 1622, the bishopric of Paris was erected as an archdiocese, and the archbishops of Sens, stripped of their authority over the Parisian clergy, gradually ceased to reside in the city. From 1622, the hotel was rented to bourgeois then from 1689 to 1743 the Messageries, Coches, Carrosses de Lyon, Bourgogne and Franche-Comté settled there before being occupied by noble knights during the rest of the 17C.

Before the French revolution, it belonged to the Archbishopric of Paris then it become national property in 1790. it is sold in 1797 occupied in turn by a rolling business, a laundry, a factory of canned food, a hare cutter, an optician, the Saint-James jam shop and at the beginning of the 20C it is used as a warehouse for Haroux glassworks and is partially destroyed by fire in 1911. It was then bought by the city of Paris, in 1911, to serve as a room for the labor tribunals.It was restored in the 1930s, and since 1961, this building has housed the Forney library, devoted to the fine arts, the arts and crafts and their techniques, the applied arts as well as the decorative arts.

As an anecdote: In 1830, during the Trois Glorieuses, many cannonballs were fired. One of them, never having been able to be extracted from the wall of the facade of the Hôtel de Sens where it had been stuck, has become a concrete testimony of these revolutionary days. Now still sealed in the wall, it is visible with the date engraved below it.

The Bibliothéque Forney library is part of the network of specialized libraries of the City of Paris, its collections having developed around the decorative arts, crafts and their techniques, fine and graphic arts. It regularly organizes exhibitions. It takes its name from Samuel Aimé Forney, a businessman of Swiss origin particularly interested in vocational training and the arts and crafts who proposed by will to the City of Paris to create an institution to promote the education of artisans.

A wonderful architecturally stunning building for all to see and as a library to visit now. More information to help plan  your trip here and understand further is found here

The city of Paris on the Forney library in French: City of Paris on Forney LIbrary

The tourist office of Paris on the Forney Library in English: Tourist office of Paris on the Forney library

An important site in French on the Friends of the Forney Library and their effort to maintain history in Paris: Friends of the Forney library on its history

And there you go, never know where you are going to end up in Paris if you let your legs do the walking, always amazing my movable feast Paris of always. There is another movable feast outside and awaiting you too… Hope you enjoy the brief tour of the Forney library of Paris ,a bishop’s palace!

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

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