Archive for July 5th, 2020

July 5, 2020

Walks in Jaca!!!

And here I am back in my beloved Spain! I have been coming here for years , initially as a stopping point between my trips from France to Spain over  Somport and Portalet; then we visit the city and even spent vacation time around the area. This is Jaca right facing the Pyrénées mountains! As you might know Spain is the No 2 most visited country in the world according to official tallies of the UN-WTO.

I have written several posts on it  ,but feel some is missing and I am trying to remedy this ommission of this wonderful quant city of Aragon. Let me tell you a bit more of Jaca on the Plaza Ripa and Paseo de la  Constitucion.

The Plaza Ripa or square Ripa in Jaca, Province of Huesca in the autonomous region of Aragon is very nice and central. We got into town by the road N330 coming from France by car, you hit immediately the boulevard facing the Ciudadela or citadel or castle of San Pedro on your right hand side, impressive fortified castle and what a way to enter a city! (see post!!).   I parked by the parking Turismo on Plaza Ripa across is the bus station and to the right is the Cathedral right in city center secured underground parking all day.


Here was the cemetery of San Nicolás, now Plaza Ripa!. The Plaza Ripa is named after Don Manuel Ripa Romero, mayor of Jaca, and provincial deputy in 1900.

There are great walks all over the city from here. Not far is the wonderful Cathedral (see post) and the museu Diocesano of romantic arts, as well as the tourist office. If you want to take public transport , well the bus terminal is right here too! The parking underground is wonderful and easy in and out. A wonderful spot with a great market.

Jaca plaza ripa aug14

This summer as usually the case, the Jaca Pirineos Markets will be present in the Plaza Ripa every Sunday from June 28 to August 30. With a clear commitment to local products. As a novelty, agri-food producers will have for sale, in all stalls, a basket with products from each of them, for 45 or 50 euros, depending on quality. The products are from the Val Minuta winery, Repostarte, Carlina Cheeses, Miel de Oz, Mead Guerrero and Chesitas, in addition to other culinary proposals, such as those from an association. Artisans will also sell lots of products, on their assigned days. In this case, you can find costume jewelry, jewelry, soaps and watercolors, among other items. A plastic artist from the Jacarte Association will join them. This is ongoing for several summers now and should be available this year. More from City of Jaca in Spanish here: City of Jaca on the market at Plaza Ripa

There is a beautiful Paseo de la Constitución with nice children playground, and music kiosk , many libraries or book stores are here and an open air book market with stands as well. This is wonderful and only about 500 meters from Plaza Ripa above, so all you need is do the walking and see all of Jaca before your eyes, and what of views it has.



In 1888, and in view of the increase in population during the summer season, the idea arose to create a new promenade in Jaca. The works for its construction began in 1903, and the first 600 plants were donated by the Marquis de la Cadena. In 1923 it was expanded with the acquisition by the town council of several more plots on the left bank, and around it stately houses began to emerge, mainly owned by the Zaragoza bourgeoisie. Inside, there are some fifty species among plants and trees, firs, birches, holly, linden, elm, yew , etc. In 1992, it was renamed Paseo de la Constitución and today, without losing an iota of its charm and beauty, it has been modernized with a wi-fi area, summer library or playground. It is especially in this season when it is a magnificent place to relax in the shade of the trees, and cool off in the freshness provided by the fountains. In no case can you miss the wood carvings with mythological motifs that are on the trunks of several dry acacia trees. In the Paseo de la Constitución you will find the sculpture entitled “La Amistad” or the friendship ;donated by the city’s Casino. It represents two figures in a friendly attitude made of wrought iron. More from the city of Jaca here: City of Jaca on paseo de la constitucion

For reference the Jaca tourist office in English here: Jaca tourist office

Huesca province tourist office in Spanish on Jaca: Huesca province on Jaca

Region of Aragon tourist office on Jaca in English: Aragon tourist office on Jaca

And there you go folks, Jaca is wonderful a great getaway with the marvelous face of the Pyrénées. The walking amongt beautiful architecture full of history is marvelous. Hope you have enjoy the walk.

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

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July 5, 2020

Dinan, the crossroad of Brittany!

So here I am to tell you about a wonderful town of my Bretagne and the dept 22 of the Côtes d’Armor. I hav written several posts on Dinan, but feel a general overview should do justice with some of the things usually not mention by the passing tourist/visitor.

And in our rambling rides in our beautiful region we visited again Dinan, this time a bit more. We went by car of course. Dinan is indeed at the road crossing of Saint Malo, Rennes, Lorient,Quimper, Vannes you name it. We set out and took off on the road D768 direction Pontivy. We went all the way past Pontivy to hook up at Loudéac with the N164 direction Rennes. Continue until we hit Saint Meen le Grand and got on shortly on the D125 already direction Dinan/St Malo. This road same direction change to the D166 passing Caulnes and then we smoothly fell on the road D766 passing the nice Saint Jouan de l’Isles town with nice story on St John the Baptist. At a traffic circle just still direction only Dinan now we hook up with the D795 straight into Rue de Marchix in Dinan and the underground parking at my favorite hotel de ville ,near the castle. In all , we had 141 kms and did it in 1h36 and still free. It has train service to Paris and bus terminal right by the train station, all transports now found at Breizhgo Brittany transports webpage on Dinan

We got out of the parking and immediately you see the Hôtel de Ville to your right ;built from 17-19C, and located at 21, rue du Marchix. Before 1822, when the City/Town Hall settled there definitively, after having successively occupied the salle de l’Horloge,the buildings of de la Victoire, des Jacobins, and hôtel dit du Gouvernement,at the rue de l’Horloge , it was the old Hôtel-Dieu. Instead of following the ramparts from there we took off for the tourist office which is right next to the entrance to the Castle (see post) but came down on the ramparts and saw there was the Fête Foraine du Liége by the Promenade des petits fossés with lots of rides for old and young and food, and music all the way to the night; last March 22, 2020.



We walk into the gorgeous city old center with wooden houses from as far back as the 14C, and came up to see the tour d’Horloge, or Clock Tower, a 15C belfry, 45 meters high, which symbolizes the prosperity of the city. He still has the bell offered by the Duchess Anne. The clock was purchased by the city in 1498.


Theâtre des Jacobins,before being a theater inaugurated in 1966, the Jacobins were a convent founded by monks in 1232. In 1824, the city bought the building which was to undergo throughout the 19C a series of architectural modifications.


The Basilica Minor of Saint Sauveur (see post), Church of  Saint Malo (see post) ; jardin Anglais, traced in 1852 on the old parish cemetery, it also allows you to discover a superb panorama of the Rance valley.


With more walk on the ramparts along the Tour Saint Catherine with a nice view of the viaduc de Rennes over the Rance river, this grandiose granite monument is 250 meters long including the abutments; its height is 40 meters above the towpath and 50 meters including the foundations. It is made up of 10 arches 16 meters wide, separated by straight feet 4 meters thick; the width of the cart track is 5 meters; it is bordered by sidewalks 1 meter wide.


The port of Dinan from the castle. Here, you walk along the small harbor, take the time to sit on the benches and contemplate the boaters who moor. In the shade of the palm trees, relaxation is guaranteed!


Inside the tourist office you can see the history of Dinan in the museum of centre d’interpretation et du Patrimoine with nice interactive booths. More info on the museum here at Coriosolis:Coriosolis of Dinan

dinan centre d interpretation de l'architecture et du patrimoine coriocolis mar15dinan

The historical Chapelle Sainte Catherine, the chapel houses the most remarkable collection of statues, the oldest of all the churches in Dinan. These statues are a Saint-Antoine 17-18C, Saint-François d’Assise 16C  in limestone, two bishops 17-18C, Saint-Pierre 16C, and a Christ on the Cross . There is also the oldest and the most exceptional, “The education of the Virgin”, from the beginning of the 14C,another, a limestone Virgin 15C, did not budge from the chapel because it was intact. She had been found in the 1930s, buried in a garden.


jardin Val Cocherel by the promenade des pétit-fossés along the ramparts.


The old maison du gouverneur or governor’s house, at  24 rue du Petit-Fort, 15C house, old weaver’s house, temporary exhibition in July and August. Regional objects and loom. The whole day was spent very nice.


We did our shopping at Les Terny thés for my Harley Davidson mug and 1960’s Paris placemats for drinks,  they are at  11 rue de la Poissonnerie with official webpage at : Les Terny Thes Dinan

My sons got their leather belts at TM Cuir at 8 rue de la Poissonnerie with official webpage here: TM Cuir Dinan

We loaded for the day when hunger struck with goodies of baguettes and dejeunettes sandwich breads at Boulangerie Royer-Gana at corner of the Grand Rue and Rue du Marchix with webpage here: Boulangerie Gana Boyer Dinan

And finally we did eat at the wonderful service and food of Pizzeria Cecco at 3 rue de la Lainerie. Nice quatre saisons or four seasons pizza, banana splits and a bottle of red Italina Negroamaro from Salento ,Lecce ;diabolo menthe, other desserts and pasta/pizzas total came out to 21€ per person,ok and nice ambiance with currency money frames and bucket lounge style tables and chairs in the old section of town. Official webpage here: Pizzeria Cecco Dinan


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

The city of Dinan and things to see in French: City of Dinan things to see

The Dinan-Cap Frehel tourist office on Dinan: Dinan Cap Frehel tourist office on Dinan

The Côtes d’Armor dept 22 tourist office on Dinan: Cotes d’Armor tourist office on Dinan

The tourist office of Bretagne on Dinan: Tourist office of Brittany on Dinan

And with that we came home leaisurely nice in our lovely Bretagne. Dinan we came back, it is worth it, I say one of the must cities to visit in the region. Hope you enjoy the brief introduction and do see the other main things to see posts .

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

July 5, 2020

Tour Perret and more of Amiens!

So would like to take you a bit to the old Picardie, now Hauts de France region and a very nice city with a lot of history of the struggle to be free in world wars. This is Amiens , and we have been here all over but feel not enough written in my blog about Amiens. I would like to give you a couple of places often overlook but very much part of the everyday life of Amiens. Hope you enjoy it as we did.

A symbol of the reconstruction of Amiens after WWII is the Tower or Tour Perret near the gare or train station , of which area was totally destroyed by bombings of 1944. The tower opened in 1952 and has the name of the architect that built it, Auguste Perret. It has a height of 110 meters and for a long time was the highest building in Europe, visible from several km around the city. The tower remains initially uninhabited: contrary to the initial wish of Auguste Perret, it is decided to provide housing there but it does not win the support of the locals. After the interior fittings, the Perret Tower was finally inaugurated on July 24, 1960. The first occupants settled there in 1962.


In 2005, the project to modify the top of the Perret tower was completed. A glass cube that marks the hours by means of a luminous breath raises its top by six meters. This cube, made of an innovative material, active glass, is placed on the top floors of the tower. In light operation, it is supplied with low voltage; otherwise, when the glass is off, it remains opaque. A computer implements a device associated with a play of lights which, by reviewing all the colors of the rainbow, gives a variation of luminosity with each change of hour by a system of neon lights. Thanks to an adapted distribution of power and light sources, the lighting of the tower body has been studied so as not to cause any discomfort for its inhabitants.

Indeed seen from all over the town and even afar, it is an essential monument in the city of Amiens today.

You have more and address on the tourist office of the Somme dept 80 in French: The Somme 80 tourist office on the tour Perret

And one for the memories of our visits here while living in the Yvelines dept 78 which allows us to come often from Versailles, was to have our lunch here. We came first , we like it and kept coming back wherever in town or passing by . This was the old Brasserie Le Queen’s at 3 Place Gambetta.


At 3 place gambetta, there was the Brasserie Le Queen’s. A very pleasant place with a charming reception! There were a variety of delicious dishes! Also, the price rhymes with the quality offered! This is an address we always hit it! Very good brasserie, you could eat traditional dishes, and the plates were plentiful, fair price, super-friendly welcome, for a lunch.


Unfortunately, my opinion did not go well with the rest of you and the place has since closed down. At the same spot there is now the Les 3 Cailloux but have not try it yet. More info on the new on their Facebook page: Facebook page of Les 3 Cailloux Amiens

There was another nice building we like to past by even if not gone in (see post on cathedral) but for the memories of the post and Amiens will include. This is the Church of Saint Leu.

The Saint-Leu Church is located in the Saint-Leu district in the city center of Amiens. It is, after the cathedral to which it is very close, the oldest church in Amiens. The history of the Church of Saint Leu is truly known to us from the 15C, a period of prosperity found for the city of Amiens. The church was rebuilt and returned to worship in 1449. It is in flamboyant Gothic style. It was enlarged at the end of the 15C. The bell tower-porch was built around 1500. The entrance gate located at the southern base of the bell tower was redone in the 19C.


The naves are covered with broken wooden cradles made in the 15C The cradle of the southern collateral is furnished with keystones sculpted in the shape of an angel holding a coat of arms painted in the 19C. The choir retains a high altar surmounted by a glory of the 19C. In the north nave, an altar dedicated to the Virgin is surmounted by a statue of the Virgin and Child, on each side of the altar is a statue including a Saint Joseph on the left. In the south nave, an altar is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus with on each side a statue: Saint Louis on the left, Saint Elisabeth on the right.  The grandstand organ have it that the first organ of which there is almost no trace would date back to the 16C. The 18C buffet consists of a large body with five turrets and a back positive with three turrets. In 1793, during the French revolution, the Saint Leu Church was stripped of its furniture and transformed into a fodder store for the army. Under the Directory, the Church of Saint Leu was returned to worship in 1796.  In 1918, the last old stained glass windows in the church were destroyed by bombing during the German offensive in WWI. In WWII bombing spared the church.

The Somme dept 80 tourist office on the Church of Saint Leu in French: Somme tourist office on St Leu Church Amiens

Last but not least in this nostalgic look at Amiens , you can see other posts with the main things to see. I like to tell you about the Hôtel de Ville or city hall.

The Hôtel de Ville or City/Town hall of Amiens is a building from the 18-19C located in the city center of Amiens, in the Somme department no 80 of the Hauts de France region. The City/Town hall of Amiens was built on the site of the Gallo-Roman amphitheater built between the end of the 1C and the middle of the 2C. At the end of the 3C, the amphitheater was transformed into a castrum. The town had to acquire a private mansion, the Hôtel des Cloquiers, to hold meetings of the Alderman Council and house its administrative services. In the middle of the 16C, the city of Amiens built a City/Town hall there. From this first City/Town hall, built between 1551 and 1600, we have an engraving of Le Soing c 1704 representing the brick and stone facade with its decoration of pilasters, pediment, trophies and royal and municipal coats of arms. In 1756, ordered was given to build a new City/Town hall to overcome the shortcomings of the old one. The main facade looked at the Place au Fil and the Beffroi or Belfry. In the middle of the 19C, due to population growth, the enlargement of the City/Town hall was decided . From 1856 to 1886, the two wings and the two pavilions at each end were added. The main entrance was now placed on the south facade overlooking the main courtyard closed by a gate.The construction of these two wings led to the destruction of vestiges of the Gallo-Roman amphitheatre. In 1992, the gates were dismantled and reassembled at the entrance to the Parc de la Hotoie.  The main facade overlooking the main courtyard where stone and brick alternate. The entrance is marked by a slightly projecting pavilion, which is reached by a staircase of about ten steps. Upstairs, a gallery gives access to the reception rooms. The frontispiece is framed by the four statues at the foot of the gallery: at the ends, two aldermen who tried to resist the Spaniards during the capture of Amiens in 1597, François de Blayries (on the left) ; Le Mattre (right); in the center, Charles-Florimond Le Roux, last mayor of the Ancien Régime and deputy of the Third Estate at the Estates General of 1789 (left), and Antoine Clabaut, mayor of the 15C (right).

amiens hotel de ville apr10

The city of Amiens on things to see, history and heritage in French: City of Amiens on history and heritage

And there you a nice walk will allow you to see all the above rather nicely and with time to spare for a day up nord in the Somme of the Hauts de France of my belle France. Hope you enjoy the brief tour of Amiens!

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

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