Archive for July 11th, 2020

July 11, 2020

Some news from France, CCCXI

And on a nice sunny day in my beautiful Morbihan Breton I will bring you another episode of my Some news from France, with the latest chosen by yours truly of the most remarkable coming up in my belle France. Hope you enjoy and plan ahead.

Unsurprisingly as told by the media, Ariel Weil was elected first mayor of the all-new district this Saturday in Paris , merging the arrondissement or districts of the 1éme, 2éme, 3éme and 4éme. So Paris Center now exists! The new administrative entity has nearly 100,000 inhabitants (who keep their postal address) and covers almost 550 hectares. The city/town hall of the new district Centre is that of the 3éme. The city/town hall of the 2éme will become the house of social services in the new district. That of the 4éme is intended to host the Climate Academy and that of the 1éme could accommodate the homeless reception systems and the teams responsible for preparing the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. More in French from the city of Paris: City of Paris on Paris Centre

The company Charge has installed the first four charging stations for self-service electric scooters or trottinette. Self-service service that allows you to borrow and redeposit anywhere or almost a self-service electric scooter. In any case, the first fixed stations for these machines made their appearance this week in Paris Centre. Charge, a Franco-American start-up, has just installed its first four charging stations, which can accommodate twelve scooters each, in the 4éme arrondissement of Paris, with the support of the City. These stations, equipped with a battery that can last three to four days without being recharged, are easily installed on public space, without the need for civil works.

Here we go again. For the 6th consecutive year, as of this Saturday, the RER A begins the continuation of the renewal of its tracks and ballast. A campaign to change the rails, the large stones on which they rest and the switches. Since 2015, 17 km of tracks have already been treated out of the 24 km of the project. This year, 3 km will be renewed again. Similarly, 17 points have already been changed, four will be changed in 2020 and 28 in total will be changed at the end of the campaign. From this Saturday until August 7, RER A will be cut every weekend and every evening from 21h in the east, between Auber and Vincennes. Then all week from August 8 to 14, 2020.

The image has crossed the centuries. A row of lime trees bordering the étangs de Corot or Corot ponds, along a bucolic alley. Camille Corot painted it in the 19C . The inhabitants of Ville-d’Avray have always wandered there. But now, time has got the better of the solidity of the dike on which the hardwoods sit. Work is underway to consolidate it. And in the fall, these hundred-year-old trees, plus seven others below, must disappear. Sadly another view of France that will be gone.

The Disneyland-Paris park will once again welcome the public on July 15 with compulsory online booking. The two theme parks, Disney village and Disneyland Paris resort, will reopen on July 15 with a route adapted to health rules with the wearing of a mandatory mask and space limited. In terms of catering, the park has also revised its offer. Buffet establishments will serve meals while the 50 restaurants will all offer take-out meals. Some terraces, such as that of Casey’s Corner, now spread their umbrellas over tens of meters spacing!

Notre-Dame Cathédrale de Paris has already reopened its doors to the general public … virtually!. Near the Opéra Garnier, you have to go through the “Flyview” door to live the experience and enter a hall with the air of an airport. For its reopening, from Saturday, the company specializing in virtual reality, presents this new film dedicated to Notre-Dame, so far only available on the Internet. See the youtube video preview here:

As part of the « C’est mon patrimoine » or it’s my heritage operation, young and old have been able to (re) discover the Château de Fontainebleau by practicing a Renaissance dance. It’s a funny masked ball. At the Château de Fontainebleau, a group of visitors learn a few dance steps, very fashionable during the Renaissance. Nice indeed

And Champs-sur-Marne invite yourselves to the Garden Party in the castle grounds Usually scheduled for early October, the Open Gardens operation takes place this year during the school holidays, from July 4 to August 30 inclusive. The Château de Champs takes part. Current property of the Center des monuments nationaux, the Champs-sur-Marne estate and its castle are characteristic of 18C pleasure houses. From 1935, the castle became an official residence of the Presidency of the Republic. From 1959, foreign heads of state stayed there, at the invitation of General de Gaulle. Its 85 hectares of gardens inspired by Le Nôtre are labelled « Jardin remarquable » or remarkable garden. Nice indeed!

In Paris, the musée Picasso museum reopens its doors in the third week of July 2020. The opportunity to find the exhibitions “Picasso et la bande dessinée” or Picasso and the comic strip and “ Picasso poète” or Picasso poet which are extended to the delight of lovers of the Spanish painter.

After four months of forced closure, the musée Rodin museum reopened on July 7 at 10h. its director, Catherine Chevillot “Before the health crisis, all our lights were green. We were hoping to make a profit of 1.4 million this year, it will be a loss of 3 million, ”she says. Usually, the museum receives around 550,000 visitors a year. Among them, 75% of foreigners cross the doors of the Mansion of the 7éme arrondissement of Paris. The institution on rue de Varenne therefore launched several calls for online donations in order to continue its activities, but also launched an exceptional sale: before the crisis, around forty bronzes were sold each year, either to collectors or to institutions. Since the crisis, around 130 works, then considered original, have been sold, with a wider distribution channel: art galleries. With nearly 6,800 sculptures, 800 drawings, 10,000 old photographs and 8,000 objects, the Rodin museum has an exceptional collection that allows it, for the moment, to hold. Indeed, 30% of its budget comes from its status as a beneficiary; it simply means that the institution is responsible for managing the work of the sculptor and has the right to cast it. So the museum can sell original editions of the artist’s bronzes. Normally, they are sold according to a quota set in 1919 by Rodin in person and a maximum of 12 copies can be made for each statue. The maximum is already reached for this year, so we must hope that the difficulties do not last too long … In the meantime, do not hesitate to take a tour in this superb museum! The Rodin museum is in trouble a pity it needs to be supported more it’s a classic of Paris.

To pay tribute to the nursing staff, the Opéra Bastille displayed no less than 500 portraits on its building. A fresco as impressive as it is moving. Are displayed on the facade of the monument, from July 10 to 29, 2020, no less than 500 large black and white portraits of caregivers. A tribute in collaboration with the artist JR and Inside Out Project and on the initiative of ProtègeTonSoignant, a citizen collective, To achieve this gigantic fresco, three photographers, David Hugonot Petit, Adrien Lachappelle and Nathalie Naffzger, went to the four corners of France and therefore immortalized the faces of these doctors, emergency doctors, maintenance workers, caregivers, vigilantes…Well done!

To spend the Summer away from tourists and away from the crowds, I suggest you visit Versailles off the beaten track. Embark on a 12 km walk from the Versailles-Chantiers train station to discover the Cité des Rois (Versailles city of kings) “nature side”, and more exactly along the water, between the former Étangs Gobert located opposite the train station (or end of ave de Sceaux), the Pièce d’eau des Suisses and the Bièvre . The opportunity to discover the charming Saint-Louis district and its cathedral, the potager du roi garden, the banks of the Bièvre and its various ponds. A marvellous walk I am telling you, and easy from Paris Montparnasse train station!

The landscapes of the Seine river have long attracted princes, who established their places of stay there. In the 19C, this mythical place even inspired impressionist painters. This escapade will immerse you in the Seine of the princes by making you skirt the Château de Madame du Barry at Louveciennes . You will be able to discover there the Machine of Marly, a pump and a gigantic pipe which make it possible to send the water of the Seine in the canals of the Palace of Versailles. The l’île de la Loge at Bougival which inspired Sisley and Renoir, but also the painter Berthe Morisot. Finally, you will follow the Marly aqueduct and then picnic in the Domaine national de Marly. From Paris Saint-Lazare train station to the Marly-le-Roi train station thanks to the L line.Nice even by train, and up my alley!

Wonderful Rouen, from its majestic cathedral, accomplice of Claude Monet’s work to the terraces of the quays of the Seine where its inhabitants are now crowded, the walks are wonderful, the architecture and history monumental, a must. Bruised during WWII, Rouen has nevertheless managed to preserve its exceptional historical heritage, from the spire of its incomparable cathedral, immortalized multiple times by Claude Monet, to its 2,000 half-timbered houses still standing, it is classified among the most beautiful cities and counties of art and history. Notre-Dame Cathedral of Rouen is surely one of the most famous cathedrals in the world. By the richness of its architecture and its slender arrow towards the sky which culminates at 151 meters, but especially by the thirty paintings which Claude Monet devoted to it. For two years, between 1892 and 1893, from his workshop located opposite the cathedral, on the site of the current tourist office, the famous impressionist painter will realize 28 views of the portal, painting up to 14 paintings at the same time, passing from one table to another to play on the variations of light according to the hours of the day. A must to visit!

And you go quickly to the brown inks, blood and paintings: the Condé Museum in Chantilly celebrates Raphaël and his disciples. On the 500th anniversary of his death, this exhibition pays tribute to one of the most famous artists of the Italian Renaissance. The Italian artist Raffaello Sanzio, better known by the name of Raphael (born April 6, 1483 in Urbino and died on April 6, 1520 in Rome). Five hundred years later, the Condé Museum in Chantilly had to celebrate through fifty drawings and three paintings who is among the most talented painters and designers of the Italian Renaissance. Wonderful place indeed the musée Condé at Chantilly!

Mount Fuji in majesty at the musée Guimet museum in Paris. For its reopening after the confinement period, the Asian art museum Guimet drew from its very rich collection of 11,000 prints to present an exhibition centered on Mount Fuji. The highest point of Honshu, visible from many places on the main island of the Japanese archipelago, this mountain has always been a source of inspiration for writers, poets, and also artists. The museum presents some seventy prints on which this perfect volcanic cone stands, covered at its summit with eternal snow, a major subject in the most famous series of engravings of the Edo period. Katsushika Hokusai thus represented it in different seasons in his series of prints “The 36 views of Mount Fuji” or that retracing the various stages of the Tokaido route. We find a selection in this exhibition, alongside works by his contemporaries Yashima Gakutei or Utagawa Hiroshige. Photographs, old or recent, as well as decorative objects complete this presentation. Visitors can take advantage of their visit to discover the new terrace, on the third floor of the establishment, which offers a panoramic view of the Trocadéro and the Eiffel Tower. « Fuji, pays de neige » or Fuji, land of snow at the musée des arts asiatiques Guimet , 6, place d´Iéna, 16éme. Open every day except Tuesday from 10h to 18h , exhibition on until October 12 2020. More info here: Musée Guimet Paris

When Pompeii rises from the ashes at the Grand Palais. The immersive exhibition offers a true digital experience through the site and its ruins. It also allows you to refine your knowledge of the city and its inhabitants. the archaeological site of Pompeii located in Campania, in the south of Italy is the subject of a spectacular staging as part of the exhibition offered by the Grand Palais in Paris, until September 27 2020. Particularly the reconstruction of the impressive eruption of Vesuvius (which buried the ancient city on August 24, or as suggested by recent discoveries, in October of the year 79).The public can also discover around sixty objects from the excavations and murals of the villas, a complete and living testimony to the way of life of society and the daily life of the beginnings of the Roman Empire. Here is a visit in images of the ancient city of Pompeii, between emotions and representations of the famous Pompeiian frescoes.

Appointment should be made all summer until August 30 on the banks of the Canal de l’Ourcq canal near the Bassin de la Villette to take a dip from 11h to 21h. swimming is 100% free . Swimming at Villette Quai de Loire 19éme. Take a splash safe waters and with lifeguards.

And last but not least finish with news on wines of my belle France.

From July 9 to August 27, 2020. Jeudis du Vin or wine Thursdays at the Fortress of Chinon: families do not always have time to go and discover the wine estates of the AOC Chinon! So, the winegrowers had the good idea to invest the royal fortress of the city, every Thursday of the summer, to make discover the appellation and taste their wines! Great I will be there! More in English here: Fortress of Chinon on wine Thursdays

And the rise of the Occitanie on the pink planet. In ten years, the region has gone from 10% of its production devoted to this color to 16%. And it has even surpassed Provence! in terms of volumes produced. The grape varieties differ from those of Provence, the dresses of rosés are generally more sustained. Grenache and Cinsault are more common than Syrah and Mourvèdre from Provence. Yes indeed nice region coming up with the joneses in wine as well. More on the Occitanie region wines in French here: Vignobles of Occitanie wines

And there you go a nice tour of my belle France on the latest news chosen by yours truly. Hope you enjoy it and thanks for reading! And remember, happy travels ,good health, and many cheers to all!!!


July 11, 2020

Cholet and its theaters!

Why not sticking with a wonderful town when you are having fun visiting again! This is the case of Cholet in the Maine et Loire dept 49 of the Pays de la Loire region! We have been here before but missed several things to see and we are trying to catch up, nevertheless we will be back!

There is a whole complex of it and we needed to see them for the record. Hard to participate as most if not the best functions are in the evenings. However, the theater complex is superb.

Cholet is the residential seat of the Pays de la Loire regional theater. The Interlude theater, part of the Jean Guichard space, was built to replace the old municipal theater while awaiting the completion of the Espace Saint-Louis intercommunal theater inaugurated on September 28, 2012. This room can accommodate theater performances, concerts and conferences and has a capacity of 587 numbered seats plus thirteen places for people with reduced mobility .

cholet espace saint louis front rue de l'ancienne hopital jul20

The municipal theater, in neo-classical style, located on Place Travot was inaugurated on October 5, 1886. Partly damaged by a fire on April 23, 1949 ; then completely restored, it was abandoned in 2011 and the interior was transformed into commercial space. Located at Rue Jean Vilar. A new intercommunal theater was built in 2012 on the site of Espace Saint Louis.

A bit on the history of this transformation in the history of Cholet

At the end of the Middle Ages, the construction of a religious establishment not far from the enclosure, inaugurated a movement of extension of the city towards the west. For six centuries, the islet has undergone profound transformations. The religious function of the origins gives way to a hospital activity which, while being partially maintained, will fade in the face of the rise in power of a cultural pole which accompanies the second millennium.

At the beginning of the 15C, the Lord of Cholet granted land for the establishment of a community of beggar monks. The minor brothers or Cordeliers will never be very numerous. In the following century, Franciscans settled next door. The community of Cordelières, rather prosperous until the French revolution, welcomes around forty members, including boarders. From 1797 to 1803, the Cordelières convent became the new headquarters of the hospital. Only the 1977 move brought this situation to an end.


Decided at the end of the 20C, the rehabilitation of the hospital began in 1999. The first phase of work gave birth to the Conservatory of music, dance and dramatic art which opened its doors to the public in 2002.


At the same time, the hospital chapel is transformed into an auditorium. The Saint Louis auditorium Jean Sebastian Bach!


The second phase of work begins in 2010. The theater then emerges from the ground and allows us to imagine the configuration of the new Espace Saint-Louis which brings together training and dissemination activities related to the performing arts.

cholet espace saint louis theatre rue de l'ancienne hopital jul20

More on the programming on the city of Cholet in French : City of Cholet cultural programming

The city of Cholet for its size has a tremendous offering of theatrical performances and museums (see next post). All in a beautiful setting combining the old and the new architecture. Hope you enjoy the walks on the theaters of Cholet as we did.

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

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July 11, 2020

Cholet: Parc Francois Tharreau!

And after my last going out in my belle France we re visited Cholet in the Maine et Loire dept 49 of the Pays de la Loire region. It is a nice town full of history and nice walks we enjoy a lot. This was another trip and still things to see. Stay tune.

I like to tell you now about the gardens of Cholet and a complex known as the Parc François Tharreau. Hope you enjoy the walks in it as well as the history of it.

The Parc François Tharreau is located in the heart of town, on the very spot where the Château de Cholet once stood, the Jardin du Mail is more than simply a green space , it’s a reminder of Cholet’s history. About 150 years after they were planted, these gardens have become a favourite destination for locals of all ages in search of a bit of rest and relaxation as well as being an attractive place for tourists. The benches and lawns do look very inviting.


The garden already existed before the revolution, forming an integral part of the old castle, on the site of the current promenade. It was after the construction of the Palais de Justice in 1865 that the Jardin du Mail was transformed from 1870 until 1879.

cholet parc François Tharreau chemin jul20

It consists of three main parts:

The large embankment planted with five rows of lime trees runs along the Palais de Justice on one side and the picturesque hill on the other side. The picturesque hillside brings together all the arguments of landscaped and horticultural gardens from the 19C, natural formations such as waterfalls, rock walls, and cave grouped in lush vegetation where lights and shadows play. The horticultural part, at the foot of the Palais de Justice, forms a vast inclined, grassy plain, dotted with flower beds and crossed by a small artificial stream that joins various basins. The last is located at the foot of the wall of the old castle. Large trees including two superb magnolias that frame the facade of the Palais de Justice complete the landscape. This garden is equipped with a playground for children from 1 to 8 years old. The 74 m² fire truck themed structure was created in 2014. It can accommodate up to 32 children.

cholet parc François Tharreau front jul20

cholet parc François Tharreau fountain jul20

In the 11C, the Count of Anjou Foulque Nerra built a castle in Cholet. Burnt down and rebuilt several times, the building disappeared definitively, ravaged by flames during the Wars of Vendée. Today, only the ramparts of another era remain. In order to preserve these remains, they have been fully integrated into the current Jardin du Mail, highlighting them in this green setting. At the foot of the ramparts, stands proudly the Grand Menhir de la Garde . Moved here in 1888, it bears witness to a prehistoric life on Cholet. In place of the old castle keep is today the Palace of Justice (courthouse). The entrance to the garden, materialized by a monumental porch, testifies to the prosperity of the textile city of the 17-18C. This porch, carved on both sides, has a decor of imposing proportions. The jardin du Mail was laid out in the 1870s. The garden takes its name from the esplanade located on the side of the Palais de Justice, which was used for playing lawn game or jeu de mail, the ancestor of Croquet. Today, this space is popular with pétanque players.

cholet palais de justice tribunal front Rue François Tharreau jul20


The Grand Menhir de la Garde, initially the menhir stands southwest of Cholet, in the ditch by the Maulévrier road, 70 meters before the Garde farm. It was transported to the Jardin du Mail in 1888 on a special cart coming from Nantes and harnessed with sixteen oxens, which represents a transport of 30 tons over 5 km The menhir is a prism made of local granite, called Aubiers granite, with an almost square section with rounded angles and vertices, a height of 3.60 meters including 70 cm buried.


Cholet tourist office on its heritage in English here: Cholet tourist office on its heritage

A wonderful garden right in the middle of the city and great for all to walk it and see hear history on your paths. Hope you enjoy the walk in the Parc François Tharreau of Cholet.

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

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July 11, 2020

Cholet: Les Halles! market!

And here I am sticking to Cholet, in the Maine et Loire dept 49 of the Pays de la Loire region and in my belle France! Wonderful town I said, and to show you France is a mouvable feast indeed!

Well we love the food and wines of my France and of course every time in town we seek the market. No better place to soak in the local culture and foodies galore! The market are it and here Les Halles are gorgeous with plenty of parking after 13h30 that we use to walk around the town! The market itself was close but more power to come back for it. And, we arrive early so had lunch elsewhere but it looks nice here!

The covered market or Les Halles de Cholet are at Place du 8 mai 1945. The Cholet tourist office has nice pictures here: Cholet tourist office on Les Halles

Since September 10, 2019, the Les Halles de Cholet have opened their doors in a brand new setting: 2358 m² of total area which accommodates 33 stalls, 1 bar-brasserie, 1 convivial space. It is a real place of life, where exchanges and meetings are the norm as in all markets.


Les Halles are modern, welcoming, bright, with indoor and outdoor terraces. Emphasis was placed on the fluidity and accessibility of the stalls. There are no right angles, even the benches have 45 ° angles. As for the predominant white color, it signifies hygiene and cleanliness.

There are butchers, delicatessens, cellar, coffee, world cuisine, fishmonger, dried fruit, honey, early vegetables, poultry etc. Some new products are also emerging, such as a florist, an organic grocery store, a new bakery or a group of farmers from Lys-Haut-Layon. Open all year Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 6h to 13h ; Friday,and Saturday 6h to 13h30 p.m.


More info in French on the official webpage here: Les Halles de Cholet

And there you go folks a nice place always to stop by and we will leave earlier next time to see the hussle and bussle of it, we love it in my belle France! Hope you have the good timing to come and see it taste it enjoy it!

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

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