Archive for November, 2020

November 30, 2020

Paris and Montparnasse !!!

Oh yes it has been a love affairs indeed! Paris and Montparnasse!!! I like to bring this short intro to the neighborhood I onced worked in my eternal Paris. Lots of good souvenirs of going for lunches around here and seeing beautiful architecture and history all around me. Hope you enjoy it as I do and thanks for reading me.

On my many trips to Paris now , once again I got in by Montparnasse. A vast area where there are still many symbols of the grandeur of Paris in the 1920’s and afterward, where I once worked and now go in to Paris at the Gare Montparnasse.

The smaller area is in the 14éme arrondissement de Paris or district in the 53rd quartier or neighborhood. Many people comes here and are told of the 20 districts of Paris that you find in the postal codes like 75 then the district or 75014. What many missed is the fact that since the creation of the new Paris by Baron Haussmann under Napoléon III in 1860 it was created into four quartiers or neighborhood per arrondissement or district ; therefore, Paris has 80 or four per district. (See my posts)

Some of the things to see in this neighborhood are the Barrière d’Enfer on the Mur des Fermiers généraux , the second barrier of roads in Paris today and was the wall set up between 1784 and 1790.  The sculpture of the Lion de Belfort in the Place Denfert-Rochereau (the symbol of the territory of Belfort ) It was done by Auguste Bartholdi and as the Statue of Liberté done by him ,both points in the same direction in Paris!

The wonderful boulevard du Montparnasse with some of the most famous cafés such as La Coupole and Le Dôme! The cimetiére du Montparnasse (cemetery) where rest in peace such names as Charles Baudelaire, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Samuel Beckett, Guy de Moupassant, Sainte Beuve, Serge Gainsbourg, etc.  The wonderful metro station Montparnasse-Bienvenüe (metro lines 4,6,12, and 13) that links to the Gare de Montparnasse train station. The theater or Théâtre Montparnasse, Bobino, Theater de la Gaîté-Montparnasse, Theater Rive Gauche, and the Theater d’Edgar. The wonderful crêperies on the heights of rue du Montparnasse reminds you of little Brittany or petit Bretagne. 

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The Fondation Cartier for the art contemporary, the Observatoire de Paris, the meridian of Paris crosses the district.  And the Prison de la Santé or health prison built in 1861 and has held many notables still to this day the only prison inside Paris city limits still today!!!

This area, which has become so famous, was only a place called close to the village of Vaugirard. At the site of the current Carrefour Vavin, at the corner of Boulevards du Montparnasse and Raspail, a pile of rubble had formed an artificial hillock.

Carriers, duelists or onlookers, many met in this place which then bore the name of “Mont de la Fronde”, because some trained there by stone throwing. It sometimes happened that students came to recite verses, not without a certain irony. Irony which will push some malicious to rename this mound in Mont Parnassus, in memory of the shelter of the muses of which the Greek mythology tells us. The premonition is all the more fun when you know the artistic profusion that will mark the history of the neighborhood. This name definitively adopted in 1773 when the rue du Montparnasse was pierced to make the junction between the rue Notre Dame des Champs and the Cour du Midi built under king Louis XIV. In time, the mound will be leveled. As for the famous Cour du Midi, it will be renamed a few years later to be transformed into Boulevard du Montparnasse.

At the beginning of the 20C, many artists will migrate from Montmartre to Montparnasse, considered more central. The district will have many workshops and cities of painters, many of which will be sacrificed during the savage renovation of the district in the 60s / 70s.

It is, also, my old working quartier and my entry point each time coming out from gare Montparnasse now. The restos around the Gare de Montparnasse are like my second home for many years. On this latest visit I step in into Café bar La Marine 59 bd Montparnasse,for a taste of some fish and chips with cold Carlsberg beers and a new taste of  IPA rather sweeter brew; just nice ,,,,as always. Great cozy tables and great sports match ambiance. Cannot confirm if open as the webpage does not work and due to the virus who knows,unfortunately. Here for the memories anyway!

The tourist office of Paris on the Montparnasse quartier! https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73171/Quartier-de-Montparnasse

And there you go another day in Paris! Montparnasse became famous in the 1920’s and has gone thru periods of decline, but lately is coming back with many places of lecture and discussion sometimes in the same old places and sometimes in new places. We used to have a group by Pizza  Pino and it continues as far as I know. Hope you enjoy the post and do relive Montparnasse Paris!

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

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November 30, 2020

Auray , my new region of France!!

Well I guess the title is a pretty good one! I needed to update this post, well revise the text a bit and in black and white style, but a sentimental post. This goes back to 2011 the year I came to live and stay in the Morbihan dept 56 of my now lovely Bretagne. I have several posts on where we settle for an apartment in Brec”h that was very close to Auray about 6 km and made Auray our official city for all errands, and adminstrative needs. Therefore, I just want to update it. Hope you enjoy it. See my many posts on Auray too!

I am back to share the wonderful world of Auray, Morbihan, Bretagne,  France. Today, I will talk a bit about my new area the Pays ‘Auray. Its a agglomaration of several towns into a metropolitan system of cities. The capital and main city is Auray or An Alre in Breton language. Then you have St Anne d’Auray the most important religious site in Brittany as it is the site of the patron saint of Bretagne, Sainte Anne. 

Auray is to start very historical, one Benjamin Franklin landed by sea here at age 70! to tried to convince king Louis XVI the support for recognition and credits to the new nation of the United States of America; he got it!!! You can know all about by walking the quai Franklin in the old port district of St Goustan, an extention of the city center medieval look.

Here at the port, St Goustan ,you will find all good old world accommodation, great boating, and cruise ships to the outer islands, and plenty of cheers and bar,bistros,and restos which especially at dinner time makes you go back in time, romantic, nice, quiet, educated; great for the whole family. Its still one of our favorite areas to go out locally, and friends brought here love it too!

Maindering its cobblestone streets , you will see a plethora of shops typical of the area. You will love to climb the old Chateau d’Auray now in ruins ,thanks to the war of succession of Bretagne, but the climbing gives you a look over the town, the port area and beyond with magnificent views and at night very romantic! I have posts with these wonderful newer photos.

Over to the city center area crossing the old bridge or pont vieux you will come to the Halles, a covered market selling all the goodies of the land and sea. Plenty of  wandering old world streets, and beautiful shops,restos,bars etc.

See the Chapelle Eternel ,given to Franciscan friars in the 17C to established a school for girls today its richly preserved. Chapelle Ste Helene, one of the oldest in town chapels. Chapelle du Saint Esprit anothter old chapel of great architectural significance, today hold events like the Christmas celebrations.

Wonderful place de la Republique takes you in center stage to all the above areas;its where the halles or market is located. Going over to walking the street you will see plenty of maisons en bois or woodend houses of old, very nice. Another area is the Church of St Gildas,and Church of Charles-le-Blois (near train station) of historical significance, and the memorial to Cadoudal, a peasant chief who fought against the French revolution, his tomb is at Kerleano on his native land , a field of martyrs, and house of descendants today. The thousands of chouans or peasants Bretons who died are today at Chartreause of Brec’h.

The train station here was/is my public transport contact with the world as it has direct Roissy CDG TGV service as well as thru Montparnasse in Paris. There is an Auraybus service for free from the gare train station to the city center area in summer months, but walking is about 15 mins. The station today is about 15 minutes from current home in Pluvigner.

The Relais Franklin was a natural to have some crepes,cider ,and great views at St Goustan,and be right in American history too nearby plaque attesting to the landing of Benjamin Franklin and night over. The location was at 21 Place St Sauveur. Today, there is a new business there but the plaque stayed.

And to recap, my small town of Brec’h has about 2000 strong and part of the Auray agglo area, just 6 km from the train station! and direct access to the N165 main route linking Nantes to Brest and connection to everywhere on the road warrior, the place is name Brech or Brec’h in Breton.  The valley whre the Loc’h river runs toward the port de Saint-Goustan, connects with the Auray river before ending into the Gulf of  Morbihan, and the UNESCO world heritage site. Many chapels of old are here and the Ecomusée de Saint-Dégan , with all the natural beauty of the area and its agricultural past and present. See ,also, the Moulin de Treuroux or windmill.

One of the most beautiful chapels in all of the Morbihan dept is the Chapelle de Saint Quirin in the hamlet of St Guerin near me in Brech. The 16C Chapelle Notre Dame de Grâce is another jewel near me. A new chapel in the traditon of old is the one of Chapelle Notre Dame de la Route, near me in the village of Mané Salut.And the Chartreuse, the historical one as it was built after the battle of Auray in 1364 that face Jean de Montfort to his cousin and rival Charles de Blois, for the duchy of Brittany.

And if you want to learn the Breton traditional danse then come over for the  festoù-noz (night parties in breton) where the traditional dance puts together all the generations around music and dance bretons. Danses of two or three such as Laridés, Gavottes, Plinn, Fisel, An dro…and even in circles ! You come to the feast of « Les mardis de la Dañs » The tuesdays of the dance at  Brech (Brec’h) every tuesday in july and august at 20h at Park Kreisker and its free. Of course, with today’s virus the dates and times of these events needs to be verify in advance. You can get an idea but in French at this webpage Maison de la Culture et de la Langue Bretonnes or House of the Culture and Breton languages: https://www.tidouaralre.com/mardi-de-la-dans/p20.html

Of course, on the above monuments/sights i have individula posts all over my blog on Auray, Ste Anne d’Auray, Brec’h towns. This was an introduction to my new area and one i still move about on them. Really a nice area, we cannot say this is it as by history I moved every 5-6 years average but I have already 7 at current location! so so, nice area indeed. Hope you enjoy the post and Degemer mat or bienvenue or welcome!

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

November 30, 2020

Auray at Christmas!

Therefore, in my continuing pursue of updating and revising my old posts in my blog I come back to a very familiar town. When I first came to the Morbihan breton dept 56 my main town for train station, buses, administrative issues was Auray. I like to tell you a somewhat funny Christmas at Auray 2015!

I was at just 14 kms or about 9 miles away from it and do come often here. During the Christmas of 2015 we decided to come early for parking etc. We quickly found out the festivities started way later and we were walking around empty chalets lol!! We kept the spirit of Christmas anyway!

As the spirit of Christmas is amongst us all, we took a ride to the city this morning to see any preparation for Christmas as usually they have the better one in the area closer to me. Indeed the preparation were going on for the big night and the célébrations were to go on from December 14 and will last until December 31 2015.

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Tonite they will have jogglers performing and tomorrow the bulk really begins with a slate of activities.

All the activities will be concentrated this year in the Chapelle Saint Esprit for the Christmas market or Marché de Noêl and on the Village de Noêl at Place Notre Dame (square) by the Church of Saint Gildas (see post).  The Chapelle Saint Esprit is an excellent place of great historical value that has been preserve at all cost by the local people.

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The Chapelle Saint Esprit was one of the most important chapel in the commanderies of the order of Saint Esprit, the members defended and protected the poor, orphans and the sick. It was first built here by the Duke John II of Brittany that had also founded the Chapelle du Saint Sépulcre (where is now the parking area South of the current Chapelle). It was in the later, that the gisant of Christ was founded and recently restored.From the 14C the chapel has been enlarged by the Religious orders that were here. The Chapel lost its Religious vocation during the French revolution (as usual);and from 1794 it served as a military outpost, the famous HQ Dugueslin where it welcome soldiers until the 20C, it ,also ,serve as safe heaven for the population during WWII , later housed School children, firefigthers, and local associations. Today, it still holds cultural events and plays of many diverse nature.

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Enjoy the Christmas spirit wherever you are. Cheers and be merry, a very Merry Christmas to all my readers celebrating it.

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

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November 29, 2020

Again Christmas at Rochefort en Terre!!

Revising, updating my older posts in my blog, I have come to some delighful posts on Christmas with the family in our newer region of Bretagne and even newer Morbihan breton dept 56.

I like to update these and now I come back to Rochefort en Terre Christmas 2014.

Well,  it’s that time of the year again, my best really. Love to be around, walk ,drive visit those wonderful Christmas markets in my belle France. We are doing it a bit different this year.

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Usually we go out far away just before the Christmas season, this year, we decided to stay local and try the ones around us, and then after Christmas spent our end of year in between at La Rochelle.

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Yesterday ,after some shopping in Vannes, we headed to the fairy tale city of Rochefort-en-Terre. 

The town is magical at any period with lots of medieval merlin the magician ambiance. However, at Christmas time is a must when folks from all over even foreigners come here , the place is pack and lively with a nice ambiance. We came this time a bit later to take advantage of the night lights, and park at the entrance to the town in the free bus company parking lot of Maury! From it on the street  walking five minutes will take you right to the center of town!

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However, if no car, do you know, you can take the bus No 9 Maury lines now mobibreizh network  from Vannes pl de la Liberation to Rochefort en Terre. Schedule: http://www.maury-transports.com/86-breizhgo/118-ligne-9-br-rochefort-en-terre-questembert-vannes.html

Also, you can come by train to Questembert ,and then taxi to Rochefort en Terre or bus no 9 as above.  The TER Bretagne train station at Questembert: https://www.ter.sncf.com/bretagne/gares/87476671/Questembert/pratique

The rest is easy walking up and down, and side ways on hilly streets all fully lit ,and decorated with creches, and Christmas trees out on the streets, and markets, and vin chaud (hot wine) and Suchard chocolat chaud (hot chocolate Suchard), and the traditional Breton kouignamann  sweets.

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The town is full of families and plenty of strollers, pack the main street (St Michel)  in a festive festival atmosphere, good for the soul and family life. It is a must, you must be here ,in my opinion, the best in Brittany.  And of course, one of the most beautiful villages of France yeararound. webpage: https://www.les-plus-beaux-villages-de-france.org/fr/nos-villages/rochefort-en-terre/

The Rochefort en Terre tourist office: https://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/

Enjoy the magic and spread it anywhere you are. Merry Christmas to all my readers and followers; may the spirit of Christmas stayed with you.

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

November 29, 2020

Christmas at Rochefort en Terre !!!

And while at it why not re do all the Christmas posts on wonderful Christmas town of Rochefort en Terre, in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne! A real fairy tail kind of town; we love it!! This one is from 2013!

I was off from work until Jan 2 2014!!YES! and trying to find ways to get speed up on my house and ideas to get out for the Holiday season is not easy. We went back to the mythical quant , Rochefort-en-Terre. We have been coming here since moving into our beautiful Morbihan and collegues at work mentioned it.

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This is a reminder on the tourist page for Rochefort-en-Terre:  http://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.com

And here they are in the site of the most beautiful towns of France : https://www.les-plus-beaux-villages-de-france.org/fr/nos-villages/rochefort-en-terre/

And again, as they are ,also, one of the best flower towns of France designation with four flowers! https://www.villes-et-villages-fleuris.com/les-communes-labelisees/parcs-et-jardins-rochefort-en-terre/21938

And if that all don’t convince you of what I am telling you, they are oneof the most visited towns of Bretagne, here is Brittany tourist office on Rochefort en Terre: https://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/southern-brittany-morbihan-gulf/rochefort-en-terre/  

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The idea is that here an American from family of Baltimore (born in Saint Germain en Laye 78) came once, Alfred Klots started the painting revolution, brought in more painters and created a school, they passed away ,not able to past the heritage ,the city purchase the castle and now its an Arts center in town, drawing folks year around the story.

The town Church from the 12C is a jewel not to missed, Notre-Dame-de-la-Tronchaye, more special in Christmas time. We came this time for the marché de Noêl or Christmas market, where the whole town is lit up with lights of Christmas, and the businesses stays open past the hour. Beautiful and just when my camera ran out of flash !! Therefore sorry for the dark photos this time.

We purchase a dragon by my son and chains with medieval swords on them, very nice and good value at 5-10 euros each. The shop name is O Lutin Charmeur 7 Rue Saint Michel. The Facebook page but by now cannot confirm if still open: https://www.facebook.com/olutincharmeur56

The main shopping and eating street in town. Parking is at the end by the old chapel of St Michel under the trees and only 2,50 euros for the whole day!!! We have come to know if parked a bit away from the center is free!

It came time to eat and we went by an old reliable Café Breton, in the old town, classed one of the crêperies of character and tradition in Brittany, it is there since the 16C. We had a bottle of local cider cave des sangliers, a galette complete with ham and cheese,complete bacon and onions, and the savoyarde with ham,eggs and fresh cream, 3 congolaise crepes with coconut ice cream and malibu rum as well as chocolate, 3 coffees all for 16 euros per person! webpage: https://www.cafebreton-rochefortenterre.com/

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You can still see some of them,and the funny Santa mailbox all ready to send those late minute gifts; the business of the Kaleo, dragon arts, rucher with pain d’épice and honey, all wonderful at this wonderful time. Time to tell you all.

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The Rochefort en Terre tourist officehttps://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/

MERRY CHRISTMAS , JOYEUX NOEL, NEDELEG LAOUEN, FELIZ NAVIDAD, FELIZ NATAL; may you all have a wonderful fairy time with yours wherever they are, and remember ,it is not just one day but eternal.

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

November 29, 2020

Rochefort-en-Terre Christmas season!!!

And here I go again revising old post and new text with the wonderful season of Christmas in my lovely Bretagne. This I have to say is our favorite town for Christmas in all of Bretagne! Rochefort en Terre in my beautiful Morbihan!

Let me give you a brief on it here with some pictures from 2015. Hope you enjoy it as I do! You must come and see it ok

Once again ,I past by my favorite Christmas town in my region, this is Rochefort-en-Terre, magical land.

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We come by car on the N165 expressway getting off at La Roche Bernard and continuing on the road D774  passing Marsan, Paule, Limerzel, before reaching Rochefort en Terre on some wonderful twisting roads. You can also ,go by the N166 direction Rennes and then take the D775 road direction Questembert ,then road D777 direction Pluherlin,  and reaching Rochefort en Terre.

We have come every year for the last five here and each year is wonderful. It is indeed a magical town as been small it completely shape up as a Christmas market with beautiful decorations. Folks come in by 17h or 5 pm to really enjoy the lights all over and good cheers. And get good parking! The whole town is loaded!

We had our apéro at the Le Menestrel pub restaurant at Place St Michel, and then onward we go, tasting bit and bites all over the chalets and commerces open all night. I was told it is closed,need to confirm.

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The castle of great painters history is all decorated for the event. It is a magical place and even magic by the NAIA museum! The painters history from a Alfred Klots born in St Germain en Laye (78) but family came from Baltimore MD USA to renovate the castle and house the painters.

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And, of course, the Church Notre Dame de la Tronchaye  is on inside and outside with beautiful decoration and a wonderful nativity scene!

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There is ,also, a  wonderful nativity scene at place des Halles and Place St Michel. Like I said and repeat, the whole town is a Christmas market with great seasonal foodies and gifts and hugely popular lights decorations. A must while in the area, and worth coming to it me think.

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The Rochefort en Terre tourist office: https://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/ln/en/

See the magic of Christmas at Rochefort en Terre: https://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/feerie-noel-rochefort-en-terre/

Enjoy the Christmas spirit is all over , the best time of the year!!! Merry Christmas to all! Hope one day you can make it here

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

November 28, 2020

Christmas shopping in Nantes!!

And here I continue with my updates and revision of old posts in my blog; this one goes back to 2016 on our neighbor Nantes! We are at about 1h30 by car easy on the N165 to Nantes and it is my main airport to get out of Brittany. and of course during the Christmas season for us.

We came to the Carrefour shopping center in Vannes where the brasserie pizzeria La Compagnie, was always bypass and always full. We finally try it.  The service was fast and friendly ,and the prices very friendly for 15€ per person. We had beers. However, for me the pizzas could  have been better.  We then, headed to Nantes. The resto webpage  https://www.la-compagnie56.com/

We decided to try the shopping center I always pass by but never got to visited.  This is at Saint-Herblain a town near Nantes. This is the shopping center Atlantis, right off the N444 road on your way to the Nantes Atlantique airport. The mall or shopping center is huge atypical for the French ,this one is of international quality. Words cannot describe it.

We came off the N165 to the exit to the  direction N444 Nantes Atlantique airport, exit 1 is the easiest  just before crossing the bridge of St Nazaire over the harbor. follow signs for Atlantis and its easy. Parking you should have patient because even if a huge place and huge parking , it is very very popular place. From the peripherique road N844 you can get off at exits 32,33,and 34. Many hôtels are nearby as well as the events hall Zenith

The parking is a laberinth of lanes and all electronically managed for parking spaces, so once on the  main road lane, you see the lights red xxx no space or in green they flash the number of places available: great!!! We finally parked by the entrance to the IKEA store, one of the anchors with Leclerc hypermarché, Decathlon, etc.

You find your Entrée either side of Ikea or side of E Leclerc and go in by escalator stairs two up and two down to the main floor or 1FL (call here street level or rez-de-chaussée) ,then the 2FL is mostly restaurants. There are borne with maps and plenty of benches with restaurants all over.

We like to browse the IKEA store here for ideas and some good deals on kitchen utensils or dining room décorations. webpage: https://www.atlantis-nantes.com/boutiques/ikea

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We of course, saw to our great surprise the new Burger King here. Ok so been from Florida, my boys grew up with BK who are base in Florida USA. It is well signage to get up here and the resto is quite large for fast food, there is borne machines to pre order and regular line. We always take the pre order route and here there is another section to come , you wait and a host will call you to come for your order pickup; then another host will help you find a table !! As said ,226 seating places , a children playground and a terrace! webpage: https://www.atlantis-nantes.com/restaurants/burger-king

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Then , to top off it all we have our great ice cream from Haagen Dazs, another old home favorite.As the site confirm the creams are all made in France near Arras Nord and so doing for the 20 years here. Great history and great product anywhere .we had many over time from the specialities combination for 10,30€ to the two scoops for 5,90 to the Three scoops for 7,50€ all good and of course nice coffees.   webpage: https://www.atlantis-nantes.com/restaurants/haagen-dazs

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You have kids care, and playgrounds, banks, and 151 stores with 31 restaurants! the ones at the very top are very nice indeed , good for a second try, such as Jo le Boucher, and Le Comptoir. You have micromania video games store a must in my family, and great stores like H&M , Jules, Foot Locker, etc, a huge hypermarket in Leclerc, and bowling center and cinema, and many more ,the site will tell you nicely done webpage: https://www.atlantis-nantes.com/informations-pratiques/plan-acces

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We did move around the common stores, like my boys went to the Micromedia video store. We did our shopping in Nocibé the perfum store; we took a look at Desigual, Jules, and Quarter Back, as well as Armand Thiery, San Marina shoes, and Yves Rocher. I ,also, look at my Coyote, a road security service that works like a gps and anti speed radar thingy here now call Road Security. It is on my phone!

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The Shopping Center is open Mondays to Saturdays from 8h30 to 21h ;the stores open at 9h30, restaurants open for lunch and dinner and those in the Cupola opens until 22h30;Ikea opens at 10h. In all you have 157 stores, 28 restaurants and two cinémas, and two banks ATM Inside.

Right nearby on crossing the N444 you have the Zenith , concerts events expo center.  Very popular place around here:webpage: https://www.zenith-nantesmetropole.com/acceder-au-zenith.html

Right there is also, part of Atlantis shopping center is the ONYX, done architecturally by Jean Nouvel, with many cultural activities too.Webpage: https://www.atlantis-nantes.com/boutiques/onyx

And there you go folks a wonderful day of shopping between two departments Morbihan 56 and Loire-Atlantique 44, and now two regions that many call the same Bretagne!

Happy shopping, and Merry Christmas to all my readers who follow the Holiday! Best wishes to all!  And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

November 28, 2020

Locronan ,Christmas season!!!

And here I am updating and revising a wonderful old post from Christmas 2015! As the season is again with us and never to go away. The pictures are the same to keep it in perspective. Hope you enjoy and welcome my new readers, happy holidays!!

And all this in the wonderful historical and architecturally stunning little town of Locronan, where we have one of the best Christmas markets in Bretagne! And continuing with the Christmas spirit we headed for Finistére departément 29 in the town ofLocronan. 

I had visited the town back in 2013, and I was told again that the Christmas market was taken off here well so so we decided to take a look.  The town is a Petite Cité de Caractère de Bretagne or a small town of character of Brittany. It shows the Breton traditions quite well, and the stone ambiance gives it an eerie feeling of Merlin ::) It is, also, one of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France or one of the most beautiful towns of France !

The town is small just around the Church St Ronan, and many quaint stores all around the center. I took an intrepid walk down a ravine very steep to see the chapelle de Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle 15C-17C.

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In the tourist site they mention a Calvaire or Calvary ,and it shows in the picture I took, this is dedicated to Saint Eutrope. He is according to leyend the 13 apostle. It was martyred for having been stoned and shot for converting the daughter of a Roman governor of Saintes. The Calvary is one of the few monuments of this type built in limestone. A Madonna and Child is carved on his lapel,on the other side are represented Angels gathering the blood of Christ.

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I was able to see the architecturally and historically stunning Church of St Ronan and again,  this is impressive and worth coming here just for it.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI was able to see going back from the city center a nice wash house or lavoir, old indeed.   

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 We did our shopping in the Au Loup Garou Gourmand store with goodies like cider, seafood products in cans, candies, jellies etc.  It is known as the house of the 100 Breton beers as they are here in all shapes and tastes. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Loup-Garou-Gourmand/1825623937761898

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We gathered our pastries and baguettes from Le Guillou boulangerie pâtisserie just yummy for the house. webpage: https://www.kouignamann-locronan.fr/

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And of course, we look at the Christmas chalets even if in the afternoon they were not light up yet. It is nice quaint but a bit smallish and we have really enjoy it. We are only about over an hour from our house so another wonderful backyard town to stop by.

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For reference, here is the Locronan tourist office webpage: https://www.locronan-tourisme.bzh/

Enjoy the pictures and Merry Christmas ,ahead of time just to be first! and well Happy New Year ! Another fairytail ride into magical Finistére or Land’s end territory in my lovely Bretagne!

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

November 28, 2020

Madrid: Teatro de La Comedia!

So again, going over some older posts for updates and revisions of text and proper pictures, my surprise is that I have found pieces missing from the blog on some of the nicest buildings encounter in my long list of travel sites. And, even more in my dear Madrid itself! Surprises indeed, and just love this time of updates as some gems do come out from the vault. One of this is the comedy theater or Teatro de La Comedia in Madrid!

Let me tell you a bit about it on one of the nicest streets of Madrid! Love the architecture and the history of it even if not been inside.

The Teatro de la Comedia or Comedy Theater was inaugurated on Calle del Príncipe,14 in 1875 and rebuilt in 1915 after a devastating fire. In 1986 it was designated the headquarters of the National Classical Theater Company and in 1999 it was acquired, with another five floors of the same building, by the Ministry of Culture of Spain. After this reform, the room has 630 seats; in addition, it has a new room with 100 seats, called “Tirso de Molina”.

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It was inaugurated by king Alfonso XII on September 18, 1875 with a representation of the work El espejo de cuerpo entero or the full-length mirror, starring Emilio Mario. On March 23, 1914, a conference by José Ortega y Gasset called «Vieja y Nueva Política», or old and new politics took place in the theater, which served as a presentation ceremony for the League of Political Education. Between December 10 and 18, 1919, a congress of the National Labor Confederation was held, in which it was decided that the organization would join the Communist International. On October 29, 1933, José Antonio Primo de Rivera delivered the founding speech of the Spanish Falange, in which he established the bases of the Jose Antonio thoughts.

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During the 20C, the Teatro de La Comedia represented the best classics of the Golden Age and of authors such as Benavente, Galdós, Dicenta, the Álvarez Quintero and Moratín. After a long spell of reconstruction after going thru a fire it was reopened for the 2015/2016 season, by the National Classical Theater Company. The result of the rehabilitation of the theater was spectacular. Improvements were made in the recovery of spaces and created new facilities. Especially shocking is the elevation of the stage. The most relevant of the interventions in the historic building have been the restoration of the canvas on the ceiling, the replacement of all the decorative paintings in the room, the restoration of all the balcony railings and stairways. The new chapter of the Teatro de la Comedia is made with the premiere of the emblematic work of Calderón, «El alcalde de Zalamea». Or the mayor of Zalamea. The theatre is located at Calle del Principe 14 .metro Sevilla line 2 or Sol line 1, 2, 3 ,and Cercanias trains C3 and C4.

Taken further information from the official webpage translated at best by yours truly we have a bit on the history I like

The Teatro de La Comedia was laid out on three floors and a stalls with a horseshoe-shaped floor plan, arranged in the Italian style, with entrance on Calle del Príncipe for spectators, and on Calle de la Gorguera (today Calle Núñez de Arce) for loading and unloading. The interior was built with wide corridors and two sections of stairs, to the right and left of the room, for access to the upper floors. It consists of twelve boxes per floor, six on each side, separated from each other by a partition with an Arabic arch and cast iron parapets. The greatest novelty in its decoration and structure was the abundant use of cast iron and wrought iron elements to replace wood, which provided a feeling of greater lightness to the whole.

The stage was small in size and without additional spaces for large assemblies, but it incorporated very important security measures for the time, which included a metal fire curtain and a lighting regulation system that was replaced in 1887 by electric lighting. The floor of the room, made of wood, had a curious mechanism that allowed the steepest part to be raised and aligned with the stage, so that it could also be used as a dance hall. The decoration, of Arabic inspiration, with certain reminiscences of the Alhambra, very much to the taste of the time, was made in white and gold, with the exception of the armchairs, upholstered in red velvet. The curtain that closed the stage that represented the Temple of Immortality and in which poets, actors and established playwrights appeared, such as Calderón, Cervantes, Moratín, Julián Romea and the Duke of Rivas, among others.

The official webpage of the Teatro de La Comedia: http://teatroclasico.mcu.es/

The Madrid tourist office on the Teatro de La Comedia in English: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/teatro-de-la-comedia

There you go folks another piece of my Madrid that I had left out for some reason unexplainable but finally given the credit it deserves in my blog. Hope you enjoy it and do wait for the arts in Madrid!

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

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November 27, 2020

Cuervo, Jùcar at Cuenca!!!

Well a thrilling tour of my posts had made me update revise many older posts but ,also, find places not told yet and they should. Well I am as told a road warrior but do indulge going up in the mountains for the scenery and do some walks. This I have done in the Province of Cuenca, in Castilla La Mancha autonomous region! I need to tell you about it!

There are two wonderful rivers here, the Cuervo and the Jùcar with even more beautiful springs ,caves, waterfalls, and just plain air beauty. Let me go into the history a bit,and hope you enjoy the post as I.

I was around the birthplace of the Cueva del Nacimiento (birth cave) in one of my favorite mountain villages, Vega del Codorno. It is located at 1450 meters of altitude, in the Serrania de Cuenca, on the banks of the Cuervo River, making it the highest altitude town in the province. Where our house was base at Las Majadas at 1400 meters!

The Cuervo River was born next to the town of Vega del Codorno,  specifically on the western slope of the Muela (molar) de San Felipe, at an altitude of 1490 meters. In this place, water flows from a travertine spring and drains through huge stalactites of calcareous tufa rock  covered with moss, forming long and beautiful jets that freeze in winter, offering a beautiful picture photographed thousands of times each winter ( we come in Summer!). A very beautiful natural environment to be as close to nature as you can be.

The Cuervo river empties into the Guadiela, a tributary of the Tagus, next to the town of Puente de Vadillos, after traveling through part of the Cuenca mountains and passing through the well-known spa and mineral water bottling plant of Solán de Cabras (very good mineral water).

In this place, the water ,when it has gushes from a travertine spring and runs through huge stalactites of calcareous rock covered with moss, forming long streams that freeze in winter, offering a beautiful picture photographed thousands of times every year . At its birth you can see caves behind the waterfalls and chasms in its surroundings and it is relatively frequent that collapses of its tufa barriers occur naturally.

Again ,the source of the Cuervo River is part of the Serranía de Cuenca Natural Park, owned by the Castilla-La Mancha Autonomous Region. This place is accessed from the town of Tragacete, which is about 12 km away by road.

The beautiful Cuervo river spring from the Castilla La Mancha tourist office: http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/naturaleza/nacimiento-del-rio-cuervo-54875/descripcion/

The rio Jùcar passing thru the city of Cuenca, and the life of promenades in the shade very nice. It goes around the town up to the mountains and where we stayed at Las Majadas.

The Júcar is a river with a length of 498 km, it crosses the provinces of Cuenca, Albacete and Valencia, and empties into the Mediterranean Sea. It was known as Sucro by the Romans. It is born at 1700 meters above sea level, on the southern slope of the San Felipe hill in the Montes Universales, in the place known as the Ojos de Valdeminguete and also near the source of the Cuervo rivers (see above), Guadalaviar- Turia, Cabriel and the Tagus itself, in the Iberian Mountain Range. The middle course of the Júcar could be considered located between Villalba de la Sierra near the Ventano del Diablo (see post) and the Toba reservoir at the beginning of La Ribera, which is already part of the lower course. The most important reservoirs in the Júcar basin are La Toba, upstream from the town of Uña and in the middle of the Serranía de Cuenca; (see post) the Alarcón reservoir also upstream from the town of Alarcón   amongst others.

Webpage on dams or embalses in Spanish on the Jùcar,and others: https://www.embalses.net/cuenca-7-jucar.html

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The source of the Júcar river is located in near the town of  Tragacete, north of the Serranía de Cuenca Natural Park. Very close to the source of the  Júcar river you will find the Molino de la Chorrera. It is a fabulous waterfall through which the water escapes from within the rock itself, creating an image very similar to that found at the source of the Cuervo River (see above).

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It is born exactly on the southern slope of the Cerro de San Felipe, also near the sources of the Cuervo, Guadalquivir-Turia, Cabriel and Tajo rivers; all of them located in the Iberian Mountain Range. It must be indicated that the area of the Serranía de Cuenca is an area of farst reliefs, which has caused that as it passes the Júcar river it creates forms and natural phenomena such as canyons, caves, streams and more natural phenomena resulting from water erosion. You will find several of these examples reflected in the Ciudad Encantada (see post) or enchanted city, and in the Callejones or alleys, since you can appreciate the different forms that the rocks have adopted over time due to the erosion of water and wind.

Of course, I was very closed staying in Las Majadas up in these mountain ranges but for more clarity from the big town of Cuenca ,the ideal route is to go towards Tragacete on the CM-2105 road. From the town of Tragacete, you will find signs that will take you to the Molino de la Chorrera. The Molino de la Chorrera is usually considered as the source of the Júcar river, since visually it is where you can appreciate the birth of water from within the earth. A few meters from the Molino de la Chorrera ,there is parking where you must leave your car and walk up these wonderful beautiful ways.

The city of Cuenca tourist office on the Jùcar riverhttps://visitacuenca.es/es/content/descubre-naturaleza/nacimiento-del-rio-jucar

Our little experience in mountain jogging here was limited to short walks along the road never inland but we saw many folks doing it all over the mountain range passing on the road. Even the house owners where we were took out all kinds of brochures and maps on doing walks,jogging, and even swimming in this are in Summers. Should be fun if into this kind of outing; we just love the scenery! Hope you like the post and be more active on these things. The Serrania de Cuenca is prime location for outdoor activities.

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

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