Archive for November 5th, 2020

November 5, 2020

Josselin, medieval marvel and a magical castle!

Again, another black and white writing updating and revising very old post from when I started the blog many moons ago. Hope you enjoy the nostalgia lane with me. Sit back and enjoy reading them. The pictures are in the individual posts on the things to see.

One more trip into inland Morbihan, it was a Sunday afternoon, and another great experience, I surely will be back here, and recommend to all my readers; and indeed I have been back. Josselin is a castle of history and beauty, and a Canal of historic proportions, plus the quaint streets of a beautiful town.

You can come here from Rennes on the road N24 or from the N166 direction Rennes. I do come on the D768 to connect with the N24 to Josselin. The train station in Rennes is link with Josselin by bus service in about 1h20. The most wonderful way to see a city in my opinion is to walk. We can come to it on any means but once in the city do walk.

There are many chapels or small churches around the city as typical of this region, all very nicely decorated, and with a great history behind them, leave you to explore the Chapelle Sainte-Croix, ,and Chapelle Saint-Jacques. The Chapelle de la Congregation,  a weird destiny after been built in  1702 , the bishop refuse to consecrated, and it was later used as a cereal depot until 1805. Later, it held public hearings and meetings, then a classroom, and finally a place of expositions and works of arts exhibitions as today.  You have the old and wonderful Church and parish of St Martin, it was dependant on a parish founded in 1105 , and became parish church by 1400.  It was renovated in the 17C, the nave was destroyed in the 19C, a chapel was build in its place. It has an important breton roman architecture on the benedictine plan. Just outside there is a big camping car parking for free with all facilities.

You can have wonderful promenades into another world, with woodend houses, old rails, and cobble stone streets, quant nice shops, and places to eat and drink, from pl de la Resistance to pl Notre Dame,and from Pl d’Alzey to pl des Ramparts. The place Notre Dame, place Saint martin, rue olivier de Clisson, rue des Trente, rue Beaumanoir, rue Glatinier, are marvels to dwell on for hours. The wonderful Breton gift store on pl Notre Dame, and rue Olivier de Clisson Le Feu d’Or has wonderful items for the house and gift giving galores, just across from the basilica.

There is the magnificent Basilica Notre Dame de Roncier (see post) it was built in the 12C, and succeeded all the major events in Josselin of the family of chevalier Olivier de Clisson, and Marguerite de Rohan, therefore the story of the Rohan family in the castle. The tombs of the two are in a chapel in the basilica now; there will be the traditional pilgrimage here in honor of Notre Dame de Roncier A wonderful place to visit in a nice quaint district of town, near our favorite restaurant.(see below).

We ate lunch at Le Guethenoc, right looking at the Basilique. Its a house from the 15C!! . We had 2 leffe 50Cl beers, pizza Guethenoc,and la fontaine, one milkshake, one double coffee all for 20€ per person. The service was very warm,and friendly,and the ambiance very old and nice,the food splendid of course. Recommended.

You come to the main event, the Chateau de Josselin, (see post) still in private hands of the family of Rohan-Chabot, who occupied the first floor, been the street level floor open to the public here are wonderful gardens,and a nice puppet museum or Musée des Poupées on rue des Trente entrance. For me it is the castle, a wonderfully kept and maintained property which shows why the owners still live there.  There were actually 9 towers most destroyed because the original Rohan were protestants calvinists and when they lost to king Louis XIII, Cardinal Richelieu in return destroyed them. The remaining tower or tour isolée or isolated tower was once used as a prison and still remain detach from the castle.  You visit the castle by going right in from of the chapel at Place de la Congrégation, and then go thru a door that makes pass over the levy bridge of old into the castle property proper. Impressive dining room or salle à manger that is still use by the family on some special occasions, it is  16 meters long by 9 meters wide and was last renovated in 1880.  You past into  the antichamber  or receiving room of today, where there is a bust of the leader of the calvinists Henri de Rohan, ,and then you go to the Grand Salon, beautifully decorated with portraits and last the bibliothéque or library with about  3000 books from the 17C to early 20C not sure if in use today. The castle was visited by Queen Elizabeth II of UK who had tea with the Rohan-Chabot here.  The branch of th Rohan Chabot is the only  remaining branch of the Rohan family in France. In order to keep the name Rohan and not Chabot upon marriage, the king Louis XIV ask them to convert to Catholism which they are today. A Must to visit!!!

You can see the Canal Nantes Brest, from high above the Chateau de Josselin. Plenty of river boat and cruises activity in summer. I show you the contrast of the modern looking mayor’s office or mairie at Place Alain de Rohan. See the wonderful architecture of the cinéma Le Beau Manoir, Rue Douves du Lion d’Or, in a nice area not far from the basilica.

The city of Josselin on its heritage in French:

The regional tourist office of Brocéliande on Josselin in French:

The tourist office of the Morbihan dept 56 on Josselin in English:

It’s a very nice old town with wonderful streets to dwell on for years near the forest of Brocéliande of Arthur and the Round Table leyend, you too can dream here. Visit beautiful Josselin and see my other posts on the town.

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

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November 5, 2020

Poissy ,Louis IX, king and saint!!!

Well let’s bring you all back to my old stumping ground in my beloved Yvelines dept 78 of the Ïle de France region, this is Royal and Saintly Poissy.

Again as in my latests travel anecdotes this is an updated version of a much older post in my blog. The text has been revised and updated, the pictures are in the individual posts on the monuments. Hope you enjoy it reading as I do writing it.

Poissy ,is a royal town of France, but ,also saintly. It was here that amongst other things Louis IX was born ,he who later became Saint Louis. He was baptised in the Collegiale Church de Notre Dame that still has the baptismal basin where he was baptised. (see post) The town is very easy to get from Paris on the RER A at several locations, and the SNCF trains from gare Saint Lazare. Also, the road A13 autoroute de normandie takes you to exit 7 and Poissy very easily. Plenty of parking by pl de la Republique and the gare RER.  The train station is right off the city center so very easy for walkers and no car is needed. There is a nice bus station next to the train station with transport to all including Versailles,the dept capital on bus 24 to St Germain en Laye RER station and then Bus 1 to Versailles Chantiers train station.

I started my day walking this wonderful city close to me, Poissy, is not on everyones walkpath when visiting Paris , so much to see and little time. However, I think its worth it for a day of sights and market especially on a Saturday or Sunday morning.  You have the wonderful Collegiale Notre Dame, this is where Louis IX and Philippe III were born and baptised. Louis IX became Saint Louis, the only king saint of France. See it at 8 rue de l’Eglise, He was baptised here on April 25, 1214, and the urn of stone is still kept in the church. He later became Saint Louis. Inside you can see statues of him and his daughter Isabelle of France from 1300.

One of the great liquors of France is here too, La Distillerie du Noyau de Poissy 105, rue du Gal-de-Gaulle , and one of the oldest too since 1698, the secret blend is not known but its delicious!

You can wondered along Parc Meissoniere and see the still wonderful Chateau de Villiers, gorgeous gardens and forest and great architecture. Again just at city’s edge but still walkable from city center. Even thus the castle is not open for the visit wondering along the park is, and close up you can if willing to climb the hills around it, this time I pass. See it at 13 avenue du Bon Roi saint Louis.

Next you come to the rare combination of a Hotel de Ville or city hall govt building and theater in same building.  Built in 1935,the new Hôtel de Ville on the place à l’Herbe ( the old market of cattle). The  décoration at the front is by Ossip Zadkine, the fresco in the hallway is by Brenson and the decoration  in the salle de Conseil (councelors room).  The theater next door was built in 1937 as the salle Moliére.

We move just across the street to the covered  market or Halle du Marché ,a wonderful building of goodies inside from veggies to fruits to beef, fish, seafood, and poultry ,outside you have a flea market type with all kinds of goods; easily walkable from the train station for an afternoon or day in wonderful Poissy. Built between 1825-1832, to house the cattles, especially those weaklings from the weather and heat . It was enlarged in 1852, with the help of metal structures just after those at the Halles of Paris by  Baltard. Now after a full restoration it welcomes the market 3 times per week on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays mornings.

Another wonderful institution here that my kids enjoyed when younger is the museum of toys or Musée du Jouet,1 enclos de l’Abbaye , housed in an old abbey, and 3 floors of wonderful toys of yesterday and today still going strong. A wonderful world for any child or the child in us ::) The villa  Savoye also known as “Heures Claires” or clear hours was built between  1928 to 1931 over a terrain of 7 hectares ,and it was the end of the cycle of white houses of architect Le Corbusier. See it at 82, rue de Villiers.

Last but not least , we had to have a drink or two, at L’Instant 24 Avenue du Cep as the gang was waiting for the meal of the day, but I stopped in one of my all time favorites when used to come a lot to the city on business meetings, and on weekends with the family just to get out of the hundrum of daily life. Facebook page:

The city of Poissy tourist office:

The tourist office of Poissy

And there you go folks an easy trip from that overloaded city to indulge in more of the French life with architecture and history to boot; Poissy center town is wonderful and along the Seine river! Hope you enjoy it

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

November 5, 2020

Have you heard? Paris is eternal!!!

Indeed it is at least in my book and is a long book by now folks. My entire life has evolved around travel and even if I have several dear beloved places on Earth, Paris is tops. My eternal Paris, glad enough to have met it and worked in it for almost 10 years!

In my black and white world of lately, I have comb my very old posts in my blog to give them a new life with corrected updated text. The pictures are in their individual place post mind you. Hope you enjoy the tour of my eternal Paris.

Paris is eternal, each time it brings you closer in, until it suffocates you inhaling a wonderful drug that makes you come back again and again and love it with each try. Paris is eternal, Paris Je t’aime, t’aimer, t’aimerai!!!

I took my car and use one of my favorite parking at théatre Eduard VII facing  15, Rue Edouard VII a Vinci park. I arrived at my Hôtel le Colisée 6 rue de Colisée,just off the Champs-Elysées!!! Next day was my walks up to Porte Maillot. webpage:

I had enough time to wander around my beautiful city. All along the Champs-Elysées, and Grand Palais, the Théatre du Rond Point with its panorama architectural building, just great, and the wonderful Church St Joseph, the center of American Catholics in France since 1847 mind you at 50, Avenue Hoche, then the beautiful magnificent parc Monceau.

We then did our usual drive and walk scenes of Paris, by Pl de la Concorde, Grand Palais,Champs-Elysées,George V, and the American Cathedral since 1886  at 23 Avenue George V, going renovation there, the place de l’Alma, of course the Eiffel tower area cruising by it, and a shot from under Port de Suffren as well as the Palais Chaillot compound of wonderful museums.  I saw the wonderful Bateaux Mouches going by on the Seine, just for the memories: Bir-Hakeim bridge over the Seine, and from port de Suffren the pont d’iena. I went on my day to the voie George Pompidou thru the porte de Passy into Trocadero ,pont de l’Alma, ave George V, Champs-Elyssées, but this time I found me again free parking by the cours de la Reine along the Seine, and just behind the Grand Palais!

We walk past beautifully architecturally stunning rue Bayard into Place François I whre we saw the headquarters of YSL, and walk ave de Montaigne along to rue George V, just glorious. The statue monument to the Belgians and Reine Margot for the efforts of WW’s off cours Albert 1er and ave Montaigne.

We had our coffee and croissants at the famously nice Fouquet’s! before moving on to the event we love going for several years now. This is the event at the Maxim’s peniche by port de Suffren. Métro Bir-hakeim -private free parking by the quais. Almost every year the dates are the same maybe a day or two difference. All was a wonderful day ,and plenty of money spent on goodies like Bessant chocolates and Touraine Amboise white and red wines of Domaine Dutertre (since visit them near Amboise),as well as foie gras, terrines, and duck ham from the SW or sud ouest of France near Auch. If you like gourmet, good wines, and be with the producers themselves this is the event in Paris, hear it here first, its a small event, better to come in the mornings early afternoon, the evenings is full, parking and boat lol!!! More info here:

On the third day , I went to my old entry to Paris at gare Saint Lazare that on previous posts had mentioned it was totally renovated, with over 80 stores, and it has. Looks marvelous, you think you are in a shopping center and not a train station. You then go out into cour de Rome and walk into rue St Lazare and to my second hotel of the trip! (is this glorious Paris) the magnificent Concorde Opera Hotel (now is a Hilton). The impression is real, wonderful; a great bar,the Golden Black bar and a wonderful French cuisine resto Terminus Cafe. The very essence of class, Paris class is here. So convenient to the Madeleine, Opera,department stores, nice goodies from Paris,and my favorite shopping street rue Tronchot leading to the Madeleine and around it.I took my family to an old acquitance from business trips , the Moulin à Caffé ,  22 rue de Caumartin across the street. the gang love and it was very nice service ,great food, funny actics of the owner server, and the fun for everyone nice prices too, tournedos de boeuf avec cepes, haricot verts en pommes sautées, with coffee, big 50 ml beer  1664  ,and all for 26 euros per person. webpage here:

We had for dinner the Au Petit Riche, 23 rue Le Peletier, 9éme walking from the grand dept stores on Haussmann to rue Le Peletier left , and it was a great choice. We were seated on second floor or 1er étage in France, nice view over the window on the street below, and away from the more noisy street level area. We had duck, califlower, coffee, and pastry peach mousse, all with plenty of red wine from Bourgueil,Chinon, and Saumur in the Loire area.  The resto was recommended by the hotel staff and it was as usual when done by experts a great recommendation.

And there you folks another dandy escapade to my eternal Paris. As said the text has been updated as this trip was from 2013. Most if not all the sights have individual entries in my post with photos by now. Hope you enjoy the nostalgia of my eternal Paris.

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

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