Archive for November 8th, 2020

November 8, 2020

Exotic Indonesia, Asia here I come !!

In my continuing saga on the black and white syndrome to update my older posts with new text leaving the photos for the individual entries already done in my blog; I take you to Indonesia!

Well Asia, it was so far,and my only attempt there was to Taipei back in 2002 to see some engineering project on computers parts. Now having the opportunity to go back to Asia this time Indonesia.

Even if briefs stays of one week , and couple times two weeks, it allowed me to see another part of the world that I am not familiar with sort of like beginning to travel again. And that’s always interesting indeed.

My  trip  was in Indonesia, visiting the cities of Surabaya and Jakarta for a grand total of one week back in 2013. I went from Nantes Atlantique airport connecting at Roissy CDG , flight with a stop at Chiangi airport Singapore and continuing  to Surabaya and then a domestic fly to Jakarta. Back from Jakarta to Singapore, CDG and Nantes again. My car was left for a week at the outdoor airport parking and it took me three tries to get it started!!!, I thought the cold and humidity had it done, but my Ford came back to life and it’s fine now.  Thereafter, parked in the covered parking ok….

I always like to read and become acquainted with the places I visit to did a bit of homework on Indonesia. Briefly here

Indonesia it is said to have 17 000 island with the most famous been that of Bali. The name of Indonesia comes from the Latin and Greek Indus and the Greek Nesos meaning island. The country has 34 provinces, of which I visited Java and East Java, whre the majority are. It has 240 million people of which there are over 300 ethnic people and about 742 languages and dialects. The official language that unites the country is Bahasa an standarized Malay language, and on business it is very much controlled by Chinese ethnic groups. It is a Republic with open religious beliefs ,however, sharia laws are common and Islam is predominantly even if not officially a islamic state and recognise these religions Islam, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.

Surabaya is the first port harbor of the country, and an important commercial center. It was founded in 1293 and Surabaya comes from suro, « shark » and buaya, « crocodile ». The leyend has it that these two animals fought for control of the region and are represented in the coat of arms emblem of the city shown at the monument Tugu Pahlawan. Its airport is call Juanda, second in the country behind Jakarta.  Smallish but nice way around fun to be by there first.

The offiicial Juanda airport site here in English:

The official Surabaya tourist office in English:

Jakarta, is of course the Capital of the country since its independance from Holland. Founded by the Dutch as Batavia in 1619.  The airport is name Soekarno-Hatta, opened in  1985, and named after Soekarno the first President of Indonesia and Hatta the first VP. They were the ones who gain independance from Holland in 1945. It is a huge metropolis with lots of traffic that I enjoyed been ridden around…

The official Jakarta airport in English:

The tourist office of Jakarta in English:

I stayed at two really nice hotels that I can only recommend to all, the one in Surabaya is a bit off the center but on the main road to airport.  It has become part of another group with a new name, it used to be Somerset  Hotel and Residences and now is the Verwood Hotel and serviced residences, always stayed at the same hotel. webpage here:

I had all our meals in the hotel of Surabaya, as the service, food, and convenience was great. I did venture out to eat at BonCafe, Jalan Gubeng Raya 44-46. It is a great place for families and nice prices in buffet style or order from the menu. The fish dish was great ,good service, nice ambiance,and great prices. However, I am told it has closed, here just for the memories and update.

The one in Jakarta was the first ever hotel stayed there thereafter it has been several others , (see posts). This one was off the center to avoid the heavy traffic there. The amenities and food was excellent, not to mention the personal service. The budget is good for all. Hotel Santika webpage:

My historical cultural knowledge was by going briefly to this museum right outside my Hotel Santika, Museum Purna Bhakti Pertiwi (see post) , the  museum specialized on the life of Suharto, former second president of Indonesia andn a powerful political figure in modern Indonesia.  The museum houses and displays the large amount of Suharto’s collections; mostly valuable objects, artworks and souvenirs, received from various world leaders and Indonesian people, accumulated during the 32 years of his administration in Indonesia. The museum is a modern building with design took shape of tumpeng , a traditional Javanes cone-shaped rice, symbolized gratitude.

The museum Purna Bhakti Pertiwi site in basara language:

In all a very brief instroduction to Indonesia ,but a very well received visit, from very nice friendly people. One more spot on the globe map for me, and one more place in the world to look forward to come back. And I did 7 times!!!  Enjoy Indonesia!!!

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

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November 8, 2020

Le Faou in Finistére!!

This is an old passing but new in my blog. I just realise nothing written on this nice little town in my road warrior ways in the Finistére dept 29.

Le Faou is again a town in Finistère,dept29 in the region of Brittany. It is home to the headquarters of the Armorique Regional Natural Park of which it is a member. It is today famous for its half-timbered houses covered with slate, its Saint-Sauveur Church and the town of Rumengol which is attached to it. Le Faou is located at the end of an estuary in the bay of Brest, on the Faou river, opposite the town of Landévennec and at the crossroads of the roads N 165 (E 60) and D 42. The nearest large towns are Plougastel-Daoulas 16 km, Brest 31 km, Quimper 42 km, and Crozon 28 km. It is about 1h20 from my house.

At all times, Le Faou was located on the road axis, Roman road then Royal road, Quimper-Brest. The Faou river or Ster Goz (Breton) is a small coastal river which is named Coatalan in its upstream part, which takes its source near the hamlet of Labou en Quimerc’h, crosses the forest of Cranou and flows into the harbor of Brest by an estuary 500 to 1000 meters wide. Its length is about 17 km. At low tide, it can be considered as a tributary of the Alder river.

A bit of history I like

The viscount of Faou stretched from the sea to the gates of Carhaix-Plouguer and was one of the most powerful lordships of Cornouaille (cornwall). Morvan Vicomte du Faou leaves for the crusade; in 1364. Guy Vicomte du Faou was taken prisoner at the battle of Auray in 1364 while he was fighting under the banner of Charles de Blois; during the war of succession in Brittany. Jehan du Faou, fought in the ranks of the Duke of Brittany’s army in 1393 and took part in the crusade against the Turks in 1396 and he was taken prisoner in Nicopolis, before being released and dying in Avignon in 1397. the Maison du Faou seems to have died out around the 16C.

In the 17C, the lands of the Vicomté du Faou belonged to Armand-Jean de Vignerot du Plessis, Duke of Richelieu and Fronsac before passing to the de Rohan family. In the parish church of Faou, built in 1640, there is a door (now walled up) which was reserved for cacous (groups of inhabitants exercising the profession of coopers or tail-makers, considered as descendants of lepers).

Residents of Faou took part in the Revolt of the Bonnets Rouge in 1675 and three of them were even excluded from the amnesty of 1676. In 1686 the embassy of the King of Siam landed in Brest passed through Le Faou then Châteaulin to go to the court of Versailles to meet King Louis XIV.

In May 1790, the citizens of the town of Le Faou addressed to the National Assembly a patriotic offering of its treasures. As part of his trip to Brittany, Napoleon III, coming from Landerneau and going to Quimper, stopped for a moment at Faou on August 12, 1858.

The Church of Saint Sauveur, was founded by the Hospitaliers de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem ,and was  rebuilt in 1544 and again in 1680,when a belltower was added renaissance style facing the port. the nave was built with a double transept, the clock was raised  in 1629, the porch has the dates of 1593 and 1613 and preserve the wooden statues of 12 apostles. The main altar and two confessions chamber are from the  17C and the baptismal urn has serpents unique to Brittany for the richness of  its sculptures. Several statues decorates the church including those of  Notre-Dame de Pitié, two Virgin Mary, Saint Herbot, Saint Yves, Saint Éloi,  Sainte Barbe, etc.. A typical church here very rich and beautiful.

Le Faou

Other things to see me think are

Le Faou has the highest density of half-timbered houses in the Finistére. 23 houses are protected and one classified of historical value. The main street Rue du Général de Gaulle is lined with houses built of schist and granite, cantilevered dating from the 16C. The Church of Notre Dame of Rumengol. The Saint-Jean-Baptiste Chapel,built in 1829 now in ruins, the bell tower and the lower part of the walls remain. The maison de pays or country house (16-18C) presents a permanent exhibition devoted to the history of the town and hosts temporary exhibitions (open from July to early September).

The town of Le Faou on its heritage:

The town of Le Faou on its images, slide photos of the town nice:

The tourist office of Brittany on Le Faou in English:

There you just wanted to have this quant nice town in my blog for the memories and good times on the roads of the Finistére! in my lovely Bretagne.

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

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November 8, 2020

Belz and its oysters!!

Ok so this is basically a new post as just mentioned briefly but is another love of mine and so lucky to be right next to the best oyster beds in France! and the world!!  Let me tell you a bit more ok

I have written before on oysters from the Sarzeau, Rhuys peninsula of my Morbihan dept 56, and the Riec sur Bélon in the Finistére dept 29. Now let me bring you even closer to my home and talk about Belz.

But first, a bit about the town of Belz located in the Morbihan department 56,just south of me in our lovely region of Bretagne. The territory of Belz is bounded by the Etel estuary,by the town of Erdeven and by the town of Locoal-Mendon. It also includes Saint-Cado Island, located on the Etel estuary.

The Breton name of the town, Belz, comes from the name of the Celtic god Bel, better known under the name of Belenos who is a Gallic god mentioned in many inscriptions unearthed in Cisalpine Gaul, Transalpine Gaul, Illyria and Norique.

In the middle of the 19C, the town was the scene of major road construction sites. Such as that of the new departmental road which connects Auray to Port-Louis, engenders the construction of a suspension bridge, inaugurated by the prefect of Lorois (pont Lorois) in 1844. And the extension departmental roads like the one which connects Pont-Lorois to Carnac, via Erdeven, and the one that goes down to Etel. This road is the D781.

I have written before in my blog on the Saint Cado village and the Chapelle Saint Cado on the island or Ïle de Saint Cado. Also, on the Church Saint Saturnin and the Pont Lorois.

Here you have numerous Neolithic megalithic monuments, dolmens, covered alleys, menhirs, which dot the countryside or the outskirts of hamlets. Some of the best known are the Menhirs of Kerdruellan, Dolmen of Kerlutu. Dolmens of Kerprovost ,the fountain of Kernours; and the Dolmen with gallery with the base of its tumulus.

The tourist office of the Bay of Quiberon on Belz

Finally, it was also from the end of the 19C that oyster farming gradually replaced the dredging of natural banks which were exhausted. The Etel river and more particularly the shores of Belz including its islets, become an important pole of oyster production on the scale of the Morbihan department.

We always go , because its closer and good into the coastal towns of the Morbihan breton.  We visited the Oyster breeding grounds of Belz. 

At Belz ,we went to get our local oysters and mussels right on the ria of pont Lorois, parc de Navihan. This is how the living is here, glorious with great fresh food, we had them right away with an excellent Riesling Kitterlé 2011 of Domaine Schlumberger of Alsace.




And we have come more mixing it with the muscadets of the  Loire ,glorious oysters .You have several harversters here such as Larmor Ostrea at the Pointe de Larmor. And the Aux Etablissements Huitres de Saint Cado (Pen Mane Bras); you have here oysters from the Ria of Etel as well as the flat oysters. However, our best for the showing, the friendliness and nice ambiance is the parc de Navihan at Belz by the pont Lorois. webpage:,33,169.html


Here you have them all from the city of Belz,33.html?id=52

The tourist office of the dept 56 Morbihan in French but all local oyster producers:

I dwell a bit on it but if you want to get technical and speak French this is the South Brittany oysters organism with plenty of info:

And of course, could not leave the post before telling you a bit on the technical side of oysters, wonderful sea creatures we enjoy very much here. You are welcome!

The first oyster beds in my area were created in the Auray river and the first concessions in the Gulf of Morbihan were attested in 1863. Oyster farming is the farming of fertilized oysters in parks.  To access the parks, oyster farmers use oyster boats or large flat-bottomed barges.

Currently, oyster farming in the Gulf of Morbihan represents more than 10,000 tons of oysters produced each year. The Morbihan department produces 10% of French production with parks located in the Gulf of Morbihan and in the bay of the Vilaine.

Oysters are bivalves, meaning their shells are made up of two distinct and attached parts, more or less symmetrical, which can open or close. Bivalves include around 30,000 species including mussels, cockles, clams, etc. A filter animal, the oyster feeds mainly on small particles (plankton).

The adult oyster you eat is the result of a long series of care. The dwarf (the larva) is captured at the time of spawning on collectors of various kinds and then reared in parks. The oyster is then pampered, to the rhythm of the tides, for 3 years. The oyster rearing takes place in several stages: catching, semi-rearing, breeding, ripening, finishing.  It will then parade on the stalls of the wholesalers before joining your plate.

There are basically two types of oysters: hollow and flat. In southern Bretagne, you will find the following:  Sweet and slightly sweet oysters from Aven-Belon,  Low-iodized Ria-d’Etel with a fine marine flavor (Belz), Oysters from the bay of Quiberon with complex and varied flavors,  The Gulf of Morbihan with subtle flavors of seaweed,  The Penerfs with abundant and firm flesh, and les Croisicaises iodized with a nutty aroma. Superbe!!! Bon appétit!!

Hope you enjoy this close and personal post…on oysters of Belz! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

November 8, 2020

What would we do if there were no Paris?

And here I am in my black and white mode updating my old posts again. At the beginning i was a prolific writer and did many very quickly indeed. But this one needs an update and a thinking mode. I hope will bring reactions good or bad no city is spare even the most beautiful city in the world! Paris!

I would be very sad as once you see it, it stays with you forever. It’s something many have tried to describe and we have many clitches such as a Mouvable Feast by Hemingway. However, I find myself with just magical, sublime, unique,no definition really , you must see yourself.

People ask me what to do in Paris, or what are the top places to see?. I even had these questions from a guy who already have been 20 times to Paris! Well, can’t answer, it is all. Even non favorite areas like the blvd Strasbourg-Saint Denis was great to see again, and of course Place de la Republique even  with the new re arrangement, so what; it was still Paris. Even staying in the worse hotel ever at Paix République, blvd Saint Martin just 50 meters from République ,it was still great. Worse in room size, breakfast minimalisation, no AC, last day no elevator/lift, tighest shower room ever, for 3 days!!!  Still it was Paris!!. What can I say, I got the virus, it’s call Parisinitis ,and it has no cure, stays with you for the rest of your life. Because we will always have Paris. Ricky in Casablanca was right!!! Paix République Hotel webpage:

Of course going backwards, my entry point to Paris now is the Gare Montparnasse, and it ,also ,happenned to be my old work office place nearby. The metro was taken to sample it again, but I much rather preferred to walk. TGV, metro Line 4,8,9,14,and on foot. I come here mostly by car, and walk a lot lately, not realise the metro looks a bit dirty, do not know why ,but that was my impression. Again, this is Paris too.

And if you think above is nostalgic, no , its real. Love at first sight ,and very strong.  I try to do some ramblings around the pl de la Republique are like a peek at blvd Magenta great for shopping inexpensive stuffs. Then move over to fancy avenue George V,and the shots of the Tour Eiffel, and the Seine river. I bet many are salivating to be back nowdays!

We had a get together at the Hotel Pullman Bercy it was a conference very nice place, and by nice Bercy Village. The get together with friends went well, however, I lost my portfolio with my name on it lol! There is always a first, never had this happenned before, and never found.Yes this is Paris too!

The Bercy Village info :

The Hotel Pullman Bercy info:

I gather a group and together went to visit the Institut du Monde Arabe, 1 rue des Fossés Saint Bernard, 5éme. I have been there before for a meeting and now brought more people over to see it. This time for a dinner in the terrace overlooking Paris, very nice place, indeed worth seeing it.  The food was great,and the sweets to die for it, and red wine, and champagne lol!!! their web in English:

I went by Bercy Village, its one of the trendies places in Paris with night action until the wee hours, and great places to mingle and share and know people or they can know you ::)  All beautiful people. The place had one of my old hangouts in Paris, Casa del Campo,  ironically the one I frequent was at the pl de la Republique and it closed to moved to Bercy Village. Right at 55 Cours Saint Emilion, and tapas and cruzcampo beers was heavens,love it, with good service in a Spanish style resto by a Venezuelan lady lol! See the resto here bottom of page:

I did pass by the American Cathedral at avenue George V that now the renovation is over and looks great, had several meetings there. I was curious heard about it and went by the American Legion Pershing Hall at rue Pierre Charron.  Oh boy and do I have been inside on many occasions for many activities some of them mentioned in this webpage:

Memories indeed, this too is a big part of Paris!  And another whimsical shot at the tour Montparnasse .  The Montparnasse quartier was my home and my current business office was just moved a bit further nowdays.  All in all, it was another short nice trip to the Paris of my dreams. Already looking forward to be back on any excuses lol! Or when the Macron govt allows me to visit again.

Hope you enjoy this most unusual post at least by me, to bring back old stories to life and updated. Yes , again Paris is forever, eternal sublime worth it.

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

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