Archive for November 9th, 2020

November 9, 2020

Memorable Darmstadt !!!

We were staying by Trier and all of a sudden I thought of places I have been and not the family. There is a town here i passed several days while in company time, and figure well why not show the family where I have been in Germany. So why not bring them to the trail over to visit Darmstadt! This was back in 2015 and I continue updating my posts and revising the old text, and new pictures! Hope you enjoy it as me relieving wonderful family time.

Darmstadt is the Land Hesse region of Germany not far from Frankfurt, which is where I landed on the airport and then moved by taxi to the city. This time we came by car all the way from Trier.

We left Trier on the B51 direction Saarburg,and then here took the 407 direction Hermeskell, where we change road number to 327 direction Morbach; here took 422 direction Idar Oberstein, and here took again 41 direction Gensingen.  At Gensingen, we took the expressway 61 to Grosheim and here took quick the 60 direction Mainz, connect with the 67 directioin Darmstadt where we came in on the 672, road 26 into the city at Rheinstrabe. Wonderful road warrior trip!

We park at the Luisencenter shopping center underground parking: https://www.darmstadt-citymarketing.de/anfahrt-parken/parken/

While in Darmstadt , we wall all over the city center, briefly visited the Schlossmuseum . The old theater look around as now houses the archives of the regional government. We saw the Orthodox Russian Church at Nikolaiweg 18. We stop by the Landesmuseum of natural history museum, and passed by the football stadium where I had attended games back in 2004!!

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We took a ride to the new theater and the Church of Saint Louis just by it.  And course ,beautiful statues, columns and fountains in city center, as well as stopping by Bormuth bakery for a delicious German pastries, pretzels etc with softdrinks for a thirsty afternoon before heading back. My dear late wife Martine (she is last in line again! )really enjoy the pretzels, she ate and purchase for the rental house as well here! Nice memories of always.

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Return we took the same 26 out into the 672 and took the 5 direction Frankfurt ,we took the 66 outside Frankfurt and cut across left or west to Wiesbaden on theh 66,and then just south of Wiesbaden took the 683 south to Gensingen to connect with the 41 to Bad Kreuznach and here continue until connect Nohfelden and the 62 and go north towards Hermeskell and the road 1,then 602 into Trier beltway on the B49 road.

The family was curious of these places I have been lol!!! Finally, ending our summer vacation back in Trier ,the next day was the trip back home to Bretagne, France. Another wonderful family vacation spent driving ,visiting many places in Germany.

Some webpages for reference and guidance on your visit to Darmstadt

The Schlossmuseum palace museum: http://schlossmuseum-darmstadt.de/museum_engl.html

My memorable trip to the local football/soccer team Sportverein Darmstadt 1898 e.V stadium: https://www.sv98.de/home/lilien/spielstaette/

The theater of Darmstadthttps://www.staatstheater-darmstadt.de/

The Church Saint Louis site in German: https://www.sankt-ludwig-darmstadt.de/index.php?id=aktuell

Hope you have enjoyed this souvenir trip as I have, always wonderful family memories that won’t go away. Thanks for reading my blog and my personal rants and travel.

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

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November 9, 2020

Italy, this is Carpi!!!

Ok so I used to come by here often almost every year for the last 10. Then , I was out for a couple of years and came back. Nice Carpi in the province of  Modena , region of Emilia Romagna, Italy . Let me bring this up with updated text and new but old photos of Carpi.

I was back by Carpi on a shorter trip than usual just a couple of days but nice as always around here.

As usual, had to go to catch my TGV at Nantes train station so needed to drive from home almost 2 hrs. The TGV was nice and quick to Roissy CDG airport, from where took my AF flight to Bologna Marconi airport. There taxi shuttle to Carpi. To note one of the few times took the train to Roissy CDG airport, yes it can be done from Nantes and now Vannes too.

I have become very familiar with the train station in Nantes for my connections even to the airport. The train station is in city center not far from the castle of the dukes of Brittany (old Brittany now in Pays de la Loire region) . The official page for the gare de Nantes: https://www.garesetconnexions.sncf/fr/gare/frnte/nantes

You know from my rambling if have been reading my blog on going by Roissy CDG airport that many do not undertand but I find it easy. To start ,is not in Paris, is not even in 75, but in a combination territory of Roissy en France, Val d’Oise dept 95 and Tremblay en France, Seine Saint Denis dept 93 , and a bit in Mory-Motry Seine et Marne dept 77 in the region of Ïle de France. After all commonly call by many the main Paris airport or CDG or Charles de Gaulle. The laid out of terminals at CDG: https://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/access/paris-charles-de-gaulle/terminals-map

And I flew on Air France to the Guglielmo Marconi Bologna airpor short and easy ride as the airport is not as big and nicely done. webpage: https://www.bologna-airport.it/en/welcome-to-bologna-airport/?idC=62175#section-mbl-form

And my ride into town with class was done by Mr G at Auto Blu Noleggi. Used him /them several times always nice and ponctuel at the right price cash better. Webpage: https://www.autoblubologna.com/ncc-carpi/

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I was taken to the Hotel Carpi, literally here my home away from home in the area, good for the fashion industry of which the area is well known. I even got my Adidas shirts done for the Real Madrid with my son’s name on the back! A nice souvenir indeed. Oh yes the hotel is very contemporary modern and near the main road at the same time outside the entrance to the city center of Carpi. Always a pleasant stay here! webpage: https://www.hotelcarpi.it/

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I ate the first night light snacks in the hotel Carpi as was a bit late and tired . Then for lunch went out to a real restaurant . Just a couple hundred meters there are a bunch of eating places. I chose the Roadhouse Grill Via Delle Magliaie, 5/7, very nice decorated and well received. Even try my Italian lol! service was good the burger and miller genuine draft beer was good and needed. Nice place. webpage: https://www.roadhouse.it/it/ristorante-roadhouse-carpi

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For dinner went along with my local friends who decided to try a beer place brewing their own and they were paying!! This was Giustospirito. However, when we got there, the terminal was broken so only cash. Lol they did not have it but I did so we made a deal. I will pay for the resto and they will pay next day my transfter to the airport: done. I had a great romano picante pizza and house beers plus coffee did the trick and the girls were the best looking  I have seen while in the area; I think they must have been models as it is a fashion area. Webpage: https://giustospirito.com/

The story above ended that the transfer to the airport was more expensive than the meal so I won, and my friends were impressed by my business negotiation tactics lol!!! Too bad cannot find picture of the resto..

The next day after doing some business in town, went out for lunch to a very nice sportclub restaurant that was a delightful place of good cheers , great buffet food and main dish of tagliatini di porcini something like that !! and it was great with a good Le Focaie local red wine. The place was the Ristorante Sporting Club di Michele. The webpage: http://www.ristorantesporting.it/index.html

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And there you folks another nice escapade to nearby Italy and my fav area other than Rome and Milan to be around in Italy is Carpi. It was time to be back home in my lovely Bretagne so did the reverse order, taken the same classy service shuttle to G Marconi airport at Bologna, and my Air France flight to CDG Paris, down to the SNCF TGV train service to Nantes , pickup my car and go home. A real European tour!

Always nice souvenirs of these trips and looking forward to do them again soon , the virus permitting. Hope you enjoy the brief and do come to Carpi and the area as less known but very nice indeed

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

November 9, 2020

Barcelona, I was back!!!

And indeed i was back after several years; catching up on these older posts in my blog with fresh text part of my black and white series of lately. Bear with me I feel these were buried and need to see the light, worth it me think. Barcelona has nice memories and friendly chats of old as this is from 2014. See my newer posts on Barcelona and pictures of its monuments in my blog. Well do not have pictures of the hotel in my blog lol so will not be a so much B&W post after all lol!!!

I did my usual flight pattern from Nantes Atlantique airport to Roissy CDG to then Barcelona Prats airport; nice modern airport in the outskirts actually in the town of El Prat de Llobregat .webpage: https://www.barcelona-airport.com/

I head it out listening to friends who asked me to try the public transport as I am always there by taxi. Well took the Aérobus from the airport to Plaça de Espanya, purchase the round trip payable to the bus driver! webpage: https://www.aerobusbcn.com/en/

From here I went over to the metro line 3 to get to my hotel near Maria Cristina stop. The metro was sweaty very hot day and it shows, I thought I was going to be on a fast diet from the sweat. However, it is clean nice ride for a Sunday! The organism that handles the metro or bus is TMB.webpagehttps://www.tmb.cat/en/home

I ,then ,walk to my hotel the Princesa Sofia (old Intercontinental hotel) ,now this was great. A heaven to come to every day and see the city in style!! Webpage: https://sofiabarcelona.com/en/

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I took a room in the 3rd floor, nice clean, good views of the front entrance and Ave Diagonal, just what the doctor ordered when you arrive from going around this public transportation trip! There is a nice pool, and Biergarten bar for a cold beer when needed. Also,a Spa and gym that is nice but little time to use it. The breakfast were great and plentyful, and the restaurant nice and friendly staff.

While there , did not wanted to eat at a hotel restaurant thus, so we had a discussion with the concierge, and finally decided to go to the La Fonda del Port, which of course is at the harbor of Barcelona, and plenty of seafood and tapas. We had a great time there. I have a separate post on restaurants in Barcelona in my blog.

We finished early and not about to end the night, so we went to the Casino de Barcelona, for a look at slots machines that I did go last back in Atlantic City ,New Jersey ,USA!!! The casino is nearby at the Port Olympic, but we took a taxi to get here for about 15 euros. Webpage: https://www.casinobarcelona.com/en

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We went around checking out all the machines, and table games, the restaurant /bar in lower level, and finally went out into our night searching for more thrills and events;;;;; walking around it we cave in to a wonderful place where you go down a stair of tall wooden men like Egyptian or Indian statues into the lower floor , tables and couch awaits you ,where you can take off your shoes and go into a sofa style bedding/table awaits for your drinks and be merry life full ahead, massages available extra. We stumbled into the Carpe Diem Lounge Club describe above or the CDLC, a wonderful place Worth coming back for it. Portos away and classy beautiful sights and looks. webpage: http://cdlcbarcelona.com/

We came very late of course, but had a great time and a nice hotel bed to rest on. Next day we set out into town again, this time we walk past Gran Via de Carles III then the Rambla Brasil and turning into Carrer Sants we end up in a nice Basque restaurant call Txalaparta (see it under the Barcelona restaurant post). This is like been back in basque country with great Basque cider and Navarra wine of Monjardin red with a wonderful tuna steak with red peppers and a nice crema catalana dessert.  The resto name is a Basque music instrument that after making cider, the same board was used to pressed the apples later was to call the neighbors. Then, a celebration was held and txalaparta played cheerfully, while cider was drunk. This place had no music but it was definitely nice and loud, good food and plenty of good cheers.

In between time was allowed to walk around Montjuic plenty of wonderful buildings and great people watching. At my return, took the same metro line 3 to plaça Espanya and there in a middle bay took the Aérobus to the airport at Prats. My flight was great to Roissy CDG on Air France of course, and then on to Nantes-Atlantique  where my car was waiting at parking P2 and the ride home arriving by midnight. Another nice short trip but full of memories and old and new friends. Great!!

Hope you enjoy the post and do enjoy Barcelona. Something I did on future trips. The anecdote is that my oldest son visited before I ever did as he took a class exchange student program and lived with a family in the city! I did enjoy it too.

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

November 9, 2020

Bucharest, the little Paris….!!

In the continuation of my black and white nostalgia ride reading of my older posts, would like to update revise and new infusion of text on this wonderful city of Bucharest, the little Paris!! Hope you enjoy it

Well I have been lucky to visit Bucharest 6 times in the last 9 years,and even if slow down nowdays the memories will stay for a longer time. The pictures are in the individual posts on the sights here, this is my black and white rendition of Bucharest.  Yes ,after leaving the chains of communism ,this city at least is stepping out, great renovations done and ongoing, lots of beauty to be recall the Little Paris, it once was, and warm friendly people all over. A new found backyard indeed. In Bucharest again, folks there recount of a time when the city was, also, call the Paris of the East. Indeed times have change a lot.

I usually come here on Air France, routine , Nantes, Roissy CDG, Bucharest Henri Coanda airport. and the same coming back. I always hire a Taxi 2000 here to my hotel. Couple times , I used TAROM, the national airline of Romania, for a nice flight to Bucharest ; the airport is actually in the city of Otopeni about 16,5 kms from Bucharest. webpage: http://www.bucharestairports.ro/

Over time past and in the future trips I stayed in 3 hotels in Bucharest. The first one was the Ramada Parc near Romexpo exhibition center. Great breakfast, good location, friendly staff, we end up talking football/soccer all night long the first night there.  And its next door neighbor Ramada Plaza , a more modern upscale version.  Next door, and connected thru the hotel you had the traditional Casa Doina restaurant gastronomic resto  ,and the latest of International and Romanian cuisine. https://www.casadoina.ro/

The Ramada Parc Hotel: https://ramadabucharestparc.ro/

The Ramada Plaza Hotel: https://ramada-plaza.bucharest-hotel.com/fr/

The Crown Plaza Hotel, part of the Intercontinental hôtels group was also in the same park and even if not stayed I came here for its buffet. I did stayed once, wonderful indoor heated pool, sauna, gym room, great Grand Café bar for drinks and news/sports TV, then the Le Brasserie restaurant very nice, the rooms are big and well stocked, the elevator works fine and fast, checkin and checkout is smooth, just another wonderful IHG property. webpage: https://crowne-plaza.bucharest-hotel.com/en/

I was taken on a personal car tour of the main sights in town late at night ,which was glorious. However, I did walk the pedestrian city center and ate at the historical wonderful Hanul lui Manuc , Romanian specialty of lamb steak and polenta with the local Ursus beer. This is the address  Str. Franceza nr. 62-64, Bucuresti, Sector 3 ,webpage:https://www.hanulluimanuc.ro/en/

There is so much to see need at least a week to see it all. Many beautiful churches of the Orthodox Christian rite abound. The National Theater , the Arcul de Triumf or arch de triomphe Romanian ,royal palace, and many museums. Along Calea Victoriei street you have one resto, bar, cafe one after the other.

I had plenty of lunches at the Cafe inside the World Trade Gallery shopping complex, friendly staff who speaks English, on a cafeteria style foods that are very good and not expensive  with Best chef cafe on Bdul Topografiei or boulevard Topografiei. Then pay a visit to a wonderful place sure to come back to it, the taverna Sarbului the terrace ambiance and friendly service in addition to superb local cuisine and good friends made it special, I could have stay here longer! webpage:https://www.tavernasarbului.ro/en/

Right around in the same area you have the Romanian-American University, a great location, very modern facilities and it seems busy place as well with English spoken lol!. Then in the evening I went to the 18 Lounge on the top floor of the City Gate South Tower business center, wonderful views of the city of Bucharest,and great food.  Lots of folks enjoying it with a mix of locals and foreigners as well. I had a tagliatelli st Jacques that was very good indeed,and a good capuccino. webpage: https://www.18lounge.ro/about_us_18

I did get one special night to go out with friends, and had a wonderful dinner at a wonderful very traditional Romanian restaurant in the outskirst of Bucharest. Restaurant Vatra Neamului, Balostesti, past Otopeni the airport city, along the DN1 road. This is very much use as well for weddings and anniversaries by the locals, as it is very traditional Romanian in food and decoration. We had dinner in the poets’s  room as you have portraits of Romanian poets/writers going way back. Vatra Neamului, is a mix cuisine between ancient moldavian/romanian food, the food wich was served by our ancestors before us, and a trip to the time of Stefan the Great, Michael the Brave, and the unrivaled writer Mihai Eminescu. Wonderful find, enjoy it if you can there: webpage: https://www.vatraneamului.ro/

I did travel inland into cities such as Braila, Slobozia, Ploiesti ,and Galati, on good roads and plenty of gas stations with goodies to munch on at better prices than France lol!  Another nice trip to come back to, and hopefully more time to see the inner cities wonderful architecture and ambiance. Memories to look back and enjoy and remember the good times, always thinking of a next time in Bucharest and/or Romania. Hope you enjoy the stories and see my other posts on Romania.

A nice private initiative on tourism in Romania: http://romaniatourism.com/bucharest.html

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

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