Archive for November 12th, 2020

November 12, 2020

A lovely one two punch, London and Paris!!

This was a trip that I thought about for a long time way back,and finally happened. A one two punch of London and Paris!! Awesome! And it’s time I give it a refreshing and updating to the old post.

And another special trip as this trip was on public transportation!!. I still, do not undertand how people claims to take this route and find it good, no way I am a car lover and nothing is better than been independent of your time with a car. Having said that, my trip began at the Auray train station on a TGV to Montparnasse Paris, here took the metro line 4 to Réaumur-Sébastopol and then line 3 to République, where my hotel was just around the corner Hotel Meslay. Nice location, AC, elevator/lift, and nice friendly reception. The rooms as usual were a bit older traditional Parisien style but ok. Enough room. Hotel webpage:



The area is well known to me as used to handle accounting/finance work right on the square for the old Holiday Inn, now it is aCrown Plaza hotel! So all the restaurants there were my hangout for lunch or dinner. This time I went to the Indiana Café and was as good as old for dinner, great crowd, wonderful service and a great pastrami burger with a good Affligem beers, and double noisette coffee. A great place and chain and glad they are still going strong:webpage:


From there the next day I set out to walk Paris, wonderful as always and beating any mode of transport. I walked all the way to the Louvre museum passing by some familiar places like the Church of St Eustache, and seeing new ones like the Church of Saint Nicolas des Champs, with the great porte Saint Martin, the Les Forum (that was still under construction but open for business now done), the Arts et Métiers museum still nice ,and my old hangout work area by Rivoli to Castiglione.

I had time in my walks to visit my old Americain hangout Joe Allen with a great pint of Glolsch beer !!!  More beautiful passages like the Grand Cerf, and finally the old Palais de la Bourse or Palais Brongniart.

From the metro Bourse line 3 took me back to Réaumur Sébastopol and then line 4 off for Gare du Nord, and here it was chaos as usual, renovation in plus, a horde of people been directed to different lanes and finally reach the outrageous RER B to get me to CDG Terminal 2E.  For my flight to London Heathrow terminal 4 on AF.


The flight was easy as usual, and decided to continue tasting the public transports route, and took the underground/tube/metro/subway here on the Piccadilly line to my hotel at Gloucester Road station; had my old oyster card still with money in it! and this was easy as done before several times. My hotel was in an area that I know, chic Kensington.


The Millenium Gloucester Hotel, very nice grand old English style and service and amenities galore, classy place. webpage:

london millenium gloucester arriving sept15

I was put in the 5th floor Millennium club and enough to say the experience was marvelous and the service tops. Great English breakfast too. However, my final destination where I was invited to speak on a world trade finance conference was held at the sister hotel the Millenium Knightsbridge Hotel on the Knightsbridge tube station on same Piccadilly line. My oyster card was good enough to take me there and recharge on the machines is easy with my debit Visa card. The Knightsbridge was excellent as well and great facilities, with great company of professionals from several countries and great lunch! webpage:



I must say a grand style visit to London with a double whammy Millenium hotels!! Great memories here too.

I took advantage of doing some walks in the chic area of Sloane street and over to Gloucester Road as usually my home with family or me was in Earl’s Court.  The rides were ok, but smelly and crowded at end of the day coming back to hotel. I had all taken care here but did went out to indulge in the crazy American tradition of hamburgers ….well been from Florida had to try the Burger King here lol!: Gloucester road BK mind you ::)


After the meeting left by 4PM (16H) as needed to catch the flight back home, same Piccadilly line from Knightsbridge to Heathrow Terminal 4, long ride and tight but will do for the experience. I was there on time for my AF flight back to Paris CDG. Then, no more trains I thought, took a flight on AF to Nantes Atlantique airport ,my usual home area airport.

However, there was no transportation to my home and no one at home that can find me in Nantes, so needed to rent me a hotel room for the night at the B&B hotel at the airport with a code key sign in ,no human at the counter! For an airport hotel is ok but basic services, first time on one of them, and so so experience.  I walk from airport to hotel about 10 minutes going by the parking of the Oceania hotel. The stay was fine and the room was easily found on 2nd Floor, large room and bath with one double and two twins beds! webpage:

Next day, this morning, took the navette bus from the airport to the train station gare sud in Nantes. This have done before so no problems, and the bus was waiting for me when arrive from the B&B hotel. It was 8€ now is 8.50€ and when I started taking them was 7€; it goes without saying all goes up. The TAN transport network of Nantes on the Express Airport Bus webpage :

At the train station, which I know well, had my breakfast at the Class’Croute bakery (now closed) in the south side or Gare de Nantes Sud, just after getting my ticket and validating it on the yellow machines.  Here took a TER train direction Nantes-Quimper but stopping in Auray, where my old papa , reliable old men was waiting for me to take me home arriving by 12h30 or 12:30 pm night.

As you can imagine reading, this was a long trip and very time consuming and tiring, never done it again. I have tried them all so as not say never been here , I have but the car even the Eurotunnel that have taken afterward is better!

Hope you enjoy the post and get some useful information for a future trip along these lines. London and Paris back to back is awesome for the visit indeed

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

November 12, 2020

Cathédrale Saint Pierre, Vannes!!!

I need to update this post from 2016,and yes I have newer post on this monument. However, for its architecture, history and religious value to the local folks I need to tell the world again of it. The Cathédrale Saint Pierre of our capital city of Vannes is awesome! A must to visit.

The Cathedral of Saint Peter in Vannes is a wonderful building right in the middle of the old town with wooden houses going back to the 14C originals!


I walk by it every so often, several times a week, and always amazed of it’s history and impressive architecture in the right spot.  Many towns have wonderful Churches, Basilicas, and Cathedrals ;usually they are laid out in a square with spaces around them. Not so, Vannes, the Cathedral is right in the town on a street really call place St Pierre attached by houses and shops all around it  in a medieval setting.

The St Peter’s Cathedral of romanesque in origins but later gothic as we see today in the middle ages had many tombs, in fact ,they made up the floor. Later for reason of hygiene, only the bishops from the 17C were kept in. In the 15C , it was visited by Saint Vincent (Vicente Ferrier a Dominican monk from Valencia Spain) ; his tomb is in the Cathedral on the left side on the Tour Renaissance.


If you walk on the right side  the first Chapel will be of the Baptismal rites, since 1856.  Next is the Chapel of Sainte Anne, the patron Saint of the Bretons (according to the Bible, mother of Mary, grandmother of Jesus). The golden statue of the Virgin is from the 18C.  Next you find the Chapel of the Rosary or Sacred Heart; mainly to celebrate the honoring of the Sacred Heart here since 1757. Then, you have the Chapel of Bienheureux Pierre René Rogue; a priest guillotine in 1796 for defending the faith and a native of Vannes. His remains were brought here in 1936. Behind the altar you have the Chapel of Saint Gwenâel, a 6C monk native of Vannes.



You come to the Altar finished in 1777. In the southern transept you have the Chapel Notre Dame de Lourdes on the old entrance of the Dukes of Brittany when coming to the Cathedral. The deambulatory is big due to the huge crowds coming to venerated Saint Vincent here, and you arrive at the Chapel of the Great Sacrament and Notre Dame de Pitié ; in reality two small chapels, one shown a figure of a pieta shows a stained glass fo the efforts of the USA in WWI. The second on the Notre Dame it is from 1637.


Coming now around on the left side you see the Chapel of Notre Dame de Miséricorde (old Chapel of St Yves). The Vannetais locals love to come to pray here, you will see a small boat in honor of St Yves ,the defender of the liberty of the churches of Brittany found in all of them. You come to the Tour Renaissance and the tomb of Vincent Ferrier (Saint Vincent); marble from 1648 and the remains of the monk Saint brought here in 1956. In the transept north you have the Chapel of St Antony of Padua, the statue of the Saint is from 1195-1231. On the Chapel of Saint Louis were deposited the remains of the immigrant bretons killed in 1795 ,trying to free Brittany from the French revolution. The Altar in the Chapel is dedicated to Saint Louis with flanking statues of Joanne of Arc of 1925, and Ste Theresa of Lisieux of 1956. The entry is the Chapel of Saint Mériadec and Saint Patern. Saint Patern was the first Bishop of Vannes end of 5C and Saint Mériadec his successor in about 666.



The organ is from the 18C , the buffet is in sculptured wood from 1740; and great concerts are done today on Thursdays evenings,usually by 20h45. The tour 13C is the oldest romanesque parts of the Cathedral and hold the 4 bells. The old  Capilary chapel holds the treasures underneath the sacristy with over 150 beautiful pièces of religious arts from 12C to 18C.


The Cathedral parrish Catholic page in French:

The city of Vannes with photos of the St Peter’s Cathedral:

This is a must to see while in Vannes, and I never get tired of seeing. Enjoy the visit to a wonderful Cathédrale Saint Pierre! Worth the re write!!

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

November 12, 2020

Vannes ,getting around town again !!!

This is my ongoing quest to update revise new old pictures of my older posts in my blog. I have come to realise the many nice folks who have “like” me in the past and now have disappeared from the radar. I won’t forget your kindness to stopped by my blog; thank you very much.

This is to update on my capital city of Vannes, so many posts and by now all memorable visits with the family and worked just outside. Vannes is one bright spot in our lives. Hope you enjoy the update on my Vannes!

Ok so just a cool day ,it seems Fall is here and now we get 16C or about 62F and tomorrow rain announced. My father was visited in the hospital this morning and now ok to go out Monday so that is good news and doing just great; my son will get him at the hospital. I am on my way to Dublin and need to get up at 3h or 3am to get to the airport at Rennes! of course, will be in Dublin before midday tomorrow!!! see post.

Here in Vannes we had a normal day. First, the post office to send out those letters; then the bank to drop off the slip my sons got their new credit cards, and then we headed for Vannes giving time to visit my father in the CHBA hospital.

All around the Le Port or pleasure marina harbor today there were music group presentation and exhibition of local crafts, very lively indeed. The harbor or Le Port is the heart of all that is going on here. More here:


We parked on the other side of the canal by rue du commerce , for free, right by the canal that leads into the harbor and the out into the Gulf of Morbihan. A great fantastic medium of relaxations, boats, people, and just plain fun.

We had our apero lunch at le P’tit Belon (previous from early in the 20C it was called the Café de Manu) oyster bar right behind the covered fish market, Halles aux Poissons, (see post) and on a market day like today even better. The market covers many streets but primarily the squares of place des lices and place du poids public.  Here we had our Fischer beers (2)(Alsace), saussison sec bellota ham , 6 oysters, and sandwiches of bellota hams and cheese all for about 8€ per person.  3 place de la Poissonnerie. Facebook page:

On our way out near the Porte Saint Vincent coming out into the place Gambetta you have the bakery Saveurs du Port, delicious sweets and even better breads of chorizo, lardon, and champagne tradition as well as the usual baguette. We grab them all! and will be part of our dinner tonite! webpage:


Finally, to end our day in Vannes, we did our groceries or courses at the Carrefour hypermarket near the road N165. And we saw an interesting wallpicture of the Chateau de l’Hermine of such fame here, the original is right by the ramparts. Doing groceries is not my cup of tea and insist on doing it fast, not an easy task with so many individuals in the family but that is part of the fun of shopping together. Carrefour is nice indeed at least in Vannes. It has several stores and restaurants inside for a mini shopping center as well. webpage:

And now it’s time to pack and have some dinner snacks , get some sleep and be ready for tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday in Dublin (see posts). More to come , enjoy it; have a great Sunday and back writing again, smile on my face! Thanks to all well wishes for my father, really appreciated.

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

November 12, 2020

Any excuse to visit Vannes is good!!!

Well here I am back with a funny title due to my immence creativity lol! And getting these old posts to new life in my black and white series. The pictures are in the individual posts on the sights. Hope you enjoy the narrative and ideas for a visit to my capital city of Vannes!

Well I worked here, and its always hard to come to enjoy the city you have worked for almost 9 years as I am in my pre retirement arrangement ,there and not there,the French way! Vannes, capital of the Morbihan and the only city we can call it here. It has everything and today it was packed.

We started taking the boys to the movies on the matinee at Cinéville to see Transformer 4, something like that…hehehe it was a good movie for them so I was happy. I have mentioned this cinema several times in my posts on Vannes. It is around the area of Atlanville with plenty of shops and restaurants.

Then we tried a new restaurant we have seen by Avranches first and now nearer to us. We went to have lunch at the La Pataterie resto , ZAC Parc Lann, Rue Gay-Lussac,(it has since closed) near the Decathlon store; this is a restaurant where the entire menu is around the Potato!!! We had the breton potato, with clam chowder sauce and cocktail shrimps for a special 10€! and a potato with bacon and hams, glass of red wine, and coffees for less than 16 euros per person. Ok we took the bottom offers as most were overprice me think. No wonder the Vannes and Avranches properties are closed. For reference the chain is here:

We took our usual ride in Vannes with the family; one nice place I recommended friends and have collègues stayed so know well but never stayed myself is the Maison de la Garenne, a bed and breakfast in a historical old mansion overlooking the ramparts and gardens of the Garenne.

We headed quickly to nearby Muzillac to see a garden shop my dear wife wanted to see. The Jardinerie Bloino , so we got our paille to put in soil and avoid grass to grow, something like that I am nulle on gardens things.  Sadly the garden shop has closed and is now a Jardiland chain. And my wife has passed away from cancer since our visit here.

Good idea to see wonderful opera and theater shows evenings at the wonderful Théatre Anne de Bretagne, place de Bretagne. I have been here for meetings and conventions on a business mode. Over the years he has become Scénes du Golfe with a variety of events. It has now two halls for showings, the salle Lesage with 800 seats and the salle Ropartz with 300 seats. As well as the newer hall ,the Salle 112 with 112 seats. For reference the webpage:

I will put this hotel here, with pictures; we went by and i have been taking collegues visiting our office here in Vannes. I have used their properties at the Nantes Atlantique airport and they are very good. This is the Escale Oceania Hotel .  This is just by the theater above and right at the entrance to the city center, you have private parking and public Centre parking next to it. Webpage:



We end up the evening with dinner at Les Oliviers , 60, ave de Verdun, near the train station of Vannes. And have a photo for them not elsewhere!  Today they only open in the evening from 19h30 the rest of the week is open for lunch as well.  The new hours today are Monday to Friday 12h to 14h and Friday and Saturday from 19h to 21h. This time the gang join us for a family affair in one of the better restaurants in the city. My boss took me here once and now the family. The cooking here is market fresh and with gastronomic taste so refine and local reservation is a must, small restaurant, tops produce. Changes daily, today was lamb with ceboulette and bacon, creme brulée caramel, with a wonderful loire red wine; the menus are from 23€, do not hesitate to eat here when in the area. webpage:


There you go I feel better updating this wonderful post of great souvenirs/memories for us. Hoping it brings you over, this is a wonderful town of Vannes and the above is tops.

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

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