Archive for November 13th, 2020

November 13, 2020

Nice museums, seldom seen, and in Paris!!

Again, taking my new look of doing black and white posts when trying to revise, update, refresh old posts in my blog I bring you back to Paris. I did this post back in 2014, and hardly notice; no surprises, that was the reason of the post. Nice museums, seldom seen, and in Paris!!

The Paris museum pass will let you see many museum for a one price depending on the days you want. I always said if it is at least 3 ,the pass is worth it. And it goes beyond Paris too. See my post on passes in Paris. I went to look for these muséums that are very good but seldom seen by visitors. Here they are, and hope you enjoy it as I did rewriting it

At the heart of the Marais, the mansion or hôtel de Donon, 16éme is a square building with a rectangular court and interiors of the 18C acquired by Cognacq-Jay ,that have been redone by Christian Lacroix and its presenting costumes from the time of  Louis XV .Musée Cognacq-Jay at 8, rue Elzévir. webpage:

Adolphe and Clémence d’Ennery had built a mansion close to the  Bois de Boulogne to put their collection of Asian arts, more than 6300 objects now on the building done in 1875.  Located at  59 avenue Foch, you need to reserve in advance to get in at The Musée d’Ennery is hosted by the Musée Guimet. Webpage:

It took Ary Scheffer who received all of Paris from the monarchy of july to  Delacroix, Rossini, Sand, Chopin, Gounod, Tourgueniev, and Dickens. Some furniture, paintings and object of arts remaining from George Sand. The Baron Taylor , Charles Nodier ,friend of Balzac, Hugo, Vigny and Lamartine, passion for the heritage give notion to the story behind the work ” Voyages pittoresques et romantiques dans l’ancienne France”.  And this give rise to the Musée de la Vie Romantique at 6, rue Chaptal . webpage:

By the place de Fürstenberg, passing a porch in a paved courtyard on the first floor (2nd US) of a brick building and stone was the apartment of the last years of the romantic master Delacroix still with its second empire cachet. It has 350 sq meters of space! with a rotating 1100 work of arts 150 at a time. The Musée Delacroix located at 6, rue de Fürstenberg,webpage:

It is here that the Baron Taylor, a man of giving and culture man of Belgian origins, host the artists in need from 1844.  Completively renovated in 2013, the building of five floors was enlarge offering  250 m2 of exposition space open to the public.  Located at 1, rue La Bruyère , the webpage for the Fondation Taylor:

A the Bibliothéque Fornay,  belonging to an industrila man of the  XIXe , Samuel-Aimé Forney, that bequest to the city of  Paris a set of work dedicated to education of artists. Here there are 230,000 volumes dedicated to the graphic arts, and fine arts with technical manuals from the XIXe, postal cards, and millions of painted paper samples , etc. It is located at 1, rue du Figuier , Hôtel de Sens, managed by the city of Paris but I will put in French the Friends of the library for more information. webpage:

One of the artists addresses in Paris that still can be say it is intact is that of Ossip Zadkine, of Russian origin come to Paris in  1910 to the same address as the museum today. He worked on the house from 1928 to 1967, with his wife Valentine Prax.  She bequested the house to the city of Paris  located at rue d’Assas , and it opened to the public in 1982. Musée Zadkine, 100bis rue d’Assas. Webpage:

And we go the butte or hill, here in Montmartre you find the Maison du Bel Air from the 17C, a museum to the glory of Montmartre ,and its bohemian life style open in 1960. Later, it was enlarge with the last month atelier of  Valadon-Utrillo, bringing in the mansion or hôtel Demarne where the father Tanguy  sold its colors to the impressionnistes. Its stairs give to small rooms with paintings of  Kupka, Toulouse-Lautrec, Modigliani, Steinlen… etc.  Located at 12, rue Cortot,musée de Montmartre, webpage:

Jean-Paul Favand, the founder of the mondane arts and former antique fleas marketeer has put together a treasure. Musée des Arts Forains, Located at  53, avenue des Terroirs-de-France; webpage :

One very dear to me spent many visits here, is the Mona Bismarck American Center at 34 avenue de New York. In  1986,upond the death of Countess Mona Bismarck  ,an American passion with Arts and philanthropist activities the mansion became a foundation.  It was the site of many American institutions that are now relocated elsewhere. The site has change name to the American Center for the Arts and Culture. It is a wonderful building bordering the river Seine near the Musée d’Art Moderne, dating from the  19C, and with a great deep garden well maintained. webpage:

The Musée Gustave Moreau, sits away from the crowds and it is one of the most exquisite museum of Paris. It was done in a building from the end of the 19C by the painter himself.  it is done around a colimaçon stair, with shop and living furniture including almost 400 symbolic paintings  It is located at 14, rue de La Rochefoucauld .webpage:

And the Maison du Balzac, where he wrote the  La Comédie humaine. You see his work office partially recontructed and his manuscripts. Located at   47, rue Raynouard, webpage:

There you go folks, my humble contribution to tell tell of museums of Paris. There are many and you can spent the whole year on them , we love it. Hope you do too,and come to see these ones, well worth the detour.

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

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November 13, 2020

My aller retour à Paris!!

And again more from my vault of old posts going back to 2014 this time on my eternal Paris. I like to update revise fresh text on these old posts in my blog in an black and white mode. Hope you are enjoying them as I do.

I usually do not put business trips in my blog at least most of the time. However, this is one of them . I needed to go to Paris for a couple of days on a business meeting , something I do almost every week but hardly ever tell. I love my car always a road warrior and on these business trips they sent me by train yikes!!! I used them but never get used to them at all. Even the metro do not like, prefer to walk or the bus in town. However, business obliges and as all is reimburse by the company have really no choice.

The company books the train or plane, and the hotel in advance direct billing , I do not need to advance anything. If a car rental is needed once in a blue moon, it is also direct billing. Therefore, I have to go on public transport when on business. Even if I have tried to negotiate going by car  not understood for the tax breaks business gets on this!

I have my TGV 1er Class electronic ticket loaded into my SNCF Grand Voyageur frequent traveler card , which due to business trips I am now a frequent traveler on trains with perks lol!This is paperless so it has its advantages. My nearest station from home is out of Auray, it is small but nice size station train and bus, and counters and restaurant, relay store, avis car rentals, and hotel and resto across the street. I love to come early and see the train, TGV and TER Bretagne come and go. Even if at Vannes there is more and more frequencies. Sometimes, If I go with collègues than we go out of Vannes, a bigger station.  Parking is free so far at both stations.

The train station  SNCF at Auray:

For the TER Bretagne trains:

Killing time is at the bar resto Le Tire Bouchon (corkscrew) where a nice Grimbergen blonde will always do wonders to the waiting time. And some nice chats with fellow travelers.

The time is usually around 3h20 to 3h40 to Paris Montparnasse. The stops are always Vannes and Rennes, and sometimes we do stop at Redon, Vitré, Le Mans ,and Laval. We arrive in Paris by the berth 1 thru 7 always, this time it was berth 3. Due to faster tracks as the LGV the time has been cut down to 3h. I have times especially going back for a cold beer at the Brasserie de l’Océane.

The Paris Montparnasse train station:

Sometimes these trips are same day and they are tiring; however, sometimes too we are allowed a night stay and these are great; lately I am going this way.  On this particular trip I was put at the Hôtel Terminus Montparnasse at 59 blvd du Montparnasse ;webpage:

As one of the bad points of business travel is that you do not choose your hotel, so this one was convenient and full of restos/bar around, some of them my favorites when used to have an office nearby in rue de Départ. However, this one was very noisy ,even the water flushes were heard and showers, the breakfast limited in a small room, and of course the room small with a window given to a tree full courtyard that you could see the kitchen from your window! Not the type of hotel I would recommend personally or with families. Like i said, the only good point is that it was across from the Montparnasse transport hub and right between resto Café Montparnasse and La Marine, institutions in the area.

I need it to be by the tour Eiffel side,as my business office for meetings is nearby and its always a good opportunity to see the steel lady. Great views on the window of it and the Invalides dome as well. Getting there I take the metro line 6 to Bir Hakeim as it is an above ground train ride most of the way. RATP webpage:

The return is always sad , au revoir Paris encore un fois. Saying goodbye to Paris again…. TGV Montparnasse thru Rennes, and Vannes this time to Auray where my car is waiting for the trip home of 20 minutes.  The lunches on business are done in the top floor of our building club house with views of the roofstops of Paris with grand style and wines so can’t complaint here is done French class style. Even if missed going out to the wonderful restos of Paris.

There , I wanted to have at least this business trip in my blog on what I am always saying go to Paris every month in better times.  Time goes nicer when you are having fun of living in la belle France. Enjoy Paris a mouvable feast indeed!

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

ps. While doing this post I was contacted by a guide in Paris and turn out to be very good with great references so for those seeking info about Paris and someone to help you along there, I will put the webpage here, for info only as me never use it but recommended by many.

November 13, 2020

Again,time to talk about Madrid!!!

Here I go again, sorry for the repetition but need to let you know, these are older posts already in my blog that I am revising, updating, with fresh text as the pictures are in the individual monument entry in my blog. I did not realise how many I had since I started blogging!!! Back on Nov 26 2010!

I like to bring you again to my beloved Madrid in my dear Spain. I had more description in another post but we came by car! from Versailles! , and had a rest stop at Pau and stayed on the one night at the Atlantic hotel. rue Jean Mermoz. now part of the Citotel chain (which I have use other properties too). We have made this hotel our road stop to Spain in subsequent trips too. webpage:

Madrid was a dream that became a reality several years back, and it has been a virus of love ever since that day on December 30 1970 that I landed at Barajas international airport Madrid (now Adolfo Suàrez Madrid-Barajas inter airport) . I lived for almost the next four years there ,and then visited often sometimes more than once a year. Its one of those cities you won’t feel tired of coming back for more.

I am Spanish by grandparents from Tenerife, and have the luck to live in Madrid when things were different. I used to visit after long intervals, and then luck have it came to France to live with my dear French wife. This was 2003, and since then, my trips to Madrid have been often twice a year and every year. Lucky me!!

The city has a lot of memories of trying times, living there with my mother, and sharing with strangers that over the years became like family. Nice to know the grandchildren of those even considered you family still today.

I first seek out friends met over the years and have a tapas and glass of beer of one of my favorites places there  ,the Cerveceria Cruz Blanca. Many branches so I had first at Menendez Pelayo 47 and then at Doctor Esquerdo 157. At first had me rice pilaf with squid in black sauce to kill for, and little fry fish boquerones, all wash down with cruzcampo beer and a nice cup of coffee. Then came back next day for the counter, beers of the same with an order of patatas revolconas or blended potatoes and bacon cornhusker, and torrejas (delicious old bread in cinnamon sauce) as well as that strong cup of expresso coffee. Sublime and nice to be there stop by once at least on subsequent trips! webpage:

I stayed as usual on business at the Ayre Gran Hotel Colon, Calle Pez Volador ,1 corner of Calle Dr Esquerdo near metro Sainz de Baranda lines 6 and 9; easy connection from Barajas airport. The service is always impeccable and clean nice spacious rooms including breakfast. I have stayed here several times over the years!

I took my scrolls around Retiro park , memories of youth and always supreme, grand beautiful, nostalgic, romantic, daring, just awesome. I used to lived not far from there in Quintana line 5 of Metro of Madrid.

I had the chance to visit my all time favorite store , El Corte Inglés, it has been a tradition of the family for years, going back back. This time I visit the nearest one to my beloved Santiago Bernabeu stadium at Paseo de la Castellana. 

I had an unusual call from a friend worked with me in the same chain in Paris and had big boss in Madrid so ask me if needed hotel, I told him was in Madrid already! And he said, would you like to be in the Intercontinental Castellana! Of course, i said yes and moved my family over for the rest of the vacation lol!! This is class and in Madrid sublime:

We had a suite for the family there and still nice to my ears. We walk all over, to the Prado museum and the Retiro park visiting the Palacio de Velázquez there.  In the old days they had temporary arts expo and exhibtions, now they are part of the Reina Sofia museum.

We took the boys to the Parque de Atracciones or amusement park in the Casa de Campo taken the cable car or teléferico from parque del oeste(paseo del pintor rosales).  I came here as a boy and now took my boys here too, lovely great times!

Next day ,for lunch i met my collègues from our office in Rivas Vaciamadrid and went to resto San Jordi (now closed) in a commercial center by the Conde de Casal metro stop at line 9, and we had morcilla with eggs, love it, and mero blanco fish with a nice house green salad, rose wine from Castilla and a local beer as apero, plus a delicious milk cream flan, that was recommended and it was great, then expresso coffee and again the locals show their color to pay for it.

And we came back by car as well with the family in tow! And another wonderful trip to my beloved Madrid. Hope you enjoy this black and white post and do see my individual posts on Madrid and the pictures!

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

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