Archive for November 17th, 2020

November 17, 2020

Some news from Spain XCVII

And why not my beloved Spain, things are moving there too due to the wuhan, covid19 or coronavirus as you wish. The euphoria is propped by the government and business and ambiance suffers, the economy will be in welfare status into 2021. My opinion of course.

Let me tell you some of my news from Spain ok

In 1764, almost three centuries after the Castilian conquest of the Canary Islands, Luis Román, infantry captain and alderman of Tenerife, decided to enter the Barranco de Erques. Certain locals had promised to take him to the Cave of a Thousand Mummies and they kept their word. After a narrow opening in the rock, they found dozens, perhaps hundreds, of perfectly preserved corpses. It was not a legend, El Dorado de los Xaxos existed.

These Guanche mummies (original inhabitants from where I come from by all four grandparents, and yes we had them too) were already known, but never before had irrefutable proof of the Cave been obtained, the location of which has vanished over the centuries. Roman decided to take with him the one that most caught his attention, the one that kept even the smallest detail. This today is in the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid. It is 850 years old, a figure very similar to that obtained in other dating of Guanche mummies made in the last decade: 850 years for the mummy recovered from the Guayanje ravine, 940 for another from La Orotava and 830 for the mummy «NEC 2 » of the Archaeological Museum of Tenerife. This is an adult male who died between the ages of 35 and 40, 1.62 meters tall, with all his teeth preserved, without any wear or decay, with negroid features and hands that do not give away that he had done physical hard work. From the state of his teeth (which speaks of his good nutrition) and his hands, and especially the fact that he was subjected to a high-quality peering process, the researchers infer that he is a male with a preeminent position in the society.

The number of immigrants rescued in the Canary Islands this past Tuesday stands at around 584 people, after the location in the early afternoon of six new boats, all of them in Gran Canaria, according to figures provided to Efe by Salvamento Marítimo.or coast guard lifesavers organism. A pity they are coming to island who depends of tourism which is very little nowdays. But the EU is far away!!!

Jawlensky, Morandi, Miró and Winogrand, great protagonists of the Mapfre Foundation in 2021! The MAPFRE Foundation has presented its cultural program for 2021. In total, at its Madrid and Barcelona headquarters, it will organize twelve exhibitions in which some of the great names in contemporary painting and photography will meet: from Alekséi von Jawlensky to Giorgio Morandi, through Joan Miró, Garry Winogrand or Claudia Andujar, among others. The Foundation will open 2021 with the exhibitions «Jawlensky. The landscape of the face ”and an exhibition by the Japanese photographer Tomoko Yoneda, which can be visited at the Sala Recoletos in Madrid from 11 February 2021 . The first one covers the career of the Russian painter Alekséi von Jawlensky (1864-1941) from his origins and the beginning of his career in Munich to the transformation that his painting undergoes in Switzerland and his last years in the German city of Wiesbaden. As of June 4, the Sala Recoletos will host the exhibitions “Bill Brandt and Miró: Poem”, which shows, through twenty paintings, illustrated books and handwritten poems, the relationship that Joan Miró had with poetry.

And Madrid is shown well again, with a book. Madrid, by Andrés Trapiello, is the great book about the capital of Spain that few would have dared to write, and even less to propose as a journey between personal memory and the memory of those streets and those people. Madrid is the Aleph of the story, yes, the ineffable center of the more than five hundred pages in which the profiles and wonders of a geography are gathered and narrated. Strolling Madrid is living Madrid. Losing yourself in Madrid is finding yourself with the hidden Paradise of the secret. The hidden, what remains and lasts. Trapiello, like Galdós, makes Madrid a guide for the curious and an encyclopedia. From the sacred Rastro to the Costanilla de los Desamparados (what other city could I name a street with such melancholic meaning). The streets of Santa Isabel and Ave María. Madrid, like London, like Paris, like Rome is infinite for those who discover it. The description of Madrid de la Movida is already a novel within the book. Living a city is telling it. But tell it through one ,the city of each one. It will not be a secret city, but it will be discreet. Intimate. There are ten centuries of a city told through an innovative literary genre, in the final part of the book, the wonderful “Madrid Retales”, a historical journey with its kings, its architecture, its gastronomy, its music and theater, its characters, writers, politicians, their misunderstood cockiness, their chroniclers until they reached the unfortunate and humiliated Madrid of the coronavirus. A great book I ordered it. «Madrid» by Andrés Trapiello. Ensayo. Destino, 2020. 554 páges.Price: 24,90 euros.

The City Council of Madrid is given the Rebobinart project ‘Wallspot’ two spaces in Moratalaz and Puente de Vallecas so that urban artists can develop their work and plans to extend it if it is successful . This is not to my liking, it is graffiti. Madrid will join that list by making two municipal spaces available to the artistic collective on the avenue García Tapia -Moratalaz- and Calle Baltasar Santos -Puente de Vallecas- so that these artists can carry out activities and projects of an artistic and social nature that are linked to the territory, its inhabitants and local entities. The wall will be covered with bright paint!

For those joggers and walkers and I am not an expert just taken from my family and friends tells me and will let you know here.

In the Lozoya valley, offers you the ascent or descent from the Puerto de Cotos, border with the province of Segovia, until you reach the Monastery of El Paular . A marked path, in very good condition and over which black and griffon vultures fly all year round. The 14 km walk is of medium difficulty, with a moderate slope. Right!

Next to the car park by the city limits, the path begins, marked with white and red markings, which in a short distance reaches the Silla de Felipe II, from where the King contemplated the works of the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. If you return at this point, the walk in total is 3 km and a drop of about 90 meters. Those who want more walking, from the Silla de Felipe II you can continue the trace of the marks and reach Las Machotas for about 3.8 km in addition, from whose top you get one of the most recommended views of this part of the region.Go for it!!

And one of my favorite spots in Madrid ,has sublime views. The Temple of Debod, on the Paseo de Rosales , very close to the Plaza de España, is one of the most magical and romantic places to walk, especially at sunset. If you stand in front of it, the red, yellow and blue tones of the Madrid sky at sunset melt with the stones of this Egyptian temple that is more than two thousand years old. If you approach the Mirador ( lookout behind the temple), you will be able to see how the star sets behind the mountains of the Madrid sierra while its last rays illuminate the Royal Palace (to the left of the balcony), the jardines de Sabatini gardens and the magnificent Casa de Campo.

The global vacation rental search engine Holidu has developed a ranking with the most voted Spanish sweets and photographed by Instagram users. I could not agree more with the first place, one of my favorites. From granma to mom to wife we love it .Torrijas, had 84,698 mentions on the social network, the typical dessert of Spanish Holy Week has become the favorite of the Spanish thanks to its simplicity and low price when preparing it. You get a loaf of dry bread, milk, eggs and sugar. Whether it’s the classic recipe, soaked in wine, syrup, honey or syrup, the result is always delicious. Indeed, try it!

The announcement,this past September, of the fortuitous discovery of a 1634 edition of the play The Two Noble Gentlemen, by Shakespeare, at the University of Salamanca, which until now was considered the oldest edition preserved in Spain by the great English playwright , raised the hare in a school in Seville. And its director, Luis Rey Goñi, went through the two security doors of the San Francisco de Paula library to check the date of the offprint of The famous story of the life of King Henry VIII, also by Shakespeare but published two years earlier: in 1632. Until then, the work had remained unnoticed among the numerous collections of the Seville college library. The work had been hidden from the public eye since its acquisition. The library of the Colegio Internacional San Francisco de Paula houses this piece, which is the second edition of The Famous History of the Life of King Henry VIII, a play in English published in 1632. It was carefully kept in the center, which has an old special archive, with documents from the 13C to 18C. The San Francisco de Paula collection has about 60,000 copies, distributed between the library area and another deposit located outside the center. The oldest print that is kept there is from 1472. But there are also earlier manuscripts, such as one of Alfonso X’s Rolled Privileges dated 1256. Most of the volumes are in Spanish, English, French and Latin; although there are oddities in other languages like a manuscript from Burma (present-day Myanmar). The San Francisco de Paula International School of Seville is a private center, located in the historic center of the city, and was founded in 1886.The library of the center, called Francisco Márquez Villanueva in honor of one of the former students, has 12 classrooms where the “Silence” sign can be dodged if the motive is to debate.

A sun of justice received the guests who attended the celebration of the awarding of the Cervantes Prize to Francisco Brines at the poet’s farmhouse in Oliva, where he was born 88 years ago. He assured that he continues to write and read and is working on a new book entitled Where Death Dies, on whose subject he said he did not want to talk. The work brings together lyrical prose and poetry and has been in the making for years. The author of The Autumn of the Roses (National Prize for Literature) and academic of the RAE responded that he does not know if he will go to Alcalá de Henares to collect the award for health reasons. He also explained that with his foundation, based in the Elca farmhouse, which holds a library of about 30,000 volumes, he wants to pay a “tribute to poetry, because poetry apart from the aesthetic is a very illustrative path.” And he stressed that the Cervantes Prize shows that its current readers are the same in Galicia, Asturias, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Oliva, Valencia or Andalusia. And wherever a reader reads it and gets excited, his poetic voice will have arrived, and while that happens he will have a poetic voice in our world. Great poet indeed and well deserve.

I like to put his latest poetic work here in Spanish. “Donde muere la muerte, / porque en la vida tiene tan solo su existencia./ En ese punto oscuro de la nada/ que nace en el cerebro,/ cuando se acaba el aire que acariciaba el labio,/ ahora que la ceniza, como un cielo llagado,/ penetra en las costillas con silencio y dolor,/ y hay un adiós sin nadie, que se dirige a nadie,/ y un pañuelo mojado por las lágrimas se agita / hacia lo negro./ Beso tu carne aún tibia./ Fuera del hospital, como si fuera yo, recogido/ en tus brazos, / un niño de pañales mira caer la luz,/ sonríe, grita, y ya le hechiza el mundo/ que habrá de abandonarle./ Madre, devuélveme mi beso. »

And I will dare translate as best possible a poetry. Where death dies, / because in life it has only its existence / In that dark point of nothing / that is born in the mind, / when the caressing air that ends on the lip, / now that the ash, like a wounded sky, / penetrates the ribs with silence and pain, / and there is a goodbye with no one, which addresses no one, / and a handkerchief wet with tears is shaken / towards blackness / I kiss your still warm flesh / Outside the hospital, as if it were me, gathered / in your arms, / a child in diapers watches the light fall, / smiles, shouts, and the world is already enchanted / that will abandon him / Mother, give me my kiss back. Great me think.

And there you go folks, there is still Spain everything under the Sun. Ready to be back alive.

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

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November 17, 2020

Some news from France, CCCXX!

And even if news are sparse there are some anyway. Especially of the day favorite subject to some the wuhan, covid19 or coronavirus whichever name you like. It has been like the Olympics medal table with repeated brainwashing slogans, to be beware.

Let me bring you my latest some news from France in my opinion.

The garbage collectors and sewers of Paris start a social movement this Tuesday. You will see more abandoned trash cans!! And dirty streets for a while but who is counting hardly anybody is by there now!

While the Covid-19 crisis has boosted the unemployment rate by more than 14% in Paris, the City is preparing to launch its own recovery plan for employment, by investing half a billion euros aka welfare! Yes Paris has many poorer folks and even more from the last adminstration that spent their   money on trees! Since January 2020, the number of recipients of active solidarity income (RSA) has increased from 60,000 to nearly 70,000 in Paris. This is the poor threshold and aide to families sort like a welfare hand out.

In the dept 77 of Seine-et-Marne, the unemployment offices or Pôle emploi will remains open to stem the tide of new unemployed. As a result of the economic crisis triggered by the Covid pandemic, the number of registered unemployed in the department has jumped by more than 15% in one year! Oh yes…

Meanwhile the Catholic anger does not weaken. They protested again to demand the lifting of the ban on Masses in Bougival, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Rambouillet and Versailles. Oh yes big supermarkets are open but the churches are closed go figure the reasoning of this government is beyond me.

More than 2,000 migrants evacuated from a camp at the foot of the Stade de France. A large evacuation and sheltering operation started this past Tuesday morning at 7h or 7am. This is the 66th operation in five years in the department 93 of Seine Saint Denis. Ohh this is just the tip of the iceberg!

More on the pandemic , the legendary Gibert Jeune bookstore in Place Saint-Michel, will it be over soon!! The famous Latin Quarter store could go out of business in March 2021. Leaving thousands of students and Parisians orphans. Oh yes we will make all stores out of business in Paris! Of course, this is just one example but they are thousands. The library if it closes will be a big sad news for us.

And some famous names are reeling! Not all bosses are outspoken, but Ladurée is not the only company to find itself in a difficult situation. Fauchon, Lenôtre, Dalloyau, Angelina … the historic brands of French pastry, which also serve as a tea room or caterer, are faced with a multitude of obstacles. They all have beautiful names, but they will not all be able to get by so said many of them. In Paris and elsewhere, “street food” is essential, an Asian wave is sweeping, neighborhood grocery stores are flourishing, all at low prices . In this context, the prawns and rice pilaf with three peppers at 22 euros at Lenôtre (without specifying the origin of the products) or the club sandwich at 18 euros at Ladurée lose some of their super gloss. Indeed now you know what I mean, go inland into the country side to get the real French life not in Paris! There is a nice museum window shopping ::)

On the more economic views we have the big group winning again of course. After opposing the entry of the Total group among the sponsors of the 2024 Olympics, the mayor Anne Hidalgo (PS) of Paris should entrust it with the contract for the renovation and extension of electric charging stations. The Total group will take over the management/operations of the Autolib ’stations. After stopping the service, they were put back into operation at the end of 2018 by the City of Paris to satisfy owners of electric vehicles. Which of course with their little gadgets were left well unplug lol!

The Commerce and Industry business schools of Paris are among the best in France and the most coveted… and the most expensive. Their tuition fees have increased by 70% since 2007. At the ESSEC campus in Cergy (Val-d’Oise dept 95) ; the first year at this prestigious establishment costs more than 14,000 euros, while the following years exceed 18,000 euros.Oh yes these are private grand écoles idea of Napoléon and they are indeed expensive, sort of like the Ivy schools in the USA. The regular public universities are basically free!

And you are thinking of getting real pine trees for Christmas do as me get it locally. They will be scarce and not out yet at least in my neck of the woods. They have suffers the full brunt of the effects of confinement. It encourages consumers to buy their trees from florists who buy from local producers. ok

 A great thing finally coming home. By mutual agreement, the National Estate of France and the Château de Fontainebleau decided to repatriate 400 pieces of furniture that had their first life here before being used in ministries and at the Elysée Palace. Among the hundreds of pieces of furniture recovered are the armchairs delivered to the castle for Queen Hortense’s apartment at the beginning of the 19C. Yeah a lot has been move around especially what you see in museums!

Again in Fontainebleau, the Subsistances district will host housing, a university residence, shops and a hotel with a rooftop by 2025. A hotel, a university campus and housing will be built on a former site of the army, in the district of Bréau. At least something useful will come out of it, in Seine et Marne dept 77.

 More beautiful things are happening, this time at the Château de Versailles where the Royal Chapel is beginning to be shown from its huge renovation. The tarpaulin and the scaffolding installed in 2017 are being dismantled on this large-scale project!!! Yes!!!

And again staying in my dear Versailles, an auction to slip into Marie-Antoinette’s footsteps. Personal effects that belonged to the wife of Louis XVI are been put up at a price by the house of Osenat. The highlight of this sale, which will take place on this coming Sunday, is a particularly well-preserved queen’s shoe… auction organized by the Osenat house

And yes we have good olive oil here just not as good as in Spain in my opinion but right up there. In Haute-Provence, on either side of the wide and wild bed of the Durance river, the Domaine Salvator estate at Les Mées and the Notre-Dame de Ganagobie abbey, between Peyruis and Lurs, look at each other from afar. The monks are at the top of a steep hill. The landscape embraced by the abbey from the summit, at an altitude of 650 meters, is immense, especially upstream where the town of Sisteron can be seen. Les Mées has the reputation of the first town in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence by the number of olive trees, between 80,000 and 90,000 trees. The Aglandau olive dominates, which gives AOP Provence or Haute-Provence oils depending on the way it is worked. The beauty of Les Mées can be appreciated from afar when, driving towards the village, it is seen below its famous Penitents, a jagged cliff that looks like a line of hooded monks. The scenery is nice indeed and the olive oil can be found here:

Domaine Salvator: https://domainesalvator.fr/

Abbey of Notre Dame de Ganagobie: https://www.boutique-ganagobie.com/17-huile-d-olive_monastere_ganagobie

Get on the bandwagon nowdays, click and take ideas or take out food is the norm thanks to the wuhan virus covid19 or coronavirus as you wish. Paris is no different ,and we have it here too; some of my friends are telling me getting their food already done for pickup or delivery ;these are nice ideas

Coyo Taco – 128, rue Réaumur – 2éme.  Burger Theory – 11, boulevard des Filles-du-Calvaire – 3éme. Kitchen Paris – 74, rue des Gravilliers – 3éme.  Kozy Bosquet – 79, avenue Bosquet – 7éme.  Pépé Ronchon – 31, rue Saint-Lazare – 9éme.  Constantia – 94, rue des Martyrs – 18éme.

Good thing we do it too here and even got a click and pickup at my favorite wine store Nicolas in Vannes today !!

And how about that beef, yes we love beef and here we have some of the best too just need to know where to look ! Give you our favorite!

It is in Laguiole, at an altitude of 1,000 meters, that the family farm has developed, following a 120-year-old tradition. There, the animals benefit from five-star treatment in buildings meeting high-tech standards: misting, massaging brushing, 12 m2 box lined with straw, classical music, everything is done to ensure that the time they spend outside the Aubrac highlands – where they have been carried out on foot and by hand since their birth – be as pleasant as possible. the meat produced at Ferme des Vialars is of unparalleled quality. Matured for 15 days and pleasantly marbled, it owes its taste to the aromatic palette contained in the mountain hay which cows feed on, and the Bleu-Blanc-Cœur certification it enjoys ensures a subtle balance in Omega 3 and Omega 6. In delivery via Internet in all the towns and villages of France, Aubracatable products are also in the spotlight on the tables of La Maison de l’Aubrac, an address well known to Parisian meat lovers. We get it here too! The farm is at https://www.la-ferme-des-vialars.com/

And if close by in Paris, the place is here : https://www.maison-aubrac.com/

And that is all for now folks ,hoping for better times and better things to do and see in my belle France.

PS. today I got a no reservation from a hotel in Bélves as was trying to book it to see a contact made in wordpress with a salon de thé resto there. Due to been restricted by the virus, hope still there it will end soon. You may have cross them here and I am in contact in Facebook. They started out from Lille and they are British. Their facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/planchesetplonk/

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

November 17, 2020

Guidel Plage ,a hidden gem in the Morbihan!!!

In here I go again, is a hard task but wonderful rewards of revising and updating old posts some with new links and some old photos still in them. I now, take you to a beach town of Guidel Plage in my Morbihan!

I am indeed lucky to have so much wonderful places to see near home on a car trip away. Bretagne is indeed beautiful and you should find out as I have. And when you say Morbihan, well you will be delighted as I am.

We drove from Vannes after doing our errands for the day on the , N165 is just about 67 kms or about 42 miles, you get off on the D306 at Guévén and follow direction Guidel on the same road D306 until passing by city center and then follow panels Guidel Plage and finally Le Port, Plages. Easy parking by the harbor or port area with plenty of restos.

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If you do not have a car, coming from Paris Montparnasse by train to Lorient and there take bus no 10 to Guidel and Guidel Plage. webpage:https://www.ctrl.fr/mes-lignes/lignes-regulieres

We past once again by city center on the wonderful Church Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul. The area has an exhaustive listing of chapels and megaliths stones mostly tumulus all over!  

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The Port or harbor area has excellent gallery of painters and plenty of restos and bars with the bay behind them; there is a walking trail of the Laîta river just alongside the bay by the resto Laîta Café Brasserie.  There is a beach ( Plage du Bas Pouldu)  right in front on the other side of the wall separating it from the Guidel Marina or boat pleasure marina which is very nice indeed. Port marina webpage: https://www.ports-paysdelorient.fr/en/harbours/guidel-marina

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The beach by the port is Plage du Bas Pouldu, and it has a nice sandy space starting from the wall of the port pleasure marina to the left for several hundred meters. Then, if you follow the road along the ocean , you come to the plage de la Falaise , simply rival any anywhere, several hundred meters ,bigger and wider on a strip of land with a wonderful dune ,the Dune du Pouldu. Plenty of water sports and children playground here.

Goes without saying ,this is a truly family beach, with all amenities even a shopping center right on it . There is surfing and beach shops as well as ice cream parlor and restos. We decided to have lunch here. La Moule qui Saoûle, friendly service even late and we had our Grimbergen blonde beers with bretonne pizzas and moules à curry or mussels in curry sauce as well as a huge calzone , and expresso coffee to finish all for 16.60€ per person.::). webpage: https://lamoulequisaoule.com/

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We then took a walk on the beach or plage de la Falaise , wonderful feeling that in summer this can be heaven anywhere. I have been to many beaches in the world and born 6 kms from one, but this one can compare to any.  There are several nice beaches along the ocean here.

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My fav plages tv webpage for beaches in France, here on the Guidel beaches: https://en.plages.tv/detail/falaise-beach-guidel-56520

The city tourist office of Guidel and its heritage: https://www.guidel.com/decouvrir-guidel/fiche-didentite/patrimoine-architetctural-et-naturel/

The Lorient South Brittany tourist office on Guidel: https://www.lorientbretagnesudtourisme.fr/fr/immanquables/guidel/

There you go a nice beach town with plenty for the whole family, really a beach resort with beautiful white sandy beaches in season heavens! Hope you enjoy the updated Guidel plages!

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

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November 17, 2020

Meaux and the Cathédrale St Etienne!!!

And voilà , I have to update revise change pictures on this very dear place. One of the first monuments I saw in France, and the first since 1990. That is the year I married a girl from Meaux, and she took me here first inside and on the Bossuet garden behind it. A romantic walk that today is even more dear as do not have with me this lady due to the bad cancer. Martine will always be with me and her city is very dear as well as the Cathédrale Saint Etienne de Meaux!

 

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For reference, the Bossuet Garden was created in the 17C, under the episcopate of Dominique Séguier, in line with the French formal gardens and has a symmetrical shape reminiscent of a bishop’s miter. The locals swear the creation of the garden to a young André Le Nôtre.

I had 3 posts on it with different pictures and rather than update each, will condense into just one post. It will be my reference post to the cathedral and hoping you will like it and visit when possible. It is one of the dandies in all of France.

I was last there in December 2018 after her passing went to see the family who still lives in villages around Meaux, and of course needed to stop the city with my sons. My visit to my beloved city of Meaux, brings back many wonderful happy moments. The St Stephen Cathedral of Meaux is what is  one of the great Gothic Cathedrals of France.

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The St Stephen Cathedral was built over a long period from 1170 to 1560; and is one of the best example of Gothic art in France. At the beginning it was built similar to the Cathedral of Evreux in Normandy; than came the war with the English and work stopped as the city was occupied from 1422 to 1439.  The north tower (60 meters high) was built but not the south tower between 1505 and 1540.   The Cathedral is 279 feet or 85 meters long by 98 feet or 30 meters wide and 187 feet or 48 meters high small compare to other Gothic Cathedrals. You see wonderful sculpture timpani on the western side dedicated to St John the Baptist to the Virgin Mary on the south and the Last Judgment in the center. The transept facades are dedicated to the life of St Stephen (fr. St Etienne). In the interior the decorations are very high and well noted the tomb of Bishop Bossuet, from 1682-1704. He was the personal confessor of king Louis XIV and was known as the Eagle of Meaux for his help of the city. From 1834 to 1914 a big restoration project was undertaking as the stone of Varreddes were found to be weak in holding the weight.

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It has many things to see but the most remarkable are the stained glass of the Crucifixion (14C), the grand Rosary window (15C), a wonderful organ (17C). In the south Chapel you see the funerary stone of Jean Rose and his wife, also the tomb in stone of Jacques Bénigne Bossuet on the south side of the choir, the Eagle of Meaux.  There is a cabinet room of work of Bishop Bossuet built in 1670, it is along fig trees promenade along the old ramparts.  There is even a Rose name after him or simply the Rose Bossuet and planted in the garden since 2004.

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A bit more on the latest history and construction:

In 1317, the king of France Philippe V along donated a plot to build two additional radiant chapels. Around 1331-1335, a bourgeois of Meaux, Jean Rose (today a boulevard name after him) , financially supported the construction of the last lateral chapel to the right of the nave. In 1335, King Philip VI allowed the extension of the nave of three bays, the latter, located to the west of the cathedral. The work resumed in 1390, with the construction of the left part of the first three bays; the construction site lasts until 1410. The first three bays of the nave were completed only during the second half of the 15C. Further work still follows: the fourth and fifth spans of the nave are modified to display the flamboyant style at the end of the 15C. The North tower was finally completed following a long campaign ranging from 1505 to 1540. As for the North Gate, it was completed before 1506. The same goes for the first north side chapel of the nave. Most of the stained glass windows were executed in the 19C and are therefore of recent construction. Some stained glass windows date back to the 14C, like the one at the back of the altar.

The main figure here and also one of the better known in French history was  Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet (1627-1704) was the most famous of the bishops of Meaux. Particularly renowned for his eloquence, he preached repeatedly before the king and the court and was even instructed to instruct the Dauphin, son of Louis XIV, for ten years. In 1681, he obtained the Siege of Meaux, which had the advantage of being close enough to Paris and of Versailles to allow it to maintain its ties with the court, while ensuring the direction of his diocese. It was also dubbed the Eagle of Meaux as opposed to Fénelon, the “Swan of Cambrai”, whose style was more suave. The two prelates are fought on the question of “quietism”, a mystical approach to the divinity of which Bossuet obtained the condemnation. He was one of the most ardent proponents of the conversion of Protestants, imposed by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. In the context of the administration of his diocese, Bossuet sought to combat anything which, in his view, threatened the greetings from the faithful. He was fiercely hostile to the puppets and the dance that distracted his flock.   Comparing his condemnation with the position of the Church towards the actors like what happened to Molière’s death at the same time.

After a slow and painful agony, Bossuet dies in a house currently located at 46 Rue Bossuet in Paris on April 12, 1704 of the formation of kidney stone disease. The funeral services were done at the Church of Saint Roch in Paris.  The Cathedral of Meaux houses the tomb of Bossuet, located near the high altar, as well as two monuments in white marble erected in memory of the famous bishop. The most imposing of these sculptures, installed in 1911 in the north side of the nave, at the top of a pedestal flanked by four characters: Henriette de France, for which Bossuet did the funeral prayers of the Dauphin of which he was the Bossuet teacher , Louise de La Valliere, mistress of Louis XIV who entered the convent of Carmel on the advice of Bossuet and Turenne; converted by Bossuet . On the reverse is also carved a bust in medallion, with the inscription Rocroi ;   showing the event of the Prince of Condé who won the Battle of Rocroi in 1643 under the influence of Bossuet.

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There is a museum Bossuet on his story and that of the city of Meaux and the Cathedral very nice and worth going in. This time I arrive late but a nice night shot looks very nice me think. Right behind the Cathedral in what was the episcopal palace and also has nice gardens jardin Bossuet! Enjoy it; the webpage: https://www.musee-bossuet.fr/

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The Cathédrale Saint-Étienne has a wonderful organ and concerts are regularly held here. The original organ dates from the 17C and the buffet is from 1627 and was one of the most important of its time.  At the end of the 18C renovations are done by the most important names in organ construction. In 1985, the instrument is again renovated in deep traction and puts it at 33 keys on 2 keyboards. It continues renovation to the 67 keys and 5 keyboards on a metal belt. A fantastic acoustic Cathedral and great organ indeed.

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Some of the famous who have relation to the Cathedral of St Stephen are:

Saint Denis (3C) : First bishop of Paris who came to evangelisize in the meldois city (the original celtic tribe that gave the name to Meaux)  in the Roman period risking his life. He was beheaded in 260 in the mount of mars that became Montmartre.  Sainte Geneviève (423-502 or 512, according to different sources) : Patron Saint of Paris. Ordered built a Church on the tomb of Saint Denis. Owner of lands in the Brie region, came several times to Meaux. Saint Faron (†669) : Bishop of  Meaux  in the 7C.  His relics at at nearby La Ferté-sous-Jouarre (77). Saint Fiacre (7C) : Monk and warrior of Irish descend and the patron saint of gardeners.  He was welcome by Saint Faron  that offered him land in the Brie region on the site of Breuil (Broilum), near Meaux, to built a monastery. Philippe de VITRY (1291-1361) : poet and musician, theologician of the Ars Nova ;bishop of Meaux  from 1351  until his death in 1361.  The before mentioned ; Jacques-Bénigne BOSSUET (1627-1704) : men of the Church, predicator, and writer; bishop of  Meaux  from 1682-1704.  He participated in the writing of the  Déclaration des Quatre Articles (1682) about the liberties of the Church and author of  Sermons sur la mort(1662), Oraisons funèbres(1669, 1670, 1683, 1685 and 1687, the most famous of speeches about death), Histoire des variations des Églises protestantes (1688), and Discours sur l’histoire universelle (1681) , and Politique tirée de l’Écriture sainte (posthumously in 1709). Sébastien de BROSSARD (1655-1730) : theologician composer and librarian ; author of the first dictionary of music in the French language (Dictionnaire de musique, 1703) ; chapel master in the Cathedral under the bishory of  BOSSUET ,and Cardinal de BISSY (1657-1737), bishop of Meaux  from 1705 to his death in 1737.

At the end you can easily come from Paris here and make a one day event. Meaux is ,also, very close to Disneyland Paris for another option. You can come here straight from Gare de l’Est or Paris-Est train station to the train station or gare de Meaux, very nice. Also, visiting Disneyland Paris  Marne la Vallée Chessy Sud by bus Transdev bus 19 from the Meaux train station webpage: https://www.transdev-idf.com/ligne-19/serris-meaux/067-032

Also ,from the gare de Meaux take bus 69 to shopping center mall Val d’Europe and there is a shuttle to Disneyland. webpage: https://www.transdev-idf.com/ligne-69/meaux-serris/067-074

The RER A takes you to Marne la ValléeChessy and bus 19 to Meaux or vice versa.  The time on bus is less than an hour and on the express 19 can be as little as 27 minutes according to the bus sites. Just extra for info on those on public transports, of course with a car is a breeze about 20 minutes on following signs for Marne la Vallée on the A4 exit/sortie 3 follow again Marne la Vallée and Val d’Europe you passed the village of Esbly before reaching Disneyland, free and no traffic! Hope it helps.

The tourist office of the country of Meaux on the Cathedral: https://www.tourisme-paysdemeaux.com/index.php/en/3416-cathedrale-saint-etienne

The city of Meaux on the Cathedral: https://www.ville-meaux.fr/fr/tourisme/balade-a-meaux/la-cathedrale.html

The tourist board of dept 77 Seine et Marne on the Cathedral: https://tourisme.seine-et-marne-attractivite.fr/727346-cathedrale-basilique-saint-etienne?private

Definitively you need to see it and come back to tell me about it. Cathédrale Saint Etienne or St Stephen’s Cathedral of Meaux. A magical place even for visitors as to me is sublime!

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

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November 17, 2020

Fontainebleau royal and imperial castle of France!!!

And voilà doing my updates/revisions of old posts in my blog I stumbled onto Fontainebleau. Oh well this is nostalgic, happy and sad for me, a personal post.

This is a wonderful castle in a very nice town in department 77 Seine-et-Marne; Fontainebleau , royal and imperial castle town of France. It was my first castle visited in France ever going back to 1990 when the one that became my wife who introduce me to her region. However, this was my first entry of the Château de Fontainebleau in my blog, after there were many more.

The first time my then girlfriend was driving, and not so much into driving (she learned from me!) she tried to impressed me by driving to Fontainebleau in 1990. Well she got lost!! I had to look at the map and guide her into town! Her excuse is she came by train and grandfather driving! Oh well, leave it to the road warrior. Always a nice family discussion, gently..

This occasion, in 2015 , we arrive by car with me driving! Knowing the construction, came by the A6 and cut off at the D637 connect just north of Barbizon with the D607 to Fontainebleau. The parking was done at our usual place almost empty in parking chateau across from the castle at place Général de Gaulle. And we walk from there all over.

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As we arrived early , we went by the city and then the gardens and then the castle. This is a huge property not enough to do one blog entry on it, but anyway , I always leave the intrigue for you, giving you a bit to tell you without given the end of the movie. OR read my further posts on it…

We walked along bd Magenta and bd du Maréchal Juin, and up Rue de France, along rue Dénecourt that continues to Rue Grande up to rue Aristides Briand into place du Général Patton. Back to bd du Maréchal Joffre back to ave de Verdun into rue de la Paroisse, and rue Victor Hugo and rue des Sablons all wonderful full of shops, restos, bars etc. Do not felled tired at all, looking at the marvelous architecture and history panels on some.

We briefly saw the church Saint Louis,this time, and came into the jardin de Diane by the back of the castle and out into the Place d’Armes. Then finally , we hit for lunch! We went to one we had not been as usually we came by the day and had our meals at family nearby. This time in town all day, we ate at the Au Délice Imperial at 1 Rue Grande. They have a huge dessert center where 3 pastry chefs change each day the menu of this house founded in 1889. At the side of the restaurant, there is a small fast food place for sandwiches etc, and you can take home too. We had several beers, coffees, two desserts for each, milk shake, tagliatelle bolognaise, burger dish, and 3 roasted pork dishes all for 23.75€ per person. webpage: https://www.le-delice-imperial-fontainebleau.fr/

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We, therefore, had the energy to hit the Château de Fontainebleau inside and out , but rather quickly this time.  You entered the grand grill door and to the ticket office. We did not purchase in advance as wanted the full tourist feel of the place. The entry was easy , behind this building you have the English garden.  you walk inside all along the rooms into the fountain courtyard or place de la fontaine with the horseshoe on the other side of the building and in front of the carp lake which has adjoining the grand parterre. Inside the golden gate you come into the Oval courtyard and beyond the cour des offices.  Outside facing the Diana garden  you have canopy building and a passage way to the main courtyard, here is the jeu de paume, the oldest in France.

The Chinese museum is exotic, the Napoléon I museum is fantastic, the new Pope’s apartments are interesting, as well as the grand or large apartments and the Madame Maintenon apartments are nice.  You see the small apartments and the Josephine ‘s private apartments.  All the way in the back past the grand parterre you have the White Gate and the city and the town of Avon. In all a wonderful castle you should see it, a must while visiting France.

We notice on the way out a building with some folks in and out, on our right hand side going out. This is the Friends of Fontainebleau office, folks donating and helping out to keep this property what it is a grand of France and Europe, the World. We became members, I am still on a family deal.

The official Château de Fontainebleau: https://www.chateaudefontainebleau.fr/en/

The city of Fontainebleau on the castle: https://www.fontainebleau.fr/seduisante/fontainebleau-ville-imperiale-aux-portes-de-paris/la-vraie-demeure-des-rois-la-maison-des-siecles-524.html

The tourist office of Fontainebleau on the castle: https://www.fontainebleau-tourisme.com/en/discover-the-region/patrimoine-2/the-chateau-a-grand-history-book-of-france/

The official Friends of the Château de Fontainebleau org: https://www.amischateaufontainebleau.org/

And there you go folks, memories for me, grandeur for my France,and hopefully beautiful moments for you. Fontainebleau is the history of France, Europe, and the World all in one. A must to visit when possible.

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

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