Archive for November 19th, 2020

November 19, 2020

Quiberon, peninsula, gorgeous Morbihan!!!

So bear with me in continuing to update, revise and load pictures that are more relevant to my older posts. Hope you have followed along and enjoy the revisions as much as I.

I bring you now to the favorite spot in my region Quiberon. If I can only retire there !!

Folks come here from all the corners of France, the favorite spot according to several travel publication and the local tourist authority. It is, also, very well frequented by foreigners such as British, German, Irish etc etc. It is a peninsula or presqu’île just about 45 minutes from my house driving south to the Atlantic ocean. This is Quiberon.

I have written several posts on it which you can find just by going to the search section in front right side of my blog and typing Quiberon. It is so much to see around here that sometimes I think I take too long and coming to a spot, and so it has been the case with Quiberon. On a long weekend off, it was time to revisit the peninsula and take the leisure drive down D768 to a short ride on the N165 and back again on the D768 straight down Quiberon on the “normal” road or take the more exciting Côte sauvage along the ocean cliff hanging walls.

The town has 11 beaches !!yes! and even on cool days like now it has plenty of family visitors with kids playing in the sands. These beaches are call grande plage (the best),plage du Goviro, plage du Conguel, plage de la Jument, plage de l’Aérodrome, plage du Fort Neuf,  plage du Porigo, plage de Kermorvan, plage du Castéro, plage de la  Thalasso, and plage de Saint Julien. Plages tv webpage on the beaches: https://en.plages.tv/seaside-resorts/quiberon-56170

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There are ,also, a lighthouse at the end call the Phare de la Teignouse. And, there is another lighthouse by the grande plage in the port maria area with a green top.

You have trails upon trails of bike rides on wonderful coastal beach areas all over the peninsula. A great fortress now a military outpost but historical place of sad memories of WWII , and harbor marinas all over like Port Haliguen where you have another nice lighthouse. See , also, the nice Church or Église Notre-Dame de Locmaria.

The Port Haliguen harbor webpage: https://www.passeportescales.com/fr/port-haliguen-quiberon

The promenade along the ocean is wonderful any day of the year even in winter as we have done.  A walk along the Esplanade Hoche  or Place Hoche is nice near the grande plage beach and our best resto area as well as parking Varquez.  And do not forget the fisherman depot where the local fish catch comes in every morning and you get all fresh right there, the Cooperative Maritime Du Sud Morbihan at 2 Quai d’Houat.

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From the boat terminal or gare maritime you can see some wonderful islands especially do not miss Belle-île-en-Mer, the biggest out in the Atlantic ocean! Island tourist office webpage: https://www.belleileenmer.co.uk/

Of course, we could not spent a day without trying a resto even if close to home. We stopped by Le Bistrot du Port right almost across the boat passenger terminal or gare maritime. Very nicely serve all decorated like a boatyard and cozy tables inside with a small terrace in front. We had some beers just to enjoy the ambiance as decided not so hungry and home is near anyway. We had a selection of Breton beers from my favorite Duchesse Anne. webpage: http://bistrotduport-quiberon.fr/

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The tourist office of the Bay of Quiberon on Quiberon: https://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/quiberon

You will be delighted to come to this ocean beach heaven of the Morbihan, my best place and you are welcome!

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

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November 19, 2020

Josselin, and the Rohans!!

And here I stubbornly continue updating my blog with fresh text,and new links with necessary pictures not elsewhere on individual posts. Hope you are enjoying what I call my black and white posts. This time I take you closer to home and Josselin.

Ok so I was sitting at home and as usual late deciders ,last minute travelers, we remember Josselin, a nice town not far from us about 60 km that we enjoy it’s medieval look city center. So there we went for the afternoon. Many of the pics are in their individual post as not to repeat.

Josselin has a nice castle,  puppet/doll  museum , nice basilica and wonderful lovely inner street with wooden houses of old. A perfect getaway for a day any time. I have written before and after, so won’t go so deep into it.

We took the car went up the D768 to hook up with the N24 and away we went direction Rennes to Josselin nord exit, on the way back we took the same exit out into the N24 but we took the D767 exit at Locminé so we do our groceries shopping at Moréac Intermarché supermarket! More here: https://www.intermarche.com/magasins/04854/moreac-56500/infos-pratiques

Today, was European Heritage days Sept 17 and 18, so the admission to all these places like the castle was either free or discounted.At the chateau de Josselin normal admission is 9 euros today it was 5€. The combination with the Puppet/Doll  museum kept by the same family as the castle was discounted also, and offered a 2×1 deal for 10€ when normally it is 14€ per person. As you should know this is a historical castle for the Bretons and still in private hands: Josselin, 14th Duke of Rohan, and his wife, Antoinette, own and manage the property. webpage: https://www.chateaudejosselin.com/en/homepage/

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Next imposing building to see is the Basilique Notre Dame du Roncier, in 808D leyend has it, a farmer who worked the land finds a statue of the Virgin and takes it home, however, the Virgin always comes back to the place where he found it ,and several times as well. The bishop ask him to rend a cult in her memory ; the daughter of the farmer who was blind recovered her sight and people flock to the place until finally a Church is ordered built. More in French from the parish page: https://sanctuaire-josselin.fr/de-808-a-2018/

Another interesting pleasant promenade and river boat ride can be had in the Nantes-Brest Canal that passes by the city and just on the back of the Castle along the river Oust. The walks behind the castle are sublime and the boat rides magnificents, also plenty of canoe and kayak activites here. More here: https://www.broceliande-vacances.com/decouvrir/discover-broceliande/

The walks on the city center are marvelous and you can see the oldest wooden house there from 1538 (maison Pouille now the tourist office)  . The district of Sainte-Croix has wonderful homes along the river Oust; the wonderful cinema Beaumanoir is great architecturally and a change from the modern look of cinemas today; see a movie here is gorgeous. More here: http://www.cinemajosselin.fr/

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There, is also, a Chapelle Sainte Croix small chapel facing the castle, and the chapelle de la Congrégation now use for expositions etc. There is a laundry behind the castle by the parking on the boat rides in rue du canal. It is label the Lavanderie.

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Every Saturday at Place Notre Dame by the Basilica ,you have the market day from 8h to 13h very colorful and good produce.  Josselin is also, a Petite Cités de Caractére (small town of charm).  It is, also, a village fleuri de France with 4 flowers out of five possible; as well as a town of stage or village d’étape.

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Village d’étapes offering great service to the visitor label from French government entity. http://: https://www.village-etape.fr/en/villages-etapes/josselin/

Villes et Villages Fleuris , show respect for the environment and great gardens and parks criteria. https://www.villes-et-villages-fleuris.com/les-communes-labelisees/parcs-et-jardins-josselin/21834

Petite Cités de Caractére, small towns with charm label, more here: http://www.petitescitesdecaractere.com/fr/nos-petites-cites-de-caractere/josselin

The city of Josselin and its heritage: http://www.josselin.com/decouvrir/visiter-josselin/

And this folks is nice medieval, gorgeous architecture and history as Josselin. Hope you enjoy it as I do always coming here.

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

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November 19, 2020

Theix-Noyalo in my Morbihan!

So this was actually two towns when I came here to my lovely Morbihan dept 56 of my beautiful Bretagne. Later they were combine into one and had little written on it so here is a fresh new text with some older photos for you on the new town of Theix-Noyalo. Hope you enjoy it!

We took a ride again to the simple village town of Theix near Vannes along the road N165.  Theix is a former primitive parish to which the parishes of Treffléan should be added with its truce of Bizole and Saint-Nolff , except the detached part of Elven. In the middle ages, several Lordships occupy the territory of Theix, the main of which are Le Plessis-Josso, Salarun and Bonervaud. The existence of a place-called  Graz-Iliz bears the trace of a primitive Church whose owner is unknown to us. Theix enters, as Surzur, in the temporal fief of the Bishop of Vannes and stays there until the French revolution. Theix is crossed by the road  N165 from Vannes to Nantes, is bounded to the north by Treffléan and Saint-Nolff, to the west by Vannes and Séné, to the south by Noyalo and Surzur, to the east by the Gorvello and Sulniac. Recently Theix has merged with the another small town of Noyalo and now officially Theix-Noyalo. The town is about 45 minutes from our house!

Upon entering the town the first thing we head out was the Chapelle Notre Dame la Blanche, built in 1239 and rebuilt in 1536, by the Lords of Salarun and restored in the 18C, in 1878, in 1911 and in 1982.  The pits of the frame are carved and carry a long inscription from the 16C giving the names of the various people who contributed to the construction of the Chapel in a rectangular fashion,it has two entrance door one on the southside dates from 1742 and the other one from the 16C with a key door adorn with a figurine in stone. It include a nave, a transept with one arm to the north, and a flat bedside choir. The basement of the south wall is all that remains of primitive construction. Many animal figures, sticks, a cherub and a Virgin Mary are still in place on the gable of the bedside. The sacristy is added in 1730. The ensemble is Flamboyant in style: a pretty door to the south is stamped with the mutilated coat of arms of the Salarun . The southern gate is carved with a hug with flowers and cherubs and dates from the 16C. The altarpiece of the high altar, preceded by a grid of communion in iron of the 19C, dates from 1698. The altarpiece in stone and black marble, accumulates on two levels, garlands, pots on fire, drops of flowers and modillions. In the Center is a painting of the coronation of the Virgin as the triumph of Mary, the lateral niches are home to a Virgin and Child and an unidentified Saint. A 17C homo ecce is located at the top of the altarpiece. On either side, two medallions were hammered. The Virgin of Pity or Pietà, in polychrome stone, dates from the 16C. It has a cadran  on top of a bull dating from 1782. A nice back or chevet finished at the same time as the choir in 1698. Inside there are like 18 statues from the 15C and onwards.

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Next , we walked over the Church Sainte Cécile ; dating from the gothic period which made it go back to the 12C at least, and perhaps even the 11C.  The chapel of the left wing had been rebuilt in 1700, and was under the term of Saint Isidore.It went over many rénovations in the 17C and 18C ; rebuilt between 1852-55 in the Romanesque or Gothic, which is restored in the 17-18C  ,and many interior renovation from 1880 to 1900. The painting titled “Décollation de Sainte Catherine”, dates from the 17C. The furniture like the  pulpit, the altarpieces of the lateral altars and several statues including that of St. Cecilia dates from the 19C. The statue of St. Cecilia was placed, in 1895, in the niche of the tower. Done in the style of a Latin Cross ,the stained glass dates from 1883. The lateral altars are dedicated to the Sacred Heart and the Rosary. At the bottom of the nave stands a square tower, in beautiful size stones, surmounted by a polygonal arrow.  Dedicated to Sainte Cécile the patron Saint of Musicians, it has a statue of Her in the tower niche dating from 1895.  Inside it has many relics from the Sainte.

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We continue our journey on the road D7 along nice country into the picturesque village of Le Gorvello ,part of Sulniac, and a re visit to the Café owns by Americans from Chicago who is also a chambre d’hôte rental hotel (this has since been sold but the theme remains the same).  Here, we first went to take a look at the Church St Jean Baptiste or St John the Baptist.  It is the work of the hospitaliers of St John the Baptist of Jérusalem as the current Church replaces a primitive Chapel in the 16C. Many additions since and for the reason of the chapels that comes out from the main body as seen from the exterior. Inside it has the Statues of St Marc and St Isidore, the patron Saints of laborers;nice again closed in summer vacation crazy France.

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Parrish of Elven on the Gorvello St John the Baptist Church here: https://doyenne-elven.com/patrimoine-le-gorvello/

Our journey took us to briefly visit the Château Le Plessis-Josso just up the road D7, and then D183.  This is a well preserved castle and still partially inhabited by the descendants.  It tells the history of Brittany in the middle ages and thereafter. Built in the 15C by the Josso family attach to the house of the Dukes of Brittany. The family Rosmadec comes into it in the 17C and enlarged it giving it the current look. It has ,also, serve as the residence of many Bishops of Vannes. Official castle webpage: http://www.plessis-josso.com/

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The city of Theix-Noyalo on its heritage: https://www.theix-noyalo.fr/culture-loisirs-tourisme/patrimoine-decouvrir/

And there you go folks another dandy road warrior run in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne in my belle France. Sublime! You are welcome!

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

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November 19, 2020

Saint Marie/St Martin de Ré in the Île de Ré!!!

Now this was a pleasant surprise the first time there, this trip. Back in 2016 we decided to take a different vacation as one event was happening;:;;; the 2016 European Nations Cup were held in France! and the training ground for the national team of Spain was you guess right, Sainte Marie de Ré in the Ïle de Ré island!! So we went there period!

The Île de Ré is a nice wonderdul island , the fourth largest on metropolitan France! It is in the Charente Maritime dept 17 of the new region of Nouvelle Aquitaine

I have written before of La Rochelle, where my oldest son studied and we have visited several times. Ile de Ré been just on the other side was not our wish, but due to the National team of Spain staying there while the Euro16 European football/soccer Championship going on in France, we decided to take a look. Nice  surprise especially on St Martin de Ré.

The ride was nice and we got up early leaving by 6H or 6AM taking the N165 direction airport of Nantes ,Nantes-Atlantique, then Bordeaux on the toll A10, and then La Rochelle on the A83 then  exit 7 to  the D237 , N11  and continuing to Ile de Ré  and then in the island on the D735 and D201 and D103. Coming back we took a more quaint trip going all the way on the D137  passing by the wine region of Clisson into the beltway or périphérique of Nantes into the N844 and then N165 home. The morning ride was foggy and cool at 10C and then the day went up into sunny and 24C as well as 21C on the way back.

The other nice thing of the road trip was crossing the the bridge linking the Mainland with the island, the Le Pont de Ré, magnificent and 8€ roundtrip toll in winter. webpage: http://www.pont-ile-de-re.com/

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I went straight to the Atalante Thalasso hotel in Sainte Marie de Ré where the Spanish team was staying and to my upsetting disappointment the whole was block by police ,gendarmerie with wagon and steel barriers all even before reaching the hotel!!! We settle for a hola at a distance! For reference webpage: https://relaisthalasso.com/atalante/

We console ourselves with a walking tour of the town of Sainte Marie de Ré.  There is decent Church of Ste Marie de Ré, (see post) a typical nice quaint market day by place d’Antioche; we had our breads at boulangerie maison Marin, right there, we walked to the dunes at Plage de Montamer, rocky and good for on foot fishing with some white sandy sections.

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Good to insert here the tourist office of the Ile de Ré things to do: https://www.holidays-iledere.co.uk/what-to-see-and-do

We move on to Saint-Martin-de-Ré a bigger town and nicer, nice surprise should be a nice stop for all. Here we went straight for the Stadium stade Marcel Gaillard  where Spain was to train during the Euro16. Again ,another disappointment as the stadium was under security not even parking in the parking area, all cover the fences with a mesh to avoid the view in. Due to the terrorist condition the bus comes on training time and leave again, very difficult to see unless you camp out according to the security guard on duty…..Some things have not change. The stadium is home of the AS Rethaise football team: https://www.fff.fr/la-vie-des-clubs/3705/terrains-du-club

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We again has to settle for a walking tour of the town. We found parking by Vauban near the Citadelle , first hour free and then for the day 6€. This was a nice surprise as it has wonderful Vauban citadelle fortifications that you can go in into the inner yards of the enclosure, but not Inside as it is now a prison. The Ïle de Ré tourist office on the Citadelle of St Martin de Ré: https://www.holidays-iledere.co.uk/discover-ile-de-re/places-of-interest/the-fortifications-of-saint-martin-de-re

A webpage on the Vauban fortifications and the Citadelle of St Martin de Ré in English: http://www.sites-vauban.org/Saint-Martin-de-Re,748

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All along the border a wonderful view of the sea and views of the other smaller island the île d’Aix. There is a quaint lighthouse red (phare toit rouge) there and a wonderful harbor for pleasure boats into the center of the town.

By now we were hungry and mostly thirsty so without any real choosing I told the gang to eat at Le Phare resto pizzeria by 4 Quai de Bernonville facing the habor, and it was a 10. We ate in the terrace just next to the water, with a friendly fishing dog that no fear of going into the water! the service was fast and friendly and we had our usual mussels or moules au curry and Rochefort with pizzas, great Leffe beers and desserts like the rice pudding in caramel sauce with express coffee to finish all for 36€ per person, a bit high but good considering you are in a very touristic  island! Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/French-Restaurant/Le-Phare-Bar-Lounge-Restaurant-%C3%AEle-de-r%C3%A9-222568304547053/

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We move on to the inner city, visiting the Church Saint Martin, (see post) with gothic ruins (from Normans invasions)  in the middle of the high city to be seen from the harbor. Today the oldest part dates from the 15C  on the walls on both sides of the high towers in ruins.  The belltower has a square tower and has three bells, such as the Marie Thérèse, the big one that sounds, the  Charles Catherine , the medium one, and the  Marie Pierre Michel Samuel Augustine , the smallest sound.

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The refreshing busy town and the quaint harbor, pleasure marina ,and citadelle and great ambiance by the wharfs was a great surprise and a good consolation for missing out on the Spanish team. It would be a great vacation area combining it with beach there and sights additional at La Rochelle or even further north at Rochefort-en-Mer.

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The Île de Ré has other spots such as Loix, La Flotte, Rivedoux-Plage,Ars en Ré, Saint-Clément-des-Baléines, and Phare des Baléines , as well as Les Portes en Ré passing a natural reserve area.

Another wonderful spot in my belle France, but they are so many ,can go nuts trying to see them all lol!!!

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

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