Archive for January, 2021

January 23, 2021

Galerie Vivienne and République, Paris !!!

And the saga continuos with love and care of these wonderful old posts that I have come to life and me rejoicing with pleasure of seeing them again, and of course, thanks to you my dear readers over these last 10 years plus. Hope you enjoy this one from 2016 in my eternal Paris!

For those new to my blog, I used to worked in Paris for about 9 years while living next door in Versailles, the best 1-2 punch you can have. I have since, moved to Bretagne in the Morbihan Breton for the last 9 years (as of 2020) ,where I currently live and work.  Going to Paris is an every month event even if sometimes the possible business trips do not allow for much picture taking, this time was an exception as I had a whole day and half for me so indulge once again in the city beautiful, Paris.

The Galerie Vivienne is one of the historical cross over existing in Paris where under roof you have stores, restos etc that will take you from one street to the other on a covered passageway or gallery.  This Galerie Vivienne is 176 meters long by 3 meters wide; about 581 feet by 10 feet. The facades of the gallery are found on streets such as 4 rue des Petits-Champs, 5-7 rue de la Banque and 6 rue Vivienne; closest metro is Bourse on line 3 from where I was staying by pl de la République was a nice walk. The galerie were built in 1823.

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It has been remodeled and it looks just gorgeous; the wonderful  Librarie Jousseaume (bookstore of old and new) and the Bistrot Vivienne are two of my frequent stops there and revisited!

Librarie Jousseaume: http://www.librairie-jousseaume.fr/

Bistrot Viviennehttps://www.bistrotvivienne.com/

The official webpage for the Galerie Vivienne: http://www.galerie-vivienne.com/

The Paris tourist office on the Galerie Vivienne: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/100272/Galerie-Vivienne

Moving along rue Réaumur turn right and head for the Place de la République. Well written on it before, a must in Paris and the center of Parisien intricacies from all walks of life. I stayed on Hôtel Meslay République here on 3 Rue Meslay.(see post). Smallist hotel but the rooms in the 3rd floor are big and quiet. Breakfast serve on the vault basement in stones very quaint and of course steps from the Place de la République and the metro webpage:https://paris-hotel-meslay.com/en/

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I had my first night dinner at an old favorite simple place good for all visitors , that is Pizza Pino.  There I had my Palerme chorizo pizza with a nice quart (1/4 bottle) of rosé luberon region wine and the café plaisir , sort of coffee and sweets in one plate. all for 26 euros. The pizzerias are very popular andhave eaten at their other locations in Paris too, see post. webpage: https://www.pizzapino.fr/restaurant-italien/pizza-pino-republique/

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The rest was spent walking around, what better way to visit Paris than to walk and soak in the beauty ,the architecture, the ambiance that is all Paris. You know it, walk and walk. Paris is eternal you know!!

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

January 23, 2021

From Las Majadas to Pluvigner, the long journey of memories!

In my ongoing work of updating my older posts I come to this one. These are the travel experiences that brought fun times to my family and me. Some as this one brings even more memories, nostalgia sets in, this is one of our vacation runs to my beloved Spain back in August 2016. Hope you enjoy as I.

Well all good things ends quickly and the time is never enough. Our family vacation in Spain is over and we headed home to our Morbihan Breton house in Pluvigner.

We spent two glorious weeks in Spain.  It was special because the boys are now old enough to undertand everything, and we went by places that first my dear late mom Gladys took me, and then came alone, and then came with girlfriend and then my dear late wife Martine, and my dad Elio lucky still with me, and with the boys younger,and now young men. All begins to sink in now, the roots are important!

We say goodbye to our wonderful property owner of Casa Pitu  in Las MajadasSerrania de Cuenca,  (see posts) who were fantastic and kept the memories lingered. We left early by 7am or 7h in our family car, the big tough Ford. We did not make hotel reservation as this will be a lingering long trip full of memories of my Spain. If had time we would stop and if not I am still good on the road to do it all the way, and I did! And we came back following year!

I wanted one last memory for our family in Spain, and decided not to go back the same way we came by the Col du Portalet (see post). This time we headed first to Guadalajara , passing by one special town of Calatayud (see post). This is the town I stopped with my then girlfriend for gas and something to eat at the next door restaurant/hotel that had a wedding going on ! appropiate it seems.  We sat in the middle of the restaurant with the wedding party on one side and always remembered by us. This time the hotel restaurant was abandoned and just the Repsol gas station was there.  We decided to gas/petrol just in town at the Cepsa gas station but we stopped by the old just for the memories and another story to our boys.

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At the end of town  ,we link up with the A2 direction Zaragoza that we bypass on the beltway road Z40.  We took the A23 direction Huesca where we link up with the N330 direction Jaca passing by Sabiñanigo.  We continue on the N330 direction France and the Somport pass tunnel.

This was memorable too as when I first started traveling by car between Spain and France there was no tunnel but had to go on first gear with a VW Golf up the Pyrénées mountains over the Col de Somport mountain. Here passing Castiello de Jaca, and then Vilanua ,a great memory as we stayed at the Faus Hutte mountain hotel here, that the owners came out to cook for us late night! It went thru a name change to Lacasa, and then Albergue Villanúa. We remember arriving very late like 10PM or 22h and the hotel owners opens up the restaurant to give us something to eat and stayed for the night before continuing on to France !!! Memories never to forget!!!

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Further on, we passed by the winter stations of Canfranc and Candanchu before arriving at the Col du Somport (1632 meters high). You can still do this route, but we have done it and were eager to get back home quicker.  So instead ,we took the modern  Somport tunnel.  You have two lanes road in the tunnel that is 8 602 meters long with  2 848 meters in France and 5 754 meters in Spain.

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Once we came out in the French side ,you are on the N134 road direction Pau. However, first town you see is Urdos, where it was the customs border before the EU and you were check sometimes and sometimes not. Now, of course you are not check at all, and you won’t even notice the customs house.

The N134 takes you direction Oloron-Sainte-Marie and then towards Pau.  Here by Orthez we took the A65 direction  Langon.  However,  we heard on the radio t hat t here  was  traffic jams at the  Bordeaux beltway N230/A630 so we change gears.  Alone the Garonne river we took the D10 to Langoiran to hook up with the D20 road passing Creon and onwards to Libourne.  We came across on the D670 to Saint-André-de-Cubzac hooking up again with the A10 direction Saintes.  We continue on the A10 to just past Niort where we hook up with the A83 direction Nantes. This later road hook ups with the N844 and then the  N165 direction Vannes and home taking the D768 road. Easy ride and no traffic, minimum tolls as we like it.

In previous post, I have told you about these wonderful towns and cities in no particular order that we visit this year: Madrid, Valencia,Segovia, La Granja de San Ildefonso, Torrejon de Ardoz, Alcala de Henares, Aranjuez, Toledo, Villarejo de Salvanés, Colmenar la Oreja, Chinchon, Huete, Las Majadas, Cuenca, Uña, Alarcon, Segobriga, Jaca, Vilanua, Calatayud, Belmonte, Jaca, Canfranc, Camarsac,Libourne, Albarracin, Villalba de la Sierra, and Bordeaux-La Bastide. Hoping not to have forgotten any.

Now a weekend is approaching and already trips book to Paris, Dublin and Prague for the next couple of months on solo trips.  Enjoy your weekend and yes it is TGIF!!! And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all, and keep on driving !!!!

January 23, 2021

National Museum of Art Reina Sofía!

Going over my old posts, came up with this oversight just mingle in a post about news of Spain. Huge oversize even if of the major 3 is the least visited. I like to write a bit more on the Reina Sofia museum of Madrid golden triangle. 

 Actually as the other more famous already with a post these two should have a post of their own.  I like to write a bit more on the Reina Sofia and Thyssen Bornemisza museums of Madrid golden triangle. Let’s continue with the National Museum of Art Reina Sofia museum and hope you enjoy it as I. It is one of the stops of the Spanish “Golden Triangle of Art”   with the others being the Prado Museum and the Thyssen-Bonermisza Museum (see posts).

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So here I am on a sunny cool day trying to write about museums. The museums takes a lot of detail information, they are usually big , and always little time to see them all. However, pershaps for its location I have not seen this one much maybe a brief couple of times.  I do go to them and even friends of some helping out financially and even volunteer work ,but they are so vast and difficult for a poor writer like to me to do.I do my best.

My Madrid is no exception, while living there as a young teen, museum was not in my mind but tapas and other things were, so hang around the Cason del Buen Retiro a bit now part of the Prado (see post), but on many others just went by thanks. As I grew older and realise the wonderful things in them and visiting the city I came to admire the others, still in Madrid they have the golden triangle!

The National Museum of Art Reina Sofía (in Spanish, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía), simply called the “Reina Sofía” is a Spanish national Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art , which covers the period From 1900 to the present.

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The museum’s central building is the former San Carlos hospital built at the request of   king Carlos III in the late 18C. It is located in the Atocha district (near the train station of the same name). Metro station Estacion del Arte. It was named in honour of Sofia of Greece, (heir to the throne of Greece) Queen of Spain and wife of King Juan Carlos I who reigned between 1975-2014, when he abdicated in favor of his son, the present king Felipe VI. It is one of the largest museums in Spain, and is among the largest contemporary art museums in the world.

The permanent collection of the Reina Sofia museum highlights a nucleus of works by great Spanish artists of the 20C, especially Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró, widely represented and with some of their best works. The collections of surrealist art with works by Francis Picabia, René Magritte, Óscar Domínguez or Yves Tanguy, in addition to the aforementioned Miró and Dalí, of cubism which add names such as Juan Gris, María Blanchard, Georges Braque, Robert Delaunay, Fernand Léger or Albert Gleizes, and the presence of artists from the New Figuration, such as Francis Bacon or Antonio Saura. Along with these authors there are many others of diverse tendencies as prominent as Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Diego Rivera, Alexander Calder, Roberto Matta, Mark Rothko, Antonio López García, Antoni Tàpies, Miquel Barceló or Sam Francis.

Chronologically, the collection takes up the temporal thread of that of the Prado Museum, covering the period from the end of the 19C to the present.  By Royal Decree it was reconsidered the State collections, marking the year of Picasso’s birth 1881 as the dividing line between the Prado and the Reina Sofía, a criterion that has been questioned as too rigid and that goes being diluted by the latest initiatives of this museum, such as the incorporation of examples by Goya and Sorolla.

The Reina Sofía Museum also houses an open access library specialized in art, with collections of more than 100,000 books, 3,500 sound recordings and nearly 1,000 videos. The library is located in the wing of the Jean Nouvel extension, open to the outside by large windows, and with a large crystal lamp from the Royal Factory of La Granja presiding over the reading room.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to this museum are

The official webpage of the Reina Sofia museum: https://www.museoreinasofia.es/en

The Madrid tourist office on the Reina Sofia museum: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/reina-sofia-museum

And there you go , a nice Reina Sofia museum to see in Madrid, for most a must. They are in beautiful buildings and nice surroundings. Hope you enjoy it as I. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 23, 2021

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum !

I was looking at old posts in my blog and to my amazement saw a post about two museums in Madrid. Actually as the other more famous already with a post these two should have a post of their own.  I like to write a bit more on the Reina Sofia and Thyssen Bornemisza museums of Madrid golden triangle. Let’s start with the Thyssen Bornemisza museum and hope you enjoy it as I

So here I am on a sunny cool day trying to write about museums. The museums takes a lot of detail information, they are usually big , and always little time to see them all. However, pershaps for its location I have seen this one the second most.  I do go to them and even friends of some helping out financially and even volunteer work ,but they are so vast and difficult for a poor writer like to me to do.I do my best.

My Madrid is no exception, while living there as a young teen, museum was not in my mind but tapas and other things were, so hang around the Cason del Buen Retiro a bit now part of the Prado (see post), but on many others just went by thanks. As I grew older and realise the wonderful things in them and visiting the city I came to admire the others, still in Madrid they have the golden triangle!

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is a museum of ancient, modern and contemporary art. Its origin lies in the Spanish government’s acquisition in July 1993 of most of the collection of art collected in Lugano (Switzerland) by the Thyssen-Bornemisza family, in addition to the Pinacothèque and existing national collections. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is located in the Villahermosa Palace, on the corner of the Paseo del Prado and the Carrera de San Jerónimo. The palace was built between the late 18C and early 19C in a neoclassical style.

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The Thyssen family was one of the most important collections of art gathered in the 20C, dedicated to the European art of 1290 to Pop art. It is mainly a matter of paintings, but also of marble sculptures commissioned by August Thyssen to Auguste Rodin. It was especially his son Heinrich who, taking advantage of the bankruptcies caused by the 1929 crisis, greatly enlarged the collection by acquiring rare paintings from the 14C and 15C, as well as primitive Flemish and Renaissance German art.   Thereafter, he also collecteded most of the great names of Western art from the 16C, 17C and 18C. Hans Heinrich opened the collection to the 19C and on Impressionism, as well as on the avant-garde of the 20C and as well American painting of the 19C.

The panorama of the 19C culminates in Impressionism, of which it includes almost all the outstanding masters: Manet (Amazone in front), Renoir (Woman with a Parasol in a Garden, 1875), Monet (The thaw in Vétheuil, 1881), Degas (Ladies in Headgear, Dancer in Green), Camille Pissarro (the Marly Forest and Saint-Honoré Street landscapes. Effect of rain), Alfred Sisley (The flood in Port-Marly, 1876), Pierre Bonnard (Portrait of Misia Godebska), Berthe Morisot (The Dressing Mirror) …

Toulouse-Lautrec is present with two gouaches and a rare oil painting, The redhead in a white blouse; Paul Cézanne rivals him with the important pre-Cubist canvas Portrait of a Peasant (1905-06) and a still life in watercolor. Van Gogh has four works from different stages, such as the oil painting The Village of Les Vessenots in Auvers and the engraving The Potato Eaters.

In 2004, Carmen, the widow of Hans Heinrich Thyssen, enriched the museum with nearly 200 works, including Catalan painting, which are exhibited in Barcelona.  It is one of the stops of the Spanish “Golden Triangle of Art”   with the others being the Prado Museum and the Reina Sofia Museum.

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Some of my major events here over the years were :

See it and believe the genious at “Picasso/Lautrec” Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Paseo del Prado, 8 Tuesdays to Sundays from 10h to 19h Saturdays 10-21h to January 21 2018: webpage: https://www.museothyssen.org/en/exhibitions/picassolautrec

The exhibition of the Thyssen Museum explores for the first time the connection that was established between the life and work of the disciple and his teacher. The paths of Claude Monet and his master Eugène Boudin crossed for the first time in the spring of 1856 almost by chance, when they coincided in the stationery store Gravier, in Le Havre. It was just then that Boudin, 16 years older than Monet, wanted to congratulate him on his work as a caricaturist, and encouraged him to continue studying and painting, inviting to do it with him.  The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum delves into the relationship forged between the two artists. Through a hundred works that include loans from museums and institutions such as the Musée D’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery in London or the Metropolitan of New York, the exhibition is recreated in the picturesque landscapes with which master and disciple put to the test in their brushes. First, formed under the grey skies of Normandy. Then, protected by the light of the Mediterranean. Many landscapes and brushstrokes later, in 1874, Monet invited his teacher to join the first Impressionist show, where he exhibited seven portraits in what can be interpreted as homage to his mentor. As Monet himself once wrote, “If I have dedicated myself to painting, I owe it to Eugène Boudin “.  The show is until September 30th 2018. webpage: https://www.museothyssen.org/en/exhibitions/monetboudin

The official Thyssen Bornemisza museum webpage: https://www.museothyssen.org/en

The tourist office of Madrid on the Thyssen Bornemiszahttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/thyssen-bornemisza-national-museum

Of course, do not forget in the museum the mirador/terrrace of Thyssen  with great views and nice foodies in the arts. I have stop here for lunch even if not going in, you don’t have to. Webpage: https://www.museothyssen.org/eventos-corporativos/terrazas

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And there you go a nice museum one of the not to miss while visiting Madrid. Hope you have enjoy it as I. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 22, 2021

Tour de France in the Morbihan!!!

And this was a historical event for me. I have followed the Tour de France since even knowing much about France as a young teen living in Madrid. Little did I know that I would married into a family that was livid about it and even went after the stages around Pau to see it live! I followed soon too. And behold , living in our beautiful Morbihan breton we got a surprise passage of the Tour de France near us and just on the route I took to work!! This was the town of Saint Avé!  Here is my updated version of this passage in July 2015!

So the story began, for the short of it, I am a fan, and followed it with the family to the the town of Pau to see the races over the years since. Another turning poing , we moved to the Morbihan in Bretagne in 2011. This past Sunday, was our baptism here. The tour de France 2015 was coming again to Bretagne ,and this time again to the Morbihan, just too close to miss it. The 9 stage against the clock was run right on my usual route to work!!!! So we set up our bag and went on to see it!!

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We knew is popular, not only here but internationally as well, so the stages are all packed with people. The caravan was to start by 13h10 or 1:10pm and the first team of races were to follow by 15h10 or 3:10 pm in our post. I chose to come in by 11h and parked in the city residential area for free and secure off rue Michelet in Saint Avé.  We walk down about 7 minutes to the giratoire de Beauregard or traffic circle of Beauregard on the road D126 intersection with the road D135 in Saint Avé. This is just around the entrance to the Château de Beauregard (see post).

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There were plenty of folks already but we found a nice spot right on the traffic circle on the side of the passing of the team trials or against the clock race. Lots of goodies to eat and folks to talk, and share all, even the souvenirs the caravan was throwing at the crowd. We stayed from 11h to 16h45….or so.

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As said, the caravan is all the sponsors of any kinds that comes in with a disneyaise show even Mickey was there!!! ,and then the road is prepare for the racers. As this was a team trial, they go out together as a team each on intervals of 5 minutes. The call of order  was  Orica, Bretagne-Séché, Lampre, FDJ,Europcar,Bora, Lotto, IAM, MTN-Qhubeka, Lotto Soudal,Trek,Astana,Cannondale, Cofidis,Katusha,Movistar,Giant,AG2R La Mondiale,Etixx,Tinkoff,BMC,and Sky. Needeless to say BMC won it over Sky.

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My favorites were Lotto Soudal with Tony Gallopin, Giant with Warren Baguil, Tinkoff with Alberto Contador, Movistar with Alejandro Valverde, BMC with Tejay van Garderen, Katusha with Joaquin “perico” Rodriguez. Oh you know the names…

The overall top  5 leaders so far were:

1. GBR Froome, Christopher 31 , Team SKY 31h 34′ 12”

2.USA Van Garderen Tejay 61 BMC Racing Team 31h 34′ 24”+ 00′ 12”

3.BEL Van Avermaet Greg 68 BMC Racing Team 31h 34′ 39”+ 00′ 27”

4.SVK Sagan, Peter 47 Tinkoff-Saxo 31h 34′ 50”+ 00′ 38”

5.ESP Contador, Alberto 41 Tinkoff-Saxo 31h 35′ 15”+ 01′ 03”

The entire day was fun for the whole family and was able to get back in town many times stop for bread and such this time there was even the Sunday morning market! Now keep up with the race as it winds thru France.  The next stage is on from Tarbes to Pierre-Saint-Martin on stage 10. tomorrow been 14 July National Day here is a holiday ! so enjoy the races!! As we did!! in home turf!!

The official Tour de France webpage, in English (you can see it in French, German, and Spanish): https://www.letour.fr/en/

Hope you get to see one up close, it will catch up with you. Remember, this is the best , the top, the only one, the Tour de France! Well there are other good ones, but this is the best!

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

January 22, 2021

The beers of Sir Lancelot !!!

So will revise, update links and same pictures of this wonderful post I did back in 2016. Little notice but we do beers here more than wine after all this is Bretagne/Breizh and in my true Breton Morbihan dept 56! Let me show you a bit of the beers we have here; hope you enjoy it as I

I had my day off today and took advantage to visit a brewery in near my town. My colleague at work used to work there and always told me about it , so decided to take a look this afternoon. Of course, the beers have been tasted before in bars in the region, but this time we were going to the source!

I am talking about Brasserie Lancelot (Brewery Lancelot) in Le Roc Saint André, industrial park of La Mine d’Or. Which since then ,the town has change its name and is now call Val d’Oust or something like the valley of the Oust river.

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It is about 63 km from me along the N24 and then D724, D4 to just before entering the old town of Le Roc Saint André on your left hand side there is a turn  name Parc Artesanal La Mine d’Or, turn here and go all the way to the end, the brewery is there.

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They do about 16 000 liters of beers per day with about 7 regular brands and some 3 annual event brands. They were expanding as we got there with truck delivery of two more fermenting tanks of 4000 liters each. It is a boutique brewery all natural Breton products from the region and very popular here. They ,also, produce since 2002 the local popular Breizh Cola to rival that other world popular drink. Breizh of course is Bretagne in Breton language.

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The add-ons are all natural from the hops to the orge cereals to their own  thin sugar pérvea. The have about 30 employees so far,and still run by the founders. The brewery was founded in 1990 and started developing beers right away until 2002 they went into cola soda making with the regional brand Breizh Cola already with a 15% market share in the region of Brittany!  In late 2020, the Brasserie Lancelot owners sold majority interest tot he Coopérative Agrial, which is base in Caen , dept 14 of Calvados. They were already makers of popular cider brands here such as Loïc Raison and Kerisac.

Some of the best known beer brands of the Brasserie Lancelot are

You have the Cervoise Lancelot 6% volume alcohol, on yeast not filtered and aromatise with 7 plants. The bottle label design was done by Carmelo de la Pinta, a painter from Pont Aven.  The first beer of the brewery back in 1990.

Duchesse Anne (my favorite) 7,5% blonde in honor of Duchesse Anne of Brittany and twice queen of France.  La Lancelot, 6% golden color . La Blanche Hermine, white beer, 4%, carries the emblematic animal symbol of Brittany(Ermine) , done with peel of orange and coriander to give a fruity flavor. Bonnets Rouge 5,5% with baies de sureau ;red color malted fruity, and name after the local farmers revolts in 1675 against the king for high taxation. Lancelot Premium and Pils 4.8% blonde with high fermentation for the premium and low fermentation for the Pils. The Duchesse Anne Triple Hops 7,5% with flavors of citrics and pure malt and extra houblon on the method call  “Dry hopping”.  And the Lancelot Grand Cru, 7,5% triple for the 25th anniversary of the brewery.  The beer is pure malt, not filtered , non pasteurise and triple fermentation.

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You have Bio beers such as one of the oldest in the brewery the Telenn Du 4.5% using sarrasin black wheat of Brittany like the one used to make the galettes! La Morgane 5,5% blonde and more feminine; from the leyend of the fairy of the isle of Avalon, other world of the  Celts. La Nuit Blanche 4,5% and La Nuit Blonde 5,5% both coming from the area of Dinan in Côtes d’Armor department 22.

Seasonal beers such as the XI.I Samhain, 11,1% a beer to celebrate the Celtic new year as Nov 1st was the first day of the year for the Celts and was honor day of the living and then Nov 2nd was the day of the dead, many Irish came to the USA  in the 1840’s and on, and continue the tradition becoming the All Holy’s Eve and later Halloween from Oct 31st!  The Duchesse Anne d’Automme 7,5% with chataignes ! The Duchesse Anne de Nôel; 8% is a red beer done for Christmas.

The official webpage of Brasserie Lancelothttp://brasserie-lancelot.bzh/

The beers of Bretagne webpage on the Brasserie Lancelothttps://www.bieresbretonnes.fr/brasseries/brasserie-lancelot/

Their beers are not exported as far as I know as not enough production to be distributed all over France either, so if you want to taste need to come to Bretagne/Breizh and well worth it.  Remember the producer Brasserie Lancelot of the Morbihan of my lovely Bretagne.

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

January 22, 2021

A Coruña ,a visit to the green of Galicia!

And here I am again updating this wonderful trip to a lovely city of Galicia. I was lucky to be here several times maybe 5 in the last 9 years. Hope you enjoy the update on A Coruña!

Its been a welcome back to Galicia and A Coruña. Again , this time a shorter stay but always pleasant full of memories ,good company and more souvenirs. I was on Air Nostrum with enough time in Madrid just to catch the flight to Coruña small airport.  There friend pick me up and went to the hotel and then out….

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The hotel was a perennial stay then was just beginning but it was my central lodging in future trips. It is the Attica 21 Hotel, very modern contemporary in a nice area just about 6 km from the beaches.  The district of Matogrande very up and coming area with lots of night life too. It is about 5 minutes by car from the airport fast driving.  The hotel has spacious modern rooms and a great breakfast restaurant with private parking and helpful staff. Webpage: https://www.attica21hotels.com/en/hotel-attica21-coruna/

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From there we went out for dinner, and first had a drink with tapas at Soho Café, a trendy place with plenty of locals. We had some cañas or tall glass of beer Estrella Galicia, and then some bits of cheese and ham; great place and good company! webpage: https://sohocafecoruna.com/

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As it is the custom, we went out to another place for dinner, and this one was modern and trendy as well lots of university students and older crowd as well very nice, and great staff and food. We had the same beer Estrella Galicia with raxo de Puerco or pork bits with potatoes, and most of all lots ot talking. The place is call Bogarts Baar a mix of food and drinks, restaurant with high chairs and long high tables in a modern setting , young and vibrant. All was good.  I still follow them in FB. Webpage: http://bogartbaar.es/

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Next day was all work, and then we went to a nice cafeteria, the ones workers come to eat lunch ,very local outside the city on your way to Sada, you get your buffet style place with a drink and dessert and coffee for about 15 euros; nice local ambiance and quiet family place. Cafeteria Restaurant Al Paso at Carretera N-VI, km 582 Sada. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Restaurante-Asador-Al-Paso-403339543165966/

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It was time to head back home and was driven to the airport of A Coruña for my Iberia flight to Madrid and then Nantes France, where my car was waiting for the trip home in 1h30. Of all these flight connections and metro, taxi, personal car all went smooth and nice, quite perfect trip. It just remains an area to come with more time. that is a promise. And I did!

The tourist office of A Coruñahttps://www.turismocoruna.com/web/

The tourist office of  Galicia : http://www.turgalicia.es/

Hope you enjoy the brief trip and remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

January 22, 2021

Vannes,and the Historical Festival!!!

And here I am updating a wonderful event happened every year except the maudits 2020 but already schedule for 2021. Vannes our capital city is a historical town of Bretagne/Brittany/Breizh and has many wonderful architecture gems as far back as the 14C intact! There are lots of events and one of my family favorite, simply because we like history as the foundation of history is the Historical Festival or the Fêtes Historiques de Vannes! Hope you enjoy the update.

Let’t the festivals begin, Vannes is more, the Morbihan main town , Capital city of dept 56 ,and it has all the attributes of a bigger town while keeping intact it’s wonderful wooden houses going back to the 14C all intact,originals!!!  And, I must say, work in its metro area in a castle, Château de Talhouêt, of course not open to the public , and mostly in ruins which the foundation was used to built our world hq.

On this wonderful four day weekend lol! enjoying the home country with the passing of the tour de France (see post), and yesterday and today (14 july Fête Nationale), we had the Fêtes Historiques, as we are more traditional we tell you of times gone by link to old regime ::) This is the 30th edition of the Fêtes Historiques de Vannes; with a parade of personalities that number in the 1000 and many visitors expected in the hundreds of thousands every year. There is firework in the ramparts by the old Château de l’Hermine. The theme for this year’s event is Jean IV Le Conquérant. or John IV the Conqueror. He was the winner of the wars of  succession  of Brittany and ruled for 35 years.residing for the most part in the Chateau de l’Hermine built from 1378 that he ordered built.

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Duke Jean IV was friendly to the English, and married Marguerite, daughter of Edward III of England, as well as his second wife was English too, Jeanne Holand. Many English nobles were his advisors and on July 19 1372 signed a secret defense and protection treaty with Edward III. He welcome many heroes at the Chateau de l’Hermine including the Constable Olivier de Clisson in 1387. The Duke Jean IV restored the ramparts and enlarged them creating a second circle of defense for the city. He was married a third time in 1386 to Jeanne de Navarre and a total of 8 children,one Jean V le Sage or the Wise that succeeded him in the duchy after his death in November 1, 1399. He was special to Vannes and the guest of honor in this year’s historical festival. The festivities started from 12h and we were there by 11h free parking past the capitanerie of the harbor on rue du commerce. You had the Chinese exhibit same time as an expo on coins and engraving from medieval times in the castle yard.

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By the ramparts gardens there were shows of swords and medieval camps with archers and all! You will see many folks walking by in period costumes very colorful, and see the courtage of Duke John IV the Wise passing with the Count of Buckingham.  The parades were from 16h30 out from the Church of Saint Patern, then 17h from the place Maurice Marchais the Olivier de Clisson and his Breton nobles, and the combine night parade at 22h30 from place Maurice Marchais with all of the above.Fireworks by 23h30 but too late for us by this time. All meandering through the medieval narrow cobblestone original streets of old town Vannes!!!

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We were walking all over but mostly base by the Church St Patern (see post) where the parade started and we got them all!!

Today , there is a Bal dance in the Esplanade du Port by pl Gambetta. There is a total of 40 historical organisations here including those from Llanera, Asturias  ,Spain! with a great outspoken group! Group Hassel from Germany, fencers from the Czech Republic, costumes group from Venice, Italy, all wonderful choreograph and done. At the end we will have fireworks from 12h30 past midnight, and a free city center bus rides.

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Wonderful arts in a medieval setting. Some last minutes shopping like for baguettes!!! and came home in the evening after another wonderful day with the family in amazing Vannes, you need to see it ,believe me!!! Looking forward for 2021!!!

The city of Vannes on heritage/history: http://en.mairie-vannes.fr/discoveringvannes/history-and-heritage/discovering-the-heritage-of-vannes/

And there you go folks another fine event to make it coincide with your visit to Vannes will be awesome! Hope you have enjoy the post and thanks for reading me over the years.

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

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January 21, 2021

The Presqu’ile de Rhuys has it all!

Again updating this old post from 2015 showing the wonderful peninsula of Rhuys or Presqu’île de Rhuys. A rather vast territory of many towns and most coastal ones with beautiful scenary. I have many posts on the towns of it in my blog but this was a bit of a tour around several. Hope you enjoy it as I do!

Well my regular rounds in my department 56 Morbihan, took me to the peninsula of rhuys or Prequ’île de Rhuys. Indeed a peninsula full of boats, megaliths stones, and especially beaches;great in summer, peacefully nice in winter season.

We set out by car, of course,  as it is only about 60 km (about 37 miles) from me all the way to the tip of the peninsula. The road N165 runs Nantes to Brest and take it past Vannes to the exit with the name Presqu’île de Rhuys and Sarzeau the biggest town there. You will be on the road D780 and as we took some side steps we went on the D198 as well.

We stop at the village of Le Hézo to load up on cider! A case mix of brut, doux, and fruité or semi sec. There is a museum here too, musée de la cidre,  and they show you how it is made ; and a great boutique with a lot more than cider, such as honey, jams, house deco items, whiskies, eau de vie de cidre, etc. webpage: https://www.museeducidre.com/en

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We continue on to arrive on the D780 to Sarzeau, before we made a quick look at a castle always planning but never done it, opens in July 1, Chateau de Kervelenan, (see post)wonderful property, the gardens are open more time.

And then into Sarzeau center ,there was market day of course, all Saturdays we load up on goodies and baguettes, saw the wonderful Church Saint-Saturnin dating from the 17C where the square the market is held all around it. Plenty of parking by the cinema le Richmont area on the place des Trinitaires for free. see posts

We wondered about town city center with the great ambiance of market day, but continue our journey for lunch. We took the road D198 and headed for Saint Gildas de Rhuys a  great peaceful community surrounded by great beaches and a nice quaint city center where we had our lunch. Pizzeria Restaurant Le Casier. Here the service was very friendly and very attentive to detail as well as prompt. The resto has a nice garden terrace and then go inside with two dining sections we took the back by the wine cellar, very nice decoration and the food was great from moules/mussels( curry and white wine) to pizzas (rustique and mexicaine)and ice creams in two and three scoops,diabolo menthe, and a bottle of Spanish Rioja wine Arjona 2014 joven young red wine nice. all for 21.50€ per person. webpage: https://www.lecasier.com/

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Fully loaded we took turn on the local church just a few meters away, this is the Abbaye Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys (see post) founded by one of the monks that left Great Britain for old Armoric (today Bretagne) when the migration leaving the Saxons invasions; today it is one of the most beautiful roman style churches in Bretagne/Brittany.

Just behind the abbey there is a circuit going to the beach or plage  de l’appel du 8 juin 1940, and the port aux moines boat pleasure marina, nice lovely place to relax too.

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We continue our journey into deeper in the peninsula of Rhuys and came upon Arzon, a smaller town just across from marvelous harbor of Port de Crousty, and the Church of Arzon, (see posts) completely done in the 19C even if the town is one of the oldest here on record mentioned since 836.

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We continue our journey into the corniche du phare and walk along the waterfront into the great lighthouse while getting a great look at the island in the harbor tip such as île de Meaban, Cromlec’h, Er Lannic,île longue, île de Gavrinis, and île de la jument. All wonderful view along the harbor high ground walkways. Beautiful peaceful boat and sea magic. Love it. We went around on the other side and into the pointe de Bilgroix to get more views of the harbor and the wonderful stone statue of the Madonna, near the entrance to a megalith dating 2500-3000 BC.

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As this was the end of the road, we headed back home first on the D198 then the D780 and finally the N165 direction Vannes to the D768 and home. In all ,another wonderful day out in beautiful Morbihan, which as many of my readers know is petite mer in French or actually  small sea in Breton. Mor=Sea, Bihan=small.

The tourist office of the Morbihan dept 56 on the presqu’île de Rhuys in English: http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/home/discover/morbihan/the-main-destinations/the-rhuys-peninsula

And there you go a nice ride into a wonderful peninsula of Rhuys or Presqu’île de Rhuys, we love to come and have plenty; see my many posts on it again. You will love it if into beaches, boatings, nautical activities, and of course heritage, architecture, and history as I love it too.

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

January 21, 2021

Grande plage and Plage St Colomban, Carnac!

Ok here is to finish my latest live tour of my coastal area in this miserable time in our lives with most closed or limited. I told you been to Carnac several times as it is the closes beach to our house and a very good one as well as many nice monuments to see (see my posts). And of course, I have written about the beaches blue pavillion great for swimming! However, on this trip took some new pictures like to share in this new post on Carnac plage. Remember, there is a Carnac Bourg or town same but 2 km away!

Let me tell you a bit maybe repeated text and links sorry. Today was a rainy day but who cares in Bretagne we say something like it only rains on the idiots ….and it goes, the smart ones stayed in the bars lol!!! Amén to that!

The Grande Plage or big beach, this is absolutely wonderful and our favorite for hangouts and swimming. You must come here in Summer; it can beat any in the world me think.

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you have clear water, fine sand and 2 km long, the Grande Plage de Carnac is a treat for bathers and sunbathers. The Grande Plage is the largest of the five beaches in the city. In summer, swimming is supervised and water sports can be practiced safely. Two beach clubs set up there each summer. A few steps away, you will find many restaurants and shops. La Grande Plage is also accessible to people with motor disabilities thanks to adapted equipment, all this with the presence of qualified staff with bathing assistance, cloakroom, adapted shower and WC (toilets). The reception point is open from the 1st weekend in July to the last weekend in August inclusive, every day from 13h to 19h. The Grande Plage site has been certified tourism and disabled since 2007. Possibility of parking along the Grande Plage on bd de la plage. No dogs allowed.

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The Carnac tourist office on the Grande plagehttps://www.ot-carnac.fr/decouvrir/bord-de-mer/plages/grande-plage

My fav beach webpage in France, plages tv on the Grande plage of Carnachttps://en.plages.tv/detail/grande-plage-carnac-56340

If of the five a second favorite has to be choose , I will opt for plage St Colomban in the village of same name and all along the ocean from the Grande plage along bd de la plage ,bd de Légenése, and bd de l’Océan. All same road.

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The plage de Saint Colomban beach is the most west of Carnac. all year round, the windsurfing spot in St Colomban is the recognized meeting place for the best windsurfers. Possibility of parking bd de l’Océan facing the beach. No dogs allowed. To the extreme right of the beach you will see the bunker, this is a remnant from WWII, and still there rusting away but still there.  We again saw the kids activities early on with learning to swim and all in an inflatable pool! The rocks or reefs onto the beach is a sight to see, and the white sandy beach was a delight.

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The Carnac tourist office on the plage Saint Colombanhttps://www.ot-carnac.fr/decouvrir/bord-de-mer/plages/plage-de-saint-colomban

My fav beach webpage in France , plages tv, on the plage Saint Colombanhttps://en.plages.tv/detail/saint-colomban-beach-carnac-56340

So, there you go folks;another round on the wonderful beaches of Carnac. My favorites Grande Plage, and plage Saint Colomban. Of course, not the season to do them, but a heads up planning for next summer where hopefully we will be able to enjoy them again. Hope you enjoy this bit of tour by the road warrior, yours truly in virus prime time!

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

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