Archive for January 11th, 2021

January 11, 2021

A wonderful walk in Auray!!!

Ok so this one is old back to 2015 in my blog but it needs update on links , text and of course the gorgeous photos are kept. This is Auray, the first adminstrative town we encounter when moving to Bretagne in the Morbihan dept 56. We come here often a lot me think and its gorgeous. Let me tell you about Auray and even more beautiful Saint Goustan; hope you enjoy as I do!

Well today we went back to Auray. I still only live about 14 km (less than 9 miles)  from it, so it was going to rain in the afternoon (it did) so took off for it in the morning for a walk and some quencher drinks. 

We went on the back side and park at Pl Notre Dame, and then walk by past the Chapel of St Esprit (see post); this is now use for exhibitions, events concerts right in the middle of town done from 1286 the last Mass was done in 1790 (due to the French revolution) and then to now use as other functions.

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We went around this, to reach place Gabriel Deshayes, and come up again the wonderful Church of Saint Gildas, (see post) it was started built in  1623  but not finished until 1663. The belltower with a square top in three levels was not finished until 1701. We wondered around in city center to past the tourist office of the former chapelle  de la Congregation, and continue to the hotel de ville in the Place de la République up the space jeu de paume a very narrow street that takes you to a nice garden and the old prison. 

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You continue coming down to the hotel de ville area and go around on your right when the hotel on your back and go see the Chapelle du Pére Eternel, (see post)the old cordeliers order was here since 1644 ,lost during the French revolution, in 1807 it was given back to the Sister of the Holy Charity of Saint Louis . Here in 1820 the priest of the Chistian instruction were given the order for God only and the rules  by the Vicary of Saint Brieuc and the priest of Auray Gabriel Deshayes. It is now awaiting renovation. After it you have the park Le Belvédére with beautiful views over the river basin of Saint Goustan below and a football field of the city of Auray.

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You take here a narrow street call the rue du Belvédére to go down to the river basin of Auray, at the end of this street you arrive at the top of the Castle ruins overlooking the river and the district of Saint Goustan for marvelous views. Here at Saint Goustan, our favorite local area where we are often, we had our let down and our ice cream and gauffres from L’Igloo just overlooking the river Auray that goes out into the Gulf of Morbihan and eventually the Atlantic ocean.

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Finally, after a bit of walking on the beautiful harbor of Saint Goustan, we decided for some drink, a nice cold Grimbergen blonde beers with coffee genoise and diabolo menthe overlooking the river, the crowd and the beautiful life in the Morbihan. We stop at the L’Armoric café pizzeria resto right in the corner of place Saint Sauveur. Their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/larmoric.bzh

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The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Saint Goustan in English: https://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/the-port-of-saint-goustan-in-auray

The tourist board of Bretagne on Saint Goustan in English: https://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/southern-brittany-morbihan-gulf/auray-port-of-saint-goustan/

And already raining a bit hard, we went back to our car and home just 14 km away where we spent the rest of the day until new urge to go out again. Hope you have enjoy the walk and do visit when possible beautiful Saint Goustan in historical Auray.

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

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January 11, 2021

Vannes and the Fêtes Historiques!!!

This is a wonderful festival on the streets of Vannes every year in July. We first encounter it in 2012 and been to it ever since. I like to update the one from 2016 for its historical face. Hope you enjoy the Historical Festival of Vannes!

This is a wonderful event in Vannes, my capital city , where I work and live only 26 km or about 14 miles on country roads.  A huge middle ages intact city left in time and glory for all of us to enjoy it today. The event in it’s 31th edition is the Fêtes Historiques or Historical Festival.

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We enjoy it every year since the last five we have live in the area, and always wonderful. This year the Festival has a guest of honor ,Napoléon III.

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It is held ironically around the National Day of France July 14 ,today ,showing another aspect of French traditions and this time held July 13-14, 2016. It has hundreds and if not thousands of folks dressed in period costumes with fire works in the ramparts gardens, and many représentations from other European countries. Of course, Spain was here, as the wife of Napoleon III was Maria Eugenia de Montijo, emperatrice of France and Spanish born (see Belmonte post).

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Napoléon III came twice to Vannes ,once in 1858 and again in 1865. It was on a long trip to Brittany to gather support in the region,and stop of the religious center in Sainte-Anne d’Auray (see post) as well. They came with their children and were received in the Palais de la Motte (where today lies the préfecture or regional government building see post on garden).

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The animations starts from 14h30 to 20h each day, and there are walks with all personalities around town at 16h30, from the Church of Saint Pattern,(see post) 17h from the Place Maurice Marchais, and at 22h30 from the same square Place Maurice Marchais. Fireworks at the ramparts garden at 23h30. We were early at 10h30 in the Hôtel de Ville (see post) where the foreign visitors will be presented and bal dance held as well as marching band from the period.

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Some of the artists that will be here of my interest are the Centre Equestre de Plougoumelen.   And the Fundacion Bodas de Isabel of  Teruel, Aragon, Spain. This is worth seeing in Spain too on the dramatic romance of Teruel, more in Spanish webpage: http://www.bodasdeisabel.com/W3/Bodas/Index_Bodas.aspx

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There will be navette bus free from the right bank of the harbor area or le Port, and the Parc du Golfe, and parking Racker. And the city of Vannes had a bus from midnight 00h30 departing from the Place de la République , front of the post office building. We parked in place de la Liberation bus terminal area for free and walk 10 minutes to city center!

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A great event which unfortunately due to the virus cas cancelled for July 2020. Hopefully, see you better in July 2021.

Be ready for 2021. The Gulf of Morbihan webpage on the Fêtes Historiqueshttps://golfedumorbihan56.com/vannes-les-fetes-historiques-2021/

More on the Vannes south Brittany webpage: https://www.vannes-bretagne-sud.bzh/evenement/fetes-historiques-vannes/

And the tourist office of Brittany on the Historical Festival of Vanneshttps://www.brittanytourism.com/matching-what-i-want/culture-and-heritage/brittanys-main-events/vannes-historical-festival/

Hope you enjoy it, and be ready next time to be in the area; you will enjoy it too, me think..

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

January 11, 2021

The bus in Versailles!!

Well in all the updates, it has helped to seek nice entries that were missed from posting. I have done one post on the bus in Paris which I take rather than the metro for long distances ,however, do not had one for my dear Versailles! Time to remedy that in the city I used to lived, took the bus ,yes! and my kids were wizards of it. Here is my credit to the bus in Versailles!!

Oh yes road warrior in a bus!! Well as said, I have tried all sort of transports in Europe, France etc I still prefer the car but customs oblige the bus is used extensively here and Versailles is not behind.

The Phebus network, the public transport network of Versailles and the surrounding towns, has been putting its know-how and experience at the service of the agglomeration since 1973 (under old name S.V.T.U) . It has 240 buses. 56 bus lines, more than 900 stops and 17 SNCF stations served. There are neighboring towns bus lines 101 to 107. It is now part of the Keolis national network of bus lines which we have it here in the Morbihan breton too.

The history of the Phébus network of Versailles. My sentimental favorite bus lines as my boys learned with me for school etc and then surpassed in knowledge of it. I should have written this post before!

1874:The concession for horse-drawn trams (8 km of track, 24 cars and 100 horses) is granted to the Francq brothers (Société anonyme des tramways de Versailles et extensions). 1883: The concession for horse-drawn trams is awarded to the Compagnie Générale des Omnibus, which already operates many lines in Paris, as well as the Louvre – Versailles line. 1895: The first electric tramways in Versailles, the concession of which is granted to Société Versaillaise de Tramways Electriques et de Distribution d’Energie (S.V.T.E, a subsidiary of Thomson). 1931: The height of the electric tramway: ridership reached 8.2 million annual passengers, to which must be added 465,000 passengers on the Saint-Cyr – Versailles line. 1957: “Burial” of trams. The Compagnie Française de Transports (C.F.T.) takes over the operation of the service with 24 Renault R 4231 type buses, under the name Transports Urbains de Versailles (T.U.V.). 1973: Takeover of the network by Société Versaillaise de Transports Urbains. 1987: Attachment of the S.V.T.U. at the Compagnie Française de Transports de Voyageurs (C.F.T.V.). 1992: Attachment of the C.F.T.V. to the Cariane group. 1995: Launch of the Phébus brand and signature of the quality charter with the eleven towns then served by the network. 1999: Thanks to the takeover of VIA-GTI by SNCF-Participations, SVTU is part of a large Via-Cariane group, which will become Keolis in 2001. 2004: Extension of the Phébus brand to the Saint-Cyr-l’Ecole lines (1 to 6).   2007: On October 12, 2007, on avenue de l’Europe in Versailles, Phébus opened the first Navigo branch of OPTILE member companies with a view to selling “Navigo card” and “full annual card” tickets. 2008: The Keolis Devillairs company acquires the Véolia-Vélizy company, serving in particular the towns of Vélizy-Villacoublay, Chaville and Bièvres. 18 additional lines then join the Phébus network. 2012:   Development of the transport offer in Jouy-en-Josas with the creation of the GHP line (redevelopment of the N and Z lines) and creation of the Phébus de Nuit 3 line between the Satory district and the Gare des Chantiers. 2014: On December 13, 2014, launch of Tramway T6 between “Chatillon – Montrouge” and “Vélizy Villacoublay – Robert Wagner”, accompanied by the establishment of a significantly improved bus network (Phébus lines 30, 34, 40, 42, 45 and 60). 2016: On May 28, 2016, launch of the extension of Tramway T6 to Viroflay Rive Droite station and second phase of redevelopment of the Phébus Vélizy lines (22, 23, 24, 31, 32, 33 and 34). 2018: On September 3, 2018, Phébus is moving to Saint-Cyr L’École to facilitate all your trips. A network of 3 simpler lines (52, 53, 54), more regular and better connected to trains, replacing lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.   Departures earlier in the morning and later in the evening ;More frequency on Saturday. The creation of a service on Sundays and public holidays on line 52. Service from Parc Ariane to Guyancourt by line 54. New line numbers to avoid confusion with other lines serving the city of Versailles. We missed the lettering bus lines of Versailles!!!

They are 14 bus lines in Versailles easy no 1 thru 14.   My boys took line 3 the most or before it was A, direction Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt Hôpital A.Mignot Accueil – Versailles Satory. Passing by rive gauche-château RER C train station  (ave du Général de Gaulle)  and rive droite  train station (Ave du Maréchal Foch) very close to the palace/museum. In winter months there is line 14 easy taken in Ave de l’Europe or Place du marché Notre Dame (market). The old line TRI that went to all 3 train stations the castle and into the Trianons has been cancelled as newer lines does the trick now.

Three main lines (1, 2, 3) will run 7 days a week, every 5 to 10 minutes. Their common point: a stop at the three stations of Versailles ( rive droite, rive gauche-château and Chantiers)  and La Celle Saint-Cloud. Montreuil station will be served by four buses, including line 1, which replaces the old B and R buses connecting Parly 2 shopping center (Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt) to the University of Versailles. No new feature for line 3, the route of which is identical to the old bus A linking Mignot hospital to Versailles Satory. The hospital now benefits from a reinforced service with five buses which mark the stop there (2, 3, 7, 8, 9). And the one my boys took most to go to school!!!

Ah yes from the shopping center Parly II or thêatre Montansier or the train stations Chantiers and rive gauche-château  you can take bus line 1 and 2 to the palace arrêt/stop Château. Further out like the  monument Pershing you can take bus line 10 to rive gauche-château and walk to palace 5 mins.

The new bus numbering system of the Phebus bus network of Versailles.

Bus line 1 University (Versailles) Louis Pelin (Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt)
Bus line 2 Porchefontaine Louis XIV (Versailles) La Celle Saint-Cloud SNCF station ( My older boy took this one also at Europe to go Chantiers train station and onwards by train to La Verriére)
Bus line 3 Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt – André Mignot Hospital – Reception ↔ Versailles – Satory (this my twin boys took it at arrêt or stop Europe near corner with ave de Saint Cloud dir Hôpital A Mignot in then Le Chesnay and now the town of Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt) .
Bus line 5 Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt – Coeur de Bourg ↔ Versailles – Bernard de Jussieu
Bus line 4 Pershing (Versailles) Versailles Chantiers
Bus line 6 Viroflay Rive Gauche Gare SNCF Versailles — Satory Mobilab (weeks) / Versailles Chantiers (Saturday / Sunday / Holidays)
Bus line 7 Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt – Center Commercial Parly 2 ↔ Viroflay-Rive-Gauche Station
Bus line 8 Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt – Center Commercial Parly 2 ↔ Versailles – Les Grands Chênes
Bus line 9 Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt – Moxouris ↔ Gare de Vaucresson / Gare de Garches (Monday to Fridays at certain times)
Bus line 10 Gare de Vaucresson ↔ Versailles – Lycée Jules-Ferry
Bus line 11 (Circular) Gare de Jouy-en-Josas ↔ via Parc de Diane
Bus line 12 (Circular) Gare de Jouy-en-Josas ↔ via INRA
Bus line 13 Versailles Chantiers Picardie (Versailles)
Bus line 14 Versailles – Europe ↔ Versailles – Prés aux Bois

I have one memorable picture of bus A going to Hôpital A Mignot:

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However, I still nostalgic of the old system so cool with letters! For the nostalgics like me the old network as compare to the new is as follow:  Bus A now line 3 . B is 1,2,3,5, C is 5, D is 6 and 14, E is 10 and 13, F is 10, G is 4, H is 2, F is 9 , K is 6, M is 9, N is 12, O is 8 P is 11, R are 1 ,6 ,13. S is 5, 7,9. U is 7 and W is 6 and X is 6.

The new office for ticketing, information, maps you name , help if get lost in Versailles (what!) is at the new Agence Navigo Phébus Europe at 18 Avenue de l’Europe. Open Mondays to Fridays from 9h to 12h30 and 13h30 to 18h. Saturdays from 10h to 12h30 and 13h30 to 18h.  This office is right next to the Monoprix store near intersection with Avenue de Saint Cloud.

The city bus info center is at the new name Agence Phébus les Ménages (old Espace Clients Phébus) located at 12 av. du Général  de Gaulle. Open Mondays to Fridays from 9h to 13h and 14h30 to 17h30; Saturdays, Sundays ,and Holidays is closed. The office is right across the train station rive gauche-château near the Hôtel de Ville.

The city of Versailles on public transports in English: https://www.versailles.fr/ma-ville/se-deplacer/transports-en-commun/

The greater Grand Parc agglo area of Versailles on public transports in French: https://www.versaillesgrandparc.fr/au-quotidien/se-deplacer/en-transport-en-commun

The Versailles tourist offices for direction ,help, ideas in addition to you asking me ::) in English: https://en.versailles-tourisme.com/our-reception-points.html

There are reclamation procedures for any service as well as lost and found items. There is a telephone to call in at +33 (0) 1 39 20 16 20. If more than 15 days passing all items are deposit awaiting reclamation at  Objets Trouvés – 3 bis Passage Pilâtre du Rozier Versailles – Téléphone ++33 (0) 1 30 97 81 60.  This is just near my old home from the Rive Droite train station out turn right and the next street is the Passage Pilâtre du Rozier turn right here and see the house office on your left hand side. We never encounter any problems but some do,hope it helps.

And there you go folks a nice city to walk but if tired from all the seeing around the Domaine de Versailles  , a bus ride should be nice. Also , allows you to go further and see the other wonderful sights of my Versailles, see posts. Hope it helps

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

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