Archive for January 18th, 2021

January 18, 2021

Quimperlé after the floods still looks wonderful!!!

Let me update the links and refresh the text on this old post from 2015 on something interesting that can happen here often, especially in winter. For lack of snow, we have water !!! Let me tell you a bit about Quimperlé!

I was here before the floods, even thus is only 50 minutes from me by car, decided to go back and check out the city of Quimperlé,in the Finistére 29 département of  Bretagne. This is a town of floods at least since the 1600’s and until recently as early as Feb 2014. One year later is as if nothing had been done, the city center was flooded with 1,50 meters of water from the rivers Ellé,Isole, and Laita. You can come here by train ,direct to Paris Montparnasse in TGV ,bus or car on the expressway N165, we do it by car. Today, we chose the back roads of the D102, D22,D724,D765 to get there in about one hour.

We walk the city center after free parking by Place Charles de Gaulle,right next to the  Laita river. All along to the city we past by wonderful towns such as Malachappe, a commune part of Pluvigner on the D102, then Languidic, Plouay, Arzano, and Quimperlé. Some of the most impressive buildings are the churches here, see posts. We did walk Quimperlé around the river banks, and into the old town, around our favorite Church Sainte Croix and over the small bridge pont fleuri where our favorite restaurant créperie du pont fleuri is located , was ready for us for lunch as it was opened on Sundays from 12-14h! Not anymore closed Sundays and Mondays.(see post)

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We went nearby the church and parking to the covered market halles right next to the Church Sainte Croix , where we had some intense coffee special blend, and we got our baguettes and pastries for this evening at the bakery open on Sundays until 19h30! Au Palet d’Or, 3 Rue Brémond d’Ars. After tries and démolitions from the first one in 1886, the Halles or covered market is redone in 2002 at Place Hevo near the above places. There still the impressive facade of the old convent now a cinema Le Bobine.  (see posts) .The library of les mots des voyageurs on place Hevo is great for travel books all over and good service and selection, just behind the halles or covered market.

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One of the advantages of living in history and monument rich Bretagne/Breizh, and just for info passed by two chapel churches and a private castle that will have to wait for next time in my region lol! So much to see and little time….! Until next time on the Breton roads.

The city of Quimperlé on its history and heritage: https://www.quimperle.bzh/decouvrir-la-ville/patrimoine/

The tourist office of Quimperlé-Terre Océane on Quimperlé: https://www.quimperle-terreoceane.com/en/discover/history/strolling-in-quimperle/

The tourist office of Bretagne on Quimperlé :https://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/quimper-cornouaille/quimperle/

Hope you have enjoy this bit of post on wonderful fortified Quimperlé and do stop by when possible ok. And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!

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January 18, 2021

Well Paris ,you never get tired of seeing it!!!

Well I like to update/revise this post from 2016. By now do not know if repeating titles lol! So many posts on Paris in my blog and titles are beginning to be hard for this humble blogger. Hope you enjoy this particular visit to my eternal Paris done already from my lovely little Pluvigner!

Yeah hard to come up with a title heck, Paris is eternal, I am Lucky to have worked there for almost 10 years and now visit at least once a month. This past Thursday was no difference a walk on it is sublime. What can I say millions have not said it already….

I started my day early from my closest train station in Auray, Morbihan, 56, Bretagne where the parking is free. Took a TER Bretagne train to Rennes, brand new wagons and nice ride. At Rennes the TGV to Paris Montparnasse was just waiting on the other side of the wharf, easy picking and there I was on top row 1 class! I arrive at Paris Montparnasse and already with metro tickets purchased hop on the line 13 to Saint Lazare ; my old train station and glad to see it again completely remodeled and great shopping. There is many metro lines there, RER, buses , taxis you name it and walking distance to the great department stores, and Madeleine!! Opéra!!! Got back in to take line 3 to Levallois-Perret , in Hauts de Seine dept 92, my final destination.

Levallois-Perret (see post) is one of the adjacent cities to Paris petite couronne in zone 2 and departément 92 Hauts-de-Seine. However, so attach to Paris you won’t even notice is not Paris.  I had my lunch here at a wonderful new find  Restaurant A Table , right off the rue Georges Pompidou and at 43 Rue Baudin. Here I had the menu for 21,95€ terrine de saumon or salmon with veau roti dish roasted veal rondelles, potatoes, and green salad; had a nice Fouilly Fume blanc for apero and an Irancy of Burgundy for the meal, expresso coffee finish the day in grand style. Service was wonderful and so was the company.  Here for the memories as it has already closed! Sadly ….

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I had  my walks as used to do lots of business around here and the place is as grand as before, chic and nice, just next to Paris of course!

On the way back, had a great time walking the streets of Paris, anybody coming here takes to the metro right away , big mistake. This gorgeous city is made to be seen above ground, do it and enjoy it. Walking along Avenue de Villiers and into avenue Jouffroy d’Abbans and into Rue de Rocher and coming behind the Gare Saint Lazare train station and near the Church of Saint Augustin (see post) was a fresh of life into me again. These were my work area coming in and out and walking to the office all the way by rue de Castiglione ,yes!!! And not forget the wonderful Carrusel at Villiers!

Off metro Wagram, off Avenue de Villiers and at  6 Rue Brémontier, you see the wonderful Church of Saint François de Sales! (see post) They are two link by a hallway, and the organ is from 1900, and the new Church built between 1911 and 1913 done with entrance at 15-17 Rue Ampére. The old Church on Rue Brémontier from where I entered was done in 1873. The Church has a neo roman style, and you will see the chapels of the Virgin and the Sacred Child as well as the Holy Cross, and  St Teresa.

Of course, could not be by this area without stopping in my favorite Spanish grocery store Cap Hispania (see post) at 23 rue Jouffroy d’Abbans, metro Wagram, line 3, and gather my manchego cheese, serrano ham, pork rinds, olive oïl , Duero red wine, and nougats of many varieties;;;;here since 1998! Webpage: http://www.caphispania.fr/

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I have been coming  to Cap Hispania since 2004! and always the best of Spain with friendly service and speaking Spanish !More than 180 products and knowledge on them to offer you!

It was a short trip indeed, but it seems long, always Paris ; it’s eternal I said. You will never be tired of seeing it. I mean it ! Hope you enjoy the post and do visit when possible.

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

January 18, 2021

Times and travels in Paris!

Again in my black and white series with pictures in individual posts and updating this one with links and text. Times and travels in Paris, hope you enjoy as I looking back of these posts. In essence, allowing me to remember many wonderful bloggers who gave me “like” or comments on them over the years since 2010. This post was from 2013.

I just came back from an incredible journey and ready to go out again, but did not want lapse several days before telling my readers, friends ,and family about it.  I was to go to Brazil last week, and as usual took my AF flight out of Nantes, in the Loire Atlantique dept 44 area. We pretty much always passed by CDG airport at Roissy in Val d’Oise dept 95 (what is normally refer to as the Paris airport).  Little did I know of the incoming snow in Paris and north France area.

Upon my return, my flight was cancelled by AF due to the snow in Roissy CDG, luckily I have sms telephone and email warning procedures so I was alerted right away. Quickly the staff I was visiting, change my flight to a later time. An hour later, this new flight was,also, cancelled. I had no choice because I needed to come back to Paris for a big meeting on the 15 March by the tour Eiffel area.

The one webex conference I had for the 14 March afternoon needed to be done by staff as I was still in Brazil, finally came back from there on TAM arriving very late in Paris. My staff had reserve a hotel for me in Paris so stay at Hôtel Delos Vaugirard on 7 rue Gén Beuret, near rue Cambronne area. Today this hotel is name Hôtel Ami, webpage: https://www.hotelamiparis.com/fr/

This allow for my meeting in Paris the next morning to be done as usual, of course, I came in without any documentation and did it all by memory lol!! I am good yeah!! In the evening near the hotel, I wondered out to eat and without any one in particular just the open minded Parisien sense, came upon the La Bodega de Cambronne, 37 Rue Cambronne 15éme. The place has been open for a little over a year, by Parisien born Asturias descend Spaniards with the chefs and staff from Spain. All wonderful tapas and raciones with the wines and beers of Spain, I had my chorizo omelette, pulpo do feira or octopus in semihot sauce, Mahou beers, and expresso coffee for 30€ with a complimentary shot of liquor of pears for a digestif! The service and chat was great, very talkative and from hearing the local guests the place will last…Webpage: https://labodegacambronne.fr/

The 15 march was wonderful with great company and I tasted a new wonderful resto like there are so many in Paris, this one is the Le Cassenoix or the nutcracker at 56 Rue de la Fédération 15éme. I had a wonderful basque dish of pork and choucroute, with perle de japon fruit cocktail dessert, and expresso coffee, all wash down by a nice Bordeaux chosen by the hosts for the occasion. The place is nicely decorated with antiques of Paris, and all wallpaper very nice. One more nice address in Paris, webpage : https://www.le-cassenoix.fr/

I did needed to extend my stay in Paris !!! and this time took up possession of the Le Meridien for one night just to soak in the Parisien life at Porte Maillot and was close to the dinner with friends at Bistro Saint Ferdinand. The Le Meridien webpage: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/parmd-le-meridien-etoile/

The Bistro Saint Ferdinand is part of a group of Bistro run by Dorr ,and it is just around the corner from the Porte Maillot on 275 Bd Pereire.  The concept is simple a fixe menu of 42€ per person including sharing a bottle of wine for two, entrée, plat, and dessert, plus coffee. the price is ok for Paris but the food I thought was salty and bland no way for that price. I had avocado salad, coquilles saint-jacques,creme brulée, coffee expresso and the wine. I was glad not pay for it as the company paid. Webpage: https://www.restaurant-paris-17eme.com/

Then , I took my usual stroll thru Paris, the walk was from the porte Maillot to Concorde by metro then walk from there to gare St Lazare . Came by my wonderful place de la MadeleineConcorde, department stores, and the Church of the Madeleine, my old neighborhood where I once worked.  Wonderful to walk Paris again, a walkers’ paradise indeed. Do it…..!!!!

On my flight back, my car was waiting for me at the Nantes airport, and there was no flight there as mine was cancelled so I could stay in Paris for the meeting. The alternative was to take a TGV to Gare de Nantes. This I did reserve, however, upon arriving two minutes late missed my train ,very on time here!!. As usual  ,I am not very good with trains ::)  Luckily the next train was 30 mins later,and got on it at no additional charge.

Upon arriving at the Nantes train station, took for the first time the navette bus from train station to airport, very nice ,and puntual, for 7,50€ (today is 9€) one way coming out from the gare de Nantes sud door ,across the street is the stop, you past by the Mercure hotel on your right hand side. The ride was smooth and nice. Finally arriving at the airport took my car and went home which is another 1h30 drive home, arriving late for today’s  family duties to do,and did.

Now  I am preparing tomorrow morning for my trip to South Africa in the evening with AF again, back by wednesday, then out Thursday on my own vacation to Paris/Versailles for the weeekend lol:::) This is a totally different trip. Not only will I be going back to my old area as a tourist now for the first time in 10 years, but will do the trip by TGV train,and rent hotel in Paris by the Galeries Lafayette area. So will see the tourist in me how I will do, gave a challenge to do the metro, bus and walk as a visitor.

And there you go ,Paris, enough said; live it love it enjoy it as we do always. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

January 18, 2021

Paris transport bits and pieces!!

Here I am again, updating and revising old posts which me think needs to be done!  I though about this post when the rest of the family was getting to move from the Yvelines dept 78 to the Morbihan dept 56 back in 2012 after my house closed! Hope you enjoy the Paris transports bits and pieces!

Lets go around about transports in Paris, we all know the sites, for metro ,bus, tram is the RATP. And for the region of Paris Ïle de France is the Transilien. And then you have an overall public transport site now for the region call Mobilités so will give you the webpage: https://www.iledefrance-mobilites.fr/

You have the airports at Roissy CDG, Orly as parisaéroport webpage: https://www.parisaeroport.fr/ 

And they even have a name for the buses that runs at nights, the Noctilien! 

Well here are some tidbits of my eternal Paris!

Do you know Paris was flooded before? worse was back in 1910, but all the lands bordering the Seine river are floods areas even going back to gare du nord and gare de l’est!!!  You know Paris has 20 arrondissements or neighborhoods, but do you know these are further broken down into quartiers or districts that numbered 80! With for example my fav area of Muette is the neighborhood or quartier and the  district or arrondissement 16éme. The other quartiers or neighborhoods in it are Auteuil, Porte Dauphine, and Chaillot. See my posts on quartiers and arrondissements of Paris.

The pricier arrondissements are the 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, and 16. The cheapest are the 13,19,and 20 in terms euros per square meter of real estate value. Paris has 37 bridges covering the river Seine, these are Grenelle, Rouelle, Bir-Hakeim, Iéna,Debilly,Alma, Invalides, Alexandre III, Concorde, Léopold Sédar Senghor, pont Royal, Carrousel, Pont des Arts, pont au Change,Notre Dame, Arcole, Louis-Philippe,Marie,Sully, Austerlitz,Viaduc d’Austerlitz ,National, Tolbiac,Bercy, Charles de Gaulle,Tournélle, Saint Louis,Archévéche,Pont au Double,petit Pont,St Michel, Pont Neuf,Mirabeau, pont Amont, Passarelle Simone Beauvoir,  Pont Aval,and Garigliano. See my post on the bridges of Paris.

Paris has 16 metro lines known to many, but there are some closed and some never open. These are, Arsenal (closed sept 1939),Croix Rouge (closed sept 1939), Saint-Martin (closed sept 1939 ,it was the biggest station,  but it was decided too close to other two stations) , Champ-de-Mars (closed sept 1939), Martin Nadaud ( cancelled in august 1969 and merge with Gambetta on line 3, and creation of line 3bis) , Haxo ( was done to do the connection between lines 3bis and 7bis but the linkage never done ,and access was never completed), Porte Molitor ( access was never finished, it was to connect lines 9 and 10 to access Parc des Princes), Porte des Lilas-Cinéma ( old station in the 19éme now serve as filming spot for Paris metro). See my posts on the Metro lines of Paris.

A site to mark your bicycle paths in Paris, (and elsewhere) plenty to do it, lovely in the parks and gardens but very good alone the Seine river, this is mapmyride. Even if me only done it in Parc Monceau! Webpage:  https://www.mapmyride.com/fr/paris-ile-de-france/

You have a great stadium in Stade de France, not just for football/soccer but other sports such as Rugby and for concerts , art shows etc. Even if not officially in Paris but Saint Denis dept 93. Webpage: https://www.stadefrance.com/fr/infos-pratiques/acces-transports

And of course, my favorite pasttime is driving in Paris, plenty of easy parking payable at Vinci parks, Effia, Q-Park, and Saemes  parking garages all over the city, I have found on street parking too, even surprising some visiting friends and folks from the now defunct VT travel forum!  You pay half if booking online sites of the above names. Along the Seine river is always plenty of opportunities to park, and always close on foot to where I am going.  Driving in the bd periphérique is at 70 km per hour and they have speed radars to catch you, inside the city maximum is about 50 km per hour but it depends on the day and time, sometimes I have gone 80 inside and sometimes 30. You make yourself aware of where the Seine river is ,and use the cardinal points, plus the many signs available for all the major sites and you will be cruising in the city! Lately, the socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo who hails from Cadiz Spain, impose restriction on roads like closing them to vehicular traffic and lowering speeds to 30 kph, this was evidence by me back in November 2019 before the virus where the traffic has actually gone up and even more traffic jams all over. The idea was to persuade motorists but did not realise, many in Paris depends on the car and deliveries and buses and now tramways take space lol! To know as much as possible traffic in advance in the region but especially helpful for Paris, see Systadin, webpage: http://www.sytadin.fr/

Another private site I use often too is Infotrafic; which is good for Europe too.  webpage: https://www.infotrafic.com/home?region=IDF

If you ever in Paris and need car repairs or help and do not have your auto insurance to bail you out then use ID Garages to find a reliable one. Webpage: https://www.idgarages.com/fr-fr/ville/garage-paris

Its really easy, I will be driving again as usual always in my eternal Paris as well as my town and soon former town of Versailles. However, I WILL BE BACK!!! Hope you enjoy the thrill of the road, and traveling is one heck of an adventure!

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

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