Archive for January 22nd, 2021

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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