Archive for January 23rd, 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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