Archive for January 27th, 2021

January 27, 2021

Lorient, there is an airport!

One of the benefits of updating older posts is that you find things overlooked and need to tell you about it. Therefore, this is a new  post on a new place, how about that! Of course, it is on a town near me and visited many times as well as many posts in my blog. Lorient, there is an airport, of course! Let me tell you a bit about it, and hope you enjoy the story.

Before, I tell you the technical stuff, let me tell you about two anecdotes about this airport. First, I have been at it twice but only one using it…I will explain ok

The first time was that on my business travels, I found myself at Roissy CDG waiting for my flight to Nantes (usual home airport) and saw a collegue from my office also there. He was from another department/service so we could not have known were flying the same route. He was contacting his wife to see if she could pick him up at Lorient. However, I was going to Nantes…. The thing was his flight was cancelled and he was rerouted thru Nantes but his car was in Lorient. My car was in Nantes so I offer to take him to Lorient airport to pick up his car as needed to passed by my town of Pluvigner and was not far; and of course he agreed. Therefore, we flew to Nantes , picked up my car and drove together to Lorient, first time was with company going home, and only time! This is how I found out about the Lorient airport which is just a dot on a field really… and yet very close to my home town about 39 km.

The second time was the one I actually landed at Lorient airport! Again, I went to a conference in Cap d’Ail (see post) going from Nantes to Nice airport and there rent a car to Cap d’Ail. However, on my way back from Nice to Nantes all flights to Nantes were gone due to an air traffic controllers strike (see post) and there was no more schedule because it would fall after 22h and the strike was officially started.  Therefore, after much negotiations with the AF staff, they book me on a flight to Lorient; nearer me and know the airport if you can call that ….However, my car was at Nantes Atlantique Airport! I arrived at Lorient airport a bit past 10pm or 22h , and thanks to AF had a taxi waiting for me. The guy was a nice talkative type and we had a great trip, it was saying talking the trip goes faster ,indeed. We discussed the world and try to fix it hehehe!!! and figure out he likes Spain and scuba diving but it’s more into rugby then football/soccer…oh well .I reach the covered parking at Nantes airport by midnight. And drove 1h30 home in my car. And this is how I “tried” the Lorient airport!

Now ,that I told you about the anecdotes on my history with Lorient or Bretagne Sud airport ,let me tell you a bit description on this little airport in the boonies!

Lorient Bretagne Sud airport, previously called Lorient Lann-Bihoué airport, and locals simply know as the Lorient airport is a mixed-use airport, military and civilian, located in the town of Plœmeur, 9 km from Lorient, department of Morbihan 56 region of Bretagne.





It is made up of a civilian airport, open to national and international commercial traffic, and military with the naval air base of Lann-Bihoué created in 1938, one of the largest military air bases in France , and Europe! 

The Lorient airport is connected daily twice a day to 2 Hubs, Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle airport  (Roissy CDG) and Lyon St Exupéry airport, flights operated by Air France Hop regional carrier and APG Airlines connects Toulouse on weekdays.

The airport also receives general and business aviation traffic, which is growing strongly from year to year.  The airport is located by car: 15 minutes from Lorient city center via the N165, and 40 minutes from Vannes by the N165. The airport is not served by public transport but there is a large supply of taxis on site. My take is from Vannes , you indeed take the N165 expressway direction Lorient/Quimper/Brest and get off at exit/sortie 44 on the road D163 direction Plœmeur, continue to a traffic circle or roundabout and get right hand side on the road D163E this narrow road will take you straight to the airport and the parking area.If coming on the train at the Lorient train station, a taxi will take you just 7 km.

Overall description on arrivals and departure terminals

The Departures Hall. ‘Départs) This hall is made up of check-in desks and Air France / Hop! and APG Airlines. Public toilets are available and outside, a letter box.  The basement area is reserved for passenger boarding with boarding lounges and 2 “PIF” passenger screening inspection stations and baggage handling. In the boarding area, there is also a snack area available to customers and a 25 m2 “VIP” lounge reserved for statesmen (during trips supervised by the Prefecture), prestigious Air France frequent travelers and private aviation passengers.

The Arrivals Hall . (Arrivée) This hall is made up of a large baggage delivery belt, a business area reserved for Air France Platinum or Club 2000 customers, a restaurant, bar and press area Café des Merlus with a view of the tarmac and taxiway. Public toilets are available with changing tables. A children’s play area is located on this level as is a ticket machine. The terminal and boarding lounges offer free Wi-Fi. Car rental agencies are available inside the terminal or in the car park reserved for rental companies now are Europcar and Sixt. The passenger car park offers 437 parking spaces, including spaces reserved for PRM near the terminal.

The land where the Lorient airport is located is managed by the military, the runway cannot be used over its entire length as there is a bit of stop at the beginning and at the end of runway 07/25, they are used especially for the training of aircraft from the Lann-Bihoué Naval Air Base, one of the largest military air bases in France and the largest naval air base in Europe, in particular the planes serving on the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (Super Etendard, Rafale or Hawkeye).

The French ministry of defense on the military part of the Lorient airport:

The official Lorient Bretagen Sud airport in English:

The tourist office of Lorient Bretagne Sud on the airport:

And there you go folks, could be an option coming to the Morbihan a bit closer to the wonderful coastal region of ours. Of course, if I am around could possibly pick you up there. You never know had met many travel forums and blog friends over the years here. Hope you enjoy the post and also find it helpful to your travel plans.

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

January 27, 2021

Alcalà de Henares, with a touch of Cervantes!

So coming back to whimsical historical and architecturally stunning Alcalà de Henares and to add with a touch of Cervantes (Don Quijote). I am updating this one in my black and white series as plenty in my blog on the story and pictures. Hope you enjoy it as I do.

Here I continue with my journey thru the Castillas’s of Spain, that is Madrid, and Castilla La Mancha. We have come back to the city of Alcalà de Henares by unanimous decision!!!  This is the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra the author/writer of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza fame, the omnipresent Spanish literaly star.

It is a sprawling lovely town with an inner Calle Mayor that looks from another world, all around it and on Plaza Cervantes are building of great historical and educational value. Also, Calle Libreros and Calle Colegios. Many of the colleges of the University Complutense  of Alcala de Henares, founded in 1499.

It is about 32 km from Madrid , however, we came from Cuenca by car along the A40 then A3 and then the A2 direction Zaragoza and then Barcelona but you will find the panel for Alcalà de Henares off exit 28. We went straight to our favorite parking and newest in town as we did last year when we were here at the underground parking San Lucas off Via Complutense street.

From we set out to see the city on foot. This time we saw briefly what we have seen and like last year and went around to see more, there is a lot to see in Alcalà de Henares if you are into architecture, history, and education, this is it. I have pictures elsewhere on individual posts in my blog.

Right off the parking you have the Capilla de las Santas Formas a bit Chapel rising over the above ground of the parking San Lucas. We walked to the Plaza Cervantes ,here you see the city hall, Centro Interprétacion de Cervantes (all on the history of the writer of Don Quijote), and the wonderful Torre Santa Maria tower.

We saw in no alphabetical order, the Antiguo Colegio Convento de los  Trinitarios Descalzos, Antiguo Hospital de la Misericordia Antezana, Iglesia Santa Maria la Mayor at Via Complutence. The Colegio Convento de San Agustin, Colegio del Rey , Convento Monasterio Agustinas de Santa Maria Magdalena, Convento San Juan de la Penitencia.

We went on to Ermita de los Doctrinos, Ermita de Santa Lucia, Monasterio Museo de San Bernardo, the must Casa Museo de Cervantes (where he lived and was born) , and the Oratorio de San Felipe Neri.

We went to the Palacio Arzobispal or archbishop palace , where nearby is a statue of Queen Isabel I, the Catholic (who gave ok to Columbus to set sail for a new world to Europeans). Go all the way back to the Puerta de Madrid gate, and the walled city premises dating from the 13 to 17C!  The Colegio Convent Caracciolos(17C).  Go on to the Colegio Convento de Minimos de Nuestra Señora de la Victoria, Colegio Convento de San Basilio Magna, Colegio de Malaga , Colegio de Teologos Madre de Dios, and the Colegio de San Jeronimo o Trilingue .

As you can see this is not a all list and already plenty, many beautiful buildings here.  Too many to mention the links but easily found in internet.  We came back for our lunch stop in La Gitana Loca, the beer glass or caña price is 70 cents euro! with tapas from 1 and 2 euros you have a batchful here for almost nothing.It is next to the Cathedral too! Their webpage is not working for this location cannot confirm if still open, verify! sad if indeed closed, it shows they have other location like in Aluche district of Madrid city. We, also, did some serious shoes shopping while walking Calle Libreros at no 28, at Los Kosakos, great bargain for men and women shoes! Their Facebook page is outdated so maybe closed could not confirm, verify. Sadly these establishement with great memories seen to be closed already..maybe the virus.

The city is split into five districts but hardly noticeable to the visitor. These are Centro (the best part), Reyes Catholics, Chorillo-Gareno, Ensanche-Espartales, and El Val. The Romans called it Complutum and the Arabs/Moors Al-Qala (the Fort). It becomes Christian in 1118 by been taken by the bishop of Toledo, and in 1687 given the title of City by king Carlos II. In 1785 Maria Isidra de Guzman y de la Cerda enterst he University and is the first women to obtain a doctorate in arts and letters.  During the Spanish Civil War the town is with the Republicans. In 1991, the episcopal seat is again set in the city and Complutense diocesis. The Gothic Church Magistral is raised to Cathedral Magistral of Santo Justo y Santo Pastor (the boys).

And of course, the Cathedral of the young boys Saints. Justo and Pastor. It is dedicated to Maria Magdalene and it is Magistral since all its priests are doctors in Theology only one of two which is Magistral. It was built in 1514 in a isabeline gothic style. The story goes that in Roman Hispania there was a period of great persecution of Christians under the government of emperor Diocleciano (284-305AD) ; during this period happened the martyrdom of the Saints Justo and Pastor, boys of 7 and 9 years old executed in 304AD outside of Complutum for their refusal to refuse Christianism.

Outside the  Cathedral is simple and austere, while inside it is divided into three naves call Centro, Evangelio , and Epistola. In the Centro nave you will find the urn of silver and gold in a crypt where the remains of the boys Saints are kept and a stone where they were martyred. These relics were transferred to Huesca and then France during the Arab/Moors invasion.

The Madrid tourist office on Alcalà de Henares:

The tourist office of Alcalà de Henares in English:

The city of Alcalà de Henares tourist things to see in Spanish:

Alcalà de Henares is truly a city to come back again, lots to see and document here, we like it, it is on our world map. Hope you enjoy the tour.

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

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January 27, 2021

Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid !

And now let me update a wonderful place in my beloved Madrid. This one know since early teen when lived in the city and my school would take me here! always the school lol! It was interesting them only, as time went on the importance grew and came back with my dear late wife Martine and the boys and later with the boys too. Let me tell you a bit more on the Biblioteca Nacional de España,  or the National Library of Spain in Madrid.

Another highlight building visited many times and even played at Plaza Colon since youth is the Biblioteca Nacional de España or National Library of Spain ,right on Paseo de Recoletos just below the Plaza Colon.



To read the books here you need a batch and authorization but there is plenty of areas where you can have a guided tour. The Exhibition Rooms and the Library Museum, where various exhibitions and cultural activities are held, are open to all.



The library was founded by King Felipe V of Spain in 1712 as the Biblioteca Pública de Palacio or Palace Public Library. All publications done in Spain needed to deposit a copy here first. In 1836, the library’s status as Crown property was revoked and ownership was transferred to the Ministry of Governance (Ministerio de la Gobernación). At the same time, it was renamed the Biblioteca Nacional.


The collections started with the king Felipe IV and V, and continue with requisition of others losers in the wars of succession and other private donations by nobles. By 1761, the library starts printing books and manuscripts as well. It continues to add books by taken over the closed out convents and private collections due to wars or disputes, and the Court of Cadiz in 1814.


The library due to wars and conflicts changes place several times. First, in  1809,under the occupation of Joseph Bonaparte it is located at the Convent of the Order of Trinitarians in calle Atocha. By 1819, it changes place again,  and is located a the Council where the sessions of the admiralty are held to avoid reclamation of rights by the Trinitarians after the return to power of king Fernando VII. Again, in 1826 it moved again to the old residence of the Marquis of Alcañices during the 19C , in what it is today the Calle Arrieta.


In 1866 the Queen Isabel II throws the first stone to the building Archieves Palace, library and museum at the Paseo de Recoletos site. The building is finally done in 1892, and it is open to the public in 1896.  By the law of 1901, the library takes charge of all libraries in Spain. By 1930, a national council is created to handle all matters of libraries in Spain.  During the Spanish Civil War, the library is closed and the precious cargo is taken to the Serranos Tower in the province of Valencia.


Advances and laws thereafter, the library suffered minimum if no damaged from the Spanish Civil War. By a Royal decree in 1985, all the different services and institution linked to publishing were integrated in the National Library , and the BNE  (Spanish National Library in Spanish form) is declare the superior library institution of the State and chief of the Spanish system of libraries! In 1996, the internet is open to the BNE! And since 1982, there is an additional site in Alcalà de Henares.

Just behind the Library is the Calle Serrano a chic fashion street that takes you to the Puerta de Alcalà gate, and crossing the street to the parque del buen Retiro park. Up street on Alcalà you can see the statue of Espartadero and onwards to my old living area in Calle de Alcalà!

There are several rooms in the National Library including a open Museum which we took advantage this time.

The Tourist office of Madrid on the library museum in English:

The tourist office of Madrid on the National Library

The official Biblioteca Nacional webpage on the museum in Spanish:

Practical information on the National Library in English:

Enjoy the learning place of Spain, the National Library or Biblioteca Nacional de España (BNE) a wonderful place indeed for the whole family and especially those really interested in Spain! Hope you enjoy as we do.

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

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January 27, 2021

Basilica de Jesus de Medinaceli, Madrid !

Moving right along in this wonderful tour of my travels ,updating and revising links and text on older posts; this one on my beloved Madrid. One of the most popular churches in the city, let me tell you a bit more on the Basilica de Jesus de Medinaceli!

I had come by here several times over the years but not really going in depth and not enough pictures until 2017!  It is time this wonderful Church Basilica gets it’s worth from me. This is Madrid!  The Basilica de Jésus de Medinaceli is located at the Plaza de Jésus near the Westin Palace Hotel and the wonderful Cerveceria Cervantes and other spots see my posts.


This is one of five basilicas in Madrid, and is located on the site of the previous Convento de Trinitarios Descalzos de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación ( convent of the barefoot Trinitarian of Our Lady of the Incarnation b. 1606) . It is ,also, the seat of the order of the Archicofradia Primaria de la Real e Ilustre Esclavitud de Nuestro Padre Jésus Nazareno de Medinaceli; b. 1710 ,( best in English: Primary Arch Confraternity of the Royal and Illustrious Slavery of Our Father Jésus Nazareno de Medinaceli), and given status in 1928 by Pope Pius XI; yes it is long ::) the fraternity of the Jesus of Nazareth for short.


The Church was consecrated in 1930, designated parish in 1966, and raise to Basilica minor by the Pope Paul VI in 1973. The current Basilica has three nave with the larger one in the middle, all done in a baroque style. There is a statue of Jesus of Nazareth in the corner of the building facing the street.


A must see is the Christ of Medinaceli done in the 17C with brilliant workmanship of venerable artists from Seville (high altar photo). The Duke of Medinaceli built a chapel in  1689 in honor of the statue. After the war of Independence in Spain the Church was almost destroyed and the Duke’s mother decided to erect a Church first in 1890 from which the Church grew and now Basilica. The image almost did not survive the Spanish Civil War, and needed to be taken out of Spain, even to France; the survival of the icon, despite its difficulties, has augmented its veneration.




The official Basilica Jesus de Medinaceli webpage in Spanish:

The tourist office of Madrid on the Basilica Jesus de Medinaceli in English:

A very nice Church Basilica that is really beautiful in its chapels and statues inside very venerable and one of the most visited by Madrileños; it will be worth your detour. Hope you enjoy the brief introduction.

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

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