Archive for March 24th, 2021

March 24, 2021

Carnac, the Grande Plage!!!

And here I bring you and me back to our wonderful closest beach in my beautiful Morbihan, in my lovely Bretagne, and my belle France. This is Carnac, an Unesco world heritage site but with beach ambiance to boot in good weather of course. We love it at the Grande Plage or big beach of Carnac! Let me tell you a bit more as many posts in my blog already.

The town has two section separated by about 2 km, there is  Carnac bourg or the main adminstrative city , and Carnac Plage or beachside. We need to move on so with the boys we came back to our family corner of the world. We used to come here a lot with my dear late wife Martine as it  is only 24 km or about 15 miles from our house. Proving this love for the area ,I have done several posts in my blog on the beach town.  

The town of Carnac is a must to come with the alignment megaliths stone that are Unesco World Heritage site There is guided visits duration about one hour from the tourist office, where you can go right next to the stones This is the largest megaliths space in Europe! There are about 3000 stones or menhirs here!!

However, the beach is superb. Great family place in a small compact shopping and eating area all parallel to the beaches. There is a little train or petit train that takes you in one sweep around the megaliths and the beach area with 39 sites narrated  Best to take at Carnac Plage port En Drö. More on the little train here:


The beaches are plenty starting looking at Carnac from the right to left you have:: St Colomban on an wall promenade road, and the lookout point of Pointe St Colomban; then comes the Ty Bihan beach, a dent on the continent but nice and smallist, follow by Légenéses beach or plage de Légenéses smallist taken you to the yacht club of Carnac and the Port En Drô harbor to the marshes. Then comes,the Grande Plage or big beach, this is absolutely wonderful and our favorite for hangouts and swimming; follow by a smaller beach of Beaumer ,and then the unique Men-Du beach on a big harbor dent with the possibility in low tides to walk to the island of Stuhan or île de Stuhan on your way to La Trinité-sur-Mer beaches (see post).


The Grande Plage is 2 km of fine and beach with a south exposition, with beach cabins is a must for all families ,in season, the beach is with lifeguards protection.  There are two children clubs in season.  The beach is rated A for water safety in France. You won’t go wrong here, and I tell my family this one can match any and I grew up in beach areas in the Caribbean! Parking is available even right along the beach on the boulevard de la plage!


Here we remember in family coming for our snacks on the boulangerie Mercier on ave des Druides, and the nice cold beers and food at the old Memestra, today another change of owner and name call Lulu à la plage; the shops and restos at le Passage de la Fontaine, and the Club Fisher on the Grande plage itself for drinks and snacks while enjoying the sea , superb. Also, at Quiberon.



We remember the movies at the Rex Cinema, a nice small two screen cinema that is so cool. And of course, the Le Marigny tabac to get our euro million lotto and a café ,just great, my father always ask me to buy here his lotto ticket when around.


The Carnac tourist office on the Grande Plage

This is a beach site , I follow for several years now and very reliable with good info on the Grande Plage:

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist board on Carnac:

The Brittany region tourist board on Carnac Grande Plage

Of course the beach side is a lot more a nice walk on its quant streets will make you realize this is easy living at its best. Oh the sea is wonderful indeed. This is  a lovely town ,again I insist a must to see with the family. We love it ,and now many memories for us coming here. I hope you enjoy it too as we do.

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

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March 24, 2021

Vianden castle in Luxembourg!!!

I like to update this older post in my blog on a pretty town in Luxembourg, one of our favorite countries in Europe. We have come so many times since about 1992 that I missed the count. In subsequent trips we enlarge our scope of visits into the countryside and reach the wonderful castle of Vianden. I have several posts on the country and city in my blog so therefore will keep alive this post in my black and white series,no pictures. Hope you enjoy it as I

On our road warrior tours of Luxembourg ,after visiting several times Luxembourg city, we started to span out into the countryside. We were staying in Germany south of Trier and as Luxembourg is so close and a dear stop for us, we decided finally to visit this wonderful castle town of Vianden with the family, and memories of my dear late wife, Martine.

Vianden is located on the east of the Grand Duché of Luxembourg, bordering on the west with the German frontier. The city is traverse by the Our river an affluent of the Sûre river . The name of Vianden comes from the Gaullist that means Rocky.  There are ways to get here from several adjoining countries, but we set off by car from Trier (see posts). Taking the 49 road to Wasserbilig , then 141 /370/368 /129 all same road, to N10 at Echternacht (see post) along the river Sûre to Vianden. Reads difficult but is not all is a straight line and posted.

A bit of history I like on the town

Already by 1256 the town is known but is not until the franchise letter of 1308 that Vianden legally carries the name of city. After been thrown out of Belgium, Victor Hugo (see post)comes to lived here for more than two months during the summer of  1871. During WWII, by 1940 the Nazis invades Luxembourg by  Vianden, with part of the 2nd panzer division to cross the Meuse river at Sedan . However, the barriers on the river stops them from doing so and not able to bring heavy equipment ; eventually crossed by the engineers nazis.

Things to see:  The rustique museum, museum of  dolls and toys;   The caricature and cartoon museum , the Trinitarian Church, the barriers on the river lower basin and upper to mont Saint Nicolas, and the underground installation of the pump central of Vianden to avoid flooding or provide electricity ; and the cable car (see post). Apart is the Literary museum of Victor Hugo ; more on this historical figure from the Luxembourg tourist office:

Of course, the main thing here is the Castle (see post). The construction goes back to the middle of the 5C; including roman periods over to the Caroligian period with most of the buildings from the 11C to 14C . It is set on a rocky promontory at a height of 310 meters that dominates the town of Vianden and overlooking the River Our about  100 meters below. The castle and its dependent buildings have a total length of 90 meters . The last great change took place in the middle of the 13C when the entire castle was adapted to reflect the Gothic style. Finally, in 1621 the Nassau Mansion with its banqueting hall and bedroom was built by Prince Maurice of Orange-Nassau-Vianden in the Renaissance style replacing a damaged side wing of the 11C. After mistreatment sets in by 1827,  the king, himself a Count of Vianden, repurchased the ruin hoping to begin restoration work. Unfortunately, his time was taken up with the Belgian Revolution of 1830 and it was not until 1851 that Prince Henry of the Netherlands reconstructed the chapel at his own expense, giving it a lower roof. When Adolphe of Nassau-Weilbourg became Grand Duke of Luxembourg in 1890, he ordered further restoration.  The  work was interrupted by the WWI event.  During the WWII, in the Battle of Vianden which took place on November 19, 1944, the castle was ably defended against the Waffen-SS by members of the Luxembourgish anti-Nazi resistance, and proved to have some military value even under conditions of modern warfare. The castle today is property of the Luxembourg government that had restored it respecting historically values. Even discovering new rooms such as a cell under the Lower Empire and a ramparts from Caroligians of the 9C. Castle webpage:

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is recommended!

The City of Vianden on tourist sights/info in French or German:

The Vianden tourist office in  English:

Hope you enjoy the post and do visit this fairytale castle up in Vianden, Luxembourg.  You will be glad you did! And remember , happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all.!!!

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March 24, 2021

When in Rome….!!!

And yes when in Rome… do as the Romans do!! This is an old post and I like to update text and links for you and me. I have several posts on it in my blog so pictures are there, this is a black and white series post. I came to Rome because family wanted to come, I came on business trips. So family won and we came for our summer vacation and it was nice. Hope you enjoy this introduction to Rome!!

I will give you enough wish list items to do visit. I admit when living outside of Europe never visited Italy, but since living in Europe, been there several times and one big summer vacation with the family all over RomeLazio region. Flew the family with the frequent miles by air and then public transport or a rental car to visit outside Rome was fantastic. We flew on Air France all the way with class as usual for us; took off from Nantes thru Orly and then Fiumicino and on the way back we came by CDG to Nantes. All perfect flights no delays flying the big blue, AF.  After thinking of taken the bus from Fiumicino airport to termini train station, and then metro Bologna to our apartment with BIT or Terravision, by the time we got to the bus terminal all were gone and since we had no pre paid seats ,saw Tambus ready to go and took it, 5€ per person on site, very nice ride and into central Rome by the Coliseum. This is their webpage for reference:

However ,even if the ride was good and so use to the car, on the way back we book a shuttle for 55€ for all five of us plus luggage from Nomentano to Fiumicino , great ride, great driver and very on time, by the time we came down he was already there!  We booked it thru the apartment folks.

We stayed in an apartment in the Nomentano district and had buses 62, 310, 445, and 542 or metro Bologna or St Agnese Annibalaino to handle all the trips. We did a different take upon recomm from a friend and book the apartment by, it was a delight. The owner gave us the keys and told us about the surrounding area, plus tips on transport etc. Then, the apt had two bedrooms, two baths, full kitchen, dishwasher and laundry machine, wifi internet connection, premium TV channels, AC, first floor and breakfast included brought to us every 3 days by staff, linens changes every wednesday weekly. All that for 105€ per day. The apartment was call That’s Amore Holiday. Since then, they have change owners and now its call 3BHome at Via Rodolfo Lanciani 1. Nevertheless, it seems same amenities and will post for reference great location. Webpage:

Once you reach the central nerve of the city , the multi transport station Termini , you are within walking distances of everything. Of course, we are used to walking, some folks visiting from outside Europe are not used to long walks. Pity, they are missing a lot of the place they visit, you can’t go like back at home ,you need to adjust to the local life to soak in all the culture and manners and learn, as learning the human being is an everyday routine.

If not, the public transport site is ok ,it tells you the metro and buses and end of line stops but once you read the panels on the stops and use them once, you will be cruising like a native ,very easy. The Roma ATAC transport network webpage:

There were streets, but also buildings, some churches, passing by saw a nice facade ,architecturally appealing and voilà photo taken. Another in the unknown, no matter , now looking at them they all look beautiful ,and will one day allow me the opportunity to go back and retrace my trails to find what they are. Another excuse to visit Rome again.  The public transport in summer was almost empty, and all the attractions were open even with big line did not matter we have seen plenty of old stones already in Europe ::) We did rented an apartment the Nomentano area very residential nice real people living and doing our groceries in the nearby Carrefour market. We were near Bologna metro/subway station but nevertheless we only use a couple times, the rest was on the bus, best way to see a city ,above ground!

So let’s give you an overall view of the Eternal Rome!!!

Rome or in Italian Roma is the capital of Italy since the Italian Republic in 1871 , located in the center west of the Italian Peninsula near the Tyrrheniann sea and also the capital of the region of Lazio; and was of the Roman empire for 357 years. It has the peculiarity to have a State right in the middle of the city, Vatican city (see post) where the Pope is the chief of State; it is the only one of its kind in the world. The history of Rome extends for over 28 centuries since the foundation by Romulus in 753 BC to now, been successive the center of the Roman monarchy, Roman republic (509 BC to 27 BC) ;later the Roman empire ( 27BC to 330AD)  ; during all theses periods we came to hear the popular phrase, All roads lead to Rome! . Since the 1C AD it host the seat of the Roman Catholic Church in the  Pontifical States from 752 to 1870 and later the Vatican City.

The city center extends 25 km to the coast by the Tyrrhénien sea forming the district of Ostia later call the Lido of Rome  (as lido means littoral ).  It is why Rome is one of the rare capital city that has a sea front and about 20 km of beaches.  The center is where you hear the phrase the seven hills of Rome with the Aventin, Caelius, Capitole, Esquilin, Palatine, Quirinal, and Viminal on the south where there is the Tiberian island. The city center ,also, includes the hills of Janicule and Pincio as well as the Vatican and the nearby Mount Testaccio. Outside the walls of the city you can find other hills even higher such as Monte Mario , Monte Parioli and Monte Antenne; as the old city was surrounded by ramparts walls or the Aurelian wall built by Emperor Aurelian in 270AD to protect the neighborhoods developed outside the Servian wall.

As mentioned , and by looking at my previous blog posts above there is lots to cover here. However, as different from many my favorites parts of the city are the parks such as : Villa Doria Pamphili, Villa Ada, Villa Borghése ( see post),  Gardens of the Vatican, Villa Glori, Villa Celimontana, Villa  Torlonia,(see post) Villa Medici (see post) ,the gardens of Pincio and the botanical garden of Rome.

There is a lot of old history and monuments here, so you come for the  Roman period, excellent choice. My favorites or everybody’s favorites (see posts) are the Colisseum ,Panthéon, Roman Forum,  arch of Triomphe of Arch of Constantin, and the Arch of Titus, the Marcellus theater, Via Appia, Thermes of Caracalla, Trojan column , Circus MaximusAurelian wall, Pyramid of Caius Cestius, Hercules temple, and Ostia Antica. You have nice fortress castles such as Castle of San Angelo, Fortress of Ostia and House of knights of Rhodes.

There are beautiful squares (see posts) we like such as the Piazza Navone, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza di Capitolio , Piazza de la Rotonda, Piazza de popolo, Campo de Fiori, Piazza de Quirinal, Piazza Farnese. The nicest bridges in my opinion are the Ponte San Angelo ,and the nicest fountains are of Trevi, Four rivers fountain, Neptune fountain, Turtles fountain, Triton fountain in piazza Barberini, and fountain of naides in piazza della Repubblica. Then, you have many many obelisks, gates, columns, catacombs, churches, basilicas, chapels, museums  libraries and the  AS Roma football/soccer/calcio team!

The Rome tourist office

The Lazio region tourist office on Rome

A cultural historical site for Rome , Archeoroma :

Hope you enjoy Rome as we did and looking forward to be back when possible to our eternal Rome! And remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all!!!

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