Archive for March 28th, 2021

March 28, 2021

Lieutenance et Mont Joli!!!!

Ok this is a town I keep bringing up and will as too many nice memories here and very sentimental for us. On this trip we wrote about two wonderful spots in my beloved Honfleur, Calvados dept 14 of Normandie! One has plenty and the other little so will balance the post here on the Lieutenance and Mont Joli! Hope you enjoy it as I do always!

SO here I am again at you on my special Honfleur. Well if you read my blog, you know it is very special.  As you know , Honfleur is on the coast,  and the river Seine that flows divides into a bay with Le Havre on the other side and two wonderful bridges Normandie and Tancarville. Enough said , I love it here and wish could visited more ,even if do come often when possible. 

I get to tell you a bit about two small places, one is very popular in the middle of it all, and the other perhaps more spectacular you need to climb a hilly street and another village part of Honfleur to then see down and amazing sights! I will be telling you about the Lieutenance and Mont Joli.

Keeper of the old basin, the lieutenancy (or Steward or Lieutenance in French) is the last bastion of the medieval Honfleur, the last vestige of the ramparts, dismantled at the end of the 17C by order of Colbert . Last vestige of the fortifications of Honfleur, the building was the housing of the King’s lieutenant. The King’s lieutenant was the ruler’s representative in a region. Two buildings are to be distinguished in the lieutenancy: the bedrock, made of stone, built around a corridor, is what remains of the enclosure. Above, the brick and stone buildings, built in the 17C, sheltered the apartments of the king’s Lieutenant. It is surmounted by a niche, which contains a statue of the Virgin, Notre Dame du Port (Our Lady of the Port), and flanked by two graceful turrets in corbelled, decorated with the weapons of the city.

hon-lieutenance-front-aug18

hon-lieutenance-back-aug18

A plaque in memory of Samuel de Champlain, a navigator who explored Canada and founded the city of Québec from Honfleur in 1608, is affixed to the south facade of the building. The lieutenance is wonderful to look at every time coming into town and walking around it is sublime very nice area by the Vieux Bassin or old basin.

The city of Honfleur on the Lieutenance: https://www.ville-honfleur.com/decouvrir-honfleur/honfleur-terre-de-patrimoines/la-lieutenance/

Mont joli is a beautiful hill, yes right up by the Chapelle de Notre Dame de Grâce (see post) and with indeed beautiful views below. It’s a stop to gaze and wonder and dream on in Honfleur. Located on the heights of Honfleur and a few steps from the Chapelle, Mont Joli is a magnificent viewpoint which deserves a small detour. It offers a breathtaking view of the entire city, below, with its typical Norman-architecture houses, as well as the remarkable Tancarville Bridge, built in the mid-1950’s. The Normandie Bridge and the mouth of the Seine river. From the hill, a nice little road goes down to Honfleur and you can thus return to the city on foot via a pleasant walk. Well it is steep hilly not my cup of tea so I have not done this but is available!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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The Honfleur tourist office on the côte de Grace and Mont Joli: https://www.ot-honfleur.fr/je-profite-sur-place/patrimoine/la-cote-de-grace/

And where these sights are located really is the town of Equemauville, city hall webpage on its history: https://www.mairie-equemauville.com/histoire-et-patrimoine

In all you got the high and the lows of Honfleur, you can see the water’s edge and the medieval looking inner harbor and the sights from above with far away views that at night are just well awesome. Hope you enjoy the trip to Honfleur, and see the Lieutenance and Mont Joli to tell me more about my special town , Honfleur. Also, remember to see the other posts on them.

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

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March 28, 2021

My travels in the Morbihan LXXXVIII

We went again ,just for a ride as most is closed or take out only. I have written plenty on the presqu’île de Conleau or Conleau peninsula of Vannes in my blog and have nice memories of family visits here, only about 30 mins from home. We were there this morning Sunday with the boys my Dad, and our dog Rex, we had a nice outing even with the times. Let me tell you a bit more on the Conleau peninsula. Oh yes this is one of those peculiar things here that is a peninsula but a district of Vannes as well.

vannes conleau harbor to gulf ocean mar21

We went for a leisure ride back into the N165 direction Vannes and Arradon. Taking exit 29 at Plescop road D101 direction Arradon/Vannes! We took this scenic drive rather than the expressway N165 as it is more residential and nicer by car and continue on the Bd de la Résistance and follow signs for Conleau just before the parc du golfe turn right into the peninsula. If no car, you can easily come from the Vannes train station on bus line 7 to Parc du Golfe then line 3 to Conleau. This way in less than 20 minutes, you will be at the Conleau peninsula across from the beach/pool. Free parking at the dike. Paid parking at the end.

vannes conleau parking to bay port mar21

vannes conleau channel to port and pool mar21

Conleau is one of the neighborhoods of the city of Vannes. It includes the Conleau peninsula It is located at the south west of the city of Vannes at the end of the Gulf of Morbihan. The Conleau peninsula is an ideal spot for families, barbecue, and just soak in the tranquil life away from the city and crowds. It has been linked to the mainland since 1879 by a dike road, and in 1919, the City of Vannes acquired the pine forest and the seawater swimming pool.

vannes conleau pool center mar21

vannes conleau pool left to gulf mar21

vannes conleau pool right to port mar21

You can walk around the peninsula along a winding path. You can discover a rich flora and fauna, the Pointe des Émigrés (see post) and Arradon (see post) on the other side of Vincin. In the mudflat, migratory and sedentary birds take advantage of the environment. Little Egret, Chevalier gambette or even Curlew are easily observable.

vannes conleau bay to marina repairs station mar21

vannes conleau harbor to gulf mar21

Swimming is possible in Conleau. Two options: the natural beach or the seawater swimming pool. The quality of the bathing water is excellent. The beach is not very big but you will be seduced by the view. Equipped beach, seawater swimming pool, cabins, restaurants, and grand hotel . The place gained its place as a seaside site in the 1950s, giving way to fishing. The grand hotel Best Wertern Le Roof has received stars like Johnny Hallyday and Renaud ,and even former Prime Minister Michel Rocard.

vannes conleau BW hotel le Roof front mar21

For eating, there is a nice restaurant inside the hotel Best Western at the tip of the islet , Le Roof for a formal dinng or the le Cafe de Conleau for lighter fare , and also a bar area. Then for quant, local and family warm go to my favorite there La Guinguette de Conleau, (closed ,here for the memories) at 3 Allée Frères Cadoret. Now it has been replace by the 1930 Conleau a more modern decor which I have not try yet.

vannes conleau le cafe conleau mar21

vannes conleau 1930 conleau old guinguette mar21

There is ,also, a wonderful looking camping which not stayed but walked all around it many times and if visiting this is an ideal place to stay. The city of Vannes on the Conleau camping: https://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/tourisme/camping-de-conleau/

vannes conleau camping mar21

The Gulf of Morbihan local tourist office on the Conleau pool: https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/fiche/bassin-de-conleau/

The city of Vannes tourist office: https://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/tourisme/office-du-tourisme/

My fav Plages TV beach site on the beach and pool of Conleau: https://en.plages.tv/detail/conleau-beach-vannes-56000

The BW Le Roof hotel resto complext at Conleau: https://en.le-roof.com/

There you go folks, a nice family ride on a Sunday at any time, this is prime heavens on the Conleau peninsula of Vannes. One more jewel of my beautiful Morbihan, and my lovely Bretagne ,and my belle France! Hope you enjoy the ride as I

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

March 28, 2021

My travels in the Morbihan LXXXVII

And out we went again ,just for a ride as most is closed or take out only. I have written plenty on Guidel in my blog and have nice memories of family visits here,only about 38-40 mins from home. We were there Saturday with the boys and Dad, and we had a nice outing even with the times. Let me tell you a bit more on Guidel and Guidel Plages. Oh yes this is one of those town that has a bourg or town center site as Guidel ,and a beachside site as Guidel Plages.

We went for a leisure ride back into the N165 direction Guidel and its beaches. Taking exit 45 at Guidel road D306 direction Guidel you are in town in 15 minutes! We pass by the town to see our old hangouts by car and continue to Guidel Plage or beach along the same road D306 on the bay it becomes the road D152 ,and have several restaurants overlooking the shallow waters of the bay of Bas Pouldu coming in from the ocean.

This is another beach town in my beautiful Morbihan, this is a new visit and new pictures of Guidel bourg or town and a Guidel plage or beach. I have several posts in my blog to say the least, one of our favorite spots all with nice memories with the family.

In Guidel bourg or town, you have a nice Church Saint Pierre and Saint Paul in place Polignac ,  surrounded by shops ,restos, and parking ! We took advantage right in front of the church to shop for our traditions baguettes at Lucas boulangerie/pâtisserie and grab a couple!

Guidel ch st pierre et st paul side ent mar21

Guidel Lucas boulangerie cv mar21

We remember one of our fondest memories with my dear late wife Martine where we pick at random a picturesque Italian villa call La Villa Toscane resto grill pizzeria at 15 place Jafffré. It was sublime and we look forward to come back when possible. For the record here is their webpage: https://www.villatoscane-guidel.com/

Guidel La villa toscane resto ent mar21

Guidel la villa toscane resto side terrace mar21

Then, we continue to Guidel Plages or beachside at about 3 km away. Guidel Plages or beach is better known to surfers but good for the whole family with shallow water and playground for kiddies; two big section of games and restos ,one by Le Bas Pouldu and the other by plage de la Falaise or cliffs beach.

Guidel plage bas pouldu marina to ocean mar21

Guidel plages falaise to ocean mar21

The Port or Pleasure marina area has excellent gallery of painters and plenty of restos and bars with the bay behind them; there is a walking trail of the Laîta river just alongside the bay , and the Le Bas Pouldu plage/beach.

Guidel port arriv mar21

Guidel port marina mar21

We have tried here Ty Beach a resto pizzeria right at place Bas Pouldu with a plethora of restaurants next to the port and the beach Le Bas Pouldu plage. webpage: https://restaurant-tybeach.com/

Guidel plages pl du bas pouldu restos court mar21

Right as above we have tried the Brasserie Le Roof  which invites you to a relaxing and refreshing break. On the large terrace, with breathtaking views of the sea and in the shade of the immense maritime pines propose, noon and evening, to enjoy in all conviviality and with the feet in the water. This is closed for now do not know if permanent or the virus break.

Right at the end of le Falaise Plage or cliff’s beach, you have another wonderful section for water sports and kids playground, the dune du Pouldu, the tip with views of Fort Bloqué and the vast beautiful beach.

Guidel plage bay laita to pl du bas pouldu mar21

There is surfing and beach shops as well as ice cream parlor and restos. We have tried for lunch La Moule qui Saoûle, friendly service even late.  There are great views of the ocean, wonderful walks alongside it, and just beach bum style par excellence.

Guidel plage La Moule que Saoule resto mar21

Of course, the history of the town and many other things to see and do are in my older posts in my blog with pictures. This is my latest live trip of last Saturday. Hope you enjoy the brief tour of Guidel and Guidel Plages in my beautiful Morbihan, lovely Bretagne and in my belle France!

Guidel plage falaise carrousel mar21

For the benefit of new readers, some webpage to help you plan your trip here and it is recommended ,especially with kids.

The Ports of the Lorient country as Guidelhttps://www.ports-paysdelorient.fr/fr/ports/le-port-de-guidel

The city of Guidel on what to do/see: https://www.guidel.com/temps-libre/sports/guidel-a-leau-de-mer-de-piscine-de-riviere/

The Lorient Bretagne tourist board on Guidel heritage: https://www.lorientbretagnesudtourisme.fr/fr/immanquables/guidel/

The plages tv site on the beaches of Guidelhttps://en.plages.tv/seaside-resorts/guidel-56520

And there you go another adventure from home in nearby Guidel, the wonderful coastal wonders of my beautiful Morbihan dept 56. Hope you enjoy the post and do read my other posts on the area; you are sure to like it as we do.

And of course on the way back home we got in by Landevant exit/sortie 37 of the free road N165, and stop to shop at one of our favorite delights in our belle France chocolats: Here is the factory and boutique of Maison Le Roux, with branches in Paris and Quiberon here as well. Sublime chocolates!! webpage: https://www.chocolatleroux.eu/

landevant maison le roux chocos mar21

landevant maison le roux choco bars et boite mar21

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

March 28, 2021

A look again at Montparnasse!!!

And why not update this wonderful post on a dear spot in Paris for me. After all my years worked in Paris there are two spots memorable to me, the other won’t mention here, find out. This one I will , this is my Montparnasse where I worked near the tour Montparnasse and later my entry point to Paris from my current Morbihan breton! Let me tell you a bit more about Montparnasse of Paris , of course!

I do went to Paris each month on business before the virus and several times on personal trips from my Morbihan , but my entry point has change from when I lived in Versailles; there it was glorious to go on the rive droite train station to gare Saint Lazare in Paris.  Nowdays , I go in by Gare Montparnasse for the last few years. I can go out from Auray or Vannes, the latter is better equipped and nicer parking ,free are both on sections. On this particular trip  took a look at all the construction they are talking about in the Montparnasse district covering several neighborhoods.  

paris-montparnasse-lines-arriving-june18

The Gare Montparnasse is up for a renewal after 25 years !, is about time. Eventually, the station will be brighter, more open to the city, and equipped with more waiting spaces dedicated to passengers. It will also total 19,000 square meters of shops, restaurants, or other co-working spaces. The Gare Montparnasse is a beauty. Starting with the repair of its 250 linear meters of exterior facade.  The façade which also has large windows is covered with aluminium panels adorning the walls of the railway station.  These frescoes dating from the beginning of the  1970’s  go on their side to be renovated. A glass walkway will also be created in the Hall to provide a walking space.

paris-montparnasse-renovation-gare-jun18

Inside the station, it is both better to manage the flow of passengers (notably by creating 14 additional escalators, which will bring their number to 39), to enlarge the reception space allocated to the public and to create businesses spaces. The creation of large bays windows allows to open the station on the district (on the side of the Avenue du Maine), while it turned so far back to the city. The traveller arriving from the province will thus have a view of the Montparnasse Tower-also in the process of being renovated, the glass windows also allow to bring in a maximum of light in a building particularly dark and cold. New materials – granite, bamboo…-are also introduced to end the All-concrete scene.

paris-montparnasse-renovation-metro-side-jun18

One of the challenges of this monumental project is to carry out the work while keeping the station active. The first tranche of work (Commandant Mouchotte street side) will be completed next November 2019  with the opening of a part of the shops. The second instalment (Vaugirard side) will end in November 2019. The final delivery (center of the station) is programmed at the end of 2020 the space, the first service to be relocated, is currently forming along Pier 24. In parallel, on the Océane front side, a huge tarp conceals the passengers from a double panoramic lift access to the quays. These first developments will be discovered during October in the station.  Two new TGV lines destined for Bordeaux and Rennes, inaugurated in early July, sound the beginnings of this evolution. The renovation of two lounges, including that of the frequent flyer, was completed just in time for this event. The real big construction site has been in installation for several weeks, occupying almost all of the place Raoul Dautry and seriously impacting the passenger routes inside the station, especially the users of the Metro. The work is expected to begin in September and will be done in 3 phases:

Phase 1: Building on the street side of Commandant Mouchotte, until the end 2019.  Phase 2: Part of the building at the corner of Boulevard de Vaugirard and place Raoul Dautry, end 2018 to end 2019.  Phase 3: Central part, from end 2019 to end 2020.  Panoramic elevators/ lifts will be installed in a SNCF/RATP exchange room, as 70% of the station’s users arrive by Metro. will also be arranged 19 additional escalators, with the introduction of three “sense of departure” against only one today, and four “senses arrive” against two today.

paris-montparnasse-renovation-hall-jun18

A few steps from the train station, another shopping centre, Gaîté-Montparnasse, undertook, in the summer of 2017, its renovation project underway will include a  E Leclerc hypermarket center, perhaps followed by an Ikea store. Above the train station, opposite the Atlantic Garden, the NOC Bar envisages a refreshment and the premises of the Museum of General Leclerc, which will move, are the subject of a call for projects of the city of Paris.  This is a vast renovation, to last for years in a perimeter which is an important gateway to the Paris . The first phase of the work could be programmed to end in the spring of 2024, then a second start in the fall, after the Olympics in Paris.

The neighborhood of Pasteur-Montparnasse will have renovations too. The Post office museum, which celebrated its 70 years in June 2016, is currently under construction. The institution, located on Boulevard de Vaugirard, will be completely transformed. Only the facade panels, signed by the sculptor Robert Juvin, will be preserved. The reopening has been done already. Current 2019, the Museum of General Leclerc/Musée de la Liberation – Musée Jean Moulin will take a new location. Located at the level of the Atlantic Garden, above the Gare Montparnasse, the establishment is difficult to reach and suffers from a lack of visibility ,a new establishment will be on the Boulevard Pasteur (between n ° 24 and 30) .Adjacent to a Jardin des Simples  proposing the cultivation of aromatic plants and herbal teas by rue du doctor Roux, will complete this project.

Farewell, two-wheeler (motos) stationed permanently on the Boulevard of Vaugirard.  A portion of the central aisle will soon be returned to pedestrians. The boulevards Pasteur and Vaugirard are going to be vegetated in two stages. The first one will be the Boulevard Pasteur with the layout of the small square located at the entrance of the subway Pasteur. 

This is the city of Paris on the project which as you know due to the virus has some delayed, the dates above were the initial input. Webpage on renovations: https://www.paris.fr/pages/projet-6e-14e-15e-maine-montparnasse-5750/

The SNCF webpage on the work going on in Montparnasse: https://www.garesetconnexions.sncf/fr/gare/frpmo/paris-montparnasse/actualites/travaux

And the report is , well there is lots of work going on and some areas are completely covered ,but you can’t hardly notice it, and all is smoothly flowing, that is Montparnasse. The last I read in French media is that work will end by the Summer of 2021 but this is condition on the measures against the virus taken as well. Anyway after all is done and finish it will be totally new train station and I am looking forward to revisit again!

!As I worked next to it for two years let me tell you that the Tour Montparnasse will close to reborn anew bigger, more transparent and ecological sound with a suspended garden! The works which will be huge need the tower to be empty of its occupants for about 4 years!!! but the work won’t start before 2021. Of course, this too pending on how the virus situation develops. Stay tune!

You are welcome to Paris. Another good day in Paris. It is always good to come back once in a while for personal reasons it took two months to come back, and it was missed the monthly trips. Paris is eternal you know, and once bitten by the virus you will always come back or we will always have Paris , right!

Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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