Archive for April 19th, 2021

April 19, 2021

A long trip to the Philippines!!!

Ok so I went down to my vault of older posts and found this one. It brings lots of good memories so will update/revise links for you and me now. However, for memories sake will keep the old pictures with the post. Again, what a thrill to do these older posts and come to beautiful moments in my life. Thank you for following along with me and hope you enjoy as much as I. Let me tell you about a long trip to the Philippines!!!

Let me tell you about the airports on one of my many trips to the Philippines which was full of anecdotes on a trouble strike times in my belle France. I decided to do this trip in my blog by sections rather than the whole story. Bear with me trying to be creative lol!

My airport for the last few years have been the Nantes Atlantique normally call the Nantes airport even if it is in the city limits of Bouguenais in the department 44 of Loire Atlantique in the region of Pays de la Loire. Yes old Brittany and the closest major airport from me.

I needed to go earlier than usual due to the strike of the yellow jackets or gilets jaunes going on in France nowdays blocking the roads to ask the government to bring back the taxes on fuel/gasolines that are very high even by French standard ! The fight will be long and planning many days of demonstration road snail traffic and block of main roads. I left home by 4h to avoid the blocking which knew from social media was to begin at 6h, done deal easy in to my covered parking at Nantes!



The airport has a terminal consisting of three main parts called Hall 1, 2, 3. A fourth part, Hall 4, was added with a lighter architecture, initially dedicated to the regional subsidiary of Air France, before hosting more generally regional flights with small modules. A gradual optimization of airport facilities starting from 2020, with a three-stage phase of work up to 2035, including the extension of the tramway to the airport. As a consequence of the abandon of the airport project of Notre Dames des Landes. Due to the virus this has been slow down. This webpage will you and me an advance notice of the renovations which will last to 2025.

Is growing but still a wonderful small airport easy in and out and great parking facilities. From here most of the time fly out with Air France, sometimes HOP and less Vueling , Air Europa or Iberia. The official webpage for the Nantes Atlantique airport:

And as I got earlier than usual here, had time to enjoyed a wonderful lunch at the nice le Grand Comptoir restaurant at second level by security entrance and gates. I had the menu du jour filet mignon in mushroom sauce with a glass of Cheverny red wine, and coffee just nice for 22€. This has been closed due to the renovations do not know if reopen, here for the memories.


From Nantes, I flew all over even north to Amsterdam or south to Madrid for connections but most of the times to Paris CDG.  The landing here is always on Terminal 2 F from Nantes and going but this time needed to go to Terminal 2 A by bus, easy. As had used it before and plenty in my blog just you tell you is very easy but huge and can be overwhelming for new visitors or not used to big airports.  From Orly done flights out of the  Paris region. I have a post explaining it all.   And of course, had to have my Starbucks coffee in T2A before the passerelle to my gate A37 and HKG. (Hong Kong airport).




Then, have a previous post on those connecting airports of mine for the last few years.  This time went by Hong Kong again and very tight needed to ask assistance with Cathay Pacific airline which were wonderful to take me to the gate lol!  It is a nice airport mind you but as always in these tight budget travels the connection are very tight and no time to see much in them. The HKG airport webpage:



I ,then continue into Cebu Mactan International airport, Philippines. Here I have been a couple times already so it was easy in addition to always been waited for, the trip back to the hotels is always by car and pleasant company. The Cebu Mactan airport webpage:



Well, this is not over as was needed to see other parts of the Philippines; so went back to Manila Nino Aquino International airport of which have previosly visited and it is a rather big nice airport with all facilities as well. the official Manila airport webpage:


Again, traveling in the island nation of the Philippines, went this time to a new airport that of Cauayan in the province of Isabela north of Manila. They tell me by bus or car is about 12-14 hrs from Manila but by plane was only 2! Again flying internally on Cebu Pacific airline which as routine was always late! The airport is very small and limited facilities just a big runway to accommodate island travel and visit the caves which are famous here and attract some tourists from abroad. The airport was recently reopen (nov 2nd) after suffering heavy damage from storm Rosita.  A bit of info on the Cauayan airport (CYZ) on flightconnections webpage:


And the trip back was very loong and even more delays at Cauayan airport , the flight with Cebu Pacific was delayed 3 hours (the longest delay ever for me, there is always a first), been lucky in the past but….I needed to go thru Manila airport and from there Philippines airlines to Cebu airport ,where just stayed at the airport for the connection domestic to international and my flight back home!



So the return home was from Cebu airport passing again by Hong Kong airport this time with a bit more time no assistance needed but not enough time to look around yikes! and from HKG to Paris CDG T2A all using Cathay Pacific again, rather nice service and on time. At Paris CDG took again my Air France from T2F to Nantes arriving on time.

However, the gilets jaunes were still on strike. The leaving the airport was easy but just at the junction with the N165 roundabout the barriers were beginning to be put up for a block, just barely past them. Arriving by Vannes, the snail traffic blocks were going on by the city center exit ,however, took the direction Rennes N166 to go around my job and cut back into the smaller departamental roads and towns to avoid all blocks. The blocks were there in Vannes all over and on the N165! Got home safe and sound and quick, you just need to know your alternative routes always!

Hope you enjoy my latest round of airports and my latest on the Philippines.  Always memorable trips looking forward to repeat when possible.

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

April 19, 2021

The unmistakable Sizun!!!

This is a great moment to update this post of our visit to Sizun. A wonderful place that needs to be seen, and another wonder in my lovely Bretagne! Let me tell you about the unmistakable Sizun and its religious enclosure! Hope you enjoy it as I.

I take you back to our neighbor Finistére dept 29  ,and the historical Calvary and parish enclosure town of Sizun. Sizun is one of the jewels of our region and a must to see , for not only the religious meaning but the wonderful architecture, and historical value in it. We love it. 

Sizun is located north of the Monts d’Arrée ;name as a green station and part of the regional Armorique natural park. The name is quoted for the first time in 1173 in the Charter of the foundation of the Abbey of Daoulas under the name of Sizan and Plouecisun, the spelling being then variable over time. The etymology of the name Sizun is incertaine: As for Cape Sizun, it is perhaps the sense of rock imbedded in the Celtic language, alluding to the rocky ridges of the mountains of Monts d’Arrée . To the north of the mountains of Monts d’Arrée, the section of Saint-Cadou, even having a part of the north slope, ranging from 382 meters above sea level to the top of the Ménez Kador, whose western side therefore belongs to the town’s territory and which was long regarded as the highest peak of Bretagne before being overtaken by the Roc’h Ruz located in the territory of the town of Plounéour-Ménez and 80 meters to the northwest of the territory in the downstream part of the valley of the Élorn. The town is crossed by the Élorn river, formerly called Dourdun or Dourdu, whose source is located in the northern part of the Tuchen Kador, and two of its tributaries: the Stain on its right bank, the brook of Kan an Ôd on its left bank. This river, long rich in salmons, flows into the harbor of Brest, the dam of the Drennec created for the water needs of the city of Brest and the other towns of northern Finistère which led to the creation of the Lake of Drennec, straddling the towns of Sizun and Commana.

A bit of history I like

An ancient Roman road, whose plot coincided roughly with the current route Brasparts-Saint-Rivoal-Sizun passed through Saint-Cadou. The name Saint-Cadou probably originates from Saint Cadoc or Cadmael, founder of the Welsh Abbey of Llancarfan, in the 6C. According to a version of his life, he would have withdrawn as a hermit in Belz (Morbihan 56) where the Chapel of Saint-Cado (see post) preserves the hermit’s stone bed.. About twenty chapels are dedicated to this saint in western Brittany. The chapel is built between 1650 and 1663. The Chapel de la Tréve (truce) of Saint-Cadou is erected in the branch of the Church of Sizun in 1748 with the agreement of the Rector ( priest) of Sizun, who demands, however, as a primitive rector that the parishioners of Saint-Cadou come to Sizun for their Easter; It is then described as follows: There are three altars: on the high altar, we see the statues of Saint Cadou, Saint Joachim, Saint Joseph and the Holy Virgin, Ste. Anne and Saint Margaret.

Located on the route of the N164 going from Landerneau to Angers (actually Ancenis), and which itself resumed the route of the old Roman road, Loc-Ildut housed an important post relay, which already existed in part in 1812 the other buildings dating from 1831 and 1845. The whole is currently in ruins. The first Chapel of Loc-Ildut, built in the 12C by the Earl of Leon, was of Gothic architecture. The current chapel dates from 1653, 1677 and 1727, but has undergone multiple re-use and successive additions. Very degraded, it was almost sold in 1930, but it was gradually restored since 1960. Vicar at Sizun, and another Vicar in the  parish, both refractory priests (against the French revolution dictum of negating on their faith for taking on the Constitution of France), and the sister of the first , who had hidden them in Plouguin, were guillotined on 15 October 1794 in Brest.

Sizun was part of the parishes which, from the 16C to the 19C, owed much of their prosperity to the making of flax and hemp, which allowed the funding of the parish enclosure and the ascent of a true peasant aristocracy, the ” Juloded ”.  Albert David Rothschild, of Jewish origin, son of Brestois traders, took refuge in Sizun during the Nazis occupation. aged thirty years, loving fishing and perfectly assimilated to the young people of the area, he did not hide, despite his wearing of the yellow star. He entered the network of resistance Justice of Morlaix, animated in the canton of Sizun by François Manac’h and Lucien Messager. Albert Rothschild was arrested and led to the Feldkommandantur of Sizun and severely beaten. His tortured body was found, his hands tied in the back, under a pile of coal in the schoolyard, following the liberation of Sizun.

Things to see; a must here and worth alone coming is the parish enclosure.



The Arc de Triomphe (b.1585-1588), whose full-scale reproduction was exhibited in 1989 in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris during the commemoration ceremonies of the bicentennial of the French revolution, is a monument representative of the Breton Renaissance.


The Chapelle-Ossuary (b.1585) whose facade is adorned with the caryatids statues of the Twelve Apostles; It now houses a museum of popular art and traditions showing bed-clos, clock, costumes, embroidery; A woman with bare breasts is represented just under the Twelve Apostles and they are surmounted by a series of figurines, two of which represent squatting women who display their vulvas (this illustrates that at the time of its construction the ancient cults Pre-Christian fertility and its organs still mingled with Christianity) .


The Church of St. Suliau, dating from the 16C to the 18C and its steeple of 56 meters high. It has a 17C high altar, richly decorated and sculpted and a polychrome organ built from 1683 to 1686 its 16C south porch is flamboyant in style. A statue of Saint Suliau, in a priest vest, surmounts the inner door and is dated 1514. A baptistry topped by a carved wooden canopy dates from 1619. A silver reliquary of Saint Suliau dates from 1625. The Church has retained a processional banner of the 17C where Saint Suliau is depicted on one of the faces and Christ in the cross on the other side.


All of the above are part of the parish enclosure that is so  nice to visit Sizun just for that. Then there are other things to see such as

The Chapel of Saint-Ildut dates from the 15C, built around 1485. It was built by the Earl of Leon. Consecrated to Saint Ildut, this Welsh monk evangelist of the Armorique, who is part of the Breton Saints not officially recognized by the Catholic Church. It has banners, crosses, statues of which some are pieces of goldsmith (Saint Mélar, the Virgin to the Child) three fountains are visible on the placître, one of which, associated with a wash-house, is perhaps an old basin to make hemp.  The Church of St. Cadou of the 17C and 19C and its Calvary, which dates from 1744.

The Maison de la Riviére ( House of the river), water and fishing, located on the outskirts of the village in the old windmill of Vergraon, presents all aspects of the life of a river (aquariums, models) and has an annex the Maison du Lac (house of the lake).

The Lake of Drennec is straddling the towns of Commana and Sizun. It is a reservoir lake of 110 hectares containing 8.7 million m3 of water, with a dam weight of 500 000 tons of materials and embankments, dating from 1982, intended to store potable water for the supply of the region around Brest and a good part of the north of Finistère. A 7 km walking trail makes the tour, allowing you to discover landscapes, fauna and flora. The nautical center of the Monts d’Arrée has settled there. Two beaches have been arranged.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here, and its worth the detour are

The city of Sizun on its heritage:

The Finistére dept 29 tourist office on enclosures/heritage:

The CIAP center of interpretation on Sizun

And some specific sites on the preservation of the parish enclosures such as Sizun in French:

Association SPREV on Sizun:

Association APEVE on enclosures;see Sizun:

There you go folks , a small town , but me think well worth it for the parish enclosure of Sizun in Finistére,and in my lovely Bretagne; a jewel.

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

April 19, 2021

Some news from France, CCCXXIX

And let me get back to my fav series on some news from my belle France. It is happening, the weather is still cool but sunny and even if still with restrictions until May 3rd, we have news many more will be open by mid May. I am afraid for the avalanche of people coming over once all is open, the thirst is huge out there! In the meantime, here are my latest rumblings.

Despite the uncertainty created by the virus’ variants, a meeting devoted to the deconfinement strategy was held this past Thursday evening, April 15 at the Elysee Palace (presidential) . Gabriel Attal, the government spokesperson revealed to Les Echos business journal , the first reopening measures. Certain cultural venues and certain terraces will reopen in mid-May. Nurseries and primary schools will be able to reopen on April 26, while high school and middle school students will resume on May 3. Its about time!

The traveling exhibition of the Rolling Stones sets down its suitcases at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille. “Unzipped”, the immersive exhibition dedicated to the rock band’s 60-year career, will be held from June 10 to September 5 2021, where it first performed in 1966. The event is called “Unzipped” , certainly in reference to the iconic Sticky Fingers pouch in 1971, opening on the fly of a pants. To celebrate its 60 years of career, the band to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, returns with great fanfare with this immersive exhibition in Marseille Nearly 400 objects from the Rolling Stones will be presented, including guitars by Richards and costumes by Jagger. The route will also end with an immersion in the group’s legendary concert in Havana, Cuba.

I told several times my region rocks, Bretagne/Brittany/Breizh and the Figaro newspaper is telling the world about it. Saint-Malo the corsair, Rennes the medieval, the coasts of pink granite or Emerald, the enchanted woods of Brocéliande. From north to south, Brittany offers tourists its grandiose natural and historical sites and breathtaking landscapes. On a territory with a strong identity, Côtes d’Armor, Finistère, Ille-et-Vilaine and Morbihan reserve the most tumultuous worlds like the Pointe du Raz, and the most peaceful, like the Gulf of Morbihan. Weekend ideas, best activities for walks to the beaches, hotels, restaurants, etc etc.

From the desert mountains of Monts d’Arrée to the famous pink granite blocks of Ploumanac’h, passing through the Huelgoat forest and the Pointe du Raz, Brittany has lost count of its natural treasures. Cap Fréhel, on the Emerald Coast, is the second most visited natural site in Brittany, after Pointe du Raz. The Côte de Granit Rose stretches for about fifteen km between Perros-Guirec and Trébeurden. Alternating beautiful beaches and spectacular granite chaos dating back to 300 million years ago, this famous coastline is best explored on foot, taking the GR34 trail. And Ouessant Island , a supernatural setting, from the end of the world. Steep coasts, dizzying cliffs, offshore reefs, fierce winter storms. Inland, a gentle savagery arranged by the hand of man: Ouessant has five lighthouses with that of Créac’h is the most powerful in Europe!, a church, two chapels, 18 calvaries and a village.  The Monts d’Arrée in Finistère, mythical Druidic mountains. 500 million years old, this land of moors and rocky chaos is home to korrigans, hideous and facetious dwarves that we tame by treating them with courtesy. Dominating from its 381 meters the Youdig hill, the other gates of Hell, with that of Huelgoat, Mont Saint-Michel-de-Brasparts and its isolated chapel offer a superb view of this brown and red expanse, that the gorse punctuates in spring with touches of gold, and the heather with purple when autumn comes. Gorgeous all I am telling you!!

The Pont des Arts, to embrace Paris. The Pont des Arts remains, for all lovers of Paris, and of the left bank in particular, the obligatory point of passage to span the Seine. Whatever the color of the sky, spectacle and poetry are always there. The wooden footbridge, built under Napoleon Bonaparte, freed from its padlocks (yeah!!), now welcomes performers as well as strollers, always quick to immortalize the moment. And a wonderful moment it is!!

This emblematic place is, of course, frequented by a good number of tourists, but it is so Parisian too! The atmosphere pleases me, the welcome is always great and the family side is omnipresent. This café steeped in history and once frequented by great authors and novelists has now become a must-see, very current. Of course, I am talking about the mythical Café de Flore, 172, boulevard Saint-Germain. 6éme can’t wait to be back. Webpage:

I often make sure, in my walks, to pass in front of this building. I have managed to enter it discreetly and the studious atmosphere gives me real energy. I find a certain emotion emanating from this place. This place is the école des Beaux-Arts or School of Fine Arts, 14, rue Bonaparte 6éme. Webpage:

I have always been fascinated by this building, whose architecture I find grandiose and balanced. I find it hard to imagine the thousands of people running around the platforms of this old train station at the turn of the century! You might think at first that the place is cold, but I feel good there. I have to tell you, I even go there sometimes, just for a walk! And of course, each time I visit the museum, I take the opportunity to go up to the terrace, which offers a breathtaking view of Paris. Yes indeed magical Musée d’Orsay Museum, 1, rue de la Légion d’honneur 7éme. Webpage:

The Musée de la toile de Jouy is set to move in several years, an opportunity to set up partnerships with the universities in the area. It is in Jouy-en-Josas (Yvelines 78) , future Cité du textile or fabric city. Soon, it will be possible to live the canvas as it did then, and begin the digitization of the 10,000 patterns produced by Oberkampf at the end of the 18C! A nice off the beaten path trip in my beloved Yvelines 78. Webpage:

And at my other fav Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines 78) there will be a more open festival to replace the Estival. The fall rendezvous for French-speaking songs is disappearing from the cultural program in favor of a new event that the city wishes to be more international. But the association which organized it for more than thirty years is not dissolving it will continue. Webpage:

The question is the Jardin du Luxembourg are better maintained than the gardens of the city of Paris? I say yes! Disgruntled Parisians say so too. They launched a petition to request the attachment of the two nearby municipal gardens to the “Luco” as locals call the Luxembourg garden, managed by the Senate. Separated from the Luxembourg Gardens (6éme) by rue Auguste-Comte, the two Parisian public gardens are at the heart of a petition demanding their integration into the bosom of the Senate, more virtuous in the management of its green spaces, according to the petitioners Yes and by car I always park by Auguste Comte!

The part of rue du Temple located between rue de la Verrerie and rue Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie will be permanently pedestrianized and vegetated. around the new “Hôtel-de-Ville” metro station, at the bottom of rue du Temple 4éme. The start of work is scheduled for January 2022. Get out on foot is the norm!

Seven hardwoods installed in large pots on the square look pale on this winter outing. This spectacle of desolation revives the controversy over the greening policy of the city hall of Paris. Seven trees planted in pots on the Place du Panthéon look so sad that passers-by imagine they are dead. Well Paris if you want to go green it has its costs too.

Pap Ndiaye, new director of the Palais de la Porte-Dorée in Paris. The 55-year-old historian awaits visitors at the Immigration Museum and Tropical Aquarium 12éme. He wants to make this former colonial monument a “must-see” in Paris. Webpage:

The French State is making funds available for securing and restoring Saint-Etienne Cathedral of Meaux. (Seine et Marne 77) . The French State representative in the Ile-de-France region visited the episcopal city, the gardens and the Bossuet museum in Meaux. And it has been confirmed . This money will be used to renovate the building, its surroundings and conduct a fire safety diagnosis.Great!!!

I offer my sites to have a breathtaking view of Paris and gain height on the panoramic terraces and discover Greater Paris at the same time! All within 10 km. As the roofs and terraces of the Pompidou Center, the Orsay Museum, the Arab World Institute or the Arc de Triomphe are closed for the moment, I have chosen some others; some been once and the first one several times! Views for the best panoramic spots in Paris for you. First, the Mont-Valérien is itself a magnificent place full of history. The terrace allows you to observe Paris, the Bois de Boulogne and the towers of La Défense, without vis-à-vis. Located in Hauts-de-Seine dept 92, you can get there by train from Saint Lazare station towards Suresnes, Mont-Valérien stop, lines L and U.

Another is located in Argenteuil, (Val d’Oise dept 95) the two Buttes d’Orgemont and des Châtaigners are worthy of your time. You have to climb 250 steps to access the first and 360 for the second. But the two vast roof terraces are particularly pleasant for a picnic perched in the open air with a view of Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower, La Défense… All the symbols of Paris and more await you as a reward! Access from Gare Saint Lazare dir: Argenteuil train station, Line J for the Butte d´Orgemont (with a 20-minute walk) and Sannois station, still line J, for the Butte des Châtaigners.

The wonderful Parc de Saint-Cloud (Hauts-de-Seine dept 92). It must be said that this park really offers a historical and natural journey that is worth the detour. The 460-hectare space is filled with small English-style parks, sculptures and fountains to stroll around in peace. The park also offers a panoramic view of Greater Paris. The most impressive for us is the one that is visible from the Lantern terrace or from the Belvédère, with a highest point at 160 meters altitude. Opt for the entrance to the park through the Breteuil pavilion for direct access to the Lanterne terrace. Access: Sèvres-Rive-Gauche train station, line N.

And last but not least, the Plateau Departmental Park in Champigny-sur-Marne (Val de Marne dept 94) This 18.6 hectare natural space is ideal for a short country walk while enjoying a panoramic view of Greater Paris: in the distance you can see the skyline of the buildings of the Defense , the view of the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré-Cœur is also very clear. You will recognize at first glance the vast wooded area of the Bois de Vincennes in the background. Access: RER A from Nation to Champigny, then bus 306, Parc Départemental stop/arrêt.

I had mentioned before and even a post in my blog on Louis de Funès but here is again the show at the Bercy Village .It is one of the favorite actors of the French that Bercy Village is honoring in 2021: Louis de Funès then invites himself in the shopping aisle until the end of May 2021. In this partially open place, since it houses stores considered essential at the moment, you will find around thirty movie posters by this fantastic artist. Thus, in the 4 passages that allow you to enter or leave the place, you will be able to see the posters of the most emblematic films such as The Adventures of Rabbi Jacob, La Grande Vadrouille or even The Wing or the Thigh … All this to give you movie ideas to (re) see when you get home at 19h! Bercy Village,  Cour Saint Emilion 12éme exhibition until 31 May 2021. webpage:

At Le Bristol Hotel, a delicatessen with homemade products is open! You can’t say that bakeries, food shops and other neighborhood grocery stores are jostling in this part of rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. A godsend for Le Bristol: since last December, the palace adjacent to the Élysée Palace has opened its own grocery store, “L’Épicerie des Ateliers” in a former gallery. A shop that was supposed to be ephemeral and only last for the end of the year holidays … but which found its regular clientele. In the grocery store, you can find “homemade” products directly from the Palace workshops: bread, chocolate etc etc should be heaven to be there when possible!! webpage:

And always innovating and now with cause of the curfew, it’s a a good way to do your shopping once the supermarkets are closed: fruit and vegetable distributors are opening 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there are baskets there. garnished with fresh and local products. The first, installed at Ermont-Eaubonne train station in the Val d´Oise dept 95, promises to be the first in a long series. The following should see the light of day in different parts of the region, first in Andrésy, Yvelines dept 78, and if the concept works, you will see it spread further. Convenience always !!! Quality to be tested. More info this webpage:

Gallia beer quintupled its production to conquer the province or countryside away from Paris. Heineken’s investment allows the Parisian beer to open a production site in Sucy-en-Brie (Val-de-Marne dept 94), with 40,000 hectoliters planned per year. Brewed until now in Pantin (Seine-Saint-Denis dept 93 ), it thus becomes the largest brewery in the region. This is dubbed the Parisian beer but not tried yet if I recall. Gallia webpage:

And finally, last but not least let me give a recipe of a popular sandwich we do it at home often too with the boys as it is easy to make. We have try this recipe and its good of course! Éric Fréchon, three-star chef at Épicure restaurant at Bristol Hotel Paris,( apero had there)  unveiled the recipe for his delicious and gourmet croque-monsieur.

Ingredients for 4 people: 75 cl of whole milk. 40 cl of liquid cream. 150 g of polenta semolina. 4 slices of Paris ham. 200 g emmental. 4 slices of sandwich bread. 4 knobs of butter. Salt/ pepper.

The recipe calls for Preheat the oven to 160 °Celsius. Meanwhile, cut 8 slices of Emmental and 8 slices of ham into squares of the same size (10×10 cm). In a saucepan, pour the milk until it boils, then slowly pour in the semolina while stirring. Gradually add the liquid cream and cook for 20 minutes, stirring so that the preparation does not stick to the bottom. Once cooked, spread the polenta in a baking sheet (1 cm thick) then leave to cool in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. Once the consistency is firm, cut 12 squares of the same size (10×10 cm). On a baking sheet, arrange 4 squares of polenta, and top with a square of Emmental and a square of ham. Repeat the operation, ending with a square of polenta. Remove the crust from the white bread, and mix the crumb to obtain a very fine breadcrumbs. Then top the squares with bread crumbs and a knob of butter. Put in the oven and let warm for 5 minutes, then put each sandwich in the grill for 30 seconds to color them. Serve and enjoy with a cream of your choice. The chef’s advice, a parmesan or truffle cream! And voilà bon appétit!!

And there you go folks another dandy from dandy France! The world awaits the moment to come in so be prepare, it will be an avalanche! And of course, I will be there too. If Paris is eternal and the most beautiful city in the world by most, than you need to come more into the countryside and see my belle France, the most visited country in the world by UN-WTO standards (official).

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

April 19, 2021

Another beauty at Commana!!!

And going right along updating these wonderful older posts and seeing these beauties of my lovely Bretagne is simply awesome! I thank you for following me in this quest and hope you enjoy it as much as I . Let me tell you a bit more on beautiful enclosure monument of Commana!!!

The enclosures or enclos in French are religious monuments that go beyond religion due to their enormous architecture showing and the huge historical significant to the region of Brittany. I went to see the parish enclosure of Commana, in the Finistére dept 29.  Commana  is part of the Regional Natural Park of Armorique and benefits from the label “Town of Rural Heritage of Brittany”. It is located on the northern slopes of the Monts d’Arrée and on the Haut-Léon area, on the edge of Cornouaille.  The town is situated on a mound facing the north slope of the mountains of Monts d’Arrée. Two coastal rivers, the Élorn to the west and the Penzé to the east serve as part of limits to the territory, separating Commana from Sizun to the west and Plounéour-Ménez to the east. The mountains of Monts d’Arrée separate Commana from Saint-Rivoal and Botmeur to the south, even if the town boundaries do not coincide exactly with the ridge line; To the north, the boundary with Saint-Thégonnec passes through the plateau of Leon without relying on any notable topographic features.

The name of Commana would come from the Breton words muc (valley) or Komm (trough) and Sainte Anne, due to the local tradition, of a trough of stone containing a statue of Sainte Anne which one would have been found at the site of the Church (but which would in fact be a Statue of Venus that the inhabitants would have Christianized in Sainte Anne). This would be the origin of the cult of St. Anne in the parish.

A bit of history I like

A commandery was created in the 12C at the place called Kaerfornerit by the Hospitallers of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem implanted in the neighboring parish of La Feuillée. Kaerfornèrit, with about twenty outfits, were under the command of the commander; the last of these villages is reported in 1160 as belonging already, to the Knights of Saint John of Jèrusalem; It is called in the Charter “Kaerfornerit in Commana”.  The Bois de la Roche, in Commana, which embraced in its fief the majority of this parish, was formerly of Penhoët. In the 17C, the Lord of the Bois de la Roche acquired the portion of Penhoët stretching into Commana as well as all the other fiefs of this parish which did not belong to him yet, and thus brought together the entire parish, which he called “Seigneury of Commanan” and which he paid homage directly to the king. Note that in a relatively modern era, the manor of the Bois de la Roche in Commana was called Château de Bouvans, named after its last owners.

Commana is on an ancient axis of communication. It seems certain that the Roman road from Carhaix to Plouguerneau is directed by the vicinity of Huelgoat by Comanna, Guimiliau, Lampaul-Guimiliau. The royal road became the N164 which connected Ancenis to Landerneau, then Brest, whose traditional route passed through Huelgoat, La Feuillée, Commana, Sizun and Landerneau. It was in 1973 that this axis was downgraded to the axis from Carhaix to Châteaulin, now expressway. Since the 16C at least, the activity linked to flax and hemp, probably thanks to the impulse aroused by the monks of the abbey of Relec located in the neighboring parish of Plounéour-Ménez, has developed in Commana, allowing among other the social ascent of the juloded and the financing of the construction of the parish enclosure. At the end of the 18C, a veritable canvas industry was created in Commana, but the wars of the French revolution and the Empire ruined this nascent industry, which remained until the end of the 19C. The use of slates has once constituted a very important activity in the Center-Finistère. Confined to the 18C in the vicinity of Châteaulin, it gradually developed eastward following the Aulne Valley and to the north in the Monts d’Arrée mountains, mainly to Commana, Sizun and Plounéour-Ménez . Production reached its maximum level in 1923,, still sought nowadays by historical Monuments renovations. Production reached its peak in the 1950’s to 1960’s, then rapidly declining under the effects of competition from the slate quarries of Trélazé , then foreign, Spanish especially. Today the extraction has stopped.

Things to see in Commana are: the main thing here and a must to see is the Parish Enclosure, a must to see in my Brittany.  The parish enclosure, built around the Church of Saint-Derrien. This architectural ensemble built in the 16-17C is considered one of the most beautiful in Brittany. The Church, the funeral chapel, the enclosure itself, the Calvary and the Arc de Triomphe.


The parish Church of Commana is dedicated to Saint Derrien, a Saint who lived in the 4C.. Legend has it that upon his return from the Holy Land, he rescued Prince Élorn from drowning, who later gave his name to the coastal river. Refusing the land offered in gratitude for this good deed, the Saint demanded from this prince the construction of a Church, that of Commana it was at the end of the 16C, in 1592, that the construction of the parish enclosure of Commana, the Church, was undertaken. Dating back to 1645. It comprises a five-span nave with its lower sides as wide as the central nave. The chorus ends with a three-sided bedside. All naves are panelled in cradle , all in Renaissance architecture style.


This porch was built from 1645. Three dates listed in three different locations allow us to say that it was built in three separate major stages (1645, 1650, 1653). The central niche housing the statue of Saint Derrien is surmounted by a pediment itself topped by a lantern. Inside the porch, twelve niches with balusters form a hedge of honor leading to two doors separated from a thomas with a blessing from wherever it comes, the visitor will be impressed by this steeple, high of 57 meters, perched on one of the highest hills of Leon, at 262 meters above sea level, Supported by eight buttresses adorned with mouldings and cornices, this pointed steeple, straight up to the sky, cohabits with the shale and serrated Roc’h of the ridges of Monts d’Arrée. Overcoming a massive tower, this pointed arrow devoid of pinnacles can only impose a respect for a admiring contemplation. The date, 1592, is engraved at its base.

Dating from 1701, the Sacristy complements the Church harmoniously, integrating perfectly with the rest of the building. The altarpiece of St. Anne is a masterpiece of 17C Baroque art. So complete, accurate and illustrated, it is difficult to describe it. The Church of Commana also houses two other altarpieces that do not possess the beauty of the first. These two altarpieces are that of the Rosary and that of the Five wounds. Located south of the choir, these two altarpieces are based on the same architectural pattern as the altarpiece of St. Anne with a central scene, framed by two niches, all placed under the gaze of the eternal Father.


The Baptismal Chapel dating back to the 18C are located in the northwestern corner of the Church. The baptismal fountain dated 1656, is arranged in the heart of a fluted column, adorned with gadroons and surmounted by a five-part wooden canopy covered by five pilasters which are backed by two cardinal virtues (Justice and Temperance) and the three theological virtues (Faith, Hope and Charity). Above the canopy, balusters support the dome overhung by the statue of Jesus holding the Cross, supported by three caryatids. This last work dates from 1683 .


This monumental, Arc de Triomphe overhung by three lanterns is the main entrance to the parish enclosure. Decorated with mouldings carved in stone, it housed up to 1978 two statuettes in the lateral niches. In the past, this triumphal arch was closed to a wrought iron grate dating back to the 18C. It was only open on the occasion of marriage or burial in order to pass the procession, access to the church usually by the steps located on the left of the Arc de Triomphe.


Once crossed the Arc de Triomphe, one finds, immediately on the left, the Reliquary Chapel, improperly called Ossuary. Dated from 1677 to 1687, this building is very sober, includes only one door and four windows each containing a blessed. Only crosses and spiral ramps carved from dragons adorn the façade.


There are two Calvaries in the parish enclosure. The first one located between the Arc de Triomphe and the south porch is dated 1585, however the Cross bears the date of 1742, which suggests that it replaced a cross dating from the 16C. Dating back to 1624, the second Calvary lies more in the cemetery.


Other things to see in Commana in my opinion are

The covered alley of the Mougau-Bihan, or “Tomb of the Giants” (Neolithic). is a megalithic ensemble composed of 24 large blocks of stone this monument was dated, by comparison, between 3 000 and 2 500 B.C. It is 14 meters long, and consists of juxtaposed granite walls; These pillars are from 1-1.30 meters apart from each other. The horizontal ceiling consists of four almost horizontal slabs, the fifth covering the cell at the north. The 5th Slab does not cover the burial chamber but a terminal cell called “Cella” which overlooks the south. The entrance is located in the north. Its width is less, because it is half closed by a pillar placed obliquely.

The windmills of Kerouat built from 1610 to 1910, the village comprises two water mills and their hydraulic system, the Museum of Fauna and Flora “Art and Nature” of Kervelly This museum allows to discover the animals, the flora and the minerals of the four seasons in the Mountains of Monts d’Arrée.   Fifty-nine Kanndi were recorded on the territory, the laundries in the parishes of Plounéour-Ménez, Commana and Sizun in the 18C. Located in the eponymous village, the Kanndi of Rozonoual, was an ancient property of the monks of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, was restored by the association   “Lichen ” between 2007 and 2013

 The lake of the Drennec gives you possibilities of a water course, artificial beach, pedestrian path, rest areas and picnic, camping of 50 places, tennis and petanque. A restaurant (bar-Crêprerie) is open in season. Its waters are almost free from pollution given its very upstream situation on the Élorn basin. This artificial reservoir with an area of 110 hectares, partly fuelled by Élorn and Mougau, supplies water to a part of north Finistère, including Brest Métropole, Landerneau and Landivisiau. Located on the towns of Commana and Sizun, this lake enjoys a 1st category classification for trout fishing.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and is a must are:

The city of Commana on its heritage:

The Finistére dept 29 tourist office on the enclosures such as Commana:

The Bretagne region tourist board on Commana:

The CIAP or center of interpretation of these monuments on Commana:

And two association that preserves these parish enclosures dearly and a must to read and translate from the French are:

The APREVE on Commana:

The APEVE on Commana:

And there you go folks, another wonderful historical and fascinating trip into my lovely Bretagne. Hope you enjoy this enclos of Commana as I do.

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

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