Archive for April 28th, 2021

April 28, 2021

The beaches of San Sebastian!!

And now back to the lovely city of San Sebastian and its wonderful beaches! I am updating this older post on the wonderful beaches of the city. They were always a reason to be here along if any, but read my other posts on San Sebastian ,is a lot more than beaches. Anyway, hope you enjoy the post as I.

There is snow in Spain as well and my favorite areas are covered already so why not bring on the beaches of San Sebastian!  I came here with the family including my Dad (my dear Mom Gladys had already passed away in France 2007). Even while living in Madrid never made it here, so ironically finally went to these wonderful beaches from France. I am talking about the Zurriola and La Concha beaches of San Sebastian.

The beach of Zurriola is one of the three beaches of the city of San Sebastián . It is located between the mouth of the Urumea river and Mount Ulía, and has an approximate length of 800 meters. Facing the elegant and quiet profile of the beaches of Ondarreta and La Concha, the beach of Zurriola has been consolidated as a beach with a younger profile and suitable for the practice of surfing (it is the most open beach and with strongest swell in the city) and to have  the Jazz Festival of San Sebastian and of competitions of bodyboarding, surfing, skateboarding and similar events. The practice of nudism is allowed since 2004, being one of the few Spanish urban beaches that allow it.

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This is the beach area where we parked each time there by the Kursaal Congress area Gros neighborhood , really across from the beach! There is a more popular beach but we still preferred Zurriola of all the beaches there, more intimate, and local. Of course, better for the younger crowds.

Do not want to tell you more as plenty on these popular Zurriola beach,therefore, will give you some webpages to help you enjoy your visit here:

The San Sebastian tourist office on Zurriolahttps://www.sansebastianturismoa.eus/en/to-do/what-not-to-miss/zurriola-beach

My fav beach webpage Plages TV on Zurriolahttps://spain.plages.tv/detail/zurriola-beach-donostia-20001

The city of San Sebastian/Donostia on Zurriolahttps://www.donostia.eus/ServiciosEspeciales/Playas.nsf/zurriolac?ReadForm&idioma=cas

Moving . on to the more popular La Concha beach. La Concha Beach is located in the Bay of La Concha in the city of San Sebastián. Located west of the mouth of the Urumea river, separated from the same by Mount Urgull and the center of the city and housed in the Bay of La Concha, the island of Santa Clara closing the bay. It has an average length of 1 350 meters, an average width of 40 meters and an average surface of 54 000 m².  It is a sandy beach and shallow, in which the tides travel often limits the surface useful for use. It can be considered a beach of urban environment and massive use. Of the same bay form the beach of Ondarreta, more familiar, and not frequented by us.

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The shell railing (barandilla) extends from the city/town hall of San Sebastián to the Ondarreta beach, and only changes design in the area of the Caseta Real (Royal Hut) . To know the origins of this architectural element we go back to the time when queen Isabel II reigned and in which San Sebastián was visited by royalty. The handrail was  built in 1910 and inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII in 1916. It was placed by sections and the previous railing was moved to the Paseo de France. There is a stretch of railing totally different from the rest is where the Caseta Real was formerly. Right next to Thalassotherapy La Perla.  My memorable picture (me and Dad) on this post and showing my proud Paris Air Show polo!

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La Concha is the most popular beach there and one of the best in Europe. Do not want to tell you more as plenty on it ,therefore here are some webpages to help you plan your trip here:

The San Sebastian tourist office on La Conchahttps://www.sansebastianturismoa.eus/en/to-do/what-not-to-miss/the-concha-bay

The city of San Sebastian/Donostia on La Conchahttps://www.donostia.eus/ServiciosEspeciales/Playas.nsf/conchac?ReadForm&idioma=cas

My fav beach webpage plages TV on La Conchahttps://spain.plages.tv/detail/concha-beach-donostia-20001

There you go plenty of beaches in San Sebastian to choose and enjoy it with your family in nice San Sebastian or Donostia (basque). Always a pleasant visit by my family. And important to know the weather in advance you can count on Spain official meteo service AEMET. Enjoy your time here in Summers of course.

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

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April 28, 2021

Lacanau Océan in the Médoc!!!

And now let me update for you and me this wonderful older post to our favorite off our area beaches. And even if a bit cool now, the sunny season is about to start, good time to do some planning for the future. Let me tell you a bit on Lacanau-Océan in the Médoc!!!

Why not tell you a bit on a more sunny nice weather area we love so much and spent many summers there. This is a bit of a mix bag for me as can combine the best wine and the world with beautiful beaches.  I will be telling you a bit more (as several posts in my blog already) on the Médoc; yes this area many call it Bordeaux for its wines but is not Bordeaux administratrice as it is a peninsula away from the city and full of gorgeous mansions of wine chateau fame . However, most do not know that  a bit to the west of this river of Reds is the wonderful Atlantic ocean and its gorgeous beaches of the Médoc peninsula. Let me bring you to one we love Lacanau-Océan, the beach resort and Lacanau Ville the city proper.

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Lacanau is located in the Gironde dept. 33, in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region. The town of Lacanau, crossed by the 45th parallel north, is thus situated at an equal distance from the North Pole and the Earth’s equator (about 5 000 km). Lacanau is located on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, in the Médoc, west of the Dept of Gironde, 42 km north-west of Bordeaux. The Ocean coast of Médoc offers a line of more than 100 km of beaches made of fine sand.

There are three natural areas: the beach and the dune call Côte d’Argent or Silver Coast; the Landes Forest (Landes du Médoc), which, unlike the rest of Gascony Landes, is not the result of the intensive afforestation of the 19C; and the lake of Lacanau, one of the great Landes Lakes.

The town is composed of several zones: Lacanau-Ville, consisting of the village. Lacanau-Océan, (the one we always stayed here) area on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. A seaside resort, it appeared at the beginning of the 20C. Sketched during the period between the two wars, it developed in the years 1960-1970, as part of the development of the Aquitaine coast. Lacanau-Océan is separated from Lacanau-Ville by the road D6 and 13 km and the lake of Lacanau-Lac, composed of several hamlets such as Talaris, Le Moutchic, le Tedey, Longarisse, La Grande Escoure, and Carreye.

We always come here by car unless a once in a while business trip to Bordeaux but not into the Médoc, there only by car. However, Lacanau is served by several bus lines of the regional bus network such as line 702, which departs from the Bordeaux-Saint-Jean train station; line 611, which joins the Lége-Cap-Ferret; line 714 connecting Lacanau-Océan to Lacanau-Ville; line 715 which connects Lacanau-Océan to Cussac-Fort-Médoc; and the 716 line that connects Lacanau-Océan to Macau. Webpage: https://transports.nouvelle-aquitaine.fr/modalis

Villas popped up from the sands and were completed for the most part in 1906-1907: The Primavera, the villa of the founder of the resort, Pierre Ortal, unfortunately destroyed at the end of the 1970’s. In its place, was elevated a modern construction, which is not the ugliest among those built in those years, but it is only a meagre consolation. The Chalet Bonnamy (the current hôtel de la Côte d’Argent), and the Villa les Mouettes of the Princeteau family, all three having been the first built on the Boulevard de la Plage. At the same time, Villa les Genêts and hôtel Marian (current Hotel Australien). On the current street allées Ortal,the beautiful site of Jean Émile Faugère the most beautiful residence of the station that the descendants of this man invest still in summer and Villa PH alias Plaisance . During WWI, American soldiers set up a seaplane base and a flight school at Moutchic, which will then become a sanatorium and then a medical-school center.

Things to see are plenty but will highlight in black my favorites ok

The beaches of the city of Lacanau have been awarded the Blue Flag label (pavillon bleu) are are superbe. The intersection of the 45th parallel north and the 1st meridian west of Greenwich is located on the territory of the commune !. The Lac de Lacanau for boating enthusiasts. Lacanau has two churches, the Church of Saint Vincent located in Lacanau-Ville, of the 18CC, and the Church of Notre-Dame-des-Flôts in Lacanau-Océan, of the 20C. Monument to the American Fallen in WWI at Moutchic, on which are registered the names of nine American seaplane pilots from the base of the Moutchic. Monument in homage to Pierre Ortal c 1906, founder of the resort. Villa Plaisance, today’s city town hall annex of Lacanau-Océan, and designed in 1906 and bequested to the local govt in 1994.   Villa Beau Site c.1906, Villa Cerberé ,c. 1907, Villa Les Mouettes c.1906, Villa Yora c. 1909, Villa Les Dunes c. 1913, Villa Chante-Mer, Villa Stella, Villa La Vague, Villa les Iris, Villa M’Arena, neo-Basque style, Villa Clair Bois, Villa Fleur du Lac, Villa Thaïs, and several others.

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This is a great area off the beaten path to many visitors especially from elsewhere as it does attract several Europeans, especially British, German, Dutch, and Belgians.  We have been here always on the Grands Pins camping right off the North beach, as Lacanau Océan is divided into the Plage Sud, Plage Centrale, and Plage Nord. All beautiful!!! Of course, this is a world center on surfing!

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Some webpages to cover most or everything you need to know here and of course ask me ::)

The city of Lacanau on history and heritage: https://www.lacanau.fr/lacanau/histoire-et-patrimoine-de-lacanau/

The Médoc Lacanau tourist office on the beaches: http://medoc-tourisme.com/en/incontournables/endless-beaches/

The Gironde dept 33 tourist office on the Lacanau beaches:  https://www.medoc-atlantique.com/14-communes-1001-possibilites/vacances-a-lacanau/

Surfing Lacanau on you know what! https://www.lacanausurfinfo.com/

My fav webpage on beaches Plages TV on Lacanau beacheshttps://en.plages.tv/seaside-resorts/lacanau-33680

This is it wonderful Lacanau area, many nice memories of family vacations there that will endure for life and hoping you can try them too and enjoy them as we did and will again, when possible.

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

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April 28, 2021

Cathedral St Maurice of Angers!!

Another wonderful monument of my belle France. We have told the story how we came here so will jump right into the subject matter. Angers is one of the nice castle towns of the Loire and its Cathedral Saint Maurice is a must to visit. Let me tell you a bit more about it ok. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Cathedral of Angers is an older post that initially overlook writing about the town and it. I would like to tell you a bit on the history and architecture of this wonderful Cathedral of Saint Maurice in Angers. Dept 49 of the Maine-et-Loire in the region of Pays de la Loire.  The Cathedral of St. Maurice of Angers,is located at Place Monseigneur-Chapoulie , and is the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Angers. The work is intermediate between Romanesque and Gothic styles. The Cathedral is a testament to Angevin Gothic art.

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A bit of history I like

The first Church mentioned in 470 is burned by the Franks. At the beginning of the 11C Bishop Hubert de Vendôme built a new Romanesque Cathedral with a single nave, which was consecrated in 1025. Barely finished, this building burned down in 1032. Bishop Geoffroy of Tours renovated the Cathedral to its former state during the second half of the 11C. The altar of the Crucifix was blessed in 1051 and the new master altar was consecrated in 1096 shortly after the Bishops Renaud de Martigné and Ulger undertook the reconstruction of this place of worship. This took place gradually under the impetus of the Norman Bishops of Doué and Guillaume de Beaumont. The basic structures of the walls of the nave, Romanesque in style, have survived up to mid-height. In the middle of the 12C they received columns and vaults of warheads: it is the birth of the Gothic Angevin. The single-vessel Romanesque nave thus opens onto a Gothic transept and chorus, the latter has been laid out on the late-ancient enclosure of the city.

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In the 16C, was added to the base of the two towers, the gallery of the characters representing the Knights, companions of Saint Maurice. On this gallery, was done in the Renaissance style, a second level, having the appearance of a square turret surmounted by a hexagonal belfry . The Cathedral Saint Maurice consists of two spires ,that of the North was built in 1518 and that of the South in 1523. Overlooking its bell tower and its 73 meters the entire city with its beautiful staircase joining the Maine and the Doutre. In 1806, was destroyed because of dilapidated, a monumental porch which stood in front of the facade of the Cathedral, facing the forecourt remain nowadays, four orgival arches, only testimonies of this ancient medieval porch.

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A bit of description on the interior of the St Maurice Cathedral.

The four-poster high altar with its summit glory, in gilded Baroque-style wood, dates from 1758. The canopy is inspired by the Saint-Pierre canopy in Rome , and the Val-de-Grâce in Paris. The base and the two columns are made of marble. The upper part is oak. The altar of the north arm of the transept is dedicated to the Virgin, the one in the south arm is to Saint Maurice. The pulpit to be preached dates back to the mid-19C and is a Gothic style. It was installed in 1870 and blessed in 1871. The upper part represents the glorious Church like Father, Son and Holy Spirit as well the lower part illustrates the Church in its earthly struggles such as with Adam, Noah and Abraham in the center; the old Law on the left; and scenes from the New Testament to the right. Facing the pulpit are the stalls of the Cathedral. The first organ was built in 1416 ; a new organ was erected in 1507-1513. In 1873, Aristide Cavaillon-Coll installed a new organ. It was severely tested by the bombardment of 1944 ,and again another new organ was inaugurated in November 1959. Until the French revolution, 30 canons served the service of the Cathedral. The Chapel of St. Anne, adjacent at the Cathedral on one side and the Chapel Notre-Dame-de-pitié on the other balance the perspective.

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Among the significant works present in the Saint Maurice Cathedral are:

A sculpted ensemble influenced by the royal portal of Chartres; a 13C painted decor discovered around 1980 and presenting the Life of Saint Maurille; a canopy of the life of Saint Julien ,located in the transept, considered as a masterpiece of painting on Glass of the 13C. Stained glass windows, in particular the two rosettes, the transepts of great richness, made in 1451. The renovation of a number of stained glass windows were done in the 1960’s. In 1453, remade the paving of the north transept of the Cathedral, the staircase on a straight flight of access to the library, in the south transept.   Altarpiece Beaussant, Crucifixion, Pietà and donor, painting on wood, attributed to the master of the altarpiece Beaussant, given by General Beaussant in 2004. It was covered by a painting of the assumption dated 1699.

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.Some webpages to help you plan your visit here and it is a must are:

The official Saint Maurice Cathedral of Angershttp://cathedrale-angers.fr/presentation/la-cathedrale-saint-maurice/

The Angers tourist office on the Cathedralhttps://www.tourisme.destination-angers.com/organisez-votre-sejour-a-angers/activites-a-angers-et-alentours/toutes-les-activites-a-angers/cathedrale-saint-maurice-1617156

There you go ,another jewel in the crown of France or French Republic!! The Cathedral Saint Maurice of Angers, a must stop in town. Again, hope you enjoy the introduction for a visit when possible.

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

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