Archive for November, 2021

November 30, 2021

The story of an American in Paris, Baker!

I have to remind you all that at this moment Josephine Baker is entering the Panthéon of Paris France! For her artistic and even more her resistance efforts for a free France in WWII. Honor where credit is due. Welcome Baker we are all proud of you!

More news! The metro station Gaîté, in the 14éme arrondissement and on the line 13 has a new name: Gaîté-Joséphine Baker!

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On a rainy cloudy and cool humid what have you Sunday evening, and my game already , something in my blog. From a story by fame French presenter on the history secrets that I like, Stéphane Bern. Let me tell you a story about a lady not so much mentioned now but worth it in gold.

The story goes from Cabaret to Resistant fighter, as she was, let me tell you a bit about Josephine Baker. She was born very poor in Saint Louis ,Missouri on June 3rd 1906, her mother a laundry lady and her father never knew him, some says he was white. Her mother Carrie put her to work in rich families who mistreated her and exploited her. However, by 13 yrs old she gets into the spectacle virus and gets her first job in a small theatre., where she makes a sensational impression.

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November 30, 2021

Casement Bock of Luxembourg city!!!

And here is another gem I had overlook!! Incredible. I have post on the Grund/Petrusse but not the Casement Bock! Well thanks for the times, I look into it and will give it credit in this blog with new text and older pictures. I hope you enjoy the Casement Bock or just Bock of Luxembourg city!!!

Needless to tell you as you can read from my many posts on Luxembourg that this is one of our favorite spot in Europe. One I almost came to work and have collegues from the country who worked with me in France.  Bragging to tell you met the Duchess is a native of Cuba. Let me get to the history of it I like.

The Bock sits at 2 montée de Clausen just over the Castle bridge, you cross the Pont du Stierchen bridge and over the Alzette viaduc train rails, A lovely spot for walks and full of architecture and historical buildings, We parked in the city by the theater and walk all over but if public transports you need, the bus lines 9,14, and 15 pass by the Bock.

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The Bock rock or the Bock is a promontory located in the Ville-Haute, the historic center of Luxembourg city, offering a natural fortification to the city, thanks to its rocky cliffs overlooking the Alzette which surrounds it on three sides. Le Bock is the site where Sigefroid de Luxembourg established its castle in 963 and founded the current Grand-Ducal city. Nowadays, the ruins of the old castle and the casemates, the underground galleries of the fortifications, remain and constitute a major tourist spot of the city, forming part of the sector classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.

The main passage, which still exists, is 110 meters long and measures up to 7 meters wide. The branches starting from either side were equipped with no less than 25 gun positions, 12 in the north and 13 in the south, offering considerable firepower. In the event of war, the Bock casemates, with an area of ​​1,100 m2, could be used as barracks for several hundred soldiers. The water came from a well 47 meters deep.

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A bit of history I like

The first historical mention of Bock is in fact in connection with a watchtower or fortification on the Roman road from Reims to Trier which, in 723, was ceded by Charles Martel, Duke of the Franks, to the Saint-Maximin Abbey in Trier, It was in 963 that Count Sigefroid of Luxembourg, in search of a site where he could defend his properties, obtained the Bock and its surroundings from the Saint-Maximin Abbey in Trier (see post) in exchange for the land he owned. in Feulen in the Ardennes to the north.

Over the centuries, the castle of Sigefroid on the Bock was considerably enlarged and protected by ramparts and additional defenses. In 987, the chapel of the castle was built at the Marché-aux-Poissons (fish market) nearby. The current Saint-Michel Church (see post) is on the same site.The Bock was also reinforced with three forts, the Grand Bock, the Moyen Bock and the Petit Bock , separated from each other by notches in the rock and connected by bridges. As a result, little remains of the medieval castle

A little later in 1684, in the name of Louis XIV, Vauban succeeded in seizing the city of Luxembourg after a month-long siege under which the fortifications of Bock were completely razed. Subsequently Vauban, undertook significant additions to the defenses, realizing that the 23 km of underground passages and chambers were just as important as the surface installations. This multi-story defense system included galleries dug up to 40 meters deep. This is where the city got its nickname “Gibraltar of the North”. The Grand Bock, linked to the old town by the Castle Bridge, has been reinforced. Surrounded by a wall twelve meters high, it was the major element of the new fortress. In addition to these structures, the Bock also included a system of casemates from the cellars of the medieval castle. The Castle Bridge built in 1735 by the Austrians, this bridge connects the Bock to the old town. On two levels, it offers four passage ways: the upper road, the passage under the arches of the second level, a spiral staircase and a road under the arch supporting the first level. The fortifications enabled the city to withstand a seven-month siege in 1794, during the French revolutionary wars. When the garrison finally surrendered, the fortifications remained intact. The fortifications were finally demolished under the terms of the Treaty of London of 1867.

The Luxembourg city tourist office on the bockhttps://www.visitluxembourg.com/en/place/castle/bock-casemates-luxembourg

The service of sites and national monuments of Luxembourg on the bockhttps://ssmn.public.lu/fr/itineraires_culturels/itineraire_culturel_forteresse/wenzel/bock.html

There you go folks, another dandy spot in quant nice Luxembourg Ville. We love it and the Bock is an excellent spot to visit while in town. Hope you enjoy the post and do visit as I will again.

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

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November 30, 2021

Curiosities of Lisbon!!!

Ok so this is a quant nice city I like. Growing up near Portuguese communites I always heard about the country and even learn the language first. It so happened was lucky enough to eventually visit the whole lenght of the country and confirm my thoughts on the niceties of it. Lisbon is with us since heard the song Lisboa Antigua and again lucky enough to eventually visit it several times. As in many cases in my blog, have pictures not yet included and feel they must be in my blog. Therefore, here are some additional niceties of my curiosities of Lisbon; hope you enjoy it as I.

Coming by air from Nantes, France was always the route direct to Lisbon or Porto or routed by Madrid. The Humberto Delgado Airport of Lisbon is smallish but modern and nice easy to navigate. The airport webpage has plenty of easy to follow information told better than I can explain it, but again very easy believe me. The Lisbon airport webpage: https://www.aeroportolisboa.pt/en

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Once arriving, the way into the city is by taxi or the easy metro. The metro has four lines with colors as green, red, blue, and yellow. In Portuguese these are verde, vermelha, azul and amarela. The cost is 1,50€ very nice and I did get a chargeup card or Viva Viagem very convenient it cost 50 cents euro. Recommended if planning several trips by metro in Lisbon. From the airport you take the line vermelha or red. The metro of Lisbon webpage: https://www.metrolisboa.pt/en/

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I then proceeded to my hotel, this change once use one twice the rest of the times there use a different hotel each time. The anecdote that was fun at the end was staying at the Radisson Blu nearest the airport. The hotel was the Radisson Blu at Campo Grande; just wonderful facilities, great service, excellent food. I had missed my flight due to the connection arriving late so needed to stay an extra night in Lisbon (nice after all), and got me booked this hotel. Memorable moment and welcome was awesome. 2nd pic is from my hotel room…The hotel webpage: https://www.radissonhotels.com/en-us/hotels/radisson-blu-lisbon

lisbon hotel radisson blu hotel front near airport dec12

lisbon hotel radisson blu hotel room 520 to city mar17

From the city center I went out by car to different parts of Portugal always memorable. My favorite trip was going to PortoThe main north south are A1 taken all the time going north to Porto by Vila Franca de Xira. The roads are good easy to use me think and we found ways to avoid the tolls (extra driving time but glorious ride). The  estrada highway traffic official webpage : https://servicos.infraestruturasdeportugal.pt/pt-pt/viajar-na-estrada/transito-em-tempo-real

And this in English, tells you how to pay and go about on the tolls of the highways of Portugalhttps://www.portugaltolls.com/en

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One of the delights of visiting Lisbon is to find my favorite Spanish dept store El Corte Inglés there. It has everything and if with short on time a nice one stop shopping. The store is in a nice area just northern entry to the parque Eduardo VII nearest metro Sao Sebastiâo line red and blue(vermelha and azul). This is a great walk and super store , recommended. The official webpage: https://www.elcorteingles.pt/info/hours-and-locations/

lisbon el corte ingles pl espagna may15

Not my experience with trains in Portugal but the train station in Ferro de Rossio is a wonderful architectural gem worth seeing.  Praça de Dom Pedro IV (better known as Rossio). officially is the Pedro IV Square  or  Praça de D. Pedro IV  is located in the other extreme. Being one of the main squares since the Middle Ages. It has been the setting of popular revolts and celebrations, bullfights and executions, and is now a preferred meeting place of Lisbon natives and tourists alike. The current name of the Rossio pays homage to Pedro IV, King of Portugal. The Column of Pedro IV is in the middle of the square. Here you have another metro station Rossio on the Green line as well as the train station by same name (previously called Central). 

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Another interesting building past by and worthy for it architecture is the city hall of Lisbon. The Lisbon City Hall , built in the neoclassical style, its monumental façade features a large pediment over a central balcony with sculptures , and four oculi. Inside, it has a remarkable central staircase, and paintings by several artists. Since the 1930s and 1940s, the building had seen successive architectural additions, to the point where even a new floor was added over the rooftop.

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The Lisbon tourist officehttps://www.visitlisboa.com/en/p/why-lisbon

The Portugal tourist board on Lisbonhttps://www.visitportugal.com/en/destinos/lisboa-regiao

The city of Lisbon what to do/seehttps://www.lisboa.pt/agenda/o-que-fazer

There you go folks, another dandy spots from pretty quant Lisbon. Hope you enjoy the post, and see my many other posts on Lisbon and Portugal in my blog. I am always looking forward to be back….

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

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November 29, 2021

Curiosities of Prague!!

Here i go again the deeper I look the more gems I find! I have written on Prague before in my blog and several posts, however, feel left some nice monuments out. This is a post to give credit to these wonderful architecture gems of Prague and tell you a bit more about them. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Municipal House is a architectural complex belonging to the city of Prague. It brings together a concert hall dedicated to Bedřich Smetana, an exhibition space, reception rooms, a café and an Art Nouveau-style restaurant on the ground floor, a cocktail bar, a brasserie and a dance hall in the basement.

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The Municipal House was built between 1905 and 1912, Under a copper dome, the pediment of the building is dominated by an impressive mosaic on a cardboard by Karel Špillar. Two “V” wings, the base of which would be the main entrance, frame the concert hall known as “Salle Smetana” in honor of the musician Bedřich Smetana. It can accommodate 1200 listeners and is used, among other things, for concerts as part of the Prague Spring Festival, The Municipal House was completely restored between 1994 and 1997.

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Originally, on the site of the Municipal House, was the Royal Palace of the Sovereigns of Bohemia, the construction of which was undertaken in 1380 by Wenceslaus IV and which served for a century, from 1383 to 1484, as the main residence of the kings. of Bohemia, Sigismund I, Ladislas the Posthumous, George of Poděbrady before Vladislas IV Jagiello returned to Prague Castle. It is, symbolically, from the balcony of the Municipal House that on October 28, 1918, the independence of the country was proclaimed and the creation of the First Czechoslovak Republic. It was also within its walls that, following the Velvet Revolution, negotiations took place between representatives of the Civic Forum, headed by Václav Havel (later first President of Free Czech Republic) and those of the Czechoslovak Communist Party.

The official Municipal House of Praguehttps://www.obecnidum.cz/index.php?language=en&ceid=k915es4mkf2ld7du92rtipj74r

The Prague tourist office on the Municipal Househttps://www.prague.eu/en/object/places/417/municipal-house-obecni-dum?back=1

The National Gallery of Prague is the Czech museum , which houses the national art collections from Antiquity to the 21C.  The story goes that on February 5, 1796, the Society of Nationalist Friends of Fine Arts was created in Prague. Its initial members are mainly the representatives of the great Czech noble families who give it part of their collections of Baroque paintings. The Society founded an Academy of Fine Arts and a Gallery of Paintings open to the public. In 1902, the Emperor Franz Joseph added the Modern Gallery of the Kingdom of Bohemia to collect the Czech art of the 20C, In 1919, the Painting Gallery became de facto the museum institution of the new Czechoslovak state.

The collections of the National Gallery cover all eras and are distributed among various buildings, historical monuments and specialized repositories according to the era:

Saint Agnes Convent – ancient art collections (Middle Ages in Bohemia and Central Europe)
Saint-Georges cloister – collections of ancient art (mannerism under Rudolph II and baroque art)
Kinský Palace – the Czech landscape from the 17C to the 20C.
Šternberk Palace – European art from antiquity to the present day.
Exhibition Palace (Veletržní palác) – Fine Arts of the 19C and 20C.
Stables of Prague Castle and Stables of Wallenstein Palace – temporary exhibitions.
House of the Black Madonna – Museum of Czech Cubism.
Zbraslav Castle – collections of Asian and Oriental arts.

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The official National Gallery of Praguehttps://www.ngprague.cz/en

The Prague tourist office on the national galleryhttps://www.prague.eu/en/object/places/3055/national-gallery-prague-narodni-galerie-praha?back=1

The Wax Museum (Tussauds) has its address in Prague’s Old Town, where visitors can meet their favorite heroes, artists and other celebrities face to face. The exhibition is extensive, it is divided into several floors and thematic sections.

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In the first, those interested will get acquainted with important figures of the Czech Middle Ages, including Charles IV. or Rudolf II. This is followed by well-known personalities of cultural and political life – President T. G. Masaryk, writer Karel Čapek or Dobrý voják Švejk.  Whoever prefers sports, both Czech and world, will be pleased, not only by the manikin of Jaromír Jágr. The cultural and musical world is represented by the Dalai Lama, Karel Gott or Tina Turner or Mick Jagger, and there is also a section dedicated to important dictators – Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Klement Gottwald or Stalin.

The official Wax Museum of Praguehttp://madametussaudsprague.cz/en/history/

The Prague tourist office on the wax museumhttps://www.prague.eu/en/object/places/3521/madame-tussauds-prague?back=1

There you go folks, another set of dandy monuments in pretty Prague, Czech Republic! A wonderful city to walk and see the beautiful architecture and history; hope you have enjoy the post as i.

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

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November 29, 2021

The Church St Martin of Vitré!

And again doing my rounds in my own blog, found out only briefly mentioned this church and that is it. Sadly, one of the least seen in the city of Vitré but worth the detour and looking forward to see it wholly soon. You can see my many posts on Vitré as well.  Let me therefore, tell you briefly on the Church St Martin of Vitré!

The city of Vitré is located in Ille et Vilaine dept 35 of my lovely Bretagne at about 165 km and 2 hrs from my house.  The Church of Saint Martin is a Neo-Romanesque church, blessed in 1885. It was completely done in 1913 and still today it is one of the best example of Neo Romanesque construction in the department of Ille et Vilaine.

The Saint-Martin Church surprises with its size and the width of its nave. It has some very beautiful neo-Romanesque capitals and a large pulpit for preaching, much in the style of 19C creations. We are a little surprised by the very high stature of this neo-Romanesque church which literally crushes the surrounding houses in size. The porch rises halfway up the facade, which only reinforces the impression of slenderness. There are few carved parts, unlike traditional Romanesque buildings. It has a Latin cross layout, choir and transept covered with a ribbed vault, dome at the crossing of the transept, vault for the ambulatory, bell tower porch, lateral facade with multiple gables, chevet with canted sides, neo-Romanesque style , nave with large arches, triforium and double row of tall twin windows.

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Artistically neo-Romanesque, through the breadth of its four levels, approaches neo-Gothic. On the first level, a series of very sober semicircular arcades is enriched with capitals. The very wide opening of the stands on the nave has a real cachet and makes all the nobility of the whole.  The central nave is very wide. Consequently, the architects authorized themselves, without fear of a feeling of being crushed, to cut the slenderness of the elevations by two cornices above the level of the stands: the lower one is with dentils, the upper one with billets. The first goes around the semi-engaged column when it meets it, while the second accommodates a capital and masks at the point of contact ,which is also that of the drop of the warheads. The pulpit to preach is a very beautiful cabinetmaking monument that occupies the entire width of a bay, it was made in 1902 .The stained glass windows in the nave are mostly made up of simple geometric shapes. However, the two most beautiful, and also the most original, are undoubtedly those which surmount the braces of the transept of the high altar.

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The axis chapel is dedicated to Notre-Dame de Grâce. It is one of the most beautiful places in the church. The perimeter of this chapel hosts large murals on the themes of the Adoration of the Magi, the Adoration of the Shepherds and the Pieta . Above the altar, the statue of the Virgin and Child.

The great organ of the Saint-Martin Church perched on a platform occupying the first bay of the nave, the instrument, of neoclassical style. The construction, undertaken in 1941, was greatly delayed by the WWII.  The choir organ of the was built in 1883. It is placed at the end of the choir, in the central semicircular arch. The transmission is mechanical The instrument is housed in a one-story neo-Romanesque style sideboard supported by a high base. The bell tower of Saint-Martin Church houses five bells dating from 1885.

The city of Vitré on its history/heritagehttps://www.mairie-vitre.com/-Tourisme-.html

The Vitré tourist office on arts and history: https://en.bretagne-vitre.com/art-et-histoire/

The Ille et Vilaine 35 tourist office on St Martin Church: https://www.brittany-tourism.com/offers/eglise-saint-martin-vitre-en-2725608/

The Bretagne region on things to see in Vitré: https://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/rennes-and-brittanys-historic-gateways/vitre/

There you go folks, a dandy city of Vitré in my lovely Bretagne. The St Martin Church is worth the detour once in town, and we will be back for more. And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

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November 28, 2021

Café Breton of Rochefort en Terre!!!

And again going over my blog, and updating memorable places of my family I come back to Rochefort en Terre in my beautiful Morbihan of my lovely Bretagne. I have mentioned briefly in other posts but feel this place deserves a post of its own in my blog. I will tell you a bit more on the Café Breton of Rochefort en Terre!!!

Rochefort et cafe breton resto rue du porches dec19

Over the years since arriving in the Morbihan dept 56 way back it seems in 2011, we have come to Rochefort en Terre as in my job,they told about the Chrismas market, the best in the region me think. We have come every year since, but also, many visits during the year. Our favorite hangout of all is the Café Breton!! love it!!!

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Built in 1544, this listed granite house has been said to have been a bar since 1818, making it, if it is true, one of the oldest cafes in Europe. A legend well maintained by the exceptional decor of this charming crêperie whose walls bear magnificent frescoes created by the providential man of Rochefort-en-Terre, the American painter Alfred Klotz (who owned the castle see post).

Rochefort et cafe breton dec13

Café Breton is one of the “Gourmet Crêperies”, a local label promoting Breton know-how. Come have a drink, lunch or dinner in this authentic medieval house, nicely renovated. In terms of decor, we like to be in a place steeped in history and marked by decades of conviviality. After visiting Rochefort en Terre, do stop by this Café Breton; it is a corner of paradise to discover, it is both the pleasure of the eyes, but also that of gluttony. You will taste excellent galettes and crêpes, a moment of pleasure and happiness to be consumed without moderation.Indeed ::)

Two dining rooms with two atmospheres: The first, rustic and traditional, woodwork from 1600, an original fresco by the American painter Alfred Klotz and the fireplace lit according to the season.  The second, the chic bistro spirit is reflected in the parquet floor, the woodwork filled with photo frames of people, known or not, as well as a gigantic baroque-style mirror enthroned above the fireplace. The Café Breton officially located at 8 Rue du Porche; there are parking lots for your car, the nearest is Rue Candré which is 125 meters from Café Breton. 

Rochefort et cafe breton front inside dec13

The official Café Breton webpage: https://www.cafebreton-rochefortenterre.com/se-restaurer/

The Rochefort en Terre tourist office on the café Bretonhttps://www.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/manger/creperie-questembert-rochefort-en-terre-56/?tif_r=f797e7bd-d9ad-4668-a0d6-0c0765a6cb1a&Creperie-Le-Cafe-Breton

There you go folks, a dandy spot to enjoy the very best Breton cuisine surrounded by history and beautiful architecture in an already name most beautiful villages of France, Rochefort en Terre! Hope you enjoy it and bon appétit!

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

November 28, 2021

Maison du Cidre of Le Hezo!!!

And coming along some of the memorable spots for us in the beautiful Morbihan of our lovely Bretagne we came to drink one of our favorite drinks, the ciders. One of our favorites here is the Maison du Cidre in the village of Le Hezo, this is in the Rhuys peninsula. Let me tell you a bit more on a deserving post for them me think: Hope you enjoy it as I.

Le Hezo la maison du cidre ent mar21

We have been stopping here for years now in the village of Le Hézo on the D780 road to load up on cider!  A case mix of brut, doux, and fruité or semi sec. There is a museum here too, musée du cidre,  and they show you how it is made ; and a great boutique with a lot more than cider, such as honey, jams, house deco items, whiskies, eau de vie de cidre, etc.

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It is in the heart of the small village of Hézo, on the Rhuys peninsula, that the Nicol family, a cider maker for 3 generations, produces one of the best ciders in Brittany: the Royal Guillevic. A farmer’s cider, made in an artisanal way, from the green Guillevic apple, one of the oldest varieties of apple trees in the region. The Maison du Cidre is at Rue Lann Vrihan, 56450 ,Le Hezo done by the couple Chantal and Didier NICOL. 

The Maison du Cidre or Cider House reveals the different stages of traditional cider making, through the ancestral methods of the peasants and the modern techniques. The visit begins with an exhibition on apples, pollination and the essential role of bees, then continues with a remarkable collection of tools and machines of yesteryear used in the manufacture of cider and brandy by distillation. The visit includes a free tasting and for the little ones, a fun course.

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Born from a man’s passion for the craft of a cider maker, this museum traces the cider-making activity, from the origin of apple cultivation to distillation, including grinding, pressing, and all the stages of the making of cider.   You will discover the orchard, the collection, the crushing, the pressing, the sieving, the storage, the bottling, the role of the bees in the formation of the cider apple, a 15 min film, produced in the Morbihan countryside, will immerse you in the amazing world of cider makers.

The brands they sell are the Cidre Saint Armel (brut-fruité-doux); Jus de pomme Saint Armel (apple juice);  Jus de pomme Guillevic (apple juice Guillevic) ;  Pommette Saint Armel, Cidre Royal Guillevic – Label Rouge (top brand). the prizes are many some in the Concours Général Agricole are:

PRIX D'EXCELLENCE 2017: Médaille d'or 2017 - Cidre fermier SAINT-ARMEL brut, Médaille d'or 2016 - Cidre fermier SAINT-ARMEL brut ;  Médaille d'argent 2016 - Cidre fermier SAINT-ARMEL doux.
PRIX D'EXCELLENCE 2015:  Médaille de Bronze 2015 - Cidre fermier SAINT-ARMEL doux;  Médaille d'Or - Cidre fermier  SAINT-ARMEL doux;  Médaille d'Or -  Cidre fermier SAINT-ARMEL doux ,and Médaille de Bronze - Cidres fermiers SAINT-ARMEL brut et doux.

The official maison de la cidre webpage: https://www.museeducidre.com/en

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on the maison de la cidre: https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/fiche/la-maison-du-cidre/

There you go folks, another dandy spot in my beautiful Morbihan of my lovely Bretagne. Traditions of always in Breton lands of the venerable cider, goes perfect with those galettes and crêpes!!! Hope you enjoy the visit to the Maison du Cidre in Le Hezo, a must stop.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!
November 28, 2021

Salon de la Gastronomie  et Arts Culinaires of Vannes!!!

My fav event in the area of Vannes and they are back!!!  I moved here and heard about it, but always too many to choose from went elsewhere, then in 2014 got the bugs and was nice . Then, skip again 2015/2016 and got hook, now have gone to the events in 2017/2018/2019! Unfortunately 2020 was cancelled due to the virus and great news they are back in 2021 !  

Once again I bring you back to the wonderful superb Salon de la Gastronomie  et Arts Culinaires (change name a bit this year) of Vannes 2021 held over the weekend of November 27-29 at the Chorus Parc des Expositions de Vannes in the Parc du Golfe. All from 10h to 19h, Monday 10h to 18h. General admission 5€!  More than 100 exhibitors representing French gastronomy and sorted for the quality of their products. Free entertainment and cooking classes, wine tasting during the show, professional competitions and a variety of catering in a friendly space. We were there again Saturday morning as it already has become a tradition for us.

Vannes salon gastronomie chorus entr nov21

For this edition it was once again the opportunity to meet some of the providers we shop while in our adventurous ways thru the French countryside and some new ones met here. You have the real France here nothing industrial, supermarket type but the real deal straight from the farms and the artisans who produces the marvelous things we all came to know France for and still is. You have them here from different regions all defending their land and product. We later came to visit many of them on site and the history continues,,,,And they even had cooking competition as in masterchef type tv series!

vannes salon gastronomie cooking comp chef nov21

Admission is 5€ adult but as I go often we get invitation for free from wine houses as is the case this year. There is free parking, lending of wheels caddy with proper personal ID, restaurant on site even to drink the bottles you purchase there, and tasting glasses with a deposit of 1€ (you can keep the glass or get the refund at end). And on some years we have kept the tasting glasses!

vannes salon gastronomie salon stands nov21

The stands are many and varied with producers coming from all over France. Some of the repeated favorite for us, and again back this year are (with stand number and direction). highlighter in Black those we purchase again this year!

Brasserie Vénètes – Cidres Nicol T27 as you enter to your far right

Caves ROUGEBEC Vouvray B12 as you enter middle range second stand

Champagnes LAGILLE B25 as you enter just after the above

Domaine du Haut Bellay E73 as you enter bear right at the back near the T27 above

Guy MORIN – Fronsac C43 as you enter, bear left second row back

St Nicolas de Bourgueil EARL Cousseau Boireau C33 (recently visited in their property the wines of Christel and his wife Claudine we are clients since 2014 ! see post) as you enter bear right third row next to village section. My son and the cap of my Dad!!!

vannes salon gastronomie cosseau boireau NF nov21

Alain CHARTIER chocolats A 01 as you enter bear right on fifth row
Le Pays Basques Chez Vous T15 as you enter bear left all the way back

vannes salon gastronomie basques pelota nov21

vannes salon gastronomie salon show presenters nov21

We were there Saturday morning on the first day to get it all fresh and fast,  Unfortunately, our favorite basques ,the Maison Gastellou from Saint Jean Pied de Port will not be here this year, We ordered direct and they deliver in France ! Also, missing will be Domaine Lamothe wonderful Gaillac (we had and on my wife’s father side home turf) , but again we can order in France !

And we met a new member of our favorite club at the salon, the folks of Château Tour Birol E61 entrance to your left back ,from the côte de Bourg, Bordeaux region with delicious malbec reds!!! Also, my sons went for their teas at Un thé pour soi B13 entrance straight ahead ;they even got banana flavor teas lol!

vannes salon gastronomie chateau tour birol cotes de bourg wines nov21

vannes salon gastronomie et vins tea shopping boys nov21

The official Salon de la Gastronomie et des arts culinaireshttps://www.saga-vannes.fr/

The official Le Chorus Parc des Expositions de Vannes on how to get to ithttps://www.lechorus.com/fr/infos-pratiques

There you go folks, a dandy indeed! These fairs events are held throughout France every year except the darn virus. We have been to some but this one is so convenient we repeat visits even if already visited the producer in their farm. Already looking forward to the next one, catch it , this is France at its best for the food, the ambiance the savoir faire and all!

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

November 28, 2021

Curiosities of Rennes!!

Back to Rennes folks, the capital of the region of Bretagne/Brittany/Breizh! I have been here quite a bit over the last years and still want more. Looking at my post, again, realise some pictures missing from them and not written on it. Therefore, here is more of it and its curiosities of Rennes!! Oh for the geographical incline as I, Rennes is in Ille et Vilaine dept 35. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Some of the nice buildings that one passed by and take a picture, nice architecture and history on all of them. Therefore, let me tell you a bit on the Hôtel de Ville or city hall , the old hospital Hôtel-Dieu, and the former tourist office in a former chapel St Yves!!

The Hôtel-Dieu, founded in 1358 by a priest of the diocese of Tréguier, Eudon le Bouteiller, under the name of Hôtel or Maison de Dieu de Saint-Yves, occupied until November 1858 a site along the river Vilaine a few steps from Saint-Pierre Cathedral. The regularization of the course of the river and the construction of the quays, by bringing down some of the buildings of Saint-Yves, brought about the reconstruction of the Hôtel-Dieu in the north of the city on the land of La Cochardière where it is found today. The Hôtel-Dieu,is at 2 rue de l’Hotel-Dieu , less than 300 meters from the tourist office.  In 1940 the Nazis occupied the premises and the hospital was transferred to rue Saint-Louis.

Rennes hotel dieu dec13

A conservatory of hospital heritage in Rennes (CPHR) had been installed there since 2011. It houses a collection of 5,000 objects from old equipment offering an interesting retrospective of care in the 19-20C. Visits are organized every Thursday for the general public, The Rennes University Hospital has gradually transferred the activities installed on the historic site of the Hôtel Dieu to other hospital sites, mainly Pontchaillou.(memories of visiting with my dear late wife Martine for second opinion on her cancer).  After many negotiations, the Hôtel-Dieu will not be completely destroyed. On the contrary, the historic buildings will be partly safeguarded, if not rehabilitated. There will be 96 housing units, a gym, a “hammam / spa” treatment center, local shops and a hotel, a 305-seat public car park, the new premises of the Rennes Hospital Heritage Conservatory. A health center will accommodate 24 medical practices and paramedics in a rehabilitated building which housed the site’s first maternity hospital in 1898. The 2.8 hectare site should be completely restructured and used in 2026.

The Roof info on the Hôtel Dieuhttps://rennes.theroof.fr/

The city/town hall of Rennes was built from 1734 to 1743 by Jacques V Gabriel following the great fire of Rennes in 1720, It housed in its north wing the faculties of law and science from 1840. The chemistry cabinet, occupied in particular by Professor Faustino Malaguti until 1855, was in the current office of the mayor, The ensemble is made up of two classical buildings connected by a quarter-circle recess, with the clock tower set back. The north wing of the town hall houses the “Rennes Pantheon”, a room in memory of the dead of the two world wars, the Algerian war and the Indochina war The room was inaugurated on July 2, 1922, The south wing has a magnificent vestibule in the form of a portico with pink marble columns. Visitors’ entrance is on the ground floor of the north wing. It is located on the place de l’Hôtel de Ville square opposite the Rennes opera house. The nearest metro station is République.

rennes hotel de ville dec13

The Rennes tourist office on the city hallhttps://www.tourisme-rennes.com/en/organize-my-trip/what-to-do-in-rennes/hotel-de-ville-2/

The former tourist office had for years been located in the heart of the historic center in the Chapelle Saint-Yves, 11 rue Saint-Yves. But a few years ago, it moved to the Couvent des Jacobins,(see post) at 1 rue Saint-Malo. The Saint-Yves Chapel will remain the starting point for groups ,and will always house the permanent exhibition on architecture and heritage of Rennes. Goes back since we came to Bretagne that we walked passed it and use its services before moving to the new location.

The new Destination Rennes tourist office webpage https://www.tourisme-rennes.com/en/discover-rennes/

rennes tourist office old 11 rue st yves front dec13

There you go folks, nice historical monuments with great architecture makes Rennes a wonderful place to visit and we love it. Hope you do the walking and find these gems as I while enjoying the post for the curiosities of Rennes!!

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

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November 27, 2021

A dolls museum in Josselin!!!

Ane here I am again finding goodies from my vault that have not written enough or nothing at all. This is a wonderful city to visit, Josselin , very famous for its castle but inside it there is a wonderful dolls museum I like to tell you a bit more about it. Hope you enjoy it as I.

We remember Josselin, a nice town not far from us about 60 km that we enjoy it’s medieval look city center. So here I am creating a new post from older pictures on the museum as have plenty on the castle of Josselin. Of course, this is in my beautiful department 56, Morbihan of my lovely Bretagne.  Josselin has a nice castle,  doll  museum , nice basilica and wonderful lovely inner street with wooden houses of old. A perfect getaway for a day any time.

The old stables have been upgraded to accommodate the Musée des Poupées or dolls museum of historical dolls collected by the Duchees of Rohan and very interesting especially for children. This is in the castle but entrance by 3 rue de Trente.

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The story goes that more than 30 years ago, Antoinette de Rohan discovered in the attic of the Castle, a collection of dolls started at the end of the 19C by Herminie de Rohan, the great-grandmother of her husband, Josselin de Rohan. In 1984, Antoinette de Rohan inaugurated the Museum with hundreds of dolls, the oldest dating from the 17C. The Rohan collection currently has a total of nearly 5,000 pieces, in particular a large collection of dolls in Breton costume, an exceptional set of dolls from Japan, as well as many toys, board games, dollhouses, dinettes, animals, trains , planes of yesterday and today. This collection is considered the most important private collection of dolls and toys in France.

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They have different events in the year but while we were there and took a peek  they had on the first floor, exhibition: “From Noah’s Ark to Paddington Bear, animals through toys”. This unique presentation of games and animals, accompanied by dolls also evoking many regions of the world, is offered on the first floor (2nd US) of the museum. On the ground floor (1st US), and we admire the exhibition which marks the 30th anniversary of the Museum, in which the rarest pieces from this exceptional collection were presented.

For reference, Antoinette and Josselin de Rohan are the current lords of the castle , Mr Josseling de Rohan is the eldest of the house of Rohan-Chabot.

The official castle webpage on the dolls museumhttps://www.chateaudejosselin.com/en/museum/

There you go folks, a dandy within a dandy castle of Josselin, another wonder of my beautiful Morbihan. Very much recommended for a visit of the whole in your next foray into my neck of the woods ok. Hope this helps you plan your trip and enjoy it as I

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

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