Archive for November 26th, 2021

November 26, 2021

Curiosities of Auray!!!

Now the city of Auray is a historical city for France, USA, and Canada as boat trips were taken from here to see the new world and Benjamin Franklin came by here to discuss with France the idea of helping the American independence movement from England and King Louis XVI did. I have written several posts on Auray, as it was also the first administrative city for me when came to live in this part of the world call the Morbihan (or petite mer or small sea, but in Breton mor=sea bihan=small) in lovely Bretagne or Breizh or Brittany….

Therefore, a nostalgia passage each time writing about it as of now. Let me tell you about some curiosities of Auray that I like and feel deserves a post of their own in my blog. Hope you enjoy it as I.

We still shop quite a bit in the business park or Zone Artisanale Porte Océane of Auray; right off the N165 expressway road that connects you with the D768 to me north, and my new home or to the beaches south. Here is like an open air mall with many businesses. These include Ti Hanok Cinema, and the Centre Aquatique Alre’O, We come to the cinema once in a while and to the pool when my boys were younger.

The Ti Hanok Cinéma, a great modern movie theater with 5 movie showing houses. All is very modern and with a Breton motif, rather nice. Also, theater and concerts pre recorded are shown. Easy to reach with the Auray bus service call Auraybus line rouge or red from the train station stops right in front of the cinema. The name Ti Hanok reflects the owners Breton and Korean, with Ti ,Breton for house ,and Hanok , Korean for the traditional Korean houses name.


The Ti Hanok Cinéma is a friendly place where you feel good, a bit like at home. And it is in a cozy, warm and carefully decorated decor that the public is welcomed 7 days a week. On the catering side, the emphasis is on organic and local products. Exhibitions regularly appear in the reception hall and the restaurant. the cinema catering area and, throughout the year, the cinema team offers many activities for young audiences, including a number in partnership with local and national cultural players.


The official Ti Hanok Cinéma webpage:

Another great site we go especially the boys is the Centre Aquatique Alre’O, this is an indoor pool and swimming balneo center with all the trimming of comfort and modernity. It has a pool of 25 meters by 10 meters with lanes and a depth of 1,30 to 2,50 meters. Also, pool with banquets and floaters with depths of 0,80 meters to 1,10 meters, a pool of waves, toboggan of 70 meters, and a  learning pool of 80 cm to 1,10 meter deep. (For those not using the metric system, one meter is about 3,3 feet). The balnéo space has a sauna, hamman, spa, and massaging showers. Many activities are done here from aqua gym courses to aquabike, children garden, beginners swim, as well as bike rentals,etc. A whole nice universe for the whole family.


Alre’O, is a cocktail of aquatic leisure activities for young and old: paddling pool, water mushroom, slide, bubbling benches, learning pool with swimming against the current, large 75 m slide, wave ball, 5 sports pool corridors, balneotherapy area, sauna, hammam, spa, relaxing showers and outdoor beach, green area with inflatable games in the summer season. Swimsuit compulsory. Shorts and Bermuda shorts prohibited. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

The official Centre Aquatique Alre’O webpage:



And we have walked all over the city but amongt the quant streets we like are these two will expand a bit on them here for the look of Auray!

The Place aux Roues is a square that takes its name from the wheel business (carts, wheelbarrows, etc.) that once took place there. It already bears this name in 1839 on the Napoleonic land register. It shelters a public well, and, at n ° 19 of the contiguous street, an oven in which the inhabitants came, in the 18C, to bake their bread for a fee. Today, the Place aux Roues is a place open to the senses, with its restaurant and bakery scents, its artists’ windows, period costumes, musical instruments and exotic objects. It is sometimes lulled by entertainment (music, theater) but despite everything aspires to more daily life.


The Place Joffre is one of our favorite parking spots. There is still one grocery store there founded in 1949, its current owners, behind their counter for 35 years, witness the changes in Place Joffre, which has become peaceful after having been, during the pig fair, the heart of the city. The pig fair had been moved to Place du Four-Mollet, but cattle fairs still existed. They disappeared with European standards, just like the farmers who sold, not long ago, raw milk, cream and eggs on the market.A quant spot in Auray, and still the closest office for the social security administration or CPAM du Morbihan!

auray pl Joffre feb20

There you go folks a nice dandy historical old architecturally stunning small town by the Auray river and into the Gulf of Morbihan and into the Atlantic Ocean. Sublime place for a weekend walk indeed. Again, hope you enjoy the post and do walk in it.

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

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November 26, 2021

The new Forum des Halles of Paris!!!

These places brings back memories  and even thus was just there when they were finishing the renovation, we have been to the old many times as not too far from my place of work in Paris. Of course, I am taking about the Forum des Halles of Paris.  The Forum des Halles is a shopping center located on the site of the old halls of Paris. Things move fast here and already the figures for 2019, the Forum des Halles was the most visited shopping center in France, with 50 million visitors !! I like to update this older post with new text and older pictures; hope you enjoy it as I.

There is a nice underground parking by level -3 You discounts if shows a cinema ticket ,You come into the parking by rue de Turbigo ,the name Forum des Halles-Rambuteau.  The center will reserve taxis for you too, just go to the information desk,zone Lescot au niveau -3. They will call G7 for you which are the best in Paris, me think, There is also, the metro Châtelet Les Halles lines 1, 4, 7, 11, and 14, The RER A,B, and D, However, for these, I would recommend only for savvy visitors who have spent time in Paris, for all other avoid it, This is one of the largest underground station in the world ! There is a huge laberinth of corridors/hallways with several lines and long walks that can be confusing to many and yes have stories of visiting friends/family of their tired feet, There are , also, many bus lines passing by here on rue de Rivoli, boulevard Sébastopol, rue Étienne-Marcel, and rue du Louvre lines 21, 29, 38, 47, 58, 67, 69, 70, 72, 74, 75, 76, 81, 85, and 96,

paris les forum stores sept15

Of course, what better way than walking in ! The Forum Les Halles have 7 entry points, These are : Porte Lescot, located rue Pierre Lescot. Porte Berger, located rue Berger. Porte Rambuteau, located rue Rambuteau. Porte Pont-Neuf (access Zone Place Carrée), located at the intersection of rue Berger and rue Pont-Neuf. Porte Saint-Eustache (access Zone Place Carrée), located rue Rambuteau, near the Saint-Eustache Church. Porte du Jour (access to the Place Carrée Zone), located rue du Jour, in front of the Saint-Eustache Church. Porte du Louvre (access Zone Place Carrée), located in front of the Bourse du Commerce, near rue du Louvre. Porte Marguerite de Navarre, located Place Marguerite de Navarre. Entrance Canopy, located between the Nelson Mandela Gardens and the shopping center.

My favorite stores in no preference order were /are Calvin Klein, Darty, FNAC , H&M, Jeff de Brugges, Lacoste, Lego, Leonidas, L’Occitane, Louis Pion, Micromania, Monoprix, Nocibé, Yves Rocher, and Zara. For restaurants we have tried here Brioche Dorée, Champeaux, and Le Pain Quotidien, And of course, the UGC Ciné Cité Les Halles cinema !

A bit of history I like

In the mid-19C, twelve pavilions were built by Victor Baltard on the location of the Paris market halls. Les Halles de Paris was the name given to the central market halls, the wholesale market for fresh food products, located in the heart of Paris, in the 1éme arrondissement or district of Paris, and which gave their name to the surrounding neighbourhood or quartier. The history of the Halles is much older than we think, since its origins date back to 1137, when Louis VI set up a first market at this site, on ancient swamps. They are the main setting of Émile Zola’s Ventre de Paris or Paris belly. This large market which was held there until the beginning of the 1970’s was replaced today by a green space (Jardin des Halles), an underground shopping center (the Forum Les Halles) and by numerous spaces devoted to leisure.

The central wholesale market was moved to Rungis in the late 1960 and the Baltard pavilions were destroyed, leaving a “hole” in the center of Paris for a few years. The Forum was then built and inaugurated in 1979, above the main RER and Metro node in Paris. The creation of a veritable underground city linked to public transport and featuring commercial, cultural, sports and leisure facilities. This direction is confirmed by the Government’s decision to achieve the central point of interconnection of the express regional-RER network, located more than 20 meters underground. During the summer of 1971, the demolition of the halls Baltard is made necessary in order to create, in open air, the underground station of the RER. The inauguration takes place on 4 September 1979. On September 13 2019, the Forum des Halles takes its new name of Westfield Forum des Halles.

paris les forum eustache ent sept15

The canopy part of the new Forum des Halles, a glass and steel structure built reaching 14 meters in height, covers a central patio and welcomes in its wings a conservatory, a hip-hop center, a library, a workshop of amateur practices and a cultural center for the Deaf and Hearing impaired. It was inaugurated on April 5, 2016. The new Forum and the canopy open to the west on the Jardin Nelson Mandela garden, which has several playgrounds for children. These roads are public, pedestrian and underground.These are the names in no particular order of layout (in black those taken by me while coming here ). Balcon Saint-Eustache, Grand Balcon, Passage de la Réale, Passage des Verrières, Patio-place Pina-Bausch, Place Basse, Place Carrée, Place de la Rotonde, Porte BergerPorte Lescot, Porte du JourPorte du LouvrePorte du Pont-NeufPorte RambuteauPorte Saint-Eustache, Rue de l’Arc-en-Ciel, Rue Basse, Rue des Bons-Vivants, Rue de la Boucle, Rue Brève, Rue du Cinéma, Rue de l’Équerre-d’Argent, Rue de l’Oculus , Rue de l’Orient-Express, Rue des Piliers, Rue Poquelin, Rue Pirouette, and Terrasse Lautréamont.


The official new Westfield Forum des Halles

The Paris tourist office on the Forum des Halles

There you go folks, a new design shopping center, transports hub, and just great night ambiance of Paris, the area is back vibrant as ever, Hope you enjoy the new Forum des Halles of Paris !!

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

November 26, 2021

Shopping the Champs-Élysées of Paris!!

Ok so here I am going over my blog and seeing many posts on shopping, something I am a total amateur but did move along with my parents, my wife and now boys for necessary sake! Even if as you know, shopping in France is marvelous and in Paris is sublime! I like to make this new post using some older pictures of shopping the Champs-Élysées of Paris!! Hope you enjoy it as I.

Oh yes, we like to go to individual stores but sometimes we indulge in going to the shopping centers or malls, or as best describe on the Avenue des Champs Élysées, the galleriesI like to tell you perhaps about some off the beaten path buildings when you walk the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, that we have indulged into them,

From the Arc de Triomphe to the Champs-Élysées roundabout, the most beautiful avenue in the world unfolds a long ribbon of luxurious boutiques and prestigious stores, interspersed with legendary restaurants, cinemas and other cafes. Adorned with light, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées stands out as the essential stopover in a Parisian getaway. From Place de la Concorde to Place Charles-de-Gaulle, the avenue takes its name from the Champs-Élysées, the place of the underworld where virtuous souls stayed in Greek mythology. Day and night, this magical avenue owes its legendary reputation to its breathtaking beauty and its range of luxury, which makes it one of the main tourist spots in Paris.

The Galerie des Arcades or Lido at 78 Av. Des Champs-Élysées . This is a gallery in blond and black marble with Lalique bronze sconces. The glass slabs of the ceiling are supported by marble columns. It differs from the galleries and passages of the 19C by its exceptional width, fifteen meters, and by an almost exclusive use of artificial lighting. In 1929, the Lido opened, one of the most prestigious Parisian cabarets. The Lido move out in 1977. The high-rise building at this address has a shopping arcade on the ground floor that overlooks the Champs-Élysées on one side and the rue de Ponthieu on the other. The Arcades des Champs-Élysées, a permanent fairs of luxury shops, were built in 1925 on the site of the former Dufayel hotel. The Arcades were inaugurated on October 1, 1926. A few marble columns, from the old Dufayel hotel, are used in the construction. Closest transports metro line 1 George V or bus 73 George V stop/arrêt. 



Georges Jules Dufayel , was also the owner of the Grands Magasins Dufayel, the largest department store in the world at the time, in the Goutte-d’Or neighborhood in Paris where one found a jumble of furniture and household items. The store was closed in 1930, He,also, acquired a house on the avenue des Champs-Élysées previously owned by the Duchess of Uzès. He had it demolished and replaced it with a more imposing mansion built in 1902. This hotel was in turn demolished in 1924 to make way for the “Arcades des Champs-Elysées”, a shopping mall. These arcades connect the Champs-Elysées to the rue de Ponthieu. In 1929, the vast basement was transformed into an upscale entertainment venue, called the Lido. In a Venetian setting, the public had a large swimming pool (33 m by 9 m), a hammam, a beauty salon, a dance hall. Nautical reviews take place in the swimming pool. Grand as in Paris !

The Galerie des Champs-Elysées at 86 Avenue des Champs-Elysées was entirely redesigned by Jean Nouvel, It has regained pride and elegance with its refined style. The new concept store developed by L’Occitane and Pierre Hermé as well as ephemeral kiosks. The new H&M store in Paris designed by Jean Nouvel too even if announced they think of closing this store, The ground floor and the basement are dedicated to women. The man lives on the first floor, the child is absent. To navigate from one floor to another, a wide staircase, an elevator, escalators, there are many choices. There are even these giant screens that go up and down, stop when they meet a visitor, just to show them the flagship silhouettes of the season In the dressing rooms, it can be adjusted, just like the second mirror placed behind you, in order to better visualize the chosen part.

The Paris tourist office on the Galerie des Champs-Elysées :


The Galerie du Claridge at 74 Av. Des Champs-Élysées, Our favorite store ; a few years ago when FNAC arrived. This was able to revitalize this place and give it a new identity.  There is an astonishing clock housed in the Galerie du Claridge combined with the Greeks’ clepsydra which therefore indicates the time thanks to the flow of water and the traditional , which give the time with greater precision. The whole, made up of pump, siphons, balance and colored liquid moving in a transparent medium, is constantly animated. On the left, the spheres in column give the hours and on the right, the ringed column, the minutes. It’s quite fascinating to watch the time go by, it is the case to put it, this way. Interesting !!

At this spot was the Claridge hotel ,a large hotel built in 1914 on the eve of the Great War or WWI, During WWII, the hotel was requisitioned by the French Army , then the Nazis. After the conflict, the hotel once again became the meeting place for luxury tourists, businessmen and political figures. The Claridge closed its doors on December 31, 1976. Many personalities frequented the Claridge such as Marlène Dietrich, Édith Piaf, Jean Gabin, Salvador Dali who brought goats to his apartments, the boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, Georges Simenon, Jean Cocteau, Colette, etc, The hotel was taken over and subsequently reopened today as a serviced apartment. It belongs to the Fraser group and offers 114 rooms. Closest transports is metro lines 1 and 9 Franklin D. Roosevelt ,and bus lines 32/73 stop/arrêt La Boétie-Champs-Elysées.

The Paris tourist office on the FNAC store there:

The official webpage of the new Claridge-Fraser hotel on top of gallery


Some additional webpages on the Champs Elysées to help you enjoy even more this great Avenue!

The Paris tourist office on the Champs Elysées

The Paris tourist office on shopping in the Champs-Elysées

The Champs-Elysées Committee, a non-profit association, was created in 1916. It acts in favor of the promotion, development and international notoriety of the avenue and the Champs-Elysées district in Paris. The Comité Champs-Elysées on the stores in the avenue :

There you go folks, another nice shopping walk in dandy Paris and the most famous avenue in the world, the Avenue des Champs-Elysées! Plenty to shop here and these galleries are nice, architecturally and historically impressive as in Paris. Hope you enjoy it and do shop by them!

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

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