Archive for November 30th, 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

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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/

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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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