Archive for December 13th, 2021

December 13, 2021

Some news from France, CCCLIII

And I am back to my belle France , and my loving series some news from France. This is the longest running post in my blog since November 2010! Thanks for your support and readership over the years. I like to choose some of my favorite news for this new episode; hope you enjoy it as I.

The bicentennial of the birth of the author of ‘Madame Bovary’ is celebrated in France with discretion, perhaps because he never fit into the category of the great national writer, Gustave Flaubert had a relationship with his hometown, Rouen, that ranged between love and hate. It is not surprising that, on the 200th anniversary of his birth, which is celebrated this past Sunday, Rouen dedicates a discreet tribute to the most peculiar of the prodigal children. In the city, only a couple of exhibitions remember the father of the modern novel, who did not have a street named after him until the fifties of the last century, seven decades after his death. You can visit the house where he was born, in the so-called Hôtel-Dieu, a small mansion attached to the old Rouen hospital, where his father worked as chief surgeon. Today it houses a museum dedicated to his memory, as endearing as it is dusty, full of those relics. The aura of the place is relative: his childhood room is a reconstruction of 1923. It was between these walls that he spent his first quarter of a century, in a low-ceilinged residence where sickness and death were a neighbor.In the garden, a neoclassical bas-relief represents the author as a floating head with a mean face Only in this way could he work every day until dawn, in his incessant search for the mot juste in the family home in Croisset, where he settled after being acquitted of the immorality trial caused by Madame Bovary, which made him a literary star at 35, but also a public enemy, That mansion overlooking the Seine, currently under construction, will house a reconstitution of the studio where he spent 15 years signing his three great novels, five years for each title: Madame Bovary, Salambó and La sentimental education. In the absence of great tributes, the best reverence for an author who never fell into the category of national writer will remain that of his fellow workers, who continue to consider him something of a commander. Shortly after his death, Proust and Kafka vindicated his style. Faulkner made a pilgrimage to Rouen, while James Joyce was inspired by his free indirect style, that subjective realism where the narrator entered and left the heads of his characters. Sartre dedicated a long biography to him, The Idiot of the Family, just as Foucault and Bourdieu devoted essays to him. Claude Simon quoted him when he won the Nobel, confirming the debt that the nouveau roman owed to his legacy, with the notion that the main thing was language and style, and in no case the author. “Man is nothing; the work is everything ”, said Flaubert, foreshadowing the death of the author that Barthes decreed in 1968. Mario Vargas Llosa and Orhan Pamuk admit that they owe him everything. Also Annie Ernaux, a Norman like him. “He was my first teacher, my first model,” he confessed a couple of years ago on the couch in his house. For Leila Slimani, literary star of the latest batch, Flaubert continues to be “the only one, the true one, the best of all.” Indeed, if you are a writer need to visit here! Museum in Rouen :

The hospitals of Rouen on the museum :

Between offices and department stores, few Parisians live on Boulevard Haussmann, which crosses the 8éme and 9éme arrondissements. The west of this axis, 2.5 km long, still offers some beautiful volumes, reserved in particular for a family audience but especially wealthy. Accommodation is more frequent on the western part of Boulevard Haussmann, but, often large, they remain reserved for a well-to-do audience, It is a mythical artery where tourists flock during this holiday season. The Ile-de-France residents also gather there, especially around the must-see department stores. Each year, they come to discover the magical decorations installed for Christmas: luminous ceiling, gigantic trees, musical entertainment …But as things goes, Paris is becoming more for rich investors thanks in part to the ridiculous ruling by the mayor of Paris!

Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece traveled several times through France under Nazi occupation. An exhibition at the Château de Chambord traces its travels and those of tens of thousands of works of art, sheltered during the war. The Château de Chambord has just inaugurated a new room, dedicated to the little-known history of works of art that moved during WWII, with a focus on the Mona Lisa. It’s a strange convoy that leaves the Louvre September 27, 1938. It is 6h and a truck is driving very slowly on the cobblestones of the square courtyard. Its load is very heavy. And most precious. Ten paintings, the most prestigious in the Louvre, which take the direction of the Château de Chambord (Loir-et-Cher 41) to be sheltered. Among them, the most famous of all, the Mona Lisa. This trip, made in emergency when Hitler has just invaded the Sudetenland, a region of Czechoslovakia bordering Germany, and nothing seems to stop it, is the first in a long series for Mona Lisa. Ten displacements, in total, during the duration of the conflict in the north, the west and the south of France. All worth it thanks to those who did it. Webpage :

At the heart of the giant warehouse of RecycLivre, French leader in the online sale of second-hand books, Located in Essonne (91), in a business area located in Villabé, the huge warehouse of RecycLivre stores more than a million books, Each year, the company sells nearly 1.4 million copies. At the French number one in the online second-hand book market, endless rows of books, donated by individuals, run over nearly 6,000 square meters. Yes indeed a good alternative for all to read a book, Webpage :

A major traffic accident left many injured on avenue d’Ivry and at the intersection of rue de Tolbiac in the 13éme arrondissement of Paris. According to initial findings, a technical failure of a vehicle could be the cause. The accident took place in the early evening, shortly before 21h, at the intersection of rue Tolbiac, avenue de Choisy and avenue d´Ivry. In total, nearly fifteen injured were reported. At least five seriously injured people were taken care of by the emergency services. A taxi, which transported customers and whose “accelerator remained blocked”, would have struck a first vehicle before being able to avoid a second one at the crossing where it also destroyed a traffic light which was with red in its direction of circulation, I putting this up first because it is a taxi that ,also, many visitors take, and second because it was a Tesla car prone to have this type of malfunction with their breaks, My advise is not to get into one, use G7 taxis in Paris.

Here here here, did I say we have less in Paris regardless of what the central government tells you, here is the proof, Are the metro and RER at rush hour full like in 2019, before the Covid crisis and the spread of teleworking? This is the feeling of many travelers in Île-de-France. And yet, according to statistics provided by Île-de-France Mobilités (IDFM), the line-by-line load level is still very far from the pre-Covid normal. most metro lines oscillate between 70 and 80% of the traffic recorded two years ago. According to the RATP count, only line 14 returned to 100% during the morning rush hour. It is followed by lines 11 (89%), 9 (80%), 1 (79%), 8 (78%) and 3 (77%). Deemed to be saturated, line 13 would only be 70% of pre-Covid-19 attendance. Lines 2, 4, 6, 7 and 12 also oscillate between 70 and 76%. On the SNCF network, the RER A, the RER E and line N are 80% of travelers compared to November 2019, still during the morning rush hours. The RER B is at 75%. Lines C and D oscillate between 75 and 80%. And of course less travel into Paris less for the merchants as well, already suffering from covid19 crazy ruling with increase in bankruptcies and more to come in 2022.

Update as train travel between Paris and Lyon, Milan etc has become cheaper beating SNCF prices by half. The deal is open just in time for the holiday season. From December 18,2021 travel at high speed between Paris, Lyon and Milan with the Frecciarossa trains. Reservations are open. High-speed trains Frecciarossa offers 2 daily round trips between Paris Gare de Lyon and Milan Centrale, via Lyon Part-Dieu, Chambéry, Modane and Turin, in the morning and in the evening, at flexible prices. French webpage:

Pierre Scholla, the painter has exhibited all over the world and rubbed shoulders with the greatest. At 93, he continues to paint in his studio in Corbeil-Essonnes. He exhibits until January 30 at the Paul-Bédu cultural space in Milly-la-Forêt (Essonne 91). During his long career, he exhibited all over the world, won several awards, rubbed shoulders with the greatest such as Picasso, Utrillo, César, Giacometti… Sold paintings to Frank Sinatra or even Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. Here he is back in Milly-la-Forêt , Pierre Scholla is exhibiting around forty paintings and lithographs at the Paul-Bédu cultural space until January 30 2022. « I had already exhibited in a gallery in Milly alongside Jean Marais and Jean Couteau » He said,, webpage :

The temporary ice rinks return to the heart of cities. On last Saturday, the president of the French board sports federation inaugurated that of Saint-Cloud,(Hautes de Seine 92) an area of 300 m2 of real ice. For the first day of this “Christmas in the garden”, access to the ice rink is even extended at night, until 22h in a disco atmosphere like “The tanned people go skiing”. Around the track, the town of Saint-Cloud has associated its local artisans and traders to put them in the spotlight. In Antony, it has been open since Friday at Marc Sangnier Park, until January 2. That of La Défense is due to open on December 20, while the Montrouge On Ice rink will be accessible from Wednesday, until January 2 as well. Ice skating and Christmas market at Saint Cloud:

Le Bourget Air Museum, the conquest of space told in 180,000 Lego bricks, Since last Tuesday, and for six months, a new temporary exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to rediscover in a fun way the history of aeronautics and the conquest of space, through some thirty Lego models, paintings and sculptures.Webpage:

Will a 5,000 square meter old barracks with arcades 100 meters from the Palace of Versailles (Yvelines 78) and built under Louis XIV soon be in the hands of Emirati investors? In any case, the latter would be in contention for the purchase of the old Récollets convent, 9, rue des Récollets,(to your right coming out of castle go around it and see the street) owned by the French army since the 19C. Built in 1684 for the Franciscan order ,chaplain of the king’s armies ; it currently houses the Technical Service for Fortifications and Works, an agency of the Ministry of the Armed Forces. Investors from the Arabian Peninsula would not be the only ones interested: there are currently around sixty potential clients , The barracks, imagined by the architect Jules-Hardouin Mansart, architect of the Palace of Versailles, would be estimated at 50 million euros. It does not exclude either transforming the site into a luxury hotel complex, in order to meet the tourist demand of the 2024 Olympic Games. Riding events are in fact planned near the castle, Leave it to the army not to recognised history !!

During these end-of-year celebrations, discover the Musée du Jouet or Toy Museum (see post) in Poissy (Yvelines 78). It traces the life of toys from Antiquity to the present day, through 600 objects on display. And offers entertainment throughout the month of December. discover all kinds of toys in this pretty museum , such as the Nicolas and Pimprenelle dolls which have made several generations of children dream with “Teddies”. The little cow made of wood and papier-mâché, covered with goatskin, moans when pressed on its back. An ingenious fabrication from 1878. With a funnel, children could pour milk inside to milk it. Marguerite Yourcenar had fun with this luxurious ruminant, offered at Christmas to children of middle-class families. This little realistic cow is enthroned in a display case at the Toy Museum , in the middle of 600 nuggets, dating from Antiquity to the present day. Webpage :

In the national domain of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, (see post) soon the rebirth of the large basin, Disappeared throughout history, this architectural element will be reconstructed in the coming months to allow the park to regain its original perspective, A huge circular pool 50 meters in diameter surmounted by a large jet of water. This is what the end of the large parterre will soon look like in the national domain of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines 78). It is in fact a question of reproducing the perspective imagined by André Le Nôtre at the request of Louis XIV in the second half of the 17C, when the castle of Saint-Germain where he was born was still the main royal residence. Webpage :

At the Domaine de Chaalis, Christmas is celebrated like in the last century! During the holidays, the castle invites visitors to discover a Christmas like at the beginning of the 20C. A visual and olfactory journey to reconnect with the traditions of the past. Once past the steps of the Domaine de Chaalis (Oise 60), time stops and visitors fall into another world. The world of Nélie Jacquemart, a renowned painter from the beginning of the 20C and insatiable collector. With her husband Édouard André, they traveled the world to collect the most beautiful works of art. Part of this collection is in the Chaalis estate, in which Nélie Jacquemart spent part of her childhood and which she bought in 1902. She therefore stores nearly 5,000 works of art there, a very personal part. from its impressive collection. You may know them better by the museum Jacquemart-André in Paris. The domain webpage :

La Coupole, the star brasserie of Montparnasse. For nearly a century, this institution in the city has delighted both celebrities and the many tourists who flock to its tables. Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Simon, Édith Piaf, Jacques Prévert, Picasso and François Mitterrand had their habits there. A tour of 800 square meters of the history of Parisian life. La Coupole was built in 1927, in the midst of the Roaring Twenties, in the heart of the bohemian district of Montparnasse. All the great artists and writers of the city gathered in this chic brasserie. La Coupole, a vast brasserie located in the 14éme arrondissement of Paris, between the Montparnasse train station and the Luxembourg garden , The butlers, in the impeccable white shirt and the black bow tie, finish to set up the 330 covers for lunch. Gorgeous !!! webpage :

At this harsh start to winter, raclette is the favorite dish of the French, according to a poll commissioned by TF1 (French TV channel) . Alpine specialties monopolize the top 10 such as tartiflette (3rd), gratin dauphinois (8th) and fondue (10th). Fromagerie des Alpages, in Grenoble (Isère 38), is the mecca of raclette. Here, Bernard Mure-Ravaud, best worker cheese maker in France, sells 22 varieties of cheese to an undeniable success. And yes we love the tartiflette especially and do it often at home during winter season, Delicious ! With the snow falling and the cold, we have to do a raclette with friends to officially kick off winter! It’s an unchanging ritual, everyone loves it, and it’s easy to prepare, I agree ! We love it, This fan of the mountain specialty is like the French who place raclette at the top of their favorite dishes. This is one of the many lessons learned from a large online survey on the French and their regions commissioned by TF1 and conducted by Sociovision, from November 8 to 22, 2021, with 3,500 people polled, Another beauty of my belle France! And if you ever by Grenoble, here is the cheese store of above webpage:

For a guaranteed change of scenery, the Chalet des Îles has all the qualities, and indeed it is recommended by yours truly; magical at Christmas time. Completely redecorated in the winter version of fir and company, we used go there every Wednesday to eat a good family fondue, now they also have djsets evenings organized every Thursday, Friday and Saturday , Châlet des îles, Bois de Boulogne, Embarcadère du Chalet des Îles (or pier), Porte de La Muette, Ceinture du lac inférieur (around the inferior lake) 16éme arrondissement of Paris, webpage :

There you go folks , another wonderful episode of some news from France, me think ::) Hope you enjoy it as I, and see you around soon!! Merry Christmas and all others to celebrate and best wishes for the New Year 2022.

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

December 13, 2021

Some news from Spain CXV

And its time again to tell you some of the latest news and tips in my opinion on my regular series some news from Spain. This is the season to be merrier ,and want to wish all my readers/followers the very best Merry Christmas/Holiday or other you are celebrating and best wishes for 2022!!!

One town to visit and do so more, is Càdiz, in the province of Càdiz and the autonomous community of Andalucia of the Kingdom of Spain. Plenty of ideas to see here.

Cádiz treasures an epic past that culminates with the Constitution of 1812. On route through a historic center that smells of the sea and relives its history, Over the bay of Cádiz, this old part invites you to lose yourself in a legendary journey through its epic past sealed by the Constitution of 1812 or La Pepa. Six magnum letters and 209 years later, these days of celebration that celebrate the 43 years of the current Spanish Constitution revive that bittersweet symbol of independence, a dream of a lost revolution that did not prevent absolutism,

You have key sites such as the monument to the Cortes of Cádiz, crowned by allegorical figures that support the Magna Carta. Shaped like a hemicycle and facing the pier, it welcomes the city from the gardens of the Plaza de España, On one corner, in the Plaza de Argüelles next to the port, sits the Casa de las Cuatro Torres, a delightful 18C building converted into a boutique hotel with a neoclassical façade that was the lodging of porters from the Carrera de las Indias, the flow that established trade with America. It preserves four watchtowers, vaults, domes, skylights, cisterns and cladding of oyster stone, a conglomerate of marine fossils that also dot other walls of Cádiz.

The San Carlos walls, with a bastion, which baptize the neighborhood and show its military past, between Fernandino-style lampposts and views of Rota (friends at US Naval Base) and El Puerto de Santa María. Following the promenade over the sea, towards the west, you reach the Alameda de Apodaca, a pretty bougainvillea avenue, with giant centenary ficus trees and terraces. A little further on, you can see the Candelaria bastion, another key fort in the cannonball war against the French, which forced their withdrawal. Opposite, the baroque Church of Carmen incorporated two colonial towers-belfries and hosted readings from La Pepa. In the popular Plaza del Mentidero lived deputies of the extraordinary Courts meeting on March 19 1812. The neighboring San Antonio shows off her church and the bluish Casa de Aramburu (the first private bank), and hosted the Café Apolo, where enlightened, liberal and constitutionalists debated in gatherings and cenacles. Between the two, Calle de Veedor houses the mansion that the Duke of Wellington lived in, which today is the Tandem Palacio Veedor de Galeras, with 16 luxury apartments. In the Plaza de Mina we see the Museum of Cádiz and the House of Manuel de Falla. Returning to the commercial Calle Ancha , we end in the central Plaza del Palillero. We are opening our mouths towards the Central Market of Abastos, a true delirium of marine product, including tuna, in the Plaza de la Libertad. On the way, you can see the flowery Plaza de las Flores and the Torre Tavira, the highest viewpoint of a hundred in the city. The siesta time stops Cádiz, but the afternoon invites you to visit the famous Oratorio de San Felipe Neri, where La Pepa was approved and read. Annex is the Museum of the Cortes , and its model of the city. The culmination of this route is the Plaza de la Catédral of Santa Cruz and that of Plaza San Juan de Dios, seat of the City Council, which delimit the Pópulo neighborhood, with its Roman theater and three 13C arches.

And in the countryside, dreaming of the sea, Jerez de la Frontera, (see post) with its setting of vineyards on a white land of albarizas, a city where time does not seem to matter. Here sits one of the wineries with the greatest packaging and tradition in Spain: González Byass, (see post) which are seven production wineries signed by the best architects of each era, from Gustav Eiffel to Torroja Miret. The first, called La Concha, expresses the character of the founding family. And here, in 1844, the most universally renowned wine was born, the first Jerez fine wine and today the best-selling in the world: Tío Pepe. Walking through the winery is a gift for the senses: the chirping of the birds in Villa’s garden Victorina, heritage of Andalusia; the caressing humid wind from the albero soil that refreshes the environment around the criaderas; the deep aroma of woods and solera wines. A mini-city with surprising corners, trellised streets and Andalusian patios. In front of the Alcázar and the Cathedral, is its Sherry Hotel, a set of four houses, a former home for the workers restored maintaining the original aesthetics. In the Sala La Reservada the end of the year dinner will be held with a performance by the group Solera 60 and drinks until two in the morning. The Sherry Hotel, Calle Manuel María González, 12. Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz). Dinner and hotel price: 325 euros per person; dinner: 175 euros. Webpage :

The city of Madrid will enjoy this next January 5, 2022, the traditional Cabalgata de los Tres Reyes Magos or the Three Wise Kings parade after the previous one had to be suspended and located in Condeduque (see post) due to the advance of the covid virus pandemic. This has been advanced by the delegate of Culture, Tourism and Sports of the Consistory, during the presentation of the Christmas program for the capital ,For the first time in many years, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar appeared in 2020 in the same float and without the accompaniment of others years, in which you could see horses, camels and many other floats. the traditional Cabalgata, whose route goes from Nuevos Ministerios to Cibeles, it has not yet been determined whether New Year’s Eve will be celebrated at Puerta del Sol with the twelve grapes (we still follow this family tradition). If carried out, it will be with a reduced capacity.

The Felipe II Train ! A journey in old wagons from the 40s takes passengers from the center of Madrid to San Lorenzo de El Escorial, in the Sierra de Guadarrama. He had up to 23 diseases at the same time (from syphilis to swine flu or gout), four wives (he did not combine them), 11 recognized children (we must add another four bastards), a tremendous fondness for gardening and clocks and an unshakable Catholic faith that led him to have the one which is considered the eighth wonder of the world. We are talking about king Felipe II, the almighty king in whose dominions the sun never set, and about his great legacy, the Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial,(see post) built in honor of said martyr because, on the day of his name day (August 10) , the Spanish army defeated the French in the Battle of San Quentin. The year: 1557.

The Felipe II Train, takes you on a tourist journey aboard historic wagons from the 40s of the 20C that departs from the Príncipe Pío station and arrives at El Escorial, in the Sierra de Guadarrama, after 50 minutes. During the journey, which runs through the landscapes of towns such as Pozuelo, Las Rozas, Las Matas, Torrelodones, Galapagar or Villalba, characters from the Court of the monarch nicknamed El Prudente are making an appearance among the cars recounting their adventures during the Golden Age, The wagons are captained by a 2,180-horsepower diesel-electric locomotive capable of running at 120 km / h. The company responsible is Alsa, which has partnered for this experience of a tourist train with other entities such as the Spanish Railways Foundation, National Heritage, the Community of Madrid and the City Councils of El Escorial and San Lorenzo de El Escorial., There are three types of packages: Imperial (from 22.5 euros), Legends (from 18.75 euros) and Journey (from 15 euros), depending on the type of visit you want to make once in the mountains. It can be guided or free inside the Monastery or dramatized on board a panoramic bus first and then walking through the Casita del Príncipe (designed to house Carlos IV -see post) ), the palace gardens and the town of San Lorenzo itself. The Monastery, of course, is the epicenter of the routes. Considered a jewel of Spanish Renaissance architecture, it measures almost 34,000 m2 and includes inside it a royal palace, a basilica, a library, a school and a pantheon, as well as 4,000 rooms, 2,675 windows, 1,250 doors, 89 staircases, 88 fountains, 16 patios and 1,600 paintings (signed by Titian, Bosco and Tintoretto, among other authors). The Felipe II train webpage :

There are 104 in total and each one more beautiful. Hence, the number of towns that make up the Association of the Most Beautiful Towns in Spain ! One we like is Villanueva de los Infantes in Ciudad Lineal province ,This town of Castilla-La Mancha autonomous region has organized a full schedule of activities for infants and visitors until the 8th January, 2022, beginning with the lighting of the Christmas lighting every night, which will continue until the Three Kings parade. Calaceite in Teruel province, As is tradition, the town celebrates the Oil Fair these days, which this year has coincided with the second edition of the Christmas Fair. Nougat, gifts, Christmas decorations and, above all, olive oil, are the main protagonists. All this, enlivened with Christmas carols concerts. See , the arcaded Plaza de España; the City/Town Hall building and the archaeological sites. Another one is La Alberca in Salamanca province ; Castilla y Leon autonomous region, We jump to this little one in the heart of the Sierra de Francia in Salamanca. Its streets and squares take us directly to the classic tales of Hans Christian Andersen, with its low houses decorated with flowers. All the architecture of La Alberca is built with stone and wood, so it is impossible not to get intoxicated with the Christmas spirit. The smell of homemade sweets such as nougat, perrunillas and wafers, the artisan jewelry stores and the embroideries that are still woven today dot the streets of the town during these dates.

Association of the Most Beautiful Towns in Spain :

The largest nativity scene in the world according to the Guinness Record is in … Alicante, the Sagrada Familia of the Mediterranean city measures 56,025 meters high, To get an idea, a person of 1.70 meters reaches the height of the ankle of San Joseph. And it is in the city of Alicante. Specific place: the Paseo de la Explanada de España at the confluence of the Rambla Méndez Nuñez. The monumental complex has broken a record in force for more than 20 years, since,1991 from the Bélen or Bethlehem of Monterrey (Mexico) with its 28.58 meters combining the figures of Saint Joseph, the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus, almost half the size of the one from Alicante, In this way, Alicante joins the Comunidad de Madrid town of Torrejón de Ardoz (see post) in terms of Christmas display, since the latter is not only the European Capital of Christmas officially, but also has a theme park dedicated to these holidays largest in Spain. It was certified that the figures coincided and that San Joséph was 18.10 meters high; 5.32 wide, and 3.38 deep, while the Virgin Mary reached 10.58 meters in height; 3.47 meters wide and 4.45 meters deep and the Child Jesus (3.32 meters high, 3.32 meters wide and 4.08 deep).

In this sense, whoever visits this Sagrada Familia, inspired by Alicante Modernism at the beginning of the 20C, will be able to enjoy a light and sound show that illuminates the Nativity from the base to the top with 20,000 watts of sound amplitude. It can be seen and heard from 18h to midnight every day until January 6 2022. The celebration of Christmas in the city of Alicante does not end here, since the decoration with plant motifs continues in the Explanada, the Plaza del Mar, the City/Town Hall and the squares of Calvo Sotelo and Luceros. In addition, the Casa de San Nicolás, one of the versions of the most famous Santa Claus, has been installed in Seneca Square. To visit it, you must make an appointment. The bullring, for its part, hosts the Christmas in the Plaza event, with an ice skating rink in the Patio de Sol, inflatable structures, zip line, slingshots and a town that moves to the North Pole itself. The Christmas program from the Alicante tourist office:

And this is bringing it to the blood…! In 1953, a group of Canarians (Canary Islands) decided to create a private institution in Madrid in order to promote the representation of the Canaries outside the Archipelago. This is how El Hogar Canario (was here when lived in Madrid!!) was born, which over time would change its name to La Casa de Canarias. But it has been its openness to Canarian gastronomy that has boosted its recognition in Madrid, yeah !!! At present, at its headquarters on Calle de Santa Cruz de Marcenado 13, islanders and foreigners from all over the Peninsula meet without distinction. Webpage of Casa de Canarias :

A restaurant that now takes on its own identity has been renamed DeTenderete and apart from a restaurant service it offers different typical products, either in person or online: from Brumas de Ayoza Blanco Fruity wine to Arehucas Oro rum, passing through Majorero Maxorata semi-cured cheese with paprika or a packet of Munchitos potatoes , Webpage :

Also, on Gofio by Cicero Canary , Calle Lope de Vega, 9, where chef Safe Cruz has created “the best Canarian restaurant that has ever existed outside the Archipelago.” Not for nothing, it is the only establishment that presents this type of food with a Michelin star ! Yes my people of the islands are happy of all this, webpage :

ps. By the way the word Gofio above is for a purpose of representing authentic Guanche food, the original inhabitants of Tenerife and sometimes use to describe all the Canary Islands. Gofio means ‘heap’ as best as possible. This is a food made up of a non-sifted flour of toasted cereals, usually wheat or corn, used in different food preparations. I love the bread or liquified as a milkshake!

Thousands and thousands of people visit El Teide every year, the volcano located on the Canary Island of Tenerife, with an official altitude of 3,715 m, which makes it the highest peak in Spain. Protected natural area, is part of the Teide National Park, declared a World Heritage Site. And for good reason we descendants and natives need to climb it at least once in our life to be real Guanches, (see post) I did mine at 17 with my parents !!! There are several ways to climb the Teide: in the cable car whose base station is at an altitude of 2,356 meters and goes up to the upper station, known as La Rambleta, at 3,555 meters, or walk up to the summit by Montaña Blanca, with a total length of about nine kilometers (between 6 and 7 hours), something that requires a lot of physical effort. It is recommend a mixed option to climb to the top of Teide: take the cable car that takes you from the base station to La Rambleta (about eight minutes; price of one journey: 21 euros) and once there, walk up the path stony road from Telesforo Bravo (about 600 m and approximately 40 minutes) to the crater of the volcano. For this it is necessary to obtain a free permit.The road is well conditioned but the difficulty lies in the altitude (less oxygen) and the slope, which reaches 60%, although it will be worth it once at the top, with scandalous views .
permit webpage:

If you do not have permission to climb to the top of the Teide, another beautiful path starts from the cable car station that, crossing a sea of lava, leads to the Mirador de La Fortaleza, from where you can also enjoy incredible panoramic views of the north slope of Tenerife. Enjoy it either way, its awesome !!!

In the heart of the Aragonese Pyrenees rises Monte Perdido (3,355 meters), the largest calcareous mountain massif in Western Europe and the greatest exponent of the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Glaciers, beech and fir forests, waterfalls at the bottom of the valleys and high altitude deserts make up the impressive landscapes that surround this natural monument to which thousands of mountaineers approach each year to ascend to its great peaks or simply for the practice of hiking. .The best views of Monte Perdido (it is essential to check the weather conditions in advance): the one that reaches the Cola de Caballo waterfall. Suitable for all audiences (in good shape), the route leaves from the Pradera car park at the entrance to the National Park and runs along the course of the Arazas river.The end of the path continues through the flat and grassy area of ​​the Circo del Soaso , of glacial origin and from where you get a good panoramic view of the Monte Perdido massif. At the end of the journey, at the head of the valley, is the Cola de Caballo waterfall, surrounded by green meadows.(not done lol!) Gov site on walks in the Parque in pdf file type:

There you go folks, a dandy look at my beloved Spain. Hope you enjoy it as I always do ::) Times are getting better can’t wait for the Bernabeu to be fully finish! in my dear Madrid!!! And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

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December 13, 2021

The oysters of Pénerf of Damgan!!

Oh well, we love the seafood, we know some cannot take it, so sad. We enjoy it very much near the coast in our beautiful Morbihan, the very best of France me think. I have written on the town of Damgan, but not much on its oysters of Pénerf which is part of the town. So therefore, let me tell you more of this delicacy in the oysters of Pénerf of Damgan!! Hope you enjoy as I.

 Pénerf is a village belonging to the town of Damgan, located in the beautiful Morbihan and the lovely region of Bretagne. It is in a peninsula located between the Rhuys peninsula (see post) and the Vilaine estuary. To the west, the Pénerf river marks the limit of the town, the Atlantic Ocean to the south. Pénerf is, also, part of the Regional Natural Park of the Gulf of Morbihan.

From the 15C to the 18C, the port of Pénerf became an important port in Bretagne/Brittany. The 16C was also the golden age for Pénerf, which was then the fourth Breton port. Its boats went to Bordeaux to Rouen, from Cadiz to Norway,etc.  The particular geology of the river or ria of Pénerf allows the establishment of a first oyster park in 1858. The oyster of Pénerf is one of the six crus of southern Brittany with the “Aven Belon”, the “Ria d’Etel”, “Quiberon”, “Gulf of Morbihan” and “Croisicaise”. Sublime!! (see posts).


There is the Maison de l’Huître or oyster house ,that provides information on the cultivation, and tastings as well as purchases, and a guided visit! Oyster farming, as a breeding activity, was born in the middle of the 19C, because it was necessary to preserve and even restore the natural banks of Belons, those flat oysters of which the south of Morbihan was the cradle. The oyster farms were then established near these natural beds of flat oysters. The first concessions are attested in 1858 in the Pénerf river and in 1863 in the Gulf of Morbihan. But in the 1970s, the virtual disappearance of the flat oyster led oyster farmers on the peninsula to breed cupped oysters, the Cassostréa Gigas also known as “Japanese oysters”. The flat or plate oyester is making a comeback today, thanks to the incomparable delicacy of its taste, and diehard oyster farmers. The Gulf and Rivière de Pénerf now produce more than 4,000 tons of oysters per year from more than 500 hectares of oyster concessions!


Pénerf oysters develop iodized aromas. They have a brown colored shell and a very white mother-of-pearl. In recent years, oyster farmers, restaurateurs and towns on the peninsula and the Penerf river have joined forces to organize a range of activities related to the discovery of oysters and oyster farming. On the program, farm visits and of course … tastings! Visits are provided from June 15 to September 15 by a professional guide, the oyster farmer, in most cases, also present. They take you to construction sites and / or parks. It is recommended to bring boots !. For those who would prefer a solo discovery, the peninsula offers different routes just follow the arrows “route de l’huître” or oyster route, which lead to the heart of the oyster farming sectors.


The traditional sea festival that animates the port of Pénerf, each year in August 2020, could not take place, due to current sanitary constraints, a must-see festivities at the port of Pénerf. In 2021, was held a reduce festival. Relaxation and discovery throughout the weekend with the arrival of old rigs in the port, a ceremony of tribute to the missing sailors, entertainment for children and adults, concerts, traditional dancers, sailors’ songs , exhibitions and demonstrations of bobbin lace, the meeting with regional writers, the presence of numerous associations … Not to mention the remarkable fireworks shot from the Pénerf river. Free.


Ah yes some of the recommended producers in the Pénerf peninsula, which I heard are good except the jardins d’hûitres which we have purchase which is excellent. Here are their contacts.

La Cotriade : Ets Philippe Clénet

Ets Dufrêche

Jardins d’huîtres : Ets Eric LENORMAND :

Some additional webpages on the idea of oysters in Pénerf and the Gulf of Morbihan:

The city of Damgan on its oyster merchants and the oyster

The Damgan-La Roche Bernard tourist office on oysters of the Morbihan

There you go folks another dandy by the coast in my beautiful Morbihan, tops really you should take a look. And the oysters are excellent, we have enjoyed over the years in pretty quant Pénerf in the limits of Damgan! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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