Archive for March 11th, 2022

March 11, 2022

My travels in the Morbihan XCIII

And my road warrior mentality cannot keep me at home for long. Today I went back to usual hangouts in Vannes, capital city of the beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of the region of lovely Bretagne in my belle France. This historical city still pretty much in the off the beaten path of many is again worth the detour, This time it was oldest son’s birthday !!!

Of course, we went for the restaurant he chose as a beef eater par excellence the chosen one was the chain Hippopotamus. The chain was created in 1968 (what a year!) , It is now part of the Groupe Flo that is majority held by the Groupe Bertrand ; these are major players in the restaurant business in France with several brand names.

I kept it simple with the Tuna veggies entrée , Burger Originale, my Tiramisu Caramel, expresso coffee and as apéritif the Martini Rosso, the meal accompany by an Albert Bichot Hautes Côtes de Nuits Burgundy red 2018 bottle, the works wonderful, great service and good food,

vannes hippopotamus albert bichot hautes cotes de nuit burgundy red 2018 mar22

The Hippotamus Vannes resto webpage :

The Groupe Flo restaurants webpage :

The Groupe Bertrand resto/hotels brands :

Then, we had time and my boys errands to do so we drove and walk a bit in Vannes, always a welcome opportunity, Before, passing in Pluvigner we threw away all our discharges to the waste landfill, and we went on to Vannes !

I passed by one of my old stays while arriving late on business trips or housing collegues visiting us from other countries, this is the Escale Oceania Hotel at Avenue Jean Monnet just by the roundpoint of Palais des Arts, This would be a recommended hotel to visitors, Oceania hotels webpage :

vannes escales oceania hotel front mar22

Right around here you have the Théâtre Anne de Bretagne (see post aka Palais des Arts) this is where we held our management convention meetings with 500 attendees, many memorable moments here including the one we arrived at the parking and forgot there is a code to open the gate, We went around until found someone that call inside to have the gate open for us ; I was not driving lol !!! The scéne du golfe on the theater webpage :

vannes theater de bretagne side mar22

And this time I was able to take a pic of the Hôtel de Ville or city hall of Vannes from a different angle, We have two really, the historical one already written on it and this one which is the administrative part, The historical you have the tourist office, and weddings rooms , cultural dept etc, The admin building is for the regular folks like us do their civil needs, This is officially at 7 Rue Joseph le Brix , Let me use this post to tell you about the link for the parkings in Vannes, and see a picture of where I was last post !! City of Vannes on parkings :

vannes city hall admin bdlg back mar22

And why not another wonderful picture of the back of the Collége Jules Simon (middle school) that had recently renovated its Chapelle St Yves (you can visit-see post), This time took the pic from across the above hotel so the historical back of the school, A bit of that which I like tell us that the school was founded in 1574 it was entrusted to the Jesuits in 1629. When the Jesuits were banished from France in 1762 it passed into other hands then, during the revolutionary and Napoleonic periods, its buildings received various assignments. Reopened but in decline at the beginning of the 19C, it came back to life in 1857 at the instigation of Jules Simon and the municipal authorities. It became a state high school in 1948 and became a college again in 1967. The Collége Jules-Simon is the oldest college of the 7 colleges in Vannes: 448 years old !! Well not tourist but worth sending your kids here if in town, webpage :

vannes coll jules simon back mar22

Then, we were by there so why not stop by our friendly Ford dealer in Vannes, Mustiére now part of the Groupe DMD out of Brest. I was looking at the new models, and especially the hybrids and electric cars. Well not impress do not know why the brainwashing but they are overprice and not the reach in km/miles I, the road warrior uses. At least, I am up to date on the movement… Groupe DMD Vannes webpage:

Vannes Ford mustieres DMD revision visit mar22

There you go folks, a full day of activities in my dear Vannes. And its not over this coming Saturday is my wine fair!!! we go every year except when not allow to due to the virus. Looking forward to that again with my favorites folks on foods and wines of France. Until then, enjoy the visit to Vannes in my beautiful Morbihan of my lovely Bretagne and in my belle France!

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

March 11, 2022

Masseret !

Another town not yet in my blog but of many memories that me think needs to be here. This is another small village in my road warrior trips of my belle France. There is a nice anecdote and will tell you a bit on Masseret. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The town of Masseret is located in the Corrèze department no, 19, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It is crossed by the A 20 highway which connects Vierzon to Montauban. It is served by exit/sortie 43 (we took and lunch).

The anecdote on this town is that we were coming home from Toulouse and decided to take the scenic toll free route. As the driving time are longer, and my oldest just gotten his driving license, I asked for him to do his first long drive on the road. He did well and drove for 4 hours! giving me lots of rest. Now I have a helper once again in the family; and proud to do so for his dear late Mom Martine. I , of course, a proud father!

masseret correze A2O Noel first road drive 4hrs jan20

A bit of history I like tell us the Châtellenie de Masseret came under the Viscount of Limoges and its fate was linked to the family of the Viscounts of Limoges and with the marriage of Marie de Limoges the last Viscountess with Arthur II of Brittany passed into the House of Brittany, then Penthièvre, Albret and Bourbon. Alain d’Albret married in 1470 Françoise de Bretagne of the House of Blois.

Some of the things to see here are:

The Sainte-Catherine d’Alexandrie Church, Built in the 12C, it was last remodeled in 1969 with the replacement of the wooden bell tower by a wall bell tower. The orientation tower, although medieval in appearance, the Masseret tower was built in 1954 and serves as a water tower. It is located on the site of the old feudal castle which, at the top of the hill, made it possible to monitor the passages between Limoges and Brive. Before the construction of the tower, a majestic beech tree, planted around 1792, symbolically recalled the old castle. It was struck down on February 4, 1946. In the center of Masseret stands a tower on top of which an orientation table has been erected. From there a very beautiful circular panorama is revealed: to the north you can see the Monts d’Ambazac, to the east the Plateau de Millevaches, the Massif des Monédières and, on a clear day, the Monts d’Auvergne. The Rabaud Castle (private), built in the early 16C, this castle has a tower centered on its facade. The feudal mound of Renaudie , in the Middle Ages, this castle mound was used to monitor the passages between Upper and Lower Limousin. It is now integrated and enhanced within the Porte de Corrèze rest area on the A 20 highway where we stop for lunch.

The city of Masseret on its heritage

The Pays de l’Uzerche tourist office on Masseret heritage

There you go folks, another dandy road warrior trip in my belle France. Driving is heaven and we love the freedom of the road! Hope you enjoy this bit of introduction on Masseret as we.

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

March 11, 2022

Tour des Rondes of Lavaur!

I take you back to a memorable town, as you read my blog, this is the native town of my dear late wife Martine’s late father Pierre.  Of course, we have been here several times and plenty of posts in my blog, However, I like to update this off the beaten path part even if it is the tourist office of Lavaur !! Let me tell you a bit about the Round Tower or Tour des Rondes of Lavaur. The Tour des Rondes remains the only vestige still visible from the fortifications of the old town.


It is circular brick tower built before the 12C, it constituted a rampart ensuring, on the south side, the defense of the ditches which led to the Naridelle stream. This deep ravine forced people moving between Toulouse and Castres to cross Lavaur, it was only partially leveled at the end of the 18C, and today is the road to Castres. This tower was thus part of the protective walls during the siege of Lavaur by Simon IV de Montfort and the Albigensian Crusade against Catharism.

Very damaged, the Tour des Rondes was completely renovated in 1627, giving it its contemporary structure, notably the openings for musketry. It was baptized “Executioner’s Tower” in the 19C as it is under this name that it appears in an alignment plan of the city of 1809, undoubtedly in reference to the guillotine which was preserved in Lavaur during the French revolution, before being moved to Castres.


It became property of the town of Lavaur in 1826 and served from the 1830s as a public slaughter of pigs, after the withdrawal of authorization for individual slaughter in the city, and until a municipal slaughterhouse was built   in 1871 in the Saint-Roch district. Other works were carried out in June 1879, when it contained utensils of public weight, and the Round Tower was entrusted to the Philharmonic Society. New repairs were carried out between 1986 and 1988. The Tour des Rondes currently houses the Lavaur Tourist Office (since April 1, 1992) and an art exhibition hall.

It is about 5 minutes walking from the traffic circle at the end of allée Jean Jaurés towards the Tour des Rondes along Quai la Tour des Rondes street. And what webpage to give you for it? Well you know it is the tourist office of Lavaur!

The Lavaur tourist office on its heritage :

The city of Lavaur on its heritage :

There you go folks, a nice walk down away from the off the beaten path even if it is the tourist office , its not in the city center but in the ramparts not far from the halle aux grains(see post), Hope you enjoy the post on the tour des rondes of Lavaur, and do stop by !

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

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