Archive for May 15th, 2022

May 15, 2022

One more time visiting Meaux !!!

As nostalgia sets in on this month of May, I like to update this older post bringing back many memories of my life in my belle France, We were arriving at the end of 2018 , I am glad is over, not a good year for me, as you know, still vivid memories of my dear late wife Martine. I drove this week to her mom’s house,(since passed away too), the grandmother Yvette of my boys and the rest of aunts and cousins in Seine et Marne dept 77. It was a memorable trip of many nice good memories of family visits that will be with me forever.

This one of course is my driving  love the roads and my car is my second home. So therefore, this was my round trip of December 2018, a personal one! On the way there I took the old fashion road , the one from Paris took first to meet my wife; now coming from the Morbihan dept 56 it was the N165 to the N166 to past Rennes and then the A84 to the exit at Fougéres to get on the N12 all the way to Versailles by the N186 , did a brief tour of my beloved city in my old neighborhood , had a walk with my dog Rex, and then kept going on the D985 by Villa d’Avray all the way thru my old job hunt at Suresnes crossing the Pont de Suresnes into the allée de longchamp in the Bois de Boulogne, to the boulevard Périphérique BP into the Porte Maillot and follow the BP all the way to the Porte de Pantin to take the old reliable and slow N3. The road taken to visit my then girlfriend and first time taken it since then !! Just for my boys to see it !



The N3 or nationale 3 is going thru every town next to Paris and every red light you can imagine but it is the old road I took to meet my later wife in 1990! We used to come by the Porte de Pantin, parked by the Church St Germain in Pantin, free parking and take there the metro into Paris at the Eglise de Pantin line 5! taking us to Gare de l’Est train station and sometimes taking the train back to Meaux in Seine et Marne her native town.  This was the old days, now I would not recommend novice or tourists to take this road or traject.



This N3 takes you right into Meaux and and then the town sightseeing to rearch my inlaws in the tiny village of Chambry right by the Battle of the Marne WWI area and the wonderful Museum of the Great War next to the territory of the USA in the Monument Américain.  I reach the town by the country side on a great wheat field !!! (see posts).



The trip with the stops for my father who is on diabetes medication at 83 (still at 87) and my dog Rex (now 4 yrs old) pit stops plus our eating and sightseeing a trip that normaly took 6 hrs this time we did 10 hrs of car driving all by yours truly and I love it!!! Glad always to see the family !

The way back was easier the modern way. I left Chambry thru Meaux on the A140 to connect with the A4 past Disneyland Paris (which is in Seine et Marne dept  77). I went straight into the BP=boulevard périphérique of Paris , easy (dont read all those scary cats transport books) , I continue into the A86 towards Versailles and this will bring you right into the N12 back to Fougéres, and then the A84 to Rennes and then N166 to Vannes and the N165 to our new home easy 6h30 hrs even stopping for lunch and walks of Rex!


The autoroutes de France or highways with toll price info

The ecology gov of France site on the 20 autoroutes each on pdf file (see SANEF)

My best trafic info site infotrafic

The Sytadin for trafic around Paris and region Ïle de France

The Meaux country tourist office on things to see

There you go folks, some road pictures for my memory bank , for the memories to linger ,and already looking forward to do again to Meaux and surroundings, this time by more normal roads like the return trip above, Again ,thanks for reading me over the years since November 26 ,2010 !!!

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

May 15, 2022

In rememberance of Villetta, Malta!

Looking at my vault of pictures, found one special. The title is in rememberance of Villetta, Malta. My dear late wife Martine visited (see pic) and we talked about it with so many choices I could never visited but have her picture as memorial of the visit and her. As I have said, my blog is my lifé’s history and that of my family , I will post this now. Hope you enjoy the post and do get to visit and if have tell me about it in comments. Thanks

Valletta is the tiny capital of Malta, an island nation in the Mediterranean Sea. The walled city was erected in the 1500s on a peninsula by the Knights of St. John, a Roman Catholic order. The city is known for its museums, palaces and imposing churches.

The Grand Master of the Order of Malta Jean de La Valette gave his name to the Maltese capital, If Laparelli is the author of the plan of the city, Cassar is in fact the main architect. The first building constructed by him was the Church of Notre-Dame-de-la-Victoire where the remains of Jean de Valette lay pending the construction of the conventual church of the Order. The peninsula is surrounded by two natural harbors with several bays: Marsamxett Harbor to the north, and Grand Harbor to the south. The point of the peninsula, to the east, is occupied by Fort Saint-Elmo and Valletta opens to the west by the City Gate on the Place des Tritons at Il-Furjana.

Some of the things to see there and discussed are :

The St. John’s Co-Cathedral.,baroque landmark, whose opulent interior houses Caravaggio’s masterpiece, the Decollation of St John the Baptist, The Palace of the Grand Masters, Upper Barrakka Gardens & Lower Barrakka Gardens, Republic Street and Merchant Street, Casa Rocca Piccola, Manoel Theater, the National Archaeological Museum, and the National Museum of Fine Arts. Unesco has listed 320 monuments in Valletta over an area of ​​55 hectares, an exceptional concentration in the world.

Malta Martine visiting Malta

Valletta is served by Malta International Airport, which is located eight km from the city, The official Malta airport :

The city of Valletta on its heritage/history :

The official Malta tourist office

There you go folks, in rememberance of Villetta, Malta. Perhaps my first post on places not been, but worth it. This is Sunday May 15, International Families Day; the bond that never goes away. Hope you enjoy the post as I writing it. Hopefully, one day I will walk the same paths in Villetta, Malta.

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

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May 15, 2022

The Villa Sainte Hortense of Rochefort en Terre!!

And voilà, a wonderful find in my vault of many pictures many unclassified over the years! We have been to this town many many occasions especially on Christmas time where the best market in Brittany is held in my opinion. Several posts on my blog but left this picturesque house at the entrance to the town which needs to be told more in details. Ahh Rochefort en Terre is in my beautiful Morbihan, of my lovely Bretagne, and in my belle France.

Let me then, tell you a whole lot more of the Villa Sainte Hortense of Rochefort en Terre!!

The Villa Sainte-Hortense, is a nice property from the “Belle Epoque”, inserted in a green setting of more than one hectare fully enclosed, just two hundred meters from the historic heart of the small town of Rochefort en Terre. This property originally belonged to Louise Mougeat. A wealthy heiress from a family in Finistère (dept29) , she had discovered the exceptional site of Rochefort through her friend and distant relative, Marie Maitrot de Varennes, who lived there. This is what decided her, in 1898, to acquire land in the town, to build this house there. The residence, was completed in 1902, as well as the stables and the park which surrounds it. Louise Mougeat, an orphan at a very young age, had been raised by her uncle and aunt, Léon and Hortense Bouchant, hence the name of the house.


Combining classicism and modernity, this imposing but elegant residence is typical of the architecture of these large villas built at the end of the 19C, and the beginning of the 20C by a well-to-do bourgeois in many holiday resorts. Rising over four levels, the main body of the building is flanked by a hexagonal turret housing a vast wooden staircase. The first level, in the semi-basement, houses the service rooms. The second level the reception rooms. The third and fourth levels are the bedrooms, seven in total of varying sizes, including one on the top floor, embellished with a granite terrace overlooking the park. From its origins, the Villa Sainte-Hortense was equipped with a running water system and central hot air heating: it was, at that time, the only house in Rochefort to have such modernism. A few years later, an elevator was even installed in the center of the stairwell! But this equipment, unfortunately not very aesthetic and which was no longer in working order, was dismantled by the current owners who preferred to restore the beautiful and vast stairwell to its original appearance. This house is now inhabited year-round by the owners.


A dependency of the Villa Sainte-Hortense, the stables date from the same period. This beautiful stone construction with a carved granite facade strangely evokes, thanks to its overhanging roof and its earthenware frieze, Asian architecture. With a floor area of ​​75 square meters, the building has two levels: the first, closed by two large wooden gates, housed the horse boxes on one side, and the garage for the carts on the other. The second was a large attic which was accessed by a narrow internal staircase. It was in 2004 that the owners undertook the rehabilitation of these places. On the first level, in the stable boxes, is a bookstore/Library run by the owners. On the other side, the second level has direct and level access to the park: this is where the Sainte-Hortense gite is located.(not visited).

Rochefort et librairie sainte hortense dec19

The park that surrounds the property forms an elongated triangle of 1.2 hectares. The enclosure wall, made of local slate stone, runs along the street for 300 metres. At each of the two ends, large wrought iron gates allow direct access on one side to the center of the village, on the other to the surrounding countryside. Inside, the many beeches, oaks, chestnuts and hazelnut trees rub shoulders with species less common in our regions, such as the cedars of Lebanon or the Himalayas, hemp palms or ginkyo biloba, two species originating from China.


The official Villa Sainte Hortense gîte with history

The official Bookstore/Librarie Sainte Hortense

There you go folks, a dandy spot in my beautiful Rochefort en Terre, a must to visit while in the area. The Villa Sainte Hortense is another architectural jewel and nice history to boot. Hope you have enjoy the post as I.

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

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