Archive for June 6th, 2022

June 6, 2022

Fort Bloqué of Ploemeur !

And this is one of the nicest coastal town here for the off the beaten path traveler and road warrior like me. It is south of my home on the coastal beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne! I saw glimpses of it in other posts and no pictures, so decided to write a new post with older pictures  to tell you about the Fort Bloqué of Ploemeur ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Fort-Bloqué is the name of an emblematic village on the coast. Its name comes from the fort built on an islet. Accessible on foot at low tide, it becomes an island again at high tide. There is an ok beach at Plage du Fort Bloqué ( 1 900 meters long),that continues into neighboring town of Guidel plage (better here) . Fort Bloqué was integrated into the fortification network defending Lorient. During WWII it was part of the Atlantic wall done by the Nazis, not much is known of its use even then.

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A bit of history: on October 1, 1746, forty English ships landed 4,500 men on the beach at Loc’h. They took the towns of Guidel and Ploemeur before attacking Lorient. They will be pushed back a few days later. To prepare for a new landing, a battery was built in 1748 on the islet of Keragan. A century later, a small fort was built with ramparts, it is Fort Bloqué that we know now. There were no dwellings before, just moorland. Little by little the inhabitants settled from the 60s.

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Fort-Bloqué is a fortification in the town of Ploemeur. It was built following the siege of Lorient with the aim of strengthening the system of fortifications on the Atlantic coast of Brittany. Located on Keragan Island, an islet accessible only at low tide, it was built on the initiative of the Governor of Brittany Louis-Jean-Marie de Bourbon, Duke of Penthièvre. The fort was built between 1747 and 1758 to combat England’s pretentiousness following the War of the Austrian Succession,

The horseshoe battery, open to the mainland, was equipped with 4 guns, served by a few gunners; its shots, which can be crossed with those of the pointe du Loch, built in 1756. It was mainly used to cover the citadel of Port-Louis (see post) and to secure the estuary of the Laïta ,In 1846, the fort was equipped with a reduced ” type 1846 n°2″ and was one of the four most important forts for the defense of Lorient (see posts) during the second half of the 19C. In 1871 the battery was completely closed by the construction of an arcade wall, forming a small fort; popular usage then called it  Fort-Bloqué. The fort was finally sold in 1967, becoming private property, and sold thereafter several times, the last in 2019.

The South Brittany Lorient tourist office on the coastal towns like Ploemeurhttps://www.visit-lorient-brittany.com/unmissable/coastal-road/

The city of Ploemeur on the Fort Bloqué beach but see pic the Fort is ahead! : https://www.ploemeur.com/visiter/les-plages/fort-bloque/

The Plages TV site on the Fort Bloqué beachhttps://en.plages.tv/detail/fort-bloque-beach-ploemeur-56270

We live very close and we do walks around these towns on the weekends when we are not away so far we have seen hundreds but many more hundreds to see lol! Ploemeur is one dandy we have come back to. The Fort Bloqué is a wonderful view from the beach at low tide is sublime.  Hope you enjoy the post as I !

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

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June 6, 2022

Again Saint Goustan!!!

Since finding this spot when I first move to the Morbihan back in May 2011; I felled in love with Saint Goustan , a harbor district of AurayI have several posts on the city that was  my first official city for all errands, and administrative needs. Therefore, I just want to give you another glance of this wonderful harbor from my vault of pictures, Auray is in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne ,right on the ria of Auray river that continues flowing into the Gulf of Morbihan and then into the Atlantic Ocean! It is now only 14 km (about 9 miles) from my house !

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Overlooking the port, the foothills of the former castle of Auray offers a beautiful point of view, you can admire the stone bridge with four arches and the half-timbered houses. Two old districts shape the town: the upper town centered around the Saint-Gildas Church and the lower town on the banks of the Loc’h river, ramps built on the ruins of the fortified castle.(see posts).

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The most picturesque shore is joined by crossing the 13C four-arched stone bridge. Place Saint-Sauveur with its curved cobblestones is framed by opulent half-timbered and corbelled houses. The steep alleys, interspersed with steps, attack the district, lined with half-timbered facades. The residences of the 15C and 16C display a respectable allure, which in the evening slums in the rustle of the café terraces.

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Suggested in your visit, taking the Ramps du Loch which overlooks the river, built on the foothills of the old castle of Auray, this pedestrian path offers a very beautiful view of the port of Saint Goustan and allows you to descend there by passing by a belvedere, made up of stepped square courtyards, erected in 1727 on the remains of the fortified castle of which some ruins can still be seen. At the foot of the ramps, you can then enjoy a walk along the river or cross it by crossing the Saint Goustan stone bridge and access the picturesque port of the same name on the other bank.

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To end your visit, take the pedestrian (and steep!) rue du Château which goes up towards the upper town . This street of artists is dotted with art galleries (painting, sculpture, photography) and artisan shops. So take all your time and enjoy this marvelous port of Saint Goustan !!!

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The city of Auray on its heritage see circuit Saint Goustanhttps://www.auray.fr/Ma-ville/Patrimoine/Les-monuments-historiques

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Saint Goustanhttps://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/the-port-of-saint-goustan-in-auray

The Bateaux pleasure boating magazine on Saint Goustan : https://www.bateaux.com/plaisance/port/auray-saint-goustan-REF5-qqiRkY1gM,

There you go folks, a dandy in my backyard. Saint Goustan is like nothing have change from the 16C, buildings, streets, you name it. There is a large artists colony here with wonderful paintings, sculptures, knitting items galore! And of course, one of the best out and about place closest to our home. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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June 6, 2022

Curiosities of Mexico city !!

My many trips there over the years , saw plenty, had a great time but most importantly the friendships gathered now for over 20 years and still strong are tops. It is fun and lots of architecture and history so therefore, here is my curiosities of Mexico city (DF). Hope you enjoy this post as much as I.

One of the unique statues I saw there while walking was the Lebanese monument statue not far from the Centro Libanés, the immigration to Mexico started in 1880 by Veracruz. By 1979, the statue was done in the city and by 2003 a replica was done in Beirut.  The statue is at Av de los Insurgentes Sur and  avenida Rio Mixcoac . More of the story in Spanish: http://www.emigrantelibanes.com/sabines.html

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The Parque de la Bola is located a few steps from Insurgentes Sur right on Calle Mercaderes. Vendors, artists and families gather here. The official name of it is Parque de la Insurgencia, in homage to the Father of the Nation Don Miguel Hidalgo and the heroes who offered their lives for the Independence of Mexico. It has a beautiful spherical fountain, for what is known locally as the Parque de la Bola. The statue of Miguel Hidalgo stands at the top and the sphinxes of other national heroes, such as José María Morelos y Pavón, Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez; Ignacio Allende and Vicente Guerrero, appear represented around the central part of it. You can see busts of famous Mexican writers such as: Juan de la Cabada, Rodolfo Usigli, Rafael Solana, Luis G. Basurto, José Revueltas, Juan Rulfo and Josefina Vicens; in tribute to these great pens.

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A view by Centro Manacar shopping center on Insurgentes Sur avenue on foot. This is a great chic shopping mall in a great area for walks too,

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I like to tackle some of the streets of Mexico city or at least my most frequented ones.   I have driven by it or driven with for most of it. However, have some on foot as well. Hope you enjoy it in one of the world’s most congested cities, driving is a thrill and a challenge. All handle well by your road warrior!

Let me start with my favorite area. The place known as the Zona Rosa is a space that over the years has become a commercial area. Located within Colonia Juárez, which belongs to the Cuauhtémoc Delegation of Mexico City. It is surrounded to the north by Paseo de la Reforma, to the south by Avenida Chapultepec, to the east by Avenida de los Insurgentes and to the west by Avenida Florencia . All largely walked by yours truly over the years as well. This is my Mexico city central!

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You know why this area was call Zona Rosa or pink zone? Well several theories, my favorite was written by the Mexican painter José Luis Cuevas, whose explanation was that the pink color of the area comes from being a red area at night, and white area during the day. Indeed this is a happening area and my home even if over the last few years it has become the LBTG central as well.  Likewise, he has declared on numerous occasions both in the press and on television, that the name originally emerged as a tribute to the Cuban actress Rosa Carmina born in Havana,(1929), who is a film actress and Cuban television, dancer, singer, rumbera and star based in Mexico ; you can search for her work. She belongs to the so-called Golden Age of Mexican cinema as one of its main stars. For some years, she lives in Barcelona, Spain.

The most notable street for bars has to be Calle Amberes. All between Avenida Chapultepec and Paseo de la Reforma!   This is my central central and as said lately the home of its LBTG bars even if all are welcome including me! I have stayed here several times on the Royal Hotel and the Basque/Spanish Tezka restaurant, and just around in Calle Genova the Konditori (now closed). And by Calle Hamburgo, El Lugar del Mariachi still open. And just across the street Avenida Chapultepec another old favorite the Segovia Regency Hotel.

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Moving on to Calle Mercaderes,Colonia San Jose Insurgentes is   home of Fiesta Inn hotel City Express Hotel and the El Gran Leon de Oro restaurant. All of my usual stays over the years. As well as Le Pain Quotidien Belgian chain resto ; Teatro Insurgentes and the Parque de la Bola!

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 And really central for me and close to all the others is the hugely popular and grand Avenida de los Insurgentes which is a set of three continuous avenues that form one of the main road axes in Mexico City. With a combined length of almost 29 km, it crosses most of the Mexican capital. It is divided into three avenues or zones: the Norte (north), the Centro (center), the Sur (south) zone, which is the one I have been the most. The Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur, from Paseo de la Reforma, to the Caminero Monument, its numbering starts north and ends south between 1 and 5000, north to south. This area begins at the intersection with Paseo de la Reforma and due to its extension it will be divided into several areas.My office building when visiting.

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The Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur (Cuauhtémoc – Juárez). Between Paseo de la Reforma and Avenida Chapultepec It is characterized because to its west is the popularly called Zona Rosa, while to the east is the Colonia Juárez which is characterized by its architecture, where the modern and tall buildings that surround it. The Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur (Napoles – Del Valle). Between the Miguel Alemán Viaduct and the Interior Circuit. We find one of the areas with the highest economic level in the country, in which there are several colonies such as Napoles, Colonia Insurgentes Mixcoac, Colonia Nochebuena, Colonia del Valle and the remains of the Pueblo de San Lorenzo. Tlacoquemecatl. In this segment, the World Trade Center building in Mexico City stands out (see my post on views from above Mexico city). You , also find in this area the wonderful Monumental Plaza de toros (bullfight arena) and the so-called Estadio Azul (Blue Stadium) This stadium was home from 1996 to 2018 of the Cruz Azul FC of the Mexican first division football/soccer. It has been said, that it might be demolished in 2020 as the team plays now its games at the Estadio Azteca. Good news, on June 26, 2020, the league approved Atlante’s move to Mexico City, after 13 years in Cancun and placing the team in the new Expansion League, due to the suspension of the Ascent League, where it had played since 2014.Therefore, the stadium is sitll in football/soccer!

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Santa Fe, dominated by office skyscrapers, is Mexico City’s most modern neighborhood (and one spot of business visits on several occasions in addition to one of my best friends lives there! ). The streets are lined with international establishments ranging from fast food to gourmet cuisine. The area includes several university campuses and global hotel chains, as well as the Centro Santa Fe, a vast shopping center with 500 stores that is among the largest in Latin America. The mall is chic shopping like if you were in Paris: https://centrosantafe.com.mx/

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The Mexico City tourist officehttp://cdmxtravel.com/en/

The Mexico tourist office on Mexico city (DF)https://www.visitmexico.com/en/mexico-city

The Atlas on Tourism of Mexico City  (gov site) : https://atlasturistico.sectur.gob.mx/AtlasTuristico/inicio.do?lang=EN

And there you go a wonderful tour of Mexico City; you do not have to do it by car, once in the location walking around is magical and allows you to see the architecture styles of this great metropolis. Great memories of my curiosities of Mexico city and hope they can become yours too, Hope you enjoy the post as I,

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

June 6, 2022

My transports stories from Mexico!

As I do ,there is always those public transports ups and down that I tend to laid aside but after a while they can be annoying so start ranting about them lol! This time there was a few, and here they are. This is an update on one of my glorious trips to Mexico lindo y querido! It was an 11 days trip and lots of things to tried especially driving and using public transports in Mexico city

My trip started at home driving to the Nantes Atlantique airport which is in Bouguenais but normally call the Nantes airport. This airport has been my base for the last 11 years , a smallish airport but very convenient and clean. I parked in covered parking as I bring my own car, and its easy in and out. The trip takes me about 1h30 from home on the N165, and usually no traffic unless come in at rush hour which I avoid. 

I have my usual Air France connection trip to Paris CDG or sometimes Amsterdam or Madrid !! , this time it was to be Amsterdam Schiphol airport but last minute flight was cancelled and they automatically rerouted me thru CDG.  This again is at Roissy-en-France dept 95 Val d’Oise ,but normally referred to as the Paris airport. The trip had hardly any time difference. At CDG landed at T2 F (the norm from Nantes) ,and transfer to my connection with Aeromexico airlines on T2 E satellite L .  

I am so used to CDG by now is like walking in the park, very used to it. The connection here was with Aeroméxico to Benito Juarez international airport in Mexico city (DF). This flight took almost 11 hrs on a business economy seat, the best was arriving Sunday went straight to my hotel. This was the City Express by Insurgentes Sur and Calle Mercaderes.

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I moved into more business like areas and reach the Avenida Centenario, by delegation Alvaro Obregon home of Teatro Centenario Coyoacan and Arcos de Centenario a very nice residential area of friends.

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The Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur (Roma). Between Avenida Chapultepec and Miguel Alemán Viaduct and it begins at the so-called Glorieta de Insurgentes , built by the works of Line 1 of the Metro and where the Insurgentes metro Station is located, this gazebo is characterized by being sunk with respect to the rolling area, having several tunnel accesses, such as the Zona Rosa.

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I did had my usual business meeting in Polanco and by Santa Fé districts which ,also provide an opportunity to see these chic areas of Mexico City and with a driver lol!!

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The Mexico city , metrobus network is vast and clean, nice to take almost everywhere in the city. I have used it for the thrill of it as always with a car or driven by as said. My experiences have been nice and easy along Insurgentes Sur to go to Manacar shopping mall or to Teatro Insurgentes or by the Calle Felix Cuevas. While at it saw the bike rental stand by Calle Santander. All on line 1. Metrobus webpage with lines: https://www.metrobus.cdmx.gob.mx/mapas-de-sistema/mapa-completo-del-sistema

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As I had a nice weekend end of September to do something extra and know that I have family living in Merida, Yucatàn for several years now took the opportunity for a visit. Online got me a ticket on Interjet airlines of Mexico.  The flight took off from terminal 1 at Mexico airport to Merida international airport for an easy landing and getting out.

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The flight was easy and comfortable and had my cousin waiting for me at the airport to take me to her house. I had the inmense pleasure of seeing cousins and aunt (she lived to 90 but has since passed away, my mom’s sister RIP) that had not seen in person for several years, and we all had a great time. I was able to finally go out into some shopping and restaurants as well as eating a real meal at a home away from home!

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The trip back was on Interjet as well landing at Terminal 1 in Mexico city . Here was just a transfer to my international flight back to France on same terminal with Air France.  The return trip was less than 10 hours landing at CDG on T2E satellite L and moving easily with time to eat and spare to terminal 2 F to get my flight to Nantes from gate F41 on Air France as well. Landing at Nantes ,and then over to the covered parking for my car, waiting nicely !

The drive back as it was just after rush hour was easy with no major traffic , flawless on the N165 reaching home by 20h30! And another trip done and another trip to Mexico done! with the added bonus that this time was able to see my family!!!  And even thus this time did not drive, I was driven, by car well traffic is bad but you can still know the locals how to avoid it as much as possible and with flexible hours its ok. As it was, this was my last trip there before the covid and now hoping for a return eventually.

The Mexico City tourist office on how to get around: http://cdmxtravel.com/en/visitor-info/how-to-move

The Mérida ,Yucatàn tourist office: https://visitmerida.mx/merida

And there you folks, another wonderful visit of Mexico City and the added bonus of Mérida, Yucatàn to see family. Traveling on foot once on town or with locals is the best way to soak in on the architecture, and history of the places. Great memories of my visits of Mexico city and Mérida, Yucatàn of good friends and family. Hope they can become yours too,and enjoy the post as I.

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

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