Archive for July 19th, 2022

July 19, 2022

Wonderful Pau !!

Pau is an interesting town. We had passed by it many times, even stay in quick night hôtels on the town,especially for the tour de France bike race; but never really wandered about it, and we decided that after so many choices we have here to pick one that we have not seen fully; so therefore, this is my introduction to wonderful Pau !! . We came always by car. I am updating this older post for the memories of always! Hope you enjoy it as I.

To stayed in town our favorite chain is Ibis of the chain Accor;  and here we chose the Ibis Budget Pau Est,wonderful service by manager Véronique and great stay easy on and off from the highways and straight down the city center of Pau. For reference their webpage: https://all.accor.com/hotel/3498/index.en.shtml#origin=ibis

We had to tell you about the castle museum of Pau; (see post). The gardens are great wonderful views over the Pyrénées mountains and well maintained.  We took a quick peek at the museum of Bernadotte, (see post)  the birthplace of this   Jean-Baptiste Jules Bernadotte chosen by Napoleon I to secure the continuation of the royal house of Sweden in 1818 he finally became the king of Sweden, today the current king Gustav is a descendant Bernadotte. We visited the boulevard des pyrénées famous look over the mountains and took the funiculaire or cable car up and down;and it is free!!! (see post) .

We went to several wonderful churches such as Saint Martin, Saint Jacques, and the religious Library now of the Church of Reparatrice. We took a walk by the museum of deportation and liberation in the beautiful park of Villa Lawrence.(see posts)

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We did our shopping in the Auchan cc near us, wonderful place with all you need including micromania hehehe and Flunch restos , nice refreshing site to relax after a long day of sightseeing.

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Of course we ate out, and the best there was pizzeria l’Etna at rue Sully, very nice folks and great food at reasonable prices. Even thus some of the rating is average 3 out of 5 we found it above average for the price, quality, excellent service, and quick.

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We did lots of eating in house, buying at the Auchan cc or the covered market Halles in Pau is excellent fresh produce great quality and good prices for take home from veggies to wines; every day except sundays and at place de la République,  now totally renovated! (see post).  We did our shopping of goodies here mostly the kids bought stuff like foot locker,fnac, micromania, lacoste and hugo boss, we settle for the food, chocolates !!! the L’Atelier du Chocolat at Maréchal Joffre is excellent, we got the touron basque or the basque nougat.

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Also, at the palais des pyrénées shopping center where FNAC ,Micromania are located off place Clemenceau you find the Chocolaterie de la Couronne, here we went for the suedoise or swedish and the pallet des pyrénées, delicious, try it.

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We did took a peek at the Galeries Lafayette store at place Clemenceau, and had our cold beers at the Café de l’Europe just there too at rue Maréchal Foch  with nice fast friendly service. We , also, stop first one at La Brasserie Royale at place Royale for cold beers and drinks. (see posts)

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The Pau tourist office on its heritage:https://www.pau-pyrenees.com/home/notre-patrimoine

The city of Pau on cultural offeringshttps://www.pau.fr/article/pau-capitale-humaine

There you go folks, we even went to Spain on one day trips from our base in Pau. Great family trip, and good driving all the way with little or no traffic.  Hope you enjoy this brief introduction to wonderful Pau and do see my other posts on the city.

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

July 19, 2022

An old ,medieval abbey of Jouarre !!

And here I go again updating this wonderful post, that I think merits more disclosure in my blog. This is one of my favorite little old towns in S/M=Seine et Marne dept 77 east of Paris in the île de France region. Not too far from my dear late wife Martine native city of MeauxIn her effort to show me around her neighborhoods…she took me here to the town of Jouarre and was very nice from my favorite historical architecturally nice monuments.  Hope you enjoy the post as I, memories forever !!

We came along the A4 autoroute or the old N3 now D603 from Meaux coming into medieval Jouarre. This is as old as you can get while visiting the region or France for that matter. You have train transport here on rue de la Gare at La Ferte sous Joaurre the bit bigger town next to Jouarre, on the line Paris Gare de l’Est; the service is the Transilien of ile de France . However, will need a taxi to see the old buildings, or bus 34, 35,40, and 41 in town of La Ferte sous Joaurre (check out not taken) . Of course the car is always better in my opinion, especially in these historical old towns of my belle France.

Just popping into the tourist office in town set you back to 1440 as it is in the old Charreterie ( covered roof on four piliers open air as a gathering place or covered terrace)  of the Abbey Notre Dame de Jouarre.  You then can pass to see the Merovingians crypts, tour d’abbaye or abbey tower, and musée Briard museum. 

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The crypts Saint Paul and Sainte Ebrégesile are in perfect condition of preservation and dates from the Merovingian era in France dating back to the year 600 !  They are visit with a guide from the tourist office ,visit last about 45 minutes .  The Musée Briard showcasing artifacts from the period including the tools ancient for the making of the cheese Brie of which this is the area !!!  last about 20 minutes. The religious order in the Abbey will let you tour a guided visit of the Tour Romane for a duration of 45 minutes.

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You can,also, see the Church Saint Pierre et Saint Paul, built from 1440 to the 16C; it is in center town. It has five bells  Jeanne, Anna, Albertine, Louise, and other brought from another church now gone the Sept-Sort. See the Croix Monolithe in place St Paul, when the local authorities decided to move the cross in 1864 they realised that this was a single element cross done in the 13C  while at the same excavations in the site reveal that on the same spot in 660 there was a Basilica there; recent excavation has been able to find the foundation of this Basilica !!!.

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The city of Jouarre and its heritagehttps://www.jouarre.fr/votre-commune/histoire/

The official Jouarre abbey : https://www.abbayejouarre.org/vivre-ici-et-maintenant/les-lieux

There you go folks, a wonderful old ,medieval Jouarre, a nice off the beaten path trip that is worth the detour, And Jouarre is next to La Ferte sous Jouarre! Another nice town ok. All in Brie country, cheese that is. Again, hope you have enjoy the post and do come.

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

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July 19, 2022

Bourges ,the city of night lights !

And I am taking you to the old Berry country in the center of France, the old Centre ,now it is dept Cher no. 18 in the region of Centre-Val-de-Loire.  I have come here several times ,and always love to come back. This is an update of an older post and will use as the introduction to Bourges as have many other posts and pictures : Therefore, this will be with just one picture not elsewhere in my blog,

That is how the tourist office describes the city,  La Ville des Nuits Lumiére (the city of night lights ). It is lighted at night in a quant medieval ambiance which makes it unique. Love to walk its cobblestone streets and the hilly ones to climb stairs from one level to the next, it is awesome.

I will tell you about how to get to Bourges, briefly.  You can easily drive here on the A10 from Paris and connect with the A71 at Orleans ,and the A85 put you in Tours fast too. The best parking in town is at quartier St Bonnet for free on the streets if come early in the morning or underground paying by the Halle au Blé. Driving is always reliable   As far as public transport never taken here, the city is easy to get and very nice to walk, but there is a nice bus system Agglobus at 1 place de la Nation. As far as train ,there is a station at place du Général Leclerc, the TER Centre will give more choices on local schedules.The service to Paris is limited and you leave from Paris Austerlitz station, or go to Gare de Vierzon and take another train to Bourges.

The city is very old from antiquity days, in the middle ages it was part of the kingdom of Aquitaine, until the 14C it becomes the capital of the dukedom of Berry. It goest thru the war of Religion ok, and arrives at the French revolution where deputies were elected to the assembly from Bourges on the side of the new republic. WWI and WWII were of small consequences to the city.

Some of the must see sights in the city in my opinion are:  the Cathedrale St EtiennePalais Jacques Coeur, Hôtel Cujàs (musée du Berry, archeology, local artifacts), Hôtel Lallemand (musée renaissance arts decoratifs) , Musée des meilleurs ouvriers de France (best form a la French!), Halle au Blé b1836, walk the many wooden houses or maison du bois from around 1488.

The best is the magnificent Cathedral of St Etienne or St Stephen, (see post) built from 1194 to 1506. One of the great Cathedrals of France. The lights of its stained glass windows, the great organ or Grand Orgue ( 1487-1506 and rebuilt several times afterward)  and the horloge astronomique or astronomic clock built in 1424. There is a group of organ lovers who look after the Grand Orgue today, and you can see and participate webpage: https://www.grandorguebourges.org/grand-orgue-bourges.php 

The Palais Jacques Coeur,(see post ) is the financier and enthusiast citizen of Bourges.  The was the money issuer tresorier of king Charles VII and a merchant of a great empire at the time.  Built between 14’3 to 1451 , it was considered  as the best example of a private urban building. It was confiscated by the king in 1451 after Jacques Coeur was arrested(he died in the ile de Chios in 1456 after taking part in a crusade vs the Turks)  and given back to the family in 1457, Colbert was its last private owner who sold it to the city in 1682. After it became the Hotel de Ville or mayors office then the seat of the tribunal or courthouse where many modifications were made between 1820 and 1830. In 1923 the State or France buys the building, where today is a national historical monument and open to the public.   

The Halle au blé was built in 1836 over the convent of cordeliers  building that was converted to public use since 1791 ; it used to store the wheat and other cereal from the great Berry area, and today it is a major covered marché or market and great parking area! From the 19C it is the place to shop for local goodies in Bourges.

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the Hôtel Cujas now houses the Musée du Berry, the building dates from 1515 and was the home of jurist Cujas since 1585. The museum is set up here since 1950 with a collection of the history of Bourges and its region from prehistoric times to the present.  4 rue des Arénes, It is wonderful from the historical perpective of the collection and the the architecture of the building.

Hôtel Lallemand, built around 1500 ,its an example of the first Renaissance period in France. The building has the feel of been in inclination as it is built over the gallo-roman ramparts! It is a beautiful building indeed. It houses today the Musée des arts decoratifs since 1951and managed by the city of Bourges.It has exquisite objects d’arts from the Renaissance period such as clocks, tapestries, paintings of France, Italy and Low Countries, as well as furniture, enamel and ivory items, just superbe!.

The Musée des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, (tops a must see) at the old episcopal bishops palace and open since 1995, showcasing the best art form in France from cuisine to leather makers to wood makers craftmens that was established in France from 1924. If you want to know the French joie de vivre ,then come here, we all enjoy it much. At the Place Etienne Dolet just around the corner from the Cathedral.

It has a nice marais or swampy area just around the city limits, a gorgeous Jardin de l’Archeveque or bishops gardens, the fact that king Louis XI was born here in 1423. The wonderful street rue Bourbonnoux medieval and nice  as well as the promenade des Remparts, and see the maison des 3 flûtes ,15C  by rue Bourbonnoux and end of rue Moliére.

In addition, I like to say our base central with one exception we came from Sancerre, was in town the hotel Le Christina. The great logis de France property ,Le Christina, right next to the Halle au Ble (see above) and nearby free parking! Great comfort, good prices, and wonderful friendly service,webpage: https://www.le-christina.com/

Our regular stops here over the years have been great foodie places such as the mouthful  Le Bourbonneux, 44 rue Bourbonneux, wonderful traditional French choices change with season but the menu at 19€ is excellent value. We try the Le Louis XI, 11 rue Porte Jaune, for great beef on wood oven with all the sauces , wonderful meal evenings and good value.  And the,winner was lunch at La Scaleta, 1 place Planchat, corner on a nice old section area, great pizzas, italian dishes, all music italian the waiters sang Italian listening to Eros Ramazzotti is tops. All richly decorated, great food, great service, great prices a must.

For reference and credit :

Le Bourbonneux: http://www.bourbonnoux.com/

Le Louis XI, Bourges Berry tourist office webpage: https://www.bourgesberrytourisme.com/restauration/louis-xi/

La Scaleta: https://la-scaleta.fr/restaurant-bourges/

And more from this wonderful city of Bourges!

The city of Bourges on its museumshttp://www.ville-bourges.fr/_en/site/culture—leisure_museums

The Bourges Berry tourist office on its heritagehttps://www.bourgesberrytourisme.com/destination-bourges/best-of/

The Berry province tourist office on Bourgeshttps://www.berryprovince.com/ma-destination-le-berry/les-destinations-en-berry/bourges-et-ses-alentours/#

There you go folks, enjoy Bourges, a very nice town and wonderful sights for all.  Hope you enjoy the post and brings an introduction to you too. And remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all !!!

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July 19, 2022

A bit of the Musée Carnavalet of Paris !

I am coming back at your with my Paris city of lights and beauty beyond description. And I like to update this post on my brief visit to the Carnavalet museum of Paris. This is the museum on the history of Paris and well worth your detour. Paris has a lot of museums and many work of arts that do not find the public space for lack of money space or else but the treasures are huge kept in many buildings and basements all over France.

One great museum of Paris, the Carnavalet museum is in a nice area, and full of the history of Paris, the city museum. The Musée Carnavalet, has more than 100 rooms in two adjoining buildings of the 16C and 17C in the Marais neighborhood area of Paris, one of which, lived Madame de Sévigné from 1677 to 1696, located at 23 rue de Sévigné, 3éme , metro St Paul line 1.(see pic)

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In effect the two buildings are those of  the hôtel Carnavalet (b. 1544)  and the hôtel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau (b. 1687) ,both linked by a gallery with in between the lycée Victor Hugo (high school) . The story of the buildings is that the one of the Peletier de Saint Fargeau had voted for the execution of king Louis XVI during the French revolution ,and later assassinated by a bodyguard of the king in 1793. This later building is richly decorated with amongst other  the cabinet of the hotel de Villacerf in painted wooden polychrome motifs; the grand cabinet and one room of the hotel de la Rivière, with its ceilings and tapestries done by Charles Le Brun; two objects of Louis XV style decorated and designed by architect Claude Nicolas Ledoux, both examples of neo Classical period, the café militaire, ,the stairs of Luynes and its composition in trompe-l’oeil ; 8 objects of styles Louis XV and Louis XVI like the cabinet doré, room/chambre polychrome, petit salon, salon bleu, salon gris, and salon turquoise;  twelves rooms dedicated to the French revolution; the room of the Second Empire , and the room of Marcel Proust where he wrote ” À la recherche du temps perdu ” or in search of lost time.

If you want to know the history of the city of Paris, this is the Carnavalet museum to come to. And as such is managed by the city of Paris cultural dept.  There is ,also, a library. Another nice spot and worth the detour while in Paris. 

The official Carnavalet museum :  https://www.carnavalet.paris.fr/en

The Paris tourist office on the museumhttps://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71069/Musee-Carnavalet-Histoire-de-Paris

There you go folks, Paris and its Carnavalet museum ! I was briefy there on a business meeting which allow us to walked the museum but no pictures inside for decorum. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended for a visit and to get to know Paris.

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

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