Archive for August, 2022

August 31, 2022

The Le Volcan of Le Havre !

This is a city very much underrated ,and we have visited several times, love it, It went through a lot of destruction in WWII and have come back gloriously me think. I ike to update this older post on the arts center Le Volcan of Le Havre . Hope you enjoy the post as I.  Let me refresh your memory on how to get here.  Le Havre  is in the department de Seine-Maritime , no,76 of the region of Normandie right in the mouth of the Seine river. The city center of Le Havre is an Unesco World Heritage Site!!

The autoroute A131 link Le Havre to the A13  (autoroute de Normandie) by the other great bridge or Pont de Tancarville.  The autoroute A29 (autoroute des estuaires) link the metro area to the north of France and ends at the Pont de Normandie.  The trains are from the TER and Corail network   but no direct TGV service to Paris yet, est 2023.  The regular trains put the city in touch with Gare Saint Lazare-ParisThe Le Volcan is located exactly at 8 place Oscar Niemeyer, while the Library is at 2 place Oscar Niemeyer both not far from the Bassin du Commerce in Le Havre.

There is a wonderful Maison de la Culture du Havre built by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer ,known as the Le Volcan for it shape. Le Volcan, first Maison de la Culture created in 1961, then national stage in 1991 ,and is today one of the most important national stages in France. It is a place of artistic production and dissemination of national reference in the field of theater, music, dance, circus, new aesthetics, new images and digital arts. The complex has two performance halls, one with 800 seats and the other with 125 seats. The establishment was created and inaugurated on November 18, 1982.


A large opening opposite Place Perret is articulated between a large majestic step which descends gently towards the lower square, facing the restored fountain and the main entrances to the building, a sequence of ramps accessible to people with reduced mobility, and a high promenade maintained in a balcony above the lower square. The helical staircase of the access is preserved by being vented, and will descend gently to the east to catch up with the bottom of the large step and turn over the entire width of the space up to the building entry. The two west accesses, on the very lively side of the market, are modified. The helix ramp is turned over to correspond in the upper part with the covered passage which leads to the market and at the lower square level, with the equipment entrances. The elevators will see their functionality improved so that they are real urban elevators between upper square, lower square and parking.


It is divided into two distinct areas such as

Le Volcan is a real reinforced concrete shell pierced with small portholes, the Grand Volcan suffers from a lack of natural light, the rehabilitation of the whole thus emphasizes the play of light and the choice of materials. Wood is in the spotlight with fabric and wood seats, parquet floors, curved wooden walls for the room, new wooden reception desks. The warm atmosphere thus provided is complemented by colorful notes of colorful drapes and partitions, and lighting highlighting the concrete plank walls.

The Oscar Niemeyer library offers a general documentary offer, self-study and quiet work spaces. Architecturally the glass facade overlooking the lower square has been improved. For more natural light, a central atrium is created by installing a glass roof. Inside, a real scenographic route is set up. Original and innovative, it counterbalances the scale of the building, a priori unsuitable for individual spaces, with atmospheres differentiated by lighting, furniture, textures and the choice of materials. The warm atmosphere of the Le Volcan will be found at the entrance to the media library, which offers a café and press lounge area, directly visible from the outside thanks to the glass facade. Intuitive and readable by a light treatment on the ceiling, the route is then ascending and punctuated by balconies, boxes and alcoves like little reading rooms.

The entrance to the two major cultural facilities is through a common covered square on which there is also a bar-brasserie. A permanent place of conviviality, open to all locals and visitors alike. The covered space will be treated as a continuity with the outdoor spaces, the aim being to encourage people to enter and meet.

The official Le Volcan

The City of Le Havre on Le Volcan

The Le Havre tourist office on Le Volcan

And to give a bit on the destruction sufffered by this courageous city of Le Havre that practically came back from the ashes to be a vibrant metropolis that is today full of Arts around the sea here are some excerpts, The human toll was big in WWI to the city of Le Havre ,and it served as the rear base especially for the British navy where 1,9 million British soldiers passed by the port of Le Havre. During WWII, the Nazis occupied Le Havre since the spring of 1940; and prepare the city for the invasion of the United Kingdom (Operation Seelôwe), making arrangement along the coast with casemates, blockhaus and batteries integrated into the Atlantic Wall. Le Havre received 132 bombardments by the Allies during the war with the most damaging coming on September 5-6 1944 with English Royal Air Force bombed the city center and the port to weakening the Nazis during operation Astonia; the  Royal Air Force did more than 2000 waves dropping about 10K tons of bombs. Le Havre was liberated by allied armies on September 12 1944.

There you go folks, a nice place to be in the north and wonderful arts by the ocean to give it a sublime combination we love it at Le Havre. Hope you too enjoy the Le Volcan as us !

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

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August 31, 2022

My airports in Indonesia!

I have been thru too many airports in my last 40 years to last me for the rest of my lifetime! I do not look at them as tourist attractions but a necessary step to tourism. As Indonesia is a country of many islands and vast distances the use of airplane is a must. I have made about 8 trips in the last 11 years to the country and always fond memories of places and friends, Let me update and tell you briefly on my airports in Indonesia!And, plenty of domestic flights once there!

My main point of entry was the Jakarta International Airport (Soekarno-Hatta), the main airport serving the greater Jakarta area on the island of Java. It was designed by French architect Paul Andreu, who also designed Paris-Charles de Gaulle (Roissy) airport. The Soekarno-Hatta airport was Inaugurated in 1985, it was named after Soekarno, first president of the Republic of Indonesia, and Hatta, first vice-president. They were the ones who proclaimed the independence of the country in 1945.   Jakarta International Airport has 150 check-in counters, 30 baggage carousels and 42 gates. Each sub-terminal has 25 check-in counters, 5 baggage carrousels and 7 gates at my last count.


The airport is divided into three terminals. Terminal 1 accommodates domestic flights, except for Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia AirAsia, NAM Air and Sriwijaya Air. Terminal 2 accommodates all international flights other than those of SkyTeam companies, as well as domestic flights of Indonesia AirAsia, NAM Air and Sriwijaya Air. Terminal 3 accommodates all Garuda Indonesia flights as well as those of SkyTeam companies. A shuttle system connects the 3 terminals.



Taxi counters are located on the Arrivals level after customs and outside at the taxi stand. Several Taxi companies operate at Jakarta airport, including Blue Bird, Silver Bird, Golden Bird and Gamya. Blue Bird taxis are blue and provide basic taxi service from a reliable company. Silver Bird taxis are black and provide premium taxi service at slightly higher rates. Golden Bird is a limousine service. I have been picked up by locals as well as use the Silver Bird services.

jakarta airport outside feb13

The official Soekarno-Hatta airport :

The official Jakarta tourist office

The Surabaya Juanda International Airport serves Surabaya, East Java and surrounding areas. It is my second most used airport in Indonesia. It is located in the kabupaten ,department of Sidoarjo, 20 km south of Surabaya. Open December 7, 1964 as an air and naval base, December 24, 1990, Juanda Airport obtains the status of international airport, after the opening of an international terminal.


surabaya juanda airport outside feb13

The Surabaya Airport has two terminals: Terminal 1 is split into a couple of sections: section 1A and section 1B. The Level 1 is the Arrivals level, where check-in counters and baggage claim area are located. Level 2 is for Departures, where the boarding area is located. Find in this level access to boarding gates 1 to 6 ,and 7 to 12.   There are lounges close to gates 2, 8 and 11.   Terminal 2, handles international flights and some domestic services of Garuda and Indonesia Air Asia. Terminal 2 is the newest one and opened in 2014. It is located at the east side of Terminal 1. The Ground level This is the Check-in area and the Arrivals level. It has a boarding lounge at west and the Arrivals facilities plus the baggage claim can be found at east.   Find also here transportation options (bus, taxi, shuttle, car rental). Upper level: This is the Departures area, split into the Domestic and International departures.   Access to boarding gates 1 to 9 from a single point. Mezzanine level Find in this level the airport lounges. Taxi ranks are properly located outside Arrivals of both terminals, after the baggage claim area.   In order to take a taxi at Surabaya Airport, passengers should purchase a taxi coupon from the transportation counter. Blue Bird and Orenz Taxi.I have was picked always here by locals.



The official Juanda Surabaya airport

The official Surabaya tourist office :

A very nice experience for me was to go inland into Yogyakarta and Ngoro, etc towns. The Yogyakarta Adisutjipto International Airport was the airport of the city of Yogyakarta. The airport was inaugurated as international in 2004. Adisucipto airport also houses an Indonesian air force base. Adisutjipto will be gradually replaced by the new international airport of Yogyakarta in the kabupaten of Kulon Progo. Airport taxis are available on the arrivals level. Taxi rate is fixed depending on the distance. Purchase a fixed price taxi coupon from the Transportation counter and proceed to the taxi stand outside. This is the one I used; here for the memories of always.



The official oldAdisutjipto airport :

The new airport Yogyakarta International Airport or Kulon Progo International Airport, is in the district of Temon, kabupaten of Kulon Progo, which serves the special territory of Yogyakarta in Java, It is 45 km from the city, and was inaugurated on May 6, 2019. The airport became fully operational on 29 March 2020 with all scheduled flights (except turboprops, cargo and other non-commercial flights) relocated from the old airport , This one I have not tried yet.

The new official Yogyakarta airport::

The official Indonesia tourist board on Yogyakarta

The best way to move about in Indonesia using various airlines most of the time Garuda Indonesia; Sriwijaya airline; and Wings, etc. The official Indonesia Tourist board :

There you go folks, now you all set to enjoy this exotic beautiful country in Asia. Lots of memory of my trips there in the last 11 years! And lots of good friends still in touch. I am always looking forward to be back, eventually. In the meantime, get to know my airports of Indonesia !!

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

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August 31, 2022

Ciudad Obregon of Sonora !!

I had the opportunity to go north in Mexico for the first time. This was to Ciudad Obregon in the State of Sonora. I like to update this older post for you and me, Always nice to see new areas of our world. The trip was very much under security , but I did not notice anything as told in the news. Anyway it was an exciting visit to a place never before been, another dot in my world traveler’s globe! Hope you enjoy the post as I,

Ciudad Obregón, is the capital city of the municipality of Cajeme,and is the second largest city in the state of Sonora. It is located in the center of a large agricultural and industrial basin in the south of the state. It is the most important urban center of the Yaqui river valley. It is located 525 km (326 mi) south of the state’s northern border with the U.S. state of Arizona. This city was founded in 1927 by Alvaro Obregón and was established as a station where trains could make refill of water. The name of the station was Cajeme,  name of a chief of the Yaqui people. The first whites to arrive settled in the barrio called Plano Oriente when irrigation works by the Richardson company began in the early 20C.

In 1928, the name of Ciudad Obregón was adopted in recognition of General Álvaro Obregón, former president of the Mexican Republic (1920-1924) and originally from Huatabampo, Sonora. General Obregón initiated an agricultural revolution in the Yaqui river valley, introduced modern agricultural techniques and made this valley one of the most prosperous agricultural regions in the country as the story goes. The American agronomist Norman Borlaug, architect of the “Green Revolution”, worked here after improving the resistance of wheat. From then on, he won the Nobel Prize.

The way to move here best is to come by air landing at the Ciudad Obregon International Airport , located 15 km (about 9.3 miles) from the center of Ciudad Obregon. It has one terminal with three gates and two jetways. The airport is small but clean and nice. The SASA consort management of the Ciudad Obregon airport : 


I flew in from Mexico city on InterJet airline with good service and came back on AeroMexico, again good in flight service, While in town, I stayed at the nice Holiday Inn, with a nice room,and pool facilities, city center at Avenida Miguel Aleman.  The official Holiday Inn Ciudad Obregon :


In the area we moved by car with great company taking the Federal highway No.15 that is quite heavily use linking Ciudad Obregón in the north to Guaymas ; the main port of Sonora , Hermosillo ;the State capital, and Nogales ,the main crossing point with the United States. The highway no 15 links Ciudad Obregón to the south towards Navojoa , the State of Sinaloa and Central America, making it the axis of “Canamex”, industrial corridor which unites Canada, the United States and Mexico. This is as good a route planner by the Federal govt of Mexico

I visit a wine shop next door to the Holiday inn that was just a new concept in the area to let you stored your own bottles. Unfortunately I forgot the name and no photos !! I ate at Los Arbolitos de Cajeme resto, at the casa Matriz(main resto as it is a chain ) at corner of Tabasco and Guerrero streets. I had my mero fish with butter here. The official chain Los Arbolitos de Cajeme on Ciudad Obregon branch


Some things to see here are the Museum of the Yaqui: The museum offers a perspective of Yaqui culture having among its objectives rescuing, preserving, investigating and spreading the culture and way of life of the Yaquis. As well as stimulating in the state’s population the rediscovery of historical, linguistic and ethnic values of the Yaquis, The Yaqui people are settled in eight towns, Potam, Huirivis, Torim, Cocorit, Bacum, Vicam, Rahum and Belem. In about 7 km (4.3 miles) from the city is the first of the eight Yaqui towns that make the autonomous territory of these people known for their independent character, because it is one of the few American ethnic groups not dominated militarily by Spanish colonialists.

The State of Sonora tourist office on Ciudad Obregon

The Mexico tourist board on Ciudad Obregon

There you go folks, another dandy find by yours truly around the world, this time in Ciudad Obregon, State of Sonora, Mexico. Hope you like the post as I

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

August 30, 2022

Rio de Janeiro !!

In my early travels of my life, the intensity was gear towards Latin America big cities as was closer, and fewer pictures…. And later base in France, the trips were done to other smaller towns all over Brazil, (see posts) ,One of my favorite destinations as to big cities was Rio de Janeiro; this would be sort of an introduction to the city.. And not to forget my adreline visit to Niteroi across the bay of Guanabara ! I like to update this older post with new text and links to revive old wonderful memories for me and you maybe. I found some personal pics of this adventure ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.


Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The city was based originally on the Bay of Guanabara, discovered in 1502 by Gaspar de Lemos and Gonçalo Coelho, captains of the fleet of the Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who discoverered Brazil. The inhabitants of the city are “Cariocas”. The inhabitants of the State of Rio de Janeiro are “Fluminenses”. It is known worldwide for its carnival, its beaches (Copacabana, Leblon and Ipanema) as well as its statue of Christ the Redeemer at the top of the Corcovado. Rio de Janeiro was the capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, following the escape of the Portuguese court during the invasion of the Napoleonic troops (1808-1821), then of the Empire of Brazil (1822-1889), of the República Velha (old Republic) (1889-1930), of the Estado Novo (New State) (1937-1945) and the beginning of the Second Republic until 1960.

You really need about two weeks to see it all and I only had four days and busy with business rdv but nevertheless had a great time, In my opinion , the things to see here are the Sugar Loaf (Pao de Açùçar) a rocky peak at the altitude of 395 meters ,always been the symbol of Rio. The famous statue of Christ the Redeemer (O Cristo Redentor), a cross-arm, stands on the peak of the Corcovado with a height of 710 meters and can be seen from all areas of Rio. The statue measures 38 meters high. The work, dates from 1931.

The many wonderful beaches such as my favorite : Copacabana (see post) and its extension to the north, the Leme, with its 4.5 km of length that describe a perfect curve is certainly the preferred beach of foreigners. It was in the 1920’s that it gained its notoriety, with the construction, in 1923 of the prestigious Copacabana Palace, the only luxury hotel in all Latin America at the time. And this is the area I normally stayed while visiting the city. At the Othon Palace Hotel (see post)

Ipanema Beach is located in the most exclusive residential area of the city. Today, Ipanema is the center of fashion and sophistication. The most luxurious shops in Rio line the streets of Ipanema and Leblon. Ipanema Beach, less extensive than that of Copacabana, is the venue for the golden youth of Rio and the homosexual community. Less lively and less noisy than Copacabana, Ipanema is arguably the most romantic of the twenty-five beaches in Rio. São Conrado is located in a cove surrounded by mountains covered with dense vegetation. This is where the Pedra da Gávea rises, a huge block of granite much more impressive in its shape and size, with its 842 meters, than the famous Sugar loaf. The beach enjoys a certain popularity with the youth of Rio, the young people of the favelas and the intellectuals. With its 18 km long, the beach of Barra da Tijuca is at the same time the longest, but also the least frequented in Rio during the week. At the end of Barra, the small beach of Recreio dos Bandeirantes stretches in the shelter of a natural pier that forms a real miniature bay. From the Recreio, a road climbs into the mountain before descending to the beach of Prainha, frequented by the surfers, then that of Grumari, wonderfully secluded.

The mountain of Pedra da Gávea peaks at 842 meters of altitude. It overlooks the long beaches of fine sand. It is accessed after the Botanical garden.  The hill of Urca (Morro da Urca), this small mountain formation of 220 meters above sea level is located at the entrance of the Bay of Guanabara. The Hill also offers a great view of the Bay of Guanabara and offers a cable car that makes it possible to get to the sugar loaf. Each of the 141 hectares of the Botanical garden hosts specimens of the Brazilian and world flora. The neighborhood of Santa Teresa, with its cobbled and tortuous alleys, with its spectacular views of the bay, is certainly one of the most picturesque in Rio. The most attractive way to access it is to take the famous tramways built in 1896.The forest of Tijuca (Floresta da Tijuca) ;the largest urban forest in the world, with an area of about 3 200 hectares, includes hundreds of species of flora and fauna found only in the “Mata Atlantica” and many of which are endangered. Places such as the Cascatinha (small waterfall), the Mayrink Chapel , the Mirador Excelsior, the Baracão, the Paulo and Virginia Caves, the Fairy Lake and the Solitudes pond. The Sambadromo-Marquês de Sapucaí, bordered by concrete bleachers, was built in 1984 to host the prestigious Rio carnival, which was held previously in the streets of the city, most often on the avenue Presidente Vargas. Designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Avenue Marquês of Sapucaí, usually open to traffic, is transformed for a few days in the Passarela do Samba (passarelle of Samba)  and sees the most prestigious samba schools in Rio de Janeiro.

Rio de Janeiro has many museums ,of all sizes, I have been briefly to the top major ones such as these : The National Historic Museum .This palace painted in pink, emblematic color of imperial buildings, is one of the oldest buildings in Rio. Tower Fortress (its Subterraneans serve as a prison for black slaves in the 17C and 18C), Arsenal, weapons factory, Siege of the military academy, it was only converted into a museum in 1922. Its collections, spread over fourteen halls, retrace the history of Imperial Brazil (19C). It has a library of 70 000 volumes. The National Museum. This ancient palace was once the home of Joao VI and the imperial family, until the proclamation of the Republic in 1889. It contains the largest scientific collection in Brazil: Zoology, mineralogy, archaeology, ethnology. It is possible to see the meteorite fallen in the state of Bahia in 1888, the Bendego, which weighs 5 300 kgs as well as a curious mummy of an Egyptian woman: her legs are covered separately with strips (traditionally, the body is wrapped in one piece) . The Museum of Fine Arts the largest collection of art in Rio, it presents paintings of the Italian, Flemish, Spanish, Portuguese, English and Peruvian schools of the 16C, 17C and 18C. The Brazilian gallery presents paintings from the colonial period, the 19C and the 20C: Portinari, Di Cavalcanti, Pancetti, Anita Malfatti, Alfredo Volpi, Manabu Mabe and Djanira.

And beautiful Churches , passed by them, such as, Church of Nossa Senhora da Glória do Outeiro white and graceful, the Church of Glória dominates from its height the bay of Guanabara. Built in 1739, this chapel was intimately linked to the life of the imperial family. In his arms, Joao VI carried his granddaughter, Princess Maria da Glória, to present her at the altar, and Don Pedro I made the same with the future Emperor Pedro II. The decoration is made of carved wood and azulejos. The Monastery of Saint-Benoît (Mosteiro de São Bento);  Gregorian chant can be heard every day at 11h. and 17h30. Built in 1641 by two monks who wanted to base their order, this monastery is a characteristic example of colonial Baroque. It is possible to see in the Church a work of carved wood, covered with gold leaves. The Church of the Third-Order of Saint-François-de-la-Penance (Igreja da Ordem Terceira de São Francisco da Penitência): Very baroque, fully sculpted by hand . Jacaranda Furniture and solid silver chandeliers that illuminate, at dusk, the panel painted in the roof of the nave, representing Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy receiving the stigmata.

In all a wonderful place, however, the pictures I gathered and kept of a personal nature were on my hanggliding trip to nearby Niteroi !! It is easy to cross the Bay of Guanabara to get to Niterói or the islands, from where you discover a magnificent view of the city of Rio and the lush mountains that crimp it, Briefly, Niteroi was the village of São Lourenço dos Índios was recognized by the central government and given the new name of Vila Real da Praia Grande in 1819. On March 6, 1835, Vila Real da Praia Grande was officially renamed Niterói, It is 13 km from Rio link by the Rio-Niteroi bridge and a catamarans service. The main thing to see here is the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC), housed in a building built by Oscar Niemeyer. For an anecdote, Niteroi is the birthplace of Leonardo Nascimento de Araújo, footballer and former player and sporting director of Paris Saint Germain (PSG). However, as said for me was a trip to paragliding off Niteroi, and this was the place ! You can do the paragliding tandem flight in the Parque Da Ciudade of Niteroi (city park) with Rio Tandem, Their webpage

And the Parque da Ciudade of Niteroi:



The official Rio de Janeiro tourist office

The Rio de Janeiro prefecture local govt on tourism

The Brazil tourist board on Rio de Janeiro

There you go folks, a wonderful city to visit even with few pictures, however, the memories lingered forever. Hope you enjoy this oldie post on one of the world’s loveliest city ,Rio de Janeiro. And who knows back to Niteroi. I always looking forward to be back, eventually.

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

August 30, 2022

Curitiba and football !!

If you read my blog, you know one of my favorite hobbies is to follow football/soccer. My playing time and pro period is long gone, but I am still a fervent follower of the sport. In my travels, I had time to see some good matches and in football crazy countries, So when came to live as an expat in Brazil naturally I sought out the football, and gladly was in a bit football craze city of Curitiba in the State of Paranà , south Brazil. I like to update this memorable post for you and me ; hope you enjoy it as I.

Starting from less to more let me tell you about the Club Athletico Paranaense  a football/soccer club based in Curitiba , State of Paranà. It was founded on March 26, 1924 of the merger of the International Football Club and the Paraná America. It plays the home games at the Arena da Baixada.  It is popularly known as Furacão (Hurricane), nickname that was won in the 1950s. It,also, became the first team in Paraná to participate in a national competition.

Athletico is the owner of the Arena da Baixada stadium, officially Joaquim Américo Guimarães Stadium, considered one of the most modern in Latin America. It also has a sports center, considered among the five most innovative in the world. The Joaquim Américo Guimarães Stadium was inaugurated in June 1999, for an Atlético friendly against Cerro Porteño (Paraguay). For the 2014 Football/Soccer World Cup, this same stadium would be chosen as one of the venues of the maximum world event. For this, the stadium’s capacity was expanded to 40,000 spectators.


The colors of the Club Athletico Paranaense are T-shirt Red and black on first team and then t-shirt, black pants and black tights. Alternative t-shirt: White t-shirt, white pants and white socks. Their official Club Athletico Paranaense

However, the one I followed the most as most of my local friends there were fans was the Coritiba Foot Ball Club. Let me tell you about it ok.  The Coritiba Foot Ball Club is a club based in Curitiba, with its football/soccer section is popularly call Coxa. It was founded in 1909 by German immigrants. The first club in the State of Paranà as well as the first club green and white in Brazil.


It plays the games at the Estadio Couto Pereira located at Rue Ubaldino do Amaral, 37 . Its record was 80 000 with the presence of Pope John Paul II in 1980. Coritiba FBC currently appears in the Guinness Book of Records as the holder of the best winning streak in football with 24 consecutive victories. The Paranaense team achieved that mark on September 8, 2011, and that same day the famous book of world brands decorated it with the name of “Most victorious team in the world.”  The Coritiba club has two groups of fans: the main one, Império Alviverde (green empire) with a second one known as the Mancha Verde (green spot). The official colors uniform are White t-shirt with two green horizontal stripes, black pants and white bands . The second team uniform: T-shirt with vertical green and white stripes, white pants and white bands. Alternative uniform: Green shirt, black pants and green socks.


The largest and most traditional stadium in Paraná, Major Antonio Couto Pereira is the house of the nation “coxa-branca” (white thigh) and one of the symbols of the Paranaense capital. It was inaugurated in 1932 under the name of Belfort Duarte Stadium. The Couto, as it is affectionately called, is located in the Alto da Glória neighborhood, close to the commercial center of the city. It has capacity for 37 000 spectators, has modern structures of food, shops and recreation spaces. It has the best type of grass in the world for football/soccer practice and an efficient security system.


I really enjoyed the games here and with great friendly company still in touch..! The official Coritiba Football Club:

After all, the classic advantage is for Coritiba, who has 127 wins against 107 Paranaense and 99 draws; last count I can find.Also, Coritiba has 39 titles to 25 for Paranaense. The Atle-Tiba is one of the most traditional derbies in Brazilian football/soccer.  There you go folks, a dandy times in football stadiums in Curitiba !! Memories forever in memorable Curitiba.

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

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August 30, 2022

A nostalgic return to Saint Nolff !!

Well nostalgia sets in now. I have written pieces of it in previous posts , and it was sad to say good bye to Saint Nolff, the town outside Vannes where I worked for 9 years!! I came to this little community to work for a worldwide big company of 1,6B euros and now it has been sold! I was given a nice secure tax free package and now into retirement. I was in the area with my family and was so close decided to go by for the memories’s sake. I worked in a ruin domain of Talhouët that had a castle from 1504 near Vannes, and newer properties were build on it such as our world HQ. From here I was responsable in my field of Finance for 75 factories, 28 companies, and 20 countries.  It was fun indeed. Again, thank you for been such avids readers of my posts over the years. And hope you enjoy this post as I.

It’s two major monument , I have written on their history and description so will be briefer here just to show the new pictures of today.

 The Church of Saint-Mayeul b. 15-16C, renovated in the 17-19C.It was in front parking lot where I waited for my interview for the job ,which of course as above got it and held for 9 years !!! The longest I have worked in one firm !!! My field moves a lot ….Originally, it included a nave without aisles and a choir with a flat apse. Only the choir remains today with a large window, remarkable for the presence of 2 triskels, in opposite directions to each other. The three most important seigniories, Gourvineg, Kerboulard and Val Dilieg, each had their private chapel or their place (benches and burial vaults) in the choir.  The Calvary-altar outside was erected in 1806, in the spirit of the 17C. Its remarkable wooden Christ is now preserved in the choir. Saint Mayeul de Cluny was born around 910 in Valensole, in eastern Provence, and died in 994 in Souvigny. He was the fourth abbot of Cluny. He was certainly one of the listened advisers of Hugues Capet, duke then king of the Franks, which enabled him to reform monasteries and place regular abbots there. Mayeul’s destiny is exceptional. He was spontaneously recognized as a saint immediately after his death, and his cult, which constituted the first great Cluniac abbey cult, was one of the most important in the Middle Ages and persisted in Le Puy and Souvigny until the French revolution. His feast day is May 11.The church once kept the tomb of Jean de Gourvinec, who died on December 12, 1423.

Saint Nolff Ch Saint Mayeul front aug22

Saint Nolff Ch Saint Mayeul side left aug22

Saint Nolff Ch Saint Majeul side aug22

The Chapelle of Sainte-Anne was built in 1493 in the immediate ,next to the Church of Saint-Mayeul as above.Very beautiful chapel with flamboyant decoration was built, “in honor of Sainte-Anne”, in 1493 by Olivier de Gourvinec, lord of Bézit, as indicated by the inscription of the sand pit. Small rectangular chapel in cut stone. Fleur-de-lysées side windows. The west gable door has retained its 15C character, as has the one on the south side which has an accolade resting on two made-up angels. The finial is surmounted by an escutcheon with heraldic animals, dominated by a top with strips of fabric and finished with an incomplete figure. The frame and the old sand pits have disappeared.

Saint Nolff Chapelle Sainte Anne front road aug22

Saint Nolff Chapelle of Sainte-Anne et Ch Saint Majeul side aug22

Saint Nolff Chapelle of Sainte-Anne side left aug22

The Étang de Gourvinec or pond was the water reserve of the mill if we do not know the date of construction of the mill, This mill was built by the family of Gourvinec, lords of Bézit. The first mention of this mill dates back to 1503. Three wheels are driven by the Condat River to turn wheat into flour. In 1930, it was transformed into a sawmill, an activity which ended in 1951. Used for a time as a poultry farm, it was bought by the town of St Nolff in 1989, which ensured its restoration. It was and is a spot for picnic and relaxation of families and folks from my employer at least until recently,It is right off the road D135. 

Saint Nolff Étang de Gourvinec moulin by train track aug22

The town of Saint Nolff on its heritage

The Gulf of Morbihan local tourist office on Saint Nolff

And there you go in a way my extra hommage to Saint Nolff, a town very small but by now very much attach to my world globe of wonderful places to be in . I was glad stopped again by it, with my boys for the family memories and some anecdotes. I believe will remain at least in the Morbihan and or Pluvigner for the rest of my life, which we love it so much by now, and I will do my road warrior trips all over from here.  Thank you again for reading me over the years and of course this post in particular.

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

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August 29, 2022

I bring you back to Sulniac !

The town of Sulniac is located in my beautiful department 56 of Morbihan, in my lovely region of Bretagne. The bordering towns are Treffléan, Elven ,La Vraie Croix ,Theix, Questembert, Lauzac and Berric , From Vannes you take the road N166 towards Rennes, take the Kerboulard exit, towards Treffléan / Questembert / Redon (D775), then at the Penrho roundabout follow the D183. I am updating an older post and combining it with new pictures taken today to expand on the town of Sulniac, as before had monuments in its village of Le Gorvello. Hope you enjoy the new post as I.

The Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church is a Catholic church located at a village call Le Gorvello,part of the town of Sulniac. The current church replaces the primitive chapel at the beginning of the 16C built by the hospital monks. The church has been remodeled several times, Le Gorvello is a hamlet straddling the towns of Theix-Noyalo and Sulniac. The hamlet is located at the intersection of the departmental roads D7 and D183, equal distance from Theix, Sulniac, Berric, La Trinité-Surzur and Lauzach. It is about 15 km from Vannes. In the 12C, Le Gorvello housed a Chaplaincy, belonging to the Templars, which cared for the poor, the sick and the lepers. At the dissolution of the order of the Templars, in 1312, the parish was passed under the control of the Bishop of Vannes. The Church of St. John the Baptist is built from 1523 to replace the chapel of the Templars.

Sulniac ch Saint Jean Baptiste front porch aug22

The Church of St. John the Baptist it’s a T-shaped Church, the nave barely detached from the two arms of the transept. At the bedside, large glass canopy with moldings. To the south transept, mulled window ,and in  the north transept, wooded window . The west entrance gable is adorned with a bay in a basket handle with pinnacles, braces and flop work. The gable is crowned by a small campanile with double compartment, frontings, all in granite. On the north façade, the nave bay is adjacent, adorned and protected by a porch made up of a circular granite arch. The buttresses of the bedside and the north transept present a superposition of cylindrical and prismatic parts.

Sulniac ch Saint Jean Baptiste front arch porch aug22

The present Church of St John the Baptist , the nave is covered with a frame, which has abundant inscriptions. In 1547, a chapel was added.  In 1560, a porch and a second chapel are added. The Church is open, on its western gable, by a door in a basket-loop, with multiple moldings, under a brace bearing a high jewel. The buttresses that surround it are decorated with flaming pinnacles. The Church houses the statues of St. Mark and St. Isidore, the Patron Saint of the Laborers.

Sulniac ch Saint Jean Baptiste back aug22

The Saint-Pierre Church (12-20C) is in city center/downtown Sulniac. The church was almost completely rebuilt in the 19C and then in 1948-49 following a fire. Only the transept crossing remains of the Romanesque church. Its semicircular arcades were recut in tiers-point after the 1948 fire. They rest on complex piers with engaged columns and sculpted Romanesque capitals.

Sulniac ch Saint Pierre side left aug22

Sulniac ch Saint Pierre side right aug22

Sulniac ch Saint Pierre back aug22

Other things to see in Sulniac jurisdiction are:

The Sulniac Cemetery Cross is a banner cross erected in the town of Sulniac, The place de l’église to the apse of the church, The Saint-Jean-Baptiste fountain is located at the hamlet of Le Gorvello The steeple placed on a pedestal houses a statuette of St Vincent Ferrier, apostle of the country of Vannes in the 15C.  The castle of Ferrières is located overhanging the Ferrières stream, about 500 meters north of the hamlet of Kerhouarn, 2.4 km from the town center of La Vraie-Croix, 3.6 km from the town center of Sulniac and 5.3 km from the town center of Questembert. The castle is built in the Louis XIII style and in local granite. Of the original castle, only a few carved granite openings remain, an armored pennon and carved chimneys. Rampants with chevronière and acroterion are also present on the western facade.

Also, as have a recent post and others, here is the home of the Distillerie du Gorvello, A small family farm specializing in the cultivation of cider apple trees , and ciders of course.

Sulniac Cidrerie de Gorvello showroom front closed aug22

The town of Sulniac on its heritage

The Gulf of Morbihan local tourist office on Sulniac

There you go folks , some more interesting trips off the beaten path in my beautiful Morbihan; and is not over yet!! Plenty more to see and do here. For now ,enjoy the Sulniac town and hamlets !

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

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August 29, 2022

And I give you Treffléan !

The town of Treffléan is located in my beautiful department of Morbihan 56, and in my lovely region of Bretagne. The road N166 towards Rennes then D775 towards Questembert and finally D116 towards Treffléan, 7 km from Elven and 12 from Vannes. With a territory of 1,800 ha, bordering the towns of Theix-Noyalo, Sulniac, Elven, Saint-Nolff and Vannes. This is one I passed so many times lost count near my old job, but this is the first time I entered its city center/downtown!  Hope you enjoy Treffléan as I.

A bit of history I like

Treffléan is believed to be an ancient truce of Sulniac and dedicated to Saint Leo. Some historians maintain that Treffléan is a dismemberment of the original parish of Theix and not of Sulniac , On February 13, 1791, during the French revolution, peasants from the parishes to the east of Vannes head for this town to free their bishop. The regrouping of the rebels takes place at Kerboulard. The revolutionaries stop them at Liziec, on the road to Rennes. In Morbihan, only 48 priests out of 454 took the oath to the civil constitution of the clergy. 25 priests were guillotined, others exiled.

One nice thing to see here and we did is the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel ,aka Notre-Dame-de-Cran Chapel or Templar Chapel, It is in the hamlet of Cran off D104. They are the Knights of the Temple and the Hospital which in 1182 would have built the Notre-Dame de Bon Secours Chapel. From 1319 it was the object of very active pilgrimages following numerous miracles. In the 16C the building was rebuilt on its Roman foundations. The mansion erected at the end of the 17C, behind the chapel, replaces an older building, the Commandery of the Templars or a fortified farm. The fountain dating from 1740 rises in a vast paved enclosure, surrounded by a low granite wall.

Tréfflean chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours back front Cran aug22

Tréfflean chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours altar Cran aug22

Tréfflean chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel Christ on Cross Cran aug22

Tréfflean chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours frescoes wall right Cran aug22

The Saint-Léon Church (16C), restored in 1840 and in neo-Romanesque style ,except for the choir. This one is in city center/downtown. The tower, the sacristy, the porch and a reliquary. From this church dating from 1575, only the tower and the staircase are preserved in the current church. The statues of Saint Apolline, the Virgin of the Assumption, etc, and her chalice come from the Chapel of Bizole which had been donated by Tanguy Le Sénéchal, Sieur de Tréduday. The pulpit dates from 1895. The church also houses a polychrome wooden statue of Saint Leon and a granite font placed on a column-shaped base. Following a fire during the night of October 30 to 31, 1912, the church was almost entirely rebuilt in 1912-1913 with the bell tower dating from 1992.

Tréfflean ch Saint Léon side aug22

Tréfflean ch Saint Léon altar aug22

Tréfflean ch Saint Léon chapel Virgin ND aug22

Tréfflean ch Saint Léon chapel baptismal font aug22

Other nice thing to see here is the Calvary of Bizole is located at the entrance of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Chapel (17C), at a place called Bizole. In the village of Bizole is the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Chapel. The chapel built from 1622 to 1686 in the Renaissance style houses a statue of Saint Juliet invoked for children who are slow to walk. It is an old sanctuary built, it seems, in the 12C by the Templars and Hospitallers, and remodeled in the 17C. Along with the church and the calvary, the Sainte-Juliette fountain completes the classic trilogy in Brittany. It is a small monument dating from 1666.

One interesting spot we saw passing is the Etang du Delan or ponds a body of water equipped for fishing and family relaxation. You can practice trout fishing there, making unlimited catches, or fish for carp, tench, bream and roach… You need to throw the fish back not to be taken out. On site, you can take advantage of the services of a bar and fast food. Games are also installed for the youngest, with in particular a game of big skittles.

Tréfflean etang du Delan near D116 aug22

The town of Treffléan on the chapels

The town of Treffléan on the Church Saint Léon

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on Treffléan :

There you go folks, another dandy in my beautiful Morbihan. New places visited and pleasant for half a day in Treffléan, an inland side of the Gulf of Morbihan. Again, hope you enjoy it as I.

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

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August 29, 2022

La Salle de la Belle Cheminée of Fontainebleau !!

This is difficult to write as many wonderful moments with my dear late wife Martine visiting the castle and town of Fontainebleau in her region and becoming Friends of the Castle. However, I like to bring them to life for memories’ sake. This is an update of an older post, hope you enjoy it, and do visit the castle is a must while in France. See my many posts in my blog.
Let me tell you about a part not yet open to the public, last I check, but had several meetings there and as the castle is renovated maybe will be open one day. The room in question is the room of the beautiful chimney and its relations or in French la Salle de la Belle Cheminée of the Château de Fontainebleau !!

fontainebleau-salle-de-bois-charmant-pf jun15
The Salle de la Belle Cheminée (or the beautiful chimney room) is one of the works commissioned by king Henri IV. Above the Belle Cheminée, lies a bas-relief of Henri IV on horseback representing the King on his illustrious white steed. The wing of the Belle Cheminée, also known as the aile(wing) de l’Ancienne Comédie or wing of the old comedy, built between 1565 and 1570 in stone of Saint-Leu, derives its name from the chimney that occupied the great hall in the 18C. It was taken down and her sculptures were scattered. The name of old comedy comes from the theater that king Louis XV had made. First known as the Salle de la Belle Cheminée from 1597 to 1601, it was called a theater from 1725, on the occasion of the marriage of king Louis XV; It was destroyed in 1856 by a fire. The monumental exterior staircase has two Italian ramps. It makes the connection with the cour de la Fontaine (courtyard of the fountain). The Belle Cheminée of the Château de Fontainebleau was dismembered in 1725 . The fragments were taken in the 19C into two other chimneys in the castle. Other fragments are in reserve at Fontainebleau. The Louvre museum presents the central frieze which separated the upper part forming mantle from the fireplace. It is now in a theater setup for meetings and the chimney still there , still call the beautiful chimney room and one that hopes to be shown to the public.

Other rooms in relation to the Belle Cheminée are worth mentioning on this post are:
In the Salle des Gardes (room of the guards) you will notice two great figures that surround the chimney coming from the famous Belle Cheminée by then disappeared, sumptuous carved monument. to the glory of the victorious king of 7 meters high,by 6 meters wide. On the left is the allegorical figure of Peace; it lowers, to smother it, the torch of war, reminding us that by the edit of Nantes (1598), king Henri IV had put an end to the civil religious wars between Catholics and Protestants. On the right, the allegory seems to be Obedience; a young woman is about to pass a harness to a lion. The good King Henri was indeed, against any golden legend, an autocratic sovereign, reinforcing the Royal authority and announcing the absolute monarchy of his grandson, Louis XIV. The remainder of the chimney, of a more grey hue, was carved in 19C.

The official Château de Fontainebleau on the things to see:
There you go folks, this is special, a must to visit while in France; the Château de Fontainebleau that is. So much history of France and Europe , and the World is here, as well as loving architecture. You ought it to yourselves to visit the Château de Fontainebleau , and look out for visiting the Salle de la Belle Cheminée !!
And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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August 28, 2022

The park/garden of the Castle of Saint Germain en Laye !!!

I had it all as well in the Yvelines, history/architecture and plenty of wonders to see, One of my favorites was visiting Saint Germain en Laye with its market and garden/park of the Château of St Germain en Laye now an archeology museum. Oh yes this is Saint Germain en Laye in my old Yvelines dept 78 of the Île de France region. I like to update this dear post of family memories ; hope you enjoy it as I.

sgl chateau garden parc to chateau mar12

First, a bit on the castle , briefly as have several posts on it already in my blog.

The Château of Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a former residence of the kings of France. The current castle was built under François Ier by Pierre de Chambiges, from 1539. Enlarged several times by his successors, it was a royal residence until 1682, when Louis XIV left it definitively for Versailles. The chapel of the castle, in Gothic style, is a vestige of the old fortified castle built by Louis VI le Gros. It was built by Saint Louis (Louis IX) in 1238. King Louis XIV was born at the Château Neuf now gone, the one you see is the Château Vieux that is the museum. Louis XIV was also baptized there. The castle was transformed into a cavalry school under Napoleon I, it later housed a military penitentiary. It was restored under Napoleon III. Since 1867, it has housed the National Archeology Museum.  In January 19, 1777, the dilapidated Château Neuf was given by King Louis XVI to his younger brother the Comte d’Artois (later king Charles X grandson of Louis XV) to carry out the work. Demolition and reconstruction projects are established. However, the French revolution arrives, the castle is seized as national property and sold to the former manager who demolishes it, subdivides the land and sells the materials. Today, only the Henri IV Pavilion (a nice restaurant today see post) , the Garden Pavilion, the Sully Pavilion at nearby Le Pecq, a terrace and its two ramps at the end of rue Thiers which overlooks the avenue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny and some vestiges in the cellars of the district ,one at 3 rue des Arcades remains.

The gardener Claude Mollet, creates the terraced gardens on the east facade of the Château Neuf for king Henri IV. These gardens, designed at the border of the 16C and 17C, were then adorned with caves, water games and hydraulic automata.  On the north facade of Château Vieux, the regular gardens were created under the direction of André Le Nôtre, between 1663 and 1673. This one, much appreciated by king Louis XIV, redesigned the green spaces of the two castles, the Château Vieux by François I and the Château-Neuf of Henri IV; by creating three separate gardens, namely a large flowerbed (grand parterre), a slanting flowerbed (jardin à l’Anglaise later on) and the Dauphine garden. (jardin de la Dauphine).


In addition, Le Nôtre imposes here the genius of perspective. Its Grand Terrace, built between 1669 and 1674, 2,4 km long, is a true masterpiece of perspective. It offers an exceptional panoramic view over the entire Seine valley, extending to the edge of the forest. Beautiful walks in the heart of lush greenery await you. An orientation table erected 84 meters high allow you to identify the main landscape and architectural elements of the panorama. You passed by several ornate wrought iron gates or grille ; starting from the main entrance across from the RER A station you have the Grille des Loges walking to your right you have the Grille Detaille ; going along the walls of the castle facing the parc garden you have the Grille de la Surintendance ; then Grill du Château next to the castle ; walking aroun the Grand Parterre on the allée Henri II you have the Grille du Boulingrin ; continue at end you see the Grille Henri IV ; this is on the Allée Henri IV and the Petite Terrasse;at end before entering the Grand Terrasse you see the Grille Dauphine ; step back a bit and enter the Grande Terrasse at end you see the Grille de la Demi-Lune ; further you have the Rond Royal and into the forest and the Château du Val ! Sublime ! Do it !


In 1845, an English garden was created by Loaisel de Tréogate, At the foot of the Grand Terrace, nearly 2,000 vines have been planted that allow the towns of Le Pecq and Saint-Germain-en-Laye to reconnect with their wine-growing tradition. The train line from Paris-Saint-Lazare to Saint-Germain-en-Laye passes underground via the tunnel of the terrace, dating from the 1840s. It is framed on the one hand by the viaduct over the Seine and on the other through a second tunnel under what remains of the grand parterre, not far from Saint-Germain-en-Laye train station. Since 1996, the A14 highway crosses the terrace through the Saint-Germain tunnel for 1855 meters at 60 meters underground; to the east, the viaduct of Montesson buried the highway below the terrace.


A vast basin 50 meters in diameter with a 22-meter water jet will indeed see the light of day in the Grand Parterre of the gardens/park of the Domaine national de Saint-Germain. The project, in progress, should be completed by the end of summer 2022.Stay tune ! You can go free to the park and the Petite and Grand terraces of the Domaine de Saint-Germain-en-Laye every day. This is a must after visiting the museum, the walks are superbe and the views sublime over to La Defense and Paris!


The official National Archeology museum of the castle St Germain en Laye

The city of St Germain en Laye on its garden /park

The local Seine St Germain en Laye tourist office on the castle/museum :

There you go folks, a wonderful city, much to see ,architecturally stunning and full of history near Paris easy on public transports with the RER A; no excuses a must to see. The garden/park of the Château de Saint Germain en Laye.Sublime !

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

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