Archive for August 9th, 2022

August 9, 2022

The Nantes airport !!!

I have used it so many times over the years ! It’s about time I update this older post of many memories. Ever since moved to the Morbihan in 2011, this has been my airport, Nantes where all flights were taken business or family trips, my getaway to the world ! Always looking forward to use it again, eventually, I hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Aéroport Nantes-Atlantique , (IATA code: NTE), is an international airport located on the territory of the towns of Bouguenais and Saint-Aignan-Grandlieu near Nantes, but as geography have it, takes the name of the bigger town.  This is in dept 44 Loire Atlantique and region of Pays de la Loire. It is the second most important airport in the West of France, after that of Bordeaux, and the 9th of France in number of passengers as of 2018. Of course, the pandemic had its struggles and me going by there too.



A bit of history I like

In 1928, an aviation camp was created for essentially military use, on a 50-hectare site on the banks of the road N23 from Nantes to Paimbœuf  (now RD 723), near Château de Bougon. Built in 1932, it welcomed in 1934-1935 a factory Breguet establishments, with a connection to the airfield. In 1939, the grass track was replaced by a 900 m × 40 m concrete track. During the occupation, the Nazis made it a real camp with barracks, blockhouses, and concrete casemates, etc. From there the Luftwaffe bombers headed for England. At the end of the war, the French Air Force regains possession of the land, which the Nazis had  destroyed the infrastructure at the time of their retirement.

The Terminals of Nantes airport which I have used them all by now !!!, The airport has a terminal consisting of three main parts called Hall 1, 2, 3 ,and later 4 was added with a lighter architecture, initially dedicated to the regional subsidiary of Air France. There is Hall 1, reserved for arrivals and you will also find a number of shops and restaurants there, as well as the information point and the “lost property” counter, open from 6h to 22h. Hall 2 mainly used for registration check ins. Hall 3 allows access to check-in gates 21 to 67 and is also used to gain access to Hall 4. It is mainly used by low-cost airlines. Hall 4 was initially planned to accommodate only Air France flights, then opened up to regional flights and the low-cost airlines. It allows access to gates 71 to 77 and is also used for arrivals.

There are 2 Relay stores (in the public area of Hall 2 and in the boarding area of Hall 3), where you can buy magazines, press, snacks and other travel accessories. Also, a new space Monop’Daily fast food. Aelia DutyFree, the duty-free store at Nantes airport, located in the boarding area of Hall 3 (be careful, to benefit from a tax-free price, you will have to comply with certain conditions regarding your country of destination ).

Restaurants have change a bit now available in the terminals are: La Brioche Dorée (Hall 3 & 4 in the boarding area) where you can find pastries and hot and cold sandwiches.  La Buvette du Voyage , on the first floor of Hall 1, resto or wrap you have it.  La Terrasse, in Hall 3, a café also offering fast food. Starbucks ground level .  La Grande Tablée first floor (2nd US) Prêt A Manger street level registration area.

Foreign exchange outlet CIC at Hall 2, and  outside Hall 3, open 7/24. You can temporarily leave your valuables at the Reception – Information counter in Hall 1.  The conditions and prices are as of today for items that can be kept in an envelope measuring no more than 28 cm x 36 cm.

For the lost and found:  Items found in, or in the immediate vicinity of, the terminal are handed in at the Reception-Information counter in Hall 1.  VAT refund (sales tax): For more information on the VAT refunds procedure in France and the instructions for use of the Pablo terminal, go to:

Hotels nearby are Hotel Oceania ****, Hotel Escale Oceania ***, and Hotel B&B ** ; I have used them all! Rental cars counters of Avis , Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Enterprise, and Sixt, (I have used Hertz and Europcar) .Regular bus network TAN between 6 h and 21 are lines 48 and 98, However, the best is the Express Aeroport Bus, taken many times just superbe ! By taxi (allow about 30 to 35 euros each way to get to the center), Best outfits Taxis-Nantes, Hep-Taxis, easily online.



The most practical here is the Express Aeroport bus connecting the airport with the train station Sud or South terminal at Nantes, of many glorious easy transfers from Vannes/Auray. The ride is very nice, every 25 minutes or so and leaves you at both in just across the entrances. I have used it extensively these last several years. The cost today is 9€ one way. You go outside cross the arrival road across Hall 2, clearly mark. Official TAN (bus/tramway network of Nantes) schedule and prices for the bus is here in French:




Coming by car as I have done most of the time, there is a pre booking parking space at reduce prices,webpage :

The automobile parkings are the P Minute (only for quick drop offs), P1 covered (direct access to airport most often use), P2 priximity, P3 Proximity, P4 Proximity P5 Proximity, P6 Proximity ,P7 Eco, P8 Eco, P9 Eco, P10 Eco, Rental A and Rental B for rental cars parkings.   My trips by car were easy, taking the N165 expressway all the way to the rocade ouest or west of Nantes follow direction Nantes-Atlantique on the N444 road continue on the N844 same direction over the Pont de Cheviré then exit/sortie 51 still direction airport until the terminal which road is the D85. The main thing follow the signs for Nantes-Atlantique, easy,1h30 from my house !



The official Nantes airport :

The official city of Nantes transports network TAN

The official Nantes tourist office:

There you go folks, another nice memory easy way in and out of my belle France. I like the fact that the airport of Nantes-Atlantique is still small enough to walk thru it and big enough to allow easy flights in and out in addition to great train, plane, connections. Hope you enjoy the post and do not hesitate on taking it, its great! I look forward to do so again,eventually. And for the latest travel contraints check your airline, travel agency or government sites.

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

August 9, 2022

Some news from France , CCCLXVI

It’s time again to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12 years now!! And for those non Roman CCCLXVI is 366 , another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are in Summer ,and temps already back to canicule level so drink,,,anything, and we continue eating out in our veranda porch , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Now for the lovers of doors, which i see plenty bloggers are, the one unique and the best for me is at 29 avenue Rapp 7éme arrondissement of Paris. This is an Art Nouveau building and door and done by Jules Lavirotte the best example of the belle epoque. The entry door with a heading of a women head sculpture around Adam and Eve chase from paradise is awesome to look at. I used to have a picture of it but can’t find it, if you like doors go by there is a must really.

The recruitment campaign completed last March 2022 has enabled eighteen new sellers to set up shop on the banks of the Seine, alongside the famous green boxes filled with books Paris has seen 18 street booksellers set up shop on the banks of the Seine, On the Quai de l’Hôtel-de-Ville in Paris (4éme), exits from the Pont-Marie metro. These are the new famous Bouquinistes de Paris !!!

Competition for the most beautiful terrace in Paris: merchants invited to sublimate “the French art of living”. Selection criteria: aesthetics, vegetation, quality of materials and respect for environmental issues. The vote is on in the city of Paris !

The A1 closed for nearly three days to lay the footbridge connecting the Stade de France to the Olympic Aquatic Center, A spectacular operation will be carried out in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis 93), between this Monday evening from 22h and Thursday at 04h in order to remove the bridge linking these two major Olympic Games 2024 sites. It will lead to the closure of part of the highway/ motorway for 54 hours.

How customs fight against fraud and trafficking on the A1 highway/motorway, On the busiest motorway in Europe, the forty customs officers of the internal surveillance brigade (BSI) of Nogent-sur-Oise are increasing the seizures of illicit products. Report on the outskirts of Chamant, the largest toll gate in the Hauts-de-France region. The agent asks a few questions: “Where are you from? », « What were you doing there? “, ” Where are you going ? “, ” Why ? “. “The idea is to understand the logic of their journey.” And perhaps also to detect an ounce of feverishness? It’s mostly a matter of experience, Big brother is watching you on the roads of France, And of course, this goes up wonder why huh !

The Domaine Chabrand-Thibault estate, a veritable green lung that was once private ,the local govt now will install a promenade there. Beyond a breathtaking view of the Seine valley and the Paris region, the Chabrand-Thibault estate, in Cormeilles-en-Parisis, definitely conceals many treasures. this vast green lung of nine hectares, owned by the region since 2014 and included in the regional space of the buttes du Parisis, to open it to the public in March 2023. There will be a paved promenade in balcony and a staircase of 180 steps, which will cross this island historically attached to the private estate of La Châtaigneraie. Located in the historic city center, and along the strategic road, the park is crossed by a forest and a meadow. It owes its name to Jean-Victor Thibault, a notary who married Anne Émilie Gabrielle Chabrand, daughter of an important landowner, and who donated a lot of land to the city. Visitors will therefore soon be able to walk around the site to discover its alleys populated by bicentenary oaks and chestnut trees, but also its remains of a romantic park , and in particular white arches whose origin remains unexplained as well as its many species of birds such as the Woodpecker, the Jay of the oaks or the Blackcap. The domain having been closed for fifty years ! , it is rather the non-humans who have taken up residence there.Until now,,,info webpage in French :

The national forest of Compiègne (Oise 60 ) attracts around 1.5 million visitors a year. Among the most frequented sites are the belvedere of Beaux-Monts and the ponds of Saint-Pierre in Vieux-Moulin. A little corner of paradise among swans, dragonflies and moorhens. is adorned with a pedestrian path, an educational trail and many other surprises Parking area, pedestrian path, cycle path, educational trail…Nice lung to wandered around me think, webpage :

In the Palace of Versailles there are very elaborate, the souvenir shops of the residence of the Sun King offer thousands of handpicked references. Each product has been validated to ensure that it complies with the image of the castle. A business that targets both new visitors and regulars. The Palace of Versailles, its Hall of Mirrors, its Trianon, its gardens… and its shops. Each more neat than the other. In the middle of summer, that of the Dufour Pavilion, located at the end of the visit, is teeming with tourists. Each year, they are 7 million to hurry to the Sun King. And so many potential customers. I have a post about the castle shops! Webpage :

The RATP strikes very hard and invites you to explore, thanks to its interactive map, all the underground street art works it has listed. To carry out this project, the Parisian transport group has joined forces with Notorious Brand, an artists’ collective and Quai 36, an art production house. RATP pdf map :

It is possible to enjoy a breathtaking 360 degree view of all of Paris from the colonnade of the Pantheon! Until now reserved for guided tours, you can now take advantage of this entry visit for only 11.50 euros. The Panthéon, Place du Panthéon 5éme Paris, webpage:

The Paris Zoological Park, located in the Bois de Vincennes, in the 12éme arrondissement, offers a new experience to come and discover: Sundays at the zoo “Between friends”. Every last Sunday of the month, you can recharge your batteries with your friends: note August 28, September 25 and October 23. Paris Zoological Park Avenue Daumesnil 12éme, webpage:

At the beginning of July, the Abbey of Maubuisson inaugurated “AVA” a Virtual Assistant of Archeology which allows to discover the history of the place in an original and alternative way. Let yourself be transported by this sound journey and come and live an unforgettable interactive experience! Maubuisson Abbey Abbey Park, Avenue Richard de Tour – 95310 Saint-Ouen l’Aumône, Every day From 8h to 20h, Until October 10, From 8h to 18h30, From October 11 to March 31 webpage :

The Basilica Sacre Coeur or Sacred Heart, have you visited it from the inside? At almost 130 meters above sea level, enjoy a view of all of Paris. Located at the Butte Montmartre, it is open to the public every day. With the strong summer heat, take the time to cool off inside the place and admire the many stained glass windows and the impressive mosaic of Christ in Glory! Basilica of the Sacred Heart, 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre 18éme, webpage:

Located in the heart of the Bois de Vincennes, La Ferme de Paris is managed according to organic farming practices, with respect for the environment and animal welfare! On its 5 hectares available, meet very cute animals and enjoy the vegetable gardens, orchards, fields and forests! La Ferme De Paris, 1 Route du Pesage 12éme, Vincennes tourist office on the farm :

Since its reopening on June 3, come and have a good time at Jardin21 and enjoy its beautiful space of 1850 square meters. The cultural third place located on the edge of the Canal de l’Ourcq concocts beautiful afternoons but also beautiful summer evenings! Jardin21 ,12A rue Ella Fitzgerald 19éme ,webpage:

La Brasserie Fondamentale invites you to quench your thirst around a good beer with friends at more than 200 meters in height. Perched at the top of the Montparnasse Tower, we promise you a breathtaking view and a nice rooftop on the left bank! Tour Montparnasse, La Brasserie Fondamentale, Open 7 days a week, From 9h30 to 23h30, webpage:

The ephemeral terrace of the Trianon Palace in Versailles is hosting a new concept of “country barbecue” this summer. A unique grilled menu cooked in front of customers by chef Frédéric Larquemin. Every Thursday and Friday evening, as well as Saturday noon, the braziers are set up on the lawn to cook a selection of grilled meats in front of customers In this friendly atmosphere animated by a DJ, the codes of the palace are respected, The “Trianon Champêtre” formula is offered at 55 euros per person. It should last until the end of September, weather permitting, Bon appétit !webpage:

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior of this blog. Hope you enjoy the post and do prepare for an eventful Summer! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

August 9, 2022

Some news from Spain  CXXIX

And back at you with my series of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and it is summer awesome as folks are coming back ! I am eagerly looking forward to be back too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

The weather in Madrid will be hot from lows of 20C to highs of 37C up to next Saturday 15 August,similar rest of Spain with cooler in the north and hotter in the south. This is August!!

Tiled walls, wooden furniture, ceramic advertisements for Philips lamps or Carabaña water, “the best purgative”… Entering the ghost train station of Chamberí means going back a century and going back to the 1960s. Those were the times when there were two different aisles for passengers getting on and off, in which the inspectors checked the 0.10 peseta cent bills and in which the Metro employees could not get married. All this is now remembered in the museum of this ghost station in Chamberí, which has begun rehabilitation works this August 2022 to stop its deterioration. Chamberí station was inaugurated in October 1919 and closed in 1966. At that time, Metro needed to increase the number of train cars, for which it was necessary to increase the length of the platforms from 60 to 90 meters. In this way, the Bilbao station was extended to the north and the Iglesia station to the south, so that both were very close to the Chamberí station. This station curves and has a slope, which made it very difficult to lengthen the platforms, so it fell into disuse. After more than 40 years abandoned, in 2006 it was decided to rehabilitate it and turn it into a museum and this summer new repair tasks are undertaken, Webpage metro museums :

The Plaza de Cascorro of Madrid vibrates again, And it is that three years later the San Cayetano festivities are back, This happened today but every year so keep an eye for it sublime!!! Others taste cotton candy that impregnates the atmosphere with its characteristic smell. Hotdogs, hamburgers and fries must number in the thousands. In the center of everything, a few optimists try to score a goal against a cardboard Iker Casillas that makes it quite difficult. There are parades, contests, treasure hunts and musical performances. Of all kinds and for all audiences. Madrid is very festive, it have a lot to do with the street , here we all integrate. The neighborhood is life, and the San Cayetano festivities, the extension of this unique way of being and enjoying, are back. Madrid tourist office :

The Calvary shortcut. This was the expressive name that indicated the route followed by the hard-working mountaineers and skiers who, at the beginning of the 20C, climbed to the heights of the Sierra de Guadarrama. There was no other way than to walk for hours along the difficult route that started from Cercedilla and arrived at the port of Navacerrada. And this was my baptism in skiing felled all over the place and it was the last for me lol !! Everything changed on July 12, 1923, They went to a train decorated for the occasion. The tram, as it was called, had a colorful decoration of flowers among which the flags of Spain and Switzerland stood out, having been manufactured by the Swiss companies Fabrique Suisse de Wagons à Schlieren and Brown Boveri. They were identical to those that traveled the route of the Alps. Barely 30 km per hour, the Electrico del Guadarrama began a rattling traffic that will soon celebrate its first hundred years. The funicular of the mountains was the gateway to the overcrowding of the Guadarrama. A year after its inauguration, next to the Navacerrada port station, the monumental Real Hotel Victoria opened its doors. At the same time, the railway made possible the appearance of dozens of shelters and shelters for sports, recreational and military societies, as well as hotels and restaurants in the port, being decisive in the rise of the Puerto de Navacerrada ski resort. In 1964 the route of the C-9 line was extended to the port of Cotos. Since then, Eléctrico del Guadarrama has experienced its most limping period, in which its possible definitive closure has even been reported. This deterioration was helped by the policy of abusive prices and the drastic reduction of trips by Renfe, and the abandonment of the line, with the suppression in 2011 of the stops at all intermediate halts. Something that makes it almost impossible for the train to start this summer. El Eléctrico del Guadarrama still has time to wait in the deadlock, It’s coming back stay tune!!This is what RENFE has so far :

Something general but got it from Spanish pubs so will post in my Some news from Spain,

What personal data (and what not) must be put on the identification tag of a suitcase, The basic information that the luggage must carry is the name and surname of the owner; e-mail, better if it is a secondary one; and the phone, but not the home phone. You should never give home address information. For the same reason, the phone should be the mobile phone, not the home landline. It is also not advisable to put the flags of a country or a football/soccer team, since, unfortunately, there can always be someone who does not like your nationality or your football preferences. It is also advisable to take a photo of all the luggage, with its labels, before to undertake the trip, to facilitate its identification in case of problems. On long flights, with one or more stopovers, it is interesting to stick the complete route of the suitcase on the side of the luggage: in the event of an incident, it will be useful to show which corner of the trip took the wrong turn. A professional business card can also be attached (never personal), in case the label falls off during handling or transport. Little by little, airlines are announcing the implementation of electronic tag programs, but while this is happening, what can be bought are external smart devices: personal information is on the owner’s mobile phone, and from it you can track your belongings.

Airlines transported more than 4 billions pieces of luggage throughout the world, and 99.57% arrive on time with their owners as can be read on the IATA website the International Air Transport Association). Which means that nearly four million suitcases did not. Figures from SITA (a multinational telecommunications provider of technological services to the aeronautical industry), speak of 25.4 million lost belongings in 2019, and a 24% increase in the loss rate between 2020 and 2021, coinciding with the recovery of air traffic after the pandemic. Its latest report estimates that 4.35 bags per thousand passengers were lost last year. That year 2021, it accounted for 2,3 billion passengers and 9.9 million belongings circulating without owner through the baggage carousels of airports around the planet, More in times of high influx at airports, such as now in summer vacations, and especially on international flights (with 8.7% lost, compared to 1.85% on domestic routes) and with stopovers, where 41% of incidents occur, according to the SITA study. It’s a long time I checked luggage , learn to travel light and keep with me/you.

I just realise this info! La Vuelta 2022 bike race will be held from Friday, August 19 to Sunday, September 11. The start will be in the Netherlands (Utrecht) and the end will be in Madrid, which once again hosts the farewell to the race (in the previous edition it was in Santiago de Compostela) to complete a total of 3,280.5 km. Always a great race.

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! Summer is here with all that heat wave as well. Time to enjoy sunny Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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August 9, 2022

Epiphany and the kings!

The celebration of the 3 Wise Kings, or Los 3 Reyes Magos or simply the Reyes Magos is something that fascinated me since childhood and passed it on to my boys. It is difficult to carry traditions away from your home base but we try, From my Spanish Catholic tradition it is the day where we give our gifts to our children, as the Wise Kings gave it in honor of the new born child Jesus. Over the years my travels and my nationalities I have mix all tradition where we do follow up with all !

Living now in France since 2003, and as French since 2000 , the day is not celebrated even if a Catholic country per se, we just do the galette des rois a frangipane of almond with a figurine inside that according to leyend was the opportunity for role reversal as a Roman slave took the place of the emperor before he reigned for a day later was send to death. King Louis XIV was the first one in France who push for it, and the tradition flourished, where the person who gets the portion with the figurine in it, gets to be the king or queen for the day and especially gifts are given. The cakes differed a bit from the north to the South of France, what we do today is usually call the Parisien version of the almond bake frangipane cake.

In my other country of Spain, we have the similar cake of Roscon de Reyes;as a cake to eat on these days, but the celebration is much bigger with parades of the Wise Kings with great beautiful décorations, and the gifts to our children, under the arbol de Navidad or the Christmas tree. In my Madrid, the route of the parade change a bit every year but one popular one begin in the evening by Nuevos Ministerios (corner with plaza San Juan de la Cruz square ) down the Paseo de la Castellana, and passing through the Plaza del Doctor Marañón, Glorieta de Emilio Castelar, Plaza de Colón and the Paseo de Recoletos, with arrival at the Plaza de Cibeles, where King Melchior will read the message on behalf of the three Magi. After this there is a fireworks show.

Of course, in the USA this is not celebrate it we just do on our own even if in some Hispanic communities a parade is done too, No particular food on Epiphany neither In Cuba well that is another world, nothing is done , I never had it unfortunately

Basically the meaning ,and history  in Spain is like this

The Magi from the East is the name which according to tradition are the visitors who, after the birth of Jesús from Nazareth, came from foreign countries to pay tribute and give rich symbolic gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The Gospels speak only about «magicians», nowhere lists their names, which were Kings, nor were three (a number that is possibly due to the amount of offered gifts). These beliefs were added centuries later and have remained in the popular tradition.  According to Catholic belief, these Magi were representatives of «pagan» religions of neighbouring villages, which the Gospels come as the first fruits of the Nations that accept the Catholic religion.  In some countries (usually Spanish-speakers) there is the tradition of representing Kings bringing gifts that children have asked in their wish letters during the night before Epiphany.  The Magi, traditions in some countries, part of the crib next to Joseph, the baby Jesus and Mary.

The Catholic figure of the Magi has its origin in the accounts of the birth of Jesus, some were integrated from the canonical Gospels that now make up the new testament of the Bible. Specifically the Gospel of Matthew is the only biblical source which mentions a few magicians (though not specific names, the number or the title of Kings) who, following a so-called Star, looking for the «King of the Jews has been born» in Jerusalem, guiding them such a star to Jesus born in Bethlehem, and to whom offer offerings of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  In that same apocryphal gospel it is said that they had any family link, and that also came with three legions of soldiers: one of Persia, Babylon and Asia. 

According to subsequent interpretations, the wizards were considered to be originating in Europe, Asia, and Africa respectively . However, the last book written by the Pope Benedicto XVI on Nazareth Jesús, «Childhood of Jesus», notes that the Magi probably came from the East, as it has believed traditionally, but Tartessos, an area that historians located between Huelva, Cadiz and Seville (Andalusia, Spain). In this way, the wise men from the East have become Kings, and with them have come into the Manger camels and dromedaries, said  Benedict XVI and continues:”the promise contained in these texts extends the provenance of these men to the far West (Tarshish, Tartessos in Spain), but tradition has further developed this listing of the universality of the kingdoms of those sovereigns«, interpreting them as Kings of the three then-known continents: Africa, Asia and Europe “. They represented all men seekers of God of all times and all places and that included everyone until then known and whose western boundary was Tartessos, in the Iberian peninsula”, he explains. Mention to Tartessos, Benedict XVI refers to this geographical limit that had the world in the 1C, «magicians are East but that God seekers men of God of all places and all times are represented in that concern by search». With regard to the names of Kings (Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar) the first references seem to date back to the 5C through two texts, the first entitled Excerpta latina barbari, which are called Gathaspa, Melichior and Bithisarea, and other apocryphal gospel, the Armenian Gospel of childhood, which are called Balthazar, Melkon and Gaspard.

There you go folks, a wonderful story whether believe or not. The Epiphany is one tradition worth keeping especially in our agitated crazy world we live today. I will be looking forward to my next one whether on TV or in person in Madrid, we will see by January 2023 what the world will bring me. Hope you enjoy the post and feel free to tell me your versions of it.

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

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