Archive for February, 2023

February 28, 2023

More on the churches of Perros Guirec !!

And I bring you back north of Bretagne that is and pretty Perros Guirec in the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 and tell you more of the churches of Perros Guirec. I have written before but found me new older pictures not yet on my blog that should. Therefore, here is a bit more on the Saint Jacques Church  and the Chapelle Notre Dame de la Clarté of Perros Guirec. Of course, see previous posts on them for more history and description. Hope you enjoy this new text and picture post as I.

The Church of Saint-Jacques is in the heart of the city center, it strikes the visitor through its portal ogival adjoining a square granite tower of Ile Grande 14C, surmounted by a dome extended by a pyramidal spire in granite of the Clarté-Ploumanac’h ,17C. Raised on a hill from the end of the 11C, dedicated to Saint-Jacques (St James/Santiago), it sheltered pilgrims from the north en route to Santiago de Compostela A rare example of Breton Romanesque architecture, this 12C granite church is especially interesting for the sculptures of the porch and the historiated capitals of the nave. There would be represented, among other things, the fight of King Arthur and Eflam against the dragon who had taken up residence in the shelter of the rock of Roch Hirglas, near Lannion. The upper part of the church, from the center to the apse, is a 15C Gothic. Inside, the Romanesque nave has ten pillars with engraved or sculpted capitals. The statuary art and the furniture are also worthy of interest, such as the 17C altarpiece, animated by eighteen statuettes, the Stations of the Cross (1952) or the organ made in 1997. also a Christ to outrages and piety from the end of the 15C, and an exceptional painting representing Saint-Yves between the Rich and the Poor, dating from the Directory of the French revolution (1795-1799).


In the late 11C and early 12C, a rectangular chapel was erected on the hill by monks. It welcomed pilgrims from the north and across the Channel on their way to Compostela. It was dedicated to Saint-Jacques le Majeur. (St James the Major) The 12C portal, in pink sandstone, a tower and a bell tower will be added. In the 16C, two bays in the Breton Renaissance style were added and today constitute the choir of the church, the symbols of the Catholic religion are present everywhere on the capitals. It illuminates those that are remarkable such as the sacrifice of Abraham, the representation of the birth of the Virgin Mary and the birth of Christ announced by Saint-Guirec to the Celts, the doves representing the Eucharist, etc. There are, for example, statues, such as that of Saint-Yves, from the 18C, dressed in the costume of the time when he lived in the 13C. In the choir, the altarpiece contains the most important figures of the Christian world, in painted wood, on three levels.


The Catholic Parish of Perros Guirec on the church

The city of Perros Guirec on the Church Saint Jacques:

The Perros Guirec tourist office on the Church St Jacques (James):

The Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-la-Clarté is a regional Gothic style building built in large and medium-sized pink granite from Saint-Samson and Clarté-Poumanac’h . The railing crowning the tower was not built until after 1594, with materials from the castle of Ploumanac’h, destroyed that year by royal troops during the troubles of the League. As for the spire, of hexagonal plan, it is probably not earlier than 1645. The paneling of the nave was redone and repainted in 1712. A square sacristy was added in 1828 by the bay of the aisle.



The Chapelle de Notre Dame de la Clarté or Our Lady of Clarity Chapel of Perros Guirec ! It was started in 1445. It is difficult to date the end of this Renaissance monument mixing Gothic and new architecture. This granite setting shelters the Stations of the Cross donated in 1931 by the master Maurice Denis,who spent his summers in Trestrignel, painted and offered a Stations of the Cross, completed and blessed in August 1931, but also many other marvels: just look up to admire the vault with delicate foliage, its sandpits, its swallow-holes. Notre-Dame de La Clarté is the patron saint of sailors, its 17C spire serves as a landmark for ships. Three ship models (ex-voto) suspended in front of the altar testify to the recognition of the sailors for the Virgin Salvatore. The statue of the Virgin is made of oak, it was crowned in 1946. This high spiritual place is one of the busiest in Brittany.


The local  tradition of the 15C tells us that a certain lord of Barac’h, in Louannec, nearly failed with his squadron near the Sept-Îles. The mist was so thick that the sailors ‘ death seemed inevitable. All on their knees made a vow to Notre-Dame: The commander would build her a chapel if she created a saving hole in the fog. The miracle took place and the Lord of Barac’h built the Chapelle de Notre-Dame de la Clarté.  The place takes on its full spiritual significance during the Grand Pardon on August 15, one of the most popular in Trégor with its bonfire, religious celebration and magnificent procession. On occasion, the pretty fountain, which was connected to a spring reputed to cure the eyes and prevent blindness, is cleaned and filled with water from the well adjoining the chapel. A moment of grace.


The Perros Guirec tourist office on the Chapel

The Friends of the Chapelle Notre Dame de la Clarté:

The Côtes d’Armor dept 22 tourist office on the Chapel:

There you go folks, this is a nice walkable town of Perros Guirec ,even better in summers. I am glad was able to tell you more about these wonderful  monuments of the Church St James, and the Notre Dame de la Clarté chapel of Perros Guirec. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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February 28, 2023

The parc de Sautour of Les Mureaux !

This is indeed a nice find ; looking at my vault and boxes od CD’s I found me a memorable family spot that need to have it in my blog, When we lived in Versailles, from 2003-2012 ; we came here for the festival ,but it was very crowded and skip it, However, we like the surrounding park and came back leisurely to walk around it on a Sunday afternoon later on, Gladly, let me tell you a bit about the Parc de Sautour of Les Mureaux ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Les Mureaux parc de Sautour windmill c2011

The parc de Sautour is a public garden/park located in Les Mureaux in my former home of the Yvelines,department 78 of the region of Île de France, It is at the entrance to the town, near the ramp to the A13 motorway (Autoroute de Normandie) direction centre ville on the D43 road , and taking right on rue Salvador Allende, Its name comes from the proximity of an old banal mill.

Les Mureaux parc de Sautour to city c2011

The parc de Sautour covering an area of 15 hectares, was created in 1985 , from which the City had acquired the land in the 1970s and includes a pond with an area of 1.29 hectares fed by the brook of Orgeval, two artificial islands each measuring approximately 210 m2, a playground, a dovecote, a waterfall, a garden and a statue representing a swimmer. The artificial mound that dominates it dates from 1988; approximately 60 meters high, it is now the highest point in the town of Les Mureaux.

Les Mureaux parc de Sautour sports complex c2011

It is the only vestige of the leper room of the Countess, Agnès de Montfort, Countess of Meulan who, in the 12C, had founded a leper room; intended to isolate and care for lepers, it had been placed well away from its town, on the way to Fresnes (now Ecquevilly). which included a hospital, meadows, vineyards and a mill. These last buildings, in very poor condition, were razed in 1982.

Les Mureaux parc de Sautour lake c2011

There is a great event held here every year, the Festival International du Cirque des Mureaux at the parc du Sautour, 20th edition 2022 awaiting program for 2023.  More info on City of Les Mureaux :

The City of Les Mureaux on the ¨Parc de Sautour :

There you go folks, another dandy memorable spot in my belle France, As the saying goes, to remember is to live again, yes indeed, The parc de Sautour of Les Mureaux is a nice place during daytime as lately night time is not recommended, Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

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

February 28, 2023

The churches of Landerneau !!

The wonderful Finistére dept 29 of my lovely region of Bretagne. I take you to see the real countryside in the so called off the beaten path ways. I have written before on Landerneau and its churches but found me old new pictures for the blog and decided they should be in my blog as well. Follow me in my blog to see my road warrior ways around the region and do enjoy the post on the churches of Landerneau as I.

The Church of Saint-Houardon was the seat of the parish of Saint-Houardon in Landerneau until 2017, the date on which the deanery which stretches from Saint-Thonan to Rosnoën and from Logonna-Daoulas to Loc-Eguiner, twenty-two active steeples, not to mention Beuzit-Conogan, is erected in a single parish. A first Saint Houardon Church stood on the shore of the Élorn river . It was rebuilt in the 16C. In 1604, it is enlarged from a southern porch. In 1858, the Church was dismantled and reassembled in the city center, where it is seen today. The operation was financed by emperor Napoleon III.


It is perhaps, the richest of the Renaissance porches, the most beautiful and the most perfect of those that this school of the Renaissance built with numerous examples in the 16C and almost until the last quarter of the 17C. This porch of Landerneau, which bears the date of 1604 has a facade in a large masterful page, all in fine stone from Kersanton The entrance consists of a large arcade having as uprights two engaged columns, composed of four fluted drums separated by foliage rings, A very powerful spire, almost exaggerated in height, crowns this ensemble. On the first floor, it is square and then changes to the cylindrical shape to form the lantern which consists of two small superimposed domes.

Landerneau ch st Houardon door nov12

Inside, the side walls are covered by twelve niches separated by fluted columns with Corinthian capitals. The doors are repeated to form the large arcade surrounding the tympanum, and in the last groove are nested with statuettes of Saints, Inside, the bays of the choir and some of those of the nave are decorated with paintings . At the altar in the north transept is a 17C Pieta remarkable for its style and expression.


The Church of Saint Thomas was in honor of Thomas Becket , bishop of Canterbury, died as martyr in 1170. The lords of Léon founders of the abbey of Daoulas and owners of Landerneau had a Church built in honor of St Thomas that became the priory of St Thomas since the middle of the 13C. The original Church was rebuilt in the end of the 16C and the tower founded the day of the Trinity in 1607. The Church was again renovated in 1849. The 3 level bell tower was also renovated in 1849. The front façade with the porch is decorated with statues in stone of St Francis de Assisi, St Eloi, and a Virgin in calvary on top of the entrance. Inside you see a nice altar of 1711,and a statue in wood of the Virgin lying down from the 15C.


The facade of the bell tower and the porch are decorated with kersanton stone statues. The west façade has three niches which house a Virgin of Mercy , Saint Francis of Assisi , and Saint Eloy, . At the entrance to the church, under the porch, is the statue of Saint Francis. To the left of the altar is the statue of Saint Thomas Becket and to the right that of Saint Blaise.  Many statues adorn the Saint Thomas Church , some of these are the Reclining Virgin (15C), statues of Saint John the Baptist (16C), Saint Sebastian (17C), Saint Charles Borromeo (17C), Saint Yves, Saint Barbe, Saint Joseph, Saint George, Saint Nicolas, the guardian angel (17C ), a group of Saint Anne, Virgin and Child (17C), a crucifix (15-16C), and an Ecce Homo.

The city of Landerneau on its heritage

The Landerneau Daoulas tourist office on the heritage of Landerneau:

The SPREV safeguard of religious monuments on the St Thomas Church:

There you go folks, enjoy it fully, wonderful town indeed glad I visited Landerneau in its wonderful monuments; part of the history of Brittany. Again, hope  you have enjoyed this additional post on the churches of Landerneau as I

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

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February 27, 2023

Saint Vincent Ferrier of Vannes !!

So much to see and do in my wonderful Vannes of my lovely Morbihan and beautiful Bretagne. However, some things holds you and make you reflect even on the bounties of been able to enjoy what I see around me and appreciated. Then, it hits you a person , a men who came from my dear Spain, and so revered here with the Bretons. I need to update the post on him, and hope you enjoy the post as I

Please bear with me as I write to you about Saint Vincent Ferrier , or Vicente Ferrer as known in Spain!  Saint Vincent Ferrier spread the word of God to the Bretons from March 3 1418 to April 5 1419. And the impact was huge to this day, Vincent Ferrier (Sp. Vicente Ferrer) was a priest of the Dominican order, born on 23 January 1350 near Valencia (Crown of Aragon) and died on 5 April 1419 in Vannes (Morbihan,Brittany), which remained famous for his public preaching. Some of his relics are revered at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Vannes. He is the patron saint of the Valencian Community in Spain.  Vincent is the fourth child of a man born of the Aragonese nobility, Guillem Ferrer, from Palamos and Constança Miquel. It was named after Saint Vincent of Zaragoza, the patron of his hometown, Valencia. In 1379, he was ordained a priest in Barcelona. Initially, he taught theology in Barcelona and then at the University of Lleida, where he obtained a doctorate in theology.


He was close to Pedro de Luna, then Cardinal and future Pope Benedict XIII, Vincent Ferrier  first joined the papacy of Avignon, rejecting the legitimacy of  Roman Pope Urbain VI  in his treatise de Moderno Ecclesiae Schismate. He later became a confessor of Benedict XIII, now antipope and emblematic figure of resistance in Rome. But for the sake of Union of the Church, he eventually resigned himself to abandoning the cause of Benedict to recognize the Roman Pope. His official waiver took place in 1416, at a time when the Council of Constance was working to end the Schism.  A tireless preacher and evangeliser of Europe for twenty years, from 1399 to his death, he travels to Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and even went to Scotland. He is often accompanied by an impressive amount of disciples, to the point that he must essentially preach in large outdoor spaces in order to be heard from the crowd. We lend him the gift of languages, given his ability to communicate with so many different peoples.  He was successively a Professor of Philosophy, eighteen years old! Professor of Science, Professor of Theology. His authority was necessary. His lights were used in the throes trials of the application of Canon law and Civil law. His decisions had the force of law. Chapters and bishops, parish priests and religious, neighboring and rival cities referred to him as arbiter of their disputes. He travels sometimes on foot, sometimes on the back of mule. He goes from Avignon to Valencia, bids farewell to his homeland, travels all the provinces of Spain, crosses the Pyrenees to San Sebastian, visits all our Midi region, passes to Italy, evangelises Switzerland, the center of France, goes back to Belgium, returns to the Franche-Comté, tilts towards Bordeaux and finally heads to Brittany!



To appreciate the results obtained by Saint Vincent Ferrier during his 20 years of apostolate, we must know what Europe was in the 15C. Everywhere, war. The Turks were to settle definitively in the eastern provinces. It was the time of the great pity of the Kingdom of France. Three quarters of the territory were at the mercy of the English troops, who had accumulated in their passage the material ruins. The black plague had made incredible havoc.  In France, the very Christian country, the practices of paganism had been re-enacted. The sign of the Cross was ignored by many. There was still a lot of misery, but they did not always respond to a need for faith; they were often erected to ward off a bad spell at the crossroads of roads. God spoke so clearly through the lips of the preacher brother that one only recognized an attitude in front of him, that of the penitent who implores forgiveness.  One of the most difficult works that a missionary can encounter is the conversion of Jews and Muslims. Everyone knew their hatred of the Christian name. Their obstinacy is explained: on the first weighs the responsibility of the Deicide, and the paradise of Muhammad is too easy for the latter to decide to follow the hard path that leads to heaven. The Moorish Kings of Granada also wanted to hear the voice of the famous missionary. They picked him up. Saint Vincent went to their call.  It is to him that we owe the intense Christian vitality that distinguishes us even today. But do not believe that we were the only beneficiaries of his zeal. It is the whole of Europe that should come to its Tomb, for it owes its life. He tore it from paganism. Where his action was more particularly felt, in Spain, Italy, France, the storm raised by Luther came crashing powerless. Faith crumbled: under the fire of his inspired verb, she resumed the solidity of granite.


As Adviser of Pope Benedict XIII in the throes questions that the Schism is born. When Spain finally feels the need to get out of the political crisis that threatens its existence, it chooses nine delegates who will have to settle the succession to the throne. After a month of laborious studies, these men, the most illustrious of the Kingdom, doubted themselves. But as soon as master Vincent expressed his opinion, they rank as the one who is required. And he came to Brittany ,finally!  Twice already the Duke Jean V of Brittany had prayed to Saint Vincent to come and evangelise his States. A final letter from the Duke, written at the beginning of November 1417, exposed the dismal situation of religion among the Breton populations. For the third time, A designated person by the duke Jean Bernier began his journey to meet with Vincent in Tours, in the last days of December, and was happy enough to triumph over all the resistance. On February 8, 1418, Saint Vincent arrives in Nantes. He stayed there for nearly two weeks, and went on to Vannes where the Duke was standing with his court. He preaches in Fégréac, La Roche-Bernard, Redon, Muzillac, Questembert, and on Friday, March 4, he is in Theix.  The Apostle is at Theix on March 30th again. On the 31st of the evening, he travels to the Abbey of Prayers, near Muzillac. He arrives in Guérande on 8 April. He preached through the peninsula, and on 14 April he was found in Saint-Gildas-des-Bois, where after talking about perseverance in good works, he healed a demonic that was brought, solidly garrotted, to the parish church. He then went back to Rennes, and the capital of Brittany made him a triumphal reception. On April 20-22, he preached on Place St. Anne in front of a huge crowd. All the houses that began to populate this square opened their windows to the impatient listeners, and saw up their roofs to cover themselves with the most impatient. For about ten days he travelled around the area. Fougéres, Vitré, Montfort heard him. Then he returned to Rennes on 2 May 1418. The Apostle pursues his mission by the north coast of Brittany. The canonization trial mentions Quintin, Châtelaudren, Guingamp, La Roche-Derrien. It is certain that he visited Tréguier, Lannion, Morlaix, Saint-Pol de Léon. Lesneven kept a long time in a silver reliquary the cap of Monsieur Saint Vincent Ferrier. From Quimper,   Apostle Vincent headed east, passed through Concarneau, Quimperlé, Hennebont, then ascends inward and evangelized Guémené, Pontivy, La Chèze, La Trinité-Porhoët, Josselin, and Ploërmel. He went to Redon a second time, and went down again to Nantes.


In the early days of 1419, Saint Vincent slowly moved to Vannes, where his prodigious career was to be completed. Alas! Vannes was no longer to hear the voice that had awakened the souls of a deadly lethargy. The sick would no longer surrender in the Cour Dreulin, their foreheads would no longer bend under his blessing hand. The thaumaturgy Apostle, the soberer of material and moral life, slept without hope back in the miraculously furrow. On 25 March 1419, Saint Vincent was seized with a violent fever. Soon the Holy missionary entered into agony. He clasped his hands, looked up at the sky, held his crucifix one last time, and on Wednesday of the week of passion, 5th day of April, in the year 1419, the glorious confessor and friend of God, brother Vincent Ferrier, native of Valencia, religious of the order of Preachers Brothers, returned to God the spirit, in the city of Vannes, in the hotel of one of the bourgeois of the city. On Friday, April 7, the funeral, took place in great solemnity. The Tomb had been dug between the Choir and the high Altar on the north side, opposite the Pulpit. Saint Vincent had promised his good people of Brittany never to forget him. He kept his word beautifully, and his tomb was the living source from which bursts of dazzling wonders sprained. They are always there much at least in St Peter’s Cathedral, the relics that proved to our ancestors the incomparable power of Saint Vincent. Several centuries have passed. The time had only taken on our hearts where he threw oblivion. The dust of these bones kept his immortal power: we could test it, if we had faith. France is not forgotten his missions, it travels all the south before being called in Brittany in 1418 by Jean V, Duke of Brittany.  After the many miracles recorded on his tomb attributed to him, the Duke  Jean V of Brittany asked that the Dominican be canonized. Pope Calixte III proclaimed his canonization on 29 June 1455. The Pope designates the Breton prelate Alain de Coëtivy to lift the relics of the Tomb; the ceremony took place in Vannes on April 5, 1456. He’s celebrated on April 5th still. A nice story me think.


The official Cathédrale St Pierre on Saint Vincent Ferrier

The heritage archives of the Morbihan on Saint Vincent Ferrier :

There you go folks, a loving story belive or not, this is feld very much here and on his day the Cathedral is full, many go there in between as I, Travelers as far as Valencia come here too , all over Europe can be found in the cathedral any day even in winter to see Saint Vincent Ferrier of Valencia ,Spain. Hope you have enjoy the post as I.

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

February 27, 2023

Getting around Paris !!!

This is a subject of many questions over the years by visitors unknown ,closed friends and family members. Paris been a nice city has a huge choice of local transports that can be confusing to many. However, as I tell my contacts/friends/family coming from big cities , getting public transports in Paris should not be a problem. I first learned the ropes in the NJ/NY area and as the saying goes , if you can do it there you can do it anywhere, period. Paris metro area is as the saying goes ,a piece of cake !

I have several posts on transports in Paris on all modes. However, as things evolved especially prices ooops I like to provide new updated information on general transport options in Paris and around, This will be in my black and white series, no pictures, Of course, if not found here or confuse again, ask me. Hope you enjoy the post as I,

First, know that on weekdays, the metros run from approximately 5h30 to 01h15, On Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as on holiday eves, they run until around 02h15, The RER runs daily from approximately 5h30 to 01h20. The vast bus network allows you to travel in Paris and in Île-de-France region. When the metros no longer run, you can take advantage of the Noctilien network. These night buses run from around 00h30 to 5h30 In Paris, the bus lines are numbered from 20 to 199, Bus lines from 20 to 99 are the lines operated in inner Paris, and in the inner suburbs arch of towns just outside Paris. Bus lines 100 to 199 are the lines operated in the Paris suburbs ,a bit more further away. Some, like the 102, 109, 111, 132 or the 169 nevertheless penetrate a little into inner Paris.

The Noctilien network is built around five major transfer stations: Châtelet, Montparnasse, Gare de l’Est, Gare Saint Lazare, and Gare de Lyon, All RER stations are served by the Noctilien network. The noctilien line N01 and noctilien line N02 lines allow you to go around Paris by connecting the major stations (Gare de l’Est, Gare de Lyon, Gare d’Austerlitz, Gare Montparnasse and Gare Saint-Lazare): the Noctilien line N01 in the clockwise, the noctilien line N02 in the opposite direction,

The Roissybus, which connects Paris at the Opéra Garnier to Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport (CDG), runs from approximately 5h15 to 00h30. Count a departure approximately every 15 to 20 minutes for a journey of approximately 60 to 75 minutes. The Orlybus, which connects Paris at Denfert-Rochereau to Orly airport (ORY), runs from 5h35 to around midnight. Count a departure approximately every 8 to 15 minutes for a journey of approximately 30 to 40 minutes. The Orlyval, which connects Anthony station (RER Aéroport Charles de Gaulle – Mitry-Claye – Robinson – Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse) and Orly airport (ORY), runs from 6h to 23h35. Count a departure approximately every 4 to 7 minutes for a journey of approximately 8 minutes.

There is a network of more than 170 certified lockers less than 5 minutes from a metro station and everywhere in Paris. Drop off your bags and luggage in a locker and for the duration of your choice. A concierge transports your luggage from one point to another, from where you want to the place of your choice (home, hotel, relay point, etc.). Book and pay online at Nannybag:

The Roissybus has connection by air-conditioned bus between Paris Opéra Garnier and Charles-de-Gaulle airport (all terminals are served). Free WiFi on board. Departure point: 11, rue Scribe 9éme right behind the Opéra, Times: 5h15 – 00h30 to CDG / 6h- 00h30 to Paris, price 13.70€

The regional express train connection between RER B stations and Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport (CDG). Departure point: RER B station T2, Times: 4h53 – 00h15 (Gare du Nord) / 5h26 – 00h11 (Chatelet-Les Halles) / 5h18 – 00h03 Denfert-Rochereau to CDG) / 4h50 – 23h50 to Paris Price 10,30€

The Bus 350 to Gare de l’Est has bus connection between Paris Gare de l’Est and Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport. Departure point: Between 7 and 9 rue du 8 mai 1945 10éme, Times: 5h33 – 21h30 to CDG / 6h05 – 22h30 to Paris Price 2€, The Bus 351 to Nation has bus connection between Paris-Nation and Charles de Gaulle airport (CDG). Departure point: 2, avenue du Trône 12éme, Times: 5h35 – 20h20 to CDG / 7h- 21h37 to Paris Price 2€

The Orlybus at Denfert-Rochereau has connection by air-conditioned buses between Place Denfert-Rochereau and Orly airport (ORY). Free WiFi on board. Departure point: Place Denfert-Rochereau 14éme, Times: 5h35 – 00h00 to Orly / 6h – 00h30 to Paris, Price 9.50€, The Orlyval to Antony rapid connection by automatic metro between Antony RER B station and Orly airport (ORY). Departure point: RER B – Antony, Times: 6h – 23h35, Price 9.50€

The tramway line T7 at Villejuif-Louis Aragon, Tram connection between Villejuif-Louis Aragon (Metro line 7) and Orly airport (ORY). Departure point: Station Villejuif-Louis Aragon (Metro line 7) Times: 5h30– 00h30 Price 1.90€ The Bus 183 at Porte de Choisy,has bus connection between Porte de Choisy and Orly airport (ORY). Departure point: Porte de Choisy, Times: 5h35 – 23h54 to Orly / 6h to 00h20 to Paris, Price 2€,

GO C Paris Shuttle with bus connection between Paris and Orly airport via RER C, Departure point: Pont de Rungis Orly Airport, Times: 4h43 – 23h13 to Orly / 4h48 – 23h22 to Paris Price 6.35€.

There is a Shuttle to Porte Maillot direct connection, without any stop between Paris-Beauvais airport and the Pershing car park in Paris at Porte Maillot. Departure point: Parking Pershing at Porte Maillot / between terminals T1 and T2, Timetable: 20 minutes after the arrival of each flight to Paris / 3 hours before each flight, except Air Moldova to Beauvais, Price 18€ or R/T 35€.

A bit on the trains station in and around Paris,

Gare d’Austerlitz ,85 quai d’Austerlitz 13éme It is served by the following Metro lines: M5, M10, RER C and L’Open tour, Noctilien night bus lines N01, N02, N31, N131, N133, possible transfer Gare de Lyon and Montparnasse station,

Gare de Lyon ,Place Louis Armand 12éme It is served by the following metro lines: M1, M14, RER A, RER D, L’Open Tour, Noctilien night bus lines: N31, N32, N33, N34, N35, N130, N131, N132, N113, N134 Possible transfer to Lyon, Montparnasse, Bercy, and Austerlitz stations

Gare de Bercy ,Boulevard de Bercy 12éme, It is served by the following metro lines: M6, M14 and L’Open Tour ,and Noctilien night bus lines N32, N35 Possible transfer to Gare de Lyon

Gare de l’Est ,78 boulevard de Strasbourg 10éme It is served by the following metro lines: M4, M5, M7 and the Open Tour ,and Noctilien night bus lines N41, N42, N43, N44, N45, N140, N141, N142 , N143, N144, N145, Possible transfer to Gare du Nord

Gare du Nord ,Place Napoléon 10éme,It is served by the following metro lines: M4, M5, RER B, RER D, L’Open Tour, and the Noctilien night bus lines: N01, N02, N14, N43, N44, N140, N143 , Possible transfer to Gare de l’Est,

Gare Montparnasse ,11 rue de l’Arrivée 15éme, It is served by the following metro lines: M4, M6, M12, M13, L’Open Tour ,Noctilien night bus lines: N61, N62, N63 , Possible transfer to Gares de Lyon and Austerlitz,

Gare Saint-Lazare ,Esplanade de la Gare Saint-Lazare It is served by the following metro lines: M3, M12, M13, M14, L’OpenTour and Noctilien night bus lines: N51, N52, N53, N150, N151, N152, N153, and N154,

The Gare Marne-la-Vallée Chessy ,Place des passengers du vent, 77000 Chessy Seine et Marne ,Access Marne-la-Vallée station: RER A and Noctilien 130 and 141 Possible transfer Gare de Lyon by Joining the RER A towards Marne-la-Vallée Chessy then stop at the Marne-la-Vallée Chessy train station.

The gare Massy TGV station, 7 Avenue Carnot, 91300 Massy Essonne, Access Massy TGV station by the RER B and Noctilien 122 Possible transfer Gare du Nord by joining the RER B towards Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuses then stop at Massy Palaiseau station. Possible transfer Gare d’Austerlitz by taking the RER C towards Massy-Palaiseau then stop at the Massy-Palaiseau station.

Some general advise to keep in mind when traveling in the Paris transports above or below ground, Keep your ticket throughout your trip until you exit , A gate is provided to allow the passage of bulky luggage and strollers. Validate your ticket before using it. Don’t lose sight of your personal belongings, Don’t trust street vendors: buy your tickets at ticket offices or vending machines, Report any abandoned items , Remember that the entire transport network is completely non-smoking , If you have lost anything , contact a customer advisor on 32 46 local call, Emergencies police or medical call 112,

More for the visitors you have heard of the Paris Visite pass that allows you to travel on the metro, RER, Transilien, bus and tram lines (except Jetbus, Allobus, Roissy CDG, tourist circuits and Air France networks), on the Orlyval line and on the Montmartre funicular , Paris Visite can be valid for 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days, for a price ranging from 13.55€ to 74.30€ (half price for children). zones 1 to 3 for the center inner Paris and the nearest cities and zones 4 to 5 for more distant places, such as Versailles or Disneyland Paris, for example. All Paris metro stations are accessible with a ticket including only zones 1 and 2, although some are geographically located in zone 3: you can therefore, for example, go by metro to La Défense Grande Arche (zone 3) with a t+ ticket. On the other hand, if you take the RER or the bus, you will need a ticket mentioning your destination. The t + ticket allows you to take public transport in Paris and to make a journey on the metro lines, the RER lines in zone 1, the Île-de-France bus lines (except Orlybus and Roissybus), the lines tramway and the Montmartre funicular. It is not valid on RER and SNCF Transilien trains outside Paris.

There is WiFi in the stations , but also in the Orlybus and Roissybus,You have it on the Metro at Gare de Lyon (Quai line 1 towards La Défense), Gare du Nord (Line 4- SNCF / line 4 interchange zone at the counters), CDG Etoile (exchange room exit rue Carnot), St Lazare (exchange room), Porte Maillot (at the counter level), Chaussée d’Antin (at the counter level), Gallieni (Eurolines access area), François Mitterrand Library (Reception room), St Denis University (Reception room) ,At the RER at La Défense (Exchange hall, Quai RER A Direction Paris, Mezzanine (1), Mezzanine (2)) ,Auber (Exchange hall), Cité U (At the counters), Marne la Vallée Chessy (At the counters ), Noisy Le Grand (Reception room near the bus station) and Val de Fontenay (Reception room),

There has been a vast improvement on mobility impaired accessibility that has made 57 RER stations accessible on lines A and B, installation of elevators/lifts, development of widened passages at the level of control lines, training of staff in accompanying people with reduced mobility. These stations can be identified by the pictogram on the line maps. A new service that allows you to find live the status of elevators, escalators and moving walkways in stations on lines 4 and 14,

There you go folks, a general overview of transport options in the Paris metro area. Hope it helps you travel smoothly thru and in Paris in your future travels to the most beautiful City in the world, and the most visited country in the world my belle France.

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

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February 27, 2023

The Esplanade Gaston-Monnerville of Paris !

So here I am looking at my blog and found me an older post that would like to update for the memories’s sake. In an area of Paris dear to me of many wonderful times walking and driving by it as well as getting off on the bus 82 (see post) ,Paris is eternal indeedIn my walks around Paris I come to many places and some remains in my mind as nice. Well Paris has so many nice places but in the nice category there is some who are well beyond nice. This is one garden park promenade esplanade as you wish ,that is very nice indeed. I like to tell you about the Esplanade Gaston-Monnerville of Paris.

The Esplanade Gaston-Monnerville is, since 2006, an esplanade and a green space located in the 6éme arrondissement or district of Paris. It is located between the rue Auguste-Comte and the jardin des Grands-Explorateurs Marco-Polo et Cavalier de la Salle, This Parisian street was named after Gaston Monnerville, a notable French politician of the 20C.  Following a request from the Association of Friends of Gaston Monnerville, the Conseil de Paris inaugurated on September 5, 2006 the renaming of the old jardin Cavelier-La Salle garden, in his honnor.  The bust in his homage, erected on the Esplanade in 2011,  has his bust  on the place André-Honnorat, and his plaque on  Avenue Raymond-Poincaré, in the 16éme arrondissement, where he died. It is located exactly at 7, place André Honnorat between the gates of the Luxembourg Garden and the beginning of the garden of the great explorers in the center of the Avenue de l’Observatoire. The avenue de l’Observatoire is occupied throughout its central part by a series of gardens, of which the Esplanade Gaston-Monnerville and the Luxembourg garden.  On this esplanade are installed 3 ping-pong tables, a playground for children and a fitness area.


A bit of history I like this one from the City of Paris tell us that the avenue de l’Observatoire occupied the entire central part by a series of gardens, including this esplanade. The garden occupies part of the enclosure of the Chartreux which formed a triangle between the boulevard Saint-Michel, the rue de Vaugirard and Rue d’Assas. When it closed in 1790. At the time of the French revolution, their order had 77 convents in France and 95 in the rest of Christendom. Who was the esplanade called before; well  it was named after René-Robert  Cavalier de la Salle born in Rouen,  Normandy, in 1643 and died murdered in 1687 near Navasota, southwest of the French colony of Louisiana, in the present American state of Texas.  As a traveller, he travelled through the Great Lakes region of the current United States and Canada, then the Mississippi River, and discovered the territories between the St. Lawrence Valley and the Mississippi Delta. Why the change do not know, politics I guess.

The avenue de l’Observatoire is occupied over its entire central part by a series of gardens, including this esplanade. The garden occupies part of the enclosure of the Chartreux which formed a triangle between the boulevard Saint-Michel, the rue de Vaugirard and Rue d’Assas. when it closed in 1790. At the time of the revolution, their order had 77 convents in France and 95 in the rest of Christendom. In the center, vast lawns with flowerbeds are punctuated by two marble groups: “La Nuit” by Charles Gumery and “Le Crépuscule” by Gustave Crauk. You then arrive at the Marco-Polo garden, which extends it. One of its alleys, to the east of the garden, has been paying homage since 2016 to Denise Vernay ,a resistant. Another aisle pays tribute since 2019 to Nicole Fontaine , President of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2002.

Between the jardin des grands explorateurs (garden of the great explorers) and the Luxembourg garden , this treed esplanade makes the junction between the two. You can bring your children to play in the dedicated playgrounds or come and sit down with friends in the grass for a small impromptu picnic. Lovely Paris!


You can reach this garden on the RER B stop Luxembourg ,and Métro line 12 stop Notre Dame des Champs or my nostalgic bus line 82 stop Guynemer-Vavin, Believe or not , I have found free parking on the Rue Auguste Comté just ahead,

The city of Paris on the Esplanade Gaston Monnerville

There you go folks, a dandy green in the heart of Paris good for the whole family and we love it !The Esplanade Gaston Monnerville is another of Paris’s jewels. Again, hope you enjoy the simplicity and beauty of Paris , worth the meaning of my eternal Paris.

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

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February 26, 2023

The other Mercados or Markets of Madrid !!

I was thinking mercados or markets and looking back at this post ,needs update text, links etc still in my black and white series, no pictures, A great talk topic and we love them, cannot be in any town without checking them out, Madrid is nostalgia, the City that took me in ,nurtured ,care for me ; it has been with me ever since that date in 1971,

The update came about talking with my previous collegues on a boat and talking about this great past time, Therefore, got to work and took this post for a ride, See my post on the main markets with pictures elsewhere in my blog. I needed to say, my dear late wife Martine got me to come to all of them, well most of them, she loves them. Hopefully, this will stay with me for the memories, This post will be on the unusual ones, those been maybe once and quickly but nevertheless nice markets, Hope you enjoy the post as I

Let me tell you about some of the less known markets of Madrid, as visiting goes by yours truly.

The Mercado Municipal de Chamberí is located in the district of Chamberí. The market dates from 1876, but after a deep reform was inaugurated in 1943. It has a rectangular plant in a single dimension, in which fifty food stands are distributed. During the celebrations of the Virgin of Carmen celebrated in the neighborhood, the market carries out days of open doors with tasting of typical products of the region.  Smaller but quaint and part of the history of the neighborhood. Official webpage :

The Mercado de Maravillas.  It is a market located in Calle Bravo Murillo,122. In 1942 the market is inaugurated. It was intended to be in the 1950s one of the largest in the city. It was built on the site that left the school of Nuestra Senora de las Maravillas (Our Lady of the Wonders) after the fire that suffered in 1931 in the neighborhood of Cuatro Caminos. The market finished  in the post civil-war period has an area of 8700 square meters and more than 250 stands. It is done in the  Rationalist architectural style. At the beginning of the 21C it is one of Tetuan’s district largest markets. It is a building built on two floors; the ground floor dedicated to the collection and service inside the market, while the second is dedicated to the commercial area. The commercial plant is located at 2 meters of elevation on the main entrance in the Calle Bravo Murillo. The main facade in the Calle Bravo Murillo is of brick seen placed with barebone no cement, with an important canopy in cantilever of reinforced concrete, and the ground floor arcaded with pillars veneered with crystal grey granite. It stands out the large built area of the building of approximately 20,000 m2, of which almost half, 8.800 m2, are dedicated to commercial use and on a single floor.  On the first floor the pillars are steel.  The Sierra tooth-shaped roof, with glazed windows facing north, is highlighted, so that the zenith light gives a unique atmosphere to the interior of the big commercial building. Official webpage :

The Mercado de San Ildefonso . It is a favorite among residents and frequenters of Malasaña and Chueca district, due to its location on Calle de Fuencarral, right between the two neighborhoods. The market is situated just a few meters from the site of the first covered wholesale food market in Madrid, which was demolished in 1970. The stalls mainly offer ready-made dishes, although they also sell raw ingredients which you can take home or ask to be cooked for you there and then. The food can be eaten at the stalls themselves or, if you fancy a stroll in the sun, you can take it with you.  A strategic stop for neighbors, tourists and regulars between Malasaña, Chueca and Tribunal. The Mercado de San Ildefonso distributes its spaces in three differentiated levels where we find different provisions and possibilities. Complementing the gastronomic stands with three bars, one for each floor, the market also has two terraces, both half covered and perfect to enjoy the outdoor facilities. Official webpage :

The Mercado de Las Ventas (we lived not far but it was not built yet!, we came as visitors!) . It was built in 1995 to replace the old Canillas (quill) Market, founded in the 1940s. Located in front of the bullring of Monumental de Las Ventas. The market has a renowned reputation for the excellent value for money offered to the buyer. A special highlight is the wide range of fresh products of high demand, mainly fruits, vegetables, fish and meats. Among the novelties that it presents with respect to other markets is a gastronomic project through which one will be able to taste the most recognized dishes of all the kitchens of the world thanks to several stands specialized in international cuisine, healthy food and a wine bar with numerous wines with denomination of origin.  Currently has 100 commercial stands spread over two floors of more than 2,000 m2, and the market is equipped with underground parking, banks ATMs and total accessibility (impaired mobility folks) to its facilities. All this, completely refurbished and adapted to its two major projects. One of them, a gymnasium  DreamFit of 4,500 m2 facilities, and a supermarket Ahorramas, opened in December 2016. Official webpage :

The decade of the 1870’s when the City Council began to build covered markets, of which at the end of the century there were already four, all with iron structure. These were the markets of the Mostenses (built in 1875), Cebada (1875), Chamberí (1876) and La Paz (1882). Despite the construction of these new markets, there was still not enough to meet the demand for a growing city, so there continued to be open-air markets in public squares. Madrid has a total of 46 municipal markets and others of private ownership.  Of course, I am not in my wildest dream going to tell you all, too many and long….but will tell you briefly the ones my family and I remembered fondly.

There you go folks, wonderful places, should see as much as you can. It will give you not only the thrill of Spanish foods and drinks but the real feel of the local people and their colorful ways of mingling with the crowds even if there is a language barrier.  Hope you enjoy the other mercados or markets of Madrid as I

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

February 26, 2023

Off the beaten paths shopping in Madrid !!

I saw this old post and it was so nostalgic for me that decided to update text and link and bring it back to live, This is the AZCA business center a bit off the center of Madrid and not known much but very nice off the beaten path shopping in Madrid !! Let me tell you a bit about AZCA ,and hope you enjoy the post as I,

In my later life I came here many times because it is where the 1) HI hotel closest to Santiago Bernabeu stadium I stayed, 2) a huge dept store El Corte Inglés is near, 3) The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium of Real Madrid, my team ok,is walking distance, Ok enough about my reasons, let me tell about AZCA.

AZCA ,has a long name ,in Spanish is Asociación Mixta de Compensación de la Manzana A de la Zona Comercial de la Avenida del Generalísimo ,(now Paseo de la Castellana since 1981) It is a financial and business district of Madrid with a rectangular superblock of 19 hectares of area composed of office buildings between the streets of Raimundo Fernandez Villaverde, Orense, General Perón and Paseo de la Castellana. Also, within the scope are the squares of Pablo Ruiz Picasso, Carlos Trías Beltrán and Manuel Gómez Moreno.  It has several tall buildings or towers such as Torre Picasso, Building of BBVA ,and the Torre Europa.  In it, there is a huge department store of the chain El Corte Inglés (see post).

Its original conception ,and its name was approved in 1946; was finally won by architects in 1954 that were inspired by the Rockefeller Center New York. Their total and final approval did not occur until 1964. At the end of 1968 the urbanization of the area began, as well as the beginning of the construction of the first building on land belonging to the El Corte Inglés dept store. The last plot of land to be built was also of the El Corte Inglés in 2000. The shape square or manzana of AZCA has a practically rectangular shape, with dimensions of approximately 618 x 305 meters and an area of almost 19 hectares; inside this area under the ground is a ring of circulation that communicates and facilitates the traffic of the streets around it.

Madrid el-corte-ingles by Nuevos Ministerios

Some of the buildings of note are: Torre Picasso, 5th highest building in Madrid and 10th highest building in Spain. Torre Europa is the 7th tallest building in Madrid and houses offices of different companies.  The Castellana 81, under the building runs the tunnel of the railway, therefore, the entire structure supports two large pilasters of concrete on horseback on both sides. Torre Titania , the first six plants house the El Corte Inglés dept store and the rest is the headquarters of Ernst & Young Spain. It occupies the site of the Windsor building, destroyed after a fire in 2005.  The Mahou Tower, 17th highest in Madrid is the headquarters of Mutua Madrileña insurance company.

The area had its ups and downs for several years trying to bring activity business and folks into the area with increase security. The store Zara opened in April 2017 its largest store in Spain occupying 5000 m² in Castellana 79. As it goes for shopping ,and we love it. We have come here ever since it was open in 1988.  The shopping mall Moda (en. fashion) is located in the heart of AZCA, just between the emblematic buildings of Torre Picasso and Torre Europa very close to the Congress Palace and the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. This is very chic shopping with some big names in a grand modern building with many glass windows and a nice inner patio to unwind the walks in the city. The shopping is super; you can come into the mall by several street entrances such as Paseo de la Castellana,95, Calle Orense 22-24 in the Plaza Carlos Trias Bertràn, and Calle del General Péron, 38-40. The Plaza Carlos Trias Bertràn is the easier entrance to the Holiday Inn hotel above. You have classic eateries here, we love the Biaci,Mallorca Cafe , and Casa Carmen. As stores well the Chocolate Factory, Juancho Lujans, and Via Venetto. Nice indeed.


AZCA neighborhood is also home to several bars, pubs, restaurants and the occasional discotheque. Going past the buildings lining the streets that limit this area, and to the inner zone, several of these establishments can be found under the arches or on the ground floors of the buildings. In MODA you will find a shopping center for people who generally dislike shopping centers. It’s a small, glass-roofed, quiet and elegant place, with a delightful food court area, a terrace and a few places ideal for grabbing a breakfast. The little mall often hosts different exhibitions and fairs, which are one more reason to pay a visit.

Parking Hotel Holiday InnBernabéu (now new name Hotel Canopy by Hilton Madrid Castellana)  at 5 minutes on foot from the Santiago Bernabéu stadium (Real Madrid) and  7 minutes on foot from  AZCA . It has direct access to the hotel (my usual hotel for games when not staying with family) access pedestrian and vehicule by  Avenida del General Perón, 34. The new hotel webpage:

The nearest metro station is Nuevos Ministerios line 8 that also connects to the airport, and Santiago Bernabéu  Line 10 (exit AZCA), and bus numbers 14, 27, 40, 43, 120, 147 and 150 will also take you here too.

The Madrid tourist office on AZCA :

The AZCA association of merchants :

The official MODA shopping center :

The Madrid tourist office on MODA shopping center :

There you go folks, a dandy chic area of my Madrid often overlook by visitors but for me a must to visit while in the City, OF course, I have other reasons see above ,,,The area will be hopping I am sure once the Bernabeu stadium is completely finish and a more vibrant neighborhood is reborn, Hope you enjoy this updated post on AZCA and the side kick MODA of Madrid as I.

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

February 26, 2023

Some news from Spain, CXLIII

This is yours truly with another episode of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and already way into Winter ! I am eagerly looking forward to be back to Spain too !! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, By the way CXLIII is old Roman for 143, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

The Corpus of Toledo already has protagonists. A stellar poster for one of the most important festivities in the bullfighting calendar. Julián López “El Juli”, returns to Toledo and Corpus to celebrate his 25 years as an alternative, an essential event in a square and a date where he has reaped great triumphs and which he could not miss in such a special year; Andrés Roca Rey as the world’s greatest indisputable figure and Tomás Rufo in his land defending his position as a new figure in bullfighting. A running of the bulls will be dealt with by the Toledo brand from Alcurrucén, a cattle ranch synonymous with the guarantee of great victories. the traditional date of Corpus Christi, Thursday, June 8, at 19h30 Webpage :

Let me now take you on a long nostalgic tour of my dear Spain, On one time or another I have been to these places some lointime and some as recent as 2020, Hope you take them as material for your future visits as I.

The beautiful medieval town of Picasso’s barber was at the foot of the Sierra de Guadarrama ,Buitrago del Lozoya, The Picasso Museum-Eugenio Arias de Buitrago Collection is one of the oldest in Spain dedicated to the painter from Malaga. Arias was the personal barber of Pablo Ruiz Picasso in his exile in the South of France. Joined by a close friendship with the master, Arias decided to open a museum in which he would display all the gifts he received from the artist. Drawings, ceramics, posters, books and objects as singular as the box of hairdressing tools, with the lid pyrographed by the Andalusian with bullfighting motifs and a dedication: “For my friend Arias”. A must to visit if for this alone, When Enrique II granted the Mendoza family lordship of the town and the lands and towns that surrounded it. The robust double walled enclosure, the most important and best preserved in the Community of Madrid, dates from that period. The so-called high wall of Buitrago del Lozoya has been enabled on its south side for visits. The Two Millennia of Artillery exhibition is also on display here, which shows siege engines and medieval weapons in its environment. Inside the enclosure, which is accessed through an arch under the wall and the Clock Tower, the monumental Gothic-Mudejar castle of the Mendoza family and the slender Church of Santa María del Castillo stand out. The intramural fabric and farmhouse have not lost the medieval atmosphere of yesteryear. A fortified wonderful small town of the mountains outside Madrid City, Webpage :

Another beauty of old is San Lorenzo de El Escorial, heading directly to the Court of Felipe II, Sheltered by the last eastern foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama, the Madrid town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial did not achieve its independence until the 19C. Its importance shines from four centuries before. It began in 1558, when Felipe II appointed a commission to locate a place to erect a monastery, the monarch’s ‘excursions’ to the nearby area of La Silla de Felipe II, so called because of the seats carved into the rock, which tradition assures were for the king to settle down. From there he could see the progress of the works of what would be the largest building in Christendom, Above the historic houses stands the town of San Lorenzo, one of the liveliest in the Madrid mountains. The streets of Floridablanca and Reina Victoria and the Jacinto de Benavente and Constitución squares make up an obligatory tour in which the most difficult thing is to choose the place to stop for the inexcusable snack, the town treasures places that must be known. The first is the Bosque de la Herrería, at the top of which is the aforementioned Silla de Felipe II and which is reached by a path of just over a km, recommended hiking destinations. Like the climb to Rubens’ Cross, so called because the Flemish painter climbed up to where it rises to contemplate the Monastery and draw a picture of it. Sublime ! Webpage :

One of the jewels of the Comunidad de Madrid, Manzanares el Real between labyrinthine mountains and granite castles, Visit to the best-preserved medieval fortress in the Madrid region, hiking and climbing on the Pedriza cliffs and observation of aquatic birds in the Santillana reservoir, It is advisable to get up early, because the natural park, only 270 vehicles a day can enter and they immediately close the access barrier. A trick to avoid early mornings and queues is to forget about the car and walk from the same town of Manzanares el Real. You can visit the castle or the castles, because there are actually two: the new one, the palatial fortress that has presided over the town since the end of the 15C, and the old one, with whose stones the previous one was made and of which hardly anything remains, except for the vine that can be seen leaving towards Cerceda, just after crossing the medieval bridge over the Manzanares river. Of the first, what is most liked is the Paseador by Juan Guas, a loggia with lowered arches, with double pointed and lobed tracery, which is one of the most peaceful and beautiful galleries of Elizabethan Gothic, a viewpoint where one never tires of gazing the Santillana reservoir , From the second castle, the poetic memory of the Marquis of Santillana, who lived here and was inspired to write one of his famous serranillas: “For all these pine forests / nin in the Val de la Gamella, / I did not see a more beautiful mountain / that Menga de Mançanares”. Going down from the new castle to the old one, you pass through the Plaza del Pueblo where a craft market is held on the first weekend of the month. A few steps from the square are the tourist office and the Church of Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, also the work of Juan Guas, in whose garden, a former cemetery, there are several discoid stelae, a sign that some of the first Christian settlers of Manzanares They came from the north of the peninsula, the Basque Country or Navarra, where they are abundant. A digestive walk along Calle de la Paz (the one with the cemetery) and along its extension, a road closed to traffic that borders the tail and the southern shore of the Santillana reservoir until reaching the closed gate of a private estate. In addition, on the opposite shore, a photo that is difficult to forget can be seen: the new castle standing out like one more rock on the bottom of La Pedriza, “castle dump by the hand of God” (as Unamuno called it) than the sun increasingly bass makes gold and the waters of the reservoir double as a mirror. Webpage :

A very culinary delight in my dear Madrid to get lost on its streets for the senses, The very particular gastronomic route begins next to the Plaza de la Villa , A few minutes later we are ringing the bell of the Convento de las Carboneras , Not far away, in the Pasajito de los Panecillos, bread was given to the poor in the 18C on condition that they went to Mass,. The Cuchilleros came almost all from Galicia, like the tradition of squid, although the term sandwich is already known to be Forgian vocabulary. In Botoneras is the bar of the generation of 27, The route passes by other hundred-year-old taverns such as Casa Paco and by inns where travelers arrived in horse-drawn carriages before the introduction of the railway , An important stop on this award-winning tour is the Museo de San Isidro tripe comes from the Romans and the Muslim invasion greatly enriched Iberian cuisine. The Patron Saint of Madrid (San Isidro) would know it very well because he grew up in Mozarabic Madrid. In front of the cenotaph of Beatriz Galindo, the finishing touch to a gastronomic tour , the mercado de la Cebada. Wonderful streets full of flavor,architecture and history, Sublime Madrid ! Webpage :

Let me tell you a bit about some incredible and tiny walled towns to travel back in time, Follow me if you like by car of course,

First, Ujué (Navarra) 53 km from Pamplona, located on top of the mountain range of the same name, dominating the land, this spectacular town of about 400 inhabitants preserves all the charm of its medieval legacy. The walls surround the old town, with steep cobbled streets and clustered houses that are arranged around and at the foot of the most emblematic enclave of the town, the Church-fortress of Santa María (11-14C), Webpage :

We go by near the Pyrénées to Roda de Isábena (Huesca), This medieval Aragonese jewel, with only 40 inhabitants, is located on a hillock in the Ribagorza region. Its wall still preserves arcades and ramps that give access to the old enclosure, drawn by alleys, squares and passageways. Among its most emblematic enclaves is the Cathedral of San Vicente, considered the oldest in Aragon (construction began in 956) and the smallest in Spain. Webpage :

Move down to Urueña (Valladolid), The spectacular walled enclosure (13C) of this town inhabited by almost 200 people has been declared a Historic-Artistic Site and is one of the best preserved in the province. The wall, most of which is still standing with two of its gates, is linked, at the southeast end, to the castle, built in the 11C on an old Roman stronghold. Its narrow medieval streets and its squares become spontaneous viewpoints from which to enjoy beautiful panoramic views of Tierra de Campos. Webpage :

And going down to wonderful Maderuelo (Segovia) ,On a large hill, surrounded by the Linares reservoir next to the Hoces del río Riaza Natural Park, the 170 inhabitants of this walled medieval town, whose vestiges date back to the 10C, boast of having a declared urban area , Well of Cultural Interest, in which the Romanesque Church of Santa María del Castillo (former mosque) and the Hermitage of San Miguel stand out, noble stone houses and a tower that was the old castle. The Arco de la Villa is the emblematic entrance of its wall, which still preserves the locks, the postern and some thick wooden doors. Webpage :

And to finish this memorable post let me tell you a bit about my favorite centennial restaurants in my dear Madrid, Needless, to tell you over the years been to all of them, alone, married, with kids and with parents and friends,

The Botin Calle Cuchilleros, 17. The business founded in 1725 has an almost official certification as ‘the oldest restaurant in the world’, at least, according to the Guinness Book of Records. It is a destination to eat Castilian cuisine,

The Lhardy, Carrera de San Jerónimo, 8. When it opened in 1839, as a project by Emilio Lhardy, it was surely one of the most modern restaurants of the moment, because, in reality, it implied installing in the capital the trends of luxury catering imported mainly from France. This restaurant, with halls that resemble a palace, is one of the undisputed icons of Madrid, fortunate that it continues to operate almost two centuries after it opened.

The Posada de la Villa Cava Baja, 9. The historical archives seem to point to the fact that the only flour mill in Madrid operated right here in the 17C, which in 1642 became the first Posada de la Corte.

The Casa Lucio, Cava Baja, 35. It is not exactly a business that reaches one hundred years of life, but it cannot be missing from this list, this business was Mesón El Segoviano (which was one hundred years old) Since 1974 Casa Lucio is a kind of icon of Madrid , beyond the gastronomic sense,

The Casa Ciriaco Calle Mayor, 84. It was born as a wine warehouse in 1887 to later become a tavern as Casa Baliñas until the Segovian brothers Pablo and Ciriaco Muñoz Sanz went from employees to owners in 1929, in a business that was renamed Casa Ciriaco you can have a snack at the bar and the tables around it,

The La Bola Calle de la Bola, 5.Opened in 1870 and endorsed by four generations, the name of the street baptizes this restaurant with an offer specialized in Castilian cuisine, within which the star recipe is, indisputably, its Cocido Madrileño or Madrid stew

The Casa Alberto Calle Huertas, 18, Opened in 1827, it was born as a tavern for some Segovian innkeepers. It is said that, in its beginnings, wines were served with hard-boiled eggs as a cover.

The La Ardosa Calle Colón, 13. An essential tavern that serves as a recommendation for locals and tourists, because it is a guarantee to meet several objectives: discover a historical place, try a 100% Spanish offer, Opened in 1892 and located in the Malasaña neighborhood, Bodega de La Ardosa allows many options under a wide schedule with which you can have breakfast, have an aperitif, a snack between meals, lunch or dinner, around a bar surrounded by high tables and barrels, as well as an area that is accessed going under the bar

The Jai Alai, Calle Balbina Valverde, 2, As Jai Alai, which adds three generations of the Bustingorri family in the 100 years just completed by this Basque house. Its first headquarters was in a pediment in Calle Alfonso XI. It moved in the mid-60s to Calle Balbina Valverde, the current space, where dishes that have been on the menu for decades are still served.

The La Ancha Calle Zorrilla, 7, Four generations account for the surname and what is now called the La Ancha Family, a hotel group with other businesses in Madrid such as Las Tortillas de Gabino, Fismuler, La Taberna de La Ancha (Mercado de San Antón), the delivery Armando, The Omar bistro-bakery at Hotel Thompson Madrid (where it also has the Hijos de Tomás cocktail bar) and, starting in April, the management of Club Financiero Génova, in alliance with Azotea Grupo. We have to go back to 1919, the year in which La Estrecha started as the first business in this saga, under a tavern format, on Madrid‘s Calle Los Madrazo. In 1928, Santiago Redruello, Benigno’s nephew, took over that place, renamed La Ancha and which moved to Calle Velázquez in 1957, to move again in 1969 to Calle Príncipe de Vergara, where today one of La Ancha’s headquarters operates. The second, opened in 1988, is on Calle Zorrilla with a nice terrace in a courtyard. Castilian cuisine, they usually define; and it is, but also with Basque and even Asturian influence

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! We are fully in Winter and cold weather is still around; just enough to be cozy and homey again. Time to enjoy my some news from 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 !!!

February 25, 2023

 Wines news of Spain VIII

We are fully in Winter 2023, its time to tell you once again on the wines of my dear Spain, As said, this goes back from my beginnings ,and I still go for them everywhere, Therefore, will try the monumental task of telling you about my favorites anecdotes and news of Spanish wines and hope to continue this series as my others with your blessing and likes. Here it is ,again coming back at you my wines news of Spain VIII !! Of course post No 8 for the non Romans, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Let me open up this post with some general news on the wines of Spain,

Spain has 945,565 hectares of vineyards,​ which makes it the country with the largest cultivated area of vines in the world with more than 15% of the world total, and is the third in terms of production, Spaniards drink only an average of 21 liters of wine per person per year, a much lower figure than in similar countries and which contrasts with the country’s wine production and tradition , It has more than 600 native varieties planted throughout the country, although approximately 80% of the wine produced nationwide is made with only about 20 varieties, among which stand out; Tempranillo, Albariño, Garnacha, Palomino, Airén, Macabeo, Parellada, Charelo, Cariñena and Monastrell. Some of the most internationally known wine regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero, famous for its Tempranillo production; the Marco de Jerez, for its fortified wines; Rueda, for its white Verdejo wines; Panadés, for the production of cava; and Priory. According to European regulations, wines are classified into three categories according to their level of geographical protection and the degree of demand in their manufacturing process. In Spain, the first category is divided into several subcategories. Wines with a Protected Designation of Origin are wines whose quality and characteristics are essentially or exclusively due to their geographical origin, with their inherent human and cultural factors. Wines from Pagos (VP): they originate from a region, meaning the rural area or site with its own characteristics , Wines with a Qualified Designation of Origin (DOCa): this category is reserved for wines with Designation of Origin that have reached high levels of quality over a long period of time , Wines with Denomination of Origin (DO): they are prestigious wines that come from a delimited production area and with a production regulated by a Regulatory Council , Quality Wines with Geographical Indication (VC): it is the one produced and made in a specific region, region, town or place with grapes from them, European legislation classifies them as “Wines with Protected Geographical Indication” (IGP) and Spanish legislation as “Table wines with the right to the traditional mention Vino de la Tierra”. They are wines from and produced in a defined geographical area, taking into account certain environmental and cultivation conditions that may give the wines specific characteristics , Table Wines are those wines not included in any protected geographical area, Vinos de la Tierra or Wines of the Land (VdlT) and Wines with Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) can make the following indications depending on their aging period Noble 18 months, Añejo 24 months, and Viejo or Old 36 months, In addition to the above indications, only still wines with Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) may also be classified as:Crianza 24 months ,Reserva 36 months , and Gran Reserva 60 months , Quality Sparkling Wines (including cavas) can use the following indications:Premium and Reserva at the discretion of the producer (for cava, minimum 15 months) ,and Gran Reserva, minimum aging period of 30 months from tirage to disgorging,

The OEMV gave the news this week, Spanish wine exports closed last year 2022 with a growth of +3.1% to reach 2,980.2 million euros in wine exports. This is the highest annual turnover in history ! In addition, this figure is reached with a drop of -9.2% in volume, up to 2,089.5 million liters, a figure that is considered positive in the objective of revaluing wine, that is, reduce the quantity sold and increase the quantity billed. The United States remains the number one customer for Spanish wine. The American giant allocated 405 million euros last year to purchase Spanish wine, 12.9% more than in 2021. Next, closely, is followed by Germany, which spends 386 million euros on Spanish wine, a slight increase of 1.7%. The third country would be the United Kingdom, with 315 million euros, despite having reduced its spending by -15.2%. Next would be France with 308€ million (+15.2%), the Netherlands with 154€ million (+3.9%), Switzerland with 148€ million (+10%) and Portugal with 130€ million (+10, 9%), Close the Top10 Canada with 128M€ (-1.2%), Belgium with 119M€ (+4.1%) and Japan with 115M€ (+12.9%).

A wonderful historical movie I saw as a boy and many times thereafter and link in a way to wine and Spanish traditions, Fitting to have in a wine post on Spain, Marcelino, pan y vino or Marcelino bread and wine ; is a classic and iconic film in the history of Spanish cinema. Based on the novel of the same name by José María Sánchez Silva, it was a great critical and box office success in 1954, the year of its premiere. Among other awards, he won the Silver Bear at the 1955 Berlinale and the child actor Pablito Calvo got a special mention at the Cannes Film Festival. It is also a recognized film in countries like Japan, Italy, Brazil or the United States, where it was dubbed into English. Marcelino, pan y vino has a cast led by the actor Pablito Calvo, who began the path of child prodigies with supporting cast of Fernando Rey , and Antonio Ferrandis ; completed by Rafael Rivelles, Juan Calvo, José Nieto, Antonio Vico, Joaquín Roa, Isabel de Pomés and Mariano Azaña, Food is one of the fundamental themes of Marcelino, bread and wine, since they articulate the relationship between the child and Jesus Christ. Throughout the film, Marcelino visits Christ in the attic and brings him the food that is within his reach, in this case bread and wine. These foods, fundamental in the Catholic liturgy, serve in this film as a symbol of communion, in the broader sense of the word. The relationship between the child and Christ is conveyed through this communion, this sharing of food that is the body (bread) and blood (wine) of Christ. The meaning of the wine is therefore crucial. It is an element that approaches spirituality, communication and the depth of the mystical relationship that develops throughout the plot. Marcelino, pan y vino is the story of an abandoned baby who is taken in by a community of friars. The friars will raise him in the convent as one more member. But Marcelino longs for his mother, whom he never got to know. Marcelino, pan y vino has a subtle explanation in the film. Marcelino’s miracle is that he has finally been reunited with his mother, who is in heaven thanks to the fact that Jesus Christ intercedes for him before God. Mother and son are reunited thanks to divine mercy. There is a play called La verdadera historia de Marcelino, pan y vino or The true story of Marcelino, bread and wine, which is an adaptation of the original story. Undoubtedly, the tenderness of this film has made it a universal classic and there are remakes, television series and even an animated series produced in Spain. Marcelino, pan y vino is a classic of Spanish cinema that has transcended our borders for dealing with universal themes such as maternal love, belonging to a community or the innocence of the child’s gaze. A wonderful all time film , see it online in several mediums,like Amazon webpage :

The British magazine Decanter (yes) points out in the report entitled “Expert’s choice: The Canary Islands” that the wines from the southernmost wine region in Europe ! Yes my dear Tenerife ! Some tasted are : Envínate, Taganan Blanco, Tenerife, 2021, Suertes del Marqués, Vidonia, Tenerife, 2019 , Suertes del Marqués, Trenzado , Tenerife, 2020, Bodegas Tajinaste, Listán Blanco, Tenerife, 2020 , Envínate, Táganan Parcela Margalagua, Tenerife, 2020 , Envínate, Benje Tinto, Tenerife, 2021 , Suertes del Marqués, Cruz Santa, Tenerife, 2019 , Suertes del Marqués, Bodegas Tajinaste, Listân Negro Tradicional , Tenerife, 2020, Enjoy them , worth the try me think,,,, Decanter webpage :

The Bodegas Familiares Matarromera is a finalist in the VI Edition of the National SME of the Year Award granted by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and Banco Santander. The company was the winner of the Valladolid SME of the Year Award, in which the jury valued its multiple R+D+i projects, as well as its firm commitment to sustainability since its inception, and will compete for the National Award, The Matarromera Family Wineries its presence in 7 Denominations of Origin through its 11 wineries: Ribera del Duero (Bodega Matarromera, Bodega Emina Ribera and Bodega Renacimiento), Rioja (Bodega CM de Matarromera), Rueda (Bodega Emina Rueda), Cigales (Bodega Valdelosfrailes), Toro (Cyan Winery), Ribeiro (Casar de Vide and Sanclodio) and Rías Baixas (Viña Caeira Winery), with which it bears the name of Spain throughout the more than 75 countries where its products can be found. Webpage :

Although the entire planted area barely exceeds 9,000 hectares of vineyards, the D.O.P. Almansa (Castilla La Mancha region) is the producing area with the most Garnacha Tintorera in Spain (5,000 hectares). Another notable aspect of this variety is the fact that it is the result of a cross between varieties ,Petit Bouschet and Garnacha Tinta, carried out in France in 1855 by Henri Bouschet. The entire vineyard is located between 700 and 1,100 meters. This means that maturation is slow and all the aromatic and coloring components are fully synthesized, maintaining good levels of acidity. However, although Almansa is Garnacha Tintorera, it is also Monastrell. The second most planted variety in this Denomination (1,100 hectares).webpage :

The Finca Monastasia was born, a project that, among other things, honors the queen grape of the D.O.P. Jumilla: the Monastrell. a small town in Albacete, lives with the same calm, but with a breath of hope for the future of the town, and its own viticultural and rural development. And it is that, a few weeks before the end of the year, the first wines of the 2021 vintage from the new and brand new ambassador of that wine-growing territory protected by the D.O.P. Jumilla: Finca Monastasia, In the foothills of the Sierra del Madroño is the old building of the winery, in the process of being enlarged to give it both greater space and adequate technical requirements for the quality of the grapes they handle. In addition, it will have an attractive wine tourism space. Although they make a monovarietal Syrah and incorporate up to 25% between Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot to one of their most special wines, Monastrell accounts for 75% of the total between the vineyard they own and the one they control. Thus, the most accessible range is made up of Syrah Nobel, with its incontestable fruity friendliness; the Rosé Nobel, a rosé creation of the freshest Monastrell but at the same time enveloping and without losing that attractive juiciness in the drink; and the Monastrell Nobel, a true example of varietal purity in which the wine is the canvas and its nuances the Jumillano landscape. A huge pleasure for the senses. Cerro Blanco is a local wine made up of 75% Monastrell accompanied by Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah from the vineyard that surrounds the winery, in the locality called Cañada del Cerro Blanco, the jewel in the crown: Finca Monastasia Pie Franco. It comes from a single plot of calcareous soil planted on bare foot, no less than 70 years old, in the town of Fuenteálamo. Fermentation takes place in concrete tanks, while both malolactic and aging, which last around 12 months, make it in 500 liter French oak barrels. There is concentration of black fruit, but the balsamic profile and the depth with which it is expressed excites. It is mineral, floral, fleshy and tasty, voluminous and above all fine. There are only 4,500 bottles of the 2021 vintage. Finca Monastasia ,Paraje del Cerro Blanco, s/n 02652 Ontur (Albacete) Webpage :

The beginnings of Bodegas Campos Reales date back to 1950, when dozens of small farmers founded the winery in El Provencio, province of Cuenca, Castilla La Mancha region, The winery is located in the center of 3,500 hectares of their own vineyards, and although they grow 24 different varieties, their specialty, albeit just like in the days of their grandparents, is the Tempranillo. They are a social economy cooperative that was born in 1950 and that, from the rural environment, is a guarantee to generate income and wealth in the town for more than 400 families. Bodegas Campos Reales is located at the highest altitude of the Manchegan plain, providing ideal conditions : very cold winters and very hot summers. A climate that allows leveling the acidity and sugar to achieve a final product of excellent quality. Some of their better known bottles are : Canforrales Classic Tempranillo. Vino Joven or young wine, 100% Tempranillo : Canforrales Crianza, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine, aged for twelve months ; Canforrales Reserva, 100% Tempranillo red ; Gladium Viñas Viejas, 100% Tempranillo from old vines. A crianza made with grapes from the best vineyards over 50 years old owned by the Canforrales Cánfora winery, Special Reserve Red, 100% Tempranillo from free-standing vines over 60 years old, and Campos Reales Edición Especial, 100% Tempranillo with an aging for 8 months in barrels with an expressive character and quality. With this wine, the winery has joined La Mancha Excellent, a new concept of superior quality wines within the La Mancha Denomination of Origin, Webpage :

An exclusive wine cellar, with the highest ratio of wine references per square meter; located in the heart of the city and with a vending machine that collects the bottles of its cava at a unique height. This is what is new in Madrid, the Wine Bar of Galerías Canalejas, which incorporates the latest technology and innovation into the sale and consumption of wines. It is called The Wine Shop and it has just joined the twenty gastronomic spaces that are in the ‘Mad Gourmets‘ of the luxury shopping center of the city. It works both as a tasting place, with the attraction of having 200 references by the glass -with prices starting at 5.50 euros-, as well as a point of sale for bottles -it has wines for 20 euros and even authentic “treasures” that reach 8,000 euros ! Webpage :

Italy and Spain reject warnings on wine labels that would indicate that its consumption could cause harmful effects on health. And it is that the decision of Ireland, discussed last year, to adopt health warnings on the labels of alcoholic beverages continues to spark a debate throughout the European Union with the ministers of Spain and Italy giving their opinion on the measure, which could be adopted throughout the continent. The proposed Irish labeling is set to display three key messages, covering alcohol’s link to liver disease, alcohol’s link to cancer and a symbol depicting the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Non sense you should be adult enough to know , no need for more government control, Hurrah for Spain and Italy !! EUPwebpage :

There you go folks, another wonderful post on my dear Spanish wines, Hoping for a long lasting memories of my dear Spain and its wine news, An area already shining for several years, and getting better me think, Hope you enjoy the new series of wines news from Spain VIII as I

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

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