Archive for March 6th, 2023

March 6, 2023

Some news from France , CCCLXXXIII

This is my latest from my belle France ; as we are imoving right along in Winter and the sun is out ! We can have 6 more weeks of winter due to the marmotte so they say, However, is that 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 , And for those non Roman CCCLXXXIII is 383 ! ,with another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We will be tidy and drinking a nice glass of wine ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The construction site of Notre-Dame: From Tuesday March 7 2023 , a new exhibition invites you to discover the restoration site and its trades. It’s free and for everyone. it offers a 300 square meter course in four stages. In the introduction, a room allows visitors to watch a new film of about fifteen minutes, which traces the fire and the history of the site since April 15, 2019. Further on, it is a large model which highlights restoration work, and in particular that of the framework. Finally, and above all, eight thematic islands are devoted to specific techniques and know-how. Finally, a large fresco presents all the trades mobilized on this extraordinary site. With the hope of arousing, among young people, some vocations. Notre-Dame de Paris: At the heart of the construction site”, at the House of construction and trades, forecourt of the cathedral (entrance opposite 6, rue de la Cité, 4éme. Until the reopening of the Cathedral. Tuesday to Sunday, 10h to 20h Free, without reservation. Webpage :

The treasures of Notre-Dame exhibited at the Cité de l’architecture de Paris Immense, 8 meters high, the photo captures you as soon as you enter the exhibition “Notre-Dame de Paris, from builders to restorers” at the Cité of architecture (16éme). Taken the day after the fire of April 15, 2019, it shows the scale of the tragedy, the collapsed vaults revealing the sky, the piles of charred debris from the frame and the spire strewn on the ground, and immediately immerses you in the heart of the matter the restoration of the most famous cathedral in the world: Webpage:

Chantilly, Pierrefonds, Compiègne… 2022, a record year for the châteaux of the Oise dept 60, historic attendance. At the Château de Chantilly , we do not hide our pleasure when discussing the number of visitors over the past year. And for good reason, in 2022, they are 525,000 to have crossed the gates of the monument bequeathed by the Duke of Aumale to the Institut de France. Webpage Oise tourisme :

Maincy, the first village in Île-de-France region to receive the « Petite Cité de caractère » or Small City of Character label The castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte, a 17C jewel, offers an additional cachet to this village of 1,858 inhabitants , Located 4 km from the center of Melun the famous Pont de Maincy bridge immortalized by the painter Cézanne, Maincy also hides nuggets like the Maison des Carmes which housed the Royal Tapestry Factory of Maincy before Colbert transferred it to Paris to the Gobelins, a drinking trough, a washhouse and a large fountain in the heart of the village, the medieval Church of Saint-Étienne… In fact, out of 1,019 hectares of surface area, Maincy has only urbanized 104 of them. The rest is divided between woods and agricultural land, in town center ,there is a brewery, a restaurant, a bakery, a grocery store, a hairdresser and a post office. Maincy Webpage:

The official Petite Cité de Caractére awaiting post of Maincy :

The collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper, created by Breton artists of the 19-20C, including Gauguin, Boudin or Sérusier, will discover the land of the rising sun, Japan, on the occasion of a traveling exhibition on the theme Wind and Light. The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper, inaugurated in 1872 following a donation made by Jean-Marie de Silguy (he bequeathed his entire collection, i.e. 1,200 paintings and drawings) has a magnificent private collection of works, focusing mainly on European painters from the 18-20C, including Breton artists linked to the Pont-Aven school. You can admire sketches by Rubens, paintings by Fragonard or François Boucher, Breton artists, Émile Bernard, Paul Gauguin, Paul Sérusier, Théophile Deyrolles or Eugène Louis Boudin, to name but a few. As part of a traveling exhibition on the theme “Wind and Light”, 63 paintings will therefore be loaned to Japanese museums in Tokyo, Fukushima, Shizuoka, Toyohashi and Hiroshima. The exhibition will present the chronology of painting in the production of Breton landscapes (from the 19-20C), from the last fire of naturalism, to pre-impressionism with the School of Pont-Aven, to the neo-impressionist, and to the “Black Band” to end with Fauvism and Art Deco. Japan is very fond of the works of the painters of the School of Pont-Aven, finding there many resonances with the art of Japanese prints. . Webpage :

On the Paris-Mantes line, trains have been cancelled… due to a lack of personnel on line J between Gare Saint-Lazare and the Yvelines (78) . About fifty drivers are missing on the entire Transilien network. Line J, which leaves in particular from Mantes-la-Jolie, is particularly affected, Just a tad but a problem all over the train lines sadly this line was taken by yours truly several times while living in the area.

Salon de l’agriculture or Agricultural show: at the time of the closing of the halls of the Porte de Versailles which recorded 615,204 visitors The record dates back to 2014, with more than 700,000 visitors. This is over but here for the record I could not go this year,: , Webpage :

The new temporary exhibition at the Val-d’Oise Archaeological Museum in Guiry-en-Vexin follows in the footsteps of Homo neanderthalensis, in the light of the most recent discoveries and local archaeological pieces. Indeed an interesting museum worth the detour, Webpage :

At the Musée de l’Orangerie, in Paris, an exhibition over ten years that transformed Matisse, Chez Matisse, it was later: it was at the age of 60, in 1929, that he abandoned his women to run the guilledou. We are not talking here about his wife, but about the models that, for fifteen years, living in Nice, he painted in eternal bayadères. Odalisques that modern critics agree to find syrupy at will and of which he himself said he was disgusted. He was saved by a doctor, Doctor Barnes, who had been collecting him for a long time, and by a strong journey, which led him to cross the Atlantic (by ocean liner), then by train in the United States, from New York to San Francisco. , until embarking for Tahiti. It is this story, and the fruitful years that followed, that tells the exhibition of the Musée de l’Orangerie, until May 29, 2023. Webpage :

Sad news of one of my all time favorite French singers, Long interviewed in the magazine “Seven to eight” on TF 1 this past Sunday evening, Florent Pagny, who thought he was in remission from his lung cancer, announces that he has undergone a biopsy because of a worrying lymph node. Florent Pagny, back to the wall , or in the face of recurring cancer, kept his freedom to speak, In January 2022, the historic coach of “The Voice”, even if he does not participate in the new edition, announced that he had to interrupt the tour of his 60th birthday after the diagnosis of a cancerous tumor in the lung. Since then, TF 1 journalist Audrey Crespo-Mara has met him three times, in June in Paris, in November in New York and then, one last time, in January in Patagonia, Argentina where he spent the winter in his other home, his wife’s country, I keep up with news and wish him and his family the best, I know the sad truth of it all, If want to know more of him in French:

His official webpage show up coming concerts but of course all pending and difficult to be on:

It has seen monarchs, heads of state and stars from all over the world: the Hôtel de Crillon is a luxury setting in the center of Paris, but also a place with a rich and diverse history. The Hôtel de Crillon shares its colonnaded façade erected in 1758 with its neighbors in the Place de la Concorde, the Automobile Club de France and the Hôtel de Coislin. The Blues celebrated their victories there in 1998 and 2000 football World Cups, greeting the crowd massed on the Place de la Concorde (8éme) from the balcony. Andy Warhol, Orson Welles and even Michael Jackson stayed there, John Travolta got married there in 1991, Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez came there, as did the K-pop group Black Pink recently. Here, again, was signed in 1919 the pact of the League of Nations, ancestor of the UN, Webpage:

The Seven Kings, an English pub with barber shop hidden in the heart of Courchevel ,An authentic English pub with vintage decor and a lively atmosphere. Owned by the Fahrenheit Seven Hotel and its managers, The Seven Kings plunges us into a so British universe both hushed and baroque where the scent of beer is added to that of leather Chesterfields and the wood of the walls, To sustain the thirst, the house offers a sharp selection of 7 English and Scottish draft beers, British gins and signature cocktails. From Thursday to Saturday evening, The Seven Kings raises the mercury by inviting an eclectic selection of DJs and performers (electro, rock, house and groovy) to ignite the address and melt the ice. If The Seven Kings also has a table football, the real originality is hidden in a small room adjacent to the bar: The Royal Barber Club, an authentic barber-shop which offers gentlemen an express treatment between two pints in a decor still once immersive at will. The Seven Kings, 114 rue du Marquis , Courchevel , From Tuesday to Sunday from 17h to 01h Webpage :

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior travel guy . Hope you enjoy this post and do take care as winter is winding down sofly , with no white in sight, great,,, And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

March 6, 2023

The Stade de France !!

There, something I left out again, and found me a picture (even if not my best…. ) to write this post for the memories of always, I have to admit only been there once, for a Johnny Hallyday concert on May 30, 2009 at the high point of his Tour 66 tour ; surprise no sporting event , but passed by it several times over the years, This is team France home ,the Stade de France ,and it is in Saint Denis ,dept 93 Seine Saint Denis north of Paris. Come here for the sporting event with plenty of time as it gets crowded and not so much to go at nights. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Stade de France is the largest French stadium, comprising 80,698 seats , The architecture of this stadium is inspired by the Worldport of the American airline Pan Am (my airline and proud to have worked in its credit union in blue lagoon miami!) which was located at John-F.-Kennedy International Airport in New York , Built for the needs of the 1998 Football/Soceer World Cup in France to replace the Parc des Princes deemed too small, it was also designed to host various sporting events: football, rugby, athletics, motor racing. It can also host concerts, major shows and events, etc, The construction site began on May 2, 1995 but the laying of the first stone took place on September 6, 1995, The stadium was inaugurated on January 28, 1998 during the France-Spain football match, Zinédine Zidane was the first football player to have scored there one goal, against Spain.


A floating structure 46 meters above the lawn, the roof is one of the most remarkable aspects of the Stade de France. Its surface area of 6 ha, and its mass 13,000 tons,( i.e. two Eiffel towers) constitute a technical feat. Resting on 18 stays attached to 18 javelin-shaped needles 60 meters high, it protects the spectators without covering the playing area. All the lighting and sound equipment with 550 projectors and 36 blocks of 5 acoustic speakers are housed inside so as not to obstruct visibility. All the facilities, which are reserved for players and personnel are located at lawn level, to the west, and are directly accessible by player buses , The Stade de France is built around three stands : The lower stand is a mobile stand for 25,000 seats. It is accessed via level 1. Access to the intermediate stand is via 22 footbridges and leads to level 3 where the restaurants, entertainment areas, shops and central security post are located. 18 monumental staircases lead the spectators to the upper stand which is located on level 6. Located 11 meters below the forecourt, the playground has an area of 15,000 m2 (119 meters long and 75 meters wide) for a grassed area of 8,000 m2, In 2016, the Stade de France was equipped with a Desso GrassMaster hybrid lawn (natural grass reinforced with synthetic fibres), a patented technology that makes it possible to reinforce the hold and the resistance of the grass and to accommodate football and rugby matches.

The Stade de France is located at the crossroads of the A1 and A86 highway/motorways, and many not recommended to go there by car, unless you have a reserved car park, because the stadium has only been provided with 3000 parking places. However, you can park by the train stations and walk to it much better crowd handling me think. Otherwise, get on the RER B via La Plaine – Stade de France station, RER D via Stade de France – Saint-Denis station, and Metro line 13 and Tramway T8 via Saint-Denis – Porte de Paris station.

And things to come around here ! One hundred years later, Paris is once again hosting the Olympic Games, in 2024. Even if 93% of the sites are already existing, a few new ones will be added to the list. Add to that the Grand Paris Express project … Things are going to change in the city! It is in Seine-Saint-Denis (dept 93) that the new Olympic village will come to nest on 46 hectares, 11,000 apartments, 120,000 m2 of offices, 3,200 m2 of shops, 7 hectares of green spaces… All to accommodate the some 17,000 athletes who will land from July 26 to August 11, 2024 (for the Olympics) and from August 28 to September 8 (for the Paralympic Games). Obviously, the Olympic Village could later be transformed into new housing for the residents of the city. A new Olympic aquatic center will be installed on the Plaine Saulnier, still in Saint-Denis, opposite the Stade de France. The new site will consist of 50 meter long pools and diving spots. The little extra? It will be equipped with 5,000 m2 of solar panels with an economical thermal design, a wooden roof and stands made of plastic recycled from corks. A new room will see the light of day in the Porte de la Chapelle neighborhood in Paris. 20,000 m2, 8,000 seats… It will mainly host wrestling, basketball, handball, etc. events. It will later become the main center of Paris Basketball, or even PSG Handball. The new climbing center at Le Bourget with six indoor and outdoor walls and a large gymnasium, that’s the project. For once, these are temporary facilities, except for the warm-up structure which will be kept. We will be entitled to green courtyards, pedestrianized streets, more developed cycle paths… All within the framework of the “Embellir votre quartier” or beautify your neighborhood project, an approach launched by the City of Paris. Other work is also planned as part of the Grand Paris Express, which should create 4 metro lines, 2 extensions and 60 new stations. This project is however likely not to be fully completed before the arrival of the Olympic Games. In a way, good  because these areas needs revitalisations to say the least…

And the latest update: Future of the Stade de France: the State will study all the proposals, The State has not yet decided, and will open its two possibilities, as indicated by the Parisien newspaper on January 28 2023. It will publish a concession notice at the beginning of next week,(March 6-10)  with an additional document relating to the transfer option. So its up for sale anyway….

The official Paris2024 organisation:

The official Stade de France how to get there

The Seine Saint Denis dept 93 tourist office on the stade de France :

The city of Saint Denis on its history

There you go folks, a sight just outside Paris, great events are held at the Stade de France, and of course team France home, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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March 6, 2023

The San Clemente and Santa Cruz museums of Toledo !!

So bringing you back to another of my favorite cities of my dear Spain. So many visits and from when living in Madrid had cousin living near and we stop there always, I have this older post and decided to update the text and link using same older pictures ; for the memories of alwaysI will try to tell about these museums in off the beaten path of Toledo,

Toledo is about 71 km (about 44 miles) from Madrid. From Toledo part the N-400, which connects this city with Cuenca by Ocaña and Tarancón.  There is now an excellent  A-40 Autovia or highway of Castilla-La Mancha, that unites Avila with Maqueda (where it links with the Extremadura highway), Toledo, Ocaña (where it joins the highway of Andalusia), Tarancón (where it connects with the highway of Levante, Valencia), Cuenca and Teruel. A former national road 401 Madrid-Toledo-Ciudad Real was transformed at the end of the decade of 1980 in the current A-42. Good train and bus connection but use it sparingly over the years mostly have been by car,

The off the beaten paths museums on this post sounds like religious and indeed they are in those old buildings but they are , also, the cultural center of San Clemente (St Clement) and Santa Cruz museum (Holy Cross) , I like to tell you a bit more on them from my dear and memorable Toledo.

The Museo Santa Cruz  takes its name from the building that serves as its headquarters, the old Hospital of Santa Cruz, founded by Cardinal Pedro González de Mendoza as a general hospital and for the reception of exposed children. The building was built in the first decades of the 16C, after the death of its founder, and constitutes one of the architectural masterpieces of the Spanish Renaissance. It has a Greek cross plan with two floors, a large central cruise open to both floors and a total of eight bays, plus another room above the hall, all covered with wooden roofs. It also has two cloistered courtyards arranged between its arms. Its magnificent cover, dedicated to the devotion of the Holy Cross, the main cloister and the splendid staircase of Covarrubias, in the main courtyard, justify by itself the visit to this Museum.



The San Clemente Cultural Center dependent on the Provincial Council of Toledo is located in the Plaza de Padilla, in the historic center of the city , and is part of the Imperial Monastery of San Clemente. Two courtyards appear as organizing elements of the set. The main one is of enormous dimensions and can be considered as the true heart of the convent. It consists of two overlapping floors, with semicircular arches and in the upper architraves. The supports are carved stone columns. The second patio is simpler. The floor below has semicircular arches and the upper architrave with stone columns and brick walls. But what stands out above all is the enormous beauty of the Plateresque cover. In the 12C this convent already existed but in the 16C various modifications are made.


In an important part of the Convent of San Clemente, the Cultural Center is installed, where the Library, the Restoration Unit and the Exhibition Center of the Provincial Council of Toledo are located. This Center regularly hosts exhibitions of the works of artists born or resident in our province, although other authors also participate in these exhibitions, less frequently. Sometimes they are already established artists and other young people who begin their artistic career and thus have the opportunity to bring their work to Toledo and many visitors that the city receives in consequence.


The Toledo tourist office on museums

The Castilla La Mancha regional tourist office on Toledo’s museums :

The Deputy Council of Toledo on the San Clemente cultural center :

There you go folks ,again another dandy monuments museums of awesome Toledo and off the beaten paths, need to be visited more me think, Again, hope you enjoy the museums here as I

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

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