Archive for May 4th, 2023

May 4, 2023

Getting around in and out of Toulouse !!

This is public transportation and it is very popular in France and even by visitors seeking to see something different. I came here once by train and once by plane, then many trips by car ,simply the best way to come in and out. Once in do the walking and if tired take the bus,can’t beat it. Toulouse is no different when it comes to public transportation and very heavily use as it is a huge university town as well with over 100K students. Let me tell you briefly on getting around in and out of Toulouse !!, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

First thing first, came here by train !!! Yes : it was a trip to meet alumnus from my aeronautical university working on the Airbus A380 plane, We met in J’Go resto by the Place Victor Hugo (see post), You have a wonderful train station Gare Matabiau located in the district of Matabiau near walking distance to city center; there are other stations to serve the TER Occitanie trains., A very nice train station, just crossing the allées Jean Jaurés or rue Raymond VI and you are in the center in  5-10 minutes.The main regular intercité train lines are from Paris Gare d’Austerlitz , and the TGV from Gare Montparnasse, whic is from where I came.


The Toulouse-Matabiau train station is located at 64 Bd Pierre Sémard, It sits on the lines from Bordeaux-Saint-Jean to Sète-Ville, from Toulouse to Bayonne and from Brive-la-Gaillarde to Toulouse-Matabiau via Capdenac. The primitive station was inaugurated on October 16 1856 , Since 1990, it has received TGVs from Paris-Montparnasse via the LGV Atlantique; this LGV ending near Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, the trains continue their journey on the classic Paris – Bordeaux line and serve Bordeaux-Saint-Jean. This route brings Toulouse back to 5 h 30 min from Paris in 1990, and since 2017 to 4 h 17 min ! Next to it in 1995, the Toulouse bus station was built. A major redevelopment of the station for the arrival of this LGV and the 3rd metro line and a project for a vast business center with a metropolitan vocation (Grand Matabiau, which will be located around this train station) are planned. The construction of the Halle des Transports is planned between 2026 and 2028, after the extension of the renovated North and South underground passages. The building will have access to the respective metro stations of lines A and C, as well as two accesses to the platforms. Connected to the Marengo-SNCF metro (line A) and buses from the Toulouse Tisséo network, it is close to the bus station which serves Toulouse-Blagnac airport in particular. The LGV Sud-Europe-Atlantique and Bordeaux-Toulouse (2024) will put Bordeaux at 1 hour, Paris at 3 hours and Lille at 5 hours. Toulouse has 9 other TER stations, including Toulouse-Saint-Cyprien-Arènes and Gallieni-Cancéropôle. A bit of history I like in all of this is on the name of the Matabiau district that gives the name ,it comes from the Occitan mata buòu (“to kill the ox”). According to a popular legend, in the year 250, the bull responsible for the death of Saturnin, the first bishop of Toulouse, was killed nearby. In reality, it seems that the name of the district comes rather from the presence, in this place, of the slaughterhouses of the City.

toulouse gare matabiau and bus station

And in between car rides visits , I came by plane just to try it as again friends were waiting for me, The airport is at Blagnac easy to city center Toulouse and therefore, the Toulouse-Blagnac Airport , There is good navette bus from airport, to the City and train station , easy in and out. First you now have the tramway line 2 direct access with automatic machine for ticketing at Hall C – niveau Arrivées (porte C2) this is arrival levels at gate C2 best to Fer de Cheval by Pont St Michel. The navette bus which is the one I used is taken at  street level stop gate or porte C2 arrivals. Take it direction Gare Routiére bus terminal which is at Matabiau next to train station and you can get on metro ,bus or walk as I do into city center along Allées Jean Jaurés. And of course, there is always the taxi  they are at street level arrivals between gates or portes B3 in Hall B and C1 in Hall C; but the navette bus is nicer me think. On the traditional lines you can take metro line A arrêt/ stop Arénes connection towards Basso Cambo and Balma Gramont then towards the train and bus station Matabiau, Metro line B arrêt/stop Palais de Justice, connection towards Ramonville and Borderouge, With the train you go airport from arrêt/stop Arénes connection with line C (TER SNCF linking to Colomiers, With the bus on tram lines T1 and T2 several connections with the bus network TISSEO, From Beauzelle to Toulouse passing by Blagnac, the line T1 service 24 stations.  The itinerary is long of 14.4 km  allowing you to connect the Aéroconstallation to the Palais de JusticeThe T2 tram line connects Toulouse city center to Toulouse-Blagnac airport. Tram Line 2 is made up of a joint section with line T1 from Palais de Justice to Ancely and a new track connecting line T1 at the Jean Maga roundabout to the terminus located at the terminal. The course, 2375 meters long, is made up of three stations: Airport: near hall C, Arrivals level, and the bus station.  Didier Daurat: near rue Jean Dufour, near the eponymous avenue. Pierre Nadot: halfway between the Dewoitine roundabout and the A 621 crossing viaduct in contact with the Airbus bridge.


You ,also, have the Métro of Toulouse (subway/tube). It has two lines A and B. This I have taken a bit for the thrill of it but hardly ever,

The metro line A has a correspondance station at Jean Jaurés with line B as well as with the tramway  T1 et T2  in stop or arrêt Arènes, A nice hub very convenient and the one I tried, Metro line A has these 18 stations : Balma-Gramont – Parking Relais, Argoulets – Parking Relais; Roseraie, Jolimont – Parking Relais, Marengo – SNCF, Jean-Jaurès – correspondance with line B; Capitole, Esquirol, Saint-Cyprien République, Patte-d’Oie, Arènes – Parking Relais – correspondance with tramways T1 and T2 – Gare St Cyprien – Arènes,  Fontaine-Lestang; Mermoz; Bagatelle; Mirail-Université;  Reynerie; Bellefontaine,  and Basso-Cambo – Parking Relais.

The Metro line B, over nearly 16 km along a north-south axis, links some 20 stations between Borderouge and Ramonville-Saint-Agne. It offers a connecting station with line A  at Jean-Jaurès station and one with lines T1 and T2 of the tramway in Palais de Justice. The 20 stations are Borderouge – Parking Relais; Trois Cocus; La Vache – Parking Relais; Barrière de Paris; Minimes – Claude Nougaro; Canal du Midi; Compans Caffarelli; Jeanne d’Arc; Jean Jaurès – correspondance with metro line A;François Verdier; Carmes; Palais de Justice -correspondance with tramways T1 and T2(towards airport)St Michel – Marcel Langer ;  Empalot; Saint-Agne – SNCF; Saouzelong; Rangueil ;Faculté de Pharmacie; Université Paul Sabatier and Ramonville – Parking Relais.

toulouse metro jeanne d arc jul10

For info only ,I put metro line C here as still under construction to be finished by 2028. Metro Line C will have 21 stations for 27 km long, It will connect line A at Marengo SNCF and connect with line B at François Verdier and La Vache, Connection with Tram line 1 and the future Airport Express line at Jean Maga in Blagnac.

The bus network has about 135 main lines in the City,too much to explain here but easy and frequent service is available. I have never use it. The complete public transporation network of Toulouse is call TISSEO, They have sales point to get tickets before your boarding at the Airport, Arénes, Basso Cambo, Borderouge, Jean Jaurés, and Marengo-SNCF, And of course this is intended to move about in Toulouse. Once arriving walking is the best way to move around, and if daring the bike. Vélo Toulouse. Which of course have no knowledge of, never done it ok.


The Toulouse-Blagnac airport

The SNCF Matabiau train station :

The TER Occitanie at Matabiau train station:

The TISSEO bus metro tram information :

The official Vélo Toulouse for information :

The Toulouse tourist office on getting around public transports :

The Toulouse Grand Matabiau project on transports etc :

There you go folks, a wonderful town to walk around, see the sights, eat the local cuisine ,and indulge in the future technologies, More than a City is like a second home for my visits, for family, and for the aviation alumnus in me, Again, hope you enjoy the post and help you out enjoy more the City of Toulouse, I always do !!!

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

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May 4, 2023

The house of Yves Nicolazic !!!

As I past by this wonderful Basilica of Sainte Anne d’Auray almost every day, always wanted to come inside this house but my road warrior took me away from it until today, I have several posts on the basilica and its importance to Brittany ,but the house is where all started ! Therefore, this is new text ,links and pictures on the house of Yves Nicolazic of Sainte Anne d’Auray. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Sainte Anne d'Auray Yves house front may23

Yves Nicolazic was a Breton peasant who testified to having benefited from apparitions of Sainte Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary, (and grandfather of Jesus ,and patron saint of Brittany) ,and who after unearthing a forgotten statue representing her in the field known as Bocenno is at the origin of the place of pilgrimage and the construction of the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-d’AurayThe thatched cottage burnt down in 1902, restored in 1907, it was in this place that the seer of Sainte-Anne, Yves Nicolazic lived with his wife Guillemette Le Roux and their children. In the barn adjoining the house, important apparitions took place during the winter of 1624-1625. This barn, burnt down on March 9, 1625, stood on the site of the current statue in the garden. It can be visited freely from April to October, every day from 9h30 to 18h, I finally made it by 17h.

Sainte Anne d'Auray Yves house garden Ste Anne may23

Yves Nicolazic did exist. He was born in 1591 in Pluneret, a small village near Vannes and lived in the village of Ker-Anna or Keranna (Sainte Anne). He was a well-to-do peasant who owned two fine pieces of land. One of the lands, named Bocenno, yielded more than the others. But singular feature, you could only work there with a spade.  Impossible to pass the plow there: arrived at a certain place, the oxen were busy at the risk of breaking the plow. “It’s the fields of the chapel” they said. This local belief was justified by the blocks of stone that from time to time were removed from the ground. In 1615, Nicolazic’s father had used them to rebuild his barn. Married since 1613 to a person from his village, Guillemette Le Roux, Nicolazic, to his great regret, had no children yet in 1627. His visions had begun in August 1622; he had glimpsed Sainte Anne at the fountain; had met her near the cross on the edge of the moor; he had traveled with her whenever he came home late. One summer day, his brother-in-law Louis Le Roux and Yves Nicolazic had gone to fetch their oxen from a meadow near the fountain; before bringing them back, they wanted to make them drink from the trough. Suddenly the oxen stubbornly refused to advance. A majestic lady was in front of them, facing the spring and carrying a lighted torch.

Sainte Anne d'Auray Yves house altar may23

It was on July 25, 1624, the eve of the feast of Sainte Anne, that Yves Nicolazic received the mandate which was to make him the creator of the Pilgrimage of Sainte-Anne d’Auray. The apparition read, “Yves Nicolazic, fear not. I am Anne, mother of Marie. Tell your rector that in the piece of land called the Bocenno, there was once, even before there was any village, a chapel dedicated in my name. It was the first in the whole country. It has been ruined for 924 years and 6 months. I desire that it be rebuilt as soon as possible, and that you take care of it, because God wants me to be honored there.”  On the night of March 7-8, 1625, Sainte Anne appeared to him again and said to him: “Yves Nicolazic, call your neighbors, as you have been advised; lead them with you to the place where this torch will lead you, you will find the image that will protect you from the world, which will finally know the truth of what I have promised you”. Arrived in front of the Bocenno field , the torch left the path and went to the place of the old chapel. They began to dig in the ground and discovered a piece of wood that had laid there: it was an old statue, all disfigured and damaged, which had been lying there for 900 years. The news spread like lightning. The bishop’s commissary went to Pluneret on Wednesday, March 12, 1625 and summoned Yves Nicolazic to the presbytery. The Bishop of Vannes, Mgr de Rosmadec, received Yves Nicolazic at the Château de Kerguéhennec in Bignan,(see post), where M. du Garo, the Bishop’s brother-in-law, lived. Yves Nicolazic also stayed a few days with the Capuchins of Vannes and was subjected to a meticulous examination. It was concluded that the facts mentioned by Yves Nicolazic were true and that it was appropriate to build the requested chapel in the same place as that of the 5C.

Sainte Anne d'Auray Yves house kitchen may23

From a family point of view, he was to be pitied because he had no children or descendants. What was his prayer then? Did he go so far as to ask Sainte Anne to grant him the honor of being a father? Still, he received an unexpected confidence one day from his wife Guillemette Le Roux and on January 18, 1628, he presented himself at the church of Pluneret, (see post) announcing to the rector that he was bringing a boy to be baptized. Two years later a girl named Jeanne was born, then another girl named Paterne. Before dying on May 13, 1645, at the age of 63, Yves Nicolazic saw the fulfillment of the promises that Sainte Anne had made to him. Crowds of believers and unbelievers had come and kept coming. The chapel had been built, and conversions and miracles were taking place. His humble village had become the center of the cult of Sainte Anne and the Pilgrimage was already one of the busiest in France. His body was buried in the Chapel of the Pilgrimage, and, as he had expressed the wish, at the very place where, twenty years earlier, he had miraculously discovered the statue of Sainte Anne.

Sainte Anne d'Auray Yves house living room may23

The cause for beatification was reconsidered following the pilgrimage made by Pope John Paul II to his shrine on September 20, 1996; A draft had already been prepared from 1935 to 1937, so a definitive file was officially deposited at the Vatican, at the end of the year 2000. Still pending,,,, Anyway today the Basilica of Sainte Anne pardon held between July 24-26 each year is the third biggest gathering of Catholics in France behind Lisieux and Lourdes. We have between half a million to one million pilgrims here !!!

The official Sanctuary of Sainte Anne d’Auray see Nicolazic:

The town of Sainte Anne d’Auray on its religious heritage :

The local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Sanctuary of Sainte Anne d’Auray:

There you go folks, again, a day is needed to see this wonderful spot and very worth the detour for those traveling in these lands.  It is worth it to understand the history of Brittany as well as  France, and the beautiful architecture if not the religious fervor that it attracts. The story of Yves Nicolazic and the Basilica of Sainte Anne is worth the detour. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

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

May 4, 2023

Curiosities of Spain !!!

Looking at my house after some maintenance work saw many souvenirs of our trip to my dear Spain and why not in my blog, After all this is my life and my family life’s history, This post allows me to show in my blog things collected over the years by my dear late wife Martine that still hangs and will forever in my house. Nostalgia sets in and here I go on my curiosities of Spain !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I

In 834, Alfonso II, King of Asturias, set out from Oviedo, thus laying out the first pilgrimage route to Compostela , which would later be called Camino Primitivo, or Primitive Way, The Camino Francés or French Way begins at the famous city of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, The ideal time to hike is spring, from March to May. Distance: 930 Km Stages: approximately 32. From the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela, the French Way crosses the regions of Aragon, Navarre, La Rioja, Castilla-León and Galicia. We have done it by car and stop by to get a souvenir quick stop with the dish.

Santiago de compostela camino de santiago

Residence of the Spanish kings from Charles III to Alfonso XIII, the Royal Palace of Madrid is open to all those who wish to travel through the history of Spain. Although not inhabited by the current monarchs, the building is the official residence of the kings of Spain. I was here as a child with my late mother Gladys and later came in couple times more with my dear late wife Martine, late father Elio ,and my boys. One of the oldest souvenirs dating from 1990

Madrid palacio real

The Plaza de España attracts crowds of all nationalities. The square is home to one of the most photographed monuments in Madrid , The new square extends over an area of more than 70,000 m2, where all modes of transport rub shoulders, with pedestrian areas and cycle paths located on the surface , while an underground tunnel connects Bailén and Ferraz streets, extending the tunnel built in 1990 in front of the Royal Palace. More than 1,100 new trees have been planted there, more than 3 kms of cycle paths have been laid out on the roads and nearly 400 meters on car-free spaces, as well as vast play areas for children. Besides the famous Monument to Cervantes inaugurated in 1915, the square has two other fountains: a new creation, the Fuente del Cielo (Fountain of the Sky), a work in makauba blue marble, inspired by the sky of Madrid; and the one known as Fuente de la Concha (fountain of the shell) or del Nacimiento del agua (of the birth of water), previously located in front of the Spain or España building and which will soon be moved in front of the parish of Santa Teresa y San José, at no, 14 Plaza de España, a magnificent neogothic temple of medieval inspiration. This one played around in the old square for many years and then came back with family to see again, the latest came with my boys. One of the oldest souvenirs dating from 1990

Madrid plaza de Espana

The Roman aqueduct of Segovia, probably built around the year 50 of the Christian era, is remarkably well preserved. This majestic construction with double arches is part of the magnificent historic city of Segovia . It is an enormous masonry work 813 meters long, made up of four straight segments and two superimposed arcades bearing on 128 pillars. At the lowest point in the valley, the aqueduct rises 28.5 meters above the ground. Apart from Madrid, this is the second city visited in Spain in my child years and have come back several times with the family.

Segovia spoon of aqueduct

The La Mancha area, the homeland of Don Quixote. And the windmills in Campo de Criptana ! From Toledo is the canon who, after running into the gang that was carrying Don Quixote in a cage, engages with him and the members of the expedition in a long dissertation. Also in Toledo is the asylum ; the house of the Nuncio ; where Don Quixote ends up being hospitalized in the book of Avellaneda. Even today it remains unknown, although according to a study promoted by the Complutense University of Madrid and carried out by ten scientific experts, they place Villanueva de los Infantes as the birth town of Don Quixote.I have taken the route with the family and visit many of these towns including Toledo where had nearby cousins.

Toledo don quijote statue

To visit a must in Toledo are the Toledo Cathedral. Valley viewpoint. Synagogue of Santa María La Blanca. Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes. Alcantara Bridge. Alcazar. Church of Santo Tomé and Plaza de Zocodover. Amongst many more indeed. One of the earliest visited cities in Spain, and lucky to have been back several times.

Toledo spoon of monuments

The official Spain tourist office :

There you go folks, a walk of nostalgia from my dear Spain. The curiosities of Spain, everything under the sun, that still rings many nice memories to my mind on each stretch of meter I take on it. These were some souvenirs taken by my dear late wife Martine and still hang in my house forever, Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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