Search Results for “victo hugo”

January 9, 2021

Marche Victor Hugo-Toulouse!

Oh yes need to revise this not so old post, a sentimental one as one took for the first in Toulouse without my dear late wife Martine. Her father’s side of the family is from nearby Lavaur (see posts) and we have come to the market and the city often. I have even had business meetings in restos on it! See my foodie posts on Toulouse.

And why not food in Toulouse, wonderful occitan cuisine rich and hearty for the soul of the mountains and the Garonne. This is a place I have been coming in for years for drinks with friends, and family and for lunch and dinners as well as market and nearby stores shopping galore, this is Toulouse.  I like to tell you more on the marché Victor Hugo at Place Victor Hugo in Toulouse.

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The Marché Victor-Hugo market is a covered market located in the center of the Place Victor-Hugo, in the Saint-Georges district, in sector 1 of Toulouse. It is one of the main Toulouse food markets. it once stood under a metal hall, dismantled and replaced by a concrete parking market.

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Before the opening of the rue d’Alsace-Lorraine, the current Place Victor-Hugo was called Place du Marché-au-Bois. There was a wood market, also known as an old-fashioned market. This market was a vast wooden hall, built in 1825 on the site of the old rampart Villeneuve destroyed. The square was completed in 1832. It received the name of Victor Hugo in 1885, on the occasion of a coronation of the poet by the Floral Games. The Victor-Hugo market was inaugurated on March 20, 1892 and opened on July 1, when the works were not completely finished. They were not completed until the following year.

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The Victor Hugo market is in the form of a large rectangular building, it consists of a central nave. The building rests on a basement of vaulted cellars. Four entrances are located on the gables of the central nave. Two canopies run along the side elevations, the building rests on cast iron pillars and is covered with a metal frame. The old metal hall is destroyed and replaced by the current parking market, inaugurated on October 17, 1959. It was then the city’s first parking market. Between 2017 and 2019, new renovation and upgrading work was undertaken, while the Place Victor-Hugo was itself rehabilitated.

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The beauty of it that each time we go by there is some renovations going on but the businesses remain the same for many years! The city of Toulouse show you this grand opening with a video here: https://www.toulouse.fr/web/projet-urbain/-/amenagement-de-la-place-du-marche-et-du-parking-victor-hugo

We did get some goodies for the apartment rental inside but also around the covered market and the great convenience of a Monop grocery store part of the Monoprix group. Location here: https://www.monoprix.fr/monop-marche-toulouse-toulouse-31000-s

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There is an excellent bakery pastry store with branches in other parts of Toulouse. Of course, we got some pastries and baguette here. This is the Le Fournil de Victor Hugo! My reviews fav YELP has more on it here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/le-fournil-de-victor-hugo-toulouse

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And last we grab our regional wines such as Fronton here at Busquet’s Maison Busquets, and we got some good Fronton local wines here! webpage: https://www.maisonbusquets.com/busquets-et-son-histoire.html

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You will be loaded with goodies of my belle France and lovely Toulouse all the very best. Aah if cheese is your way than see Xavier fromagerie right there, no buy this time but worth the stop anytime. Here is their webpage: https://xavier.fr/#

The Tourist office of Toulouse on the Marché Victor Hugo: https://www.toulouse-visit.com/marche-couvert-victor-hugo/toulouse/commid031v5013x5

Official Marché Victor Hugo webpage: https://www.marche-victor-hugo.fr/

As said, this is heaven territory and we stick to it for years, you will be delighted take it from me, diplomé in wines of France by SOPEXA food and wine from France. And the culinary delights of the Haute Garonne, Occitanie, and France!

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

November 13, 2018

Victor Hugo

So , short title, indeed. Do I need to tell you more? For me the name means France, there are a few more but none as high as Victor Hugo. From time of my early life I read his books first in Spanish, then in English, and finally in French all good.  When we speak fo traditions and literary mind set, he probably means France more than anyone else. For me ,the men is huge.

I cannot find photos but so what, I need to tell you about my France, the deep France, the ones known by others on books and me on beliefs and the thank you to be here, and the many thank you’s to my dear late wife Martine, who show me all about France. I remember.

For me a lousy writer to write about Victor Hugo is a monumental task, one I am not up to it, but will do my best to tell you a bit about the men and France or is it France and then the men, Victor Hugo.

Victor Hugo born at Besançon, February 2, 1802. He married Adéle Foucher in 1822, very early. He went into battle with his work of Hernani in 1830. Entered the Académie Française in 1841 ,entered the City council of Paris in 1845. In  1851 exile to Brussels, return from exile 1868, Senator in 1876, death in Paris and national funeral on May 22 1885 to be entered into the Panthéon. Indeed well deserve all of it.

Victor-Marie Hugo is the son of the Empire General Joseph Leopold Sigisbert Hugo , reaching Count status himself, according to the family tradition, by Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain, and garrisoned in the Doubs at the time of the birth of his son, and Sophie Trebuchet, young woman from the bourgeoisie of Nantes.

On October 12, 1822, he married his childhood friend, Adéle Foucher, born in 1803, in the Church Saint-Sulpice in Paris, she gave birth to five children: Leopold ; Leopoldine ; Charles , François – Victor; and Adele, the only one who survives her illustrious father, but whose mental state, very soon failing, will earn her long years in a health home.

Beginning of February 1804 and the family elects domicile at 76 rue Neuve-des-Petites-Champs. It will remain for almost five years in this apartment of the 2éme arrondissement which unfortunately remains nothing and which today corresponds to no. 20 rue Danielle-Casanova. The couple lives with Adele’s parents. They moved to 90, rue de Vaugirard; then the family moved the following year into a house at 11 rue   Notre-Dame-des-Champs. In May 1830, the family moved again to the Rue Jean-Goujon; where Adele, had their last child. They will live on Rue Jean-Goujon until October 1832. In 1832, Victor Hugo settled in an apartment of the Hôtel de Rohan-Guémené, at no 6 Place Royale, which became Place des Vosges in 1848. For sixteen years, the author of Notre-Dame-de-Paris will write several of his major works here.

At the end of November 1878, Victor Hugo moved to 130, Avenue Eylau, in a mansion in the 16éme arrondissement that belonged to the Princess of Lusignan. It is here that on 27 February 1881, more than 600 000 people will parade under its windows to celebrate its entry into its 80th birthday! Later that year, Avenue Eylau will be renamed Avenue Victor-Hugo , the house is now at 124 Avenue Victor Hugo.

In 1837, Victor Hugo, the journalist Anténor Joly and the writer Alexandre Dumas, committed the creation of a theater that will leave its full place to the romantic dramaturgy, of which Victor Hugo is one of the most illustrious representatives: the Theatre de la Renaissance settled in the premises of the Salle Ventadour, a few steps from the Rue des Petites-Champs where, as a child, the young Victor Hugo had discovered Paris. The theater did not managed to cover its costs and ceases its activity in May 1841. The new Renaissance Theater will be inaugurated on March 8, 1873 at 20, Boulevard Saint-Martin, 10éme arrondissement of Paris.

He is considered one of the most important French-language writers, indeed. He is, also a political figure and a committed intellectual who played a major role in the history of the 19C. It occupies a prominent place in the history of French letters in the 19C, in genres and fields of a remarkable variety. In the theater, Victor Hugo manifests himself as one of the leaders of French romanticism when he exposes his theory of romantic drama in the prefaces that introduce Cromwell in 1827 then Hernani in 1830 which are real manifests, then by his other dramatic works: Ruy Blas in 1838, but also Lucréce Borgia and the Le Roi s’amuse (king has fun). Victor Hugo is also a lyric poet with collections such as Odes and Ballades (1826), Les Feuilles d’Automne (Autumn Leaves 1831) or Contemplations (1856), but he is also a poet committed against Napoleon III in Les Châtiments (Punishment 1853) or even an epic poet with the La Légende des siècles (legend of Centuries 1859 and 1877). His novels also met with great popular success, including Notre-Dame de Paris (1831), and even more with the Les Misérables (wretches of 1862). His multiple work also includes political speeches in the House of Peers, the Constituent Assembly and the legislature, including the death penalty, school or Europe, travel accounts like the Rhine, 1842, or things seen, posthumous, 1887 and 1890, an abundant correspondence, as well as numerous sketches and drawings in pen and wash.

Victor Hugo was a poet, drama writer, romance novel writer that also had a political career. The humanistic message on the speech of 9 july 1849 in the National Assembly of France (Assamblée Générale) and entered in conflict with Louis Napoléon Bonaparte future Napoleon III. To defend their rights of authors and prove that they live off their writing he found the societe of people of letters or sociéte des gens de letters in 1838 initial members included Honoré Balzac Alexandre Dumas, Théophile Gautier, George Sand, and Victor Hugo etc

In 1852 Louis Napoléon Bonaparte propose change in the constitution of the 2nd Republic and Victor Hugo oppose them, the National Assembly refuses the changes ,but his family goes in danger by the police more friendly to Louis Napoléon Bonaparte. His son Charles Hugo is arrested and put in the Conciérgerie, other son Francois-Victor joined him a few weeks later. The coup d’état comes on the night of Dec 2 1851 Victor Hugo tries to get the people of Paris to raise up in arms but the repression is huge, even his friend Alexandre Dumas suggested for him to go into exile and he does. Napoleon III is firmly in his coup d état and the police searched for Victor Hugo. The mistress of Victor Hugo in Sept 1852 was Juliette Drouet and she helped him hide and escape. There is another important mistress at the time name Léonie d’Aunet wife of painter Francois-Auguste Biard who with the knowledge of his formal wife Adéle for seven years, Juliette does not know this. Victor and Leonie are caught by the police she goes two months in jail but not him as adultery was not condemn then and until 1975!!!

In 1843 during a vacation trip to Spain coming back by La Rochelle , he takes the news that his oldest daughter Léopoldine and husband drown in a boat ride in the Seine river. From this date and for a long while until his exile he stop all ,no theater, no novels, not a poem,nothing, as the shock of his daughter death is huge.

Exile in Brussels in 1851 he lived at No 16  Grand Place in the Maison du Moulin à Vent then, No. 27 Grand Place in the Maison du pigeon , and he writes a small journal Napoleon le petit or little napoleon. Juliette Drouet, does not live far away from him, while here, she is in an apartment in the Galeries Saint Hubert where today there is a library call Librairie Tropismes . Victor Hugo patronized the places in the gallery and one today rename the Tavern du Passage where he meets with other writers exile in Brussels such as Rimbaud, Verlaine, etc all in Brussels to able to think freely.

Eventually, he goes to the island of Jersey to lived with Adéle and family. Here while they settle down at Saint Helier in the neighborhood of Marine Terrace, his mistress Juliette comes in at Havre des Pas. In the 1860’s upon returning from Jersey , his wife Adéle and children lived at a house in the Place des Barricades in Brussels. In 1862, he is back in Brussels and settled in a house at the rue des Colonies.

Victor Hugo writes here the Les Contemplations, les Châtiments etc. Eventually he is force to leave the island and goes to Guernsey followed by Juliette. Victor Hugo acquired a house in Hauteville House and rent a house for Juliette a few meters away, his sons Charles and François Victor do visits and in 1863 Adéle dedicates a book to Juliette ;Victor Hugo raconte par un temoin de sa vie (Victor Hugo Tells by a Witness of his life).

In 1871 ,he finds refuge during 3 months and half at the Grand Duché Luxembourg. He stayed there successively in Luxembourg city , Vianden , Diekirch , and Mondorf, where he takes thermal bath cures

Adéle Hugo died 27 august 1868 and Juliette do not come together right away for fear of bad press but in sept 1870 when the second empire is ended and Vctor Hugo come back in triumph to France, Juliette is at his side. She died of cancer on May 11 1883 and from then on Victor Hugo stops writing altogether. He died in 1885 in his mansion or hôtel particulier « La Princesse de Lusignan », that was at no 50 Avenue Victor-Hugo, now it is no 124. The funeral goes under the Arc de Triomphe in May 31 1885 and exposed there, covered in black; a 21 gun salute is given from the  Invalides , and on june 1, 1885 the funeral processesion goes by the Avenue des Champs Elysées, Place de la Concorde, then bd Saint Germain and bd Saint Michel to arrives at rue Soufflot and his body is transferred to the Panthéon where he lies today he was 83 yr s old, and it is estimated 2 million folks in person participated in the funeral!

He was the most popular writer of his time; It is already for several decades considered as one of the monuments of French literature.

There are several webpages that traces his life, I just put some official ones here

The Association of Friends of Victor Hugo:  http://victor-hugo.org/fr/

The  maison de Victor Hugo  (house museum) is a monographic museum, located at 6 Place des Vosges, in the 4éme arrondissement, which preserves the former Hôtel de Rohan-Guémené where Victor Hugo rented the apartment on the second floor for sixteen years, from 1832 to 1848. More info here:  http://www.maisonsvictorhugo.paris.fr/fr

In French , a bit on the house where he was born in Besançon:  http://www.bm-besancon.fr/index.php?p=1328

Vacquerie in Seine et Marne dept 77 the resting place of his wife Adéle and oldest daughter Léopoldine near the spot where she drown with her husband in 1843 while on a Seine boat ride. Info here:  http://www.museevictorhugo.fr/en/presentation-2/

And I have been too ,in Vianden Luxembourg where his rental house is a museum today , more info: http://www.victor-hugo.lu/cgi-bin/baseportal.pl?htx=/accueil

Info on the houses he lived in the British isles of Jersey and Guernsey: http://hautevillehouse.com/

Victor Hugo in Guernsey

There you go , good reading , I did my duty to write at least this post on this great men, and hope it helps you understand the French a bit more, and do come to check these places out, awesome. Salut

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

 

November 6, 2018

Place Victor Hugo, Paris!

SO on a cold night in my beloved Morbihan breton, I like to go for a short post on a wonderful neighborhood in a splendid district of my eternal Paris. I seldom just write on streets, and there are some major ones here , very popular, even wrote on one or two of those,but there are so many corners of my lovely Paris seldom mentioned, hardly ever visited and simply not remembered. And they should be look into closer.

I have come to eat ,and visit Paris and sightseeing on many years by this street and passed by this wonderful square always; it is one of my sentimental memories of my Paris, that I like to tell you today.

This is the title of course, Place Victor Hugo in the neighborhood of the plains of Passy and the district 16 of Paris. And passing this wonderful square, all along I came on the Avenue de Victor Hugo!

The square or Place Victor-Hugo is located in the 16éme arrondissement . It is at the meeting of the Avenue Raymond-Poincaré, Avenue Victor-Hugo, Avenue Bugeaud and Rue Copernicus, Rue Boissière, Rue Mesnil, and rue Sontay, and Rue Leonardo-de-Vinci.   The square is served by the metro station Victo Hugo of line 2. Also , the RATP bus 52 passes by here on the line Parc de Saint-Cloud to the Opéra passing by the towns of Saint-Cloud, Boulogne-Billancourt,and Paris. Also, RATP bus 82 on the line Hôpital Americain in Neuilly sur Seine to the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris.

A bit of history I like tell us that the square was in the center of the subdivision of the plain of Passy created in 1825 on a rural territory little developed on the old town of Passy between the Avenue de Neuilly, (current Avenue de la Grande Armée) in the north , the exterior boulevard of the enclosure of the Fermiers Généraux (General Farmers), present Avenue Kléber in the east, the former faisanderie of the Château de la Muette that stretched between the path of the little Park, current rue Pergolései, rue Spontini, and rue Mignard and the Bois de Boulogne to the West, and the rue de Longchamp to the south.

The Place Victor Hugo was called place de Rond-point Charles-X of the date of its creation in 1825 to honor the monarch at the time, and was renamed successively after the fall of Charles X, Place Rond-point de Saint-Cloud, Place Rond-point de la Plaine-de-Passy, Place de l’Hippodrome, then Place Eylau in the Second Empire before taking the name of Place Victor-Hugo following the decision of the city Council of Paris taken the very day of the death of Victor Hugo.

And in 1856, there was an Hippodrome (horse racecourse) opening here at the current spot of the Place Victor Hugo that was called at the time Place Rond-point de la Plaine-de-Passy. Its entrance was located on Avenue de la Dauphine (today Avenue Bugeaud). This lasted until the night of 29 to 30 September 1869, when the Hippodrome, built of wood, is completely destroyed by a huge fire.

The neighborhood is one of the first to benefit from 1900 of a Metro service. The station Victor Hugo opened on December 3, 1900 on the stretch of the line limited at the time to the segment Etoile-porte-Dauphine.

In the center of the square there rose a monument celebrating Victor Hugo, inaugurated in 1902 for the centenary of his birth. This group carved in bronze on a stone base, decorated with four bas-reliefs. The bronze part is requisitioned and melted to produce weapons in 1943 under the Nazis occupation. The bas-reliefs of the base have been saved: one is now at the Museum of Fine Arts of Calais and the other three in Veules-les-Roses. Since 1964, a large fountain has taken its place. The fountain is a circular stone basin with in its center three powerful jets of water that rise above three imposing vases covered with glass crystals. It is nowadays functional. See it below picture.

Paris

Around this square you will find interesting points such as

Church of Saint-Honoré-d’Eylau . The Church was built in 1855. On September 2, 1867, a hundred people attended the funeral of the poet Charles Baudelaire. On 13 May 1871, during the commune of Paris of 1871, the Church was transformed into the barracks of the National Guard under the name of Saint-Honoré-d’Eylau Barracks. This Church is home to the nuns of Bethlehem. More info : https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71162/%C3%89glise-Saint-Honor%C3%A9-d%27Eylau

At No. 10 Place Victor Hugo, there is the building where Maurice Schumann was born. He had joined General de Gaulle in London from June 1940, and became the spokesman for Free France. He is the voice on Radio London throughout the conflict. A loyal Gaullist, Christian Democrat and convinced European, he was one of the founders of the popular Republican movement, of which he was the first president. A member of the North for thirty years and then a senator for fifteen years, he was appointed Minister of State in the governments of Georges Pompidou several times and concluded his government career as Minister for Foreign Affairs (1969-1973). He was elected to the French Academy in 1974. More on him at the Order of the Liberation official webpage: https://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr/les-compagnons/893/maurice-schumann

In addition, one of my access to Paris while living in Versailles was the Avenue Victor Hugo entering on the Porte de la Muette. This avenue will take you through the place Victor Hugo . Victor Hugo lived the last years of his life in a hotel on the avenue which, since 1881, bore his name, at No. 50, and with the change in numeration in Paris it is now today   No. 124. The avenue Victor Hugo begins at the place Charles-de-Gaulle and ends at the place Tattegrain (Avenue Henri-Martin). It is one of twelve avenues starting from the Etoile (Arc de Triomphe) and the longest after the avenue of the Champs-Elysées. It is located between Avenue Foch and Avenue Kléber on the hill of Chaillot.

And of course, do not forget to have a coffee while doing your walks at the wonderful Café Victor Hugo on the square ,see it on picture above. More here: Café Victor Hugo Paris

There you walking and glancing of the architecture and the bits of things to know like above is wonderful; do walk in Paris is glorious and good for your health ::) Hope you enjoy the short post ….

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

 

 

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June 20, 2021

The Nord Lille ,and Pas de Calais, Arras!

Let’s go north, shall we! This is an area I have visited while visiting family and then use them as a base. The wonderful towns of Lille and Arras. I have written on these before in my blog , and even the Christmas market in Arras is tops. However, I need to update this older post with refresh text and links to bring it up to date. It is wonderful to go over these previous places we have travelled and love it. Again, thanks for reading me since Nov 2010!

Let me update this post sort of an introduction to these wonderful cities as more available in my blog with pictures so this will, also, be on my black and white series. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Lille is a great city often overlook and now really link by train from Paris and even London, Brussels, Amsterdam etc. The city center is wonderful and the shopping phenomenal.  Lille is a city in the Nord dept 59 of the region of Hauts-de-France. It is often calle the Capital of Flandres as it used to belong to the roman Flandres which in turn belongs to the historic French Flandres, old territory of the Count of Flandres and not part of the Flemish speaking area.

The city of Lille has gone thru many monumental periods in its history and count as one of the cities most invaded in France. Lille has belong to the counts of Flandres, kingdom of France, Burgundian state, Holy Roman Empire ,the Spanish low countries before coming back to France taken by king Louis XIV during the war of Spanish succession. The city was again invaded in 1792 during the Franco Austrian war ( French revolution)  and very much touch by the two world wars. During WWI the city was occupied by the Germans from 1914 to 1918, and it was the English under Gen Birdwood that liberated the city in October 17,1918. The city was in ruins. Lille was taken in WWII since May 1940 by the Nazis and attach to the nazi commander HQ in Brussels and not from the Vichy regime, so totally detached from the rest of France. Lille is finally liberated again by the British on September 3, 1944.

It is for this reason that the city did not developed into a typical city center layout but a mosaic of districts with their own identity. The historic heart that today is composed of the old Lille and Center Lille or Vieux-Lille and Lille-Centre; these two districts are extensions of the city in the 17C to 19C. Then, coming the districts born out of annexations in the 19C such as the Bois Blancs, Vauban Esquermes, Wazemmes, Lille-Moulins, Faubourg de Béthune, Lille-Sud, Saint-Maurice Pellevoisin , and Fives as the better ones and then coming those born out of the 20C such as Hellemmes ,and Lomme.

Some of the things to see here are:  The Collegiale Church of Saint Pierre and its cryptChurch of Saint-Maurice, and Church of Sainte-Catherine, the old stock exchange or Vieille Bourse house or maison de Gilles de la Boë, Church of Saint Etienne, Church of Saint André, the wonderful Citadelle known as the Queen of Citadelles , the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille, new stock exchange or Nouvelle bourse, city hall or Hôtel de Ville, and wonderful shopping train complex of Euralille.  We love the shopping here!

Other wonderful streets to walk on and see old Lille are rue des Chats-Bossus, Place du Lion-d’Or, rue de la Monnaie, rue des Arts ,rue Saint Jacques, place aux Bleuets, or the house of old men or Maison des Vieux-Hommes built in 1624 at rue de Roubaix. And do not missed the Grand’Place this to me is Lille at its best. You wonderful art at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, B. 1885, the Théâtre Sébastopol B. 1903, and the Opéra B. 1907. The wonderful park of Bois de Boulogne in Lille next to the Citadelle,with a zoo, an attraction park. Not to leave out the other museums such as the native house/museum of Charles de Gaulle at rue Princesse, and the wonderful musée des Canonniers at rue des Canonniers house in an old convent tracing the history of the military actions in town and especially the sieges of Lille.

Some of the must dishes to try here in the northern cuisine mixing French and Flemish traditions are other than the local beer, The Flemish Carbonade, simmered beef stew with beer, often embellished with gingerbread; the Potjevleesch, a terrine of four white meats taken with jelly; the Waterzoï, chicken or fish stew with cream and small vegetables. The Petit Salé Lille, made only from lean ham, and the mussels and fries, a dish obliged to the great sale of Lille, are also part of the culinary heritage of the city.

The city of Lille on things to see in French : https://www.lille.fr/Que-faire-a-Lille/Decouvrir-Lille

The Lille tourist office on things to see in English: https://en.lilletourism.com/discover-lille-1.html

Then, we go down to Arras, a nice town with lots of war history to remember. Also, in my opinion , the best Christmas market in the region. Arras is the historic capital of the departement 62 of Pas-de-Calais, in the region of Hauts de France; 45 km from Lille,and 160 km from Paris. We go here on the A1 who has an important exchange with the A26 here, and  we take the D 939.  The core historical of the city is along the ramparts with the oldest construction there around the bell tower or beffroi, and by the beautiful Grand’Place.

A bit of history I like: the treaty of Madrid of 1526 attached Arras to the Spanish lower countries but was never respected by king François I and conflicts continue until the end of his reign. The city is conquered by king Louis XIII in 1640 and later siege by the Spanish in 1654 ; however , the attachement to France does not happenned until the Treaty of the Pyrénées in 1659.(That set the frontiers of France and Spain to this day).

WWI or the Great War gave considerable damaged to the city and destruction of its heritage buildings as the town was only 10 km from the front. The beffroi is destroyed then the Cathedral and the palace of Saint-Vaast are bombarded in 1915. In secret the British built the stone quarries of chalk under the city to house the soldiers necessary for the battle of Arras of April 9 1917; the quarry of Wellington is open today to remember what heroic actions were taken place here. After the war, Arras was demolished in 3/4 of it and was rebuilt almost identical later. It had some damaged in WWII but not nearly as much than during the Great War 1914-1918.

Some of the things to see here are: Well let me tell you this little town has a punch. Arras is a City of Arts and History designation, and member of the Vauban network; it has 225 monuments classified as historical monuments that makes it the 7th city in France! The wonderful place des Héros,rue de la Taillerie, and the Grand’Place form an extraordinary monumental group of buildings unique in Europe.

The bell tower or beffroi in the city hall or hôtel de ville was built between 1463-1554, destroyed by Germans in WWI it was rebuilt to the identical after the war. The huge abbey of Saint-Vaast rebuilt in the 18C in classical architecture today houses the fine arts museum or musée des Beaux-Arts d’Arras, and the municipal library. Originally founded in the 7C ; the Church became the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Vaast after the old cathedral was destroyed during the French revolution. The lower town has the district that link the city to the Citadelle, around the place Victor-Hugo, built in 1756 in an octagonal shape of which in the center an obelisk was placed. The Citadelle was built between 1668-1672 as a defense in square format as wanted by Vauban, to protect the kingdom from invasion by the Spanish low countries but was never attack.

There is a theater on the Italian model built in 1785 and renovated last in 2007. The fine arts museum has sculptures, objects of art, and painting collections from the Flemish, Dutch, Italian, and French schools . There is an agreement between the city and the chateau de Versailles to offered collaboration that will give the museum a royal domain look (of course).

The culinary traditions here are other than the beer… Chocolate Hearts: In the 12C the heart-shaped pastries were done and still do. In the 17C, the Gingerbread hearts became the “hearts of Arras”. Since the years 1950, they are made of chocolate, and they are great! Since the Middle Ages, the home grown pigs perpetuate the traditional recipe of the antler of Arras, elaborated from veal strawberries prepared by hand. The antler of Arras has its brotherhood and its annual feast.

The city of Arras tourist office on its heritage in French:   https://www.arras.fr/fr/mes-loisirs/tourisme-patrimoine

The Arras tourist office in English:   https://www.arraspaysdartois.com/en/

There you have it, two wonderful towns of the Nord or North that needs to be visited more, and me included with relatives nearby. So much to see here you know ::)

As a side show I like to put up here an anecdote. As been base there and my other half love of shopping I had to dig in my road warrior skills to drive into nearby places looking for outlet store malls.  There are factory outlets in the outskirts of Lille such as at Roubaix the Usines we have been with the family and they are pretty good if you know what you are looking for and prices. Also,McArthur Glen factory outlet .

The webpage for Usineshttps://www.usineroubaix.fr/en/

The webpage for McArthur Glenhttps://www.mcarthurglen.com/outlets/en/fr/designer-outlet-roubaix/

Another anecdote proper to this post. I remember when was preparing moving to France permanently, I met a Belgian collegue from Waterloo at the Novotel hotel at the airport at Lille-Lesquin to go over my resumé/CV in give it a French format; I drove from my wife’s older brother home in Caudry (see post). The meeting went well, we still in touch ,and I got the job right away!! memories of August 2002 as I moved in August 2003 to France! rest of family followed in December 2003. And the rest is history.

Lille Airport webpage for the memories!! https://www.lille.aeroport.fr/home/

And the Novotel hotel at Lesquin for the memories!! https://all.accor.com/hotel/0427/index.en.shtml

And now I have the whole story on this post of two wonderful cities of great memories. I could say where all started for us really as after this meeting the decision was made to come to France and it has been the best ever by me thanks my dear late wife Martine , my mamie bleu RIP.

Hope you enjoy the post on Lille and Arras and the shopping in Roubaix, and do visit worth the detour. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 13, 2021

Some news from Spain CV

And back to Spain everything under the sun, and things are getting hotter. All is out and most booked in most places already, the hunger to travel is big in the 2nd most visited country in the world (UN-WTO). I am waiting for the stadium Bernabeu to back to my Madrid so will hold on past August for this. In the meantime, here are the latest some news from Spain already in its 105 edition. Thanks for reading me since Nov 2010!!! aprreciated.

Something enormously historical is happening… The National Heritage releases the codices of the Cantigas de Alfonso X. The manuscripts of the wise king kept in El Escorial, the only ones so far inaccessible to the public and researchers, will be available online before the end of July 2021. The two codices of the Cantigas de Santa María ,a collection of more than 400 songs in Galician produced by King Alfonso X the Wise in the 13C  inaccessible until now. The Codex Rico and the Codex of the Musicians have slept a secular dream, kept in the Royal Library of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Webpage: https://www.patrimonionacional.es/coleccion/real-biblioteca-del-monasterio-de-el-escorial

This in Càceres I had mentioned before, this is an update. It was not enough for it to be a UNESCO World Heritage City or to have one of the best preserved medieval historic centers in Europe, full of palaces, large houses, churches and crenellated towers. Cáceres never tires of hoarding claims. The last (but not the only one) is the new building with a garden at the Helga de Alvear Museum of Contemporary Art. This space is added to the existing one known as Casa Grande, on Calle Pizarro. A total of 8,000 m2 where the most complete private collection of contemporary art in Europe is exhibited, belonging to the gallery owner Helga de Alvear (Germany, 1936). Of all the corners of the palace open to the public, the Sala de Armas ( Weapons room on the first floor) with grotesques decorating its walls and a spectacular polychrome alfarje (carved wooden ceiling), both from the 16C, attracts attention. While on the upper floor there is one of the palace’s greatest treasures: a selection of 9,000 documents and codices from the Foundation’s Historical Archive, with jewels such as the account book of Queen Isabel la Católica written by her waiter, Sancho de Paredes Golfín.  From the Palacio de los Golfines you have to head to the Torre de los Sande (15C), which rises with power although it is topped-like so many others in the city, by order of the Catholic Monarchs. In the Plaza de San Mateo, occupying one of the corners of the Palace of the Saavedra. webpage: http://fundacionhelgadealvear.es/en/art-visual-centre/

The esplanade in front of which the reception opens gives a glimpse, a little further away, of the magnificent façade of the monastery of Santa María de la Vid. It was in 1140 when Sancho Ansúrez and Domingo Gómez de Campdespina, two noble students at the then recently inaugurated Sorbonne University in Paris, returned to their Castilian fiefdoms to found the first two premonstratensian monasteries on the Peninsula: Santa María de Retuerta. (today Abadía Retuerta winery, with its luxurious Le Domaine hotel, in the Ribera del Duero) and Santa María del Monte Sacro, moved two decades later to the other bank of the Duero with the name of the Vid. In 1516, Abbot Íñigo López de Mendoza ordered the erection of a new cloister and a church under the current Renaissance moldings that welcomed other Baroque reforms undertaken during the 18C. The only bestiary in Castilian that exists in the world, written in 1570, is preserved here. Anecdotes and stories are not lacking in the monument, so many as to justify the transformation of the old monastic inn into a modern hotel opened in 2020, in full pandemic convulsion. The first floor is dedicated to the bedrooms. The stairs, or the elevator, are left to contemplate, on the right, the library and the private area of the monks of the order of San Agustín, who since 1856 have inhabited the monument after the ineffable confiscation of Mendizábal (state vs church). To the left are the rooms, whose windows overlook the cloister. Monasterio de la Vid, Calle del Camino Real, 3. La Vid (Burgos) webpage :https://hospederiamonasteriodelavid.es/

Las Chorreras del Cabriel  , wonderful memories as we stayed nearby couple of summers, this is near Las Majadas (see posts). They are waterfalls, and pools of crystalline water, declared a Reserve of the Biosphere of Valle del Cabriel. This incredible natural setting is similar to what we can find on paradisiacal islands, so it is well worth a visit in summer. Of course, it must be borne in mind that it is only allowed to bathe in the pools and it is totally forbidden to step on the tuff formations and slide down the stromatolite ramps since they are very valuable as they are considered one of the best representations of these geomorphological elements of  the Iberian Peninsula. Webpage: https://www.chorrerasdelcabriel.es/es

Hondarribia, a day in the territory of the Vikings (as the locals are call). The medieval and marine town dazzles with its traditional architecture, the views of the bay of Txingudi. The best way to enter Hondarribia is by descending Mount Jaizkibel. The sanctuary of the Virgin of Guadalupe refers us to the traditional Alarde (civic-religious parade to fulfill the vow made by the people to the Virgin during the siege of 1638), which is celebrated every September 8. From here, the Bidasoa river is a water scar that separates it from Irun and Hendaye, a neighbor with a truly irresistible beach. In view are part of the medieval wall that borders the old city.  Before crossing the Santa María gate and entering the walls, the sculpture of the Hatxero (sapper), symbol of the city, welcomes you.

It is impossible not to recall the slow steps of Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen, convicted prisoners in Papillon, shot here in 1973. The City/Town Hall and the Zuloaga palace both from the 18C or the Church of Nuestra Señora del Manzano , where on June 3, 1660, Maria Teresa of Austria and Luis XIV, the Sun King, were married by proxy, before staging the formal wedding six days later and at full speed in Saint Jean de Luz France.  The Plaza de Armas , the usual meeting point, is dominated by the parador Carlos V, from the 10C. Half castle, half palace, its monumentality controls, from the top of the promontory, the bay of Txingudi and explains its old function of fortress and watchtower. Continuing along San Nikolas, you reach the Plaza de Gipuzkoa where the brick creaks with the traditional architecture in wood and stone. There is a monument of a bear and a strawberry tree in Plaza Javier Ugarte as a courtesy to the many visitors from Madrid. It is essential to know the essence of the chacolí, cultural heritage of the Basque Country. Nothing like a visit to the Txakolineria Hiruzta, on the outskirts, which thanks to the oenologist Ana Martín has recovered the centuries-old tradition of production and elaboration of versatile, gastronomic and first-rate chacolís. Webpage: https://www.hiruzta.com/en/home/

There are two nearby excursions from Hondarribia. You can go to Saint Jean de Luz and see what remains of the original La Pérgola casino , or visit the fishing villages of Pasaia, crossing by boat from Pasai Donibane to Pasai San Pedro and remember Orson Welles reading only in the historic Casa Cámara restaurant and visit the house where Victor Hugo lived during his stay in 1843. To see what inspired him this place just have to open his book Journey to the Pyrenees and the Alps. More on the house of Victor Hugo here: http://www.oarsoaldeaturismoa.eus/en/explore-oarsoaldea/our-museums/victor-hugo-house.html

The Casa Camara resto of the readings of Orson Welles: https://www.casacamara.com/index_english.html

And the Spring 2021 has arrived with all kinds of gifts at the store that forever changed the wine trade in Spain, Lavinia. Thierry Servant, a French businessman living in Spain, founded Lavinia in Madrid 22 years ago, before those of Paris and Geneva. Following Servant’s death in an unfortunate accident, he was succeeded by his daughter Charlotte. And, in Spain, its director has been Juan Manuel Bellver, a journalist with deep knowledge of wine who has become one of the first merchants in Spain.  The good news is that there is a new  opening of the new Paris headquarters on Avenue Victor Hugo (after closing Madeleine as too big too expensive), better equipped for tasting its thousand most special references, while another 5,000 are sold online. The timing could not be better if it were intentional: The Wine Spectator, the world’s leading wine magazine, has just informed Lavinia Madrid, in this case as a restaurant, that it has been awarded the Best of Award of Excellence, an award for the extraordinary quality of the wine list and the cellar.  The French webpage already has the new addresses: https://www.lavinia.fr/fr/pages/nos-magasins

And to finish with something off the beaten path but worth the detour. The story of Juan de Goyeneche and José de Churriguera who created the town of Nuevo Baztán from scratch, a town that served to house the workers of the luxury factories that settled there.  Its streets have been filled every weekend with curious eyes that came and went from the palace to the church, and from there to the nearby houses. A place created from scratch. The history of an era. Nuevo Baztán is between 40 and 50 km from Madrid, depending on the starting point. And there, in effect, an industrial complex with factories was built at the beginning of the 18C where luxury objects were made for the European market. An innovative development not far from Alcalá de Henares. Webpage on how to reach Nuevo Baztàn: https://turismo.ayto-nuevobaztan.es/#

There you go folks, another episode of my long running series Some news from Spain. Hope you enjoy it and give you some ideas to better spend your time in my beloved Spain.

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

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June 8, 2021

How about Dieppe!!!

Yes how about Dieppe in Normandy region of my belle France! Well looking over older posts in my blog I realise not written if not all or hardly anything on these monuments! Well I need to bring my blog to full bloom and have recorded more of my wonderful travel memories. Thank you all for following me since November 2010!!

There is the wonderful Church of Saint-Jacques (St James 16C) flamboyant and renaissance style and a great neighborhood we like . The initial Church was started in the 12C and name the parish Church in 1282 by the bishop of Rouen Guillaume de Flavacourt. The Church of St James (St Jacques) built from the 12C to the 16C! is in the Flamboyant and Renaissance styles. The north and south transepts date back to the second half of the 12C. The choir, the nave, and the aisles date from the 13C, except for the vaults and the triforium of the nave which dates from the 14th century. The great portal was also built in the 14C. In the 15C, the tower and chapels were erected on either side of the main nave of the choir, except for two of them which were part of the original plan of the church.

dieppe ch st jacques main ent sep07

dieppe ch st jacques market day sep07

Inside see the Chapelle du trésors (treasury chapel)  , showing the countries and towns discovered by the Dieppois people. At the request of Jehan Ango, patron of the church in the 16C, the artist represented different scenes from the life of the natives: a procession of festivals and dances, warlike episodes, which many archaeologists and scholars came to observe . The Church St James was even visited by Victor Hugo in 1837.

Dieppe ch st jacques nave to altar jul09

dieppe ch st jacques organ sep07

The city of Dieppe on the Church St James (St Jacques) in French: https://www.dieppe.fr/menus/decouvrir-dieppe-2/le-patrimoine-architectural-2/l-eglise-saint-jacques-80

The wonderful Church of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours built in 1876 looking down at the city from the cliffs above the rock of Pollet,was a place of pilgrims and later a point to the memory of the marines lost at sea. The is church has on many site the name of Chapelle or Chapel as it started but it is now a church.

dieppe quai henri IV to ch ND de Bonsecours sep07

The Chapelle (Church) Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours was built in 1876 for sailors who died at sea. It was first a place of pilgrimage before being a parish church. Many ex-votos bear witness to sailors who died at sea. The Dieppe sailors who often ventured into the various seas of the world until the 19C aroused local pride. It is customary among the fishermen of Dieppe to baptize the boats.

Dieppe quai henri IV bonsecours jul09

The Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours dedicated to the Virgin Mary has the particularity of being filled with votive offerings in the form of miniature boats. The fishermen, before or after the navigation, wish to thank the Virgin or to ensure her protection by offering a model of their boat. This is placed near the Marian statue of the crowned Virgin Mary slaying the dragon after the passage of the Apocalypse according to Saint John the Evangelist.

The stained-glass windows are relatively modest and bear witness to the neo-Gothic style which at the end of the 19C, in the line of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, wanted to recreate a lost Middle Ages. The church has the particularity of being built on top of a cliff, by the sea. A personal pic just by the statue of the Virgin Mary outside the church.

Dieppe mamie blue et moi up ch ND de bonsecours jul09

The city of Dieppe on the Chapelle Notre Dame de Bon Secours in French: https://www.dieppe.fr/menus/decouvrir-dieppe-2/le-patrimoine-architectural-2/notre-dame-de-bonsecours-85

Of course, we have stayed there overnight a couple of times to fully enjoy the city! Always at the Hotel de la Plage, blvd Verdun, just across from the beach and near the pool complex ,and castle. Great normandy welcome,friendly, excellent price for a family and great views.

Dieppe hotel de la Plage on bd Verdun sep07

Facing the sea on the Esplanade de Dieppe, The Originals Boutique, Hôtel de la Plage, Dieppe (Inter-Hotel) is just a 10-minute walk from the town’s castle and the pedestrianized streets. It offers a private flowered terrace. parking, animals are accepted, wifi access. Good addresses around: La Cité de la Mer (582 meters), Saint-Jacques Church (245 meters), Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel (195 meters), Le Dieppe Castle-Museum (543 meters). webpage: http://www.plagehotel-dieppe.com/

I left you with the Dieppe tourist office for more info on visiting this town, recommended. And see my several posts on it in my blog! webpage: https://uk.dieppetourisme.com/discover/heritage

There you go folks, another dandy Norman in my belle France, and glad to be there and looking forward for more on Dieppe. Hope you enjoy the brief post to make you come on over!

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

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June 6, 2021

Halle Saint Jacques in Lisieux!

And I taking you and me back to a wonderful historical and saintly town of my belle France. Lisieux is uplifting to say the least but even in this metropolis of churches they found to have a nice expo spot very unique me think. Let me update and tell you a bit more of the Halle Saint Jacques in Lisieux!!!

So let me tell you about a curiosity that we saw while touring awesome Lisieux, in the Calvados dept 14 of Normandie in my belle France! There is always something to see around here!!! This could be a post for a monument but is not. It sounds like a market as it is call a Halle but is not; well it actually was a former church Saint Jacques or St James! And the halle Saint Jacques! The former church Saint Jacques was built from 1496 to 1540 in a flamboyant Gothic style. The choir was completed in 1501, while the last stone of the nave was laid in 1540 ; the date of the dedication of the church.

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It is flanked by a porch tower at the level of the western facade and has the particularity of not having a transept . It thus does not respond to the traditional plan of Latin cross churches. The construction being built on a slope, the choir is at ground level, while the facade is raised on a porch subdivided into several flights, which contributes to the embellishment of the large portal. The nave is made up of a central aisle flanked by side aisles. The interior decor consisted of stained glass windows and painted vaults. All the old stained-glass windows in the choir dated from 1501. The first window of the nave was adorned with a splendid Renaissance stained-glass window with a scene from the Apocalypse. The stained-glass window in the Chapel of Charity represented a miracle of Saint James. The six windows of the bedside were, in the 19C, adorned with stained glass windows. All this rich heritage was blown away during the 1944 bombings (WWII).

Badly damaged in WWII, the church has been restored as faithfully as possible. The church, which has not received worship since 1965, served as a storage location for the museum. The Victor-Hugo district ,wonder what will happen to the Saint-Jacques church , closed to worship. Today it is a place of cultural events such as exhibitions, shows, etc; and it is now called Halle Saint-Jacques, located at 6 Rue Saint Jacques.

The city of Lisieux with its emblematic monuments including the Halle St Jacques: https://www.ville-lisieux.fr/fr/x79-Lieux-emblematiques.html

So yes this impressive building once supposely a nice church, is now an exhibition hall  for events , arts festivals etc of the city of Lisieux.  An anecdote for us passing by here maybe next time we can go inside for an event! Hope you enjoy the tip.

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

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June 5, 2021

The Vieux Chapitre of Meaux!!

And this is news! As getting to update many of my older posts during this special period of our lives, I sometimes encounters finds never told in my blog. I am thrill to tell you about this memorable spot shame not done it before. I have written so much on my beloved Meaux, Seine et Marne dept 77 of the region of Ïle de France and can’t believe left this one out!!

It is about time to remedy this unforgettable spot one of the first walks I took with my then girlfriend and later wife , my dear late wife Martine, a native of Meaux! Let me then, tell you a bit of history on the Vieux Chapitre or old chapterhouse of Meaux!!

Today we can still see a large building erected next to the Cathedral St Etienne (see post), with turrets on all four corners, called the Château du Chapitre. There is the old Refectory, the Common Dormitory, with large deep cellars below, spacious attics above. The Bishop provides for all the needs of his Canons, as much for clothing, as for food, and other necessities of life.

Meaux vieux chapitre stairs jun10

Contemporary of the St Stephen’s Cathedral of Meaux, the old chapter house is hidden just behind it. You will recognize it by its turrets and its large exterior staircase. It is here that ecclesiastics met, in court or in council, to administer justice, collect taxes or discuss important matters concerning the city. Part of the building now serves as a sacristy.

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The Meldois (local people of Meaux old celtic tribe) have been talking about the old chapter house since the 19C. But what is the origin of this denomination we can ask. The first hypothesis come up is the assembly of canons who were held in the chapel of cathechisms in the courtyard of the episcopal palace at the beginning of the 19C, the castle then became the Vieux Chapitre or old chapterhouse. The second and most probable hypothesis tells us that from the end of the 18C, cracks were clearly visible on the turret and the bay. The state of disrepair set in and grew throughout the 19C. The first hypothesis probably favored the second, the clergy not wanting, not being able to finance the work.

The old chapter house became State property, restoration began in 1916 and was completed in 1933 except for some interior fittings such as heating, wc, etc. completed in 1937. The footbridge designed and built by the architect Albert Bray was completed in 1935. The origin of the castle dates back to the 12C or 13C. The external staircase was covered with its framework in the 14C. It leads to the first floor. The basic room, located about 5 meters underground, was used as a storeroom. It would also have served as a prison. In the 19C, the room was partitioned. The two naves are separated in the middle by four massive pillars thus delimiting ten cross vaults. The ground floor has the same layout as the basement. This room would have been the refectory of the canons or the meeting place of the chapter. The first floor is accessed by the only external staircase. Inside, four columns carry a 15C framework. It is the noble floor as in any castle of the Middle Ages. Later, this room would have served as a dormitory for the canons. The attic, accessed by a   collimasson staircase located in the turret. The beautiful frame rests on the north and south walls joined by four oak beams crossing the room. This floor served as an attic.

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Its picturesque silhouette already attracted the attention of Victor Hugo as seen in his travelogue “Le Rhin”, published in 1842.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here and it’s a must me think are:

The city of Meaux and the Vieux Chapitrehttps://www.ville-meaux.fr/fr/tourisme/balade-a-meaux/le-vieux-chapitre.html

The Meaux tourist office on the Vieux Chapitrehttps://www.tourisme-paysdemeaux.com/en/node/3423

This is a wonderful spot in Meaux as said behind the Cathedral and around the Jardin Bossuet and the museum, and the tourist office with the house of the brie cheese all in old town wonderful architecture and history abound. Hope you enjoy the post as me telling you about it!

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

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May 10, 2021

Bordeaux, Médoc, and France!

I am delighted to update this older post for you and me. This is my fav area of France and for good reason other than wines; there are wonderful beaches too and many family vacations here over the years. Let me give you an introduction to the Bordeaux, Médoc region of my belle France, sort of on my trips there. Hope you enjoy it as I, and thanks for reading me since 2010!!!

Bordeaux is it, and those words means a lot more than the city. You need to go around it and into the Médoc peninsula to see more gems.  As my belle France the sights are endless.  I like to tell you a bit more on our family vacations sort of a nostalgia event for me. Bear with me please ,and hope you too can enjoy it with your family. This is the Médoc and Bordeaux, one-two best!

I like to talk today about the Bordeaux region, one my favorite in all of France. There are many regions in France, total 13 as the country is divided sort of like States but not the same. The Bordeaux sits in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine and is great because of the following reasons :  first,the wines, the best in the world in my wine lovers’s opinion. Second ,the beaches, true only good for july and august but they are on the same level as the  best in Europe and the Americas. Third, the abundance of its gastronomy, diverse natural passages, and its friendly people. There is a huge amount of information here, will need an entire blog to tell you, have written several posts on it so browse my blog for more or contact me.

If you take the city of Bordeaux, you have a bit south the area of the Graves, and Leognan, and Cadaujac beautiful country towns with many activities for the kids and wines of course.  The whole huge area around Bordeaux is connected by a beltway road, the “rocade” or the A630 that takes you into the city or out into the other areas and Spain. My best is to go into the Médoc, the famous area of wines but it has a lot more. From the rocade you  take exit 4 to go into central Bordeaux or exit /sortie to no 7 that takes you into the side D1/D2 of wine country along the Garonne river, the other exit/sortie no 8 takes you into the beaches and central area of Médoc.  There is a bus from the Bordeaux train station St Jean to Lacanau near the beaches the No 702, 701,and 710 (need to check for updates as never taken them) ; and train service to Pauillac (again check update as never taken it). Once in the Médoc you have many department roads that takes you everywhere there, like the D215 and D207,D208,D3,and D5.

The main sites in the city of Bordeaux are; Esplanade des Quinconces ( one of the biggest plazas in Europe, see the towers statues of Montaigne,and Montesquiou ; Grand Théatre ( one of the most beautiful in France b. 1773-1780); walk the street of Cours de l’Intendance ( where at no 57 Goya lived,died in 1828,and now a Spanish cultural center); Place Gambetta (houses style Louis XV, the English garden where the guillotine was placed during the French revolution,and the door porte Dijeaux b.1748 ; Place de la Bourse (b. 1730-1755 with its fountain Trois Grâces b.1860), Place du Parlement (old royal market place), Basilique Saint-Michel (b. 1350) ,and its tower Tour St Michel with it clock dates from the end 15C,and the tallest tower in the south at 114.60 meters {378 ft]) ; Porte de la Grosse Cloche ( from a belltower of the 15C the big clock is an institution in Bordeaux); Rue Sainte-Catherine (pedestrian and full of shops and restos, walk it about 2 kms long); see the Musée d’Aquitaine ( the prehistoric to today history of the region) ;Musée des Beaux-Arts or fine arts museum( next to hotel de ville great paintings); Cathedrale St Andre (by the place Pey-Beland, the most majestic of the churches in Bordeaux, built in the 12-13C) Tour Pey-Berland ( 229 steps to reach the top,and a beautiful view of Bordeaux); Centre Jean Moulin( the hero of the French resistance, deportation,and view of WWII); Basilique St Seurin ( UNESCO heritage site, built 11C; great historical chapels,and rosaries, gorgeous); Musee du Vin( for the wine story in detail by the river Chartrons district), Hotel de Ville (palais de Rohan b 18C), and Pont de Pierre. These are the highlights, you could easily spend two days in the city alone.

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bord-st-michel-and-pont-st-pierre

For shopping the city is just like Paris, you have all the main stores here too, and for me and the family  the shopping mall at Meriadeck is great and easy to reach on public transport from anywhere in the city plus a great underground parking for yours truly.  If you want to buy wines,etc in the city, the very best selection, service, and availability with price is La Vinothéque,near the tourist office.  Food is king so we have eaten in many over the years, our long time favorites are: El Bodegon, 14 place de la Victoire. Brasserie du Passage St Michel, 14 place Canteloup; Cafe Opera, (inside Grand Théatre) Place de la Comedie, Le Dix (now the Gabriel), 10 place de la Bourse, le Bal des Grands Hommes, (inside shopping Les Grands Hommes, good parking underground) 2 rue Montesquieu; Cafe des Arts, 138 cours Victor Hugo, just a sampler of my hangouts.

 

Going over the Médoc, now you are in heaven country, my country, we are base here always. We go here every year, sometimes twice a year during school vacations, the long one in the summer we spent 3 weeks each year. We skip 2018 due to the death of my dear wife Martine, will see when going again.  Our favorite was to rent a camping at Les Grand Pins ,and great for the whole family only 300 meters from the beach!!! You have a nice mobile homes, with all amenities, great pricing, with grocery store ,bike rental, pool, exercise room, dancing at nights,and free parking so close to all in the region even trips to Bordeaux. The beach is glorious here, as good as any anywhere. It is in the town of Lacanau-Océan. Webpage: https://www.lesgrandspins.com/en/

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You are along the ocean here, you can go south or north from here or over the pines central section of the Medoc to the wine chateaux. Lacanau-Océan is a world center of Surfing in Europe and the best come here to compete in the Lacanau Pro event.  We eat at the camping on our own, but if we splash out of town our evening favorite is Kayoc, by the beach overlooking its sunsets glorious. For ice cream we go to Pinocchio in city center, for groceries and more selection we go old supermarché Shoppi, now a Carrefour at 4 rue Emile Baudoux, near the main street to the beach . And further by the huge lake of Lacanau with many water activities, we eat at Restaurant La Conche, 24 allée du club de voile, la Grande Escoure, We head for the beaches of Cancans and Hourtin as well like our playground area, crisscrossing this wonderful region, great beaches there if a bit smaller. We love the italian ices in Cancans, and the pizza at Hourtin. Can’t missed the ice creams in Cancans its right in the small city center street facing the beach at Maubuisson at 2 rue Rossignols,  The pizza at Hourtin is Restaurant Pizzeria Le Palerme (now closed) at 8 place de l’église, right in front of the church, in the market plaza and the road to the beach. The Hourtin area has a huge lake too.

Throughout this wonderful area we enjoy all kind of beach activities, but,also,kart racing, bike riding ,and horse riding at these places . For Karting we go north along the ocean to Vendays-Montalivet motorsports center, great rides all pro done, and fun for the teen kids, You can contact them ahead for info and direction but its really easy on the D6 road. For the horse riding we have been using since 2005  this place, Lacanau Equi-Passion, you can taylor made the rides according to level of expertise,and arrange for rides on the ocean ! For bicycle riding, we can use the local rental at the camping but they have a limited number of bikes, so we go out into the town and rent at Locacycles, Avenue de l’Europe, Central Garage  just before the Kayoc resto on your way to the beach.

While at the famous D2 wine route and cruising all these wonderful properties, we have eaten at the Restaurant La Toscane, 28 rue Aristide Briand, Pauillac, right from the harbor city center up the pedestrian street to the resto on your left side;great Italian dishes and Pizza which our teens love always. Try for local traditional dishes the Restaurant Saint Martin, 5 quai Leon Perier across from pleasure boat marina, Here of course you are in heaven at least me, its my place PAUILLAC, got it.  You can indulge yourselves by visiting the museum and property of Chateau Mouton-Rothschild or the museum of the property of Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. Other than visiting the chateaux direct, if time is of the essence, you must stop by the vinothéque de Pauillac, it is in the Maison du tourisme et vins de Pauillac building just at the entrance to the town ,with many souvenirs and food items from the region as well: https://www.pauillac-medoc.com/fr/pauillac-tourisme/vins-chateaux/

Once in the area I recommend heading over to Chateau Lanessan at Cussac-Fort-Medoc, with its nice fortress (Fort Medoc) by the river in the town , and on the chateau property a very nice carriage museum and horse history with tastings, my kids introduction to wine tasting was here back in 2008! webpage: https://www.lanessan.com/en/home/

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Another great wine and information center is the Maison du vins de Margaux ,which has it own webpage  http://margauxwine.fr/ ; here we have try the Brasserie du Lac part of relais de Margaux complex and its wonderful. Do not forget to stop by in Margaux at the Mademoiselle de Margaux chocolates, for the famous serments de Medoc. webpage: https://www.mademoiselledemargaux.com/

Going to Saint Estéphe, the maison du vins there is excellent in inner court of the street very quaint area. webpage: https://saint-estephe.fr/

The Bordeaux tourist office: https://www.bordeaux-tourisme.com/

And, a site in French, for everything, or almost everything you need to know about the Medoc, Bordeaux region or the Gironde, private site Caruso33; webpage: https://www.caruso33.net/

Of course there are many individual properties visited over the years too numerous to mention, buy the Feret edition, Bordeaux and its Wines book at any serious book store, the essential historical analytical guide to the wines of the Médoc (Bordeaux) , I have the last edition from 2014. webpage Feret: https://feret.com/livre/bordeaux-et-ses-vins-19e-edition-2014/

Hope it bring some taste for visiting the Bordeaux, Médoc region, its glorious, for all ages, and the France profonde/deep France I love so much.

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

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May 9, 2021

Schengen, Luxembourg!!!

And here going back to one of my fav of Europe, the little country of Luxembourg and its most emblematic city of Schengen!! I came here for the curiosity of the meaning of the town for travelers and European Union thoughts. I was delighted to have come. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

And I bring out east again to neighboring nice Luxembourg and one icon town that is a symbol of European unity, that desperate goals seek by over 400 million people trying to live in peace and prosperity. Not easy I know but we keep on trying…  I like to show you a bit more on Schengen. The European Center, the famous old Castle and the Church of St Sauveur.  Schengen is a town in the canton of Remich in Luxembourg. The town is located in the extreme southeast of Luxembourg, close to the tripoint Germany-France-Luxembourg. It is a wine town, part of the Moselle vineyard.

We rode from Germany where we were staying on the B51 over the 419 and into Wellen crossing the Moselle into Grevenmacher and then down south on the 10 and 152 to Schengen. Easy beautiful rides along a wonderful river and very nice scenaries.

One of the things to see here is the church. In 1949, was the laying of the first stone of the building of the Church of St Sauveur was consecrated in 1950.  This after many fires had destroyed the much older Church on the site several times. The large roof gives a light appearance. Likewise the corners and nooks of the Church, the Romanesque arches of the windows and the lateral position of the tower underline this aspect. The vaulted nave ends in an impressive triumphal arch and culminates in the choir which is illuminated by six high and narrow stained glass windows.

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The tabernacle, the Annunciation ,and the Way of the Cross are made in copper the doors of the Tabernacle show the scene of the Annunciation. The paintings of the Way of the Cross have no frame and are perfectly integrated into the architecture. The consecration crosses and the interposed candlesticks are reminiscent of the consecration of the Church of St Sauveur. In the niches to the left and to the right of the triumphal arch of the lateral altars are dedicated to the comforter (left) and the Savior of the World (right). On the left under the rood is the old baptistery. On the 25th anniversary of the Schengen treaties an icon of the patron Saints of Europe was put in.

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The visitor European Center houses the European Museum, a permanent exhibition about the European Union and the Schengen Agreement as well as a Europe information center with documentation about the activities of the European Union. The Euro Center was the treaty of free exchange of people in Europe something that is in vogue today in Europe and test this initiative done in 1990.

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Even 30 years after the first treaty was signed, the term Schengen is still a symbol for the freedom of movement and the abolishment of borders in Europe. Inaugurated in 2010, the European Museum is dedicated to the history and significance of the Schengen agreement. The exhibition is spread over 200 m2, retraces the development from a Europe of borders towards a more unified Europe with a common citizenship in a clear and interactive manner. The abolishment of systematic border controls within the Schengen zone has been the first step in applying the four fundamental freedoms established with the Treaty of Rome in 1957.

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Schengen Castle in Schengen near the borders with France and Germany. Dating from 1390 but almost completely rebuilt in the 19C. The 14C fortified castle was torn down by the industrialist Jean-Nicolas Collart in 1812 who built a residential manor house in its place. All that remained of the medieval building was its round central tower. The castle’s most famous visitor was certainly Victor Hugo who visited the Castle in 1871 and made a sketch of the old tower.

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From 1939, the Schengen castle was occupied by the congregation of Saint Elizabeth, but in April 2010, it opened as a hotel and conference center. Together with the surrounding buildings, it has meeting facilities for up to 100 participants. It is part of the gardens.

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is a must to see me think are

The city of Schengen on the Agreement of Schengenhttps://www.schengen.lu/commune/accords-de-schengen/

The Schengen agreement visa info etc. : https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/

The Schengen tourist officehttps://www.visitschengen.lu/en/

The Moselle region of Luxembourg tourist board on Schengenhttps://www.visitmoselle.lu/en/where-to-go/schengen

The Luxembourg tourist board on Schengenhttps://www.visitluxembourg.com/en/moselle/schengen

Hope you like it as we did lovely ride along the Moselle river by car glorious and then the town is very quant indeed historically famous. Schengen is Europe!

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

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