Archive for ‘Bretagne’

November 22, 2020

Vacation time arrived, onwards to Spain!!!

I finally was able to convince the wife to come to Spain for vacation. And it was worth it ,and she love it; later many repeats. After going thru Europe or western Europe I finally came with the family to my beloved Spain. Of course, I have been here before read my blog…

We spent two weeks going by car with some metro/subway and bus on major cities. This update is from August 2016. Visited Bordeaux, Cuenca, Las Majadas, Madrid, Toledo, Huerte, Belmonte, Segovia, La Granja de San IIdelfonso, Alcalà de Henares, Aranjuez, Valencia, Ségobriga ,Alarcon, Chinchon, Calatayud, and many smaller towns passing by.

We rented a house in Las Majadas ,Cuenca at 1400 meters high (about 6600 feet) that was absolutively  superb with all the trimmings and fantastic host owners. We passed by goats , sheeps, horses, deers, wild pigs and right on the eyes of cows on the road; all in good expériences. The beginning of a wonderful friendship with the owners and us over the years!

We found the house thru TopRural which is now Vrbohttps://www.vrbo.com/?preferlocale=true

The property is Casa Pituhttp://www.casapitu.es/

We left by car by 8h or 8am from home along the path of avoiding as much as possible toll roads. Taken the N165 towards Nantes N249 and then the D763 and D137 towards La Rochelle, and continue connecting with the A10 for a while before at Bordeaux get on the A62,A65 and A64 towards the Col du Portalet passage to Spain. On the A roads we did pay a toll of 25,70€ but we quickly move back into the D934 on passage routes at 1390 meters high with great views. I wanted to show both sides but something not repeated afterward no more tolls!

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This is the mountain passes we saw and went thru heavens on earth! and great cheese ossau iraty!  http://travel-ossau-pyrenees.com/benou.html

To start we did a quick one night rest stop by Bordeaux .The trip took about 17 hours stopping several times for a break, gas , and eat. It took about 1265 kms or about 784 miles for the whole trip and about 417 kms or 259 miles to Bordeaux in 7 hours.  For those who have traveled by car will note these are longer times but it was done because the only driver was me and taking breaks is a wise thing to do. I do not know why people talk about traffic as with well planned the trip went smooth with only a slow moving traffic along the rocade of Bordeaux arriving there to our road hotel, the inexpensive F1 La Bastide today call the Aréna. Part of the great chain Accor webpage: https://all.accor.com/hotel/2419/index.en.shtml

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We listen to radio 107.7 FM for traffic and weather conditions as well as good music. And the best is yet to come. A memorable vacation indeed! Good for the soul and family times. Hope you enjoy it and look up the sites in the blog

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

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November 21, 2020

Roundtrip Vannes to Cebu, Philippines!!!

Ok so this is one of those posts I like to update and revise the text just for my memories and hopefully others gone thru these airport changes. It was a souvenir of my travels alright, later on I begin to be more picky on the connections so if job require many I would refuse, gladly had that opportunity. Hope you enjoy the post. And Thanks for reading me! Merci beaucoup!!

I just came back from my third trip to the Philippines and been a rush business trip of only four days gave me no time to see much.  The other two times, I did some out traveling but could not be possible this time. So will tell you mostly of my travel ordeals on a long voyage.

I started from home on Saturday January 13 2018 going to the train station in Vannes with free parking behind it, and getting a train to Redon, changing train to Nantes train station. There took the express airport bus to the Nantes Atlantique Airport. From arrival headed to my one night hotel the Escale Oceania Hotel across from the airport. This is the usual hotel I stayed when coming and going thru my closest decent flights airport. Hotel webpage: https://www.oceaniahotels.com/en/hotel/hotel-escale-oceania-nantes-airport

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Once out to the airport the next morning Sunday January 14, took my regular flight with Air France to Roissy CDG airport arriving in Terminal F and changing for my connection to Terminal A.

Once at my departure gate in Terminal A I flew with Cathay Pacific for the first time; and it was a nice ride indeed. This is the airline of Hong Kong , and I was going to the airport there for connection to final destination.

The Hong Kong airport was my first time too, but as connections were made tight, really had no time to see much of it.

The flight arrive late into the day and still needed a connection on the same Cathay Pacific airlines from Hong Kong to Cebu in the Philippines. I finally arrived in Cebu by 19h or 7 pm Monday January 15, and taking the hotel shuttle headed straight to my usual hotel the Best Western Plus Lex, Cebu. This was the rest I needed to begin work the next day.

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The hotel is very nice and central to all. I spent four nights here at BW Plus Lex Cebu a repeat visit to the hotel. webpage: http://best-western-plus-lex-cebu.hotels-cebu-ph.com/en/

On my way back left on Friday January 19 2018 by 20h or 8 pm on Cathay Pacific same routing back after been deposited at the airport by a company driver. From Cebu airport going back to Hong Kong, needing a bit of running to catch the flight until to find out it was been delayed 20 minutes! This is a smallist nice airport full of shops and restos nice to come early and enjoy the shopping.

Again at Hong Kong taking Cathay Pacific again by 23h35 local time or 11:35 pm to reach Roissy CDG Terminal A Paris.  Finally on Saturday January 20 from CDG T2A transfer to TF2 using the same blue bus line again. Here I departed by 10h10 on Air France back to Nantes Atlantique airport. Again taking the Airport Express bus to the Nantes train station.

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Here I had my lunch on my popular Café des Plantes just out of the Nantes Nord train station section and next to the jardin des plantes. Great friendly service always, and fast. The menu of the day is always good and great quality/price value. I had  my veal pipettes with fries in a mustard sauce, leffe Belgian beers, and expresso coffee all for 15€. It became my rest spot and eating out place in and out of the of the train station. The webpage is not working but with this virus thing who knows if it has closed, it was/is an institution in Nantes! They have a Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/cafedesplantes

From the Nantes train station took a TER train to Rennes train station, and here change to another TER to Vannes. Finally picking up my car to drive home arriving on Saturday by 19h! And I told you I do take public transports lol!!!

There you go another exhausting trip not to brag about it, just another opportunity to see by now friends and a nice welcome by the locals as usual.  It will stay as one of my memorable moments in Cebu Philippines! Hope you enjoy the ride or see the constraints of public transport.

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

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November 20, 2020

Dublin is a lot more than just green!!

And here I go again this time crossing the channel to go to green Ireland but of course it is a lot more than green! I was lucky to be able to visit Dublin! and I like to update revise this post with a note not to repeat pictures or text already elsewhere on my other Dublin ,Ireland posts in my blog!

Well for many  years heard of Dublin  ,in fact used to lived near a neighborhood that was call Dublin for the many Irish immigrants there. This was back in Perth Amboy, New Jersey USA. see posts.

And here I was visiting Dublin for real! And took off from an unusual airport for me which remains to this day the only time I left from there, this is at Rennes! I came flying this time from Rennes St Jacques airport to Paris CDG T2E ,change to T2G for the flight from CDG to Dublin terminal 1. Easy nice connections and good parking at Rennes; if only I arrived very early by 5h15 (5:15am) to open the airport lol! The Rennes airport site is here: https://www.rennes.aeroport.fr/en

And I landed at the Dublin airport here: https://www.dublinairport.com/

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And again I tried the public transport as like to try everything at least once. Once in Dublin, took the airlink express bus to city center. Easy and convenient as it drops you off in the main areas of Dublin central.  The bus was no. 747 webpage: https://www.dublinbus.ie/

And, I headed straight to my hotel for check in, this was the historically wonderful Gresham Hotel at O ‘Connell street; third floor and very nice service indeed. Now under the Riu chain, the webpage : https://www.gresham-hotels-dublin.com/

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Once in the room, took a right turn out the door to see the city the best way walking both ends of O’Connell St. I went passed the wonderful Ambassador Theatre at Upper O’Connell Street; this is a like a roman amphitheater shape really nice. see post

I came across a nice building that is the Gate Theatre, founded in 1928; another wonderful architecturally done place of fun right on by the city center and O’Connell Street and Parnell Square. see post

Right pass it you see a wonderful church, Abbey Presbyterian Church at Parnell Square, beautiful architecture indeed and worth a look inside which no time this trip. see post

I continue my walks , across the hotel almost, you see the General Post Office ; done in 1818, also, the building where the free Irish Republic took HQ here in 1916. It is now a museum post office, more here:  https://www.anpost.com/About/History-Heritage

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Up the O’Connell street by the abbey church you have the Garden of Remembrance Irish Freedom park; a lovely place full of history and nice architecture statues. More here: https://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/details/garden-of-remembrance#53.353936|-6.264127|16

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You can see the wonderful Epic Ireland showing the heritage of Ireland for more than 70 million people; a glowing show, and a must to see:  more here: https://epicchq.com/

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See the wonderful Samuel Beckett bridge that can be moved ! or the O’Connell bridge my passing bridge. More on the bridges here: http://www.bridgesofdublin.ie/browse

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Continue into my walks you see the Spire of Dublin a needle type tower 121 meters high just be ready to bend your head this is high indeed right on O’Connell Street; more on it here: https://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/details/the-spire#53.350921|-6.260294|16

You see around here the Charles Stewart Parnell statue; he was the leader founder of the Irish Parlamentary party.  A nice place to stop from a historical point of view. More on him and the statue here: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/an-irishman-s-diary-1.593341

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You can see the O’Connell Monument, the memorial to Daniel O’Connell, a 19C nationalist leader of which the main artery street is name after.  see post.

I did passed by the Dublin Writers museum showcasing the history of Irish great storytellers, a quaint old building that is the perfect place to go in and read books and plays; more here: https://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/details/dublin-writers-museum#53.354366|-6.263985|16

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Of course, I did stop to eat and drink a must in Dublin ::) Went for lunch at this friendly bar the Parnell Heritage Pub off the ambassador theatre, and the service and food was great, the best fish and chips I ever had with the Clonmel 1650 Irish lager beer just wonderful for 21€. Unfortunately believe it has closed as their webpage is gone. There still a Facebook page and just for the memories will show here: https://www.facebook.com/theparnellheritage/

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However, for dinner headed to the Winding Stair resto by the temple bar district. It is, also, kept the tradition of the bookstore it was. Now the restaurant is a lot of fun, great friendly service and good food.  My food here was the McLoughlin’s pressed corned brisket terrine with pickled shallots, capers, dalkey mustard and sourdough toast €12.95 as entrée and the Char-grilled 28 day dry-age Irish beef strip-loin steak with sticky onions, roasted garlic truffle butter and homemade chips €28.00 as main dish. Plenty of Languedoc of France red wine had a bottle of the Domaine de la Provenquiére 2014 Merlot Languedoc 26€: ; with coffee to end it all. Classy place see more of it here: https://winding-stair.com/

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The tourist office of Dublinhttp://www.visitdublin.com

And of course, more on my other posts on Dublin in my blog. This was a memorable trip and just when were preparing to go back we got hit with this virus. It will have to be done in 2021. For now enjoy Dublin and thanks for reading.

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

November 20, 2020

Notre Dame Cathedral update Nov2020!

All quiet on the western front! I have been away from these updates and everybody else have been rather quiet too. However, things are moving along and we still have the magic five years to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. 

Let me give you the latest from the French press on the reconstruction with some of my previous posts on the subject for the new arrivals to my blog.

The return of the statues, reopening of the crypt, study on wooden structures is ongoing!! Closed to the public since the fire of April 15, 2019, the Notre Dame Cathedral is gradually coming back to life.

They have been working day and night to dismantle the damaged scaffolding, and for several weeks, they have been setting up a scaffolding over 30 meters inside the cathedral. Dismantling of the damaged scaffolding, state of the vaults, removal of the organ, test site for cleaning and restoration in two chapels of the cathedral.

The archaeological crypt of Ile de la Cité, located under the cathedral, has also just reopened to visitors. There, an exhibition devoted to Victor Hugo and Eugène Viollet-Le-Duc, the two key men in the resurrection of the cathedral in the 19C, has been installed since last September 9 2020. Likewise, a brand new souvenir shop has appeared on the forecourt, designed above all to be a place of welcome for visitors/tourists.

A few km away, three statues which adorned the spire of the Notre Dame Cathedral such as those of the apostles Saint Barthélémy, Saint Jude and Saint Simon will be exhibited at the Cité de l’Architecture, at the Trocadéro (16éme arrondissement), as part of the European Heritage Days in September 2020. They had been removed a few days before the fatal fire, to be sent to Dordogne for their renovation. Now restored, they are the first of a set of 16 miraculous statues which will find their place once the building has been restored. Next to them, the famous bronze rooster, which was on the spire of the cathedral and miraculously recovered after the fire, will also be exhibited on this occasion.

Regarding the restoration of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, a study project targeting the spire, the framework and the roof is launched since September 17 2020 by students from 4 major schools specializing in wood. Together, they will be responsible for designing a prototype of an evolving and adaptable wooden frame according to the knowledge which will result from the studies in progress. A first progress report will be made public in mid-December 2020, then the conclusions of this project will be unveiled next January 2021.

The government presented an ordinance which will dispense with a certain number of procedures and obligations to reopen or extend new stone quarries, which will considerably facilitate the restoration work of Notre-Dame Cathedral which has a significant need for freestone. This commitment is further proof of the desire to do whatever is necessary to facilitate the restoration work and achieve the objective set by the President of the French Republic (France) of completing the reconstruction site of this cathedral so dear to the French in five years.

Currently, workers perched tens of meters high are dismantling the gigantic metal scaffolding and its 40,000 metal tubes, a delicate painstaking job that should be completed by Christmas 2020 and will allow reconstruction to begin. A large part of this structure is mounted around the spire for its restoration and badly damaged by the fire of April 15, 2019, has been removed. Its complete removal will be completed in the next few weeks, by the end of the year. This cleaning of the upper surface of the vaults, also including the suction of lead dust, has already been largely carried out. It allowed their examination by the chief architect, with the exception of the crossing of the transept, to the right of the burnt scaffolding. Chief Architect Philippe Villeneuve was thus able to make a rather reassuring diagnosis, allowing access to several spaces in the cathedral from then on.

The removal of the great organ, which began in August 2020 , will continue until January 2021. The 8,000-pipe instrument was not damaged by fire on April 15, 2019, but it is covered with dust and parts of it suffered from thermal variations. It must therefore be cleaned and renovated.

Donations for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral must go entirely to the site. They should no longer finance the operation of the public establishment, the Court of Auditors demanded last week. After the publication of a report on the Notre-Dame site, the president of the Court of Auditors Pierre Moscovici urged the Ministry of Culture to allocate the entire 922 million euros of donations and pledges to the catering works. Of the 922 million euros in donations pledged to rebuild Notre-Dame Cathedral, he said, the order of 400 or 500 million have so far been collected.

The official webpage of the Notre Dame Cathedral on the agenda section here: https://www.notredamedeparis.fr/actualites-et-agenda/

And as promise above, my posts on the situation of Notre Dame Cathedral

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2020/07/09/notre-dame-cathedral-update-july2020/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2019/11/14/notre-dame-cathedral-update-nov19/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2019/09/16/notre-dame-cathedral-update-sep19/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2019/08/05/notre-dame-cathedral-update-aug19/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2019/07/16/notre-dame-cathedral-jul19-update/

Stay tune, once the scaffolds are down, the reconstruction project approve, the work really will begin. Hopefully, I will be around to see this ,at least better look than on my last passage November 2019 in Paris. Always nice and impressed to see the grand monument of the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris.

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

November 19, 2020

Quiberon, peninsula, gorgeous Morbihan!!!

So bear with me in continuing to update, revise and load pictures that are more relevant to my older posts. Hope you have followed along and enjoy the revisions as much as I.

I bring you now to the favorite spot in my region Quiberon. If I can only retire there !!

Folks come here from all the corners of France, the favorite spot according to several travel publication and the local tourist authority. It is, also, very well frequented by foreigners such as British, German, Irish etc etc. It is a peninsula or presqu’île just about 45 minutes from my house driving south to the Atlantic ocean. This is Quiberon.

I have written several posts on it which you can find just by going to the search section in front right side of my blog and typing Quiberon. It is so much to see around here that sometimes I think I take too long and coming to a spot, and so it has been the case with Quiberon. On a long weekend off, it was time to revisit the peninsula and take the leisure drive down D768 to a short ride on the N165 and back again on the D768 straight down Quiberon on the “normal” road or take the more exciting Côte sauvage along the ocean cliff hanging walls.

The town has 11 beaches !!yes! and even on cool days like now it has plenty of family visitors with kids playing in the sands. These beaches are call grande plage (the best),plage du Goviro, plage du Conguel, plage de la Jument, plage de l’Aérodrome, plage du Fort Neuf,  plage du Porigo, plage de Kermorvan, plage du Castéro, plage de la  Thalasso, and plage de Saint Julien. Plages tv webpage on the beaches: https://en.plages.tv/seaside-resorts/quiberon-56170

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There are ,also, a lighthouse at the end call the Phare de la Teignouse. And, there is another lighthouse by the grande plage in the port maria area with a green top.

You have trails upon trails of bike rides on wonderful coastal beach areas all over the peninsula. A great fortress now a military outpost but historical place of sad memories of WWII , and harbor marinas all over like Port Haliguen where you have another nice lighthouse. See , also, the nice Church or Église Notre-Dame de Locmaria.

The Port Haliguen harbor webpage: https://www.passeportescales.com/fr/port-haliguen-quiberon

The promenade along the ocean is wonderful any day of the year even in winter as we have done.  A walk along the Esplanade Hoche  or Place Hoche is nice near the grande plage beach and our best resto area as well as parking Varquez.  And do not forget the fisherman depot where the local fish catch comes in every morning and you get all fresh right there, the Cooperative Maritime Du Sud Morbihan at 2 Quai d’Houat.

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From the boat terminal or gare maritime you can see some wonderful islands especially do not miss Belle-île-en-Mer, the biggest out in the Atlantic ocean! Island tourist office webpage: https://www.belleileenmer.co.uk/

Of course, we could not spent a day without trying a resto even if close to home. We stopped by Le Bistrot du Port right almost across the boat passenger terminal or gare maritime. Very nicely serve all decorated like a boatyard and cozy tables inside with a small terrace in front. We had some beers just to enjoy the ambiance as decided not so hungry and home is near anyway. We had a selection of Breton beers from my favorite Duchesse Anne. webpage: http://bistrotduport-quiberon.fr/

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The tourist office of the Bay of Quiberon on Quiberon: https://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/quiberon

You will be delighted to come to this ocean beach heaven of the Morbihan, my best place and you are welcome!

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

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November 19, 2020

Josselin, and the Rohans!!

And here I stubbornly continue updating my blog with fresh text,and new links with necessary pictures not elsewhere on individual posts. Hope you are enjoying what I call my black and white posts. This time I take you closer to home and Josselin.

Ok so I was sitting at home and as usual late deciders ,last minute travelers, we remember Josselin, a nice town not far from us about 60 km that we enjoy it’s medieval look city center. So there we went for the afternoon. Many of the pics are in their individual post as not to repeat.

Josselin has a nice castle,  puppet/doll  museum , nice basilica and wonderful lovely inner street with wooden houses of old. A perfect getaway for a day any time. I have written before and after, so won’t go so deep into it.

We took the car went up the D768 to hook up with the N24 and away we went direction Rennes to Josselin nord exit, on the way back we took the same exit out into the N24 but we took the D767 exit at Locminé so we do our groceries shopping at Moréac Intermarché supermarket! More here: https://www.intermarche.com/magasins/04854/moreac-56500/infos-pratiques

Today, was European Heritage days Sept 17 and 18, so the admission to all these places like the castle was either free or discounted.At the chateau de Josselin normal admission is 9 euros today it was 5€. The combination with the Puppet/Doll  museum kept by the same family as the castle was discounted also, and offered a 2×1 deal for 10€ when normally it is 14€ per person. As you should know this is a historical castle for the Bretons and still in private hands: Josselin, 14th Duke of Rohan, and his wife, Antoinette, own and manage the property. webpage: https://www.chateaudejosselin.com/en/homepage/

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Next imposing building to see is the Basilique Notre Dame du Roncier, in 808D leyend has it, a farmer who worked the land finds a statue of the Virgin and takes it home, however, the Virgin always comes back to the place where he found it ,and several times as well. The bishop ask him to rend a cult in her memory ; the daughter of the farmer who was blind recovered her sight and people flock to the place until finally a Church is ordered built. More in French from the parish page: https://sanctuaire-josselin.fr/de-808-a-2018/

Another interesting pleasant promenade and river boat ride can be had in the Nantes-Brest Canal that passes by the city and just on the back of the Castle along the river Oust. The walks behind the castle are sublime and the boat rides magnificents, also plenty of canoe and kayak activites here. More here: https://www.broceliande-vacances.com/decouvrir/discover-broceliande/

The walks on the city center are marvelous and you can see the oldest wooden house there from 1538 (maison Pouille now the tourist office)  . The district of Sainte-Croix has wonderful homes along the river Oust; the wonderful cinema Beaumanoir is great architecturally and a change from the modern look of cinemas today; see a movie here is gorgeous. More here: http://www.cinemajosselin.fr/

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There, is also, a Chapelle Sainte Croix small chapel facing the castle, and the chapelle de la Congrégation now use for expositions etc. There is a laundry behind the castle by the parking on the boat rides in rue du canal. It is label the Lavanderie.

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Every Saturday at Place Notre Dame by the Basilica ,you have the market day from 8h to 13h very colorful and good produce.  Josselin is also, a Petite Cités de Caractére (small town of charm).  It is, also, a village fleuri de France with 4 flowers out of five possible; as well as a town of stage or village d’étape.

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Village d’étapes offering great service to the visitor label from French government entity. http://: https://www.village-etape.fr/en/villages-etapes/josselin/

Villes et Villages Fleuris , show respect for the environment and great gardens and parks criteria. https://www.villes-et-villages-fleuris.com/les-communes-labelisees/parcs-et-jardins-josselin/21834

Petite Cités de Caractére, small towns with charm label, more here: http://www.petitescitesdecaractere.com/fr/nos-petites-cites-de-caractere/josselin

The city of Josselin and its heritage: http://www.josselin.com/decouvrir/visiter-josselin/

And this folks is nice medieval, gorgeous architecture and history as Josselin. Hope you enjoy it as I do always coming here.

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

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November 19, 2020

Theix-Noyalo in my Morbihan!

So this was actually two towns when I came here to my lovely Morbihan dept 56 of my beautiful Bretagne. Later they were combine into one and had little written on it so here is a fresh new text with some older photos for you on the new town of Theix-Noyalo. Hope you enjoy it!

We took a ride again to the simple village town of Theix near Vannes along the road N165.  Theix is a former primitive parish to which the parishes of Treffléan should be added with its truce of Bizole and Saint-Nolff , except the detached part of Elven. In the middle ages, several Lordships occupy the territory of Theix, the main of which are Le Plessis-Josso, Salarun and Bonervaud. The existence of a place-called  Graz-Iliz bears the trace of a primitive Church whose owner is unknown to us. Theix enters, as Surzur, in the temporal fief of the Bishop of Vannes and stays there until the French revolution. Theix is crossed by the road  N165 from Vannes to Nantes, is bounded to the north by Treffléan and Saint-Nolff, to the west by Vannes and Séné, to the south by Noyalo and Surzur, to the east by the Gorvello and Sulniac. Recently Theix has merged with the another small town of Noyalo and now officially Theix-Noyalo. The town is about 45 minutes from our house!

Upon entering the town the first thing we head out was the Chapelle Notre Dame la Blanche, built in 1239 and rebuilt in 1536, by the Lords of Salarun and restored in the 18C, in 1878, in 1911 and in 1982.  The pits of the frame are carved and carry a long inscription from the 16C giving the names of the various people who contributed to the construction of the Chapel in a rectangular fashion,it has two entrance door one on the southside dates from 1742 and the other one from the 16C with a key door adorn with a figurine in stone. It include a nave, a transept with one arm to the north, and a flat bedside choir. The basement of the south wall is all that remains of primitive construction. Many animal figures, sticks, a cherub and a Virgin Mary are still in place on the gable of the bedside. The sacristy is added in 1730. The ensemble is Flamboyant in style: a pretty door to the south is stamped with the mutilated coat of arms of the Salarun . The southern gate is carved with a hug with flowers and cherubs and dates from the 16C. The altarpiece of the high altar, preceded by a grid of communion in iron of the 19C, dates from 1698. The altarpiece in stone and black marble, accumulates on two levels, garlands, pots on fire, drops of flowers and modillions. In the Center is a painting of the coronation of the Virgin as the triumph of Mary, the lateral niches are home to a Virgin and Child and an unidentified Saint. A 17C homo ecce is located at the top of the altarpiece. On either side, two medallions were hammered. The Virgin of Pity or Pietà, in polychrome stone, dates from the 16C. It has a cadran  on top of a bull dating from 1782. A nice back or chevet finished at the same time as the choir in 1698. Inside there are like 18 statues from the 15C and onwards.

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Next , we walked over the Church Sainte Cécile ; dating from the gothic period which made it go back to the 12C at least, and perhaps even the 11C.  The chapel of the left wing had been rebuilt in 1700, and was under the term of Saint Isidore.It went over many rénovations in the 17C and 18C ; rebuilt between 1852-55 in the Romanesque or Gothic, which is restored in the 17-18C  ,and many interior renovation from 1880 to 1900. The painting titled “Décollation de Sainte Catherine”, dates from the 17C. The furniture like the  pulpit, the altarpieces of the lateral altars and several statues including that of St. Cecilia dates from the 19C. The statue of St. Cecilia was placed, in 1895, in the niche of the tower. Done in the style of a Latin Cross ,the stained glass dates from 1883. The lateral altars are dedicated to the Sacred Heart and the Rosary. At the bottom of the nave stands a square tower, in beautiful size stones, surmounted by a polygonal arrow.  Dedicated to Sainte Cécile the patron Saint of Musicians, it has a statue of Her in the tower niche dating from 1895.  Inside it has many relics from the Sainte.

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We continue our journey on the road D7 along nice country into the picturesque village of Le Gorvello ,part of Sulniac, and a re visit to the Café owns by Americans from Chicago who is also a chambre d’hôte rental hotel (this has since been sold but the theme remains the same).  Here, we first went to take a look at the Church St Jean Baptiste or St John the Baptist.  It is the work of the hospitaliers of St John the Baptist of Jérusalem as the current Church replaces a primitive Chapel in the 16C. Many additions since and for the reason of the chapels that comes out from the main body as seen from the exterior. Inside it has the Statues of St Marc and St Isidore, the patron Saints of laborers;nice again closed in summer vacation crazy France.

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Parrish of Elven on the Gorvello St John the Baptist Church here: https://doyenne-elven.com/patrimoine-le-gorvello/

Our journey took us to briefly visit the Château Le Plessis-Josso just up the road D7, and then D183.  This is a well preserved castle and still partially inhabited by the descendants.  It tells the history of Brittany in the middle ages and thereafter. Built in the 15C by the Josso family attach to the house of the Dukes of Brittany. The family Rosmadec comes into it in the 17C and enlarged it giving it the current look. It has ,also, serve as the residence of many Bishops of Vannes. Official castle webpage: http://www.plessis-josso.com/

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The city of Theix-Noyalo on its heritage: https://www.theix-noyalo.fr/culture-loisirs-tourisme/patrimoine-decouvrir/

And there you go folks another dandy road warrior run in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne in my belle France. Sublime! You are welcome!

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

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November 18, 2020

Lisboa one more time is better!

Again, in my saga to update , revise, and put new text and or  photos into my older posts continues. This time I take you over to the wonderful Lisbon, Portugal! Hope you enjoy this most memorable visit

One more trip to Portugal , in Lisbon short and sassy trip, the opportunity is always there. It has been a year since I last visited this wonderful city and country. So here is again Lisbon, Portugal. Have to say know the country well, speak the language and my oldest son godfather is from there..Faro.

I flew straight from Nantes Atlantique airport to Lisbon on Sunday. After driving about 1h30 from home to the Nantes airport on the N165. I was afraid of having the flight cancelled as was using TAP , and they were on strikes early May, but was fortunate enough the flight was handle by Portugalia regional carrier for TAP and was ok, flawless.!!

Once landed at Lisbon airport, the hesitation is to take a taxi as last time, but trying to be all places and see all, needed to take the public transport just to try or to be able to said I was here::)

Landing at Terminal 1 the way out was easy well posted except the metro signs, but I would think is easy, I speak Portuguese so an extra advantage me think. Once outside the terminal, you see the metro entrance even with TV telling you about the incoming and outgoing flights, you go straight to the ticket machine. There was a small line with only four machines! but it move fairly quickly. I got my refill on my previously purchased card from last year, took two trips at 1,40 euros each. Then went on to the red or vermelho line to Saldanha and here took the yellow or amarela line to Cidade Universitaria, got up to street level here and walk on rua afonso coma pinto all around to my hotel on foot ,about 10 minutes.  Walking past the University stadium and café , and the hospital Santa Maria. It was hot about 30C so thinking not to do this again, better a taxi.

The Lisbon airport webpage: https://www.aeroportolisboa.pt/en

The metro of Lisbon webpage: https://www.metrolisboa.pt/en/

I got to my hotel the Marriott Lisbon at Avenida dos Combatentes, nice spacious hotel if a bit out of the city center. The Marriott put me on the 15th floor with a great view of the city. The shortcomings was far from center and the bar right in the lobby and smallist. The rest was perfect, with great service, spacious rooms and baths, nice outdoor pool with terrace, nice restaurant, and very modern facilities. Webpage: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/lispt-lisbon-marriott-hotel/

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First night, it was free time, and as I have been here before and it has become a habit to stop by each time in town, it was going thru renovation last time I heard and temporarily move to Rua de Santa Justa 54. I was to meet friends here and I end up been the tour director of the rest that came from several countries.  So I made them all take taxis and went to Restaurante Pinoquio at praça dos Restauradores. The funny story is I thought we were 3 and did not made reservations. They call their friends and by the time we got in the restaurant we were 12! Nevertheless, I managed myself to get them all in, my spot in Lisbon I told you so. webpage: https://www.restaurantepinoquio.pt/home-en/

After the above, we were there very late and still hungry after so many pints of beers so after, closing, we just took a left turn into the next street Rua do Jardim do Regedor, from Praça dos Restauradores, and hold up a café bar with about 10 of us. Nobody remember the name of this place lol!!! We stayed until about 2am (02h).  We had a stew of beans lobster, shrimps, gambas, and potatoes with cold salted side dish of shrimps and local mussels going down with  nice local Sagres beer!!Got a taxi back to the hotel……oh yeah!!!

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Next full day, I had a dinner at the Solar dos Presuntos, a very special famous people restaurant. Located at Rua Portas de Santo Antão 150. The restaurant was served a chunk of codfish with vinho verde white wine not my favorite there either so those in my table who mostly were the good guys from the night before agree and we kind of switch to beers. The website: http://www.solardospresuntos.com/

Before arriving here I was convince to have a bus tour of the main sights  such as Belem and the harbor area in Lisbon, a different way of seeing the city as I am always with a car here or metro. A tour bus is not my cup of tea , hardly see anything well, but was the group votes!! And I lost!!!

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After the famous restaurant meeting a group of about 8 decided is time to hit the road and were so delighted with Pinoquio that we went back there for drinks this time. Another round of good times and cheers before heading again by taxi to the hotel. Of course!

I check out of the Marriott as needed to make a business run to Coimbra by car lol! and back into the local hotel that I always stayed when in town at Exe Parque Hotel at Rua Largo de Andaluz just behind the praça Marqués de Pombal and heading down to avenida da Libertade. This is a very modern spacious hotel tuck into the old section of Parque metro station and only about 7 minutes from the square Marques de Pombal. And as time flies this hotel was sold to Holmes Place, sadly many memories here coming to Lisbon since 2012! Here just for the memories.

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And I walked the area again as it is wonderful. Right up of Marqués de Pombal is the park or parque Eduardo VII and down you have libertade, then square restauradoresRossio square and  train station, and square  comércio. And the side streets of duque de Loulé and the picturesque  Mouzhino de Silveira street.

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It was then time to be back at airport and time for my next trip again back to Coimbra on the A1 road. Had my usual meetings there ,in the region of Barraida wines, and was taken back to Lisbon at night. Here I met other group and  head out to watch the Champions football/soccer match of Real Madrid vs Juventus at the Bairro Alto area and chose a resto with TV’s all over call the Marisqueira M at 100 rua do Norte.   I had nice company but unfortunately my life team lost this time; well we have won 10 more than any other club by far…..Hala Madrid! Resto webpage: https://www.facebook.com/marisqueiram/

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And time to get my TAP back from Lisbon to Nantes, pickup my car there and drive 1h30 home on the N165 road. And that is all folks, another nice visit to wonderful Lisbon, and quick business in Coimbra! Hope you enjoy the post and looking forward to be back.

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

November 17, 2020

Some news from France, CCCXX!

And even if news are sparse there are some anyway. Especially of the day favorite subject to some the wuhan, covid19 or coronavirus whichever name you like. It has been like the Olympics medal table with repeated brainwashing slogans, to be beware.

Let me bring you my latest some news from France in my opinion.

The garbage collectors and sewers of Paris start a social movement this Tuesday. You will see more abandoned trash cans!! And dirty streets for a while but who is counting hardly anybody is by there now!

While the Covid-19 crisis has boosted the unemployment rate by more than 14% in Paris, the City is preparing to launch its own recovery plan for employment, by investing half a billion euros aka welfare! Yes Paris has many poorer folks and even more from the last adminstration that spent their   money on trees! Since January 2020, the number of recipients of active solidarity income (RSA) has increased from 60,000 to nearly 70,000 in Paris. This is the poor threshold and aide to families sort like a welfare hand out.

In the dept 77 of Seine-et-Marne, the unemployment offices or Pôle emploi will remains open to stem the tide of new unemployed. As a result of the economic crisis triggered by the Covid pandemic, the number of registered unemployed in the department has jumped by more than 15% in one year! Oh yes…

Meanwhile the Catholic anger does not weaken. They protested again to demand the lifting of the ban on Masses in Bougival, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Rambouillet and Versailles. Oh yes big supermarkets are open but the churches are closed go figure the reasoning of this government is beyond me.

More than 2,000 migrants evacuated from a camp at the foot of the Stade de France. A large evacuation and sheltering operation started this past Tuesday morning at 7h or 7am. This is the 66th operation in five years in the department 93 of Seine Saint Denis. Ohh this is just the tip of the iceberg!

More on the pandemic , the legendary Gibert Jeune bookstore in Place Saint-Michel, will it be over soon!! The famous Latin Quarter store could go out of business in March 2021. Leaving thousands of students and Parisians orphans. Oh yes we will make all stores out of business in Paris! Of course, this is just one example but they are thousands. The library if it closes will be a big sad news for us.

And some famous names are reeling! Not all bosses are outspoken, but Ladurée is not the only company to find itself in a difficult situation. Fauchon, Lenôtre, Dalloyau, Angelina … the historic brands of French pastry, which also serve as a tea room or caterer, are faced with a multitude of obstacles. They all have beautiful names, but they will not all be able to get by so said many of them. In Paris and elsewhere, “street food” is essential, an Asian wave is sweeping, neighborhood grocery stores are flourishing, all at low prices . In this context, the prawns and rice pilaf with three peppers at 22 euros at Lenôtre (without specifying the origin of the products) or the club sandwich at 18 euros at Ladurée lose some of their super gloss. Indeed now you know what I mean, go inland into the country side to get the real French life not in Paris! There is a nice museum window shopping ::)

On the more economic views we have the big group winning again of course. After opposing the entry of the Total group among the sponsors of the 2024 Olympics, the mayor Anne Hidalgo (PS) of Paris should entrust it with the contract for the renovation and extension of electric charging stations. The Total group will take over the management/operations of the Autolib ’stations. After stopping the service, they were put back into operation at the end of 2018 by the City of Paris to satisfy owners of electric vehicles. Which of course with their little gadgets were left well unplug lol!

The Commerce and Industry business schools of Paris are among the best in France and the most coveted… and the most expensive. Their tuition fees have increased by 70% since 2007. At the ESSEC campus in Cergy (Val-d’Oise dept 95) ; the first year at this prestigious establishment costs more than 14,000 euros, while the following years exceed 18,000 euros.Oh yes these are private grand écoles idea of Napoléon and they are indeed expensive, sort of like the Ivy schools in the USA. The regular public universities are basically free!

And you are thinking of getting real pine trees for Christmas do as me get it locally. They will be scarce and not out yet at least in my neck of the woods. They have suffers the full brunt of the effects of confinement. It encourages consumers to buy their trees from florists who buy from local producers. ok

 A great thing finally coming home. By mutual agreement, the National Estate of France and the Château de Fontainebleau decided to repatriate 400 pieces of furniture that had their first life here before being used in ministries and at the Elysée Palace. Among the hundreds of pieces of furniture recovered are the armchairs delivered to the castle for Queen Hortense’s apartment at the beginning of the 19C. Yeah a lot has been move around especially what you see in museums!

Again in Fontainebleau, the Subsistances district will host housing, a university residence, shops and a hotel with a rooftop by 2025. A hotel, a university campus and housing will be built on a former site of the army, in the district of Bréau. At least something useful will come out of it, in Seine et Marne dept 77.

 More beautiful things are happening, this time at the Château de Versailles where the Royal Chapel is beginning to be shown from its huge renovation. The tarpaulin and the scaffolding installed in 2017 are being dismantled on this large-scale project!!! Yes!!!

And again staying in my dear Versailles, an auction to slip into Marie-Antoinette’s footsteps. Personal effects that belonged to the wife of Louis XVI are been put up at a price by the house of Osenat. The highlight of this sale, which will take place on this coming Sunday, is a particularly well-preserved queen’s shoe… auction organized by the Osenat house

And yes we have good olive oil here just not as good as in Spain in my opinion but right up there. In Haute-Provence, on either side of the wide and wild bed of the Durance river, the Domaine Salvator estate at Les Mées and the Notre-Dame de Ganagobie abbey, between Peyruis and Lurs, look at each other from afar. The monks are at the top of a steep hill. The landscape embraced by the abbey from the summit, at an altitude of 650 meters, is immense, especially upstream where the town of Sisteron can be seen. Les Mées has the reputation of the first town in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence by the number of olive trees, between 80,000 and 90,000 trees. The Aglandau olive dominates, which gives AOP Provence or Haute-Provence oils depending on the way it is worked. The beauty of Les Mées can be appreciated from afar when, driving towards the village, it is seen below its famous Penitents, a jagged cliff that looks like a line of hooded monks. The scenery is nice indeed and the olive oil can be found here:

Domaine Salvator: https://domainesalvator.fr/

Abbey of Notre Dame de Ganagobie: https://www.boutique-ganagobie.com/17-huile-d-olive_monastere_ganagobie

Get on the bandwagon nowdays, click and take ideas or take out food is the norm thanks to the wuhan virus covid19 or coronavirus as you wish. Paris is no different ,and we have it here too; some of my friends are telling me getting their food already done for pickup or delivery ;these are nice ideas

Coyo Taco – 128, rue Réaumur – 2éme.  Burger Theory – 11, boulevard des Filles-du-Calvaire – 3éme. Kitchen Paris – 74, rue des Gravilliers – 3éme.  Kozy Bosquet – 79, avenue Bosquet – 7éme.  Pépé Ronchon – 31, rue Saint-Lazare – 9éme.  Constantia – 94, rue des Martyrs – 18éme.

Good thing we do it too here and even got a click and pickup at my favorite wine store Nicolas in Vannes today !!

And how about that beef, yes we love beef and here we have some of the best too just need to know where to look ! Give you our favorite!

It is in Laguiole, at an altitude of 1,000 meters, that the family farm has developed, following a 120-year-old tradition. There, the animals benefit from five-star treatment in buildings meeting high-tech standards: misting, massaging brushing, 12 m2 box lined with straw, classical music, everything is done to ensure that the time they spend outside the Aubrac highlands – where they have been carried out on foot and by hand since their birth – be as pleasant as possible. the meat produced at Ferme des Vialars is of unparalleled quality. Matured for 15 days and pleasantly marbled, it owes its taste to the aromatic palette contained in the mountain hay which cows feed on, and the Bleu-Blanc-Cœur certification it enjoys ensures a subtle balance in Omega 3 and Omega 6. In delivery via Internet in all the towns and villages of France, Aubracatable products are also in the spotlight on the tables of La Maison de l’Aubrac, an address well known to Parisian meat lovers. We get it here too! The farm is at https://www.la-ferme-des-vialars.com/

And if close by in Paris, the place is here : https://www.maison-aubrac.com/

And that is all for now folks ,hoping for better times and better things to do and see in my belle France.

PS. today I got a no reservation from a hotel in Bélves as was trying to book it to see a contact made in wordpress with a salon de thé resto there. Due to been restricted by the virus, hope still there it will end soon. You may have cross them here and I am in contact in Facebook. They started out from Lille and they are British. Their facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/planchesetplonk/

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

November 17, 2020

Guidel Plage ,a hidden gem in the Morbihan!!!

In here I go again, is a hard task but wonderful rewards of revising and updating old posts some with new links and some old photos still in them. I now, take you to a beach town of Guidel Plage in my Morbihan!

I am indeed lucky to have so much wonderful places to see near home on a car trip away. Bretagne is indeed beautiful and you should find out as I have. And when you say Morbihan, well you will be delighted as I am.

We drove from Vannes after doing our errands for the day on the , N165 is just about 67 kms or about 42 miles, you get off on the D306 at Guévén and follow direction Guidel on the same road D306 until passing by city center and then follow panels Guidel Plage and finally Le Port, Plages. Easy parking by the harbor or port area with plenty of restos.

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If you do not have a car, coming from Paris Montparnasse by train to Lorient and there take bus no 10 to Guidel and Guidel Plage. webpage:https://www.ctrl.fr/mes-lignes/lignes-regulieres

We past once again by city center on the wonderful Church Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul. The area has an exhaustive listing of chapels and megaliths stones mostly tumulus all over!  

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The Port or harbor area has excellent gallery of painters and plenty of restos and bars with the bay behind them; there is a walking trail of the Laîta river just alongside the bay by the resto Laîta Café Brasserie.  There is a beach ( Plage du Bas Pouldu)  right in front on the other side of the wall separating it from the Guidel Marina or boat pleasure marina which is very nice indeed. Port marina webpage: https://www.ports-paysdelorient.fr/en/harbours/guidel-marina

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The beach by the port is Plage du Bas Pouldu, and it has a nice sandy space starting from the wall of the port pleasure marina to the left for several hundred meters. Then, if you follow the road along the ocean , you come to the plage de la Falaise , simply rival any anywhere, several hundred meters ,bigger and wider on a strip of land with a wonderful dune ,the Dune du Pouldu. Plenty of water sports and children playground here.

Goes without saying ,this is a truly family beach, with all amenities even a shopping center right on it . There is surfing and beach shops as well as ice cream parlor and restos. We decided to have lunch here. La Moule qui Saoûle, friendly service even late and we had our Grimbergen blonde beers with bretonne pizzas and moules à curry or mussels in curry sauce as well as a huge calzone , and expresso coffee to finish all for 16.60€ per person.::). webpage: https://lamoulequisaoule.com/

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We then took a walk on the beach or plage de la Falaise , wonderful feeling that in summer this can be heaven anywhere. I have been to many beaches in the world and born 6 kms from one, but this one can compare to any.  There are several nice beaches along the ocean here.

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My fav plages tv webpage for beaches in France, here on the Guidel beaches: https://en.plages.tv/detail/falaise-beach-guidel-56520

The city tourist office of Guidel and its heritage: https://www.guidel.com/decouvrir-guidel/fiche-didentite/patrimoine-architetctural-et-naturel/

The Lorient South Brittany tourist office on Guidel: https://www.lorientbretagnesudtourisme.fr/fr/immanquables/guidel/

There you go a nice beach town with plenty for the whole family, really a beach resort with beautiful white sandy beaches in season heavens! Hope you enjoy the updated Guidel plages!

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

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