Archive for ‘Bretagne’

November 14, 2019

Notre Dame Cathedral , Update Nov19!

Well here is another take on the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral. I guess from reading and hearing , it will be longer than told. Too many politics in the middle as often the case.

I have done at least two previous update on the disaster and the efforts to rebuilt and feels its about time for an update. Therefore, here it goes folks, Notre Dame Cathedral, Update Nov19 and this time direct from Paris!!!

The sequence did not go unnoticed. Invited to the commission of cultural affairs of the National Assembly,(house of representatives of France) yesterday Wednesday, November 13, the special representative of President Emmanuel Macron, General Jean-Louis Georgelin for the reconstruction of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris had words unfriendly with regard to the Chief Architect of Historical Monuments.  When asked about the reconstruction (identical or not) of the arrow, Jean-Louis Georgelin asked Philippe Villeneuve Chief Architect of Historical Monuments (who was not present in the room) to shut up!  The General (former Chief of Staff of the French Army)  said. “I have already explained to him several times (…), that he closes his mouth and that we advance in wisdom so that we can serenely make the best choice for Notre-Dame, for Paris, for the World!

The arrow of the discord: drawn by Viollet-le-Duc, it disappeared in the fire of the Notre-Dame Cathedral of April 2019. But must we rebuild it identically? For Philippe Villeneuve, Chief Architect of Historical Monuments and responsible for the restoration of the cathedral, there is no doubt. On the other hand, for General Jean-Louis Gorgelin, who is leading the work, it is a bit premature. He told the members of the Committee on Cultural Affairs. Time is running out: the cathedral must be rebuilt for 2024 !

Nearly seven months after the disaster, the Total Foundation  (part of the big French oil company total) concretized on Thursday, November 7th its pledge of 100 million euros for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral, by signing an agreement with the Heritage Foundation (FdP). Three foundations – FdP, Fondation Notre-Dame, Fondation de France – and the National Monuments Center (CMN) were responsible for raising funds as part of the national subscription launched for the reconstruction of this Gothic gem. Six months after the fire, some 922 million euros in donations and pledges have already been made to rebuild the cathedral, said last month the Minister of Culture Franck Riester.

Some new elements as to why the vast fire and the response is coming out !

Three different employers for three security guards !!! The organization of fire safety at Notre-Dame de Paris was divided between three actors. On the one hand, a private company, Elytis; one of its agents is responsible for monitoring the alarm management unit located at the security PC. In the event of an alarm, he alerts a second agent who is an employee of the diocese. But if the alarm is triggered in the towers of the forecourt, it is a third agent, an employee of the Ministry of Culture, who is then responsible for conducting a verification of doubt.  Not only these three people responsible for working together have three different employers but the contract signed from 2016 provides that there is more than one agent of the private company on site, against two before, as confirmed by this company. According to Elytis agents, well before the fire, the alarm management unit was often triggered for no reason !

It is in this context that a new agent of the company Elytis takes office just days before the fire broke out. When the alarm went off on Monday, April 15, 2019 at 18h16, he is stuck in the security PC. Unfamiliar with the scene, he reportedly said that the fire was in the attic of the sacristy. In fact, it started in the attics under the arrow: firefighters were called more than half an hour after the outbreak of the first alarm, while the fire had already spread widely !!!

The other problem, lead !

It was not until July 18th that the regional health agency (ARS) of Ile-de-France region finally made public the mapping of the presence of lead dust in the district of Notre-Dame. They discovered exceptionally high rates, especially on the forecourt: while the quantity does not generally exceed 5,000 micrograms (μg) of lead dust per square meter, the forecourt had between 540,000 and 1,300,000 μg / m² , according to the records.  The multiple cleanings have still not allowed to lower these rates to acceptable thresholds. That’s why the forecourt is always closed to the public.

Because of the lead, the Notre-Dame perimeter slump was noted. One of the balconies is breaking up, stones having split. To avoid collapse, the whole was strapped to hold until the consolidation works. Finally, traces of moisture persist in the left hole  by the arrow. With each new rain, the soil is tempered again, causing the joints and the structure to collapse, on the order of a few millimeters. It will be necessary to wait for the complete disassembly of the current scaffolding, welded under the effect of the heat, to be able to cover this hole by means of a huge tarpaulin called an umbrella. This operation requires first mounting another scaffold around the first. This is already up.

While the first project, much less important, was planned to last about 15 years, President Emmanuel Macron set a five-year course to restore the Notre Dame Cathedral. A delay that seems unrealistic to many experts. Just drying, securing and diagnosis should take almost two years. The building stakeholders are therefore skeptical about the feasibility of the operation. Nothing prevents the Ministry of Culture and the diocese from partially reopening the cathedral to the public, in order to officially hold this five-year period, without all being finished. In any case, this is the solution that seems to be emerging.

It seems to me the rebuilding will last more than 5 years, in the meantime temporary services will be held! I saw on French TV the chief architect take a tour of it and it is in rubbles all patch up and with columns holding arches with steel rods! It looks sad and when you start reading above you notice some negligence in its upkeep and fire security measures; its all a pity really. Hope for the best.

With the lead insecurity I know many visitors walking by it to take pictures but I would advice not to get near it, you can take pictures from across the Seine river. I will be again there this weekend but by Pl Saint Michel!

Stay tune, there is more always in my blog; thank you again for reading it. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

November 10, 2019

My early life in my blog!

So on the Armistice weekend (celebrated Monday November 11) in Europe (the end of the Great War or WWI)  and Veteran’s Day in the USA (for all combine) ,I come to end my nice weekend with the family in my Pluvigner, Morbihan , Bretagne and head back to the CDG Paris area to continue my job mission. These will be many weekends back and forth until May 2020 at the latest.

Just the re start of my finance consultant life into retirement and thereafter. Life on the road is nice but sometimes missed the boys back home even if we also celebrated early this weekend my twin boys 26 yrs old birthday. We went to eat out at favorite family restaurant Tablapizza , then shopping in the Armand Thiery store and others , doing the groceries at Carrefour with them and next day like today went to the cinema Cineville to see the Maléfique : Le Pouvoir du Mal or Maleficent: Mistress of Evil   movie and then more gifts to them and eat out at the old Burger King lol! they love it.

Now reminicent in a sentimental way of my life travels and efforts starting with my dear late mother Gladys and continue with my dear late wife Martine , still going strong out of faith with my 3 boys and Dad. I have to tell you a bit of my early post when I started this blog out of inspiration of many in the famous travel forums and friend in Madrid. Most if not all these early posts have no pictures as used elsewhere but they tell my early steps in life in a chronological manner. Hope you enjoy reading it as I did/do.

So these were my entry into my first blog posts ever!!! It all started back in November 2010!!! wow already 9 years time flies when having fun. Thank you all!!

Well I am finally into a blog after many years posting elsewhere. Hopefully this will allow me to share with my friends and family my travels and favorites pastimes over the years,and to hear back from folks similar stories. It will grow with us,looking forward to it. Posted: November 26 2010

Havana/La Habana it was once the Paris of the Americas, the Pearl of the Antilles, the most chic city of Latin America until the revolution destroyed everything;streets names were changed, city names were change, people left in hordes, and more poverty than ever sets in all under the glorious revolution still there.  Posted: November 28 2010

Madrid .I arrived from Havana, Cuba on December 30th 1971 in a lonely long flight of 16 hours aboard a Britannia four propellers aircraft with a fueling stop in Santa Maria, Azores islands of Portugal. After much political pressure and the help of the Spanish government as Spanish citizens to leave the island dictatorship. I end up in another one Lol! Posted: November 28 2010

Where it all began for me and my family finally arriving in freedom at Perth Amboy , New Jersey ,USA on may 10, 1974. From Madrid ,Spain. After successful avoiding two dictatorships of the left and right, freedom sets in. Posted: November 28 2010

Daytona Beach/Ormond Beach /North Miami/ Hialeah/ Miramar. My first contact with the State of Florida took place in 1973 when I went from New Jersey to visit my Aunt in Miami Lakes; it didnt seem that great, I guess I was already used to the cold weather from Spain and New Jersey. Then in August of 1977 I went to pursue my university studies there, and settled at Daytona Beach. It was instant love, the city was warm, sunny but also cool in winter, nice folks and the beach and the girls was awesome. Posted:  November 29 2010

Versailles. Coming around my life, as a family we decided way back that one day we might end up in France. Being married to a French woman, and all French citizens, the time was just any minute. Life in South Florida has been great, and we were visiting France every year since 1990 together,even sometimes with my parents. The decision was made to come to live in France permanently in August 2003. Posted: November 30 2010

Auray/Brech . Well here I am back and with new photos to share the wonderful world of  France. Today, I will talk a bit about my new area the Pays ‘Auray. Its a agglomaration of several towns into a metropolitan system of cities. The capital and main city is Auray or An Alre in Breton language.  I arrived here in May 30 2011. Posted: June 26 2011

Pluvigner. The town we are now is call Pluvigner, same department of Morbihan 56, in fact only about 11 kms from where we were, but a much bigger home. 255 sq meters of home and 1000 m2 of land!!! The house is great, we will do some adjustment to our convenience but no major works needed. I arrived here on July 2013. Posted: September 8 2013.

Now you know a bit more of me for those new to my blog in a nutshell!!! Again thank you very much for keeping with me these last few years (9) and hopefully many more to come on our roads of our world.

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

 

 

 

November 2, 2019

Saint Nolff, memories, souvenirs!!!

Well nostalgia sets in now. I have written pieces of it in previous posts without giving out too much of it. However, this is the end, sadly. I came to this little community to work for a worldwide big company of 1,6B euros and now it has been sold! I was planning my retirement next October 2020 but I decided to do it as we say here retraite anticipée or early retirement. I will still be base in the Morbihan , precious Pluvigner but will be a consultant all over the world; first stop CDG Paris. Of course, this is when i say i work near Vannes in a 1504 castle ruin property the town is Saint Nolff. As the run of the jobs will be all over and sometimes without internet, post will be fewer and more space out but the blog will continue and eventually even more busy than ever! Stay tune please. Thank you for been such avids readers of my posts over the years.

While working in Paris and living in Versailles my dear late wife Martine asked me to slow down on my journeys around the world to stay closer to the family. Of course, I obliged and found me the management job here in Saint Nolff, the Morbihan dept 56 of the region of Bretagne/Brittany. It has been a wonderful rollercoaster ride indeed!!!

It’s a very nice job,or was as of November 4 2019 it will be another one. It provided me  with plenty of travel opportunity as we have branches in 28 countries, and my job requires a lot of travel. One of the hidden benefits of the job! The people are/were very friendly and nice, and we are allowed to work pretty much independant. We are next to Vannes in quiet, small, cozy country heaven, a big change from my previous post near and in Paris. Yes a loving job if I can call it that.

I live about 35 minutes from the job by car on the road N165 or can take a semi detour and come into the country road D19 or even better the D779 . Traffic is minimum, and so far so good. Even thus notice traffic and people are picking up!  The job is/was in an old castle originally built in 1504 ,now only the ruins of its walls remains, and the face of the manoir or mansion call Chateau, where the main administrative office is (so far) ,and where I had my office.  For a while now ,the memories kept coming in as next year is my legal age retirement limit here so thinking already of the consultancy route to stay busy and more time to enjoy my belle France! ,and lovely Brittany !! Well it has happened earlier!

There will be many memories here, nice souvenirs after 8,5 years many new friends, but as the old saying life keeps on trucking and we must move along with it. Always looking forward to the future as long as our minds allow it. My first consultant work setting up finance procedures and some travel will be by Tremblay-en-France (Seine Saint Denis dept 93 just over the border with Roissy en France dept 95 Val d’Oise what most call Paris airport but not in Paris limits! ) the cargo zone of the Paris airport CDG. It’s a job on the subject of my university degree and same finance function as now in addition to been about 34 km from my in-laws and wife’s sisters houses in Seine-et-Marne dept 77

For the nostalgia, let me tell you a bit more on the town of Saint Nolff.

The town of Saint-Nolff comes from Saint Mayeul, Abbot of Cluny. The oldest document concerning Saint-Nolff dates from 1375, evoking a fact dating back to the second quarter of the 13C. It is unclear whether the parish actually existed before 1230. In the middle ages, the lordship of Gourvinec was one of the most powerful in Saint-Nolff. In 1790, the parish of Saint-Nolff was erected in town during the French revolution. The town, located at the bottom of a valley, where flows the Condat brook and where the railroad passes, it is only 19 km (about 12 miles) from Vannes.

The main thing to see here and it is very nice my stopping point for lunch many times next to the bakery and small resto around the mayor’s office is the Church of Saint-Mayeul b. 15-16C, renovated in the 17-19C. A cross-shaped Church, the two transept arms are formed by two juxtaposed bays having each gable and window with mullets on the sides.The bedside is square and pierced by a canopy. It originally included a nave without a aisle, a transept and a flat bedside choir. From this old church there remains only the choir whose bedside is pierced by a window with flamboyant lattice and a door of the south brace. The north cross brace dates from 1677.  At the end of the 19C the two cross-braces were extended to the western façade to form aisles and the Church was vaulted, which made a carved sand-pit structure disappear. The bell tower dates from 1783. A small side door dates from the 16C. The pulpit and the confessional date back to the 19C. The stained glass windows of the choir and transepts are in a broken arch with flamboyant filling and the stained glass is from 1882 to 1886. The confessional and the pulpit date from the 19C. A statue of Saint Mayeul, patron Saint of St. Nolff, is visible in the Church.

st nolff

st nolff

The Chapelle of Sainte-Anne was built in 1493 in the immediate vicinity of the Saint-Mayeul Church. You can see a statue of St. Anne of the 16C preserved in the presbytery and the unusual presence of lily flowers in the mullions windows and stained glass, at a time when Brittany was still independent (union of Brittany with France was in 1532).

st nolff

Other significant chapels here are the Chapel Saint-Aman or Saint-Amand. This chapel was built in 1528. The Chapel of Saint-Colomban was probably built at the beginning of the 16C and then deeply reworked in the 17C. The Moulin du Gourvinec, this mill was built by the family of Gourvinec, lords of Bézit. The first mention of this mill dates from 1503. Three wheels are driven by the Condat River, in order to turn wheat into flour. In 1930, it will be transformed into a sawmill, activity that will end in 1951. A time used as breeding poultry, it will be bought by the town in 1989, which ensured the restoration.

The town is famous for its festivals that are very much in demand so in this little town we rock!! The Festivals are: The Festival of hard heavy metal music Motocultor Festival, since 2013 during the month of August. It host more than 40 Groups local national and international, starting this year  2019,held over four days !.More info : http://www.motocultor-festival.com/wordpress/home/

Mamm Douar, since  2013, this is a festive and militant festival the name is Breton meaning the motherland  or in French terre mère.  It was created in 2009 in Brittany and since  2013, it is held in Saint-Nolff. More info : https://www.touslesfestivals.com/mamm-douar

The Festival of noise or La Fête du Bruit, a rock contemporary music festival in St Nolff ! More here: https://stnolff.festival-fetedubruit.com/

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and why not, authentive Brittany or Breizh !!!

City of Saint Nolff on heritage in French

flower cities and towns of France on St Nolff

And there you go in a way my hommage to Saint Nolff, a town very small but by now very much attach to my world globe of wonderful places to be in . Not saying will not stop by but this is the end of the fix attachement. I still will be base in the Morbihan which we love it so much by now, and I will do my missions all over from here. Once in full retirement than my activities will be even less and spend more time in the area, hopefully start of 2021, adg. Thank you for reading this post.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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November 2, 2019

La Turballe, Loire Atlantique!!!

So now in my continuing road warrior trips in my beautiful area of the west of France, and after visiting some new places I came to another one where we had a meal. This is very nice coastal La Turballe.

The town of La Turballe is located in the department of Loire-Atlantique 44, in Pays de la Loire region. It is historically part of Bretagne/Brittany. It is only 7 km from Guérande and 20 km from Saint-Nazaire. The town was created in 1865, but its history dates back to 854. From 1837, the opening of sardine canneries directly in La Turballe boosted fishing activities and led to an increase in population. The port of La Turballe is the first fishing port in the Pays de la Loire, with eighty-one trawlers, and the eighth largest in France. It is the first port of the Atlantic coast for anchovies and sardines, which are usually celebrated in mid-July on the occasion of the sardine festival.!!

La Turballe

Despite health concerns, the Emperor Napoleon III began a second trip to Algeria in 1865, confiding in his absence the regency to his wife Empress Eugénie. It is therefore she who cosigns, on May 17, 1865, with the minister Eugène Rouher, the decree raising La Turballe to the rank of a town.

La Turballe

Some of the wonderful things to see here are

Built in the middle of the 18C, the Moulin or windmill of Kerbroué was one of the banal windmills of the Lordship of Lauvergnac which itself depended on the Barony of Campzillon. Since 1810, date of the first leasing before notary there has been several owners until 1971. It was equipped with an electric crusher installed in the windmill in 1977. Today, it is known under the name of Moulin à Fernand (windmill Fernand), name of the last miller, Fernand Nogues. The town bought it in 2000 and has spent 5 years renovating it to make it operational. The windmill of Kerbroué is located on the road of Saint-Molf, D139 at a place called the Four Routes and can be visited directly to the windmill or to the association “Au Gré des Vents” which manages it tel +33   (0) 2.40 .11.71.31.  More in the area tourist office in French: Tourit office La Baule Guérande on La Tourballe mouliln de Kerbroué

La Turballe

A bit on the Church Notre Dame de Miséricorde. In 1505, Anne de Bretagne (Ann of Brittany) made a gracious gift by offering three crowns in the same pattern of fleurs-de-lis, which for centuries had caped the brides of the countryside. Guérande was endowed with a crown of gold, Saillé of a silver and Trescalan of a gilded copper. The first two disappeared during the French revolution, but that of Trescalan still exists. History tells us that this 15C crown was restored in the 19C. In 1698, the villagers of Trescalan made a petition to build a chapel at the top of the hill; this chapel was erected and dedicated to Notre-Dame de Miséricorde or Our Lady of Mercy. In 1852, the present church was erected on the site of the old chapel. The bell tower has a height of 33 meters from the ground of the Church. At the beginning of the construction, the tower was finished at its upper part by a domed roof. From the platform, one can admire in a complete horizon all the landscape extending from the mouth of the Loire river to that of the Vilaine river, towards the wide and towards the big Brière. For access to this platform, you need to climb 110 steps and after a first landing you will discover the vault of the frame of the Church. Visitable only in season (July and August).

Other things to see here which we will need to return are the Château de Lauvergnac a manor house seen from the road it looks meticously kept. The Chapel Notre-Dame is located at the tip of the Pen-Bron peninsula. It is part of the old marine center of Pen-Bron. From north to south, the beaches of La Turballe bear the following names from Piriac-sur-Mer to the port of La Turballe;  Belmont beach , Port Creux, Ker Elisabeth, Bastille; and the port at the Pointe de Pen Bron (very nice we were there!) Bretons beach, Croix de l’Anse beach, Grande Falaise beach, Pen Bron beach. The pristine Pointe de Pen-Bron is classify a natural area of ecological interest, fauna and flora (ZNIEFF) category 1 under the name Pointe de Pen-Bron, salt marshes and hillsides of Guérande ( about 38+ km2) since 1991 The dunes Pen bron are classified sensitive natural area and integrate the Natura 2000 network with Le Croisic and the salt marshes of Guérande (about 44 km2).

La Turballe

The beach of BretonsPlages tv beach webpage on the Breton beach at La Turballe

The beach at Pen BroPlages tv on pen bro beach at La Turballe

La Turballe

La Turballe

And we had our meal here and just guessing pick this place, as almost always was right on. The La Marie Galante pizzeria restaurant at 24 quai Saint Paul .Facing the fishing port, Pizzas (on the spot or take away), fish and grilled meats. great welcome. Excellent cuisine. Mussels fries, a pizza all nicely serve with a friendly smile a great meal for 4 overlooking the port . A very nice discovery this afternoon. Super menu from A to Z. Super attentive staff, polite and available. We will be returning soon and more often. The tourist office has something on them here: Tourist office La Baule Guérande on La Marie Galante resto

Also, they have a Facebook page here: Facebook page of La Marie Galante

La Turballe

La Turballe

La Turballe

Some additional webpage to help you enjoy this wonderful town by the sea a must while passing by the region.

The pleasure boat port of La Turballe

City of La Turballe on heritage sites

Tourist office La Baule Guérande on things to see at La Turballe

And there you go another jewel about an hour from my house as said so much to see will need a lifetime and maybe not enough, France is a movable feast! For now enjoy La Turballe in the neighboring Loire Atlantique dept 44!

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

November 1, 2019

Piriac sur Mer and St Sébastien!

Ok this one briefly, needed to put into a new post as even thus the bourg or village is part of the town of Piriac sur Mer has an interesting history and beautiful little chapel I like to tell you all about it.

The town of Piriac-sur-Mer in the Loire Atlantique dept 44 of the new region of Pays de la Loire...  This is just neighboring Morbihan dept 56 and old Bretagne! The town of Piriac-sur-Mer is only 11 km from Guérande and 25 km from Saint-Nazaire. The closest major cities.

The foundation of the village of Saint Sébastien dates back to the 13-14C. It is originally an extension and dependence of the important neighboring village of Kéroudigué, founded by the monks of the abbey of Saint-Sauveur Redon to house their sharecroppers. It is today a bourg or annex to the town of Piriac-sur-Mer.

The Chapelle de Saint-Sébastien is located here. It is founded and endowed in 1543. It is dedicated to Saint Sébastien, a Roman officer killed in 288AD, who became the protector from the plague and epidemics. Inside are a stone statue of the Madonna and Child of the 18C, a polychrome wood statue dating from the 17C representing St. Sebastian, to whom the chapel is dedicated, two wooden statues of worshiping angels dating from the 18C from the church of Piriac, a Christ on the cross above the east gate, the altar, the neo-Byzantine tiled mosaic of the choir and the stained glass window of Saint Sébastien are set up in 1904. The Way of the Cross dates from 1937. Inside, a common curiosity in Brittany is found as far as Saintonge: a stone bench runs along the walls of the nave to the choir.

Piriac sur mer

Piriac sur mer

Piriac sur mer

It was open and quant so we stop by and it was a pleasant surprise to see this little chapel on a main road , old and so well kept. Love it’s architecture and history. Enjoy it at St Sébastien before entering Piriac sur Mer on the road D333.

The tourist office for the area is the La Baule Guérande on Piriac sur Mer but unfortunatley not much info on the chapel. I need to go inside to find a bit more on it. Anyway this is the tourist office webpage: Tourit office La Baule Guerande on Piriac sur Mer

If you ever by this area, which is nice to be, do get a detour to see this small quant well kept historical Chapel of St Sebastian in English. Hope you enjoy it

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

 

November 1, 2019

Piriac sur Mer,the Loire Atlantique!

Moving along my road warrior trip in the deep country away from the hordes of public transport, this is pristine country full air and nothing but beautiful natural country roads! I like to take you to Piriac-sur-Mer in the Loire Atlantique dept 44 of the new region of Pays de la Loire...

This is just neighboring Morbihan dept 56 and old Bretagne! The town of Piriac-sur-Mer is only 11 km from Guérande and 25 km from Saint-Nazaire. The closest major cities.

Piriac-sur-Mer  has a deep-water port, reserved for pleasure boats and some fishing boats that remain in the harbor. The town was a major producer of wine from the 10C, but this activity ceased with the phylloxera epidemic of the 1880’s. In the surrounding countryside you still find the remains of this agriculture, the vines growing among the brambles. Piriac-sur-Mer has long been a strategic place, because it is located near the mouth of the Vilaine river and also has an island Ïle Dumet , a fort still occupies it   today. It is classified a small town of character of France. Piriac-sur-Mer has welcome in particular Emile Zola who lived near the Church, Alphonse Daudet who resided on the port and other curious in search of cultural exoticism. Also, Gustave Flaubert n and Jean-Paul Belmondo who came here on vacation during his youth. Today, Piriac-sur-Mer lives mainly from tourism and sea leisure activities

Piriac sur mer

The city center is Breton style with old houses of the 17C, gable and roof and steep slope. They form a compact whole, predominantly of gray granite. The old port hotel was built in 1626, and later embellished with a tufa turret. In the middle of this historic center is a massive church. When we got there we got into the local market day and it was wonderful as usual, some goodies were brought home!!!

Piriac sur mer

Piriac sur mer

The Church Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens built in 1766, raised on the site of an old chapel or church. The first dates from 570, the second from the 11C and the third from 1350 with its crypt still exists today. The contemporary church dates from 1766, it was built with the stones of the old Chapel Saint-Jean of the château de Kerjean with the cross of the old cemetery was embedded in one of its walls. This church has a single nave and cruciform. Its porch is square and has an imperial dome. The altarpiece dates from the 17C. Christ on the Cross, in painted wood, dates from the 16C. The carved granite font dates from the 17C. The altarpiece is from the 18C. The marble baptistery dates from the 19C The old church had a very high bell tower that served as bitter seafarers. We have the name of two chapels of this church, the Chapel Saint Jean serving as enfeu to the lords and the Chapel of the Rosary.

Piriac sur mer

Piriac sur mer

This is basically a very touristic chic town with beautiful beaches older world charm and very concentrated city center near the beach front. It is nice for a short visit or passing by as we did.  So enjoy coastal beach town of Piriac-sur-Mer or something like  Piriac by the sea. Just to mention this town has the label in France of Small town of character for its good keep of its architecture and old ambiance. We did not spent much time on the beaches not summer really but very nice they are specially St Michel the main one.

Piriac sur mer

Piriac sur mer

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of the are la baule guerande on Piriac sur Mer heritage

The pleasure ports on the Atlantique ocean about Piriac sur Mer

My favorite Plages TV beach webpage on St Michel beach at Piriac sur Mer

And there you go another dandy indeed as said good for the beach or a one day passing trip and lunch by the sea sublime. Enjoy it at Piriac sur Mer.

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

 

 

 

October 31, 2019

Pénestin ,the coastal Morbihan!

And why not tell you more of my lovely Morbihan dept 56 of the region of Bretagne! Well I have many posts on the region and always amaze of the amount of beautiful spots we have  ,always room for more. This is the case on the next posts, passed by it but never been until now. The choices are endless.

Let me tell you more about Pénestin, coastal Morbihan less than an hour from me. The town of Pénestin is 25 km of coastline,and is the southernmost town of the Morbihan dept. 56.

penestin

A bit of history I like

Pénestin was the former parish of Assérac, the new parish of Pénestin was created in 1767, and was until the French revolution, the town than was created as a city in 1790. In 1806,a study commissioned by Napoleon Ier to define the linguistic border between French and Breton , the town of Pénestin was Breton and faced Herbignac, French-speaking town.   In 1843, according to the dictionary of Ogée, the town became French-speaking. Generally as Breton is still spoken.

Pénestin was occupied by the Nazis in 1940, the town became part of the Atlantic Wall which formed an impressive line of fortified works to prevent any landing of the Allies. The strategic position par excellence of the town, located at the northern end of the Pocket of Saint-Nazaire, therefore justified the construction of a multitude of blockhouses. The Pointe de Halguen tip is located northwest of the town, where the fresh waters of the Vilaine river   and the salt waters of the Atlantic meet. The Lomer, again, the occupation troops had bunkers built by the local workforce, employed and directed by the Todt organization. The two main works are less substantial than those of Halguen but benefit from a wide opening on the ocean.

Some of the things to see here that I like are

One of the sights to see here are the wonderful beach and cliff of the gold mine or Mine d’Or which overlooks the beach of choice of holiday makers and which gave it its name. The cliff was exploited as a gold mine in the 19C, hence its name! At the time, it aroused the wildest hopes but was closed during WWI for lack of sufficient return.No gold!

For this and the beaches see the tourist office of the area here: The tourist office of La Baule Guerande on the beaches of Penestin

On our way here we passed by the picturesque town of Assérac and saw some wonderful sea salt ponds at the Beauregard saline .From the ocean to the salt harvest, discover how a salt works and the profession of salt. Passing by the Marais Salant de Port d’Arme . We will need more time to see this lol!

Asserac

At one time there were 7 windmills but today only 2 remains. The lighthouse or phare de Tréhiguer built in 1881 and since 1995 is the home of mussel culture or Maison de la Mytiliculture. The House of Mussel culture is a museum structure dedicated to the discovery, enhancement and promotion of mussel farming, ie the breeding of mussels, one of the most important economic niches of the town and very famous as one of the best in the world!. Famous for its production qualities and its appeal of the palate, the bouchot mussel of Pénestin delivers all its secrets here. From the entrance of the lighthouse-exhibition, you are projected in the world of the mussel farmer by a forest of piles, life-size reconstruction of a small mussel park. This one presents you the technical evolutions of the stakes, denominated bouchots, which serve as support to the growth of the molds. On the ground floor, the first room reveals the life of the mussel, from birth to harvest through nutrition and predation, in an underwater atmosphere. Upstairs, two rooms illustrate the profession of the mussel farmer and its evolutions through photographs, models and old tools. At the top, at the end of the spiral staircase, you will be rewarded for your climb by accessing the balcony, window open on one of the most beautiful panoramas of the estuary of the Vilaine river basin. Do not forget to visit the last room of the museum: the documentation room near the exit. General or specialized books and press clippings await you, especially to introduce you to the best mussel recipes … of course!

More on the house of mussels culture here: Tourist office of Penestin on the Maison de la Mytiliculture in English

Another nice building is the Saint-Gildas Church built and consecrated in 1880, this neo-Gothic church replaces an older church in the current cemetery. Inaugurated in a meadow, the church has some statues, one of which is Saint Gildas, the patron saint of the town. The capitals on the pillars of the nave represent flower motifs and the stained glass windows represent the life of Christ or that of Saint Gildas. Each arm of the transept contains a wooden altar of the 19C. The bottom of the choir wall is paneled.

Penestin

Penestin

Penestin

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and worth a detour are

City of Penestin on heritage and culture

Tourist office of Penestin on heritage and history in English

Toursit office of Brittany on Penestin in English

And there you go my brief tour of another wonderful magical spot in my lovely Morbihan and by the sea is always better me think. Enjoy the tip of Penestin in beautiful Bretagne or Brittany or local Breizh!

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

October 27, 2019

Théatre Graslin at Nantes!

Therefore in my continuing enjoyment of showcasing the best of architecture and history of my belle France, I bring you back to Nantes. The city is very well known to me as go there often and leave on my trips from its airport. Nantes is in old Bretagne now part of the region of Pays de la Loire in dept 44 Loire-Atlantique.

Let me tell you a bit more of its wonderful Theater Graslin at rue Moliére in Nantes.

The Graslin theater is the opera house of Nantes. Built at the end of the 18C. It is located on Place Graslin, between the streets of rue Molière, rue Scribe and rue  Corneille. The hall has a capacity of 784 seats. It is, with the Grand Théâtre d’Angers, one of the two places of residence of the Angers-Nantes Opéra joint syndicate.

nantes

 

It is an imposing building on a wonderful square, I go even inside the cafe for coffees and across La Cigale restaurant is top gastronomy of my belle France. Nice walks around here with beautiful architecture.

nantes

A bit of history I Like

In Nantes there was a tradition of theater and opera; the first works of this kind are presented in the city in 1687. The most famous room in the 18C was  the “Théâtre des Variétés”, located in rue Bignon-Lestard (today rue Rubens). But this room is considered too small, and the Academy of Music, founded in 1727, does not have a suitable place to give concerts. The demand is strong for the construction of a new auditorium. In 1755, plans to build this type of building  instead of a hall for wheat and fish located quai Brancas. Then it is conceivable to build a theater and a concert hall first south of the then proposed Place Royale, then on both sides of the rue Saint-Catherine (now rue du Couëdic) . But each time, the lack of available space prevents the realization of the project.

At the end of the 1770s, Jean-Joseph-Louis Graslin, general receiver of the king’s farms in Nantes for about ten years, decided to finance a large-scale private real estate operation, for a speculative purpose. He bought agricultural land, the “Bouvet ” and the “La Cagassais “, in order to build mansions and houses for the purpose of reselling them in a speculative manner. A theater, the hotel des Fermes, a museum, a  Hôtel, a new church Saint-Nicolas, and the Stock Exchange. However, the clergy opposed the construction of a theater near a place of worship. Only winners came of this effort was to get the construction, on the esplanade that will take the name of Place Graslin, the Hotel de France,  and the opening of a prestigious auditorium. The attraction of it was enough to move the center of gravity of the city towards the new district centered around a Grand Theater.

The model in vogue at the time when these plans were conceived is that of the Opéra of Lyon, built between 1753 and 1756. This model does not have a direct influence on the work of Nantes. It took over Graslin’s conception, in 1780, other new halls mark this period: the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, inaugurated that year; the Odeon Theater, under construction, inaugurated in 1782; the launch of the Palais-Royal Theater, inaugurated in 1784; and finally the Besançon Theater, begun in 1778 and inaugurated in 1784. In 1783, Jean-Joseph-Louis Graslin had excavations and grading done to allow the foundations to be installed, anticipating the agreement of the city office and that of the Royal Academy of Architecture, which were obtained in September 1784. The construction agreement is given in February 1785. The expected duration of work is then 18 months; they will last four years.

The building is ravaged by a fire on August 24, 1796 The fire takes place during a performance of Zémire and Azor, an opera by André Grétry.

In 1805, the School of Drawing, ancestor of the School of Fine Arts of Nantes, is housed there. In 1806, Napoleon I granted some French towns permission to maintain a permanent troop; Nantes is one of them. Following the Emperor’s visit of the city in 1808, the theater was rebuilt from 1811, and again inaugurated in 1813. The statues of the facade and the entrance hall between 1821 and 1829

On February 12, 1918, the Harlem Hellfighters orchestra of the 369th American Infantry Regiment under the direction of the arranger, composer and bandleader James Reese Europe, gives the first jazz concert on the European continent on steps then in the theater!!! The theater has a brief closure after the Nazis invasion  of 1940. But the occupation authority said it wants to see the institution run again, and Graslin is back in business from January 1941.

A bit on the construction details I like

Twelve steps lead to the vestibule, while eight Corinthian columns support the pediment. The eight antique-style statues overlooking each column, representing eight of the nine muses, date from the time of reconstruction. Stendhal, visibly unconquered by the harmony of the architectural ensemble, asks facetiously “which had the happiness to be forgotten”

The hall is decorated with two statues, representing Corneille and Molière, respectively to the left and to the right of the staircase of honor. On both sides of the hall, there are two low reliefs emblazoned with the coats of arms of Jean van Styrum, prefect of Loire-Inferieure, and Jean-Pierre Bachasson de Montalivet, Minister of the Interior. This heraldic decor, one of the only still in place dating from the First Empire, begins on the main facade with the imperial coat of arms of the City of Nantes and that of its mayor Jean-Baptiste Bertrand-Geslin. It’s an Italian-style theater inside a neoclassical building. The interior design is guided by considerations related to visibility and acoustics. Like most rooms of the time, that of Graslin is in the form of truncated oval.

nantes

The théatre Graslin, with great operas and musical presentation ,as one of the best in France. For the lineup read here at official webpage: http://www.angers-nantes-opera.com/la-programmation-1920

For how to get to the Graslin Theater and amenities read here:  http://www.angers-nantes-opera.com/informations-pratiques-et-billetterie/acces-et-contacts

And there you go folks arts culture and wonderful architecture in a great location. Hope you enjoy it as we do.  The Graslin Theater of Nantes!!!

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

 

 

October 26, 2019

The airport at Nantes!!!

Ok so even if mentioned it in previous post never done a single post on it,and I have used it so many times over the years ! It’s about time I write a post on it. Talking about my simple title ,the airport of Nantes my getaway to the world nowdays! And a very nice city, region too..

Lets get it out and tell you a bit about it ok. Hope you can use it , plenty of others do too.

The Aéroport Nantes-Atlantique , (IATA code: NTE), is an international airport located on the territory of the towns of Bouguenais and Saint-Aignan-Grandlieu south-west of Nantes.  This is in dept 44 Loire Atlantique and region of Pays de la Loire. It is the second most important airport in the West of France, after that of Bordeaux, and the 9th of France (7th of province) in number of passengers as of 2018. On October 5, 2018, a decree classifies the airport in category A, intended to receive long-haul flights.

nantes

A bit of history I like

In 1928, an aviation camp was created for essentially military use, on a 50-hectare site on the banks of the road N23 from Nantes to Paimbœuf  (now RD 723), near Château de Bougon. Built in 1932, it welcomed in 1934-1935 a factory Breguet establishments, with a connection to the airfield. In 1939, the grass track was replaced by a 900 m × 40 m concrete track. During the occupation, the Nazis made it a real camp with barracks, blockhouses, and concrete casemates, etc. From there the Luftwaffe bombers headed for England. At the end of the war, the French Air Force regains possession of the land, which the Nazis had  destroyed the infrastructure at the time of their retirement.

The Terminals of Nantes airport which I have used them all by now !!!

The airport has a terminal consisting of three main parts called Hall 1, 2, 3. A fourth part, Hall 4, was added with a lighter architecture, initially dedicated to the regional subsidiary of Air France, before welcoming more generally the regional flights with small modules as well as a part of the flights for Volotea. Since 2015, this fourth terminal is connected to the other three for its police post-checks section, and sees a barnum grafted to install Border Police counters to manage the influx of passengers during peak traffic, especially in Summer with flights outside the Schengen area. Finally, in 2017- 2018, it undergoes interior refits to increase passenger processing capacity and modernize. Hall 3 has also been refurbished, with tour operators’ counters giving way to automated check-in counters mainly used by EasyJet and Volotea. The spaces dedicated to tour operators have been moved to a barnum in front of the main terminal, where since 2018 a new layout has also been created including a platform for buses connecting the airport to downtown Nantes and a room for flight crews of  Volotea.

The most popular domestic destinations are Lyon, followed by Paris, then Marseille, Toulouse, Nice and Montpellier. Internationally, Geneva, London and Madrid are very popular. The airlines present are Aegean , Aer Lingus, Air Corsica, Air France, Air Nostrum, Air Transat, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Chalair Aviation, EasyJet, Flybe, HOP Air France, Iberia Airlines, Iberia Express,Jetairfly, KLM, Lufthansa, Luxair, NouvelAir,Royal Air Maroc, Ryanair, TAP Portugal, Tassili Airlines,Transvia,Tunisair, Volotea, and Vueling.

For the lost and found:  Items found in, or in the immediate vicinity of, the terminal are handed in at the Reception-Information counter in Hall 1. You can contact the staff by calling 0 892 568 800. Listen to the recorded announcement twice in order to talk directly to an agent.  If you forget something onboard the airplane, contract the baggage inquiry department of your airline. VAT refund (sales tax): For more information on the VAT refunds procedure in France and the instructions for use of the Pablo terminal, go to: http://www.douane.gouv.fr/articles/a10806-detaxe-conditions-d-eligibilite

Restaurants available in the terminals are: Brioche Dorée, Le Grand Comptoir ,Bar 1.44, Alto Café, Café News , and La Terrasse. There is a Duty Free shop Aelia Duty Free located at Hall 3 Departures first floor. And Découvrir le Grand Ouest, at Hall 2 public areas. There is ,also, a Relay store at Hall 2, on the ground floor in the public area and on the first floor of Hall 3 in the boarding area. Foreign exchange outlets are International Currency Exchange (ICEF) , and CIC at Hall 2, and  outside Hall 3, open 7/24. You can temporarily leave your valuables at the Reception – Information counter in Hall 1.  The conditions and prices are as of today for items that can be kept in an envelope measuring no more than 28 cm x 36 cm. The service costs 10€  per envelope. For larger items, with maximum dimensions of 22cm x 31cm x 26cm. The service costs 15€. Hotels nearby are Hotel Oceania ****, Hotel Escale Oceania ***, and Hotel B&B ** ; I have used them all!

Nantes

The official airport webpage in English is here : https://www.nantes.aeroport.fr/en

Public transport information

The most practical here is the Express Aeroport bus connecting the airport with the train station Sud or South terminal at Nantes. The ride is very nice, every 20 minutes or so and leaves you at both in just across the entrances. I have used it extensively these last several years. The cost today is 9€ one way. You go outside cross the arrival road across Hall 2, clearly mark. Official TAN (bus/tramway network of Nantes) schedule and prices for the bus is here in French: https://www.tan.fr/fr/menu/se-deplacer/tan/navette-aeroport/

nantes

Also, official airport bus in pdf file schedules and info to Aug2020 here: https://www.nantes.aeroport.fr/sites/nantes2017/files/pages/navette-aeroport-du-26-08-19-au-30-08-20.pdf

nantes

nantes

The airport of Nantes is served by a shuttle bus from the TAN (Nantes bus network) from the tram station Commerce through Nantes railway station. The TAN line 98 bus line also connects the airport to the Pirmil south multimodal interchange pole Loire, however the airport stop is located on the D823, 400 m walk from the main terminal. Also, serve by the Line 48 from the terminus of the Neustrie tramway line 3.  On April 24, 2019, the Minister of Transport announces the project of the installation of an autonomous shuttle between the Neustrie tramway terminus and the airport, using a 2.5 km private road lane on which three or four of these vehicles will go thru.

nantes

nantes

If private taxi service is needed,  it is available from the train station Sud or South S.N.C.F at Quai de Lourmel (on both sides the central island, the head of station being near the station). You can also directly contact the companies of taxis: Taxi Nantes; Phone: +33 (0)2 40 69 22 22, and Hep! Taxis, Phone : +33 (0) 2 40 85 40 85 or bus /tramway ,the ticket is 1,70€ or the carnet of 10 for 15,60€.  here is the interactive map with itineraries in French: https://plan-tan.fr/

There are park and relay station to use your car and public transport in city center such as P+R has  250 spaces in 3 zones near the line 4  Busway. And another 230 spaces in the parking of the  Place du Marché at Vertou in connection with the lines 28 and 42 to join the line 4 of  Busway. All the buses and tramway has connection to the train station of Nantes

Coming by car as I have done most of the time, there is a pre booking parking space at reduce prices here: https://www.nantes.aeroport.fr/en/transport-access/book-your-parking

Rental cars , Avis, Budget, Hertz have used all good.  Then Europcar, Entreprise, and Sixt as well. From the airport taxi service located at outside Hall 1 terminal are : Allo Taxis on +33 (0)2 40 69 22 22 or Hep Taxis on +33 (0)2 40 85 40 85. Price of a trip between the airport and the city center: €30 to €35 ,for reference only as never use it.

nantes

The automobile parkings are the P Minute (only for quick drop offs), P0 and P1 for long periods, P2 and P3 closer to terminal, and P4 covered parking with direct access to terminals (I use this one always).

nantes

Brief direction assuming you are coming from visiting the city of Nantes to the airport. From the Cathedrale St Pierre et St Paul get on rue de Strasbourg, turn right here. Continue towards the gare or train station on the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Cours Commandant d’Estienne d’Orves ,here continue and stay on Boulevard Jean Philippot. Continue at the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Rue Gaston Veil. Cross the bridge over the Loire river, and continue on rue Louis Blanc, at the roundabout, take the 3rd exit and stay on Place de la République. Continue onto Boulevard Victor Hugo. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Boulevard Gustave Roch heading to Nantes/Centre Ville. Continue and at the next roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Pont des 3 Continents. Continue onto Boulevard Victor Schoelcher. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Boulevard du Général de Gaulle heading to Noirmoutier/Rezé/Bouguenais/Aéroport Nantes Atlantique. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit and stay on Route de Pornic/D723. Continue this road until  the exit toward Bordeaux/Poitiers/Aéroport Nantes-Atlantique. Get on the péripherique or beltway road N844 and here take exit 51-Porte de Grand Lieu toward Porte de Grand Lieu/Saint-Aignan de Grand-Lieu/Aéroport Nantes-Atlantique, follow signs for airport or Aéroport Nantes-Atlantique. Easy, of course with a GPS a piece of cake ::)

The official tourist office of Nantes in English here:  https://www.nantes-tourisme.com/en

The official city of Nantes with links to the above and more in English: City of Nantes in English

And there you  go, another easy way in and out of my belle France. I like the fact that the airport of Nantes-Atlantique is still small enough to walk thru it and big enough to allow easy flights in and out in addition to great train, plane, connections. Hope you enjoy the post and do not hesitate on taking it, its great!

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

 

 

 

 

 

October 24, 2019

Some news from France, CCLXXXIX

Hi there well I am counting in Roman numerals this will be the 289 in Arabic numerals so thanks for the following. As always hope you enjoy the post on my Some news from France series. Today was rainy in my neck of the wood and calls for all day rain with temps now at 12C or about 53F while in our eternal Paris is cloudy at 61F.

Let’s get into the news and of course Halloween is coming around and we do have it too

Halloween à Paris :Bercy Village ,from 4 years old. Here, witches are more head-in-the-air than terrifying: they have lost their equipment to concoct magic potions. The children help them to find cauldron, utensils or pot of drool toad! Bercy Village 12éme. Oct. 30, 2019 from 14h to 17h Game booklet to pick up on the spot.

Parc zoologique de Paris , from age 5. Take a path full of pitfalls and attend the wizard meeting at the zoo. Visitors receive a 20% discount on the ticket if they are disguised. Zoological Park of Paris  12éme. October 31, 2019.

A curse Cruise from 6 years old.  This is the first escape game special Halloween on the Seine. 6 to 15 years old board a crazy boat besieged by witches and demonic creatures. Solve the riddles to free the ship from its terrible curse. Port of Bourdonnais ,7éme. From October 28 to November 2, 2019.

France Miniature from 6 years old.  Witches, gargoyles, giants, saber jugglers of the Fokus Company have invaded the monuments of the country. They delight the apprentice sorcerers with the mysteries of the buildings, not to mention the fire-eaters and the traditional distribution of candies. France Minitature. At Elancourt ,dept 78 Yvelines. October 21 to 23 and 27 to 31, 2019, from 13h30 to 17h30

Grévin comes to life!  from 10 years old.  Among the wax dolls of the museum sleep creatures of flesh came for Halloween. Shamans, witches, mummies, creatures … Grevin comes to life for a thrilling experience.  Musée Grévin 9éme. Until November 3, 2019.

A bit of a walking weekend in one close family surrounding, this is Lille, Nord dept 59 Hauts de France region.

Lille is the ideal destination to organize a weekend just an hour from Paris by TGV. To travel by metro (the second automatic in the world), tram and bus on the network Ilévia, opt for a pass 1 day (4.90 euros) or 2 days (8.80 euros). The self-service bike subscription (Vlille) costs 1.70 euro per 24 hours; the first 30 minutes are free, the next one to 1 euro. The city has two stations, 500 meters apart: Lille-Flandres and Lille-Europe, and a nice shopping center Eurolille there in Europe too. Beware, some Ouigo trainsn leave Tourcoing, thirty minutes by metro from Lille.

Until December 1st, 2019 the Eldorado festival will honor Mexico in the public space of the Lille-Flandres train station by  rue Faidherbe,  and through several exhibitions at locations such as Saint-Sauveur station, Palais des Beaux-Arts, etc.  This is the fifth thematic edition of Lille3000, a cultural event born in the wake of Lille 2004, European Capital of Culture. In 2020, Lille will be the first French city to receive the title of world capital of design, after Taipei and Mexico City. From December 6, 2019 to December 5, 2020, many exhibitions on design and its impact on our lifestyles are to be discovered in the main museums of the city. Picasso is in the spotlight at the Eugène Leroy Museum in Tourcoing until 13 January 2020 through the Picasso illustrator exhibition. At the Palais des Beaux-Arts, the exhibition The Dream of Being an Artist (until January 6, 2020), featuring works by Edouard Manet, Frida Kahlo and Jeff Koon, examines the birth of artist status.

You want to see and walk super, Lille is also for you. Here are some ideas. Lovers of vinyls and old and used books will be delighted to enter the Vieille Bourse or Old Stock Exchange, home of bookstores and record stores. After a tour of the Grand-Place, which gives a glimpse of the typical architecture of the Flemish renaissance, you take the rue de Bethune, the main shopping street of Lille. It leads to the Place de la République, surrounded on one side by the Préfecture du Nord and on the other by the Palais des Beaux-Arts. A visit to the basement of the museum will be made, where relief maps give a glimpse of several cities in the region centuries ago. Go out into  9 rue Princesse to find the birthplace of Charles de Gaulle where the future general was born on November 22, 1890.  And at the Hospice Comtesse museum. This old medieval hospital very well preserved illuminates the political, economic and social life of Lille through the ages since its founding in the 13C. Before returning to the Grand-Place, stop on the Parvis de la Treille where stands an unusual cathedral, the last of the second millennium in France. Begun in 1854, the construction of Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille was completed in 1999, hence the futuristic appearance of its marble facade. at 104 meters above sea level, at the top of the Beffroi or belfry. This building, built in 1932 at the same time as the new City/Town Hall, does not go unnoticed in the flat country horizon. In the distance, we can see the slums of the mining basin or the mountains of Flanders, including the highest of them, Mount Cassel at 176 meters. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, but even more so on Sunday mornings, Lille’s life revolves around the Wazemmes market, one of the largest in France. Take metro line 2 to Gare Jean-Lebas Roubaix station. From there, go down Avenue Jean-Lebas to La Piscine. These ancient art-deco baths are inseparable from Roubaix’s rich industrial past. The place opened in 1932 to ensure the hygiene of workers who did not have running water in the home. The centerpiece of the building is its Olympic pool, which reflects the stained glass windows that symbolize the rising sun and the setting sun. Not far from La Piscine, another architectural curiosity worth visiting: Villa Cavrois. From Eurotéléport, take the tram to the Villa Cavrois stop in Croix. This city was the privileged residence of industrialists of the North; it is still today one of the richest in France. After a five minute walk, we arrive at the work of Robert Mallet-Stevens, representative of modernist architecture. This contemporary yellow brick castle, built for the Cavrois family, After a good day of walking, nothing better than a gourmet break at the inevitable Pâtisserie Meert, located a few steps from the Grand-Place. On the spot or to take away, taste the vanilla waffles of Madagascar which make the reputation of this pastry, installed at 27 rue Esquermoise since 1761. A must while visiting Lille, we always do!

More info tourist office of Lille here : https://en.lilletourism.com/

Leonardo da Vinci , (Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci) a bastard legend. On the occasion of the exhibition dedicated to him in the Louvre from today Thursday for the 500 years of his death, portrait of the most famous artist in the world. The self-taught, who learned late Latin and poorly, between 12 years in the workshop of the great Florentine sculptor Andrea Del Verrochio. He has caught up well, artist, scientist, engineer, architect, courtier who organizes lavish parties in the Italian principalities -Florence, Milan, Venice, Rome- and ends his life at the court of François I in Amboise. More info here : https://www.louvre.fr/expositions/leonard-de-vinci

For its 30th anniversary, the Parc Astérix has set a new attendance record. Of course, it is our favorite park when small children. New things to see and do such as an exceptional opening during the Christmas holidays, a new hotel in 2020, a big eight in 2022. In rides like OzIris, Goudurix or Tonnerre de Zeus, that keeps the soul of children, or rather teenagers! A new hotel with 150 seats next year, Lutéce the old name of Paris, and the Seine will snake inside it  Proposing an opening for a “Noël Gaulois”, from December 21st to January 5th. Apart from the water rides, all the others, 38 attractions, will be open to the public. With a bonus, four new Christmas shows, a decoration entirely dedicated to the end of the year parties, a toboggan run, two ice rinks, one for the little ones and the other for the big ones, and even a small Christmas market . What to prepare for a new season, during which the leaders of the 2nd largest amusement park in France hope to beat a new record. More info here : https://www.parcasterix.fr/en

Do you like the Picasso of the blue period magnified at the end of last year at the Musée d’Orsay? You will love the retrospective in 70 paintings that the Grand Palais devotes to El Greco. The stormy skies of Christs in the Cross of Dhomínikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) are the most beautiful ever painted. These gray blues meet those, azure, Saint Martin and the poor and those deep, dresses of his virgins  It would be necessary to evoke all the other colors, those golden yellow and canary of the Dream of Felipe II or the Sharing of the tunic, these green or dark greens, these red sometimes ruby sometimes orange … But this pallet defies the understanding. Its wealth seems inexhaustible, especially since with it the painter produces a thousand dissonances. It finally subjugates for what it seems so far ahead of his time.  More info here : https://www.grandpalais.fr/en/event/greco

Until March 31, 2020, you will be able to enjoy a terrace, very warm under the bubble of the 1st floor (2fl US) of the Eiffel Tower. An ephemeral terrace, protected by a glass dome, You can already come here for a drink, or enjoy a bistronomic cuisine on boards concocted with products from the Guild of Artisans Tower, all without having your coat on the back. With a breathtaking view of Paris, come and have lunch or tea with pastries and  sweets of Thierry Marx in this dream location is also a good opportunity to take a look at the exhibition on the 130th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower !   More info here : https://sete.toureiffel.paris/fr/presse/communiques/la-terrasse-du-1er-etage-de-la-tour-eiffel-met-les-papilles-en-emoi

New team of chefs and pastry chefs, new sweet and savory range, opening of a Dalloyau Café in December rue Poncelet  17éme, a corner of 35m2 at Galeries Lafayette 8éme, a kiosk at the end of November in the middle of the Gare d’ Austerlitz  5éme train station, new packaging of shops, packaging and even flagship cakes … 300 years of history will not crumble like that, on the memory of the closures of shops and a competition too harsh to face it. The Dalloyau house, a living heritage company and member of the Colbert Committee for the Promotion of French Luxury, is taking part in the reconquest of Parisians and visitors alike. Their shops in Bastille 11éme, rue de la Convention  15éme  and Edmond-Rostand  6éme, near the Luxembourg Gardens, will never reopen. Today 100% owned by an investment fund already customized  the emblematic dessert Opera, created almost 65 years ago . More info here : http://www.dalloyau.com/

The largest drugstore in France settles in at One Nation mall. With 2,100 m2 of surface and 41,000 discount references, it already attracts many customers, playing the role of locomotive expected by the shopping center at  Clayes-sous-Bois (Yvelines 78) . 30 to 40% less expensive on its site of Clayes-sous-Bois compared to those available on the shelves of a pharmacy of less importance.  The Groupe Lafayette Conseil a group that already has 200 pharmacies throughout France, including a dozen in Paris and plans to open about fifty a year. It started on Rue Lafayette in Toulouse, where was opened the first pharmacy of what would become a real franchise in 1995 . More info in French here : https://www.onenation.fr/portfolios/parapharmacie-para-one/

It is in Bobigny, in the department  93 of Seine-Saint-Denis, that the first solar cycle track of Ile-de-France region  was born! Under the SNCF TGV East and RER E lines, along the Canal de l’Ourcq . It aims to light up, day and night, a previously very dark stretch. About ten meters and a surface of 54m2, there are conventional photovoltaic slabs and electricity can illuminate part of the track. The electricity produced is used to power spots placed under a nearby bridge. Night rider to the charge!

Andn last but not least something I had known but fake news is a fashionable thing nowdays unfortunately, very popular cries of nothing on the foundations. There is lead in Paris, be aware, and is not Notre Dame Cathedral. So says this report from a reputable association Robin of the woods, a strong defender of the environment since 1985.  The Robin des Bois Association has just unveiled a document from the Ministry of Culture dated 2017. The streets of Paris were already polluted with lead well before the fire of the Notre Dame Cathedral! Yes!  .More info in French here : http://www.robindesbois.org/notre-dame-de-paris-une-rafale-de-plomb/

And there you go folks we have a bit of everything, always in the news and lots of things to see and do and argue about lol! Live it in my belle France. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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