Archive for ‘Bretagne’

February 19, 2018

Some news from France CLXXXV

Here we go again with news of my belle France. Now days around my neck of the woods have been cold ,grey and rainy , temps down to 1C and then quickly now is up to 12C , on a cloudy Sunday in the beautiful Morbihan.

I start you off with the glorious chocolates of the Maison Bonnat. The great Madagascar 75% cacao sweet fruity and balance, the suttle and delicate Ecuador with flower aromas and honey; or the delicious Hacienda El Rosario, from Venezuela; delicate, powerful and simple; all just for the chocolate experts and lovers. you can, also try the tablets milk chocolate 55%. See taste buy at the new Paris boutique of Maison Bonnat Chocolatier; 189, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré (8éme). Open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h30-19h30. You can have hot chocolates for two glasses from 6,50€ or four glasses from 11,40€. More here:

Bad news for those wishing to have Sundays open for shopping in Paris. The administrative tribunal of Paris has cancelled the attempts to open on Sundays in tourist zones like Olympiades. From their birth in 2015 the ZTI=zones touristiques international applying the law Macron could benefit from this Sunday opening in 12 areas of Paris as well as by Disneyland Seine et Marne and shopping Val d’Europe. This law allows shops to open evenings until midnight every Sunday of the year. Some of these areas are the Champs-Elysées, les Halles, Haussmann, Le Marais, Montmartre, and Olympiades. Only those that were not opening on Sundays but were thinking of doing so will have no right to open now. Those that were already doing it can continue to do so; exceptions and new areas the ones around Haussmann (for the great deparment stores etc) and Beaugrenelle (the new wonderful shopping center IN Paris).

The good news sort of, is that the Hôtel Lambert has been totally renovated on its façade , the rotunda and the gardens. This mansion is located at 2 rue Saint-Louis-en-l’île right in the corner of the Île Saint Louis, Paris. It was built in 1640 by architect Louis Le Vau with paintings by Charles Le Brun (the guys from Vaux le Vicomte, Versailles etc!!!)Now as many in Paris fallen to foreigners belongs to the Prince Hamad Al Thani,(also owner of football/soccer club PSG) brother of the emir of Qatar.

And as I wrote extensively on the flooding of Paris well now its time for the cleaning, and a few more days of dirty wharfs of Paris. At the foot of the Hôtel de Ville, the pedestrian quays are not yet open ; but the road or voie Mazas has already open in the 12éme. The important road voie Georges-Pompidou, from Garigliano to Grenelle (16éme) are already clean. There still work to do in the section from Grenelle to Bir-Hakeim to have it open for circulation. The quays or quai Valhubert in the 13éme has already been cleaned and open. The quai des Bateaux-Mouche boats is also accessable and the first boat has departed ok and full this past Friday morning. On the famous Quai des Grands-Augustins (6éme) the sun is out and a huge vaccum is at work with a pump to clean the roads; yesterday Saturday the boat or péniche ,Belgrand was to arrived in Paris for push the water from the Seine river and jet spray the pedestrian quays where the truck and wash machines cannot enters. Some of the work going on in Paris, and the job is still far away from finish; plan ahead if need to pass by this areas or Paris in general. The city can inform you. pictures with info on the work in French:

One of most emblematic and romantic buildings in Paris, its a tower! Speaking of the tour Jean Sans Peur or john without fears tower. It was in the middle ages the highest inhabited buildng in Paris. It has remined entirely intact, this building tower of the 15C houses today a museum of daily life in the medieval period located at 20 de la rue Etienne-Marcel (2éme)). It has a donjon tower of 27 meters high square on top ,the equivalent of 8 floors. Today it remains the last witness to medieval civil and fortified architecture in Paris. You can from the top of the tower see the beautiful city of Paris. The building was first built in 1420 by Jean Sans Peur, aka Jean Ier de Bourgogne (duke John I of Burgundy). The tower was put in the middle of a beautiful mansion of the dukes of Burgundy that was here since the 13C. The huge palace that had the space taken from Montorgueil to the rue Saint-Denis, falls in disrepair from end 13C where only the donjon tower remains Intact. Here while the king Charles VI, falls very sick and incapable of ruling that his cousin takes the power, son of prince Louis d’Orléans, that takes the continuation of the kingdom. Jean Sans Peur goes as far as ordered assassinated the uncle and rival in 1407, in order to take over the royal finances for enlarged his principality , the Burgundian State. However, the wind change on the diplomatic games and the master of the donjon was finally killed in September 10 1419.

You can visit the tower floor by floor, the biggest is the grande Salle , the bedroom of the squire that of Jean Sans Peur, and common rooms with furniture from his last 20 years there as identical as they were done by artisan artists of today. The museum has a trail of figures in costumes of the 15C as well redone by modern masters. You see a huge mantle cover richly decorated, military decorations pants, jackets, ladies robes, or hats. At the street level or rdc here and on the vaulted cellars you see an exposition of the wine and its role in the middle ages with illustrations, objects of the period, instruments for vineyard work. A real passionate exposition; worth seeing it. The tower museum again is at 20, rue Étienne-Marcel, Open Wednesdays to Sundays from 13h30 to 18h, admission is 6€,guided visits on Saturdays and Sundays at 15h. You can reach it by metro line 4 stop/arrêt Étienne Marcel; RER A,B,D arrêt/stop at les Halles or bus 29 arrêt/stop Turbigo/Étienne Marcel. More on the region ile de France tourist page here:

The hops are coming back to Paris, yes beer. Leave branches that go up to 10 meters high enrolling around a support such as a pole, cable wall, are back. They already are in the island of Cité in the rue Saint-Sauveur or rue Buffon 5éme; in the walls of schools such as the Château des Rentiers 13éme or sports center such as Déjerine in the 20éme or the Fillettes in the 18éme will be vegetative as well. A total of 86 000 liters of beers could be brewed due to this initiative this year. The city hall of Paris already contributes with about 1 600 liters of beer of Paris where the barley is cultivated in the land by the bois de Vincennes with the Association Brasseurs de France. You know that in the 19C ,Paris was the European capital of the beer?  Done here by the Alsacians, well back to the source. More on this site in French:

There is a project up for vote to allow the swimming in the lake of Daumesnil. The city of Paris under the project swim in Paris or « Nager à Paris » wanted by the mayor Hidalgo is coming along. After the bassin de la Villette (19éme), this project by the shades of the  Bois de Vincennes, on the lawn of Reuilly, and the Zoo will be presented as a family seasonal swimming offer with 8 490 m², of open air space, free and with lifeguards open from June 15 to September 15 and from 10h to 20h. It will allow a maximum capacity of swimmers of 2 023 per day with a total visitors of about 75K swimmers per season. There is a beach projected for the south bank of the island or île de Bercy given access to three pools with different depths fed by the water filter with biological filtration techniques and apart from the lake by a geomembrane and a inflatable structure. City estimated cost of all this for the happy taxpayers is 9,5M€ TTC. The file is under consultation in the mairie or mayors office of the 12éme arrondissement , 130, avenue Daumesnil.  The review commission will be available for public questioning on Feb 22 ,Marc 8, from 16h30 to 19h,then on Feb 28 9h to 12h, and Saturday March 3rd from 9h to 12h.  More here in city of Paris webpage:

Hey talking about food, what about France abundance of goodies such as the chicken of the Gâtinaise now trying to come back in vogue spearheaded by the harvesting house or Maison de l’élevage du Mée-sur-Seine (Seine-et-Marne)   and the natural park regional or Parc naturel régional du Gâtinais since 2003. The park here:   The chicken was here since early the 20C but had slowly disappear giving way to more productive hens. This year there are already about 550 chickens that provides  2 000 chicks per year . About 300- 400 of them arrive by Vincent Morisseau, at one day old.  This farmer established the farm of ferme de Filbois d’Aufferville (Seine-et-Marne), been one of three harvesters of the chicken of gâtinaises that has the territory of the natural regional park. The best way to cook this wonderful hen that I have tried many times is just roasted with a bit of garlic, butter, salt and pepper,and herbes of Provence ; it will please everybody.

The Château de Pierrefonds is ongoing renovations. The new campaign by the Centre des monuments nationaux is on to restore the four bridges of the castle. The work will begin today with the covering of the structures in scaffolds and will be done by the end of November 2018. These bridges dates from 1870 and were in bad conditions . The three bridges gave access to the main courtyard of the castle and a new visitor circuits will be done by March 12. The work will be done by firm from Brest (Finistère/Brittany) that will restored them in their shops same way they did for the statue of the archangel in the top of Mont-Saint-Michel (Manche). These structures are composed of metal and wood and were first done by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in person !!. The work will allow to increase the capacity of the bridges for the passage of vehicles especially those of emergency personnel.  The mechanism of the raising bridge will also be renovated so that it can be open in an exceptional manner. The sleeping bridge that gives access to the lices will be  restored on site, and a temporary passearelle will allow pedestrians and vehicles to enter the main court or Cour d’honneur, during all the period of the work. Unfortunately for reasons of security , the castle will be closed to the public from March 12-25 2018 and from October 1-19 2018 . The Centre des monuments nationaux is also counting on doing other works in the castle such as souvenir boutique to come back to its original location  and the floor of the Salle des Preuses , the biggest in the castle will be reinforce. More here:

The gare Versailles Rive Gauche will have a space Véligo. This will allow to rent bikes online ahead of your arrival in station, more here:

According to a survey by Les Echos, the finance journal , the best companies to work for in the eyes of the French are : Decathlon , Cultura , Picard , FNAC, Amazon, Sephora, Grand Frais, Yves Rocher, Leroy Merlin, and ikea

And come to see the orchids with the expo Orchidées Mania in the jardin des Plantes. On the famous greenhouses of the garden hosting the 7th edition of the thousand and one orchid or « Mille et une orchidées ».  This is done every February to the orchid lovers to discover the extraordinary collection in the museum of natural history or Muséum d’histoire naturelle.  Joined by specialize gardeners that will allow you to come away with a pot;all this until March 5 2018 more info here:

And he is back to the avenue des Champs-Elysées, talking of Pierre Hermé the great pastry/chocolat maker and now teaming with the great house of cosmetics of L’Occitane ; store and dessert bar with sales counter. A concept store to share friendship of the pastry king to  Olivier Baussan, founder of  L’Occitane (already in Paris with the maison Hermé). 21 years later Pierre Hermé is back on the Champs-Élysées, after clashing and leaving the maison Ladurée. The goodies are a bit pricey but you know where they are coming from ; 9,50 € cappucino, 20 €  ice cream cup etc etc. You can take it home too almost everything in the boutique. L’Occitane-Hermé, 86, av. des Champs-Elysées, 8éme. Tél. +33 (0) 1-70-38-77-38. Open every day from 7h30,except Saturdays and Sundays at 8h30, and closing late at 23h30, even 0H30 Fridays and Saturdays. More here:,74,1,91244,1184739.htm

Go to the sweetness of France with framboises sirup of the maison Lou Fenérêts coming from the Haute-Savoie. La Torchette a crusty biscuit of almonds and hazelnuts raisins ,algie and a bit of rum done in Melgven,the Finistère Breton by the  maison Georges Larnicol. How about  vinegar from  Rouillac, Charente, done with grapes of pineau blanc. Over  2 500 products like a tour of France ; this is at Le Printemps du goût recently open in two floors of groceries and cellars with fresh produce all made in France France. Done by such famous as  Akrame Benallal (star michelin chef), Gontran Cherrier (baker), Laurent Dubois (cheesemaker) ,and Christophe Michalak (pastry maker) all showcasing the best of France.  You are invited to go up to the 8th floor to taste their recipes on site with a grand view like a postcard over the tour Eiffel. All sold in the culinary space of 1 500 m2 in the great deparment store of the Grands Boulevards.  Yes you know Au Printemps.

Back to the foodie, once a month in winter the restaurant Auteuil Brasserie is transformed into a terrace on the roof in a chalet style ;Sunday last there was a return to ski or « Retour du Ski » night with DJ and cocktails shops . Good place for the nights of Paris and good favorite area of the city for me. More here:

Jacky Ribault awaited long for this and now its there, his second gastronomic restaurant named L’Ours (the bear). The chef has one star Michelin since 2014 and already head of the Parisian restaurant Qui Plume la Lune, located at Vincennes,in the middle of the island or îlot Fontenay, i twill have tables for about 20 folks. Once entering the resto you will the head of a Canadian bear on a space of 300 M2 all under a cover of Baltard metal and wood and silvery glass and walls.  The menus are at  45, 75 and 105 €, with a match food dish and wine averaging 50€ additionally. There is no carte so no need to look for one. Try it at L’Ours, 10, rue de l’Eglise. Tél. +34 (0) :

The first resto site is here :

A bit of tour of France coming up.

Imagine been in the Roman arena of Nîme end of April 2018 to host the 9e édition des Grands Jeux romains (the great roman games) ; that will be held for three days the legendary episodes of the times. You can see at simple eye view the amphitheater dating from the 1C of our times, one of the best preserve in the Roman world, spectacular!!!This is an oval of 133 meters long by 60 arcades on top of each other, a symmetrical building to perfection by Roman engineers. See the wonderful square house or Maison carrée, right in city center , the only antique temple in the world totally preserve with precise proportions and impressive columns. Continue your journey into the gardens or jardins de la Fontaine, built around the water source of the Nemausus. DO your rides in poneys and pedal cars on the ruins of the mysterious temple of Diana for the kids, then climb the tower or tour Magne,high on Mont Cavalier, the highest and most prestigious of the Augustinian tower walls. If you come early June 2018 you can see the new and very much awaited museum of romans traditions  or Musée de la romanité, that will show a futuristic building with all the collections of archeology of the city presented by Elizabeth de Portzamparc.  Museum here:

More  on Nîmes here:

And this always amazes me since coming here since 1990 near my wife’s native town and on her department 77 Seine-et-Marne. The Royal edifice that hosted more monarchs than any other, total of 34 ! from Louis VI le Gros to Napoléon III, spanning almost 8 centuries. Spend a day at the Château de Fontainebleau, less than 45 minutes from Paris is to push the genealogical tree of the French royals. In the cour d’honneur, take a  selfie  in front of the horseshoe stairs where on April 20 1814 Napoléon  said his farewell to his imperial guard.  In the interior of the castle ,see the gorgeous apartments, the two small boudoirs of Marie-Antoinette, very refined. However, do what others failed to do, go out into the park and its four gardens and od a tour in horse wagon or a barque boat in the lake of carpes or étang aux carpes. Spend a bit more time and attends a grand vals like the one coming up on February 24th , a carnival with swords duels , renaissance dances ,masks shops and princesss dresses . Adultes accepted lol!

More here:

Enjoy France 85 millions cannot be wrong, again No 1 in the world on visitors. Great start on my week! Cheers!




February 18, 2018

Salon des Vins et de la Gastronomie , Vannes 2018

Here we have another year and another wonderful food and wine fair at Vannes. This is touted here as the Salon Vins et Gastronomie, and this year proves to be an even bigger success, this is the 26th edition.

Vannes Vannes

For this edition it was once again the opportunity to meet some of the providers we shop while in our adventurous ways thru the French countryside and some new ones met here. You have the real France here nothing industrial, supermarket type but the real deal straight from the farms and the artisans who produces the marvelous things we all came to know France for and still is. You have them here from different regions all defending their land and product. The Salon is open February 17-18-19 from 10h to 19h except Monday to 18h. Admission is 5€ or 4€ if purchase on the internet; once you receive and invitation from a producer is free as it is for us. All is held at the exposition center Chorus in the parc du golfe of Vannes; webpage for the event here:

We were there Saturday morning at about 11h15, and right away got into a sweets /sugar pastries shop by renown pâtissier or pastry maker Alain Chartier who has store in city center Vannes as wall as pastrychef school and teams up worldwide with many organisations as well as French chocolate maker Valrhona (as in valley of the Rhône). Their webpage is here:
That of Alain Chartier is here:


There are others sommeliers, local chefs , pastry makers, and cuisine bloggers who will come here too and show their skills and new specialties as well as pots and pans makers! All is to be tasted and tried. Other than Alain Chartier, the group Caravin of wine stores also will present their wine tasting techniques. All of this is included in the admission price.

France Ouest newspaper of western France ,publish several different forms of cooking, drinking experimenting with the Breton cuisine in mind, and this is the magazine Bretons en Cuisine, that is also given away during the presentations to the lucky winners by answering questions from the chefs. And you can follow the magazine newspaper in Facebook here:

We got in right away with free producer’s passes, and got our tasting glasses which you can rent for one euro return the glasses gets your money back, however, we always keep them as souvenirs, they are real wine tasting glasses. We , also, take a hand trolley  you give an id they keep it you return the lift you get your id back, simple. And you are ON!

The salon is set up in aisles mixing food stands, sweets, and wine tastings presenters, on the right side wall you have the food court where you can eat and or bring what you buy to eat on tables. At the end back , you have the presentations , and the pans and pots stand.  All will make you buy the whole darn expo center !!!

Vannes Vannes Vannes

We went to our regular of many years and even have visited in their locale, this is the Maison Gastellou originally from Saint Jean Pied de Port in French Basque country. Wonderful Bayonne hams, sausages, and ready made sandwiches of Bayonne ham and ewe milk cheese. Also , the famous basque cake and jellies. WE got them all, spending here alone 235€. For more on this wonderful generational family farm/store here:

Vannes Vannes Vannes

We came back to see Christel and now his wife Claudine of  the Domaine Cousseau Boireau wonderful rose and red wines of Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil in the Loire valley : This are very good wines at affordable prices (who said French wine is expensive?) the wines here are from 5-8 euros per bottle all made from Cabernet Franc for the red and rosés.  Here is some info on these farm workers and the photo is that of Christel ;

Vannes Vannes

We stop by an old reliable Domaine de Lamothe, Gaillac red , whites, roses, moelleux etc . The story here is that on my wife’s father side they are cathars from this region, Lavaur, Toulouse, Gralheut, Montans, Gaillac, and the family used to sent us this wine to us back while living in the Florida. We came to live permanently in France in 2003, and got this wine in the property with the owners directly that knew the family; now here at Vannes their daughter is send to showcase the wines of the property. Of course, we got a caseload of dry whites and old vines red.  They are direct no webpage this is the essence of France and Gaillac wines from Independent growers:


We try a new find, closer to us get to know the neighborhood.  A while back we stopped by Saumur and tasted their wines on site (always better than away on a bottle ::)) They turn out to be pretty good and good prices. Here at the salon we stopped by Domaine Sanzay, and were pleasantly surprise by their Domaine 2016 and Vielles Vignes reds of the appellation Saumur-Champigny. Thy were there with the owners Didier and Céline, and the property can be visited and tastings done on site as well. The webpage here in English:

We try some saucissons of the Saveurs Catalanes on their stand for the good price and had them before here in Brittany ,in fact they have a depot by Rennes even if the family of he recipe is from Girona Cataluña Spain.  More on them here in French:

We, also got some nice sticks of chocolates from the Le Comptoir du chocolat who are nearby at Quimper and were in the salon as well; great varieties on the tablets just delicious; more here in French :

We got our dry fruits at the by now usual place who also have a store in Rocheport-en-Terre in the Morbihan 56 (our dept). L’Art Gourmand, and of course here we got a bushful and tastings galore ::) We had them there and we got to meet them up close and personal here at the salon. Here they are on the town tourist office long….


We got out and went to do some household items at the Carrefour hypermarket in Vannes and then to Morbihan Motos as one of my sons got a scooter Mash City and needed a anti theft lock for the insurance.  Our Saturday was booked and very efficiently done. Now relax , tomorrow is Sunday and plenty of goodies to eat and drink! The temps are ok only 11C and even sunny no rain, just perfect for a weekend, oh enjoy yours ,happy travels and well bon appétit,,,,,,,cheers!






February 12, 2018

Some news from France CLXXXIIII

And the week 7 has started and so it’s time to tell you about things happening in my belle France. the weather has been ok early morning -3C coming home in the evening 3C no rain and cloudy as winter. life goes on, heading for another weekend, but first Valentin’s Day…. in France.

Soirée love February 14 from 19h to 23h at the Musée Rodin, with red carpet, and lights as well as rose petals jazz musicians will play different tunes in different rooms as well as will be shown a book showing the exchanges between Rodin and his muse Camille Claudel. The museum Rodin is at 77 rue de Varennes 7éme arrondissement.  Admission 20€ adults reservations a must at

Following the trails of La Forme de l’Eau or the water form trails of the new work of Guillermo del Toro in the Aquarium of Paris. Two glasses of Champagne will be offered one upon arrival and another in half time of your night walks in the basins . By 20h Claire the sirene will await you in the big pool where sharks and rays co exist ; later two guides will tak about the secret love amongst the fish and a love book will be given on the subject  Saint Valentin à l’Aquarium de Paris, located at 5 avenue Albert de Mun 16éme arrondissement from 19h to 22h admission 37,90€ per person. More in French here:

And something would have love to be in Paris is the PSG vs Real Madrid Champions league match of the Valentin’s day. The hotel Le Royal Monceau  will show the 8th final game on its projections rooms private and during the match the love birds of the sport will have pop corn of Pierre Hermé , and beers. The projection room is a giant screen tv in leather chairs like you were in a cinema. At half time, 2 hot dogs with truffe will help keep up the exctiing game. Le Royal Monceau, 37 avenue Hoche 8éme arrondissement, tel +33 (0) 1 42 99 98 50. starting at 20h Feb 14, admission 48€ per person. More here:

A choice of restaurants if not a football/soccer lover than head the Grand Cœur 41 rue du Temple 4éme arrondissement tel +33 (0) 1 58 28 18 90, open every day except Sundays evenings and Mondays. Menus from 23 to 30€ lunch For the St Valentin the chef starred Mauro Colagreco ( Le Mirazur , Menton) will have a special menu of   Burnt cauliflower, cauda bagna sauce, olive, candied lemon and anchovies; Cod, clams, coconut stew of paimpol and chorizo; Creamy white chocolate, yogurt and ice cream to the fruit of passion. More here:

If a theater play is for you then my choice would be the Merchant of Venice or Le Marchand de Venice at the Lucernaire 6éme arrondissement. And going on until April 1 2018. You can reserve places on 

And the theater site here:

Of course, anything in Paris is love eternal more than Valentin. George Gershwin said “ There are only two possible subjects for a song ; love and  Paris”

In other front the Ground control  has open its doors with passionate food stalls with six offering a coffee shop and a grocery store. The food you can eat on the stand on lunch or on the big wooden tables inside  This is all happening at the Halle Charolais with 4500 m2 of covered space and 1500 m2 exterior terraces . La Halle charolais, 81 rue de charolais 12éme arrondissement  open Wednesdays to Fridays from 12h to midnight, Saturdays 11h to midnight, and Sundays from 11h to 22h. More here:

The cabaret Crazy Horse opens up to the youngs, spectacles of Young & Crazy.The under 26 yrs old will be able to discover the temple of  sublime and assume and the girls every Wednesday evenings for 25€ only. Crazy Horse, 12 avenue George V 8éme arrondissement Reservations tel +33(1) 47 23 32 32 or email or

The Louvre is open up to find the nazi stolen work of arts during WWII from the Jewish community. The MNR or  “Musées Nationaux Récupération”  are works of arts recovered from the nazis stolen from the original owners, they were given for safekeeping to the national museums and provincial ones as well.  They were supposed to be given back to the rightful owners if found or identified  It is estimated that 100K works were stolen from the Jewish in France and transferred to nazi Germany; at the end of the war, the European and American museums were able to recover about 47K of them. The orphanage works in the Louvre museum numbered about 1752 with 807 paintings and some loan to other museums in France. Only 31 will be exposed in the Louvre to the public for the moment still hoping to find the rightful owner descendants. This already creating waves in internatinal medias.

This is the site where they managed these the MNR or the recuperation national museums site name after Rose-Valland who helped track this down at one time. here in French:

Between the plain of Buren with its columns in marbre and the palace garden of the Palais Royal, you will see wooden planches covering the floor , this is just to allow the workers to go underneath and fix the humidity below by the plains of Bury, between the columns and the galerie d’Orléans. The name Bury comes from the Belgian artist who did the nice fountains there in 1985. The French government or the taxpayers are helping to renovate it and will last until next Sept 18. More here:

A peniche boat done by Le Corbusier anchored in the port d’Austerlitz on the Seine river has sunk Saturday last. The boat Louise-Catherine, un boat in cement of 70 meters long and 8 meters wide was in plan renovation to be a cultural museum according to the owner. It was tried to bring it up water but in 15 minutes it sank. Le Parisien newspaper in French here:

And La Défense is coming to life again….at the foot of the hotel Melia with the towers First and Allianz One offering a splendid view over the bridge or pont de Neuilly and the Arc de Triomphe. However, the best is inside , name Oxygen, where the star chef Michel Rostang is opening a new restaurant. This is coming after last Sept17 the bar-exposition gallery and concert hall opened as L’Alternatif under the parvis (underground),  Another underground entity call Table Square is on schedule to open in front of the Agam fountain with two firms of fast food such as Bioburger, 100% bio , and the salad bar Prairie.  You will find a Pizzeria call Marco Polo, and finally a share work space call Icône , dedicated to the start-uppers and other nomad workers. More here in French:

Stay tune here on bioburger:

The Grand Paris Express, I have written on it several times in the blog and it is big news, more to come to change the landscape of the Paris region hopefully for the best for you and me ::) You can imagine crossing the region of Île-de-France in a metro going up to 120 KPH or about 75 MPH without passing by Paris ! and automatic !  Going from Boulogne to Champs-sur-Marne in 37 minutes vs one hour today or from Issy  to Cachan  in nine minutes instead of 46 today, or going from Villejuif to Champigny  in 18 minutes instead of 67 min today ! All will be possible starting in 2024 thanks to the project of the Grand Paris Express . It will be part of the landscape from 2030-2040.  Even the SeaBubbles flying water taxi will be tested this year over the Seine river . More on this here in English:

All because by 2030, Paris will have 12,8 millions inhabitants (not counting the visitors lol!!) Well more here in French,  and see the photo


credit: Le Parisien

More improvements galore Paris here we go. A fiber optic enters in the train stations of Paris. The council of Ile de France Mobilité has voted for it and should be official by Wednesday. It will installed fiber in the 387 stations where 112 do not have anything today.  This again in today’s Le Parisien newspaper.

A nice small museum in my Yvelines dept 78 west of Paris is the musée de la toile de Jouy  at  Jouy sous Josas.  Here cloths in cotton printed and teint from the  18C from a firm founded by  Oberkampf in 1760. Now nothing is left but in the courtyard of the city hall, a bell ringing and a museum installed in an old merchant house tell the story today.  Many financiers come to do this as it is the chic of the times to wear one but nobody in France mastered it. Here comes Oberkampf, coming from a tanners family in Germany . Jouy-en-Josas has it all, the Bièvre river runs below it to bath the teintures and rinse, vast fields to spread the cloths to whiting it under the sun and the water, the geographical situation at the door of Versailles and Paris a sure clientele. Oberkampf enlarge the business and when the company went bankrupt in 1843, more than 30 years after his death , almost 30K motifs have come out of the factory, and some continue to inspired the world of fashion. The  Musée de la Toile de Jouy, château de l’Eglantine, 54, rue Charles-de-Gaulle, Jouy-en-Josas (78). Open Tuesdays from 14h to 18H and from Wednesdays to Sundays from 11h to 18h ; guided visits each second Sunday of each month; closed from February 9 to March 8 2018. Admission  7 € adults. info at +33 (0) 1 39 56 48 64  or more here:

For info, this is a nice town and visited as friends at the fame Grand école HEC base here too.

And last but not least, do not forget the Chinese New Year on February 16, the year of the Dog !  The oldest parade in Paris! Done in the 13éme arrondissement or district.  This year will start from the avenue de Choisy and will finish at the avenue d’Ivry passing by the avenue de Choisy, avenue d’Italie, rue de Tolbiac, and blvd Massena.  The parade will be held on February 25 from 14h to 17h and the city hall of the district will hold spectacles, expositions, concerts and conferences from February 19 to March 3rd. More info at the city hall office in French , and you can print a program of activities too.

And we are calling for crossed border Labrador puppy and hopefully if the owner is right we will get it for at vaccinations costs only. We are crossing our fingers!!! Enjoy your week, Cheers!!



February 11, 2018

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton XXIIII

So here we are after getting out some souvenirs of old in my last post, I come back with something more French or rather international as in us. This is Sunday , and usually or most of it is a family gathering here , so we stay at home. Outside is cold , about 5C or 42F ,grey, humid ,and a bit of rain, nothing to it right lol! We are also on alert for mor snow tomorrow Monday. Paris is at 40F cloudy too but more snow announce and temps will go down to 30F tonite.

My , should say by far one of the most important decisions to come here was the food and wines, better than the tour Eiffel… However, as we are an international family mixing three languages at home and coming from roots deep in the Cathar region of France, the Meldois region of France, and Tenerife, Spain in addition to Havana , Cuba,  as well as 31 years of US living, we can get away with many mixing of foods and drinks as well.  As I come to repeat, when the USA is often call the melting pot of the world, France is call the melting pot of Europe. One out of four Frenchmen are immigrants or sons of immigrants like Edith Piaf and Yves Montand, Sylvie Vartan, Charles Aznavour, even Johnny Holliday , the step father who raised him was a Holliday, American. The world is bigger!

We started with some serious Apéritif oh yes this is French. The Apéro is a ritual even at work the only time you get to mingle with your collegues outside of work is doing the apéro route. And we had today a typical day at home, our apéro.

I open with a Kings porto red fine tawny house porto of Nicolas, the wine merchant we get our wines when not in the wine areas. This is sweeter wine rich, and great going with paté and spreads. My sons had a mix of whiskey Jack Daniels and coca cola or Cuba Libre , and Tequila Silver Jose Cuervo with orange juice or a Tequila Sunrise. My wife had her Guignolet Kirsch cherry liquor.

Of course with the drinks we had baguette and brioche breads with a delicious Hénaff terrine de canard au miel or duck cold meat with honey. Also, a Bernard Marot, Gourgettes grillés chévre et miel or zucchini grill with goat meat and honey.

Then, we had a simple country meal from Spain/Cuba that is red beans potage (thick soup) with meats and potatoes over white rice. This accompany by a light red from the Loire, Domaine du Grand Air cabernet franc 2016.

To finish, we again had a light pain perdu or torrijas that is an old dessert we all share, old bread fry pan and then spread with guava jelly from Guadeloupe ,French territory in the Caribbean and honey. Delicious.

We will give a break and then had our Nespresso coffee in different themes mine café au lait, coffee and milk; good too. And much later at night some chocolates will end the day.

It is then , that we think about the work week leading to Valentin day! and right in the morning one of my son is delivered his scooter just purchase; then we go out at night to try a new American place in Vannes that started in Paris and now has reach us here more of that in later post.

Some webpages for references:

Enjoy your Sunday , mine is heading to prime time TV lol!! Cheers!

February 10, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LVIIII

So here I am on a nice bit sunny Saturday decided to stay closer to home this week, we need a break. Many things to tell you as things always change. Anyway today is about 9C or about 48F very nice indeed and of course in lovely Brittany we have no snow! Can’t say the same about the Paris region still in near Meaux, my inlaws area, they had 7 inches of snow, and about 4 in Paris proper. Well not so bad we had 6 in Versailles in 2010 and as I am used to driving in snow and got my driving license in snow covered roads it was as we say a piece of cake. Not so much for the natives who find it difficult with 1cm on the! Continuing saga of an international family in France !

Anyway, this is the Morbihan, the only department or province or state in France that do not have a French name and we are kind of proud of it around here. Not to get too involved but Corsica is speaking out on more independence and the Bretons are watching closely. Oh yes again Morbihan means petite mer in French or small sea as Mor is sea in Breton and bihan is small ::)

If you had read my previous posts on series, you will know we were looking to adopt a dog. Well , we look at puppies, and individual ads in the newspapers, visited the refuge centers or SPA here and saw dogs of all ages; even walking some of them. The final verdict is we will take a wait and see on it. Maybe by summer, we will be ready to get one and right now leaning towards a purchase of a puppy.

We started out from home by noticing the dry apple trees of our neighbor, that we get some indeed.


Another thing I mentioned is that one of my sons was thinking of getting a scooter ! Well not my favorite idea but Dad is always there to support and help. Once he made an effort to save for it about 2/3 of it I came in for the last third. WE purchase the scooter this morning and will be delivered for free to our house next Wednesday morning. It is at Mash City black purchased at Morbihan Moto in Ploeren just outside limits of Vannes. The webpage is here:

And the scooter is here but we pay less lol!!! in addition to free delivery yeah! here is Mash webpage :

Vannes Vannes Vannes

We did our groceries in our favorite chain Breton E Leclerc in the shopping park of Kerbois in the historical town of Auray. This is a hypermarket and on a shopping center of several stores as well and plenty others around. the site is here:

Auray Auray

We just had to go over across the road to the other shopping park Océane to stop by V&B (this is vins et biéres or wines and beers) for our beers from Germany we get here with deposit rights, we loaded a box pile of beers; we need it ,is cold outside ::) We had plenty of photos of it in previous posts. The store is here:

We took advantage of stopping by Castorama a home supplies store we use to get some joints for our tiles etc of course when better weather comes around and as we have plenty of photos too in previous post we continue across to the other hypermarket E Leclerc in Ploeren and they have an excellent automatic carwash to do some cleaning in my car the new Ford….


Finally, while in Ploeren we did rode a bit into Vannes proper always nice. As we are close to the ocean and the city has an excellent harbor and passenger boat terminal to the islands in the Gulf ;there are surprises in the lakes we have here such as the Le Marie near the train station, shot here:


And, then we headed back home, do you know the rugby VI Nations tournament is on! France lost the first test vs Ireland on a o heartbreaker last minute kick 13×15 and then Ireland beat Italy handily like 54×19 and now we have a good test with England vs Wales just started 0x0 ,tomorrow all loaded at home is France vs Scotland; and I need to leave you lol! The official webpage is here:

Enjoy your weekend ,happy travels, and oh well Cheers!

Tags: ,
February 7, 2018

Snow ,the white one has arrive and…!


Meaux snow s m 77 credit LP


gare de meaux LP Hugues Tailliez


gare Saint-Lazare paris crash crowds credit LP C.H.


snow A1 autoroute near Senlis in the Oise Department Le Parisien AP Phiippe DUPEYRAT


credit Le Parisien Nicolas Maviel


credit Vigicrues


snow falling in France Le Parisien


castle of Chambord. credit Meteo France AP / GUILLAUME SOUVANT

Well and ….! the beat goes on in my belle France, snow is a tough subject to tackle. We had some snow lately as much as almost 6 inches or 15 cm.

Now let’s talk about an event that is made bigger than it should be. Snow in France in general and especially in the region of Paris , Île de France. I have been thru many snow storms in my life even monster ones in the NJ/NY area but here the snow and winter is milder yet the consequences are always histerical. This is what happened Tuesday to Wednesday night.

12 cm of snow felled in Paris proper and 11cm at Roissy CDG by Wednesday morning making the roads slippery as well as the railroad tracks. As of Wednesday morning at 7h30 ; the bus network has not started working because the snow on the ground, granted the numbers above in cm are about 4,7 inches : The tramways lines T1, T2, and T3a are stopped as well except between Charenton and Vincennes, the lines T7 and T8 are working ok. The lines T5 and T6 are stopped. The subway or métro is working normally even if there could be some difficulties like in line 8 and 13, and even if there are mostly underground ! The RER A, RER B and RER C, are having big problems and even stopped on some trajects in the central of the network; the RER D,circulation is stopped by the Stade de France to Paris. The traffic is normal on the RER D and RER E. The normal trains of the Transilien network are going out with big delays and sometimes 1 over 2. The lines H, K, N , and R are showing this impact. On the line L, traffic is stopped between Saint-Cloud and Versailles Rive Droite (lol ! my old line home) ,and on to Garches ,and Saint-Nom la Bretêche. On the line J, you have too one train over two between Paris and Ermont Eaubonne. The trains Paris to Les Mureaux have been cancelled. The trains Paris to Mantes-la-Jolie via Poissy are transfer to buses between Poissy and Mantes-la-Jolie. The trains Paris to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine are cancelled. There are no trains circulating on the line P between Paris and Coulommiers , and the traffic going East is very much slow down and delays between Paris, Meaux , and Château-Thierry. The train line U is cancelled as well.

Still as of this late morning there are 25 department between the Pays de la Loire and Lorraine in Orange alert (second highest level) ,these are the Aisne (02), Ardennes (08), Aube (10), Cher (18), Eure (27), Eure-et-Loir (28), Indre (36), Indre-et-Loire (37), Loir-et-Cher (41), Loiret (45), Maine-et-Loire (49), Marne (51), Mayenne (53), Oise (60), Orne (61), Sarthe (72), Paris , and the small beltway around it such as departments (Paris 75, Hauts de Seine-92, Seine Saint Denis-93 and Val de Marne-94), as well as further such as Seine-et-Marne (77), Yvelines (78), Yonne (89), Essonne (91) , and Val-d’Oise (95).

The TGV has reduce the speed considerably almost in half and the suburbians buses are in terminal ,nothing out. The region of Paris or Île de France has not seen this snow since December 2010 when almost 8000 automobilists were housed in the shopping center at Vélizy (Yvelines 78) to sleep the night. This caused 739 kms of traffic jams just after 19h30 (7:30pm) an absolut record not yet seen this time. I remember the Dec 2010 episode as my boys were in school at Versailles and the mayor’s office had ordered closed all roads into the citylol! My boys were in the bus stop by Europe near the castle; and I got on the car went around the roads around the castle not seen by police got in the city and got my boys out yeah!!!

An episode that is repeated and do not understand why nothing is ever done is the traffic jams and abandon vehicules in the N118 at the section of Vélizy-Villacoublay (Yvelines), direction Paris. There is no warning by the authorities, no salt trucks nothing and these people go by there and again got stuck on the snow waiting long hours to be clear ,and once again buses were sent to bring them to a nearby gymnasium . In the middle of the glacial cold some drivers decided to spent the night inside their cars with engines on to keep warm while the outside temperature was – 2 °C (about 28F). Even at 3h in the morning folks abandons their cars to get on foot the shopping center of the centre commercial Vélizy 2…2 km away!!! About 1,2 miles…

Yesterday Tuesday evening the gare Saint-Lazare around 19h30,hundreds were caught trapped in the tunnels of the metro line 13, which I have taken and it is an inferno, see photo.

The Eiffel tower is closed to visitors yesterday Tuesday as always in bad weather and strong winds they close it for prevention. The managing firm is asking visitors to check the webpage and social network to ascertain it will be open when they arrive on these days. My trip to Paris Thursday cancelled ! The SNCF has advised folks to delayed their trips if possible so I did, for me been here Paris can wait!!!

Already in the social networks here the folks are very upset about the lack of information on the travelers on the traffic conditions. The internet sites of the SNCF, Transilien, and RATP do not work! And the information flash on the train stations are not given in good time ; nothing new. Those visiting are lucky to come in good working orders of the public transport system but the poor folks that live here find them very bad but no other better solutions to go to work are available. I am lucky out of that mess in lovely Brittany!!!

The news flash in the Paris region where the traffic was stop all night to this morning already many folks taken refuge in the train stations of Montparnasse (my entry now to Paris) and Austerlitz, about 700 of them ; as well as about 230 at the airport at Orly According to the police report from Paris.

The situation can become critical as the night from Wednesday to Thursday the temperature will drop to less than 10 degrees Celsius or about 14F and icy condition on the roads and rails. The snow is probably to stay on the ground for several days with accumulations going in places as much as 15 cm or about 5,9 inches. And by Friday, we will have another snow storm coming from the northwest to areas of the north or now Hauts-de-France down to the Limousin ,and passing again by the Paris region of Ile-de-France.

Latest news coming on is that on the N118 by the crossroad of  Vélizy (Yvelines)  going to the south with more than 300 vehicules blocking the highway and 650 on the sides parked!! The snow felled 30 cm in the department Eure–et-Loire with very low temperatures, 8 cm at Tours (lol just left there ok), 12 cm in Paris, 11 cm in Blois, 13 at Roissy CDG and Orly airports, 14 cm in Orleans, and 15 cm in Chartres in early morning today.

Some photos from my family and wife’s native town of Meaux, 77 Seine-et-Marne above.

On a historical note the cold front of February 1956 happening from February 1st to the 27th the minimum temperatures were of -15 °C (about 5F) during 15 days in the NorthEast. When the average for the country in this month is lower than 9 °C (about 48F) monthly for the period 1981-2010,placing February 1956 as the most colder since the early 20C ; so where is the climate change lol !!!

Of course we were not spare at least in the morning hours, then it cleared up nicely sunny. This is front of our house in Pluvigner , Morbihan, Bretagne!



Stay tune for the white one, is news here, big time, well at least in Brittany we had some in the morning but by now all is sunshine lol!!! Be careful on the roads …… and happy travels. Cheers!

February 6, 2018

The art of cuisine Française, and Michelin

For those in the culinary sense, and one of the big reason for me been in France ,not necessarily on super expensive meals but the food preparation the basis is the most important thing and of course a good chef. WE have been to some (in black) over the years but most important we see their recipes and immitate at home : Once in while I indulge telling you about it on my tag Food and Wine in my blog ::)

This year’s edition of the Michelin guide for France has a total of 621 restaurants !!! 5 more than last year with more and more foreign chefs especially the Japanese.
guide michelin 2018 by credit Michelin

The one star winners and losers are:
In the region of Ile-de-France ,and first Paris with their district or arrondissements are : Mavrommatis (5e), Emporio Armani Caffè (6e), Quinsou (6e), Loiseau Rive Gauche (7e), Pertinence (7e), Copenhague (8e), L’Ecrin (8e), Le Chateaubriand (11e), Table – Bruno Verjus (12e), Montée (14e), Alan Geaam (16e), Comice (16e), Etude (16e), L’Arcane (18e), Ken Kawasaki (18e) ; then outside of Paris with their department number are : Jean Chauvel (Boulogne-Billancourt, 92), Le Quincangrogne (Dampmart, 77),and Le Domaine de la Corniche (Rolleboise, 78). Those losing the star are : L’escargot 1903 (Puteaux, 92), Les Fables de La Fontaine (7e), le Relais d’Auteuil (16e) and Sola (5e).

In the region of the Northwest ,the winners are : L’Essentiel (Deauville), l’Auberge de Bagatelle (Le Mans), Ima (Rennes), L’Hysope (La Rochelle), Intuition (Saint-Lô), and Le Pousse-Pied (Tranche-sur-Mer). One who takes it back this year is Christophe Le Fur, at the Auberge Grand’Maison, in Mûr-de-Bretagne (22). However, those losing the star are : Le domaine la Bretesche , Missillac (44) , château de Noirieux, Briollay (49).

In the region of the NorthEast we have one stars such as: Jérôme Feck (Châlons-en- Champagne), Château de Courban (Courban), La Merise (Laubach), Le Marcq (Marcq-en-Baroeul), L’O des Vignes (Fuissé) , and Transparence ‘La Table de Patrick Fréchin’ (Nancy. The losers are : Château de Germigney, Port-Lesney (Jura), La Maison des Cariatides, Dijon. Also, Laurent Peugeot , Charlemagne, Pernand-Vergelesses, Pascal Boulanger , La Laiterie, Lambersart (69) , and Thomas Debouzy, La Briqueterie , Vinay (51). And the biggest loser after 30+ years with one star now losing it was Christian Germain, Château de Montreuil (62).

In the region of the Southwest, the winners of one star are : Garopapilles ,and Le Quatrième Mur (Bordeaux), Le Barbacane (Carcassonne), Le Grand Cap (Leucate), Chapelle St-Martin (Limoges), Auberge de la Tour (Marcolès), Château de Cordeillan-Bages (Pauillac), L’Almandin (St-Cyprien), SEPT (Toulouse), La Promenade (Verfeil), and Le Jasmin (Villeneuve-sur-Lot). The losers are Octopus (Béziers), l’Auberge Labarthe (Bosdarros), le Domaine d’Auriac (Carcassonne) ,and L’Oison (Chancelade).

In the region of the Southeast the winners are : Louison (Aix-en-Pce), Table de Manville (Baux-de-Pce), L’Emulsion (Bourgoin-Jallieu), Les Fresques (Evian), L’Atelier Yssoirien (Issoire), U Santa Marina (Porto-Vecchio, Corse), La Table de la Ferme (Sartène, Corse), and Lou Cigalon-Maison Martin (Valbonne). The losers here are : Bacon (Juan Les Pins), and Chez Charles (Lumio, Corse). In Lyon, l’Alexandrin as well as La Ciboulette (Annecy).

For those with two stars ,numbering 85 we have five reaching it this year and moving up ; these are : Masafumi Hamano, « Le 14 février », Saint-Amour-Bellevue (71); Takao Takano, « Takao Takano » Lyon (69); Jean Sulpice, « L’Auberge du Père Bise » Talloires (74) ; Bruno Cirino, « L’Hostellerie Jérôme » La Turbie (06); Gaël et Mickaël Tourteau, « Flaveur » Nice (06). The two star losers down to one start are: L’Amphitryon , Lorient 56. le Trianon of Gordon Ramsay in Versailles 78! Bateau Ivre, in the hotel Ombremont , Bourget-du-Lac (Savoie).

Two new three stars restaurant on this year’s edition of Michelin are : Marc Veyrat, La Maison des Bois, Manigod, Haute-Savoie, and of Christophe Bacquié, l’hôtel du Castellet (Var).

The group of three stars numbered 28 ,even after the request of not participating of Le Suquet in La Laguiole,upon request of chef Sébastien Bras. The winners for this distinction are : Jean-François Piège (Le Grand Restaurant, Paris 8e), Jean-Georges Klein (La Villa René Lalique à Wingen-sur-Moder, Bas-Rhin), Olivier Bellin (l’Auberge des Glazicks à Plomodiern, Finistère), Christopher Coutanceau (La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime) , and Alexandre Couillon (La Marine, Noirmoutier-en-l’Île, Vendée).

The guide will be available for purchase from February 9 , and this year’s edition count as patron the chef Anne-Sophie Pic, only women with a three star restaurant in France.

Keep an out in your neck of the woods for it. It’s still the bible ,even if some have begun to question the selections and other guides are more and more around. Bon Appétit, Salut A+ au revoir and Kenavo ::)


guide michelin 2018 by credit Michelin

February 5, 2018

The drive over three regions: Brittany, PdL, and CvL!

Ok wo we had our trip for the weekend as usual around my belle France. Last weekend we actually passed by three regions by car , sounds a lot but they are actually within 4 hours driving only….!

We started from our pretty Brittany, and went past the Pays de la Loire and finally the Centre Val de Loire. All along the Loire of course, the great river of France. The title is abbreviated for not wanting to post a long title and well not creative enough ::)

We left our house by 7h or 7am taken the D768 to connect to the N165 free roads; we continue to the beltway or periphérique nord in Nantes to get on the A844, here to make a bit faster we took the toll road A11 direction Angers but got off it at the D763 road to Ancenis for only 3,10€ of tolls. Here at Ancenis we found some nice monuments.

These were the wonderful castle (b. 984AD) towers still in pretty good shape, the bridge or pont Bretagne-Anjou ,and  a nice halles or covered market with a belltower at first I thought it was a Church ! An old town founded in 984AD by Duke of Brittany, Guérech. Not to mention, the good wines of Ancenis.

More on the tourist page in French here:

We left Ancenis on the road D17 passing by Le Fuilet to Montrevault and Saint Pierre de Montlimart getting here on the D752 towards to Beaupréau-en-Mauges, where we cut off again on the D756 towards Jallais, and reaching Chemillé-Melay ,and onwards to Vihiers. All wonderful sleepy little towns but this is the pleasure of driving in my belle France! We did a bit of a detour to go into the D39 and passed by Les Trois Moutiers; cheating as actually this is in the department of the Vienne in region Nouvelle Aquitaine!!!. You see a nice Church Saint Hilaire in photo.

A bit on the tourism here in French:

At Vihiers we got on the D960 towards Saumur, our first real stop. I will put Saumur on a different post to tell you all about it. Some of the towns here on the tourist page in French:

After walking around Saumur and having our lunch , we continue to our hotel and final destination at Tours. This we follow the Loire river on the D952 passing first by Varennes sur Loire, then Chouzé sur Loire and La Chapelle sur Loire . This road continues into Saint Michel sur Loire ,and Langeais site of a famous castle. Also, passing by Luynes and finally crossing the Loire river again on the road D37 at the bridge or pont de Saint Cosmé. Here we made a left turn into Avenue Proudhun that continues into rue des Tanneurs, turning right at rue Nationale , then left at Blvd Heurteloup and then another left at rue Victor Lalou to our hotel ; and we arrive.

More of Tours in a separate posts to tell you about the wonderful things to see there.

On the way back we came back out of Tours in the same way we came in, but this time taking the D37 out of town into the D751 direction Saumur. This time no tolls at all. And passing by another wonderful castle ,that of Azay-le-Rideau. Of course we did not stopped at these castles as no time and seen them years ago, we do need to get back for an update.  We passed by Coudray-Montpensier a nice castle we saw from the road. We continue on the side road of D751E at Chinon, another historical castle where been Sunday, we ate at our always reliable McDonalds amongst the vineyards of Chinon lol!

Some of the towns here in tourist page in English:

And more here on the castles of this area in English:

We went around Saumur on the same D751 along the Loire river direction Gennes with an interesting bridge over the Loire river. We continue on the D751 getting around Angers. This on road D759 direction Loudun and continuing to Thouars, and getting around this city as well on the road D938TER direction Bressures. Here we connected to the N249/E62 and got around Cholet as well. Taking direction Vallet and Nantes, where it reads the D149 same road, and connects with the beltway of periphérique nord of the N844 which becomes the A844 and hooks up with the N165 direction Vannes.

Something more on this area towns and things to see from the area tourist office:!/page/1

And we reach home, nice and fresh really. Minimum tolls, which if extend it a bit could have been zero taxes oh yes they call it tolls…::)

We had enough time on Sunday to indulge on the trip and the goodies purchase from handbags, to candies, and chocolates, and of course the nice things we have not far from home that on a weekend can be a huge trip by anyone.

See some photos of the car trip here ,and look out for the Saumur and Tours posts coming up soon. Enjoy your week, mine is back to reports, meetings and a trip to Paris for a meeting by train TGV. Cheers!

 Ancenis  Ancenis  Ancenis  Ancenis Chinon Coudray Montpensier Gennes Le Fuilet  Les Trois Moutiers  Les Trois Moutiers

February 2, 2018

Bretagne, Brittany my region!!!

So this is it, Bretagne, my region and home for the last almost 7 years. It has been a wonderful rollercoaster ride, smooth out into a dolmen tranquility and splashes of seawater. Bretagne or Brittany but even better Breizh is heavens. Before moving here , I have to admit, only had visited Rennes for a company trip of one day!!! When I came in 2011 did not thought would be this long to tell you the truth, but gladly I am still here, a lovely area of France that needs to be visit more. I have two old friends from my previous life in travel forums and they have admit to me the area is indeed pretty ,nice and should be visited more. I agree ::) Degemer mat !!!

The region official page of course ,can be translated into Breton on top middle front page. And the webpage is written with the bzh and not fr designation ::) Here it is in French:

And even in Paris there is welcome of Brittany by the gare Montparnasse as the Maison de la Bretagne open to the public from 9h to 18H. Located at 8 rue de l’Arrivée ,15éme, more here:

The regional official tourism page is here
And the office of tourism is here:

Now let’s get into the details ok;
Something about mon Bretagne. The region is a peninsula on the extreme west of France located between the Manche to the north, the Celtic sea and sea of Iroise to the west and the Gulf of Gascony to the south. The insular Breton came from the old Gaullist Armorique and created a kingdom in the 9C that eventually become a Duchy depending of the kingdom of France. Finally reunited by marriage to the French crown in 1532. In 1790 during the rule of the French revolution , it was divided into five departments such as Côtes-du-Nord, Finistère, Ille-et-Vilaine, Loire-Inférieure, and Morbihan. The old department of Loire Inférieur becomes the Loire-Atlantique is attach to the region of Pays de la Loire. The question of the unification to the current region of Brittany is the object of heated debates.

A bit of history I like; tell us that Brittany rarely written as Britannia means literally the country of the Bretons. Or in Breton, Breizh.

By the 5C BC, Brittany is touch by the second wave of expansion of the Celts, and they impose their language, costumes, made discovery of iron to the local populations and the agriculture is advance. The territory is occupied by five groups such as the Coriosolites (territory east of current department of Côtes-d’Armor, in the west of Ille-et-Vilaine , and north of the Morbihan) ; the Namnètes occupying the current department of the Loire-Atlantique, north of the Loire river, given name to the current city of Nantes) ; the Osismes ( occupying the current department of the Finistère, and the west parts of the Côtes-d’Armor and the Morbihan) ; the Riedones (occupying the east of current department of Ille-et-Vilaine ,given the name to the city of Rennes) ; The Vénètes occupying the current department of the Morbihan,cousins of the Vénétie and Gwynedd.Given the name to the city of Vannes or Gwened in Breton).My current department 56 and capital city where I work !!! We,then add the Ambilatres, occupying the south of the current department of the Loire-Atlantique and the north of the Vendée. The territory of Brittany was conquered by the Romans led by Jules Cesar in the war of Gaullia or Gauls in 56 BC.

At the high Middle Ages, Brittany was divided in two ,then three kingdoms, such as the Domnonée, Cornouaille, Broërec (initially called the Bro Waroch) that were under the authority of the dukes and kings of Brittany in the 9C . King Nominoë, 845 to 851, was the one credited with the origins of Brittany unified and independent and given the name of father of the fatherland or Tad ar Vro in Breton. The region grew in the 9C under king Erispoê into a kingdom of Brittany. The treaty of Angers of 851AD defines the limits but encouraged king Salomon to go to war vs Charles the bold or taken by the Vikings ; thanks to the conquest of king Salomon and the treaty of Entrammes of 863, and that of Compiègne in 867,Brittany reached it maximum area which included the Avranchin, Cotentin,the anglo normand islands, a good part of the Maine and Anjou. The kingdom is constantly attacked and occupied by invasion of Vikings early in the 10C.

Rebuilt by Duke Alain II of Brittany aka twistedbeard after the battle of Trans in 939AD, the politics of the Duchy of Brittany is carried out independent but sometimes dominated by the kings of England or France. With the these alliances the region reached again the old limits of the Treaty of Angers. Following the uprisings against the Royal power in the crazy war or Guerre Folle, Duke François II of Brittany encounter important military defeats in 1488 such as the battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier. The treaty of Sablé aka as treaty of the Verger signed by king Charles VIII of France and Duke François II of Brittany in this year 1488 stipulating that the Duke cannot married his daughters without the consent of the king of France, the war continue for three years under the pretext that the treaty was not respected from the first marriage of Anne de Bretagne until 1491, when king Charles VIII married Duchess Anne de Bretagne; therefore the king enforcing his authority on Brittany. Following Anne’s death and the marriage of her daughter Claude the duchy and the kingdom of France were finally united in 1532.

What happened at Vannes where the Estates general of Brittany were held under the duke François Ier given quickly ruling an edit signed at Plessis-Macé guaranteeing the province of certain rights such as legislation and specific taxes. These privileges existed until the French revolution, cancelled in August of 1789 as well as the eradication of titles of City, corporations, nobility, clergy as well as the rest of France. The Brittany stop fonctioning as such and is divided into six departments which were Finistère Nord (Brest, Lannion, Lézardrieux, Plounévez-Quintin, Carhaix) ; Finistère Sud (Plougastel-Daoulas, Rostrenen, Guidel, Pointe du Raz) ; Côtes-du-Nord and Ille-et-Vilaine Nord ( Saint-Malo, Dol, Les Forges, Corlay,etc) ;Ille-et-Vilaine ( Fougères, Vitré, Rennes, Redon, Châteaubriant, Sainte-Anne-sur-Vilaine, Ploërmel, Lanouée) ; Morbihan ( Langon, Pontivy, Lorient, Vannes) ; Loire-Inférieure( current limits except Châteaubriant). They were divided further in February 1790 as five departments such as Côtes-du-Nord ( which became Côtes-d’Armor in 1990), Finistère, Ille-et-Vilaine, Loire-Inférieure ( attached in 1956 to Pays de la Loire, and becoming Loire-Atlantique in 1957),and the Morbihan.

In 1956 the program regions had reborn the region of Brittany , but on technical, economic, and political considerations and nothing to do with history the creation was done with four departments and the Loire-Atlantique attached to the region of Pays de la Loire in 1973. Even thus, the general council of Loire-Atlantique asked in 1973 to be attach to Brittany, and the regional council of Brittany asked for the unification or a re examen of the limits was adopted . Even against these transactions and the new referendum asked to be done in 1982 and 2001 for a popular consultation with the authorities of France, these have never agreed to their request, even if the request came from the elected officials of Brittany. After, the analysis of 13 survey results in 25 years suggesting that 65% of the population wishes to be reunited, Brittany and Loire-Atlantique with only the other departments of the Pays de la Loire against it ,the authorities have never had an ear to these requests. Still a matter of regional debate and argumentation as of today.

The region was difficult to pinpoint a capital city as the Estates general of Brittany reunited in different cities in their history with Dinan, Nantes (17 times), Ploërmel, Redon, Rennes, Vitré, Vannes (19 times), and Guérande. The same for the bishops’s seat being at Dol until 1199AD the metropole de Brittany and were the maximum leader in the absent of the Dukes and later governors and commanders of the region with later Dol united with the diocese of Rennes in 1790 . Eventually the bishop of Rennes obtains from emperor Napoléon III the confirmation of the seat in Rennes. While in 1532 the parliament of Brittany needed to be together in both cities , however, the interdiction of the Court of France ,starting with Catherine de Médicis with Nantes and its old privileges in Brittany was overtaken by Rennes the seat of Parliament from 1560-1675, and again from 1689-1790), the faculty of justice, residence of the commander in chief and later intendant, and with this the prefecture or regional government was given to it by the French republic as well.

Brittany has two historical areas on language. The lower Brittany or Basse-Bretagne or Breizh izel in the west (grouping Finistére, Morbihan, west of Côtes-d’Armor and on the south the peninsula of Guérande with the towns of Bourg-de-Batz in the Loire-Atlantique speaking the language of origin bretonnic (close to the gallois and Cornish) known as the Breton or Brezhoneg ; the other is the high Brittany or Haute-Bretagne or Breizh Uhel in the east of Ille-et-Vilaine, Côtes-d’Armor east, Morbihan east, Loire-Atlantique where the dialect of the oil are spoken such as the Gallo,same as the Poitevin in the Pays de Retz and some Breton in the region of Rennes.. The Celtic league considered Brittany as one of it’s six countries as far as language more here:

Some of the particulars of the region of Brittany is the stones, well before the Celts the population neolithique erected stones or menhirs, cairns and tumuli that still we have the Dolmen and covered alleys of which the latter had a funeral and cultural significance. Their function still is a mistery but many think that it is a territory mark associated with religious activities. The Christians of Brittany are mostly Catholic, and the patron Saint of Brittany is Sainte Anne or « Mamm gozh ar Vretoned », in Breton. Also known as the grandmother of the Bretons. According to the Bible she is the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus. IN many parishes once a year the believers gathered for a « pardon », the feast of the town’s saint. It starts with a procession follow or preceeded by a Mass. This feast has a pagan side with offering of food or souvenirs . The most popular is that dedicated to Saint Ronan at Locronan,in the Finistére with a procession of 12 km, known as the « troménie » from the Breton tro minic’hi,or the sacred exil tower of the monastery, done with several people dressed in period costumes ; is the biggest procession that of Sainte Anne at near me Saint-Anne d’Auray in the Morbihan. More, the flag of Brittany in its modern version (1923) is the Gwenn ha Du ( or the white and black). The superior left square takes the armors of Brittany a Ermine. In heraldic it says franc quarter of the plain ermine, meaning without precise number. The flag has 11 stripes and the bands of white and black are the explication the most popular representing the region or country and its nine parishes of Brittany; four for the part of the Breton language, and five for the part of the Gallo language. It is the Bro gozh ma zadoù ( old country of my parents), even if not officially recognized by France. There, is also, an hymn or national anthem of Brittany with words of François Taldir-Jaffrenou at the end of the 19C ; it is sang with the lyrics music of the anthem of the British Cornouailles under the name of Bro goth agan tasow en cornique.

Transports are still a bit behind to the rest of France even if big investments by the Government is coming along. This is a peninsula you know… There is a network of good roads and free of tolls pushed by De Gaulle in 1962. The main ones in () and corridors are Nantes – Saint-Nazaire (RN171) ; Brest – Morlaix – Guingamp – Saint-Brieuc – Rennes (RN12); Saint-Malo – Rennes – Nantes (RN137); Brest – Quimper – Lorient – Vannes – Nantes (RN165) Rennes – Lorient (RN24) ; Ploërmel – Vannes (RN166) ;Châteaulin – Loudéac – Montauban (RN164) ; Rennes – Vitré (Le Mans) (RN157) : Rennes – Fougères (Caen) (autoroute des Estuaires – A84) ; Nantes – Saint-Nazaire (RN171) ; Brest – Morlaix – Guingamp – Saint-Brieuc – Rennes (RN12) ; Saint-Malo – Rennes – Nantes (RN137) ; Brest – Quimper – Lorient – Vannes – Nantes (RN165) ; Rennes – Lorient (RN24) ; Ploërmel – Vannes (RN166) ; Châteaulin – Loudéac – Montauban (RN164) : Rennes – Vitré (Le Mans) (RN157) ; and Rennes – Fougères (Caen) (autoroute des Estuaires – A84). As you can imagine if reading my posts I have tried them all :J
Now we have GPS but still the paper trail is good to compare , best around here is viamichelin here :

The train network is improving with faster service to Paris. However, the network is done around Rennes (sort of Paris for France) linking to Paris on the TGV Atlantique and last year started the line LGV line Bretagne-Pays de la Loire, or the classic route Paris – Chartres – Le Mans – Laval – Rennes. The main routes are Nantes – Saint-Nazaire ;;Rennes – Saint-Malo via Dol ;Rennes – Brest via Saint-Brieuc ;Rennes – Redon – Quimper ;;Rennes – Redon – Nantes ;Rennes – Chateaubriant. §Here taken most on the Rennes, Nantes, Redon lines. Some secondary TER lines are Saint-Nazaire – Le Croisic via La Baule-Escoublac ;Dol – Lamballe via Dinan ;Dol – Folligny – Saint-Lô – Lison – Caen ;Saint-Brieuc – Loudéac; Guingamp – Paimpol; Guingamp – Carhaix; Plouaret – Lannion; Morlaix – Roscoff ; Brest – Landerneau ; the most used line in Brittany; Brest – Quimper (via Landerneau); and for summer only the tire bouchon or corkscrew line of the beaches Auray – Quiberon.
Some of the link that will be useful are the local regional TER site here:

And a total site for all kinds of transport in Brittany, very useful to try different combinations of modes of transport here:

Now that is a lot info to swallow but you can always ask me ::)

Unesco sites here are for the Vauban fortifications at Camaret-sur-mer; while the megaliths stones of Carnac are still in the process. Also, the Breton festival of Fez Noz are under consideration. As far as cities of Art and History designation in France we have my old home Auray, then Châteaubriant, Concarneau,Dinan, Fougéres, Guingamp, Hennebont,Lamballe, Landerneau,Lannion, Morlaix, Nantes, Pont l’Abbé, Pontivy, Port Louis,Quimper, Quimperlé, Rennes, St Malo, Saint Pol de Léon, Vannes, and Vitré. All of these in my blog.

Well, we come to the part where I post my posts on Bretagne/Brittany/Breizh but there are sooo many. I rather tell you to look up these towns in my blog and see the history of Brittany before you. Well just a couple; my first town Auray and the tradition of Sainte Anne.

And the first encounter with Brec’h my first home in Brittany all in the Morbihan 56 department here:

And we move rather quickly to my current home Pluvigner here:

And my work and capital city of Vannes here :

You get an idea ook. One picture to showcase this region, and my Morbihan deparment? well I am a believer to our lady Sainte Anne at Sainte-Anne d’Auray; enjoy it. See you soon in other areas of France. Cheers!

Sainte Anne d'Auray

February 1, 2018

Some news from France CLXXXIII

Well in the run to post on the regions of France, lovely run indeed, we need to catch up to what is going on in my belle France.

Well the flood is still high around the rivers of France, especially in the north from east and west of Paris. The metro line 9 of Paris is cut off according to the RATP the organism that managed them and traffic is cancelled between Porte de Saint-Cloud and Pont de Sèvres.  The stations of Pont de Sèvres, Billancourt, and Marcel Sembat are closed to the public. The problem is infiltration due to the rise of the Seine river.  The reopening will be by tomorrow estimated and a bus service is in place instead. The town of Gournay in Seine-Saint-Denis is flooded and the Marne river should go over 5,55 meters at the limit of the wall. The level can go to 5,80 by Saturday next. The gymnasium du Clos de l’Arche in Noisy-le-Grand , (5 rue Jean Richepin) is available to host folks evacuated if needed.  The basin of the Seine river is still high and influence the levels of the Marne river and tributaries. The area is in orange alert (second highest) into the Val de Marne according to Méteo France. By Saturday, the Marne river can go 15-30 cm higher , and Seine having lost 29 cm in 25 hrs still needs to go down and rainy days do not help. It will be needed to wait until next week to see the descend more realistic.  To be continue….

the toll fees on highways ./autoroutes continue to go up of course. Increase of 1 – 2 %  starting from February 1st 2018, and  3- 4 % in the secondary network of roads. Due to high cost of salt on the road and the high price of the gel of 2015!! this is a rip off but the happy French taxpayer will do again and the visitors will help of course.  According to the authority on the regulation of rail activities and highways or ARAFER this increase is not justifiable . The pro consumer group 60 millions de consommateurs  have shown that on 29 autoroute axes 28 have increase their rates by more than 5 % between  2011 and 2017. Six  tranches have even increase it by more than 10 %.  The top comes to the section of  Bordeaux  to  Pau , more than 16%. IN 10 years the price of toll fees have increase by almost  20 %!!!. Yeah and the roads are the same but we pay more ,lousy service ,one more proof the government is not to save lives but to make money.

The museum or musée de Cluny  is closing within one month. By March 1st they will closed their doors for about four months for renovations. The small entrance lobby of 52 m2 will be replace by one of 250 m2!  and two elevators/lifts will be installed.  The city of Paris will take advantage of this to make the  rue Sommerard  pedestrian. The museum at  6, place Paul Painlevé (5éme). More here:

And one of my all time favorite as my boys grew up going here often is the Jardin d’Acclimatation now in renovation but still confirm to re open by May 1st. The Labor day holiday here. The owners are now the famous brand LVMH. This park of 18 hectares in the Bois de Boulogne (16éme) will have a new identity to it’s 40 activities and function ability to the machines providing admission fees of 4,90€ adults or the pass for all at 29€. The park is a historical leisure place for Parisians that is here since 1860. The new renovation will keep the place of promenade and rest for all as always. A garden renovated in the spirit of old Paris, a village of activities such as the Les Rockets, an attraction unique in Europe with 500 meters of rollercoaster, bobsleigh etc going down at 45 kph ( 28 mph) in 2 minutes 30 seconds in a forest of sequoia trees. There will be an interactive cinema, an decorated alley in the north part on the side of Neuilly-sur-Seine. A farm normand recreated and the heritage of Napoléon III rebuilt. The factory to make satin fabric that has been made into a café as well as station with a old clock, and several small houses to bring back the spirit of Napoléon III. They have planted 45 000 shrubs and 200 trees with a natural river flowing thru.  More here:

Grand Paris Express will go the distance for the supermetro around Paris. 200 km of metro and 68 new stations in 5 new lines 14,15,16,17,and 18  will be build by the govt by way of the company  Société du Grand Paris (SGPl) . The proposals will be received by the council of overlook of the project of the SGP during the month of March 2018.

And knowing this line, I know what they are going thru. The wonderful old outdated public transports in Paris. The train Line U trip of La Verrière (Yvelines my oldest boy school was here) and La Défense had a terrible last trimester of 2017. From initiative of the users association ” Plus de Trains”, meeting have been held with the SNCF.  they need to improve it, an important line of 50 000 passengers per day meanwhile the SNCF recognizes that they are two times more cancelled trains here that before and the line is worse than from last May 2017. Just saying, not the same visiting than living here; transports is not what they are made to show for at all. There is a blog in French telling us about all the problems of the transports in the Paris region here:

More transports evils, before you take the bus and transport passengers the drivers of the buses of the RATP needs to come on board and park their own cars. Well at Boulogne-Billancourt  or the Porte de Saint-Cloud, the parking for them is hard and has prompted given a strike notice by Friday. The strike is posted for the bus lines 169  and 171,in the dept  Hauts-de-Seine, but, also lines  22, 52 ,and 72, that transit in Paris. They claim they have only 25 parking spaces for 250 drivers !  and now they are prohibited from parking their personal cars in the bus terminal of  Pont-de-Sèvres, where the drivers of bus lines 169 and 171  start their work day.  Until now there was tolerance on their parking here bu the dept of Hauts-de-Seine,in charge of the places have installed anti parking blocks here! When are they are goint to learn they cannot stop the car, as they have no space no money and no means of creating spaces!!!

More on trains, the RER E in dept 93 Seine-Saint-Denis has since December 23rd last taken the form of strikes of 59 minutes every morning!.  It happened last at the station of Raincy, where the trains of  7h49 and 7h56 were cancelled without any notice to passengers. Therefore, starting February 1st the Unions will have strikes for 59 minutes between the hours of  6h30 to 7h29, from 17h30 to 18h29 , and between  0h30 to 1h29. They are asking for the erosion in their purchasing power and an increase in salaries. So now in addition to delays old Equipment cancellations, and now salaries, the workers in the area going to work will go thru hell once again. Hopefully the visitors will not notice any of this and will still claim Paris transports is very nice lol!!!

To continue on transports and outside Paris region of île de France we go to the Oise at Beauvais and their network of buses Corolis. For the fourth consecutive day they are on strike and will continue. This includes the free navette in city center and the service chronopro 2 will be cancelled again. This is in addition to the 26 departures cancelled of the Chrono 1 from/to  the districts of  Argentine,  Saint-Jean,and Hôtel de ville. Just for info ok nothing bad just routine transport woes. More here in French:

And to make it even more so bad, the Conseil d’orientation des infrastructures (COI),that is mandatated by the government to decide on priorities for transports for the next 5-10 years on big projects like the lines  TGV Bordeaux-Toulouse, Paris-Normandie or Provence-Côte d’Azur, new autoroutes etc are looking into a phaseout period on the construction of these. they will be done in stages over a longer period of time. Of course no money for this but they keep raising fees and higher fines and less parkings etc As we say la vie est belle indeed. The line  Toulouse-Bordeaux as an example the first stage schedule for  2018-2022, the finish is now estimated to be by 2037 or later!!! The same for the line  Provence-côte d’Azur,where the completion will be extended from 2023 to 2037. oh là là là; it’s all here in Les Echos in French:

Ok cool, on a more peaceful story about football/soccer; The village of Poncy bordering the autoroute A13 as well as roads D30 and D113 all around Poissy will be the new training camp of Paris football/soccer team PSG. There will be a new traffic circle by Aigremont in the D30, all my old hangouts. The team will have a huge complex here with 15 football fields, buildings for housing and stadium for 5000 persons to be done by 2020. Here is a picture on how it will look like from Le Parisien newspaper where the story came out. poissy

And one guy that has not received all the credit due him  as a painter is Jean Fautrier and he will be shown at the museum or musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris. An exposition with his 140 paintings and 25 Sculptures of  Jean Fautrier (1898-1964). All until May 20 2018. WE see in his paintings signs of Turner, as well as Rembrandt, or even Chardin. However , he flirt with abstraction and created the jargon of informal art with several work of the expressionist school. You need to see the work « Nature morte aux poires » from 1927. It has a font black and gray emerging three pears with a light spectacle that is taken from the game of lights of a Turner or a  Rembrandt.  His « Jolie fille » done in 1926-1927  is a mass of nuts in a sculptural body where he hardly shows the face, it is radical! As well as the work done in 1922, when he decided to take on the « Portrait de ma concierge ». He made exist an old lady with a minucioiuse representation in grey tones, black and violets. In his funeral André Malraux said that  Fautrier made him think of  Goya.  Anyway Jean Fautrier is a great one of the painting history, the master of modern tragidy . More here:

On November 27 2017, the auction house of  Artcurial proposed in auction a magnificent ensemble of work in sculptures by  Camille Claudel. They were rare and beautiful, a pedigree (coming from the family of the sculptor) the estimation were awesome and three world records were established.  A sweet revenge for that which for a long time was considered the student of her lover Auguste Rodin. All had the right of pre emptive that was exercise by the French government in auctions of arts in favor of six muséums, so on the 20 works 12 were send to French arts institutions. That is the story the museum or Musée d’Orsay  is showing until February 6. The others are the Musée Rodin, Paris, Musée Camille-Claudel, Nogent-sur-Seine (Aube), the pool museum or Piscine-Musée d’art et d’industrie in Roubaix (Nord), Musée Sainte-Croix  of Poitiers , and the Maison Camille et Paul Claudel of Villeneuve-sur-Fère (Aisne), all already with important works of Camille Claudel .More here:

sit back and enjoy the arts in beautiful Paris and extraordinary Opéra in the season 2018-2019 at the Opéra de Paris. The year  2019  will be a double anniversary, the creation in 1669 by king Louis XIV of the royal academy of the opera or the Académie royale d’Opéra, that will take on the name of the royal academy of music or Académie royale de Musique; but, also as well the opening of the room Bastille, opened about 30 years ago by Président François Mitterrand for the bicentenary of the French revolution.  Some of the work shown are: Les Huguenots by Giacomo Meyerbeer created in the Opéra in 1836 followed by the first curtain rising of the Opéra Bastille in 1989. Also, Les Troyens of Hector Berlioz under the direction of Philippe Jordan and to finish with the opera ballet of Rameau, Les Indes Galantes under the direction of Leonardo Garcia Alarcon in a scene of Clément Cogitore.  Not less than 32 programs with 15 new spectacles will be shown. some of the new will be Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk by Dmitri Chostakovitch in a scene of Krzysztof Warlikowski. Don Giovanni of Mozart directed by Philippe Jordan and scene of Ivo Van Hove or the La Traviata of Verdi with a new scene of Simon Stone.  On the Dance side, you have ballets likes the Cendrillon, La Dame aux Camélias and the Le Lac des Cygnes and also the premiere in the Opera Garnier on December 29 2019 a hip hop battle with Juste debout, the organizer in France of the biggest international competitions.  More here:

And last but not least, the nocturnal chases at the Louvre museum. Call is out for the lovers of the Da Vinci Code ! Each Wednesday and Saturday night the  musée du Louvre welcomes the great adventurers that we are for a mysterious treasure hunt. For nearly two hours in the heart of the museum collections your mission will be to be first in opening the crypts of the Joconde (Mona Lisa). Anima,the organizer of the events in Paris will have a quiz to help on the hunt; you will need a team to discover the three pyramides on three initiating trails before the others. This will be until February 28 2018 . Night events at 19h and matinees on Saturdays at 10h30 . Admission are  33,60€  for the adult tickets with Louvre admission included or  17,40€  just for the treasure hunt,  10,20€  for the children and the museum is free for those under 26 with proof of age.  Musée du Louvre entrance by the  Pyramide – Cour Napoléon – 1er more on the organiser Anima site here!

Ok so a change of pace from the regions report but figure Paris can’t wait lol!!!  Enjoy Paris , the most beautiful city in the world. Hey UN WTO figures are in for 2016 France got 82,6 millions visitors again tops in the world ::)  Cheers!

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