Archive for ‘Bretagne’

December 8, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXV

And on my last post before my last trip abroad of 2018, here I am in my rainy cloudy but mild Morbihan breton. All roads here are clear indeed. Temp 12C or about 54F and foggy. Paris is the same but a bit cooler at 51F, and a lot hotter with the strikes especially on the Champs-Elysées.

In my neck of the woods and getting ready tomorrow early for my trip to Asia , I had to finish some errands in my area. Even in rainy times and knowing how to get around the local barricades especially at the traffic circle of Luscanen in Vannes.

First, we went to Castorama to get back the repair grass cutter ryobi that turns out to be not that good, second time repair and will see the performance now. It is difficult to have a customer service here that can replace the goods, rather than continue to repair it. I will give it one last try. I took advantage to refill for gas/petrol here at the best prices in the area.

From there, we went to Armand Thiery where been our famous fashion store we did our purchases for Christmas. This is very nice modern trendy clothes in nice colors we love as a family.

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We went two ways, some went to Joué Club for some model cars and boat purchase for Christmas and some went to FNAC to get some dvd’s ,both walking distance from each other. And we had our thirst calm at the La Cervoiserie beer and take out place between them.

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We continue to Micromania in the centre commercial Carrefour to have our boys tapes on video games. We, also, did some Christmas candy purchases at Carrefour and did our groceries as well.

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While at cc Carrefour, I was able to finally have the time to stop by the Orange store and take the fingerprint password I had on my phone as it was very inconvenience for me to have this ultra security, never a problem so fingerprint password eliminated!

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On our way home , we stop to our favorite bakery in town Boulangerie Delameau to get our fav Breizh baguette. A bit more but a bit better bread too than a normal baguette.

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Now home  having some munchies from the work place basket goodies I got with the alcohol free Pear juice as we are very country on the job, meaning conservative.

Pluvigner

And while watching the events on TV especially going on in Paris where the yellow vests or jackets are still at it facing 8000 police force with armored cars and all. Most stores including the big dept stores Galeries Lafayette, Au Printemps etc are closed as well. France is on the move, and I do not see a slowdown due to the difference in social class very evident here and spread in Europe , the reason the right has made a comeback.

Tomorrow, I have a flight at 6h that is 6am from Nantes airport so hoping no barriers and the long trip out to Asia where I will arrive Monday morning. It will be thru Friday and back home next Saturday. My last business trip of year!!!

I take this time to wish all my readers, family and friends, and visitors, the very wishes for a wonderful Merry Christmas 2018, with much travel, health , and good cheers. Until we read again, bye bye!!

 

December 6, 2018

Some news from France CCXII

And I am coming back to my belle France rather quickly not just for new thoughts but also on the latest events going on here. We have strikes all over ,more will come, and some like the yellow vest/jackets will be seriously damaging, so if in main town read the news and stay inside as much as possible. The rest is up to you!!!

Disturbances are expected on the RER B this Friday Dec 7th . A social movement is planned on the line, after the aggression of a driver. On the Saint-Rémy/Robinson and Denfert-Rochereau axis, plan 2 out of 3 trains at peak times and 1 train on 2 in off-hours. On the center of Denfert Rochereau and Charles-de-Gaulle/Mitry Airport, plan 1 train on 2 all day long . https://www.rerb-leblog.fr/travaux/

While a call to the general mobilization is launched this Thursday in (Lycées) high schools, about 100 establishments are disturbed in Ile-de-France. In detail, the Académie de Versailles is the most affected by the high school movement with 55 disturbed establishments of which 11 are blocked. Urban violence in the vicinity of some high schools has been reported. In the Académie de Créteil, 22 high schools are disturbed, 3 of which are blocked. In Paris, the situation is calmer but 17 establishments are still disturbed, of which 2 are blocked (the lycées Charlemagne and Monod). In parallel, some forty young people tried to invest the Sorbonne early this morning but were prevented from doing so. As a result of this intrusion attempt, the Sorbonne’s historic building was closed  “As a security measure”, reports AFP. Other university sites are disturbed. After an intrusion of demonstrators on the site of Censier Paris-3, the management of the university decided to close preventively since Tuesday. The site of Tolbiac-Paris-1 is also disturbed.

More than 400 arrests, hundreds of fires, barricades, shops looted, degradation at the Arc de Triomphe, 133 wounded in Paris (263 in France) and nearly 10,000 grenades (tear, GLI-F4 and discircling types)  were fired by CRS police on  the mobilization of the  gilets jaunes or yellow vests or jackets on Saturday December 1st was marked by severe violence in some parts of the capital, in the margins of peaceful protest. The Elysée palace (site of President)  is worried according to information of a hard core of several thousand people  who would come to Paris to break and kill. Is the situation too alarmist or really is to be worried?  Which does not prevent them from worrying also about a dramatic turn of events on Saturday December 8th! Stay tune France is on fire, the Bastille was not enough!!!

In other more peaceful front, life goes on and preparation are in order to end 2018 with a bang,(do not which kind!).

Some 250 exceptional artisans of art, gathered in the prestigious Carrousel du Louvre to expose and sell their creations. This 10th biennial brings to light the richness and quality of the work of all these magical and expert hands. Some 20 training schools will be present, as well as art craftsmen from Japan, Quebec, Italy, Germany and Denmark. The Carousel of Crafts and Creation.  Until Sunday, December 9, 2018, every day from 10h to 20h.  Carrousel du Louvre, 99, rue de Rivoli , 1éme.  It’s free. More info here:   www.carrousel-metiers-art.com/

My favorite Flea markets to end the year:  13th Salon of  Record, this Sunday at  323, rue de Charenton, 12éme;  admission 2€ .  Antiques and Secondhand Boulevard Montparnasse, 14éme Saturday and Sunday, Metro Vavin, 80 stands.  Crumbs, small flea market and sale of the foyer of Grenelle,15éme  Saturday and Sunday from 15h to 17h at  17, rue de Avre, Metro La Motte Piquet.

To mention Vaux-le-Vicomte  has been adorned with a thousand lights, with 4 km of light garlands, thousands of decorative objects and rooms of the castle that smell the festive fragrances of cinnamon, chocolate, honey, orange… In the garden are also illuminated a long alley of fir trees, a squirrel of 5 meters (symbol of Nicolas Fouquet), a path of more than 60 toys-lanterns cloth. The carriage ride, with a coachman in costumes, finishes to sublime fairy. Its call the Le-Vicomte celebrates Christmas. Until January 6 from Wednesday to Sunday. Open on weekends from 11h 18h45. Vaux-le-Vicomte Castle, Maincy dept 77. Admission 19.50€ reduce for children, extra 3€ for the carriage ride. More info : http://vaux-le-vicomte.com/en/vaux-le-vicomte-celebrate-christmas/

The Bergerie National (sheep-herd)  of Rambouillet goes into Christmas mode from December 5 until January 6  2019. Cows, sheep, lambs, hens waiting for families. Don’t miss the illuminated Christmas crib in the barn. and a guest of renown  will be passing, too, every opening day. Santa Claus in person will come and meet the children who wish it in the nursery. To warm up, we head to the Merino Café where we enjoy a good organic hot chocolate and homemade pastries.  La bergerie fête Noël .  Bergerie National of Rambouillet (Yvelines 78) From 14h. to 17h. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Every day during the school holidays.  From 4-6€. Free for children under the age of three. More here : http://www.bergerie-nationale.educagri.fr/ferme/evenements-et-animations/grandes-manifestations/

Monumental projections of Enghien-les-Bains. On the theme of travel and onirism. The multimedia scenography’s will be projected every evening on three facades: the Church of St. Joseph, the city/town hall and the Casino.More here: https://www.enghienlesbains.fr/fr/agenda/les-projections-monumentales

One of my favorite dishes in France, the Onion Soup, and many places to have good these are my latest finds over the last few months.  Very good at this time of the year indeed! Enjoy it

That we eat well on the charming place of the Le Marché Sainte-Catherine! But for the onion soup, it is a particularly warm place that respects the traditions. It is enough to find a small table on the heated terrace to taste this tasty version of one of the most comforting dishes of French cuisine. Le Marché  2, Place-Sainte-Catherine 4éme  More info : http://www.restaurantlemarcheparis.com/

The Au Pied de Cochon is not only the cliché of the tourist restaurant, it is really a good table in the kitchen is generous and tasty. Moreover, their  Onion soup au gratin is a best seller: Golden in the oven and perfectly seasoned, it is to fall for it! Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Au Pied de Cochon 6, rue Coquillière , 1éme. More info : https://www.pieddecochon.com/

The rue Montorgeuil,. Summer as Winter is always lively and we love her neighborhood life. For the onion soup, our little heart is at n ° 78. Adorable boss, layer of cheese XXL, and impeccable service, we love to savor it while  watching people passed by . Au Rocher de Cancale  78, rue Montorgeuil, 2éme.  More info : http://www.aurocherdecancale.fr/

A few steps from the Place des Vosges, the reputation of this Aveyronnaise brewery  is no longer to be done: it is said that it is simply one of the best Onion soups of Paris, have no issue with this statement. Bistrot des Vosges , 31, boulevard Beaumarchais, 4éme. More info : http://www.bistrotdesvosges.com/

There you go , enjoy France nevertheless, there is always something exciting going on, not always pleasant for the visitor but even less for the resident. Cheers

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

 

December 1, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXIIII

Ok so its time to write again about my State, Province, or Department 56 of Morbihan in the region of Brittany, France. It is a rainy grey, cool, foggy day of 13C or about 55F in mid day while driving around for my errands.

The trip was made more exciting for the fact that France is on strike once again at last!! Yes we are sometimes call the World Champions of strikes/demonstrations, but as I said, this is democracy at its best from the ground up, people initiated and this time no political party just common folks doing what they think is right. Do I agree you may ask freely? Well I am not in the position of many of them, been in middle management with a multinational French company in charge of 18 countries and 28 branches accounting wise. However, I do appreciate the hard working individual who comes to the end of the month and just barely makes it or not at all. The costs keep rising and the benefits reduced, I think the current president is going too fast. Remember, he was elected by chance as an opportunistic campaign changing from the Socialists party to create a new movement En Marche while the rest were going with problems of their own. I did not voted for Macron either mind you. Yes , I am a French citizen and voter on every occasion.

And yes even if all the focus of the media is on Paris (of course its the capital and bigger groups), we are on the go here in my Morbihan. In my area of Vannes, the capital of our department there have been escargot or snail drive blocage of main roads, blocking of oil refinaries,and home building materials stores, main intersections blocked like the roundabout of Luscanen and Kergiran. Today while grocery shopping a group march inside the E Leclerc store singing La Marseillaise national anthem in their yellow jackets (gilet jaunes)! I rode around and claxon my car in support,and wearing the yellow jacket in the dashboard of my car in support.  They deserve better in my opinion. Some pictures.

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inside E Leclerc hypermarket Vannes

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ramp off N165 to D779 and E Leclerc overbridge was block at Vannes

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traffic circle luscanen police there but off over bridge was block by gilet jaunes or yellow jackets

And youtube on the demonstrations in Saint Lazare train station and Place de l’Etoile (Arc de Triomphe) Paris.

 

Before all the above, we went to get our dog food at our favorite store Maxi Zoo in the town of Séné, next to Vannes. And of course, we got him his Christmas treat and yellow coat  So he will have a nice Christmas indeed, already one year old and very adorable borador! I have shown pictures and webpage of the store before.

While there, and in the company of my father, I invited all to Au Bureau, an English style sports bar that is very nice if a bit slow today. We had our reblochon burger , pint of leffe blonde and cafe gourmand for me and the rest different things to about 25€ per person. We have been here before with webpage and pictures, here are some more of today.

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From there we went to of course ,Micromania at the Carrefour shopping center in Vannes for my sons new exchanges and purchases.  All while raining as it was all day. Then, we headed to E Leclerc hypermarket in Vannes (Plescop) to do our groceries shopping before heading home.

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Raining still and with demonstrations all over we rather stay home even if agree with all that as said.

You all have a wonderful weekend and if in France stay away from these events as fun as they can be, there is always the party crasher that can make your day a sad one. Stay safe

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

 

 

 

 

December 1, 2018

Some news from Bretagne, XXV

Well it has been a while not written on this series of mine, my creative genious lol! It has been blend in with other similar posts I am sure. Brittany is always in my mind, we call it home! for the last 8 years!! All in the Morbihan 56.

However, let me give you an overview on a beautiful region north of me in department 29 Finistére. I have written several pieces on it in my blog , but this one just surface while reading on it from the Le Monde newspaper. Morlaix and its bay are magical indeed. So why not dedicate one Bretagne news post only on it right ? No pictures as have plenty on individual posts on the region here in my blog. ok here I go ,hope you enjoy it

Bay of Morlaix; from the Exotic Garden of the island of Batz to the parish enclosure of Guimiliau, passing by the impressive mausoleum of Stone of Barnenez… The bay also finds itself in winter.A very nice spot in my lovely Brittany up north in Finistére dept 29.

Roscoff, the land-sea harmony at its best. The beating heart of this small port town is at its peak, between the old harbor and the cove of Laber. Facing the channel, the small city is warm as long as the door of the estaminets is pushed. The exotic and Botanical Garden of Roscoff brings together rare collections of plants, mainly from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Chile or Mexico..The greenhouse too succulents, the rock at the top of which the view on the deep water port and the bay is splendid, or even the Palm Grove are as many mini-gardens in a set that does not usurp its name.

At Batz, ginger and impatience from Roscoff, at low tide, boarding for the island of Batz is at the end of the wharf, a long footbridge that ends with steps that plunge into the sea, ten minutes walk from the quay. The Georges-Delaselle garden, which holds many surprises. Thanks to the influence of the Gulf Stream, it grows palm trees from Asia and Africa. Rediscovered in the 1980’s, this garden created from scratch by a Parisian insurer from 1898 is one of the most beautiful in France. Ginger, impatience of Zaire, digital of the Canary Islands: in the beautiful season, the names of flowers are enough to make you dream. From the top of the lighthouse, at 67 meters above sea level, the spectacle of the island entry is magnificent. On 170 hectares of arable land, the plots of potatoes, cauliflowers, asparagus or fennel are rhyming the seasons. The fishermen of the island also contribute to his reputation of an ideal self-sufficiency.

Plouescat version of Seychelles island. To the west of Roscoff, the granite blocks of the beaches of Plouescat evoke the Seychelles. At the Roc’h ar Mor, a family restaurant a little gruff, we have lunch facing the sea at the end of the beach of Porsmeur.

At Guimiliau,  What an ordeal! To reach the parish enclosures, it is necessary to drive due south from Roscoff, by the valley of the Penzé which leads quickly to Guimiliau. The Guimiliau enclosure is typical: A central Church, a monumental gate, a Calvary and a wall of enclosure that surrounds the whole. It is so perfect that it says everything about the village opulence of the 16C and 17C in this corner of Brittany. The great Calvary brings together dozens of characters, sometimes dressed in the fashion of Henri III, who reigned at the time of its construction, sometimes in the biblical garments of Palestine from the beginning of our era. The large porch and the admirable funerary chapel vie from the outside with the splendor of the furniture found under the blue vaults of the church: the baptismal fonts and the thousand-colored altarpieces testify to the genius of the anonymous artists of the early reign of Louis XIV. You have to be wary of parish enclosures: They can cause an addiction. Not to miss the retable of Commana, the ossuary of Sizun or the beam of glory of Lampaul-Guimiliau. In Guimiliau, a brand new architecture and heritage Interpretation Center (CIAP) ,the enclosures allows adults and children to measure the diversity of these unique buildings in the world.

At Carentec, a fort and oysters from the beach of Kelenn, in Carantec, the boat that leads to the château du Taureau at brisk pace. Planted in the middle of the bay of which it kept the entrance, this 16C fort, enlarged by Vauban in the 17C, became the star of local tourism. Carantec, it is a seaside resort opulent, which hides in its most exclusive district, at the point of Penn al Lan, two treasures: the Parc Claude-Goude which descends not so soft to the oyster parks, and the oysters of Prat ar Coum , the operation of Alain Madec. Before leaving Carantec, the walkers will not forget to take a stroll on the island Callot, little marvel of 40 houses that the high tide cut of the continent line half the time.

The Parthénon de Barnenez  ;Like a stone giant, the great cairn of Barnenez seems to sleep on the right bank of the Bay of Morlaix, facing the sea. This huge mausoleum, 75 meters long and 28 meters wide, conceals eleven burial chambers divided into two enclosed parts but of different ages: The primary cairn in dolerite, a local rock, is darker than the posterior cairn, which it serves of support. The latter consists of rubble and large granite slabs of l’île Sterec (Island). The eleven dolmens in the Neolithic corridor were exhumed in 1955 by workers who used the cairn as a quarry. Difficult to date precisely, probably between 4 500 and 3 900 years BC some slabs are adorned with decorations whose symbolic value is not entirely clear: a triangle axe blade for strength, a shining hair idol that would be the evocation of a goddess of fertility and death, or a U for the horned beasts and the zigzags that evoke the water.

The beauties of Morlaix sunk in a valley, dominated by an omnipresent viaduct, the city of Morlaix is a cul-de-sac. The Saturday morning market, place des hostages, in front of the city/town hall, the discovery of the house in Pondalezau 9, Grand’rue typical of these 16C wood-framed buildings,  and the promenade under the viaduct arches are the keys to a first approach. From the middle part of this two-story art work, accessible on foot, the landscape opens to the north, where the river runs towards the bay. On the upper floor, the trains come and go from Paris-Montparnasse. It is thanks to them that this exotic and not so distant land is also capital, a little Parisian when come the holidays season ,but is Breton, finally, in all seasons.

There you go a marvelous spot in my Bretagne/Brittany/or Breizh, degemer mat to all!

Some webpages as usual to help you plan your visit here and you must ,I say so!!!

Tourist office of Bretagne on Bay of Morlaix

Tourist office of the Bay of Morlaix in French

Tourist office of Finistére on bay of Morlaix

Chamber of Commerce Pleasure sea of bay of Morlaix in English

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

 

 

 

November 29, 2018

Galeries Lafayette, Paris of course!

Now, let me tell you about a store , a story , history and chic beauty of what France is all about. You have come here I am sure one time or another, we all have. I came here way back in my first encounter with Paris in 1972,and been back ever since, even a cardholder.

I like to tell a bit on the Galeries Lafayette, that beacon of French fashion and department store à la Française.

Galeries Lafayette is a brand of department stores belonging to the Galeries Lafayette Group. The flagship store is at Bd Haussmann in Paris.

The description and style is a must to visit and enjoy it. It was my first dept store visit in Paris even back in 1972 and has been our favorite, I am a card carrying member and do shop even online! Paris chic at its best ,even if some tells you tourists are many but that is because they go to the main store in bd Haussmann, and you go elsewhere you will tell the French do shop there too ::)

The ramp style of the main staircase is directly inspired by that of the Opéra de Paris. Overlooking the store at 43 meters in height, the huge dome built in 1912 of the main hall becomes the emblem of Galeries Lafayette. Its neo-Byzantine-style stained glass windows allow the rays of the sun to pass through the Great Hall in a warm light. The first vocation of Galeries Lafayette has always been the alliance of fashion and novelty. To do this, it acquires production units in order to create its own brand of clothing. It later made sewing pieces at the forefront of fashion in order to sell them at prices much more affordable than its chic competitors. It democratized the access to fashion and made its stores the indispensable address not only of the bourgeoises of Paris, but also of the sewing workers. The aisles such as “men’s clothing”, “interior decoration”, “Toys” and “Table art” are added to the classic aisles dedicated to women’s clothing. And for maximum loyalty, annual appointments are established with customers, such as the famous “3d”, created in 1958 and allowing to acquire current and good quality items at unusually low prices for three days. The department store subsequently hosts prestigious events by presenting creators or major artists of our time. In order to strengthen its link with fashion but also with the creation of all kinds, the store opens the gallery of galleries, a space located on the first floor and free of access to all that highlights the intrinsic links that exist between the fashion , art and design. In 1951, Edith Piaf gave a concert in front of the galleries of Boulevard Haussmann where is inaugurated the highest escalator in Europe!

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And the story I like is….

Théophile Bader and his cousin Alphonse Kahn joined in 1893 to take over a new store and open their first store in 1894 at 1, rue La Fayette in a room of 70 m2 which they call les Galeries. Both are Alsatian Jewish traders coming from the world of confection, while their competitors Boucicaut, creator of the Bon Marché, or Jaluzot, founder of Au Printemps, were previously sellers in stores. Their store (now the “Galeries Lafayette Haussmann”) initially 70 m² grew as it went along with the purchase of the entire building three years after its opening. The store is then renamed Galeries Lafayette. In 1905, the buildings of 38, 40 and 42 Boulevard Haussmann, as well as the 15 rue de la Chaussée D’Antin, are also acquired.

After the 1940 debacle, Galeries Lafayette underwent a “aryanisation” treatment: Théophile Bader, Raoul Meyer, Max Heilbronn, the store’s administrators and 129 Jewish employees were forced to resign. The Bader, Meyer and Heilbronn families are dispossessed of their property. Protected by the Nazis, the Swiss Aubert and the French industrialist Harlachol led the whole group Les Galeries Lafayette. Heilbronn and Meyer then engage in the French resistance and they were arrested by the Gestapo, then deported to Buchenwald, Max Heilbronn returned to France in April 1945. After many clandestine activities, Raoul Meyer took an important part in the liberation of Paris in 1944. As a result, a special board of Directors of Galeries Lafayette meets on September 20, 1944, Aubert and Harlachol are returned and Galeries Lafayette handed over to Raoul Meyer, hoping for the return of Max Heilbronn. In the meantime, Théophile Bader had died in Paris in 1942, paralyzed and despoiled of his property. Today, the Galeries Lafayette are the last French department store led by the direct descendants of its founder!!!

A bit of the spread of the group: Since 2014, Galeries Lafayette have been developing an offer of destocking with Galeries Lafayette Outlet stores, which today number eight in France. There is a total of 54 stores in France. The next project is for the 52-60, avenue des Champs-Elysées, which houses a monoprix and until 2013 a Virgin Megastore, was bought in 2012 by Qatar and Groupama. It is renovated from 2016 in order to welcome in 2018 a store of Galeries Lafayette in place of the Virgin. Outside of France you have stores in Berlin, opened in 1996, the first abroad. Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Open in 2009. Jakarta, Indonesia: Opened in June 2013. Beijing, People’s Republic of China: opened in 2013, Istanbul, Turkey and forthcoming openings in Doha, Qatar; Luxembourg, in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; Shanghai, in the People’s Republic of China, Kuwait City, in Kuwait. and Milan, Italy.

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And the future is bright!

The Galeries Lafayette are preparing to hire. And not just a little. The group of department stores launches a large recruitment campaign in this month of September 2018 to hire 700 people in permanent jobs, reveals Le Parisien.newspaper. The group will indeed in the next few months open two department stores in Paris. First a point of sale of 6500 m² under the Galeries Lafayette on the Champs Elysées (see above) in lieu of the former Virgin Megastore for which she seeks 400 people. Then a large Italian specialty store called Eataly. Located in the Marais district, this store for which Galeries lafayette are looking for 300 people is the first of its kind in France. It is an Italian brand that the French group will exploit in France. Eataly will offer a large restoration area that should serve 2500 covered per day. Both stores are to be opened between the first and second quarter 2019.

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my boys on Virgin, the future Galeries Lafayette on C-E

Some webpages to help you visit and enjoy this icon of Paris are

Official Galeries Lafayette

Official Galeries Lafayette Group

Tourist office of Paris on Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

In all , a wonderful experience that I have not even gone into the top floor terrace and restaurant and the soon to come Christmas 2018 celebrations. Awesome a must to visit, Galeries Lafayette.

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

 

 

November 26, 2018

Lovely nearby Auray!

Ok so we are getting into cold nights and dark , so winter is coming and the season to be merrier too. I used to lived here when moved into the Morbihan breton dept 56 and later purchase my house elsewhere. However, the town has charm and we always come here and shop here too.

What is here, Auray, the historical town where Benjamin Franklin landed to ask help from king Louis XVI for the American independance war with England, and he got it. Marquis de Lafayette but also Marquis de la Roulie of Fougéres Brittany and General Rochembau and Admiral Grace and his 29 French Caribbean flotilla to block Yorktown. And so on….Gen Pershing later said, Lafayette , we are here in WWI. And so on…

Let me tell you a bit more as have several posts on Auray in my blog but its been a while not by this area. Took advantage as my oldest is passing his driving licence here and I came to pick him up tonite.

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There is a nice small stadium here , the Loch. Stade du Loch, name after the river passing below in Saint Goustan.  It has Track and Field stadium in stabilized/ashen with 4 cloakrooms with showers and a 400-seating grandstand has a track of 400 meters. It includes 4 jump areas including 1 high jump, 1 long jump, 1 long jump and triple jump and 1 pole vault. Athletes will be able to find 3 pitches including 1 discus throw, 1 javelin throw and 1 hammer throw.   Football field in natural turf with lighting, 4 changing rooms with showers and a tribune of 400 seats.  Stabilized/ashen petanque/ball field with lighting. This sports equipment consists of 10 corridors (or runways, stations). And an asphalt basketball court.

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Right in the middle you have the Loch tower or la tour du Loch, a remnant of history I like.

The Tour du Loch is a tower located in Place du Loch, behind the football field (Loch Stadium).  It was on this lookout that Duke Arthur 1er built his castle. In 1364, a battle for the succession to the Duchy of Brittany pitted Count Charles de Blois, loyal to the king of France, and Jean de Montfort, supported by the English. The winner, Jean de Montfort, took the title of Duke Jean IV. The castle was destroyed in 1558 by order of the grandson of Anne of Brittany, Henri II, and his stones were sent to Belle-Ile to allow the construction of the Vauban citadel.

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This belvedere dominates the Loch river , where the port of Saint-Goustan was once very active. A walk through terraced gardens and large trees descends towards the quays without going through the Rue du Château. Or going from haute ville to basse ville in Auray.

At the end of the development of the port in the 17C, a pyramid tower was built for the monitoring of maritime traffic. But the development of the trees on the hillsides of the Loch obscuring the view, it became ineffective, therefore useless. In 1721, a new square tower at degrees, with a spiral staircase rising up to a cross, was built to replace the pyramid. From there one could then watch for the arrival of the ships. But here too the trees have grown. And if you go up the tower, it’s no longer for boats, but rather to watch matches from a privileged place.

Behind this tower, you can descend on the ruins of the old castle all the way down to the port of Saint Goustan, the beautiful harbor of Auray.

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You can go to the Place de la République where the city/town hall is located and go down on Rue du Château to Saint Goustan harbor as well. This is  a very steep hilly street so be prepared. Or as I do by car come around the parking Keriolet into the harbor or along the road D765 by the back side.

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I went a bit into the old town of Auray lovely old world street so romantic me think, I can be dwelling here forever and nice places to drink and eat here too, that is in other posts.

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All a lovely small town nestled between the regional government powerhouses Lorient and Vannes as well as down from my town of Pluvigner.

Enjoy it as I do, Morbihan, Brittany, France the very best combination in the world. When can I see you around here? So far two of my internet travel sites friends have come fyi.

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

 

 

 

November 15, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXIII

Ok here I am and the wordpress folks change the page on me do not know why did not ask for this. Hopefully, it will work from now on (its really hard to handle this is not good) Ok it seems was able to switch back to old editor!!! . It is cool here but very nice 16C or about 60F no rain but was foggy in the morning. 

My twins boys are 25 Saturday but it is my travel day to Asia so we are taking advantage of my two days off today and tomorrow to do all before I leave for a week. We have our usual errands and trips and eat out we are very outdoors folks!

Lanester

First, we went this morning to neighboring historical Auray. In this town we have our bank and studio photography to renew do my father’s US passport by mail. The usual fees in Euros on a bank check needs to be ordered arriving by mail;vive la difference. We then mail all to the US embassy in Paris for the new one which will arrive by mail within or about two weeks.

While in the lovely Auray I took some photos new ones to show you the nice town Auray is. 

auray
auray
auray

We then hop over to our capital city of Vannes and our fav store FNAC to get an agenda for my French buddy in Asia , spiral style weekly layout. We look around for some potential Christmas gifts that this year will be very sad as will be the first one without my dear late wife Martine. We usually do a live pine tree and look forward to continue the tradition.

vannes

It was time to do the celebration, and my boys decided to have it in one restaurant we first encounter in Honfleur while on the sad mission of depositing the ashes of my late wife to sea with the help of the lifesavers SNSM. We realised they had an outlet in nearby Lanester ,next to Lorient and we had already try it very nice. The boys decided their outing for their birthday will be there. So we did

The restaurant is French but with a Western American theme and plenty of US flags. The food well it is with some items like Baltimore crab cakes, and pancho villa’s nachos and fish and chip and budweiser beers but also, Sol; you get the picture, a whole mingling of kitchen traditions. oh the Restaurant is Oncle Scott’s (uncle scott) and it is nice , friendly service and good food if a bit over price for the genre.

lanester oncle scott front entrance pipo nov18

We had several dishes but the principal had entrée of pancho villa’s nachos, main dish fish and chips, all with potatoes and sauces couple of Sol bottle beers and a delicious brownie and vanilla ice cream with English sauce , all came out for 30€ per person.

lanester oncle scott US flag nov18

lanester oncle scott USA Mexico cooperation nov18

We came back as tomorrow is another hectic day and not know if will have time to write one more post before leaving. We have to do some groceries at E Leclerc, and stop for the video games birthday gifts at Micromania, and my oldest will have his driving school class for two hours study period.

I will then leave Saturday morning. If you are not aware this Saturday November 17 France will go on strike oh la la la excercesing our right to protest as loyal citizens of the French Republic. Many places will be block by motorists all over and of course the airport is one of then. Hopefully ,I will do my trick to avoid all this and get to the airport even if earlier than usual.  Best of luck if driving in France on that day. For more check the official strike webpage in French of course: https://www.blocage17novembre.com/

It is done that you can see the talk in each department in France and find out where the blocks will be. Vive la France!!!

So until we read again, be good and stay away from blockage areas in my belle France.

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

 

November 11, 2018

And we go to Séné in my Morbihan!

So this is a weekend and as such we try to find places to go as home no way, Morbihan is too beautiful to stay home, and so is Brittany and even more so France. So, therefore, on the road we go.

We had to do our normal errands of a family in France but took a side step to another area which even if very close do not recall visited before. This is Port Anna in Séné near our capital of Vannes.

sene

Port Anna on the tip left hand side of map. In yellow territory of Séné

We went to the Saturday morning market in Vannes, just wonderful, where we buy the essential, cheeses, eggs, fruits and vegetables, take out food ,wines etc It is open until 13h (1pm) but we like to go by the end and get better prices ….During the week there is a covered market at pl des Lices where you can buy too but not as good as the morning market in my opinion.

vannes

vannes

We had to have lunch, so we try to check a wonderful bay in the Port Anna in the town of Séné. This is what makes this area so nice, so many of these beautiful places to spent a day. The boats on the harbor and the sea road into the La Marle river into the ocean passing on one side Conleau peninsula and on the other side Arradon, and the islands of Boêdic across and further out Arz island . This river ocean La Marle takes you in to the canal and harbor of Vannes and right into city center! Just gorgeous!!!

sene

sene

sene

sene

sene

We came back to have finally our lunch, at one of our favorites Le Tarmac in rue Ferdinand le Dressay which is the road D199 up the hill towards Séné. We had our gourmand burgers, and great local Breton beer Duchesse Anne 6%. All this overlooking the wonderful canal harbor of Vannes, capacity for 3000 boat berth! Across the street is the harbormaster of Vannes. Oh yes the bill was 25€ per person nice.

Vannes

vannes

vannes

vannes

Finally, on the way home we did our groceries for the misc things we buy here mostly personal care, and household items at our favorite E Leclerc hypermarket and the nice underground free parking.

vannes

And we headed home for the rugby match France vs South Africa, too bad we had a good game but as lately in the last few minutes almost ending time this time we lost 26-29. It stayed a good effort once again. This was a friendly game, next is Argentina and then Fiji islands.

So , enjoy your Sunday now watching the commemoration of the Great War (WWI) the speech by President Macron, a bit long but with all the main participants present including the USA with Trump and Melanie.

I leave you the Sunday, and remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

November 10, 2018

The high places of pilgrimage in France!

And why not this piece after all , it is said by one well known personality of France’s heritage Stéphane Bern that the 92 million visitors (on a running year to October) coming to France are here to see the accomplishements of the previous Monarchies and one particular part of this tradition is the Christian faith. I am a subscriber to M. BERN magazine and participate on his efforts to safeguard these monuments. I have, also, met him in person in Paris. You can read more on the magazine he heads Secrets d’Histoire (subscription gift of my dear late wife Martine) at Official Secrets d’Histoire webpage

Without going into thesis and validation, and concentrating only on the main sites of visitors/pilgrims here, let me give you a run down. Worth visiting all of them of course. And remember the poilus of WWI, tomorrow is their big day to give Thanks. Fitting to post this now.

Lourdes, Hautes-Pyrénées : When between 11 Feb and 18 jul 1858 Bernadette Soubirous see 18 apparitions in the grotto of Massabielle along the pau river and 160 years later this site has become the first Catholic pilgrimage in France with each year receiving between 3-4 million visitors. See the Basilica Notre Dame du Rosaire and above the esplanade the Basilica of the Immaculate ConceptionLourdes

Rocamadour, Lot: On the valley of the Alzou since the Middle Ages pilgrims after climbing 216 steps to the sanctuary to cultivate the Black Virgin. The sources unknown as well as that of the hermit Amadour of which body was found intact in 1166 in front of the Chapel of the Virgin Mary. The pilgrims come by way of Puy-en-Velay or the one leaving from Bénévent-l’Abbaye (Creuse). Rocamadour

Mont Sainte Odile Bas-Rhin: The pilgrims come to venerate the Patron Saint of Alsace born blind in the 12C. She was given vision by the baptismal waters from which comes her name Odile means the daughter of light, and she became the abbesse of the convent that was raised here by her father, Duke of Alsace , Etichon-Adalric . The route of pilgrims takes you from Ottrott, the climb is difficult but with a beautiful panorama of the plains of Alsace, the Rhine river, the Black Forest as well as the chain of the Vosges mountains. Mont Sainte Odile

Chartres, Eure-et-Eure: The Cathedral of Chartres more than any other sanctuary invites you to arrive on foot ; you can come on the itinerary created by Charles Péguy in 1912-13. You can see the belltower from the plains at a great distance. You need an entire day to see the 9 gates decorated with more than 2500 statues! On the interior the stained glass is wonderfully beautiful, and the medieval enclosure of the choir, the great organs, and kneel before the relic scarf of the Virgin, statue of Notre Dame du Pilier as well as in the crypt like the one of Notre Dame-de-Sous-Terre. In the nave, the labyrenth done on Fridays from careme to all saints day. Chartres

La Saint-Baume Var: Pilgrims comes by the the way of Kings because it was taken by at least 40 monarchs since Saint Louis in 1254 to Louis XIV in 1660. The way starts at the Basilica of Saint-Maximin about 15km away where the skull of Marie Magdalene is exposed. However, it is only guided coming from Nans-le-Pins halfway here; and most pilgrims only do the last couple of km from Trois Chênes. Once arrived you see a sumptuous panorama looking at the Sainte Victoire and on cliffs you see the grotto where Mary Magdalene spent her last 30 years. It is said that seven times per day she was raised by the angels of Saint-Pilon where today lies a Chapel, the strongest pilgrims do this route when not too much wind and rain. You can then go down by the road chemin du Canapé and reach the hotel where the Dominicans guard the sanctuary since 1295 and host the pilgrims. Sainte Baume

Vézelay, Yonne: This is the inspired hill as this hill the spirit blows harder. The Basilica is dedicated to Mary Magdaleine where some of the assumed relics are kept in the crypt. Here the pilgrim will be astounded by the beauty of Roman art where the land and the heavens speaks along a game of lights to see the soltice. You can hear the chants of the monks that rhyme with the hours of the day. Vézelay

Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Bouches du Rhône: The story here begins at the beginning of Christianity when the Christians were persecuted in the year 45AD It was here where the Rhine meets with the Mediterranean that were appear the three Marys’s (Mary Solomé mother of St James, Mary Magdaleine, and Mary Jacobian ) accompanied by Lazarus, Martha, Maximin ,their servant Sara and a few others. The pilgrimage of travelled people is the most known here in the month of May, a huge crowd accompanied the gypsies towards the sea escorted by provençal guardians on horseback. Saintes Maries de la Mer

Lisieux, Calvados:  The Basilica of Lisieux built in 1954 is the second largest pilgrimage site in France after Lourdes. Here we venerates the relics of one of the biggest Saint of the 19C, Theresa Martin that entered the Carmelites and took the name of Theresa of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. She was also known as the little Theresa as she trace a spiritual life of childhood that has given her the title of Doctor of the Church and secondary Patron Saint of France. There are over a million visitors each year here, making the 3rd most visited place after the Landing Beaches of Normandy ,and Mont Saint Michel. Lisieux

Sainte Anne d’Auray , Morbihan: This one is very close to me (12 km) and all true on the expectations and crowds. It was a humble laborer of the land Yves Nicolazic that the Mother Virgin Mary appeared from 1623 to 1625 asking to built a Chapel that was promise in the 6C. At the spot , Yves digs a hole and finds a small wooden Virgin figure on the spot called Ker Anna or the village of Anna in Breton. Too small to welcome the crowds of the faithful it was replaced in the 16C by a Basilica of Sainte Anne d’Auray. Each year as much as 500K persons come here by July 25-26; the procession is huge with Breton songs and costumes   bagpipe bands and banners. It is the Patron Saint of Brittany and call the Mamm Gozh ar Vretoned or the grandmother of the Bretons. The Bible tells us she is the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus. Sainte Anne d’Auray

The Mont Saint Michel, Manche: The pilgrims arrived by the northern flank and crossed the Bay with the help of guides. The crossing in moving sand is to show the troubles of life and to overcome it. You ,then climb the rock and visit the Church of St Peter and keep climbing until the arrow steep on the western terrace with a great view of the Bay. The songs of the monks incite you to walk on the abbey Church and discovered the Chapel of Notre Dame-Sous-Terre that replaced the sanctuary done first in 708AD by Saint Aubert . The site covers 13 centuries of history, and the spirit of the angel St Michael is here. Mont Saint Michel

Le Puy-en-Velay , Haute-Loire: The Cathedral de l’Annociation is together with Chartres the oldest Marian sanctuary in the Christian Gaul. The Virgin appeared in the 5C helping a suffering women to laid for rest on a stone flatbed, this stone call the Stone of Fevers is today inside the Cathedral. The pilgrims came to see the Black Virgin a statue from the 17C that replaced the original medieval statue; It is in this town, a departing point for the Route of St James. However, before doing the walk the pilgrims followed three ascentions. One the rock of Corneille where since 1860 lies the statue of Notre Dame de France; the rock of St Michel d’Aiguilhe that takes you to a roman Chapel dedicated to the Archangel. Finally, in the upper town you take the rue des Tables that leads you to the Cathedral where you will received benediction. From here the road of Puy-en-Velay awaits you for the trip to Santiago , St James 1600 km farther. Le Puy en Velay

These are the most popular places of pilgrimage in France, and folks from around the world do come. There is no better way to know the history, traditions, architecture, and customs of France then by visiting these high places. Enjoy them all!

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

November 9, 2018

Château de Suscinio, Duchy of Brittany!

So I am back to my beloved Morbihan breton and the region of Brittany. If you have been reading, you know I live in this wonderful department 56. However, there is much wonderful things to see in my department alone, without going into the region or lets not even go to talk about France ;sometimes is overwhelming and hard to decide where!!!

As much as many have told me how I cover territory , there are many still unseen or hardly touch. This is an example of it. When my boys came here they did studies nearby and we came to see the area, even thinking for a while of  purchasing a home here. We always drove up and down and sideways but really never had invested time to see this marvel of Brittany.

I am talking of course about the Château de Suscinio, former home of the Dukes of Brittany and right near me in the Presqu’île de Rhuys (peninsula) . On this cool cloudy Sunday, I change all that taking my boys to see up close and personal, finally!

Sarzeau

Sarzeau

Sarzeau

I have written on blog post back in 2014!! on it , here it is for reference: My blog ,Suscinio is Sarzeau

The official page in French for the castle is here: Domaine de Suscinio

There are surrounded by water here, huge. First, you have the swamps or marshes of Suscinio. The Suscinio marshes are a complex composed of salt marshes and freshwater ponds. A full-fledged hydrographic entity consists of the Landrezac marshes located east of the Suscinio marshes. Near the Gulf of Morbihan, the marshes of Sucinio are located in the commune of Sarzeau.

Sarzeau

If these are not enough to keep you here for at least a day, then come in Summer for beach time at two beautiful beaches such as the Pointe de Penvins beach and the follow up the Landrezac beach. At Penvins you have the small beach and at Landrezac you have the big beach. Behind the castle there is the Suscinio beach and then at the end there is the Beg Lann beach , in all four beaches running one after the other, huge parking space, lifeguard station and camping park. My favorite is Landrezac with 5 km of white sandy beach! More here in Plage tv webpage: Plage tv the beaches of Sarzeau

Sarzeau

Landrezac

Landrezac

Ok ok, sorry, its a peninsula!!! the works is hereeee! you must come, ok so now a bit about the castle oops!

The Château of Suscinio, built at the end of the Middle Ages (13C   and to the second half of the 14C),was the residence of the Dukes of Brittany,and is located on the edge of Mor Braz (Atlantic Ocean) in the town of Sarzeau, Morbihan 56.

A bit of history I like

The first building was a manor house for hunting, and built for the Duke of Brittany, Pierre de Dreux, in 1218, between freshwater ponds in the north, marshes of Suscinio and Étiers in the south. In 1229, his son, Jean I   le Roux, continued the construction of the castle, and closed a large part of the forest of Rhuys which would become a hunting park. Duke Jean IV of Brittany puts the castle at the disposal of the English, his allies. The fortress, commanded since 1365 by an English captain, was reconquered for the crown of France by Bertrand du Guesclin in 1373. The constable has dismantled towers, curtains and sleeping buildings. The Dukes Jean IV and Jean V undertake work of consolidation, expansion and construction of the sleeping building after 1380 and of the west building towards 1430) as well as the construction of a new tower . Thereafter, the castle is gradually neglected, the Dukes of Brittany favoring their castle of Nantes. It becomes in 1520 property of the crown of France under king François I who entrusted it in usufruct with the surrounding lands to high figures of the Court, in particular one of his mistresses, who perceive the incomes of the estate.

In 1798, the castle ,already very degraded was sold as a national property to a fairground merchant in Lorient who exploited it as a quarry for stones for buildings and just junked the sculptures. Purchase in 1852 by Viscount Jules de Francheville, his family did everything possible to save the existing one until the takeover in 1965 by the Morbihan County Council, which began its restoration as of today.

In 1975, the Chapel of the priory, burned in 1370, which has a remarkable pavement of about 300 m2, is discovered nearby during excavations, which are ongoing today. This one is studied, restored and exposed in a room of the castle. At the beginning of the 21C, the castle, now open all year round to the visit, regained its medieval fortress form intact.

A bit of a description if I may say so …

The castle, girded with moats deep of 3 to 4 meters, affects the shape of an irregular quadrilateral and probably in the second half of the 13C; flanked by seven towers, including a quadrangular one defending the West walls. These towers as well as the towerettes are in their low level of condition, essentially vestiges of the 13C castle; The high body date from the 15C. The entrance is protected by two powerful towers of 12 meters in diameter, a drawbridge preceded by a stone-sleeping bridge and supervised by four lookout posts in the main body. The towers and curtains are crowned by the Breton machicolations, formed by consoles in decreasing pyramid. The enclosure is shouldered South by two artillery bastions built at the end of the 16C in the time of the Wars of the League

Separated by a large courtyard, two housings in granite , are connected by curtains. The northern courtship was mainly intended as a passageway connecting the East Logis (ducal residence, it includes a ceremonial hall, a wicket with a pass-through, the bedroom of the Duke close to the chamber to be adorned, the ovens, an oratory that overlooks the North tower) at the West building, and also shelter a less important North building in view of the four large mullions that have been pierced and two of which are walled.

sarzeau

sarzeau

sarzeau

sarzeau

sarzeau

Some of my personal observation as best can describe them are:

The Grand escalier à vis (big stair)  end of 15C  communicated to the rooms in 2nd and 3rd floors reserve to the ducal family and guard troops only.  Salle du capitaine (Captain’s room) was the principal entrance and the rooms of the ducal family created end of the 16C ; it is here that the defense of the castle is planned. From the middle of the 17C the captain and ducal guards no longer lived here.  The Grand Salle (big room) for protocol meetings of the dukes and guests.  Cabinet, a room for secretaries for writing of ducal acts etc.  The mounted horse statue of Olivier Clisson Constable of France in the 14C chief of the armies of the king, was done in 1892 . The city of Vannes put it here when the castle was a museum .Done by Emmanuel Fremiet in 1892, the same artist who did the arrow of St Michel on top of the Mont Saint Michel.  Room of  Facing of the duke, with three window bays for clarity typical of the 15C architecture. A place to rest and work given way to the grand stair and the working room. A small door allowed the duke to reach the room of the Duchess and their children.  The working room next to the closet -wardrobe of the duke and where the duke took his baths and cleaned himself with servants. The whole travel with the duke whenever he needed to be. Room of facing or parement working and resting room next to the closet or wardrobe of the duke. Ducal oratory to hold Mass in private and pray by the duke and family. It had a gothic style retable under the altar and stained glass of the evangelisation of Christ. It had the arms of the duchy of Brittany.  Wardrobe or Garde robe  of the Duchess, with several servants at her disposal. It had individual baths for her to be cleaned and dressed.  The logis or lodgings on the south were four levels with several windows , this is where the oratory was and the defense of the St Nicolas tower.  The west building from the 15C and the rooms of the dukes, link by an interior stair flank by the New tower or tour Neuve. They seems to be from the primitive castle and oldest parts.  The building on the east dates from the 13C and it is the oldest today only traces and archeological excavations are been held.  The castle is surrounded by a large moat deep of 3-4 meters! It has been renovated in 1970. After excavations it has been found that the moat this deep was not and water around the castle did not began than on around the 14-15C ; it had a clap that allow to release water to the swamps if it became too flooded in the moat.  The principal gate was protected by the moat and the passage was done by bridges , fixed on the exterior and levies on the interior. There was a guard corp in front of this exterior bridge .And this was the only entrance to the castle for wagons, persons etc. One door. Got it!!

sarzeau

sarzeau

sarzeau

sarzeau

sarzeau

sarzeau

IT is beautiful and you must see it at least once if stopping by here in my lovely Morbihan. Some webpages to help you plan your trip visit here are

Tourist office of Brittany on Suscinio and Rhuys

Gulf of Morbihan tourism on Suscinio

Tourist office of Morbihan on Rhuys peninsula

There you go ,history, architecture, traditions, and good food, the Morbihan is waiting for you, and will gladly help you enjoy it, I told you its beautiful!!!

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

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