Archive for ‘Bretagne’

July 3, 2020

Some news from France, CCCX!

And there is time to tell you what is going on in my dear belle France according to me ! We have cloudy skies and mild temps in 18C or about 66F and we did gardening !!! Now for the news from France 310! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

How about that city call Paris!

And here we are afte the latest municipal elections in France and especially in my eternal Paris. The Spaniard/French Ana (Anne) Hidalgo was officially re-elected this past Friday by the Paris Council. She was a labor inspector and also deputy director of the National Institute of Labor, Employment and Vocational Training (INTEFP). Anne Hidalgo then represented the cabinet of Martine Aubry, (now mayor of Lille and signed my French citizenship certificate!!) Minister of Labor of Lionel Jospin, within the National Agency for Professional Training of Adults (AFPA), the first portrait in Le Monde newspaper of this 41-year-old socialist, novice in politics then ,who succeeded in an unexpected breakthrough in the 15éme arrondissement of Paris, stronghold of the former Prime Minister Édouard Balladur, and who was about to join the team of Bertrand Delanoë, new elected to the City/Town Hall of Paris. This for a bit of historical background. Now elected to a second term there is the process, naming the advisers of Paris also proceeded to the election of the new Parisian executive. It is made up of 37 deputies, 18 women and 19 men. At the head of this executive, Emmanuel Grégoire (environmentalist). Already the first deputy, he filled for a new mandate and was entrusted with the portfolio of town planning, architecture, Grand Paris and relations with the boroughs.

The environmentalist David Belliard joins the executive. EELV candidate for mayor, rallied to Anne Hidalgo between the two towers, he inherits the role of assistant in charge of the transformation of public space, transport, mobility, street code and roads. Therefore , more changes to Paris coming already claimed by many opposition the end of Paris as we know it. Audrey Pulvar who takes the portfolio of sustainable food, agriculture and short circuits. Jean-Luc Romero-Michel, a figure in the fight against AIDS and elected in the 12éme arrondissement, also joins the municipal team and will be in charge of human rights, integration and the fight against discrimination. The communist Jacques Baudrier takes on his side the portfolio of public construction, monitoring of construction sites, coordination of works, a key mission while Anne Hidalgo was targeted for having multiplied construction sites in the capital. Among the new assistants also, we can quote Anouch Toranian, candidate in the 15éme, she was at 28 years the youngest of the head of the list of Anne Hidalgo. For her part, she will be in charge of community life, citizen participation and public debate. The many members of the previous municipal team remain in this new executive. We can cite Ian Brossat who stays in the accommodation. Olivia Polski keeps the trade and craft portfolio, as does Christophe Girard for culture and Patrice Bloche for education. Some elected deputies already change positions: Nicolas Nordman previously in charge of people with disabilities inherits the post of assistant in charge of prevention and security, he will be in charge for the establishment of the municipal police. Colombe Brossel goes from security to cleanliness, a position previously occupied by Paul Simondon who takes care of the finances and the budget. In this game of musical chairs, Pénélope Komitès sees herself in charge of innovation and attractiveness, leaving her post of assistant to green spaces to Christophe Najdovski, previously in transport.

The team according to BFMTV are

Emmanuel Grégoire, First deputy, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of town planning, architecture, Grand Paris and relations with the boroughs . Hélène Bidard, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of gender equality and youth. Pierre Aidenbaum, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of the Seine. Celia Blauel, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Paris 2030 foresight and resilience. Jacques Baudrier, assistant to the Mayor of Paris in charge of public construction, monitoring of construction sites, coordinating works on public space and the ecological transition of buildings. Anne-Claire Boux, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of city policy.   David Belliard, deputy to the Mayor of Paris in charge of the transformation of public space, transport, mobility, street code and roads. Colombe Brossel, assistant to the Mayor of Paris in charge of the cleanliness of public space, sorting and reduction of waste, recycling and reuse.   Patrick Bloche, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of education, early childhood, families and new learning, in charge of the Paris Council. Sandrine Charnoz, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of mixed economy companies and local public companies. Ian Brossat, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of housing, emergency accommodation and refugee protection. Léa Filoche, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of solidarity, the fight against inequality and against exclusion. Jacques Galvani, deputy to the Mayor of Paris in charge of universal accessibility and people with disabilities.  Afaf Gabelotaud, Assistant to the Mayor of Paris in charge of businesses, employment and economic development. Christophe Girard, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of culture. Pénélope Komites, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of innovation and attractiveness. Antoine Guillou, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of human resources, social dialogue and the quality of public service.   Marie-Christine Lemardeley, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of higher education, research and student life.   Fréderic Hocquard, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of tourism and nightlife. Véronique Levieux, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of seniors and solidarity between generations. Dan Lert, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of ecological transition, climate plan, water and energy. Laurence Patrice, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of memory and the combatant world.   Florentin Letissier, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of the social and solidarity economy, the circular economy and the contribution to the zero waste strategy. Olivia Polski, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of commerce, crafts, liberal professions and art and fashion trades. Christophe Najdovski, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of the greening of public space, green spaces, biodiversity and animal condition. Audrey Pulvar, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of sustainable food, agriculture and short supply chains. Arnaud NGatcha, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of international relations and the French-speaking world. Carine Rolland, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of the quarter-hour city.   Nicolas Nordman, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of prevention, security and municipal police. Anne Souyris, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of public health and relations with the APHP, environmental health and the fight against pollution, risk reduction and the fight against obesity. Pierre Rabadan, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of sport, the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Karen Taieb, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of heritage, Paris history and relations with religions. Jean-Luc Romero-Michel, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of human rights, integration and the fight against discrimination. Anouch Toranian, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of community life, citizen participation and public debate. Hermano Sanchez-Ruivo, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Europe. Dominique Versini, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of children’s rights and child protection. And Paul Simondon, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of finance, budget and green finance.

A team made up of mostly Socialists or center left and environmentalists coalition, already mention dangerous. For the record, Paris now has 2 187 526 inhabitants with an unemployment rate of 6,6% Local taxes are 1 150;65€ per inhabitant and there is 20% of green space in the city!

Located in the 14éme arrondissement, the Place de la Catalogne is emblematic of the district. Since June 24, it has had a two-way cycle path. However, in the neighborhood, some consider the tracks dangerous. They find that it does not change anything in terms of safety, whether for bikes or cars. In addition, some traders believe that the place is distorted by these facilities. The rivalries between cyclists, pedestrians and motorists do not help at all. And the beat goes on, as said cannot made changes without alternative solutions before implementing re routings and changes.

One good news finally!  Up to thirty months in prison for the pickpockets plaguing the Louvre and Versailles. The six men were suspected of having robbed 110 tourists who came to visit the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles between October 2017 and July 2018. Bravo !!

And if the mayor of Paris is on the changing mood, the President of the French Republic is already planning his reelection by asking Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to step down after winning the later the mayor’s office of Le Havre. The new prime minister will be announce today at 17h30 Paris time for a men of the center right (I guess for balance in winning!).   Senior civil servant, local elected official and former adviser to Nicolas Sarkozy: Jean Castex, appointed Prime Minister on Friday July 3 to replace Edouard Philippe, had become a personality of choice for the majority since his mission of strategic advice on deconfinement. This 55-year-old man, who has never been a minister, cumulates, in the eyes of the president, the advantages to carry the second phase of the quinquennium: enarque, but in contact with the territories; still labeled Les Républicains (center right party), but reputed to be a man of dialogue and a perfect connoisseur of the mysteries of power since his visit to the Elysee as deputy secretary general, at the end of Nicolas Sarkozy’s mandate. Jean Castex, who has kept a slight accent of his native Gers (he was born on June 25, 1965 in Vic-Fezensac), has been mayor Les Républicains of Prades since 2008, when he snatched the town from the left. He was re-elected in this small town in the Pyrénées-Orientales at 75% in the first round, on last March 15.”Politically, I am on the right and I assume it perfectly,” he said in the early 2000s. This father of four supports the candidacy of François Fillon for the presidency of the UMP at the 2012 autumn congress. Time will tell but this is just a strategy to stay in power after all the major failures of the current administration. And bien sûr he quits the Les Républicains party so to be more team player with M Macron lol!!! They area ll on the same boat and not roaming as we are. The rentrée or re-entry in September will be tough.

And for more lighter news of my belle France, we have

The Théâtre de la Ville or city theater has been able to reopen. In the evening of June 22, it offered “la Veillée”, two nights “Planches” until the early hours of poetry, theater and music at Espace Cardin, near US embassy (see post) all for free. Then a week of shows, free again. And since this week, it’s a month of shows for all audiences combining gravity and humor, sometimes dreamlike, which starts on its two sites, Espace Cardin and the Abbesses theater. Again, free of charge, at least for those under 14 and the nursing staff. It will be 10 euros for the others.

Closed for three and a half months, Beaubourg (as we call it) reopened this Wednesday with the Christo exhibition. Please note that online reservations are compulsory for exhibitions, the modern art museum and the library. The first visitors made their entrance to the Centre Pompidou (as it is known) 4éme arrondissement this Wednesday morning at 11h. Beaubourg reopens with a very nice tribute to the artist Christo, who died last May 31. Entitled “ Christo and Jeanne-Claude Paris!” This ghost exhibition which was to open on last March 18, closed on the opening day. Dedicated to Paris and the packaging of Pont-Neuf in 1985, this event heralds the packaging of the Arc de Triomphe in the fall of 2021.

New rules came into effect last Wednesday, July 1st as part of the implementation of the rent framework in Paris. Clearly: a lessor does not have the right to rent an apartment in the capital above the maximum ceiling without justifying it … otherwise the tenant can force him to stick to it. These new ceilings relate to leases signed from July 1, 2020. For leases signed between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020, the old ceilings apply (slightly below the new ones). Leases signed before this date are not affected by the rental framework. Be careful what you rent!

The île de loisirs de Cergy-Pontoise or leisure island reopens its beach this Saturday.(tomorrow). Access will be limited and the slides will not be accessible to avoid contact points. More info in French here: ïle de Loisirs Cergy Pontoise

It’s the return of cinema screenings under the stars. If those planned this weekend in the courtyard of the castle, in Vincennes, are complete, there are others, scheduled in Saint-Maur, Nogent sur Marne ,it is on the Terrasses de la Marne that the outdoor cinema screen, not in the park of the Maisons des Artistes. and Champigny sur Marne which should already be noted in his diary. Drive in cinemas that is, the Summer is here!

The Château de Rosa Bonheur castle in Thomery will have theater and concerts in Rosa Bonheur gardens. Marivaux’s “L’Equête” inaugurates an open-air festival to be held all summer in the park of the residence of this 19C painter. More info here in French: Château Rosa Bonheur

At Beauvais airport, the return of Ryanair and the concern of local residents. The Irish company returned to the Beauvais tarmac this past Wednesday, July 1st with 35 to 40% of its usual traffic. Local residents who oppose noise pollution fear a rise in noise power !!! Well cannot have it all lol!

The French are refocusing on essential goods, wine toast, the market plummets, minus 6% for all wine sales, up to minus 60% on champagne. In the fields, orders no longer go, wine tourism is at a standstill. However, rosé is doing well. It totals a plus 7.5% increase in sales during the two months of confinement! Well we did online purchases a couple times and the merchants appreciated.   Some of the unique opportunity were the Bordeaux Rollan de By, (visited), 2019 . Generous, this rosé breaks the codes of its region with a tall Italian-style bottle, in a feminine adornment. That said, this wine is for everyone, thanks to its roundness and delicacy, especially due to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. And Champagne Pannier, brut (visited). It is its touching delicacy that makes you want these bubbles of rosé. And then also its lightness, in the healthy sense of the term. In short, a champagne that feels good with a salad, vegetables or fruit.

Travel along the Touques, the river made in Normandy. Upstream of Pont-l’Evêque, from green hills to cheese dairies and apple orchards to castles, this coastal river and its valley conceal all the Norman treasures. The source is Champ-Haut, in the Orne. The mouth is Deauville, in Calvados, its crowd and its boards. In just over 100 km, La Touques connects two worlds that have only Normandy in common. Let’s voluntarily skip the last part of the river, between Pont-l’Evêque and La Manche, to discover the part of the valley that gives pride of place to castles and local products. The cider route, between the Dives and the Touques, attests to this. Gorgeous terrain and great foodies , enjoy it.

Perched at a height of 60 meters, a magnificent view of all of Paris, this is what the new rooftop promises, born of the collaboration between Passage Enchanté and Sodexo Prestige Venues and Events, high promises. A cocoon of greenery close to the Gare de Lyon, which invites you to enjoy the marvelous Parisian sunsets. From July 3, Laho opens its doors. An elegant green space on the 18th floor of a business center, accessible by a private elevator. Once at the top, the panoramic view of Paris is dazzling. A magical moment, where the sky changes from blue to purple, and where the sun is reflected on the monuments of the capital. Paris of course! 5-9 Rue Van Gogh, 12éme more info here: Laho roofstop

The “50 Top Pizza” classification, in Europe published by the experts of the Identità Golose committee, gives pride of place to Neapolitan pizza whose very thick dough has been making foodies around the world salivate for many years . And that’s Kalò di Ciro Salvo who comes first, a London restaurant located in Westminster and whose Neapolitan pizza signed by the pizza maker Ciro Salvo are recognized worldwide. Behind him, the first Parisian restaurant, Bijou, Abbesses pizzeria at high prices but with an absolutely delicious menu,10 Rue Dancourt 18éme, followed by 6 other Parisian addresses: Ober Mamma in 4th position , 107 Bd Richard Lenoir 11éme;   Louie Louie in 18th, 78 Rue de Charonne 11éme; Manhattan Terrazza in 19th,108 Avenue de Villiers 17éme Tripletta in 33th, 88 Bd de Belleville 20éme ,Popolare in 34th,111 Rue Réamur, 2éme; and Guillaume Grasso in 49th 45 Rue Brancion 15éme. Perfect for traveling without leaving Paris!

And one and last but not least for the memories of old Paris.

The old “Refoulons” line, 3 km long between Enghien-les-Bains train station and the former Montmorency train station, which is now gone, was in service from 1866 until July 4, 1954. It was very popular at the beginning of the 20C. It was with this line that the future Mistinguett took the train for the first time. If the cities still keep some vestiges of its activity, in particular the hall of the Enghien train station built in 1879 and which today houses the bus station, it remains especially in the memory of many inhabitants to whom it made life easier. On July 4, 1956, an official decree definitively ended the existence of the Refoulons.

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


July 3, 2020

Count of Chambord!

The story is hardly mention in France today unless you go to history circles like me. However, it is a huge personality in the history of France that was not to be but left an ever lasting royal influence. I have touch base before in my blog , but let me tell you a bit more on the men better known as the Count of Chambord, yes in that castle! (see posts) Bear with me as history is always long even if i try to condense as much as possible.

Henri d’Artois, grandson of France, Duke of Bordeaux, is a prince of the royal family of France, head of the Capetian house of Bourbon, better known by his title of courtesy of Count of Chambord, born September 29, 1820 at the Palais des Tuileries palace (now gone but see post) in Paris, and died on August 24, 1883 at Frohsdorf Castle (now part of hotel group) in Lanzenkirchen,  Austria. Grandson of King Charles X, chief and last representative of the elder and French branch of the House of Bourbon, he was a pretender to the Crown of France from 1844 to his death in 1883 under the name of Henri V.


Henri d’Artois bore the title of Duke of Bordeaux, which king Louis XVIII gave him in homage to the first city which joined the Bourbons in 1814. Designated as king in 1830, at the age of nine, in the act of abdication of his grandfather, Charles X, and renunciation of his uncle, the dauphin ,and pretender Louis XIX, will not exercise this function because of the rise of the Duke of Orleans on the throne (not with title of king of France but a minor king of the French). He then went into exile with all his family in England. From 1830 to his death in 1883, he bore the title of courtesy of Count de Chambord , from the name of the castle (see post) which had been offered to him by a national subscription. His supporters considered him to be King Henri V and the continuation of the Bourbons. He is the last legitimate male online descendant of king Louis XV and Marie Leszczyńska. His childless death in 1883 marks the extinction of the Artois branch of the Capetian house of Bourbon and the start of a quarrel ,still on going between the Bourbon houses of Spain and Orleans of France to find out which one has the more legitimacy to the Crown of France. Bearing in mind France do not like kings born elsewhere but queens yes….

Henri, duke of Bordeaux, was the grand-nephew of the king of France Louis XVIII. At birth, he was third in succession after his grandfather, the Count of Artois – future Charles X (widower of Princess Marie-Thérèse of Savoie) and his uncle Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême . He is the posthumous son of Charles-Ferdinand d’Artois, Duke of Berry, younger son of the Count of Artois, and his wife Marie-Caroline des Deux-Siciles. The Duke of Berry was assassinated, in 1820, by Bonapartist Louis-Pierre Louvel who wanted to destroy the line of the Bourbons. Already the mother of a daughter, the Duchess of Berry, pregnant at the time of the tragedy, gave birth seven and a half months later to a son, the long-awaited heir to the throne!. As soon as he was born, between three and four in the morning of September 29, by his first chaplain Marc Marie de Bombelles bishop of Amiens, under the name of Henri, Charles, Ferdinand, Marie, Dieu-Donné d’Artois, Duke de Bordeaux , Henri was baptized on May 1, 1821 at Notre-Dame Cathedral de Paris; his godfather and godmother were his uncle and aunt, the duke and duchess of Angoulême. On October 11, 1820, a national subscription made it possible to give to the prince the Château de Chambord. He was first placed, like his older sister Louise, under the responsibility of the Duchess of Gontaut. In 1828, his grandfather, who became king in 1824 under the name of Charles X, entrusted his education to the Baron of Damas.


On July 25, 1830, Charles X promulgated ordinances which brought about the 1830 revolution, also known as the Trois Glorieuses or three glorious days. On July 30, 1830, a group of Parisian politicians launched the candidacy for the throne of Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orleans (not by heritage). On August 2, 1830, Charles X abdicated in favor of his grandson Henri d’Artois. The order of succession, however, gave the throne to the king’s eldest son, the Dauphin Louis-Antoine de France, who was called to reign under the name of Louis XIX. But the latter is forced to countersign his father’s abdication. Thus, the Crown would pass to the young Henri, duke of Bordeaux, who would become Henri V.   Louis-Philippe d’Orléans did not stand for regent and he was content to register the abdication of Charles X and the renunciation of his son, without proclaiming Henri V. On August 7,1830   the Chamber of Deputies and then the Chamber of Peers (again politicians not heritage) called the Duke of Orleans to the throne, who was sworn in August 9, under the name of Louis-Philippe Ier as king of the French (not king of France). However, from August 2, some legitimists begin to designate the young Henry, nine years old, under the name of Henry V. The royal family went into exile in England on August 16, 1830 as a consequence of this political purge.

The fallen Royal family moved to Holyrood Castle, Scotland. In October 1832, the family of Charles X left the United Kingdom to settle at the royal palace in Prague, in Bohemia. The first act that the Duke of Bordeaux accomplishes on the occasion of his majority is that of a solemn protest against the usurpation of Louis-Philippe. In October 1836, the old Royal family must leave Prague for Goritz, where Charles X dies on November 6. His son, the Dauphin, who bears the title of courtesy of Count de Marnes, becomes Louis XIX, in the eyes of Carlist legitimists or by heritage. In October 1843, he went to London, where he received legitimists from France at Belgrave Square, including Chateaubriand. The death of the Dauphin Louis XIX, which occurred on June 3, 1844, led his supporters to rally to the Count of Chambord, who became the eldest of the house of France and is now recognized under the name of king Henri V by all legitimists, who remain in opposition under the July monarchy, the Second Republic and the Second Empire.

In 1844, the Count of Chambord and his aunt, the Dauphine, settled in the castle of Frohsdorf, located near Vienna. On November 15, 1846, Prince Henri married Marie-Thérèse de Modène, with whom he was to form a united couple. The Duchess, born Princess Marie-Beatrice of Savoy, was the heir of the Stuarts to reign over Great Britain, but excluded from the succession because of the Anti-Catholic Establishment Act of 1701. In February 1848, the revolution of February broke out; Louis-Philippe abdicated on the 24th; the third Republic (keep counting) is proclaimed. The Count of Chambord sees the fall of Orleans as a just punishment, but refrains from any public manifestation of joy. Prince Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte was elected president of the Republic in December 1848. However, in May 1849, the elections carried a monarchist majority in the National Assembly. The prince-president soon came into conflict with it. By the coup d’état of December 2, 1851, he retained power and, in October 1852, hinted at the next restoration of the Empire (therefore a dictatorship) under Napoléon III (just like under Napoleon I).

The Count of Chambord in 1851, inherited the castle of Frohsdorf, from his aunt the dauphine. He settled there definitively and kept memories of royalty there: portraits of the royal family; white flags given to Charles X in August 1830; gifts offered by legitimists. He had two schools built on the Frohsdorf estate for the children of the staff of the chateau and the parish.

Some of the ideas of the Count of Chambord looks very modern and democratic. He wishes that the king be accessible without distinction of social rank and make compete all the talents, all the high characters, all the intellectual forces of all the French. The grandson of Charles X intends that this declaration of principle finds its concretization in the Constitution of the kingdom by the affirmation of the equality of rights between all the French citizens and the equal access of all to the offices and public responsibilities as well as to social advantages The role of the parliament is a role of control which does not go so far as to overthrow the government: it consists in the annual vote of the taxes and the budget and in the participation in the drafting of the laws. Count of Chambord fears that ministerial responsibility before the chambers is a source of chronic instability. He is also in favor of bicameralism. On the other hand, the king would have the right to dissolve the chamber without limit. Regarding universal suffrage, the Count of Chambord is favorable. The question of suffrage seems to him inseparable from that of decentralization insofar as he advocates the creation of territorial communities whose representatives would come from universal suffrage. The Count of Chambord holds religious freedom as inviolable and sacred, he intends to guarantee it but does not hear that the bishops meddle in temporal affairs, which would be no less contrary to the dignity and interests of religion itself than to the good of the state.   According to him, public authorities must keep their distance from education which must remain free. He does not see in what name the State would prohibit religious congregations from fulfilling their educational mission. He wishes to orient France’s foreign policy in the direction of a fight against the Islamists, both within the framework of the French strategy in the south and in the East. From his trip in the Ottoman Empire, he retained the idea that the Muslim world must be pushed back as far as possible. French exception, he is an heir to the throne with a real program, slowly drawn up: his work will deeply inspire the monarchists who will revive social Catholicism in France, such as by Albert de Mun and, above all, by René de la Tour du Pin.

In August 1870, when the France of Napoleon III experienced serious defeats in the war against Prussia, Henri d’Artois left Frohsdorf with the intention of enlisting; on September 1, 1870, he appealed to repel the invasion, save at all costs the honor of France and the integrity of its territory. In February 1871; the new Assembly had 240 republican deputies against 400 monarchists, divided between legitimists and Orleanists. On May 8, 1871, the Count of Chambord published a letter in response to one of his supporters, Carayon-Latour, in which he condemned political intrigue, placed events in the context of French history, affirmed his faith in eternal France and calls for rallying. The letter accelerates the process of union of the royalists and the princes of Orleans enjoin the Count of Paris to step aside before the grandson of Charles X! However, the legitimist pretender,Count of Chambord refuses to give up the white flag (this is the reason France did not continue with a King). For him, this is a question of principle, which concerns the very idea that he has of the monarchy. In a letter of May 24, 1871, Prince Henri affirms that he does not want to abandon the flag of his fathers which for him means respect for religion, protection of all that is just, of all that is good, of all that is right, united with all that demands of our time, while the tricolor flag represents the flag of the revolution in all its aspects and that in addition it fills the arsenals of the foreigner victories. If he compromised with the heritage of the revolution, he would be powerless to do good. On June 8, 1871, the Assembly abolished the laws banishing the Bourbons from France. In July 1871, Count of Chambord/ Henri d’Artois returned for a few days to his France which he had to leave in 1830.

He receives on July 5 a delegation of royalist deputies bringing together the heirs of three of the largest houses of the monarchy who try to convince him to adopt the tricolor flag; and he responded: I can not forget that monarchical law is the heritage of the nation, nor decline the duties he imposes on me. I will fulfill these duties, believe my word as an honest man and a king.I am ready to do anything to raise my country from its ruins and to regain its rank in the world; the only sacrifice I cannot make for her is that of my honor. I will not allow the banner of Henri IV, François I and Jeanne d’Arc to be torn from my hands.I received it as a sacred deposit from the old king my ancestor, dying in exile; for me it has always been inseparable from the memory of the absent country; it floated on my cradle, I want it to shade my grave. (Brave but it ended the monarchy as no support to go back to old ways). Even if still very much monarchist support! In May 1873, the President of the Republic, Adolphe Thiers, declared that monarchy is impossible and that the Republic is preferable. The royalist majority of the Assembly then puts him in the minority, causing his resignation on May 24, 1873. He was immediately replaced by Marshal Mac Mahon, favorable to the restoration of royalty. The death in January of Napoleon III whose only son and dynastic heir was exiled with his mother to Great Britain , the departure of the Republican Thiers in May, the evacuation of German troops in September created a climate conducive to restoration. At the end of October 1873, one begins to prepare the return of the king to France. On the night of November 20, the Assembly, which ignores that Prince Henri is in France, (and not told by Mac Mahon to keep the power for himself) votes the presidential mandate of seven years, thus extending the powers of Mac Mahon.


Learning of the vote for the seven-year term, the Count of Chambord returns to Frohsdorf so as not to be a subject of unrest. He did not lose hope, but the news which came to him from France only indicated to him that the decline and then the disappearance of the royalist majority, faced with the successive victories of the Republicans. The Third Republic was established in January 1875 by the Wallon amendment, and the constitutional laws of February and then of July organized its functioning. In 1879, with the resignation of President Mac Mahon, all powers belong to the Republicans. In June 1883, Henri d’Artois suffered from a disease of the digestive tract, of which he died in exile in Frohsdorf on August 24, 1883, the eve of Saint-Louis. The funeral of Henri V takes place on September 3 in the Cathedral of Gorizia (became Italian since 1918), and he is buried near his sister Louise and Charles X, the Dauphin and the Dauphine, outside the city, at the convent of Kostanjevica (in Slovenia), located since 1947 two hundred meters behind the Italian-Slovenian border. There have been efforts to repatriate but it needs the demand by France which still not done it…….

According to some legitimists, the crown was to go to the Bourbons of Spain, who were descended from a grandson of Louis XIV; the latter, mounted on the throne of Spain in 1700, under the name of Felipe V,(who built a little Versailles where he was born at La Granja de Idelfonso near Segovia see post); had indeed renounced his rights on the throne of France, for him and all his descendants, during the Treaties of Utrecht in 1713,(coerse to avoid a war he could not win), but all waiver would be void according to the principle of unavailability of the Crown (heritage by Salian laws). On the death of the prince, a minority of legitimists, supported by his widow, the Countess of Chambord, recognized as the king by right Juan de Bourbon, Count of Montizón (brother-in-law of the Countess of Chambord), descendant of the grandson of Louis XIV, now the elder of the Capetians, and former Carlist contender for the crown of Spain. The current monarchy in Spain follows this line. The current legitimist king of France Alfonso was born in Madrid and would be Louis XX.

The Château de Chambord, which belongs now to France, includes a museum where several rooms evoke the Count of Chambord; they notably contain souvenirs and furniture from Frohsdorf; There are also four cars and a coach that the Count of Damas, representative in France of Prince Henri, had acquired from the Binder house, in the early 1870s, for the entry into Paris of “Henri V”, in case he was called to the throne. At the end of the 19C, French legitimists erected a monument to Sainte-Anne-d’Auray to Henri d’Artois; a stone pedestal, decorated with statues of Joan of Arc, Bayard, Saint Geneviève and du Guesclin, carries the statue of the pretender while praying, in coronation costume. (very near my home, see post).



The graphic arts cabinet of the musée Carnavalet museum and its cabinet Numismatics keep several hundred prints and medals of legitimist propaganda to the glory of the Duke of Bordeaux and then Count of Chambord, from his birth to his death. More here: Musée Carnavalet Paris collections

The musée des Arts décoratifs et du Design de Bordeaux or museum of decorative arts and design of Bordeaux has one of the most important legitimist collections in France. A living room dedicated to the Duke of Bordeaux evokes his life, from his birth to his death. More here: Musée des Arts Décoratifs et du Design of Bordeaux

You can see his story there in the Château de Chambord on the remarkable personages page in English here: Château de Chambord on Henri

The official webpage of the Count of ChambordComte de Chambord

The official webpage of the royal reunification of France, futur king Louis XX in French: Futur royal family of France Louis XX

The official webpage of the futur Louis XX personal page: Royal family of France under Louis XX

And there you go, now you have a wonderful piece of French history seldom mention in government control media. The one to be Henri V and the possible but unlikely future Louis XX. Hope you enjoy the post on the Count of Chambord, Henri d’Artois, Duke of Bordeaux.

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

July 2, 2020

Of course, again Vannes!

Rare is the case where you can come to a French city and realise all that you see is real, never redone rebuilt from the ashes of a war. This is the case of Vannes, capital of the Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne. My capital city and work and many afternoons.

Each visit brings back wonderful architecture and history surrounding these old buildings. I had to go back to Vannes today, for my Dad’s doctor visit and took advantage to write again on this wonderful city  Gwened as known by the Bretons. Oh yes my Dad is well nothing ,like a rock at soon 85.

vannes rue thiers towards le port jul20

Let me tell you about the curiosities of Vannes I saw again, maybe took a photo as not before but nevertheless is magical Vannes.

And here , well, a bus line ! Kiceo network bus line 2 goes from the park and relay west or P+R ouest ,then Fourchêne, Le Pargo, Le Bris Patriotes, Madeleine,école normale, Liberation (square); Hôtel de Ville (city hall), République’(city center), Le Port (old town), Jaurés, Calmont, Becquerel, – Marcellin, Petit Tohannic, and Tohannic groupe scolaire Université. The Kiceo Line 2 is here: Kiceo bus line 2 Vannes


I highlighted all the stop that will bring you to city center and the wonderful old of Vannes. I was today around place de la République. But before , notice, P+R ouest or park and relay west, this is what some big cities should had done (Paris!) a central bus location with free parking to drop off your car and then take the bus into the city. Of course, a wonderful Kiceo bus network to boot. Good planning ahead.

Now , having said the above, I do come by car always. The rest of my family have done the bus and of course my boys for school done it more. The best parking to come into the city and be worry free for the rest of the day are the one handle by Indigo at above and underground parking pl de la République. More here: Park Indigo Republique Vannes

vannes parking de la republique jul20

And those handle by Q-Park such as underground parkings of Centre, du Port ,and pl de la Loi. More info here : Q Park parkings at Vannes

The Place de la République is a public square in city center/downtown Vannes capital of dept 56 Morbihan. It is one of the largest public squares in Vannes. Crossed by rue Thiers, which leads from the City/Town hall to the port, it is located on the edge of the historic center. Covering an area of approximately 1.8 hectares, it is rectangular in shape. It has a bus terminal and an underground car park is also provided under the square. The main public transport interchange at Vannes is located here.


The Place de la République was created in 1862 under the name of “place de la Halle-aux-Grains”, in reference to the covered market which was built there at the same time. Initially square, the square takes a rectangular shape from its origin, when the construction of a court (courthouse and prefecture) is decided there. It also expanded towards the historic center, when the space east of rue Thiers, corresponding to the ditches of the old ramparts, was added to it. In 1955, the Halle aux Grain (grain hall), used as a post office since 1912, was demolished. It was replaced by a new post office in the 1970s.

The rue Thiers starts really by the Hôtel de Ville and bordering the old town of Vannes. It’s a street full of shops, restaurants and passes by the Place de la République. It ends at the traffic circle or rond point du Port on the harbor or Le Port of Vannes.


Some  interesting things to see on rue Thiers are

1 rue Thiers : Merchant’s house built in the latter part of the 16C. The date of 1663 worn on the right gutter wall of the second floor of the neighboring house during the elevation of the wall indicates for some of the alterations made on this date such as the demolition of the rear room and development at each level of a corridor between the spiral staircase and rooms and construction of an additional body posterior to the neighboring house, and others the construction of this house. The house belongs in the regards and the reformation of the royal domain of 1684 to the heirs of the “nobles Pierre Les Moyne” merchants on the port. It would have been an inn under the Ancien Régime.

3 rue Thiers is the former Chapelle des Ursulines or  Chapelle de la Sainte Famille or Holy Family within the walls of the Saint-François-Xavier middle /high school. The chapel, placed under the name of the Holy Family, was built between 1688 and 1690 to serve the Ursuline convent. This convent was built between 1627 and 1670 to accommodate a community of nuns from Tréguier. The convent, except the chapel and the sacristy, was sold during the French revolution, later it was erected an oratory in the chapel in 1802 . From the convent, burned in 1949 and largely rebuilt, only this chapel remained, transformed into a library on two levels. Only the facade has retained its 17C appearance.

4 rue Thiers, is the headquarter of the Maison des Plus Belle Baies du Monde or house of the most beautiful bays in the world founded at Vannes (which includes the Gulf of Morbihan). More info here: World Bays on the Gulf of Morbihan and Vannes

18 rue Thiers : House probably built in 1880 for Joseph Bernard, roofer, on the old ditches cut into gardens between the bastions of Brozillay and Haute-Folie. According to the archives, the house is built on the same plot as the neighboring house and by the same presumed family-sponsor. The rear outbuildings indicate the existence of a business at this location, probably that of the owner. In 1913, its known that the house is the headquarters of the General Coffee Warehouse Co.

31 rue Thiers, Hôtel de Limur.(see post). The construction of the Hôtel des Douves , former name of the Hôtel de Limur, probably begins around 1685. By 1748, begins the long and chaotic destiny of the Hôtel de Limur. It was acquired by the City in 1947, ceded to the State in 1980 and recovered by the City in 1991. It retains the name of the Limur family who owned it from 1820 to 1947.

The Hôtel de Ville or City/Town hall, is located on Place Maurice Marchais, was built between 1880 and 1886. This part really faces rue Thiers. The rue Thiers ends at Place Maurice Marchais. The other part of the municipal services of the town is in the municipal administrative center located rue Joseph Le Brix . More info in English here : Mayor’s office of Vannes

And we have to use the post office and very conveniently located as the main Post Office of Vannes is  at 25 place de la République running along rue Thiers. More here: La Poste Vannes

vannes parking de la republique back of post office jul20


And why not the main office of my bank BNP Paribas is at 9 Place de la République. More info here: Bank branches of BNP Paribas Vannes

And we got back doing the big item, buy the baguette and pastries of course. All at our favorite Boulangerie Y & E in Pluvigner rue de la gare! And home for another day that started earlier doing our big items surplus in the waste collection center in town.  We do the ecolo correct here: waste collection center Pluvigner

And now relax, see the news, eat good have that rose wine from the Loire and sit back, we are in France; la vie en rose or la vie est belle! Salut. Hope you enjoy this one and the other up close and personal posts of daily life in my belle France.

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

July 2, 2020


So when someone tells you that a town in France is name Thebaud’s castle or Château Thébaud ,you think a castle , or château right? Well not in this town, the castle is from times immemorials, what you have now is a nice quiet country town with wonderful wines and great quality of life.

We have been by here several times now, looking for those Nantaise wines or muscadet. However, we have found a lot more in wines and in the town of Château Thébaud. I like to tell you a bit more on it ok. Hope you enjoy it as we do.

It has a small modest church and we went in for the first time as we had to eat nearby!However, let me tell you first, a bit more on the town.

Château-Thébaud is a town located in the Loire-Atlantique department 44, in the Pays de la Loire region. Historically, the town is part of Bretagne/Brittany, in the traditional country of Nantes vineyards and in the historic country of Nantes. The neighboring towns are Vertou, Maisdon-sur-Sèvre, Saint-Fiacre-sur-Maine, Le Bignon, Aigrefeuille-sur-Maine and Montbert. It is about 15 km south of Nantes. The town is located in the heart of the Muscadet vineyard of Sèvre and Maine. Perched on a rocky promontory, the town of Château-Thébaud dominates Maine and its deeply enclosed valley, offering an incomparable viewpoint on the Pont Caffino site located at 40 meters below.


The name of the town comes from the Castrum Theobaldi first appearing in 1201, when the Abbey of Villeneuve, currently located in the town of Sorinières, was founded by the Duchess Constance of Brittany. The place called Château-Thébaud is therefore before 1201. On the eve of the French revolution, a conflict would oppose the parishioners of Château-Thébaud with the choice of the church. That of the parish, St Martin,  located in the center of the cemetery too far from the village. The dilapidated state of the church, as well as that of the parish which adjoins it, leads the rector to ask for the elevation of the St Vincent Chapel, located in the center of the town near the place called La Tour, as the parish church.  A trial will follow which will prove the friends of St Martin (who support the whites or those against the French revolution) right. But at the end of the revolution, its dilapidated state led to the choice of St Vincent (whose friends supported the Blues pro revolution Republicans as in Republic).

The Church of Saint-Martin-et-Saint-Vincent 19C. The church was built from 1808 to 1822 on the site of the old Saint-Vincent chapel. The first church of Château-Thébaud was in the enclosure of the current cemetery. The Saint-Martin church was sold nationally in 1790: the buyer transported the stones to build his house on the banks of the Maine river. There remains of the old building, a small ogival window in the south wall,and two three-lobed ogival arches.

Chateau thebaud

Chateau thebaud

Saint-Martin de Vertou born in Nantes lived in the time of Saint-Félix: his main foundations are in Vertou as Saint-Jean for men and Saint-Pierre for women, Saint-Georges de Montaigu and Aution at Saint- Jouin de Marnes, in Deux Sèvres. Saint Martin will die in his Montaigu monastery. The bells taken from Spain by Napoleon’s soldiers were bought by Father Agaisse and installed in 1813. The statue of Saint-Martin dates from the 18-19C.

Chateau thebaud

Chateau thebaud

Here is the city of Château Thébaud on its heritage and history in French: City of Chateau Thebaud on its heritage and history

While going for our wine tastings (see previous post) I decided to eat at a nice little restaurant the winegrower had recommended to me the last time. Not looking at the day as a Monday, we were lucky because here in the countryside the restos are closed Sundays and Mondays. Fortunately, this little gem was open on Monday! It is call Le Pain Coupé or the cut bread!

Chateau Thebaud

Chateau Thebaud

It is an unpretentious restaurant, located in the heart of the town of Château Thébaud. The owner, passionate about his work, will give you a warm welcome, and generous and tasty dishes, at a very attractive price.  This was a zeal, even the manager front desk was very friendly and the owner came out to greet us as well as the server. This is a country town restaurant very typical of good inexpensive eating in my belle France.

Chateau Thebaud

They have a huge menu serving such goodies as Pizzas, grilled meats, Muscadet sausage etc. Nothing like a grand presentation or small overprice quantities like in many Paris restos; here you get full.  The service and the cuisine make the difference. It’s simple, good and inexpensive, period. And the diversity is also to be noted as evidence by the ardoise or black board with 15 to 18 starters offered every day and 5 to 6 desserts. The establishment also offers a catering and home cooking service fyi if staying in apartments/apparthotels or even hotels in the area.

Chateau Thebaud

We got there by 13h45 no reservations and we got in right away, the Le Pain Coupé resto was half full with local folks. We had an apéro or entry drink of kir pêche or peach kir (white muscadet and peach liquor) to start. Then, you have a buffet all you can eat entrées with salads, cold cuts, pâtes, eggs, cheeses, etc. You ordered your main dish, mine was an Spanish omelette really well made and big piece! , then we had rice pudding desserts caramel and vanilla, we repeat! all this wash down with the local rosé wine. We finish off with expresso coffee. My boys all had different dishes and desserts the rest the same all for 16.50 euros per person, a find, recommended. We will be back!!!

Chateau Thebaud

Chateau Thebaud

Official webpage of Le Pain Coupé restaurant at Château ThébaudLe Pain Coupe at Chateau Thebaud

We , then left town after gathering our wine and well fed we headed to go our groceries, see next post. Hope you enjoy the tour of the Nantaise countryside, real Muscadet country! We will be back to Château-Thébaud!

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

July 2, 2020

Château-Thébaud: Poiron-Dabin!!!

So time are coming back slowly and we are off too. I am still working from home and it seems this will be the case for the rest of 2020, of course I am priviledge to receive full pay at home as my role of senior member manager of the Finance dept best is serve by advise ,details and guidance to the rest even my CFO! And taking advantage of this pre retirement episode and the fact that my sons were off as well we decided to go out and about our region.

Well the region includes the Loire Atlantique dept 44 now part of the Pays de la Loire region but historically part of Bretagne/Brittany (Breizh in Breton language). It is sort of like the Breton wine area ! And we go often and do get our house wines from there. I have written a couple of posts on this outings and this one was another one with new pictures. Hope you enjoy our daily life in our belle France.

One of our fav properties is the Domaine Poiron-Dabin at Château-Thébaud. They are only 15 km south of Nantes , and about 1h45 from our house. Let me tell you a bit on it for reference.

chateau thebaud

The winemakers of Château-Thébaud area have won seven times since its creation “la Bouteille d’Or”, or the golden bottle ,rewarding the local vineyard town which had the highest number of prizes in the Nantes and Paris wine competitions during the year. The town is a leader in this area, thanks to the quality of its terroirs and the skills of its winegrowers. And of course, one of these are the Poiron-Dabin.

Chateau Thebaud

Chateau Thebaud

The town located on the banks of the Maine river, Château Thebaud lends itself to nautical activities, its banks for climbing and hiking. More of these activities here in French: The winegrowers of Nantes on walks by the river

The folks at Domaine Poiron-Dabin have been winegrowers since 1858, the Poiron-Dabin family has always had the ambition to surprise you. With its many grape varieties, it produces wines of excellence and perfection. Sandrine, Jean Michel, Laurent and their team will have a lot of fun making you discover their profession. 70 Hectares make up this superb vineyard. Appellations: Muscadets Sèvre et Maine; Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon fié Gris, Cot Malbec, Pinot Noir, Berligou, Pinot gris, Petit Manseng, Gewurztraminer, cabernet Franc etc They are at the place or Lieu dit Chantegrolle, 44690 Château-Thébaud right off the road D58 coming from Vertou and further Nantes.

Over the last several years we have enjoyed their wines and company visiting the domaine and participating in rando or walks in the vineyards chasing bottles and drink it on site! It is worth a detour if you ever by Nantes. More than good wines, the friendly talkative mood of the winegrowers is catchy, they love to talk about the wines, making it selling it, the works. Always a pleasant visit.

We have enjoyed the Berligou red and rosé, as it is a grape giving as a gift by the Duke of Burgundy to his cousin the Duke of Brittany around 1470. It is still grown in the domaine. They do an interesting cuvée call bit a red and a bit rose blending the two wines styles into one ,very fruity great for summer and apéros. Also, from the Berligou grape they do a sparkling wine too! delicious. All very modestly price the most expensive bottle is 16 euros!

This trip we took home, the Chardonnay, rouge et rose, Berligou rosé and red , and the Berligou sparklers. Also, we try a new bottle we like a blend of Côt /Malbec grape. A bit more on this interesting variety that has cross the frontiers from long time ago.

Chateau Thebaud

It is the essential grape variety of AOC Cahors, where it represents at least 70% of the blend. It is now widely cultivated in Argentina and Chile. The grape variety is known by the names of Auxerrois (Quercy), Bouchalès1 ( Haute-Garonne),  Côt (Loire), Mauzat, Noir de Pressac (Libournais), Mancin, Soumancigne and finally Malbec (Bordeaux). This last name is now used for the Cahors wine.  The name Auxerrois comes from the city of Auxerre; it could in fact be a deformation of Haute-Serre near Cahors ( Lot dept 46 ) even if there is a lack of documents attesting to this confusion; the name Cot  is a cacography of horn, horns , cos, itself a deformation of Cahors from 1800; and the name Malbec  is borrowed from a merchant, named Malbeck, who spread it in the Médoc.

The vineyards of Nantes on the Domaine Poiron-Dabin: The vineyards of Nantes on Poiron Dabin

The vineyards of Nantes on the appellation area and further information on their wines in French: Vineyards of Nantes on their wines

The official Domaine Poiron DabinDomaine Poiron Dabin

And already told you a lot on this property in different posts, now enjoy the new photos of the Domaine Poiron Dabin in the village of Chantegrolle, part of town of Château Thébaud. En vino veritas!

Recommended when in the area of Nantes indeed. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


July 1, 2020

Saint Sébastien sur Loire and Auchan!

So, here I am writing about a hypermarket chain of France. This is the Auchan (in Spain they are known as AlCampo) , meaning to the fields. A supermarket chain from the Nord region, and now all over France. We love it in the Yvelines dept 78 our old home where we shopped exclusively there. However, moving to Bretagne there is none unless you go further after Rennes or this one I will tell you today. One of my stories on everyday life in my belle France, hope you enjoy the tour.

A while back I was visiting a friend co worker in Nantes, and needed to do our groceries on the way back. Cruising thru we saw the Auchan sign at Saint Sébastien sur Loire , a town just over the street from Nantes. We decided to stop by and had flash memories coming back from our experiences at Auchan. Which by the way financially are not doing so well nowdays.

st sebastien sur loire cc auchan arriving jun20

We remember the shopping experience here and once coming back to the area this time for wine purchases on site, on our way back we did our groceries here at Auchan too. Another memorable moment this time without my dear late wife Martine. Sad but with many souvenirs as well. One of those simple  places that stays with you no matter what. The Auchan hypermarket of Saint Sebastian sur Loire was on our way on the N844 so we stopped and did our groceries!!!

st sebastien sur loire cc auchan ent inside jun20

The Auchan Saint-Sébastien’s shopping mall is made up of almost 90 stores of all kinds. Whatever you are looking for, you will find it, for young and old, men or women, young and old. Admittedly, having everything in one place provides many benefits. You can prepare a trip with the different agencies present in the gallery, dress the whole family there thanks to the many specially dedicated signs, change your glasses, have a makeover, have your car repaired, eat there at the restaurant or simply come and stroll around and shop there when the weather looks grim.

st sebastien sur loire

How to get there by car: The shopping center is located in the immediate vicinity of exit/sortie 46 (Porte de Saint-Sébastien) of the Périphérique Sud of Nantes N844. There is ample free parking on site. For those for the move for public transports you can get here from Nantes on Bus line 27 of the Nantes bus network offers a journey of approximately 10 km which it covers in around twenty minutes, leaving from Pirmil (Nantes South) to reach Herdrie, a high school located in Basse-Goulaine, notably passing through Saint-Sébastien and by proposing 25 stopping points. Bus 27 runs every day of the week, including Sundays and holidays.

The official Auchan hypermarket in Saint Sébastien sur Loire is here: Auchan at St Sebastien sur Loire

The official Centre Commercial or shopping center of Auchan in Saint Sébastien sur Loire with a map of stores here: Centre Commercial Auchan at St Sebastien sur Loire

And there you go folks , a nice local ride and great shopping experience as always with us far away from home, we shop anywhere! Hope you enjoy this most personal post on hypermarket or Hypermarché Auchan at the Centre Commercial Auchan in Saint Sébastien sur Loire, dept 44 of the Loire Atlantique and in the Pays de la Loire region.

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

June 30, 2020

A routine day in Vannes!

And here we are back to almost regular times in my gorgeous Vannes, capital of my beautiful Morbihan in lovely Brittany and in my belle France! We are out and about again!!

The days have been very hot with temps up to 37C or about 98F then all of a sudden became cooler and cloudy ,even light rain with temps in 17C or about 63F! And I continue to work from home with full pay la vie est belle !!!

As searching what to do  and not too far as well as again redoing the vacation planning for Summer we of course stop by Vannes. It is a gorgeous city original architecture untouched by wars with a wonderful canal into the Gulf of Morbihan, one of the most beautiful harbors in the world (conde nast, great bays etc) which of course takes you into the Atlantic ocean, all full of islands paradise.

We went for our errands and not overlook to stop by for lunch at one of our favorites hangout the boys love it and plenty of youth, I look like the granddaddy of all. This is the Colombus Café at 11 rue du Mené in old town Vannes.

But first, let me tell you a bit about the architecture and history of rue du Mené.

Traced on the edge of the old, cleared ditches, the rue du Mené was regularized in the 18C. This old street runs along the northern part of the urban ramparts wall and gives access to the suburb of Bourg Maria or Mené, seat of the parish of the same name, founded in the 12C. Its name, which means hill in Breton, is linked to the topography of the place.  Until the construction of Boulevard de la Paix in the 1950s and 1960s, it remained the urban crossroads of the Nantes-Quimper road axis. In addition to the suburb it serves, its opening responds to the difficult traffic conditions encountered in the narrow and winding streets of the inner city. Aha even back then we had traffic lol!

Unlike its northern slope, which was urbanized at the end of the Middle Ages, the south side of rue du Mené, established at the foot of the ramparts, was built during the second part of the 19C on the former gardens of the Bishop’s Palace. The rue du Mené became a very commercial artery at that time, where prestigious brands opened large and beautiful boutiques: the Grand Bazaar in Morbihan and the André novelty stores whose facades, known by old postcards, are still in place at nos 20 and 21.  In 1967, the construction of Monoprix store on the site of the former parish church of Mené affirms the commercial tradition of this street. The place Marchais (former place du marché) and the rue Hoche (former rue Saint-Yves) on the upper part of the street was named rue Joseph Le Brix in 1931. As a result, the numbering of the houses on the street has changed, the numbers 1 and 2 then being assigned lower to the east of rue Billault. It now joins Place Maurice Marchais, and the seat of the city/town hall.

Today it starts at the place Joseph Le Brix and continue to the confluence of rue du Lieutenant Colonel Maury, rue Saint Nicolas, and rue Francis Decker. The street is full of shopes and at the corner of rue du Mené and rue de la Coutume you find Columbus Café!

The official Colombus Café webpage on the Vannes store : Colombus Cafe Vannes


Vannes is a charming city and this cafe is a very pleasant point for a gourmet break in this pearl of Brittany. We find the products of good quality. Decent value for money. Super cordial waiters and waitresses. Always a pleasure to go there The muffins are delicious!! and our favorites bagels to die for it especially so far from where we tried them first in NJ/NY! Unfortunately my pastramis bagel was not available this time so I settled for a serrano ham, honey and goat cheese with muffin choco praliné, icea tea peach and expresso coffee all for less than 12 euros per person. Nice deal in a lovely part of Vannes!


The restaurant has two entrances on the same side, one is the main one that goes directly to the counter for your orders with a friendly knowledable staff. You go in as we do here saying good day or bonjour. You then paid your order and take your trays to the tables. You tell the cash person thanks and have a good day, or merci, bonne journée. These are scatted in sets of two or four persons, with those in the back by the restroom more cosy and bar style small round tables and bucket seats, great for families or romantic getaway! You leave the trays on the table or the staff comes to pick them up for you. You leave saying good byes as the custom here au revoir or as we do preceeded by a have a good day or bonne journée. It doesnt take much French but it goes a long way in human relations especially in humanistic France!



And after we did our errands going by already mentioned regular stores like Japanim for japanese mangas, Electro Depot for electronic gadgets, and Les Halles to get some socks for the boys we departed to our country home of Pluvigner where we had finish painting and varnishing our windows and doors as well as set up our new patio table set with five chairs.

Hope you enjoy the lives and times of us in our daily routine life in my belle France. Unlike the glamour of international Paris, this is the real France!

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

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June 29, 2020

Cruising in Vannes!!!

Ok ok so we are allow out now, and all are exciting right? Well, from what I see and told from afar , the situation is sketchy to say the least. Many of the businesses we patronise are hurting and almost empty. Again, last week in Vannes. 

We were trying to put our several heads together to do our errands now with 3 young men around. As we were in a heat wave with temps as high as 37C or 98F here! I had decided to paint and varnish our basement and doors/windows! Yes!

In the meantime, my oldest was working and only had the middle of the day free, and my other twin was getting his storage box on his Yamaha bike which he is totally out for it, so we needed to stop the work and go there as he was call the part had arrive. And off we went with precision timing so all meet at the bike place in Vannes. 

This is Morbihan Moto with plenty of parking to meet a bike and two cars! As the installation was to take over an hour, we decided to have lunch . This we did to one popular family place here which is very French, Flunch or as the founder thought of, Flunch=family lunch. They are cafeterias with an all you can eat option and a main plate with all the trimming of desserts, drinks, wines beers etc. We have been to the one in Vannes several times over the years living here.

By the way the Morbihan Moto webpage is here if you are looking for a bike , these folks are good and very friendly. All in one roof: Morbihan Moto


At the Flunch, we had our fish and chips, all you can eat salads, tiramisus, quart bottle of rose wine, and expresso coffee. Of course my boys had a lot more lol!! All 19 euros per person.Nice helping out the local economy!  As you can see from the pictures the economy is hurting for many but nobody talks about it than those suffering the most restaurants/bar/cafe owners! Their webpage is here for reference, great family place at the Centre Commercial Leclerc: Flunch at CC Leclerc Vannes




In between we got some electronic gadgets at another dandy store we like and been clients since opening a few years back. Electro Depot, they sell all you need for the modern world! And it is right next to a huge restaurant cluster we enjoy and the Cinema. More on Eletro Depot Vannes here: Electro Depot Vannes


Of course, we love our Cinéville cinema right next to Eletro Depot and could not resist taken another picture lol! just locals enjoying themselves sorry.  Oh yes heck for reference the Cinéville webpage: Cineville cinema Vannes


And as said, all very much empty. We will see the pickup as by July 1 even the EU is open. In the meantime, we stay in our lovely Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton! and driving around and around! Enjoy your neck of the woods , is time we get to know our backyard. Hope you enjoy my rants of humble everyday life in my belle France. It’s a lot more than Dior lol!

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

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June 29, 2020

Cruising in Auray!!!

Ok so we are starting to flex our wings and travel again in my belle France. Actually, after 2,5 months of confinement, you come to realise you have plenty around you and need to enjoy it more. As the old saying says, See your country first and the world later. Well , not that I have not seen my Brittany, but now more so.

We have not set on our long vacations yet, and we are seeing if we can go Honfleur in Normandie for personal sad reason as my Mom and Wife ashes are at sea there. I need to get the dates right to go. Otherwise , nothing else is set.

However, we move about in our neck of the woods and find simple things matters. Paris is Paris and it seems all think is France lol! Well the central government have done a good job of moving everything there to the museums but most came from the regions. and we do have several good ones around.

Last, we needed to get a patio table and chairs for our veranda. We will moved the old table out in the backyard to use it as a barbecue serving table! Good deal, the boys help and its a great family event at home.

We look around for prices and models and the stock is dismal, most major stores are empty , we were asked to order the darn set of table and five chairs. No way, we kept looking and went to a store I remember going there with my dear wife Martine. La FoirFouille in Auray! just 14 km from our house!!! This is the store here: La Foir’Fouille Auray


And of course, a trip to our favorite beer place ,V&B concept right across the park in Auray too for a load of Belgian and German beers for home enjoyment. The store has been feature before in my posts, so here is the webpage: V&B Auray

We ,also, did some grocery shopping right around the same park at the supermarket Super U in Auray as well! We shop here once in a while when in a hurry or convenience sake as normally is crowded as folks from the beaches come up to load up for their apartment/hotels etc. We have one in our town but we always on the run lol!!! The store is here : Supermarket Super U Auray

But the event of the day was that while waiting for the stores to open at 14h we had our lunch with simple American style sandwiches of tuna, ham, and chicken and of course a round of good Grimbergen Belgian beers at…..well we never been but it was very nice, friendly folks and good deal Restaurant Le Grenier inside the Super U commercial center in Auray. An impromtus lunch but nice with the boys, we enjoy it and the server was a nice guy too. Just to show France can have good things even in the least expected place and no star Michelin but a star from us. We will be back! here is their nice Facebook page: Facebook page of Restaurant Le Grenier Auray



And we did came back with our glass covered aluminum table and five nice chairs to match. Now, ready for the set up and moving, and more painting and varnish to do around the house for the start of Summer! Vacation? we will see as August is just around the corner and THAT is a religion in my belle France!!

So, here it is just regular folks enjoying a new adopted country that we are blessed with and enjoy very much. The best experience so far, if only those wonderful missing woman were here oh la la la! Memories of many travels, never to be forgotten and a thank you for all that was given. We will continue in our neck of the wood after all even the folks of Unesco claim a heritage site just all over south of us on the coast and beaches of the Morbihan Breton!

Hope you enjoy this most personal post and to get an idea of when do other posts are done with experience, love, and caring for the world. No need for medals, diplomas or awards, we are humans. And do see my other many posts on Auray. See you around the Morbihan, Bretagne, and France!

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

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June 27, 2020

Getting around Rennes!!!

So why have I not posted on Rennes transports! Well ,it is only the capital of the region of Brittany/Bretagne and go often business and pleasure. I have not written a post on public transports or getting around or to Rennes in my blog, and its a shame. I will try to remedy that now even if it is a big task. Hoping not to leave anything out. And of course, that it will be useful to all. Therefore, here is my take on getting around Rennes!!!

First , let me give you a brief introduction on the city of Rennes as have already plenty on history and things to see elsewhere in my blog. Rennes is the capital of the Ille-et-Vilaine department 35 and of the Brittany region. The city is located in Upper Brittany at the confluence of the Ille and the Vilaine rivers, hence the dept name. It is about 308 km from Paris and is therefore offset from the Lille-Paris-Lyon-Marseille axis structuring the French territory. The city of Rennes covers 50 km2, including more than 8 km of green spaces and public gardens. To give further idea of its location ,it is ,also, 128 km from Angers, 210 of Brest, 154 km of Caen, 180 km of Quimper, and Le Havre is at 204 km, La Rochelle 220 km, Nantes 120 km, Saint Malo 63 km, Vitré 35 km, Redon 58k, Paimpont 37 km and from me it is at 129 km.

It is in Rennes that the Conference of the Cities of the Atlantic Arc was created in 2000.  The Conference of Cities of the Atlantic Arc is a network of local authorities which works with different institutions to highlight the role of the cities of the Atlantic Arc in Europe. Its hq is at Rennes, more here: Atlantic Cities as Rennes

The city is very easily accessible as it is located at the crossroads of a star network of expressways. If you’re driving, Rennes is three and a half hours away from Paris via the A11 and A81. As usual we took the D16 out to the D117 and on the N24 to Rennes coming into the city by the N24. Even on market day,  but were able to find street parking for the day for two euros at rue Legraveren off rue Saint Malo. Other times we parked by the train station Gare Sud  which is great several floors of parking, we stay for about 3 hours and only paid 3,80€  or the market Lices underground.  In terms of road transport, you have the  RN 157 to the east towards Vitré, Laval, Le Mans and Paris. The RN 137 south to Nantes, La Rochelle and Bordeaux. The RN 24 to the west towards Vannes, Lorient and Quimper. The RN 12 north-west towards Saint-Brieuc and Brest. The RD 137 north towards Dinan, Dinard and Saint-Malo. The A84 north east towards Fougères, Caen, Rouen and Lille. The city is also served by three structuring roads being upgraded to 2 × 2 lanes such as the RD 163 in the south east towards Châteaubriant and Angers. The RD 177 south west towards Redon and Saint-Nazaire. The RD 175 north towards Saint-Aubin-d’Aubigné and Le Mont-Saint-Michel. All these roads connect to the Rennes Rocade or ring road which provides a complete motorway bypass of 31 km around the city.


Paid C-Park car parks managed by Citédia: Arsenal, entrance by Boulevard de la Tour and Rue Pierre Abélard . Colombier entrance by Rue Plélo, Rue du Puits Mauger and Rue du Capitaine Maignan .Dinan Chezy,entrance by Rue du Louis d’Or. Charles de Gaulle-Gare entrance by  Rue d’Isly and Rue Yvonne Jean-Haffen. Gare Sud entrance by Rue Quineleu and Rue de l’Alma. Halles Centrale entrance by Place Honoré Commeurec. Hoche,entrance by Place Hoche. Kennedy-Villejean entrance by Rue du Bourbonnais.  Kléber,entrance by Rue Kléber. Les Lices (market) entrance by Place des Lices(market), and Vilaine entrance by Quai Duguay Trouin and Quai Lamennais. There is also, the parc relay which allow you to come by car on the outside and come to city center in public transports, these are Dinan Chezy, Les Lices, Hoche, Vilaine, Kleber, Charles de Gaulle-Gare, and Colombier.

More on these parkings here: C Park parkings Rennes


The LGV/TGV Brittany, takes you from the train station or Gare de Rennes to Paris Montparnasse in about 190 minutes (taken several times) ,and 45 minutes from Le Mans by TGV. Rennes is also accessible from Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle Airport , Massy TGV,  and Marne-la-Vallée (Disneyland). It is also a multimodal transport node with the connection of the bus network and the metro. Rennes train station is also at the center of the peri-urban TER network of the Rennes urban area. There are also two other stations on the town’s territory: Rennes-Pontchaillou near the Pontchaillou hospital (memories there with my dear late wife Martine) and Rennes 2 university, on the Rennes – Saint-Malo line, and Rennes-La Poterie train station located southeast of the city on the Rennes – Châteaubriant line.

Gare de Rennes: SNCF gare de Rennes

TER gare de Rennes: TER SNCF trains of Rennes



Another airport that I have used is the Rennes airport located at Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande .Just an hour away from Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport. Taking just 90 minutes, you can also enjoy direct flights to Rennes from a number of major European cities such as London, Southampton, Birmingham, Exeter, Manchester, Dublin, Cork, Madrid, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Rome, etc. The Rennes-Saint-Jacques airport is a mere 20 minutes (7 km ) away from the city center, take the bus C6 or a taxi. More info here: Rennes airport


For your trips throughout the metropolis, the STAR network offers a metro line, 150 bus lines, relay parks, several bicycle rental services, a car-sharing app and, to link it all, the STAR app. It has a metro line, 150 bus lines (70 regular lines and 80 school lines), which serve the 43 towns of the Rennes metropolis. More info here: Star Rennes transport network


The KorriGo Services card allows you to load all STAR transport tickets (bus, metro, Star self-service bicycle) as well as TER Bretagne and BreizhGo tickets. How to get one here can be translated : Star network Korrigo transport card

The metro runs (except summer period): Monday to Wednesday from 5h15 to 0h45; Last departures of J.F. Kennedy and La Poterie: 0h25; Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 5h15 am to 01h45 am; Last departures of J.F. Kennedy and La Poterie: 01h25, Sundays and public holidays from 7h25 to 0h45 and Last departures of J.F. Kennedy and La Poterie: 0h25. The metro line connects the Pottery to J.F. Kennedy and serves 15 stations. Among them, 4 stations are in the immediate vicinity of Parcs Relais parkings.  The pdf file metro map here: Metro map

Public transports for the region of Brittany  can be found at Breizhgo here: Brittany public transports planner Breizhgo

Rennes tourist information centre ,main at 1 rue Saint-Malo, tel +33 (0) 891 67 35 35 Email :

A new phenomenon taken place here and elsewhere in France, is the bike ride. So here is general information for it as I have not try it.

The bicycle express network consists mainly of cycle links located between Rennes and the towns of the first belt, and will serve 80% of the inhabitants of Rennes Métropole. The Maison du vélo  or Bike House will open at the multimodal exchange hub of Rennes during 2020. This place of nearly 180 m2 will offer the services already offered on rue du Puits-Mauger which are temporarily installed in the Colombier district, rue du Puits-Mauger, pending final opening in the future station, in 2020.  The Maison du vélo will be complemented by an itinerant Maison du vélo (an equipped bus), which will circulate throughout the metropolis, as well as by the opening of 3 service centers in the Poterie, Saint-Jacques-Gaîté and Cesson-ViaSilva. Pedestrians and cyclists will have priority in a sector contained between rue de l’Hotel Dieu to the north, boulevard de la Liberté to the south, boulevard de Chézy to the west and the Guillaudot / Gambetta axis to the east. the establishment of a meeting area in place of the current area 30. The principles of the meeting area are as follows: 20 km / h maximum with priority from the weakest to the strongest, possibility for pedestrians to move on the road, and for cyclists to circulate in both directions. The City of Rennes will experiment with its first bike ride between Place Pasteur and Place de Bretagne. The north quays such as Chateaubriand, Lamartine and Duguay Trouin  will be reserved for cyclists (two-way cycling) and for waterfront services. Concretely, the quai Lamartine will be closed to general traffic (immediate waterfront access, deliveries and emergency vehicles only), while waterfront services and parking will be maintained on the qaui Chateaubriand  (mandatory exit by rue Jean Jaurès, rue Edith Cavell, Place du Parlement and Rue Victor Hugo) and the Quai Dugay Trouin (access maintained by rue de la Monnaie, rue de Clisson, rue Dugesclin, rue de l’Horloge and rue de Rohan). More info here : Star network on bikes in Rennes

Also, bike parks to be found at the C Park parking site: C Park parkings see Vélos or Bikes


As noted in my last visit to the city before the virus, traffic has increase enormously with heavy lock down all over similar to the situation in Paris. Either cars will be out totally or chaos will reign as with the number of persons, one cannot eliminate roads without alternative solutions.

The city of Rennes on parkings roads transports etc in French: City of Rennes Metropole on transports

Rennes tourist office on things to see: Rennes tourist office on things to see

And there you go folks, hope it helps you getting around and to Rennes, the capital of Brittany, my region. As well , to see Rennes a wonderful city as evidence by my many posts on it. Hope you enjoy it

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

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