Archive for ‘Bretagne’

March 20, 2020

Some news from France, CCXCXIII

And lets get back to some news from France. The world is on the move and we cannot stay away from it, even travel lovers who are most direct concern. We have covid19 or whatever you call it, and it is bad, hurting people all over. No need to give ranking who is more or less , and who is close or not, WE are all concern sooner or later. So lets get inside our homes, minimize outings , wash your hands often, do tele work like me and keep busy. I did my pressure cleaning outside my house and the garden bricks for example.

And lets help whenever we can volunteering in my town has started for the elderly and needy with a support team we are participating as on call basis. We can do it together, I know in France and Europe we had gone thru worse times and we overcame, we will this time too. Vive la France!!! Long live  a united Europe!! and as I am a believer, may God Bless you all!

Now the news from various sources in my belle France!

The French Senate gives green light to bill on state of health emergency. The Senate with a right-wing majority adopted on the night of Thursday to this Friday at first reading the bill allowing the establishment of a state of health emergency.  The text, voted by 252 votes in favor, 2 against and 90 abstentions, also authorizes the government to take measures to support businesses by ordinance and records the postponement of the second round of municipal elections “at the latest in June”.

In California USA finally placed in containment. The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, decides to place the entire state and its 40 million inhabitants in containment to strengthen the fight against the pandemic. The directive is one of the most stringent measures announced in the United States since the start of the health crisis.  Los Angeles residents placed in confinement. The mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, ordered Thursday confinement of all the inhabitants of this metropolis of 4 million inhabitants, asking them to refrain from any unnecessary movement to stem the coronavirus pandemic. Good for California!!

The cases are increasing in the NBA. Two Los Angeles Lakers players infected with the new coronavirus on Thursday, three of the Philadelphia Sixers, one of the Boston Celtics and a member of the Denver Nuggets: cases are multiplying in the NBA, stopped for more than a week due to the pandemic. NBA in case you are visiting earth, is the National Basketball Association in the USA.

Visas suspended in the United States. The United States has suspended the issuance of all regular visas to all countries of the world, the US State Department announced. “As far as possible, embassies and consulates will continue to issue emergency visas,” they  said.

No containment for the whole of the United States. Donald Trump says he does not envisage confinement for the whole of the United States. Playing with fire as deaths mount.  Closure of the United States / Mexico border. US Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo announces the closure of the US border with Mexico for “non-essential travel”. ah yes…

Reinforced measures in New York State. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has decreed a halt to all non-essential activities and a ban on all gatherings. NY NY!

Why mobile links sometimes leave something to be desired. From a technical point of view, telephone operators have “two points of vigilance”, the interconnection of networks and the traffic on submarine cables to the United States. Operators are strengthening interconnection capacities, which allow a subscriber of one network to reach the subscriber of another network. This explains the difficulties that some have encountered in recent days. This was running in some newspapers in the USA.

NASA suspends its lunar work. The American space agency announces to put a stop to the works of construction and test of the rocket and the ship of its manned mission Artemis on the Moon. This is due to the increasing number of people affected in its teams.

Half of Air Canada’s technically unemployed workforce. Air Canada will lay off more than 5,100 flight attendants, half of its workforce, according to a union source. The measure will affect approximately 3,600 flight attendants of the first Canadian airline and 1,549 members of its low-cost subsidiary Air Canada rouge, at least until April 30, specifies the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in a communication news.

 The prohibition of any movement and gathering on the roads on the banks of the Seine, the lawns of the Esplanade des invalides and the Champ-de-Mars, from Friday and for the weekend. This is in Paris.

The Paris Stock Exchange opens on a 5.48% jump to 4,066.79 points. The Paris Bourse attacks the session of conquering mood (+ 5.48%) this Friday morning, partly reassured by the massive monetary measures adopted by several governments and central banks, in particular the European Central Bank, to face the impact of the coronavirus epidemic. Same trend in Frankfurt, London and Hong Kong. And it keeps going up in Paris but you know this is an up and down game!

SNCF traffic increasingly reduced. Only 15% of mainline trains this Friday, 25% TER and almost more connections abroad, indicates the SNCF. Traffic is 35% on the Transilien network of the Paris suburbs, according to the company. Abroad, the service was suspended to Germany, Italy and Spain. There are still 20% of Eurostar trains to London, 20% of Thalys trains to the Benelux, and, to Switzerland, a Paris-Geneva return trip and a Paris-Basel return trip. The offer is likely to be further reduced in the coming days.

Free transport for carers in the Grand Est. Caregivers will be able to borrow free from Saturday TER and intercity buses in the Grand Est region, announced the community, which wishes to facilitate their travel while Alsace pays a heavy price in the coronavirus epidemic

Orange awaits masks with great impatience. Orange, which had supplied stocks of masks to comply with the requisitions for healthcare staff is waiting with “great impatience” to receive new masks for these teams responsible for maintaining the networks, this Friday explains its CEO Stéphane Richard.

Call for volunteers in Ile-de-France hospitals. The regional health agency in Ile-de-France is launching an appeal to active or retired health workers to help healthcare establishments. This is going on all over France now!

Humane Society worries about many abandonments when shelters are already overcrowded. , OMG don’t be a monster, these loving animals need our help too, and they will be right with you, they do not get the virus so keep them in with you please. I have a loving dog Rex and he is part of my family no way he will be treated lesser.

The soldiers prepare the field hospital in Mulhouse. Preparations for the deployment of the military field hospital in Mulhouse are well under way. This morning, soldiers in lattice are on site to prepare the installation of 30 beds. The future hospital will be set up a few meters from the heliport, right next to the Emile-Muller hospital. Yes the Armed Forces are people too, great! The hospital has begun to be deploy and some patients are been transported to Toulon where there are more hospital military installations.

There are still 130,000 French people are stranded abroad. France must organize the return of some 130,000 nationals stranded abroad by the Covid-19 pandemic, said this Friday the French Minister of Foreign Affairs. They will need to find transport back to France, not an easy thing to do. French abroad have been exceptionally authorized to enter the Air France crisis center.

Already 18,000 reports since the start of confinement. According to a police source cited by BFMTV, since the start of the confinement on Tuesday noon, the police have carried out 225,000 checks for 18 reports. This is the control for people not to go out, some idiots do not understand still they need to stay home and go out as needed with a attestation de déplacement dérogatoire which can be obtain blue for individuals and red for professionals/entrprises from the Ministry of Interior webpage: Min Interior of France

The agents of the City of Paris will be able to issue fines. The law on the state of health emergency (under examination) should give the agents of the security service of the City the same powers as those of a “real” municipal police. Now now this is a bit hysterical.

President Macron of the French Republic: “The State is holding up”. Emmanuel Macron says a few words in front of the cameras before the defense council. “We have taken exceptional measures to absorb this first wave,” said the President of the Republic. The crisis is mobilizing all aspects of the life of the Nation ”. “The State is keen, we will be there in the long term,” he says, thanking his ministers for being there “morning, noon and night and overnight.”

Pension reform abandoned? During his speech last Thursday, the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron announced a break from all the reforms undertaken. Interruption or total stop, the question arises at the top? I believe it will be an interruption while the virus crisis is on.

Social benefits paid automatically. Social benefits requiring regular declarations of resources to qualify for them, such as the RSA, the disabled adult allowance (AAH) or housing benefits, will be paid automatically to beneficiaries “incapacitated”, the government announced. This is in France, no need for forms if you were on these programs benefits will continue; Vive la France!

And are we will be getting mail? Six unions of La Poste claim in a letter to the Minister of Economy and CEO Philippe Wahl a “discussion about the missions that the La Poste group should carry out as a priority” during the coronavirus crisis, according to a press release.  The unions (CGT, CFDT, SUD, CFE-CGC, CFTC and Unsa) are alerting to the health and social situation within the La Poste group, where “security conditions are far from being maximum”, and note that ” the essential missions that La Poste and its subsidiaries must fulfill are very broad in concept ”.

The meetings of the Defense counsel starts. A Defense Council starts at the Ministry of the Interior, chaired by Emmanuel Macron, with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and the main ministers concerned. This is sort of a control center to monitored the needs and actions needed as we advance.

In Nice, the mayor Christian Estrosi announces the closure of the Promenade des Anglais and all the city’s markets. Good measure too many people there anyway! And it gets tougher. A curfew at 20h (8 p.m.) in Nice. Christian Estrosi, the mayor (LR) of Nice, issued an order to impose a curfew in his city from this Friday evening.

No national curfew in France. “It is not a question of establishing a national curfew on the whole territory but of supporting local initiatives, such as that of the mayor of Nice” who has implemented a curfew in his city at 20 hours every evening, starting today, specifies Christophe Castaner, Interior Minister.

In Cannes, the Palais des Festivals opened to accommodate the homeless. This announcement is made on France Info the mayor of the city, David Lisnard. This decision is made “both to protect them, but also to protect any population from the spread of the virus,” he said. Good deal Cannoises!

An emergency fund for companies in Lyon. The metropolitan area of ​​Lyon has created an emergency fund of 100 million euros for companies affected by the containment measures, allowing in particular the payment of aid of 1,000 euros per month for certain self-employed. This is just a regional effort, nationwide it is 1500 euros per month.

After Mulhouse, the army in Ajaccio to evacuate patients. For the second time in a few days, the French army will be involved in the fight against the new coronavirus: after the evacuation by military aircraft of patients from Mulhouse, the navy will transfer this weekend patients from Corsica to the Riviera. The amphibious helicopter carrier (PHA) Tonnerre of the French Navy will go to Ajaccio this weekend for “the medical evacuation of patients with Covid-19” to establishments in Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur, announces the prefecture of Corsica.

Creation of a buffer zone at the Saint-Etienne teaching hospital. The CHU of Saint-Etienne is preparing for a ramp-up of its capacity to receive patients with symptoms of coronavirus and has set up a “sorting center” near the emergency department.  This advanced medical center, in the form of a long canvas tunnel 18 meters long by 6 wide built from scratch within the grounds of the Hôpital Nord site in Saint-Priest-en-Jarez (Loire), has been fully disinfected. “It will be active in the coming days, depending on changing needs,” says the direction of the CHU.

The beaches of the Somme dept 80 Hauts de France are prohibited. The Somme prefecture has announced that it will prohibit access to the department’s beaches until March 31.

Several protective measures for public transport adopted in France. Public transport companies must disinfect their vehicles at least once a day, the climb from the front of buses is prohibited in principle and travelers must stand a meter from each other, according to a decree published in the Official Journal on Friday . Reinforced controls will be implemented this Friday and this weekend in Parisian stations. The Paris prefecture of police reminds in a press release that departures on holidays and weekends are not part of the cases covered by the certificate of derogatory travel.

New Caledonia closes its airport. All international flights to and from New Caledonia are suspended from midnight on Friday, the local government announced. Initially, the traffic was to stop gradually by Tuesday but the executive decided Friday late in the day to shorten the delay.

Back in America,we have the first three coronavirus deaths in Peru. The government reports a considerable increase in the number of cases for a total of 234 infected people across the country.

Rio de Janeiro ,Brazil closes its beaches and restaurants. The state of Rio de Janeiro announces that it will close its beaches, bars and restaurants for Saturday, for at least two weeks, in the face of the coronavirus epidemic. The decree published by Governor Wilson Witzel also provides for suspension of land, sea and air links with any other Brazilian state with at least one confirmed case of coronavirus, but the measure must be validated by the federal authorities.

Brazil prohibits entry to Europeans and Asians. These restrictions, valid for one month, apply to passengers on flights from the European Economic Area (European Union, United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland), China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and of Malaysia, who do not have residence in Brazil or a professional or family justification to return to the country, specifies a ministerial decree.

Argentina decrees the containment of the population. Argentine President Alberto Fernandez decrees “preventive and compulsory” containment of the population from this Friday until March 31 to fight against the coronavirus.  Argentina has 128 cases of coronavirus and three deaths.

In Europe,  Youtube suspends HD. With European networks suffering from slowdowns, YouTube is stopping playback of HD videos to relieve European networks. In the wake of Netflix, the platform reduces its impact on the Internet by passing its content to Standard version. No problems still see them  fine.

No lifting of confinement before April 13 in Austria. Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz announces that the week-long containment measures in the country, where travel is drastically limited, will be extended until April 13.

Cases are exploding in Belgium. The number of deaths jumped from 21 to 37, announce the Belgian authorities. The country records Friday 2,257 confirmed cases, against 1,795 identified the day before.

Oh my poor and resistant Spain passes the 1,000 dead mark. Spain is approaching 20,000 cases, announced this Friday the director of the health alert center Fernando Simon. The country has “1,002 deaths” and “nationally we have 19,980 cases, with an increase of 2,833 cases compared to yesterday (Thursday), an increase of 16.5%,” said Fernando Simon. The death toll has increased tenfold in seven days. It is second only to Italy in confronting this awful virus.

Arrival in the Czech Republic of a plane from China with a million masks. This plane landed this Friday in Prague. “The plane contains 1.1 million FFP2 masks that will be immediately distributed to hospitals and other places,” said Interior Minister Jan Hamacek at a televised press conference at Prague Airport . Prague acquired the equipment for around $ 3 million, he added. To be fully reported, China has done the same for Italy, Spain and France so far as well.

New restrictive measures expected in Italy. The Italian government is considering new restrictive measures which could be adopted quickly. “In the next 24 to 48 hours, new restrictions are possible,” announced Minister for Regional Affairs Francesco Boccia, citing, among other things, the possibility of suspending outdoor activities. The governors of the northern regions, the richest in Italy and the most affected by the epidemic with around 3,000 dead, are calling for even more closures and the deployment of the army to enforce these measures.

The most affected nation today, Italy .It is still the Milan region, Lombardy, where hospitals are overwhelmed, which pays the heaviest price, with 381 additional deaths (2,549 in total). In the country, nearly 6,000 additional cases have been detected, again a figure never reached before. Forza Italia!!!

Bavaria , Germany, is the first regional state to order containment. “We are going to reduce the whole of public life to almost nothing,” announces the head of the Bavarian government, Markus Söder, the measure having to enter into force at 11 pm (midnight) and initially to last two weeks.

Reinforced measures in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom orders the closure of pubs, restaurants, cinemas and theaters. It’s about time ….!

EasyJet will maintain the majority of its fleet on the ground. The British airline EasyJet has announced that most of its fleet will remain on the ground from 24 March. The carrier will only maintain a few connections to certain destinations, mainly from the United Kingdom or to the country.

Reinforced measures in Switzerland. Switzerland has tightened its measures, banning gatherings of more than 5 people, but has ruled out any confinement – a measure adopted by other European countries – believing that it was “spectacle politics”. The government has also released an additional 32 billion Swiss francs (30.4 billion euros) to support the economy. An envelope of 10 billion Swiss francs had already been announced a week ago. Hard to tell the Swiss lol!

Back on the source:  Second day with zero new local cases in China. For the second consecutive day, China reports no new local coronavirus contamination this Friday, even though the number of imported cases, 39, reached a record.

And be careful Africa.  Gabon announces its first death. A first patient died in Gabon of the new coronavirus, the second in sub-Saharan Africa after Burkina Faso, said this Friday the spokesman of the cell for monitoring the epidemic in this country which has counted so far only three cases . The 50-year-old patient “died at 8:05 am as a result of complications from his diabetes and an acute respiratory distress syndrome,” said spokesman Dr. Guy Patrick Obiang Ndong.

More than 200 cases already in South Africa, authorities worry. A total of 202 people are infected in the country by Covid-19, against 150 the day before, said the Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize to the press in Bloomfontein (center). The authorities estimate that the disease could infect up to 60% of the country’s population of 56 million.

General confinement in Tunisia. Tunisian President Kais Saied has announced a general containment of the country, without specifying its date of entry into force or its duration, after having recorded an increase in the number of patients with coronavirus.

Jordan will impose a curfew from Saturday morning until further notice, the government spokesman said. The latter explained that this decision had been taken after “citizens’ failure to comply with the directives” asking them to leave their homes only in the event of an extreme emergency.

More than 10,000 deaths worldwide. At least 10,316 deaths worldwide are now totaled, according to a report established by AFP on Friday. More than 5000 of these deaths are in Europe. Since the count made the previous day at 19h (7:00 p.m.), there have been 490 new deaths. If you like to keep count, there is Worldometer/coronavirus site that maintains tallies worldwide here: Worldometers information on Coronavirus

The Euro carried over to 2021 will be called … again Euro-2020. The Euro football initially planned for next summer but postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic will officially keep its name of Euro-2020, announced UEFA.

Of course, these news will change and expand in the coming days, weeks, and I promise not to give count of the virus, enough to have it recorded. Let’s keep the spirits up . Best wishes for everybody!!

And remember, happy travels, YES, good health, we will pray together, and best wishes to all!! indeed as always by yours truly.



March 15, 2020

Some news from France, CCXCXII

Well its been a while and lots of news in France and all over! I like to keep it up to date so here are the latest rumblings from my belle France. Oh yes we are cloudy at 51F or 10C in my neck of the woods and 62F or 17C in Paris.

Covid 19 and the public transports: The TGV and Intercités trains traffic will drop by half, airport terminals will be closed. But public transport will be preserved. Tomorrow Monday the traffic of all trains will drop by 30%. From Tuesday, the SNCF will go to 50% for long distance trains, that is to say the Inoui, Ouigo and Intercités. And two TER out of three will be in circulation. Faced with the influx of holidaymakers forced to return as quickly as possible from the Alps or the Pyrenees following the announcement of the closure of all ski resorts, the SNCF has also planned to charter additional trains. Freight trains are maintained to ensure supplies, in particular food businesses which remain open. Monday in the Paris metro,will be normal in the RER and quasi-normal in buses and trams, it was said on Saturday from the RATP, which specifies that these forecasts could change after the new restrictions announced on Saturday evening by the Prime Minister.

If you wish to exchange or have your tickets refunded, the SNCF offers free exchange and reimbursement fees for your journeys with TGV INOUI, OUIGO, Intercités and TER in correspondence until 30 April inclusive. Your request for a free exchange or refund can be made up to the departure of your TGV INOUI and Intercités train, up to an hour and a half before the departure of your OUIGO. On the Internet, at an agency or at a station.

Air France: for any reservation made before March 31, you have until May 31 to postpone your departure date without charge (subject to availability at the same rate). The new trip must start before May 31. One downside: you have to take a ticket at the same price. If there are no more, you will have to pay the difference. If you wish to cancel the trip: if you have purchased, before March 31, a refundable ticket for a flight scheduled until May 31, you can cancel and request a refund. If you have purchased, before March 31, a refundable ticket with charges for a flight scheduled until May 31, the reimbursement charges are waived. In the case of a non-refundable ticket, purchased under the same conditions before March 31, you will be able to benefit from a credit valid for one year on Air France, KLM and partner airlines. If you have booked a trip, but have fallen ill and wish to cancel this trip. Is there a possibility of reimbursement? Visa Premier, Platinum and Infinite bank card insurance cover travel cancellations related to illnesses, noted by a doctor, which prevent travel and require appropriate care. You contracted the coronavirus while traveling abroad. Are you guaranteed? The medical assistance guarantees for cards including Visa Premier, Platinum and Infinite may, within the limits and according to the conditions provided for in the information notices, cover medical expenses incurred abroad.

Aéroports de Paris has decided to close part of the terminals and halls at Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle and Orly airports from Wednesday March 18 to deal with the coronavirus epidemic.

The French are voting this Sunday (today) for the first round of municipal elections. An election marked by the coronavirus crisis which risks encouraging abstention. There are 902,465 candidates, including 10 ministers, and 20,765 lists. The polling stations opened at 8h and there was a 18.43% participation at mid day countrywide. In Paris, the participation rate at noon was 12.61% against 13.73% in 2014. With 15.07% of participation in the Yvelines (dep 78) at noon for this municipal election, the health crisis effect seems to have had little effect on the desire of voters to go to the polls. This rate is indeed 1.5% lower than that of 2014 at the same time which was 16.57%. Of course voting was not cancelled by the Polititians! And I am not voting tant pis.

The closure took place 48 hours earlier than planned. The Disneyland Paris parks finally closed their doors on last Friday evening so as not to reopen them this Saturday morning, whereas they were initially supposed to remain open until Sunday evening. The closure until March 31 was decided by the park management, after the government ‘s decision to ban gatherings of more than 100 people. Disney Village hotels and shops remain open. The courtyard of the Château de Fontainebleau resonates strangely this Saturday morning. The rare tourists arrive drop by drop to visit this former home of the kings of France which will close on Monday due to the Coronavirus. Only the castle gardens, adjoining the main streets of the imperial city, will remain open.   Impossible to pay in coins and bills at the Eiffel Tower, at ticket offices as in its shops and restaurants: since Monday March 9, only payments by bank card are accepted. A similar decision was made last week at the Louvre. Also, same for the Château de Versailles and al.

By focusing on Google searches for Coronavirus, SEMrush concludes that the countries that seem the most worried are none other than the Americans with more than 160.8 million searches identified since January. In Europe the Germans are rather active on the subject with no less than 39,504,000 searches in two and a half months. While it could be understood that the countries which know the most cases are the most stressed, the study proves that this is not always the case … Less than 500 cases detected in the United Kingdom, but more than 26,400,000 “Coronavirus” searches done on Google!!. The top searches are the United States: 160,800,000, Germany: 39,504,000; Brazil: 32,304,000; Canada: 26,400,000, France: 26,400,000; India: 26,400,000; Italy: 26,400,000; United Kingdom: 26,400,000; Australia: 17,664,000; Mexico: 17,664,000 , and Spain: 14 480 00.

Enough of this , remember that the influenza flu has killed a lot more people and we hardly notice any news on it. See the Center for Desease Control in the USA here:

This is a site that counts the fatalities worldwide very well detail for all countries. Worldometers on Coronavirus

Update.France is going partial confinement as of tomorrow noon Tuesday March 17 2020. Only essentials grocery food shopping, medical visits/pharmacy, and essential workers can go out. There are fines of 68 euros that can go to 135 euros for all those not in compliance. We are ok, lucky to have the system that pays my salary at home and my family. We are bunker down loaded even gas up. So this is war, and we will win it.

Despite the disruption caused by the threat from Covid-19, the fashion parades will have kept their promises. Especially the one that Paris does every season to bring together the best of creation and demonstrate the power of the big names in French luxury. Starting with a remarkable collection of Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello, the second evening. In a carpeted beige decor reminiscent of Yves Saint Laurent’s apartment, rue de Babylone. In bold colors, there was also talk about Hermès. In an equestrian register, the bright reds, royal blue, solar yellow and optical white came to punctuate beige and brown leathers and punctuate a luminous collection. On the side of falsely classic beauty, the public also feasted on Loewe and Valentino, where these projections of big bourgeois fashion crazy women reached new heights. For the Spanish brand owned by LVMH, Jonathan Anderson touches perfection with the choice of colors and luxurious materials, which he uses for lines, overlays, volumes not devoid of theatricality. Barely more sober, Pierpaolo Piccioli still succeeds, at Valentino, in impressing with his black dresses and coats, his large skirts and all his leathers of fatal beauty, enhanced with flawless accessories, from earrings to boots with large soles and divine pumps. Fashion power Paris!

Now in other subjects of travel related news in my belle France

The Poult farm, located on the D 30 road on the heights of the town of Poissy. The Desjouis family, owner of this farm, plans to set up a pole dedicated to horses and tourism there. Stables, a quarry, a hotel residence and a restaurant are among the main amenities. Of course, this is around the new training ground of the Paris St Germain football/soccer team that is been constructed, good idea to attract the visitors; more info here:

You read here before but finally the battle is over. The intricacies of French wine business. Thus, the National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO) proposed to remove 64 towns from the Burgundy appellation. In three sectors in particular, the best known of which is Chablis. Barely ten days after the newspapers took possession of this attack on common sense, it was over. Last February 6, Christian Paly, the president of the wine branch of the INAO, announced to 450 winegrowers and elected Burgundians, mounted to demonstrate outside the headquarters, that no town in Burgundy would lose its name. Voilà, Chablis is it, cheers:J

And you know, the French drink fewer Bordeaux wines (and fewer wines overall). And the youngest often opt instead for a pint of beer (indeed seem more sociable for the aperitif here). This is all the more bitter, since despite its export successes, Bordeaux still sells for 56% in the French borders. The year 2019 has not escaped this decline. According to figures published last Tuesday March 10 by the CIVB, 130 million bottles have passed in France, down 10%. In terms of value, the drop is comparable (-9%), for a total turnover of 766 million euros. Even if, in 2019, the turnover achieved by Bordeaux wines for export remained almost stable, at 2 billion euros. One reason, the United States offered good prospects for growth. But they were stopped dead by the 25% Trump tax, which has hit all French wines since mid-October 2019. At the end of 2019, exports across the Atlantic fell by 18% in volume and 36% in value. In total, over the year as a whole, sales increased by 5% to 294 million euros. On the other hand, Bordeaux wines want to change their communication to change their image. The aim is to attract consumers who want to drink less and who are sensitive to the arguments of craft brewers

In an early morning, 200 bakers came to drop off their little nuggets. A first selection is then made; to compete, the baguette must be between 55 and 70 cm long and weigh between 250 and 300 grams. 157 baguettes were then selected in order to be tasted by the jurors. Rated on 4 criteria – appearance, crumb, smell, taste; two tours were necessary for the 13 members of the jury to set their sights on the perfect baguette. The title winner, in addition to winning a check for 4,000€ , could become for one year the official supplier of baguettes for the Élysée Palace if he so wishes. The winner was Taieb SAHAL Aux Saveurs by Pierre Demours 13, rue Pierre Demours – 17éme arrondissement . In 2nd position: Baptiste LEAUTE from L’essentiel Mouffetard in the 5éme, then Liman TIGANI from the Boulangerie Martyrs in the 9éme, Laurent DEMONCY from Au 140 in the 20éme, Anthony TEIXEIRA from Aux délices du Palais in the 14éme, Khemoussi MANSOUR from Aux Délices de Glacière in 13éme, Ahmed OUNISSI from Boulangerie Lorette in 13éme, Thierry GUYOT from Boulangerie Guyot in 5éme, Giovanni BIANCO from Giovanni boulangerie contemporaine in 16éme and finally in 10th place, Jérôme LEPARQ from Maison Leparq in the 15éme. Now , get your good baguettes in Paris!

And finally, another example of the Franco-American cooperation. Created in Brooklyn , NYC in 1961 by Reuben Matteus and his wife, the Häagen-Dazs appellation and its Swedish consonance were invented by the couple to evoke freshness and travel. In 1992, Häagen-Dazs therefore settled down in Paris to open its very first European store. The brand will also build its global production site in the region of Hauts-de-France, in the town of Tilloy-Les-Mofflaines. No wonder when we know that the region offers cows a particularly rich grass allowing them to produce a cream of a very high quality. Today, the famous ice cream is supplied with milk and cream from 450 farms located around the Tilloy-Les-Mofflaine factory to satisfy food lovers around the world. Not only are all the ingredients of natural origin, but the recipes do not require artificial coloring and flavor! Vanilla, for example, comes from Madagascar and all of the cocoa from West Africa. Reassuring. Indeed, our house favorite ice cream!

And there you go another day in my belle France and we move on, heck we overcame WWI and WWII this one should be easier. Vive la France! And the EU!

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



March 14, 2020

A wonderful Castle/Chapel in my Morbihan!

We went by looking to locate the new school of my twins and came upon about this marvel the Chapelle Saint Avoye or chapel of Saint Avoye, in nearby Pluneret,near Auray.  I have read about it,seen the panel indicating its direction but never went by. Finally ,curiosity sit in and did pay a visit. There are so many chapels around here it could fill up your year.  A wonderful architecture marvel from the 16C in the middle of country farms. Very nice indeed, took some shots, not open yet but will surely come back,

The Chapelle de Sainte-Avoye is located more precisely in the village of Sainte-Avoye, in the town of Pluneret in my Morbihan. The chapel is located on the heights of the right bank of the Bono river.  Of course, this is Bretagne or Brittany or Breizh!

The Sainte-Avoye Chapel was erected in the 16C by the Lestrelin family, whose escutcheon surmounts the south door, owner of the Château de Kerisper (see below) which is close to the village. It is a stately chapel funded by the Count of Lestrelin. The family armorial bearings include the family coat of arms. They represented four ducks which were roughly removed with a knife during the French revolution.


Originally, the bell tower rose well above the current bell tower. This bell tower was a bitter for the sailors and a lookout for its owner who could thus control the traffic on the Bono river. It was struck down in 1727 and its upper part was then replaced by the current frame roof, which is surmounted by an arrow. On October 16, 1987 a storm weakens the bell tower again; it will be rehabilitated in 1988. In 1746, a hurricane breaks the stained glass, during the renovation from 2004 to 2006, will be refurbished in an identical manner to the originals.


The interior flooring is clay. It is an almost unique arrangement of a mixture of lime and earth. The roof of the nave in the shape of an overturned ship’s hull is limed in the old style. Four farms for the nave; three main farms for the choir; croaks, and sculpted sand pits dating from 1557 on the choir pits.

The Saint Avoye Chapel houses a Renaissance rood screen in polychrome oak wood. Executed between 1554 and 1557 by a carpenter by the name of Bizeul; he separated the choir from the nave. It is carved on both sides. The visible side of the nave presents the twelve apostles, The visible side of the choir presents the seven Catholic or theological virtues, and five saints including Saint Yves. The chancel is made up of four panels, one of which has a double leaf door. The chapel also houses a polychrome wooden statue of Saint Avoye dating from the 16C.

The town of Pluneret has schedules and hours for visiting the Chapel in French here: City of Pluneret on the Chapel

The local tourist office of Bay of Quiberon has a bit more in French. Tourist office Bay of Quiberon on the Chapel

As we were nearby and on the same road as the school of my twins, we continue to seek this castle they talk about in the Chapel. And voilà we found the Château de Kerister now in the limits of the town of Le Bono.


We then went to see the Château de Kérisper , the oldest parts are from the 14C, and has 800 m2 along the Bono river, with private ownership of the Sirs of Montigny, ancestors of of Lesterlin. more history: In 1426, it was in the hands of the Sires de Kerisper Lestrelin; at the end of the 15C  to 16C; in 1601 to Montigny, who retain the until the French revolution. To the 19C and 20C, the area belonged successively family Montaigu aux St-Pern in 1876,to the  Grand family in 1897, in 1900, Douault,  and Pommois in 1979. The old castle was partially destroyed. The castle has been modernise at the beginning of the 20C. Octave Mirabeau would have stayed there in 1887-1888  and allegedly wrote “Abbé Jules”. In 1990 the Castle houses the Théatre de l’écume  and an exhibition of floral art. Surrounded by a large park, Kerisper castle is visible at 4 km south of Pluneret. to the left of the road D 101 to Le Bono, between the rivers of Auray and Bono and literally at Le Bono.  It is a castle now preserve for weddings, event, birthdays ,and seminars, on a nice verdant space near the above jardin de mémoire on the same road, first the castle on the left hand side and then the gardens in the right hand site.  more info here:  Chateau de Kerisper on weddings in French


And there you go folks, some nice place to visit in off the beaten path Morbihan, both very near me and welcome. Hope you enjoy the tour and my Morbihan.

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





March 14, 2020

Pluvigner and two chapels!

So let’s stay in my lovely Morbihan dept 56 of my beautiful Bretagne and tell you about two country chapels that endure the tradition of these Breton lands. All very near me  ,in fact its my town!

A bit of instroduction: Pluvigner is located between Pontivy and Auray to mention the bigger towns in the department of Morbihan , closer to Auray. The name of the town is of Breton origin ,and comes from the toponymic name Ploe, and from the anthroponym Guigner, referring to Saint Guigner, patron saint of the town. The name of the town in Breton is Pleuwigner.

Some historical anecdotes of the town. The Pluvigner treasury contained hidden coins at the end of the War of Succession of Brittany (de Blois vs Montfort) between 1360 and 1364; it contained in particular 259 Flemish currencies, which constituted 84% of the whole of this monetary treasury. On January 23, 1943, an American B-17 bomber, damaged during a mission and chased by two Nazi planes, crashed in woods of Kéronic. Seven airmen were killed and three survived. Two stelae were inaugurated on November 5, 1994 in the presence of Charles Roth survivor and Mel Schulstad, usual pilot but absent the day of the mission. The steale stone still here!

And the event that put us in the map at least in Europe happened on September 19, 2019 a F-16 fighter plane of the Belgian Air Force, departing from the base of Florennes and having to refuel at Lann-Bihoué, crashed at a place called Le Poteau up the D16 road towards Landaul. The cause told was engine  failure, partially destroying a house during the crash; the two pilots were able to eject in time, one of them remaining suspended by his parachute for two hours on a high voltage line. And we later found out, the planes were armed, and it took military personnel all over to “clear the area” of you know what….We were in TV’s all over!!!

Now, let me tell you about the chapels ok. First the one closest to me literally behind my house road. Oh yes just translating the page from the city of Pluvigner on both ok.

The Chapelle de St. Guénaël, rebuilt at the end of the 19C in an isolated place and mentioned in 1930, nearest to me. The name in Breton language is Chapel Sant Wenael.


In 1888, the Chapel of St Guénaël was in ruins. A farmer from the Parc farm then took the initiative to sell one of his seven farms so that he could rebuild the chapel elsewhere. Originally, the chapel was located on the edge of the Le Pratello estate. As Saint Guénaël removed the cataclysms.  The exterior can said to have a pinnacle rising at the top of the west gable. It consists of three parts: a square stump, a chamber of bells delimited by two cornices and a short conical arrow. Inside, it can be said that the chapel is made up of six spans. The windows represent different saints: Saint Guénaël is represented on the north side and on the south side, Saint Guigner. In addition to the statues, including that of the saint celebrated here (and town main church see post), the chapel contains a rough stone altar.


City of Pluvigner on St Guénaël in French : City of Pluvigner on chapel of St Guenael

The Chapelle de Notre-Dame-de-la-Miséricorde , 17C. The name in Breton language is Chapel Itron Varia Miserikord. The chapel was built by the lord of Grand Ville in 1600, then bought by the Le Gouvello family from Pierre de Kériolet, living in the nearby Kerlois castle (see post). This chapel would have been the place of prayer of Pierre de Kériolet, nicknamed the “devil of Kerlois”, who led a life of debauchery before converting and being ordained priest in 1637. The chapel, marked by its seigniorial origins, presents an architecture between two stylistic eras: flamboyant gothic and renaissance.


The exterior offers four buttresses to support the angles. On the south side, there is a wall bench and a drip tray decorated with four masks. There is also a sundial with the date 1600. The two doors of the chapel are in the Renaissance style. One is semi-circular and the second is a basket handle. The windows keep on the contrary a Gothic style with their broken arch and their wide rectilinear splayings. Near the imposing chestnut tree which adjoins the building is a cross.  In the interior you will be able to discover the furniture of the chapel as well as sculpted sand pits, 14 heads and vine branches. There is also an inscription which shows that the chapel was wooded in 1603. The chapel houses an altarpiece dated from the 18C, where the statues of Notre-Dame-de-la-Miséricorde (Our Lady of Mercy ) and Saint Isidore, saint of farmers are placed . A rood screen with tribune also adorns the chapel. It dates from 1623. Moved to the 18C, the twelve sculpted apostles are presented in this gallery. One of the chapel’s other attractions is the remains of the mural on the north wall.


The city of Pluvigner on Our Lady of Mercy in French: City of Pluvigner on the Chapel of Our Lady of Mercy

So there you have it, two chapels of my dear  Pluvigner (the smallest town I have lived since my birthplace!). There are so many, almost on every farm! These two are the closest to me and just took a nice ride into the farming area not far from my house. Hope you enjoy this off the beaten path tour and do come for nature’s beauty with car..

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


March 14, 2020

Close and nice Landaul!

Here I go again, well hard to come up with titles when trying to tell you about off the beaten path sites in my belle France. This is a small town very near me, I passed by it several times and hardly done a castle on it and that is it. I fell it needs a bit more so therefore, here is my take on Landaul.

Landaul is a town located in the department 56 of Morbihan in the region of Bretagne. The Breton name of the town is Landaol.

During WWII, Landaul was the scene of events linked to its proximity to the battles for the Lorient submarine base. The bombings of Lorient from 1942 gave rise to air combat over the town. On January 23, 1943, an American bomber, the “Beats Me”, hit by nazi fighter planes dropped its bombs on Kergolven before falling down at Kéronic in Pluvigner (yes near the castle see post very near me! he came in 1994 to open a stone memorial (still in my town!!!). The crew included eight airmen: seven were killed, only one, the radio, escaped. His name was Charles Roth. Landaul being located at the edge of the Lorient pocket where the nazis did not capitulate until May 9, 1945.

 Some other things to see here are the Castle of Kerambourg, 15C , a wedding event place now. Castle of Kerambar’h 16C held by the Parmentier family since 1851. It once owned a private chapel, a dovecote and a well. The gardens of Kérambar’h Castle, classified as a Remarkable Garden, is a walk from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance through themed gardens , very nice indeed. The monument to the martyrs of Landaul shot by the nazis on April 30, 1944, located opposite the main entrance to the church, a few meters from the place where they were executed.

And what took my curiosity was the Church of Landaul. A bit of history on it ok.

The Saint-Théleau or Sainte-Marie-Magdeleine Church 15C. Sainte-Magdeleine replaces Saint-Thuriau at the beginning of the 19C and Sainte-Magdeleine is replaced by Saint-Théleau in 1903. The parish church of Landaul having been demolished in 1862, the Chapel Notre-Dame de Bon-Secours founded by the Kerambourg family (see above) and which was close to it in turn became a parish church in May 1863, after having been completely transformed by adding two large chapels forming crosses to the north and south. The chapel had been built around 1450. Fortunately, the beautiful western portal with bays in a basket handle has been preserved intact. The arches are decorated with foliage scrolls, taken under a large arcade in a third point with several archivolts surmounting a tympanum. On the gable rises a square bell-tower, posterior of at least a century, formerly surmounted by a stone spire and flanked by a cylindrical staircase turret. The nave dates from the end of the 15C. Against the north gable, sealed on a granite slab, are aligned the stone statues of Saint Barbe, Saint Isidore and Saint Marguerite.


According to tradition, it was built by a lady from Keramburg, in fulfillment of a wish she had made during a trip to Hungary where, in the crossing of a forest, she had been attacked by ferocious animals. The sites dedicated to Marie-Madeleine attest to the presence of an old infirmary. These communities that treated lepers had a chapel under the patronage of Saint Mary Magdalene or Saint Roch. A cemetery once surrounded the church, bounded by a low wall. In this enclosure there is still a stele engraved with a cross, a Calvary and a yew of venerable age.


Now, this is back country Morbihan in Bretagne and my belle France, a car is king here to see these marvels and well worth it. I give some public transport info as a guidance but be known never taken them for it.

Gare de Landaul-Mendon TER Bretagne in 18 mins to Vannes. Webpage here: TER Bretagne on train station at Landaul Mendon

A Brittany site for all public transports mode in the region no all modes is Breizhgo or Brittany on the go, webpage here: Breizhgo public transport on schedules et hours

And further, for the road.  Department Route D16 can be reach in 8 minutes from my house,and Landaul is connected with the expressway N165 that connects you to Vannes (25 min), the capital of the Morbihan, and Lorient (23 min) the sub capital. Only 18 min from the beaches of Etel and even 21 min from beaches of Carnac; 39 min from those of Quiberon.

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Landaul on heritage in French: City of Landaul on heritage

Local tourist office of bay of Quiberon on Landaul in French here: Tourist office of Bay of Quiberon on Landaul

And there you go another nice off the beaten path in my Breton lands, as traditional as you can get in France. Hope you enjoy the tour of Landaul and do come over for a stop to the wonderful beaches south of here.

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

Tags: ,
March 13, 2020

A bit of Morbihan, Guer !

Well, just realise not given much cover to this area of my beloved Morbihan , this is backward country and we love the road warrior opportunities. Of course, they can be call off the beaten path towns but one at least is world famous ! I like to tell you a bit more on Guer ,Morbihan 56, Bretagne, my belle France.

This is way countryside you need a car but all worth it. This little town has a lot of military history, the good stories you want to hear and see. The whole town is done around the military academy of Coëtquedan! Let me tell you a bit more on Guer!

After La Gacilly ; we move on to the nearby town of Guer, the city heritage info page in French is here: City of Guer on its heritage

Here we just touch base walking the town, so I list the ones not seen first, there is interesting things to see in detail as the nearby at Monteneuf village the right stand stones, or mégalithique des Pierres Droites, More info in French here:  The Menhirs of Monteneuf

Prieuré St Etienne, (or St Stephens priory) the oldest in the Morbihan.  I will need to be back for this one.  More info in French from the Landes local tourist site here: Les Landes local tourist site on the Prieure St Etienne

Near the village of Bellevue the museum or Musée du Souvenir des Ecoles de St-Cyr Coëtquidan ,this one of the oldest military acadamies in France, and here it is house the cavalry of old, and the museum trace the military history of these schools in the conflicts of France throughtout its history, The city of Guer tells us something about them in French here: City of Guer on the museum

And, also, the Ministry of Defense of France on the military schools here: Min Defense France St Cyr on military schools

And more specific on the Museum of the Memory of the Schools of St-Cyr Coëtquidan at Guer: Museum of the officer at Guer


and the  Château de La Ville-Huë, in the same family for over 700 years ! webpage here:

What we did do is walk the quaint streets of Guer, pl de la gare, the pl de l’hippodrome with its nice horse race track, etc.


We had to go in to the wonderful Church of St Gurval, there was a church here since the 9C when it was mentioned of the arrival of St Gurval as ermite in the 7C give its name. The actual church is built from 1807 to 1847,in the form of a Latin cross, with new renovations done in 1870. It is a wonderful church, and when we came in, there were practicing on the organ with beautiful singing voices, a nice spectacle!!

A site on the things to see in Guer and the Church of St Gurval with pictures: tourist office of region Guer Coetquidan Broceliande on the Church

And a bit more in the Morbihan tourist office here: Tourist office of the Morbihan dept 56 on Guer and its Church




Definitively I live nearby , an area that has a huge amount of sites to visit (not to say all of France lol!) as I tell my reader and those that partake with me in travel sites, it will take a lifetime to see it all ,and maybe even that would not enough time. This is France a movable feast indeed. 

Now, I wont leave without telling you how to get to these towns, well here the car is king, and we do use it a lot , we are about 45 minutes away. For info, TER Bretagne:

Public transport official page in Bretagne/Brittany:

And tourist office of Brittany on Guer and more on La Gacilly in English:

Hope you enjoy the tour of a famous place still in off the beaten path territory for most. Guer is a serious town, and militarily correct. Remember Guer.

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


March 11, 2020

A resto and a cider, Morbihan!

Ok so I am trying harder to be creative on names. It is not easy folks, help!!! Well I decided to come back to two reliable places haven’t written in about 2 years in my blog.These are routine trips here several times but they are so good need to again tell you all, just in case happened to take the off the beaten paths of my beautiful Bretagne/Breizh or Brittany.

I am in the department 56 Morbihan, just in case you are new to my blog; it is the only administrative department in France that the name is not French at all. It is Breton old islands across the pond and change over time a bit. It’s Petite Mer in French or Small Sea. In Breton, Mor=sea and bihan=small , get it. Just like Brittany in Breton language is Breizh;ok we like it this way.

Now let me tell you briefly about my two subject of the post, a nice restaurant in my town of Pluvigner and a nice cider maker nearby in Sulniac. My town in Breton is Pleuwigner; a combination that means pleu or plu or parish and wigner or guigner for St Guigner who founded the town coming from Ireland and the main church is name after him.

This is the La Barcarella, brasserie, pizzeria and créperie all into one right by the Church St Guigner. All decorated with pirates and corsairs portraits trinkets and memorabilia that the owner has collected over time and purchase in flea markets! You have a dining room with the bar area and kitchen and then to the right as you entered another dining room. We had different dishes each time and all good.  The prices are countryhome great value price/quality ratio. So if you ever in town ,need to try it for the good food, prices and friendly chat; come on in..


The latest we had  Pizzas la bosco chorizo and ham, la surcouf chorizo and goat cheese, Galettes of goat cheese and honey and chorizo cheese, pichet rose wine of 100 cl (more than a bottle 75cl), 2 banana splits and 2 cafe gourmand all for less than 16€ per person. Great again!! And another great chat with the staff and owner who also does work in the Mairie or city hall office. Mind you they have great reviews on popular travel forums.


They are at La Barcarella, 4 pl du Marche, tle +33 (0) 2 97 59 00 97.  They have a Facebook page here: Facebook page of La Barcarella in Pluvigner

Then, we came back to stock up on one of the favorite drinks in the area, the cider. Second to none, the pure real thing done by farmers co-op and individual family businesses here.

We went again to our favorite family country cider distillery as the Distillerie du Gorvello just passing the Castle of Plessis Josso (see post apart)  off the road to your right and then left into the property.  From the free expressway N165 take exit 22 Le Gorvello/Surzur at traffic circle follow direction Le Gorvello and follow the arrows to the Distillery. A wonderful place making cider, apple juice, liquors from apples such as pommeau de Bretagne, Fine de Bretagne, vinager of cider, etc as well as cold meats canned goods (pork and fish base terrines). It has won many medals in the region at the village of Le Gorvello , town of Sulniac , the Gorvello distillery is a small family farm specializing in the cultivation of Apple Cider.



We went for our dose and pick up a case of coco d’issé IGP cider ,then apple juice, limonade le Lutine, and terrine Henriette pure pork Breton, Rillettes de St Jacques, and local honey. Nice basket all natural the country way in my lovely Morbihan. Recommended if stopping by or see somewhere!


Distellerie du Gorvello, Route de Pébéyec, Le Gorvello, Sulniac with webpage: Distillerie du Gorvello ciders in Sulniac

Hope you enjoy the short gastronomic tour of my Morbihan. It is glorious here , shhh its a secret ok. Just say Hi if passing by ok.

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



March 3, 2020

A bit more on the Loire wines!

And to continue my trend on my other passion, wines , need to show you a bit more on my newest adopted region, the Loire. You can catch up searching my blog on my previous wine posts and personal prowess on the world of wines.

For now , let me tell you a bit on some of the Loire wines I have enjoyed lately. Even if still will give you an overall picture on the Loire wines, more in my blog on the wine region.

The Loire Valley vineyard extends over almost 1000 kilometers, it follows the Loire from its source to its estuary: from the Massif Central to Nantes! Loire wine is produced in the departments of Loire-Atlantique (44), Vendée (85), Maine-et-Loire (49), Deux-Sèvres (79), Vienne (86), Sarthe (72), Indre (36), Indre-et-Loire (37), Loir-et-Cher (41), Loiret (45), Cher (18), Nièvre (58), Allier (03), Puy-de-Dôme (63) and Loire (42). The wine route extends for 800km from Nantes in the west to Saint-Pourçain in the south via Orléans, Sancerre, Tours; etc.

The official wine webpage for the Loire is in English here: Official Wines of the Loire Valley

The Château de la Noë is an exceptional collection of rustic Italian architecture. L’Orangerie is the witness of this era built according to the Tuscan model with brick frames. Its construction was undertaken between 1835 and 1837. The orangeries are located facing south. In winter, when the sun is low, it brings direct light and warmth to the room. The 60 ha vineyard extends over the town of Vallet in Loire Atlantique dept 44. It is an exceptional terroir, composed of crystalline rocks, which gives pride of place to the local grape variety. This is an exceptional find in Muscadet Sévre et Maine sur Lie 2016 white wine , great with the local seafood and fish or as an apéritif! The Melon de Bourgogne and the  richness of soils draws wines of the Muscadet Sévre et Maine designation with freshness, minerality and finesse. The cost is 7 euros in France. More in French on the Property here: Official Chateau la Noe webpage


Down over St Nicolas de Bourgueil one of the better find areas here we met first in Vannes wine fair and then on site the funny couple owners Claudine and Christel  of the EARL Cousseau Boireau 2017 , these are wonderful red wines. They open their doors all year round for visits of their vines, winery and cellar. Learn how they work the vines and make their full-bodied red wine using traditional techniques, hand-harvesting the grapes then maturing and storing in oak casks.  The cost is about 6 euros in France. More here in French: St Nicolas de Bourgueuil on wines of Rodaie in English

st Nicolas de Bourgueil

Since 1885 and six generations, the BOUGRIER family has been working to recognize the wines of the Loire Valley and is recognized today as one of the last family houses covering the whole of the Loire Valley, from Nantes to in Sancerre. The Cost is about 7 euros in France. The main area they cover is the appellation Touraine-Amboise a wonderful spot for light fruity inexpensive wines to drink every day we go for it always. The Cuvée Leonard De Vinci 2012 as well as the new bottle design for 2018 is a perfect example of price/quality ratio.  More info on the family Bougrier in French: Official Family Bougrier touraine amboise

touraine amboise

Touraine Amboise

In 1395, Philippe le Hardy decided to improve the quality of the wines and prohibited the cultivation of Gamay in favor of Pinot Noir in his land. It is the first food decree in the world, precursor of controlled designations of origin (AOC).   Bourgueil is town located in the department of Indre-et-Loire no 37 in the Centre Val de Loire region. Bourgueil is at the heart of the Touraine vineyard, on the slopes of the Loire Valley, producing famous red wines which were celebrated by Ronsard, by Rabelais and by Honoré de Balzac. The wines are vinified from the Cabernet Franc grape variety (locally called Breton). Cabernet-Sauvignon can also intervene within the limit of 10%. The Philippe de Valois 2018  is a very hardy red wine as compare to the region and goes well with red meats. Great price/quality ratio with a cost about 8 euros in France. webpage on the cellar coop is here in French: Cellars of Bourgueuil on the wines of Philippe de Valois


In 1460, the territory of present-day France was divided into 3: François II, Duke of Brittany, Charles Le Téméraire, Duke of Burgundy and Louis XI, King of France. Charles and François join forces against Louis XI. Charles offers François le Berligou, a Burgundy grape variety. It will be planted on 4 to 5 ha in Couéron north-west of Nantes and, curiously, in Batz sur Mer near Guérande. Anne of Brittany, the daughter of François II, married Charles VIII then with Louis XII and became queen of France twice!. She demanded that her Berligou be served in Orleans, Blois and Langeais. Louis XIV will make it known at Versailles.

Berligou is a rare grape variety whose original name is Berkovsko Tcherno; it is a black Russian grape variety with medium to large, conical clusters, medium berries, ellipsoids, dark blue. It would be a variation of Pinot noir. In Loire Atlantique, it is called the Berligou.

In 2011, the Poiron-Dabin estate planted 1.5 ha of Berligou. The first bunches are harvested in 2014 It is aged 6 months in a glass tank and then for 12 months in Breton oak barrels from the forests of Brocéliande and Gâvre (as François II probably would have ordered) made at a cooper in Douarnenez   (29). The Poiron-Dabin estate is located in Château-Thébaud in the heart of the Muscadet appellation of Sèvre et Maine.  . This is a property I visited several times and even stayed overnight in the vineyards; the Berligou is a find, great red full body and one grape/wine to find and try by all. Very good quality/price ratio indeed. The cost is about 12 euros in France. Webpage: Official Poiron Dabin on the Berligou red

Chateau Thebaud

And there you some latest years find I just needed to tell you in addition to my historical  posts on the Loire wine region in my blog. Hope you enjoy it and do come and drink , with moderation of course, but drink wine is good for you , the traditions, and the economy. Enjoy the Loire wines as we do

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

February 29, 2020

Some news from France, CCXCXI

And here I am back at you, its beena  while on my regular post of Some news from France! Well it has been rewarding to say the least. However, with all the hoopla of the latest pandémonium in our world let me tell you some news from France!

The postponement of the Paris half-marathon to an undetermined date provokes contrasting reactions from the 44,000 runners entered, all disappointed.
Victim of the coronavirus epidemic and the precautionary principle, the Paris half-marathon will not take place this Sunday morning. 44,000 runners were registered and the organizers expected at least 37,000 people on the starting line. Pity , all these cancellations, this one is just one but they have been many others.

Now for some serious news on the funny virus Coronavirus now lately been call COVID-19, we do not want to insult the beer lol!

In my belle France, it seems the epidemy is centered on the Oise dept 60 north of Paris in Hauts de France region old Picardie claiming 750 calls per day to Samu (the emergency healh folks). In the past 48 hours, the number of calls to 15 (the local French emergency health telephone number which in EU is 112) has increased by 66%. In the face of the epidemic, hospitals are organizing. Yes my Vannes hospital has been added to the ones in Brest and Rennes in Brittany to handle any eventualities.   For the World Health Organization (WHO), the threat linked to the new coronavirus is “very high”. In France, the alert level was raised to 2 (out of 3). Since the start of the epidemic in January, 100 cases  (out of 65 million persons!) have been confirmed in the country.     According to a new report by the French Director General of Health, 86 patients have been hospitalized since the start of the crisis following a coronavirus infection, of which nine in serious condition, 12 have recovered, and two have died (one French and one visiting Chinese). In Spain it has been documented up to today 58 cases,  including the two cases given release from hospitals,one patient from Germany in La Gomera and one from France in Mallorca. The cases so far are in  Madrid: 10 – Andalucía: 10 – Canarias: 7 – Cataluña: 6 – País Vasco: 3 – Castilla y León: 2 – Baleares: 2 – Navarra: 1 – Asturias: 1 – Cantabria: 1.  At least 34 people in the United States are infected with the coronavirus spreading from China, federal health officials said on Friday. A 50-year-old patient died in Washington State USA  after contracting the coronavirus. It was the first death linked to the epidemic in the United States (out of like 330 millioin persons). This new virus represents a tremendous public health threat, by a Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said at a news briefing. Eleven of the infections were diagnosed in travelers who fell ill after returning on their own from overseas, and two of their close contacts became infected. The other 21 patients are people who were returned to the United States by the State Department. Source NYT.

Just briefly, we are in a cold virus period and these have killed more people than any other virus including the coronavirus so far. Stay tune it will get better in the news.

In another important news, ……The Socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo (from Cadiz she was Ana) , had to face several “tiles” that fell during the mandate. Among them: the end of the Autolib ‘contract and the failures of the Vélib’ transition in Paris. After the end of Autolib ‘and the difficult transition of the Vélib’ service, Parisians have massively shifted to new toys to claim eco conciousness … free floating scooters that swarm the streets!!!!

In the middle of summer 2018, the 4,000 gray Autolib ‘cars that appeared under former mayor Delanoë disappeared from the Parisian landscape, disconnected due to a heavy deficit. The same year, the deployment of the new metropolitan Vélib by the company Smovengo, winner of the market at the expense of JC Decaux, derailed, accumulating delays and technical problems. In the meantime, Parisians have massively turned to new toys: free floating bikes and scooters that swarm and pile up on the sidewalks. In the past  spring, the Hôtel de Ville (city hall) nevertheless punched the table to restore order on the public highway. Last week, the executive announced that it had arranged 4,600 parking spaces (out of the 15,000 planned) for scooters in the city. And promised to launch before Christmas a tender to ultimately retain only three operators of self-service electric scooters next year. On this subject too, Parisians diverge; these machines were not regulated: nothing was adapted for their circulation, the cart was put before the horse.

Since the City of Paris disconnected the Bolloré group and its famous Bluecar, three operators have shared the market. “3000 self-service electric cars are available,” said the deputy layor. Parisians now have the choice between the Zoé from Renault, the Smart from Car2go and the vehicles from Free2Move (PSA) which they can leave on the spot, once their journey is over, or bring back to the departure station. Part of the Autolib ‘charging stations are used by private electric vehicles, for 120 euros per year. As for the anarchic development of free floating scooters, the City of Paris put an end to it with a charter of good conduct in May 2019, the ban on parking on sidewalks since last July, and the creation of dedicated locations. Still to select 3 operators among the eight who are currently sharing Poor Parisiens, their money is going down the hole and we still claim eco conscience ! Source; Le Parisien journal

Now for something ligher and worth it.

Discovering objects made in deportation, the clandestine printing of leaflets or the letters of deportees was already extremely moving in the former museum of the National Resistance of Champigny. But by discovering the new site, located on the Quai Victor-Hugo on the banks of the Marne river, visitors should feel even more the shift in the lives of the French from May 1940. The museum will be open on average from Thursday to Sunday. The historic site of the museum, the Jean-Louis-Crémieux-Brilhac area, avenue Marx-Dormoy, remains a place of conservation. National Resistance Museum, 40, quai Victor-Hugo in Champigny-sur-Marne More info here in FRench: Museum of national resistance WWII

And on the popular football/soccer, well big moves for PSG, Paris Saint Germain.

The countdown begins for PSG which officially launches today Saturday morning the construction of its future campus in Poissy whose delivery is scheduled for 2022. Excavators, bulldozers and trucks will come into action on the 74 hectares acquired by the club in 2016 on the edge of the A 13 autoroute de Normandie. The goal is to develop around fifteen football fields, a stadium with 5,000 seats, but also accommodation buildings for professional players and those of the training center, who will then leave the Camp des Loges, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The campus will not only welcome footballers. The handball and judo sections will also be set up in Poissy. The site is divided into three zones with land reserved for professionals and others for young people from the training center. These different spaces will be separated by accommodation buildings to accommodate players. These sets will also include treatment rooms but also classes since the campus will house a Blue and Red school for young people in the neighborhoods and aimed at fighting against school failure. As for the 5000-seat stadium, located near the A 13 highway/motorway exit ramp, it will be used for meetings of European competitions for the PSG women’s team and matches for the reserve team. An agreement was also reached with the city which could use the equipment if the local club, which is currently playing in National 2 were to move up into the upper division. The total investment for the club amounts to almost 300 million euros.

And two heavyweights of the wine world speaks out against the forseen fear of drinking wine (alcohol).

Aubert de Villaine (Romanée-Conti) and Alexandre de Lur Saluces (Château de Fargues), two winemakers who have bottles, denounce campaigns that aim to reduce wine to alcohol. According to them, it is much more than that. Bien sûr monsieurs! merci
They are two figures of the French vineyard, one in Burgundy, the other in the Bordeaux region. Aubert de Villaine, 81, directs the cult area of ​​Romanée-Conti, in the Côte de Nuits (Côte-d’Or), and was a key player in the classification of Burgundy climates in 2015, on the list Unesco World Heritage Site. Alexandre de Lur Saluces, 85, has spent more than 30 years at the helm of Château d’Yquem, the king of sauternes, and now owns Château de Fargues, in the same appellation. Both claim that the image of wine in France is today quite damaged. And they worry about it. Me too and its spread out worldly but I see here much more.  Aubert de Villaine says: Our wine culture is considered everywhere as a model, no other country has our prestige. The Italian, Spanish, American or Australian vineyards are defended without fault by their leaders, but in France, not. Indeed they got it well I got it, these are icons of my wine life, and speaking out well. Drink wine is a honest tradition and good for you in moderation.

No less than 413 Parisian restaurants are participating in the new edition of a somewhat special food festival. Food by the thousands, at reasonable prices ,-50% off some menu cartes, your wallet will say thank you. From February 21 to April 5, 2020 you will be able to have fun without tearing your arm away. Festival LaFourchette   .The Fork in English or Tenedor in Spanish or Garfo in Portuguese, of course in French is Fourchette. More info on their site which is one of my blog roll webpages bottom of my front page in my blog.La Fourchette in French

And lets finish up with some fashion news of course, I am in France!

Manfred Thierry Mugler, Better known as Thierry Mugler, the multi-faceted creator is exhibited by the Galerie Polka gallery, in partnership with Bercy Village. Thus, in free access, 34 photos are exposed in the passages until June 7 2020. “What guides me is the quest for the perfect place, and the perfect place is not necessarily easy to access or free for a shoot. My photography is an adventure, it is often done in extreme conditions. We sometimes found ourselves in forbidden places, at the top of a temple or a building, “said Mugler to Sidonie Gaychet, deputy director of the Polka gallery. Guaranteed without special effects, the pictures by Thierry Mugler show surprising imagination, above the cities, in the desert, in the shade of icebergs, on dinosaurs, under the hooves of horses in the Grand Palais, on the Art Deco peaks Chrysler Building in New York, Russia, Paris, China, Japan or Mali. We enter a dreamlike universe, between science fiction, transhumanism and robotics, staging superheroines and superheroes in landscapes chosen for their unique beauty. Like his sculptural fashion, he succeeds in once again asserting his unique aesthetic full of poetry by magnifying “the most beautiful animal on earth, the human being”. Manfred Thierry Mugler In the covered passages of Bercy Village. More info here: Bercy Village on Mugler

Christian Louboutin: The exhibition [niste]!! As of February 26, the Porte Dorée museum is offering the largest exhibition ever devoted to the red soles creator’s work and imagination. We cross 11 chapters dedicated to his sources of inspiration as well as a selection of works from his personal collection and loans from public collections. Several surprises await the visitor: did you know that Louboutin collaborated with the Maison du Vitrail  (house of glass) in Paris to create stained glass windows and that he is the proud owner of a 300 m2 Buddhist temple, star of the Universal Exhibition in 2000 in Hanover!  Christian Louboutin: L’Exhibition [niste] From February 26 to July 26, 2020 at the Palais de la Porte Dorée 293, avenue Daumesnil – 12éme arrondissement of Paris. More info here: Palais porte doree on Louboutin

Harper’s Bazaar. First fashion magazine! The Museum of Decorative Arts (on the Louvre) invites us to delve into the epic of the famous American fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar. We will discover a large photographic retrospective embellished with a selection of pieces from the museum’s fashion collections. We are aware of the enormous influence of this iconic magazine founded in 1867, which has helped to spark a new mode of fashion consumption. Sixty sewing and ready-to-wear creations are offered, mainly from the museum’s collections, punctuated with loans of prestigious iconic pieces and are presented in correspondence with their publication in this magazine. The artists and photographers Man Ray, Salvador Dali, Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol, and even Peter Lindbergh contributed to the magazine’s unmatched aesthetics while the journalists Carmel Snow, Alexey Brodovitch and Diana Vreeland finished writing it in the legend. Harper’s Bazaar Museum of Decorative Arts 107, rue de Rivoli- 1éme arrondissement of Paris going on from February 28 to July 14 2020. More info here: Musee des arts decoratifs on Harper’s

Like many successful meetings, this one took place in a nightclub: when they met at New Jimmy’s (ex-Régine, on boulevard de Montparnasse) in 1967, it was love at first sight between Yves Saint Laurent and Betty Catroux. “She is Saint Laurent as she breathes. Its appearance, its mystery, its sulphurous side, an elusive, desirable danger, everything that makes the aura of this house, we understand the magnitude when we meet Betty. The pieces presented in the museum’s exhibition come from the important donation that Betty Catroux chose to make to the Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Foundation. Betty Catroux, Yves Saint Laurent, Feminine Singular from March 3 to October 11, 2020 at the Yves Saint Laurent Museum Paris 5, avenue Marceau – 16éme arrondissement of Paris. More info here: Museum YSL on Betty Catroux

An exhibition bringing together two of the colossi of fashion, we dreamed of it, the Azzedine Alaïa association did it. When Cristóbal Balenciaga decided to close his fashion house in 1968, the assistant director of the Balenciaga house, Mademoiselle Renée, contacted the young Alaïa to offer him to send him the stocks of fabrics and dresses stored in the workshop. Alaïa keeps them and begins to build an archive which he will enrich all his life. The exhibition brings together the models of the two creators in a duel of breathtaking cuts and volumes. Alaïa and Balenciaga, sculptors of the form
until June 28, 2020 Association Azzedine Alaïa 18, rue de la Verrerie – 4éme arrondissement of Paris . More info here:  Assoc azzedine Alaia

Renowned American artist and photographer, Cindy Sherman is her own model and her productions question the image and role assigned to the American woman of the 60s. She refers to and diverts advertising, cinematographic or even erotic imagery with fantasy and daring. A resolutely feminist exhibition. From April 1 to August 31 2020. Cindy Sherman Retrospective, Louis Vuitton Foundation 8, avenue du Mahatma-Gandhi – 16éme arrondissement of Paris/ More info here: Fondation Louis Vuitton on Cindy Sherman

And there you go some news from France of all kinds like the country of many cheeses and wines lol! Hope you enjoy it.

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



February 26, 2020

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXVIII

And I interrupt these tour of my belle France to bring you back to my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of Bretagne. It was a cool on and off sun day today, and temps saw them down to 5C now in late afternoon is shown at 9C oops it went up …..this is about 47F and I am home, lovely home in my dear Pluvigner.

It was a short day today, needed to do some inherance paperwork for the passing of my dear late wife Martine’s mom Yvette, the maternal grandmother of my boys will get some ,and the paperwork done by email and mairie was easy. I still do not understand folks claiming France admin is slow lol!  I just send an email to my Mairie or city hall, the madame told me to  come in any time did that done that and no cost. Later passing by the post office to drop off the envelope to the Notaire in Seine et Marne dept 77.


The city/town hall is simple but nice in neo Breton style and a clean spacious lobby. Great views over the city main square place Saint Michel. As we have some British expats living here there was a sign to come in and inquire about the effects of Brexit on their stay.



Later, my oldest son got a quick (another quick action) rdv for the dentist , he call yesterday and told him to come in this morning , dentist saw him a bit inflammation some antibiotics and gone, got the Pharmacie de la Place and pick up the medicines , no costs! It was about 45 minutes visit and out we went. No photos here!

Finally, to compensate a day of errands and me been around the house for a change , took them to eat to an Asian resto they told me had gone with the mother. I am weak when told this, so I took to eat there in Chez Moi, Vannes.


The place is very spacious, more like Oriental cuisine mixing Chinese, Japanese ,etc foods. It is an all you can eat buffet, entrée,plat, dessert, one non alcoholic drink and coffee for 12,80€ ! can’t beat that here lol!! Well yes I had lunch near my job for 12€ but only all you can eat entrées and wine free flowing!!!


I had all kinds of shrimp, pork nems, beef samossas, cantonese rice, noodles, caramel pork, and onion beef, fish nems, cakes, apple and chocolate, kumquats, ice cream, coca cola, and coffee expresso. And left full could not move lol!!! dinner is similar for 17,80€. Ah the place is Chez Moi or at home in the Copernic commercial center next to the Cinéville cinema, back of E Leclerc hypermarché and just right by the shopping area we go to here.  They have a Facebook page here: Facebook page of Chez Moi restaurant Vannes


We came back and relaxing at home glad no work and already with duties by inner Paris next month life goes on until full retirement in my belle France. Hope you enjoy the every day errands of a French family , a bit different from the usual tourist oriented rounds we post in the blog.  Again , enjoy Vannes, Morbihan, Bretagne and France!

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



%d bloggers like this: