Archive for ‘Bretagne’

October 16, 2019

Tour de France 2020!

Ok so you are going to K me again this is an event way ahead but me think is good to plan ahead. When you have these big events I think it is always good to know the dates and the towns so you have plenty of time to plan your family’s trip. And I mean plan everything. This is the case with the Tour de France cycling race. The ultimate!!

I am not an expert nor I ride now but still love it and all my family do. For all even the views of the cyclists going thru the wonderful countryside of my belle France is enough to come and see it, either on TV or even better on site. Over the years we have followed it usually around Pau but sometimes near me now and even near Paris. Let me tell you a bit about the 2020 edition of the Tour de France.

A Tour de France entirely in France, with mountain from beginning to end and in which the only test against the clock will be in the penultimate stage, ending in the hard climb to La Planche des Belles Filles. This is the route of the 2020 edition of the Tour de France, which will be held from June 27 to July 19, 2020 dates advanced by the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Southern Grand Départ from Nice will have three exits with an initial stage for sprinters and on the second day there will be a mid-mountain exam with 4,000 meters of unevenness in order to fight the Leader from the beginning. In fact, on the fourth day the first final will appear on high, on the high in Orcieres-Merlette, 7.1 km at 6.7% level.

The sixth stage will be another arrival up in a port like Mont Aigoual, which will link up to 34 km of final ascent. It will be on the way to the Pyrenees, protagonists of the second weekend. Two days, Saturday July 4 and Sunday July 5 with the first with Balès (11.7 to 7.7%) and Peyresourde (9.7 to 7.8%); and the Sunday, with Hourcere and Marie-Blanque. After the rest day, the race will reach the Atlantic coast, between the islands of Oleron and Ré, with the wind as the main protagonist. Nor will forget the Tour de France to honor the recently deceased Jacques Chirac, with the longest and only stage that passes 200 km at 218 ending in Sarran, in a second week that will end with the final in Grand Colombier.

The final berth will be blatantly mountainous, with a day on July 14 with five ports and final in Villard-de-Lans, to give way to one of the great novelties the next day, the Col de Loze, an extension of the station Meribel, which leaves a rise of 21 km to 7.8%, the last four hard and exceeding 2,300 meters of altitude. Everything, after having made the Madeleine before (17.1 to 8.4%). Stage reigns before another mountain day (four ports on the way to La Roche-Sur-Foron) and the decisive 36 km chrono ending at La Planche des Belles Filles, the hand-to-hand duel where the organization expects the winner to be decided.

The stages of the Tour de France and brief commentaries from AS and L’Equipe sports journals.

1st stage (June 27th): Nice –Nice (medium country) 156 km.The first stage of this Tour de France will make a great loop in the Nice hinterland with, rare thing, three difficulties to borrow from the inaugural Saturday.

2nd stage (June 28th): Nice –Nice (high country) 187 km. From the second day, the long but steady col de Colmiane pass (16 km to 6.3%) placed in the first third of the stage, then in the wake of the Turini pass (15 km to 7.4%) both already punctuated Paris-Nice in 2018 and 2019 respectively – and the slightly more affordable Col d’Eze (7.8 km at 6.1%) will stand in front of the peloton, in a Tour de France which begins full slope (nearly 4000 m of elevation gain).

3rd stage (June 29th): Nice-Sisteron. 198 km. Without being a mountainous stage as the day before, the profile of this day will be slightly bumpy when the riders leave the Mediterranean shores for the Provençal hinterland, and will rise to above 1000 m before descending to Sisteron for an arrival which will be disputed between bruisers and/or sprinters.

4th stage (June 30th): Sisteron – Orcières-Merlette. 157 km. A 4th stage that already reaches the 2,000 m of altitude at its arrival: the first days of the 2020 edition will be steep, with the line drawn at the top of the climb of Orcières-Merlette, only 7 km but at 6.7% average. The foot also includes the steepest pass, with a second kilometer of ascension announced at 8.2% average. The riders will have already negotiated a first difficulty at nearly 1500 m before

 5th stage (July 1st): Gap-Privas. 183 km. Runners will leave the Hautes-Alpes gently sloping for the Ardèche buttresses through the Rhone Valley, often open to the winds of the South and, why not, to the curbs. Long-distance breakouts could be a breeding ground for victory if the sprint teams do not lock the race.

6th stage (July 2nd): Teil-Mont Aigoual. 191 km. Back on the slopes for the fourth time in six days with an arrival at Mount Aigoual that the Tour de France had not visited since its only passage in 1987. It’s not so much the last 14 kilometers that will make the difference, with their alternation between plateau and final elevation at a pleasant 4% average, as the formidable and irregular Lusette pass (11.7 km at 7, 3%) just before, including two kilometers passed in 11 % of slope. A total of 34 km climb that will reduce the organisms after not even a week’s drive.

7th stage (July 3rd): Millau-Lavaur. 168 km. A hilly stage but without real big difficulty. If weather conditions do not spread the peloton in small clusters, the riders could come out unscathed.

 8th stage (4th of july): Cazères-sur-Garonne – Loudenvielle. 140 km. A sequence of three well-known passes, an arrival in the valley in a rather narrow stage: the Pyrenees stand before the peloton at the end of the first week of racing. Col de Menté, Port of Balès and Col de Peyresourde punctuate this mountainous stage which finally switches to Loudenvielle. The succession of three climbs introduces the lightning but strong passage that makes the Tour de France in the Pyrenean massif.

9th stage (July 5th): Pau-Laruns. (we have been here before!!) 154 km. Second day Béarnaise before the day of rest, again a wild severity. The brutal succession of the Hourcere and Soudet passes, planted well in the middle of the stage with 11 km at 8.8% followed by 3.8 km at 8.5%, barely interspersed with a descent of 5 km before the pass of Marie Blanque and its 7.7 km at 8.6% is added to the table in the last third of the stage, conclude a first week of Tour de France particularly marked by the mountain, unpublished in the modern history of the test.

10th stage (July 7th): Île d’Oléron (The Château d’Oléron) – Île de Ré (Saint-Martin-de-Ré).170 km. The Tour de France will go from island to island (wonderful to see) after the day of rest, for one of the few steps possibly for sprinters.

 11th stage (July 8th): Châtelaillon-Plage – Poitiers. 167 km. New stage with very soft relief, which will still be able to smile to the teams of sprinters on the Poitevin line .

12th stage (9th of July): Chauvigny-Sarran. 218 km. The longest stage of this 2020 edition will lead the pack towards Sarran, through a bumpy course without being really nothing complicated.

13th stage (July 10th): Châtel-Guyon – Puy-Mary. 191 km. A profile that will leave no respite, typical of those stages of mid-mountain that have worn out the bodies of runners in 2019. All incessant climbs and descents, this stage crossing the Massif Central is announced as the one with the biggest difference in altitude of the 2020 edition – 4400 m for 191 km of course. Among other celebrations listed: the Col de Ceyssat pass, the Col de Guéry, the Montée de la Stéle, the Estiade coast, the Anglards-de-Salers coast before concluding by the Col de Néronne pass (3.8 km to 9.1%) which precedes by 5 km the final rise of Pas de Peyrol, a sacred delicacy of 5.4 km to 8.1% of average. And whose 2.5 ultimate kilometers stand at nearly 12% with a passage to 15%. Big program in perspective.

14th stage (July 11th): Clermont-Ferrand – Lyon. 197 km. A stage marked the passage of the Béal pass in the first part of the race. Not enough to decide the fate of the stage before a descent to Lyon and some bumps on the menu in the very last part of the race: the coast of the Duchère, the rise of the Observance and the Côte de la Croix-Rousse will spice up the finale.

15th stage (12th of July): Lyon-Grand Colombier. 175 km. From almost every angle: from Lyon, runners will approach the Grand Colombier by almost all its possible access and drive. First by coming flirting with him from the west, to the saddle of Fromentel (11 km to 8.1%, including slopes between 11.5 and 22% in the last three kilometers), before s’ turn to go down to the north and hang on the Col de la Biche (7 km to 8.9%). They will then have to turn east, join Culoz and tackle the Grand Colombier, which is so difficult (17.4 km at 7.1%), irregular, with a brittle rhythm, where in several places the slopes follow slopes of 12%!

16th stage (July 14th): The Tour-du-Pin – Villard-de-Lans. 164 km. If the Chartreuse massif and the Col de Porte pass, which appear quite early in the stage (km 47) do not already scatter part of the peloton, the Vercors, its climb of access (by Saint-Nizier-du -Moucherotte), its plateau and its final coast at Villard-de-Lans, could legitimately be the theater.

17th stage (July 15th): Grenoble-Col de la Loze. 168 km. The queen stage of this Tour de France will cross the Madeleine and will end at the top of the Col de la Loze Pass, an unprecedented climb to the spectacular finale, destined to become a classic of the Great Loop. A narrow road opened last May and closed to cars has made accessible to cyclists the summit of the Col de la Loze (2 304 m), which connects the valley of Meribel to that of Courchevel. The extraordinary strength of this climb does not lie in its length (21.5 km in total from the foot, Brides-les-Bains), nor in its average percentages (7.8%), but in the unique profile of last six terminals, on the new elevation road. This consists of a succession of impressive walls and floors, with many passages over 20%. Short laces, violent raids and incessant ruptures of slope, which offer cyclists a phenomenal field of expression.

18th stage (July 16th): Méribel – La-Roche-sur-Foron. 168 km. Since it was retracted due to weather conditions in the 2019 edition, here is the Cormet Roselend served on the menu of 2020, but this time in its direction Bourg-Saint-Maurice – Beaufort. Then come a solid sequence of the Col des Saisies, the Aravis, the rise of the plateau Glières (back to the program after an appearance in 2018)

19e étape (17 juillet) : Bourg-en-Bresse – Champagnole. 160 km. Part of the Ain to join the reliefs of the Jura, it will not present difficulties comparable to the previous days and could benefit the sprinters.

20th stage (July 18th): Lure – La Planche des belles filles (against the clock). 36 km. The only stage against the clock of this Tour de France 2020 will be played on 36 km with a final in hill. And what a rise: the now classic Planche des belles filles, on the program for the fifth time in nine editions. Nearly 6 km to 8.5% (in “normal” version for 2020 after the “Super Planche” of 2019) with ad hoc passages at 13 or even 20%. A chrono during the penultimate stage is not new in the recent history of the Tour de France all editions from 2002 to 2008, then those of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 or even 2017 were filled, with a single change of leader on the eve of the arrival in Paris, in 2011. But the uniqueness of the individual chrono this year makes it a unique event.

21st stage (July 19th): Mantes-la-Jolie (Yvelines dept 78! – Paris .122 km. As every year until 2024, the last stage of the Tour starts from the Yvelines to reach Paris. By an agreement between the Tour de France and the dept 78 Yvelines! My old home!

The official webpage of the Tour de France:

There ,now you are all set to come in, bienvenue  and enjoy the race ,the Tour de France 2020.

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


October 15, 2019

The Christmas markets of my France!

So this is the season to be merrier indeed. Always my best part even if already the second one without dear late wife Martine and the 13th without my dear mom Gladys. I will be with my 3 boys and Dad to weather the seasons and be merry.  And we need to plan ever so earlier these days lol!! So here it is be prepare be ready be merrier !!!Merry Christmas to all:::!!

As the title says, there are many wonderful Marché de Noël or Christmas markets in my belle France. I have written before on some,but this year will post those that I have great memories with the family and been to them on several occassions sometimes two in the same year! Hope you enjoy them as we did/do.

Some of my favorites Christmas market or Marché de Noël, well there are many favorites, let’s just say these are the ones been while living there or nearby.

The marché de Noël or Christmas market at place de la Poissonnerie in Vannes all part of a project of the school Ecole Sainte Jéhanne d’Arc near the Place du Poids Public   many vendors and creators, producers will be at the school yard on December 7th.

From December 20th to January 5th, 2020 at the place Maurice Marchais,Hôtel de Ville in Vannes. A huge Marché de Noël a highlight of the Christmas activities, appointment appreciated by families. An ice rink of 300 m² and a 50 m² ice garden will also offer to the little ones a safe gliding area, equipped with games and accessories. Do not forget your gloves! They are required for skating. A glove dispenser (€ 5 per pair) will be available at the entrance to the rink. On this same square, two gourmet chalets offer sweets: pancakes, chichis, waffles, chocolate, mulled wine, coffee, tea … Every day from 14h to 19h and Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10h to 12h. Opening Friday, December 20 from 18h to 22h. More info here in French: Tourist office South Brittany on Vannes Christmas market

Another nice one in my area will be from Friday December 13 to Wednesday December 19 at the Place Notre Dame in Auray, across from the Church of St Gildas. A wind of magic will blow on the city with the launch of the Illuminations that will unfold from December 6 in the streets of Auray. More info in French here: Tourist office bay of Quiberon on Auray Christmas market

One of the best in Brittany will be the Marché de Noël in Rochefort en Terre from December 13 to the 31th 20190 The whole city puts on its clothes of lights to the delight of young and old! Light garlands, stalactites, curtains of lights are installed in the streets and alleys and the park of the castle. Come stroll and admire these lights that will amaze young and old. Wooden chalets and shops of the city: Fairy atmosphere in the Small City of Character from 17h30! We have come every year since 2011! More info here:

Live Magic of Christmas at the Esplanade de Hoche, in Quiberon! The Village de Noël will be there from December 21 to January 4 2020. Come stroll, feast and meet the folks at the Christmas Village, open every day. You will discover gift proposals, an associative scene and booths with the theme of Noël Gourmand! Free skating on natural ice. Every day for free, borrow ice skates, take off on the track! The little ones will be able to take off themselves, wearing shiners, pushing toboggan sleds. A teams of volunteers are there to help you choose the skates. For your safety and comfort, do not forget your gloves and hat! Opening of the ice rink on December 21st. There will be horse wagon or Caleche from 23 to 31 December. Makeup artists from December 23rd to January 3rd 2020. More info here in French: City of Quiberon on Christmas market

At Versailles ,not a specific Christmas market but plenty of events especially for the season. See the lineup on the palace/museum site at their official webpage here:[]=136&id=field-theme-136

And, also, at the city of Versailles webpage on these days activities here:

For the memories a short film I saw in YouTube that is pretty good to show you the ambiance in a town like Versailles this was a few years back. Enjoy it here:

And on my dear Seine et Marne at Disneyland Paris we will be a big one as usual.  The Noël Enchanté Disney 2019 at Disneyland Paris the traditions continuesin the two parks Disney and the Disney Village.  There will be many thrills and entertainment at the Walt Disney Studios Park and Disney Village. All from November 9  to January 6  2020. More info in French here:  Disneyland Paris Christmas market and celebrations

From November 20 2019 until January 8,2020 hundreds of garlands will illuminate the Christmas 400 pine trees on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris, of course. The installation of trees will last until mid-November and will illuminate the most beautiful avenue in the world with a flamboyant red.

One of the best if not the best in the Paris region happened in Hauts de Seine dept 92 at La Défense. A Christmas Village on the parvis de la Défense from November 21st to December 29th, 2019. The modern neighborhood at the forefront of La Défense is transforming its face as the sun goes down and the lights of the Christmas market come on. Under the Grande Arche of glass and steel, emblem of the city’s economic district, the atmosphere becomes magical thanks to the Christmas stalls. Decorations, gifts, ethnic objects, delicacies, sandwiches with melted cheese: these are the ingredients of this evocative Christmas market. More info here in French: City of La Défense on the Christmas market

For nostalgic sake, here are some small one passed by them and enjoyed many times.

Take it to the Gare St Lazare; Cour de Rome ; the Marché de Noël   November 16-21 2019. Creations made in France . Rendez vous in the street Cour de Rome to see some like Basus, La Fine Equipe, Dagobear, Ullys, TheTops, Furia, Laurie, and Collants Lauve. More info here on the Gare St Lazare and others from SNCF: SNCF Christmas markets and on gare St Lazare

Another small but nice is at the Marché de Noël des Fééries of Auteuil on the Rue Jean de la Fontaine 16éme arrondissement of Paris from December 1-6 2019. 11h to 19h. More here in French from the mayor’s office of the 16 of Paris: Mayor’s office of the 16 arrondissment of Paris on the Auteuil Christmas market

Then some bigger and popular market in Paris proper.

The Saint Germain des Prés 2019 Christmas Market from 1st to 31st December 2019 , and 10h to 19h. You will find many stalls merchants but also entertainment for young and old. It is also an opportunity to find gift ideas or culinary specialties. This is the ideal way to market and prepare your New Year’s Eve meal. Saint-Germain-des-Prés church in the 6éme arrondissement of Paris. More official here but not yet the 2019 just keep an eye on this webpage: Comite of St Germain on the Christmas Market

The Christmas Market of Notre Dame!! This year more than ever be there if possible. It will be from December 14 to December 23, 2019.   Nearly 40 artisans will welcome you for this Christmas Market located on the square René Viviani. You will find artisans, fashion designers and accessories sellers. More info in French here: Official Notre Dame Christmas market

The Christmas Market of Abbesses, Montmartre. From the end of December 2019 to the beginning of January 2020 and 10h to 17h. The Place des Abbesses 18éme arrondissement of Paris, organizes its traditional Christmas market. This is the place to go for the hunt for gifts and local products: all to experience the magic of Christmas family. No web yet available but stay tune for it as awaiting official dates.

And the Paris tourist office on many more here :

There you go be here or be square a magical moment to be in my belle France. Hope you do your planning well and have a wonderful time with family and dear friends wherever you are in the wonderful Earth. Merry Christmas to all!

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

October 9, 2019

The Massy-Palaiseau station at Massy!

Ok so lets get you to another sort of off the beaten path area of my eternal Paris. This is a place that has been just passed by and only use its transport hub , an important one especially if living in the west of France like me::)

There is a way to get direct from my Vannes train station on the TGV service to Roissy CDG airport or even Disneyland Paris. This is the connection station sometimes and sometimes it goes direct, talking about Massy-Palaiseau . Let me tell you a bit more on it and hope you can use it as well

A bit on the town itself.

Massy is located in the department 91 of Essonne in the region Ile-de-France.  It is at 15 km from Paris-Notre-Dame, point zero of the roads of France, 16 km from Evry, F km from Palaiseau, 34 km from Etampes, 28 km from La Ferte-Alais,30 km from Dourdan, 39 km from Milly-la-Forêt and only 13 km from Versailles. The town is bordered on the north by the course of Bièvre for about 1.52 km (old river now gone from Paris see Rue du Biévre)

The Massy-Palaiseau station, opened in 1883, is currently part of a multimodal hub connected to RER B and C and completed since 1991 by the Massy TGV station (I take)  served by the five French high-speed lines, Atlantique to Rennes , Nantes and Bordeaux, South-East to Lyon then Mediterranean to Marseille and Montpellier, North to Lille and Brussels and now Eastern Europe to Strasbourg. There is also bus stations of Massy-Atlantis and Massy-Vilmorin


The TGV, RER and bus stations are interconnected by a  241 meter footbridge to allows passengers to reach the RER, TGV and Vilmorin and Atlantis bus stations. In 2022 there should be added the Express line 12 of the Ile-de-France tramway via the Massy-Palaiseau station and the new Massy-Europe station. This line will use up to Épinay-sur-Orge the old Grande Ceinture line and then will run in tramway mode to Courcouronnes and Évry by following the A6 autoroute.


By road , you have the two ancient roads prior to the 18C, the national road 20 heir to the great royal road from Paris to Toulouse, currently the 920  road (this have taken from Paris to Toulouse! both when name 20 and now 920 )to the far east and the 188 road from the east to the southwest (old road of Chartres main axis of old Massy constituted of the avenue of President-Kennedy,  Rue Gabriel-Péri, rue du mai 8 1945 and the rue de  Paris).

Other than the intersection on TGV from Vannes to Roissy CDG which I have taken several times, there is little to see other than the main one me think of the Opera de Massy, Cultural Center Paul Bailliart, and the Conservatory of Music and Dance.  There is ,also, the Château de Vilgénis rebuilt in 1823,  from its origins of 1755, now owned by Air France!

Some transports info on Massy station to follow

City of Massy as how to come here

Area tourist office Paris Saclay on the TGV intermodes at Massy

And there you go ,the transport tribulations of my belle France. Yes, you notice too almost everything is routed by Paris yes indeed. It all has to do with a National government of a Republic that wanted to crown its jewel in one city, Paris.

The Massy-Palaiseau station is nice big areas, plenty of eating places and easy panels me think. The trip from the west is long ok for me but my father is difficult and he has taken it with me and the boys too. However, it is a great alternative to get to Roissy CDG for many including me and avoid the Paris center, and it is very easy about 32 minutes to Disneyland Paris.

Enjoy the rides at Massy-Palaiseau. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!



October 5, 2019

Restaurant: Back to the 60’s at Rennes!

So here I am  ,love that series on restaurant and shopping  as seen in my previous posts and decided why not do the same in my lovely Bretagne! This is one we have been to several years back , and always thinking of going back with so much choice around we never did until now. We were here first with my dear late wife Martine and even purchase the Mountain Dew sodas to take home lol!!!

I have feature recently for the memories and would like to post my initial entry of 2014 on the restaurant American Diner Back to the 60’s of Rennes here: My previous post on Back to the 60’s Rennes

This time we didn’t purchase the Mountain Dew sodas (pepsi brand) to take home but we drank plenty on site! Back to the 60’s is at  5 bis, rue de Saint-Malo tel contact +33 09 81 95 11 41.


In Rennes, Back to the 60’s, it’s almost an institution. It is strongly recommended to do reservation because of the affluence recorded at Back to the 60’s at each service. A real American dinner, which has attracted crowds for many years now. Distinguishing itself from the wealth of bistros and creperies Back to the 60’s restaurant focuses on bringing back American cuisine to the heart of Rennes. The restaurant is a favorite among students, locals and tourist alike.



Back to the 60’s immerses you in the 1960’s. To you retro sensations with long live red sky seats, black and white tiled floor, and a good old 60s rock in the background. Enter a real diner or rather an American restaurant because here they serve you at the table. The soda map is great because  we can have Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew, as well as many milkshakes!  And not to leave out the famous Cheesecake this time with strawberry and rhubard! An American Diner as we like them!




A bit of history on the American Diner: The dinner originated in the second half of the 19C in the northeastern United States. Originally conceived as a traveling roadside restaurant, the “dining car” or “lunch wagon” captivates with speed of service, an affordable price and extended hours. The dinner then settles in the form of prefabricated buildings that retain the tradition of a rectangular structure and the conviviality of the banquettes but adopt from the 1920s an influence Art Deco. Popularized worldwide in the American cinema of the 50s and 60s, the American dinner is somewhat neglected with the emergence of large chains of fast food. It resurfaces today, often in its style of the 60s, and differs in this warm and simple atmosphere, born of its history.

In at Rennes, you have friendly service, fast, and good prices with a surrounding ambiance of Americana and lovely architecture just steps out in old town Rennes!  Recommended! Remember Back to the 60’s at Rennes!

Some webpages to help you enjoy this restaurant are

Official Restaurant Back to the 60’s

Yelp my favorite reviews and me in it on the Back to the 60’s

Official tourist office of Rennes on the Rue Saint Malo area of restaurant in French

And on the way back we still had time to do our paper stuff groceries in Carrefour of Vannes lol! We are set go rugby world cup now!!

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


October 5, 2019

Marché des Lices at Rennes!

So let me bring you into something that I just adore and one big reason love my belle France. There are markets and then there are the markets of France, the good of earth locally done cannot be beaten and one reason the culinary heights of France are no 1! This is alone one reason to live in my belle France!

The markets we chase,find ,become nostalgic about them and continue to visit them anywhere we go in our France. This is of course no different in my Bretagne and we doo all our essentials here , the hyper/supermarkets are for the paper stuffs! Buy fresh, from the good Earth and be happy about it knowing you are eating the very best the world can produce, in France. We went by Rennes and stopped by and each time it gets better as was this latest visit with now my sons. Many souvenirs of our dear late wife/mom Martine as she introduce them to us and absolutely love them. For the record, Rennes is in dept 35 Ille et Vilaine, name after two rivers and in Bretagne, its capital city!

It is already four centuries at least that every Saturday from 7h30 to 13h30 the local Rennais and visitors converge in number to the Place des Lices. The Marché des Lices is a food market and a flower market held by the Place des Lices and Place Saint-Michel. Created in 1662, for fear of the plague, a market was held to avoid the entry into the city of sellers and buyers from outside. It has had its ups and downs before taking its current form in 1965. It welcomes only artisans and local producers and is the third market in France in terms of sellers.


The Marché des Lices is a market of farmers producers, food processors and florists, from 1965 in its modern form. It is an institution in Rennes, it is the third market of France with more than 300 producers and craftsmen or tradesmen non-producers, The market takes place at the place of the Lices, and extends over to the place de la Trinité, Place Saint-Michel ,and partially to the Place Rallier du Baty. Two halls built by Martenot are also used called Halles Martenot , in each hall there is a large central skylight resting on 16 cast iron pillars, connected by spacers of the same metal and the spans are closed by a brick filling of 2.50 meters. The westernmost market, reserved for butchery, is based on a stone base to compensate for the unevenness of the soil.


The first trace of a market at the bottom of the Place des Lices goes back to 1483. After the French revolution, the n ° 18 of the Place des Lices is acquired by the city to install its office of incoming merchandise of the city. The market is then daily for the wholesale, and completed on Saturday by the fairground market. The market continues to grow, a third hall, less large, is built in 1907 for market gardeners and sanitary inspection, at the current location of the fishmongers. This fishmongers place was demolished later and an underground car park is built at its location in 1989. There is some controversy today as there are fears of merchants and producers to lose the presence of many small artisans and operators, in favor of large producers stalls. As said, the market is from 7h30 to 13h30 for sales. However, the Installation starts at 4h disassembly ends at 14h30 to allow cleaning operations. During this time parking and traffid is chaotic to say the least but we locals managed it , surely visitors will be surprise of it!



The different activities are grouped by trade: butchers and delicatessens in the west market (butchers’ hall); caterers, cheesemakers, patties merchants and sausage patties between the halls (Place de la Trinité); cheesemakers, bakers, artisans, confectioners, Asian caterers in the east hall ; the fishmongers on the slab of the car park, at the former location of the pavilion ; market gardeners and farmers producing fruit and vegetables throughout the Place des Lices and florists in Place Saint-Michel, overflowing on Place de Rallier du Baty. Although most come from the countryside of Rennes, the sellers come from all Brittany to propose their products, and are made up to 60% of producers and craftsmen. The market is part of the life of the city, it is not uncommon to meet musicians, dancers, bachelor parties, candidates in elections, political happenings or petitioners, restaurateurs and chefs from the region who came to shop, etc.


Some webpages to help your planning here are

City of Rennes on the market hit the map for place des lices

TOurist office of Rennes on the Marché des Lices in French

There you go a wonderful experience for the visitors I am sure, and sublime for the locals like me, can’t get enough of them. The one at Rennes is super loaded with fresh produce, fruits and cheeses oh là là là I can’t wait to eat our bounty from there already this weekend. Enjoy it fully without moderation the Marché des Lices at Rennes!

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



October 4, 2019

Jacobin convent and Basilica minor at Rennes!

So I am back in earnest in my lovely Bretagne and my continuing search for the travel ark, i look i search and i come back. This time to lovely Capital of Bretagne/Brittany ,Rennes! Ille et Vilaine dept 35!

On the Basilica have written before and this is a repeat visit to a wonderful area of Rennes that is a must to visit. So will touch briefly here. The Basilica minor Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle ( Our Lady of Good News Basilica) was the ancient Church of Saint-Aubin  located in the city center by rue Saint Malo and place Sainte-Anne.


The old Church Saint Aubin, demolished in 1904, was located in the north of the city, outside the ramparts of Rennes and occupied the western part of the present place Saint-Anne. Attested in the 12C, it is mostly from the 17-18C, and it had hosted from the 19C, the cult of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle, primitively located in the Convent of the Jacobins. Which therefore has gone thru a wonderful transformation to preserve it.


For reference, my previous post on the Basilica is here: My previous post in my blog on the Basilica Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle


The Convent of the Jacobins, also named old convent of Bonne-Nouvelle (good news see Basilica above and previous post) , is an old religious building and an old barracks, located in Rue Saint Malo and Place Sainte Anne. It includes an abbey, a cloister and conventual buildings. In 2018, the building became the Congress Center of Rennes Métropole.  It is exactly on Place Sainte-Anne, along the rue d’échange and Rue Saint-Malo . The latter separates the convent of the Jacobins from the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle.

The research allows experts to find under the convent the expected trace of the intersection of the cardo maximus, main street of Condate (Roman name for Rennes), and another important artery. At this intersection is erected a monument, an aedicule or a statue, which will become, three centuries later, a temple. Traces of buildings from three different periods are found, as well as everyday objects. A sword is also found on the spot, confirming the martial quality of the city. The renewal of the site began in the 14C when the Dominican order decided to install a convent on the site with the help of the founder is the Duke Jean IV (John) who laid the foundation stone. In this place are celebrated the engagement of Anne of Brittany and Charles VIII in 1491. There is a painting of the Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle of the 14C depicting the Virgin that made the convent a place of pilgrimage and preaching. It is today preserved in the Basilica Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle. The convent then declines, until its end at the French revolution. Some brothers refuse to take an oath of the new revolutionary French constitution, while others found a priest position in Rennes. In 1793, the building was assigned to the army, which turned it into a barracks, and then housed the sports club of the garrison of Rennes. The new Congress Center is inaugurated on January 10, 2018 by a concert given by the Symphonic Orchestra of Brittany/Bretagne in the large auditorium.


The Congress Center is composed of a large François Regis Hutin auditorium, with 1000 seats; an auditorium with 500 seats; a 300-seat auditorium in the old church area ; 25 committee rooms; and 3,000 m2 of exhibition or restoration space, specially around the cloister. In the process the Convent is save!

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Congress Center of Rennes

Tourist office of Rennes on history of the convent

And yes right next to the convent of Jacobins and across from the Basilica Minor of Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle is the tourist office of Rennes!  Actually an extention of the convent facing rue Saint Malo!


And there you go  ,one simple trip to Rennes and gems are found, we have more , a lot more , stay tune. Bretagne is amazing as is France ::) Just make yourselves a bit space out of Paris!

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


October 4, 2019

Streets of old Rennes!

So in our latest visit to the capital of Brittany located in the dept 35 Ille et Vilaine we walked a lot in Rennes. I like to tell you a bit about the scenes in city center or centre ville that are beautiful to say the least. For the newbies, I have several entries on my Brittany in al depts including several on Rennes, hope you enjoy it as we do.

The streets of Rennes holds a lot of history and will take a book or more to tell you all so therefore will just concentrate on the real center in old town, and even here just some of them.

The Place Saint-Michel is located at the crossroads formed by Place des Lices, Rue Saint-Michel and Rue Rallier du Baty. It was called Place du Bout du Monde (square at the end of the world) before 1720 because of its proximity to the usual place of public executions. Its name comes from an old chapel Saint-Michel which existed in the 12C. The Place Saint Michel has become a popular place for the student population that likes to be there, especially the terraces of cafes that border it.


The main street ending here is the Rue Saint-Michel, better known as “rue de la soif” (street of thirst). The Rue Saint-Michel connects with the Place Sainte-Anne to the Rue Rallier du Baty via the   Place Saint Michel. It has many half-timbered houses dating from the 16C and 17C lining the street, built on narrow plots they have a side corridor and a staircase on the back facade. They have decors carved with human profiles, heads of chimeras and foliage, dolphins and griffons. The house at number 13 dates from 1580, the oldest in Rennes.


 Very popular with the student and some not student lol! With lots of bars and beer flowing into the wee hours. They are even mention in the tourist office of Rennes here:

The Place Sainte-Anne is located in the historic heart in the city center. It is bordered by the Basilica of Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle (see posts on it) . It is the absolute center of the city from which the kilometric distances are calculated! Moreover, near the rue Saint-Michel, with its many bars, it is often animated at night. In the streets that lead to the square as well such as the rue Saint-Louis, the famous rue Saint-Michel, rue de Penhoët, rue de Saint-Malo , rue de Saint-Michel and Rue de Saint Melaine. Most of the houses are half-timbered such as the Hotel de Bretagne at No. 94, the houses at number 105; 176; 187; and no. 198, where Jean Leperdit mansion where he died in 1823 . The new church Saint-Aubin, Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle basilica, built in the early 20C, and the convent of the Jacobins, current Congress Center of Rennes (see previous post).


The Rue d’Estrées is the extension of the Rue Le Bastard (see below), without being able to distinguish it, starting from the crossroads of the rue Nationale and rue Lafayette with the latter and ends at the Place de la Mairie, in the pedestrian axis. Named as such during the City Council of 1726, it was renamed during the French revolution, at the City Council of 1792, rue Franklin and under the Empire, rue Napoleon, before finally resume officially its original name by deliberation of the City Council in 1862.


It was name the Rue d’Estrées during the new network of Rennes after the fire of 1720, in honor of Victor-Marie, Duke of Estrées in 1723 after he became Duke of Estrées and Peer of France. On the death of his father ;he became governor of Nantes, lieutenant general of Brittany and viceroy of the New France. King Louis XV gives him free ownership of the island of Saint Lucia, in the West Indies. He is also co-director of the East India Company, which enables him to amass a very large fortune, which he devotes to acquiring important collections of art objects and books, which he accumulates in his Hotel. de Noailles and in his castle of Nanteuil-le-Haudouin. It also owns the Château de Bagatelle, in the Bois de Boulogne (Paris). Victor Marie, Duke of Estrées was elected member of the Academy of Sciences in August 1707, the French Academy in March 1715 and the Academy of inscriptions and belles-lettres in 1726.

The Rue Le Bastard is the main shopping and pedestrian street of the city center of Rennes. It is located in the extension of the rue de Motte-Fablet and Rue d’Estrées, between the rue Bertrand , Rue de La Fayette and Rue Nationale. It is thus the central street of the main commercial axis of the city, along more than 800 meters and extending from the rue d’ Antrain at the level of the Rue de Saint-Melaine to the Rue Jules Simon . It’s   name comes from Edgar Le Bastard, former mayor of Rennes from 1880 until his death in 1891. It was called until 1893 rue aux Foulons before taking its current name. Admiral Villeneuve died there on April 22, 1806. He committed suicide after the defeat of Trafalgar at No. 21 rue de la Patrie.


The Rue Saint-Louis is a street in the center of Rennes, from Place Sainte-Anne to the Jouaust junction , parallel to the Place des Lices (market see next post). It replaces an old road that went in the 15C from the Saint-Aubin church in Bourg-l’Evêque. In 1659, it received the name of rue Neuve-Saint-Louis, name of the church of the convent founded at this place by the Minimes religious and demolished during the French revolution, then replaced by the religious house of the Ladies of Saint-Thomas de Villeneuve. After the assassination in Paris in 1793, of the unconstitutional priest Le Pelletier de Saint-Fargeau, the street bore at a time the name of Le Pelletier, considered the first martyr of the French revolution. At the end of the 18C, it was called rue Saint-Aubin, and its section was the rue du Séminaire.


You will see here beautiful architecture as well such as at number 12 Rue Saint Louis was the back of the military hospital. The ballroom built in the early 17C called The Pelican, built in earth and wood and girdled galleries had a less noisy assignment in 1686 becoming a chapel of the Grand Seminary installed in the convent of the Eudists arranged in 1724, and became Military Hospital in 1793. This building, behind the House of the people built in 1925 under the impetus of Mayor Jean Janvier, and the Hall of the City, keeps a wall panel of the old game of palm (Jeu de Paume!). The south gable of the old chapel, at number 22, bears the coat of arms of bishop Lavardin and the Latin inscription on the black marble plaque signifies: “It is nothing less than the House of God, the Gate of Heaven “.The chapel has been transformed into the game of palms or Jeu de Paume (ancestor of Tennis). According to specialists, the surface of the game, inscribed in the original architecture of the chapel, is intact in its dimensions (30 meters x 10 meters) and accessories. Only four or five buildings in France, almost exclusively in the Ile-de-France region, have such characteristics. The building of No 12 rue Saint-Louis will then experience several lives such as been confiscated at the church during the French revolution, it will become the property of the army in 1793 , the major seminary becoming military hospital and to the city of Rennes in the 20C, which will install offices of municipal services. The building and the Maison de La Cité (hall of the city) next to it were to house intergenerational neighborhood equipment. In 2016, the works are announced for 2017 and the opening for 2019,was done..

Also, at number 11 Rue Saint Louis, stands the Hôtel Marot de la Garaye, built around 1675, with an attic roof and stone-framed windows. It belonged to the couple Marot de la Garaye, he apothecary and surgeon, she nurse, who retired to his castle de Taden, caring for the sick and needy. At No. 13, at the corner of the little rue des Innocents, you look up to admire a beautiful roof shaped inverted thin hull. In numbers 16 and 18, is the Hôtel de Cicé. The n ° 30 shelters a church, property of the Congregation of the hospitable sisters of Saint Thomas de Villeneuve. All very nice!

And there you go I hope you like the walks , it is really nice and we won’t mind coming back again, lucky to be only 1h30 from it! See you around my lovely Bretagne! and beautiful Rennes!

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




October 3, 2019

The wines of Brittany! Bretagne!! Breizh!!!

Ok do you like the title? yes unique and rare! lol! I guess most if not all after reading the title will tell me wines in Brittany??? Well nowdays the region is known for its beers, and ciders, and even whiskies but wine; You ask? Indeed, France has a long history of wine making and taking the best soils and regions to produce it but there are others….And wines is one of my passions… culturally speaking with moderation…

At first sight Brittany (modern era) does not appear as a wine-growing land. Until January 1, 2016, it was even forbidden to produce and sell wine. Yet some enthusiasts managed to cultivate vineyards thanks to a tolerance, allowing to grow a maximum of 200 feet per plot. Thus we find vines still maintained in Saint-Suliac (35), Quimper (29) and Uzel (22) with a production mainly of white wine.

Some sources speak of the first wines appeared in Brittany in the 3C with the arrival of the Romans, then the vine grows with the Christianization. But wine production fades from the 10C with the competition of wines from elsewhere, cheaper and often better. The weather, the nature of agricultural land that is not conducive to this culture and political decisions ordering the uprooting of the soil will eventually end the exploitation of the vines. In the 18C, there are still some plantations around abbeys and ria, where there is a micro-climate. The writings attest to the presence of vines in the Val du Rance (Dinan, Dol, Plouër, Saint-Sulliac etc.), in the Morbihan ,Rhuys peninsula, and around Redon.  The Topology shows track of this viticulture, especially in Val de Rance. However, the cultivation of the vine has never completely disappeared. The monasteries especially indulged in this culture, some traces of which have even been preserved to this day. Thus, in 1848, the official statistical documents still counted 800 hectares of vines registered in this former province!

From the beginning of the 20C, the interest for the vine in Brittany is reborn, and at the beginning of the 21C, a renewal of wine-making activities in Brittany.  In 1996, an old vine, the black Magdalene des Charentes, parent of Merlot, was discovered in Saint-Sulliac. The law of last January 2016 opens new horizons by replacing planting rights with more flexible planting authorizations. Several projects are underway on the islands of Groix, Arz and Illur ( Morbihan dept 56). In the communal or associative vineyards the most commonly planted varieties are pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot blanc, chenin blanc. The vineyards of Brittany are an old vineyard, almost entirely disappeared between the 16C and 20C in four of the five historic departments of Brittany  (thus outside the Loire-Atlantique dept 44 where is produced among others the Muscadet of the Pays Nantais.

Sarzeau, a small town on the Rhuys peninsula in the Morbihan, has made available to a happy elected a dozen hectares of land formerly planted of vines. Indeed, the name “product in Brittany” and the Gwenn Ha Du (Breton flag) are selling a lot. Some communes had already tried to reconnect with their wine history, like Quimper.  In 2009, winemakers  planted Chardonnay and Pinot vines. For example you will find in Ille-et-Vilaine dept 35: the Haut-Quineleu of Sainte-Thérèse district in Rennes since 1992; in the town of Saint-Suliac: Le Clos de Garo (white chenin blanc and red rondo) planted since 2013, whose first harvest took place on September 23, 2017; Mont-Dol  ,(Renac local grape variety and Chardonnay).  In Finistère dept 29: Coteau-du-Braden in Quimper since 2006, Quillien (Argol), Treffiagat, Morlaix. In the Côtes d’Armor dept 22: The Quillio (variety Foch and Le Plantet) .In the Morbihan dep 56: small vineyards in Bohal (varietal verdot), Cléguérec projects in Belle-Île-en-Mer, Groix, islands and the peninsula of Rhuys.

Of course, historically, Loire-Atlantique dept 44 (now part of the region of Pays de la Loire) was also an integral part of Brittany, so the Pays du Vignoble  Nantais, where Muscadet and Gros-Plant are produced. The vineyard of Nantes, treated on the vineyard page of the Loire Valley, is the only one in the historic Breton country to count today professional winegrowers (about 800), and to enhance its wines by official labels quality (AOC, IGP). The Les Vignerons-Artisans de Bretagne ,and the Comité des Vins Bretons  (winemakers from Nantes) are asking for the creation of a label “Vin Breton” which would allow them to market under this brand.”Breton wines”

The group Les Vignerons-Artisans de Bretagne webpage here:

And the Comité des Vins Breton webpage here :

From this one of my house staples is the Domaine Poiron-Dabin, which I have written before in the Loire wines post in my blog. Lovely wine and great folks. For reference their webpage is here:

Chateau thebaud

Pinot Noir in the Nantais! Poiron Dabin

Some local efforts on wine making already !

Will Brittany one day produce wines of high quality? From the point of view of climate and soil, nothing prevents it, say scientists from Universities of Rennes 2 and Angers who have placed the region under their magnifying glass. In the lot, geographers-climatologists and students from the University of Rennes 2, supported by specialists from the School of Agriculture (ESA) of Angers. They have equipped a handful of plots with weather stations, at the request of individuals, associations, local communities, farmers in the process of diversification in Saint-Suliac, Saint-Jouan-des-Guérets, at Mont-Dol (Ille-et-Vilaine), at Muzillac (Morbihan), soon at Paimpol (Côtes-d’Armor). To measure temperature, rainfall, wind, humidity, sunshine

Depending on the orientation of the slopes, they can even recommend moderately late varieties such as chenin blanc and cabernet franc. Brittany, however, offers a climate more conducive to white wines than red: . Other climatic assets for Brittany: the number of days of frost, devastating for the vine, is very low. And temperatures are not too extreme: even for a Mediterranean type of culture such as vine, a mercury at 45 ° C recorded this summer in the south, is a source of high heat stress. The Breton rain, on the other hand, is as much an asset as a weakness. An asset, when it allows to put an end to a period of too great drought and water stress; a weakness when it falls at key moments such as bloom and harvest. Another negative effect of the rains is a greater risk of diseases, such as late blight or gray mold

On the heights of Quimper, Coteau du Braden is both a reference and a pioneer figure for the younger generations. This 2,500 square meter plot, planted with half chardonnay and half pinot gris, can also boast an exceptional 2018 vintage. By planting 5,000 m2 of treixadura, a Galician grape known to be resistant, in Treffiagat, in the Bigouden country, as climate change has been a determining factor similar to Galicia Spain. At Groix island, off the coast of Lorient, on the isle of Locmaria, where was just planted a hectare of chenin blanc facing south to the ocean, the farm covering half a dozen hectares, half of which should eventually be devoted to the vineyard. With a shallow soil and shaly soil with golden reflections , Groix island, which does not know the frost, could be an ideal haven for such an enterprise. Further in Saint-Jouan-des-Guérets, near Saint-Malo,  two hectares are particularly suitable for viticulture. Not quite a surprise if one refers to the registration of the plot in the cadastre under the name Long Vines, suggesting ancestral practice. Planted in May early varieties such as Grolleau, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at first, an organic sparkling wine upscale style, without prohibiting more or less long term the big jump to a red wine later on.

A bit of history I like that goes with the wines very well indeed ! My adopted Bretagne/Brittany as locals says Breizh!

It was in the 9C that Brittany became as known today. Thanks to the victory, during the battle of Ballon in 850, won over the Franks, by the Breton king Nominoë. But it is precisely in  August, 851, that the birth of the present limits of Brittany can be attributed. It is the son of Nominoë, Erispoë  who won the battle of Jengland  against Charles the Bald in 875. The latter was the grandson of Charlemagne and future emperor of the Carolingian Empire. This victory definitely seals the borders of Brittany by integrating the counties of Nantes and Rennes.(All of Brittany today in addition to dept 44 Loire Atlantique).

Few countries in Europe can claim such stability in their territory. The positioning in the far west of the European continent, a peninsula bordered largely by the coastline, partly explains this geopolitical stability. It was then the 1st Duke of Brittany Alain Barbe Torte who, after driving out the Vikings, made Nantes the capital of Brittany in 925.(and why you have in Nantes the castle of the dukes of Brittany!!!).

The Breton wines (meaning Nantais)  are already at the time export wines. They will remain so until today with good times and dark periods. Depending on the political and military contexts of the times. The Breton vineyards of southern Brittany (Loire Atlantique dept 44), which Cabernets and Pinot Noir. But,also Grolleau, Gamay and Malvoisie. This Breton vineyard, the largest European vineyard of dry white wine also produces red wines and rosés, to discover and taste. But the best known are Muscadet and Gros Plant. However, I have already a post on the Nantais wine and some communities such as Clisson so will stop here for that.

A fascinating story to be continue as the Breton search to find their wine making roots again in the upper part of Brittany... north of Nantes… Hope you enjoy the story and maybe one day grab a bottle whether in Brittany or the Loire-Atlantique::) In Vino Veritas!!

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





October 3, 2019

Clisson and its Muscadet!

So here I am back in my regular good old belle France. And as Autumn has arrive and the days are beginning to be shorter , we can enjoy a nice glass of white wine n’est pas? ok so let me tell you something about an area I came to know once moved to lovely Bretagne and I/we are hook on it. The white wines of the Muscadet and especially those in or from the town of Clisson! 

I have written before on the wines of the Loire as wines are my other love. Several posts on wine already. However, let me pinpoint more closer the areas I was talking about as in this case Clisson. The town is very close to the big city of Nantes and is part as well of our backyard for trips lately covering just a day or a weekend away from home. We have even spent a night sleeping in a wine barrel in the middle of muscadet vineyards!

Clisson is in the Loire-Atlantique dept 44 of the region of Pays de la Loire. However, don’t dwell too much on it as that was just administravely done, the real love here still is as in the old monarchy times as Bretagne or Brittany. The area used to belong to Bretagne and still shows! It is actually the Breton wine region!!!

We first got deeply into the wines here when we saw a wine fair in a small property that we like best and decided to come just for the trip, we took a look of the muscadet wines famous in the vineyards Nantaise or Nantes.  This was at the Domaine du Grand Air where there was wine tastings and foodies from the region including the great goat cheese of the Loire. The folks were so nice down to earth wine lovers farmers that we purchase several bottles to take home with us. Eventually we have purchase a lot more as they have their parents living in Guérande and we have friends there so we order and pick up the wine in their parents’ house! great !!! The group here started with five winemakers who decided to share their enthusiasm for the wines of the region and do events of wine tastings coupled with local products. So they hold on some weekend  the  Soif des vins et de Savoirs or thirst of wines and knowledge.  The location of the domaine is at Bourginal a borough of Clisson.  There was sparkling and red wines from the region as well as Sauvignon, and Pinot noir, and Chardonnay etc wines. And we were hook on Clisson!


You have their webpage here , Domaine du Grand Air:



After getting our feet or mouth wet, we have come back and tried other domaines as well. The wines are super and the prices easy a great way to have a glass of wine for chilling or eating at home. Some of these properties or the ones we like the most in this area are: the Domaine de la Vinçonnière,  Château Le Vallon Des Perriéres, Domaine de l’Epinay, and the  La cave des Muscadet.


A bit more on the whole area in a nutshell or glass of wine !

This is the sub region of the AOC Muscadet, occupying an area south of Nantes from the lake of Grand-Lieu to Ancenis, with a point to the south in Vendée ( near town of Saint-Etienne-du-Bois). It covers an area of 11 900 hectares or about 29406 acres), and extended to different terroirs along the banks of the Loire. The grape for this region is the melon de Bourgogne, a very low production grape that gives a white wine to drink young and very good with the fish/seafood platters. Some of them are done with the conservation of the fine Lies which are my favorites, and provides more complex aromas and vivacity of freshness to give more grease and roundness to the wine. The number of sub regions of Muscadet are : Fiefs-Vendéens-Brem, Fiefs-Vendéens-Mareuils, Fiefs-Vendéens-Pissotte, Fiefs-Vendéens-Vix, Gros-plant du Pays nantais, Muscadet, Muscadet-Coteaux-de-la-Loire, Muscadet-Côtes-de-Grandlieu, and Muscadet-Sèvre-et-Maine (the best in my opinion)

The official webpage for the vineyards of Nantes is here:

In a bit more detail but still very brief just to give you an idea. The vineyards of the Muscadet  Sèvre et  Maine in numbers : 2 AOC regional (Muscadet and Gros Plan du Pays Nantais), 1 sub regional Muscadet Sèvre et Maine,  9 AOC  towns Muscadet such as 3 recognize by the governing body INAO , and  6 in process of validation,  400 domaines, one cooperative Les Vignerons du Pallet,  around  7000 hectares,  99% white wine,  Muscadet  is the 1st AOC in volume in the valley or  Val de Loire.

And there you go hope it makes you try it , they are a find especially if you like the fish/seafood platters we enjoy so much off the coast of Bretagne! And if you have tried them, then come on over to taste on site the real flavor of Clisson and its Muscadet Sévre et Maine! Enjoy it

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






October 2, 2019

Île aux Moines at Port Blanc!

And so back to my lovely Bretagne or Brittany or Breizh. This is another jewel in my department 56 of Morbihan, been there but feel not written enough on it so here I go again. We have sunshine but cool 16C today in my neck of the woods another nice day in Bretagne!

Let me tell you a bit more on the island of Monks oops that is ïle aux Moines even thus there are no monks , and sailing there from Port Blanc in the town of Baden.

We go by car to Port-Blanc a village part of the town of Baden, and this is the boarding point by boat to the ïle aux Moines.


A bit of history I like here is that since the end of the 19C, it has been the site of a pier for Île-aux-Moines. The village occupies the tip of a point advancing in the Gulf of Morbihan and less than 400 meters from the Ïle aux Moines. The Port-Blanc passenger port handles most of the passenger traffic with Île-aux-Moines. The marina is grouped with that of Île-aux-Moines. The group offers 416 berths, including 120 pontoons and two launching stalls.


The gulf of Morbihan tourist webpage has some info on Port Blanc here: Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on the Port Blanc

Port of Call webpage on the harbor at Port Blanc

The Ïle aux Moines is located in the department 56 of Morbihan in the region of Bretagne. It consists of Île aux Moines, the largest island in the Gulf of Morbihan, Creizic Island, the island of Holavre, and the two islands of Brouël. It is 7 km long and 3.5 km wide with an area of ​​310 ha. Its shape is that of a cross and no point of the island is located more than 450 m from the sea. It can be reached in five minutes from Port-Blanc, Baden or about 400 meters at sea! I have here just for a sunset and back very briefly, I need to come more I am sure lol!


A bit of history I like

In 854, the king of Brittany Erispoë donated it to the abbey of Saint-Sauveur de Redon (created by his father, Nominoë).  After the Norman invasions of the 10C, the island is attached to the parish of Arradon. In 1543 she was elevated to parish status. In 1792, it became a town under the French name Isle-aux-Moines. During the French revolution, the municipality temporarily bore the name of Isle-du-Morbihan.

Some of the things to see here are typical of the island and the Morbihan in general. Several megalithic vestiges (dolmens and cromlech in particular) remain on the southern point: the Kergenan Cromlech, in the middle of the island, with a radius of more than 70 meters is one of the largest in Europe, the dolmen of Penhap, located in the south 5 kilometers of the borough, is the best preserved of the island.

There are some crucifixes at the points of Trec’h, Brouël and Toulindac (Bois d’Amour) as well as in Penhap and Croix de Kerno.The Saint-Michel Church, located at the exit of the village in the direction to the north, present some ex-votos to Saint Anne. The Chapel Notre-Dame d’Esperance  19C, in the rue de la Mairie, also the Chapelle Sainte-Anne  17C in the bay of Guéric.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Ile aux Moines on heritage

Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on the Ile aux Moines

Official dept 56 Morbihan tourist office on the Ile aux Moines

There you go another jewel in the islands of the gulf of Morbihan just south of me, heaven on earth indeed! You ought to yourselves to check it out the Morbihan! Hope you have enjoy the introduction the ïle aux Moines and Port Blanc!

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



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