Archive for ‘Europe’

August 9, 2017

Some news from France and Spain

 

Hello y’all, this is my last post before my long summer vacation in Spain, and won’t be back to the last day in August. Therefore, I like to thank you all for following my blog up to now and looking forward to more posts for all to enjoy including me ::)

Here in my lovable Morbihan it is sunny ! temps around 18C or 60F Méteo France calls for rain in the afternoon but can’t tell by looking out.  In fact they call for rain into the night …..The Weather Channel has it at 62F cloudy with risk of rain by midday…well I am looking out bright sunny no clouds oh well here goes the weather again.

Paris is at 64F cloudy as well ……and chance of rain today and tomorrow. Madrid is at 73F a bit cloudy but no rain, hey where is the heat wave !! well it says goes up to 95F by Sunday!

A bit more on both countries coming up.

The INSEE, the French statistical office has an increase in tourist for the 2nd trimester of 2017 with hotel nights at 56,6 Millions or a 6,3 % increase over same period last year. The foreign visitors are back with an increase of 10% and it tells France could reach 88-89 million visitors this year or an increase of 5-6% over 2016. Of course, if all else stays the same. Like the latest attempt in Levalois-Perret (92) outside Paris of military Sentinelle security personnel been run over by a car with 6 wounded ,two serious but not death threatening just this morning.

Know about tourism in France from the official French page here: http://uk.france.fr/

In Spain things are popping, according to the provisions of the Spanish hoteliers, Confederation Espanhola de Hoteles y Alojamientos Turisticos (CEHAT) ,they expect 56,7 million hotel nights or an increase of 8,8% over the same period last year. On the whole, they expect to have 80 million visitors this year 2017. The main foreign market is the UK and even the Brexit still has not cause any differences. They have increase by 14% the visits to Spain and increase expending by 19%. IN the long range visitors, the leading market is the USA with an increase of 19,4%, the Asians 34,5% (Japan, China,South Korea,and India), all due to better air connections, weak Euro and terrorist insecurity elsewhere.

Know about tourism in Spain from the official Spanish page here: http://www.spain.info/en/actividades/

There is a new contest on popularity by the site El Viajero Fisgon, that gives the favorite town of the Spaniards to visit. These are in order Ronda, Pastrana, Albarracín, Cadaqués (Cataluña), Alcalá de Júcar (Castilla-La Mancha), Cudillero (Asturias), Santillana del Mar (Cantabria), La Alberca (Castilla y León), Trujillo (Extremadura), Colmenar de Oreja (Madrid), Frigiliana (Málaga), Hondarribia (País Vasco), Altea (Valencia) ,and Vejer de la Frontera (Andalucía) to name a few. More here: http://www.elviajerofisgon.com/

And have you heard the news lately, the song Despacito by Luis Fonsi has become the first video to surpass the 3M views in Youtube and the most likes in history! The video has been seen in 40 countries with translations.  I would not post the video here but easy to find in YouTube.

Why people comes to Spain, well for sun and beach , but not really there is so much to see.  Unesco declares 46 sites for world heritage sites only the third country behind Italy (53) and China (52) and surpassing France (43) and Germany(42)!

Some statistics from Wikipedia ,Eurostat;etc on most hit cities to come:

París is the Unesco Heritage site most recherche

Number of Visits in Wikipedia to these sites during  2015,en millions. París,6,82 m; Rome,5,76 m,,Istanbul,4,78 mi,,Auschwitz,4,64 m, Statue of Liberty NYC;4,09m, The Great Wall of China,3,82 mi,Taj Mahal,3,69 m,Vienna,3,48 m,Budapest,3,43 m,Vatican City,3,34 m,Mexico City,3,26 m,Prague,3,25 m,Pompeii Italy,3,17 m,Venice Italy,3,16 m,Machu Picchu Peru,3,02 m,Moscow,2,81 m,Warsaw Poland,2,7 m,Rio de Janeiro,2,49 m,Stonehenge,2,46 m. Etc etc

And something not done yet, but have folks doing it and sure one to pop over is camping cars. Some tips from Erwyn Himer Group.

To choose the model, caravaning market you have basically four types, the Camper, freer movement, Capuchina, space with bedroom for driver, families or groups, Integrated almost like a bus design and the profil with good quality price ratio. The speed for camping cars is 90 KPH on conventional roads and 100 KPH in expressways/motorways. Parking is allow on designated areas for campings. The rights such as shower, lavabo, and sink need to be empty in spaces designated for that. The leftout water are to be kept in tanks and to evacuate them need to find a sewer or pvc exit pipe like.  Like I said ,not an expert but always curious about them for later on in life ….. more on this here: http://www.erwinhymergroup.com/?lang=en

And where I am going next, well Spain all over the Castilla and Leon and Castilla La Mancha regions. Base here:

 

Enjoy your vacations as I am looking forward to enjoy mine, today is my last day at work lol!!!  Happy camper indeed!!! And a road warrior soon on the motorways of France and Spain!! Cheers

August 6, 2017

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton XX

Here we are on a tranquil Sunday midday already and a bit cloudy temps at 19C about 67F. And time to stop and reflect on my blog and new things coming up.

We are preparing our long summer vacation in our beloved Spain, right with all the family;sad my Dad will stay behind as too frail to do much walking. We have what is call here operation tranquilité vacances; where you can alert the gendarmerie police that the house is empty for vacation and who stayed behind like senior citizens; the police will make rounds to your house even check if doors are well closed etc.

The packing is done with all involved , well me I am always vacation ready so have my things on a corner ready to go already lol!!  The boys will need to organize their equipment ::) video games dvd, iphones etc cables chargers all the works. The brochure for sightseeing all pack, and map ideas done.

We are traveling by car all the way by non tolls roads as we do not like to travel paying taxes ! All the way down to Pau, where we will rest in a hotel for the night before the second leg straight to our house in the mountains of the Serrania de Cuenca at 1400 meters high. We have done this trips before so we have our stopping point for rest, eat, and shop along the way even in the Pyrénées mountains (more of this on our return in late August/early September. The weather calls for cloudy but no rains temps from 13C to 27C depending on the day and whether morning or afternoon, so nice for car travel!!!

I like to thanks all those who follow, read, comment ,like my blog along the years since November 2010 ,it has been a wonderful experience and I thank my friend from Madrid who encourage me to do it on WordPress. Again many thanks to all, you make it enjoyable.

It has been 465 111 views of my posts with the highest day at 977!!! 865 comments, and 331 blogs followers. My viewers are from countries of my original intention and prove correct. Most come from the USA and France, with bit down the line UK, Germany,Canada, Spain, Italy,Brazil, Netherlands, and Poland; and more. I have already 1057 posts !!! not counting this one…

While still here will be able to watch the UEFA Super Cup in Skopje August 8th between my Real Madrid FC vs Manchester United. More here: http://www.uefa.com/uefasupercup/index.html#/pg

And while in Spain, I will be to watch live! the Super Cup of Spain between my Real Madrid FC vs Barcelona on August 13(at Barcelona), 16(at Madrid) two match series. More here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/football/games/spanish-super-cup

Then, on August 23rd in Madrid , we host the 38th edition of the trophy or Trofeo Bernabeu  against guest club Fiorentina of Italy. More here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2017/07/the-xxxvii-santiago-bernabeu-trophy-will-be-played-on-23-august-against-fiorentina

And the official La Liga Santander, first division starts on August 20th vs Deportivo La Coruña at Riazor to kick off the season; second game at home vs Valencia August 27th. The key games as usual the derby  against Atletico Madrid will be on matchday 12 (the weekend of November 19th) at the Wanda Metropolitano and matchday 31, either the 7th or 8th April, at the Santiago Bernabéu. And the  Clasico at home on matchday 17, which will be played on Wednesday, December 20th. The return tie will be played on matchday 36, on the weekend of May 6th.  The full schedule here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2017/07/presenting-real-madrids-2017-18-laliga-schedule

My temple, Santiago Bernabeu stadium: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/santiago-bernabeu-stadium

The Club World Cup this year played in the United Arab Emirates will be held December 13  with the semifinals leg and a team to be determine. We are here thanks for being the reigning European Champions. More on this tournament here:http://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2017/07/real-madrid-to-kick-off-club-world-cup-campaign-on-13-december

Our junior team the Castilla Real Madrid pending confirmation will begin their league 2nd B group I ,on August 20th vs Rayo Majadahonda .More on them and the rest of the farm clubs of Real Madrid here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/football/academy/castilla

The basketball section of Real Madrid which of course, I ,also, follow will start with the Liga Endesa on September 30th,October 1st vs Retabet Bilbao Basket at the WiZink Center.  The first Clásico will take place on Matchday 8, on 11 or 12 November at the WiZink Center with the return being played on the weekend of 10 and 11 March, corresponding to Matchday 22. The derbies against Movistar Estudiantes will be on Matchday 14 at home on the weekend of 30 and 31 December and n Matchday 31 on 5 or 6 May. More on the schedule here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2017/07/real-madrid-retabet-bilbao-basket-in-the-first-round-of-the-endesa-league

The Euroleague will have the Real Madrid at the home of Anadolu Efes in Istanbul on Thursday the 12th of October, and will close out the Regular Season at home against Brose Bamberg on the 6th of April 2018.  The Clàsico here vs Barcelona of the season will be played on match day 12 at the WiZink Center on the 14th of December, with the return leg on match day 23 at the Palau, on the 23rd of February 2018  More here with schedules:  http://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2017/07/real-madrids-fixtures-revealed-for-the-euro-league-2017-18

The Endesa Super Cup will be Real Madrid vs Herbalife Gran Canaria  on Friday the 22nd of September at the island court. The other semi-final sees Valencia Basket take on Unicaja de Malaga. It will be the seventh consecutive season that Real Madrid have taken part in the Endesa Super Cup, having already won the trophy on three occasions (2012, 2013 and 2014). More here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2017/07/real-madrid-to-face-herbalife-gran-canaria-in-the-endesa-super-cup-2017

The WiZink Center for basketball is modern, wonderful right in the city close to the center, a long way from the originals arenas and the one I went first Vista Alegre!!! More on the new Center here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/basketball/arena

To start your history with the club, Madridista card is perfect for all no matter where you live; the road starts here, and I encourage my readers to be Madridistas, of course ::) More here: (oh by the way Socio is tops ::)) http://www.realmadrid.com/en/fans

So, therefore, I will have plenty of football/soccer to see even on vacation lol!! Can’t be too far from it;my lifelong club is like a family with many friends along the years because of it.In Spain and abroad.

Be good, happy travels, enjoy it now not later, and keep up with the blog please ::) Thanks and Cheers y’all.

 

 

 

 

August 4, 2017

Some news from Spain XLVIIII

Ok so maybe one last post on Spain before getting there, can’t wait. We had in my area a cloudy, rainy cool day all day and still with temps at 20C or about 69F.

It is nice to speak about Spain and their parks , some very close to me like Guadarrama , Teide, and Picos de Europa. Here is more on them

Parque Nacional de la Sierra de Guadarrama just north of Madrid. A mountain range running east to west in the peninsula (Spain) There are many roads to get there like the Calzada Borbónica in Fuenfría or the Macizo de Peñalara; also, in bicycle like the La Horizontal, Calderuelas, Pinares de Canencia, Las Zetas de La Pedriza, Pinares de La Barranca , and the Valle de La Fuenfría. You can do escalade or climbing on the La Pedriza de Manzanares. You can top if off by visits to  La Granja de San Ildefonso or the Monasterio de El Paular. You can stop by for lunch of gambas a la plancha, pork chops and grill meats at Sala, Ctra de los Molinos, 2 Guadarrama or Casa Ochoa calle Virgen de las Nieves 70). For more info visit the Centro de Visitantes Valle de la Fuenfria, ctra de las Dehesas, km 2, Cercedilla; open every day from 9h to 20h. More here: http://www.parquenacionalsierraguadarrama.es/es/visita/contacto-cv/cv-fuenfria

Parque de la Sierra Nevada (Almería/ Granada). This is the biggest park with 80 000 hectares and the only Spanish Mediterranean mountain with more than 2000 species of flora; as well as many fauna. The best known trail is El Sulayr with about 300 km of trails that allows you see the park in stages. You can go by road on the Carretera al Veleta , the third highest peak of Spain. You can stop for lunch at Ruta del Veleta, Avenida de Sierra Nevada, 146 Cenes de la Vega, Granada; a stylish palace mudéjar with a branch at Monachil. More info at the Centro de Visitantes El Dornajo, ctra A-395, direction Pradollano, km 23, Guéjar, Sierra Nevada, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10h to 14h and 17h to 19h . More info here: http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/medioambiente/servtc5/ventana/mostrarFicha.do;jsessionid=03ACA1726F0299348C402D12FF3709F2?idEquipamiento=19476

Tablas de Daimiel , Ciudad Real. Best to visit early in the morning or late afternoons. The tables or tablas are form by the overflowing of the rivers Guadiana and Ciguela.  You have three pedestrian routes to cover the whole park. The itineiraire of Isla del Pan is the most famous and takes 2 km with wooden passarelles. Here on the island or Isla del Pan you find the unique formation of forest of tarayes (tamarix). You can stop for lunch at  El Bodegon, calle Luchana 20, Daimiel; an old bodega of the 18C.  More info at the Centro de Visitantes de las Tablas de Daimiel, open everyday from 9h to 21h. More info here: http://www.lastablasdedaimiel.com/centros-de-visitantes_lavisita_34.html

Teide(Tenerife) ,my family from both side of grandparents are from here.  These have an incredible view with a geological monument , volcanic cones, and sides of mountain in lava creating a multitude of colors. Parque Nacional del Teide is the most visited in Spain , and it has four roads to reach it. To climb to the highest point Pico Teide (3718 meters) you need a permit beforehand. The famous and wonderful canyons of  Teide,its great plains where the eroded lava is held in high altitudes and sides that you can walk on them is wonderful. The peak or Pico del Teide you can see free with guides and prior reservation. Do not miss the lookout or Mirador de los Roques de Garcia.  You can have lunch at  Tasca Tierras del Sur, calle pedro gonzalez gomez 20 Granadilla de Abona. More info at the Centro de Visitantes de El Portillo, ctra TF 21 de la Orotava a Las Canadas, Portillo de la Villa. Open every day from 9h to 16h. More info here: http://www.webtenerife.com/que-visitar/parque-nacional-del-teide/centro+de+visitantes+el+portillo.htm

Picos de Europa (Asturias/Léon/Cantabria). The biggest chalk formation in Atlantic Europe with an enormouse unlevelling between valleys and peaks that surround it. You have free guided tours during the Summer.  One spectacular tour is to see the Vegarredonda and Ordiales that starts around the lake or Lagos de Covadonga  and travel on hills around the municipality of Cangas de Onis. El Refugio de Vegarredonda is the intermediary point in the walk tour just where the ascend to the lookout or mirador de ordiales begins (a national balcon of 1700 meters on top of a side canyon vertical of 1000 meters over the valley of  Angon where you see wonderful views over the municipalities of  Ponga, Caso, and  Sajambre, and peaks like the western massive of the Picos de Europa). You can have a very good lunch at the Rincon de Don Pelayo, Real Sitio de Covadonga, 25 Covadonga, Cangas de Onis . More info at the Centro de Visitantes ,Sotama, avda Luis Cuevas, 2ª Tama, Cillongo de Liebana.Cantabria. More info here: https://turismodecantabria.com/disfrutala/que-visitar/360-centro-de-visitantes-del-parque-nacional-de-picos-de-europa/buscador-aWRab25hPTEm

Couple of nice restaurants that open in August in Madrid are:

Lavinia, Calle José Ortega y Gasset, 16. It is a great liquor store as well with a huge selection on wines (Also at Pl Madeleine Paris). Great menu with chipirones a la andaluza con piparras fritas, steak tartare, ensaladilla rusa, mollejas con berenjenas etc; and over 4500 wine references alone! More info here: http://www.lavinia.es/es/paginas/restaurante-lavinia

El Perro y la Gallina, Calle Claudio Coello, 11, with an air of English club , own by the founder of the cracker company that shows in the decoration of the resto. It is dog friendly, and the menu includes ensaladilla con carpaccio de gambon, ceviche al pesto and tacos al pastor etc.  More info here: http://www.elperroylagalleta.com/

And now let me tell you a bit more of my background, DNA for real, my grandparents on mother and father’s side comes from Tenerife, and I grew up with the traditions. Now let me tell you a bit on Tenerife and its wines as well.

Tenerife has the best vineyard festivals, and way back was a great kingdom of pre Christian times that still you can find tells of it.  The name of Tenerife comes from a king Guanche (how locals derive from, and king =mencey) that share the island with nine sons giving to each a kingdom. From the beginning of the Castilian conquest (ended in 1496 attach to Spain) the town of  Icod de los Vinos  was an important center of cultivation.  The cith of Santa Cruz is in the kingdom of or menceyato of Anaga .  It will a good idea to walk the street or calle Imeldo Serís, very typical of the origins. Some of the monuments here are Parrish Church de la Concepción, located in the Plaza de la Iglesia, dating from 1502,  the fountain or fuente de Isabel II,(queen) in the square or plaza de Isabel II, a monumental  neo classical work built in 1844;  Plaza de la Candelaria, an esplanade on cobble stones that was the entrance to the now gone castle or castillo de San Cristóbal , that has an obelisk in marbre carrara of 4 meters high sculpture in the 18C ; the  palace or  Palacio de los Carta, now a bank  built with quarry stone and one of the baroque jewels of the city  with neo classical elements. The baroque temple Church of  San Francisco dating from 1680; theater or  Teatro Guimerá dated 1850, it has decoration in golden panes and musical frescos inside and comedy masks.  The park or Parque Marítimo César Manrique,next to the castle or castillo de San Juan; the Parque de la Granja, or the  Parque de Don Quijote; the Parque García Sanabria  is a romantic park with valuable modern sculptures.

We move on to the city of  San Cristóbal de La Laguna, the second city of the island, and capital of the menceyato Guanche of Anaga , and the island. It preserved the richness of its monuments ,with mansion of sunshine, convents and good nightlife. You can walk along the Plaza del Adelantado and its most interesting street the  Calle San Agustín. See the Church  de la Concepción (1496-1511), with a belltower of 1701.  In the nave you have mudéjar arts on teak wood . It is nearby the Chapel of  San Miguel dating from 1506 now converted to an exposition hall. In the convent or convento de los Agustinos ,there still a bell, a cloister of red stone from the 18C, an a beautifical balcon on the Canaries style.  The original convent or convento de Santa Clara dating from the 16C keeps a lookout tower on the mudéjar style. You can see a similar one in the convent cloister or convento de clausura de Santa Catalina de Siena. the notable mansion of  Nava dating from 1585 now of different styles. In the 18C it was home to many literary and utopian reformists of the times. Other nice mansions are those of  Casa del Corregidor, plateresque gate, and the Casa de los Capitanes,dating from the 16C.

We continue with the city of La Orotava a typical tenerifian town with influences of English, Andalucian , Normandian, and Castilians. You should not miss the botanical garden of the parque botánico ,la Hijuela created in the 18C. La Orotova is the home of the DO of the Valle de la Oratava wines done with grapes of malvasía, and solera bodegas (wines not known on the mainland not elsewhere) the best bodegas are those of Valleoro and Tajinaste. The mansions of  Casa Machado-Llerena and Casa de Torrehermosa, Casa de los Balcones , and the buildings of the street or calle Colegio. From the lookout or mirador de Humboldt you can see the best views of the town  , Puerto de la Cruz, and its extraordinary botanical garden or  Jardín Botánico.

And the trip goes on to La Guancha the best known bodega on the island from the DO designation  such as Bodega Viñátigo, good white wines even if  95% of it stays in the island. You can try the Viña La Guancha (wines of the brand  Viña Zanata) are good too.  The Bodegas gives freely wine to taste in the festival or feast of San Andrés,  November 29-30 2017 next.  It has a nice square or plaza de la Pila, from the 17C with a small botanical garden. Some more bodegas in Icod de los Vinos with good quality are those of  Francisco Javier Gómez Pimentel (Aceviño). Around Icod  you find the wonderful caves of  Cueva del Viento, the longest volcanic tube in the world with 14 kms of tunnels where live 55 animal species adapted to subterranean living; it has been discovered fossil of a giant lizard and remains of a huge pre historic rat.

And we arrive to my specific area of DNA ! the valley or valle de Güímar , where my grandparents comes from on all four sides !!! This is an area with huge arqueological interest like the necropolis of the kings or  menceyes Guanches with hundreds of mommies, and the pyramids of  Güímar (and yes you are not in Egypt!). You see the interesting volcanic formation of the Malpaís de Güímar. You should stop by the Church of San Pedro, that has many sculptures of local folklore.  The city Candelaria (my paternal grandparents were born here) was an important Guanche inhabited area and grew from the 1526  around the sanctuary of the Patron Saint of the Canary Islands (first of Tenerife) , the Basilica of the Virgen de la Candelaria. Here you can walk on the square or plaza de la Basílica, with bronze statues of our ancestors kings and the Casa Consistorial,with tenerifian architecture  The DO on these lands are from the grape white Listán especially.  The coop or  Cooperativa de Abona ,and in Güimar, the Bodegas of  Juan Tacoronte Cejas , and  Tomás Guzmán Mesa are very good indeed.

And two sites to know more about the wines of Tenerife are here:

http://www.enotenerife.com/es/vinos-de-tenerife/

http://www.webtenerife.com/tenerife/gastronomia/vinos/?tab=1

ENJOY THEM AND HASTA PRONTO!!!!

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August 2, 2017

Always special ,Vannes

Again a special day is any day in Vannes, our capital city and my work city. It is nice not so cool and not so warm ,just perfect with the sun out and in. Temps still in 19C or about 71F.

I was out with colleagues after work , as we had to say goodbye to one, and why not do a bit of an au revoir or good bye in Vannes.

I was the first one in the bar ::) got easy parking by the ramparts of the old castle and did a bit of walking around the beautiful medieval buildings. Finally, I headed for the bar just before 19H.(7PM).

Before, the bar did some walking around the old city and took some pictures with my mobile/cellular telephone, not the best but will do for this amateur photographer ::)

The gate or porte Poterne is very old (1678-1680) and nice over a stone bridge getting you into the old town just by the bar mentioned below. Here you have the wonderful Jardin de la Garenne and the Tour du Connétable (constable tower) , les lavoirs or laundries, wonderful views over the Cathedral St Peter (St Pierre) and Church of St Patern; a great façade of the cinema Cinéville Garenne just in front of the Chateau de l’Hermine (old hotel Lagorce), at 12 Rue Alexandre le Pontois. A nice view from the back of the marché couvert des lices or covered market which I usually take the picture from the front!

We went to the Les Valseuses, a popular bar here near the gate or porte Potern and behind the Chateau de l’Hermine and the gardens of the Garenne.  The bar is name after a popular movie of the same name that came out in 1974. More on the bar from the tourist office here: http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/what%E2%80%99s/going-out/824273-les-valseuses

We/I come here often and it is very friendly service, good prices and historical place on one side the ramparts and the beforementioned chateau de l’Hermine and on the other side is Place des Lices and medieval Vannes. A city untouch by the ravishes of war and with buildings originals from as far back as the 14C.

This was just a sentimental goodbye as you should know on jobs ,the friendship enduring ones are what counts. And we will be back to the Les Valseuses eventually to continue our ins and outs of Vannes.

It is all over my blog but for ease of reference this is the main tourist office of the city in English here: http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/discover/vannes

Until next time and enjoy the photos of a beautiful city even with my cellular/mobile telephone they came out not too bad ::) Cheers

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July 31, 2017

Some news from Spain XLVIII

ok so back into Spain, this is the countdown 10 more days and I am in my Spain. Now here in beautiful Morbihan, there is sun and hot weather finally feels hotter but only 21C or about 69F. Down in Madrid it is gorgeous sunny and 89F!!!

Ok so now let me tell you a bit of the latest from the South….that is Spain here.

There is a lot history between the two countries not always nice, but this one it is. Between Irùn Spain and Hendaye France there is a river Bidasoa and in the middle there is an island Isla de los Faisanes in Spanish or L’île des Faisans in French (eng. Pheasants).  It only has 5000 square meters or 53 800 square feet of which 6 months each belongs to Spain and France! It is guarded each time by the commandant marine of San Sebastian (Donostia) and Bayonne.  The island is 215 meters long by 38 meters wide in an oval form filled with black poplar trees , low grass and stone megalith that reminds us of a moment in history when on November 7 1659 the Treaty of the Pyrénées was signed here putting an end to the 30 years war.  In one of the clauses of this treaty, the infant Maria Teresa of Austria daughter of king Felipe IV of Spain was to married king Louis XIV of France!

In the years to come many marriages and prisioners of both countries were exchange here mutually; some of which were there in 1659 were D’Artagnan captain of the musketeers, and the painter Diego Velazquez . The deal was that was a cessation to France that before they belong to Spain. However, 200 years later the Treaty of Bayonne of 1856 did finally divided the island by the two countries, when the erosion in the river caused the island to shrink to about 80 meters long and 5 meters wide. The two countries combined for the necessary work to make it splendid again to the size we see today. The gardening and cleaning of it is share as well between the city mayor’s office of Irùn and Hendaye. The only things does not exist in the island is pheasants as Victor Hugo wrote in 1843! More info in English here: http://www.bidasoaturismo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=147&Itemid=290&lang=en&ch=1

Continuing with the French Spanish connection, actress Jeanne Moreau is dead at 89 yrs old. Consider the grand dame of French cinema.  She was borne January 23rd 1928 of French father and English mother .She played under the best of France/Europe such as François Truffaut, Louis Malle or André Téchiné.  Orson Welles called her the best actress in the world!  and the first women part of the academy of fine arts in the history of France, pole bearer of the New wave and muse of directors such as  Elia Kazan and Luis Buñuel,of which she worked in  ‘Diario de una camarera’. In  2001 she was the first women member of the Academy of fine arts of Paris and the only actress presiding the Cannes film festival in two occasions. She played in movies such as  ‘Jules et Jim’ (1962) ,’La mariée était en noir’ (‘La novia vestía de negro’) (1967), of Truffaut, ‘La notte’ (‘La noche’) (1962), of Antonioni,or “Moderato Cantabile” (1960), of Peter Brook, that gave her the best female performer of Cannes. A great one passed away RIP.

The fields of lavander are gorgeous by Brihuega and Villaciosa de Tajuña . In summer , in the La Alcarria they are 10% of world production or about 1000 hectares, and the fields of these towns are full of them in July especially. 2000 kg of the plant each harvest ,and broken down into 250 hectáres for perfums, cosmetic, medicine, and restoration as well as about 750 hectares for decoration and perfums.  And you see the Festival of lavender of Brihuega again in July 2018: http://festivaldelalavanda.com/

More of the lavender in Spanish with guided tours here: http://www.disfrutadelaalcarria.com/ruta-de-la-lavanda/

And this is summer festival abounds in my Madrid, and I look forward to them.

We have three main feasts or festivals such as those of  San Cayetano, San Lorenzo , and the Virgen de la Paloma, all of them in the districts of  Lavapiés and La Latina.  The first one are those of San Cayetano,next August 3rd,  but these can begin from today July 31st.

My favorite and the one I always went with my mother first, and now with my family is the Virgen de la Paloma in the Plaza de la Paja to Plaza de las Vistillas. There are from August 11 -15 in honor of the Virgin of the Pigeon or Virgen de la Paloma. Activities for the whole family.

This year the Asociacion de Empresarios de la Hosteleria de la Paloma (assoc of merchants of the hostelry of the Paloma) will begin even from August 4 to August 15 in the Ruta de la Tapa Slowfood (tapa route of slow food). Participating restos will be  ‘La burbuja que ríe’, ‘Casa Mateos’, ‘Los Ángeles’, ‘NdelT’, ‘Viuda de Vacas’, ‘Concepto Bistró’, ‘Bar Coto’, ‘Casa Antonio’, ‘Bar La Sixta’, ‘Bar Marathon’, ‘Mesón La Paloma’, ‘Mutxomas que pintxos’, ‘Tapioca Chill’, ‘Bar Txirimiri’, ‘Zaida 26’, ‘La petit Boheme’, ‘La Cervecería Lorena’ and ‘El Bombín de Sabina’. Everyday from 18h to 00H (midnight), you can take photographs with a local costume Chulapo/a if do not have the costume on. It will be done in the bar El Atril (gay bar) , calle de la Paloma,9. Also, the August 11-12 until OOH midnight there will be the the cry of the Virgin , sang by Pepa de Chamberî. Monday August 14 in Las Vistillas the show of La Verbena de la Paloma organized by the castizo association De Madrid al Cielo (the best show). Everyday there will be different musicals such as Catenca de Macao at 23h August 12th, Plaza de la Paja, and Mikel Erentxu at 22h45 August 15 in the Plaza de las Vistillas.  August 15 the festival will end with the traditional lowering of the portrait of the Virgin of La Paloma that will be at 14h15 by the firemen of the city hall of Madrid.  In the morning a floral offering of the Virgin from 10h in the front of the  school of La Salle-La Paloma, and after a solemn Mass at 13h in the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Paloma. In the afternoon at 20h a procession. More of it in Spanish from Madrid tourist office here: https://www.esmadrid.com/fiestas-agosto-Madrid

El Capricho, is one of the prettiest park in Madrid but also one of the least known! It is done in the style romantic with a beautiful botanical , sculpture and artistic details . This green lung of Madrid hides one of the secrets of Madrid a bunker from the Spanish Civil War  unique in Europe in perfect state of preservation. It’s origins go back to the 18C when the aristocrat Doña María Josefa de la Soledad Alonso Pimentel, duchess of Osuna, decided to create a place for leisure and relaxation with nature. The park El Capricho is located in the Alameda de Osuna, just outside city limits, by Barajas. The bunker has  2 000 square meters built 15 meters below ground during the Spanish Civil War as well as the palace, dance room, and the ermite or chapel. The duchess of  Osuna is credited with many feasts, events and talks that shows the literary wisdom of the times as well as the promotion of the arts with many donations and shows presenting even the one and only Francisco de Goya–. In 1834, at the death of the Duchess of Osuna the park began to decline each passing year worse until in 1974 the city purchase the land and started renovating it. The work finished in 1999 and since then it is open to the public.  More here : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-del-capricho

The wonderful Caixa Forum is exhibiting a great show coming from the British Museum that shows the beauty of the Helenic arts that the Beligian artists  Jan Fabre will be showing in the  Teatros del Canal.  Monte Olimpo, an spectacle of 24 hours where he will make the public relives what the Greek of yesteryear fell . The exposition entitled  Agón! La competición en la Antigua Grecia. The show opens with a beautiful statue of the goddess  Victoria Niké, and close out with fries fragment of the mausoleum or  Mausoleo de Halicarnaso,the giant tomb built by king  Mausolo de Caria in the year 350 BC. This monument was considered one of the 7 wonders of the old  world  and the first time the British Museum loans it out.  You see in this area room showing of sculptures from the funerary group such as a head of a lion, and two warriors, one Persian and the other Greek. Between the two rooms you will see many amphorae’s, vases, cones, and tablets that shows the daily life of the Greeks.  You will see the splendid corps of the statues with more than 2 meters high of a warrior and a discus thrower , this one a Roman version of 120-140 AC of a work credited to Naucides, known artists of bronze statues of the Olympic winners.  Lastly, do not forget the rooms dedicated to the wars loaded with military bronze with a Roman bust copy of Euripides, the drama writer from Athens that today we continue to show works such as Medea or the Las Troyanas,(Trojans). Show that even today we are not that different from those competitive and party Greeks of the past. Expo open until October 15 and admission is  4€. More here:  https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/agon-competition-in-ancient-greece-caixaforum-Madrid

And to finish the post , some news on getting continents together. The company Hélity Copter Airlines will begin regular lines by helicopter. What was now a long tiring trip from Spain to Ceuta and other destinations in Africa ,now will be done in 10 minutes (trip Ceuta to Algeciras) to 25 minutes (trip from Malaga airport) . The flights will be done in a AW-139 chopper with 15 passenger and two crewmembers. The prices will be from 35€ to 150€ and the company ,also,offers sightseeing trips and private charters for business and individuals. More in Spanish  here:  https://helity.es/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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July 29, 2017

Presqu’île de Rhuys and the star Port du Crouesty!

Oh well another rainy day in the Morbihan, but no need to stay home with the place pack with tourists and the beaches restos loaded and of course traffic is well heavy black rating. We cut across the coastal roads and avoid the traffic so again we went out to one of our favorite places.

We like the peninsula because they have a laidback beach/ocean ambiance, nice natural settings, historical sometimes, and nice seafood restos/bars to just relax and see the world. This is the case for the Presqu’île de Rhuys and it’s star spot the Port du Crouesty.

I have written before and you can find those posts in search space. The tourist office for the area is http://www.rhuys.com/accueil/decouvrir/une-destination-5-communes

We went out on our fast motorway/expressway the N165 direction Nantes and got off the exit for Sarzeau following the signs always for it until past it you see Port du Crouesty. First thing you see is the nice Casino JOA of Arzon, the town of which the port is part of.  Great for sporting events on TV, nice drinks and relax ambiance without careful not to spend your mortgage…more info here: http://www.joa-casino.com/Casinos-Loisirs/CASINO-JOA-D-ARZON

Arzon is a small nice town with a quaint city center/downtown and Church that you can see the belltower from the harbor marina of Crouesty. ON the tourism webpage bit more on Arzon here: http://www.rhuys.com/accueil/decouvrir/la-presquile-de-rhuys/arzon

We passed this time by Sarzeau, a medium size town for our area with a quaint city center:downtown and some interesting market we stop by on our merry go around ways in our area. You are well worth the stop at Le Comptoir Breton for all kinds of locally made goodies from food items to souvenirs. Open every day you can stop by the store or order online. More on it here: http://www.lecomptoirbreton.fr/PBCPPlayer.asp?ID=1701037

And the tourist office take on the town here: http://www.rhuys.com/accueil/decouvrir/la-presquile-de-rhuys/sarzeau

The next town you should visit is Saint Gildas de Rhuys , this is a bit bigger town , and you have nice quaint local markets to buy goodies such as the Spar Supermarket.  Spar is a general grocery market very much in coastal areas which we have tried in several spots all over France; their local webpage is here:  http://www.rhuys.com/accueil/decouvrir/la-presquile-de-rhuys/arzon

We went around St Gildas one of the oldest town in the area, and it has full of nice beaches and a great abbey. More on it on the tourist office here: http://www.rhuys.com/accueil/decouvrir/la-presquile-de-rhuys/sarzeau

The best beach at St Gildas for the wild look at it and nice dunes is  plage du Goh Vélin beach , this a vast beachfront wild with nice rocks and the impressive Pointe du Grand Mont rocky overlook nice above it.  For the beach here is more in English: http://www.rhuys.com/st-gildas-de-rhuys/plage-du-goh-velin/tabid/4488/offreid/f458f379-0ecc-492c-8f55-5f14119573d8

For the rocky mount Grand Mont is a medium effort walkers route all bordering the beaches and also a bit inland into the marshes; more here in English. I put this for info; as we are not really into walking around ::) http://www.rhuys.com/accueil/a-faire/randonnee-pedestre/rando-du-grand-mont

See the photo map for the location of the Grand Mont ,and the beach of Gov Vélin.

Saint Gildas du Rhuys

Another better beach we like around this area is the Kerver beach or plage du Kerver.  This beach goes into the city limits of Arzon and Port du Crousty as well. It is very expansive white sand beach with plenty of water sports available and snacks beach hut across it. Simply a great family beach and safe waters too; highly recommended. More in English here: http://www.rhuys.com/st-gildas-de-rhuys/plage-du-kerver/tabid/4488/offreid/d1f6c448-d1e6-4f4e-8109-b35bc3b7b534

Another nice family beach we like for the amenities, friendly services and great white sandy beach is Fogeo beach or Plage du Fogeo; more here: http://www.rhuys.com/arzon/plage-du-fogeo/tabid/4488/offreid/fa64ae37-07b1-439b-8022-74bd6ef78b5c

There are beautiful views from the beach of Goh Vélin  into the outlaying’s islands of Houat and Hoedic and the Quiberon peninsula to the right. You can see the photo map with location of these islands.

Saint Gildas de Rhuys

We finally arrive at our final destination in Port du Crouesty harbor marina, gorgeous area we have been here several times since arriving in the region and my boys enjoyed the tandem bicycle rides on the beaches!  More on the tourist office here: http://www.rhuys.com/accueil/decouvrir/la-presquile-de-rhuys/port-du-crouesty

This is a huge marina with several sections, a wonderful lighthouse, great harbormaster and resto Le Cargo, carrousel rides for the kiddies, bike rentals (Abbis), boating rides, cruises, you name it On the water. It is surrounded by a long line of restaurants and shops all wonderful ::) we love to shop here and especially eat!!!

There is a nice Notre Dame du Croisty Chapel at the tip (it was here in 565AD they found the intact body of Saint Gildas) , and from the marina promenade you can walk to the wonderful Miramar La Cigale thalassa spa.

We have eaten on several restaurants here ,all good. The last one this lunch was at the Crous’ty Pains bakery,at the place d’Artimon, one of the newest addition to the harbor marina area. The experience was great, big tuna sandwich, nice gourmet caramel filled and glaze cake, big bottle(50 cl) of orangina and a large coffee for 9,40€, good deal, excellent service, good well done for others had all kinds of sandwiches and cakes and it was all good. no webpage yet but not far from main square at wharf marker M on the marina.

You will see the nice Maison du Port or harbor house done for all kinds of events and activities with a nice seafaring architecture, and the Capitainerie or harbormaster building with the Le Cargo resto next to it and on top. More on the harbormaster here: https://www.passeportescales.com/fr/port-du-crouesty/318-port-du-crouesty

You will see plenty of seafaring facades of homes and apartment building that gives it a nice quaint old look and pleasant for walks at any time.  Again the rain was on and off but another nice outing in the Morbihan Breton, here water is not for discussion; we go out. Another wonderful spot in my Breton lands and you area all welcome to try it.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend wherever you are, and happy travels. Cheers!

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July 28, 2017

Some news from France CLXV

Never a day goes by without not been able to talk about France and Paris especially; it is eternal awaiting. Today was nice not too windy and temp in the 23C during the day now in the evening is 22C or about 72F lol!!! And the weekend is here!!!!

Some of the nice things about Paris ,France.

One of the classics the club Nüba now has been transformed into the  Communion. See the new look here and on Facebook: http://communion.paris/

The rooftop  of the Cité de la Mode et du Design  always offers you splendid views on the city.  The décor of the terrace on the roofstop changes every week with a new ambiance zen and impressive Tel +33 (0) 1 76 77 25 30 get there on Gare de Lyon or Gare d’Austerlitz. More info here: http://www.citemodedesign.fr/en/private-rental/rooftop

Do you know Auteuil, ,,Paris? Well this is one area I know well as used to come by here with my car , yessss car into Paris center for many years… However, I did some serious walking as well ,and will tell you a bit of a walking tour you can take.

First ,you start at the Porte de Saint-Cloud (metro line 9) and go direction rue Michel-Ange. You will see along the way many buildings from the 1930’s. You turn right on the rue Parent-de-Rosan and you will see the old Auteuil, magical area with an eerie cementary wall done in 1800. Behind this wall , you can take a look into the subdivision of Villa Claude Lorrain and take a walk along the street rue Parent-de-Rosan to discover other charming subdivisions such as  Emile Meyer, Dietz-Monnin, and Cheyson.  You, then climb onto rue Boileau, a magical street of old Paris. Passing the boulevard Exelmans, (great one and not much walk by visitors) you will see further evidence of beautiful Paris with buildings such as the hôtel Danois, today the Embassy of Algeria.  Take a look at the Art Nouveau style of the Hôtel Roszé further up the street.  You will come to the neighborhood or hameau Boileau , and it’s famous Normand house, maybe you too will be lucky to find the folks there to give the digicode to go inside. Continue on towards the nice imposing Church Notre Dame of Auteuil that I passed so many times by car and on foot couple times into the rue Molitor and avenue Chardon-Lagache,where you will see the Metro entrance with a retro look . The Church here is a building in roman-byzantine style built in 1892.  Once inside , the sun light will shine at the end of the day and makes the interior very celestial romantic nice indeed.  While in the area do not forget to see the pool or Piscine Molitor, the hidden garden of the station, and try some wonderful chocolates at chocolaterie servant, while at the brasserie auteuil get a nice drink while playing in the central pool table and up its rooftop. Perfect Paris.

Some links on the above, the Church: http://www.notredamedauteuil.fr/index.php?page=mv1_par

The pool Molitor in English here: http://www.mltr.fr/en/

And the Chocolaterie Servant in English here: http://www.chocolaterie-servant.com/en/

The Auteuil Brasserie in English here: http://www.auteuil-brasserie.com/en/

The garden of Auteuil in French here: http://equipement.paris.fr/jardin-des-serres-d-auteuil-1780

And the mayor’s office of the 16 arrondissement/district of Paris of which Auteuil is now part since 1860. http://www.mairie16.paris.fr/ma-mairie/venir-en-mairie/ma-mairie-72

And to continue on the lungs of Paris and the green peaceful spaces, here are more of my favorites over the years; working there and visiting too while living just nearby.

On the side of the cemetery or cimetière du Père-Lachaise  there is a hidden garden all natural (not so hidden now ::)) simply call the Jardin Naturel, at 120, rue de la Réunion (20eme).  open every day until 20h30. From the city of Paris in French metro line 2 takes you here and more photos: http://equipement.paris.fr/jardin-naturel-pierre-emmanuel-2703

You have another cute one small on the French style kind of hidden in the very public Marais. It is at the end of a small street with it’s back on the hôtel d’Ecquevilly (17C) old name, very romantic ambiance. Square Saint-Gilles Grand Veneur-Pauline-Roland  9, rue du Grand-Veneur (3eme). Open every day untl 20h30.More here from the tourist office of Paris in English: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71090/Square-Saint-Gilles-Grand-Veneur-Pauline-Roland

And on one of the unique museums of Paris , the old Musée Guimet you have a tranquil place with basins, small bridges of stone and bamboo transporting you to the Rising Sun ambiance of Japan. You see the galleries of Budhist pantheons nearby to discover the art and culture of Japan as well, with tea ceremonies in all. Musée national des Arts Asiatiques Guimet, 6 place d’Iena, (16eme). More in French here: http://www.guimet.fr/fr/visite/acces

You, then come to a more secluded garden in the square Roger-Stéphane just steps from the store Bon Marché . Several romantic corners and a basin with a small cascade.  Location at rue Récamier (7eme). Open every day until 20h30. More info in French from the city of Paris: http://equipement.paris.fr/square-roger-stephane-2459

 And of course, until the garden on the rooftop of the store BHV Marais with a vertical vegetable garden  open until October every Wednesdays from 17h to 19h. BHV Marais Roof Garden, 52 , rue de Rivoli (4eme).  More info in English here:http://www.bhv.fr/en/city-farming-en/a-garden-perched-up-on-our-rooftop/

A little jump back into another nice arrondissement district area of Paris I like for a walk or driving by. This is the new Clichy-Batignolles.

The origin of the name Batignolles has been difficult to determine for sure. It is thought of it comes from «bastidiole» meaning little country home, that later came to «Bastignolles» , and finally Batignolles. The land area covered from the forest of Rouvray to just outside Paris and a place for hunting until the French revolution. The village was attached to Clichy located just outside Paris city limits.  It gained importance because the people avoided paying a tax the Parisiens came here to drink on guinguettes or music hall houses. In early the 18C the secondary homes multiply for city folks to gain some country air! In 1830 Batignolles and Monceau were raised to a town and in 1860 detached from Clichy and attached to Paris. The arrival of the railroad change the district with the construction of the train station or gare Saint-Lazare (1842) and later the goods station of Batignolles (1844).

This is the area that grew in artistic fervor with the arrival to lived here of Edouard Manet helping as well the impressionists movement. His shop and house were here. Starting from 1870, they gathered at the Café Guerbois, 9 avenue de Clichy with his friends. Frédéric Bazille, also had his shop here and were visited by the Renoir, Cézanne, Sisley, Monet,and many others such as Emile Zola. At 11 avenue de Clichy in the house Hennequin, founded in 1830, you can find material on the artists of today. On the literature side, this district had visitors and renters such as Alfred de Vigny rented in 1838 at 1 rue Nollet, Paul Verlaine lived on the streets of rue Nollet, rue de l’Ecluse and rue Lemercie and buried at the cemetery of Batignolles.  Stéphane Malarmé lived at 89 rue de Rome where he received his friends Paul Verlaine, Oscar Wilde, André Gide, Paul Valéry, Paul Claudel, for his famous literary meetings the “Tuesdays at the Rue de Rome”.  Many performers are link to this district too, such as Barbara born at 6 rue Brochant, Jacques Brel lived at the  Cité Lemercier and creates his famous song  Ne me quitte pas here! Nowdays the extension of the metro line 14 and the new stations of bus stop,and RER will inevitably change the district in the future in full expansion . Let’s hope that the new does not change the old of it’s soul!! See it walk it while you can.  I stayed in hotels here and park for free while visiting the rest of the district and Paris !More in French with an interactive map on the right side here: http://www.clichy-batignolles.fr/

A pause on the historical wonderful eternal Paris. Let’s drive, train, bus over to Le Havre. This city is celebrating its 500 years! Call a summer in Havre or ” Un été au Havre”. Many events on the city previously wrote in my blog . Rebuilt after WWII from ashes (90% destroyed) it is now a city worth visiting into the real France ::) Many activities are programmed, you can see them all here in English: http://www.uneteauhavre2017.fr/en

This interactive map show you the many faces of Le Havre in French: http://www.uneteauhavre2017.fr/fr/parcours

The calendar of events per month and activity are here in English: http://www.uneteauhavre2017.fr/en/calendar

And my personal visit to Le Havre entry in my blog with photos here:

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2013/05/24/le-havre-a-lot-more-than-ferriesstill-normandy/

To finish this post, something I like all my life, inspired even to know about Paris , Madrid, Key West, and Havana, the great Ernest Hemingway. Some of his spots in Paris are here to follow as July 21st was his birthday.

Ernest Hemingway dream of participating in WWI but could not come due to his myopia condition; therefore he enlisted as a volunteer in the Red Cross and did participate this way in the Italian front. He was wounded in his thighs by an Austrian rocket during his service and was came home a heroe in 1919. In 1921 after marrying Elizabeth Hadley Richardson, he decided to come  to France to continue his writing skills honing as a correspondance for the Toronto Star in Europe. This was a great timing as in the 1920’s Paris was the Eldorado of Americans.

In Paris, Hemingway discovered the new lectures and work on his style on the side of such influential personnages as Sylvia Beach, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and Gertrude Stein that take him under their wing. He lived for a while in a hotel of the 6eme arrondissement/district; the Hôtel d’Angleterre, 44 rue Jacob (6eme). Full of history and still standing there, webpage here: http://www.hotel-dangleterre.com/en/

The Hemingway , also, lived on a small T2 one bedroom apartment in the 74, rue Cardinal Lemoine(5eme) (now building with 21 apartments on 5 floors)  from 1922-1923. At street level or first floor of the building there was a music hall and it was nearby the Place de la Contrescarpe.  It is on this apartment that Hemingway wrote amongst others the novels  “My Old man”  and the famous “Paris est un fête” ( a movable feast) the later posthume that tells his crazy years in Paris.

 Created by Sylvia Beach an American  librarian and editor in 1919, the library boutique came rapidly a point of research and encounters by the English and American writers that lived in Paris. here Hemingway borrows and buys many books,and discovered Tolstoi, Dostoievski, Eliot, Joyce, but also, Flaubert, Stendhal, and Henry James. At the times the library company  Shakespeare & Company was located at 12 rue de l’Odéon, but today it is located at 37 rue de la Bûcherie, (5eme). webpage : https://shakespeareandcompany.com/

Also, Adrienne Monnier the companion of Sylvia Beach opened in 1915, a library at 7 rue de l’Odéon (6eme) , the house of friends of books sort of my amateur translation of  «La maison des amis des livres».  The libray also lent books and regularly organizes séances of public lecture.  Today, it does not exits anymore (today building of 12 apartments in 5 floors) but you can stop by to imagine the story and the cultural dynamist of the times.

You,can also, stop by Chez Lipp for a potato salad and a beer or at Pré-aux-Clercs where the menu was 12 FF and a bottle of wine 60 cents!!! WAS, not anymore !!! Brasserie LIpp, 151 boulevard Saint-Germain (6eme), Le Pré-aux-Clercs, 30 rue Bonaparte (6eme).

http://www.brasserielipp.fr/en/

http://www.restaurant-preauxclercs.com/en/

The encounter of Hemingway with Gertrude Stein,  an American poet, writer, dramatist, and feminist made great teaching on the automatic writings as Hemingway normally did not remember than what he wish to remember , however thanks to her and those of Ezra Pound , he ends by discovering his own style. Gertrude Stein is today known to have participated in the development and diffusion of the literature and modern art. It was her who shape the young artists as a lost generation for the mores of the wars. Her apartment in Paris was at 27 rue de Fleurus (6eme) ;now a building with 26 apartments in 6 floors.

Paris is eternal, see it at least once in your lifetime, and then…..dream on, you will be back, and like me for good ::) in France.

Enjoy your weekend, we do not know where we are going, lol! last minutes travelers ::) Cheers

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July 26, 2017

Some news from Spain XLVII

Talking about my trip to Spain next month, well it’s the best time and hard to wait! temps here are cloudy,rainy, and cool 19C about 64F….

So now it’s time to speak about Spain .

The museum of El Prado is getting ready for it’s 200 years anniversary (1819-2019). There are many offers on the table to coincide with November 19 2018 that will have the pinotheque opens with programs like “De gira por España” or the  “El Prado Itinerante“. The museum will lent important works by a period of one month to several renown institutions; one for each autonomous region of Spain ,including Ceuta and Melilla, except  Madrid, in the program  “De gira por España”. The “El Prado Itinerante”, will have the exposition of  “Las Meninas”, that will be installed in a vehicle to do a tour of Spain as an homage to the Museum of the People and the republican pedagogics with the opening shortly of the Jonic Gallery or  Galería Jónica with classic sculptures.  In addition, nine new rooms of the Flemish and Dutch sculpture of the 17C in the second floor north of the museum ,therefore making the entire building of  Villanueva dedicated to expositions.  All is preview for the opening of the bicentenary on November 19 2018.  “Circa 1819” will the start of the event with 75 paintings done before or after the foundation of the Museum of El Prado with painters such as  Goya, Géricault, Turner, Friederich ,and Delacroix, that will be on from November 2018 to March 2019. Also, in 2019  there will be other expositions such as on  Velázquez, Rembrandt , and the Golden centuries of Spanish and Dutch paintings  in collaboration with the museum  or Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam; also, Goya Dibujos, Fra Angelico and the origins of the Florentine renaissance , Sofonisba Anguisola-Lavinia Fontana, two models of women artists and El triunfo de la muerte de Pieter Brueghel el Viejo. Exciting, you read it here first ::)

Much more sooner, this summer art in Spain.

The Festival Internacional de Teatro Clàsico de Mérida. 6 new shows with 7 montages and a historical moment for the 63rd edition of this festival that will look at the origins of our society; from the Democracy, Politics etc. Going on until August 27th. More here: http://www.festivaldemerida.es/

The Festival Internacional de Teatro Clàsico de Almagro, under the theme “Respira Festival” in its 40th edition. About 50 companies from 13 countries and 102 representations of which 25 will be first time showing.  The premier of  ‘La dama duende’, of Calderón de la Barca with the  Compañía Nacional de Teatro Clásico to open the festival. In it you will see shows on Shaskespeare, Quevedo, Cervantes, Lope de Vega or Molière etc. You will see Cervantes in  ‘Las verdaderas aventuras de Don Quijote de la Mancha’ and ‘El rufián dichoso’,from the Fundación Siglo de Oro. Also, for the first time, the complete  ‘El divino Narciso’,  of  Juana Inés de la Cruz; and the musical comedy  ‘La Calderona, The Remix’ on hip hop beat with DJ included!;  ‘Eco y Narciso’, one of the work less seen of Calderon.  To finish the “ Sueños” and “La Ternura” by the Teatro de la Ciudad ; ‘Cyrano de Bergerac‘; ‘La vida es sueño‘ from the Teatro del Temple or the classic  El Brujo. And more, to celebrate the anniversary of scene classics or ‘Clásicos en escena’ in the Plaza Mayor to more than 40 artists that had played in this golden age classics. All until July 30th,wonderful to see!!!  more here: http://festivaldealmagro.com/es/home/index.php

The Festival de Teatro Clàsico de Olite. In its 18th edition with new director. Starts at the Palacio Real or Royal Palace with “Cuando el amor habla, el corazón canta’, (when love talks, the heart sings), a spectacle with wordings from Tirso de Molina, Calderon de la Barca or Francisco Quevedo  ; a fusion of poetry ,and baroque music; until August 5th: more here in Spanish : http://www.olite.com.es/NOTICIAS/2016/TCLASICO/teatro_00.php

And my favorite; “Me vuelves Lorca” (give me back Lorca), in its 3rd edition in the Granadine Alpujarras inspired all by Federico García Lorca, and host by the village of  Laroles. You have music by Jorge Pardo and Juan Perro  with scenic propositions of the women of  El Vacie, and their ‘Fuenteovejuna‘  and with an impressive monologue of “El minuto del payaso’ by Luis Bermejo.  To complete the programming the dance of Belen Maya and Israel Galván  with the improvision of the Jamming Compañía with  ‘Jamming On Tour’. From July 28 to August 12; more info here: http://web2.mevuelveslorca.com/

New tools on the digital world; You know today there are 167 000 km of roads in Spain of which only a bit more than 10% or about 17000 km are motorways/expressways multi lanes. However, this 10% is 94,3% of all the traffic (source Ministerio de Fomento 2015).  Now you have many routes you can track down and do such as the town of Basi in Sant Martin del Castañar (Salamanca); Madrigal de las Altas Torres (Avila) or the Cathedral without name in Villacastin (Segovia).  You can participate in this new tool in instagram at  #LaGuiaInolvidable publish your new found places with a photo and location or send it to laguiainolvidable@renault-info.es . You can request the guide free on the webpage  http://www.laguiainolvidable.es

The river Arlanzón had made possible the city of Burgos, like many other cities that has a river going thru its center. And the artery that connects all the monuments of the city. From one end to the other, we have the Cartuja de Miraflores (monastery and hunting ground of king Enrique III);on the other side the monastery or Monasterio de las Huelgas, 12C. In between you have the park or parque de la Isla, the Paseo de los Cubos ,and Paseo del Espolón, the gothic Cathedral, and the post office building or  Correos y Telégrafos, the museum or Museo de la Evolución Humana, the statue in bronze of El Cid,and the convent of San José. And of course, the Castle or Castillo, that keeps an eye on the city from the hill or cerro de San Miguel.  Over the river you have the bridge or puente de Malatos, and puente de Santa María (best way to enter the city is under the gate of the same name) , and the Puente de San Pablo. One of the loveliest city of Spain, historical strong Burgos.  The tourist office here: http://www.turismoburgos.org/en

And as we reach the summer especially in Spain, what about those pools!!! or piscinas,  they are great for locals and visitors are welcome to stop by, it will be a great experience. Some of the best ones for me are:

The pool of Gymage located at calle de la Lune, 2  is open from 11h to 18h. You can have a drink later on , it has a white décor and plants all over . Admission is 12€ from Mondays to Fridays, Saturday and Sundays is 19€. More info here: http://www.gymage.es/

Then, you have something more youthful at the UCM pool, all kinds of interaction here with many young people from the University. Folks are towel to towel cramp here but a lot of fun If young at heart. It is located at avenida Obispo Trejo, s/n ;Tel +34 91 3941174.  Until September 6th open from 11h to 20H, daily admission is 4€ or 10 visits for 25€, 15 visits for 40€ ; weekends holidays it is 6€. More from Madrid tourist office here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/sports/piscina-de-la-universidad-complutense-de-Madrid

You, also, can visit the municipal pools managed by the Comunidad de Madrid. These are the Canal de Isabel II (Avenida de Filipinas, 54), San Vicente de Paúl (Calle Pelícano, 4) , and Parque Deportivo de Puerta de Hierro (Carretera de La Coruña, km 7), open from 11h to 20h open until September 10th and admission of 5,50€. You can purchase 10 visits for 50€ with discount for kids, mobility impaired,  and families . Opening from 11h to 21h such as the  Estación de Hortaleza, 11-13. Tel. +34 913 821 965. admission 4,50€  from Mondays to Fridays no holidays

Best of the them my opinion here: http://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/Cultura-ocio-y-deporte/Deportes/Direcciones-y-telefonos/Instalacion-Deportiva-Canal-de-Isabel-II?vgnextfmt=default&vgnextoid=a8b5 b0c40971c010VgnVCM1000000b205a0aRCRD&vgnextchannel=9b08151c238fe410VgnVCM2000000c205a0aRCRD

In a hotel, a nice one is hotel Emperador, in the Gran Via, you can purchase an entry even if not staying in the hotel, if space permitting. Open from Mondays to Thursdays for 48€ , Fridays and weekends/Holidays for 63€. Menu and admission to pool from 14h30 Mondays to Thursdays for 68€ five passes  from Monday to Thursdays cost 215€ ; the terrace is open from 10h to 21h:more info here: http://blog.emperadorhotel.com/2016/05/03/roof-garden-2016-terraza-y-piscina-en-el-hotel-emperador/

Another nice municipal pool and one went for my boys is at Vicente del Bosque pool, in the district of Barrio del Pilar not far from Vaguada shopping center. Calle Monforte de Lemos, 13 tel +34  913 147 943. Admission is 4,50€  from Mondays to Fridays not Holidays.  More info here :https://www.esmadrid.com/deporte/centro-deportivo-municipal-vicente-del-bosque

And a nice gymnasium pool is at Virgin Active Capitan Haya, natural lighting and nice pool with controlled temperature. You can take Aquagym classes or aquchasatic training custom made for you.  It is located in the district of Tetuán,  Calle del Poeta Joan Maragall, 1 (Antigua Capitán Haya). Tel. +34  917 70 58 91. Hours Mondays to Fridays from 6h30 to 23h , Saturdays/Sundays/Holidays from 9h to 23h. The only catch you also need to be a member, but you get one day free to try it . More info here: https://www.virginactive.es/gimnasios/gimnasio-capitan-haya-madrid/instalaciones

Lastly , something useful for the seafood lover in me or you, and oysters. We have good ones in Spain too ! the oysters traditionally are consumed in the month with R or from September to April. However, modern days innovation make them available year around due to harvest oysters even if quality is inferior. I do not buy harvest oysters , period.

To open them you need some practice and precaution as well as using a proper knife , an oyster knife, wide and short with hand protection.  You need to introduce it between the shells , closer to the bottom end to cut the muscle.  You can buy them already open or do it yourself; we go to the coast here and get them closed but sometimes we had them open it if in a hurry. You need to feel the weight of them in your hand and they must be humid to the touch. They need to be really closed and when you knock them against each other  the sound should be dry and deaf ,no noise.

If you take time between the purchase and the consumption better to place them with the bottom side up and on the bottom section of our fridge covered with a wet towel and not to heavy so they won’t open up; the ideal temperature should be about 8C  or about 46F. When you open them you should smell them and throw out those smelling bad odor.

You can eat them as is with maybe a drop or two of lemon juice. Place them on a dish full of ice and on top the oyster facing up to do about a dozen at a time. There are many other ways to eat them , I just gave you the traditional way and the way we eat them. They are great as an entrée with Muscadet or Sancerre, Chablis types wines. Enjoy them !!!

Until next time in the Spainish waves. Enjoy your week, cheers.

 

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July 23, 2017

Historical Auray, a lot more than a harbor Saint Goustan

I just checked my blog, the last time wrote on Auray was in December 2015!!! Unbelievable if you notice that I live just 11 km from the town and my train station is there lol! It goes to show you the choices we have in our beautiful Brittany and especially the Morbihan Breton!

Auray is Saint Goustan and a lot more up hill in the haute ville.  The tourist office is here: http://www.auray-tourism.com/

And the region of Brittany in English is here: http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-our-destinations/southern-brittany-morbihan-gulf/unmissable-sites/saint-goustan

We love to go by the place Notre Dame because that is where the town’s main Church Saint Gildas is located.  Even thus, they claim it is the place Gabriel Deshayes. An imposing building as all these old Churches.

The Church of Saint Gildas is given this name due to a priory of the 12C that depended from the Benedictine Abbey of the peninsula or presqu’île de Rhuys. Worked began in 1623 and were not finished until 1663.  The bell tower is square of three levels and was finished in 1701. It has two porches of Baroque and Renaissance style and in the interior there is a statue of Christ from the 16C. The nice marble altar in the Levallois style dates from the 17C. The organ is a Waltrin dating from 1761.

All around this area you will find plenty of shops and restos to please everyone. There is also the city hall or Hôtel de Ville nearby. Then ,you go to the Baisse Ville or lower town. This is Saint Goustan.

At Saint Goustan, a very steeply area by the river Loc’h (confluent of the Auray), you can get on the little train or petit train in the Place Saint Sauveur. Here along the Quai Franklin you can see the sleeping house when Benjamin Franklin entered France in 1776 to seek support of France against England possible re invasion and he got it from King Louis XVI in Versailles.

On this harbor today, you can set sail by cruise up the river Auray or into the islands in the Gulf of Morbihan with the Navix boat company. http://www.navix.fr/ports-de-depart/

You will see the still in renovation Chapelle de Notre Dame de Lourdes dates from 1878.  You get to see the Church Saint Sauveur, very nice condition and overlooking the high hill of Saint Goustan. The Church is on rue Saint-Sauveur, dates from 1469.  You can still see the lower gate entrance from this time, as the rest was lost on fire in 1886 then rebuilt. Plenty of wooden sculptures such as the pulpit or throne of Saint Goustan, and the choir enclosure done in 1929.

I believe I have mentioned this before but here it goes again; who was Saint Goustan? The district bears his name now, the patron Saint of the fisherman and marines. He was born in 974 in Cornouailles and raised by pirates at 18 yrs old, wounded he was left abandon in the island or île d’Houat  (in the Gulf of Morbihan) where he lived by providence that provided him with fish (so he is represented by a fish) and the care of Saint Félix, that will convert him to Christianism.  He became a monk in 1025 and founded a priory on the island or ’île de Hoëdic (Gulf of Morbihan). He now rests with his brother monks in the abbey of Saint-Gildas de Rhuys (Presqu’île de Rhuys).

More in French from the city of Auray here: http://www.auray.fr/auray/architecture/saint-goustan/

A whole new (or old) world at your fingertips with wonderful restaurants/bars, one of our favorite areas in the Region of Brittany! I guess we come so often we do not write all the time ::)

Not only Benjamin Franklin has a plaque, and wharf name after him but also a bar, resto, and the auberge with a plaque. We remember Benji a lot!!! However, here ,also set sail for Acadia (Canada) “Razilly’s expedition of three ships, holding 300 men, perhaps a dozen or so women, and supplies aplenty, all financed by his own trading company, departed Auray in early July 1632 and arrived at La Hève three months later.  He left most of the men and supplies at La Hève(Nova Scotia), until then just another fishing station on the Atlantic shore of Acadia but now his new headquarters, and hurried to Port-Royal( today Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia )to take possession of the old post from the surviving Scots, who he returned to Britain via France.  After 18 years of neglect and English interference, French suzerainty in greater Acadia finally was restored. “As per Wikipedia.

Ok so welcome to Auray, you will find it plenty of history, quaint, magical and seafaring strong. Enjoy your Sunday,cheers.

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July 21, 2017

A return to Sainte Anne d’Auray,and Sainte Anne!

Hello,again is me ::) I have not written on this religious town since 2014 even if it is just 20 minutes from my house. However, on July 25-26 it will be the pardon holy day of the Saint in the town, and we passed by it for just an opener. More on the pardon here: http://www.sainteanne-sanctuaire.com/?mode=grand_pardon

I am talking about Sainte Anne d’Auray and the Basilica of Sainte Anne; the patron Saint of Brittany. According to the Bible, the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus.  The official page is here in English: http://www.sainteanne-sanctuaire.com/?langue=en

The Auray area tourist office in French: http://www.auray-tourisme.com/home/nos-villes-et-villages/sainte-anne-d-auray.aspx

I would not go into more details as I have written on the story and history of this high religious stop in the Morbihan Breton on several occasions. Suffixes to say it is a wonderful complex of the Basilica of Sainte Anne, to the statues of her all over the park, the mausoleum to the dead for Brittany in the wars, to the area where Pope John Paul II visited in 1996.

The importance of the statue monument to the Count of Chambord is here as well; very well mentioned in the history of France. The monument has four faces, including the two Saints of France and Paris, Sainte Jeanne d’Arc in the front , and  Sainte Geneviève behind, as well as two great heroes of France ; Bayard on the left and  Du Guesclin on the right, all standing on foot.  On top of the statue you will see a golden crown on his right, representing the monarchy of France.  It is here where the prayers were said  on the apparitions in August 1623 to March 1625 and 1628 ,when  Anne d’Autriche (Austria) ask to make  Sainte-Anne public prayers and daily to have a descendant of the crown to the throne.  It became a tradition thereafter by the house of France or  Maison de France  to ask of Sainte Anne the birth of future princes of France.  More here on official Chambord page in French: http://www.comtedechambord.fr/homme/memorial/

You will see the stairs or Holy Stairs. This monument was built in 1662 by the Carmelite Fathers. Currently located in the area of ​​the spine, the Scala Sancta was until 1870 the front porch of the Basilica and thus defining the place reserved for prayer. You can read more in the official page given above on the Basilica.

On the same webpage you will find info on the monument plaque to Pope John Paul II visit in September 26 1996. It is made exactly 16,129 blocks offered by the pilgrims. It is surrounded by 12 granite columns, recalling that these are the twelve bishops of the twelve dioceses of the ecclesiastical region of western France who invited the Pope to come to this region: Angers, Bayeux, Coutances, Laval, Le Mans, Luzon, Nantes, Quimper, Rennes, St. Brieuc, Sees, Vannes. There is figure stele bearing the image of John Paul II.

You see the baptismal fountain or fontaine, the place of the first prayer and statue of Sainte Anne right coming straight to the Basilica. More in the webpage of the Basilica, a primer here: By choosing the fountain as a place of its first appearance, St. Anne reminds us of the importance of source water, but above the water of baptism: as water is essential to our lives, baptism is essential to grow in faith. The water of baptism makes us children of God and St. Anne, by appearing at the fountain, invites us to return to our baptismal promises.

More on the webpage above and on this wonderful site here: The Basilica dedicated to Saint Anne is the heart of the sanctuary. It replaced, in the late 19C, in 1872, the first chapel built by Yves Nicolazic chapel became too small to accommodate the crowd of pilgrims.  It was built in the same field of Bocenno which was found the original statue of St. Anne by Yves Nicolazic.  Neo-Gothic combines the grace of the Renaissance, model houses the tombs of Yves Nicolazic (1591-1645), the man who saw St. Anne and Pierre de Keriolet the penitent (1602-1660).  A bas-relief on a pillar of the choir, right, points out the spot where Yves Nicolazic and its neighbors, discovered the statue of Saint Anne March 7, 1625.

In the photos you will see a Chapel dedicated to Sainte Anne (St Anne) and another one to Sainte Marie (St Mary). The beautiful organ is spiral right against the left side wall of the altar.  And the stained glass is wonderful vivid and bright well done and tells the story well.

Again, a day is needed to see this wonderful spot and very worth the detour for those traveling along the N24 or N165.  Enjoy the photos and have a great weekend. Cheers

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