Archive for ‘Europe’

June 26, 2017

Again the Tour de France 104th edition

And we are just around the corner of the next tour de France bicycle race.  The next will be the 104th Edition, and will be running from Saturday July 1st to Sunday July 23rd in 21 stages over 3540 kms.

The previous one I have in my blog was in 2015 when it passed just next to my employer near Vannes in the Morbihan Breton; more of it here: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2015/07/13/tour-de-france-in-the-morbihan-bretagne/

Some of the teams already announced for this year’s edition are: (country abbrev in French)

AG2R La Mondiale: Jan Bakelants (BEL), Romain Bardet (FRA), Axel Domont (FRA), Mathias Frank (SUI), Ben Gastauer (LUX), Cyril Gautier (FRA), Pierre Latour (FRA), Oliver Naesen (BEL), Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA)

BMC Racing Team: Damiano Caruso (ITA), Stefan Küng (SUI), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Richie Porte (AUS), Nicolas Roche(IRL), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI).

Bora – Hansgrohe :Maciej Bodnar (POL), Emanuel Buchmann (ALL), Marcus Burghardt (ALL), Rafal Majka (POL), Jay McCarthy (AUS), Pawel Poljanski (POL), Juraj Sagan(SVQ), Peter Sagan (SVQ), Rudi Selig (ALL).

Cofidis: Nacer Bouhanni (FRA), Dimitri Claeys (BEL), Christophe Laporte (FRA), Cyril Lemoine (FRA), Luis Angel Maté (ESP), Daniel Navarro (ESP), Florian Sénéchal (FRA), Julien Simon (FRA), Geoffrey Soupe (FRA).

Dimension Data: Edvald Boassen Hagen (NOR), Mark Cavendish (GBR), Stephen Cummings (GBR), Bernhart Eisel (AUT), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (AFS), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Mark Renshaw (AUS), Scott Thwaites (GBR), Jaco Venter (AFS).

Direct Energie: Thomas Boudat (FRA), Lilian Calmejane (FRA), Sylvain Chavanel (FRA), Yohann Gène (FRA), Adrien Petit (FRA), Perrig Quéméneur (FRA), Romain Sicard (FRA), Angelo Tulik (FRA), Thomas Voeckler (FRA).

Katusha-Alpecin: Marco Haller (AUT), Reto Hollenstein (SUI), Robert Kiserlovski (CRO), Alexander Kristoff (NOR), Maurits Lammertink (NED), Tiago Machado (POR), Tony Martin (GER), Nils Politt (GER), Rick Zabel (GER).

Orica-Scott: Michael Albasini (SUI), Esteban Chaves (COL), Luke Durbridge (AUS), Mathew Hayman (AUS), Damien Howson (AUS), Daryl Impey (AFS), Jens Keulekeire (BEL), Roman Kreuziger (RTC), Simon Yates (GBR).

Sky: Chris Froome (GBR), Sergio Henao (COL), Vasil Kiryienka (BLR), Christian Knees (ALL), Michal Kwiatkowski (POL), Mikel Landa (ESP), Mikel Nieve (ESP), Luke Rowe (GBR), Geraint Thomas (GBR).

Team Sunweb: Nikias Arndt (ALL), Warren Barguil (FRA), Roy Curvers (HOL), Michael Matthews (AUS), Simon Geschke (ALL), Ramon Sinkeldam (HOL), Laurens Ten Dam (HOL), Albert Timmer (HOL), Mike Teunissen (HOL).

Trek-Segafredo; André Cardoso (POR), Alberto Contador(ESP), John Degenkolb (ALL), Fabio Felline (ITA), Michael Gogl (AUT), Markel Irizar (ESP), Koen de Kort (HOL), Bauke MOLLEMA (HOL) , Jarlinson Pantano (COL).

UAE – Team Emirates: Darwin Atapuma (COL), Matteo Bono (ITA), Kristijan Durasek (CRO), Vegard Stake Laengen (NOR), Marco Marcato (ITA), Manuele Mori (ITA), Louis Meintjes (AFS), Ben Swift (GBR), Diego Ulissi (ITA).

Wanty – Groupe Gobert: Frederik Backaert (BEL), Thomas Degand (BEL), Guillaume Martin (FRA), Marco Minaard (NED),Yoann Offredo (FRA), Andrea Pasqualon (ITA), Dion Smith (NZL), Guillaume Van Keirlsbuck (BEL), Pieter Vanspeybrouck (BEL).

The official site to watch it live is here in English: http://www.letour.fr/le-tour/2017/us/

Notice this year the race will begin in Dusseldorf Germany !! hey a town I have visited!!! Here was my post on the city: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/11/26/a-new-city-on-my-map-dusseldorf-germany/

It will ,also, past by Belgium and Luxembourg!

Then stage 7 from Troyes to Nuits-Saint-Georges should be sublime, also, stage 10 Périgueux to Bergerac wow! Stages 11-12 around Pau! and Stage 16 Le Puy-en-Vélay to Romans-sur-Isére, and of course the finish in Paris.

Some schedules to watch on TV is here in English:

http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/tour-de-france/tour-de-france-live-tv-guide-233516

And here is a video in 3D of the route of the 104th edition of the Tour de France!!

 

See on the roads folks, enjoy it and happy end of june 2017. Cheers

June 24, 2017

Pointe du Raz in pays Bigouden; Finistére Breton!

Today was a hectic day and lots of things to do so done tonite and rest tomorrow. However, the day was cloudy cooler nicer to go out with temps in the 15C  to 22C this is like less than 75F all day. The sun did came out a bit later in the day but while we were where we were going was not. Anyway this is Brittany and we went next door to the Finistére dept 29.

We had lots of errands to do and started in Vannes picking up my retouch jean from Armand Thiery; then going to V&B to pick some more Belgian and German beers in Auray. Both of which I have written extensively in previous posts. We finally headed for Finistére.

Getting back on the N165 passing the ria river of Auray over the  Kerplouz bridge we headed to our destination by taken the D784 just after Quimper direction Audierne.

We headed for Pouldreuzic in the pays Bigouden to get to the boutique factory of Hénaff (founded in 1907) the great Breton deli with all its delicacies. This was wonderful and we loaded up on more than 130€ shopping on cans from duck mousse to rabbit, deer, wild pigs, tuna, hams,  in different blends as well as cider (130 m2 of space). The store has a museum 3€ admission but it was closed. It is a nice compact store with cold cuts pates on the right and souvenirs , fisheries and home deco items on the left side.  The factory is just around the corner and they have a full service center for the community . You have a salon de thé and garden playground next door with picnic tables. The opening hours varied in low and high season; right now is high season. More here: http://www.henaff.com/en/henaff/

Once we did our shopping in Pouldreuzic town, we had some time left so we headed forward to the Pointe du Raz, the furthermost point in the peninsula passing towns like Landudec, Plozévet, and Plouhinec with nice churches and the great harbor of Audierne.

The Church of Saint Démet in Plozévet is nice. It has elements of the 12C and built in the 14C with later renovations. The town of Plozévet is at the crossing of the roads D784 and D2 near the coast and west of  Quimper. More in French on the town go to “La Commune” on top row and on bottom go for “Le Patrimoine Communal de Plozévet.” http://www.plozevet.fr/

The Church Sainte Anne in Landudec is also nice. Built with donations from 1528 to 1540 and rebuilt in 1904.  The town is unique finding itself between the Pays Glazik , and the Cap-Sizun, itselves between the Pays Bigouden ,and the Pen Sardinn. A bit more here in French: http://www.landudec.fr/decouvrir-la-commune/

The Church of Saint Winoc in Plouhinec is nice. Built between the 16C and 18C even if many elements are found from the 15C.  These were seeing passing on our way to final destination in Pouldreuzic or Pointe du Raz. Bit more on the Church in French here: https://www.plouhinec.bzh/decouvrir-commune/tourisme

We finally reach Pointe du Raz, in the Cap Sizun, at the westernmost point in the peninsula seeing the vast atlantic ocean and the lighthouses of the island of Sein. The view here is magnificent over the vast ocean and you are on a cliff with rocky stony footpath leading you to the edge!  Parking starts from 6,50€ and there is plenty of shops and restos on the point to keep it a day. You see the grandeur of the panorama on the Raz de Sein very famous by seamen with their lighthouses of the Vieille, and the Tévennec, as well as the fascinating island of  île de Sein. More here on the grand sites of France in French: https://www.pointeduraz.com/grand-site-de-france/un-site-exceptionnel

And from the Finistére tourism office in English: http://www.finisterebrittany.com/pointe-du-raz

A place not to miss if coming to Brittany at least arrive to see it and have lunch on site great combi.

We did passed by the harbor beach town of Audierne, this is very picturesque like a post card and great ambiance along the waterfront. The tourist office will tell you more, I love the town and will be back in the Pays Capiste ,just before the Le Pointe du Raz.   http://www.capsizun-tourisme.bzh/en/discover/audierne/

In the above link you can find more of the Pointe du Raz and Cap Sizun as well as the île de Sein.  A lovely ride coming back late to get to my car wash at E Leclerc Vannes and the grocery shopping for other stuff there , finally reaching home pretty late. Sunday will be to rest lol!

Enjoy your weekend and Sunday, until next time ,and thanks for reading my blog; cheers.

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June 23, 2017

Some news from Spain XLV

Here here this is Spain hot and beautiful. Temps are in heaven hot but so is the Spanish soul. this is the season and Summer is here, hear all about it, this is Spain. Some ramblings to tell you all.

Some of the best of the Valencia region: this is Alzira with its Arabic walls and part of the Route of Monasteries near the natural site  or Paraje Natural Municipal La Murta, previously known as the Valley or Valle de los Milagros.  This valley has medicinal properties due to its flora to make plant medicines. Now there is a walk path of about 9 kms that takes you to some of its better sites such as the monastery of  Santa María de la Murta, finished in 1401. More here: http://www.valenciaturisme.org/en/things-to-do/the-monastery-route/

You go to the fountain of the baths or Fuente de los Baños, in Montanejos, known since Arabic times. The Moorish king  Zeit-Abu-Zeit  was  aware of the medicinal properties of the waters of the river Mijares , and according to legend it ordered built the baths for the women in the harem to kept young and beautiful.  These properties of the waters keep a year round temperature of 25C and has been for centuries. Now it is part of health tourism. Up the waters at about 2,5 kms you arrive at the urban center and the dam of Arenoso, where you see one of the wonderful natural attraction of the region in the narrows or  Los Estrechos.  This is a canyon of about 25 meters wide and more than 100 meters high where you can practice the climbing and live water sports. More in Spanish here: http://www.visitmontanejos.com/fuente-de-banos/

Reaching Vilafamés, of Arabic origins where you still find some ruins such as the foundation of the castle on top of a hill where the town rises. Even if the early remains of the town goes back to Paleothic Superior, found in the cave or Cueva Matutano.  Also, in the cave cavity of  El Tossal de la Font you find remains of Homo Sapiens of  80.000 years old, while in the basement of the castle and the rocks or  Rocas de Mallasén you find remains of rustics paintings. More in Spanish here: http://vilafames.org/es/poble/patrimoni/

You continue on towards Villena old town is to go back to the Middle Ages. The Castle of Atalaya built by the Arabs in the 12C reign over the town. It is one of the oldest construction of its type in Spain with a tower of square ground and two bodies as well as Almohades tombs. More here http://www.turismovillena.com/?lang=en_EN

At the foot of a castle of the Arabic period that still conserve almost instact its towers and walls you come to Chulilla. A small town of middle ages and stone age time at the extreme of the river Turia with a deep ravine of 160 meters deep from which a castle rises overlooking the town with several hanging bridges. In the canyon of or barranco de Falfiguera, back in 1998  it was discovered rustic paintings of the Epipaleothic period  (3500-2000 AC.) with zoomorphic and antropomorfic drawings some of them not found in other parts of the Mediterránean.  In Chulilla, you can, also find remains of the Copper and Iron age belonging to the Iberian people. More in Spanish here :  http://www.chulilla.es/es/turismo/page/cultura-patrimonio

In the small coastal town of Canet d’en Berenguer just a few km from Valencia and next to Sagunto. You have some of the vestiges of the Roman period. In the 14C the town was known as Canet d’en Berenguer and went to the power of Francisco Berenguer, and his descendants from which the town takes its name. Here you find the beautiful beach of Raco de la Mar with a blue flag rating and a lighthouse of 30 meters high with a reach of 25 miles dating from 1904. The particularity of this lighthouse is that is located 300 meters inland surrounded by orange trees.  More here in Spanish: http://www.canetdenberenguer.es/turismo/playa

And the beach here ! https://www.playas-valencia.com/en/playas/raco-de-la-mar-beach-corner-of-sea/

Moving on the other side of Spain, to Galicia; we have in Ferrol of the finest and whitest beaches such as DoniñosEsmelleFragata , and San Jorge all rated blue flag safe and clean. From Ferrol you take the route in the direction of Cariño to reach Doniños.  Here you find all kinds of services such as small restos or chiringuitos, and bars, even Children playground, parkings, bus stop, showers, emergency post with 2 kms of fine sand , golden dunes and a great lake with great fauna. A paradise for surfers that for the second consecutive year host the national surfing championship or  Campeonato Nacional de Surf  from June 26 to July 2nd organized  by the Spanish surfing federation or Federación Española de Surf. More on the beach here: http://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/10112/doninos?langId=en_US

On the other hand the beach at Doñinos is a historic beach as this is the point the English navy pick to attack Ferrol in 1800 when it was made impossible to entered thru the harbor one of the best protected in the world with three castles and a huge underground chain amongst them.  The difficulty of the landing due to bad seas, the heavily guarded beach and the lake made it possible for the English defeat. You can reach it by Balon at 2 kms taken the route towards the beach of Doñinos.  It has two access one at  Outeiro, on the north with ample parking and the other at Punta Penencia,  to the south and less service.

Moving onwards to O-Vilar Cobas, this beach is in the form of a shell in a rural surrounding with some summer chalets.  To the right of the chalets there is a rocky entrance only on low tide to the beach of  Playa Os Botes (also known as beach playa Mourella). It is near the bus stop to Beceiro. More on the beaches in Spanish here: http://www.concellodevaldovino.com/?q=es/node/155

Between the beaches of  O Vilar and Esmelle, next to San Xurxo  that together form the natural bay of  San Xurxo, you find the beach of playa Fragata, known also by the name of  Porto Bello. A bit smaller than Esmelle. A bit more here in Spanish; http://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/10216/a-fragata?langId=es_ES

Continuing on our beach round of Galicia, and passing by the city center/downtown of Cobas in the direction of A Pedreira you reach to a magical spot where you have a chapel in the island or isla de Santa Comba (legend the image of the saint with her son arrive here by a stone boat and in its honor the romance chapel of Santa Comba was done in the 12C). Next to it you find the beach of the same name with white sands with some black gravel stone which is really magnetite a mineral derive from iron. The beach is isolated so need to reach it by car, worth the ride. From here along the littoral you have the protected areas  (EU) of the network Red Natura 2000. A bit more here: http://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/10110/santa-comba?langId=en_US

We finished in the nearby town of  Valdoviño, on the beach or Playa de Pantín, to enjoy the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro along the world championship of surfing from August 28 to September 2nd next ; along its numerous surfing schools. A bit more here: http://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/10105/pantin?langId=en_US

We finished the beaches and go inland to historic and vibrant Pamplona.

The old town is party time especially along the streets of Estafeta, San Nicolás, Calderería ,and Navarrería.  However, there is another historic area where you have artists shops  and designers next to bars such as the streets of  Curia, Compañía, Merced ,and  Dormitalería with its own bohemian style on the shadow of the gothic Cathedral of Pamplona. The fluvial park of Arga next to the old ramparts with green spaces such as those of  Vuelta del Castillo,and  Taconera,surrounding the defensive walls in the time of king Felipe II.  These spaces are the scene for the Marathon of San Fermin and the running of the popular running of the ramparts or  Las Murallas . More on tourism in Pamplona here: http://www.turismodepamplona.es/verpagina.aspx?idpag=1&idioma=5

Closing out with the ongoing Madrid Orgullo or World Pride 2017 with the LGBTIQ Pride festival ; the hotels are booked, the restos packed and the party is just beginning; so you either have it or just come in for a walk: More in English here:http://www.worldpridemadrid2017.com/en/

Cheers and enjoy your weekend wherever you are in our world.

 

 

 

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June 16, 2017

Some news from Spain XLIIII

On a hot day here and announcing 32C for the weekend , of course nothing to compare to the 40C been register in Madrid, we are moving on Friday, TGIF is here and the weekend is looking good.

Now for some of the latest from my beloved Spain, España, Espagne, here are the favorites places in Madrid to have a vermus that wonderful summer drink drank by all as with friends and family. A tradition of Madrid:

El Anciano Rey de los Vinos Calle Bailén, 19 , Metro: Ópera , Tel +34 91 559 53 32; open from 9h to 24h , closed Tuesdays. The magnificent across from the Cathedral or Catedral de la Almudena, and nearby the Royal Palace or Palacio Real. Many stories here since 1909, one of them is that King Alfonso XIII  arrived here by a secret tunnel that connect it to the Royal Palace.  Here the vermù is serve by draft and with hose serve on a short legged cup and with a tapa.  If you want something more hearty go for the regalito de torito ( a brick paste filled with oxtails of the toro and piquillo pimentos), ohh yummy! More here : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/restaurants/el-anciano-rey-de-los-vinos

La Ardosa ,Calle Colón, 13, Metro: Tribunal, Tel +34 91 521 49 79 ; open from 8h to 02H. (Saturdays and Sundays from 11h) ,it never closes! It opened it’s doors in 1892 as a wine store. Finally, in the 1870’s that it was a tasca or tavern. Here we have the vermù in draft of Reus served in a narrow glass. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/restaurants/bodega-la-ardosa

Bodegas Ricla , calle Cuchilleros, 6, Metro La Latina , tel +34 91 365 20 69; from 12h30 to 15h30 and 19h to 24h closed Sundays nights and Tuesdays.  A bit narrow spaces and closed to the Plaza Mayor has a beautiful bar counter in Tin and drafts handles of  yellow brass   ; it opened the doors in 1867 .  Here you can try the wonderful  callos a la madrileña,  boquerones en vinagre, and  bacalao en aceite con pimientos; check out what they are ::) More here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/bodegas-ricla-madrid

Camacho  Calle San Andrés, 4; Metro: Tribunal, Tel +34 91 531 35 98 ; open from 12h to 02H, closed Sundays.  The tavern is handle by three brothers who took over the business in 1980, when the family  Camacho  retired without descendants.  The vermú  draft as an iris served on a short glass and narrow with  cubes of ice, slice of orange, and straw.  You can have a media combinación this is with a gin and sprite type soda; to eat try the skew of tuna in tomato sauce. More here in the yelp recommended site on my blog:  https://www.yelp.com/biz/casa-camacho-Madrid

Muñiz, Calle Calatrava, 3 , Metro  Puerta de Toledo; tel +34 91 365 66 47; open from 7h to 24h always open.  This is a good idea before going to the Rastro , the aperitif bar to be in. The vermù is from the barrel served in elongated glass, wider in the mouth. You munch away on small sardines or boquerones en vinagre,,,,croquettes and skews of  chitterslings. More here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/mu%C3%B1iz-madrid-2

Stop Madrid Calle  Hortaleza, 11 , Metro Gran Vía; Tel +34 91 521 88 87 ; opened from 12h to 02h, always open. It has three locations in Madrid at  Atocha, Alberto Alcocer ,and León, but this one is the original ,opened from 1929.  It is loud and corner centro Madrid with a beautiful floor of mosaics ceramics and a bar counter is of marbre. The vermù from draft, reserve of the house and served on glass with short leg ice cubes and orange. Also, try the white drink in a bottle Nordesía. To munch try the hams, anchovies etc.. More here: http://www.stopmadrid.es/en/

Taberna de Antonio Sànchez , Mesón de Paredes, 13 ; Metro  Tirso de Molina ; Tel +34 91 539 78 26; open from 12h to 16h and 20h to 24h.  Closed Sunday nights.  It is named after the bullfighter that founded the tavern in 1830. It is decorated with heads of bulls and a wooden counter cover in zinc. At the extreme of the bar counter the brass drafts runs the vermù  a bit sweet taken with a tapa of anchovies  or sausages , croquette or oxtails bulls meats. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/restaurants/taberna-de-antonio-sanchez

The mythical and come back favorite Café Comercial  ,Glorieta de Bilbao, 7; Metro  Bilbao ; tel +34  91 088 25 25 ; from 8h to 02h always open.  This was the oldest café in Madrid and last March reopened the doors with new ownership.  The mythical bar counter in marbre stays here to try the vermù in draft done in Reus with ice cubes in an old fashioned glass; you can take a bottle home for 18€.  To munch potatoes in garlic sauce, olives, mussels, croquettes of ham ,salads and iberian ham sandwiches..More here:http://cafecomercialmadrid.com/

La Carmencita, Calle Libertad ,16, Metro Chueca, Tel +34 91 531 09 11 ; open 9h to 01H always open. A bar opened in 1854 and renovated recently . The vermù has about 20 different offers like the Virgen de Loreto, Valdepablo, Arlini, Perucchi, Luna Reserva, Carpano, Punt e Mes, and  Casa Mariol.  There are four ways to serve it, artesano, traditional, Americano with Campari and soda , the manhattan sweet or dry with bourbon or negroni with campari and gin. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/restaurants/carmencita

Donde Sànchez Calle Santa Isabel, 5 (inside the Mercado de Antón Martín) ; Metro  Antón Martín ; tel +34 639 12 64 07 , open from 12h to 21h, Saturdays until 16H; Closed Saturday nights, Sundays and Mondays. The bar counter is a tasting place and offers a nice vermù served in martini glass with Burlador, Miró, San Bernabé, Amillo Reserva or  Petroni.  You can add a montadito sandwich of sardines in olive oil. More here: http://www.mercadoantonmartin.com/donde-sanchez-cosas-ricas/

Latazo, Calle Santa Isabel, 5 (inside Mercado de Antón Martín) ; Metro Antón martin ; tel +34 655 12 73 00; open from 9h to 21h, Saturdays until 23h, closed Sundays. This is a modern one and not visited but heard by my family there that is a good one too. The vermù of the Casa Mariol, Lacuesta Reserva, Domingo or Espinaler  while you enjoy a chunk of  red tuna in olive oil , mussels in hot tomato sauce or razor shells au naturel. More here: http://www.mercadoantonmartin.com/latazo/

La Hora del Vermut Plaza San Miguel, s/n (inside Mercado de San Miguel) ; Metro Sol ; Tel +34  91 758 81 23 ; open from 10h to 24h, always open. Here you will find about 70 references of Vermus in draft, red, white, and rosé that rotates every week.  You can munch on the brochettes of cold cuts on the next side counter; you pay on the spot ; it has a branch at  Platea , Calle Goya, 5. More here: http://www.mercadodesanmiguel.es/en/puestos/la-hora-del-vermut/

And out of food into theater work, the famous Carmen will be in the Teatros del Canal until June 25. A Spanish legend, created by the French with arrangement by a Russian, choreography by a Swedish that lives in Sevilla; this is Carmen : choreograph by  Johann Inger, music by  Marc Álvarez and arrangements of the Opera of Bizet of Rodion Shchedrin, produce for the version of Alberto Alonso of 1967, that started his wife Maya Plisetskaya.  More here: http://www.teatroscanal.com/espectaculo/carmen-compania-nacional-danza/

Music Festival of summer is here: See these!

Noches del Botànico, from June 22 to the 29Th, with Tony Bennett, Bryan Ferry,  Franco Battiato and Giorgio Moroder. Others are here too Rubén Blades, Ub40, Jamie Cullum, Pablo Milanés, Anastacia, Madeleine Peyroux, and José James etc. In the Real Jardin Botànico Alfonso XIII, admission 33-132€: more here: http://www.nochesdelbotanico.com/

Rock Fest Bcn, from June 30th to July 2nd, with artists such as Aerosmith, and Alice Cooper. Others here too Europe, Sepultura, Wasp, Saxon, Paradise Lost, Rosendo, Rage, Gotthard, Metalfall, Blue Öyster Cult, Airbourne, and Avantasia. At Santa Coloma de Gramanet, Barcelona (Can Zam) ;  daily admission from 110-130 euros. More here: http://rockfestbarcelona.com/

BBK in July 6-8 Bilbao, with artists such as  Depeche Mode, Phoenix, and The Killers. Others will be : Justice, Fleet Foxes, Die Antwoord, Two Door Cinema Club, The 1975, Austra, Brian Wilson, Cage The Elephant, Primal Scream,  and Austra. At Kobetamendi, Bilbao  admission 55 euros. More here: http://bilbaobbklive.com/fr-fr/home-fr

Starlite from July 13 to August 26 , main features will be Elton John, Joaquín Sabina, Miguel Bosé, and  Eros Ramazzotti. Others will be Juan Magán, Anastacia, Art Garfunkel, Juan Luis Guerra, Manuel Carrasco, Pretenders, Luis Fonsi, Ben Harper, Malú, and The Cranberries. At  Marbella, Malaga, Auditorio la Cantera de Nagüeles; Admission from 25-1,155 euros. More here: https://starlitemarbella.koobin.com/?idioma=EN

One of my spots for this coming  summer will be at the Chateau or Castillo de Belmonte ; it is said that it took its name from the beauty of the countryside; for many years it was named Bellomonte,or beautiful forest. Here Don Juan Manuel, nephew of king Alfonso X El Sabio,ordered built in the 14C a palace and the first ramparts walls of the city.  It is right in the Route of Quijote and birthplace of the poet Fray Luis de León. At the extreme of the city you have the other important spot the Church collegiale of Colegiata de San Bartolomé  and the castle or Castillo de Belmonte. In between you have the nice architecture of the old town. Many movies were done here in the Castle such as El Cid, with Sophia Loren and Charlton Heston in 1961. More on the castle here: http://castillodebelmonte.com/en/

The Colegiata de San Bartolomé, was built in the mid 15C on the site of a Visigoth parrish of the 5C in the style mostly gothic. It has two gates or puertas ;one of the Sun or Sol  oriented towards the midday and flanks by gothic peaks and that of the Pardon or Perdones to the orient and has a figure of the Saint or San Bartolomé.  Inside you will find the pulpits of Coro, that belongs to the Cathedral at Cuenca, the chapel of the assomption, chapel of St Peter, St Paul and the Main Altar chapel ; that of St James, and St John the Baptist (that preserves the baptismal stone of Fray Luis de León).  There are concerts of sacred arts held here with an organ from the 18C.  Inside you have also the tombs of the family of the Marquis or Marqués de Villena. Admission is 2€ . More in Spanish here: http://www.descubrecuenca.com/es/enclaves-y-poblaciones/la-mancha/colegiata-de-san-bartolome-belmonte-69#ficha

From the Church in about 500 meters you will find the windmill or Molino de El Puntal, an impressive example that preserves all its machinery and open to the public with exhibitions of its work, and tiles . For visits call here Tel +34 635 41 10 43. From the windmill you can see wonderful views of Belmonte.

Aspalgatas shoes in Madrid, tradition obliges to go to my family all time favorite at Casa Hernanz, Calle Toledo, 18 ; Metro La Latina; Tel +34  91 366 54 50. The family here has been producing alpargatas for over 150 years! a Madrid tradition a must to visit even if not buying. You can choose from 50+ different colors done with cotton, linen, natural skin or velour in all kinds of sizes up to 50 and different heights until 15 cms ;also , do laces for shoes. More here: http://www.alpargateriahernanz.com/

Another coming along just fine is Calzados Lobo, Calle Toledo  ,30 Metro La latina ;; Tel +34 91 366 40 17. It was founded in 1897. It has a nice façade in red and inside there is the 4th generation of family. All kinds from flat to pointed with laces or not, many colors and from 6€. it has stores in Tenerife and Valladolid as well. More here: https://www.calzadoslobo.com/

Something unique to finish this post on my beloved Spain.

The museum or Museo Arqueologico Nacional (MAN) has revealed its secrets finally! The museum preserves four momies, three Egiptians and one Guanche (Tenerife my people!!!). They have undergone a strict studious tomographic that has allow to discovered more of them.  The main discovery is that one of the momies that of Nespamedu was indeed a  priest of Imhotep and doctor of the pharaoh that ruled in Saqqara or Alexandria and had about 50 yrs old when he died. The real surprise was what It had in the wrapping, it was shown to have decorations like collars, bracelets, pulses, and up to 16 plaques of charms that have been identify as sets of plaques of four sons of Horus  one of the most significant ancient Egyptian deities ; thise momie came to Madrid from the Cairo museum in 1925 donated and was initially identify as a women. It was ,also ,reveal two other momies were women. The first one arrived in 1887, and it was a young women between 20-35 yrs old of the intermediate third period between the 9C and 7C BC. The other momie a women too was given in the same year of a women around 40 yrs old of the ptolemic period  who had Arthrosis and a bad dental health as well as remains of the heart, as the old Egyptians conserve the heart inside the momies as for them it was the organ where the  mind and feelings lie.

The Guanche momie is one of the best preserve of the ones still existing from the period. It comes from a funeral cave in the canyon or  Barranco de Herques in  Tenerife. It arrived in Madrid in 1764 and the new analysis have reveal that the Guanches did not extract the organs n the process of embalment of the dead as the Egyptians did. The Guanche momie preserve all its organs as well as a perfect denture. See them here http://www.man.es/man/en/museo/el-man

You all have a great weekend and until next time by Paris1972-Versailles2003 ::)

 

 

 

 

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June 11, 2017

Revisiting the Côte Sauvage, the wild coast of Quiberon

This wonderful peninsula of Quiberon and its wild coast or côte sauvage is just about 40 minutes by car south from my house; and we love it. Even if with so much to see, we should come here more often. The last time wrote on the wild coast in my blog was in 2014 shamefully admitted.

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2014/01/31/cote-sauvage-and-quiberon/

This Sunday is special day in France as it is the first round of legislative elections to elect our congress and of course , I voted in my district 6 by 11h30 this morning.  The second round and definite one will be held next Sunday June 18, which is ,also, Father’s Day in France ! More on the elections here: http://www.pluvigner.fr/elections-3/

Afterward, we headed for the Quiberon peninsula along the D768. There was a block on Portivy the entrance to the wild coast with some kind of bicycle race so we move on to Saint Pierre de Quiberon and cut off into the wild coast there. Signs are well posted as côte sauvage or wild coast.

The views here of the ocean and the force of the waves hitting the rock is impressive and the fresh sea air wonderful. It started out as a bit rainy and cloudy and finish very warm and sunny with all kinds of ocean activities going on from kites to surfing ,boating and rock climbing.

For a general view the designation wild coast or côte sauvage is for tourist purposes given by the French government to areas in the regions  Bretagne (mine), Pays de la Loire, and Poitou-Charentes. Some of the other specifics are the  peninsula (or presqu’île ) of Croisic ;including the towns of Croisic, Batz-sur-Mer, and Pouliguen in the Loire Atlantique dept 44 Pays de la Loire region.

Others are the island or Île d’Yeu on the south coast of the Vendée island. The island or Île d’Oléron on the west coast of the Charentes island opposite the pertuis d’Antioche. In the coast of the Pays Royannais on the Spanish point or pointe Espagnole in the north of the peninsula or presqu’île d’Arvert until the point or pointe de la Coubre in the limits of the towns of Mathes and La Tremblade. All this bordered by the forest of the Coubre.

And coming into my area; in the Finistére dept 29 we have the  island or Île d’Ouessant out in the Atlantic ocean on the west of the continental part of Brittany (Bretagne).  the island is included geographically in the natural park of the Armorique  or Parc Naturel Régional d’Armorique,  More here in French: http://www.pnr-armorique.fr/

and the marine natural park or parc Naturel Marin d’Iroise; more here in English too: http://www.parc-marin-iroise.com/

The Belle-Île-sur-Mer just out from the gulf of Morbihan in my dept 56; including the littoral south west of the island from the pointe des Poulains to the pointe de Skeul.  The biggest island in the Morbihan and very nice as well as historically rich. More in English at tourist office here: http://www.belleileenmer.co.uk/

And we come ,back again to the Presqu’île de Quiberon peninsula just south of me.  This peninsula extends from the west part of the peninsula after the village of Portivy to Saint Pierre Quiberon to Port Maria in Quiberon. You have pictures and a great map of the wild coast in French here: http://www.conservatoire-du-littoral.fr/siteLittoral/220/28-cote-sauvage-56_morbihan.htm

All along the peninsula you will find beaches on both sides bay and ocean, wonderful beaches nice sizes to small creeks very private romantic and wild. The cliffs along the wild coast are impressive and nice, beautiful natural front holding on to the master sea of the Atlantic ocean. Hotels, vacation homes, restos;bars are here to please and choose, tourism of course is big and many have seasonal opening times.

The tourist office of Brittany has more on the wild coast in English here: http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-our-destinations/southern-brittany-morbihan-gulf/unmissable-sites/quiberon

We just ride and stop in every creek , every turn of the wild coast and marvel of our ocean majestic wild and powerful in front of us, it is heavens on earth and we are lucky to be very close to it.

On the way back,we had our meal in between lunch and dinner, at Le Vivier in the  Côte Sauvage tel +33 (0) 1 97 50 12 60. this is a full seafood restaurant open from February to November right off the cliffs of the wild coast. Terrace is gorgeous natural and we love it. We had what the ocean has best oysters and mussels with chips and plenty of brut cider Brocéliande; two bottles to boot !!! delicious.  The ciders were 8,50€ each and the mussels for 8,90, fries for 2,50, and oysters dozen for 17€, all reasonable and good. The views of course are tops and well recommended to all; more from the tourist office page in French here: http://www.quiberon.com/se-restaurer/fruits-de-mer/135142-le-vivier

And now home, enjoying some juices from the Caribbean of guava and pineapple lol!!! or goyave et ananas !!! cruising to start another week of work and reports lol!!! Enjoy it while you can, life is beautiful or la vie est belle!  Enjoy the photos and the views !!!!! Cheers.

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June 9, 2017

Some news from Spain XLIII

And back to my beloved Spain. Fresh from that great Champions win of my beloved Real Madrid vs Juventus of Turin Italy 1×4!!! Our 12th Champions and first time repeat winner under the new format We have won 3 out of last 4 Champions !!! Hala Madrid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now what is going on in Spain and Madrid in particular. Here are the latest buzz news

How about a trip on the North, by  Galicia and Cantabria in my Spain. Driving a car of course ::)

Monforte de Lemos, capital of the Ribeira Sacra.  You see from afar the Torre del Homenaje, medieval tower. You go by the Roman bridge over the river  Cabe  as one of the symbols of the city together with the convent of the Clarisas , and the college of  Padres Escolapios, known as the El Escorial of Galicia Here ,it is grown the grapes mencía and godello very much appreciated since the time of the Romans.  You can get a mouthful at the bodega Regina Viarum, and call for the visit here +34  619 00 99 77; more here: http://www.reginaviarum.es/

Santiago de Compostela as a base to see the five denominations of wines of Galicia here. The most known is Rías Baixas of the Ribeira Sacra. To know it better go the town of  Salnés, by the Pontevedra coast and the municipality of  El Grove, known for its beaches and seafood as well. We cross the bridge that joins El Grove with the island of  Isla de La Toja, until you reach the ermite covered with shells of St James.  As you continue the trip you reach the town of Cambados, birthplace of the wine of Albariño the grape of excellence for the D.O Rías Baixas. You can get your mouthful at  Mar de Frades  one of the most popular bodegas of the area . It is located next to the beginning of a forest in front of the river Arosa. Mar de Frades you can reserve your visit here tel +34  986 68 09 11; more here: http://www.mardefrades.es/

Walking the streets of downtown/city center  Oviedo in Asturias you can arrive at the street Calle Gascona known as the boulevard of Cider.  Here you find the most emblematic of the town.  Only 36 km away you find the main bodega of the cider Trabanco .  You can visit and taste here and get to know all the different ciders  Driving a further 10 km you arrive in Gijón.  Take a walk on the quaint neighborhood of  Cimavilla, and the gardens of jardines de La Reina,  to finally admire the Cantabrian fury or furia del Cantábrico  walking by the promenade of the beach at  playa de San Lorenzo. Then, we set our car towards Covadonga, in the Natural Park of the peaks of Europe or  Picos de Europa.  You can visit the sanctuary of the monte Auseva  and the holy cave or Santa Cueva, where the Virgin patron saint of Asturias is since moorish times.  A few km away you come to the lake or Lagos de Covadonga, where the views are spectacular.  A bit of a half an hour driving and you reach the quaint Ribadesella. You can walk the beachfront boulevard climbing to the chapel of the  ermita de La Guía, to see a panorama of the town below. The  Casa Trabanco for info on visit is Tel +34 658 81 37 34. More info here:  http://www.casatrabanco.com/en/index.php

Bilbao  is one city that is cross by the route of  txacolí, the local wine that guides the visitor back to this area. You come to the area of the two denomination of it, the Txacolí de Álava , and the D.O Bizkaia.  As you continue walking you will find the city/town hall and nearby the theater or teatro Arriaga, next to it you will be in the old town or casco Viejo one of the best areas to taste the local gastronomy with the favorites pinxos and txacolí.  The local go from bar to bar in what is locally known as the «ir de poteo».  Under the beams of the square or Plaza Nueva you will find some of the bar of pinxhos best known and visit a bodega of Txacolí. The closest one to town is  Magalarte  and it is in the municipality of  Lezama offering guided tours and tastings while looking at the valley or valle de Asúa. For information of Magalarte Txacolina tel +34 636 62 14 55. More here:  http://magalartelezamatxakolina.com/

To go back to Madrid and enjoy the night and summer drinks in style, this is my kind of town. Some notables and visited here:

Amén Canalla at  calle Agustín de Foxá, s/n. Sundays from 15h to 24h.  The prices are 6-8 euros More info here: www.zielou.com

Atico 11  at the  6+1  of  Hotel Iberostar Las Letras de Gran Vía here you have  Marco Llorente, one of the most popular DJ and has every Sunday from 19h to 23h in calle Gran Vía, 11. Every other day is open from 18h to 02h; drinks from 10-14€ More info here: www.iberostar.com/hoteles/madrid/iberostar-las-letras-gran-via

Casa Corona  at calle Fortuny, 53 .Every Wednesdays and Thursdays from 18h to 24h ; Fridays from 15h to 24h and Saturdays/Sundays from 12h to 24h; beers from 2,50€ , drinks from 4€ sodas from 3€ and cocktails from 7,50€ . More info here:  www.cervezacorona.es/casa-corona

La Casa Encendida  at the  Ronda de Valencia, 2.  From Wednesdays to Sundays and from 17h30 to 21h30.  Drinks from 2€ the sodas, more info here: www.lacasaencendida.es

Dray martini in the  Meliá Fénix ,Plaza de Colón, with citric and fruity options without alcohol call the mocktail.  Very nice ambiance and lively. Located at Calle Hermosilla, 2. From Mondays to Sundays from 10h to 02h; cocktails from 4,50€.  The first hotel I stayed with my then girlfriend today wife just wonderful place still lol! More info here:  www.drymartiniorg.com

Florida Retiro (my place since early teen and now reopen again)  This is a great place for a happy hour ,after works, apéro or the first drinks of the night It has several terraces and one in the upper level ! with great cocktail presentation. It is inside the Retiro park by street or Paseo República de Panamá, 1. Open from 20h30 to 24h and drinks cost from 10-12€ . La Terraza. Located in the roofstop of El Pabellón, lower roof and surrounded by garden where one can enjoy the sunrise with drinks and the shades of the trees in the Retiro park. More info here: www.floridaretiro.com

The Hat, really baggy cocktails presented to you in a bag! like the  Mojitown or the Yellow Submarine. It is in calle Imperial, 9.From Fridays at  18h to 24h,and Saturdays/Sundays from 13h to 24h. Cocktails from 10€. More information here:  www.thehatmadrid.com

Me Roofstop bar  in the Hotel ME Madrid Reina Victoria has a great ludic space with shows in direct and thematic nights of rock, jazz and Caribbean music seven days a week.  Located at the Plaza Santa Ana, 14. From Mondays to Thursdays from 17h to 01h30 ,Fridays until 03h30 Saturdays from 12h to 03h30 and Sundays from 11h to 01h30. Cocktails between 15-18€. More info here:  www.melia.com

Sunset lookers  in the Plaza de Santo Domingo, 13. EVeryday from 20h to 02h, cost cocktails from 10-15€. More info here: www.sunsetlookers.es

Back to the arts, to see until July 9 in Granada ,Centro Cultural Caja, Puerta Real the show Maestros de la Pintura; or master painters.the jewels of the late renaissance and baroque of the historic collection of the family Lladro will be shown.  Some of the artists represented will be from the 16C to 17C such as Juan de Juanes, Alonso de Berruguete, El Greco, Herrera el Viejo, Sanchéz Cotàn, Juan Ribalta, Zurbaran, José de Ribera, Rubens, Valdés Leal ,and Claudio Coello. More on it in Spanish here: http://www.cajagranadafundacion.es/exposicion/expo-1/

The Pablo Picasso diferente, or a different Pablo Picasso will be shown in the Fundacion Canal on the exposition  Picasso y el Mediterràneo that allows to appreciate the influence of the sea from his childhood.  There are about 91 portraits coming from the Fundacion Picasso-Museo Casa Natal de Málaga  One example is the painting  El taller de Picasso (1955),  a lithograph of his working place in Cannes where you can see the palms thru windows that reminds him of his native Malaga and his youth in Barcelona, it has engraving done between December 1945 and January 1946 such as  El Toro or  Página de toros  . This shows the great international project of Picasso-Mediterràneo a wide network of expos where more than 60 museums from South Europe to the North of Africa promoted by the museum or Musée Picasso of París in which it has been added the Fundación Canal. Showing until August 15  More in Spanish here: http://www.fundacioncanal.com/17602/picasso-y-el-mediterraneo/

The museum of  Prado has added to its showing the work  ‘Retrato de Felipe III’, a portrait of Philip III recently credited to  Velázquez. The portrait was donated William Jordan to the institution American Friends of the Prado Museum ,and can be seen on a temporary collection with extention. This is a portrait in preparation of the corps of king Felipe III  that the artist did on the composition of the expulsion of the moors or  ‘La expulsión de los moriscos’, dated in 1627 , and that was destroyed in the fire on the  Real Alcázar de Madrid in 1734, only the written description was known  Again Velazquez  will be exhibit next to the painting of  Tiziano ‘Felipe II offering the heaven to the infant Don Fernando’,that was recently restored. More here: https://www.museodelprado.es/en/whats-on/exhibition/portrait-of-philip-iii-by-velazquez/ffa4a4ac-7001-4908-94bb-1aac7c2bdacf

Carlos Saura: España. Años 50, is about hundred photos that the filmmaker did to showcase the mosaic of the villages and people of that period. Photos done by him in the 50’s while traveling in the country Under PhotoEspaña2017  until September 3 2017 in the museum or Museo Cerralbo, calle Ventura Rodriguez 17 . More here: http://www.mecd.gob.es/mcerralbo/en/actividades/exposiciones-temporales/PhotoEspa-a-2017.html

Something nice historical and seldom seen, in Toledo. The convent or Convento de Caballeros de Calatrava next to the synagogue or Sinagoga del Trànsito houses the Jewish history in Spain; the Museo Sefardî .The permanent exposition contains about 1253 works illustrating the origins of the Jewish people, its historical  and geographical context in the old Middle East as well as cultural items. You can see mesophotamic objects, coins, marriage contracts, judeo Arabic jewelry, coffins such as that of Pileta Trilingue of Tarragona, the box of Torah and items in gold ans silver. Also, an excavation in the patio of the convent . Opening hours in winter are varied so check the webpage.Admission is a very good 3€ adults. Located in the calle Samuel Levî, s/n, More here: http://www.mecd.gob.es/msefardi/en/visita.html

Enjoy Spain ,everything under the sun ::) Cheers and have a great weekend. I will see what I do lol!

 

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June 3, 2017

The State of Sao Paulo, this is a new spot in my map: Vinhedo

And this was the end of my twirling tour of inner inland country Brazil last month. I have been to many small towns some just passing and not mention but worth it of a great tour to know the country first hand. I have been many times to Brazil over the year and lived for 6 months in Curitiba in Paranà State, but each time coming back is a wonderful adventure of great thrills, good food, natural beauty ,and beautiful people in and out.

I rode up to Vinhedo in the State of Sao Paulo  ,and part of the municipality of Campinas ,and just 75 km (about 46 miles)  from Sao Paulo.  I came by the main road or Rodovia Anhanguera SP-330.  The days were rainy but did not stop enjoying the place. The tourist info ,history , and grape festival info on the town is here in Portuguese:

http://www.vinhedo.sp.gov.br/cultura-e-turismo/pontos-turisticos/

http://www.vinhedo.sp.gov.br/cultura-e-turismo/historico-da-cidade/

http://www.vinhedo.sp.gov.br/cultura-e-turismo/festas-da-uva-e-do-vinho/

I did not have time to see all in the town but the main points are the Parque Municipal Jayme Ferragut, where the famous Grape Festival is held and the Aquatic park.  The main Church of Saint Ana in city center; The Christ Redemptor statue overlooking the city, the monastery of Sao Bento; and the Adega or Bodega or Wine Estate of Ferragut, where grape juice, season fruits, visit to grape plantation and production of wine and juice is shown with tastings. I believe these are the main ones, and I visited most.

First, I stayed at the wonderful spacious , friendly, good food, and great pool/gym facilities in the Vinhedo Plaza Hotel, centrally located walking to many goodies indeed! The hotel webpage is here: http://vinhedoplazahotel.com.br/en/

I had time to have my breakfasts here and the buffet is very good at the hotel Gala Restaurant.

I ,also, had the time to meet up with a friend and had lunch with his family at a local newer restaurant call Q Maria. The family owners has been here for over 40 yrs offering a fruit and vegetable market and recently decided to open a Japanese/Brazilian restaurant next door, which we visited. The service of course was very friendly as already knew my friend, and the food delicious with a topping of cheese over a fish in a caramel sauce that was to kill for. The wine was from Chile Taparaca and was allowed to bring the bottle in with a cork fee! the whole afternoon was very nice and a chance to speak my Portuguese with local folks in a chatting friendly environment. Memorable indeed. The resto is here in Portuguese. http://www.ciceronevinhedo.com.br/artigo/q-maria-restaurante-e-sushi-e-a-nova-opcao-de-culinaria-japonesa-

Their Facebook page is here too : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Quitanda-Da-Maria/694145327275442

I did had time to pass the main Church of Santa Ana in downtown/city center,  a wonderful façade indeed. Parrish webpage in Portuguese here: http://www.paroquiasantanavinhedo.com.br/paroquia/

I went up a wonderful family park where the mirador or lookout Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor)  sits with wonderful views of the city below. It has a permanent collection of Msgr Favorino a very dear priest, and has playground, lunch truck, acoustic shell for concerts and parking.

The expo park and where the great Grape Festival is held, and during my visit an expo on Japanese manga was going on with visitors from that country. The name is Parque Municipal Jayme Ferragut, with an area of 92K m2 and has a gym sports center, artificial lake, walkers trails, picnic areas, water fountain Bica do Boi, skate court, municipal aquatic park, and more!

Next we went up to the monastery of Sao Bento or Saint Benedict  . In 1958 the monks chose Vinhedo to stay and built the place in an uniquely modern fashion. It is a place of pilgrimage in a natural environment where the monks do all the upkeep. You can participate in Gregorian mass and obtain the famous medallions of Sao Bento and many other souvenirs. As a retirement house, the monastery offers the house or Casa Siloé with a complete infrastructure for lodgings in a natural environment proper of relaxation and meditation. More on the official site here: http://www.catolicismoromano.com.br/content/view/1678/42/

They ,also ,have a Facebook page for the Friends of Sao Bento monastery here: https://www.facebook.com/MosteiroVinhedo/

The city has great gates to enter similar to those found in some European cities, and it looks great. I was told many Italians immigrants settled here as well; one reason for the blend of the Italian flag with that of Vinhedo area on the gates entrance.

On my own I set foot all over the city wandering on its beautiful houses and clean streets, finally guided by my own instincts settled for lunch on one of the days there in the Taverna do Chef Nico, and what a find it was! This is classic Brazilian/Italian  home ranch restaurant with many local families and great friendly service including my server who is feature in one of the photos. I have my penne four cheeses here with a great Chilean wine, coffee to end divine a must for next time ,and even my local friend told me it was a good try to meet me there but tight up with visiting family members that I later hook up in the Q Maria resto. The place is recommended more here: http://www.pagefree.net/taverna-do-chef-nico-cucina-siciliana

In all a fitting finale for another wonderful trip to Brazil, now looking forward to the next one next year::) in the meantime, savor the pictures with me and the thrills of been able to visit often this wonderful country. Cheers

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June 2, 2017

The State of Sao Paulo, new places: Cravinhos, and Franca !!!

Back on the road in Brazil, and coming to meet new cities and new ambiances in the country of the State of Sao Paulo. See previous posts for the tourist office of the State.

Cravinhos is in the metro area of Ribeirao Preto and in the State of Sao Paulo, inland in the countryside.  The name of the city comes from the flower Cravina, and the road we took was the SP-330.

The red dirt on the land here was a magnet from families from as far as Rio de Janeiro to settled here and cultivate the coffee of wonderful aroma we can see and taste today. More from the Mayor’s city page in Portuguese here: http://www.cravinhos.sp.gov.br/cidade/conteudo/historia-da-cidade

Passing visiting the real countryside and mingling with the locals I stayed at the nice city hotel  Onyx Inn Hotel right off the road or Rodovia Anhaguera -SP-330 exit 295.  The hotel arriving at night was nice spacious friendly and a good restaurant for a bountiful breakfast. More here:  http://www.onixinnhoteis.com.br/destaques/0/4641/cravinhos

From here we continue almost to the Minas Gerais State line and visit the wonderful town of Franca with its great artificial lake.  A town on the gold rush and founded in 1816 by King Joao VI. Now with a large influence of Italian immigrants the city is know for its shoes making.

We came to Franca on the  road SP-334 named Candido Portinari road.  The mayor’s office with the history of the town in Portuguese here: http://www.franca.sp.gov.br/portal/historia-franca.html

In Franca, we went straight for the artificial lake beach rather nice and now empty but in season it is packed. We had lunch at the Restaurante Barraçao right across from the lake beach.  We had the buffet all you can eat churrasqueria with plenty of meats and a nice brahma beer to boot, just lazy living the best, if I can only be retired lol! More on the restaurant at their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/rest.barracao/

The town also has a nice park with benches and full of shops and restaurants around it .However, the thing here is to head for the beach and just laid low; this is inland Sao Paulo State nothing to do with the city of the same name ::)

We continue onwards to visit another first time city, coming up for the finale; be good and safe travels. Cheers

Cravinhos Cravinhos Cravinhos Franca  Franca  Franca  Franca  Franca  Franca

June 1, 2017

Back to some familiar places in Minas Gerais State, Varginha and Trés Coraçoes

After doing some roundups in Sao Paulo State , it was time to come back to some familiar places in Minas Gerais State.

First, some info on the tourism page of Brazil: http://www.visitbrasil.com/en/estados/minas-gerais/

And a bit more here: http://www.brazil.org.za/minas-gerais.html

I came here from Paulinia in Sao Paulo State by car arriving at Trés Coraçoes. Do you know the great PELE was born here? the footballer/soccer player legend. They even made a museum in his native home, even if he hardly visit the town now. They, also, erected a statue in city center.downtown.  So much for the fame. Now this is great coffee country and wonderful vendas or farm selling the wonderful Mineira food.

The museum of Pele or Museu Terra do Rei , is open Mondays to Fridays from 8h to 18h and Saturdays from 9h to 13h.  A bit more here: https://pt.foursquare.com/v/casa-do-pel%C3%A9-museu-do-rei-pel%C3%A9/50df9e21ebcae3d11b3b29c1

Once there, had the honor of staying at the Pousada Calabreza, a nice simple hotel too simple the TV did not work but did had time to rest after the long 4 hrs trek by car.  They have a hotel propertly said in city center a bit better for longer accommodations. The site is here: http://hotelcalabreza.com.br/a-pousada/

I took a peek out in the town but very inland country town, not much to see here. I move on the next day to the bigger town with more ambiance Varginha as did last time in 2015.  Again not much for tourism here but plenty of architecture as you can see from these photos: http://www.varginha.mg.gov.br/a-cidade/patrimonio-cultural

The hotel here was the Hotel Café Royal right in city center near the University campus and much more lively.  This was a very nice hotel, good space rooms and good service as well as a great restaurant with glass windows views of the city. More here: http://hotelcaferoyal.com.br/

Is one more fact to show that when traveling as I do, prefer the in country ambiance and real people for great talks and sharing a glass of beer rather than the more bigger tourist traps.  This country is laid back and nice with real people and if you are looking for relax, nice natural sites, architecture ,and especially nice folks around then come here.

Right around Tres Coraçoes we had lunch at the Venda do Chico, a great country place right in the woods with beautiful gardens and great souvenir and foodie store as well as the great restaurant. Real food, Mineira or miners’s town food hearty and plenty at excellent prices.  See it here and take a look at the photos! http://www.vendadochico.com.br/

In Varginha we went to a nice restaurant trés chic on a secluded street in town but great chefs creation of beef. The great cuts were awesome and the wine from Chile Taparapa was nice.  The chef owner came out to talk to us and it was nice indeed, a memorable moment. this is the Braseado restaurant at ave Salum Assad David ,30 email braseado@gmail.com more on it here: http://www.varginhaonline.com.br/guia/exibe_BareRestaurante.asp?codigo=2279

You can see more in their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/braseado2/

The town has many bars very lively at night and an excellent public transport system.  In all , it was a nice welcome back to an area already visited and by now very homey look. Nice in country Brazil, you ought to give a try yourselves.

Cheers, and I am coming to another 3 day weekend next ::)

tres coracoes tres coracoes tres coracoes tres coracoes tres coracoes tres coracoes tres coracoes tres coracoes Varginha Varginha Varginha Varginha Varginha Varginha Varginha Varginha Varginha Varginha Varginha Varginha

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May 31, 2017

The State of Sao Paulo Brazil, back to Descalvado and elsewhere!

I am back here , was here back in 2015 the last time. This is inland Brazil, a place hardly ever visited by visitors, and really come on , this is the real Brazil. I am lucky to be back in country Sao Paulo.

I am putting here the tourist site for the Sao Paulo State but do not think these cities will be there ::) http://www.visitbrasil.com/en/estados/sao-paulo/

I told you my travel woes in previous post, so here just tell you that landed at Guarulhos Sao Paulo airport and headed to the hotel in back country Descalvado!  Many natural wonders here to go deep into the forest I stay in town across from the Church Nossa Senhora do Belem (1183)  and the restaurant that feeds me always Churrasqueria Cabana.

The hotel Descalvado dates from 1888 and the only one in town; simply the best lol!  A bit of history on the mayor’s office tells us that the town came to be by 1809, and the name come from the Morro de Descalvado or hill of Descalvado, more in Portuguese here http://www.descalvado.sp.gov.br/novoportal/prefeitura/index.php/portal/historia_desc

The Hotel Descalvado is very basic but clean and great family service with a good breakfast right in the park city center:downtown. More on this already second home hotel here: http://www.descalvadoonline.com.br/hoteldescalvado/apartamentos.htm

Across the street from the hotel you have the Church Nossa Senhora do Belem: a nice Church with a double tower front and nice decoration but simple inside. More on this pdf or previous posts in my blog: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0Bxku95hBt9g0MlZsd2JHMEFEUnc

I eat at the usual and very good Churrasqueria Cabana right across from the Church and Hotel.  You take your food and weighted at the counter ,than go to eat and pay on way out. All kinds of meats and fish, entrées, and dessert wash down with good brahma local beers.  Here is their page in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cabana-Churrascaria-536843943143892/

Another day we visit a new place just started by a young couple to serve home made beers in a steakhouse , this is Baro steakhouse and brewery right in city center Descalvado. The food , service and of course homemade beers were great, to be revisit and good luck with the business: more in Facebook page  here: https://www.facebook.com/cervejariabaro/

On the way by car from Descalvado to Paulinia we passed by a secondary road where we saw a replica of a Spanish castle of Almansa very nicely done see photo. More on their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/casteloalmansa/

I went over to Paulinia and this time stayed at a different hotel than last time here.  The town is name after farmer and farm owner Paulino Nogueira, one of the owners of the farm or  Fazenda do Funil, that was in the current cities of Paulinia and Cosmopolis.  The town mayor’s office is here in Portuguese of course; tells you a bit on its history: http://www.paulinia.sp.gov.br/historia

There is big nature trails here and an ecological park. My hotel was right the road rodovia 332; the Vitoria Hotel. This is a very nice spacious hotel and rooms with a very good restaurant where I ate dinner of meats cuts and beers with coffee rather nice. More on the hotel here: http://www.vitoriahoteis.com.br/en-us/vitoria-convention-paulnia/

We criss cross Sao Paulo amongst these cities and one more town where I ate was at Ribeirao Preto on the resto Moinhos Grill , a churrasqueria where the meats are pile up on you without stop unless you ask ,and the drink of a cold beer was heavens on the road.  The town has many theaters including a nice one Teatro Pedro II opera house and natural parks as well. The main road we took by here is the sweeping nice road Anhanguera Highway (SP-330).  Very much make a stop on your way around here at Moinhos you will be delighted real food real people in country Sao Paulo. More on the resto here: http://www.moinhosgrill.com.br/

For reference the town mayor’s office tourist info in Portuguese here: http://www.ribeiraoturismo.pmrp.com.br/

Closer to Sao Paulo city but on the outskirts I did some shopping in the Atacadao  hypermarket (part of Carrefour France) ,near the airport at Guarulhos; here is more on the shopping hypermarket: https://www.atacadao.com.br/lojas

Driving around for more shopping we went to another  Makro  Hypermarket (part of a Dutch group)  around the same area and here we had lunch at its good restaurant Comandaia; these are always found attach to one of the hypermarkets;  all real people real Brazil experiences.  The hypermarket here: http://www.makro.com.br/SitePages/lojas.aspx?Filter=lj

We even got close to the Guarulhos airport but no time to leave yet ::)

In between on the road, the wonderful rest area with restaurant like Frango Assado (roast chicken) are great. Again you weight the food you take and pay on way out. Great buffet and clean bathrooms ; more here: http://www.redefrangoassado.com.br/lojas/19/29/#loja

Descalvado Descalvado Descalvado Descalvado Descalvado Descalvado Descalvado Descalvado Descalvado Descalvado Descalvado Descalvado Paulinia  Paulinia  Paulinia  Paulinia  Paulinia  Paulinia  Paulinia  Paulinia  Riberao Preto sao paulo  sao paulo  sao paulo  sao paulo  sao paulo  sao paulo

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