Archive for ‘France’

June 20, 2018

Some news from France CXCII

So here I am in my pretty Morbihan of Brittany, Summer officially starts June 21st here but it is already 28C or about 80F very hot sun ,no rain very hot clear sunny day. I just came back from my monthly escapade to Paris and have many things to tell you.

First, this is the time of terraces in Paris. That wonderful sublime institution of a Parisian summer out on the sidewalk and seeing the world go by. Well , I have some favorites to share with my readers

Baïeta. 5, rue de Pontoise (5éme).  Tél. +33 (0) 1 42 02 59 19. open every day except Sundays and Mondays . Menus: à 29 € (lunch.), 45 et 85 € (dinners). Carte: between 50-75€.

Les Fables de la Fontaine with new chef 131, rue Saint-Dominique, (7éme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 44 18 37 55).

Uncino. 31, rue de la Bruyère (9éme). Tél. +33 (0) 9 73 28 31 56. open every day except Saturdays lunch and Sundays/Mondays dinners. Formule: à 25 € (lunch), menu  32 € (lunch.). Carte: about 40€

Hugo & Co. 48, rue Monge (5éme). Tél. +33 (0) 9 53 92 62 77. open every day except Saturdays and Sundays. Carte:between  30 and 45 €.

Sauvage. 55, rue du Cherche-Midi (6éme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 45 48 86 79. open every day except Sundays and Mondays . Carte: about  35-50 €.

For the Sunday market with terraces head for the Les Enfants du Marché. 39, rue de Bretagne (3éme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 40 24 01 43. open every day except Mondays and Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesday (dinners). Carte: between 35  and 55€.

B.B. 21, rue Blanche (9éme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 42 40 12 12. open every day  Carte between 40 and 60 €.

On horse races Thursdays best to head for the Le Petit Pré. Hippodrome de Longchamp. Grille d’Honneur. 2, route des Tribunes (16éme). From Thursdays to Sundays  Carte between  25 and 40€.

IF simply want a glass of wine or beer heads for the le Bal de la Marine  in the Port de Suffren, below the Eiffel Tower on the Seine river (7éme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 47 05 66 57.

And if looking for a great roofstop now with plants heads for the top of store Au Printemps at Perruche au Printemps. 2, rue du Havre (9éme). Every day open mid July  Carte: between 30 and 50 €.

In the hotels you have great ones too  ,these two old hangouts still looks good. Anne at the Hôtel Pavillon de la Reine. 28, place des Vosges (3éme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 40 29 19 19. open every day Carte: about 80 €.

And the new table lineup at the old Hilton for a while now name Hôtel Le Collectionneur 57, rue de Courcelles, (8éme). Tél. +33 (0)1 58 36 67 97).

Enjoy your summers in Paris!!!

And now even better the music festival all over France, and Paris is big on it. We will have it even on the campus of my company! June 21st is it, Fête de la Musique!!!

A very nice one at the Church Saint-Eustache. From June 20 at 16h to June 21 at 21h . Church located at  2, impasse Saint-Eustache (1éme). Another wonderful in the middle of government, the House of Representatives or Assemblée Nationale , june 21 from 18h30 to 22h30 you will enter by 128, rue de l’Université (7éme). Great places for a great event in Paris.

Great spot in Versailles at Rue de Satory off Avenue de Sceaux. Also at the parvis de Potager du Roi and the parvis de la Cathédrale Saint Louis.

The full program in Paris ,but you can search elsewhere too official webpage :  Culture Ministry Fête de la Musique

And what about those open Summer films events glorious in Paris; these are my favorites

The 14th edition of  Films sous les étoiles  (movies under the stars) have programs for free at the parc de Saint-Cloud from June 22-24  2018. First showing at 22h. More here:  http://www.domaine-saint-cloud.fr/Actualites/Films-sous-les-etoiles5

And the big one from July 19 to August 18 2018. Showings begins at  22h30. At the Parc de la Villette. Prairie du Triangle – 211, av. Jean Jaurès (19éme). Free admission! You can hire a cover and drinks from 19h30 for  7€. Forfait 5  20€. The name is Festival de cinéma en plein air de la Villette 2018. more info here: https://lavillette.com/evenement/cinema-en-plein-air-2018/

And as the World Cup of football/Soccer is now, why not see in big all big around you.  3500 square meters of space on the 8th floor (9 US) in the parking of Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. There will be a specific space of 150 square meters dedicated to watching the games until July 15 in a giant screen all games shown by French TV station TF1. And the suspended garden or  Le Jardin Suspendu is only to open on Thursdays to Sundays but in France advance in the rounds it will exceptionally open for them. There will be space for Grill, and shop Fratelli, as well as bars on site.  Le Jardin Suspendu.  The entrance is facing the  40, rue d’Oradour sur Glane (15éme). Thursdays to Sundays from 16h to midnite , Fridays from 16h to 02h ,Saturdays from 11h to 02h and Sundays from 11h to midnite. Free admission. Directions here: Le Jardin Suspendu

And if not enough , another big is coming to Paris well bigger now. The biggest H&M Swedish chain in France will be open today at 11h   at the angle of rue La Fayette and boulevard Haussmann (9éme). Right by the big department stores area ! It is open Mondays to Saturdays from 9h30 to 20h and Sundays from 11h to 19h.

Usually do not put photos here ,but for lack of a better use, will do here. In my trip to Paris yesterday, I stop by the Seine at Levallois-Perret in Hauts de Seine dept 92 and along rue Anatole France by metro line 3 pont de levallois bécon ,and then had a car ride and went by Dupleix on the line 6 and had me my lunch at Au Dernier Metro on 70 Boulevard de Grenelle. Couple planchas of ewe milk cheese with ham, pate, terrines chorizos salad and bread down with a leffe beer blonde just what Paris is all about. Info on the resto recommended by a Parisian friend who lives just around the corner. Official webpage : http://au-dernier-metro.lafourchette.rest/

and my favorite for comments from folks like us Yelp here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/au-dernier-m%C3%A9tro-paris-2

Paris Paris Paris PAris Paris PAris PAris

Yesterday an incident never seen, even the public workers of several Paris institutions were closed due to a strike. Including the Château de Versailles, and as well as the musée d’Orsay, Arc de Triomphe, Panthéon, château de Vincennes, Basilique de Saint-Denis, and the Notre Dame towers were closed as of mid day 12H, they are planning on reimbursement to those already with tickets. Well I told you its a past time and we are used to it but unfortuantely for a visitor to have this happened. Sorry.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI or Great War, there will be a wonderful air show  with about 90 airplanes flighing non stop for five hours organized by the aéro-club de Meaux-Esbly, Seine-et-Marne 77.  1900 ‘s music live and five bands from the US army representing the USA will be there. The show will see flying machines from WWI and WWII as well as modern planes.  Two Mirages 2 000 coming from Nancy will do a tactical demonstration , while a third one will do an interception of a civil airplane. There will be an expo space of 1 000 m2  presenting dozens of old vehicules like a taxi of the Marne of WWI. You will discover kites Saconney that took observation photos  during the conflict.  The only paying event will be a simulator ride on a fighter jet Rafale, 5 €. Good for the whole family.

And for now it is all from my side of the corner or the ocean in the Morbihan 56.  Have a great week, and remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!

June 20, 2018

A look again at Montparnasse, Paris!

There are strikes in France, but hardly anybody notice at least me. This is routine for us here, and the strikes are now even schedule ahead of time and in intervals. I do go to Paris each month on business nowdays from Brittany, so my entry point has change from when I lived in Versailles; there it was glorious to go on the rive droite train station to gare Saint Lazare in Paris.

Nowdays from beautiful Brittany , I go in by Montparnasse for the last few years. I can go out from Auray or Vannes, the latter is better equipped and nicer parking ,free are both on sections on back of Vannes. I will be there tomorrow again, and will take a look at all the construction they are talking about in the Montparnasse district covering several neighborhoods. Glad is only once per month trips!!!

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The Gare Montparnasse is up for a renewal after 25 years is about time. Eventually, the station will be brighter, more open to the city, and equipped with more waiting spaces dedicated to passengers. It will also total 19,000 square meters of shops, restaurants, or other co-working spaces.

The Gare Montparnasse is a beauty. Starting with the repair of its 250 linear meters of exterior facade.  The façade – which also has large windows – is covered with aluminium panels adorning the walls of the railway station.  These frescoes dating from the beginning of the  1970’s  go on their side to be renovated. A glass walkway will also be created in the Hall to provide a walking space.

Inside the station, it is both better to manage the flow of passengers (notably by creating 14 additional escalators, which will bring their number to 39), to enlarge the reception space allocated to the public and to create businesses spaces. The creation of large bays windows allows to open the station on the district (on the side of the Avenue du Maine), while it turned so far back to the city. The traveller arriving from the province will thus have a view of the Montparnasse Tower-also in the process of being renovated, the glass windows also allow to bring in a maximum of light in a building particularly dark and cold. New materials – granite, bamboo…-are also introduced to end the All-concrete scene.

Paris Paris Paris

One of the challenges of this monumental project is to carry out the work while keeping the station active. The first tranche of work (Commandant Mouchotte side) will be completed next November – with the opening of a part of the shops. The second instalment (Vaugirard side) will end in November 2019. The final delivery (center of the station) is programmed at the end of 2020 the space, the first service to be relocated, is currently forming along Pier 24. In parallel, on the Océane front side, a huge tarp conceals the passengers from a double panoramic lift access to the quays. These first developments will be discovered during October in the station.

Two new TGV lines destined for Bordeaux and Rennes, inaugurated in early July, sound the beginnings of this evolution. The renovation of two lounges, including that of the frequent flyer, was completed just in time for this event. The real big construction site has been in installation for several weeks, occupying almost all of the place Raoul Dautry and seriously impacting the passenger routes inside the station, especially the users of the Metro. The work is expected to begin in September and will be done in 3 phases:

Phase 1: Building on the street side of Commandant Mouchotte, until the end 2018

Phase 2: Part of the building at the corner of Boulevard de Vaugirard and place Raoul Dautry, end 2018 to end 2019

Phase 3: Central part, from end 2019 to end 2020.

Panoramic elevators/ lifts will be installed in a SNCF/RATP exchange room, as 70% of the station’s users arrive by Metro. will also be arranged 19 additional escalators, with the introduction of three “sense of departure” against only one today, and four “senses arrive” against two today. Photo credit Le Monde newspaper.

renovation quartier montparnasse

A few steps from the train station, another shopping centre, Gaîté-Montparnasse, undertook, in the summer of 2017, its renovation project underway will include a  E Leclerc hypermarket center, perhaps followed by an Ikea store. Above the train station, opposite the Atlantic Garden, the NOC Bar envisages a refreshment and the premises of the Museum of General Leclerc, which will move, are the subject of a call for projects of the city of Paris.  This is a vast renovation, to last for years in a perimeter which is an important gateway to the Paris . The first phase of the work could be programmed to end in the spring of 2024, then a second start in the fall, after the Olympics in Paris.

The neighborhood of Pasteur-Montparnasse will have renovations too. The Post office museum, which celebrated its 70 years in June 2016, is currently under construction. The institution, located on Boulevard de Vaugirard, will be completely transformed. Only the facade panels, signed by the sculptor Robert Juvin, will be preserved. The reopening has been done already. Current 2019, the Museum of General Leclerc/Musée de la Liberation – Musée Jean Moulin will take a new location. Located at the level of the Atlantic Garden, above the Gare Montparnasse, the establishment is difficult to reach and suffers from a lack of visibility ,a new establishment will be on the Boulevard Pasteur (between n ° 24 and 30) .Adjacent to a Jardin des Simples  proposing the cultivation of aromatic plants and herbal teas by rue du doctor Roux, will complete this project.

Farewell, two-wheeler (motos) stationed permanently on the Boulevard of Vaugirard.  A portion of the central aisle will soon be returned to pedestrians. The boulevards Pasteur and Vaugirard are going to be vegetated in two stages. The first one will be the Boulevard Pasteur with the layout of the small square located at the entrance of the subway Pasteur.  Other novelty, since the night of February 26, 2018, an intelligent night lighting system is been tested by Evesa in the Rue Antoine Bourdelle.

More on the renovation and work sites at the city of Paris in French: City of Paris renovations and works

And the report is the pictures, well there is lots of work going on and some areas are completely covered ,but you can’t hardly notice it, and all is smoothly flowing, that is Montparnasse. You are welcome to Paris.

PAris PAris

Another good day in Paris. It is always good to come back once in a while for personal reasons it took two months to come back, and it was missed the monthly trips. Paris is eternal you know, and once bitten by the virus you will always come back or we will always have Paris , right!

Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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June 18, 2018

Remembering Curitiba, Paranà, Brazil!

Over the weekend you have time to think and remember wonderful places you/I/we have been ,and lucky enough to go back to the country, it has been a while without returning to Curitiba, Paranà State of Brazil. I was there back in 2008 ,and even thus go to Brazil now every year, luck has it, not been by Curitiba since. It is time to bring it alive ,these wonderful memories of forever.

Let me tell you about Curitiba where I spent 3 months back in 2008, of great lasting souvenirs, experiences ,and worth it going there for all. The city of Curitiba has a high level of education, the best in Brazil, according to MasterCard Emerging Markets Index in 2008 it rank 49th amongst the cities with a growing world influence. The magazine Forbes in 2009, rank Curitiba as the 3rd most educated/intelligent cities in the world considering  its outlook on the ecology, durable development, quality of life, and performing infrastructure’s as well as a dynamic economy.  The city is an example of urban planning especially with the invention of the above surface metro (sort like a big long bus) . It has been call the City model of Latin America by many experts. The city is divided today into 75 neighborhoods and into 10 administrative districts.

A bit of history I like. The city of Curitiba was founded in 1654 and raised to City status in 1693 under the name of Vila de Nossa Senhora da Luz dos Pinhais or City of Our Lady of Light of Pines. The current name was officially given by an act of Congress in 1721 and come from the Tupi Indian word Coré Etuba, that means many pines making reference to the many pines on the hills surrounding the city. In the 1700s, Curitiba possessed a favorable location between cattle-breeding country and marketplaces, leading to a successful cattle trade and the city’s first major expansion. Beginning in 1870, many immigrants started to arrive due to a government land expansion program to inhabits large tracks of lands in Brazil. The majority of these immigrants came from Germany, Poland, Italy, and also French, Japanese, English, and Swiss.  The Germans came in by 1872, and Polish by 1871, the Italians by 1872 founding the district of Santa Felicidade in 1878 (very good restos here !). You, also, have the Ukrainians coming in by 1895, and the Japanese by 1915 and many from 1924 onwards. The Syrians/Lebanese came in also around this time as well. The first federal University in Brazil was founded here in 1913 as well the year of the electrification of the trolley bus . The city has three language schools teaching English, German,and French (the alliance française) webpage here: Alliance Française Curitiba

The gateway to wild Brazil and the Iguazu Falls, plus Pantanal, Ile da Mielhe, and Morrete, Ruta  Gracioza  , Serra Verde train ride!, marvelous terrain and inland historical Lapa ,in Parana state.  What is there ,well a very nice cosmopolitan city.

My home the apart hotel the Mercure Curitiba Batel webpage here : http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-2127-mercure-curitiba-batel/index.shtml

Batel is a noble/chic neighborhood where you will be in good safe areas, full of everything around you. That is where the Mercure hotel is on, you come in from the airport on avenida vicomte de guarapauva and leave on ave sete de septembro. The corner of this later on you have a grocery store, mercadorama. Walking distace from here you can see the tower font de jerusalem, mercado central, rodoferraria bus and train, praça Japao (Japan Plaza), and the main downtown city center shopping mall like Batel novo shops webpage http://www.shoppingnovobatel.com.br/, and Shopping Crystal at  webpage http://www.shoppingcrystal.com.br/, as well as shopping Curitibahttp://www.shoppingcuritiba.com.br/, and Shopping Estaçao Central with a railroad museum inside!  http://www.espacoestacao.com.br/site/. You have your typical Wal-Mart store at http://www2.walmart.com.br/Site/StoreLocatorResultadoLoja.aspx?IdLoja=64. You have the Carrefour store too, at Pinhais just outside the city was my store, http://www.carrefour.com.br/stores/PR/Pinhais.  And Extra Hipermercado in Av. Mal Humberto A C Branco, 230 – Jardim Social, webpage http://www.extra.com.br/Atendimento/LocalizadorLojas.aspx

Other shopping pleasures are shopping Mueller, by jardim public at http://www.shoppingmueller.com.br/. The biggest just outside by the park Barigui is  Shopping Barigui at http://www.parkshoppingbarigui.com.br/home/ , and yet in city center you have shopping Italia at   http://www.shoppingcenteritalia.com.br/principal.php.  There are various restaurants/bars  in town in addition to those found in the shopping centers above that I like such as Emporio San Francisco with great beers and live music at http://emporiosaofrancisco.com.br/programacao.php?id_dias=5 ; Jokers Pub Cafe in centro, great ambiance at nights webpage http://www.jokerspubcafe.com.br/.

Restaurant Familia Fadanelli (wonderful place ) in neighborhood of Santa Felicidade, great Italian tradition and the farewell restaurant for me last time in the city with many friends, http://www.famigliafadanelli.com.br/?s=introChurrasqueria Batel Grill, the great Brazilian steak houses, cant beat it ,webpage http://batelgrill.com.br/inicio/ . Mustang Sally for the real Mexican in you ,right in Batel, webpage http://www.mustangsally.com.br/ . For an American in Brazil, and great burgers deluxe head for Peggy Sue (now call Sheridans) ,webpage http://www.peggysue.com.br/. For the Cuban mojito and some salsa then head for Guantanamera (this I know has closed) , no web ,but Rua Colonel Dulcidio, 540 in front of shopping Novo Batel. For the real Brazilian taste and home cooking head for Tropilha Grill, webpage here , http://www.chimarraochurrascaria.com.br/home.php?where=curt. For the Spanish in me go to Pata Negra, Rua Fernando Simas,23, in the area of Batel, Praça de Espanha, flamenco music live on Fridays. Spanish and great cooking, like I was at home. no web. If you want to bring home some Brazilian wines with an Italian twist then head for Durigans winery, a real wine store, winery in one; webpage here http://www.vinhosdurigan.com.br/index.php#inicio

And for things to see there are so many in and around the city and not far from it if with a car as I had, my Chevy Prisma lol!

For tourist attractions ,my favorites were/are Bosque Alemao (German black forest), Cathedral (Basílica Menor de Nossa Senhora da Luz de Curitiba) , Centro historico or city historical center walks, Jardim Botanico or botanical gardens where in 2007 in Brazil poll it was declared one of the seven wonders of Brazil! it houses a part of the University  ,Memorial Ucraniano(Ukranian memorial) at Parque Tingui, Opéra de Arame (Wire Opera House) at the Parque da Pedreiras , built in 1992 in a circular design of metal tubes covered with polycarbonate fiber given it a cage feel , Parque Barigui( with an antique automobile museum webpage auto museum in Portuguese) my best park , Parque Tangua (impressive!), Passeio Publico (first park n Curitiba 1886) , Praça do Japao (Japan plaza),Praça Tiradentes (center and birthplace of the city),Torre Panoramica (panoramic tower of 109.5 meters), Santa Felicidade neighborhood (Little North Italy),Castelo do Batel or castle inspired by the French castles owners saw in France, now a cultural center, webpage http://www.castelodobatel.com.br/. The Contemporary Arts museum of Oscar Niemeyer, webpage http://www.museuoscarniemeyer.org.br/. A great historical center of learning the Universidade Federal do Parana, oldest in Brazil. The Municipal Market is not a normal market, there are a lot of organic products, and vegan food. The food court has a lot of Asian food, vegan food and organic too. There you will find everything and more. It is located in downtown, next to the bus station of Curitiba. It is superb, webpage here: Mercado Municipal de Curitiba

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A modern city of our world, public transport is second to none in Brazil, even I tried it lol!

There is a linha Turismo bus service that take you to the 22  principal spots in the city coming out from Centro praça tiradentes from 9h to 17h30 every 30 minutes for 20R reales. Line 208 take you from the airport Alfonso Pena to the city center, schedules at the city govt webpage http://www.urbs.curitiba.pr.gov.br/PORTAL/tabelahorario/tabela.php.  The main bus terminal is at avenida Presidente Afonso Camargo,340 Centro right across from mercado central, praça rua Barosa, the central market of the city. http://www.rodoviariaonline.com.br/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=41:curitiba-pr&Itemid=67&layout=default

The airport for all arrivals and departures is the Afonso Pena international airport, just outside the city at Sao Jose des Pinhas,  as above bus 208 takes you into the city or hire a taxi, services webpage http://www.infraero.gov.br/index.php/br/aeroportos/parana/aeroporto-afonso-pena/facilidades.html.  One of the best ways to see the coastal areas from Curitiba is to take the Serra Verde train, a wonderful ride into time with magnificent views ,webpage http://www.serraverdeexpress.com.br/

Another nice areas to visit from Curitiba other than Foz de Iguaçu are Morretes ( the summer get away of folks in Curitiba), and Lapa (epic battle for the federal union of Brazil), they were weekends escapes for me while there by car.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are

This is the tourist office for Curitiba webpage http://www.turismo.curitiba.pr.gov.br/

City hall prefecture of Curitiba in Portuguese : http://www.curitiba.pr.gov.br/conteudo/perfil-da-cidade-de-curitiba/174

You need to check for updates but in my time there you had 8 buses daily lasting about 11 hours, and you can choose a conventional or convencional bus or a couch bed bus Leito. The line was Catarinense, their webpage here: Catarinense bus line  The Foz do Iguaçu official : Foz do Iguaçu

To Morretes you can go on the quaint Serra Verde train ride along the mountain and viaducs from Curitiba or by road as I did too. Info on the town from Brazil tourism here: Morretes

The train Serra Verde takes you there on  Sundays but I did it by car here, this is historical Lapa. Serra Verde on Lapa

Morretes

Hope it helps come to see something different in big and beautiful Brazil. And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

 

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June 18, 2018

A nice look at Autoworld, Brussels!!!

This is a magical place, if you like automobiles and been around them ,then it is a must. I spent my University days and into fatherhood surrounded by NASCAR in Daytona Beach Florida USA, and became addicted to them. The thrill of speed and just avoid that bear or grey uniform of the South, = police. After years, it became clear that the affection was not just speed but the beauty of the craftmanship ,the men who rode it, and the stories behind building them. Awesome.

I ,in a way, lucky to be in France where they are several nice auto museum like the one in Le Mans (24 hrs just goes today and tomorrow with a new entry in Fernando Alonso of Spain. Toyota won it finally and Fernando was in the winning team!!! more here:  24 Le Mans 2018

However, going on many trips to Belgium , business and personal, and stopping several times in Brussels, never imagine to me that there was an auto museum there. Until 2013; then I saw it fully with the family and it was unbelievable seeing the eyes of my boys and explaining these cars to them, even my dear late wife Martine got on it. It was a memorable trip and one we look forward to repeating soon.

I am talking about the AutoWorld of Brussels. I have written a blog post on it back then, here it is: My previous blog post on the Autoworld museum

Autoworld  is an automobile museum house in the Halle Sud or south hall of the Palais du Cinquantenaire (parc du Cinquantenaire) in glass and steel that was built for the universal exposition of 1897 .

The story goes on this spot,  that from 1880 when Belgium celebrated its 50th anniversary of their independence it was decided to host a National Exhibition. Before, the king Leopold II ordered to have traced the outlines of a huge park on an abandoned military training camp outside the city of Brussels, on the plains of Linthout covering 12 hectares (parc du Cinquantenaire). The building was designed in two sections linked by a semi circular colonnade with an Arc of Triumph built in the extension of the Rue de la Loi.

The museum now has about 400 vehicules from automobile collections retracing the histoy of it from 1886 to 1960 and carriages, motocycles etc. By visiting, you see the history of automobiles from the Belle Epoque to the Great War (WWI), the Crazy years, 1930’s, WWII, 1950’s ,and the Golden years in Europe.. Most of the cars in this museum came from private collections making most of the brands and models in it   including some animal drawn carriages, electric, steam, and gas cars. Some work on pedals and others by turning a crank. The collections are mostly from Gantois Ghislain Mahy, the motos from Marcel Thiry, the pieces from the Royal Art and History Museum in the Salle Pierre d’Ieteren, and the cars of Charlie De Pauw.

Brussels

The first exhibit on the main floor (street level) is divided into two. Start your tour by walking up the center aisle and look to your left side, walk around in an anti-clockwise circle. When you have completed the full circle walk up the center aisle again and work your way clockwise on the right side of the floor. This is a chronological tour of cars from different makes. Some of my favorites photos!

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At the very rear of the first floor( 2nd US) on the right corner is a small room that you may miss but is worth a look. Inside, away from roaring engines and gas guzzlers are horse carriages, including the one used in 1853 for Napoleon III wedding.

The mezzanine floor has an evolutionary timeline of cars from the late 1800s to the 2000s and a blank spot for “the future”. This brief tour will highlight the makes and models most popular in Europe in each decade. A great chance to admire the first models of Ferrari and Jaguars which look nothing like they do today. On the right as you exit is a shop where you can buy some souvenir keychains and postcards,  but most importantly thousands of miniature model cars for every make you can imagine.

There is a great video on youtube I like to show it here:

And some webpages to help you plan your trip here;

The official museum webpage: http://www.autoworld.be/infos-pratiques

Nice webpage with plenty of info on the museum: https://www.introducingbrussels.com/autoworld

The official tourist office of Brussels on the museum: https://www.brusselsmuseums.be/en/museums/autoworld-museum-brussels

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. An awesome place to hold it too, and nice walks afterward from here in pretty Brussels.

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

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June 17, 2018

Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History ,Brussels

Another trip to my favorite city in Northern Europe. This is Brussels at its best and we love the museums especially those dealing with history. Brussels has a beauty that should be seen by all history buffs.  I was there with the family and they love it, especially my boys!

This is my previous blog post on it: My previous blog post on the war museum

The Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History or the Musée Royal de l’Armée et d’Histoire Militaire,is a military museum that occupies the two northernmost halls of the historic complex in Cinquantenaire park. And it is wonderful, highly recommended for the history and military buffs.

The idea came in the Brussels exhibition of 1910 when a section on military history was presented to the public and met with great success. The museum was originally installed on the site of the Abbaye de la Cambre and moved to the Cinquantenaire Park in 1923. The park is set on the continuation of the Rue de la Loi which starts at the end of the  Brussels Park before the Royal Palace.

The north wing, has been occupied by the aviation hall since 1972 when the Air and Space gallery was inaugurated.  The collection includes various types of aircraft, both military and civilian, some dating back to the early 20C.

Brussels Brussels Brussels Brussels Brussels Brussels Brussels Brussels

We actually got there on the tram 25 stop at montgomery and came into it from outside into the park on a glorious walk in town which we love to do once in a city. We got to Brussels by car from France on the N2 and in Belgium on the N6 coming in the RO or rocade(beltway) road to our hotel and then on foot all over, great I am telling you.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Brussels museums

Tourist office of Brussels

Official War Museum webpage

Hope you enjoy it, it is history of all phases of our events over the years. Very well set up , and good welcome.

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

 

 

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June 17, 2018

The gorgeous Royal Galleries of St Hubert, Brussels!

In our trips to Belgium, Brussels play a big part of it. As said, we like big cities even if lately the smaller town are beginning to appeal and maybe the reason we live in a 7K folks town now. However, the big cities are still attractive and shopping is our past time!

I am used to the passages or thru ways found in Paris; so coming to other cities always love these. Brussels has an exceptional one that all should visit. This is the Royal Galleries of Saint Hubert.

The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert in Brussels is a complex of three covered passages all along glass in arcades decoration. These galleries are the Galerie de la Reine (queen’s  gallery) on the rue du Marché aux Herbes to the rue des Bouchers; the Galerie du Roi (king’s gallery) on the rue des Bouchers to the rue d’Arenberg; and the Galerie des Princes (princes gallery) from the Galerie du Roi to the rue des Dominicains.

These galleries opened in 1847 and are amongst the oldest in Europe; they maintain an ambiance of greatness that still exist today, whether it be through the special shops or notable chocolatiers, been the first one Neuhaus chocolate store that was opened here where they are still today.

In the Galerie du Roi houses the Royal Theater of the Galleries or Théatre Royal des Galeries  while the Galerie de la Reine house the theater of Vaudeville opening in 1884 with the name of Casino Saint-Hubert.  The Galerie des Princes was previously called the Passage du Prince. It has the name on the stone above the entrance. This Galerie des Princes houses the library Tropismes, at no 5 there is lodging chambre d’hôte ,and the restaurant L’Ogenblik. There are apartments in the first floor (2nd US) above the stores and extend throughout the whole building.

The Vaudeville theater used to be a flower market but eventually transitioned into a theater in 1872 and hosted several prominent entertainment figures. While both theaters are open to the public, it is mainly the Théâtre des Galeries that continues to showcase performances, concerts and plays.

Brussels was also the first city that the Lumières brothers (the founders of cinematography) visited after debuting their first films in the Grand Café in Paris. These ten short movies — called moving pictures at the time — were screened in the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert in March 1st, 1896.

The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert contains several letters and manuscripts by renowned scientists, artists and cultural figures. The Museum of Letters and Manuscripts houses an extensive collection showcasing the correspondence and personal thoughts of some of the world’s most historic figures in the arts and sciences including Einstein, Van Gogh and Brussels’ own Jacques Brel.

However, the most important here is the shopping to kill for, the best  of Brussels in my opinion and we love to visit each time in town, which was often.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official site of Galeries Royale de St Hubert ; http://www.grsh.be/en/

Tourist office of Brussels on the galeries ; https://visit.brussels/en/place/Galeries-Royales-Saint-Hubert

And they are on the tentative list for Unesco World Heritage Sites (French) https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5355/

Hope it helps you decide to come here it is really beautiful. And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

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June 17, 2018

The beer is catching on to wine in France!

Well a major past time here is the wine of course, the simply the best in the world, often imitated and many times wishing to be, the French wines are tops for years. However, what is a fact and you need to spent some time in the local bars and brasseries of France is that the beer is catching up. I know for a fact in my beautiful Brittany, the beer is king.

I like to give you some numbers on this phenomenon.

The market for beers continue to grow in France; in 2017 the sales went up again 3,3% representing 3,4 billion euros and by 2018, it is already 3,8% higher as of February. There is a huge numbers of breweries artisanal done and micro breweries popping up all over.  As of 2017, there were 1280 breweries in France , and if you look back, in 2014 there was only 550 including 30 institutional ones. In 2015, it went up to 700 and now by May 2018 it is close to 1300!.

As I dwell into the beers and wine since adult younger ages ,and work on establishments as well as holding diplomas on wine from France and Spain, I had written some blog posts on beers here, these are: Beers of France and Brittany

Beers of Brittany

However, the sales are becoming more niche specialized brands for specific groups. In 2017, 400 liquor stores sold 80% of their sales on the offering of beers and some even 100% !. As in Paris liquor stores  such as  Brewberry, Moustache blanche, La Cave à Bulles, and the chain Bières cultes, as well as in the province (outside the Paris region) you have La Capsule at Nancy, La Minute blonde at Niort,  and franchises such as La Cervoiserie ( we have one in Vannes) and Orge & Houblon.

The biggest tendance is the IPA beer(  India Pale Ale ) a style of beer that is as usual as asking for a mojito. It was the style most represented at the beer event Planète Bière (next event March 2019 see webpage) .  Almost all the breweries present had an IPA. Leffe, was the first one three years ago with the Leffe Royale Cascade IPA. Tried it but not my glass of beer fyi. Planéte Biere

This innovation is the fundamental line of the big French brewery Kronenbourg SAS, with a history of 354 years!  They have three new products out, on the market of non alcoholic beers growing at 10,6% from last year, the Aromatic market at 11,2% and the tasting beers at 11,9% growth.  A fact, the French are more and more liking the beers with 80% of us drinking it in 2017. In the stock exchange , Anheuser-Bush InBev  has a porffolio of 500 brands of beers of which the famous Leffe (Belgian abbey beer). Last year, they presented us with the  Caractère by Leffe. They had included brewing in oak of Scotch whisky into it having them dried before dipping into the beer in a tank for maturation! In 2018, Leffe Ambrée ( amber scented) a combination taste of a lager blonde type and the complexity of a dark beer for this summer on a limited edition, and announcing as one of the most refreshing of the Leffe beers with a taste of sweet and sour.

Some of the trends:

In aperitif beer: Vitus, from the German brewery Weihenstephaner which would be the oldest active brewery in the world.  In tasting beer: The Original, from the Scottish brewery Innis & Gunn. A beer brewed at low temperatures, infused with pieces of bourbon casks thanks to the amplifier Kit, a special technology inspired by the percolator. Since then, Innis and Gunn has launched his beer mangoes on the Run, an India Pale Ale (IPA) infused with mangoes.  The beer card. Maps are established around a theme such as local beers (Parisian, Ile, Breton…), artisan beers with different styles, etc. On the map of the beers of the restaurant Spoon by Alain Ducasse in Paris, we quote the one made by Philippe Starck in collaboration with the Olt Brewery in Aveyron. The acidity. Acid Beers (Sauer) are obtained with the help of certain yeasts and this was the great trend at the BXL BeerFest, Brussels International Festival. There were some on all the stands. Acid or aged beers in casks. To appreciate the Sauer, you need an educated palace. They are complex but the acidity can produce very pickled beers that give ideas of original chords with dishes and cheeses in particular. The beers are no longer distinguished by their color – blonde, redhead, Brunette… – but by their style (IPA, Pils, Stout, Sauer…). Wild yeast. A type of fermentation appears, from wild yeasts found in a natural environment, tamed by the master brewers of Heineken or the Belgian brewery Alvine. The latter took two years to control a yeast found in the forest in the central Massif.  Organic and gluten-free beers. These are not background trends. Small thought for the brewery of Vézelay, which produces organic beers without any input, in accordance with the law of Purity enacted in Bavaria in the 16C. The BLX Beer Festival site in Brussels: BXL Beer Festival

Raw materials and brewing techniques. Experiments and innovations take part in the dynamics of a brand while bringing new flavors. Beer aged in new oak casks or in casks having wine content (Sauternes, Pinot Noir, Meursault), rum, cognac, whisky or calvados. Beers brewed from stale bread, grapes, smoked malt with beech wood, wheat malt (or cheese), rye, buckwheat, oats. Beers flavoured with the addition of plants, fruit, fruit juices, non-alcoholic beers…You name it they are all innovating ideas and surprisingly there are markets for them!

Styles and large families:
Lager: A generic term for low, blond, amber, brown, cold and refreshing beers, the most popular being pils, or pilsner. A blond, light, well-hopped beer.
Ale (ale means beer): traditional beer from the United Kingdom, high fermentation, light in alcohol. It is available in Pale Ale (Claire), mild (mild), Brown (a bit sweet), bitter (very hoppy, so bitter), Porter (brunette), stout (black, malt-based very roasted barley), barley wine (meaning barley wine, with a lot of malted barley, strongly Alcoholic).
Within this family of beers is the India Pale Ale (IPA), rich in very specific hops, with citrus, floral, earthy, fruity aromas…
Abbey beer: Beer is named after an abbey but brewing is carried out by an outside brewery.
Trappist: Beer brewed in the enclosure of an abbey or under the control and responsibility of the monastic community.
Double or triple: Used in Belgium for Abbey Beers in particular, these denominations refer to the strongest beers in alcohol. The double is a dark beer measuring at least 6% alcohol. The triple is a blonde or golden beer that titles between 7.5% and 9%. I am just trying one from France and another from Brittany; Duchesse Anne Triple 9% and Belzebuth at 8,5% blonde pilsners.
Specialty Beers: Those that are unclassifiable in other families, generally regional beers and high fermentation.

There are three types of beer fermentation, these are:

The high fermentation beers : In the brewing, the yeast work at high temperatures between 15C and 25C ( 59F and 77F) transforming the sugars into alcohol and carbonic gas.

The low fermentation beers : the yeast work at temperatures between 5C and 12C(41F to 54F).

The beers with spontaneous fermentation: the yeasts work in the changing air climates making a natural fermentation putting the malt of the beers in open barrels.  This is the case of the lambics and  gueuzes beers of Belgium.

There are big events coming such as from June 29 to July 1 2018, the 2e  Parisian edition of World Beers of the Mutualité houses.  Where 20 Nations and 120 breweries will be present to show off their malts.  Also, from August 25-26 2018, at Brussels the next  BXL BeerFest will be held with many beer lovers of the world as well as independent breweries (see above the site for BXL BeerFest). Here is the webpage for the Parisian event in English: Beer Worlds in Paris

We have lately been set on the German beers which we can get here easily with La Cervoiserie  or V&B beer :wine stores. We do continue to drink the Belgians and Bretons as well as wines. In fact, a meal is not perfect without neither of them! Yes yes, we drink in  moderation but this is a cultural thing and we are very traditionalists ::)

Pluvigner

Anyway hope you have enjoy the update, and remember, drink in moderation and don’t drink and drive. After all, we need you to continue with happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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June 16, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXVI

Here I am on a Saturday afternoon, my errands are done and time for World Cup football/soccer on TV. The day has been cloudy, and fine rain for a while then stop it is supposed to be like that tomorrow too. We have run into some flooding over in Seine et Marne our family area ,and for the first time in 40 years ,the village was flooded!!!

We are still searching for places to go, I have a run at Paris on the 19 June and then possible friends visits in Nantes weekend of the 23-24, another one in Guérande, and that is about all . In July, I am for the Philippines but not set yet. Time goes on without my beloved dear late wife Martine. As said, she was the organizer to go places and it is missed.

In my ongoing posts to tell the world of everyday life in my belle France away from the tourists and fancy places of our beloved country, I have set out to tell you how is life here ,really for a normal family. No clichés as life here is as anywhere else. I know lived in 6 countries and many regions and average a home every five years!!!

We got up this morning waiting for the nurse to come in for my father, yes here they come to your house. He is going on 83 and with diabetes so needs to control it. He is ok. He is independent still and love it! Once the nurse came and went ,we set out with him in tow by car.

My son had already gone out in his scooter to get us the baguette breads so essential here can’t have breakfast without it and not even lunch or dinner lol! From our town city hall webpage the boulangerie Tual in city center pl Saint Michel: Boulangerie Tual Pluvigner

First stop , the bank to drop off some papers in Auray, quick turnaround. The bank is out of the old town zone. Then ,we continue to Electro Depot in Vannes to get some external hard drive for my sons games etc. Very nice Verbatim done deal. The boys walking in photo.  The store chain is very good on prices good guaranties, and good service indeed.  Here is the webpage: Electro Depot Vannes

Vannes

We got on to get me some computer ink for the printer at my favorite office supply store here, Bureau Vallée in Vannes. Always available, cheaper than most or all places and good service. Here is the webpage: Bureau Vallee Vannes

Vannes Vannes

We got back into the big complex of E Leclerc hypermarché in Vannes. Here we put gas, diesel now at 1,414€  a liter or about 5,34 € a US Gallon (about 6,21 US Dollars), and yes gas has always been more expensive here but can’t  go around on gas/petrol alone::) Comparing that in my previous country of  Miramar, Broward county, Florida USA the diesel is at 3,19 USD or about 2.75 € today exchange rate. My full tank came to 51 euros!

We went with the boys to browse at the Centre Culturel Leclerc inside the shopping center, and then we did our groceries. IN the time, we  purchase the Father’s Day gifts as it is Tomorrow Sunday June 17 in France. It has an unique webpage for the books, dvd, cd, etc section here: Centre culturel Leclerc

Vannes

I got my usual wish , always good bottles of Bordeaux wines with the nostalgia that these properties we had visited with my late wife Martine over the years on several occasion and are our favorites.  I got some underwear t-shirts for my father as he likes them for wearing all day.

Finally, we did our groceries. E Leclerc Hypermarché is an experience like not anywhere. This is huge and it has everything for the house from clothing,to appliances, entertainment, garden, you name it and it is all here in one stop shopping.  The webpage is here: E Leclerc Vannes

Vannes Vannes Vannes

Now , let me tell you, this is World Cup Russia 2018 on football/Soccer, we are fanatics yes… and me played even at low professional league levels in USA and France (Yvelines dept 78). My team if you read my blog is the Real Madrid FC forever Hala Madrid!!! (Played Benjamin for it in Madrid in the 70’s). Then, as National team well then it gets complicated. Having lived and citizen of four countries when competitions like these come around choosing is hard. At this World Cup , I have two sentimental teams, my beloved blood country Spain and my marriage adopted country of France. Spain started out brilliant 3X3 vs Portugal (current European Champions) ,and they are off to good after some troublesome coaching moves (but very strategic for my club) . France just finished their first game wining barely 2X1 vs Australia!

Spain is in group B with Portugal, Iran, and Morocco. and France is in group C with Australia, Peru,and Denmark. The official FIFA World cup webpage is here: FIFA World Cup Russia 2018

We will continue to follow the Cup until the big finale July 15 2018. May the best win,,,,,nahh which is my team, won’t tell you ho ho ho!!!   Enjoy it

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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June 12, 2018

Alcalà de Henares and Cervantes or is it Don Quijote!

Coming back to nice Alcalà de Henares, almost a backyard of my beloved Madrid. I have, think I told you this, spent many years here from the age of 10 ,and eventually came with the wife,  my dear late wife Martine, and then with the 3 boys; and always memories. I have written some posts on the city but what about Cervantes?

One cannot come here without at least visiting once the House Museum of Don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra at Calle Mayor,48.  Always difficult to pinpoint exactly ,and he had several houses in his life, but this one is recognized as been the birthplace.

The Museo Casa Natal de Cervantes  is in Alcala de Henares at the Calle Mayor next to the Hospital de Antezana. The current house is from 1956 done in the traditional way of the Castilian countryside  . Miguel was the son of Rodrigo de Cervantes a surgeon doctor and Leonor de Cortinas,  We do not know exactly his birthplace but Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra is recognize as been born in this city in 1547, even if the only record is of his baptism here in the same year at the Church of St Mary or Santa Maria in front of the city hall even if from this Church only remains the tower, and some column bases and chapels.

Alcala de Henares  Alcala de Henares  Alcala de Henares  Alcala de Henares  Alcala de Henares  Alcala de Henares  Alcala de Henares  Alcala de Henares  Alcala de Henares  Alcala de Henares  Alcala de Henares

At the time of him living here the house belongs to his Aunt Maria in which he lived until 1551 when he moved to Valladolid, where there is another house he lived in. The house is of two floors and is in the corner of Calle Mayor and Calle de la Imagen. There are ,also houses in Madrid, and Esquivias.

I will unusually put some webpages to help you plan your trip here at this point

The official webpage of the House Museum : http://www.museocasanataldecervantes.org/information/

More in English from the tourist office of Alcala de Henares http://www.turismoalcala.es/turismo/museo-casa-natal-de-cervantes/

In the museum, you see a daily life of a well off Castilian family in the 16C and 17C showing public and private spaces.  It has an important library section with previous editions of his work in all periods and all languages, including the first part of El Quijote edited in Lisbon in 1605.  At the street level floor, you have rooms dedicated to the social and daily life  such as a living room, dining room, a Ladies room, pharmacy as his father was a surgeon in the hospital of Antezana.

From the entrance garden of Cervantes, the central courtyard is reach. This is a traditional element in the Alcalainas houses. It has eight columns of granite and limestone with Corinthian capitals, on the ground floor, while the upper floor shows the balustrade and the wooden pillars. It stands out in the courtyard in a corner, the original well of the house in an octagonal shape.

The courtyard is passed to the podium or room of the ladies, a very characteristic room of the time, where they sat on the floor on cushions and rugs, to read, sew, pray, play music or chat. The furniture is of small size, like footstools, boxes, small desks. There could be some low stool for the Knights, who only entered here if they were invited.

The Noble Room is where visitors were greeted, you can see arm chairs or friars, with leather backing, buffets or tables and large braziers to warm up the stay in winter. The buffets were covered with cloths, as well as the walls with fine decorated sheep skins.

Leaving the courtyard, a hallway takes us to the pharmacy or chamber of Rodrigo, father of Miguel de Cervantes, who was a surgeon doctor. These “old surgeons” did more than Barbers, who were involved in indenting, much less than doctors.  In the room there is a surgeon’s table, an armchair to sit the patient, a mudejar style cupboard for medicines and remedies, many of them herbal, and various jars of pharmacy, in ceramics; All these are original objects from the 16C and 17C.

The dining room , which at the time there were no proper dining rooms, but the table was available in the meeting room, and so was the dressing room to eat. After eating the utensils of the food were removed, mainly plates and spoons, some Becket, the candlesticks to illuminate with candles the dinners, or a brazier to warm up in winter, which in this case is polygonal . Once again, all objects are originals of the golden Ages.

Kitchen and wine cellar , which, if you are a Spanish or Mediterranean visitor will be familiar in many of its objects, as it was in the 16C has remained until today in many rural areas of Spain. It has been arranged giving a very vivid image of how life was then, centered in the kitchen, to the point that when in the house many times slept there.  In the winery, once restored, audiovisuals are projected on the life of Miguel de Cervantes.

And of course ,why this why all the talk about a house a museum in little Alcala de Henares; well because the Don Quijote of La Mancha was a novel written by the Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Published its first part with the title of the El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha at the beginning of 1605, it is the most outstanding work of the Spanish literature and one of the principal of the universal literature. In 1615 appeared its continuation with the title of Segunda parte del ingenioso caballero don Quijote de la Mancha. The Quijote of 1605 was published divided into four parts; But when the Quijote appeared of 1615 in the quality of the second part of the work, it was actually revoked the partition in four sections of the volume published ten years before by Cervantes.

The museum is free. The cercanias train  C-1, C-2 and C7A can take you here from Madrid, there is a bus no 223 from the bus depot at Avenida de América in Madrid; if by car as I did too, there is public parking at Pico del Obispo, Calle Cardenal Sandoval y Rojas with entrance at Puerta de Madrid. I rather park a bit away and walk in, via Complutence in parking San Lucas, just great easy in and out of the city.

Some of my previous blog posts on Alcala de Henares and a touch of Cervantes to round up your planning are here

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2017/09/04/alcala-de-henares-madrid-with-a-touch-of-cervantes/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2016/08/26/alcala-de-henares-cervantes-was-born-here/

There you go, a wonderful town to walk it all. You will be back, I know I will. And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!

 

June 11, 2018

The other Yvelines dept 78. Cities of many souvenirs!

On a mundane day in the west coast of France, we remember our wonderful times too in the west of Paris, Yvelines dept 78 ,region of ïle de France.  A magical moment to lived in the Royal city of Versailles and worked in the most beautiful city in the world , Paris. We went around a lot, and on many not your typical tourist towns but nevertheless it is our life and my blog is all about that. Footprints all over France ,and the world.

I like to share with my readers some of these towns, all memorable for our family. These are La Verriére, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, and Elancourt.

La Verrière  is in department 78 Yvelines in the region of Ïle de France only 40 km from Paris and 20 km from Versailles. It is believe La Verrière occupy the site of the village of Watreias in the forest of Yvelines that was given by king Pepin in 768 to the Abbey of Saint Denis.

There are many good roads here and taken many times when lived in Versailles, the N10 passes north of the town and the D58 takes you to Elancourt ( mini France  park) and the south to Mesnil-Saint-Denis to Dampierre-en-Yvelines. The D13 takes the western part of the town to the northwes at Montfort –l’Amaury ( Heredia’s house) and on the south to Mesnil-Saint-Denis and later Chevreuse.  There is a great train service here and my oldest son used it a lot. There is a nice train station connecting with the line N Rambouillet-Paris Montparnasse and Line U La Verriére – La Défense..

A bit of history I like

The parish of La Verrière was created in 1739 with the fusion of three villages such as La Petite-Verrière, la Grande-Verrière and l’Agiot, it finally became a city in the French revolution but stayed small during the 20C even if the situation was good bordering the big road N10 that goes from Paris to Chartres.  In 1972 , there was a union of towns into a metropolitan area or agglomeration call the Nouvelle Ville de Saint Quentin en Yvelines, La Verrière was part of this area.

Thing to see from afar and the gardens is the Chateau de La Verriére . It was in 1507, the lands were purchased by Barthélemy Séguier, noble and judge that starts to built the castle , his descendant Jean Séguier, adviser to the king Louis XIV finished it in 1660. The gardens were done by André Le Nôtre gardener of the king. Over the years transformed into many things it is now the psychatric center Marcel Riviere. More in French here: http://www.museedelaville.sqy.fr/ville-dart-et-dhistoire/le-musee-vous-raconte-la-ville/parcs-et-jardins/la-verriere-le-parc-de-linstitut-marcel-riviere/

City hall and a bit of history in French: http://www.ville-laverriere.com/?Son-histoire

However, how I came to know this town is because my oldest son spent his schooling here initial path to become a commercial agent or salesmen at the specilised school CFA AFFIDA; in lieu of University studies. The school was very nice, good folks and easy to go on direct line train from Versailles or even a bus. 401/415 of the SQYbus network. So , I can say came into this area by car, train ,and bus!

The school https://www.affida.fr/nos-2-centres/cfa-affida-la-verriere-yvelines-78

In Saint Quentin en Yvelines we love to come shopping at the mall there ,for the cinema and celebrated many younger days birthdays with friends at the bowling alley. The cinema Cine Cité SQY is still there more here; https://www.espacestquentin.com/divertissement/ugc-cine-cite/horaires-des-films

Saint Quentin en Yvelines

The shopping center has many stores gone now and heard they may demolished it for housing ,unfortunately, the memories will stay on . The Bowling Star is also gone ,I heard and is not listed in their official site so another one for the memories; http://www.bowlingstar.fr/bowlingstar/nos-etablissements.html

In the nearby town of Montigny-les-Bretonneux there is an explanation on the bowling but no mention yet is gone. http://www.montigny78.fr/sports-et-loisirs/equipements/bowling-billards.htm

Montigny le Bretonneux

Saint Quentin en Yvelines

 

This later town of Montigny-le-Bretonneux ,we used to go to see the baseball games of the Montigny Cougars playing in the French second division or like Triple A level; since 2017 thereabouts ,they have move up to the First division top league in France, their stadium was on our way to the shopping center/cinema/bowling;  here is their official site http://www.montigny-baseball.com/

The city hall of Montigny with tourism info in French; Tourist things to see Montigny

And we went as far on the N10 to the town of Coigniéres to buy fresh groceries at discount in the Grand Marché ;lovely my dear late wife Martine will search for anything! At the Marché-o-Frais, rue de la Gare , and the Grand Frais, 3 rue des Fréres Lumiéres angle rue du Gibet

webpage here: Grand Frais supermarché

The city hall of Cogniéres on tourism here: Coigniéres and history

And last but not least in this memorable dept 78 Yvelines, when passing on the D58 we had visited at Elancourt, France Miniature park, model building of the main attractions in France, more here: http://www.franceminiature.fr/en/attractions-et-experiences

City hall of Elancourt in French on history and tourism; Elancourt heritage and history

In all many memorable moments with the boys and now missing their mother even more nostalgic indeed. We cannot forget these towns, it is part of us been French.

This is the agglomeration or metro area of Saint Quentin en Yvelines (SQY)with all these towns in English ,not check the whole webpage but believe many is in English too.  Agglo Saint Quentin en Yvelines

SQY metro map

Plenty things to do, which even living near could not see it all, so much to see here!!! museums: Museums in SQY

Hope you enjoy this other side of life in France, not visiting but living the real thing. Maybe just maybe you may feel to want to come to these areas just to take a look at how we live normal life away from the tourist throngs , just maybe ,you will be surprise. As I always said, Hemingway wrote about a movable feast of Paris because he only visited there, if he had gone out, he would had had the need to write a second book, France, is a movable feast! ::)

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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