Archive for ‘France’

June 8, 2023

Curiosities of Auray !!! Part III

Again, in my road warrior trips around my beautiful Morbihan, I had to visit one of my former admin homes that is now very close to my current home. I have many posts on Auray in my blog, and this one was just visiting again today, and new pictures that should be in my blog. Therefore, here is my take on the curiosities of Auray !!! Part III Hope you enjoy it as I

The Chapelle Saint Esprit was one of the most important chapel in the commanderies of the order of Saint Esprit, the members defended and protected the poor, orphans and the sick. It was first built here by the Duke Jean II (John) of Brittany , The Chapel lost its religious vocation in 1790 during the French revolution (as usual). It served as safe heaven for the population during WWII , later housed School children, firefigthers, and local associations. Today, it still holds cultural events and plays of many diverse nature. The chapel found its original aspect after the renovation in 1994. It houses today each year a exposition of comptemporary arts. Also, the place for the Christmas market. Wonderful place indeed especially at Christmas.

Auray chapelle st Esprit front jun23

Right across from the Chapel was from 1794 it served as a military outpost, the famous Caserne Dugueslin barracks where from 1831 welcome soldiers until the 20C. HQ 2nd Battalion 4th Regiment of air infantery from Loir et Cher, The 4th Regiment were volunteers numbering about 1070 who fought the Nazis in the pocket of Lorient during WWII ,and participated with the 19th division of infantery of Brittany in the liberation of the south of Brittany, On the first floor (2nd fl US), on December 19 1944 was killed by an errant soldier the coronel Henri Valin de la Vaissiére , regiment commander and Charles Verrier 2nd Battalion chief

Auray caserne Duguesclin front by st esprit jun23

The Chapelle du pére Eternel, given to Franciscan friars in the 17C to established a school for girls today its richly preserved. The Franciscans order arrived in town, then the Cordeliers, and finally the Sisters of the Charity of St Louis in 1807, you can visit it from July 7 to September 3rd for free.

Auray chapelle du pere eternel side jun23

The former chapelle  de la Congregation ,  The full name is Chapel of the Brothers of the Congregation of Men of the Immaculate Conception . It’s dated from 1672. Only the front is original. Pious craftsmen gathered there to pray to the Virgin. Before going out, observe the tribune and its central panel. You will see the Rapture of Saint Paul , a work performed around 1672-1678 by Antoine de Bray a Parisian decorator who adorned several halls of the parliament of Brittany in Rennes. It was restored in 1890, Today it welcomes the tourist office, at 20 rue du Lait.

Auray chapelle de la congregation tourist office jun23

The Hôtel de Ville or City/Town Hall was completed in 1782, On its pediment the town’s coat of arms features the Duke’s ermine and the three Royal lilies . facade on the square, roof and belfry 18C , Located at the Place de la République. This was the first mayor’s office I was service to renewed my French passport and my French identity card in the Morbihan breton 56 !!!

Auray hotel de ville front jun23

Auray hotel de ville back jun23

Overlooking the port, the foothills of the former castle of Auray (see post)  offers a beautiful point of view, Suggested in your visit, taking the Ramps du Loch which overlooks the river, built on the foothills of the old castle of Auray, this pedestrian path offers a very beautiful view of the port of Saint Goustan and allows you to descend there by passing by a belvedere, made up of stepped square courtyards, erected in 1727 on the remains of the fortified castle of which some ruins can still be seen ,See beyond the Auray river flowing into the Gulf of Morbihan and eventually the Atlantic Ocean, Sublime !

Auray upper town to St Goustan and gulf jun23

The city of Auray on its heritage:

he local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Auray:

There you go folks, a dandy spot often overlook in the off the beaten paths of my beautiful Morbihan and historical Auray. Again , hope you enjoy this post on the curiosities of Auray as I

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

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June 7, 2023

One more time by the Church Saint Gildas of Auray !!!

This is a must each time and town and one of its must visit monuments, , The main church of Auray is a historical and architecturally stunning Church of Saint Gildas ! I was again by the upper town so new pictures and need to be in my blog, Therefore, hope you enjoy the post one more time by the Church Saint Gildas of Auray !!! as I

Auray ch Saint Gildas belltower main entr jun23

Auray ch Saint Gildas from Pl Notre Dame jun23

As have several posts on it will concentrate on showing the new pictures and condence text hoping not to repeat, The  magnificent Church of Saint Gildas, is worth the extra post as this is a wonderful smallish church really but beautifully maintained and very active in town.  In the 12C, the Duchess of Brittany Constance donated to the abbey of Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys (see post) land she owned in Auray. The monks set up a priory there, the chapel of which gradually became the parish church of the town. In a state of advanced dilapidation, the church was razed in 1620 to be replaced by the current church, completed in 1663.

Auray ch Saint Gildas altar jun23

Auray ch Saint Gildas nave to altar jun23

The Church of Saint Gildas houses a Laval stone and marble altarpiece from 1664, a 19C organ and baptismal font with carved canopy. From the 18C, it retains woodwork in the side chapels, and an elegant organ case. In the 20C, more precisely in the 1930s, the large windows of the transepts received stained glass windows evoking the life of Saint GildasThe 19C was a source of renewal for the church. The baptismal font, confessionals and side altars date from this period.

Auray ch Saint Gildas St gildas history statue jun23

Auray ch Saint Gildas priere Sainte Anne jun23

It also has a resurrection tomb of Christ that was completely renovated and shown proudly upon entering the church on the left aisle.  It dates from the beginning of the 16C. Due to its age and polychromy, it is unique in Brittany. It was originally surrounded by human-sized characters. The whole thing certainly represented the descent from the Cross. The imposing altarpiece of the high altar is in Levallois style and dates from 1657.  It has a set of nine windows on the life of Saint Gildas done from 1812 to 1874.  The bell tower of the three-story square tower, however, was not completed until 1701. It dominates the whole town and will serve as a model for the region. Work on the bell tower of the Church of Saint-Gildas will begin in December 2023 for twelve months. The church will continue to be open.

Auray ch Saint Gildas mise au tombeau Christ jun23

Auray ch Saint Gildas Ste Therese de Lisieux jun23

Auray ch Saint Gildas chapel altar Sainte Marie jun23

From 1701 ,the Church of Saint Gildas owned a small organ of which no trace has been preserved. This instrument was dismantled in 1760 and transferred to a chapel which no longer exists. The new organ dates from 1761. In 1795, it would seem that the organ was damaged by prisoners locked up in the church… In 1833, lightning struck the church ,and damaged the organ.  In 1860, the instrument was rebuilt in the German romantic style by organ builder Carl Ewald Julius Heyer (known as Jules Heyer). This postman, originally from the Breslau region in Poland, had come to Quimper since 1847 where he first worked for Cavaille-Coll, and then set up on his own. In 1946, the organ was restored in the Parisian workshops of the Pleyel/Cavaille-Coll house in a more neo-classical style.  In 1979, the Beuchet/Debierre house in Nantes carried out a restoration, and the sideboard has regained its original color. 

Auray ch Saint Gildas organ back jun23 

The city of Auray on its heritage:

The local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Auray:

There you go folks ,like I said a smallish church, but very nicely maintained, said beautiful. A must to visit while in the area and worth the detour. Again, hope you have enjoy my new post on the Church of Saint Gildas of Auray !!as I

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

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June 7, 2023

The Musée des Confréries Européennes of Montrichard !

I was on my road warrior mode and came to see the wonderful town of Montrichard  located in the department 41 of Loir-et-Cher in the Centre-Val de Loire region of my belle France. Since 2016 after the mergers of Montrichard and Bourré it became Montrichard Val de Cher. It is on the banks of the Cher river between Tours and Vierzon. Nearby other tourist spots in the area of the castles of the Loire less than 20 km from Chenonceaux, Amboise, Montpoupon, Valençay and Chaumont. Tours is only 38 km, Paris: 189 km, and Nantes: 207 km , and only about 389 km ( about 241 miles) from my house, The town is served by the Montrichard train station on the Vierzon – St Pierre des Corps line, I came here after a long car trip and from Amboise on the road D61/115.

There is something unique here that feel deserve a post of its own, Therefore, here is my take on the Musée des Confréries Européennes at the bottom of the rock dungeon by 4 Rue Porte au Roi , this Museum of European Brotherhoods, Better call the tourist office ahead to make sure its open. Hope you enjoy it as I.

As said at the foot of the monumental staircase ,. 400 statuettes about 60 cm high and all bearing the image of the famous brotherhoods statuettes of more than 700 European brotherhoods, but not only that, you will also find documents and objects there. The of Musuem of European Brotherhoods is to make known, to promote with all the brotherhoods, those existing and to come, both on the French and European level, to defend, promote, animate and make recognize the museum of European brotherhoods. Finally, there from the efforts of one man. 

Montrichard mus des confreries européens 4 Rue Prte au Roi jan22

Exceptional medieval site in the heart of the Renaissance castle, discover the Donjon de Montrichard built on a natural rocky outcrop which dominates the town and offers an exceptional view of the Cher valley. Its majestic Tour Carrée, built in the 12C was built to watch over the valley. In the 15C, at the foot of the keep, King Louis XI had very large royal dwellings built overlooking the Sainte Croix Church, which was then the castle chapel.

The Montrichard Val de Cher tourist office on the donjon and its museums :

There you go folks, another dandy in my belle France. Indeed it always amazes me of the bounty the country has, and the choices are endless. I am trying harder to see it all !!! Again, hope you enjoy the Musée des Confréries Européennes  in Montrichard Val de Cher as I.

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

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June 7, 2023

The Hôtel and Chapel of Effiat in Montrichard !!

The town of Montrichard is located in the department 41 of Loir-et-Cher in the Centre-Val de Loire region of my belle FranceMontrichard Val de Cher is the name of the new town formed in 2016 by the union of Montrichard and Bourré. It is on the banks of the Cher river between Tours and Vierzon. Nearby other tourist spots in the area of the castles of the Loire less than 20 km from Chenonceaux, Amboise, Montpoupon, Valençay and Chaumont. Tours is only 38 km, Paris: 189 km, and Nantes: 207 km , The town is served by the Montrichard train station on the Vierzon – St Pierre des Corps line, I was in my road warrior tour of the area and after Amboise decide to stop by on the road D61/115.

My road warrior tours took me here even if was not intended glad to stop by ! I went into Montrichard Val de Cher, and it was a pleasant trip of new wonderful things to see in my belle France I will like to show you this time this beautiful mansion/chapel in City center Montrichard Val de Cher !! Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Hôtel d’Effiat at place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, built by Jean de Beaune for the Gothic part, and by his son, Guillaume de Beaune for the Renaissance part. The story goes that at the beginning of the 16C, Jacques de Beaune , superintendent and governor general of royal finances, became lord of Montrichard and baron of Semblançay. The castle having become uninhabitable, he had the “Grand Maison” built to the west of the castle, between rue Porte aux Rois and the current rue Carnot. During the reign of Louis XIV, Martin de Ruzé, Marquis d’Effiat, inherited the Montrichard estate, then in 1677 gave it to his eldest son Antoine, first squire to the Duke of Orléans. The Marquis d’Effiat bequeathed the “Grande Maison” to the city in a will of 1714 to set up a hospice there. It was a hospital-hospice from 1727 to 1977. During the 19C, the current chapel and the rooms that extend it replaced the rampart on the edge of the mail soudée currently boulevard Philippe-Auguste. In 1978, the former hospice took the name of Hôtel d’Effiat and became a socio-cultural centre. The hotel was restored in 2007.


Montrichard Chapelle d'Effiat right side jan22

The wonderful Chapelle d’Effiat is the church of the Hôtel d’Effiat at 8 Rue Porte au Roi. The chapel is located on the foundations of the city walls on the base of a building that housed packs and horses maintained for hunting. It is accessed by rue Porte aux Rois. Held by a mother superior and sisters of the order of Saint Paul de Chartres, the local hospital operated until 1977. Inside are the arms of the Le Normand de Champhlé family had donated 10,000 books of the 17C for the operation of the hospital usually financed by the sale of wood. There is a letter from King Louis XIV on maintaining a hospital in Montrichard.


Montrichard Chapelle d'Effiat altar jan22


Montrichard Chapelle d'Effiat back inside jan22

The parish churches of Montrichard:

The city of Montrichard Val de Cher on the hôtel d’Effiat:

The city of Montrichard Val de Cher and its history :

The South Loire tourist board on Montrichard :

There you go folks, another dandy in my belle France. Indeed it always amazes me of the bounty the country has, and the choices are endless. I am trying harder to see it all !!! Again, hope you enjoy the Hôtel d’Effiat and Chapel in Montrichard Val de Cher as I.

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

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June 6, 2023

The Blois-Chambord train station !

I will be telling you about a train station odd, but indeed I have been to a few if only ridden in fewer. We were visiting Blois, (see posts) and staying at a hotel nearby and decided to walked by it. The idea is that you can go from Paris to Blois by train same day! Therefore, here is my take on the Gare de Blois-Chambord ! Hope you enjoy the post as I

The Blois – Chambord train station is on the Paris-Austerlitz line to Bordeaux-Saint-Jean, located in Blois, about 20 km from Chambord, in the department of Loir-et-Cher, dept 41 in the region Centre-Val de Loire, and in my belle France. Until December 14, 2013, it bore the name of Gare de Blois train station. The new station was built slightly downstream from the old line of 1846. The works lasted from 1890 to 1893 and the new station then cut the avenue de l’Embarcadère (now avenue du Docteur-Jean-Laigret).  On June 12, 2015 a footbridge over the tracks was inaugurated in order to allow users to cross conveniently to the train station and access to passenger platforms. The train station is about 5 min walking from City center.

This Gare Blois-Chambord train station, has a passenger building, with counters, open every day. It is equipped with automatic machines for the purchase of tickets. The two main tracks (1 and 2) of the line from Paris to Bordeaux are bordered by platforms. To these are added two other platform tracks, one of which is bordered by two platforms (tracks 3 and 4). An underground passage connects platforms 1 and 2. The third platform (for tracks 3 and 4) is connected to platform 2 by a underground passage. The platform tracks are partially covered by a steel roof.  They offer service of the regional trains from the TER Center-Val de Loire network. The offer of the latter consists of omnibus or almost omnibus missions to Orléans and Tours, semi-direct missions between Orléans and Tours, semi-direct missions circulating between Paris-Austerlitz and Tours, and the Interloire between Orléans and Nantes, Saint-Nazaire or Le Croisic. So is not a train station of great use due to this connections and bus service instead of trains. On the line connecting the towns of Orléans and Le Croisic, the train station is located between the Beaugency and Amboise stops. From there, travelers can, for example, reach St-Pierre-des-Corps (just outside of Tours)  in less than forty minutes or Langeais in barely an hour and a half, according to train timetables.


The Blois train station is five minutes from the Medici roundabout, and the Royal Castle, the Gare district extends the project of Carré Saint-Vincent and the ACVL to form, as far as the Vienne river, the backbone of the urban development underway in the heart of the city.   In addition to the Ducoux block, the first stage of the project was the design and installation of the footbridge and its rotunda the forecourt of the station, which will be completely redesigned to offer a beautiful space open to the new district, of which it will be the heart. The flow of cars will be limited in front of the station, in order to give back their place to people on foot and by bicycle, with clearer routes. Drop-offs and a car park managed by Effia with 200 spaces are also planned. Finally, the station being a privileged interface between urban and interurban coach lines, a real bus station will be created making the square an intermodal exchange hub (railways, bus station, public transport, etc. taxis and bikes traffic). The temporary car park on the station side will soon be shifted by a few meters to the space freed up by the SNCF on rue Germaine-Tillion. As of April 11, 2023, the Halou car park, located on the west side under the footbridge, will be closed to allow the SNCF to carry out, by the summer, access work to the tracks for people with reduced mobility. Then and until the end of 2024, the car park will be used for the construction site of the Insa gymnasium, The temporary car park on the forecourt side will be made free until August 4, 2023. The cycle lane, the staircase and the elevator of the rotunda are therefore inaccessible. However, the footbridge remains open and connects rue Alfred-Halou to the platforms of the railway tracks, and vice versa. People who used the rotunda and then the footbridge to connect the West and East of the station are invited to take Avenue Gambetta during the works. Finally, the station being a privileged interface between the lines of urban and interurban coaches, a real bus station has been created, making the forecourt an intermodal hub (railways, bus station, public transport, taxis and soft traffic ).

All of the above in continues work so check ahead for eventualities if coming by train to Blois, The City of Blois has updated info here :

The Gare de Blois district, located in the heart of the city, is one of the major gateways to Blois. In the time of the Kings, long paths crossed this meadow which linked the castle to the forest of Blois. After the industrial revolution and the arrival of the railway in 1846, a district was structured around new axes, leading in particular to the opening of Avenue Gambetta. Soon, the Poulain chocolate factory took advantage of a space that was still little used to model the district in its image, then named La Villette. Since the departure of the factory in the 1980s, the people of Blois have taken over the station as a reference for the name of the district.

The SNCF Gare et Connexions on the Blois Chambord train station:

The TER Centre Val de Loire on the Blois Chambord train station

There you go folks, a pretty train station or gare de Blois Chambord, really!  we parked just in front in square Pasteur and corner of avenue du Docteur-Jean-Laigret for free! Always nice to visit Blois even if we have come by car, the train station is quant pretty nice should be worth the trip. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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June 6, 2023

Let’s bring back my memories of Fontainebleau !!!

I like to have memories and nowdays even more. I remember Fontainebleau castle as it was the property in Seine et Marne dept 77 that my late wife Martine, took me first to show me her department/region back in 1990. We have come here ever since,and it is one of my favorite castles been friend of the association that helps protect its heritage since 2004. Their office is on your left once entering the main entrance to the castle.  It is always a memorable castle and always will be , Let me update this older post on my black and white series, no pictures, and tell you about my memories of Fontainebleau, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

To speak a bit more on this wonderful castle will take me a whole blog ,even if many posts already in my blog, I will use this post for some general info or introduction and some personal anecdotes, The castle or Château de Fontainebleau is the City of the same name ,really;sitting in the department 77 or Seine-et-Marne, part of the region of Île de France, of my belle France, It is only about 57 km (about 35 miles) from Paris, 83 km (about 52 miles) from my nostalgic Meaux. It is the most extensive city of the region and mostly covered by a forest; the city itself not counting the castle is 232 hectares or about 573 acres. The Seine river passes by it as well as the smaller river and tributary of the Seine , the Ru de la Mare aux Evées (actually a stream of water).

Some of the main streets in town are the rue Grande long of almost 3 km and the most the visitor will like to walk on. Others are the Place Solférino, Place Denecourt opening to the grill door of the garden or Jardin de Diane, the famous Place d’Armes , Place François Ier, place de l’Hôtel de Ville, place de l’Etape aux vins and the Place de la République.  There is a train station in the nearby town of Avon , attach to Fontainebleau and get you to the castle by local bus or taxi easily.  Gare de Fontainebleau-Avon on the line Paris gare de Lyon trains R direction Montargis/Sens;but never use it always there by car, You can take a taxi outside the station to the castle or pre booked better on Radio-Taxi Fontainebleau Avon or Taxi Fontainebleau Avon,

By the road ,which how I always go there from Paris you take the A6 at porte d’Orléans or Porte d’Italie and get off at exit for Fontainebleau. Rather than drive around for a parking spot, I have become used to park at the same parking each time and never a problem.  Parking Château on Rue Ferrare just on the other side of the main entrance to the castle ,next street over; open 7/7 24hrs and free on evenings from 19h to 9h every day; daytime is a modest price where I never paid more than 5 euros.

Another route I take from family and could be useful for those coming from Disneyland is to get on the A4 direction Paris and get off at exit/sortie 15 on the N36 direction Melun and there take the D606 direction Fontainebleau right into the rue Grande or from the D606 right after Melun get on the D142 by the carrefour du roi traffic circle follow it thru the forest and entered once past another traffic circle or La Croix du Grand Veneur you will be on the D607 straight into Fontainebleau by the Rue de France; take a left on rue Denecourt and then a right to parking at Rue Ferrare.

An anecdote which I like to tell is that upon meeting my then girlfriend Martine in September 1990, she was eager to take me on her VW Golf to visit the castle as she drove, Well the recollection of the roads escapes me now but the bottom line was, she got lost !!! Not to much driven as she took the trains to go to work and the car to see her older brother in the Nord (59) dept, So I say let me see the map (no gps!) and which town we are in now, She told me, took the map got myself the route and hit it right on Fontainebleau !! I joke then that me the rookie road warrior in France show her how to drive lol ! Of course, she was grumpy about it and I let it cool off, Years later it was one of our funny moments,I am still the road warrior in France !!

The main things to see here are the Fontainebleau castle, and its Napoléon and Chinese museums inside as well as the gardens and the forest of Fontainebleau.  Others are the cimetery and the Saint Louis Church dated from the 17C and restored and enlarged in 1868(had a recent fire inside but currently been restored) . Other mainly horse related event are the CSEM or military equestrian sports center, and the Grand parquet on the field of Salamandre, that hold trainers and breeders of horses , the racecours of Fontainebleau at La Solle, and history tell us that at Bois-le-Roi a small village close to Fontainbleau  was held in 1776, the first English style racehorse at the hamlet of Sermaise. There is also, a nice theater or théatre Municipale built from 1905 in the louis XIII style in brick and stone, the theater opened in 1912. It was closed during WWI and again for restoration from 1999 to 2006.

Some of the mansions or architecturally interesting in my opinion here are: The Hôtel de Bellune at 4 rue Saint Honoré, Hôtel de Polignac at 23 rue Saint Honoré, Hôtel de Conti at 27 rue Saint Honoré , Hôtel de Pompadour, at the small street rue de l’Arbr-Sec this was built for the mistress of king Louis XV,it had a small botanical garden and a petting zoo.  There is an obelisk at the crossing or carrefour de l’Obélisque built in 1786 in honor of queen Marie Antoinette and her children. The curious will go to the forest and see the Priory Notre Dame de Franchard dating from early 411 and rebuilt in 1626 now run by the order of the Trinitarians following the rule of Saint Augustin. 

A bit of history I like.

This spot was a hamlet and a stop for hunters and a chapel built by king Louis VII. Later Saint Louis (king Louis IX) who loves Fontainebleau  had built a mansion and a hospital here . Nevertheless, Fontainebleau was nothing than a hamlet until 1528 when king François Ier returning to France after spending a year in prison in Spain after the defeat at Pavia in 1525 had decided to built a castle inspired by the Italians styles. In the 17C, many mansions were built here office tourism says about 30 to house the princes and the lords of the court (one was the Ferrare palace now only the front door arch remains and is the entrance to the parking I used and mentioned above). It had great parties especially by the Madame sister in law of the king, the Princess Palatine. In 1685, king Louis XIV signed the edit of Fontainebleau that cancelled the edit of Nantes that cause many protestants (hugeunots) to leave France. In 1725, king Louix XV marries here. The French revolution did not cause too much damage here due to the richness of the inhabitants. The empire of Napoléon Ier came to the castle and had it renovated as well as many mansions some turned into hotels like the current luxury  Aigle Noir.

On October 29 1807, Manuel Godoy the minister of the Spanish king Carlos IV and Napoléon Ier signed the treaty of Fontainebleau allowing French troops to passed by Spain to invade Portugal; they decided to stay in Spain too lol. By June 1812, the Pope Pie VII arrived at Fontainebleau and stayed as house prison from that date to 1814 without leaving his apartment. On April 20 1814, Napoléon Ier shortly after his first abdication says farewell to his troops from the courtyard of the Cheval Blanc (later courtyard of goodbye or cour des adieux). In all , there were 34 monarchs from Louis VI le Fat to Napoléon III who stayed at Fontainebleau during 7 centuries. From the 16C to the 18C all the kings from François Ier to Louis XV had done renovations, demolitions, enlargements, rebuilts more or less homogeneous to the architecture of the castle. In August 1946, Fontainebleau held the Franco-Vietnamien conference to find a solution to the conflict in Indochina and was a failure as later history can attest. The military tradition of the city kept it for a long time link to the army barracks such as the headquarters of the allied armies of Central Europe or AFCENT, the land forces LANDCENT, and the air forces AIRCENT of NATO  from 1949 to 1967(when France pull out of NATO ) Today the city host a grand école a famous business school wiht international recognition such as INSEAD.

The official Château de Fontainebleau

The Friends of Fontainebleau castle ,if you want to help preserve this wonder of our world.

The national forest of France on Fontainebleau :

The city of Fontainebleau on its heritage :

The Fountainebleau tourist office on the castle

The Seine et Marne dept 77 Tourist office on the Fontainebleau castle :

The Île de France Tourist office on Fontainebleau:

There you go folks, I believe you have a full spectrum of choices in this wonderful castle City of many memories in my family ,and I hope if you do come will bring you many memories to you and yours too. Again, hope you enjoy this post on Fontainebleau as I

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

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June 6, 2023

Again ,where it all began a looong time ago, my Punta Brava !!!

I am feeling nostalgic again,and was looking at some old pictures that were not in my blog, Again, my blog is my life’s history so they needed to be in. Let me tell you a bit more on a personal note as to where I was born. Intrigue.? It has been a long trip of four nationalities now and 81 countries visited, and 5 countries live/work and 4 languages. Ok ok here is where all began, a looong time ago ;   my birthplace of Punta Brava!!

punta brava house punta brava with father behind 6 yrs old

Punta Brava house pedro plays with swing about 18 mos old c1959

Punta Brava is a small town located just to the southwest of Havana or La Habana, with roughly 1500 inhabitants, and now part of the municipal district of La Lisa (which was and still is a town of my days). It sits on the Carretera Central that goes west to east of the island ; just south at about 7 km of Santa Fe beach and Hemingway marina , It is also, 15 km from Jose Marti Rancho Boyeros International Airport of Havana, and 26 km from old town Havana (Habana Vieja).

Punta Brava house pedro plays with toys about 18 mos old c1960

Punta Brava house pedro torero by door to patio about 18 mos old c1959

Some other nearby towns are Guatao (where the cementery of my grandparents is located) at about 2 km,   Cangrejeras  on your way to Santa Fe beach at 3,5 km , the historical El Cano at 4,5 km and one already mentioned in my blog Arroyo Arenas at 4,6 km, I went to school , my last was Bauta 7 km , and where I still have the remaining one aunt and cousin Cayo La Rosa at 12,5 km.

Punta brava pipo y pedro febles calle 50 frente abuelos c1959

punta brava pipo pedro y tio mario c1959


This post is to all and especially to me as  a reminder of what it was, a lingering space in time of a once upon a time place call Punta Brava, city of Havana metropolitan area, Republic of Cuba. Where born and grew up to 10 at Avenida 247 No 5006 !!!


Punta Brava abuelo Manolo and me visiting with mima in 1984.

Even if by now totally out of it still rings with nostalgia that I was born in Punta Brava.  Now with the new revolution, all what was the town is gone and hardly anything looks the same, i will be lost. Cuba has change a lot, it’s not the same , and for me,  it will never be the same…. Now, only faint memories lingered, and some places of share family values and love. Far far away, it seems difficult to even write that I went back in 1984 to see my paternal grandmother before she passed away, see my paternal grandfather, in 1998 to show my French wife the reality of there, and meet my family that was there and by now mostly gone too , again on a business trip with my French company in 2012, and that is enough seen ,no need for more. It seems to me like I was not from there. It required some days of adjustment for things to come back again a bit…

La Habana PF baby in El Arte c1959


Some places dear to me in my infancy that had not mentioned before but now with pictures to follow this is the tourist complex of Guamà and the towns of Artemisa and Güira de Melena,

The Laguna del Tesoro, or treasure lagoon with an area of 9 km2 is located 8 km from Boca de Guama in Matanzas province ; just way south of Varadero, You have to take a boat to cross the Canal de la Laguna and thus arrive at the lagoon. This village built on small islets is a reconstruction on the model of an old Taïno indian village. Its name “Laguna del Tesoro” is taken from a legend according to which a treasure was thrown to the bottom of the lake by the Indians when the Spaniards arrived… the treasure is above all in the beauty of the landscape …It is at about 150 km from Havana, and 117 km from Varadero, This is very near Playa Larga a bigger nicer resort at the point north of the famous Bay of Pigs.

Guama cienaga de zapata with Mom et PF c1965

The town of Güira de Melena former province of Havana today in the new province of Artemisa ,The town was founded in 1779 by the Marquis Càrdenas de Monte Hermoso, It is situated south of the province near another historical place I remember Alquizar, It is for a sad story where I did force labor work as a child on what was called Escuela al Campo, doing agriculture work, and the world still looks the other way.

Guira de Melena field school PF visiting c1969

The town of Artemisa is a city in the new province of Artemisa since its creation in August 2010. Formerly was part of the province of Havana, It is about 60 km from Havana, The city was founded in 1818 , One major development here is the old coffee estates, home to old coffee plantations and factories that have shaped Cuba’s economy and history for centuries. Discover the ruins of the island’s most famous property, the Antiguo Cafetal Angerona, Many visits here as a child and was able to get my sons to ride a horse in our visit of 1998 ! The area had a statue at the entrance to the town of Artemis, the goddess of wilderness, hunting and childbirth, and one reason for the name of the town,

Artemisa odiseo horse ride Noel y Remi, other side MF aug98

No tourist webpage for the above, just real story real memories to lingered forever and seeking new lands, always never looking back, it is you. Punta Brava and me, forever in my mind! Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

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

June 5, 2023

Some news from France on its archeological days !!!

This is a special post on a dear subject of mine, There is soon the archeological days in Europe and my France is on target to be super, We are into Spring, but feels like Summer already prime time to come out and enjoy these beauties. We have looking forward to travel out this month and next stay tune on my posts for now enjoy this one a dandy for sure, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The European Archeology Days are managed by Inrap under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture. They will take place on 16, 17 and 18 June ,2023. The European Archeology Days take place in the 46 member countries of the Council of Europe . I will tell you on my favorites from my dear regions of Bretagne/Brittany, Yvelines, Seine et Marne, and Paris,

Dinan; The archaeological remains of the Tour Saint-Julien, The deposited remains of Mother Pourcel , Dating the houses! Typochronology in the face of science at Place des Merciers Discovering half-timbered houses at Impasse Du Guesclin, The Vorgium Virtual Archaeological Interpretation Center 5 rue du Docteur Menguy. 29270 Carhaix-Plouguer, Château de Roc’h Morvan in La Roche Maurice New results of the excavation campaigns of the castle 6 place du Château, 29800 La Roche Maurice

The Old abbey of Landévennec , The remains of the old abbey bear witness to 1500 years of history. Founded at the beginning of the 6C, the monastery was one of the most powerful religious foundations in the region during the early Middle Ages. The abbey then crosses the journeys of regional history: the rise of the 9C, the Viking raids, the first Romanesque art, the wars of the League… A museum, opened in 1990, gives an account of the results of the excavations and work of historians. The garden showcases around a hundred plants, traces of which the researchers were able to find in the soils of the site. Place Yann Landevenneg 29560 Landevennec

Created in 1846, the Breton Departmental Museum is the oldest in Finistère. Its walls and collections invite you to discover the rich diversity of Breton heritage. Pushing the doors of the Breton departmental museum means above all entering a place steeped in history. Housed in the former episcopal palace of Quimper, The Breton Departmental Museum 1 Rue du Roi Gradlon 29000, Quimper

The Château de Kerjean, In the golden age of Brittany at the end of the 16C, the Barbier family built a castle that surpassed the most beautiful residences in the region. Built to impress and showcase the power of this wealthy family on the rise, the Château de Kerjean is inspired by so-called “French” models while adapting to the regional style. The result is a jewel of Renaissance architecture with its refined decorations, its portal of honor with a terrace on arcades and its elegant well delicately placed in the courtyard. Château de Kerjean 29440 Saint-Vougay

The Archeology Village at the Château de Saint-Malo ,On the occasion of the European Archeology Days, the Saint-Malo History Museum has invited the Regional Center for Archeology of Alet, the Association for the Development of Research in Archeology MARitime and the Society of History and Archeology of the Agglomeration of Saint-Malo to offer you an archeology village at the Château de Saint-Malo to discover the remains and issues related to the archeology in the Saint-Malo city, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June, 2023 from 10h to 18h. Castle of the Duchess Anne ,9 Pl. Chateaubriand 35400 Saint-Malo

First museum in the world for megalithism, the Carnac Prehistory Museum presents all the objects discovered on the archaeological sites which have made the reputation of the region. An essential prelude to visiting the surrounding dolmens and menhirs, you will also discover daily life in the Neolithic period (4900-2200 BC). Place Christian Bonnet 56340 Carnac

The Site of the megaliths of Locmariaquer , At the entrance gates to the Gulf of Morbihan, stands a group of three megalithic monuments of primary importance dating from 6,500 years ago (Neolithic period): the Great broken menhir, an enormous block of granite 21 meters high and weighing nearly 330 tons, is the largest known stele in Europe. The tumulus of Er Grah and the dolmen of the Table des Marchands offer exceptional testimony to the funeral rites practiced in Brittany from 4500 BC, Route de Kerlogonan, 56740 Locmariaquer

The Château des Rohan or de Pontivy was built at the turn of the 16C. Most of the construction was carried out on the initiative of Jean II de Rohan, known as the “Grand Viscount”. Pontivy having become, in 1396, the capital of the Viscounty of Rohan, Jean II needed a castle worthy of his rank. With its thick walls, its wide ditches and its massive towers projecting strongly from the curtain walls, the Château de Pontivy bears witness to a military architecture which, at the end of the 15C, tried to adapt to the development of the fire artillery. 63 rue du General de Gaulle, 56300 Pontivy

The CIAP or Architecture and Heritage Interpretation Center is located in the Hôtel de Limur a magnificent private mansion built by Raymond Le Doulx, canon of the cathedral of Vannes, in the 17C. An architecture and heritage interpretation center is a free local cultural facility. The objective is to raise awareness, inform and train all audiences in architecture and heritage , 31 rue Thiers 56000 Vannes

The Museum of Fine Arts, La Cohue on the location of La Cohue,across from the St Peter’s Cathedral, a former medieval market hall, now hosts a few objects from the archaeological collections during the closure of the history and archeology museum, Château Gaillard. 15 place Saint Pierre 56000 Vannes

One of the main reasons to come to the Hôtel-Dieu museum is to (re)discover the artist Maximilien Luce. The collection now includes nearly 350 works: paintings, drawings, prints, prints, ceramics. A large part is now exhibited in the permanent collections, chronologically and thematically retracing the life and work of Luce. The medieval collection houses many masterpieces of Gothic art from the Notre-Dame Collegiate Church (stained glass windows, sculptures). 1 rue Thiers 78200 Mantes-la-Jolie

The National Archeology Museum – National Domain of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (castle) As every year, the National Archeology Museum – National Domain of Saint-Germain-en-Laye offers many free activities for schoolchildren, in a village of archaeology. On one of the lawns of the National Estate, the village of know-how and trades will host all the participatory and demonstration workshops. Place Charles de Gaulle 78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye

The Île-de-France Prehistory Museum, The major stages of prehistory and protohistory in Île-de-France, from the oldest hunters to the first metallurgists. 48 avenue Etienne Dailly, 77140 Nemours

The Army Museum , partner of Inrap (Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research), invites you to explore its collections related to archaeology, on the occasion of the European Days of Archeology . 129 rue de Grenelle 75007 Paris

The Archaeological Crypt of the Ile de la Cité , Presenting the archaeological remains discovered during excavations carried out between 1965 and 1970, the Archaeological Crypt of the Ile de la Cité, located on the Parvis Notre-Dame, offers a unique panorama of the evolution urban and architectural features of the Ile de la Cité, the historic heart of the capital Place Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris

he Musée des Plans-Reliefs, located on the 4th floor of the main courtyard of the Hôtel des Invalides, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs preserves and presents a unique collection in the world: historical models of fortified towns and their surrounding countryside, made between the reigns of Louis XIV and Napoleon III. Museum of Maps-Reliefs ,Hotel des Invalides 129 rue de Grenelle 75007 Paris

The Archeology Village at the Royal Palace brings together all the players in archeology in one place. With family or friends, everyone can learn about archeology through various activities, workshops, demonstrations and historical re-enactments. 8 rue de Montpensier, 75001 Paris

The Catacombs of Paris nstalled in the heart of a real labyrinth of underground galleries, 20 meters underground, the Catacombs of Paris constitute an exceptional geological, archaeological and historical site. The huge municipal ossuary houses the remains of several million Parisians. Coming from the intramural cemeteries of Paris, they were transferred between the end of the 18C and the middle of the 19C to former underground stone quarries. 1 avenue du Colonel Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris

The official Archeological Days in France:

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior travel guy . This is again a special post on a special subject for me in my belle France, the architecture, And again, hope you enjoy this post on the Archeological days in France as I.

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

June 5, 2023

My former last job in Saint Nolff !!!!

Well, I have given my spot where I spent the last 9 years of my working life and memories forever, I am retired so can give you a bit more of the place and for my memorie’s sake to keep in my blog as it is the story of my life, I worked in a town call Saint Nolff just outside the capital City Vannes of the dept 56 my beautiful Morbihan . It was a very nice job, in upper management, with plenty of travel opportunity as my job required a lot of travel. One of the hidden benefits of the job! Now as the time has come to go into the rest period so of speak but boring me think , I have many butterflies and nostalgia sets in; it was a wonderful job that I could have continue until I drop ! Indeed wonderful,,, !

st nolff chateau offices mine jul19

st nolff parking lot work oct17

The people were/are very friendly and nice, and we were allowed to work pretty much independant, no time limits plenty of trust, Nowdays ,every time I speak with a former collegue memories come back flashing so to ease the nostalgia ,doing this post, I was next to Vannes in a quiet, small, cozy country heaven,call Saint Nolff, a big change from my previous post near and in Paris. Yes a loving job if I can call it that. I live about 35 minutes from the job by car on the road N165 or can take a semi detour and come into the country road D19 or even better the D779 . Traffic is minimum, and it was super to drive from to work. There were some hot days ,yes very hot days but with a breeze as we are not far from the ocean so even in the canicule we are the least impacted.

st nolff we nov building work jul19

St Nolff aquarium conference room dec16

The job was on the park of an old castle originally built in 1504 ,now only the ruins of its walls remains, and the face of the manoir or mansion call Château, where the main administrative office is,and where I was ! It has several offices inside the Chateau, housing the different departments or as it is call here Services; a beautiful long garden and forest area, and a cafeteria with hot meals serve daily with choices of menus at reduce prices that could not be beaten anywhere.

st nolffs cafeteria self front at work jun18

st nolff cafeteria self inside jul19

My trips were everyt month for several years taking me to many countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas, I had responsabilities of 20 countries, 28 companies and 75 factories worldwide !! I will remember the trips and especially the friendship of many nations still in contact, I have some additional pictures which would include in this post for memories’s sake, I was able to go into small towns in these countries away from tourism and see the real country , get to know the real people, families and all. Even taken to their homes !!! Words cannot describe the experiences, memories forever !

St Nolff office jan14

St Nolffs first office invivo june2011

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on the main event in St Nolff, music festival:

The Bretagne region tourist office on the event in St Nolff, noise music festival:

The city of St Nolff on its heritage

There you go folks, my last job, and very memorable indeed, Saint Nolff is in my blog in several posts on its sights and now my former job, Talhouet was awesome ! To share the memories with me, at least will have more time to spent with the 3 boys still with me as well as our dog Rex, MybeautifulMorbihan,  lovely  Bretagne  and belle France!  And not to forget my current hole on earth Pluvigner ! Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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June 5, 2023

My curiosities of old Vannes !!!

I spent as much or maybe more time than in my domicile town. Not only worked in its outskirts and go in for quick trips and meals, but the family comes here on every break and weekends. Vannes or Gwened (Breton) is in my beautiful Morbihan (Breton for Petite Mer or small sea) dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne or Breizh (Breton) and in my belle France or Bro-C’hall (Breton) . I was by there again today ,and got me new pictures maybe some repeated but worth it me think, Le me tell you about my curiosities of old Vannes !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Many half-timbered houses still bear witness to this medieval past. These period houses are just as pretty as each other and have always colored the city of Vannes. You may have already noticed it, but most half-timbered houses have a first floor further forward than the ground floor. In the Middle Ages, it was a usual architectural feature because it allowed a sufficiently wide passage on the public road and to gain surface area on the upper floors. In addition, in the past, the inhabitants only paid taxes according to the floor area. For the little anecdote, if the houses have for the most part facades of different colors, it is because at the time, few inhabitants knew how to read. Like the signs, the colors then allowed them to better locate themselves in the district.

The Rue de la Fontaine is in the St Patern district. It starts at the Bd de la Paix and ends at the Rue Saint Patern / Rue Saint Nicolas. Saint-Patern is the Montmartre of Vannes! a very active district. Tanners, craftsmen, traders live in the half-timbered houses that can still be admired today on rue de La Fontaine . One example I always look up is at 1 rue de la Fontaine. The house dating back to the 1st half of the 16C according to the type of molding applied and the trace of the primitive windows. The shape of its fireplace, the spiral staircase and the roof frame confirm this dating. The house is mentioned in 1677 in the archives of the Reformation.

Vannes maison colombard rue de la Fontaine jun23

Many memories of Le Gavroche restaurant ! at 17 Rue de la Fontaine, Vannes, don’t leave the city without eating here ok. My dear late wife Martine and the owner of Le Gavroche came to know them well and even provided us with some contact to paint our house the same way as the restaurant sort of…. Using the same local painter!! Needless to tell you we have come here several times even for anniversaries of our family. We love it ,and hope you do too! The very warm welcome, which is becoming rare nowadays , the attention of the waitresses and the owner throughout the meal. The other nice thing is that is on an old street with beautiful wooden houses going back to the 14C to 17C!  Love to walk on it ! Webpage:

Vannes maison colombard le gavroche resto rue de la fontaine jun23

Another nice spot came first on a lunch out with collegues of work was the Balade en Crêpanie at 21 Rue de la Fontaine. The crêperie with exposed stones and beams is installed in a 16C half-timbered house. On sunny days, you will be happy to show you around the terrace which is located in a flowered and shaded backyard. The walls of the creperie are graciously made available to artists (painters, photographers, etc.). Come and discover their works, and enjoy these wonderful houses that color our streets forever! Webpage:

Vannes maison colombard rue de la fontaine balade en crepanie resto jun23

There is a quant library here, La Yamouna 6 rue de la Fontaine. Passing the door, you enter a world where time seems to have stood still. A scent of old paper floats in the air and wherever you look, it meets a forest of books. Here you can find all kinds of art, classical, travel, history, geography, police, etc. Books sold between 2 Euros and 500 Euros! Facebook page:

Vannes maison colombard librarie indienne rue de la fontaine jun23

The Rue Saint-Patern is the main artery of the district. It bears the name of the first bishop of Vannes, Saint Patern who lived in the 5C. Located on the hill of Boismoreau, the Saint-Patern district is the oldest and most important in the city. Archaeological excavations have revealed many vestiges of the ancient agglomeration, when the city was the capital of the Gallo-Roman city of the Vénètes, You see several half timbered houses here with one special at 16 rue Saint-Patern;it dates back to the 16C with a more recent elevation.

Vannes maison colombard rue saint patern jun23

Here there is plenty of restos and bars and even terraces into the street all bordering the grand Church of Saint Patern (see posts).

Vannes ch Saint Patern far down rue st patern jun23

The city of Vannes on the half timbered houses:

There you go folks, part of the heritage, historical and architecture fabric of our capital city Vannes. I ought it to have in my blog and feel better now, and to come back and provide newer pictures to this wonderful building. Again, hope you have enjoy the post as I.

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

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