Archive for ‘France’

January 14, 2021

My college days in Florida –ERAU!!!

And I am going deep back in my life to remember dear places of my life’s existance. This is a memorable post I had hidden in my blog and needs update, refresh text and links. I have it in my black and white series as pictures are in individual posts in my blog. Hope you enjoy my life in ERAU – Florida!!!

I was visiting Florida since 1974 from my home state of New Jersey. When it was time to choose my university studies, leaning towards a career in aviation , hopefully with an airline, and by reference from a friend who was going to the US Navy, I heard of ERAU=Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida ,USA.

That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship or love with the state of Florida. I was admitted to the school fairly quickly and arrive at Daytona Beach, ERAU campus by August 24th 1977. In time to get me into dormitory No I (later call Doolittle for the general) and began Freshman or 1st year classes.

I was totally new to the place, the area, the habits, so my first year spent going to the beach, “the worlds most famous beach” almost daily, becoming a beach bum ::) Going to the Daytona Connection, 600 North Club, Mocambo, Big Mamma, Daddy’s, Razzles, and Oyster Pub (the last two still there!) greatly enhance my feeling for the area.  Seeing my first Spring Break in the spring of 1978 was awesome, never seen so many girls in one place !!!! I quickly learn the best way to enjoy the area is to have your own place off campus. The school has limited space on its campus dormitories so changing was easy and the area landlords were nice to us, we had a nice “reputation”.

My second year or sophomore, I was already renting a house by Winchester St, Holly Hill an inland community just to the north of Daytona Beach. This was a 3 bedroom home so I found myself 2 roommates to share the cost, and have a whole bedroom for myself, plus lots of more freedoms… Great place to study too, the school demands were very heavy, focus on learning and little space for entertainment or sports inside of it. I was on the Aviation Management degree curriculum for a BS=bachelor of science degree, fyi I got it!

While hanging around a field that look like a football/soccer field, kicking my soccer ball around, a grey older men approached me and asked me if I had previous experience playing soccer/football. I told him learned with a team call Real Madrid in Spain lower divisions, played with ethnic leagues in New Jersey semipro and with the high school, so he immediately signed me up for the team, he was the purchasing manager, named John C Butler, from Leicester ,England and a former player of that city’s team. From then on we had an interesting relationship, one of which ,was getting together at the end of each year to schedule my classes for the next year so my free time was available for the soccer team.

The school soccer/football team was composed of many international students like England, Holland, Trinidad and Tobago,Iran, Portugal, Venezuela, Mexico, Spain, etc all playing for the love of the game, no scholarships. We played against NCAA div 1 and 2 team on an open schedule, by the end its was club level as the school ERAU refuse to sponsor a team for lack or simply not wanting to offer funds.  Sadly, if you now read the story on the school webpage no mention of this history is shown!! and has the soccer program started in 1986!!! writing to them made no moves so I am completely away from all university activities now as Alumni. We organise the games ourselves with the other schools. I did played in the Central Florida Soccer league out of the Daytona Beach YMCA complex (which was actually in the city of Holly Hill).

My third year began at a new rental house closer to the center at Magnolia Avenue and Charles Street (did not see it seems new construction there now!!)  It had two bedroom and the other was rented to a friend from the soccer team so we both can have same interests. School was taken its toll as the subjects became more complicated and more study time was needed, however , the soccer continues and trips to the beach and other parts of Florida. the Razzle disco was on as well as the country music place Finky’s on Grandview. The weekend trips to the Nickels alley place in Gainesville home of the Univ of Florida was great escapades with lots of fun dont want to go into it ::) I was checking out the same chain Nickels alley in Amelia ave, Orlando too as well as going down to Miami at Tiffany’s in the Sheraton (no longer) at Bal Harbours, Limelight (burn down no longer) by the Hollywood dog track area , and the 747 by Miami Springs. Coming down I stayed at the Don Sebastian motel (no longer there) in North Miami Beach for ease on driving after a long night dancing away, a great souvenir indeed. Participating in spring break activities was great, in addition to our Spring Fling festivities on campus, I visited the Univ of South Florida River riot festivities by the Hillborough river, Tampa. As well visiting my family in the Miami area for the weekends, the Christmas breaks were still spent in New Jersey with my parents, and some summers too.

My last year 4th or senior year, again was the time to try another housing, and closer to the action, so I moved to a two bedroom house in Hollywood ave and Main Street, Daytona Beach surrounded by bikers Lol! My neighbors were the Pagans gang from Vineland NJ and I guess my car plates were from NJ so they were friendly ::) I could use their hoses to clean my car Lol!!! I was by this time very involved in the school with the Management Club, and was its Treasurer my last year there. Under me and with the help of Professors Rudi Knabe , our club advisor, William Chamberlain ,our accounting prof and Peter de la Rosa, our Finance prof; I was able to implement a scholarship doing fund raising events to help pay our members book expenses while investing the proceeds with Merrill Lynch, and did established the club as a non-profit organisation. This is still without recognition by the school who simply just asked for donations!

The soccer/football continues at the club level playing by mutual agreement with other Universities in Florida under our new coach who had played for the Seattle Sounders of the old NASL and was from Liberia, but unfortunately forgot his name; this was our last year as a school team.  Playing with the Daytona Beach team in the amateur league as well. Another popular activity was playing intra mural volleyball and softball where we finish second place on both sports as the Management Club team.

The school had gone thru some transformation and new buildings were erected, the student body reach 5000 on campus and they had purchase another campus in Prescott ,Arizona, (near Phoenix). The city had some lesser crazy spring breaks as the city fathers decided to put more efforts on family vacationing. Of course, the Daytona International Speedway was always a great event to go to, and my 1977 Chevy Monte Carlo was a sight in fire red in and out Lol!!!

Graduation came eventually on April 24 1982 at the Peabody Auditorium ,Daytona Beach, where 396 of us graduated with college degrees. What it seems yesterday, it became a reality we were now going into the “real world”. I went back to New Jersey for work at EWR  Newark International Airport, Newark, with an outfit called Butler Aviation an FBO doing ticketing for charter flights from England and Greece as well as the UPS second day air delivery contract. This only lasted for about a year, as I realised I missed Florida !!!!!

The following summer 1983,  I took myself my spring break visiting the area alone, and then on January 5 1985 arrived for good, this time living at Seaside Drive, Ormond by the Sea (North peninsula) on a house my parents had bought for their retirement ::) Beach bum boy was using it first Lol!!! Living was great as I could use the school library ,and became active in the soccer/football team that was playing in the Daytona Beach YMCA fields. I did obtain sponsorship with Coronado Title Co for a Co-ed indoor soccer team that finish Champion in 1986!! It was easy as my team was made up of women from the Univ Central Florida (rank in top 10 in USA soccer) and resident guys from England , Greece, and Germany!

The ERAU university Daytona Beach campus webpage: https://daytonabeach.erau.edu/

The ERAU Alumni office: https://alumni.erau.edu/s/867/bp20/home.aspx

So even thus I am now far away, I want you all to know, I love you Volusia County, Daytona Beach/Ormond Beach area in Florida. You have been very good to me and my family and we always mentioned you, never forgotten all the folks we encounter there and some still keep in touch, so if you read this; this post is for you.

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

January 13, 2021

Versailles, yes there is a castle here!!

I am updating, revising text on some of my older posts; however, some are very nice that I should had done it before. I will bring you back to my beloved Versailles a city I used to lived, enjoyed and love. Again with so many posts and pictures, this will be on my black and white series. Hope you get to like it too ::)

I have live almost 9 years here, and love it. Most come to Paris, many think is an annex to Paris, but this is Versailles, royal, grand, historic, the foundation of a Nation. It is here when the French constitution needs to be discussed ,changed, amended, all the French parliament and President must move here by constitutional law, and Versailles becomes a de facto Capital of France, last happenned in 2009. The Kingdom was here and the Republic started here.

It has many attributes, friendlier, smaller, nice, beautiful architecture, lots of history all around  you, royal and republican, but it ,also, has a castle. What a castle, I considered the most beautiful in the world, and many were tried and done copying it. Nothing of this magnitude has ever been done. Thanks to king of the French Louis Philippe I that seeing history goes to nothing, had the brilliant idea of converting it into a museum! as he said, FOR THE GLORY OF FRANCE, So in 1837, the castle became the museum, and the story began for all of us. I got caught up in this museum magna, the most beautiful of them all. A bit of stories, compiled from my time as living there and Friends of the Castle.

First you see the statue of Louis XIV on a horse,  done in 1836! but the base and mount comes from the Louis XVI statue that his brother and later king, Louis XVIII wanted to have in the center of the pl de la Concorde in Paris ,then also call place Louis XVI  instead the statue was transferred here to honor under Louis XIV the great builder of Versailles, and the first you see upon coming to the castle. The moment you walk up to it you see pave stones roads, six alignements of pave stones, to welcome the king and guest to castle; nothing could come here than by invitation of the king, once past it you see the cour de marbre or marble courtyard, done by 1681, and renovated a bit in 1678 to give it a clock crown on top middle of the square, and the windows expanded to seven. Around this clock you have Hercules and Mars figures, and an eagle representing defeated nations of Spain, and the Holy Roman Empire during the war of Holland. You see a hydra snake representing the Grand Alliance raised to combat France, and a bull symbol of glorious pass over the Rhine in 1672.  You have the statues in the cour de marbre representing Africa and America on the south side of it, facing the Asia and Europe on the other side. Here too you find on the facades of the cour de marbres 84 busts done in 1685, after heroes of antiquities such as Marc Antony,Jules Cesar,Constantine, etc. Here you see the Cour des Cerfs et Degré du Roi, intimate spaces of Louis XV, it has three floors invisible from the cour des marbre or the cour royale, it serves to do libraries, cabinets rooms, and dining rooms for Louis XV could received his intimes friends. There was a dining room in the 3rd floor opening into vast terraces,and on 1754 a stair degré du roi was done to access the apartments of the royal guards from the cour royale.

But , lets go inside, ok. The wonderful Salon de Mars, see the wonderful painting, La Famille de Darius aux pieds d’Alexandre (1660) with the eyes of Louis XIV at Chateau de Fontainebleau done by Charles Le Brun, who had done Vaux-le-Vicomte,and  also did the galerie d’Apollon at Louvre and considered the best French painter of the 17C. See the marble floors between the Salon de Mars and Salon de Diane in the Grand Appartement du roi; known as the Versailles style parquets, done first in 1684 by Jules Hardouin-Mansart.  On the ceiling of the Salon d’Apollon see the Apollon conduisant le char du soleil (1671-1678) just to imitate the father in law known in Spain as the planet king, so Louis XIV (married to Spanish queen Maria Thérese or in Spanish Maria Teresa, and where all Spanish bourbons kings descend today such as Felipe VI) . Move on to the same salon de Diane to see the work on the doors by the stairs de Maréchaux ,see the reliefs on the doors, the stairs was destroyed in 1752, the reliefs stayed on.  It is now a small replica there and copy at the Chateau d’Herrenchiemsee in Germany.

At the north wing, on the rooms of the 17C, you see the great courts of the portraits of woman of the court of Louis XIV; It is the room of beauties done in 1663, such as the duchess of La Valliére, Henriette of England, Princesse  de Soubise or Princess of Monaco, Marie Mancini, or Anne Marie Martinozzi; lovely indeed. At the cour de l’Hymen by the stair of the queen you see a trophy en metal cover with copper and lead, showing the marriage of Louis XIV to his cousin Marie-Thérese d’Austria to reconcile the quarrels between France and Spain done at St Jean de Luz in signing the treaty of the Pyrénées in 1659. You see the fatality of queens at the ceilings of the antichambre de grand couvert, grand appartement de la reine , beautiful. Go on to the first antichambre du roi done in 1686, vast and beautiful.

The magnificent galerie des glaces done in 1681-1684, with 73 meters long and a canopy of almost 1000 square meters, as well as the ceilings of the salon de l’Abondance, grand appartement du roi. Here see the wonderful office cabinet furniture done in 1708. See the Salon de l’oeil de Boeuf, on the second antichambre in the appartement du roi; white ceilings done in 1701 but richly decorated along the walls. See the wonderful bedroom of Louis XIV at the appartement du roi. Here the king died on Sept 1st, 1715 after 60 years of reign.

There is a big oval encrusted painting showing Louis XV offrering peace to Europe in 1729 in the Salon de la Paix(peace) that follows the Salon de la Guerre(war) to the Grand Appartements. You,also, see the calendars for the anniversaires of the chapel of the king, see at the Sacristie des Musiciens near the tribunes of the chapel done by 1770. You can see the bedroom of Louis XV by the interior appartement du roi,the king uses it from age 27,and he died there May 10, 1774, Louis XVI continue its use, one of the places in the castle where few could entered.

See the wonderful dining room or salle à manger des retours de chasse in the interior appartement du roi; done in 1750 and held until 1769 the diners after his returns from hunting.  There is a nice room call the Cabinet de l’appartement de Madame de Pompadour, in the small appartement du roi in the attic, on top of the salon de la guere. Here many rdv was held by the king and woman including putting here Mme de Pompadour,(real name Jeanne Antoinette Poisson), entered in the courts of Versailles in 1745, and lived her first five years in the castle here, she even had a small chapel  once becoming a duchesse in 1752, she takes a jesuist as confessor in 1756, and while she was sick the king allows her to finish here in 1764, the only person of non royal blood to died in the castle, the king later said, ” Here is all the honors that I can give her, a friend of 20 years”.

You can see the library, in the appartement du Dauphin, or heir to the throne,  done in 1750, served for he of Louis XV and Louis XVI. The Grand Dauphin died at 49 in 1711 four years before Louis XIV while his son Philippe V or Felipe V ascend to the throne of Spain. You can see a wonderful pending clock  or the pendule astronomique de passemant (1730-1740) at the Cabinet de la Pendule, interior appartement du roi.  Given to the royal academy of sciences in 1749 it put here by Louis XV in 1754. It is programmable to be used until 9999! At the time it gave the time in the kingdom of France. You can see the library and bathroom of Madame du Barry, petit appartement du roi (second floor french ,3rd floor US), before becoming the favorite of king Louis XV, she was a saleslady in a boutique n the rue Saint Honoré de Paris. Louis XV keeps her at the age of 25 when she came to lived in the castle. In kicking out Madame du Barry by Louis XVI he takes over the room and you now see the Grand Cabinet in the appartement du Comte de Maurepas, the advisor to king Louis XVI not a good one after his bad advice Versailles came from being the birthplace of the monarchy to its tomb.

Another favorite is the Salle à manger des Porcelaines, or porcelain dining room.  It was the last dining room used by Louis XV  after his hunting runs, and later became a formal dining room under Louis XVI;its in the interior appartement du roi.  Another favorite item is the chandelier or imperiale du lit de Marie Antoinette n the bedroom of the queen. The room has been done exactly as the last day the queen use it on October 6, 1789. Furniture is from 1787 and the bed is from 1769 all renovated. Just think here 19 royal children of France including Louis XV ,and Felipe V of Spain were born. Come to see the Cabinet Doré , interior cabinets of the queen, done in 1783, one of the most beautiful piece of the queen, the harp was done in 1774.

There is a passage from the bedroom of the queen(chambre de la reine)  and the Salon de l’oeil de Boeuf; early on October 6, 1789 the queen was awaken by a large noise, the Parisiens arrives, the Salles des Gardes there was havoc, the room ladies help Marie Antoinette opening the small door to the left of her bed,and she takes leaves by the passages that led to the bedroom of the king. They met there in the passages, while the crowds gather at the cour des marbres and invades the castle. From the king’s bedroom (chambre du roi)La Fayette( he who help the US independance as the Marquis de Lafayette) and a few granadiers battle the insurgents protecting the royals ,while they arrive at the salon de l’Oeil de Boeuf. They needed to leave Versailles

You come to another of my favorites, the Galerie des Batailles or the battle gallery, at the central wing or aile du midi, (1 floor or 2nd Fl US) You see 16 paintings in bronce done from 1834-1836 with engraving of 528 names: 36 princes of the royal house, 10 admirals, 6 connatables,25 mariscals, 33 warriors,18 commanders, and 400 officers dead in combat for France. It describes the military history from Clovis to Napoleon, with 92 busts and 33 paintings of famous battles including the famous USA battle for indepedance at Yorktown.  See the magnificent Porte de l’Hospice des Chevaliers de Saint Jean de Jerusalem; at the salles des Croisades, the door is sculpture in cedar wood and bath of bronze from Rhodes Greece dating from 1512! ,from 1837-1839 the room was embellished with 150 paintings representing the period of the crusades.  Right around there, see the stair or Escalier de l’attique Chimay, to go to the attic Chimay, that extend the one of the queen done during the time of Louis XIV, but the king Louis Philippe, does from 1833-1837 true marble of colors and dust with a paste that gives the impression of seeing glass. The lady in room of Marie Antoinette was to have live here  14 years but actually stayed in the attic of the central wing just behind the glasses of the galerie des batailles/ So her name princess of Chimay,Laure-Auguste de Fitz-James who never lived here but the name stayed on. See the sculptures des Grands Hommes de France, galerie de Pierre, north wing 1 fl or aile nord. four galleries of stones, done in 1776 for the grand galerie du louvre but by Louis XVI here.

The project of a museum to the great man of France is the idea of the Assamblée Générale that in 1791 starts the Central Museum of the Arts, and on 1797 Versailles welcome the special museum of the French School of Arts. The most remarkable of the statues sculpture here is that made in marble of Joanne d’Arc done by Marie d’Orléans second daughter of the king of the French Louis Philippe I done in 1837.

The French Republic is ,also,here, the aile du midi or the middle wing served until 1958 to hold the National elections to hold the parlamentarians that came here to name a President of France.  You see the monograms FF as not to confused the R with the republican party of France, see it at the corniche de la Salle du Congrés du Parlement de Versailles, aile d midi or middle wing. Same wing, see the Pavillon de Provence, the Bureau or cabinet du Président du Congrés ou l’Investiture. The old salon of the countess of Provence came to be under the IV République Française the working office of the president of the National Assembly or Assamblée Nationale. From the 1879 to 1953 14 presidents of  France were elected here! Now is the lieu of work when the French constitution needs revision,changes or amenmends.

The official webpage of the Château de Versailles: http://www.chateauversailles.fr/homepage

The official webpage of the Château de Versailles eventshttps://en.chateauversailles-spectacles.fr/

The city of Versailles tourist office on the must sees in the Château de Versailles: https://en.versailles-tourisme.com/les-10-incontournables.html

Versailles is a lot more than a castle, but the castle is sublime , unique, exceptionally superbe and a must see while anywhere in France or the République Française! I hope you enjoy my favorite, the property is huge , for all tastes. One place to know the whole history of France. Hope you enjoy the post , and it needed to be long.

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

January 13, 2021

Versailles, and me !!!

I am updating, revising text on some of my older posts; however, some are very nice that I should had done it before. I will bring you back to my beloved Versailles a city I used to lived, enjoyed and love. Again with so many posts and pictures, this will be on my black and white series. Hope you get to like it too ::)

Coming around my life, as a family we decided way back that one day we might end up in France. Being married to a French woman, and all French citizens, the time was just any minute. Life in South Florida has been great, and we were visiting France every year since 1990 together,even sometimes with my parents.

The decision was made to come to live in France permanently. First, I found a job online with a major French CAC 40 corporation as head of their accounting dept which included 9 regions of the world and 5 billion USD in sales, the force of 53% of its sales to the USA. The decision then was to prepare the move and sell our home in Florida.

I came for the job on August 23, 2003 to start with Thomson Broadcast & Media Solutions in Cergy-St Christophe, dept 95 Val d’Oise,and  lived with my in-laws in Chambry near Meaux dept 77 Seine-et-Marne ,which of courses knew the area well, this while I search for an apartment. This was done by October of that year, at Versailles dept 78 Yvelines, with good transport to the city and Paris as well as close to my job via car. My family joined me in December 2003 together with my parents who decided to follow their only son and grandchildren here!!

I had secured a big four bedroom apartment near transport and schools, and large enough to received our belonging from Florida USA. The move was done from Miami Florida by SDV French freight forwarders who gave us an expatriate deal very cheap for a 40 foot container door to door delivery, unbelievable price, nobody could believe it. But my wife worked for them in Miami!

My parents were issued quickly visa long séjour and upon arriving titre de séjour visiteur as they were already US retirees did not needed to work . My wife was helped by a French compatriot in the USA who refered her to a company here doing the same job as in Florida, freight forwarding agent ,and within a couple of month found the job at Roissy CDG in the freight or cargo area of DHL Global Forwarding. My kids went to school for quick entry at the town of Verneuil sur Seine (collége) and then Le Chesnay-Roquencourt (lycée)  ,and quickly began to get good grades in school as their French was already mastered by the mother in house education, using tapes, books, cassettes, plus the daily usage of the language and annual visits to France. Kids can really pick up the languages quickly!!

Quickly settling in to our new surrounding, we purchase our first home by July 2004 in the same area near a forest that links with Versailles behind the Domaine de Versailles which includes the castle everyone comes to see. It is a four bedroom 2 bath one car garage home with fruit trees in the patio and a nice front yard full of roses and flowers. Tool shed house and barbecue pit of bricks. It is our sweet home in France, and we love it. Later on we came to live in town by the Notre Dame Church behind it!!

About this same time , 2004 , I was given the opportunity to be the head of Accounting of the Intercontinental Hotels Group in France, handling all hotels own and manage by the group including the fame Cafe de la Paix in Paris and 3 Intercontinental hotels (two in Paris and one in Cannes) plus the Holiday Inn Republique in Paris and Disneyland Paris (now all with different names and new owners except Le Grand and Café de la Paix) . A job that allows me to maintain close relationship with the deluxe high end and tourist industry in France. As well as getting to know some well known individuals in many fields.

Our next move as we move along in our belle France, which by now it has become our home and legal residence is to move closer to the kids university and schools, as they are working or going to school in Versailles or next to it using the city bus system very well while Dad continues to haul his car around (habit hard to dismiss). My job since 2006 involves doing independant contract work for corporations inside and outside France in the area of  Finance/ERP/Controlling/and international dealings with the largest French corp part of the CAC 40 (sort like a Dow Jones industrials in the USA). See my other posts for the stories to follow on this one city and beyond into Bretagne!

The city of Versailles, on top right page, the globe can translated to several languages: https://www.versailles.fr/

The Dept 78 Yvelines on entertainment and link to tourist office: https://www.yvelines.fr/loisirs/tourisme/le-guide-de-sorties/

The Ïle de France region on tourism: https://www.iledefrance.fr/tourisme

You are welcome to ask any questions if thinking of coming over, it is a lot easier than most will tell you; just follow the French system, read procedures. I will expand with my stories in other parts of the world and the continuation in France, stay tune. It felled very nice to be more personal and let you all know a bit of my history. Hope you enjoy it as I did telling you. Versailles is worth a kingdom!

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

January 13, 2021

Versailles ,its worth a kingdom!!

I am updating, revising text on some of my older posts; however, some are very nice that I should had done it before. I will bring you back to my beloved Versailles a city I used to lived, enjoyed and love. Again with so many posts and pictures, this will be on my black and white series. Hope you get to like it too ::)

I will stop this time my historical anecdotes of the city of Versailles to tell you of my first coming home “visit”. I am in transition after almost 9 yrs living in the city to move out, my house is sold, waiting for the closing in June to move permanently to the Morbihan breton dept 56. So every chance I get to be back it feels great indeed. Versailles I will never forget you!!!

I had to pick up my oldest son for a meal at home with the family, so instead of just a round trip, I spent my time walking and driving all over the city, just a nostalgic tour one more time. It is hard, one who is used to living internationally (five countries already lived), each time is a psychological process, this time even more so, the city has given me and my family so much good.

First an hommage to  a great gardener ,and one that one of my son is trying to follow as gardener paysagiste himself. There is a bust statue of André Le Notre (see post) , by Ave des Etats Unis  and Ave de Saint Cloud, honoring the master of his chef d’ouvre Versailles, but ,also of Palais des Tuileries, Palais Royal, Saint Germain en Laye ,Marly-le-Roi, Saint Cloud, Chantilly, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Sceaux, Saint Maur, Saint Martin de Pontoise, Ussé, Chaville, Pontchartain, Conflans, Gaillon, Guermantes, Castries, Les Rochers, Maintenon, Meudon, and, Clagny. First gardener of the kings of France from 1645 to his death in 1700.

I went back to a seldom site as I live on the opposite Notre Dame, but the Saint Louis district is unique too, in that it houses the Cathedral de Saint Louis, (see post)  wonderful ,and today many scouts kids in it, during service. I waited for the end to come back for the pictures. One should not take photos when service is held, please.

For an historical anecdote, the Collegiale de Notre Dame Church is the oldest but when the French revolution for not given in to the old royal grounds, they chose this one as the city’s Cathedral. Nevertheless as I said , it is very imposing and compact, nice.  First blessed as such in 1754. The organ was done in 1761, and survived the revolution instact. You have the baptismal urn of king Clovis ,the first king of the Franks or Francia=France.  Wonderful huge paintings, and statue of Joanne d’Arc, patron saint of France. A must to see.

I went again by the Potager-du-roi, the vegetable patch for the king Louis XIV, still given out goodies to the general public on Wednesdays.  This one is the one open to the public as the Kings harvest place, there is one bigger behind all the way of the castle properties now accessable by Saint Cyr l-école (see post) on the D307 road.

I let you have ,once in my neck of the city, the exit I take from the gare rive droite in Versailles, closest to me, I would go out on blvd de la Reine, and next to it is the nice and historical Hotel de Clagny.

I once again take you to the wonderful , magnificent, highly recommended Marché Notre Dame, (see post) the best, by the place du vieux marché, and parking underground Notre Dame for those daring like me to drive. This is all you need to buy, all is here. I like to take rememberence to the Hôpital Richard, a venerable institution in Versailles who have seen its better days. The Units have been transferred next door to a modern facility ,and the old hospital is been transformed into a luxury condo,apartment complex, which if models show it, will be stunning. The only building left will be the Chapel. It looks nice and the price is as per location. The Chapel  was, in the former Convent of the Augustinians of Versailles or couvent de la Reine, dedicated to the education of young ladies founded by Queen Marie Leszczynka,wife of Louis XV. It was done in 1772.

I then move over to seldom seen areas such as another district or neighborhood of Versailles (see post on districts of Versailles) ,this is Montreuil, a royal neighborhood, and the Church of Saint Symphorien (see post) done 1764-1770, wonderful paintings from the 18C ,but today it was in ceremonial service so no pictures inside.  The colorful ,commercial rue de Montreuil leads to Ave des Etats Unis is full of shops and bistros ,very lively at night too. Last we made a tour into the end of rue Royale, to take a look at the Lycée Notre Dame de Grandchamp that houses a private school and next to it at 16 Rue Monseigneur Gibier , you have the Bishop’s office of the diocese of Versailles. And next to it at no 8 the Chapelle de l’Immaculate Conception.

On the run, we stop at my son’s hangout in near Saint Louis Cathedral, where the kebad is the kids thing, talk, gossips and girls, I guess ::) Planeté Food, 7 rue du Général Leclerc , very good service, and menus includes fries and sodajust crossing street you are at Cathédrale de Saint Louis, and tracing back to rue Royale brings you out to the train station gare rive gauche-Château. Tried the Greek or Grec menu with American sauce combination mayo and ketchup. A young crowd but very well disciplined ,most from private schools in the area.

The city of Versailles tourist office : https://www.versailles-tourisme.com/

The city of Versailles on its history/heritage: https://www.versailles.fr/ma-ville/decouvrir/histoire-de-versailles/

And there you go a nice “visit” to my beloved Versailles and time to see and do some of the routines of old. Always feels good to be at Versailles, it is worth a kingdom indeed. Hope you enjoy it as I do, and do visit when possible.

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

January 12, 2021

The Alignments of Carnac, Part II!

Now this is a heavy subject and I won’t claim to know it well but live nearby so visit several times for the learning curve! The Alignments of Carnac are world famous even Unesco world heritage site and I am just 25 minutes from them! I have written before on them plenty of detail and history so will concentrate on the newer pictures shown here.

They are just south of me about 25 km or 12 miles, and we past by the famous megalithes or stones, as well as stopping by once for the formal knowledge about them. Indeed they have been here for centuries, and very popular now. I am not much into stones, mind you,  but its very historical and folks all over come to see it. The locals have a predilection for stones even decorating their homes with it on the facades. Which we of course ,have copy for our house! Carnac is nice for the ambiance of its restos bars and beaches in summer; its a place to go eat seafood, fish, and the great Breton galettes/crêpes with the cider or the white wine of muscadet/loire or the Breton beers.

The alignments of Carnac  are an exceptional megalithic  alignments located in the town’s limits of Carnac. They are the most famous and most impressive megalithic ensembles of this period with nearly 4 000 stones lifted around 4500 years BC. The alignments are however accessible to the public in high season through the visits conferences with a guide proposed by the Maison des Mégalithes,  and are on open access in winter period or between October and March.  They include 2 733 menhirs, probably largely below what existed in the Neolithic era!

Ideally, your visit to the Carnac alignments should start with a visit to the Maison des Mégalithes or House of Megaliths. The good news is that it is free to access. Its hours vary according to the season, so check the tourist office.

The Le Menec site is the easiest to access. It faces the House of Megaliths, a reception and information center for the alignments. Its spacious parking lot and the location of the museum are not the only reasons for its success! It is the site with the most menhirs. With the 2nd major site Kermario count nearly 3000 megaliths on site!

Carnac maison des megalithes jul12

It is at Menec that it is easiest to grasp the notion of stone alignments. On 11 very distinct rows, you have 1050 aligned stones, in ascending order of size. The spacings are regular enough so that we can clearly see the lines appear when we observe each row.

Carnac maison des Mega menec from roof jul12

At the Kermario alignments, you face the largest monoliths in the Breton region. Here, 1029 menhirs are aligned in 10 rows. Nearby, you will discover the Giant of Manio, the highest standing stone in Carnac with a height of 6.50 meters, or the strange quadrilateral of Manio.

carnac Kermario menhirs jun13

On the Kerlescan site, the alignments are more modest. You have 555 megaliths aligned in 13 rows in front of you. It is completed by the nearby Petit Menec site.

 

I will repeat and update several webpages that will help you further understand these stones and plan your visit to this wonderful area of Carnac.

The unique webpage of the Menhirs of Carnac stones: http://www.menhirs-carnac.fr/en/

The city of Carnac capital of the megaliths: https://www.carnac.fr/Territoire-d-exception/Capitale-des-Megalithes

The Carnac tourist office on the megaliths: https://www.carnactourism.co.uk/discover-carnac/standing-stones/megaliths-carnac

The local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on the Carnac megaliths: https://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/megalithic-sites-of-carnac

The dept 56 Morbihan tourist board on Carnac things to see: http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/home/discover/morbihan/the-main-destinations/carnac

The Brittany tourist board on the megaliths of Carnac: https://www.brittanytourism.com/offers/les-alignements-de-carnac-carnac-en-1994701/

The Ministry of Culture of France on the Carnac megaliths: http://www2.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/megalithes/

There you go now you are loaded to come and see them. Worth the visit and let me know when in town. Carnac is special for the stones and more! Hope you have enjoy the tour.

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

January 12, 2021

And there is Locminé!

Oh well again one of the souvenirs of looking over older posts is that you find spots where I have not written before or very little even having pictures! This is one example of it and I am glad I found it as is very near me and passed by almost every week! Let me tell you a bit about Locminé

Locminé is located in the Morbihan department 56 , in the region of Bretagne. Its name means “Oratory of the monks” , and in the Breton language is call Logunec’h.

A bit of history I like

 Locminé in the 6C was founded a monastery by Saint Colomban. In the 7C the Abbey of Saint-Sauveur de Moréac was founded by the disciples of Saint Gildas in Locminé. Following the Viking raids around 919, the old monastery was destroyed. In ruins, in 1008, Félix, a monk of Fleury was called by Duke Geoffroy 1er to reconstruct the Abbey of Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys and the Abbaye Saint-Sauveur de Locminé. After having definitively settled in Rhuys in 1025, he retained Locminé as a simple Priory. Locminé will remain a Priory of Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys until 1791 . The importance of the priory of Sain-Sauveur declined over the centuries, to the point that in 1701, its buildings no longer exist.

The town was the scene of two battles during the Chouannerie wars against the French revolution. First, the Battle of Locminé in 1796. On April 7, 1796, on the orders of Georges Cadoudal, (native of Auray) general of the Catholic and Royal army of Morbihan, ordered Colonel Pierre Robinault de Saint-Régeant, commander of the Loudéac division, to go to the vicinity of Locminé. Pressed on several points, the Republicans revolutionaries retreated and took refuge in the city of Locminé. The second battle was call the Battle of Locminé of 1799. On October 29, 1799, the town of Locminé was attacked by the Chouans of the Bignan division commanded by Colonel Pierre Guillemot. The Republicans quickly took refuge in the city center. After trying for a while to resist in the cemetery, the Republicans fled in the direction of Baud, the Chouans in pursuit.

Like I said, passed by here many times and of course stop by. On one of my sons job, his bus stop here and we came to pick him up by the school Lycée agricole Anne de Bretagne at place Anne de Bretagne! Some of the more interesting things to see here are

The Chapelle Notre Dame du Plasker is in the city center of Locminé, a place of prayer would have existed in its location as early as the 11C. The present Chapel dates from the 16C. During the French revolution, the chapel was transformed into a material depot and served for some time as a deciders temple. In 1804, the town brought down the upper part of the bell tower and replaced it with the current  stove.  On the occasion of a marriage, in 1675, the register of catholicity called it Notre-Dame de la Belle-Place (Our Lady of the Beautiful square). Apparently, the square that bordered her had no particular beauty.

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Built in the mid 16C, of a rectangular shape church flanked to the north by a square chapel, opening onto the main nave by a large third-point arcade penetrating into committed columns. This Chapelle Notre Dame du Plasker, which supports a small square tower, was to be vaulted as the births of the warheads were seen, but the vault was never finished. The third-point windows have a flamboyant network: above that of the bedside outside, there is a mutilated crest. The Chapel is covered with a roof with a frame whose entrails, with crocodile heads, have been cut. There are some fragments of stained glass from the 16C and a pretty flaming pool. The Altarpiece dates from the 16C.

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The city of Locminé on the Chapelle Notre Dame du Plasker: http://www.locmine.bzh/94-decouvrir-locmine/213-la-chapelle-notre-dame-du-plasker

The Central Morbihan tourist board on the Chapelle Notre Dame du Plasker: https://www.centre-morbihan-tourisme.bzh/decouvrir/chapelles-calvaires-et-leurs-mysteres/105-la-chapelle-notre-dame-du-plasker-a-locmine.html

The  Church of Saint-Sauveur and Saint-Colomban initially from the 16C was a compromise between the ancient granite facades and the modern Church of concrete, carpentry and slate. The facades are that of the old Chapel of Saint-Colomban, from the end of the 15C, to the left and that of the old church, on the right; the City Council had decided, in 1972, to demolish the Church which had become obsolete, nowwith  only the two portals of the west façade. In the old church there was a stained glass window of Saint-Colomban integrated into the new construction: the panels of this stained glass were reassembled in a vertical strip behind the altar.

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The Church of Saint Sauveur and Saint Colomban, finished in 1976, however the old church  was used for meetings of corporations of butchers, tanners, carpenters, etc. During the French revolution, the chapel was transformed into a material depot and served for some time as a decider temple. In 1804, the municipality had the upper part of the steeple cut down and replaced it with a stove. When the town was endowed with a fire pump, the municipality found nothing better than the shed for the carriages. Throughout the 19C, and even beyond, the chapel became the meeting place of the Marian Congregation of young Girls. At the beginning of the 19C, the church escaped demolition.

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This current Church of Saint Sauveur and Saint Colomban preserves the facades of the old church and the neighboring Chapel of St. Colomban from the 16C. The two churches have the same flamboyant décor with third-point doors with decorated or basket handles inscribed in large curly braces, windows with flamboyant lattice. On the western portal of the Church rises a large square stone steeple with polygonal arrow. Church and Chapel, which communicate with each other through a huge modern arcade, are covered with frames redone in recent times. As the stained glass windows of the chapel are of the 16C, well preserved, depicting various scenes of the life of Saint Colomban. The altarpiece of the high altar, and known as altarpiece of the true Cross, in polychrome wood, dates from the 16C.. The reliquary and the hunting of Saint-Colomban, in wood and white iron, date from 1758.  The Church was made up of two aisles and exhibited various carved motifs such as gargoyles, crests, etc. The Cross presents a crucified Christ with characters at his side, the Virgin on the back, all topped with a small pediment. The cylindrical barrel is plugged into a cubic base. The whole is on a pedestal bearing various names engraved to correspond to a re construction  in the early 19C.

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The city of Locminé on the Church Saint Sauveur and Saint Colomban: http://www.locmine.bzh/94-decouvrir-locmine/212-l-eglise-saint-sauveur-et-saint-colomban

The Central Morbihan tourist board  on the Church Saint Sauveur and Saint Colomban : https://www.centre-morbihan-tourisme.bzh/decouvrir/chapelles-calvaires-et-leurs-mysteres/119-l-eglise-st-sauveur-de-locmine.html

Locminé is part of the Central Morbihan agglo community of 18 towns. The webpage: http://www.centremorbihancommunaute.bzh/nous-connaitre/communes-membres/locmine/

And there you go folks, a newbie in my blog and so deservently, and there is Locminé. Oh best to reach it from the N24 expressway out of Rennes, Also D767 from Vannes and from me the forest beautiful D16. The market is held every Thursdays from 8h to 13h in city center. the train station closest is at Vannes and the airport at Lorient (see posts) . Limited bus service line 3 to Vannes via Breizhgo, the Breton transports site at Place Anne de Bretagne. Hope you enjoy the post, and thanks for reading me!

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

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January 12, 2021

Auray : harbor of Saint Goustan!!

And again bringing back older posts to give them a new light and for me nostalgia moments of always; thanks for reading me and our support all these years. Let me tell you about a nice post me think that I will update the links and revise the text a bit. Hope you enjoy as I

Today was a nice weather day ,hot and plenty of tourist from all over the world is the mood here in my coastal breton lands of the Morbihan. We are getting ready to go out in our vacation to the Pyrénées and before visit by the wife’s brother and family from the ch’tis nord 59!

We went out to Saint Goustan not far from where we used to lived in Brec’h  before moving to Pluvigner. Still we are about 14 km from Saint Goustan or less than 9 miles.

What can I say more, it is sublime like an islands in heaven. The only drawback is the climate for most of the year is windy ,cold and rainy, but around June to September very places can compete with any in the world. I have written several posts on Auray in general so lots of info in my blog on this area.   At Saint Goustan, a very steeply area by the Loc’h river  , confluent of the Auray river that ends at the Atlantic ocean. You can get on the little train or petit train in the Place Saint Sauveur for a first look without breaking your knees! the place is very hilly and cobblestones floors.

We went out with the family and the visiting family to our favorite galette place at Saint Goustan , a memorable historical and gorgeous harbor to eat at Créperie Saint Sauveur.  We had our usual galette madrilene, savoyards, goat cheese salads, etc with coco nuts ,banana splits ices and plenty of bottles of the local Coat-Albret brut cider all for about 18 euros per person,  great place, great food, good friends and reasonable prices, heavens. The visitors like it too….  It has become our central foodie place and already know the owners even seen them shopping with us! webpage: https://www.creperie-saint-sauveur-auray.fr/

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As the brother and family were trying out our Interceltique festival in Lorient, all about the Celtic people from France, UK, and Spain with lots of celebration superb but we have been already. It is something to see indeed. webpage: https://www.festival-interceltique.bzh/

We headed back to Vannes to do some last minute shopping for our trip and some tools for the house like a lawnmower machine! and then headed back to Saint Goustan for ice creams at the L’Igloo !!! superb ice cream I had the dark chocolate large cone with five flavors from strawberry ,coconut, mousse de chocolat, chocolate raspberry, and banana wow for 5,70 euros ;great you should try it big cone! Over 150 flavors and branch in Carnac Plage/beach too which we of course have tried too . Tourist office of Carnac webpage: https://www.ot-carnac.fr/fiche/glacier-l-igloo

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

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

The Bay of Quiberon area tourist office on Auray/Saint Goustan in English: https://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/the-port-of-saint-goustan-in-auray

The south Morbihan tourist board on the islands in French: https://www.morbihan.com/accueil/cote-mer/les-iles-terres-du-large

The tourist office of Bretagne on Saint Goustan in English: https://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/southern-brittany-morbihan-gulf/auray-port-of-saint-goustan/

We then did our usual walk around this gorgeous place taking some pictures all seems beautiful to me. Enjoy the Morbihan, and do try Saint Goustan. You will love it as we do!!

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

January 11, 2021

A wonderful walk in Auray!!!

Ok so this one is old back to 2015 in my blog but it needs update on links , text and of course the gorgeous photos are kept. This is Auray, the first adminstrative town we encounter when moving to Bretagne in the Morbihan dept 56. We come here often a lot me think and its gorgeous. Let me tell you about Auray and even more beautiful Saint Goustan; hope you enjoy as I do!

Well today we went back to Auray. I still only live about 14 km (less than 9 miles)  from it, so it was going to rain in the afternoon (it did) so took off for it in the morning for a walk and some quencher drinks. 

We went on the back side and park at Pl Notre Dame, and then walk by past the Chapel of St Esprit (see post); this is now use for exhibitions, events concerts right in the middle of town done from 1286 the last Mass was done in 1790 (due to the French revolution) and then to now use as other functions.

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We went around this, to reach place Gabriel Deshayes, and come up again the wonderful Church of Saint Gildas, (see post) it was started built in  1623  but not finished until 1663. The belltower with a square top in three levels was not finished until 1701. We wondered around in city center to past the tourist office of the former chapelle  de la Congregation, and continue to the hotel de ville in the Place de la République up the space jeu de paume a very narrow street that takes you to a nice garden and the old prison. 

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You continue coming down to the hotel de ville area and go around on your right when the hotel on your back and go see the Chapelle du Pére Eternel, (see post)the old cordeliers order was here since 1644 ,lost during the French revolution, in 1807 it was given back to the Sister of the Holy Charity of Saint Louis . Here in 1820 the priest of the Chistian instruction were given the order for God only and the rules  by the Vicary of Saint Brieuc and the priest of Auray Gabriel Deshayes. It is now awaiting renovation. After it you have the park Le Belvédére with beautiful views over the river basin of Saint Goustan below and a football field of the city of Auray.

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You take here a narrow street call the rue du Belvédére to go down to the river basin of Auray, at the end of this street you arrive at the top of the Castle ruins overlooking the river and the district of Saint Goustan for marvelous views. Here at Saint Goustan, our favorite local area where we are often, we had our let down and our ice cream and gauffres from L’Igloo just overlooking the river Auray that goes out into the Gulf of Morbihan and eventually the Atlantic ocean.

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Finally, after a bit of walking on the beautiful harbor of Saint Goustan, we decided for some drink, a nice cold Grimbergen blonde beers with coffee genoise and diabolo menthe overlooking the river, the crowd and the beautiful life in the Morbihan. We stop at the L’Armoric café pizzeria resto right in the corner of place Saint Sauveur. Their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/larmoric.bzh

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The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Saint Goustan in English: https://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/the-port-of-saint-goustan-in-auray

The tourist board of Bretagne on Saint Goustan in English: https://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/southern-brittany-morbihan-gulf/auray-port-of-saint-goustan/

And already raining a bit hard, we went back to our car and home just 14 km away where we spent the rest of the day until new urge to go out again. Hope you have enjoy the walk and do visit when possible beautiful Saint Goustan in historical Auray.

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

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January 11, 2021

Vannes and the Fêtes Historiques!!!

This is a wonderful festival on the streets of Vannes every year in July. We first encounter it in 2012 and been to it ever since. I like to update the one from 2016 for its historical face. Hope you enjoy the Historical Festival of Vannes!

This is a wonderful event in Vannes, my capital city , where I work and live only 26 km or about 14 miles on country roads.  A huge middle ages intact city left in time and glory for all of us to enjoy it today. The event in it’s 31th edition is the Fêtes Historiques or Historical Festival.

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We enjoy it every year since the last five we have live in the area, and always wonderful. This year the Festival has a guest of honor ,Napoléon III.

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It is held ironically around the National Day of France July 14 ,today ,showing another aspect of French traditions and this time held July 13-14, 2016. It has hundreds and if not thousands of folks dressed in period costumes with fire works in the ramparts gardens, and many représentations from other European countries. Of course, Spain was here, as the wife of Napoleon III was Maria Eugenia de Montijo, emperatrice of France and Spanish born (see Belmonte post).

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Napoléon III came twice to Vannes ,once in 1858 and again in 1865. It was on a long trip to Brittany to gather support in the region,and stop of the religious center in Sainte-Anne d’Auray (see post) as well. They came with their children and were received in the Palais de la Motte (where today lies the préfecture or regional government building see post on garden).

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The animations starts from 14h30 to 20h each day, and there are walks with all personalities around town at 16h30, from the Church of Saint Pattern,(see post) 17h from the Place Maurice Marchais, and at 22h30 from the same square Place Maurice Marchais. Fireworks at the ramparts garden at 23h30. We were early at 10h30 in the Hôtel de Ville (see post) where the foreign visitors will be presented and bal dance held as well as marching band from the period.

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Some of the artists that will be here of my interest are the Centre Equestre de Plougoumelen.   And the Fundacion Bodas de Isabel of  Teruel, Aragon, Spain. This is worth seeing in Spain too on the dramatic romance of Teruel, more in Spanish webpage: http://www.bodasdeisabel.com/W3/Bodas/Index_Bodas.aspx

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There will be navette bus free from the right bank of the harbor area or le Port, and the Parc du Golfe, and parking Racker. And the city of Vannes had a bus from midnight 00h30 departing from the Place de la République , front of the post office building. We parked in place de la Liberation bus terminal area for free and walk 10 minutes to city center!

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A great event which unfortunately due to the virus cas cancelled for July 2020. Hopefully, see you better in July 2021.

Be ready for 2021. The Gulf of Morbihan webpage on the Fêtes Historiqueshttps://golfedumorbihan56.com/vannes-les-fetes-historiques-2021/

More on the Vannes south Brittany webpage: https://www.vannes-bretagne-sud.bzh/evenement/fetes-historiques-vannes/

And the tourist office of Brittany on the Historical Festival of Vanneshttps://www.brittanytourism.com/matching-what-i-want/culture-and-heritage/brittanys-main-events/vannes-historical-festival/

Hope you enjoy it, and be ready next time to be in the area; you will enjoy it too, me think..

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

January 11, 2021

The bus in Versailles!!

Well in all the updates, it has helped to seek nice entries that were missed from posting. I have done one post on the bus in Paris which I take rather than the metro for long distances ,however, do not had one for my dear Versailles! Time to remedy that in the city I used to lived, took the bus ,yes! and my kids were wizards of it. Here is my credit to the bus in Versailles!!

Oh yes road warrior in a bus!! Well as said, I have tried all sort of transports in Europe, France etc I still prefer the car but customs oblige the bus is used extensively here and Versailles is not behind.

The Phebus network, the public transport network of Versailles and the surrounding towns, has been putting its know-how and experience at the service of the agglomeration since 1973 (under old name S.V.T.U) . It has 240 buses. 56 bus lines, more than 900 stops and 17 SNCF stations served. There are neighboring towns bus lines 101 to 107. It is now part of the Keolis national network of bus lines which we have it here in the Morbihan breton too.

The history of the Phébus network of Versailles. My sentimental favorite bus lines as my boys learned with me for school etc and then surpassed in knowledge of it. I should have written this post before!

1874:The concession for horse-drawn trams (8 km of track, 24 cars and 100 horses) is granted to the Francq brothers (Société anonyme des tramways de Versailles et extensions). 1883: The concession for horse-drawn trams is awarded to the Compagnie Générale des Omnibus, which already operates many lines in Paris, as well as the Louvre – Versailles line. 1895: The first electric tramways in Versailles, the concession of which is granted to Société Versaillaise de Tramways Electriques et de Distribution d’Energie (S.V.T.E, a subsidiary of Thomson). 1931: The height of the electric tramway: ridership reached 8.2 million annual passengers, to which must be added 465,000 passengers on the Saint-Cyr – Versailles line. 1957: “Burial” of trams. The Compagnie Française de Transports (C.F.T.) takes over the operation of the service with 24 Renault R 4231 type buses, under the name Transports Urbains de Versailles (T.U.V.). 1973: Takeover of the network by Société Versaillaise de Transports Urbains. 1987: Attachment of the S.V.T.U. at the Compagnie Française de Transports de Voyageurs (C.F.T.V.). 1992: Attachment of the C.F.T.V. to the Cariane group. 1995: Launch of the Phébus brand and signature of the quality charter with the eleven towns then served by the network. 1999: Thanks to the takeover of VIA-GTI by SNCF-Participations, SVTU is part of a large Via-Cariane group, which will become Keolis in 2001. 2004: Extension of the Phébus brand to the Saint-Cyr-l’Ecole lines (1 to 6).   2007: On October 12, 2007, on avenue de l’Europe in Versailles, Phébus opened the first Navigo branch of OPTILE member companies with a view to selling “Navigo card” and “full annual card” tickets. 2008: The Keolis Devillairs company acquires the Véolia-Vélizy company, serving in particular the towns of Vélizy-Villacoublay, Chaville and Bièvres. 18 additional lines then join the Phébus network. 2012:   Development of the transport offer in Jouy-en-Josas with the creation of the GHP line (redevelopment of the N and Z lines) and creation of the Phébus de Nuit 3 line between the Satory district and the Gare des Chantiers. 2014: On December 13, 2014, launch of Tramway T6 between “Chatillon – Montrouge” and “Vélizy Villacoublay – Robert Wagner”, accompanied by the establishment of a significantly improved bus network (Phébus lines 30, 34, 40, 42, 45 and 60). 2016: On May 28, 2016, launch of the extension of Tramway T6 to Viroflay Rive Droite station and second phase of redevelopment of the Phébus Vélizy lines (22, 23, 24, 31, 32, 33 and 34). 2018: On September 3, 2018, Phébus is moving to Saint-Cyr L’École to facilitate all your trips. A network of 3 simpler lines (52, 53, 54), more regular and better connected to trains, replacing lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.   Departures earlier in the morning and later in the evening ;More frequency on Saturday. The creation of a service on Sundays and public holidays on line 52. Service from Parc Ariane to Guyancourt by line 54. New line numbers to avoid confusion with other lines serving the city of Versailles. We missed the lettering bus lines of Versailles!!!

They are 14 bus lines in Versailles easy no 1 thru 14.   My boys took line 3 the most or before it was A, direction Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt Hôpital A.Mignot Accueil – Versailles Satory. Passing by rive gauche-château RER C train station  (ave du Général de Gaulle)  and rive droite  train station (Ave du Maréchal Foch) very close to the palace/museum. In winter months there is line 14 easy taken in Ave de l’Europe or Place du marché Notre Dame (market). The old line TRI that went to all 3 train stations the castle and into the Trianons has been cancelled as newer lines does the trick now.

Three main lines (1, 2, 3) will run 7 days a week, every 5 to 10 minutes. Their common point: a stop at the three stations of Versailles ( rive droite, rive gauche-château and Chantiers)  and La Celle Saint-Cloud. Montreuil station will be served by four buses, including line 1, which replaces the old B and R buses connecting Parly 2 shopping center (Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt) to the University of Versailles. No new feature for line 3, the route of which is identical to the old bus A linking Mignot hospital to Versailles Satory. The hospital now benefits from a reinforced service with five buses which mark the stop there (2, 3, 7, 8, 9). And the one my boys took most to go to school!!!

Ah yes from the shopping center Parly II or thêatre Montansier or the train stations Chantiers and rive gauche-château  you can take bus line 1 and 2 to the palace arrêt/stop Château. Further out like the  monument Pershing you can take bus line 10 to rive gauche-château and walk to palace 5 mins.

The new bus numbering system of the Phebus bus network of Versailles.

Bus line 1 University (Versailles) Louis Pelin (Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt)
Bus line 2 Porchefontaine Louis XIV (Versailles) La Celle Saint-Cloud SNCF station ( My older boy took this one also at Europe to go Chantiers train station and onwards by train to La Verriére)
Bus line 3 Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt – André Mignot Hospital – Reception ↔ Versailles – Satory (this my twin boys took it at arrêt or stop Europe near corner with ave de Saint Cloud dir Hôpital A Mignot in then Le Chesnay and now the town of Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt) .
Bus line 5 Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt – Coeur de Bourg ↔ Versailles – Bernard de Jussieu
Bus line 4 Pershing (Versailles) Versailles Chantiers
Bus line 6 Viroflay Rive Gauche Gare SNCF Versailles — Satory Mobilab (weeks) / Versailles Chantiers (Saturday / Sunday / Holidays)
Bus line 7 Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt – Center Commercial Parly 2 ↔ Viroflay-Rive-Gauche Station
Bus line 8 Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt – Center Commercial Parly 2 ↔ Versailles – Les Grands Chênes
Bus line 9 Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt – Moxouris ↔ Gare de Vaucresson / Gare de Garches (Monday to Fridays at certain times)
Bus line 10 Gare de Vaucresson ↔ Versailles – Lycée Jules-Ferry
Bus line 11 (Circular) Gare de Jouy-en-Josas ↔ via Parc de Diane
Bus line 12 (Circular) Gare de Jouy-en-Josas ↔ via INRA
Bus line 13 Versailles Chantiers Picardie (Versailles)
Bus line 14 Versailles – Europe ↔ Versailles – Prés aux Bois

I have one memorable picture of bus A going to Hôpital A Mignot:

versailles-phebus-bus-b-cdg-kids-mar13

However, I still nostalgic of the old system so cool with letters! For the nostalgics like me the old network as compare to the new is as follow:  Bus A now line 3 . B is 1,2,3,5, C is 5, D is 6 and 14, E is 10 and 13, F is 10, G is 4, H is 2, F is 9 , K is 6, M is 9, N is 12, O is 8 P is 11, R are 1 ,6 ,13. S is 5, 7,9. U is 7 and W is 6 and X is 6.

The new office for ticketing, information, maps you name , help if get lost in Versailles (what!) is at the new Agence Navigo Phébus Europe at 18 Avenue de l’Europe. Open Mondays to Fridays from 9h to 12h30 and 13h30 to 18h. Saturdays from 10h to 12h30 and 13h30 to 18h.  This office is right next to the Monoprix store near intersection with Avenue de Saint Cloud.

The city bus info center is at the new name Agence Phébus les Ménages (old Espace Clients Phébus) located at 12 av. du Général  de Gaulle. Open Mondays to Fridays from 9h to 13h and 14h30 to 17h30; Saturdays, Sundays ,and Holidays is closed. The office is right across the train station rive gauche-château near the Hôtel de Ville.

The city of Versailles on public transports in English: https://www.versailles.fr/ma-ville/se-deplacer/transports-en-commun/

The greater Grand Parc agglo area of Versailles on public transports in French: https://www.versaillesgrandparc.fr/au-quotidien/se-deplacer/en-transport-en-commun

The Versailles tourist offices for direction ,help, ideas in addition to you asking me ::) in English: https://en.versailles-tourisme.com/our-reception-points.html

There are reclamation procedures for any service as well as lost and found items. There is a telephone to call in at +33 (0) 1 39 20 16 20. If more than 15 days passing all items are deposit awaiting reclamation at  Objets Trouvés – 3 bis Passage Pilâtre du Rozier Versailles – Téléphone ++33 (0) 1 30 97 81 60.  This is just near my old home from the Rive Droite train station out turn right and the next street is the Passage Pilâtre du Rozier turn right here and see the house office on your left hand side. We never encounter any problems but some do,hope it helps.

And there you go folks a nice city to walk but if tired from all the seeing around the Domaine de Versailles  , a bus ride should be nice. Also , allows you to go further and see the other wonderful sights of my Versailles, see posts. Hope it helps

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

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