Archive for ‘Paris’

June 20, 2018

Some news from France CXCII

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your summers in Paris!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paris Paris Paris PAris Paris PAris PAris

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

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

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

June 20, 2018

A look again at Montparnasse, Paris!

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

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

Paris PAris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris

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

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

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

Paris Paris Paris

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

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

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

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

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

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

renovation quartier montparnasse

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

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

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

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

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

PAris PAris

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

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

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June 17, 2018

The beer is catching on to wine in France!

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

I like to give you some numbers on this phenomenon.

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

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

Beers of Brittany

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

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

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

Some of the trends:

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

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

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

There are three types of beer fermentation, these are:

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

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

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

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

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

Pluvigner

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

 

 

 

 

 

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June 11, 2018

The other Yvelines dept 78. Cities of many souvenirs!

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

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

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

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

A bit of history I like

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

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

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

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

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

La Verriere

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

Saint Quentin en Yvelines

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

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

Montigny le Bretonneux

Saint Quentin en Yvelines

 

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

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

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

webpage here: Grand Frais supermarché

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

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

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

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

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

SQY metro map

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 9, 2018

A little side step here to Les Mureaux!

As an ongoing desire to show you the other France, not really the tourist trail but the real working France; let me bring you up to date on this small town. It has been renown for years as the Aeronautical/Aviation center of France, sleepy now but we went there for a visit.

I am talking about Les Mureaux, not a bright spot in your map but it has some nice events and pretty sights by the Seine river with cruises stop. We went there for the Seine en Auto show where they put brand new cars from different dealers on the street! to showcase them and you to buy them instead of going to the traditional dealer/concession store. I knew I had some photos update here are two, one with collector’s cars.

Les Mureaux Les Mureaux

My previous blog post was on this event  there: Les Mureaux and autos on the Seine

Les Mureaux is in  département 78  Yvelines,in the région of  Île-de-France,and only  39 km west of Paris, and about 30 km from Versailles, on the banks of the Seine river.  The name comes from  murus (defensive wall), and a river port was there from the 1C BC.

It has a a direct train line J to Gare Saint Lazare and back to Mantes-la-Jolie. The autoroute de Normandie A13 passes right by it at exit or sortie 8 ,also , the D154 connects to Verneuil-sur-Seine and  Vernouillet and eventually to Poissy and the D14  connects to  Flins-sur-Seine and Aubergenville.

A bit of history I like

After the death of her husband king Philippe III le Hardi in 1285, Marie de Brabant retired to her deuil in Les Mureaux, where she died in 1321. In the Middle Ages, the town belonged to the Counts of Meulan.Also, during two centuries the Vion family originally from Burgundy had the lordships of Mureaux  and Becheville. In 1902 the aviation starts in Les Mureaux, and continues today with the site of the EADS the European Space and Defense agency where the rockets are assembled for later shipment to Guyanne and launch. In 1924 , Les Mureaux host the sailing competition of the Olympic Games . In  1952  the first flight of Noratlas,military transport airplane built in the factore at Les Mureaux.

A bit info in French on the history and especially the aviation./aeronautical connection of the town in history. Les Mureaux and Aviation

Nowdays, the city is attach to the metro agglomeration of the Grand Paris Seine et Oise.with an extension from  Rolleboise to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine reunating 73 towns,and becoming the most populated urban area in France and the only one with no city center/downtown area. The official page for the metro area or GPSEO is here in French:  https://gpseo.fr/la-communaute-urbaine/le-territoire/les-73-communes/les-mureaux

As to what to see ,things to do here.

Well , there are tours of the EADS complex but need to go thru them or inquire at  the city hall in Les Mureaux. Other than that there are five nice parks or parcs name here as remarkable gardens designation; these are the park at the Castle of Becheville (17C); the park de l’Oseraie (1874) ; the park Jean Vauzelle (end 19C.), by  rue Carnot,in the old town section; the park  Sautour (1985), and the park de l’Hermitage (1987). The city participate in the contest for the most flowery towns of France or the  Concours des villes et villages fleuris from which has gotten a 3 flowers designation out of a possible 4. Webpage here in French: Villes et Villages Fleuris de France

Other sites are the  Dolmen des Gros Murs,a big funeral room for about 60 bodies completely covered by a tumulus (big stone cover) located in private property by 19 rue des Murets where you can see it from the street. The nice Château de Bécheville 17C that was visited by the writer n Stendhal in 1811 ; the castle renovated in the 19C today houses the Conservatoire or music conservatory of the town.

Les Mureaux

Maison Bouvaist, currently a Paléoscope, a mini castle in brick and stones from 1879, built on the borders of the Seine river and in the parc de l’Oseraie by rue des Gros-Murets. The nice quaint  Club house du Cercle de la voile de Paris (Circle of sailing club of Paris) built in  1893 on the Seine river. The Church St Peter and Saint Paul or Église Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul, done in the neo gothic style and finished in 1896.

Les Mureaux

Some webpages to help you in your visit here, an off the beaten path town of the Yvelines, capital is Versailles.

City of Les Mureaux, transports : http://www.lesmureaux.fr/Se-d%C3%A9placer/10132/

Tourist info on Les Mureaux in French : https://lesmureaux.info/cat/decouvrir/

Not for the tourist flake oriented, this one is for the adventorous curious of all things French. And believe me with the aero complex and the history of aviation and car plan Renault not far at Flins sur Seine, pleny of English spoken there.

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

 

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June 3, 2018

History in Poissy, Yvelines 78! Saint Louis!!!

And I am at it again to revive old glories. This is on a cloudy day in my new neck of the woods. I used to lived not far from here, and came often , the shopping and the Church are really nice, and the local liquor fantastic. It is very easy from Paris too, can be done in half a day tour. I am talking about Poissy, in department 78 Yvelines, region of ïle de France.

Here are my previous blog posts on Poissy to help you enjoy the town better.

Royal Town of Poissy

The town of Saint Louis

The town of king Louis IX

Poissy, the other Royal town

The town of Poissy is only about 30 km from Paris and 8 km from Saint Germain en Laye as well as 23 km from Versailles, the capital of the department  (78) Yvelines. It is on the left bank of the Seine river in a stream of water limted by the forest of Saint Germain en Laye on the east and the Seine river on the west. It has a very good train bus terminal with the train on the Paris Le Havre line coming ouf of gare Saint Lazare in Paris and the terminus for the RER A. The regular train Transilien J takes you even to Mantes La Jolie and Vernon (Giverny)

There is the A13 road passing by it on way to Normandy, the river road D153 is nice coming facing the Collegiale Church, and the D190 along the St Germain en Laye corridor as well as the D308; many intersecting roads with good car travel to and from Paris. The parking by the train station is good or along the Seine river park Meissonier.

The town has a long history starting with the Pincerais under the  Merovingians, and thereafter becomes one of the oldest Royal towns in Ïle de France, birthplace of kings Louis IX (Saint Louis) and  Philippe III. It was one of the earliest towns to received city designation in 1200 by king Philippe-Auguste, as well as an important religious town with convents of the Dominicans, Capuchins, and Ursulines before the French revolution.

Here is the bit of history I like

From the time of the Gauls ,Poissy  was a modest town of farmers and fishermen on the limit of the territory of the  Carnutes or  Chartres (Carnutum). They have discovered some tombs on the street of  rue de l’Église  when doing work that is from that period. On the Roman times, Poissy was one of the crossing points of the Seine river. Recently, they have found evidence of Antiquity or the Middle Ages by the area of the Royal Priory. Under the Merovingians, Poissy, was called  Pinciacum, and the territory extended to the north of the Seine river to the limit with the forest of Yvelines all including the valley of the Mauldre. Under the Capétiens, there was already a castle here and the first one old castle next to the collegiate Church was on a site of a hunting meeting place of the Mérovingiens. The second or new castle was built probably by Constance d’Arles, 3rd wife of king Robert II the Fair, and was at the enclos of the abbey next to the old castle. In 1200, king Philippe-Auguste gives this castle to his son Louis VIII on the occasion of his marriage to Blanche of Castile.

Saint Louis was born here in 1214, probably in the castle and was baptised in the parish Church of Notre Dame(today collegiate), later he signed private letters as  Louis de Poissy or  Louis, lord of  Poissy  to remember his baptism here.  In 1297, the Pope Boniface VIII does the canonisation for Saint Louis here.  The king Philippe le Bel, founded an abbey of Dominicans here in honor of Saint Louis that was his grandfather.

In 1245, is born here Philippe III le Hardi, son of king Louis IX , and  Marguerite de Provence , and he ruled from 1270 to 1285.  During the War of Hundred Years in 1346 the king of England , Edward III pillage and burn the city  after landing in Normandy and coming along the Valley of the Seine, and defeat king Philippe VI de Valois at Crécy before his capture at Calais. In 1369, king Charles V ordered destroyed what was left of the castle of Poissy, that was burned in 1346 by the Black Prince son of the king of England. In 1429, the troops of Joanne of Arc takes the tower or tour de Béthemont aux Godons. Poissy is again occupied in 1441 by John Talbot and the English and again pillage the town and the abbey.

It is at Poissy in 1561 that the colloquial of Poissy takes place. This was organized by Catherine de Médicis, to meet Catholics and Protestants held on the refectory room after been restored from the pillages of John Talbot. The failure of the effort of reconciliation gave light to the Wars of Religion. Here in 1567, took place the Battle of Poissy between Calvinists(led by the Prince Condé) and Catholics.

In December 12/13 1840, the flotilla of transports carrying the rests of Emperor  Napoléon Ier made a stop at Poissy and a ceremony was held the Sunday December 13. An interesting anecdote, worth mentioning even if no longer there.  There was a live animal market here very important in the region, on the route Paris to Rouen to provide beef to Paris. It was the right to trade given by king Louis IX in 1245 and the names of some streets tells you of the activity that was here such as  rue de la Triperie (tripes) , rue des Moutons (lambs), rue du Bœuf couronné (beef), ruelle aux Vaches (cows). This concentration of animals also needed great expanse of land that was to be built on it . In 1867, the live animal market of Poissy, was cancelled and transferred to the new market at Villette  in Paris on that year.

During the Franco Prussian war of 1870, the town was occupied for several months in 1870/71. The bridge was mined to slow down the Prussian advance arriving from Saint Germain en Laye; the town was submitted to requisitions and needed to maintained a regiment of cavalry and their horses. During WWI, Poissy was in the field of tranches from Paris and many fortified works were done in town, the town hosted two military hospitals for the battlefront wounded.

f From 1928 to 1931 the architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret dit Le Corbusier  built the villa  Les Heures claires better known as the Villa Savoye. IT was damaged during WWII and taken by the city in 1958 that wanted demolished. A campaign was done with the intervention  of  d’André Malraux ,then Minister of Culture to save the villa,and of course it was succesful. In 2016, a convention between the town of Poissy and the Fondation Le Corbusier was signed to open the museum Le Corbusier.

During WWII the town was again occupied by the Nazis from 1940 to 1944. The town of Poissy is liberated by the American army in August 26 1944.

Some things to see

The main sight to see is the Collégiale Church of Notre Dame, a Roman style of the 12C with two octagonal bells and restored in the 19C. The old bridge of Poissy dates from the 12C destroyed in 1944; it was 410 meters long with 24 arcs now only 3 remains connecting the left bank of the Seine to the isle Migneaux in the middle of the river . It has been replaced by a new bridge of about 300 meters long. The Porterie of the Priory is what is left of the old abbey of Dominicans where the Colloquial of Poissy was held. The Priory founded by king Philippe le  Bel in the 13C was destroyed i the 18C including the Saint Louis Church. The Porterie houses today a very nice old toys museum.

Poissy

The city hall or Hôtel de ville at rue de la Gare was an old convent of the Capuchins dating from 1620 transformed into city hall/school in 1837. A new city hall was done opening in  1937 with the innovation of integrating a theater.  Renovated in 1991, the theater room has an exceptional accoustic hosting concerts and recordings. The Pavillon de l’Octroi, on an octagonal shape built in 1830 replaces the old gate to Paris (today the tourist office of Poissy).  It has sculptured symbolising the activities of the town at the time such as fishing, agriculture, and live animal market.

The Villa Les Heures Claires  aka Villa Savoye built from 1928-1931 as mentioned above. It is constructed in armored cement with geometrical lines on pylons.  It was occupied by the Nazis and later the Americans during WWII and later abandon for a long period and even in 1958 taken 6 hectares to built a high school lycée Le Corbusier. The STate took over in 1964 and important restorations were done in the 1980-1990 period.

The wonderful delicous Distillerie du noyau de Poissy a herbs liquor with a secret recipe with a store at the rue du Général-de-Gaulle. The Maison Centrale de Poissy or prison been before the convent of the Ursulines from the end of the 17C, renovated since to house the prison. The Château de Villiers, built on orders of the baron Léonce Hély d’Oissel (1803 – 1883). A Louis XIII style building done in stone and brick. In 1976 the town purchase it to open a playcenter; which the presence of the castle makes it very romantic. The Château de La Coudraie, built in 1870  is located in the rue de Migneaux.

The Château de Bethemont,modified in 1858, today host a park and golf course. The manoir normand de Donat Agache built in 1928. The Chapel or Chapelle Saint-Lazare de la Maladrerie,dating from 1120-1140, discovered by an archeologist Edgar Mareuse (1848 – 1926). The tower or tour de Bethemont built in the 14C to 15C damage in 1429 while been reconquered by the troops of Joanne d’Arc and taken by the English that made it uninhabited and of no use.

The 12 hectares park or  parc Meissonier  from city center along the avenue du Bon Roi Saint-Louis (road D153). It has an English style park with a lake of 8 000 m2,a rosary , a theater and a green house.  Owned by the city since 1952 arranged from part of the old enclos of the abbey. The parc de Villard, next to parc Meissonier, own by the city since 1976 ,has a castle, playground and mini farm.

As an anecdote of our memories we came to shop at the Art de Vivre shopping center in Orgeval very close to Poissy and along the A13; it was always a nice family outing; now I read that by 2020 they will demolish the shopping center .There are only a six stores left from the 25 of before and this year the nice bookstore we purchased Gibert Joseph is closing. The site still posted here for the memories. http://www.centrecommercial-orgeval.fr/artdeVivreOrgeval/fr/orgeval

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here which I think is worth a detour are

City of Poissy tourist interest page in French : https://www.ville-poissy.fr/index.php/sport-et-culture/culture.html

Tourist office of Poissy in English: https://www.poissy-tourisme.fr/en/

Dept 78 Yvelines tourist office in French on Poissy: http://www.sortir-yvelines.fr/Art-et-culture/Art-et-culture-dans-les-Yvelines/visite-decouverte-yvelines/visiter-poissy-ville-royale

Ïle de France region tourism on Poissy : http://en.visitparisregion.com/museums-monuments-paris/museums-and-cultural-places/villa-savoye-72095.html

Hope you enjoy it, I did while living nearby; I think is worth a detour.

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

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June 3, 2018

A bit of impressionism at Bougival

Again on the trails and enjoying all my travels with the family. I will tell you about a place that even if we passed by and had my boys birthdays (Chez Clement) done there along the Seine river, we really never took the walk to see it. However, it is part of our trailblazing in my belle France and here it is.

Bougival Bougival

Bougival

I am talking about Bougival  in department 78 Yvelines in the ïle de France region. My old home, and we have less rain in Brittany! Bougival is located east of Saint Germain en Laye and north of Versailles,not bad at all ::) It is on the left bank of the Seine river and only 20 km from Paris. It is a hilly town, with only about 24 meters elevation by the levies of the river to as high as 110 meters by the train station. It ,also, has part of the forest domaniale of Louveciennes as part of the city limits.

To get around is easy along the Seine river, on the wonderful D113 (my old N13) and also by the D321  passing the bridge of  Bougival that connects to Croissy-sur Seine (almost lived here but choose Versailles lol!) . Bougival can also be reach by the autoroutes or expressways A86 (exit Rueil Malmaison) then the D113 along the Seine river direction Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The A13 autoroute de Normandie  (exit Saint-Germain-en-Laye), then the  N186  until Port-Marly ,and the D113 to  Bougival. There is the nice D321 going from Versailles to Croissy sur Seine and passing by Bougival. All these roads greatly traveled by yours truly. The train station ,never taken here,  is on the line from Paris Saint Lazare to Saint Nom la Bretéche  and located in the town of La Celle-Saint-Cloud.

A bit of history I like

The territory now where Bougival is today was divided in two sections one was Bougival , and the other La Chaussée-Charlevanne, aka La Chaussée, or even Charlevanne.  Documents have been found mentioning Charlevanne before the 9C while Bougival was from the 13C.

In the 12C, war against the king of England by king Louis VI the Fat was decided to built Charlevanne,as a fortress to block the incursions ; on the insistant of the priory of Saint Germain en Laye , Louis VI abandoned these plans and gives the land to the monks of the Church. In 1273, Philippe le Hardi, abandon the rigths of Justice and gives the abbey of Saint Denis, the rights to the homes of Charlevanne. It creates differences between the two abbeys of Saint Germain des Prés and Saint Denis that own most all of Charlevannes, Rueil, La Celle, and Croissy; these differences were settled by an arbitration ruling of 1336.

In the 16C , Gabrielle d’Estrée lived in the mansion of the La Chaussée , she was the mistress and favorite of king Henri IV from 1591 to his death. It was here ,also, that lived mademoiselle de Blois from 1711 to 1716, she was the legitimate daughter of king Louis XIV  and Louise de La Valliére. She had built the pavillon de Blois. In 1683, king Louis XIV buys the lands of Bougival to the family of the Count of Assy; the family Mesmes already holding the lordship of Bougival received from the king early in the 18C almost the entire lordship as well as La Chaussée and a great part of the surroundings. The family of Mesmes owned almost the entire town of Bougival.

The machine de Marly that brought water from the Seine river to the domaine and Chateau de Versailles was built here. The Church of Bougival dating from the 12C has he tomb of Rennequin Sualem, the inventor of the Machine de Marly.

Some of the things to see in Bougival

The before mentioned Machine de Marly (even thus it competes with been in Louveciennes)  considered the 8th wonder of the world worked for 120 years from 1684 to 1817, and later replaced by the vapor machine and later the hydraulic machine. The Notre Dame Church, from the 12C with a bell tower in an arrow of octagonal stones partly built in the 19C. The Château de la Jonchère that welcome many famous guests such as Gabriel Julien Ouvrard, Count of Tolstoî, Adolphe Thiers, the Prince of Metternich, etc etc

The buildings of the water controller from the times of Louis XIV at quai Rennequin Saulem by the  Seine river. The building of Charles X neo classic style started under emperor Napoléon III that house the Vapor Machine of Martin et Cécile, 1817. The laundry in the Saint Michael neighborhood near the town of Louveciennes.  The Datcha built by Ivan Tourgueniev ,and where he died in 1883 today is a museum at  16 rue Yvan Tourgueneff. The levies of Bougival with the longest at 220 meters along the Seine river.

The house of Georges Bizet a famous composer that rented this house on the banks of the Seine river and created Carmen and where he died in 1875 after taking a swim in the river. It is in this island or ïle de Bougival that several portraits were made by the Impressionists; some of the most famous ones were le Pont de Bougival by Claude Monet, le Quai by Berthe Morisot, Sur la Terrace or les deux soeurs et Dance à Bougival by Pierre Auguste Renoir, and again La Seine à Bougival le soir painted by Claude Monet in 1869. These painters frequented Bougival from 1850 to 1900 for entertaintment and past times staying  and dancing at the  Auberge du Bal des Canotiers every Sundays in Summer. Or the island or Ïle de la Loge, several shown by Alfred Sisley .

The colonne des fréres Montgolfier dating from the  1817-1818 was a stone done on 22,5 hectares by the Count of Boissy d’Anglas, member of the Senate and pair of France to remember his friends of  Annonaye, the brothers Montgolfier ,inventors of flying ballons.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here,and it should be an easy day trip from Paris, this is impressionists along the Seine at its best. We love to come here to celebrate our sons birthdays!

City of Bougival on tourism in French : http://www.ville-bougival.fr/culture-sport/loffice-de-tourisme

Tourist office of Bougival in English : http://www.tourisme-bougival.com/en/

Yvelines tourism on museum http://www.sortir-yvelines.fr/Art-et-culture/Art-et-culture-dans-les-Yvelines/musee-yvelines/musee-ivan-tourgueniev-bougival

Enjoy the arts along the Seine at the door to Paris. And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers!!!

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June 1, 2018

The quaint town of Ettelbruck and Gen Patton!

We have come to Luxembourg several times over the years and is our favorite little country. It is so nice quaint, clean, efficient, and just gave a good feeling from the first visit in 1991 and it has remained strong ever since. I have many nice memories of my dear late wife Martine here. We used to come just for pizza at Luxembourg city because of the pepperoni style of Pizza Hut in Place d’Armes.

As time went on, we felled comfortable to venture out into other towns in Luxembourg. Finally ,reaching Ettelbruck because of the Patton name to it in 1992. It is not really a tourist city unless you count the museum as a must; it is nice if you like history like me to come once. The town is very nice in city center. Memories of a lifetime.

My previous blog posts on Ettelbruck:

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2015/09/03/how-about-ettelbruck-and-gen-patton/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/02/04/luxembourg-a-dukedom-of-fairy-tails/

Ettelbruck  is a town in the  canton/region  of Diekirch of which is only 6 km, and 36 km from Luxembourg city, and 365 km from Paris.  There is a train station on the line 1 connecting Luxembourg to  Troisvierges-frontière, and  and No 10 to Diekirch, as well as a road network that is the one I used on the superb A7 (Autoroute du Nord, connecting Luxembourg to Diekirch).  The scenic route we have taken too but longer time is the  N7.

A bit of history I like

Carved out in 1850 districts  of  Birtrange, Erpeldange, Ingeldorf, Niederschieren, and Oberschieren to create the towns of Erpeldange and Schieren. During WWII in 1940 the invasion of Luxembourg by the Nazis the city was taken by the 1rs panzer division that was going to cross the Meuse river in direction to Sedan.

US forces first liberated the town on 11 September 1944 but Germany retook the town on 16 December 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge. US General George S. Patton on Christmas Day, 25 December 1944, led US troops in the final liberation of Ettelbruck from Nazi occupation. One of Ettelbruck’s main squares is named Patton Square, and is located at the exact spot where the German offensive into Luxembourg’s Alzette Valley was stopped, ending its attempt to reoccupy the country as a whole. Since 1954, the town has held a Remembrance Day celebration each July honoring General Patton and the US, British, French, Belgian and Luxembourgish troops who fought with him there.

Things to see

The General George S. Patton Memorial Museum in Ettelbruck honors the general who liberated the town. The museum exhibits photographs, uniforms (both military and prison camp), weapons and documents from the period of Nazi  occupation of Luxembourg (May 1940 to September 1944). The museum was opened on 7 July 1995 and represents a main tourist attraction in the town. More info here: http://www.patton.lu/

Ettelbruck Ettelbruck

The Ettelbruck parish church—D’ Kierch Ettelbréck—is a decagonal structure. Restored in 1849, the church contains tombstones dating as far back to the 15C.

Ettelbruck

Some webpages to help you come to enjoy Ettelbruck to follow

the city of Ettelbruck on tourism in French : http://ettelbruck.lu/visiteurs/culture/general-patton-memorial-museum/

Luxembourg tourism on Ettelbruck: https://www.visitluxembourg.com/en/ardennes/ettelbruck

There you go another spot on the world map , and a nice quaint experience to remember for years to come. Enjoy the post folks.

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

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May 25, 2018

Some news from France CXCI

Here I am on a weekend,and still sunny but rain is on the call, it had to be a weekend! We had summer like weather all week long and it feld nice. I am back to tell you the latest on my belle France.

Nice Vaux-le-Vicomte photo from the Le Parisien newspaper.

Vaux le Vicomte

From the newspaper Le Parisien Vaux-le-Vicomte

What better way than to prepare for summer with some statistics. Europ Assistance ask the survey firm of Institut Ipsos to ask the French what are they going to be their summer vacation,and this is what they found. 69% of the French will plan on going away on vacation this year 4 points higher than last year and the highest number since 2012! This puts France on first place in Europe, in front of folks from Austria, Switzerland, UK. It will have budget of 1993€ per family a very economical amount putting the French behind the Swiss, Austrians, Germans, and Belgians that takes on average 2K€.  The French, also,tell us will stay within France (of course ) with 57% of them a bit lower than last year 63%, most will stay by the coast/beach 61% and will be going in the family car (of course who says we take the train). The places outside France we will be going are Spain,16% (of course saw you on the road!) ; Italy 8%; and Portugal 7%.

Continuing with the beach concept, we have invented the Pavillon Bleu for tell us the most safe and full amenities beaches. Since its creation in 1985, 56 countries have follow us. France has 506 sites but the most is Greece with 534,and Spain on top at 691 sites. They are many but will list those for my beloved Brittany beaches (town and beach name) and ports here.  The beaches in Brittany are Morbihan (dept 56)  Carnac ,  Saint Colomban, Grande Plage;  Guidel ,La Falaise, Le Loc’h, Pen er Malo ; Plouhinec, Kervegant, Le Magouero. At Finistere(dept 29)  Clohars, Carnoët,  Bellangenet, Grands Sables, Kerrou, Fouesnant-les Glénan  , Kerler, Maner Coat Clevarec, Kerambigorn, Cap Coz (middle), Glenan ,Saint Nicolas , Le Conquet,  Pors Liogan,  Moelan sur Mer,          Kerfany, Trenez,  Névez,  Dourveil, Raguenes (middle), Rospico, Saint Nicolas, Plougasnou Tregastel (middle) Plouhinec; Gwendrez, Mesperleuc  ;Pouldreuzic ,Penhors , Roscoff ,   Saint Luc (Roch-kroum), Saint Pol de Léon , Plage Sainte Anne large ; at Côtes-d’Armor(dept 22)  Trevou-Tréguignec ,Plage de Trestel ; at Ille-et-Vilaine (dept 35)    Iffendic , Lac de Trémelin, Saint Briac sur Mer; La Salinette, Port Hue Saint Lunaire      Longchamp Est, La Grande Plage, La Fosse aux Vaults,  and La Fourberie.  The pleasure boat marinas in Brittany are Côtes-d’Armor (dept 22)  Port de Plaisance de Binic,  Port de Plaisance de Paimpol, Port de St Quay Portrieux , at Finistére ‘dept 29) Port de Plaisance de Camaret ,Port de Plaisance de Douarnenez, Port de Plaisance de Morgat , Port du Moulin Blanc. At  Morbihan (dept 56)  Port de Gâvres, Port de Guidel , Port de Lorient centre, Port de plaisance du Kernével , and Port-Louis. More on the site here: Pavillon Bleu org

Something new at Paris. Just yesterday the team was finishing putting the final touches of Felicita, this is huge,  4 500 m2 open to the public with a huge terrace and 1000 seats for breakfast, brunch, apéros, dinners, and dance until late at night. The Caffeteria section will be open 24/24 all at the heart of Station F, this is it here in English: Felicita at Station F

And again an update on the Hôtel de la Marine that will be open in first trimester of 2020. ON the place de la Concorde ,built in 1758 by  Ange-Jacques Gabriel, on the site of the old depot furniture of king Louis XV, host the high military command of France from 1789 to 2015 . there is the courtyard of the intendant covered with a glass canopy where visitors will be welcome, and on the floor of the cour d’honneur will have about 7000 light points to form a carpet of lights. This is one of many updates I have given on my news posts, and stay tune for more. Keep track if you will here in English: Hotel de la Marine Paris

Ok another survey , this one by Le Parisien newspaper, to see where is the best place to live with Children in the region of Ïle de France! Well ,you have one picture showing the no 1 cities per departément and one picture showing the highest top 20 rated cities. NO surprise for me because my kids went to high school there was Versailles!!! Photos

 

A wonderful town used to go often for work and now a few years out but still nice. The old Cannes , the view on the jardins du port Canto, tour du Suquet ,and on the route de l’Esterel is always very nice (and now the Cannes Film Festival). On the extreme section of the pointe Croisette, you will see a small cross (the name comes from this Croisette)  the former Casino Palm Beach with memories of great film such as Jean Gabin, and Alain Delon, filming here Mélodie en sous-sol in 1962 by director Henri Verneuil. The new private beach of la Croisette had already spoken located between the hotels  Majestic and Carlton (my job in charge of accounting here!). At the old place of the Plage royale becomes the La Môme Plage. to put your feet in the water facing the sea and get some delicious fish from menus of 45-75€ from sushis, ceviche, langouste, lobster etc and a nice pastéque salad ;more here:  La Mome Cannes

You have TGV Paris-Cannes direct  trains here and flighs by Air France , Easy Jet,and HOP to Nice airport at about 27 km. There is a direct bus or taxi. The tourist office of Cannes here: Cannes tourist office

a great show in Paris call the times of Flôlons a ballet of semi human and semi insects creatures on the spaces of the Opera Theater . More here: Garnier les Flôlons

a bit away from Paris…

To celebrate the 20 years of been name to Unesco World Heritage site, the city of Carcassonne, has invited Swiss artist Felice Varini to redesign the ramparts! The concentric circles in aluminum yellow lighting for five months the city ramparts like a fluorecent lifejacket.   This is free until September 2018 more at the city page in French here Carcassonne Felici Varini

Something trivial for the lovers of the automobile.  The magazine Le Bonbon of Paris for cultural and events info in French just did a study on the time it takes to travel Paris bike vs car, the results are amazing.  I just took two examples one coming out of the Machine du Moulin Rouge to reach the Place de la  République, and the other from La Villette to the Jardin du Luxembourg. The  VT bike or the car the times were very similar even if the car needed to respect the code of the highway and cannot go on one way streets. For instance from la Vilette to the jardin du Luxembourg by bike 36 minutes, the  car 40 min, moulin rouge to place de la republique bike 16minutes by  car 17 minutes , these between the times of 15h and 16h ,there you go. Not bad at all,and I know for a fact because I drive in Paris usually reaching one central location and then walk. And if you are a night owl then the car is tops; enjoy Paris.

In Paris on the parvis de la cour de Rome from June 8 to October 12 2018, you will have Bella Ciao a street food market à l’Italienne ; a real Italian village next to the metro stop that will vibrate with the food of Italy starting at 18H30, Then every Wednesday to taste the specialties of fish, Thursdays to move to the sound of a DJ disco Italian and Saturdays  to go to concerts and spectacles; most activities after the 8 june will be from  8h to 21h30. More info in French here: Bella Ciao le bonbon Paris

The museum or Musée Jacquemart-André is presenting a retrospective dedicated to Mary Cassatt (1844 – 1926). She is considered during her life the greatest American artist and the only American painter to have exposed her work with the Impressionists in Paris. You will discover the artist by going thru over fifty major works, supporting documentation ,  oils, pastels and designs, engravings all showing the modernity and its history of this American in Paris starting July 23  2018. The museum is at  158 boulevard Haussmann , closest metro  Saint-Philippe du Roule on line 9. More here:  Mary Cassatt an American Impressionist in Paris

In 1908, Auguste Rodin, living in the Villa des Brillants iǹ Meudon for about 12 yrs had built a shop in the common area of the Château des Conti iǹ Issy-les-Moulineaux  to house of one of his molders and closest collaborator  Paul Cruet. He was working for Rodin and later by the Museum Musée Rodin from 1905 to 1940 as chief molder. Now you can see the exposition Auguste Rodin et son mouleur Paul Cruet in the museum or Musée de la Carte à Jouer. At the end of his life he had a collection that he bequested to the city of Issy-les-Moulineaux in 1966 and 1974. Now all is at the museum or Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer, card playing museum including photos , aquarelles, and seven sculptures including a bust of Camille Claudel and a head of one of the Bourgeois de Calais, Pierre de Wissant. All will be shown together with a selection of works of which he worked on ́. This is now until August  12 2018 . The museum is at  16 rue Auguste-Gervais 92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux with closest Métro Mairie d’Issy line 12.  The museum has 9000 work including 6500 card games, 980 engravings, designs, and over a thousand other objects ,in the only museum of its type in France. More info here: Museum of playing cards

Les Amants de Nohant , the domain that hosted such names as Balzac, Flaubert, Delacroix, and Liszt while visiting the area , as well as the place of love for  George Sand and Frédéric Chopin.  Passionate relations, conflicting sometimes, told by the daughter of George Sand and put into music by a great singer. It was at Nohant that George Sand had spent a great part of her life and where she welcome many of her friends and lovers; including Frédéric Chopin that were visiting in June 1838. Les Amants de Nohant  or the lovers of Nohant relives this tumultuous life by the story telling by the daughter of  George Sand.  The play all shown at the nice Théâtre Ranelagh, 5 rue des Vignes, 16éme closest metro La Muette line 9. More in French here: Les Amants de Nohant

Even in life  Louis Pasteur became a myth, not only because he won over the rage, a deadly disease ,to whom we owe the pasteurization that bears his name  but also to the advances in the domain of chemistry and microbiology.  The exposition Pasteur, l’expérimentateur,  at the Palais de la découverte, comes to the men and his scientific work,and try to explain the context of his work, his discoveries, and their applications beyond his legend. The Palais de la découverte  that from its opening in 1937 has a room dedicated to work of Pasteur, done under the direction of his grandson Louis Pasteur Vallery-Radot.  In the 80th anniversary of the museum palace Louis Pasteur is again of the honor in a wonderful chronological walk as well as thematic.  Palais de la découverte – musée  at avenue Franklin Delano Roosevelt,8éme until Sunday August 9 2018. More info in English here:  Palais de la Decouverte Pasteur

And last but not least from my beloved Versailles.

From 27 March to 30 October 2018, enjoy the Musical Fountains Shows and the Musical Gardens in the gardens and the groves open for the occasion. During summer, every Saturday night discover the Gardens of Versailles differently with the Fountains Night shows. On Saturdays and Sundays until October 28,  2018, on Tuesdays from 22 May to 26 June 2018 as well as on some additional dates ( Wednesday 15 August).  The entrance to the Gardens is included with the Passport (1 or 2 days) and free for children under 6. timetable of the musical fountains shows more here http://en.chateauversailles.fr/news/shows/fountains-shows-and-musical-gardens#the-musical-fountains-show

And more on the city of Versailles tourist office in English: http://en.versailles-tourisme.com/visit-and-explore-versailles-the-royal-town/going-out-in-versailles-the-festival-town/shows-at-the-palace-of-versailles

There you have it, my belle France is loaded for summer. Have a great weekend. And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

May 24, 2018

This is Cergy in Val d’Oise by the Oise river!!!!!

Ok so this is May, no rain and pure sun all around me, too bad still need to work, as the beaches are glorious nowdays. It is 25C or 77F folks, come over to my belle France.

So in my travels as I was saying, I have been to many places, and most never written on it. They are not on the tourist trail and nowhere in any travel book, but they are worth it for the real local experience and some facts about France to enrich your understanding of why France is the most visited country in the world, 85M latest figures. And no, it is not always Paris….

I like to talk a bit today about Cergy.   This is Cergy in the department 95 of Val-d’Oise in the région of Île-de-France.

Cergy is located on the right bank of the Oise river on the limits south of the park of the Vexin français at about 28 km from Paris. It is the principal city in the metro area of  Cergy-Pontoise. It is cross by the autoroute A15 towards Paris or Rouen, and cut on the La Francilienne N104 towards CDG airport, Versailles on the N186 etc.  The A15  ends at sortie or exit 9 in the district of Grand Centre between the wonderful and favorite shopping center of the  Trois-Fontaines the plains of  Saint-Martinin in Pontoise. However, the road continues without interruptions as the N14 and later the D14  by sortie or exit 13, and continues on as the scenic route to Rouen in Normandy; very nice indeed. The wonderful boulevard du Port takes you to Pontoise and Cergy-Village  as well as the very nice Port-Cergy; the D915 takes you as far as Dieppe in Normandy.  For public transports, Cergy is in zone 5 at the end of the line RER A ending at Cergy-le-Haut  and passing by Cergy-Préfecture  and Cergy-Saint-Christophe (my first job site was here in France !). The train stations of Cergy-Préfecture and Cergy-le-Haut have exchange poles to take you to several towns and bus depot such as well the intercity long distance buses even to CDG  Paris airport. The local public transport site is call STIVO,the network of the metropolitan area of Cergy-Pontoise.

My dear late wife, Martine ,  used to work for many years at CDG Roissy in cargo area for DHL Global Forwarding and she came by bus changing here at Cergy. The bus was the 95-18, now reading about it, no longer does the run!! Better than the trains! Just in case you need deliveries ! https://www.logistics.dhl/fr-fr/home/nos-divisions/expediteur-mondial.html

The shopping center or centre commercial les 4 Fontaines were a favorite for the grocery shopping at Auchan, the car rental Hertz, FNAC, Armand Thiery fashions,and the micromania games store. More here: https://www.3fontaines.com/

Being part of a new city or nouvelle villes of France , the history is surprisingly very short.  A bit of history I like; tells you a bit that the current town of Cergy is the union of several villages. Cergy  was first called Cergiacum in 1069 and Sergy in 1731,then other villages were Gency called Gentiacum in 1072, Menandon called Monlandon in 1135, Les Veaurois called Vaulx-Rouez in 1528, Le Brûloir, Ham  was annexed to Eragny sur Oise in 1687, then back to Cergy after the French revolution, and finally, Les Clobilles.

Things to see at Cergy

Saint Christophe Church at rue de Neuville, as Cergy was elevated to a parish in 1120, the monks of the priery of the abbey of Saint Denis built the first Church in the Roman style that today left only the belltower until the second level (3rd US) , the transept, and some chapters. From early 18C, the gothic choir was done to replace the roman one. This choir with the collateral chapels represent the principal elements of the Church today. The lateral Chapels of the organ and the sacristy were added in the 14C. The fortified gate and old tower of the priory next to the Church ,the current building was a modest construction in 1120 by Louis the Fat something like a lodging farm . Today, only is left the fortified tower and a pigeon tower; the south gate entrance to the Church once closed has recently been open and renovated . The pierre-Fouret also known as the menhir de Gency is a megalith stone in the village of Gency, rue de Vauréal,in the garden of the a retirement home today.

The major things to see here are the Axe majeur, in the district of the  Axe Majeur/Horloge done in a sculptural and garden style monuments from 1980. By 1985 ,Ricardo Bofill did a semicircular space around the original point of the Axe. It has great views of Paris; very relaxing place we came here often.

Cergy

Axe Majeur towards Paris

The other is the Port Cergy on the Oise river marina with yachts and nice contemporary housing and gardens given to the canals. A great entertainment place came here often for lunch or happy hour/after work/apéro ride bys as on the Old English Pub!  A bit more here on the dept tourist page:The Old English Pub

It has a nice pleasure boat marina. More on the port in French here: Port de Cergy

Another nice one is the Château de Gency  located on the road D922 near the village of Gency dominating the Oise river descending from one side of the road to the road chemin de halage with apple trees and cow pastures. The park has 5 hectares of space on a miniature Buttes-Chaumont of Paris look done during the Second Empire period. The place full of history was built in 1860, today the castle of  Gency  is a place for receptions. More here in French: Chateau de Gency

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and why not it is just a train ride from Paris.

City of Cergy on tourism in French: http://www.cergy.fr/notre-ville/lieux-cles/culture-patrimoine/lieux-remarquables/

Tourism Cergy in English: http://www.ot-cergypontoise.fr/Decouvrir/Sites-majeurs/Axe-majeur

Val d’Oise dept 95 tourist page in English: http://www.valdoise-tourisme.com/diffusio/en/to-see-and-to-do/culture/cergy/axe-majeur_TFO106499520181.php?tfo[gC]=|MoCulturePatrimoine|CulturePatrimoine|ComPlusAlpha||-TT|&tfo[page]=15#.WwUo-O6FPIU

Ile de France tourist page: http://en.visitparisregion.com/

The axe majeur of Cergy : https://www.axe-majeur.fr/menu-axe-majeur.html

There you have it something new in my blog that should have been on it long ago. Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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