Archive for ‘Paris’

May 31, 2022

Looking forward to Disneyland Paris !!!

Well, preparing on what to do for a long vacation as we are usually road warriors and the only time we spent more than a week is when we go to Spain. And indeed my boys convince me again to be back to Disneyland Paris! Again with lots of memories of my dear mom Gladys and my dear wife Martine , two dear women missing but always with us in spirit. We will be back with our dog Rex and my Dad in wheelchair. I have some pictures from our last trip (see posts) and as we are ready to be back in September 2022, better put them up now for the memories of always in my blog. The Disney properies in Orlando and Marne la Vallée are special for my boys and nowdays hard to convince them to go elsewhere as was one of the favorites of their mother. Therefore,  Disneyland Paris is here to stay with us; hope you enjoy this post as I.


As have so much written on the property and rides will be short this time just to show the new older pictures not yet in my blog. Bear with me please

The last trip in 2021 and this one will be again with me sacrificing some rides as will be standing guard with my Dad on wheelchairs and taking turns with my boys to ride on some. My other boy Rex stayed very nicely well behave in the hotel as not allowed in the parks ,and will be rewarded with another trip to  Disneyland hotels.

Last year,  we stayed at the Village Nature Paris by Center Parcs and part of Pierre & Vacances group. The service for the beers was slow as you need to pay for them and then they bring it to you,too long! Othewise, nice experience for the family including our dog Rex! The hotel is about 10 min car ride from the park and we got the forfait hotel + park so parking was included. It is a forest like setting out in the country and good for taking Rex out for walks. The next hotel is a secret but will be an official Disney hotel and allowed dogs !! For reference the Village Nature webpage:

The boys went to many rides too numerous to count them !!! or remember them lol! However, they have a list of rides, restaurants, and shops to see on a prioritize list which you all should do coming over. One they will repeat , I know is the Buzz Lightyear  laser, Stars tours, Autopia, and Pirates of the Caribbean ! The rides are listed by areas such as Frontierland, Fantasyland, Discoveryland, and Adventureland. On each there are rides and as time goes by we will numbered them from best to see to not so much care if do not see or 1 thru …… as many as possible. 



We will hit Walt Disney Studios briefly with Ratatouille, and Car Quatre Roues Rallye. The restaurands we will be back to Disney Village, Rainforest Café, and the favorite Last Chance Café, Victoria’s Home Style resto, and Casey’s CornerWe will passed again by many rides but did not go in either because we had a priority list to see or because we are not fond of them. This is it!




And of course, lots of shopping, the boys are savings to load up lol!! They like the stores Constellations, Harringtons, World of Disney, The Leyends of Hollywood, the Captain’s coffre, and Thunder Mesa! At least these.

The official Disneyland Paris:

As usual on the way back, we will try to hit the area of Meaux for a quick sentimental reminder and visit family around it. The road warrior is ready with our National Lampoon’s Vacation ! (Bonjour les vacances in French) !! Again, hope you enjoy the trip as we are looking forward to do so again.

There you go folks, another dandy in my Seine et Marne dept 77 , and Disneyland which call Paris for marketing purposes as not in Paris but Marne la Vallée. Still the No 1 visited park in France and Europe!!  Disneyland Parc is a must while in France ,again especially if with young children .  

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

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May 28, 2022

Some news from France, CCCLV

And its time as time flies to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12 years now!! And for those non Roman CCCLV is no 355::) And I thank you. The weather is now more steady as summer wants to take over already in my belle France !! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

On the occasion of the Champions League final, fan zones, devices and festivities came to settle in , already ready to welcome Liverpool and Real Madrid fans. So a little advice to Parisians: leave the city quickly because it promises to be hectic !!! This Saturday, more than 10,000 English and Spanish supporters are expected in Paris to attend this major event planned at the Stade de France which will oppose Liverpool and Real Madrid , If 44,000 tickets have been reserved for supporters of both clubs, there should be even more of them staying in Paris for a weekend so get ready! In Paris, it is on the Parvis de lHôtel de Ville that you will have to go. On the program: a mini-football field, photo booths, shooting and dribbling activities as well as a freestyle football demonstration area. As for Saint-Denis, it is on Place Victor Hugo and Place Jean Jaurès that you will have to go from 10h until kick-off at 21h, Apart from a giant 12 meters high trophy, a precision ball shooting range and a giant foot-dart target will be made available. A ball tennis court, a 1v1 arena and photo animations are also planned , A specific security device will be deployed around the Stade de France where security officers will carry out the usual pat-downs on an extended perimeter, going up to one km around the gates of the stadium. There will also be a circulation perimeter subject to authorization which will be set up around the Stade de France with effective checkpoints from 12h and until the end of the match, The sale of alcohol will be authorized, until three hours before the start of the meeting, i.e. 18H, Due to strikes at the RATP will interfere in this Champions League final. After the RER B, the RATP unions have called for a strike on the RER A for the day on Saturday which risks disrupting journeys to and from the Stade de France on the RER B. It will be shown on French national TV channel TF1 21h,,,,!

A TGV that will connect Paris and Berlin in seven hours. SNCF and Deutsche Bahn intend to launch a direct TGV between Paris and Berlin at the end of 2023 , There should initially be one round trip per day via Frankfurt, operated in partnership between SNCF and Deutsche Bahn with ICEs , Since their launch, the TGV Paris-Milan or even Paris-Barcelona have been a huge success, so why not Paris-Berlin? In addition, a night train connection between the two capitals to be operated by Austrian Railways ÖBB, in cooperation with SNCF and Deutsche Bahn, also from the end of 2023. Europe is coming closer,,,

Paris-Deauville, the Autoroute de Normandie or A13 toll gates soon to be removed, no more traffic jams? I hope !! Sanef announces the withdrawal of tolls. But beware, it will not be free. From 2024, the toll barriers should disappear on the A13. Instead, gates will be installed, This is what the motorway company of Sanef (Company of the motorways of the North and East of France) promises on the A13, from 2024, with its motorway in “free flow” . Facilitated by the law on mobility, this project provides for the removal of all physical tolls between Paris and Caen. I will need to check it out indeed !

Canal de l’Ourcq: the port of Pantin scheduled to open in spring 2023 ! The port of 45 rings will be built here, along the old General Stores which goes from the Bassin de la Villette (19éme) to Meaux (Seine-et-Marne dept 77), The wishes to have a new marina, in addition to the two it already has in Paris, that of the Arsenal in the 12éme and the nautical stopover of La Villette in the 19éme.

The residents of the Canal Saint-Martin denounce a development of the quays “tinkered”, For two years, the quays of Jemmapes and Valmy have been pedestrianised. But the project launched by the City Town Hall of Paris has not been completed, according to local residents. They denounce a “lack of facilities and signs” for passers-by, as well as an “anarchy” in the circulation of bicycles. All yes less cars more of everything else, and no coordination, that is Paris today folks, Good luck !

Free-wheeling bicycles and scooters, feeling of insecurity… Pedestrianization in Paris is not won. The mayor of the 9éme arrondissement is calling for at least a new decree so that the cohabitation between passers-by and bicycle vehicles goes better. The other morning, a person going to the Pont Alexandre-III bridge from the Petit Palais, when two scooters ran into him as walking !. If the person hadn’t stopped, don’t know what would have happened to him, The person still can’t believe the speed at which the two mini-racing cars were arriving straight at him. Yeah, more dare devils on the sidewalks, streets and still no coordination by the mayor of Paris !! Good luck,,,,

By the frequented ,rue La Fayette has had enough of construction sites this street straddling the 9éme and 10éme arrondissements. At the intersection with rue Châteaudun, motorists, delivery trucks and other buses share a single lane on the roadway due to road works, Well less roads more congestions and if you add work, good luck in Paris.

The renovation of the planks of the Passerelle des Arts (6éme) should begin at the end of the year 2022. It will take 8 months of work to finish it, So bear in mind crossing the Seine river !

After a vast restoration project, the Richelieu site, the historic address of the National Library of France (BNF), only has a few weeks left to complete the removal of 20 million documents, books, photos, maps and works of art. It is impossible to count the number of books as there are so many. But they know that have to move 42 linear km of collections !. With the extra services, they hope that everything will be finished on June 24th 2022,,,. The Oval Room, 18 meters high under the ceiling, built in 1897, has had its mosaics restored and its glass roof redone as well.

Every year since 1982, this popular meeting retraces 2000 years of the history of Meaux and the Meldois (the local people celtic tribe). A human adventure and a technical challenge. “Folles Époques” will be played nine times from Saturday June 4, 2022 , It tells the story ranging from the Middle Ages to the end of the Industrial Revolution and the armistice of November 11, 1918 of events in Meaux, City of Meaux webpage:

The Château de Fontainebleau is embarking on catering… for its visitors! A restaurant and a café have opened their doors there and not only to visitors since they can be accessed without going through the ticket office. The restaurant which opened in the heart of the Maison des Siècles allows you to taste original verrines in front of the pond on which the kings and queens had fun in the boat. The best tables, placed between the Etang aux Carpes and the Lenôtre parterres of the Château de Fontainebleau, offer an enchanting setting for a meal in the heart of the Maison des Siècles. Les Petites Bouches de l’Empereur, offered by the Monument Café chain, Castle webpage :

Puy du Fou, Parc Astérix, Futuroscope… the amusement parks are full and smile again after the Covid, Since their reopening, for the most part in mid-April, the attendance figures are often higher than those of 2019, pre-Covid year, from 15 to 30% higher ! La Mer de sable d’Ermenonville (Oise 60) got off to a good start with an increase of +28% between April 8 and May 8. Yes all is coming back, and it feels like well summer !

Come and discover Bercy Beaucoup !, the new cultural garden which invests a wasteland of 8,000 square meters south of the 12éme arrondissement “Bercy Beaucoup” was inaugurated this past Saturday May 21, 2022 for an opening weekend which directly announced the color with many animations. We can then enjoy a multitude of emerging and creative activities around the workshops, offices and gardens of this green space. a rich and varied program, including concerts, conferences and shows. Bercy Beaucoup ,facing 20 boulevard Poniatowski 12éme of Paris.

Founded a thousand years ago, the Notre-Dame-du-Fort Church in Etampes saw the Virgin at its window , The Virgin is said to have briefly appeared to the sick in the past. This year, they celebrate the millennium of the foundation of the collegiate by King Robert the Pious, not its construction this date of 1022 finds its origin in the introduction of a collection of charters written in Latin at the end of the 19C, it is writes that in 1022, King Robert Le Pieux founded two churches in Étampes; King Robert Le Pieux went to Italy to find the bones of three persecuted little children, Cant, Cantien and Cantienne who had their heads cut off. Legend has it that at the place of their persecution, a fountain of milk appeared. We find this story on the painting which is exposed above the relics, inside Notre-Dame-du-Fort, where their clothes are transformed into milk, Worth the detour me think, City of Etampes webpage :

An orca in difficulty in the Seine river between Rouen and Le Havre will be attracted to the sea using sound stimuli, announced this Friday the prefecture of Seine-Maritime which favors “a gentle method of intervention” , Preview for the first time on May 16 between Honfleur and Le Havre, near the Pont de Normandie, the killer whale very probably arrived already weakened towards the Seine estuary, as indicated by Gérard Mauger, vice-president of the GECC, an association based in Cherbourg commissioned by the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) for the study and preservation of marine mammals in the Channel. To be watch,,,,

The prize for the best pizza in Europe remains in Paris. Coming first in the ranking of the transalpine guide 50 Top Pizza, the Neapolitan Guiseppe Cutraro once again won the prize for the best pizza in Europe, outside Italy. It is in the 20éme arrondissement, rue Saint-Blaise that the pizzeria Peppe is constantly a hit. In the ranking Peppe Pizzeria is followed by Fratelli Figurato in Madrid and 50 Kalò di Ciro Salvo in London. 3 other addresses located in Île-de-France region, also appear in the ranking, the new 400° Laboratorio in the 11éme, Guillaume Grasso in the 15éme, and IMperfetto in Puteaux (Hauts-de-Seine dept 92). Webpage:

The former boss of the Louvre museum, Jean-Luc Martinez, was indicted this past Wednesday May 25 2022 for money laundering and complicity in organized fraud and placed under judicial supervision in an investigation into antiquities trafficking , Two of his collaborators, the head of the Egyptian antiquities department, and an Egyptologist were taken into police custody on Monday by police officers from the Central Office for the Fight against Trafficking in Cultural Property (OCBC). The two specialists were released without prosecution at this stage, according to a judicial source. The three men are suspected of having taken part in the trafficking of works, among which is a stele of Tutankhamun. The case dates back to 2016. That year, the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, a branch of the Parisian museum, acquired several Egyptian antiquities, for several tens of millions of euros, indicates Le Canard enchaîné newsjournal,

There you go folks, another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are marching on to Summer and eating out in our veranda porch every day now , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

May 27, 2022

Wines news of France XXII !!

And the days are getting cooler again , well is like a roller coaster ride ups and downs in my neck of the woods, Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wine news of France. First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers! Spring is in full swing, and looking forward to Summer ! We have done quite a bit of work around the house,and still some more until September , Oh yeah, the wines of France are just super simply awesome and a great tradition. Often imitated, some time equaled ,but never surpass! Let me give some news shall we; hope you enjoy it as I.

Created by a few owners wishing to discover new commercial horizons, the Union des grands crus de Bordeaux is today a war machine in the service of wines. It was decided to create the Union of Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB) by reviving an old association which brought together properties from Barsac, Sauternes, Graves and Médoc, forgetting in passing the right bank. This group of pioneers then brought together, among others, in addition to the Château Haut-Brion, Château d’Yquem and Château Figeac , as the pioneers, Then, other came such as Alexis Lichine & Cie, Groupe Bernard, which notably owns the Domaine de Chevalier in Léognan, and the Château Branaire-Ducru, Given the success of these tastings in Bordeaux, the union decided to export the concept first to Paris, then to London, and Brussels , At the same time, the union saw the number of its members reach 130 properties. The Union is a very beautiful signature and a way of recognizing wine in Bordeaux, The Bordelais is the first AOC vineyard in France with more than 100,000 hectares cultivated and 600 million bottles produced per year ! Voilà !! webpage :

A vintage full of challenges in Bordeaux, 2021 will have been the way for some châteaux to stand out, with cuvées better rated than in 2020. A heterogeneous vintage, and therefore exciting. This is what we could remember from 2021, a trying year for the Bordeaux vineyards, after an absolutely remarkable 2018-2019-2020 trio, If no appellation has been spared, we find within each excellent wines, with side of the reds a freshness with sweet reminiscences of the 1980s and 1990s, and whites which seduced us by their freshness and their purity, Indeed seek them out while the price is still right,,,, Some of my favorites over the years and direct with MR,,,are

Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion “The most intensely energetic wine of the vintage”, Pessac-Léognan
Château Latour “A cashmere texture” Pauillac
Château Ducru-Beaucaillou “Caressing like silk” Saint-Julien
Château Lafite Rothschild “A unique and indefinable character” Pauillac
Château Pichon-Longueville Baron “A beautiful fullness in the mouth” Pauillac
Château Léoville Las Cases “Limpidity and nubile suppleness” Saint-Julien
Château Margaux “A more fresh, succulent and racy style than usual” Margaux
Château Margaux – White Pavilion “A Delicious Creamy” Bordeaux
Château Mouton-Rothschild “Exceptional clarity and limpidity” Pauillac (MR)
Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande “A wine imbued with great serenity” Pauillac
Château Brane-Cantenac “The harmonious sweetness of the maternal voice” Margaux
Château Palmer “Floral, juicy, seductive” Margaux
Château Trotanoy “A beautiful controlled explosion of fruit” Pomerol
Château Cos D’Estournel “A treat on the palate” Saint-Estèphe
Château Léoville Poyferré “The silhouette of a distinguished man” Saint-Julien
Château Cantenac Brown “A sumptuous balance” Margaux
Château Grand Puy Lacoste “Muscular and Powerful” Pauillac
Château Clerc Milon “A poised and elegant palate” Pauillac (MR)

Based on figures from Customs, and the support of the statistics department of the CIVB (Interprofessional Council of Bordeaux wines), the Union of Bordeaux Grands Crus observes export sales data for wines from more than 22.50 euros per bottle (750 ml) – (ex-professional price, Bordeaux merchant). Last year, exports of grands crus from Bordeaux, in this price segment, amounted to 1.366 billion euros (in value), which is a record. The previous one dated from 2012, with 1.201 billion. This corresponds to 16.249 million bottles (in volume), also a record. Asia, with 43% of sales, is progressing, but has been less dynamic than the United States and Europe in recent years. Europe, with 37% of sales, is rebounding. America: 17% of sales, which are showing strong structural growth. Main destinations in 2021. Greater China (Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau) represents 30% of exports by value, United States They represent 15% ,United Kingdom 14.5% , Switzerland 9% , Germany 4% ,Japan 3% , Belgium 2.8% , Singapore 2.4% ,Taiwan 2% ,and South Korea 1.75%, All speed ahead !! En Vino Veritas !!

Let me tell you about a success story in spirits which we have enjoyed as apéritifs and mixing with the boys, This is the Maison Ferrand, producer of Cognac, precursor of gin in France, also distills rum in Jamaica and Barbados. And they aged a few barrels aboard a barge on the Seine Paris. Spirits are on the rise, and the trajectories of some companies in the sector seem as dazzling as a shot of gniaule for breakfast. Thus, those who loved Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson or the adventures of Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean can plunge their eyes closed into the story of Alexandre Gabriel, a contemporary hero. for having contributed to the constitution of the Oxford guide to spirits and cocktails. It is the precursor of the French-style Citadelle gin. At the same time, the category is waking up in the United Kingdom with Plymouth, which is repopularizing this aging spirit. During the confinement, his wife, Debbie, a rather urban American, left the Parisian apartment to join him in Cognaç country. Maison Ferrand also produces rum, in Jamaica and Barbados , They have settled in Jamaica, in the village of Wai-a-Bit, Barbados has also become a research site for Maison Ferrand , The boat on the Seine, well is a Freycinet barge moored at Issy-les-Moulineaux (92), in the arm of the Seine which runs along the Saint-Germain island. A 38.5 meter boat recovered in its juice in Brittany, restored and transformed into a floating aging cellar. He raises cognacs and rums there in the beneficial humidity and the rolling of the boat. Apart from that, Maison Ferrand remains a venerable cognac brand specializing in grand champagne. The house has created 10 Generations, a 100% grand champagne. It has acquired the Château de Bonbonnet, a beautiful 18C castle, in the town of Ars (16), webpage :

Now this is an art of cooking and we love it at this time where we can do barbecues in the patio, The pairing is always part of the art of eating and drinking here in my belle France ; so therefore, what wines for grilled sardines? First a bit about the sardines : if they approach the banks of the coasts of the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and English Channel in spring and summer to spawn and lay eggs, the sardine spends the winter in very cold waters, between 500 and 600 meters deep. And then protects itself with a thick layer of fat. But “good” fat, rich in omega 3 excellent for the human heart and its vessels. The sardine is mainly intended to be grilled whole on a barbecue. But the operation generates strong odors that are particularly unpleasant for the neighborhood,,,. Simply rub the fish with bay leaves first, then pour a few drops of vinegar flavored with thyme and rosemary onto the embers. It will be necessary to wash it down with sunny wines, white, rosé or red, but always assertive enough to stand up to this exuberant dish. The white, we have tried the sauvignon blanc or chardonnay base from the Loire or Bordeaux, A Condrieu, with its beautiful volume and its floral bouquet, will come to soften the salty aspect of the sardines For a rosé, we will stay in the same appellations, To find a red, it is possible to travel in time with Loire Cab Franc or the historical Berlingou ( a grape gift of the duke of Burgundy to his cousin the duke of Brittany in 1460!) Bon appétit!

And my fav event which will love to be there, still planning will have to be with the nice memorable wines of Bergerac & Duras as well as the products of Périgord , They invite us all on Thursday, June 9, 2022 aboard the Péniche Louisiane Belle 12éme Paris Metro line 1 and 4: Gare de Lyon / RER A and D: Gare de Lyon. Embark on the discovery of the Périgord Attitude! Come (re)discover the artisan winegrowers of the 10 AOPs of the Bergerac & Duras vineyard, during a great tasting. At their side, 7 sectors of Périgord come to present their local products for delicious gourmet pairings: Duck / Foie Gras from Périgord, Lamb from Périgord, Walnuts from Périgord, Chestnuts from Périgord ; all Perigord ! Wow ! webpage for info on boat :

There you go folks, another wine episode of my belle France! The wines of France that is, superbe, sublime, wonderful, gorgeous, enjoy without moderation but accompanying a meal, family table just perfect. See you in the vineyards of France.

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

May 24, 2022

One more time Ranelagh!!!

And back at you on my eternal Paris. So much to see and enjoy in the most beautiful city in the world!!! I have many posts on Paris and this is one of the nicest simply because it is in my favorite part of the city away from the crowds. We love it here with the boys just walking after visiting nearby monument that have written before and eating at my old favorite restaurant, Therefore, let me tell you again with new pictures to the blog about the Jardins de Ranelagh garden in the 16éme arrondissement of Paris.

paris jardin ranelagh petit train apr12

As told before, before taking the form of the leafy and provided public garden that we know today, the land belonged to the now former Château de la Muette estate. A bit of anecdote has it that Queen Marie-Antoinette, a dance lover, liked to go to the ballroom dances at Ranelagh, It became one of the most popular dancefloors of the late 18C! Even after the French revolution, the garden continues to be a place of celebration, it is in particular there that will be celebrated, on June 20, 1790, the first anniversary of the oath of the Jeu de Paume ( to never leave until a constitution was adopted). By 1860, the Ranelagh ballroom dances had disappeared,

It was in the second half of the 19C that the Jardins de Ranelagh (gardens) was redesigned, at the instigation of Baron Hausmann, and became one of the most renowned parks in the capital! With an area of ​​more than 60,000 m2, the garden will adopt the triangular shape that we know today. The desired style is that of an English garden, that is to say adopting aesthetic canons centered around the enhancement of the wild, of the forest.  Among one of the many other nuggets of the garden, we can mention, up to the Porte d’Auteuilla (petite ceinture (small belt). old railway route active from 1853 to 1990. The track was decommissioned in 1993, which left the field free for the reconquest of this space by fauna and flora: here, nature takes back its rights, and gives a view of a wooded area quite dense. This small belt is today a confidential walk, in the form of an “ecological path”, more than 1km long, sheltered from traffic and punctuated by six educational stages to learn more about the fauna and Parisian flora. This small ecological corridor is here a refuge, away from pollution, for birds, butterflies and climbing plants! And simply us !!!

The Ranelagh gardens has several statues that we have enjoy looking each time by the gardens these are ,the Cain stone group (1871) by Joseph-Michel Caillé , Monument to La Fontaine by Charles Corréia with, in bronze, the statue of the poet has at his feet, the fox and the crow (1984). Meditation, 1882 marble statue by Tony Noël, Fisherman Bringing in the Head of Orpheus in his Nets, 1883 Marble Statue by Louis Eugène Longepied, and The Poet’s Vision, tall high- marble relief by Georges Bareau commissioned in 1902, set up in 1985.

Paris jardin du Ranelagh La Fontaine statue apr09

You can get to it on Métro stops Ranelagh,or  La Muette of line 9. By bus , stop Ranelagh by 33 Avenue Mozart on lines 22 (gare st lazare), 32, and 52.(opéra garnier). Of course walking to it from the Trocadéro is sublime!

The city of Paris on the Ranelagh:

The Paris tourist office on the Ranelagh:

Paris is a lot more than monuments , all is a beautiful thing to see, walk ,smell and enjoy it. Hope you do in  your next trip to the city of lights. Paris is indeed a Moveable Feast  !

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

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May 16, 2022

A special post on Paris ,Versailles, and Fontainebleau !!!

A few years back, I was in a huge popular travel forum and decide to invite the folks over to see the big 3 of my belle France. As the site was on its way down and eventually closed out to another major travel forum, the participation was small. However, I have great memories of sharing travel tips with folks all over the world , and some have become close friends still after many years. I like to update this post with new personal pictures to give credit to them and me. Hope you enjoy the pictoral and theme as I.

Oh yes the big 3 well, they are Paris, Versailles, and Fontainebleau. Here I go folks, my treat.

I did wrote quite a bit of travel tips and advice on a couple of big travel forums besides my blog, and tried to do doing something special in June 2015. For those reading my blog and passing by Paris in June 24,25,26, 2015 next I am hosting a tour of several places in Paris (where I worked), Versailles (Where I lived), and Fontainebleau (my first place visited in France and my wife’s region). The visit was to be as everyone pays its own and visit as much as they wish to visit on each day ,two days or all three days. I will have a place to meet on each day and we will go from there as a group. The basic visits were explained as such:

June 24th 2015, Fontainebleau

We met at the castle main horseshoe entrance by 9AM as I will be driving  by car;  you can come a bit late if delays on public transport it will be fine. We will be able to see for the first time the apartment of the Pope.  The Musée Napoléon 1er , prince apartments, portraits of pageantry, sumptuous weapons, luxury works of art but also a reconstituted tent evoking the life of the Emperor in the countryside.  Also,  small apartments, the Chinese Museum, the jeu de paume, the Gallery of furniture… and is a very precious decorative arts museum. I did got a couple into the Salle de la Belle Cheminée which off to the public but I have done conferences there. This is Belle-Cheminée du Primatice  building by the cour de la Fontaine. And of course, the 3 gardens styles.

Fontainebleau cour de la fontaine behind PF nov08

June 25th 2015 ,Paris

We met by the statue of Gustave Eiffel on the Nord Pylon . Going to the underground of the Tour Eiffel, (price will be around 20 euros per person) and to get it I need 10 persons min.) We did not have enough people so each paid its own, and did visit the Chapelle Expiatoire where the remains of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were first place and now a restful place and private of the Bourbon family. Go into some of the historical monuments in the Parisian deluxe Hotels done by Charles Garnier (opéra etc fame). We have the Chapelle Expiatoire open ok for Thursday June 25th so depending on when the tour Eiffel can fit us we will do this first or second.  We will do this as time permitting.

Paris palais de chaillot park eiffel tower back PF Apr09

June 26th , Versailles

We met in front at the Place d’Armes outside castle. We saw the whole of the castle (private apartments of the kings),the Royal Chapel ,and Opéra theater, then out into the Trianons, and Hameau of M-A, with a passport pass 18€, this includes in addition, the Great water shows,musical gardens that will be playing in June and temporary exhibitions. I  walked them to my jogging trails and family picnics beyond the Grand Canal, into the farm at St Cyr l’école that fed the palace in its heydays and still operated by descendants since 1741.  I had some surprises but needed min of 10 persons which was not to be instead we walked past many of the off the beaten path monuments of Versailles.

Versailles castle from gardens to back of castle jun09

The idea was to get a minimum of 10 persons which I thought was doable, but the morale was low in the forum and got only 5. Anyway it stayed as a memorable tour and personal presentation. I will put my pictures here.  And we did finally met in person! Hopefully,one day this can be done with the folks visiting from the blog….You let me know.

The official Fontainebleau tourist office

The official Paris tourist office

The official Versailles tourist office

There you go folks, a memorable day and a great contact in travel forums, hopefully imitated from my blog one day; it’s up to you. If we do, you pay for the monuments my tour is free. The big 3 is awesome , the best of my belle France! Many nice times spent in Fontainebleau, Paris, and Versailles! Hope you enjoy the post and something to think about

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

May 8, 2022

Place Joffre of Paris!

Ok so this one was mentioned briefly in previous posts but have a picture and reminds me of my many parkings here to walk this marvelous spot in the 7éme arrondissement of Paris and Gros-Caillou quartier. Let me tell you a bit more on Place Joffre of Paris!!

The Place Joffre separates the école militaire and the Champ-de-Mars, between Avenue Duquesne and Avenue de La Bourdonnais, on the one hand, and Avenue de Suffren, the carrefour de General-Jacques-Pâris-de- Bollardière and Avenue de la Motte-Picquet, on the other hand,

This square pays homage to Joseph Joffre Marshal of France, winner of the First Battle of the Marne in 1914 , He was Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre, born January 12, 1852 in Rivesaltes in the Pyrénées-Orientales and died January 3, 1931 in Paris.

In the middle of the square is erected the bronze equestrian statue of Marshal Joffre inaugurated on June 10, 1939, The école militaire, Champ-de-Mars,and the disused Champ de Mars metro station was located there. A vestige of the metro entrance still remains. In 2021, the ephemeral Grand Palais a temporary exhibition hall will be set up there, in place du Mur pour la Paix (wall of peace), which has been there since 2000. For the Paris 2024 Olympic games, judo and wrestling, wheelchair rugby and para-judo will be held here.

I had my choices of parkings here both above ground, the parking Suffren-Joffre at corner of Avenue de Suffren and Place Joffre, one of my favorite parkings in Paris! And the parking Joffre Ecole Militaire at  Place Joffre corner with Avenue Frédéric le Play.

paris pl joffre parking by ecole militaire mar14

paris pl de joffre parking indigo mar14

 You have wonderful places to see from here such as the école Militaire only 98 meters or less than a block from here ; also, the Village Suisse 264 meters , the Champ de Mars 251 meters and one of my favorites resto La Terrace du 7éme at 307 meters.

Here is the Paris tourist office on the main to see here école Militaire(see post) 12 pl Joffre:

There you go folks, a dandy street very well place with wonderful buildings around, great places to drink/eat and Paris of course. Hope you enjoy the Place Joffre as I

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

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May 2, 2022

Some news from France, CCCLIV

And its time as time flies to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12 years now!! And for those non Roman CCCLIV is no 354::) And I thank you. The weather is now more steady as summer wants to take over already in my belle France !! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

We have many wonderful monuments, properties of all sorts, beautiful to say the least in my belle France. Some of these are known as Villas and they are all over. Let me bring you some worthy of a visit in itself in our PACA region.

The villa and the Ephrussi de Rothschild gardens in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat where the town is known for its exceptional villas; the place is also nicknamed “the peninsula of billionaires”. A sentimental favorite as have written a bit in my blog where my dear late wife Martine worked in Paris for the architect firm that renovated and I still have the brochure of its work ! The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is a must if you are staying on the Riviera. It is located half an hour from Nice and Monaco. The residence was the fruit of the desires of a powerful woman: Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild, art collector and patron, renowned for her elegance and beauty. In 1905, her father Alphonse left her a great inheritance. Béatrice uses the money to acquire 7 hectares of land in Cap Ferrat , The Baroness furnishes her home with taste. Each piece is dedicated to an era. Béatrice draws from her collection: paintings, porcelain, vases, chests of drawers, sumptuous carpets… She is a modern woman: electricity, telephone and central heating are installed. At the same time, formal gardens are being laid out despite the daunting challenge of growing plants on a rocky slope. Béatrice began to stay at the villa in 1912. She spent all her winters there and organized parties there. But the baroness suffers from tuberculosis. In 1933, she bequeathed her villa and the 5,000 works she owned to the Academy of Fine Arts. She died the following year in Switzerland. The Villa is completed by an exotic garden after WWII, following the donation of cactus by neighbors, the Marnier-Lapostolle. The house is, for its part, renovated and repainted in pink. Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild ,Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, To get to the villa by car, from Nice and Monaco, take the road RD 6098. By bus,
Lignes d’Azur: take line 15 and stop at “Passable – Rothschild”, or take line 100 and stop at “Pont Saint Jean”. Walk 15 minutes to the villa. Webpage :

The villa “tattooed” by Jean Cocteau: Santo Sospir in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Its name comes from an old marine appellation of Cap Ferrat: “Cap du Saint-Soupir”. In 1950, the artist was invited to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat by Francine Weisweiller. Bored, he asks the owner of the mansion if he can decorate it. He draws in charcoal and continues with colored powders, playing with matter. The artist likes to vary genres and eras: he depicts Greek heroes and everyday figures like fishermen. He also painted southern foods: fougasse, sea urchin and fish. Little by little, all the walls are covered by these tempera frescoes: it is a real “tattooed” villa that Francine rediscovers. Indeed, Jean Cocteau follows the advice of Matisse: “When we decorate a wall, we decorate the others”. And it’s not over in 1952, the designer takes his pastels to restore cheerfulness to the ceilings of the house. He says, “When I worked at Santo Sospir, I became a wall myself and those walls spoke for me.” The entrance to the villa is decorated with two mosaics evoking Medea and Orpheus, a nod to Cocteau’s film. As for the dining room, it houses the Judith and Holofernes tapestry, designed by the artist. This one appreciates his work: he returns many times to stay in Santo Sospir. He’s not the only one: Francine Weisweiller invites Marlène Dietrich, Picasso, Calder… but also Romy Schneider, Alain Delon and Charles Aznavour. The Villa Santo Sospir is at 14, avenue Jean Cocteau in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, To get to the villa by car from Nice and Monaco, take the road RD 6098. By bus, Lignes d’Azur, take line 15 and stop at “Villa Alexandra”, then walk 26 minutes.Webpage :

The Villa Kérylos proudly raises its silhouette on the tip of Baie des Fourmis, in Beaulieu-sur-Mer. It is the realization of the dream of Théodore Reinach, a multitalented politician passionate about Greek antiquity. The villa is thus emblematic of the noble houses that could be found on the island of Delos, in Greece. Precious materials are used for the construction: Carrara marble, exotic woods, mosaics… Nothing is left to chance. The villa is named “Kérylos”, meaning “sea swallow” in Greek, a bird that portends happiness. In 1966 the descendants died and the villa then becomes the property of the Centre des Monuments Nationaux de France or the Center of National Monuments of France. The Villa Kérylos is located at Impasse Gustave Eiffel in Beaulieu-sur-Mer , To get to the villa by car ,from Nice or Monaco, take the road RD 6098. By bus on Lignes d’Azur, take line 15 to “Villa Kérylos”, or line 100 and stop at “Eglise”. Webpage :

The Villa Eilenroc in Antibes , the “jewel of the Côte d’Azur”, In 1860, under the Second Empire (Napoléon III) , the former governor of the Dutch Indies Hugh-Hope Loudon asked Charles Garnier (opéra garnier de Paris ,etc) to draw up the plans for his new property. In 1867, the construction of the residence was completed. It is neo-classical in style, a wave movement at the time. Loudon honors his wife, Cornélie, by giving his villa the anagram of her name: “Eilenroc”. In 1873, 11 hectares of gardens were laid out in place of the scrubland by James Wyllie, a Scotsman who bought the villa. On March 30, 1927, Louis-Dudley Beaumont acquired the property at auction. He hired a landscape architect, Jacques Greber, to create a vegetable garden and a garden of aromatic plants. As for the villa, it is decorated with 18C furniture. The residence was bequeathed to the city of Antibes in 1982. This donation came with conditions: setting up a foundation, hosting artistic events and opening the park to the public. The building is renovated and equipped with a rich rose garden with more than one hundred varieties. In 2000, olive trees were planted in the gardens in honor of the birth of fifty children in the town of Antibes. In 2011, it was the turn of a “garden of scents” to appear. The Villa Eilenroc is at 460, avenue Mrs Beaumont in Antibes, To get to the villa by car, from Nice: take the A8 and the near buses,that I know of, Webpage :

The Villa E-1027 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, At the beginning of the 20C, the world of architecture was in turmoil. Many talents emerge, inaugurating the modern era: Gropius, Van Doesburg, Rietveld. The Irishwoman Eileen Gray, admirer of Le Corbusier, does not want to stay on the side of the stage. In 1926, she decided to build a house in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin with the architect Jean Badovici. Since the villa faces the sea, she builds it on stilts, gives it a flat roof, tarpaulin blinds, and the shape of an ocean liner. A buoy adorns the facade of the residence, while a “Transat” armchair welcomes guests on the ground floor. The construction, completed in 1929, is eminently modern: its structure is in reinforced concrete, the spaces are modular and a kitchen is fitted out. Eileen Gray designs the storage furniture and the decorations. She installs benches and a table in the gardens, renovates the terraces of lemon trees. It does not lack humor: inscriptions dot the walls of the property: “Enter slowly”, “No laughing”, “No entry”. Eileen Gray skillfully mixes her initials and those of her companion Jean Badovici to give a name to her home. Thus, the “E” refers to “Eileen”, its diminutive, the 2, second letter of the alphabet, to the “B” of “Badovici” and the 7 to the “G” of “Gray”. The couple works there and receives their relatives. In 1956, Jean Badovici died. The villa was bought by the Conservatoire du littoral in 1999 and renovated in 2007. The period furniture, damaged in the meantime by the successive owners of the villa, was recreated or restored. The Villa E-1027 is located at Avenue Le Corbusier – Sentier Massolin in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, To get to the villa by car from Nice, take the road A8, then the D2564. By bus, Lignes d’Azur, take line 100 Nice-Menton; stop at “Quatre chemins”, then walk 20 minutes. Webpage :

And as for other news, here they are folks!!

And we get the ritual again, Holiday in France , May 1 or international labor day ; time for folks to do their strikes and manifestations in France, For safety, some of the metro stations will be close, These are :Champs-Élysées-Clémenceau, Nation, Oberkampf…In Paris, around 20,000 demonstrators are expected, according to BFMTV. The procession will set off at 14h30 from Place de la République, heading for Place de la Nation. From 10h closures are: Champs-Élysées-Clémenceau (M1 and M13). From noon: Nation (M1, M2, M6, RER A); Temple (M3); Oberkampf (M5, M9); Saint-Ambroise (M9); Voltaire (M9); Charonne (M9); Rue des Boulets (M9); Richard Lenoir (M5); Breguet-Sabin (M5); Daughters of Calvary (M8); Parmentier (M3); and Rue Saint Maur (M3). M is for Metro, number is the line closing,

Just in time to announce, tourism is back to France and Paris of course is tops, Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe… in Paris, museums and monuments are restocking with tourists, Spring is off to a good start for Paris’s emblematic cultural venues, which are back to their 2019 attendance figures, before the health crisis. This constant brouhaha in certain rooms of the Louvre. This trampling on the stairs that goes up to the “Victoire de Samothrace”, these bottlenecks as soon as we approach the star works. We almost jostle in front of the mummies on the parade of Egyptian rooms. Oh yes crowds are back too, heck we all want to see Paris ,sometimes I think at the same time lol !! Give it time and patience if in Paris.

And so much for the ecologists call, the mayor of Paris keeps chopping down trees !! No hundred-year-old tree will be felled. This Saturday afternoon, Emmanuel Grégoire, first deputy (PS) of the socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo, sought to extinguish the fire lit by opponents of the redevelopment project for the Eiffel Tower neighborhood, succeeded in lowering the figure from 42 to 22 trees !! Thanks to the effort of the association SOS Paris, In place of these trees, the “OnE” project, which aims to vegetate and pedestrianize the world famous perspective from the Trocadero to the Iron Lady, plans luggage storage for visitors and premises for employees, semi-underground buildings. But also 227 new trees planted The project as a whole should allow the creation of 1.6 ha of green spaces, Will see,,,

More restrictions in Paris in the name of ecolos, Launched six months ago, the consultation continues between the mayor of the 17éme arrondissement, and the residents to create a real neighborhood square in front of the borough city hall, The Place Richard-Baret will not be returned to car traffic. Geoffroy Boulard, the borough mayor (LR), confirmed this Thursday evening during a meeting held in this very busy square, Ok less folks in Paris already thousands leaving the city only for investors on limo lol !!

And what is needed, finally a victory, CDG Express authorized by the courts !! Opponents of this direct link between Paris and Roissy castigated for being “the train of the rich”, with a journey at 24 euros, the Charles-de-Gaulle Express had been stopped by the Administrative Court of Paris. The Administrative Court of Appeal has just overturned the judgment at first instance. The construction will be able to continue. CDGX, the Charles-de-Gaulle Express, which should connect in 2027, the Gare de l’Est in Paris to Roissy CDG airport. Better late than never and will give more choices to visitors and locals alike. Official webpage:

This time it really is the home stretch! After a decade of work , marred by a multitude of technical problems which led to a delay of four and a half years ,the extension of metro line 12 from its current terminus, Front-Populaire, to the station Mairie-d’Aubervilliers, two km further on, is finally ready. The two new stations are fitted out and equipped. And the safety and signaling systems, already tested on the new section of the line, are all operational. There is only one step left to complete: “physically” connect the old network and its extension. This operation was completed this past Wednesday, 27 April ,indicates the RATP. Webpage:

The investigating commissioner gave a favorable opinion on the construction of a new overflow downstream of the étangs de Corot, (Yvelines 78) ponds, managed by the Center for National Monuments and State property. This project to secure the dams, decried by heritage defenders, involves the expropriation of the land company Gecina. Lots of controversy as this is where the painter Corot spend most of his life and the place is historically renown and protected, Another ecolo disaster by the authorities, More from the town of Ville d’Avray:

The Stravinsky fountain under construction, the restorers between relief and concern. It adjoins the Pompidou Center (4éme), and has just undergone asbestos removal. The fountain is now undergoing a complete renovation. On the program in particular, waterproofing of the basin and restoration of the sculptures. The Stravinsky Fountain, Place Igor-Stravinsky in Paris its restoration work has finally begun. Finally, it was beginning to be a bit run down! The Paris tourist office on the fountain:

The excavations have led to exceptional discoveries at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, The excavations are over. A huge scaffolding of 600 tons and 100 meters high will be able to be erected at Notre-Dame, to rebuild the spire, three years after the fire of April 15, 2019. The friends of Notre Dame on its work:

This part of the Domaine de Maffliers (Val-d’Oise 95) reopened last March 10 2022, after two years of work. The building had suffered a spectacular fire when it had just been completely renovated. The work was almost finished ,and ready to open the Château de Maffliers renovated around a chic and cozy hotel concept, combining traditions, leisure and the pleasures of the table, A nice Accor Novotel webpage :

The Écouen castle museum organizes visits for people with disabilities, The Renaissance Museum notes the more regular arrival of specialized institutions and wishes to develop its offer in the field of disability in the coming months. Webpage :

The Foreign Legion opens its doors to celebrate its 60th anniversary at Fort de Nogent. It was in December 1962 that the Foreign Legion began to use Fort de Nogent, in Val-de-Marne (94). Every week, around 150 candidates come to this military site built in 1840 to take the selection tests. This weekend, the legionnaires welcome you to commemorate the Battle of Camerone and the anniversary of their presence at the fort. To enter Fort de Nogent, in the town of Fontenay-sous-Bois is to take a leap back more than 180 years. The Val de Marne dept 94 tourist office on Fort de Nogent :

Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines 78) and Great Britain say “Yes” ! An agreement was signed this past Thursday April 28 2022 ,between the city and the “Team GB”, which will prepare and then train on the municipal facilities at the occasion of the great Olympic meeting of Paris 2024. The British flag now flies on the pediment of the city/town hall of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a sign of the brand new union between the city and the Olympic team of Britain. Both signed a partnership agreement for the next Paris 2024 Olympic games. Saint-Germain will thus be the base camp of the British delegation for the duration of the competition, but also of the preparation. Georges-Lefèvre stadium at Camp des Loges. The 12-hectare complex, which the British representatives visited again on Thursday, will be the real headquarters. It has two field hockey pitches, five football pitches, one rugby pitch, tennis courts but also, soon, a performance and bodybuilding center and a brand new approved athletics track. Part of PSG’s professional football facilities could also be made available to them. The British team will finally be able to use the various gymnasiums of the town for its indoor disciplines, but also the swimming pool (Le Dôme) for synchronized swimming and… leisure. As such, the city’s three golf courses were also involved. They can enjoy life here without the hustle and bustle of Paris while being fifteen minutes away by RER A ! The city of SGL on visits :

And finished the photos of the motorcycles with the castle in the background. As of this Sunday, parking and stopping of two-wheelers in front of the Domaine de Chantilly estate (Oise 60) is prohibited. For this first weekend, awareness actions, in order to redirect to the free location provided for this purpose, will be put in place. But from the next, bikers who do not comply with the ban may be fined. Many motorcyclists have become accustomed to parking on the forecourt of the castle. They will now have to go to a car park which will be reserved for them a little further, Of course good action the front grille gate is not for parking for anything ! The Castle of Chantilly webpage :

Exhibition at the Château de Fontainebleau: the meaning of celebration in the time of the Valois ! During the Renaissance, entertainment was no joke. The party is in the 16C a total work of art, presents an exhibition dedicated to “the art of the party at the court of the Valois” A hundred documents and works (manuscripts, books, engravings, paintings, tapestries, works of art, parade weapons) have been brought together which illustrate the extraordinary inventiveness and debauchery of means deployed under the reigns of François I, Henri II , Catherine de Médicis , and Henry III for these festive events, The castle of Fontainebleau on the event :

This is the first time that an ephemeral thrift store from the TissEco association has set up shop in a suburban shopping center in Île-de-France region. Between the Jun’s, Jennyfer and Undiz shops, the “Fripe Avenue” window intrigues customers with bags full of purchases in the Aéroville shopping center in Roissy-en-France (Val-d’Oise 95). A thrift store in a suburban center is rather unexpected, admits Jérôme, the young manager of the brand, with a smile. In general, thrift stores are more in Paris. Great mall I visited and ate when working at CDG airport last November 2019, Aeroville webpage :

We missed the Pavillon Puebla pavilion. The best spot in the Buttes Chaumont finally reopened last Thursday April 21, 2022. After closing for renovations, the guinguette is getting a new life and a little makeover to welcome us as it should. With its two charming terraces, its two bars, its menu and its invigorating cocktails, this large house transformed into a place of relaxation and celebration remains an iconic haven of peace. In the heart of the Buttes Chaumont, the Puebla Pavilion is accessible via a pretty stone staircase. Pavillon Puebla, Avenue Darcel, 19éme of Paris, open from Wednesday to Sunday, webpage :

This Top Chef show is a launcher ! Thibaut from Top Chef opened his restaurant at the Musée Carnavalet museum and Thibaut Spiwack, already holder of a green star, will delight our taste buds all summer long in the museum’s sublime garden. The opportunity to enjoy its fresh and generous recipes in the sublime setting offered by the Jardins d’Olympe. A delicious culinary experience between nature, arts and history. On the menu of this ephemeral table, therefore, plates to share made up of products mainly from Île-de-France region, Les Jardins d’Olympe, Musée Carnavalet, 16, rue des Francs-Bourgeois 4éme, From May 6, 2022 for having dinner, Restaurant webpage :

There you go folks, another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are marching on to Summer and eating out in our veranda porch every day now , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

April 27, 2022

The place de la Concorde,an obelisk and horses!!

Moving right along in the gorgeous Place de la Concorde, of which several posts have been written by yours truly on the overall square. However, felled that they are things in there needed to be told more openly in a post of their own. Therefore, here is my new rendition of the place de la Concorde, an obelisk and horses!! Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Luxor Obelisk is originally from the Temple of Amun at Luxor in Egypt, erected since 1836 in the center of Place de la Concorde in Paris.

paris pl de la concorde obelist luxor dec16

It was Mehemet Ali, Viceroy of Egypt, as a sign of goodwill who, with the agreement of Baron Taylor and then Jean-François Champollion, offered king Charles X and France in early 1830 the two obelisks erected in front of the Temple of Luxor, but only the one on the right of the temple was taken down and transported to France. In exchange for the obelisks, Louis-Philippe I offered in 1845 a copper clock which today adorns the Cairo citadel, but which, for the record, never worked, at least according to the people of Cairo, having probably been damaged during the delivery. President François Mitterrand officially announced on September 26, 1981 that France was definitely renouncing to take possession of the second obelisk, which had remained there, thus returning its property to Egypt.

paris pl de la concorde obelisk far feb14

A specially built ship, the Louxor, commanded by Raymond de Verninac Saint-Maur, left Toulon in April 1831 and sailed up the Nile in August. It is a flat-bottomed, single-purpose barge of unusual construction whose dimensions have been studied according to the bridges over the Seine. After getting as close as possible to the obelisk thanks to the digging of a channel by 300 fellahs, the boat embarked the monolith on December 19. Eight months passed before the Nile, in flood, allowed the ship to float on August 18. The barge left Thebes on August 25, 1832, arrived on October 2 at Rosetta, at the mouth of the Nile, where it was blocked by sandbanks. On January 1, 1833, the Louxor crossed the bar of the Nile thanks to the local winds which moved the sand and reached Alexandria the next day. The crew had to wait out the winter storms to leave port on April 1, 1833 with their precious cargo. The ship was towed by the steam corvette Sphinx on the Alexandria – Rouen route. Arrived in Toulon on the night of May 10 to 11, 1833, it reached Paris on December 23 after having circumnavigated Spain and ascended the Seine from Rouen, after a stopover in Cherbourg. It is then deposited lying on the quay at the start of the Cours-la-Reine in Paris.

paris pl de la concorde obelisk et fontaine des fleuves nov19

King Louis-Philippe I decides to erect it in the center of Place de la Concorde. It replaces a monument in honor of king Louis XVI, beheaded in the same place during the French revolution. The first stone of this monument, which included an equestrian statue of the king was laid by king Charles X on May 3, 1826. The royal statue that occupied the center of the square was destroyed in 1830. The choice of a monument totally foreign to national history was intended to prevent quarrels over memory and attempts to appropriate this high place of the French revolution by this or that faction. In other word, erase history as usual in France. The obelisk was erected with great pomp on October 25, 1836.

Paris pl de la concorde obelisk et grande roue nov11

The obelisk, dating from the 13C BC, measures 23 meters in height and weighs 222 tons, to which must be added the 240 tons of the pedestal. Its summit is 33.37 meters high. The medallion mentioning the rotation of the obelisk is located about ten meters north of the monument, on the noon hour line; it marks the position of the end of the obelisk’s shadow at noon on the day of the summer solstice (June 21), when the shadow is shortest in the year. The monument was restored in early 2022.

The Chevaux de Marly or the Horses of Marly are two sculpted groups representing prancing horses and their grooms. In Carrara marble, they were executed between 1743 and 1745.


The tension of the figures, the dynamism of the movement and the epic breath which emerge from these groups testify to the Baroque current of French sculpture of the second third of the 18C. The Horses of Marly were commissioned in 1739 by king Louis XV from the sculptor Guillaume Coustou, to adorn the trough located at the entrance to the park of the Château de Marly,(Yvelines 78) in order to replace two sculpted groups. These, Mercury on Horseback on Pegasus and Fame on Horseback on Pegasus by Antoine Coysevox, had in fact been moved in 1719 to the Tuileries gardens. The models were chosen by the king in 1743, and were installed in Marly in 1745, after only two years of work. The French revolutionary government decided in 1794 to transport them to Paris and place them at the entrance to the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. In 1984, in particular because the parade of tanks on July 14 National Day, weakened them, they were replaced by concrete copies made by the company Bouygues. The originals are kept at the Louvre Museum in an old courtyard of the Richelieu wing transformed into a patio, called the Cour Marly. Victor Hugo particularly admired “these neighing marbles rearing up on a cloud of gold”.

paris pl de la concorde eq statue chevaux de marly et eiffel nov19

The Paris tourist office on the Place de la Concorde:

The city of Paris going outs guide on the Place de la Concorde:

There you go folks, a wonderful must see while in Paris. Get the inmense feeling of this eternal beautiful city with the sights of architecture and history all around you in the Place de la Concorde!!! Paris is indeed a mouvable feast!

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

April 26, 2022

The Place de la Concorde and its beauties!!!

I, again, written before on the Place de la Concorde, but been so an integral part of Paris, it needs more from me. Anyway, I worked not far from it and my lunch walks were done here too, not to mention my civil duties having the USA Embassy just by it.  So much on its history,and things in it, but forgot that the beautiful fountains and statues needs more. Therefore, take another post from me on the Place de la Concorde and its beauties!!! Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Place de la Concorde is located at the center via the Pont de la Concorde which crosses the Seine towards the 7éme arrondissement, on the Palais Bourbon (Assamblée Nationale).  Administratively, the square itself is located in the Champs-Élysées neightborhood of which it is the eastern end. But the two buildings that border it to the north, on either side of the rue Royale, are in the Madeleine neighborhood, in the 8éme arrondissement, while the Tuileries garden which adjoins it is located in the Saint -Germain-l’Auxerrois neighborhood /quartier of the 1éme arrondissement. All gorgeous!

It first became Place de la Concorde under the Consulate in 1795, then “place Louis XVI” in 1826 on the initiative of king Charles X, in honor of his late brother. It was finally in 1830 that the place (re)takes its definitive name: Concorde. The exact location of the guillotine in the Place de la Concorde was at the entrance to what is now Avenue des Champs-Elysées.  The development of the Place de la Concorde under the July Monarchy at the end of the 1830s. In fact, it takes up part of the plan drawn up by Ange Jacques Gabriel in the middle of the 18C, with embelishments showing the geographical direction corresponding to the cities they represent in relation to Paris.

The decoration of the Place de la Concorde was carried out between 1833 and 1846 by the architect Jacques Hittorff. Around the obelisk framed by two fountains, eight statues, representing eight different French cities, have been installed on pedestals located at the corners of an octagon, You see eight statues placed on the corner sentry boxes representing eight French towns. Lyon, Marseille, Lille, Strasbourg, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux and Nantes, On either side of the obelisk,(see post) are place two large cast iron fountains, called the Fontaine des Mers or Fountain of the Seas and the Fontaine des Fleuves or Fountain of the Rivers. 

paris pl de la concorde obelisk fontaine de nantes et eiffel afar nov19

These 8 statues each rest on a small pavilion, called the gatehouse of Gabriel, in memory of the architect who laid out the square under Louis XV. Several characteristics give them this beautiful homogeneity: a crown representing a castle tower, a very richly done hairstyle, a draped dress, a seated position, looking towards the center of the square attributes to each hand representing the wealth or arms of the city represented, It is thus, an economic wealth of the whole country, posed in its stature which is represented close to those provided by the rivers and the seas through the fountains.

paris pl de la concorde statue Lille et jeu de paume mus nov19

The statues of the cities of Lille and Strasbourg. They are the only ones in the place who hold a sword in their hands and whose crowns on their heads are square, The statues of Lyon and Marseille are in the spotlight. On either side of the first, notice the two amphorae that let their contents flow out. This is how the Rhône and the Saône are represented. It is from these two emblematic rivers of Lyon that the city has drawn all its power. Marseille is sitting on a boat whose prows you can admire to the left and right of the statue. This highlights the importance of the port of Marseille in the history of France. Finally, in his right hand is an olive branch, symbol of the Mediterranean. A bowl of fruit, including grapes, in the left hand and the city’s coat of arms in the days of Richard Coeur de Lion in the right hand… You recognize Bordeaux! Nantes is above the latter with the city’s coat of arms in her left hand. And as for Marseille, on both sides of its base are represented the prows of a boat, a symbol of the influence of the city in the maritime domain. The statue of Brest and the one whose Normans will be able to recognize the coat of arms, Rouen ,closer to the Crillon and Marine hotels, The anecdote here is that they all look towards the center of the square!

paris pl de la concorde statue Rouen et Brest eiffel jan13


You have the fountains both done in 1840, such as the Fountain of the Seas , Architect: Jacques Hittorff ,and several sculptors such as Jean-Baptiste Debay fils (The Ocean and the Mediterranean), Desboeufs (Fishing for pearls, Fishing for shells, Fishing for fish, Fishing for corals), Jean-Jacques Feuchère (Astronomy, Commerce and Maritime Navigation), Antonin Moine, Elshoecht and Merlieux (the three Tritons and the three Nereids), Hoegler (ornamental sculpture).


Also, the Fountain of the Rivers ,Architect: Jacques Hittorff, and several sculptors such as Gechter (The Rhône and the Rhine), Honoré Husson (The Harvest of the Grape Harvest), François Lanno (The Harvest of Flowers and the Harvest of Fruit), Brion ( Agriculture, Industry, River Navigation), Antonin Moine, Elshoecht and Merlieux (the three Tritons and the three Nereids), Hoegler (ornamental sculpture).


paris pl de la concorde fontaine des fleuves hotel marine nov19

The Paris tourist office on the Place de la Concorde:

There you go folks, feel better now to be able to add this wonderful story in my blog on the gorgeous Place de la Concorde of Paris! and to show off its beauties ,sentry boxes, statues, fountains etc. Love it!! This is Paris!!

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

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April 25, 2022

Some news from France, CCCLXIIII

And its time as time flies to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12 years now!! And I thank you. This is election time in my belle France so lots of news and blah blah on TV but life goes on for us world travelers!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The first figures for the participation rate in the second round of the presidential election in France, were announced today Sunday, April 24, 2022 at noon, by the Ministry of the Interior. 26.41% of voters voted at midday, with rates ranging from 15.37% to 34.46% depending on the department. The highest participation rate is currently reached in Gers with 34.46%, followed by Jura (34.38%) and Ain (33.92%). Conversely, voters did not come to the polls this morning in Seine-Saint-Denis, where the turnout was only 15.37%. This 2nd round turnout is almost two points lower than that of the second round of the 2017 presidential election. It then reached 28.23%. The Second round of the presidential election: the turnout stands at 63.23% at 17h (5 p.m.), According to Le Parisien , Today in France, and France Télévisions sponsored Ipsos / Sopra Steria poll , the final abstention rate in the second round of the presidential election would stand at 28% at 20h (8 p.m.) The abstention record for a second round dates from 1969 with 31.1%. It is the lowest in the last five presidential elections. In my former Yvelines 78 ,the participation at 17h was 57.70%, indicates the préfecture. This is down five points from the same time in 2017 (63.34%), a steeper drop than the national average (63.23% ). Abtention is a sign of no qualify contenders they are both bad, so either you take the best of the bad or don’t vote at all : I took the first option, At the Champ-de-Mars, the calm mix with anxiaty with the supporters of Emmanuel Macron et Marine Le Pen has planned to parade by bus in the event of victory. The bus or buses will converge on the Armenonville pavilion, in the Bois de Boulogne. Well Macron won with 58% first President re elected in the V Republic but Le Pen received the highest vote ever at 42%. So we still in democracy with two strong parties of Center (mix left and right cabinet) , and Extreme Right. The municipal congressionnel elections will be in June 12 and 19 2022.

The Place de Catalunya, right next to Montparnasse train station (14éme) says farewell to the “du Creuset-du-Temps” fountain which had been enthroned, flat but leaning, since 1985 right in the middle! The city destroyed cobblestone by cobblestone the work of art, signed by the Polish sculptor Shamaï Haber, to the great displeasure of the artist’s family. The work was at a standstill, the water had not flowed for almost ten years. the place of Catalonia, roundabout which serves in a star , the boulevard Pasteur, the avenue of the Commandant Mouchotte, and the rue Jean-Zay and rue du Château, was deprived of water, vast, useless and of a great sadness ; shame to the city new order ! . The roundabout, bordered on the west side by large buildings designed by Ricardo Bofill, “Stalinist” for some, “Greco-classical” for others, is beginning its transformation. restricted traffic areas, wide sidewalks, greening, installing planters, etc. In the process, the small segment of rue du Château, on the square side, will become pedestrian. Delivery is scheduled for the first half of 2024. Goodbye Paris! At least as long as the current mayor is there ! More of what is coming to Paris on the city webpage :

Go Thursday, and until further notice, every Thursday following, from 10h to noon, at the Pantheon (see post). On March 26, 1851, the front page of the daily National, like almost all press titles, echoed an extraordinary and public scientific experiment: that of the pendulum of Léon Foucault, a renowned physicist and astronomer. At the Panthéon of Paris to be seen and worth the detour even from the Jardin du Luxembourg !(see post) Enjoy it as I ! webpage :

The Galerie Glénat moves to Boulogne-Billancourt. Farewell Paris, hello Boulogne! Fans of the ninth art now have an appointment in the Hauts-de-Seine (92) to discover the works exhibited by the publisher. First author in the spotlight: François Ravard and his drawings and watercolors between escape and poetry. The Glénat gallery left this week its offices on rue de Picardie, opposite the Carreau du Temple in the 3éme arrondissement of Paris, which it has occupied since its creation ten years ago. Direction Boulogne-Billancourt and the ground floor of the glass building, headquarters of the editions… Glénat. Located near the recently renovated Albert-Kahn museum, the transparent building overlooking the Seine, designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, offers 150 m2 of airy and bright exhibitions. With always the same objective as underlined by its initiators: “to promote the current international graphic scene through exhibitions, inside and outside the walls”. But also tell the story of the comic strip and offer original pieces to collectors from all over the world. The Glénat gallery today represents 135 authors and has a fund of 3,600 works for sale. Galerie Glénat, 24, avenue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny in Boulogne-Billancourt. Metro line 10 Boulogne Pont de Saint-Cloud. Webpage :

At my sentimental Meaux, (77) You can find out how the Bossuet museum was hidden in the Château de Coupvray during the Nazis Occupation, At La ferme du château de Coupvray is organizing an exhibition until Saturday April 28 on the 450 works of art from the Bossuet museum which have been hidden from the Nazis. Paintings from the Italian Renaissance, post-impressionist paintings, 20C furniture.etc. at the exhibition “The Bossuet museum hides in the Château de Coupvray” the forty works presented have a priori nothing to do with each other . On loan from the Bossuet de Meaux museum, if they are gathered in the farm of the Château de Coupvray until Saturday April 28, it is because they were hidden in the monument during WWII. Between April 1943 and November 1945, it housed 450 paintings, statues and sculptures to preserve them from the Nazis. The Exhibition “The Bossuet museum hides at the Château de Coupvray” until Saturday April 30 at the farm of the Château de Coupvray, road D2 of Coupvray. Free admission, every day from 10h to noon and from 14h to 19h Free. The city of Coupvray on the castle :

At the Museum of the Great War (WWI) in Meaux, an unprecedented dive into the trenches, “real cities of fighters”, The museum is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the trenches until August 15 2022. Forget everything you know or think you know about the trenches of the 14-18 war. Pending the opening to the public in 2024 of a life-size open-air trench in the adjoining park, an exhibition is dedicated to them at the Museum of the Great War, in Meaux (Seine-et-Marne 77 ). First, although symbols of the First World War, they were not born with this conflict. “We rediscovered them during the 14-18 war but it was already used… in ancient Greece! The armies of Louis XIV dug trenches to seize the city of Arras (Pas-de-Calais). Then the trenches reappeared during the Crimean War, between 1853 and 1856. The 250 objects presented in this exhibition, coming for the most part from the immense collection of the Meldois museum (Celtic name for Meaux) ,rich with a collection of 70,000 objects to provide a better understanding of the reality of the trenches. Military manuals of the time explain how to dig his hole. Because initially, the trench is just a simple shelter dug by a soldier to protect himself from enemy fire. Then these holes are connected together. Then these trenches constituted real networks which extended over 750 km, from the Vosges to the North Sea. But the interlacings also developed over several kilometers behind the front. On average, they are 3 meters deep. But they can go down to 50 meters. It’s not easy to get around without getting lost. Panels with the names of the axes are affixed. Two examples of these panels, made of wood, are shown to the public. Each soldier goes to the front with a short spade that requires digging on his knees. Other objects, constituting the craftsmanship of the trenches, such as lamps made from grenades or pieces of shells by the soldiers to light up there, are also part of the exhibition. “Trench” until August 15 2022 at the Musée de la Grand Guerre or Museum of the Great War, rue Lazare-Ponticelli in Meaux. Open every day (except Tuesday) from 9h30 to 18h. Free every first Sunday of the month. A great museum, see post, and sentimental town if you read my blog, Webpage :

30 years of Disneyland Paris (actually Seine et Marne dept 77 see post),150 drones light up the sky in a truly magical show, A new six-minute light show projected on Sleeping Beauty’s castle. The anniversary number is lit up in the sky by 150 luminous drones. Impressive. We will be there in late September 2022 just saying lol!!! webpage :

The largest solar power plant in Île-de-France installed in the Disneyland Paris visitor car park,(we will see it) Of the 82,000 photovoltaic panels planned, the first phase of the Disneyland Paris solar power plant is now operational. In the form of shade structures covering the visitor parking spaces, it will eventually supply 17% of the energy needs of the amusement park, i.e. the equivalent of the annual consumption of 17,400 inhabitants. The construction, which started in the fall of 2020, will end next year,(2023) the largest solar power plant in Île-de-France and one of the largest in Europe. The signs will cover 11,200 parking spaces over 20 hectares. An area equivalent to 27 football fields. This is not the first eco-responsible initiative of Disneyland Paris. Since 2013, it has had its own wastewater treatment plant which treats wastewater from toilets, sinks or kitchens coming from the Disneyland Paris park, Walt Disney Studios and the Disneyland Hotel. Recycled water is used to clean walkways, water green spaces, and fill fountains and ornamental ponds. All of the Paris Nature Villages (2021 visited) are heated by a geothermal power plant installed on site. It covers a total of 18% of the heat needs of the amusement park. Finally since 2019, plastic straws and bags have been replaced by paper equivalents and bags made from 80% recycled plastic.

The filming of The Three Musketeers (one of my all time favorite) invades Moret-sur-Loing et Orvanne!(77) The film crews of this French blockbuster featuring Romain Duris, François Civil and Eva Green, among others, settled down this past Thursday near the bridge and the dungeon. The gaze of the Seine-et-Marnais will be sharper than that of other spectators when they dive into The Three Musketeers, adapted once again to the cinema from the novel by Alexandre Dumas. After the castle of Fontainebleau and the cathedral of Meaux, it is now the turn of Moret-sur-Loing to appear in the cast of this tricolor blockbuster in two episodes, signed Martin Bourboulon and filmed at the same time. They will hit the big screen on April 5 and December 13 , 2023 respectively. The medieval city has often had the honors of Jean-Paul Rappeneau who came to film Les Mariés de l’An II, Cyrano de Bergerac and J’accuse. It was this time the choice of Martin Bourboulon, to whom we owe Eiffel. The director has managed a cast that should attract French film lovers: François Civil as d’Artagnan, Vincent Cassel as Athos, Romain Duris as Aramis and Pio Marmaï as Porthos. already to install huge outdoor projectors to illuminate the interior of the dungeon. This 12C building serves as a setting for scenes in which we will find Eva Green as Milady. We look forward to see it, we have seeing it in Spanish, English ,and French, one film we taugh our boys one for all and all for one!! proudly we stand together. The city of Moret sur Loing et Orvanne on the circulation due to the movie :

In the Oise (60), a sublime chapel dormant in the attic of a school for more than 160 years, Only accessible by a hatch located under the roof of a neighboring building, this local heritage treasure located above a class from the Pierre-Sauvage elementary school in Compiègne, is only known to a few initiates. In a few weeks, the curious will be able to discover it… on video. To access it, you have to go through the neighboring building, reach the attic and go down through a cramped hatch, without forgetting, therefore, to have brought a ladder. It is only when a double white door is pushed that the sleeping chapel is revealed to lucky visitors ! How can it took 160 yrs to see this !! There is history here which I like, It was a former convent of the Minimes, then School of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, current Pierre Sauvage Elementary School , In part of the former convent of the Minimes, sold during the French revolution, the city installed the Brothers of Christian Doctrine in 1792. After leaving the premises, they returned there in 1818 and transformed certain parts of the buildings. The church having been sold in 1791, the brothers set up a chapel on the first floor, designed as a 17C Baroque oratory, with Italianate decorations. The chapel contains the coat of arms of the archpriest of Saint-James of Compiègne, It would be grand to see it !! A private site with more info :

Machu Picchu, two words where a dream gallops. The image of a citadel perched so high that it touches the sky and the gods, so well built that it is one with the mountain, so distant that it was forgotten for centuries until its rediscovered in 1911. Two words so strong that they immediately conjure up in our minds the ghost of the Inca and their golden but fallen empire. So fascinating that the designers of “Machu Picchu and the Treasures of Peru” could not help but ensure them a place of choice in the title of their exhibition which takes up residence in Paris at the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine, after a first stage in Boca Raton (Florida). Yes it would be very educational indeed to attend, The Paris tourist office on it ;

There you go folks, another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are marching on to Summers and eating out in our veranda porch every day now , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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