Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

October 8, 2020

Chiclana de la Frontera!!!

Ok so let me tell you a bit about Chiclana de la Frontera and me too!  I was there but on a business trip , and really need to be back personally. This is a very nice chic area of Cadiz province in Andalucia, Kingdom of Spain.

Let me tell you about my trip and then some things about Chiclana de la Frontera for all!

I came in and stayed 4 days secluded in the most gorgeous resort in the area. The wonderful Barcelo Sancti Petri Spa Resort. A wonderful pool and waterfall with jacuzzi and japanese style garden lake, disco Siddhartha with an Indian decoration and the Dublin Bay bar Irish Pub. Great amphitheater outdoors, and the buffet resto Almadraba,restaurante Atunante and Spa of course. Just a place not to leave but then again, you do not want to miss the wines!!

chiclana de la frontera barcelo back fr pool oct15


chi-barcelo-pool-oct15And of course, the reason of the post principally is that the hotel has new owners and new name Royal Hideaway Sancti Petri , and I like to keep my memories in my blog. You can visit the new , same installations like the Almadraba and Atunante but , the new restaurant Bahia Beach Club, La Brasseria, and the La Zumeria . Webpage in English:



And of course, I took off from Nantes to Jerez de la Frontera La Parra airport with is 9 km from city center and near Cadiz as well as of course Chiclana de la Frontera

The best to get there by the highway is the AP-4 Autopista del Sur through Puerto Real  at 20 km connects with Jerez de la Frontera 40 km and Sevilla 124 km. There is bus service in Summer, line 16 to Novo Sancti Petri, La Barrosa and the night line 14 to La Barrosa to Novo Sancti Petri. And the bus  line I took for this business trip the M 020 Cádiz-Chiclana; it links Chiclana with Cadiz passing by four stops in Chiclana,  Río Iro, Avda. Del Comercio, Los Esteros, and Pinar de Los Franceses. By train, Renfe has made available to travelers a schedule that includes 22 daily trains, distributed between the C-1 Jerez La Parra-Cádiz International Airport, and MD Sevilla-Cádiz. I say I came by air, then took the C1 or cercanias 1 train to Cadiz train station and bus to 020 to Chiclana , finally, taxi to the resort above and going out just the taxi…. Just saying.

jerez airport arriv entr oct15

The Jerez airport

And other than the resort hotel facilities, I went out to see the sherry, but this has another post so will just give you the links. Here I visited the famous farm-house of Domecq at Finca Los Alburejos with Alvaro Domecq himself riding the horses at Jerez de la Frontera and and later went to Gonzalez Byass bodega for more wines and Tio Pepe!!! Just two new photos one for each!

jerez domecq horse show in arena by alvaro oct15

jerez g byass santiago old barrels oct15

And as promise, here tourist and general info on Chiclana de la Frontera which I just found out a good high school friend we are in touch married a local girl as he was at the US air force base at Rota, now thinking of retiring there, more power for a visit. This is a primer to help me out too, and hope it helps you plan a trip here , well worth it me think.

Chiclana de la Frontera is a city in the province of Cádiz, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. The town borders with San Fernando (the current mayor of Paris was born here…), Puerto Real; along the coast with Conil de la Frontera and by land it borders Medina Sidonia and a small part of Vejer de la Frontera.

The founding of the current Chiclana took place in 1303, when King Ferdinand IV of Castile handed over the Chiclana lands to the Casa de Medina Sidonia. The current urban area was built during the 18C.  Today the Chiclana economy depends on a modern industry and tourism, especially on the beaches and golf courses located mainly in Novo Sancti Petri, an urbanization that has the largest number of hotel rooms in the province of Cádiz and in the entire Costa de la Luz (yes my resort was base here) and also part of the so-called Wine Route. Its coastline is extensive in beaches: Sancti Petri, La Barrosan and El Puerco. Playa de la Barrosa is 8 km long, from the cliff that separates it from Sancti Petri beach, to Loma del Puerco. Sancti Petri Beach is famous for its naturalness as it is located in a natural park. It is separated by another important beach in this town as above La Barrosa by a cliff. In front of this beach you can see the castle of Sancti Petri where it is said that the temple of Melkart or Hercules from Cádiz and the point of Boquerón was located.

The city of Chiclana on its beaches in Spanish:

The Novo Sancti Petri tourist complex, located south of the coast, communicates with Cape Roche. Currently, Novo Sancti Petri has eight 4-star hotels and four 5-star Grand Luxury hotels (including mine above).
Sancti Petri is an old tuna fishing village belonging to the town of Chiclana de la Frontera. It consists of a natural harbor, the Puerto Deportivo Sancti Petri formed by the mouth of the Caño de Sancti Petri, on the edge of which it is located. Since 2018, between the months of July and August, the Concert Music Festival has been held in the town of Sancti Petri, which welcomes great national and international music artists. In 2019, this festival is awarded an Ondas Award.

Some of the things to see here which are on my list to do are (text from tourist office of Chiclana, Cadiz, and Andalucia historical heritage institute.

All the traces of the protohistoric past and of Old Age found in Chiclana are distributed between the Archaeological Museum of Cádiz (the original pieces) and the Museum of Chiclana (the replicas) During the 17-18C it lived through moments of economic boom caused by the intense activity of the port of the city of Cádiz in its trade with America. In 1755, the 9.0-magnitude Lisbon earthquake caused a strong tidal wave that hit the Chiclana coastline and left dozens of people dead. In 1811 the French troops entered Chiclana producing the Battle of Chiclana, which left at least 2,380 dead. In 1876 it was granted the title of city by King Alfonso XII. In 2010, Chiclana is surprised by a 4.5 earthquake. Very slight damage, initially in the Chapel of Santo Cristo, although less than in the previous time in 2006, a 6.3 earthquake in the Atlantic ocean.

Church of San Juan Bautista (main church)  is a masterpiece of the 18C of Cadiz neoclassicism. It is built on a previous church, of which a 16C Flemish altarpiece is preserved in one of its chapels. It has valuable carvings and several paintings from the Zurbarán school. It is here where the icon of San Juan Bautista (Patron of the city) is found, dating from the 18C, around 1750. The Hermitage of Santa Ana , considered one of the 7 Magic Points of Chiclana, it is located at the highest point and is visible for several kilometers around. It was built by Torcuato Cayón in the 18C. It is an original octagonal chapel, surrounded by a portico with an octagonal arcade. Its interior houses the icon of Santa Ana and the Virgen Niña, carved in the 18C. Convent of Jesús Nazareno, is a 17C baroque convent that was founded by Mother Antonia de Jesús in 1666, it has a beautiful baroque white marble façade with outstanding Solomonic columns, made in Italy around 1690. Inside it is the processional carving of Jesús Nazareno, from the 16C. In the cloister of the convent is the icon of the Divine Indian, a carving of Americas’ origin that in the 17C was donated to the convent by a wealthy man from Cádiz to preside over the main altarpiece of the church.
Church of the Holy Trinity  or San Telmo was built in the 17C. In its interior, its main altar stands out, in a baroque style in gilded wood, dated 1740, presided over by the icon of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios (Patron Saint of Chiclana). On the outside, the angular steeple of a very unique conception stands out.

The Ermita de la Vera-Cruz Chapel of Santo Cristo, is the oldest religious building in the city, dates from the late 15C, inside it houses the brotherhood of Vera Cruz, whose owner is the Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz, to which Mexican origin is attributed, which sometimes went out in procession as a prayer for rain in times of drought. The current facade of the church, product of the numerous reforms that it has undergone throughout its history, is very simple. Its latticed atrium and the huge cross that presides over it stand out. The clock tower or Torre del Reloj aka Arquillo del Reloj, it is one of the most emblematic buildings in Chiclana. It was built in the 18C on one of the old gates of the city, which originally formed part of the old Cabildo. The City/Town Hall of Chiclana de la Frontera  was one of the first buildings built with reinforced concrete in Spain, although it is built on the Palace-House of Don Alejandro Risso, which dates from the 18C, in 2011 the new building was inaugurated. The
House-palace of the Count of Torres, located in the Plaza del Retortillo, named in honor of José de Retortillo, Count of Torres according to a noble title granted in 1738 by the then reigning monarch Felipe V. Two-story high palace and a trapezoidal plan that rises during the last third of the 18C.  The Plaza Mayor is the oldest and most historically interesting public space in Chiclana. It was the urban center of the town and during the 15C to 18C, they were located around the Plaza Las Casas Consistoriales, the only parish and the prison.

The Chiclana Museum is in the  Casa de los Briones, and located in the Plaza Mayor. In the different rooms, the public will be able to observe diverse contents such as the prehistory and antiquity of the city, its formation, the battle of Chiclana and the contemporary era. Spaces also dedicated to the wine industry, horticulture, salt flats, fishing, etc. The Francisco Montes Paquiro Municipal Museum is dedicated to the figure of the bullfighter Francisco de Paula Montes y Reina “Paquiro”, born in Chiclana on January 13, 1805. It is considered the most important bullfighter of the 19C, not only for its magnificent conditions of fighter but for his great contribution from the world of bullfighting contained in his treatise on the art of fighting both on foot and on horseback.

A bit apart, the best for me  is that Chiclana has different wineries in which fine, fragrant and muscat wines are grown. The Bodega Cooperativa Unión de Viticultores Chiclaneros is the largest winery in the city, established as a cooperative since 1992. The wineries of Vélez, Manuel Aragón, Barberá, Collantes, and Miguel Guerra also enjoy a certain prestige in the city.

The tourist office of Chiclana de la Frontera in English:

Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Historico or the Andalucian Institute of historical heritage. With all the above and more in Spanish:

The city of Chiclana and its history in Spanish with a pdf file to download and print:

And now I have it all pack in this post for reference for the future and my memories of the Barcelo resort which I shall return! Hope you enjoy this trip post, history, anecdotes and sights of Chiclana de la Frontera!

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

September 2, 2020

La Garcilly: Church Saint Nicolas de Myre!!

As said in previous posts, been here several times as it was the favorite cosmetic firm of my dear late wife Martine. Due to circumtances we have been away from it for a while, but it was time to come to La Gacilly. The church is difficult to realise it is once facing it and have written before , however, this is new text and photos.

I like to tell you a bit more on La Gacilly in my Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne in my belle France. The town of La Gacilly is the home of the famous cosmetic firm Yves Rocher labs!! La Gacilly is 13 km from Redon, 49 km from Vannes, 51 km from Rennes and 75 km from Nantes.

The Church Saint Nicolas de Myre is from the 17C of neo greek style sitting right just outside the inner core of the city by the covered market on rue Antoine Monteil.


The Church of Saint-Nicolas-de-Myre or Saint-Jean-de-Myre from 1845. This church replaces the old chapel of the castle which once served as parish worship and dated from the 14C and was restored or enlarged in 1626 and 1628. The Church first trivial then parochial of la Gacilly was under the invocation of St. Nicholas. In 1745, the truce of La Gacilly was erected in the parish. The present Church is executed according to the rules of Greek architecture, with portico columns and rich triangular pediment. The church stood on a height, between the city and the old road of Glénac.The first stone of a chapel to the south in 1626, and another to the north in 1628; they were blessed in 1631, and dedicated, that of the north to the Blessed Virgin, and that of the south to St. Nicholas.


The Church Saint Nicolas de Myre was initially only the chapel of the castle; the original castle is dated, it seems, from the 6C. It then bore the name of Arcilla, then of Garcillé. In 1884, there was no trace of the castle above the mound; its foundations were hidden under the agglomerated earth. It rose on a height, between the town and the old road to Glénac. The Saint-Nicolas Church was equipped with a modern organ of the electroacoustic type in 2017.


The tourist office of Broceliande on La Gacilly

The tourist office of Bretagne on La Gacilly:

The parish Church Saint Nicolas de Myre at La Gacilly

So now feel better to give credit to this wonderful monument in city center just before the old town section of La Gacilly. The Church Saint Nicolas de Myre is worth coming back for the interior. Hope you enjoy the primer on perhaps an off the beaten path place in town!

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

September 1, 2020

Ruffiac: Church St Pierre et St Paul!

So Sunday is usually the day of travel with the boys, and this was no different. I look up all photos and realise not been back here in a few years with only 1h05 from home and one of my dear late wife Martine favorite. More on next posts.

In passing taking a new route from the N24 highway to the D8 we came upon a new town , rather village and a nice big church that even if passing made me think to come back for more. Therefore, let me give you a primer on the town of Ruffiac and its Church of St Peter and St Paul.

The town of Ruffiac is located in the Morbihan department 56, in the region of Bretagne. It is a town in the canton of Malestroit; and on the Malestroit-Guer and Ploërmel-Redon highways corridor. This territory is limited by the towns of Caro,by Missiriac and Saint-Laurent, by Saint-Martin, by Saint-Nicolas and Tréal. It is 45 km from Vannes.

In the 9C, the territory of Ruffiac largely depends on the Abbey of Saint-Sauveur in Redon. This territory was devastated by the Normans in the 10C. From 830, the cartulary of the abbey of Redon, mentions the parish church of Ruffiac. In the 11C, the monks of the abbey of Redon founded the priory of Notre-Dame-de-Pitié.

The Church Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul b.1920-1921. A primitive church is mentioned from 830 in Ruffiac, rebuilt in the 12C, enlarged in the 16C, restored in the 18C and in the 19C. The new church was rebuilt in 1920. Of the Romanesque construction, there remains a semicircular portal, decorated with small columns with simple capitals, a small window very splayed in the wall of the nave, and flat buttresses not protruding. The triumphal arch which separates the choir from the nave, is from the 15C. All the rest of the building has been redone in modern times. In 1956, the old bell tower built in 1920 was knocked down. On a stained glass window are represented the arms of the families of La Bourdonnaye and La Rués. The liturgical ornaments, offered by the Marquis de La Bourdonnaye, date from 1751.


The parish church of Ruffiac is under the invocation of the apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The current church contains some remains of an old construction; thus, at the nave, there is a small very narrow Romanesque window; a semi-circular portal with three retreats, with small columns with simple capitals. A later period is the large ogival arcade, resting on simple cutters, between the choir and the nave, as well as a window accosted by the carved escutcheons of the Bourdonnaye and the Rués families.


The city of Ruffiac on its heritage, do not know why does not list the church!

In all, one of the highlights of my road warrior incursions into the Breton territory is that each time you find something to make you come back for more and this is the case of Ruffiac and its surrounding. Hope you enjoy the primer as I did.

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

September 1, 2020

Belz: Saint Cado and its chapel!!!

And here I am again on beautiful historical Saint Cado on a small island in the middle of the Etel ria in my gorgeous Morbihan! Eventually this Etel ria takes you to the Atlantic ocean!

I have been here before and just recently . My luck has it was able to go inside the famous Chapel of Saint Cado here, an architecture and historical marvel. Let me tell you a bit more with new text and photos!


The Chapel of Saint-Cado is located in the estuary of Étel, on the island of Saint-Cado  town of Belz in the Morbihan dept 56  and dates mostly now from the 16C , the nave, the aisles and the choir date from the Romanesque period. Saint Cado (Kado), was born in 522 in Glywysing, former Kingdom of South-East Wales, son of King Saint Gwynllyw, and his wife St. Gladys.


The village of Saint Cado has a rich historical and cultural heritage: chapels, stone houses, menhirs, dolmens, fountains, etc. The village is linked to the mainland and to the town of Belz by a stone bridge. On the other side of the legendary bridge, you will be seduced by the beautiful fishermen’s houses. On a small islet, a small oyster fisherman’s house, dating from 1894, photographed many times, has toured the world.  Open to walkers, the only coastal path on the island of Saint Cado will allow you to walk around it. From the stone bridge, the trail forms a loop and will bring you back to your starting point. By the presence of many small boats and equipment, fishing is still very present in the area. Absolute calm and a beautiful sunset over the water perfect the moment.


The Hermitage of Saint Cado became a monastery, but, despite the gifts of the local lords, it failed to sustained itself. The present Chapel, measuring 16 meters long by  over 10 meters wide, and was restored in 1959, however most dates from the 12C. From a classic plan, it consisted of a nave with 3 spans, two aisles and a semicircular apse in the oven-bottom extending the nave. A beautiful altar Calvary dating from 1832, testifies to the spiritual activity of the place. It is one of the most curious Roman style churches in the Morbihan department. Built by the monks of the priory in the 11-12C, today only its nave and apse choir remain. A large chapel was added to this church in 1842, with a small porch and a sacristy.


Inside, you will find the bed of Saint Cado, which in fact is a small altar always bathed in legends, since by bending down you would hear the sound of the sea and this would heal the deaf. Since then, the chapel has become, in fact, the center of pilgrimage for the hearing-impaired who come to seek healing. Below, a small fountain of devotion 18C (see post), regularly submerged by the tide. It is located at the edge of the foreshore on the Etel estuary. Built on a rectangular plan, it is made of a stone roof in the shape of an inverted nave, surmounted by a Celtic cross.


Saint Cado was a monk from Wales in the 6C. He lived in Armorica (part of present day Brittany) between the 5C and the 7C. He came to find his compatriots driven out by the Saxon invasion and resided on the island of the Etel river which today bears his name. He built an oratory there, founded a monastery and devoted himself to the evangelisation of the countryside. He was also at the origin of the construction of the 100 meters causeway which connects the island to the land, which earned him a popular legend.


The city of Belz on Saint Cado,311.html

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Saint Cado:

On the other side of the legendary stone bridge, you will let yourselves be seduced by the beautiful fishermen’s houses. The Etel estuary, fed by several rivers, forms with the picturesque Saint-Cado island one of the most beautiful corners of the region. A river valley invaded by the sea, it is a sheltered bay, dotted with islets. Very close to Lorient, oyster parks, peninsulas, wild beaches, dunes and marshes offer, in this inland sea, an unusual landscape of great beauty. You can discover, in the Etel ria, an incredible flora and fauna of the ria like herons, cormorants, sandpipers, and terns, etc. However, the pride of the Etel region is especially the oyster. You can also find mussels, clams, cockles or periwinkles. Enjoy it as we do!

A real paradise of seduction, calm, architecture, history and above all the beauty of the sea. The island of Saint Cado and its chapel are only  21 km from my house! It is worth the detour for all to see it. Recommended.

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

August 31, 2020

Belz: Church Saint Saturnin!

And continuing with my road warrior trips around coastal Morbihan dept 56 of Bretagne in my belle France. These areas are very close to me and do spent quite a bit of time around them. However, for do not know why pictures and stopping were short to say the least. I am redoing them now with new text and photos. Hope you enjoy it as I did.

One of the quant towns in coastal (south) Morbihan is Belz. It is less than 19 km from my house! The area is known for its oysters , mussels production, and quite a few monuments.



The town of Belz is bounded by the Etel estuary, by towns of Erdeven and Locoal-Mendon. It also includes the Saint-Cado island, located on the Etel estuary(see post). One of the nicest one in the bourg or city center is the Church Saint Saturnin. Let me tell you a bit more on it.

In 1888, 66 bronze axes as well as gold bracelets were discovered in Belz. These objects are exhibited in the museums of Carnac, Vannes and Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines 78). The town is now proud of a prestigious prehistoric site. Following a fire which incidentally freed the landier present in an artisanal area, a field of menhirs was discovered in July 2006 on the site of Kerdruellan, near the estuary of Étel.

The city of Belz on its menhirs and dolmens,318.html



The Church of Saint-Saturnin was built in 1914. In the past there was a Saint-Saturnin church in Belz, of Romanesque origin, but the last major restoration of which dated from 1678. This church, due to lack of maintenance and necessary restoration work, was unsuccessful. In a state of disrepair, it was destroyed in 1913. The new Church Saint Saturnin in Neo-Gothic style was built immediately after. The work began in May 1914 . Despite the declaration of war,(WWI) , it continued until the end of the year. For lack of money, the bell tower was not built. The church is dedicated to Saint Saturnin, bishop martyred in Toulouse (known here as Saint Sernin, see post on basilica) around 250. Divided into four bays, the nave has superimposed broken arched windows. The choir is formed by two straight bays and with two lean-to sacristies. There is a wooden ex-voto ,a votive tuna boat that bears the name of “Sainte Anne d’Auray”.



belz ch saint saturnin prayer chapel jul15

The city of Belz on heritage including the Church Saint Saturnin,317.html

The tourist office of the Bay of Quiberon on Belz

And there you go folks, doing justice to the wonderful architecture and history of my region dept 56 Morbihan in my lovely Bretagne. You will do well to stop by Belz if anything for its delicacies of the sea. Hope you enjoy the post as I did.

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

August 31, 2020

Some news from France, CCCXIIII

And time to catch up on some of my favorite news from France. It has been a slow sad period for many, and we are still fighting with the light at the end of the tunnel better. In my neck of the woods all is clear for the rentrée or the coming back from Summer vacations. The weather has been rainy cooler already we have 12C now and was up to 20C during the day.

September 1st 2020 is the rentrée or re entry or working after the long summer Vacations in France so therefore, historically, new changes and new laws come into play as well. Some of these are

The entry into force of the wearing of the compulsory mask in middle school, high school, and in business offices. It’s back to school for thousands of schoolchildren, middle school and high school students. But one of the biggest changes initially announced for Tuesday, the implementation of the second part of the unemployment insurance reform, has been postponed due to the economic crisis. Regulated gas sales tariffs applied by Engie will increase by 0.6%. On the electricity side, this Tuesday will mark the end of the measure to suspend any reduction or interruption in the supply of electricity and gas and late payment penalties for all customers. The prices of cigarette packs will change slightly, following a decree published in the Official Journal on August 11, 2020. Some packages at 9.20 euros will increase by 10 cents, others, at 9.60 euros, will on the contrary decrease a little. From September 1, and until October 15, the Scolarité – Services portal is open to applications for scholarships for students enrolled in high schools and regional adapted education establishments (EREA). Declined over six income levels, these grants vary from 441 to 933 euros and will be paid quarterly. The partial unemployment scheme for home-based employees, set up in March to help individual employers in difficulty to pay their home-based employees and childminders, is coming to an end in mainland France. This September 1, the fixed fine is generalized for drug consumption. What does it mean? That the consumers arrested will no longer go to court, provided they are of legal age, recognize the facts, and be in possession of less than 10 grams of cocaine or 100 grams of cannabis: they will be fined directly, and will therefore receive a ticket and a fine, as for a large number of traffic offenses. This is set at 200 euros, but can be reduced to 150 and increased to 450. September 1, fairs, shows, but also a number of shows, except concerts in standing configuration, should be able to resume without authorization or gage.

With its 50 km of temporary cycle paths, Paris is transforming to become a more cycling city. To the point of looking like Copenhagen one day? Not that easy !  A bicycle traffic jam on a cycle path. It was still unimaginable in Paris some time ago. But today, at the time of leaving the offices and on certain major axes, Paris almost looks like the European cycling capital. In Copenhagen, 28% of all daily trips are made by bicycle. And almost one in two people cycle to work or school every day. In Paris, even though bicycle use has jumped 52% in one year, cycling only accounts for around 3% of all daily trips.

Julian Alaphilippe, closer to the Tour de France stars! Winner of the second stage on Sunday in Nice and a new yellow jersey, the French rider, who paid tribute to his father who died at the end of June, returns to his exploits of a year ago. “I promised myself to win for him”, he said. “ I wanted to dedicate this first victory to him. We have all had a difficult year. ” Bon vent Julian.

The Grand Rex, the pharaonic cinema designed by producer Jacques Haïk, camped in the 2éme arrondissement of Paris, has experienced many adventures. It is the only cinema where the public looks up… to the sky. How difficult it is not to be ecstatic, silent, in front of these Greek statues, these gigantic trees and this wall covered with plants with candlesticks. This 5,000-seat juggernaut, whose shape is inspired by atmospheric theaters in the United States. And with the largest screen in France. A 300 m² canvas hanging from the ceiling. From the outside, a protuberance culminates on the gray facade. It’s the projection booth. At the top of a staircase, a Charlie Chaplin dressed as a clown detonates on a fresco of corsairs painted by Mahé . Jacques Haïk was born in Tunis in 1893. From modest origins, he arrived in France with his brother as a teenager. Very studious during his studies, he quickly turned to the cinema and began by exercising small trades as a delivery of reels. At 20, he invested in his own distribution of American films and was the first to introduce Charlie Chaplin in France. He produced around forty films between the 1920s and 1930s. He gave their first roles in talking cinema to Annabella, Arletty, Jules Berry. He made Danielle Darrieux, Harry Baur, Victor Boucher work… He became one of the three biggest French producers. The Grand Rex ,an institution of Paris to see. More in English here:

Visit the Tour Jean sans peur or fearless John tower. This fortification, built in the 15C, is the last vestige of the hotel of the Dukes of Burgundy. Furniture, decoration and costumes allow the public to immerse themselves in the daily life of the Middle Ages. Open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. 20, rue Etienne-Marcel 2éme arrondissement. Admission price adults 6 euros.More info in French here:

Lick your chops at the Chocolate Museum. Discover the 4000-year history of cocoa through a unique collection of thousands of objects. You will learn that the Mayans laid the foundations for the use of cocoa but also that the Aztecs considered it to be food for the gods. A tasty journey. 28, bd de Bonne-Nouvelle   10éme arrondissement. Admission price adults 12 euros. Have contact tel +33 (0) More info here:

 This year, the inhabitants of Saint-Cloud will not see 120,000 festival-goers disembark in their park. The Rock en Seine festival, which should have been held next weekend, has been postponed due to the health crisis. Instead, the organizers have mounted a “Festival of festivals”, a large concert that will be broadcast on France 2 and France Inter, this Thursday evening. The poster is beautiful: Alain Souchon, Camélia Jordana, Christine and the Queens, Philippe Katerine… And the consequences on life in Saint-Cloud will be minimal compared to the usual festival lol!. More here in English:

At Brie-Comte-Robert ,Seine et Marne dept 77. Participate in the restoration of a fortified castle! takes part in a volunteer workcamp at the Château de Brie-Comte-Robert. The Friends of the Castle association welcomes volunteers who take part in the restoration of the medieval castle. The castle and its friends webpage is here:

The residence Arcades du Lac and les Templettes designed by Ricardo Bofill celebrates its 40th anniversary in Montigny-le-Bretonneux ,Yvelines dept 78. A sound and light show will take place on the walls of this emblematic place in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines with its unique architecture. More from SQY here:

Mon Grand Plaisir is off to a flying start, as can be seen from the crowd observed this Saturday. Plaisir , this Saturday forty-eight hours after its official opening, the 39,000 m2 shopping complex is always full. Always was packed, we shop here plenty of stores spread all over,now with this huge place no surprise for me. Great spot!More info here:

However, different story for language programs as less international travelers and students due to covid19. For language travel organizations, a catastrophic summer! Business losses of around 80%!!!

Two beer enthusiasts near Lille transformed the old textile factories buildings to create the Brique House. A hybrid place where it is good to drink homemade mousses, taste the best pizzas in the area or just hang out on soft sofas. In Saint-André-lez-Lille, on the outskirts of Lille, stand the Halls de la filature, a convention and exhibition center popular with local businesses, set up in old textile factories, all in red bricks. and with a beautiful height under ceiling. At the beginning of March, in this area – which is industrial in name only , the Brique House settled, a living space attached to a craft brewery on some 1,700 square meters. Give a beer and is pack lol! Their Facebook page here:

Manifesta invests for the first time in a French city, with a 13th edition necessarily turned upside down by the Covid-19. The exploration of new forms of being together is at the heart of the three aspects of the Marseille event. The main program, “Traits d’union.” thus devotes many projects to public space, based on an urban interpretation of the city like a puzzle. “Les Parallèles du Sud” brings together projects led by certified local actors, including the regional contemporary art fund of Provence-Alpes-Côte d´Azur or the Friche la Belle-de-Mai, but also more alternative places. Finally, the “Third Program” invites artists to work with the inhabitants of the most disadvantaged districts of the city.   Places and exhibitions will gradually open. Among the proposals presented during the opening week: a hybrid boat from Forlane 6 Studio, as an exit from the industrial revolution, but equipped with the latest technologies in terms of ecological transition (at the Old Port and Port-de-Bouc), Olivier Millagou’s totems created from waste collected in the sea when he surfs (at the Borg shipyard), or a plastic opera by the duo of “Displace” (Marie Ilse Bourlanges and Elena Khurtova) on the notions of migration and identity in a psychiatric hospital in Aix-en-Provence.   Until November 29 2020, More info here :

The refined art of Léon Spilliaert at the Musée d’Orsay “Digue la nuit” (1908), by Léon Spilliaert , ink wash and watercolor on paper, Paris, Musée d’Orsay, preserved in the department of graphic arts from the Louvre Museum. Orsay Museum, How sad, Ostend, at night! At least when it’s Léon Spilliaert who paints it. It’s sad, but it’s beautiful: refined, minimal, his views of the Belgian seaside city where the artist was born in 1881 (he died in Brussels in 1946) are unlike anything known, even if we have attempted to classify their author among the Symbolists, perhaps because of his friendship with the poet Emile Verhaeren . As for his portraits, most often full-face, haggard, hallucinated faces, they are akin to expressionism. You can’t miss the exhibition of an unclassifiable painter, especially since it is the first in France for forty years. More at Musée d’Orsay in English:

Good news for Parisians and professionals who have been hit hard by the health crisis. The ephemeral terraces of bars and restaurants will be perpetuated until June 2021! In total, no less than 8,000 restaurateurs have installed extensions on sidewalks or parking spaces. Ephemeral terraces that will be extended for ten months! Bars and restaurants in the capital will be able to occupy parking spaces and sidewalks until June 30, 2021.

With its 12 million inhabitants covering an area of 12,000 km2, Île-de-France region is the most urbanized region in France. However, more than 78% of its surface is made up of plant, agricultural, forest and horticultural spaces.! Of course, they do! And yes they do have a webpage in French:

The department 67 of Bas-Rhin is home to the new national reserve of the Robertsau and Wantzenau forest, on the northern outskirts of Strasbourg. Almost all of the Robertsau forest, military land and part of the La Wantzenau forest. And two new regional nature parks are added to the 51 existing in France, that of Mont-Ventoux in the Vaucluse dept 84 in the PACA region and the Baie de Somme Picardie Maritime regional nature park in the Somme dept 80, region of Hauts de France.

More on Bas Rhin here:

More on the Mont Ventoux

More on the Baie de Somme

And there you go folks, enjoy my belle France. Until next time in this your favorite channel and mine’s ::) And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

August 30, 2020

Arzon: Port Navalo!!!

And voilà this is another peninsula in my lovely Morbihan of my gorgeous Bretagne in my belle France. I come here often and as often do not take pictures, sort of like a local habit nowdays I guess. This time wanted to put new pictures into my blog and new text of beautiful Port Navalo.

Let me tell you, this is a harbor area with the sea, beaches, boats of all sorts and great seafood restaurant to boot. WE love it!!! It is about an hour from my house. I have written before on Port Navalo as said we come here often even to ride tandem bikes!


The Port-Navalo is a former coastal fishing port dating from the early 20C , and it is now administerily part of the town of Arzon; in the Rhuys peninsula. This coastal resort offers a panorama of Quiberon and Locmariaquer as well as the interior of the Gulf. The harbor of Port Navalo and its traditional port. Formerly animated by fishing, it is today a holiday resort. The view dominates the currents of the narrow gully which marks the entrance to the gulf of Morbihan and its islands which close the horizon. Opposite, you can see the shores of Locmariaquer(see posts).

You can take a taxi boat between Port Navalo and Locmariaquer here:


port navalo

You take the expressway N165 from Vannes along the Nantes Brest axis,direction Nantes   and get off at exit or sortie Sarzeau, Rhuys on the road D780, all the way to the end. There is a bus service on line 24  Port-Navalo – Arzon – Sarzeau – Vannes from the gare de Vannes to the peninsula done by the bus network Kiceo, never taken.

The Grande Plage de Port-Navalo ; which is ,also, the best. AKA  Port Blanc plage:. Located on the tip of the Rhuys peninsula, this pleasant sandy beach is particularly popular with families. The services nearby are numerous: parking, first aid station, picnic tables, restaurants, beach clubs and playground. Little extra: The Breizh Sable Tour stops here every year for a week to introduce children to the art of sand sculpture free of charge.

The plages tv webpage on the beaches of Port Navalo



The phare de la pointe or lighthouse of the tip of Port Navalo ; since 1840, a lighthouse indicates the entrance to the Gulf of Morbihan. The current lighthouse dates from 1891. Port-Navalo is an excellent refuge in bad weather from south Strait the port is connected by sea links to Belle-Ile, Houat and Hoëdic islands.


Like said this is an area to come to relax, see the sea, the enjoyment of anice big beach, all with quant restos and shops all around you, just lovely for a day or a weekend. In season ,”normal” you need to come early to avoid the traffic as there is only one road in and out of the peninsula the D780. Hope you enjoy as we did

Ahh and of course, if come here, need to eat, seafood par excellence, the real life of the Morbihan and Bretagne overall.  Port Navalo is no different, as we dig in for our mussels bouchet at La Grande Cale resto on 29 rue Général de Gaulle which is actually sitting between the big beach and the port walking distance leaisurely easy. A pleasure to tell you.



We had two bottles of brut Cidre Nicol local breton cider with moules bretonne (mussels in cider and cream) moules roquefort (mussels with roquefort cheese) and moules curry (mussels in curry sauce), all ended with cafe gourmand a nice portion of coffee and far breton a local pudding with ice cream and fresh fruits; all for less than 27 euros still a good deal for the sizes and the view! No webpage but listing in the Morbihan tourist office here:


Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is recommended.

The ports of Arzon : port Navalo :

The city of Arzon on  port Navalo boating info:

Tidal waves info on Port Navalo for boaters and swimmers:

The tourist office of the Gulf of Morbihan on Port Navalo

You have it all to enjoy a wonderful day or weekend in beautiful Port Navalo in Arzon, in the Rhuys peninsula of my gorgeous Morbihan. Hope you enjoy the post as I did.

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

August 29, 2020

Saint Philibert and its beaches!

I am moving right along the coast in my wonderful Morbihan dept 56 of Bretagne, France. The beaches of Saint Philibert are about 23 mins by car from my house.

I like to tell you a bit more about them with new text and photos. Not to repeat myself , beach bum since birth and city goers by adulthood, know about beaches and these ones are good.

First on the scope is the plage Men er Bellec beach located in Tréhennarvour cove in a pleasant environment made up of pine forests and a few residences. Stretching for about 400 meters with a gentle slope, attendance is very family-oriented. On the other hand, at low tide, swimming is impossible as the sea is too far. Sanitary facilities near the car park.  The Men er Beleg beach is nice for unwind day for me and walking with our dog Rex on the pine forest along it is superbe!



The best for us is the plage Kernevest beach is a sandy beach very popular with families. 250 meters long, the left side is bordered by a pleasant pine forest and the right area is occupied by a sailing center. The beach is closed to animals from April 1 to September 30.


The Kernevest Beach is a white sand beach, popular with families with its parking nearby. A nautical club and the sailing school are located in the fort of Kernevest 19C. This is a dandy and recommended for swimming and walks.


My fav webpage for beaches in France is plages tv, here it is the Saint Philibert beaches as above:

We come here and enjoy a galette and or nice pint of beer Penfold with the views of the pine forest. The Creperie de la Pointe, 14 rue de Trélian is perfect for this. They have a Facebook page here:


This is beautiful countryside by the sea, the real living, and nice views now and when the tourist leave even better! Hope you enjoy the beaches of Saint Philibert.

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

August 29, 2020

Saint Philibert and its Chapel!

So as usual, there is a huge amount of monuments around here, some pretty old and meaningful to the locals. I have driven by it but never stop by or maybe it was close; well today I was lucky ,it was open. So let me tell you a bit on the monuments of Saint Philibert, Morbihan, Bretagne, France!

Dedicated to sailors, the Chapelle de Saint-Philibert ; 4 Rue de la Chapelle ; plunges you into a magical world. At high tide as at low tide, the chapel watches over the neighboring fishermen and oyster farmers on the banks of the Ster river. Built in 1648 in the heart of the Bay of Quiberon, its architecture has evolved over time. In the 17C, imagine it looked like a fisherman’s house, on a rectangular plan with a simple central nave.


Restored twice, in 1773 and in 1785, it was again enlarged in 1954 at the level of the north transept. Then the hamlet of Saint-Philibert grew, and its chapel followed suit: today, it has two lateral extensions for the transepts, and an extension at the back corresponding to the location of the current altar. If it is commonly called a “chapel”, this religious building is the Church of Our Lady of the Nativity. Entering through the main door of the Saint-Philibert Chapel, you take the tiny central aisle leading to the altar, bordered by a few wooden benches, and a splendid “Espére” or hope stained glass window with a marine anchor, on your right.


The altar is available to you in this colorful little setting. Its sky-blue vault is studded with white stars; the hanging ship models are quite recent because the old ones were stolen in 1989! First of all 3, there have been 4 since 2009, when the oyster farmers of the village offered the 4th model. Skylights pierced in the roof of the chapel are the only skylights with the few stained glass windows.



To your right and left, in perfect symmetry, the transepts are also modest in size, each with a small staircase leading to a tiny floor. The surface of the chapel is thus doubled to accommodate more faithful during services. All dressed in blue, the woodwork fits perfectly with the azure ceiling. The altarpiece dates from the 17C; the 19C painting of Saint-Philibert on a boat is surprising!


In the center, a large, richly decorated Baroque altarpiece from the 17-18C, made of tufa by artists from Laval and Angers, adorns the back of the choir. Decorated with four large black marble columns with Corinthian capitals surmounted by two pediments, it houses, in its central niche, a statue of Saint Philibert dressed as a bishop. The Saint is again represented in the large central painting, later, produced during the 19C. He is seen disembarking in the river, on a stone trough, after sailing from Ireland to evangelise the inhabitants. On either side of the painting, two large niches house two statues, not contemporary with the altarpiece: Saint Anne teaching Mary to read as a child 16C and the Virgin carrying the Child Jesus 19C. Coming out through the small door of the chapel, one can admire two beautiful fountains: the closest to the church, intended for animals, was built at the same time as the church by 1649, while the larger one, at the more noble architecture built in the 18C was reserved for the inhabitants of the town.



The city of Saint Philibert on its heritage including the Chapel:

The tourist office of the Bay of Quiberon on walks showing the Chapel:

This is a bit out of the bourg or city center all along the coast and before hitting the beaches as mentioned on another post. All on road D28 Saint Philibert, follow plages or beaches. Hope you enjoy this jewel that is worth the detour to see it, the Chapelle de Saint Philibert is very nice indeed.

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

August 26, 2020

Vannes: Quartier Saint Patern!

And it seems to me, that I had concentrated the writings on the old town and ramparts of Vannes ,when the city is much older elsewhere! Well, as said, so much to write in my lovely Morbihan , beautiful Bretagne and wonderful Vannes things can be overlook for a while.

I will try to remedy that in this post on the neighborhood or quartier Saint Patern. A bit of the architecture and history I like.


The territory of the Faubourg Saint-Patern is bounded by the Porte-Prison and the bottom of the current rue du Mené ,by the Administrative City and the cemetery of  Boismoreau, by the gardens of the Prefecture and by the Tête Noire or route de Rennes. The suburb of Saint-Patern, on the hill of Boismoreau, urbanized between the 1C and the 3C (forum and basilica, site excavated between 1988 and 1991), does not retain any townhouses dating from before the 15C!. The oldest buildings located rue Saint-Nicolas and place de Gaulle were replaced by buildings at the beginning of the 19c; the cloister built in the 17C by the construction of the Petit-Fers establishments around 1895. Under the rue Saint-Nicolas, heavily backfilled, the remains of two bridges spanning the stream as well as the base of some houses in the rue Saint-Nicolas.


The natural environment is marked by the site’s escarpment on the hillside with the summit occupied by Place Cabello. From the inner city, the access to the suburb passes over the stream of the Bishop’s mill, which is channelled today. The Faubourg Saint-Patern forms an agglomerated fabric made up of islets of irregular shapes, crossed by a network of streets and alleys. The identified and selected houses are located within a perimeter positioned around the city walls. the most striking is the closure in the middle of the 18C of the rue de la Petite Garenne, a route of Roman origin, in favor of the current route of the rue du Maréchal Leclerc and the place du Général de Gaulle. In total, 21 blocks or part of blocks are identified, limited by 23 streets, alleys or squares. The houses are built in line with the streets while the rear facades open onto small courtyards of old gardens which housed secondary buildings: sheds and stables. There are a few houses with gardens set up in the middle of the plot in the block between rue Saint-Patern and rue du Four. Some pedestrian crossings built today, arranged between the houses to move easily between the streets are still detectable in several places, and this despite the successive land upheavals. Finally, some houses are distinguished by specific access or circulation, especially on the ground floor.


As said ,the main sight to see here is the Church Saint Patern,(see post) a must and do keep trying to see the interior. However, there are other interestings buildings will briefly tell you about it here.

The Chapelle Sainte Catherine chapel renovated in 1848, also called Chapelle de la Congregation is next to the Church Saint-Patern . It is accessed by a staircase with several steps. On the facade a statue of the Virgin Mary, recalls that this chapel was formerly called ChapelleNotre-Dame . On the ledge, located below the small rose window, an attentive eye can discern an inscription in the Breton language “Congregation en dud Yaouank” which means “congregation of young people.” Today fitted out for parish needs, this small chapel is used for Mass on weekdays and evenings of prayer and adoration.


The préfécture or regional government building at Rue Alain le Grand is for official events only as the administrative part is elsewhere in city center by Place de la République. Inaugurated in 1865, this prestigious building is built on the site of a former convent. A large park surrounds this U-shaped building. On the pediment, a bas relief shows two important figures in the history of Brittany: Nominoë and Alain Barbetorte, as well as the imperial eagle and the arrival of the railway at Vannes in 1862.


The building of the old Petit-Fers establishments is an old industrial building built across from the Morbihan prefecture regional government building in Rue Alain le Grand. This building was built between 1894 and 1906 by the Petit family, who were metal traders. The building served as a warehouse until the 1970s. It was then partly redeveloped into a shopping mall known as “Les Arcades” before being transformed into several businesses. The Petit-Fers building was developed on two levels with a large volume reserved for the store and apartments located in the attic. It has a metal framework and a T-shaped plan. The rich decoration of the facade combines granite, limestone, tufa, brick, as well as cast iron columns and enamelled ceramic.


And of course, walking, it is always nice to see visitors taking a ride in the Petit Train by rue du Four old Saint Patern neighborhood!! On a sunny afternoon!


The tourist office of the Gulf of Morbihan on the St Patern’s neighborhood

In all , always a pleasant walk in my capital city of Vannes. Hope you enjoy the walk as we did on a nice Sunday afternoon where was glad to find restos open in this quartier or neighborhood! Remember to stop by Saint Patern.

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

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