Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

July 20, 2018

This is Germany:Düsseldorf

So here I found one from my vault. The idea of going to Germany was always in our minds and we eventually got there on several times. However, the start was slow; after Trier, I had a business trip to Düsseldorf and it became and still is the only time needed an airplane to get there!

Düsseldorf has been buried in my blog for a long time and I like to give it a new fresh air to this wonderful city of many nice funny memories. My last and only blog post on Düsseldorf is here: Dusseldorf I came

The funny part I remember well was that in our group someone got the idea for dinner out in the city and reserved a restaurant Brauerie Schumacher was it. We of course, speak no German ,so we figure we can go out and find the place. We walked a lot followed other groups thinking they knew where was the restaurant ,when in fact, they were lost too!!! lol! We try several places that the name looks close until we finally arrived at the restaurant above and dinner was half way going, of course we stayed for the rest !! yeah!

Another funny sequence for me was that I had a travel forum now gone call Virtual Tourist, and I asked in the forum how to get to the hotel from the airport as I was reaching the city by airplane (first and only time because afterward been with my car ::)) . Of course, in this forum , you know, reason not on any now; the gang suggested for me to take the S-Bahn or something like that. Well for this road warrior first time in a city that was a bit too much. I remember walking out of the airport thinking on what I was told on public transport ,and instinctly just walk out to get a taxi lol! This was about 21€ but it was the most talkative funny guy ever in English! Of course, the way back took a taxi too, sublime.

You get some of the tourist tips in the post above, but I like to give you a bit of the history I like.

Düsseldorf is the capital and the second largest city in the Lande of North Rhine-Westphalia, located mainly on the right bank of the Rhine river, it lies at the western limits of the vast agglomeration of Rhine-Ruhr.  The town is located on the Rhine, at the confluence of the Düssel, a small river in the valley of which was discovered in 1856 in a cave the skeleton of what is now called the man of Neanderthal and is located in the neighboring town of Erkrath. Düsseldorf  also is meant as the  “village of Düssel”.

Düsseldorf International Airport is located 8 km north of the city center and is very nice and easy to navigate,  the airport is connected directly to the central train station of the city by the S-Bahn Rhine Ruhr (Metro/Regional train) in about 12 minutes. There is a  suspended monorail, the Skytrain, connecting the 3 terminals to Düsseldorf Flughafen station, where many ICE trains stops. The largest station of the city is however the Central station right in the city center.  The roads I find out in later trip are very good and fast just like I like them ,to the west, the A57 highway, which connects Cologne to Nijmegen in the Netherlands, to the east, the A3, one of Germany’s longest highways, since it extends from the Dutch border (Arnhem) to the Austrian border (Passau) on nearly 750 km. To the north and south, respectively the A44 direction Liège in Belgium and the A46 join the A57 to the north and south of Neuss, the great neighbouring city of Düsseldorf and the A3. The Taxis are strictly regulated, and very good deal, I took them for this trip and they were superb.

Now, a bit of history I like

Erected in town in 1288, Düsseldorf was a long time the capital of the Duchy of Juliers-Berg; with this, the city passed under the domination of the Palatine counts, which, by inheritance, became the 17C and 18C of Latin and Bavaria voters. The first written mention of Düsseldorf (then called Dusseldorp in the local Low Rhenish dialect) dates back to 1135. Under Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa , the small town of Kaiserswerth to the north of Düsseldorf became a well-fortified outpost, where soldiers kept a watchful eye on every movement on the Rhine river . Kaiserswerth eventually became a suburb of Düsseldorf in 1929.

Bombarded by the French in 1795, which razed the fortifications, transformed today into parks and avenues, the city became the capital of the Grand Duchy of Berg, which had Murat and Napoleon Bonaparte as sovereigns. It was returned to Bavaria by the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801, and passed with the Grand Duchy of Berg to Prussia in 1815. Some of the key dates I was able to find from wikipedia are

1773, the oldest academy of Fine Arts in Europe is founded.
1795, the French Revolutionary army bombarded the city and razed its fortifications, which were then transformed into parks and avenues.
1797 ,birth in Düsseldorf of the poet Heinrich Heine who writes in 1827 “The city of Düsseldorf is very beautiful, and when in the distance we think of it and that by chance we were born, we feel all funny. I was born there, and in those cases I think I have to go home right now. And when I say go home, I mean the Bolkerstrasse and the house where I was born… »

1805, Napoleon created the Grand Duchy of Berg within the framework of the Confederation of the Rhine and designated as capital Düsseldorf. The Dukes of Berg housed in a castle town where he hosted Joachim Murat and Jérôme Bonaparte.
1815, after the fall of the French Empire of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna established that the whole duchy should be part of Prussia.
1921-1925, in the context of the occupation of the Rhineland after WWI,  French troops stayed in the city.

The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Düsseldorf in mid-April 1945. The United states 97th Infantry Division easily captured the city on 18 April 1945,  after the local German resistance group launched Aktion Rheinland.  At the end of the war 50%  of the buildings were destroyed, 90% damaged.  1946, the British military government raised the city to the rank of capital of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.  The city is then rebuilt and becomes the administrative center of the region.

Some of the things to see and do here are

In the 19C, the Academy of Fine Arts, under the impetus of Wilhelm von Schadow, made Düsseldorf both one of the major artistic centers of Germany and a pole of European romantic and realistic art. We are talking about a school in Düsseldorf.  At the same time, Düsseldorf is also associated with an essential artist of Romanticism in another field, music. The city appointed Robert Schumann Generalmusikdirektor (something like Music Director). He lived there with his wife Clara Wieck, a composer and pianist, from 1850 to 1854. It was in Düsseldorf that he created his last symphony, Symphony No. 3, called “Rhine”.

The highly visited Museum Kunstpalast and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, which brings together the K20 and the K21 are some of the notable museums in town. By the city center you have the Church of Saint Andrews built in 1667; the  Düsseldorf racecourse for horses, the  Basilica of St. Margaret, the Church-Bunker, and the Church of St. Cecilia.

Düsseldorf is a very active city with good ambiance and old world town area vibrant with restos and beer pubs.  It is also of course known for beer. The local one is known as the Altbier , a hoppy beer which translates as old style beer , a reference to the pre-lager brewing method of using a warm top-fermenting yeast like British pale ales.  Over time the  yeast adjusted to lower temperatures, and the Alt brewers would store lager the beer after fermentation, leading to a cleaner, crisper beer. The name “altbier” first appeared in the 19C  to differentiate the beers of Düsseldorf from the new pale lager that was gaining a hold on Germany . In the city ,there are five pub-breweries which brew Altbier on the premises, these are  Füchschen, Schumacher, Schlüssel, Uerige and Brauerei Kürzer. Four of the five are in the historic centre of Düsseldorf (Altstadt); the other (Schumacher), between the Altstadt and Düsseldorf Central railway station (Hauptbahnhof), also maintains an establishment in the Altstadt, Im Goldenen Kessel, across the street from Schlüssel.



One of the biggest cultural events in Düsseldorf is the  Karneval or Carnival which starts every year on 11 November in the morning., and reaches its climax on Rosenmontag or Rose Monday, featuring a huge parade through the streets of Düsseldorf.  The Carnival ends on aschermittwoch or Ash Wednesday.

The locat tradition of the Radschläger or Cartwheelers is said to be the city’s oldest tradition This tradition was honored in 1954 by the erection of a fountain, called Cartwheeler’s Fountain, on the Burgplatz square.  Every Christmas, the city of Düsseldorf uses the city center to host one of the largest Christmas gatherings in Germany. The Christmas festival occurs every year from 17 November until 23 December. OF course all these dates are to be check on your trip here.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Dusseldorf tourim :

Franco German circle in French:

Tourist office of Dusseldorf:

Good unofficial info tourist site for Dusseldorf :

It was a memorable trip and nostalgia says I should go back, will see. However, recommended for all visiting Germany.

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



June 19, 2018

The unique of Madrid Church of Holy Cross!

Oh yes this is known to us as the Iglesia de Santa Cruz at Calle Atocha,6 in my beloved Madrid. There are many famous popular and tourist sites in Madrid, but why keep talking about them….I have been ask many times if there are new things to see in a particular city such as Madrid, well there are plenty you just need time…lots of time, Madrid has plenty.

I can write a blog on Madrid alone too, but the goal is share travel experiences from everywhere, anyway, Madrid will be always home in my beloved Spain. Let me tell you a bit about a nice Church.

As mentioned the Iglesia de la Santa Cruz is at a nice popular zone near the Atocha train station and the Plaza de Atocha or at Calle de Atocha no 6 corner of Calle de Santo Tomàs. You can here by Metro Tirso de Molina line 1 (blue) or Sol line 1 (blue) and line 2 (red) or line 3 (yellow) or at metro Anton Martin, line 1 (blue).

The  Church is found in a lot where the convent of St Thomas of Aquinas of the Dominican order was founded in 1583 by priest Diego de Chaves ,confessor of king Felipe II, and was left empty in 1836. The story goes that by 1626 , it felled under the patron of the count duke of Olivares and in 1635 the first stone was laid for a new Church, that went on fire in 1652  making the convent and the Church disappeared.  It is rebuilt in 1660 and the high altar falls off in 1726 killing the churchgoers , then in 1756 it goes through another fire. Finally in 1876 another fire destroyed the whole building and it was demolished. The current Church was began to be built in 1889 with a facade in the Churriguresco style and the cloister of the baroque school; the construction needed to stop for lack of funds and they took off again in 1899 , finally the Church was completed in 1902. Lots of faith and perseverance indeed.

The current Church has a neo gothic style with brick and white stone of Colmenar, the principal facade has an arc crown by a triangular front with a Cross.  The center of the facade has a relief with the apotheosis of the Cross and on top of the portico a great cupola in which a big clock . It has one nerf with eight lateral chapels.


The most interesting point of the tower is at more than 80 meters high at which top the bells are enclosed in a dome looking like a fortress and in some way continue the tradition of the previous Church towers of 144 feet built in 1660 and known as the Atalaya de la Corte (watchtower of the courts).  The tower was the highest point in the city until the Telefonica building in Gran Via was done in the 1920’s.

In the interior there is a portrait of the Virgen de la Cinta , patron Saint of the city of Huelva . Here is the seat of the fraternity branch of that of Huelva. Since building the Church in 1902, the Archicofradía del Santo Entierro de Madrid ( Catholic association of the holy burial ) , and one of the oldest in the city ,created in 1412. Also, home since the end of the 1950’s to the Cofradía de María Santísima de Araceli de Madrid, branch of the Real Archicofradía de María Santísima de Araceli de Lucena, in Cordoba.

Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid

Parish Church of Santa Cruz webpage :

There is a nice stop and not so far from the more popular places, just a tip of the off the beaten paths of my Madrid. Hope you enjoy it.

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



May 18, 2018

That little old town Trier, in Germany!

I think ,I have mentioned on the previous post but the way I came here was by accident or curiosity of a traveller. My idea and our family was to visit Luxembourg city, and we came here often. On one of the earlier trip, we had extra time and saw a brochure on Trier in the tourist office , been close and we with a car, we took off for the Roman city of Trier. Yes that is how we came to know Trier, and it has been a must visit once in a while over the years,and has become our favorite city in Germany, said.

I have written on it several times and would like to give the link to the previous blog posts here:

Trier oldest city :

Quaint Trier

Come back to Trier :

Trier (Trèves in French) is in the region state of Rhineland Palatinate  on the Moselle river near the border with Luxembourg (about 50 km /31 mi) and the Moselle wine region.  You have good transport here with a nice train station with connection galore, by train the nearest cities are Cologne, Saarbrücken and Luxembourg city. The highway are wonderful and we have done it on the expressway A1 as well as A48 and A64 connecting Koblenz, Saarbrüken, and Luxembourg city. The airport nearest Trier is actually in Luxembourg at Findel just less than an hour away, Frankfort is about 2 hrs away as well as Cologne/Bonn. The Moselle river has nice cruises too.

A bit of history I like

Founded by the Celtic in the late-4C BC ; this town became an old Roman colony founded in the year 16 BC under the name of Augusta Treverorum on the site of a gaullist people name the Triveres. There is an old stone bridge built in 45 AD replacing an older wooden one and still the oldest bridge in Germany still working.  There is a rampart housing the biggest urban area in all of Gaul ,about 282 hectares. It ‘s still has the Porta Nigra , a must to see ,it is a fortified gate, as well as some wall foundations in the ramparts still from Roman times. Trier is considered the second Rome or Roma secunda. In addition from Roman times we have the Basilica which today is a protestant Church, remains of an amphitheater and ruins of the spas. The Franks took Trier from the Roman rule in 459 AD; by 870AD it became part of the Easter France that eventually became the Holy Roman Empire. The Cathedral of Trier is home to the archbishop that was one of the prince elect of the Germanic Holy Roman Empire, and keeps a vest that is considered the Holy Shroud that wore Jesus Christ to the Calvary. This Cathedral was closed for many years and finally re opened again in 1974.


Roman stone bridge

The German philosopher and one of the founders of Marxism , Karl Marx was born in the city in 1818. The University of Trier was founded in 1473 ,but it too was closed for several years , dissolved in 1797 and eventually reopened again in 1974. The years 1581 to 1593 ,the Trier witch trials were held ,perhaps the largest witch trial in European history. It was certainly one of the four largest witch trials in Germany. The persecutions started in the diocese of Trier in 1581 and reached the city itself in 1587, where it was to lead to the death of about 368 people, and was as such perhaps the biggest mass execution in Europe in peace time In the 17C and 18C, Trier was wanted by France, who invaded several times like during the Thirty Years war, war of the Grand Alliance, War of the Spanish Succession, War of the Polish succession; France finally claiming Trier in 1794 during the French revolution, and the electoral archbishopric was dissolved. After the Napoleonic wars ended in 1815 Trier passed to the Kingdom of Prussia. The city rose in revolt during the revolutions of 1848 in the German States   although the rebels were forced to concede. It became part of the German Empire in 1871. In June 1940 over 60K British prisioners of war captured at Dunkirk and Northern France were marched into Trier, which became a staging post for British soldiers headed for Nazis prisioners of war camps.

Things to see are plenty here, my family’s favorite are:

The Porta Nigra, the best preserved Roman city gate north of the Alps; ruins of three Roman baths, among them the largest Roman baths north of the Alps; including the Barbara baths and the Trier Imperial baths; the huge Constantine Basilica with 67 meters long throne hall of Roman Emperor Constantine, it is today used as a Protestant Church; the Trier Cathedral St Peter dates back to Roman times and as said houses the Holy Shroud a garment dated back to the 12C; the one Jesus was wearing when he died. It is exhibited only every few decades, at irregular intervals. The Liebfrauenkirche or Church of our Lady one of the most important Gothic Cathedrals in Germany on the French gothic tradition of Cathedrals; the Roman amphitheatre, the 2C AD Roman bridge across the Moselle river, oldest north of the Alps still with traffic; St Matthias Abbey still in use monastery whose medieval Church is the only Apostle north of the Alps is held to be buried; St Gangolf’s Church, was the city market Church that rivalled the Archbishop’s Trier Cathedral; Saint Paulinus Church one of the most important Baroque Churches in Rhineland-Palatinate State; There are two treadwheel cranes one gothic the old crane from 1413 and the other the Baroque crane or old Customs crane from 1774.


Constantine basilica


St Peter Cathedral


Porta Nigra

As to museums ,there are some nice ones. The archeological museum and most important in Germany on the Roman period call in German Rheiniches Landesmuseum; the history of Trier museum with a model of the medieval city or in German, Stadtmuseum Simeonstiff; and for the kid in all of us,the Toy Museum of Trier.


archeology landesmuseum


stadtsmuseum history

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to the nice old city of Trier:

Panoramic views of Trier ,wonderful site :

Tourist office of Trier in English:

From the Rhineland Palatine region there is more on tourism here:

Tourist office of Germany on Trier in English:

Hope it helps plan your visit to the wonderful Trier or Trèves , it is a nice place even with the tourist around, heck so are we… we love it. Enjoy the post and remember; happy travels, good health ,and many cheers!!!


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April 11, 2018

The Mayenne, old Maine in Pays de la Loire!

Now, lets continue with some exotic destination, that folks need to know more about my belle France. Here is my humble contribution to the Mayenne, department 53 and city of Mayenne in the region of Pays de la Loire.

Mayenne in department Mayenne no 53 on region Pays de la Loire at about 250 km west of Paris .Dominating the banks of the Mayenne river between Le Mans and the littoral of the Manche. Mayenne is located north of the department of the Mayenne between Laval and Domfront, Aleçon, and Fougéres. Before the French revolution it was part of the province of Maine and after split into the Mayenne and Sarthe both in Pays de la Loire.

There are three bridges over the Mayenne river. The pont Mac-Racken from the 19C today is the route I take the N12 to drive into Paris toll free; the bridge was done in 1834 first naming itself Ambroise de Loré, then Orléans ,Caisse d’Epargne and finally Mac Racken honouring the sacrifice of this American soldier that allow the passage of the Weaver group 90th division to cross the river in WWII to free the left bank in June 5 1944; there is a commemorating plaque there. You have the viaduc en aval for trains on the local line Landivy-Mayenne; also call locally the viaduc Eiffel done between 1901 and 1903; it has a central arch in metal of 54 meters high with a 17 meters arrow, and later renovated into  a road viaduc in concrete done in 1970. Next to it is the old bridge of the railroad that is now pedestrian connecting the town of Saint Beaudelle to the route Mayenne to Laval.



pont Mac Racken at Mayenne

The transports well this is my usual route now by car to Paris,toll free. The city is crossed by the N12 that links Paris to Brest passing by Alençon, and also connecting to Pré en Pail, Ernée, and Fougéres where you can connect to the A84 connecting Caen to Rennes (and also Vannes) and the autoroute A28 connecting Tours to Abbeville.  You, also have the D23 that follows the course of the Mayenne river going north to south in the department and allows you to connect to Laval, Chateau Gontier and Angers on the south direction, and Domfront and Caen on the north direction. This road ,also allows you to connect with the autoroute A81 north of Laval that goes into Le Mans and Rennes. Amazing ,there is no train station here the one existant was closed long ago.  The region Pays de la Loire has not decided to re open it, in the meantime there are buses on the network Pégase of Mayenne that connects to Laval and other cities in the department.

I have written before a blog post on nice Mayenne. Here it is: My blog post on Mayenne

A bit of history I like.

The city of Mayenne first appeared in the Middle Ages on a Roman road connecting Jublains to Vieux near Caen and it was here that you can crossed the Mayenne river. From the Gauls time, the people of Aulerques Diablintes had their capital at Moulay south of the city ,later this was abandoned after the Roman conquest and a new town was built at Jublains. After much fiscal pressure, the territory was attached to the Cénomans of which capital and bishop was at Le Mans; this union of lower maine and upper maine allows the union of the province of Maine.

The castle of Mayenne was founded in the 7C and mentioned for the first time in 778AD while Charlemagna gives it to the bishop of Le Mans. It is a noble residence in wood surrounded by a moat, this has disappeared only visible by some holes in the poles. It was attacked several times between 840 and 870 by the Bretons that carried wars against the Franks. The castle bridges are demolished with the exception of the Caisse d’Epargne ; an American soldier J.D Mac Racken sacrifices himself to stop its destruction and later allowed the Allied to force the nazis to run over the Mayenne river,and now carries Mac Racken name.

Things to see here if anything come to see the Castle of Mayenne.

The castle dominating over the city has most of its elements from the 12C especially the logis and circular donjon, and the appearance is definitively Middle Ages. More on the castle museum here: Castle of Mayenne


castle of Mayenne

Cardinal Mazarin did a lot of urban renewal here especially on the squares or place Hercé, place Cheverus, and Place Saint Vincent. All on the same axis from northwest to the Mayenne river. This axis is located in the road between the Normandy and Brittany on one side and the Le Mans on the other, being the main road of the city You have the space between the Place Hercé and Place Cheverus a building called the Barre Ducale ,this is where the administration lived and was used as the city hall and justice palace ,built between 1660 and 1669. Cardinal Mazarin died in it in 1661 even if did not lived to see it finished.In the Place de Hercé there is a fountain from 1683 with a basin and an obelisk, another fountain is at the Place Saint Vincent and the Place de Cheverus has a statue of Cardinal de Cheverus done in 1844 by David d’Angers.

At the Place de Cheverus there are several mansions worth noting such as the oldest Hotel Chappedalaine built in the 16C and the Hotel de Hercé at no 10 from the second half of the 17C, hotel Chasteloger at no 14 debut 17C and Hotel Montpinçon at no 22 from 1666 finished in the 18C. At the Place de Hercé you have the Hotel Baglion at no 6 built in 1660, Hotel Brossard at no 10 built in 1770, Hotel Le Forestier as well as Hotel Clinchamp at no 16 from the 16C that hosted a literary room under king Louis XVI

The religious building here ,best is the Basilica Notre Dame des Miracles on the right bank renovated and facade from the 12C. on the left bank, the Church of Saint Martin, Chapelle of the former convent of Calvairiennes and Chapel of Saint Leonard.


Church Notre Dame des Miracles from pont Mac Racken in Mayenne

Here are some webpages that will help you plan your trip to the nice city between the famous Paris region and the less famous west coast of France down in country France deep deep in traditions.

City of Mayenne on tourism in French :

Tourist office Mayenne dept !

Pays de la loire tourism on Mayenne in English:

There you go another gem of my belle France, you all need to hop on and see it. Hope it helps your planning and do come it is quaint old France all around you. Happy travels, good health and many many cheers!!!






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March 27, 2018

Revisit the Panthéon de Paris!

I have passed it many times and seldom been in it, one of the things in life when one lives so close to so much beauty and architecture. I finally went in once and it was stunning, well like everything in Paris in my opinion.

I like to briefly bring you back to the Panthéon de Paris and re post my blog story on it a while back.  This is the previous blog post

Panthéon de Paris

It is located in a superb location near the jardin du Luxembourg ; in fact if you stand by the blvd Saint Mchel right out of the gate from the fountain of Marie de Médici you can look straight up Rue Soufflot into it.  Right in front of the Place du Panthéon.  Very appropiate nearby is the library or Bibliothéque Saint Geneviéve as well as the University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. RER B Luxembourg can easily take you in this direction and coming from the back you can get there on metro line 10 Cardinal Lemoine. And if like me ,you come by car, there is excellent underground parking Soufflot at 22 Rue Soufflot just in front of the Panthéon.

The previous post has lots of information me think, so will give something more lecturing like University level social studies lol!

There are recognised four stages in the life of the Panthéon existance, the first one and oldest is that was there before the Panthéon, in effect, the Church of Sainte Geneviève (1744-1 emper790); which of course, was demolished during the French revolution.

The second period is that of the transformation of monuments to use the scholar choice, meaning the used of these monument to enhance the Republic from the initial years such as (1791-1885). This is when the French revolution welcomes its heroes to the Panthéon with first Mirabeau (1749-1791),one of the great speakers of the revolution. In 1806, emperor  Napoléon Ier (1769-1821)  gives the nave of the Panthéon back to the Catholic Church while the crypts stayed for the cult of personalities.  Under the period of the Restauration (1815-1830), meaning back of the monarchy, king of the French Louis-Philippe 1st (reign of 1830-1848) gave it all back to the Catholic Church .  Finally, in 1851, emperor  Napoléon III (1808-1873)  change the Panthéon to a Church for the last time in its history.

The third period is that of the French Republic laique from 1885-1964 upon the death of  the writer Victor Hugo (1802-1885), a huge crowd follows the funeral car to the Panthéon.  The monument becomes laïque . This period extends all along the IIIe République (1870-1940) , and the IVe République (1947-1958)

The fourth and final period we can call it the Panthéon under the Ve République (since 1958) , when it was open to transfer the ashes of  Resistant hero  Jean Moulin (1899-1943),in 1964.  At the end of this ceremony the funeral speech done by the Minister of cultural affairs André Malraux , the Panthéon  gain little by little its position of all consensus of all the political families. The surveys conducted led to name M. Philippe Bélaval, President of the center for national monuments , manager of the Panthéon under the French Republic.  This report , indicates to allow the admission of ordinary people to better represent the French society by given honors in the future. The ceremony of May 27 2015 when entered into the Panthéon of Pierre Brossolette (1903-1944), Geneviève de Gaulle Anthonioz (1920-2002), Germaine Tillion (1907-2008) ,and Jean Zay (1904-1944) falls into this doctrine.

So it is a recommended detour when in Paris to see it. It is the very best of France.  For easy reference I put the offical webpage in English here: site of the Panthéon de Paris


front side of Panthéon de Paris

Enjoy it ,its Paris where else! happy travels, good health and good cheers to all.


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February 12, 2018

Some news from France CLXXXIIII

And the week 7 has started and so it’s time to tell you about things happening in my belle France. the weather has been ok early morning -3C coming home in the evening 3C no rain and cloudy as winter. life goes on, heading for another weekend, but first Valentin’s Day…. in France.

Soirée love February 14 from 19h to 23h at the Musée Rodin, with red carpet, and lights as well as rose petals jazz musicians will play different tunes in different rooms as well as will be shown a book showing the exchanges between Rodin and his muse Camille Claudel. The museum Rodin is at 77 rue de Varennes 7éme arrondissement.  Admission 20€ adults reservations a must at

Following the trails of La Forme de l’Eau or the water form trails of the new work of Guillermo del Toro in the Aquarium of Paris. Two glasses of Champagne will be offered one upon arrival and another in half time of your night walks in the basins . By 20h Claire the sirene will await you in the big pool where sharks and rays co exist ; later two guides will tak about the secret love amongst the fish and a love book will be given on the subject  Saint Valentin à l’Aquarium de Paris, located at 5 avenue Albert de Mun 16éme arrondissement from 19h to 22h admission 37,90€ per person. More in French here:

And something would have love to be in Paris is the PSG vs Real Madrid Champions league match of the Valentin’s day. The hotel Le Royal Monceau  will show the 8th final game on its projections rooms private and during the match the love birds of the sport will have pop corn of Pierre Hermé , and beers. The projection room is a giant screen tv in leather chairs like you were in a cinema. At half time, 2 hot dogs with truffe will help keep up the exctiing game. Le Royal Monceau, 37 avenue Hoche 8éme arrondissement, tel +33 (0) 1 42 99 98 50. starting at 20h Feb 14, admission 48€ per person. More here:

A choice of restaurants if not a football/soccer lover than head the Grand Cœur 41 rue du Temple 4éme arrondissement tel +33 (0) 1 58 28 18 90, open every day except Sundays evenings and Mondays. Menus from 23 to 30€ lunch For the St Valentin the chef starred Mauro Colagreco ( Le Mirazur , Menton) will have a special menu of   Burnt cauliflower, cauda bagna sauce, olive, candied lemon and anchovies; Cod, clams, coconut stew of paimpol and chorizo; Creamy white chocolate, yogurt and ice cream to the fruit of passion. More here:

If a theater play is for you then my choice would be the Merchant of Venice or Le Marchand de Venice at the Lucernaire 6éme arrondissement. And going on until April 1 2018. You can reserve places on 

And the theater site here:

Of course, anything in Paris is love eternal more than Valentin. George Gershwin said “ There are only two possible subjects for a song ; love and  Paris”

In other front the Ground control  has open its doors with passionate food stalls with six offering a coffee shop and a grocery store. The food you can eat on the stand on lunch or on the big wooden tables inside  This is all happening at the Halle Charolais with 4500 m2 of covered space and 1500 m2 exterior terraces . La Halle charolais, 81 rue de charolais 12éme arrondissement  open Wednesdays to Fridays from 12h to midnight, Saturdays 11h to midnight, and Sundays from 11h to 22h. More here:

The cabaret Crazy Horse opens up to the youngs, spectacles of Young & Crazy.The under 26 yrs old will be able to discover the temple of  sublime and assume and the girls every Wednesday evenings for 25€ only. Crazy Horse, 12 avenue George V 8éme arrondissement Reservations tel +33(1) 47 23 32 32 or email or

The Louvre is open up to find the nazi stolen work of arts during WWII from the Jewish community. The MNR or  “Musées Nationaux Récupération”  are works of arts recovered from the nazis stolen from the original owners, they were given for safekeeping to the national museums and provincial ones as well.  They were supposed to be given back to the rightful owners if found or identified  It is estimated that 100K works were stolen from the Jewish in France and transferred to nazi Germany; at the end of the war, the European and American museums were able to recover about 47K of them. The orphanage works in the Louvre museum numbered about 1752 with 807 paintings and some loan to other museums in France. Only 31 will be exposed in the Louvre to the public for the moment still hoping to find the rightful owner descendants. This already creating waves in internatinal medias.

This is the site where they managed these the MNR or the recuperation national museums site name after Rose-Valland who helped track this down at one time. here in French:

Between the plain of Buren with its columns in marbre and the palace garden of the Palais Royal, you will see wooden planches covering the floor , this is just to allow the workers to go underneath and fix the humidity below by the plains of Bury, between the columns and the galerie d’Orléans. The name Bury comes from the Belgian artist who did the nice fountains there in 1985. The French government or the taxpayers are helping to renovate it and will last until next Sept 18. More here:

A peniche boat done by Le Corbusier anchored in the port d’Austerlitz on the Seine river has sunk Saturday last. The boat Louise-Catherine, un boat in cement of 70 meters long and 8 meters wide was in plan renovation to be a cultural museum according to the owner. It was tried to bring it up water but in 15 minutes it sank. Le Parisien newspaper in French here:

And La Défense is coming to life again….at the foot of the hotel Melia with the towers First and Allianz One offering a splendid view over the bridge or pont de Neuilly and the Arc de Triomphe. However, the best is inside , name Oxygen, where the star chef Michel Rostang is opening a new restaurant. This is coming after last Sept17 the bar-exposition gallery and concert hall opened as L’Alternatif under the parvis (underground),  Another underground entity call Table Square is on schedule to open in front of the Agam fountain with two firms of fast food such as Bioburger, 100% bio , and the salad bar Prairie.  You will find a Pizzeria call Marco Polo, and finally a share work space call Icône , dedicated to the start-uppers and other nomad workers. More here in French:

Stay tune here on bioburger:

The Grand Paris Express, I have written on it several times in the blog and it is big news, more to come to change the landscape of the Paris region hopefully for the best for you and me ::) You can imagine crossing the region of Île-de-France in a metro going up to 120 KPH or about 75 MPH without passing by Paris ! and automatic !  Going from Boulogne to Champs-sur-Marne in 37 minutes vs one hour today or from Issy  to Cachan  in nine minutes instead of 46 today, or going from Villejuif to Champigny  in 18 minutes instead of 67 min today ! All will be possible starting in 2024 thanks to the project of the Grand Paris Express . It will be part of the landscape from 2030-2040.  Even the SeaBubbles flying water taxi will be tested this year over the Seine river . More on this here in English:

All because by 2030, Paris will have 12,8 millions inhabitants (not counting the visitors lol!!) Well more here in French,  and see the photo


credit: Le Parisien

More improvements galore Paris here we go. A fiber optic enters in the train stations of Paris. The council of Ile de France Mobilité has voted for it and should be official by Wednesday. It will installed fiber in the 387 stations where 112 do not have anything today.  This again in today’s Le Parisien newspaper.

A nice small museum in my Yvelines dept 78 west of Paris is the musée de la toile de Jouy  at  Jouy sous Josas.  Here cloths in cotton printed and teint from the  18C from a firm founded by  Oberkampf in 1760. Now nothing is left but in the courtyard of the city hall, a bell ringing and a museum installed in an old merchant house tell the story today.  Many financiers come to do this as it is the chic of the times to wear one but nobody in France mastered it. Here comes Oberkampf, coming from a tanners family in Germany . Jouy-en-Josas has it all, the Bièvre river runs below it to bath the teintures and rinse, vast fields to spread the cloths to whiting it under the sun and the water, the geographical situation at the door of Versailles and Paris a sure clientele. Oberkampf enlarge the business and when the company went bankrupt in 1843, more than 30 years after his death , almost 30K motifs have come out of the factory, and some continue to inspired the world of fashion. The  Musée de la Toile de Jouy, château de l’Eglantine, 54, rue Charles-de-Gaulle, Jouy-en-Josas (78). Open Tuesdays from 14h to 18H and from Wednesdays to Sundays from 11h to 18h ; guided visits each second Sunday of each month; closed from February 9 to March 8 2018. Admission  7 € adults. info at +33 (0) 1 39 56 48 64  or more here:

For info, this is a nice town and visited as friends at the fame Grand école HEC base here too.

And last but not least, do not forget the Chinese New Year on February 16, the year of the Dog !  The oldest parade in Paris! Done in the 13éme arrondissement or district.  This year will start from the avenue de Choisy and will finish at the avenue d’Ivry passing by the avenue de Choisy, avenue d’Italie, rue de Tolbiac, and blvd Massena.  The parade will be held on February 25 from 14h to 17h and the city hall of the district will hold spectacles, expositions, concerts and conferences from February 19 to March 3rd. More info at the city hall office in French , and you can print a program of activities too.

And we are calling for crossed border Labrador puppy and hopefully if the owner is right we will get it for at vaccinations costs only. We are crossing our fingers!!! Enjoy your week, Cheers!!



January 27, 2018

Chaumont sur Loire, the castle by the Loire!

Of course, where else would you find so many castles and so many beautiful ones than if not in the Valley of the Kings, now this is the region of Centre-Val de Loire; not to be confused with the other with castles too Pays de la Loire.

I like to post my old story on the castle of Chaumont sur Loire here:

Again for clarity, the official site for the castle is here:

Chaumont sur Loire is in department 41 Loir et Cher (which are also two rivers tributaries of the Loire. Nicely located between Amboise and Blois.Only 185 km from Paris or about 115 miles.

Some of the activities going on here in addition to offering a wonderful view over the royal river =Loire, the castle and its 32 ha of space includes stables from the 19C one of the most avant garde in Europe, a landscape park/garden and the Festival International des Jardins (international gardens festival from April to November. More on the Festival here:

It is, also, a center of Arts and Nature, with contemporary artists and expositions of the best photographers . During the high season it showcase the garden of lights or «Jardins de Lumière» with an invitation of a nocturnal walk to discover the festival of gardens; there is a nice restaurant in the castle with an inventive cuisine.

I do my runs by car here so if coming from Paris the best is the A10 direction Bordeaux, and come out in exit or sortie 17 Blois then direction Tours. By train you go out of the Paris gare d’Austerlitz direction to arrive at gare d’Onzain / Chaumont-sur-Loire.

The city has information on the castle,activites, eat outs and coming to it in French here:

a very nice castle in a nice area to drive by, bicycles are fine here too, see the Loire à Vélo organization here:

Enjoy it and see you again over the weekend lots of old reliables that need to bring back to life such as Chaumont. Happy weekend, Cheers!

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