Archive for ‘Versailles’

November 20, 2020

Notre Dame Cathedral update Nov2020!

All quiet on the western front! I have been away from these updates and everybody else have been rather quiet too. However, things are moving along and we still have the magic five years to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. 

Let me give you the latest from the French press on the reconstruction with some of my previous posts on the subject for the new arrivals to my blog.

The return of the statues, reopening of the crypt, study on wooden structures is ongoing!! Closed to the public since the fire of April 15, 2019, the Notre Dame Cathedral is gradually coming back to life.

They have been working day and night to dismantle the damaged scaffolding, and for several weeks, they have been setting up a scaffolding over 30 meters inside the cathedral. Dismantling of the damaged scaffolding, state of the vaults, removal of the organ, test site for cleaning and restoration in two chapels of the cathedral.

The archaeological crypt of Ile de la Cité, located under the cathedral, has also just reopened to visitors. There, an exhibition devoted to Victor Hugo and Eugène Viollet-Le-Duc, the two key men in the resurrection of the cathedral in the 19C, has been installed since last September 9 2020. Likewise, a brand new souvenir shop has appeared on the forecourt, designed above all to be a place of welcome for visitors/tourists.

A few km away, three statues which adorned the spire of the Notre Dame Cathedral such as those of the apostles Saint Barthélémy, Saint Jude and Saint Simon will be exhibited at the Cité de l’Architecture, at the Trocadéro (16éme arrondissement), as part of the European Heritage Days in September 2020. They had been removed a few days before the fatal fire, to be sent to Dordogne for their renovation. Now restored, they are the first of a set of 16 miraculous statues which will find their place once the building has been restored. Next to them, the famous bronze rooster, which was on the spire of the cathedral and miraculously recovered after the fire, will also be exhibited on this occasion.

Regarding the restoration of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, a study project targeting the spire, the framework and the roof is launched since September 17 2020 by students from 4 major schools specializing in wood. Together, they will be responsible for designing a prototype of an evolving and adaptable wooden frame according to the knowledge which will result from the studies in progress. A first progress report will be made public in mid-December 2020, then the conclusions of this project will be unveiled next January 2021.

The government presented an ordinance which will dispense with a certain number of procedures and obligations to reopen or extend new stone quarries, which will considerably facilitate the restoration work of Notre-Dame Cathedral which has a significant need for freestone. This commitment is further proof of the desire to do whatever is necessary to facilitate the restoration work and achieve the objective set by the President of the French Republic (France) of completing the reconstruction site of this cathedral so dear to the French in five years.

Currently, workers perched tens of meters high are dismantling the gigantic metal scaffolding and its 40,000 metal tubes, a delicate painstaking job that should be completed by Christmas 2020 and will allow reconstruction to begin. A large part of this structure is mounted around the spire for its restoration and badly damaged by the fire of April 15, 2019, has been removed. Its complete removal will be completed in the next few weeks, by the end of the year. This cleaning of the upper surface of the vaults, also including the suction of lead dust, has already been largely carried out. It allowed their examination by the chief architect, with the exception of the crossing of the transept, to the right of the burnt scaffolding. Chief Architect Philippe Villeneuve was thus able to make a rather reassuring diagnosis, allowing access to several spaces in the cathedral from then on.

The removal of the great organ, which began in August 2020 , will continue until January 2021. The 8,000-pipe instrument was not damaged by fire on April 15, 2019, but it is covered with dust and parts of it suffered from thermal variations. It must therefore be cleaned and renovated.

Donations for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral must go entirely to the site. They should no longer finance the operation of the public establishment, the Court of Auditors demanded last week. After the publication of a report on the Notre-Dame site, the president of the Court of Auditors Pierre Moscovici urged the Ministry of Culture to allocate the entire 922 million euros of donations and pledges to the catering works. Of the 922 million euros in donations pledged to rebuild Notre-Dame Cathedral, he said, the order of 400 or 500 million have so far been collected.

The official webpage of the Notre Dame Cathedral on the agenda section here:

And as promise above, my posts on the situation of Notre Dame Cathedral

Stay tune, once the scaffolds are down, the reconstruction project approve, the work really will begin. Hopefully, I will be around to see this ,at least better look than on my last passage November 2019 in Paris. Always nice and impressed to see the grand monument of the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris.

paris cat notre dame cat under repairs nov19

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

November 17, 2020

Some news from France, CCCXX!

And even if news are sparse there are some anyway. Especially of the day favorite subject to some the wuhan, covid19 or coronavirus whichever name you like. It has been like the Olympics medal table with repeated brainwashing slogans, to be beware.

Let me bring you my latest some news from France in my opinion.

The garbage collectors and sewers of Paris start a social movement this Tuesday. You will see more abandoned trash cans!! And dirty streets for a while but who is counting hardly anybody is by there now!

While the Covid-19 crisis has boosted the unemployment rate by more than 14% in Paris, the City is preparing to launch its own recovery plan for employment, by investing half a billion euros aka welfare! Yes Paris has many poorer folks and even more from the last adminstration that spent their   money on trees! Since January 2020, the number of recipients of active solidarity income (RSA) has increased from 60,000 to nearly 70,000 in Paris. This is the poor threshold and aide to families sort like a welfare hand out.

In the dept 77 of Seine-et-Marne, the unemployment offices or Pôle emploi will remains open to stem the tide of new unemployed. As a result of the economic crisis triggered by the Covid pandemic, the number of registered unemployed in the department has jumped by more than 15% in one year! Oh yes…

Meanwhile the Catholic anger does not weaken. They protested again to demand the lifting of the ban on Masses in Bougival, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Rambouillet and Versailles. Oh yes big supermarkets are open but the churches are closed go figure the reasoning of this government is beyond me.

More than 2,000 migrants evacuated from a camp at the foot of the Stade de France. A large evacuation and sheltering operation started this past Tuesday morning at 7h or 7am. This is the 66th operation in five years in the department 93 of Seine Saint Denis. Ohh this is just the tip of the iceberg!

More on the pandemic , the legendary Gibert Jeune bookstore in Place Saint-Michel, will it be over soon!! The famous Latin Quarter store could go out of business in March 2021. Leaving thousands of students and Parisians orphans. Oh yes we will make all stores out of business in Paris! Of course, this is just one example but they are thousands. The library if it closes will be a big sad news for us.

And some famous names are reeling! Not all bosses are outspoken, but Ladurée is not the only company to find itself in a difficult situation. Fauchon, Lenôtre, Dalloyau, Angelina … the historic brands of French pastry, which also serve as a tea room or caterer, are faced with a multitude of obstacles. They all have beautiful names, but they will not all be able to get by so said many of them. In Paris and elsewhere, “street food” is essential, an Asian wave is sweeping, neighborhood grocery stores are flourishing, all at low prices . In this context, the prawns and rice pilaf with three peppers at 22 euros at Lenôtre (without specifying the origin of the products) or the club sandwich at 18 euros at Ladurée lose some of their super gloss. Indeed now you know what I mean, go inland into the country side to get the real French life not in Paris! There is a nice museum window shopping ::)

On the more economic views we have the big group winning again of course. After opposing the entry of the Total group among the sponsors of the 2024 Olympics, the mayor Anne Hidalgo (PS) of Paris should entrust it with the contract for the renovation and extension of electric charging stations. The Total group will take over the management/operations of the Autolib ’stations. After stopping the service, they were put back into operation at the end of 2018 by the City of Paris to satisfy owners of electric vehicles. Which of course with their little gadgets were left well unplug lol!

The Commerce and Industry business schools of Paris are among the best in France and the most coveted… and the most expensive. Their tuition fees have increased by 70% since 2007. At the ESSEC campus in Cergy (Val-d’Oise dept 95) ; the first year at this prestigious establishment costs more than 14,000 euros, while the following years exceed 18,000 euros.Oh yes these are private grand écoles idea of Napoléon and they are indeed expensive, sort of like the Ivy schools in the USA. The regular public universities are basically free!

And you are thinking of getting real pine trees for Christmas do as me get it locally. They will be scarce and not out yet at least in my neck of the woods. They have suffers the full brunt of the effects of confinement. It encourages consumers to buy their trees from florists who buy from local producers. ok

 A great thing finally coming home. By mutual agreement, the National Estate of France and the Château de Fontainebleau decided to repatriate 400 pieces of furniture that had their first life here before being used in ministries and at the Elysée Palace. Among the hundreds of pieces of furniture recovered are the armchairs delivered to the castle for Queen Hortense’s apartment at the beginning of the 19C. Yeah a lot has been move around especially what you see in museums!

Again in Fontainebleau, the Subsistances district will host housing, a university residence, shops and a hotel with a rooftop by 2025. A hotel, a university campus and housing will be built on a former site of the army, in the district of Bréau. At least something useful will come out of it, in Seine et Marne dept 77.

 More beautiful things are happening, this time at the Château de Versailles where the Royal Chapel is beginning to be shown from its huge renovation. The tarpaulin and the scaffolding installed in 2017 are being dismantled on this large-scale project!!! Yes!!!

And again staying in my dear Versailles, an auction to slip into Marie-Antoinette’s footsteps. Personal effects that belonged to the wife of Louis XVI are been put up at a price by the house of Osenat. The highlight of this sale, which will take place on this coming Sunday, is a particularly well-preserved queen’s shoe… auction organized by the Osenat house

And yes we have good olive oil here just not as good as in Spain in my opinion but right up there. In Haute-Provence, on either side of the wide and wild bed of the Durance river, the Domaine Salvator estate at Les Mées and the Notre-Dame de Ganagobie abbey, between Peyruis and Lurs, look at each other from afar. The monks are at the top of a steep hill. The landscape embraced by the abbey from the summit, at an altitude of 650 meters, is immense, especially upstream where the town of Sisteron can be seen. Les Mées has the reputation of the first town in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence by the number of olive trees, between 80,000 and 90,000 trees. The Aglandau olive dominates, which gives AOP Provence or Haute-Provence oils depending on the way it is worked. The beauty of Les Mées can be appreciated from afar when, driving towards the village, it is seen below its famous Penitents, a jagged cliff that looks like a line of hooded monks. The scenery is nice indeed and the olive oil can be found here:

Domaine Salvator:

Abbey of Notre Dame de Ganagobie:

Get on the bandwagon nowdays, click and take ideas or take out food is the norm thanks to the wuhan virus covid19 or coronavirus as you wish. Paris is no different ,and we have it here too; some of my friends are telling me getting their food already done for pickup or delivery ;these are nice ideas

Coyo Taco – 128, rue Réaumur – 2éme.  Burger Theory – 11, boulevard des Filles-du-Calvaire – 3éme. Kitchen Paris – 74, rue des Gravilliers – 3éme.  Kozy Bosquet – 79, avenue Bosquet – 7éme.  Pépé Ronchon – 31, rue Saint-Lazare – 9éme.  Constantia – 94, rue des Martyrs – 18éme.

Good thing we do it too here and even got a click and pickup at my favorite wine store Nicolas in Vannes today !!

And how about that beef, yes we love beef and here we have some of the best too just need to know where to look ! Give you our favorite!

It is in Laguiole, at an altitude of 1,000 meters, that the family farm has developed, following a 120-year-old tradition. There, the animals benefit from five-star treatment in buildings meeting high-tech standards: misting, massaging brushing, 12 m2 box lined with straw, classical music, everything is done to ensure that the time they spend outside the Aubrac highlands – where they have been carried out on foot and by hand since their birth – be as pleasant as possible. the meat produced at Ferme des Vialars is of unparalleled quality. Matured for 15 days and pleasantly marbled, it owes its taste to the aromatic palette contained in the mountain hay which cows feed on, and the Bleu-Blanc-Cœur certification it enjoys ensures a subtle balance in Omega 3 and Omega 6. In delivery via Internet in all the towns and villages of France, Aubracatable products are also in the spotlight on the tables of La Maison de l’Aubrac, an address well known to Parisian meat lovers. We get it here too! The farm is at

And if close by in Paris, the place is here :

And that is all for now folks ,hoping for better times and better things to do and see in my belle France.

PS. today I got a no reservation from a hotel in Bélves as was trying to book it to see a contact made in wordpress with a salon de thé resto there. Due to been restricted by the virus, hope still there it will end soon. You may have cross them here and I am in contact in Facebook. They started out from Lille and they are British. Their facebook page;

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

November 7, 2020

The gardens of the Ïle de France region!!!

Again, this is my black and white approach lately. I came into my blog very early and was really putting stuff in at random . I realise by now the posts should have been better. I am reviewing, updating and revising some of these old posts and bring them to life in a very light. Hope you enjoy the writings.

I know many , millions, come to France to see its wonderful gardens, from the time of Le Nôtre and beyond,the gardens had pull a powerful magnet for visitors.  As usual, we tend to focus in Paris bien sûr mais il faut réve et chercher autres quasi belles or même plus beaux que dans Paris.

My dear late wife Martine was a garden lover she would spend days every day on them. We try the best to keep up with the garden and planted roses in her name, just for the memories I wrote this post and now bringing it fresh back to you. Hope you enjoy reading it as I writing it.

Just a bit more sites as beautiful or even more so than Paris. I  try to tell you some of my favorites over the years in this very special post.

Seine et Marne ,dept 77

Jardin du Domaine National de Champs-sur-Marne, French and English style gardens with a castle of course :

Jardin Médiéval de la Commanderie des Templiers, at Couloummiers, medieval gardens and the Templars story:

Domaine National du chateau de Fontainebleu, of course at famous Fontainebleau:

La Fontaine aux Pigeons on medieval, La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, English gardens of 6 hectares:

Jardin de Vaux-le-Vicomte, of course the other beautiful castle of the Paris region, French style gardens: http://,

One near to me as my wife was born here, and we first talk dated walking this garden, Jardin Bossuet, in Meaux (as in brie cheese) ;French garden next to Cathedral,where the Bossuet rose was created, see it better in French:

La Roseraie, see the rose of Provins; gorgeous!

Moving to the Yvelines, dept 78. Our old home

Abbaye des Vaux de Cernay, private gardens in an abbey see on weekend or with appointment in weekdays:

Jardins du Chateau de Breteuil, French gardens:

Musée Promenade de Marly-le-Roi, where kings used to walk, wonderful, many of the statues now at the Louvre:

Musée National de Port-Royal des Champs,historical gardens ,protected, see it,

Domaine National de Rambouillet-Bergerie nationale, English gardens and regular,historical, and animals :

Arboretum de Chévreloup, English gardens and trees, plants, near Versailles:

Domaine National de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, by the castle, gardens 18C, traces of renaissance:

Jardin du Musée Experimental Maurice Denis, in town, garden of the artist:

Chateau et Parc de Vaux-sur-Seine, landscape garden from the 19C:

Versailles, of course, my old town, the one and only in the world, French and English style gardens:

and veggie and fruit potager du roi

The Essonne dept 91, we have 

Conservatoire National des Plantes Médicinales, at nice Milly-la-Fôret:

Potager Fleuri du Domaine de Saint-Jean-de-Beauregard, flower veggy plots from the 17C! and castle:

We move now to Hauts-de-Seine, dept 92

Musée et Jardins Albert Kahn, parc and scenes with oriental motifs:

Parc de Boulogne, Edmond de Rothschild, landscape garden and japonese dating from 19C:

Parc de la Maison de Chateaubriand et Arboretum, La Vallée aux Loups, romantic gardens:

Parc des impressionists, modern with rosaries; Hommage à Claude Monet; Ruel-Malmaison:

and on same town of Rueil-Malmaison, the castle of the lady of Napoleon, Josephine. Parc du Chateau de Malmaison, nice gardens:

Domaine de Saint-Cloud, landscape huge nice, many events here like rock on the seine:

Domaine de Sceaux, parc et musée d’ile de France, a museum of the region, and garden design by the great Le Notre. Wonderfully nice and big:

And I finish at dept Val d’Oise or no 95

Parc et Jardins de l’Abbaye Royale de Royaumont:

Jardin de l’Atelier de Daubigny:

also same town as above, Jardins du Musée de l’Absinthé:

jardins du Chateau d’Auvers:

Maison du Docteur Gachet, garden from 19C:

Domaine de Villarceaux, a gem, go there for shopping farm goodies too, and a gourmet event every year:

Parc du Chateau D’Ecouen, also a museum of the renaissance:

Chateau de Stors, English style terrace gardens, town of L’isle-Adam:,l%27isle-adam,ile-de-france

Chateau de la Roche-Guyon, English garden, fruits gardens and views of the Seine, nice tunnel with history of WWII:

Parc et Chateau de Méry-sur-Oise, with great water fountain, lakes:

Jardin du Musée Jean-Jacques Rousseau:

Parc de l’Abbaye de Maubuisson, old abbatial park, nice:

These is a long list indeed, but all very nice, and some spectacular, you will have a good guide to get you started while in the Ile de France region, where Versailles and Paris are for example….

Some further webpages on gardens in France to deepen the knowledge on them in my belle France!

A get together from the ministry of culture of France, June 2021 :

A site on the gardens of France:

The jardinez garden site on specific the Ïle de France region:

A site on the most beautiful gardens of France:

And my all time favorite site parcs et jardins of France ,you can find any here:

There you go folks, wonderful gardens interwined with beautiful properties and museums, and castles, the very best of my belle France. Hope you enjoy the tour and do visit them when possible.

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

November 5, 2020

Poissy ,Louis IX, king and saint!!!

Well let’s bring you all back to my old stumping ground in my beloved Yvelines dept 78 of the Ïle de France region, this is Royal and Saintly Poissy.

Again as in my latests travel anecdotes this is an updated version of a much older post in my blog. The text has been revised and updated, the pictures are in the individual posts on the monuments. Hope you enjoy it reading as I do writing it.

Poissy ,is a royal town of France, but ,also saintly. It was here that amongst other things Louis IX was born ,he who later became Saint Louis. He was baptised in the Collegiale Church de Notre Dame that still has the baptismal basin where he was baptised. (see post) The town is very easy to get from Paris on the RER A at several locations, and the SNCF trains from gare Saint Lazare. Also, the road A13 autoroute de normandie takes you to exit 7 and Poissy very easily. Plenty of parking by pl de la Republique and the gare RER.  The train station is right off the city center so very easy for walkers and no car is needed. There is a nice bus station next to the train station with transport to all including Versailles,the dept capital on bus 24 to St Germain en Laye RER station and then Bus 1 to Versailles Chantiers train station.

I started my day walking this wonderful city close to me, Poissy, is not on everyones walkpath when visiting Paris , so much to see and little time. However, I think its worth it for a day of sights and market especially on a Saturday or Sunday morning.  You have the wonderful Collegiale Notre Dame, this is where Louis IX and Philippe III were born and baptised. Louis IX became Saint Louis, the only king saint of France. See it at 8 rue de l’Eglise, He was baptised here on April 25, 1214, and the urn of stone is still kept in the church. He later became Saint Louis. Inside you can see statues of him and his daughter Isabelle of France from 1300.

One of the great liquors of France is here too, La Distillerie du Noyau de Poissy 105, rue du Gal-de-Gaulle , and one of the oldest too since 1698, the secret blend is not known but its delicious!

You can wondered along Parc Meissoniere and see the still wonderful Chateau de Villiers, gorgeous gardens and forest and great architecture. Again just at city’s edge but still walkable from city center. Even thus the castle is not open for the visit wondering along the park is, and close up you can if willing to climb the hills around it, this time I pass. See it at 13 avenue du Bon Roi saint Louis.

Next you come to the rare combination of a Hotel de Ville or city hall govt building and theater in same building.  Built in 1935,the new Hôtel de Ville on the place à l’Herbe ( the old market of cattle). The  décoration at the front is by Ossip Zadkine, the fresco in the hallway is by Brenson and the decoration  in the salle de Conseil (councelors room).  The theater next door was built in 1937 as the salle Moliére.

We move just across the street to the covered  market or Halle du Marché ,a wonderful building of goodies inside from veggies to fruits to beef, fish, seafood, and poultry ,outside you have a flea market type with all kinds of goods; easily walkable from the train station for an afternoon or day in wonderful Poissy. Built between 1825-1832, to house the cattles, especially those weaklings from the weather and heat . It was enlarged in 1852, with the help of metal structures just after those at the Halles of Paris by  Baltard. Now after a full restoration it welcomes the market 3 times per week on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays mornings.

Another wonderful institution here that my kids enjoyed when younger is the museum of toys or Musée du Jouet,1 enclos de l’Abbaye , housed in an old abbey, and 3 floors of wonderful toys of yesterday and today still going strong. A wonderful world for any child or the child in us ::) The villa  Savoye also known as “Heures Claires” or clear hours was built between  1928 to 1931 over a terrain of 7 hectares ,and it was the end of the cycle of white houses of architect Le Corbusier. See it at 82, rue de Villiers.

Last but not least , we had to have a drink or two, at L’Instant 24 Avenue du Cep as the gang was waiting for the meal of the day, but I stopped in one of my all time favorites when used to come a lot to the city on business meetings, and on weekends with the family just to get out of the hundrum of daily life. Facebook page:

The city of Poissy tourist office:

The tourist office of Poissy

And there you go folks an easy trip from that overloaded city to indulge in more of the French life with architecture and history to boot; Poissy center town is wonderful and along the Seine river! Hope you enjoy it

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

October 30, 2020

Paris and getting around!!

So here I am again, trying to update much older posts since I started my blog in November 26 2010! And one of them is transports in Paris or how to get around. Let me do my best to update this information for all. Hope you enjoy it.

Many visitors and even folks outside of Paris ask for ways to move about in Paris and to come in. Many guides abound on this ,and I will try to give you my five cents worth stemming from personal experiences over the last 17 years.

First, most folks come thru CDG(Charles De Gaulle) airport which is known as the main Paris airport but is not in Paris but in Roissy-en-France town in the department 95 Val d’Oise , and Tremblay-en-France a town in the department 93 Seine Saint Denis. It is now in zone 5 and can cost over 10 euros minimum to come into Paris while in the city it cost less than 2 euros to move about. Versailles is in zone 4.  Several ways to come in into the city such as taxis, buses,  RER trains or reseau express regionale and roissybus etc. 

Some things never change for a long time and one of them is the line from the CDG airport at Terminal 2 between wings CD and EF follow signs for TGV/SNCF to the platform direction Paris, and take the RER B. There is one almost every 12 minutes, and the travel time is about 30 minutes to Châtelet les Halles inside Paris.  If you arrive in Terminal 1 you take the the automatic airport metro train CDGVAL to terminal 2, the buses or navettes are the line 1 stops at level or niveau 5 or you can walk from the automatic walking escalators. The return out can be done on the buses to level or niveau 5 at portes or doors A5 and B6 stops TGV/RER. From terminal 3 on foot to Roissypole about 250 meters. 

You can, also, take the Roissybus a bus service from all terminals to Rue Scribe/rue Aubers on the side of the Opéra Garnier, place de l’Opéra. Every 15 minutes or so and it takes about 50 minutes travel time. All is done between 5h45 and 23h each day.  The old Les Cars Air France,were given a bit of confusion as many folks believe you needed to come on Air France to use them, when in fact all could; therefore, now they are call the le Bus Direct. You still have line 1 to Place Charles De Gaulle or Arc de Triomphe on the side of 1 av Carnot or from Porte Maillot on the side of Blvd Gouvion-Saint-Cyr, now, also Trocadero, every 15 minutes from 5h45 to 23h. Line 2, to the Tour Eiffel,Place de l’Etoile, Porte Maillot. Line 3 to Orly airport connection, and line 4 to Montparnasse at rue du commandant Mouchotte or from gare de Lyon at bd Diderot, every 30 minutes from 7h to 21h30. 

If you arrive very late you can take the bus Noctilien, from midnite to 5h. You have five points in Paris at Chatelet, gare de Lyon,gare Montparnasse,gare de l’Est,gare du Nord , gare Saint Lazare and Orly airport. For updated info here:

You can take regular bus services No 351 from CDG to areas such as international bus terminal at Galliani or porte de Bagnoles, Vincennes or Montreuil for 2 euros to connect with the metro. Taxis stands are waiting outside terminals or main railroad station the best known are Taxi G7, and Alpha Taxis. My experiences in the region have been with G7 always good.

From Orly airport,situated on the town of Orly in department 94 Val de Marne, the transportation is from Orly Sud and Orly Ouest , take the OrlyVal until Antony then RER B to CDG or into Paris. You also have buses Le Bus Direct line 3, all every 30 minutes from 6h to 22h30 ,(weekends out is 7h). Between terminals Sud and Ouest you have free connections on OrlyVal, navette buses. By bus on Orlybus depart from Paris at place Denfert-Rochereau in front of entry to RER station, every 15-20 minutes, from 5h35 to 23h05 travel time about 30 minutes.

You can interconnect from CDG T1 and T2 airport to Orly Sud or Ouest  by taking the RER B from CDG T2 until Antony, then OrlyVal, frequency every 10 minutes from 6h to 23h or Le Bus Direct. I admit this is web information as not been thru Orly well believe since 2010. My second home is CDG.

You can also take the TGV fast trains from Terminal 2 at CDG to north, south and west lines as well as Thalys. I have connected even to Disneyland and Brussels Midi from here too.

There are many shuttle private companies operating to suit must tastes, mine have been serve well by yellow van on several occassions. However, not taken them since 2011 and now they are call the Paris Shuttle info here:

You can purchase several options of tickets according to your lenght of stay and needs, I will compare all before deciding on the ones to purchase as per personal choices/needs. The single ticket in Paris zone 1-2 is 1,90 Euros on machines and counters ,on the buses is 2 Euros. then you have the carnet of 10 tickets for 16.90 euros, usually enough for most people. The airport prices are apart and different, these are from CDG RER B to Paris 10.30 euros, the Roissybus is 13.70 euros, the Orlybus is 9.50 euros, the T7 is 1.90 to Orly, Bus 183 from porte de Choisy to Orly is 2 euros, and the OrlyVal is 9.30 euros. These have change a lot and could in the future especially next by Jan 1 2021.

You can buy a daily card call Mobilis for the whole day of travel on zones 1-2 Paris for 7.50 euros. You can buy for a whole week the Navigo Semaine for all Paris proper métro, RER, bus, Tramway and trains except the line Orlyval, all zones 22.80 euros ,the same for the month is 75.20 euros. There is a newer pass Navigo Easy to travel in metro, RER lines inside Paris, bus lines in the region of Ïle de France, OrlyBus , RoissyBus, tramways and the cable car of Montmartre to charge on the card according to section travel.

To Versailles zone 4 is 3.65 euros, and to Disneyland Paris is zone 5 RER A 8.40 euros. The touristic Paris Visite Pass never used it. You can buy for one day on zones 1-3 for 12 euros. Again, these are today’s prices they have change a lot over the years and bound to change again by Jan 1 2021.

To book trains, and I am a grand voyageur member is the old SNCF voyages now oui.SNCF webpage:

To come to Versailles take the metro to pont-Sévres on line 9 in Paris and take the bus No 171 leaving you right in front of castle!  The RER C trains from Paris takes you to Versailles rive gauche château station as well as regular trains takes you from Saint Lazare to station rive droite (my old station) and  Montparnasse to station Chantiers. From the airports there is no direct line, you need to come to Paris then Versailles.

The bus lines are my favorite when not using the car in Paris. The lines are numbered from 20 to 199. To understand the number we go to a nice definition: The first number correspond to a quartier or neighborhood of Paris such as the lines Saint-Lazare/Opéra for the lines 20 to 29 , and Gare de l’Est for the lines 30 to 49.  The second number corresponds to the periphery neighborhoods ; for example  the west or ouest for the  3 ,and the southeast or sud-est for the 7. The lines 20 to 99 are the ones inside the city of Paris and the near periphery. The bus lines 100 to 199 are for the suburbs of Paris and some like the lines 102, 109, 111, 132 , and 169  entered a bit inside Paris.

The above list could not be all inclusive but gives you a general details of ways into and out of the city. If any doubts you can ask me and will gladly help out. As for me, I have been using public transports in Paris since 1990, all modes at all times and days; whether on business or personal. After a few years, I have become accustomed to do public transports on business trips still need to do in the area and on personal trips I use my car. Yes ,you can drive in Paris.... if used to do so in big cities of course if your experience is from smaller towns than Paris might seems overwhelming at first.

Hope it helps your travels in the region of Ïle de France, my old home region in my belle France. Travel is easy on normal days, nowdays are not normal so plan ahead and have alternative plans. Hope you have enjoy the post.

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

October 29, 2020

The districts of Versailles!!!

Oh well here I am again looking back at my previous posts and darn it cannot find anything on the districts/neighborhoods of my beloved Versailles!!! An oversight indeed! I wrote on the other cities but not on the one I lived! Well time to remedy that in my blog, for the memories of old! Versailles is it!!!

Well what else. I need to bring you up to speed on this historical ,Royal and magical town of France. Of course, my beloved Versailles. Usually, cities are divided into districts and then neighborhoods and they give you a feeling of an idea of where you are going. And you need to come to Versailles!

The districts/neighborhoods of Versailles are Bernard de Jussieu-Petits Bois-Picardie , Chantiers, Clagny-Glatigny, Montreuil, Notre-Dame , Porchefontaine, Saint-Louis, Satory, and Instance du château(the castle).

Let me give you the views on most from my views on living there in no particular order.

Notre-Dame (my district!): the most chic district, in the hyper-center, around the Place du Marché, the shopping streets and Notre-Dame Church, which extends roughly from the Lycée Hoche to the Château. At the avenue de l’Europe stop, before the Prefecture, all buses pass. Just a stone’s throw away, the essential Monoprix where toddlers and their mothers dress. The icing on the cake is located between Versailles Rive-Droite station and Boulevard de la Reine, it is the famous “Quartier des Prés”, highly prized for its strategic location.


Saint-Louis is a former military-traditional district with its ex-swarms of children in velvet breeches and worn yellow oilskins, Saint-Louis has changed well ,and attracts today many young families with a more contemporary look. In this 18Cdistrict, the oldest of Versailles, several emblematic streets like the rue Royale and its shops , which crosses the historic Carrés Saint-Louis, the pedestrianized rue de Satory, ideal for a lunch in the sun. far from the Potager du Roi and the delightful Parc Balbi, finally the rue du Vieux Versailles, which has become a mecca for children’s activities with all kinds of workshops, each more delicious than the next.

Versailles back of hotel de ville nov12

The Satory district in priori trusted by the families of gendarmes and soldiers, this somewhat out-of-the-way district now hosts an industrial center of excellence.

The Chantiers district undergoing major changes, this district where very little was happening is undergoing titanic works around the train station. It is reborn in the form of a modern district, inspired by Art Deco, where transport, housing, offices and shops coexist.

The Porchefontaine district is a former popular suburb of Versailles, today it is the area where young families with small children live and dream of a home. The nearby forest and its sports facilities ,including a beautiful, little-known equestrian club and tennis courts that are more accessible then Jardy are its assets. On the Rive-Gauche-Château RER C train line therefore serving the south of Paris.

The Montreuil district is a small village in the heart of Versailles, dominated by the Saint-Symphorien Church and its curious republican architecture. The rue de Montreuil conceals shops, each more charming than the next.

The Jussieu-Petits Bois-Picardie district is a quiet HLM (low income housing) district with large parks, ideally equipped for children, a stone’s throw from Montreuil train station.

The Clagny-Glatigny district is the most residential and green because right on the edge of the forests of Fausses-Reposes in Versailles and on the edge of the Haras de Jardy and Sans-Souci, in Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt. With buses A, H and G, close to the center and the Rive-Droite train station.

From a more touristic version

The Notre-Dame district (of course my old neighborhood) is the oldest district of Versailles. It was built by king Louis XIV to beautify the surroundings of the castle. King Louis XIV undertook to create this district north of the Castle, on virgin land, in order to beautify the surroundings. The inhabitants gradually settled in from 1671, building according to precise rules along streets surprisingly straight and wide for the time. The district still revolves around the original institutions: visit the Notre-Dame Church, which was the king’s parish. There is also the Montansier theater, opened in 1777, and the Place Hoche, originally Place Dauphine, the first octagonal square in France. A few steps away, installed in a charming 18C mansion, the Lambinet museum will immerse you in the atmosphere of a period mansion, unless you prefer to discover the collections on the history of the city of Versailles and the French revolution etc.

The Saint Louis district is made up of two historically distinct parts: Old Versailles and the Saint-Louis district itself. The Old Versailles, which corresponds to the location of the medieval village acquired by king Louis XIII, is the historic heart of the city. Stroll through the heart of this district: you will discover a large number of remarkable and particularly well-preserved monuments such as the Récollets convent, the Grand Commun built under king Louis XIV to house the court kitchens, the former Hôtel des Affaires Etrangères and the Mariners built under king Louis XV. The most emblematic site of Old Versailles is the Salle du Jeu de Paume, which was the scene of a major episode of the French revolution. You will admire the Saint-Louis Cathedral , a superb church which preserves a very fine collection of period paintings as well as the King’s garden or Potager du Roi, designed to supply the castle’s plethora of population. Moved on to the Carrés Saint-Louis, this collection of small houses built under king Louis XV to serve as shelter for a new market. There is a very friendly atmosphere there!

The Antiquaires or Antiquarians district a place steeped in history, near the castle, the Notre-Dame market and the Lambinet museum, is a privileged walk for all amateurs and professionals of antiquity. In the center of Versailles, 50 antique dealers welcome you. Whether you are a lover of beautiful objects, jewelry or silverware, antique or art deco furniture, old, modern or contemporary paintings; or collector of weapons, old books, engravings, earthenware and porcelain, old toys or archaeological remains; or simply occasional bargain hunter, here you will find something to satisfy your curiosity and meet your desires from the most reasonable to the craziest !

The Montbauron and Montreuil districts are located further upstream from the Avenue de Paris leading to the Château. The neighborhood of Montbauron is dominated by the Butte Montbauron and bounded by the avenues of Paris, Saint-Cloud and Europe, this district has everything of a small village which deploys its cobbled streets around a central square, Place Charost. It is in the middle of the city, on a height, that the four reservoirs of Montbauron were built in 1686 to collect water from the surrounding ponds. Of these four reservoirs, only two remain and only one is still assigned to supply the fountains of the castle.

The neighborhood of Montreuil has a village feel and was not attached to Versailles until 1787. It has therefore developed a little away and retains the charm of a village, gathered around the Saint-Symphorien Church, an early example of neoclassical architecture. It is in this district that, under king Louis XIV, the Italian musicians assigned to the chapel of the castle settled. Visit their home, which now houses the Union Compagnonnique museum. Its proximity to the Château also meant that Montreuil was chosen by some great ladies of the court in the 18C for the installation of beautiful mansions, such as the domaine of Madame Elisabeth, sister of Louis XVI, whose park you will appreciate!

From a more touristic point of view they are group into Notre Dame, Saint Louis, Antiquaires, and Montbauron-Montreuil. As above translated from Versailles tourist office

From living there the neighborhood councils or conseils de quartiers of the city of Versailles

From the Maisons du quartier or neighborhood home of the city of Versailles:

And why not this is another city but just crossing the street and you are in Versailles, my boys high school was here so will tell you a bit on its districts too ok. Le Chesnay used to be called the town now is call Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt. A very nice place too even if not in the tourist trail.

The Plateau St Antoine district: A stone’s throw from the Rive Droite train station and adjoining Saint-Jean-Hulst stand up, majestic and opulent, the millstones of the Plateau, which make the peepers of any self-respecting local housewife shine; nonetheless, they are far from affordable for all budgets and sell out in the blink of an eye in a market that remains very confidential.

The Bas-Plateau district: if you have not managed to reach the coveted peaks of the Plateau St Antoine, you can nevertheless find what you are looking for in the northernmost district of Chesnay, in other words the Bas Plateau with pretty houses, sometimes terraced, often dating from the 1930s, nestled at the foot of Saint Antoine, offer a family setting and proximity to Blanche and Saint Jean.

The Parc Aubert district  is built around the pretty Aubert park, this predominantly residential area is close to Parly 2 mall and access to the A13 autoroute de Normandie; on the other hand, it will appear off-center to those looking for the proximity of Versailles train stations.

 The Parly 2 district is to all those looking for the cachet of the old, go your way! For everyone else, this huge condominium, which dates from the 1970s and is one of the largest in Europe, has real assets: functional apartments, greenery, a nearby shopping center, as well as easy access to the Domaine de Versailles.

The Old city/town hall district stretches from rue de Versailles to the brand new library: it has quite diverse habitats, ranging from residences on rue Caruel Saint Martin and rue de Versailles, animated by its small market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, in very quiet social housing and very close to the library, through the workers’ houses on rue de la Celle ;some in red brick are reminiscent of their English counterparts: do not think about you there however, everything is spruced up, raised, refurbished by families looking for houses and gardens in the immediate vicinity of Versailles and its stations.

The city of Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt on the heritage and history in French:

And as I am at it, why not the other nice town we like ,next to Versailles. To the East of Versailles, the small town of Viroflay cultivates its discretion, nestled between two forests of Meudon and Fausses-Reposes on either side of the D910, which connects the castle to the Pont de Sèvres in Paris. Among the best served in the Ile-de-France region, the town has three train stations such as lines L and N to Saint-Lazare and Montparnasse, RER C (rive gauche château), tramway T6, bus 171(to château) and so on. With excellent public and private schools, dynamic sports and cultural associations and a covered market, this charming little family village is mainly made up of houses built at the start of the 20C, many of which are millstone. The shops are divided into three points: near the market by avenue du Général Leclerc, and around the train stations of Viroflay Rive Gauche and Chaville-Vélizy. When you’ve tasted it, you don’t want to leave!

The city of Viroflay on its heritage and history in French:

And now I feel better, you have a full picture of my old home, and glorious places. Hope you can come and see it again or first time, you will be back. It is a must my beloved Versailles.Hope you enjoy the post.

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

October 29, 2020

The other churches of Versailles!

Well read all about it, no photos !!I feel bad to do this post but feel the information is useful for many including me. And yes, this is Versailles! where I lived for almost 10 years! I have written about my area Church ND and the Cathedral, and couple other churches like Ste Elizabeth and St Symphorien  with photos, and not these ones.

Therefore, need to change that and will post for information only and maybe one day as a visitor can finally take a picture lol!

The Church of Jeanne d’Arc built between 1923-1926,in the quartier or neighborhood of Clagny-Glatigny, 17 rue Albert Joly, Built initially in wood, it responds to the wish made by Mgr Gibier, Bishop of Versailles on August 31, 1914. He would have promised to build a church in honor of Joan of Arc if the city survived the German offensives.

On May 16, 1920, Joan of Arc was canonized in Rome. In Versailles, Canon Subtil, in charge of the fulfillment of the vow and pastor of the new parish, instituted the tradition of a preparatory novena, so that “the city does not forget the vow made to the Saint”. In 1930 the Mutin / Cavaillé Coll organ, donated by a parishioner for the temporary wooden chapel, was installed in the gallery. In 2007, the parish acquired the organ from Studio 103 from Radio France. It was inaugurated in September 2008. The walls covered with stone arabesques contrast with the large fresco in the apse. In 1934, the oil painting on mounted canvas covering the entire apse and representing four scenes from the life of Saint Joan of Arc was placed at the back of the choir; it is signed Henriette Lebon-Delore, a pupil of Maurice Denis. It has four scenes: on the left, Jeanne, keeping her sheep near Domrémy, hears the voices of Saint Michael, Saint Catherine and Saint Marguerite. In the center, the coronation of Charles VII in Reims. On the right, his martyrdom in Rouen. And above, Joan is welcomed into Heaven by her holy protectors. The three large glass roofs with geometric figures are by Maurice Rocher. Their surface is insufficient to provide the required clarity. When the double front door is not open, Sainte-Jeanne d’Arc Church remains a rather dark church.

The official webpage:

The Church Sainte Bernadette des Petit Bois built 1930 in the quartier or neighborhood of Jussieu-Petits-Bois-Picardie at 7 rue Saint Nicolas. The first stone of what was then a chapel was laid on February 21, 1937. The presbytery was not built until 1963. This church became a parish on September 30, 1959. The main facade of triangular shape was pierced in its center by a bell tower pierced with rectangular bays. A triangular porch surmounted by a tympanum surmounted by a cross precedes the entrance. A front porch flanks the first porch.

The official webpage:

The Saint Mark’s Church ,and English Anglican speaking church in Versailles going back to 1814 at rue Peintre Lebrun, where there was a hospital caring for British soldiers, the church was built in the same spot in 1912.

St. Mark’s Church, dedicated to St. Mark the Evangelist, It is attached to the Anglican Diocese of Gibraltar. It is believed that the origin of the Anglican Church at Versailles dates back to the purchase of a piece of land in 1710 by the then British Ambassador at the court of Louis XIV. However, there is no document attesting to this hypothesis. The first documentary trace that we know of dates back to 1814 and concerns the funeral of a British soldier who died in the hospital, just before the Battle of Waterloo.

Between 1825 and 1859 the church rented the reformed church on rue Hoche. In 1860, the construction of a new building for St Mark’s Church, made of wood and iron, which is apparently the old iron church destroyed in the fire of 1911, was inaugurated. The tiny church was rebuilt in 1912 on the same site, and reopened on November 21. It still exists, now occupied by the Protestant Church of the Nazarene, webpage :

In 1985, a large plot of land was purchased, along with an old house, at 31 rue du Pont Colbert on the outskirts of Versailles in the Porchefontaine district; the old church was sold to the Protestant Church of the Nazarene (see above). A large room of worship for 250 faithful was inaugurated on May 13, 2012. The old room of worship, now on the ground floor, will be used for group activities, such as catechism. The main entrance is at 31 rue de Pont Colbert.

The official webpage:

The Church Saint Michel, 18 rue des Celestins, in the district of Porchefontaine, began as a chapel in 1908 to become a church in 1926. It is name Saint Michel because consecrated church on the saints day. Many musical concerts happened here all the time.

The facade of the main entrance is slanted and consists of a gable wall. The portal is slightly raised, accessible by a staircase. A clock surmounts the front door. The bell tower, pierced with bay windows, is at the crossroads of the entrance body and the nave. The sidewalls are supported by buttresses, and pierced with arched windows. Originally, a first chapel was built and inaugurated in 1908, and this is the front part in millstone. It became a parish in 1928. The church was enlarged in 1937 ,it is the part corresponding to the central nave.

The official webpage:

To celebrate the Roman liturgy you come to the Chapelle Notre Dame des Armees, at 10 impasse des Gendarmes, born out of the spirit to serve the soldiers in 1852 ,built in 1877 ,when the military no longer use it, the city took over, then fideles Catholiques took over and administered since 1988 under the Roman rituals of 1962.

An association of prayers spiritually supports this soldier’s home. Pope Leo XIII, canonically erected an archconfraterny in 1875. Notre-Dame des Armées, which then had several thousand members throughout France. Neo-Gothic in style, it is located at number 10 Impasse des Gendarmes, near avenue de Paris and next to the Hôtel de Ville of Versailles; previously served by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint-Pierre, it is today priests of the diocese of Versailles who perform the offices there according to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, aided in this by the canonical association of Saint John Bosco.

On September 8, 1914, an apparition took place in this chapel to Marcelle Lanchon, 23, child of Mary who would become a nun, under the name of Sister Marie-France. It is an apparition of the Virgin, of Saint Teresa, of Saint Michael and of the Lord. The message concerns the love of the Virgin Mary for France, the invitation to pray for France and the Lord’s desire to reign over France. The Lord asks to see the image of his Sacred Heart reproduced on flags. Miss Marcelle Lanchon, a nun who had received the name of Sister Marie-France, born December 31, 1891 in Rouen, died October 20, 1933 in Les Chesnay (today Les Chesnay-Rocquecourt) in her community at 6 avenue de Bellevue. She would have witnessed Marian apparitions and the Sacred Heart in the Chapel of Notre-Dame-des-Armées and was a member of the Pious Union of Adorers of the Heart of Jesus. No canonical investigation by the bishop of the diocese has yet been opened, and the Catholic Church has not recognized these apparitions. She rests in the Notre-Dame cemetery; at 15 rue des missionionnaires in Versailles.

The Official webpage:

At 3 rue Hoche you will find the Protestant Temple, it was a site to celebrate the feast of the king , and finally in 1821 the English Protestant  community took over ,after many works including one that took them to do their rituals inside the castle by the cour des marbres, the temple is now recognised as cultural association according to the 1906 law of separation of state and church. About 1250 protestant families belong to the Temple today. The parish is a member of the United Protestant Church of France.

On May 24, 1821, under king Louis XVIII, the government authorized the establishment in Versailles of a Protestant church of the Anglican faith. It was established in 1926 at 3 rue Dauphine, since then renamed rue Hoche, in a former Catholic chapel. The chapel then dates from 1769, built under king Louis XIV on the site of the mansions of Marcillac, La Rochefoucauld and Conti to serve as a resting place during the Corpus Christi procession, which led from the Church Notre-Dame de Versailles to the Royal Chapel of the castle. Desecrated during the French revolution, the chapel was used as a meeting room and then as a temple for the Theo philanthropists.   In February 9, 1828, under king Charles X, the government authorized French Protestants, of the Reformed and Lutheran faiths to celebrate their worship in the Anglican Church. From that time on, the temple was therefore a united Protestant church, bringing together in a spirit of openness and tolerance several denominations in the same temple. The current temple was built from 1880 to 1882, according to a sober and classic plan of Protestant architecture of the time, with an open Bible on the pediment.

The official webpage:

Ok ok, there are a lot more, this is a very traditional city, royal town of France! So here are a few more listed!

Chapelle de l’Ermitage, 1 Rue de l’Ermitage
Chapelle du Couvent des Sœurs servantes du Sacré Cœur,109 Avenue de Paris
Chapelle du Lycée Notre-Dame du Grandchamp,(chapel in a historic high school),97 Rue Royale
Chapelle du lycée Sainte-Geneviève (chapel in a historic high school),2 rue de l’Ecole-des-Postes
Chapelle Notre-Dame de l’Espérance, 37 rue du Maréchal Joffre
Chapelle Saint-François de Sales,9 Rue de l’École des Postes
Chapelle Saint-Joseph de Glatigny,29 Boulevard de Glatigny
Chapelle Saint-Maurice de la caserne Satory (Fesch), (military chapel)De la Martinière (Satory)
Église adventiste (Adventist Church), 22 rue des Réservoirs
Eglise du Couvent des Récollets, 9 rue des Récollets
Église Évangélique de Pentecôte(evangelical Pentecost) ,15 bis rue du Parc de Clagny
Église Évangélique du Nazareen, 15 rue du Peintre Lebrun
Mosquée de Versailles, 31 rue Jean Mermoz
Synagogue,10 Rue Albert Joly

Well I hope you will come to see the history of Versailles in its churches next time. And do take pictures!! I promise will do when this virus is over eventually. Stay safe!

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

October 28, 2020

My best restaurants in Versailles!!!

Well since I am with the resto bug, might as well continue. Versailles was my town where I lived for 10 years, and it’s time to update this list now that I come back just to visit from Brittany. The original post was done in 2011!!! Looking back, I realized was not into going out so much as cooking in house but then again there are a few.

By now, I have done Restaurant lists in some of the mayor areas I have been so see France, Brittany, Madrid, Mexico etc in my blog. The France post I did some times for eating habits here ,but for the rest I just tell you about the names of my favorite local restos,bars, cafes, etc.

Le Boeuf à la Mode, 4 Rue au Pain, 78000, ,this is the sublime cozy romantic, French traditional restaurant of old I like to seek and keep. It was our favorite while there. Very near Castle on the marche Notre Dame area tuck away in rue au pain ,but well known.  You wont go wrong here for an evening in Versailles.  webpage:

Relais de Poste, 2 Rue des Etats Généreaux. Well this one is a simple clasic old post relay place tuck by the direction of the Chantiers train station ; but close enough to the Rive Gauche train station too. If you want simple French food amongst locals then come here, its one of my favorites for lunch. Now new owner and name Le Paris Versailles is there, their webpage:

Broadway Cafe, 15 rue Ducis, by the marche Notre Dame around the old bays of the market the street goes around them. Tex-Mex well done and nice Coronas, great for lunch and inexpensive. No webpage

Sister’s Cafe, 15 rue des Réservoirs.An American in Versailles. hamburgers, big juicy like back in the old home all made to order, plus big salads another great lunch suggestions. Right by the street on the right side of chateau looking at it,cant missed it right past the théatre Montansier same sidewalk. More here:

Au Chien qui Fume, 72 rue de la paroisse, Tel  +33 01 39 53 14 56,
near church Notre Dame and marché Notre Dame. A great institution of the highest French culinary experience, great for dinner,you can’t go wrong here.  Here since 1839 serving delicious oyesters dishes. webpage

Angelina, Cour des Princes, pavillon d’Orléans, Chateau de Versailles.  Tel  +33 01 39 20 08 32.  It also has a coffee shop at the Maison du Suisses in the Petit Trianon building inside chateau properties. Refine as the Paris legendary store, a must for pastries and hot chocolates for me! Our break from walks and jogging in the gardens by the Petit Trianon! More here:

La Flotille, Parc du Chateau, by the Grand Canal inside Chateau property.  Another classic in the Chateau de Versailles with great views over the Grand Canal in the terrace in summers. Great menus from 26€ but try the monkfish dish delicious . webpage

Taverne de Maitre Kanter, 5 Rue Colbert. Later it became the Pavillon Colbert by 2019 , and now closed.  Tuck away right to your left coming out of chateau, little street, cozy with great views over the parvis ,and splendind Alsacien cuisine, I go for the Choucroutes Lol! Here just for the memories

Brasserie du Théatre, 15 rue des Réservoirs, Just next to you guess it, Théatre Montansier(marie antoinette love it), I love the food and be in history right in my city, cant go wrong for the ambiance and decor.  webpage:

Bistrot du Boucher, 12 rue André Chénier, in the marché Notre Dame area as well. It’s a chain but great, traditional old fashion French cuisine and great cuts of beef par excellence. webpage here :

Le Montbauron, 23 rue Jouvencel . This is the perfect place to have a nice simple dinner and a great evening of pool playing American and European styles. Great ambiance.  Best way to get here is come up chateau on ave de Paris straight past govt building on your left ave de l’Europe, continue 100 meters and the next street to your left is rue Jouvencel. More info here:

Le Saint Claire, 2 Rue de Satory, right by castle on the Sceaux side to your right coming out of Chateau. Great terrace in summers looking at Chateau for wonderful views, service is continous. Live music. Traditional French cuisine, webpage:

La Crêperie Royale, 5 Boulevard du Roi. If you want something light and very French try a Crêpe, great tasting with different combinations, and wont bulge your wallet. Walk to your left from Chateau, continue going around it and you will get to rue des Résérvoirs stay on this road that changes name to boulevard du Roi ,the crêperie is on your left hand side. Easy walk and see the city Lol!!! webpage:

Pizzeria César by Simone Zanoni , 8 avenue due Général de Gaulle. When you want to eat pizza but not from the chains, this is it, and live karaoke music too, great ambiance especially in the evening, and great for the budget menus from 14,50€ to 18€ in the evenings. From rive gauche train station RER cross the street and its on the Les Manéges building. webpage:

Subway , 35 rue du Maréchal Foch. Yes you got it its the American sandwich chain, all over Paris but has one in Versailles, when my rave for the old calls for this is the place to go ,close to me and my kids school. Very friendly fast service. So bring your simple big inexpensive appetite to this store. More here:

Pub O’ Paris, 15 rue Colbert. The place for sports and beer and have a great time very near the Chateau just to your left going out. This is the rugby and football/soccer place to be in the evenings, live music, and just great friendly time. Come and be merry; webpage

Les Caves du Roi Soleil, 5 Passage Géole. An old institution of prison for reformers,now a bar/danse club, great ambiance and very quiet normal people great for all ages. you have different themes with especially the Tuesday evening champagne soirée. Just by the marché Notre Dame north area to your left. Something to let you loose while in old Versailles ;more here:

Planéte Food, 7 Rue du Général Leclerc,  simple kebabs Lebanese and Greek foods well done, clean, inexpensive delicious for the lunch taker or quick bite family. Many students come here including mine. Very near Castle, from train rive gauche turn right on second street turn right the resto is on your right hand side. From castle ,turn right take first at Sceaux left then on Satory turn right into Rue du Gen Leclerc turn left , resto on your left hand side. Now open for take outs.

Le Canard d’Or, 30 bis rue des Résérvoirs. The best Chinese resto in town, very near Castle just go around to your left coming out and take the last street as rue des résérvoirs turn right and the resto is on your right hand side about 200 meters.  webpage:

Not really a full restaurant per se, but as the only hotel that I can recommend because been there as a lodging tourist and visit as a resident and know it very well is the Hotel du Cheval Rouge , 18 Rue André Chenier off the Marché Notre Dame. You are in the middle of it all ,walking distance maybe 7 minutes to the chateau, it is an old horse stables of the king and now a hotel with breakfast and inner court private parking. webpage :

Well these are my favorites,over time living and visiting Versailles and its area. There are many more to explore! I was last there in November 2019. Hope you can enjoy them when stopping by my beloved Versailles.

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

October 28, 2020

My best Shopping in Versailles!!!

Ok so here I am again ,updating my blog as this post was done early on when I started blogging! And of course, it needs a complete revamping. Just short lived in Versailles for almost sublime 10 years! and last visited in November 2019.

Everybody’s favorite subject,and the family past time lol! Having a large family shopping is an event, and one to have patient and enjoy it. I would like to share with my readers some of my favorites hunts in Versailles and nearby, these are my choices for a local living point of view but it can be use by visitors too. Of course, will leave you the shopping inside the castle in another post. Hope it helps.

We are big fan of the L’Occitane for many many years, the store in Versailles is very nice and friendly getting you nice products from Provence. 39 rue de la Paroisse.  It is very near the collegiale Notre Dame Church and our former home. Open from tuesdays to fridays 10h-13h30 and 14h30-19h, Saturdays 10h-19h; Sundays 10h-13h and English is spoken.,74,1,b02OCST059.htm

For jewerly, watches, etc the favorite in town is Eté Joaillier 38 rue de la Paroisse, next to l’Occitane store above Open tuesdays to saturdays 10h30-13h and 14h30-19h.

Bags ,handbags, leather, and travel accessories the ultimate is the Le Tanneur, 7 place Hoche, not far from us neither. open tuesdays to saturdays from 10h to 1çh30, Saturdays and Sundays from 10h -19h30.

For gifts, souvenirs, t shirts , you come here Select Souvenir, 6 ave Gén de Gaulle, in the Les Manéges building across from RER C station rive gauche-château. Plenty to see on way in or out of Versailles.  Open tuesdays to Saturdays from 10h to 19h. And you might had met my oldest son worked here!!! And no webpage!

For flowers , the lady in the house went just over Au Nom De La Rose at nearby 21 rue de la Paroisse.

For toys, kids games of European and French design and fabrication you cant beat. La Cabane De Louison, 69 rue de la Paroisse.

For wines ,other than going to the chain Nicolas, my favorite is at  50 rue de la Paroisse . Open tuesdays to fridays 9h30-13h and 15h to 20h , Saturdays 9h30 to 13h and 15h-20h ,Sundays 9h30 to 13h.

You can definitively be satisfied at Aux Caves du Chateau, 9 place Hoche. Wines, spirits,champagnes, with gifts in mind too, and artisan beers all since 1840. Open tuesdays to saturdays from10h-13h and 15h-19h30. Sundays in the mornings 10h-13h too. English spoken.

For cheeses go to Fromagerie Le Gall ,in the marché Notre Dame building named Carré à la Marée. open tuesdays to sundays 7h30 to 13h and 16h to 19h, closed Wednesday ,and sundays afternoons. English spoken. the best cheeses in town from all regions of France including the real ones from the farm to you.

For teas from around the world and to find that rare one, the one to visit is La Route du Thé, 26 rue de Satory,on the ave Sceaux side of chateau. open tuesdays to saturdays from 10h30 to 19h, English spoken.

For chocolates try the real thing from a local chocolatier, Yves Thuriés Chocolatier, 37 rue de la Paroisse, near church collegiale de Notre Dame. All is made in house from 100% cocoa beans of the best regions, also try the macarons and pâtes de fruit.

Of course, have a separate post on this but could not forget, the market or marché public, my all time favorite, and regular as noted above in the cheese store is the Marché de Notre Dame and Halles Notre Dame, the difference is the Marché is open air, fruits, veggies, etc alternating with a clothing market while the Halles are covered market dating from the domaine de Clagny c1665. There in the carré Notre Dame . You get here from chateau follow straight out to your left and take ave Saint Cloud to the corner of ave de l’Europe and rue Marechal Foch, you take a left and the marché is right in front of your eyes. Marché open Tuesdays, Fridays,and Sundays from 7h30 to 14h , and the Halles open tuesdays to saturdays 7h to 19h30, some Mondays and Sundays from 7h to 14h. 

If you prefer buying flowers in a market to take home, then the best is at sidewalks on ave Saint Cloud just by the underground parking Saint Cloud corner ave de l’Europe. Open Tuesdays,Fridays,Saturdays all day and Sunday mornings. There are ,also, flowers at the Marché Notre Dame see above.

For all your Cigars needs, and pens, and wallets, and the best advice from all over the world products of great quality. Gifts, pens, and tabac specialties like lotto, and English spoken try La Havane, 21 rue Hoche.

For fish and seafood, of course I know, you need to have a kitchen but so what I also know many of you do when visiting so I am giving away my poissonnerie or fish market L’Espadon, Halles Notre Dame, Carré à la Marée, open as the Halles Market above.

And of course the bakeries cannot be forgotten, several are good, but my choice for the blog will be Boulangerie (Maison) Guinon at 60 rue de la Paroisse , doing it since 1802 and still the best, go for it when in town. Open Tuesdays to Fridays 9h To 14h.

For coffee lovers try La Finca, 15 rue de deux Portes.  At the area around the marche de Notre Dame on the chateau side as you stand in the center. Go around the Halles Notre Dame and it is there its a tiny place full of coffee grounders machines. And no webpage.

For groceries there are the Leader Price chain store at 58 rue de Chantiers (near train SNCF station)

Monoprix, 5 ave Georges Clémenceau (also a Monop by 27 Rue Carnot). 

Carrefour City is at 67 Avenue de Saint Cloud, end of Rue de la Paroisse. M-S 7h to 21h and Sundays 7h to 13h.

Franprix, 5 rue Rameau near our Notre Dame Collegiale Church. 7h30 to 20h30 Mondays to Saturdays and 9h to 12h Sundays!

You have bigger supermarkets outside if you have a car, but these in town are pretty good for your needs.

There are several good libraries or book stores in town , however, my favorite is Gibert & Joseph, 62 rue de la Paroisse, near Collegiale Church Notre Dame,  chain also in Paris.

For photos and we always need those we headed for Photo Station,  50 rue de la Paroisse. They are franchises, and have a general webpage here:

For clothing we shop sometimes at Damart as was my dear late wife Martine favorite at 43-45 rue de la Paroisse. Damart is a chain all over France.

I shop at Burton; 11 rue Georges Clemenceau.10h to 19h30. Mens clothing! and we have one out west near my current home now.

Another one we shop while in town Eram, 13 rue du maréchal Foch. Clothing for the family.

Haircuts at Jean Louis David when the family wanted as I did my own. 15 rue du maréchal Foch. Could not verify if still there but we did had at the Parly II shopping center in Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt. :

Pharmacies are many but my is at Pharmacie de la Place de Hoche, 6 Pl de Hoche. On the other side of the square nearer the palace of Versailles.

Several post offices too the one I use most is at La Poste ,47bis rue du Marechal Foch; between the market of Notre Dame and the train station rive droite.

Several banks including the Banque Populaire, Caisse d’Epargne, CIC , Credit Agricole, HSBC, La Poste, LCL , Societé Générale, but I did most the  BNP Paribas at 1 rue du Marechal Foch the most.

If you have problems with your laptop or computer while here like we did the moment we landed go to the pros at  VART electronique will definitively help you. They are at 42 ave de Saint Cloud. Any country will do, they do them all !!!  just north of the ave de l’Europe and ave saint cloud you go right to a side street call allée de l’avenue saint cloud. They have been there for ages…

if you are looking for antiques, head here first The Antiquaires de Versailles , you might save yourselves time. The site has all the info you need and good direction, see post. 

If you want to walk in a quaint old fashion street full of goodies and feel like in times past while enjoying nice little restos and small misc stores ready to wear clothing, then head for the Rue de deux Portes off rue Carnot to the marché Notre Dame . A wonderful old world walk that we enjoyed very much to take especially along on weekends.

Well I think I touch the most of old memories with updated text and webpages. Again, hope you enjoy this magical walk thru my beloved Versailles.

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

October 26, 2020

Getting to/from Versailles!

I have done a post on this subject when I started my blog long ago. I feel it needs update so here it is folks. Hope you enjoy it

How to come to Versailles? A question many times asked and usually connected with Paris. First, an explanation on geography as I lived in Versailles and worked in Paris. We are a separate city, in a separate geographical area totally independant of Paris. We are the Capital of the state,province or as we call it , Department 78 call Yvelines in the west part of Paris. We are the de facto capital of France for any constitutional changes to the French Constitution when the government moves over to the city.

The most direct way to come to us is by car, renting one at CDG airport is the most usual route or Orly can be done too. As you know done all but still a road warrior soul. There are many route planner sites and now even GPS navigation, just sometimes does not provide the uptimum route. I found out. . Here are my routes as follows

From CDG Roissy en France ( department 95, or Val d’Oise northeast of Paris) ; You go out of airport on the N104 or Francilienne road, the signs along the route tells you that you are on the Francilienne or A104, direction Cergy-Pontoise , the entire western section got new additions and number changes (like A115) but the road remains the same, it later changes to the N104 before coming to the N184 by the intersection with the A15 (that can take you into Paris or towards Rouen in Normandy),you stay straight on the road and it brings you to the N13 road to Le Port Marly and continue on the N186 Route de Versailles onwards to Versailles going under the A13 autoroute de Normandie  by Les Chesnay-Roquencourt it becomes the D186 or Route de Saint Germain , then , boulevard Saint Antoine , at the traffic circle with the twins towers or monument to the fallen at place de la Loi turn right into boulevard du Roi , becoming Rue des Réservoirs, and you will see passing the Montansier theater (right hand side) and then the palace of Versailles! Yes the numbers change, the streets change but it is really a straight line direction Versailles!

From Orly airport in city of Orly, department 94 or Val de Marne south of Paris, you take from either terminal Ouest /West or Sud/South the road A106 direction Paris, signs N7 and take the exit to the A86 exchange direction Sceaux/Antony/Versailles that is get on the right lane and turn around towards the left or west into the A86. Follow this road to the N12 and at exit 2 /N186 Rue du Pont Colbert same into the Rue des Etats Généraux , then left on Rue de Limoges , then right on ave de Sceaux, then right on ave Général de Gaulle and left on Avenue de Paris to palace of Versailles. Again easy, the key here is to take the exit 2 above!

From Paris most folks don’t do it, so won’t go into that, but its very easy indeed as the avenue de Versailles in Paris takes you straight by the Porte Saint Cloud  to the avenue de Paris in Versailles following the old royal route on the D910/D10 now that leads to the palace of Versailles. Royale lol!

The city has plenty of parkings all over, my most useful are these: parking ave de Sceaux ,this is just after the rive gauche-château RER C train station on ave Général Charles de Gaulle, intersection with rue Royale turn left and first ramp up to the parking. Metered machines are spread out for your ticket. . Parking avenue de Saint Cloud, very easy at the avenue and corner with ave de l’Europe away from the chateau will be your right hand side, you see the flower market on your right too. Parking place du Marché Notre Dame, at the market right off rue du marechal Foch, a bit tight but very nice and elevators bring up right in the middle of the market ! Parking place Saint Louis, this one is by the Cathedral Saint Louis, the big P and Cathedrale will guide you to it. Its right off place Saint Louis. You have a smaller parking right on Parking ave de l’Europe open air but very convenient to castle and market too.  Once on avenue de l’Europe to to avenue de Paris turn sharp right into the entrance.

Some info in English from the city of Versailles

You can park on the street , but they have meters  unless park far off the main tourist spots. I used them if moving around town because we walk here but normally for long periods and visiting I will recommend the parking garages.

Then, for the public transports inclined there are many ways too. There are by way of RER/Metro/Bus, this is RER B from CDG airport to Gare de l’Est train station in Paris, here take metro line 4 direction porte d’Orléans but stop at Strasbourg-Saint Denis to connect with metro line 9 direction Pont de Sévres and get off here. Then take bus No 171 right to the front of Chateau de Versailles on ave de Paris! One more from CDG airport is to take RER B to St Michel-Notre Dame train station in Paris, and there change to RER C to train station rive gauche-château in Versailles , which is the closest to Chateau de Versailles! While walking around Paris there are other connections on the RER C to Versailles.

You can,also, take the Le Bus Direct (old Cars Air France) on line 4 to Montparnasse train station, there take the regular train to  Chantiers train station in Versailles, the farthest from Chateau at more than one km easy for us but maybe too far for you. At Chantiers especially in high season you can take the Phebus network TRI buses to the domaine de Versailles (castle , trianons, hameau etc).

Yet another one is to take the Roissybus bus service to behind Opéra Garnier and there take at the Opera metro station connection with metro line 3 to gare Saint Lazare to take regular train to gare/station rive droite in Versailles, then connect with the Phebus network TRI buses to the Domaine as above.

From Orly airport, take the Le Bus Direct bus line 1 or 4 to Montparnasse, then regular train to Chantiers train station in Versailles. You can ,also ,take the navette bus from Orly airport to the gare de Rungis, from here RER C to gare d’Austerlitz, and again the RER C direction Versailles rive gauche-château RER station.

There are several private lines taken this route today I will just list one naturally call Versailles Express webpage:

And even from low cost Beauvais-Tillé airport you can do by taking a taxi to the  gare or train station at Beauvais (11 – 15€ update prices please) ,then take the train to the  gare du Nord in Paris. There take the RER B to stop St Michel-Notre Dame, and follow that with the RER C to Versailles rive gauche-château RER station. Walking distance to the palace of Versailles.

If you are a curious visitor and like a bit of adventure into off the beaten paths places go to bus depot at avenue de l’Europe at the corner of ave de Saint Cloud. You get here walking from the palace to your left and take the ave de Saint Cloud stay on the right hand side to just before reaching avenue de l’Europe, there is the bus stop No 19  every 30 minutes or so take it stop Arboretum/Parly II , get off walk back down towards Versailles about 300 meters you will see the porte de Saint Antoine, on your right hand side. Walking in is free on the gardens and the Hameau de Marie-Antoniette is on your right as you enter, then the Trianons one after the other.Sublime!! My jogging and walking favorite spot in Versailles and there is a branch of Angelina cafe next to the Petit Trianon!

The RER C can be taken at several locations in Paris to go to Versailles in addition to St Michel-Notre Dame, there are gare d’Austerlitz, Auber, Musée d’Orsay, Invalides, Champ de Mars/tour Eiffel, Pont de l’Alma, Javel,Porte Maillot, Ave Foch, Ave Henri Martin, etc etc. Best to grab a metro/RER map right off the airport by the RER B train station in the airport.

And of course, the city has a lot more than the Château. As I told several times before, Versailles has a lot more indeed. Just walk into the districts of Notre Dame (left side facing out the chateau,and my old home) or Saint Louis (right side facing out the chateau) or go up ave de Paris into the district of Montreuil and see the mansions of the court (they want it some privacy away from the bustle of the castle so build away) here is Madame Elizabeth  (sister of louis XVI who ended in the same faith as his brother) and Madame de Provence (the sister in law who made thru the revolution) and others. See my posts on them in my blog.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip and you must visit Versailles are:

The site for the ile de France region regular train service, Transilien

The Paris and surroundings transport by RER train, bus,tram RATP

The unique bus No 171 at pont de Sévres to Versailles is here:

The  TRI bus service from Phebus network in Versailles. It connects arrival at all 3 Versailles gares or train station to the Château and Trianons. All local bus lines are here. However, bear in mind seasonal line in Summers, check if it will be still running next Summer when info available here:

There you go a nice way to come into my beloved Versailles, hope it helps your planning for the future. I have updated info and webpages here. I have other posts with pictures but this is just for information only. Versailles is a must visit in France!

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

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