Archive for ‘Versailles’

May 20, 2017

Some news from France CLVI

Here to you all surprise ! right before Krakow, there was Paris well always Paris. Some sunny nice day in Paris indeed ,and some great news from the eternal city.

An American in Paris Kristin Frederick from California just started her third restaurant in the city. The GreenHouse, 22 rue Crespin-du-Gast 11eme; just after her previous two establishement Le Camion qui Fume, 168 rue Montmartre 2eme, and the Huabu ,67 rue du Faubourg-Poissonniére 9eme.  Great to have Paris an international city.

You should go and check out the Best barman in the world from a contest sponsored by Diageo after 10K participant, Jennifer Le Nechet of Café Moderne, 19 rue Keller 11eme open Tuesdays to Saturdays 15h and 19h in evenings.

Check out one of my favorite spots in Paris, Paname Brewing Company, 41bis quai de la Loire,19eme.Views on the bassin de la Villette, with big tables and cubes at end of rooms having five boutique beers to choose from in a loft culture style. The Galeries Lafayette is stepping out until December 31 2017. weekend in style every Sundays from 11h to 19H ;brunch from Angelina, Big Fernand, L’ice cube etc.

See the wonderful harbor or ports of Paris from a bit outside the city the port of Gennevilliers(dept 92). You can have boat rides here too by the tourist office of the dept at 62 route principale du port ,Gennevilliers, metro asniéres -gennvilliers-Les Courtilles line 13 or gare de Gennevilliers RER C. Or the Port de Cergy (dept 95) with beautiful wharfs on the river Seine where I have many lunches working in the area, you can do canoe-kayak pédalo, fishing, and accrobranche, 6 quai de la Tourelle, Cergy ,gare cergy-Préfecture RER A and Line L out of St Lazare. Tel +33 (0) 1 34 24 11 77.  And of course the one inside Paris (dept 75) Port de l’Arsenal ,  just with the Bastille looking at you linking the canal de Saint Martin to the river Seine; and 170 boats enjoy the pergolas and walk the wharfs ; this is at 53 blvd de la Bastille 12eme; metro quai de la Rapée line 5 or tel +33 (0) 143 41 39 32

Two interesting anecdotes, the pool or piscine Georges Valleray, host the 1924 Olympics where Johnny Weismuller won 3 golds in swimming and in water polo, before becoming Tarzan. The pool is one of the rare ones in the city that has a covered roof covering the 50 meters pool. Admission is 3€ location: 148 avenue Gambetta,20eme.

Also, the rare and interesting Salle d’Armes Coudurier. Opened in 1886, the oldest fencing club in Paris with keeping its authentic deco. The platforms of one meter wide by 10 meters long. It host many filming events and you can even try fencing in it from Mondays to Saturdays and from 17h to 21h. 6 rue Git-le-Coeur 6eme.www.

If you want to buy baseball/softball equipment in Paris, go to the best Diamond Equipment for many years and have visited. You can find anything to play the sports here. A bit tiny  and loaded and if not there they can find it for you. See it at 75 blvd Soult, 12eme or

If you are in Paris for a while or expats and need help on housework,childcare,dog walking, household and computer repair or just watering the plants seek out Lulu les bons tuyaux , founded in 2005. Charges from 5€ to 20€ per half hour. See more at

Old reliable show at the théatre des Nouveautés, 24 blvd Poissonniére, 9eme see the show How to become Parisien in one hour, by Olivier Giraud.  tickets by calling +33 (0) 6 98 57 45 98 or

Do you know Paris is vying for the 2024 Olympic Games?  Many sites already selecting for the organising committee trying to convince the Olympic Committee to   host the games competing with Los Angeles.  They have divided the venues into Zone Grand Paris ,those around Paris like the Stade de France,Le Bourget etc, Those in Zone Paris centre like the Champ-de-Mars, Tour Eiffel,Champs-Elysées, Grand Palais, Esplanade des Invalides, parc des princes, roland Garros, etc and those in other zones or stand alone venues such as Arena 92, Zénith Paris, Chateau de Versailles, etc. It will be big and messy if the games are here but also think good for the economy of the region.

And what better place to smell sports than at the Bois de Vincennes parks. It is 3 times Central Park in NYC and covers 10% of the city land; created by Napoléon III covering 7,8 kms of creeks natural and artificial,(3,9 sq miles)  English style in a 10 square kilometers  (4,8 sq miles) space.  It receives 11 million visitors per year! You have fishing, canoe-kayak, cricket etc in a space that hosted the 1900 Olympic Games!  On the municipal velodrome (La Cipale) built in 1896 and renovated in 2015 ready to host the next games….  You have the Théatre du Soleil founded here in 1970 by Ariane Mnouchkine in the old armament factory or cartoucherie!  The Tour de France bicycle race the winner was crowned here from 1968 to 1974 such champions as Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil etc. Here we have the Institut National du Sport or the national sports institute where past and future champions in sports comes out on 25 hectares of land . We cannot forget the nice and famous hippodrome de Vincennes horse racecourse opened in 1863 hosting still prestigious events such as the Grand Prix de France, and Grand Prix d’Amerique.  We all can indulge in the Cafe Casaques for afterworks (happy hours) from 19h to 23h . Not forget the Paris colonial expo of 1931 (where you can still see the pavillon Indochina with a replica of the temple of Angkor Vat) played out here and hosting more than 8 millions visitors you can still see the old Paris colonial expo of 1907 on the western extreme part of the park.  See the temples for Cameroon and Togo  now transformed into a pagoda, and hosting one fo the biggest center of Budha in Europe with a budha statue of 9 meters high ( 14 feet). Of course, cannot forget the Parc Floral or flower park and the Zoo. All magical all Paris

So you are here for shopping, well you are at the king or queen of all shopping extravaganza and the capital of fashion . One area you should come to and not just for eating is the Mouffetard.  You go right into my favorite the Carl Marletti (previous pastry chef of the Intercontinental Paris Hotel (today Westin and see my previous post on it) . the millefeuille where he was crowned the best in Paris are to kill for as well as the mont-blanc etc. 51 rue Censier,

The thêatre Mouffetard and old marionnette theater now a show of puppets masks etc in a 230 seat theater featuring two shows and admission of -8-18€ 73 rue Mouffetard, 5eme more at  ;but also, La Tuile à Loup, 35 rue Daubenton since 1974 the lovely shop has promoted French craftmanship with a top notch selection of tableware, fabrics,pottery, ceramics and  much more.  they ,also ship abroad; more at  To have a drink visit the Cave La Bourgogne, 144 rue Mouffetard for a coffee, glass of burgundy or hearty steak with the Mouffetard market’s lively ambianc as a backdrop. nice.

Continue the tour of Mouffetard with visiting the La Maison des Trois Thés, 1 rue Saint-Médard the domain of master Tseng one of the world’s leading tea experts. Her team advises and guides you thru more than 1000 varieties of teas many aged in the premises.  Also, the Fromagerie Patrick Veron (cheese) at 105 rue Mouffetard, the last independant fromager in the street with over 40 years’s experience defending the raw milk cheeses (of course the best) An inmense selection of goat cheeses,which he ages on premises.

For a broader clothing and accessories selection see Chromatic, 67 and 92 rue Mouffetard since 1992 providing great designer jewerly and quality clothing on both sides of the street.  The library les Traversées (old librarie l’Arbre à Lettres) purchased by the employees and change name in 2013.  Don’t miss their readings and book signings at 2 rue Edouard-Quenu,  ; For toys come to the L’Epée de Bois a world of wooden toys since 1945. All French made on wood cloths dolls, and mobiles. the place to find something inspiring for Children. 12 rue de L’Epée-de-Bois 5eme. This is Mouffetard unique!

For something uniquely French try the Henri Bardouin pastis. Winner of the agriculture salon of 2017. An aromatic blend of 65 plants and spices including fennel, thyme,green anis, rosemary, star anis, guinea pepper, cardamon, clove, and south american tonka bean! Can be mix with water as an aperitif as well as summer meals. more here:  www.

And talking about drinks what about the Les Vignerons Parisiens or parisians winemakers! they are bringing back the Parisian tradition of wine making and its newest winery. The entire winemaking process is on the premises, and you can discover the world of wine through visits, tastings and oenology courses held at the winery. 55 rue de Turbigo 3eme: more here:

And something unique for those seeking camping cars and outdoor accommodations, see Gamping. It is a combination of offering rooms or chambres d’hôtes in private lots from cabins to plaine lodges etc. you can pick your place on the site app; It already has more than 8000 places in France and abroad from the sea , to mountains, or in the middle of the vineyards to share with the owners meals, walks ,tastings etc. See more about it here:

Orlyval is celebrating 25 years !! with modern train wagons and additional signages on all its stations. Showing live time traffic on the RER B and Orlyval lines. The latest addition, the last navette leaves the airport at 23h35 (compare to 23h before) ;so you can take the last RER B to Paris in only 6 minutes! all about it in English here:

There is a new retro game area at CDG airport with 1980’s Video games on a new arcade at T2C, T3,and satellite 5 of T1; Featuring Pacman, Tetris,and Donkey Kong with a free game on each arcade. Retrogaming is the name; and by June two new areas will open at Terminal T2E hall K with 15 machines at your disposal. Passangers played 6 millions games in 2016! wow, it’s your turn!

And this is it for now folks until next time. My travels move me onwards to Brazil where I am now, soon by June more goodies in my blog. Stay healthy be good and keep on traveling Cheers!!!










May 9, 2017

Some news from France CLV

So now we are back to work and waiting for my next trip on Friday next. Today was sunny with temps in 21C or about 70F sunny nice day to be well in France. Some news before my departure! And I was just notify by WordPress, that this is my “Congratulations on writing 1000 posts on Paris1972-Versailles2003!”

You know about the Dordogne in France? and the wonderful river that meanders about ,the Dordogne from its source in Sancy in the Puy-de-Dôme until its arrival into the Gironde.  Some tourist sites to start:

It’s heaven to see the river Dordogne from the tops of the Castle of Beynac and walks the narrow streets of Beynac-et-Cazenac. Some numbers 1,5 million tourists come into the Valley of the Dordogne spending 32 millions Euros, the valley has about 400 000 hectares.

Some of the things to see here are:

Jardins Suspendus de Marqueyssac, long kilometers of promenades along millennium old trees settled into a stony park and its cliffs like the Belvédère at 130 meters high. Nice natural setting and one of the most sought after here. More here:

Of course, the Château de Beynac, from the 13C and 14C, fighting off the enemy from 150 meters high, and films done here including Jeanne d’Arc of Luc Besson. See the medieval times right in your face;unique, a must so visit. More here:

Another dandy, the Château de Castelnaud, on the highs as well with a great panorama of the valley, built in the 12C. It has a nice arms and armory of medieval times, and the children can climb on the machines of shooting or catapults to recreate its offensive postures. More here:

Continue to the Château de Fayrac, on the lower end of the river and now own by a rich Texan (USA), and of course closed to the visit but a sight to see, even André Malraux lived here for several weeks in 1944 when he entered the French Resistance after his brothers were taken prisioners by the Nazis. The castle is in the town of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, which is itself one of the most beautiful villages/towns of France.  A bit on it in French:

and the town page on Les Plus Beaux Villages de France here:

Continue on towards the more familiar Château des Milandes, of Josephine Baker lived here from 1937 to 1968 with her husband and 12 adopted children.  She created here in the park a world village and even had a theater, the castle was sold to pay her debts but today it is still a museum of her stayed here/ more here:

The town itself of Beynac-et-Cazenac is another of the most beautiful villages of France; nestled in a rocky rock, one of the must stops when coming to the region or even passing as I have done several times. The city page in French here:

And the tourist office in English here:

We reach the end of the river Dordogne bend and arrive at La Roque-Gageac another beautiful village of France, and a must to stop by. Old town of the bishops of Sarlat, and was completely fortified with white rock facades and many narrow  medieval streets.Nice indeed.  The city page in French here:

The site of the most beautiful villages of France in English:

And the tourist office in English:

And the trip back to Paris, you will see the last studio of Eugene Delacroix, the house was founded by George Desvalliéres and Maurice Denis after the end of WWI at place de Furstenberg in the district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. In 1932 the society of Friends of Delacroix made the effort to save the house and turn it into the museum. The museum became part of the National museum title and from 2004 part of the Louvre. The museum is just finished to be renovated, and allow to come intime with Delacroix, but also, Cezanne, Picasso, Gauguin, Bernard, etc. See their work in the exhibition “Maurice Denis et Eugene Delacroix, from the Studio to the Museum” . Until August 28 at the musée Delacroix. More here:

And the best Baguette or bread of Paris has just been announce! And the winner is the Boulangerie Brun, 193, rue Tolbiac – 13eme. Open Mondays to Sundays from 7h to 20h, Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

And a new terrace with 1000 m2 name the Papa Cabane, Rue Paul Belmondo, just behind the AccorHotels arena in the 12eme. You will have good music, transats, baby-foot games Ping-Pong tables and a pétanque court. Opening May 11 2017 ,open every Thursdays in summer from 18h to 23h. For now a Facebook page here:

 A new promenade will be coming on board in Paris soon. This one to add the ones reserve for the walkers and lovers of history in the heart of Paris. There are some already by the 12eme (rue Claude Decean) , 14eme (rue des Coulmiers), 15eme (lineal of 1,3 kms and space of 3,5 hectares), 16eme (between rue d’Auteuil, and chaussée de  La Muette), and the 18 eme (rue du Ruisseau). Next the runners, walkers visitors and locals alike will be able to run/walk the Petite Ceinture that was during the Second Empire ,the railroad tracks for goods and passengers bringing 39 millions travelers each year to Paris. It is schedule to be useable for  2018, and to open by the 20eme (open to the public by the rue de la Mare and rue Ménilmontant), 14 eme (between the promenade Broussais,and the avenue du Général-Leclerc  near the old train station of Orléans-Ceinture.) ,and on the 17eme (along the boulevard Pereire west of the place de Wagram and rue de Saussure). A special site in French dedicated to the Petite Ceinture here:

And in French from the city of Paris:

something from my area to keep an eye on are:

Festival des Vieilles Charrues in Carhaix, a crazy musical rendez-vous and now the biggest music festival in France (in terms of spectators). July 13 to 16 2016. More here in French:

Closer to me come see the history and folkclore of Brittany in the Festival InterCeltique de Lorient, the annual Celtic musi and culture get together in August 4-13 2017. And this year the invited country is Scotland! More here:

Next but not least, see the Festival du Bout du Monde (end of the world festival) a music festival that blends influences from many parts of the world in an amazing setting,the Crozon peninsula; from August 4-5 2017. More here:

Ok so cut it short tonite, as will be away from this coming weekend to the last weekend of May so more or less from May 12 to May 28 2017; Poland and Brazil awaits me,and it will be good but tiring continuos trip stop and go. Hopefully will be my last before the big summer vacation break. Until then, be good, help out, smile, and live, life is beautiful but it is short. Cheers



May 3, 2017

Some news from France CLIIII

So ,therefore, we reach the half way mark of the work week. This one short as off Friday and Holiday Monday Victory 1945 day! Temps are cool in the teen C’s but sunny.

Some of the things happening in my belle France from various sources are back:

You want to follow of my the mythic of Paris , André Malraux , who save many art buildings and help made Paris a museum to the world that it is. He spent his early years at  53, rue Damrémont (18eme) ,where his parents lived, before followed his mother to Bondy in the east of Paris. At the 20’s Montparnasse by pass Montmartre and become the intellectual and artistic spot in the city. Upon his returned from Asia in 1926 he finds his friends at the restos Deux Magots, Flore, and the Brasserie Lipp on the other side in blvd Saint Germain. We see him dined with Saint-Exupéry , Drieu or Arland. He and his wife Clara (they were married on October 21 1921) lived at end 1932 on the  44, rue du Bac (7eme),  a short distance from his office and his editor , where he creates his new novel “ la Condition Humaine” ,and where on March 28 1933 his daughter Florence is born. He meets many personalities here from the literature, politics of France and abroad here. Destiny shows up on August 6 1945 when he meets Général de Gaulle at the war ministry on 14, rue Saint Dominique (6eme), seat of the Council President. The two men creates great chemistry right away, and 10 days later he entered the cabinet of Gen de Gaulle as adviser of culture, and on November 21 , 1945 becomes Minister of Information. Charles de Gaulle returns to power in 1958, and on June 1st, M. Malraux becomes the delegue minister to the presidential council in charge of information.  On January 8 1959, he becomes State Minister in charge of Cultural affairs in the government of  Michel Debré , and has office at 3, rue de Valois, where he stays 10 years. The famous law voted on August 4 1962 as the Loi Malraux (62-903) allows to protect the heritage of France in urban areas preserving their character and architectural unity like the Marais of Paris. He, also, saved against modernist opposition the Hotel Guénégaud (now musée de la Chasse et de la Nature) or the hunting and nature museum; from destruction; the only building built by François Mansart in the  Marais still intact. He died on November 23, 1976 and rest at the Panthéon since 1996 on the side of Jean Moulin. source; Le Figaro translated by me!

And one dear to me because been there and pickup friends coming here from there. The old guinguette Cabassud on pylons over the waters of the Ville-d’Avray.  The same ones that inspired the  impressionists painters and also, Alphonse Daudet and Boris Vian. If you rest your arms on the railings of the park surrounding the lake you see a house with blue roof where lived Corot. The best paintings from the lake now hangs in museums from Strasbourg to  Washington DC. Today you can come to see popular themes shown here on each Thursday per month like May 25th White night, (soirée Blanche). June 22nd ,the  les Paillotes  show you the crazy years around Jazz; July 13 eve of the National Day (Bastille) a bal musette plays with the air of the  Amants de Saint-Jean and the La Java bleue.  Finally, by September, you will have wine tastings of the new millésimes or year of French producers. Go to Les Etangs de Corot,  55, rue de Versailles, Ville-d’Avray (92).Tél. +33 (0) 1 41 15 37 00. Open Thursdays and Fridays  18h30 to midnight ; Saturdays from 12h to midnight; nd Sundays from  11h to 16h. More info here:

Check this out for those using guides in Paris. About  80 of them are on strike from the company  City Wonders, based in Dublin , Ireland that employs these guide conferenciers as self employed in the big European capitals. The latest strike will be at the Arc du Carrousel du Louvre, to let the tourist and general public know of their situation. It is said that  City Wonders make work in the Louvre folks who have no professional license to be a guide, so cheaper for the company to hire. Buyer beware, Source.  Le Figaro

The great hotel de Crillon is getting closer to open with its total renovation, located at the Place de la Concorde; no photos are allowed now but the folks of Le Parisien newspaper were able to do this reporting I am translating.  the Salon des Ambassadeurs is done, an ultramodern bar is in this historic place , all historical corners of the hotel were renovated and restore to its famous glamour. In the Salon d’hiver, the ceilings a work of art has been restored completely, on the upper level the view is fantastic over the Place de la Concorde. The Salon des Aigles was a great technical knowhow to bring it to its former glory. In the basement, 90 meters long by 30 meters wide, two levels were done without having to move the façades built in 1758!  There is a pool! of 14 meters long, and on the kitchen almost all is done with 7 elevators to bring the meals quicker up. You just need to wait to fit in on its 81 rooms starting from 1 200€, or the 33 suites and 10 signature suites (where two were design by Karl Lagerfeld) at a price not yet reveal lol! This is Paris, more here:

And I have been here and one of my favorites,now a bit of history too. The library bookstore Gibert Jeune ? or Gibert Joseph ?  Two aparts libraries with a history that will become one soon according to the Livres Hebdo, a book journal here. Gibert Jeune was declared in bankrupt and now it seems will be united with its sister library.  The first library opened in 1888 at the  quai Saint-Michel by a professor named  Joseph Gibert, who became a bookstore keeper than librarian. Upon his death in 1915, his two sons took over. However, in 1929, there are différences amongst them and war starts with the company splitting in two  Gilbert Jeune and Gilbert Joseph. The eldest son opened at 60 boulevard Saint-Michel (Gibert Joseph, blue ribbon) , and the brother preserve the family name Under  Gibert Jeune (yellow ribbon).  There became over the years a reference for students where they can buy and sell their books and others like us that came for maps , travel, and history books. More here:

Watch out Ice Hockey players converge on Paris Bercy From this coming Friday to May 18, on the AccorHotels Arena (12eme) will host 30 games of the 81st world ice hockey championship. The rest of the games will be played in Koln, Germany.

The accorhotels arena here:

And a burger story in France from America and no its not the typical fast food names. Five Guys de France are opening next month their fourth property in France short distance from the Opéra Garnier. This is the same spot of my old favorite restaurants now bankrupts Chez Clément, almost across the street from Café de la Paix famous resto. They have a bigger property in the Champs-Elysées ,the biggest in the world, and always super busy. The chain was started by Jerry Murrel from Arlington, Virginia USA in 1986 and the name comes from his five sons who are involved in the business. The first restaurant was Five Guys de Bercy (Bercy Village) last August and they all the most profitable of the business with those of Dubai and New York times square.  And get this France consume 1,3 million burgers just behind the British in Europe…! I try to go to taste them at the Champs-Elysées but the lines were long….so we left. More here:

The Paris football/soccer team PSG thinking of going to the chateau of Thiverval-Grignon property for their training center change their mind ,now it will be at the 74 hectares on Terres de Poncy at Poissy in the intersection of autoroutes  A13 and A14, to be open by the season 2019-2020.  More here in French :

There are exhibition of the master call « Picasso Primitif », in the museum of du Quai Branly, until July 25th.  More here:  And the museum or musée Picasso de Paris has an exposition entitled “ Olga Picasso “, a Russian dancer and first wife of the painter, shown until September 3rd. More info:

The Norwegian agency Snøhetta created an international art center at Lascaux 4 famous caves a complex of 11 500 m2  that house the center, a giant replica of the prehistoric site old of 20 000 years. Done on an exact replica of the cave and with a temperature of 13C (about 54F)  and a lighting to resemble the original light in the cave. It has 6 salons showing the whole history of prehistoric men, open since the end of 2016 but officially opened last March . More info here:

The Fondation Cartier reopen its door after the renovation were done with a wonderful exposition entitled « Autophoto » , the automobile photograph from all angles since the early 20C by the great names, all until September 24th; more info here:

And we are cutting time from next July 2017 coming and going from Brittany to Paris. this is the new line of LGV all the way to Brest. Time to discovered this town sang by the poet  Jacques Prévert , that is hosting the 40th anniversary of his death.  The where the fresh wind, artistic, and architecture, blows in his hidden heart… OF course , some increase in fares are in order too! The LGV will allow to bring Rennes to Paris in 1h25 from the current 2h04. The price increase will be from 4-6€. More info here:

You can discovered the city of Brest (see my other post do search) and the best value are the Oceanopolis aquarium or the marine museum in the castle.  the oceanopolis has a new pavilion call Bretagne, see more here :

Some anecdotes of Brest: You have heard of the  « tonnerre de Brest »  lighting of Brest, it comes from the noise that was made with the canon shot to announce the attempt escape of a detainee in the harbor. You have heard of Jean Gabin, that made a film there “Remorques“,and asked that his ashes were disperse in town harbor that was done on November 18, 1976.  The American lieutenant James Reese (and his musicians of the 369th infantery regiment) who was the first one who played jazz in France to the public while the American troops landed in December 1917. 800 000 American soldiers landed at Brest during the First World War. The famous cake Paris-Brest ,created in 1910 by a pastry chef from Maisons-Laffitte (dept 78 Yvelines!!) in honor of the bicycle race linking the two cities ; that explains the form of the bike wheel.  The Quartz, the national scene of Brest, one of the most frequented in France.

One recommendation for lodging, do the historical hotel of Brest, Le Continental. Art Déco and rooms from 68€.

or another favorite property the  Le Mercure Brest Centre Les Voyageurs, all new ,rooms from 70€.  More here:

Other than those already given to eat ,in previous posts, the restaurant  Le Ruffé, of Thierry Beauvy and Jean-Michel Faijean has been recommended to me and will try all with local produce and meats in an modern décor.  Menu from 19€  More info here:

Enjoy France is all a movable feast ::) Cheers!


April 29, 2017

Some news from France CLIII

And I am back from a wonderful one week trip to Spain, but back in town is cold and cloudy and lots of rain announce for tomorrow. We are on a three day holiday due to May 1st been Labor Day here. Temps went up only to 17C or about 63F but right now it is 52F or 11C.

Let me tell you of an event mentioned before but it’s worth it if around Versailles, my dear old town. This is the Jumping international du Château de Versailles May 5-7. This is considered a 5 stars event ,the highest in its category. More here:

The roots on horse riding go deep here since 1670, and the king Louis XIV had built the Grande and Petite Ecuries. It is here that Bàrtabas , the founder of the Académie équestre nationale du domaine de Versailles in 2003 . More here:

This event will have over 200 horses with the best 30 jockeys of the world including four French Olympic champions. A course with 1600 spectators will be done in the stables=ecuries, and the visitors will have access to the gallery of Coaches or La Galerie des Carrosses in the Grande Ecurie as well, superb; restored in 2016. You see carriages of Napoléon Ier, the funeral carriage of Louis XVIII, fantasy trainers, etc. More here:

If need to missed this one( a pity), then , Do not forget in July ,the Longines Global Champions Tour de Chantilly, from July 13-16. More info here:

The vineyards and our wine is on the lookout, as these last few nights they have been hit by some frost and cold winds that were not expected. The most hit were Bordeaux, Bourgogne, and Champagne, but, also all in general.

At Chablis ,water had to be pumped in to protect from deed freezing ,even with its risks. From eolians tactics to helicopters to heating elements in the fields all has been tried. At Chateau Corbin in Saint Emilion from 13 hectares 10 are totally destroyed!!! Even if the appellation Pomerol is the most affected. The effects are closer to those that happened in 1991. The temperatures going down to -4C  or 23F has affected Gaillac and Fronton where 80% of vineyards were frozen.  There are 20  000 hectares in the Languedoc that were destroyed. This the experts will tell you that in 2018 many will have nothing to offer us to drink!!!

In Champagne ,will have to dig to its reserves. Temperatures going down to 19F or 7C and about 20-25% of vineyards destroyed. In Cognac, 25K over 75K hectares were touch by this freezing 75% or more. Article read in the Le Figaro newspaper of April 29-30 2017.

A bit of history I like, that will enhance your visiting pleasures. Why not know the history is to engage in culture and understanding of the country, France. The traces of the last Bourbons kings is the latest article in Le Figaro magazine.

The article takes notice of the visit of Prince Louis Alphonse de Bourbon (legitimate king of France Louis XX) , last descendant of king Felipe V of Spain in turn grandson of king Louis XIV of France)  to Gorica, Slovania. The visit was to pay respect to the last king of France Charles X, who died in exile here, and whether to bring his body back to the Basilica of Saint Denis, north of Paris.

The current President of France, François Hollande had ordered repair the arrow tower of the basilica of Saint Denis in the north tower in a symbolic act. The question of bringing back the last kings of France is now a possibility.

king Charles X (brother of Louis XVI) ,also known as the Count of Artois,was overthrown in the 3 glorious days or trois glorieuses in 1830(also,known as the July revolution) , and died of colera on November 6 1836 in Gorizia ,the frontier of Frioul-Venetia Julienne and Slovenia. He lies in the Franciscan convent of Castagnavizza ,today call Kostanjevica in Nova Gorica, Slovenia. There, also , lies his son, Duke of Angoulême (short while king Louis XIX) his wife and cousin Mary Theresa of France, also ,called madame royale, the unfortunate daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette freed from the prison of Temple,and the grandchildren of Charles X, also, Henri V, count of Chambord, the last French Bourbon of the branch, and his wife Mary Theresa of Modena, and her sister, Louise of France; duchess of Parma.

The convent has gone thru some tough days that threaten to destroyed the coffins in it. The first was in 1914 facing the Austro-Hungarian empire and Italy ,when the convent was bombed and the coffins were saved due to Zita of  Austria, granddaughter of Louise of Parma, who transferred them to the convent of Capuchins in Vienna until 1932.  At the end of WWII,the monastery of Castagnavizza that is on a hill dominating Gorizia passed to the jurisdiction of Yugoslavia until the independence of Slovenia in 1991; where it change name to Kostanjevica,and kept by the Franciscans Monks in Nova Gorica.

Charles X is the only French king now lying in foreign soil, and there is an association trying to change that. The Association pour le Retour a Saint-Denis de Charles X: more here in French :

Victor Hugo,had already asked for the return of the king where he wrote in French: “Moi, je n’affligerai pas plus, o Charles X, Ton cercueil maintenant que ton exil jadis! Repose, fils de France,en ta tombe exile! Dormez,sire! Il convient que cette ombre voile, que ce vieux Pasteur mort sans people et sans troupeaux, Roi Presque séculaire ait au moins le repos.”

Meaning, as close as can make it in English: I will distressed no more, O Charles X your coffin now in your radiant exile, rest son of France in your grave in exile! Sleep Sir, It is convenient that this covered shade,that this old  pastor dead without people or followers; king almost secular has at least a resting place.

The association just wants to reunite the brothers , Louis XVI,Louis XVIII,and Charles X in the Basilique de Saint Denis. For this,they have the backing and support of all the relatives of Charles X living today. That is the Princes Bourbon-Parma born from his granddaughter Louise of Bourbon, and the two daughters of the Duke of Berry (second son of Charles X assassinated in 1820) had with Amy Brown: Charlotte, princess of Faucigny-Lucinge ,and Louise, Baronnesa of Charette de la Contrie. At least 50 descendant has given the ok for the transfer. The only block is that on the Will and Last Testament of the Count of Chambord (Henri V) he asked not to be buried in France as well as his wife Mary Theresa of Modena. He refuse the tricolor flag of the French republic for keeping the white flag symbol of the monarchy in 1871.

The current pretender Louis Alphonse (Alfonso born in Madrid, and legitimate Louis XX king of France), does not want to separate the grandchildren from his grandfather.  The transfer can only be done with the blessing of the French Republic and with all the honors of a sovereign monarch according to Louis Alphonse.

He professed the European unity in this speech that I have translated to English. ” Your city can be proud of being that in Europe, has without a doubt been the most marked by the presence of the princes and princesses of my family, but to the physical presence need to add memory and remembrance that remain still so  powerful. Every year, many pilgrims come from France to visit the  places of exile; I like to see it as a beautiful symbol of our Europe, seeking always to better understand its roots and who find them, just by sharing common memories across borders”

You too can come here, (it is my goal in life) to see the Cathedral where the funerals of the last French Bourbon were held and the palace Coronini Cronberg where Charles X found refuge and finally died. The prince Louis Alphonse tells the mayor of Gorizia, your town welcomed my family seeking exile in desperation ; today you town stays loyal to the Bourbons, and you host me as you did them, if your town stays loyal to the Bourbons ,we will stay loyal to Gorizia , and my sons will come here too. He lays a crown of flowers to the tomb with 3 white lys flowers symbol of the monarchy all shown on local Slovene and Italian TV( not in France).

The palace is here:

The convent where Charles X and family are buried:

The Cathedral were the funerals were held:

Prince Louis Alphonse, duke of Anjou and Bourgogne, and confirm by the House of France as the heir legimitate as king Louis XX was accompanied on this trip by Stéphane Bern a well know TV commentator, historian and actor. He wrote the piece for Le Figaro magazine.

The other sovereign of France not buried in France is that of emperor Napoléon III.  He is buried at the Abbey Chapel of Farnborough in England. He lied there with his wife emperatrice Eugénie (of the Montijo of Spain), and their son Louis who died in 1879 in a battle with the Zulus in South Africa (he would have been Napoléon IV).

At the Benedictine abbey of Saint Michael founded in 1881 by the emperatrice Eugénie that lived at Farnborough Hill.  There are the tombs of Napoléon III (1873), Eugénie (1920) and Louis (1879). In the 150th anniversary of the unification of the Savoie and county of Nice, many people ask for the repatriation of the bodies to France.

In 2008 during the bicentennial of the birth of the emperor many came here, including a representation of the French Republic by way of its ambassador in UK. Up to this date, the descendant family have always opposed to the repatriation to France.  At least ,at Farnborough the Benedictine monks pray for the emperor, who will do that in Paris? said the Princess Napoléon (I have met her at the Institut de France in Paris, salon Victor Hugo) . Difficult to bring them all as the imperial prince is buried with English military uniform! and the Invalides could not be.

Other place that I know is the Church of Saint Augustin, that has been sought after for many years as a necropolis of the empire.  Napoléon III already have sought of doing a mausoleum Bonaparte here.  The Church is well aligned in the perspective of the baron Haussmann between the Church of the Madeleine (dedicated to the grande armée), and the place Wagram. Nevertheless, the pilgrims here will be less than at Farnborough.

So there you have my historical post on France , again there is lot to see here, a lot more than on travel guides. Enjoy your weekend, Cheers.











April 18, 2017

Some news from France CLII

And once again that pep talk about France. The sun tried to come up today but was up and down with temps in the 15C or about 62F. We have a nice four day week and then its the weekend again ,and my trip to Spain !!!

For now let’s keep cool in la belle France shall we:

Flixbus , bus service intercity is offering the La Défense.  From May 18 it will serve the business district from the underground bus terminal of terminal Jules-Verne on the line N 709 that will be extended to Rouen.  This night line will have daily connections towards Lyon  with a departure at 23h15  from the La Défense.  There will be two stops in Lyon, one at  the  gare de Vaise at 5h15 and the second at the gare La Part-Dieu at 5h50.  On the trip back from there the bus will arrive at  La Défense at 6h45 and will leave from gare La Part-Dieu  at 23h59 , and the gare de Vaise at 00H35. Of course check the times as from now to then they may change. More here:

As already mentioned in my previous post, the Villages Nature, has started construction, due to finish by June 30 2017.  This is the entertainement activities park done by Pierre & Vacances(Center Parcs)  ,and Euro Disney  at Villeneuve-le-Comte, a few kilometers south of Disneyland Paris. The park should open to the public by mid August 2017.  It consists of a park divided into five themes, such as Aqualagon, Ferme BelleVie, Forêt des légendes, Jardins extraordinaires ,and the Promenade du lac. More in French here:

Another update coming from the Domaine de Méréville. About 50 guided visits are planned this year.  To start , they are limited to the picturesque garden ,one of the last examples in Europe of a Anglo-Chinese passages park as we would have seen them in the 18C.  There is a castle where lived the Marquis Jean-Joseph de Laborde,but still not ready to welcome visitors. However, the almost 400 hectares of park are done. You can ask update if passing by to visit it, worth the detour at  tourist office or office de tourisme d’Étampes, tel +33 (0) or email:  The next dates available for the guided tours are April 22, 23, 29 , 30, and May  6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, and 28.  More here:

And more info in French on the Domaine from the dept tourist office of the Essonne ,dept 91.

For it’s 70th anniversary the Festival de Cannes,has played with the cards on the selection of films. It is expected that Michael Haneke will have his 3rd palme d’or, that will be historical. However ,even if the idea is to bring the lesser known artists to the Festival, you can’t escape to think folks like Sofia Coppola, Jacques Doillon, François Ozon or Michel Hazanavicius are not your type of unknown artists as such.  The rest that were kept for the competition are indeed less known and with great projects such as Naomi Kawase, Yorgos Lanthimos, Lynne Ramsay, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Hong Sangsoo, Todd Haynes, Noah Baumbach, and Fatih Akin.  More info here:
The house of Louis Vuitton continues it’s incursion into the world of Arts. Associating with the plastic artist Jeff Koons to reveal the collection where the master word is transmission.  The American artist will inspire here by the « Gazing Ball » a series of reproduce works of arts by the great masters,and to post on the great bags and small leather goods of the Louis Vuitton. The works that will appear are such as  « La Joconde »(mona lisa) of  Léonard de Vinci, the  « La chasse au tigre » by Rubens, the  « La Gimblette » by Fragonard,  the  « Champ de blé avec cyprès » by Van Gogh and as well the « Mars, Vénus et Cupidon »  of Titien.  The famous « Rabbit » of Jeff Koons  will ,also be there in accessories.  The artist even played with the famous monogram letter of Louis Vuitton by signing the works as « J.K. ».  All ready to become collectors items and shown from April 28. More here:
We have great cold cuts here , all over the country, and Paris is central;  you can have a wonderful saussages too like from black pigs of Bigorre done by  Pierre Matayron,;just the meat, pepper, and dry as wanted for 12€ Boucherie Terroirs d’Avenir : 6, rue du Nil, 2eme. Tél. +33 (0) 1 85 09 84 48.  More info here, the real thing of my belle France:

Another is known for his wonderful hams, with a great taste at 9,45€; this is at Lastre Sans Apostrophe : 188, rue de Grenelle, 7eme. Tél. +33 (0) 1 40 60 70 webpage but worth a detour You will find it near the école militaire.

And get on with steakhouses rare but some good ones here too. One of them is the Greffeuille ,120 rue Saint Denis, metro Etienne Marcel line 4 as closest. If you like the sausages such as the Andouillette ,lamb from the Aveyron, serving the great chefs of France with quality meats and good tasting on site in a butcher shop.  Here is their store in Paris,

Another one is Clover Grill,  6 rue Bailleul, nearest metro line 1   Louvre – Rivoli. The steak here is king with the famous Entrecôte beef black from the Baltic  , aged in oak with the aromas of whisky, or try the undercut of beef from Kansas,USA, tender to please the most of the  globetrotters or the amateurs of the ancient sauces. More here:

Finally , see the Café des Abattoirs,  10 rue Gomboust , metro pyramides lines 7 or 14 as closest. The last one of the Rostang family, setup in a crowded resto with tables very close to each others, again the entrecôte, come to be the king. The best beef coming from the Breton Côtes-d’Armor, dept 22 of Nantes or Armoriques races of 400 grams of beef at least. More info here:

The next exposition at the musée Ludique that is at 34 quai d’Austerlitz in the 13eme of Paris will be dedicated to the super heroes of DC Comics. The expo will be until September 10 2017 and it’s entitled L’art de DC -L’aube des super héros. You will find about 250 originals models created by Bob Kane, Frank Miller or Alex Ross. More than 300 works recherché for the cinema and costumes and accessories from films. You will see the original costume for Superman worned by Christopher Reeves and the series Wonder Woman done by Lynda Carter, Batman from 1989 of the Joker, and accessories from the batman vault. the visitors to the exposition will recreate the history of their super heros from the 1930’s to our days. More info here:

The high gastronomy is not just for the restaurants but, also ,in hotels of Paris and France. The hotels deluxe with their codes sought of by Auguste Escoffier, the genius that opened in the end of the 19C the Ritz on the place Vendome and Savoy of London.  Now we have Christian Le Squer to continue the legacy. At the  Au Cinq, the restaurant in the Four Seasons Hôtel George V, he show you the traditions of the trade. M.  Le Squer has reinvented the gratinée à l’oignon.  Instead of serving it liquefy in a deep plate he presented it solid on a pure white dish with small caramels onions around it. It is served with a Madeira 1986 Verdelho d’Oliveiras.  You can indulged at the Le Cinq. Four Seasons Hotel George V: 31, avenue George-V, 8eme. Tél. +33 (0) 1 49 52 70 10. Of course be prepare to pay dearly but the very top of French cuisine.  More here:

And on the continuing elimination of the auto from Paris, the mayor Hidalgo keeps bringing more bicycle lanes to Paris. This time is the section from Nation to République . This is the future lane that will be created along boulevard Voltaire. The work will be for 3 kms and will have the day before 2020. IN the plan there is work to do for 700 kms of bicycle lanes in all Paris. Several publication such as Le Parisien. and see the photo from Le Parisien newspaper showing losing as much as 90 hours in traffic jams in the Paris area;which couple with the pedestrian ideas cutting off traffic into Paris on the voie Georges Pompidou is just creating more traffic havocs.


You have the exposition of “De Zurbaran à Rothko – Collection Alicia Koplowitz – Grupo Omega Capital“; Until July 10 2017. the collection from the Spanish business women Alicia Koplowitz to be seen in the musée Jacquemart-André.  There is nice works of arts here such as the “the Virgins” of  Zurbarán , and from Luis de Morales,a portrait of the 16C of Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, but, also, of  Goya, Picasso, and Toulouse-Lautrec. You can see as well masters such as De Kooning, Rothko, Lucian Freud, Louise Bourgeois, and Miquel Barceló.  A very nice presentation in a wonderful place. More here:

Great libraries in Paris, some of them down right historical. However, many not as well known and just as historical and nice. One of my favorites is the La librairie du cinéma du Panthéon ,15 rue Victor-Cousin, metro line 10 or RER A Luxembourg.  Taken the works from the library Ciné Reflet and under the patronage of the Thé des Ecrivans, you come to a cine club library open since 2013. You have all novels, travel , youth books here. An oasis of calm and knowledge in Paris.  More info in French here:

And last, pay tribute to a great one of Paris and the world, Colette. Actresse, dancer, mimic, romancier, newspaperwomen (in 1914-18 WWI) , creator of a cosmetic line, the leading figure of women avant garde with a strong connection to nature. The first women president of the Académie Goncourt.  Today, her maternal home reborn with her youthful days; open to the public since 2016 at the  rue Colette (before  rue de l’Hospice). It is done loyal to the writing of the actor with bourgeois decoration and the status of a rich family whose members were musicians or music lovers;  Colette played the piano, and mom went to the Opéra. The house or La Maison de Colette, 10, rue Colette, Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye ; guided visits of the house and gardens  from Wednesdays to Sundays from 10h-19h and Fridays to Sundays from 10h-17h ; from November 1st to March 30th. Reservation is recommended at tel +33 (0) 3 86 45 66 20. admission is 9€ adults open every day from 10h to 18h . IN the castle of the town ; small Library. you can go by car in about 1h30 from Paris . By train from gare de Bercy, to Joigny or Auxerre. More info on the house here:   and on the museum  Inside castle here:

Enjoy France, is as a whole a movable feast ::) Cheers!

April 15, 2017

Some news from France CLI

So we hit the low point as the weather has turn cloudy and cool breezy here just on the Easter weekend, which in France is given as Easter Monday off, therefore a backward 3 day weekend.

We had some errands to do in order to be free Sunday for the football/soccer matches and see what we do on Monday; always a last minute family type except the big vacations in the Summer and Christmas times. The summer vacation is taken already, will be again Spain, of course!

We are already thinking Christmas will be somewhere in France. Every year we change over most of the time ::)

Things happening in my belle France, are:

There is a new or fairly new thing to do in Paris, it is the Timescope (see photo from the Les Echos business journal ) and it lets you see in 3D Paris of yesteryear actually way back.. It is already 389 years since April of 1628 ,and if you go to the now pedestrian street of voie Georges Pompidou and get yourself behind the telescope or Timescope, you will be able to see Paris as it were on that date!!! The Timescope  telescope machine is by the bridge or pont d’Arcole. It is on that date that the city hall or Hôtel de Ville was built, and the place de Gréve takes form with its colorful houses , the trading harbor on the banks of the Seine river and its boats with the people living underneath the bridges. The first of these timescopes was installed at the boulevard Richard Lenoir in front of the place de la Bastille.  Here for 2€ with an online ordered ticket, you can see the Bastille in 1416, and on the eve of the French revolution in 1789. In the parc Rives de Seine, there is reconstruction work in detail of these events. There is even a film in 3D by just turning the eyeglasses on the machine around you in 360°. More info and ordering directions here, which you can turn to English at bottom right:

The parc Rives de Seine, in French here:

Things are coming along on the Publicis Drugstore; it has plan to be open by May 15 at 133 avenue des Champs-Elysées with a wonderful cafeteria style café of 2000 sq meters space open 7/7 and until 02H or 2am. Keep an eye for this opening here, a must when visiting the area;

A wonderful event in a historic romantic area of Paris. Everything moves around Pigalle, rue Lepic, Sacré Coeur, Moulin Rouge etc, this area inspired many movie producers:directors from the beginnings of the 7th art. The museum or Musée de Montmartre will have an exposition with the Décor de Cinéma ; showing of this period in black and white and color as well.  The collection of the Cinémathéque Française, Fondation Jerome Seydoux-Pathé, muse Gaumont, Archives Pathé-Gaumont, Societé Femis, société d’histoire et archeology de le vieux Montmartre and Moulin Rouge will be showing until January 14 2018! ;more here:

Do you know cher visitors that in the Périphérique de Paris or beltway there are 99 cameras capturing on 750 devices with as much as 80 frames at the same time to see what you all do on the 35 kms of the beltway: yes big brother is watching you . Of course, some locals do not even know of this, too bad, I do ,I am on the road and do keep tracks of these devices. Mind you these are not speed radars but rather surveillance cameras ::) You can read more in French here:

And now on one of my favorite subjects but lazy to write about it ,with so much to write on in the belle France of course. Let’s talk about wines!!!

Do you know we have a sleeping giant in China coming along. It is ,already, the second biggest country in vineyard area just behind Spain.  However, advancing rapidly, last year it grew its area by 17% according to from where I am getting these notes the Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV).

847 000 hectares of vineyards just 100K behind Spain! with France and Italy coming in as third and fourth respectively (the world has 7,5 million hectares of vines) . China is the fourth biggest importer of wine in the world with two times less volume than Germany, the No 1 and the same volume of 2B€; its purchases have increase 15% and 22% if we count bottles, a symbol of the quality of wines imported.  As of 2016, the biggest consumers of wine were the United States, 13%; France 11%, Italy 9%; Germany 8%, and China 7%.  As far as wine produce, the world total is at 267 million hectoliters in 2016 with Italy in first place, followed by France, and Spain.

These last 3 countries accounts between them anyway from 55-57% of the world commercialization whether we speak of volumes or values. France has 28,5% of the value exchange and in first place far ahead of Italy with 19,3%. France has increase its importations of 3,6% in volume and 9% in value due to several mediocre harvests and a deficit on low level wines that she had to import from Spain.

In other parts of our world, the United States had a strong increase in production while the rest of the American continent especially Argentina, Chile, and Brazil suffered from the climatic effect of El Niño. South Africa had a strong dry season that, also, penalized the production. However, Australia and New Zealand increase their production by 9,5% and 34% respectively. These last two has created a niche in European sales.

More of the story in French from the business journal Les Echos here:

And if passing by Bordeaux , do not missed the wonderful Italian connection of ” Il Meneghino“, a place in the Milanese scene now here since May 2016. located at 121 123 Cours Victor Hugo down on the rue Sainte Catherine of much pedestrian shopping and near the bridge or pont de pierre by the Garonne river. More info and menu here:

Ah and almost forgot, the La Cité du Vin at Bordeaux, it’s first exposition until June 21 2017; Bistrot! de Baudelaire à Picasso. It will show about a hundred works of the masters with paintings, photograph, designs, film ,and literature. It will shed light on the essential role of the cafés and bistros to the creation of society at the end of the 18C to our days. It will leave us sometimes our France to come into Europe and the United States mixing traditional mediums of photography and films celebrating the wonderful links of films and cafés to the world of arts. More info here:

Get wet in the basin de la Villette! The 3rd edition of the course  Open Swim Stars Paris will be held June 17 and 18 on the water basins of the Villette, and Pantin. You can sign up from today!There will be five courses between the two days going from 1 to 5 km. The compétition is open to all license or not swimmers as long as space available. 500 for the 5 kms and 1000 for the other swims. The swimmers who are not license will need to provide a medical certificate of at less than one month old; the water temperature will be between  18C and 22C (about 62 to 72 F). this course is inspire by the mythical La Traversée de Paris  that was organized between 1906 and 1940 on the Seine river. More info here in their facebook page:

And as we are in Easter, where to find your eggs in Paris or elsewhere as m favorites, when my boys entered France already French, they enjoyed these events; such as the wonderful Seine-et-Marne dept 77 castle of  Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte ; activities until April 17 from 10h to 17h More info here:

And from 10h , April 16, the Jardin d’Acclimatation , bois de Boulogne just off the Place Maillot you can still take the little train and admission combine. More here

And of course to buy that Easter chocolate, well so many places but if have to pick a couple it will be :

Hugo & Victor  40, boulevard Raspail (7eme), tél. +33 (0) 1 44 39 97 73 ; 7, rue Gomboust (1eme), tél. +33 (0) 1 42 96 10 20. Buy the figurines or Personnages T’choupi  from 5€. More here:

Christophe Michalak, 8, rue du Vieux-Colombier (6eme), tél. +33 (0) 1 45 49 44 90 ; 16, rue de la Verrerie (4eme), tél. +33 (0) 1 40 27 90 13 ; 60, rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière (10eme),  tél. +33 (0) 1 42 46 10 45. try the boucliers garnis; like saucer shape (milk chocoalte, bronce color ; black chocolate, color red ;dulcey chocolate, color blue) price 25€. More here:

Happy Easter y’all !!!!! Cheers!


April 8, 2017

Some news from France, CL

So still things to tell you about Noirmoutier and even more in Brittany, but need to tell you and update on things happening in my belle France. Today we had the best day so far with temps that went up to 25C or 77F in my part of the world ,and I was by dept 29 Finistére in Brittany region.

OF course , the roads are beginning to be pack and accidents too, one big on the N165 towards Quimper, the car was just squeeze in like an accordion poor folks inside do not think they made it. Then ,driving another big truck just did a zig zag evasion maneuver to avoid two idiots standing in the middle of a expressway!!! I went right along nicely thank you.

What we have is first from the world of horses, wonderful shows we have.

First, my beloved Versailles, where in the stables built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart for the Royal Academy in 1830 Bàrtabas has done wonders; this is the Grand Ecuries.  From here it has spread tremendously to Chantilly and Saumur. Anécdote, the French proclaim the birth of their equestrian prowess on 1593 when the publication of “Cavalarice François” by Salomon de La Broue. The National school of horseriding has a library with 21600 documents of which 17400 are numerise or microfiche.

What’s the agenda!

At Saumur, “Le Printemps des écuyers” by the Cadre Noir de Saumur and their camargue horses April 21-23.  Also, on the Grand Manége, shows on May 26-28, July 28-29, and September 16-17. More here:

At Versailles, “La Voie de l’écuyer” Saturdays at 18H, Sundays at 15h, Wednesday April 12 and Monday April 17 at 15h; Also, the Matinales each Sunday at 10h and 12h; and the Jumping International from May 5-7 2017. More info here:

At Chantilly, “Métamorphoses” on Saturdays,Sundays, and Thursdays until early November 2017. More here:

Not to forget the wonderful  museum of the horse or Musée du Cheval open 10h to 18H. More info here:

At the castle of Monte Cristo, open in 1847 by 600 guests in what was the home of Dumas for four years, exposed here the cartoons or BD of Patrick de Jacquelot a collection to deliver a message tot he father of the 3 Musketeers and the Cound of Monte Cristo, continues without him…More on the cartoons here:

Exhibition until June 10th from Tuesdays to Fridays from 10h to 12h30 and 14h to 18h; price 5-7€, for info contact +33 (0) 1 39 16 49 49 and here:

We continue with the “Triumph of the waters:La Fête at Saint-Cloud”  from 1775-1780 by Jean Honoré Fragonard. In the basin fountain a large water jet of 30 meters ( about 100 feet) by simple gravity shoots water in abundance always the pride of the Monsieur , brother of the King to the grand displeasure of King Louis XIV as it was lacking at Versailles. The great show at the Orleans park overlooking the Seine river  to the great spring in the Grand Cascade built by Le Pautre in 1660. Domaine de Saint Cloud, 92210, open daily from sunrise to sunset. More here:

The spirit of the herbaria: the treasure of Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1708). This is the botanist physician had bequesthed to King Louis XIV his Herbarium a wonderful book with hundreds of new plants gleaned during his travels even to the Levant. The former garden of the King to therapeutic vocation became in 1793, the National Museum of Natural History. The tree planted by Buffon in 1785 was the Lebanon Cedar brought from the East to England by Bernard de Jussieu in 1734, the Robinia planted by his son around 1630 and the Sephora from China by missionaries in the 19C. Further, the School of Botanical Garden  and the Alpine garden with 2000 species of altitude, the tropical greenhouse, the laberinth, the beautiful central axis and the combed lawns, the menagerie or petting zoo…All in the Jardin des Plantes more here:

The Herbarium is here in French:

See the wonderful  “Bed of Daisies” (1893) by Gustave Caillebotte. the painter creates his first paintings in the gardens of the Yerres, the property of his father a wealthy Parisian purchased in 1860. 11 hectares or about 27 acres on English garden full of winding alleys, vegetable garden, enclosed by walls, a Casino, resort to the house of Palladian colonnades, and the river Yerres flowing at the side.  Walk in time of Caillebotte in a garden of delightful pictorial evocation. You can get here by RER D from Gare de Lyon in Paris,direction Melun, stop at Yerres walk 10 minutes or take Bus F; more here:

The “Water Lilies” (1916-1919) by  Claude Monet. In 1893, he finished his flower garden and acquired the path of Roy that borders his property of the Clos Normand, where he installed a small pond while curves of bamboo, and iris spaned by a Japanese bridge shaded in wisteria. At the heart the foliage of the King, with floating red, pink, yellow, water lilies. You have a water landscape, game materials, color and glare light, the water at the Giverny garden is lived through the eyes of the artist as a series of fleeting impressions. More at Fondation Claude Monet,

The Castle and the Park of Méréville” (built c. 1790),done by  Hubert Robert Bellanger to the Marquis of Laborde a wealthy sponsor and big fan. The former feudal moat, the building overlooks a valley where the rivers winds down along amazing mills, Chinese bridge, and temple of piety, recall the son of the Marquis lost at sea with La Perouse. Created over the suspended tracks of Bellanger, bridges of stone and caves to sensational waters and on the hill a Trajan column watching over the park. Ultimate fantasy of a world dazzle by the death of the Marquis de Laborde guillotined in 1794; Méréville is an extraordinary dream. See the tourist office of Etampes for guided visits to the Méréville park.  More in French here:

So see, plenty to enjoy my belle France; indeed it’s a movable feast as a whole! Enjoy your weekend; Cheers.









April 3, 2017

Some news from France CXLIX

I am at it again folks, back from wonderful trip to the Vendée (more later on ) and tomorrow to Paris, what else is better in life ! Here the sun has come back and temps are very nice in the 18C or 64F during the day.

Some of the things going on in my belle France are:

According to an article in the newspaper Le Parisien the first automatic bars on the trains of Paris will see the light officially at gare Montparnasse in Paris (where I will be arriving tomorrow) and voilà it is said will be the first day of them tomorrow Tuesday April 4 2017. I will see ! As in the metro, the passengers will have to show proof on the digital machines before allow to pass, and they will open automatically if the ticket is good. After Montparnasse ,they will be up at 12 other stations such as Marseille, Rennes, Nantes, Aix-TGV, Lyon-Perrache, Lyon Part-Dieu, Gare de Lyon, Gard du Nord and Gare de l’Est in Paris ,and onwards as well as Bordeaux, Saint-Pierre-des-Corps (Tours) from now to 2018. This is an effort to stop fraud and have everyone do pay their ticket to the trains.

 And it’s official, the quais and voies or wharfs and roads along the Seine river in Paris will be pedestrian. Only allow will be cyclists, joggers, and walkers so the car is out. The opening will be today at 14h30 on the ramp of the square Garcia-Lorca facing the Hôtel de Ville. This in addition to the pedestrian areas of the rive Gauche and rive Droite that now extends over 7 kms  (bit over 4 miles) on to the bassin de l’Arsenal  to Bastille ,and until the Champs-de-Mars at the foot of the Tour Eiffel; this is a space of 10 hectares (almost 25 acres) taken away from the car. It will be dotted with restaurants and activities for all, see the photo.

One for the car the exchange of the autoroute A4  at Bailly-Romainvilliers  will be ready for the opening of the Villages Nature, expected for end of July.  First, the traffic will be open to the road taking résidents to Villages Nature at Disneyland Paris, as well as the road taking the automobilist coming from Paris towards Villages Nature.  There has been some delays due to conflict between the regional gov and the State etc because they have ask for a toll booth between the A4 and the N36 to get around the toll at Coutevroult , and the city center/downtown of Bailly-Romainvilliers.  For this reason, they are still working on the traffic circle that will take you from the Villages Nature, and the access road to the camping ranch of Davy-Crockett.

More happing for some local news but I think will impact the visitors as there is talk of a nice hotel been built there. The Ile de France region has finally agree to the re construction of the high school or lycée Jules-Ferry  of  Versailles on the plains of Satory (not my kids school but off the Sceaux street leaving from the palace.  This will allow a space of 20K M2 (about 215K sq ft)  an open area in the district of Saint-Louis.  The new school will be on the area of the old caserne Fesch or headquarters Fesch at the entry to the plain of Satory. This can be done by 2023. On the empty space left from the school at Saint-Louis, the space will be divided in two parts of the rue rue du Maréchal-Joffre,that will be put up for sales and could host an apartment complex of good standing and a luxury hotel.  More again from the Le Parisien newspaper here:

And now we are going to control the restaurants, hotels, cafeterias, and slaughterhouses and businesses in the meat supermarket, market and farm direct sales with notes! It will be posted on the government site Alim Confiance or food trust site here :

This type of initiative is already on in 8 European countries such as UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Denmark , Finland, Lithuania, and Norway. Awaiting to do it are Germany and Sweden.  They have found improvement on the health issues and sanitary conditions; for example in ten years in Denmark the improvements have been around the 20% on hygiene.  Of course, this will weed out the unscrupulous business owners trying to squeeze an euro from the public and the tourist visitor. It will , also, add to the costs of things I am sure.

A bit from my recently visited area I like:

At Saint-Jean de Monts on April 14 you can see art from Johannes Vermeer, and the Dutch painting school. This will be on at the Médiathéque Espace Culturel at 19H for free. this is the town library folks info at email: or tel +33 (0) 2 51 58 91 12

You can have Paris style cabaret shows at the La Belle Entrée, Rue de la Paix, St André Goule d’Oie. It’s the biggest of its kind in all of Pays de la Loire region. They offered lunch and dinner spectacles, for more check their site here:

The famous Harlem Globetrotters basketball show will pass by this area on April 23rd, at the Salle Michel Vrignaud, Challans, more info here:

Kyle Eastwood, (yes you know it the son of Cliff) is a great jazz player and will be performing at the salle de L’Echiquier, at Pouzauges on april 8 at 20h30. He compose the music of many of his Dad’s films such as Mystic River, Gran Torino ,Invictus; and came out with his first solo record in ” From There to There” in 1998. He will be there with his vocal Joni Mitchel and his English quintet, and one Cuban drummer.  Nice to see indeed; more info here:

For a roller coaster event and BMX, disco roller, and crazy cart come to Notre Dame de Monts at the Esplanade and avenue de la mer from 11h to 20h on April 22-23. “Tous en Roller” awaits you there: more info here:

And of course , these are just my favorite, there is a whole lot more in my belle France!




March 31, 2017

Some news from France CXLXVIII

Hi, here is Friday, weekend coming, and end of month March is gone !!! and temps are sunny but cool now at 11C or about 55F in my neck of the Morbihan Breton.

Let’t talk about some of the museums and galleries and nice events coming up that in my opinion are worth seeing if around the Belle France.

First, you might have read here, the Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte in the village of Maincy , Seine et Marne dept 77 is going thru a vast renovation project even if still remains open.For example, the ceiling painting “Le Triomphe de la Fidelité” in the room or chambre de Muses is going for a nice redo ,first one after 250 years! This room is famous because in 1661 it held the presentation of the work of Moliére “L’école des Maris” in the presence of the King and Queen Louis XIV ,and Marie-Thérese. The painting ceiling  fabrics weights 150 kg (about 331 lbs) and it is 4×4 meters (about 13 x 13 feet); the ceiling has about 175 M2 or about 1883 Sq Feet).  And this is a castle that only gets 150K euros from the State and the rest is by the partner family of Vogûé and donations! This costs can go to 1M € per season! Great private enterprise at its best to preserve a beauty of France and the World. More here:

If you are in Paris on May 30 at 9h45 go to the newspaper kiosque à journaux , 35 avenue de Suffren and get a ticket to a guided tour of the Tour Eiffel and lunch at the restaurant Jules Verne all by a guide for 275€ per person. You read it here first…

Also, at the Salle Gaveau, 45-47 rue La Boétie 8eme for 25€ you will be able to listen to Jean-Christophe Rufin on April 12 at 20h. This is the adventurer, writer, and diplomat descendant of Chateaubriand. More here:

At the Musée d’Orsay running on June 22,23,28, all at 14h15, and 29 (18h15); you will see an exhibition of Portraits de Cézanne. He painted about 200 paintings in his lifetime with 26 self-portraits and 29 of his wife ,Hortense Fiquet. More here:

Then, you have the wonderful exhibition at the Grand Palais, “Des Grands Moghols aux Maharandjas-Joyaux de la collection Al Thani”.  This is on from April 14 to June 1 on certain dates and hours each day. You will see 230 pieces of the collection Al Thani telling you about the history of Indian jewelry from the Mogols time to today. More details here:

At the Musée de l’Orangerie on April 5 to August 21, you will see the works of art of the collection from the Museum Bridgestone coming from the dynasty of Ishibashi. As their museum is undergoing renovation the entire collection will be shown at the Orangerie, that will give you the chance to see their collection of impressionists paintings. More here:

You can see the exhibition on the clothing of famous French singer Dalida on the 30th anniversary of her passing.  More than 50 dresses will be on display going from names like Carven,Loris Azzaro, Balmain, and YSL etc. April 27 to August 13 2017 and 12€ admission ,this will be at the fashion museum Palais Galliera, 10 avenue Pierre-1er-de-Serbie 16eme. More here:

See something different, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 11 avenue du Président Wilson 16eme; you will see three artists on their best time: Derain, Balthus, and Giacometti.  Almost 100 paintings, graphic arts, sculptures from the 20’s to the 60’s; from June 2 to October 29, nice, and more here:

A tour around the cemetery Pére-Lachaise showing you the works of art of Sculptures there. The dates are in May 11 ,18 , June 15 ,22, at 13h50, at the principal entrance on 8,boulevard de Ménilmontant 20éme. Cost is 30€ for the guided tour of this great cementary created in 1804 by Napoléon.  More here on all details by calling ahead here :cimetière du Père-Lachaise, Direction des espaces verts, telephone +33 (0) 1 49 57 94 37. More in French on description on the Mayor’s office of the 20eme here:

To see Art Déco in Paris, head for the Palais de la Porte Dorée at 293 avenue Daumesnil 12eme. Here from April 28 you will the best works. The palace was done for the 1931 Universal exposition to serve as a permanent museum of the Colonies. See the entrance in stone, hall d’honneur with a huge mosaique, the iron grill door, the rooms of Lyautey and Reynaud, and paintings of the civilisations of Africa, and Asia. more on the visit here:

And come to one of my favorites seldom mention but worth a visit, La Cité Universitaire, 17 boulevard Jourdan 14eme , coming out from the exit of the RER B Cité Universitaire. This complex of building was created after WWI to welcome students from 130 nationalities, to contribute to world peace and knowledge. It has 37 resident buildings which are an open air architectural museums. Of course, my favorites that I have visited are Collége d’Espagne (Spain), and the Fondation Abreu de Grancher (Cuba). More here on the house residents:

We move away from Paris, first to Compiegne to see the Imperial Palace, done in 1751 under king Louis XV,and the wonderful carriage museum there now and the wonderful restaurant, of course,see the apartments of the emperor and emperatrice, prince and king of Rome, and the Theater Louis-Philippe. More on this wonderful place that you need to see not far from Paris out from Gare du Nord train station, and then 10 minutes walking to the palace or take the bus line 1 or 2 stop at Saint Jacques, run from Monday to Saturday. More info here:

Come closer to my old hangout and visit the famous and wonderful Chateau de Monte Cristo of the Camelias and Dumas fame at Le Port Marly ,Yvelines dept 78. Alexandre Dumas died here in 1847 and it is as he did it, very nice castle. More here:

And of course, in my beloved Yvelines dept 78, do stop by to this literary gem, the Chateau de Médan, open after many years of restoration. You see the views as seen by Paul Cézanne,and the souvenirs of Ronsard, as well as the poets of the Pléiade.  More here:

You do take the road as I do or the train from Paris,and visit wonderful Auxerre at the entrance to Burgundy/Bourgogne. Do see the wonderful  Saint Germain abbey , and St Etienne Cathedral (St Stephen, and the clock district. You can come from gare de Lyon or gare de Bercy in Paris to Auxerre St Gervais train station. More on this nice town and worth a visit here on the tourist office on monuments:

Go to the Centre Pompidou but not in Paris, see it at Metz in Lorraine , see the exposition on Fernand Léger and the contemporary arts movement, September 28-30 2017. You can come to Metz from Paris Gare de l’Est (Paris Est) train station.  This can be seen on a guided tour so inquire at the centre Pompidou email: . More on the center here:

And do go south to Lyon to see the wonderful Musée des Confluences (at the joining of two river Rhône and Saône) and see the vineyards from October 5-17 2017 on a special guided tour. Contact ahead for more info here:

And closer to my heart, from May 30 to September 24 at the Chateau de Versailles-Grand Trianon, see the expo on Peter the Great tsar of Russia on the collection of his visit here in 1717. More here:

At the Chateau de Versailles  from October 24 2017 to February 25, 2018 ,you can come to see the exposition on the visitors and guests of yesteryear to the Chateau de Versailles. From the ambassador of Siam in 1686 to the ambassador of Mysore, India in 1788 many have come to pay tribute to the kings of France here. With more than 300 works of art,this expo ,the first of its kind will showcase all the visitors of the second half of the 17C until the French revolution. It will show paintings and sculptures, costumes of the times, travel guides, tapestries, porcelains of Sévres and Meissen, parade weapons, and show what was expected of them upon arrival here. The gifts and souvenirs left to the king as well.  More here:

France is a state of mind, la vie est belle, the joie de vivre, and a lot of cachet ::) Cheers

March 28, 2017

Some news from France CXLXVII

Hello folks, here I am again on a Tuesday found out will be in Paris early April ::) Here temps are mild but breezy feels cooler at 16C or 61F no rain so good.  For those going to Paris the temps there are the same, and tomorrow will be higher at 67F and no rain cloudy thus.

There is always something happening in my belle France and eternal Paris is the biggest light on Earth!

Talk again on the Grand Paris Express, where is we? On the side of the Metro the project has started even from 2014 when the line 14 was extended and will become the vertebral line of the Grand Paris project. By September 2015 the first tunnel in the direction of Mairie de saint-Ouen was started. The line 15 is on preparatory work, and started digging in early 2017, and by 2016 the works had begun in the Gare de Fort d’Issy-Vanves-Clamart and engineering work in the gare of Noisy-Champs; by 2018 all the station on the line will be in construction.

The lines 14 south and 16 works continue as I write. The line 18 the paperwork requirement has been met, and the line 4 extension south towards Bagneux had begun in 2015, the line will be ready by 2020. The line 12 will, also, be extended towards the north to Aubervilliers by end 2019, and the line 11 towards Rosny-Bois Perrier by end 2022. The work has begun also on lines 11 extension and line 12

On the side of the RER; the line extending the RER E Eole will soon begin and the work should be done by 2022. There is already a new station baptized Rosa Parks opened in December 2015 in Paris that will serve the line between Magenta and Pantin. The work of improvements continues on the lines RER A, B, C and D.

Over the Tramways, the line T5 between Saint-Denis and Sarcelles has opened since 2013, the T6 between Châtillon and Vélizy opened in 2014 (again extended to Viroflay in 2016). The real estate land acquisition is ongoing for the extension of line T1 towards Colombes and the T7 towards Juvisy. The financing of the line T9 between Choisy and Orly are in process of feasibility study.

More info in French here:

And the wine Muscadet costing between 15 and 20 US Dollars or about half the cost of an imported wine in the USA has made a comeback. For its size, the USA is the major drinking wine country in the world! This wine from the Loire not far from me made from white grapes of the melon de Bourgogne variety. Again, the USA remains the biggest market for this type of wine with an export value of 7M€ according to the Fédération des vins de Nantes, and where it represent 17% of the export values of Muscadet. The wine is sold there twice more expensive than here; And 3 States such as Illinois, New York, and California represent 80% of sales. The UK is the first market, Canada the 3rd while the USA is 2nd; more here in French at the Federation site:

The company Protourisme did its survey again of what are the favorite spots for vacation of the French for 2017. First about 42 million of us will go on vacation this year! And of course, we tend to stay in France, bien sûr when you have it oh well (not me I go to Spain lol! The areas of vacation are the Vendée to Pays Basque on the Atlantic coast, all the sud-ouest or southwest; as far as towns Bordeaux is on top follow by the La Rochelle, Carcassonne, and Toulouse. Also, Corsica as far as region with my own Bretagne and the Pyrénées; the basin d’Arcachon as well. As far as beaches the most research are Biarritz, Arcachon, Saint Jean de Luz , Collioure, Saint Tropez, and Cannes.

For a brunch in the 9eme de Paris, try the Café Marlette, 51, rue des Martyrs. Tél. +33(0) 1 48 74 89 73. More here:

For the sweets and things try the all-time favorite Rose Bakery, 46, rue des Martyrs (9eme). Tél +33 (0) 1 42 82 12 80. More here:

For a wonderful pizzas try the Le Bookie 15, rue de Trévise (9eme). Tél +33 (0) 1 47 70 53 38. More here:

And why not a bit of comedy while in the area, at the Le Comedy Club, 42, bd de Bonne-Nouvelle (10eme). Tél. +33(0) 1 73 54 17 00. More here:

The jubilee of “Demoiselles de Rochefort” at the biggest cinema in Europe, the Grand Rex celebrating 50 years of the coming out of the work by Jacques Demy and a concert by Michel Legrand. Grand Rex, (2eme) September 30th and October 1st 2017; 20h and 16h admissions from 39, 50€. More here:

And during the month of April come to the Le Crazy Horse for a selection of great shows of 65 years of glamour in 90 minutes with works by Decouflé, Louboutin, Chantal Thomass, Dita Von Teese, and more. Crazy Horse (8eme) all April 2017. More here:

And there you have it the burger is won by a Parisian! The sandwich with the flavors of Japan can be tasted from April 1 at Goku Asian Canteen (3eme) and W for Wok (10eme) all done with bread on vegetable carbon and white sesame, sauce BBQ with Whisky, mayonnaise, spicy yuzu and Japanese herbs; this is the Black O.G. of Vincent Boccara, winner of the Cup of France of burgers in 2017!. More on the above on culinary sites here:

And the works at the Hôtel de la Marine in the place de la Concorde (8eme) continues. On the 12000 M2 available, half will be preserve for office space and the other half will be open to the public. The building opened in 1774 before a furniture keeper of the crown and for 226 years the site of the French navy HQ. The rooms in renovation will be from the 19C and especially those from the 18C housing the cabinet of mirrors and makeup room of Marie Antoinette never before seen by the general public. A café will open in rdc or street level presenting products of the times such as coffee, tea, chocolates, and wines. At the same level, a restaurant with average prices showcasing the recipes of the French cuisine of the times. On the 1st level or 2nd it will have a room or salon de thé with pastries from the 18C. It is schedule to be open by end 2019. More here:

And too bad for the times we live in but it is catching up to the Tour Eiffel which will be protected. A wall will be installed by the 2nd trimester of 2018 with a bullet proof glass on the two sides given to the Seine River and the avenue Gustave Eiffel. The other two sides where the entries to the tower will be will be dotted with metallic grills doors reproducing the image of the tower and high security. There will be a high security protection with heavy military vehicles on the side of the quai Branly and the avenue Gustave-Eiffel as well as a video protection eyes on the parvis and inside the tower. Info from the mayor’s office of Paris. More here on le Parisian newspaper of Paris just hot off the press:

A personal library of Marcelle Benoît specialist on the French music of the 17C and 18C has given her personal collection of a thousand books to the city of Versailles! The collection will now be house in the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles (CMBV), that is in charge of keeping and teach the musical heritage of the 17C and 18C.  It, also, include a rare Pleyel piano from 1908 completely restored; and a music dictionary by Sébastien de Brossard from 1705 another find, as well as one from Jean-Jacques Rousseau from 1768. Wonderful. It is at this building that the estates generals of France met to write the French constitution, a hugely historical building many times missed by visitors just going to the palace. More here:

And the history of the building Hôtel des Menus Plaisirs is told here in French:

A nice attraction my boys enjoyed while younger is reopening again this season. This is the Attraction park of Mer de Sable (sea of sands). You do well to start your visit by the « Willy West show », the newest spectacle of the park. Admission 22€ this weekend instead of 25€ and less for kids open April 1st to October 31st, more info at official site here:

One nice one that needs to be seen in the chic city by the Seine; the Musée de la Grenouillère – Espace Chanorier, 12 Grande Rue, Croissy sur Seine tel +33 (0) 1 30 53 61 02. Admission 4€ adults. Until December 2017 you see the exposition, ” La Grenouillére aux temps des Impressionnistes” . More on the building   that traces the period of La Grenouillére a floating boat today gone that was in the island or îlot du Camembert. Very popular in the 19C with an countryside, festive ambiance ; it had un guinguette on water or dancing, café, games and cold baths. The artists like Monet and Renoir came here to relax and paint. Today you see engraving, paintings, and object of arts of the period. The boat burned in 1889 and was reopened in 1928. You can take a promenade on the island that has been restored in 1999. More info here:

To end, I almost lived in Croissy sur Seine, had an apartment approved but settle for Versailles instead to be closer to the Royals and the Palace lol! Enjoy the week, yours, mine, ours, end March. Cheers.