Archive for ‘Versailles’

August 13, 2019

Le petit trains or the little trains!!!

Now on a windy cool semi cloudy day in my neck of the woods, and temps of 21C or about 65F let me bring you to the magical world of litle tourist trains which abound in my belle France. I cannot tell you all but the most significants for my family and with some pictures of some of them.

We have enjoyed them tremendously especially when visiting and early on that my boys were younger,now grown men difficult to get them into them but the memories lingered for the parents ,especially. I like to briefly share some of our favorites petit trains with you all. Enjoy it as we did! No specific order of the experience.

The Petit Train of Tours taking you to the old neighborhoods of the city of Tours such as the  Hôtel de Ville – Palais de Justice – Basilique Saint-Martin – Place Plumerau – Théâtre – Place Foire Le Roi – Château -, and  Cathédrale Saint-Gatien. More about it here: Petit train de val de loire, Tours

The Petit train of Albi is great for the hilly streets and a a great experience when approaching the Cathedral! More info here: Tourist office of Albi on the petit train

The Petit Train of Rouen, other than Paris and Versailles this one was the first one taken in France way back in the 90’s, and repeat with the boys A wonderful experience on the old neighborhood of Rouen and the parvis of the Cathedral! More info here: Tourist office of Rouen on the petit train

The Petit Train of  Bourges. hah, when we saw the steep streets at first this one was the best option to see the most important monuments and choose those most like to come back on foot! The approach to the Cathedral is awesome. More info here: Tourist office of Bourges Berry region on the petit train

The petit trains of Quiberon, Vannes ,and La Trinité sur Mer/ Carnac are awesome especially at the beginning of the summer beach season as later are packed! Theses towns are in my beautiful Morbihan, just south of me,  and they are worth the walk but on a petit train at first is sublime. More info on their sites here:

Petit Train of Quiberon

Petit Train of Vannes

Petit train of Carnac








La Trinité sur Mer

The Petit train du loch in Auray. Also, in my lovely Morbihan breton and the first one taken while living here. It is a good idea as the lower town of St Goustan is very steep in streets and cobblestones; so a first try here is recommended. More info here: Tourist office Bay of Quiberon on the petit train of Auray


The Petits Trains du Val de Loire, and in Amboise. A lovely ride on the Château Royal; Château du Clos Lucé,  the banks of the Loire river and the golden island or l’île d’Or . Great views magnificent rides and we take our house wines here so we tested a few time after a long day lol! More info here: The petit trains du Val de Loire in Amboise

The Petit train of Angers, a wonderful ride on old Angers discovering the Cité la doutre, wooden houses ,anecdotes as told by the conductor and of course the Cathedral. More info here: The Petit trains du Val de Loire in Angers

The Petit train of Beaune! from departure at the  rue de l’hôtel Dieu in front of the Hospices of Beaune! Nothing more sublime than this and a narrated tour of the old town with its wonderful monuments and the vineyards of Burgundy! More info here: Visio petit train of Beaune

Under the slogan  «Bénodet, bonne idée» or Bénodet, good idea, take a ride into the old port and town of Bénodet, by its corniche de l’estuaire to the corniche de la mer, along the ocean and to the pointe Saint Gilles to the Fort du Coq. Great sights of boats and sea always gorgeous. More info here: City of Bénodet on the petit train


The Petit train of Caen, again one of the earliest little train we took as a family , great memories. You take at the wonderful Church of St Pierre facing the tourist office , and go on to see the  Château, Abbaye aux Dames,  port, Tour Leroy,  Abbaye aux Hommes, place St Sauveur, and the old city center of Caen. Still very nice to do! More info here: The Cap Petit Train of Caen

The Petit train of Chartres, another of the earlier ones we took and very nice. Along the banks of the river, to see all monuments and of course the Cathedral of Chartres glorious as ever. More info here: The Petit train of Chartres

The Petit train of Deauville; this one is a long run worth it to avoid long walks, you can always come back to the best sights. Starts at City center and goes into Place Morny, Vieux Marché (old market), Yatchs basin, Port Deauville, Poney Club, Mini-Golf, CID, Piscine (pool), Plages (beaches) and along the sea, Les Planches, Promenade M. d’Ornano, new gardens ,  wonderful luxury Hôtels, and Casino,and back to the city/town hall or  Mairie. More info here: The petit train of Deauville

The Petit train of Dieppe, a nice narrated ride on the narrow streets of Dieppe with history of the town included.  The ride takes you into the old town, and the port, the landing beach and its monuments. More info here: The Petit train of Dieppe

The Petit train of  Guérande ; very nice on narrow cobblestone streets and as have friends with small children here we took it too lol! Goes from the foot of the gate or porte St Michel, the main entrance to the fortified city. More info here: The Petit train of Guérande

The Petit train of La Baule, a great ride from the bay 8 km connecting the towns of La Baule to Pornichet. Passing by great beaches and wonderful view of the ocean! More info here: The Petit train of La Baule

The Petit train of Le Mans,another great idea on a narrow steep and cobblestone fortified town. You go into the old town of the  Cîté Plantagenet and the pedestrian center, along the banks of the Sarthe river, with story telling indeed very interesting. More info here: The Petit trains du Val de Loire in Le Mans

The Petit train of Nantes. A great ride with lots to see and come back for it in details later on. The trip goes into the city center retracing the history of Nantes.  You leave from the wonderful Cathedral Saint-Pierre, to the center gazing at beautiful architecture we like it still. More info here: The Petit train of Nantes


The Petit train of Quimper , goes to the historic center town and into pedestrian only streets! and along the wharfs or quais of the Odet river! More info here: The Petit train Celtic of Quimper


The Petit train of Saumur. Very nice as it was the last petit train we took as a family after my dear late wife Martine passed away from cancer. You ride along the banks of the Loire river into the historic equestrian and military heart of the buildings of the cavalry, Church of St Pierre, medieval streets of the city center to arrive at the majestic Château de Saumur overlooking the Loire river. More info here: The Petit train du Val de Loire in Saumur

The Petit train of Tolouse. It has two tours or trips one lets you see the monuments such as the Place du Capitole, Basilique St-Sernin, Place St-Pierre, Quais de la Garonne, Church de la Daurade, neighborhoods or quartiers Croix-Baragnon and St-Georges, and the Place Wilson.  The second trip takes you to discover the monuments of the neighborhoods or quartiers Dalbade, Palais de Justice, and the public gardens such as  Jardin Royal, Grand Rond. Also, the palace or Palais Niel, and the Canal du Midi. A sentimental favorite in France and worth the ride on both tours. More info here: The Petit train of Toulouse

The Petit train of St Jean de Luz. a nice ride looking at its beautiful houses, Church of  Saint-Jean-Baptiste (St John the Baptist), thalasso and casino,the house of the future queen of France Maria Teresa of Spain, and the wonderful place Louis-XIV. This one is going back a lot but nice memories, More info here: The Petit train of Saint Jean de Luz

st jean de luz

The Petit train of Fougéres, you go to the foot of the castle at place Raoul 2. And go no with a beautiful ride into old Fougéres for a 40 minutes ride! More info here: The Petit train of Fougéres


The Petit train of Montmartre, Paris. It was the second petit train we ever took in France! Well this one by now is very touristic in my opinion but with the steep cobblestone streets of Montmartre it is still a good idea to take it at first. You will ride into its picturesques streets, the ateliers of painters, the monuments, the cabarets, the vineyard, and the wonderful Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Sacre Coeur with a panoramic view of Paris to end start at the Place du Tertre. More info here: The Petit train of Montmartre, Paris

The Petit Train of St Malo. another good option on a narrow cobblestone fortified city to take the tour first. You take it at the Esplanade Saint Vincent, between the tourist office and the Castle. More info here: The Petit train of St Malo

St Malo

St Malo quai-st-vincent

The Petit train of Port du Crouesty, Arzon; you take it from here to the next port harbor of Port Navalo passing by the windmill or Moulin de Pen Castel. A nice ride along the ocean and harbors; more info here: The Petit train of Arzon, Port du Crouesty


The Petit train or Noirmout’train of the island or île de Noirmoutier . This offers four tours but take the grand tour first time to see it all.  These are call the découverte or discovery , village anciens or old towns, marais salants or salted marshes and the grand tour or big trip. More info here The Petit train of Noirmoutier or noirmouttrain

Ile de Noumoutier

And last but not least, the first petit train we took in France in our dear beloved Versailles. It is an internal train on the property of the castle even if sometimes it is taken outside on heritage days . We have not taken it since 2011! You will ride in the property of the Domaine of Versailles which includes the gardens, the palace/museum, and the Hameau, Petit and Grand Trianon. Sublime to take it at least once and if too tired of the walks in the domaine. Enjoy it. More info here: The Petit train of the Domaine of Versailles


Versailles by rive gauche RER C station

There is one more webpage that showcase all of the above and a lot more petit trains in France. For info it is here: The Petit trains of France

Wow, impress myself no idea on how many of these wonders we have been to, great memories indeed. Much have been said about the little trains or petit trains and sometimes the price ratio does not seems correct. However, for someone with limited time and or not good at long walks they are a perfect choice to do here. Enjoy them as we have done over the years, and glad still around us for the enjoyment of all! The Petit trains are sublimes!

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

August 13, 2019

Rue des Deux Portes, Versailles!

So taking you back to Versailles , never too far away my old lovely home.. I could write a book on Versailles but I am too lazy for this , even this post lol! There is so much to tell on a relativily small city about 100K it can have a big punch. And yes, do walk and do get out from the palace/museum you will be surprise.

Anyway, this is my Versailles my home for almost 10 years in my belle France. And this is not a thing to do from Paris but a place to be visit on its own, talking like a real Versaillaise!

This is a very quant nice street in my old district of Notre Dame (written on it in my blog) , and one of the shortest nicest streets you can find in any town. The Rue des Deux Portes!

In the old Versailles, Notre-Dame district, the pedestrian street of Rue des Deux Portes is a place full of charm, calm, out of time. The rue des Deux Portes is an old passage of about 100 meters connecting rue Carnot and Place du Marché. It was formely closed by two doors. The rue Carnot (former rue de la pompe) is coming right off Avenue de Saint Cloud and takes you into rue des deux portes to the Notre Dame market! Very quant!! It dates from 1687 and has small balconies of the 18C.


Over a hundred meters along the neighboring gardens of the former Hotel de Toulouse, this passage had twelve houses spread on each side. of the way. The centuries have passed, but the Rue des Deux Portes has kept its character. This is certainly what gives it its so authentic side

A bit of history tell us that at No 17 in 1789 , the brother of the poet Ducis was holding a shop of earthenware and porcelain of Sevres. On the market side, a plot corresponds to one of the exits of the former hotel of the Count of Toulouse which led to the rue de la Paroisse at No. 66 (today there is a LCL bank). Nowdays you can find nice eating places here such as the L’Elephant d’Argent at No 6; the Créperie des 2 Portes at No 12, and the Les Biscuits de Madame Georges at No 7. Coming into the Place du Marché (Notre Dame) you have on your right our old Orange tel internet store and next our fav must resto in Versailles Le Boeuf à la Mode (already feature in my blog).

And even if not there anymore, let me add a bit of old history of Versailles on the before mentioned Hôtel of the Count of Toulouse.

The Hôtel de Toulouse was at the rue de la Pompe today rue Carnot. It was given this name from the Count of Toulouse ,natural son of king Louis XIV and Madame de   Montespan. After the death of the count the hotel passes to his son the Duke de Penthiévre, great admiral and governor of Bretagne, he stayed at the hotel and kept all his important papers there. In 1739, the secretary of the duke monsieur Delalot had a monkey with him and one evening very cold left the room, the monkey trying to imitate the master took the torch to bring more fire to the chimney and causing as a result a fire which destroyed the important papers of the State of Bretagne and the Marine, while suffering heavy damage the hotel itself. It never recovered and is no longer there.

This is my old neighborhood , Notre Dame, full of charm indeed, and lovely and beautiful ok so get out of the palace/museum and walk Versailles, the city that is,enjoy it as I do.

Of course not a specific webpage on the street but leave you with the best of Versailles.

City of Versailles on heritage and monuments

Tourist office of Versailles on discover the town

And there you go another jewel in the crown of Versailles, a city to walk and embark yourselves in the history of France, Europe and even the World! Enjoy it

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



August 13, 2019

Boutiques, curiosities of Versailles!

And back to familiar territory of old, my beloved Versailles. Ok so the the city is more than a castle, I know. However, there is so much still to see inside and I am afraid folks rush thru it on just a one day trip from Paris! It really deserves more, really!

I like to tell you a bit on some of the nice boutiques and eating places inside. You will be in heaven! Enjoy my Palace/musuem of Versailles.  And it is in the Yvelines dept 78 of the Ïle de France region, ok!

We dare go in the property to take some pictures, and I like to point out the many boutiques and resto to eat and shop inside, such as the Librarie des Princes, by the Cour d’honneur for books and music.

The Library of Princes  is on 200 m2, and in the form of an apartment. From the boudoir to the dining room, by way of the library and the bedrooms, works and objects celebrating the French way of life are on offer. These rooms with very marked atmospheres will allow the public to discover more than 1000 different books presented alongside objects and by-products. The disguises of princess, marquise and queen, rub shoulders with the chivalrous world of budding musketeers. Reproductions of 18C toys such as totems, spinning tops, bilboquets, drums and rattles of princes and princesses, invite to playful moments to shared. And many books as well. Worth the visit indeed!

Official Palace of Versailles Library info in English

And an official  precise site for it as you do not need ticket admission to the Château de Versailles to come here is :


The  Boutique de l’Ancienne Comédie, for souvenirs and nice local castle oriented gifts. The boutique is located at the exit of the tour circuits of the Palace/museum, this shop occupies the historic space of the old cisterns of the bouche du Roi (King’s mouth), under the cour des Princes. You can see what is available on the below link.

Official Chateau de Versailles on the boutique items


Angelina at the Petit Trianon. This was our hangout when jogging/ walking in the domaine property at the time of me living there; enormous, awesome, grandiose magnifique to have a light meal while looking at the Palace gardens , the back view and the Petit Trianon next to you!!  Angelina installs during the beautiful days a beautiful terrace under the trees, in front of the Petit Trianon. It is used in an outhouse of the Trianon, then you brings your  trays outside. There is a very nice outdoor terrace of 100 seats and heated in Winter. Also in Summer, an  ice cream cart.

Official Chateau de Versailles on Angelina


And of course, when talking about Versailles there is never enough on me. There are about 4 places in the world that are just too much of souvenirs! One of them is Versailles, of course. While now in Bretagne, my soul is still there and why not combine the two while in town , Breton foods and the Versailles ambiance!

The wonderful rue Satory off ave de Sceaux, (walk easy from palace) ,and of course a nice Breton lunch at Le Blé Noir, 9 rue de Satory, from a true citizen of Quiberon,Morbihan , my stop now when in town, lots of local discussion indeed took place; and we both agree we have the best of the world, Versailles and the Morbihan ::)  Great galette de chévre or goat cheese,lardons and tomatoes, 50Cl  pitcher of cider,and expresso coffee. Great!. And now part of a group with two outlets in Paris! More info here: Le Blé Noir at Versailles



One emblem of the city that actually divides Versailles from Le Chesnay (now new town of Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt (which is actually the union of two neighboring towns) ) is the Monument aux Morts (monument to the fallen)  at Place de la Loi. Lovely photo of rememberance. Enjoy my eternal Versailles!


And I hope you enjoy the tour as much as I did telling you about it. Versailles is it! And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!


August 12, 2019

Antiques at Versailles!

So why not tell you another little spot in my beloved Versailles where I will not be tired of telling you lived for almost 10 sublimes years. I now consol myself to visited it once a year , or sometimes twice, having move to lovely Morbihan in Bretagne.

There is so much to see in Versailles and again will not be tired of telling you the city is more than the palace/museum as almost everyone that comes here do not go elsewhere in the city, a pity.

Let me tell you about the Antiques quarter of Versailles in my nostalgic Notre Dame district of Versailles.


The whole area is broken down into sections and all are worth the detour good for about half a day. These areas are the Bailliage, Village, Carré, and Passage.

The Bailliage this superb 18C building built in 1724 by Tavenot, a student of Mansart, first court and first prison of Versailles today houses antique shops and galleries that present furniture, modern paintings and objets d’art in a charming setting.

Let yourself be dragged to the Village, former outbuildings of the Picardie hotel where the little houses arranged in a horseshoe around the well, welcome the walkers. A picturesque staircase will guide you to other exhibitors and will allow you if you wish to join the rue de la Pourvoierie and the Notre Dame market.


The Passage is implanted in the old walk of the prisoners of the prison of the Geole. Samson who executed Louis XVI held the office of executioner until 1788. Madame Du Barry, the famous favorite of Louis XV was locked during the French revolution. Today, jewels, ceramics, elegant furniture, objects of shop windows are the admiration of all walkers.

The Carré des Antiquaires, originally stables of the Bailliage, turned into sheds during the 19C to house the wines and spirits destined for the Notre Dame market where the given name of Cour de l’Etape aux Vins. Or courtyard of the step with the wines. Today transformed into galleries of antique shops or craftsmen’s workshops they reveal the richness of the creation, and the art of living of past centuries.

You can come into this wonderful area of my Versailles by the Passage de la Geôle or the rue du Bailliage or the 14 bis, rue Baillet-Reviron or the 13, rue de la Pourvoierie. The hours are for the Passage and Village, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10h to 19h. For the Carré, Thursdays afternoons and Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10h to 19h and the Bailliage from Tuesdays to Sundays 10h to 19h.

More info here in French: Official Antiques of Versailles

Tourist office of Versailles on the antiques in English

And there you go another wonderful artful historical and architecturally stunning visit to the other Versailles. The antiquaires area is wonderful worth a detour. Enjoy it

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


August 12, 2019

From the old Hospital Richaud, the new Espace Richaud, Versailles of course!

It’s been a while do not share a post about my beloved Versailles. If you have been reading my posts , you know I lived here for almost 10 years and still my sentimental favorite. Versailles is sublime, royal, majestic and chic with nice town feel.

Anything to do with it I stay abreast of the news and a while back I wrote of the transformation of an icon in the city, and now very modern spaces. The city of Versailles did a survey believe was in 2016 where if found the visitors to the city 98% only see the Palace/museum!! What a pity, this is a piece of world history indeed in it. I am trying in my posts to show you the other Versailles as well.

As living there, I needed to do some backtracking to find pictures, as when you live as local found hard times to go around taking pictures lol! I actually took a whole lot more after I left as resident and visited as tourist lol! believe it or not…

Pictures are not allowed inside ,but is worth the detour is the Chapelle de l’Immaculate Conception. In your walks of the city and you must get out of the palace, at the end of rue royale, take a look at the Lycée Notre Dame de Grandchamp that houses a private school and next to it at 16 Rue Monseigneur Gibier, you have the Bishop’s office of the diocese of Versailles. And next to it at no 8 the  Chapelle de l’Immaculate Conception.


A bit of history of the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception,  and its meaning. It all started when the Order of St. Francis of Assisi, who in 1224 joined the Order of the Poor Ladies, of which its first abbess was the sister Claire. Hence the name adopted later: the Poor Clares., the nuns who joined them were called “Colettines”. The Poor Clares of Versailles belonged to this branch of the Franciscan Order. Some of their most important dates are : The apparitions of Our Lady at Bernadette, Lourdes 1858; Installation of Poor Clares Colettines at Versailles in 1860 ; Chapel consecrated in 1867 to the Immaculate Conception; Departure regretted of the Poor Clares in June 1999; and October 12, 2008, resumption of worship during the month of the Rosary of the year of the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady in Lourdes: “I am the Immaculate Conception”.

The congregation official Catholic site in French of the chapelle de l’Immaculate Conception in Versailles

I like to take rememberence to the Hôpital Richaud, a venerable institution in Versailles who have seen its better days.  I have been in it and still have some pictures as to when it began to be change unfortunately. The Units have been transferred next door to a modern facility ,and the old hospital is been transformed into a luxury condo,apartment complex, the only building left will be the Chapel. The Chapel was, in the Convent of the Augustinians of Versailles or Couvent de la Reine, dedicated to the education of young ladies founded by Queen Marie Leszczynka,wife of Louis XV. It was done in 1772. It is very near my old home and easy to get here from Paris as my old route was from the Gare Rive Droite  Versailles on the Line Paris St Lazare, La Défense. If you are in city center Versailles by the rive gauche station nearest the palace you can take local bus phebus lines A, H, or G, arrêt/stop  Gare Rive Droite. Or do a nice walk and enjoy the wonderful historical and elegant architecture of Versailles!


L’hôpital Richaud, also known as the  Hôpital Royal de Versailles is completely restored and transformed since 2015 in housing, shops and liberal professions offices. The hospital is located in the Notre-Dame district in the center of Versailles near the Rive-Droite train station (my old neighborhood) . It is located also in this district and near the Notre-Dame Church, Lambinet Museum, Hoche High School and Saint-Jean-Hulst Private School. Two underground car parks have been dug on either side of the building, one under the bd de la Reine named Reine-Richaud and managed by Urbis Park, at the entrance rue du Maréchal Foch, and the another under the Place du Marché Notre-Dame, managed by Indigo.


This hospital Richaud has a long history since at its origin was the house of charity created by king Louis XIII in 1636 The construction work of the Royal Hospital of Versailles spread over a long period of nearly 80 years,and was not finishing until 1859. The site was assigned a hospital function: first modest ‘charity house’ held by the Daughters of St. Vincent de Paul, the institution has seen its patient attendance grow over the years   until the 1960s.

After the transfer of activities to the Hôpital Mignot hospital site in 1981, the site goes through many years of neglect. This hospital is next to my boys high school in Le Chesnay now new town of Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt (as of Jan 2019) , just a street over from the city of Versailles!  City of le Chesnay-Rocquencourt and the Hospital Mignot

In November 2009, the real estate promotor organisation ,OGIC acquired almost the entire Royal Hospital of Versailles from the French State via the town to turn it into housing, with 20% of social housing, shops and gardens . The opening to the public of the whole of the Carré des Siècles,(square of centuries) new name given to the real estate site was made in April 2015. It is a block of housing (317 dwellings including 66 upscale apartments and 91 social housing or students), shops (five in number) and offices ( nearly 3000 m2), with a cultural space that can accommodate exhibitions or concerts, a daycare of 66 cradles and 10.000 m2 of public gardens.

The renovated chapel, now Space Richaud, now hosts exhibitions, the largest as of this date being the one dedicated to the Little Prince, as well as plays in the context of the month of Molière.

Some webpages to help you see more of the site of Richaud are

City of Versailles and the Space Richaud

Tourist office of Versailles on the hospital and chapel restore

General Hospital Richaud of Versailles today

And there you can see it, you can go in and visit the espace Richaud or old royal Chapel and see still the beauty of it. Just another gem in my beloved Versailles, do see it, and behold. Versailles is a lot more than a palace!

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






August 1, 2019

Some news from France, CCXLII

So here I am again on my news of my belle France! There is never a dull moment here, so much around me, it is just wonderful. Today we are cloudy, cool ,17C or about 64F , and a bit light rain at times. It is time for a cooling off period after the canicule!At our eternal Paris is a bit better for a change temps of 24C or 75F and sunny.

And now the latest news from my belle France. Hope you are having a wonderful summer, might this year took it at the end for vacations just to be back at the rentrée!! early Sept19.

After a year of construction, the new Place de la Madeleine (8éme) will be inaugurated between late October and early November 2019. The works make the square much more pedestrian. This square of the 8éme arrondissement is the 7th of the capital to be developed as part of the renovation of major Parisian squares launched by the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo  in June 2015. Now that is one thing that was needed around this square my old walking path to work in Paris. Bienvenue! A bit more on the Place de la Madeleine from Paris tourist office!

Scooters/trottinettes  are no longer welcome on our Parisian sidewalks. Users of the latter will now have to comply with the parking rules for cars and scooters / motorcycles. It will therefore be necessary to park the scooters on existing parking, but the goal is not to limit the actual places, the City of Paris began in early July 2019 to create materialized locations to accommodate, eventually, some 15,000 of them. Ok good initiative to regulate them as any motor vehicule!

The Gobelins teddy bears are conquering Paris ! Until recently, they had been found exclusively in the quartier Gobelins neighborhood, (13éme arrondissement or district) but teddies will now be exported to other neighborhoods of the capital. In café terraces, slouched on deckchairs or hung on lampposts, you might have crossed already at least once these teddy bears on a human scale. A real element of distraction for locals and tourists, teddy bears should, from the start, make their show in various other neighborhoods, and leave to conquer the capital, as explained by Philippe Labourel of Paris, the bookseller of the 13éme who came up with the phenomenon. Rather nice indeed! More about them in Huffingtonpost in French here:

From now on, every Friday and Saturday until the end of August, classical music concerts are held in the arena of Montmartre. A concert of classical music in open air in the garden of the arena of Montmartre (18éme). Built in 1941, this arena is perched on one of the slopes of the hill  between the Place du Tertre and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Sacré Coeur), and welcomes up to 250 spectators.The opportunity to discover a unique place that only opens for occasional events. For this second edition in 2019, 12 performances are organized on Fridays and Saturdays evening until the end of August, as well as Thursdays August 15 and 22.Every Friday and Saturday until August 24, as well as Thursdays August 15 and 22. Garden Arena of Montmartre, 25, rue Chappe , Metro Abbesses. Online ticketing on site on concert days 17h to 20h30, price is 35€ doors open at 20h, and the show lasts 2 hours. More info here: .

Something on history I like

Clinging to the cliff overlooking the Seine river, Château-Gaillard watches over this small town of the Eure, dept 27. In the Middle Ages it was a fortress. More than 800 years after its construction, Château-Gaillard still attracts all eyes. It’s impossible not to be magnetized by this elegant silhouette defying time, clinging to the cliff. Once at the top, the site offers a breathtaking view. On one side, the ruins of the mythical castle. On the other, a meander of the Seine river  of spectacular beauty. The white of the limestone rock enhances the insolent blue of the river and the green of ubiquitous vegetation. In 1196, when the construction of Château-Gaillard began, a good part of the French territory was attached to the English crown. Normandy particularly attracts the greed of the French. The border between France and England is precisely here. Richard the Lionheart is at Les Andelys,  King Philippe Auguste opposite, in Gaillon.  The castle fortress is built in less than two years as a military fortress, no little gargoyle all carved and pretty. When Richard died in 1199, his brother Jean Sans Terre succeeded him, and only four years later, the French troops began the siege of Château-Gaillard. After four months of siege and two months of attack, the Anglo-Norman garrison surrendered. Château-Gaillard has never really been used, except as a stone quarry. The town is divided in two. You can stroll along the beautiful Norman style houses in Petit-Andely, the village at the foot of the fortress, which revolves around the Gothic church Saint-Sauveur. To reach the Grand-Andely, with its lively commercial square, you make a leap to the 19C along the brick houses. Château-Gaillard is open from March 30th to November 3rd, from 10h  to 18h  in July and August, closed on Tuesdays, admission 4.50 euros adult. Guided tours at 11:30, 14:30 and 16:30. More info here:

And the tourist office of the Eure dept 27 on Chateau Gaillard:

Closed for renovations, the municipal museum of art and history of Colombes (hauts de Seine dept 92) will reopen at the end of 2019, it is located at rue Gabriel-Péri, a charming little museum in the city center of Colombes. Closed since last June, the Municipal Museum of Art and History is currently under construction. The current building already existed in 1790. Its wide interior courtyard and driveway suggest a post office relay function. In the 19C, the space is divided into several commercial activities. It is in 1989 that it is arranged in museum of art and history of the city. But the most spectacular novelty is the creation of a Salon de Thé or tea room. The municipal museum gathers a variety of collections, reflecting the history of the city. From the Ancien Régime with the presence of Queen Henriette at the 1924 Olympic Games hosted at the Stade Yves du Manoir, through the industrial era marked locally by the perfumer Guerlain, Ericsson phones, Goodrich and Kleber tires. On the Beaux-Arts side, the collections include paintings by Victorine Meurent, Edouard Manet’s muse, which regularly attracts American visitors. More info at city of Colombes here:  City of Colombes on the museum

Great news!!!. After eighteen months of  renovations, the Salon de la Paix (Peace Salon)  is again open to visitors to the Château de Versailles. From this past Tuesday, July 30, the public will be able to rediscover this room arranged between 1681 and 1686, made of marbles and reliefs carved in lead and in gilded bronze. The Salon was soon reinstated at the Queen’s apartment, where it became the salon des Jeux (games’ room). It was then separated from the galerie des Glaces (hall of mirrors) by a partition. More info at the palace but only in French so far:

The wonderful emblematic places of Paris through a souvenir object, an atmosphere and a hotel nearby.  A temple of Anglo-Saxon books/letters. To be or not to be at Shakespeare and Company!!  Located at kilometer zero, starting point of all French roads, in a former monastery of the 17C, the wonderful English bookstore has become a tourist attraction, immortalized in the film Before Sunset. With it’s superstar cat (Queen Aggie and her suspicious look), its artists and writers lodged upstairs for a few services and reading a book a day (William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg were among those guests ), the place opened by George Whitman in 1951 has everything to attract the curious. it may be that this object lands in the archaeological category in the face of the tide of “all-digital”. This threat does not seem to affect tourists who trot in single file, backpacks, in narrow passages between tables and in small halls that lead from room to room. Frustrated by their inability to strafe furiously every corner of the bookstore, they will be able to catch up during a break at the adjoining Shakespeare and Company café.  Indeed lots of tourists but an institution in Paris! More info here:

The Hôtel Belloy Saint-Germain  in the Latin Quarter, address of this 4-star is steeped in history: it was here, at 2, rue Racine, then named Hôtel des Etrangers, that the 19C circle of zutistes poets such as Paul Verlaine, Charles Cros, Léon Valade , and the caricaturist André Gill etc came in. In 2018, the Belloy opened an extension, installed in the building just opposite, at number 1. Pastel colors, reproductions of paintings, hay chairs and breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower or Notre-Dame: the twenty-one rooms of the Petit Belloy  look a lot like, and do not have much to envy, their neighbors Belloy Saint-Germain. Breakfast is served at the Belloy , so you have to cross the street to start the day in the same mezzanine where, Arthur Rimbaud stayed for a few months. Petit Belloy Hotel Saint-Germain, 1, rue Racine, Paris 6éme.  More info here :

Paris in August is the best time to enjoy it. But, if  you think everyone has deserted the capital, your favorite restaurants might not. Do not panic, there is one eternal favorite where I bring all my friends and family visitors to Paris who is open in August! And ,the opportunity to test them without a horde of hungry Parisians! Plenty written on it on my previous posts.

La Gare or the Station, an institution with flavors of the world by Gaston Acurio, The Le Gare is simply located in a former Parisian train station and offers a travel card young adventurer modern day to discover the world. Its street kitchens and family tables, this is the inspiration of the chef through workshops and different universes. Rotisserie, cocktails and family brunch on Sunday!  You will love it , all do!!! La Gare, 19, Chaussée de la Muette, 16éme metro line 9 Muette out turn left and see it  More info here :

There you go another bashful of information on my belle France, enjoy the summer, its wonderful! And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

July 28, 2019

Tour de France 2019 Final!!!

So quick post so happy to see another wonderful Tour de France, even if this year could not go on the spot, is an event the family looks forward every year and the TV coverage is super , say better even than on site for the views if the ambiance is less of course. Consolation.

I wrote earlier on the start of this wonderful historical traditional race back on July 5th here

Tour de France 2019 !!!

And now after 21 stages the race is over at the ave des Champs-Elysées in Paris. The last race was great because it passed by areas we love and been to them and even lived; starting from lovely Rambouillet in the Yvelines dept 78.

The youngest winner in history , Egan Bernal of Colombia. Impressive and many friends very happy about him. I know his native town as visited and the area too. He is from Zipaquira in the vally of Boyacà where they have a wonderful Cathedral in a salt mine with the 14 steps of Christ awesome. This is not far from Bogotà.

He , Bernal not only won the yellow jersey but also the best young rider at 22 years old he has a huge future in cycling ahead. He is the firs Colombian to win the tour de France as well!!

The final race in Paris was won by Caled Ewan, of Australia , his third stage in the race, rather a good future there too.  Peter Sagan, on points, Roman Bardet on climber, Movistar as team , and Julien Alaphilippe as combative spirit also won recognition.

The top general overall winners were

1º Egan Bernal (Ineos)  Colombia

2º Geraint Thomas (Ineos)  1’111 Great Britain

3º Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo Visma) – 1’31” Netherlands

4º Emanuel Buchmann (Bora) – 1’56” Germany

5º Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck) – 3’45” France

6º Mikel Landa (Movistar) – 4’23” Spain

7° Rigoberto Uran, (EF Education First) Colombia

8° Nairo Quintana, (Movistar Team) Colombia

9º Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)  Spain

10° Warren Barguil, (team Arkea-Samsic) France

The official webpage for the tour de France: Tour de France 2019

Another great race with all kinds of weather situation and injuries and broken hearts and very happy winners as always. Until next time in France, the tour de France!

Ah took some pictures from the TV here that do not want to go to waste so will post some in a kaléidoscope to follow, hope you enjoy them.


Tour de France 2019 TV photo!

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

July 26, 2019

Some news from France, CCXLI

And back to my regular series, thank you for reading, and hope you are enjoying our summer even thus for some could be winter… After the news of the heatwave in France, I am happy to report that in my beautiful Brittany we have been spare. Right is cool light rain at 20C or about 70F while in our eternal Paris is heavier rains at 71C. Time is 11h30.

End of red alert vigilance for the heatwave (canicule)! The arrival of a stormy disturbance to the west will make the mercury plummet after the record heat wave episode. However, not everyone will be in the same boat. The heat will resist the east. Météo France has placed 30 departments in alert orange heat wave with temperatures between 35 ° C and 38 ° C with peaks at 40 ° C in the plain of Alsace. Among them, the Allier, the Loire, the Nièvre, the Puy-de-Dôme, the Saone-et-Loire and the Haute-Loire are also vigilant orange storms, as the Cantal. According to Météo France, it will be necessary to wait for Saturday for the end of this hot episode on all France. Paris broke yesterday Thursday its all-time record of more than 70 years (40.4 ° C in 1947), with 42.6 ° C. The record heat of the day was observed in Saint-Maur, Ile-de-France, where the mercury rose to 43.6 ° C!!!

The capital seemed particularly empty yesterday, when it beat its absolute record of heat with 42.6 ° C in the late afternoon. Since the beginning of the measurements in 1873, the capital had surpassed the bar of 40 ° C only once, on July 28, 1947, with 40.4 ° C. At 10h, Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart), 35 ° C; 12h, Place de la Nation, 37 ° C; 14h, Place de la Bastille, 41 ° C; 15h, Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), 42.4 ° C; and 16h, Trocadero, 42.4 ° C. After staying more than 70 years with a threshold of 40.6 degrees maximum, the City of Light has passed the 42 degrees at 15h. The mercury even climbed up to 42.6 degrees at 16h32, propelling Paris to the third position of the hottest European capitals. according to the data compiled by the European Climate Assessment & Dataset (ECAD) harmonized until 2018. Thus, the French has just exceeded the Portuguese capital Lisbon, the Albanian Tirana and Romanian Bucharest, having all three recorded peaks at 42 degrees in distinct periods. The City of Light is also placed in front of the Spanish Madrid or the Italian Rome. There is little risk, however, that it breaks the Nicosia record in Cyprus of 46.7 degrees. And still less that of Athens, Greece, at 48 degrees !!!.

Another dandy that I am following is the Tour de France .

The 19th stage of the Tour de France will be judged today in Tignes, after a visit to the summit of the Iseran pass. this Friday, with a short leg (126.5 km), but that promises a lot of sparks. The route will rise from the start of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and the riders will begin with three climbs, including that of the Madeleine. A pre-amble before tackling the Iseran Pass, the highest point of the Tour with its 2770 meters of altitude. A monster of almost 13 kilometers and a rare pass in the Tour. The riders will hit 30 km of descent to the foot of Tignes for a dry climb of only 7 km. It is especially difficult to climb, and if Alaphilippe arrives with the best, he will be able to keep his yellow jersey. For Pinot, it will be too late. If he wants to shake the overall classification, Thibaut must attack from the Iseran pass and make a big number. After that, he will still have the finish at the top of Val-Thorens (Saturday) to conclude. The French are not there since 1985 (Bernard Hinault, a breton! )  possible winners! this time around is Julian Alaphilippe or Thibaut Pinot! only 1,50s behind. Fingers crossed! More info here: Tour de France standing after 18 rounds

Update disaster in the 19th stage, huge avalanche the race stop and winners declared. Alaphilippe lost the yellow jersey and Pinot went out injured again!! Now maybe France will be left out again of winning its Tour de France!

Two new terminals of virtual reality open to the public today on the terrace of the Arc de Triomphe (8éme). The kiosks are available in 6 languages, and accept only contactless card payment. The Arc de Triomphe receives 1.7 million visitors each year, 70 to 80% of which are foreign tourists. Discover also a short film in 360 ° format on the return of the ashes of Napoleon in 1840, realized from a heavy  research work of the archives. More info here: Arc de Triomphe digital

Summer at La Défense: on the forecourt (parvis) The beach with transats, billiards, petanque, conferences, concerts … All summer long, the Parvis offers a relaxation area day and night in the heart of the business center of La Défense .(Hauts de Seine dept 92) Easy on line 1 of  Metro or bus 73! More info here: La Defense le Parvis

And the easy busfacile of No 73 , great ride above ground Paris!!! Busfacile route of bus 73

The first sound radar of Ile-de-France region  installed at Saint-Forget (Yvelines dept 78). Right in the Parc Naturel Régional de la Haute Vallée de Chevreuse natural park. The machine is installed at the foot of the route des 17-tournants, (D91)a favorite playground for bikers, where a lot of noise is observed every weekend.  More money for the govt that is all.

And how about Rillettes or Pâte? Well is some differences for you to know.

For the rillettes, it will be best  seated. In the shade on a blanket, at the foot of a country maple. At the folding  table of a bungalow on the Atlantic coast. If the rillettes are accompanied by a beautiful slice of country bread and, according to connoisseurs, small pink radishes, they are also indissociably from a certain idea of ​​generosity. They are consumed among friends , and on toast, where they will be deposited in contiguous mounds. We do not spread the rillettes. Anyway, it’s at will, and when you want. And if not, rather Le Mans or Tours? Both ! Touraine, where, according to Rabelais, the specialty was born in the 15C, gained its protected geographical indication (PGI) in 2013.

The pâte is eaten standing. In sandwich. zinc-lined at the nearest bar-tabac. Then slice chopped to better garnish the bread. And with that ? A simple wine. Rosé will do. Go and find out why, it is easy to imagine that the pâte, if not the best friend of the barnyard, is that of the man, which he accompanies perfectly contemporary solitude

It would be wrong to reduce the face-to-face rillettes-pâté to a sociological differentiation (the tribe vs the individual), to a semantic distinction (gluttony vs appetite), to an ergonomic quarrel (sit vs stand), even a multi-departmental litigation (Sarthe / Indre-et-Loire-Orne / Calvados). These local products tell the same story: that of know-how. And the best of my belle France, enjoy them!

Another favorite of mine and very popular here too! The pizza!!!

The pizza has a long history: the word appears, as early as 997, in an archive document in medieval Latin from the cathedral of Gaeta, not far from Naples, Italy. Since then, it has conquered the world. In Pizza.  A book Pizza. Cultures et mondialisation (CNRS Editions, 2016)  or cultures and globalization CNRS Editions, 2016, the anthropologist Sylvie Sanchez traces the amazing story of this global success. In the 19C, pizza is a salty baking dough that the Italian people consume in the street. “The pizza is in oil, the pizza is in the bacon, the pizza is lard, the pizza is cheese, the pizza is tomato, the pizza is small fish,” writes Alexandre Dumas in 1844.

In the  19-20C, hundreds of thousands of Italian immigrants came to France or the United States introduce pizza to their adopted country. A first laboratory  held by the De Lorenzo brothers opened in 1885 in “Little Italy”, the Italian district of New York. During the decades that followed, the first pizzerias appeared in Marseille, the Mecca of Neapolitan immigration, then in other French cities. The pizza then knows, in the 20C, and especially after WWII, an almost universal diffusion. Indeed it is all over and I am glad!

Tourists at the cemetery? (me never undertand to come to see a cemetery! ) However, nothing fatal in this, it is simply the daily show offered to residents of Père-Lachaise, one of the most famous necropolis in the world, located in a rural and particularly green area of ​​the 20éme arrondissement. Its 43 hectares are explored every day by tourists to various centers of interest. Here, it is a paradise for architecture students,  some “inhabitants” have taken the concept of “last home” very seriously and have been built mini-palaces, neoclassical, Gothic or Haussmann, which ensure daily visits. Pére-Lachaise is also the rallying point of fans of all kinds. Bibliophiles can come to greet Alfred de Musset or Honoré de Balzac. Music fans have more choices than Fnac: from Frederic Chopin to Jim Morrison, all genres are represented. By dint of going down every day at the metro station Charles-Michels, in Paris, we ended up associating this name with a mall and a stubborn perfume of urine.:::More info here: Official cemetery Pére Lachaise

A twenty minute walk … Opened a year and a half ago in the 11éme arrondissement of Paris, Hotel La Nouvelle République has made multiculturalism a philosophy. From the entrance, a fragrance with orange blossom, specially composed, tickles the nostrils. The decoration of the 30 rooms (including 2 with terrace) mixes the Scandinavian style and the warmth of the Moroccan furniture. The hotel’s logo – a hand, found on the front door – refers to the hand of Fatma, a symbol of protection in North Africa. The staff is international and multilingual (some speaking up to 7 languages!). Tea, coffee and small treats are self-service all day for guests. The property also hosts jazz concerts. Hotel La Nouvelle Republique, 9, rue Moret, Paris 11th . More info here:

Sad news:  The Paris Commercial Court pronounced  yesterday, July 25, the immediate liquidation of the fashion brand Sonia Rykiel, placed in receivership since April 18. The Boulevard Saint-Germain building in Paris in the 6éme arrondissement, where the brand has its historic headquarters will be no longer. Sonia Rykiel’s house is put into liquidation.  The Paris Commercial Court ruled on the fate of the fashion brand founded in 1968. The company had been owned since 2012 by the group First Heritage Brands of Hong Kong. As evidence by their webpage momentarily indisponible; Sonia Rykiel

What to do in cities and go to a beach;my favorites!

Île de loisirs de Cergy-Pontoise, 1, rue des Étangs , 95001, Neuville-sur-Oise,  dept Val d’Oise 95 From 6h to 20h / Free. Not even 30 km from Paris, six huge ponds and 5000 m2 of fine sand, almost straight from the Caribbean. There is also infrastructure for the kids, and lots of activities for the whole family. And to make the thing even cooler, we will even have the opportunity to fish if we wish. Great! More info here in French: Ile de Loisirs Cergy Pontoise 95

Bassin de La Villette , Quai de Loire – 19éme Paris. Until September 1st.  Free. How not to evoke the famous basin of La Villette? In the context of Paris Beaches, the large basin of the Villette quay side of the Loire is laid out in several areas open to swimming and fathoms. Closest to the tourist  center of Paris. More info here: Bassin de la Villette Paris 75019

Île de loisirs du Val de Seine Chemin du Rouillard – 78480, Verneuil-sur-Seine (Yvelines 78)  Until September 2 from 10h to 19h From 3.80 €. Huge beach on the horizon!  260 hectares of woods, with huge ponds and lakes in the beach. And for the sportsmen, there is enough to feast with water skiing or pedalo. We just have to close our eyes and it’s like being in the South …And closest to us back then my boys love it!! More info hereIle de Loisirs du Val de Seine 78

Meaux Plage Quai Jacques Prévert From 11h to 19h / Free The perfect place to swim with your family! Meaux Plage is located within the Patis Nature Park, and offers activities of all kinds. But above all, you can swim tranquillou, or tan on the sand. And for the kids, a paddling pool is available! The sentimental favorite as it is my dear late wife Martine native town! More info here: City of Meaux on the beach 77

It was 1919 when Citroën made a shy first appearance in the car market at the fifteenth auto show. And yet, a few years later, Citroën is at the origin of the biggest big bangs of the French car. In 1934, the Traction Avant (forward traction) immediately demotes everything that rolls. It’s even the gangster’s favorite vehicle for its exceptional handling: powerful, it tames the centrifugal force (and the police). As early as 1948, the two horses enjoyed great popularity. Produced more than five million copies, it is one of the ten best-selling French cars in history. Today, the company belongs to the PSA Group and has found stability. Always with this idea of ​​the French class, Citroën gives birth to its luxury brand in 2009.  See it at the Monnaie de Paris Exhibition “The world inspired by Citroën”. Monnaie de Paris. 11, quai de Conti ( 6éme). Until August 18, 2019. Tuesday to Sunday from 11h to 19h, Wednesday until 21h. Free entry .More info here :

And there you go another news from France for you, and I thank you over the years since that november of 2010 that started my blog and today almost 700 followers! Beyond my expectations. Enjoy reading about my belle France. De fond de mon coeur merci beaucoup!

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


July 22, 2019

Fresh produce at Cogniéres 78!!!

So in my search for good food and good drinks at affordable prices in my belle France, let me tell you about our find while living in the Yvelines 78 of the Ïle de France region,in the city of Versailles, capital of the Yvelines. Even if things seems to change there a bit.

In my belle France, we are always looking for new things to try, foodies and drinkers with moderation we go anywhere. And lucky to have a bunch here of world class status. We are as a country really deep into several layers sometimes call AOC etc and the same goes for every vegetable , fruit or processed food or drink, they are always levels like a caste system.

There are huge hypermarket, only good for the necessaries of comfort such as laundry goods, and down to little tiny neighborhood supermarkets. There are places of private initiatives selling direct from the farm, (we love it) and there are markets in every town bringing the best from the area but sometimes from afar and abroad. While living in Versailles, we search for these phenomenons and found one in Cogniéres not far from us. Let me tell you a bit about it for my memories and hopefully you can use them too if staying long here or living!

Let me tell you a bit about the town of  Cogniéres.

Coignières is located in the department of Yvelines 78 in the region Ile-de-France, 29 km from Paris , about 18 km from Versailles. It is adjacent to Maurepas in the north, Mesnil-Saint-Denis and Lévis-Saint-Nom in the east, Essarts-le-Roi in the south and Saint-Rémy-l’Honoré in the west. It is traverse by the national road N10 which can be reach from Versailles and goes to Rambouillet, The town of Coignières has a train station on the line of Paris-Montparnasse – Brest, whose route is parallel to the N 10, and which is served by the trains of line N of the Transilien train Paris-Rambouillet. Coignières is one of the 12 towns of the new agglo metro area of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines..

Agglo metro area of Saint Quentin en Yvelines on Cogniéres

A bit of history I like the town existed already in the 8C since it is in 768 that it is quoted, under the name of Cotonarias, as being given by the king Pépin the Short to the abbey of Saint-Denis. Since the 11C, Coignières has played an important role as a coach stage on the road linking Paris to Chartres. You can still see a former coaching inn. The relay station for horses was built in 1706, where is today the No. 99 of the road N10 Chartres to Paris.

The town of Cogniéres on transports

The story of Marché du Frais that we patronised in Cogniéres is this one.

The group, on a human scale, is above all a family business. Taking over from their parents established on the markets, the Quattrucci brothers opened the first store in 1986 in Villemomble “Hyperprimeur”, then in Argenteuil in 1989 “La ferme de Spahi”.    Since, successively several large stores, then this year under the brand Marché Frais Géant have seen their appearances.  In 2019 the brand Marché Frais Géant becomes a partner of the Casino group, the 12 stores becomes 9 -Great Market Supermarkets Giant and 3 -Supermarkets Fresh Market Leader Price. Do not know where this will lead but we are already sad to see the change and we have good souvenirs of the store in Cogniéres as found by my dear late wife Martine.


Giant Fresh Market for Hypermarkets, Leader Price Fresh Market for Supermarkets. After a first test started a year ago, Casino convinced the Quattrucci family to put the 13 stores to its network. The brand is mainly located in Île-de-France and has already generated no less than 300 million euros in sales in 2018 across all thirteen stores. These stores have an area of 4000 to 6000 m² and have a huge fruit and vegetable department. The products are presented flat, with a universe dedicated to large parcels and a fresh-packed assortment rather short, centered on large rotations. For the sake of optimization, some of the reserves are directly stored in the sales area, on racks, above the shelves.

Marché au Frais store in Cogniéres 78

Indeed it was a different scheme back then in 2008-11 and we used it to get inexpensive vegetables and fruits there at huge discounts. There are beginning to show up in my area see my other post on Cesson-Sevigné 35 . We look forward to have the choices and prices available in France. Hope you can try them too while in your long term stays here. The store in Cogniéres is very nice indeed and a good area where we got butcher products and wines as well.

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


July 16, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXXVIIII

Well back on the news from France series. It has become cloudy in my belle France and fresh temp of 25C or 77F. In the many news here are my favorites pick from French media sources. Enjoy them!

A new 3-euro lotto game with 12 tickets each bearing the image of a monument in danger will be on sale from 2 September, 2019  in addition to the 15-euro sesame launched last year.  The Heritage mission to save monuments in danger is getting richer. For its cuvée 2019, the French lottery authority  (FDJ=Française des Jeux) offers, as in 2018, a sesame of 15 euros. But this year, they decided to launch a 3-euro series of twelve scratch games each to the glory of a building in urgent need of restoration. These printed versions with 20 million copies will honor the belfry of Béthune (Pas-de-Calais), the Sainte-Marie abbey of Longues-sur-Mer (Calvados), the fort of Brescou (Hérault), the Fesch library in Ajaccio (Corse-du-Sud), the mills of La Fontaine in Thoré-la-Rochette (Loir-et-Cher) or the Maulnes castle in Cruzy-le-Châtel (Yonne). The monuments on display are part of the 121 sites at risk selected this year, as part of the mission orchestrated by the host Stéphane Bern and who will benefit from the credits collected through, in particular, the sale of scratch tickets. For each set of 3 euros bought, 50 cents (the share that usually comes to the State) are donated to the Heritage Foundation. Great idea for all to help even visitors!!! The Mission Bern:

And while we try to save many,others depart. An institution since my knowledge of France is on the way out. The Tati stores, only one will remain. Founded in 1948 by Jules Ouaki, the Tati brand continues its descent into the void. Thirteen stores will close and the other hundred points of sale of the clothing store will go under the GIFI brand. From 2020, there will be only one Tati in France, that of Barbès in Paris. More on Tati here:

For the 7th edition of La Nuit aux Invalides (the night at the invalides) , the monument comes alive, until August 30, 2019, for the sound and light show “Lutèce, 3,000 years of stories” La Nuit aux Invalides: Lutèce, 3,000 years of  stories, Esplanade des Invalides, 129, rue de Grenelle (7éme). From Wednesday to Saturday until August 30th. From 22h30 in July, 22h in August. From 15 to 25 €, free for children under 7 years old. More info here:

The Compagnie des prêtres de Saint-Sulpice, located just opposite the Swiss Hospital, close to the John Paul II Park, the building faces the Saint-Sulpice seminary, still in activity, this is in Issy-les-Moulineaux Hauts-de-Seine dept 92. From the 1960s, the building served as a retirement home for elderly religious. The home of solitude, this is what was called until today this manor, property of the Company of the Priests of Saint-Sulpice since 1655. There are now six priest-trainers present permanently, and are currently welcoming 45 priests in formation for six years.  The crisis of vocations makes the home obsolete. Faced with very high maintenance and work costs, which the congregation cannot afford, the priests begin to discuss a development project with the city. It was finally chosen a five-star hotel of 83 rooms in total that will settle here, whose realization will be driven by the agency Wilmotte & Associates Architects. It should see the light of day in 2021. The gourmet restaurant has already been entrusted to Chef Christian, looks good! More info here:

The island of Issy-les-Moulineaux has two identities to discover during bucolic walks. on this two-kilometer long stretch of land between Issy-les-Moulineaux and Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts-de-Seine 92 ), near Seguin Island, you are surrounded by nature in the middle of the Seine river. Two bridges and a footbridge provide access to Île Saint-Germain, which the Billancourt bridge separates into two parts: departmental park and residential area. The island owes its name to the monastery of Saint-Germain-des-Prés who owns these lands from the Middle Ages. At the time, there is no bridge, no dwelling, it is a place of grazing. The French revolution comes and the nationalization of the island. In 1808, Napoleon annexed it to the town of Issy-les-Moulineaux.

In 1853, the Montluçon (Allier) glassworks company bought the central part of the island and built two neoclassical buildings, still in place, one of which houses the restaurant “L’île” and the bridge that still exists today. The company also erects four large halls of which only one survived and hosts a pony club. Expanded since then, the departmental park now covers 22 ha. You can a nice statue there call the tower with figures of Jean Dubuffet, currently hidden under the scaffolding for its renovation. On the urban side, the island has 3,273 inhabitants; Jean Nouvel has erected offices , a building nicknamed the ship  in 1992. Others, like the designer Philippe Starck or the studio Dubosc & Landowski, have signed innovative creations. The departmental park of Île Saint-Germain is open from 7h to 21h  in July, from 7h to 20h30  in August. Several visits are scheduled with Jacky Libaud, on registration at  Denis Joye, Volunteer of the League for the Protection of Birds, hosts an outing a month, July 20,  and August 31, for free, with reservation at Mob tel +33 (0)

More on the park from the tourist office of Hauts-de-Seine 92:

One hundred years after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, the Musée de la Grande Guerre Meaux (museum of WWI in Meaux , Seine-et-Marne 77)  reminds the public of the tortuous paths of peace, which was above all that of the victors. The exhibition “Behind the Scenes of Peace” presents several exceptional objects and documents, such as the journal kept by Marshal Foch’s interpreter during pre-Armistice discussions .More info here:

Some of the concrete structures that have flourished in Nice are real jewels .Built in 1928 on the Promenade des Anglais, the Palais de la Mediterranee was once considered the most beautiful casino in the world , there were many shows, exhibitions, balls and banquets for the rich wintering. The carved façade, inspired by Greek temples, is the only vestige of the palace of pleasures of yesteryear. The opening of a complex bringing together casino, theater and hotel five stars. The Hyatt Regency offers the opportunity to pass on the other side of this mythical frontispiece to dream to the century engulfed in one of the rooms overlooking the Mediterranean. Or at the bar, on the terrace, which offers a breathtaking sea view and a unique setting. More info here:

Just a step away from the inevitable marché de la Liberation (market), the building, inaugurated in 1933, owes its impressive ovoid and futuristic volumes to the technique of the reinforced concrete veil, which made its debut. If it was originally intended to cover the copper, the church remained for somtime in raw concrete for lack of budget, until it is simply pianted in white , which earned  it the nickname: “la Meringue “. Church of Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc ,located at  86 Avenue Saint-Lambert, Nice. More info on Nice tourist office here:

Names like Joris-Karl Huysmans, André Breton, Georges Bataille, Pablo Picasso, Jacques Prévert, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Le Café de Flore  has long been the rendezvous of a certain intellectual elite. By virtue of what, one hundred and thirty-two years after its opening, it is always good to show oneself there. The Café de Flore is also the ideal place to observe fashion people who like to frequent this literary café. This is perfect for cultivating their image of  Parisians-chic-intellect who ate eggs in  the shell in Flore. This will make very beautiful photos in a foreign magazine under the heading “The addresses of …”. Well, the Germanopratin crowd bath, it’s drunk and to quote Jean-Paul Sartre: “Hell, it’s the others”. More info here:

The Hôtel d’Angleterre is older than the United States. And that’s true. In the 18C, this rue Jacob  building, in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, housed the Embassy of England. Benjamin Franklin wrote the Treaty of Paris, recognizing the United Federal Republic of America in 1783. In the early 20C, the place changes its nature to become a hotel. Ernest Hemingway stayed there for a month in 1921, during his first stay in Paris, which he inspired for a Movable Feast. His room, No. 14, now bears his name. The hotel has fifteen others, spacious for the neighborhood  and all different, although the decoration of each cultivates the 18C  seal with exposed beams, solid wood cabinets and curtains with pompoms. In summer, the flowery patio is a real pleasure.  Hôtel d’Angleterre at  Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 44, rue Jacob, 6éme. More info here :

Entitled “The Source“, a collective exhibition highlights until November 3 2019 at the Carmignac Foundation on  the île de Porquerolle (island ) in the Var dept 83. Sixty paintings, sculptures and installations from the Edouard Carmignac collection as well as many loans. The exhibition explores the vital, refreshing and at the same time ambiguous momentum of the image of the source through two major axes: the female body (including Egon Schiele, Thomas Ruff, and Sarah Lucas) and abstract expressionism (represented by Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and Theaster Gates).More info here:

On this past July 11, the City of Paris has nominated, as winners, the British architects of Roger Stirk Harbor + Partners to renovate the Montparnasse district by 2030. The start of work is scheduled for 2022. The rue de Départs (my old office street!!!) and Rue d’Arrivée where the car is king, know that they will be pedestrian in a few years . Montparnasse, it is 9 hectares to rethink totally, so that the pedestrian can really circulate. To be able to breathe, 2,000 trees will be planted on an area of 10,000m2. A nice project estimated at 800 million euros of investment!!!. Which I think the city has a lot other more important priorities like housing and public transports to invest in!!! More info here:

The Architect’s page on the Montparnasse news:

The heat wave, this damn heat wave is here! and we are just beginning Summer!  This is a past event ended 14 July but is worth mentioning here for the nice bars along the way as told below. Never to tell you that it’s impossible, so get ready to go to 8 bis rue de la Butte aux Cailles for a unique event and see a street whose buildings have been repainted in green with a coating a little particular, which brings a feeling of cool! By this heat, it is an unexpected oasis in the middle of the city. The advantage of rue Butte aux Cailles are a space of tranquility, spared of tourists! Exit the classic places such as rue Crémieux or the Eiffel Tower, this is the opportunity to have a street just for Parisians who want to enjoy a drink, in a place with great unstoppable potential! Enjoy for the first time the greenest and freshest street in France, La Rue Verte (Green Street) at 8 bis rue de la Butte aux Cailles, 13éme, and the three bars to serve ice cubes! Le Mêlecasse: 12 rue de la Butte aux Cailles, The Tandem: 10 rue de la Butte aux Cailles and the GQ: 8 bis of the Butte aux Cailles. Go for it !!!

Hope you enjoy the news and can make some interesting stops for you while in France! The choices are endless, bear in mind these are mind suggestions only. Enjoy them!

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



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