Archive for ‘Versailles’

June 12, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXXIIII

So back to my regular series and the latest I can pick as interesting from my belle France. Always something going on in France and hard to keep up but I try my best to tell you. Thank you for reading me, and now the news!

To start off firing hot. ..! The mayor (PS) of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, wants to put a boost to turn the BP (boulevard périphérique)  into an urban boulevard. It wants to quickly implement the lowering of the speed of 70 to 50 km / h and the establishment of a lane reserved for clean vehicles and carpooling, two emblematic recommendations of the report of the information mission and evaluation (MIE) put on debate this past Tuesday at the Paris Council. This axis used by more than 1.2 million vehicles per day for an average daytime speed of 39.7 km / h. Ok so again, no solution is a great solution, Paris needs vehicules to survive and she is destroying, their own records show the number of usages and the speed limit even below what they are recommending!! And how they are going to replace all this driving, the land is expensive, and the public transport is also saturated.  Anyway I do not take the BP too crowded lol! Go into the portes ,gates of Paris in the side streets you advance better lol! Ana should do what Manuel did go back to Spain!!!

Now , this is something good done by the region and Valérie Pécresse is right on !  The cardboard metro ticket, which has been part of the Parisian landscape for nearly 120 years, is destined to disappear by 2021. To replace it, users will have the choice between smart cards or contactless solutions via their smartphone. . Starting this Wednesday, transport users in Ile-de-France can buy a new pass called Navigo Easy (cost 2€) in the counters. The Navigo Easy, inspired by the Osyter Card, of London, (yes use it good deal!!), is for casual travelers and tourists, who consume a few dozen trips a month. The Navigo Easy pass is sold in shops and ticket offices at the region of Ile-de-France stations and stations. It must then be charged by purchasing dematerialized tickets, at the counter or on a terminal. The Navigo Easy badge is not nominative, the buyer can give it or lend it. But beware, it cannot be used by more than one traveler at a time.And for those traveling outside Paris? Ile-de-France Mobilités (the body that govern this by Mme Pécresse) is preparing the Navigo Liberté +, which will be marketed in November. This pass will be billed monthly for all trips actually made, on all bus networks, tram, trains and metro Ile-de-France. The Navigo Liberté + will be for travelers for whom the subscription to Navigo is not justified, or who seek a certain flexibility. Real solutions that will work!

And more on the Paris transport front lol!  Of the three new stations built on the occasion of the extension to the west of the RER E (Eole project), that of Nanterre – La Folie (the name is not final) is the least complex to build. Unlike those of La Défense and Porte Maillot, this station is completely on the surface. It is on the ground floor of this building, in a porch 12 meters deep and 8 meters high, without doors, that travelers can buy tickets and receive information on their trip. An almost station, but not a station. In the same way, the connections with the  RER A line  and the future line 15 of the metro will be made from the street and not via underground passages. There will also be no connection from the station to Paris La Défense Arena: the preferred access point to the enclosure must remain the station La Defense. In addition to being entirely open, Nanterre station will also be a station turnaround, which will mark a break in the flow of trains along the line. Thus, to go to Mantes-la-Jolie one of the terminus of the RER line E to the east (Chelles or Tournan-en-Brie), it will be necessary to change the platform at Nanterre. by the end of the year 2019, the station should be finished with regard to structural work. Its commissioning is however planned for 2022. Improvement to come indeed as I know la Defense /Nanterre is a maze lol! The Eole project in French here:

For an even nicer news. The good news was announced this past Tuesday afternoon at the Ministry of Culture. The “Ruche”  or hive of the 15éme arrondissement is among the 120 or so sites in France that will benefit from the next Heritage Lotto drawing!. In addition with the will of the Stéphane Bern mission to preserve bees or biodiversity. La Ruche is the nickname that Alfred Boucher, an acknowledged sculptor of the early 20C and patron, had given to the incredible cité d’artistes or city of artists he had built in 1902, on the southern edge of Paris in what has now become the Passage de Danzig. Alfred Boucher rented them, at a low price, to his fellow artists , often forgetting to ask rent to the less fortunate of them. The greatest names of the Parisian art scene of the time succeeded one another, from Fernand Léger to Chagall, passing by  Fujita or Soutine. More on this wonderful site here in French:

This is the only site retained in the Val-d’Oise dept 95  but it is also the first. The theater hidden under the castle of La Roche Guyon will benefit from the fallout of the Heritage Lotto as well!. The project will be long, probably five years, because there is a lot of studies to do. The Lotto would be a big boost; in two years it could be done. Designed in the late 18C, this troglodyte theater would have worked for two centuries before being abandoned. it will be necessary to wait until the year 2020 because  it depends on the sale of the tickets of the lotto, specifies the Heritage Foundation. After their sale on June 15, a first draw with a jackpot of € 13 million will be made on July 14. From September lotto grids at 3€ and 15€  will also be on sale (buy it if in France). The sums collected will then be divided among the selected projects according to the financing needs expressed. This time, 121 monuments will be renovated thanks to this lottery!! Great news indeed!! More in French from the Heritage Foundation:

Something wonderful is happening in Paris this coming weekend and of course I will miss it ! The pastries festival where the great patisseries of France compete will be held ! Salon de la pâtisserie, From Friday June 14 to Monday June 17 2019, and from 10h to 19H,only until 18h Monday. Where, well of course at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, 15éme, hall 5.1. admission for the crowds are from 7-14€ (1€ will be given as donation to the association of the Les Bonnes fées for the sales of tickets onlinne.  More info here in

Always a grand event ! Some 3,500 drawings and 650 paintings from the end of the 16C to the beginning of the 20C. But also a documentary fund of great wealth and a complete library. The exceptional private collection of Pierre Rosenberg, former president and director of the Louvre Museum and member of the French Academy, is now in the hands of the department of Hauts-de-Seine (92). And will be partly highlighted in a Musée du Grand-Siècle (great century museum), in  the 17éme arrondissement. The heart of the Rosenberg collection,  which will be born in Saint-Cloud, on the site of the Caserne Sully barracks!  This museum project is a complete rewrite of the copy planned until then for the future of the Sully barracks. Because the site of 1.8 ha, located at the entrance of the park of Saint-Cloud, was supposed to accommodate the departmental archives on 13 000 m² in the building Charles X and a student residence of 7 700 m². The news told here in French:

Auvers-sur-Oise, “really, it’s gravely beautiful,” wrote the painter Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo on May 21, 1890. Nearly 130 years later, the impression remains the same, indeed it is a must to visit. Even more with the myth surrounding now the Dutch artist.  As soon as you leave the station, Vincent Van Gogh’s imprint is obvious. You just have to cross the rue du Général-de-Gaulle to go back in time with the Daubigny garden. Next door, in the park with his name, the author of “The starry night” stands, the look on the horizon, his equipment on the back. The gardens (some open to visit) accompany you  to the rue de Paris, at the top of which stands the Church Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption, Romanesque-Gothic building, now known worldwide through the exposed painting at the Musée d’Orsay. At the top of the hill, overlooking the valley of the Oise, the agitation of the city leaves room for the appeasement of the fields. Gateway to the Vexin Regional Nature Park, cutting through the fields, the path of the Montier takes us into a small wood, leading to the house workshop Daubigny and its garden. Small turn into rue Léry, to the castle, guardian of the history of landscape painting. Its park, very French style, and its benches, offer a pleasant breathing. At the end of rue Gachet, still on the hillside, the gates of Dr. Gachet’s house open onto an intriguing garden. Just before finding the rue du General-de-Gaulle, Van Gogh leaves us there, at the Ravoux Inn, his last home. He died there on July 29, 1890, surrounded by Dr. Gachet and his brother Theo. The latter rests next to the famous painter in the cemetery located at the top of the hill, surrounded by fields.Van Gogh’s house shows on  the first floor of the Auberge Ravoux, a room of 7 m2 remained in the still of the time. Only a chair is lit by light from a small skylight. It is in this room n ° 5 that Van Gogh lived his last days. The place is at 52, rue du General-de-Gaulle. Admission is  6€. More info on the house of Van Gogh here :

And she will be back better than ever and traditionally done!  Notre-Dame Cathedral of Paris: a first mass could be celebrated on this coming Saturday!. The festival of Dedication, however, would be a great occasion for the anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral. The date that was chosen is symbolic. It represents the consecration of the altar. It is very important to be able to signify to the world that the role of the Cathedral is to show the glory of God. Celebrating the Eucharist that day, even in a very small group, will be the sign of this glory and grace. Every year, this festival brings together a hundred Parisian priests during a solemn celebration, on June 16 exactly. This year, given the circumstances, this office would be celebrated this Saturday, at 18h, in very small group, with five or six priests (hard hat on the head) and in the axial chapel, at the bottom of the building. A space preserved by flames and rubble, behind the large golden cross that appeared from the first images of the drama, as miraculously preserved.

As for the ephemeral wooden cathedral that the diocese wanted to install on the Ile de la Cité?  It has been planned to do a little Marian sanctuary. A place of prayer. A symbolic place where people can meet in front of the Virgin of Notre-Dame de Paris This dedicated place will house a copy of the Virgin with the pillar, the most famous of the thirty-seven representations of the Virgin of the Cathedral. It will be sheltered under the sanctuary and the pilgrims will be able to contemplate and pray to the Virgin. It will also be a welcoming place where a priest will be . Candles and flowers can be placed there. Official webpage of the Notre Dame Cathedral:

And the Seine river is re-inventing itself at least they are trying and worth the effort me think. Bodies of water, buildings, land, structures, the “Reinventing the Seine” call for projects consists in proposing sites all along the Seine river axis, to occupy, animate, rent or buy through the setting of  innovative projects. This multi-site approach must contribute to revealing and concretizing the Seine axis with communities and ports are launching the challenge to architects, entrepreneurs, artists, … to invent new ways of living, work, to move on and at the water’s edge, relying on these different sites. Innovation and the river thus become the two red threads for inventing the twenty-first century metropolis, from Paris to Le Havre, via Rouen. Lots of things going on in the coming years and it is all here for you to know as it goes and ready when here! More here in English at Reinventer la Seine:

And this is it for now, France has always something to come see it, indulge in the French cachet and see it for yourselves. La vie en Rose and a movable feast are just the tip of the iceberg! Enjoy it!

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


June 10, 2019

Notre Dame market of Versailles!

Now let me bring you back to my beloved Versailles, so much written on it and so many visitors if only to the palace/museum. However, as always tells you, shh! There is a lot more to see than the castle/palace/museum here. If only visitors to Versailles on a city survey found out that 98% of them only come for the castle, its really a pity. Easy transport from that other famous city nearby, you have no excuses.  Versailles is it!

Let me tell you a bit more on the Notre Dame market or marché Notre Dame right in the historical neighborhood of Notre Dame, my own will gladly tell you , a wholesome place!


A bit of history I like a lot

In November 1634, King Louis XIII instituted the Versailles market at this site, presumably succeeding an older market. From 1671, king Louis XIV developed the market, with the aim of securing a good supply to the new city of Versailles, then a new town. The pavilions, detached from the domain of Clagny, were established in 1665, before the castle was built!

In 1725 the Notre-Dame market is refurbished; Louis Blouin builds the Flour Hall (halle à la farine). The market already comprises four squares, specialized food commercial spaces: the square with calves and poultry; the square with butter and tide, also with oats and grains; the herb square, that is, fruit and vegetables; the square from weight to flour, originally called the weight-of the king. In this hall there was a room for the verification of weights and measures used by traders. At the French revolution, the market was diminishing. It was gradually deteriorating. In 1835, the market was purchased by the city of Versailles and it ceases to belong to the Royal domain. Traders are expropriated and weakly compensated.





The old pavilions are destroyed to be replaced in 1841 by the current covered halls.  The new covered market was inaugurated on 15 September 1842. In 1871, with the installation of the provisional French Government in Versailles (due to the Franco-Prussian war), the market is one of the most active in France. From 1985 to 1991, the halls are again completely renovated. They are home to 35 businesses. Some 60 stands complement them on market days outside  on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

The Notre Dame market is at the intersection of two main streets: Rue de la Paroisse  and Rue du Maréchal Foch , former Rue Duplessis. Approximately on an east-west axis, the rue de la Paroisse begins at the grille entrance to the Neptune basin and ends after the Place du marché (market square),at the Avenue de Saint-Cloud. It was historically the street of goldsmiths, upholsterers and tailors. The rue du Maréchal Foch, almost north-south, crosses the city, prolongs the Avenue de l’Europe, to continue to place Édouard Laboulaye. This route links the Gare de Versailles-Château-Rive-Gauche (closest to the palace/museum)  to the Rive-Droite train station(the one closest to my old home).


This place is reputed to be one of the most beautiful markets in France, especially at the food level! It attracts a clientele of all horizons, both local and regional and touristic, which makes its peculiarity. The market place is one of the most important trade points of Versailles; it concentrates 52% of the traditional trade of the city! The district presents a wide food offer thanks to the presence of merchants of the halls, open 6 days a week, and those of the market, present 3 days a week. Non-food markets offer a variety of products: clothing, makeup, furniture, flowers, etc., on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays afternoons. The market cleverly combines fresh produce, flowers and trinkets to be, according to the most admired, one of the finest in the trades. It is both a historic place (as here before the palace/museum, and that the halls that surround it are 360 years old!) and both are a prestigious place by its attendance and structure.


This whole square is lined with charming little cafés and restaurants on the terrace that invite you to take a little break! Two steps away, in the cobbled alleys that surround the geometric shape on four sides, the boutiques are pretext for a small stroll that allows to pass from the storefronts of antique shops to passages that seem to come straight from the Latin quarter  A parking lot managed by Vinci Park is located under the market place Notre Dame; It has a capacity of approximately 700 places. Pedestrian access is at the center of each square of the market by elevators/lifts and stairs. Since 2014, trompes-l’œil have been included in the parking access; they represent riders of the carrousel and recall the equestrian history of the city, still very present activity with the Academy of Equestrian Spectacle. It is a realization of the School of Mural Art of Versailles. The Place du Marché or market square is close to the Passage des antiquaries  (antique dealers).  The pedestrian crossing of the rue des deux portes (st of the two doors)  leads from the market square to Rue Carnot, near the Avenue de Saint-Cloud and the place d’Armes, in front of the façade and the main entrance of the Château de Versailles. In February 2018, the Versailles Notre Dame market was voted “the most beautiful market in Ile-de-France”! See the article in French at the Le Parisien newspaper:



This is the tourist office of Versailles on the Notre Dame marketTourist office of Versailles on the ND Market

Ok wait a minute, not far at the other end at the corner of  Avenue de l’Europe and Avenue de Saint Cloud you have a wonderful flower market  or marché aux fleurs and it is recommended by yours truly, something very nice to boot. A bit more on it

On the pavement on the sidewalks of the Avenue de Saint-Cloud, between the Avenue de l’Europe and the rue Georges-Clemenceau, the pavements of Versailles are flowed all year round! This is the address you need to know, whether you want to offer a bouquet, flower your living room, your terrace, for unbeatable prices, or just stroll among roses and camellias. There are some cut flowers and bouquets, and mostly potted plants, indoors or to plant, as well as shrubs. Christmas trees set you up in the magic of the holidays, in spring the pollen tickles your nose: every season it’s a botanical wonderland! Choose a color, know a flowering period, the merchants will advise you what you need without  hesitation! And then, even without buying, a walk here will be widely good feeling.

More on the flower market here: Tourist office of Versailles on the Flower market



And now you cover all the angles of a great shopping day in royal magical beautiful Versailles! And shopping here with all these monumental buildings is a must and a great uplifting experience especially if like me you are into architecture and history.

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


June 10, 2019

The Dufour Pavilion and the Grand Commun of Versailles!

So to be fair, huh! Let me bring you back to my beloved and old home of Versailles. One can never be too far from it and that includes me. We simply love it, mind you not just the castle museum but the town in its whole!

I like briefly to tell you about two properties quite related to each other yet apart. The Dufour Pavilion and the Grand Commun.  One is very popular as you need to go thru it to get into the Castle/Museum and now there even has a nice restaurant there. The second is much less known but equally important in the history of Versailles and France.

The Dufour Pavilion is a 17C building constituting the main body of the Château de Versailles, present on the Court of Honor (cour d’honneur) and currently serving visitors with a ticket. Located between the Royal courtyard (cour Royale) and the courtyard of the Princes ( cour des Princes), overlooking the courtyard, the Dufour Pavilion is located to the left of the grid of honor (golden wrough iron grille gate) for a person arriving at the Castle. It is really an imposing building once you look at it from outside coming in.


A bit of history I like

Emperor Napoleon Ier planned to build a white stone façade on the town side. He ordered a study by Alexandre Dufour. The latter will be entrusted by king Louis XVIII with the task of constructing this pavilion following the projects sketched by the Emperor. The Pavilion is built in 1818-1820 in place of a wing dating from the extension of 1668. The architecture incorporates that of the Gabriel wing, built under king Louis XV by Ange-Jacques Gabriel. The Dufour Pavilion, however, will never be finished on its rear part, although this has been sketched; the 17C a wing is preserved as a result of its restoration in 1814 and is still present today.


The Dufour Pavilion houses up to 2010 offices, including those of the management, communication and museum graphic conservation. The services still present are moved to the Grand Commun (see below) . They lead to the creation of reception space on the ground floor and in the basement, the restaurant “Ore” of Alain Ducasse of 600 m2 on the first floor (2fl US) ; and a conference room of 220 places under the attic of the 17C wing. A really classic work, done so I could see before departing Versailles.

This is Monsieur Ducasse resto webpage there: Ore restaurant at Dufour in the Chateau de Versailles

And on the Dufour PavilionOfficial Chateau de Versailles on the Dufour Pavilion

The Grand Commun, or as its official name the Grand Quarré des Offices-Commun , is a building located at 1, rue de l’independence-American and corner of Rue des Recollets. I figure could put it here as it refers to the services once in the Dufour Pavilion as told above.


A bit of history I like

Built between 1682 and 1684 by Jules Hardouin-Mansart on the site of the Church of Saint-Julien, the place housed the kitchens and the tables of the officers who served the courtyard of the Château de Versailles, as well as rooms for the courtesans. The building is organized around an inner courtyard.

By conducting excavations in the courtyard of the Grand Commun in 2009, a team from the National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) exhumed the remains of the Jeu de Paume game or palm/tennis game of king Louis XIII, built in 1630 as well as vestiges of the enclosure of its castle, and, under further again, a cemetery of the high middle ages, probably in connection with the church. The palm/tennis game or Jeu de Paume room comes in the form of a large rectangular building of 33 meters long by 14 meters wide with lateral walls of 1.30 meters thick. The presence of three galleries indicates that it is an indoor game. The floor is covered with stone-sized tiles and probably preceded by a terracotta tile floor. The house of the paumier (the one who maintains, manages and animates the playroom) was also found.


Manufacture of arms under the French revolution, the Grand Commun sheltered from 1843 a military hospital then became military hospital Dominique Larrey. Since 2015, various services of the Château de Versailles (DRH, conservation, staff changing rooms, research center of the Château de Versailles) are installed there as of today. Of course this is not visited now,and photos not allowed inside,  but I had the opportunity to see the jeu de paume section while excavations were going on as I am a Friend of the Château de Versailles.

Official Chateau de Versailles on its Research Center in French

There you go two wonderful buildings one in and one out of glorius royal Versailles, unique in France, history and architecture all for the better and the enjoyment of all. Hope you come to enjoy as much as we do, my beloved Versailles , a lot more than a castle.

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



May 14, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXVIIII

Ok so its time for another update on things happening in my belle France. We are still very nice and sunny with temps in 18C! or 66F in my neck of the woods and 64F sunny in Paris. All is looking great the rest of the week! Now for the news:

And why not start right away the post with my latest recipe concoction done at home with the boys !  Blanquette de Veau  or Veal Blanquette recipe: preparation time: 30 min: cooking time: 2 hours.  Ingredients for 6 people :

1 kg of veal (shoulder, collar), in large cubes, 2 carrots peeled, 1 onion peeled and cutup 3 cloves, 1 white  leeks, 1 branch of celery, 1 bouquet garni, Salt brut, 150 g of onions bells (or fresh shallots),200 g of mushrooms of Paris , Juice of 1/2 lemon, 100 g of butter, 60 g of flour, 150 cl of fresh cream, 1 egg yolk, white pepper, sugar, parsley or fresh thyme. You translate the measurements lol!

Step 1: the meat, put the pieces of meat in a casserole. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Keep boiling for 5 min, drain and rinse in cold water.

Step 2: Vegetables; Cut the carrots into sticks. Slit the Leek in the length and wash. Put the bleached pieces of meat back into the cleaned casserole. Add the cutup cloves, onion, carrots, leek, celery, bouquet garni. Cover with water, salt, bring to a boil and skim. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Step 3: onions; peel and wash onions or shallots. Put them in a frying pan and cover half of water or Blanquette broth. Add 20 g of butter, 1 pinch of salt and sugar. Cover and cook over low heat until evaporation.

Step 4: mushrooms; Cut the mushrooms from Paris into quarters. Put them in a small saucepan of Blanquette broth, add 20 g of butter, lemon juice and 1 pinch of salt. Simmer for 15 min. drain and reserve.

Step 5: the white  sauce  In another saucepan, melt 60 g of butter, add the 60 g of flour, stirring vigorously to make a white sauce. Cook for 2 min, stirring with whisk. Withdraw 60 to 80 CL of broth and pour gradually, stirring with whisk. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until a sauce is obtained. Salt, pepper.

Step 6: the finishing; Drain meat and carrots. Put the meat in another casserole. Pour over the sauce and the vegetables. Heat a few minutes on a very gentle heat while stirring. In a bowl, whip the fresh cream and the egg yolk. Pour into the casserole, stirring well. Add a dash of lemon juice. Serve well warm, garnished with parsley or fresh thyme, with white rice. Voilà! Bon appétit!!!

72nd Cannes Film Festival takes hold of the city and the tabloids of the whole world. Film industry professionals, international stars and actors in the making mingle with the crowd eager for surprising images and encounters… The Cannes Film Festival is the place of every attention for a fortnight. Big events or small anecdotes sometimes take on oversized dimensions, some facts even built its legend .Too bad I am probably going to be there in November this year so missed it again. More info here:

And enjoy the French Summer with lots of favorite Festivals over the years coming up, briefly, these are:

The Les Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles, at Arles from July 1 to September 22 2019 ;more info here :

And at La Rochelle Aux Francofolies  from July 10 to 14 2019 more info here :

And at the Festival international de piano in La Roque-d’Anthéron, from July 6 to August 18 2019. Concerts start and finish late. More info here :

The wonderful local for me The route of rock or La route du rock in Saint-Malo,dept 35 of Brittany . From August 14 to 17 2019. More info here :

Finally, another favorite is the Jazz in Marciac festival concert from July 25 to Auguat 15 2019. More info here :

For his new exhibition at the Museum of Hunting and Nature,( Musée de la chasse et de la nature) Théo Mercier ,born in Paris in 1984, composes a strange animal store destined at first to humans, i.e. visitors. But not only, because the artist goes further: he questions the relationships  from the link to the disunity  that exist between the animal and ourselves, through certain objects extracted from the everyday life and their context. For years, it has been an eclectic collection according to his discoveries in flea markets or bazaars. Stripped of any utilitarian function, the elements that compose it are transfigured by the artist’s gaze.  More info here:

The routes offered through 48 galleries and 15 institutions, places of exchanges that bring together, for three days and in different quarters of the capital, amateurs and professionals of modern and contemporary art: This annual event  proposes to the public to meet, from  May 17 to 19 in  galleries, artists and collectors. But also to better identify, identify and understand the trends of current creation.   The participant are mentioned here:

The Musée de l’Armée or Army museum joined the Fondation Napoléon to renovate the tomb of Napoleon I in the Invalides, as well as those of his brothers buried near the Emperor, under the famous dome. All looking forward in 2021 for a  “Napoleon season”, with exhibitions and concerts, to celebrate the bicentennial of his death, in 1821, in St. Helena. The famous sarcophagus of the Emperor, in red quartzite, is rather well preserved but this is not the case of the soils that support it. The stone, enamel and marble marquetry soils were damaged by time and the stone falls from the dome. Therefore, an appeal for donations has started, because all you see in Paris takes money to keep for you, and you can help too. More info here: .

I can’t believe how popular she is when all she does is denegrade Paris, talking about the Mayor Ana Hidalgo (or Anne for the French, I know her as a native of Cadiz, Spain). The rue Boris-Vian is still looking for a makeover as the family of Boris Vian still threatens to withdraw from the city the authorization to exploit the name of the artist because of the state of the street that bears his name, in the 18éme. This year, the successors of the writer, poet and musician, gathered, in this small path of the neighborhood of Goutte-d’Or, last May 2, the day of St. Boris, to reclaim once again the works of rehabilitation, promised for years. This arcades passage in stairs that crosses the rue de la Goutte-d’Or between the rue de Polonceau and rue Charbonnière should benefit from a complete requalification. In particular the arcades, now masked by unsightly palisades, which serve as a niche for traffics. And, in the worst of luck, a fire, which occurred last February, has finished degrading the premises. Time to take care of the heritage of Paris!

The King of the fairground of Paris was rescued from expulsion by.. King Charles X! This will amaze more than one, and already amused again Marcel Campion whose cleat for two stalls of fairways, place de la Concorde , did not pass very far. He was able to find complete plans dating from 1828, by which King Charles X passed by law the property of the place de la Concorde to the Prevost of Paris… Except the 20 meters ditch between the still existing railing and the wall of the Tuileries garden, on which are installed these two stands. Since 1854, the architect Jacques-Ignace Hittorff has filled these ditches. “I have always known fairstands at this site,” says Marcel Campion. For his part, he has been occupying the stands for over twenty years. And he will make a new request, before the Council of State, for the installation of his Ferris Wheel,(Grande Roue) which was laid on nearly 150 m2, on this same ditch. The city of Paris counter attacks the decision in court. To be continue… But hoping for the court to decide on his favor.

« Visible Invisible », the exhibition of contemporary art which opens its doors this today  May 14th at the Domaine de Trianon, constitutes a gift for the establishment. It is difficult to contradict the five invited artists-Nan Goldin, Dove Allouche, Martin Parr, Eric Poitevin and Viviane Sassen wore an original and quirky look at Versailles.  The exhibition runs  every day from Tuesday to Sunday, from 12h  to 18h30 pm, from May 14th to October 20th at the Domaine du Trianon of the Château de Versailles. More info Information here:

Since 1995, the Warluis Aviation Museum has been attracting enthusiasts, who have come to admire the Mirage 3, the Fouga, the Magister , Messerschmitt and the Beechcraft C-45. And soon, a seventh plane should be added to the collection, a Mirage F1. To participate in the creation of a new hangar that will house the iron bird from the weather… And perhaps others in the meantime, visitors will soon be able to enjoy an all-new air control tower. It is said to be built like that of Beauvais. The Warluis Aviation Museum is located on Rue des Bruyères,Warluis, dept 60 Oise of the region of Hauts de France. More info here:

Inaugurated for the universal exposition of 1889, the iron lady will celebrate its 130 years on Wednesday, May 15 (tomorrow!) with a spectacle of sound and light.  On May 14, 1889, the Eiffel Tower opened its doors to the public. In honor of its 130th anniversary, the famous monument will be entitled to a festive day on Wednesday, May 15th with a free concert on the square and a new luminous show.   More info here:

At the Marché de Saint-Ouen (fleas market), we celebrate the spring in two different atmospheres thanks, on the one hand, to a first meeting in the showroom of the Marché Dauphine to listen and admire various works of sound and visual proposed in collaboration with the National Center of Plastic Arts, and on the other hand, an exceptional presentation dedicated to artisans of art in the exhibition halls of marché Biron. From Saturday 18 May to Sunday 30 June, 124 rue des Rosiers – Saint-Ouen  More info:

Dock B is a good place to live hyper animated as we like. Located on the ground floor of the General Stores (Magasins Généraux ), on the edge of the Canal de l’Ourcq in Pantin, Dock B has almost become an indispensable of our daily life. You have to say, you could not dream better than a hybrid space mixing artistic pleasures, playful and gustative. Thus, on 1200 m2, the venue presents a concert hall, exhibition and a restaurant of the size of three. There, I particularly like to quench our thirst at a low price. More info here:

In good French, we do not hide our worship for the Baguette. And to celebrate, the marché aux fleurs et aux oiseaux de la Cité invites you to discover the world’s largest bakery, its bakers from Grand Paris and their Canadian guests. From this past Monday, you will be able to attend the national competition of the French tradition ,the baguette. Marché aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux de Cité , place Louis Lépine and Quai de la Corse,4éme, from 9h to 18h30. More info here: Marché aux fleurs et aux oiseaux

Art, music, food, drinks, anyway, the perfect recipe for a successful evening. This is what the La Grand Surface proposes, a new place that rethinks the art gallery version uncompleted . It promises to be super cool. A month of rain fell in 24h last week in the Paris region. Great in May! However, the Sun gives us a shy return, so why not enjoy it? We take you by the hand to take you to the coolest things in the city, and all that without spending a dime. Here we go! La Grande Surface, 24, Boulevard des Italians 9éme; from 18h  to 02h. More info here :

Paris’écrit (wrote). Take part in the first day dedicated to handwriting, the opportunity to write a sweet word or a letter of love or hatred, everything is possible as long as you write it by hand. More than 200 places participate and 120 writing points are scattered in Paris and 80 writing workshops will be organized . More info on where to find them here :

There you go, the latest from my belle France and Paris the most beautiful city in the world; as others attest as well, 40 million visitors in 2018!!! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

May 3, 2019

King and Queen at Versailles!

So its been a while do not tell you about my beloved Versailles, a city I lived for almost 10 years and had visited upteen times over the years since 1990. My sons went to secondary school and  prep school with the bus network of the city , all great memories. I have been telling my readers there is a lot more than the palace/museum at Versailles, but folks keep asking me of it…. Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on the magnificent bedrooms and adjoining rooms of the Kings and Queens who inhabited it. Oh yes this is Versailles, capital of the dept 78 of Yvelines in the ïle de France region.


How about the King’s bedroom , apartment:

The first antichamber or Salon du Grand Couvert (also known at the time of Louis XIV as the room where the king had supper), gave on the cour de Marbre and on the cour de la Reine. Battle scenes with the battle of Arbela , which was hung on the chimney formed the main elements of decor. After the death of Queen Marie-Thérèse and the Dauphine, Marie-Adélaïde de Savoie, the antichamber served for the occasions when the King dined alone in public in the Salon du Grand Couvert. For his occasions, a table with a single chair was erected in front of the chimney. Opposite the chimney was the tribune for the musicians who played at the meal; the tribune was abolished in the 18C.


One of the most famous scandals in the history of the reign of Louis XIV knew his epilogue in this room. Primitively, the second antichamber and the Chamber formed part of the Queen’s apartment; However, in 1684, after the death of Marie-Thérèse, the two pieces were attached to the apartment of the King. The second antichamber served as the place where the mistresses waited for their entrance to the King during the little sunrise and the grand sunset. Because of the collection of paintings by the Italian artist, Jacopo Bassano, aka Le Bassan, which were exhibited in this room, the room was nicknamed the antichamber of the Bassans. The famous Noli Me Tangere by Lambert Sustris decorates the chimney in 1701, the second antichamber and the King’s bedroom were merged to create the Grand Salon, the Salon de l’Oeil-de-Boeuf, which became the main antichamber of the King’s new chamber. When Louis XIV settled in the King’s room in 1684, the next room was designated for the King’s salon or the salon where the King dressed. The King’s salon served for seventeen years as the place where the ceremonies of the King’s rise and sunset were held.


Bedroom of Louis XIV. This parade room was carried out on the site of the King’s lounge, a room that went back to the time of Louis XIII. During the reign of Louis XIV, it underwent many modifications until its completion in 1701, like that of the construction of the Galerie des Glaces which demanded the abolition of the three windows doors to the west that overlooking the terrace, replaced by three doors of the bottom that were clogged to form an alcove. With the establishment of the King’s room, the room became the physical and ideological center of the castle, the sovereign had dinner at the Petit Couvert . Every day the King’s sunrise and bedtime ceremonies were held, attended by a hundred people including officers of the chamber and wardrobe, courtiers, diplomats, governors, etc


The top-of-doors counted the portrait of Francisco de Moncada and a Self-portrait by Antoon Van Dyck, a Saint John the Baptist by Caravaggio and Marie Madeleine by Le Guide. The Saint Cécile by Le Domenichino was exposed in the archivolt above the chimney and opposite another work of the painter;   King David playing the harp. Above the canopy bed topped with ostrich feathers and egrets, was the stucco allegory of “France watching over the King’s sleep” carved by Nicolas Coustou, this bas-relief being topped by a trellis hanger crowned by two renowned. The present hangings are not copies of the primitive hangings of the King’s room; Indeed, the brocade was removed from a drawing made for the winter hangout of the Queen’s room. It was only after the beginning of the project that the original drawings of Louis XIV’s hangings were found, due to economy, the weaving was already in motion, the King’s room was restored with the winter draperies of the Queen’s room.


Official Chateau de Versailles info on the King’s bedroom

The Queen’s bedroom is a room of the Queen’s large apartment in the Château de Versailles. Although a bedroom, this room of the castle is, like the Grand Chamber of the King, a place of theatrical staging; the Queen’s bedtime, but also public adoptions of the children of France, etc. On either side of the Royal bed, a door gave access to the passages de Versailles, allowing the sovereign to go directly into the rooms of her children. Like the rest of the castle, the French revolution led to the chamber being emptied and, no more, there were not many elements of the chamber as it was decorated under Louis XIV for Marie-Thérèse.



The room was the main bedroom of the apartment, the one where the Queen was most often. She slept there, often joined by the King. In the morning she received during and after her toilet, which constituted a court moment as regulated by the label as the rise of the King (the label was a set of rules that must be respected by the nobles). This is where the public deliveries took place; 20 children of France were born there.



The décor retains the memory of the three Queens who occupied the room: the division of the ceiling dates from Marie-Thérèse, wife of Louis XIV, and the paintings and woodwork were made for Marie Leszczynska, wife of Louis XV. All the elements were preserved from the time of Marie-Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI, for which only the furniture and the chimney were delivered new.


Official Chateau de Versailles on the Queen’s bedroom

Now there you go Chateau de Versailles by popular demand from close friends and family. These are even more wonderful on site ,hint hint;;;; but they are beautiful anyhow. Enjoy my Versailles,another world, another era, and plenty of loving memories for us.

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


April 19, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXVIII

Ok so back to my channel lol! thank you for reading me, its always a pleasure. If you like the world, travel, good food, sports , the good life than you are in the right spot  Going strong thanks to you all since November 2010! and already 2025 posts!

Now, let me tell you a bit on what is going on that I like in my belle France!

Ok so the bus routes in Paris change from this April 20th so be aware, love the bus, is above ground and see more of beautiful Paris! Some examples of my old routes are Gare St Lazare to Gare Montparnasse on bus 94 30 minutes; Gare St Lazare to Opera Garnier bus 27 7 minutes; Gare St Lazare to place de l’Etoile (Arc de Triomphe) bus 22 15 minutes. Gare Montparnasse to Rue de la Féderation on bus 82 30 min still intact my current line. However, an example of the changes are on the rue d’Estrées,loses its bus stop of line 28 . The rue d’Estrées , behind the école militaire, is preparing to lose its line 28. From tomorrow Saturday in fact, in favor of the new bus network in Paris, the line slightly modifies its route. It will always leaves Saint-Lazare but will stop now in Montparnasse, and no longer Porte D’Orléans. The bus 28 will no longer make the little hook by Avenue de Lowendal, place de Fontenoy and Rue d’Estrées, but will draw straight on Avenue de Duquesne. A stop actually lost: Fontenoy-UNESCO.! More info at RATP here: Official RATP bus transports Paris

Something I have told you before is now finally here! Eataly the immense Italian food court opens its doors this past April 12 at noon in the Marais, in Paris. It is organized around a central square, the “Piazza”, closed by a glass roof. The grocery part responds to the Platonic idea of a good transalpine supermarket: foison pasta, olive oil galore, dried mushrooms, Genoese pestos and Trapanese..etc.. Nearby, there are counters where you can buy takeout cheese, cold cuts, fresh pasta, and a bakery open from 7h (7 am).

Of course, most of the food comes from Italian producers. But  the mozzarella is made with milk from Auvergne!  And 50% of the meat comes from Burgundy or Normandy. The meat counter is also held by a Parisian butcher. To tackle the hexagonal market, the restaurant chain founded in Turin in 2007 saw the big things: 2 500 square meters, seven restaurants, 3 000 products referenced in the grocery department. With BHV and Galeries Lafayette, with whom the chain of restoration has signed the exclusivity of its franchises in France. Eataly Marais Paris more info here:

It’s already been three years since the transalpine restoration explodes in Paris, and eleven months that big Mamma inaugurated its Felicita, (also mention in my previous news posts) a huge restaurant area 100% Italian in the 13éme arrondissement.  More on Felicita here:

One of the classic recipes of my belle France. I share with you the ones from my family and many others here!  Paris-Brest, you know it! Ok your difficult part will be to convert the metric system into the Anglo types sorry, you can do it!!

Preparation time: 40 min; Cooking time: 50 min; a bit difficult but with these recipe you can do it too!  Ingredients for 6 to 8 cakes: for cabbage dough, 100 grams of mild butter, 10 g of sugar, 200 g of flour, 5 or 6 eggs, 20 g of crushed almonds, for custard: 1/2 liter of milk, 4 egg yolks, 50 g of sugar; 50 g of flour. For Italian meringue: 3 egg whites, 120 g of semolina sugar, water. For Praline cream: 3 egg yolks, 50 g sugar, 150 g pomade butter, 60 g Praline paste (or powdered Praline).:

Step 1: cabbage paste: place 3 decaliters of water (ok American friends this is about 0,2 quarts or less than a quarter of it) , butter, sugar and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, pour the flour at once, and mix with the wooden spoon. Stir the eggs one by one, stirring vigorously. With a socket pocket, the bed in the shape of crowns (10-12 cm in diameter) on a baking sheet. Brown egg and sprinkle with slivered almonds. Bake at 180 °C (ok ok ,350 degrees F) for 30 to 40 min, then let cool on fire, open door. Leave the oven and let cool. Slice the crowns in half.

Step 2: custard: whiten the eggs vigorously with the sugar. Add the sifted flour and a pinch of salt. Boil the milk and stir-fry the boiling milk on the pan. Pour into the Pan without stirring until the cream thickens.

Step 3: the Italian meringue: pour the whites into the robot’s tank. Heat 3 tbsp. of water with 100 g of sugar on low heat. When the temperature reaches 110 °C (230F), beat the whites with 20 g of sugar, at maximum speed. When the syrup is at 118 °C (244F), pour it into a net on the tank wall, and let it rotate with the whites at medium speed for about 10 minutes. Keep it in reserve.

Step 4: Praline cream: heat 1 tbsp. of water and the sugar in the Pan up to 115 °C (. Whisk the yolks to the drummer. Pour the sirloin syrup over the robot tank wall and beat at high speed until the mixture blends. Add the butter in pieces, and then stir in the Praline. Assemble the three devices to the spatula. With a fluted sleeve, garnish the lower parts of the crowns. Add the covers. Sprinkle with icing sugar. Ok easy piece of cake we did with the boys so you can do it too. Let me know ok lol!

Who will save the Beaujolais? In the absence of investments, the vineyard lost 40% of its surface area and 50% of its turnover in 15 years. Moreover, if consumers often place them first in Burgundy, is wrongly associated with the Rhone Valley. Most folks dislikes Beaujolais but loves Morgon. Except that Morgon is a Beaujolais!.  One of the ten vintages that counts the vineyard, and probably the best known with the Saint-Amour.

The problems are two: First, the vineyard is in poor condition. In the absence of investments and means, the vine is wasting. Second, it is the oldest in France, which is not a blessing, since replacing it is expensive. The cellars and the winery are no better. It will take a good decade to make the Beaujolais pimping. But to do so, the difficulty should be  to seduce consumers again.  Let’s see the good side; the Beaujolais is the second most famous wine appellation after  Champagne. The bad? Its fame does not come from its quality but from the operation “Beaujolais Nouveau”, to the global success. Yet there is no shortage of assets, between vintages with excellent value for money, delightful landscapes, iconic winegrowers.

In the beginning, the Beaujolais was great. In 1936, when the first AOC wines were born in the country, the Beaujolais Crus were like Chénas or Moulin-à-Vent made prized custody wines, which are sold at the same price as those of Pommard, Corton or Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Then, in the 1980’s, operation “Beaujolais Nouveau” spreads like wildfire: to market a wine produced in September from the third Thursday of November, so very young and without waiting for the following spring. And everything changes.  The event was built up by Parisian bistros, the English, party enthusiasts and the media. It has become a global event that has not been mastered. We were not able to keep the counterweight of the terroirs. There was a tsunami of unique thought, everyone rushed into it.  To be follow its course because it does not look good….Official site on Beaujolais more info on them here:

In the never ending saga of the yellow vest or gilets jaunes will be difficult to know  where these yellow vests will manifest in Paris. Some events evoke the Champs-Élysées, others the area of Notre-Dame. But the big Avenue will be forbidden to access for the fifth consecutive Saturday, while the ïle de la Cité, and the outskirts of the capital will this time also be  inaccessible to the demonstrators, as has already indicated the Prefecture of police. Even if the yellow vests call to converge on Paris this Saturday , rallies are also advertised in other cities, as in Lille, Lyon, or even Bordeaux. The fear of new actions of the black blocks that is a mysterious group The Black blocks Paris called on Facebook to make it a black Saturday on the Champs-Élysées…Stay out.

On a better note, they fought the flames all night. They saved works of art. This past Thursday, a huge tribute, full of emotion, was rendered to them. This past Thursday afternoon, the firefighters of Paris were celebrated and honored by the Parisians and tourists present on the parvis of the City/Town Hall during a ceremony organized for “those who saved Our Lady”. “I want to tell you our infinite gratitude, our eternal recognition and I will propose to the next Council of Paris (next June) that you be granted the honorary citizenship of the city of Paris, to honor this Act of bravery and your commitment on a daily basis” announced Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris addressing the fire brigade. A distinction that will undoubtedly be unanimous with politicians and Parisians alike.Amén!! More on the City of Paris webpage:

And of course, my Versailles could not be left behind and on one of its action very unique was this  The Château de Versailles  proceeds of an auction of 25 cabinets of Château Mouton Rothschild which was to be devoted to the restoration of the Château de Versailles will eventually be assigned to the restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. Go Versailles! More info here in French at the Le Parisien newspaper:

And to close out on my beloved Versailles. A campus “as in Harvard” for the trades of the Chateau of Versailles, the Minister of National Education announced this past Thursday the creation of a place of life and training dedicated to professional sectors in the heart of the Royal Stables (ecuries). The project to create a campus of excellence in the Royal Stables, dedicated to the trades of the castle: gastronomy, green spaces, crafts and building trade on heritage properties.Go Versailles! These are the Royal Stables:

And to close out the latest news post on something near me ; Ïle de Groix,by the coast of  Lorient in my lovely Morbihan, go fishing for  the day and a maze of streets in Locmaria on the wild coast, facing the ocean, this small port and its maze of alleys form an ideal setting for a stroll. The dundees, these old tuna boats (Groix having once been the first port of tuna in France), have disappeared. But at low tide, the bay remains a good spot for fishing on foot (shrimp, abalone and crab for the lucky). Around the lighthouse, the beach and its rocks belong to the geological nature reserve François Le Bail, due in particular to the presence of blue cellophane, a rare rock. Nearby, the trail leads to the plage des Sables rouges (red sands beach) , whose minerals have earned Groix its nickname of île aux grenats (garnets island). It is one of the only convex beaches in Europe, that of the great sands advances in the sea. Another peculiarity: it moved several hundred meters in the second half of the 20C. Still as immense, it offers, with its white sand, its water in fifty shades of blues and its wooded cliffs, a breathtaking spectacle, worthy of an exotic island.Indeed crowded in Summer but worth the visit. More info here:

And there you something for everyone lol! Well I take them all! I am working on Good Friday in France but will have Monday off as Easter Monday and so a 3 days weekend. Do not know where as with us its always last minute. Happy Easter, Joyeuses Pâques, Feliz Pascua!!!

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



April 17, 2019

A return to Sainte Anne d’Auray,and Sainte Anne!

Hello,again is me ::) I have written on this religious town often as it is just 20 minutes from my house. However, on July 25-26 each year  will be the par…don holy day of Sainte Anne  in the town, and we passed by it for just an opener. And very fitting this daysMore on the pardon here:

I am talking about Sainte Anne d’Auray and the Basilica of Sainte Anne; the patron Saint of Brittany. According to the Bible, the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus.  The official page is here in English:

The Auray area tourist office in French:

St anne d' auray

sainte anne d'auray

sainte anne d'auray

sainte anne d'auray

I would not go into more details as I have written on the story and history of this high religious stop in the Morbihan Breton on several occasions. Suffixes to say it is a wonderful complex of the Basilica of Sainte Anne, to the statues of her all over the park, to the area where Pope John Paul II visited in 1996.


sainte anne d'auray

You will see the stairs or Holy Stairs. This monument was built in 1662 by the Carmelite Fathers. Currently located in the area of ​​the spine, the Scala Sancta was until 1870 the front porch of the Basilica and thus defining the place reserved for prayer. You can read more in the official page given above on the Basilica.

sainte anne d'auray


On the same webpage you will find info on the monument plaque to Pope John Paul II visit in September 26 1996. It is made exactly 16,129 blocks offered by the pilgrims. It is surrounded by 12 granite columns, recalling that these are the twelve bishops of the twelve dioceses of the ecclesiastical region of western France who invited the Pope to come to this region: Angers, Bayeux, Coutances, Laval, Le Mans, Luzon, Nantes, Quimper, Rennes, St. Brieuc, Sees, Vannes. There is figure stele bearing the image of John Paul II.

sainte anne d'auray

You see the baptismal fountain or fontaine, the place of the first prayer and statue of Sainte Anne right coming straight to the Basilica. More in the webpage of the Basilica, a primer here: By choosing the fountain as a place of its first appearance, St. Anne reminds us of the importance of source water, but above the water of baptism: as water is essential to our lives, baptism is essential to grow in faith. The water of baptism makes us children of God and St. Anne, by appearing at the fountain, invites us to return to our baptismal promises.

sainte anne d'auray

More on the webpage above and on this wonderful site here: The Basilica dedicated to Saint Anne is the heart of the sanctuary. It replaced, in the late 19C, in 1872, the first chapel built by Yves Nicolazic chapel became too small to accommodate the crowd of pilgrims.  It was built in the same field of Bocenno which was found the original statue of St. Anne by Yves Nicolazic.  Neo-Gothic combines the grace of the Renaissance, model houses the tombs of Yves Nicolazic (1591-1645), the man who saw St. Anne and Pierre de Keriolet the penitent (1602-1660).  A bas-relief on a pillar of the choir, right, points out the spot where Yves Nicolazic and its neighbors, discovered the statue of Saint Anne March 7, 1625.

sainte anne d'auray

In the photos you will see a Chapel dedicated to Sainte Anne (St Anne) and another one to Sainte Marie (St Mary). The beautiful organ is spiral right against the left side wall of the altar.  And the stained glass is wonderful vivid and bright well done and tells the story well.

sainte anne d'auray

 sainte anne d'auray

sainte anne d'auray

sainte anne d'auray

Again, a day is needed to see this wonderful spot and very worth the detour for those traveling along the N24 or N165.  It is worth it to understand the history of Brittany as to France, and the beautiful architecture if not the religious fervor that it attracts. The Basilica of Sainte Anne is worth the detour.

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

April 11, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXVII

Oh wow, just reliazed having so much fun with my lovely Brittany, had not been around my belle France news report! Well of course, the news and fun of my France are too many for just one blog even less a series of posts, but I do my grain of sand effort to show you the best of the most visited country in the world, for good reasons.

The weather has been mixed with cold rain and now calm sunny beautiful Spring times. Here in my neck of the woods is 13C (about 58F)  but will go down in the morning of tomorrow to 1C! At our grand Paris is a bit cooler at 11C and 55F. The weekend looks a bit colder again.

Now let me tell you a bit on what are the things nice and lovable and like by me. Oh CCXXVII is the Roman numeral for 227th post on the series since Nov 2010! Thank you!!

When Fellini Dreamed of Picasso at the Cinemathéque Française of Paris, and until July 28 2019, with an integral retrospective of the films of Fellini until  May 25th.More info here: .

Pastry passion ice Fruttini by MO is the new gourmet jewel of Saint Germain des Prés, located just a few steps from the Bon Marché.More info here:

From 8h. to 18h  today Thursday, the rue du cloister Notre-Dame ,4éme will be closed to traffic. A 100 meters high crane will be installed. Starting at 10h30, the first eight statues of the Apostles and Evangelists of 3 meters in height (but whose heads have already been removed) and which have been there from the great restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral by Viollet-le-Duc in 1861, will be lowered to the ground in order to be themselves rehabilitated. The end of this work is planned for 2022. See more info here:

The project to reenchant the Champs-Elysées on the horizon 2024,  date of the Olympic Games in Paris. While 63% of Parisians believe, in an Ipsos survey, that it remains the most beautiful avenue in the world, it is also considered “noisy”, “artificial”, “stressful” or even “dangerous”. On 100 pedestrians, in addition to tourists, 22 people work here and only 2% are Parisians who come there for pleasure. 15 hectares of gardens are spread out along the Champs-Elysées, between the Seine and the Elysée in particular. And there are twenty times less walkers than at Parc Monceau which is only 8 hectares. They have began to open an ideas box, with closed and theme family parks, a pedestrian walkway between the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais, a sports course on the Seine side, bathing basins on the Seine river, and cultural animations . I need this but tourist galore come to it. More info here :

The Hotel de la Marine, a historical monument built under king Louis XV, continues its renovation, started in 2017. The monumental worksite must be completed in about a year, for an opening hoped for in June 2020. With an ambition  to making the place, inaccessible since 230 years, a place of life for Parisians, who expects 600 000 visitors per year on 6200 sq meters. The Cour d’Honneur or Court of honour is in the process of restoring its volumes of origins, with its arcades that had been cloisonné when the building welcomed the naval staff, the court will become the living center of the hotel and it will be open permanently, allowing the passage from the rue Royale or the place de la Concorde. This transverse artery will host a CMN bookshop, but also a quality grocery store offering takeout. Restaurants, whose card will be entrusted to the chef Jean-François Piége, and a coffee shop, more classical, come to enrich this leisure offer. Finally, a tea room, this time by the brand Alain Ducasse, will find its place on the 1st floor (2nd fl US). Visitors will be able to access the tour concentrated on the 1st floor. The apparat lounges, all gilts and pendants, are preserved in their 19C origins. Their little addition, the terrace that offers a unique view of the Concorde and the Tuileries. The 18C section, the intendant’s apartments, are still in the process of restoration, with the bet to find the decorations and original furniture. More info here:

The GoodPlanet Foundation, created by photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand to educate the public about ecology, inaugurated on April 13th and 14th 2019 its new season. And it’s a book of new things. In the Castle, exit Humans, the beautiful series of video portraits on giant screens. The new permanent exhibition is called Planet Ocean and it transports us to the seas of the globe, for four hours of underwater images, fascinating, in the world of the abyss Domaine de Longchamp, Bois de Boulogne ,16éme  Saturday and Sunday April  13-14 2019, 11h  to 19h  free admission. More info here:

A street art fresco of 150 m2 underway at Gare de L’Est. The day may be a little less bleak from today onwards. In order to bring art a little closer to Parisians and Franciliens, the urban art production house Quai 36 has appealed to the ONOFF collective to create an immense street art fresco. To enjoy it, we will take the exit/entrance Château-Landon from the station. Gare de l’Est place du 11 Novembre 1918, 10th. More info here :

Direction Fluctuart, the first center of urban art floating in the world with a unique transparent structure, which will offer exhibitions, creative workshops, bookstore and festive evenings from the end of May. The space of 1 000 m2 totally transparent and in the heart of Paris will valorize the trends of urban art, from the pioneers of street art to contemporary artists, and will particularly highlight the emerging and innovative practices. Scattered in three levels, the structure of the place is completely modular and transparent. Pont des Invalides 2 Port du Gros Caillou  7th. More info here :

Just a teaser to keep abreast of what is going on, Paris and France in general are moving on to another record year of visitors, estimates run to 100M visitors! So pack early and plan well, things will be busy. Enjoy l’Hexagone!

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


March 28, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXVI

And here I am talking again about my belle France and some of the interesting things I like about it. The sun is out, 18C even and nice almost beach weather in my neck of the Breton woods.

As mentioned before in my blog ; the building between the 52 and 60 Avenue Champs-Elysées is like a book that combines the history of Paris and that of commerce. The Galeries Lafayette will open to the public on this coming Thursday, at noon, a new concept, hybrid of the department store and the concept store. Thirty years previously, Virgin Megastore invented both the concept of flagship of a sign and the theatricalisation of the sale-mini-concerts in support-in the majestic architecture from the 1930’s of the former offices of the first National City Bank of New York.

The Galeries Lafayette Champs-Elysées add to the art deco heritage; combining in 6,500 square meters, at the entrance an immersive tunnel worthy of the corridor of a spaceship of Kubrick, boxes of glasses hung on the second floor under the dome that was cleared of the false ceiling and a monumental staircase that connects the first and second floors. The furniture mixes kinds of ruffled carpets for shoes with rounded linear in gold or silver metal. The atmosphere is airy and sophisticated. The 650 selected labels-from mid-range to luxury share the same aisles and the same connected hangers with a digital display showing the available sizes. The visual identity incorporates the very typographical logo. All staff are employed by Galeries Lafayette. No demonstrators.  The man and the woman mix in the aisles. The dressing rooms like the toilets are unisex. The fluidity of the era of time… The basement offers 30 to 50 dining seats for 10 sweet or savoury brands such as  Chocolaterie Ducasse, Marcolini, Kaspia, A la mère de Famille, Maisie Café, comptoir Vérot.etc.More soon here:

Taillevent, belongs to the history of our gastronomy, and even a little more. All influential figures have marched since the post-war period. In the mansion of the Duke of Morny, former owner Jean-Claude Vrinat knew how to place capitalism gurus, Ministers, media bosses and showbiz stars. He had reached Nirvana, three Michelin stars, in 1973, kept until 2007. Chef David Bizet replaces Alain Solivérès, chef for almost 17 years of the restaurant Le Taillevent. 70 years after getting the first star, it’s a page that turns for this big house that welcomes its sixth chef at rue Lamennais, always looking to get back its 3 stars.More here:

l’English-language Library in Angers.  Talking about Brexit that huge decision that will linger in time as a bad play, time will tell. The largest English-language library in Western France lists 1 876 members of 74 different nationalities. Liz, has been living in Angers since 1995, but she is still not French. This week, she had even planned to go to Ireland to apply for nationality, and thus double her chances of staying European. Ken, for the regulars has been living in Angers for over forty years. He met Marie-Madeleine. They loved each other and then married. He remained, became an English teacher at the European high school Sainte-Agnès. Ken is 65 years old today. He listens to the BBC morning and evening, comes to recharge in the English library. Despair. “How can women and politicians justify this position when they see the economic catastrophe that is on the horizon? At Swindon, they still believe that Honda’s departure has nothing to do with Brexit. There are 3 500 jobs which, in 2022, will disappear with the closure of the factory of the Japanese manufacturer. More here:

It’s spring, the beautiful days come back and many Parisians and regional folks are riding their bikes again.  And they need to know the laws too! Cyclists discover on this occasion certain special rules of the Highway Code. The wearing of headphones is one of the most expensive tickets to which cyclists are potentially subjected. This offence is punishable by a fine of 90 euros in case of payment within 15 days, increased to 135 euros beyond and up to 375 euros in case of payment after 45 days. And it’s not the only one. Riding by bike, Scooter or trottinette on a sidewalk is forbidden, except for children up to 8 years of age. Ride in a forbidden direction and go to the red light… unless explicitly authorized. Cyclists are obliged to respect the traffic lights. Except when triangular signs allow them to go straight or right. Please note that bicycles are not required to use a bicycle path unless this requirement is indicated by a blue-bottomed circular panel (they should be). yet doubling the cars by the right when cycling is an offense. Circulate under the influence of alcohol. Drink or drive, you have to choose, even on a bicycle. But unlike a legend, a cyclist cannot get points on his license. While in Germany, the limit of alcohol allowed by bicycle is twice as high as driving (should be the same, but this is Europe!). The city of Paris has intensified the video-verbalization to enforce them. More than 23 200 fines (PV) have been compiled since January 2018. The law by the Association Déplacer à Bicyclette :

The Domaine de La Grange-la Prévôté, in Savigny-Le-Temple, has been labelled “heritage of regional interest”, this past Tuesday, by the Permanent Commission of the Regional Council of île-de-France chaired by Valérie Pécresse. It joins the other twelve sites of Seine-et-Marne (dept 77) having already received the precious label of the region.  In Savigny-Le-Temple, the Domaine de La Grange-la-Prévôté derives its name from the existence of a Provost in the 14C but the Castle and its Commons date for the most part of the second empire.

In Bassevelle, the staking aircraft Lighthouse “Petit Bassevelle”, rue de l’église (at road D 55), was a luminous landmark with neon lights used to guide air navigation. It was installed in the place called Les jerseys in the early 20C and is part of a set of three aeronautical headlights close to each other located in Jouarre and at the Marchais-en-Brie (Aisne, dept 02).

At Combs-la-Ville , the Church of Saint Vincent, place du Père-André-Jarlan, is in the image of Sénart: a new building on ancient foundations. The Church mixes vestiges dating back several centuries, like the Bell Tower with a choir, a bedside and a nave demolished and rebuilt from 1900 to 1902.

At Coupvray , labeled “village of character”, several elements of the small heritage are honored: the fountain, the Royal Terminal and the wash-houses (lavoirs). One of the washing-houses, said of the Médisances, at the top of the village, was built during the French revolutionary period at the site of an old fountain, is fed by the sream of the Fréminette and enjoys a nice roof open to the center which allows to recover the rainwater.

At Crégy-lès-Meaux, the Maison des Carmes  , received the label as well. The former convent of the order of the Barefoot Carmelites, built from 1622 in a corniche overlooking Meaux in the North, was dispersed in the French revolution. The house belongs to a private owner. The lawn promenade of 180 meters long between its two towers restored by the municipality is a town area covered by the GR1(walkers way) and offering a breathtaking view of Meaux. The convent welcomed monks from the order of the Carmelites who walked barefoot, hence their name of barefoot Carmelites. They lived un-cloistered and actively participated in life outside their convent, preaching in parishes, forming students, etc.

At Guercheville, the Dovecote next to the City/Town Hall, rue Grande. It is easily recognizable by its shape and it’s bicolor, beige and brick façade. It is one of the remains of the Castle, bought by the town in 1984 with the farm and its portal. If the farm was demolished to build the City/Town Hall, the gate was preserved, the Dovecote became the City Council Hall and the barn was transformed into a holiday guest room.

At Maisoncelles-en-Brie, the Church of Saint-Sulpice has three elements classified and restored: the altar of the 17C and two altarpieces, which were even lent to the Musée du Louvre for the time of an exhibition!.

The Vexin (wonderful natural park we enjoyed while at Versailles) crosses over the Seine. For the first time since its creation in 1995, the Vexin Regional Natural Park (PNR) will count from the towns on the left bank of the river. As part of an extension of this park which now counts 78 towns on the Val-d’Oise(dept 95) and 20 in the Yvelines (dept 78). Nine towns from the Yvelines will be added, by 2021, to this list; these are Bennecourt, Mousseaux, Limetz-Villez, Rolleboise, Méricourt, Freneuse, Moisson, Hardricourt and Triel-sur-Seine.More here:

With more than 45 000 visitors, the Cerny – La Ferté-Alais aerial meeting is one of the most popular events of the Essonne (dept 91). The 47th Edition of the “time of the propellers” will take place on June 8-9, 2019. On the program, aerial shows accompanied by pyrotechnic effects, baptisms of the air but also animations around the theme of aeronautics. It is calling for volunteers. Only criteria to apply: to be at least 16 years old (parental authorization necessary for minors), to be motorized or to be able to access the ground by their own means. A letter of motivation must be sent by May 15 May. The letter to be sent to Amis de Jean-Baptiste Salis, Aerodrome de Cerny/La Ferté-Alais, 91590 Cerny or by émail: More info here:

The town,La Ferté-Alais :

Take a leap in the past to Saint-Cloud (Hauts de Seine dept 92). The Castle has disappeared, but the gardens remain a must-have. In addition, on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, you will know all about its history through a guided tour. Duration: 45 minutes. Departure 15h in front of the historical Museum. Open every day from 7h30 to 21h. Free. More here:  .

Admire the Eagles in Provins (Seine et Marne dept 77). The “Eagles of the ramparts” show, in the open air, resumes this coming Saturday with new atmospheres in staging and a new fairy character amidst the nocturnal birds. From the Hawk to the Eagle, through the hawks and owls, the Raptors shave the heads of the spectators, on the ramparts of the medieval city. From March 30 , at 14h30 and 17h on weekends, at 14h30 and 16h. on weekdays. Rates: 8 to 12.50 €.  Into line Tel. +33 (0) More info here:

Nautical activities in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines ( Yvelines dept78). Since last summer, a small outdoor activity park has entertained children at the Trappes recreation base. A caterpillar on Rails, logs of water, boats that move by pedaling, rolls in large transparent balloons on the water, a trampoline of 15 carpets or a mini-karting of 60 meters in the open air offer a playful getaway. From 6 to 12 years. From 5 to 10 minutes the activity, from 1-2€  the ticket according to the quantity purchased. Parking of the Base: 5€ per car. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 10h to 20h. Info line Tel.+33 (0) Entrance by the roundabout Éric Tabarly,road  D 912, in Trappes. More info here:

Slide in a pedal boat in Pierrefonds (Oise dept 60). Another activity on water, pedalo, on the pond of Pierrefonds. You can get tired by pedaling with a breathtaking view of the Castle, amidst the ducks and herons, before having a drink on the terrace by the water. Open daily according to the weather. Rates: 3.70 to 4.80€. Pier, Deflubé Causeway. Info line tel. +33 (0) . More info here :

Sceaux Park organizes its Cherry Blossom Festival from April 21st to 22nd! As every year, the city of Sceaux welcomes the arrival of spring around many festivities. On the program, big festive picnic made by food trucks, at the rhythm of the taikos and the parades of Awa Odori… Ideal for tasting delicious sushi and drinking sake in peace, in an idyllic bucolic setting. More than just a party, it’s a real Japanese gathering that will be happening! This year, the festivities will also be punctuated by various workshops, dance, and many artistic and musical performances. The opportunity to discover Japanese artists who will accompany you to the sanshin (small guitar of southern Japan) and to the shinobue (traditional flute) all the weekend! More info to get there:

In honor of its 130th anniversary, the Eiffel Tower organizes a festive weekend on March 30th and 31st with concerts, animations and an adventure game. The goal? Discover the famous Tower in all its facets and uncover the secret of the Eiffel on workshops. Alone, or as a team, you will need to find the name of a confidential file by deciphering a series of puzzles scattered on the 1st floor as well as in the gardens of the tower. And bonus this weekend: the whole course will be scripted with comedians in period costumes in immersive scenery. An experience not to be missed for lovers of history and secrets! More info here:

There you, there is always something going on in my belle France, the Héxagone with just a tip of the iceberg of opportunities to enjoy. Hope you can enjoy them too.

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

March 26, 2019

The battlefields in France of WWI

Dates come and go and come and we sometimes find no time to write about certain dear things to us. This is the case of the efffort of many for a free Europe/World. I am particularly thankful to the Americans ,who I am and active voter from France on all elections. I like to pay tribute to those who fought and or died for our freedom from all Nations in this humble post. I have visited these places one time or another.


I married a French women from the Battlefields of the Marne, Monument Americain or American Monument on the Route de Varennes near Meaux, today , there is a wonderful WWI museum there that you all should visit.  Museum of the Great War, Webpage here :Museum of the Great War or WWI in Meaux



The Battle of the Somme in WWI was a huge battlefront of 750 kms (about 465 miles) including two periods. Since September 1914 the course to the sea around the monuments of Ovilliers, Guillemont, and Flers. And then a north south line along the villages of Beaumont-Hamel, Thiepval, La Boisselle, Fricourt, Maricourt, Curlu, Dompierre, Fay, Chaulnes, and Maucourt.

It then , came again in June 1916 in the second Battle of the Somme, from Beaumont-Hamel and Bapaume to the north to Chilly,Chaulnes to the south; here the British and French fought side by side until a line at Maricourt. The battle involves about a million men and 200 000 horses as the official encounter began on June 24.  By July 2nd the losses were big already 58K men of which 22K killed especially by the British, their biggest losses up to that point in any war. Total by the December 1916 the losses were big, 1,2Million men out of combat for a total of 3M; the British advance only 12 kms the French 5-8kms alone the line.  Here too it talks about the great British offensive of Yprés from June to October 1917, the battle of Cambrai in November (first using tanks), and the tragic offensive of the French at Chemin des Dames.  1918, mark the commandement unique of the allied army to Marichal Foch March 26 at Doullens, the offensive by the Australians at Villers-Bretonneux, the American monument at Cantigny, monument to the 2nd division Australians at Peronne and the Canadian memorial at Le Quesnel, all evoke the counteroffensive that led to the armistice of November 11 at Compiegne.

You should visit the Historial de la Grande Guerre at Peronne: Historial museum of the Great War at Peronne


You can see the Cross to the 16st Irish division at Guillemont and Ginchy with Irish Treffles  for heroic action on September 3 and 9 1916. Also, remembering all the Irish who lost their lives in WWI.  At Longueval,  and the taking of Bois Delville by the South Africans  on July 15-20 1916. at specific Longueval, we honor also the New Zealanders that took bravery here on September 15 1916 taking objective near Flers the wood of Fourcaux, or high wood done by the 47th London division of New Zealand! You can see the South African memorial of Bois Delville with 63 hectares land of South Africa from 1920. Behind you will find a museum too with a replica of Fort du Cap. The New Zealanders have their memorial with a cross of the 12th battalion of Gloucestershire and the cementary of Caterpillar Valley, Scottish monument of the 1th Cameron Highlanders, 1st Black Watch, and the 47th division with a Cairn of 192 stones coming from Scotland to honor the 192 who felled here from the 9th battalion Highland light Infantry (Glasgow highlanders) and the London cementary.

le quesnoy

The Canadians are here too, Memorial Canadien on the road D929 to the right hand side in granite stone toward the village of Courcelette, took part here September 3 to November 18 1916. Losing 24K of their sons. You have the memorial to Newfoundlanders  with 16 hectares done in 1925, you can see while getting there on the road a statue of a Caribou ,their mascot in bronce.  You can see at La Boiselle the Lochnagar Crater of 100 meters in diameter around here you saw the 34th Division of Scottish and Irish, there is a monument with a bas-relief in Bronce of Saint George attacking a dragon, cross of Saint Andrew(Scottish), and a large celtic harp(Irish) with inscription engrave in the stone relating to this battle of July 1,1916.

The great battles around Albert,  with great efforts by the British , the town was destroyed 90% and the town reconstructed with the help of the city of Birmingham in England. You can see the wonderful Basilique Notre Dame de Brebiéres, and not to miss the museum ,Musée Somme 1916Museum of the Somme 1916 at Albert


You drive around the area and can visit the Monument to the American and French nurses at Chaulnes, a gift from the USA and France Red Cross; at Lihons on August 21 1916 died in combat after volunteering to fight the nephew of Napoléon Ier Marshal Murat, a prince, you can see it on the road entering Lihons coming from Vermandovillers there is a small route on the left after the town cemetery. See the wonderful Arc de Triomphe at Proyart , a huge memorial for a small town donated by a rich Champagne men who lost his only son in the war.  You can see the old train line that supplies the front lines, the P’tit Train de la Haute-Somme; and now its a tourist attraction at Eclusier-Vaux for the little train ride and a trains museum. More here: Little Train ride appeva site

On May 28 1918 ,just when the French retreat from the Chemin des Dames and losing Soissons, the Americans land and engage for the first time in the front of Cantigny, and they take the town on May 31.  The American who lost their lives here are buried at the huge American cementary of the Somme in Bony, not far from the imposing memorial of Bellicourt on the road N44, it has a chapel, secretary office, and welcome center. It is honoring of the Big Red One Division on the borders of the town in the road D26 direction Montdidier.(not far from the A16 direction Amiens.

At Villers-Bretonneux, you have the Australian Memorial on the road D23 direction Fouilloy/Corbie, two huge white towers with an even bigger one in the middle and the names of the dead written on it. It opened in 1938 and here it is held every year the ANZAC Day celebration. They were 331K volunteers from a population of 4,9M and casualties of  58500 men including 16000 dead. See ,also at the Le Hamel the Parc Memorial Australien built by Australia in August 7,1998; free to all with trenches intact.  It is here too in July 4 1918 Australian and American troops fought alongside with infantry, artillery, aviation, tanks, and paratroopers to begin the modern war tactics… More here: Museum Franco-Australian at Villers-Bretonneux

From the above webpage see more into ,visit the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, where over 72,000 men with no known grave are remembered. Climb to the top of the Newfoundland Caribou Memorial at Beaumont-Hamel for a moving view of the former battlefield.  See the enormous Lochnagar mine crater at La Boisselle, created at the beginning of the Battle of the Somme, on 1 July at 7h28 (7:28 am). Explore Delville Wood and the South African Memorial at Longueval, a former battleground today at peace. Take part in the moving ANZAC Day Dawn Service on 25 April at Villers-Bretonneux.  Participate with the commemorations of the Battle of the Somme at various sites of remembrance on 1 July.

Today, you can pay tribute to these great men in various cemetaries all over France,these are: The French are care by the Ministry of Defense and in the Somme there are 20 national cementaries.  More here Memories of men French Defense site can be in English

and for those seeking a love one,  this place can help: Memories of men French Defense ministry to search names can be in English

A site in French of many of them from many mostly Commonwealth nations here: Picardie 1418 on battlefields and men of WWI

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission takes care of the dead from the areas known as the Commonwealth UK, it takes care of 410 cementaries in the Somme along ; more here: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

From the USA, it is the American Battles Monuments Commission, who handles and maintain them, here is their webpage: ABMC cimenteries and memorials

In addition footnote information, for the Australians the most memorable places other than Villers-Bretonneux are Amiens, Corbie Plateau, Le Hamel, Albert, Poziéres, Sailly-le-Sec and Peronne.

Towns in general of WWI history and conflict are Doullens, hall of the sole command, Froissy, petit train de la haute somme, Thiepval, memorial Franco-Britanique, La Boiselle, Beaumont-Hamel, Rancourt, Longueval, Albert, Chaulnes,Cantigny,Lihons, Aveluy, Soyécourt, Frisé, Eclusier-Vaux, Maricourt, Feuilléres, Bouchavesnes-Bergen, Flaucourt, Courcelette, Martinpuich, Mametz,Fay,Moislans, Corbie, and Montauban-de-Picardie.

And of course, there are many others like Vimy, the Indian Memorial at Neuve-Chapelle, Notre-Dame de Lorette monument in Ablain-St-Nazaire, National Museum of Franco-American cooperation at Blérancourt, the Clairiére de l’Armistice at Compiegne, the Memory of Walls Museum at Verneuil-en-Halate, Caverne de Dragons and Chemin des Dames near Laon, Second battle of the Marne Memorial and Dormans Ossuary at Dormans, Navarin Ossuary at Souain, The First battle of the Marne memorial at Mondement, Vauquois Hill near Fleury, The world peace center at Verdun, as well as the Verdun Memorial, Douaumont Ossuary and Vaux fort.

For me including those of WWII as well is the American Cementary of Suresnes (dept 92 Hauts de Seine just outside Paris), And , also, the Lafayette Escadrile located inside the gates of Domaine National de Sainte-Cloud, (dept 92 Hauts de Seine as well)  of where I have been the most and event took visiting friends there. The  ABMC site has more info.

Rememberance is to honor them, never forget. As I see many who likes to come to cemeteries for the rich and famous, why not come to these ones, the feeling is much better and the experience unique!

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

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