Archive for ‘Versailles’

January 27, 2023

Some news from France , CCCLXXX

This is my latest from my belle France ; as we are in Winter and the rain has stopped ! Most said winter will be harsh but with the exception of a brief few days the temps are been warmer than usual, However, is that time again to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12+ years , And for those non Roman CCCLXXX is 380 ! ,with another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We will be tidy and drinking a nice glass of wine! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Paul Pairet, known to the general public as a juror of Top chef, the cooking show of M6 TV, inaugurates this past Wednesday January 18 2023 , Nonos. Its new restaurant located within the Hôtel de Crillon, the famous palace on the Place de la Concorde. If you find dishes on the menu for less than 10 euros, the steak and fries is charged 28 euros, the prime rib (for six people) flies away at 250 euros and the matured meat flames even more. Webpage : https://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/hotel-de-crillon/dining/nonos-comestibles-paul-pairet

Responding to the call of Fabien Roussel, National Secretary of the Communist Party. The mayor (Socialist Pary) of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, (who else!) announced this Thursday morning January 19 2023 , that the City/Town Hall would close its doors on January 31, on the occasion of the day of mobilization against the pension reform. Of course, they show their true colors lol !!

Police, soldiers and security guards by the hundreds to the the Gare du Nord where they wants to put an end to delinquency. What is really happening in the bowels of the largest station in Europe, placed night and day under high surveillance, Yes as said Paris is a big City not all is gleaters, stay away from big train stations at very early mornings or late nights, You were told

The future planned urban forest on Place du Colonel-Fabien, Located at the junction between the 10éme and 19éme arrondissements of Paris, should be redeveloped by December 2025. Partly pedestrianized and vegetated, it will also host an 800 square meter urban forest. Welcome to Place du Colonel-Fabien in the new Paris,

The beforementioned Tramway T13: from Saint-Germain en Laye to Poissy, Achères, Conflans and Cergy has well as usual delayed extension, While the commissioning of the first section between Saint-Cyr-l’École and Saint-Germain-en-Laye dates from the summer of 2022, the cities of Poissy and Achères should not be served before… 2027. Concerning the terminus in Cergy, the works should not start before 2029, La vie en rose ,,,By the time is done, it will already be congested lol ! This is now Transilien info webpage : https://www.transilien.com/fr/page-lignes/tramway-t13

Jean Castex Director RATP promises more transparent information for RATP users in the event of an incident on the metro trains. While this change is unfortunately not likely to resolve traffic incidents any faster, it will nevertheless allow users to be better informed. Oh yeah like before going all the way to the track to find out a technical problem and having to walk all the passageways back again lol ! I hope they do it for good ! More info from BFMTV news in French webpage : https://www.bfmtv.com/economie/entreprises/transports/metros-et-trains-bondes-et-retardes-que-veulent-dire-les-messages-abscons-de-la-ratp-et-de-la-sncf_AV-202210260279.html

And finally, the Line 6 of the Paris metro is about to say goodbye to the MP73 (1970’s) and their iconic green seats for trains coming from line 4. The very first will be put into circulation in a completely renovated version before the end of January 2023. Completely refurbished MP89s from line 4 will be appearing very soon. Brighter, modernized and automated, users of metro 6 will be able to enjoy greater comfort with the entry into service of the very first train before the end of January 2023. Fully renovated seats and ceilings, the installation of placement of doors that open on both sides of the train, the installation of signage on board… this is what awaits users of the historic line 6. And for more security, on-board video protection will be installed, Ok let’s have them for my dear old line 6 yeah !! Here is BFMTV news in French webpage : https://www.bfmtv.com/paris/paris-bientot-de-nouvelles-rames-de-metro-modernisees-pour-la-ligne-6_AV-202301100731.html

¡Viva Villa!” , an immersion in Avignon in the process of creation of the Villa Médicis, the Villa Kujoyama and the Casa de Velazquez, The three major French institutions for artist residencies abroad exhibit, at the Collection Lambert, the works more than seventy of their boarders. What is happening at the Villa Medici (French Academy in Rome), the Casa de Velazquez (French Academy in Madrid) and the Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto, Japan , participates remotely in the vitality of the French scene. However, since 2016, the prestigious trio of artist residency institutions has chosen to give a common echo, and in France, to these activities by organizing “¡Viva Villa!” », an event now hosted by the Collection Lambert, in Avignon. Webpage : https://collectionlambert.com/en/exposition/viva-villa-4/

You know you live in the 18éme arrondissement of Paris when..lol !. You have your breakfast at Francis la Butte even if you know that the best croissants are at the bakery at the intersection rue Hermel, You have concrete buttocks by going up and down 1573027 steps at each health walk in the neighborhood, You cried when Michou died, You know that Etienne Daho and Angèle are your neighbors and, even if you rarely see them, if at all everything, you feel oddly close to them in a way, cutest theatre? The Workshop, of course! For an aperitif at sunset, forget the steps of the Sacré-Coeur full of tourists, you know you have to meet at the Soleil de la Butte, The market on rue du Poteau is one of the nicest and nothing can’t make you say otherwise, Amélie Poulain who? “The 18éme is really a village honestly”, You finish all your evenings at the Soleil de la Butte, You’ve never been able to use a bike other than an electric one, You live 5 minutes from Sacré-Coeur but you had to go home about twice inside to break everything in your life, You can scour the Boule Noire, the Cigale and the Trianon and walk home all tipsy. When you discovered the existence of the Hôtel Particulier Montmartre you felt. super important and aware of a secret, now everyone hangs out there but you were there before first, During confinement you walked alone.in a deserted Montmartre and rediscovered the beauty of the neighborhood usually in full of touristic excitement ,They will say what they want, you know that the stairs of Abbesses when the elevator is broken are the closest to hell that a human being can experience on Earth ! Yes, you can really be a Montmartreois !!!

What to see around Paris, me think,

In the spring, the “Divine” Sarah Bernhardt is honored with an exceptional exhibition in the heart of the Petit Palais. An emblematic figure at the turn of the 19C and 20C, the indomitable Sarah Bernhardt was a real star before her time. Using her image for her own publicity and always keeping up to date with new releases, the “golden-voiced” actress and entertainer has triumphed on stages around the world. With more than 400 works on display, the route retraces both the life and career of the multifaceted artist Sarah Bernhardt  Et la femme créa la star or and the woman created the star ,Petit Palais Avenue Winston Churchill 8éme, From April 14 to August 27 , 2023 ,Webpage: http://https ://www.petitpalais.paris.fr/en/exhibitions/sarah-bernhardt

Essential painters of the 1860s-80s, Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas will soon be exhibited together at the Musée d’Orsay, in a unique journey, rich in masterpieces never before brought together. Manet / Degas, Musée d’Orsay, 1, rue de la Légion-d’Honneur – 7éme, From March 28 to July 3 2023. Webpage:https://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/whats-on/exhibitions/manet -degas

In the heart of the kingdom of Ramses II, great pharaoh of the Egyptian golden age. Discover an exceptional collection of more than 180 original pieces, with works exhibited for the first time outside Egypt , Ramsès et l’Or des pharaons or Ramses and the Gold of the Pharaohs, Grande Halle de la Villette, 211, avenue Jean-Jaurès 19éme, From April 7 to September 6 2023, Webpage: https://en.lavillette.com/programming/ramses-the-great_e1111

With the return of fine weather, the Musée Jacquemart-André makes you (re)discover the work of the great master of painting Giovanni Bellini who, all his life, led a quest for new influences. Through fifty works, retrace the journey of the father of the Venetian school, who paved the way for an art of color and tone, which became the hallmark of the Venetian 16C, Giovanni Bellini, Influences Croisées or Cross Influences, Musée Jacquemart- Andrew, 158, boulevard Haussmann 8éme, From March 3 to July 17 2023, Webpage:https://www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com/en/node/2256

My picks of pizzerias to liven up lunches (and dinners)! By experience are Peppe, at webpage : https://www.peppeparis.fr/en/ ,and La Vera Pizza Napoletana,(actually says the true Napolitan pizza) at webpage : https://www.guillaume-grasso.com/pizzeria/#contact

And hot plates for the winter I like: Beef bourguignon with shells from Bouillon Pigalle 22, boulevard de Clichy 18éme, Savoyard fondue from Marmottes, 26, rue de la Grande-Truanderie 1éme, Ultra-melting tartiflette from Monbleu, 37, rue du Faubourg -Montmartre 9éme, Ultra comforting onion soup from Au Pied de Cochon
6, rue Coquillière 1éme, The very Frenchy Le pot-au-feu stew from Drouant 16-18, rue Gaillon 2éme, and The ancestral veal blanquette from Chez la Vieille 1, rue Bailleul 1éme, All Paris !

And finally, my rant of the month or year . I do not know if just me but I have been noticing many folks trying to follow my blog giving a few likes and once ok the « friend » contact they just disappears ! I do not know why people follow , but to me , me think, you follow me because you like my content lol ! Just goes without saying that once in a while you should stop by to say Hi ,give a « like » and so on, I have taken many down from as much as 3000 followers to just over a thousand, Still a lot with hardly any real following, Is it me ? Or is just my mind ? What do you think ?

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior travel guy . Hope you enjoy this post and do take care of winter but still not feld as much, and the white one, well has stay away from me , great,,, And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all 

January 18, 2023

Special some news from France , the strike of January 19 2023

This is a special post due to the major strike all over France that will start tomorrow with possible extentions , All in cold snowy day in many parts of France even if light in cities, We will be tidy and drinking a nice glass of wine at home! Take care if in France and best of luck , IF any help just let me know in comments.

This is a first for 12 years and a defeat of the government according to the secretary general of the CGT Philippe Martinez: the eight French trade union federations (CFDT, CGT, FO, CFE-CGC, CFTC, Unsa, Solidaires, FSU) are unite in a common front against the pension reform , which aims to raise the legal retirement age to 64 from 62, According to the Ministry of the Interior, a thousand radical elements could take part in the Paris parade on Thursday 19 January, secured by 3,500 police or gendarmes. On the air transport side, flight crew unions are also calling for mobilization in the streets, such as the SNPNC-FO, which represents the stewards and hostesses of Air France, EasyJet, Ryanair, etc.

Lines 1 and 14, fully automated, will operate normally, but with risks of saturation. Line 4 will also run, but with one train in two during peak hours and one train in four during off-peak hours. Lines 8, 10 and 11 will not run at all, while traffic on lines 2, 3, 3 bis, 5, 6, 7, 7 bis, 9, 12 and 13 will be greatly disrupted. One out of two trains will run at peak times on lines 3, 3 bis, 5, 7 bis and 9. One out of three trains will run on lines 12 and 13, one out of four trains on line 6 and one out of five trains on line 7. In addition, many stations will be closed.

It will be necessary to plan on average one train out of two at peak times and one train out of four at off-peak hours for the RER A. The first departures will be at 5h10 and 5h40 The last visit to Châtelet is scheduled for 21h. The interconnection with Nanterre prefecture is maintained. Regarding the RER B, plan one train out of two during peak hours and one train out of three during off-peak hours. The last visit to Châtelet is scheduled around 21h50. The interconnections will be suspended at the Gare du Nord. For RER C, trains will only run on the southern branch from Paris Austerlitz, between 6h and 9h. and between 16h. and 20h, For the D, there will be no train between Châtelet and Gare de Lyon. Finally for the RER E, the stations of Pantin, Rosa Parks, Magenta and Haussmann Saint-Lazare will not be served. Plan for one train out of ten for these three lines.

Two out of three buses will run on average and a dozen lines will be closed. Regarding the noctilien network, the service will be normal. Tram traffic will be normal on lines T6 and T8, slightly disrupted on lines T1 and 13a and very disrupted on lines T2, T3b, T7 and T5. Transiliens One in ten trains will be required for lines L, J and P. Line J will not run on the Paris-Ermont axis and line P trains will only run on the Paris-Meaux axis. The R train will not run.

Ok hoping is ok took this picture from the tv BFMTV on the strike assembly in the Place de la République , they went to the Place de la Bastille and finally to the Place de la Nation in Paris. Yes over one million out in France! And it seems will continue…

Paris pl de la République strike on BFMTV jan23

The Paris RATP network : https://www.ratp.fr/en/

The regional IDF network Transilien : https://www.transilien.com/en

The SNCF trains on the strike : https://www.sncf.com/fr/greve-nationale/mouvement-social-interprofessionnel-du-19-janvier-2023

Strike info on its the strike or c’est la grêve special site :https://www.cestlagreve.fr/secteur-d-activite/transport/sncf-train/#greves-en-cours

The TER sncf strike info for Brittany : https://www.ter.sncf.com/bretagne/se-deplacer/info-trafic/greve-sncf-ter

There you go folks, a special some news from France as the best warning possible for the strike tomorrow Stay safe and again best of luck and let me know if stuck that I can direct you from here, And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

PS Do not want to repeat myself but this is entertainment French style, the strikes will continue and another major one on January 31st life goes on nobody else pays attention. Just be aware if visiting during these times… Cheers

January 12, 2023

Always more in Saint Germain en Laye !!!

And I am in my old neighborhood of Saint Germain en Laye, a wonderful town near my old home, why not tell you again about a wonderful royal city of my belle France, and of great historical significance and beautiful museum today. It is a must see while here and very easy to get to from Paris.

The town of Saint Germain en Laye is located in the Yvelines department 78, west of Paris; this is in the Île de France region.  It was very near me and I did shopping and eating out there often with the family. It is ,also, the birthplace of king Louis XIV with a beautiful castle now a wonderful museum. To come best on the RER A from many points in Paris, or the train  station Grand  Ceinture ,just at entry to the city from the west, train from Paris gare St Lazare.  The most obvious parkings  is by the RER A station, two are call RER and Chateau parking in two levels. The other is to go underneath the Vieux Marché or market area on ave de la République, or the parking Pologne at rue de Pologne or the Monoprix store parking.

sgl-fr-parc-to-chateau-mar12

The town offers many sightseeing choices and it is very easy to get to from Paris.  The town grew because of the castle and the forest that surround it which are magnificent with a wonderful view of Paris in the distance and its monuments at the park done by Le Notre. The name is old possibly from 972 AD when king of the French Robert I had built a monastery in honor of St Germain ,probably St Germain des Prés. The name of the town can be translated as Saint Germain of the forest in new French.  In 1777, King Louis XVI donated the New Castle, in bad condition, to his brother Charles, Count of Artois, the future Charles X. He had it demolished with the intention of rebuilding it.  Under the first Empire, the Château-Vieux was repaired to form a cavalry school. It hosts the Special Military School of Cavalry, opened in 1809 and merged, in 1914, with the Special Military School of Saint-Cyr. From 1836 to 1855, the castle was transformed into a military penitentiary. It was extensively restored under Napoleon III . On March 8, 1862, an imperial decree acts the creation in the castle of a Museum of Celtic and Gallo-Roman Antiquities (later renamed Museum of National Antiquities, then recently , and still today the Museum of National Archaeology).

st-germain-castle-front-all

I have other posts on the castle,but here is a little more ok. The castle revolves around an inner courtyard in the shape of a trapezoid, taking the primitive route of Charles V Castle. The wings that frame this courtyard traditionally bear the following names: King’s Wing (north wing), Queen’s Wing (east Wing), King’s Children’s wing (southeast wing), Chapel Wing (southwest Wing), and the Feast Hall Wing (West Wing). The ballroom is located in the West Wing. Unfinished at the death of François I, it was inaugurated by his son Henri II at a grand banquet in 1549 to celebrate the baptism of his son. It is more than 500 m2 and has a monumental chimney with a stone motif, which features the salamander; the emblem of François I. Louis XIV transformed it into a comedy room, and the team of formidable instruments. More than one hundred and forty representations of all kinds were given in this room considered the largest of the whole kingdom. Lully and Molière knew their hours of glory here. In 1666, king Louis XIV performed himself in the Ballet des Muses. This room now houses the comparative archaeology room.

st-germain-castle-st-germain-left-side

The castle museum are well kept with a beautiful Chapel of  St. Louis, located in the Gothic castle, is a vestige of the ancient fortress. It was built by Saint Louis in 1238. Louis XIV, although born in the Château Neuf, was baptized there. An inner courtyard, floors of antiquities artifacts from the region very nicely display, and the adjoining park design by Le Notre overlooking Paris. Behind the castle in what is now the restaurant Pavillon Henri IV, a marker displays the fact that king Louis XIV was born there. Of course, the castle now the museum of antiquities or musée national des antiquites it covers in three floors wonders of the old days found in the surrounding areas, and it is considered one of the best in its genre.  Behind you see an archdoor leading to the Pavillon Henri IV restaurant (great dining) an enblem showing this is where Louis XIV was born. The parc and gardens were done from  1668 to 1675 by the great gardener Le Nôtre, and it has an expansive view over Paris and the vineyards of Le Pecq that after doing so from antiquity are now back in form from 2000 onward producicng pinot noir base wines.   

st-germain-en-laye-side-castle-mars10

Some of the stories and personalities of the Castle and the city of Saint Germain en Laye were:

King François I married Claude de France (daughter of Anne de Bretagne and queen as well) in the Chapel of the old castle in 1514 , and became its favorite living property. Henri II is also born here, and he became king in 1547!  Charles IX established a glass making trade in 1561, and  Henri IV exempt the inhabitants of all taxes in 1599 priviledge that lasted until 1789! king Louis XIII spent his youth at the old castle, and it was while hunting from here that he discovered another place to later build his hunting lodge-Versailles. He later died here in 1643, while his son Louis XIV was born here in 1638. As king Louis XIV spent a great deal of his time here from 1661  to 1682 afterward the castle decline as the new other property was been built at Versailles. The king of England Edward II came here in exile from 1689 to his death in 1701 at the old castle, and is buried across the street at the Church of St Germain (see post).

Saint Germain en Laye saw the birth of  (year following name) :Henri II, 1518; Marguerite de France, Queen Margot, 1553 ; Jeanne d’Albret, (mother of Henri IV and great figure of the Reformist era) ,1528;Charles IX , 1550 ; Louis de Buade count de Frontenac,( Governor of New France (Canada)),1622; King Louis XIV, 1638 ; Philippe de France, duke of Orléans,1640 ; Philippe de France, duke of Anjou, (oldest son of Louis XIV), 1660; Marie-Louise of England , (daughter of king James II of England exile in the city and buried at the Church of St Germain across from castle), 1692;  Claude Debussy ,1862 ; Edouard Bourdet, 1887;  Jehan Alain, 1911 ;  Christian Fouchet, 1911,(ambassador and previous minister and follower from the first hour of Gen de Gaulle); José Artur, 1927; Michel Pericard (1929-1999), (previous mayor of Saint-Germain- en-Laye (1977-1999),deputy of the Yvelines  (1978-1999) , and Vice President of the National Assembly of France (1997-1999); Jean-Edern Hallier, 1936;  and Pierre Douglas, 1941…

Saint Germain en Laye saw the passing of figures such as (year of death following name) : Louis XIII,1643 ; James II king of England, 1701; The knight  Ramsay  1743 ; François de Beauharnais, (father in law of Joséphine first wife of Napoléon), 1800 ; prince de Polignac, 1847 ; Adolphe Thiers, President of the IIIe Républic, 1877; the Poet Catulle Mendès, 1909 ; Henri Cochet, Tennis champion 6 times winner of the Davis Cup, 1987; Suzanne Chantal, roman writer, 1994. And who have passed by in the city, some of the famous are : Molière, alias Jean-Baptiste Poquelin; Mozart for a day in 1778 ; Benjamin Franklin also in 1778; Alexandre Dumas father and son. The father wrote  “Les Trois mousquetaires” and “Le Comte de Monte Cristo” in the city while commander of the national guard in town as well as directs the theater.  The son wrote  “La Dame aux camélias” in the city. The musician Claude Debussy, and the painter Maurice Denis , that have a museum in the city as well. And of course, many many others too numerous to mention.

The Seine Saint Germain en Laye tourist office : https://www.seine-saintgermain.fr/en/

The Castle/Museum of National Antiquities: https://musee-archeologienationale.fr/en

There you go folks, worth a detour out of Paris glitz! come on over the Yvelines dept 78 ; the first , history , architecture, marvels of my belle France, and enjoy Saint Germain) en Laye as I !!!

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

January 10, 2023

Some news from France , CCCLXIX 

This is my latest from my belle France ; as we are In Winter and it surprise more rain warmer temps ! Most said winter will be harsh and with the exception of a brief few days the temps are been warmer than usual, However, is that time again to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12+ years , And for those non Roman CCCLXIX is 379 ! ,with another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We will be tidy and drinking a nice glass of wine! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

I like to start with a sad news that must be speak out for the soothing blues in me, I had the unfortunate passing of my dear loving father Elio on Saturday January 7th 2023 at home, He was under treatment by a team of nurses and doctors on what is call here HAD or hospital at home, a real army of health caregivers who had the courageous duty to do these things, He was 87 yrs old and fully enjoy life with us been everywhere I went even in wheelchair up ladders and castle stairs, I have the consolation he lived a full life, He will be cremated on January 12 2023 14h30 at Plescop in my beautiful Morbihan, Later, his aches will be thrown at sea in Honfleur Normandie to reunite with my dear mother Gladys and dear wife Martine, I am left with my three wonderful loving boys still with me, Thank you,

A dozen four- and five-star hotels will open in Paris in 2023. To welcome their future customers, they offer various services: restaurants, cocktail bars, access to a rooftop or a fitness room. competition will stiffen in the course of 2023 in the high-end hotel segment. Lifestyle establishments and others, more luxurious, plan to welcome their first visitors at the end of winter. See for example at Rue Danton (6éme) at the Hotel Dame des Arts, which opens in February, the suites, equipped with a balcony, offer an exceptional view of Paris, This is an ongoing trend for several years now and is picking up steam ; Paris is eternal and the rich and famous wants to be there !

The Rue Beaubourg, and rue de Renard..will have a redevelopment that will please cyclists and pedestrians , Cycle paths on both sides of the road, new raised pedestrian crossing… and removal of one of the two lanes for cars. After six months of work, this very busy axis in the heart of Paris appears to have been transformed. Good news, the redevelopment work on Rue Beaubourg (3-4éme) and Rue du Renard (4éme), which connects the Arts et Métiers crossroads to the City/ Town Hall, is almost complete. The mayor of Paris Centre (mayor Socialist party) has decided to open the cycle paths before they are finished. Oh yeah less lanes more trafic and the beat goes on.

From 2024, several streets of the Butte Montmartre hill will become pedestrianized. The City/town hall of the 18éme arrondissement, at the initiative of the project, plans to start work at the end of 2023. Barriers will be placed around the Montmartre hill to prevent access to cars, this ban will still remain partial since the inhabitants of the district are many have private parking lots. The project should be completed by the end of 2024 and provides for 3 different categories of pedestrian zones, with a modification of the traffic plan. On several streets, access to cars will be prohibited by barriers, “an open pedestrian area” will also be installed at the top of the Butte and finally a “meeting zone” will be set up in the residential sector. In addition to the establishment of pedestrian zones, the project provides for the greening of around ten streets in the district and the widening of certain sidewalks. I have driven in Montmartre, have you ? Braise yourselves for chaos in the future, but you know Paris is eternal !

In Nîmes, the last bearers of the flamenco flame, the city in the Gard is preparing to host its traditional flamenco festival, from January 9 to 21 2023. one of the most recognized in France, A great event, more info webpage : https://theatredenimes.com/

In Val-Thorens, the ski season starts at the time of the energy crisis. If you want to put on your skis as soon as possible, you have to come to Val-Thorens. It has become the tradition, More info webpage : https://www.valthorens.com/en/

Louvre, Orsay, Versailles The public has found its way back to French museums and monuments, museums and historical monuments are pleased with a virtual return to normal in 2022. Subordinated to the foreign public, in particular Asian, which is still conspicuous by its absence, the largest establishments in Ile-de-France have not yet reached their pre-Covid-19 levels. At the Louvre, which counts 7.8 million visitors thanks in particular to the massive return of Americans, attendance remains 19% lower than in 2019. The same observation is made at the Palace of Versailles, which announces 6.9 million visitors, triple 2021 but down 16% compared to 2019. The Musée d’Orsay, which attracted 3.2 million visitors in 2022, a figure boosted since September by the 6,700 daily admissions to the “Munch. A poem of life, love and death”, still shows a drop of 10% compared to 2019. The Center Pompidou, in Paris, totals 3 million visitors, or 8% less than in 2019 where the monograph Francis Bacon had been a hit. The Quai Branly welcomed just over a million people, a figure up 63% compared to 2021, but again below the 1.11 million recorded in 2019, a year already in decline. Universcience, which brings together the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie at La Villette and the Palais de la Découverte in the Parisian golden triangle, however, doubled its audience in 2022.

Rising operating costs and shrinking consumption impose rigor on fashion brands ! The winter sales start on Wednesday 11 January 2023 . But, since the end of December, in hypermarkets, shops and on the Internet, the French have already benefited from discounts, promotions and private sales to buy coats, boots and sweaters at discounted prices. Because fashion and shoe stores are full of goods ,despite sales growth of 3.7%, at the end of November 2022, compared to the same period in 2021, clothing sales in France have not recovered the level of the year 2019. (pre covid),

Forty years ago, the architect Alain Bourbonnais and his wife, Caroline, opened to the public what had until then been their country house, in Dicy (today Charny-Orée-de-Puisaye), in Yonne. . This anniversary, which the Halle Saint-Pierre in Paris judiciously celebrates, is a beautiful tribute to a family adventure (their daughters continue to animate the place) which began with the discovery, in 1946, of the art exhibition brut organized by Jean Dubuffet at the Parisian gallery Drouin. The announcement, in 1971, by the same Dubuffet that his collection was going to take refuge in Switzerland, in Lausanne, encouraged Bourbonnais to take over, with the blessing of the master. He first opened a gallery, Atelier Jacob, devoted to what he preferred to call “non-standard art”, of which he seems to have been the best client. the Bourbonnais collection is therefore partly visible to the Parisian public, “La Fabuloserie”, Halle Saint-Pierre, Paris. From January 25 to August 25, 2023, Webpage : https://www.hallesaintpierre.org/2023/01/02/la-fabuloserie/

And for the traveling train aficionados, the tickets for the Occitanie regional express train network, the TER “ilO“, will be offered at the price of one euro every first weekend of the month and during pollution peaks. It is better to book! SNCF estimates that these offers, as well as those intended for young people and seniors, will generate new subscriptions and therefore new income. As the train “is not present everywhere”, (really!!) ,the region has also decided to grant “carpooling aid” and has signed partnerships to this effect with the platforms Mobicoop, Karos, Atchoum, Klaxit and BlaBlaCar Daily, for the benefit of both passengers than drivers. More info webpage : https://www.ter.sncf.com/occitanie/tarifs-cartes/billets-un-euro

Have you ever devoured your Netflix guilty pleasure? Last December 21, the third season of Emily in Paris was released on the streaming platform. For wealthy Americans and Britons, this dream is becoming more and more a reality and many continue to seek a base in the French capital. A reality that not everyone can afford, therefore, since the real Parisian life, we know it, with its overpriced maids’ rooms and its crowded smelly metros… Not so glamorous as that. OF course, all you see is glitter as Paris is eternal !! You know it Netflix : https://www.netflix.com/fr/title/81037371

Sadly as an anecdote of non travel related, The oldest store in Meaux, the Dauvergne 1871 hardware store will close its doors at the end of January 2023. Opened in Meaux just after the Paris Commune, this business located next to the cathedral went on for 152 years, it has always remained in the same family: the Dauvergne. Installed since 1871 in the rue Saint-Étienne, a few steps from the cathedral. Meanwhile, all items are sold with discount. There are crockery, kitchen utensils and drugstore items. This is old town Meaux many walks over the years and even shopping there with my dear wife Martine and her grandma Fourré !! Webpage : https://dauvergne-1871-meaux.jimdosite.com/

Unaccompanied foreign minors, whose real minority is debated, were responsible for 30% of burglaries, 44% of pickpocketing and 32% of violent thefts in Paris in 2020, according to justice. And represented nearly 80% of referrals of minors. The Paris police headquarters is concerned for its part of “their rise to power”: between 2016 and 2020, they went from 3 to 29% of those questioned in matters burglaries and 8 to 27% for violent thefts According to the Central Department of Public Security (DCSP), they target foodstuffs, telephones, bank cards, jewelry, scratch games, cigarettes and cosmetics. And rob shops, restaurants, bakeries, greengrocers, clothing stores and pharmacies. Polydrug addicts, they can show great violence, and are often carrying bladed weapons, even handguns. So Paris is nice and safe huh I know done the beat at nights ; stay away from young folks on the streets, be in groups, and if possible avoid very late nights on the metro/RER, Paris is eternal !!!

The American franchise Popeyes, already established in thirty countries, is packing its bags in Paris. Know them from my days in Daytona Beach FL USA !! The opening of its first restaurant is scheduled for February 1 2023 near the Gare du Nord. Specialized in chicken, the chain aims to set up everywhere in France from 2023. Born in 1972 in New Orleans, the franchise taken over by the Napaqaro group (Buffalo Grill, Courtepaille) and specializing in fried chicken , Be there from 11h that day, at 9, boulevard de Denain (10éme), on the forecourt of the train station,More news coming in webpage: https://www.popeyesfrance.fr/

The Grandes Halles of the Vieux Port now host a market of craftsmen and producers specializing in Mediterranean gastronomy, The Cours Estienne-d’Orves had lost some of its luster over the years, connoisseurs preferring to frequent restaurants in the nearby rue Sainte, which goes up to the Saint-Victor abbey. But three young men from Marseille, had the idea of gourmet halls where the taste buds would quiver, in the old Buffalo Grill, deserted for six years. Over 2,000 square meters, twelve stalls have been offering catering at the counter or on the large outdoor terrace since this past summer. And if the flavors of the Grandes Halles make you want to cook at home, you just have to cross rue Euthymènes, which overlooks the Vieux Port, to enter the market. In this former rope factory, with stone walls and 17C framework, welcomes excellent producers. To eat well in Marseille, just head towards to the Vieux Port. I know it !! Webpage : https://www.lesgrandeshalles.com/

After Petit, Gros and Bleu Bao, the Bao Family has decided to expand a little more. The new kid? Bao Express, a clever mix between a Hong Kong restaurant, a bakery, a coffee shop and a speakeasy. In a space of 500 m2, we will enjoy these delicious filled buns and other Chinese specialties. In this new spot, we find for the first time the Bao Bakery: the bakery of our dreams to buy the best delicacies of the Bao Family. This address also offers us its own speakeasy, The Underpool, a small bar hidden in the basement. The ideal place to continue your evening with a few cocktails. Bao Express, 10, rue Bréguet 11éme, Open from 12h to 15h and from 19h to 23h. webpage : https://www.baofamily.co/bao-express

Something we had in our town and we indulge once in a while ; they are now all over France ! Each year, the kebab-frites site unveils its annual ranking of the best kebabs in France, In first place, a Toulouse address, Delizioso, followed by the l’Artiste in Abbeville. And it is on the third place of the podium that rises an address in Paris, Streaters at 39 rue des Pyrénées 20éme, a restaurant well known to the inhabitants of the Porte de Vincennes neighborhood. It is not the only address in Paris that reaches the top 50. In the rest of the ranking, Greek Snack (rue de l’Ecole Polytechnique 5éme) takes 18th place, then Marmara (102 rue de Colombe , Courbevoie (92) ) in 26th place, followed by Mondial Kebab (190 avenue de Clichy 17éme) in 28th place and Ozlem Snack (57 rue des Petites écuries 10éme). More info webpage : https://www.kebab-frites.com/meilleur-kebab/

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior travel guy . Hope you enjoy this post and do take care of winter but still not feld as much, and the white one, well stay away better ,me think,,, And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

January 4, 2023

I bring you back to the Maintenon castle !!!

We have been lucky enough to visit France, me for a brief moment to Paris in1972, and later with my Frenchie since 1990 until finally residing as French citizens in 2003 in Versailles. Later in 2011 we moved on to the Morbihan breton and it has been a blast if not for the personal losses. This is a post taken bits from others as not to repeat text just to remind of you the beauty of my belle France. I like to give more on Maintenon with new older pics for my blog ;and see my previous posts on the town. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Maintenon is only about 65 kms  (40 miles) from Paris and 47 kms ( 29 miles) from Versailles.  You can come by train from Paris Montparnasse to the train station in Maintenon, on the line Paris-Montparnasse direction Chartres.  

The main thing to come here is the Château de Maintenon, that really was here since the middle ages and was the first fortress of the count of Monfort. The castle was later rebuilt in a renaissance style from 1509, and the garden, park was done by André Le Nôtre; and Racine came here often to meditate and Vauban, to direct construction of the aqueduct.  Eventually the Castle passes to the family of Noailles ,after the marriage of Françoise-Amable d’Aubigné (niece of Mme de Maintenon) to the Duke of Ayen ,the son of Marshal Noailles (the marshal died of wounds in Cuba).  Even king Charles X on it’s way to exile, sleeps in the castle in 1830.  

Maintenon chateau from side street apr11

maintenon chateau canals in back apr11

And of course, the main personnage of the town and the title of Madame de Maintenon , we say wife of king Louis XIV was Françoise d’Aubigné, future marquise de Maintenon she catches the attention of King Louis XIV , and in 1683, after the death of the queen the king married Madame de Maintenon on the night of October 9-10, 1683,some said in Versailles. In 1674, Françoise d’Aubigné, future Madame de Maintenon buys the castle, lands and farms thanks to the help of the King Louis XIV, to think of retired in her last days; however, after 1688 ,she will never lived in the castle.   In 1715, few days before the death of the King, Madame de Maintenon retires from the Court to  Saint-Cyr l’école, where she died four years later on April 15 1719.  Her remains were profane in 1793 during the French revolution ,but were later found after WWII and brought back to Saint Cyr l’école in 1969.

maintenon chateau piece de saxe apr11

maintenon chateau battle at sea marshal Noailles died of wounds in Cuba remi et xavi apr11

Under her influence, the Black Code was completed in 1685 and the Edict of Nantes revoked, which triggered the persecution and the exodus of Protestants. Madame de Maintenon had Saint-Cyr-l’École (Yvelines 78) created in 1686 the Royal House of Saint-Louis, an establishment intended for the education of noble and destitute young girls. The establishment was maintained during the first years of the French revolution, but closed its doors definitively in March 1793. Napoleon I was inspired by the Royal House of Saint-Louis to create the House of the young ladies of the Legion of Honor, which still exists today under the name of House of Education of the Legion of Honor.

maintenon chateau bibliotheque or library apr11

maintenon chateau billiard room apr11

Françoise d’Aubigné, marchioness of Maintenon, will be raised eight years, in the middle of her Protestant cousins, to Mursay. Théodore-Agrippa d’Aubigné makes of Mursay castle near Niort, his residence of rest in 1583.  The house where it was the prison , she lived with her father and was born in. The house can be visited, here is more info in French: https://www.tourisme-deux-sevres.com/maison-natale-de-la-marquise-de-maintenon/niort/pcuaqu079v500jkq

The City of Maintenon on its history: http://www.mairie-maintenon.fr/home/histoire-de-la-ville/

The official Maintenon castlehttp://www.chateaudemaintenon.fr/en

The Eure et Loir dept 28 Tourist board on Maintenon: https://www.tourisme28.com/experiences/cest-pas-versailles-ici/

There you go folks, another dandy of my belle France. A castle worth the detour to royal Maintenon in deep country France. Hope you enjoy the new post on the castle of Maintenon as I. 

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

January 1, 2023

WordPress ,you and me 2022 !!!

Right off the bat, I thank you very much for reading my blog, Paris1972-Versailles2003. This blog kept me busy and has been uplifting and deeply appreciate all comments and likes over the years since 26 November 2010! There has been some old virtual friends gone and some new ones I see, all welcome and glad you made my day in time. I started on WordPress after advice from an American friend living in Madrid for over 30 years who told me it was easy to work for the non technical guy in me and it has been a blast ,in part thanks to you. Of course, as you know, will do this post in my black and white series, no pictures. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Many good well wishes for 2023.  It cannot be worse than 2022 so may all your hopes and dreams come true in good health. We stay home as in the last wishing you all a very very Happy New Year and best wishes to all. Another year goes by, and I am now on retirement or it is here pre retirement on a deal with my last employer, The sensations are weird, glad to finally make it and spent more time at home ,but also sad that my travels will be cut in half as no more business trips to far away lands. I was hoping to do more consulting work but the covid virus and my father illness kept me home.

I like to give out some statistics that nicely WordPress give us and I look at it every year at least. Again thank you all for your kind comments and likes, really appreciated.

As of 31 December, 2022 , I had records all over!!! first  54 851 views,  26 911 visits, 27 386 likes! ,and 793 comments (this came down). I had written 1 119 posts! Also, the most! And have so far 1 029 followers which has gone beyond my wildest expectations! Thank you again, I have deleted some who do not share or partake on the blog no need to follow just to look, Behold I have DCMA copyright warnings on all my pictures,(see page),

My Top 10 articles view for 2022 were:(many were surprises !! )

The Somport Pass/Tunnel

WordPress you and me, 2021 !!!

Windjammers Barefoot Cruise

Plaza de Toros of Aranjuez

My Personal Life in Perth Amboy NJ USA

The Ceilings of Versailles (palace)

Notre Dame Cathedral Update Dec21

Paris : Avenue of New York

Some streets of Versailles

The Greenbelts of Manila (mall/museums)

Top 10 countries followers were: (ok me think)

USA , France, UK; Belgium, Spain, Indonesia, Canada, Australia, India, and Finland.

My top search engines were: WordPress reader, Google search, Bing, WordPress Android App, Duckduckgo, Yahoo search, Facebook, Baidu, AOL, and Dockpile. There are a total of 6 pages on front page, 15 categories of posts and 15 tags with 7 favorite outside links in the blogroll . There are over 53 000 photos already here wow!!! 53,3% of memory space taken ! My best viewing day is Monday…. and the best time is 15h or 3 pm!! The best day viewed still is December 10, 2012! with 972 views!!! A record hard to beat ! There are about 7 steady commentators and ,you know who you are , and my wish is to have more comments, constructive comments that is.

My New Year 2023 is at home not so good, my father has become sick bedridden and on his last days so tell me the doctors. He is on what is call here HAD or hospital at home with a team of nurses that takes care of him until his last day, do not know when. He is 87 years old and saw the world with me always tagged him along ,so at least he lived a full life ,cannot say the same of my dear mom and wife who went out at 72 and 59. I will missed him as I missed the women of my life but life needs to go on for the boys and the good intentions they taught me.

There you go folks just for you, fully transparent as always. Hope you have enjoy the travel posts done with care and love to share with all and maybe helpful in your trips. Thank you ,again, my followers and do share with me your adventures , it has been a pleasure. Take care, best of luck, best wishes, stay safe !

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

December 27, 2022

Christmas past ,and New Year 2023 is coming !!!

This is the season to be merrier and hope it is for all, Not so much for me this year ,I am home taking care of my very ill father in his last days.  I rather tell you of this wonderful time to celebrate the birth of a good men regardless of your religious beliefs. I ike to briefly tell you of some of the festivities we have been and would love to be this year but oh well hope there will be others. Anyway, a late Merry Christmas and an early Happy New Year 2023 to all.

Let me tell you as usual some of my favorite festivities past and looking forward to eventually enjoy them. Hope you do now.

More than ever, the “city of light” Paris lives up to its name! To early January 2023, the Christmas illuminations on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Avenue Montaigne, Place Vendôme, through the Montmartre district, at Bercy Village and many other sites, give Paris a more captivating look than ever ! On the Champs-Élysées, Bercy Village, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Ave Montagne, Also, from the Champs-Élysées to the Place de l’Alma, Place Vendôme, and around the Haussmann neighborhood, Saint Germain des Prés ,Westfield Forum des Halles, and in the parvis of the Hôtel de Ville.

Le Parcours du Roi is the 2022 Christmas show at the Palace of Versailles which offers families the opportunity to discover the most beautiful rooms of the castle in a baroque atmosphere, up to January 1, 2023. An event that ends with a very special meeting with the baroque Santa Claus!

Closer to home the Christmas in Vannes 2022 with illuminations until January 2 2023 the Palace of Automatons will open its doors on Sunday January 1, 2023. Installed in front of the Hôtel de Ville ,you have the Palace of Automatons immerses you in the workshop of Santa Claus, Mailboxes for writing to Santa Claus are installed at rue Hoche, Joseph-Le Brix, at the Halles des Lices and in Saint-Patern.Finally, seven days before Christmas, Santa Claus will distribute gifts every day in a downtown location. There was Ambulance of luminous stilt walkers from December 17 to 24 ,and Introduce your child to the warm atmosphere of Christmas on pony back on December 21, 22 and 23 from 15h to 17h around the halle aux poissons or covered fish market. webpage: https://www.mairie-vannes.fr/actualites/noel-vannes

One of our all time favorite is to go to the illuminations of Rochefort en Terre until January 1, 2023, Every evening, at nightfall, the magic of Christmas accompanies your walk. See it from approximately 17h30 until 22h30. webpage:  https://en.rochefortenterre-tourisme.bzh/explore/the-magic-of-christmas/christmas-lights-in-rochefort-en-terre/

Even closer to me at Auray, the launch of the illuminations from December 8 on Place de la République, the arrival of Santa Claus on December 9 in Saint-Goustan, and the Christmas markets Christmas Village at Place Notre-Dame, games, authentic Santa Claus sleigh….Medieval & Fantastic Village , Small Theatre,at Place de la Pompe medieval market, events, music…Village of Wishes at Place de la République: with the Wishing Tree, Fairy Village ,at Place de la Pompe: meet Father Christmas and enchanted decorations! There is a skating rink from December 9 to 24 2022 at the Chapelle du Saint-Esprit, webpage: https://www.auray.fr/Agenda/Noel-a-Auray

Down the Rhuys peninsula, you have the Arzonnais Christmas welcoming you every day to Sunday January 1, 2023. A wonderful Christmas-themed universe awaits you at the port house. Sunday, December 18, Santa Claus stops in Arzon. He was in Port-Navalo at 15h. webpage: https://arzonevenements.fr/agendas/categorie/voir/flaner/

And how about New Year 2023, well here are my favorites to be if possible.

New Year’s Eve 2023 in Versailles, The show The way of the rider in Versailles on December 31, 2022 at the Manège De La Grande Ecurie (Avenue Rockfeller), The Concert Mozart, The Magic Flute in Versailles on January 1, 2023 at the Royal Opera / Palace of Versailles, At the Waldorf Astoria Versailles – Trianon Palace hotel at 1, Boulevard de la Reine, End the year in style at the table of one of our restaurants. Let yourself be carried away by the swing of the “Roaring Twenties” dance party. Saturday 31 December – New Year’s Eve dinner at La Véranda: €350 per person, 5-course menu with food and wine pairing, The Gordon Ramsay au Trianon: €580 per person, 5-course menu with food and wine pairing, Evening dancing until 02h Sunday January 1, 2023 ; New Year’s Brunch at La Veranda: €159 per person, brunch at discretion, including a glass of Champagne per person. €95 per child (between 4 and 10 years old). On the Versailles City side, the restaurant-theatre Reminisens organizes a dinner show in historical immersion… in the 17C. Really nice, webpage : https://reminisens.fr/

My beautiful Morbihan is dead for New Year’s 2023 celebrations, just regulations omg , real countryside oh well!I will be at home watching TV this year , By order of the Préfect the awesome strict rules !! The purchase, sale, transfer as well as the use, carrying and transportation of fireworks by individuals are prohibited from Friday, December 30, 2022 at 8h until Sunday, January 1, 2023 at 20h. The prefect also prohibits the transport of flammable products on the occasion of the New Year festivities, from Saturday December 31, 2022 at midnight until Sunday January 1, 2023 at 20h. The consumption of alcoholic beverages by the 3rd to 5th group (any alcohol with with the exception of beer and wine) is prohibited on public roads from Saturday December 31, 2022 at 18h until Sunday January 1, 2023 at 8h, Big brother in the Morbihan but at least it keeps away the crazys.

However, in my eternal Paris all is different, sometimes like a different country lol!

The famous New Year party 2023 at YOYO – Palais de Tokyo in front of the Eiffel Tower! Saturday December 31, 2022, From 22h to 5h (a.m.) Located at 13 Avenue du President Wilson, 16éme Metro Iena or Alma Marceau Line 9,webpage : https://yoyo-paris.com/infos-contact/

New Year Eve VIP at the Magic Club Champs- Élysées fireworks Arc de Triomphe – 500 meters from the Arc de Triomphe at 40, Rue du Colisee 8éme,webpage : https://shotgun.live/fr/events/reveillon-vip-magic-club-champs-elysees-feu-d-artifice

The exceptional Rooftop Eiffel Tower with 2000 m2 of panoramic view, The Fl Club Rooftop Tower;perched on the top floor of a beautiful building, the ROOFTOP is bathed in natural light and offers a breathtaking view of the entire City, a 360° view of the Eiffel Tower and all of Paris ! Place des Insurgés de Varsovie, 15éme webpage : https://shotgun.live/fr/events/tour-eiffel-rooftop-geant-exceptionnel-new-year-2023-2500-m-2

The Prestige New Year 2023 at the Prestige Trust Luxury Club Champs -Élysées in the heart of the Golden Triangle, one of the most famous and unmissable clubs in Paris, a stone’s throw from the most beautiful avenue in the world, the Champs-Élysées 22h – 6h (am), Located at 49 Rue Rue de Ponthieu 8éme Metro: Franklin Roosevelt or Georges V, webpage : https://shotgun.live/fr/events/prestige-new-year-club-champs-elysees-big-party-paris-2023

The Prestige Boat Party New Year Eve 2023 Exceptional New Year’s Eve on the Seine river facing an illuminated Notre Dame Cathedral, Panoramic view of romantic & historic Paris , This on the wonderful Péniche Notre Dame boat at 47 Quai de la Tournelle 5éme, Webpage : https://lesitedespeniches.fr/privatisation-peniche-notre-dame-paris-5eme/

If you want something more subdue romantic than head for New Year’s dinner celebration at prestigious rooms of the musée Jacquemart-André. For this Lyrical New Year, champagne, caviar and assortments signed Dalloyau delicately accompany the opera arias of Puccini and Offenbach sung by a Soprano, a Tenor and a Baritone. At midnight, a “brindisi” (toast) with the artists awaits you! Webpage : https://www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com/fr/soiree-31-decembre

At the Caveau de la Huchette, temple of swing since 1946, a Swing and Rock New Year’s Eve with Cecilya and the Candy Kings is already scheduled. Webpage :http://www.caveaudelahuchette.fr/1/reveillon_2023_1481692.html

Le Duc des Lombards, a veritable institution on rue des Lombards, welcomes singer and violinist Aurore Voilqué in the very center of Paris for a septet with Eastern European sounds with guitar, double bass and brass. The New Year’s Eve formula is garnished with a dinner cocktail, savory and sweet pieces, accompanied by wine and, of course, champagne! Webpage : https://ducdeslombards.com/fr/l-agenda/new-year-s-eve-celebration-aurore-voilque-septet

Montmartre, the famous cabaret Michou and its transformist artists offer an evening between laughter and emotions, embellished with a special New Year’s Eve holiday dinner. Webpage :https://www.michou.com/fr/formules-fetes-de-noel/

Also in Montmartre, the historic and mythical cabaret Lapin Agile also celebrates the New Year with its show to be enjoyed while sipping a glass of champagne. Webpage :https://au-lapin-agile.com/

The Bateaux Parisiens is also celebrating the transition from 2022 to 2023 with panache,Three dinners to choose from Dinner is followed by a dance party with live music until dawn! .webpage : https://www.bateauxparisiens.com/fr/croisieres-restauration/croisieres-diner.html

At the mythical Ritz, located on the prestigious Place Vendôme, the festivities begin with a dinner under the superb glass roof of the Vendôme bar, and continue in the Proust lounge and its champagne bar or in the cozy atmosphere of the Hemingway bar. Webpage : https://www.ritzparis.com/en-GB/bars-and-restaurants

The Buddha Bar and its superb decor offers fusion cuisine, a New Year’s menu in four movements and a special evening on the theme of Tales of the Thousand and One Nights…In this temple of Parisian nights, dinner is followed by a dance party hosted by the resident DJ, DJ Ravin. Webpage : https://www.buddhabar.com/en/

On the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, chef Thierry Marx’s restaurant Madame Brasserie offers a unique New Year’s Eve with a 6-course New Year’s Eve menu. An exceptional dinner in an exclusive setting 57 meters high and a magical view of Paris and the fireworks fired from the Champs-Elysées. Webpage : https://www.restaurants-toureiffel.com/en/madame-brasserie.html

There you go folks, hope the magic of Christmas touch you fine everywhere you are, and hope things will be better for you and yours in a Happy New Year 2023. The period is special and hope it continues to be. Best wishes for all

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

December 23, 2022

Some news from France , CCCLXXVIII

This is my latest from my belle France ; as we are already in Winter and it surprise more rain warmer temps ! Most said winter will be harsh and already has some low temps but harsh still is to be seen, However, is that time again to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12 years , And for those non Roman CCCLXXVIII is 378 ! ,with another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We will be tidy and drinking a nice glass of wine! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

New update as ranking goes good to know but the official is the UN WTO ok fyi. There Paris and France are firsts too ::) For the second consecutive year, Paris is at the top of the ranking of world tourist destinations carried out by the British market research company Euromonitor and relayed this week by CNN, ahead of Dubai and Amsterdam, which complete the podium. In total, 40 of the 100 most visited cities in the world this year were European, making Europe the world’s leading tourist destination. Madrid, Rome, London, Munich, Berlin and Barcelona are in the top 10, ahead of New York in 10th position. Italy, Spain and Greece are the three European countries with the most cities in the ranking, with six Italian cities, five Spanish and four Greek.

This Thursday, FIFA published its new ranking at the end of the 2022 World Cup. If Brazil remains in the lead, Argentina and France logically fall behind the Seleção. The ranking as of December 22, 2022 as follows : 1- Brazil 1,840.77 points, 2- Argentina 1,838.38, 3- France 1,823.39, 4- Belgium 1,781.30, 5- England 1,774.19, 6- Netherlands 1,740.92, 7- Croatia 1,727.62, 8- Italy 1,723.56, 9- Portugal 1,702.54, and 10- Spain 1,692.71 , Well we will be back in 2026 USA/Canada/Mexico World Cup !fifa webpage: https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/men?dateId=id13869

The Horizon 2024; the development program for the future eco-station aims to facilitate access to buses, bicycles and passengers. Giant car park, secure traffic, the Gare du Nord is revealed in a new light. Initially, a bicycle hall, wooded, will be built to accommodate almost 1,200 places. It will become “the largest secure car park in France” for two-wheelers. 712 double-decker spaces with standard spacing for classic bicycles will be offered as well as 440 spaces with wide spacing . Particular attention will also be paid to cargo and recumbent bikes, in particular with a reception of around 30 places. Thanks to the Navigo Pass, rail holders will have free access to these seats. Wider sidewalks and a modification of the road system, which will include LED lighting, will see the light of day to ensure the safety of users. All these new features will be accompanied by information points to direct travellers. At the beginning of 2023, the opening of the construction site will be effective and will last one year. Info in French webpage: https://www.garesetconnexions.sncf/fr/gares-services/actualites/horizon-2024-modernisation-gare-du-nord

The Navigo pass at 84.10€, it’s already here, The monthly Navigo pass will increase by 11.8% to a price of 84.10 euros, it was 75.20 euros, in force since 2017. Go ahead public transport in Paris is a mess and pricey !More info webpage: https://www.iledefrance-mobilites.fr/titres-et-tarifs/detail/forfait-navigo-mois

This is what the 60 towns gathered within the SAVM (Syndicat Autolib’ and Vélib’ Métropole) have been waiting for since this summer. This past Wednesday December 21 2022 ;afternoon, it was announced the order of 15,000 additional bicycles by Smovengo, the operator of the self-service bicycle service. This order will make it possible to renew the existing fleet with new vehicles, but also to have 3,000 more, i.e. 20% more Vélib’. Enough to secure the service until the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, More info in French webpage: https://www.autolibmetropole.fr/

The Grand Paris metro will not be completed in 2030. The lines are divided into several lots, each with a timetable. The full opening of the circular line, scheduled for 2030, will be at least a few months or even a year late. More specifically, the western part of line 15 between Pont de Sèvres in Boulogne (92) to Saint-Denis Pleyel (93), passing through Nanterre and La Défense (92) , as well as its eastern part, from Saint-Denis to Champigny, passing through Bobigny and Rosny, The SGP (Societé du Grand Paris) is in charge of building 200 km of automatic metro, with four new lines, numbered from 15 to 18, and the extensions of line 14. Articulating around a circular line, several branches must connect the airports of Orly and Roissy, the scientific center of Saclay and the sensitive districts of Seine-Saint-Denis. hinting at a goal of opening in 2031. The question of the Grand Paris Express station has long been a problem for La Défense, faced with the very great difficulty of building yet another additional basement in the current underground millefeuille. The line will also pass a little further, in the Rose de Cherbourg sector of the business district. La Defense went there for meetings public transport and by car all a mess,More info in French webpage: https://www.societedugrandparis.fr/nouveau-metro/grand-paris-express

The Cité du Vitrail (City of Stained Glass) has opened its doors in Troyes. This is a unique proposal to learn about the art of stained glass from the 7C to the present day. This stained glass window more than three meters high will be their playground for the duration of this interactive quiz. This monumental canopy, leaning against a window, is bathed in light. Designed for the Palais du Trocadéro, it represents the history of ceramics. more info in French webpage: https://cite-vitrail.fr/fr/decouvrez-la-cite/la-cite

Walk by rue de Lévis, a “typical” village in the heart of the 17éme arrondissement of Paris, A stone’s throw from Parc Monceau, the rue de Lévis is famous for its food shops, its fruit and vegetable market and its ready-to-wear shops It’s hard to imagine thatat the end of the street stood a medieval castle and its prison. Its disappearance during the Second Empire (Napoléon III) ,and major urban planning and road development works undertaken at the end of the 19C led to the arrival of an increasingly large population and finished transforming this country lane into a a real shopping street with a friendly atmosphere.Great walking area and good shopping quality/price ratio.

Harry Potter: The Exhibition, the largest immersive exhibition on the wizarding world, arrives in spring 2023 at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. From the spring of 2023, it is therefore the turn of the French to discover the backstage of the world of wizards. Films and stories from the world of J.K. Rowling are obviously given pride of place, in an immersive staging at the cutting edge of technology. The opportunity also to see the real accessories and costumes used on the various filming of the Harry Potter films or the Fantastic Beasts. In short, we’re going to be amazed and we can’t wait! webpage: https://harrypotterexhibition.com/

The very first Batman Gotham City Adventures immersive experience, inspired by the universe of the dark knight, will open its doors in Paris for the year 2023. The game will immerse fans around the world in the unique scenery and atmosphere of Gotham City. with 3 immersive escape game rooms in a 3000 m2 space in the heart of Paris. Actors of your own adventure, walk the dark alleys as a team, solve many puzzles and interact with the actors present throughout the game. Batman Gotham City Adventures, so far they have kept secret the location, Opening in 2023. webpage: https://www.batmanadventures.com/?lang=en

Some of the work by the Heritage Mission of Stéphane Bern on saving wonderful heritage of France :

Very good news for these monuments! The Saint-Blaise-des-Simples Chapel in Milly-la-Forêt (Essonne 91) dating from the 12C , the final residence of Jean Cocteau, The Stéphane Bern heritage mission will allocate aid of 102,000 euros which will contribute to the work aimed at renovating this discreet monument, decorated with frescoes by Jean Cocteau, and where the poet rests for eternity. The House of the Sisters of Châteaufort wins a renovation, The grant of 129,000 euros will contribute to the restoration project. Built at the beginning of the 19C in the Yvelines (78), this dwelling in the Domaine d’Ors housed the nuns of the chapel. Also, 300,000 euros to urgently save the Abbey of Chiry-Ourscamp, the maximum possible sum will be devoted to the emergency work of the choir of the 13C monument. Construction started this week. Stéphane Bern webpage: https://www.missionbern.fr/

The Parc Floral de Paris lights up for us to enjoy a unique and magical show for the end of year celebrations. At sunset, a 2 km route takes shape with a total of 22 visual and sound installations. Show on the water, crossing in a huge luminous cathedral, and many other spectacular works will transport us directly into the magic of Christmas , The Christmas light trails, Parc Floral de Paris Route de la Pyramide 12éme Up to January 2, 2023, from 17h30 to 21h Info webpage : https://www.sentierslumineuxdenoel.com/#infos-pratiques

The Paris Zoological Park has some totally magical days in store for us. Christmas bingo, gourmet breaks, making small gifts for the animals… And this Sunday,Dec 25 2022, they extend the experience by participating in the countdown of the lighting of the tree and attend a light show proposed by the Zizanie company, Lighting jugglers. Christmas at the Zoo, Paris Zoological Park, Avenue Daumesnil 12éme, info webpage : https://www.parczoologiquedeparis.fr/en/node/3607

After 70 years of neglect, the mythical building of the Meudon (92) aeronautical site is being transformed. Make way for Hangar Y. This place of art and culture resolutely focused on digital, space, travel, discovery and innovation will officially open its doors in the spring of 2023. Hangar Y Avenue de Trivaux, Meudon (Hauts de Seine 92), Opening in March 2023, more info in French webpage: https://hangar-y.com/

The Maison de Gainsbourg’s house 5 bis, rue de Verneuil, 7éme , Its facade is well known to the inhabitants, but few are those who have had the chance to enter it. But now it will be transformed into a museum for the greatest pleasure of nostalgics and other curious people… To believe that your silent prayers have been heard! The place will be accompanied by a bookstore-boutique, a piano bar at night and a café called “Gainsbarre” in tribute to the alter-ego of the artist. I have told you this and after announcing its opening for 2021, then 2022, now finally 2023 would finally seem to be the right year. webpage: https://www.maisongainsbourg.fr/

Giselle playing at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées 8éme, Choreography Marius Petipa, composed by Adolphe Adam, by the Ballet of the National Opera of Ukraine. Alternating with Natalia Matsak, Kateryna Alaieva, Sergii Kryvokon, Oleksii Potomkin, Kseniia Ivanenko, Iryna Borysova, Kostiantyn Pozharnytskyi, Kseniia Novikova, Sergii Lytvynenko. Up to January 5, 2023 , Originally choreographed in 1841 by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, to a score by Adolphe Adam and a libretto by Théophile Gautier, webpage: https://www.theatrechampselysees.fr/saison-2022-2023/danse-1/giselle-opera-national-ukraine

Art Deco, City of Architecture and Heritage, 16éme, At the end of 1935, Jacques Carlu’s project for the Trocadero Palace was adopted. A new building is erected. The architect articulates his project around the creation of an esplanade and the breakthrough of a grandiose perspective on the city and the Eiffel Tower. He frames it with two monumental pavilions, extended by symmetrical wings whose sober lines preserve the balance of the masses. The inaugurated Palais de Chaillot has “Washingtonnian” dimensions and represents the last flame of artistic exchanges between France and North America ,around the Art Deco style. Exhibit Shows How the French Art Deco Style Influenced the Architecture, Decor, Lifestyle, and Taste of North Americans , Up to March 6, 2023 info webpage : https://www.citedelarchitecture.fr/en/agenda/exhibition/art-deco-france-north-america

The Nancy Museum of Fine Arts brings together 150 works showing the fruitful interactions between art and architecture. this formidable exhibition which shows how, from the Renaissance onwards, art offered architecture a territory in which to unfold without constraint, sheltered from the laws of gravity, perspective or economy from all this rationality which padlocks its exercise in the real sphere. Until Mars 2023 more info dossier in French webpage :https://musee-des-beaux-arts.nancy.fr/espace-presse-2596.html


In Pau, the Pyrenees fall steeply. Recently taken over by a couple passionate about art and design, the Hotel Bristol is a charming bubble in the heart of the city. Room 405, like all those on the fourth floor, offers a magnificent panorama of the mountains. A hotel establishment since 1903, a charming bubble in the heart of the city. Historical research on the building (which was the residence of the chaplain of the Fathers of Betharram in the 19C) went hand in hand with renovation work.webpage: https://en.hotelbristol-pau.com/

The place de l’Estrapade invaded by fans of the series, A few steps from the Pantheon , La Boulangerie moderne or the Modern Bakery in the 5éme arrondissement, which appears in “Emily in Paris”, has become an obligatory stop for a selfie accompanied by a pastry, It is in a very chic cozy Place de l’Estrapade. This space camouflaged by small streets a few steps from the Pantheon is the epicenter of the Netflix series whose 3rd season arrives this past Wednesday, December 21 2022. Great place indeed! Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100062609092339

Villa Gypsy offers us a spot where to drink good coffee, eat well, with a selection of products from around the world. In this former abandoned hammam of more than 250 m2, in the heart of Batignolles, we stroll between stands for children, delicatessen stands, furniture, decoration, crafts, art – like masks brought back from Panama or ranges of original products stamped Villa Gypsy ranging from leather goods to soaps. Villa Gypsy, 126, rue Legendre 17éme Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 8h30 to 19h, Webpage: https://villagypsy.bigcartel.com/

It is a brand new concept that is about to open its doors in Paris, combining catering and entertainment. Deployed over 25,000 m2, Boom Boom Villette (former Vill’Up) is the largest Food & Leisure Market in France, dedicated to all those who love immersive experiences, street food and art urban. A one-of-a-kind spot. On the food side, a huge 4,000 m2 food market will bring together several restaurants and corners from around the world to satisfy all taste buds, with big names in street food and renowned chefs. And on the events side, the prog’ is entrusted to Live Nation France for DJ sets, concerts, happenings, lives, performances Boom Boom Villette, La Villette 19éme, Opening in the summer of 2023. webpage: https://villup.com/articles/villup-devient-boom-boom-villette/

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior travel guy . Hope you enjoy this post and do take care of winter already here but still not feld, and the white one well stay away better ,me think,,, And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

December 22, 2022

The restaurant chains of France !!

Well do not know how, but looking at some of my pictures gave me the idea to write a post on some of the restaurant chains of France !! These are all family restaurants and visit them with the family in tow. So hope you enjoy them too! 

The name Courtepaille came to mind first, ok its a chain but very nice and friendly. It was my first lunch when came for my job interview in France back in August 2003 !! (of course got the job !)  Unfortunately , do not have a photo of it at Cergy Saint Christophe in Val d’Oise dept 95 and in the Île de France region.  The chain of Courtepaille is a chain of French Restaurants, specializing in grille meat. Created in August 1961 with the opening of a single restaurant on the side of the road N6 in Rouvray (Côte d’Or 21). In 2019, the chain had 300 restaurants, a third of which are franchised. The menus are prepared from local produce, delivered each morning by the craftsmen of the village, the fries are made on site, as well as the apple pies. The anecdote is that on December 20 2018, President Emmanuel Macron took a lunch break at a Courtepaille in Mareuil-lès-Meaux (Seine-et-Marne 77) had never welcomed such illustrious customers near Meaux. The others have been are at Buchelay near Mantes La Jolie in the Yvelines dept 78. We went there at least a couple times as it is right off theA13 autoroute de Normandie exit/sortie 13, and we can come in and out easy in our road warrior trips. There is another one on the A13 exit/sortie 9 coming from Paris in the Renault factory town of Flins sur SeineYvelines 78 as well. Here we had gone to shop at the nearby Carrefour hypermarket and had lunch in the Courtepaille, And even more going up to Chantilly by Creil (Oise dept 60) we have enjoyed. This one is on the D1016 road the old N16 as well. Coming over to my near area we have tried the one at the Zone d’Activités d’Atlantheix, Rue Charcot in Theix-Noyalo.  The official Courtepaille restaurants :https://restaurants.courtepaille.com/

Creil Courtepaille N16 near chantilly nov10

Flins sur Seine courtepaille MF et twins c2011

Buffalo Grill is a chain specializing in grilled meats with an American Indian theme. The brand has,as of last count 360 restaurants, including 94 in franchise, The Buffalo Grill story begins in 1980 when Christian Picart opens the first restaurant on the national road 20, in Avrainville ,Essonne dept 91 Île de France region, On September 25, 2020, the group acquires Courtepaille (see above) , On November 30, 2021, the Buffalo Grill group announces that it is changing its name to “Napaqaro”. However, the Buffalo Grill and Courtepaille restaurants will not change their names.Again, I started going to the branch at 7 Avenue de Sceaux in my dear Versailles, then on the 1540 Route de 40 sous in Orgeval both Yvelines dept 78 ,as well as the Quai des Marques in Franconville dept 95 Val d’Oise , Once moving to the Morbihan 56 we have tried several times the branch at 17 Rue Edgar Touffreau in Ploeren near Vannes, The official Buffalo Grill restaurantshttps://www.buffalo-grill.fr/nos-restaurants

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

vannes buffalo grill entrance inside aug18

Hippopotamus is a chain of meat restaurants established in 1968; mainly present in France, it belongs to the Flo group, majority owned by the Bertrand group, Over the years we started going to Hippopotamus in Le Chesnay-Roquebrune Parly II shopping mall near Versailles, Port Cergy, Cergy Pontoise dept 95 Val d’Oise, The Quai des Marques at Franconville outlet mall Val d’Oise 95, Bd Montparnasse Paris, and then moving into my new area at the Parc Lann, 4 Rue Jacques Rueff, Vannes.  Voilà always one can’t find me a picture of this resto but will leave for the memories’s sake. The official Hippopotamus restaurantshttps://restaurants.hippopotamus.fr/?q=france

Del Arte is a French restaurant chain specializing in Italian cuisine own by the group Le Duff Group. Founded in 1984 by the Accor group, it sells pizzas, pasta, salads, antipasti, dolci and other Italian specialties. Del Arte has opened around 15 restaurants a year since 2006 and, at the end of 2020, had 204 restaurants, 90% of which are owned by one hundred franchisees, We had started using them when we were in Versailles at the Parly II shopping mall ; as above in Buchelay, and then follow up with the outfit in Vannes.  The official Pizza del Arte restaurantshttps://www.delarte.fr/restaurants

Buchelay Pizza del Arte Italian c2011

Buchelay pizza del arte 2011

vannes pizza del arte dining ioom nov18

Another chain that we enjoy in the pass even if not available in my current neck of the woods are the Léon de Bruxelles, and our fav repeat was at the same area in Buchelay, near Mantes La JolieLéon de Bruxelles is a French restaurant chain with branches and franchises. The brand specializes in fresh mussels and fries. In 1893 in Brussels, the “Friture Léon” is a small estaminet dedicated to mussels and typical Belgian dishes. In 1989, the first Leon of Brussels restaurant opened its doors in Paris, and was dedicated to the same traditional dishes. Leon de Bruxelles last count had 85 restaurants in France. 3,500 tons of mussels are sold each year. Depending on the season, they come from the Netherlands, Italy or Normandy. The official Leon de Bruxelles restaurants :https://brasserie.restaurantleon.fr/fr

Buchelay leon de bruxelles out boys c2011

Buchelay leon de bruxelles MF et boys c2011

There you go folks, we have everything under the sky , maybe one more reason why France is the No 1 destination from visitors since 1949 at the official UN WTO organisation of world tourism. We have choices, for all ranges ! Hope you enjoy these restaurant chains of France while they are open, and see the different ;vive la difference !

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

December 18, 2022

The Parc de l’Oseraie of Les Mureaux !

I found old paper pictures to bring memories of visiting this park for the flower event with the family, my dear late wife Martine love it! I like to bring it to life in my blog, for all time’s sake and the memories of always.  The kids playing are my boys !! Therefore, this is my rendition to the Parc de l’Oséraie of Les Mureaux ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Parc de l’Oseraie is located in Les Mureaux in the Yvelines dept 78, on the banks of the Seine river and in the region of Île de France.  It extends from the Rhine and Danube bridge (see post), at the entrance to the city, to the rue des Gros Murs, along the towpath.

Between 1876 and 1879, a private individual, Henri Michelet, had a brick and millstone property built by the architect Jules Saulnier. This construction, called the Maison Bouvaist house (from the name of Doctor Bouvaist, the last private owner), was bought by the town at the end of the 20C, It was until 2006 a Paleoscope, intended for experimental archaeology. The house inspired by the Gothic style, this brick and millstone mansion, with its polychrome facade and spire, hosts various events throughout the year. It brilliantly illustrates the eclectic architecture of the 19C which borrows architectural elements from different styles. In addition to the general Gothic inspiration, certain elements of the facade were also inspired by Moorish architecture.

Les Mureaux parc L'oseraie maison Bouvaist kids c2008

In addition to this house, the park, whose wall runs along the towpath, includes a pond, a garden bridge and an artificial island. Planted with chestnut trees, Today, this wooded park of 221 trees is made up of a pond, a bridge, an artificial island, a children’s play area, green spaces for amenities as well as an educational apiary,

Les Mureaux parc L'oseraie kids c2008

Since 2004, the Fleur en Seine event has been held there every year. The large lawns around the mansion welcome Fleurs en Seine every 3rd weekend of September, where for 2 days all the craftsmen working around the garden (plants, furniture, arts and decorations, conferences, etc.) come together for the delight of visitors. Webpage : http://fleurs-en-seine.fr/

The City of Les Mureaux on the Parc de l’Oséraiehttps://www.lesmureaux.fr/Parc-de-l-Oseraie/15039/

There you go folks, another dandy in my former hangout in the Yvelines. This Fleur en Seine at the Parc de l’Oséraie is a very nice event for all nature garden lovers, worth the detour me think. Again, hope you enjoy it as I.

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

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