Archive for ‘Versailles’

February 21, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXI

And here I am with the latest handn picked news of my belle France. Always something going on in the World’s most visited country!!!  The temps here is lovely sunny nice no rain, and just wonderful.  Right now is 52F or about 11C in my neck of the woods, with Paris at 62F ,about 17C and sunny.

So therefore, some of my latest tidbits on my belle France!

Final clapping for the Beverley, lol! Just news never been here , really honest. Forbidden to minors, the last cinema X of Paris  will definitely close its doors this Saturday February 23rd . At 75 years old, Maurice Laroche, owner since 1993 of this discreet establishment located 14, rue de la Ville Neuve, 2éme arrondissement, a few steps from the Grand Rex, decided to take a well-deserved retirement. Will console ourselves with the Beverley box which contains, for 60€, a DVD telling the story of the establishment, photos and a CD with the song of the house! According to the National Film Centre (CNC), after the closure of the Beverley, there will be only one X-cinema in France: the Vox in Grenoble! More here in French: https://salles-cinema.com/paris/cinema-beverley-a-paris

The martial arts enthusiast had an institution on the 15éme. A space whose tatamis have seen the training of several generations of Judokas, Aikidoka, yogis and practitioners of various martial arts: the Shiseikan Dojo,(been here as my French family are all enthusiasts of these arts)  nestled for over 70 years in the courtyard of a private building on Rue Lecourbe, will have to move or closed by September 2020. More on this nice place in Paris here:  https://dojoshiseikan.wordpress.com/

The Vincennes Racecourse, (a wonderful place to be anytime) has a date on Sunday February 24 2019. It is called the festival at the Hippodrome and puts in the spotlight this year ,Brazil. Between a capoeira dance, Batucada (Brazilian music and percussion), traditional dancers, pastries and a Portuguese-speaking carnival, families can attend the ten afternoon trotting races. Because this racecourse is the French temple of the Trotters and that it runs this Sunday the Grand Prix de Paris. A marathon, for horses, 4.1 km.  At the Hippodrome de Vincennes, 2 route de la Ferme , 12éme arrondissement. More here : https://www.vincennes-hippodrome.com/fr/

This Sunday, February 24th, 2019, your children are invited to the Château de Fontainebleau (one of my favorite castles of all of France!)  for a carnival punctuated by the reviving dance and duels with the sword. They are expected to be welcome disguised in front of the golden gate and then be trained in the arts of fencing and dance as they were practiced then. The program includes weapons courses and demonstrations of duels. The swords are of course of wood, suitable for children during animations. On the other hand, demonstrations are made in the period of time, when the weapons were actually used to injure in the duels and they were not wearing protections. The only safety of the actors is their technical mastery and their synchronization in these millimeters fencing shows. Sunday, February 24th, from 14H to 17h.  Château de Fontainebleau (Seine et Marne dept 77), Place du Général-de-Gaulle.  Admission 9€ In addition to the entrance fee to the castle (10-12€, free for under-25). On Reservation because places are limited! More here:  https://www.chateaudefontainebleau.fr/CARNAVAL-AU-CHATEAU,1505

Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 February 2019, the Ferme du Buisson in Noisiel (Seine-et-Marne dept 77) hosts a large medieval festival and heavy-metal concerts name Cernunnos Pagan Fest (noisy but good my sons are into both). The program: Scenes of reconstruction of life in medieval Scotland, initiations to traditional Celtic dances, but also ancient games, demonstrations of combat and spectacles of fires. There are even smaller ones, with make-up workshops, calligraphy, young audience shows. More info here: http://www.lafermedubuisson.com/programme/cernunnos-pagan-fest

Vintage game consoles await the nostalgic of the first emotions to the controllers. Well my sons are into it but on the modern side, this should be interesting in my wife native town) They will be at the Retrogaming play on 23 and 24 February 2019 in Meaux (Seine-et-Marne dept 77). RGC (Retro-gaming Connexion), Replay and Chezmoa associations return on February 23rd (Friday) and 24th(Saturday)  for retro gaming Play 2019. The retro and alternative video game festival will launch its 2nd edition at the Meaux Coliseum to promote the videogame heritage and the history of the video game, always in the same desire for sharing and conviviality.  https://www.rom-game.fr/agenda/3227-Retro+Gaming+Play+2019.html

Michael Bunel is a photo-reporter born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines dept 78). For several years he has been walking the world’s roads to trace the path of exiles fleeing conflict zones. His work is exposed at the La Cle. Interesting to see the other side on the people’s side. More here:   https://www.saintgermainenlaye.fr/en/111-1269/fiche/la-clef-exposition-michael-bunel-exil.htm

New metro lines, new stations, 200 km new tracks. The Grand Paris Express is the urban project that will change the landscape of Paris in 2030 (they needed too overcrowded but do not think this will help much ). Seven teams of architects responsible for building the 68 new stations have been associated with artists who must design original creations. Each metro station will have its own works of art! To create a large collection of works, such as a museum of the twenty-first century open to all audiences. More here :  https://www.societedugrandparis.fr/gpe/le-grand-paris-express-en-resume

It happens that the city of Paris has decided to put a clean coup on the Regional Express network of Île-de-France region, with these new RER  “New Generation”. The RER project  “NG ” could well change the lives of the RER D and E passengers, who were seriously starting to rust rails (this will help these lines often overlook for the more glamorous ones such as A and B). These new trains will accommodate up to 1860 people, with 600 seats spread over two floors. These new RER, without separation between cars to optimize the space, will show an exceptional comfort, because this is where the whole issue lies for the manufacturers. So air conditioning and USB ports will be available to you. Spaces with and without seats for short trips, as well as more comfortable spaces including only seats for longer trips. As for the ends of the train, they will be reserved for strollers, wheelchair users and travelers with suitcases. More info here:   https://www.iledefrance-mobilites.fr/actualites/le-futur-rer-dile-de-france-se-devoile/

There you short and sassy as they said. Hope you enjoy it the runs of my news entries ,and thank you for your support.

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

 

 

 

February 15, 2019

Avenue de Paris and the ND10 Versailles!

So going over my blog, did some daring posts on streets of Paris and some in Versailles, but I believe left out the main one, and my favorite way to drive to Paris on a weekend family visit. On a cool sunny day in France, and no rains, let me tell you about the road by telling you a bit more on my beloved Versailles.

And what way to tell you is about a historic road and street, the Avenue de Paris in Versailles aka N10 national road today. The old way Castle to fortress, Versailles to the Louvre when kings were around.

Versailles

The Avenue de Paris is one of three lanes that radiate in a fan from the Place d’Armes, in front of the Château de Versailles, with the Avenue de Saint-Cloud in the north and the Avenue de Sceaux in the south. The Avenue de Paris, in the center, is located in the axis of the castle. It heads southeast for about 1 500 meters, before oblique eastward for 1 km to place Louis-XIV where it ends. It is extended, on the other side of the square, by the Avenue du General-Léclerc. With 90 meters wide, the avenue is one of the widest in France. It takes its name from the fact that it leads towards Paris, passing through Sèvres. It is also the old Royal route to the Louvre that still can be done today! This is my beloved Versailles!

Versailles

The Avenue de Paris coincides with the national D 10 road for most of its course.  In Versailles, the Avenue de Paris borders the following buildings of simply my preference:

Grand Ecurie , including the facades on the Cour d’Honneur and on the avenues of Paris and Saint-Cloud, the facades of the two pavilions and the grids bordering on the place d’Armes; the Petite Ecurie, between Ave de Paris and Avenue de Sceaux. At no. 6: Pavilion of the Constables, at no. 19: former stables of Madame Du Barry, built from 1773 by the architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux for the last favorite of King Louis XV; she wanted to shelter the staff and to store the crews of her teams in this building adjoining the pavilion it had acquired in 1772 (see No. 21, below). The works were suspended at the death of the King in1774 and completed according to the plans of Ledoux by Jean-François Chalgrin for the Comte de Provence, brother of King Louis XVI, then titled Monsieur (future king Louis XVIII), owner of the stables from 1775, and at no 21: former Madame du Barry Pavilion, at no. 22: Hotel des Menus-Plaisirs,here having welcomed the meeting of the Notables of 1787, that of 1788 and above all the Estate General of 1789, the last of the former regime. At no. 57: laiterie de Madame (old Dairy of Madame). At no. 111: Former music Pavilion of Madame, the Pavilion of Music of the Countess of Provence, which is located at Avenue Chauchard (at the level of no 111, avenue de Paris) , the government regional of the Prefecture of Yvelines; Domaine de Montreuil aka Domaine de Madame Elizabeth, (sister of Louis XVI).

Versailles

Entering Versailles from Paris on this road N/D10 you will see upon arriving at the city two enclosures houses or gates. There were the fees/taxes generators for allowing you to enter the royal city, there are still there! These two pavilions framing the Avenue de Paris symbolically sign the entrance into Versailles, located there since 1787, the date of annexation to Versailles of the towns of Montreuil and Porchefontaine. The two existing grant pavilions were built in 1824, and connected by iron Gates that closed the avenue. Real treat to drive by now for free!

But this old road has a lot more history outside the limits of Versailles. This is a leasure driving trip from Paris (used to be from the Louvre) anywhere you can link up with it to the Chateau de Versailles.

 With the transfer of the court and political power to Versailles in 1684 by king Louis XIV, the road between the Louvre and the new castle was experiencing intense activity. Previously a part of the national road No. 10, called Route de Versailles or Route de la Reine (queen’s road), an order of 1877 gave it its present name of Avenue de Versailles. All along the Seine and then some; you can see some interesting buildings before you leave Paris such as No 123 Avenue de Versailles now occupies the location of the hotel of Hortense Schneider , famous interpreter of  Offenbach. At no 142-Jassedé Building, in Art nouveau style, by Hector Guimard with a remarkable staircase. And at no 211bis ,the painter Albert Marquez lived here in 1903-1904. He painted the Avenue de Versailles and the district of the Point-du-Jour.

Interesting to know that leaving Paris is called Avenue de Versailles and entering Versailles is call Avenue de Paris! But go on read more and continue our leasure drive of France’s best two cities combination of course I can say so !

In Paris, the route of Versailles runs along the right bank of the Seine river, crosses the neighborhoods of Passy and Auteuil in the 16éme arrondissement; before arriving in Boulogne-Billancourt. Much later, in 1860, the limits of Paris are now fixed to the location of the old ramparts and doors(portes) that allowed to enter the capital. In 1877, the Route de Versailles was renamed Avenue de Versailles before it uncorked to the site of the former Porte-de-Saint-Cloud. It is after crossing the Porte-Saint-Cloud that the RN 10 actually starts on entering Boulogne-Billancourt in the form of a long avenue that bears the name of General Leclerc since 1945.

The avenue leads to the Sèvres bridge that crosses the Seine river. Originally built of wood in 1685 with the first route of the road to Versailles, the bridge is rebuilt under the Empire first in stone before giving way to a vast metal work in 1963. Just before embarking on the bridge, a stele recalls the memory of General Leclerc and the 2nd Armoured Division whose squadron commanded by Captain Morel-Deville crosses the Seine here before entering Paris on August 25, 1944; for its liberation of WWII.

On the west bank of the Seine, the national 10 enters Sèvres by road km 11 by taking the route of the royal road opened in 1686 at the bottom of the valley of Marivel brook. About this period, it was through this still embryonic route that the materials needed for the construction of Versailles were transported from the port of Saint Cloud. On the right, you can see the national porcelain Manufactory installed here by the Marquise de Pompadour in 1756. This vast building is still home to a school, workshops and an important ceramics museum of Sévres.

The main street crosses Sèvres by climbing along the Parc de Saint-Cloud. The initial royal road of 1686 was enlarged under Louis XV. This street was the scene of many historical events such as the march of the Parisians on Versailles on October 5, 1789 and the passage of the royal family back to Paris the next day. The Grande Rue de Sèvres is still in its 18C configuration, more really adapted to the growth of traffic. It will be considerably enlarged in the 1970’s at the cost of the demolition of many buildings.

The road, in fact a long commuter road, continues towards Chaville at road km 15 (a nice picturesque train station here always love to see it), the last town of Hauts-de-Seine dept 92 crossed by the national road 10 (these sections call D910 same road). The royal road, then national, first crossed the Bas Chaville under the name of Grande Rue before becoming rue Roger Salengro, in memory of the minister of the popular Front tragically disappeared in 1936. The main street, which became Rue Salengro, in 1960. On leaving the city, at La Pointe de Chaville , sharp turn, there is still the junction between the royal road and the route du Pavé des Gardes. This route linking Paris to Versailles by the Forest of Meudon had the advantage of being the shortest way between the two cities but at the cost of steep passages particularly dreaded in winter. Essentially used by the royal army, to whom it owes its name, the pavement of the guards was impracticable by the drawn cars forced to take the royal road in the valley of the Marivel.

The road continues towards Viroflay at road km 18 and enters the Yvelines (dept 78 !). The national road 10 crosses this department created in 1964 on more than 60 km, Versailles and Rambouillet are the main cities crossed.

Becoming Avenue Leclerc since the liberation, the national road10 passes under the imposing railway viaduct also called the arcades because of the height of its arches. The work of art inaugurated in 1852 supports the extension to Chartres of the railline Versailles-Rive Droite (my old train route) connecting Versailles to Paris. The Viroflay railway viaduct straddles the national road 10 since its inauguration in 1852. Leaving Viroflay, the national road D10 abruptly changes its physiognomy to the approach of Versailles at road km 20!. The modest road is then transformed into the majestic Avenue of Paris leading directly to the Château museum’s Place d’Armes. In the place d’Armes, it converges with the other two avenues, that of Saint-Cloud and that of Sceaux. Until the French revolution, it was here that the Great Royal Road ended, which still put Versailles at nearly three hours of the Louvre..!!! And yes we can do it in less than an hour today!

Of course, if like me you have to drive around here all the time, you can continue once facing the Chateau to your left going around the castle direction Saint Cyr l’école along the Orangerie and the Piéce d’eau des Suisses pond all the way to Saint Cyr l’école and Les Quatre-Pavés-du-Roi in Montigny-le-Bretonneux.And sightseeing galores! just to reaching Yvelines 78 dept territory Moving on to Rambouillet and even Chartres!

And you can drive today and do a fairy tail trip by Royals while by passing some wonderful historical and stunning architecture monuments of many periods,not to mention mingle up a bit with the locals! Enjoy the roads of my belle France! My eternal Paris, and my royally sublime Versailles! Many of the buildings mentioned here have already post on them in my blog before.

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

February 15, 2019

Some news from France, CCXX

So this is a special edition of my Some news from France episodes which is now to its 220th edition with Roman numerals. I have said many times the beauty of my belle France and the attraction it has in the world. Yes there are many wonderful beautiful places in our World.

However, when it comes to numbers and favorites, France and Paris is at the top with Versailles right behind ok. No wonders some of the visitors here claim of overcrowded and long lines etc, well we are the best in the world of showing you the beauty of our landscape, architecture, history and struggles of mankind. Nobody does it better.

We have some new figures from the tourists authorities coming out yesterday and I wanted to share them here fresh and hot off the press. France is a movable feast!!! And just step out a bit from Paris and you will see what I mean.

In my beloved Yvelines dept 78 west of Paris, and another state/province/department sits the Royal Mansion…………

The Royal mansion has made a place in the sun. The Château de Versailles surpassed for the first time the bar of 8 million visitors in 2018, in the line of a record tourist year for the Ile de France region monuments, which saw the passing of 50 million visitors last year. It is the third most visited monument in the region, behind the Cathedral of Notre-Dame and the Louvre Museum in Paris. Now you know why crowded, the world wants to come here!!!!

Even if it remains the second most visited monument of the Yvelines dept 78 with its 105K visitors, the National Bergerie of Rambouillet loses 10 000 visitors. In its aftermath, the Museum of National Archaeology of Saint-Germain-en-Laye holds its course, surpassing just the 100K visitors. The Château de Rambouillet also gives off good figures with more than 43K visitors, for its first full year since its reopening in September 2017 after two and a half years of work. The Villa Savoye, in Poissy, which accounts for more than 38K visitors, hopes to inflate its attendance quickly. At the 6th place in the Yvelines department 78, the Château de Maisons-Laffitte welcomed 25K visitors, 15% more than the previous year. 2017 had been marked by heavy work on the facade of the castle, until the beginning of  2018.

Paris

See the photo above ,credit Le Parisien newspaper, and the regional committee on tourism of ïle de France.

Regional wise as in Ile de France, (Paris, Versailles Fontainebleau, Vaux-le-Vicomte etc etc) we have 50 million tourists welcomed in 2018, the Ile-de-France beat, for the second consecutive year, a record of attendance. The Ile-de-France is the locomotive of tourism in our country which attracted a total of 90 million people last year (2018). For the first time in 2018, hotels welcomed more foreigners (17.6 million, + 8.7%) than, French from other regions (17.5 million,-1.1%). In the Nationalities, the Americans arrived in the lead with 2.8 million, followed by the British with 2 million, the Germans with 1,220,000, almost equal with the Chinese at 1,190,000 ,and the Spaniards at 1,140,000. To welcome visitors, the region is deploying this year 700 tourism volunteers, students in BTS or languages in 75 places (train stations..etc.).

A famous international travel forum which won’t mention has shown the favorite past time of its users is the promenade on the pedestrian banks of the Seine river  in the Top 10 favorite activities of tourists in Paris!

And the ongoing improvements are continuing all over and the Eiffel tower is definitively not behind to anyone ! For the Eiffel Tower and its 6 million annual visitors, as many potential mouths to feed from a simple sandwich or gourmet meal, a lollipop or a brownie, the producer’s Guild (Guilde des Artisans) will therefore be a guarantee of quality whatever the product. The entry “contest” will be renewed twice a year, and 5 categories of products are open to selection: Bakery (bread, pastries, sandwiches…), Sweets (chocolate, cakes, jams and other confectionery), Savoury tastes ( Charcuterie, cheese, cannery etc), Beverages, and unprocessing plant products, i.e. fruit, vegetables and cereals. Season, always in season. Applications are now accepted for registration on the website: https://www.restaurants-toureiffel.com/fr/guilde-artisans.html

And last news but not least, a wonderful royal place that needs to be seen more. The national Domaine of Saint-Cloud (Hauts de Seine dept 92) records an annual increase of 2-3% of its attendance. The fifth most visited site in Île-de-France in 2018 outside Paris and Disney, the estate welcomes walkers, joggers and festival-goers throughout the year. With 148K visitors last year, the national domaine of Saint-Cloud does not have to blush at its attendance. This figure allows it to position itself in the fifteenth position of the ranking of the most visited sites in Île-de-France, and fifth position outside Paris and Disney, according to the regional figures of tourism unveiled this Thursday. More on it here: http://www.domaine-saint-cloud.fr/en/

There you go just a bit of news on some attendance records on tourism in my belle France. Allez les Bleus et Vive la France!!!

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

 

 

 

February 13, 2019

Some news from France, CCXVIIII

So a bit late on my writings of my belle France, but so much to do, what to do, n’est pas la vie est belle dans ma belle France! So catching up on the latest tidbits here they are. Oh nice weather in my Breton woods sunny no rain not cold just wonderful weather at 10C or about 50F.

The 27th edition of the Paris Manga Sci-fi show awaits you at Porte de Versailles ,15éme on February 16 and 17, 2019. The 27th Paris Manga & Sci-Fi Show celebrates the 80 years of Batman by inviting comedians (Cory Michael Smith, aka The Mystery Man, and Robin Lord Taylor says the Penguin), costumed cosplayers and superhero designers, like Tyler Kirkham. Two actors from the Buffy Slayer series are also highly anticipated, Anthony Head and James Marsters. Saturday, February 16 from 9h30 to 19h, Sunday, February 17 from 9h30 to 18h. Exhibition Park, Porte de Versailles , Hall 7.2.  More here: https://www.parismanga.fr/

The 39th exhibition, Book Fair renamed “Livre Paris”, will celebrate the writers of the old Continent from 15 to 18 March at the Porte de Versailles. Have delivered the outlines of a show that will host 1 200 exhibitors, about as many journalists from around the world, and the Sultanate of Oman and the city of Bratislava, Slovakia, are the guests of honor. More here:  https://www.livreparis.com/

The world championships of tattooing will be held from 15 to 17 February 2019 at the Grande Halle de la Villette ,19éme. This is the time if you wish to pass under the needle of one of the 400 tattooists present, among the best in the world. Grande Halle de la Villette, 211 av. Jean-Jaurès . Friday, 15 and Saturday, February 16 from 12h30 to Midnight, Sunday, February 17, 2019 from 11h30 to 19h. More here:    http://www.mondialdutatouage.com/2019/index.php

The biggest parade in Europe will cross the 13éme arrondissement of Paris Sunday, February 17, 2019 to celebrate the Chinese New Year. It is in the 13éme arrondissement of Paris that the largest Chinese community in Europe lives, with its approximately 170 000 inhabitants. No wonder that in this area of the capital, we see things in XXL to celebrate the New Year that coincides with the Spring Festival. The festivities of the Year of the pig of Earth have started for a week in Ile-de-France, but this weekend of 15, 16 and 17 February 209 is the real apotheosis. Saturday, in the same place, do not miss “13th feast”. This evening, scheduled at 20h, will make the general public discover all the Chinese cultural news and its flagship disciplines. There will be jazz, current, urban and pop rock music, but also stand up or magic. On the physical side, K-pop dance (coming from Korea) and hip-hop are on display, as well as demonstrations of martial arts. The famous awakening of the Lion and the Dragon will take place at 14h30. Thousands of participants form the procession, whose course starts at 44, Avenue d’Ivry, before taking the Avenue de Choisy and Boulevard Masséna before returning to the starting point. More here:https://chine.in/actualite/nouvel-paris-programme-defiles_114925.html

At the end of December, Marie-Laure and Ollivia launched their charming ensign Fruttini by MO in the 6éme arrondissement of Paris. They offer frosted fruit to take away or to enjoy on the spot. Open since December 22nd, you can taste “Fruttini”. Sorbets with water, fruit and sugar. “We use the pulp and put it back inside the skin,” the owners explained. Fruttini by MO, 24, rue Saint-Placide , 6éme. From 10h30 to 19h. from Monday to Saturday. From 4 to 49€. Tel +33 (0) 1-43-20-47-31. More here : https://fruttinibymo.fr/

The Escape games invades Paris, here are some i think should be very good darn interesting, must see:

The mission entrusted by the Palais Garnier is of the utmost importance: to end the Curse of the Phantom of the Opera. The famous ghost that regularly haunts the places stole a few notes of the score that must be played the same evening. Without your help, the performance will be cancelled. By visiting the emblematic places of the building (the foyer, the Grand Staircase, the gallery and the Glacier Lounge…), you solve the puzzles that will reveal the missing notes. Throughout the course of the actors in period attire you silently help to navigate between false tracks and illusions to fill the musical reach. Palais Garnier. Place de l’opéra , 2éme.  Rates: Adult 28€, Child (ages 4 to 14) 22€. Reservation and info here : www.inside-infos.fr

During WWII, some of the works that were hidden did not regain their place in the halls of the Louvre. We whisper that we have to go to the gate of time to get them back. By exploring the Richelieu wing and especially the Flemish and Dutch painting rooms of the 17C and then the Department of Oriental Antiquities, you have to collect the clues to advance in the puzzles. Documents are given to you at the beginning of the game and a comedian remains at your side to refer you if necessary. Louvre Museum. Rue de Rivoli ,1éme.  From 2 to 6 players. Price: 110€ from 3 to 6 participants, duo package at 80€. More here:     www.anima-agentludique.com

The dungeon of the Bastille. A few steps from the pl de la République, a dive into a oblivion of royalty. The principle. At the beginning of the 18C, it is not good to rise up against the absolute monarch at the risk of being charged with a crime of damage to the majesty, sent over and sentenced to death. In sixty minutes, you will swing at the end of a rope. Unless… Gamescape. 17, rue de la Pierre-Levée , 11éme. From 19 to 29€ per person.More info here :  www.gamescape.fr

One old dandy, have stayed is coming back better than ever!

The Hotel du Louvre will reopen in the spring of 2019, after two years of renovation, and will welcome the first Parisian address of the Paul Bocuse house. Closed for renovations for two years, the five-star style Second Empire operated by the Hyatt Group is expected to reopen in April 2019. The Brasserie du Louvre. Place André Malraux , 1éme. Tel. +33 (0) 1 44 58 37 21. Open every day. More here :  https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/france/hotel-du-louvre/paraz

Old traditions never die out they just fade away !

Closed for a month for a full renovation, the wax establishment of the Grands boulevards reveals itself to visitors from February 9th. The Grévin Museum undertook a major restructuring operation of its building. In all these are almost 3000 m² of visiting spaces that have been redesigned, rearranged and refreshed with a musical scenography and immersive decorations. The museum now has 10 different worlds. The literature is rediscovered with a space filled with open books where children immerse themselves. Of the 250 wax statues, 30 new personalities integrate the museum; among them, Marcel Proust. Musée Grévin . 10, Boulevard Montmartre 9éme. Open daily from 9h30 to 19h. Rates: from 17€. More info here: https://www.grevin-paris.com/

After restaurants, hotels, cooking school, cookbook publishing or chocolate making, the world’s most star chef launches into a new field: coffee. Alain Ducasse (from Monaco) has sniffed out the potential of quality artisanal coffee. Last week, opened a coffee factory in the Bastille 11éme, not far from the one it has already dedicated to chocolate. A beautiful space in the look of New York loft (glazed windows, apparent pipes, scratched stone), where Veda Viraswami, double French roasting champion (2017 and 2018), is responsible for roasting in the back-shop (visible to the public) of the coffee served on the spot by Award-winning baristas, but also in all the group’s restaurants in France, and soon abroad-where another coffee factory could be born. La Manufacture de café. 12, rue Saint-Sabin 11éme. Tel. +33 (0) 1 40 02 76 90. Daily except Mondays. From  Tuesdays to Fridays 8h30 to 19h, Saturdays from 9h to 19h30 and Sundays 9h to 18h. Espresso: 2.50 to 4.50€. Filter: From 3.50 to 15€. Cappuccinos: from 5 to 7.50€. More here :  https://www.ducasse-paris.com/fr/les-adresses/cafe-alain-ducasse-manufacture-paris

it’s magic, it’s Paris!

The Grande Surface – Galerie Festive will take its quarters near Opéra as early as March. In the program, a new concept all indoors, 1500 m2 on three floors, several atmospheres. This “uninhibited art gallery” announces the entry color, since it will last less than a year with a planned closure at the beginning of 2020. Expect to discover incredible works of art in a sumptuous gallery, all sprinkled with several bars to party until the end of the night, a stage to host concerts, animations. Grande Surface – Galerie Festive, Boulevard des Italiens 9 opening March 2019. More info here:  https://www.sortiraparis.com/actualites/a-paris/articles/185154-ouverture-de-la-grande-surface-galerie-festive-a-paris-en-mars-2019

Are we really, the city of Love, you betcha!!! Happy Valentine to those celebrating,not me unfortunately.

The artist Joana Vasconcélos decided to materialize a heart beating at the Porte de Clignancourt, between Paris and the Saint-Ouen flea market. The monumental creation the heart of Paris is already installed but will be inaugurated by the artist in person this February 14th, Valentine’s Day, starting at 18h30 inauguration of the “Heart of Paris” and Grand Bal Populaire. Porte de Clignancourt ,tramway line T3 .Free entrance. More in French at the city of Paris webpage : https://www.paris.fr/actualites/un-gigantesque-c-ur-palpitera-porte-de-clignancourt-6456

And there you go some of the latest from my vault of goodies to you all. Enjoy it

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

 

February 12, 2019

Retirement time in France! opinions!!!

Ok so today I come to you on a non travel related subject ,really; it could be too lol! Well , my dear readers and travel buddies, I am getting to that age, yes the golden egg or whatever, and its time to think about retirement!!

I am in in what could could be my last full year of my working life per se. Not that I would not continue to dabble in consulting work later on, but to finally get my retirement benefits and start enjoing time and travel even better or at least I hope.

So let me give some light into the subject in my belle France. As the minimum retirement age is 62 years, it is important to anticipate and wonder which French cities are the most accessible or offer the most enjoyable living environment. The cities of the west of France and especially of the southwest have achieved better scores than their eastern municipalities, in particular thanks to air quality, safety and overall lower fixed expenditure. Limoges exceeds with one head all its sisters thanks in particular to its security and its pleasant living environment. It has therefore distinguished itself as the ideal destination to retire. Le Mans and Nice close the podium .

Some of the most mention areas of my France for retiremet heavens are the Var department as one of the most adored places of the elderly who wish to enjoy the Mediterranean climate that bathes this department of the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’azur. The Charente-Maritime is also a destination that pleases seniors, interested in its vast seaside and the beauty of its landscapes. New retirees who don’t like big cities will enjoy it. This department is appreciated for the quality of its living environment and for the dynamism of its cities (Montpellier, Agde, Béziers, etc.), but also for the charm of its small communes located on the periphery. The Hérault is endowed with many infrastructures specially set up for the elderly. The Alpes-Maritimes is the ideal place to spend a peaceful retreat in the sun. This department houses large cities like Nice, Cannes, Antibes and Menton,

And of course, my own neck of the woods is showing up right up there, hint hint!! The Morbihan (Brittany) is also interested in a large number of retirees who appreciate the authenticity and beauty of its typically armoricaines landscapes. With vibrant, human-sized cities such as Lorient and Vannes, this is the ideal destination for those who no longer want to live in the big cities. Its rich history and cultural life are suitable for many seniors. The map below show in red the most wanted places to retire and in blue places people are leaving elsewhere!

France

Security, access to care, Estimation of the cost of living;  Estimated from 4 weighted sub-criteria: The average price of m², the housing tax, the water price, the garbage disposal fee.  The quality of public transport ,Cultural offer with criterion: The number of museums, the number of theatres and places of culture, the number of active cinema screens, the number of festivals; Potential access to an active social life, the living environment. According to these criteria the best are: Limoges, le Mans, Nice, Bordeaux, Perpignan, Saint-Étienne, Caen, Nancy, Angers, Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble;  Dijon Marseille Aix-en-Provence; Metz ,Tours, Toulouse, Reims, Brest, Rouen, Lyon, Montpellier, Nîmes, Nantes, and Rennes.

And if even want to spread our wings and go retire at a pleasant place here the scores are high on Portugal, Morocco… and Florida(USA) lol!!! it is retirement USA heavens for sure. But Spain, Malta or Italy can be an interesting options to retire abroad as well of course.

So there, gave you some thoughts now is your turn to give me yours please. I like this post to be more than just glitter photos and travel anecdotes but a working post where you can help me decide. Its your only chance to there take it and go for it. And I thank you.

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

January 29, 2019

Some news from France, CCXVIII

So let me put a pause on my posting on wonderful travel places to come to you on the latest in my belle France. It is light raining in my neck of the breton woods Morbihan but hardly any winds and definitively no snow. I believe the weather might get worse as the day go by with storm Gabriel around Europe. The Paris region will be hit worse because of the snow. Be careful if driving around here visiting from those other European countries!

UPDATE !!!!

February 1 2 3 2019. The 8th edition of Paris Face Cachée or Paris hidden face with the city of Paris and RATP transport network to go and discover the off the beaten paths of the Grand Paris area.  The metro station Porte de Lilas, not in use but only for films.! This was the metro abbesses in the film Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain.  The station was called Haxo done in 1921 but never used. In a building of 6 floors not far from the train station Gare du Nord where you do not see nothing from the exterior but in the interior is an air space for the RER trains extraction of air!  There is an anti-aircraft bunker under the Monnaie de Paris in the 6éme. On the other side of the BP =boulevard périphérique or beltway of Paris in Montreuil (Seine-et-Denis 93) there is a studio for doubling voices and to do it for real with recordings and all. Over 100 experiences will be serve this year with hoping of reaching 10000 curious visitors. The only holdup the places are hard to come by as the demand is big and only done on the online site. The official site in French: Paris Face Cachée 2019

The entire programming for reservation online here: Paris Face Cachée reservations online a must

The Weather Channel  has placed 33 departments on alert Orange(next to highest) such as the Ariège,  Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées and the Pyrénées-Atlantiques for avalanche hazards; The Charente-Maritime,  Gironde and  Vendée  for violent winds; The Aisne,  Ardennes,  Aube,  Eure, Eure-et-Loir, Loiret, Marne, Haut-Marne,  Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, Nord, Oise, Orne, Pas-de-Calais, Paris,  Seine-Maritime,  Yvelines , Seine-et-Marne,  Somme, Yonne,  Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne and the Val-d’Oise for snow.  From the morning, this Atlantic disturbance will bring rain between Brittany (it did but not much chez moi)  and Aquitaine. The winds became violent on the southern coasts of Finistère and Morbihan (not inland just the coasts) with gusts between 90 and 110 km/h. This afternoon, the wind will strengthen near the ocean with gusts up to 130 km/h on the south coast of Finistère and up to 110 km/h on the coasts of Vendée and Charente. In the east, ice can affect the pavement in the morning between the east and the north of the Alps.  Tonight and in the night, the disturbance will collide with cold air. When contacted, the first flakes will appear in the northwest before winning the central regions to the north in the evening. These snowfalls, sometimes strong, will be directed in the night to the Grand-Est and the Rhône-Alpes region. At the same time, winds will increase on the Vendée and Charente coasts with gusts of up to 130 km/h (115 km/h in the land).  Normandy, Paris region, Hauts-de-France and Champagne and Ardennes for snow with an average of 3 to 8 cm, locally between 10 and 15 cm and to a lesser extent peripheral regions with 2 to 5 cm on average. In prevention, the road N 118, which connects Pont-de-Sevres (Hauts-de-Seine) to the Ulis (Essonne) via the Yvelines, will thus be closed to all traffic, in both directions, finally starting at 15h  on Tuesday. Have it on F degrees but can be change to C on top right. https://weather.com/fr-FR/temps/10jours/l/FRXX0076:1:FR

Salvador Dali, who died just 30 years ago, said: “The only difference between a madman and me is that I am not crazy.” Yet his face and that of the misunderstood genius Vincent Van Gogh appear on the poster of the event “The madness of the artist.” And  “at the edge of the Abyss” at the Library des Batignolles 17éme, 30th January at 19H. The Georges Brassens Library 14éme, organizes a writing workshop “Madness in All States” (19 January and 2 February from 10h30 to 12h30 pm), inspired by excerpts from Antonin Artaud, Marguerite Duras and others. Then, an evening of reading the texts of the participants by two actresses will take place (February 2 from 19h to 21h). The  exhibition of the Museum of Art and History of the Hospital, ” The art of the fools at the Art psychopathological/the collection Sainte-Anne around 1960» at the library André Malraux  6éme. It will be followed by a guided tour of the latter (February 9th at 13h).

“Dice-integrated” (Feb. 14 from 19h  to 21h) is a dramatized reading of Albert London’s madmen, his investigation and immersion in insane asylums. It will be held at the Bibliothèque François Villon  10éme. One of the members, Alex Adarjan, will host a 14h30 workshop (February 21 from 17h  to 19h30) where participants take possession of a plateau of the Valeyre Library 11éme to feel what the incarnation of a crazy character is. How to interpret a disturbed personality with accuracy and fragility? At the Library Andrée Chedid  15éme, the troupe revived Camille Claudel, interned during the last thirty years of her life, through archives and letters (7 February from 19h to 20h). The Library of Police Literature  5éme will deal with the relationship between madness and crime. The first French serial killer, the Ripper Vacher will be at the heart of this subject that defies reason (February 2 from 16h to 17h. More in link below

https://bibliotheques.paris.fr/les-frontieres-de-la-folie.aspx?_lg=fr-FR#

The Festival Jazz a Saint Germain des Prés ,Paris unveils the first names of the programming of its 19th edition, including Richard Galliano on May 17 or the Biréli Lagrène Trio on May 23rd. To not miss these concerts events, the passes are already on sale for a very jazzy spring. More here:   http://festivaljazzsaintgermainparis.com/accueil/

I love these anywhere but these orangettes, are delicious at the Sous les Amandiers,  65, rue de Maubeuge  9éme. Tél.: 09 86 08 19 40.Metro line 7 Poissonniére. They have a facebook page no web.

The story Un Regard Moderne à rue Gît-le-Cœur is an Ali Baba cavern full of books everywhere by a great enthuastic owner . Philippe le Libraire. 32, rue des Vinaigriers 10éme. Tél.: 01 40 38 11 39. https://www.petitscommerces.fr/page/philippelelibraire/

Wonderful Cinema which we have enjoyed and the boys love it is the MK2 Quai de Seine. 14, quai de la Seine  19éme. More here : https://www.mk2.com/salles/mk2-quai-seine-quai-loire

It is an Australian who has settled in a large warehouse and who produces his own beer, with a restaurant menu inviting ; it is very nice in the summer. Paname Brewing Company. 41 bis, quai de la Loire 19éme. Tél.: 01 40 36 43 55  http://www.panamebrewingcompany.com/

The Charles. If only the bar of the Burgundy Hotel in the Saint-Honoré neighborhood, (great area my walking rounds to go to work in Paris by there for 2,5 yrs!) freshly revamped, is much more chic than Bohemian. A monumental fresco on the ceiling of the bar around the collection of Baudelaire. On the bar side, Marco Del Re’s wall collages have been preserved, making a vibrant homage to Matisse. Where the cocktails are re invented for 17-18€ inspired by music, from Walt Disney’s film and history, naming his cocktails by key dates like 1492, 1515, 1789..And big names such as Oscar Wilde, who, like Rimbaud, Joyce, Hemingway, Poe and Baudelaire frequented this muse to the excesses. In homage to these illustrious characters, the  Barman has listed a selection of absinthes on his card, accompanied by a menu of light tapas from 9€. Le Charles (Hôtel Burgundy). 6-8, rue Duphot, 1éme. Tél.: 01 42 60 34 12. Hours every day from 18h to 0h30. More here : https://www.leburgundy.com/restaurant-le-baudelaire

News of the street ! While the Oscar de la Renta brand was about to settle in its new Parisian boutique, but it is a majestic 17C oil painting that was discovered behind a wall.. The old Reed Krakoff shop, located in the 8 rue Marignan, dates back to the 19C. The family that owned it demolished its walls to connect two floors, when a piece of wall broke loose, unveiling the work of art. The oil on the discovery canvas dates from 1674 and would be signed by the painter  Arnould de Vuez, close to the court of king Louis XIV. It shows to recount the adventures of the Marquis de Nointel, Ambassador of Louis XIV to the Ottoman court, when he arrives in Jerusalem with a procession and meets Oriental characters. ! http://madame.lefigaro.fr/style/une-peinture-mystere-retrouvee-dans-la-boutique-oscar-de-la-renta-230119-163277

Every Thursday from February 7, the restaurant everyone talks about organizes an open raclette (with or without pork) from 19h to 23h, with open white and red wine as well as open softdrinks. On the program, a raclette dinner will be from 19h to 21h, followed by a clubbing atmosphere with the best of general sounds to eliminate the raclette smoothly. The rooftop  of the Tout le Monde en Parle,  above the Galeries Lafayette and the C&A, at the foot of the Montparnasse tower, 4, rue du Départ – 15. Reservations : https://www.weezevent.com/chalet-d-hiver-sur-les-toits-de-paris-all-inclusive-open-raclette-tlmp

After the Place de la Bastille, Pantheon , and  Nation, it is the turn of the Place Gambetta to be refurbished, within the framework of the program Reinvent our squares in Paris; which concerns 7 squares of the capital. It’s the beginning of seven months of work. The configuration of the Gambetta sector will not be transformed, and only one small section of the rue du Cambodge will become pedestrian, while on the square, the traffic will continue to be done in the roundabout around the main Fontaine Jean Dismier. The terminus of  bus lines 60, 69 and 102 will be transferred to the rue du Japon, behind the City/Town Hall. https://www.paris.fr/services-et-infos-pratiques/urbanisme-et-architecture/projets-urbains-et-architecturaux/reinventons-nos-places-2540

With 2 217 new cars sold in 2018 in Paris intramuros (Paris city only 1-20 arrondissements or districts) where 14 383 vehicles were sold in total in the region, Peugeot, according to the figures of the AAA Data study that we publish this past  Monday, arrives at the top of the sales in the automobile market in the capital. In front of Renault which has sold 1 860 cars, Volkswagen 1 261, Toyota 1 099 and Citroën 960. https://www.aaa-data.fr/actualites/

There you my latest tidbits from the most visited country in the World ,again. 90M in 2018 and we say merci beaucoup! And of course, Paris, 32M!! in 2018 and we say Paris ça fête or a movable feast! And 2019 is looking great! thank you all merci à tous et toutes!

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

January 21, 2019

Some news from France CCXVII

And here I am direct at you again on the tidbits of my belle France, which thanks to you all have become as popular as I wanted to be over the years. This is in Roman numerals the but is the 218th post!! Thank you.

It is cold and sunny today -1C or about 31F today and even colder in Paris this morning. As I write , it is 3C  (about 38F) in my neck of the woods and the same in Paris, still morning. But hey nothing to stop me or you to enjoy the beautiful France; 90 millions this past year wow its awesome! and expecting 100M in 2019!!!!!

In 2018, the Louvre was the most popular museum in the world, with 10.2 million visitors, 25% more than in 2017. With a bonus for the Louvre, which combines the advantages: its collections cover several centuries of history within a majestic historical monument; It houses masterpieces including the most iconic, the Mona Lisa; It is located in Paris, the world’s number one destination. In fact, three quarters of its visitors are foreign. The permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou recorded an increase of 18% of their attendance; the Museum of the Quay Branly-Jacques Chirac saw its growth of 7%, Versailles of 6%, Orsay of 3%. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by Jean Nouvel, received incredible media coverage for its opening in November 2017 and attracted for more than a million visitors, valuing the Louvre in the Middle East, Africans, and Asian region. The museum currently has 70 international collaborations: Exhibitions, research, excavations, various exchanges. The Centre Pompidou has installed antennas in Malaga, Brussels and is going to establish itself in Shanghai… The French regional metropolises, which have invested a great deal to equip themselves with attractive museums, are thus able to drain several hundred thousand visitors a year. On the other hand, the Paris Opera receives 97 million euros of state subsidies (from happy French taxpayers like me), compared to 28.5 million for the twenty operas in the regions combined, to which 18 million euros came from private patrons in addition. Compile from various newspapers.

In Marseille, the Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean (MuCEM), for which it is necessary to book and justify its identity as a conservation and resource Centre, a 800 m² “control apartment” presents a rotating sample of the funds Preserved by the museum, pieces from all eras, provenances and dimensions. The Marseille institution now retains the collections. Georges Henri Rivière , his founder, to whom the MuCEM is currently dedicating an exhibition, had imagined, from 1937, to show the gallery of studies to the general public.  The artists ,also take up the reserves is to expose anonymous artists whose creations are taken from the reserves of the museums where he intervenes, for example the Museum of Arts of Nantes, the MuCEM, and until February 3, at the Museum of Fine Arts of Rennes. In Paris, the Museum of the Quai de Branly-Jacques Chirac has long been the example of the reservations visible with its tower of instruments, 27 meters high and which exhibits 10 000 musical instruments. These reserves are not  visited but an application gives elements of information and the walls diffuse the sounds of the instruments that are kept there. The Louvre-Lens goes even further in this logic. The reservations, visible from the lobby, are visited by groups on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Visitors were able to benefit from a guide in the food shop to see the reserves. News from various newspapers in France.

Imagine a health course of 40 km that meanders between the marshes and the boulevard périphérique of Paris, along a vegetated weft dotted with sports challenges. This dream for aspiring marathoners and sportsmen of Sundays may become reality by 2024. At the request of the City/Town Hall of Paris, the Parisian planning workshop Apur has just made a long study on a project of “Urban Sports Walk” along the green belt. Specifically, the course, already equipped with seven sports challenges sites, would be equipped with ten new challenge sites for bodybuilding or cardio-training work. Many recreational facilities such as children’s games, petanque, table tennis, foosball, climbing walls, board games, etc are also provided on 17 points along the route as well as convivial spaces such as picnic tables, fountains, Superloos etc. According to Apur, 600 new alignment trees will have to be planted, sidewalks widened for 9 km, a band of 42 000 m2 cleared of bitumen from the trees, 6 km of vegetated walls and about 15 pedestrian crossings created in the most perilous zones. See attached map. More info here: https://www.apur.org/fr/nos-travaux/parcours-sportif-ceinture-verte-plans-programme-2024

Paris

credit Le Parisien newspaper

400 years is a celebration! To celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the departmental estate of Sceaux  (Hauts de Seine 92) where he lived, inaugurates an exhibition of family portraits of this minister of Louis XIV. Until April 21, 2019. Château de Sceaux stables.Every day except Monday from 13h. to 17h. until 28 February and from 14h  to 18h30  starting March 1st. Admission is 3-4€. More here:

http://www.hauts-de-seine.fr/actualite/tourisme-patrimoine/la-ville-de-sceaux-et-le-departement-celebrent-lannee-colbert-en-2019-3295/

http://domaine-de-sceaux.hauts-de-seine.fr/les-expositions/who-is-who-chez-les-colbert/

This is the year of the 7th art in the Yvelines dept 78. In 2019, no less than 31 new cinemas should be opened. In total, the department will count 6 780 new armchairs. The most important will be located at the Vélizy 2 shopping center,(Vélizy-Villacoublay) (nice shopping and cinema we like) which is to open in February 2019 ,a complex of 3 800 armchairs in total in 18 rooms on two levels. More here: https://www.velizy2.com/cinema

At Plaisir, UGC also invests in pleasure, where the opening at the end of 2019 of a multiplex cinema Cité of 9 rooms and 1 280 armchairs to play the role of Open Sky locomotive, the shopping center whose work continues along the road D11. The developer also builds the Open Sky shopping mall, for fun. The signs Primark, Zara, H & M or Undiz will be the locomotives of the center, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019. More here in French: https://actu.fr/ile-de-france/plaisir_78490/yvelines-plaisir-multiplexe-ugc-9-salles-futur-centre-commercial_18088098.html

In Maurepas, the multiplex, the first stone of which was laid at the end of November, will have eight projection rooms and 1 700 seats on 5 000 m² and two levels in the area of the Leisure Village. A parking space of 500 is planned to accommodate the 400 000 annual visitors expected per year. To achieve this attendance, the complex will be equipped with the latest technologies with an ICE room (immersive Cinema Experience) and a MX4D room with seats that move according to the action of the film. The establishment is expected to be opened by October 2019. More info here in French: https://actu.fr/ile-de-france/maurepas_78383/maurepas-futur-multiplexede-8-salles-attendu-2019_14429803.html

And it’s not over: next year, 12 rooms should open at the Parly 2 shopping center, at Le Chesnay next to Versailles! This is great our favorite cinema is improving! More here in French: https://www.parly-2.com/projetcinema

And after all the above you might be hungry , really hungry, so heads for…aka for serious meat lovers only.

Is meat consumption down? For the-good-restaurateurs, this may be a godsend. As long as you don’t just push a trivial rib steak on the plate but offers an “experience”, a moment. Its Beefbar, just open last October in the former Marbeuf farmhouse in Paris, a few steps from the prestigious Avenue George V, is already filled. A few days ago, walking between carpet rolls and plasterboard, we were struggling to believe that the deadlines would be kept. He never doubted.  The place, magnified the Art nouveau room. Beefbar , created in Monaco in 2005 and present since then in Monaco, Mexico City, Cannes, Budapest , and Hong Kong, and now Paris. The meats served will be chosen and worked with the utmost care, including a limousine of Auvergne refined 60 days and of course Kobe beef. More info here: http://paris.beefbar.com/

There you go happy Monday lol! always a drag I know, but hey there is always going to be a first day of the week! Enjoy your week wherever you are!

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

 

 

 

January 18, 2019

Toys Museum of Poissy!

So now bring you back to childhood, I think we all have in us forever. I told you this was a nice town easily reach from Paris on the RER A once out of station turn right go up the hilly road past the Collegiale Church and you see the panel indicating the Toy Museum of Poissy or the Musée du Jouet Pierre Pinel of Poissy.

This is a magical children place and young adults who remember playing with some of these toys in years past. I brought my boys here and they were eye open all the time at the marvels here. Of course, this is for young children especially I would say less than 14, generally. But,did I said, adults young at heart can enjoy it too, lol; then bring on all the family. It is fun and worth the detour in nice Poissy.

The Musée du Jouet Pierre Pinel or the Pierre Pinel Toy Museum, named after the mayor in place at the time, is located in Poissy, Yvelines, dept 78 not far from the Collegiale Church (see other post) and dedicated to toys and children’s games. It is housed in the 14C poterie of the old abbey of Poissy, the former Royal Priory of Saint Louis, dismantled after the French revolution. It presents about 800 games and toys dated between 1850 and 1950, demonstrating a way of playing sometimes gone, but mostly timeless, beyond fashion and technology. They are industrial toys, mostly French and German, widely distributed from the middle of the 19C.

poissy

Created and opened in 1974 by Pierre Pinel from where the name of the complete museum is the Toy Museum Pierre Pinel, which during the period of construction and inauguration was the mayor of the city of Poissy. In July 2016 the Toy Museum closes its doors for modernization, reopening scheduled for May 11, 2019!

poissy

On the first floor, a room that reminds the granaries of our grandparents, restores full of treasures: Electric train networks, doll houses..exposed after experiencing a hectic life. We discover, for the joy of the little ones as the greatest:p orcelain dolls, shop, Teddy bear, rocking horses, cars, electric trains and many other surprises. The presentation of the collections is regularly renewed around thematic exhibitions which allow to evoke slices of the history of the city.

Playgrounds are arranged throughout the course for a playful and interactive visit and numerous animations, workshops and shows are offered throughout the year to the family public.  An interactive kiosk shows ancient magic tricks.  Animations and temporary exhibitions with workshops, magic and puppet shows help to animate this already pleasant visit. Games courses are offered according to the ages.  Art workshops and the traditional egg hunt during the Easter holidays. During the summer holidays, open-air workshops. Collections evolve and new objects are regularly presented to the public.

poissy

poissy

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Poissy on Toy Museum

Tourist office of Poissy on Toy Museum

Tourist office of dept 78 Yvelines on Toy Museum

There you go something light and fun with the whole family and so close yet so far from Paris it is not well known to visitors. It should be another shot if coming with young children is a must , I say. The Toy Museum of Poissy!

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

 

 

January 18, 2019

Collegiale Church Notre Dame of Poissy!

So I am back to familiar territory in the region of Ile de France! and department 78 of the Yvelines!! Well ,I have written a lot on the city of Poissy in my blog but glancing over it seems was all very general . I need to start remedying that now.

I like to start by telling you a bit more of the Collegiale Church Notre Dame of Poissy. First of all, very easy to get to from Paris on the RER A line and once there go out station turn right and walk up the street ,you will see the big Gothic Church in front of you! Never time it ,but should be less than 10 minutes walking. This will be a long post sorry, but the place merits it, and I even cut a lot, so its the best possible condensed post I can do. Enjoy it, it is very nice indeed.

Notre-Dame Collegiale Church  is a parish Catholic Church located in Poissy, department no 78, Yvelines,of the Ïle de France region. It was founded by King Robert the Pious around 1016, but from the 11C church, only the western steeple-porch survives. Indeed, the Collegiate Church was rebuilt from the beginning of the 12C, in particular between 1130 and 1160, in the late Romanesque style, and later in the primitive Gothic style, which manifests itself in the eastern parts. The future king Louis IX (Saint Louis) was baptized, a few days after his birth in Poissy, on April 25, 1214. This event is the celebrity of the Church, and the baptismal fonts of that time are still preserved there. Although it has undergone numerous transformations and restorations since its construction in the 12C, this Church is not only the richest monument of the city’s heritage, but also remains one of the few witnesses to the development of Romanesque art and its transition to Gothic art. The Church bears the name of Collegiale because it housed a college of canons until the French revolution. It was the object of several restoration campaigns in the 19C, notably by Viollet-le-Duc.

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A bit of history I like

The Church may be a successor to a first Merovingian cult Site, of which they  have found numerous fragments of stone cutters, capitals and bases at 60 cm below the paving. However, the base seems rather Roman, but the base could actually go back to the 7C. The Church had in any case been founded by King Robert the Pious around 1016.  Few episodes of the history of the Collegiate Church are known, the most important of which is the baptism of St. Louis, a few days after his birth on April 25, 1214, in Poissy. The baptismal fonts used at this Christening took the status of a relic after the canonization of Saint Louis in 1297. They have always been respected, but the numerous samplings of fragments to provide relics necessitated a profound restoration in 1630, an occasion to which they were brought back to the Saint-Louis Chapel, where they see themselves behind a grid. Saint-Louis never forgot the Church where he had been baptized, and founded a Mass for the birthday of his parents in 1238, then a Chapel in 1250. The first priest was installed , it was Mathurin Giquerel, Doctor of Theology of the Sorbonne, a dignified and virtuous man of Breton origin. The chapter experienced only an important reform during its long existence, and continued until the French revolution. Under the whole of the old regime (royals) , Poissy was the seat of the archdeaconry of the Pincers’ of the Diocese of Chartres, and the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame its spiritual center. The Church was reportedly burned during the Hundred Years ‘ War, and was partly rebuilt and enlarged in the late 15C and 16C. During the second War of Religion, in 1567, the Church was ravaged by the Huguenots, and to escape, inhabitants were forced to take refuge in the attic for more than two weeks. Some changes have been made to the classical period, but little is left. On the eve of the French revolution, the chapter was abolished and the Church soon closed to worship, and the Church of the Saint-Louis Priory  became the only parish Church in the city, except during the prohibition of worship under the reign of terror in the French revolution. With the Concordat (ending the terrors of the French revolution) of 1801, Poissy was integrated into the new diocese of Versailles, corresponding to the old department of Seine-et-Oise (now Yvelines mostly).

Poissy

poissy

A bit brief on the construction of the Collegiale Church of Notre Dame. It is irregularly oriented towards the southwest on the side of the façade, the Church consists mainly of a central vessel of six long bar spans, accompanied by aisles and Chapels or other annexes; Of a five-pans apse; there is the  ambulatory; a square-planar axis Chapel dating from the 1860’s; and two Chapels oriented flanking the first and last span of the ambulatory, each with a straight span and an apse in the hemicycle. The nave is preceded by one of the two steeples, the ground floor of which was initially an open porch on three sides. Two stair turrets flank the bell tower, one to the north and one to the south. The Chapel of the Baptismal font occupies the angle between the steeple and the north side, and like all the spans of this aisle, it is flanked by a Chapel on the north side. This row of seven Chapels does not form a second aisle, because all the bays are enclosed. The rest of the Church is hunched over with simple warheads. A second steeple rises above the last span of the nave.

A bit more longer description of the interior of the Collegiale Church of Notre Dame.  The nave is particularly heterogeneous. After the Hundred Years War, at the end of the 15C  and early 16C, the only changes were the  north elevation, except the sixth span. This reshuffle uses the flamboyant Gothic style. The second reshuffle occurred around the middle of the 16C, and concerns the first three bays on the south side, as well as the vaults of the first three bays. But everything that seems to date from the beginning of the 12C and displays the Romanesque style, is in reality in very large part the result of the reconstruction. The Organ tribune, which appears to be very archaic, and the 12C reconstruction is characterized by an elevation on three levels, with the floor of the large arcades, the triforium floor and the upper windows. The large arcades, the triforium, the triforium bays, the high windows, the double arches and the warheads are in full hanger. The vault keys are not decorated and show a small aperture. Apart from certain details, the nave of the Collegiate Church can be brought closer to the other large Romanesque Churches of the region built at the beginning of the vaulting of warheads styles.

The north side with its row of Chapels represents the most homogeneous part of the Church, but apart from the supports of the large arcades, all dates from the end of the 15C and the beginning of the 16C. The chapels of the fourth and fifth spans are particularly distinguished by Baroque woodwork of great quality.  The last three spans of the south aisle are the last ones that still exhibit, at least in large part, their 12C provisions. The sacristy had been abandoned in the 18C and arranged in the Chapel facing south of the apse, but its location is the original.  The choir or chorus is oriented in the direction of the sun rising on August 15 (Assomption), is not in the axis of the nave. This is a very common observation that can be made in most Churches built successively at the site of an older church. Although in the case of a collegiate church and therefore of an ecclesiastical chapel where the liturgy involved a whole college of canons, the choir is small and is reduced to the apse. In the absence of a transept whose crusader often houses the high altar, it must be assumed that the last two bays of the nave were originally attached to the liturgical choir, and separated from the rest of the nave by a grate. The apse has two roughly straight sections and a bedside in the hemicycle, composed of only three pans. Thus, the apse communicates with the ambulatory by five large arcades.

The ambulatory represents, the most interesting part of the Church. This applies to the arrangement of the exterior walls, for the vaulting of original edges and for the very particular plane. It has no radiant Chapels, but primitively an alternation between square Chapels, including the first and last completed by an apse in the hemicycle, and walls facing the outside. The north-facing Chapel had been rebuilt in the flamboyant period with a prism-ribbed vault. The apsidal of the Chapel is in large part authentic. Quite spacious, it has a decoration consistent with that of the ambulatory. The vault of warheads is four-pointed, and the profile seems authentic: it is the same as in the apse, namely a net between two torus. The south-facing chapel, dedicated to St. Louis, has never been altered, and its plan is quite regular. As for the axe Chapel, dedicated to the Virgin, it was once an admirable construction of the second half of the 13C or the beginning of the 14C, in a radiant style reminiscent of the Sainte-Chapelle (Paris). Destroyed everything in the 1860’s, the demolition of the Chapel is regrettable, especially since it was not detrimental to the homogeneity of the Church, and that its state would have allowed a restoration, still envisaged by the Viollet -le-Duc in 1844. The present Chapel is inspired by the apsidials, but larger, with five pans and three windows.

The oldest capitals are naturally found in the base of the western steeple, which dates back to the late 11C, especially on the east side. In the nave, there are curiously more recent capitals under the fifth and sixth largest arcade in the north. It can be dated from the beginning of the 12C, while the construction of the nave progressed from west to east, and the last spans were only started around 1130. At the back of the façade, at the beginning of the big arcades of the South, appears the first marquee of a second type, evoking, as also the bedside in the big lines. In the apse, the only capitals that were not redone in the 19C are those to the east of the sixth pile of the north, as well as those of the four free columns of the apse roundabout. The sculpture of their large baskets is remarkable, and they are decorated with two registers of ribbed leaves, palmettos of a large drawing, long rods linked two by two in the center or under the angles of the stone cutter. The design and composition are of great originality, and the style is of uncommon vigor. The bay capitals of the central steeple are also remarkable.

The tribune Organ was commissioned in 1903. Its instrumental part was made by Charles Mutin, successor of Aristide Cavaillon-Coll. Its Gothic buffet was designed by the architect of historical monuments, Camille Formigé, who had been responsible for the last restoration campaign of the Church between 1884 and 1896. The columns of stone supporting the tribune were carved by Geoffroy.

And why not a bit more on the exterior of the Collegiale Church of Notre Dame de Poissy.  The western steeple, originally a steeple-porch, is one of the oldest steeples in the region among those of a certain size. The steeple is square and flanked by two orthogonal buttresses at each angle, which are strictly vertical and punctuated by the same drip present on the walls. Between two buttresses, the salient angles of the steeple remain free, which is not common. The ground floor only has small rectangular openings, and the first floor is also very discreet, with a unique rectangular window off the west side. The second floor is located at the same level as the upper windows of the nave, and originally had two rectangular bays, regularly spread over the three free sides. To the north and south, they are partly clogged by the two stair turrets.

poissy

A nave with three levels of elevation requires buttresses, which were not yet developed at the end of the Romanesque period, and appear only in the mid-12C. To the north, the wall of the nave ends with a frieze of foliage similar to that found inside, under a cornice formed by a succession of prismatic moldings. In the south, the first three bays were given a new cornice in the classical period. On the outside, the authenticity of the various elements is therefore not more assured than inside, and this also applies to the flamboyant architecture of the chapels of the north aisle and the sacristy in front of the last two bays of the south aisle. At the top, God the Father (beheaded during the French revolution) emerges from a cloud holding a globe in one hand. Rays of light descend from all sides, and reach a vase with two handles, from which a long leafy stem that carries three fleurs de Lys springs. A dove in the middle of the rays illustrates the Holy Spirit, and the rays themselves are the grace of God that he sends from the top of heaven. The flower that is the recipient is an allegory of purity and virginity, and symbolizes the Virgin Mary. The ensemble is therefore a symbolic representation of the Annunciation

The second Louis XII-style portal is wider and has two doors in a basket cove separated from a thomas whose jagged foliage and flamboyant-style monsters, overlapped already on the lower legs of the underside, at pilasters Italianate announcing the first Renaissance. Three niches with statues flank the doors, and still sheltered the Virgin and two angels in 1805. They were repainted same  year, but have disappeared since. The central steeple is, without a doubt, the most beautiful element of Poissy’s architecture.  Its north face was uplifted this time with respect for the authenticity of the monument, as between 1844 and 1850 during the restoration of the large arcades. The octagonal stump of the bell tower is pierced with a single undecorated, North and south window, which inwardly opens under a broken discharge arch. Between two modillions, a palmettos décor in bas-relief appears. Two seats above open the bays of the belfry floor. They are in the full hanger and number of two on the faces facing the cardinal points. The other faces are narrower and leave room for only one bay. The choir, the style is allegedly that of the 13C. As for the oriented Chapels, the windows of the square span were initially placed at the same height as the windows of the Apsidials, they had only one buttress instead of two, and the angles of the buttresses were not filled with balusters.

poissy

Some of the nice things to notice at the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame at best me think other than the Baptismal font of Saint Louis are:

The stone Altar adorned with eight characters under arches lobed and hooks, 94 cm high and 245 cm wide, dating from the first half of the 14C and apparently coming from the church Priorale Saint-Louis. The group carved in limestone representing the burial, also known as Holy Sepulchre, 140 cm high and 180 cm wide, mentioned for the first time in 1522.  The group carved in polychrome walnut wood representing the education of the Virgin by St. Anne, high of 137 cm and dating from the near end 15C to 16C. The stone statue of St. John the Baptist, 186 cm high and dating from the 14C, the stone statue of St. Barbara, 140 cm high and dating from the first half of the 16C; the tower on the left is its attribute, the palm in her left hand is the symbol of the Martyrs. The stone statue of Isabelle of France, daughter of St. Louis, high of 130 cm and dating from around 1300, comes from the rood of the Church of the Priory Saint-Louis de Poissy. The stone statue of St. Peter , high of 160 cm and probably dating from the 17C. The stone statue of Saint Louis teenager, high of 170 cm, dating from 1932. It bears the coat of arms of the city of Poissy.  The painted wooden statue of the Virgin, 130 cm high and probably dating from the first quarter of the 16C, was distorted by a smooth polychrome that makes it seem like a statue of the 19C, but the stylistic closeness with the statue of St. Barbara indicates the actual age of the statue, which remains to be confirmed during a restoration. The stone statue of the Ecce Homo or Christ with links, high of 185 cm and dating from the 17C. The statue of the Virgin and the Seated Child called Notre-Dame de Poissy, inspired by the seal of the Collegiate chapter, work of Manuela, her real name Anne de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Duchess of Uzès, high of 140 cm and dating from 1892. The stone statuette of a praying, perhaps a donor, with a inscription of dedication in Latin, high of 50 cm and dating from 1553. Most of the burial slabs were sealed in the Western Wall. Most of the paintings are hung in the Chapels, and poorly visible in these dark spaces.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and you must are

City of Poissy on the Church in French

Tourist office of Poissy on the Church in French

Tourist office dept 78 Yvelines on the Church at Poissy in French

Note the sites above are in French, nowdays easily translated for a fuller enjoyment and more information. This is a nice Notre Dame Collegiale Church and the area around it is very nice and more things to see in Poissy.

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

 

 

 

 

 

January 17, 2019

Schoolboys in France, our take!

So on a cold night in the Morbihan Breton, I like to be a bit nostalgic of my previous home in France. This is my 16th year living here and 19th as citizen of France. Basically, broken down evenly now between the Yvelines 78 (ïle de France), and the Morbihan 56 (Bretagne).

One subject dear to me and the family I have not touch in my blog yet, and its about time, is the question of schooling for the kids. I have 3 boys now young men. When I first had the idea from my dear late wife Martine (French native of Meaux ,Seine-et-Marne 77, ïle de France), the first thing we thought was the schooling for the boys. Back in the previous old home of Florida there were in A rated schools by the School system there so we wanted to stay the same in France.

We went out and spoked with the French family on the schooling and was a bit surprise of the strict ruling as compare to what we knew. Also, the easy school days as they are no substitute teachers here, and kids are sent home. The homework was constant every day! In all subjects!

We found out it was true. We ,also, got in touch with the American community in Paris which is numerous and we are acquainted. They refered us to the AAWE organisation or tha Association of American Women in Europe. They published a book detailing the differences and equalities of the US and French educational systems that was invaluable. https://www.aaweparis.org/

The landing was easy ,soft and we found out our boys were getting good notes from the start. Due in fact for the training at home with the mother, an import/export custom agent who was very good of grammar , an important subject in French schools.

We got in and found out the schools ;free public schools were better in the smaller towns in Yvelines. I do not want to give away all the addresses but will put some pictures here of younger days.

verneuil sur seine

The schooling in towns like Verneuil-sur-Seine on the college John Zay was super and the staff always gave us compliments of our boys. It was a nice trip for them fully enjoyed with the bus and train as it is usual here. It gives you freedom. Here all 3 boys came together the college is like a middle school back in the USA; they spent all here in France. http://www.clg-zay-verneuil.ac-versailles.fr/spip.php?rubrique127

les mureaux

Then, came the Lycée or high school Blanche de Castille in the nearer town of Le Chesnay It was fantastic! We really enjoy it and the nearby Bel Air complex with many friends meeting on the park, and a miniature statue of the Eiffel tower! The bus system was the same as the one in Versailles so very convenient and the boys love it. https://www.blanche-de-castille.fr/infos-pratiques

le chesnay

versailles

Then came big decisions. The university system here as compare to the USA is very weak, but practically free. The ones we saw near us were about 500 euros per year! Most of the best jobs are had in the Grande Ecoles and they are like Ivy league schools ,very expensive. I had experience with universities and my skills were home grown , not too positive about universities; I think they are just business. My opinion of course.

Therefore, I told my boys to choose: univ or special technical schools that provide a skill and a job. They chose the later one.

My boys were split with my twins going into specialized schools in gardening:building: plumbing, and wood work which gave them job experiences . France does not have a system of funnelling the students into jobs so the youth unemployment is very high unofficially at 25% .The yound spent a lot of time in interim, training jobs for long periods and unemployment until finally with lots of work experience they can land a permanent job. They are now on the right track and getting paid for it.

auray

My oldest boy, went to commercial business school , very good CFA Affida at La Verriére 78 Yvelines. Here he got his commerce training as he wanted to go into Sales and did had the chance to work at the Chateau de Versailles and the gift stores across from the rive gauche train station in Versailles. Moving over to Bretagne, he went to the IBEP Vannes. Now getting his driving license and search for a permanent job in the meantime he gets support income from the mission locale who puts him into training program by working alongside local businesses for more time on the job and training for eventually getting a permanent job. The CFA Affida: https://www.affida.fr/nos-2-centres/cfa-affida-la-verriere-yvelines-78

The IBEP Vannes:  http://www.ibepformation.fr/fr/centre-formation-bretagne

la verriere

versailles

The life here is nice and friendly but the will to excel is a bit behind. If you have experience then coming will be no problems I found mine before arriving for a big CAC 40 company in management and have not stopped.   For the young, its an uphill battle.

crach

le roc saint andre

So this is nothing compare to what we get here ,however, as free persons, we know the job market in France is not the best and needs a lot of improvements. Maybe the yellow vests (jilets jaunes) can do something about it!

The Great Debate  or Grand Débat is on in France at the mayor’s office level and creating lots of suggestions in a truly democratic way where the citizens participate. The online site is to be functional by January 21st so they said. https://granddebat.fr/

Hope it gives you another look on France from a worldly person and experiences on both sides of the pond! I lived 31 years in the USA between NJ and FL!

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

 

 

 

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