July 16, 2019

Notre Dame Cathedral , Jul19 update!

On a nice sunny day in my neck of the woods, and in eternal Paris let me bring you some update on the re construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. A lot have been said, but the fact remains that now the mechanism is just been put in place and the real work is just ahead.

My devotion to the Cathedral and the symbol of France remains untouched and looking forward for an identical reconstruction. However, as today in our world there are those who do not think of traditions and history and just in case keep your souvenirs of the Cathedral you came to know , visit, see , and enjoy. Just in case….

On April 15, 2019, a day to always remember in a sad mode, a fire broke out in Notre-Dame Cathedral, ravaging the roof, the frame, part of the vault and the spire of the Cathedral. A few days after the tragedy, the government had announced a proposal for an exceptional law “for the restoration and preservation of the Notre-Dame Cathedral”. The bill, which will  be adopted in final reading by the National Assembly today July 16, frames the work and donations made by the French. The text was finally adopted today with 32 votes in favor, 7 against and 8 abstentions!  Just three months ago, on April 15, the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Paris  was ravaged by a fire, which reduced to ashes a part of the roof, the whole of the frame, part of the vault and the arrow. At that time President Emmanuel Macron said “We will rebuild the cathedral even more beautiful and I want it to be completed in five years, “. The opposition have criticized the five-year deadline set by President Macron for work deemed “unreasonable” .But the main bone of contention has, once again, focused on exemptions from the rules of urban planning and protection of the environment, provided for in the text, to speed up the work.

The bill includes the opening of a national subscription to collect donations from individuals, businesses or communities that have flocked since the fire of the Notre Dame Cathedral. It will be used to finance the conservation and restoration of the Cathedral as well as its furniture. Donations may also be used to finance the training of professionals with the specific skills that will be required for the work. The bill also introduces a tax reduction of 75% (against 66% as normal) for donations not exceeding 1.000 euros ! and made between April 16th and December 31st 2019. Since April 15, nearly 850 million euros of donations have been pledged by wealthy individuals and businesses; the final donations and disbursement pending progress of the work once starts.

Donations to the State Treasury, the National Monuments Center and the three authorized foundations (Fondation de France, Fondation du Patrimoine and Fondation Notre Dame) will be donated to the State or the public institution in charge of conservation and of the restoration of Notre-Dame Cathedral. The text also provides for the creation by order of a public institution, under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture, responsible for managing the funds raised and the control procedures for this management.

What is there now:

Two temporary “umbrellas” (large tarpaulins) were placed above the nave and the choir, the gables north and south and west were consolidated, notably by depositing all the statues that could make them tilt. Nets were stretched over the nave and choir, whose high stained glass windows were removed. The debris of the north and south transepts have been cleared and those of the nave are being processed, thanks to the daily action of a robot. The water was also evaporated, including in the crypt. Another major project in the coming weeks: the scaffolding, originally installed for the restoration of the spire,  which collapsed during the fire  must be dismantled. But the most important phase will be the installation of hangers under the flying buttresses and the establishment of a floor to have access to the famous vault. This step will consolidate it and be reassuring about its condition. Then, several months will be necessary to evacuate the rubble which is under the vaults. The reconstruction site itself should only begin in early 2020, with tenders launched in January.

What has been heard to be done:

Young architects and designers were launching on social networks their ideas for renovating the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. “We are not going to reconstruct today by mimicry the image of the past. The Dijon cabinet of Paul Godart and Pierre Roussel defend a project of a glazed roof, where the tourists could walk! (what!!). The NAB studio suggests a botanical greenhouse in place of the roof. Lol!  Norman Foster, a renowned British architect, advocates the use of glass?. Jean-Michel Wilmotte, father of the rebirth of Lutetia, in Paris, calls for the use of titanium (wow!). Jacques Ferrier, creator of the pavilion of France in Shanghai, in 2010, takes again the idea of ​​Dominique Perrault (the National Library of France), who imagined, in 2015, the renovation of the Cathedral forecourt with a giant “glass mirror”!  to enhance its value and facilitate access. However, it is an icon of nine centuries that we inherited and that we must repair as identical since we have not been able to preserve,said Denis Valode and Jean Pistre, two great Parisian architects. Jean Nouvel, who designed the Louvre Abu Dhabi, is in turn holding this historic line: “the arrow of Viollet-le-Duc is one of the intangible things of the Cathedral”Amén!

Sources : information taken from 20Minutes, Le Parisien, and L’Express media.

Official historical construction period of the Notre Dame Cathedral

There you go, it is now officially open for work, and the clock is ticking! Best wishes to all involved and may the common sense prevails.

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

 

 

 

July 16, 2019

Restaurant: A dandy in Lisbon!

So after many tidbits in previous posts a post by itself, well worth the visit and now the wait. After coming to Lisbon for several years and trying many restaurants I finally got a queu from a local to visit this one back in 2014. Well it has been my home each there afterward and already looking forward to see the new face.

This is Cervejaria Pinoquio a brewery and restaurant at  Rua de Santa Justa 54, just facing the wonderful Rossio and praça dos Restauradores. With tables outside facing the bustling Praça dos Restauradores, this restaurant attracts tourists but also many locals who have always enjoyed its seafood, especially its clams.  The steaks are also popular, all served in a very relaxed, unpretentious ambience.

lisbon

I have many great stories of eating and drinking at by now my friends restaurant Pinoquio at Praça dos Restauradores. The typical Portuguese seafood and vinho verde wine place, love it. Many stories here; like the time gathered all my friends to come here thinking only 7 will come, the rest show up by taxi and we were 22 without reservation. I told the staff ,quick needed to find space, they knew me from many times here, and they move, so fast they created three spaces with extra tables/chairs to accommodate my friends, they were all impress of my contacts lol!

lisbon

I have ordered my usual beers and then my favorite dish Feijoada de marisco. This is magnificent casserole of shrimp, lobsters,clams, and white beans stew, just fab and of course enough for one person ,really it could be ordered for two.

A twist of fate that all good will end unfortunately not sure yet . The historic Cervejaria Pinoquio (brewery), in Praça dos Restauradores, has new owners and will close for works, going to be inserted into a hotel! . The new owners of Pinoquio, who in addition to the brewery of Filipe Costa (old resto owner) bought the remaining floors of the building, plan to keep the brewery on the ground floor of the building and increase the terrace area. Stay tune for its completion estimated end of 2019. Stay tune, I know I will and if you know something let me know please.

Their official webpage is under construction of course , here: Official Restaurante Pinoquio Lisbon

My helpful blogroll tips site Yelp on Pinoquio: YELP tips on Pinoquio Lisbon

Hoping you will be able to enjoy once re open and that the staff remains for all of us. I will keep my wonderful memories of the people there and the great company and food all these years at Cervejaria Pinoquio . Stay tune ok.

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

July 15, 2019

Restaurant: Bucharest

So let me take you a bit east in our wonderful Europe and show you my culinary adventures in Bucharest Romania. I am lucky to be here several times over the last few years and really enjoy the company and the food! even try Romanian wines ok.

As in my brief series on restaurants let me introduce you to some of my favorites in Bucharest. Excuse me for the poor photos ::)

The soul of Bucharest ! The beer wagon or Caru cu bere ! the restaurant with old world decoration near the National Bank building of Romania. The restaurant building is neo gothic located at Stavropoleos street across from Calea Victoriel street the famous city center of Bucharest. Caru’ cu Bere is a bar and restaurant in the Lipscani district of Bucharest,  opened in 1879 and moved to the current location, a gothic revival building in 1899. It is noted for its distinctive art nouveau interior decoration.   The sumptuous interior will dazzle you, as much by the many details of the decor as by the colors that emanate from it. Finally the food, a wide pannel of what can offer the culinary culture of Romania, really a good place to eat dishes of quality.

The atmosphere in Caru cu Bere is really impressive, sometimes a bit noisy, but you get used to it very quickly. Attentive and busy servers swarm everywhere in an organization that must be exemplary in the face of the impressive number of customers. In the background, traditional music well dosed not to be embarrassing without being forgotten. The building consists of several places, the first is the terrace, under the ceapa (onions) and usturoi (garlic), it is still very obsolete in winter. Then, you enter the main room by passing an old drum door to arrive in the most magnificent restaurant that I could see! In the background, a period bar, with the beer brewed by the restaurant itself, balconies lining the bar, but it is necessary, before taking the view, to climb a magnificent wooden spiral staircase. Downstairs, the basement is landscaped but keeps the image of a cellar, and a magnificent collection of Borcan (jars). Enjoy it.

More on Caru Cu Bere here: Restaurant Caru cu bere Bucharest

bucharest

The 18 Lounge , at  3-5th Presei Libere Square,  City Gate South Tower, 18th floor, Bucharest. The City 18 Lounge on top 18th floor of the Millenium building. It has a 15 meters long bar, and tables all around with wonderful views of the city and the lake Herastrau. Open Mondays to Fridays from 12h  until 16h  is lunch, then 16-18h is closed and opens again at 18h, Saturday and Sunday no menu direct from carte. Here we had a leek soup, and then pork spare ribs in a Romanian sauce with Calsberg beer. Great business and romantic place packed with locals and visitors alike. The views alone are worth coming here!

bucharest

Definitely a place worth trying out, at least for the view, so make sure to make a reservation with a seat next to the window. Modern and stylish in decoration, 18 Lounge comes with seating for 180 guests inside and 60 on the rooftop terrace. So a larger part indoors, but with floor-to-ceiling windows the views are panoramic just about anywhere. Open daily from lunch to late dinner, the rooftop restaurant serves international flavours from a seasonal á la carte menu. Or you head to the 15 meter long bar and order crafted signature cocktails made with local and fresh products. With a sophisticated yet friendly vibe, 18 Lounge is a great rooftop bar in Bucharest for a date or a nice night out with friends and family. Sometimes there is live music, and otherwise you can expect nice tunes out of the speakers. For dinner, reservations are higly recommended, and note that the 18 Lounge dress code is casual.

More on the 18 Lounge here: 18 Lounge Bucharest

bucharest

La Placinte Moldavian cuisine restaurant with a wooden tray of pork kebaks, potatoes, salad, and compote or drain fruit drink of red fruits sweet and nice down with Ursus local beer was excellent.  Very nicely decorated Inside and nice friendly service.  I went to the Str. Nicolae Caramfil nr. 49. More on the locations here:   https://laplacinte.ro/ro/pages/restaurante/2/

The page can be translated to English here: Restaurant La Placinte Bucharest

La Placinte is a chain of restaurants from the neighboring Republic of Moldova that has become quickly popular in Romania .. As soon as you enter this restaurant, situated in an upscale Bucharest neighborhood, you will notice the cozy atmosphere and helpful waiters, always with a smile on their face. If you like Romanian folk music and home-made food, you might become one of their regular clients. Apart from traditional Moldavian dishes, served in clay pots, their menu also features many delicious pies, filled with pumpkin, potato or cheese.  The place can get quite crowded at lunch time and and in the evening so it’s better to make a reservation.

bucharest

bucharest

My Vatra Neamului restaurant is at DN1, str. calea București, nr. 29, com. Balotești, jud.  The Restaurant is by Balostesti, past Otopeni the airport city, along the DN1 road. This is very much use as well for weddings and anniversaries by the locals, as it is very traditional Romanian in food and decoration. We had dinner in the poets’s  room as you have portraits of Romanian poets/writers going way back. Vatra Neamului, is a mix cuisine between ancient moldavian/romanian food, the food wich was served by our ancestors before us, and a trip to the time of Stefan the Great, Michael the Brave, and the unrivaled writer Mihai Eminescu. Wonderful find, enjoy it when you can

When they don’t have big events, the Vatra Neamului use only the floor halls. In the evening, from time to time, they also have music from various bands that come to play there.  The menu at Vatra Neamului  is Bessarabian, obviously! Similar to the Romanian cuisine, in general, and very hard with the Moldavian one, still evident.  They also have a few kinds of reference to Russian cuisine. The food is good and less of the Slavic and Balkan chefs, fat and heavy. The Pies, in particular, are highly appreciated, and I think they are one of the attractions of the Vatra Neamului. Especially since they’re being made in front of you, some housewives do a little job in a corner where they’ve arranged the plating, with the flour bags next door, the suciters and everything else.  The service is good, personal with waiters who are not frustrated because of their job. Prices are normal.  The hearth of the Gentile Vatra Neamului is, therefore, one of the restaurants already known in Bucharest, among those with  Moldavian nationals. It’s going there especially when you have more time on hand and you’re not on the run.

More on the Restaurant Vatra Neamului here: Restaurant Vatra Neamului Bucharest

bucharest

bucharest

Another time out of hotel I went outside to the La Iancu restaurant just outside Bucharest in Otopeni where the airport is located, but a nice town. The service was very nice, and the food with the big veal steak fries and beers Tuborg was nice indeed. More on the La Iancu restaurant here!  http://www.laiancu.ro/

Bucharest

Then pay a visit to a wonderful place sure to come back to it, the Taverna Sarbului. The terrace ambiance and friendly service to the superb local cuisine and good friends made it special, I could have stay here longer!  More on the Taverna Sarbului here:  http://tavernasarbului.ro/bucuresti/taverna_ro.html

bucharest

And there you go another culinary trip of wonderful memorable Bucharest! Always looking forward to be back. Enjoy it and do visit.

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

July 15, 2019

Restaurant: Barcelona!

So back to another culinary city of my Europe! In the continuing effort to show you some of my most memorable moments of my culinary expeditions with the family. As often, the case, I come to discover these gems usually on business trips and then if worth it bring alone the family in subsequents trips ,and even sometimes do the opposite. The culinary, wine lover in me is well at home in Europe!

One city that is rank right up there with the best is Barcelona, Spain. A blend of Catalan, Mediterranean and other Spanish dishes all in one city , sounds good , let me tell you a bit more ok.

Have an authentic Catalan and Mediterranean experience at the L’Amfora. Enjoy a beautiful maritime environment with your people while you savor the tapas selection,traditional paellas, exquisite grilled meats and the most selected seafood from their tank. Obviously, do not miss the typical desserts and  popular  sangria of Catalan cava. They have vegetarian and vegan multiple options and children menus. We are  located next to de crowded plça de Espanya square, The Fira Congress Palace and The Magic Fountain of Montjuic.

barcelona

This is the L’Amfora restaurant that was first found with friends and then family. All worth it. Very centrally located and a super Paella is done here too!!!

More on the Restaurant L’Amfora here: Restaurant L’Amfora Barcelona

barcelona

The hightlight of the trip was at the restaurante Casa de tapas Cañota not far from Plaça de Espanya or Spain square and very nice place , friendly and a long football/soccer chat with the Argentinian server living there for more than 10 years! A nice place to come back, eat, drink and watch a game!

barcelona

In the Eixample ,we find the Restaurant Casa de Tapas Cañota, a place where the classic spirit merges with a fabulous offer of tapas. Its renovated decoration, by the designer Ana Pujadas, turns this place into a casual and informal restaurant with striking graphic illustrations.  The menu is informal and economical and is based on excellent tapas of great variety for all tastes, without neglecting the quality that characterizes the products of this restaurant. In Casa de tapes Cañota you can have a good time in the company of friends watching football and tasting some tapas; it also has a heated terrace with access to the disabled. You can not stop going to the place where the quality and the good price meet. Enjoy it

More on Restaurant Casa de Tapas Cañota here: Restaurante Casa de Tapas Cañota Barcelona

barcelona

There you go , there are many more and even more popular and surely maybe good ones, I have tried others. However, these two are memorable that we will look after them to be back with the family or friends. Enjoy the restaurants of Barcelona!

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

 

 

July 15, 2019

Restaurant: Brittany and Normandy!

So in my continuing quest to show off some of our favorite family restaurant with photos let me bring you to two wonderful vibrant gorgeous regions of my belle France! Let me tell you about two spots in my lovely Brittany and cousin Normandy!

In my road warrior trips in my loving France we have encounters many occassions to be hungry on the road and no previous reservation. We just picked the ones we thinks looks good and pretty and we have never been disappointed in the land of the culinary art.  This is the case in these two properties. Hope you enjoy them as we did.

In Granville , dept 50 of Manche in Normandie region; we stop by on a wonderful place, very friendly, fast service, nice folks and great food quality/price excellent. Crêperie La Bolée Normande, 17 rue Le Campion, in city center but away from the harbor area. Tel +33 (0) 2 33 50 18 04. No webpage but more info on the Yelp review page here: Yelp reviews on the Créperie

granville

A nice place as we like, a nice welcome, a quiet atmosphere and without a headache, here is for this place whose décor has recently been revised. On the card side, as the name suggests, here we like crêpes and the galettes , but not only! mussels and chips are good, served in quantity, and for an incomparable value for money! The terrace in summer is a superb spot of the city. Thanks for the memories!!!

You have more in the area tourist office here: Official tourist office of Granvile on the créperie

granville

And we just came back from fabolous Rennes , dept 35 Ille-et-Vilaine of Brittany! ,and one resto we have pinpoint as another nostalgic stop in my belle France. An American diner par excellence and already very popular with university students and families in a wonderful old world street of Renne, Rue de Saint Malo. Restaurant Back to the 60’s!! you know it!!

The Restaurant Back to the 60’s,5 Rue Saint de Malo it is almost an institution. The restaurant expanded in August 2013 but it was not enough: it is strongly advised to book given the attendance recorded at Back to the 60’s at each service. A real American diner, which has been attracting crowds for many years already.

Rennes

It must be said that everything lends themselves: the servers are nice, although a little stressed in times of rush. And at the planning level, Back to the 60’s has combined choice and quality. For most burgers, you can opt for a steak of beef, chicken or soy. Some are quite simple like the Barbecue and Bacon, others more exotic like Hawaiian, and Gaetan’s Burger is by far the most impressive in the whole city with its 3 steaks, 2 slices of cheddar, slice of raclette cheese, egg and bacon. That’s all it is! If you have room for dessert, you’ll love the Oreo Cookie Bash and the many milkshakes. It’s quite noisy when it’s full, but it does not spoil the quality of the ingredients, the plethora of menu and the very good atmosphere. An American Diner the way we love them!!!yes! fat lady we have them here too lol!!

Rennes

They have a nice page in Facebook! Facebook page of Restaurant Back to the 60’s at Rennes

Rennes

Bear in mind, there is a lot of construction in city center Rennes with lots of renovation going on, so give yourselves time if coming shortly. Always nice to be back on the capital of Brittany! Hope you have enjoyed the post.

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

 

July 14, 2019

Restaurant: The chains of France!!

Well do not know how but looking at some of my photos gave me the idea to write a short series on the restaurants we have come to patronise for many years here and have a photo to show. These are all family restaurants and visit them with the family in tow. So hope you enjoy them too! Of course all this while folks are reveling no the 14 July National Day here …….and more demonstrations lol!

The name Courtepaille comes 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 2003!! Unfortunately , do not have a photo of it at Cergy Saint Christophe in Val d’Oise dept 95. I will tell you about the others…!

Grill Courtepaille, more commonly known as 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), the chain of restaurants. In 2019, the chain has 300 restaurants, a third of which are franchised. the dishes 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 the one at Buchelay near Mantes La Jolie in the Yvelines dept 78. We went there at least a couple times as it is right off the A13 autoroute de Normandie exit/sortie 13, and we can come in and out easy in our road warrior trips. More of it here: Official Grill Courtepaille on the Buchelay resto

There is another one on the A13 exit/sortie 9 coming from Paris in the Renault factory town of Flins sur Seine, Yvelines 78 as well. Here we had gone to shop at the nearby Carrefour hypermarket and had lunch in the Courtepaille as well. More on it here: Official Grill Courtepaille on resto at Flins sur Seine

Flins courtepaille 2011

And even more going up to Chantilly by Creil (dept 60) there is another Courtepaille we have enjoyed. This one is on the D1016 road the old N16.  More on it here: Official Courtepaille on the Creil resto

Chantilly

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 is at the same area in Buchelay, near Mantes La Jolie as above.

Léon 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 restaurant in Brussels opened its doors in Paris, and was dedicated to the same traditional dishes. Leon de Bruxelles in numbers: 81 restaurants in France. 3,500 tons of mussels are sold each year. Depending on the season, they come from the Netherlands, Italy or Normandy. More info here: Official Léon de Bruxelles on resto at Buchelay

Buchelay

Buchelay

Last but not least was a special one as we already knew it from Florida USA and darn it they have it here too at the Disney Village in Disneyland Paris! I need to mention Rainforest Cafe. Not the fanciest of restaurant à la French but an American importation that we find nostalgic for us and of course with the boys who are born and raised early in Florida we needed to come. The food and the attractions ::) were memorable.

This is a Southwestern fare with a tropical twist awaits you amid this dense jungle filled with animals. journey deep into the Amazon, where you’ll dine in the company of animated animals and the sound of thunder claps and sudden rainstorms. Singing birds, trumpeting elephants, chest-pounding gorillas and schools of brightly coloured fish welcome you to a lushly landscaped jungle of tropical vegetation, banyan trees, waterfalls and a starry night-time sky. More info here: Official Rainforest Cafe at Disney Village

Been more on the tourist trail, here is more from the Paris tourist officeTourist office of Paris on the Rainforest Cafe

Disneyland village

Disneyland village

So there you go, 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, and even since that reminds us of where we come from lol! Hope you enjoy them and see the different as even here they are a bit different;;;vive la difference!

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

July 14, 2019

Tour Eiffel or Eiffel Tower, the name says it all!!!

This monument is one of the biggest magnet that attracts people to Paris. Go figure it, and post on July 14 our National Day!. I will tell you my visiting eyes views on it and some pictures. However, disclaimer , even if I go by it every month as my Paris HQ is nearby, I last climb it in 2005!!! ok enough said. Oh yes you got it, will write about the Tour Eiffel or Eiffel tower in Paris!

paris

Yes indeed the name says it all, why? it was conceded to participate in an Universal Expo to showcase the engineering values of France, just like that. However, nobody could imagine the controversies over it, and the inmense ,huge success of its future days, 130 years strong. It is without doubt the symbol of Paris,and France. I could not imagine myself the first time I told my coworkers in Florida that I was coming to Paris in 1990, they could not believe it , I need it to bring them back a photo of the you guess it the Eiffel tower. I did, and it has been pasted to so many bulleting boards around offices in South Florida ever since…And many who have come to visit it , and even some done the reservations myself lol!

It is on everybody’s eyes and ears so you will have no problem getting there once in Paris. Built under the leadership of Gustave Eiffel in 1889 for the Paris Universal Exposition of same year ,it is 325 meters high ( 1073 ft) with the addition of an tnt electronic TV antenna on it in 2005.  It was built in just over 2 years in a marvel of construction and engineering genious. Best way to get here is on Metro Bir-Hakeim line 6 ,and RER C Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel. Or enjoy Paris more as I do and ride the buses above ground you see more , I take from Gare Montparnasse the No 82 arrêts/stop Tour Eiffel or Champ de Mars/Suffren, all are easy walking distance. Here is the traject from RATP for you: RATP Bus No 82 to Eiffel tower click on map inside

Now the tour Eiffel has 1665 steps to the top, and it has its contrictions according to the weather anywhere from 6-7 cm expand or retract; on clear days you can see as far as 67 kms ( 41.5 miles), and on the negative side it has 370 suicides as of last figures I have in 2013. It is the most visited monument in France, the most visited country and Paris the most visited city according to the UN-WTO official international records.

paris

A bit of a description: the ground floor where the four pillars are found ,or legs of the tower; the Nord/north pillar gives access to the 3 floors of the tower by elevators, you see the  bust of Gustave Eiffel here. A very good gathering guiding point for many in Paris visitors and locals alike is to say we will meet by the Eiffel bust area !  All will change elevator at the second floor to continue their climb. If the day is very heavy in visitors, the Ouest/west pillar is open with the same services. The pillar Sud/south give you direct access to the restaurant Jules Verne, and the Est/East pillar is reserve for those that wish to do the climbing on foot Lol!

paris

The first floor , this one we usually visit last as we come down, unless you are those doing the climb on foot.  This floor is the biggest, housing the iron pavillion or Pavillon Ferrié  that enclosed many spaces use for expositions, cinema, restaurant (le 58 tour Eiffel)  ,stores , and a post office. You can see the hydraulic pump that push the elevators from the second floor to the top, as well as a electronic telescope . It gives a nice view of the river Seine and the Champ de Mars garden.

The second floor is a stop to eventually reach the summit, it has some animation activities here as well as the fame restaurant Jules Verne , webpage: Restaurant Jules Verne at Eiffel

The third floor, is the summit offering a beautiful panorama of Paris, you have tables showing you what to look out for and identify the different buildings below as well as the distances between the principal cities and Paris . There is a second level here , if time permit it is open, and you will see a reproduction of Gustave Eiffel office while receiving Thomas Edison!  There is now a Champagne bar here offering you the Champa with a view, very romantic ::)

The tour Eiffel is illuminated every night for a short while as the city is reducing electricity costs, but still can be seen.  Every day, from dusk to 01h (1am), for 5 minutes. The start of  01h the last, is special. It lasts 10 minutes and unfolds while the tower is off, which gives it a completely different aspect.  And there is no less than 7,000 tons of iron climbing the 325 meters of the tower. From there, it’s all Paris that you can discover. When you are up there, remember that the tower rests on a system of hydraulic cylinders, in other words on water! This is a feat of iron architecture that required two 300 acrobatic riggers to assemble 18,000 pieces of iron using 2.5 million rivets for two years. The frame weighs 7000 tons, which is little, reduced to 30 cm, the Eiffel Tower weighs only 7 grams! To repaint every seven years, it takes 50 tons of paint. The top floor offers a prodigious view of Paris and its suburbs in good weather are 20 000 lights shining on it. The views are chargeable on Ipad and Iphone systems.

paris

Nowdays , due to Vigipirate the anti terrorist procedure in France and the loads of visitors breaking records every year the best way is purchase tickets in advance. In order to gain access faster purchase your tickets on the official Tour Eiffel site, beware of imitators. Planning tips and purchase from the Eiffel: Official Eiffel tower on planning and ticketing

You still will need to go by security lines but the wait is much shorter. I have notice and heard over the years, and passing by it monthly now, that the best times are in the mornings, and on Tuesdays, Thursdays, however, there are also not the best times to see Paris. The best for viewing are in the evenings around closing time, anyday of the week except weekends. For up to date hours and any last minute closing best to check the official webpage of the Tour Eiffel here Official Eiffel tower on hours and pricing

paris

There is plenty to see around the Tour Eiffel in Paris 7éme arrondissement, walking distances to many museums, as well as boat rides, and parks/gardens. The choices for lodging and eating out are unlimited.  Tou can read my other posts on Paris for suggestions on staying and eating here. Its my backyard office lunch when in Paris.

Paris

There you go now I have cover it for you. Hope you enjoy the post and do try to visit it at least once. Eiffel tower for whatever reason is a symbol and we will always have Paris with it.

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

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July 14, 2019

Paris and my 17éme!

Again, difficult to choose a title after so many it can be confusing lol!!! Anyway, this is my walking beats of Paris and I like to share one more with you. I thank you for your readership over the years and to bear with my rants! After Paris is to rant shout and yelled about me think.

I happened to have worked there for 10 years before moving west to Brittany, and lucky enough to still visited almost every month since. My latest took me to the 15éme,16éme a bit but the 17éme is great too. Let me tell you a bit about the non tourist Paris if we can call them that.

I had time to stay by the Jardin Atlantique on the roofstop of the Gare Montparnasse a place of heavenly thoughts with its beautiful basin of Miroitements and the ile des Hésperides island right on it so green and peaceful. A large mirror captures the sun’s rays and illuminates the bassin des Miroitements (shimmer), which is in the shade most of the time. This is just around the corner from my old office location in rue des Departs. I still come by here into Paris each time!

The Jardin Atlantique or Atlantic Garden is in the Necker quartier or neighborhood of the 15éme arrondissement or district of Paris. The site is accessible by the 1, Place des Cinq-Martyrs-du-Lycée-Buffon.  Also by the Place Raoul Dauty  or the Rue du Commandant René Mouchotte. The Metro Montparnasse-Bienvenue on lines lines 4, 6, 12, and 13 (stop Gaîté) , and the line 6 Pasteur as well as the bus lines 88, and 91 takes you here. It is a heaven when need to kill some time or just walk around after a long day’s work or visiting…

This hanging garden was built in 1994 on a slab that covers the station platforms that were previously in the open air. it was built above the tracks of the Montparnasse train station, on an area of 3.5 hectares, and surrounded by bars of buildings of the whole Maine-Montparnasse complex . A large square lawn with no access is the center of the park. It is crossed in the center by an alley that leads to the fountain of the Island of Hesperides where there is a portico whose on each foot houses a weather equipment and which supports a large orientable mirror. The garden offers a playground for children, whose configuration made up of small squares and cashed paths, stands in stark contrast to the rest of the park. This area is overflown by a long curved pedestrian walkway. The park also offers a weight-training area, tennis courts, ping-pong tables and guided tours. The 130 hoppers in the garden allow the station and the underground parking lot built below to be ventilated in a plant-based environment.

City of Paris on the Atlantic garden

Tourist office of Paris on the Atlantic garden

I made connection on metro line 13 and then line 3 to reach my hotel at the 17éme  arrondissement or district of Paris. Hotel Magellan was nice chosen by a local  and is full of history as it was there that the NASA folks who came for the Paris Air Show of 2001 stayed and their autographs photos are hang on the wall. Webpage : https://www.hotelmagellan.com/en/

A boutique hotel is just a stone’s throw from the Place de l’Etoile and the Palais des Congres. Close to the Arc de Triomphe, Hotel Magellan is a 3-star hotel in the heart of the 17th arrondissement of Paris. Whether it’s a business stay in the capital or a tourist weekend in Paris, you’ll find the Magellan’s welcome and services of a boutique hotel, at the crossroads of major Parisian business and tourism centers. This hotel allows you to enjoy the unexpected tranquility of a charming indoor garden. On the edge of the gardens of Boulevard Péreire, the hotel is part of the surrounding Haussmannian architecture, sheltered from the hustle and bustle of Paris.Great indeed!

paris

Once here gave me a quick reminder of how beautiful Paris is all over, not one spot that is not to be avoided, and this part of the 17éme is gorgeous as well !

I literally walked on Boulevard Pereire to reach the Porte Maillot as walking is great and in Paris sublime!  While there was time for something to eat and so much around well opted for a familiar one as know the area well.

paris

I just stop by for coffee and pastries at Le Congres Maillot  80 Avenue de la Grande-Armée, 17éme  as used to do consulting work off ave Amiral Bruix. Webpage:  https://www.congres-maillot.com/en/

The Le Congres Maillot is a rare place in today’s Paris where you will be allowed, if you wish, to take the time to enjoy the present moment whether with family, couple or friends. With kindness we were comfortably settled, The given menu card were good advice knowing how to present the dishes accurately, the wines related to the chosen dish, affable without being obsequious, discreet while wielding this touch of humor without being firm. Love it and great views of the square!

paris

I just needed to walk along bd Pereire and as always it was heavens to walk Paris streets again !!!!! Let me tell you a bit of history on this section of Paris that needs to be visited more me think.

The Bd Pereire as said is in the 17éme arrondissement of Paris. The boulevard is formed by two tree-lined lanes, located on either side of the Auteuil line and whose boundaries are on the odd numbers side:the departure from Rue de Jouffroy-d’Abbans and arrivals on avenue de la Grande-Armée; on the even numbers side: depart from part of the rue de Saussure  and arrive on the boulevard Gouvion-Saint-Cyr. The length of the boulevard Pereire is of 2,540 meters and its width ranges from 17 to 44 meters rounded. The boulevard Pereire crosses the Place du Maréchal-Juin , and the Place de Wagram.

The boulevard takes its name from Émile Pereire, dealer of the Auteuil rail line. The Boulevard Pereire north and south was developed from 1852 to 1854 in connection with the construction of the Auteuil line, at the junction of the line from Paris to Saint-Germain-en-Laye  by a company founded by the Pereire brothers, on the territory of the towns of Batignolles-Monceaux and Neuilly between the wall of the General Farmers and the Thiers precinct, which was not annexed to the City of Paris in 1860. In the 1860s and 1880s, villas or mansions were built along the boulevard Peréire, and from the 1870s, Haussmann-style buildings were built.

paris

Some famous names that had lived on this bd Pereire according to many sources are  at No 2 : en 1871, the photographer Léon Crémière lived on his studio . No 19 : lived Maurice Ravel from 1901 to 1905. No 54 : home of poet Miguel Zamacoïs. No 56 the actrice Sarah Bernhardt died here on March 26 1923. No 149 :The lyric artist Numa Auguez  lived here, and also lived and died the painter Jean Veber ,a plaque is hang to remember this memory. No 173 , the painter Pierre-Gaston Rigaud lived from 1913 to 1939,later his son  Jean Rigaud, from the 1950’s to 1999. No 241 : Seat of the fives or La Cinq ;the composer and architect Robert Planquette and Émile Bénard lived here.

In literature; the boulevard Pereire  is the main place of action of the novel Scream from the Deep (1951), by Georges Duhamel, describing the life of a pharmaceutical company under the Occupation. The author situates the company Dardaille, Winterberg and Co. which undergoes a name change because of the Jewishness of its partner, as well as the very name of the boulevard during WWII. During the Occupation, a name change was proposed by Captain Paul Sézille, director of the Institute for the Study of Jewish Issues, because of the Jewish origin of the Pereire brothers. He suggested to the SS Theodor Dannecker the name “Edward Drumont Boulevard” after the famous anti-Semitic agitator. This project was not successful.

Tourist office of Paris on Bd Pereire

Again, walking is wonderful and in Paris sublime! I do walk even if love the car but that is just to get there hehehe once in town, my feet are like well better than a GPS! or it must be my brain lol! Do recommended again when in Paris walk as much as you can. Enjoy the 15, 16 and 17éme arrondissements of Paris and especially do walk Bd Pereire!

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

 

 

 

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July 13, 2019

Sainte Chapelle de Paris!

So on an already hot day here 29C and Paris let me tell you about a wonder of our world. Again, this is amazing as just notice briefly mentioned it in previous posts. One of the gems of our times and sitting in a superb location; come and see the Sainte Chapelle de Paris or the Holy Chapel of Paris.

It can be passed by really, need to look carefully me think. Tuck away in now government building you has one of the jewels of Paris. It is very popular, historical, and religious as well.  The Sainte Chapelle de Paris  It is located at the Ile de la Cité, the historical center of Paris, right over on pont du Change, you are in Bd du Palais, and stop at metro Cité ,line 4 in the 4éme arrondissement.  It sits inside the Palais de Justice, the old justice court of medieval times and today still doing its functions.

paris

It is here that the crown of thorns was brought over by king Louis IX (Saint Louis) and he wanted a place to put them.  It was built between 1242-1248 ,and considered a master work of the gothic art architecture.  It is two chapels actually, the inferior one for the common people and a superior one for the king and royal family. At the roof, there is a statue of angel Michael.

The inferior Chapel, dedicated to the Virgin, act as a base to the superior one.  At the superior chapel you have stained glass evoking kings David and Salomon, near the king Saint Louis. you have windows of stained glass all around and its most glorious beauty, that due to the renovations work photos are lacking.  the scenes in the windows show the Genesis, Exodus, book of Names, book of Joseph, book of Judges, book of Isaias, John the Evangelist, and the Child Jesus, the Passion,life of Saint John the Baptist, and the book of Daniel, book of Ezequiel, book of Jeremy, and Tobit, the books of Judith and Job, book of Esther, the books on the Kings, and  history of the relics of the Passion. The rosary window on the west side represents the Apocalypse and is 9 meters in diameter (about 30 feet).

paris

The superior Chapel  with its multitude and intensity of the colors most mark the ambience of the superior  Chapel, as well as its elegance and height, which is almost twice its width. Although bright, the superior Chapel  is generally not flooded with light, as the stained glass windows of the 13C  are semi-opaque. The tympanum of these three arches were painted by Steinheil, who could not rely on anything existing, because the presence of the organ grandstand had kept this wall untouched. The motifs are the three scenes of the Old Testament sacrifice; a blessing Christ flanked by Angels in prayer and flanked by the Prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah; then the three figures of the sacrifice of the cross; the immolation of the Easter lamb; blood on the houses of the Hebrews (so that the angel of death may spare the firstborn); and Moises’ brass snake in the desert. Indeed, the Pontifical of Poitiers of the Duke of Bedford and an engraving by Nicolas Ransonnette were the only known iconographic sources, and helped to clarify the project. Thus, the canopy, symbol of royal power, has never regained its function, and the symbolic program of decoration, including the stained glass windows, the Apostles and the scenes of martyrdom of the medallions, remains incomplete without the bas-reliefs of the great shrine: with the scenes of the Crucifixion, the Flagellation and the Resurrection of Christ, they marked its culmination.

paris

The stained glass area of ​​the superior Chapel covers approximately 615 m2, without the Rosary window. All the windows were in place from the beginning, but a substantial number was redone in the middle of the 19C, without altering the overall rendering and in full respect of the iconography and style of origin. The reading is from left to right, and from bottom to top, line by line. The reading begins with the first window to the north and the beginning of the Old Testament, and ends with the Rosary window dedicated to the Apocalypse: its windows date from the end of the 15C and are clearer. The narrative program begins with Creation, illustrates the history of the Hebrew people until its installation in Israel with the installation of kingship, and ends with the story of St. Louis receiving the relics of the Passion. There is inserted a prophetic cycle around the life of Jesus Christ, framed by the lives of St. John the Baptist who announces the Lamb of God, and the apostle John who has the vision of the Apocalypse.

paris

The relics of the Sainte Chapelle are today housed at the Cathedral of Notre Dame,(since 1804)  such as the thorns, fragment of the real cross, the lance and sponge of the Passion, relics of the virgin, and the Marty lion, suppose the image of Christ. In the statutory custody of the Knights of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and the Cathedral Chapter you can see them at the treasury of the Cathedral. And every Good Friday they are brought out into the altar for all to see.

Together with the Conciergerie, the Sainte-Chapelle  is one of the remains of the city palace or old palais de la Cité, that extended on this site covering the current Justice palace. The official webpage in the National Monument site in English is at  http://www.sainte-chapelle.fr/en/

paris

It goes without saying  that there has been a chapel here as far back as 922 tracing even to the first dynasty of the kings of France. Perhaps it was the ideal site chosen by king Louis IX. The Sainte Chapelle today is 36 meters long ( 119 ft)  without the objects and 33 meters with them, the exterior wide measures are 17 meters and the interior 16.70 meters ; the highs from floor to spike is 42.5 meters (140 ft).  To the right and left of the nave, there are two vaults lowered, that have two benches with insignias, indicating the place where Saint Louis and Blanche of Castile did their Mass and its offices facing each other.

Paris

Although the Sainte-Chapelle has been officially closed to religious service since the French revolution, it is periodically returned to its original devotion. Thus, the Catholic Group of the Palace, which gathers magistrates, lawyers, clerks, and members of the personnel of the court-house of Paris, ensures since between the big wars, the Catholic spiritual presence in the Sainte-Chapelle . The chaplain of the group celebrates every year a memorial mass at All Saints’ Day, as well as a Mass of the Saint-Yves in May, one of the patron Saints of the jurists. On March 21, 2014, on the occasion of the opening of the Saint-Louis ‘s year , Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, led in procession the Holy Crown of Thorns from Notre-Dame Cathedral to the Sainte-Chapelle for the first time since the monarchy!. A solemn Mass was celebrated there, and broadcast live on a giant screen installed in  place Louis-Lépine.

The walls and stained glass of the Sainte-Chapelle  where it was created the most beautiful pages of the French music from the Grand Siècle with the nomination of Marc-Antoine Charpentier as the master musician in1698.  He will occupy this post until his death in 1704. He composes his last chefs-d’œuvre amongt them we can site the Oratory,the Jugement of Salomon ,the Mass from the dead  the psalms of Darkeness , and one of the most beautiful Masses written for the Assomption of the Virgin Mary.

More info here: Toursit office of Paris on the Sainte Chapelle in English

Tourist office of the Ile de France region on the Sainte Chapelle

One of the must places to see in Paris, hope it will bring you over. Its gorgeous inside and out. Enjoy the Sainte Chapelle de Paris or Holy Chapel of Paris!

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

 

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July 13, 2019

Citadel at Port Louis!

This is another wonderful spot of my beautiful Morbihan, not far from home and we love it. I  will talk a bit about Port Louis. This is easily reach from my house on road D781 coming from Etel or on the national road N165 direction Hennebont, then Port Louis. You can come by train to the station in Lorient then bus to Port Louis, TGV service from Paris Montparnasse. You can make by boat from Lorient, public transport  of Lorient is at webpage  http://www.ctrl.fr/  and by air to Lorient airport from Paris and Lyon, on Air France, etc ,webpage at http://www.lorient.aeroport.fr/

The parking is easy at the entrance to the Grande Rue or by the Pointe harbor area. There is also plenty of parking by the Citadel.

The Citadel is a marvel of Vauban fortifications, and the guard fortress to the city, famous for its trade with the Indies in America. The first company of trade was done here, and the museum inside the Citadel today tells you of this wonderful period. The  Citadelle de Port-Louis was built in the 16C by the Spanish and modified in the 17C by the French.

port louis

The Citadel is rebuilt between 1618 and 1621, when Louis XIII decided to give Port-Louis the status of royal city. The present appearance of the citadel dates from this period and despite appearances, Vauban  only did  the buildings built in the barnyard (arsenal and ball park) at a later date. The citadel will be used for the defense of the harbor, then it will be assigned to the surveillance of the maritime traffic. The last soldiers leave the premises in 2007.

port louis

port louis

port louis

port louis

Really ,the main urge to come here is the citadelle and its museum of the Indies. It is an impressive fortress and must visit if in the area.  The museum  of the Marine  is a wonderful recollection of the seafaring French/Breton and its seafaring skills. The site is  http://www.musee-marine.fr/musee-national-de-la-marine-port-louis

The other museum Inside that covers more of the compagnie des  indies épisodes to far régions such as Africa, Asia, and the Americas : https://musee.lorient.bzh/museum-english-version/

Move on to see the Grand Poudriére (built 1750-1752) or big powder house, to keep that old ammunition all along the ramparts leading to the citadelle. See also, the fountain de Recollets.

port louis

port louis

A bit of history of Port Louis I like

The city which was formerly called Blavet and its citadel are renamed Port Louis in 1618 on a the Royal decision. Port-Louis, or Porzh Loeiz in Breton, recalls the name of the Kings of France and thus marks their suzerainty on this port which was long a Spanish fortress. The city is occupied by the Spaniards from 1590, the Duke of Mercœur, in a first time his alliance with king Felipe II (Philip II) , having delivered them thereafter, Don Juan del Aguila defended it and built fortifications there. The name of the new stronghold is given to him as Fuerte del Aguila (Fort de L’Aigle or Fort of the Eagle). The Citadel was half dismantled at the beginning of the 17C, the Spaniards having evacuated the territory. The current name of Port-Louis, dating from 1618, is given in honor of King Louis XIII who wanted to make it a fortified city completed in 1642, the Citadel of Port-Louis is the key element of the defence of the harbour. Under the French revolution, the town provisionally carries the names of Port-de-l’Égalité and Port-Liberté.

Tourist office of BrittanyTourist office of Brittany on Port Louis in English

South Brittany Lorient tourist officeLorient South Brittany tourist office on Port Louis

City of Port Louis on heritage: City of Port Louis on heritage in French

port louis

There you go another dandy for sure and a beautiful beach just behind the citadel to see in my other posts on Port Louis. Enjoy the Citadel! 

port louis

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

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